Alex Chamberlain, a British restaurant-goer at the Oberoi, told Sky News television that the attackers singled out Britons and Americans. He said a gunman, who appeared to be in his early 20s, ushered 30 or 40 people from the restaurant into a stairway and ordered everyone to put up their hands.
"They were talking about British and Americans specifically. There was an Italian guy, who, you know, they said: 'Where are you from?' And he said he's from Italy and they said 'fine' and they left him alone. And I thought: 'Fine, they're going to shoot me if they ask me anything Â— and thank God they didn't," he said.
Perhaps he just meant that they would recognize his accent, but the way I read it was that he would tell them the truth. If that's the right reading, he is very brave.
What would you do? Would you say that you're an American or would you lie and say you're Canadian or fake a French accent?
I am a soldier stationed over in Korea, and I have to say, to you, to this Italian man, to anyone who would, or would like to think, that you would tell the truth and tell them you are an American, thank you. Those few Americans that still have that pride are what keeps us going when we are away from our families... You bring out a great deal of good old American pride in me. On Thanksgiving day, Thank you.
Posted by: Gypsy at November 26, 2008 02:03 PM (Xtvxj)
A little history lesson on how it's done:
Ambrose R. Davenport
September 11, 1772Â—March 13, 1858
While a prisoner of war during the War of 1812, Ambrose Davenport refused to swear allegiance to the British crown by saying:
"I was born in America and am determined at all hazards, to live and die an American citizen."
He was captured on Mackinac Island and taken to
Detroit for his incarceration. In case any reader
thinks this was easy for him --his wife and SIX
children remained on the island.They were
continually harrassed until his release in 1815.
Posted by: MaryIndiana at November 28, 2008 03:13 AM (SRyvm)
I LOVE HIM FOR
I keep having these conversations with people, and then a few days later I read something in Atlas Shrugged and think, "Aw nuts, that's how I should've answered."
Right now I am at the part where Cherryl Taggart realizes that Jim isn't who she thought he was.
"Jim, what is it that you want to be loved for?"
"What a cheap shopkeeper's attitude!"
She did not speak; she looked at him, her eyes stretched by a silent question."
"To be loved for!" he said, his voice grating with mockery and righteousness. "So you think that love is a matter of mathematics, of exchange, of weighing and measuring, like a pound of butter on a grocery counter? I don't want to be loved for anything. I want to be loved for myself -- not for anything I do or have or say or think. For myself -- not for my body or mind or words or works or actions."
"But then...what is yourself?"
"If you loved me, you wouldn't ask it."
Last week, I met a neighbor, one of those people who likes to psychoanalyze everyone. I made a joke in the group about how my husband has never been described as "nice," which is true: my husband has many wonderful qualities, but "nice" doesn't really suit him. The neighbor asked me what quality first drew me to my husband. I sat for a moment, deciding between his intellect and his integrity. As I thought on, I realized I ought to indicate his intellect, since his integrity is something that I have grown to see over the years and not necessarily something I knew right from the beginning.
The neighbor interrupted my thoughts, saying that I was taking too long, that a real answer would come from the gut and not require so much deliberation.
I said, "His intellect." The neighbor looked at me like that was a cheap thing to be loved for.
What I wish I'd answered, what I thought of later that night, is that my love for my husband doesn't come from my gut; it comes from my brain. I love him with my mind, not with my heart. A quick response to that question would be false, because the response has to come from my thought process.
My husband and I were in the same friend group for about six months before we began dating. I remember vividly at one point telling a mutual friend that I could see myself marrying someone like Mr. Grok. I was reminded of that today when I saw who Cherryl thought she was marrying. And I realized that the love that developed for my husband was similar to what Dagny feels for John Galt: she loved him even before she knew he existed. I loved my husband's qualities before I ever had any inkling he would become my husband. In fact, he had declined my suggestion that we date. Weeks later, he came to me with his mind and said that he had made a mistake and we should be together. We figuratively shook on it, and that was that.
Effectively, our love was transacted like a pound of butter on a grocery counter.
My husband earned my love. I too had to earn it from him, and it took him two weeks longer than I to weigh the merits of it. And the moments when I feel the most love for my husband, the moments when it feels like my heart is swelling, it is really my brain swelling. It happens when he has excelled at a task, when he has become frustrated with himself because he didn't live up to his potential, or when he has displayed his sharp wit or keen intellect.
I don't think my neighbor would've understood that.
I totally get what you are saying here: I could have married my husband after knowing him for 2 days. I wasn't "in love" yet...but I knew that he was someone I could grow to love and get attached to. I already loved his character, because that was the character I was looking for in a man...now I just had to get attached to this person.
I decided to marry Deltasierra in 3rd grade. She was a) nice to me and b) pretty. She smiled a lot.
Over time, I came up with some other good reasons, but I have never had cause to doubt the initial reaction. =)
Posted by: Sig at November 26, 2008 07:36 AM (exefa)
"Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties."
Posted by: tim at November 26, 2008 10:01 AM (nno0f)
There seems to be a whole lot of Atlas Shrugged reading going on lately.
Posted by: Tom at November 26, 2008 10:18 AM (lgq5k)
I knew I would marry DH when I was 15, I even made the pronouncement...
funny, smart, handsome, and unique perspective, that always made me see something different..
We were friends, but did not date romantically, until I was 19.
I have asked him what his trepidation was, all of that time alone we spent, me WAITING for a kiss, or some indication of "boy lurves girl"...
he answered..."I cared about you too much, I really respected you."
Who knew 17 year old boys had sooo much restraint?
Posted by: AWTM at November 26, 2008 12:07 PM (3Q/t2)
I had a list of traits and qualities I wantted in a husband. I even told my mom I wouldn'y get married unless 'he' fit the bill. Then 'he' just happened to be in the same platoon during basic training. We met in March, started dating in July, engaged by October, married in January. He was just what I had knew I wanted.
Posted by: Jen at November 26, 2008 08:29 PM (59GjO)
I had two lists. The list of "must-haves" (honesty and integrity, intelligence, shared values, sense of humor, etc.), and the list of "deal-breakers" (smoking or other serious addictions, complacency/lack of ambition, anger management issues, dishonesty; those kinds of things).
I met my husband online, and so I got to know his personality before I ever met him in person. By the time we met IRL, I knew that (as long as he hadn't lied to me) he had all the qualities I was looking for, as well as a few that I considered to be bonuses, and none of the problems that I had hoped to avoid. I knew before I met him that he was someone who (as long as he was honest) I could at least be great friends with, even if we had no chemistry.
When I met him in person after talking to him for a month online, I was pleased to find out that he was exactly the same person I had gotten to know; he wasn't some "internet weirdo" who pretended to be someone else to pick up chicks. I had been pretty sure that he was for real, but it takes meeting a person face to face before you really know. I also found out that first date that I was definitely attracted to him, so more than friends was definitely an option.
The things I love most about my husband: his intelligence, his eagerness to learn, his sense of humor, his cuddliness, his integrity, and his determination. He exemplifies these qualities daily in everything he does and thinks and says and believes.
Posted by: Leofwende at December 01, 2008 10:25 AM (jAos7)
Doesn't matter what you love him for, all that matters is you love him.
Posted by: bx19 at February 15, 2010 05:56 PM (bWGnc)
I sometimes wonder if I think too much, when it comes to love, not that I've had too many opportunies to give falling in love a try. "Letting go" of the brain doesn't seem to be an option for me. Does that make me a "pound of butter" kind of person?
Posted by: Miss Ladybug at February 15, 2010 10:44 PM (vqKnu)
I was just getting ready to leave for work when this email from CaliValleyGirl popped up:
Just wanted to make sure that you didn't slip in the shower or anything...no long email needed, just a sign of life!
I am here, just busy. Worked all day Saturday. Stayed up until 3 AM online with Amritas. Babysat yesterday. Eek. I came home from the experience thinking that there's no way I can be a mother, that I will do a horrible job, that I don't have the patience.
And then I caught my favorite episode of Scrubs ever, and realized that I probably will find the courage.
I got in bed last night and grabbed my Atlas Shrugged. And I remembered something that I hadn't thought of until last night: the men of Galt's Gulch only lived there one month of the year. They weren't allowed to wall themselves off from the reality of life; they had to keep jobs and live amongst the looters. But they returned to the gulch once a year to be with likeminded individuals.
So really, we have this gulch. The gulch is any time we get together, at the Milblogs Conference, at a SpouseBUZZ, at a house in Ohio, or even just typing on the internet until 3 AM.
I used to feel the same way about babysitting and "momming." (I did NOT enjoy babysitting...) But really, babysitting other people's kids is hugely different than taking care of your own - HUGELY. I promise. For so many reasons. And you're absolutely right - you'll find the courage; I'm sure of it! :-)
Thanks for pointing that out about Galt's Gulch, too - there's so much I don't remember from that book...
And I've tagged you as having a fabulous blog - please don't feel pressured to keep it going, but I wanted to pass on the compliment! :-)
Posted by: kannie at November 24, 2008 10:20 AM (iT8dn)
Once a day here sure beats once a year.
I'd go crazy waiting for the next reunion!
Posted by: Amritas at November 24, 2008 10:57 AM (+nV09)
I'm sure that the men of Galt's Gulch felt the same way I feel after coming home from SBL or the MilBlogging conference.
Posted by: HomefrontSix at November 24, 2008 10:42 PM (4Es1w)
Yes, kannie is absolutely right on that one. Your own kids are totally different. Unless it's an adorable kid that you WANT to hang out with.... But that's fairly uncommon; kids are so annoying. Your own kids can bug you, but it IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!!!
I am slowing getting through The Fountainhead. I am taking my time, kinda accidently. It's everything for me not to quote it by the paragraph on my bloggie. Next will be Atlas....
Posted by: Allison at November 25, 2008 02:32 PM (rcZzI)
The best part about living in Germany was that sending mail to Iraq was free. No stamp necessary. And I milked that for all it was worth, sending articles and photos and many letters. 215 of them, to be exact.
This time around, I sent 45. Granted, we had more regular contact via internet, so there was less to say in letters. And he was deployed for half as long. But still...
I think I am proof that people abuse privileges they don't have to pay for.
I would contend that you are proof that *some* people abuse the privileges they don't pay for.
Posted by: Sis B at November 22, 2008 04:57 AM (0ScrO)
I abused the hell out of the "free mail" privilege from Afghanistan. I didn't keep count, but it wasn't uncommon for me to write 4 or 5 letters in a slow day. I would go a week or two without, and then write another batch. Most were to my wife, some to Mom (who didn't get a SINGLE letter from my little brother in Iraq the year before), and a lot to random people I knew only from the Intarweb. One female I knew from a forum I was on was a school teacher, and she read some of my letters (or parts of them, at least) talking about the people and the landscape and the climate and whatnot to her students while they were learning about that part of the world. So some good came from it, I guess.
There is nothing better than getting a letter from home when you're in the middle of nowhere. They couldn't always get us water, food, or ammunition, but when they did come through, they brought the mail, too.
Posted by: Sig at November 22, 2008 07:24 AM (/W1Z3)
Uh yeah...I remember the sending 12-packs of Diet Mountain Dew...and feeling bad that the packages were so heavy. I abused it too, all of the time! I can't imagine how much it would cost to send those packages from the US. Ouch.
Posted by: Nicole at November 22, 2008 09:30 AM (xPxyx)
So Sis, you're saying that if it were free to send packages and mail to your husband, you wouldn't do it more often than you do now? And I thought I was good at self-discipline...
Posted by: Sarah at November 22, 2008 10:51 AM (TWet1)
Um, OK. Well, I don't abuse all free privileges either: I don't take free meds from the health clinic, for example. I have always been a nazi about heating and cooling, even when we lived on post and didn't pay energy bills.
But I still stand by my generalization that we don't treat resources the same way when they're free as we do when we have to pay for them.
Next time you use an anecdote to make a point, I'll try to remember to point it out to you as "not proof of a theory." You know, not every girl's brain is like spaghetti. Only *some* of them.
Yeesh, nitpick much?
Posted by: Sarah at November 22, 2008 07:46 PM (TWet1)
Aw, I didn't mean to nitpick. I don't think you abused your mail privileges, either, but that's just me.
And I totally expected flak over the girl brain spaghetti thing and didn't get it! I knew you were out there lurking with that thought.
Posted by: Sis B at November 23, 2008 09:32 AM (0ScrO)
Yesterday I happened upon a private reading We The Living. I got this indescribable excitement and wanted to grab him and talk his ear off. Of course I didn't. I stared holes into the top of his head, but I couldn't even get him to make eye contact. Still, it kinda made my day.
Have you read We the Living?
I read it after my second reading of Atlas, and I barely remember it after almost twenty years. I might have been more impressed if I had read Rand's work in chronological order.
It'd be funny if it turned out that the private was reading We the Living to understand "the other side" like this guy.
Posted by: Amritas at November 21, 2008 06:35 AM (+nV09)
I love that book for so many reasons. It is brief enough to be manageable to most people, other than diehard Rand fanatics who love the longer ones, it is semi autobiographical which gives us at least a peek into her own history, and the ending is so powerful. Just reading your post makes me want to go to the library and check it out...again.
Posted by: Amy at November 21, 2008 09:36 AM (I9LMv)
I recommend Anthem for those who think We the Living is too long. Anthem and Yevgeny Zamyatin's similar, earlier novel We should be made into movies. CGI technology could effectively depict their sterile, collectivist dystopias.
I read We the Living shortly after I read Barbara Branden's The Passion of Ayn Rand, so I knew the real story before I saw the fictionalized version. I wonder what it's like to read We the Living without that background knowledge, or without having read Fountainhead or Atlas first.
Posted by: Amritas at November 21, 2008 10:13 AM (+nV09)
I think "We the Living" is far better, judged as literature, than Rand's other works.
Amrita, there actually *was* a movie made of WTL...oddly, it was made it Fascist Italy, and the censors approved it because it was anti-Communist...later to change their minds when they realized it was anti-totalitarian in a more general way. It's very well done, although there are a couple of minutes missing.
I thought the Leo character in the book came across as fairly obnoxious, and Kira's passionate attachment to him seemed a bit strange, unless it could be put down to pure physical attraction...but in the movie, he came across as much more human, even though I don't think his dialogue changed at all.
Posted by: david foster at November 21, 2008 02:33 PM (ke+yX)
SHE WAS A FOOL
I am not the Sarah who rejected the 99-Cent Dating Experiment. I think it's very funny and cute. If a guy had done that for me, I would've found it endearing. Of course, all of the gifts I can remember in my life had nothing to do with money: the handmade wooden keychain, "I love you" spelled out in pink Starbursts (my favorite flavor), a potted violet my 8th grade boyfriend walked a mile in the rain to buy for me. And my husband didn't have to buy me a thing to get me to fall in love with him: We went to a free production of Man of La Mancha, he baked cookies from a tube of dough, and he wanted to know my thoughts on Sartre.
I'd trade the diamond bracelet for the one made of Reardon Metal any day of the week.
Maybe it's because I did all of my dating as a student; I just don't think money has anything to do with it. I think it would've been funny, and I would've asked what he was up to also, but I would've thought it was cute if I already liked the guy.
And I think my husband was the exact opposite: he didn't do anything to try to impress me. He just acted like himself. He was not trying to make me like him; it was an accident. He did none of the normal things that guys do to hide their guy behavior and pretend to be couth. He considered me "one of the guys" and put on no airs whatsoever.
In fact, we often joke that he's a far better husband than he was a boyfriend or fiance. He's more thoughtful now than he was then. (And that's saying a lot: this is the man who hasn't gotten me a birthday or Christmas present in years.)
Posted by: Sarah at November 21, 2008 11:15 AM (TWet1)
Hmm...I like the idea, but I think he took the wrong approach. You can do "free" or "cheap" dates without going to the dollar store and buying a bunch of junk.
My husband and I had fun dates where we went to local markets or free events and didn't spend a cent. We've done tons of dates where we went to the hot dog stand for lunch or went for cheap teryaki or whatever instead of going to fancy restaurants. Our second "date" was me making spaghetti for him at my apartment; virtually free since I would have been making and eating spaghetti at some point anyway. The point is that I like who he is and I enjoy spending time with him no matter what we're doing.
And I, too, would take the bracelet of Reardon metal any day.
Posted by: Leofwende at November 21, 2008 11:36 AM (cZoqf)
Dr. Helen quoted Ted Nugent (heart) -- "You don't need tough love in America, you need tougher love. " -- in her post about how we need to speak up:
Too many times, we let liberals get away with making fun of Republicans and those of us who do not agree with them politically. This needs to stop and the only way to do it is to speak up in the classrooms, public and at work. Remember that we are 56 million strong--those of us who did not vote for Obama. We are hardly alone.
As you know, I have been reading Atlas Shrugged again. Every time I read it, I remember how empowered it makes me feel. My husband mentioned a small dilemma today, and I said, "Tell them how you really feel; let them have it!" Then I laughed and said, "Sorry, I am being a bit too Reardon, aren't I?"
Reading this book makes me want to speak the truth.
On my flight the other day, while discussing the Obama book with my row-mate, the conversation turned to health care. This man, who was not an Obama supporter, said he agrees with "free" health care and thinks that it's something that the United States can do for its citizens.
I didn't say what I really wanted to say: Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should.
And looking back, I kind of wish I had said that. At least the conversation would've turned a different way and perhaps it would've made this man think new thoughts. Instead I took the wimpy way out and reminded him that nothing is "free" in this world. I wish I had been more assertive in the conversation though. He was asking my opinions and I held back, for fear of sounding cold.
As I said in an email to a friend a while back, I wish I were more like an Ayn Rand character. I wish that I didn't worry whether my positions sound nice or not. The Nuge is right: we need tougher love in this country.
I wish I were bold enough to tell a stranger on a plane that I don't believe everyone is entitled to cheap health care. I'm not there yet.
I wonder how many times I'll have to read Atlas Shrugged before I have that confidence...
I believe in speaking up, but how do you define what's appropriate? Your for instance about healthcare, I would discuss that with someone I knew fairly well. Not with a stranger on a plane. But then I also just stopped discussing politics altogether during the campaign because it became increasingly difficult to not want to choke someone for being stupid.
I think if we can speak up in a logical and polite fashion then we should. Also not everyone has the same social finesse as you do Sarah.
I have no problem talking to people but a lot of folks are a little more shy.
Maybe the 56 million of us who didn't vote for Obama could wear lapel pins or something?
Posted by: Mare at November 19, 2008 04:13 AM (APbbU)
The problem with speaking up when someone is pontificating is that they usually don't want to hear it.
I adore a good discussion - even with people I don't politically agree with (and there are lots of those everywhere) as long as it can stay civil and the person I'm speaking with can give me facts as well as passion. And with one other caveat - the person I'm talking with has to be as open to hearing new facts and re-evaluating their belief system as I am. That's not too much to ask, I think, and that places the onus just as much on me as on the person I'm discussing with.
The problem is that if someone's entire political worldview can fit on a 2 x 12 bumper sticker, there isn't depth for discussion.
Posted by: airforcewife at November 19, 2008 07:34 AM (Fb2PC)
I also just stopped discussing politics altogether during the campaign
I kept my mouth shut "in real life" unless someone came "out of the closet." I always let others make the first move, unless I know we share common ground (and I do share some with people on the opposite side of the aisle - they're not another species!).
The problem with speaking up when someone is pontificating is that they usually don't want to hear it.
Yes. Such people are not interested in initiating a discussion; they intend to impress others with how "virtuous" they are (since they have the "right" beliefs). Questioning their "virtue" only angers them. Rage will blind them to whatever merits the opposing position may possess.
the person I'm talking with has to be as open to hearing new facts and re-evaluating their belief system as I am. That's not too much to ask
It depends on how "open" one is. It's "not too much to ask" if one is willing to take a few new steps in one direction or another. But expecting people to 180 because of something one says is too much. I'll admit it - I'm not likely to go back to the left any day soon. I don't have a totally open mind about Communism - or jihadism. And I'm not sorry about that.
People have vast emotional investments in their core beliefs. Striking those beliefs directly is likely to fail. Questioning peripheral beliefs is safer, though it falls far short of what Nugent demands. (Not that I feel any need to please him.) Sarah's "nothing is 'free' in this world" or her unsaid "Just because we can do something doesn't mean we should" exemplify a third, more effective approach: question the underpinnings of the core beliefs rather than the beliefs themselves.
The problem is that if someone's entire political worldview can fit on a 2 x 12 bumper sticker, there isn't depth for discussion.
But just enough "depth" to identify that person. That's all politics is for a lot of people. Tribal insignia. Why bother to question their badges? Good advice!
Posted by: Amritas at November 19, 2008 08:24 AM (+nV09)
I too, tend to keep my politics under the table IRL, unless I know the other person is open to having a genuine discussion. Where I live, such a thing is a rarity, so I am thrilled with the fact that we have become good friends with another couple in Beowulf's unit that has the same core conservative beliefs that we do. My husband, this couple, and my parents are really the only people I can think of IRL that I will talk politics with. I had some conservative friends my senior year in college, but they are spread all over the place now and I rarely see them anymore.
What I am more likely to do, if politics are brought up with someone who I'm not sure how they think, is ask questions. I will ask them specifically why they think that it will work, or bring up the negatives that other countries have experienced with socialized medicine, or bring up how even the military has trouble being effective and efficient (people having to make appointments months ahead of time, a guy from hubby's platoon sitting in the emergency room for 9 hours before he saw a doctor after cutting off the tip of his finger, etc). And how they think doctors will get paid, what about malpractice suits, and what will happen to the pool of doctors when their pay is effectively "capped". I'm much less likely to tell them straight out that I disagree (I'm really kind of a shy/timid person unless I know you), but I will ask questions.
Posted by: Leofwende at November 19, 2008 09:31 AM (jAos7)
My husband, this couple, and my parents are really the only people I can think of IRL that I will talk politics with.
That's a lot more than I have in IRL ... namely, zero. I'm envious.
Somebody send me the map to the gulch ASAP!
What I am more likely to do, if politics are brought up with someone who I'm not sure how they think, is ask questions.
Good idea. I'm too shy to even do that, but I do listen to the other side. My goal is not to sway them over but to understand their POV better.
Posted by: Amritas at November 19, 2008 10:56 AM (+nV09)
It's "not too much to ask" if one is willing to take a few new steps in one direction or another. But expecting people to 180 because of something one says is too much.
That's why I said they have to be as willing as I am to look at evidence. If I'm not willing at all, I have no right to expect them to be. But this also applies to them.
Don't expect me to listen to a rant about some person who called Barack Obama some name if you have bumper stickers on your car calling George Bush names. On the same subject, don't expect me to be more respectful towards a president I didn't vote for than you were towards a president you didn't vote for.
I will be, because I have a sense of decency and respect towards office. But don't expect it, because you didn't put that tip in the karma jar.
That's what I mean by that. I just expect people to be as open themselves as they expect other people to be listening to them. Invariably this doesn't happen. As you said, because they consider their views "right".
Posted by: airforcewife at November 19, 2008 12:36 PM (Fb2PC)
As I sat down on my cross-country flight, I noticed my seatmate was reading Change We Can Believe In. I rolled my eyes, thinking it would be a long flight. I then took out my Atlas Shrugged, hoping the vibes off of my book would vanquish the vibes off of his.
A while later, he starts chitchatting, asking me where I hail from. I told him I was originally from Illinois, and he pointed at his Obama book and said, "He must be your man then." I smiled noncommittally. Then he said, "I didn't vote for him; I bought this book so I could figure out what the heck he's planning on doing."
So we had a nice chat the entire trip, laughing and pointing out the inconsistancies in Obama's plan.
Moral of the story: Don't judge a bookholder by its cover.
Moral of the story: Don't judge a bookholder by its cover.
Even a conservative clock is right twice a day!
We must not fool ourselves into believing that everyone who has Barack's blessed bOOk is one of us. The enemy is everywhere. Be vigilant! The eye of the prOletarian dictatorship must never blink!
Posted by: kevin at November 15, 2008 09:55 AM (a1nQd)
Posted by: airforcewife at November 15, 2008 10:07 AM (Fb2PC)
I'm so glad you had such a fun flight! I had a spastic sleeper sitting near me. It did keep things interesting, but it made me a little nervous. I thought I might lose an eye or something.
I'm sooooooo glad you're here and I'm here. Here I am on your blog & you don't even know & you're sitting right across the room!
Posted by: Guard Wife at November 15, 2008 10:31 AM (zYnMa)
Imagine the country with everyone having all their belongings in a moving truck. Then folks start looking around for a place that has people who are more like them (however folks want to define that), and they talk and share opinions to determine what it is they do want, and then everyone hits the road in their pre-packed moving vans, to move to where they can find camaraderie and fellowship with people of like minds. THAT is America. That is what the Founders gave us, but some folks didnÂ’t get the memo, or havenÂ’t fully grasped what the Founders meant.
Amritas and I got a little giddy, planning our gulch. We want Steven den Beste and the du Toits as neighbors. I want Varifrank on my street. And Baldilocks, and Lileks, and Whittle. I want my virtual neighborhood to become my real one.
Imagine the 4th of July BBQ conversations we'd have!
And, to paraphrase AirForceWife's comment, a community where you share common ground with your neighbors wouldn't be a FAIL.
But it honestly hurts my heart to even write this post.
It hurts to think about how wonderful it would be in our gulch.
This idea has appealed to me for almost twenty years, which is why my blog (अमरावती Amaravati 'abode of the immortals') is named after the capital of स्वर्ग Svarga. My roster of honorary citizens is quite long. Apply for residency today!
Posted by: Amritas at November 12, 2008 05:15 AM (a1nQd)
We can't have all of the cool folks in one spot, that would be unfair, we must be spread all over, so we can spread of genetics, brilliance, and all over good looks....tho those in need.
(please read with the sarcastic tone, in which it was typed)
Posted by: awtm at November 13, 2008 06:00 AM (e4NmX)
IMAGINE YOU'RE ON A KIBBUTZ...CaliValleyGirl's newest post lays a lot of foundation on her position and then asks a meaty question of Democrats at the end. I think I only have like three Democrat readers, but I would be interested in hearing your take on her question.
Democrat reader 2 of 3 here
Actually, I don't label myself a Dem, but I did vote hopechangeyeswecan so I'l chime in.
I'm a business owner, and I don't give a rip how much they tax me. I believe pretty strongly that taxes don't have a whole lot to do with business savvy. The intial blog post talked a bit about home builders and the impact of the economy. One of my best clients is the highest of high-end home builders in our area. His company is doing incredibly well at the moment, because he doesn't carry nearly the debt that other builders carry. Amongst other things, he has run his business very responsibly while others leaned on the bubble and got burned.
We were talking business the other day and I asked him bout taxes. He voted McCain, but he also didn't think the taxation issue was going to affect him at all. few percentage here or there wasn't going to make or break him.
My wife's uncle is a wealthy cat, as are all his friends. They voted M, but they still aren't crying about the tazes as they'll never notice the difference.
The Obama argument (whether you buy it or not - I don't think I do) is that the extra few percent from the folks at the top doesn't impact them like the monet does out of the pockets of the folks at the bottom. Not necessarily my opinion, but I think that's the general argument.
Having said that, sometimes perception matters more than reality. I don't believe that the little tax credit to the folks at the bottom or the middle will make that big of an actual difference to there lives. But if they believe it makes a difference, then money spent goes up and consumer confidence (whatever that is) goes up and the perception of the health of the economy goes up. So I might agree in broad strokes that if the low-to-middle of the income spectrum believe that the tax cuts make things better for them then that will translate into a stronger economy. I'm not sure how that actually shakes out - whether the bottom-to-middle have the economic stroke to make an influence.
In a smaller society, I don't have a problem explaining to the guy making more that his percentage has gone up. The more confilcts we fight and companies we bail out the more we have to pay for it. I don't necessarly like it but the money has to come from somewhere.
The better question from where I'm sitting is whether or not this government, which I agree is supposed to be serving the people, is spending money to serve the will of the people or not.
Posted by: Sarah's pinko commie friend at November 11, 2008 02:13 PM (xAF2d)
Yeah, but whattaya gonna do?
Aren't we all the same people after all?\
I don;t disagree with the sentiment at all.
Posted by: Sarah's pinko commie friend at November 11, 2008 06:14 PM (xAF2d)
"rural Arkansas is no more real than Manhattan."
Then I doubt she's ever been to Manhattan.
Posted by: tim at November 12, 2008 05:18 AM (nno0f)
On Tuesday, the Left Â– armed with the most attractive, eloquent, young, hip and charismatic candidate I have seen with my adult eyes, a candidate shielded by a media so overtly that it can never be such a shield again, who appeared after eight years of a historically unpopular President, in the midst of two undefended wars and at the time of the worst financial crisis since the Depression and whose praises were sung by every movie, television and musical icon without pause or challenge for 20 monthsÂ… who ran against the oldest nominee in the countryÂ’s history, against a campaign rent with internal disarray and determined not to attack in the one area where attack could have succeeded and who was out-spent no less than seven-to-one in a cycle where not a single debate question was unfavorable to his opponent Â– that historic victory, that perfect storm of opportunityÂ…
I've been thinking similar things myself. All that effort for just 53%? Can such a result be duplicated or even surpassed given that Obama is sui generis? But even if there will never be another Obama, the Right must not remain complacent.
Posted by: Amritas at November 09, 2008 02:09 PM (a1nQd)
This election should have been a lot more lopsided in the Dems' favor. That is was not says something about their candidate. I think it won't be long before the American public starts exhibiting "buyer's remorse" on the choice that was made. And, although Obama received 53% of the votes cast, if one looks at the total number of Americans eligible to vote, Obama was elected by fewer than half...
Posted by: Miss Ladybug at November 09, 2008 07:27 PM (zoxao)
I actually think there will be another candidate similar in charisma and eloquence to Obama although polar opposite in ideology--Jindahl. Of course, he won't have the press slobbering all over like Obama did--I think he'll make them jump-out-of-their skin mad because he'll be that good...at least that's my hope. He has everything Obama has and boatloads more experience. He's my "hope."
Posted by: Nicole at November 09, 2008 08:30 PM (xPxyx)
Don't forget that some of that 53% can be chalked
up to good old fashioned Kennedy Era vote stealing
kids! There is a reason that it took until 2:30 in
the morning for Indiana to be declared for Obama.
Shenanigans in Lake,Porter and Allen Counties for
sure and probably some others in the Northern part
of the state.
But,as Coach Knight used to say it shouldn't be so
close (the score) that a few lousy calls by the
refs cause you to lose. We should have been able
to counter those purchased votes with enough
honest ones that it wouldn't matter.
Posted by: MaryIndiana at November 10, 2008 03:18 AM (SRyvm)
Ah YES! A great big heaping dose of Whittle in the morning! Thanks Sarah!
Posted by: MargeinMI at November 10, 2008 05:12 AM (q93NN)
At first I thought Moore's equation was on target, but the Obama phenomenon goes further than anything I remember from the Reagan years. I don't recall anything resembling the quasireligious aspect of Obamania. There's an entire blog devoted to it. I fear that Moore may be underestimating his opponents.
Posted by: Amritas at November 09, 2008 10:29 AM (a1nQd)
What I took Moore to be saying is that Obama is the embodiment of all that Democrats want. Like Reagan is for conservatives. That he is the ideal Democrat candidate.
Posted by: Sarah at November 09, 2008 11:42 AM (TWet1)
Yes, he is. Thanks for the clarification.
Obama and Reagan are so different. What do people's ideal candidates tell us about them?
Not every Obama voter was a mindless wOrshipper. There were many reasons to choose him that had nothing to do with messianic nonsense.
Conversely, many conservatives who mocked Obamania idolized Palin. Was their "Palinsanity" really any better?
I think many, if not, most people are susceptible to charismatic figures. This trait is not unique to one side or another. Yet I don't think Palinsanity or Reaganuttiness ever reached the heights (or, if one prefers, lows) of Obamania. No Rightists regard Palin or Reagan as godlike. Why?
A guess: Religious conservatives already acknowledge God and want a leader on this earth. Secular liberals, on the other hand, see in Obama a divine substitute for the God who plays little or no role in their lives.
But there are probably many more religious Democrats. Are they less susceptible to Obamessianic thinking?
Posted by: Amritas at November 09, 2008 12:28 PM (a1nQd)
People have not grasped the profound insight of Mises that, in a market economy, in order benefit from privately owned means of production, one does not have to be an owner of the means of production. This is because one benefits from other peopleÂ’s means of productionÂ—every time one buys the products of those means of production.
In contrast, the view of redistributionists, such as Obama, founded in the most complete and utter ignorance, is that the only wealth from which an individual can benefit is his own.[...]The redistribution of wealth is allegedly necessary to enable an individual who does not own the wealth presently owned by others to benefit from that wealth. Only as and when their property passes to him can he benefit from it, the redistributors believe. This is the kind of Â“largesseÂ” Obama intends to practice. It is taking funds from those most prodigious at accumulating capital, capital that would benefit all, and then giving the funds to others to consume.
Now, it's a very long blog post on economics, so it don't exactly read like Frank J. But this blog post does a good job of explaining why tax cuts for the rich are better than tax cuts for the middle class. I plan to tuck the $1000 example away in my brain in case I ever need to explain it to someone.
Back when I was in high school, 1953, Charles Wilson who was president of GM said what we young Democrats thought was infamous, "What's good for General Motors is good for America." Now with a lot of experience and age I realize that what is good for the companies that are the engine of our economy is actually very good for America. A lot of Democrats do not seem to understand that even though many of them are up in years as I am.
Posted by: Ruth H at November 07, 2008 04:07 AM (4eLhB)
OMG, I actually found that blog before you did...amazing...it was just 2 days ago, because I was doing a Google search on laissez faire and the financial crisis, and that one of the top results...I feel so proud, like I should get a "good little grasshopper!" pat on the head from my TTG guru...;-)
Posted by: Leofwende at November 07, 2008 06:20 AM (cZoqf)
4the view of redistributionists, such as Obama, founded in the most complete and utter ignorance
Rightist projection. Reisman's ignorance is infinite. Laissez faire? Anything goes? Only a Republican could possibly believe a boat could sail without the guidance of a Great Helmsman! Would you fat cats let go of the steering wheels of your gas-guzzling SUVs? Never! If control is good for you, it is good for Omerica! Half of your country has freely chosen Great Leadership! How long can you remain deaf?
Or blind? Look at the wonders of the kolkhozes and the Great Leap Forward. Can we replicate such miracles in the mOtherland and be "dizzy with success"? Yes we can!
Posted by: kevin at November 07, 2008 06:33 AM (+nV09)
Wow...I must have missed the part of the great 'O'ne's speech where he revealed the spot we could all go get our Kool-Aid and crack.
Glad Kevin heard it loud and clear, though.
Posted by: Guard Wife at November 07, 2008 07:12 AM (eb8pN)
Does your blog have a kos-kids fatwa on it all of a sudden, Sarah? Seriously; more in the last few days than since I started reading it.
Posted by: Leofwende at November 07, 2008 07:38 AM (cZoqf)
I think Kevin's comment is facetious. He's pretending to drink the kool-aid. Kevin is showing how silly kool-aid drinkers are...especially the reference to The Great Leap forward which resulted in starvation and many problems...no one would ever call that a success.
I love Michael Crichton's work. His thoughts on horseshit remains one of my favorite arguments. The appendix to State of Fear is one of my husband's favorite writings. Airframe is a genius indictment of journalism. And I had hours of enjoyment and mental exercise listening to Next on my last car trip.
To this day, I have an irrational fear of velociraptors.
I would recommend any single one of his books. I am deeply saddened that he won't be around to write any more for us to enjoy.
I adore Michael Crichton. I've read Timeline a dozen times and actually went out and bought books about quantum physics because of it. I have read nearly every one of his books up until i read State of Fear because something smelled fishy in the whole "i'm writing a fictional book but i have footnotes" set up. And as a Columbia U. educated entity - who has taken classes at the Earth Institute - I wanted to know what was really up, so I did some research.
If you or anyone you knows thinks Crichton has anything worthwhile to say about anything in the real world where dinosaurs are not real and you cannot travel back in time, check out these sites and remember Crichton is a fiction writer and not the scientific geniuses/powerhouses that these people are:
Here, this is where I had to cut out the realclimate.org link because it was marked as "questionable content"
Let us be of open mind and generous spirit.
Posted by: Betty at November 10, 2008 12:37 AM (uvH8i)
I would like to focus on ObamaÂ’s phrase Â“the wealth.Â”
I understand the use of the word Â“theÂ” in phrases like Â“the nationÂ” or Â“the countryÂ” or Â“the public.Â” Those are things or abstract concepts or generic groups of people.
Wealth, however, is the savings and equity of each individual. There is no Â“the wealth.Â” There is only my wealth and your wealth and Joe the plumberÂ’s wealth and so on. You can spread the SARS virus around or you can spread Â“the loveÂ” around, but when you starting talking about spreading Â“the wealthÂ” around what you are really talking about is spreading my life savings or someone elseÂ’s life savings around.
Those who speak of "the wealth" think of it as a natural resource, as if it were just there for the taking.
But wealth is created by people. Although raw materials are natural, the end products are not. Those who create should be rewarded. Their creations benefit all who use them. Penalize the creators and you penalize everyone. "Sharing the wealth" diminishes wealth for all but the redistributor.
Posted by: Amritas at November 01, 2008 09:06 AM (+/Ct7)
"all but the redistributor"...yup! "Progressives," and even old-line liberals, tend to think of government as an idealized parent, not fully grasping that it is made up of people who are themselves economic actors and pursue their own desires for money, ego, and power.
An Obama win would be financially very good for people who are skilled at manipulating government...lobbyists, certain kinds of lawyers, executives in Beltway companies good at extracting government money, executives in many kinds of "nonprofits," etc etc.
Posted by: david foster at November 01, 2008 06:10 PM (ke+yX)
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There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of living. --The Count of Monte Cristo--
While our troops go out to defend our country, it is incumbent upon us to make the country worth defending. --Deskmerc--
Contrary to what you've just seen, war is neither glamorous nor fun. There are no winners, only losers. There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: The American Revolution, WWII, and the Star Wars Trilogy. --Bart Simpson--
If you want to be a peacemaker, you've gotta learn to kick ass. --Sheriff of East Houston, Superman II--
Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind. --Jed Babbin--
Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. --President John F. Kennedy--
War is a bloody, killing business. You've got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. --General Patton--
We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over. --Full Metal Jacket--
Those who threaten us and kill innocents around the world do not need to be treated more sensitively. They need to be destroyed. --Dick Cheney--
The Flag has to come first if freedom is to survive. --Col Steven Arrington--
The purpose of diplomacy isn't to make us feel good about Eurocentric diplomatic skills, and having countries from the axis of chocolate tie our shoelaces together does nothing to advance our infantry. --Sir George--
I just don't care about the criticism I receive every day, because I know the cause I defend is right. --Oriol--
It's days like this when we're reminded that freedom isn't free. --Chaplain Jacob--
Bumper stickers aren't going to accomplish some of the missions this country is going to face. --David Smith--
The success of multilateralism is measured not merely by following a process, but by achieving results. --President Bush--
Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life.
First, go buy a six pack and swig it all down. Then, watch Ace Ventura. And after that, buy a Hard Rock Cafe shirt and come talk to me. You really need to lighten up, man.
You've got to kill people, and when you've killed enough they stop fighting --General Curtis Lemay--
If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained -- we must fight! --Patrick Henry--
America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them. And every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American. --President George W. Bush--
are usually just cheerleading sessions, full of sound and fury and signifying nothing but a soothing reduction in blood pressure brought about by the narcotic high of being agreed with. --Bill Whittle
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
--John Stuart Mill--
We are determined that before the sun sets on this terrible struggle, our flag will be recognized throughout the world as a symbol of freedom on the one hand and of overwhelming force on the other. --General George Marshall--
We can continue to try and clean up the gutters all over the world and spend all of our resources looking at just the dirty spots and trying to make them clean. Or we can lift our eyes up and look into the skies and move forward in an evolutionary way.
America is the greatest, freest and most decent society in existence. It is an oasis of goodness in a desert of cynicism and barbarism. This country, once an experiment unique in the world, is now the last best hope for the world.
Recent anti-Israel protests remind us again of our era's peculiar alliance: the most violent, intolerant, militantly religious movement in modern times has the peace movement on its side. --James Lileks--
As a wise man once said: we will pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
Unless the price is too high, the burden too great, the hardship too hard, the friend acts disproportionately, and the foe fights back. In which case, we need a timetable.
I am not willing to kill a man so that he will agree with my faith, but I am prepared to kill a man so that he cannot force my compatriots to submit to his.
You can say what you want about President Bush; but the truth is that he can take a punch. The man has taken a swift kick in the crotch for breakfast every day for 6 years and he keeps getting up with a smile in his heart and a sense of swift determination to see the job through to the best of his abilties.
In a perfect world, We'd live in peace and love and harmony with each oither and the world, but then, in a perfect world, Yoko would have taken the bullet.
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. --Ronald Reagan--
America is rather like life. You can usually find in it what you look for. It will probably be interesting, and it is sure to be large. --E.M. Forster--
Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your HONOR. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. --Mark Twain--
The Enlightenment was followed by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars, which touched every European state, sparked vicious guerrilla conflicts across the Continent and killed millions. Then, things really turned ugly after the invention of soccer. --Iowahawk--
Every time I meet an Iraqi Army Soldier or Policeman that I haven't met before, I shake his hand and thank him for his service. Many times I am thanked for being here and helping his country. I always tell them that free people help each other and that those that truly value freedom help those seeking it no matter the cost. --Jack Army--
Right, left - the terms are useless nowadays anyway. There are statists, and there are individualists. There are pessimists, and optimists. There are people who look backwards and trust in the West, and those who look forward and trust in The World. Those are the continuums that seem to matter the most right now. --Lileks--
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
A man or a nation is not placed upon this earth to do merely what is pleasant and what is profitable. It is often called upon to carry out what is both unpleasant and unprofitable, but if it is obviously right it is mere shirking not to undertake it. --Arthur Conan Doyle--
A man who has nothing which he cares about more than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the existing of better men than himself. --John Stuart Mill--
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." --Dave Grossman--
At heart Iâ€™m a cowboy; my attitude is if theyâ€™re not going to stand up and fight for what they believe in then they can go pound sand. --Bill Whittle--
A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship. --Alexander Tyler--
By that time a village half-wit could see what generations of professors had pretended not to notice. --Atlas Shrugged--
I kept asking Clarence why our world seemed to be collapsing and everything seemed so shitty. And he'd say, "That's the way it goes, but don't forget, it goes the other way too." --Alabama Worley--
So Bush is history, and we have a new president who promises to heal the planet, and yet the jihadists donâ€™t seem to have got the Obama message that there are no enemies, just friends we havenâ€™t yet held talks without preconditions with.
"I had started alone in this journey called life, people started
gathering up on the way, and the caravan got bigger everyday." --Urdu couplet
The book and the sword are the two things that control the world. We either gonna control them through knowledge and influence their minds, or we gonna bring the sword and take their heads off. --RZA--
It's a daily game of public Frogger, hopping frantically to avoid being crushed under the weight of your own narcissism, banality, and plain old stupidity. --Mary Katharine Ham--
There are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms
of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. --James Madison--
It is in the heat of emotion that good people must remember to stand on principle. --Larry Elder--
Please show this to the president and ask him to remember the wishes of the forgotten man, that is, the one who dared to vote against him. We expect to be tramped on but we do wish the stepping would be a little less hard. --from a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt--
The world economy depends every day on some engineer, farmer, architect, radiator shop owner, truck driver or plumber getting up at 5AM, going to work, toiling hard, and producing real wealth so that an array of bureaucrats, regulators, and redistributors can manage the proper allotment of much of the natural largess produced. --VDH--
Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur of the trees is lost when raking leaves. --Marcelene Cox--