Monday, December 22, 2003

Stephen den Beste points out this article:

Power and Weakness, by Robert Kagan. A disturbing view into the mindset of Europeans. What if your doctor had this view of your treatment for a deadly condition:

Europeans insist they approach problems with greater nuance and sophistication. They try to influence others through subtlety and indirection. They are more tolerant of failure, more patient when solutions don't come quickly. They generally favor peaceful responses to problems, preferring negotiation, diplomacy, and persuasion to coercion.

As opposed to this one:

Americans tend to seek finality in international affairs: They want problems solved, threats eliminated.

I don't want my doctor to forgive himself when he loses me, if another doctor could save me.

I think it was Jefferson who said, "the only thing required for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing." The EU and the UN epitomize the do nothing approach.

As the Holidays approach

I find myself unable to devote much time to by blog.

II Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I am meditating on this today.

Monday, December 15, 2003

I was just checking out Kant's

Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. I see this - the third paragraph:

First, as concerns the sources of metaphysical cognition,
its very concept implies that they cannot be empirical. Its
principles (including not only its maxims but its basic notions)
must never be derived from experience. It must not be physical
but metaphysical knowledge, viz., knowledge lying beyond
experience. It can therefore have for its basis neither external
experience, which is the source of physics proper, nor internal,
which is the basis of empirical psychology. It is therefore a
priori knowledge, coming from pure Understanding and pure Reason.

I see why Ayn Rand metaphorically threw Kant's philosophy across the room. He begins his observation of reality by accepting the bonds of his terminology. It is certainly acceptable to attempt to use the verbal tools available to describe what you find. Metaphorically speaking, great things were done before the advent of modern machinery, but this looks like he's insisting that it is illigitimate to use anything but hand tools.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

The article cited in the previous post

deserves a little fisking.

Not the Peikoff article, there is little there to disagree with.

This here paragraph, from Puritan Humbugs and a History of Christmas Bashing, by Jeff Westover, deserves [some] debunking, by a better historian than I, but I don't see any around here, so....

Here's the paragraph in full:

It must be noted that the England described by Dickens was not all that exaggerated. Scrooge may have been a fictional character but his attitudes were based in fact. These were terrible economic times and the budding Industrial Revolution turned minds to work รข€“ and not to holidays or the celebrations of them. Families of workers struggled mightily to make ends meet, working seven days a week and enduring horrific working conditions. It was an era of child labor and success was measured by the amount of work accomplished and money earned.

I don't quibble with the first two sentences. I'll check up on the economic situation as soon as I can. I don't doubt that the Protestant Work Ethic, or rather, Puritan teachings about how life is a vale of tears and we're supposed to suffer--"turn your laughter into mourning" the Good Book says--led to a great deal more suffering than "the pursuit of happiness", a competing English Enlightenment concept, ever did.

It's that sort of dilemma that makes Objectivists atheists.

Well, I'll carry on with this later.

Yeah! The Dow cracked 10000!

Even if it is just because the Fed and the Treasury are pumpin' out credit and cash by the ton, it's still cool.

All right, that pretty much restores everything.

Whoa! A little template trouble there!

Leonard Peikoff tells us

Why Christmas should be more commercial.

Santa Claus is, indeed, the anti-Christ.

Non-puritan Christians need to realize the degree to which Puritan teachings have infected their theology and ignore them.

Thomas Sowell performs his usual, Bastiat-like, service to America.

In today's article at he explains how stupid the "elites" are who think WalMart is a problem to be solved. "The very idea that third parties should be deciding whether a particular business is good for the whole country shows incredible chutzpa."

He offers this beautifully eloquent refutation of those who think we little people are under the "power" of Walmart: "I can't remember ever having bought anything from Wal-Mart and there is not the slightest thing that they can do to make me."

Always read Sowell.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

I think I'll start taking this Rebecca Hagelin more seriously as well.

I'll analyze this further when I get the chance.

Hey! I went to the Meetup.

Hey! That's me! The bald guy with glasses on the left! The Minneapolis, MN Meetup Photos. Of course, in the second picture, I'm the bald guy with glasses on the right.

I like to read

Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams and Larry Elder every chance I get. You can find them at World Net Daily,, Drudge and Capitalism Magazine. Their articles are all good today. Look for "columnists".

And check out this interview of T. J. Rodgers, founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor.
Windows Media files. It's fantastic! What a hero of Free Minds and Free Markets! And a Packer fan to boot!

Monday, December 08, 2003

"It doesn't matter to me if I'm buying from a multinational company,

as long as they give me what I want." said Mr. Carrillo, an administrative aide, who lives three blocks from a Wal-Mart. From the New York Times.
(Link requires registration)

This is the best news ever.

Thanks to Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution.

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

I was reading

while I waited for this machine to finish up a job it's doing for me.
Check out daily article: Economics Lost in Translation. It updates Mises' 1956 book The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality by means of a review of Bill Murray's movie Lost in Translation.
It sounds like it covers a lot of the same ground as Thomas Sowell's The Vision of the Anointed.
I bought three copies with the thought that I'd give one each to Bob Davis and Dave Thompson at KSTP-AM.

For those who were wondering about the name of my daughter,

It's Finnish.
One of the characteristic traits of the Finns that I know is a tendency toward chauvinism. At least it's characteristic of the Finns whose company I've enjoyed, which must mean that I share the trait with them.
All the non-chauvinistic Finns I've met seemed to suffer from an inferiority-complex. Or something--they were all given to excessive drinking and drug abuse (as opposed to moderate drug abuse).
BTW, I think it's possible to use intoxicants moderately and responsibly--I can't seem to do it, I tried for years, but I don't deny that it's possible.