Sunday, December 26, 2004

The Teflon Man, who, if I'm not mistaken, is from Indonesia,

[correction: he's from Singapore] discusses his recent trip to Sri Lanka and the premonition of disaster he had while there.

God bless the people down there.

What can we do to help?

Update: I wonder if Teflon Man's experience can be explained by the theory expounded by Hot Abercrombie Chick and/or some of the commenters, which concludes:
Because there is no reason to think it impossible or unlikely for (some) animals to be able to detect conditions that usually precede natural disasters, I think the common anecdotal evidence for animals having some sort of (non-mythical) "sixth sense" is enough to make it reasonable to believe they might. Denying the possibility might even be unreasonable. Still, we should remember that attributing such abilities to animals doesn't require that we think anything "mythical" or "supernatural" is going on - there are convincing explanations from within a completely mundane worldview.

Perhaps he was sensing the techtonic movements and his brain was interpreting them through his ordinary pathways. ?

Friday, December 24, 2004

FFF sent me this for Christmas

so I can share it with you
Image Hosted by

One of the things I do on Christmas Eve is fire up the NORAD Santa tracking site for the kids.

We'll be going to church at 10:30 tonight.

BTW The Packers Won by, the same score 34-31, on a last second field goal. Just like their last meeting.

This game wasn't marred by dumb penalties anyway. Bad tackling, yes. We (those of us involved in their training;)) will work on that for next week.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

I thought I'd posted enough for one night,

but here's a slap a Rumsfeld that I think everyone can appreciate.

Larry Elder's post at today

talks about single mothers. The key quote is the denouement:
In his book "My Father's Face," James Robison wrote about a chaplain in a federal penitentiary who decided to improve morale. He persuaded a greeting card company to supply him with Mother's Day cards for the inmates. The prisoners enthusiastically sent each mom a card. Morale improved so dramatically that the chaplain decided to repeat the success on Father's Day. The chaplain offered the cards to the inmates. But not one inmate sent a card to his father. Not one.

Somebody felt a desire to visit

this post, which may, in an odd way, be one of my best, though it meanders rather wildly.

I'd like to know why they were interested.

This is a great round-up of articles

from the MSM on UN scandals.

And another good one from my beloved ARI:

Dear Editor:

The attempts by governmental bodies around the country to eliminate
the term "Christmas" are being perpetrated largely in the name of
"political correctness"--to avoid offending anyone, particularly
Muslims, whose beliefs would exclude them from any Christmas

These efforts represent, not secularism, but the standard liberal,
subjectivist philosophy of multiculturalism, which seeks to prohibit
any "offensive" actions and words--and it is a philosophy that
should be denounced.

Christmas can be celebrated as an entirely secular holiday, and public
schools should therefore be permitted to do so. The prohibition
against the endorsement of religion by governmental entities, however,
is an entirely different matter: it is a Constitutional issue of
separation of church and state. While public schools may
celebrate Christmas, they have no right to make it into a religious
observance, by featuring explicitly religious themes like the

The essential point that needs to be emphasized in this issue is that
the separation of church and state is a principle that is not
synonymous with the politically correct notion of
showing "sensitivity" to everyone's beliefs. The government
may--and should--engage in actions that offend certain viewpoints,
such as the viewpoints that are hostile to freedom and individual
rights; government must, however--in order to preserve freedom and
individual rights--refrain from supporting religion.

Dr. Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Institute

2121 Alton Parkway #250
Irvine, CA 92606
949-222-6550 ext. 226

Copyright (c) 2004 Ayn Rand(R) Institute, 2121 Alton Parkway, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92606. All rights reserved.

From the courageous leader of The Ayn Rand Institute

A take you no doubt haven't heard:

Dear Editor:

The blame for the recent murder of 18 Americans in
Mosul lies not only with the insurgents who initiated the attack,
but also with the Bush Administration's suicidal policies. The
insurgency would have been crushed long ago, and yesterday's attack
averted, were it not for America's altruistic policy of placing the
lives of Iraqi civilians above its own self-defense.

America must destroy the insurgency if we are to implement a
non-threatening government in Iraq. This can be done, but to do so we
must make the insurgency's complicit civilian population--those who
harbor and support the insurgents--pay for the violence that they
abet. We must enforce their complete surrender to our presence. Thanks
to such a policy, during the occupation of Japan zero soldiers were
killed by insurgents and the threat posed by the country was ended.

Shamefully, the Bush Administration has been unwilling to make hostile
Iraqi civilians pay for their crimes. Time and again, it has treated
Iraqi lives as sacrosanct and American security and soldiers as
dispensable. It is in the name of sparing civilians that our soldiers
have been ordered to follow crippling rules of engagement that have
cost hundreds of their lives. It was in the name of sparing civilians
that we withdrew from Fallujah in April, and in November allowed
thousands of insurgents to flee to places like Mosul. Such
capitulations have preserved and emboldened the insurgents, while
giving hope to Islamic terrorists worldwide.

To win this war we need a fundamental shift in our moral priorities.
We need to see the military place the lives of Americans--including
American soldiers--above the lives of Iraqi civilians. To those who
insist that we continue to sacrifice for the sake of Iraqi civilians,
I say that the death of 18 Americans this week, and the many more
to come, are on your heads.

Dr. Yaron Brook, president of the Ayn Rand Institute

2121 Alton Parkway #250
Irvine CA 92606
949-222-6550 ext. 226

Copyright (c) 2004 Ayn Rand(R) Institute, 2121 Alton Parkway, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92606. All rights reserved.

Russ Nelson, The Angry Economist

(whose link I forgot to revive when I had my site redone, and hence haven't been keeping up with) wrote a good post back in November about Political vs. Economic Power, which makes a good general statement of whiggism.
If you believe, as I do, that the best society is created when power (of all stripes) is widely distributed, then you'll prefer economic power to political power. The process of exercizing economic power acts to redistribute it. Political power, however, tends to become concentrated.

He gives this example:
A wealthy person does not automatically have economic power. Simply buying something is not expressing one's economic power. You have to buy something whose value others do not agree with. For example, if you build an ordinary house in an ordinary location, you are simply buying a house. If you hire Frank Lloyd Wright to create Fallingwater, you are using your economic power to create something that perhaps nobody values but you.

Fallingwater is just awesome if you've never seen it, at least in pictures, but I digress.

There are only two more paragraphs to the post, I rather like the first one as well, but I won't bring it over here, and I despair of my ability to express it better.

He links some good writers too. Check them out.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Solstice! It was yesterday!

The days are getting longer now. If you forgot to celebrate in the true pagan fashion, by cavorting in the woods naked, at least you should read LibertyBob's post.

Is that what they do in Asatru? Be careful around that Yule log!

BTW, it's never a bad time for naked cavorting. (Though you might want to carefully consider where you do it. Don't forget to send pictures.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

This guy had the potential to straighten my @$$ out!

Where the H___ has he been?!


Jeez! Let me know you exist, eh?! You think I'm a master of this game?

Somebody sell me on how BlogShares works.

I don't get it.

Beyond that, I think I'm clear on the concept of Multi-Level Marketing.

I mean, the point is, that you have to have an actual product to sell, or it's all crap. I push FukiBlog, The Probligo, LibertyBob, Grandpa John's and The Therapy Sessions, and everyone else I link to in the link bar, because they have great content and I discovered them for that reason. Let's continue to provide our readers with reasons to read us.

Update: more brilliance: The Art of the Blog.

May God bless all believers and unbelievers in Him alike as they engage in actions in accordance with His Law.

Hugh Hewitt is playing Luther van Dross

singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."

There ya go, baby!

Oh! Here's Frank!

Always listen to the last hour of Hugh, even if you don't like his politics.
Oh! I just realized that my [correction: eulogy] for little Daniel need more separation from the frivolity on either side. How can I do that?

I've stopped claiming there was poetry there. Maybe there is, a little. At the end before the update.

I, apparently, am a frustrated actor.

Here's my biker-wannabe outfit that I wear in the coldest weather (which we're having now - yes, I've experienced colder: I'll break out the old High School letter jacket when it gets really cold.):

[Having trouble gettin' to image-shack, cuz I've got Entertaining America - one blogger at a time in the window I intend to use, and she is, indeed, very much like eating peanuts: you can't stop at just one.

Image Hosted by

ud: The freaked-out look is a result of me scampering into position in time for the camera to snap.

That's a Harley hat on my head. I think it's beautiful. And it serves as a reminder to my wife that our life is lacking something.
Lorie recommends this snowglobe. Very funny.

I learned last night that little Daniel had died.

I'm not qualified to do any kind of eulogy for him. I didn't know him really. I was asked to pray for him.

And I did.

My prayers bought me more-than-twice-weekly updates on him.

Mostly, it seemed, things were going great. The parents--always positive! Boosting the baby to happiness! Happy baby! Happy baby!

(That's what Rosie would say to jolly our baby to happiness. She's right, more often that not. Even though it seems so stupid to my sophisticated mind.)

Healthy, happy, hopeful...

God said he's ready.

This life is preparation for the next.
He's ready!

What the hell are we training for?
Update: this is the email I got, notifying me of Daniel's death. I thought you should know how Christians handle terrible news:
It is with a heavy heart, so heavy that my chest almost feels as if it will cave in, that I write to share with each of you that my nephew, Daniel _____, at age 3, has gone home to be with my Saviour, and Lord, Jesus Christ. He surrendered at 12:30 this morning to a very hard and long battle with cancer...pain that some of us can't even imagine. He had a really great week last week, we went and looked at lights in Kingfisher, road the train and sang songs as a family in the red through a three year old is so amazing, please take time to see it, if you don't have a three year old in your life, find one...observe them and the way they view things!
I appreciate you all for praying, for your love and care as my friends......
Romans 12:12 - Be joyful in hope, patient in trouble, faithful in prayer.....joyful in the Hope that Jesus Christ offers each and everyone of us, that we will be able to see Daniel again, but only, only through accepting Christ as the one and only way to heaven, the son of GOD....patient in trouble, knowing that this is a sinful world, evil, sickness, and trouble will touch us all, but through Christ we have strength and power......faithful in prayer that the Lord does hear us, he does care for us, that we do want his will because it is best even if we don't feel that it is at the time.....He loves Daniel more than anyone and what a Christmas Daniel is going to have!
Thank you once again......please, please don't let this Christmas go by without accepting God's gift, His Son....He came, He came so that all who believe will not perish but live with him forever...I pray that the Lord's love will surround you and your heart and you love Him as much as I do!

Please visit The Birdwoman.

She's lonely.

I don't know what comments to add either. The woman trolls herself.

And visit her husband too. He has the most hilarious (but true) opinions about child-rearing.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Laotse, the Book of Tao

from The Wisdom of India and China, edited by Lin Yutang.

I feel like starting at the beginning. This is his own translation:


The Tao that can be told of
Is not the Absolute Tao;
The Names that can be given
Are not Absolute Names.

The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth;
The Named is the Mother of All Things.

Oftentimes, one strips oneself of passion
In order to see the Secret of Life;
Oftentimes, one regards life with passion,
In order to see its manifest results.

These two (the Secret and its manifestations)
Are (in their nature) the same:
They are given different names
When they become manifest.

They may both be called the Cosmic Mystery:1 (how do you do superscripts?)
Reaching from the Mystery into the Deeper Mystery
Is the Gate to the Secret2 of All Life.

1 Hsua[umlaut]n--This word is the equivalent of "mystic" and "mysticism." Taoism is also know as the Hsu[umlaut]anchao, or "Mystic Religion."

2 Miao may also be translated as "Essence"; it means "the wonderful," the "ultimate," the "logically unknowable," the "quintessence," or "esoteric truth."

I welcome smartass comments. I see "Miao" and I'm unable to concentrate on anything more elevated than my cat, who, as uppity (indeed, hostile) as she is toward anyone else, worships me as a god.

Wait a minute! Who's getting the meals and massages out of this deal?! Why that selfish &@#%$!

What commentary can a deistic, Lutheran, bourgeois philistine who has been accused of being a Buddhist come up with?

First, this is what I like about Taoism: it's lack of an attempt to place boundaries on the unknown; either to personalize it or impersonalize it. Taoism does have, perhaps, a tendency to discourage inquiry into the unknown, and [WOD] reify it, but I think that there is wisdom in both the acceptance and the rejection of this attitude. Which attitude, I think Laotse, as Mr. Lin spells it, is fighting against.

I won't go into the Eastern position on these things, because I don't [think that I] share it. [Though, perhaps I do without knowing. I like to think about human's similarities more than our differences. I think that peace and happiness are better pursued through that route.]

I'm weak on quantum physics, though perhaps not as weak as most people on this planet (I speak in absolute terms, including the unfortunately uneducated, teeming masses), but it seems that the Heisenberg Principle makes use of the unknown - and, perhaps, unknowable - and almost quantifies it and makes it usable, at least in the realm of particle physics. My caveat would be that future improvements in our knowledge and techniques of observation are also unknown and unknowable, and hopefully their perfection and precision, respectively, will also improve. I imagine that they will improve asymptotically, but they may do so in dramatic fits and starts.

The Tao of Physics is basically a comparison of this passage with recent theories and observations (as of the early 1980s anyway) in particle physics. It especially considers the interesting [false] dichotomy between the wave a particle natures of light. The interpretations of the nature of light are dependent on the method of observation: both are true, but incomplete - yet, so far, only imagination has provided anything like a bridge between the interpretations.

These two (the Secret and its manifestations)
Are (in their nature) the same;
They are given different names
When they become manifest.

They may both be called the Cosmic Mystery:
Reaching from the Mystery into the Deeper Mystery
Is the Gate to the Secret of All Life.

There was a sign on the wrestling room wall in our high school:

Always be satisfied with what you have
Never be satisfied with what you are.

Combine those two, and you will have the secret to humanity's destiny.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Lions lose to the Vikings in the last 10 seconds

on a bad snap!

The Pack's down 7-0 in the first quarter.
Nasty weather in Green Bay - 12 degrees.
Favre fumbles - Pack recovers.

Punt - fumble... Pack's got it!

Aagh! G-d!! Green fumbled it away!

Live blogging a wild game is too much work.

I didn't want anyone to know

This thing says I'm a "dainty fruitcake who loves to taste octupi (sic)."

I beg to differ

Image Hosted by

I meant to put that a couple posts back, but I forgot.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

I don't know. Maybe. I enjoyed the book.

The name of the rose
Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose. You are a
mystery novel dealing with theology, especially
with catholic vs liberal issues. You search
wisdom and knowledge endlessly, feeling that
learning is essential in life.

Which literature classic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Scraping along in the muck at the bottom

of the TTLB Ecosystem, I've found a few "Microbes" worthy to be elevated to higher levels of being.

This gentleman is doing too much deep thinking to be left there, even if he does admit that it's casuistry: Legal Philosophy Blog, Davis Nelson, proprietor.

It looks like this Christian blogger is being ignored and his writing is too good for that. Give him a look: Zeitgeist vs. Nomos.

Huh? I really didn't believe that Omni could be devoid of any links. But maybe here's a place where you could comment on her posts.

This is kind of an odd thing, but I'll check it out in my more leisurely moments. (I'm sitting here in my fire-engine yellow gym shorts, an old, holey, generic Wisconsin t-shirt and my Dad's cowboy hat - to block the glare off my glasses from the overhead light - with my feet on the desk. How much more leisurely can you get?) Anyway, it's a Free Translation Forum. I don't know how that can be considered a blog, but whatever...

I was going to link this guy but he's done. However he has a most interesting link: The Whig. Another one of those crazy New Zealanders. I believe I'll give some priority to that one. I like this, and then I don't, and then I do again:
Hell no! I'm not a "right winger", even though I hate socialism a lot more than I dislike the moral majority. But I do think a free economy is a higher priority than eliminating conservative intervention initiatives such as the recently introduced power of police to confiscate cars without trial. Either way, I believe the state should respect the rule of law and leave people alone.

It's pretty hard for this guy to get new hits at this location when he's moved here. I imagine I'll do that myself after a while.

He's from Illinois. He doesn't need my help. I kind of like his stuff though. He's got a good piece on stem cell research.

This guy's only a hundred points below me, but since he disappeared from the blogosphere mysteriously on Nov. 3, it isn't encouraging. Either for me to give him a link or for his future as a blogger.

Well, gotta help get the Christmas tree up.

I've run across a couple fascinating articles

on how the Somali's are coping without a government.

A Peaceful Ferment in Somalia
Published in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty - June 1998
by Spencer Heath MacCallum.

And a more up to date study Anarchy and Invention: How Does Somalia's Private Sector Cope without Government?

The latter makes this interesting statement, "Somalia boasts lower rates of extreme poserty and, in some cases, better infrastructure than richer countries in Africa."

How do they do it? Why, they cheat, of course. From the second article:
Somali entrepreneurs have used three methods to compensate for the lack of effective government regulation. First, "importing governance" by relying on foreign institutions--for example, for airline safety, currency stability, and company law. Second, using clans and other local networks of trust to help with contract enforcement, payment, and transmission of funds. Third, simplifying transactions until they can be carried out with help from neither the clan nor the international economy.

The first article fleshes out the contributions of the clans. This is from MacCallum's summary of the "American Text" of a proposed Somali constitution pushed by Somali friends of his:
Sovereignty. Sovereignty resides in individual Somali citizens, over whom the Somali Federation shall exert no powers. The Federation's main purpose will be to conduct a foreign policy, to enable foreigners to deal with the Somali nation as a whole, and to make the Somalis credible in the eyes and minds of foreign governments and individuals. It shall not regulate relations between Somalis, between Somali communities, nor between Somali regions. The Xeer (customary law, pronounced "hair") will govern that.

Customary Law. The Somali nation has always been based on the Xeer, even during the period of colonization (for disputes involving only Somalis and not colonials) and after independence. The unity and peace of the Somalis, as well as their mutual understanding, are based on the Xeer. The Xeer stands at the center of the Somali identity; without it there could not be a Somali nation.

This would hardly be unprecidented. MacCallum says
...[T]he Somalis [are] seeking an alternative to legislative law by looking to their existing customary tribal law, the Xeer, and its further development to serve all of the needs of an emerging urban society. The Xeer promises to become one of the great bodies of customary law, like Anglo-American common law or Jewish traditional law (Halacha). These legal codes are flexible, responsive, and can be maintained without a large central state or legislative apparatus.
The Somali nation did not start with the tribes having a common language but by their common observance of the Xeer. Hence the law is called both father and child of the Somali nation.

We Hayek fans see much to love here.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Crap! I haven't had time to digest this properly.

Does this blow chunks?

Badnarik's role in Ohio recount
causes controversy in party

WASHINGTON -- The decision by 2004 Libertarian presidential candidate
Michael Badnarik to play a leading role in the Ohio presidential recount
is causing a bubbling controversy within the Libertarian Party itself as
many members ask why Badnarik embarked on a venture that will cost
taxpayers money without changing the outcome of the election.

The recount, which started this week and will last for several days, was
formally requested on Dec. 7 by Badnarik and Green Party candidate David
Cobb. On Dec. 6, the state officially certified President George Bush
as the winner over Democrat John Kerry by a margin of 118,775 votes.
Badnarik received 14,695 votes in Ohio and Cobb received 186.

Ohio's 20 electoral votes put Bush over the top, and Kerry conceded the
state on Nov. 4, saying he thought there was no chance a recount would
result in his victory.

The national Libertarian Party played no role in the decision to seek a
recount, which was made by Badnarik himself and his campaign staff.

"The national Libertarian Party was unaware of this lawsuit until after
it was filed, and no party funds have been spent in the effort," said
the party's national chair, Michael Dixon. "Mr. Badnarik is making a
well-intentioned effort to protect the integrity of the voting process.
However, because no one anticipates that a recount will change the
outcome in Ohio, the Libertarian Party prefers not to see taxpayer
resources expended in this effort."

Badnarik's decision to join the lawsuit was made shortly after the Nov.
2 election, when Cobb contacted the Badnarik for President campaign.
Because Cobb's name was not on the ballot in Ohio, he lacked legal
standing, and needed Badnarik as a co-plaintiff. The campaign team also
considered challenging the outcome in New Mexico and Nevada, but
Badnarik said those plans have been put on hold.

"On Election Day we received dozens of e-mails from people on our list
saying something funny was going on in Ohio -- that votes weren't being
counted correctly," said Fred Collins, Badnarik's campaign chair. "We
felt that joining the lawsuit was something we could do at no cost to
us, and said we'd be willing to participate. I don't believe the vote
count will change dramatically. But this will go a long way toward
making sure that votes will be counted accurately in the future."

Collins said the driving forces behind the recount are nonpartisan
watchdog groups and the Greens, who raised more than 90 percent of the
funds -- not the Libertarians.

Badnarik pointed out that he and Cobb are being represented by attorney
John Bonifaz, founder of the nonpartisan National Voting Rights
Institute, who is doing the case pro bono.

"He contacted us and offered his services, and said the only way he was
willing to do the case was if it was for both of us, to ensure that it
would be nonpartisan," Badnarik said. "He wouldn't have taken the case
if it was only for one of us."

Under Ohio law, the parties seeking the recount are required to pay $10
per precinct, or $113,600 statewide. Badnarik and Cobb raised the
required money.

However, the Ohio secretary of state's office claims that the actual
cost of the recount is closer to $1.5 million, because 3 percent of the
ballots in each county have to be counted by hand; many counties lack
central counting equipment; and poll workers have to return and count
many of the ballots.

In mid-November, the two candidates announced their plan to file for a
recount, citing "widespread reports of irregularities in the Ohio voting

The announcement triggered a wave of national publicity and became the
topic of discussion on cable TV news shows such as CNBC's "Hardball" and
MSNBC's "Countdown."

Most of the print coverage focused on the cost of the recount, and press
reports were especially critical in Ohio.

In a Dec. 9 interview with the Findlay Courier, Allen County Board of
Elections Director Keith Cunningham denounced the recount effort as "an
outrage" and a "theft." He said the recount will cost $6,000 to $12,000,
even though he received only $1,390 from Badnarik and Cobb.

A Dec. 9 article in the Chillicothe Gazette, headlined "Local board
disgusted by last-ditch efforts," quoted recount director Nancy Bell as
predicting that the $10-per-precinct fee "won't even cover one day" of
the estimated three-day process.

And an article on the same day in the Toledo Blade began, "The Green
Party and Libertarian Party have triggered a recount of the Nov. 2
presidential election in Lucas County, a recount that will cost
taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars."

As a result of the news coverage, phone calls and e-mails streamed into
the Ohio LP, according to State Chair Jason Hallmark.

"As you can imagine, Republicans hate us, Democrats and Greens like us,
but not enough to actually support us financially or join our party,"
said Hallmark, who added that the Ohio LP was not informed about the
lawsuit in advance. "It is unfortunate that the media keeps labeling
this as an action initiated by the Libertarian Party. We cannot stress
enough that the recount is not in any way an action by the Libertarian
Party of Ohio. No party funds have been spent to aid this action in any

Hallmark said the state's estimate of the recount costs are overblown,
because it is counting the hours that election boards would have been
paying their employees in any case.

The publicity also sparked criticism from within the LP, as many members
complained that the Greens and Democrats were using Badnarik as a tool
with which to challenge the legitimacy of Bush's victory.

Longtime California LP member Manny Klausner said, "I'm puzzled by the
Badnarik campaign joining the legal actions to obtain a recount in Ohio
and other states where Bush won -- but apparently not in states where
Kerry won by narrow margins. It seems to me that for the Badnarik
campaign to seek to impose massive costs on taxpayers for an ill-
considered recount makes no sense for anyone who is a principled

Party founder David Nolan said the recount makes Badnarik "look like a
tool of the Kerry campaign. Also, this effort appears to be part of an
ill-considered effort to build an alliance with the Cobb wing of the
Green Party, who have nothing to offer us."

Added Richard Rider, a leader in the San Diego LP, "Perception is
everything. Too many will interpret our effort as pro-Kerry. At this
point, if we can, we should back out of this mess. Let the Greens run
with it. Clearly, it's their show anyway."

Badnarik responded to the criticism by saying, "At first I was a bit
surprised. I never thought about a recount until I received about two
dozen passionate requests to do so from Libertarians in various states.

"I asked several people if they could think of any reasons not to
participate in the recount -- then I made the best decision I could with
the information available to me at the time. Of course, you will always
find Libertarians who have the opposite opinion on any issue, so I'm not
surprised that support is not unanimous throughout the party."

As far as backing out of the lawsuit, Badnarik said: "The recount is
going to continue with or without Libertarian support, so changing
course isn't an option at this time. The purpose of the recount has
always been to uncover voting irregularities (which certainly exist) and
to attempt to determine the extent to which they took place. A recount
may not be the most efficient way to put an end to vote fraud, but doing
so should be high on everyone's list of priorities."

Other Libertarians voiced support for Badnarik. According to Sean Haugh,
a former Libertarian National Committee representative: "This has
advanced cooperation between us and the Greens and others of the left.
And I'm not terribly concerned about the cost. The purpose of the
recount is to uncover corruption and errors in the vote-counting
process. I know it's taxpayer money, but beyond that I really don't have
a problem making government pay for uncovering their own corruption and

Trevor M. Southerland, chair of the National Libertarian Party Youth
Caucus, agrees.

"This has generated a lot of publicity for the Libertarian Party," he
says. "It has also given us a better relationship with Greens, and
helped us appeal to some Democrats who are upset at what they consider
the too-soon concession of Senator Kerry."

Both supporters and opponents of the suit agree that Libertarians have
good reason to be suspicious of Ohio election officials. In November
2003, Republican Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell used a
technicality to throw out more than 60,000 ballot access petition
signatures collected by the Ohio LP, a ruling that left Libertarians
stunned and angry.

Specifically, Blackwell said the petition forms were illegal because a
space had been added for signers to put their last names, and because a
sentence about the legal penalty for falsification was slightly
different from the state's mandatory language.

Ohio Libertarians point out that Republican Party officials have made a
concerted effort to keep Libertarians off the ballot to protect GOP
candidates, and note that Blackwell also chaired the Bush-Cheney
campaign in Ohio.

The state LP had spent two years and about $50,000 collecting the
signatures, which would have let all candidates appear on the ballot
with a partisan label, including Badnarik. As a result, Badnarik had to
appear on the Ohio ballot as an "other party" candidate.

At the time, Ballot Access News publisher Richard Winger said the
decision proves that Ohio officials are "hostile" to third parties.

"Ohio's action in disqualifying a petition with over 60,000 names just
because the format and wording are slightly different from the approved
form is unheard of in other states," he said.

Barbara Goushaw-Collins, co-director of the Badnarik campaign, says the
track record of Ohio elections officials, combined with the voting
irregularities reported after the election, is sufficient to justify a

"The major complaint is that we're doing this because we don't like
Republicans -- which is flat-out silly," she said. "Our job as
Libertarians is to challenge government power. This is a state where
they arbitrarily pitched tens of thousands of our petitions, and we're
the only ones trying to keep the system honest.

"This recount action is perfectly consistent with who we are and what we
do. If not us, who? If not now, when?"

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

I'm always ready to help the Department of Homeland Security

in their efforts to profile us all:

Congradulations you are Snoopy! Snoopy is an
extroverted beagle with a Walter Mitty complex.
He is a virtuoso at every endeavor- at least in
his daydreams atop his doghouse. He regards his
master, Charlie Brown, as

Which Peanuts character are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


OK, I guess I'm destined to post like an effin' fiend today.

I've run across a conservative Democrat The Moonbat Abattoir and a liberal, The Liberal Avenger, who are both great writers. Well worth reading.

I relate to this.

Somehow I feel like pushing this gal a little farther.

Yeah! Here we go!

Economics With a Face!

I'm adding him to my Free Markets section.

Sam Kinison scream: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaa

Thanks to John Rogers and (almost, I had some kind of problem via this route) Blog Explosion (but I still believe in them, really I do!).

No doubt.


You're The Things They Carried!

by Tim O'Brien

Harsh and bitter, you tell it like it is. This usually comes in short,
dramatic spurts of spilling your guts in various ways. You carry a heavy load, and this
has weighed you down with all the horrors that humanity has to offer. Having seen and
done a great deal that you aren't proud of, you have no choice but to walk forward,
trudging slowly through ongoing mud. In the next life, you will come back as a water

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Oh, I found this at Picasso Dreams.

I don't know what I did to deserve

being on CDR Salamander's blogroll, but I'm deeply honored.

Thank you, sir.


So, I don't know... Read the Bill of Rights aloud to someone you love.

Addendum: Things To Do Today

1. Worship, speak, publish, assemble as you wish. Petition the government.

2. Bear arms. (A sword or knife would be fine, if you hate guns. Or bare arms.)

3. Refuse to quarter a soldier in your home.

4. Rebuff an unwaranted search.

5. Don't let anyone execute you, especially not twice, and for God's sake, don't help them do it by testifying against yourself! Insist on a trial. Get payment for that car they seized.

6. Make sure your arrest and trial follows all the prescriptions of the 6th Amendment.

7. Insist on a jury trial of your civil case.

8. Watch out for that excessive bail and fine, and make sure you're not cruelly nor unusually punished.

9. Assert other rights you retain.

10. Take back your power from the government.

"An it harm none, do what thou wilt," as Aleister Crowley is reputed to have said. I hear that, beyond that statement, the guy was quite an authoritarian. Actually, if you think about it, there's a loophole in that big enough to drive a Wabco through.
Image Hosted by
Source of picture.
All right, a Euclid.

What a beautiful bridge!

Millau Viaduct was opened by Jacques Chirac. The Telegraph has a slide show here.

British architect.

Private money.

Image Hosted by

Phil - 1973

Phil was my Sunday School Teacher when I was 8.
I thought he was great.
He was tough.
Minnesota-Wisconsin Arm Wrestling Champion.
Spokesman for Jesus.

I followed him where I could.
To Pattison Park with the Youth Group.
He put my brother down,
but he let me win.

We lost him in the weeds of his own pond.

I couldn't get a ride to his funeral.
At least I couldn't see how.
Nobody knew how
I wanted to go.
My parents weren't around.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


I was distracted by all the effort to make ™ work out right and forgot to give proper credit to LibertyBob and Deb.

HTML for ™

Commenters help me out:

[Y]ou make the trademark symbol by typing an ampersand "&", then the pound sign "#", the number "153" and finish with a semicolon. It should look like this ™. I spread it out above because puting it together may just appear as the trademark symbol in your comments. That would have been mean (therefore funny).
LibertyBob | Homepage | 12.06.04 - 12:14 am | #


whoa! Just dropped by to see how you're doing... toys! :D

& trade; (minus the space) works as well. ™
Deb | Email | Homepage | 12.06.04 - 4:09 am | #


I felt the need to make that a post because HaloScan comments aren't permanent. Though I like their simplicity to much to go with another system. From now on, if I need to archive them permanently, I'll do something like this post.

If you think your posts should be permanent, Blogger's comments, though a PITA (pain in the ass), are the thing to use.

Public Schools should be totally controlled locally

by the smallest feasible group that can muster the resources to hire a qualified teacher. Changes in the unit should be flexible. We're dealing with children here, not production units to be processed and warehoused.

Rant over. But trust me, you could fire it up again if you tried.

Wow! I ran across this Web-Publication, Global Politician,

via a Google-News search on Alfredo Stroessner which was inspired by this Telegraph article on Pinochet's latest arrest.

I love their "About GP" statement. Excerpt:

The journal is intended to be academic and non-biased. However, we do not believe that objectivity means supporting all sides equally, and our writers do support or oppose policies and politicians when circumstances require such. In fact, it is our belief that claiming that all sides have an equal claim is often not only wrong, but also ignorant.

Global Politician allows its writers to express opinions that differ from that of the Editors. We believe that by presenting different view-points, we allow the readers to understand all sides of the story.

My emphasis.

Don't miss Terrorism's Triple-Border Sanctuary: Islamists Organize World Terror from Bases in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay 12/13/2004 By Thomas Muirhead, a rather worrisome account of growing activities of many international terror organizations in that region, although US attention has chased a number of terrorists into Brazil.
In reaction to the growth of terrorist connections in the area all three of the countries involved have begun to take the situation seriously. All three have made border controls tighter and the issuing of visas has become a more thorough affair. In recent years, the antiterrorist departments of the three countries' police forces (the so-called "Tripartite Command") have worked jointly to exert stricter controls on the activities of foreign nationals in the area. However the biggest real threat to the operating cells in the area is the new found interest the United States is taking in the area. Paraguay’s foreign minister, Jose Antonio Moreno, recently stated that 40 FBI agents had arrived in Paraguay and were headed to Ciudad del Este. It has also been suggested that US troops are working with the respective national military in both training and active faculties. We can only wait and see if these acts will prove sufficient to curb terrorist activity in the region.

The article continues to cite specific cases of terrorists captured and subsequently escaping to Brazil while out on bail.

Looks like an excellent resource. I'll have to put them on my link list.

Monday, December 13, 2004

The Electoral College Meets Today

to elect George W. Bush the President of the United States.

Here's a good article from Ohio on many aspects of Americans' feelings about it.

I like this line from Carlo LaParo, spokesman for Secretary of State Ken Blackwell:
"You get to the point where you essentially have to say, 'You know what? I prefer my nuts dry roasted. Thank you.' "

Okay, you need a little background:
"If they are permitted to select the next president of the United States, our democracy is at an end," thundered Ray Beckerman, a New York City lawyer who runs a Web log devoted entirely to Ohio's presidential election.

The Kerry campaign says Bush won Ohio. Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe says Bush won Ohio. The Democrats who serve on the county boards of elections say Bush won Ohio.

What are the chances of Bush's 119,000-vote victory, which puts him over the top in the Electoral College vote, being overturned?

"None," said Carlo LaParo, spokesman for Secretary of State Ken Blackwell.

"These accusations are absurd," he said. "Come on. You answer the questions and you provide explanations. And yet these folks still don't believe you. You get to the point where you essentially have to say, 'You know what? I prefer my nuts dry roasted. Thank you.' "

I wonder if Target was expecting the attention

Drudge can bring to bear on these.

And what's Drudge smoking that he feels the need?

Link to Drudge, for those who don't feel like typing it out, though I won't try to separate out the item. I wouldn't know how.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Inexplicably, I care about Silvio Berlusconi.

I want him to be proven to be a good guy, and I want him to fix the economic problems Italy suffers from.

Berlusconi cleared of bribing judges
By Bruce Johnston in Rome
(Filed: 11/12/2004)

Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, was cleared yesterday of two charges of bribing judges - one on a technicality.

The ruling did not clear Mr Berlusconi of corrupting a judge with a $434,000 bribe in 1991, but a conviction could not be allowed because of a time limit.
Hours before the verdict, it was announced that he would visit George W Bush next week.

This was Mr Berlusconi's sixth major trial. He was convicted before becoming prime minister for the second time in 2001 but avoided jail on appeal or by a statute of limitation on time.

Italy's politics are way too interesting. Somehow it reminds me of Zaphod Beeblebrox.

Another guy to check out.

Ogre's Politics & Views

Saturday, December 11, 2004

I just added a link to my sidebar.

Mitch Berg's Shot In The Dark deserves special treatment, among the NARN (Northern Alliance Radio Network) bloggers for the simple reason that he allows comments without a lot of rigamarole.

They all deserve attention. They're all great writers, but Mitch invites us common folk in to visit. I would only ask that you be on your best behavior over there. Observe how the other commenters behave before you track your crap all over the carpet.

Captain Ed allows comments too. He's up next for my blogroll.

I'm not forsaking my old friends, I just think that, like my buddies at Grandpa John's, I should pay attention to my home state. It seems logical to me (I've been wrong before) that I might be able to make my most effective contribution by focussing close to home.

Call it a mid-life crisis if you will.

Did my emails ever get through, Lance?

Last I heard there was some sort of delay.

Anyway, there're more important things afoot. Steve has advice for the lovelorn.

And those who wish they were.

Friday, December 10, 2004

A message from Sharon Harris

President of the Advocates for Self-Government:
Dear friends,

A very important American civic holiday is coming up -- one that far too
many Americans are not aware of.

Perhaps you can help bring it to their attention.

December 15 is "Bill of Rights Day" -- a day to celebrate, honor and renew
support for our precious Bill of Rights.

It was on December 15, 1791 that the Bill of Rights the first ten
amendments to the United States Constitution -- went into effect.

One hundred and fifty years later, in 1941, "Bill of Rights Day" was
officially recognized as a national civic holiday, and has been ever since.

The Bill of Rights is, of course, the great protector of American liberties.
It boldly declares that people have certain inalienable rights that
government cannot abridge -- fundamental rights like freedom of speech,
freedom of religion, the right to keep and bear arms, and more. It also
provides procedures for defending those rights -- such as fair trials and
limits on federal power.

The Bill of Rights doesn't just belong to America. It has inspired freedom
fighters around the world. The Founders viewed their Revolution as the first
blow in a struggle to win liberty for *all* the people of the world -- so
the Bill of Rights is truly a document for everyone.

That's why I hope libertarians and other freedom lovers will use this
upcoming Bill of Rights Day as an opportunity to teach their families,
friends, neighbors and others about our precious heritage.

It's a *great* time for a letter to the editor of your local newspaper,
discussing the vital importance of our Bill of Rights freedoms and calling
for reflection on our heritage -- and urging citizens to speak out against
current calls to sacrifice liberty for (alleged) security.

To help with that, here's a short summary of the Bill of Rights, prepared by
students at Liberty Middle School in Ashley, Virginia. (I've added just a
few words.) While this condensed version doesn't have the majesty, depth and
detail of the entire document, it is short and easy to understand, and may
be useful to you in discussions and letters:

THE BILL OF RIGHTS: First Ten Amendments to the Constitution

1. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to
assemble peaceably, right to petition the government about grievances.

2. Right to keep and bear arms.

3. Do not have to quarter soldiers during peacetime.

4. No unreasonable searches and seizures.

5. Rights of the accused.

6. Right to a fair trial.

7. Right to a trial by jury in civil cases also.

8. No cruel and unusual punishments.

9. Unenumerated rights go to the people.

10. Reserves all powers not given to the national government to the states
or the people.

All Americans should be familiar with their Bill of Rights freedoms. Sadly,
numerous surveys indicate most are not.

Those of us who love liberty should do our best to correct that.

Happy Bill of Rights Day!

We now return to your regular, scheduled problems.

Mitch Berg writes the deepest and most feeling fisking

I've ever seen. Of Nick Coleman's Pearl Harbor Day article.

"Nickie" deserves to become a dominant meme.

I had a visitor from here

CDR Salamander. A site that looks to be worth keeping an eye on.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

I've been taking Minnesota Politics for granted

but these guys haven't: The Taxpayers' League of Minnesota.

I mention them because I brought up the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights in a comment at Lance Burri's. (Whom I would have nominated at the best new blog of 2004 if I knew how. I need to take some essay writing lessons from that guy. I'm pretty much a blurb writer myself. - Do I need to make "blurb" a WOD? -- Yeah, I'm still a suck-up.)

The TABOR, as it's known is in place in Colorado, and it save them from a lot of trouble during the last economic down-turn.

Are there any Minnesota bloggers who want to engage in a little give and take on this issue? I know the Northern Alliance is all for it - the Taxpayers' League pays for their web-streaming after all, but I'd like to see some fleshing out of the debate. Let's put some meat on these bones!

Have you checked out Tony Pierce yet?

Blogger News (Does this work to get you there?) bills him as Tony the Blogger. + busblog is what comes up on the button. He's got a book out called How To Blog.

His Kwanzaa post is well worth reading.

Takin' it to the blogosphere...

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Speaking of things everyone is talking about,

John Rogers of The Therapy Sessions and Lance Burri both have good discussions about what we should do about Social Security.

Well kids, let me tell ya...

I didn't mean it. David Strom is an SOB.

No I'm kidding. For some reason I feel embarassed that I was channeling the same spirit of hero-worship at him last night that Strom was directing at Walter Williams Saturday. For which he should be made fun of. [...of fun made...made of fun... Oh, forget it!] As should I.

Though they're both heroes worthy of emulation if you ask me.

Anyway, that's not what I came here to say.

I didn't do a post on Pearl Harbor Day because I was too busy reading everybody else's.

Now, I like to read anarchists, or rather, anarcho-capitalists, because they're a fiery lot and I have more than a little sympathy for their positions. I believe the government should butt out of a lot of things they're up to and that a lot of the problems of today are the result of government screw-ups in the past, many of which continue. The Open Door Policy, forcing foreign governments to trade with us, most notably Japan and China, doesn't appear to have worked out well, for instance. It's very interesting that the country that appeared to have reacted most positively to having their door kicked open, Japan, is the one that ended up causing the most trouble.

All of which brings me to Sixty-Three Years of Lies, by Anthony Gregory at Strike the Root:
Sixty-three years ago, on December 7, 1941 , more than three hundred Japanese planes descended upon Pearl Harbor in a horrendous surprise attack. Or, at least it was a surprise for the American servicemen and civilians who resided at the base, some 2,400 of whom perished in the terrible onslaught.

I'm putting his links in so that you see he has them.
Despite the difficulties confronted by historians and others who attempted to reveal that Franklin Roosevelt likely had foreknowledge of these attacks, the case is fairly solid now. Robert Stinnett's groundbreaking book, Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor, contains the best argument and evidence, so far. The US government had broken the codes necessary to learn of an imminent threat, and FDR had pursued a deliberate policy of provoking the Japanese – cutting off their oil supply, assisting their enemies in China, ignoring their diplomatic attempts to ensure peace with the United States, and placing US military personnel in harm's way near Japan – in order to get them to fire the first shot and open a backdoor into a war against Germany. Others have compellingly argued that the US government also wanted to exert US global dominance in the Pacific, which it feared would be undercut by the Japanese.

Here's my quibble: you never hear any of these people, here or at, justify the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1945. (The Chinese date it from Japan's takeover of Manchuria in 1931.) If I'm not mistaken, Stinnett understood that Roosevelt could see the crap hitting the fan in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific and took the actions needed to get involved before it was too late.

The Open Door Policy and the Versailles Treaty may have been to blame in the end, but the world would not have been a better place had we let the Nazis, Fascists and Japanese Imperialists take over.

Ooh, I think I'm in love!

Department of Education must be abolished

By Devvy Kidd.

Good intro by Steve.

Well, all right [note "all right" - two words] since it consists entirely of a quote, here:
The federal Department of Education must be booted out of the states. Public schools must return to educating children with the basics and stop all social engineering and communitarian indoctrination. To continue down the same path of tossing trillions of dollars at the federal Department of Education is to guarantee transforming America's precious children into the "New Communist Man." We the people must stop this madness.

And while we're on a "Thank you, sir! May I have another?" roll, here's her first paragraph:
The federal Department of Education was made a part of the president's Cabinet by new world order facilitator Jimmy Carter. Prior to that, America had the finest education system in the world. In 1980, Ronald Reagan promised that, if elected, he would get this unconstitutional department abolished.

Since I'm so strangely inclined to give you pictures of women that turn me on, here you go:
Image Hosted by

The Hotmail people apparently want this announced

First they gave me it, and now they've told me about it three times. Maybe if I post their email they'll quit bugging me about it. (Fat chance!)
Dear MSN® Hotmail® Member:

Congratulations on your storage upgrade from 2MB to 250MB!

As a valued MSN Hotmail Member, you have been specially selected to receive a special storage upgrade - at no cost to you. We've increased the storage capacity of your Hotmail account from 2MB to 250MB and increased your attachment size from 1MB to 10MB .

So what does this mean for you?

Well, now you can store even more emails and share larger attachments such as photos, music and video clips and more. Please note, you don't have to take any action - we have taken care of upgrading your account for you. Your storage meter should now read 250MB.

Take a look at the table to the right to see how we've upgraded your Hotmail Account.

We'd like to thank you for being a valued MSN Hotmail Member and enjoy your increased storage!

Thank you,

MSN Hotmail Member Services

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Walter Williams was on Taxpayer's League Live

last Saturday! [There's a button for livestreaming at the above link. Unless it's between 9:00 and 11:00 AM CST when you read this, it's not on now, dummy.] David Strom and Margaret Martin (President and First Lady of the Minnesota Taxpayer's League) interviewed Williams about his history growing up in South Philadelphia (where his mother warned him not to be like that silly Bill Cosby). I only regretted that they didn't delve into economics more, though they did some of that. Although, since I was raking my yard at the time (getting my last sunburn of the year on the last sunny, 40+ degree day of the year) maybe I was a bit distracted.

Come to think of it, their show is in the morning. I was babysitting the kids then while my wife was working out. I was raking while the Northern Alliance guys and Dave Thompson were competing for my attention in the afternoon. I hate that, but it would be worse if one or the other of them weren't on at all.

The NARN guys will be covering for Hugh Hewitt tonight. I don't think they'll be up against Dave, but who knows.

Eminem Is Right

A long essay I ran across via NRO's Corner examining pop music shows that "kid's today" aren't as stupid as many people make them out to be:
Blink-182's top-40 hit in 2001, "Stay Together for the Kids," is perhaps their best-known song (though not the only one) about broken homes. "What stupid poem could fix this home," the narrator wonders, adding, "I'd read it every day."

Reflecting on the particular passion with which that song was embraced by fans, Blink-182's Tom DeLonge told an interviewer, "We get e-mails about 'Stay Together,' kid after kid after kid saying, 'I know exactly what you're talking about! That song is about my life!' And you know what? That sucks. You look at statistics that 50 percent of parents get divorced, and you're going to get a pretty large group of kids who are pissed off and who don't agree with what their parents have done." Similarly, singer/bassist Mark Hoppus remarked to another interviewer curious about the band's emotional resonance, "Divorce is such a normal thing today and hardly anybody ever thinks how the kids feel about it or how they are taking it, but in the U.S. about half of all the kids go through it. They witness how their parents drift apart and all that."

Not to sound Pollyanna-ish (though I just caught the end of Pollyanna on PBS the other day, and it's not as stupid as it's made out to be either) but it looks to me like a sign that things are about to get better.

Monday, December 06, 2004

I know you all come here

for the brilliant discussion of Neuroscience, but Todd's got some good stuff over at Mister Pterodactyl.

(I think 'pterodactyl' refers to the meter in tif's poetry.)

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Ah, Satire!

'Twas awhile before Channaramakwanzmas:

GL refers to "garage logic". Follow the links to learn more about that. It's a conservative talk radio show.

Morghanne Q.E. Wolfe-Slattery, Euphorian

'Twas awhile before Channaramakwanzmas

and all through the sustainable community,

not a Euphorian was thinking of anything but pure equity.

My current life partner and the developing persons all three

Had removed our helmets and were drinking ginkobiloba tea.

We-as a team had just done the dishes,

With dish soap organic-to not hurt the fishes.

When suddenly I felt the dwelling unit shake

I knew by the sound-Santa had made a mistake!

I ran through the yard,

where there was no sign of Christmas at all

Said come down-where-s your helmet-you'll certainly fall!

You've made a mistake-this community's P.C.

Nowhere here will you find a Christmas tree.

We celebrate the all-inclusive Euphorian holiday

Channaramakwanzmas offends no one-no how- no way!

Please leave here now-you are not welcome here

Unless you free those poor repressed reindeer

And the elves-while you're at it...overworked, underpaid

And Mrs. Claus-is she anymore than your maid?

Santa looked at me then and said-seemly frayed

What-s this Euphorian holiday you nuts have made?

Hold on-Santa said-you can't do this to me!

The GLers will stop you-they’ll set Christmas free

This is not how it goes-my Euphorian friends

So I must insist that this story now ends!!!

Happy Channaramakwanzmas!

Friday, December 03, 2004

The world is full of links today.

I've been all over the frickin' blogosphere. Here's a recommendation: check out all the top people on Wizbang's Blog Awards. Check out the top two in each category to make sure you're ready for next year's contest.

But LibertyBob, maybe you shouldn't. You're too good as you are, you don't need any influences you aren't already suffering from. [I believe that ending sentences with prepositions is an ur-English thing to do.]

This is important: conservatives, libertarians, liberals and "liberals", need to consider this analysis of the last election and the history of modern liberalism. Imagine a Lyle Wagner flair in that last anouncement.

Key point: dump the commies. Of course they forgot that insisting that you're not a commie, while insisting upon all the commies' policy prescriptions, doesn't exempt you from the label "commie".

By the way, this is not a complete waste of LifeForce(tm) [How do you do that (TM) thing again, LB?], though you may be tempted to think so when you first see it. Very entertaining. I'm seriously trying to write a post, while this thing loads and plays in fits and starts.

That's a ringing endorsement from a Minnesotan, so I'd listen up! [Coach talk is not quite un-Minnesotan. We recognize (quietly--no need to make enemies) the need for corporal punishment.]

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Interesting post on dreams

at Teleologic Blog. One (I think, the main) paragraph among many:
Some consider this loose making of connections to be a random process, in which case dreams would be basically meaningless. The Contemporary Theory of Dreaming holds that the process is not random, however, and that it is instead guided by the emotions of the dreamer. When one clear-cut emotion is present, dreams are often very simple. Thus people who experience trauma--such as an escape from a burning building, an attack or a rape--often have a dream something like, "I was on the beach and was swept away by a tidal wave." This case is paradigmatic. It is obvious that the dreamer is not dreaming about the actual traumatic event, but is instead picturing the emotion, "I am terrified. I am overwhelmed." When the emotional state is less clear, or when there are several emotions or concerns at once, the dream becomes more complicated. We have statistics showing that such intense dreams are indeed more frequent and more intense after trauma. In fact, the intensity of the central dream imagery, which can be rated reliably, appears to be a measure of the emotional arousal of the dreamer.

LibertyBob would probably like it that I think evolution is a factor here. Dreams enhance our survivability (or whatever). We think of things in dreams to try out in real life, though that doesn't negate his present-oriented explanation of what occurs.

When Rosie was a baby, I once dreamed that I was holding her, having just received a diagnosis of mouth cancer from the doctor, and I was thinking that the very best I could offer her was a Dad with a severely misshapen face. I immediately jumped out of bed and flushed my Skoal down the toilet, and that dream has been the main backing for avoiding snoose to this day.

Sittin' here bloggin' in my Dad's cowboy hat...

Oh, you want a picture? Where's that...

Oh! Right there!


My neck hurts after that wild digression. Who do I sue? [Whom]

How late to the dance am I on this parody of Gilbert and Sullivan doing Xena. (Ooh! That doesn't sound right!)

In case you didn't run across it when I indirectly linked it here.

I've been dialoging with Blogger a bit over problems with my archives. The problems only arise when I try to backtrack visitors here. Suddenly my screen gets filled with crap that looks like seventeen layers of chainlink fence when I try to follow the links that brought them to me. No solutions yet.

Whoops! Forgot to pay the ISP bill.

I thought the wife had paid it and she thought I had paid it.

I've taken care of it now, but....

Here's a froe, for when you're feeling froward(ly?):


Sort of slippin' in a little WOD action:
fro-ward (frwrd, -rd)
Stubbornly contrary and disobedient; obstinate.

froward-ly adv.
froward-ness n.
Story of my life.

Dagnab it! Let me get that crap out of there.


I still don't know what to do about that Image Shack deal, though. Maybe I'll just delete that stuff.

That's better.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Now, that's funny!

Mister Rogers' neighborhood.

Lance, in particular, needs to share child-management techniques with this guy.

And don't miss his Thanksgiving post.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Here's an interesting bit from

A Discourse of Trade by Barbon, Nicholas (1640-1698). First published: 1690.

|62|* Of the Chief Causes that Promote TRADE.
THE Chief Causes that Promote Trade, (not to mention Good Government, Peace, and Scituation, with other Advantages) are Industry in the Poor, and Liberality in the Rich: Liberality, is the free Usage of all those things that are made by the Industry of the Poor, for the Use of the Body and Mind; It Relates chiefly to Man's self, but doth not hinder him from being Liberal to others.

The Two Extreams to this Vertue, are Prodigality and Covetousness: Prodigality is a Vice that is prejudicial to the Man, but not to Trade; It is living a pace, and spending that in a Year, that should last all his |63| Life: Covetousness is a Vice, prejudicial both to Man & Trade; It starves the Man, and breaks the Trader; and by the same way the Covetous Man thinks he grows rich, he grows poor; for by not consuming the Goods that are provided for Man's Use, there ariseth a dead Stock, called Plenty, and the Value of those Goods fall, and the Covetous Man's Estates, whether in Land, or Mony, become less worth: And a Conspiracy of the Rich Men to be Covetous, and not spend, would be as dangerous to a Trading State, as a Forreign War; for though they themselves get nothing by their Covetousness, nor grow the Richer, yet they would make the Nation poor, and the Government great Losers in the Customs and Excises that ariseth from Expence. |64|

The Library of Economics and Liberty is full of these old treatises. Here is their introduction to this one and another similar one. Hmm. I guess I'll have to exerpt it, it won't be on their front page forever.

Ah, it's short:
Featured Books
A Discourse of Trade, by Nicholas Barbon. (1690)
Discourses Upon Trade, by Sir Dudley North. (1691)

These two early works in economics illustrate how well the economics of international trade was understood even in the 17th century. Not only did North and Barbon pre-date Cantillon, Hume, and Smith, but they are worth revisiting today for their delightful, independent insights on the foundations of free trade.

Although Mercantilism persisted until Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (and continues today in political debates about trade), it was not an idea held lockstep by everyone pre-Smith. Consider this quote from North:

No Man is richer for having his Estate all in Money, Plate, &c. lying by him, but on the contrary, he is for that reason the poorer. (Essay 2, par. 2.5.)

North argued strongly that money is not the same as wealth; and also that encouraging exports merely to accumulate money is not the source of economic well-being, neither for individuals nor for nations. North is mentioned in historical context in Lalor's Cyclopedia, in the article on the Physiocrats.

From Barbon, consider the chapters illustrating benefits of free trade, the ease of slipping into trade wars, and money versus credit. Barbon's book has almost the organization of a modern economics textbook: the definition of goods, real versus nominal values, exchange, trade, applications!

The archaic spellings of these two short books belie their modern writing styles. Both are excellent reminders of how economists struggle to address age-old politically-motivated arguments.

I've found it very easy to read. It's pretty simple, jargon-free English.

There were a few Latin phrases, which I just plugged into Google and usually the translations were right up front. For instance, "'valet quantum vendi potest' - A thing is worth only what someone else will pay for it." Barbon is showing the antiquity of this economic principle by using the Latin. Interesting how close people were to the concepts of subjective value and marginal utility for thousands of years without truly discovering them.

It's kind of interesting to me, as a half-a***d linguist, to see how much English had changed from the time of the publication of the King James Bible in 1605 (if I remember right) until 1690.

Well, the Packers won 45-17

Good thing everybody was focussed on Favre, because the Rams weren't very good.

Najeh Davenport was great - 178 yards rushing. Watch out, Ahman!

Great blocking, Linemen! Talk about making holes!

Favre: another game another couple records. Of course, if that were his attitude, he wouldn't be breaking those records.

OK, Update: Catholic Packer Fan needs a sportswriting gig and don't miss Mr. Pterodactyl's live-blog of the game, for the trivia question, if nothing else.

I put all this in, because, eventually, Haloscan will wipe out the older comments.

Oops! I meant to say Catholic Packer Fan and Mr. Pterodactyl.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

This Issue Deserves the Respect of a Separate Post

I haven't said anything about this because it pains me so greatly.

The killings north of Rice Lake, WI... I didn't know what to say until I heard a guy on the radio, Lew Freeman, commenting this morning. Lew's a former head of the Minnesota NAACP with military experience, a Republican, moderate. I respect him greatly, though I often disagree with him.

He was asking whether the attention paid to this crime would be so great if it had been committed in a crack house in North Minneapolis with an "automatic" pistol. But he had more questions than just that. He made the great point that The Media immediately went to the highest-ranked Hmong politician, Saint Paul City Councilwoman Mi Mua, for comment. Nobody asks a white community representative for comment when a white guy commits a crime, it is racist to ask for "their leaders'" opinion when a "person of color" does so.

Separating out the individual criminal is the means by which Western Civilization has managed to reduce crime, blood-feud and warfare in our countries. It is when we fail to do so that the trouble explodes.

I am pleased that the Assault Weapons Ban died, but I have some recommendations for the DNR:

1. We have magazine limits for goose hunting. Let's have some for deer hunting as well.

2. Background checks for hunting licenses. If you have a violent background you don't get to wander around with a loaded weapon. A hunting license IS a license to carry a loaded weapon, with no further questions asked. I don't want further questions asked, I want to know that they've been asked and answered satisfactorily already when I see a guy with that tag pinned to his back.

3. Require a test for hunting licenses, including several questions about property rights matters and trespassing.

I grew up in sticks, where you could pull out your gun and shoot off a couple thousand rounds in the backyard any time you wanted to EXCEPT DURING DEER SEASON, at which time, it was a good idea to stay indoors unless you were actually out, rifle in hand, to get a deer. With a license.

Our neighborhood was kept pretty clear of all game by our gigantic german shepard, so we were safer than most (though she wasn't), but it was still a good idea to keep your head down.

Supposedly, only one of the shooting victims had a hunting rifle. I guess I don't understand how all those people could be wandering around the woods unarmed. Here's an interesting article on a similar problem in South Dakota which kicks over another whole can of worms.

It's not about assault weapons per se, and it's not about race.

I think I'll probably be updating this.

Too Much to Say for One Post

Consider it an outline with a few amplifications.

So it doesn't get lost, here's the link Steve gave me: A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875. It looks like the kind of cool stuff I like to read.

Oop. Favorite song playing in the background: Bread's Look What You've Done. [Scroll down for samples.]

LibertyBob wanted to know what I like in modern music. Shania Twain's Up. Everything on it. I expecially like the irony of "What A Way To Wanna Be!" It's just a tad hypocritical for her to recommend that women be happy with how they look because "nobody's perfect."

Yeah, right, babe! Seems like that advice has to be a little hard to take, comin' from the hottest fox on the planet.
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So, anyway...

Friday, November 26, 2004

We've been watching the Minnesota State

High School Football Championships all day. Right now they're playing the final game, the AAAAA [stupid class name, they were double-A in my day, and the triple-A class would have been Class B--Superior was AA back then; or Class A in Wisconsin] Championship between two neighboring Minneapolis suburbs, Wayzata and Minnetonka. I don't know who I'm rooting for; whoever is making the best play right now, I guess. In all classes, it's been amazing to see the quality of play. I'd rather watch this than college ball any time. It stacks up well against the Bowl games.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

AAagh! Gotta run help the wife. I'm looking at this, thankful for having grown up right near there. I always went there to clear my mind after my travels. Whatever is wrong with me now can be traced to not getting back there much since I moved down here.

And check out the meaning of Thanksgiving here.

Did anybody actually check out

that Holy Crap! post a couple days back? It was a tornado that formed in the middle of a soccer game in Japan. I know I got it from a porn purveyor (pretty much - don't click any of his links, unless you like adware) but that's no excuse to avoid it.

Have I provided a sufficient number of contradictions yet?

I can't say I've been slackin' on the blog

because I've been terribly busy in the rest of my life. We've had a lot of company and it's unbelievable how quickly the place gets messy. Plus it's been catch-up time at work which calls me into play. [Doing what? Why serving customers, of course.] Then there've been Rosie's activities and Laurie's conferences and the fact that I hit the wall on the late night blogging (again). I've been able to absorb but not produce. I still don't have any wrinkles, but that $#:+ might get 'em started.

I've mostly been absorbing the productions of the guys I link. Go down the list and pick one. I haven't seen any stuff lately that I thought sucked. I hit the Next Blog button a minute ago and saw this. I hope he gets better; this ain't a promising start.

But who am I to talk, eh? We'll check back in a day or two and see if he learns how to spell "encyclopedia."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Lance reminded me that I wanted to post this map

here. I just think it's pretty. I got it from the Mises people.

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Lance's article is sad news. I still have a soft spot for Republicans (Obviously, since I voted for Bush and not Badnarik) and Wisconsin and I want my old friends to get along.

Lance also links a story, via Grandpa John's, that shows how libertarian the world of JK Rowling's Harry Potter is.

The Cascade Policy Institute may deserve a link from me, along with The Pacific Research Institute and The Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Oh, and I really want to add The Taxpayers' League of Minnesota.

Packers Win 16-13 With Last Second Field Goal!

They beat the Vikings the same way last week. Mr. Favre pulled it together the last quarter and ended up completing 33 of 50 passes for 383 yards. I gave Donald Driver my vote for MVP of the game for his 10 pass receptions for 148 yards and one touchdown. I was pretty miffed about their second to last drive when Driver pushed off the defender and got an offensive pass interference penalty, followed by Favre throwing an interception, but at least it wasn't much worse than a punt. That was followed by Houston going 3 and out, setting up the Pack for that last good drive and the field goal.

They're making it way too exciting.

I don't have cable, so I had to listen to the game on the radio and follow the stats on, but that's kind of fun in its own way.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Oh, God, it's beautiful!

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The Capitalism Party

Here's a quote from the Manifesto of The Capitalism Party that many of you won't read enough of to see:

No Force or Fraud is Needed

Nearly all past revolutions required initiatory force or fraud. Many consisted of the violent overthrow of existing regimes in order to replace one set of murderous leaders with another set of murderous leaders. But today’s intellectual revolution does not require any force or fraud. In fact, it does not require the sacrifice of anyone for any reason. Acts of initiatory force, fraud and sacrifice are tools of the incumbent power system. The new power system does not require and cannot function through initiatory force, fraud and sacrifice. It survives through competition.

This might seem odd to the average person who tries to live normally within today's power system. After all, the average person has been exposed to multiple instances of compulsion, fraud and calls for sacrifice. Who has not been urged to sacrifice himself or herself for some higher good? Those are acts of the current power system.

For admirers of John Stuart Mill:
Looking back in time reveals that classical liberals were among the best and brightest of mankind's intellectuals regarding the realm of political economy. Yet with the onslaught of bad philosophy, classical liberals could not defend their position until the last of them, John Stuart Mill, surrendered his position and became a socialist. With the once-respectable liberal name vacant, intellectual carpetbaggers moved in and inverted the liberal name by linking it to its opposite tenets. Modern liberals in America represent the antithesis of what the founders of classical liberalism articulated.

He uses the phrase "controlling the future" a bit too much for my taste. I would like to think I understand what he means, but if you ask me, creating such an unrealistic expectation in general terms sows the seeds of counterrevolution.

But, as I say, I think I understand what he means. In very limited, focussed activities it is possible to control enough of the variables of chance to effect the consequence you desire. Physics experiments and technological inventions are obvious examples.

Just watch out about giving your lingo to the politicos.

Update: compare to this. Nice of 'em to give us as ready made strawman, eh?

I was just watching Carly Fiorina

on Charley Rose. I think she's sexy. I was raised by and around strong women, and she's got it all: looks, knowledge (it shows), strength and, frankly, money (and it shows that she came by it through her own effort).

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I wonder if she could use a butler.

Do you need more reason to love her than this:

"The art of war," by the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu, is a favorite book of Carly Fiorina's.

Perhaps with good reason. Few have faced the challenges Ms. Fiorina has since Hewlett-Packard Co. in 1999 made her its first chief executive to be chosen from outside the company. Her appointment sent a thunderbolt through H-P and through the corporate world, where ascensions of female executives to top jobs were still relatively rare.

Five years later, the shock waves are still coming as Ms. Fiorina struggles to fulfill both the promise of her own career and the ambitious goals she set for her company, now a tech behemoth after its bitterly contested $19 billion acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002.

Once installed at H-P, Ms. Fiorina immediately introduced a plan to centralize its dispersed corporate structure, cutting down its 83 business units to just a handful. And she quickly proclaimed that H-P would deliver growth of 12 percent to 15 percent a year. But by late 2000, she found herself steering the company through one of the roughest periods in high-tech history.

This article includes this (to me) tantalizing tidbit, "She attended Stanford University, graduating with a degree in medieval history."

Oh, baby...

I was working for HP as a contractor when she was chosen, and my first thought was that she was a "token woman" to assuage the political correctness that was even more rampant in 1999 than it is now, but she has proven to be far more than that. I wish her well.

I think she can do it.

Friday, November 19, 2004

I get my marching orders from Thomas Sowell.

I think his article at today is one of his most important ones.

At least as far back as the 1930s, the intelligentsia and others have warned against military spending as setting off an "arms race" in which each side escalates its military buildup in response to the other, making the whole thing an expensive exercise in futility. The same notion was repeated throughout the long years of the Cold War.

Today's version is that, no matter how many Middle East terrorists we kill, new ones will take their place and we will have nothing to show for all our efforts and sacrifices. People who talk this way are completely undaunted by the fact that Ronald Reagan proved them wrong during the Cold War.

President Reagan understood that the Soviets did not have unlimited resources -- and in fact their resources were far more limited than ours. Going directly counter to those who wanted a "nuclear freeze" or other weapons limitations agreements, Ronald Reagan began a military buildup that kept upping the ante until the Soviets had to throw in their hand, ending the Cold War.

When Reagan ordered a bombing of Libya in retaliation for Libyan terrorism, the immortal fallacy was immediately voiced by former President Jimmy Carter, who declared that this would only make matters worse and bring on more terrorism. But Libya toned down its terrorist activities.

Khaddafi has proven himself to be a rational man, but he wouldn't have if we'd let him continue on the path he'd begun. Most psychos can be "turned from their wicked ways" if you expend the energy to do it. They have to be shown that success is not to be found on the path of destruction.

I'd like to quote more of Sowell's article here, but I'd be pushing the copyright "Fair Use Doctrine" in which I have been trained. Suffice it to say that Sowell explains our situation very clearly: the terrorists WISH they could fight an endless Jihad against us, but the fact is that they can't. Energetic opposition will bring their activities to John Kerry's level of "nuisance". Passivity would allow them to regroup and rebuild into a serious threat to the Western World.

I think our Fallujah action has dealt them a crippling blow from which they won't soon recover. Congratulations, US Marines.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Holy Crap!!

This'll ruin your ball game!

Thanks to my Brazilian pal Omedi.

Note to self

read this post.

Here's another email making the rounds.

I thought I'd clean it up and make it presentable.
I'd also like verification, if anybody knows. I will check it out myself, after a while.

Subject: Fw: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his
return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb.

After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30."

Other requirements of the Guard: They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn.

The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.



In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.