Sunday, February 29, 2004

A message from Gun Owners of America

Friday, February 27, 2004

While some gun control passed yesterday in the U.S. Senate, the
biggest skirmishes are still to come next week. The battle will be
fought over amendments to S. 1805, the gun liability bill which was
formerly S. 659.

The Senate will continue debating the bill today and Monday, with
votes resuming late Monday night or Tuesday. But one notable
provision passed yesterday -- a Lock Up Your Safety requirement.

This amendment -- offered by anti-gun Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) --
would require all handgun purchasers to pay an implicit "gun tax" by
requiring them to buy a trigger lock when they purchase their
handgun, irrespective of need. In addition, the amendment would
create a broad and implicit cause of action against gun owners who
fail to actually use the storage device to lock up their firearms.
Of course, a locked gun then becomes unavailable for self-defense.

This gun control measure has opponents of the bill beaming.
"Remember, the sponsors of this bill stood up and opposed this
amendment," said Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA). "The president has
said he wants a clean bill. This is no longer a clean bill."

(Senator Boxer offered a Lock Up Your Safety provision of her own
which was superceded by the Kohl amendment.)

On Tuesday, the Senate is expected to take up several more
amendments including concealed carry reciprocity (for off-duty cops,
not other citizens) and an ammunition restriction study which will
determine whether the ban on so-called "cop killer" ammunition
should include superior performance bullets in popular hunting
calibers such as the 30-06.

Most importantly, the Senate is expected to vote on the McCain gun
show ban and whether to extend the Clinton semi-auto ban.

It is important the Senate understands that any anti-gun language
attached to this bill is completely unacceptable!!!

Ron, how'd you get that Blogarama link at the top of your site?

When you add things to your template code, they come out pretty much in the order you see 'em on your site. My comments section required that I add 3 lines of code. One, if I remember right, in the header, one in the body, and one way at the bottom. Read the code. There's really not that much, it just looks ugly.

Let's try that again.

Steven Milloy beat me to the punch
on the Union for Concerned Scientists press release.

I have had a great deal of trouble accessing the report the UCS references. The hackers (your guess which side) may have been after it. But I did manage to print it out once, so it can be done. And, ha ha ha, I have it. So there!

Steven Milloy beat me to the punch

on the Union for Concerned Scientists press release.

Not that I consider it important

for me the be "fair and balanced" here, but here's a link to Ralph Nader that I'm sure you'll never find on my sidebar.

Saturday, February 28, 2004

CapMag's got another winner here.

Anti-Americanism: An Introduction,
by Jean Francois Revel

Holy Cow!

Larry Elder agrees with me:

"Leave marriage to non-governmental institutions, like churches, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship or private institutions. Adultery, although legal, remains a sin subject to societal condemnation. It's tough to legislate away condemnation or legislate in approval."

Apparently Joe Gandelman

of the Moderate Voice has taken some heat over this post.

To my mind, this constitutes a nice recovery.

It's over 40 degrees here.

I was out reading in my shorts, t-shirt & sandals. I only came in because the wife went off to curves and I gotta babysit. Plus, I'm fish-belly white and I don't want to burn. I hear the UV rays can concentrate on ya pretty good off the snow. But even the light-gusting wind was pleasant.

I was listening to Taxpayers League Live on AM1280 The Patriot. I've already told you how much I like David Strom.

I truly live the life of the Epicurean.

I was reading Faith and Liberty: The Economic Thought of the Late Scholastics, edited by Alejandro A. Chafuen. Check out this passage:

"Those who, for seeing the demise of their business, cling to the magistrates [authority] as a shipwrecked person to a rock and attempt to alleviate their difficulties at the cost of the State are the most pernicious of men. All of them must be rejected and avoided with extreme care."

[Not least by investors--ed. (me, not Chafuen)] That was the great Juan de Mariana, who didn't shy from advocating regicide if you have a bad king.

Here's another guy:

"Garcia criticized merchants and businessmen who avow that they always have the right to earn a profit:

"This is a very big mistake and a diabolic persuasion because the art of business and of those who make money buying and selling must be equally open to profits and losses, depending on luck [fortune]."

And here is Saint Thomas Aquinas justification of profits:

"1. To provide for the businessman's household.
2. To help the poor.
3. To ensure that the country does not run short of essential supplies.
4. To compensate the businessman's work.
5. To improve the merchandise.

"Saint Thomas also ascribed legitimacy to profits obtained from price variations in response to local changes as well as those earned through the lapse of time. Furthermore, he allowed for profits that would compensate the risks of transport and delivery."

I love these foreign blogs

in the fresh blog thing. This one's Dutch. The name translate to "With the Wind in my Hair..." She's a citizen of the world who doesn't like shopping. That's as much as I can make out.

Martje's WebWereld, which means just what it looks like it means, might be more to my taste. I've had a few too many evenings like this myself:

En toen was het al weer zaterdag...
De tijd gaat snel voorbij zeg! Woensdag dus met Daniella naar Amsterdam geweest, dat was erg gezellig, alleen ben ik die avond niet goed geworden en heb een paar uur hangend boven het toilet door gebracht.

Don't waste your life kid. Get to AA.

The Misesian Critique

Of Churchill's career:

Without principles or scruples, Churchill as a prominent member of the Liberal party government naturally played a role in the hijacking of liberalism from its roots in individualism, laissez-faire, free trade and bourgeois morality, to its transformation into the "New Liberalism" as a proxy for socialism and the omnipotent state in Britain and in America.

Friday, February 27, 2004

My brother gets mad at me when I don't get

his take on prophecy. I'm still kinda waiting for David Wilkerson's Vision to happen. There's a backlog of prophecies that need to come true before I'm convinced that the Second Coming is imminent. And the Second Coming is supposed to be good news. Let's be a little more joyful, eh?

But I still think it's important

That Mel Gibson drew a standing ovation on Leno.

Reading a little deeper

into John Plain and Tall, I saw this explanation of our current state of affairs. This is enough. Occam's Razor says you're probably best off to accept the simplest explanation. We don't need any conspiracies.

My response to a

gentleman who wanted to express the other side of the gay marriage issue:

I don't stand with the President on this one. In fact, I pretty much only stand with him on his conduct of the war on terror.

The Government doesn't confer sanctity, and the benefits it does provide are a bribe to get us to join in worship of it. Almost all the problems government has been given credit for solving were solved by private actions, either business or charity, before the government got off its dead ass and stuck in its dead hand.

I am against any established religion warping its theology to fit you in, but Deism, the Religion of Thomas Jefferson's "Laws of Nature and Nature's God" would not reject you. I believe you are a product of nature, and I've seen gays produce. I'm impressed. You must be a part... The future would be sadder/weaker/uglier/whatever without your contribution.

That's a bit of a digression, but it's meant


Alan Erkkila.

Dave's on again Monday!

Life is good!

I love Dave. May he live forever.

Dave Thompson's on!

For that weird-ass statist Kris Krok!

GDSOB! I missed a bunch of it!


He's bitching about Bush spending more money than Bill Clinton. Amen, bro!

Hey, Bro!

This is right up your alley. These people have visited my blog according to Site Counter. For those who are worried about the information Site Counter provides, I only see the URL of the ISP. By mapping that to the times of the visits I can tell that Ron uses AOL, but that's as much as I can tell. This one is NIPR.MIL. Hm.

Carnicom says they looked at him for 10 1/2 hours. I got 0, so it looks like they were here less that a minute. I'm not scary enough.

My beloved Arnold Kling,

who runs the Econlog at my even more beloved Economics Library, pointed me to this article: REAL WORLD ECONOMICS: Free trade trade-offs always pay off BY EDWARD LOTTERMAN. It explains why I remain a radical Free Trader.

I wish I could get the Pioneer Press in this town.

So the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

isn't irredeemably evil. A very interesting firearms decision.

All right (note the 2 'l's and the space) I'll save ya the work of clicking through - from the decision:

"...there is no evidence that section 922(o) was enacted to regulate commercial aspects of the machinegun business. More likely, section 922(o) was intended to keep machineguns out of the hands of criminals—an admirable goal, but not a commercial one." . . .

I somehow missed the fact

that the Ur-Civilized Japanese have the death penalty.

Another thing I noticed on the way in: Minnesota Education Reform News, here on Blogger.

I heard this on Paul Harvey

Wir muessen Ordnung haben!!

Oh, if you don't like that link, here.

Things are looking up a bit for Martha Stewart.

The big charge was dismissed. This article doesn't make clear what the other charges were. More research to do I guess. Think I'll do it?

Here is an interesting timeline

of the Korean War.

I looked it up in an effort to understand what my dad was thinking when he turned 18 in August of 1952. He went to work on the Great Lakes boats, hauling grain and iron ore. Salt and Limestone were also big back then.

Dad was considered part of the merchant marine then, so he didn't go to war.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

I still disagree with Hoppe about Iraq though.

I think it was necessary to resolve the situation created by Bush Sr.

And here's the only anti-war position I respect.

Because it comes from principles which are well explained, not mere partisanship or weakness. There's a lot more here than that though. I was very pleased to read what Hans-Hermann Hoppe has to say in this article.

I just added the Angry Economist to my links.

Read Lileks today. Link on the right.

This is what our and the French

Revolutions would have looked like under the scrutiny of the modern media. No country has ever been successful that didn't work out its problems for itself. The deals for aid need to come from within as well. Keeping in mind that we don't get our groceries from a central authority.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

I was just reading along in my archives

when I noticed that I had made a promise to discuss John Wesley sometime soon. Well, obviously I'm not prepared to do so right now, but I'll pull out my books and see what I think you'll find interesting. The Wesleys, John and Charles, lived in the era of the Old Whigs, and I'm sure they had their influence on the philosophy of freedom.
Judging by the teachings I've heard from Leonard Ravenhill, I'd say they had a pretty profound effect on the Charismatic Movement as well.

Hey! I'll bet you didn't know

anything about this! Zoroastrianism. Oh, it's real interesting.


Get to work MissDirtySouth! No relation I'm sure.

Just a funny thing that happened on the way to my blog.

What happens if I do this?

Report from the Front
February 25, 2004

Special Interests or the Special Use of Force?
By Edward Hudgins
Washington Director
The Objectivist Center

Denouncing special interests is all the rage on the current election landscape.
Each candidate accuses the others of wanting to give benefits to some unfairly
favored group at the expense of others. The sheer hypocrisy of all candidates
reflects an even deeper truth about the system that they all support.

Ralph Nader has entered the presidential race vowing to fight the special
interest groups that pay money for special favors from Washington. Of course,
Nader does not consider it a special favor to him and his Green friends when the
federal government prohibits property owners from using their own land in ways
they think are not friendly to the environment. Nor does he see himself as an
agent of corruption when he urges the federal government to prohibit people from
buying products of which he disapproves. But he denounces businesses that
manufacture those products, and that hire lobbyists to keep those products
legal, for subverting the will of the people.

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean denounced John Kerry, his chief rival for
the Democratic presidential nomination, as the recipient of more special
interest money than any other candidate. But Dean no doubt does not treat as a
special benefit the federal government’s milk program, which looks to have been
designed by Soviet planners and mafia dons. That program helps dairy farmers in
Dean’s native Vermont get higher prices for their products, at the expense of
consumers, by threatening to throw competitors who charge lower prices in jail.

Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) denounces those big corporations that contribute to
President Bush and the Republicans. But Kerry doesn’t think he’s doing anything
“special” when he blocks all efforts by Congress to rein in the “Big Dig,” a $15
billion pork barrel road project that is a bonanza for Kerry’s constituents as
well as contractors and unions in his state -- at the expense of taxpayers in
the other 49 states.

Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) has called Kerry on his special interest hypocrisy. Of
course a substantial part of Edward’s campaign funds comes from predatory
plaintiff’s attorneys, many of whom are ambulance-chasers who pervert our system
of laws in order to shake down businesses -- or any other “deep pockets” --
with nuisance lawsuits that enrich them at the expense of producers and

And yes, the many Republicans do, as Democrats charge, use the government to
protect or funnel special support to their business friends.

All of this wailing and gnashing of teeth over special interests evades the
fundamental premise of a free society, the premise best articulated by Ayn Rand:
“There is no conflict of interests of men who do not desire the unearned, who do
not make sacrifices or accept them, who deal with one another as traders, giving
value for value.” When governments stick to their proper functions of protecting
the life, liberty and property of citizens, no conflicts arise. All individuals
who seek rational goals benefit by living under objective laws that preserve
their rights.

Special interest groups that benefit at the expense of others are created by
government when it uses force to limit the private use of property, private
contracts between consenting individuals, or private behavior that does not
violate the equal rights of others. In such a system, raw political power rather
than production and trade become the coin of the realm. Politicians compete to
see who can promise one group more of another group’s money or freedom while
denouncing their victims as “special interests.”

As Rand observed, in such a system political manipulators set up “new conflicts,
such as ethnic minorities against the majority, the young against the old, the
old against the middle, women against men, even welfare-recipients against the
self-supporting.” And she was right on the mark when she said that in such a
system, “a legislator’s job consists in sacrificing some men to others. No
matter what choice he makes, no choice of this kind can be morally justified.”

If politicians – especially Republicans who claim to stand for limited
government -- were sincere in their concern about interest group influence in
Washington, they would point out that it is because government has the power to
crush an industry with the stroke of a regulator’s pen or with a new tax, and to
enrich one group with loot taken from others, that interest group conflict
reigns. They would declare it their aim to roll back political power, to prevent
government from running the lives and managing the wealth and property of
individuals. And they would declare that the only moral system appropriate for
men is one in which individuals use reason to produce goods and services for
exchange with one another rather than using force backed by government to steal.

The Objectivist Center is a national not-for-profit think tank promoting the
values of reason, individualism, freedom and achievement in American culture.
For more information, please visit To unsubscribe to
this list, or to subscribe to the Center's Web Update List, please visit

Want to hear what a hero has to say?

Read this. And look up Smedley Darlington Butler.

It's time folks.

Third and last chapter of The Conquest of Death.

Death said: "The good is one thing, the pleasant another; these two, having different objects, chain a man. It is well with him who clings to the good; he who chooses the pleasant, misses his end.
'The good and pleasant approach man: the wise goes round about them and distinguishes them. Yea, the wise prefers the good to the pleasant, but the fool chooses the pleasant through greed and avarice.
'Thou, O Nachiketas, after pondering all pleasures that are or seem delightful, hast dismissed them all. Thou hast not gone into the road that leadeth to wealth, in which many men perish.
'Wide apart and leading to different points are these two, ignorance, and what is known as wisdom. I believe Nachiketas to be one who desires knowledge, for even many pleasures did not tear thee away.
'Fools dwelling in darkness, wise in their own conceit, and puffed up with vain knowledge, go round and round, staggering to and fro, like blind men led by the blind.
'The hereafter never rises before the eyes of the careless child, deluded by the delusion of wealth. "This is the world," he thinks, "there is no other"--thus he falls again and again under my sway.
'He (the Self) of whom many are not even able to hear, whom many, even when they hear of him, do not comprehend; wonderful is a man, when found, who is able to teach him (the Self); wonderful is he who comprehends him, when taught by an able teacher.
'That Self, when taught by an inferior man, is not easy to by known, even though often thought upon; unless it be taught by another, there is no way to it, for it is inconceivably smaller than what is small.
'That doctrine is not to be obtained by argument, but when it is declared by another, then, O dearest, it is easy to understand. Thou hast obtained it now; thou art truly a man of true resolve. May we have always an inquirer like thee!'
Nachiketas said: 'I know that what is called a treasure is transient, for that eternal is not obtained by things which are not eternal. Hence the Nachiketa fire-sacrifice has been laid by me first; then, by means of transient things, I have obtained what is not transient.'
Yama said: 'Though thou hadst seen the fulfillment of all desires, the foundation of the world, the endless rewards of good deeds, the shore where there is no fear, that which is magnified by praise, the wide abode, the rest, yet being wise thou hast with firm resolve dismissed it all....
'The knowing Self is not born, it dies not; it sprang from nothing, nothing sprang from it. The Ancient is unborn, eternal, everlasting; he is not killed, though the body is killed.
'If the killer thinks that he kills, if the killed thinks that he is killed, they do not understand; for this one does not kill, nor is that one killed.
'The Self, smaller than small, greater than great, is hidden in the heart of that creature. A man who is free from desires and free from grief, sees the majesty of the Self by the grace of the Creator.
'Though sitting still, he walks far; though lying down, he goes everywhere. Who, save myself, is able to know that God who rejoices and rejoices not?
'The wise who knows the Self as bodiless within the bodies, as unchanging among changing things, as great and omnipresent, does never grieve.
'That Self cannot be gained by the Veda, nor by understanding, nor by much learning. He whom the Self chooses, by him the Self can be gained. The Self chooses his body as his own.
'But he who has not first turned away from his wickedness, who is not tranquil, and subdued, or whose mind is not at rest, he can never obtain the Self even by knowledge.
'Who then knows where He is, He to whom the Brahmans and Kshatriyas are (as it were) but food, and death itself a condiment?
(From the Katha Upanishad)

Feel enlightened?

Now that I've calmed my berserker bloodlust

you want to see what the Finns think of Matt Helm? Oh! I'm sorry, that site is literally about the Dans Macabre.
There's this guy, but he's no fun. Oh, well, never mind.

Update: my Finnish is really awful. Let's go fix it at Tavataan Taas!

Harry Binswanger beat me to it.

And did it better. I was going to come out of the closet on this side of the War on Terror, Maybe I have and didn't notice. He's right about Libertarians too, on this issue.

I still say that Bush is a better strategic thinker when it comes to the use of the military than anybody else out there.


The Democrats do have something to pillory Bush with--and they'd get my vote if they used it. It's not: "Why did you think the threat from Iraq was 82% when it was only 58%?" It's: "Why did you go against the Little Satan, Iraq, while turning a blind eye to the Great Satan, Iran?"

I'd oppose to that what I call the Matt Helm doctrine: when you're holding a gun on a guy and his buddy comes up and sticks a gun in your back, you shoot the guy you've got the gun on and then worry about the second guy. No hostage games, no negotiations. Just win. If you play games, you die.

And while I'm talking about

Here are two takes on the Martha Stewart matter: and Cheating Culture.

And don't miss the installments of

Mises on Naziism at

Tibor Machan

writes, Why Honor Politicians? .

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

The great science fiction author

L. Ron Hubbard said, [something like] "Never let a word go by you that you don't understand." Thereby assuring the unusual level of success of the Scientologists. Here is a great tool for equaling their feat The Hyperdictionary.

Ron pointed out this

TCS article, which led me to do a google search for this, and by which I also found this:

Response to Emerson's "Self-Reliance" Together with Miss Joy Zhou.

Amen, sister.

Update: oops, I guess I missed something. This is Bob Huang's home page. He's the one Miss Joy Zhou is "together with". To that I can only say: amen, brother.

Don't forget your Sowell


"The thesis of both media liberals and political liberals is that there are vast millions of people who work hard all their lives and still remain poor. The next chorus of this song is that only the government can save the day for such people. The grand finale is that politicians need to take more money out of your paycheck to buy the votes of those to whom they give it."

Monday, February 23, 2004

Well, once again it's later'n hell.

Quick update on where I'm at. Still sober, but it's all just luck today. I suppose I can credit my priorities, as adjusted by trial and error: I don't put my desire for a drink (at least not the first drink) ahead of my family's needs, as my knowledge of those needs grows more sophisticated.

I was going to get into Yama's discussion of the afterlife, but I got bogged down over at Amanda's blog reading the discussion of whether the humanities or sciences are better. I vote: the distinction is false. She started the thing Friday night, and I got to it tonight, so my comments are way at the end.

I just advocated Epicureanism in a vague way, and slandered deconstructionists as proto-nihilists. J.B.'s comments seemed very much the most cogent. Better than HAC's even.

There are a couple assertions

here that I deny:

Move over, Enron. Wal-Mart is the new punching bag.

In the run-up to elections, America's top employer takes it on the chin for driving US jobs abroad and trampling workers at home. Should it share the blame?

BY Clayton Collins | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

"The same relentless focus on cost-cutting that makes it an outstanding example of managerial innovation may also make it a more unconscionable employer than many others," says Jim Hoopes, professor of business ethics at Babson College, in an e-mail. "Corporate life for low-end workers is a lot harsher everywhere than it was a quarter-century ago," writes Mr. Hoopes, "[but] my impression is that there are few, if any, companies facing an equivalent number of legal actions for ... unfair labor practices," even pro-rated for size.

There was a lot more screaming and yelling from boss to workers back in the seventies. If you objected, you were fired. If you were union, maybe you didn't get fired, but they weren't concerned about such small potatoes b.s. back then either.

"The postwar economy was built around mass consumption - the notion that through broad participation in mass market we could create a more egalitarian America," says Lizabeth Cohen, a historian at Harvard University and author of "A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America." But in a global economy, that notion no longer holds, says Ms. Cohen.

Is this person on the side of the "little guy?" If so, why don't foreign "little guys" count? What would Jesus say? Look, the more people involved in cooperating to construct beneficial products, the better off everyone is.

This is the opinion of Edwin A. Locke, of Capitalism Magazine:

"No one has a "right" to business success or a "right" to be protected from competitors through government intervention. One only has a right to try to compete through voluntary trade. In a free economy, companies that offer the best value for the dollar win and the losers invest their money elsewhere."

Word of the day: frisson.

My brother's definitions are funnier, but...

fris·son ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fr-s)
n. pl. fris·sons (-sz, -s)
A moment of intense excitement; a shudder: The story's ending arouses a frisson of terror.

The context: from the Christian Science Monitor:

February 23, 2004 edition

New wild card: Nader joins race

The consumer advocate announced his candidacy Sunday, on the heels of Dean's withdrawal. Democrats are chagrined.

By Linda Feldmann | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

WASHINGTON – Ralph Nader has sent a frisson of anxiety through the Democratic Party by announcing he will run for president.
Ralph Nanny's gonna save us all.

Update: I got the definition from

Sunday, February 22, 2004

I haven't praised Bruce Bartlett enough.

Bartlett mentions Bill Clinton's superb trade policy (at least by comparison to either Bush, and all presidents between Reagan and Coolidge, not inclusive). The Clinton boom can be exclusively attributed to that and giving Greenspan a free hand with monetary policy.

One more thing I noticed is that it seems like liberals like to pass laws to express the feelings of Society with no thought of the nasty things that need to be done to enforce them or any intention of doing those things. Sort of like what InstaPundit said about this. (If you don't want to register, at least read what Reynolds cited.) His quote:

"Perhaps this explains the different degree of enthusiasm for international agreements on the part of Europe and the United States -- the United States actually worries about having to comply with them, while the Europeans, unfettered by any such concerns, are free to posture."

American conservatives don't pass laws based merely on feelings, but they are a danger to actually enforce dumbass laws merely because they're on the books.

The purpose of prisons is to get dangerous people off the streets, the purpose of civil penalties is to strongly discourage the commission of thoughtless harmful acts. You might say the former is for personal harms, the latter is for impersonal harms.

I had to extricate myself from an ugly situation

the other day (which, as I say, I don't care to discuss further than that--nothing illegal...yet, I may write the state attorney general) but it kind of knocked my into myself. [Yeah, yeah, shut up.] Hence, the obvious searching through religious texts for wisdom (and comfort).

Ah, cripes! It's almost one o'clock.

Where'd my book go?

Oh, well.

I didn't find much useful online about the Upanishads, before I got that book, so I thought I'd share some of mine. Would you like an Upanishad? I haven't actually read ahead in this story, but it looks like Yama is about to explain the afterlife.

Hey, I typed that, slightly condensed, exerpt with only two typos. Too bad I didn't time myself.

Update: whoops! I just spell-check it. Three typos have to be added. I'm aftaid I'll have to poinder the meaning of that. It appo/roaches incompetence.

Sorry, I took so long getting back to it, but the old compaq was acting up, so I defragged the memory. But that didn't do it, so I put all my picture files on CD and cleared out that space, then it took ungodly long to re-defrag. Plus, the baby woke up and took 7 oz of milk out of a bottle mom pumped for her, then when the wife got home [uh, the last two matronly terms refer to the same woman, who is not my genetic antecedent] she had to feed her some more. And she shows some signs of starting to teeth. Did you get all those pronouns straight?

Saturday, February 21, 2004

From the Conquest of Death, in the Upanishads:

Chapter One explains how Nachiketas, after having been sacrificed by his father Vajasravasa to Yama - whom the footnote calls "The King of Death"- wins three boons, or wishes, due to the King's inhospitable reception.

Chapter Two discusses the wishes.

Nachiketas said: 'O Death, as the first of the three boons I choose that Gautama, my father, be pacified, kind, and free from anger towards me; and that he may know me and greet me, when I shall have been dismissed by thee."

Yama grants this wish.

Nachiketas said: 'In the heaven-world there is no fear; thou art not there, O Death, and no one is afraid on account of old age. Leaving behind both hunger and thirst, and out of the reach of sorrow, all rejoice in the world of heaven.
'Thou knowest, O Death, the fire-sacrifice which leads us to heaven; tell it to me, for I am full of faith. Those who live in the heaven-world reach immortality--this I ask as my second boon.'
Yama said: 'I tell it thee, learn it from me, and when thou understandest that fire-sacrifice which leads to heaven, know, O Nachiketas, that it is the attainment of the endless worlds, and their firm support, hidden in darkness.'
The generous, being satisfied, said to him: 'I give thee now another boon; that fire-sacrifice shall be named after thee, take also this many-coloured chain.
'He who has three times performed this Nachiketa rite, and has been united with the three (father, mother, and teacher), and has performed the three duties (study, sacrifice, almsgiving) overcomes birth and death. When he has learnt and understood this fire, which knows (or makes us know) all that is born of Brahman, which is venerable and divine, then he obtains everlasting peace.
'He who knows the three Nachiketa fires, and knowing the three, piles up the Nachiketa sacrifice, he, having first thrown off the chains of death, rejoices in the world of heaven, beyond the reach of grief.
'This, O Nachiketas, is thy fire which leads to heaven, and which thou hast chosen as thy second boon. That fire all men will proclaim. Choose now, O Nachiketas, thy third boon.'
Nachiketas said: 'There is that doubt, when a man is dead--some saying, he is; others, he is not. This I should like to know, taught by thee; this is the third of my boons.'
Death said: 'On this point even the gods have doubted formerly; it is not easy to understand. That subject is subtle. Choose another boon, O Nachiketas, do not press me, and let me off that boon.'
Nachiketas said: 'On this point even the gods have doubted indeed, and thou, Death, hast declared it to be not easy to understand, and another teacher like thee is not to be found--surely no other boon is like unto this.'
Death offers many temptations to be let off that boon.
Nachiketas said: 'these things last till to-morrow, O Death, for they wear out the vigour of all the senses. Even the whole of life is short. Keep thou thy horses, keep dance and song for thyself.
'No man can be made happy by wealth. Shall we possess wealth, when we see thee? Shall we live, as long as thou rulest? Only that boon which I have chosen is to be chosen by me.
'What mortal, slowly decaying here below, and knowing after having approached them, the freedom from decay enjoyed by the immortals, would delight in a long life, after he has pondered on the pleasures which arise from beauty and love?
'No, that on which there is this doubt, O Death, tell us what there is in that great hereafter. Nachiketas does not choose another boon but that which enters into the hidden world.'

From The Wisdom of India and China, edited by Lin Yutang (this may be it). I'm pretty sure the copyright has expired.

More later.

Sobriety's a bitch, but nobody cares.

Keep yourself distracted from bad habits is the main key.

Friday, February 20, 2004

It's probably ill-advised

but let me indulge in the fine [boozer] tradition of making excuses.

I am unhappy with my inability to control, unaided, my consumption of alcohol. That wouldn't be a problem if my judgment were not impaired under the influence. My bottom was no where near as low as those of others I've heard about [Now, no jokes about my scant 32" inseam on a six foot man.]

I see nothing on these pages that I disagree with that I know was written while I was imbibing. (I did make kind of a dumb comment on Arnold Kling's Econlog, early one morning. Find it yourself, if you care that much.) I believe, in other words, that I am not apt to discover anything wrong with these views without discussing them with rational, reasonable people. The true dialectic is personal conversation.

I admit my problem here for several reasons: 1. accountability, although that is a crushing burden that addicts can seldom bear; it's "one day at a time," and, if I can't handle that, one hour at a time or five minutes at a time. Procrastination and laziness are actually useful tools for combatting addiction. And I'm not sober for you. 2. Maybe I can help somebody else. My story is more powerful at meetings, where the setting is pretty personal. Come to AA if you've got an addiction problem. You wouldn't believe how warm, caring and understanding people can be, without smothering you. They know just what you're going through. Somebody there is now, or has been, right where you are. The key is to listen. Be humble before (my favorite phrase) "The Laws of Nature and Nature's God."

Drunks are experimenters. We deny the validity of the old laws and try to create a new theory. When we know we've failed, we go to AA. As long as we haven't already breathed our last. You hit bottom when you see nothing but a long slide into a black abyss on the other side of that next drink. No matter where you are on the slippery slope.

I had a third point, but it's late and I'm tired.

Nighty night.

Oops. I goofed up the link to Amanda.

That's better.

Here's the definition

of Liminality:n. 1. (Anthropology) that temporary state during a rite of passage when the participant lacks social status or rank, is required to follow specified forms of conduct, and is expected to show obedience and humility.

Maybe I should join the Limitarian Party.

Lim`i`ta´ri`an Pronunciation: lĭm`ĭ`tā´rĭ`an
a. 1. Tending to limit.

Courtesy of The Free Dictionary.

Free the Dictionaries!

I just learned a new word.

Liminality. describes it as coming from "the Latin word 'limen,' which means 'threshold.' It was used by Arnold Van Gennep (1908) in his treatise on rithes of passage to describe that place in between one social state and the next (for example, being single and being married)."

I was looking for something altogether different naturally. But it's an interesting article.

Cause and Effect

Such an action will bring this kind of reaction. Alert

February 19, 2004
Late evening breaking story...

KABA Writer Investigated for Questioning Civil Authority

Police say Investigation "Ongoing"

"Did you know that writing a rhetorical letter to the civil
authorities in California challenging their hypocrisy results
in a police investigation that includes not only calls from
detectives but two black and white police cruisers coming
to your home?"

"That's what happened to longtime gun rights activist and
professional writer David Codrea this week. ...

Codrea! I doubt these words are new to you:

"THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but "to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God."

Thursday, February 19, 2004

They told me Catholics were going to Hell...

John Burzynski's message sounds just like a lot of sermons I grew up hearing from the various fundamentalist churches I went to. I say that as a compliment to all concerned.

I sent John a letter the other day, I hope it's all right to print it:
Hey, John,

I'm actually a Libertarian (just got my card in the mail). You can see my views--if you read back a ways, my blog is more like my notes on life while I try to figure out how to organize something I'd like to try to publish (an admission that 'I got nothin'!')--at

By the way, I have encouraged my 50 readers to check your blog out. I'm open minded to good thinking wherever it comes from; my views are likely to change soon. I'm becoming more convinced of the efficacy of praying to Jesus. It does seem that The Lord blesses those whom I bless.


Al Erkkila
Of course, Ayn Rand would oppose that take with the Benevolent Universe Premise: life's not as nasty as those with a complicated pack of contradictions to sell would like you to believe. As long as you don't consider work to be beneath you.

The Lord told me

To cast my net on the other side of the boat. I seem to be a heretic on every subject. What was that Bible site Amanda was talking about? Here it is, Bible I actually own most of these. The keyword search isn't helping me much. Where's my &^(%&^&% (excuse me) concordance. Ah, John 21:6.

3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

Or, as Steven Covey would say, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten."

update: added link for Covey.

Hey! I noticed earlier that

The Catholic Packer Fan blogrolled me. Hey! How come he gets 'w's in his url and I don't?! Huh? What's up with that?

No, actually I haven't been drinking.

In fact, I went to a meeting tonight. First time since late October. I wasn't succeeding alone. To put it mildly. I was back to my old tricks. I hear that the last thing you want to do is get a drunk's mind racing.

The Holy Spirit is at those meetings.

Did I tell you all that drinking and websurfing don't mix. You make contact with some unsavory characters. I don't think I want to explain further in public.


Made this point last week. (Sorry, I'm just getting around to reading that stuff. I'm playing a perennial game of Ketchup. You know "catch up". I just discovered HAC (see links) about that time and I wanted to see what she had to say about everything.)

I personally think the government should get out of marriage altogether. But I do agree that, in this case, one of the other three branches of government (the administrative branch, the legislative branch or The People) ought to act to protect their role in the making of their constitution.

These people want increased

spending, regulation and centralized control, i. e. bigger government. They're complaining about reductions in the increases. I haven't looked into the EPA report issue very deeply, but I bet all these accusations are verifiable. I am commencing my study now. Yes, I have prejudices. So do you.

Some discussion on

privatizing space missions. More or less.

Larry Elder bats cleanup for Tom Sowell.

(Walter Williams is the leadoff hitter.) has two great articles today, one by each of the gentlemen in the title. Sowell explains the ineradicable, amoral nature of inequality (it's not immoral, nor is it eradicable). Elder refutes the Left's take on the War on Terror.

Elder's not up at Capitalism Magazine yet, but you can find many other writers platooning in the number two spot there. Today, it's John Ridpath.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Ron says he can't handle links.

My control panel has a little button with a world icon on it.
Highlight the word you want to turn into a hyperlink
then click that button.
I usually open a second window,
go to the website I want to link,
click once in the address thingy so the URL is highlighted,
right click,
select copy,
go back to Blogger and
paste that address in the little window that popped up when you clicked the world button.

Starsplash, my brother,

said the other day that Ted Kazinski's problem was that he was in too much of a hurry to wait for persuasion to work. I have said that Government is the Institutionalization of Impatience. Government is Force. A great quote, which has been, so I hear, falsely attributed to George Washington, says "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."

I don't fault Kazinski for thinking he could act like the government. I fault him for resorting to government-like behavior before trying persuasion. But then again, his views are de rigueur at our universities and government schools.

He is, and they are, wrong.

Have you read Walter Williams today?

Economics in a nutshell, cheap at

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

If I were a Democrat

I'd rebel against being told what to do by the media. They've already anointed John Kerry as winner in Wisconsin and the polls just opened. Joe Gandelman has some comments about disarray in the Dean camp.

I'm afraid I was raised with a touch of libertinism.

One must always make sure of the voluntary nature of one's partners, even when it seems obvious that they want to do what you want them to do.

Your editor needs to stop websurfing and get to bed.

What the hell was I talkin' about. Oh, yeah! This is what I'm talkin' about! As Willy said, "My heroes have always been cowboys."

Monday, February 16, 2004

Here's a guy with an attitude problem:).

from the leader (or whatever) of

Disregarding Laws We Oppose
An Open Letter to San Francisco Civil Authority

By David Codrea

February 16, 2004

Dear Mayor Newsom (, Judge Warren ( and Acting Chief Fong (,

Mayor, I see you are authorizing city employees to perform homosexual marriages, Judge Warren, you are allowing them to proceed, and Chief Fong, you are allowing California law, as enacted by a vote of the people, to be publicly and repeatedly broken without making any arrests.

I'm not commenting on that issue, per se, so much as observing that you are all three instigating and abetting the violation of that law.

Judge Warren, you went so far as to state that you couldn't issue a restraining order to halt the marriages because, as Reuters reported, "there was not enough evidence presented showing that immediate damage would be done by allowing them."

Which leaves me with an interesting dilemma.

You see, I also belong to a group that is forced by social prejudices to keep a low profile—often times to hide my choices and practices lest I suffer disapproval and ultimately, life-threatening persecution by the state.

I am a gun owner and I live a gun owner life style.

I don't know if I was born with a tendency to be this way, or if it was an acquired disposition. All I know is, I don't see why I should be forced to change. Truth be known, I like owning guns, and am happy with who I am. I hope I suffer no repercussions by "coming out of the safe," but I just can't hide the truth any longer.

We gun owners have been living and working among you. Our kids go to school with yours. We may be your doctor, or minister, or your child's teacher. We may even work in city administration, or the courts, or on the police force. And we are sick of being abused for simply being who we are, all because of hoplophobic* prejudice and fear. We don't see any reason why we should have to put up with it any more.

Which brings me back to my dilemma and the reason I am writing you.

You have shown progressive thinking and tolerance for that which the majority condemns. So I was thinking of coming up to San Francisco and exercising my right to keep and bear arms, maybe showing up at City Hall with a state-banned AR-15 and a couple 30-round magazines, and also carrying several pistols concealed without a permit.

Yes, I know, it will be a violation of California laws, but you've shown that you're willing to disregard those when it serves your goals. And because I am a peaceable citizen, I should easily meet Judge Warren's criterion that no immediate damage would be done by allowing this.

So what do you think, if I visit your city and proudly display my lifestyle choices, can I count on your support? As a private citizen, don't I have as much right to disregard laws I find reprehensible as you public officials? Isn't that what equality is supposed to be all about, where no class of citizen enjoys privileges and immunities not extended to all?

How about it? You wouldn't have me arrested, would you?

Please let me know if I have your support.

David Codrea

* Credit and gratitude to the peerless Col. Jeff Cooper for coining this term.

And while you're checkin' out other blogs

check out the Catholic Packer Fan from Ohio. I sent him a letter today comparing Drudge to the freeway shooter. It looks like they're both getting too bold. Is Drudge is trying to get called out as a fraud? A couple weeks ago he had some tabloid article about a little girl with X-Ray vision.

I expect to learn something

from this gentleman. He has been, to me, an inspiration, a scourge, an idol, an embarrassment and a role model. He's been teaching me things of all kinds since I was born.
He's my older brother.

But maybe it's a secret. I'm just awful with secrets.

The Mises Blog talks about the Grangers today.

Well, actually yesterday.

There was definitely a problem, but the politicians shanghaied the revolution. The problem was that the government gave monopolies to the railroads and eminent domained anybody who got in their way. They did the same for Rockefeller's pipelines. That's not mentioned in this article. Nope. It's that awful "unbridled Capitalism".

Munn v. Illinois is the first case that found in favor of the Grangers. I don't see much citing of the Constitution in The Opinion of the Court. Section 9 at least takes a Federalist position, that states are allowed to do many things the Federal Government may not.

JUSTICE STEPHEN FIELD's dissent in Munn v. Illinois

The declaration of the Constitution of 1870, that private buildings used for private purposes shall be deemed public institutions, does not make them so. The receipt and storage of grain in a building erected by private means for that purpose does not constitute the building a public warehouse. There is no magic in the language, though used by a constitutional convention, which can change a private business into a public one, or alter the character of the building in which the business is transacted. A tailor's or a shoemaker's shop would still retain its private character, even though the assembled wisdom of the State should declare, by organic act or legislative ordinance, that such a place was a public workshop, and that the workmen were public tailors or public shoemakers. One might as well attempt to change the nature of colors, by giving them a new designation. The defendants were no more public warehousemen, as justly observed by counsel, than the merchant who sells his merchandise to the public is a public merchant, or the blacksmith who shoes horses for the public is a public blacksmith; and it was a strange notion that by calling them so they would be brought under legislative control.

The Law, by Frederic Bastiat

I'm partial to this section: The Desire to Rule Over Others.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Another day, another opinion.

Encarta has a good article on Natural Law. I was looking up Jeremy Bentham's comment that Natural Law is nonsense on stilts so I could explain calling him a hose monkey last night.

"To live virtuously means to live in accord with one's nature, to live according to right reason."

I buy that.

"Because passion and emotion are considered irrational movements of the soul, the wise individual seeks to eradicate the passions and consciously embrace the rational life."

That's crap. Passions need to be examined and (I got a Jackie Chan cartoon going on behind me.) subordinated to reason, not eradicated.

Hey! A quote from Cicero! From De Republica:”True law is right reason in agreement with Nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions. . . . There will not be different laws at Rome and at Athens, or different laws now and in the future, but one eternal and unchangeable law will be valid for all nations and for all times.”

Wonder when that's gonna happen. The article goes on to blame Nazism on Bentham. Good boy!

I have yet to meet the person with whom I agree 100 %.

I have to come clean here folks. I've let it go on this long so as not to embarrass Joe Bendelman (Oops! Sorry, Joe! That's "Gandelman") .or the guy from The Insight. I care about them and their credibility, and I want them to succeed in their endeavors. The joke has gone on long enough. The fact is, I'm hardly a Buddhist. I'm a Lutheran.
I am conflicted about the teachings of Ayn Rand as against those of Jesus, but for life in this world I think Ayn Rand was closer to right. However, unlike Rand, I don't see Jesus as a complete fool. I wouldn't be a Lutheran if I did. My only, and I emphasize only, problem with Jesus, is his apparent (according to the preachers I've heard) lack of emphasis on economic matters. St. Paul's teachings outright contradict the teachings of the great economists, as do some of the books of the Apocrypha. Bastiat provides something like a compromise. As does Lord Acton. That is why I endorse them. Bastiat's book is 76 pages long. The Law is, that is.
After reading everything Rand had to say (published as of 1997, there's more now) I was ready to write my own book. Then I read Bastiat's The Law and discovered that it had already been written. Anybody who has read The Law will recognize hubris in that statement, unless I qualify it with the addendum: better than I could imagine. Only Henry Hazlitt has managed to improve on Bastiat. I've recommended Sowell without reservation; Hazlitt and Bastiat also belong in that crowd.
Natural Law is to me a more inspiring concept than anything any preacher ever espoused. The clearest expositions of it I've found have been the the Declaration of Independence and the teachings of the Acton Institute and Ayn Rand. And Murray Rothbard.
Just so we're clear on this, I think Bentham is a hose monkey.

All that aside, I wish to strongly encourage anyone to cling to a belief-system, or religion, that promotes peaceful exchange, honest dealing, helpful cooperation and the pursuit of personal excellence.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

With President's day coming up

I think it's appropriate to direct you to this (pdf sorry) article on Washington.

Now, frankly, I wouldn't have thought of it without the help of Ed Hudgins of the Objectivist Center.

Think about this:

"Washington exemplified the spirit of early America. He was in his heart and for
most of his life a farmer and an innovator who developed new crops and
agricultural techniques. He valued the production of wealth as a worthy goal in
life. But he also understood that the freedom to produce often must be fought

Bringing up Stirner is one way I express my irritation.

(Stirner comment/quote here)

No, I get irritated when people talk about Morality as if it were understood that we all mean the same thing by it. Stirnerites believe in expediency not morality. It's almost impossible to discuss it with them. Expediency is "what works". I would say civil society is built on that now, but everything is just so jumbled up, it's hard to tell. Society is like geology: strata, intrusions, volcanos, rotten shit (I mean that literally)... you get the picture. Thomas Sowell has written three good books on the subject. Society grows on the fertilizer.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Well, I got the sitemeter to show.

Now I gotta figure out how to move it. For anybody who's wondering, I've been jacking around with this stuff for a while. When I had a spare moment. It's not that hard, I just don't have that much free time.

Supposedly there's a Sitemeter here somewhere.

Maybe it'll show up after I publish this. Hm.

Wow! That'll make it easier even

for me to shoot my mouth off!

Hopefully, I've just enabled commenting

by HaloScan.

I was just over reading Blogheckler

who was saying that you can stay on the Fresh list by hitting "republish" over and over. I was doing that yesterday in an effort to adjust my link list to get rid of the blank spaces. I don't imagine it hurts anything for them to be there, but I wish they were consistent.
That's a little embarassing. It's kinda like going to the bathroom and discovering the curtains are open.

Blogheckler has specifically set up shop to harass Amanda Doerty of Hot Abercrombie Chick. She seems to be ignoring him. I would.

I said the other day that she discusses Libertarian issues. It's primarily a harcore philosophy blog. In the comments section on her Solipsism post she was arguing with a Deconstructionist about The Cogito of Descarte. He did a good job demonstrating solipsism.
Language is only part of life and reality folks. Rocks, trees and bricks are what they are with no help from us and our grammar.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

There are two things I'd like to do before the day is out:

Add Lileks to my links and introduce poor, innocent, new visitors, should I have any, to the Philosophy of Max Stirner. Lileks is not an adherent of Stirnerian Egoism, I'm sure.

Here's a good 'graph, from the Stanford site:

"It is also a mistake to think of Stirner as advocating a normative proposition about the value of self-interested action. Stirnerian egoism needs to be distinguished from the individual pursuit of narrow self-interest as it is conventionally understood. In The Ego and Its Own, Stirner discusses the important example of an avaricious individual who sacrifices everything in pursuit of material riches. Such an individual is clearly self-interested (he acts only to enrich himself) but it is an egoism which Stirner rejects as one-sided and narrow. Stirner's reason for rejecting this form of egoism is instructive. He suggests that the avaricious man has become enslaved to a single end, and such enslavement is incompatible with egoism properly understood."
"The popular but inaccurate description of Stirner as a ‘nihilist’ is encouraged by his explicit rejection of morality. Morality, on Stirner's account, involves the positing of obligations to behave in certain fixed ways. As a result, he rejects morality as incompatible with egoism properly understood. However, this rejection of morality is not grounded in the rejection of values as such, but in the affirmation of what might be called non-moral goods. That is, Stirner allows that there are actions and desires which, although not moral in his sense (because they do not involve obligations to others), are nonetheless to be assessed positively."

I'm annoyed by anti-gunners

Take a look at this.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

It's not just the template, is it?

This guy knows some things about blogging, not to mention life, that I don't.

I checked him out because of the great name: On Fecklessness.

I keep trying to follow the thread of my own thoughts when

Blogger throws these things in our (collective?) face (What would a collective face look like? I think I saw that on the old Outer Limits).

I've got a Laugh In DVD running behind me. A Christmas present. And yes, I think it's funny. But distracting. If I manage to say anything cogent, drop me "a line".

My brother sent me an e-mail: Dear Al

I'm gettin used to my blogger site. Check it out. My address is starsplash.


If you don't like what I'm up to, just ream me a new one. I'm tough. You made me that way.

My Blog is in love with this gals blog

Hot Abercrombie Chick.
She wants it to sound dirty.

But it's really serious discussion of our, we libertarians', favorite issues.

It's important to read her explanation of her blogname,

"But really, why can't a person identify herself both as a "hot Abercrombie chick" and at the same time as a thinking, intelligent person? Maybe I help to dissolve the blonde-preppy-girl stereotype somewhat, and maybe not. But in either case, I am the same person, and I can continue to be amused people's reactions."

But don't let her kid ya. It's apt. She's got pictures.

Following the InstaPundit around like a puppydog

A bit of a refutation of those who think we're shorting Science.


I fully intended to link this! I think I got it from The Moderate Voice, but here's InstaPundit's link.

Here's another one, also thanks to InstaPundit, a defense of Bush by a fellow Guard pilot in the same unit. It jibes with the timelines I posted.

My only question is, why can't Bush say these things?

I'm afraid this is too true

Yet not so true as to signal an impending catastrophe. From IndyMedia:

"We are now entering the age of Empire once again, the age of not just any typical empire, not a Roman imperial project as the Romans themselves benefited by Rome. No, this American-led (militarily) but Western (Northern/Western) commercial empire, and all empires are commercial, is a corporate empire. Corporatism is its fundamental ideology, not religion, not nationalism (though nationalistic rhetoric must be used on the ignorant masses that know little of such things), but a new secular religion with mammon as its god, free markets (read managed competition between only the largest monopoly enterprises) and democracy as its shill, its cover, its myth. Freedom for the Iraqi people, while freedom slips away in America, in Great Britain, in every nation on earth?"

I doubt the power of these Monopoly enterprises, except possibly for the banks which directly benefit as the first recipients increases in the money supply. These organizations turn over and so do the people in them. It's true that corporatists use the language of free markets as cover, as well as using public-private partnerships, managed care, and a phony form of privatization to cover up sweetheart deals for cronies. By which I mean illicit cooperation between politicians and/or bureaucrats which squelches the competitors of a favored business, thereby creating either an open or de facto monopoly.
But we are not yet at the stage of Soviet Russia, Communist China or Baathist Iraq.
We're not even at the stage of present day Europe, and it's Big Labor squelching their economies. Or economy, as it were.

Mammon isn't so much a threat unless you include powerlust in its definition. A great many people in the world today make their living by providing products and services for the comfort of others, beyond food, clothing and shelter. Comforts were provided for poorly in the controlled economies, and the masses lived very poorly and sometimes died.

A message from Ron Paul's Liberty Committee

February 10, 2004

Should the U.S. Constitution be amended to allow for the
appointment (not election) of members of the U.S. House
of Representatives? If your answer is "no" then you
need to take action today.

To get more information and to take action, go to .

Kent Snyder
The Liberty Committee

Pop-up protection?

I use my middle finger...

to right-click on my mouse on the toolbar button. Once you do that, it's a piece of cake.

No doubt she said and did many things I disagree with

but Shirley Chisholm was a great woman.

What brought that up? I was reading the Moderate Voice and felt like saying something moderate. Well, moderately moderate. Maybe a little effusive. Too much, you think?

Anything I want to say,

Thomas Sowell said it first and better. If he didn't, Walter Williams did.

Sowell quotes Winston Churchill, "[W]e must banish revenge against an entire race from our minds."

I want to be more like Williams and Sowell.

Anybody familiar with Mylene Farmer?

Absolutely beautiful music, haunting melodies, astounding voice.

In 1991, my wife, who is a French Teacher, off-and-on, went to France and brought home a tape of hers. Since my wife has left me to my own devices as far as learning French goes, I thought I'd take that tape and try to understand the lyrics.


I didn't know such a genre as Splatter Pop existed. Splatter as in splatter movie, like Friday the 13th or Jason vs. Freddie or whatever that's called.

Oh, well

Lileks quote of the day:

Little kids are lucky, if all goes well - they have no idea how much you love them. It might scare them if they knew.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Before I toddle off to bed

I gotta tell ya that Joe Gandelman did, indeed, choose my blog as his site of the day today.

Now I gotta do links for the Northfield comments.

My stepson just called from S. Carolina

and told me about a story he read in the Charleston Paper that I missed somehow. Apparently, they've found an H-bomb off the coast 100 miles from Savannah:

H-Bomb off coast: Danger or Dud?

In 1958, a damaged Air Force plane dropped a nuclear bomb into the ocean near Savannah. The bomb was never found. Now, bomb hunters from Georgia think they know where it is. They fear terrorists could find it, too.

Of The Post and Courier Staff

Northfield is a state of mind.

[Remind me to find the Northfield story to link to the previous post. I don't like to put links in the titles because they get bleeped up if they're too long.]
[Back to what I started to say.]

Kinda like Shay's Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion. I saw some dude criticizing L. Neil Smith for his position supporting the anti-Federalists rhetorically asking, "hasn't he ever heard of Shay's Rebellion?" Shay's Rebellion was indeed a crisis, but the Hamiltonian solution we ended up with was an over-reaction, I believe Smith would say. The delegates were sent to what became the Constitutional Convention to amend the Articles of Confederation, not to completely revamp the arrangement.

It's a funny thing, when you look at it, that all these rebellions, including the Granger Movement, and even the James Gang were reactions to unfair actions of governments; either unfair taxation or unfair grants of monopolies (it is still a controversial matter how to do either of those things fairly; along with subsidies, regulations and protective tariffs).

I haven't prepared an outline for a major Den Beste-style essay, here, although the subject deserves it. Murray Rothbard covers all this, I believe, in Conceived in Liberty. So I hear anyway. I can't afford that set of books yet.

Without further study, my comments at this time would be that:

1. Shays Rebellion was resolved before the Constitutional Convention. The Confederation handled it, though

2. the monied interests didn't learn their lesson as evidenced by the Whiskey Rebellion. It was pretty much the same crap even under the Constitution.

3. Leftist analysis often does a good job of identifying the problems and some of the underlying causes, though they never quite get to the root cause (our governments are made up of fallible human beings whose powers must be limited to keep any of us from causing too much harm; no System will ever overcome the simple human fact that wise people die and ignorant people are born).

Here's a Libertarian solution

Kudos to a fella from the state that gave us Jesse James, from the state that gave Jesse Northfield. We'll give you that for a nickname: James (Northfield) Butler.

Thank God it wasn't worse and the right guy got it. Or bought it or whatever.

Here's something people should read:

A good time-line of the Vietnam War. Compare to this timeline of the President's service.

This serves as a sort of follow-up to my previous post on the subject, but as I said then... Well, Mr. Bush appears to have had character problems back then. I wonder what Bush would say, and would have said then, about Nixon's war policy.

Lileks, paraphrasing Nixon,

says, "We're all Valentines now."

If you don't read The Back Fence, start now. But keep in mind: if you do, you will be his.

Monday, February 09, 2004

I like to comment on the interesting twists

the Internet takes. My home page is; on Arnold Kling's EconLog he has a nice comments section, unlike me--I'm too G.D. cheap, and one of the commenters used his Amazon page as his home page. Dave Thomson, who is no relation to my favorite radio talk show host, but apparently is my kind of libertarian. I wonder if I can link my page at Amazon.

Here's a quick quote from his review of John Stossel's Give Me a Break: "Is Osama bin Ladin an inadvertent beneficiary of our misguided drug war? The author contends that this is indeed the case. My only complaint is that Stossel didn't devote more attention to this most important theme. I personally believe that the war on terrorism is being severely compromised by the anti-drug coalition."

As a student of Ayn Rand and E.G. Ross, believe that one of the positive things I can do is find heroes. John Stossel is a libertarian St. George battling the Leviathan of big Government and abusers of power throughout the land. Although, I must admit that Dave Thomson sets a more reasonable standard for me, with 210 book reviews on Amazon.

Working... Here's a bit on F. A. Hayek from my old homepage.

Working... Here's my list of Amazon reviews. They all need some editing. They were all written during my heaviest drinking days. Unfortunately I need to change a diaper right now.

The Moderate Voice's

Joe Gandelman directed me to this document at CalPundit which speaks poorly to President Bush's account of his service record.

A defense is that the war was pretty much over and the Reserves weren't punishing anybody for taking off, but it's not much of a defense. Compassionate conservatism maybe.

Why are my links double-spacing all of a sudden?

What makes me tolerant

is not that I overlook other people's sins, it's that I see their virtues. And I remember my own sins.

What makes me a Libertarian is that I don't believe that people should have part or all of their lives taken away for mistakes that didn't result in the destruction of part or all of someone else's life.

We used to have a frontier, where people could go to start over when they had screwed up their lives completely. Restorative justice, as Dr. Mary Ruwart advocates, in which victimizers restore the damage they've done to victims and not this bogus victims-forgiving-victimizers crap (I believe in forgiveness, but not for criminals who have not demonstrated repentence by their actions), is the only solution in a more crowded world, with no escape hatch.

Here is an attitude of mine that I wish were more generally shared:

My hatred is a shallow fleeting thing. I can't hold on to anger, envy or jealousy. I can do pride and gluttony pretty well, and I've managed to disgust people with those traits, as with drunkeness and lust. Is that all the Seven Deadly Sins? (I was a bit afraid to click on that link myself.) Oh, I'm way too slothful to be greedy.

My advice? Procrastinate in sinning.

Slight Correction

Miyamoto Musashi claims to have learned all he knew by practice and reflection. Sounds like Zen to me, or at least the Taoist aspect of Zen, yet he claims to have had no instructors, so I suppose that whatever Zen he absorbed was from the cultural milieu of the Samurai in Medieval Japan. There is that wonderful emphasis on the pursuit of excellence I so admire.

Anybody got any problems with this set of principles (from the Ground Book, linked above)?

Do not think dishonestly.
The Way is in training.
Become aquainted with every art.
Know the Ways of all professions.
Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
Develop intuitive judgement and understanding for everything.
Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
Pay attention even to trifles.
Do nothing which is of no use.

My Buddhist fans will be wondering

"What the hell? The-Insight said this guy had something to offer Buddhists."

Well, in a way, everybody has something to offer Buddhists. Not that Buddhism is devoid of content (although, as I understand it, Nirvana is). I've got something for you all at home. Be patient. I'll get it up here soon.

My favorite Zen saying is, "When hungry, eat. When tired, sleep."

I believe it was Miyamoto Musashi, who found a truly unique way to apply the teachings of Zen, who put this image in my head: a small child, holding his father's finger, upon seeing a flower doesn't think, "I must now release Father's finger in order to grasp this pretty thing." The child simply does it.
This insight is useful in life when it is time to move on.

I apologize for the prolixity of the previous post.

Message from Life #1:

For every hour that you hold a baby on your chest, you add a year to your life.

I'm absolutely convinced. Of course, you have to be committed to whatever your role is in successfully rearing said baby to adulthood. I would suggest that any attempt at a shortcut would work about as well as taking up smoking, drinking and womanizing.
Sadism doesn't work like love.
Sorry about the downer. When I love somebody, I kind of go nuts about their security.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Maybe I'm speaking out of school

but Joe Gandelman, of The Moderate Voice has suggested that he may mention me as his Blog of the Day someday soon. (Of course, by blurting it out in this childish way I've probably - forgive the expression - queered the deal.) Let me just say, Gandelman has a great blog, and is absolutely even-handed with his slaps at the two major parties. I obliquely suggested that the Libertarian Party wasn't entirely free of foibles worthy of a biting remark or two as well. [Ooh! That needs commas or something.] And they could use the pub. Some of their - all right our (even though I ordinarily disavow collective responsibility, I did, indeed, join this team voluntarily) publicity stunts are pretty unsatirizable [if I don't know how to spell it, spellchecker is no help], the publicity itself constitutes sufficient ridicule. Madison and Jefferson would weep.

I believe I've already indicated my blog of the day: Keith Burgess-Jackson's (and I cursed my parents for my last name!) The AnalPhilosopher. My knees get weak when I think that he and I could be said to be engaged in similar activities.

If there are any Libertarians in South Florida

these people could use a good political philosophy.

"In downtown Miami on Saturday, about 100 Haitians rallied in support of Aristide's ouster, waving Haitian flags and chanting "Aristide must go!" Advocacy groups estimate about 300,000 Haitians live in South Florida."

Notes on an article

by Keith Burgess-Jackson. Lest you get the wrong impression, KBJ is a conservative, and my points take off from his and travel in the same general direction.

"To a conservative, humans are imperfectible. They are corrupt by nature, always prone to doing evil, and in standing need of oversight and correction. (You don't have to be religious to believe this, although it helps.)"

It's funny that Marxists, and any other believers in dialectical reasoning, never consider that we engage in dialectic every day with everyone we know, and that this by itself might constitute the great social corrective we're all seeking.

"One engine of correction is the state, which is why conservatives are not anarchists. Another engine is tradition, which, to a conservative, is simply accumulated wisdom, the very embodiment of reason. Yet another is religion."

Like Federalism--powers are divided. We Libertarians wonder why we can't just keep on dividing them down to the individual level. Individualize sovereignty!

"Conservatives, who oppose many liberal causes, are benighted, whereas liberals are enlightened. Conservatives are not just wrong; they are willfully and perversely wrong. They are intransigent. They are bigoted, prejudiced, superstitious, and vile."

It's funny that the most intentionally intransigent, willfully and perversely ignorant people in our society, inner-city gangsters, are the darlings of the left. Of course, conservatives refuse to accept their proper status as victims of the power structure.

Oop! The baby's calling.

All right! That's it!

The AnalPhilosopher is getting a link on my blog!

Acton sent me their magazine

Religion and Liberty as a premium for donating. Professor Russell Hittinger is interviewed on the subject of Natural Law in the present issue. I was particularly impressed with this quote:

"...I am very inclined to look for the good sense in our western habits and institutions. I view even the most adamant secularist positions as part of our common culture. A Christian can take a more inclusive view of the quest for truth. Christ is our redeemer by the cross, but he is also the second Adam, and hence the consummator of human history."
..... .....
“Property, not conscience, is the basis of liberty. For the defence of conscience need not arise. Property is always exposed to interference. It is the constant object of policy.”
Lord Acton

A quote from Frederic Bastiat:

courtesy of The Acton Institute (even though I own and have read his complete works, I'm just contriving to make sure The Acton Institute gets mentioned):

"When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law."

I am one who believes that Morality and Religion

are separate matters but here's a different take: the United Deist Community. I've read Thomas Paine and Ethan Allen, so I have some tendency to respect their views.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

This guy here

may be what I'm looking for. A philosophy prof giving it away for free.

Check out this article.
It's an analysis of the illogic of Bush's critics.

This paragraph is a great synopsis of the article:

"One thing - maybe the most important thing - young philosophers learn is charity. Before criticizing an argument, make it the best it can be. This is the fundamental fairness of the philosophical method. It is what turned many of us away from law, where fallacy, sadly, is rewarded. The philosopher cares deeply about process (the relation between premises and conclusion) and only incidentally, if at all, about the result. Too often in the debate about war in Iraq I have seen not just failure to put the best face on an argument but a seeming insistence on putting the worst face on it. This principle of charity in interpretation is nothing more than an application of the Golden Rule, to wit: If you would not like your own argument reconstructed badly - the easier for the critic to dispose of it - do not do so to the arguments of others. Be fair. Be charitable. Be honest. Do not contribute to the degradation of public discourse. "

Joe Soucheray

links to this picture as the greatest sports picture ever. He doesn't need any help from me, but here's a great bit of philosophy from the article:

"Clearly, they'd been to war against each other. And now it was over and everything was OK. There it was - self-respect, mutual respect, respect for the game - hard evidence of an ideology in the snap of a camera. One man's team had lost, but it was a picture of two winners."

Friday, February 06, 2004

Sorry, I had to get out and work on my self-esteem.

Purely an individual matter, I assure you.

What did I do? I walked down the stairs, out the door around the freeway side of the complex to a blocked-off street that doesn't get plowed, about a third of a mile through almost knee-deep snow, back on the street for almost a mile, looped around a small lake and back the way I came. I ran up the stairs two at a time. All the snow shovelling has apparently got me into shape.

I had a lot of aches and pains when I started. When I got back, they were gone and my legs were pumped.

By-the-way: this guy's worth reading. "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week", By George Mannes, Senior Writer.

Collective effort is useful

to accomplish specific tasks. But it isn't a good idea to conscript everybody to stop what they're doing and start doing any one other thing.

More later. I need to get out for a walk.

I am enjoying the articles

on this site: The American Enterprise. I particularly liked The Fatal Conceit Always Fails which illustrates the economically proven principle that Central Control doesn't work as well as individual freedom.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Note to AM1280

Rush Limbaugh was right about Live and Local. Local local local is the foundation of a great radio station.


I just checked the schedule and it looks like Tax Payers League Live is on from 9:00 to 11:00 now! So I don't have to wallow in self-pity when I get up at my normal time on Saturday! Yeah!

People, I want it understood

That I love Dave Thompson. And my favorite TV station KSTP has put him in direct competition with my second favorite radio station The Patriot. Although am1280 has nothing up against Dave directly. Their best live-local show is Tax Payers' League Live with David Strom. I want I recorded somewhere that I love that show! But I can never get up early enough to listen to it. That means "Get Strom better hours!!!"

The funny thing is, KSTP TV has both of these guys debating on alternate weeks on a show called At Issue with (multiple Emmy Award Winner) Tom Hauser. It's a great show. You should watch it.

Let's see if this works.

Soma Juice.


While trying to get my Soma Juice link to work

I ran across this entry from my archives:

A little William Graham Sumner for ya.
link courtesy of

Society, therefore, does not need any care or supervision. If we can acquire a science of society, based on observation of phenomena and study of forces, we may hope to gain some ground slowly toward the elimination of old errors and the re-establishment of a sound and natural social order. Whatever we gain that way will be by growth, never in the world by any reconstruction of society on the plan of some enthusiastic social architect. The latter is only repeating the old error over again, and postponing all our chances of real improvement. Society needs first of all to be freed from these meddlers-that is, to be let alone. Here we are, then, once more back at the old doctrine-laissez faire. Let us translate it into blunt English, and it will read, Mind your own business. It is nothing but the doctrine of liberty....

And don't forget this explication of Natural Law:

Almost all legislative effort to prevent vice is really protective of vice, because all such legislation saves the vicious man from the penalty of his vice. Nature's remedies against vice are terrible. She removes the victims without pity. A drunkard in the gutter is just where he ought to be, according, to the fitness and tendency of things. Nature has set up on him the process of decline and dissolution by which she removes things which have survived their usefulness. Gambling and other less mentionable vices carry their own penalties with them.

To go along with my previous comment

about the Drug War, here's an economic analysis of the matter.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Sorry, been kinda busy.

I've spent my computer time answering emails from my family. We're rather widely dispersed.

I just gave a guy permission to link to my site under Religion/Buddhism. I find that hard to believe. When I find out how he plans to use my blog here, I'll link back. I do assume it's not nefarious; I've been known to indicate that I've studied Eastern Religions a bit on the side, as in my mention of [can I link my archives? I think I can, I think I can... Yes! ] Satori experiences and posting of the complete Soma Juice poem. And this. They do, indeed, grow on you.

I had to read quite a bit of my archives to find these things, and I find that I like myself better now, than I did when I started. My notion of myself had grown cynical.