Wednesday, March 31, 2004

*My brother and I were both members

of the Superior Senior High School Spartan Football and Track Teams.

Ron was also an excellent swimmer (a specialist in the Butterfly--if you don't know how awesome that is, have somebody teach you that stroke) and I was a pretty good weightlifter for our school.

Anyway, that may explain why we both have a tendency to say nice things about the Spartans. Actually, I haven't yet, online, but I must say that they were the greatest warriors the world has ever seen. And pure examples of both the positives and the negatives of the warrior class. For the inventor of the time machine, the most interesting study that could be done would be to pit various numbers of Spartans, Kshatriyas and Samurai against each other.

Speaking of frontrunning bandwagon jumpers:

The Gophers' Lady Hoopers are kickin' some A!

The seventh-seeded Golden Gophers got 27 points from Whalen and 20 points and 18 rebounds from Janel McCarville to oust the top-seeded Blue Devils 82-75 in the Mideast Regional final Tuesday night.

Maybe I'm a Libertarian because I can't swear allegiance to one particular college team. UW-Superior is my hometown team. I'm a UM-Duluth alum and I live in the Twin Cities Metro area, so I'm swimming in info about the U of MN and the Minnesota pro teams. Hell, I can't even hate the Vikings anymore. If I really dig down deep, I find myself loving to see old clips of Fran Tarkenten doing his miraculous scrambles. I hated that bastard when he was playing, but he was an absolute wizard, and I love to see that son-of-a-bitch scoring 18 points in 5 minutes now.

Acton on the EU's Microsoft verdict:

Letter from Turin: The EU’s Immoral Case Against Microsoft

by Alberto Mingardi

Last week, European Union commissioner Mario Monti inflicted a € 497 million fine on Microsoft -- the highest fine in the history of European antitrust regulation. The case against Microsoft was waged, in Europe as it was in the United States, by its competitors. What these companies don’t want is for Microsoft to “prevent” them from succeeding in the European market. What competitors really fear is Microsoft’s ability to satisfy consumers better than they do, at a cheaper price.

I have said that it wouldn't bother me

if 100% of government functions were privatized. Actually, I believe that something very much like government will always exist. In its ideal form government is just another voluntary association. The trouble with governments as they have always been constituted is that they essentially conscript all newborns as new members as though they qualified as conscious volunteers, even when the original members were all volunteers. That is the argument against Social Contract theory.

OK, I buy that babies, children and adolescents aren't qualified to decide which country to be a citizen of [Hey! Chaucer ended sentences and clauses with prepositions too! If that's a crime, slap the cuffs on me!], but it seems to me that there ought to be a low transaction-cost way to renounce your citizenship when you reach the age of majority, be that 18, 21 or 30 (as it was for the Spartans*). A free country ought to provide that. The cost to remain a citizen should be free, I suppose, to encourage people to stay. Indeed, included in the renunciation would be the right to remain (on good behavior) as a resident alien.

One thing that would make the transaction costs low would be a major change in our thinking about taxes. Income taxes are both excessive and intrusive. We need to switch to corporate taxes and user fees. The National Sales Tax? Only if it proves to be simpler, i.e. it requires fewer accountants and lawyers. [A knowledge of the law is an exceedingly useful thing in many aspects of business, this need not reduce the number of people studying law; or accounting--also universally applicable.] Our tax code doesn't need to be a Full Employment Act for accountants and lawyers.

One of the main gripes of populists lately, is that there is too much money in politics. Walter Williams nails this issue on the head today.

Breaking news! Israeli-Palestinian Peace Group Optimistic Despite Facts on the Ground

The real issue is that there are too many plum jobs to give away; in government itself, by creating monopolies in things like cable tv and railroad lines (going back a ways), by imposing tariffs (sugar), or subsidies (corn and wheat). And even semi-licit and elicit jobs by taxing tobacco farming, cigarette making, brewing and distilling and banning hallucinogens and narcotics.

There is too much power in Washington. If they didn't do it and the states did, I would in fact be saying that there was too much power in St. Paul. I think I'd quit bitchin' at the city and county level. If they all banned my guilty pleasure, well, I'd probably knuckle under to social pressure.

How's that for rambling on a hump night? Hey! The Timberwolves beat the Supersonics 90-83: Latrell Sprewell and Kevin Garnett each scored 27 points to lead the Timberwolves to a franchise-best 52nd victory Wednesday, 90-83 over the Sonics. Sprewell connected on 6-of-10 from 3-point range and Garnett added 10 rebounds and seven assists for Midwest Division-leading Minnesota, which hosts the Wizards on Friday.

Major! Scorin'! Spre!

I say I'm not a basketball fan, but I'm not completely ignorant of the game, and I enjoyed watching this one. As a complete frontrunner and bandwagon jumper, it was probably because the Wolves were leading all the way through, but the Supersonics kept it close and looked like they had it in 'em to win this low scoring game.

Toqueville: proving his genius.

I have always thought that servitude of the regular, quiet and gentle kind which I have just described might be combined more easily than is commonly believed with some of the outward forms of freedom, and that it might even establish itself under the wing of the sovereignty of the people.

-- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835]

Quote courtesy FFF. And don't miss this article about inflation: “Bad Money Drives Out Good” by Charles Adams.

God! I've had no time for blogging today.

The Mises Institute Daily Article is a chapter of Omnipotent Government, by Mises, written in 1944 about guess who. A paragraph:

"Nearly all writers dealing with the problem of anti-Semitism have tried to demonstrate that the Jews have in some way or other, through their behavior or attitudes, excited anti-Semitism. Even Jewish authors and non-Jewish opponents of anti-Semitism share this opinion; they too search for Jewish faults driving non-Jews toward anti-Semitism. But if the cause of anti-Semitism were really to be found in distinctive features of the Jews, these properties would have to be extraordinary virtues and merits which would qualify the Jews as the elite of mankind. If the Jews themselves are to blame for the fact that those whose ideal is perpetual war and bloodshed, who worship violence and are eager to destroy freedom, consider them the most dangerous opponents of their endeavors, it must be because the Jews are foremost among the champions of freedom, justice, and peaceful coöperation among nations. If the Jews have incurred the Nazis' hatred through their own conduct, it is no doubt because what was great and noble in the German nation, all the immortal achievements of Germany's past, were either accomplished by the Jews or congenial to the Jewish mind. As the parties seeking to destroy modern civilization and return to barbarism have put anti‑Semitism at the top of their programs, this civilization is apparently a creation of the Jews. Nothing more flattering could be said of an individual or of a group than that the deadly foes of civilization have well-founded reasons to persecute them."

Sound topical to you? I may believe that Israel should stand on its own without the $18B (last I heard) per year we give them (and also without the matching aid we give the Egyptians)--if God is on their side, they'll make it--but I am dead set against racism.

The only member of the

American Whig party who was worth a damn was John Tyler.

Sorry, got interrupted.

This is a better link. No time now to find somebody on my side.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Check out the Op-Eds at ARI.

Here is their position on the EU's fine of Microsoft:

Dear Editor:

Once again Microsoft is being attacked for its success. This time the perpetrator is not the U.S. government but the European Union, which is demanding that Microsoft remove Media Player from Windows and pay a fine of $600 million. This is another unjustifiable assault on Microsoft's property rights. Microsoft, like any other company, should have the right to decide what features should or should not be included in its products.

The alleged justification for the European Union's assault on Microsoft is that it "has abused its virtual monopoly power" and engaged in "unfair" competition by making its Media Player an integral part of its operating system. But there is nothing abusive or unfair in taking advantage of one's earned market share to offer customers a better deal than the competition. In fact, the only thing that is abusive and unfair in this case is the government's use of force to penalize one company in order to help its less efficient competitors.

David Holcberg
Ayn Rand Institute

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

I like this guy.

Fred on Everything. Check him out.

He's not much for political correctness, so watch yourself.

If Tom Sowell is a Conservative, I'm a Conservative.

If Pat Buchanan is a Conservative, I'm a Libertarian.

If Karl Rove and George Bush are Conservatives, I'm an Anarchist.

[Don't join the Anarchic Party!]

Whiggarchy! Isonomy! Fraternity!

If this is Conservatism, what's Libertarianism?

This year may be a decisive one for the future of the Conservative Revolution. Will conservatives be able to govern while remaining true to our principles? Can we create a federal government that is smaller and less intrusive, one that protects us from foreign foes while safeguarding our civil liberties, and promotes the rule of law while allowing the free market to prosper?

Monday, March 29, 2004

In case you didn't read Hornberger's

article (cited below), here's the punchline:

"By placing their federal god alongside their other God — the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — they have knowingly and deliberately blocked out their minds the first of God’s Ten Commandments: 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'”

Here's a good one, from my buddies at FFF.

What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.

-- Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Stephens Smith [1787]

Oh, and see this article:

The Ten Commandments Controversy
by Jacob G. Hornberger, November 2003 (Posted March 29, 2004)

Everybody know Daniel Pipes?

If you don't, you should make his acquaintance. He's got some comments on the Clarke situation. I'm understating.

Pretty good weekend.

Mostly I played with my daughters, replaced the DVD drive in my computer so the older one could play Orly, unclogged a drain, started learning to play guitar.... Lot's of domestic stuff.

I needed to take a break from the computer and let my thoughts settle a bit. Although it had more to do with the fact that Saturday I got about 5 15 minute stretches to blog, so Sunday I just said to heck with it.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

I'm losing my Australasian fans.

Gotta get me some more o' that Eastern Philosophy/Religion. Hey! On that note, don't miss this.

Surangama Sutra - Chapter One

The Many Manifestations of the Wonderful Essence-Mind, and of the Perfect Principle of the Three Excellencies within the All-Inclusive Unity of the Womb of Tathagata.


When Ananda came into the presence of the Lord Buddha, he bowed down to the ground in great humanity, blaming himself that he had not yet fully developed the potentialities of Enlightenment, because from the beginning of his previous lives, he had too much devoted himself to study and learning. He earnestly pleaded with the Lord Buddha and with all the other Tathagatas from the ten quarters of the Universe,
to support him in attaining perfect Enlightenment, that is, to support him in his practice of the Three Excellencies of Dhyana, Samadhi and Samapatti [Dhyana, meditation; Samadhi, a state of superconsciousness; Samapatti, a further state of heightened exaltation and spiritual powers.], by some of the most fundamental and expedient means.

At the same time, all of the Bodhisattvas-Mahasattva, as numerous as the sands of the river Ganges, together with all the Arhats, Pratyaka-Buddhas, from all the ten quarters, with one accord and with gladness of heart, prepared to listen to the instruction to be given to Ananda by the Lord Buddha. With one accord they paid homage to the Lord and then resuming their seats, waited in perfect quietness and patience to receive the sacred teaching.

Then the Lord Buddha spoke to Ananda, saying:--Ananda, you and I are from the same ancestral blood and we have always cherished a fraternal affection fro each other. Let me ask you a few questions and you answer me spontaneously and freely. When you first began to be interested in Buddhism what was it that impressed you in our Buddhist way of life and most influenced you to forsake all worldly pleasures and enabled you to cut asunder your youthful sexual cravings?

Ananda replied:--Oh, my Lord! The first thing that impressed me were the thirty-two marks of excellency in my Lord's personality. [See The Bible of the World, by R. O. Ballou, p. 242.] They appeared to me so fine, as tender and brilliant, and transparent as a crystal.

ARI on the Pledge of Allegiance

Dear Editor:

As the U.S. Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance recited in public schools, a deeper, more fundamental question has not even been raised: Why are young children being pressured to make a pledge they lack the knowledge to understand and the maturity to commit themselves to?

Children do not give the Pledge careful consideration and decide, daily, to pledge allegiance to their country under God with liberty and justice for all. The Pledge is a political statement and--since 1954, when "God" was added--a religious statement. The only reason children recite the Pledge is that their educators expect them to.

The purpose of education should be to teach children the knowledge and thinking skills they need to succeed in life, not to train them in parroting political and religious ideas they can't possibly grasp.

David Holcberg
Ayn Rand Institute

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

ARI on the 9/11 hearings.

Dear Editor:

As the 9/11 hearings proceed, it has become clear that both the Clinton and Bush administrations were at fault for not striking at Al-Qaeda before September 11. While leftists hypocritically blame Bush, conservatives retroactively blame Clinton. Yet both camps are repeating the mistakes of the past and still trying the diplomatic approach in dealing with terrorist states.

Today there is no doubt about the threat to America posed by Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and North Korea, among others. But almost no one is calling for an attack on any of these regimes. Hopefully, America will not wait for a more horrific version of 9/11 before striking at its avowed enemies. Hopefully, but--at this rate--not likely.

David Holcberg
Ayn Rand Institute

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

Yeah! In your face J.B!

Men's Hockey

Thomas Vanek Leads Men’s Hockey to 5-2 Triumph over Notre Dame in NCAA Regional

[March 27, 2004]

Sophomore forward Thomas Vanek scored two goals and added an assist to lead the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team to a 5-2 win over Notre Dame in the semifinal of the 2004 NCAA Midwest Regional in Grand Rapids, Minn. The top-seeded Golden Gophers (27-13-3, 5-0 in playoffs) spotted the No. 4 seed Fighting Irish (20-15-4) a 2-0 lead before scoring five unanswered goals in the second and third period to advance to tomorrow’s regional championship game. Minnesota will play the winner of Minnesota-Duluth/Michigan State tomorrow at 1 p.m., Eastern time for a bid to the 2004 Frozen Four in Boston, Mass., on April 8-10.

Actually, I'm somewhat ashamed to say that I haven't been keeping up with Gopher Hockey since they inexplicably abandoned the right-wing, anti-government education Talk Station. But I had to take the opportunity to give John B. some crap. By the way, there's something wrong with your ND athletics link.

Congrats to the defending champs. Nice time to get hot.

Ah, that's better, Ayn.

...confused centrists (including those loony libertarians). Or did I just miss that line before?

References for Scott McPherson's

article, cited below:

Mr. Erkkila:

Actually, my reference is not Murray Rothbard, it's Bernard H. Siegan, from his book Economic Liberties and the Constitution (University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1980, pg. 125). Mr. Siegan, who at the time was the Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of Law and Economic Studies at the Univ. of San Diego School of Law, got his information from the following sources:

1. Gold and Prices, by George F. Warren & Frank A. Pearson (John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1935)
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, History of Wages in the United States from Colonial Times to 1928 (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1934)
3. The Statistical History of Wages in the United States (Govt. Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1934)

Now, THAT is a prompt response. Cal Thomas should be ashamed.

In case Mr. Pt

(I like to pronounce that "P-tee") doesn't get down that way, here's a comment I posted in answer to one he made:

How'd I miss your first comment, Todd?

Occam's Razor: Don't believe overcomplicated explanations. In other words it doesn't take an unseen third party to make Reality happen.

Somebody's expecting me to refute that, aren't they? Actually, I'm in a somewhat weakened state these days and in need of outside assistance. I find that prayer helps. That by itself proves nothing about the nature of the Higher Power. It may not be at all what anyone thinks it is. It may be that the Universe is indeed benevolent, as Ayn Rand says. In AA, the group can function as the Higher Power, because they've done something the new member hasn't. They've quit drinking.

Because of LibertyBob's excessive

Iowegian chauvinism, I tried to find Minnesota's Slogan.

Good thing I'm not a native. As Jed Clampet would say, "Pitiful. Just pitiful."

Exhibit A:

1959 HF437 -- "A bill for an act relating to slogans" not passed; House journal indicates there was some discussion of the phrase "No sales tax" among other things.
1980 "Come fall in love with a loon" -- First place in contest sponsored by the Minneapolis Tribune.

Exhibit B (No more direct link, you'll have to scroll down):

Quae sursum volo videre; adopted 1849.
Not coded in statutes.

This was the intended motto for the territorial seal, chosen by Henry Sibley, meaning "I wish to see what is above" (generally construed as "I wish to see what is beyond"). As engraved, however, it became Quo sursum velo videre (unintelligible, but something like "I cover to see what is above").

L'etoile du Nord ("Star of the North"); adopted 1858/1861.

This motto also was chosen by Sibley for the state seal; was not formally approved by the legislature until 1861, when the state seal was approved (1861 Minn. Laws Chap. 43).
Makes me proud to be a Wisconsinite.


Does a good, even-handed (naturally) analysis of humor, political correctness and media coverage.

This is what it's all about!

Buddhist recruitment propaganda hits home.

Found via a very convoluted path through the blogosphere which included the Queen of Corporatism, The Commissar on blogging, Wizbang on cheap, slutty hits, and Sean Hackbarth, who says about it, Thank God I'm Lutheran.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Well, the FFFers never sleep:

Will Work for Less
by Scott McPherson
, November 2003 (Posted March 26, 2004)

"When people are left free to conduct their affairs without fear of violence, they quickly learn the value of engaging in trade, rather than plunder, to better their position in life. The material well-being of individual citizens is thereby best protected when they can seek terms of trade with whoever is offering the best deal, as no one would willingly enter into an agreement if he thought it would be injurious to his present standing.

"There is a corollary principle implied here: Free people must also be treated as capable of making their own economic decisions.

"Between 1840 and 1915, for example, with no wage laws in existence to protect workers from greedy businessmen and with millions of impoverished immigrants flooding into American cities and driving down the price of labor, the purchasing power of Americans’ wages actually tripled (even while working hours were declining), the largest increase in general prosperity ever seen in the history of the world."

Hopefully I'll hear something from Mr. McPherson, with regard to references.

I've been accused of assuming

a second online persona. Actually, for advertising purposes, I've just started to sign in to comment boards as Old Whig.

I don't have anything against the idea, but I barely have time to be myself, let alone somebody else. I admire those who can do it.

I most especially don't have time for AL coholic. (And I'm trying not to make time for alcohol.)

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I've really gone nuts on the linking today.

But here's Bush Campaign Lies.

Your turn to go nuts.

More importantly, I came here to announce that Scotty the Menace has once again graced the Blogosphere with a post.

It's about that commodity we all follow avidly: gasoline.

I'm in a quandary.

I have three blogs open in three separate windows:

The Politburo Diktat--here's a taste:

Unified Theory of Blogging

Comrade New Blogger,
So you have new blog. What do you want to do with it? What do you want to be?
Porno star? Good buddy to someone, if only yourself? Maybe you want to get real life? Or perhaps to become Bolshoi Blogger?

Thanks to Ayn Clouter for that link. She was too kind to him.

Frank J. at IMAO

Who says, "So, one of you reading this, start a fan site for me.


How can anybody resist that?

And lastly, Liberty Bob. He's maligning Chicagoans.

Which do I read first? I'm talkin' deep into their archives. I already read their latest posts.

Oh! I'm a Centrist am I?!

A Centrist, for God's sake!

Just because a guy likes everybody and wants them to be happy, doesn't mean you have to go and call him a Centrist!

Hey! Congrats to Mister Pterodactyl!

Kind of a big link on google.

Thanks for letting me enter your orbit.

ARI on the killing of that terrorist:

Dear Editor:

Israel's targeted killing of Hamas leader Sheikh Yassin was as justified as would be America's targeted killing of Osama bin Laden.

Yassin, the founder and "spiritual leader" of a terrorist organization responsible for the murder and maiming of hundreds of innocents, got what he deserved.

That heads of state from London to Paris criticized Israel's action instead of applauding it reveals, once again, their utter moral bankruptcy--and their seemingly endless willingness to appease evil.

But as logic suggests and history demonstrates, appeasing evil only emboldens it, and those who fail to learn this lesson invariably become targets of evil themselves.

David Holcberg
Ayn Rand Institute

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

A letter from Senator Coleman

I agree wholeheartedly with what he says here. Though it's sad.

March 25, 2004

Mr. Alan Erkkila
[Ya'll don't need my street address. If ya do, I'm in the book.]

Thank you very much for contacting me regarding the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (S. 1805). I appreciate your support and value your advice. On March 2, 2004, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act failed to pass the Senate by a vote of 8-90.

As you know, S. 1805 proposed to prohibit lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, dealers and importers of firearms and ammunition for the illegal use of their products by a third party. While I agree with the majority of the Senate that it is unwise to hold people liable for the illegal actions of a third party, I could not support the final version of S. 1805 due to several "poison pill" amendments that were attached to the bill in order to undermine its very purpose.

I am disappointed that we were not able to pass a clean bill, but I am hopeful that in the future we will be able to pursue legislation that remains true to the original intent of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. Please know that, as a member of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, I am a strong supporter of 2nd amendment rights and the rights of the people to protect themselves, their families and their homes from danger.

Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me. Again, I appreciate your support. If I can be of further assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

We need to revive Disfest

as an internet holiday:

Disablót The sacrifice to the Dísir - either a minor deities or a spirits. Disablót was sometimes called disfest (Feast of the Dísir) They were protectress of household and fertility spirits. The sacrifices were held some time between around the end of autumn and the beginning of winter. Every little is known about disablót.

Havin' a bit of a thunderstorm here.

Good. It'll wash all that sand and salt off the roads. Of course, that'll just be the cue for Odin and Loki to get together and send us another snowstorm.

Following Instapundit

Time's got an interesting story on Richard Clarke. The author is Romesh Ratnesar.

Here's an observation you won't get elsewhere (I wonder why not?): it'd be a terrible loss for the ladies if he's gay. Ratnesar, not Clarke.

The stock market's taken a major bump today.

What's in the wind that I'm missing?

I got a Wall Street Journal right behind me. Think they're still trading on that news?

Elation over the Microsoft fine? Schadenfreude is a mental illness. That's pronounced "shoddenfroida".

Ah! By Occam's Razor! Here it is: "Corporate profits rose 29% as the U.S. economy grew an unrevised 4.1% in the fourth quarter. Existing-home sales remained strong in February."

Sadly, you gotta pay up to find out more. Damn capitalists anyway. That's against the Spirit of the Internet.

Here's some good art.

Far too easily pleased.

All right, I got my fresh load of pig crap!

Look out pearls, here it comes.

No, actually, I just wanted to apologize to everyone who was offended at my apology. I kind of overdid it there. My comments at Hac's were mild. I don't agree with everything Phylaras says. NS, or whatever, is still incoherent.

The guy who should be offended is Mr. Pt for the inanities I posted at his blog. When will I learn that I can't be lucid after 1 AM?

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

I was wrong.

Lynn Purcell (Phylaras) seems to be saying what I'm saying. Better and with more time put in. My comments on HAC's site look rather troll-like in retrospect.

I suppose what may come between Mr. Pt. and I

is that, in the face of all the evidence he sees, I remain a Lutheran. Not to mention I continue to post the arguments of religions that aren't my own.

I will say this: May the best God win.

If your God can't win the war of words, what war can He win?

Mister Pterodactyl says

"If one person decides not to associate or do business with another based on a difference of opinion, that is not censorship. If a group of people organizes a boycott to protest the policies of an organization, it isn’t censorship. In each case the person or people are exercising their own rights, not denying someone else’s. Likewise if a person refrains from voicing strong opinions for fear of losing business opportunities, he has not been censored; he’s decided for himself that the business is more important."
I am interested to find out how Mr. Pt. and I disagree.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Old whigs pursue wisdom with passion.

(Semantic game players don't.)

Back to The Surangama Sutra
(much more tried and true wisdom than any of the polylogist crap that came out of the twentieth century)

Upon this occasion, Prasenajit the King of Sravasti in celebration of the anniversary of his father's death, prepared a special feast of choice vegetables and dainties, and came personally to call upon the Lord Buddha and to invite him and all the Great Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas to attend a reception at the royal palace. At the same time the elders and wealthy laymen of the city added to the King's celebration by preparing jointly another feast and invited all the Disciples of the Lord Buddha to attend while the Lord and the Great Disciples were with the King. The Lord Buddha, knowing all about it, bade his Great Disciple Manjusri to first lead part of the Bodhisattvas-Mahasattva and Arhats [saints] to attend the Laymen's homes and to receive their offerings.

Ananda was the only one of the Great Disciples who was noticeably absent. Owing to a previous engagement in a distant district, he had not yet returned. He was quite alone and when he reached the Meditation Hall upon his return, he found it deserted, not a single disciple about, nor were there any offerings from their patrons in sight. Then Ananda, thoughtful as ever, took his alms bowl and entered into the city begging food from house to house in regular order, his only thought being to receive the offerings from all alike even to the last danapati. It mattered nothing to Ananda whether the offering was small or generous, attractive or repulsive, whether the giver was of the Kshatriya [Warrior (second) cast] caste or the Candra [Chandala, an outcast] caste, to him the all important thing was to practice kindness and compassion on all alike with no discrimination whatever. He sought only to attain the inestimable merit of delivering all sentient beings, treating them all alike.

Ananda had heard that the Lord on one occasion Nat rebuked Subhuti and Mahakatyayana for showing discrimination towards Arahats in their practice of begging. He greatly admired the Lord's liberal mind and determined that he would not commit the same fault himself. He was proud of his good name and did not wish to give cause for people having suspicions or for slandering about himself, so he quietly crossed the dried moat that surrounded the city, entered the city-gate with solemn gravity. He was a noticeable figure in his neat attire and solemn manner as if he was on a special mission to receive some ceremonial offering.

While Ananda was begging in orderly succession, he came to the house of a prostitute name Maudenka who had a beautiful daughter named Pchiti. This young maiden was attracted by Onondaga youthful and attractive person and pleaded earnestly with her mother to conjure the young monk by the magic spell of "bramanyika." This the mother did and Ananda coming under the spell of its magic became fascinated by the charm of the young maiden and entered the house and her room.

As soon as the feast was ended, the Lord Tathagata [Title of the Buddha, "such-come" in Chinese, generally used to denote both the Buddha and the state of perfect godhead in wisdom ("Tathagataship") attainable by any man. It should be understood that there is no "God" in Buddhism, and that anybody can become a Buddha.] returned to the Meditation Hall in the Jeta Grove. King Prasenajit and his royal ministers and many of the prominent elders and wealthy laymen of the city returned with the Lord to listen further to his wonderful and precious teaching, the like of which they had never before heard. The Lord as usual first sitting quietly became absorbed in Samadhi [a state of superconsciousness following meditation], radiating from the crown of his head rays of soft and tender brightness, like lotus petals surrounded by innumerable leaves. In the center of the Lotus petals there was a vision of the Nirmanakaya Buddha ["Transformation body," one of the three bodies of Buddha. The other two are "Dharmakaya" (body of the Law) and "Sambhogakaya" (the body of Bliss).] sitting with feet crossed intuiting and radiating the intrinsic Dharani [from the glossary: Dharana. Fixing the mind on one object in Yoga practice. Ed.].

The Lord Buddha had known all along what was happening to Ananda and now called Manjusri and bade him repeat the Great Dharani at the place where Ananda was yielding to temptation. As soon as Manjusri reached the house, the magic spell lost its power and Ananda returned to self-control. Manjusri encouraged Ananda and they returned with him to meet the Lord Buddha.

A funny from the Future of Freedom Foundation

My wife, Mary, and I have been married for forty-seven years, and not once have we had an argument serious enough to consider divorce; murder, yes, but divorce, never.

-- Jack Benny

They also sent me this quote which goes along with something I've been thinking about, inspired by Ludwig von Mises. Well, quote first:

They who have read about everything are thought to understand everything, too, but it is not always so; reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours. We are of the ruminating kind, and it is not enough to cram ourselves with a great load of collections--we must chew them over again.
-- William Ellery Channing

Experience is incomprehensible without a framework with which to understand it. As babies, we begin to develop a sort of implicit philosophy to interpret our sensations. If we never realize that "If I do this (cry or smile or coo), this happens (I get fed, or The Big Ones get all excited and tickle me)"... Some version of cause and effect... We don't grow into human beings with any understanding at all. Like the silent Russian orphanages I heard about on PBS. The social connection gets broken when adults don't respond. For most children it can, with love and patience, be rebuilt, but for a large minority, I don't know the percentage, it can't.

I think the evidence is in that we are hard wired to understand cause and effect and that is the foundation of all practical and theoretical knowledge. And I believe that any philosophy or theory that posits a break between them, or insoluble uncertainty, signs its own death warrant.

We can't understand anything without a theory, and myriads of them have been proposed. I doubt that we've achieved perfection in any of them yet. But action and consequence are the basis of all our plans. It IS rocket science. Etc.

My cousin April sent me something truly beautiful.

Interview with God.

There is another thing when you get there that's worth looking at: Pathways to Peace.

Let me recommend that my atheist friends enjoy these things as great and beautiful art. I am President of Bourgeois Philistine Shopkeepers Local #1; I think art should be pretty.

Something I didn't really need to learn

from Robert Fulghum (it was post-kindergarten after all when I read his book) was the habit of calling people "my friend," when I barely know them, and my "very dear friend," when I'm glad I hardly ever see or hear from them.

Go see

my friend Todd. Then catch up on your Lileks.

Monday, March 22, 2004

From (linked at right)

Pair of Comets Set for Spring Sky Show

By Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
posted: 10:00 am ET
25 February 2004

A pair of comets that astronomers have been monitoring for several months could become plainly visible in the night sky this spring.

Each comet is currently visible in telescopes. Scientists can't say for sure how bright they will get, but there is some optimism that both might reflect enough sunlight to be visible to the unaided eye at the same time.

"I think if prospective skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere are looking for a good sky show they're going to have to pin their hopes on Comet NEAT," Rao says. "Comet LINEAR will unfortunately remain rather close to the Sun and very low down near the eastern horizon all through April and early May, making it rather difficult to see."

Comet NEAT, on the other hand, "should vault high into the western evening sky during May making it much easier to sight," Rao said. "Observers in the Southern Hemisphere will have an advantage in that both comets will be fairly high up and easy to spot."
Harbingers. Omens. Signs and Wonders.

The Angry Economist (linked in link bar)

Has this to say about subsidies.

Another answer to Thom Hartmann

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Wealth

By Jonathan Hoenig
March 8, 2004
The big conflict in the world today isn't between Democrats and Republicans, or even the West and the Middle East. It's between the individual and the collective. For it's the individual who believes rights to be unalienable, while it's the collective that seems to consider them subject to majority rule. It is the individual who sees his own happiness as a worthwhile goal, while the collective believes we're grist for the mill of the "public good." It's the individual who sees man as an end unto himself, while the collective sees him as a means to an end for others. And it's the individual who understands that capitalism protects our liberties, even as the collective tries to obliterate them.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Trivial Outsourcing Pursuits

by Alan Reynolds

"If Sen. John Kerry had hoped to make a big political issue out of an unemployment rate that is likely to be below 5 percent by election time, he had better start trying to change the subject as soon as possible. And his never-ending wisecracks about Herbert Hoover could backfire, too, because Hoover enacted the same policies key Democrats now recommend -- namely, higher tax rates and tariffs."

Jean-Francois Revel, Anti-Americanism, p. 41 hc. describes the twenties "thusly:"

...[A]fter the catastrophe of the First World War, Europe drew back and turned in on herself. Her supremacy was a thing of the past. Moreover, she became divided within as countries erected barriers against each other. On the other side of the Atlantic, the United States, Argentina and Brazil, whose immense territories were traditionally open to immigrants and foreign products, barricaded themselves in their turn. International trade plummeted, capital could no longer circulate, exchange controls were intituted and there were efforts to fix currencies by decree. Thus, all over the world, economic life stagnated and came to resemble what today's enemies of globalism desire for us. The result was not long in coming: the stock market crash of 1929, followed by the Great Depression, which lasted a decade with tens of millions unemployed, and the rise of dictatorships and totalitarian regimes as a consequence of the universal and precipitous decline in liveng standards.... And to crown this brilliant series of successes came the Second World War, from which Europe emerged not only materially and economically destroyed, but this time deposed for good from great-power status.

Here's the link

that I was looking for from Ron.

The Surangama Sutra

Translated by Wei-Tao and Dwight Goddard


Thus have I heard. Upon a memorable occasion, the Lord Buddha while staying at the Jetavana meditation Hall in the city of Sravasti delivered a discourse to twelve hundred Great Disciples who were all great Arhats and free from all intoxicants, that is, there were all perfectly emancipated from sensual attachments and defilement. They were true heirs of their Lord Buddha and worthy to share their Lord's responsibility for the ever-continuing preaching of the Lord's Dharma. They had all transcended phenomenal existence and could manifest their gracious presence by a Buddhist influence wherever they sojourned. They were so highly advanced in their transcendental attainments that they were perfectly qualified to receive the Dharma from their Lord and Master and had so greatly profited from the Lord's teaching that they knew well how, with the Lord Buddha, to themselves turn the mysterious wheel of the true Dharma. They had kept the Precepts with such strict observance and perfect purity as to be qualified as perfect models for this triple world. They could assume innumerable appearance-bodies in response to the earnest prayer of any sentient being to rescue them and to perfect their emancipation. They were also willing to extend their helping hands into the future, so that all sentient beings in the future might become emancipated and free from all their fetters of earthly defilement.

Among the Great Bhikshus [note: Monks] present, acting as leaders, were the wise Sariputra, the Great Maudgalyayana, the Great Kaustila, Purna Metaluniputra, Subhuti, Upanishada, and many others equally well known and highly regarded. In addition there were present many Pratyaka-Buddhas [note: Masters], who had mastered the teachings and perfected the practices, together with innumerable novice disciples. They all came to pay homage to Lord Buddha and also to associate themselves with all the great Bhikshus and their disciples in this great dharma Assembly which had gathered for the "Summer Devotion" where they could make public confession and practice Dhyana together.

Besides the great company of Bhikshus and disciples that had gathered from far and near, there were present Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas [note: Bodhisattvas, incarnations or rebirths of the Buddha, for the purpose of converting mankind--a peculiar doctine of Mahayana Buddhism. Here, unlike the Pali texts of Hinayana Buddhism, saints and gods of all degrees were described as present at Buddha's discourse.] from all the ten quarters of the Universe who had come to pay their highest respect tot the Lord Shakymuni Buddha as though it was an offering to a loving parent. Moreover, they came to entreat the Lord Buddha for msome high teaching that would solve their mental puzzles and help them to get rid of the troublesome doubts which they occasionally experienced thin their meditations.

Then the Lord Buddha ascended the Honorable Throne of Dharma and immediately became absorbed in profound contemplation with such noble solemnity and tranquility that the whole company were spellbound by its profound silence and mystery. At the same time all the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, as numerous as the particles of sand in the river Ganges, with Manjusri the Great Bodhisattva at the head, gathered about the Lord Buddha and merged their deep meditation with the lord Buddhas's perfect Samadhi. Seldom, indeed, had any of them ever before experienced such serenity and quietness as then pervaded this Great Dharma Assembly. Wonderful music like the songs of the Kalavinka and Jiva-jiva birds seem to come from the Lord Buddha's perfect Samadhi and to fill the air with its heavenly music, and floating away to pervade the ten quarters of the Universe.

More anon. Time for church.

From The Liberty Committee

March 16, 2004

Your efforts are paying off!

On March 8th, we told you about the political elite trying to
quickly and quietly get the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST)
ratified by the U.S. Senate. This treaty has languished in the
Senate ever since President Reagan opposed it in 1982. However,
careerists at the U.S. Department of State and other pro-U.N.
forces in Washington, who always look for ways to subjugate the
United States to the United Nations, thought the time was right
to sneak this treaty through the Senate and passed the American
public. They were wrong.

Senators were told the Law of the Sea Treaty was non-controversial
because the problems with the treaty were fixed. Senators took
them at their word and LOST was moving through the Senate without
opposition. But as Henry Lamb reported, the problems with the
treaty were not fixed and opposition to it needed to be expressed

And that’s when you came in. You are making a difference.

Within just a few days, over 14,000 messages were sent to the
Senate expressing opposition to the Law of the Sea Treaty. On
average, that's over 1,400 messages for each Senate office!
Think of it -- just imagine how your voice was heard. It didn't
take many senators long to realize that there was indeed
opposition to the treaty and they started to withdraw their
support for it.

However, the fight isn't over yet. Proponents of LOST held a
Capitol Hill briefing on March 10th to persuade senators that
LOST is good for the United States and they are lobbying
senators one-on-one to regather support.

Now is a critical time for us to continue to oppose LOST.
We've posted a new suggested message to your senators and ask
you to again express your opposition to the Law of the Sea
Treaty. To send your message, go to

Kent Snyder
The Liberty Committee

Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) - FACT OF THE WEEK

Did you know that Minnesota's proposed Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR)
will use revenue surpluses to construct a tax reform account and make
permanent changes to Minnesota's tax rates?

8. Quote of the Week!

"Maybe we ought to see that every person who gets a tax return receives
a copy of the Communist Manifesto with it so he can see what's happening
to him." - T. Coleman Andrews, Commissioner of IRS, May 25, 1956 in U.S.
News & World Report

From the Taxpayers League of Minnesota.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Mister Pterodactyl deserves a link from here.

I'm somewhat against cluttering up my site with junk, but I don't think I can afford to ignore this guy. I endorse all of his links wholeheartedly, so at least use those. And, unlike me, he carefully thinks out each of his posts, and doesn't bury his pearls under a layer of pig crap.


check the comments on this post.

Give the devil his due

Thom Hartmann, from his website:

In the 35 years since he started in commercial radio and was first nationally published, Thom has also founded 7 companies, worked as an international relief worker, founded schools and hospitals on four continents, and is the award-winning, best-selling author of over a dozen books available in ten languages.

Thom's Books
• Unequal
• Last Hours of
Ancient Sunlight
• The Edison Gene
• ADHD Secrets of
• The Prophet's
• Healing ADD
• Greatest Spiritual
• Complete Guide to
• A Different
• ADD Success
• Beyond ADD
• Focus Your Energy

Thom Hartmann

Passionate defender of the status quo.

"Only a return to liberal economic policies – a return to We The People again setting and enforcing the rules of the game of business – will reverse this dangerous trend. We've done it before, with tariffs, anti-trust legislation, and worker protections ranging from enforcing the rights of organized labor to restricting American companies' access to cheap foreign labor through visas and tariffs. The result was the production of something never before seen in history: a strong and vibrant middle class."

This deserves a serious Fisking. I'm working on it. Liberal, he calls 'em. There is nothing sacred about membership in any class. If you handle your property wisely, you move up.
If you don't, you don't. The government should exist to ensure only that dynamic. That's "liberal," Hartmann is advocating a freezing of the present structure.

A Small Victory says this:

"Now this has got to be my favorite. The sign says: U.S., The Barrier to World Peace. In what Twilight Zone type world do you have live in to think that the United States is stopping peace from happening? Let me get this straight; the anti-war crowd wants us to pull our troops out of Iraq, thus sending that country back into the stone age, resulting in the deaths and torture of thousands of innocent Iraqis and giving no chance for a democratic society to grow, but we're the ones who are putting a stop to peace. They guard the homes of terrorists, teach Palestinian children how to hate America and defend the actions of Arafat's bullies, but America is somehow a barrier to peace. They want to free Mumia, they idolize Che, they hate cops and they ignore the plight of the people in Iran and Syria while fretting about political prisoners in Gitmo, but America is the barrier to world peace. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it."

I post this as a personal reaction to some of Hornberger's other posts at FFF (see below).

I found it while I was wandering about looking at other blogs I've posted comments on. Apparently Joe Gandelman has been posting content on The Command Post that I've missed.

Thanks for the link Ayn.

This Island One organization looks very interesting.

And quoting me on your front page (if that term applies to blogs) is a supreme compliment.

The following is a letter to the editor of the Atlantic Monthly.

Lifted lock, stock and barrel (a complete flintlock, or older, rifle in other words--by the way, I'm still looking for a replica or real British musket, pre-1806) from Boudreaux’s Blog at FFF.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Dear Editor:

No concept in economics is more deeply and widely misunderstood than the trade deficit. Regrettably, Sherle Schwenninger’s “America’s ‘Suez Moment’” (Jan./Feb. 2004) only confirms this conclusion. Mr. Schwenninger commits the common mistake of equating a current-account deficit with debt. In fact, a current-account deficit is emphatically not synonymous with debt.

I’m writing this letter on my Sony computer, which I bought outright. I have full, debt-free ownership of the computer; Sony, in return, has $2,000 in cash. Even if Sony does not spend these dollars during the current period on American output - thereby contributing to the U.S. current-account deficit - debt is created only if Sony then lends these dollars to Americans, chiefly by buying corporate and government dollar-denominated bonds. If Sony instead buys shares of stock in American corporations, buys American real estate, or holds them as cash reserves, no American becomes indebted as a result.

Mr. Schwenninger overlooks an even deeper fact. Foreigners who earn dollars by selling goods and services to Americans, and who then invest these dollars in American assets, believe the American economy’s prospects to be rosy. This fact is so regardless of whether foreigners’ investments in America create debt or not. How many of us rush to buy equity in companies we believe are headed for bankruptcy? How many of us lend money to people and institutions we think cannot pay us back? How many of us hold currencies that we suspect will lose significant value?

The trade deficit is more likely to be evidence of economic health than a cause of concern.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Chairman, Department of Economics
George Mason University

Eeyore's Journal, huh? I'll have to look at that...

Oh! Sorry! I got distracted. FFF has this quote heading their website today (er, actually it's the email update I get):

"Government does not create liberty; on the contrary, government is the one persisting danger of human liberty.... This role of government as the enemy of liberty was well understood by the Founding Fathers of the Republic. They wished government to have sufficient power to 'restrain men from injuring one another.' But beyond that, they tied it down securely with constitutional limitations, separation of powers, bills of rights, and other legal barriers and barbed wire entanglements.

-- Clarence Manion"

Check out Hornberger's Blog. He's talking about the hypocrisy of America bitching about Mexico taxing imported beverages containing corn syrup while we tax imports of sugar (thus raising it's price to the point that beverage and candy producers have all switched to high fructose corn syrup) and subsidize corn.

Where the hell's my book. Stinking MIBs took it...

Friday, March 19, 2004

For those of you who think guys like me have no experience in life

this is one thing in the background:

'D___ so far has done really well with the radiation. He has 5 more days to
go. A___ said saturday evening, Mom you should see D___, they have a toy room, he sits down and plays with Mr. Potato Head, all of these nurses are
coming thru the hall, and saying "Oh, he's so cute, he's so good, how many more
days do we get to see him, we just love him", all the time he's playing and
making all of those little boy noises, that no one seems to teach them, they're
just born knowing how to make. The Dr. comes in and says "D___ are you ready?" The first time D___ usually ignores them, so the Dr. says again, "D___ are you ready?" so D___ says Yes, or (his new word) Sure. He then picks up Mr. Potato Head puts him under his arm, says "Come on Mom" and walks to the radiation room by himself, he knows the way and doesn't need any help. They get into the room and there is a huge machine in the room, A___ picks him up and holds him, he plays with Mr. Potato Head while they put the medicine in his port, he's making all of those little boy noises, and all of a sudden he stops looks at her, and she says are you getting sleepy, and he says yes, and then he's asleep. What a blessing that he is only 2 years old and doesn't have any fear or know to worry. Wish that it was that simple for mommy, daddy, papa, and nana. They say that he could start feeling the effects of the radiation this week, but so far he's doing well. They are giving him a medication for nausea, because he threw up on the way home from the hospital last thursday, and then again saturday. But he is eating really well, playing, talking and laughing alot. He even went fishing with his papa last week. What a blessing Grandchildren are!!! Thank you for your continued prayer. Love to all, B___"

Ok, this is happening a thousand miles from me, but I pray for these people every day.

And to reiterate

The Price of Freedom in Iraq

Published: March 19, 2004


This week, as we mark the one-year anniversary of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, it is useful to recount why we have fought. Not long ago I visited South Korea, just as the Korean government was debating whether to send troops to Iraq. In Seoul, I was interviewed by a Korean journalist who was almost certainly too young to have firsthand recollection of the Korean War. She asked me, "Why should Koreans send their young people halfway around the globe to be killed or wounded in Iraq?"

As it happened, I had that day visited a Korean War memorial, which bears the names of every American soldier killed in the war. On it was the name of a close friend of mine from high school, a wrestling teammate, who was killed on the last day of the war. I said to the reporter: "It's a fair question. And it would have been fair for an American to ask, 50 years ago, `Why should young Americans go halfway around the world to be killed or wounded in Korea?' "

We were speaking on an upper floor of a large hotel in Seoul. I asked the woman to look out the window — at the lights, the cars, the energy of the vibrant economy of South Korea. I told her about a satellite photo of the Korean peninsula, taken at night, that I keep on a table in my Pentagon office. North of the demilitarized zone there is nothing but darkness — except a pinprick of light around Pyongyang — while the entire country of South Korea is ablaze in light, the light of freedom.

Update: (besides removing extraneous crap) I owe this link (God! I'm burping lamb) to Damfacrats.

Just so nobody doubts my credentials

As a right wing radical.

Vanguard of the Revolution

Rod D. Martin, 19 March 2004

Sometimes words can mislead by lulling us to sleep when we should be awake.
Utter the words, "Law of the Sea Treaty" (LOST), and watch people's eyes
glaze over.

When it comes to this treaty, the road warriors of the Left hope yours do,

Don't let them. Keep reading. LOST, if ratified, would represent the single
greatest loss of sovereignty in the history of America. It must be stopped.

For our purposes, the LOST story begins in 1980, when Republicans condemned
this Carter-era treaty in their national platform. It continues in 1981,
when the treaty was sprung on President Reagan. In 1982, he consigned it to
the circular file -- and fired the State Department staffers who had
negotiated it.

End of story? You'd think.

In 1994, Madeleine Albright, then Bill Clinton's UN ambassador, signed the
treaty. But for the subsequent Republican landslide that November, the
Democratic Senate would certainly have ratified it. Foreign Relations
Chairman Jesse Helms, however, put a stake through its vampire heart.

Or so it seemed. Like a zombie in Dawn of the Dead, a decade later, LOST
has been found yet again.

This time, thanks to a rather creepy alliance of liberals like John Kerry
and Joe Biden with squishy "moderate" Republicans led by Senate Foreign
Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, it's steamrolling toward

And that's very bad.


LOST would cede control of the oceans -- 3/4 of the Earth's surface -- to a
powerful new UN entity, the International Seabed Authority (ISA).

This agency would wield unprecedented power to regulate the seas, impose
worldwide production quotas on deep-sea mining, oil output, and other
activities, levy and collect taxes, oversee exploration and research, and
create a court to make rulings and enforce them. And LOST would empower ISA
to collect the profits of private companies and transfer them to socialist,
Third World regimes.

Let's stop and think about this, since Mr. Lugar will not. If production
quotas are imposed, say goodbye to any hope of American self-sufficiency in
strategic materials. And if profits can be collected and transferred, that
means what the United States earns, Sudan, China, or Cuba will keep,
assuming our companies (and jobs) survive at all.

But it gets even worse.

LOST would ban President Bush's Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI),
which interdicts ships suspected, for instance, of ferrying terrorists or
transporting North Korean nukes to the Middle East (or American ports). It
would prohibit us from collecting intelligence in territorial waters
(greatly expanded by the treaty). It would force us to share intelligence
with our enemies and transfer key technologies, from our underwater mapping
systems to our means for detecting enemy submarines.

In other words, this treaty would surrender our sovereignty, redistribute
wealth and power from us to an unelected, unaccountable, runaway UN
bureaucracy, transfer wealth from the world's democracies to its failed
dictatorships, strengthen the militaries of our foes while straightjacketing
our own, and threaten our national security at the worst possible time, when
we're engaged in a global fight to the finish against terrorism and the
tyrants who sponsor it.

This is an atrociously anti-American treaty; yet Senator Lugar and friends
are hell-bent on convincing their colleagues to ratify it. And they're not
playing by the rules. When LOST critics tried to testify against it last
year, Lugar and Company prevented them even from speaking.

Now Lugar is trying to get LOST ratified before anyone can organize and warn
the American people.

In 1980, the Republican Party Platform got it right, condemning this treaty
by name.

In 1982, President Reagan got it right by tossing LOST into the trash.

In 1995, the new Republican Congress got it right by pronouncing LOST "dead
on arrival."

It is now time for a new generation of Republicans to rise up for liberty,
sovereignty, and national security and lead the charge against this
monstrous UN power grab.

President Bush has saved us from two unfathomable sovereignty-shifting
boondoggles already, withdrawing us from the ABM Treaty, and "unsigning"
Bill Clinton's treaty to create the International Criminal Court.

But this is a surprise attack, from the so-called "moderates" inside the
Republican camp. It's going to take all of us to fight them.

It's time to organize, to email, call and write letters, to senators and to
the White House.

Time is desperately short. Before the UN taxes start, before the UN Navy
sails, before U.S. sovereignty gets an unceremonious burial at sea, we must
stop LOST now.

Copyright: Rod D. Martin, 12 March 2004.

-- Rod D. Martin, Founder and Chairman of Vanguard PAC
, is an attorney and writer from
Little Rock, Arkansas. A former policy director to Arkansas Gov.
Mike Huckabee and Special Counsel to Founder Peter
Thiel, he is the Center for Cultural Leadership's Senior Fellow
in Public Policy and Political Affairs and a Vice President of
the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA).
To subscribe to "Vanguard of the Revolution", send the message
"Subscribe Vanguard", or the message "Unsubscribe Vanguard" to
unsubscribe, to

Contact if you have questions.

Vanguard PAC
P. O. Box 250038
Little Rock, AR 72225

Der dicke Dichter dichtet das dichte Gedicht in dem Dickicht.

There! I said it. Now suffer!

Update: actually I was posting a link to this: -- Something Amazing Every Day.

Ye Gods!

I've drawn the attention of the Great Satan!

I must act propitiously.

Too bad nobody ever taught me to do that.

Ah! A link!

Lady's and Gentlemen: an irresponsible opposing (I think) viewpoint has been added to my links. (Unless you beat me there, I wrote this first.)

Update: I know I'm not supposed to have a sense of humor about these things, but shit...

Once more:

March 18, 2004

Who's Outsourcing Whom?
by Radley Balko

Radley Balko is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute.

Airwaves and newspapers are abuzz of late with talk about the loss of manufacturing jobs, the offshoring of tech jobs, immigration, and general alarmism about the "outsourcing" of the American worker.

We hear lots of talk about exactly why (and if) this is happening, but rarely do pundits and commentators look at the relationship between companies moving plants overseas, and the kinds of tax and regulatory policies employed by the states they're moving away from. As it turns out, states with business-friendly public policies attract and retain jobs. States with policies hostile to business tend to lose them.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, for example, the five states losing the most jobs between 1993 and 2000 were, in order, California, New York, Michigan, Texas and Ohio. According to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Massachusetts also rank near the bottom, particularly when you take jobs as a percentage of population.
It's not that long an article. Read the whole thing.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

I got into it with a guy over at

Amanda's blog, and he mentioned some authors I should study:


Please direct studies to David M. Kennedy, Professor of History at Stanford University. As for Hoover, his dictum included fostering trade associations, but shunned direct government involvement. Hoover, more than anyone, understood the coming gale of the Great Depression with its arcane and aberrant dynamics. When America applauded his ascendancy to president, Hoover quietly focused on stanching the bleeding of the economy. By then, however, the problem lay well beyond his control. I might also recommend Alvin H. Hansen's "Full Employment or Stagnation (193[-]."

Damn! I just added another comment.

Kennedy's latest big work: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 (Oxford History of the United States, Vol 9)
by David M. Kennedy

And here's what I find on Alvin H. Hansen.

I'll try the library first. I have a freakin' house full of books.

Update: I think I just fixed the problem.

It's Joseph Stromberg, apparently,

who is such a big fan of William A. Williams. Gabriel Kolko is mentioned in the latter, cited article. He got pissed at Rothbard for using Kolko's arguments to support Libertarianism. I have Stromberg on tape telling that anecdote.

From Acton:

Ending the ‘Slavocracy’

by Anthony B. Bradley

Slavery is alive and well today. Recent estimates put the number of people in bondage at 27 million worldwide. The abolition of modern day slavery is an urgent matter; in the words of Pope John Paul II, slavery “constitutes a shocking offence against human dignity and a grave violation of fundamental human rights.”

Bales describes the twofold threat that the growing middle class -- thanks in part to the prosperity fostered by American businesses’ moving to India -- poses to the current “slavocracy.” First, India’s middle class workers, the beneficiaries of the country’s new industries and services, are buying up farmland as it becomes available. India’s middle-class landowners are more likely to use modern farming techniques to increase production and lower labor costs, reducing the demand for slaves. The more Indian agriculture is mechanized, the less profit the landlords will make from the use of an outmoded system like bonded labor. The dream of peasant farmers everywhere in India is a mechanized future. A farm with slaves simply cannot compete with a mechanized one.
The bourgeoisie are destroying an ancient culture. Good.

Another missive from ARI

Dear Editor:

The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, which increases the fines for the broadcast of "obscene, indecent, and profane language," is itself an indecent obscenity.

The FCC's power to regulate any speech is a violation of the right to free speech. The First Amendment clearly states: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." Such freedom requires that the airwaves, like the printing press, be used in complete freedom--any way their owners wish (short of libel, fraud and the like). Just as each individual should determine what he sees or hears, so each media company should determine what it broadcasts.

Parents--not media professionals or government bureaucrats--are the ones who have the responsibility for supervising what their children see and hear in the media. If people find a program objectionable, they are free to turn it off. It is as simple as that.

Edwin A. Locke
Ayn Rand Institute

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

Oh! I hope this goes well.

These guys are tough and elusive.

"News reports indicate that Ayman al-Zawahiri is close to being captured. He is believed to be Osama bin Laden's deputy and doctor — the person who's worked closest with bin Laden in orchestrating terrorist attacks around the world."

Get 'im, boys!

The Economist on slow job growth.

Waiting for the job recovery might be a good time to take a broader measure of the material well-being of Americans. Their condition is widely held to be perilous. The economy, it is said, is being “hollowed out” by international competition and the connivance of business and political elites, creating “two Americas”, one rich, one poor. Median income of American households, commentators often say, has been stagnant, though census figures give a rise of one-fifth since 1980. Lou Dobbs, on CNN's “Lou Dobbs Tonight”, is just one media fabulist who makes his living by claiming that, as America is being “exported”, so the well-being of middle Americans is in a parlous state.

It is a good story, but false on many levels. For a start, this slow growth in median income overlaps with a scale of immigration into America outpacing all immigration in the rest of the world put together. Many immigrants have come precisely to take up the lowest-paid jobs. As a result, in the 20 years to 1999 some 5m immigrant households were added to those defined as below the poverty level. Yet among native-born Americans, poverty rates have declined steadily since the 1960s. In the case of black families, median incomes have recently been rising at twice the pace for the country as a whole.

Strip out immigrants, and the picture of stagnant median incomes vanishes. Indeed, for the nine-tenths of the population that is native-born, middle-income trends continue their improvement of the 1950s and 1960s. For these people, inequality is not rising, but falling. Gregg Easterbrook cheekily points out in his excellent recent book, “The Progress Paradox” (Random House), that if left-leaning Americans seriously want better statistics about middle-income gains, then they should simply close their borders.

Actually, since cheap help creates real value, I doubt that that would really help.

I prefer Ann Coulter to Ayn Clouter.

Link the first. Link the second. The character called Ayn Clouter is not a cross between Ayn Rand and Ann Coulter, she's a member of "The Conspiracy" that all the nuts are afraid of. There may actually be people like her, but I've never met them. The trouble with satire (she does do it superbly) is that it usually inspires the electorate to throw out the baby with the bath water, if it's effective. Of course, so does inflamatory rhetoric.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Silent Calvin Coolidge, the last good president:

I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. That is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can re-establish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very distinct curtailment of our liberty. -- Calvin Coolidge, State of the Union message, December 3, 1924

Actually, such few cutbacks as were made under Reagan were beneficial, but the weren't enough. But Reagan deserves credit for rolling back big government as much as he did, in the face of howls of protest.

BTW, Grover Cleveland was the last Great President. The greatest? Jefferson. Washington would be second.

Update: Quote thanks to

ARI on outsourcing

Dear Editor:

The widespread condemnation of American companies for outsourcing their operations has no legitimate moral basis. American companies have the moral right to cut their costs and maximize their profits by doing business with anyone anywhere on earth (excluding, of course, people or businesses in countries that threaten or are at war with America).

The claim that outsourcing jobs hurts Americans misses the big picture. If companies that need to outsource to be competitive won't do it, they won't remain in business for long, and thus won't be able to offer Americans *any* jobs. Moreover, while true that Americans who would have taken the outsourced jobs will have to look for work elsewhere, the fact is that *all* American consumers benefit from the lower production costs and prices that result from outsourcing.

Just as Americans are right to shop for the best deals, American companies are right to shop for the best hires. And just as Americans have no moral obligation to buy American goods, American companies have no moral obligation to employ American workers.

David Holcberg
Ayn Rand Institute

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

Well, this ain't funny

Bomb Destroys Baghdad Hotel, Kills Dozens
Associated Press Writers

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP)--A thunderous car bomb shattered a five-story hotel housing foreigners in central Baghdad on Wednesday night, killing 27 people and leaving a jagged, 20-foot-wide crater just days before the anniversary of the start of the Iraq war.

I suppose an honorable man would come clean about how he thinks about the War on Terror.

It's tough for me, because people I admire very much are against it, and I respect their principles. The Advocates for Self-Government, Austrian economists and many members of the Libertarian Party have posted strong positions against it.

ARI said to nuke 'em.

This will require more sustained contemplation than I have time for here and now, but I have to say that I back Bush's measured, targeted, long-range approach as the only good response. And I think his approach to immigration showed the same high level of strategic thought.

We need to eliminate and dissuade these enemies. Then we can dismantle the "empire."

I haven't been funny lately.

Have I ever been funny?

That there was a question took my breath away:

Pluto's Planet Status could be Jeopardized by Sedna Discovery

Scrolling down the page a bit we find the gist:

"Many astronomers have since been content to let the IAU and the public call Pluto a planet, while most of them think of it as a Kuiper Belt Object, one of many frozen worlds beyond Neptune. Some fight actively for Pluto's demotion while others think Sedna and its like should join the cast of planets."

I'm tempted to put this

quote in place of the Emerson quote above:

"The doctrines of praxeology are deduced from three universally acceptable axioms: the major axiom of the existence of purposive human action; and the minor postulates, or axioms, of the diversity of human skills and natural resources, and the disutility of labor."
--Murray N. Rothbard

That'd bring 'em scrambling, eh?

Ludwig von Mises said,

"Bureaucratic management is the method applied in the conduct of administrative affairs the result of which has no cash value on the market. Remember: we do not say that a successful handling of public affairs has no value, but that it has no price on the market, that its value cannot be realized in a market transaction and consequently cannot be expressed in terms of money.

"It may well be that the greatest thing in Atlantis is its good system of government. It may be that Atlantis owes its prosperity to its constitutional and administrative institutions. But we cannot compare them with those of Thule in the same way as we can compare other things, for instance, wage rates or milk prices."

And finally,

"There has always been bureaucracy in America. The administration of the customs and of the foreign service has always been conducted according to bureaucratic principles. What characterizes our time is the expansion of the sphere of government interference with business and with many other items of the citizenry’s affairs. And this results in a substitution of bureaucratic management for profit management."

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Thomas Sowell

on Outsourcing:

"Whole political movements are based on a refusal to accept that benefits have costs. Protectionism is just one of these movements. Environmental extremists often refuse to accept even the smallest costs for such benefits as the building of much-needed housing or the dredging of rivers and streams to prevent flooding and save human lives.

"Ironically, those politicians who complain most loudly about the outsourcing of jobs often advocate the outsourcing of the job of making foreign policy and safeguarding American national security to the United Nations or to our allies in Europe."

They edit the Emerson quote down to "consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Monday, March 15, 2004

Starsplash is my brother.

I've linked him now, correcting an oversight on my part.

This man is calling out the Spaniards' manhood!

Once again from the Asia Times [he calls himself Oswald Spengler]:

"Spain's death-knell sounded long before the train bombings in Madrid, however. No country in the world is more determined to disappear. The country's fertility rate of 1.12 live births per female is the lowest in the world. As recently as 1975, at the death of strongman Francisco Franco, the fertility rate stood at 3 births per female in 1976. By 2050 Spain will have lost a quarter of its population. Germany and Italy, whose fertility rates fell earlier than Spain's, will lose a third, according to economist Anthony Scholefield.

"Socialist voters may not have worked out the arithmetic; Jose Zapatero's supporter in the street simply does not want to be burdened with America's distant wars, especially if they draw fire at home. It all amounts to the same thing. Countries too lazy to produce their next generation will not fight. Who will lay down his life for future generations when the future generations simply will not be there?

"Old Europe's people, religion, culture and fighting mettle have imploded together. The Europeans are not so much defeatist as resigned to extinction."

I generally don't go for that sort of analysis, but there's a difference between racial survival - which I could not care less about, outside of the personal and familial components - and intellectual survival. I want the philosophy of freedom to survive and benefit my offspring. I'm with Spengler on this one. Nuff said.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

I just saw a kid from South Bend, IN

win $10,000 on America's Funniest Videos.

But that's not what I came here for. The Mises Blog points out this story from the Asia Times:

South Asia

Anti-outsourcing cry unnerves corporate giants
By Indrajit Basu

KOLKATA - The issue of outsourcing and the resulting political backlash found its way into the corporate boardrooms of global giants, perhaps for the first time, as chief executive officers of top multinational companies including General Electric (GE) and Gillette spent the week discussing the backlash as a risk factor and its impact on their businesses. And worse, for top Indian software companies in the United States, the backlash is increasingly turning explosive. Until now, the outsourcing row has only been a political issue in the run-up to the US presidential elections.
GE also feels that globalization could lead to a loss of jobs in low-tech industries but that it will create jobs in high-tech ones too. According to the company, by centralizing its operations and leveraging low-cost operating centers in the US states of Virginia and North Carolina as well as in India and Ireland, "GE has also developed sophisticated technological tools that enhance performance by automating key processes and reducing response times and process variations."

Virginia and North Carolina? You got a problem with that? How come I haven't heard New York City bitching about losing its central position in the North American economy over the last 100 years. The world economy is just growing. Economic growth is proven to be the best alleviator of, not just poverty but also pollution and overpopulation. Increased controls by government just freeze the status quo. [It's not just Democrats. Notice Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman's name down the page.]

Some text from

Minnesota SF1565 on Initiative & Referendum, which I support.

1.19 An initiative of the people that proposes a law shall be
1.20 placed on the ballot at the state general election if petitions
1.21 for it are signed by registered voters in each of three-quarters
1.22 of the congressional districts of the state, and of the state as
1.23 a whole, in a number equal to or greater than five percent of
1.24 the number of persons who voted for governor at the last
1.25 election of a governor in each of such districts respectively
1.26 and in the state as a whole.
1.27 A referendum of the people whose purpose is only to repeal
2.1 existing law shall be placed on the ballot at the state general
2.2 election if petitions for it are signed by registered voters in
2.3 each of three-quarters of the congressional districts of the
2.4 state, and of the state as a whole, in a number not less than
2.5 five percent of the number of persons who voted for governor at
2.6 the last election of a governor. If the law whose repeal is
2.7 proposed has not gone into effect at the time that completed
2.8 petitions are filed, the law shall remain suspended until the
2.9 question is voted on.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

I'm gonna rename my blog Linkarama.

At Amanda's blog I ran across a link to Barking Moonbats (in the comment section, a paid add I guess), through which I found this site.

"Well, that's all right then." I feel so much better knowing that we make more money than 5,948,914,435 other people in the world. Of course that's figured for individuals and I put in our joint income.

I didn't donate any money, since this is the first I've heard of these frickin' people. If they still exist in a year, and they're more famous than they are now, I'll consider it.

The Future of Freedom Foundation is linking us to these online resources:



Rose Wilder Lane Biography
Marshall University

Rose Wilder Lane: An Autobiography
by Rose Wilder Lane

Rose Wilder Lane (1886-1968)Cato Institute

Give Me Liberty
by Rose Wilder Lane
Future of Freedom Foundation

Book Review - Islam and the Discovery of Freedom by Rose Wilder Lane
by George C. Leef
Foundation for Economic Education

Rose Wilder Lane Quiz

I got 11 of 15 on the quiz.

See if you can guess

What Onkar Ghate, of the Ayn Rand Institute, is talking about in this article.

"If there is an idea behind the film worth opposing, it is
this, its intended message. Teach man to regard himself as a
loathsome, despicable being, and he becomes ripe for any mystical
dictator, who will wield the whip that is supposed to make man atone
for his "transgressions." Deprive man of self-esteem, teach him to
spit in his face, and one paves the way for another Dark Ages.

"But to oppose this conception of human nature, one must first come to
understand that man--man at his best, man the rational, productive,
selfish achiever--is a noble being."

Well said, Brother Todd.

You need to say more.

Agh!! The link was too big for the title bar. Here.

I haven't really mastered Trackback links

But Scotty the Menace has a good review of The Passion of the Christ.

Update: well that worked like a friggin' champ...

Ron said, in his comments section,

to this post, "Evil men will always figure out how to coopt the system."

That's exactly the premise of Hayek's "The Road to Serfdom." Here's the cartoon version.
(Way slow-loading on a 56k modem.)
Jeepers, a full five minutes do download this thing. It takes about 5 minutes to read. Here's an abridged html? version.

The previous post

was taken from The Meaning of the Glorious Koran, translated by Marmaduke Pickthall. Wow! That link leads to the whole book online. Specifically, this is the first ten verses of (The Kneeling) The Forty-Fifth Surah of the Qur'aan.

The book version has this explanation: "Crouching" takes its name from a word in v. 28. It belongs to the middle group of Meccan Surahs.

Update: In case you don't feel like going to it yourself, this prefatory remark by Mr. Pickthall should be read and understood:

"... The Qur'an cannot be translated. ...The book is here rendered almost literally and every effort has been made to choose befitting language. But the result is not the Glorious Qur'an, that inimitable symphony, the very sounds of which move men to tears and ecstasy. It is only an attempt to present the meaning of the Qur'an-and peradventure something of the charm in English. It can never take the place of the Qur'an in Arabic, nor is it meant to do so..." [Marmaduke Pickthall, 1930]


Revealed at Mecca

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

1. Ha. Mim.
2. The revelation of the Scripture is from Allah, the Mighty, the Wise.
3. Lo! in the heavens and the earth are portents for believers.
4. And in your creation, and all the beasts that He scattereth in the earth, are portents for a folk whose faith is sure.
5. And the difference of night and day and the provision that Allah sendeth down from the sky and thereby quick3eneth the earth after her death, and the ordering of the winds, are portents for a people who have sense.
6. These are the portents of Allah which We recite unto thee (Muhammad) with truth. Then in what fact, after Allah and His portents, will they believe?
7. Woe unto each sinful liar,
8. Who heareth the revelations of Allah received unto him, and then continueth in pride as though he heard them not. Give him tidings of a painful doom.
9. And when he knoweth aught of Our revelations he maketh it a jest. For such there is a shameful doom.
10. Beyond them there is hell, and that which they have earned will naught avail them, nor those whom they have chosen for protecting friends beside Allah. Theirs will be an awful doom.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Hey! Joe Gandelman was a reporter in Spain

when Democracy broke out! You've got to see what he has to say about the Basques and recent Spanish history.

I do intend to reclaim the term Liberalism

for us good people, as opposed to people who want to control their neighbors.

The question I have for my friend John is, why do you think that most people aren't warm, loving and kind like you? Why wouldn't we apply the advances in medicine of the last 50 years to the alleviation of our neighbors' pain? Most people are trying to do so right now, through government. I just believe the government is the wrong tool. It has a legal monopoly on the aggressive use of force and it has a strong tendency to throw it into the mix.
Here, are some other solutions:

"Mutual Aid Societies.

"What is a Mutual Aid Society?

"Mutual Aid Societies are typically clubs or associations that are created for the purpose of providing social and economic services and insurance for their membership through mutual aid (as opposed to capitalist enterprise or reliance on the government). Mutual Aid Societies have taken many forms in the past – some revolutionary in purpose, some merely practical or, at best, reformist. The idea of mutual aid societies dates back to the middle ages, but the still existing examples of mutual aid societies were born in the late 19th and early 20th centuries."

Thursday, March 11, 2004

I agree with this little point by

Dr. Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (1909–1999), from the Acton biography of him, "...he had a lasting influence on modern American conservatism (which he preferred to call by its European and, as he thought, more descriptive term liberalism)."

Now that the American socialists are shying away from the term and calling themselves "progressives" and "greens," those of us who actually believe in economic and social freedom (without government protection and/or subsidies for foolishness) need to reclaim the term.

Crap! I'm writing better stuff

on HAC's blog than I am on my own.

Hey, Todd

I own the Grammar Rock... uh, well, we've got the VHS video.:-(.

Some foolish person suggested I not give up on the Eastern stuff.

HahahahahahahahaHaaaa.... (Remember that guy from the old 7-Up ad? Like that.)

Laotse, the Book of Tao
Translated by Lin Yutang

Book I: The Principles of Tao
I. On the Absolute Tao

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)
Reaching from the Mystery into the Deeper Mystery
Is the Gate to the Secret(2) of All Life.

1 Hsuan (umlauted "a")--This word is the equivalent of "mystic" and "mysticism." Taoism is also know as the Hsuanchiao (umlauted "u"), 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."

And, as I like to end these selections, so now you know.

You may thank Todd, on several levels, for this post.

This is Gary Nolan's


Instapundit's on the case

on the terrorists in Spain. It's redundant to link him.

The Presidential Candidate I support

is Gary Nolan.

Where and where not

to invest in the far east. You dumbass commies can just ignore this advice. Since you either refuse to invest or refuse to admit that not only do you invest, but that you are not the least intelligent person capable of wisely investing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

From the Acton Institute

Press Release
March 8, 2004

Acton Institute Wins First Annual Templeton Freedom Prize

Grand Rapids, Mich. (March 8, 2004) – The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty was awarded one of the first annual Templeton Freedom Prizes for Excellence in Promoting Liberty. The Institute, founded in 1990, won first place in the Ethics and Values category for what the Templeton judges described as “its extensive body of work on the moral defense of the free market.”

Rev. Robert Sirico, Acton’s president and co-founder, said the Templeton Freedom Prize was an important recognition of the effectiveness of the institute’s two-fold mission. First, Acton exhorts religious leaders to use sound economic analysis when addressing questions of poverty and wealth. Second, the Institute urges entrepreneurs and business leaders to integrate their faith more fully into their professional lives, and to strive for higher ethical standards.

“Through the Acton Institute, religious leaders are gaining a deeper appreciation of the market economy’s positive contribution to the moral character of society,” Rev. Sirico said. “And our work is reaching a wider audience in the developing world, where business, religious and political leaders understand the necessity of a moral framework for economic growth.”

Named after the pioneer of international investing, Sir John Templeton, the Templeton Freedom Prizes reward the innovative work of think tanks in countries throughout the world. Along with the Acton Institute, seven other think tanks from India, China, Canada, Mexico, Peru and the United States were recognized by Templeton in four categories: Ethics and Values, Social Entrepreneurship, Student Outreach and Free Market Solutions to Poverty. The winning institutes in the four categories receive a $10,000 prize and the runners-up in each category receive $5,000. The Atlas Economic Research Foundation launched the Templeton Freedom Awards in September 2003 with a four-year pledge from the John Templeton Foundation. The pledge enables Atlas to reward public policy institutes with more than $1.25 million in prizes and grants.

About the Acton Institute
With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.
The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles." For more on the Acton Institute, please visit