Friday, January 30, 2004

Mary Ruwart is the Advocate for Self-Government I most admire.

I love her Short Answers column on The Advocates site. Here's some of what she has to say about immigration:

"Immigrants leave their culture behind and come to a land where the customs and language are often very different. They have a great deal of courage and perseverance to undertake such a move. They are more likely to be `makers' instead of `takers.' However, if our system rewards loafers rather than producers, our country will deteriorate as both native-born Americans and new immigrants choose welfare over work."

I'm afraid I have to agree

that this is disturbing.

Secret trials? The drug war is not a real war. The only reason it's violent is that there is no legitimate, peaceful way to enforce contracts.

We need to have our courts dealing only with issues of personal and property damage.

Here's an article about Clint Eastwood.

See if you can figure out why I like him.

We haven't heard the last of this guy.

It seems government schools aren't about pursuing excellence.

Marquis Harris is a real inspiration.

Key passage:

Recently, I interviewed with a school in one of the metro Atlanta counties, only to receive an e-mail from the principal stating, "Though your qualifications are quite impressive, I regret to inform you that we have selected another candidate. It was felt that your demeanor and therefore presence in the classroom would serve as an unrealistic expectation as to what high school students could strive to achieve or become. However, it is highly recommended that you seek employment at the collegiate level; there your intellectual comportment would be greatly appreciated. Good luck."

A real live human being is an "unrealistic expectation". "People can't do these things. Don't expect to be like this guy. He's not really human. You need to emulate the janitor instead."

Andy, at the World Wide Rant, has some amusing comments.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Here's a real life illustration

of Natural Law.

Our intellectuals like to pretend that Political Science is brain surgery. Here's Ms. Arunga's formulation:

"To do what is right makes sense, to do what is wrong throws society into chaos, and the only way to end the chaos is to do what is right."

Here's how John Locke said it: "Although the State of Nature is a State of Liberty, yet it is not a State of License.... The State of Nature has a Law of Nature to govern it, which obliges every one: And Reason, which is that Law, teaches all Mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal or independent, no right to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty or Possessions."

And a further clarifying statement from Roderick T. Long, "Lockean equality involves not merely equality before legislators, judges and police, but, far more crucially, equality with legislators, judges and police."

To get back to June Arunga's point, I'm especially glad that she used the word "chaos" as the consequence of doing what is wrong. Doing wrong throws your life into chaos. That is the test of whether you're following "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God." Is your lifestyle sustainable without having to engage in constantly escalating efforts to control situations and squelch others who would oppose you?

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

A Letter on Reparations from Edwin Locke

of the Ayn Rand Institute:

A Chicago federal judge was right to dismiss a lawsuit brought by
descendants of slaves against corporations that profited from slavery
in the 19th century, but the decision did not go far enough. The judge
left the door open for further litigation, by implying that it might
be legitimate if the plaintiffs could show actual links to the
companies in question. No such door should have been left open,
because such lawsuits are without merit in principle.

Slavery was abolished in the United States nearly 140 years ago. Those
who were slaves are long dead. If claims could be made by anyone who
had long-dead relatives who were harmed by someone, then everyone in
the entire world could claim compensation for such victimization. But
people who were not themselves the object of harm have no right to
make any such claim.

And who would be responsible for such unjust compensatory payments?
People who are now living who had no role in causing the harm. If
people who were not themselves harmed can force people who were not
responsible for any harm to pay them "compensation" for the suffering
endured by others, then the result is not justice but a double

Edwin A. Locke
Ayn Rand Institute

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

Life and Bread

10 below today.
I'm relaxing at my computer here listening to "The Best of Bread" CD. I didn't realize just how much that group fit the phrase "THE SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR LIFE!!!" for me.
I was complaining that we didn't have any way to play our LPs and I really wanted to hear Bread's "Everything I Own", "Diary", "Make It With You", "The Guitar Man"... Heck, I figured that was it for them. There wasn't any more.

My wife found this CD at Target. That gal knows how to please a guy. I think I'm in love.

Man! They must have had a song in the top 40 through the whole decade of the seventies. Every one of these songs evokes myriads of good memories. If they weren't playing on the radio, or Ron's record player, I was singin' one or the other of them in a tree out in the woods. I didn't even know that "Truckin'", "Down On My Knees" and "Mother Freedom" were Bread songs. I knew "Lost Without Your Love" was. I absolutely took these guys for granted. What beautiful music!

Thursday, January 22, 2004

A reprise of the family newsletter.

The results from Aliina's check-up today:

24 3/4" and 14# 4 oz. No apparent allergies, diseases, rashes... Growin' like a weed. Cute as a bug's ear! (Whattaya mean, conceited?! I'm not talkin' about myself here!)

This is a breast fed baby. My wife ain't gainin' no weight! 600 calories/day my behinder! You should see what she eats! We go to Taco Bell and my jaw drops at what she thinks is an acceptable order!

Hey! We went up north last weekend. Tower, Minnesota regularly records low temperatures lower than Embarass, MN. In fact, although Embarass has an annual average temperature more than one degree lower than any other town in the lower 48, the lowest official temp recorded is -57 degrees in Tower. Tower is at the same elevation (a major factor in this contest) and 5 miles southeast of my inlaws cabin/house. Guess where I frickin' was.

Tower airport recorded -39 degrees.

Do you know what that means? New Years day, and several days thereafter, I was in Oklahoma, where temperatures were in the 60s. Two weeks later I was experiencing temps 100 degrees lower. And, yes, I had things to do outside while they were like that. I had six layers on my upper body and three on the lower.

Oh, by the way, Rosie cross country skied her first mile in that weather (once it reached 10 below.

I finished that weekend talkin' Flintlock Rifles with my buddy Dan, who with his wife Stoni, got us involved in Rendezvous reenacting, which harks back to the activities of the French Voyageurs in this area and throughout the Northwest. He expressed doubts about those temperature readings, but I didn't tell him about the WELY weather reports. You don't interrupt Dan when he gets going, he's too damn entertaining.

Here you go.

...[I]n France, for example, where environmental laws make energy so artificially expensive that citizens can't afford to run air conditioners and typically don't even own one, 13,000 people (mostly seniors) died in a recent heat wave.

I guess some might say those poor souls are in a better environment now up in heaven. Perhaps that's the sort of environmental "improvement" the ecology movement has in mind for the rest of us.

Free the Martians!

What a beautiful vision of the exploration and settling of Mars! The vision is sketched and some practicalities discussed. A few caveats:

"Until Mars is turned into private property, the only alternative means of exploring and exploiting that planet is through the forced service--in other words, the enslavement--of others: either the explorers who develop land that is later expropriated from them or the taxpayers who are forced to pay for that exploration."
"If no private organization wants to explore Mars in the absence of government financing, then-unless there is a valid military need-Mars should not be explored."

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Just so you know. From here.

posted to rec.crafts.brewing by Fred Hardy

Following is an English translation of the Reinheitsgebot (German Purity Law) adopted in 1516, the oldest provision still enforced to protect the consumer. This is taken from the article "History of German Brewing" by Karl J. Eden, published in 'zymurgy' magazine, Vol. 16, No. 4 Special 1993.
"We hereby proclaim and decree, by Authority of our Province, that henceforth in the Duchy of Bavaria, in the country as well as in the cities and marketplaces, the following rules apply to the sale of beer:
"From Michaelmas to Georgi, the price for one Mass [Bavarian Liter 1,069] or one Kopf [bowl-shaped container for fluids, not quite one Mass], is not to exceed one Pfennig Munich value, and

"From Georgi to Michaelmas, the Mass shall not be sold for more than two Pfennig of the same value, the Kopf not more than three Heller [Heller usually one-half Pfennig].

"If this not be adhered to, the punishment stated below shall be administered.

"Should any person brew, or otherwise have, other beer than March beer, it is not to be sold any higher than one Pfennig per Mass.

"Furthermore, we wish to emphasize that in future in all cities, markets and in the country, the only ingredients used for the brewing of beer must be Barley, Hops and Water. Whosoever knowingly disregards or transgresses upon this ordinance, shall be punished by the Court authorities' confiscating such barrels of beer, without fail.

"Should, however, an innkeeper in the country, city or markets buy two or three pails of beer (containing 60 Mass) and sell it again to the common peasantry, he alone shall be permitted to charge one Heller more for the Mass of the Kopf, than mentioned above. Furthermore, should there arise a scarcity and subsequent price increase of the barley (also considering that the times of harvest differ, due to location), WE, the Bavarian Duchy, shall have the right to order curtailments for the good of all concerned."

The Problem with modern America,

From Democrats, Poverty, and Rich Bashing, by Tibor Machan:

Many of the poor and even not so poor have accepted the phony idea that to get rich requires stealing from those who have more than they do. Many Americans have indeed reverted to a zero-sum idea of economic progress, one that ruled the world prior to the emergence of capitalism. This view had tied all wealth accumulation to conquest. Leaders of countries relied not on vigorous production, free trade, and commerce so as to generate wealth but on invasion, murder, and robbery.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Comment on Dave Thompson's topic.

Since I was 12, I longed to be sexually abused (as long as physical damage was not involved) by women. If this is a shock to anybody, they are bizarrely and willfully naive.

"Our Steve"--Economic Isolationist.

Steve doesn't notice that the creative destruction of the Free Market has continued to replace the money making enterprises in America's economy right along. There have been politicians bitching about Trade Deficits since the 16th Century. They were Power Mongers and courtiers who said that, not economists.

We had a Revolution to get rid of them.

I went to the first MeetUp.

But I missed the second one. I was out of town.

No, come to think of it, I had a Girl Scout meeting I had to go to.

It was a complete waste of time, except that I got to taste the new cookie. It was all right I guess. Maybe women will like them. All the women I know have to over-complicate things. Dude! Trefoils are fine! Thin Mints! Those things with the caramel and coconut! The sprinkles aren't necessary! Up the taste of the strawberry and underplay the taste of the frosting!

One of my favorite sayings is "it ain't magic".

The guy who started the Unofficial Thomas Sowell Fan Page says he doesn't have Dr. Sowell's email address. Time me now....

Hmm. I guess it wasn't so obvious. If you hit "contact" on this page, you can email him. I don't know if he'll answer though. I guess he didn't think my letter was worth his time.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Cousin April sent me one of those "Remember when...?" messages.

I thought this was the most important comment:

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed
to be proud of myself.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

A quote from Lew Rockwell.

From his new book Speaking of Liberty:

In the absence of the capitalist economy and all its underlying institutions, the world's population would, over time, shrink to a small fraction of its current size, with whatever was left of the human race systematically reduced to subsistence, eating only what can be hunted or gathered. The very institution that is the source of the word civilization—the city—depends on trade and commerce, and cannot exist without them.

I've just added The Library of Economics and Liberty

to my links.

Tom Sowell wrote

In The Vision of the Anointed(subtitled: Self-Congratulation as a basis for Social Policy):
The link may give you trouble, but it's easy to find any book from Laissez Faire Books' main page.

Third party decision making by surrogates for "society" offers no a priori reason to expect a closer approximation to omniscience. On the contrary, such surrogates not only lack the detailed and direct knowledge of the innumerable circumstances surrounding each of the millions of individuals whose decisions they are preempting, they lack the incentives of direct gain and loss from being right or wrong, and they have every incentive to persist in mistaken policies (from which they suffer little), rather than admit to being wrong (from which they could suffer much).

By the way, I just ran across Cantillon's Essai at which I've made my homepage. Oddly enough, it's listed under Hayek. Oh, I guess that's an essay on Cantillon written by Hayek. Cantillon's Essay is here.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Post Holidays physiocratics

Our dear brothers from the Mises Institute add this great insight into "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God."

Key quote:

Indeed, it is in the autonomous family—and only in the family—where the pure socialist principle actually works: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

It is personal love that the communists try to imitate with their political policies. Humans are incapable of loving people they don't know. We can muster that caring for a few moments, but we're not capable of maintaining it for any great period of time in the absence of the object. The evolutionary cause of our ability to care for people we've never met is the need to learn from the experiences of others through stories.