Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Tying some things together

another article from FEE:
"Liberty in Perfection": Freedom in Native American Thought
Published in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty - September 1999
by Amy H. Sturgis

Amy Sturgis holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history and specializes in Cherokee studies. She is the director of the Vanderbilt Oral History Project at Vanderbilt University.

Preacher Samuel Peters's encounter with a free society was a memorable one. In 1781, he wrote in awe: "The conscious independence of each individual warms his thoughts and guides his actions. . . . Here is liberty in perfection!"[1]

Though he wrote in the shadow of the War for Independence, Peters was not praising the American colonists-turned-rebels. Instead, he had found life in the American Indian villages of New England to be the true experiment in liberty. He even went so far as to credit Amerindian rights theory as the catalyst for the colonial break with England, saying that the colonists "discovered that they themselves were men, and entitled to the rights of that race of beings; and they proceeded upon the same maxims which they found among the Indians."[2]

Samuel Peters's words exhort us to remember that we have inherited the language of liberty in many tongues. From the Greek Sophists and Roman orators to the Islamic economists and Patristic theorists, ancient and medieval thinkers led the inquiry into the nature of freedom. In the modern era much of what we recognize as classical-liberal thought flowed through nationalistic European streams: the realistic English tradition of law, the rationalistic French tradition of humanism, and the organic German tradition of individualism. Few scholars and students of liberty today, however, turn their eyes to North America to investigate the Amerindian contribution to the philosophy of freedom. Far from primitive or forgotten, the New World’s indigenous legacy of individual liberty, limited government, and legitimate law offer insights as fresh and relevant as the new millennium.

My Cherokee (Tsa La Gi - which looks very much like GWY in their syllabary, or syllabic alphabet) blood was much comforted by this article. The indian ways aren't lost in America - they suffuse it.

Say a prayer

This guy is asking for help.

This is the guy who needs it.

I am really grumpy that HaloScan seems to have lost

all the comments in my archives. I know it takes a lot of bandwidth to store all that stuff, but doggonit...!

Anyway, living in the present, more or less, the FEElosophers* over at the Foundation for Economic Education have seen fit to pair these two articles: Israel's kibbutzim swap socialist ideals for personal profit in struggle to survive
In the past 20 years the population of Israel's 270 kibbutzim has fallen by about a quarter to 116,000. Three times as many people are leaving as joining.

Most of those who go are young, leaving behind a population with an average age approaching 55 years. As a result, most of the communities can no longer afford the cradle-to-grave support for their members, with potentially tragic results for many older people who put in a lifetime of work in the belief that they would spend a secure retirement in the bosom of the kibbutz.

Along with Individualism, by Ludwig von Mises, which, as much as I agree with it, appears to have been written in a hurry (unlike my posts), but at least it's a quick read.

*An article for my left-leaning friends - page one is blank, it's the damnedest thing - scroll down.
Here's a book for you too: Rebels Against the Future: The Luddites and Their War on the Industrial Revolution : Lessons for the Computer Age (A Left-wing history of early 19th century England - turnabout's fair play)
by Kirkpatrick Sale, a very compelling writer - I read it and I hated every word - though he has a problem with anachronism.

Libertarian, Green party candidates

to debate in New York on Tuesday

NEW YORK -- Americans who are interested in a real political debate
instead of a canned political convention will get it on Tuesday when the
Libertarian and Green candidates for president square off in New York,
right down the street from the Republican national convention.

"Anyone who's not interested in the Republicans' weeklong yawn-a-thon is
invited to attend a real, no-holds-barred political debate between two
candidates with starkly different political views," said Fred Collins,
manager of the Badnarik for President campaign. "The Libertarians and the
Greens will have the kind of robust political debate that the American
people deserve, but won't get, from the two older parties."

Libertarian Michael Badnarik and Green Party candidate David Cobb have
confirmed that they will attend the event, which will be held at 7pm
Tuesday at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church in Manhattan. The debate will
be moderated by Walt Kane of News 12 New Jersey and Robert Richie of the
Center for Voting and Democracy.

The third-party debate will be dramatically different from the upcoming
Bush-Kerry debates in several respects, Collins said.

* All viable candidates have been invited.

"Because we believe all legitimate, third-party candidates who will be on
the ballot in a significant number of states should be included, we've
invited independent Ralph Nader and Constitution Party candidate Michael
Peroutka as well as George Bush and John Kerry," Collins said. "The fact
is that third-party candidates often air views that the Democratic and
Republican parties don't want the American people to hear, which is why
it's so important to include them."

* Questions from the audience will be permitted.

"Unlike the staged, scripted Bush-Kerry debates, members of the audience
will be allowed to grill the candidates without interference from
screeners or party flacks," Collins said. "Shouldn't anyone who aspires to
be president be able to handle questions from ordinary Americans?"

* The audience will see a clear choice between the candidates.

"Bush and Kerry march in lock-step on so many issues that their so-called
'debate' will be like listening to an echo chamber," Collins said. "Both
favor dramatically expanding the size, power and cost of government,
continuing the war in Iraq and using the September 11 attacks as an excuse
to subvert freedom.

"Badnarik and Cobb, however, will lay out starkly different visions of the
proper role of the federal government, with the Green favoring a mix of
expanded civil liberties and expanded government, and the Libertarian
taking a principled stand in favor of less government across the board.

"That's the debate that the two major parties don't want voters to hear,
and it's why Bush and Kerry will be missing in action on Tuesday."

Now that's a debate!

This is really an update to my last Rose Wilder Lane post

Steven den Beste has a great post on the limits of the "Left-Right" terminology:
The reason that Michael finds similarities at opposite ends of his single scale and vast differences among those at the same end is that his scale is fallacious. What he's actually doing with these observations is to cite evidence that the scale itself fails as a predictive model.

If you know den Beste, you know that's not all he has to say. May he live forever.
He links a post by Clayton Jones, adding another dimension:
Steven Den Beste on political axes. One of the axes he identifies is:

I think, based on the use he makes of it later, that he has misidentified it.

My first thought was, he should split it into two axes:


--ending with: "Thanks, Steven. I'm looking forward to watching this discussion percolate through the blogosphere."
This is my steam-bubble.

BTW I've talked about this before in a comment linked to this post (Damn! HaloScan seems to be having server troubles.) and linked this extensive discussion of same at Friesian.com.

I got to the computer late tonight

because I was teaching my daughter to play poker.

My wife was cleaning the closets and rediscovered a set of chips and cards in one of them and my daughter wanted to learn to play. Last night she whupped me good, so I thought she at least understood the cards and hands, but tonight, when I introduced the concept of bluffing (and running up the pot and getting the other guy to fold) I found that she had no idea what she was doing. Of course, that didn't keep me from taking all her chips. Then, when I realized the depth of her ignorance, I went back to basics and taught her about two-of-kind, three-of-a-kind, straights, flushes, what to do when you catch someone dealing off the bottom of the deck and such-like. She took it very seriously when I said, "If someone comes up with a pair in a flush, you pull out your derringer and plug 'im in the forehead." Hopefully, the serious look just meant she had no idea what I was saying.

Tomorrow we break out the cigars.

Oh, the other day I said this was funny. Sorry to mislead you. I was short on sleep and punchy. This is much funnier (though not absolutely so, just relative to my capabilities). The eagle-eyed will notice that my judgment was so impaired that I continued to blog for several hours afterwards.

Has there been a firestorm of complaints

about HaloScan's comment ads? I notice there aren't any today and HaloScan is running slow. I feel responsible, though I'd like to think my gripe was stated pretty mildly. It was [someone at] Amazon putting that rotten tagline on it that set me off. Or, I should say, ill-intended tagline- conservatives aren't offended by it, as much as lefties wish they were. (Yup, it's still there.) We libertarians don't like it because it ignores much of what we stand for. Rose Wilder Lane is like a mother to us and we're quite likely to get upset when people attack her.

I wonder if Amazon got complaints and blasted HaloScan. Hmm. I love you both! Don't fight!

Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Moderates get it.

Joe Gandelman, covering for Dean Esmay at Dean's World, posted an extended exerpt from the New York Times on the Population Dud: Why You Should Take A Deep Breath When Reading Breathless Doom And Gloom Articles. Read the post, comments and the article they're based on.

If the world ends, it will be due to divine intervention. Level-headed people are on the case. Emulate them: enjoy life and try to make yourself useful.

Interesting to find myself figuring prominently

in this search: doin it. I didn't check to see what the others had to say, but they weren't obviously porn sites.

I'm a big fan of Rose Wilder Lane

And I'm rather offended by the entry for her book at Amazon.
The discovery of freedom;: Man's struggle against authority (The Right wing individualist tradition in America)
by Rose Wilder Lane

Here's a comment (actually, two, and I've reversed them) I left on this post at Catholic Packer Fan:
What hacker imposed the phrase "right wing" as if it were part of the title of The Discovery of Freedom in your comment ad?

The discovery of freedom;: Mans struggle against authority (The Right wing individualist tradition in America)

American Individualism doesn't equate to, nor support, reactionary Royalism. Though Americans need to be careful about supporting imperialism.
Old Whig | Email | Homepage | 08.29.04 - 4:22 pm | #

I don't like to see "self-centered" conflated with "individualist". A wise individualist realizes that his interests lie with the success of the team, and directs his personal gifts toward that end.
Old Whig | Email | Homepage | 08.29.04 - 2:44 am | #

It's been much too long

since I bothered my beloved readers with an exerpt from the Surangama Sutra.
Then the Lord Buddha said:--Ananda, I want to question you: please lesten carefully. You have just said that at the time your faith in me was awakened, that it was due to seeing the thirty-two marks of excellence. Let me ask you: What was it that gave you the sensation of seeing? what was it that experienced the sensation? And who was it that experienced the feeling of being pleased?

Ananda replied:--My Lord! At the time I experienced the sensation of being pleased, it was both through my eyes end my mind. When my eyes saw my Lord's excellencies, my mind immediately experienced a feeling of being pleased. It was then that I made up my mind to become thy disciple so that I might be delivered fro the cycle of deaths and rebirths.

The Lord said:--From what you have just said, Ananda, your feeling of being pleased originated in your eyes and mind. But if you do not know where lies the perception of sight and where the activities of the mind originate, you will never be able to subjugate your worldly attachments and contaminations. It is like a king whose fcity was pestered by robbers and who tried to put an end to the thieving but was unsuccessful because he could not locate the secret hiding place of the robbers. So it is in the lives of human beings who are always being troubled by worldly attachments and contaminations, causing their perception of sight to become invertewd and unreliable and seducing their thoughts and causing them to wander about ignorantly and uncontrolled. Ananda, let me ask you? Referring to your eyes and mind, do you know their secret hiding place?

Ananda replied:--Noble Lord! In all the ten different orders of life, the eyes are in the front of the face, as are my Lord's clear lotus eyes, and mine also. The same is true of the other sense organs, they are on the surface of the body, but the mind is hidden within the body.

The Lord Buddha interrupted:--Ananda, you are now sitting in the lecture hall, are you not? And when you are looking out to the Jetavana Grove, can you tell me where the hall and the grove are situated?

Bedtime, kids!

Well, that tears it! I won't be voting for Kerry

when the last minute jitters force me to vote for a candidate with a realistic chance of winning. [Badnarik is the only good anti-war, isolationist candidate.]

The man slandered our beloved Packers by calling Lambeau Field "Lambert Field" (which is the U of Minnesota's baseball field).

I found a post of exceeding genius

worthy of a true Superior Being, via Lance Burri's link list.

From Boots & Sabers:
Justice Holmes' "crowded theater" test is actually a good test, but it has been twisted from its real meaning. The right to free speech, like all rights, is bounded only by the rights of others. As such, I may stand on a soap box and say whatever I wish, as long as I am not violating anyone else’s rights. In the crowded theater test, if a person shouts "fire" in a crowded theater, he is violating the rights of other people. He is violating the right of private property of the theater owner by harming his business. He could violate the right to life of the people in the theater if they become trampled to death in the panic. By Holmes' test, the person may not unnecessarily shout "fire" in a crowded theater precisely because to do so would violate the rights of others.

This has been twisted to mean something quite different. People have started to use the "crowded theater" test to mean that people’s right to free speech may be regulated if it causes disorder. No one has a right to live in constant order, so the state of disorder does not actually violate anyone's rights. How many times to we hear of people being arrested or detained because they caused disorder? I'm not supporting those who would disrupt people's movement or damage property, for those actions violate the rights of the people being disrupted. No one is harmed, however, if a protestor stands within sight of a politician with a sign and shouts. This effort by the government to maintain order has lead to cordoning off protestors, denying permits to assemble, and generally suppressing free speech.

Emphasis mine. Disorder is natural, order requires help from your neighbors, which may not be conscripted by force.

[I am a strong believer in Natural Order, which we'd have if we quit jackin' around with our neighbors, but many of government's actions interfere with the natural human desire to get along with our neighbors. Primarily by subsidizing ingratitude and other social gaffs.]

I think this gentleman may soon be getting a link from here.

By the way, you've got to read Lance's examinations of government incentives from the inside. Start here.

Wizbang reminded me

in two separate posts, that I had promised to put up pics of sexy babes if I happened to be online around midnight on Saturday. (This is, indeed, a sample of how I intend to aquire them. You can do this at home. I sure as heck ain't doin' it at work!)

Courtesy of him, or them, or whatever, check out Elizebeth Hasselbeck:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
[My personal collection would get me in trouble with the wife. How do you think I became an "expert" on SideFind? (Of course, my solution is simple and drastic: amputate the offending appendage)]

Saturday, August 28, 2004

I had never heard of Rousas J. Rushdoony

Is this article representative of his thinking?

An exerpt:
CM: Why do you think so little is said of the ethnic purging of the Armenians under the Turks? We hear so much of genocide in the 20th century but very rarely is the case of the Armenians mentioned. Is there a reason for that?

Rushdoony: Yes. The figures are constantly revised downward, from two million to a million to a few thousand. There is a reason for that. A great deal of history is being rewritten. It is my belief that a man teaching in a smaller school is more likely to be a good historian and a superior historian than a man teaching in a major university. Increasingly the chairs of history in major universities are endowed by various foreign governments. This is to control history-writing in a particular area. One of the most bitter controversies in southern California in recent years was when certain Arab states were going to create a Middle Eastern Studies Center - at the University of Southern California, I think it was. Immediately there was a massive Jewish protest. The whole project was cancelled. This doesn't mean that Arabs aren't funding things - just as Jews are funding things. The Turks are funding a great deal, on the condition that certain subjects are avoided or are twisted as they are dealt with. Recently, one scholar found in the National Archives material that showed how extensive the Armenian massacres were in one out-of-the-way province where it was not normally believed that much had taken place. Her book, published under the title Slaughterhouse Province, was quite revelatory and a surprise to many reviewers. The interesting thing she reported was that even while she was working on this project she found that the Turks were allowed access to the National Archives and were destroying material derogatory to them regarding the massacres. This is the pattern. One major scholar who was an authority on Medieval Armenian architecture was forbidden to give a lecture in which he was going to discuss the architecture and the destruction of some of the great monuments by the Turks. So, the censorship is extreme, the destruction of original source documents is extreme. That is why some of the most stimulating work of late in general history have come out of schools that many people have never heard of. It is because independent scholarship can function in the smaller colleges in a way it can not in the major universities.

I ask because this is a pretty "softball" interview with a lot of accusations about matters I've never considered.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Another one of those quizzes

This one brutally pilfered from Domestic Excellence and Specialty Housekeeping II

#1 How many icons do you keep on your desktop?
#2 How old are you?
#3 What's the name of the book you are reading and its author?
#4 Who is your favourite saint?
#5 What type of laundry detergent do you currently use?

My answers:

1. 17. I like to look at my wallpaper.
2. 41.
3. Um... the book I'm most likely to finish is The Lysander Spooner Reader.
4. St. Urho. No, he didn't really exist.... Aquinas!
5. I'm a man ["but I can change..."] so I like to use Whisk to clean oil spills on the driveway. Hey! It works like a charm if you let the sun bake it for a couple hours.

I know I talk like a gay man half the time, but I'm really quite handy. [Of course, so is my gay friend, J******. He's an - drumroll please - interior decorator, on the side. (Ah, but can he handle a head-gasket? ...Urk! Never mind! Bad example.)]

I believe I may have said

the funniest thing I'm capable of [all right, now you're going beyond self-deprecating and moving into some sort of inverted form of bragging] saying in response to this post at, of all things, Domestic Excellence and Specialty Housekeeping.

Must Read

Thomas Sowell interview on The American Enterprise Online: "Live" with Thomas Sowell

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Russky wins Modern Pentathlon

Americans shut out of medals. What a sucky sport!

No, I still want to do it.

Links one and two.

Word of the Day: Cloaca

Courtesy of The Free Dictionary:

In zoological anatomy, a cloaca is the posterior opening that serves as the only such opening for the intestinal, urinary, and genital tracts of certain animal species.

Knowing this word will help you understand what Fred on Everything is saying in his opening sentence in this article:
August 24, 2004

From time to time I write about the cloacal morality of the media as they go about wrecking civilization and annoying hell out of me. For rhetorical convenience I use "New York" and "Hollywood" as a sort of abbreviation for the news racket and the screen trades.

This column gets a lot email. Some of it assumes that "New York" and "Hollywood" are code words for "Jews," and excoriates me mightily for not saying what I am assumed to mean. Let me give you a typical example, the subject line being "Fred Sees No Jews in New York and Hollywood."

Two illustratory letters follow, then Fred goes on to attack the thesis of the Worldwide Jewish Conspiracy. Read the whole thing.

I was directed to Fred today by the Rational Review News Digest.

Amen, Alice!

[Alice Cooper] says he was disgusted to learn the likes of Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, R.E.M., Sheryl Crow, James Taylor and Dave Matthews were hitting the road for a series of concerts designed to help defeat President Bush.

"To me, that's treason," Cooper told the Canadian Press. "I call it treason against rock 'n' roll because rock is the antithesis of politics. Rock should never be in bed with politics."
"If you're listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you're a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we're morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal."

I think I'll go to a concert. Windsor's not that far; he'll be there September 28th. Thunder Bay, Ontario is pretty close! I was almost there the weekend before last. [OK, I admit that that is one of my favorite posts.] Highway 61 is no great prize for the driver, no matter what Bob Dylan says. Is the 8th of October on a weekend?

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

The label surprises me, but the description is right on.

20 Questions to a Better Personality

Wackiness: 22/100
Rationality: 52/100
Constructiveness: 20/100
Leadership: 50/100

You are a SEDF--Sober Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you a Evil Genius.

You are extremely focused and difficult to distract from your tasks. With luck, you have learned to channel your energies into improving your intellect, rather than destroying the weak and unsuspecting.

Your friends may find you remote and a hard nut to crack. Few of your peers know you very well--even those you have known a long time--because you have expert control of the face you put forth to the world. You prefer to observe, calculate, discern and decide. Your decisions are final, and your desire to be right is impenetrable.

You are not to be messed with. You may explode.

What? No cool picture?

Further comment: In gradeschool I had an enemy who did his damdest to pick a fight with me every day in second and third grades. About every second or third day I beat his ass. In the beginning, my advisors - parents, friends and older kids - taught me how to fight and in the end they taught me to be patient. I doubt that anyone in the world was ever pestered by a more persistant peckerhead. When I wasn't beating him up, somebody else was. (Ok, they were obviously being pestered by the same guy, but I was his favorite target.)

I never knew him to win a fight, but he was always picking them. He grew out of it, sort of, by becoming a better comedian.

Where is he now? Six feet under.

I didn't put him there. I kind of liked him toward the end, though I never stopped being a little wary of the guy. I knew that life would become hellish if I let him start to push me.

His death rocked me. It made me rethink the metaphysical nature of the universe. It certainly didn't make me happy... We had started off as best friends in Kindergarten and it all went to hell from there.

I've done a lot of [abortive] thinking about what might have been, but it would have required his cooperation, and he wasn't giving any.

On that "exploding" thing: if you can't push me as far as he did, you're safe from me.... And nobody has come close.

Update: I retook the test this morning. I've already improved my personality, though I still don't like that "follower" bit, in the old saw, "Lead, follow or get out of the way," I prefer the last.

Wackiness: 28/100
Rationality: 56/100
Constructiveness: 26/100
Leadership: 38/100

You are a SRDF--Sober Rational Destructive Follower. This makes you a Fountain of Knowledge.

You are cool, analytical, intelligent and completely unfunny. Sometimes you slice through conversation with a cutting observation that causes silence and sidelong glances. You make a strong and lasting impression on everyone you meet, the quality of which depends more on their personality than yours.

You may feel persecuted, as you can become a target for fun. Still, you are focused enough on your work and secure enough in your abilities not to worry overly.

You are productive and invaluable to those you work for. You are loyal, steadfast, and conscientious. Your grooming is impeccable. You are in good shape.

You are kind of a tool, but you get things done. You are probably a week away from snapping.

Addendum, [apparently an email - ed.] 2004/07/19: this fits me 99%, there is a slight inaccuracy however. We are not necessarily completely unfunny. If we have a sense of humor (I do) it surfaces on the occasion with well-timed, completely dry, very sarcastic, wit. - Chase

I've reorganized the links of my personal friends

The first criterion is closeness of relationship, overridden only by the place of honor I give to my fallen e-mentor, E.G. Ross.

In a sense, that criterion is carried through, based basically on the effort given to maintaining a relationship. Followed by benefit to me and my site.

For the latter reason, I'm considering a way, in keeping with my theme of American Freedoms, to raise these people to the top of my list.

Diving is on now.

I'm with Mr. Pt: if it relies on subjective judging, it's a sucky sport. As a competition anyway. I still like watching it. The Higher, Faster, Stronger events are more understandable. Prettier is a b****.

Hey! Visit USAP's corporate sponsors, eh? (Yeah, Canadian invaded the Cheesehead dialect where I grew up.)

They're up and running!

USA Pentathlon.

How's this for an endorsement?
"The most perfect sportsman, therefore, are the Pentathletes because in their bodies strength and speed are combined in beautiful harmony"
-- Aristotle

And in his day, they didn't do shooting, horse jumping or fencing. Modern Pentathlon has added events requiring steely nerves and iron courage as well. (Although wrestling requires both those and a hell of a mean streak as well.)

I've foully failed to find time to attend

The Therapy Sessions, and the group leader is getting discouraged. Here's a good post which drew my attention to this one on The Belmont Club about an article by Norman Podhoretz.

This is clumsy. I'll edit it later.

I was going to brag about having written the most in-depth article

you're likely to see on the Modern Pentathlon, but this one might be better:

Russian pitches games, tries to save sport
8/24/2004, 12:19 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

Points directly bearing on the Pentathlon:
The IOC...may vote on proposals to drop some Olympic sports. The three most likely — baseball, softball and modern pentathlon — escaped the ax this year and will remain at least until 2008. But it was just a reprieve, not a full pardon. There's pressure to buff up the Olympic schedule with sports appealing to the youth market coveted by sponsors and television advertisers.
The whole idea is attributed to French Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who helped revive the Olympics in 1896. Its inspiration was the pentathlon of the ancient games with a turn-of-the-century twist: an event intended to recreate the skills needed for a mounted military courier fighting to get a message through hostile territory.

Competitors fire at targets with a 4.5-millimeter air pistol; engage in fencing duels with epees; swim 200 meters; run three kilometers and ride a horse over a course with 12 obstacles. One more thing: The horses are picked at random and rider and steed have just 20 minutes to get acquainted.

In the first modern pentathlon in the 1912 Games, an American second lieutenant — George S. Patton — finished fifth. [Not the biggest newsmaker in the event that year. Ed.] Accounts say he was bumped from the medal group by poor marksmanship. In 1968, the sport briefly made news when a Swedish competitor was dropped after showing up drunk.

There is an effort to "sex it up".
The secretary-general of the sport's international federation, Joel Bouzou, said officials have come up with plans for a triathlon-style event. Four athletes will race directly from one discipline to the next. The winner moves on to the next round.

"It is very intense," he said. "In 20 minutes you will see a full pentathlon."

I've loved it ever since I heard of it. But "there ain't none around here." I'd like to find a Dude Ranch where an old geezer could go to learn to do this stuff, but I can't find anything. No help at usapentathlon.org, though they seem to be making rapid progress on their new website. I imagine they'd like to have it up and running by tomorrow.

The World is Abuzz with News of the Beginning of

The Modern Pentathlon competitions in Athens Thursday and Friday, with the Men's beginning at 15:40.

I was unaware that Jim Thorpe not only won gold in the decathlon, but also the pentathlon.

Jim Thorpe won the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden. Sweden's King Gustav V praised him as "The greatest athlete in the world" after the Olympics.

But there was controversy.
A short time later, even though there was never a rule against professional athletes competing in the Olympics at that time, a committee determined that Thorpe had played professional baseball for the Fayetteville and Rock Mount teams of the East Carolina League and his name and gold medals were expunged from the Olympic records.
While Grace [Thorpe, his daughter] and her family were fighting to get their father's name cleared a movie called "Jim Thorpe, All American" was aired with Burt Lancaster in the title role. Grace believes the movie helped to open people's eyes to what really happened and might have even swayed some of the minds on the Olympic Committee.

Without many fanfares, the gold medals and his records were restored to Thorpe in 1982 -- 70 years after a king called him, "The greatest athlete in the world."
In these hectic times when many professional athletes are allowed to compete in Olympic events, it seems rather ridiculous that a man named by the ABC Network as the "Greatest Athlete of the Century" should have had to live the rest of his life under a cloud of guilt.

[Grace] Thorpe...World War II veteran now resting in the Claremore Veterans Home still remembers.

Disciplines of the Modern Pentathlon:

Shooting - Air Pistol - 20 shots - 10 meters.

Fencing - epee - round robin-tournament, with a single touch deciding each match.

Swimming - free-style race - 200 m.

Riding - equestrian show jumping with horses provided by the organisers, which are selected through a random draw 20 minutes prior to the commencement of the event [The hick says, "Jeez Louise!] - 350 to 450m length, and includes 12 hurdles (15 jumps) with one double and one triple jump.

Running - 3K Cross-Country.

To which Thorpe added World Class Excellence in the Decathlon.

One more honor for Thorpe: Jim Thorpe to celebrate 50 years
Athlete's namesake borough plans a festival and parade.
[My emphasis added to improve clarity.]

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Rob's Time Out of Mind

Rob's Time Out of Mind: "Rob's Time Out of Mind "

A brand spanking new blogger! From Ottawa, Canada. [I just learned that the Ottawa speak pretty much the same language as the Chippewa, but they've always been "politically" separate.]

No doubt a Senators fan.

Welcome him, won't you.

For your linguistic enjoyment

I found this guy while pretty much randomly surfing. He's in the Netherlands wrestling with Dutch and he's taking up Frisian. It doesn't sound like a short term project:
My shock turns to horror when I see that for the first page of vowel values the author often adds at the end of her description "similar to" followed by an exemplar out of French, German, or English. As she progresses through the values, though, "similar to" becomes "rather like", "approaches", or (my favorite) "vaguely like" and the language, Dutch. So you get stuff like "The first element is a sound between [ö] and [ö:][the goofy 'A's are o-umlauts--they show up just fine in the "dashboard" window] a, followed by a schwa offglide." I leave the second element to your imagination.

The horror turns to terror when I start trying to understand the Frisian pronunciation feature called by my dictionary "breaking". The author devotes half a page to a discussion of the effect of "breaking" on nouns alone. To greatly oversimplify, when you commit any act upon a noun, like, say, attaching a suffix, you are likely but not certain to cause an only partially predictable vowel value change in the accented syllable (which may or may not be reflected in the spelling). Oh please.

Dutch is difficult enough. Some of its sounds could be described: Purse your lips and maintain a light gargle immediately atop the larynx whilst humming, with the lips still open, measure nn of the Queen of the Night's second aria. Then, for Frisian, throw in a few "offglides" and a bit of "breaking".

So much for spoken Frisian although I would still like to hear it.

As it happens, I've taken some lessons on the internet via this site. Ah, crap! Pyt Kramer's course is gone. I could have done with a refresher. Lazy slug wouldn't pay his bill no doubt. Assuming no health problems. Here is a written lecture of his; a statistical study of the vibrancy of his mother tongue.

Good old Pyt! [Remember, that's a germanic 'y', and, being Frisian, make it a diphthong with an off glide. And no fair making it a triphthong! (Though I don't get it either, why a diphthong with an offglide isn't a triphthong. An offglide only counts as half a vowel? Says who?)]

Update: here are the Frisian Vowels.

The unintended consequences of McCain-Feingold

This issue is way too much like the last:

From Bush Condemns Ads by Outside Groups

AP Special Correspondent

"I can't be more plain about it. And I wish - I hope my opponent joins me in saying - condemning these activities of the 527s. It's - I think they're bad for the system. That's why I signed the bill, McCain-Feingold."

Bush's comment about 527s was a reference to independent groups that raise money in unlimited amounts. The so-called McCain-Feingold bill, a campaign finance overhaul bill which Bush signed reluctantly earlier in his term, banned the political parties from raising such funds.

While Kerry and Democrats have demanded that Bush condemn the attack on his war record, the president has been targeted by an estimated $60 million in commercials by outside groups since the campaign began.

Kerry has declined to call for an end to those ads, which helped him at a time when he did not have the funds to compete with Bush' campaign advertising budget.

If you outlaw free speech, only outlaws will speak. That's a warning against applying the obvious next government solution - banning 527s. Better to repeal McCain-Feingold and the hard-money restrictions passed during the Ford administration and simply requiring full disclosure of big campaign contributors. Then the People can decide which stooge of which special-interest groups they like better.

Need an assault weapon?

New ways to end gun troubles
By Gordon Opiyo

[Security consultant Taya] Weiss says she was shocked during her interviews in the slums of Nairobi that one could easily get an AK-47 for as little as $20 (Sh1,600).

In one of the interviews a slum dweller says; "If you inform the police about a person in possession of a gun, he will go and get a bribe... if Florence is my friend and I know she has a gun, and CJ is a policeman, if I tell him that she (Florence) has a gun, he (CJ) will go to her, and because she has money, she will bribe him and (he will) tell her who reported her. And so she comes back to you for revenge. There is no security of information. Instead people who have guns being arrested, they bribe their way out and come for revenge.

If it weren't illegal merely to possess a gun, it wouldn't be so lucrative for police to take bribes. Same with drugs, by the way.

You may know that your neighbour has a gun and that it will kill your brother somewhere else, but you can do nothing about it."

That's quite an assumption "that it will kill your brother". Though, Kenya, from what I hear is amuck with disorder. My brother-in-law went there on a mission in Bible College. He said you don't go anywhere without a bodyguard. Where's their government?

To her [Weiss], dealing with root causes of small arms demand would be more profitable. The key demand factors that emerged during her research include resource management issues, identity-based conflict (with ethnicity, youth and tribal affiliations causing fracture points), availability of small arms, economic factors (such as unemployment and poverty), low literacy rates and limited contacts with the "main community".

Yup. Free your economy, enforce property rights and don't ban every damn thing.

This will solve everything

Prostitutes accept food coupons as payment

Prostitutes in a Romanian town have decided to accept food coupons as payment.

The girls from Deva said they use half of the coupons to buy food and sell the other half under its value to get some money.

One of the girls, Elena told Curierul newspaper: "I have been doing this job here for about two years and lately our clients are very few. So we had this idea: maybe men will be happier to come to us if they don't have to give us money which may be monitored by wives."

That's almost the whole article.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Damn, I'm slow!

But I figured out how to link articles at LibertyBob's.

He's starting a rumor that Muqtada al-Sadr is either dead or otherwise out of commission.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Agh! Attack of family duties this weekend.

We had to catch up with the housework after all that goofing off the last two weekends. The hedge and lawn were a mess. The lawn's easy, but I still don't have the spare cash for a power-trimmer for the hedge, and although I employed two pairs of grass-cutters like Edward Scissorhands, the forearms wear out rather quickly. [Nuts! No back-yard pictures saved. I've got some on CD, but... well, let's see... Hey! It works!]
Rainy August day 2003
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That gives you an idea of what I'm up to. I'm not done yet. I figure I'll spend a half hour a day doing the scissorhands thing, and that should keep me from having to pull out the big guns. You'll know me by the Popeye forearms.

For my political-economic note of the day, I was surprised to see The Mises Institute praising Henry George in their daily article. But as usual, they provide many good reasons to admire him.
Protectionists contend that to secure the highest prosperity of each nation it should produce for itself everything it is capable of producing, and that to this end its home industries should be protected against the competition of foreign industries. They also contend (in the United States at least) that to enable workmen to obtain as high wages as possible they should be protected by tariff duties against the competition of goods produced in countries where wages are lower (p. 25).

The aim of protection, in short, is to prevent the bringing into a country of things in themselves useful and valuable, in order to compel the making of such things. But what all mankind, in the individual affairs of every‑day life, regard as to be desired is not the making of things, but the possession of things (pp. 32–33).

To make a protective tariff that would even roughly accord with the protective theory would require in the first place a minute knowledge of all trade and industry, and of the manner in which an effect produced on one industry would act and react on others. This no king, congress or parliament ever can have. But, further than this, absolute disinterestedness is required (pp. 84–85).

And even were it possible to obtain for the making of a protective tariff a body of men themselves disinterested and incapable of yielding to bribery, to threats, to friendship or to flattery, they would have to be more than human not to be dazed by the clamor and misled by the representations of selfish interests (p. 85).

The making of a tariff, instead of being, as the protective theory requires, a careful consideration of the circumstances and needs of each industry, is in practice simply a great "grab" in which the retained advocates of selfish interests bully and beg, bribe and logroll, in the endeavor to get the largest possible protection for themselves without regard for other interests or for the general good. The result is, and always must be, the enactment of a tariff which resembles the theoretical protectionist’s idea of what a protective tariff should be about as closely as a bucketful of paint thrown against a wall resembles the fresco of a Raphael (p. 85).

To admit that labor needs protection is to acknowledge its inferiority (p. 19).

There is something in the very word "protection" that ought to make working-men cautious of accepting anything presented to them under it. The protection of the masses has in all times been the pretense of tyranny (p. 19).

Protective tariffs are as much applications of force as are blockading squadrons, and their object is the same—to prevent trade. The difference between the two is that blockading squadrons are a means whereby nations seek to prevent their enemies from trading; protective tariffs are a means whereby nations attempt to prevent their own people from trading (p. 43).

What protection teaches us, is to do to ourselves in time of peace what enemies seek to do to us in time of war (pp. 43–44).

Protection calls upon us to pay officials, to encourage spies and informers, and to provoke fraud and perjury, for what? Why, to preserve ourselves from and protect ourselves against something which offends no moral law; something to which we are instinctively impelled; something without which we could never have emerged from barbarism, and something which physical nature and social laws alike prove to be in conformity with the creative intent (p. 50).

There's quite a bit more in the article alone. The citations refer to...

Oops! Be right back.

Sorry. The computer needed rebooting. I probably need to do some cleaning.

Anyway, the citations refer to Protection or Free Trade: An Examination of the Tariff Question, With an Especial Regard to the Interests of Labor, by Henry George.

Friday, August 20, 2004

LibertyBob gave us three posts the other day

instead of his usual one. Now he puts a lot of thought and effort into his posts, so I don't belittle that, but I start feeling inadequate when I don't put out four a day. Admittedly, I have to rely on whatever gifts God has given me in order to do that, but, for all my jadedness, I retain some faith in God's judgment in these matters.

Of course, I don't apologize for those days when I'm completely incommunicado, but I do try to return with some beautiful pictures. Hey, LB! How about a scan of one of those paintings, eh?

A Treat for my Readers
Date of link: 2004-08-20
Category: commentary

[Why do I encourage him, Ron? I don't know. I've just always admired smart-asses.

And let us not forget

The Fastest Swimmer in the World: Gary Hall Jr.

Oh, you want something more up to date?


I'm with this guy

Come celebrate with us.

Michael Phelps!!!

What an unbelievable finish!! He was following Crocker all the way and the last stroke was the winner! Ron, did you see that? The hundred meter butterfly! There is no more exciting race in swimming. Try ten strokes of it if you don't believe me. Absolutely awesome!!

No doubt I've been corrupted by conservative talk radio

but it seems Cheney has a point here:
Statement by Vice President Cheney

JACKSON HOLE, WY – Vice President Cheney today issued the following statement:

"Just over two weeks ago, Senator Kerry talked about the merits of troop realignment in Europe and Asia. 'There are great possibilities open to us,' he said. Yesterday he said it was a bad idea. The one consistency we have seen from Senator Kerry is that he is willing to take any position on any issue if he thinks it will benefit him politically. As we saw yesterday, these political calculations even include his positions on our national security."

It looks to me like Kerry doesn't really want to win. What's up with his taking on the Swift Boat Veterans just when that controversy was about to die?

Mister Pterodactyl reminded me that the olympics were on

Mister Pterodactyl
I was surprised by how much this jaded old soul was inspired by the two swimming and gymnastics golds. Did I miss the shotput and weightlifting?

FFF got caught

by the Hitler gun "quote" the other day. This one:
This year will go down in history! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!

They directed me to read this, from The Straight Dope in their retraction. Here's some meat from the article for you to chew on:
OK, so the quote and cite are screwed up. What about the supposed law itself? Well, as described in the FAQ, 1935 "has no correlation with any legislative effort by the Nazis for gun registration." (Nor, for that matter, does 1936, the year you mention in your question.) Indeed, there was no need for the Nazis to pass a law like that, because the earlier Weimar government had already passed gun registration laws. When I asked Cramer about his research, he said, "The laws adopted by the Weimar Republic intended to disarm Nazis and Communists were sufficiently discretionary that the Nazis managed to use them against their enemies once they were in power." In other words, they didn't need to pass additional laws. The Nazis did pass a weapons law in 1938, but that only added restrictions to the previous law, especially for Jews and other "non-citizens."

He's got good links there too.

I finally passed 3000 hits (I don't count page views) since I got my counter in February. Things were going kind of slow until I became the acknowledged master of AdWare. "I wonder if this guy knows anything." Click. "Nope." Click.

Ah, well...

I'm sad to say, that I'm no longer 40.

I passed that milestone on the 14th while I was in Grand Portage.
I liked being 40. A story line that I never developed was that a guy figured out a way to experience the lives of people in the past, but none of them lived beyond the age of 40, though they all lived at least that long. By this method, he was able to experience real life through all of the last 2500 years, though he grew pretty tired of the pain of dying. And only in the last year of each life was he able to remember and integrate the experiences which he gained, though he had to experience the frustration of not being able to change history.

Take this ball and run with it, if you have the creative skills.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Aliina said her first word at about 10:25.

Besides "Daddy" that is. Or rather "daddaddaddaddad..." She does seem to be aware that I respond to that, though.

The were looking at a Hmong Christmas decoration (at least that's what we use it for, and they sell them around Christmas, the wretched capitalists) that Rosie has hanging in her doorway and Laurie said, "Pretty!" and Rosie repeated it and then Aliina said it.

Looks like I'll have to take my own picture of our Hmong ornaments.

Well, here are the two that lost my little contest

for which to set as background.
Girls playing in the encampment at sunset
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It was tough not to pick this one, but The Fort from Mount Rose at Dawn is just so strikingly beautiful to me. When the computer boots up to that picture first thing in the morning, I'll feel that cold air again, like a "cold slap in the face". This one's also a little dark.

This one is my background at home: Dawn from Mount Rose.
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Rosie chose it. I think it's beautiful too, but not necessarily evocative of any memories except maneuvering to get that picture. And racing up the hill in sub-fifty degree, pre-dawn cold. Or 10 degrees C fer you furriners.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

On SideFind

For all you people looking for an easy way out, I have no better advice than what you see in the comments section of the original post.

Yeah, I cure it. By killing the patient. I nuked the hard drive and reloaded all my software.

Do regular back-ups. And don't back-up if something seems even mildly irregular. Go back to your last back-up.

For my regular readers who're wondering what the h*** I'm talking about, that big burst of hits on my 'Counter is largely fueled by people searching for answers on SideFind. Apparently I've become the world's second leading expert.

OK, so I'm following-up the referring URLs

of visitors to my blog. I get the guy in the previous post, this guy - a new blogger who looks promising, and somebody who said this, "There is only one reason that would make me change the channel from watching womens olympic swimming; that would be the best movie of all time, Karate Kid."

Now, that last one is just disturbing. Now, I'm a bourgeois philistine and all that, but Karate Kid doesn't even approach Rocky - of which it is a sorry imitation, let alone Casablanca. Or my favorite Bogie movie, The Maltese Falcon. Hey! Cool website!

Pretty funny post on the whole though, read it.

Here's a lesson I wish my libertarian

and Objectivist acquaitances would learn from Christians:

"While it's good to challenge and boldly lead, it's better to love."

Taken from this post by a conservative Christian.


2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
World Wide Web: http://www.LP.org
For release: August 17, 2004
For additional information:
George Getz, Communications Director
Phone: (202) 333-0008

Best strategy for troop realignment
is to bring them back home, Badnarik says

WASHINGTON, DC -- President Bush's plan for a massive realignment of
U.S. troops is half right, says Libertarian presidential candidate
Michael Badnarik: All U.S. forces should be re-deployed -- right back to
the United States.

"Bush wants to remove U.S. troops from places where they don't belong,
then put them in other places where they don't belong," says Badnarik.
"It's time to bring all of our men and women home and start using them
for defensive purposes only."

In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Monday in Cincinnati,
Bush announced that in order to make the military more agile in the war
on terrorism, approximately 70,000 U.S. troops would be shifted from
Cold War-era bases in Europe and Asia. Some would be stationed in the
United States, while others would be sent to the Middle East, the former
Soviet republics and South Asia.

But moving more U.S. troops into the Middle East and volatile central
Asian nations may provoke more terrorism than it prevents, Libertarians

"The U.S. military presence in the Middle East has been used as a
justification for several terrorist attacks, including the September 11
tragedy," Badnarik said.

"How long can politicians pretend to be surprised when terrorist threats
turn into bloody reality? How many more innocent Americans have to lose
their lives before U.S. policy makers come to their senses and stop
interfering in other nations' affairs?"

While removing U.S. troops from Germany 15 years after the collapse of
the Soviet threat is a positive development, putting them in harm's way
elsewhere makes no sense, Badnarik says.

"Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the goal of Bush's plan is to
create more 'deployment locations' for U.S. troops," he notes. "But what
politicians call deployment locations are actually wars waiting to

"In recent history, presidents have deployed our troops to locations
like Vietnam, Lebanon, Bosnia, Somalia and Iraq, and each time Americans
died needlessly. The lesson is that politicians can't be trusted to
distinguish between national defense and military adventurism.

"Bush's plan is nothing more than more military adventurism, and it's
only a matter of time before innocent Americans pay the price -- again."

Here's another, friendlier, exchange

with The Probligo [by email]:

>Perhaps there is something that ties from your comments on the objective moral standard ( I prefer "universal moral" ) through to the consideration of an "objective religion standard" ( better as "universal religion"?). If you have the inclination I would like to hear your thoughts, and anyone else, on the idea.
>If I can state the moot in the following manner it might be clearer...
>A "religion" is a system of beliefs and traditions held in common by a group of people.
>The traditions are secondary to the core beliefs and provide scientific, historical, cultural, secular and supernatural explanations for the nature of the known world.
>The core beliefs at the very heart of the religion directly determine and control the social conduct of the group. Such core beliefs give the foundation for the morals and ethics of the society.
>Is that core belief the equivalent of the universal moral?
In a society such as ours, where there is no overt punishment for breaches of dogma, the individual is left to decide on his own how much the core beliefs of his religion will determine his actions and to a great degree, how much of his religion he will even learn. That's why the freer societies, with secular governments have such a melange of cultural cross-currents. One of the problems, maybe, that moral -relativists and -objectivists have in understanding one another is that the relativists see morality in the way you describe, where objectivists don't include (or try not to include) a bunch of cultural accretions in what we're calling morality. It remains necessary to preach and teach it because we're all born ignorant, and therefore have to learn it somewhere and part of human nature is that we pick it up from our elders. We exclude a lot of sexual morality, unless there is a good reason for it. There are good reasons not to be promiscuous, for example--unwanted pregnancy and STDs primary among them--but having multiple sex partners during the course of one's life isn't evil per se, just risky. An Objectivist would say it's immoral to take unnecessary risks but moral to take necessary ones.

I think that illustrates the point that Objectivism (I'm capitalizing it here, because there are groups of organized Objectivists that, I'm pretty sure would agree with me, though the term, when capitalized also includes their metaphysical and epistemological beliefs) turns to science to learn what the nature of Reality is. As Francis Bacon said, "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed." Nature doesn't speak with a voice. It speaks through cause and effect. Action and consequence. And those things teach people quickly, when they are free to learn; i.e. when they aren't led astray by false teachings supported by artificial punishments. Of course, sometimes only the survivors are left to learn the lesson that something doesn't work. Then it's important to tell the stories, so that others don't repeat the mistakes.

Just checkin' out the new BlogThis button.

Old Whig's Brain Dump

How's this work?

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Walter Williams apparently snuck one past me

Socialism is evil backs up some of what I had to say in my last post.
Some might rejoin that all of this is a result of a democratic process and it's legal. Legality alone is no guide for a moral people. There are many things in this world that have been, or are, legal but clearly immoral. Slavery was legal. Did that make it moral? South Africa's apartheid, Nazi persecution of Jews, and Stalinist and Maoist purges were all legal, but did that make them moral?

Can a moral case be made for taking the rightful property of one American and giving it to another to whom it does not belong? I think not. That's why socialism is evil. It uses evil means (coercion) to achieve what are seen as good ends (helping people). We might also note that an act that is inherently evil does not become moral simply because there's a majority consensus.

And in his follow-up article today he has this:
One reader criticized, "The essence of democracy is that the will of the majority conveys legitimacy to actions of the state." That's a sad commentary on both understanding and education. The Founders didn't intend for us to be a democracy but instead a republic. But more importantly, majority rule often confers an aura of legitimacy to acts that would otherwise be deemed tyranny. Let's look at it:

Consider a few everyday decisions such as: whom we marry, what food we eat, where we live and what clothes we wear. How many of us would want majority rule to determine those decisions. For example, your family would like ham for Thanksgiving dinner and vacations in Mexico, but you're prevented from doing so because the majority of Americans decided on turkey for Thanksgiving and vacations in Canada. Were decisions actually made this way, most of us would agree that we'd be living in a state of tyranny.

Of course these particular decisions aren't made through a majority rule political process, but they do illustrate that there's nothing sacrosanct about majority rule; it can be just another form of tyranny. It's just as tyrannical for majority rule to determine other choices such as: retirement (Social Security), prescription drugs, health care and other unconstitutional uses of a person's earnings.

"Don't politicize! Privatize!"* Morality as well as economics.

*As soon as I figure out how to make the bumper stickers, I'll make them available to the public real cheap.

Monday, August 16, 2004

I think HAC's got a great post

here. I agree with her rather strongly, but the commenters don't. I think it's too late to get in on the discussion there, really, but I find myself wondering how a radical relativist expects to convince anybody of a philosophy based on nothing. I'd say that human knowledge develops over time, though there are no guarantees that we'll always head in the right direction. I think "we" hit it pretty well with Natural Law Theory, and the only argument against it that I see is that it has religious origins.

It is a premise, ladies and gentlemen, that there is no god. Occam's Razor may lead you to the conclusion that science hasn't proven the God Theory, and therefore no reason to blindly accept it, let alone insist on it, but the religiosity of the originators of Natural Law Theory doesn't qualify as a reason to toss it out. That would be an ad hominem argument.

The bunch of relativists rabble-rousing over there seems to be happy with the notion that cultures can make any rules they want and they pull out examples from history showing that all these cultures have worked out just fine. Interesting that none have been found without strong religious beliefs. You can argue that Taoism and Confucianism are godless, I suppose, but they seldom exist without an admixture of some variety of Buddhism.

They seem to be arguing that, since NLT became generally accepted Utopia didn't immediately appear, therefore NLT is wrong.

The brain wants food. I'll be happy to discuss this further, if anybody cares. Assuming I find sustenance.
BTW, completely off the subject, I must be doubling the amount of water in those buckets we were pressing yesterday. They weren't that big. The guy I asked must have meant that the total amount of water was 3 gallons, not 3/bucket. That would make the weight about 50 lbs. with the yoke and buckets included. I was glad to discover how comfortable those yokes are. I'll have to make one.

I just got back from Grand Portage

I checked the emails. I got this bit of interesting news from some missionaries I know in the former East Germany:
We had the opportunity to watch the opening ceremony of the Olympics. I was pleased to hear the cheers for the American team, and also to hear the German announcer announce us with enthusiasm. It touched my heart when I saw a German athlete run over and give an American Flag to one of our people, since the American team was trying to be low key and weren't carrying flags. We're developing a great love for the people in our church and for those in our building, though it's hard to get to know them because we're always in a hurry passing each other in the halls. May God bless Germany, and God Bless America.

I didn't catch that angle from the news media.

I avoid politics at Rendezvous, but sometimes chuckleheads insist on imposing it on me. This one guy, a tourist [we 'voyageurs' call them "flatlanders" - at the Grand Canyon, where I used to work, we called them "tourons"] who I instantly sized up as a drunk, talked about what an a-hole Bush is. My wife thought he was a child molester. I gave him some answer that indicated A. that I agreed with him partly, B. that I had thought about the issue more than he had, and C. that he should move on. Damned if I can remember what I said, but he did move on. My wife told me later that he claimed to be a college English prof. What a freakin' shock.

No pics of that guy, but here are a few other pics.

Sunday morning, the cold woke me before sunrise and I raced up Mount Rose to snap a few pictures. This is the view of the Fort from there (Oops! Let me shrink that):
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I mention it first, because first thing Rosie wanted to do after we set up camp there on Friday was to climb Mount Rose. Of course, this picture was taken at dawn on Sunday, but the weather was much the same all three days and I forgot to bring the camera the first time up. It was quite warm when I took Rosie up there and she was barefoot, so after a while, she discovered that long walks on rough, hot pavement were hard on the feet, and I ended up carrying her much of the way. Did I mention that she's large for her age? I felt every one of her 80+ pounds before we got back to camp. [Go to hell, pervs!]

The next day, she had learned her lesson and wore her moccasins. (The Chippewa word is Makazin; guess who coined the term.) And she wanted to climb another mountain that was supposed to be down the Grand Portage trail:
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Nothing like looking for something that's not there.
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She insisted we keep searching for about 3 and a half miles before we got reliable reports that no trail to any such mountain existed. The "mountains" exist, but not the trail. But she was tough this time, and had her moccasins on, so she made it all the way out under her own steam. I should mention that a great driving force was a group of older Ojibwe (Chippewa, or, as they prefer to call themselves, Anishinabe) girls and a misguided leader from the neighboring event, the Pow Wow, who had the same goal. (I'm disinclined to make fun of the term "pow wow" out of ignorance of its origins; the indians I know seemed content with it and most of the old terms, that we "anglos" commonly use, seem to come from ojibwe or iroquoian roots.)

You may notice that I seem to be inclined to allow others to learn from their own mistakes. And that I am perfectly happy to suffer along with them in the process. This is true, but the fact is, that I believe that these kinds of suffering very quickly result in wisdom, endurance and strength. Those are my highest values. Quite simply, they fit into my personal agenda. Why stop somebody who's headed my way?

Saturday I joined in the "Rugged Voyageur Pentathlon," which consisted of 1. starting a fire with flint and steel, 2. carrying a 90 pound pack of furs about 30 yards, 3. properly folding and pressing 5 beaver pelts, 4. carrying a glass of - very euphemistically termed - "high wine" (they were kind enough to use lemonade mixed with tea this year; I understand the concoction has been quite revolting in the past) balance on a diamond-shaped voyageur's canoe paddle, followed by drinking it, and 5. kissing the cook: "Marietta". "Marietta" hasn't shaved in "her" life. Voyageurs didn't see many white women in the Northwest. I placed out of the money in this event. Though I can't say that I shamed myself. I leave it to you to decide what that means. Rugged indeed.

Sunday, after my photography session, I joined an event that some card named "The Yoke's on You!" It was a strength contest in which the contestant military pressed a water carrying yoke with two wooden buckets of water (six gallons total) attached. I placed second with 36 reps. Not surprisingly, a blacksmith (if he's not a native Scot, he never stops playing one) beat me with 38. Of course, I contend that he cheated his last ten reps with excessive leg movement, but I realized when he started to do it that the rules didn't preclude that. Crap!)

But it was a most enjoyable time.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

I'm heading here tonight

for another one of these.

Where are the "drafts" going when I save them?

I ran across an article at www.abclies.com ripping John Stossel while doing a Google search to see what he has to say about cab licensing.

Here's an interview of Walter Williams by FreeRepublic on that and other related topics.

I was going to give it a preliminary fisking, before checking the facts. Just to see if there might be some interesting changes in my attitude from the process. This paragraph uses snob-appeal, guilt-by-association and appeal-to-authority:
Stossel is actually an evangelist for 80's style greed. ["That's SO-O-O 1980s!" isn't an argument.] In fact in a program called just that, Greed, Stossel spent a full hour trying to reverse the verdict of the great muckrakers of the past like Ida Tarbell. [Who died and made her God?] He tried to say that the Robber Barons of the Gilded Age were actually doing us all a favor in their pursuit of monopolies and their thefts from the public and government. Stossel removed the horns from figures like John Rockefeller and Jay Gould and tried to plant haloes on their heads. Like Ivan Boesky's famous commencement speech (mimicked by Oliver Stone in his film Wall Street, Stossel concluded that "Greed is good."

Of course, the pursuit of monopolies is evil, because even a natural monopoly can't be maintained long by incompetent managers without employing agents of the government. A competent manager wouldn't need to look there for help. Ron Chernow seemed a little too sanguine with Rockefeller's corporatism, I'll check out Tarbell's book before I get too riled.

BTW I think the "Greed is good" speech in Wall Street is inspirational.

Oh, here's what FAIR has to say about Greed.

This story's been around a bit already

I read it via Catholic Packer Fan who has some amusing comments including this little 'graph:
If I am the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission, I am expecting a visit from the '60 Minutes' crew any day now, after this incident involving 86 year old veteran CBS and '60 Minutes' reporter Mike Wallace.

I'd only add that New York should abolish their fascistic cab licensing system and maybe '60 Minutes' will make a crusade of it. If they can't figure out the angle, they should talk to John Stossel. The inspector acted like he thought he was a real cop. Typical bureaucrat.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Armstrong Williams makes a good case for Colin Powell

for drafting Colin Powell for president in 2008, though that's not his point. It's mine. I don't think Powell would do everything I want done - he's a pretty moderate Republican - but I don't think the US can get past the race thing, as Poppy Bush would say, without someone very much like Powell. Of course, the socialists would never be happy, but we can't give in to their rants.

Keep in mind, that I'm not that thrilled with conservative Republicans either. I like guys like Ron Paul. Too bad he's almost unique.

But, as I say, I don't think we can move on before we have a good black President.

Paranoid-Schizophrenia runs in my family

or so those quacks from the dark ages of psychiatry, the 1950s, told one of us. So it's probably not that good an idea for me to examine all the data Sitemeter gathers for me, but I notice I've had at least one reader from Syria. Hopefully my extraordinary persuasive powers converted him(?) to Whiggism.


[I'd put quotes on that, but I don't want to imply that I don't mean it. Whose beer ad is it?]

From the Mises Institute:

What Does Marginality Mean?by Robert Murphy
[Posted August 2004]

...[L]et me point out one subtle contradiction by the critics of capitalism: The very same people who remind us over and over that a person's income is no measure of his or her intrinsic worth, are the ones who complain the loudest over this country's "priorities" when it comes to salaries. But if we are already agreed that a person's salary has no relation to moral worth or social importance, then why is the teacher (or nurse, fire fighter, etc.) entitled to more money than the professional athlete?

There is also much talk about the comparative values of water and diamonds and advice on what to do about sunk costs. (Hint: screw 'em.)

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

There are more obtuse remarks from me

on Probligo's US-NZ relations post. He's talkin' history and I'm talkin' etherial theory [in the aerie].

A quote comes to me via The Advocates for Self-Government

Ronald Reagan on the Draft...

"[The draft] rests on the assumption that your kids belong to the state. If
we buy that assumption then it is for the state -- not for parents, the
community, the religious institutions or teachers -- to decide who shall
have what values and who shall do what work, when, where and how in our
society. That assumption isn't a new one. The Nazis thought it was a great
idea." -- Ronald Reagan, Human Events, 1979.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Ok, now I'm effin' pissed!

I worked for two hours on an elaboration of what went on at the Rendezvous, saved it as a draft and now it's gone. *&%##%#@#er!

Well, I saved it as a draft because I wasn't happy with any turns of phrase, but it was at least an excellant set of notes to work with and I'm *&%##%#@#in' pissed-off that it's gone. I must have shut the window too soon.

Yes, this is an admission that I did not, in fact, write one single word while I was gone.

OK, what was I doing instead of writing? Well, I was carrying water, firewood, my baby, pots full of boiling water or various soups and stews, wielding a hammer, axe, saw or knife, or a coffee mug and/or eating utensils (and a couple of times a beer mug, sorry)... Or I was pointing out constellations and the Northern Lights to my older daughter...or plants or trees or birds or somebody's cool stuff... And dancing with Rosie to great fiddle music.

Rosie was especially enamored of the storytellers: Anishinabe, Objibwe, Dakota and otherwise. I'm sad to say I didn't have time to listen to all, or even most, of the stories with her. I told somebody that she showed signs of being a great storyteller herself some day. She sort of shivered in that happy/excited way she does when I said that. She liked that idea. The stories I heard were really wonderful, but she would remember them better than I do.

One time I came back to check on her and the woman who had just finished her stories was sitting with her arm around Rosie while they listened to the next storyteller. Rosie might be pleasantly surprised to find out that I have a lot of those stories in my books.

At the church rummage sale last week, I bought a shelf full of books which have been advertised, in typical philistine ad-man style, as "Six Feet of Classics." My buddy (all right, I've never met him) Morty Adler was a major contributor as an editor to the series.

I find that I am mistaken, it is a five foot shelf of classics chosen by Charles W. Eliot. Here is a comparison of the two lists of classics.

Anyway, to get back to my point, Rosie seemed much impressed when I read to her the beginning of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales from the Collection of The Great Books that I got for $25 (judge the deal I got), indirectly from our assistant pastor.

Back to the Rendezvous, The fatigue and soreness I felt today (yesterday now) give me renewed respect for those ancient canoe paddlers, the Voyageurs (highly recommended book, by me and available everywhere voyageurs are revered), and I hauled my stuff there in a pickup truck.

We didn't camp much as kids; our mother was born in a tent in Oklahoma, on land that my uncle Bill has now aquired, less than a football field away from where my father is buried and Mom will be also when she dies. [I fear that she longs for that day too much, but she cares too much, as a former nurse, for the advancement of medicine to give up the fight. God bless her!] But she had no desire to return to the emulation of poverty that is camping. She experienced plenty of poverty. But like many former Okies, "They didn't know they was poor. They thought they was just broke!" My immediate forefathers didn't sit around waiting for the government to take care of them, they set out to find work. Grandpa Bennett rode the rails all over the country and Grandpa Erkkila was set as a farmer/blacksmith. The key was, you didn't turn away any opportunity to earn money or a meal or whatever you needed to support yourself and/or your family. The American Way is a cross between rugged individualism and a Christian "servant spirit."

Oh, did you notice this?

I ran into my old buddy Steve at White Oak. He told me he used to do these things all the time, but life had taken him away from them for a while. He owns a tipi, though he needs to replace the poles, but he has a good wall-tent that he promised to pitch at Pine City. (Remind me to brag up my wedge-tent. If you ain't got SunForger canvas, you ain't s**t!) Steve was my best friend in grade school and into junior high. Then, I'm afraid, I became a jock and he became an... anti-jock. There have been few moments in my life when I wasn't thinking of Steve with admiration.... He told tall tales as a kid, but he made a lot of them come true. Although, he told me that a classmate of ours had taken it a step farther: J___ G___, whose name is way too distinctive to place in public without his permission, now owns a fishing boat that he runs in the summers, and then he runs a trapline with sled dogs all winter. I said, "that sounds like 'success in life' to me!" Enough said.

Steve told me some stories about great shots with muzzleloaders. I was disappointed to hear he had a Hawken percussion smoothbore. I'm looking for a British Brown Bess musket. Or, perhaps a French musquet that a lowly voyageur wouldn't expect to have stolen from him.

Ah, damn! Look at the time.

Let me just quote the brilliant Lance Burri

If you haven't seen this yet, you've got to click on the link right now. All it needs are some old-style Batman BAM! and WHAM! graphics.

My comment: Oh! My! God!

I'm still kind of fried

from the long and late drive home last night, but we had a great time at the White Oak Rendezvous.

We got there about two hours before sunset on Thursday - the packing was just one thing after another and we had to stop at several stores before we finally got out of town, and traffic was hell by then - so our friends helped us set up camp. But WhiteOak has full-time "interpreters" putting on shows for visitors, like Old Fort William in Thunder Bay, Ont., Canada, or Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. I've never been to the latter, but I don't think they throw in as much humor there. Maybe, but my understanding of the voyageurs is that they didn't feel the threat of the wilderness and the savages living there as much as the English settlers did.

Are there any other interpretive historical sites out there?

Unfortunately, I lost track of my digital camera (it's in the pile somewhere, but I didn't use it), so I'll have to scan photos from the 35mm when we get them developed. I'm interested to see if I ever got a good one of the cannons firing.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

This is what I have to say about isolationism

in response to a post by The Probligo:
"There are already at least two instances of nations having chosen or preferred such isolation; North Korea and Mianmar without doubt, East Germany and the Russian bloc, other possibilities would be the apardtheit South Africa, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe and Iran with others as weaker possibilities."

You are right, sir. These are examples of the bad consequences of actually closing the borders. Don't look at me, as a libertarian, to defend either the Neocon paradigm, as defined by their sworn enemy, Justin Raimondo of Anti-war.com, nor the "Buchananite" version of isolationism espoused by the paleocons. Nor do I support the vision of the right-wing John Burch Society nor that of Democratic Socialist Lyndon LaRouche; isolationists all.

However, libertarianism's early great high-priest Thomas Jefferson expressed our credo on foreign policy:
"I am for free commerce with all nations, political connection with none, and little or no diplomatic establishment. And I am not for linking ourselves by new treaties with the quarrels of Europe, entering that field of slaughter to preserve their balance, or joining in the confederacy of Kings to war against the principles of liberty." --Thomas Jefferson to Elbridge Gerry, 1799. ME 10:77
"I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government, are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war. All their energies are expended in the destruction of the labor, property and lives of their people." --Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1823. ME: 15:436

"I sincerely join... in abjuring all political connection with every foreign power; and though I cordially wish well to the progress of liberty in all nations, and would forever give it the weight of our countenance, yet they are not to be touched without contamination from their other bad principles. Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto." --Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Lomax, 1799. ME 10:124

Now, that is a tad (and I mean a tiny, little bit) more extreme than I think we should go - we should have a loose defensive alliance with other nations that allow true individual freedom - and it is also important for us to bring justice to those who harm our citizens, meaning that their activities must be neutralized and anyone who looks up to them for an example must be discouraged.

But I was taught that one should not take up an offense for another [http://www.romanceopedia.com/I-LingerieCatalog.html (Oops! Wrong link. I meant this one http://www.new-life.net/peace1.htm) Proverbs 17:9 - "He who covers an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends."]. That is to say, that one must take the greatest care about intervening in the arguments of one's friends. I say that applies on the macro level as well as the micro. (Of course, as a budding Austrian School economist, I say that about everything.)

# posted by Al : 5:24 PM

I strongly recommend that you read his post.

The Devil You Know

linked a post of mine. I appreciate the attention, of course, blogger that I am, though I must say that if he (? - I think it's a he) really objects to ferret owners, he should remember Martin Niemoller's poem "They Came."

Here are two posts mentioning Omnipotent Government, by Ludwig von Mises: one, two. (I think the second is what he's referring to.)

I didn't read his link to the Jehovah's Witnesses. I leave it up to the reader to JUDGE on that matter.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Sorry, kids!

I'm working on Rendezvous stuff. Join me won't you? I barely had time to catch up on the news.

If I don't do the yard work before I leave the place will look like heck when I get back. I'll keep a journal while I'm there and see if any of it is worth posting. There'll be some good pictures anyway, if I don't lose my head and forget the camera on the way out the door.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Hey, Ron! Did you know about this?

The National Park Service established Ocmulgee National Monument (ONM) at Macon during the 1930s to preserve some of these historical resources.

Two extraordinary mound complexes are the most prominent cultural features of the Old Fields region. The expansive Macon Plateau Mound complex (900-1100 AD), is contained within the main ONM unit. The so-called Lamar Mound complex (1400 to 1550 AD) exists on separate ONM property south of the main unit. There were, however, at least three other confirmed mound complexes within Old Fields region. Two of these sites were essentially destroyed in development of Macon; only remnants of the third complex remain.

The Old Fields region is also the location of a number identified and unidentified, post -1550 Muscogean Tribal Town sites, as well as a great number of earlier Muscogean settlement and cultural use sites that reflect the said 12,000 year evolutionary history of the Muscogee people. No other area in the Muscogee ancestral homeland comes close to matching the Ocmulgee Old Fields region in recording the depth and the scope of Muscogean occupation of the Southeast.

There has been some academic speculation that the Old Fields may have been the place of origin of the Muscogee Confederacy. While this cannot be confirmed, the Old Fields region was of critical importance in the political events that brought disparate Muscogean peoples into a cooperative political union that may have been the Confederacy as we regard it or some earlier evolutionary form of it.

Blah, blah... This would be more interesting if I were there looking at it. But the fact is, that there's a major "Creek" indian... well, it's a National Monument... within a few miles of you.

For anybody who doesn't know, we're part Creek.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

I was just over apologizing profusely

to my buddy John Burzinsky. (Did I get it right that time? No! D****t! Burzynski! He must get writer's cramp typing that. Not like "Erkkila." That just roles off the finggertipps. Of coursse then you startt doubbling odd letters. At least we don't have one of those weird Finnish diphthongs in our name. "Hyva yoda!" I need to figure out how to enable Finnish symbols: the Y is a vowel, not a consonant - it's pronounced like a german u-umlaut - and both "a"s are umlauted.)

Anyway, I discovered this in his links. I'll have to study that site more closely. And it reminds me, that since football season is upon us, I need to revive my Packers links.

I suppose I should do something to submerge

the previous entry a bit, before work tomorrow.

Today, after church, I made the supports for our new tent. It's a Monster Wedge tent. I think it's that one right there. We set it up and let the kids run through it a couple times, but since we don't want it to mildew before we use it, we took it down and brought it into the air-conditioned house.

My wife just sent me on a search for a forge for her father, who used to be a blacksmith and wants to take it up again in retirement. I found a modern one for under $350, but I don't think I'm qualified to evaluate them. I helped our metals-shop teacher pour molten aluminum, but that's about the limit of my knowledge. Except for my project, of course - I had to make a form to pour into. Considering what they are, it's amazing that they work at all. You basically take your pattern, pack it in moist dirt, take the pattern out and pour metal in. When it cools, you take it out, sand it and paint it, or whatever.

There was a family get-together yesterday. I got to endure a bunch of government workers spewing socialism. That was fun. I just held my baby and cooed at her. It's funny how "liberals" think that nobody is capable of doing what they do. [Of course, nobody IS capable of doing what they're trying to do.] But I mean things like making an honest living, getting an education, deferring various kinds of gratification until the harvest of investment is ripe... These are rich "liberals" I'm talking about. They have a very clear view of the mote in their brother's eye, and no inkling of the board in their own.

Well, I've got to study The Book of Buckskinning to prepare for my vacation activities this summer.