Monday, January 31, 2005

A couple things I'd like to spend more time on:

LibertyBob might like this one particularly:
Reflections on Stephen Wolfram's 'A New Kind of Science'
by Ray Kurzweil

In his remarkable new book, Stephen Wolfram asserts that cellular automata operations underlie much of the real world. He even asserts that the entire Universe itself is a big cellular-automaton computer. But Ray Kurzweil challenges the ability of these ideas to fully explain the complexities of life, intelligence, and physical phenomena.

And I've spent a bit of time on this already:
Theory Gets a Reality Check:
Philosophy, Economics, and Politics as if Verisimilitude Mattered

A critique of Rawls (A New Theory of Justice) and Nozick (Anarchy, State and Utopia). (Note that both books top this list.)

I just discovered that Jeremy Iggers has an ethics column

in the Strib: Everyday Ethics. That's what happens when you cancel your subscription - you miss positive developments.

From the index page:
More about Jeremy Iggers...

Jeremy Iggers is - as far as we know - the world's only restaurant critic with a Ph.D in philosophy. In his other life, Iggers has taught courses in ethics and media ethics at several universities, conducted "philo cafe" conversations at a local bar and written a book on journalism ethics. He has a B.A. in philosophy from Carleton College and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Minnesota.

At least it looks like a positive development. See if you can see why I like this article: Charities' gifts do affect giving. (Hint: extended quote of ARI's David Holcberg. Although, that is the article that caused such a firestorm and, rightly, necessitated a clarifying statment from ARI.)

Sunday, January 30, 2005

The New American Revolutionist has a post

explaining why libertarians should support America's policy in Iraq: Appeasmentarian's Anti-War Obsession. I'll do a little kibbitzing on it when I have time.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Old Whig answers your questions.

[Where's that damn wig? Ahh. I going to have to sneak into the wife's powder box tonight or tomorrow. It's getting a little dark.]

A reader writes* with many questions on the subjects of sex and gender. I will not get into the revelations about the gentleman who was, shall we say, not vying for the appellation of Mahatma.

My procedure will be to answer the questions here, but I will do you the great favor of requiring that you, should you wish to understand my answers, go to the original post(s) to find the questions. I do not vouch for the veracity nor the sincerity of my answers and I advise you to recall the notice on the frontispiece of my colleague Samuel Clemens' Huckleberry Finn:
PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR, Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.

*How do you like the way I imply that someone sent a long letter imploring my expert opinion on these matters?


As a Deist, it is not so difficult for me to assert that The Almighty has not yet completed his creation and perfection remains in the future.

We retain the trappings of our Puritan forefathers in our personal communications and continue to try to protect the illusions we expect that others hold, while at the same time many of us have thrown off those trappings in our actual actions. (I'm not actually including myself among those scum.)

I suspect there is a self-selection issue with those studies you cite. Those who still hold to the actual religion of the Puritans would probably not be willing to answer such questions, while those who are eager to answer them are all sluts and lechers. [PSAs for my Google Ads for the next week.]

I'm sorry, The Old Whig thought he was a liberated, twenty-first century man, and therefore up to answering all of Omni's (oops, spilled the beans) questions, but he's afraid there are a couple issues "out of his purvue." Also, forgive the extended amount of time required to write this post (I actually started it Friday), because, in the interest of research, I decided to discuss it with my wife, and, well... one thing led to another...

Telling a woman what to think about how women should think is not a thing I think a man should do. [I have three older sisters.]

Why do you assume that the next shipful of aliens won't be Puritans seeking freedom to practice their repressive religion here?

Blame Omni for playing my Muse today.



Dear Winner,

WINNING NOTIFICATION We happily announce to you the draw of the Royal
spanish Sweepstake Lottery International programs held on the 14th january 2005
in Madrid Spain.Your e-mail address attached to ticket number: 212005600545 188
with Serial number 4888/02 drew the lucky numbers: 41-6-76-13-45-8, which
subsequently won you the lottery in the 2nd category.You have therefore been
approved to claim a total sum of 1,000,000.00 Euro(One million Euro) in cash
credited to file KPC/9080333308/03.This is from a total cash prize of Ten
Million Euro(10 million Euro), shared amongst the first Tenth (10th) lucky
winners in this category.Please note that your lucky winning number falls within
our Madrid booklet representative office in Spain as indicated in your play
coupon.In view of this, your 1,000,000.00 Euro(One million Euro) would be
released to you by our security firm in Madrid,Spain.Our agent will immediately
commence the process to facilitate the release of your funds as soon as you
contact him.All participants were selected randomly from World Wide Web site
through computer draw system and extracted from over 100,000 companies. This
promotion takes place annually. For security reasons, you are advised to keep
your winning information confidential till your claims is processed and your
money remitted to you in whatever manner you deem fit to claim your prize. This
is part of our precautionary measure to avoid double claiming and unwarranted
abuse of this program by some unscrupulous elements. Please be warned.To file
for your claim, please contact our fiduciary agent:

Mr Collins Smith

Sanitas Consultancy And Security Madrid Spain.


For due processing and remittance of your prize money to a designated
account of your choice.
Remember,You are to contact our agents by email and within a week of
receiving this notice.
After this date, all funds will be returned to the MINISTERIO DE ECONOMIA Y
HACIENDA as unclaimed.

To avoid unnecessary delays and complications,please quote your
reference/batch numbers in any correspondences with us or our designated
agent.Congratulations once more from all members and staffs of this

Yours Sincerely,
Richard marcial
Lottery Director.

I think I'll let the scammers call up and give their bank account numbers.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Russ Nelson finally gets around to a couple new postings

All right, a guy's allowed to go on vacation, or work for a living or have family crises or whatever...

Here's The Angry Economist's answer to LibertyBob's Prussian-style education solution (exaggeration intended for humorous effect only):
First, the existance of positive externalities of an action is not evidence that the action needs to be publicly funded. If political priorities were set rationally (which they are not -- for all that behavioral economists claim that people do not make rational decisions, their alternative is not particularly rational either), then something would be publicly funded ONLY if the public gain exceeded the public cost AND if the private cost exceeded the private gain. If individuals gain a benefit from educating themselves, then they'll be willing to pay for it.

Secondly, look at the incentives. If taxpayers fund public education because of externalities, then funding it beyond the value of the externalities is irrational. If you happen to have children in school at the time, then you'll be willing to pay more. These two effects guarantee that public schooling will never have sufficient money.

The guy really knows how to leave you begging for more, but I didn't lift the entire article. RTWT. And the next post too Perfect Competition, Perfect Markets , wherein he says this, "When choosing between two possibilities, you do not compare one against perfection and if it's found lacking, choose the other. You compare the two choices against each other."

That maxim would cure up a lot of anachronistic, ahistorical, moral analysis. You know who I'm talkin' about.

Actually, I'm kidding. I'm sure I'm guilty of it too.

I'm embarassed to admit that I was just being paranoid.

That page with the copyright warning is always generated by Google's image search. I thought it was some guy generating a page and directing his lawyers to look into it. That could still be the case, but I should just wait for the "fist city" letter before I panic.

I don't expect the Sheriff anytime soon.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I just got this forwarded to me.

I spent my spare moments today reading Snopes [thanks to Old Blue (there's another page involved: Snopes' 25 Hottest Urban Legends)] so I doubt that this happened, but I wish it had, and it certainly doesn't hurt my image of him:

Bill Gates

Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this!

To anyone with kids of any age, here's some advice. Bill Gates recently
gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not
learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct
teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and
how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair -- get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will
expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You
won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath yo ur dignity. Your
Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping -- they called it

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't
whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they
are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes
and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So
before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's
generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but
life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and
they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This
doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off
and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOU YOURSELF.
Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have
to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Another thing from Snopes that you should know:
Quote: Feminist Catharine MacKinnon said "All sex is rape."
Status: False.

I had heard that from someone I respected. I believed it. Go there to see what she really said and let that be a lesson to you: sometimes people you like and respect, like and respect other people that you don't.

I ran across an ad for an interesting set of books

while reading The Telegraph: Hitler: Speeches and Proclamations 1932 - 1945 - English Volumes by Max Domarus. I'll have to look at them at a library, there's no way I could afford them. There is a great chronology of the Hitler Era on that page, summarizing the contents.

The blurb:
In 1932, when Hitler became the most important political figure in Germany, Dr. Domarus began to collect his public statements, speeches, interviews, and letters, being conscious of their eventual documentary value. Friends at home and abroad persuaded him to make comments on this unique collection and publish it in its entirety.
This publication's most distinctive feature is to be found in the clear, concise and insightful comments of the author.

I wonder if they've addressed these objections:

The most widely used reference source for Hitler's speeches is

Max Domarus, ed. Hitler: Reden und Proklamationen, 1932-1945, 2 Bände. (Würzburg: Schmidt, 1962-63). Library of Congress # DD247.H5 A3758.
Max Domarus, ed. Hitler: Speeches and Proclamations, 1932-1945. 4 Vols. Trans. Mary Fran Gilbert (Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci, 1990). Library of Congress # DD247.H5 A57513 1990.
Unfortunately, however, the Domarus volumes suffer from several significant deficiencies.

Contrary to what most people think this is not a complete collection of complete speeches. Some speeches are mere excerpts. Others are missing altogether. Even worse is the fact the confused editorial structure of the book. It is often hard to see where speeches begin and end, and Domarus insists on inserting his comments in the middle of speeches. The main value of the book is that it is a good list of Hitler's speeches and footnotes for those speech listings.

The English translation is a particular problem being of very poor quality.

That World Future Fund looks to be worthy of attention [he said ominously].

What?! The Bottomfeeding Eurotrash Lawyers gave up?!

Here are the websites that had me worried. One (probably not work-safe), two and three. Oh, and four. There was a German version as well.

If you want to see the image that caused all the furor, it was this one.

The Big Lake in Winter

I'm not there now, it's been too long
The Point, the beach, the shore
Miles of untracked snow
Twilight to darkness
Moonless, never blackness

Broken chunks of ice, endless, ceaseless rush
Hoarse lakewhispers: loud, but

Update: Ah, it sounded better last night. Whattaya expect from a self-avowed philistine?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Hey! (I like that word apparently.) Just so ya know:

Libertarian Party Of Minnesota
799 Raymond Avenue
Saint Paul, MN 55114-1522
Phone: 651-646-8980

January 24, 2005

SAINT PAUL, MN - Libertarian Party of Minnesota Announces 2005 Convention

The Libertarian Party of Minnesota 2005 Convention will take place Saturday,
April 9 at the beautiful Galtier Plaza in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The convention will include a variety of top national and local Libertarian
speakers, fine dining, auctions, workshops, free gifts and much more.

2004 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate Michael Badnarik will discuss
the 2004 campaign as well as potential future campaigns.

Best-selling Author of The Bush Betrayal James Bovard will give a
humorous, yet critical synopsis of the first term of the Bush Administration
as well as a forecast of the next four years.

Amanda Phillips, President of the Free State Project, will discuss how
people can achieve liberty in their lifetime with the New Hampshire Free
State Project.

Additional convention speakers will include:
David Strom, President of the Taxpayers' League of Minnesota
Ed Thompson, Former Libertarian Party of Wisconsin Chair
Vin Suprynowicz, Author and Journalist
Michael Wilson, Filmmaker of "Michael Moore Hates America"

Tickets can be purchased online at or by mail for $60*. Ticket
availability is limited. For convention inquiries call the Libertarian
Party of Minnesota headquarters at 651-646-8980 or email

*Early-Bird Special Price good through 02/28/05.

The Libertarian Party is committed to America's heritage of freedom
individual liberty and personal responsibility, a free-market economy of
abundance and prosperity, a foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and
free trade.

The Libertarian Party is the third largest political party in America. More
than 600 Libertarians currently serve in elected and appointed office across
the country, seven in Minnesota.

I forgot what I was going to say.


I am nerdier than 24% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

About what I figured.
Updates (1/27/05): I think I'll put these here. If nobody notices... eh.

You Have A Type B Personality


You're as laid back as they come...
Your baseline mood is calm and level headed
Creativity and philosophy tend to be your forte

Like a natural sedative, you have a soothing effect on people
Friends and family often turn to you first with their problems
You have the personality to be a spiritual or psychological guru

I am the number
I am friendly


what number are you?

this quiz by orsa

We're in for it, folks.

I got my copies of Blog and Interior Desecrations from Amazon today.

I said to my eight-year-old daughter, "Hey! You want to see what houses looked like in the Seventies?"

"Yeah!" she exclaimed, running over to the table.

I handed her the book and stepped over to the fridge to get something for the baby to eat. I could hear her paging through it.

Then she said, "They had some cool stuff back then!"

We need an intervention.

Actually, there's good news. After going over the book with her for a while (like a true Seventies-educated parent I tried not to influence her judgment), she began squealing with laughter at the pictures as we turned the pages.

Maybe we don't have to face our futures at The Home anticipating a renaissance of this sort of thing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I'm sorry, I think this is funny!

Imagine Johnny Carson telling this joke (you know he would):

Q: How many Bush Administration officials does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are malicious spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate freedom?

How would Johnny have come back at the other side, as he was wont to do?

I got it at The Menagerie.

Hey! Life could become vastly more pleasurable!

Somebody appears to be checking me out on a copyright infringement issue.

Praise the Lord.

Update: they may just be using my site as evidence against someone else. I will obey any cease and desist order.

Ghost Riders in the Sky, by Johnny Cash

An old cowboy went riding out one dark and windy day
Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way
When all at once a mighty herd of red eyed cows he saw
A-plowing through the ragged sky and up the cloudy draw

Their brands were still on fire and their hooves were made of steel
Their horns were black and shiny and their hot breath he could feel
A bolt of fear went through him as they thundered through the sky
For he saw the Riders coming hard and he heard their mournful cry

Yippie yi Ohhhhh
Yippie yi yaaaaay
Ghost Riders in the sky

Their faces gaunt, their eyes were blurred, their shirts all soaked with sweat
He's riding hard to catch that herd, but he ain't caught 'em yet
'Cause they've got to ride forever on that range up in the sky
On horses snorting fire
As they ride on hear their cry

As the riders loped on by him he heard one call his name
If you want to save your soul from Hell a-riding on our range
Then cowboy change your ways today or with us you will ride
Trying to catch the Devil's herd, across these endless skies

Yippie yi Ohhhhh
Yippie yi Yaaaaay

Ghost Riders in the sky
Ghost Riders in the sky
Ghost Riders in the sky

Johnny Cash rocks! He's the only artist who could equal my dad.

Dad was an unknown, because the agents he met were evil scum. It looks like Johnny Cash's were too, but maybe they were smoother. I've read Man in Black: I don't think Johnny was dumber... But maybe the music was too important to the rest of us for God to worry himself about Johnny's health and marriage, though both lasted longer than average.

Dad met Johnny when dad went to Nashville with his band in the army in the late 1950s. I don't know what dad sang there, but he drew Johnny's attention and they had a conversation about dad's guitar, a beautiful Gibson that my mother still has and that dad always played when he got off "the boats." He'd sing those wonderful songs, by Hank Williams, Hank Thompson and Hank Snow as well as Johnny Cash - and the yodelling songs by artists I don't remember, and "The Auctioneer Song" and "Rye Whiskey" with which he used to win talent contests. Songs that required real vocal and guitar playing talent. Dad never had a lesson unless it was jam sessions he didn't consider it necessary to talk about.

He was most impressed by Hank Snow, I think. I'm pretty sure he didn't approve of my liking for Willy Nelson and Waylon Jennings, though he preferred them by far to my German Punk phase ("Scharze Gummi Stiefel." I still have that around here somewhere, and I could quote and translate the lyrics to you, if you cared). I have the range for Waylon and Willie, but I can't yodel, and my version of the auctioneer song is really disturbing. I can do most of the three Hanks' songs, and my voice is enough like Dad's to make Mom happy, but I can't play the guitar worth a lick.

Dad always listened to pop music (thank God, mid- to late- seventies/early eighties country wasn't worth a turd) and I liked it when he said this or that song was good. Dan Fogelberg's Leader of the Band met his approval. It should, it was his life story.

Dan Fogelberg

An only child alone and wild
A cab'net maker's son
His hands were meant for diff'rent work
And his heart was known to none
He left his home and went his lone and solitary way
And he gave to me a gift
I know I never can repay

A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn't wait
He earned his love thru' discipline
A thund'ring velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand

The leader of the band
Is tired and his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs thru' my instrument
And his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band

My brother's lives were diff'rent
For they heard another call
One went to Chicago and the other to St. Paul
And I'm in Colorado
When I'm not in some hotel
Living out this life I've chose
And come to know so well

I thank you for the music
And your stories of the road
I thank you for the freedom
When it came my time to go
I thank you for the kindness
And the times when you got tough
And papa I don't think I said
"I love you" near enough

The leader of the band
Is tired and his eyes are growing old
But his blood runs thru' my instrument
And his song is in my soul
My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man
I'm just a living legacy
To the leader of the band
I am the living legacy
To the leader of the band

Fortunately, country music had a revival before he died and he could feel that he hadn't been wasting his life as he sang his last songs in 1992.

Dad came down with Mesothelioma (Asbestosis) in the spring of that year. It took away his singing ability first. That was the hardest thing for me to take, and the hardest thing to forgive God for.

Two weeks before he died, he asked me to help him commit suicide.... I reasoned - not aloud - it wasn't worth spending prison time for.

He said, "It doesn't seem to be working."

I answered, "No."

I was relieved that he didn't suffer much longer because of my negligence of my duty as a son....

Monday, January 24, 2005

Ole Blue the Heretic, one of those bastards

who's a better writer than I [green envy-face*], has reminded me of a story a guy told me when I lived in Arizona (Grand Canyon Village, delivering pop for Fred Harvey, Inc.).

The guy was nicknamed Worm-Boy by one of our co-workers, Greg A___, who may well have been the biggest smart-ass I ever met (the parenthetical point that needs to be made here would make a large post of its own, but suffice to say that #2 had mental problems and wasn't nearly as funny) because he's about 5' 7", 130#... He made a meager living as a pool shark in California for a couple years before taking the warehouse job at the Canyon. He taught me to play and let me beat him a couple times before mopping the floor with me.

Anyway, Worm-Boy took his girl-friend to an auto-show in a big arena one Friday night. He's a real cowboy lookin' dude, and I picture him in a cowboy hat, though he probably wasn't wearing one that night. But he was wearing cowboy boots. And jeans and a t-shirt.

They bought a big 40-oz cup of coke and he drank most of it while they wandered around looking at the hot-rods and concept cars on display, and after passing up a few early calls of nature he decided it was time to hit the men's room. The outside wall of the arena had doors like every 25 feet and none of them marked, so he walked up to this great big dude who was leaning with his arms crossed next to one and asked, "Is this the men's room?"

"Yeah," the big dude answered, so Worm-Boy pushed it open. There was nothing but blackness on the other side, but suddenly he was violently shoved through the door. At which point the vague thought formed in his head that, as he put it, "The guy was either going to rob me or rape me, so I spun around with a wild haymaker and just happened to catch the guy in the chin. I couldn't see a damn thing! It was just the purest luck! The guy bounced off the wall and I kicked as hard as I could. His legs directed my pointy cowboy boot straight to the target.

"He went down and just laid there moaning.

"Well, I still had to piss like a race-horse, so I pulled it out and pissed right on him. It was a long piss, and he didn't even change positions.

"But the bitch of it all was that I had to pay again to get back in! I told 'em the whole story! I even said, 'He's probably still back there, layin' in a puddle of piss!' but they made me pay again anyway!"
This is "Worm-Boy's" story, and he deserves the credit. I still have all the letters that I wrote to my -now- wife and I'm sure I have his real name in there somewhere. If he wants credit, I'll give it to him.

I envy his manliness.

*Btw, envy is a joke emotion to me; hatred isn't the only possible emotion that can follow it--in fact it shouldn't. You should feel admiration and renewed inspiration in your own endeavors. Individuality will ensure that your results will be different and valuable in their own way if you pursue them to completion.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

This thing says that my life expectancy is

70.8 years. That's good news, since I figured 55 was as good as I could expect. They have suggestions for how I could do better, but that 15 extra years seems like reward enough to me.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Since I don't know how much traffic

Grandpa John's gets, I feel the need to direct all I can muster to the Swiss Family Burri. Lance and Todd* do great, thoughtful (thought-full) posts on their own blogs, but they still see fit to join their Uncle Steve in adding wonderful content the site. Jack (Grandpa John) has been MIA for months now, apparently emulating Howard Hughes as best he can (hopefully not for the same reason, but I'm not in any position to know).

In any case, Lance has an awesome round-up of articles on Social Security reform that is worthy of notice by itself (and another)... Anyone interested in that debate will be well-fortified with amunition by reading those articles. (I think he's got his own as well, but I'm not finding it. I'll stuff it in this spot if he'll tell me where it is.)

*"This URL is the test. When you can type its length... with no trace of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome... you will have learned." More posts, though, boy. Hwa-tshh!

I rather deeply wanted to go to the

big Minnesota blogger get-together today at Keegan's Irish Pub, but the wife stuck me with the kids at 10:00 this morning so she could clean her room at school and she's not back yet. I'd be worried, what with the weather and all, but I trust her driving and I know her too well. She's late because it was that much of a mess, and she had no idea where to start.

The kids have been a joy - they're absolutely angelic (I wish I'd taken a picture) - but they've been missing their mommy all day, and I'm rather irritated by it.

Minnesota Nice means: hide your anger until it's killing time.

Call me a dirty liar, if you will.

Well, I needed a break from leaching away KipEsquire's life-force. (Good s**t, though.) So, I was wandering around the BoS checking on comments I'd left elsewhere when it became clear to me that I was obliged to post an entry from The Ayn Rand Lexicon, edited by Harry Binswanger (PB, 1988 and all that). Page 100, auspiciously enough [my summary is at the end]:
"Conservatives" vs. "Liberals." Both [conservatives and liberals] hold the same premise--the mind-body dichotomy--but choose opposite sides of this lethal fallacy.

The conservatives want freedom to act in the material realm; they tend to oppose government control of production, of industry, of trade, of business, of physical goods, of material wealth. But they advocate government control of man's spirit, i.e., man's consciousness; they advocate the State's right to impose censorship, to determine moral values, to create and enforce a governmental establishment of morality, to rule the intellect. The liberals want freedom to act in the spiritual realm; they oppose censorship, they oppose government control of ideas, of the arts, of the press, of education (note their concern with "academic freedom"). [Ed. note: it appears that, in Miss Rand's day their were still distinctions between Liberals and socialists.] But they advocate government control of material production, of business, of employment, of wages, of profits, of all physical property--they advocate it all the way down to total expropriation. [I spoke too soon.]

The conservatives see man as a body freely roaming the earth, building sand piles or factories--with an electronic computer inside his skull, controlled from Washington. The liberals see man as a soul freewheeling to the farthest reaches of the universe--but wearing chains from nose to toes when he crosses the street to buy a loaf of bread.

Yet it is the conservatives who are predominantly religionists, who proclaim the superiority of the soul over the body, who represent what I call the "mystics of spirit." And it is the liberals who are predominantly materialists, who regard man as an aggregate of meat, and who represent what I call the "mystics of muscle."

This is merely a paradox, not a contradiction: each camp wants to control the realm it regards as metaphysically important; each grants freedom only to the activities it despises. Observe that the conservatives insult and demean the rich or those who succeed in material production, regarding them as morally inferior--and that the liberals treat ideas as a cynical con game. "Control," to both camps, means the power to rule by physical force. Neither camp holds freedom as a value. The conservatives want to rule man's consciousness; the liberals, his body.

Apparently the image of the computer loomed large and had, perhaps, some mystical connotations in 1973, when she wrote this.

I summarized this in a comment to Lance Burri here:
Ayn Rand said that Liberals and Conservatives each want to control one aspect of life and want to allow freedom in the one they don't care about. Liberals want to control material things (what people do with money and stuff) while Conservatives want to control spiritual things (what people do with God (or gods), themselves and each other.

She, of course, advocated freedom in both realms and no support for foolishness in either.

Friday, January 21, 2005

I'm tired of me today

I'm gonna go read this guy.

I'll be back after I absorb a sufficient portion of his soul.

A significant portion. Yesss, my preciousss...

I like it! Damn Straight!

You are Anarcho-Capitalist

What: Anarcho-Capitalism

Where: At the distant top-right of the politcal spectrum

How: Anarcho-Capitalists believe that big business should take over goverment to the point of government not existing. While they believe there should be law, they also believe that the law should be owned by businesses. Anarcho-capitalism is a modern belief and has never been attempted.

What political extremity are you?

But as I said to the Teflon Man,
I "love" how they imply that there is something wrong with thinking that the Force Sector [my term for "public sector" (remember: they're the guys with the really big guns); coined just now] doesn't deserve to be in control.

Note their disclaimer. I might be in love.

Update: One more thing, I don't believe that massive conglomerates can exist without government subsidies. Companies would have to specialize to compete.

Update update: Here's another big surprise, thanks to Jeff from Carver, MN:

You Are a "Don't Tread On Me" Libertarian

You distrust the government, are fiercely independent, and don't belong in either party.

Religion and politics should never mix, in your opinion... and you feel oppressed by both.

You don't want the government to cramp your self made style. Or anyone else's for that matter.

You're proud to say that you're pro-choice on absolutely everything!

Either party, eh? Why, I oughta...

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Jumala save me! I've committed a sin!

[And it wasn't "whoring after false gods," you fundy twits, Jumala (pronounced YOO-muh-luh - the accent always descending) is Finnish for "God."]

I meant to make a post linking all LibertyBob's posts during the Christmas break, but some of them have dropped off the front page now and they're a bit harder to get. He's been especially (I should leave the 'x' I just typoed into 'expecially,' but it might give BE visitors the wrong idea) funny since Christmas.

So basically, what I'm sayin' is, I got no brilliant ideas, but READ LIBERTYBOB! and I promise you won't regret it.

BE kids? Don't make fun of his template unless you can code your own. He does. You should see what he does just to make a post. If you follow my advice, you'll find out.

Congratulations to Dean Esmay

and The Queen of All Evil on their new baby Draco.

I've posted my comments at The Moderate Voice (who yesterday graced me with a link--see if you can figure out which one it is--for which I thank him heartily).

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

No doubt about it!

How evil are you?

Slithering Reptile... How the mighty have fallen!

I was once a marauding marsupial. Proud! ...Proud!...

I had a pouch and everything... You should have seen me hop!

God!... Slithering! Like a villain in a Harry Potter movie!

If anybody knows where this should go from here, let me know.
Mustard: Morehouse Mayo-Honey that my mother-in-law bought at a dollar store. It's from Canada, but it's good stuff.
Mustard accessory: wife's meat-loaf, which was excellent plain, but even better with this mustard. Better than ketchup.

LTC Tim Ryan, Commander, Task Force 2-12 Cavalry,

First Cavalry Division in Iraq says, "Media's coverage has distorted world's view of Iraqi reality."
Thanks go to Mitch Berg for his "summary," comments and link to this article.

LTC Ryan describes the nature of the press' deficiencies and provides a reading list to correct them:
So what are the credentials of these self proclaimed "experts"? The fact is that most of those on whom we rely for complete and factual accounts have little or no experience or education in counter-insurgency operations or in nation-building to support their assessments. How would they really know if things are going well or not? War is an ugly thing with many unexpected twists and turns. Who among them is qualified to say if this one is worse than any other at this point? What would they have said in early 1942 about our chances of winning World War II? Was it a lost cause too? How much have these "experts" studied warfare and counter-insurgencies in particular? Have they ever read Roger Trinquier's treatise Modern Warfare: A French View on Counter-insurgency (1956)? He is one of the few French military guys who got it right. The Algerian insurgency of the 1950s and the Iraq insurgency have many similarities. What about Napoleon's campaigns in Sardinia in 1805-07? Again, there are a lot of similarities to this campaign. Have they studied that and contrasted the strategies? Or, have they even read Mao Zedung's theories on insurgencies, or Nygen Giap's, or maybe Che' Gueverra's? Have they seen any of Sun Tzu's work lately? Who are these guys? It's time to start studying, folks. If a journalist doesn't recognize the names on this list, he or she probably isn't qualified to assess the state of this or any other campaign's progress.

I couldn't find a link for Napoleon's Sardinia campaigns - in fact, it looks like there wasn't one on the island of Sardinia anyway, though the Kingdom of Sardinia extended onto mainland Italy. The online resources I could find just glossed over Nap's annexation of those territories.

The Happy Carpenter has more on this.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Hey, have you guys noticed the Claremont Institute's Blog

Local Liberty? Pretty good religious, paleocon thinking coming out of there.

Since I take my political cues from Jefferson and Madison, I'm a bit more sanguine with the Bush Administration's strategies in the War on Terrorists, including its compromise between open immigration and closed borders and its recognition that commercial flying is a matter of choice (though I'd be perfectly happy if they'd do a more effective job of profiling--I might get searched under such a regime, but they'd leave my wife, daughter and mother alone).

Speaking of Jefferson and Madison, you should examine what they had to say about Adams' Alien and Sedition Acts. That link will lead you to Jeffersons' and Madisons' Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.

Blog Explosion brought me to a very good

space and science blog called Science and Space.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Omni, in her inimitable style,

has a lesson to teach us about friendship.

Something drew me to her link. I wonder what it was.
Proverbs 18:24 (KJV) A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly...

Or, just for fun, the Dutch version: Spreuken 18:24 (Het Boek)
Het Boek - Iemand, die vrienden heeft, moet hen als vrienden behandelen...

On Martin Luther King Day

we should meditate on his "I Have a Dream" speech.

I may post my meditations later, when I have more time, but Joe Gandelman has a wonderful tribute to his life and charisma, and the folks who tracked-back to him deserve a look as well.

Update: I just listened to the speech on that link, and I'm too moved... I can't think of anything better than what he already said. I've read it before... I've heard excerpts, but... To hear it with the audience reaction... It belongs in the American Canon. Along with, as he mentions, The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and I would add the Gettysburg Address.

One can read all of those in two hours time.

I think you should.

I don't know if I'm feeling all this sharp today

You scored as Verbal/Linguistic. You have highly developed auditory skills, enjoy reading and writing and telling stories, and are good at getting your point across. You learn best by saying and hearing words. People like you include poets, authors, speakers, attorneys, politicians, lecturers and teachers.















The Rogers Indicator of Multiple Intelligences
created with

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Well, the Vikes proved today that the Packers were the worst team in the Playoffs

Although that fumble that flew over the heads of two Vikings defenders straight into the hands of Freddie Mitchell was quite the twist of fate.

Game recap.

Star-crossed, they were.

I can't believe I'm considering another post

at this ungodly hour, but David at The Bugbear Zone has some important advice on self-defense that people need to read.

Oh, on that subject, here's an email I sent to my sister:

I recently bought a self-defense video that basically shows that you should
forget all punches and hand strikes (except the poke-in-the-eye, which you
should practice daily--a loose flick of the middle finger into the eye) in
favor of elbows (to the chin, solar-plexus, temple and ear), knees to the
groin and outside of the thigh and stomping kicks to the knee and arch of
the foot.

Oh, and the head-butt, forward and backward to the nose or chin.

Do one or two (in combination) of the above and then run like hell. The
point is to disable and escape.

Now you know how to defend yourself.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The CSPI* can eat bleep!

I'll have a Monster Thick Burger.
Image Hosted by
[I'm tired of looking through scads of dirty pics to find one fit to post. I got my own po... uh... nu... (Majel Barrett voice, "Searching")... model right here. So yer gettin' the burger pic instead. Got a problem with that?]

Thanks to GrandPa John's Lance and Daniel Drezner. Plenty written on this at those places.

*Center for Science in the Public Interest, who'd look good on a rail, tarred and feathered.

BTW, if anybody comes here from Ayn Clouter's or The American Street, there's a pretty good bit of conservative satire on this topic by Steve at GJ's.

Update: for the latter group, make sure you celebrate Hold Your Breath and Turn Blue Day!

Ho ho! Another amusing google search that led to me:

Does Cuba have Skoal.

What. The freakin' hell.

I mean, there's a snuss-freak [Swedish spelling, they invented it. That's a long "u".] who wants to go to Cuba and is afraid he won't be able to get his fix while he's there?

I have a twist of tobacco that I hang outside my tent for the tourists to see at Rendezvous. (I took a couple bites out of it to make it look more authentic. It's sour, but not strong enough to make me barf.) I'm sure you can get something like that in Cuba. Bring some Wintergreen extract if you need that.

Now I'm really The Source for your info on Cuban snuss.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Oh, by the way,

the commenters on this post and the next?

They're going to Hell.

I owe a public apology to Ayn Clouter.

I'm sorry about my comment at The American Street.

Here's something you should read... when you're not hurriedly doing something else. If you liked the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Ayn Clouter gives it new meaning.

If you didn't like that movie (or play), she actually inserts meaning by updating the characters.

And in this post, she links a clueless, but erudite letter to a liberal blogger. It's well-intended, if (iff) you can take it seriously, but... Why the hell would you send it to that lady?

I send you to Ms. Clouter first, because I think her intro is poignant.

This comment needs to be a post.

Dude! No mustard fans out there?

CPF talks about the music he listened to every day. I'm gonna talk about the mustard I ate.

Or, to paraphrase Hank Hill, mustard and mustard accessories (a very broad category which would include the food I put it on).

My wife ridicules my affinity for mustard, but she's just a fool in that regard. And she sucks at housework and - the skill I particularly excel in - not making a mess, but she's a pretty good accountant, a great shopper ("bargains" account for most of the mess, actually), she laughs at my jokes (the fact that she even gets them sets her apart from the crowd) and she's great... Well, maybe I'd better stop there. Bad enough I post some of the pictures I do.

So now that I've whetted your appetites, what the hell mustard did I eat? Sadly and unbelievably, none today.

I'll have some for breakfast in the morning... with milk.

Hey! You guys checked out SinFest?

It's a comic strip. Work safe, as far as I know.

The main character's like Calvin grown up, more or less.

Here's the first strip.

Tips not to 86 at 86 Tips.

I rather like this one, being one who is always amazed at the effrontery of people who use intimate terms with people they just met (ax-murderers really do exist):

[Oops! Dammit! I originally forgot to include this part]:
Attention all Patrons: A Code of Conduct
You are absolutely, positively not allowed to:

3. Call me "Sweetheart", "Darling", "Baby" or "Honey." I told you what my name is. You may use it, or you can call me miss. Hell, you don't have to call me anything. Just say Please and Thank you for god's sakes. (If was your girlfriend, I would cost you a lot more than the $10.00 tip you're going to leave me...if you're going to leave me a 50.00 tip you can call me whatever you want, let's just get the 50.00 up front, Okay?)

Adult themes lately. "Be careful out there."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

forgettle schmettle: a phrase to Google.

Better yet, just go find it at tif's.

And think of this juxtaposition: intimate distance. It's infectious.

When I closed this window, it made me feel sad,

so check out Henri Willig's Real Dutch Honey Mustard. They were advertising at the bottom of Lileks' Back Fence column today.

I didn't know honey mustard originated in the Netherlands. I still don't.

I like the porcelain cheese slicer and grater.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I notice that the trolls at

Diplomad have one, well, make it two, argument(s): ad hominem ("He's a fraud!") and the Straw Man ("If you believe him, your're a racist, sexist, homophobe, conservative Christian who's never traveled farther than the next county!"). OK, both arguments are sprinkled heavily with Snob Appeal ("We know that YOU're to smart to fall for his argument").

Kids? Those are all fallacies.

Libertarians and a lot of Right Wingers value logic very highly, and we've looked into these things. Deal with the argument of your opponent directly. Show where he's asking you to prove a negative. Make the bones of fallacy and logic clear for all to see. If you try to use rhetorical tricks, you allow your opponent to get away with rhetorical tricks.

Most importantly, remember that the fans of your opponent view you as the enemy. Your goal is to persuade them. Your irrational display of emotion doesn't convince conservatives, or libertarians, of the correctness of your position, nor does it make them feel any shame. It only convinces them (us) that you should be locked up.

We have the reins of power, and we'll get to you eventually.

As a libertarian (I don't believe in locking up crazy people, only dangerous ones), I know that there are reasons to despise George Bush, but, with your behavior in lumping good reasons with dumb tripe, you encourage me to ignore the good ones.

Remember that study that said men's brains shut off

when they see a hot babe? (Explains how the whole pr0n and prostitution business model works. Sorry.)

Check this out:
Image Hosted by

Damn, that's sexy!

None of these guys could dissuade me from buying it, but I want to know if I'd lose the capabilities of my double-drive, vintage 2000 Compaq Presario if I were to replace it with this thing. I don't care about fancy audio or games, I just web-surf and blog. And scan and print.

I'd do the whole Blue Tooth thing and get rid of all those damn wires right away.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Hey! I'm a Marauding Marsupial again!

Apparently Mr. Bear is tweaking his system. I'm really a crawly crustacean, but who's counting?

I was kind of checking out the links from this online infomercial today, which I came to via a spam comment at The Entrepreneurial Mind (don't miss his Entrepreneurial Myths) - the post linked to by the Carnival of the Capitalists which contains this quote, "It is good to be smart. It is even better to be lucky. But, it is critical to know the difference."

Kind of to revive my interest about business matters. Didn't Shakespeare say, "Either an Entrepreneur or an Investor be! But above all, to thine own self be true, thus canst thou not bring shame upon thy fellow Capitalists!"

Something like that.

Anyway, I thought this taxonomy of business models was helpful.

I think Omni will appreciate this.

I wrote the following as a comment to a post by Bugbear and LibertyBob's helpful response:
The old house I lived in from age 2-11 was haunted. Once, when I was seven or eight, I had to go to the bathroom real bad at night, so I crept quietly downstairs and opened the bathroom door.

A shadowy thing that looked like a giant fist came around the door at my face.

I must not have screamed, because nobody woke up, but I was back in bed under the covers in about 3 seconds.

Funny thing was, my bladder was still full, and my pride in my potty-training eventually forced me to go back down and face the monster.

Good thing he was gone.

I hate to come back to earth here and spoil the mood, but there are several possible explanations:

I have a big brother (well, he was bigger than me back then).

A bat in the house.

A troll in the bathroom.

A malevolent spirit.

My experience of twilight walks in the Grand Canyon, combined with LB's explanation makes me realize that the truth is: all of the above.

A question to the cosmos: why am I not afraid of the dark?

Monday, January 10, 2005

Priorities, Gentlemen. Priorities.

They didn't exactly retract their article, U.S. Government Should Not Help Tsunami Victims, the main point of which is "The United States government, however, should not give any money to help the tsunami victims. Why? Because the money is not the government's to give."

But the organization felt the need for further clarification (note that the two are combined at CapMag). They conclude:
The crucial issue in the battle for a free society is to restrict the government to its only legitimate purpose: the protection of individual rights. (The issue of compulsory taxation, the focus of the original piece, is a derivative; it pertains to the appropriate means by which a proper government would finance its activities, and is the last issue to address in establishing a free society. For elaboration, see Ayn Rand’s article "Government Financing in a Free Society" in The Virtue of Selfishness.)

The Ego blog has a round-up of the controversy and quotes a, perhaps, better handling of the matter. I'm with him, though, when he says that Holcberg's article doesn't belong in Chrenkoff's 12 most stupid tsunami quotes.

I guess I'll quote the Terence Corcoran article too:
If there's an emerging lesson in the aftermath of the tsunami, it is this: Beware of aid efforts that must be trumpeted in press releases and hyped at news conferences. The bulk of world relief to tsunami victims, soaring to hundreds of millions of dollars, had been registered by private agencies collecting donations from individuals who sought no public recognition, issued no media release and made no effort to get their names into the papers. It was only after it became obvious thousands, if not millions, of individuals wanted to help that the world's governments -- in Ottawa and Washington and elsewhere -- suddenly saw an opportunity. Absurdly, Ottawa announced it would "match" the private donations of individual Canadians -- as if Ottawa got the money from some magic fountain behind Parliament Hill rather that from taxes on the same individuals who had already volunteered.

He goes on to point out the difficulties inherent in government aid:
How far will the UN and others get in their attempt to capitalize on popular reaction to the Asian tsunami? More important is the question of how much benefit will emerge from such massive outpourings of government aid -- aid that in the past has done little to change the economic well-being of people living in countries where the main problems are corruption, lack of good government and an absence of liberal economic policies.

Ego also links a good article on the matter at The Noumenal Self explaining why you don't do that sort of thing. Juxtapose your philosophical position against scenes terrible tragedy, I mean.

Update: Brilliant Cost-Benefit Analysis of the whole issue of disaster relief, public and private, Donating to Disaster Relief, by Brian Gongol:
To quote Robert Barro, "Nothing is Sacred." Everything about politics, society, economics, and every other field of human endeavor should be open to inquiry and debate. Open, reasoned inquiry should tend to reinforce meritable pursuits and reveal which ones are simply not as good.

Thus, it is a fair question to ask whether it is a good idea to send contributions to aid in disaster-relief efforts like the ones working to comfort the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. It may sound cruel to even question whether donating is the right thing to do, but if we're honestly open to making the right decisions, we should be able to make the case for charitable donations rationally and openly.

Let it be noted: The author has contributed directly to the tsunami relief effort, having concluded that, on balance, the good done by humanitarian relief outweighs the bad. However, the conclusion is not itself a foregone one, and like all things merits open, critical debate.

Well, the wisdom of the ancients just refuses to die.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Well, the stinkin' Vikings played like they should today.


The local sports media had no confidence in them, but I suspected they had it in 'em. Mr. Moss showed once again that he ain't good for nothin' but scorin' touchdown. Actually, he's become a pretty good blocker in the past couple years too.

Mr. Favre has singlehandedly revived the art of throwing interceptions. Are his receivers complete rockheads, or is it his fault?

I'd be completely inconsolable but the baby has been particularly funny tonight. She mimics the intonation of normal speech very well, but she still hasn't mastered any real words beyond "Mommy," "Daddy," "'Liina," "dolly" and "thank you" (which she seems to think means "gimme that!" though it's hard to get angry with such a polite girl). She definitely understands "no no" and "Not in the mouth!"

We finally got around to taking down our dehydrated old Scotch Pine Christmas Tree tonight. (I think I implied a lie to somebody about having done that before now.) Anyway, Aliina wanted to play with the decorations and started crying when we told her, "No no!"

The wife rushed to pick her up and Aliina looked at me with her most pitiful hurt-face, but I just broke out laughing. Laurie, who was cooing and cuddling her, looked at me and started laughing too, then Rosie joined in and finally even the baby joined us.

Terrible crisis averted. Important life lesson learned, but if you can't figure it out... Well, I don't feel like boring everybody by spelling it out.

Besides that the wife wants me to carry the clean laundry up the stairs.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

It makes me sad.

TTLB fixed the glitch that was inflating my incoming hits by counting all the times I've linked my own archives.

I was deeply proud to be a Flappy Bird. I knew it was crap, but I figured everybody was in the same boat, so at least the rankings were accurate. Those haven't changed much, but all our self-images have taken a hit as we've discovered our degree of evolutionary perfection was an illusion.

Now I've got to claw my way back up the the evolutionary scale the hard way. By writing things that people care about.

Flibber-de-floo, as Grumpy Old Man would say.

Whoops! It's Saturday night! I wonder if Rodolfo's got anything good. Hey, Rodolfo! Somebody visited me from the middle of the freakin' Amazon jungle, was that you?

Nope, nothing suitable there. Let's try...

Here's one, the cover of an Italian Magazine called Max:
Image Hosted by

Somebody said somethin' about a game tomorrow.

I'm bettin' Packers by 7 or more. Who cares what the "line" is? I'm just betting my reputation here.

Oh, and
Image Hosted by
Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace.
In the mansions bright and blessèd
He'll prepare for us a place.


When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We'll sing and shout the victory!

While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.


Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.


Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we'll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.


Tune here.
Image from

God Bless You Reggie.
And God bless your family and loved ones. Let them be patient for the reunion and honor your memory among humanity until then.

Here ya go:

I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution, and I do not believe that the power and duty of the General Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune. This has been repeatedly and quite lately demonstrated. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood.

-- President Grover Cleveland, Letter to
the House of Representatives [1877]

Commander Salamander flouts the Geneva Convention

with this suggestion.

You are inhuman, sir.

But the slide-show's kinda funny.

I'm worried.

Omni and I seem to be married to the same person.

I think I've examined my "wife's" parts closely enough to be sure she's not a guy. But I'd feel more confident of my assessment if I were sure that Omni has done the same.

Friday, January 07, 2005

For those who wonder why my buddy Steve

harangues me about my background, check out these two posts: one and two. If you must choose only one, two is it.

That whole month's worth of archives is worth reading, including the links. Of course I wasn't as well versed in the ways of Blogger back then.

Hey! Congratulations Houston!

For being named the fattest city in America by the subjective judgment of Men's Fitness Magazine. By subjective, I mean that they didn't actually weigh and measure body-fat percentages of all the people in the country.

Wait, let me verify that.

Ah! It's a meta-analysis, but that's a fine thing for a magazine to do. Or a newspaper or a blogger. My take on meta-analyses is that I don't give them more credence than I do to a preliminary study. They're good for telling you what needs more study.

Here are their categories:
Gyms/Sporting Goods
Junk Food
Air Quality
Parks/Open Space
Recreation Facilities
Health Care

Remember, they're looking for the "fittest" cities to live in - the cities most conducive to fitness. This isn't really about the moral character - the gluttony (even though they call the cities on the bottom of their ranking "the fattest") - of the individuals living in them. Is "air quality" really a factor in obesity? Poor access to health care makes you fat?

*Let me check the CDC's methodology, from which they take their actual obesity numbers. (Hmm... don't like that link, try this one. Ah, here we go.)

Surveys, surveys, surveys. How do they verify the accuracy of surveys? Does anyone ever? (Makes me think of a "push poll" I participated in during the Wellstone-Coleman Senate race.) Guess I'll have to read this. I wonder if the people who work there call it Barfus.

This seems like rather a weak claim in favor of Seattle as the fittest city, "Eighty-five percent of Seattle residents get some exercise every month, and that's a really significant thing," [Men's Fitness Editor in Chief Neal] Boulton said.

Every month? If I only exercised once a month, I wouldn't be braggin'. (My emphasis, btw.)

A Man's Gotta Post What A Man's Gotta Post

I may reuse that title, since it doesn't really fit the topic here. I won't enforce any copyright on it, though I will defend any attacks by connivers. What I'm saying is, use it freely.

Warning! Immoderate language!

Andrea Yates smiled when she got the news that her conviction has overturned on what seems like a minor technicality. Great, now she can go home to her children.

What? Oh, that's right! She killed them!

My native tendency toward terseness tells me that no more needs to be said. Nothing could be more damning than that. I can think of more things to say about this waste of breath's inadequacy for existence on earth, but that would be hateful rhetoric.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

That harangue at my brother needed some improvement

so I ran it through Snoop Dogg's Shizzolator (which I found here, a pretty good blog, seems to me):
Where's that worthless peckerhead Starsplash?!
Yo' ass could at least repeat yourself! Yo' ass think anybody's going read yo' archives?

Don't yo' ass think da world need yo' message?

This is Al Erkkila's dictum: Wise muthas die 'n ignorant muthas are born n' shit. Dogg insists." .. experience proves that shiznit! , know what I'm sayin'? ..that we keep repeating izzle message every new generation, know what I'm sayin'?

Shout that shiznit from da rooftops, mutha!

(For new readers, who has no idea what I'm talking 'bout 'n why I care 'bout an apparently abandoned blog, Starsplash is my older brother Ron, know what I'm sayin'? Tha dude's 4 1/2 years older than I am, there are three sisters 'n a miscarriage between us 'n tha dude never tested fo' tha dude's black-belt in Tai Kwan Do, though tha dude should has." BTW, I've always been terrified of offending tha dude's ass." Growing up, da consequences warranted terror, know what I'm sayin'? )

A marked improvement, don't you think?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

I was at kind of a loss for things to post about

(I've been reading tons of good stuff lately. So much so that it's depressing self-esteem.*) so I bopped over to my buddy Catholic Packer Fan's place to see what he was up to. Reading his posts is always a great boost to a blogger's self-esteem ;).

He's talking about firing up a new gimmick. Mine is to occasionally try to spell Burzinsky without looking.... Aagh! He went and hid it! Burzynski?

But being there reminded me that... Didn't I used to have the link to Well, it's a good enough site that I need to put it back.

*Let's see Blogger's write with the erudition and style of the Federal Farmer or Cato, Gibbon (Hey! A "Best of Gibbon" site!) or Macauley.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Where's that worthless peckerhead Starsplash?!

You could at least repeat yourself! You think anybody's going to read your archives?

Don't you think the world needs your message?

This is Al Erkkila's dictum: Wise people die and ignorant people are born. God insists... experience proves it! ...that we keep repeating our message to every new generation.

Shout it from the rooftops, man!

(For new readers, who have no idea what I'm talking about and why I care about an apparently abandoned blog, Starsplash is my older brother Ron. He's 4 1/2 years older than I am, there are three sisters and a miscarriage between us and he never tested for his black-belt in Tai Kwan Do, though he should have. BTW, I've always been terrified of offending him. Growing up, the consequences warranted terror.)

Think you might have a problem?

Check out Rational Recovery. (I think it's important enough to post the URL:

Especially look at the Recover Now section (unless you're "using" now, then you'll want to come back later).

They've got a new model of addiction, other than the "disease" model, that a lot of people may find helpful.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Crap, kids!

I keep reading great stuff today that changes the direction of my thinking.

I give up.

Humor and good philosophy (and all its subcategories):
LibertyBob. Chronology isn't a problem. Start at the top or the bottom. Maybe it's timeless. Hard to say.

Humorous politics ("liberals need not apply"):
This guy's lookin' for a permanent link here, and he just may get it. Just read it. Here's his Title and... Whattaya call it? A tagline? "Peace For Our Time:
Shedding appeasement's chains, Blogging because evil is powerless if the good are unafraid."

Gut, Gell'?!

Gotta use the old Kraut every now and then, just to keep in practice. BTW, jokes about it sounding 'better in the original German'...? Just keep in mind whose side the Germans are on today. (Good help in Afghanistan, though. I don't ignore that. Whatever help wherever, eh?)

Political economy:
Tom Sowell. I like to read him here. If you don't like them (but, please, give them a try), he's also available here. Have I mentioned that I worship the ground he walks on? Him and Walter Williams. Sowell's the better writer (it's close), Williams is awesome on the radio.

Pacifism with a Human Face [needs scare-quotes: "pacifism"--it's radical libertarianism (or Paleo-{American} Conservatism--Jeffersonianism, according to Steven den Beste--I doubt that anybody would argue]:
Justin Raimondo: read Today's Conservatives Are Fascists. What are we aiming for? Clintonian "liberals" weren't worse, he thinks.

I disagree, somewhat, but we're aiming for the same goal. The latter link hits me between the eyes.

And don't miss Lileks today. I never do.

All right, let 'er rip.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Well, when we left Oklahoma yesterday

it was 73 degrees and partly cloudy. A bit blustery (some fool mentioned that the windchill was 67 - snort!), but I let the baby crawl around in the yard and we enjoyed the fabulous weather. Thursday Rosie and I went for a walk in my uncle's pasture and looked at his cows. And his chickens, pheasants and goats. The steers were there anyway, but apparently that other group keeps... Well, never mind, I don't want my blog to take that route.

Anyway, everything was pretty pleasant until we left our motel in Bethany, MO this morning, The Family Budget Inn if you care, and headed north. The Iowegians greeted us with an ice storm which persisted all the way through the state and they sent it well into Minnesota after us.

We thought we were clear of the storms, but they found us just as we were finishing unloading the truck (in the garage - ha ha!) and unleashed a torrent of sleat in their anger. The Guardians of Minnesota seem to have driven them off now, by the expedient of dropping the temperature below 20.

I think they were trying to get us to spend our money in Iowa, but we got out without paying any tribute money to them.

KSTP says Strange weather continues, including some thunderstorms.

So now you know why.

Sorry for being such a lazy slug,

but I needed to go see my mother in Muskogee. (Oklahoma, in case you didn't know. USA. Home of steers and queers according to the drill sergeant in An Officer and a Gentleman.)

I wasn't in town for two hours before everything went to s***. A foundry furnace blew up rather spectacularly ["...[T]hat shattered windows up to a mile away and was felt up to 45 miles away." I wasn't kidding when I said "spectacularly" folks. We're talkin' mushroom cloud, collapsed neighbors' houses and everything... Cinder-blocks landing half a mile away. The two buildings that were destroyed were about the size of a city block each.], fortunately and unfortunately killing only the two men working on it. It was 8:00 PM so no regular shift workers were there.

The Muskogee Phoenix has a wonderful article about the two men who died, Ernesto Alonzo Chavez, 24, and Joachin Prado, 38, but apparently it hasn't been archived yet. The death notices are here.