Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Steven den Beste is the best!

Cogent commentary from the Master may be found here.

Cryptic comment: 2-9. There's no effin' hope.

Monday, November 28, 2005

I get a newsletter from a guy named

Karim Hajee, who does a good job here of summing up my estimation of people--or rather, the position he advocates is the point of view I usually take:
How you see people is what you bring out of them.
For example: If you see a sales person as annoying you're going to always
find and attract annoying sales people. If you see a family member as a pain -
your always going to bring out the side in that person that is a pain towards
you. If you see your colleagues as jealous, competitive or vindictive then
you're always going to bring out those qualities in them - because that's what you
see in them and that's what you believe is their character.

What you believe is what you get.

Now I know some of you are going to say: "Karim, these people are that way -
I'm not making this stuff up. They really are nasty." Sure they are - and you
keep bringing out the worst in them by only seeing the dark side
of their character.

Everybody around you has some redeeming qualities - look at those positive
qualities within in them and you'll get them to display those qualities more

Next - challenge your current perception.
Ask yourself: "Is that really the way they are?"

I rarely see anyone's bad side until they've been out of my life for a while. Then I find myself thinking, "You know, when you really think about it, that guy was kind of a #*&@ wasn't he?"

I tend to keep giving people second chances. Of course, how serious a problem can they be? I'm not moving in with them. [Hmmm. I can think of three episodes in my life where they did, in fact, move in with me. Hmmm... Knowing me, I've probably suppressed a couple of memories.] My experience is that most people do eventually step up to the plate and learn how to bat by the end of the season. [Though I haven't played in the majors.]
The only way you will truly see the good in the other person is to focus on and look for their good qualities - then you'll actually see them displaying these qualities more often. Look for the good in someone and you will only attract good things to you.

So, sure, I can believe that attitude (other's perception of mine) can affect my level of prosperity. It's when they start talking about how my attitude toward inanimate or ineffable entities can affect how they repay me that doubt creeps in.

Okay, I don't doubt that if I learn how to manipulate big rocks I'll learn to build big buildings. But will being generous with rocks really bring a karmic return of rocks?

I'm being a bit facetious, of course, but I don't get the process here. Enlighten me.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

FFF, after a delay of only 450 years, has finally gotten around to

including John Lilburne in their magnificent Freedom Biographies.

I've given the links they give before, but I'll just show the articles. FFF deserves to have you go through them for the links.

John Lilburne, c.1615-1657
British Civil Wars

John Lilburne

The Bill of Rights
by Hugo L. Black
Future of Freedom Foundation

The Levelers: Libertarian Revolutionaries
by Nicholas Elliott
Foundation for Economic Education

On the 150th Page
by John Lilburne

The Resurrection of John Lilburne
by John Lilburne
Street Corner Society

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

I've been reading the Harry Potter series to my daughter lately.

Exciting, funny, well-written, all that junk... It's really easy to just keep on going. She's been late to bed quite a few nights because of it.

She gets a lot more out of it than you'd think, since she kind of wanders off to play while I'm reading. She's pretty much memorized the stories. When we they refer back to something in a previous book, and I can't think of the episode, I'll ask her and she'll remind me what happened there.

She bounces around, fluttering her hands during the battles and scenes of evil villainy and treachery and laughs uproariously at the jokes. The other night she was moaning indignantly at Harry as he screamed at Dumbledore and trashed his office.

That was almost at the end of Book Five. I've read ahead and... Well, no. That would be a spoiler. I wonder if Book Six might not be a bit too intense for a little girl. The enemy is growing stronger and more vile. The only reason Harry was able to handle him in the early books was because Voldemort was handicapped by his lack of a body.

Now he has his body and his followers back and the War is on. And we're beginning to lose people we've come to care about.

I guess we'll keep going, but I'm not sure...
We went to Rosie's Parent/Teacher Conference last night. She's kickin' butt in school. The teacher said she reads and does math very well. He showed us some tests she took in which she was the only one to get a perfect score.

She doesn't do as well in the Math speed quizzes, but, well, she's kind of given to taking her time at things.

Anyway, all this reading seems to be paying off.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I was just "checkin' my look in the mirror," to quote The Boss,*

of ClustrMaps.

I am deeply pleased to see the number of hits I'm getting from Brazil and Northern Europe, particularly Finland. I want to know what I can do to keep those people coming back. I want to know what I can do to invite comments from Finns, other Scandinavians and Brazilians.

I certainly don't mean by that to denigrate my fellow upper-Midwesterners, from Indiana through the Dakotas--you're my life's blood! But... It's contact with the whole world that makes life on the Web a compelling experience.

As I sit here tonight at my computer, I have Robert Ringer's essay, The Survival of Western Civilization, in print form in my pocket. I'd very much like to hear comments on it from all over the world.

I suspect my comments would be strongly in it's defense, but I know that I am easily swayed by strong civil-libertarian, Objectivist and anarcho-capitalist arguments as well.

If you let things stand as they are now, I will remain, as Ringer is, a theoretical libertarian/pragmatic conservative.

My vote is actually up for grabs here. In the last election, from what I had heard, had I been a citizen of either Virginia or Colorado I would have voted for the Democrat candidate for governor just to teach those effin' Republicans (In Name Only AKA RINOs) a lesson. At least, if they didn't have a good Libertarian opponent. I did, in fact, vote for the Democrat against our local RINO Rep. Jim Ramstad, in the last Congressional race.

The guy was a Commie, but what the hell's the practical difference?

*Dancin' In The Dark the theme song of my summer of 1984 (absolutely no relation to the book 1984, which is, none-the-less, a must-read. I need to tell that story. Though, it absolutely was not as torrid as Summer of '42, so don't get your hopes up. I think it would be interesting in many other ways. It began with me quoting Davey Crockett's famous phrase, "Ya'll can go to Hell! I'm goin' to Texas!"

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Gratuitous link time

A couple comments about the last few people who've commented on my blog.

Omni Unmasked:
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

More or less.

The most prominent product of Omni Consumer Products Corporation. (Photo courtesy of RoboCop Archive.)

I've said that I'm partial to strong women.


Kyle Bennett: odds are, he's a relative. (I've got a ton of relatives named Bennett. It's kind of like being related to Louis L'Amour's Sacketts: there's a lot of 'em, and they have a habit of showing up when you're in trouble.)

Read his stuff. It'll be good for ya.


I've already told you to read LibertyBob.

Get on the stick! I wasn't kiddin'!

If you like Iowa Hawk, The Onion, Lileks or Shakespeare (none of whom link me yet are all worth every moment you can spare for them) you'll enjoy LibertyBob.

At least check him out as a favor to me.

[Wait a minute! "[F]ourteen rooms, if you don’t count bathrooms, basement rooms, closets, or entry hall"?! That doesn't, somehow seem exceptional to you?! [How do you find the "general" category, anyway?]


Mark. Isn't he a stinkin' Pats fan?

Oh, well... I guess, when it comes down to it, I'm a generic football fan with an emphasis on the Packers. I want the Pack to win the Superbowl, but I enjoy watching whatever game's on right now. (Though, I can't quite justify spending a beautiful Saturday indoors, so college ball is out. If any of the teams I really cared about were ever on TV, that might change: the UM=Duluth Bulldogs or the--now defunct as a football squad--UW-Superior Yellow Jackets). So, I do appreciate his appreciation of Football.


TF Stern and Ron deserve some attention too, but I'm out of time. And TF pulled the old "double-http://" trick last time he stopped by, so he gets the Boner of the Month award.


Definitions of gratuitous on the Web:

without cause; "a gratuitous insult"
complimentary: costing nothing; "complimentary tickets"; "free admission"
unnecessary and unwarranted; "a strikers' tent camp...was burned with needless loss of life"

In all honesty, I've sent these links in payment for these people's attention. I appreciate it when people read and comment. Even when they belly-ache.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Just checkin' out the old TTLB rankings.

Here's his list of people (presumably) who link me.

Some of you are really kickin' some A.

Some of you need to get to work. You know who you are.
Links by Source:
Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave (# 101) - 1 link

The Moderate Voice - - (# 112) - 1 link

Radio Blogger (# 194) - 1 link

Mean Ol' Meany (# 348) - 1 link

Mover Mike - (# 685) - 1 link

hamstermotor (# 725) - 1 link

The Unrepentant Individual (# 1022) - 1 link

One Billion Red Chinese and a Dog Named (# 1223) - 1 link

Eric's Grumbles Before The Grave (# 1452) - 1 link

Every Topic in the Universe(s?) (# 1578) - 1 link

The Will to Exist (# 1970) - 1 link

T F Stern's Rantings (# 2842) - 1 link

Perspective and Soda (# 3060) - 1 link

Libertopia (# 3188) - 1 link

CDR Salamander (# 3740) - 1 link

The Catholic Packer Fan (# 4765) - 1 link

Propaganda Machine (# 6162) - 1 link

86 Tips? (# 6267) - 1 link

Lance Burri (# 6707) - 1 link

http://www.newamericanrevolution.us/ (# 7002) - 1 link

Starsplash (# 8033) - 1 link

The Will to Exist (# 9383) - 1 link

Mister Pterodactyl (# 12025) - 1 link

Fuki Blog (# 13483) - 1 link

Of course, I've gone from a Large Mammal down to a Flappy Bird, so who am I to criticize.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Oh!! S__T!!

Please Help!
I'm not sure that anyone out there reads these blogs.
But, just in case:

I live only a few miles from where the F3 or F4 tornado ripped through Evansville, IN the other night.
This is one of those "realities" that you see only on the National level. Yesterday morning we woke up to local, very local, death and destruction.

Please, if you can, give to the American Red Cross and mark it for Vanderburgh or Warrick County.



Monday, November 07, 2005

There's a history lesson over at the Mises Economics Blog.

I'm sure you're all familiar with the "Wirtschaftswunder" or economic miracle of post-WWII Germany. The development aid of the Marshall Plan was only a tiny part of it (and you're undoubtedly familiar with the effectiveness, or lack thereof, of development aid elsewhere):
On the evening of June 20, 1948, Erhard went on the radio to announce the particulars of what came to be known as "the bonfire of controls." The first part of the Erhard-Röpke plan was monetary reform and the introduction of a new currency, the Deutschemark. One new mark was traded for 10 of the old Reichmarks. The money supply shrank by more than 90 percent, bringing postwar inflation a quick end. The second reform eliminated controls on prices and wages and reduced business and personal taxes. Within days, shops began to fill with items for sale, the food shortages began to disappear and business investment returned.

These postwar reforms created a strong, market-oriented system that allowed the West German[2] economy to perform brilliantly for several decades. Per capita GDP tripled between 1950 and 1974. Unemployment shrank to a mere 2.5 percent as the country added 8 million jobs. An economy that had grown on average between 1913 and 1950 by only 0.3 percent grew between 1950 and 1973 at 5.7 percent — nineteen times as fast, averaging over 8 percent annually during the 1950s. Germany shook off defeat and became a leading player in the world economies, outperforming Britain, France and many others. Only Japan among the major economies of the time had a faster growth rate between 1950 and 1973.

Erhard's policies brought a postwar economic boom, but their very success led to the nation's current economic malaise. Thinking that they had found a Golden Goose of endless prosperity, the German government, with the full backing of electoral majorities, began to adopt policies beginning in the 1960s that moved the country away from free markets and back towards the very controls Erhard had abolished. Tax and regulatory burdens grew. Mandates on wages and working conditions created labor-market rigidities and price controls reduced flexibility in the economy. Increasingly generous payments to unemployed workers fed a decline in Germany's labor market participation rates. As is generally the case, the effects of these policies lagged their implementation, but the effects were precisely what standard economic theory predicts when people's incentives are changed by increasing welfare state programs.

Here is the link. They have comments.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Paul Anderson was my hero since I was 14.

I mentioned him before. He held to world squat record from 1964 until it was tied recently at 1200#. As far as I know, he still hold the records for the most weight ever lifted by a human, 6270 lbs.

These are the same pictures I have in my book. Here is a quick summary of the story that I read at age 14. I'm pretty sure I still have the book around here somewhere.

He died one year after my Dad.

It looks, from this viewpoint, like the double blow was too much for me - though the first was plenty. I try to fight the thought that 1934-1993 is the lifespan I can expect, but I have to fight the fact that my other hero's lifespan was 1932-1994.

It reminds me that three of my uncles--Dad's brothers--were born later and died earlier.... And Uncle Donald...my friend...was born in 1960 and died in 1980.

I've already mentioned that my first mentor, Phil Lindelof, whom I came to know in 1972, when he was my Sunday School teacher, drowned in 1974, while my parents were taking a trip together on "the boat."

Phil was the Minnesota/Wisconsin armwrestling champion.

My friends were better armwrestlers than me, but I could out brench-press all of them. I discovered that after I discover Paul Anderson's book.

It was important to me that Paul Anderson shared my religious beliefs.

I know that those beliefs took a blow with my father's death. (Remember, he asked me to help him commit suicide, which meant, in his condition, that I should actively kill him--God did it for me two weeks later, for which I feel no gratitude.)

I wonder if Paul Anderson's death within a year wasn't a further serious blow.

Friday, November 04, 2005

I'm going to have to add a link

to this guy John Ray at Dissecting Leftism. Thanks Steve.

Oh, and I fixed up my last, awful post over in the workshop.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Check out the pic that goes with this caption,

Japan's Hayabusa space probe has drawn closer to its celestial target: asteroid Itokawa. Spacecraft is being prepared for touchdown this month on the space rock, picking up specimens for return to Earth, and deploying a small lander that can hop from spot to spot on the asteroid. Image Credit: JAXA/ISAS

Here's what Ron Paul and the Liberty Committee are up to:

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is censoring health information. The pharmaceutical companies are the winners. You and your family are the losers.

The FDA is censoring health information. For example, the FDA prohibited the claim that folic acid reduces the risk of neural tube defects for four years while the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention recommended every woman of childbearing age take that supplement. Thus, the FDA contributed to an estimated 10,000 preventable neural tube defects.

An estimated 300,000 Americans die each year from sudden-death heart attacks. That number, however, could be reduced by 40% if people were allowed to know that fish oil treats heart arrhythmias and heart thrombosis. An estimated 20 million Americans suffer pain and debilitation from osteoarthritis. That number, however, could be reduced substantially if people were allowed to know that glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate treat osteoarthritis. An estimated 50% of males over the age of 50 suffer from a benign enlarged prostate. That number, however, could be reduced if men were allowed to know that saw palmetto extract treats benign prostatic hyperplasia. The evidence for these dietary ingredients claims is overwhelming -- yet the FDA bans them outright!

In 1994, the U.S. Congress ordered the FDA to let the public have access to scientific articles and publications on the role of nutrients in disease by passing the Dietary
Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). In addition, four federal court orders have condemned the FDA's practice of censorship as a violation of the First Amendment. Yet, censorship by the FDA goes on!!

The Health Freedom Protection Act would prevent the FDA from censoring Americans' right to know about truthful, health-enhancing benefits of foods and dietary ingredients.

Congressmen Ron Paul, Walter Jones and John Duncan will introduce the Health Freedom Protection Act on Wednesday, November 9th. Please urge your U.S. representative to become an original cosponsor of this legislation. To send your message, go to http://capwiz.com/liberty/issues/alert/?alertid=8194951&type=CO .

Kent Snyder
The Liberty Committee

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

So I thought I'd check in on the world of Powerlifting today.

I'd kind of lost touch with it during my college years, reading Muscle Builder and then Muscle and Fitness and Flex. The Weider mags tended to direct you into bodybuilding. But both variations of weight training tended to get me too fired up and then I'd go and injure myself.

Anyway, I found a page with the latest Squat, Bench and Deadlift records and I thought I was reading a typo! One page said that a guy named Gene Rychlak had Bench Pressed 1005 lbs.

Looking for verification, I found this Wikipedia entry and another one, from the Weider mag Health & Fitness.

This blurb is from Rychlak's own website:
On Sunday November 21,2004 at the IPA Nationals
in Shamokin Dam, Pa
Big Gene Bench Pressed 1,005lbs
to become the first and only man to ever Bench over 1,000lbs

Slate has an interesting article on the subject as well.

Interview of Rychlak here, with a picture. Oh, hell! Here:
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
See if you can figure out which one benches 1000 lbs.

BTW, he's also squatted over a thousand pounds as well.

This is a picture (also from Critical Bench) of Mike "Mule" Miller, world squat record-holder (1200 lbs even)--6'4" 400 lbs. Is this the physique you expect to see when you hear "400 lbs"?
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
By the way, that record ties Paul Anderson's lift for the Guiness Book folks from 1964. It was reading his book that turned me on to weightlifting originally.

I started out writing this, thinking I'd make fun of bench shirts and squatting suits, but frankly, I'm too chicken to pick a fight with these guys.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Omni's reminiscences about her horrible Halloweens

growing up made me feel that it's important to catalogue our experience last night. (Trust me, I've never considered Halloween important before now.)


Laurie got hold of an exceptionally cute cow costume for Aliina, so she thought it would be fun if I dressed as a cowboy and Rosalie dressed as an Indian. My father was a country singer and I inhereted his last Stetson and a nice cowboy shirt, so all I needed was a leather vest to complete my ensemble. Rosie was a little more difficult, but, though you may think that I excessively ridicule my wife's efforts at creating a happy home for us (I still think she's a disorganized slob--I'll show private pictures of the TV corner to any e-friends who doubt that judgment--Look! Any space of which my wife is in charge would be impeccably decorated if you could keep out the piles of dirty laundry, food wrappers, junk mail, bills, receipts, warranties, packages or toilet paper....)... The fact is, she can see deep into a persons soul and find the silly, frivolous, superficial game that will actually bring you joy. You learn not to ignore her recommendations lightly. If she says, "Do this," and it sounds stupid, the odds, as I interpret them with my experience, are that, even giving it a half-hearted effort, you'll have the time of your life.

Of course, the fact that my baby was the cutest kid in the neighborhood had a lot to do with my pleasure. I was just part of her costume. And Rosie, of course, was a beautiful [red-headed] indian girl.

I especially enjoyed it when I heard the Mexican family say (my Spanish is bad) something like, "...que a la vaca!"

I'll have to scan the pics when we get them developed. The HP photosmart 120 digital camera seems to have given up the ghost.