Friday, August 31, 2007

Objectivism on "If"

Kipling’s emphasis on the virtuous means of morality is the essence of bourgeois individualism. “If” acknowledges that the practice of virtue is an arduous struggle against inner temptations (“If you can dream—and not make dreams your master”) and outer attacks (“If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you”). It admits that complete success in pursuing well-being is far from certain, even for the wholly virtuous (“If you can … watch the things you gave your life to broken”). It reminds us that all we truly have in our control is the ability to be a person of good character. But it consoles us that, if we become such a person, then at some deep level all shall be well. Virtue is for the sake of well-being, but one must not make success and failure the measure of our life, for those things depend too much on contingencies.

Whoops! Forgot the Link.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Why is the US government hoarding gold?

From How Gold Was Money--How Gold Could Be Money Again, by Richard H. Timberlake
For the last 60 years the Treasury has hoarded thousands of tons of gold, and has only disbursed it to foreign central banks and governments; and for the last 20-plus years the gold has been a largely inert mass of no use to anyone. Even Treasury officials are largely ignorant of its physical details.

Suppose, however, that an astute politician promised to return the gold to the people as a means of economizing on the inventory of "surplus" government commodities. Can anyone imagine that such a plank in a political platform would be unpopular? "No, no," the candidate would declaim, "I am not buying votes with gold. I would not stoop to that. I simply want to economize government operations and, at the same time, return a useful commodity to the public so that people can use it as money if they wish to do so."

Or for anything else as well.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I'm only quoting guys named Tom

whose last names start with S this week.

Thomas Szasz today:
If health insurance is not insurance, what is it? [The first couple paragraphs showed that.] It is a modern version of the illusion that all men are equal—or, when ill, ought to be treated as if they were equal. When religion was the dominant ideology, death was (supposed to be) the great equalizer: once they departed the living, prince and pauper were equal. Today, when medicine is the dominant ideology, health care is (supposed to be) the great equalizer: everyone’s life is “infinitely precious” and hence deserves the same protection from disease. Of course, prince and pauper did not receive the same burial services, and rich and poor do not receive the same medical services. But people prefer the illusion of equality to the recognition of inequality.

Actually, the ruled have always longed for “universal health care,” and the rulers have always supplied them with a policy that the masses accepted as such a service. In the Middle Ages, universal health care was called Catholicism. In the twentieth century, it was called Communism. In the 21st century, it is called Universal Health Insurance. What we choose to call “health insurance” is, in fact, a system of cost-shifting masquerading as a system of insurance. We treat a public, statist political system of health care as if it were a system of private health insurance purchased for the purpose of obtaining private medical care.

Everyone knows but no one admits that health insurance is not really insurance. In fact, Americans now view their health insurance as an open-ended entitlement for reimbursement for virtually any expense that may be categorized as “health care,” such as the cost of birth-control pills or Viagra. The cost of these services is covered on the same basis as the cost of medical catastrophes, such as treatment for the consequences of a brain tumor. Such distorted incentives produce the perverted outcomes with which we are all too familiar.

From a public-health point of view, the state of our health is partly, and often largely, in our own hands and is our own responsibility, even if we have a chronic illness, such as arthritis or diabetes. It is an immoral and impractical endeavor to try to reject that responsibility and place the burden for the consequences on others.

From The Therapeutic State: The Myth of Health Insurance.

I'm as much of an egalitarian as the next guy, really. I just believe that Herbert Spencer's Law of Equal Freedom is a much more effective route to it than socialism. Socialism curtails economic progress in the name of equality, but it increases the inequality of power between the power hungry and the rest of us.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Have you voted yet?

I mean, over at Who Would The World Elect?

Obama's in first, followed by Paul.

That'd be a fun match-up!

Btw, I think I need to hear something about who Ron Paul would nominate to his cabinet. It would help for the People to know he doesn't just have his head in the clouds.

L. Neil Smith wrote a book a few years back about what would happen if a guy like Ron Paul won the Presidency. Though, I don't think Smith likes Paul. I could be wrong about that - but I know Smith hates the Kochtopus.

Forget all that. Smith loves Paul!

While you're checking out that article, check out what he has to say about Lincoln.

Tom Sowell has an article today on the price of squeamishness

The great thing about being squeamish, is that you always pass on the cost to someone else.

He talks about mine rescues, the death penalty and organ transplants.

He kind of scatters his summarizing lines throughout, but here is his last line, "...we must first overcome squeamishness. And the first step is to stop confusing it with being humane."

Friday, August 24, 2007

Micheline Calmy-Rey is the President of Switzerland

But I didn't know that until I read this post on a blog that's going to be added to my sidebar.
Here is the switzerland president's (Hey! She's kinda cute!) reply:

Thank you for your interesting email about Ron Paul's interview on YouTube. I felt very pleased to hear that Mr Paul mentioned Switzerland as a good example of a government protecting its people's freedom and liberties. Our memberships of the UN and other international organizations allow us to participate constructively in global politics, where thanks to its long history of neutrality and independence, Switzerland is able to play a valuable role.
Our bilateral relations with the United States are growing stronger and it is possible that in future visits by myself or of one of my colleagues in the Swiss government to Washington an exchange of views with Congressman Ron Paul will be part of the program.

Best regards,
Micheline Calmy-Rey

As well as this one.

I would love to have this Swiss Socialist travel around the world and tell socialists what she has actually done in Switzerland (as opposed to what her intentions may have been - yeah, I'm dreamin') when she finishes her career as President.

BTW, Aaron Russo died. He gave us the video Freedom to Fascism. It's about the 16th Amendment and the Federal Reserve.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

ARI in the WaPo

And they've even got good news to share!
Freedom From the FTC
Friday, August 24, 2007; Page A14

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman was right to deny the Federal Trade Commission's bid to block Whole Foods' acquisition of Wild Oats ["Whole Foods Gets Its Monopoly," Business, Aug. 19].

Whole Foods -- just as any other business does -- has a moral right to expand its activities and run its operations as it sees fit. And the shareholders of Wild Oats should be free to sell their shares to Whole Foods if they think it is a good deal.

Whole Foods violates no one's rights by buying shares from willing sellers in a trade for mutual benefit. The government, on the other hand, by interfering in a voluntary trade between two parties, violates the rights of both.

If the merger results in higher prices and lower quality at Whole Foods and Wild Oats, as the FTC dubiously claims, these stores will lose many of their customers to other supermarket chains that offer lower prices and higher quality. As long as consumers are free to shop where they want, stores should be free to merge as they please.



Ayn Rand Institute

It's about time I said something about my nomination

by TF Stern, for a Nice Matters Award. (They do need a masculine version of the graphic. Or is it not nice to say so?)

Thank you, TF, for the nomination. Thank you, Ron, for seconding it.

So, how can I brighten you day, today? Apparently nobody cares to hear about my running, economics or political activities. Probably because I'm pretty incorrigible on all those matters. It wouldn't be appropriate [excuse the foghorn] to bring up anything that outrages me in this post, I suppose.

Heck of a nice day, eh?

Barometer: 29.9 in
Dewpoint: 55°
Humidity: 61%
Visibility: 10 miles
Wind: 6 mph N
Sunrise: 6:25 AM
Sunset: 8:04 PM
UV Index: 2 Low
Observed at Minneapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

A little humid, though. I ran this morning - about 4.4 miles - got pretty sweaty though the air was cool.

Look how fast the days are getting shorter. Sunset was 8:09PM Tuesday.

Okay, enough smartaleckiness.

Bastiat said,
I am looked upon as a man without heart and without feeling--a dry philosopher, an individualist, a plebeian--in a word, an economist of the English or American school. But, pardon me, sublime writers, who stop at nothing, not even at contradictions. I am wrong, without a doubt, and I would willingly retract. I should be glad enough, you may be sure, if you had really discovered a beneficent and inexhaustible being, calling itself the Geovernment, which has bread for all mouths, work for all hands, capital for all enterprises, credit ofr all projects, salve for all wounds, balm for all sufferings, advice for all preplexities, solutions for all doubts, truths for all intellects, diversions for all who want them, milk for infancy, and wine for old age--which can fprovide for all our wants, satisfy all our curiosity, correct all our errors, repair all our faults, and exempt us henceforth from the necessity for foresight, prudence, judgment, sagacity, experience, order, economy, temperance and activity.

[Time for some ellipses
]...[N]othing could be more convenient than that we should all of us have within our reach an inexhaustible source of wealth and enlightenment...such as you describe Government to be. ...[U]p to this time everything presenting itself under the name of the Government is immediately overturned by the people, precisely because it does not fulfill the rather contradictory requirements of the program.

Sure, there was still some smartaleckiness in that quote. I should have cut that off half-way throught the first sentence. My point was: that's why I'm surprised at this honor. I don't seek nice-ness. Not consciously, anyway. [I find myself doing a lot of things I didn't consciously intend. The N (for iNtuition) in INTP apparently means never having to explain to yourself. You always "just know."]

So, I now have the honor of trying to think of seven people whom I think are exceptionally nice to nominate for this award.

My brother Ron is not someone I generally think of as a great, fuzzy bunny - that ship sailed about 40 years ago, but I enjoy going over and talking to him. In order to retain my manhood, take this [nomination for this] big, sloppy, pink smooch of an award in the spirit of a little brother's revenge.

There are the Burri brothers, Todd and Lance, and their Uncle Steve who, more or less, blog together at Grandpa John's.

[I only get to count those as three, right? If I'm lucky.]

I can't forget Omni, that philosophy-warping polymath. Who quit on us, I guess. But she was nice.


And, the nicest of all, maybe, Oldsmoblogger.

Of course, I'm assuming I'm not supposed to duplicate other lists I've seen. I'd give TF and Teflonman nominations otherwise. I could bump Omni out, since she's done. Then decide which of the Burri's I like best.

I ran across a very interesting discussion of Canadian

Health Care vs. US Health Care here. This guy, Clangmann, seems to be an economist for the Canadian system. Or a doctor. Or something.

Kind of a moderate libertarian.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

French History in a nutshell

from the time of The Revolution til today. This list has Wikipedia links on the page where I found it:

France in the 19th & 20th centuries
First Republic (1792–1804)
National Convention (1792–1795)
Directory (1795–1799)
Consulate (1799–1804)
First Empire (1804–1814)
Restoration (1814–1830)
July Monarchy (1830–1848)
Second Republic (1848–1852)
Second Empire (1852–1870)
Third Republic (1870–1940)
Vichy France (1940–1944)
Provisional Government (1944–1946)
Fourth Republic (1946–1958)
Fifth Republic (1958–present)

Savor some Bastiat!

I have not the pleasure of knowing my reader, but I would stake ten to one that for six months he has been making Utopias, and if so, that he is looking to Government for the realization of them.

And should the reader happen to be a lady, I have no doubt that she is sincerely desirous of seeing all the evils of suffering humanity remedied, and that she thinks this might easily be done, if Government would only undertake it.

But, alas! that poor unfortunate personage, like Figaro, knows not to whom to listen, nor where to turn.

He then lists all the things the People clamor for. Your favorite is in there, I'm sure. And your worst enemy's favorite as well. And Social-Democratic states - including the US - the world over are providing them.

And my worst enemy is gloating, "Isn't this wonderful?"*

This excerpt is from "Government." If you don't already have the Complete Works of Bastiat, download them free via this article. Or you can buy them there as well. "Government" is the essay in which you'll find his definition
Government is that great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.

*Thom "Champion of the Statist Status Quo" Hartman comes to mind as an example. Then there's George Bush I&II, Jim Ramsted...

Oh, I gotta tack on one more paragraph:
Citizens! In all times, two political systems have been in existence, and each may be maintained by good reasons. According to one of them, Government ought to do much, but then it ought to take much. According to the other, this twofold activity ought to be little felt. We have to choose between these two systems. But as regards the third system, which partakes of both the others, and which consists in exacting everything from Government, without giving it anything, it is chimerical, absurd, childish, contradictory, and dangerous. Those who proclaim it, for the sake of the pleasure of accusing all Governments of weakness, and thus exposing them to your attacks, are only flattering and deceiving you, while they are deceiving themselves.

You might be interested to know that Bastiat was writing this during this era in France.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tibor Machan says

In his article, Shadows of Stalinism:
One observation as I travel and lecture in the Republic of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan is that people there who defend the old system do so much more forthrightly than those who champion them in the West.

Those who favor collectivism in the West tend to soften its tenets considerably. They don’t talk so much about ruling others but about how they need help. They don’t speak of how most others are stupid but of how the system deceives them. And leadership is needed to protect them from such deception.

The few defenders of the old regime in the former Soviet bloc countries I have visited are more direct than Western collectivists: Most people are stupid and need the smart ones among us to tell them what to do, how to live, and what goals to pursue. It is not equality or community that is important but being made to do what is right. And that is something only the bright people know. So they should rule, period, whatever the results.

"The few defenders," he says. People I know, who've spent a considerable amount of time in the old East Germany, tell me that the people running things there are the same people who used to run things, so that, even though things are slowly improving, there is still an air of authoritarianism about the place whenever you're dealing with the government.

As Machan says, there are few overt defenders or promoters of Communism, but the culture it created is still there.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Lord Voldemort had nothing on this guy

From The Merchant of Death: Basil Zaharoff, by the great John T. Flynn:
It is this side of the munitions business that brings it into disfavor. For it is not content to corrupt officials as public contractors do, but mixes up in state policy to create disturbance. It flourishes only in a world where hatreds and controversies, dynastic and economic and racial and religious differences between peoples flourish. Hence it has spared no pains to keep these mortal quarrels alive, to alarm peoples and ministers with war scares, to breed suspicion and distrust. First among all the practitioners of this dark art was Zaharoff. There is little doubt that he loved the game. He was the troublemaker feeding upon trouble — the neighborhood provocateur raised to the dubious dignity of free-lance statesman. Beaverbrook was right — "The destinies of nations were his sport; the movement of armies and the affairs of government his special delight. In the wake of war this mysterious figure moved over tortured Europe."

He started as a salesman for a tiny small-arms dealer and built it into a business bigger than the Krupp Werke in Germany - Vickers.

But you can't admire him much.

Monday, August 20, 2007

"I want my Prince Charming!"

My daughter plaintively cried out. [The younger one, Thank God! I think I can assume that it can't be serious.]

My wife answered, "He ain't comin'." [Now where could she have gotten that idea? Certainly not from recent experience!]

Lena replied, "He-e-ey!! You don't say dat!" [Denial: it's not just a river in Egypt.]

If you have any urge to take this seriously, Nathaniel Brandon has at least one chapter in one of his books - Taking Responsibility, probably (actually, I have cause to believe it was The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem)- about the fact that your Knight in Shining Armor isn't going to show up and save you from your life.

I didn't start this post with that last paragraph in mind, it just popped into my mind as I was writing. Then I had to go and look up those links. I really just wanted to tell a funny story.

Now she's explaining to me that "the green grapes have black hair and a tail, too!"

"Sure they do, honey." She's making me sing songs along with the music from her Talk and Learn Alphabet toy as I type this. I guess it does look like the green grapes on it have black hair and a tail.

I'll be darned!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dobie Gray!

Gimme the Beat, Boys!

Dobie Gray had more affect on my philosophy of life than anybody!

I used to walk barefoot down tarred roads in Oklahoma in July and August to toughen my feet. Internally I was groovin' to "Give Me The Beat, Boys!"

If you don't know that song, get to know it. It is life itself.

I don't own that song. I need to.

Hey! He's got a website!

Oh! Now I really love him! From his website:
Mike Stewart, Dan Williams and Tom Smith of Dan Williams Music, brought Dobie into Creative Workshop Studios to sing the now-famous, "Momma's Got The Magic Of Clorox ll" jingle for Proctor & Gamble's nationwide ad campaign. The Reggae-themed, "Momma" had its first hugely-successful outing in 1986-88. It's second and greatest run was during 2002-2004. Over time, Dobie has chalked up more than thirty TV and Radio commercials, but "Momma is by far, his most renowned - winning a CLIO Award in the Best Commercial category, in 1989.

I just finished watching

Kung Fu, the Complete Third Season.

Kicked ass, just as I remember.

I loved that show from the first moment I saw it.

Well, actually, I think my first reaction was, "Huh? What happened to our show?" We were sitting down to dinner with the TV pulled around so we could all see it from the table. "Our show," really, was no great loss. I don't even remember what it was. We'd just gotten into the habit of eating dinner that way. It was a bummer when all seven of us were home and somebody had to sit in the way of the screen.

I can't believe that was 1972! That must have been the second year we had a color TV. We weren't even in the new house yet!

But that's when the third season was made. There's a lesson in there about formative memories and how they seem more recent to you than other things. And more vivid. You remember where you were when Kennedy was shot, I remember my first viewing of "Kung Fu."

I didn't catch every show the first time around, and it seemed like I always caught the same three shows every time I watched the reruns. I became a more diligent rerun watcher when I snuck my Dad's boat TV into my bedroom while he was home for the winter. (And a much worse student, though it's amazing what you can learn from Johnny Carson - I'll tell you about that figures into my Seven Deadly Sins score. Ron wasn't responsible for everything that's wrong with me.)

My mother used to warn me not to take that Buddhist crap too seriously. She was worried about me.

In the special features, there is a scene in which the Abbot of the Shao Lin Monastery in China thanks David Carradine for what he's done for Shao Lin Kung Fu and Buddhism. Carradine answers, I think consciously "channeling" Kwai Chang Caine, "I live to serve." The Abbot nodded.

Carradine, his Kung Fu master and the other buddy they brought along on the pilgrimage seemed very deeply moved by their visit there.

There is also a demonstration of what Shao Lin monks are capable of these days, and it's pretty astounding.

Now I gotta get the first two seasons. I'll probably be disappointed with them. Those were the shows that were repeated endlessly on our local ABC affiliate.

Don't tell the wife I'm on the hunt.

Though, I bet she already suspects it.

Does this work?

In case it doesn't show (it doesn't for me on my blog, it's just a white square with a link), it's the TCM route. They didn't have it filed, so I put it in and saved it anonymously.

I see it says "private" when I follow the link, though I can see it there. I may have a cookie that allows me to see it. I don't know.

This is what I train for. The ole 26.2 mile long party/buffet.

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page, formerly of Purple People Eater fame, plays the Tuba for us. Where else can you see that?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

There's an article in today's

Daily Wealth called "The Banks Have Stopped Lending."

What can you do without taking out a loan?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ho ho! I just published a link to a report

a moment ago that I got as a bonus for answering a survey. But I deleted it, because it wasn't an appropriate use of the information under the circumstances. I just needed to put it in a format from which I would be able to download the book.

It's from Dr. Al Sears about nutrition for... Well, let's see what the actual title is, shall we?

"Prevent Vision Loss and Enjoy Crisp Clear Eyesight... Even As You Approach 100!"

Since I'm pretty much blind as a bat. And I entered my 45th year yesterday at 5:12PM, I considered the issue worthy of my attention.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Here's something I read today that I thought was great:

How The Simpsons Can Save America, by Jim Amrhein
Because its fundamental goal is to spread laughs instead of lessons, the show’s writers are free to skewer everyone and everything in America without fear of undermining any overarching agenda. And this they do — gleefully freed from the shackles of political correctness by their two boorish bards, Bart and Homer Simpson. In fact, The Simpsons is such an equal-opportunity heckler of the American condition that it’s really the only thing on the Fox network (or any network) that truly approaches “fair and balanced.”

True, if one looks really hard, the slightest suggestion of a skew to the political left can be detected in The Simpsons. But it’s so light-handed as to be almost irrelevant — and it tends to highlight general issues (chiefly, the environment) more than any particular political party. In fact, recognizable caricatures of politicians from both sides of the aisle get roasted regularly on The Simpsons.

I don't see much of a skew to the left, myself. Jim Amrhein must have more of a skew to the right than I do to see it that way. I see a skew toward the old black flag, and I appreciate it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

I've got something to say

about this piece on Ron Paul, but, I'm afraid it won't be simple, so bear with me.

I don't want to call it a fisking because I have a lot of respect for Mr. Alexander, but it'll be like that.

BTW, Probligo, is

this what you were talking about?
The US Federal Reserve injected $38 billion dollars into the economy via temporary open market operations this Friday. This is the largest number of temporary repurchase agreements (specifically, one business day repos) entered into by the Fed since September 11, 2001.

Yeah, that's what we need. A reinflation of the Housing Bubble.

Instead of a shaking out of all the bad ideas that grew out of the last "reinflation."

I really shouldn't tell anybody this, but,


Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Here we go!

Here's an excellent analysis of what's going wrong in America
Here's an exerpt from Neoconservative Foreign Policy: An Autopsy by Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein of the Ayn Rand Institute:
How have we managed to fail so spectacularly to secure our interests in the perfect neoconservative war? The state of affairs it has brought about is so bad, so much worse than anticipated, that it cannot be explained by particular personalities (such as Bush or Rumsfeld) or particular strategic decisions (such as insufficient troop levels). Such a failure can be explained only by fundamental flaws in the policy.

On this count, most of the President’s critics and critics of neoconservatism heartily agree; however, their identification of neoconservatism’s fundamental problems has been abysmal. The criticism is dominated by the formerly discredited “realists,” who argue that the Iraq War demonstrates that “war is not the answer” to our problems—that the United States was too “unilateralist,” “arrogant,” “militaristic”—and that we must revert to more “diplomacy” to deal with today’s threats. Thus, in response to Iran’s ongoing support of terrorism and pursuit of nuclear weapons, to North Korea’s nuclear tests, to Saudi Arabia’s ongoing financing of Islamic Totalitarianism—they counsel more “diplomacy,” “negotiations,” and “multilateralism.” In other words, we should attempt to appease the aggressors who threaten us with bribes that reward their aggression, and we should allow our foreign policy to be dictated by the anti-Americans at the United Nations. These are the exact same policies that did absolutely nothing to prevent 9/11 or to thwart the many threats we face today.

If these are the lessons we draw from the failure of neoconservatism, we will be no better off without that policy than with it. It is imperative, then, that we gain a genuine understanding of neoconservatism’s failure to protect American interests. Providing this understanding is the purpose of this essay. In our view, the basic reason for neoconservatism’s failure to protect America is that neoconservatism, despite its claims, is fundamentally opposed to America’s true national interest.

I'd quote more, but they're rather protective of their intellectual property rights, and, though I don't think they'd actually sue me, I already breach plenty of their tenets and I don't want them to hold me in any lower regard than they already do.

Oh! I think they might actually approve of wider dissemination of this paragraph:
The Left’s vision of the flourishing socialist Utopia collapsed as socialist experiment after socialist experiment produced the exact opposite results. Enslaving individuals and seizing their production led to destruction wherever and to whatever extent it was implemented, from the Communist socialism of Soviet Russia and Red China, to the National Socialism (Nazism) of Germany, to the disastrous socialist economics of Great Britain. At this point, as pro-capitalist philosopher Ayn Rand has observed, the Left faced a choice: Either renounce socialism and promote capitalism—or maintain allegiance to socialism, knowing full well what type of consequences it must lead to.

And since it, in fact, leads us back to the Stone Age, the New Left has embraced the Stone Age as the ideal for humanity. Just as Ayn Rand said they would in her 1938 novella Anthem.
Meanwhile, the disenfranchised Old Lefties'
“neoconservative” transformation went only so far. Kristol and company’s essential criticism of socialism pertained to its practicality as apolitical program; they came to oppose such socialist fixtures as state economic planning, social engineering of individuals into collectivist drones, and totalitarian government. Crucially, though, they did not renounce socialism’s collectivist moral ideal. They still believed that the individual should be subjugated for the “greater good” of “society” and the state. They just decided that the ideal was best approximated through the American political system rather than by overthrowing it.

...[T]he America [that] neoconservatives embraced was not the individualistic America of the Founding Fathers; it was the collectivist and statist post-New Deal America. This modern American government—which violated individual rights with its social security and welfare programs and its massive regulation of business all in the name of group “rights” and had done so increasingly for decades—was seen by the neoconservatives as a basically good thing that just needed some tweaking in order to achieve the government’s moral purpose: “the national interest” (i.e., the alleged good of the collective at the expense of the individual). The neoconservatives saw in modern, welfare-state America the opportunity to achieve collectivist goals without the obvious and bloody failures of avowedly socialist systems.

Well, I won't rehash the whole article. Go and read it. BTW, I haven't finished it yet, myself. I'll tell you if I still think they're right when I do.

Oh let me toss in this little teaser, "... if a 'long, expensive, and arduous war' were necessary to defeat the enemy that struck on 9/11—and we will argue that it is not—it is profoundly un-American and morally obscene to treat such a war as a positive turn of events because it generates a collective purpose..."

"Indians discovered copper in the Black River in the 1850s!

No time to talk!"

I'm quoting a buddy of mine from high school.

On the other hand, I'm about to do the same thing.

Check this out: Skeptical About Skepticism.

Prove anything? I don't know. No time to think about it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My beloved brother SHOWS why he's my beloved brother

Ron, your football stories kick ass! I'm not kidding!

Write a book, man! I'll edit the thing (I'm afraid you need it, for clarity's sake - but, for God's sake, don't stop writing those! I love your football stories!).

Ron's team was better than ours and didn't get to state. Warren Williams and Larry Banks are huge heroes to me! Larry Banks set the bench press record that I wanted to beat (385#) and didn't come close (though the lazy &*%$er, with the natural physique of Arnold Schwartzenegger [which means "black acre," or "well-manured field," btw, and not that other thing that I used to think it meant], that I mentioned before, should have been able to beat, but didn't either).

And Warren Williams had the natural ability to beat that. The dude was an absolute monster! I forget who John was. Oh, yeah! John Francouer! [Or however you spell that.] He set some records too, didn't he? Dips, I think. Though I might have broken that one myself. But it had already been broken by one of those deformed bleepers who was all arms and chest with no legs. Pretty much like I am now, come to think of it. God! My legs are skinny!

That was quite an aside, wasn't it? Well, to my mind, those people deserve to be mentioned on the internet. They were gods to me. As was my brother: the man who drilled the value of perfect technique into my head by his deeds and his words. Ron, you need to package what you did to have the body you had on your eighteenth birthday and sell it, man! That knowledge is worth huge money! Just tell the literal truth. And I can help you market it. I can't sell anything I don't believe in, but I saw that! Up close and personal!

Aw, C****! I'll have to make the Rendezvous post separately. I'll let this stand for a bit.

But I'm not at all kidding you. Ron, as he was at the end of his highschool sports career, could have made a lucrative living as a model for Greek revival statuary. He was the Olympic ideal.

And if you haven't already gone to those links, start with this one first.

Or maybe not. I finished with it, and maybe it really goes last. He spent the most time on it and it shows. It's epic.

Brag 'em up to your friends. These posts are among the best things I've ever read.