Saturday, April 28, 2007

Just on the off chance that I still have any friends,

I'm going to bring up a comment I just made that promises to slice off some more:
I just realized I forgot the link. I also forgot that this is a Mises Inst. article, and that I promised not to just parrot everything they say.

I must say, it kind of sickens me that they've been following the Dems lead on the War (I'm including Raimondo and Anti-War.com as well as LewRockwell.com here). Libertarianism has all kinds of good arguments against war, I'd like to see them focussing on the connections between the Dems read and our theory. I wouldn't mind them making that point, but just jumping on the anti-Bush bandwagon doesn't cut it. The Dems are just as much statists (at least) as Bush and the Neo-cons, trying to garner their favor ain't gonna get you nowhere.

Actually, I guess they're doing what I recommend here. But there's still a gap between us. I need to figure out what needs to go in there, because it's probably the difference between a successful Libertarian Party and what we've got now.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Law of the Jungle in action!

Fiscal policy has little room to maneuver since the treasury cannot monetize its deficit. Plus, fiscal policy does not influence the money supply; if the government tries to raise the money supply during a contraction period by obtaining debt in international markets and pumping it into the system, the banks compensate and take the excess money out of circulation by sending it offshore.

Banks cannot coordinate inflation due to ample competition and the fact that (unlike even the United States banking system prior to the Federal Reserve) they do not issue bank notes. The panics and general bank runs that were so common in the US banking system in the 19th century have not occurred in Panama, and bank failures do not spread to other banks. Several banks in trouble have been bought — before any runs ensue — by larger banks, attracted by the profits that can be made from obtaining assets at a discount.

There is no deposit insurance and no lender of last resort, so banks have to act in a responsible manner. Any bad loans will be paid by the stockholders; no one will bail these banks out if they get into trouble.

Anarchy! Social Darwinism!

Oh! Sorry! I forgot the link! The quote is from Panama Has No Central Bank, by David Saied for the Mises Institute.

A self-help newsletter on The Media

the Better Living With Hypnosis Newletter says:
You must become picky about who you allow to put information in your head. Find a good source of information and even then limit your exposure to it. So much of our negative programming comes to us through the media. We passively watch and listen, but our subconscious mind records everything. I rarely watch television, but I was watching TV recently at a gym. I discovered that the networks have managed to train people to have anxiety on cue. I believe the Pavlovian-style stimuli were called level yellow, level red, etc. The TV now tells us how anxious we should be based on information that we cannot verify. How interesting...a box can ruin our day and cause us to think negatively about our lives and our possibilities. My advice is to control the box. We are certainly more mentally powerful than a box.

Newspapers accomplish the same goal, raising our anxiety level, by displaying tragedy as headline news. What about all the people who had a wonderful time on the beach in Santa Monica today? Why isn't that on the front page? What about the flower in a vase on the windowsill of a beautiful house? Why isn't that on the cover of the LA times as the lead story? Does that sound absurd to you? That a flower would be the headline news? Who would buy a paper like that? Maybe a handful of people. Not many. We have been programmed to feed on all of the anxiety offered by the media. People start to look forward to the next anxiety-generating story...someone was shot, someone stole something, some group of angry people is hurting another group of people...and on and on it goes...this steady diet of anxiety. Take control of what goes in your head.

I am not suggesting that we ignore the problems of the world. There are real problems going on which need our attention. I am simply suggesting that we find ways to protect ourselves from the constant barrage of negativity being aimed at us. The information is often valid, but packaged in a very harmful way. When we take responsibility for what goes in our heads, we can truly begin to live powerfully. In an airplane the flight attendant will tell you to put your oxygen mask on first, before helping others. I am suggesting the same. Clear your mind of all the rubbish being aimed at it, by yourself and others, and then you will be better able to live your life on your terms and help others.

Gore is news. You probably don't have any in your life. Not even Al Gore. Or anything he's worried about. "News" means novelty. The sort of thing they write novels about.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Catfight on 694

On the way home last night the truck about four cars in front of me came to a stop. Now, there were two SUVs in front of me, so I couldn't see what the deal was. I just figured it was "the usual," so I'm just patiently looking for the opportunity to pass around whatever is blocking my lane. After about a minute, the passenger door opens up and this gal starts dragging the driver out by the head.

Oop. Gotta run an errand.

I'm back.

Anyway, these two get out of the truck and start yanking on each other's hair and collars. And, presumably, yelling at each other, though I couldn't hear anything.

I've seen a few streetfights and I've concluded that they're not usually very entertaining. A couple guys start swinging at each other, get tangled up, fall down and roll around on the ground for a while. These gals weren't even that serious.

You'd think, if they were going to shut down the whole freeway, the least they could do is rip each other's clothes off.

Finally I saw my gap and passed.

Then I went to Target for another adventure, but that'll have to be another post.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I'll try to limit my quotes from the Mises Institute's

Daily Articles to one per week, but here's a good one, from Our Kind of Central Planning by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.:
Some people say that the real problem with the Bush administration is that it is too far left, and that a genuine right-wing government would be better. I'm disinclined to believe that, for I detect in the Bush administration a particular philosophy of governance that departs from that of the Clinton regime in many ways, except in its unlimited faith in government, that is, force and the threat of force.
.....
In the American postwar tradition, the political Right has been a mix of genuine libertarian elements together with some very dangerous tendencies. Mises wrote in Omnipotent Government that there is a breed of warmonger who sees war not as an evil to be avoided as much as possible, but rather a productive and wonderful event that gives life meaning. To these people — and Mises of course was speaking of Nazis — war and all its destruction is a high achievement, something necessary to bring out the best in man and society, something wonderful and necessary to push history and culture forward.

I hear the kind of thing he's talking about on talk radio every day.

What Newt said.

Yeah, he looked like kind of a weinie in the debate with Kerry, but I just got his Winning the Future email last night and I thought it read pretty well.

All right, where'd he hide it?!

Ah, here!
Values of Green Conservatism

An American Solutions approach will develop a “green conservatism.”

1. Green conservatism favors clean air and clean water.
2. Green conservatism favors maximum biodiversity as a positive good.
3. Green conservatism favors minimizing carbon loading in the atmosphere as a positive public value.
4. Green conservatism is pro-science, pro-technology, and pro-innovation.
5. Green conservatism believes that green prosperity and green development are integral to the successful future of the human race.
6. Green conservatism believes that economic growth and environmental health are compatible in both the developed and developing world.
7. Green conservatism believes that we can realize more positive environmental outcomes faster by shifting tax code incentives and shifting market behavior than is possible from litigation and regulation.

Last night the local PBS affiliate had a four hour Global Warmathon. They started out with a show whose trailer implied that solar energy is a big disappointment. I had to miss that one, hopefully they'll replay it tonight on the spare taxpayer-supported station. Then there was the show that "proved" Global Warming Theory, though I noticed an awful lot of "mays" and "maybes" being bandied about. I suppose that's how you get a "consensus." The third show was all about what dumb, evil bastards anybody is who denies global warming.

At least those are my impressions. I was trying to read Rousseau and chase kids around while all these were on. I thought Newt sounded like a breath of anti-statist reason after all that.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My wife is inconsistent.

For all the swearing she did a week ago, you'd think she'd allow me to put this sticker on my truck bumper.

...grumblegrumblerumble...

WSJ on Yeltsin

Yeltsin was a contradictory figure: A man of boundless energy and determination, his fight against the Soviet system was motivated by a personal desire for revenge but also by a vision of a better life. At the same time, however, he shared the core assumption of the communist worldview--that the individual has no value compared to the goals of the state. It was this that undercut the democracy he hoped to build and prepared the way for the KGB-FSB government that exists in Russia today.

In the aftermath of Yeltsin's death, there will be many, particularly in the U.S., who try to draw a distinction between democracy under Yeltsin and authoritarianism under Mr. Putin. This distinction is false. Democracy implies a rule of law that did not exist under Yeltsin. At the same time, Mr. Putin was Yeltsin's handpicked successor. He never would have become president were it not for the criminality of the Yeltsin years, and the apartment bombings that led to the Second Chechen War.

The emancipation of Russia and its descent back into authoritarianism are both part of Yeltsin's legacy. Fate put him at the head of a movement that did great good--but he proved incapable of guaranteeing his country a better future. In the end, his life is a sober illustration of the necessity of uprooting the communist inheritance in Russia, and of how deep that legacy runs.

My emphasis.

I wonder if he, like Putin, had Atlas Shrugged on his shelf, too. And I wonder who the western economic advisors were who insisted that government assets be handed over to anyone without concern for establishing just laws to rule rights of property. Or an appropriate system for ensuring that all the owners of Soviet capital had their fair share. I don't think any of them could be accused of taking Objectivism or Austrian Economics too seriously.

IMF and World Bank guys, no doubt - a lot of Keynes, a little Friedman.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Jonathan Kellerman has an editorial

in the Wall Street Journal today. Yes, that Jonathan Kellerman.

Here's how it starts:
A DANGER TO SOCIETY

Bedlam Revisited
Why the Virginia Tech shooter was not committed.

BY JONATHAN KELLERMAN
Monday, April 23, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

I was in graduate school, studying clinical psychology when they began shutting down the asylums. The place was California, the time was the early 1970s, and "they" were an unprecedented confederation of progressives, libertarians and fiscal conservatives.

He rips R.D. Laing and Thomas Szasz in particular. I don't know much about Laing - he sounds like an idiot, but I only know about him from Kellerman, here, and Szasz - but Kellerman's points against Szasz seem to me to have more to do with the actual history than with what Szasz is trying to accomplish.

I think Kellerman is right that what has happened with our Mental Institutions is partially due to Szasz' opposition to psychiatry as it's been practiced. But the actual history has been carried out by "liberals" and fiscal conservatives, neither of whom have read much Szasz.

Szasz not only believes that treatment must be voluntary, but that each person must be held responsible for all of his own actions: you may never be absolved of responsibility due to mental incapacity. If you commit a crime, you do time.

I'm not much of a scab-picker, so I don't know where that would have left us in the case of Virginia Tech. Did the detestable worm ever do anything for which he should have been imprisoned?

Kellerman's a great writer, in any case. I believe the guy's just sold me a couple books.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Skreeching Skraeling

whom I just added to my blogroll, finally, has a pretty good post on the Virginia Tech thing.

On the INTP email list I belong to I've been enduring a communist German's diatribe about how our crappy gun control laws and health care system caused all that. There's a conservative and a libertarian already battling it out with him so I've just been checking in on the state of the argument now and then.

Even personality types are granfalloons [HT Kurt Vonnegut].

I'm missing the German episode of Monty Python.

Check out invadesoda's excellent [I included "excellent" because I have a habit of spelling it wrong, I wanted to spellcheck it - but it is the comment I made over there.] Live conservatively, govern libertarianly.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Lance Burri:

The problem in Virginia wasn’t so much that this young man had a gun, or that he had every intention of using it. The problem was that power was concentrated in one person. There was no diffusion of power. One guy had it all.

Link.

OldsmoBlogger's right about Tank Johnson

Tank Johnson: Prisoner of Conscience:
Now, none of this is to suggest that Johnson decided to martyr himself for the Second Amendment. I don't know why he decided he needed the firearms he owned. It's no damned business of mine, nor anyone else's, in any case, whatever the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago think they have to say about it. The case is a perfect example of the consequences of mala prohibita, of things that are wrong not because they are wrong, but because they are illegal.

Even if it seems like a bad time to bring it up.

There may be more to the story, but the guy's not in jail for anything he wrong that he actually did. Of course, I still don't see anything he should be imprisoned for.

From FEE:

Traffic Deaths Are an Overlooked Health Problem, WHO Says
4/20/2007
"Traffic injuries are the leading cause of death in people ages 10 to 24 around the world -- a huge, overlooked and largely preventable public health problem, the World Health Organization said yesterday." (Washington Post, Friday)

Who runs the roads?

FEE Timely Classic
"Roads Without the State" by Peter Samuel


From the latter article (which is not about crashes, but control):
Given our history of state dominance of highways this century, we have huge vested interests in its continuance: state highway bureaucracies, an industry of contractors and consultants with connections to those bureaucracies, and legislators for whom highway pork projects are part of the political medium of exchange. Two arguments are deployed that buttress the statist status quo for tax-financed highways—that taxes are the most practical and most fair way to pay for roads. Both are widely believed, but dubious. On fairness, it is said to be more burdensome for the worker earning $30,000 or the welfare mom on $15,000 to pay a $2 toll than it is for a rich person making over $100,000. That is true, of course. Any expense is less burdensome to the rich than to the poor, which is a major reason that people work. The inexorable logic of the tolls-are-unfair argument is that prices for goods and services generally are unfair, which leads to a case for socializing everything and distributing goods through the state according to some godly judgment of “need.” But in the real world, where capitalism and markets have been found a rather practical way of getting people to work on behalf of one another via exchanges of goods and services, prices are central.

Indeed, the lack of pricing and markets for highway services is at the root of many of our highway problems. There is a constant moan from people about the lack of money for roads, a complaint you never hear in respect of building new electric generating plants, telephone lines, computer factories, car plants, or pig farms. Because those products sell for a price, their producers are able to raise money by going out into the capital markets with estimates of the profits they may be able to generate through their proposed investment. So if highways were priced with tolls, the highway service providers could raise capital for good toll highway projects based on the prospective stream of future revenues.

My emphasis.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

invadesoda's callin' me out!

You remember him, don't you? He was teamed up with me here for a bit, until the hackers screwed up his blogger ID and his old blog. Well, he got everything back up and running, and he's certainly welcome back here whenever he wants.

I've been slow about saying that, my friend. Sorry. My excuse is that things have been a bit hectic around here for quite a while. Lookin' to settle down now.

The issue at hand is, relating to this post I said, "Most of what's wrong with the world today comes from two sources: the Tory reaction to Locke and the Rousseauian perversion of his doctrines."

i.s. said, "I'd like to see a post elaborating on that..."

You know what? So would I. The article referenced in the previous post may not be around long and I should check some of its references. The state of my library is described in my last comment there. Woeful, you might say.

There's one thing I need, though. I need somebody to ride my a$$. Delegate it. Tag team it.

I chose this name as a goal to shoot for. I need to write something worthy of an Old Whig. I mean, I don't expect to equal Shaftesbury, Locke or Trenchard & Gordon for intellectual rigor, but I think I can whoop-ass on 'em for interesting style without disgracing my Logic and History profs.

I quit drinkin' JUST SO I could sustain a train of thought for a half hour at a time. It's time to DO it.

And what if the conservative position of total depravity

turns out to put totally depraved people in charge of running the system that is supposed to protect us against evil? That only magnifies the problem. In fact, I've never understood the people who claim that the universal pervasiveness of human evil means that we need a strong state. What guarantee do we have that the people who run the state will be less evil than those who are run by the state? If people are irredeemably corrupt, don't we have even more reason to reduce the chance that evil people will get hold of the mechanisms of power?

--Lew Rockwell.
Further along in "On Evil Acts" he says:
In the case of Virginia Tech or any other institution, there must be some way in place to protect against violence in the future. But that system needs to be carefully calibrated to match the level of danger. Otherwise, we end up with the current situation in airports in which the official policy assumes that every single passenger is a likely terrorist. Every person is investigated inside and out. And yet even the investigators know that this is going too far, and therefore they become lax and the system eventually fails.

Matching security to risk is a very complicated undertaking, so firms work with insurance companies to discover the right means. Clearly, a convenience store in a violent East Coast urban environment is going to need more protection than even a fancy jewelry store in a Midwest suburb. Customers would think the owner was nuts if they encountered bulletproof glass in a 7-Eleven in Caldwell, Idaho, but this is the norm in the Bronx. Of course firms make errors, but competitive pressure drives them always to adjust security to match the facts as they know them.

Ah, heck! Put these in too:
For this reason, it is not enough to say that Virginia Tech ought to ban guns or ought to arm students and teachers. Neither solution is necessarily right. One can imagine that some universities might not want students to carry sidearms. For other places, this might be just great and even essential for putting parents at ease. Which is the right solution? Only when such decisions are left to private owners and the competitive marketplace can we know for sure. One-size-fits-all doesn't work any better in security provision than in clothing.

With the market, there are many decisions that we as a society do not have to make collectively but instead we make them individually as buyers. We do not have to decide collectively what cars to drive, what websites to visit, or what food to eat. So it is with security.

And so it is with the problem of human evil. We do not have to side with either liberals or conservatives. We only need to say that whatever is the intrinsic nature of man, the market will find the best possible means to deal with it, and whatever the outcome of that market process, it cannot be made better by involving the state.

No Procrustean Bed for security. [Procrustean security blanket? Naw, we'll have none of that either!]

The Rich are the Magical Liopleurodons of Society

Their experiments "show us the way."

The question is, are you Charlie or one of his visitors?

Sometimes the rich do good things, like run Mike Nifong out of town on a rail. You know you and I couldn't afford to do that.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The use and abuse of John Locke

Let's see if this link works. I got it from a commenter to an almost cryptic post by Roderick Long.
The Tories castigated him as a fanatic 'Commonwealth-man', a fomenter of rebellion and anarchy, and a deistical underminer of Christianity.

Morons! as Vizzini would say.

Bill Bennett said this this morning

In the days following World War II, when the economic strength and power of America was all that stood between the world and the return to the Dark Ages, Pope Pius XII said, ‘The American people have a great genius for splendid and unselfish actions. Into the hands of America, God has placed the destinies of an afflicted mankind.’ We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on Earth.”

And then I end the book. So, so there. That’s all I have to say about that. Liviu Librescu, a professor at Virginia Tech, was such an American, by adoption. He adopted this country, taught aeronautical engineering, and yesterday, saved young Americans. Eisenhower and the American military liberated the death camps, saved people like Librescu. Yesterday, he returned the favor, and stood in the doorway while students were able to escape. He survived the Holocaust and Hitler to do this.

It's online at Townhall.com.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Hey! Chuck Norris is writing a column

at World Net Daily!

How did I not know about that?

He says some surprising things. Check out the biker article.

Update: Where the heck have I been? I just found out that Kurt Vonnegut died a week ago. I got the word from Townhall, who have very little nice to say about him (and Greenberg's no Mark Steyn) so I googled him and got this article from, of all places, Actress Archives.

I probably shouldn't juxtapose them (Actress Archives, I mean) with Chuck Norris, but I'm a bit stunned. I really enjoyed Vonnegut. I understood him as a Bourgeois Philistine should: I thought he was funny.

Oh, and I feel no need to glorify war. Even though I won't take a purist stand against it.

Dr. Carl Milstad seems to share a lot of my concerns.

Check out Holistic Politics.com.

Don't mind the tie-dyed look.

I think it's cool.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'd rather not have to comment on the Virginia Tech murder rampage

but I heard somebody politicizing the matter already. [The only way, sadly, to depoliticize an event, is to make sure it's completely private. Unfortunately, that is also a political issue.]

A lady called a radio show and said she was absolutely against individuals having guns. The host treated it as an expression of grief and let it go, and maybe he's right. The worst thing the government does is overreact in the name of "doing something."

Even if all the civilians in the world were disarmed, as long as police and military services have guns, the enemies of Society would be able to get them from police and military armories.

For that matter, it's not that hard to make your own nasty weapons, including firearms and explosives. Your reeducation camps - excuse me, education system - won't be able to shut down evil imaginations.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Accountant's working on the taxes.

You should hear what she thinks of the IRS right now.

After a long string of curses, I felt the need to say, "Amen."

From her lips to God's ear.

Friday, April 13, 2007

If I knew my life would end tomorrow

I'm pretty sure I'd get hammered.

Thanks Omni.

It really IS Friday the 13th.

The Objective American is no more. [I don't know if it's a good idea to click that link, even. I'm behind a super-duper firewall here.]

If I could figure out how to drape this post in black, I would.

I'll redirect my link to a site that still has a number of Mr. Ross's articles up.

I'm sad.

Tom DeSabla says:

We have no patent on national morality or the nuclear fuel cycle. Time marches on, and the atom's secrets cannot be kept forever. Our world leadership has failed in a morass of debt and war, leaving the world with no example of freedom to guide them. Russia is descending into authoritarianism. China is growing, and warning us we are now vulnerable militarily too.

It is not isolationism to get out of everyone's face and start fixing the damage statism and imperialism have done to us. That is how to lead the world again. There is no other realistic option.


THOMAS H. DESABLA. Or look here.

Update

to this post: Steve.

Have another.

I'm trying to read LibertyBob, guys! Go out and play!

How to

How to get what you need

use your brain

--study
--learn
--listen
--read
--figure

Learn what?

How to get what you need

-think
-do
-plan
-work it

Do what?

Get what you need

-find it
-feed it
-eat it
-forget it?

No! You need it!

--Keep it
--Treasure it
--Pleasure it
--Measure it

Information

-get it

About what?

What you need

to live
to eat
be warm
be loved
be remembered

be reproduced

--physically
--mentally
--socially
--spiritually

to last.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You know, the most important thing I think I took away

from Brian Doherty's Radicals for Capitalism is the sense that there's no need to "read people out of the movement". I guess that's a lot of what I said in my Bourgeois Philistine review (linked above - btw, I'm done reading it now).

What brought it up is this article by Jeff Riggenbach: This Movement We Have Chosen in which he offers Doherty some corrections in a constructive and cheerful - not to mention, interesting and amusing - way.

Sure beats deriding everyone who's not teaching Objectivist Epistemology at Oxford or Harvard.

The Dietary Guidelines I think I should be following

Eat all the meat and veggies I want. Others may have inordinate urges for those things, but I really don't. If you eat them in approximately equal quantities, you won't be hurting.

I can eat maybe one slice of bread a day, but after that I should avoid bread and anything like it. You can turn all the grains in the world into gasahol [spell-check just gave me the option of changing this to "arsehole"] for all I care. (It still won't be enough to fuel everybody's transportation needs.)

Get two or three fruits and don't fight to get more, but don't turn 'em down either.

Have a couple ounces of dark chocolate.

If I could drink two ounces of red wine a day without either having a bottle around or going to a bar, I would. But I can't be goin' to a liquor store.

I was listening to the local guys here defending Don Imus

Or rather his right to say what he said without fear of reprisals. Jay Coles was making much of the "chilling effect" that the response of his employers and sponsors would have on free speech.

I agree that Imus can say anything he wants, and the government exists so that nobody can get away with pulling a gun on him or physically attacking him for it. The Constitution exists to prevent the government from doing the latter itself.

BUT!

We as society - WE THE PEOPLE - have the right to chill any damn thing we want!

Just as long as we don't use violence or the threat thereof to do it.

Update: Kyle has some interesting things to say about a different aspect of the issue.

Which reminds me of another point that I forgot to make: there is no requirement for Society, the Market - basically WE THE PEOPLE - to speak with one voice irrevocably. There are an awful lot of socially retarded people who wish otherwise.

This point isn't in any way directed at Kyle. I agree with what he's saying. Free speech means that I can tell Imus and Sharpton both to piss off. And they can call me a gasahol for doing so.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I would like to have time to write a post on the connections

between John Stossel's latest article, The Edifice Complex, Recession 2007, by Stefan Karlsson and this wonderful book blurb for The Panic of 1819, by Murray Rothbard.

Maybe I'd even throw in this piece on forgiveness, by John O. Reid.

Oh, well, here are the links. Study and think. (Ew! Sorry about the rhyme. But not sorry enough to remove it.)

I also wanted to link the Twins eminent domaining their neighbors (as are the Gophers I see) with this article about the economics of Little Bobby Mugabe.

I like this take on the issue, from last year.

Love that bread and those circuses, man.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ron Paul, the outsider's outsider, for President

Here's an article that gives me hope. I got it from FND. (Do I have a permanent link to them? That reminds me: I need to put in one for The Skreeching Skraeling.)

Yeah, I read the first three comments. They just give rise to the question, are Indian calls excluded from American Idol's voting system?

I actually haven't managed to catch Sanjaya's act, but the word on the street is that he's horrible.

Enough scatterbraining! Back to the article:
Before now, I never would have imagined what I’m about to say could potentially have an impact. There is a reason third-option candidates never stand a chance in presidential elections, and that is because Americans not only like to vote for someone they roughly believe in — they like to vote for someone they think can actually win.

But something different is happening at the moment. And that something different makes me believe something different can happen in next year’s election.

The something different in question is a lanky, long-haired Indian kid named Sanjaya Malakar, who, despite his lack of charisma and talent, is somehow taking this year’s American Idol by storm. More than just a passing fad, I believe Sanjaya’s unlikely success means something. A hundred years from now, I predict historians will credit him as the reason a little known Republican congressman from Texas became our next U.S. president.

I'm enough of a natural-born monkey-wrencher to appreciate that point. And, of course,
I don’t want to discuss whether Ron Paul is what’s “best” for America. I do believe it, but I’m not going to say it, since that’s the kind of thing a Hillary Clinton supporter would say. Instead, I want to focus on this idea of voting “for the worst.” There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Ron Paul would be the establishment’s worst nightmare.

Yeah! Up the establishment!

Of course, most people who like that phrase would give us Robespierre rather than LaFayette...

We are born ignorant and the wise die.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Limousine Liberals and Libertine Conservatives

Make the world go to hell.

I just want to see those slurs in print together. The article that gave rise is just called Libertine Conservatives.

Have a chunk:
Clearly, conservatives can personally defend libertine values for themselves, or for their own [i.e. Limbaugh, ed.], while still being bad on all the issues of freedom related to such libertinism. Just like the limousine liberal politicians who complain that the rich are squashing the poor, only to raise taxes on the little people and funnel more money to themselves and their well-to-do cronies, libertine conservatives generally do not apply their demonstrated values consistently as it concerns political philosophy. They persist in defending a system that cages hundreds of thousands of people for the same activity they themselves have engaged in, sometimes shamelessly, usually with no visible regret.

So, a libertine conservative is a hypocrite, not a libertarian. See comment to this post.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

I fully intended to post something this weekend,

but I've had the in-laws in.

Well, we got the washing machine fixed anyway. No more trips to the laundromat. You noticed how much I was b***hing about that. I didn't have time. I was at the laundromat.

Anyway, somebody wants me to come to bed.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

One more before bed:

Mark asked:
1) Have you ever been on a diet, counted calories, etc etc?



1b) Did it work: Yes or No?



2) How do you eat over the course of the day? Nibble, three large meals, etc etc?



3) Does your job make it hard for you to eat like you want and when you want?



4) What is the one area where you think you could do better at?



My answers:
1. Yes. What a pain in the rear, although you do get pretty good at just knowing after a week or so.

1b. It worked when I was a 150 lb. 10 yr-old and my mother put me on the God-awful version of the the Weight-Watchers Diet they had back in the early '70s. She did all the counting, you see.

2. Small meals often seem to work best for me: 5 or 6. And don't each any sugar, bread or anything like them - unless you're immediately going to go run it off.

3. I work at a place that just doesn't understand the evils of high-glycemic index foods. You may know where that is, but don't tell anyone.

4. I've been noshing on crap all winter. I got into the habit again as I approached the Twin Cities Marathon last fall. With the fall off in training due to wimpiness about the weather, I've gained back about 15 lbs.

I'm bouncing around the low 220s right now. If I get any exercise at all, I get pretty close to the 220 barrier, but my eating habits have been really HS.

I blame sobriety, personally. One way to stay sober is to make sure you really feel like crap when it's time to decide which way to turn on your way out of work (toward the liquor store or away from it). The last thing you want is to feel like celebrating when it's time to make that decision. Nothing makes you feel crappier then than downing a couple candy bars at 3:00.

Plays hob with the home chores though.

I haven't mentioned for quite some time

- or ever, I have to admit - that I think Steve Burri is a freakin' comic genius.

That just the first of many, if you don't get over there much.

...So, I decide to go wandering around my link bar, right?

See what my old friends are up to...

Well, the first guy I check, Rudy Carrera, posts a poem by Rudyard Kipling that exactly nails my thoughts about the Iranian capture of the British ship and how the Brits got them back.

Read it there. The poem is called Dane-geld.

It's worthwhile to back up and read the previous two posts as well. I'll give you the general link, if that helps.

I guess Donald Hamilton won't be finishing his last Matt Helm novel.

1916-2006 is a good long run. He died Nov. 20th and the word just got out yesterday.

There are a couple of great articles about him here and about his writings here.

One of the guys in the Yahoo group talked about how the Helm novels influenced him to be more logical and less emotional. It seems like a poor tribute as I've summarized it - obviously it's important to be logical, but Helm was much more than a robotic killer.

One thing I always appreciated about the books is the way you were along for the ride inside his head as his steady, methodical actions added up finally into a great victory for our side. Or, sometimes, a Pyrrhic victory for Helm, personally.

It's odd to have a cold-blooded assassin as a hero, but here I am, stuck with it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

There's a fellow Slithering Reptile

called The Skreeching Skraeling who could use a couple hits. [Of course, so could I.]

I went over there to see what he had to say about The Iceland Miracle and got caught up in a YouTube cartoon that has a song I won't be whistling any time soon.

If that's what YouTube is all about, I'm ambivalent about signing up.

Back to The Iceland Miracle: Check out those sources, Baby!

ICELAND: NORDIC TIGER, from NPCA. All right, they're a conservative/libertarian think tank. I like them ok, but that proves nothing to you, necessarily.

The Skraeling neglects to mention that the article he's reproduced is from The Advocates' Liberator Online which has all kinds of cool links in that issue.

The Cato and WSJ links are pdfs, of course. I like to save those to my desktop right off the bat and read them at leisure. If you must choose just one, the WSJ article is the easiest read, but the Cato article is the most informative with the most authoritative links for further study including the World Bank, IMF and OECD. The OECD and World Bank reports are pdfs, unfortunately.

I'm told that opening a bank account in Iceland is a helluva good idea.

...Oh when you're down and looking for some cheering up...
Duh dum dum dum...

Body Language Expert Kevin Hogan has been on a tear lately

Against the popular book, The Secret. [Don't forget the movie.]

He's starting a series of articles today (linked on the right side of his front page) explaining The Real Secret.

[Here's a quick synopsis: work hard, work smart and be lucky. - inner smart-ass.]