Sunday, March 23, 2008

LibertyBob's last two posts

are about the Spring Holiday Season. Of course, he chose different ones than I usually emphasize (link one, link two).

I like to draw attention to The Ides of March on the 15th, and St. Urho's Day on the 16th.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

invadesoda has a link to a brilliant list of

Libertarian quotes, but I'm gonna make you go through him to find them.

Here are a few:
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin

One of the greatest delusions in the world is the hope that the evils in this world are to be cured by legislation. – Thomas B. Reed (1886)

If you are not free to choose wrongly and irresponsibly, you are not free at all. – Jacob Hornberger (1995)

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. – P.J. O'Rourke

The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates. – Tacitus

No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session. – Mark Twain (1866)

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him. – Robert Heinlein

The true danger is when Liberty is nibbled away, for expedients. – Edmund Burke (1899)

Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none. – Thomas Jefferson

The triumph of persuasion over force is the sign of a civilized society. – Mark Skousen

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson (1801)

When the government's boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence. – Gary Lloyd

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. – H.L. Mencken

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule. – H.L. Mencken

Makes me want to watch "V for Vendetta" again.

Tim Pawlenty just did an hour on Northern Alliance Radio

That's our Governor, btw. He's also chairing John McCain's presidential campaign.

Now, I'm one of those people who's irritated as hell about all the compromisers, but I gotta tell ya, Tim Pawlenty is the most knowledgable, friendly leader the world has ever seen. People asked him tough questions and he answered them honestly and completely.

I gotta find that for ya.

Hmm. How's that damn website work? Am I in the right place? It looks just like, but it's all screwed up.

Agh! I give up!

Friday, March 21, 2008


The Republican Party of Minnesota informs me that I've been elected a Precinct Leader. Funny, I don't remember raising my hand for that one. The precinct chair is that young gal I was sitting next to when I had the twitches.

Oh, yeah, I am a vice chair. I guess that qualifies me as a leader. I was afraid they'd ousted my gal H___ (I don't know if she qualifies as a public figure yet), or otherwise made some awful mistake.

Their going to have training sessions in a couple weeks. Guess I have to go find out what I got myself into.

I read a story back in junior high about a kid who suddenly had to go on the lam; while his mother was packing him some food for his trek into the mountains, one of the other kids asked, "When does a boy become a man, Mama?"

She answered, "When a man is needed."

Think a man's needed here?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sorry, I had a bunch of things going on for the past week.

Family, work, computer issues.

The family's fine, and nothing exciting was going on, just a lot of it. Work stuff, I don't talk about here. Kills a lot of possible posts, but it saves my job, probably.

Looks like the old Compaq's on her last legs. We're looking into getting a new one, and the wife saw a way to get one better than this one for a quarter the price. Something else I can't talk about is getting in the way of that, though.

Not all of life sucks, but some parts of it definitely do sometimes.

That's my apology, now check out what Alex Epstein has to say about the mortgage crisis:
Too Big to Bail
By Alex Epstein

Every few days we hear that another leading financial institution has written down billions more on subprime investments gone bad. Nearly every major financial institution, it turns out, had a hand in loans to low-credit borrowers--borrowers whose ability to pay often hinged on endlessly low interest rates or a strong housing market. How could this happen? How could nearly all the leading lights of the financial industry--the experts in assessing and managing risk--expose themselves to such massive losses? Or, as a Fortune cover crudely put it: "What were they smoking?"

A major part of the answer is: government bailout crack.

Just another variation of the old ABCT, seems to me. [You'll have to assume that Crusoe has some big berries to accept Mahoney's illustration.]

Update: Oh, I guess that's what this guy is saying. When you're done with that, check out Setting the Stage for American History: Liberty vs Power in Europe and England, by Murray N. Rothbard.

BTW, if you want to check out other Business Cycle theories, you can't do better than start at Wikipedia. I'd start with this one and follow their links to other articles.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Toward a good conspiracy theory

Murray Rothbard said:
The bad conspiracy analyst tends to make two kinds of mistakes, which indeed leave him open to the Establishment charge of "paranoia." First, he stops with the cui bono; if measure A benefits X and Y, he simply concludes that therefore X and Y were responsible. He fails to realize that this is just a hypothesis, and must be verified by finding out whether or not X and Y really did so. (Perhaps the wackiest example of this was the British journalist Douglas Reed who, seeing that the result of Hitler's policies was the destruction of Germany, concluded, without further evidence, that therefore Hitler was a conscious agent of external forces who deliberately set out to ruin Germany.) Secondly, the bad conspiracy analyst seems to have a compulsion to wrap up all the conspiracies, all the bad guy power blocs, into one giant conspiracy. Instead of seeing that there are several power blocs trying to gain control of government, sometimes in conflict and sometimes in alliance, he has to assume — again without evidence — that a small group of men controls them all, and only seems to send them into conflict.

On the other hand:
Were all the Trilateralists and Rockefeller Foundation and Coca-Cola people chosen by [President] Carter simply because he felt that they were the ablest possible people for the job? If so, it's a coincidence that boggles the mind. Or are there more sinister political-economic interests involved? I submit that the naïfs who stubbornly refuse to examine the interplay of political and economic interest in government are tossing away an essential tool for analyzing the world in which we live.

Hmm, says I.

I don't suppose any of those people are active today?

BTW, this post is largely the result of perusing the daily articles archive in pursuit of the source of my previous post. I had to check out this article, because I didn't think my boy Murray Rothbard could be led astray by anything as crude as the crap I've heard from the John Birchers or the LaRouchies. Amusingly enough, he lends some support to both groups. That does not mean that he, nor I, desired to support the goals of either group.

Original Sin! Now there's scientific proof of it!

I learned first about the University of Nottingham (isn't that appropriate) research from the Mises Institute, and now Kevin Hogan has beaten me to the punch on a follow up article. I should have know he'd be on it like a chicken on a june bug.

Kevin does a pretty good job expressing himself, but I've got to warn you, he hasn't read Eats, Shoots and Leaves. But I'll by-pass that issue and quote what he quotes:
"Anti-social punishment was rare in the most democratic societies and very common otherwise.

"Using the World Democracy Audit evaluation of countries' performance in political rights, civil liberties, press freedom and corruption, the top six performers among the countries studied were also in the lowest seven for anti-social punishment. These were the USA, UK, Germany, Denmark, Australia and Switzerland."

He adds: "Their results suggest that the success of democratic market societies may depend critically upon moral virtues as well as material interests, so the depiction of civil society as the sphere of 'naked self-interest' is radically incorrect."

Adapted from materials provided by University of Nottingham, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

University of Nottingham (2008, March 6). Cooperation, Punishment And Revenge In Economics And Society. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 7, 2008, from­ /releases/2008/03/080306183134.htm

The latter items in italics are Kevin's sources.

To see what I mean by "original sin," read how Kevin introduces the study. But, actually, I was keyed to my own analysis by the Mises Institute article Does Neuroscience Support Austrian Theory?

Oh! Crap! That's not the one that mentions the Nottingham Study. It is, however, very much the one that stimulated my thoughts as a matter important to my project of synthesizing the theories of Lutheranism, Objectivism and Libertarianism. I mentally filed (but, unfortunately, didn't physically file) the Nottingham study as evidence for my contention that Original Sin is, basically, the tendency to blame someone else for our own failings.

What did Eve do after she ate the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? She blame the serpent. What did Adam do when he was caught? He blamed Eve. Did Cain shoulder the responibility for murdering Abel? He certainly shouldered the consequences, but I never read that he apologized.

Blaming somebody else and then stealing what they had a right to; that's the whole story of the Old Testament. The New Testament is saying, "Stop that crap! Right here! Right now!"

That's why I'm unwilling to let go of Christianity. It may be that we're carrying the "forgive and forget" message too far - or we think we should, and our history proves that we haven't carried it far enough - but it's a message that the world is literally dying to hear! And it's done wonders for Western Civilization.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I suppose I should say something about Brett Favre retiring.

The People have been clamoring so for a proclamation.

I heard Laura Ingraham asking the question, did Favre embarass himself by crying at his farewell press conference? I'm not a "real men don't cry" guy at all, there are damn good reasons to cry, most of 'em involving death, and retiring from a storied football career is one of those.

But, I'm not sure why the guy's retiring. Nobody in the history of the world was more in a position to say, "Just kidding!" and have everyone respond, "Well! You really had me going there for a minute!" And then go on as if the word 'retire' had never been mentioned.

I hear Favre's got a massive ego. Let me stroke it a bit: he's the greatest thing that ever happened to the Packers in my lifetime. Well, okay, I was alive for half of the Lombardi Era, but I don't remember any of it.

Except for brief glimmerings, the Packers have sucked most of my life.

What's next season going to look like?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Old Whig Marketing Award

goes the LDS "talk to your kids" ads. I love listening to those when they come on. They haven't convinced me to become a Mormon, but they definitely make points that parents need to learn about listening to their kids, and they do convince me that the Mormons know how to raise happy, successful children.

And to root for them to raise more of them.

Keep it up, Mormons! You're doing good things for humanity.

Update: Darn it! If you saw this before now, you had to notice that I that I said LSD, rather than LDS. I was thinking, don't say LSD as I was typing.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I've been listening to that country station,

my daughter keeps tuning it in, and - I forget what and whose the songs are, but there've been more than a couple about guys' Dads. And I was playing my Best of Bread CD earlier today which has the song "Everything I Own," about David Gates' Dad.

My Dad used to sing the song "That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine," which he probably took from Jim Reeves, though I see it was originally a Gene Autry song. I'd like to hear that (latter) version. I haven't heard either, really, I've only heard Dad sing it. I've mentioned that I think Dad was the best country singer I've ever heard, he had an extraordinary vocal range. I don't suppose I'll ever be able to make that case definitively. I'm obviously biased, and, as far as I know, there are no extant recordings to prove it.

Well, Dad sang this song here:
That Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine Lyrics
Artist:Jim Reeves

In a vine-covered shack in the mountains
Bravely fighting the battle of Time
There's a dear one who's weathered life's sorrow
It's that silver haired Daddy of mine

If I could recall all the heartaches
Dear old Daddy, I've caused you to bear
If I could erase those lines from your face
And bring back the gold to your hair

If God would but grant me the power
Just to turn back the pages of Time
I'd give all I own if I could but atone
To that silver haired Daddy of mine.

I know it's too late, dear old Daddy
To repay for the heartaches and care
But dear Mother is waiting in Heaven
Just to comfort and solace you there

If I could recall all the heartaches
Dear old Daddy, I've caused you to bear
If I could erase those lines from your face
And bring back the gold to your hair

If God would but grant me the power
Just to turn back the pages of Time
I'd give all I own if I could but atone
To that silver haired Daddy of mine

Now, Dad didn't go gray, really, much before he got lung cancer and ended up bald, so when he was singing it, I always imagined Grandpa as the subject of the song.

Grandpa outlived Dad by several years. Dad was the oldest of his seven children, and the third to pass. Is there a song that tells how Grandpa felt?