Monday, April 28, 2008

It's important to "get things done," after all.

That comment was made attached to Mean Ol' Meanie's post on John McCain (well, actually, it was about all three of the remaining candidates).

When I was a kid, the AWA (I think it was) had a grand melee fight (which I somehow failed to watch, but everybody was talking about it in school the next day), in which the first thing that happened was, everybody ganged up on Andre the Giant and threw him out of the ring. That part of the match might have been worth watching, just to see how much trouble they had doing it.

A guy in my class, whom I normally wouldn't have credited with great mental powers, said, "That's how these things always go. The little guys will all lose, because they're little, and everybody will gang up to get rid of the biggest guys. You end up with the most middle-of-the-road guy winning."

In this case it was Superstar Billy Graham, whom I hadn't heard of before that moment. He went on to have a pretty good pro-wrestling career, even though I don't think he was ever anyone's favorite.

Anyway, McCain is the Superstar Billy Graham of this presidential campaign.
____________________
Just to screw up a post in typical idiot-blogger fashion, that title is also my excuse for not posting since last Wednesday. I had to stop screwing around and finish installing my garage door. My father-in-law was down the weekend before this last one to help me widen the doorway to fit the door we bought.

Fifty-year-old concrete is some hard-@$$ $#!#, let me tell ya!

We got the door up together, as far as getting it upright in the doorway, but I didn't get the chance to get the moving parts in until Sunday.

Oh, yeah! The reason for the wasted Saturday is, The Older Boy, it turns out, wasn't on the lam after all. He'd been caught. Now he's been released, but he can't go home (for reasons that we won't discuss), so he's been at my house, wasting my time.

He's an interesting guy, with much to discuss. I just wish he could talk and work at the same time. And that I weren't so inclined to politeness.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I was reading Say's

Treatise on Political Economy (gigantic pdf linked there) when I came upon this gem:
During the long peace maintained by cardinal Fleury, France recovered a little; the insignificant administration of this weak minister at least proving, that the ruler of a nation may achieve much good by abstaining from the commission of evil.

Italics mine. I wanted to cut what I italicized out and paste it here, but I figured I'd throw in a little context. He's talking about the aftermath of the reign of the Sun King, Louis XIV.

Say had a pretty low opinion of Mandeville, apparently.

BTW, you can read the Treatise without downloading a monster file here.

Monday, April 21, 2008

You know? I don't really get

why polygamy should be suppressed (with violent force), either.
Kevin Hogan says, in part:
10) Religious Freedom

Once again last week I'm reminded that the government takes a tank and automatic weapons and aims them at buildings with children in them. That is dead wrong. That group of people in Texas don't seem to have caused pain to anyone around them. They appear to have been good and QUIET citizens. They don't appear to have stolen stuff, killed people. Let people who are PEACEFUL alone. It reminded me of Waco all over again. A CULT is the CHURCH down the street from YOURS.

Don't ya' love how media calls where they lived "a compound?" In Minnesota it's town houses or twin homes...you get the idea. We don't need religious persecution in this country. That's a very, very scary concept. If people are behaving themselves, have a community of 1500 people that aren't causing crimes.

Oh, I heard there was a phone call from someone inside "the compound." one of those "yet to be identified" people.... shoot....good point...it's always smart to bring the tanks in when a phone call comes from a teenager....

Ignore the call? If there was one, of course not. You check it out. THE phone call, THE issue. Find the specific abuse - not destroy the lives of 400 little kids and take them from their parents who obviously love them and then redistribute them to other people like they are money.

400 children stripped from their parents all in one fell swoop last week. I think one of the more recent times that happened was Nazi Germany. Is it just me or is that the most arrogant and horrifying thing that's happened in this country since 9/11? Did that shake you up and wake you up, as much as it did me? Taking kids from their Moms is the worst kind of child abuse. Being raised in a peaceful sect by parents who love you is not evil, it's a damn good thing. Polygamy is debatable, (well OK, there is no logical argument against polygamy, but for the purpose of Coffee*...) but it's far from a punishable offense. However, taking 400 kids by force and sending them away PERMANENTLY is *Nazi-evil.*

This wasn't about a legal issue, but it's now a permanent mental health, love and life issue. Drop your Senator a note and let her know how you are voting in the elections in November.

Religious freedom and freedom for children to live with their parents are what this country used to be good at. These people loved and took care of their kids, and well. Too many people in this country completely abdicate their responsibility to their kids.

Start where the real problems are, not with the imaginary stuff. These people didn't blow up buildings or do anything stranger than live a life much like the Amish and Mennonites. In fact, in everything I've read, I think I'd be more than happy to trade my neighbors to have them "next door!" There's a lot *good* to be said about living in a community away from people who...well...take children from their parents for zero good reasons....

In a parallel story, John Gottman, the renowned marriage and relationship expert revealed findings from a study this week that "gay" relationships are actually healthier than heterosexual relationships, on well, just about every level.

Perhaps.... just because people aren't COMFORTABLE with how others live or believe isn't a good enough reason to strip their kids away from them...or destroy the lives of innocent children. I remember too well when my Mom was faced with the possibility of my brothers and sisters not being able to live together as a family...faced with having to split up the family and some of us being orphaned. It's brutal...not something that is ever going to heal.... And why this "new problem?" Because some idiot made it a "law," and another decided to enforce it..."they're different."

Yeah, they are... I like 'em better than most already...

I mean, ok, go ahead and disapprove. Opinions are like... Just put the damn guns away. I've been listening for a week to the GDSOB fascists (who think they're moderates and conservatives) on KSTP spread every rumor about those people as if it were gospel, and demand that they all be machine-gunned.

If it's true, I agree. But who and what is/are the source(s)? Before I [literally] call for someone's head, I like to see better proof. I question the government's...sincerity.

*"Coffee With Kevin Hogan" is the name of Kevin's newsletter. That clears up one of his garbled constructions, anyway. Sometimes he doesn't edit. But, then, I never do.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Healing Our World deserves to be

the Bible of Libertarianism.

I would never have known anything about the book or Dr. Ruwart if I hadn't gone to the Minnesota Libertarian Party Convention in...it must have been 1998. It seems like The Older Girl was still young enough that I felt guilty about leaving her and her mother on a weekend. She was there, selling and signing copies of her books. Frankly, I went to her table because she was the most beautiful woman in the room. I'm sure she finds that to be the case quite often. (I haven't found a picture that does justice to her personal impact, but here's one.)

So, I bought Healing Our World: The Other Piece of the Puzzle and Short Answers to the Tough Questions.

I was still reading Rand back then, and I'd read some Hayek and Bastiat, so I had a pretty strong backing in the literature already by then. Ruwart's book didn't come as a great revelation to me, except that I was very impressed by "The Other Piece of the Puzzle": restorative justice.

I've heard people deride restorative justice as namby-pamby, bleeding-heart-liberal chit-chat to make everybody feel better. These are the same people (the deriders, I mean - "Blessed is the man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." Ps. 1:1*) who bitch all day long about what's going wrong in our courtrooms and how the world's going to hell in a handbasket. (Now who's being scornful?) I know they're the same people, because I listen to them doing it on talk radio all the time.

I agree with them, to a large degree. There are some people who offer solutions to the problem, but the guys I've heard deriding restorative justice haven't offered any. And I haven't heard conservatives advocating any alternatives other than "Loser Pays," which I agree would help cut abuses, nor any kind of privatization of conflict resolution. Alternative conflict resolution has been growing right along over the past couple decades, apparently without any help from conservatives.

Some things are looking up, but apparently, if nobody pulls a gun, it ain't legitimate.

Here's a quote from the intro:
When we acknowledge how our reactions contribute to our inner state, we gain control. Our helplessness dissolves when we stop blaming others for feelings we create. In our outer world, the same rules apply. Today, as a society, as a nation, as a collective consciousness, "we" once again feel helpless, blaming selfish others for the world's woes. Our nation's laws, reflecting a composite of our individual beliefs, attempt to control selfish others at gunpoint, if necessary. Striving for a better world by focusing on others instead of ourselves totally misses the mark. When others resist the choices we have made for them, conflicts escalate and voraciously consume resources. A warring world is a poor one.

Attempting to control others, even for their own good, has other undesirable effects. People who are able to create intimacy in their personal relationships know that you can't hurry love. Trying to control or manipulate those close to us creates resentment and anger. Attempting to control others in our city, state, nation, and world is just as destructive to the universal love we want the world to manifest. Forcing people to be more "unselfish" creates animosity instead of good will. Trying to control selfish others is a cure worse than the disease.

I have the new version, updated post-9-11, called Healing Our World In an Age of Aggression - btw, you can download the original version for free at the link above, the changes don't alter the basic message - ...where was I?

Let me type up the summary of Chapter One: The Good Neighbor Policy:
As Children, we learned that if no one hits first, no fight is possible.
Therefore, refraining from "first-strike" force, theft, or fraud, is the first step in creating peace.

The second step is compensating others for any damage that we do.

These two steps, honoring our neighbor's choice and righting our wrongs, constitute the Good Neighbor Policy or the practice of nonaggression.

Peace and prosperity are only possible when we are Good Neighbors.

We can abandon the Good Neighbor Policy without even realinzing it when directed to do so by an authority figure.

When we take from our neighbors what they won't voluntarily give--at gunpoint, if necessary--we call it taxation.

Perhaps we don't have peace in the world because we've abandoned the Good Neighbor Policy without even realizing it.

Huh. No bullet points in this thing. She uses little olive branches for her bullets.

I enjoy it that throughout the book she prints supporting quotes in the margins from well known wise people, as you can see in the introduction where the quotes are from the Bible, M. Scott Peck, Krishnamurti and Edith Packer and a few others. Randomly opening the book to pp 266-7, she has quotes from Milton Friedman, Lao-tsu, a Czechoslovakian Environmental Minister, Lenin ("Our power does not know liberty or justice. It is established on the destruction of the individual will." - Dr. Ruwart is not advocating that position.), Solzhenitsyn and Thomas Paine.

I particularly like the quote she chose to support the idea of restorative justice, Numbers 5:7: "He must make full restitution for his wrong, add one fifth to it, and give it to the person he has wronged." [Of course the passage goes on to tell you what animal to sacrifice... I suppose I could theorize about how a non-Jew could make proper obeisance to his God (or god) to gain assurance of forgiveness and the ability to continue on post-error, but that would be pure speculation.]

What more do you need me to say to get you to read the book?

--Al, the man with the heart of a librarian.

Hmm.

An excerpt from Why Limited Representative Government Fails
by Michael S. Rozeff
The War on Poverty has failed. The War on Drugs has failed. The War on Terror is a consequence of failed government policies aiming at national security. Furthermore, its execution has failed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense has failed; the U.S. has had a series of serious and unnecessary wars and crises from its inception. The regulation of money by a government agency has failed to produce stable money and instead has produced economic instability, including the Great Depression. Urban development engineered by government has failed. The education system run by governments is well-known to have failed our children. The Medicare system has failed. It has succeeded only in driving up costs and reducing the quality of medical care; it will soon require massive infusions of funds. The Social Security program has failed. Not only does it have numerous negative effects, but even as an investment it is producing negative returns for those who are now paying the taxes. The attempts by the government to control energy production and use have failed. The attempts to control agricultural production have failed. The space programs have failed to pay for themselves. The infrastructure of the country is deteriorating and evidences government failure. Air travel is worse than years ago and betrays failure. Household incomes have stagnated for years as a consequence of failed government economic policies. The government has failed to control immigration and the borders.

Although I believe that this government has very seriously failed at everything it has touched, I do not think it’s necessary for me to argue that limited representative government is a complete or utter failure. I accept the proposition that our constitutionally limited government has been better for us than would have been a totalitarian government or a government that imposed a command economy. This isn’t saying much. (However, I accept the likelihood proposed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe that we would have been better off under a monarchy.) So when I say that our limited representative government has failed, I mean that, while better than some other even worse or dreadful alternatives, it still has not lived up either to its own charter as a limited government or to its own goal of enhancing the general welfare. On its own terms, the American form of government has failed. That is, in part, what I mean by failure. But I also think of it as a failure in absolute terms because of the dire effects that its specific failings have had on the American people. And, lastly, I think of it as a failure in terms of better forms of government that may lie ahead of us that will surpass the existing form.

Anti-gun Nutter having trouble

convincing Philadelphia City Attorney to enforce gun ordinances.

Excellent!

Banksy strikes again!

I never heard of the guy before, but this is awesome!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

PSA from Matt Glanfield

I HATE shifty Internet Marketing (rant enclosed)…

Basically he says, watch out for that fine print. Frankly, if they have any, they're a scam.

A year ago, no doubt in celebration of the holiday

that is April 15, Robert Murphy wrote:
Advocates of the free market—including those considered “right-wing” and “conservative”—believe it is wrong to violate property rights. Consequently, they oppose egalitarian measures to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Such “income redistribution” represents naked theft and epitomizes the Founding Fathers’ fears of unfettered democracy. At the same time, champions of laissez faire devote much of their time to criticizing the thousands of distortionary and punitive regulations imposed on businesses. Indeed, Ayn Rand went so far as to write an essay in which she described big business as “America’s persecuted minority.”

In light of these tendencies, it is easy to overlook the fact that a large portion of the welfare state is devoted to the rich. Although couched in altruistic language and billed as serving the public interest, much of the government’s redistribution of wealth is from the hapless taxpayer to the pockets of large corporations. This may seem paradoxical to na├»ve observers whose political views are shaped largely by political campaigns between Democrats (the ostensible friends of the poor) versus Republicans (the ostensible opponents of welfare). But anyone familiar with political economy can quickly recognize that it makes far more sense for politicians to funnel tax dollars into the hands of powerful (not to mention rich) special interests. Big business learned long ago that the easiest way to handle taxes and regulations is to divert “public” money into its own hands and to influence the regulators to enforce measures that disproportionately burden upstart competitors.

But that's okay because it's always been that way. No need to harass your Congressman.

I like this bit:
Another classic example of how the well-to-do fleece the taxpayers is the multiplicity of “joint ventures” between the government and big business. Projects such as sports stadiums, railroads, or even amusement parks are deemed “too big for the private sector.” Besides being silly—after all, any money that the government spends on such projects was taken from the private sector—these pork-barrel expenditures represent a transfer from the poor (and middle class) to the rich.

But nobody in the private sector would invest in such a thing if "we" didn't force them to.

Bread and circuses, man.

Monday, April 14, 2008

This is how subsidies in general work,

From AntiWar.com:
By pouring military and economic aid into Colombia, we empower Uribe to go much further than he might otherwise dare. There is nothing "benign" about that.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I spend a lot of time talking philosophy

(and no doubt, too little time listening), but my son is out there doing a number of things that I care about and I'm planning to join him. Check out his website.

I'm as annoyed by the statist solutions to environmental problems that the environmentalists propose, but I understand the seriousness of the problems. My boy ran across a solution to the problem of fertilizer and lawn chemical runoff, and he's taking to the streets as an entrepreneur.

I couldn't be more proud.

Though, let me make this perfectly clear, he never listened to me much. But he calls us up and tells us all these wonderful things...that I could have told him, but he learned the hard way on his own...and from talking to people who did them, rather than just listening to a guy in a dead-end, boring job who did nothing but read (near as he could tell).

Whoa! The old mid-life crisis reared its ugly head, there.

Anyway, this is all his own idea and I'm following his lead.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I'm feelin' the need to post this.

PRESS ADVISORY
AYN RAND INSTITUTE
April 9, 2008
Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist

Who: Dr. Tara Smith, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas and speaker for the Ayn Rand Institute.
What: A talk and Q & A examining Ayn Rand's view of egoism and how it can enable each of us to live more successful, happy lives.
Where: University of Chicago, Harper Memorial Library, Room 140, Chicago, Illinois
When: Wednesday, April 16, 2008, at 7 PM
Admission is FREE.

Summary: Ayn Rand is well known for advocating selfishness, yet the substance of that selfishness is rarely understood. This lecture presents Rand's ideal: a virtuous egoist. Dr. Smith explains why a person should be an egoist, the kind of egoism that Rand does and doesn't commend, and the kinds of virtues that a person must exercise in order to actually advance his self-interest. Along the way, Dr. Smith differentiates Rand's rational egoism from hedonism, materialism, and predation, and sketches Rand's egoistic account of two vital but widely misunderstood virtues: honesty and justice.

Bio: Tara Smith is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas, where she currently holds the Anthem Foundation Fellowship for the Study of Objectivism. She is the author of the books "Moral Rights & Political Freedom," "Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root & Reward of Morality," and "Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist," as well as numerous articles.

### ### ###

Dr. Tara Smith is available for interviews now and after her talk.
Contact: Larry Benson
E-mail: media@aynrand.org
Phone: (949) 222-6550, ext. 213

For more information on this event and on Objectivism's unique point of view, go to ARI's Web site at http://www.aynrand.org/site/R?i=Hyea3IFJOL52Gvw0p36CHg... Founded in 1985, the Ayn Rand Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead."

Please note: The above event is organized, hosted and sponsored by an individual campus club. Although ARI provides financial support, educational materials and speakers for eligible student clubs, campus clubs are organizations independent of ARI. ARI does not necessarily endorse the content of the lectures and sessions offered.

Copyright © 2008 Ayn Rand® Institute. All rights reserved.

And this:

PRESS ADVISORY
AYN RAND INSTITUTE
April 9, 2008

Why Unregulated Capitalism is the Only Moral Social System
Who: Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute
What: A lecture and Q&A explaining the philosophical and moral basis of capitalism.
Where: UCI, Crystal Cove Auditorium, Irvine, CA
When: Monday, April 14, 2008, at 7 PM

Admission is FREE.

Description: Capitalism is blamed for exploitation, environmental destruction, cut-throat competition, sweatshops, child labor, and the rising cost of education. But are these claims true? What is capitalism's essential nature? How can it be considered good? Find out the answers

Bio: Yaron Brook is president and executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute and is a contributing editor to The Objective Standard. A former finance professor, he has published in academic as well as popular publications. He is frequently interviewed in the media and appears weekly on the new Fox Business Network to debate and discuss current economic and business news. His columns and opinion-editorials are published on forbes.com and in major newspapers. Dr. Brook lectures on Objectivism, business ethics and foreign policy at college campuses, community groups and corporations across America and throughout the world.
For more information on this talk, please e-mail events@aynrand.org.

### ### ###

Dr. Yaron Brook is available for interviews now and after his talk. Contact: Larry BensonE-mail: media@aynrand.orgPhone: (949) 222-6550, ext. 213

For more information on Objectivism's unique point of view, go to ARI's Web site at http://www.aynrand.org/. Founded in 1985, the Ayn Rand Institute promotes the philosophy of Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

Please note: The above event is organized, hosted and sponsored by an individual campus club. Although ARI provides financial support, educational materials and speakers for eligible student clubs, campus clubs are organizations independent of ARI.

Copyright © 2008 Ayn Rand® Institute. All rights reserved.

Op-eds, press releases and letters to the editor produced by the Ayn Rand Institute are submitted to hundreds of newspapers, radio stations and Web sites across the United States and abroad, and are made possible thanks to voluntary contributions.

If you would like to help support ARI's efforts, please make an online contribution at http://www.aynrand.org/support.

This release is copyrighted by the Ayn Rand Institute, and cannot be reprinted without permission except for noncommercial, self-study or educational purposes. We encourage you to forward this release to friends, family, associates or interested parties who would want to receive it for these purposes only. Any reproduction of this release must contain the above copyright notice. Those interested in reprinting or redistributing this release for any other purposes should contact media@aynrand.org. This release may not be forwarded to media for publication.
ARI's media releases are solicitations sent to addresses obtained from individual subscription requests. You are subscribed as CENSORED.com. If you prefer not to receive future releases, visit our Web site to change your email preferences.

The Ayn Rand Institute, 2121 Alton Pkwy, Ste 250, Irvine, CA 92606

Monday, April 07, 2008

I'm trying to decide between these epithets

for my epitaph: "Get your own!" or "Nobody cares about your problems!"

Friday, April 04, 2008

Something I noticed about my father, growing up,

was that, having made up his mind about something, and having publicly expressed his opinion on the matter, he didn't rest there. He checked his opinions against experience, and checked them again.

You know I think Dad was the greatest country singer ever, but Dad watched Austin City Limits, listened to Cole Porter and played the rock stations when he was driving me somewhere.

And Dad was an engineer and a teacher of engineers.

He never intentionally taught me any of it, except when I was four or five and I crawled up on his lap and asked him to read me a story while he was studying one of his books and he read it aloud to me. That was when I asked him what something meant and he spent a half hour drawing me pictures and explaining how refrigeration works.

I know how refrigeration works. Dad could teach.

Two of the most formative experiences of my life happened when we went to pick up Dad from work and Mom told me to go in and get him. The ... btw, the one I just related is probably the first, other than the repeated experience of diving in front of the amp whenever Dad set it up to sing, but those experiences screw up the numbering system I just created.

Anyway, the first was going in to the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA, that's the union) school in Duluth to get Dad, who was teaching marine engineers what they needed to know to move up a grade - Dad was at the top, a Chief Engineer. I stood outside the open classroom door and watched Dad writing incomprehensible thing on a chalkboard and explain them to grown men - and not effiminate men either. Union men. Rough-hewn men. Tough guys. And they were listening and writing down what he said. That was an image that recurred to me throughout my education. The message I got was that learning was about real things. That real people used in real life.

OK, now that I've started thinking about formative experiences, my mind is going nuts about all these other memories, but one especially important one of the others that involves Dad is watching him make, from raw steel stock, a part for a generator that was broken when I took my trip with him on "the boat" as a fourteen-year-old. He let me mind the lathe for a while, as it was cutting the threads, but he and the Second Assistant Engineer did all the heating and bending. I wish I could remember the Second Assistant's name; Dad obviously considered him the brightest light on the boat. That was the SS McGonigal, 1977, Kinsman Marine Transit, owned by Henry Steinbrenner, father of George. Just in case the guy wants to tell me who he is.

The other time Ma sent me to get Dad was at the 'stone (limestone) dock in Superior. We'd driven in to pick him up and he wasn't waiting for us. Growing up, that had always been her job to go and get him. I guess, now that I was a seventeen-year-old superjock, it was logical for the job to devolve to me. I mean, the first thing to do was climb a 20-foot, rickety ladder, after all.

So I did the natural, superjock, monkey impersonation up the ladder and set about impersonating Sherlock Holmes to find Dad. I didn't look in the Chief's quarters, because whatever he would have needed to do there wouldn't have interfered with him communicating with us in some way. So I headed down to the engine room. It took a little searching, but finally I found him wrestling mightily with a water pump.

And when I say wrestling mightily, I'm not exaggerating one whit. I asked if there was something I could do to help, and he told me to hold this 90 pound chunk of steel steady - at arms length in front of me - for an operation that took about 25 minutes.

Thank God I really was a superjock at the time.

When I got to him, he was pouring sweat. By the time we were done, we were both pouring sweat. My front delts had died the death of a thousand cuts.

But it was really done, and it was really a good job.

I watched Dad care for those parts like ailing loved ones...

And we could both face Mom with pride.

David Broza

shares his gifts with the world.

Didn't I used to link to

John Hawkins' blog?

Hey check out

ABC-of-Fitness.com! It's pretty cool! If you go through the "fitness exercises" they have little Flash movies of how to do the exercises.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Just in case something happens over here:

Rand Did Not Solve the Is-Ought Problem by Brian Holtz, I want to make sure my comment survives somewhere.

Al said...
I don't know, man. What am I missing? Your refutation is that Rand's morality for humans on earth doesn't apply to gods and bugs? Or creatures in some imaginary place?

Thu Apr 03, 02:14:00 PM 2008


I'm sure he'll get back to me soon and I'll let you know what comes of it.

Update: Mr. Holtz engaged my comment thoughtfully, and I rejoined:
Humility is an important concept to me. I understand it as meaning: listening carefully to understand what someone is really saying and then comparing it to what The Universe is saying (as I understand it). What The Universe is saying is Natural Law - it tells you what you can get away with. A careful examination of history and economics will tell you that you can get away with dumping the consequences of your actions on your friends and neighbors for a while, but eventually being an A-hole will come back and bite you in the ass.

There are few humans who want to leave a legacy of ass bites to the ones they love.

Morality is a matter of persuasion more than biology (though loving your family, friends and physical and intellectual offspring seems to be a biological imperitive for humans), and the importance of what I've brought up is the core of what we need to be convincing our neighbors of.

Ooh! Need to work on that grammar.

I have to say here, that I assume that Conversation will not end with my, or anyone else's, last word. I do not assume that every point and ramification can be addressed by a pithy rejoinder. Nor am I so arrogant as to believe that I "nailed it perfectly" with the last thing I said.

For instance, I'm still ruminating, from time to time, on Probligo's hypothetical point about his neighbor building a skyscraper between his home and "his" view of the bay - and whether he has the right to mobilize the community to forcibly stop his neighbor from doing such a thing.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Preliminary notes

F-Secure [?] Whoops! That's something I need to look up.

Here:
The supposed link between trade and recessions is superficially appealing. During any recession, critics can point to imports that displace domestic production, putting some U.S. workers out of their jobs and supposedly reducing domestic demand for goods and services. They can more easily blame U.S. multinational corporations for "shipping our jobs overseas" by locating production facilities in countries where labor and other costs are lower. But like so much of the conventional wisdom about trade and the economy, the alleged link between rising levels of trade and recessions simply does not exist.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Well, I may have figured out

what my computer problems have been lately. I don't think it's a virus, trojan or worm, I just think that the automatic updates I get for a couple of my programs are just too much for the old beater.

There's just too much crap in here.

My computer time lately has been burned up by trying to figure out what the hell's wrong with this thing. So tonight I knocked out one program that I hadn't figured on being the problem and Bingo! Everything's working right.

Sad, man. I paid a pile for that thing.

I've actually written a few posts that were just killed by the conflicts. I found that discouraging and shut down for the rest of the night.

Got a couple books read. Hazlitt's Thinking as a Science is a great one. I was feeling the need for some pointers.

He says, write things down and talk to yourself. I found that very comforting. No guilt for doing what I do anyway. Read the book, it'll make you feel better too.