Wednesday, March 31, 2010

David Friedman praises his father, Milton's, childrearing methods

This speech was given as David accepted the Goldwater Award for his father in 1997. Milton was apparently unable to make it for health reasons, though he did call in. The award ceremony was MC'ed by US Rep (R, OK) J.C. Watts, who did a wonderful speech that I only wish were more true than it is, as did Arnold Schwartzenegger, and there is a good video of Milton himself on the c-span clip.

But none of it holds a candle to David's stories of growing up as Milton Friedman's son. The guy got fathering right.

I have David's book, Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life. It reads like he talks: witty, mischievous, informative.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Oh! My! God!

It's pretty certain that I know victims of this pedophile. Or victims of his victims, at least. The two murderers I knew best were both Catholic boys. I knew one deaf boy who went to that school. His family left town. It seemed sudden to me, but we'd already parted as friends, so I wasn't paying attention.

No, I take that back. I don't know that he ever went there. I know for a fact he went to a different school. Whether or not there was any contact with the kids from Father Murphy's school I couldn't say.

But, since I heard about this, I've been thinking about who that I know might have been a victim of "serious" child abuse or molestation. I'm thinking of the sullen kids who became drug users and dropped out. One of the above murderes fit that bill perfectly. Another kid was just kind of boisterous in grade school turned quiet in Junior High and eventually went to prison for trashing the old school.

There were other kids. Kids who never liked me and I never liked them. In seventh and eighth grades they were the peckerheads who made junior high hell. Then they got into drugs and dropped out. I'm thinking the ones - the "burnouts" we called them - who lasted longer in school, weren't trying to bury traumatic memories.

I felt guilty in High School, I remember. Not about those kids and their problems, whatever they may have been. Back then, I was glad to have them out of my life. No, I felt guilty that I was smarter and stronger than almost everyone I knew, and I was guaranteed to go to Heaven. I didn't deserve any of that. There were people who worked out harder, studied harder and were tons better witnesses of the Love of Jesus than I was, but such were the facts.

Didn't take me long to blow all that shit up. Waiting to find out what Jesus had in mind for me to do with these gifts - and, particularly, what my idle hands found to do during that waiting - accounted for that.

And now... now that I know why those kids had those troubles, I feel guilty that I never reached out to them. I wasn't devoid of similar experiences. Some of us who'd experienced various kinds of abuse didn't use chemical drugs, we used Jesus instead. I'd say the evidence that I've seen, points to the theory that the severity, duration and type of abuse affect the outcome. I'm sure the professionals have beaten that dead horse to smithereens, but I'm just discovering the value of psychology myself.

Well, I gotta get the beanie ready for bed. (No school this week, so her mother and I aren't watching the clock.)

Update: You should go here to see what Stef has to say on this topic. You have the choice to watch his video, or read what he says in it. Or both. It's still a kick in the gut to hear my town spoken of in this context.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Here is a very clear statement of the Objectivist Credo

The context is a debate between two Objectivists and two Canadian Socialists. (The Objectivists are Canadian as well, but Peikoff was living in NYC at the time and I think he lives in California now. I think he must have American citizenship, but I haven't heard about that.)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sorry... Got distracted.

Here's a rap we can all get down with:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Logic Texts

William Stanley Jevons, the Englishman who discovered the subjective theory of value simultaneously with Austrian Karl Menger and Frenchman Léon Walras, wrote a book called Elementary Lessons in Logic, which he considered an introduction to John Stuart Mill's A System of Logic, Ratiocinative and Inductive.

The latter was highly recommended by Dr. James Hall, whose course, Tools of Thinking I bought from The Teaching Company and the latter is on sale now by The Mises Institute.

I set myself the task of reading them.

Broke bleeps like me go for the free online ebook.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

My comment spammer reminded me of something

A week ago last Sunday pastor Paul did a great sermon on The Prodigal Son. He based it on something he read by a guy who did an anthropological study by going around the Middle East telling New Testament stories to Arabs and Jews who'd never heard them and carefully noting their reactions.

After church, I said to my family, "You know, if the whole Bible were like that story, I'd have no trouble with it." Then I discovered that I had to repeat the whole sermon for the benefit of those who were in the room with me, but weren't listening.

Jeez Louise.

[Speaking of Jeez Louise, I just corrected a couple of typos that made it past my editing efforts.]

What's Nietzche talking about here?

A little guessing game.
Ah! even in your ears, ye great souls, it whispereth its gloomy lies! Ah! it findeth out the rich hearts which willingly lavish themselves!

Yea, it findeth you out too, ye conquerors of the old God! Weary ye became of the conflict, and now your weariness serveth the new idol!

Heroes and honourable ones, it would fain set up around it, the new idol! Gladly it basketh in the sunshine of good consciences,--the cold monster!

Everything will it give YOU, if YE worship it, the new idol: thus it purchaseth the lustre of your virtue, and the glance of your proud eyes.

It seeketh to allure by means of you, the many-too-many! Yea, a hellish artifice hath here been devised, a death-horse jingling with the trappings of divine honours!

Yea, a dying for many hath here been devised, which glorifieth itself as life: verily, a hearty service unto all preachers of death!

You don't have to look far here to find out.

I'd say it's funny that I didn't remember that passage, but reading Also Sprach Zarathustra is like hitting yourself in the head repeatedly with a 2x4. It does feel good when you quit.

Oops! Forgot to H/T William Norman Grigg at

Monday, March 22, 2010

Proof that there's a Heaven

No, I just mean the picture. That's Burg Hohenzollern. Been there. It was just a cool, sunny day when I was there. Walked all over that hill and the next one. The interior of the castle is nice...castle-y. Sort of half-way between the Residenz in Munich and Meersburg (the actual burg, not the town; 'burg' means fortress, though not to the degree that 'festung' does - 'burg' allows for a considerable amount of decoration - Wikipedia covers all that here).

The 'halfway' remark is tongue-in-cheek.

My favorite castle is Meersburg, my favorite room in a castle is the drinking room in Burg Lichtenstein.

Have I said all this before?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Spring

Ya all Equinoxed out?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Interesting Juxtaposition on Freedom News Daily today

3) Israel: Rocket fired from Gaza kills Thai worker

Los Angeles Times

"A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip killed a Thai farmworker in southern Israel on Thursday, the first such fatality in the area in more than a year. The blast occurred in a clump of greenhouses in the farming community of Netiv Haasara, just north of Gaza. The 30-year-old victim was not immediately identified. Rocket and mortar fire into southern Israel from Gaza, which once occurred daily, has been dramatically reduced since the Israelis' 22-day assault on the coastal strip at the end of 2008 and early last year. But in recent days, the number of attacks has increased, including five in a 48-hour period, military officials said." (03/18/10) -----

4) Federal drug thugs launch new anti-tobacco offensive "for the children"

Los Angeles Times

"Taking aim at the tobacco industry's youth marketing machinery, the Food and Drug Administration Thursday outlawed free samples of cigarettes and banned the use of tobacco brand names on promotional gear and in the sponsorship of concerts and sporting events. Theagency also added a federal ban on the sale of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to people under 18, imposing a uniform standard on varying state restrictions already in place. ... The new rules 'will help our kids stay healthier by making it harder for tobacco companies to target them,' said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said at a press conference announcing the new marketing rules." (03/18/10)

The government really has only one tool: search and destroy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A minor obsession

I was watching a PBS special a while back, David Broza at Masada, which I thought was wonderful. He had this beautiful young woman on singing with him. I missed her name when he announced her, so I tracked her down - from the "Masada" performers page (that's the link above). Apparently she's a cellist named Maya Belsitzman. Not much on the web about her. Wikipedia's got nothing.

She just looked so overjoyed to be there.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This is really important

And it doesn't end with infancy.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Hey! One of the Hot Facts Girls is doing a series on

Norse Mythology! Very cool. Here's the first video. I'd like to hear some opinions about the series from greater experts than I. I got all my info from Magnus Magnusson. I both read the book and watched the twelve hour documentary series (twice).

I probably should have linked the Wikipedia page.

So... I actually have more important things to talk about, but enjoy a little fluff after that last hit. (If my idioms seem vague, well... just take 'em however you want.)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Here's a good quote, from a guy named Nathan:

Even if we take the premise that atheism is religion, if you're going to call atheism a cult then you must logically, implicitly admit that all religion consists of cults. But then the starting premise ultimately leads to the realm of nihilism, a self-detonating position.

Religion is about the bigoted, prejudicial thinking that dismisses the lack of evidence or evidence to the contrary in favor of a given position.

Atheism is accepting the lack of evidence and considering evidence to the contrary. You couldn't get more opposite than that.

It's in response to this video by Richard Dawkins:

Another commenter brings up Darwin's "On the Origin of Species." You can find that on line here.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I mentioned a while back that I enjoy a good heresy now and then

They used to call these people Devil Worshippers. They seem to be sweeping some things under the rug in this article.

All sorts o' fun stuff here.