Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Here's an interesting bit from

A Discourse of Trade by Barbon, Nicholas (1640-1698). First published: 1690.

|62|* Of the Chief Causes that Promote TRADE.
THE Chief Causes that Promote Trade, (not to mention Good Government, Peace, and Scituation, with other Advantages) are Industry in the Poor, and Liberality in the Rich: Liberality, is the free Usage of all those things that are made by the Industry of the Poor, for the Use of the Body and Mind; It Relates chiefly to Man's self, but doth not hinder him from being Liberal to others.

The Two Extreams to this Vertue, are Prodigality and Covetousness: Prodigality is a Vice that is prejudicial to the Man, but not to Trade; It is living a pace, and spending that in a Year, that should last all his |63| Life: Covetousness is a Vice, prejudicial both to Man & Trade; It starves the Man, and breaks the Trader; and by the same way the Covetous Man thinks he grows rich, he grows poor; for by not consuming the Goods that are provided for Man's Use, there ariseth a dead Stock, called Plenty, and the Value of those Goods fall, and the Covetous Man's Estates, whether in Land, or Mony, become less worth: And a Conspiracy of the Rich Men to be Covetous, and not spend, would be as dangerous to a Trading State, as a Forreign War; for though they themselves get nothing by their Covetousness, nor grow the Richer, yet they would make the Nation poor, and the Government great Losers in the Customs and Excises that ariseth from Expence. |64|

The Library of Economics and Liberty is full of these old treatises. Here is their introduction to this one and another similar one. Hmm. I guess I'll have to exerpt it, it won't be on their front page forever.

Ah, it's short:
Featured Books
A Discourse of Trade, by Nicholas Barbon. (1690)
Discourses Upon Trade, by Sir Dudley North. (1691)

These two early works in economics illustrate how well the economics of international trade was understood even in the 17th century. Not only did North and Barbon pre-date Cantillon, Hume, and Smith, but they are worth revisiting today for their delightful, independent insights on the foundations of free trade.

Although Mercantilism persisted until Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (and continues today in political debates about trade), it was not an idea held lockstep by everyone pre-Smith. Consider this quote from North:

No Man is richer for having his Estate all in Money, Plate, &c. lying by him, but on the contrary, he is for that reason the poorer. (Essay 2, par. 2.5.)

North argued strongly that money is not the same as wealth; and also that encouraging exports merely to accumulate money is not the source of economic well-being, neither for individuals nor for nations. North is mentioned in historical context in Lalor's Cyclopedia, in the article on the Physiocrats.

From Barbon, consider the chapters illustrating benefits of free trade, the ease of slipping into trade wars, and money versus credit. Barbon's book has almost the organization of a modern economics textbook: the definition of goods, real versus nominal values, exchange, trade, applications!

The archaic spellings of these two short books belie their modern writing styles. Both are excellent reminders of how economists struggle to address age-old politically-motivated arguments.

I've found it very easy to read. It's pretty simple, jargon-free English.

There were a few Latin phrases, which I just plugged into Google and usually the translations were right up front. For instance, "'valet quantum vendi potest' - A thing is worth only what someone else will pay for it." Barbon is showing the antiquity of this economic principle by using the Latin. Interesting how close people were to the concepts of subjective value and marginal utility for thousands of years without truly discovering them.

It's kind of interesting to me, as a half-a***d linguist, to see how much English had changed from the time of the publication of the King James Bible in 1605 (if I remember right) until 1690.

Well, the Packers won 45-17

Good thing everybody was focussed on Favre, because the Rams weren't very good.

Najeh Davenport was great - 178 yards rushing. Watch out, Ahman!

Great blocking, Linemen! Talk about making holes!

Favre: another game another couple records. Of course, if that were his attitude, he wouldn't be breaking those records.

OK, Update: Catholic Packer Fan needs a sportswriting gig and don't miss Mr. Pterodactyl's live-blog of the game, for the trivia question, if nothing else.

I put all this in, because, eventually, Haloscan will wipe out the older comments.

Oops! I meant to say Catholic Packer Fan and Mr. Pterodactyl.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

This Issue Deserves the Respect of a Separate Post

I haven't said anything about this because it pains me so greatly.

The killings north of Rice Lake, WI... I didn't know what to say until I heard a guy on the radio, Lew Freeman, commenting this morning. Lew's a former head of the Minnesota NAACP with military experience, a Republican, moderate. I respect him greatly, though I often disagree with him.

He was asking whether the attention paid to this crime would be so great if it had been committed in a crack house in North Minneapolis with an "automatic" pistol. But he had more questions than just that. He made the great point that The Media immediately went to the highest-ranked Hmong politician, Saint Paul City Councilwoman Mi Mua, for comment. Nobody asks a white community representative for comment when a white guy commits a crime, it is racist to ask for "their leaders'" opinion when a "person of color" does so.

Separating out the individual criminal is the means by which Western Civilization has managed to reduce crime, blood-feud and warfare in our countries. It is when we fail to do so that the trouble explodes.

I am pleased that the Assault Weapons Ban died, but I have some recommendations for the DNR:

1. We have magazine limits for goose hunting. Let's have some for deer hunting as well.

2. Background checks for hunting licenses. If you have a violent background you don't get to wander around with a loaded weapon. A hunting license IS a license to carry a loaded weapon, with no further questions asked. I don't want further questions asked, I want to know that they've been asked and answered satisfactorily already when I see a guy with that tag pinned to his back.

3. Require a test for hunting licenses, including several questions about property rights matters and trespassing.

I grew up in sticks, where you could pull out your gun and shoot off a couple thousand rounds in the backyard any time you wanted to EXCEPT DURING DEER SEASON, at which time, it was a good idea to stay indoors unless you were actually out, rifle in hand, to get a deer. With a license.

Our neighborhood was kept pretty clear of all game by our gigantic german shepard, so we were safer than most (though she wasn't), but it was still a good idea to keep your head down.

Supposedly, only one of the shooting victims had a hunting rifle. I guess I don't understand how all those people could be wandering around the woods unarmed. Here's an interesting article on a similar problem in South Dakota which kicks over another whole can of worms.

It's not about assault weapons per se, and it's not about race.

I think I'll probably be updating this.

Too Much to Say for One Post

Consider it an outline with a few amplifications.

So it doesn't get lost, here's the link Steve gave me: A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774 - 1875. It looks like the kind of cool stuff I like to read.

Oop. Favorite song playing in the background: Bread's Look What You've Done. [Scroll down for samples.]

LibertyBob wanted to know what I like in modern music. Shania Twain's Up. Everything on it. I expecially like the irony of "What A Way To Wanna Be!" It's just a tad hypocritical for her to recommend that women be happy with how they look because "nobody's perfect."

Yeah, right, babe! Seems like that advice has to be a little hard to take, comin' from the hottest fox on the planet.
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So, anyway...

Friday, November 26, 2004

We've been watching the Minnesota State

High School Football Championships all day. Right now they're playing the final game, the AAAAA [stupid class name, they were double-A in my day, and the triple-A class would have been Class B--Superior was AA back then; or Class A in Wisconsin] Championship between two neighboring Minneapolis suburbs, Wayzata and Minnetonka. I don't know who I'm rooting for; whoever is making the best play right now, I guess. In all classes, it's been amazing to see the quality of play. I'd rather watch this than college ball any time. It stacks up well against the Bowl games.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

AAagh! Gotta run help the wife. I'm looking at this, thankful for having grown up right near there. I always went there to clear my mind after my travels. Whatever is wrong with me now can be traced to not getting back there much since I moved down here.

And check out the meaning of Thanksgiving here.

Did anybody actually check out

that Holy Crap! post a couple days back? It was a tornado that formed in the middle of a soccer game in Japan. I know I got it from a porn purveyor (pretty much - don't click any of his links, unless you like adware) but that's no excuse to avoid it.

Have I provided a sufficient number of contradictions yet?

I can't say I've been slackin' on the blog

because I've been terribly busy in the rest of my life. We've had a lot of company and it's unbelievable how quickly the place gets messy. Plus it's been catch-up time at work which calls me into play. [Doing what? Why serving customers, of course.] Then there've been Rosie's activities and Laurie's conferences and the fact that I hit the wall on the late night blogging (again). I've been able to absorb but not produce. I still don't have any wrinkles, but that $#:+ might get 'em started.

I've mostly been absorbing the productions of the guys I link. Go down the list and pick one. I haven't seen any stuff lately that I thought sucked. I hit the Next Blog button a minute ago and saw this. I hope he gets better; this ain't a promising start.

But who am I to talk, eh? We'll check back in a day or two and see if he learns how to spell "encyclopedia."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Lance reminded me that I wanted to post this map

here. I just think it's pretty. I got it from the Mises people.

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Lance's article is sad news. I still have a soft spot for Republicans (Obviously, since I voted for Bush and not Badnarik) and Wisconsin and I want my old friends to get along.

Lance also links a story, via Grandpa John's, that shows how libertarian the world of JK Rowling's Harry Potter is.

The Cascade Policy Institute may deserve a link from me, along with The Pacific Research Institute and The Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Oh, and I really want to add The Taxpayers' League of Minnesota.

Packers Win 16-13 With Last Second Field Goal!

They beat the Vikings the same way last week. Mr. Favre pulled it together the last quarter and ended up completing 33 of 50 passes for 383 yards. I gave Donald Driver my vote for MVP of the game for his 10 pass receptions for 148 yards and one touchdown. I was pretty miffed about their second to last drive when Driver pushed off the defender and got an offensive pass interference penalty, followed by Favre throwing an interception, but at least it wasn't much worse than a punt. That was followed by Houston going 3 and out, setting up the Pack for that last good drive and the field goal.

They're making it way too exciting.

I don't have cable, so I had to listen to the game on the radio and follow the stats on NFL.com, but that's kind of fun in its own way.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Oh, God, it's beautiful!

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The Capitalism Party

Here's a quote from the Manifesto of The Capitalism Party that many of you won't read enough of to see:

No Force or Fraud is Needed

Nearly all past revolutions required initiatory force or fraud. Many consisted of the violent overthrow of existing regimes in order to replace one set of murderous leaders with another set of murderous leaders. But today’s intellectual revolution does not require any force or fraud. In fact, it does not require the sacrifice of anyone for any reason. Acts of initiatory force, fraud and sacrifice are tools of the incumbent power system. The new power system does not require and cannot function through initiatory force, fraud and sacrifice. It survives through competition.

This might seem odd to the average person who tries to live normally within today's power system. After all, the average person has been exposed to multiple instances of compulsion, fraud and calls for sacrifice. Who has not been urged to sacrifice himself or herself for some higher good? Those are acts of the current power system.

For admirers of John Stuart Mill:
Looking back in time reveals that classical liberals were among the best and brightest of mankind's intellectuals regarding the realm of political economy. Yet with the onslaught of bad philosophy, classical liberals could not defend their position until the last of them, John Stuart Mill, surrendered his position and became a socialist. With the once-respectable liberal name vacant, intellectual carpetbaggers moved in and inverted the liberal name by linking it to its opposite tenets. Modern liberals in America represent the antithesis of what the founders of classical liberalism articulated.

He uses the phrase "controlling the future" a bit too much for my taste. I would like to think I understand what he means, but if you ask me, creating such an unrealistic expectation in general terms sows the seeds of counterrevolution.

But, as I say, I think I understand what he means. In very limited, focussed activities it is possible to control enough of the variables of chance to effect the consequence you desire. Physics experiments and technological inventions are obvious examples.

Just watch out about giving your lingo to the politicos.

Update: compare to this. Nice of 'em to give us as ready made strawman, eh?

I was just watching Carly Fiorina

on Charley Rose. I think she's sexy. I was raised by and around strong women, and she's got it all: looks, knowledge (it shows), strength and, frankly, money (and it shows that she came by it through her own effort).

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I wonder if she could use a butler.

Do you need more reason to love her than this:

"The art of war," by the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu, is a favorite book of Carly Fiorina's.

Perhaps with good reason. Few have faced the challenges Ms. Fiorina has since Hewlett-Packard Co. in 1999 made her its first chief executive to be chosen from outside the company. Her appointment sent a thunderbolt through H-P and through the corporate world, where ascensions of female executives to top jobs were still relatively rare.

Five years later, the shock waves are still coming as Ms. Fiorina struggles to fulfill both the promise of her own career and the ambitious goals she set for her company, now a tech behemoth after its bitterly contested $19 billion acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002.

Once installed at H-P, Ms. Fiorina immediately introduced a plan to centralize its dispersed corporate structure, cutting down its 83 business units to just a handful. And she quickly proclaimed that H-P would deliver growth of 12 percent to 15 percent a year. But by late 2000, she found herself steering the company through one of the roughest periods in high-tech history.

This article includes this (to me) tantalizing tidbit, "She attended Stanford University, graduating with a degree in medieval history."

Oh, baby...

I was working for HP as a contractor when she was chosen, and my first thought was that she was a "token woman" to assuage the political correctness that was even more rampant in 1999 than it is now, but she has proven to be far more than that. I wish her well.

I think she can do it.

Friday, November 19, 2004

I get my marching orders from Thomas Sowell.

I think his article at Townhall.com today is one of his most important ones.

At least as far back as the 1930s, the intelligentsia and others have warned against military spending as setting off an "arms race" in which each side escalates its military buildup in response to the other, making the whole thing an expensive exercise in futility. The same notion was repeated throughout the long years of the Cold War.

Today's version is that, no matter how many Middle East terrorists we kill, new ones will take their place and we will have nothing to show for all our efforts and sacrifices. People who talk this way are completely undaunted by the fact that Ronald Reagan proved them wrong during the Cold War.

President Reagan understood that the Soviets did not have unlimited resources -- and in fact their resources were far more limited than ours. Going directly counter to those who wanted a "nuclear freeze" or other weapons limitations agreements, Ronald Reagan began a military buildup that kept upping the ante until the Soviets had to throw in their hand, ending the Cold War.

When Reagan ordered a bombing of Libya in retaliation for Libyan terrorism, the immortal fallacy was immediately voiced by former President Jimmy Carter, who declared that this would only make matters worse and bring on more terrorism. But Libya toned down its terrorist activities.

Khaddafi has proven himself to be a rational man, but he wouldn't have if we'd let him continue on the path he'd begun. Most psychos can be "turned from their wicked ways" if you expend the energy to do it. They have to be shown that success is not to be found on the path of destruction.

I'd like to quote more of Sowell's article here, but I'd be pushing the copyright "Fair Use Doctrine" in which I have been trained. Suffice it to say that Sowell explains our situation very clearly: the terrorists WISH they could fight an endless Jihad against us, but the fact is that they can't. Energetic opposition will bring their activities to John Kerry's level of "nuisance". Passivity would allow them to regroup and rebuild into a serious threat to the Western World.

I think our Fallujah action has dealt them a crippling blow from which they won't soon recover. Congratulations, US Marines.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Holy Crap!!

This'll ruin your ball game!

Thanks to my Brazilian pal Omedi.

Note to self

read this post.

Here's another email making the rounds.

I thought I'd clean it up and make it presentable.
I'd also like verification, if anybody knows. I will check it out myself, after a while.

Subject: Fw: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

2. How long does he hesitate after his about face to begin his
return walk and why?

21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1

3. Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.

4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and if not, why not?

He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb.

After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.

5. How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.

6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to?

For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30."

Other requirements of the Guard: They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn.

The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin.

The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.

There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.

The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame.

Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.



In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a serviceperson. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

A Public School Teacher Sent Me This

Tim Wilson, comedian, had this to say about Martha Stewart:
"Boy, I feel safer now that she's behind bars. O.J. & Kobe are walking around, Scott Peterson's going to be soon, but they take the one woman in America willing to cook and clean and work in the yard and haul her ass to jail."

And these headlines from

> The year is 2029-----
> Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia formerly known as California.
> White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.
> Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United States crops and livestock.
> Baby conceived naturally . . scientists stumped.
> Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.
> Last remaining Fundamentalist Muslim dies in the American Territory of the Middle East (formerly known as Iran, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon).
> Iraq still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.
> France pleads for global help after being overtaken by Jamaica.
> Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking
> George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.
> Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.
> 85-year, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise is the key to weight loss.
> Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.
> Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut.

I didn't mention that it was a woman teacher who sent me this.
> Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.
> Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil
> rights
> Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.
> New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.
> Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political
> contributions to campaign accounts.
> Capitol Hill intern indicted for refusing to have sex with
> congressman.
> IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.
> Florida Democrats still don't know how to use a voting machine.

Thinking I'd just add another link to the old link-bar

I discovered what promises to be a good bit of Sci-Fi online: The Great Explosion, by Eric Frank Russell.

Here are the first three paragraphs of the


WHEN AN EXPLOSION takes place lots of bits and pieces fly all over the scenery. The greater the wallop the larger the lumps and the farther they travel. These are fundamental facts known to every schoolchild old enough to have some sneaky suspicions about the birds and the bees. They were not known or perhaps they were not fully realized by Johannes Pretorius van der Camp Blieder despite the fact that he was fated to create the biggest bang in human history.

Johannes Etc. Blieder was a lunatic of the same order as Unk (who first made fire), Wunk (who designed the wheel), Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, the Wright Brothers and many others who have outraged orthodoxy by achieving the impossible. He was a shrimp of a man with a partly bald head, a ragged goatee beard and weak, watery eyes hugely magnified by pebble-lensed spectacles. He shuffled around on splayed feet with the gait of a pregnant duck, had been making glutinous sniffs since birth and never knew where to put his hand on a handkerchief.

Of academic qualifications he had none whatever. A spaceship bound for the Moon or Venus could thunder overhead as such ships had done for a thousand years and he would peer at it myopically without the vaguest notion of what pushed it along. What's more, he wasn't the least bit interested in finding out. Four hours per day, four days per week, he sat at an office desk. The rest of his time was devoted wholly and with appalling single-mindedness to the task of levitating a penny. Wealth or power or shapely women had no appeal to him. Except when hunting a handkerchief his entire life was dedicated to what he deemed the ultimate triumph, namely, that of being able to exhibit a coin floating in mid-air.

Now you know almost as much as I do. It won't take you long to pass me, since I don't have a whole lot of spare time these days, and I haven't mastered photoreading yet (assuming it's possible).

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

It's time for some more non-original material

[My March archives are hosed-up. Anybody notice that? I see that it works fine if I shrink the text size a notch. I fixed the oversized pictures in April, so that will work better now.]

I find that I'm still tired of the Hindu stuff. How about a little Confucius?


Confucius said: "Truth does not depart from human nature. If what is regarded as truth departs from human nature, it may not be regarded as truth. The Book of Songs says: 'In hewing an axe handle, the pattern is not far off.' [Seems kind of incomplete.] Thus, when we take an axe handle in our hand to hew another axe handle and glance from one to the other, some still think the pattern is far off. Where fore the moral man in dealing with men appeals to the common human nature and changes the manner of their lives and nothing more.

"When a man carries out the principles of conscientiousness and reciprocity he is not far from the moral law. What you do not wish others should do unto you, do not do unto them.

"There are four things in the moral life of a man, not one of which I have been able to carry out in my life. To serve my father as I would expect my son to serve me: that I have not been able to do. To serve my sovereign as I would expect a minister under me to serve me: that I have not been able to do. To act towards my elder brothers as I would expect my younger brother to act towards me: that I have not been able to do. To be the first to behave towards friends as I would expect them to behave towards me: that I have not been able to do.

"In the discharge of the ordinary duties of life and in the exercise of care in ordinary conversation, whenever there is shortcoming, never fail to strive for improvement, and when there is much to be said, always say less than what is necessary; words having respect to actions and actions have respect to words. Is it not just this thorough genuineness and absence of pretense which characterizes the moral man?"

All right! That's the kind of thing I'm looking for. Straight-forward talk about how to live. Anything new here?

Since I haven't done this in a while, I guess I should tell everybody that this comes from a long out-of-print book called The Wisdom of India and China, edited by Lin Yutang. Nobody had it available, last time I checked. Others of Lin's books are available, like The Importance of Living.

I found this one at a used-book store.

Let's go ahead and finish the section:

The moral life of man may be likened to traveling to a distant place: one must start from the nearest stage. It may also be likened to ascending a height: one must begin from the lowest step. The Book of Songs says:
"When wives and children and their sires are one,
'Tis like the harp and lute in unison.
When brothers live in concord and at peace
The strain of harmony shall never cease.
The lamp of happy union lights the home,
And bright days follow when the children come."

Confucius, commenting on the above, remarked: "In such a state of things what more satisfaction can parents have?"

The moral man conforms himself to his life circumstances: he does not desire anything outside of his position. Finding himself in a position of wealth and honor, he lives as becomes one living in a position of wealth and honor. Finding himself in a position of poverty and humble circumstances, he lives as becomes one living in a position of poverty and humble circumstances. Finding himself in uncivilized countries, he lives as becomes one living in uncivilized countries. Finding himself in circumstances of danger and difficulty, he acts according to what is required of a man under such circumstances. In one word, the moral man can find himself in no situation in life in which he is not master of himself.

OK, I find that rather less enlightening. So you have to go outside of Confucius' works to find the paths to propriety in those cases.
In a high position he does not domineer over his subordinates. In a subordinate position he does not court the favors of his superiors. He puts in order his own personal conduct and seeks nothing from others: hence he has no complaint to make. He complains not against God, nor rails against men.

Thus it is that the moral man lives out the even tenor of his life calmly waiting for the appointment of God, whereas the vulgar person takes to dangerous courses, expecting the uncertain chances of luck.

Confucius remarked: "In the practice of archery we have something resembling the principle in a moral man's life. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure within himself."

I'd like to see a bit more of that going on.

Ah! ARI weighs in on Arafat's death:

Dear Editor:

At long last, Arafat is dead. Unfortunately, the mass murderer responsible for decades of terrorism died of a health problem, not an act of justice

But why did Arafat survive to old age? Why didn't his victims--Palestinians, Israelis and Americans--kill him long ago?

Palestinians, who lived for years in fear under his tyrannical regime, didn't strike him down, because their desire to exterminate Jews was greater than their desire for freedom. Israelis, who lived for years in fear of Arafat's terrorist attacks, didn't kill him, because their desire to satisfy "world opinion" was greater than their desire to live. Americans, who saw their fellow citizens murdered by Arafat's orders, didn't touch a hair of Arafat's, because their desire to appease the "Arab street" and hostile Arab regimes was greater than their desire for justice. Palestinians, Israelis and Americans paid dearly for their cowardice.

Should we draw a lesson? Yes, that freedom, justice and life are worth fighting for--and killing for. Hopefully, Americans will have the moral courage to kill Bin Laden and his associates--and not wait until they too die of disease or old age.

David Holcberg, Ayn Rand Institute

2121 Alton Parkway #250, Irvine, CA 92606

(949) 222-6550 ext. 226

This guy thinks about this stuff more than I do.

I'm merely a "Market Fundamentalist." But the advocates for the Kyoto Treaty need to deal with these objections:
Global warming', as a semi-empirical entity, is thus an 'empty' phrase, fundamentally unverifiable and unfalsifiable in a strict 'scientific' sense, but one which can be empowered with meaning by those who have the motive to do so. Accordingly, and perhaps not surprisingly, since the early 1990s, this intrinsic linguistic 'emptiness' has been filled by a great Barthesian myth, especially in Europe, but by all those who feel the deep need for such a legitimizing 'science'. The myth asserts that current 'global warming' is both faster and worse than at any previous time, that it is not 'natural', and that it has to be be caused by human hubris, and that the main culprit must be, inevitably, America the Evil Empire. Here we witness one of the clearest examples of the 'culture war' so carefully analysed by Melanie's correspondent from Ohio. The concept has been translated into a matter of faith, transcending "the theoretical use of reason." For the good folk involved, following Kant again, 'global warming' has become neither a matter of knowledge nor of opinion, but wholly a matter of 'morality', nay, of religion. Paradoxically, where 'global warming' is concerned, it is the liberal European elite left that is 'evangelical' and 'fundamentalist', not much-abused Middle America. LEELs are desperate for 'global warming' to be 'true'.

There's more truth to this than I care to admit.

You are a silly English Knnnnnniggit! Brave, loyal, and (somewhat) chaste, you follow your leader without question...even though you're not really that smart.
You are a silly English Knnnnnniggit! Brave, loyal,
and (somewhat) chaste, you follow your leader
without question...even though you're not
really that smart.

Which Monty Python & the Holy Grail Character are you REALLY?
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What dear?

I hate to casually move on, with all these great

and thoughtful comments by everybody, but I've been derailed by S Michael, who showed me these guys.

I'm particularly enamored of this speech by David Brin:

Essences, Orcs and Civilization:
The Case for a Cheerful Libertarianism

A Keynote for the 2002 Libertarian Party National Convention

by David Brin, Ph.D.

Nobody makes me choose between freedom for my children and their safety!

This is abhorrent. A complete non-starter that demonstrates nothing but mental rigidity and lack of imagination by fools trying to foist an odious dilemma on the American people. The rigidity of zero-sum, inside-the-box thinking. It is completely unworthy of a civilization that has grown accustomed to positive sum games -- having our cake, eating it, watching the cake grow larger, while aggressively sharing slices with the poor!

I refuse to accept this vile 'devil's dichotomy,' and so should you.

In The Transparent Society I talk about how the very notion of a tradeoff is disproved every day by this very society that we live in. One in which people are simultaneously both safer and more free than any of their ancestors ever were. Indeed, these two desiderata appear to go hand in hand.

They had better. For I do not intend to live without either.

Go ahead, call them fools. Why not? It's what you've been doing for decades. The voters are idiots! It feels good to say that, right?

Alas, pragmatically speaking, that won't change any minds. And it sure won't get them to vote for you!

In a market -- one of your beloved markets -- an entrepreneur who presents the same product over and over, deriding customers for not buying it, would be the real fool. You'd laugh at such a fellow and tell him he deserves what he gets -- bankruptcy. Yet, you never view your political program that way, do you?
This habit of contempt is demeaning, futile and self-defeating, on so many levels:

1. Science has learned recently that contempt and indignation are addictive mental states. I mean physically and chemically addictive. Literally! People who are self-righteous a lot are apparently doping themselves rhythmically with auto-secreted surges of dopamine, endorphins and enkephalins. Didn't you ever ask yourself why indignation feels so good?

2. It gives voters the creeps.

3. Libertarianism isn't the only dogma that encourages true believers to wallow in contempt for the masses. But only among Libertarians is contempt so blazingly and blitheringly hypocritical! Think about it. Your fundamental postulate -- the core basis -- is a belief that people, left alone, can be trusted with more than a burnt match! They should be treated like grownups, capable of making their own decisions, right? Yet, your excuse for failure is that they are fools. You can't have it both ways! (See Questionnaire section #3 "The Toxicity of Ideas.")

4. It gives voters the creeps.

5. If this civilization is so stupid, fallen and flawed, how come it's the first one to produce so many Libertarians?

6. It gives voters the creeps.

7. Contempt is utterly redolent of the Look-Back Worldview!

It's a five [web-] pager. I'm very close to placing this quote, cited in the speech, at the head of my blog:
"Any comfortable American who is cynical of progress -- or the competent decency of modern civilization -- hasn't pondered how life was for our ancestors. Any day that cossacks haven't burned your home should start out a happy one, overflowing with optimism."

- M.N. Plano

My early response to contact with these gentlemen is that I think I'd like to earn a place at the New Libertarian table.

What has blown me out of Libertarian circles is the contempt shown for people that I love and respect, some of whom have been warriors in Iraq. But that's another post.

Update: M.N. Plano also wrote this essay, these stories and this quote: "Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. Don't assign to stupidity what might be due to ignorance. And try not to assume your opponent is the ignorant one -- until you can show it isn't you."

I suspect Plano is a pseudonym for Brin.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'm gonna *&(*$#@in' kill somebody!

I just had a post vaporized that I've been working on for an hour!

In Dr. Mary Ruwart's column

In the Liberator Online, she takes on a question on the necessity of government provided education [link is to similar questions, with more extended answers]:


"My understanding of the history of education in America prior to government funding is that rich white men were educated because they were the only people thought to be worthy of education -- and the only ones who could afford it. I think libertarians who want to separate school and state are dishonest in addressing this issue."

My short answer:

"An 1817 survey revealed that over 90% of Boston's children attended some type of local school. (S.K. Schultz, The Culture Factory: Boston Public Schools, 1789-1860 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1973), p.25.)

"Education in America was so readily available that school attendance didn't change in New York City when it began offering tax-subsidized, tuition-free public education. (C.F. Kaestle, The Evolution of an Urban School System: New York City, 1750-1850 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973), p. 89).

"By 1840, literacy in the North and South, exclusive of the slave population, was over 90% and 80% respectively. (B.W. Poulson, "Education and the Family During the Industrial Revolution," in J.R. Peden and F.R. Glahe, eds., The American Family and the State, (San Francisco: Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, 1986), p. 138.) [I linked their education page, not this particular publication.]

"In the 1830s, a visiting French aristocrat, Alexis de Tocqueville, claimed in his now-classic study "Democracy in America" that the U.S. had the best educated people in history! (S.L. Blumenfeld, Is Public Education Necessary? (Boise, ID: Paradigm, 1985), pp. 68, 126; S.L. Blumenfeld "Why the Schools Went Public," Reason, March 1979, p. 19.)"

Monday, November 15, 2004

Everybody's worried about Powell leaving

I'm sad, a little. I worry about who will replace him. I like Condoleezza Rice, even though somebody jammed all those double letters into her first name (I know, I'm a hypocrite, there), but I wonder about her qualifications for running State. That place needs a kick in the pants.

Maybe Powell will run for President.

My blood sugar must be low. I can't seem to work up any intensity over anything.

Man Fails in Bid for Darwin Award Nomination


I wanted to nominate Ol' Dirty Bastard, but it sounds like he turned his life around after prison. I can only respect that. Plus, he's already well-represented in the gene pool.

That pretty much leaves Yassir Arafat, who, rumor has it, removed himself from the gene pool long ago, with only a token effort.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

If you haven't seen Hugh Hewitt's post

of tributes to 1st Lt. Joshua Palmer, USMC, you have to.

He took it to the limit.

Remember your veterans today.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Scattering my attention all over hell

"Strewing seed like Onan on a merry-go-round," as Lileks once said. This quote is gratis--apropos of nothing, as the french-speakers say.

Anyway, I mentioned FukiBlog... He's dancing on Arafat's grave.

Froggy Ruminations reminds us why the Old Testament is canonical.

And I heard a blogger named Rick on Hugh Hewitt mention that he had a series of posts telling us what we're up to. Somebody tell me where he hid the third post.

Hugh Hewitt (try typing that three times fast) is pushing Arlen Specter because we don't want to piss off the RINOs when it comes time for judicial confirmations. He says it better, read the above linked post. I heard Hugh first, then read Sowell, then got caught in Hugh's web again. Let Specter have the job. We've expressed our irritation. Our warning. If he bleeps it up, we call for his head.

Semper Fi to you Marines out there! And God bless you all.

Update: you gotta see this! If you enjoyed The Hot Zone (or whatever verb is appropriate), check this out!

The Fuke-Meister's Back!

Okay, nobody calls him that, but I'm just manic in my elation. You can see my elation in the picture at right. That's Minnesota Joy. [Those crazy vikings all moved to France, leaving us sane people in Scandinavia. I've said that the Swedes oppressed the Finns for 700 years, the fact is that the Finns probably didn't notice. Everybody's so damn polite up there. Continuing this wildly careening digression, the Swedes did us a favor: Finnish was never written until the 19th century, so there's a one to one correspondence between letters and sounds--every letter is pronounced, if it's doubled, it's the same sound only longer; basic Germanic-type vowels; accent always on the first syllable, descending accents thereafter. So, now you can handle phrases like, "Voisitteko puhua hitaammin?"--"Could you speak more slowly?"]

Actually, I have, as usual, been remiss in making my announcement punctually. I'll have to send him a card.

This is the kind of writing I've been missing

since my man Ross passed on: Defense Tech.org. I missed him in all the clutter of defense and intelligence related sites. Here we have upbeat, plain English analysis of matters military. I particularly like this post, URANIUM-SUCKING TUMBLEWEEDS, on many levels-- ya got yer scientists finding a non-tech solution to a military-caused environmental problem.

I'll be adding him to my sidebar the first chance I get.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Walter Williams reminds me once again

why I love him:

Why we're a divided nation
The prime feature of political decision-making is that it's a zero-sum game. One person or group's gain is of necessity another person or group's loss. As such, political allocation of resources is conflict enhancing while market allocation is conflict reducing. The greater the number of decisions made in the political arena, the greater is the potential for conflict.

There are other implications of political decision-making. Throughout most of our history, we've lived in relative harmony. That's remarkable because just about every religion, racial and ethnic group in the world is represented in our country. These are the very racial/ethnic/religious groups that have for centuries been trying to slaughter one another in their home countries, among them: Turks and Armenians, Protestant and Catholic, Muslim and Jew, Croats and Serbs. While we haven't been a perfect nation, there have been no cases of the mass genocide and religious wars that have plagued the globe elsewhere. The closest we've come was the American Indian/European conflict, which pales by comparison.

He's riding the edge, to say the least, on that last comment - forcing on pain of death, which penalty was applied to thousands, the Indians to move onto government-run, socialist reservations where decisions were made to please the majority of citizens who didn't live there, wasn't exactly a favor. But it wasn't the kind of fully conscious decision to exterminate The Other that the other matters he mentions were. I still see no necessity for gratitude to the US government from the Indians though. [I support Russell Means' efforts. And here.]

Before I quit tonight, let me just point out Thomas Sowell's case for opposing Arlen Specter:

An ominous Specter
At one crucial point, Senator Pat Leahy took a cheap shot at Judge Bork by saying that he had earned large consulting fees in some years, when he was a law professor, as if that were something dishonorable. What was not revealed to the public was that those were years in which Professor Bork's wife was fatally ill and he needed that money to do all that he could for her.

Judge Bork was obviously deeply distressed by having that painful period in his personal life dragged into the political arena and his actions in those years twisted and distorted beyond recognition. When Judge Bork rested his head in his hands and covered his eyes, Judiciary Committee chairman Joseph Biden -- to his credit -- called a recess.

But, when it was proposed to end the hearings for the day, Senator Arlen Specter refused to agree. He wasn't prepared to wait to get his shots in against Judge Bork. Senator Specter's agenda was more important to him than common decency.

Now I'm offended by Bork's calling the Ninth Amendment an inkblot, thereby pretending that We the People have no more rights than those that are enumerated in the Constitution and its Amendments, but his position is actually less egregious that the position of those who call our founding document a "living constitution" to be reinterpreted at whim by those placed on the bench.... Now disparaging the Ninth Amendment may have been cause to reject Bork as a Supreme Court Justice, but that wasn't Specter's case. Specter's case was purely an abortion litmus test.

Ah, I'll make this a separate post later. I'm too tired to handle all these nuances.

I mentioned the Blue States talkin' secession:

Here's one of the cartograms from these guys - Maps and cartograms of the 2004 US presidential election results by Michael Gastner, Cosma Shalizi, and Mark Newman at the
University of Michigan. This one turns population into area.

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They do the same for counties. Pretty cool.

There's some secession talk here and here [same blog].

Of course, these are the same anarchists I linked yesterday.

Monday, November 08, 2004

There are a lot of the kinds of things I enjoy reading

(because I'm nuts, no doubt) to be found at The Molinari Institute. [Scroll down for a long list of links.]

About Market Anarchism

Here's their intro to the section:
Market Anarchism is the doctrine that the legislative, adjudicative, and protective functions unjustly and inefficiently monopolised by the coercive State should be entirely turned over to the voluntary, consensual forces of market society.

As Thomas Paine wrote in The Rights of Man (1792):
Great part of that order which reigns among mankind is not the effect of government. It has its origin in the principles of society and the natural constitution of man. It existed prior to government, and would exist if the formality of government was abolished. The mutual dependence and reciprocal interest which man has upon man, and all the parts of civilised community upon each other, create that great chain of connection which holds it together. The landholder, the farmer, the manufacturer, the merchant, the tradesman, and every occupation, prospers by the aid which each receives from the other, and from the whole. Common interest regulates their concerns, and forms their law; and the laws which common usage ordains, have a greater influence than the laws of government. In fine, society performs for itself almost everything which is ascribed to government.

The first explicit defender of Market Anarchism was the 19th-century economist and social theorist Gustave de Molinari. The idea was taken up by the individualist anarchists, particularly those associated with Benjamin Tucker's journal Liberty. More recently, Market Anarchism has been revived by a number of thinkers in the libertarian movement. The terms "anarcho-capitalism" and "voluntary socialism" have both been associated with the Market Anarchist tradition.

I've linked to a lot of them before, actually.

Sadly, I don't have time for a long discussion right now. Bedtime.

That's what I meant!

Mark Steyn:
H. L. Mencken said that no one ever lost money underestimating the intelligence of the American people. Well, George Soros, Barbra Streisand and a lot of their friends just did: The Kerry campaign and its supporters -- MoveOn.org, Rock The Vote, etc. -- were awash in bazillions of dollars, and what have they got to show for it? In this election, the plebs were more mature than the elites: They understood that war is never cost-free and that you don't run away because of a couple of setbacks; they did not accept that one jailhouse scandal should determine America's national security interest; they rejected the childish caricature of their president and paranoid ravings about Halliburton; they declined to have their vote rocked by Bruce Springsteen or any other pop culture poser.

All the above is unworthy of a serious political party. As for this exit-poll data that everyone's all excited about, what does it mean when 22 percent of the electorate say their main concern was "moral issues"? Gay marriage? Abortion? Or is it something broader? For many of us, the war is also a moral issue, and the Democrats are on the wrong side of it, standing not with the women voting proudly in Afghanistan's first election but with the amoral and corrupt U.N., the amoral and cynical Jacques Chirac, the amoral and revolting head-hackers whom Democratic Convention guest of honor Michael Moore described as Iraq's "minutemen."

As Laura Ingraham said, Shut Up and Sing

Update: More Steyn:
In affirming the traditional definition of marriage in 11 state referenda, from darkest Mississippi to progressive enlightened Kerry-supporting Oregon, the American people were not expressing their "gay-loathin' ", so much as declining to go the Kelly route and have their betters tell them what they can think. They're not going to have marriage redefined by four Massachusetts judges and a couple of activist mayors. That doesn't make them Bush theo-zombies marching in lockstep to the gay lynching, just freeborn citizens asserting their right to dissent from today's established church - the stifling coercive theology of political correctness enforced by a secular episcopate.

Just good, old American cussedness. You can do quite a bit without consulting me, but, my Servant (government, I mean), maybe you'd better just be careful and consult me about a lot of junk I don't care about, [Lileks nails my views on gay marriage today]or you might not like what happens if you go off half-cocked....

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Instead of a nekkid lady

NewsMax sent me this:
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[They had the t-shirts on clearance and apparently it worked very well. This says they're sold out. A temporary situation, I'm sure.]

Of course, since I live in Hennepin County, MN, I don't actually live in Bush Country.

Close, but no cigar.

Muslims effect peaceful transition of government

There was another election recently which had great potential to go badly. Especially given the recent bombings in Jakarta, yet they have peacefully transferred power to a new administration with the inauguration of a new Indonesian President, Pak Bambang, this weekend.

Discovered via TeflonMan.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

I had no idea

that I'm a flippery fish. As of this moment. Results may vary.

Friday, November 05, 2004

FEE juxtaposes these two articles

in their email to me today:

Hiring in October at a seven-month peak

Hurricanes Are Creative Destruction? It Just Ain’t So!
Published in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty - February 2000
by Thomas J. DiLorenzo

I'm tired. If you ask me nice, I'll excerpt them later.

Make this guy our finance minister

or director of the OMB or whatever:
An Oligarch Goes Home to Lift Georgia's Economy

Published: November 5, 2004

The languishing of the hundreds of thousands of displaced people is "a huge problem," [Kakha] Bendukidze said. "These people were being used as a political tool, as a sword of Damocles. They need to be integrated in society and have property rights like everyone else."

They also are occupying some of Georgia's most valuable real estate, the sale of which Mr. Bendukidze is hoping will help undo decades of decay and revitalize a country where nearly half the population lives below the official poverty line.
Under Mr. Shevardnadze, many tiny enterprises were privatized, but only a few large, important businesses, like the Batumi Oil Terminal. Mr. Bendukidze's list, however, has 1,800 enterprises of all sizes - including a proctology clinic, vineyards, factories, a hydropower station, Georgia's aging airport and beach resorts (refugees included). At the dusty Ministry of Economic Development, off Tbilisi's main street, Mr. Bendukidze has set up a hotline and a Web site (www.privatization.ge) for anyone interested in buying government-owned assets. Turks, Europeans, Americans and especially Russians have been poking around.
Mr. Bendukidze rarely minces words, and his temper is well known among foreign aid organizations. According to a BBC report, he called International Monetary Fund representatives "fools" on Georgian television when they cautioned against major tax cuts he had suggested. And a World Bank employee recalls being cursed out at his office.
Back in Russia, he ran a company with twice the budget and seven times the debt of his home country, and was free to hire and fire without political fallout.

Not in Georgia. But he is determined to set an example by cutting bureaucracy at his own ministry, letting two-thirds of his 2,400 staff members go. The only way to pull Georgia out of poverty, he says, is to cut the bloat, strip vested interests and end corruption.

"There are a lot of people who own or run government property burning state money and putting ash in their own pockets," Mr. Bendukidze says. "It's not two or three people, it's managers with thousands of employees whom no one needs, workers who aren't creating wealth.

Ah-h! That's the way to handle complaisant bureaucrats.
With the Finance Ministry, Mr. Bendukidze is helping to write and submit new laws for passage in parliament that would lower the personal income tax rate to 12 percent from 20 percent, cut taxes on corporate profits and deregulate the banking and insurance industries.
What about the seeming incongruity of his laying down rules in Georgia - for transparent, honest privatizations with clearly enforced property rights - that many of his fellow oligarchs in Russia did not follow during the rough-and-tumble privatization there?

"I'm sorry," he said, shrugging. "But that game is over."

Those who can't handle the fact that "life's rough" don't get rich. Though we're all riding free on their innovations.

Deb at True blue has a good post

about the difference between Rights and Privileges. I left this comment there:
"Civil liberties...are usually created...by a constitution."

[Referring to her citation of this definition from ("the notoriously left-wing"*) Wikipedia. *I wish I could remember who said that, but I've seen no evidence to doubt it.]

While I generally agree with you, although I'm one who says that the government should stay out of marriage - I think that government marriage is indeed a granting of privileges, but I want them to just butt out, I'm offended by Wikipedia's definition. God (or Gaia or evolution) created our rights and His [S]ign is, that laws that offend against them are too expensive - in effort, money or lives (or individual human potential) - to enforce.

You see, I believe that human rights are fairly obvious. You just look at human behavior that's too much of a pain in the ass to stop, and you stop trying to stop it. Murder, rape, assault and theft are too much of a pain not to stop. I want the police to focus on these things and let Society and the Market find other solutions to the rest.

There are varieties of these things "at the margins" where Society and Government need to draw lines: abortion, the death penalty, date rape, spousal rape, fist fighting... These are things that might be amenable to cultural differences.

Btw: I've always agreed that different cultures might find different solutions to problems, and that ours is not necessarily the best in every situation, but I believe that there is a best solution and the search for it can be helped by finding the society that has solved it best. But all societies are hodge-podges, some are better than others generally speaking, but each probably does have some wisdom to offer us in the furtherance of human progress (toward the individual happiness of every person).

I find that Lefties over state this fact and promote relativism. I think relativism is the cop-out of those who have discovered (or rather, refuse to discover) that reality hates the socialization of economic (that is: scarce relative to demand) goods.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

For all you Democrats out there


There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole;
There is a balm in Gilead
To heal the sin sick soul.

Some times I feel discouraged,
And think my work's in vain,
But then the Holy Spirit
Revives my soul again.


If you can't preach like Peter,
If you can't pray like Paul,
Just tell the love of Jesus,
And say He died for all.



Much to be learned here, maybe.

They're not saying. Too bad I read it after the election.

It's Ayn Clouter's fault.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

My brother provides my next WOD

Missiology: "the conscious, intentional, ongoing reflection on the doing of mission. It includes theory(ies) of mission, the study and teaching of mission, as well as the research, writing, and publication of works regarding mission" (Neely 2000, 633). "1. the study of the salvation activities of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit throughout the world geared toward bringing the kingdom of God into existence, 2. the study of the worldwide church's divine mandate to be ready to serve this God who is aiming his saving acts toward this world" (Verkuyl 1978, 5).

Sounds like a weird, hibrid, half-English, half-Greek neologism to me. I doubt that Pericles ever used it while exhorting the Athenians to... damn, I've gotta reread that.

Here's some context (I wonder who the intended audience is. At a guess: young, government-educated Bible college students. I criticize the style, not the point. The point I take under advisement.):
We need prophets who could care less about:
- Political Correctness
- Style over Substance
- What the Masses and Wusses are Yapping for
- Being Popular

My ClashPoint [...Um-m....What? Where'd that term come from? Eminem?] is this: I'm not a doom and gloomer. It is not as if we are approaching the end of civilization's road; it's not even the beginning of the end. Most likely, it is the end of the beginning...who knows where we stand from an eschatological view point? However, I do know where we stand from an ecclesiastical and missiological point of view. We stand where we have always been supposed to stand, as the pillar of truth who proclaim it publicly and globally, applying it fully to all of life.

And guess what, Church? Just as Ringo said, "You know it don't come easy."

Come on - we don't need anymore nicety-nice clergy in charge of churches that don't equip us to face the real issues confronting our church and culture. We can do without spineless crowd pleasers, can't we? We really do not need narcissistic, solipsistic, pseudo saints. What we need are prophets, stalwart sons and daughters who will speak and defend truth, freedom and human rights in the face of atheism, lies and hellbent special interest groups!

Mary O'Conner won a city council seat here!

She's the Libertarian I voted for. Fantastic!

[I've been trying to post this news all day, but apparently I wasn't the only one with something to say today.]

We've also added a few Libertarians in local seats around the state.

LP press release:

For release: November 3, 2004

Badnarik earns about 376,000 votes, tops third party competition

AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Libertarian presidential candidate Michael Badnarik appears to have earned approximately 376,000 votes, which is more than the Green and Constitution party candidates combined, and about the same as the party received in 2000.

"Mr. Badnarik's campaign touched millions of voters and helped to increase the size and strength of the Libertarian Party, which means we'll have a bigger platform in 2008," said Joseph Seehusen, Libertarian Party executive director.

"By getting on more ballots and earning more votes than our third party competition, we've proved once again that we're America's real third party."

Badnarik, 50, a computer programmer from Austin, Texas, was nominated in May at the party's national convention in Atlanta and campaigned across the country on a message of limited government, lower taxes and ending the war in Iraq.

Badnarik's total of 376,347 votes continued to increase on Wednesday as late vote counts trickled in. Trailing behind were the Constitution Party's Michael Peroutka, with about 129,530 votes, and the Green Party's David Cobb, with 105,168. Badnarik's name appeared on 48 state ballots, plus D.C., compared to 35 for Peroutka and 27 for Cobb.

In 2000, Libertarian Party presidential candidate Harry Browne garnered 376,123 votes.

Returns also showed Badnarik earning more than 1 percent in eight states: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts and Texas.

Seehusen acknowledged that one of the campaign's goals -- having an impact on the outcome of the Bush-Kerry race by winning votes from fiscal conservatives in swing states such as New Mexico, Nevada and Wisconsin -- went unfulfilled.

"Apparently many fiscal conservatives decided to stick with Bush instead of sending him a message," he said. "Unfortunately the country will pay a price for that, because government will continue to expand relentlessly under Republican rule."

Independent candidate Ralph Nader edged out Badnarik by about 17,000 votes, noted Seehusen, adding: "That proves once again how much celebrity candidates benefit from the media coverage that is showered upon them."

Nonetheless, Seehusen said, Badnarik's campaign achieved important goals, such as building the party's name recognition by running nationwide television ads; recruiting new members and candidates; and educating the public about the Libertarian alternative.

"We're still the nation's largest and most successful third party, with 600 Libertarians in local offices nationwide who are saving taxpayers an average of $1 billion a year," he said. "Right now we're in the process of finding out how many more Libertarians were elected to local offices on Election Day."

For additional information:
George Getz, Communications Director
(202) 333-0008 ext. 222


Lileks displays the death throes of "groovy"

Reminding us why that expression died. Isn't this a violation of the Geneva Convention?

You just had to pick that scab, didn't you?

In celebration of the Bush victory

Pietra Ferrari

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Looks like everything's going my way!

Or at least as much as I expect them to. My Republican will win, my Democrat will lose, my Libertarian - that's a flip of the coin in a non-partisan election.

I see Badnarik is doing well in Ohio. More power to him. His ideas on how to fight a war against terrorists is a deal breaker for me, but I love--LOVE--everything else he has to say. I'm sorry, but when your enemy hides behind women and children who won't tell you a bad guy is back there... That's how everybody gets killed.

Ya gott love

Hugh Hewitt liveblogging his own coverage of the election results.

I voted.

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This is a nicer sticker than I got. :(

From the top of the ticket:
President: Republican
US House: Democrat
State House and Senate: Republican
City Council: Libertarian (It's a non-partisan election, but I know the lady I voted for is a Libertarian.
Parks Commissioner: U-uh...
Water District Supervisor: I was going to write myself in here, but I didn't feel very playful. I think I actually marked somebody in, but I don't know anybody in that race, and no incumbent was listed.

I didn't vote for any unopposed incumbents and I voted against all incumbents who refused to tell me anything about themselves (and a couple that I know to be "liberals"). I voted for one judge that I knew to be conservative. It may seem irresponsible to some to vote against incumbent judges that way, but I am deeply offended by their policy of refusing to campaign for office.

I've got to start digging into the local judges and see how they rule. This might be a good place to start. Whoa!! Look at this!
How Do We Measure Up?

How do we measure up? Follow the link to the District Court Performance Measures. The Fourth Judicial District Court is the first court in the nation to define our measures and report them to the public. The site is a work in progress and will be updated frequently.


I hang my head in shame.

On second glance, it's a rating of the court, not the judges, nor their decisions, but it's still a good place to start. I wonder if this page is the result of an effort to keep people from being gunned down in the hallways.

Update: more proof that I'm dumber than a post.

Here is an AsiaNews article

to counter The Probligo's quagmire position:
29 October, 2004
We need Europe to help us start again, Kurdish leader says

Brussels (AsiaNews) – Historically, Europe is closer to the Middle East, but its policies vis-a-vis the region lack unity and purpose. Europe understands Iraq better than the US, but "with the exception of a few countries acting on their own, Europe has not taken any significant step to solve the Iraqi crisis".

These are but a few of the views expressed by Burhan Jaf, envoy of Iraq's Kurdish regional government at the European Union. Mr Jaf praises the signing of the new European constitution but is still waiting to "see what the new European Commission will do in foreign policy". For him, it is important that Europe have "a united foreign policy" to help Iraq start again despite the terrorists' attempt to stop it.

Key point:
Who wants to destabilise Iraq?

That's simple. There is the Baath party that lost power with Saddam's fall and is unwilling to give it up. There are various extremist groups that are anti-American. They are richly funded from abroad to fight the US. There are also foreign powers like Syria and Iran... Sadly, there are foreign interests that do not want an Iraq at peace with itself because they might lose power and influence in the country. The problem is that so much is said about bombs and massacres, but little is said about the nine tenth of the country where life goes on. The same can be said about the capital. Only some of its sectors constitute a problem, in many more life goes on more or less normally. It would be absurd to stop the peace process and our march towards democracy because of what terrorists do. (DS)

This paper comes out of Italy, one of our allies, so perhaps it is suspect - Berlusconi hasn't done much to ingratiate himself with the rest of the EU (last I heard--not that I consider that a bad thing). They have another interesting article:
Chaldean Church delegation meets al-Sistani to build peace in the country

Baghdad (AsiaNews) - "It was a very cordial meeting, like between brothers who love each" and the discussion touched upon what to do "treat a sick country," Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Emmanuel Delly said in a telephone interview with AsiaNews. He was referring to a meeting between a Chaldean delegation and ayatollah al-Sistani.

"Yesterday, we went to visit him at home in Najaf. Al-Sistani warmly welcomed us and we talked about the situation in Iraq. Together, we are trying to find ways to achieve peace."

Quite a hopeful sign that Shiites and Catholics can work together.

I came to all this via Virginia Postrel and Reason Online.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Listening to Michael Savage just now, on AM1280,

rip into Richard Dreyfuss' speech at Oxford [I suspect this is what he was talking about, though I have such a slow connection that I'm not going to wait for it--Savage played clips], it occurs to me that most people haven't heard or understood the libertarian doctrine of voluntary unanimity. (I'd put it in quotes, but I haven't actually heard it expressed that way.) I bring this up because Savage was claiming that we all must trust and obey our elected leaders.

L. Neil Smith, in one of his books, probably Lever Action, a collection of essays published in various places, provides an example of what I mean. He says that usually, when a group of people order a pizza, each person gets what he wants for the simple reason that it is possible to put on the toppings in such a way as to make that possible. Some negotiation may be in order, involving some compromise, but any such compromise never involves items that the final consumer must ingest that he considers to be disgusting. It may also be necessary to shop around for a pizza parlor that will accomodate the group's desires. (Assuming that everybody is sufficiently familiar with the available products to make informed choices.)

Basically, nobody should have any moral objection to somebody in the group who'd rather have a hoagy. Of course, Smith never tried to go through a drive-through with me when I'm driving. I consider it immoral for my passengers to order more than a single non-numbered item.

Smith also presents an interesting example of voluntary unanimity in Star Wars: Lando Calrissian and the Starcave of Thonboka, in which Lando has to convince a sufficient number of super-powerful creatures, who had never been threatened before, to fight for their own survival. He only gets a small fraction of them to cooperate. [Is it enough to turn the tide? Only if Lando can find the key to breaking the Empire's blockade! (No, that's not from the cover, it's my parody of a sci-fi cover.)]

Here's a related matter for people to consider:

...I am not calling for the abolition of all laws. Humans cannot
live in complex societies without the guidance of laws. They can,
however, live without the coercive imposition of laws. This is an
essential distinction, for anarcho-capitalists are often misunderstood
as denying the validity of laws per se. Nothing could be further from
the truth. Anarcho-capitalists see the state as a criminal
organization. In their eyes, state law is essentially *lawless*.

What is the alternative to state law? Overlapping jurisdictions or
privately produced law in free and open competition - a polycentric
legal system. In what follows, I will provide a brief introduction to
the history and principles of privately produced law, and argue that it
offers a more efficient and just alternative to state law.


Friedrich A. Hayek finds the origins of law in the natural selection of
social orders. Not all types of behaviour support social life, he
explains. Some - like violence, theft, and deceit - render it

Society can thus exist only if by a process of selection rules have
evolved which lead individuals to behave in a manner which makes
social life possible. [2]

The development of these rules predates courts, written law, and even
the concept of law itself:

At least in primitive human society, scarcely less than in animal
societies, the structure of social life is determined by rules of
conduct which manifest themselves only by being in fact observed.

Because such customary laws exist prior to state laws, they have
attracted the attention of those who research polycentric legal systems.
In "The Enterprise of Law", Bruce Benson concentrates on the legal
system of the Kapauku Papuans of West New Guinea. [4] This "primitive"
legal system exhibited some remarkably sophisticated qualities. It
emphasized individualism, physical freedom, and private property rights;
sorted out fantastically complicated jurisdictional conflicts; and
provided mechanisms for "legislating" changes to customary law. [5] In
a separate work, `Enforcement of Property Rights in Primitive Societies:
Law Without Government', [6] Benson points out similar features in the
legal systems of the Yuroks of Northern California [7] and the Ifuago of
Northern Luzon. [8]

David Friedman adopts medieval Iceland as his favorite example of a
polycentric legal system. He writes that it

... might almost have been invented by a mad economist to test the
lengths to which market systems could supplant government in its
most fundamental functions. [9]

Murray Rothbard backs up his arguments for privately produced law by
pointing to a thousand years of Celtic Irish Law. [10]

These and many other examples of customary legal systems demonstrate
that we don't need states to have laws. They also tell us what sort of
laws arise free of state interference. After an extensive review of
customary legal systems, Benson finds that they tend to share six basic

1) a predominant concern for individual rights and private property;

2) laws encorced by victims backed by reciprocal agreements;

3) standard adjudicative procedures established to avoid violence;

4) offenses treated as torts punishable by economic restitution;

5) strong incentives for the guilty to yield to prescribed punishment
due to the threat of social ostracism; and

6) legal change via an evolutionary process of developing customes and
norms. [11]

This is about ten percent of the article. My point is to show that extensive thinking has been applied to a great many aspects of the argument.