Tuesday, January 06, 2004
The local paper, for me anyway, The Grand Rapids Press, ran its first feature on blogging today. It’s not online. Imagine. But, they did publish an address for blogs, or, more specifically, “Michigan-related blogs,” that the paper, or should I say mlive.com, is aware of. I submitted my domain name. I’ll see what happens.
Actually though, I did stumble onto something I wanted to share. I went to a site named The Bunker. There I found this. This, is a letter from Noam Chomsky to a, “Democratic Delegate from Saginaw, MI,” whom wrote to Chomsky, petitioning for advice. The “Delegate’s” letter can be viewed in the comments. Oh, read the following comments also.
Public Education Sinecurist Quote
We expect parents to work in the best interest of the kids. We’re working in the best interest of the teachers.
– Hudson (Ohio) Education Association President David Spohn. (October 9 Akron Beacon Journal)”
Red Fire Engines
Roderick T. Long responds to criticism from Robert Theron Brockman II in regards to Adam Smith. Long’s post is titled Was Adam Smith Too Optimistic?
Zell Miller on Democrat Presidential Candidates
Zell Miller, in the Wall Street Journal commenting on Al Sharpton.
Al Sharpton did a pretty good impression of the “Godfather of Soul.” Of course, the rotund reverend has long been the “Godfather of Con.” He’s slick as a peeled onion. In just one short primary season, his timid fellow candidates and the even more timid media have erased the criminal Tawana Brawley shakedown. They’ve given this trickster who has never been elected dogcatcher a legitimacy he does not deserve: their Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval as a bona fide presidential candidate. So, get ready to start counting Rev. Sharpton’s delegates. They will be impossible to ignore on national TV when the Democrats take center stage in Boston. Memo to Democratic Chairman Terry McAwful: It’s called “reaping what you sow.”
If you think this could not possibly happen, consider that not-too-distant history. Take the Georgia primary in 1988. Georgia’s senior U.S. senator, governor, House speaker and largest newspaper endorsed Al Gore. Mr. Gore was running right of center, warning that a vote for Michael Dukakis would spell defeat for the Democrats. But Jesse Jackson won Georgia with 40%. Al Gore got 32% and Mr. Dukakis, who later would carry 10 states as the nominee, got 16%.”
Miller also takes a poke at Kerry, Dean and Democrat anger.
Via Cold Fury.
Yesterday, in a post I titled Swedish Meatballs, I pointed to a piece written by Allan Carlson which deconstructed the myth of the success of Sweden’s socialist tendencies with an emphasis on the failure of child welfare laws. Today, Skip Oliva, at The Rule of Reason, links to and comments on this post by John Holzmann which looks at H.R. 3139. H.R. 3139 is being molded in Congress as the “Youth Worker Protection Act.” Has a nice socialist ring to it doesn’t it? Anyway, here’s the first paragraph from Holzmann’s post.
There is a a horrible new bill before the House of Representatives titled the “Youth Worker Protection Act,” HR3139. If it makes its way through Congress, I believe we’re about to see virtually all students under 18 become wholly unemployable.
If you still cling to the illusion that the U.S. is not becoming socialist, take the time to read Carlson’s piece and the posts on H.R. 3139.
Permalinks at The Rule of Reason are currently not functional. Scroll down to Skip Oliva’s post entitled Stopping Child Labor Before it Starts.
Links are fixed - 03.24.2009
Fret, Guitar, Logic
Billy Beck has an informative post up entitled Vantage on Vintage which, if you have any interest in the guitar market, especially pricey guitars, you may find interesting. Billy knows a thing or five about guitars, having had one in his hands for many years of his life, he still plays now, and his father was a guitar man also.
I don’t play, but when I look at the guitars that Billy links to in this piece, if I had some extra change lying around, I’d buy just to hang one of those works of art on my wall.
Monday, January 05, 2004
Class, May I Have Your Attention Please
Mike S. Adams, an associate professor at UNC-Wilmington, shares his class policies for clueless students and for professors and teachers who are clueless as how to manage said students.
An essay topic, suggested by Adams, for students who are unable to comply with Adams’ class policy.
“The Death of Civility at the Postmodern University.”
Read his list of helpful suggestions for students who may, in all probability, be unable to formulate an essay based on the suggested topic.
Good for the Burn Barrel
Both Virginia Postrel and Skip Oliva take a match to Gregg Easterbrook’s new book The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse, which chastises us for buying the best rather than giving it away. I wonder if Easterbrook is banking his fee for this book or giving it away since he earns his regular pay as a columnist?
Arthur Silber correctly points out the childish reasoning of a BrothersJudd.com post entitled Why God Made Closets which comments on an article regarding homosexuality entitled Before the Deluge, published in Christianity Today and penned by Andy Crouch. Arthur’s comments, regarding the Judd brothers’ post rightly mocks their musings and I as read the Judd post, I wondered, in regards to this comment of the Judd brothers,
...so long as you have the sense of shame to keep it hidden from God and the rest of us.
whether they still accept as fact that you’ll go blind if you masturbate.
Crouch’s musings, which, fortunately, don’t look at sex as a closet or shameful activity, also bear scrutiny. Especially, this,
Some of us have been delivered by him out of the worst that sin can do. I have had the privilege of being friends with those who lived for years as gays and lesbians, who were adulterers, who were cross-dressers, who were consumed by pornography or obsessed with their own attractiveness—and who now joyfully live a different life thanks to Christ.
which, as it is written, can be interpreted as meaning sexual sins are the worst, specifically, homosexuality sins. Which is so much claptrap I hesitate even to mention it.
Sex, sex, sex. Homo, hetero, lesbo what have you, all sides in this debate, while trying to shoot down prejudices associated with sexual orientation, invariably end up shooting themselves in the foot. The Christians by condemning sexuality of almost all kinds, the homosexuals by their indecision. Meaning, in some instances they bear the term homo as if it is a Star of David, forced to be worn, in other instances, they flaunt their sexual orientation with the same proclivity of Vegas showgirls. Does either side really understand that sex and sexual orientation are private, individual decisions? If they did understand this, this wouldn’t even be an issue. Each side would be better off if they would just shut up and keep their noses out of each others bedrooms and closets.
The only good thing to come out of Sweden, into the U.S., is Swedish meatballs, and even those are of dubious quality. In a very interesting read, Allan Carlson details the failure of Sweden’s socialist welfare state, a state of affairs that U.S. politicos are bent on pursuing even though the evidence from Sweden already shows the futility of this path which leads to the cliffs from which lemmings proverbially throw themselves. Carlson offers a solution in his piece, which I heartily approve of.
The agenda here is simple, radical and pragmatically anti-bureaucratic:
1. end state-mandated and state-controlled education, leaving the training and rearing of children up to their own parents or legal guardians;
2. abolish child-labor laws, again reasoning that parents or guardians are the best judges of their children’s interests and welfare, vastly better than any combination of state bureaucrats;
3. and dismantle the Social Security system, leaving protection or security in old age to be provided, once again, by individuals and their families.
Carlson then points to the Amish as an example of individuals succeeding without the state, with the caveat “that relatively few contemporary Americans would choose to live like the Amish, given a true freedom of choice.” But embracing individual success and self reliance would not entail people living like the Amish. And, more importantly, pointing to the Amish as an example for success actually does more harm than good when attempting to enlighten people to be self reliant, since many individuals look at the Amish simply as sturdy, backwards folk who thump Bibles, rule patriarchily and are in bed at sundown. So using the Amish as an example is more of a disservice than an incentive when encouraging individuals to live free or die.
Socialism, the welfare state, unfortunately, is alive and well here in the U.S. Like a python it is entwining itself around us, sucking us in to be digested one by one.
Well, the lake effect snow machine has finally kicked in here in West Michigan so my shovel I must wield. And I don’t mind one bit. For your enjoyment, until I can see the curbs of my driveway, take a look at these Wilson A. Bentley snowflake photos. They are quite enjoyable, especically if you enjoy snow, like I do.
Via Brian Micklethwait’s Brian’s Culture Blog.
Sunday, January 04, 2004
Many parents pass the care and raising of their children off to the public school system. Instead of accepting responsibility for their children by teaching them values, respect and individual responsibility for their actions, parents pawn off their responsiblity and then piss and moan when their kids run afoul of the public school system because they don’t have a clue as to proper behavior. Blaming the schools, the administrators, the teachers but never themselves or their kids. Quite different from my parents who, when I was an adolescent, made me face the music for my actions. Whether that music was a funeral dirge or a tatoo drumming me out of school. The New York Times publishes an article today entitled Unruly Students Facing Arrest, Not Detention. Within the article we learn about the Toledo, OH school system which is arresting kids for violating the dress code, hollering at other students or cursing at teachers. All these offenses are violations of Toledo’s “safe school ordinance.”
The idoicy of this method of dealing with students should be self evident. It simply highlights the continuing decline of personal responsibilty from parents on downward. Most individuals are succumbing to flock mentality. Most people are seemingly helpless, allowing themselves to be shorn not only of their productivity via taxation but their self respect and ability to think while the states’ crook beats upon their backs or hooks around their neck, dragging them down into a deeper moronic state, with all the rest of the half-wits who make up the political blood sucking apparatus.
The only thing that people seem to be learning nowadays is how to pass the buck rather than stopping it in its tracks.
Befuddled Professor Apologists
The National Post has an article penned by Robert Fulford titled Communism’s true believers won’t give up. The article looks at some of the apologists’ arguments for communism, spying for communism and those who vigourously pursued the unveiling of communists. A couple of choice quotes from Fulford’s piece.
The faculty at Bard College, a liberal arts school at Annandale, NY, includes a scholar who glories in the title Alger Hiss Professor of Social Studies. Anyone aware that Hiss was a Washington bureaucrat who spied for the Soviet Union will consider this as sensible as a John Dillinger Chair in Business Ethics or a Jack the Ripper Chair in Criminology. But at Bard College no one is laughing, least of all the occupant of the chair, Joel Kovel, who believes the Soviets were never a threat to the Americans and that U.S. criticism of communism was the product of hysteria. His views resemble those of Hiss, and he’s not lonely. Hard as it may be for outsiders to imagine, a lingering affection for communism remains part of American university life.”
And this one.
Haynes and Klehr have written books on American communists as they appeared in the Soviet archives and in the intercepted Venona transcripts from the 1940s. But despite everything, many other historians persist in showing American communists as good-hearted, noble citizens who often sacrificed themselves for a great ideal. It’s like the romantic myth of the Old South, Haynes and Klehr argue, an attempt to cast a favourable light on a despicable cause by arguing for the nobility of those who pursued it. Haynes and Klehr also compare these historians to Holocaust deniers who invent fanciful explanations for damning evidence and ignore inconvenient testimony.
This is not a matter of degrees. The “ideals” of communism are mere sugar coating to assist its proponents in choking down the evil they hope to foist on free individuals. Communism is nothing more than a false utopia at the point of a gun.
“That’s very disturbing.” So says a physicist about quarks not behaving the way they are calculated to behave. In recent experiments, physicists have found that quarks, which are supposed to spinning one way, are actually spinning another way and, hogging most the energy of a neutron. The article is titled Topsy Turvy: In neutrons and protons, quarks take wrong turns.
Via Gene Expression.
Bloody Taxes Anyway
Gabriel Syme, in a posting over at Samizdata, points to a Sunday Telegraph article which informs us that Churchill, in the midst of WWII, was battling Inland Revenue, England’s version of the IRS, to limit his tax liability. Now that’s a patriot.