Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Ralph Waldo Emerson
City Journal publishes online a treatment of Emerson that is well worth your time to read. Written by Michael Knox Baren, the piece is titled Self-Reliance vs. Self-Esteem. A salient statement from the piece.
It was perhaps inevitable that so successful an intellectual entrepreneur would be vulgarized. Had his precepts been scrupulously followed, we might even now have a school curriculum that, in addition to teaching necessary skills, awakens students’ minds through techniques that implicate all the subterraneous operations of the psyche—techniques that touch the dream faculties, stimulate the formation of conscience, and rouse the mind to virtuous emulation. But in the last century Emerson’s ideas fell victim to distortion by progressive educators, who, like the philosopher John Dewey, sought to turn America’s prophet of self-reliance into an apologist for their own program of social reform.
Understand Anarchy II
Anarchy is typically maligned by individuals when it is discussed, and I’m not just talking your everyday man on the street here. Butler Shaffer, who teaches at the Southwestern University of Law, has penned a piece titled What is Anarchy that is a primer in understanding what anarchy actually means. From Shaffer’s piece.
Because of the disingenuous manner in which this word has been employed, I endeavor to be as precise in my use of the term as possible. I employ the word “anarchy” not as a noun, but as a verb. I envision no utopian community, no “Galt’s Gulch” to which free men and women can repair. I prefer to think of anarchy as a way in which people deal with one another in a peaceful, cooperative manner; respectful of the inviolability of each other’s lives and property interests; resorting to contract and voluntary transactions rather than coercion and expropriation as a way of functioning in society.
Read, learn and apply even more diligently in your daily life.
Update: I’ve previously linked to Anarchy: The American Way, written by Jim Shamlin. It never hurts to read it again.
Politics is the art of making your selfish desires seem like the national interest.
A good quote. I like the following even better, which I was pointed to by an astute individual.
The saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His failure is ignominious and his success is disgraceful.
H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy, Government, “Note on a Cuff,” pg. 171
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Jonathon Wilde, over at Catallarchy, in a post titled When the lights go out…, deftly sums up various treacly comments uttered by Gephardt, Kerry and Edwards with the following statement.
They’re not even trying to hide it anymore. This is simply full-blown socialism.
Best Short Response to a Headline
Let’s admit it; it’s not about minimizing deaths and injuries. Gun control is about CONTROL. Period. Everything else shall be controlled, too, if all the useless tyrants have their way.
In the state’s continuing quest to chain us in servitude, the Supreme Court, today, in a 6-3 decision, has ruled that police may use random road blocks to track down criminals. You read that correctly, random roadblocks. I am not talking about holiday drinking roadblocks, a travesty in and of themselves, I am talking about totally random roadblocks for the purported purpose of tracking down criminals. Read it here. Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg voted against. Maleficence.
The Taxman Cometh, Not
Good news for individuals who dislike the IRS.
Criminal enforcement of the nation’s tax laws by the IRS has plummeted to an all time low, according to an analysis of very timely Justice Department data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).
Tax prosecutions brought as a result of IRS investigations currently are running at about half of what they were only ten years ago. (See graph.) This sharp decline has continued at the same time that the nation has been swept by a flood of reports about corporate crime studded with such names as Enron, Arthur Anderson, WorldCom, Adelphi Communications and Health South.
Via Duncan Frissell at The Technoptimist. Duncan pulled the above quote from Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse.
Some Notions Are Just…
Kathryn Jean Lopez, of NRO, has been posting a number of comments in regards to a New York Times, piece titled Dean’s Wife Shuns Politics In this posting, Lopez approvingly cites a statement by Dean’s wife which gives a nod to the show The West Wing as a model for the influentialness of First Ladies. I don’t know about you, but any individual who cites a fictious character in a fictious teevee show as an example of behavior to follow seems to be lacking a bit of judgement.
In a separate post, Lopez cites a reader’s comment as making a good point. The reader’s comment,
I think you missed commenting on the most disturbing part of that quote. “I just think she should do what she needs to do for her own happiness and satisfaction.” So, in light of these thoughts, how does Howard define marriage?
So, how is Dean’s statement, admirably supporting his wife’s individuality and pursuit of her own happiness and satisfaction, disturbing? Do Lopez and the reader believe that Dr. Dean should kow tow to her husband’s goals and needs and deny her own? Do Lopez and the reader think a patriarchal society is the way to go? I’d wager that the Dean’s marriage is mutually beneficial to the both of them. Neither sacrificing to other, but jointly sharing in the fruits of their individual successes.
He Who Hesitates is Lost
The title to this post is something my dad used to say to me, probably most often when confronting a yellow light. The statement, an evidently unattributable folk wisdom, came to mind when I read this post at Marginal Revolution. The post, written by Tyler Cowen, looks at new research that seems to suggest that undue caution can actually kill you. The condition is called neophobia and Cowen located the article at Slate.
Tell Me Again Why the State Should Have Any Say
Emperor Darth Misha I, at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweilor, eviscerates, rightfully, the state of Indiana’s child protective services, which, in their supposed infinite wisdom, took a four year old from a loving foster home and placed the four year old in a not so foster loving home. How not so loving? So not loving that the new guardians starved and beat the four year old to death over a ten month period. Misha’s evisceration of this madness. Of course, no disciplinary action is being considered for the case worker, Denise Moore, because, well because the state of Indiana says it is none of our business. Of course, according to Cheryl Sullivan, secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, the administration is the real victim.
Misha has the links to the articles which review this travesty.
Existing For Their Own Sake, Evidently
University of Melbourne physicists have discovered a new state of matter, according to this article in Science Daily. The physicists “believe,” according to the article, the sub-atomic particle could be a meson. One of the members of the team that is delving into this mystery, a doctoral student named Craig Everton, states this about the meson.
Mesons have little direct bearing on life itself. They exist because they can,...
A statement which is very similar to this statement about lichens, uttered by David Attenborough.
They simply exist, testifying to the fact that life even at its simplest level occurs, apparently, just for its own sake.
Attenborough quote taken from Bill Bryson’s book A Short History of Nearly Everything, pg. 336.
Science Daily link via J. Orlin Grabbe.
First the government sued big tobacco, under the guise of altruism of course, since they promised to use the settlement monies to help smokers quit, run more anti-smoking campaigns and what not. Though I think the real reason was because the government figured that this would be a nice way to pad their tax receipts from tobacco.
Today I read that the government is now working with big tobacco to sue little tobacco. Meaning, small, independent cigarette makers, who came in and filled a niche that big tobacco left void, are now being sued by the government and big tobacco because, well, because little tobacco is successful and making some serious money.
Via Skip Oliva at The Rule of Reason.
Monday, January 12, 2004
Getting to Know Hayek
Virginia Postrel has an article published in the Boston Globe on Friedrich Hayek. The piece is titled Friedrich the Great. If you are unaware of Hayek, or have a limited knowledge of Hayek, like myself, the piece will fill in some gaps. Another man’s ideas I must find time to explore more indepth.
Via Greg Ransom at PrestoPundit.
Be Free - Assert Your Individual Sovereignty
The online magazine Liberty For All posts a piece titled Republic or Democracy that is worth taking a moment or two to read. From the article, a portion discussing sovereignty.
Why the emphasis on the “sovereignty” or the people each being sovereign to each other and any political creations of the People. Sovereign means the “supreme or highest authority,” and this places all men/women above the orders of governments and other artificial (man made) creations.
Also, from within the article, a quote from Thomas Jefferson.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
This Little Piggy Went to Market
Richard Nikoley, posting at Uncommon Sense, pens a piece titled The Market vs. God. Richard discusses government intervention in the market, the power of the market, efficiency of the market and God and the market.