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.
Saturday, January 03, 2004
Flu Vaccine, Do You Really Need It?
I hate being sick with the flu. Not that I currently am, but I know when I am sick with the flu, I hate it. Karen De Coster has a post up that looks at the flu vaccine, whether it’s needed, or, if it’s just another quick uneeded fix to salve the consciences of government employed “health” experts which in turn profits the pharmaceutical industry. Karen’s post links to a Mercola.com piece on this issue, which Karen comments on herself, and provides a link to an article on flu history and a link that looks at how the “health” police draw straws in the flu lottery.
Something an American Should Say
All I ask is equal freedom. When it is denied, as it always is, I take it anyhow.
H.L. Mencken - first printed in The Baltimore Evening Sun, September 7, 1925
The Impossible H.L. Mencken, A Selection of His Best Newspaper Stories edited by Marion Elizabeth Rodgers
I Can’t Recommend It Enough
In the post below I pointed to Lysander Spooner’s Vices Are Not Crimes A Vindication of Moral Liberty. I’ve read it twice online and I am now preparing to print it, read it for a third time and underline and highlight portions. I would quote additionally from this piece if it were not for the fact the entire piece is more than quotable. Read this piece and stand for yourself. Don’t read it though because I recommend it, read it because you believe in yourself and your own search for knowledge. Read it because you want to know for yourself.
Found - An Unknown Work of Lysander Spooner
The Mises Economics Blog, posts online, Lysander Spooner’s Vices Are Not Crimes A Vindication of Moral Liberty with an introduction by Murray Rothbard. According to Mises, this work of Spooner’s was unknown until Carl Watner uncovered it.
Part I to pique your interest.
Vices are those acts by which a man harms himself or his property. Crimes are those acts by which one man harms the person or property of another.
Vices are simply the errors which a man makes in his search after his own happiness. Unlike crimes, they imply no malice toward others, and no interference with their persons or property.
In vices, the very essence of crime - that is, the design to injure the person or property of another - is wanting.
It is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without a criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another. But no one ever practises a vice with any such criminal intent. He practices his vice for his own happiness solely, and not from any malice toward others.
Unless this clear distinction between vices and crimes be made and recognized by the laws, there can be on earth no such thing as individual right, liberty, or property, and the corresponding and coequal rights of another man to the control of his own person and property.
For a government to declare a vice to be a crime, and to punish it as such, is an attempt to falsify the very nature of things. It is as absurd as it would be to declare truth to be falsehood, or falsehood truth.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some reading to do.
Misfiled Under Racism
Razib, posting over at Gene Expression, takes offense at an Asian-American mother stating this,
A Taiwanese-born mother of a fourth grader spoke of differences in values, particularly education. “You probably notice there are not many Caucasians,” she said, parked outside William Faria Elementary. “Caucasians want their kids to have fun and later they’ll catch up. I think Asian parents have a lot higher expectations for their kids.
A quote which came from this article in the New York Times.
Razib cites this statement as “unseemly” and as “soft bigotry.” I think he’s wrong on both counts.
Friday, January 02, 2004
TSA - Totally Self Absorbed and Green Around the Gills
According to this article the acting TSA Chief of Dulles Airport, Charles Brady, was arrested for drunk driving, while on duty. Of course Brady disputes the time of his arrest, stating he was picked up at 2:30 A.M., one-half hour after he got off duty, rather than 1 A.M. as reported by the arresting officer. In my desire to be impartial, I can grant Brady the arrest time dispute, but this provokes another dilemma. How in the hell did he get drunk enough in one-half hour to be arrested for drunk driving? Was he mainlining vodka? Playing quarters with tumblers full of bourbon and losing every time? What a dumb shit.