Saturday, June 26, 2004
On “Declinism” and “Golden-Ageism”
Having some extra time on my hands, I jumped over to Arts & Letters Daily and was directed to a Spiked-Essay titled “A fools’ ‘golden age’?” Though the essay is written with its eye cast more towards British institutions, the writer, Dolan Cummings, kept my interest as his viewpoints, I think, can be equally applied to American institutions. An excerpt I particularly enjoyed.
“To suggest that there is decline is not to oppose change. Quite the opposite: it is to demand improvement, change for the better rather than for the worse. Decline is all the more galling for those who believe in progress, and think that we ought to learn from the past rather than drifting from one thing to the next without caring how one compares to the other.
To celebrate the achievements of the past is not to endorse uncritically everything about the past, but to identify the best of what has gone before with a view to continuing and improving on it. Without historical perspective, it is impossible even to imagine progress, or to distinguish progress from mere change. A critical engagement with the past, a willingness to make judgements about what works and what does not, is crucial if we want to improve on the present.”
Citing Their Way Around in the Endarkment
Earlier this week, I noted a tragic event, a fatal drunk driving accident, after a local radio station’s (B-93) yearly concert festival. I titled the post “It’s the Festival’s Fault.” Today, one week after the accident, and six days after another fesitval (the FOX Festival) which followed the B-93 concert the day after, and disallowed alcohol in response to the accident after the B-93 concert, both concert festivals have been terminated. Here’s the reason cited, that both concert festivals have been ended at the Allegan County Fairgrounds, according to “city officials.”
“City officials said the decision is not linked to last Saturday’s crash that claimed the lives of Shawn Lawless, Rebecca Styf and Peter Christiansen. A fourth person, Melissa Booker, has been released from the hospital.”
Yeah, right. The reason both festivals have been terminated is because one individual got behind the wheel of a car, drunk, and caused the death of not only himself, but two other individuals. If there had not been a fatal accident, after the B-93 concert last Saturday, city officials would be crowing about the peaceful fun, the diversity of bands, and their great relationships with B-93 and FOX.
Employment At Will
Many, if not most, businesses employ at will. Which is as it should be. Unfortunately, employment at will has been knocked hard in the knees, by the government, natch, when the state forces employers to aquiesce to employees’ demands for things such as daily prayers, and what not, when the employee is on the clock.
An interesting story caught my eye today which deals with this. A Muslim, employed by a trucking firm, who was allegedly fired after refusing to pickup a load of Budweisers in St. Louis, is suing for religious discrimination. Now, I find it difficult to believe that the EEOC, let alone the courts, would allow such a suit to proceed. The trucking company isn’t asking the Muslim to drink the beer, only to do his job of transporting the beer. Refusing to transport the beer, and then citing religious discrimination as basis for a lawsuit is far outside the realm of discrimination. It will be interesting to see how this may play out.
A Picture Story
“One fire hydrant, one flower shop, one dog, and nineteen cars…”
View the story here.
Via Joe Gandleman who posted the link to the story at Dean’s World.
A Less Aphoristic Review of the Supreme Court’s Ruling in Hiibel v. Sixth District Court
The other day, when I read the decision made by the Supreme Court, in the above referenced case, I posted my analysis of the ruling under the title ”“My Name…Jose Jimenez.” For those who are interested in a more lengthy analysis, here’s Timothy Lynch’s thoughts, as posted at Reason, under the title “Cooperate, Or Else!”
Perry de Havilland, over at Samizdata, has an interesting little post up regarding legitmate blog commentors, trolls, roaches, and censorship. The post is titled “Blogs need to have bouncers.” An excerpt.
“When you open your house to visitors, you do not give up the right to kick people out if they start insulting other guests and spray painting their opinions on the wall. Of course some people would say, “Oh but that is censorship if you stop them”. Er, no, it is just maintaining control over what is and is not acceptable on your private property… but of course some people, the sort that I am now far quicker to ban, do not actually believe in private property (not when you pin them down), and often cannot see that censorship by the state of private media channels and editorial control over a private media channel (such as a blog, for example) are materially different things. But then to someone who thinks all interaction should be political (the usual term used is ‘democratic’ these days), such distinctions make little difference to them. I am not referring here to specific people but rather the general class from which our ‘problem commenters’ tend to spring.”
Friday, June 25, 2004
The Most Expensive Axe, Ever
”... Blackie, Eric Clapton’s favourite guitar, fetched almost $960,000 in a New York auction staged to benefit a drug treatment centre in Antigua and Barbuda.”
“In the process he destroyed me, and that was the way he was going to have to do that, to get through impeachment,” Lewinsky added. “I was a young girl and to hear him saying some of the things he was saying today—it’s a shame.”
While I have no love for Clinton, the above statement, uttered by Lewinsky, is such a load of baloney I can hardly stand it. If Lewinsky’s life was “destroyed,” she’d be a nobody, who just happened to have worked in the WhiteHouse, rather than a spokeswoman for Jenny Craig and host for Mr. Personality.
I’ve Often Wondered the Same Thing
The Anal Philosopher has a post up titled Liberal Envy. The post considers the statement, if conservatives are greedy, then liberals are envious. It’s the following question, asked by one of Burgess-Jackson’s readers, that I’ve often mulled over myself.
”...If liberals are concerned about the plight of the disadvantaged, why aren’t they doing what they can to alleviate it? Most liberals have more resources than they need; many of them have far more than they need. Some liberals, such as George Soros and Ted Kennedy, are filthy rich. If they pooled their resources, they could feed every malnourished child, prevent every childhood disease, provide basic medical care for those who lack it, and educate every child to exacting liberal standards.”
Not an unreasonable question. Burgess-Jackson considers the question, and states the following, which I fully agree with.
“Instead of taking the initiative, privately, liberals try to commandeer government to force everyone to promote and subsidize their values. This suggests that liberals care more about imposing their will on others than about helping people. It suggests envy. “Why should I give up my wealth if others aren’t giving up theirs?” Uh, because those others don’t share your values? And what’s the moral worth of an action motivated by self-interest? I pay my taxes to avoid punishment, not because I support the social programs funded by my tax dollars.”
A Lovable Canine Saves the Day in Toronto
“A Canadian man, driving a car packed with weapons and ammunition, was intent on killing as many people as possible in a Toronto neighborhood but gave up the plan at the last minute when he encountered a friendly dog, police said on Thursday.”
Via Yahoo News.
Rough Drawings for Terrorist Killing Laser
I’d Like To Wander This Site
“For more than 50 years, rancher Waldo Wilcox kept most outsiders off his land and the secret under wraps: a string of ancient Indian settlements so remarkably well-preserved that arrowheads and beads are still lying out in the open.
Archaeologists are calling it one of the most spectacular finds in the West.
Via Gary Cruse at The Owner’s Manual.
Photo of German Superboy?
The other day I linked to the German muscle boy story. Here’s another story on the young lad, with a photo, which I can’t tell if it is genuine, or not, but, it is kind of cute, in a super Aryan kind of way.
Remember the game Mouse Trap? Well, this isn’t about Mouse Trap, but the video I’m about to link to is the coolest teevee ad I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s a takeoff on the Mouse Trap concept, but way more refined. It’s for automotive maker Honda. Check it out.
Via Fred Lapides.
Update: Repaired link to ad.
Here’s an interesting reading opinion piece written by Paul Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado. Campos is a non-smoker, or reformed smoker, which ever you prefer, and he is commenting on the difference between going out to the bar, or bowling alley, in Kalamazoo, Michigan versus Boulder, Colorado. An excerpt.
“A generation ago, a few libertarians joked that things like anti-smoking legislation were the first steps on the road to the serfdom of the Nanny State, in which red meat would be available only by prescription and a Twinkie would be treated as a dangerous weapon. As is so often the case, a previous generation’s morbid humor is rapidly becoming the official position of all right-thinking people.”
I wonder if he had time to visit the Kalamazoo Brewing Company? They craft some wonderful beers, and their little onsite pub is treat to spend an afternoon in.