A Facebook friend compared the Islamic State movement [ISIS] to Nazism in 20th century Germany. Given the wholesale mass murder that both ideologies engaged in, I think the comparison is a good one, and completely leaps over Godwin's Law. I replied with the following comment:
The analogy between "ISIS" (Islamic Statists) and NAZI Germany is apropos, but I think there is a more timely analogy for IS - namely, the Ebola virus. Islamism is an ideological virus comparable to the biological virus. Both viruses kill or make carriers of the majority of people which they contact. Both are merciless, and have no goal but their own propagation. Both pose a threat of spreading to every nation on Earth. They are impervious to reason or "negotiation." - So why does Ebola warrant emergency efforts by our NIH and deployment of our latest experimental "weapon" the ZMAPP drug, while the rapidly spreading Islamic Statist movement is met only with "limited airstrikes?"
Heh. Don't get many opportunities to use the "slavery" category these days but such is the gift that is the darkness of [they refer to it as, simply] IS. (Islamic State)
In the first comment to this oft-cited (at least by yours truly) post I riffed on Ayaan Hirsi Ali's claim in a WSJ piece that a central part of what the jihadists are about is the oppression of women.
The central issue here, morally justified by the "pure principles of the Prophet" is a profound illiberalism. One which permits one class - devout Muslim men - to do anything his heart desires to every member of any other group. A "license to rape" is a popular selling point to young men.
This idea was horrific enough in the antiseptic realm of the intellect. Today I find purportedly devout young Muslim men Tweeting about what a believer is permitted to do with his female slaves.
Islam allows "slavery". Women can be captured, men can be killed. The Prophet approved this ...
is their a limit to how many slave women can have?
I'm not sure there's a fixed limit.
that in islam u dont need to marry a slave to have physical relationship with her
a slave is not one of your wives, you can have relationship with her as long as she's your slave
Don't worry, though, because "slaves" have "rights."
Sex has to be consentual though and it only applies to concubines. Mut'ah [temporary marriage for pleasure] is a big no no
whats the definition of concubine, isnt it the same as a person u own, obvious in islam they have rights
But their intentions are "good" right? As AHA explained, "Boko Haram [and all Islamists, by extension] sincerely believes that girls are better off enslaved than educated." Noble even. With benefactors like that, who needs an evil overlord?
I want to share with all ThreeSourcers, friends and family, and anyone in the Denver area a great opportunity to see a Vegas quality live performance of acrobats, equestrians and clowns complete with lights, music and even a fire act. It is called "Gladius the Show" and one of the co-creators is a friend of ours, Erik Martonovich, a long-time fellow vaulter who grew up in Golden.
We opted for the "VIP" tickets, which gave us access to meet and talk with the performers after the show. My favorite parts were the gymnast who wound himself up and down on nylon straps with amazing grace, strength and flexibility, the combination of Roman riding and hanging from the ceiling, the high-speed CHARIOT RACE, and the four-horse Roman riding/vaulting finale.
It was truly impressive and well worth the modest ticket price (although I think I can post a 10% discount ordering code here later, to make it even more affordable.)
Shows continue daily at Jefferson County Fairgrounds Westernaires Arena, but only through April 20th. The time and money they have invested to create this impressive show have really paid off and I'm happy to endorse and promote them as much as I possibly can. Tell your friends!
Big day! I'm officially going live with my boxed set website: www,jkboxed.com.
I've been working on this in the background for a year. I have digitized and edited a giant tub of disks, cds, vinyl, and tapes of many formats, Recently a friend of mine returned to this great nation of ours and she helped me finish the site design. And today is go-live.
I have added the website address to the blogroll, and there is also a Facebook Page where I will highlight videos and pictures on occasion.
A friend-of-a-friend on Facebook makes beautiful bows at S&S Archery. The owner is branching out to make guitars and I picked up Serial Number 6. It is a very pretty and well crafted instrument. The humidity change from Alabama to Colorado created a bit of havoc on the setup. I will take it in for some pro adjustments after it gets a little more used to the high desert.
I alerted James Taranto yesterday of some dispute over the popular whack that President Clinton is responsible for disarming military bases. Taranto corrects under "Homer Nods:"
Contrary to an assertion in yesterday's column, the policy that forbids most U.S. military servicemen from carrying firearms on base did not originate in the Clinton administration. Rather, according to TheBlaze.com, it was the Bush administration--the first one--in a February 1992 Defense Department directive.
I got my props:
But I'm sad he did not borrow my heading: "We Blame George H W Bush." Dang. Solid gold that one.
Let's pause the battle for the soul of the Republican Party long enough to examine more proof of the existence of Stealtflation (R). This Fox Business article dates to last summer, but except for the Bing or Google page caches it may be the closest you can get to the chapwood index site, which is either swamped after their FNC mention this morning or blocked by the Secret Service.
Wait, what's that sound? whup whup whup whup...
UPDATE:This guy stole my term, Stealthflation, before I even coined it! (And we need to work on our SEO 'cause the first Threesources hit for the term didn't come until the third page.)
Join us on Monday, July 22nd, where your special guest speakers will be Dr. William M. Gray and Barry E. Schwartz, who will be presenting "The Myth of human caused climate change -- what the media won't tell you". After the presentation there will be short Q&A, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking - you're guaranteed a great evening no matter what!
This event is open to the public, bring your friends!
As it happens, I am bringing a friend: The denyin'-denier, über-environmentalist Facebook friend, JC, plans to meet me there.
Join us on Monday, May 13th, when we will be celebrating the first anniversary of the Flatirons chapter with a showing of "FrackNation" -- a documentary that follows journalist Phelim McAleer as he seeks out the science behind, and truth about, fracking. After the movie there will be short Q&A with Americans for Prosperity, followed by the opportunity to network with other local liberty supporters. Come for the event, stay for the food and networking -- you’re guaranteed a great evening no matter what!
We got the production team together last August to make sure we had time for a high-production-value holiday offering at liveatthecoffeehouse.com, not some goofy thing we threw together on the 23rd. The track is freshly back from mastering -- just in time. Merry Christmas!
"Maybe my first day with my new cameras left me with very little usable footage. But maybe I just wanted to do an artsy, behind-the-scenes look at the virtual coffeehouse. You'll never know for sure..."
A lefty friend of this blog posts a video of Mister Rodgers testifying before the US Senate in 1969, defending the Corporation for Public Broadcasting from threatened Nixon cuts (our 37th's finest hour).
I thought of pointing out that in 1969, there was no cable TV. I thought of pointing out that quality CPB/PBS programming could prosper without subsidies or that many are already quite successful. But, I decided that I was clever:
I'm gonna answer with a little song..."Oh Mister Handsome Combover Senator Man, read Article I, Section 8 as soon as you can. It will tell you in a paragraph or two, what the boys and the girls in Congress may do. Before you get to milk and cookie time, read Amendment Ten -- it comes right after nine! After storytime, Senator you'll see, that government run media is not commensurate with a polity free."
The bulk of my growed-up professional career has been in data storage. Our company built products around Exabyte's 8mm tape drives. Your grandpa perhaps recorded movies on those tapes in his Sony Camcorder. I wrote brochures extolling the wonder of "tapes that fit in your shirt pocket." They replaced washing-machine-sized disks and the Kubrick-2001-style reels of 9-track tapes.
Ahh, storage nostalgia, I know many eyes are getting misty (we have a preponderance of storage folk 'round these parts). But improvements in storage quickly leave your backups worthless for any kind of long term access.
Today Runté, a professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, backs up to multiple devices and advises grad students to send a hard copy of every new chapter of their all-important theses to the most reliable of off-site backups: Mom.
Runté's experience points to the ultimate, inevitable problem with data storage: All interfaces and formats eventually die. Data storage consultant Tom Coughlin, founder of Coughlin Associates, calls it a fight against nature, saying, "the laws of thermodynamics are against you."
I just started a long procrastinated project to digitize a storage tub full of my old recordings. I want to put some of the best up as The JK Boxed Set. Has-been artists collect a lot of their old crap to release and I thought it time I get on it.
I am glad I am doing it, because I am encountering several missing formats and some that will certainly be tough in a few years. There were a few formats that I did not have, but most of that was raw tracks and I assumed I had the final mixes on something that I could read. Some formats are missing and some of the media is failing.
I know everybody wants a backup they can put their hand on, and I will toss this on an external hard disk, but barring a Mad Max Ayn Rand societal collapse, I think the answer is cloud storage. This will live on my hosting site, I could create a Gmail account, plus these live on YouTube and Vimeo. With the growth of data, a measly 10s of Gigs is not going to be anything anybody worries about., Right?
It has an ebony fretboard, which has always been my favorite. Gibson has expressed some concern that they may not be able to source demonstrably legal ebony. They can get it and they can get it legal but they cannot prove it is legal and they plan to move to other materials.
So vote for President Obama and the value of my guitars will skyrocket!
ThreeSourcers who are also regular listeners of Denver talk radio host Mike Rosen may have heard him discussing a familiar topic yesterday. I've updated that post to include a link to the audio for any who may have missed it. (That would be ALL of you, I suspect.)
UPDATE:If you prefer, rather than reading this post yourself you may listen to 850 KOA's Mike Rosen quote it heavily at the open of his radio show yesterday morning. [First mention at about 2:45.] (And yes, I have added "shameless self-promotion" to the categories for this post.)
Annenberg is at it again. A caller to Mike Rosen today [third hour, last caller] said her daughter referred her to a website called "Next Elect." I looked into it and deduced that she meant ElectNext dot com. It's a very slick site with lots of colorful interactive graphics and great big type (that even seniors can read.)
First a warning: If you want to read anything about what the site is and who is behind it, DON'T SIGN UP AND ANSWER QUESTIONS. I did so and now all of the "about us" stuff is gone. (But I do still remember the "Annenberg" Public Policy blah blah from the bottom of the welcome page.) I even tried clicking the "Log Out" button, but it automatically logs me back in. Why? Perhaps because, based upon my answers to about 10 questions on an intentionally limited set of issues: Economy, Energy, Taxes, National Security (the last having no questions answered) the site recommended my "matches" for President of the United States. Brace yourself:
Gary Johnson- 73%
Jill Stein- 65%
Mitt Romney- 64%
I think they really want to make sure I don't forget that my first choice should be the Libertarian Party candidate and my second choice the Green Party candidate. There are nice color photos of these three candidates stuck on my browser screen now, with the percentage figure placed prominently next to a cute red heart shape under each name and pic.
No mention, of course, of the fact that neither of those two candidates has a chance in Obama's Utopia of being elected. "Party not person" is one of Mike Rosen's mantras and in our two-party system he's exactly right. To elevate Johnson and Stein to equal stature with Romney and Obama is the epitome of political malpractice. (And, I'll add, Annenberg knows it.)
I dug further. I clicked to find out why I didn't have more agreement with Mitt Romney and found:
- Romney "agrees" that "The federal government should invest in domestic sources of fossil fuels."
- Romney "agrees" that "Ethanol subsidies should be maintained at the current $6 billion/year level."
- Romney "disagrees" that "The federal government should reduce taxes on manufacturing companies to create jobs and help stimulate the economy."
- Romney "agrees" that "The federal government should increase infrastructure spending to help stimulate the economy."
I used the "did we get this wrong?" button to "please let us know if we got our facts wrong" and rebut the last two items in the list with links to here and here. But it's a Sissyphean task. I'd sooner hold back the tide than to get objective and clearly worded position statements to appear throughout this cartoon-like website.
Even worse, most visitors will not be as circumspect as I was and will list all of their hot-button issues. Even with the illusion of "ranking your issues" the key issues that affect the future of our nation will be diluted by the social issues that are demagogued on the path to ever larger government and ever greater government spending.
All in the public interest, of course.
My advice: Avoid it. Denounce it. Stay on message. [My message is the one in comment #3.]
I finally made a cogent point out of a post I put up day before yesterday:
Government tax revenues as a percentage of national GDP:
China - 17%
USA - 26.9%
France - 44.6%
Doing much to explain why manufacturing [of Olympic uniforms and other necessities] is less costly in communist China than in "free" America. Also revealing why leftists think Americans are whiny losers for claiming we are Taxed Enough Already.
Even so, wouldn't France be much better off if they didn't waste so much tax money on smart bombs and aircraft carriers?
"Ellis Wyatt" is the nom-de-blog of a man who has spent the last 14 years in politics and government. A great admirer of the works of Ayn Rand and Robert A. Heinlein, his approach to life is perhaps best represented by the Neo-Victorian phyle in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age.
He believes that his country, the United States of America, has been weakend spiritually, philosophically and educationally by Marxism and its branches: feminism, postmodernism and the quest for radical equality of outcome.
He has the desire and the Will to take action to return the culture to its former, higher level. However, he does not advocate government power as the means to this end. Instead, he advocates that leaders, and all citizens, speak and write and create art to convince individuals to perform the actions that lead to the Good, the True and the Beautiful.
He believes people should work for a living, take care with their appearance and possesions and contribute to their community through charity, volunteer work and mentoring, but knows damned well that the government can never force individuals to do these things. Neither can government save the irrational and the foolish from the consequences of their actions. Government is a powerful and dangerous tool, as the Founders of the United States well understood. It is suitable for a few big things: military defense of the nation, relations with other nations, protection of individual rights and the prevention and punishment of force and fraud.
Ellis is not nearly as much of an ultra-uptight, upright a****** as you might expect from the above blah-blah, and his activities and pursuits include firearms and hunting, archery, chess, history and biography, and the moderate but hearty consumption of martinis, good scotch and Sam Admas lager. He has a liberal arts degree from a modest but high-quality university, and truly loves producing oil and gas but believes that if things don't change, at some time in the futre he may set his wells on fire and move to Colorado.
I apologize for my long absence from the blog. The past 5 weeks have been a blur; between Future Candidate School at the Leadership Institute and planning the kick off event for Liberty on the Rocks, Flatirons I have had very little time for anything else. I was so busy in fact, that I committed a major PR error by not coming onto Three Sources to shamelessly self promote my event.
Fortunately, brother JG had my back and kindly posted here to remind the Three Sources community about the event. On a personal note, it was great to have JG, Dagny, and their family join us for our kick off event.
Having realized the above mentioned PR error, I would like to give all the followers of Three Sources some exclusive information about our upcoming Liberty on the Rocks, Flatirons event.
You're hearing it here first:
Our next event will be on Monday June 4th from 6-9 PM. Our speaker will be Christopher Doss from the Leadership Institute who will be talking about the current state and future of the liberty movement and the different ways all of us can become more involved. His speech will be roughly 20 minutes in length and will be followed by 10-15 minutes of Q&A. Trust me, you will want to ask him questions. He was one of my instructors for Future Candidate School in D.C. two weeks ago and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to Liberty, Economics, and Grassroots Activism.
If you are interested in getting more involved in grassroots activism, then I cannot suggest this class enough. Mr. Doss will be teaching this all day class on grassroots activism and your's truly will be attending. It is an all day event that includes lunch. Having attended several Leadership Institute trainings, I can tell you that this will be well worth the $25.
It is a well travelled Republican talking point that the gay marriage issue is a distraction from President Obama's economic record. It's true of course, but the Republicans are as much to blame for said distraction as the Democrats.
A friend from suburban Wichita, Kansas emails a link to this story about a public school teacher posting his views against gay marriage on his Facebook page. He has every right to his beliefs, of course, and to speak them publicly. But by continuing to oppose legal recognition of same-sex marriage we allow him to become the face of our conservative party. I will not stand silently by. How many of us have wished we could have been present in the face of an incident of racial discrimination in the segregated south and that we would have had the courage to say, "No, that is wrong?" Same story, different age.
My Kansas friend sent the link with the note "Need your comments here" to both me and my brother. What follows is my response, which rebutted my brother's.
[Brother] writes that it is "nonsense" that established law denies a right for same-sex marriage, then declares there is "no defined right for same sex couples to "marry." Which is it?
[Brother] writes that "The majority of the country does not care what people do in their own bedrooms or whom they decide to 'love'" but then proclaims homosexuality "abnormal" and that he doesn't support homosexual weddings because that would "redefine something that has been a pillar of communities for 5000+ years" and "the more we break down the institution of marriage to simply be a whim, the more our society will continue to degrade." So you, and "the majority of the country" are fine with homosexuality, you just don't want to acknowledge it in law?
[Brother] faults Conkling, the Hutchinson teacher, for "taking the cause backwards" and "fuel[ing] the opposition" by opposing gay marriage on religious grounds. I say [brother] is no different by attempting to oppose this individual liberty on non-religious grounds, whatever those might be. Until he clarifies his contradictions there's no way to know what objective basis he claims.
Conkling's "logic" is even more fallacious: Homosexuality is wrong because it is a sin, equal in God's eyes to all other sins, and we are ALL sinners. He says all sins are equal in God's eyes so homosexuality is equal to murder, but it's also equal to lying. Do you agree that lying is as wrong as murder? I don't. Conkling says he condemns gay marriage "because those who embrace it will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven." First of all, doesn't the bible teach man to "judge not?" Secondly, there are other beliefs about heaven and sin and for one man to impose his own upon all other men is just as wrong as Sharia law.
Would it not be better to simply allow civil unions, conferring all the legal rights of marriage while witholding the term "marriage" than to continue to allow this issue to divide Americans and distract from issues that actually matter to all of us, like whether or not America will be a socialist country? And even if they aren't satisfied with civil unions and come back next year demanding "marriage" who cares? Whatever it is called it will still be a minority behavior. Unlike drug legalization nobody makes a legitimate case that legal homosexual marriage will cause more homosexuality. (But so what if it did? Will that affect you? Your children? Anyone who is not "abnormal?")
The cause of western laissez-faire capitalism is a cause of individual liberty. Individual liberty in commerce is a human birthright, as is individual liberty in social relations. Individuals are, by their nature, free to join a commune or establish a nuclear family; free to love another of the same gender or of the opposite gender. If you want to live free of oppressive taxation and wealth redistribution your only argument is individual liberty as a human birthright. But you weaken that argument by denying others a liberty of which you disapprove. Stop it. Admit your mistake and strengthen your position in the debate that really matters - that really affects you and your family's lives - by abandoning a debate that doesn't matter. Don't insist that your beliefs hold dominion over the beliefs of others lest they turn your logic back on you and insist that you are your brother's keeper.
Sort of. Yesterday afternoon my dad emailed that "Mitt is speaking in Ft. Lupton tomorrow." I pressed him for more and he sent me a Denver Post press mention that sent me into search mode for an invitation. Having just exchanged emails with Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call the day before, I decided I'd try to ask him for an entree. Waiting nervously for his reply I also called my county commissioner with the same request. Both of them came through and before I knew it I was on the list. "We would love it if you could attend. Thanks for your support!" Turns out, it was set to happen in an oil field just a few miles away.
The setting was idyllic, considering it was one of those "environment destroying, wildlife maiming" oil wells. Governor Romney used the occasion to criticize President Obama's "all of the above" energy policy. "I've been trying to figure out what he means by that," Mitt said. "I've concluded that he supports any form of energy that is above the ground. He doesn't like those that happen to be under ground."
He also cited the President's statistic that America has just 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. "But this is old thinking" Romney said. "Recent discoveries and new technologies like horizontal drilling and fracking have created a new reality where the United States could become the world's leading producer of oil based energy." He extended this future vision to "an explosion in American industry and manufacturing, leading to greater prosperity for everyone." Of course, "Energy isn't the only factor in this equation, but it is a big factor."
Belated apologies to any local blog brothers who missed out on the opportunity. I would have posted the news and offered to share the RSVP info but had two other appointments that kept me busy.
I also captured the entire speech on video and might post some excerpts down the road.
Hillsdale College's Paul Rahe has done it again. Being thrice granted Quote of the Day honors on our humble blog (here, here and most notably here) his posting of last Friday explains in grand detail and with far greater authority the warning I've been sounding for just a few short years of my relatively young life - that Christian altruism enables Marxist-Leninist policies in the west. I called it The Virtue of Selfishness. Rahe calls it American Catholicism's Pact With the Devil and says it goes back to FDR and the New Deal in the 1930's.
In the process, the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to a conceit that had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States -- the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity -- and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor. In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism -- the notion that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people's money and redistribute it.
Boy Scout Troop 62 in Erie, Colorado recently graduated three Eagle Scouts. Fewer than 4 percent of all scouts achieve this rank. The effort took 6-7 years for each scout, each participated in more than 200 scout meetings, earned at least 21 merit badges, six rank advancements, went on at least 120 nights of camping and performed more than 200 hours of community service. To paraphase Joe Biden, it's a big deal.
One of the scouts was Son of Refugee (who's real name is Brett). Pictured above from left to right are Nathanael, Brett and Dylan.
And who could say that what Tim Tebow has done to the Denver Broncos season is anything other than a rescue?
Tebow took over a team that was 4-12 last year, 1-4 this season, and has since led them to a 7-1 record. He is on the brink of leading the Broncos to their first playoff appearance in six years. And he still can't get any respect.
"There's no one else I'd rather have the ball in his hands when it counts," Broncos linebacker Von Miller said.
Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs must really be frickin' pissed, since they weren't able to "stop that crap" by "a quarterback that [sic] doesn't throw the ball well." Teammate Brian Urlacher seems to be, a little sore.
"He's a good running back, man," Urlacher said. "He runs the ball well."
By calling Tebow a running back, it would follow that Urlacher was taking a hardly veiled shot at Tebow's ability to play quarterback. In the fourth quarter and overtime, Tebow completed 18-of-24 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown. For the second time this season, his team had zero points and was down two scores with less than three minutes remaining. And for the second time this season, he overcame those seemingly impossible predicaments to lead his team to victory — 18-15 at Miami and Sunday at Sports Authority Field at Mile High against sore loser Urlacher.
UPDATE: The irony of my shameless self-promotion embedded in a Tebow post was lost on me, but only briefly.
My belief in the new Denver quarterback's competitive greatness is noteworthy now only because of the tremendous volume and certitude of those who were proclaiming "he can't play; he's not an NFL quarterback" back then. "But great things are only possible if you're under very tough circumstances."Timothy - 12/11/11
Furthermore, I could not have shared this remarkable feeling with the world without the love and support of my blog brothers and sisters. I am proud of all of them. And I am especially grateful to JK for trusting me with a login and a password.
Delayed Review Corner: Am I the only one who read the assignment? Blog friend gd admitted over lunch the other day that he had not yet consumed George Selgin's Theory of Free Banking. I said that I had with as little gloating as I could muster.
It is a very interesting book, and Selgin changed my mind about many things. If I had a time machine (more on this to come) I might go back and hand a copy to Alexander Hamilton. I will not summarize, because an Internet search of selgin free banking finds a trove of Selgin himself in YouTubes, discussions, and his own Free Banking website. To bring this segue 'round, I found that site this morning, as Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek highlightedthis awesome post of Selgin taking down a NYTimes reporter. Ow, that has got to sting!
I respect nonetheless those who, having given serious thought to the matter, conclude that gold remains our best hope. Alas, such people make up but a small fraction of self-described gold bugs. My standard reaction to finding myself within earshot of any of the rest is to look for a more remote and unoccupied bar stool.
But there's one thing that's guaranteed to bring out the gold bug in me, and that is ill-informed arguments against the gold standard. No, make that stupid arguments, because the ones I have in mind aren't merely ill-informed. They are ill-informed in a way that suggests that the persons who make them don't even think about what they're saying.
An example of the sorts of arguments I have in mind is this opinion piece from yesterday's New York Times, in which Eduardo Porter responds to recent pro-gold testimonials of various Republican presidential candidates and conservative talking heads. Such persons aren't exactly heavyweights when it comes to making good arguments for returning to gold. Yet in trying to show just what lightweights they really are, Mr. Porter mainly succeeds in revealing his own featherweight grasp of monetary economics and history.
Selgin's book is as informative as his comprehensive rebuttal to Mr. Porter. But it is far less entertaining. The recommendation came from our blog's favorite PhD. Economics Professor, and I fear he may have inured more to such tracts than the rest of us. It's not bad by any means, but it is pretty heavy slogging in spots. Worth it to get a serous rebuttal to the bad monetary policy on both sides that sends Selgin to the empty barstool. But I cannot call it a cake walk. As Selgin might say "Because it is not a walk. And there is no cake."
Staying on the literary theme, I find myself back in fiction, and back to a favorite author. I read every one of the many words Stephen King published before The Dark Tower VII in 2004. King said he was retiring and I took him at his word, closing that chapter as I was moving toward non-fiction. I knew he had written a few more, but I honored my half of his retirement.
Hearing of the historical fiction, counterfactual "11/22/63" I had to bite. I pre-ordered and it magically showed up on my Kindle this week.
King's writing chops remain. (I think I wrote this about Peggy Noonan yesterday.) It is a page-turner, can't-put-it-down, entrancing yarn. Of course, King's lefty politics have always been on display in interviews and in his books. I put up with them both to enjoy the rest of his skill set and because he leaves it to a few lines in one of his notoriously large books. It is fairly easy to roll your eyes and move on.
But... Over the years, I have become more sensitive and Mister King has become a bit more strident. It strikes me that the very premise of this book is an extension of Progressivism. Not content with managing our diets, smoking habits, and appreciation for our fellow planetary travelers, King is going to "manage" our history for us. Now, I am taking a step too far here -- but I am definitely taking it in the right direction.
[SPOILER ALERTS TO FOLLOW, I am not deep enough in to "spoil" anything beyond what a review might say. But if, like me, you won't even read the cover flap before you dive in, move along, pardner, move along...]
A peculiar opportunity opens for very limited time travel. Present day folks can appear in Maine (natch) in September 9, 1958. Sherman cannot set the Way-back machine to 1770 to stop Alexander Hamilton enumerating the "Coin money" power into the Constitution (toldja), but he can go to 1958 and come back. The guy who discovers this has heath problems, so he convinces a casual friend to take up his quest. Go back there, live until 1963 and stop Oswald.
The uncomfortable bit is the recruitment. Wouldn't it be great if you stayed around until 2000 and flipped the election to Al Gore in Florida? But you'd be in your eighties, it might not work. That is just partisan, elitist nonsense and I really can move on after an eye roll and a head shake. In all of 1958+ history, your first thought is "President Albert A Gore, Jr.?" Whatever, dude.
Back to the brass tacks, I was less able to shake off the paternalism of the plot line. There are some science-fictiony questions about consequences, but King, in the raspy voice of Diner owner Al, lays out a utopia. JFK is saved -> RFK does not run to avenge his brother, so he is not assassinated -> The Vietnam War is okay because LBJ, with his -- and I quote -- "my balls are bigger than yours George Bush mentality" does not escalate. (George Bush started the Vietnam war, no wonder we want to beat him in 2000) -> Martin Luther King is not in Memphis (his assassins lack transportation I guess) -> there are no race riots.
Now I watch Buffy and accept vampires for the purposes of allegory and entertainment. I discard all the math and physics howlers in good science fiction. And I enjoy Stephen King's monstrous Chevrolets, werewolves, and aliens because they are vital to the story. But this historical utopia is tough to bear.
Of course I did move on, and it is a ripping good story. I think of Stephen Fry's superb "Making History" where a similar, limited opportunity is used to prevent Adolph Hitler's birth. Spoiler Alert: that one does not come out all hugs and puppies. Likewise, King is bright enough that I suspect he will test his own assumptions. But the willingness to discard a half century of spontaneous order to go back and line up the soldiers his way is disturbing.
And those are my views on monetary policy. Have a great weekend.
What? They have them? No, you don't get it. You can, of course, get a drill and a jigsaw that take the same battery. I want to create a larger cell to power a larger number of higher drain applications.
A big UPS for home computers would take two cells and stay hot while one was swapped;
A cell phone - iPod charger would take a single cell
A car jumpstarter would take one or two
A small inverter would power small electronics with one or two off of its charger.
Six Sigma Espresso?
The idea is that you would buy a bunch of these cells and extend your UPS capacity by hot swapping. And you'd want a bunch because you would also power your jump starter and charge all your phones.
When the City of Boulder starts supplying gub'mint, green electricity, I think we might have lots of local customers.
I emailed Charles to offer a little help with hay and mentioned that I could help with web programming. It looks like I am not the new webmaster for texasdonkeyrescue.org. But don't go there yet, I will immodestly let you know when there is something to see.
It strikes that the ThreeSources Electronic Content Management platform is not conducive to liveblogging. And that the goofy crap I post crowds out interesting more thoughtful crap that I would like to show more prominently.
What if I added a permanent Twitter widget at the top, set to search for a #3src tag? Then we could post as present -- plus tweet a quick link or joke. For big speeches and debates, we could all post real-time.
At the National Western Arena. It's FREE. It's NOW.
A bit belated but here's your notice of the gymnastics on horseback show in Denver this weekend. Saturday and Sunday events are the most exciting. A schedule can be found here.
And for a bit more publicity than these pages it was mentioned in the Denver Post.
For the shameless self-promotion part, my eldest daughter won first place in her freestyle class, one of our trot pairs won first place and our Pas de Deux (also a pairs class) entry took second (Reserve Champion) in an internationally recognized event. Woo hoo!
Manipulating the CPI is a game government plays to help solve its fiscal problems through increased inflation. It is a tax on wealth and can be imposed without public debate or a legislative vote. While inflation is beneficial to government in the short term, its long-term effects are always negative. Hence, it must be done in secret--call it stealthflation. What this means for fixed-income investors is that long-term interest rates are going higher, as they have since last August. Look for a ferocious rise after June 30, when the Fed's QE2 program comes to an end.
Dos Equis' "Most Interesting Man in the World" is, naturally, an expert equestrian vaulter.
Or at least AVA and World Equestrian Games Gold Medalist, World Chamion team vaulter and stunt double Blake Dahlgren is. I have seen Blake compete in every AVA National Championship since dagny and I met, and I'm sure he was at many more before that. I was always impressed by his balance and grace (soft landings on the horse) considering his 6'3" stature. Blake began vaulting with our friends Rick and Virginia at Valley View Vaulters in Southern California, where he is now a coach.
"I think all our energy subsidies need to be re-looked at today and eliminated," Palin told Scott Conroy of Real Clear Politics during a quick stop at a coffee shop. "And we need to make sure that we're investing and allowing our businesses to invest in reliable energy products right now that aren't going to necessitate subsidies because, bottom line, we can't afford it."
All readers know we're fond of quotations 'round here. Most readers know I'm fond of quoting Atlas Shrugged. I can now officially report that I have the distinction of posting the very first quotation on the IMDB page for the Atlas Shrugged Part 1 movie.
Henry Rearden: What is your purpose in talking to me?
Francisco D'Anconia: Let's just say it is to give you the words you will need for the time you will need them.
I was pleasantly surprised to even find an entry for the film and frankly, even more surprised to find that I could add to the content personally. I plan to add more after my third viewing... with dagny, Mike Rosen and Michael Brown. (Get tickets while they last here.)
A recent op-ed in the Denver Post by former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth and State Rep. Alice Madden tries to make a case that natural gas producers should welcome government oversight. Their rationale is that honest producers should have nothing to fear. The old "if you don't break the laws then the laws shouldn't bother you" canard so annoyed The Refugee that he had to respond. The Post saw fit to print that response in today's edition.
Not necessarily worth the click, but what the hell.
Where the hell is Algore and why didn't he tell us he was coming for a visit?
Yes, I knew that snow was forecast to begin around 11 pm tonight. I was finishing up some work on the indoor arena footing with the skidloader around 9 pm and noticed horizontal snow outside the open doorway. Funny, I didn't recall the forecast including WIND.
So my plans to mount the plow blade on my riding mower and deliver to dad's place in town before the snow hit were scuttled. Instead, just taking the trash can out to the road felt like something out of Admiral Byrd's "Alone" with the barbed wire fence serving as my lifeline to get back to the house. (Well, it wasn't really that bad since I could still see the porch light but I'm taking artistic license.)
The Atlantis Farm weather page doesn't show it but the wind chill reading dropped below zero around 10:30 and is still dropping with the thermometer (down 20 degrees in 90 minutes) while winds hold steady around 20, gusting to 30. It's exhilirating to experience these weather events in such an isolated domicile. It's definitely got a frontier feeling to it.
While I'm on my soapbox seems like a good time to tell Mr. and Mrs. Refugee that while unloading 6 cubic yards of wood shavings by hand (345 scoops of the grain shovel) and moving sand into the corners of the arena I came to the conclusion they are probably responsible for creating more actual jobs than has President Obama! (Mrs. Refugee brought her equestrian training operation to our barn for the winter months, along with a half-dozen or so horses.) But I love the work and we're glad to have them. Maybe one of these days the Refugee himself will come out for a visit!
MORE STILL: Reader Alex Charyna writes: "You would turn on your HF ham radio and listen. Hopefully there is someone out there able (and with the balls) to talk out to the world. The ham radio guys are big on emergency preparedness. In this case, it's govt caused. But if you look at what hams did on 9/11 and the Haiti earthquake, you would be surprised. I don't have a HF rig handy but if I could, i'd certainly give a listen."
UPDATE: Can't keep our Keystone State blog friends down! LisaM scores an interview with Ambassador John Bolton.
The New Year will see cessation of weekly postings to the virtual coffeehouse. It has accomplished some goals (been a blast) and failed at others (that "sell the site to Google" thing isn't looking so good...)
A well known but poorly attributed sentiment on free trade states, "If goods don't cross borders, armies will."
Frederic Bastiat wrote,"By virtue of exchange, one man's prosperity is beneficial to all others."
And Ayn Rand wrote,"So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another--their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."
All of these values are expressed through the brand new ThreeSources-dot-com bumper sticker: COEXI$T - Don't Demand the Unearned.
It stands in clear contrast to the popular "peacemonger.org" Coexist bumper sticker that promotes "religious freedom, tolerance and understanding." Not that any of these things are objectionable but they don't, in and of themselves, lead to peaceful coexistence. Free, voluntary, uncoerced trade does - and the symbol of trade is the sign of the dollar.
-- And a corporeal gig coming up! A week from Saturday,August 28, I'll be playing with my friend Kirk at his new wine store: City Wine, 347 S, Colorado Blvd. Come down in the afternoon for tasting and a couple sets.
Yours truly will be competing this year in individual, team and a pairs class with my 5 year-old. Said pairs event is scheduled for tomorrow at 1:55 Pacific Time (actual time can vary, early or late from the schedule, and the schedule can also change.)
And, believe it or not, events will be webcast live. We're in "Red Arena" which I believe will be "Arena 2" on the broadcast site. There's also a schedule page that might be updated to have us listed by name sometime tomorrow. (Eric & Zoe). Our class is called "Trot Pas de Deux" or "Trot Pairs." Wish us luck!
Another great guest video this week. Coffeehouse friend Cousin Syd sent in a couple from the historic Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. Be sure to scroll down to hear Tom Manning's touching "Rusty Metal Box."
But be sure to scroll down one for the guest video this week. Coffeehouse friend Cousin Syd sent in a couple vids of his friends performing at the historic Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. He sent one heartfelt and beautiful ballad, plus one which is raucous and ribald. Needless to say, we'll get to the serious one next week...
Always have been proud to be a direct descendant of Charles Darwin. Yet:
Darwin dynasty's ill health blamed on inbreeding
After Darwin married his first cousin, Emma Wedgwood, they had 10 children, three of whom died as children. Three of the others married but remained childless, suggesting infertility problems. And Darwin himself, who suffered unremitting ill health following his epic trip on The Beagle, was the product of an "inter-Wedgwood" union, his maternal grandparents being third cousins to each another.
I am not complaining, perhaps Professor Mankiw's reader has improved it. Besides, I clearly put it in the public domain in 2003.
I wrote an essay, on my old Berkeley Square Blog, about "A Free Market Solution to SPAM."
I set up my mailbox to accept only mail from people in my address book and from “Joe’s Trusted Relay Service.”
Now, all my friends can email me because they are whitelisted. Somebody who wants to reach me can pay Joe’s the nickel or dime he charges. A business can contract with Joe’s to send to real email addresses and get through. If Joe’s sends me too much junk I don’t like, I will stop accepting from him and will sign up with Fred’s. Fred charges a little more, so I get less junk. Market forces now enable senders and receivers to control SPAM volume. And the first to drop out will be the shysters and purveyors of illegal products.
I also get the chance to pay a dime to write a popular journalist or blogger and have more confidence that my message will be received. Maybe a magazine will whitelist subscribers and bloggers will whitelist those who donate. I’ve created a new business, a solution to an intractable problem, and the new, international currency of whitelisted email.
"A. Blog Reader" (funny name, isn't it?) uses the same idea for a ---wait for it -- Pigouvian Tax.
I think an excellent Pigouvian tax would be a tax on emails. Many emails involve a negative externality (I don't really want to receive them) and almost all the ones I really want to get are worth much more than a penny or so to the sender. So a penny tax (say) on email would probably generate large amounts of revenue, mitigate an important negative externality, and have minimal inefficient disincentives. Since email servers are necessarily centralized and networked and all email senders are ipso facto connected to an ISP who is charging them for access the transactions costs and evasion problems seem low.
'Course, I still prefer my free market idea to his government revenue stream, but Mankiw improves both ideas with a simple suggestion:
Even better, if possible, might be to have the recipient set the price! I would happily raise mine to a dime, and let the government use the revenue to fix the long-term fiscal imbalance or cut other more distortionary taxes.
Yeah Pigouvian Schmagoovian and all, but the receiver's setting the price is a good suggestion.
We're very excited to be hosting our first ever AVA Recognized vaulting competition this weekend (unless we float away like an ark - 2 inches of rain and counting!) It is a regional event and we will have clubs from Colorado, New Mexico and I think Texas here to participate.
Everyone's welcome to come and see the fun. Admission is free. Wear your mud shoes! (Schedule wise I'm informed that johngalt will be vaulting with his daughter at 9:30 am and again at 11:00 am on SUNDAY.)
Click continue reading for more info with, I apologize, very little attention to formatting. I hope the links will work.
What is Equestrian Vaulting?
They do What? ! ? ! ...
on the Back of a Moving Horse!!!
CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT EQUESTRIAN VAULTING
Watch our USA Team at the last World Equestrian Games
Hey Shameless Self Promotion + bleg today. I am thinking of moving from YouTube to Vimeo. I think this loses me iPhone compatibility. Anybody else have a weird configuration that cannot see this week's video?
We always come back strong after a bye week! I have the first tune in a great guest video session with The Hoagies in the Tuesday guest slot. You're stuck with me solo for the headline act, but you get an incredible tune: Johnny Burke's "Pennies from Heaven."
Berkeley Square's Kurt O headlines this week with a solo rendition of "Take the A-Train." He calls it goofin' around but I thought it captured the live feel of the virtual coffeehouse and asked it I could include it.
2009 KVC 2-Star Team Champion Horse: Mile High Vaulters' Sampson
Oh no, not another vaulting post!
This should be the last for a while folks. And why not? It carries final results from the 2009 Kentucky Vaulting Cup international equestrian event I introduced here last week. As the event began Sampson was featured on the front page of the Lexington newspaper, perhaps because of the novelty of his size (he was the tallest horse at the show.) But now that the show is over his photo was featured, albeit in a blog post, because of another attribute: Sampson was the horse that carried the championship vaulting team in the highest level of competition.
Mt. Eden Sun Team’s solid performance earned them a victory over the Woodside Vaulters, reversing the standing’s from Saturday’s one-star team competition. In the two-star team division, Mt. Eden scored 6.512 to Woodside’s 6.154.
The Mt. Eden Sun Team members are: Kenny Geisler, Tasha Thorner, Alicien Thrasher, Kalyn Noan, Lizzie Ioannou, Heidi Rothweiler and Makayia Clyne. Jessica Ballenger is the coach, and Jodi Rinhard [sic] longed Sampson. They were also the American Vaulting Association 2009 A team national champions.
One of the reasons this post is so many days after the fact (other than the hay harvest I just finished) is I was waiting for a video of the team freestyle to be posted somewhere. Do you think standing on the back of a cantering horse is impressive? How about standing on the shoulders of someone else who is standing on the horse! It's called a "stand on stand." Check it out.
Also, TIVO ALERT - Sampson and several Mile High Vaulters will be featured on Denver's KUSA, Channel 9 'Colorado & Company' program tomorrow, Friday, August 7 from 10-11 am Mountain Time.
It's vaulting! For the uninitiated, vaulting is the original equestrian sport. Dagny is a coach and longeur and has two horses and two vaulters at this international competition in Lexington, Kentucky. It started today and runs through Sunday. But the very best part (for those of us who didn't make the trip) is this live video feed!
[Note: When live competition is not proceeding a promotional video for WEG loops instead.]
> Single-click on "livestream" in the upper-right corner to launch a dedicated viewer. :)
> Or, click the I/O icon in the lower-left to stop streaming. :(
> Click the "ON-DEMAND" button to find a list of completed classes available for reviewing.
The Kentucky Vaulting Cup is a test event for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, which will be held at the same venue in 2010.
UPDATE: Audio now defaults to muted on refresh.
UPDATE II: I (jk) have moved the player to the "Continue Reading.." page.
The Boulder Refugee could not have had a more bucolic day for a triumphant return to the land of his birth. He joined 473 other people for a leisurely 3-mile walk to raise funds for MS research. His pledges totaled $425, slightly below goal but well above average. Many thanks to Three Sourcers for their financial support and encouragement!
The Refugee has decided to return to his ancestral homeland of Boulder on May 9 to participate in the annual Colorado Walks for MS event. It will be a pleasant three mile hike around the Boulder Reservoir come rain or shine.
The Refugee invites - nay, challenges - all Three Sourcers to put their free market money where their free-flowing mouths are! He has set a $500 goal, which is about 2X the average knowing that Three Sourcers are also 2X the average.
To make a pledge, go to this link. Of course, any Three Sourcer in the area who would like to join in the walk is welcome to do so. Oh, and you may need to know The Refugee's real name: Phil Goodwin. The challenge is on!
This link is to an audio recording of the entire 3rd hour of his show. The segment I'm in starts at 25:10 (it only takes a minute or two to download to that point) with my specific content starting at 27:50 (about 3.5 minutes long). No, he doesn't mention my name or the name of the blog but he did put the idea out on 50,000 AM watts from Denver.
Every year. If you dust off the Christmas Music on Thanksgiving like I do, I will point you toward free MP3s on our band's website. I might call them up and see if anybody wants to record a few; pretty sad that they stop at 2002.
If my posts seem more trivial than usual, I am on vacation this week. Grinding, tedious partisan hackery will return in full force next week.
But today, I got an email from a niece of mine that made me chuckle. There's a T-Shirt at Café Press:
EVERYTIME YOU POST WITH THE CAPS LOCK ON, e e cummings kills a kitten.
Following a link in the comments, I found this. Norman Friedman of the English department at Grand Valley State University (Go Lakers!) makes a good case that mister Cummings's name should be typeset with conventional case.
I always use lower case for my two character sobriquet (which adds three keystrokes to keep MS-Word® from auto-correcting it). Without ee, I am losing academic support.
UPDATE: One of Don Luskin's emailers corrects the latin ("How Many Romans???") in Senator Obama's seal -- I'm no scholar but I think mine is okay.
UPDATE II: Obama Campaign Drops Faux Presidential Seal -- The Possum Sleeps Tonight. The Junior Senator may cut and run at the first sign of difficulty but I have several minutes invested in my seal. And. let's just say "from my cold, dead hands..."
UPDATE III: Professor Reynolds quotes an emailer who says the Latin phrase "vero possumus" was fine.