Month: September 2008

Tuesday

commodore.jpg I guess I could write about the bailout, but (i) everyone else is, and (ii) it’s hard to blog on this Commodore 64. I had to sell my good computer so my kids could eat.

My general opinion is that a bailout must occur, and it probably will. My wife was on the road yesterday and listened to a lot of talk radio. She thought she even heard Ron Paul backing some form of bailout. Hard to believe, but anything’s possible in these bizarre times.
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Leno: “Hugh Hefner confirmed that he has asked Sarah Palin to pose for Playboy. The bad news is in order to be equal, he has also asked Joe Biden.”
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Bloggers pray! It’s the memorial of St. Jerome, the patron saint of bloggers.

My first exposure to Jerome came about twenty years ago, in Paul Johnson’s A History of Christianity. Ever since reading it, I’ve considered Jerome curmudgeonly. I’m not sure it’s warranted, but what else could I think after reading this:

As Ambrose is the prototype of the medieval prelate, Jerome is the precursor of the agonized Christian intellectual, whose flesh is in irreconcilable conflict with the spirit, and whose enforced continence is bought at the cost of human charity.

The mental world of Jerome was a dark one: it was lit by flashes which seem more a reflection of hell-fire than glimpses of eternal light . . .

The context was Jerome’s battle against Origen and his optimism. Johnson takes Origen’s side. Seeing that Jerome obtained the great titles (“Doctor” and “Saint”) and Origen didn’t (Greek Orthodox readers, please correct me if you’ve honored … Read the rest

A New Form of Anarchism?

Stick-dynamite-fuse-burning.jpgWhen most people hear “anarchist,” they think violence, maybe rage, maybe disruptive attempts by groups like Weatherman to overthrow the United States government in the 1960s. People with a literary bent might think of the dynamite-toting Russian anarchists that Fyodor Dostoyevsky satirized in The Demons.

A person might also think “atheist.” Libertarians tend to be atheists or agnostics, including the pioneers of libertarian thought, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek. The acrimonious libertarian Ayn Rand once told Bill Buckley, “you are too intelligent to be-leef in Gott.”

But there’s a strain of libertarianism/anarchism emerging that is neither violent nor atheistic. It preaches anarchism because it wants peace. It wants peace because it’s Catholic. It’s steeped in the philosophy of Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas.

Some refer to this strain of thinking as “natural law anarchism,” or “natural law libertarianism.” Such terms might seem oxymoronic, but it’s gaining considerable interest.

In the Deep South

Von Mises Institute.jpg Auburn University in Alabama might not seem like a place to find a group of thinkers dedicated to the natural law and economics, but they have been there for a quarter century now, at The Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Lew Rockwell started the Institute in 1982. The reason he chose Auburn University was simple: at the time, there were a lot of Austrian economists at Auburn. The Institute is wholly independent of Auburn University, but there is a working relationship.

Although the Institute is not a Catholic organization, Catholic-like thinking pervades its publications and thinking. Its founder Lew Rockwell is Catholic, its Editorial Vice-President, Jeffrey Tucker, has expertise in sacred music and Gregorian chant, and their newest Fellow, Thomas Woods, is … Read the rest

No Blogging Saturday

Despite my goal to rejuvenate TDE, it will continue to doze on Saturdays and Sundays, at least as long as I have to spend 4-8 hours every Saturday at junior football games. I’ll continue to post something on Saturday and the “Something for Sunday Morning” feature, but overall, the weekends will be lame.
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I’ve prepared a new permanent page (“Menu“). It tells visitors what they can expect each day of the week.
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Around the blogosphere: Great quote at Happy Catholic: “Skepticism, like chastity, should not be relinquished too readily.” George Santayana. Bill gives ’em (the MSM) hell at Quaffs and Quibbles. Dailey unleashes some Belloc news: “Ignatius Press has just published a new edition of Hilaire Belloc’s classic book, The Battleground. In this book, says Ignatius, Belloc, ‘provides a full and fair treatment of the ancient Jews and other Middle Eastern cultures and their impact in history, and in today’s world.'” I’d never even heard of the book, and in some quarters (admittedly, the more benighted ones) I’m considered something of a Belloc expert. … Read the rest

Brews You Can Use

Brews  You Can Use.jpgA good day is shaping up: weather forecast warm, beer forecast cold. I had planned on spending the afternoon quaffing, but a client called and said she needed to see me Saturday. Because I’m tied up all day Saturday, the only option was to schedule her for 7:45 a.m. I couldn’t exactly risk a hangover (“I think a D reorg . . . [!#%*, my head, ouch. Why isn’t that @$%$*@$# Motrin kicking in, ouch] . . . would work if you want to . . . [wait, I’m feeling kinda oozy] . . insulate liability for the dynamite-production side of the business,” so I drank Thursday night. Nothing heavy, just a couple of Leinenkugels (my tribute to the brewery’s former president, Bill Leinenkugel, who passed away this week) while waiting for The Office to come on. I have one of those unjustified hangovers this morning (three beers doesn’t call for a headache and slight stomach pains), but I still plan on drinking a few this evening. The weatherman says this weekend might be the last real nice one.
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Useless piece of information of the week: Skydiver proves drinking moonshine at 120 mph is possible. He was drinking some sort of Russian moonshine. Maybe it just felt like he was at 120 miles per hour.
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You’re still sleeping with Bubba: Instead of having a hostile reaction, a driver offered his thanks when officers pulled him over on suspicion of drunken driving for a fifth time.
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Picture of the week:

guinness.jpg

I’m not a Guinness fan, but that’s pretty.
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Far out. Elvis beer steins.

elvis beer steins.jpg
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For the reprobate: Yellow Read the rest

Headlines from 2029 and Other Matters

streetsign.jpgOkay, it’s been decided: This blog will survive. Maybe even thrive.

A major writing project has fallen through, leaving me with nothing to work on. It’s the first time in ten years. Commencing immediately, I will plow (almost) all my writing efforts into this blog. I’ll write the occasional piece for regular publications, but I’m going to concentrate my efforts here.

I realize this dramatic shift from two weeks ago points to mental instability on my part, but that’s alright. Three things have changed: the aforementioned writing project that has been broomed, the advent of “From the Notebooks” (which will shortly morph into something else), and the ability to paste pictures to the side (thus resulting in sharper posts). I’m looking forward to the new TDE. Please spread the word. Links are appreciated. If you like “From the Notebooks,” I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
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detroit ions.JPG

The Lions finally fired Matt Millen. Man, what an ordeal. Everyone says he’s a great guy, but I have a hard time believing it. A great guy would’ve seen that he was tearing the franchise (and Detroit fan base) apart and stepped down gracefully three years ago. Fox Sports provided the best article on the seven-year debacle. Excerpt:

Millen presided over a litany of awful personnel and coaching decisions. The drafts became a joke with the Lions selecting four wide receivers in the Top 10, two of whom (Charles Rogers and Mike Williams) are no longer in the NFL. Bobby Layne — who led Detroit to its last championship in 1957 — would still be the best option at quarterback if he hadn’t passed away 22 years ago.

Read the rest

Deleted.

I deleted the idea/post/link about giving the AIG bailout to citizens. I hadn’t done the math. Things right now are more hectic in my office than a girl’s pajama party during an Elvis visit. Good catch, Meistergoat. … Read the rest

From the Notebooks

Gilbert_Keith_Chesterton2.jpg Letter to a friend who wanted to know what essay/book he should read to understand G.K. Chesterton’s economics:

Utopia of Usurers: A collection of over two dozen of Chesterton’s most trenchant essays on what Capitalism is, and how bad it is . . .”.

It’s short (only 99 average-size pages of text in my copy from IHS Press). If you don’t want to read a book, you can consider the representative quotes below. If you’re looking for an essay, you might want to try this blog post, but I can’t vouch for it (I didn’t read the entire thing, but the writer is reliable). You may also want to check out this TDE post from two years ago in which I compared distributism to today’s economic libertarianism (see section entitled “Ebony and Ivory”).

Keep in mind that GKC drew a distinction between capitalism and the free market. He loathed the former and loved the latter. I’m not sure his distinction is valid, since the free market results in the accumulation of capital. I have often speculated that GKC and Belloc wouldn’t have been so anti-capitalistic if they weren’t painfully aware that many of the rich people of their day got rich because their forebears accepted gifts of stolen real estate from Henry VIII. Better-informed Chestertonians would disagree with me on that point, though I think they would concede that the history behind capital accumulation in England stuck in GKC’s and Belloc’s (esp. Belloc’s) craw (sp?).

• “Big Business and State Socialism are very much alike, especially Big Business.” – G.K.’s Weekly, 4/10/26
• “[No society can survive the socialist] fallacy that there is … Read the rest