Month: April 2010

Thursday

Whip Inflation NowGoyette on Inflation

Spring kid activities leave little time for anything except work and . . . spring activities. I get most of my exercise by walking to work, I get most of my ongoing education from podcasts while I walk.

This week, I’ve been listening to this lecture by Charles Goyette about inflation. It’s excellent. The “WIN” button, which became popular during the Ford administration, is just one of many novel things I learned. The WIN button was a grassroots movement supported by the government to stop price increases. It was essentially a government smokescreen to cover up for the fact that the Washington Party created runaway prices through LBJ/Nixon’s guns and butter spending, but lots of people bought into it. Another thing I learned: Donald Rumsfeld was head of Nixon’s Cost of Living Council, which administered his wage-and-price controls. Dick Cheney was Rumsfeld’s assistant. Corroborated here.

I bought Goyette’s recent book, incidentally. It’s very good and highly recommended.

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Wednesday

streetsign.jpgMiscellany

We talk about the “cradle to grave” welfare state, but I’ve applied that toward life’s underclass, those who get free lunches K-12, food coupons and welfare, Medicaid, etc. Mark Steyn points out that we are getting there for all classes by pushing back the age of adulthood (Obamacare says kids aren’t adults for healthcare purposes until 26) and reducing the point of old age: “Life expectancy in most advanced nations is nudging 80. When Bismarck introduced the Old Age Pension in 1889, you had to be 70 to get it at a time when life expectancy was 45.” Of course, we’ve recently pushed back the age of retirement for full Social Security, but that’s just an aberrational blip on the screen of the creeping welfare state. * * * * * The 2010 Self-Righteous Busybody Jackass of the Year Award goes to . . . Tom Hennessy, of Ridgway, Colorado: “Hennessy is proposing that his town become a national model by enacting a mandatory-voting statute. Residents who don’t bother to vote, for no good reason, would be fined.” Congrats, Tom. With the current crop in Washington, DC, you beat out some stiff competition.… Read the rest

Tuesday

Happy FaceHappy Up

Americans are rich, make no doubt about it. But we’re not happy. “Joyless lottery winners” is how a writer for The New Yorker says about us in this nifty piece about recent eudemonistic research. A whole range of activities that people tend to think will make them happy—getting a raise, moving to California, having kids—do not, it turns out, have that effect.” No one, it seems, really knows what makes us happy. Of course, “Christ” doesn’t enter into the leftist New Yorker’s analysis, and, leaning hard as it does toward state action, the writer wants policymakers to take these studies into consideration. On the contrary, I’d argue that these puzzling happiness results points away from state action: If people can’t even figure out what will make themselves happy, how is the state going to figure it out for them? Top-down planning never works and its farcical to think otherwise, especially when it comes to something as intensely subjective as the pursuit of happiness. … Read the rest

Monday

Archie_Comics-LogoComical Queeridity

Archie Comics is going gay! The gay’s name is “Kevin.” But they’re not trying to normalize homosexuality or anything like that, not at all: “The strapping blond will defeat Jughead in a burger eating contest, win the affection of Veronica and wrestle over how to gently rebuff her flirtations.” Disgusting. I am now officially boycotting Archie! I’ve been unofficially boycotting Archie for 44 years because the comic sucks, but now my boycott is official. * * * * * I picked up a bad habit at Zero Hedge: reading the comments at the bottom of online pieces. Man, there’s some funny gold in those pits of anonymity, like this line from the gay-Archie article: “Kevin should hook up with Fred from Scooby Doo. Come on Fred, it’s o.k. to come out. We already all knew with the scarf thing going on. Don’t get me started on Velma.” * * * * * War in Gotham: Murdoch is escalating efforts to topple the Gray Lady. WSJ has already slashed advertising rate. Now it’s “launching a metro section that will vie for readers and advertisers on the Times‘ turf.” I wish him well. * * * * * Rarely does the opening line of news story flood one’s brain with so many punchlines, headlines, and sarcasms: “A white supremacist lawyer was stabbed and beaten to death by a black neighbor.” * * * * * If the bigger Icelandic volcano, Katla, erupts, watch food prices soar, according to Jim Rogers: “If that happens, you’re going to see a lot of disruption in the world economy … you Read the rest

Brews You Can Use

Dinner BeerDinner Beers

My father waged a thirty-year battle in favor of beer. When he moved to our micropolitan area, it was understood that classy people didn’t drink beer. Everyone drank hard liquor. That was 1969. But he stuck to his guns, drinking water if they didn’t have beer. Eventually, hosts started making sure they stocked a few beers for Mel. Eventually, more and more people started drinking the beer. By the 1980s, it was an established beverage in our town.

It wasn’t just the Mighty Mel, of course. Beer made great strides from blue collar backwaters to mainstream acceptance between the 1960s and 1980s.

But it still hasn’t penetrated all areas. As a dinner drink, wine still dominates beer.

For now. One brewer is taking the dinner-drink battle to the next level and competing with wine on its own terms:

Goose Island has found religion, and alongside its old standbys, has started to churn out edgier, higher-end beers. Its Bourbon County Stout is a 13 percent ABV bomb with a dark rainbow of malt, chocolate, and raspberry flavors; it’s like drinking liquefied (and heavily spiked) Black Forest cake. Like good wine, BCS is best stored for at least six months, to let the alcohol mellow a bit. (Along with the brewery’s regular-production BCS, this year it’s putting out a few limited-release expressions, including coffee, vanilla bean, and “rare,” aged in Pappy Van Winkle bourbon barrels.)

More to the point, though, is the marketing. Instead of whimsical cartoons, Goose Island’s high-end beers have serious, bespoke designs, looking not unlike … wine bottles.

The Bourbon County Stout label, for instance, is all sober serifed script and

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No Blogging Thursday

I’m sorry, but I’m whipped. No blogging today. This little league baseball coaching is going to kill me . . . soon, if I’m lucky. Otherwise, I have two more months left. Did I find The Bad News Bears funny? I think I did, but it seems like a work of tragedy now. Poor Walter Matthau. He’s in a better place.

And please: excuse the mini-rant. My team is pretty good, my players are nice kids, and the parents have been good. It just ain’t me and, like a fish out of water fighting for its life, all the gasping and struggling leaves me exhausted at the end of the day. … Read the rest