Month: September 2010

Thursday

foreign-currencyGays, Gold, and Ganja

Great: The number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) characters on prime time U.S. television is growing, with 58 regular LGBT roles on network and cable shows this season. Link. The reason? “The recent critical and commercial success of shows like ‘Modern Family’ and ‘Glee’ clearly indicate that mainstream audiences embrace gay characters and want to see well-crafted stories about our lives.” Yeah, right. And Norman MailerLear never expressly told fellow producers to start making gay characters in order to mainstream homosexuality. This is nothing less than a battering-ram effort by Hollywood, and I fear it might be working. * * * * * * * BTW: I remember hearing (or reading) that Lear anecdote years ago, but please note that I haven’t been able to verify it since. There’s a chance it’s not true, but I’d bet $5.00 that it’s substantively accurate. * * * * * * * Whatta treat: One of my favorite columnists contributes a piece to one of my favorite blogs: Thomas Sowell at Lew Rockwell yesterday. I’ve always considered Sowell a conservative with libertarian leanings, but after reading this piece about government and gold, I suspect he’s more libertarian than I realized. Sowell says what history knows: government hates gold (and silver). Gold hems in government, keeps it honest with its expenditures–whether it’s restricting the printing of money or making it hard to shave the edges off coins. Three great excerpts from the piece:

“One of the many slick tricks of the Obama administration was to insert a provision in the massive Obamacare legislation regulating people who sell gold. This had nothing to do with medical care but everything to do with sneaking in an extension of the government’s power over gold, in a bill too

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The Evening Twitter

Joe Kennedy claimed that he knew it was time to get out of stocks in 1929 when he received investing tips from a shoeshine boy.”

“Stage 3 of the gold rush is when the shoeshine boy tells you: Buy gold!” http://instapaper.com/z4thqln1r

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Wednesday

cardinalnewmanFinally, I Post a Small Tribute to the Cardinal

The puzzling Roger Scruton recently penned a borderline-beautiful tribute to Cardinal Newman’s The Idea of a University. Check it out. Excerpt:

The university is a society in which the student absorbs the graces and accomplishments of a higher form of life. In the university, according to Newman, the pursuit of truth and the active discussion of its meaning are integrated into a wider culture, in which the ideal of the gentleman is acknowledged as the standard. The gentleman does not merely know things; he is receptive to the tone, the meaning, the lived reality of what he knows. Thus, for Newman, “the general principles of any study you may learn by books at home; but the detail, the colour, the tone, the air, the life which makes it live in us, you must catch all these from those in whom it lives already.” The university of Newman’s day was a place in which men (and it was then an institution for men only) lived for scholarship, and arranged their lives around the sacrifice that scholarship requires. It was not simply a repository of knowledge. It was a place where work and leisure occurred side by side, shaping each other, and each playing its part in producing the well-formed and graceful personality.

Another great quote from the same article:

Under a president whose knowledge of life seems to have been acquired entirely from campus orthodoxies and who seeks to impose those orthodoxies on the American people, it is inevitable that ordinary conservative Americans should wonder whether a university education is quite the bargain that its defenders claim it to be. Surely there is a better way to manage the transition from adolescence to adulthood than by spending the family savings

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The Evening Twitter

“The fed res doesn’t want to create a hyperinflation. Bernanke may be incompetent, but he’s not evil …” http://instapaper.com/ztnohjn1m

“I stress that in 1929 the debt to GDP ratio was of course minuscule in comparison what it is today…” http://instapaper.com/ztnohjn1m

“These folks, let’s be clear about it, are state fundamentalists. They love government being in charge of…” http://instapaper.com/zsnggjn1E

“Tolstoy rejected the state (because it could only exist on the basis of physical force) …” http://instapaper.com/zOochjn1S

“This year is the centenary of Tolstoy’s death.” http://instapaper.com/zOochjn1S… Read the rest

Tuesday

JS MillWillmoore and More

This article reminds me of Willmoore Kendall’s observation that, contrary to the theory of America’s open society, it was more of an American tradition to run a person out of town on a rail: America’s history of religious intolerance. The brilliant Kendall loathed the justices on the Supreme Court, like Justice Douglas, who applied the ideas of J.S. Mills (who wrote in the mid-nineteenth century) to their radical interpretation of the First Amendment. That wasn’t the only thing Kendall loathed, of course. He was a pretty bitter guy and especially hard on one of my favorite non-fiction writers of all time, Russell Kirk. I remember Annette Kirk’s surprise–aye, disappointment–to hear me say that I enjoyed Kendall’s work. I knew about Kendall’s harshness toward Dr. Kirk but just figured those kinds of things get glossed over by time. She’s too kind to say anything mean. She just offered a mild corrective, like “You know, Eric, that he was a little difficult,” and let it rest. * * * * * * * Kendall, incidentally, converted to Catholicism at the end of his life, while teaching at the University of Dallas. The students called him, “St. Willmoore.” * * * * * * * The article above was published by The Smithsonian. Shortly after I had been admitted to the bar, my Dad brought to me a dunning notice from The Smithsonian. He explained to me that he had received a subscription offer that he could accept by checking a box on a postcard and mailing it in (post pre-paid). Instead of checking the box, he wrote, “I wouldn’t give you left-wing SOBs a penny,” but he hadn’t kept a copy. Well, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff so, in response to their dunning … Read the rest

We should accept the truth of history, which is that white men have dominated intellectual life in the west. Let’s not resist this; let’s run with it. It is western history that has indelibly shaped our consciousness. We live in Britain, not Timbuktu. We might hail from Africa or the Caribbean, but our lives, for better or for worse, are lived in the modern western world, and shaped by the traditions that have moulded it. If we acquaint ourselves with the grammars of the west, it will indubitably help us to understand it and then duly succeed here.

— In praise of dead white men – Prospect Magazine « Prospect Magazine (via Instapaper)… Read the rest

Amen

Fr Dubay taught me a lot. May peace be his.

“Word is just getting out that Marist Father Thomas Dubay passed away over the weekend. May He Rest in Peace.”
— A Remembrance of Father Thomas Dubay | Blogs | NCRegister.com (via Instapaper)

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