Month: October 2010

Halloween Humor


“Some parents ruin Halloween for their kids by not allowing them to get candy. The way our economy is going, it may be good practice for our kids to start begging for food.”

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Something for Sunday Morning

“The greatest obstacles to the soul’s trying to follow Christ and to help others have their origin in a disordered love of self. At times this leads us to overestime our strength. At other times, it brings discouragement and despondency as a result of our own weaknesses and our errors. Pride often reveals itself in an interior monologue, in which we exaggerate the importance of our own interests and get them out of proportion. We end up praising ourselves. In any conversation pride leads us to talk about ourselves and our affairs, and to want people to have a good opinion of us at any price. Some people stick to their own opinion, whether it be right or wrong. They seize any chance to point out another’s mistakes, and make it hard to maintain a friendly atmosphere. The most reprehensible way of emphasizing our own worth is by putting down someone else. The proud do not like to hear praise for another person and are always ready to reveal the defects of anyone who stands out from the crowd. A characteristic note of pride is an impatient dislike of being contradicted or corrected.”

Francis Fernandez

— Mobile post… Read the rest

The Evening Eudemon

“Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive,” he said. “In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States. … No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years.”

VPOTUS Joe Biden: Dems Will “Keep The Senate And Win The House”

That’s Biden. It’s scary, but leftists like him actually believe such hokum.

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Witch WitHallowbeers

Man, lots of spooky beer stories out there today. I guess it’s no surprise, since “Halloween is actually the biggest weekend of the year for beer sales.” The drinking theme is so popular, “nearly 100 breweries now offer a pumpkin beer” and there are scores of scary-sounding beers, like these brews that LA Weekly featured: Alesmith Evil Dead Red, Avery Mephistopheles, Wychwood Brewery King Goblin, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, and Fallen Angel Black Death Chili. That last one sounds and tastes scary: “An English beer made with the world’s hottest chili, the Naga or Death Chili, rated at 850,000 Scovilles. One sip is sure to make you pray for death.” * * * * * * * Of course, what’s Halloween week without some real violence? I mean, Detroit used to burn down many of its neighborhoods to celebrate the devil, so what’s wrong with a dude attacking another guy with a broken beer bottle? Or a guy arrested for stealing beer on three separate occasions? * * * * * * * The best beer story of Halloween week, though, is the subject of today’s picture: Outrage by the Wiccans at Lost Abbey Witch’s Wit. “The Wiccan community, led by popular astrologer and healer Vicki Noble, has lashed out against the California brewery that makes the beer by launching an internet campaign to change the label. After noticing the bottle in a store, Noble sent an email to her many friends and followers comparing the image to ‘a black person being lynched or a Jewish person going to the oven.’ . . . Those against the label condemn the image as offensive to practicing pagans.” I honestly wouldn’t have thought it was possible to offend pagans. I mean, Moloch and amorous Zeus … Read the rest


notebook picture.jpgFrom the Notebooks

If it’s possible to love a fictional philosophical character, I’ve loved one for many years. It’s Sören Kierkegaard’s “knight of faith,” which he describes in the pioneering work of existentialism, Fear and Trembling.

Kierkegaard’s knight of faith is a man who fits in everywhere, among everyone: “This man takes pleasure, takes part, in everything, and whenever one catches him occupied with something his engagement has the persistence of the worldly person whose soul is wrapped up in the such things.” He later talks about the knight of faith coming home to a special meal prepared by his wife and devouring it with an enormous appetite. But, Kierkegaard observes, if “his wife doesn’t have the dish, curiously enough he is exactly the same.” Everything is enjoyable to the knight of faith.

Alas, perhaps we love that which we aren’t. I have faith, but I’m not content in any situation like the knight. Far from it, and it’s an ongoing source of concern.

But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen glimpses of the knight of faith in myself. When at Cedar Point, for instance, I found myself equally content to ride the train with the little kids or ride the Millennium Force with my older kids. But then again, maybe I’m just getting old, so the different thrills–the lame and the heightened–appeal to me equally, like a man in my hometown is equally close to Detroit and Chicago, with added virtue to be found in neither.

KierkegaardRead the rest

Morning Bonus

“On average, our basic food costs have increased by an incredible 48% over the last year (measured by wheat, corn, oats, and canola prices). From the price at the pump to heating your stove, energy costs are up 23% on average (heating oil, gasoline, natural gas). A little protein at dinner is now 39% higher (beef and pork), and your morning cup of coffee with a little sugar has risen by 36% since last October.” Of course, the ongoing deflation in items purchases requiring leverage will continue to skew the CPI so far south to make all those who bought 5 Year TIPS yesterday at negative yields end up losing money on the transaction.

Link. … Read the rest


Not much today. We held our pumpkin-carving family party last night. I’m whipped. I did, however, salvage enough time to read this neat little essay by Lew Rockwell: What We Can Learn From the Middle Ages. The School of Salamanca has interested me for a few years now. If you’re unacquainted with the School and its ties to the Austrians, Lew’s essay is a decent starting point. Four excerpts:

1. “The real founders of economic science actually wrote hundreds of years before Smith. They were not economists as such, but moral theologians, trained in the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas, and they came to be known as the Late Scholastics.”

2. “Joseph Schumpeter gave the Late Scholastics a huge boost with his posthumously published 1954 book, History of Economic Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press). “It is they,” he wrote, “who come nearer than does any other group to having been the ‘founders’ of scientific economics.”

3. “Mises was right: the development of economics began much later, and the reason for this is rather straightforward. The appearance of widespread economic opportunity, social mobility driven by material status, the dramatic expansion of the division of labor across many borders, and the building of complex capital structures only began to be observed in the late Middle Ages.”

4. “But it is especially striking that the major resurgence of Scholastic ideas came out of Austria in the late 19th century, a country that had avoided a revolutionary political or theological upheaval. If we look at Menger’s own teachers, we find successors to the Scholastic tradition.”

My apologies that I don’t have more to offer today. For some reason, I’ve been depleted of all energy lately. It’s all I can do to drag myself to the office and just plod through the day. … Read the rest