Month: February 2011


King GeorgeGeorge was More Popular?

Where are we today, as a nation? I’m not sure, but very few of us like the leviathan that we’ve allowed to creep into every facet of our lives. Significant: According to Harvard and Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig, only 11% of the American people have confidence in Congress. King George was more popular with the colonists: historians have estimated that between 15 and 20% of the white population of the colonies were Loyalists. Link w/ video. * * * * * * * Financial Dinosaurs. An article at Forbes looks at the gold standard from a different angle–that of 18th century England–and finds it compelling. It’s a neat little piece, and it contains this nugget of John Locke history that I didn’t know about: “In 1689, with the Glorious Revolution, William of Orange became King of England. William was Dutch, but he had married Mary Stuart of the British royal family. Perhaps William, upon his arrival in London from Amsterdam, found the English financial system a little backward. He was aided by philosopher John Locke, who had fled to Amsterdam in 1683. Locke returned to England with William in 1688. Locke argued that the English financial system could be set right if the relationships between lenders and borrowers was protected, by fixing the currency to gold. The currency would be stable in value–as stable as humanly possible. After generations of a floating currency in Britain, this was a revolutionary idea. Was such a thing even possible? Locke’s argument swayed England’s Parliament, and in 1698 England effectively began its long allegiance to the gold standard.” So, Locke was a … Read the rest


Hockey BeerDrinking Night in Canada

I like wine, but sometimes it’s out of place. Like at Oktoberfest. Or at the typical frat party. Or a bachelor party. Or Thursday night bowling league. Those occasions call for beer. And if you drink wine at a hockey game, someone’s going to ask what kind of bra you wear. Hockey and beer go together like love and marriage. You can have one without the other, yes, but they’re so much better when together. So imagine the joy at Molson-Coors when they nailed down the NHL sponsorship contract for the next seven years. And it’s good for beer drinkers. Even though I’m not a big Molson fan, it’s better than Bud or Bud Light (then again, so’s my urine). Bud Light is currently the official beer of the NHL, but that’s going to change: The new contract also makes Molson Canadian the official beer of the NHL. * * * * * * * Digging Wiki. First the Mises Wiki mentioned yesterday, now a WikiHow about making beer: How to Make a Home Brewery a Commercial Nanobrewery There are basically three levels of self-brewing: homebrewing, nanobrewing, and microbrewing. Nano is the bridge between home and micro. It’s basically homebrewing, but with a commercial slant. The wiki article appears to give good advice (I know virtually nothing homebrewing), but I didn’t see a step labeled, “Dealing the crypto-fascist neo-prohibitionist alcohol regulators in your state.” Without that step, I question the entire link. * * * * * * * Ice, Ice Baby. And as long as we’re on the “how to” kick, here’s a link about how ice Read the rest


golf cartConsumer Culture

You want to see golf carts that cost $20,000 and go nearly 40 miles per hour? Go to The Villages in Florida. Swanky golf carts are all the rage, and people are putting serious time and money into them. Lawfully, they’re only supposed to go 20 mph, but the cops aren’t checking under the hoods. Quite frankly, the article is pretty boring, but the pictures are cool. * * * * * * * Trolls. When I read articles like the previous, the word “consumerism” enters my head, and I’m reminded of JPII’s concerns in Centesimus Annus. But overall, these expenditures don’t bother me. Three reasons: First, and most important, it’s none of my business. Second, what’s $20,000 for a vehicle that doubles as a second car? And third, the whole condemnation of consumerism bothers me. When JPII expressed the concerns, I was (still am) on board: it rang true, the shallowness and lack of concern with our poorer brethren and a materiality that shows a complete disregard for the spiritual. But when I hear others condemn consumerism, I just hear spite, like they want people to be poor for the sake of being poor (as opposed to being poor for the sake of spiritual poverty). In the comments section of the previous article, I saw a textbook example of the spiteful attitude that bugs me. It’s by a troll whose comment box tag name is “rposner”:

Oh goodie goodie! Toys and games forever! Where do I sign up for the weekly Viagra party? These people are the reason our world is dying. Too bad the rest of humanity will have

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Smoking-Pipe-1263579Put that in Your Pipe

Everyone wants to be a leader. Bloomberg is the leader of the smoking Nazis: “Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed legislation into law today that bans smoking in many public spaces around the five boroughs. Under the new law, smoking will be banned in the city’s 1,700 parks and 14 miles of public beaches. City pools and recreation centers will also be smoke free. The bill bans smoking in city pedestrian plazas, like in Times Square, as well.” Link. I detest cigarette smoke, but this kind of legislation can be explained with only one word: pettiness. Its advocates are neo-Puritans, kept awake at night with the fear that somebody, somewhere, might be having fun–or having a smoke in a place that might possibly, maybe once or twice a year, touch their nostrils for a millisecond, thereby throwing them into a tizzy for the next 72 hours, as they grouse around, complaining to their acquaintances about the vileness of it all. To Bloomberg and his ilk: I loathe your pettiness. I bought a humidor and a batch of cigars last Summer. I give them to my male clients when they come to the office. But now I think I’m going to start buying cartons of cigarettes and leave them lying around high school campuses, just in hopes I’ll hook a new generation of smokers to torture the Bloombergites. * * * * * * * Idiocy Redux. Do you have any guilty pleasures, things you enjoy but hate to admit it? It could be almost anything: disco, Oprah, LA Clippers. Here’s one of mine: Beavis and Butthead. I probably watched … Read the rest


I occasionally receive emails from TDE readers, telling me that the right-hand margin is all screwed up. I have never experienced this problem, and my web consultant tells me he has no idea why/how it could be happening. I’m curious to know how rampant it is. Please let me know (comment box or email) if you’re having margin problems. Thanks. … Read the rest


literatureCatholic Arts and Letters Weekly

They bilk people out of billions with impunity. They get bailed out. America is there for Wall Street, and DC is feeding it the sheople’s money. Rolling Stone magazine’s take. . . more

The Lord of the Rings from the perspective of Mordor. It sounds terrible, but the concept is interesting. . . . more

They practice what Carlyle called “the dismal science.” But that’s not the real reason people dislike economists. Sowell explains. . . . more

Inceptions are rare. Super hero movies are common. The big summer blockbusters, starting with Jaws and Star Wars, are ruining the art of movie-making. . . . more

Gangster island paradise. For Norwegian prisoners. Cold and desolate, but not a lot of Bubba action. Doesn’t sound too bad. . . . more

What do V. Woolf, Schopenhauer, and a dude named Geoff Dyer have in common? Alain de Botton digs their essays. . . . more

Clown Terrorism. Internet trolls attack the Church of Scientology. Partly disturbing, partly clever. Mostly funny. . . . moreRead the rest