Month: December 2011


Michigan Beer

A TDE reader sent me this great story last week: The Top 50 Brewers in America. It’s a list of the top-selling craft breweries in America. The list is based on 2010 sales, but hey, it’s only 2011, so it’s not too stale.

I was glad to see my hometown favorite, Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, make the top ten. If you ever have a chance to try a Bell’s product, don’t pass. They make some great stuff. A TDE reader from Pittsburgh was in the area last October, and he made a pilgrimage to Bell’s, as well as a few other breweries in SW Michigan. He wrote to me later, saying that he envies the craft beer scene in my area. He said Bell’s is the crown jewel, but we have plenty of other great small breweries, too. He’s right. Michigan has screwed up a lot in the past 25 years, but it has gotten beer right, and that forgives a lot of sins.

18th Amendment Repeal Continues

Chipping away at Volstead, one chip at a time: “Ohio craft brewers hope a new state law allowing production breweries to open tasting rooms and sell their beer by the glass without buying a second costly permit will help boost beer tourism by bringing breweries more in line with winery tasting rooms.” Link. … Read the rest


Things have been pretty hectic, both around the office and at home, which is unusual. Typically, the holiday week offers a chance to catch up on things and take it easy. Oh well. I’m not complaining. Clients are calling at the office, and I have kids at home who still think I’m halfway cool.

But I am using today’s blog post as a “clearinghouse” of sorts. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been bookmarking various articles to bring to TDE readers’ attention, but I haven’t been able to. Today, I’m just spitting them out there, continuity of thought or content be damned.

It’s not every day that you run across a title like this one: Alec Guinness and the Spanish Mystics. The actor, it would appear, was an Avila fan.

Since at least Democritus, atheists have been disproving the existence of God. This guy has a somewhat novel approach: “A Scientist managed to replicate religious experience with electromagnetic waves applied to different parts of the brain. He goes on to tell the world that this proves there is no God.” Of course, there are over 20 well-known arguments for God’s existence, and this one (“The argument from religious experience”) isn’t cited much, but no matter. This atheist has successfully undone thousands of years of theology. Way to dominate, dude.

Of all the late night hosts, I probably quote Jimmy Fallon the most. It turns out that he’s Catholic, albeit of the semi-lapsed sort. But at least he lapsed for all the right reasons:

Do you still go to church?

Mr. FALLON: I don’t go to – I tried to go back.

Read the rest


For the past three years, almost all of my sources have pointed to 2012 as the Armageddon Year, but Jim Rogers thinks 2012 is going to be alright. Of course, he thinks it’ll be a temporary reprieve, due solely to the fact that 2012 is an election year and that means a lot more spending, but hey, a reprieve is a reprieve, even if it does postpone Armageddon for just twelve months.

Here’s Rogers’s entire outlook:

The holiday celebrations continue. I took the kids out for a movie last night. That’s it for today. … Read the rest


books.jpgBooks for Christmas

I received a handful of good books for Christmas. Most of the books are intended to further my exploration of the thought and background of Albert Jay Nock, but I also received a book that I requested for the sole reason that it sounds like fun: The Complete Book of Spirits. It’s a compendium of the history, production, and enjoyment of various types of liquor.

I’ve only had a chance to flip through it and read the first few pages, but I’ve already gleaned the following interesting information about vodka:

In Russia and Poland vodka has many nicknames, such as ‘Hot Water,’ ‘the Monopolka,’ ‘the Bubble,’ ‘Crankshaft,’ ‘the Bitter Stuff,’ ‘the White Stuff.’ . . . Vodka is made from fermented mash, water, and ethyl alcohol. Unlike other spirits, which are defined by how and where they’re made (brandy has to be made from fruit, rum from sugar beets or cane, tequila from the juice of the blue agave; Scotch has to come from Scotland and cognac comes only from France) vodka can be made anywhere from any raw carbohydrates that will ferment.

Good stuff, that. Lots of information that makes you a better conversationalist in informal settings.

Highly recommended book.

Hoopes on Hitchens

Tom Hoopes remembers Christopher Hitchens. It’s one of the more moving essays I’ve seen in the past couple of months. Best excerpt:

“Religion Kills,” says Hitchens, being clever. But then the corpse of Christ says it right back to him from the cross. Hitchens in his book scoffs that yes, if he were approached in the middle of the night by men leaving a prayer meetings

Read the rest


Christmas PictureWhew. The Christmas Hangover. It was a whirlwind four days. Drove to Detroit on Thursday, north of Detroit on Friday, back home late Friday evening. Christmas Eve celebrations, then Christmas morning festivities, followed by a trip to my Mom’s in the evening.

I always know I had a good Christmas when I’m a little glad it’s over.

I don’t have much today. Just this: My local newspaper featured my family in a Christmas Eve article about large families. You can find it here. The reporter did a nice job, but the quotes from my wife weren’t quite right. In response to his question about whether she gets annoyed when he hears parents with, say, two children talk about how busy they are around the holidays, her response was, “Not really. We thought we were busy with two children. Heck, we thought we were busy when we had no children.”

I’ve often contemplated that “busy-ness” aspect of American culture, and it fascinates me that it’s a trait burned into the American soul. De Tocqueville and other early visitors to America commented on it. Nock complained about the peculiar American trait of always being in a hurry. They’re not good things, and I think it speaks volumes to our country’s shortcomings, even though our material strength is built on them.


I earn a chunk of my blogging revenue after Christmas and between New Years. If you’re shopping with some of that extra Christmas money, please patronize TDE by accessing the link in the upper-righthand corner. Thanks. … Read the rest

Something for Christmas Eve

“We consider Christmas as the encounter, the great encounter, the historical encounter, the decisive encounter, between God and mankind. He who has faith knows this truly; let him rejoice.” Pope Paul VI

“There were only two classes of men who heard the cry that night: Shepherds and Wise Men. Shepherds: those who know they know nothing. Wise Men: those who know they do not know everything.” Fulton Sheen… Read the rest


Email picReceived in an Email

Politically-incorrect humor:

I was devastated to find out my wife was having an affair but, by turning to religion, I was soon able to come to terms with the whole thing. I converted to Islam, and we’re stoning her in the morning.

Went to the pub with my girlfriend last night. Locals were shouting “pedophile!” and other names at me, just because my girlfriend is 21 and I’m 50. It completely spoiled our 10th anniversary.

The thing I love most about this hot weather is the short skirts and low cut tops. Although, they do make me look a bit gay.

Question – Are there too many immigrants in Britain?
17% said ‘Yes’
11% said ‘No’
72% said ‘I am not understanding the question please.’

I was explaining to my Wife last night that when you die you get reincarnated and come back as a different creature.
She said she would like to come back as a cow.
I said, ‘You obviously haven’t been listening.’

My wife has been missing a week now.
The police said to prepare for the worst.
So, I had to go down to Goodwill to get all of her clothes back.

There’s a new Muslim clothing shop that opened in our shopping center.
They threw me out after I asked if I could look at some of the bomber jackets.

Christmas is upon us. Light blogging winds blowing ahead. Everyone have a blessed Season. Read the rest