Tuesday, April 28, 2015

It’s About Time; It’s About Space

The mayor of Baltimore has been criticized for suggesting that the rioters be given “space to destroy”.  The idea is that human life is more valuable than property, and that looting and burning should not be crimes punishable by death. 

To me this illustrates one of the fundamental economic errors of the left whether socialist, fascist or crony capitalist.  Property, private property is an essential.  Humans need food, tools, shelter, clothing, and energy in order to survive.  I own a house and a few acres of land, vehicles, equipment and tools.  I traded something for all those things.  It is the one thing of value with which I was born.  It is my time.  I have an expectation of roughly 70 or 80 years on earth.  I’ve been working for wages for forty years, but I’ve been working since I was a little kid, big enough to carry a bucket of feed down on the farm.  I earn money based in part on my education, an education I acquired by trading my time.     

It’s true that sometimes we inherit money or property, but there is still no such thing as a free lunch.  That property was acquired – generally, by someone who sacrificed his or her time in order to have something to pass on to their descendants.  Non-productive citizens, e.g., welfare queens and politicians, live on someone else’s time.  The state takes a portion of what I acquire by the sacrifice of my time, i.e., my life, and uses it for various purposes as it sees fit.  Some of those purposes are necessary and broadly beneficial.  Some are wasteful and directly detrimental. 

One of the things the state is supposed to do – I would say, is obligated to do as part of the social contract, is protect me and my property by enforcing laws against violence, theft, and destruction.  It appears to me, more and more, that the state is failing rather miserably to meet its contractual obligations.  If I cannot have a reasonable expectation of security for my property then we have a problem. 

“Reasonable expectation” is key.  It would be unreasonable for me to expect the police to prevent every potential crime.  However, when crowds are turned loose to steal and to commit arson, that, too, is unreasonable.

It is certainly true that a human life is to be given priority over property.  If a house catches on fire, the first thing, before worrying about possessions, is to get all the people out.  Even the lives of my pets are of greater worth to me than a lot of my possessions.   

But if someone decides to set my house or my business on fire, even if I'm not there, they are destroying a part of my life that I cannot get back.  Someone might say that is silly because your property is insured, and you will receive compensation and be able to restore what has been lost.  That may help, but it is hardly a solution.  Everyone who is a client of that insurance company loses because of my property being destroyed.  Pieces of their lives disappear and cannot be regained.  I also lose time in rebuilding and restoring.  If it is a business, I have also lost potential revenue, which, again, is a loss of my time to try and regain.  I may have to work longer and retire later to make up the difference, giving me fewer years to enjoy in leisure with my family.   

Money lost and property lost -- whether is it my directly owned property or my money or it tax money or insurance -- it's all time lost.  Time lost is life lost.  That is taken from the time I or someone has here on earth to do what we want to do.   

It's easy to say we should all share and that there is plenty for everyone so long as we keep the debate on dollars and cents and resources.  When we start talking about it in terms of the time it takes to build, to rebuild, to clean up, to earn, it's different.  

Yamaha FJ-09 Review

I'll have a different post later today probably, but I have to do some work. 

Meanwhile, for any who might be interested, I offer this link to a positive review of the 2015 FJ-09 at Ultimate Motorcycling.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Day-tripping, the Weekend Ride

This weekend included a grandson’s birthday.  A hundred and fifty miles north of here, Saturday’s weather was predicted to be stormy or at least rainy and unsettled.  We like settled weather, so I worked in the yard and garden Saturday, running the trimmer and the tiller for five hours or so in addition to some mowing. 

Sunday was supposed to be “cooler” but dry.  My plan was to ride my bike up to visit the grandkids and deliver birthday gifts.  By nine o’clock, the fog had not burned off, it was only about 50 degrees, and misty in spots.  Like the idiot that I am, I trusted the weather forecast and left off my fleece vest and heavy gloves because it would soon be much warmer.  The other thing I woke up to was pain in my shoulders because I’m old, because I was running the tiller the day before, and because, the night before that, I had been doing upright rows. 

Consequently, the first fifty miles, I was riding in mist, mostly a problem for visibility as the road surface was dry.  My hands, especially my right one – throttle hand, kept going numb from a combination of cold and the battering from the tiller.  My normal route includes a stretch of I-44 where wisdom suggests it is a good idea to keep up with the truck traffic averaging a little above the 70 mph speed limit.  My rain jacket does give good protection from the wind, but all I had under it was a long-sleeved t-shirt.  I really needed another layer.  By the time I pulled off the Interstate, I was starting to wonder about hypothermia.  I knew was getting stupider. 

I stopped for coffee and a sandwich to warm up and kill the shaking, hoping that the clouds would start to lift, and it did start to get better after that.  By the time I hit eastbound Highway 54 out of Camdenton, there were holes in the cloud cover.  My only problem after that was the absolute refusal of my right hand to admit that it was attached to the rest of me. 

It was worth it all when I got to my son’s house.  This was the first the kids had seen of my new bike “in person”, and everybody seemed to like it.  The sun was fully out by then so we played ball in the yard for an hour or two before I headed off to my daughter’s house for a brief visit.  

The best part of the ride – aside from seeing all four grandkids – was the run on Y Highway over to Highway 63.  It’s nothing but curves and hills for about 8 miles or so, going down to Cedar Creek and back up on the other side.  One curve in particular is in the middle of a fairly steep grade going downhill (westbound).  It is off-camber and marked with a sign that suggests 25-mph.  That one was no problem, but a couple of miles further on, I went into another corner a little too hot.  OK, it was a lot too hot.  I guess I got to thinking I was bad.  I was glad there was no traffic in the other lane.  I used up all of nerve as well as all of my part of the asphalt.  A few more miles on the FJ, and I will be more confident.  No sense in rushing things. 

I spent a little time with the youngest grandson and the oldest granddaughter then mounted up again with the intent of making it to the house before the temperatures started falling after sundown.  I left about 16:30 and stopped a couple of times to get feeling back into my uncooperative hand.  I had cruise control on the Victory which I almost never used – except for situations like this where I had numbness.  My gloves with gel pads, which -- a recurring theme here --  I left at the house, would have helped, too. 

Anyway, I made it home, and it was fun.  The source of all my complaints can be traced to me and my failure to listen to my better sense.  I knew I needed different gloves.  I knew I needed my fleece vest.  The bike itself did really well, and I enjoyed it. 

I need a name.  She needs to be christened.  There was nothing else to call the Enterprise except the Enterprise.  Yesterday, everybody commented on the carbon fiber looks on the FJ, since I opted for the more stealth gray over red.  I would have named a red one "Flash".  "Serenity" is what I call my old yellow TY.  Since the TY and the FJ are related, I suppose I could go with "Firefly".  I'll be pondering.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Want Some Hope For The Future?

Click here and watch the video

There's a town called Republic in Missouri, outside of Springfield.  I'm sure it has its problems and issues, but there are some good kids that go to Republic High School.  They elected a prom queen.  Her name is Dayna Painter.  When she was born with Down's Syndrome:  

... [D]octors said she wouldn't live more than a few days. If she beat those odds doctors said she would never walk or talk.

She dances. 

No, she's never going to be a rocket scientist or neurosurgeon, but it looks like she taught a lot of her friends some valuable lessons about life.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Rules of the Game

I have read a little on this GamerGate thing and the science fiction Hugo Awards controversy regarding nominations.  Particularly in the case of the Hugos, leftist "social justice warriors" -- commonly referred to as SJWs -- have controlled the nomination process for years.  I don't really know or care much about that.  I do know that science fiction as a genre has been in decline and unappealing to me for a long time.  When I read science fiction or fantasy these days, it is probably going to be some classic Heinlein, Niven, Pournelle, Lewis, Charles Williams, T.H. White, etc. 

As I think I've mentioned, I tried a couple of Sarah A. Hoyt's books and was less than overwhelmed.  I am struggling to finish a John C. Wright novel and a Tom Kratman novel -- and these are the good guys.  I get bogged down, and I just don't care what happens. 

On the other hand, to use a non-scifi example, when I read Raymond Chandler, I do care about Marlowe and the people he encounters.  It could just be my age.  I have trouble connecting to the concerns and attitudes of the characters in a lot of these works. 

Anyway, literature is not my primary subject today.  These are cases, though, where the so-called elites are being beaten at their own game with their own flexible rule book. 

About three weeks ago, Kurt Schlichter wrote a commentary for Townhall in which he says that "Liberals May Regret Their New Rules".  He talks about being in Kosovo and the ethnic conflicts there then draws a parallel to the current situation in the U.S.  If you haven't read it, follow the link.  It's worth your time to read.  Here's a key quote:

You cannot expect to change the status quo for yourself and then expect those you victimize not to play by the new rules you have created. You cannot expect to be able to discard the rule of law in favor of the rule of force and have those you target not respond in kind.

 Let's say you and I are playing a friendly game of chess.  Now we both know that the knight has a certain 'L' pattern in which he can move.  He has to do that.  He can only do that.  You build your strategy based on your knowledge of the way the pieces are allowed to move.  We admit that, physically, there's no reason one player can't just grab one of his knights from any place on the board and grab his opponent's queen, wherever it is, and claim that he has taken it.  But if one player starts doing that and claiming he has won by ignoring the rules, that pretty much ends the game.  It certainly eliminates the friendly aspect.  It would tend to make one wonder what kind of an idiot he is playing against. 

That is the way -- and we can't limit this to the leftists -- that's the way the "big government" elite has been playing the political game in this country for decades.  The government, more and more, can do whatever it wants.  After all, it writes the rules.  Except there is a law by which the government is supposed to abide.  It's called the Constitution.  We've talked about that before, too, with regard to law enforcement and bureaucrats who are, essentially, "above" the law. 

As with our hypothetical chess game, our opponent says, "The rules are whatever I say they are because I am bigger and more powerful than you, because I have a weapon, and you don't."  OK, so the only rule is, might makes right. When he turns his back, and we bust his head with fireplace poker then the rules are what WE say. 

The productive class in this country has been restrained by the belief that there are rules and that we know what those rules are.  Now, however, it is more and more openly stated and understood that the rules change to the benefit of the "elites" and the SJWs. 

I don't want there to be no rule of law.  I can see, at least in part, the disaster which will result from a widespread rejection of restraint.  As horrific as such a scenario could become for people like me, it would be much worse for those who have been abusing and ignoring the rule of law up to now. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earl and Rurban

Different worlds.  My title comes from a woman with whom I used to work.  We were pulling data for a project that had an urban/rural split.  She tried to say "rural and urban" one too many at the end of a very long day, and we were so tired that we laughed hysterically and probably frightened the horses.

So many of us are urban-dwellers these days that rural living has become a foreign concept. To illustrate, let me show you a set of tools I might want to have in an urban environment:

We're probably not going to be squirrel hunting or building shelters.  Our concerns are going to be protection and self-defense.  One of the more potent tactical flashlights would be a much better choice, but this is something the average person might carry every day if the world starts coming apart. 

For someone heading out into the sticks, on the other hand, being able to shoot some food if the occasion presents itself might be a good idea. 

Get to the choppah!  That's a Condor Tools and Knives Heavy Duty Kukri, and it is very heavy-duty.  It's 1095 carbon steel, I think, just like the Bear and Sons folder below it.  Fire, light, tools, and you can do a fair job of taking care of yourself, at least in the short term. 

When people talk about preps, it is important to understand the environment for which they are preparing.  We have our preferences and biases toward certain tools, what we've used and what's worked for us.  Categories apply in any environment, but the specific ways in which we fill those categories should be tailored to our particular situation and our individual needs.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Another Post-Apocalypse Motorcycle

Over at Bike Exif today they are featuring a custom two-wheel drive KTM 950 Super Enduro.

How does that work?  Magic, I think:

It’s an interesting system. Via gears and shafts, power goes from the countershaft sprocket to the headstock, where it’s converted again via a pair of counter-rotating drive shafts.
The front wheel is driven at 80% of the speed of the rear wheel: this prevents undue torque from affecting the steering. When the rear wheel outpaces the front—via wheelspin in slippery situations—the front starts to dig in, bring the bike back into line. Wasted power becomes extra forward motion.

Cool.  Normally the thought of a powered front wheel on a bike makes one a little nervous.  The last thing you want, especially in dirt, is the front end having a mind of its own.  Not too much detail, but I'm sure these guys know what they are doing.  Anyway, follow the link over and check it out.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

Gone With The Wind

It's like a BP oil spill every year.

A 2013 study found that 573,000 birds and 888,000 bats are killed every year by wind turbines — a figure 30 percent higher than the federal government estimated in 2009. These deaths have likely increased as wind power capacity increases across the country.

What I want to know is, where PETA is on this?  They are worried about people wearing fur coats and about polar bears, but I haven't heard anything about the bald eagles killed by windmills.

That's not even counting the ones that get fried.

There's actually not much to like about green energy.  For one thing, there is nothing green about it except the vast number of tax-payer dollars that get poured into the crony, phony capitalism schemes -- e.g.:

Since then, U.S. companies have only installed more wind power thanks to a now-expired tax credit for wind energy. The American Wind Energy Association said there was nearly 66 gigawatts of installed wind capacity in the U.S. as of 2014 — 17 times higher than wind capacity in 2001.

Solar panels and wind turbines cannot produce enough energy to build solar panels and wind turbines.  It's like people who buy plug-in electric vehicles to save "gas" only to use electricity produced by coal-fired power plants, or the fact that battery production is likely a net loss in the long-run, not to mention the toxic chemical by-products and (tax-payer funded) subsidies.   

Wind and solar are good at charging battery banks for conversion of DC to AC for individual homes and business.  They are not good at feeding into the grid for distributed systems.  The only reason utilities have built these white elephants is that they got tax credits and subsidies, thereby increasing the federal deficit and costing me more in terms of taxes, loss of purchasing power, and higher prices for electricity. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Looking At A Busy Week

Probably no posting this week.  The folks at work are going to try to impart some learnin' to me.

Perhaps we can disprove that old dogs and new tricks are non-intersecting sets.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Only A Third Of Americans Understand the Question

NBC reports on a poll that shows only 35% of Americans think businesses should be allowed to refuse service to people because they are homosexual.

There used to be signs on the doors of a lot of businesses that served the public which said, "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." If it is your property, you have a right to do as you please.  Everybody used to understand that.  You don't want my money, fine.  I'll take my business elsewhere.

For those of us who grew up in a more sensible era, the gays whining about wedding cakes sound like people who want to make a lunch-counter, Rosa Parks political issue and statement.  They want to "teach them a lesson". 

Here's a clue, folks -- money talks.  Revenue loss is a good lesson.  Support your local queer cake baker. 

Note to gay people:   Being gay or "transgender" or whatever you think you are does not give you the right to force other people to do what you want.

It's really pretty simple.

Now, the thing is, none of the businesses -- bakeries or photographers -- that have been in the news would refuse to bake a birthday cake or take portraits for a couple of homosexual guys who walked in and asked for service.  No restaurant is going to refuse to seat and serve food to a couple of lesbians because they're lesbians.  Chick-fil-a is not going to make an issue out of a person's "lifestyle".  They will give anybody who can pay a chicken sandwich.

The issue is not service.  The issue is forcing Christians to, not just tolerate homosexuality, but actively endorse it. Teach 'em a lesson.

Most of the 65% who are on the other side of the poll are responding to an emotional picture of some poor, starving homosexual in a fabulous outfit who goes into McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin and is turned away.  The poor guy collapses on the sidewalk and dies because he can't even get a belly-bomber at White Castle.

This is a civil rights' question, all right, but it has been stood on its head.  It's the Christian business owners whose property rights and religious freedom are under attack.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Can Conservative Incrementalism Work?

For a long time, on a national level, we conservatives have had one option in the general election, the lesser of two evils.  The centralization and expansion of power at the federal level has continued, sometimes slower, sometimes faster, but it keeps going in the same direction.  About the most “extreme” thing a federal candidate is going to suggest is holding the line and eliminating deficit spending.  The idea of reducing the reach of the central government, of eliminating agencies and departments will be met with an all-out propaganda campaign in the media attacking the proponent of such an outlandish and totalitarian scheme as uncaring, cruel, and a bullwhip-wielding overseer for corporate slavers. 

It may be impossible to roll back the federal government incrementally through electing “conservative” candidates.  However, some commentators, bloggers, and pundits have been talking about a concept that is already working successfully.  Strangely enough it is the more liberal states that are showing us the way in legalizing marijuana contrary to federal law.  Some states, like Missouri, are also legislatively attacking enforcement of more restrictive federal firearms laws, as we’ve talked about in the past. 

This is how libertarian/conservative incrementalism could work.  At the state and local level, we can elect sheriffs, mayors, school board members, state legislators and governors who are willing to defy federal mandates.  The feds’ ability to enforce their own laws could be severely hampered by the refusal of state and local governments to cooperate.   I could even imagine federal courts and judges discovering that their orders, when ignored, were unenforceable.  The federal government might withhold money from states as punishment.  States, in response, might offer protection to their citizens and businesses that refused to pay their federal taxes.

You could picture a kind of civil war and secession without all the gunfire.  I don’t think the feds would want a shooting war. 

I don’t think we can do this tomorrow.  That’s where the incrementalism comes in.  We will have to make the argument for the supremacy of state and local governments over the long haul and grab small victories wherever we can, but I think that might be a way to get back to the Founders’ vision.  

UPDATE --  After writing this, I ran across this post on Sarah Hoyt's blog from Bill Reader

Likewise, the slum revolts and regional uprisings that, in aggregate, put paid to the Roman Empire, were certainly not the result of masterful tactics. Rather, those revolting recognized that Rome had lost sufficient belief in its own culture to fight to uphold it; had in any case mostly lost the capacity to impose culture in its wholesale importation of anybody and everybody; and probably was afraid of said anybody and everybody because it spent so much bread-and-circus money trying to appease them. Rome had an unparalleled army, but no clear target, only the most bare-bones idea of when to use it, and increasingly limited resources to maintain it.

Though he is talking about the Attack of the Social Justice Warriors, the concept is the same.  More and more, though the feds will still have the ability to come after us, they will lack the will.

And while I'm at it, Ace reinforces with Charles Murray.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sentimental Favorite

If I had to pick one candidate out of the pack of Republicans, it would be Rand Paul.  I admire what Walker has done in fighting the public sector unions in Wisconsin, but Paul is kind of a near-libertarian.  Like near-beer, he doesn't pack all that much of a wallop and tends toward blandness, but it's a start.

I suggest reading the transcript of his speech here.

He starts off well enough talking about taking our country back from ... "[t]he Washington machine that gobbles up our freedoms and invades every nook and cranny of our lives...".

Smaller government is what a lot of us want, and Paul is probably the most sympathetic of all the candidates to that idea.  He speaks sensibly about the devastating nature of our national debt, though he offers no specific solutions.  I really would not expect him to do so in this kind of speech. 

He throws out a lot of libertarian talking points -- term limits for Congress, a balanced budget amendment.  We've heard that before -- in 1994.  They are still good ideas and still unlikely to be implemented. 

This is probably my favorite quote:

Self-esteem cant be given; it must be earned.

Work is not punishment; work is the reward.
Anathema to leftist because it is true.  A person who believes that is the anti-Obama.

This is another one that I agree with, and it's aimed at the heart of the interventionists in the GOP:

At home, conservatives understand that government is the problem, not the solution.
Conservatives should not succumb, though, to the notion that a government inept at home will somehow succeed in building nations abroad.
I envision an America with a national defense unparalleled, undefeatable and unencumbered by overseas nation-building.

I am tired of foreign wars.  Fighting them "over there so we don't have to fight them here" sounded pretty good -- except they are here, and we are not fighting them. 

Government is inept.  Like many, I used to say, out loud or under my breath, "... except for the military". Take a look at the boondoogle that is F-35 and the fact that the best ground support aircraft in history, the A-10, is being retired.  There is no military exception.  This is more obvious every year.

Paul also takes a shot at the NSA and other measures.  I wish he had mentioned the TSA and suggested shutting down Homeland Security.  Still, he does advocate respect for the Bill of Rights, the right to privacy, and the end of warrantless data gathering on those who have committed no crimes.

I believe we can have liberty and security and I will not compromise your liberty for a false sense of security, not now, not ever.

I don't think Rand Paul is going to be president.  I don't think he is going to get the nomination, and I doubt that he makes much of a show in the primaries.  The GOP Establishment has too much control to let someone like him get a foothold.  I hope I'm wrong because I would like to see him get a chance to take on the juggernaut.


Monday, April 6, 2015

Things Going On in Missouri Politics

Back on February 26th, Missouri's State Auditor, Tom Schweich, a Republican who had announced a candidate for governor in 2016, committed suicide in his home in Clayton, MO -- a St. Louis suburb

Four weeks after Schweich's suicide, on the 27th or 28th of March, Schweich's spokesman, Spence Jackson, committed suicide in a Jefferson City apartment.  Jackson left a note, possibly stating that he did not want to be "unemployed".  This seems strange in the Jackson was involved in the campaigns of and on staff with a number of prominent Republican politicians over the years.  It seems unlikely that someone would not have found a place for him. 

The circumstances surrounding Schweich's suicide opened some questions about possible infighting among Missouri Republicans.  Schweich was supposedly going to make some sort of accusation against other Republicans prior to his death.  There is talk that he was upset over a "whispering campaign" started by State Republican Party Chairman John Hancock regarding Schweich's Jewish ancestry.  Schweich's father was Jewish, and Hancock has admitted he may have told someone that Schweich was Jewish before learning that the late Auditor was actually an Episcopalian.  In any case, it seems an odd thing over which to take such a drastic action.

Only the week before his death Schweich was featured ... at the Missouri GOP's annual “Lincoln Days” convention in Kansas City, he cheerfully joked with reporters as he scooped ice cream for conventioneers. He also gave an impassioned, rousing speech that whipped up the hundreds of attendees and prompted another official on stage to joke that Schweich had had too much coffee [link].

Bob McCarty ponders the situation and asks if investigative journalism is dead and why the results of Tom Schweich's autopsy have not been released.

Jackson's suicide only enhances the mystery and adds to the questions.  Politics is a dirty business.  Perhaps, as we have noted recently, it is too dirty for decent people.  It could be that both Schweich and Jackson were both too decent for it.  I am not one who thinks that suicide, as selfish and devastating as it is to those left behind, is an unforgivable sin.  If these were both suicides, it may well be that one or both were not in their right minds.  In any case, may they rest in peace.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A Reminder About the Gay Narrative

Matthew Shepherd was a homosexual college student in Laramie, Wyoming.  He was murdered in 1998.  According the narrative, he was targeted and murdered because he was gay, and the two men who murdered should have been charged with a "hate" crime.  Stephen Maganini in the Sacramento Bee continues to push this story

Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old peer counselor and student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie when he stopped at a bar one October evening in 1998 and was later abducted by two men who pretended to be gay, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. They drove him out into the country and tied him to a split rail fence. McKinney savagely beat Shepard with the butt of a pistol. He was discovered alive 18 hours afterward by a cyclist who initially thought he was a scarecrow. He died several days later. [emphasis added]

The truth is a little different.  A gay investigative journalist, Stephen Jimenez, initially set out to write a screenplay about the case, but the more he looked into it, the more he found that did not fit the legend created by Shepherd's friends and the LGBT community:

Jimenez found that Matthew was addicted to and dealing crystal meth and had dabbled in heroin. He also took significant sexual risks and was being pimped alongside Aaron McKinney, one of his killers, with whom he’d had occasional sexual encounters. He was HIV positive at the time of his death.

“This does not make the perfect poster boy for the gay-rights movement,” says Jimenez. “Which is a big part of the reason my book has been so trashed.”
Jimenez published the propaganda-puncturing information he obtained in a book, The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard.  You can read the Guardian story in full here.

I encourage you to read both linked stories and compare the extensively documented and researched reality to the way the tragic death of Matthew Shepherd has been and continues to be reported in the media. 

This is just an example of what we are up against.  The current uproar about homosexuality is simply the cause of the day.  It happens all the time, from the wonders of Communism and Socialism to the war in Vietnam to the ridiculous defense of the Religion of Pieces.  

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Who Owns Us?

On Mises, Roger McKinney discusses Inventing the Individual by Larry Siedentop.  If you are interested, you can follow the link to Mises and hit the Amazon link in the article.

Classical liberal individualism did not exist in the ancient world. Siedentop wrote, “Since the sixteenth century and the advent of the nation-state, people in the West have come to understand ‘society’ to mean an association of individuals.” For the ancient Romans and Greeks society consisted of a collection of extended families. The heads of the families, including family-based clans and tribes, held all the power and made all of the decisions. Only the heads of families could become citizens in the polis.

 It took a long time for Paul's words in Galatians 3:28 to have much bearing on the social
order:  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  In a world with lords and slaves, castes and aristocracies, individual worth and freedom did not always count for much. 

McKinney concludes:

Classical liberal individualism does not exist in the modern world outside of the US and Europe, and it is dying here. The collectivist cultures of the rest of the world differ little from those of ancient Greece and Rome. If economists and politicians understood the uniqueness of classical liberalism, they would quit trying to pour new wine into old wine skins, which causes the old to explode. And they would mourn the rise of socialism.

 Storm warning.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Never Believe Any Headline on April 1

For example, Motorcycle USA has this one:  Justin Beiber to Play Sturgis Buffalo Chip.

That's how you know it's April 1st.  I've been looking around for bogus headlines.  Vanderlaun has the classic about Obama resigning and Biden rushing out onto the balcony in his underwear with his shotgun.  But, see, that one could happen.  Ace of Spades had one about Netflix picking up  the rights to Firefly, which was pretty clever, but it pales in comparison to the Beiber headline and copy.

This powerhouse performer’s expanded stage show matches his rockstar reinvention as motorcycle culture bad boy and includes prolific use of pyro-technics, onstage trick burnouts performed on his Ducati and a bevy of beautiful dancers sure to entertain the Chip’s biker audience. Beiber joins the likes of Def Leppard, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Five Finger Death Punch on the main stage roster.  


Sturgis is Harley Ground.  I hear the Archies are set to open for Beiber.  Tiny Tim was apparently not available.