When Property is Not Theft

Those duly informed will recognize the above reference to Pierre-Joseph Proudon, the guy who came up with the term "anarchist," but who also unfortunately gave it connotations associated with communism -- so as to forever vex those of us who recognize the immorality of the State in all of its manifestations, even the "non-state" state of state communism. One question that eventually occurs to anyone who has a habit of thinking (meaning: for themselves; the…Read More

Report from the Front Lines

The news is not good. It was a room full of bright, scientifically literate people—molecular biologists, anthropologists, physicists, engineers—and yet, three days were insufficient to force agreement on whether or not there is any conflict between religion and science. While at Salk, I witnessed scientists giving voice to some of the most unctuous religious apologies I have ever heard. It is one thing to be told that the pope is a great champion of reason…Read More

Why I Listen to NPR

After a substantial time listening to NPR, I just don't at all get the common dismissal from the right that it's leftist. It may be manned predominantly by people with a left ideology, but the programming I've been hearing for the last few months (and for a few years, off and on) is nothing of the sort. I'd call it moderate to slightly left most of the time, but fairer than most in providing audience…Read More

The Morality of Martin Luther King

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God-given rights. [...] but we still creep at horse-and-buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging dart of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have…Read More

Here’s Something

I'm not going to get all worked up about 2008, no matter what happens. I know I said that last time, and I actually held out pretty long until my loathing for Kerry just became too great to bear. But what can one do? My loathing for the guy sitting up there now, though of a different kind, is nearly as great (but to reiterate: different in some crucial ways). Now comes this news item;…Read More

Silly Doggies

I work at home, most mornings, while the market is in play, and then head off to the office around noon, or later on an active day. Since my office is in the loft area, and since it's "winter," here (California), heat collects up here, so I like to keep things a bit chilly. Can't stand being hot. But the two Rat Terriers are not big fans of my thermostatic proclivities. At times when I…Read More

Get Blown Away

I'm sure you heard about it, but did you see the video? Click on the iPhone Introduction. Now, here's the thing. You're probably going to roll your eyes at Jobs' self congratulation and on and on about how great Apple is. Keep watching. With respect to this device, he grossly understated how cool it is. "You had me at scrolling." Watch for that, and just see if you don't nod your head.Read More

Beyond CNBC (Way Beyond)

Very simply, here are three charts. They are all charts of the same thing, the S&P 500, widely regarded by professional traders to be the most accurate view of the market. But, you may ask, "if they chart the same thing, over the same period of time from 2000 to the present, then why are the graphs different?" I'm glad you asked. See below the chats for the answer. Each chart graphs the S&P 500…Read More

Elightened Selfishness

The other day I published a bit of a request, but got no takers, either in comments or via email. I also said that my reasons for this would reveal themselves in the fullness of time. Here's a small piece of that "revelation." Check this out, and those of you who know who you are will find it interesting, I think. The author's biography (Yasuhiko Kimura) is certainly not the sort of thing you'd expect…Read More

Police Daddy

Just got another one from my brother down in Houston. This time, it's a special-education student. Twelve years old. There seems to be some dispute as to whether she wet her pants at school on purpose, or because she was afraid of the principal. Naturally, in such a circumstance, you do the only thing you can do. You call the police, who then charge her with disorderly conduct. I'm so fucking proud to be an…Read More

Left Behind in 2007

Well, with the Second Coming of Christ® happening any time this year, man am I happy my wife got me an XBox 360 -- which, let me just say that the HD graphics on a 50" HD set are Christlike -- for Christmas. Since it seems entirely likely that I will be Left Behind, perhaps I can now properly prepare myself.Read More

Another Prediction for 2007

Looks like I missed one, though this one isn't by Radley Balko. This one is one-out-of-four people you're likely to meet at random making the prediction -- though I'd imagine it shakes out something like 2 of 4 in the South and 1 of 4 in the North, or something generally along those lines. Given that a bit over half of all Americans believe Jesus is Coming Again, sometime, then it's about half that who…Read More

When Circumstances Don’t Matter

My comment, just now, posted here, in reference to one of my previous entries. "The cops were equipped with deadly force but they weren't trying to prevent an act of suicide with deadly force." That's exactly, fundamentally, what they were doing, and they succeeded. They did not have to do anything. They forced the situation. The bottom line and my meta-point is that it does not matter the context of the circumstance -- whether a…Read More

I Have Laughed Out Loud

There's a trading blog I follow, manned by Tim Knight, founder and CEO of one of the web's best charting platforms, Prophet.net. Tim regularly comes up with the most obscure things on the Internet I've yet seen. A lot from the 70's. Anyone remember Gene Gene The Dancing Machine? An entry back in November. Then, there was this one; no comment needed. And who of his readers can forget September's Engrish resson? Now, if you…Read More

A Study

Ready for a shock, those of my regular, cherished, God-sent, wonderful readers? I'm undertaking a study, of sorts, of Eastern Mysticism. Now, I'm not completely unfamiliar with it, having perused some of Ken Wilber's works in the past, widely regarded as a non-idiot, non "New Age" Eastern philosopher. While I always want to rebel, citing a Hellenic Tradition, I find Wilber strangely appealing in some ways. It's a "heart in the right place" kind of…Read More

Shakedown

If you've got the time and want to read about a tragic modern-day shakedown by a Mafia-like organized-crime ring in Manassas Park, Virginia, I've got your story, and you can begin right here. Unfortunately, though not really surprising, all efforts to get the local police to help have been futile, to say the least. For the whole background so far, see here (the entire collection of posts on the topic), and for updates on the…Read More

Pedictions for 2007

Radley Balko, in his regular Fox column, has a whole list of dire predictions for 2007. I daresay that "if" any of these come to pass, "then" we'll be in really deep doodoo.Read More

Bear Valley, California

Today marks out 10th day up at our cabin in Arnold, CA, snuggled into the gateway of the Sierras at 4,500 feet elevation. Sadly, we'll be heading back Friday morning. But New Year's Day, we headed up Highway 4 about 25 miles and 2,500 vertical feet to Bear Valley Village and the ski area. It's a bit early in the season just yet, but within a few weeks the skiing should get pretty good and…Read More