Archives for July 2007
Hot out of the oven this morning; minutes ago, actually.
Lew Rockwell puts together a nicely comprehensive overview (is that an oxymoron?) of China’s history. Take the 10 or 15 minutes to read it, and become, as Lew says, part of "a tiny elite that know anything about [China as a death camp]."
The sheer scale of the thing makes even the Soviet Union look benign, and we know that’s not true.
And yes, I have been cheerleading for China lately; and that’s because the people who perpetrated and perpetuated these atrocities are largely dead or no longer in a position to do what they did, anymore. And, there are now hundreds of millions in China born in the last two decades who know nothing of this and bear no culpability — if it can even be said that anyone subject to such insanity — such capricious and malevolent brutality — could bear any moral culpability for anything they did. A human being must have at least an environment conducive to human goodness. When human goodness is rendered impossible because there’s no ability to choose good over evil because there is only evil to choose from, humanity has vanished and we’re simply talking about non-cognitive animals operating on gut urges to eek out a survival any way they can.
Just got back from seeing this excellent film about the jam packed, tumultuous, exhilarating, and tragically short life of Edith Piaf. But as she sang and meant it near the end of her brief 47 years: Non je ne regrette rien. If you’re into that sort of thing you’ll want to catch it now if you still can, or definitely when it’s out on the premium channels and DVD.
A quick word on this. As a current two-dog owner and friend of dogs most of my life, I simply cannot comprehend — even remotely — how anyone could take any pleasure or enjoyment out of this kind of a bloodsport. Yet, people do. Lots of people do, and it just goes to show the vast disparity of values in this country, and indeed worldwide. That means: unless me or my dogs — or some person I may presume unwilling — is being harmed, or clearly going to be harmed, then it’s just none of my (or your) business.
Those who have various business dealings with Michael Vick — Atlanta Falcons, Nike, and others — certainly do have a moral standing in the affair. So do you, indirectly; if you go to Falcons games, buy products with the Falcons logo, or buy Nike. If those and other businesses do what you’d have done had you possessed their authority in the matter, then you’ve discovered another business that reflects your own values and you might happily spend even more money on them. But if they don’t do as you’d have done, then your business and the business of others like you is less important to them than their relationship with Michael Vick, in which case it’s up to you to decide whether their acting contrary to your values is something you’re willing to live with because you like the values they produce more, or you take your business elsewhere.
It’s all very simple, people. Why does everyone think jail cell? Why not do what and only what is exactly within your moral authority to do? Why do you insist on a claim to authority to materially destroy someone’s life, or sanction others to do so, when you’ve not been harmed in the slightest? Why do you, as does Michael Vick, behave so primitively and savagely?
Of course, that’s not the case. A state-run system could decide, as
Medicare does, that they’ll pay for any and all necessary procedures,
and do so quickly. Then there would be no rationing.
That was Ezra Klein, a couple of days ago.
On the same day, the Guardian reported the full extent of what happens when the State says there will be no rationing.
Mugabe strikes again.
President Robert Mugabe’s order that all shop prices be cut by at least
half, and sometimes several times more, has forced stores to open to
hordes of customers waving thick blocks of near worthless money given
new value by the price cuts. The police and groups of ruling party
supporters could be seen leading the charge for a bargain.
It’s reported that Mugabe dismisses charges that this will only make things worse as "bookish economics." Yea, that definitely looks like a theory-practice dichotomy to me.
Both Bruce and Dale handled Klein and his dumb cheerleaders, if you’re interested.
"Brazil plane crash may haunt government"
That’s what the headline reads. Now, that may indeed mean they’re sufficiently
afraid of election defeat "haunted" to half-ass emulate the act of serving paying customers, which typically implies — for starters — that you don’t kill them as the inevitable consequence of objective deficiencies you knew about and could have done something about. Then again, like most Latin-American parasitocracies, they’ll probably just shrug it off and…and…"viva la revolucion!"
Note that it does not say: "Brazil plane crash may put Government out of business." There’s about two centuries, at least, of unlearned lesson there.
I often get the impression that people don’t really get where I’m coming from when I rail against the State.
Here’s a clue: it turns on the distinction between de facto and de jure authority. What I object to, what I always object to, is a presumption of authority based on anything but the facts in their proper context. Another way of explaining this is that I don’t draw non-essential, arbitrary, or meaningless distinctions between individuals, groups of individuals, or institutions such as the State. All are and can only be comprised of individuals and nothing accrues to a group of them — an arbitrary distinction — that is not possessed by an individual according to fact and circumstance. This is the founding idea of America, long lost.
For instance, there are facts and circumstances that when in play, afford every individual the moral authority to kill someone else. No one ought to be able to circumvent such fact and circumstance, and forming a mob — regardless of what you call it — does nothing to change that.
Got rid of a bunch of stuff that slows loading, including Answer Tips, Snap Previews, Technoratti, Blogbar Search, and other stuff. All cool; but look: if you’re not coming here to basically read what I write, then to hell with you anyway. And if you are, you probably pay no attention to all that stuff anyway (except maybe Snap, which has gotten better, and may be the one thing I put back), so I’m just being of service to those who may presume that being of some service to those kind enough to stop by and read is a big part of why I do this.
One of the blogs on my regular rounds and which I link to a lot is Warren Meyer’s Coyote Blog. I’ve know this for a while, but today he posted something about a service he runs that my family and I enjoy a great deal.
McArthur-Burney Falls. I commented at his post.
Good job. It’s not really "private," (nor is any "private" property, for that matter) but I get what you’re aiming at.
In a couple of weeks we’ll have our 10th annual family camping trip just down the road, 10 miles south of the 299 / 89 junction at Herford Ranch off Dotty Rd. We enjoy the warm days, cool evenings, and starry skies. In the late afternoon, I fly the glassoff from Hat Creek Rim in a hang-glider. We almost always make a trip up to Burney Falls and have an ice cream or soda in your very nice and clean concession.
I’ll be looking for those improvements this time around.
The falls themselves are beyond beautiful; and even when it’s 100 degrees outside and you descend to the falls, it cools down into about the 70s, I’d estimate. Really nice. I had lots of photos, but lost them in a drive crash before I organized them and uploaded them for backup. Bea has some, though, and I can always get more.
Here’s a previous post about the annual trip, which was originally all about flying the rim every evening and is now about that and family camping. I plan to have lots of photos and video from this year. Here’s a short flying video starring me. That’s a less aggressive launch than it ought to be, but the landing is pretty much dead on.