Tuesday, July 31, 2007
But Sasha Volok has outdone us a bit:
(To the tune of Surfing USA)
We're doing battle with statists
Across the USA,
'Cause everybody's reading Hayek,
The man from Austri-ay --
In spontaneous order
We let the market play,
With the writer Fred Hayek,
We use the signals of prices
And then we'll be O.K.,
'Cause no one knows what's efficient
Unless they have to pay;
If we replace that with planning
Like once in Russ-i-ay, [pronounced "Rush-Eye-Ay"]
We'll take the road to serfdom --
[Backup singers should at this point start singing, "Serfdom, serfdom USA, Friedrich H-A-Y-E-K."]
We still have government bureaus,
Just like the FDA, [replace with three-letter agency of your choice ending in A]
But the welfare state mindset
Will soon become passe.
Ayn Rand said he was evil,
Which makes him A-O.K. --
Friedrich August von Hayek, H-A-Y-E-K.
Quick, someone get this over to Bruce Caldwell ASAP!
(Hat tip to Mungowitz)
Monday, July 30, 2007
1. Say there is no god, would you no longer love your family, friends, children, pets or significant others? Why or why not?
I would love them much more selfishly. Right now I love my wife and am committed to her unconditionally. If she were hurt so that I had to care for her the rest of her life with no return, or if she cheated on me, I would stay with her and continue to love her. If there were no God, I would only be capable of loving her for what she does for me.
2. Say there is no god, would you stop hoping for a cure for cancer? Why or why not?
No, I would not, but I wouldn't contribute to cancer research charities (my current favorites are AFLAC's Children's cancer and the Jimmy V foundation) unless I thought I would benefit from them. Since I have no history of cancer in 3 generations of my family, I don't smoke and drink only in moderation I am not at risk. I'd probably contribute more to heart disease charities.
3. Say there is no god, would you stop caring about the health of the environment? Why or why not?
I don't care much about the health of the environment now. At least not religiously like many others do. I don't recycle, other than cans sometimes, because most recycling processes are more expensive, wasteful,, and sometimes harmful to human existence than just trashing them.
I do take care of my own property, because I have an interest in it, and if people really cared about the environment they would buy up endangered properties and restore them on their own.
4. Say there is no god, would you want orphaned children to find loving homes? Why or why not?
I would want orphans to do the best that they could. But would I have an interest in adopting a child if I did not believe in God? Only if they would take care of me in my old age, and work for me while they lived with me. Right now I support two children in Africa, and I spent 8 years working with at-risk kids in the inner city because I believe in Christ's mandate for Christians to care for the least of these.
5. Say there is no god, would you want auto-engineers to design a safe car that gets great gas mileage? Why or why not?
I would want them to design a car that is of excellent quality and pleases me. If it has great safety features, I would place a premium on those features based on how much it would cost me.
6. Say there is no god, would you want Osama Bin Laden to be captured? Why or why not?
(I'm not sure what this one is getting at, so I'll have to come back to it.)
7. Say there is no god, would you want child-abusers to be punished by law? Why or why not?
8. Say there is no god, would you teach children to be selfish? Why or why not?
9. Say there is no god, would you steal money from an unattended purse? Why or why not?
10. Say there is no god, would you steal an item from a large department store? Why or why not?
FINALLY: Say there is no god, identify at least one reason you would still have to keep on living, be happy and that would bring meaning to your life. (Think hard–you can do this!)
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
My response to the Latin Americans among these would be to say, "You had your chance, but decided to act French, instead."
Also, Americans had a strong tradition in identifying themselves with the particular State they lived in, often calling themselves Carolinian, or Virginian, or New Mexican, or Texan. This attachment was nostalgic, and focused on smaller communities with more peculiar cultures. Only now, some 4 or 5 generation after the Civil War, are these notions beginning to subside, along with ease and frequency of emigration.
I, personally, prefer to identify myself as a New Mexican, though I was born in New England and have lived in North Carolina for 10 years now.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Geez, somebody buy Gareth a copy of Wild at Heart, please!
Look, I'm anti-statist, and a strong advocate of the non-aggression principle, but I LOVE Die Hard! I went to see Hostage a few years ago hoping it would be Die Hard 4 and was sore disappointed. But Live Free or Die Hard was exactly what I wanted to see. I almost stood up in my seat cheering when that fire hydrant blew.
A couple of points on principal though:
1. This was an attack on individuals, and private property, on American soil. If you can't defend that we are in trouble.
2. The attack was unprovoked, and completely malicious.
3. The US Government did everything wrong they possibly could have. Perfectly in line with the truth, eh, Katrina?
4. McClaine is attacked first. He is actively defending not just an innocent, but a criminal, trying to bring him to justice. Guantanamo?
5. Wall Street. This was the scariest scene in the film to me. And I don't have any money invested anywhere. I'm a broke student. But the thought of a major sell on Wall Street, of any kind of damage to our financial institutions, is outright horrifying. Buy Garreth a copy of Economics In One Lesson to go along with Wild At Heart. That's a great pairing any day.
6. Violence. God uses it. He encourages strength. We must think more deeply about these things. No wonder men hate church!
Yippie ki yay!
This issue simply does not work out unless the innocents are considered. I have proposed volunteers evacuating them to the
I say nonsense. Today the cost of the war stands at $442 billion according to costofwar.com. There are 27 million Iraqis. That’s $16,370 per Iraqi. Easily enough to move them here and provide some high density housing. And that’s if ALL of them move. I doubt it would take more than half of the population emigrating to communicate to powerseekers that the current mode was not working.
Fearmongers will gripe that the Muslims will murder us all if we do this. That the terrorists will come, too, and start blowing us up. Especially if volunteers demonstrate the love of Christ so compassionately as to welcome strangers into our homes…
Especially if we leave their homeland and stop trying to dictate their politics…
Especially if we stop financing their natural enemies…
Especially if we bring 200,000 well trained military personnel home to live among them…
We certainly ought to be afraid. We also ought to allow our fear to dictate what is feasible and even more so what is right.
I’m snarking now, so you’ll have to excuse me, but the fact is that Christians must assume the responsibility or else quit griping. We have to be risky. We have to be courageous. And we must not put our hope in the state. No wonder men hate church.
My favorites from the list:
(2) “Ho” and “pimp”
(3) “My baby’s daddy (or mama)” or “I take care of all my kids, I buy them what they need”
***(10) “The government will save us”
(11) “All blacks must think like white, liberal elitist democrats”
(13) “I don’t need a man, I can take care of myself”
(14) “Sports (and Entertainment) is my only way out”
(17) “My car needs rims now”
(20) “Open up ya mouth, ya grill gleamin”
And, for those of us from Durham: (21) “What’s wrong with strippin’?”
Monday, July 09, 2007
Radical Islam is not capable of conquering the world. It imposes economic structures which limit the capacity for growth and sustenance. There is a reason many societies governed by Sharia law have low productivity and concentrated wealth.
The rest of the world also lives according to a pagan concept of time and law. Many see their lives as static and fatalistic. They don’t think there is anything they can do to improve their lot, indeed the law frequently prohibits it. They look to those who hold power over them in fear but also for their sustenance. This is worship.
We should not be surprised then, that there are frequent wars among these peoples who do not believe in expansion of wealth, but only in its redistribution by power. The varying packs of wolves will always fight for a greater portion of the sheep.
A mistake is made when we ally ourselves to one pack of wolves or another. We often do so in the name of the sheep, but it is really to the detriment of another flock. When we fought Hitler we doomed Stalin’s sheep. When we fought Japan we left many more to the whims of Chaiman Mao. Better to let the wolves fight each other, and if possible to rescue some of the sheep away from the dogfight.
But we must keep our own dogs leashed lest they go wild. When we encourage warmongering we pit our Labradors against Mastiffs. We ought not to be surprised when they become more violent and occasionally bite our children’s hands. When we let them tug too hard at the leash and pull us around by regulating our industries we should not be surprised when we fall down for trying to hold on to them. When they eat too much of our taxes in the name of social welfare we ought not to be surprised when the make messes and vomit on the rug, leaving the poor with little dignity and the taxpayer in regret.
We ought to work to limit the role of the state in every way. But first we must take up the responsibility for the least of these ourselves. It is the unique and exclusive role of the church. If we fail in it we ought not be surprised when the state assumes our responsibilities.
Again, Islamic power is no worse than the potential of pluralistic secular power. We must work to keep our own dogs tame.Nathanael Snow
Of these the only one I can’t support is the political entity. God never intended for
If your eschatology is dependent upon a political entity utilizing force to harm innocents I have to question whether you can mesh it neatly with the non – aggression principle implicit in the Christian ethic. I don’t like to get into eschatology too much, but adoption of non – aggression led me away from statism and simultaneously away from dispensationalism, premillenialism, and Zionism. It was frustrating to me because I had to discover the common bond among these outside the Church, and many churches teach a statism alongside non – aggression and amillenialism. Indeed, Sojourner’s seems to adopt such a position.
Again, I support the right of Jews to voluntarily purchase property anywhere in the world they choose to do so. I believe it is a good idea for them to do so in