Quick Roundup 371

Monday, October 20, 2008

Blogworthy things seem to have come in pairs today....

Two Roundups

Last week, Rational Jenn posted the 66th Objectivist Roundup and Mike N posted a weekend roundup of his own.

Two from Amit Ghate

Amit Ghate has recently posted a couple of the kinds of short, sweet examples that can come in handy during conversations about politics.

First, he links to "Barstool Economics", which very nicely demonstrates all at once: (1) the disproportionate burden our progressive tax code places on the rich, (2) the degree of dependence the welfare state has on this demonized demographic , and (3) how much of the population is freeloading on the rich through income redistribution. Although this doesn't directly address the fundamental problem of taxation -- that it violates individual rights -- the enterprising interlocutor should have no trouble steering things that way! (Also, through his link, I was reminded of the existence of Doug Reich's blog, The Rational Capitalist, which is now listed in the sidebar.)

Second, he does his best imitation of Virgil in Dante's Inferno, showing us a nearly perfect example straight from the the hell of Lew Rockwell of Libertarians being merely anti-government, rather than pro-individual rights. The title says it all: "The Enemy is Always the State". Too bad we need the state -- a proper government, to be precise -- to protect the individual rights on which our lives in a society depend.

Two Issues Sites

I have mentioned Diana Hsieh's Coalition for Secular Government here before and I link to its blog, Politics without God, on the sidebar, but until today, I hadn't listed the main site on my resources page. Now it's there, under "National Organizations" on the right hand side.

Also, thanks to her blog, I have learned about Tony Donadio's micro-site, Repeal the Bailout, and have also added it to the resources page.

Two Veterans Come in off the Bench

Martin Lindeskog, whose blog loads a little more quickly these days, reports that Cox and Forkum recently posted a cartoon about the bailout on their web site. Quoth Allen Forkum:

In defense of this socialist expansion, Bush gives us a classic A-is-non-A denial of reality: "These measures are not intended to take over the free market but to preserve it." Clearly the man doesn't even know what the "free" in "free market" means. And unfortunately neither do McCain and Obama.
After seeing a headline this weekend in which Bush reportedly urged something to the effect that we should keep our economies free, my initial reaction was, "Too late!" This was followed swiftly by, "This man clearly doesn't know what the hell he is talking about."

Two Blegs

1. I remain swamped by the Eternal Cross-Country Relocation from Hell, but want to do some blog upkeep soon. If anyone has noticed any hyperlinks that no longer work or whose sites are no longer being maintained, particularly on the Resources page, I'd be grateful for the time a heads-up would save me.

2. Are there any Kung Fu movie aficionados out there? I'm not really the action movie type, but I have the urge to watch one, and I don't know diddly about this genre. Fortunately, I've had pretty good luck soliciting advice here before....

Being There II?

And speaking of movies, the following recent comment about Barack Obama by Myrhaf caused me to become curious enough about the Peter Sellers movie, Being There to rent it.
It becomes theatre of the absurd when you consider what Obama did during the bailout. He did what always does: nothing. The guy is like the Peter Sellers character in Being There.
He certainly hit that one on the head! The movie, at least, was hilarious. Its real-life sequel, if the election gives us one in an Obama Presidency, will, like most sequels, disappoint.

-- CAV


Amlan said...

Hi Gus,

"Enter the Dragon" with Bruce Lee is definitely a kung fu movie to watch. There is a sequel also (Return of the Dragon) that is good.

Jackie Chan movies are good too - great stunts and usually quite funny. Rumble in the Bronx is the one I would suggest to start with.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for the suggestions!

Dismuke said...

Do a google search for "link checker" and you will get results for a number of free services that will check them for you - some of them web based others a software program you download. I don't have any specific recommendations as to which one is best. I just recalled seeing such services before and my very first google search to find some immediately brought up a bunch of results.

I also recall seeing services that will monitor your website on an ongoing basis and send you alerts when links go down after so long. I am sure if you search around a bit you can find some. That sort of service probably costs money - but since you only have a small number of html pages, it wouldn't surprise me if a few offered free accounts that are limited to checking just a small number of pages. And it could very well be that someone has come up with a program that does it for free - these days it is not too complicated for programmers to make a program send out an email notification based on certain criteria. I am constantly amazed at some of the really nifty programs that people come up with and then make available for free.

Gus Van Horn said...

That's an excellent idea! Thanks for the suggestion.

Galileo Blogs said...

I concur on the Bruce Lee movies. They are fun to watch.

If you want to veer into gunfighting, my all-time favorite is, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly." It is my favorite Western and concludes with the best gunfight scene ever filmed, IMHO.

If you want to veer into ancient fighting, I recommend "300," which I just saw for the first time recently. Simply great fighting scenes, and a great movie overall, despite some historical inaccuracies that others have commented on.

Gus Van Horn said...

I think I might have seen *The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly*, but a very long time ago. But yeah. You can't go wrong with Eastwood!

We watched *300* when it came out and I enjoyed that.

Amit Ghate said...

Thanks for the links Gus! As to movies I agree that Enter the Dragon is the must see of the genre, then some of Lee's earlier movies (Return of the Dragon, Big Boss, Fists of Fury) and then the Jackie Chan ones (Rumble in the Bronx and Drunken Master). I'd steer away from Jet Li's movies as the plots, writing and even choreography are horrific despite the fact that he's an amazing martial artist (Romeo Must Die is the only movie of his that I'd consider watchable).

Gus Van Horn said...

You're welcome. Glad you posted that stuff.

Well, then! I guess I'll have to put *Enter the Dragon* into the Netflix
queue post haste!

Jim May said...

The Lew Rockwell article heading reminds me -- in an opposite-day, "you zig, I'll zag" fashion -- of the Left, who believe that government is always the ultimate solution.

Gus Van Horn said...

Now that's interesting, given that both are, at root, nihilistic movements.

Shooting from the hip, I'd say that the difference lies in how each sees government vis-a-vis reality.

The left sees government as the solution to the bothersome constraints of reality, whereas the libertarian sees government as the representative of such constraints.

mtnrunner2 said...

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Surreal fight scenes, visually stunning. Not sure what to make of some story elements (mix of stoicism, heroism and tragedy), but it's one of those movies that sticks in the mind.

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 - Actually the martial arts is samurai swordsmanship but it has the same kinetic appeal and great fight sequences, plus a very determined Umea Thurman seeking revenge for an assassination attempt on her wedding day. Even though it's by Tarantino (not always a fan), it's stylish and Uma is great. Warning: blood, mainly because hey, those swords are sharp.

Gus Van Horn said...

Oh, yeah! *Crouching Tiger* WAS good.

*Kill Bill*, on the other hand, is something I would never have come up with. Thanks for the suggestions.

madmax said...

"The left sees government as the solution to the bothersome constraints of reality, whereas the libertarian sees government as the representative of such constraints."

This is an interesting observation. Given that both the Left and Libertarians are subjectivists I have often wondered what makes one subjectivist become a Leftist and one a Libertarian. I have no definite answer but it so often seems to me that Leftists are social subjectivists and Libertarians are personal subjectivists. There is more to it to be sure but the two groups are definitely philosophically similar.

Gus Van Horn said...

"Leftists are social subjectivists and Libertarians are personal subjectivists."

I think that's a big part of your answer, there. Both are whim-worshippers, but of whose whims? The collective consensus or their own?

When I thought about it that way, my first reaction was something like, "and the personal subjectivist is the nore independent-minded" -- except that having an independent mind really requires one to reject, in a fundamental way, primacy of consciousness. (Otherwise, you're not really making up your own mind about anything. You're just having your own little fantasy.)

Jennifer Snow said...

I'd recommend any of Jet Li's more recent films: Romeo Must Die, Unleashed, Hero, Fearless. War was a good movie but lacked the high-flying kung fu stylin's.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for the additional recommendations!

Galileo Blogs said...


I forgot to recommend a superb martial arts movie, "The House of Flying Daggers." It is a visually exquisite fantasy world, along with great martial arts fighting. The director, Zhang Yimou, has a masterful ability to create visually enticing scenes. There is one scene in particular of aerial combat in a bamboo forest that is simply magical. Also the three-way combat scene in an alternately summery and then wintry field.

He also made another movie, "Hero," that is excellent but very disturbing. It is the story of the unification of China by its first emperor. But it is more than that. It is clearly an allegory for modern day China. Viewed that way, it is supremely nationalistic and absolutely chilling. But it has that effect because Zhang Yimou is such a talented director and so effectively demonstrated the theme through the visual images he created. To gain a small key into the intense nationalism of modern China, watch this movie.

If you see the movie, consider its meaning of patriotism in the movie's final scene versus the American version of patriotism.

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks for the two additional suggestions, especially the latter, as it will also appeal to the intellectual movie-goer in me.

Thanks to you and all the other commenters, I have quite a nice list now! I really made out like a bandit with that question!