Monday, May 10, 2010
Questions and Tips
After seeing FormSpring on a few blogs I follow, I've decided to experiment with it here as both a sort of permanent open thread/post idea generator and as a convenient way of collecting news tips that aren't really on-topic.
My FormSpring account is linked at the upper right as "Questions and Tips," while there remains a link below it for others who would prefer to email me. Depending on how things go with this, I may either shift entirely to FormSpring for people interested in contacting me or drop it altogether.
Eight Years, Three Philosophers, Quadrupel Goodness
Thanks to Martin Lindeskog, who knows how to celebrate his eight years of blogging in style, I am now "beer hunting" for the chance to taste Three Philosophers Beer, a Quadrupel. The web site of its Cooperstown, New York-based brewer, Ommegang, quotes from a review in the Anchorage Press:
An exciting new addition to the Ommegang lineup is Three Philosophers, a blend of Belgian dark strong ale and Lindeman's Kriek (a classic cherry lambic directly from Belgium). On the bottleneck, it says "Strength in Union," signaling the beer's portent and possibilities. It produces a wine-like ruby fill in the goblet and a nose of malt, dark fruits, vanilla and sweet cherries... But there's more - coffee, currants, brandied raisins, chocolate and sour notes - all blending nicely across the palate. Careful aging is this beer's friend, and I think it will definitely make this example better still.I can't wait to try this one!
I like Niall Ferguson's summary of the choices confronting Tory David Cameron after his party won only a plurality in the recent British elections. The following sums up the philosophical reason the Brits have the first hung parliament in decades:
The dire state of the economy all but guaranteed a Labour defeat but it was not sufficient to give David Cameron's Conservatives a majority. The fundamental skew of the electoral map against the Tories denied it to them, just as serious students of the subject had predicted months ago. Changes in demography and population density; the growth of small parties; the extinction of the Conservative vote in Scotland; and the post-Thatcher critical mass of people who fear Tory cuts -- these factors together always made it unlikely that Mr Cameron would win this election outright. [minor edits, links dropped, emphasis added]The above also has a very, very familiar ring to it, especially on this side of the Atlantic.
So long as people dislike the consequences of central planning, but neither see them as such nor oppose central planning on moral grounds, they will not deliver a mandate to get rid of it.
Controls Breed and Perpetuate Controls
I hold that potential Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's sexual orientation -- she was rumored to be a lesbian, but is actually straight, if I recall correctly -- is both nobody's business but her own and completely irrelevant with respect to whether she ought to sit on the Supreme Court. That said, I wonder whether that controversy is distracting too many from looking at her judicial philosophy, and I see it, coming from the left as it does, as somewhat suspicious for that reason.
A link from Instapundit took me to this Pajamas Media piece by Cynthia Yockey, about said controversy. There, I found a couple of interesting observations. First, the idea that we are all state property fuels demonization of homosexuals.
So the main reason that lesbians and gays are demonized applies through the full range of the political spectrum: Our sexual union does not produce children who would be useful for the purpose of building the power and wealth of other people. This is anathema to totalitarians of every description bent on nation building. They cannot tolerate a single shirker in the baby-making department. So they devise rules -- divinely inspired, of course -- that do everything possible to validate only sex to produce children.And second, we have an example of controls perpetuating controls for the same ilk, but for a different reason:
Various religions have figured out how to get millions in government money to finance their operations through enterprises nominally for the purpose of charity or doing good to vulnerable populations -- such as adoption agencies, hospitals, nursing homes, and so on. However, since they generally want to continue to refuse services to lesbians and gays, or to hire us -- which they totally would be allowed to do with impunity if they were not taking government money or using government property -- equality for lesbians and gays represents both the end of their sweet, sweet gravy train and unflattering publicity about the routes the gravy train took and the tons of cash it delivered.Conversely, consistent government protection of property rights would remove one of the many strong motivations for various religions to impede full individual rights for homosexuals.
On the bright side, at least his kids aren't being second-handers!
Today: Corrected spelling of brewery and sex of parent in cartoon.