1-29-11 Hodegpodge

Saturday, January 29, 2011

In and Out

Due to travel, I may or may not be punctual about comments or email until Monday evening. In addition, I may not post on Monday.

Two Cartoons

Via Objectivism Online, I learned of two panel cartoons, "The 24 Types of Libertarian" and "The 24 Types of Authoritarian." I would find the first much more entertaining were it not for the fact that many people confuse libertarianism with actual advocacy of capitalism. (That, and the plausibility some of its straw men will have for many people.) The second cartoon, which was written in reaction to the first, is an almost unqualified success.

Both panels miss a twenty-fifth type: The Authoritarian Libertarian. I have personally become acquainted with a handful of these over the years. One such specimen was a member of the Libertarian Party and actually forced his daughter, while she was sick with the flu, to read Atlas Shrugged, demonstrating his own poor grasp of its meaning in the process.

Our occupation of Iraq -- without even the insistence of separation of religion and state we made with Japan after World War II -- might also qualify as "authoritarian libertarianism." You can't point guns at a people and expect them to become Jeffersonian democrats. You can afford them the opportunity to change their minds, and perhaps offer some guidance, but unless they change their minds about Islam as the source of all law, they'll end up with a theocracy.

Weekend Reading

"[T]here are, indeed, certain occasions when the truth doesn't matter as much as your physical safety or personal privacy." -- Michael Hurd in "When Is a Lie Better than the Truth?" at DrHurd.com

"[W]hether it's Facebook, classic cars, a hedge fund or plain vanilla index fund, all investors -- regardless of their wealth -- ... have the same right to make up their own minds about where to allocate their money." -- Jonathan Hoenig in "Why Do Regulators Hate the Markets?" at SmartMoney

More Beautiful Music

Commenting on yesterday's post (You may need to scroll up.), Snedcat linked to the above example of Franco-Flemish polyphany. See his comments to learn about it.

Nice Joke, Mom!

Our flight is early Saturday morning, so I'm composing this Friday night. I talked to my Mom on the phone about an hour ago, and she told me about a new procrastination joke: "I have not yet begun to procrastinate!"

"That would be great material for my blog," I tell her.

"I'll email you a picture," she replied. "Sucker!" she thought.

There was no email. The image at right comes from the Better than Pants site, which sells the shirt.

-- CAV


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Gus,
I'm wondering, vis a vis your Iraq comment, if you think that Obama's admonition of Mubarak in Egypt is going to be his Jimmy Carter Iran moment?

c. andrew

Gus Van Horn said...


I've been in a sort of news blackout for the past couple of days, so I'm not sure what Obama said to Mubarak, but since Islamic totalitarians are so strong in the Middle East, I have a hard time imagining anything good coming of the unrest over there.

Two interesting historical parallels come to mind on the subject, though. (1) Tunisia's LAST ruler was installed after a popular uprising decades ago, showing how useful it is for people to revolt absent a coherent (and substantially correct) theory about the proper purpose of government. (2) Swap Islamic totalitarians with communists and consider how many such uprisings simply resulted in communist dictatorships during the Cold War.