5-26-12 Hodgepodge

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

Travel and family obligations may cause posting to be light and irregular over the next week, particularly the early part.

Weekend Reading

"Because the best indicator of the market is the market itself, the logical approach toward mitigating uncertainty is to position oneself to follow the trend, not fight it." -- Jonathan Hoenig, in "How to Tame Market Uncertainty" at SmartMoney

"Almost a quarter-century of clinical experience has convinced me that hypnosis - as it's usually understood - is a fraud." -- Michael Hurd, in "Fraud or Fantasy?" at DrHurd.com

"If you value your lives, don't be fooled by their health care Newspeak. Otherwise, you may soon be getting your medical care from Dr. Orwell." -- Paul Hsieh, in "Dr. Orwell Will See You Now" at PJ Media

Five Years Ago Today

I posted the following quote about lying that a reader had helped me locate:

The essence of a con-man's lie," [Ayn Rand] began, "of any such lie, no matter what the details, is the attempt to gain a value by faking certain facts of reality."

She went on: "Now can't you grasp the logical consequences of that kind of policy ? Since all facts of reality are interrelated, faking one of them leads the person to fake others; ultimately, he is committed to an all-out war against reality as such. But this is the kind of war no one can win. If life in reality is a man's purpose, how can he expect to achieve it while struggling at the same time to escape and defeat reality?"

And she concluded: "The con-man's lies are wrong on principle. To state the principle positively: honesty is a long-range requirement of human self-preservation and is, therefore, a moral obligation." [bold added]
Coincidentally, I was reminded of this quote while reading part of Individual Rights and Government Wrongs during a flight yesterday. Describing the psychological torture that comes with the life of a con man, author Brian Phillips notes the following:
[A] reporter tells of comments made by Bernie Madoff: "'It was a nightmare for me,' he told investigators, using the word over and over, as if he were the real victim. 'I wish they caught me six years ago, eight years ago.'"
Interestingly, another figure brought up in this part of the book, Barry Minkow, made a similar admission -- and yet still did not change his ways.


A Christian predicts that questions about the existence of Mohammed will doom Islam, and some press organ in theocratic Iran is claiming that a new discovery will do the same to Christianity. People who want to be fooled -- I mean, "have faith", as my creationist college roommate once put it as he thumped on his Bible -- don't give a damn about evidence. On one level, it amuses me to see people who should know this so thoroughly brainwashing themselves that they can make such claims with a straight face.


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