-A few people might still know that I was a McCain supporter. An early McCain supporter. And I defended him, including the BCRA (the campaign finance bill). No one brought it up (probably because I’m such an insignificant blogger, but I still expected one of my friends to ridicule me) but I still feel a sense of cognitive dissonance over the fact I defended BCRA yet I was happy SCOTUS recently took the teeth out of the bill. The idealist in me is happy the government no longer restricts the rights of associations of citizens to pursue shared interests in the dynamic speech arena of American democracy. But, I also know this changes helps the left much more than it does the right. As a practical political hack, I didn’t mind the restriction. Having read the decision, I can’t say I disagree with the majority opinion.
-Read The Iliad as part of the GBWW reading program. Not much I can add to the copious literature related to this Homeric Epic, but I will say this book completely changed my perception of the violence in the Old Testament.
-Having a hard time coming to terms with Glenn Beck. I have openly criticized his program from being simple hyperbolic rabble rousing manipulative showmanship. But, I’ve been watching more and more, and he is one of the only talking heads who willingly shows actual data in the forms of graphs and charts. He also digs up the words of long dead philosophers. Something all pundits should do, since hard data and aged wisdom speak louder than BS rhetoric. Maybe I criticized Glenn too soon, but he still makes me cringe whenever I watch; which is more and more often.
-Read Plato’s Meno as part of the Great Books of the Western World Ten Year Reading Program. The more I read Plato, the more I enjoy it. Meno starts out as a search for the true nature of virtue and it turns into a discussion of the problem of knowledge and the nature of the human soul. It’s “deep” but very approachable philosophy.
-What a great winter. I wish I was more of a shutterbug, the weather this year provided so many opportunities to get those great winter snow shots. The snow has been great. And I normally hate winters. It was too cold for only a few weeks there, otherwise very pleasant. And now, with a pair of size 17 hockey skates coming my way, I have more reasons to look forward to a long winter.
-Read an article on the shortage of rare earth elements, which are important in new electronic gadgets. It suggested the US needs to subsidize rare earth element mining to avoid shortage because that’s what China does. 1) Why subsidize these elements when we already get subsidized elements from China? 2) Couldn’t it be said the coming shortage of rare earth elements was caused by the subsidy itself? Come on, these elements will be mined when it makes sense to do so. Subsidization will only end in a misallocation of scarce resources. Let the Chinese do that.
-I’ve never been able to understand when other people complain about trade deficits. Normally defined as when the US imports more foreign stuff than exports US stuff. Isn’t this good? It means we have more stuff. Let other countries try to eat our money or use it to play videogames. Hazlitt, in his “Economics in One Lesson” dissects this issue better.
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