Friday, November 17, 2006

R.I.P. Milton Friedman

This is brilliant:

'Given our monstrous, overgrown government structure, any three letters chosen at random would probably designate an agency or part of a department that could be profitably abolished.'

Thursday, November 16, 2006

My Name's not Dave

but often my mom wishes that, when I was born,
she had named me Bodkin Van Horn.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Voltaire's aphorism

Voltaire is attributed with the aphorism, "I don't agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." If he said this, of course it was a lie.

The truth of the matter is that the length to which one will go to defend your right to say what you say is roughly proportional to the product of the extent one agrees with what you say and one's estimation of its importance, which is the sum of importance to oneself weighted by one's self-centredness coefficient, m*, and its cosmic importance weighted by (1 - m).

* For me, m = 0.98; for most, m = something above 0.9.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Capitalism (My comment in Mark Shea's combox on this post)

True, man was not made for the market, but neither was the market made for man. In fact the market was not "made" at all.

Capitalism is not a system that's imposed on anyone. Rather "the market" is simply the epi-phenomenon resulting from people pursuing their own economic interests. It seems to be a fact that you can, by political means, impose constraints into the market for purely economic reasons (I say this to distinguish this act from what may be the perfectly laudable suppression of markets in, say, recreational narcotics or pornography), when some one complains that the rich are getting too rich. But once the market corrects itself, blindly, by the individual actions of the multitude of economic actors, you simply end up with the the rich still just fine, poor a little poorer, and nobody happy.

Go ahead. Raise the minimum wage high enough so that everyone's rich. In the short run the poor will be out of work and products will be scarce until their prices rise enough for businesses to hire workers again. In the long run the purchasing power of the raised minimum wage will be no more than the power of the old minimum.

The thing about selfishness is that Capitalism is the one system that selfishness does not break. No one is saying you have to be selfish otherwise capitalism won't work. We should encourage unselfishness. We should encourage people to make wise use of their money to raise themselves and their children to be close to God. But this is all outside of economics and no amount of your mucking about to ensure that the wealth of the poorest subtracted from the wealth of the richest ends up being the smallest number possible is going to help that. I have no idea why that's a sensible goal anyway.

If you want, you can impose communism (There's a system that must be imposed). Then everybody's poor....

(except the rich).

The Secret.

As I am relatively certain that no one is reading my blog, I feel safe in revealing The Secret. None will be the wiser if I explain the proper way to eat World's Finest Continental Almonds. These are the chocolate covered almonds sold at exorbitant prices by children raising funds for their schools or sports teams.

The method is this:

The almonds must be eaten in threes, so take three almonds at once. If there are only one or two left in the box, leave them for some poor, benighted soul who knows not The Secret.

Now, put the first almond in your mouth, and, gently with your teeth, and, vigourously with your tongue, work all the chocolate off the nut. Chew and swallow this chocolate, taking extreme care not to bite down on the nut itself. Keep the nut in your mouth, gently sucking on it as if it were a piece of hard candy. You'll know when it's time to proceed to the next step, when all memory of the chocolate taste has faded.

Next, with your tongue, tuck the nut into a corner of your mouth where it will not be disturbed; I prefer the space high up between the cheek and the the top right second and third molars. Now you may slip the second morsel into your mouth. Repeat the same procedure as for the first piece, this time ensuring that you bite on neither the first nor the second nut. You may now bring the first almond, out of hiding, sucking on both of them until, as before, any recollection of the savour of chocolate has dissipated. It is at least five minutes, and preferably more, since first you removed the trio from the box or plastic carousel, and comes now, as they say, "the payoff".

Position the two dry almonds between top and bottom molars, one on each side, and slide the third and final almond onto your tongue. Crunch down and being a lusty mastication of all three forbidden fruits. Savour this moment with all your concentration for it is, as you will see, an all too brief glimpse, just for your mouth, of some hint of a shade of that future Glory to which we're all called. You may thank God, at this point. Wait ten minutes before daring to approach the box again for another trinity of mandolinite delectibles.

But how, you nonexistent reader may ask, do I know The Secret is true? This follows unmistakably from the fact that the old 85 gram box of WFCA always contained a number of almonds divisible by three (I think it was twenty one, but I may be corrected). With my heart in my throat, I do vouchsafe that this is not the case with the new 75 gram (same price) box. This only proves that The Secret is now in graver danger than ever of being lost to posterity, as has been my great fear for a number of years.

Do not betray my trust, dear absent reader.

Terri Schiavo

I like to start a new blog every coupla months. Today, I repost an important entry from an earlier blog.

Re: Terri Schiavo.
My greatest fear is to end up like Terri.
And so, my living will:

I (insert your--I mean my--name), declare that:

1) should my greatest pleasure in life--namely, to lie or semi-recline in bed and stare out into space in an unconscious or semi-conscious and preferably drugged state--ever be denied me, and

2) should I be unable, through misadventure or dis-ease, to communicate my wishes to my life-insurance beneficiaries and underpaid Canadian doctors impatiently waiting for my hospital bed in an impoverished fourth rate hospital, whose only consolation for West African levels of healthcare is that it's a d---d sight better than the Americans' system,

I direct that I be slowly tortured to death by methods including, but not limited to starvation and dehydration resulting in the gradual painful failure of my organs one at a time.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Leaving Las Vegas

Virginia may be for lovers; I'd say it's a matter of opinion. And while some may disagree, I say what's not to about NY? Yea, if anyone (smaller than me) says that Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan isn't the "Gateway to Pure Air and Water", I'll drop 'em.

Nope, the only city that hangs it's tourism hat on a pure bare-faced lie is Las Vegas. Their slogan "What happens here, stays here", though more than six years old now, has reappeared in recent TV commercials, and with the blossoming of that Amorphophallus titanum known as the World Wide Web (www for short), it has never been less true.

Other commentators have bemoaned the way the slogan seems to promote naughty behavior. I take issue with its sheer mendacity. The ways in which what happens in Las Vegas leaves Las Vegas are legion. What doesn't leave on video flash memory or on Internet accessible court documents, might nonetheless leave in a deep shame burning behind the eyes when it pokes up out of the unconscious in the minutes between sleep and waking some early mornings. And what doesn't leave Las Vegas in the form of tiny malevolent bacteria living in the soft moist tissues around the genitals, will most assuredly leave on the soul, for better or worse.

The final and weakest beat of the the wing of the tiniest butterfly dying in the gutter next to the service entrance of the Bellagio...

leaves Las Vegas.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rabbis to curse Jerusalem gay parade organizers

Heh! This is wicked.
In a ceremony known as “Pulsa D’nura” (blows of fire), rabbis of the anti-Zionist Edah Haredit rabbinic court will convene sometime before the march to conduct the ceremony to unleash unearthly powers against specified sinners
I think you have to be a 15th level cleric to cast a Pulsa D'nura! Man, I wish I could do that. Anything less that a +7 Cloak of Protection is useless. If I were a gay Jew, I'd be lookin' for an Amulet of Life Protection, PDQ.

(linked via
Kathy Shaidle)

Thursday, November 09, 2006


So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. Ruth 1:19-20

About Me

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I'd be a blackguard and a cad, if I weren't so ineffectual. The less said "About Me", the better.