Friday, May 19, 2006

Johnny Damon: My Homie?

I had no idea Johnny Damon was from my hometown. (Actually, my home town is Gotha, FL, so NO ONE is from there, but I have an expansive sense of place).

He moved to Dr. Phillips when he was young. At that time, Dr. Phillips was not much of a place (it isn't exactly Paris now). It had to be a little hard to have an Asian mother in redneck city. When I was in high school, there were lots of Klan boys and Klan wannabes, proud of the knives they brought to school. There were small towns in the area whose proud motto was "The sun has never set on a live [n-word, meaning black man] in ______." These sundown towns were not exactly hospitable to outsiders.

Of course, by the time that Johnny D moved there, in 1978, it was...not much better. Way to go, John. Way to get out of there. A big part of the reason he got out is this sort of behavior.

A picture and story of Johnny D and DPHS lads; for some reason removed from local paper server, but available for a little while on the Google cache.

(Nod to MMartin, my best stringer)

John Stuart Mill

Millfest at Catallarchy, nicely done.

My own favorite Mill quote:

THE TIME, it is to be hoped, is gone by, when any defence would be necessary of the "liberty of the press" as one of the securities against corrupt or tyrannical government. No argument, we may suppose, can now be needed, against permitting a legislature or an executive, not identified in interest with the people, to prescribe opinions to them, and determine what doctrines or what arguments they shall be allowed to hear. This aspect of the question, besides, has been so often and so triumphantly enforced by preceding writers, that it needs not be specially insisted on in this place. Though the law of England, on the subject of the press, is as servile to this day as it was in the time of the Tudors, there is little danger of its being actually put in force against political discussion, except during some temporary panic, when fear of insurrection drives ministers and judges from their propriety;*1 and, speaking generally, it is not, in constitutional countries, to be apprehended, that the government, whether completely responsible to the people or not, will often attempt to control the expression of opinion, except when in doing so it makes itself the organ of the general intolerance of the public. Let us suppose, therefore, that the government is entirely at one with the people, and never thinks of exerting any power of coercion unless in agreement with what it conceives to be their voice. But I deny the right of the people to exercise such coercion, either by themselves or by their government. The power itself is illegitimate. The best government has no more title to it than the worst. It is as noxious, or more noxious, when exerted in accordance with public opinion, than when in opposition to it. If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind. Were an opinion a personal possession of no value except to the owner; if to be obstructed in the enjoyment of it were simply a private injury, it would make some difference whether the injury was inflicted only on a few persons or on many. But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Chisox Update

In September of 2004, I had one of my favorite posts, on the Chisox. I was pretty hard on them, but it really was a fun night.

In the meantime, of course, they won the World Series.

Now, my main man Tofe went to a game with his dad just couple of weeks ago. The situation:

Kansas City at Chi White Sox. Top of the 9th. Bobby jenks comes in (sadly, no shingo like theme song or even "shingo time!" on the big screen) with a 3-2 lead.

And the fans stay IN THEIR SEATS! Dad'o'Tofe, lifelong Red Sox fan, is so outraged that the fans remained seated that he starts sputtering.

a powerful lesson in midwest culture indeed. Here they are, asses firmly still in seats:

FInally, they get up with 2 outs, probably so they can beat the rush back to the El.

Does it really take just one World Series to do that? They used to stand up for Shingo, who had nothing. Now, they sit down for a real team?

A Great Day....

One of my favorite people, and my PhD student, Amy McKay, defended her
thesis and did the walk of fame to get her degree.

Looks like Amy will be visiting at Iowa next year, and then on to great things!

Congratulations to Amy and her family. (Her mom was more than a little skeptical about the whole Libertarian thing, with me. She said, "I thought they were all nuts!" I said, "Well, what point are you trying to make?"

She said, "My daughter's dissertation adviser is a nut?"

Amy defended me, though: "Yes, mom, he is absolutely a nut. It's true."


I'm not sure my chest is big enough to run for Guv. Voters don't care, but the media has to sell papers. So, though I can run, nobody will take my picture.

And three-dimensional chests are all the media appears to care about for Libertarian candidates (see here). I'm 48-AA, and it is SO hard to find a bra that fits right!

Seriously, what the crack news hounds did was take a picture of this woman from another web site, and then used that in their "news" story about her candidacy. Here is her actual web site. Nice picture. Why not use this one?

(Yes, I know she is also the head of the "Marijuna Party" in Alabama. Is that a reason to show her breasts in a "serious" political article about her candidacy?)

I suppose the MSM doesn't owe the Libertarian party respect, but they don't have to make us all look like boobs. (On the other hand, if your candidate puts up something like this, perhaps we are at least complicit in our own mockery. But it is different if we do it to ourselves, right? RIGHT?)

And, to her credit, a nicely considered response. You go, Loretta!

UPDATE: Unknown Professor gives me a major reacharound; I can get my 48-AA right here, and then lookOUT, world!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Wow; I'm paranoid, but....

Check this, from THE BLOTTER

Federal Source to ABC News: We Know Who You're Calling
May 15, 2006 10:33 AM

Brian Ross and Richard Esposito Report:

A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government is tracking the phone numbers we (Brian Ross and Richard Esposito) call in an effort to root out confidential sources.
"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.
ABC News does not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.
Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.
One former official was asked to sign a document stating he was not a confidential source for New York Times reporter James Risen.
Our reports on the CIA's secret prisons in Romania and Poland were known to have upset CIA officials. The CIA asked for an FBI investigation of leaks of classified information following those reports.
People questioned by the FBI about leaks of intelligence information say the CIA was also disturbed by ABC News reports that revealed the use of CIA predator missiles inside Pakistan.
Under Bush Administration guidelines, it is not considered illegal for the government to keep track of numbers dialed by phone customers.
The official who warned ABC News said there was no indication our phones were being tapped so the content of the conversation could be recorded.
A pattern of phone calls from a reporter, however, could provide valuable clues for leak investigators.

But now, check the comments. Amazing we don't just kill each other. This is going to be an ugly election year....

(Nod to NP, who is clearly too frightened to have time with paranoia. He watches himself...)

Good Fences Make Idiot Senators

You probably don't have to be an idiot to be a Republican Senator.

But it appears to help.

On the "We hate all Mezkins" fence bill, the NYTimes
has this quote:

The Senate fence measure was embodied in an amendment offered by Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who borrowed from the poet Robert Frost. "Good fences make good neighbors," he said. "Fences don't make bad neighbors."

ATSRTWT (NYTimes Article)

Now, here's the relevant excerpt from the poem:

He is all pine and I am apple-orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.
He only says, "Good fences make good neighbors."
Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbors? Isn't it
Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.
Before I built a wall I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,
And to whom I was like to give offence.
Something there is that doesn't love a wall,
That wants it down!"...

...He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbors."

ATSRTWT (poem)

That poem is the LAST thing you would cite in favor of a fence.
Don't these people have staffs? Is everyone in Washington illiterate,
or are they just not paying attention.

At a minimum, just google the poem, dude, before you quote. Fences
do make bad neighbors, and in fact bad neighbors make fences.

UPDATE: A much clearer, and literate, analysis of the fence and the poem
can be found here. I don't agree with Brimelow, but at least he has
some grasp of the ideas at play in the words.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Property Rights and Goat Kneecaps

One of my favorite Duke students, engineering major but with an encompassing sense of responsibility and potential, sent this note back from Uganda....



I read De Soto, passed it on to my teammate, and signed it over to the director of the Rural Agency for Sustainable Design in nearby Nkokonjeru. It's definitely seeing a full life! We actually talked once about the need to register titles for property there, and about how title registration is (definitely) separate from land ownership, at least culturally? in some ways. All fairly confusing, but it was nice to draw from the book and then be able to give it to them! So thanks.

In other news, Mosques DO sound at 5:30 am the whole world-'round, and "fried goat meat" may or may not consist of goat kneecap, depending on how specific you make your order.

I had suggested he read Hernando de Soto's THE MYSTERY OF CAPITAL on the plane on the way over. If you haven't read it, you might want to pick it up. (Yes, my friend John Nye hates it, but he is such a detail guy).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ballot Access

I have written several times about ballot access. There is even an MP3, if you want to listen while jogging.

But now there is a way to take action.

For those interested in supporting third party ballot access in North Carolina, the Libertarian Party needs your help. Go to this pdf file and print out a copy of the petition.

Then, get two or three friends or family members (North Carolina registered voters) to sign, put it in an envelope and then mail it to:

NC Libertarian Ballot Access Drive
10020 Bushveld Lane
Raleigh, NC 27613

(Sorry, there is no way to sign the petition on-line!)

Thanks for your help!

Interesting: Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is quitting the Dutch parliament and headed to a conservative think-tank in DC.

Maybe: haven't seen confirmation yet, except as email from MMartin.

But the guy knows things. So maybe it's true.