Milton Friedman stood for freedom, social, political, and economic. He realized that they are inextricably linked. If the government controls your job or your business, dissent is impossible. He favored, among other things, legalizing drugs, school choice, and volunteer army. To call him or his political legacy “right wing” is simply ignorant, and I mean that also as a technically accurate description rather than a casual insult. (Of course, he also has a legacy in the economics community as a first-rate researcher, which is what the MFI will do and honor.)
So here’s my question: If you’re embarrassed by this legacy, if you worry that it will tarnish the University’s reputation, just what is it that you good-thinking guys and gals have against human freedom?
Bombardier is a subsidy project run by Canadian governments for many years (nothing has changed since this article) (I hate their airplanes, and love the ones from Embraer, the company they use as a foreign subsidized manufacturer to justify their farcical theft of my money - seems to me it is very generous of Brazilian taxpayers to subsidize my air travel, but I do not welcome reciprocation). This lovely letter from the Montreal Gazette is the perfect skewering.
The bottom line is of course:
But it doesn't matter what you think. You have no choice. My good friend the politician will make you lend me the money. If you refuse, he'll send you to jail. He thinks it's a good project. After all, who are you to know what to do with your money?
Via the Berliner Morgenpost, we get a little more understanding of why 200,000 Berliners would go to hear an American running for his nomination speak.
Die Rede soll gegen 19 Uhr beginnen und bis etwa 20 Uhr dauern. Einlass auf das Veranstaltungsgelände ist ab 16 Uhr. Ab 16 Uhr beginnt der Einlass zum Obama-Spektakel auf der Straße des 17. Juni. Für die Zuschauer, die weiter hinten stehen, wurden Großbildleinwände aufgebaut. Um die Wartezeit bis zu der Rede des Präsidentschaftskandidaten zu verkürzen wurde eine zweite Bühne aufgebaut, auf der das musikalische Rahmenprogramm stattfinden soll. Der deutsche Reggeasänger Patrice und die deutsche Pop-Band Reamonn treten dort ab 17.30 auf. Davor und in den Pausen legt der britische Diskjockey Mantu auf. Imbiss- und Getränkestände sind ebenfalls aufgebaut - das Areal ist zur Obama-Fabnmeile umgerüstet worden.
Fairly free translation: "The speech will begin around 7pm and last till about 8pm. Admission to the site starts at 4pm. At 4pm the gates on the 17th of June Street will open for the Obama-show. For spectators who are stuck in the back there will be big TV screens. To shorten the waiting time there will be a second stage, with a musical program. The German Raggae singer and the German Pop-Band Reamonn weill appear starting at 5:30pm. Before that and in the pauses between sets the British DJ Mantu will be playing. Food and drink kiosks will be there as well - the area is being converted to an Obama-fan-area". (Last bit a bit confusing to me as I have no idea whether there is a real word "Fabnmeile".)
In the end, I now know how he could fill Mile-High-stadium for the blessing that will be his nomination speech. What bands will be there? I would cheer for the Eagles but he seems to lean to the younger set.
All of which makes Gerard Baker's exasperated performance on FOX News even funnier.
The best magic show I ever saw was one by Penn and Teller in Toronto many years ago, and the real pleasure in it was their exposure of our vulnerabilities, making sure the audience knew how they had been fooled.
Lately they appear on a cable TV show, "Bullshit!", which has quite good episodes exposing exactly what the title says in a variety of areas.
On the other hand, I was a bit worried when I heard they had decided to take on global warming. They are very strong libertarians, and so I feared a lot of denialist hype. In the end, the show is well worth watching - though it is largely ad hominem against the rather feeble-minded homines who tend to be out there marching and protesting.
Still, at least one line stands out, and it is part of their main point that environmentalism is the place the socialists have had to go with their main political point utterly discredited:
We're not going to say there are no good arguments for socialism, but the environment isn't one of them.
Anyone who has seen Eastern Europe will understood this. (Which is an entertaining side point - one of the many silly films I have tried to watch is the pseudo-documentary "The Corporation", to which I stopped paying attention when they showed mass smokestacks and attributed this to corporate law. I did keep watching and the intellectual quality did not improve - the emotional quality shows in the IMDB score at the link above.)
I love the Dihydrogen monoxide section - it is a cheap shot but the real point is that cheap shots work here. As do several others. But the ultimate question should be why do the major media passively report such stupid protests and not try the Dihydrogen monoxide sting?
The answer is lack of any intellectual rigor at all, of course.
At this point I thought it was about a peanut, and was impressed at the ingenuity of the attack. Later it became clearer that the victim might not be a peanut. I think the bird won out in the end, after trying a few other approaches, including throwing its quarry down onto the deck, perhaps in the hope of stunning it. (Which likely would not help with a peanut.)
Does the NY Times deserve less editorial control than MacLeans?
Which was how I was going to start a response to this, and then re-realized it contained nothing objectionable.
I certainly have every right to complain in any blog or newspaper column about someone else's editorial choices. What I oppose is the state being brought in to dictate what the NY Times should and should not print.
And so far at least the US is not quite a country in which that is trying to become routine. (Well, at least two instances now.)
Kuntar fits no model of the impoverished refugee driven to despair by occupation. Nor can he be seen within the context of Iranian-backed Islamism. When he emerged from prison last week it was as a relic of a bygone age: of that era of self-appointed middle-class revolutionaries, like the Weather Underground and Baader-Meinhof Gang. ... Drawn to political organizations of the far left and far right, they are people who have the passion and the excitement for violence, the glamour of violence. Those who are motivated by a desire for the alleviation of poverty or the redressing of injustice, lack the thirst for blood.
This remains the great problem in the Middle East - the prominence of the cult of death ("Viva la Muerte!") among the Palestinians (including Fatah) and in Lebanon. It is the Bonnie and Clyde approach to 'rebellion'.
There is no chance for civil society where Kuntar is lionized as a a hero.
And while the Weather Underground may be relics of a bygone era, you can expect some of those relics to play a visible role, and rightly, I think, in the upcoming US Presidential Campaign. (Well, at least until slick Barry tosses Dohrn and Ayers under the train too - I think he has tried but not in convincing enough ways yet.)
(Disclosure: I continue to be most likely to cast my foreigner's virtual meaningless vote to Obama, but the currency is sinking fast. Lucky for Obama the competition is not so great at the moment.)
While Rondi's lion cubs are darling, for me the topper right now is from Jeffrey Shalit (whose blog is often more weighty than this post might suggest, and always entertaining), and it is utterly touching - so many contributions, from the great Overstreet-Schlitz song sung by Alison Krauss in the background, the sheer delight in such a great and simple pleasure, and the fact that is one of the young 'uns who discovered the simple pleasure. It almost makes me tear up. (UPDATE: ambiguity alert - I mean develop tears.)
As part of the big family weekend an army of us got to look almost up the actors' skirts from a front row seat and watch the Soulpepper production of "The Way of the World". The production is uncompromising in significant ways in that the actors speak rapid-fire in early eighteenth-century prose, but there was NO problem with family viewers between almost 60 and 16 laughing at the comedy. One would always assume this would be a fine ensemble performance - as it was - all the roles became significant and crucial as the play proceeded, and it was in the end very compelling. I must admit I was most taken by Caroline Cave, whom I recall, back in the days when we still went to Canadian Stage productions, from "Trying", which I recall quite liking, or more accurately, I recall liking her!. Diana Donnelly, who got the most minor role in last year's (and this year's?) "Top Girls", got a nice place too and did a great job. Tanja Jacobs had all of us fully engaged in the comedy. Chuck Tchobanian, excellent as ever though apparently slipping over a couple of lines, and Nancy Palk shared the villain roles
You get the sense that if it could, the city would call in the military to install giant umbrellas to guard us all from the sun's rays. ... I am sweating ...[ed. expunged very local joke], berating myself for deciding to wear jeans and not shorts. Maybe the city should issue extreme pants alerts. Then again, most people seem to be wearing shorts, skirts or summer dresses. Most people have sense. ... CP24 anchor Teresa Kruze says "it is dangerously hot out there." The temperature displayed in the weather box to her immediate right says it is 28C. Get ready give a high-pitched scream in horrified shock: It's July and the sun's out! ... Inside Metro Hall, there is a sign directing visitors to the "emergency cooling centre," with letters in an appropriately frost-tipped font. Get ready for some sweet, sweet cooling action. I get a paper cup filled with room-temperature water. Besides two people ready to hand out water, I am the only person at the three tables at the cooling centre.
I work regularly with people who live in Southern California and Texas, and while it is true that sometimes we have somewhat annoying humidity that is less normal there, I tend to be somewhat embarrassed by our heat alerts.
From the weekend baseball game - a nice pre-game ceremony vaguely reminding me of the World Cup and European Cup championship games, where the players are accompanied out onto the field by children - this is the Junior Jays Program, and a lovely thing it is!
But really only because it takes some of the puff out of the fucking Matt Damon theme.
And Kimmel responded nicely with this:
However tasteful this stuff is, it is a far cry beyond anything our Canadian networks could produce and play. This is one reason I remain totally perplexed at the perception in Canada that we have some freedom of expression unmatched in the religious US. I have not understood this notion ever, having lived in both countries.
Again Saturday morning, July 13, 2008 at Ashbridge's Bay, foggy, but what promise. Just look at it. Volleyball players everywhere! (45 courts had been set up.) As documented in previous posts, I had other activities to engage in. I hope it was not the Olympic Trials!
In a previous post I mentioned family considerations, which amounted to a visit from antipodean relatives. They chose to stay in one of Toronto's finest traditional hotels, an appropriate place for tourists, as they now are here (as I am an antipodean where they live!). So what is more appropriate as well than the hotel being behind scaffolding (the overexposed white bits)?
I have not seen a Blue Jays game in a long time, but family considerations took me to the Skydome again on Saturday. I have never been a giant Michael Snow fan, but his iconic sports fans remain one of my favorite Toronto fixtures - I think I like them a little more than the Geese in the Eaton Centre. You can see the geese here: (ED: If this link is not working, just chase the Michael Snow link above.) So maybe I am at least a bit of a Michael Snow fan. Minor update: another part of the family outing logs some fun from the game here.
Ducklings! They were hanging around two or three female Mallards, but nobody seemed to care much about these ducklings. A Mallard female has to be VERY lucky to produce ducklings given the holy war that Toronto's Parks Department carries out against them and the Canada Geese. This is the second set of Mallard ducklings I have seen this year down on the bay. The other family was down to one. I am not sure if these poor little creatures have an adult who cares about them.
CP24 tells me that two of the five feet that have washed up on the shores of BC are a match and from the same person. Should I tune in and see whether they can get up to three?
It reminds me a bit of the LA shootout involving the Symbionese Liberation Army in LA, and the initial announcement from the authorities that one of the two dead women was not Patty Hearst. Well, yeah. I knew that before they had done any investigation!
And to be fair, in this BC case, the match they report was not a tautology. I hope it gets figured out. Especially with feet showing up in Sweden too!
Picture-taking in Europe, at least for me, has been utterly thwarted by scaffolding. And hey this is good - they are fixing stuff.
In my group's trip to Neuschwanstein we were thrilled at the number of pictures we could get undiluted by scaffolding. Of course then we got to the shots from the Marienbruecke - and now take a good look. Grrrr.
A politician? Painting himself in the most politically convenient light? My God, pass the sleeping pills--I've lost my faith in humanity, and with it, my will to live.
(Continuing disclosure. He has my virtual vote, which I cannot cast. My view is his foreign policy stuff is totally dumb, but could not possibly survive election. I have fear that after Bush's eight years of mismanagement of the economy, McCain's intention to continue such mismanagement is only too achievable. So Obama is still my guy, total liar or not!)
As one who travels using both these media, I think the content of this post from Megan McArdle makes stunningly good sense, though I sure do not understand the title, since in fact the sensible behaviors she suggests for all parties are not remotely the rules (well, except for the cars). Even on a bike, I tend to follow the rules, coming awfully close to full stops at red lights and stop signs - that's the rule, and she is right that it does not make a lot of sense.
In the end the problem is that by showing contempt for the rules, bicyclists invite equal contempt.
Now, I agree that immigrants should learn English. I agree with that. But understand this. Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English -- they'll learn English -- you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish. You should be thinking about, how can your child become bilingual.
You know, it's embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say [is], "Merci beaucoup." Right?
The sheer self-satisfied stupidity of this is beyond my ability to grasp.
Note that his translation of having your child become bilingual is to have the child learn Spanish. Huh? And his example of what little we know is French? So look, I have really been pleased about my second (and third and fourth etc) language learning. But heavens, this is largely an enjoyable luxury.
And then on to the canards. I have had Europeans visit me - they are my in-laws. They do not speak English worth anything! Moreover, I am freshly back from a trip in Europe where I became a resource because I could speak German - the myth that all the Euros could speak English was a disaster for many people. And that was in Germany.
Obama recommends Spanish! If you want to find a European country full of people with ZERO foreign-language skills, go to Spain! Even Latin Americans are largely useless trying to speak English, at least in my experience. French and Germans are WAY better, and they are not so great either. Only someone who has simply not tried to learn the other language could be impressed by the normal skills in English of those on the European continent.
I will except Norwegians - who stunned me during the time I was there. They utterly justified my decision to put NO time into learning any Norwegian before visiting Oslo. But they are the utter exception on the continent.
I wonder which other languages Obama has mastered. My guess is none, though here is a suggestion otherwise. Another case of big talk, no content. There will be many more.
We have months ahead of us! And I thought Canada was silly!
Silly Little Canadians - nice that some foreigners take some of them seriously
OK look I live in this silly little country so have had a long exposure to the jokes that are Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein. So it barely crosses my mind thinking it is worth the trouble to respond to her 'arguments'.
But on the other hand it is rather sweet that someone thinks it is worth pointing out, rather totally redundantly, that she has no facts to get straight. Still it is worth a watch, and I thank Johan Norberg for the trouble.
He has a good blog - go read it, even if refuting Naomi Klein is basically a no-op.
It has taken a few days since my return to find them, but I did at last today. Five of the seven cygnets have survived, and they seem to have picked up the rather regal posture of their parents already!
My problem with 'reality' shows has been that they do not reflect the reality of daily life in civilized society, but rather create zero-sum situations for the participants. And get the appropriate behaviors!
Hat tip to Jackie Danicki, this is truly a wonderful summation of all that is wrong with such shows, and why I cannot bother to watch any of them (except occasional episodes of The Apprentice, and of course Omarosa shows up in this).
More than a year after being confiscated from Vick's property, Leo, a tan, muscular pit bull, dons a colorful clown collar and visits cancer patients as a certified therapy dog in California. Hector, who bears deep scars on his chest and legs, recently was adopted and is about to start training for national flying disc competitions in Minnesota. Teddles takes orders from a 2-year-old. Gracie is a couch potato in Richmond who lives with cats and sleeps with four other dogs.
I knew Neuschwanstein would be a party but I was much more impressed by Hohenschwangau - at least it got finished, and based itself on old medieval themes rather than simply on Wagner operas (don't get me wrong - I have DVDs of almost all of them - my economic reach, unlike Ludwig II's, at least for a while).
My recent vacation trip through parts of Germany was carefully planned. One key point was that while we were uncertain (rightly) about the availability of parking at the hotel we had booked in Rothenburg, we did know that there was a parking lot not far from the hotel, the Spitaltorparkplatz. Little did we know about this: In the end, the hotel did offer parking! And we had a great time (more posts surely to come.) And the Volksfest was as cheesy as a Christkindlmarkt.
What a lovely town, but also what an unexpected delicious touristic moment.
An American touring band was playing in the Marktplatz and I was lucky enough to settle in to watch a couple of their last numbers. A request had been submitted, for 'anything by Sousa' (I might have asked for some Kenneth Alford). In any case, the conductor came forward to announce they would honor the request, but that he would not conduct - rather, he said there was someone in the audience who could conduct, and he invited this person up - as it turned out, a guy who looked to be in his seventies or eighties, walking with a cane, and full of spirit. He did come up and did conduct 'The Washington Post march', superbly, to the enormous enthusiasm of the audience in the plaza.
A sweet moment. I have no idea who the conductor in the end was, maybe part of a family following this American band, but it hardly mattered. Everybody found it utterly delightful.
It amazes me that the Obama campaign has the gall to put on its site and article ending with this howler.
Obama added, "I will not question the patriotism of others in this campaign."
The language is hilarious, and of course a little sleazy. "Others in this campaign". Huh? Who else is in this campaign? Oh right, the guy who spent years in the captivity of the Viet Cong. Very noble not to challenge his patriotism. And let me get it right, somebody's wife is only now finding pride in the country? Great.
It reminds me of this lovely spoof.
(My favorite bit is "Involved with Torture".)
(Disclosure - had I a vote today, I would lean to Obama - his stated policies so far are marginally less stupid than those of McCain and I have faith he would produce a better body of advisers, as Clinton certainly did compared to Bush, in most policy areas - Clinton was of course hopeless on national security. And I have no particular expectation of honesty from these candidates - I view Obama as a standard Richard Daley type Chicago politician who has found a slick way to engage the naive - this does not mean he would be a disaster - on the contrary.)
After the long time you may have inferred I spent in lovely Darmstadt, I hit the road with friends to visit some other German sites I had never before visited.
Stop 1 was Nueremberg.
Now there are classic things in Nueremberg but my favorite site was this slightly transgressive piece, set in a square just opposite the "Albrecht-Duerer Haus" (which we did not explore as it appeared to have nothing of interest in it) - the claim is that this statue is modeled on Duerer's famous rabbit picture. I think the sculptor is amusing but he is no David Cerny.
You have undoubtedly seen several news items or posts about the poor puppy but this is my favourite one, largely for MapMaster's excellent analysis in the last sentence.
One could throw a thousand stones or more in a crowd of Canadian Muslims before striking even just one who is outraged by a picture of a dog, but then our own diversity advisors and human rights commissions have only recently begun to prevail upon Muslims to posture for them.
Give people a job, however useless, and they will contrive to grow it.
A lovely small part of the Colombian rescue story was a key piece of the disguise the Colombian military used to fool the stupid FARC into thinking they themselves were sympathetic to the FARC - from Betancourt:
The pilots, she said, were posing as members of a relief organization, but "they were dressed like clowns," wearing Che Guevara shirts, so she assumed they were rebels.
Finally, a good use for the image of the murderous Guevara. And I love Betancourt's characterization of the significance of wearing a Che T-shirt. She should know.
This is just fun (and also enraging - I do hate to think of the total waste of resources pissed away in such endeavours) from start to finish, for anyone who actually cares about what it takes to 'know' something.
Ophelia says, among much else (go read it):
Wordy, jargony, self-admiring, and - clueless. It apparently doesn't even know what 'interstices' means - it seems to think it's a more elegant version of 'intersections.' Anyway, what the hell would an intersection or an interstice 'of epistemology, methodology, metaphysics, ontology, and science and technology studies' be?
There's mainstream epistemology, and then there's Feminist Epistemology (except when there are Feminist Epistemologies). To put it another way, there's rational and then there's raving bat-loony. There's even a course in Feminist Theory: Epistemologies of Ignorance. It's about reading memoirs. They use the word 'Epistemologies' in the title so that it will sound more academic-like. Or something.
For those who might have been concerned about house sparrows as a result of this post, I would like to report that since leaving Darmstadt, traveling over a large part of southern Germany, I can now report seeing very many house sparrows.
OK, look, I have an excuse. I am sitting in Frankfurt Airport waiting for a flight. What else is there to do? Those Language Log guys have another tool problem to report. As they say, the result is 'Honest but unhelpful', at least for those who cannot read the Chinese.
It's a bit ironic that a right-wing news site was the perpetrator of an exuberant search-and-replace, since this phenomenon is typically associated with journalistic PC-ism: everyone seems to know about the apocryphal case of a newspaper changing "back in the black" to "back in the African American." As I discussed in the post "Incorrections in the newsroom: Cupertino and beyond" last February, that all goes back to a practical joke at the Fresno Bee in 1990. In the February post I reproduce some real cases of search-and-replace run rampant, including the unfortunate Reuters report stating that "Queen Elizabeth has 10 times the lifespan of workers and lays up to 2,000 eggs a day."
Nights in airport hotels are usually dull things; I have just been undergoing one at the behest of a very generous Air Canada (it was entirely voluntary on my part - Air Canada's persuasive skills were impressive).
Last night proved to be absolutely delightful, as CNN played Alvaro Uribe's hostage festival through the Central European Time evening, a festival held on the occasion of the rescue (I note the word 'release' is occasionally used, but this word misleadingly suggests good behaviour on the part of FARC) of 15 hostages from FARC custody, including Ingrid Betancourt.
This is a great triumph for relative law and order, and a magnificent and well-deserved humiliation for the FARC.
Even Sarko got some air time with the Betancourt family.
In the end it appears this Colombian sting makes FARC look as stupid and puffed up as I imagine their leaders generally are.
It has been moving hearing from the hostages and from the military leaders. The raid/rescue was a marvelous operation, and I am sure we will learn a lot more over the next few days. For now, there is a very nice description of some initial understanding of what happened.
Like him, I regard all the changes so far as in the right direction, and had assumed these were changes in position that would come with his nomination. But the lefties?
Why, the man even tossed his own grandmother overboard back in Philadelphia -- only to haul her back on deck now that her services are needed. Yesterday, granny was the moral equivalent of the raving Reverend Wright. Today, she is a featured prop in Obama's fuzzy-wuzzy get-to-know-me national TV ad.
Not a flinch. Not a flicker. Not a hint of shame. By the time he's finished, Obama will have made the Clintons look scrupulous.