Even a blogger needs to eat. This blog is primarily Charles' hobby. But if he is intent on continuing to woo the Hooter's waitresses
in Chatanooga he needs something that pays.... wings don't come free you know. Here's a link to his
day job where he works the education beat
and, assuming he can't annoy enough people that way, is sometimes allowed to write opinion pieces.
Need perspective? Watson offers readers all they could possibly eat. For a unique view on current events, namely how they look from
orbit, here's Chuck's Real-Time(ish) Satellite Imagery of Areas of Interest.
Whenever it strikes his fancy, and there's good telemetry, Chuck will
process and post near real-time images of locations in the news. Eminently engrossing.
Wanna get into the head of a Japanese salaryman? Why, for Chis'sakes?! Well, assumin' you do, feel welcome to check out
the on-line journal of
Campbell's English class. Everyday, a group of disaffected salarymen are required to spill out their inner-most thoughts about life, the universe
and everything in broken English. Amazingly prosaic.
Wednesday, July 30, 2003 Ronnie Jr. Like Virginia Postrel, I'm one of the 10 people who watched Ron Reagan's old TV show. And like her, I also thought he had more than bit of charisma. I thought he was a pretty good talk show host who was saddled with lousy time slots and poor producers.
I never understood why Ron Jr. didn't make more of a name for himself. Lack of ambition probably played a part. But his role in the Reagan family also may have been a factor. He wasn't the dutiful child that Michael and Maureen were, and he didn't seem interested in being an extension of his father's legacy. On the other hand, he wasn't the deliberately rebellious type that Patti was, so he couldn't convince people to hire him for projects that might embarrass his parents, simply because he didn't seem that concerned about embarrassing them. That entire "pursuing his own path" stuff really left him unable to be a professional Reagan of any type.
But oddly, as Patti has reconciled with her parents, Ron seems to have started trying to fill her old role. He's now always the one out there blasting Republicans. Maybe he's decided that in his middle age, he should finally get on the gravy train, and there's a niche that isn't being filled.
Fallen Oak. Lon "Deacon" Freeman, the last of the four original members of the Oak Ridge Boys passed away. Freeman had lived for more than 20 years in Dalton, and I'll have an obit in tomorrow's paper. It should also be on our Web site. I'll post a link tomorrow as soon as I can.
Save Yourself Some Money. If you want a really good primer on macroeconomics, head over to The Volokh Conspiracy. and check out Tyler Cowen's posts on Macroeconomics in Five Lessons.
Tyler does a really good job of boiling it down to the essentials. I'd quibble with him on government deficits and interest rates, and his entry on business cycles won't please Austrian purists (though I happen to think he's more right than wrong on that point), but for what it is, I think he's been pretty fair and accurate.
Sunday, July 27, 2003 Tea With Mussolini Thanks to Domenic for pointing me to this review of a new biography of Mussolini.
Two key passages
Farrell locates fascism, like its author, Mussolini, firmly on the Left as an unusually pathological variety of socialism; it was, he argues, the ‘third way between capitalism and communism’.
Like so many of his fellow revolutionaries (Rosa Luxemburg, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler), Mussolini’s early life lacked direction and dedication; a shiftless, indeed shifty, character, he betrayed anyone who trusted him, and only discovered in early manhood that such behaviour could be excused, and even praised, as a revolutionary rejection of the values of the bourgeoisie. La vita comoda, the bourgeois life-style, summed up everything that Mussolini despised, and Farrell is particularly good on the way in which fascism owed many of its characteristics to Il Duce: its deliberate irrationality; its love of the new and the shocking; its taste for grandiose spectacle; its dislike of both the masses and the aristocracy; and above all its restless pursuit of prestige. It was this last which led it, and its creator, to nemesis.
Stolen Valor? Jessica Lynch may have been knocked out almost immediately when her unit was attacked, but it turns out that one member of that unit may have indeed put up a heroic fight to the death against Iraqi forces.
For some reason, the Pentagon and the U.S. media aren't as eager to publicize this story> Gee, I woner what could pssobly be the difference betweeen Jessica Lynch and Donald Walters.
Thursday, July 24, 2003 Whatever Else they May Be, They Aren't Sellouts. The bloggers over at LewRockwell.Com are slapping around various Cato Institute types for their opposition to drug-reimportation.
I don't necessarily agree with the anti-patent arguments on the Rockwell blog, but Cato's arguments against reimportation are even less persuasive, much less persuasive.
Here we have a libertarian urging that the importation of commercial products, from willing sellers to willing buyers, be banned--because it could "endanger" American lives? When did libertarians abandon caveat emptor and adopt maternalism?
Monday, July 21, 2003 Warrior. I just saw former WWF wrestler the Ultimate Warrior speaking to some conservative group on C-Span2. No, really, and I haven't been drinking. If the C-Span schedule is right, it will be replayed at 11:45 eastern time.
Rikidozan was one of the biggest sports stars and perhaps the biggest television stars in Japan in the 1950s and early 1960s. His battles against American villains such as Fred Blassie and The Destoyer set TV viewing records that still stand. He has re-emerged some 40 years after his death as a propaganda icon for North Korea.
The odd thing is that Riki kept the fact that he was an ethnic Korean well hidden until his death. (One of many secrets he kept. He was by many accounts a rather unsavory person.)
Sunday, July 20, 2003 Privacy and the Media. Drudge has finally broken the fact that Kobe Bryant's accusers name, face, address and e-mail is now widely available on the Internet. I didn't know about the address and e-mail, but I found photos and her name on sports sites as early as Friday, and I wasn't even looking for them.
Does it really make much sense for mainstream media to withhold such information now? In a high profile case like this it was bound to come out.
Saturday, July 19, 2003 A Bunch Of Drunks Encouraging Each Other To Drink. Is the global economic situation the house of cards this article suggests?
The currencies of Asia, however, have almost all remained firmly tied to the dollar, either through currency pegs, reserve boards or, as in the case of Japan, as governments have bought dollars to keep their currencies static and thus to preserve their terms of trade.
Despite the US attempts to talk the dollar down, Asian governments regard any negative changes in their trade balances as inimical to their economies. While supposedly loosening restrictions so that their consumers can participate in a demand-led consumer revolution, Asia in fact is more dependent on exports today than at any time over the past two decades.
China, whose share of exports in total gross domestic product (GDP) averaged 10.8 percent in 1985-89, now is producing exports at 28.4 percent of GDP. South Korea's exports were at 23 percent during the same period and now are at 54 percent of GDP. Hong Kong, then at 77.8 percent, is now at 153.5 percent of GDP. These figures are being repeated across virtually every economy in Asia. These exports continue to flow into the United States despite a three-year economic downturn that, if rationality were to prevail, should have slowed consumer purchases. The US Federal Reserve's easy-money policy and record cuts in interest rates, however, have kept consumers buying at a feverish pace, far too often on credit.
"So long as America continues to secure easy funding, there is no pressure on policymakers in Washington to do anything other than run super-easy policies to try to keep their own consumer credit cycle going," says Christopher Wood, global emerging-markets equities strategist for CLSA Hong Kong. "Like any profligate debtor, market discipline will only be imposed on America when foreign investors demand an interest-rate premium for owning dollars."
Wood tends to grow apocalyptic. "The current trend can continue for a while," he writes in his 110-page first-half 2003 overview of the world economy, published last month. "But the longer American excesses are financed, the more inevitable will be the ultimate collapse of the US paper-dollar standard that has been in place ever since Richard Nixon broke with Bretton Woods by ending the dollar's link with gold in 1971. The result will be a massive devaluation against gold of Asia's hoard of dollar-exchange reserves."
Hot Dang! The Mises Insititute has put George Reisman's weighty tome Capitalism on line.
Reisman's blend of Objectivism, Austrian economics and Ricardian economics is one of the finest works on economics I've ever read. I can't recommend this book highly enough. Reisman uses the book as the text for a year-long economics course for MBA students at Pepperdine, and it took me about nine months to get through it, but it was time very well spent.
Thursday, July 17, 2003 Taped Confessions. Illinois will now require that interrogations of murder suspects be taped.
It's a good idea, though I imagine police will likely find some ways around. While it would certainly be costly, I don't see any other reasons why interrogations of anyone suspected of a felony should not be taped.
Tuesday, July 15, 2003 Why Hasn't This Story Been Getting More Play? Satellite broadcasts into Iran have been jammed for several days. A few bloggers picked up on that, but the mainstream media has been silent. Then a few days ago, the broadcasters and satellite firms identified Cuba as the source of tha jamming. Industry publications reported that, but the mainstream media and even the blogosphere were largely silent. Now, the U.S. government has confirmed that Cuba is indeed jamming signals. And this is the only mention I've seen of it. Isn't this a major story?
The French Connection Submitted for your consideration:
The Uranium letter and "intel" to support it was a failed plot by French intelligence to scuttle the war in the UN. It has paid undreamed of dividends by blowing up and causing Tony Blair and "W" problems, albeit months later than intended.
1) Why did Saddam need uranimum ore anyway, given the Akashat mines in central Iraq;
2) The letter was clearly fake, and came from a former French colony with French connections;
3) French intel supposedly provided UK intel with "verification" to overcome the initial skepticisim.
There was so much inertia for war that the original mission, to embarass the US and UK, cause problems at the UN, and abort the war failed. But, like a UXB from a past conflict, it blew up later.
Monday, July 14, 2003 Time To Panic? I must admit I've been mystified by Federal Reserve policy lately. I just haven't seen any evidence that convinces me that deflation should be a major concern. So I don't understand why the Fed insists on pushing interest rates so low.
But this may be the real reason the Fed is pursuing easy-money policies.
Sunday, July 13, 2003 Catching Up. Sorry I haven't blogged more lately. I was at work all day yesterday, and I spent today running round doing various things that needed to be done.
If you want to know all about the incredible fiscal mess in Nevada -- that has grown into a political and now constitutional crisis -- check out my friend Rick Henderson's blog.
A lot of you are familiar with Reason magazine's blog Hit & Run. The folks on the policy side of Reason also have their own blog now. Actually, they've had one for some time. I've just gotten around to mentioning it.
And thanks to Domenic for giving me a heads up on this story.
Next April, when the next academic year begins, there will be 89 universities operating as independent administrative institutions. National technical colleges, which currently number 55, will be integrated into a single independent administrative body.
About 123,000 faculty members will no longer be considered civil servants. University administrators will be divided into three groups, with outside experts making up half the members of one of them.
It certainly sounds promising. But I'm always skeptical of bureaucratic reform efforts, especially in Japan. Know anything about this, Ron?
Friday, July 11, 2003 If The Hadda Won, II. I went to Millers today for the best barbeque in Dalton, and I realized that nowhere but the South will you find a rib joint decorated with posters of Malcolm X and Nascar memorabilia.
Tuesday, July 08, 2003 If The South Hadda Won. I find Clayton Cramer's blog alternately fascinating and maddening, which why I read it just about every day. But he hits one out of the park with this post on why the South wasn't the small-government utopia that Lew Rockwell and Tom DiLorenzo would have you believe.
Cramer focuses on the antebellum period, but I'd point out that just about all of the sins that Civil War sins that the North committed -- the draft, suspensions of habeas corpus, etc. -- were also practiced by the South, and usually first. But neoConfederates don't like to talk about that, either.
Monday, July 07, 2003 The Only Unrealistic Thing In The Movie. The Media Action Network for Asian Americans is irritated because the father of Lucy Liu's character in the new Charlie's Angels movie is white when "clearly she is not."
Manaa claims to have seen an early draft of the script which depicted Liu's character's father as Chinese and her mother as Jewish. They had no problem with that, calling it "a unique bi-racial marriage that is rarely seen in film."
So let me get this straight. White man married to Asian woman bad. Asian man married to white woman good.
California Dreamin'. Virginia Postrel is back with a nice post on the Golden State's dysfunctional politics. California's private sector is very resilient, but the increasing burden of state and local government will eventually prove too much for it.
This is just one exmaple of how the cost of doing business in the state is skyrocketing each day.
Friday, July 04, 2003 WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.
WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great- Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.
HE has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.
HE has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
HE has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People, unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.
HE has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.
HE has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.
HE has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of the Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and the Convulsions within.
HE has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
HE has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and the Amount and Payment of their Salaries.
HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.
HE has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislatures.
HE has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
HE has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
FOR quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us;
FOR protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
FOR cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:
FOR imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:
FOR transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:
FOR abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rules into these Colonies:
FOR taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
FOR suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Power to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.
HE has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
HE has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.
HE is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.
HE has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
HE has excited domestic Insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.
IN every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.
NOR have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.
WE, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in GENERAL CONGRESS, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as FREE AND INDEPENDENT STATES, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which INDEPENDENT STATES may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
GEORGIA, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, Geo. Walton.
NORTH-CAROLINA, Wm. Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn.
SOUTH-CAROLINA, Edward Rutledge, Thos Heyward, junr., Thomas Lynch, junr., Arthur Middleton.
MARYLAND, Samuel Chase, Wm. Paca, Thos. Stone, Charles Carroll, of Carrollton.
VIRGINIA, George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Ths. Jefferson, Benja. Harrison, Thos. Nelson, jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton.
PENNSYLVANIA, Robt. Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benja. Franklin, John Morton, Geo. Clymer, Jas. Smith, Geo. Taylor, James Wilson, Geo. Ross.
DELAWARE, Caesar Rodney, Geo. Read.
NEW-YORK, Wm. Floyd, Phil. Livingston, Frank Lewis, Lewis Morris.
NEW-JERSEY, Richd. Stockton, Jno. Witherspoon, Fras. Hopkinson, John Hart, Abra. Clark.
NEW-HAMPSHIRE, Josiah Bartlett, Wm. Whipple, Matthew Thornton.
MASSACHUSETTS-BAY, Saml. Adams, John Adams, Robt. Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry.
RHODE-ISLAND AND PROVIDENCE, C. Step. Hopkins, William Ellery.
CONNECTICUT, Roger Sherman, Saml. Huntington, Wm. Williams, Oliver Wolcott
Celebrity Threesomes. The Katharine Hepburn, Buddy Hackett, Herbie Mann death triad is an odd one. But not nearly as strange as the Maynard Jackson, Lester Maddox, Strom Thurmond trio that preceded it.