Saturday, May 06, 2006

"Somewhat liberal"

Students at the New School for Social Research in NYC are organizing a protest of Senator John McCain as commencement speaker. He is far too conservative for their tastes.

Back in the mid 1980s I attended Parsons School of Design, a part of the New School, and I have one very vivid memory of the politics of the place. The day after the US bombed Libya I attended a speech at the New School by the Libyan Ambassador to the UN.

When Khaddafi's personal representative came on stage the audience rose and broke into thunderous applause. I mentioned it later to a shrink at neighboring NYU and she looked at me in perplexity, commenting "But the New School is Jewish!"

Apparently military dictators are welcomed with applause if only they oppose the US, while a democratically elected Senator merits organized protest. I don't think the New School is liberal. Not unless you define "liberal" as "wallowing in self-hatred".

Friday, May 05, 2006

Socialism: The Undead

Lee Harris ponders the continuing love of socialism, and with it a warning for capitalists:
Men need myths -- and until capitalism can come up with a transformative myth of its own, it may well be that many men will prefer to find their myths in the same place they found them in the first part of the twentieth century -- the myth of revolutionary socialism.
The Christian's life is transformed because he accepts the myth that Christ will one day return and usher in the end of time; the revolutionary socialist's life is transformed because he accepts the myth that one day socialism will triumph, and justice for all will prevail. What both cases, is not the scientific truth or falsity of the myth believed in, but what believing in the myth does to the lives of those who have accepted it, and who refuse to be daunted by the repeated failure of their apocalyptic expectations.
To be a revolutionary is to be a comrade, hence it doesn't matter if the myth is true. And that is a depressing thought as Bolivia commits armed robbery against the foreign oil companies who invested there.

Thanks to InstaPundit for the lead.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Glen Reynolds over at InstaPundit has some interesting comments on our invading Saudi Arabia:
I do think that seizing Saudi and Iranian oil would be entirely morally justifiable on terms usually approved of by the left: They didn't earn it, they inherited it (it's like the Estate Tax writ large!). They're extracting huge profits for fatcats at the expense of the poor. They're racist, sexist, homophobic theocrats! (Literally!) Surely if it's ever permissible to redistibute wealth by force, this is the case. Right?

...But...the point is -- why isn't war for oil not only morally permissible, but morally required, if the forcible redistibution of wealth in other ways (including "windfall profit" taxes -- or Evo Morales' seizure of natural gas wells in Bolivia) is OK?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Harsh. Decoy collectors are definitly harsh

A decoy afficionado was heard last week at the National Decoy Collectors Show complaining about missing out on a decoy at an auction some time back:
He wasn't really a bad guy, but if he had hung himself two months earlier I could have bought that brant for ten thousand dollars.