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The First Five Minutes of The Dark Knight

Posted on Jul.2.2008 at 8:46

This movie is going to be incredible.

 

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Enjoy Capitalism.

Posted on Jun.12.2008 at 11:43



Art?

The Acton Institute

Posted on May.19.2008 at 10:44

 
The Acton Institute has created two documentaries that look worth checking out. If the trailers are any indication, the quality is top-notch.

Art?

News

Posted on May.11.2008 at 11:05
 It has been quite the tumultuous week-and-a-half. My uncle is found dead of a heart attack alongside the highway, my father finds out he has cancer, my boss quits in the middle of a two week internal audit (unrelated to the quitting), and my first nephew is born. I wonder what next week will bring.

Sphere

John Adams on HBO

Posted on Apr.21.2008 at 10:25

I've been looking forward to seeing HBO's John Adams miniseries ever since I heard it was going to be made. I don't have HBO, so I'll have to wait for the dvd, but the more I see and read about it, the more that looks like a wait worth making. (And, having read the book, I can only hope that the show is faithful in it's depiction of that bastard, Thomas Jefferson.)



Art?

Gorbachev, not a Christian.

Posted on Mar.26.2008 at 10:37
"To sum up and avoid any misunderstandings, let me say that I have been and remain an atheist." 

The world is a little less astonishing today.

Meditating Monks

Gorbachev, a Christian?

Posted on Mar.19.2008 at 8:48

Lifted from NRO's The Corner:

Gorbachev at the Tomb of St. Francis   [Peter Robinson]

Whenever Ronald Reagan would mention his suspicion that Mikhail Gorbachev was a secret believer, everyone on the White House staff would scoff, thinking the president naive. When I had the opportunity to speak to Gorbachev a couple of years ago, however, I found myself concluding that Reagan had been onto something after all. Why, I asked, had Gorbachev refrained from putting down the revolution of 1989, just as Khrushchev had put down the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and Brezhnev had put down the Prague Spring of 1968? "Because of something I shared with Ronald Reagan," Gorbachev replied. "Christian morality."

Now the last leader of the Soviet Union has spent half an hour on his knees at the tomb of St. Francis. From the London Telegraph:

Mikhail Gorbachev...has acknowledged his Christian faith for the first time, paying a surprise visit to pray at the tomb of St Francis of Assisi.

Accompanied by his daughter Irina, Mr Gorbachev spent half an hour on his knees in silent prayer at the tomb.His arrival in Assisi was described as "spiritual perestroika" by La Stampa, the Italian newspaper.

"St Francis is, for me, the alter Christus, the other Christ," said Mr Gorbachev. "His story fascinates me and has played a fundamental role in my life," he added...."It was through St Francis that I arrived at the Church, so it was important that I came to visit his tomb," said Mr Gorbachev.

"We deem it the central revelation of Western experience," William F. Buckley wrote in 1960, "that man cannot ineradicably stain himself, for the wells of regeneration are infinitely deep....Even out of the depths of despair, we take heart in the knowledge that it cannot matter how deep we fall, for there is always hope."


Art?

Henri Pirenne, Genius

Posted on Mar.18.2008 at 10:31
Behold the visage of Henri Pirenne. Genius historian. 



That I was able to recognize his genius after reading mere summaries of the theses of two books he wrote about the Middle Ages (this relatively short one about his Medieval Cities, and this relatively long one about his Mohammed and Charlemange) is itself testament to that genius.  Here is his wikipedia page. (Rather paltry, considering his genius. But, then, considering the length of this wikipedia page, I guess it goes with the territory.)

Lincoln Smile

Brilliant.

Posted on Mar.13.2008 at 8:31


Ah, Hippies.


Meditating Monks

User Profile "Profound Quotes" Update

Posted on Feb.8.2008 at 10:30
 I've just added to my list of quotes the following from Jonah Goldberg's fantastic book "Liberal Fascism" (Which I would recommend even above Thomas Sowell's "Black Rednecks and White Liberals"):

"Conservatism is neither identity politics for Christians and/or white people nor right-wing Progressivism. Rather, it is opposition to all forms of political religion. It is a rejection of the idea that politics can be redemptive. It is the conviction that a properly ordered republic has a government of limited ambition. A conservative in Portugal may want to conserve the monarchy. A conservative in China is determined to preserve the prerogatives of the Communist Party. But in America, as Friedrich Hayek and others have noted, a conservative is one who protects and defends what are considered liberal institutions in Europe but largely conservative ones in America: private property, free markets, individual liberty, freedom of conscience, and the rights of communities to determine for themselves how they will live within these guidelines. This is why conservatism, classical liberalism, libertarianism, and Whiggism are different flags for the only truly radical political revolution in a thousand years. The American founding stands within this tradition, and modern conservatives seek to advance and defend it. American conservatives are opposed on principle to neither change nor progress; no conservative today wishes to restore slavery or get rid of paper money. But what the conservative understands is that progress comes from working out inconsistencies within our tradition, not by throwing it away."

Damn straight, Jonah Goldberg.



Sphere

Jonah Goldberg on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Posted on Jan.17.2008 at 10:32

Jonah Goldberg, first-time author and my favorite columnist for a few years now, went on The Daily Show to promote his book Liberal Fascism. An edited version of the interview is up on the Daily Show's website here, running about six minutes. It's worth a look. Hopefully they'll post the whole thing online soon. One of the issues that bogs them down is the usage of the word "liberal". Jon is using the modern American definition, while Jonah is using the original one. I just happened to have posted about the two meanings a couple years ago on livejournal, here.


Lincoln Smile

I Predict...

Posted on Jan.10.2008 at 8:22
... the future thumb-wrestling champion of the world

Art?

Courtesy of Instapundit:

Posted on Jan.9.2008 at 8:51
 PROPHECY: Last week, Jonah Goldberg wrote:

 

Imagine the Democrats do rally around Obama. Imagine the media invests as heavily in him as I think we all know they will if he's the nominee — and then imagine he loses. I seriously think certain segments of American political life will become completely unhinged.

 

Now note this email from an Andrew Sullivan reader:

 

Watched the NH returns with some friends last night, and something quite unexpected happened when the AP called it for Clinton -- inexplicable ANGER. I was surrounded by people in their early 30's, registered Democrats, receptive to the Clintons in the 90's, and I swear I thought someone was going to throw their wine glass at the tube during her 'victory' speech.

 

And that's just one primary! All is proceeding as Jonah has foreseen. I wonder if Glenn Greenwald has figured things out yet. Probably not . . . .

UPDATE: Check out this post over at DailyKos, and note the accompanying poll on whether the New Hampshire primary was rigged by those evil, Hillary-loving dudes at Diebold.


The Thinker. Thinking.

Liberal Fascism

Posted on Jan.4.2008 at 8:49


Liberal Fascism, by Jonah Goldberg, was on my book wish list this Christmas. I was disappointed to not get it. But, as it turns out, the book isn't available until it's released on January 8th. Go figure. I'll have to be satisfied until then with the many favorable book reviews, such as this one. An excerpt:

"... the liberal journalist Joe Conason wrote a book titled "It Can Happen Here" — what could happen, of course, was American fascism emanating from the Bush administration. And the journalist Chris Hedges argued that the Christian right was composed of nothing but "American Fascists" — indeed the very title of his book on the subject.

"Now, from the conservative side, Jonah Goldberg
— who is rightfully fed up with the left's regularly and somewhat indiscriminately calling conservatives fascist — turns the tide by addressing the issue head on, in "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning" (Doubleday, 467 pages, $27.95). Not only is it a slander to yell fascist at the right; Mr. Goldberg presents a strong and compelling case that the very idea of fascism emanated from the ranks of liberalism. As he argues, contemporary liberalism descended from the ranks of 20th-century progressivism, and "shares intellectual roots with European fascism."

"When Mr. Goldberg uses the term "liberal fascism," he is not offering a right-wing version of the left's smears. He knows it is a loaded term. What he is talking about is the historical idea of fascism: a corporatist and statist social structure that creates a deep reliance of its subjects on the government and engenders a sense of community and purpose. In American politics, this tendency toward statism has always been much more at home on the left than on the right.

"It is impossible in a short review to do justice to the rich intellectual history of American liberalism that Mr. Goldberg offers to his readers. He has read widely and thoroughly, not only in the primary sources of fascism, but in the political and intellectual history written by the major historians of the subject."

Lincoln Smile

Moment of Truth

Posted on Jan.2.2008 at 9:38

 Fred Thompson's "closing argument" to Iowa Caucus voters. I wish he were doing better, but it looks like he'll be lucky to finish third in the vote tommorrow. Ah, well. He has gone on record already that he has to do well in Iowa or get out of the race. I guess third place could be justified as "well," if necessary. I hope he gets the chance. On the other hand, there's always the vice-presidential slot...



Sphere

Fred Thompson Campaign Commercial

Posted on Dec.18.2007 at 11:20

 

Sphere

Sacrilicious

Posted on Dec.7.2007 at 12:01
I laughed out loud reading The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses

But that's just me. 

Meditating Monks

Wikitrouble?

Posted on Dec.4.2007 at 10:59
Just read this at Brain Terminal: Inside Wikipedia's Inner Circle:

 There’s a little scandal brewing within Wikipedia.

The free online encyclopedia editable by anyone prides itself on being a meritocracy. The site successfully harnessed the wisdom of crowds to build what’s probably the largest, most quickly-constructed body of knowledge ever assembled in human history. Not bad for something that didn’t even exist when the decade began.

For much of its content, the Wikipedia model seems to work pretty well. Easily-verifiable facts like names, places and dates tend to be rendered accurately. And when they’re not, they’re easy to fix. With millions of eyeballs scanning everything, errors can be caught quickly.

But when the topic is a subject of debate or controversy, the natural human tendency to want to convince others of one’s rightness can lead to some nasty behavior. And when that happens in Wikiland, not only is the quality of the product degraded, so is the trust people place in the collaborative editing process.

A spat between contributors that recently became public demonstrated this weakness in the Wikipedia model, The Register reports (in a somewhat sensationalist tone):

Controversy has erupted among the encyclopedia’s core contributors, after a rogue editor revealed that the site’s top administrators are using a secret insider mailing list to crackdown on perceived threats to their power.

Many suspected that such a list was in use, as the Wikipedia “ruling clique” grew increasingly concerned with banning editors for the most petty of reasons. But now that the list’s existence is confirmed, the rank and file are on the verge of revolt.


 

From RealClearPolitics.com

Every year around this time, schoolchildren are taught about that wonderful day when Pilgrims and Native Americans shared the fruits of the harvest. "Isn't sharing wonderful?" say the teachers.

They miss the point.

Because of sharing, the first Thanksgiving in 1623 almost didn't happen.

The failure of Soviet communism is only the latest demonstration that freedom and property rights, not sharing, are essential to prosperity. The earliest European settlers in America had a dramatic demonstration of that lesson, but few people today know it.

When the Pilgrims first settled the Plymouth Colony, they organized their farm economy along communal lines. The goal was to share everything equally, work and produce.

They nearly all starved. 


If you don't already know the story, read the whole thing. Happy Thankgiving!


The Thinker. Thinking.

Philosophization

Posted on Nov.9.2007 at 9:39
 Things are never as bad as we think they are, and things are never as good as we think they are.  Emotion is an exaggerater. It's comforting to remember this when you're feeling down - and when you're not, who cares, right?


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