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Showing posts from November 15, 2020

We Can Do Better

 I am caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, independent political voices tend to be crackpots. We have a system which produces two mainstream political parties intentionally. May the Lord save me from his crackpot followers, muttering about "the duopoly". On the other hand, we are at least vaguely aware of the various ways in which political participation is marred by grave errors in moral judgment. It is hard to imagine that we cannot do better than what we have done. We need better leaders, because if we have bad leaders, the people obviously will follow them, and that is now beyond question. People love to believe that they are self-possessed and independent thinkers, but they are not. To be specific, I do not understand why it is difficult to affirm the dignity of all human life, from conception until natural death, and consequently, to defend the idea of a robust social democracy. I do not understand why we cannot maintain basic norms of civility and d

MacIntyre, Fred Noltie, And Scarcity: A Few Thoughts

 I had gone on a trip with Confirmation Sponsor Guy, and a few others, including Fred Noltie, whom I had met on that trip. I was spouting my usual right-wing economic talking points, and Fred was having none of it. Dr. Cross was having none of it, either, but in his usual diplomatic way, he said something like, "If you had no idea what you're talking about, how would you know?" I had used the phrase "human capital," and that had triggered something. I got out of that conversation by saying, "I'll think about it more, and get back to you." I know I didn't mean to offend my friends. I also know that I had learned that the purpose of economics was to manage scarcity. The critique of the capitalist system in basic form is this: the system creates artificial scarcities, and claims to be value-neutral when it is not. It always drives me crazy, when I see that so-and-so "needs to read an economics textbook." Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for exa

Fight Night In Las Vegas

 I hadn't seen a championship boxing match in some time. That is, a live fight. The first warm-up fight was between two small guys at 114 pounds. It ended with controversy, as cuts forced a no-decision after four rounds. The next fight with between a current and former champion, both at 147 pounds. This is the division dominated by Oscar De La Hoya for so long. Terence Crawford is regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and the champion in this division, by the World Boxing Organization (WBO). His record coming in was 36-0, with 27 knockouts. His title was on the line against Kell Brook of Sheffield, England, who came in with a record of 39-2, with 27 knockouts. It looked like Crawford was a little confused to start the fight. He came out in a right-handed stance, and Brook hit him with several jabs. Evidently, Crawford saw a slow jab from Brook in the fourth round, because he timed a straight right over the top of it, and that was the beginning of the end. Three