We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
But he also very often seems to be right (small r). Beck has been the first and, for quite a while, the only one to be assiduously connecting the dots between Obama, Ayers, the two Joneses and the rest of the post-sixties crew that seems to have never gotten over the Port Huron Statement, with the Chicago School of neo-Boss Tweed politics. These are dots that should have been connected by the mainstream media long ago, but, as we all know, they didnít want to look at them. New Media hasnít done a great job of connecting these dots either because, frankly, we donít yet have the skills or manpower. But Beck is doing it. More power to him.
Beck embarrasses me, too. shudder. But he's nailed it.
NewsJunkie - Check out "Sophie's World" for fabulousness on all the philosophies. I'm going to get the book you mentioned. I like what the guy at Samizdata said - that philosophers will no doubt criticize it because it does not contain walls of indecipherable text.
Here's the link to the whole page for "Sophie's World" :
Meta and News Junkie ... One of my favorite books by Bertrand Russell is The Conquest of Happiness. It came out in the 1950s, when I was thrashing around trying to figure out how not to be miserable when bad stuff happens. He writes unassumingly well and says very true, very sensible things which stick with you -- kind of like Rollo May, who wrote Man's Search for Himself, another helpful book. for me at any rate. And Karen Horney [honest -- that's her name] who advised me to "act brave, and you will be braver." Sounds pretty superficial, but it works.
P.S. Meta, you're right. Beck is sort of embarrassing, but he's right on the money about a lot of things.
Marianne, I love Bertrand Russell, too, and you said it exactly right - His style is so matter-of-fact and unpretentious that after a while you start thinking that he must have been thinking, "Why do I have to write this - isn't it obvious??" :)
If I listed the authors who have said things that had a profound impact on me, the list would be two miles long. So I keep little notebooks nearby at all times. Started that when I was a junior in high school. I have a ton of those little notebooks, and what a joy to 'discover' one buried in a pile of Keep Stuff.
Re the NY nanny-fascists: this is why we vote conservative and libertarian when we can. Republicans/conservatives could stand to let go of some favorite laws, especially about adult sex but some others too. If I acknowledge that promiscuity is someone else's decision, that leaves me plenty of room to call it a bad idea.
The alleged liberals and "progressives" are far busier impeding rights, and impeding more important rights.
Re: Swedish "youths" -- Muslim rioters, because a spade is a spade. Multi-culti went way too far; accepting the practice of Islam never extended to accepting the practice of burning cars (find me a hadith that says, "because thou art in the land of the infidel, his car is thy hearth, and if thou burn thy Mulsim neighbor's car, that is a minor sorrow.") It does seem like a firehose could be a less-lethal discourager to these attacks.
I can't listen to Beck. I used to hear him some years ago when he appeared on a syndicated AM morning show. The local station that carried him was fairly liberal.
It's the histrionics, I guess. If his stuff were written out, maybe not so bad? But I had to hit the 'off' button frequently. Since we don't have a TV (dg), I've not seen him in person except for an occasional You Tube video, and he hasn't changed.
Still, I'm glad he's there, being a sort of prophet -- which I'm sure he sees as part of his vocation.
Hey, where else can I go but here and find Karen Horney in the comments. She is most perceptive and her work hasn't dated at all. OTOH, Rollo May may not have fared so well. I was re-reading "Power and Innocence" the other day and it was...well, innocent. Guess my psycho-philosopical tastes have changed since I discovered Wilfrid Bion.
My favorite from those days was/is Gabriel Marcel. I was glad to find a society established in his name online.
And speaking of philosophers: Kierkegaard's grave now lies within the no-go immigrant zone of Copenhagen. Will the rabble figured that out and deface or raze his grave? I can only hope not. Maybe the Danish Hell's Angels will keep it safe. They are something.
Educators usually call for larger budgets. The problem is that, when comparing per capita student spending, the districts that spend the most often have poorer outcomes, a la WHO and the US health system. Washington DC has both very high student expenditures and poor student outcomes. Some of the expenditure element is cost of living; a lot of it is non-educational services, I bet.
By the way, the problem of the cost-quality connection is hardly news. It was part of the national high school debate topic -- my second year on the team, 1972-1973.