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.
You heard it here second. The new book by Steven Levitt.
From Dean Barnett's review:
"Levitt graduated Harvard in 1989 summa cum laude and received a Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1994. After becoming a chaired professor at Chicago at the tender age of 35, Levitt recently won the John
Bates Clark medal, which is awarded every two years to America's best economist under the age of 40. (The Clark medal is widely viewed as a precursor for an eventual Nobel Prize.)
THE ENTIRE PURPOSE OF FREAKONOMICS is to reveal counterintuitive and often unsettling truths. Levitt aims to show the world how it is, not how we wish it were or how the "conventional wisdom" deems it.
Levitt knew that exposing such truths would cause no small amount of offense in numerous quarters. In one chapter sure to make enemies, Levitt asks, "What do school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?" The answer: Both groups are willing to cheat. I don't want to ruin all the fun and describe how Levitt reaches his almost undebatable conclusion, but one must admire the audacity of a man so willing to stand up to both the teachers' unions and sumo wrestlers."
Chavez sends troops to protect his oil industry. I can hear the words to his mother: "Mom, when I grow up I want to be just like Fidel."
Religion and Politics
I believe there is no issue, except pure partisan warfare. New England Patriot has a good piece:
"The new liberal talking point is that Republicans, led by conservatives, seek to blur the lines between separation of church and state. Liberal Democrats like Howard Dean and Al Gore have given us a primer on what is ahead in the next election cycle - those who oppose abortion, gay marriage or euthanasia are religious zealots." Read entire.
And More on the Subject from Taranto
Non-believer Taranto supports the religious right:
"One can disagree with religious conservatives on abortion, gay rights, school prayer, creationism and any number of other issues, and still recognize that they have good reason to feel disfranchised. This isn't the same as the oft-heard complaint of "anti-Christian bigotry," which is at best imprecise, since American Christians are all over the map politically. But those who hold traditionalist views have been shut out of the democratic process by a series of court decisions that, based on constitutional reasoning ranging from plausible to ludicrous, declared the preferred policies of the secular left the law of the land."
Read entire interesting piece. - and the companion anti- piece by Hitchins.