Visit this site for verifiably accurate opinions on all things political - in contradistinction to the INcorrect opinions you are likely to find elsewhere. I'm an American Libertarian Nationalist Republican. Ponder that one a while. Almost all are welcome, but at the request of management: no vegetarians or soccer fans, please. We have our reasons. Thank you and welcome to: Revealed Truth.
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Friday, December 27, 2002
The Movie I Want to See
So I went to see "Two Weeks Notice," starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock.
I know, I know. But I'd already seen "Gangs of New York," and I think Grant's really quite good in romantic comedies. And in fact, the movie was OK. Grant was very funny as always - though the film was nowhere near as good as his last movie: "About a Boy." If you haven't seen "About a Boy," you really should. It's a cut above the rest of Grant's films: a great story about Grant's relationship with a boy being raised by a neurotic, suicidal hippie.
"Gangs of New York" is a fantastic movie too, by the way, and I highly recommend it as well. I think it’s one of Scorcese's best. It's a rich treatment of the world of working-class New York City, circa 1846-1862 and a look at how the political forces of the time influenced peoples’ lives. I'm certain that Daniel Day Lewis will get an Oscar nomination.
But I must return to my original point. I AM leading up to one, I promise.
"Two Weeks Notice" is pretty much your garden variety romantic comedy. Bullock is a liberal Harvard trained legal-aid lawyer, and Grant is a superrich real estate developer. Through a typically contrived series of events, she winds up working for him - as his firm's general counsel. Her parents, liberal lawyers both, are appalled that Bullock would work for such a capitalist swine. "I think its a sin for any one person to have that much money," her mother tells Grant. Bullock is able to live with her conscience, though (and her parents' disdain), because as a condition of her acceptance, Grant promised to save a community center that his firm had previously targeted for demolition.
Stop me if you've heard this one before.
OK. I'll stop.
Here's the movie I would like to see someone make. It'd be at least as realistic and have at least as much dramatic tension as most of the stuff Hollywood puts out. And it would have the added benefit of providing a little ideological balance. Plus, who knows: some production house might learn what FoxNews has taught the broadcasting industry. Namely, that there’s a market for a story that tells the OTHER side once in a while.
The two lead characters in my story are two college students. One - let's call him Henry - is a senior with straight-A's who aspires to get into the university's law school. He is a very sympathetic character, working nights at the local pizza joint so he can make enough money to meet his day-to-day expenses. Henry doesn't care much about politics, instead keeping his nose in the books and to the grindstone.
The female lead, Sally, is also a senior, whose father just happens to be the very liberal dean of the university's law school. She meets and falls in love with Henry at the pizza shop where he works. Sally's interests lie in politics. Much to her father's dismay, she has been heavily influenced by right-wing philosphers and political figures and is a passionate conservative who works tirelessly for conservative political candidates and causes.
One fateful day, Henry goes to school as he does every other day. That evening he works in the pizza joint until 10PM as he also does most evenings. He comes home, studies for several hours, and then prepares to collapse exhaustedly into bed. But first he remembers that he hasn't opened his mail. He staggers to his mailbox and notices a letter from the University of XXXXX School of Law.
Excitedly, he opens the letter. And in the space of 10 seconds, his world is crushed. He has been rejected for admission to the law school he wanted to attend. Distraught, he calls his girlfriend Sally and pours his heart out. Sally is so moved, and so motivated by her love for Henry, that she breaches protocol and asks her father what could have possibly happened to prevent Henry’s admission. Sally’s father agrees to see what he can find out and get back to her.
It turns out that Henry is the victim of a racial quota admissions scheme. Sally learns through her father, and through subsequent tireless investigations of her own, that many members of preferred racial and ethnic groups having test scores and academic records vastly inferior to Henry’s have been admitted. Sally is so outraged that she wages a dramatic campaign to overturn this wicked scheme.
Among the heroes of our story are various conservative interest groups and legal foundations that take up Henry’s cause at Sally’s relentless insistence. With their help, Sally is able to prevail upon her father (who ultimately sees the error of his ways) and gain admittance for her beau Henry.
The final scene of the movie, of course, is Henry’s speech at his law school graduation ceremony, introduced by the obligatory “three years later” caption. Henry has graduated first in his class, but rather than go to work for a big law firm, has chosen to go to work for the Heritage Foundation as a legal policy analyst. No longer apolitical, Henry has vowed to dedicate his life to fighting the scourge of racial discrimination by publicly funded institutions.
In Henry’s speech he makes an emotional personal aside to his beloved Sally who is, of course, in the audience. He chokes up. She cries. The music swells. The audience in the auditorium rises to its feet.
Tuesday, December 24, 2002
As a holiday gift to my readers, here is my favorite poem: The Angry Man by Phyllis McGinley.
It: a) has nothing whatsoever to do with the holiday season, and b) is very apropos of our times (although it was written in 1957). So I guess that makes it doubly a gift. Enjoy.
The Angry Man
The other day I chanced to meet
An angry man upon the street --
A man of wrath, a man of war,
A man who truculently bore
Over his shoulder, like a lance,
A banner labeled "Tolerance."
And when I asked him why he strode
Thus scowling down the human road,
Scowling, he answered, "I am he
Who champions total liberty --
Intolerance being, ma'am, a state
No tolerant man can tolerate."
"When I meet rogues," he cried, "who choose
To cherish oppositional views,
Lady, like this, and in this manner,
I lay about me with my banner
Till they cry mercy, ma'am." His blows
Rained proudly on prospective foes.
Fearful, I turned and left him there
Still muttering, as he thrashed the air,
"Let the Intolerant beware!"
And SPEAKING of Liberal Airheads....
"SEATTLE – Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., told a group of high-school students in her state that the U.S. should adopt Osama bin Laden's nation-building tactics.
"'We've got to ask, why is this man so popular around the world?' said Murray, according to the Vancouver Columbian newspaper. 'Why are people so supportive of him in many countries that are riddled with poverty?'....
"Murray said, according to the Vancouver paper, that bin Laden has been 'out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. We haven't done that.'
"'How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?' Murray asked."
Murray, of course, is widely known not to be particularly bright. She's made almost no mark in her 10 years in the U.S. Senate and anyone who's ever heard her speak - whatever their political pursuasion - should be embarrassed for our country that she sits in that body. Diminished expectations notwithstanding, her comments were not only stupid, but traiterous and vile.
I'm sure there will be a great media outcry and loud demands that she step down.
That was sarcasm.
A complete article and analysis of Murray's insipid remarks can be found here.
I recently linked to an article by Daniel McCarthy on LewRockwell.com. It was, I thought, a very good piece on the divergence of attitudes between "beltway" libertarian/conservative commentators and the grassroots.
A correspondent emailed to advise me that Lew Rockwell is a nut and, by extension, his web site is a forum for nuts.
On the one hand, I know from personal experience that some quarters of the libertarian movement are, indeed, populated by kooks. On the other hand, I know how brilliant but iconoclastic individuals are frequently tarred with the "wacko" label for the simple crime of being original thinkers expressing politically incorrect thoughts. So I hesitate to rush to such judgment myself.
So I did some more research. I spent three hours combing through various articles, position statements and background pieces on both LewRockwell.com and the web site of the Ludwig von Mises Institute (of which Rockwell is president). And while I am still willing to listen to evidence to the contrary, I found nothing to support the claim that either are anything but organs dedicated to spreading the gospel of Austrian economics.
There are certainly some quirky aspects of LewRockwell.com - and at least one major article of faith with which I violently disagree. There's a running feud, for example, with "neoconservatives," that seems to border on obsession. Indeed, the very article I posted contained an element of this - though I stand by my belief that the article was a good one and made some excellent points.
There's a second thing though, which, combined with the animus toward the neocons, probably helps put LR.com on the lunatic fringe in the eyes of some. They have quite an antipathy as well, you see, for President Abraham Lincoln. They view him as - I don't think this term is too strong - traiterous for not allowing the states to secede from the union, and are quite forthright in expressing this view.
Now I don't think it's any secret that a good percentage of high-profile neocons are Jewish. So some look at their disdain for neocons as anti-semetic; and their disdain for Lincoln as racist. Voila! LR.com is transformed from a forum for egghead libertarian economists to a forum for the promulgation of bigotry.
Not fair. I think. Though there are other things about LR.com, in particular, that prevent me from offering a ringing endorsement.
My first (and least important) objection is that there appears to be a cultish aspect to the various discussions of economic doctrine. One of the columists, for example - one Karen De Coster - refers to herself as a "praxeological austro-paleolibertarian, Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist extremist, Hoppean propertarian, and politically incorrect canonist." Many of the others refer to themselves as "paleolibertarians," whatever THAT means. It all strikes me as a bunch of nonsense, quite frankly. A lot like the Libertarian Party types who sit around and argue about how we should privatize the military. Except, come to think of it, I don't think these people even think we should HAVE a military.
Which brings me to my more significant objection. These people are also "anarcho capitalists." I think I got that right. This means they essentially argue for the abolition of the nation-state form. Which, to me, is the sort of position that is difficult to take seriously in a word full of freedom's enemies with no such conviction.
Or to put it more succinctly: I think they're pie-in-the-sky dreamers. Which makes them well suited to being economics students and professors, I suppose, as opposed to political commentators. But it doesn't make them racists. And it doesn't make them candidates for the loony bin.
I'm still unclear about a lot. One thing that I wonder about is the linkage between Ludwig von Mises (the individual) and Lew Rockwell. There's an extensive discussion somewhere (I lost the link) about a controversy over the LVM Institute's use of the "original" version of Human Action (von Mises' magnum opus) as opposed to the 4th (and last) edition. The whole thing struck me as eerily similar to the debates of various religious denominations over what versions of the Bible to use. There's clearly something there I haven't grasped and I don't know if I'm willing to spend the time to figure it out.
If anyone has any more information on Lew Rockwell or the Ludwig von Mises Institute that might help me sort all this out, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
There's a new link in the blog listing on the left. It's called IQ & PC, and its written by a fellow named Chris Brand. The notions expressed are sufficiently heretical (Brand's word) to merit inclusion on this site. Check it out!
Sunday, December 22, 2002
I'll be damned. I'm a liberal!
A "liberal airhead" to be exact.
No....you didn't type in the wrong URL. That was the result of my "Authoritarian Personality" test. My "F score" was 2.8 on a scale from 0 to 6. I only missed "normal for an American" by .2 points. I'm not quite sure, though, whether I should take comfort in that or not.
Some academic named T.W. Adorno apparently came up with this test in 1950. Though I doubt he used the same labels to categorize the results as did Chuck Anesi on his web site. Namely:
Less than 2 -- A whining rotter.
2 to 3 -- Liberal airhead.
3 to 4.5 -- Within normal limits; an appropriate score for an American.
4.5 to 5.5 -- You may want to practice doing things with your left hand.
5.5 or higher -- Have trouble keeping the lint off your black shirts?
For amusement only.