The Death of Intellectual Life

I remember in university asking questions like, why are feminists talk so angry at the US and Canada? Surely there are higher priorities. Sexual discrimination does not seem to have been the priority of Shakespeare or Kipling or Chesterton (or Jesus for that matter). Why do they spend so much time reading them this way? Why so uninterested in the plight of women in the USSR, or China, let alone Iran?

A broader question, why was academia so uninterested in anything useful? Did history, literature and philosophy have nothing useful to offer? I already had some inkling that philosophers had had interesting thoughts. It’s just a shame they spent so much time on the useless stuff.

The historical record shows this was not just some weird coincidence. There was a conscious choice. They called it critical theory. Others call it cultural Marxism. It was a boon to middling academics who needed a novel thesis , wanted to be part of the movement and lacked the traditional intellectual drive of the liberal arts (the pursuit of the good.)

A Big Conspiracy? No a small conspiracy, a big group of unreflective followers and a massive, shrinking group of unwillful unawares.

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The Cost of Regulation

U2 were sticking it to the man:

The rich stay healthy
The sick stay poor -God Part II, 1988

The point is true that wealth makes health. People with money can afford healthy habits and avoid risks. What is the connection to regulation? It makes regulation counterproductive: rules meant to improve life take it instead.

Regulations that take people’s time, resources and wealth make people poorer and thus cost lives, not to mention quality of life. In the third world, people can die for want of couple of thousand dollars or less. In the first world life isn’t so cheap but it still has a cost. It is estimated that, in wealthy nations, people die for want of $7-10 million dollars. It is called statistical murder.

It is poor people who feel the most harm from regulations. People with a more comfortable income are more likely to find that the regulations just told them to do what they would have done anyway. Bottom line: look to the end to find how many lives are taken each year by the EPA alone.

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Walker Talks Policy

InWisconsinPiers anticipation of Obama visiting Wisconsin, Walker compares his state’s economic progress to the federation’s

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They Used to Say Coexist

…but this is a little more honest.

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I’d Hate to Say I Told You So

…but it’s not true: I love to say “I told you so.” It’s just that I do sincerely wish I had been wrong and Kaliner had been right.

havelI find myself at odds now with a lot of proponents of same sex marriage who appear to be walking the charred battlefield of the cultural war and shooting the wounded.

I apologize for thinking this was about only equal treatment under the law. I apologize for dismissing conservatives’ fears that this slippery slope would lead to de facto banishment from various sectors of the public square.

I thought people just wanted to be left alone. I was wrong.

My real motivation for posting this is so I have a link to Vaclav Havel’s essay.

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A lesson in Ferguson

If you ask me about Ferguson, Missouri, I am tempted to say there is nothing to be learned but cynicism. Newsmen detected a delicate situation so they published lies, amplified the agitators, condemned the voices of moderation and condoned the violence. Their stories meet Canada’s definition of a hate crime but there will be no apology or acknowledgement, let alone punishment.
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Finding a nugget of gold in a garbage pit was beyond me, but not beyond the Washington Examiner. Here is a good overview of the truth and a positive lesson. Good for them.

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Hope for Islam

Ataba market, Islamic Quarter, Cairo, EgyptIt has been said that the world seems headed for a conflict between Islam and the rest of civilization. There may be a solution in the form of a massive western victory but it would be ugly and bloody. Victory by Islamic fascism would be uglier. Pacifist compliance by the west is not an available option.

Pacifist cooperation by the Islamic world, however, is an option. If Islam ceases to be aggressive, it can live in peace and self-sufficiency. This “speech” put in the mouth of Barack Obama is the most hopeful vision of Islamic reform I can recall.

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