September 14, 2006
Re: I've been tagged (the One Book Meme Game)
Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:59 PMWell, now that I've got some time, George, I'll play along, too:
1. One book that changed my life: The Ultimate Resource 2, by Julian Simon. It made tangible the life-affirming optimism of free-market principles and the value of individuals. It also skewered with a smile one leftist sacred cow after another after another.
2. One book I've read more than once: Kinde Pitty and Brave Scorn: John Donne's Satyres, by M. Thomas Hester. This could also have gone under "changed my life," except that it really serves to reinforce the life-changing perspective already received from Prof. Hester's Donne course at NC State.
3. One book I'd want on a desert island: The Bible.
4. One book that made me laugh: Would that Leef hadn't already mentioned God Is My Broker. Therefore I'll go with Christopher Buckley's essay compilation, Wry Martinis. The Lenin's body hoax and the tiff with Tom Clancy are particularly magnificent.
5. One book that made me cry: First reaction, Pshaw! then, Wait... Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, Volume Two; Part Four: "The Soul and Barbed Wire," Chapter One: "The Ascent"; the last words of Dr. Boris Nikolayevich Kornfeld, former prison stoolie and hunted man, telling Solzhenitsyn in the prison hospital ward about his conversion to Christianity and the shocking reality of true justice, prior to his murder in his sleep mere hours later. The impact of that part of Gulag, in the context of "The Ascent" and how it is, mere pages later, that Solzhenitsyn could say Bless you, prison, for having been in my life! — to me it is comparable to Hamlet's "The readiness is all," but in full import infinitely more devastating and powerful, given its unfathomably true circumstance.
6. One book I wish had been written: No Means No: The First Amendment Really Does Protect Religious and Political Speech, No Matter What Judicial Shenanigans Some Candyass Statists Try to Pull, by the American Bar Association, the Federalist Society and the American Civil Liberties Union.
7. One book I wish had not been written: All the "good" ones are taken, so let me go with The Mill on the Floss, by Georg Eliot. It was a required text in an eighteenth-century novels course taught by a feminist, and it was a course I had naïvely signed up for hoping for a few good books to read, not an agenda. Ironically, this was one of the few "classics" required in the course, but I think that was because the female protagonist cried, it seemed, every three pages. That of course fit in well with the course's presumption that everything conspired to create female unhappiness then as now. I'm sure the reading experience was soured by the extra-literary gripes of my professor; nevertheless, I wanted that damned mill to burn up before I had completed the first 100 pages, a wish that only grew more fervent as the pages sloshed by with still more blubbering.
8. One book I am currently reading: Testimony: The Memoirs of Dmitri Shostakovich, by Solomon Volkov. It's the book that shattered a carefully honed Soviet illusion that had been bought into by countless Western socialist elites who should have known better, and a brilliant artist's revenge and salvaging his life's work and reputation from the one place the Soviets couldn't touch him — beyond the grave.
9. One book I've been meaning to read: John Adams by David McCullough. I read a speech by him to Hillsdale College on the subject of Adams, "A Man Worth Knowing," and bought the book immediately afterward. It's now in "the stack."
Now that I have done, I have not done, for I have more ... that is, I have some "tags" to make. So let's go with Bob Lee Swagger, Kevin "Southpaw Grammar" Hales, Mike Adams, Hal Young, and Jerry "Bigtime" Agar.
Books AND movies
Posted by Andrew Cline at 9:51 PM
I'll take Mitch's general tagging (hey, I live in New Hampshire, it's the best I can get) and, because I'm a huge film buff, add movies to the list:
1. One book that changed my life: Catch 22. Confirmed my teenage observation that the people in charge are idiots and cannot be trusted to protect or look out for you. Might explain my conservatism. One film that changed my life: Dr. Strangelove. Made me laugh and showed me how to poke fun at authority with subtlety. A man named Vladimir Chang would never have been born had it not been for Dr. Strangelove.
2. One book I've read more than once: Hamlet. One film I've seen more than once: Love and Death.
3. One book I'd want on a desert island: The Bible. (That way, if I don't get saved, I still get saved.) One film I'd want on a desert island: Casablanca.
4. One book that made me laugh: Original Color by Hugh Kennedy (About a gay art dealer from Charlotte who moves to Boston). One film that made me laugh: Duck Soup. Greatest film by history's greatest comedy team.
5. One book that made me cry: All Quiet on the Western Front. One film that made me cry: Saving Private Ryan.
6. One book I wish had been written: Why it's not OK to kill in my name, by Allah, as told to Mohammad. One film I wish had been made: General George Washington, starring Liam Neeson, directed by Akira Kurosawa.
7. One book I wish had not been written: Das Kapital. 100 million dead because of that book. One film I wish had not been made: Dirty Dancing. I did not have the time of my life.
8. One book I am currently reading: In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, by Mary Beth Norton. Outstanding scholarship and narration. The book you have to read if you want to understand the Salem witch trials (and who doesn't?). One film I'm currenly watching: A Mighty Wind.
9. One book I've been meaning to read: Citizens, by Simon Schama. I've literally had this on my bookshelf for years. One film I've been meaning to see: Corpse Bride.
Brits Eye WNC Inmates for a Movie?
Posted by Michael Moore at 5:09 PM
my eye today in the Waynesville, NC paper, The Mountaineer. A
British film company wants to make a film on this?
Jim Black subpoenaed
Posted by Paul Chesser at 3:59 PM
The Speaker of the N.C. House has been asked to testify at the trial of Kevin Geddings, which begins next week.
Re: I've been tagged
Posted by Dr. Troy Kickler at 3:41 PM
Although in many cases it's difficult to decide on one book, here's my list.
1. One book that changed my life: Can't decide really, but these small books made big impressions on me as an undergrad: C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain and Thomas Paine, Common Sense.
2. One book I've read more than once: Richard M. Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences (3x) and David Gress, From Plato to NATO (7x)
3. One book I'd want on a desert island: Eugenio Corti, The Red Horse. It's an epic historical novel that recounts the barbarism of fascism and communism in WWII Italy and reminds readers that the power of family and faith can help individuals overcome what seems insurmountable.
4. One book that made me laugh: Not a book, really, but Moliere's Tartuffe.
5. One book that made me cry: Wendell Berry, Remembering. Just misty-eyed that's all.
6. One book that I wish had been written: No Other College Champion: The Story of Volunteer Football, 1925-2006.
7. One book I wish had not been written: Anything by Michel Foucault. Pick one.
8. One book I'm currently reading: Hugh Heclo and Wilfred M. McClay, eds., Religion Returns to the Public Square (for obvious reasons).
9. One book I've been meaning to read: Russell Kirk, The Roots of American Order.
Like Mr. Ham, I'm running out of people to tag.
Re: I've been tagged
Posted by Jon Ham at 3:25 PM
OK, I'll play along:
1. One book that changed my life: Harold Martin's Ralph McGill: Reporter.
I came away from this book understanding that men obssessed with their
work have one thing in common: they neglect their wives and families.
It changed the way I approached life.
2. One book I've read more than once: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. I read it about every three years. Same with Last of the Mohicans.
3. One book I'd want on a desert island: The Boy Scout Handbook. First priority: survive. If only fiction is allowed then I'd have to say Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. It's about survival, too.
4. One book that made me laugh: Barefoot Boy With Cheek. This book about college life still makes my sides hurt when I read it. Max Shulman has few peers.
5. One book that made me cry: The Citadel by A.J. Cronin.
6. One book that I wish had been written: The true story of the college
days of Frank M. Johnson and George C. Wallace. They were best friends
at the University of Alabama and one became a race-baiting governor and
the other became a federal judge who forced civil rights on Alabama.
This should at least be a TV movie.
7. One book I wish had not been written: Das Kapital.
8. One book I'm currently reading: Dogged Victims of Inexorable Fate
by Dan Jenkins. This was lent to me by Richard Wagner, who said it was
funny. It might not be Max Shulman quality, but it is hilarious.
9. One book I've been meaning to read: Dr. Zhivago. I bought it years ago and just never seem to get to it.
I'm not sure there's anyone left to tag.
That book game
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:20 PM
Thanks a lot, Joe.
1. One book that changed my life: Woodward & Bernstein's All The President's Men. It's unfortunate that so many journalists would cite this same book; most of them decided that journalism was all about bringing down Republican administrations. For me, the book symbolized the role journalism plays in keeping government honest -- whoever holds the gavel.
2. One book I've read more than once: Huxley's Brave New World. I suspect quite a few people would support that world if they had the opportunity. It's a scary thought.
3. One book I'd want on a desert island: If the book was the only item of entertainment available, I'd cheat and take one of the Norton anthologies of great literature. If I could also take music with me, then my book would be Dave Marsh's Heart of Rock & Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. Marsh is sort of a loon, but his musical scholarship is great.
4. One book that made me laugh: Returning to P.J. O'Rourke, I'll nominate Age & Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, & A Bad Haircut. The title alone brings a smile to my face.
5. One book that made me cry: James Joyce's Ulysses. Yes, it hurt when that tome fell on my big toe.
6. One book that I wish had been written: Spinal Tap: The Unauthorized Biography. Oh, the stories Derek Smalls would tell.
7. One book I wish had not been written: Mein Kampf, for obvious reasons.
8. One book I'm currently reading: American Conservatism: An Encyclopedia. At two entries per day, I might finish by Christmas.
9. One book I've been meaning to read: Steven F. Hayward's Age of Reagan 1964-1980. I enjoyed his book Greatness, which compared Reagan to Churchill. I hope I'll read the earlier Reagan bio in preparation for his forthcoming volume on the Great Communicator's presidential years.
Any LR contributor who has not yet been tagged should consider himself/herself tagged.
Re: I've been tagged
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 2:35 PM
My list for the One Book Meme Game
1. One book that changed my life: Hayek, The Road to Serfdom
2. One book I've read more than once: Orwell, Animal Farm -- in eighth grade. I don't re-read much
3. One book I'd want on a desert island: Riverside Shakespeare
4. One book that made me laugh: Po Bronson, Bombardiers. The futures market for jelly donuts is
5. One book that made me cry:Peggy Noonan, John Paul the Great
6. One book that I wish had been written: I think this is more
the book I wish I knew about -- how religion, economics, and politics
interact in different societies
7. One book I wish had not been written: George Lakoff, Don't Think of an Elephant.
If those on the left want to understand conservatives and libertarians,
they should take a look at George's reading list instead of reading
Lakoff's waste of time and resources.
8. One book I'm currently reading: The Portable Edmund Burke
9. One book I've been meaning to read: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals. I've had it recommended by a number of people and it would be a good supplement to the Lincoln section of Eliot Cohen's Supreme Command.
Keeping it in the JLF family I'll tag Terry Stoops, Troy Kickler, Shannon Blosser, Mitch Kokai, and Michael Moore the intern.
More Emily Litella moments from the old media
Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:05 PMJoe, your post reminded me of this.
Here's a recent compilation of old media "Emily Litella moments" done by our pal Lorie Byrd.
Re: I've been tagged
Posted by John Hood at 1:59 PM
OK, I'll play "The One Book Meme Game” as George Leef suggested earlier.
1. One book that changed my life: Thomas Sowell’s Knowledge & Decisions. I read other econ books, before and since, but this one sunk its talons deep into my flesh and never let go. Critically, he explained the pivotal role of time in economic analysis.
2. One book I've read more than once: A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, 1911. I have read this classic work of swords-and-science fantasy many, many times. I have wargamed it. I have the comic books. I have the action figures. When the movie finally comes out, it will credit me (OK, well, I am not absolutely sure about that).
3. One book I'd want on a desert island: Dune by Frank Herbert. Every time I read it, I pick up another bit of characterization or allusion. A possible substitute would be Robert Payne’s History of Islam. The two are related, as anyone who has read both (or at least read Dune and studied Islamic history) can attest.
4. One book that made me laugh: P.J. O’Rourke’s Give War a Chance. If you don’t laugh hard at pretty much anything P.J. writes, you are not a homo sapien.
5. One book that made me cry: I am a reserved, sober, rather Scottish fellow. Don't cry much. I must admit, however, that I got a little moist-eyed years ago when reading The Diary of H.L. Mencken. He was a brilliant writer and insightful critic who nevertheless harbored debilitating prejudices, lived a depressing personal life, and died in a pathetic state.
6. One book that I wish had been written: A truly glorious sequel to Lord of the Rings, by John Hood. I could have been a contender. I could have been somebody.
7. One book I wish had not been written: I cannot do better than George's entry in this category, John Maynard Keynes' General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money It is preposterous if you actually read it carefully and think about the assertions he is making. But few did, or do.
8. One book I'm currently reading: The Afghan Campaign, by Steven Pressfield. It is a novel set in the time of Alexander’s bloody, difficult conquest of Afghanistan on the way to his invasion of India. A soldier's-eye look at the Macedonian host and how Afghan tribes fought them (which is pretty much the way Afghan tribes fought everyone, and still do).
9. One book I've been meaning to read: The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party, by Ryan Sager. This new book sounds an awful lot like the book I was thinking about writing, about fusionism, albeit with a more partisan tinge.
Now I must nominate folks to keep this game going, so I'll keep expand the JLF playing field: Jon Ham, Kory Swanson, Daren Bakst, Chad Adams, and Paul Messino.
NYT Channels Emily Litella
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 12:47 AM
The New York Times admitted its writers did a poor job of reporting for last week's hit piece (registration required) against conservatives, including JLF friend Richard Vedder. Heritage responds and compares their treatment with National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy in the same article and Robert Rubin's (registration required) on the same page.
I've been tagged
Posted by George Leef at 12:38 AM
Zooming around the net is "The One Book Meme Game." (For explanation, follow this link.)
Frank Stephenson tagged me. Here goes:
1. One book that changed my life: I'll go with Bastiat's The Law, which superbly clarified the proper extent of government power.
2. One book I've read more than once: I have read Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson several times, each time finding excellent explanatory material to show why government intervention is harmful.
3. One book I'd want on a desert island: If it's OK to name a set of books, I think I'd want Shelby Foote's wonderful trilogy on the Civil War. It's very long and very good.
4. One book that made me laugh: God Is My Broker by Christopher Buckley and John Tierney. Simply hilarious.
5. One book that made me cry: Robert Conquest's Harvest of Sorrow. The inhumanity of the communist thugs is unbearable.
6. One book that I wish had been written: Easy -- my own novel. I've had it thought through for years. Some day I hope to see piles of A Presidential Wife by George C. Leef for sale in airport bookstores. Selling fast, of course.
7. One book I wish had not been written: We would probably still be in our mega-state mess even if Keynes General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money hadn't been written, but still I'm going to magic wand it away.
8. One book I'm currently reading: David Kirp's Shakespeare, Einstein and the Bottom Line a book exploring the mania for growth and prestige in higher ed.
9. One book I've been meaning to read: Robert Reich's little book Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America. Haven't found time yet to tear into that one. But watch out, Reich, when I do.
The rule is that I now get to tag five people to keep this going, so how about it John Hood, Roy Cordato, Jon Sanders, Joe Coletti, and Michael Sanera?
Unjustified Pay Raises
Posted by George Leef at 10:10 AM
Headline: Audit: N.C. legislative workers got improper raises.
Fixed — Drudge Report oversight
Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:56 AMSomething is missing from the banner photo layout right now on Drudge. Don't worry; I fixed it:
"Angel of Death" makes an appearance
Posted by Geoff Lawrence at 09:48 AM
The "angel of death"
visited Montreal yesterday. Seems like a charming young fellow,
although perhaps lacking a certain level of polish exhibited by Brad
Pitt in Meet Joe Black. I love how the article begins by
dishing out blame for the evils of the world to the video gaming
industry. This always seems like a stretch to me. I mean,
maybe violence is a side-effect of video games...or maybe its because
the guy drank too much Tang. Who knows?
The supposed savings due to national health care
Posted by George Leef at 09:46 AM
I wrote about the contention of UAW president Ron Gettelfinger that the US needs national health care so that American companies can compete with foreign rivals when his article appeared in the Wall Street Journal on Sept. 1.
Copied below are three letters in today's edition that also smack him around pretty well.
Universal' Health Care Cripples Economies
United Auto Workers President Ron Gettelfinger quotes Wilbur Ross: "Every country against which we compete has universal health care. That means we probably face a 15% cost disadvantage vs. foreigners for no other reason than historical accident" ("Jump Into the Risk Pool," editorial page, Sept. 1). Messrs. Gettelfinger and Ross do not explain where this 15% cost disadvantage comes from. Does Mr. Ross think that if we had universal government health care the taxes on his company would not go up? If Messrs. Gettelfinger and Ross think universal government health care is less expensive than private care, they are out of touch with the economics of health care.
Toyota's new non-union San Antonio auto plant will have average wages and benefits of $35 an hour. GM's UAW Dallas auto plant has average wages and benefits of more than $80 an hour. This results in a GM cost disadvantage of 130%. Meanwhile, UAW membership shrinks every year; its membership is currently smaller than it was in 1942. Does Mr. Gettlefinger think the major decline of his union is due to the lack of government health care?
Mr. Gettelfinger reasons that to enhance the competitiveness of American companies we need to "develop well-funded public programs which cover every man, woman and child in America." This, he says, will eliminate the "15% cost disadvantage" they have vs. foreigners. I guess by "foreigners" he means those countries whose economic growth rate is half ours, and whose income and wealth per capita is a fraction of ours.
The "well-funded public programs" he recommends are actually crippling the economies of Europe and will ultimately crush them as the inexorable force of aging demographics comes fully to bear.
Transferring individual responsibility to the government for pensions and health care only increases government responsibility but in no way increases government's means to meet those responsibilities. Paying people who no longer work can be done only when the economy produces enough to provide for the needs of all the people. It is productivity that can save us, not bureaucracy and taxes. I'd have been able to retire years ago if, instead of giving about 6% of my earnings to Social Security and having my employer match that, I had been free to invest the same funds.
How telling it is that Mr. Gettelfinger yearns for the good old days of the 1950s and denigrates the very mechanisms that will finally free individuals and allow them to accummulate the wealth that was previously reserved for people like Mr. Gettelfinger. Trying to draw parallels between GM and Starbucks is laughable. No one born after the 1960s would ever take GM over Starbucks, either as a career path or as a stock purchase. You helped ruin GM, Mr. Gettelfinger; forgive us if we want you to keep your hands off our coffee house.
Bravo to Vandervoort, Wolfson and Freeman!
Big Foot in WNC?
Posted by Michael Moore at 09:36 AM
today in the Asheville Paper has me wondering, do people have too much
time on their hands? Of course everybody knows about the real Big Foot.
George Will on Wal-Mart's critics
Posted by George Leef at 08:41 AM
Here's an excellent column by George Will on the liberal jihad against Wal-Mart.
Nothing shows the absolute fatuousness of politicians more than when they manufacture phony issues like this in an effort to get bobble-head voters up in arms. I'd wager that if you got someone like Joe Biden a bit tipsy so he'd speak honestly, he'd say, "Of course it's all BS, but you've got to find some way to manipulate the dolts. It's just the way the game is played."
A McGreevey Kind of Love
Posted by Paul Chesser at 08:31 AM
The former New Jersey governor bows at Oprah's altar.
Re: Michael Lind
Posted by George Leef at 08:29 AM
Good point, Joe. Despite the failure of government planning everywhere, many people still push it along. Maybe Lind means that socialism is intellectually dead -- that it has done about as well in the marketplace of ideas as, oh, broccoli-flavored yogurt. But he is not saying that libertarianism is intellectually dead, but only that Republican politicians, most of whom have fully absorbed the collectivist nostrums that leftists have been peddling for a century (recall that Newt Gingrich expressed his admiration for FDR) did not do anything to steer the nation away from the monumental but well-entrenched blunders of Social Security, minimum wage legislation and so forth. That fact is no refutation of any aspect of the libertarian critique of the megastate.
Maybe he just hopes that we will all convert to his big-government church so he won't have to face scathing criticism any more.
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