Friday, October 31, 2008

Jack London: Socialist and Friend of Prohibition

"John Barleycorn" is a character from an English folk song. In essence, it is alcohol personified. When Jack London wrote a memoir about his struggles with alcohol, he picked that as its name. It is a vivid portrayal of the struggle and denial associated with alcoholism, although Jack firmly denies that he had any inherent inclination to abuse alcohol, whether through the biology of addiction or genetic disposition. He saw addiction more as a function of social pressure.
In his memoir, Jack shows himself to be a strong supporter of prohibition. He even goes so far to reveal that he supported suffrage (the women's right to vote), because he believed that women voters would be the key to enacting prohibition.

Jack showed a degree of naivety in assuming that it would be easy to stop abusing alcohol once prohibition was enacted, since he assumed the period of prohibition would be an era when no one else drinks and no drink would be obtainable. Of course, we have the advantage of hindsight and we can reject that notion as foolish. After seeing years of prohibition (both of alcohol and other substances), we now know that prohibition removes neither supply nor demand.

Jack London envisioned a time when the use of alcohol would be relegated to the status of other defunct activities such as witch burning. Thankfully he was wrong.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Douglas Wilson on Christopher Hitchens

In "Is Christianity Good For The World?", Christian Douglas Wilson made a memorable quip when he said the following to Atheist Christopher Hitchens: "You write like a witty but acerbic tenth-century archbishop with a bad case of the gout". I'll have to put that into my "great put-downs" file.


Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Source of Campaign Funds Says A Lot!

Data based on the records of the reputable site:

The Portion of Candidates Funding Coming From Federal "Coffers":

John McCain (Republican) - 24%
Ralph Nader (Independent) - 22%
Cynthia McKinney (Green) - 3%
Chuck Baldwin (Constitution) - 0%
Barack Obama (Democratic) - 0%
Bob Barr (Libertarian) - 0%

The Portion of Candidates Funding Coming From Individual Contributions:

Chuck Baldwin (Constitution) - 100%
Bob Barr (Libertarian) - 98%
Barack Obama (Democratic) - 90%
Cynthia McKinney (Green) - 88%
John McCain (Republican) - 54%


Obligatory Political Videos

Monday, October 20, 2008

Recent Quotes

1. My cousin Petar has posted some astute political thoughts such as "Everything that true conservatives dislike about George W. Bush is magnified in John McCain" and "Every Democrat that is overly excited about Barack Obama will eventually be as disappointed as most conservatives are with the current president (apparently most Americans are still hoping for a man who will become God, rather than committing themselves to the God who became man)"

2. Douglas Wilson on the irony of the 2008 U.S. Presidential election: "take the fact that the 'conservative' candidate is running on public funds, and the thug and commie candidate is privately funded by capitalists".

3. Stephen Harper showed quite clearly his view of economics when he said: "This government is running the economy so it can't go to hell in a handbasket." (HT: Liberty in Canada

4. The Blue Blogging Soapbox said "it certainly looks like Stephane Dion made use of the napkins to come up with his 30 Day Economic Plan"

5. Thomas Dilorenzo at on the bailout: "Naturally, the Fed’s response has been to grant itself even more powers, while the executive branch and Congress are busy nationalizing the capital markets, a move that will kill American capitalism"

6. Dilbert Cartoonist Scott Adams has some tactical advice for Israel: "I realized that Israel can destroy all of its local enemies by inventing solar technology that makes oil uneconomical. Such an invention would do more harm than any military attack. And it’s all legal and moral. The politicians and business people in Israel have all the right incentives times a thousand. Their very survival is at risk. Israel is one patent away from crushing every oil producing country in the world."

7. Paul Huxley says that Douglas Wilson's "A Primer on Worship and Reformation" is "two thumbs fresh".

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Some Great Political Quotes

Here are some nice quotes from a recent Douglas Wilson blog post:

"having Congress oversee the economic markets of a nation like ours is like having a chimp disassemble your laptop computer for a little troubleshooting"

"Suit yourself. And when things go really badly, computer-wise, Nancy Pelosi will insist that the 'next time this happens, we will take steps to ensure that the chimp repairmen are only allowed to use their thumbs.'"

"We really do get the government we deserve. In less than a month, virtually every elected lunatic that I have seen on the tube during this silly season will be returned to Congress, with loud shouts of triumph. If people were to ask me what we can do to survive the nine miles of bad road that appears to be just ahead of us, my advice would be this: cultivate, really cultivate, a deep and robust sense of humor. And that is not possible unless God is in His heaven. "


Friday, October 03, 2008

Neither Here Nor There

  • has an interesting analysis of factual errors from both sides in the Palin/Biden debate
  • Nate Wilson now has a blog
  • A couple was recently detained for carrying exotic organic chocolate over the U.S. border. Apparently their chocolate was flagged as hasish. The couple was interrogated (and the wife was told that her husband had already confessed to smuggling the 'drugs').