Monday, April 27, 2009

Matthew Stafford is guaranteed $41.7, gets some $78 million if he gets through a 6 year contract. I'd say this is more than any combination Highland Park High School kids, Scots is the school nickname, ever made (in sports) but then think of Chris Young, the ophthalmologist's son and pitcher, who won a playoff game for San Diego a few years ago; so maybe I'll just have to compare him to Doak Walker whose Highland Park jersey number was retired just a few years ago. Anyway it will be interesting to see if black Motown will want to rock and roll with him. I don't know why not. Like the rest of the athletes, he probably traveled down to MLK Ave. to get somebody to walk into a liquor store there for beer. So it's not as if there wasn't something done with the community. Anyway he laughed in New York when his being the number 1 pick was booed, and social grace is the number 1 requirement in Highland Park. Maybe someone trained, whether he realizes the particulars or not, to identify with the Scots successful fight for religious independence from the rule of Charles I of England can make common cause with the descendants of those who were up from slavery and discrimination in the South. It's a good Scot's calling.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I have a general comment to make which finds Megan's argument deficient, but appreciates Nimed's perspective on the U.S and would like to make it here. I would add to his perspective by citing an example from a SEAL in VN. Sometimes when they were approaching a point of the Communists that they were attacking they would come across a disemboweled older woman. The Communists would do this anticipating attack because the impulse of the Americans would be to help the women thus creating an alert and a diversion from their attack.

In any event, the Laws of War which include but are not wholly the rules about prisoners need to be considered. According to these Laws, if one combatant side breaks a law, then the other side can break the law in a compensatory fashion as a demonstration that the breaking of the Laws would not be tolerated. This is the argument that 'allowed,' I think unfortunately, the firebombing of Tokyo or the bombing of Dresden. With Al-Quaida's attack Sept 11, you had a major breach, the killing of 3000 civilians in NY, of the Laws of War. The rough treatment, torture within the bounds of training exercises of our own troops, added the American utilitarian objective to the treatment according to the Laws of War to those who had by their continuing presence in Al-Quaida agreed to the earlier violation of the Law of War against attacking civilian targets without military value.

Monday, April 20, 2009

I suppose the 'tea bagging' characterization is a Democratic royalist response to the effort of the organizers to recall the favor of a period when small government and rule by a local rising economic elite held a privileged position in American politics. In Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals by Niall Ferguson, the chapter on 'British America: What if There Had Been No American Revolution,' J. Clark points out that the taxes on the American colonists were low and applied in a rather ambivalent way, careful not to offend the Whig sensibilities of the Americans. The American complaint was treated rather like Moses, Pharaoh's son, was treated as opposed to the way other revolutionaries, e.g. Jesus vs. The High Priest and Romans, were treated. The Republicans are lost, divided over immigration, as the Whigs were divided over slavery, after a fall from power due to lack of deference to their Northern wing if I recall correctly from Storm Over Texas by Joel Silbey. They are the Whig party, believers in market discipline, and organizing in some new fashion over liberty, will hopefully return.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

"The events of the past 10 years have an eerie similarity to the period leading up to the Great Depression. Total mortgage debt outstanding increased from $9.35 billion in 1920 to $29.44 billion in 1929. In 1920, residential mortgage debt was 10.2% of household wealth; by 1929, it was 27.2% of household wealth." This is from a recent Wall Street Journal article. I recall as a child in Catholic school, the nun saying that in the pleasure centered 20s there had been installment debt and that this led to the Depression. One wondered how toasters and even cars could have had such a profound consequence. Then when I read Friedman on 'The Cause of the great Depression' I put away such childish thoughts. The nuns are looking better. Of course, I wish I could have integrated the history they gave with the events of 2001-5. As a corollary to that, I need to get back to work, you might leave a question if you want.