Friday, May 29, 2009

Regarding the 'first world war' of the early 1600s centered in Germany, JC Roy writes, "The story is long, brutal, amoral, tragic, sordid, and ultimately fascinating," cf. Vanished Kingdom p. 108 referred to May 5.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

David Brooks wrote it. Tom Maguire abstracted it and the NY Times readers hated it which is, to use Mr. Brooks phrase, an 'ungenerous' reaction to his hilarious piece.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

To review further Vanished Kingdom, May 5 below, in his chapter Marienburg, J. Roy reflects on the movie Alexander Nevsky and 'what was the nature of the Teutonic Knights,' formally The Order of St. Mary's Hospital. 'Certainly the Knights were rough men and the dreadful circumstances of their trade would probably nauseate any.. The early knights were monks, lay brothers who followed the ancient monastic routine... Forbidden to them were the usual daily prerogatives of the knightly class - the pleasures of the hunt, the courtship of women. They ate sparingly, a diet of eggs and tough bread, very little meat. In battle they were bullied and cursed by their masters, ordered to act as a unit and not allowed the glory of individual combat... Their quest is not the Holy Grail but martyrdom. This was no false or vainglorious chivalry. God was simple then. He was either right or he was wrong. Medieval man had no difficulty ascertaining which. The ethos of Prussia was created single-handedly by the Teutonic Knights. Their standards became an inbred element of response and attitude.'

Saturday, May 23, 2009

I had a go at Obama's Notre Dame speech on Althouse's blog, about 12:38 PM in comments. Someone pointed out that the answer to the question 'When does life begin?' is '4 million years ago.' That does put a rather transcendental spin on being alive and on death as being a departure from the string of life or Being.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Financial Times has an article recently reporting that the high savings rate of Chinese is due to their anticipating having to pay, and often upfront, their health care bills with very limited government or other assistance. It looks like an important innovation in the Chinese market would be laws implementing the possibilities of health insurance. Catastrophic insurance would seem to be of obvious personal, social, and, even, economic benefit as it might free up capital.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Friday, May 08, 2009

Following Volokh on decimate and correct usage of phrases leaked into the language as it were.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Monday, May 04, 2009

Following comments on the potential for 'yet another Catholic' Supreme Court Justice which, strangely enough, gets me to Pontius Pilate.

Friday, May 01, 2009

I think it's good we're going international with this Chrysler deal. The way out of the world's economic problem could be an economic nationalism as emerged in the thirties or a more multipolar world in which countries other than the US have more economic influence and perhaps the latter is inevitable it is just how we get there (and is it a tyrannical Iran or a trading Ireland/China etc). In this case, the involvement of the descendants of the nephews of the inventors of accounting (Italian monks) may be useful. Obama, for his part, is already searching for the Italian stereotype role pointing out that the bondholders 'didn't act in their own interest' (if you know what I mean). Seriously, Fiat only lost $48 million in the last quarter due to cost cutting in a tough market. Maybe they can bring some creative economic solutions.

Update Todd Zywicki has a good legal post on this. Megan McArdle is also following it with some appropriate art.