Ovide 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010 \PM\.\Thu\.

Next week, New Hampshire Republicans, and probably some irritating Democrats, will decide who the Republican Nominee is for the Republican New Hampshire Senate Candidacy. It appears to the best of my knowledge that Ovide Lamontange is the only consistent pro-life and limited government candidate on the ticket. I urge anyone you know who lives in New Hampshire to vote for Ovide. No, he’s not a genius, but he’s principled, more than the others. Primaries should be about principles. Playing Machiavelli can wait until November. We have to choose the right people to put up for office, and the right people are principled people who think that government is more than simply another way to stimulate the economy. We have a debased and corrupt form of politics that only recognizes the material dimension of our lives. We need candidates who understand that material life is not the only good, and that material well-being is in some way really dependent on our spiritual well-being. Our spiritual well-being is in a real way determined by our laws, and our politicians create our laws, not just “our jobs” (which is ridiculous, politicians don’t create jobs). We need to look for politicians who have but an inkling of an understanding of this countercultural idea. Our laws are not just about money; they are about truth and justice and goodness and even beauty.

Republicans are upset about not being in power. Republicans are not in power because they have failed to live up to their principles, and everyone knows it. Republican principles are good principles, and we should not concede them because we have hopes of winning an election. Republicans have won elections, and they have acted frivolously and ignorantly with their power because they were not principled. We need to elect politicians who will behave responsibly with their power, and not just win the election. Elections don’t matter; justice and truth do.

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How the Drug War Leads to Actual War

Thursday, September 9, 2010 \PM\.\Thu\.

As readers of this blog are no doubt aware, I am not a huge fan of the recently passed Arizona immigration law, SB 1070. The Arizona law has mainly been justified as a means of combating violent drug gangs from Mexico. I frankly don’t see how the law helps in this regard, but no one should mistake my opposition to SB 1070 for sanguinity on the topic of Mexican drug and gang-related violence. Drug related violence is up sharply in several regions of Mexico over the last few years, and there is always the danger that violence could spill over into the United States.

Why is drug violence up so sharply in Mexico? Ironically, the cause seems to be an upsurge in attempts by the Mexican government to suppress the drug trade. Since his election in 2006, Mexican President Calderon has made going after the drug cartels one of his top priorities. The cartels have responded in kind, murdering anyone they perceive as a threat.

The idea that anti-drug efforts are causing an increasing drug-related violence can be hard to stomach. After all, the law enforcement officials fighting against the cartels are heroes, whereas the cartels themselves are made up of profoundly evil people. Suggesting that the increased violence is the result of anti-drug policies may thus seem morally perverse. My claim, however, is not moral but causal. The drug cartels have existed in Mexico for a long time. Yet it was only when the government stepped up anti-drug efforts that the violence has increased so dramatically.

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The Bible Is Now Trash; The Koran Is Still Sacred, Though

Thursday, September 9, 2010 \PM\.\Thu\.

by Joe Hargrave

I was going to say something about the Koran burning scheduled to take place on 9/11. When I first heard about it, I had the same reaction many Americans did: this is a reckless provocation. It is heartless and insensitive in a religiously plural republic. Someone should try to talk some sense in to the pastor. And while I still believe all of those things, I have to say that given what I read this morning, I’m really having a hard time being enthusiastic about it.

What I’m referring to is a story reported by CNN of a Bible barbecue in Afghanistan, carried out by our own military. A U.S. soldier somehow “received”  – the article doesn’t specify if he requested them or if they were simply sent – a batch of Bibles printed in two Afghan languages. Meanwhile an Al Jazeera video showed television clips of U.S. soldiers praying, and inferred with no evidence that they were being told to “spread Christianity.” This false perception, combined with the presence of the Afghan Bibles, led to a decision to first confiscate, and then to burn the Bibles sent to the soldier, in order to avoid stirring up the locals and encouraging more attacks.

Why didn’t they simply send them back? Because of the sound reasoning that the church that sent them could merely send them to another place in Afghanistan, as if they couldn’t somehow print more if they really wanted to. Well, that, and this: “Troops at posts in war zones are required to burn their trash, [Lt. Col.] Wright said.”

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TAC College Football Rankings: Week 1

Thursday, September 9, 2010 \AM\.\Thu\.

Idaho Vandals QB & NFL Prospect Nathan Enderle

So we’re trying a new feature here at TAC. Since we noticed we have a lot of college football fans, we thought it might be fun to start our own rankings system. This way, we have an excuse to talk college football every week in a Catholic setting. B/c we thought of it this week, this ranking is coming out on Thursday but the others should be coming out on Mondays.

Here’s how it’ll work. People will send in their rankings and I’ll assign points to them (25 for 1st, 24 for 2nd, etc.) and then average out the points and rank the teams according to that. Then I will take that score along with the computer models and…just kidding. No computer models.

My hope is that it’ll build and we’ll get more people involved (and if you want to submit rankings, let me know-you don’t have to write for TAC). At the end of the year, we may even do a special bowl pick-em thing if it seems popular enough.

Rankings follow after the jump ↓

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Well, Duh!

Thursday, September 9, 2010 \AM\.\Thu\.

Fidel Castro, the soon to be late dictator of Cuba, proclaims what most Cubans have known since he took over Cuba two years after my birth.  Journalist Jeffery Goldberg of the Atlantic asked him if the Cuban economic model was something he believes should be exported.  The failed baseball player said that the Cuban economic model didn’t even work for Cubans.  Go here to read the story.

The “Cuban economic model” as far as I can tell basically consisted of reducing most of the population to the status of state slaves to support the nomenklatura of the Cuban Communist party.  The system only “worked” because huge subsidies from the Soviet Union propped it up.  After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the elimination of the subsidies, the Cuban economy went into freefall as detailed hereRead the rest of this entry »



Ferengi-nomics

Thursday, September 9, 2010 \AM\.\Thu\.

(Content advisory to the above video.  A few of the Rules of Acquisition are off-color.  You know what the Ferengi are like.)

We have been having a debate recently on The American Catholic between Austrians and Distributists.  As a devotee of free enterprise with as little government intervention as possible, I have found some wisdom in the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition as set forth in one of my favorite fictional realms:  Star Trek.  Many of the Rules of Acquisition of course are merely for entertainment purposes and would lead to immoral results, if not bankruptcy or prison, if attempted in reality.  However,  after a quarter century of running my own business, I believe these rules are insightful:

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