Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.
- Frédéric Bastiat

Overheard in a cafe: Lady, you wouldn't know a blawgger if he popped out of the toilet and bit you on the ass.

Power Elite Shaking the tree, rattling the cage, clipping the wings.

We hear evidence that HIH’s lawyers did not provide any opinion on the legality or probity of the decision by Ray Williams to invest $10 million of HIH money into a trust controlled by Rodney Adler – another HIH director – and which money was used to buy shares in Adler Corporation, despite knowing of the circumstances and transactions. The reason? They weren’t asked to!

The HIH story is one of power elites, in C. Wright Mills’ terms. The intimacy of old associates and school friends and the use of financial ‘incentives’ kept everyone in line. It created an environment in which a culture of managerial enrichment and recklessness was possible.
· Pocketful of Posers [OLO]

Terror The value of compassion

For many Australians, the horror and injustice that saturate our world suddenly became real this month. For some it was a profound shock to realise that we are not insulated from the pain and death that accompany life at every point and in every person. We are just ordinary humans – searching, fearful, loving and vulnerable, and we will never grow up, never learn justice and compassion, and never understand spirituality, unless we face the reality of suffering. Instead of replacing false securities with fake religion, instead of setting out, with grim determination, to make sure this atrocity does not alter our "carefree Aussie lifestyle", can we learn to love one another enough, and love life enough, to sit together and face the horror without running away?
· Searching [OLO]

Internet B(l)egging for $

I came to a realization that I've been mulling over ever since: a lack of money is hindering the growth and potential of blogging. Free--or personal--blogging can only take us so far. Ken Parish might consider adding blegging to the jargon of bloggers.
BTW, who owns http://www.hillarybray.com? 100 Crown REWARD offered ...
· Blogging [O'Reilly]

Where would most of the Blawggers be in the Adolf’s 30s?

German doctors were unusually supportive of the Hitler regime and Nazi racial ideology. Forty-five percent joined the Nazi party, 33% joined the Nazi Physicians’ League, 26% were members of the SA (stormtroopers), and 7% joined the elite and comparatively small Schutzstaffel (SS). Physicians outranked in representation every other professional group except in the SS (there, lawyers had them beat), says a review in JAMA of Medicine and Medical Ethics in Nazi Germany: Origins, Practices, Legacies. Another fact: It was under the Nazis that the world’s most aggressive crusade against smoking took place.
· Another Evidence [JAMA]

Politics of Irony Dirty 30: Real Gough can live at the bayside of Darling Point but still can't walk on water

The chaos and incompetence of 1973 returns to America. It's fine for the French Foreign Minister to accuse the White House of "simplisme", because those idiot Americans are far too simplistic to know what simplisme means. It's safe for "senior British civil servants", in this newspaper, to dismiss Bush as "a bear of little brain", because those frightful Yanks are too ill-educated to recognize such a subtle intellectual literary allusion. It's okay to sneer at the President, as is done routinely at dinner parties in London, Paris, Winnipeg, all the great cities, as "not the brightest bulb in the chandelier", because such concepts as metaphor and analogy are almost certainly unknown to the birdbrain.

Had she done any of the above, Franoise Ducros would still have her job. But instead she cut to the chase. "What a moron!" she scoffed, speaking in Prague to a CBC reporter. The CBC guy barely noticed the remark: I mean, what's the big deal? Everyone knows Bush is a moron, don't they?
· Australian Bush [Sydney Morning Herald]
· Autralian Paddy [SMH]
· American Bush [Telepgraph London]

Tax Taxpayers Bill of Rights

Paul Marks points out that it is the spending rather than the taxing which is the root of governments woe
· Colorado - not missing the point [Samizdata]

Sexy Scotch What lies beneath?
The vast majority of Scotsmen still choose to wear nothing beneath their kilts, according to a survey out today. The survey of men north of the border revealed that 69 per cent of kilt-wearers prefer to - go commando.
· Comando [This is London]