Archive for the ‘Miscellany!’ Category.

additions to the blogroll

I added a few new people to the blogroll, some oldies but goodies (The Belmont Club and Blackfive), some oversights (City Journal), and some newer discoveries (Coyoteblog, To Miss…).

Some samples…

From City Journal:

It’s something of a parlor game among the commentariat to compare one era with another. Every time America’s power ebbs, the pundits conjure the fall of the Roman Empire—and every time America’s power increases, they fear it’s the collapse of the Roman Republic. Each new war must be either Vietnam again or World War II. And if we had a dollar for every time a journalist compared the current economic downturn with the Great Depression, the current economic downturn would be over.

From To Miss:

And suddenly the confusion I have always had when discussing with those who believe adamantly in the goodness of the welfare state starts to dissipate. No wonder everyone thinks I am mad. I argue for a society which would allow some people to live in serious poverty. I believe in not handing out free flats and free money. I believe in making people work for their achievements. Why? So that they can know those words: ‘values’, ‘self-respect’ and ‘kindness’. To never know these things, no matter how rich one might be, is to live a life which, in my view, is not worth living.

And therein lies the devastating irony: the welfare state does save millions from a life of financial poverty, but in doing so, it necessarily subjects people to a life devoid of value.

Read the whole thing.  Really, just page to the bottom and start reading up there.  Really interesting lady.

From Coyote:

The fact is that this was a normal recession blown out of proportion first by the Bush and later by the Obama administration.  From the very beginning, it looked much like the recession of the early 1980’s or the bank crisis of the early 1990’s, and it recovered for the same reason – there are fundamental strengths in the economy.  In fact, the length of the Great Depression was in fact the aberration, caused more by FDR’s wild proposals (the worst of which was the National Industrial Recovery Act) which tended to dampen the investment that normally picks up at the bottom of the cycle to take advantage of reduced asset values and input costs.

Read it all.  Have fun and check back later for actual posting!


To Katy for the lovely post about my new darling daughter, Margaret Dixie.  And thanks to all our readers and fellow bloggers for their patience during my absence.  I hope to return to more regular blogging soon, but daddies have to have priorities :-)

But see below for a long one, and hopefully later today we can talk about the war for the heart of conservatism…

A Toast to Real Hope and Change

A quick note of official Cabal congratulations to our friend and Cabal co-founder Lane on the recent arrival of his own bundle of hope and change — the real sort, that is. May she live long and prosper! And look, Robert Burns already wrote a poem in her honor. How very kind of him!

My Peggy’s face, my Peggy’s form,
The frost of hermit Age might warm;
My Peggy’s worth, my Peggy’s mind,
Might charm the first of human kind.

I love my Peggy’s angel air,
Her face so truly heavenly fair,
Her native grace, so void of art,
But I adore my Peggy’s heart.

The lily’s hue, the rose’s dye,
The kindling lustre of an eye;
Who but owns their magic sway!
Who but knows they all decay!

The tender thrill, the pitying tear,
The generous purpose nobly dear,
The gentle look that rage disarms-
These are all Immortal charms.

-Robert Burns

Ten Score

Official White House portrait

Official White House portrait

Today marks the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, the preserver of the Union, and the signer of the Emancipation Proclamation.  Oft reviled by his political enemies (even within his own cabinet), he is now revered by almost everyone for his ability to manage an ultimately successful war, coax cooperation from disputing factions within his party, and inspire a nation with his rhetoric.

The rhetoric, of course, was not “mere” rhetoric. It sometimes soared, but was always salted with old-fashioned and uniquely American common sense.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”

“That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.”

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

Happy Birthday indeed, Mr. President.  You are a son of whom Illinoisans and Americans may rightly be proud.

Wisdom from Barron

This neglect in our educational system leaves the people’s financial education to the sensational press, to socialistic propaganda and to designing politicians. It permits schemers to defraud the small earner and small investor through making him believe that capital accumulations and great fortunes are matters of speculation or public robbery.
-Clarence W. Barron
Founder, Barron’s


What they undertook to do

They brought to pass;

All things hang like a drop of dew

Upon a blade of grass.

- Yeats, Gratitude to the Unknown Instructors.


Death is to be chosen before slavery and base deeds.

- Cicero


The strong do what they will, the weak suffer what they must.

This is from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, and is oft quoted.  But I think in these “hopeful” times, the following might be more appropriate…

Hope, that comforter in danger!  If one already has solid advantages to fall back upon, one can indulge in hope.  It may do harm, but will not destroy one.  But hope is by nature an expensive commodity, and those who are risking their all on one cast find out what it means only when they are already ruined; it never fails them in the period when such a knowledge would enable them to take precautions.  Do no let this happen to you whose fate depends on a single movement of the scale.  And do not be like those people who, as so commonly happens, miss the chance of saving themselves in a human and practical way, and, when every clear and distinct hope has left them in their adversity, turn to what is blind and vague, to prophecies and oracles and such things which by encouraging hope lead men to ruin.

Not to say that anyone in current public life is “blind and vague” or anything…


The popular, pink marsh-mallow conception of “love,” which considers it a lush force that does for human beings the things they are too lazy or greedy to do for themselves, instead of the call to battle that it is, always irritates me.

- Laurens van der Post, The Lost World of the Kalahari

Hae a Bonnie Burns Night!

A special Burns’ Night QOTD.

When you go forth to waken the Echoes, in the ancient and favourite amusements of your Forefathers, may Pleasure ever be of your party; and may Social-joy await your return! When harassed in courts or camps with the justlings of bad men and bad measures, may the honest consciousness of injured Worth attend your return to your native Seats; and may Domestic Happiness, with a smiling welcome, meet you at your gates! May Corruption shrink at your kindling indignant glance; and may tyranny in the Ruler and licentiousness in the People equally find you an inexorable foe!

Robert Burns, Dedication to the Noblemen and Gentlemen of the Caledonian Hunt.

And from a poem…

AULD BRIG: I doubt na, frien’, ye’ll thnk ye’re nae sheep shank

Ance ye were streekit owre frae bank to bank!

But gin ye be Brig as auld as me,

Tho’ faith, that date, I doubt, ye’ll never see;

There’ll be, if that day come, I’ll wad a boddle,

Some fewer whigmeleeries in your noddle.

NEW BRIG: Auld Vandal! ye but show your little mense,

Just much about it wi’ your scanty sense;

Will your poor, narrow foot-path of a street,

Where twa wheel-barrows tremble when they meet,

Your ruin’d, formless bulk o’ stane an’ lime,

Compare wi’ bonie Brigs o’ modern time?

There’s men of taste would tak the Ducat Stream,

Tho’ they should cast the vera sark and wim,

E’er they would grate their feelings wi’ the view

O’ sic an ugly, Gothic hulk as you.


Conceited gowk! puff’d up wi windy pride!

This monie a year I’ve stood the flood an’ tide;

An tho’ wi’ crazy eild I’m sair forfrain,

I’ll be a Brig when ye’re a shapeless cairn!

As yet ye little ken about the matter,

But twa-three winters will inform ye better…

Robert Burns, from The Brigs o Ayr.

And, it’s two bridges arguing about which is better. Read the whole thing, it’s fun.