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  • Archive for May, 2014

    How To Think About Catastrophe

    Posted by Jay Manifold on 4th May 2014 (All posts by )

    Many thanks to the commenters on my review. I won’t be agreeing with all of you, but I value your input for increasing my understanding of what others think. I have some related ideas on how to think about the issues raised specifically by Lightning Fall and generally by “preppers” and, indeed, anyone anticipating a societally disruptive crisis in the near future.

    NB: this is an essay in the original sense of “attempt.” It is unlikely to fully represent my thinking on these issues even a few years hence; and whether you agree with me or not, I encourage you to think these things through based on your own abilities and experience, and then act as your specific situation appears to require. Hayekian distributed local knowledge may save us. Central planning, as I hardly need admonish this audience, will not, and therefore any attempt by me to impose a uniform mental framework should (and undoubtedly will) be firmly rejected.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Book Notes, Civil Society, Current Events, History, Human Behavior, International Affairs, Markets and Trading, National Security, Predictions, Society, Systems Analysis, Terrorism, Tradeoffs, Urban Issues, USA, War and Peace | 8 Comments »

    On the Town

    Posted by Jonathan on 3rd May 2014 (All posts by )

    Condo, office and hotel buildings and traffic on Miami's Biscayne Boulevard at night. WATERMARKS WILL NOT APPEAR ON PRINTS OR LICENSED IMAGES. (Jonathan Gewirtz, jonathan@gewirtz.net)

    Posted in Photos | 3 Comments »

    New! – Your Brave New World Haikus

    Posted by Jonathan on 2nd May 2014 (All posts by )

    Local elections
    Lots of bad referenda
    Of course they all pass

    —-

    Ammo at Walmart
    Queueing up, three box limit
    Things were better once

    —-

    NSA listens
    Who the hell knows what they’ve got
    We’re all wondering

    —-

    Your student loan debt
    Makes you unmarriageable
    Might as well be gay

    Posted in Poetry, That's NOT Funny | 6 Comments »

    History Friday – At the Inn of the Golden-Something-or-Other

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 2nd May 2014 (All posts by )

    (For a Friday, a little change from the usual – a post about traveling, history, and an insufficient command of French … but an appreciation for good food and small country inns. This is included my ebook “Travels With Blondie.”)

    I have been flipping over the pages of my battered Hallwag Euro-Guide, attempting to reconstruct my hopscotch itinerary on little back roads across France, at the wheel of the VEV in the early autumn of 1985. I avoided the big cities, before and after Paris, and the major highways. For a foreign driver, Paris was a nerve-wracking, impenetrable urban jungle, a tangle of streets and roundabouts, and the major highways were toll-roads and expensive; much less fraught to follow the little-trafficked country roads from town to town to town. We ghosted along those two-lane country roads as much as a bright orange Volvo sedan can be said to ghost, the trunk and the back seat packed with mine and my daughter’s luggage, a basket of books, a large bottle of Metaxa brandy (a departing gift from Kyria Paniyioti, our Athens landlord) and two boxes of china and kitchen gadgets purchased from that holiest of holies of French kitchenware shops, Dehillerin in the Rue Coquilliere.

    From Chartres and the wondrous cathedral, I went more or less south towards the Loire; the most direct way would been a secondary road to Chateaudun, and an even more secondary road directly from there to Blois, through a green countryside lightly touched with autumn gold, where the fields of wheat and silage had been already mown down to stubble. The road wound through gentle ranges of hills, and stands of enormous trees. Here at a turn of the road was a dainty and Disney-perfect chateau, with a wall and a terrace and a steep-sloped blue-slate roof trimmed with pepper-pot turrets, an enchanting dollhouse of a chateau, set among its’ own shady green grove. There was no historic marker, no sign of habitation, nothing to welcome the sightseer, and then the road went around a bend and it was out of sight, as fleeting as a vision.
    Blois was set on hills, a charming small town of antique buildings, none more than two or three stories tall, and I seemed to come into it very abruptly late in the afternoon. Suddenly there were buildings replacing the fields on either side. At the first corner, I turned left, followed the signpost pointing to the town center; might as well find a place to spend the night. As soon as I turned the corner and thought this, I spotted the little hotel, fronting right on the narrow sidewalk. It had two Michelin stars, which was good enough for me (plain, clean, comfortable and cheap) and was called the Golden… well, the golden something or other. I didn’t recognise the French word; truth to tell, I didn’t recognize most of them, just the words for foods and cooking, mostly, and could pronounce rather fewer.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Architecture, Diversions, Europe, History, Personal Narrative, Recipes, Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

    Mike Lotus, America 3.0 and the Future of the Legal Profession Audio from the Presentation to the Federalist Society Student Chapter at Washburn Law School on April 17, 2014

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 2nd May 2014 (All posts by )

    Thanks to the Federalist Society chapter at Washburn University School of Law for inviting me to speak, and to the national Federalist Society for making the trip to Topeka possible.

    This was my first talk as an authorized speaker for the Federalist Society. It was also the first time I gave a talk which discussed the future of lawyers and the legal profession and how they will help us to make the transition to America 3.0. I will be making tweaks and doing further research for future presentations.

    Please note: If you are associated with a student or lawyer chapter of the Federalist Society, please contact me. I would like to speak to your group.

    Posted in America 3.0 | Comments Off on Mike Lotus, America 3.0 and the Future of the Legal Profession Audio from the Presentation to the Federalist Society Student Chapter at Washburn Law School on April 17, 2014

    When Formalism Kills

    Posted by David Foster on 1st May 2014 (All posts by )

    I’ve read a great deal about the French defeat of 1940, attempting to understand the military, political, and cultural factors behind this debacle. (Some of my conclusions can be found here.)  I had not, however, encountered a report Picasso’s response to Matisse, when the latter asked him, “But what about our generals, what are they doing?”

    According to this article, Picasso’s response was “Our generals? They’re the masters at the Ecole des Beaux Arts!”…ie, men possessed by the same rote formulae and absence of observation and obsessive traditionalism as the academic artists.

    Picasso’s comment is entirely consistent with the observations of Andre Beaufre, in 1940 a young captain on the French staff and after the war a general. When Beaufre was promoted to a staff position…

    I saw very quickly that our seniors were primarily concerned with forms of drafting. Every memorandum had to be perfect, written in a concise, impersonal style, and conforming to a logical and faultless plan–but so abstract that it had to be read several times before one could find out what it was about…”I have the honour to inform you that I have decided…I envisage…I attach some importance to the fact that…” Actually no one decided more than the barest minimum, and what indeed was decided was pretty trivial.

    I believe that the kind of formalism of which Picasso and Beaufre spoke is becoming increasingly dominant in many spheres of American society (though hopefully not the the degree to which it pervaded the inter-war French military…and that this malign phenomenon is largely a side effect of the higher-education bubble, although it is also being driven to a certain extent by the growth of government and the increasingly-abstract nature of much work.

    Thoughts?

    Posted in Academia, Arts & Letters, France, History, USA | 11 Comments »

    Mike Lotus Speaking in Paris, France on May 23, 2014 about “America 3.0, Decentralization and the Tenth Amendment”

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 1st May 2014 (All posts by )

    I will be speaking at the AFEA (The French Association for American Studies, Association Française d’Études Américaines) 2014 Conference. The title of the conference is The USA: Models, Counter-Models, The End of Models?

    I will participate in a panel entitled “American Politics: What future model for political America: manifestly gridlocked destiny or reinvented union?” The panel will be at 8:15 to 11:45 a.m. on May 23, 2014. The venue is Université Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle (13 rue Santeuil).

    The panel will consist of Jérôme Noirot, of the Ecole Centrale, Lyon, the organizer of the panel, myself, and the following distinguished persons, speaking on the following subjects:

    Ashley Byock (Edgewood College), « The Bonded/Resistant Slave Body and The Emergence of Neoliberalism in the U.S. Context  ».
    
Jérôme Viala-Gaudefroy (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3), «American Mythology in Presidential Discourse : National Shared Values or Political Partisanship ?».
    François Vergniollle de Chantal (Université Paris Diderot),  «Polarized  politics under President Obama».

    I will speak on “America 3.0, Decentralization and the Tenth Amendment.”

    (Don’t tell anyone, but I am currently mugging up on the Tenth Amendment!)

    Immense thanks to Jérôme Noirot for this invitation. Initially Jim Bennett was the invitee, but Jim could not make it. So I am pinch hitting for the maestro!

    I also offer my heartfelt thanks to two very good friends whose financial support helped to make this trip possible, and two a third old friend who kindly offered to let me stay at his home in Paris.

    A detailed description of the issues to be raised in the panel discussion is below the fold.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in America 3.0, Announcements, France | 6 Comments »

    Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on 1st May 2014 (All posts by )

    Codes governing hate speech are not meant to suppress hate. They are meant to suppress speech.

    Richard Fernandez

    UPDATE: See also.

    Posted in Leftism, Politics, Quotations, Rhetoric | 3 Comments »