Thursday, September 30, 2010

See it and by it

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
CS Lewis (1944, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses - Is Theology Poetry?)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Liars and Truth Sayers

The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.
H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Spending to Recovery

The idea that [government] spending can spur the economy was discredited decades ago....It is very comforting in times of stress to go back to the fairy tales we heard as children but it doesn't make them less false.
John Cochrane (2/27/2009, Bloomberg News)
John Cochrane is a professor at the University of Chicago Business School

Monday, September 27, 2010

Wall Street and Government

Bringing the government in to run Wall Street is like saying, "Dad burned dinner, let's get the dog to cook."
P.J. O'Rourke (1/19/2009, A New Circus Comes to Town, The Weekly Standard)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Can America Spend Its Way Into Recovery?

Why, Obviously!
John Maynard Keynes (1934, Redbook Magazine)
The opening sentence to article he titled "Can America Spend Its Way Into Recovery?"

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Painful Change

There is nothing so certain as, or seemingly more painful than change.
Karl Hess (The Lawless State 1969)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Green Cheese as Fiat Currency

[To maintain high wages we must] persuade the public that green cheese is practically the same thing and to have a green cheese factory under public control
John Maynard Keynes (1936, General Theory, pg 235)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gary North on Mises' Contribution

The State's coercive interference in either money or banking, including its licensing of a monopolistic central bank, reduces all men's freedom and most men's wealth.
Gary North on Ludwig von Mises' "most important and unique contribution" (2002, Mises on Money)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Decent Men

Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
H. L. Mencken

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hold Still Little Fish!

If a [government] policy of active or permissive inflation is to be a fact ... we should have the decency to say to the money saver, "Hold still, Little Fish! All we intend to do is gut you."
Malcolm Bryan (1957, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Coolidge on Hoover

That man has offered me unsolicited advice for six years, all of it bad.
Calvin Coolidge (Referring to his secretary of commerce, Herbert Hoover)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

One Party Democracy

Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule — and both commonly succeed, and are right.
H.L. Mencken

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Military Keynesianism

By that, I mean the mistaken belief that public policies focused on frequent wars, huge expenditures on weapons and munitions, and large standing armies can indefinitely sustain a wealthy capitalist economy.  The opposite is actually true.
Source: Chalmers Johnson, Blowback, 2000

Whiskey and Borrowing politicians the ability to borrow is like giving a teenager a bottle of whiskey and the keys to a Corvette.
Doug Casey (Sept 3rd, 2010)

Friday, September 17, 2010


Billionaires live in a world of yes-men. They can’t stand to be told no.
Murray Rothbard

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Private Armies

the rich burghers and merchants of medieval Italy were too busy making money and enjoying life to undertake the hardships and dangers of soldiering themselves. So they adopted the practice of hiring mercenaries to do their fighting for them, and, being thrifty, businesslike folk, they dismissed their mercenaries immediately after their services could be dispensed with. Wars were, therefore, fought by armies hired for each campaign. . . . For the first time, soldiering became a reasonable and comparatively harmless profession. The generals of that period maneuvered against each other, often with consummate skill, but when one had won the advantage, his opponent generally either retreated or surrendered. It was a recognized rule that a town could only be sacked if it offered resistance: immunity could always be purchased by paying a ransom. . . . As one natural consequence, no town ever resisted, it being obvious that a government too weak to defend its citizens had forfeited their allegiance. Civilians had little to fear from the dangers of war which were the concern only of professional soldiers.
F.J.P. Veale (1953, Advance to Barbarism)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Two Courses

Each man now has only to answer whether he will stand pat and be changed, willy-nilly in a world he can wistfully say he did not want and did not make — or whether he will stand up, be counted, be confronted and be committed to the change to which his conscience and his reason dedicate him. There are just those two courses.
Karl Hess (The Lawless State, 1969)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation.  The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.
CS Lewis (1960, The Four Loves)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Price and Value

Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
Warren Buffett

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spending and Investing

Spending creates a specific level of living standards at the amount commonly spent.  In addition, saving and investing reduces the future spending necessary to maintain that same living standard and allows you to then spend the same for a better living standard.  Spending more than one has will also boost the living "standard", but only so long as you can spend more than you have.
John Jolly, 09/09/2010

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On Nationalism

The Government, with all its participation, its community and little cells of politics is the current ages "Tower of Babel"; all the "feel good" benefits of being part of something greater than yourself, being part of the "whole" and feeling connected is nothing but lies and deceitful thinking.  All we are doing is setting up gods and idols.
John Jolly (09/11/2010)

Public Opinion v Pretense of Governing

I am convinced that those societies (as the Indians) which live without government enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater degree of happiness than those who live under the European governments. Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, & restrains morals as powerfully as laws ever did anywhere. Among the latter, under pretence of governing they have divided their nations into two classes, wolves & sheep. I do not exaggerate. This is a true picture of Europe.
Thomas Jefferson (Jan. 16. 1787, Letter to Edward Carrington)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Just/Unjust Law

One may well ask: How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?  The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust.  I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws.  One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws.  Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.
Martin Luther King Jr. (April 16, 1963)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


If we are truly homo-empathicus then we need to bring out that core nature; because if it doesn't come out and it's repressed by our parenting, our educational system, our business practice, and government the secondary drives come: the narcissism, the materialism the violence the aggression.
Jeremy Rifkin (August, 2010 as a Ted Talk)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monderman on Behavior

The many rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate. We’re losing our capacity for socially responsible behavior.
Hans Monderman (11/16/2006 in Spiegel Online, german news agency)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mencken and Time Wasting

I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
H.L. Mencken

Monday, September 6, 2010


The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
H.L. Mencken

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Country and Government

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
Edward Abbey  (Published in the year of his death, 1989)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Tolkien and Anarchy

My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) — or to "unconstitutional" Monarchy.
JRR Tolkien (1943, The Letters…, p. 63. )

Thursday, September 2, 2010


A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you.
Ramsey Clark

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Children of God

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
Marianne Williamson (1975, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles")