Monday, June 27, 2016

Turn Up The Heat

With a security gate, a pit bull, as well as other surprises, I enjoy sleeping with my front door and bedroom windows open.  The house gets aired out with nice cool nighttime air and I sleep like a baby.  My usual procedure is to close the house up by 9 or 10 am, when the house temp is in the low 70s, and wait for the a/c to come on when it hits 75.

This morning I was up at the god-forsaken hour of 7:48, and the house didn't seem cool.  It wasn't, at least it wasn't as cool as it usually is.  It was already 75 inside.

Looks like it's gonna be a hot one today.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pictures From the Mexico Cruise

click to enlarge pics
Leaving the dock in Long Beach, with the Queen Mary and what was formerly the hangar for the Spruce Goose:

The view from my cabin, as we were passing (what I think was) Catalina Island:

This 20-something kid and I were both going to do the 80s Music Trivia contest alone, so we joined forces.  Most teams had a lot more than 2 people; still, he and I managed to score every single point and win!  Since the kid earned all our "bonus points", usually by dancing to the songs after each answer was read off, I let him keep the "ship on a stick" trophy--but I got this picture and bragging rights!

Docked in Puerto Vallarta:

View south from a pier in Puerto Vallarta, 3+ miles from the ship:

View north from the same pier:

Eli, one of our shore excursion guides, explaining the ~2700 year old petroglyphs:

At the Vallarta Botanical Garden:

The marina in Cabo San Lucas:

The Arch, probably the most photographed hole-in-a-rock in the world:

More of the Marina area in Cabo:

Communism/Socialism and Academia

I saw the following two articles juxtaposed at Instapundit with no explicit relationship drawn between them:
Professor rejects Marxism after traveling the globe: ‘Socialism doesn’t work’
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Professor Jack Stauder says his political and ideological conversion away from socialism and Marxism occurred when he actually witnessed these systems in action.

After traveling to more than 110 countries to pursue various forms of research, notably cultural anthropology, Stauder described his conversion from Marxism as a process of disillusionment.
“I gradually became disenchanted with Marxism by visiting many of the countries that had tried to shape their societies to conform to its doctrines. I was disillusioned by the realities I saw in … socialist countries – the USSR, Eastern Europe, China, Cuba, etc,” Stauder told The College Fix via email.

“I came to recognize that socialism doesn’t work, and that its ‘revolutionary’ imposition inevitably leads to cruelty, injustice and the loss of freedom,” the professor continued.

“I could see the same pattern in the many failed left-wing revolutions of Latin America and elsewhere. By combining actual travel with the historical study of socialism and revolution, I succeeded in disabusing myself of the utopian notions that fatally attract people to leftist ideas.”
I commend his intellectual honesty.

Professor raised under communism explains academics’ love of socialism – and why they’re wrong
He hasn’t looked back. Discovering academic and personal freedom unlike anything he could have in post-Communist Romania, Curta permanently relocated to America.

“There’s a certain atmosphere in which scholarly thinking can grow in the United States that it cannot grow in any European country,” Curta said. “I left after communism collapsed, but it was a regime that left a deep, deep imprint on people’s minds. Even though there was no official communism in the government, a lot of people continued to think in communist ways, specifically in the academic world"...

I think that there’s an idealism that most people in academia, specifically in the humanities, share. We live in an era of ideological morass, especially with the collapse of communism that has left no room for those idealists in the academic world. No matter how you can prove that system doesn’t work, with an inclination to go that way perhaps because most people associate socialism with social justice, while the former is an ideology with concrete ideas and concrete historical experiences, while social justice is a very vague abstract notion.

You have to understand, the difference between ideas and facts is what is of major concern here. As my father used to say, it is so much easier to be a Marxist when you sip your coffee in Rive Gauche, left-bank Paris, than when living in an apartment under Ceaușescu, especially in the 1980s.
No ordinary citizen who lived under communism wants to see it returned.  There might be a reason for that.  Heck, I doubt there are many Venezuelans happy with their extreme socialism right now.  The Cubans, stuck on that island as they are, aren't too thrilled with their government, either.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Quote of the Day

"We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the same sense and to the extent that we respect the theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."
--Henry L. Mencken

Friday, June 24, 2016

Quote of the Day

“The fastest way to achieve peace is to surrender.”

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quote of the Day

“Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority. It is hardly too strong to say that the Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.”
--Daniel Webster

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Quote of the Day

“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false-front for the urge to rule it.”
--H. L. Mencken

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Quote of the Day

“It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.”
--George Washington