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The Speech That Never Was

Gentlemen, brothers, friends, cohorts and colleagues,

Looking back at my own life experiences, the one moment in time that prepared me for this role was as a generic officer in the 6th grade student council. There, on numerous occasions, I filibustered for legislation on improving the quality of life of those whom ran with scissors and double-dipped — neither issue should be taken lightly.

I went so far as to recruit passionate and abused members of society who had been victimized in this deleterious “domino effect” — Jack and Jill from the 4th grade. Spurred by a graphically horrendous experience involving mononucleosis, this young couple founded Students Against Double Dipping (SADD) which is the nation’s largest lobbying group dedicated to promoting awareness to this issue.

You see gentlemen, you may believe that double-dipping does not effect you directly, but through the silent effects of “second-hand” dipping, through this seemingly innocent halo effect, both men and women, old and older, black and white and red and yellow — and most importantly of all — the Children, are all perpetually effected.

Gentlemen, when you go to the polls tonight, vote Yes on No and ask yourselves not what One Army can do for you, but what you can do for One Army. Son of Swan for Leadership.

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This Post Is Adjusted For Inflation

A couple days ago, Dave Peterson mentioned that AskMen.com did a top 10 list for the wealthiest men to have ever lived — adjusted for inflation in the year 2001. Not surprisingly, the original titans of industry (during the “gilded age“) dominated the top 3 spots.

Wealthiest men:

3. Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) — $100 billion
2. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) — $110 billion
1. John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937) — $200 billion

Another list that draws along a similar vein is the top grossing movies adjusted for inflation.

Domestic Grosses via BoxOfficeMojo:

5. The Ten Commandments (1956) – $818,750,000
4. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) – $886,589,600
3. The Sound of Music (1965) – $890,096,100
2. Star Wars (1977) – $1,113,247,500
1. Gone with the Wind (1939) – $1,262,778,900

Eat that James Cameron.

Letters, We Get Letters, We Get Lots And Lots Of Letters

Think back to when you had to write an essay test in junior high and highschool. If you did not know something, odds are you probably tried to either state something that was generic (i.e. Hoover’s life affected the lives of many people both in his time and ours) or was just flat out wrong.

Humor site DribbleGlass.com (known for their fake billboards) managed to compile a list of some whiz-bang historical revisionism that would certainly prove why there are still Lincoln lovers running feverishly around:

– Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.
– Zorroastrologism was founded by Zorro. This was a duelist religion.
– Christianity was just another mystery cult until Jesus was born. The mother of Jesus was Mary, who was different from other women because of her immaculate contraption.
– Martin Luther nailed 95 theocrats to a church door.
– Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.
– Handel was half German half Italian and half English. He was very large.
– Louis Pasteur discovered a cure for rabbis.

They found some great science quotes as well, many of which explain why ‘Intelligent Design’ exists:

– The body consists of three parts—the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowls, of which there are five—a, e, i, o, and u.
– When you smell an oderless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide.
– To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow.
– A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is.

Wardrobe Malfunction Part Deux

I never saw the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson gufaw back in the day — not a huge fan of the NFL unless the Cowboys are in the game.

However, this year I bumped into Bob Parson’s blog right after the bowl game. He’s the creator of GoDaddy.com, the company that sells more .com domains than anyone else. Their ad was a spoof of the congressional hearings about ad indecency and was pulled from the remaining ad slots after it first was shown.

You can find it along with dozens of other weird videos over at Big-Boys.com

Saint Patties Day

Those of you who have met me, know that I have reddish-blond hair. That red part of course belongs to some Irish vixen that met a Norwegian viking many moons ago (hence my last name). At any rate, Gene Callahan points to a surprisingly accurate illustrated timeline of Irish ancestry. The Irish Panda is quite fascinating.

Quote of the Day: Walter Block

Radical Economics: An Interview with Walter Block:
There are objections to private roads, but none of them hold water. No, private roads will not cause people to be shut up inside their homes. The economic incentives are the reverse: to get people to drive on them. The reason to own a large capital good like a road is to get people to use it. Similarly, owners of websites want people to access them so they do everything possible to attract attention to themselves.
Speaking of road socialism: Nation’s Infrastructure Crumbling, Experts Say. Be sure to check out the detailed report card too.

I have been feeling a bit under the weather lately and have enjoyed reading through all the AEN interviews. You can get a better understanding of where Austrianism has traveled, as seen through the eyes of dozens of individual academics that had personal and professional relationships with both Mises and Rothbard. Quite fascinating (and free).

Aside from the outbreak of World Wars 1 & 2, several good “what-ifs” that could be batted around:

– What if Mises had moved to America or England prior to the outbreak of WW II and in doing so, manage to save all of his papers that would later be confiscated by the Nazi’s and then by the Soviets (Sennholz suggested that some of Mises’s papers may have actually been stolen in the interim, let alone translate all 40 years worth).

– What if the Foundation for Economic Education had been more proactive in sponsoring and promoting Miseanism/Rothbardianism (would it not have been interesting to have had the relatively temperate FEE become the anarchistic LvMI of today?).

– What if Lachmann had not been invited to NYU in the late ’70s, saving both time and head-aches from his nihilistic uber subjectivism (and employ Rothbard instead…)?

– What if Kirzner, Hayek and Schumpeter had embraced the “radical a prioristic” approach of Mises et al.?

– What if Rand had been more open to building bridges with Rothbard and other libertarian Austrians?

– What if either Menger or Böhm-Bawerk had lived through the ’20s and ’30s to see Mises (and others) develop — and possibly even critique Keynes?

Lastly, I enjoyed this biography by Hayek on Mises. His style and language helped paint a vivid picture of what one great thought of another.

TheFaceBook: Social Networking For Kollege Kids

First there was Friendster, then Orkut and Myspace. About a year ago some nerdy girl-less Harvard students put together a social networking system exclusively for college students (and staff/faculty). At A&M and hundreds of college’s across campus, hundreds of thousands of students have registered and created accounts similar to what you might find at an online dating site.

In a nutshell: you create a profile which includes your picture, contact information, the high school you attended, interests, clubs and jobs you are in, favorite quotes, books and movies and a minutiae of other trivialities including classes you are enrolled in. From here you can now begun finding out who that annoying know-it-all that sits in the back of your English class is, or if that sexy scantily clad sorority girl is single or even bicurious. And one of the most exciting features is simply adding individuals from other schools onto your buddy list — because it’s an easy painstakingly-free way of keeping tabs on people in case you lose your cell phone, address book or forget your IM password.

Amazingly in the past few months I have found a best-friend I had not seen since 4th grade (oddly enough he is a senior at A&M now), a guy I used to ride the bus with in elementary school, another good friend that dropped off the planet in 8th grade and guys I used to play little league baseball with — and even friends of next door neighbors. I’ve even invited people to meat-space parties and get-togethers after having “befriended” them on it. Other rando’s I’ve virtually befriended include several from Mises University (like David Heinrich) and Jacqueline Passey.

It is called TheFaceBook and can only be accessed with a legitimate school email address. Do it.