Some people were upset by the Algerian soccer players punching our players in the face during the game today. Don't worry! They punch out female reporters post-game, too. You stay classy, Algeria!
Two World Wars and one World Cup, doo-dah, doo-dah...Oh yeah. It's going to be a barn burner.
A naked woman in Salt Lake City led police on an extended chase today. The Chief of Police was stunned at how long it took Salt Lake City P.D. officers to finally catch up to the woman, arrest her and put some clothes on her. Apparently she grappled with the officers for quite a while too, before they subdued her and got the clothes on.
Frankly, I'm surprised it only took them a couple hours of chasing her around town naked...
To the blogroll... Megs! DC MTB. Becky. Italian Cycling Journal. Nick Versus Gravity - a man after my own heart, and appetites. Newt - funny guy. Shorpy - great vintage photos, incl. bikes sometimes. XKCD - a cartoon for smart people. The New Criterion - pretty deep thinking, usually intellectual conservative stuff though you sometimes get some radicalism. The secular, arts & culture-focused companion to First Things.
Think you're badass on your road bike? Maybe in your neighborhood or something...
I think that's Martin Ashton, who is a pioneering British Trials MTB rider.
My concern with democracy is highly specific. It begins in observing the remarkable fact that, while democracy means a government accountable to the electorate, our rulers now make us accountable to them. Most Western governments hate me smoking, or eating the wrong kind of food, or hunting foxes, or drinking too much, and these are merely the surface disapprovals, the ones that provoke legislation or public campaigns. We also borrow too much money for our personal pleasures, and many of us are very bad parents. Ministers of state have been known to instruct us in elementary matters, such as the importance of reading stories to our children. Again, many of us have unsound views about people of other races, cultures, or religions, and the distribution of our friends does not always correspond, as governments think that it ought, to the cultural diversity of our society. We must face up to the grim fact that the rulers we elect are losing patience with us.You got that? The more government (and other institutions) does for you, the more that your moral character is reduced and the less your ability to take moral responsibility for your own actions. Morals, of course, are one of the things that separates us from the animals.
No philosopher can contemplate this interesting situation without beginning to reflect on what it can mean. The gap between political realities and their public face is so great that the term “paradox” tends to crop up from sentence to sentence. Our rulers are theoretically “our” representatives, but they are busy turning us into the instruments of the projects they keep dreaming up. The business of governments, one might think, is to supply the framework of law within which we may pursue happiness on our own account. Instead, we are constantly being summoned to reform ourselves. Debt, intemperance, and incompetence in rearing our children are no doubt regrettable, but they are vices, and left alone, they will soon lead to the pain that corrects. Life is a better teacher of virtue than politicians, and most sensible governments in the past left moral faults to the churches. But democratic citizenship in the twenty-first century means receiving a stream of improving “messages” from politicians. Some may forgive these intrusions because they are so well intentioned. Who would defend prejudice, debt, or excessive drinking? The point, however, is that our rulers have no business telling us how to live. They are tiresome enough in their exercise of authority—they are intolerable when they mount the pulpit. Nor should we be in any doubt that nationalizing the moral life is the first step towards totalitarianism.
So that's something to think about, anyhow, particularly when you hear stuff like news articles touting the fact that in couple years you probably wont be permitted to buy food with salt in it.