“A Democracy is Always Temporary in Nature”

Belmont Club quoting Andrew Tytler.

“a democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

Sobering words as the earmarks pile up, the politicians promise ever more benefits that enervate our capitalistic ideals, and the citizenry spends madly the credit it does not need.

Hear, Hear

The endless drumbeat of derision and deceit from the chronicles of the “objective, un-biased, main stream media” is just about to turn the great unwashed electorate of America against the candidate of change and hope. Great news, if you ask me.

Somebody else thinks so, too:

What we are seeing is a sort of meltdown in which the selection of Palin is associated with the first real possibility all summer that the messianic Obama may not necessarily ascend; that triggers a certain repulsion toward her in particular, and a general furor at the once likeable McCain (once likeable to present-day Obama’s supporters in the past sense that in 2000 he was going to lose, perhaps divide Republicans, and was not George Bush), which, in turn, can conjure up all sorts of no longer latent demons, going back to Vietnam onto to Iraq and the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

The problem (inter alia) with this vicious, loose use of “traitor” and “lie/liar/lying” and blanket condemnations of the US military is that it achieves the opposite of what the authors intend — and repelling most readers to such a degree that they are scared off from anything the writer seems to be advocating.

We’ve seen that with the Atlantic Monthly pictures and blog rumors about Palin’s recent Down Syndrome pregnancy, the unhinged hatred columns of the sort of a Salon‘s Cintra Wilson or those suggesting riots or global hatred of the U.S. if Obama loses, the Matthews/Olbermann rants, the daily salvos from the NY Times columnists,and the hourly Palin rage from spoiled Hollywood prima donnas.

Do they have any idea of how they sound or where this leads? Despite an unpopular incumbent, economic upheaval, unpopular wars, and a charismatic Democratic candidate, the media, hand in glove with Obama’s messianic sense of self, are doing all they can to lose a once sure election by the sheer repugnance of the way in which their anger is expressed and expressed and expressed . . .

And again, it seems uncontrollable. Didn’t anyone learn from the General Betray-Us ads?.

Thanks, Laura.

Killing Babies


In this morning’s statistics class, when Professor J*#^% asked someone for a value, a student answered with “.4” The response prompted the professor to note that he (and most statisticians) likes values taken to at least three places… .4257 being a much preferred answer to .4.

The incident prompted him to tell us a brief story about precision.

Seems that our professor was in a Differential Equations class way back when. The class was discussing the results of a test when one student protested a 10 point deduction for placing a minus (-) in a section of his answer when none was called for. The (since deceased) professor responded with this:

Son, I was in school with a boy that eventually went on to become a pharmacist. He was pretty good, too. Well, one day, a customer came to him with a prescription, and he set right to work on filling that prescription. He performed the necessary calculations, measured out the correct proportions, and mixed that prescription for the customer. Only thing was, he put a minus (-) in his equation that shouldn’t have been there. The customer took that prescription home and gave it to her baby. The baby died. I took those ten points off your grade because I don’t want you killing any babies.

So, Professor J*#^% and his classmates embraced their professor’s sage advice. From that moment forward, whenever they compared grades, the question became: “How did you do?” and the answer was: “Oh, I killed two babies” or “Killed one baby”, or on a really bad test, “Killed 4 babies”.

Now, whether you, dear reader, are appalled or not, rest assured that every one us in that statistics class knows (forever) the value of precision.