Fear and Marriage

Apr 242002

Paul and I are headed to Front Sight outside of Las Vegas for a four day handgun course. We’ll be back blogging on Wednesday.

We went to the range today to brush up on our skills. I was very glad we did, as my shooting started off very poorly due to wincing anticipation. But a few rounds of .45 later, I was shooting in a nice tight grouping. Delightful! I love my Glocks.

My husband is now scared of me, as he ought to be.

Ribstone Pippin!

Apr 242002

Ribstone Pippin has some astute analysis of the Tahoe-Sierra case that I fumed about earlier today. In particular, he notes the absurdity of a hard and fast distinction between temporary and permanent takings. He writes:

Experience shows that what turns out to be permanent and what turns out to be temporary is not an easy distinction for the courts to make ex ante. Common sense, therefore, suggests that all takings be compensated for the duration of the actual deprivation of use.


In the Long Run, We Are All Dead

Apr 242002

The Supreme Court has decided that fascist regulatory takings that deprive people of control over their property aren’t worthy of compensation like communist takings in which ownership itself is deprived. Augh. Thomas, Scalia, and Rehnquist dissented.

What’s the point of owning property if nothing useful can be done with it? Oh, well I guess the owners have the pleasure of throwing their hard-earned and overly-taxed money into now-excessive mortgage payments.

The majority even said:

Land-use regulations are ubiquitous and most of them impact property values in some tangential way often in completely unanticipated ways. Treating them all as per se takings would transform government regulation into a luxury few governments could afford.

Well, making regulations into “a luxury few governments could afford” is a precisely the reason governments ought to be required to compensate property owners for regulatory takings! Oh, but no, we want to shift the cost of stupid government regulations to the already-property-deprived property owner. Good idea, Mr. Leviathan!


Apr 232002

Will Wilkinson and I are having a fun exchange over biological explanations for the persistence of religion on the comment board of his blog entry on Christopher Hitchens.

I’m often unimpressed with sociobiological explanations of various aspects of human life. Religion is no exception. And I honestly don’t understand why so many people, including Objectivists, are favorably impressed with sociobiology. Too much of the field has all the markings of pseudo-science: pathetically flimsy evidence, inability to falsify hypotheses, confusion of plausibility with proof, failure to address counter-examples, and dismissal of the possibility of cultural and psychological explanations. I’m sure that some sociobiologists are real scientists using good methodology, but such distinctions are rarely made.

So tell me, why is sociobiology so attractive?

Really Really Bad Neighbors

Apr 222002

Charles Oliver pointed me to this hysterically funny account of the world’s stupidest neighbor. Read the whole page, as the stories only get funnier and the pictures more frequent towards the end. The big Jesus statue on top of the poorly constructed mailbox stand of stolen bricks was priceless.

Hell for Miss Manners

Apr 222002

I’ve been wasting time this morning reading tacky wedding stories. So many of these lunacies could be prevented if the bride and groom paid for their own wedding, rather than mooching off their parents!


Apr 222002

James Lileks has some delightful comments on parenthood, including the choice to have children or not. Too many people who argue against parenthood do actually hate children — all children, not just the bratty ones. They usually deny it publicly, but their private invectives against the young give them away. Such people have even told me that many parents who say they love their children are just rationalizing away their horrible and guilty feelings of regret for having made the terrible decision to have kids at all. Apparently, a parent must love every moment of parenting and never get frustrated with a child in order to actually love their children.

Of course, there are lots of people in this world who ought not have children; the kid-haters are certainly at the top of that list.

My Loss is Your Gain

Apr 212002

Sadly, my mother has returned home to Maryland. As usual, we had a delightful time together. We discussed everything from the silly behavior of the cats to the conflict in the Middle East. We made delicious meals together and drank lots of tea. We stretched our legs walking the dogs and filled out bellies with homemade doughnuts. We laughed our way through Bridget Jones’ Diary and various episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? It was perfectly easy. I shall have to content myself with mere phone calls until I stop by the farm for a visit in June on my way to an IHS seminar in Virginia.

But my loss is your gain: I’m back blogging.


Apr 202002

But where are the statues of Jesus having sex with the altar boys?!? Isn’t that a Catholic sport these days? (Thanks to Hanah for the link.)

(Yes, yes, that was in terrible taste.)

The Honor

Apr 202002

Oh oh oh! My book and lecture reviews posted to Amazon have netted me a reviewer rank of a whopping #49378. Vote my reviews helpful so that I can make it to #49377!

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