Friday, February 13, 2009

It started out well enough

My day, that is.

I spent the morning reading Essays on Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead and smoking my hookah while Itzhak Perlman's renditions of Paganini's caprices played in the background.

I'm in a good mood. Hopefully, it stays that way.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nudge this...

I intended to mention this last month, when I first heard about it. However, I never got around to it and, frankly, I'm loathe to discuss this man--even if it is to denounce him.

If you haven't yet heard, the entity known as Cass Sunstein was named by Obama as the head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)--another fairly useless pile of alphabet soup. What brought this issue up for me again is Paul Hsieh's excellent OpEd on Go check it out.

Sunstein and his libertarian-paternalist nonsense was also addressed in Tara Smith's article "The Menace of Pragmatism" and Eric Daniels review of Sunstein's book (coauthored with Richard A. Thaler) Nudge. Both appear in the Fall 2008 edition of The Objective Standard.

A few years ago, Sunstein wrote a horrid little piece of trash entitled The Second Bill of Rights: FDR's Unfinished Revolution and Why We Need It More than Ever. In it, he advocates FDR's second bill of rights, among which are: a right to a home, a right to health care and education, a right to be "protected from monopolies" and other such nonsense.

His more recent work has him dipping his toe in the rancid waters of behavioral economics, from which arose his collaboration with such fools as Khaneman, Jolls and Thaler (this last of whom co-wrote Sunstein's recent best-seller Nudge).

Nudge advocates the government "nudging" citizens into making the right choices about major decisions in life by limiting options, or "presenting" options in certain ways so as to make the government sanctioned option more attractive, etc. This can only lead to one end, as Paul Hsieh notes: "Every child knows that if you let a schoolyard bully get away with one seemingly harmless “nudge,” he will then escalate into shoving, then punching, then regular beatings. At least the bully doesn’t pretend that the first nudge is for the victim’s own good."

Wait for it. It's coming and you can't say you weren't warned.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Damn shame

A Cardinals victory would have been nice. They handed Pittsburgh the game on that last drive. At least it was an exciting game.