Saturday, January 10, 2015

In Praise Of Mario Cuomo

Go here to enjoy Samizdata's Perry Metzger opening a can of whoop-ass and sprinkling it on the grave of Mario Cuomo.  "I encourage all to mourn his loss in whatever manner they feel appropriate."

Good job, sir. 


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Charlie Hebdo Cartoons of Muhammad

12 people were recently killed in a cowardly terrorist attack on the office of the French satirical newspaper "Charlie Hebdo".    These are the cartoons of Muhammad / Mohammad / that supposedly caused the bombing. 

Compared to works like "Piss Christ", or portraits of the Virgin Mary made of elephant manure, they're pretty tame. 

Has it occurred to anyone else that the more tolerant of religious criticism a society becomes, the more religion tends to flourish there? 

For instance, you can go to New York City and see a musical play where a copy of The Book Of Mormon gets shoved up a Mormon missionary's ass.  The Mormon Church is flourishing in the USA. 

Ditto for most other religions. 

Go figure.  Let's hope France responds with increased satire and liberty, and not with calls for censorship disguised as sensitivity. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Free Market Prayer For The New Year

Sometime around Christmas I went out to eat with some old-time old-school friends that I hadn't seen for a while.  We chose a Mexican restaurant (and the food was amazing). 

I got a massive amount of burritos, tostadas, rice, beans, chips, queso, and I forget what else for only $10.95.  Everyone else got a similar bounty for their bucks. 

My friends at the table are not religious.  They're not even spiritual.  But one of them said "For this food at this price, I feel like a prayer of some kind is in order." 

All eyes turned in my direction....

Here's what I improvised, or at least my rough memory of it.  It owes more than a little to Leonard Reed's immortal "I, Pencil" essay. 

No heads were bowed.  No eyes were closed.  I wasn't talking to god or gods.  It's just what I wanted people to know, and what I hoped we all felt:

"We're grateful for this food.  For the farmers who grew it, for the cattlemen who fed it, and for the workers who harvested it. 

Let us not forget the factory owners who processed it, none of whom knew that we would be here eating today.  May we always remember to be grateful for the truckers and warehouse workers who handled the shipping and transport, despite them not even knowing our names.

May we never forget the tremendous risk undertaken by anyone who tries to open and run a restaurant.  And we are grateful for the cooks, the wait staff, the bus boys, and the cleaning crew.

All of those hard-working wonderful people accomplished this miracle on our behalf for the price of $10.95 each. 

May we all be free from rent-seekers who would interject themselves, uninvited, into this process.

May everyone involved in our exchanges believe that they have gotten the best of every deal, and may we all live our lives in a way that encourages others to trade their dishes for our dollars."

- Amen

(The last part in italics wasn't in the original prayer.  I just thought of it, and considered it too good to leave out.)