[star]The American Mind[star]

July 31, 2001

The worst team in baseball,

The worst team in baseball, my Milwaukee Brewers, lost again.

"Florida 5, Milwaukee 1"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

July 30, 2001

President Bush supports a ban

President Bush supports a ban on human cloning. In a statement, the administration said, "The administration unequivocally is opposed to the cloning of human beings either for reproduction or for research. The moral and ethical issues posed by human cloning are profound and cannot be ignored in the quest for scientific discovery." It also said, "The administration would strongly oppose any substitute amendment ... which would permit human embryos to be created and developed solely for research purposes."

Although he supports a ban on human cloning, no mention is made of embryonic stem cell research. The policy statement could easily be applied to defend a ban on federal funding for such research. The debate over using human embryos as medical slaves also involve "moral and ethical issues" that "are profound and cannot be ignored in the quest for scientific discovery." Following the logic of the statement, embryonic stem cell research should be banned because it would "permit human embryos to be created and developed solely for research purposes."

If President Bush comes out in support for embryonic stem cell research, he will have a tough time squaring that circle.

"Bush Supports Ban on Human Cloning"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2001

Killer hooks, solid guitar crunch,

Killer hooks, solid guitar crunch, a sprinkling of harmony, and touching lyrics make Jimmy Eat World's Bleed American the best new album I've heard in 2001. The eleven songs should all get on the radio to enliven the musical landscape and revive the power pop genre.

"Jimmy Eat World Bleed American"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:16 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2001

Ross Mackenzie has his crack

Ross Mackenzie has his crack at the embryonic stem cell debate:

For good or ill, science will roll on. Whether it rolls in the proper (in this case, proper bioethical) direction will depend on our own ethical prescriptions and our own humaneness - and most prominently on the humaneness of the scientific community itself.

Right now, the scientific community is failing in its respect for human life. Too many scientists want to continue using human embryos as medical slaves to further their research regardless of the ethical considerations, while those scientists in opposition are not being loud enough in voicing their dissent.

"Our Own Ethical Prescriptions Will Determine the Outcome"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:22 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2001

Note to self: must pay

Note to self: must pay a visit to Archer City, TX.

"The Book Rancher" [via jh3k]

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:32 PM | Comments (0)

A bunch of unthinking, Lefty

A bunch of unthinking, Lefty musicians are banding together to oppose President Bush's energy plan. Fine, let them try putting on a show by candlelight. What caught my attention was this paragraph from the news story:


[Alanis] Morissette hopes to bring attention to the New Power Project's cause with her July 31 show in Anchorage, Alaska, not far from the wildlife refuge, according to Nasty Little Man and the singer/songwriter's publicists.

Launch.com has this blurb on the concert:

Anchorage is just a short plane ride from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The New Power Project opposes oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) which is in the northern part of Alaska near Prudhoe Bay. Alanis "Abortion Rights are Artist's rights" Morissette's concert will be in Anchorage in the southern part of the state. Anchorage is no where near ANWR (see this map and this map). Whether ANWR is only a "short" plane ride from Anchorage depends on how fast the plane is, but to suggest Alaska's largest city is anywhere near the frozen tundra of ANWR is ridiculous. Either the publicists (and the musicians they work for) are geographical morons or huge cynics who think they can fool the public.

"Beasties, Morissette, DMB Fight Bush Energy Policy"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 08:14 PM | Comments (0)

For all you white trash,

For all you white trash, here's lizziegrubman.com.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:18 PM | Comments (0)

Two blogs have recently linked

Two blogs have recently linked to TAM: Jason and jimhart3000.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:35 AM | Comments (0)

Jonathan Rauch has written the

Jonathan Rauch has written the funniest book review I've ever read. His fictional dialogue mocks Russel Roberts' The Invisible Heart. Within the playful review, Rauch gives his one-sentence review of the plot:


Ah, that classic story: Boy meets girl, boy spouts hard-core free-market theories that repel girl, boy gets girl.

Rauch does like the book even though it fails as a novel:

But didactic novels always fail as art; the question is whether they make their points in a way that engages while instructing. The book is a pleasant read, with a sense of humor about itself and a genuinely inventive twist. And so few economists even bother trying to communicate with a general audience—for that matter, so few economists can put together two sentences in English—that it's kind of endearing when some think-tank professor with a passion for Adam Smith and Milton Friedman tries to write a novel to sell ideas.

After reading the book, let me add that the book teaches free-market economic ideas with a soft touch. Roberts also lets his reader know that free-market advocates (like myself) really do care about the world around them.

"Economists of the World, Pucker Up"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2001

Lance Morrow notices a dramatic

Lance Morrow notices a dramatic wound to Western Civilization's respect for human life. A French court ruled a disabled child could receive damages because doctors didn't offer his mother the option of abortion. Morrow writes:


The court's logic—which is the true deformity—would encourage wholesale prenatal slaughter. It stigmatizes the handicapped and states, as a principle of law, that they never should have been born. Such children are an error that would, in the utopia toward which the idealism of the law aspires, be eliminated, pre-emptively.

Under the menace of this decision, French doctors, whenever the slightest shadow turns up on the sonogram, will advise: Abort. Perfect children are mandated by law. Parents will be considered irresponsible if they bring forth a specimen less than perfect. Think of the charming effect this decision would have if it were applied in those many countries around the world where a fetus that turns up with a vagina rather than a penis is considered to be defective.

The culture of death won't be defeated until people realize that all of us are sacred, valuable human beings. Be wanted and perfection are not two requirements for living. We are not mere recepticles of pleasure. Children don't exist just to make their parents happy. We are more than Mr. Winkle looking cute and silly. People (including frozen human embryos) are not means to other's ends. Instead, we are creatures who have the ability to acheive great things and rise above the boundaries of this existence. To wantonly dispose of undesired human life is the tragedy of our times.

"On Suing If Your Parents Were Not Given the Chance to Abort You"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

Rich Galen gives his readers

Rich Galen gives his readers this joke floating through D.C.'s stuffy, humid air:


How can you tell NBA star Patrick Ewing and former President Bill Clinton apart? Ewing told the truth about it under oath.

"The Times' They are A'Changin'"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)

July 25, 2001

While making some sensible points

While making some sensible points about musicians and the music industry, Alanis Morissette had to put her foot in her mouth when she equated musicians' rights with a woman's right to an abortion. "For me, this is a moral issue equal to a woman's right to choose," she said. So, Ms. Morissette considers the right to kill an innocent, unborn child on par with her own right to sell millions of albums. This is another fine example why celebrities shouldn't talk about politics. Most of the time they don't know what they're talking about. Call it Alec Baldwin Syndrome.

Alanis, you're priorities are really screwed up!

"Morissette Equates Artists' Rights With 'Woman's Right To Choose' "

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 01:30 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2001

Don't expect Dick Gephardt to

Don't expect Dick Gephardt to be Speaker anytime soon. Dick Armey (R-TX) offered this funny reply: "I heard that Dick Gephardt has just declared that he wants to retain his current title of minority leader."

"Gephardt Hints at Increase in Taxes"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

Billboard now tracks the top

Billboard now tracks the top selling electronic albums.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 06:20 PM | Comments (0)

Mallard Fillmore notices the Left's

Mallard Fillmore notices the Left's religious intolerance.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:59 PM | Comments (0)

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) gets

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) gets the political blow-hard quote of the day when he cried, "Reluctantly I have come to the conclusion that Microsoft's release of Windows XP in its current form will likely be unfair, anticompetitive and, in the long run, extraordinarily detrimental to many consumers."

As a self-proclaimed computer whiz, Schumer can peer into the future and see the evil Bill Gates ruling the computing landscape with an iron grip. If that's the case, why is MS so enthusiastic behind their .Net plan which will offer Web-based services? Schumer's computer expertise is also highly questionable, since no one has claimed that Windows XP will prevent users from using AOL's Instant Messenger.

"Senator Demands Changes in Microsoft Windows XP"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:36 PM | Comments (4)

President Bush should heed the

President Bush should heed the words of Pope John Paul when making his decision on embryonic stem cell research:


Experience is already showing how a tragic coarsening of consciences accompanies the assault on innocent human life in the world, leading to accommodation and acquiescence in the face of other related evils, such as euthanasia, infanticide, and, most recently, proposals for the creation for research purposes of human embryos destined to destruction in the process."

Legalized abortion has opened the door to assisted suicide, partial-birth abortion, infanticide, and an overall devaluation of human life (i.e. Columbine). I fear what path our civilization is going down if we permit using human beings in embryonic form as medical cannon fodder.

"Pontiff: Reject Embryo Research Warns Against 'Tragic' Course"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 05:00 PM | Comments (0)

Democrats, labor unions, and senior

Democrats, labor unions, and senior citizen groups are eating their own when attacking President Bush's Social Security commission. Leftists are crying that the commission's recent report creates a crisis that scares people into supporting private retirement accounts. Critics also complain that the panel is biased towards Social Security privatization. Of course Bush ran for President on partial privatization, so it's not surprising that his commission would be sympathetic towards it. Leftist critics have even protested outside their meetings. The protests prompted CEO of Black Entertainment Television, Robert Johnson, to chastize critics. Democrats should "focus on trying to address a very serious problem that will not go away simply by calling out names and trying to hide in the sand."

"Bush Social Security Panel Meets Under Fire"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:49 PM | Comments (1)

July 23, 2001

Milwaukee's best band, The Gufs,

Milwaukee's best band, The Gufs, are working on new material and trying to find a new record company. Lead singer, Goran Kralj, says the new songs sound like their brilliant last album Holiday from You but with more positive lyrics.

"Milwaukee talks: The Gufs' Goran Kralj"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2001

Is Milwaukee, home of die

Is Milwaukee, home of die hard, beer drinking Green Bay Packers fan ready for major league soccer? I don't think so, but the $50 million plan would be privately funded.

"Krause Wants Stadium Near Bradley Center"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2001

Malcolm Gladwell profiles America's informercial

Malcolm Gladwell profiles America's informercial king, Ron Popeil.

"The Pitchman"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

Cheney doesn't need to sink

Cheney doesn't need to sink down to the level of Hillary Clinton. He should release all the information from the task force and defend its activities.

"GAO Turns Up Heat on Cheney Over Energy Task Force"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:11 PM | Comments (0)

President Bush's unauthorized biographer killed

President Bush's unauthorized biographer killed himself on a drug overdose.

"Author of Bush Biography Commits Suicide"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:10 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2001

While inconsistent pro-life Senators are

While inconsistent pro-life Senators are caving left and right, President Bush has still not said the federal government should fund embryonic stem cell research. All the talk about the possible benefits from such research ignore the basic question of the debate: does a human embryo have the same rights as any other person or do they have fewer rights because of location or advancement of development? Reason's Jacob Sullum understands this point when he writes, "Regardless of the benefits promised by stem cell research, its moral status cannot be decided without addressing that question."

Then there's the economics of stem cell research. While many tout the possible treatments from embryonic stem cells, in the June issue of The American Spectator (sorry, not online) Scott Gottlieb notices the much of the financing into the research is going to companies using adult stem cells. Right now, the market thinks the quickest, most profitable success is with adult stem cells rather than ones from embryos.

But regardless of where the science could allow us to go with the help of capital markets, using unborn humans as means to (well intentioned) ends violates the sanctity of human life, individualism, and autonomy. Those three ideas are some of the backbones of Western Civilization. From those ideas billions of people have been given the chance to live free and prosperous lives. Let's not turn our backs on those ideas just to take advantage of scientific slavery.

"Cell Division"

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 04:53 PM | Comments (0)

Vacation's over! It's back to

Vacation's over! It's back to work--I mean blogging. France was fun. I'll try to get some pictures and narrative up to satisfy your curiosity.

But another, more important, event captured my time. Last Saturday, my sister Sara married a swell guy named Brian.

The ceremony was beautiful. I was worried that Sara would break down crying from all the emotion, but little did I suspect that while standing up in the wedding party, tears would fill my eyes. After all the obligatory pictures (including ones near a waterfall where ugly half-naked men were wading) the celebrating began. I seemed to have a good time playing around with a digital camera. The wedding party and guests all had a good time drinking, eating, drinking, dancing, talking, and drinking. The next day I felt as green as I probably looked (sorry, no picture), but I did get to see all the loot Sara and Brian squeezed out of their guests. You can really make a killing by getting hitched. Anyone interested in a short, loud-mouthed conservative who likes ranting on his personal weblog and going to conferences in honor of dead economists for fun? Just e-mail me.

Now, Sara and Brian are dodging icebergs and running away from grizzly bears. I hope they're having a good time and wish them only happiness and joy.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 12:41 AM | Comments (0)

July 04, 2001

For a taste of what

For a taste of what I experienced the past few days. One of the presenters, Professor Bertrand Lemennicier, has his paper "Why Sophisms Die Hard" on his web site.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 03:37 PM | Comments (0)

I had no trouble writing

I had no trouble writing my post in Newark, but I couldn't get Blogger to publish it. Since then, I haven't had Net access until tonight. Everything is alright. This trip has been relaxing at times as well as stimulating. I've drank plenty of wine, eaten plenty of food, seen beautiful women, and can't understand why this French keyboard is all screwed up. Right now, I'm catching up on email and catching up on American news.

Posted by Sean Hackbarth in at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)