Warning: I am in a very
bad mood. I donít know why, and it may not last until the end of
this column. Weíll see.
This is the sequence of
events. On the first day of spring, I felt I might be catching a
cold, so I went shopping for cat food, ginger ale, chicken soup and
orange juice, in case I didnít feel like going out again ó which I
still donít. Then, my computer got sick, too, something to do with
the hard drive and things that happen despite all the virus blocks
(here, computer, have some chicken soup). Off it went to the shop
for five days.
So, instead of
attending my first-ever Republican convention, as a guest of Karyn
Polito, candidate for lieutenant governor, which I was going to tell
you about this week, I spent Saturday in bed. Chip brought me apple
juice and his extra laptop, but I had little interest in the latter,
thought my forced hiatus from connectivity might be a good time to
read a book a friend published online. Chip had downloaded it onto
the Kindle he bought me despite my protestations, and I have to
admit that while I will always prefer a real book in my hands, when
you canít buy something in a bookstore, the Kindle comes in handy.
So, I read ďIn Defiance
of Reason: the Failure of Modern Economics and the Coming Dark AgeĒ
by Daniel Smith, which has everything we need to know about
economics. I had to learn it the hard way, one rational perspective
at a time over 50 years, from Thomas Aquinas in high school, to Ayn
Rand, eventually to Rand Paul. I didnít take econ during my brief
college career, but I soon found the Aquinas legacy in the Austrian
school of economics: Ludwig von Mises, Bastiat, Hazlitt, with
personal tutelage from my favorite local Austrian-born economist,
Heinz Muehlmann, who advised the Prop 2Ĺ
That campaign led me to
read Howard Jarvis, whose ďMad as HellĒ initiated the 1978 property
tax revolt in California. Later, Ross Perot explained the difference
between the deficit and the national debt to a then-eager audience
of Americans. Try getting their attention now!
Then, there was Nobel
Prize-winner Milton Friedman, who argued that the Great Depression
had been caused by the Federal Reserveís policies through the 1920s,
and worsened in the 1930s. He thought that laissez-faire government
policy is more desirable than government intervention in the
The Austrian economists
especially are cited in Dan Smithís book, so it was like having old
friends visit my sickbed; he also brings us up to date on the
Federal Reserve. I was very happy, sipping apple juice, turning
pages of the Kindle. Cozy as I was with my hot water bottle, I
didnít overreact to Smithís conclusion: that we are doomed.
Iíd figured that out
myself in recent years; it was intellectually gratifying to me that
Iíd arrived at the same conclusion, even though I spend a lot of
time in denial, trying to keep everyoneís spirits up, including
mine. I donít understand some of the technical language of the
economist, never mind of the engineer that Smith is, but I do get
the point: a country canít borrow its way into prosperity or even
I went to find some
direct quotes in Smithís book but found that the Kindle battery was
dead and I had to plug it in. What? I donít have to plug in my other
And I then realized
where my good, ďIím sick so I might as well be happyĒ mood went.
Chip returned my computer. Once again, I was in contact with the
world. Days of mostly unwanted email poured into my little office;
Iíll never catch up. Yes, I know the rule: just delete. I spend an
awful lot of time deleting. Is this what life is supposed to be
about: keeping ahead of the deletions?
While enjoying my
sick-time reading, I came to realize how much time I spend
commenting online on newspaper columns, including my own. While one
meets some interesting people there, the ratio of intelligent to
irrational is discouraging.
Checked out the
information about the Republican convention that Iíd missed. I donít
blame Richard Tisei for attending a Kiwanis pancake breakfast
instead. There they go, Republicans fighting each other again
instead of creating a unified front against the Democrats who are
running this state into the ground. Think weíll be able to elect the
management ability to run our commonwealth during the coming
I am sick of the
incompetent governor, the useless liberal Congress, the
scandal-a-day in the local media. Iím sick of those whose priority
is not freedom with personal responsibility, but forcing their
agenda onto other people. I like to assume most readers of this
column are rational and concerned about America. If you could read
Daniel Smithís book (from ebooks on Amazon), you might be in a bad
Time for bed, need a
dose of nighttime NyQuil. Canít get the #*&*%$ childproof cap off.
Knife, scissors, shred, kill.
Hey, I havenít had any
appetite all week, think Iíve lost weight? Wow, 12 pounds! A good
start for spring. No more bad mood; I may fit into my favorite
clothes by summer. Life is good, until the new Dark Age arrives.