Wish I’d said that – May 27, 2017

Lincoln County in the New Mexico Territory, in its Wild West days, was the kind of place “where a man would kill you just to see if a gun worked.”

TV documentary on the “Lincoln County War” famously involving Billy the Kid that aired in Ottawa on December 18, 1998 (as a pedantic rule I try to source my quotations as accurately as possible but sometimes all you get is all I scribbled down at the time)

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Why terrorists attack pop concerts

In my latest National Post column I say the bombing of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester should remind everyone, including progressives, that Islamist fanatics do not hate our open society for being repressive or for defending itself. They hate it because it is tolerant. They hate our permissiveness. They hate us for who we are not what we do. And there is nothing we can do to appease them that would not be a fundamental betrayal of ourselves and our ideals.

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Wish I’d said that – May 26, 2017

“it must be remembered, that life consists not in a series of illustrious actions, or elegant enjoyments; the greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities, in the performance of our daily duties, in the removal of small inconveniences, in the procurement of petty pleasures…”

Samuel Johnson, quoted in D.J. Enright’s introduction to Johnson’s The History of Rasselas

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Wish I’d said that – May 24, 2017

“First, incentives matter to all human behaviour…. Like it or not, individuals will undertake more of an activity if the costs of that activity are reduced; this holds as much for bureaucrats as it does for profit-maximizing owners of firms.”

Terry L. Anderson and Donald R. Leal, Free Market Environmentalism

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Wish I’d said that – May 21, 2017

“If [his recently deceased wife Joy] ‘is not,’ then she never was. I mistook a cloud of atoms for a person. There aren’t, and never were, any people. Death only reveals the vacuity that was always there. What we call the living are simply those who have not yet been unmasked. All equally bankrupt, but some not yet declared. But this must be nonsense; vacuity revealed to whom? Bankruptcy declared to whom? To other boxes of fireworks or clouds of atoms. I will never believe – more strictly, I can’t believe – that one set of physical events could be, or make, a mistake about other sets. No, my real fear is not of materialism. If it were true, we – or what we mistake for ‘we’ – could get out, get from under the harrow. An overdose of sleeping pills would do it. I am more afraid that we are really rats in a trap. Or, worse still, rats in a laboratory. Someone said, I believe, ‘God always geometrizes.’ Supposing the truth were ‘God always vivisects’?”

C.S. Lewis A Grief Observed

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