Archive for June, 2009

Insanity at Claremont Institute

Posted: June 30, 2009 in Economics

Does the Claremont Institute not do a background check on some of its guest writers before publishing them? Checking for sanity, for instance? If so, why did they publish Robert J. Samuelson’s loony drivel wherein he says, “prolonged prosperity was the underlying cause of the great financial meltdown.”

For more of the same, see his review at:
http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1620/article_detail.asp

Samuelson’s analysis of the financial meltdown could best be described as “unspeakably awful,” to quote Simon Cowell.

It’s the old Keynesian song and dance, and even harks back to Malthus.

A meltdown caused largely by government meddling is blamed on prosperity. The solution is in fact a return to prosperity, not inventing new ways to curtail it with more government intervention.

For a better perspective, see:

http://mises.org/story/3413

http://blog.mises.org/archives/006286.asp

Vern

Against Trendy Multiculturalism

Posted: June 28, 2009 in Politics

See Keith Windschuttle at:

http://www.sydneyline.com/

Vern

I’m On Facebook, Whew Hoo.

Posted: June 28, 2009 in Personal

Vern Crisler
Vern Crisler
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You Tube or Us Tube?

Posted: June 17, 2009 in Culture

If you like music, You Tube is a great resource for finding it.  Recently, I’ve been listening to Connie Talbot, Charlotte Church, and Hollie Steel.  Connie was only six when she was “discovered” on Britain’s Got Talent, 2007.   The only reason she didn’t win is — well — listen to her competition:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k08yxu57NA

But Paul Potts may have some competition from Connie one of these days if she keeps singing the way she did with her remarkable rendition of Ave Maria, which she recorded when she was only 7 years old:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy3XJ9yDfD8

Someone said she might be the next Charlotte Church.  Here’s Charlotte when she was 11 years old:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8Ep-X-I30g

Of course, given the meltdowns or dumbdowns of some of our former child singers turned adult singing sensations, it’s probably a good thing that most kids don’t acquire fame too soon. 

If you like instrumental music, there’s always funtwo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjA5faZF1A8

There are also a lot of electric guitar performances of Bach’s Toccata.  Here’s a pretty good one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKElehLTQBg

You Tube is also good for listening to interesting people.  Ever wonder what C. S. Lewis sounded like?  Or J. R. R. Tolkien?  Or G. K. Chesterton?  Try these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHxs3gdtV8A

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yo8LI_zxmi4&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJjtJrvo87I

I’m trying to learn how to use video recording and splicing.   Perhaps I might be able to record a “lecture” about the New Courville theory.  But I’ve seen and listened to myself a few times already, and boring does not begin to describe my delivery.

I need to learn how to integrate what I’m saying with pictures, charts, film, etc. — anything to keep the listener interested.  It’s a work in progress, so may take a while.

In the meantime I could post up some videos of myself singing.  Please remember that I cannot be held liable for any physical or emotional distress you might experience in listening to my singing.  On second thought, I’ll forgo the singing, and direct you to Connie, or Paul, or Charlotte for entertainment of that sort.

You Tube also has a tremendous political potential.  Just watch a video of the protests in Iran:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nifgnonH-BU

It’s getting harder and harder for authoritarian or totalitarian regimes to censor what is going on in their countries.   You Tube and other web resources are in a way something like the invention of the printing press — it will bring about great changes in the world — change you can really believe in.

Vern

Talented Britain

Posted: June 5, 2009 in Culture

Hollie Steel turned in a good performance of Edelweiss (which is a flower, not a beer).  She had a meltdown her first time singing it but was allowed to try again.  She did well the second time, then next day sang a song from the Phantom of the Opera for her final performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqxzWBV1qc4

She’s only ten, but her voice has a nice operatic quality in the high notes.  As she matures, and stays healthy, she may become England’s new Julie Andrews.  Speaking of Julie, here she is at age twelve:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV2-YGGn0y4

I’m not sure why I’m surprised that children can sing so well.  But even six year olds can make an old song sound new again.  Listen to Connie Talbot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWNoiVrJDsE

Perhaps it’s because when I was in elementary school, I couldn’t sing.  Or rather, when I did sing, it sounded like the braying of a young donkey combined with the trumpeting of a young elephant.  Therefore, at age six or seven I saw Julie Andrews as an oppressor, and Sound of Music as a cruel joke played upon children who couldn’t sing — like me.

Of course, I grew up and my voice changed so that I began to sing a whole lot better.  Now my voice sounds like the braying of an adult donkey mixed with elephant — but at least it’s better than it was.

So given my experience as a child, I’m amazed that anyone can sing at such a young age.  But talent is real and it is God-given.  Those who say talent is just a euphemism for hard work, and doesn’t really exist, should listen to Hollie, Connie, and young Julie.  If it were just a matter of hard work, I’d be able to sing.  My teachers worked me like a bellows, but it didn’t help.  I wheezed and croaked and brayed and trumpeted, but it was all for nothing.  No talent, no ticket to the Met, I say.

Vern