Veterans Day

by Ted on November 11, 2003

When I lived in South London a few years ago, there were a handful of small cemetaries within walking distance of my house. It was an interesting contrast. American gravestones tend to be fairly minimalist; it’s unusual to see much more than “Beloved Father” or a Bible verse. In British cemetaries, we saw a number of memorials with very personal, heart-rending epitaphs. Widows and widowers inscribed “I’m lost without you” on the graves of their spouses; parents wondered why God couldn’t wait a little longer to take their beautiful children.

The gravestone that sticks with me is a memorial for a soldier from New Zealand who didn’t come home. His parents bought a plot for him in a graveyard in South London that they probably never saw. I wish now that I had thought to write down the epitaph. It was not an appeal to patriotism, or to the good cause. It was a controlled cry of anguish from parents who had lost their beloved son to a small piece of land on the other side of the world.

People like me, who have never really been cold or hungry or frightened in their whole lives, have the duty to be grateful for his sacrifice. But to his parents, it was surely more than they could stand.

I owe more than I can say to our soldiers and our veterans, to people like Kos and Tacitus and Wesley Clark and George H. W. Bush and my brother Scott. Thank you.

Ceci n’est pas Daniel Pipes

by Chris Bertram on November 11, 2003

The Guardian “reports”:http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/news/story/0,12891,1082720,00.html that US-style paranoia about biased professors has crossed the Atlantic with something called the Young Britons Foundation compiling dossiers about leftie academics. A Manchester student newspaper contacted them with made-up examples

bq. of so called left-wing bias at the University of Manchester – such as a professor who “forced” students to chant Karl Marx during lectures…..

The YBF swallowed the bait and

bq. said the incidents would be added to a database of complaints being made across the country that would go into a report to be presented to the government next year.

Expect to see that chanting professor denounced on a blog somewhere soon!

Remembrance

by Daniel on November 11, 2003

On the 85th Armistice day, I remember with honour the memory of:

  • Military casualties of the First World War
  • Military casualties of the Second World War
  • Casualties of conscripted labour in the Second World War (such as the “Bevin Boys” conscripted to work in coal mines in the UK, who had a casualty rate higher than most active service units)
  • Casualties of the Second World War among the fire service, ARP, ambulance service and similar, many of whom were conscientious objectors to the war itself
  • Military casualties of the Falklands War

In their own ways, all of these people gave their lives in protecting the lives and liberty of Britons, for which we owe them the most profound thanks.

I also remember with the deepest sympathy and pity the men and women of our armed forces who gave their lives in the other military operations which the United Kingdom has carried out in the last century. They died for the most part in the service of dishonourable missions which were forced on them by governments which we elected, so we bear them an equally heavy debt, though much less glorious and more shameful.

This is the nearest I can come to a pacifist’s response to this day; I long since gave up wearing a white poppy in remembrance of the conscientious objectors in my own family, simply becaused it caused so much offence. I wholeheartedly apologise for any offence caused by this statement, without withdrawing any of it.

Libertarianism without inequality (4)

by Chris Bertram on November 11, 2003

Below the fold are some more (and slightly belated) reflections on Michael Otsuka’s “Libertarianism Without Inequality”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0199243956/junius-20 . Today’s offering concerns chapter four. (Earlier posts concerned “one”:https://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/000687.html , “two”:https://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/000722.html and “three”:https://www.crookedtimber.org/archives/000756.html .) As then, comments are welcome from those who are reading or who have read the book.

[click to continue…]

More on Engerrlland

by Chris Bertram on November 11, 2003

Chris Brooke has an “eloquent and quite persuasive response”:http://users.ox.ac.uk/~magd1368/weblog/2003_11_01_archive.html#106855492205119024 to my post on whom the English should support at sport. A day of grim faculty meetings has quite robbed me of my wit and ripostefulness, so I can’t dash off a witty riposte to him. But do go read his thoughts.

Solidarity and Hierarchy in Academic Job Markets

by Kieran Healy on November 11, 2003

Via Brayden King, I’ve come across a nice paper by Shin-Kap Han in the current issue of Social Networks, which my colleague Ron Breiger co-edits. The paper is a network analysis of the exchange of job candidates in a number of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Though academics talk about “the job market,” it will not surprise you that placement is deeply embedded in systems of departmental status that bear little resemblance to a properly functioning market. Indeed, the paper finds that the discipline that makes the study (and promotion) of markets its specialty is the one with the highest degree of elite solidarity and hierarchical control over the placement of its graduate students.

[click to continue…]

Ayn’s Old Prejudicial

by Henry on November 11, 2003

Glenn Reynolds “announces”:http://www.instapundit.com/archives/012442.php that Eric Raymond, self-proclaimed prophet of the open source age, has moved from blogspot. Nobody has ever described Mr. Raymond’s quite particular contribution to intellectual debate as precisely as “NTK”:http://www.ntk.net/ – unfortunately, their assessment seems to have vanished from their website. In honour of the special occasion, it seems only appropriate to reprint it.

[click to continue…]