Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Violated and the Dead

I perhaps hastily called Tim Carney libertarian in a recent entry, though he is in some ways paleoconservative. But the two can overlap, and yesterday’s entry concerned a topic, eminent domain, that sometimes brings those two philosophical strains together (as many strains must be if government is to be defeated in this uncertain, post-Buckley era). I recall seeing Tim’s disgust once when he heard that eminent domain was being used to bulldoze an old Catholic cemetery near Chicago — and I wouldn’t for a moment suggest that only the property rights violation should disturb people. The worst sort of property rights violations are the ones that destroy old, complex, organic social relationships, the way Robert Moses’ demolition of New York neighborhoods did — famously, nearly including the Village.

On a similar note, I was alarmed (though somewhat amused at the same time, I confess) to hear that late Masterpiece Theatre host Alistair Cooke’s corpse was among those pilfered for parts in a recent corpse-theft scandal (or as the headline calls it, “Body Parts Scheme”). The phrase “boned below the waist” is disturbing on multiple levels.

In even grimmer news (since the already-dead cannot suffer), I notice that former eleven-year-old pilot, since grown to a twenty-six-year-old, shot herself after years of battling depression without medication. People worried about her pushing herself (and being pushed) too far fifteen years ago when she crossed the U.S. and then the Atlantic, though perhaps her real problem, as with child actors, was what to do next. I don’t know. (And now I see another fan of mechanized flight has just died — Arthur C. Clarke, sci-fi author and inventor of the telecommunication satellite, without whom we wouldn’t have had what is widely hailed as one of the best films ever made, 2001.)

As for resurrecting conservatism, though: perhaps some tips can be gleaned from Al Regnery, who discusses his book Upstream (about how conservatives have gotten this far) tomorrow night (Thur.) at 7pm at the Union League Club at 38 East 37th St. I’ll be there.

ADDENDUM: Another death note: Unfortunate word choice in a Drudge-linked S.F. Chronicle article about the filming in San Fran of a movie about the life and assassination of politician Harvey Milk:

What was fun about having “Milk” shot here is how “in” it made locals feel.

1 comment:

Tim Carney said...

Dude, the word for a Paleo-con, traditionalist, libertarian is “Luddertarian.” Hamilton has given us big government and community- and tradition-destroying “advances.”

A real libertarian world would probably not have this sort of finance, I-80, or such a robust air-travel system, not to mention ethanol.