Tuesday, September 26, 2006

On the rooftops of Helena...

Last Tuesday I had a fun time spent on the roof. On Wednesday we left on a trip while Stonewall was in Mexico, and I didn't have time to blog it. After that, my dear sister was dreadfully sick and spent some time in the hospital. Now, however, life's back to normal and I can blog this.

I made a kite out of nothing but paper, broomstraws, and fourteen pieces of tape. The wind was light so I took it up on the roof to try it out. It is a very light and interesting kite, but it still wouldn't fly. Broomstraw kites are almost as fun to build as they are to fly, so I may be writing further about them later.

Since my kite wouldn't fly, and since the weather at roof altitude was so nice, I hated to come down. So, I decided to pass my time musically.
Quite an original idea, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Food for Thought

Here's something to chew on for a little while concerning government.

"As a system of peaceful cooperation under the division of labor, the market economy could not work without an institution warranting to its members protection against domestic gangsters and external foes. Violent aggression can be thwarted only by armed resistance and repression. Society needs an apparatus of defense, a state, a government, a police power. Its undisturbed functioning must be safeguarded by continuous preparedness to repel aggressors. But then a new danger springs up. How keep under control the men entrusted with the handling of the government apparatus lest they turn their weapons against those whom they were expected to serve? The main political problem is how to prevent the rulers from becoming despots and enslaving the citizenry."
- Ludwig von Mises

"Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraing our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer. Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform, and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expence and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others."
-Thomas Paine, in Common Sense

" For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil."
Romans 13:3-4


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Free Reading

After having our piano lessons cancelled at late notice (a relief to me since my violin has consumed more of my musical capacity lately), we made a trip to one of my favorite places- the library. I checked out a few books before we left to run some more errands. At one location a sweet older lady knocked on my window. She said her great-grandson wouldn't read and asked me if I liked reading. Since I was reading at the moment and had a pile of ten books in my lap, I saw no way out but to admit, "Yes Ma'am."

Which is true. Here is a picture of the free reading I have at the moment. It may lead you to the same conclusion as it did this lady. From top to bottom,you see The Complete Sherlock Holmes in two volumes, The American Constitution: For and Against (compares Federalist and Anti-Federalist papers), Prisoners of the Sea, St.Bartholomews Eve, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Common Sense, and The Federalist Papers.


Saturday, September 02, 2006


Smokestack and I recently found three "pet" spiders at our house. Unlike most people, we like them. It's really neat to throw a grasshopper in the web, then watch the spider run to it, wrap it up and bite it. Then they leave it alone, letting the poison take effect, before coming back for a meal. It's really fascinating.

Unfortunately, the biggest of our three arachnids decided to stretch a web across the back door. Having neglected to inform Stonewall of this fact, he accidentally dropped in for a visit, and neither web nor spider now exist.