Monday, June 27, 2005
Secret Admirer's club
I've been memed again. This once was started by James Bow, and the tag that got me was from Greg at Sinister Thoughts. The way this works is that I name three people with whom I disagree a lot, and then I find something to admire about them. As I understand it, I'm not limited to other bloggers on my three disagreeables. I am planning to use bloggers, however, because the truth is that I have very little to say about, for example, the leaders of any Canadian party other than the CPC. Now, that hardly means I think Steven Harper and the CPC are the best thing that ever was - although I do like Harper, even with some some admitted faults. I don't have grand, overarching aims for my government. I'm a steady as she goes, kind of guy, and that I think is best represented by the CPC and by no one else, if I'm being honest. I don't try to achieve my personal ragnarok through Federalism. The Liberals, as much as I utterly loathe their current leader and this current administration, would be second. All political parties are Janus-faced and if a CPC party were as awful and long in the tooth as the Liberals today, I would look to them to lead because they are capable of doing this - to some degree, anyway, when they're not drunk on power and lead by a grasping fool. Oops. I'm supposed to be nice here. Thankfully, it's (much) easier to say nice things about real people. I might as well start with the man who tagged me. Now, I don't know Greg at all well. And in a debate about how something should be achieved, we have a tough time agreeing on much. He always conducts himself with class, however, and with composure about nine times out of ten - a record that is probably better than my own. Interestingly, we are both Catholic. I'm going through a long process of conversion that is very nearly over, and Greg went to a Catholic school and has never formally left the faith. We both seem to have a longing for a perfect justice, a kind of tender longing verging on brokenheartedness that I don't often sense in others. Where I'm a more traditional Catholic who sees the world as a hospital for sinners, Greg is not one to let history or the wisdom of many override his passion to see that the present is not overlooked. He's an interesting sparring partner because he's able to stay focused on the topic at hand without getting into personal attacks. In someone as passionate as he appears to be, this is a excellent quality and much to his credit. My only real wish for change here is that he consider becoming better informed about economics, in order to spare wasted effort on topics in which good studies and models have been done to show that the unintended consequences of a proposal very often outweigh the good that is being sought through intervention. So, for Greg I recommend Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt. It's a quick read, and worthwhile. I pick on Andrew too much and on Pete not enough. Peter is Andrew's brother; a little younger, a little more left (maybe even more than a little). He's a regular reader and commenter here, which has me scratching my head from time to time. What's the attraction to this "so con" book blog? I don't really know but if I had to guess it would be that he's a good student and very curious, enough so that he's willing to check out a blog like this, rather than take for granted that someone like me is crazy and / or an incarnation of evil. He's a wonderful contrast to a commenter on Ben's blog who called me a "wiccan Nazi" for trying to articulate traditional Catholic teaching on the subject of abortion. That's hysterically funny, but a bit sad too. It reveals a mind that might be pretty tightly shut to hearing anything unfamiliar. Such wide reading in a young man is likely to pay off in wisdom and moderation, especially if combined with experiences of the same sort of variety (dare I say calibre?). The dawn does look promising. For Peter, I'll recommend Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis. My last pick is Peter (not to be confused with Pete). Peter is from the Fraser Valley, just like yours truly. At the moment he's a philosophy student in Waterloo, Ontario, which is a long, long way from here. Peter is thoughtful and interesting in his writing, tackling subjects that I would otherwise be less likely to read. That said, Peter's starting points are a bit hard for me to understand at times - he's a left leaning Christian, which is a position I have difficulty putting together mentally. That may very well be a shortcoming on my part. I don't think Canadian Christians are bound to vote a certain party; I do have trouble reconciling the faith with where most of the parties are today. I find Peter's choice, the socialist NDP, far too quick to claim the right to coerce those who disagree with it. I look forward to seeing what Peter has to say on these subjects in the future, and I respect that I might pick up something useful from his blog. Peter, like Pete and Greg, brings a cool head and an interesting perspective to the debate when he chooses to join in. For Peter, I'll recommend C.S. Lewis' analysis of left trends in education - The Abolition of Man. The victims I'll tag for this meme are all three of the above, and to make five I'll add The Tiger in Exile and Pete's brother at Bound by Gravity.