Friday, January 29, 2016

Not in Narnia Anymore

Gina Dalfonzo speculates on how C.S. Lewis' stories that warned of the dangers of the desire for power may be more relevant than ever. Nikabrik's Candidate:

This is how good people with strong, ingrained values—people who have invested time and money in the sanctity of life, religious liberty, and similarly noble causes—can come to support a man who changes his convictions more often than his shirts. This is how people concerned about the dignity of the office of President end up flocking to a reality-show star who spends his days on Twitter calling people “dumb” and “loser.” This is how some who have professed faith in Jesus Christ are lured by a man who openly puts all his faith in power and money, the very things Christ warned us against prizing too highly. As one wag on Twitter pointed out, “If elected, Donald Trump will be the first US president to own a strip club,” and yet he has the support of Christians who fervently believe that this country needs to clean up its morals.

As Joseph Loconte has observed, the Narnia stories offer us “a view of the world that is both tragic and hopeful. The tragedy lies in the corruption caused by the desire for power, often disguised by appeals to religion and morals.” How dangerously easy it is for the desire for power to take on that disguise—and how easily we Christians fall for it.

Tired of waiting for Aslan—who may be nearer than we think—we turn elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if our candidate hates, bullies, and exploits other people, the reasoning goes, just as long as he’s good to us and gives us what we want. Hatred is a perfectly acceptable weapon, as long as it’s “on our side.”

So said Nikabrik as he prepared to unleash a great evil on the land of Narnia.

C. S. Lewis may have lived well before Donald Trump’s time, but he was prescient about the situation. The only fate that awaits a group that turns against its own core values for the sake of security and power is the fate of Nikabrik.

HWX: Against HWX

Brian Ward and Paul Happe of HWX return for a special midweek, pre-Iowa caucus podcast extravaganza. Topics addressed include:
* What Are You Drinking? Featuring a new release from Badger Hill Brewing, Minnesota Special Bitter and a classic from New Belgium, Snow Day.
MSB* The cause and effect of the National Review’s broadside attack on the Trump campaign, and why they appear to be missing the entire point. Bonus audio of Democrat attacks on Trump, Jeb Bush’s fetal position defense, and the problem with Marco Rubio.
* Iowa caucus preview, including fearless predictions and analysis of who will win (or won’t win).
* Movie talk, with an exclusive preview of the upcoming Star Wars VIII: What Difference Does It Make.
* The racism of Hollywood and the Oscar’s boycott, including audio of the snow daybest performances from the criminally under recognized Strait Outta Compton and The Concussion. Also an analysis of the Best Actor nominees and why they were deemed so superior to anything else released in 2015.

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There are many ways to hear the podcast, including over on the mother ship at Ricochet.  You can be sure to never miss an episode by subscribing via iTunes.  Or you can just use the player embedded in the upper right hand corner of this website.  If all of these fail, send me an email and I'll come to your house and read from a written transcript.  Hope you enjoy.

Monday, January 11, 2016

HWX: On the Radio

HWX goes terrestrial, with your favorite hosts broadcasting the old fashioned way, on the radio, KYRC, Business Radio AM1440. Brian Ward and Paul Happe of HWX filled in on last weekend’s King Banaian Radio Show, with a strategic appearance by John Hinderaker of Power Line.

Topics addressed include a discussion of the economic impact of hosting an NFL playoff game (including fearless predictions of the Vikings-Seahawks tilt), an analysis of the December 2015 jobs report, and a discussion of “bum hunting” and how it relates to online fantasy sports, the stock market, and the real estate bubble.

 John Hinderaker joined the conversation to talk about his new position as President of the Center of the American Experiment and mission to turn Minnesota red (politically speaking, that is, he’s not taking credit for this week’s subzero temperatures and the effect on human skin).

 John and CAE’s opening salvo is here:


Catch all the action via the podcast at the links below:

Hour 1

Hour 2

Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

No Place Like The Road

My last minute, better late than never pigskin prognostications for the NFL wild card playoffs.

Kansas City at Houston

This is the only game where I feel pretty confident about picking a winner. Houston plays in a lousy division and Kansas City rides a long winning streak into the playoffs. The KC offense is not spectacular, but they’ll do enough and their defense will stifle whatever former Browns quarterback the Texans start. Kansas City 20 Houston 10

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

A team with playoff pedigree to spare against one that hasn’t won a playoff game since George H.W. Bush was president (to put that into perspective the Lions and Browns have more recent playoff victories than the Bengals). The Steelers offense can be explosive, but they are not a great team and their defense is vulnerable. The Bengals have better talent and even without Andy Dalton they should win the game. Should doesn’t mean will however and given their history I can’t just buy into the Bengals. Pittsburgh 29 Cincinnati 27

Seattle at Minnesota

For some reason that I can’t entirely explain, I’m feeling reasonable optimistic about the Vikings chances. I have little or no confidence in the Vikings offense. However, the Vikings defense will keep things close and I have confidence that Zimmer will not let his team get done the same way they did the last time they faced Seattle. The experienced Seahawks will make one or two more plays than the Vikings and come out of the cold with a narrow win. Seattle 20 Vikings 16

Green Bay at Washington

So far I’ve picked all road teams. And halfway through the season, a match-up featuring Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins would definitely favor the road squad. But these Packers aren’t the Packers that we’re been used to seeing the last few years. They’ve lost their mojo and their confidence. The Redskins aren’t a good team, but they are a team that’s been able to put together enough chemistry to win the motley NFC East and close the season relatively strong. Someone’s got to win so why not the home team? Washington 26 Green bay 23

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Media Alert: HWX on KYRC

HWX goes terrestrial again this Saturday, with Paul Happe and I filling in for King Banaian on his award winning radio program.  King is off on assignment, probably shepherding another totalitarian, socialist economic basket case into the bright new day of economic and political freedom (and he may not even have to leave that country for that one), and we'll attempting to fill his fine Armenian calfskin leather professorial loafers.

We'll include a number of our favorite HWX bits from the past few month.  And of course we'll delve into some hard core, advanced economics talk.  The preparation for which will resemble Homer Simpson's plan to engeage in advanced marketing.

Nevertheless, check us out this Saturday, January 9, from 9-11AM on KYRC-AM, 1440 AM, or streaming on the Internet here.   Don't you dare miss it.

HWX: The Podcast Awakens

It’s a special Tuesday night edition of HWX, with Brian Ward of Fraters Libertas and Paul Happe, the Nihilist in Golf Pants, reconvening to discuss the critical issues of our times. Topics addressed include:

* Reviews of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The perils of watching your heroes age, having your myths demystified, and being seduced by the dark side.

* The lost glory that was the George Pataki for President Campaign, his motivations for running and dropping out, including our special musical tribute.

* The remaining 1% (or less) candidates and what drives them, including our musical tribute.

* The significance of Obama’s announcement today of the closing of the alleged guns show loophole.

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Screen-Shot-2015-02-20-at-8.56.20-AMHWX is brought to you by Harry’s Shave. For the finest in shaving products, with the ultimate in convenience, and at an amazingly low price, check out Harry’s. It the perfect gift for anyone who grows hair on their face in your family. Enter HWX at checkout for an additional $5 off.

There are many ways to hear the podcast, including over on the mother ship at Ricochet.  You can be sure to never miss an episode by subscribing via iTunes.  Or you can just use the player embedded in the upper right hand corner of this website.  If all of these fail, send me an email and I'll come to your house and read from a written transcript.  Hope you enjoy.