muhs acton club

October 3, 2006

Off to a good start…

Filed under: Uncategorized — csdobbs @ 11:52 am

We’re off to a great start of the year.
Acton Club attended a Wisconsin Forum dinner on Thursday, September 28 (last week) to hear a talk given by Owen Robinson of Boots and Sabers. Thanks to a generous grant from the Bradley Foundation, 5-6 students + a teacher can go to all 5 events at no cost this year.

Friday the 29th we met for our traditional fare of pizza at Barbiere’s.

Our next meeting will be this Thursday, October 5th after school in Mr. Noonan’s room. Our topic will be the speech Mr. Joseph Sobran was going to deliver last week at the Wisconsin Forum before hisinvitation was rescinded, entitled The End of Conservatism. Members – check your emails for the text of the speech. Snacks will be consumed, and we look forward to a most stimulating discussion. Hope to see you there!

For future meetings, we’ll be discussing Pope Benedict 16th’s controversial remarks, Three Stages of De-Hellenization, and ethical questions regarding interrogation/torture of terror suspects.

September 4, 2006

We’re #1 — Milwaukee named the nation’s Drunkest City

Filed under: Uncategorized — csdobbs @ 12:56 am

How exactly do you measure drunkeness in a city?

From the Forbes.com article:

Each city was ranked in five areas: state laws, number of drinkers, number of heavy drinkers, number of binge drinkers and alcoholism. Each area was assigned a ranking in each category, based on quantitative data, and all five categories were then totaled to produce a final score, which was sorted to produce our rankings.

And an in depth article on the methodology

Regarding alcoholism, their index is somewhat suspect:

Alcoholism: Cities were ranked based on the number of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings held in the area, as a proportion of the number of residents over the legal drinking age. Higher-ranking cities reported more meetings per capita.

Firstly, the meetings almost certainly do not accurately reflect the seriousness of the problem — only one kind of reaction to the problem.  Also, it doesn’t take under-age drinking into consideration.

Same objection to the ‘State Law’ criterion.  That’s just a reaction to a perceived problem.

“Drinkers: Cities were ranked 1 to 35, based on the number of adults who reported having had at least one drink of alcohol within the past 30 days…” 

This isn’t much.  Also, there may be a pyschological aversion to being seen as a teetotaller.

(To really pick the nits, one might suggest that this would include many religious folks who consume wine at weekly mass…)

Heavy Drinkers: Cities were ranked 1 to 35, based on the number of adult men who reported having had more than two drinks per day, and adult women having had more than one drink per day

Gender discrimination!  Everyone is entitled to equal inebriation for equal alcohol consumed!

Binge Drinkers: Cities were ranked 1 to 35, based on the number of adults who reported having had five or more drinks on one occasion

Just cuz a person had one binge drinking session doesnt classify him/her as a ‘Binge Drinker’, in my opinion.

In conclusion, our award — while quite prestigious — might not have truly been earned.  This is a wakeup call for Milwaukeens to get in touch with the traditions of their city.  And drink a lot more.

From JSOnline: A few figures on Milwaukee and its liquor:

In the city of Milwaukee, there are more than 1,000 outlets for beer, wine and liquor, according to the city’s License Division. These include about 978 locations with Class B tavern licenses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Milwaukee in 2002 had 261 taverns and 67 liquor stores. Those 328 businesses generated more than $148 million in sales, or about $250 for every man, woman and child who lived in the city that year. And that doesn’t include alcohol that was sold at grocery stores, gas stations or restaurants.

the jsonline story: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=487336

July 21, 2006

Grameen Bank

Filed under: Uncategorized — csdobbs @ 2:39 am

In one of our previous meetings, Acton club members watched an interview with Mohammed Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, on Charlie Rose.

Yunus’s project serves as an excellent example of sound economics applied to philanthropy to benefit people.
See the interview for yourself on Google video.

July 20, 2006

GKC

Filed under: Uncategorized — csdobbs @ 4:04 am

Gilbert Keith Chesterton – one of the finest writers in the English language. It’s very enjoyable and accessible, yet unfathomably deep (at least for me).

According to the American Chesterton Society listings, there is no Chesterton society in Milwaukee…

Sounds like an excellent ancillary activity for our group.

On a side note, CS Lewis and Tolkien are worthwhile too. MU has the Tolkien archives, come to think of it.

Malcolm Gladwell

Filed under: Uncategorized — csdobbs @ 1:52 am

This fellow has some interesting analyses of various social issues, not unlike Freakonomics.  (More on that later…)
Malcolm Gladwell’s blog

July 14, 2006

Citywide WiFi in Milwaukee

Filed under: Uncategorized — csdobbs @ 6:44 pm

This may prove to be a very good use of government resources. Theoretically, making the internet widely available helps individuals, schools, businesses expand and develop.

Midwest Fiber Networks offered to set up the wireless network for the city free of charge. And, according to these news reports, no monopoly would be established. Rather, with a stronger infrastructure, competition would be encouraged, more options would be in reach of those who most stand to benefit from the World Wide Web.

Milwaukee could be [among?] the first to adopt citywide wifi? That’s a child’s argument. If it’s within the government’s authority and can benefit the city in a cost-effective manner, take it. Attracting companies and investors can factor into this as well.

One concern that hasn’t been adequately treated in what I’ve read so far is Security. No-one wants their personal information on a network broadcast across the city without some assurance of safety.

JSOnline article

Citywide Wi-Fi Network Would Benefit Milwaukee

Milwaukee negotiating for citywide wireless network

Midwest Fiber Networks

July 9, 2006

shipping out

Filed under: Uncategorized — csdobbs @ 3:46 am

Our dear friend Robert is departing early tomorrow morning. He’ll be riding in convoys from Kuwait to Iraq.

We pray for his safety and success.

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys – P.J. O’Rourke

July 7, 2006

Prudential Judgment

Filed under: Uncategorized — actonclub @ 7:15 pm

The blog of our moderator Mr. Haessler:  http://prudentialjudgment.typepad.com/

July 6, 2006

goals for the upcoming school year

Filed under: Uncategorized — actonclub @ 11:16 pm

Our group demands very little organization or planning.  We don’t need to recruit more than one or two new members per year.  Ample funding might be nice, but it really isn’t necessary.

All we require is eachother — meeting together with a serious topic for our friendly discussion.

We’ve been fortunate to have Mr. H’s moderation, as well as to have our alumni stay in town for college.  A modicum of initiative can really make something of these blessings.

Any thoughts?  Proposals for topics?  Favorite pizza?

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