In today's newspaper
1. Michael Kinsley writes on how Libertarians are kind of bonkers in taking principles to logical extremes, but they perform a useful function in forcing us to think through the theoretical underpinnings of our political positions. I agree. For example, I disagree with Milton Friedman on a lot of things, but reading his Capitalism and Freedom caused me to do a lot of rethinking of the foundations of my own thoughts on economics and politics. (Basically, I agree with him that economic freedom should be the default position, but I would set the bar for where government intervention is justified much lower than he does.)
2. Gemina, the crooked-necked giraffe at the Santa Barbara Zoo, has died at the age of 21. I saw Gemina on a trip to the zoo a few years ago; it's a very pleasant small zoo.
3. Carl Karcher, founder of Carl's Jr., has died at the age of 90. We didn't have any local In-n-Outs until I was a teenager, so for me, Carl's Jr. predates them as my fast-food burger of choice. My mom's family attended the same church as the Karchers, and she went to school with some of his kids (The Surfaris played at Carleen's graduation party!) So while you can read the obituary to learn about his ultra-conservative politics and how he lost control of his company, I'll remember him for reminding me of my grandpa and for running the place that may not have crinkly fries any more, but does have the Western Bacon Cheeseburger, which I order (without cheese) nearly every time I go.