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Category: Books and Movies

Wednesday miscellany

I’m sorry for not blogging the last few days. Last-Chance Gulch had company from far away and we were busy doing wild-n-crazy things. I intended to blog about the visit and our flamboyant visitor. But as I considered what to write, I realized that our activities — while harmless — were nearly all illegal, immoral, or fattening. Or at least some of the above. Now that I’m recuperated, I may take time and use my better judgment before writing up any of our scandalously fun behavior. Or not. In the meantime, I’ve been collecting. And some of what I’ve gathered…

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Thursday miscellany

1:15 a.m. I woke up two hours ago with my trailer jerking in the wind and the moon silver-bright through the window (beautiful but unwelcome to sleepy eyes). The trailer always rocks in high winds, but this is different, sharp and jolting like a series of airy earthquakes. Every time I start to slip back into sleep another round hits. A couple of times, things have fallen off shelves. Nervous dogs begged for spots on my sleeping bag. So here I am, awake but fog-headed. Covered in canines. And soothing myself with a favorite bit of Shelley: A Dirge Rough…

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Do I feel another book coming on?

After several years in which I believed I wasn’t likely to write another freedom book this side of the grave … I sorta kinda feel a book coming on. Not promising anything, mind you. Right now the feeling is like the one you get when a sneeze is coming on — but may or may not actually emerge. If I do this thing, though, I already have a working subtitle picked out: “Everything you need to know.” Yeah, I know. No freedom book can deliver that. But trust me, I’ll use that phrase to ironic effect. I’ve already made some…

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Books 4 sale — classics!

Week or two ago, somebody asked me if I had any copies of my books for sale. I had to say no. I don’t usually keep copies around & I told him that any I had would be packed away in trunks. Got curious about those trunks. And while it’s true I don’t have any of my current books, I stumbled upon some out-of-print treasures and decided to release a few of them to the wild via eBay. To wit: A brand-new, never-read copy of 101 Things to do ‘Til the Revolution and A brand-new, never-read first edition of Don’t…

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10 Rules for dealing with police

Tip o’ hat to Radley Balko, the Flex Your Rights video 10 Rules for Dealing with Police is now on YouTube in four 10-minute segments. I haven’t yet seen this and I understand it’s directed primarily at urban minorities who so often find themselves profiled and stopped on flimsy pretexts. But the earlier Flex Your Rights video, Busted: A Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters, is excellent and we all need to know the things FYR teaches. How to: Deal with traffic stops, street stops & police at your door Know your rights & maintain your cool Avoid common police…

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Monday miscellany

A 10-year-old artist’s work is booted from an exhibition. Seems to me the reasons given for removing it are the very reasons it should have stayed. A history of the Raggedy Ann doll. Why care? Well, turns out the story involves some very contemporary-sounding issues about vaccines. Caveat: Three different sources give different accounts (others here and here). The latter is the most dramatic and so much at cross-purposes to the other two that it makes one’s head spin. Or maybe it’s just government spin. Hm. I’ve heard sociopaths sound sound just like this after being caught: trivializing the pain…

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Three great sites

1. The Ultimate Answer to Kings. A few years back, on a forum that was in those days known as The Claire Files, I kept running into this guy. I’d be reading along in some thread. I’d think of a scintillatingly witty reposte … and before I could click to post it … this guy, Joel, would say exactly what I was thinking, only say it better and shorter. The nerve of that man, huh? He’s blogging these days, and his blog is The Ultimate Answer to Kings. When you go there, you can never be quite sure what you’ll…

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Indy-Pindy: The Liberty Mouse

“In a warm little burrow, deep in the ground, a family of mice had a baby. His name was Indy-Pindy.” By the end of the first page of Kent McManigal’s new children’s book, young Indy-Pindy, The Liberty Mouse, has left his comfy burrow and set off, in the grand style of old-fashioned adventures, to make his way in the world. The first creature he meets is a snake who soothingly assures Indy that he doesn’t need that thorn he picked up as a weapon. “I’m here to help you,” smiles sneaky-snaky Gub. And that gives you a pretty good introduction…

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Monday Miscellany

Here’s a small collection of stuff I’ve picked up or thoughts I’ve thunk during the last week. This might become a regular feature. Or not. 🙂 An astute observer dropped this into the comments on a census post this morning: “Don’t Trust the Census.” Maybe you knew that so-called “confidential” census data was used to round up Japanese-Americans during World War II. Did you know that General Sherman — he of the unpunished “civil” war crimes — used census data in his genocidal march to the sea? The virtues of adversity. I mentioned the heroic Sister Kenny in my recent…

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A question for you: Movies about inspirational people

Somebody asked me yesterday whether I still write movie reviews for the print version of Backwoods Home. Officially, I do (Dave willing). But as a practical matter, I ran out of family-friendly, English-language films of interest to a rural audience a long time ago. P.T., the person who asked the question, hoped I would review biopix of inspiring people — particularly women. Thought that was a great idea. With two reservations. First, most recent biopix (aside from often being about dissolute folk who wouldn’t be welcome on many backwoods homesteads) are just giant mess-blobs. Take movies like “Ray” and “La…

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