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Monday miscellany

  • This WSJ article focuses on the behavior of investors (and draws, I think, some dubious conclusions). But the heart and soul of it is about the psychology of going along with the crowd. Good info not to live by.
  • The NRA’s free-speech sellout from a different political perspective.
  • He loves his Mac. He doesn’t hate Windows. In fact, he thinks Windows 7 is a great product. But he’s switching to Linux.
  • Well, whaddaya know? Portugal decriminalizes virtually all recreational drug use and the universe fails to implode.
  • “Patience and Personal Finance.” News you can use if you’re working on getting out of debt. (News impatient people like me can use any old time.)
  • Why it may take years for the housing market to be healthy again.
  • “Disrespect for Government is as American as Fried Bananas.” ran this article last week. It’s about contrasts between Latin American attitudes and U.S. American attitudes toward government and law. Thing is, the folks down south know their governments are corrupt and dangerous. So they don’t give them any respect — and also don’t favor using them to harass or manipulate their neighbors. A lot of people (me included) shudder at the thought of living in some country where police expect bribes and politicians are nakedly corrupt. But there’s a darned good argument in favor of such places.
  • And finally, just to get your weekend off to an extra cheery start, that Active Denial pain ray we’ve been hearing about for years has finally made it into Afghanistan. You can be sure it’ll win hearts and minds when the U.S. fedgov starts microwaving women, children, and old men.


  1. Joe in NH
    Joe in NH June 21, 2010 10:53 am

    “Fried Bananas” brings to mind a 19th century America.

    I could live there very easily.

    Joe in NH

  2. A.G.
    A.G. June 22, 2010 12:38 am

    A mentor has a saying/philosophy that has served me well whenever I have been smart enough to live by it: “Observe what the masses are doing and do the EXACT opposite. You’ll come out on top EVERY time.”
    Great link, Claire.

  3. Pat
    Pat June 22, 2010 3:33 am

    “Rebel Fire, here we come.”
    First they take The Active Denial System (pain ray) into Afghanistan, then they’ll bring it home to use on “domestic terrorists.”

    According to Wikipedia, “The ADS is currently only a vehicle-mounted weapon, though U.S. Marines and police are both working on portable versions.[14]”

    And: each truck/unit combo costs $5 million apiece; that’s what our tax money is used for.

  4. Victor Milán
    Victor Milán June 22, 2010 9:12 am

    Of course the US plans to use the ADS here against Americans. All the USG’s imperial adventures of the last 20 years or more have played an important role in testing means to disarm and subjugate the American population.

    What subect could be dearer to our rulers’ hearts?

    I wouldn’t care to be a member of a crew that used a pain-ray against an Afghan crowd. It would not end well.

    Maybe we could learn a lesson or two from foreigners. Even ones who don’t act much better than our imperial overlords.

  5. RagnarDanneskjold at TMM
    RagnarDanneskjold at TMM June 22, 2010 10:26 am

    This is not really related to any current topic. I just wanted to thank you for pointing me to Dark Rivers of the Heart. I’ve been doing some temp work that requires a 3 hour round trip drive. I found that on CD (16 of them to record the entire book) and am on #11 (or 12, don’t remember). They are in the Hallmark Store (at the time I arrived to work today). This has really made the drive seem so much quicker and much more bearable. The reader does a good job using various voices (even the voice of Goofy) to enhance the story.

    Thanks again,

  6. Claire
    Claire June 22, 2010 10:56 am

    RagnarDanneskjold — Thanks for letting me know! I saw your earlier message & knew that you had started the book. It’s always so nervous-making recommending a book (or a restaurant, or a movie, or anything else that involves personal tastes). I’m really glad you’re liking it. Sounds like a really bad commute otherwise.

    I’ve never listened to a book on CD. Can’t really imagine doing it. But if I had a commute like yours, I think I’d start imagining it pretty quick!

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