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Month: December 2010

Underearners Anonymous???

Reader Pat sent me this link to a Wall Street Journal article about — of all things, Underearners Anonymous. Seriously: Can’t earn enough dough to pay the rent? A tiny but growing fellowship of New Yorkers might suggest that the problem isn’t the economy. The problem is you. You may have a disease—a compulsive addiction to low-paying work. And they have a 12-step program to help you recover: Underearners Anonymous. At a recent meeting, two-dozen men and women gathered in a windowless, rented room, squeezing themselves into a tight circle around a faded oriental carpet. After saying a prayer and…


First Christmas tree!

… in at least 11 years. First time I’ve had room for one. I loved getting out my old ornaments. I’d forgotten they had a theme: animals and birds. You can tell how long ago I got many of them; an embarrassing number of the animals are … ulp … unicorns. I cut the tree this morning at a nearby farm. My first noble fir! Most places I’ve lived noble firs have been too pricey to think about. Here, they’re no more than the scruffy Doug-firs (people in the Northwest are on a nickname basis with their conifers, you know)…


Life. Lighthouses. Storms. Peril. Carpe diem. Etc.

A friend is liquidating her art gallery and today, for a pittance, I bought a poster with this image. In the dim warehouse where the sale was held and with the soft quality of the paper, I thought the poster was a reproduction of a painting, not a photo. How could it possibly be a photo? Look at it larger: here or here (click on the image to enlarge). How could a man be standing there so calmly, hands in pockets, when he’s about to die? Yet photo it is. In fact, it’s part of a series of photos by…


Thursday miscellany

Uh oh. The Fibbies have done it again. And the R-party will, too. Of course. But you’ve gotta admit, the rapidity with which they tap-dance around their own alleged principles is dazzling. Now that’s a headline. “Finding My Spending Identity. Because New Years is coming up and a lot of us are thinking about that sort of thing. More zero-intelligence school policy on guns. This time the victim is an honor-roll girl. But this time the place is … urk! — Montana??? (Tip o’ hat to PT.) No surprise. All the serious thinking about Assange and WikiLeaks (and “CyberWar I”)…


Me on the Brian Wilson show

Well, now that it’s over and I didn’t make a complete fool of myself (thanks largely to skillful hosting), the podcast of my interview by Brian Wilson is online. (That link goes to Wilson’s most recent podcasts. Here’s a direct link to today’s interview. Be prepared for it to start yakking at you as soon as you click.) Really, it did go well — although we were in danger of getting into a two-hour discussion about golden retriever puppies. (Brian just got one after his young adult golden died suddenly a couple of months ago.) We got back on track…


Tuesday miscellany

A bank joins the frenzy against Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. It freezes — of all things — his defense fund. Sorry, bank. Sorry bank. You know, the statists aren’t going to win this one. Assange might not, either. But the old order has fallen. It just hasn’t had the good sense to topple over yet. Per Joel: Fourth Amendment tee shirts and underwear. Now this is an honorable man. He might not always have been. But he is now, bless ‘im. Rational Review News is having another fundraiser. They do it every quarter. And every quarter, it’s painful to watch…


Pride, fear, and trust: weapons

These are the thoughts of a young woman whose life has already been difficult — mostly in the sense of bearing heavy responsibility and being different from others. Now she’s about to face incomprehensible evil, and may not survive: And what are my weapons? she thought. And the answer came to her instantly: pride. Oh, you hear them say it’s a sin; you hear them say it goes before a fall. And that can’t be true. The blacksmith prides himself on a good weld; the carter is proud that his horses are well turned out, gleaming like fresh chestnuts in…


Cory Maye to get a new trial

I missed this yesterday. The Mississippi supreme court has granted Cory Maye a new trial (pdf). This is thanks largely to the heroic journalism of Radley Balko and the skilled representation by Bob Evans and Maye’s other pro bono lawyers. And it’s damned good, if terribly overdue, news. Hope for justice for this very nice young man.


Friday miscellany

Yesterday, we had news of deeper, more difficult-to-foil privacy attacks on our computers. Well, today those very same attackers bring us more honorable news. Yesterday, I also linked to the WikiLeaks donation page and suggested this might be a good time to send money to those lone warriors battling government secrecy. Alas, is no more. Continuing attacks against the site forced it out of existence. BUT. The site came back to life. It’s now at in Switzerland. Here’s the IP address in case the domain name is killed once again: And here’s that donation page again, which…


Thursday miscellany

Creepy marketers want to fingerprint your computer. But don’t worry; Your Government will protect you. Fifty-one percent of polled voters seem woefully misinformed. Or is it 72 percent? So hard to keep track, these days. This would be a good time to donate to WikiLeaks. There are a number of ways — including ones that would protect your privacy from the ignorami who are shouting “Treason!” “Terrorists!” and “Killers!” The TSA is not only conditioning children to accept molestation. But egads, it’s doing it using the same tactics non-government molesters do. Nine trllion in “emergency loans” by the Fed??? Other…