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Month: December 2013

The Power of the Powerless

We haven’t had a good, solid think piece around here for a while. I’m working on a small one that I hope to blog between now and the end of the year. Then this morning, David Gross dropped this great one into my email box. This is long, but seriously worth reading (as is the essay on which it’s based). Gross does a contemporary riff on Vaclav Havel’s 1978 essay on dissidents (of which Havel was a notable example): “The Power of the Powerless.”


Monday links

Senator Joe Manchin may be a conniving anti-gun suck. But he has just become the biggest Democrat truth-teller on Obamacare. “Meltdown … falls of its own weight … becomes more than we can absorb.” Devastating stuff! Ever hear of Ocorrafoo Cobange, a scientist at the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara? Neither has anybody else. But 157 professional journals were happy to accept the extremely fake-sounding scientist’s extremely fake article. “What This Poet Says About Our Culture Is So Brilliant It Could Break Something in Your Brain.” Well, maybe not that brilliant. But definitely very astute. And very funny, besides.…


Just who’s the boss here?

I think I missed this one earlier. The good folks at S.W.A.T put my January 2014 article online: “Just who’s the boss here?” You already know the answer to that question. This one was aimed at an audience that might not be as cynical fed up disgusted wise informed about current events as you.


More encouraging evidence that people are good

… and that 3D printing technology and the people developing it are creating miracles for the masses: Little girl with no fingers on one hand gets a 3D-printed prosthetic made by high school students. And a bottle of pink nail polish for her new digits, to boot. Sometimes the world — especially the central-control-freak part of the world — seems so bleak and black and freaking DOOOOMED. But oh, the wonders individuals can still produce!


Friday links

Soooo, what are the chances the Obama administration (or any other) will enact all these proposed restrictions on the NSA? Not likely, ya think? And could this be the reason why? Obamacare (again). It’s as if they figured out everything that would make insurance and health care better, then did the exact opposite. Localizing coverage even further instead of enabling insurance companies to sell across state lines was one of those things. That’s gotten some mention, thanks to the cancer patients it’s going to kill. But in all the other hand-wringing, I don’t think most pundits have yet figured out…


Wednesday links

Commonsense about polygamy is finally appearing in the mainstream. (No, I don’t think government should be involved, but otherwise, this is good stuff.) If you want to live innovatively off-grid, maybe it’s best not to do it in a city. Or at least not to talk about it if you do. (H/T H.) That Texas “affluenza” brat who killed four people and turned one of his friends into a vegetable may not have to pay any consequences for his actions. But his parents might. The courts might never stop the NSA’s outrages (despite hopeful rulings to the contrary). Congress? They…


Thank you, guys.

Thank you for making last month and this one very big on my Amazon links. It’s a huge help. And myohmy, you just keep on doing it. 🙂 While last month wasn’t as big as November 2012, this month is considerably bigger than last December. A lot of people out there are going to get some really nice Christmas presents. I’ve been expecting things to slow down, but just when I think you’re done shopping … you’re not. —– Though I’m not asking for a thing this year other than for you to use those links, I feel mightily blessed.…

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What would you want them to do if it were your house?

I took the dogs for a walk downtown yesterday afternoon. Passing a vacant house, I noticed an awful lot of water on its patio. Normally, that’s not unusual, this being the NorthWET, but it hasn’t done more than sprinkle the last couple of days. I poked around and sure enough, not only was the house sitting in a lake; I could hear ominous gushing noises inside the walls. I went up on the back porch to knock just in case. Water rushed under the door and over the dogs’ toes. City Hall is just a few blocks away, so I…


Monday links and videos

This Christmas display is clearly the work of a dedicated nerd. With money to burn. And speaking of nerds (and homeschoolers and the merely educated and curious): Free ebooks! No, not the usual free-for-the-day Kindle special. But astronomy books, math books, physics books, and general science books for many levels of expertise. (H/T H.) Were Tolkein’s hobbits inspired by Kentucky hillbillies? Hm. Not persuaded (particularly since all those hobbity surnames came originally from Tolkein’s own country), but it’s a charming story nevertheless. (Tip o’ hat to A, who probably won’t mind in this case.) The freedomista hydra. Damn, I love…