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Month: August 2017

At the county fair

It’s county fair time. When I was 14 all that meant was riding the Tilt-a-Whirl two dozen times and getting to see big-name entertainment in the giant grandstands. That was in a mega-urban area and if people still entered their home-canned goods or their market hogs, I was unaware of it (and much too sophisticated to care). It’s a little different when you live in a county that’s basically one vast rural neighborhood. Here, the main stage holds an audience of 100 on plastic lawn chairs and “entertainment” might mean a polka band or a little girl giving a presentation…


Midweek links

  • From the “damn, why didn’t I think of that?” department: If you want to get rid of monuments to slavery, here’s the best place to start.
  • The most interesting thing about this article on the IRS tracking Bitcoin transactions is the disclaimer at the end. The reporting publication, the IRS’s tracking contractor, and a company being sued by the IRS … are all subsidiaries of the same outfit. Sounds very Appalachian to me.
  • Oh look. Here’s a male candidate to match yesterday’s female survived-but-should-still-get-a-Darwin-Award nominee. Heck, maybe they can even date each other — even if all they can do is hold hands. 4 Comments
  • Well, that was quick

    When Internet companies began banning “hate” and bouncing white supremacists from their services, we cried in alarm that what could be done to them could be done to us — to libertarians, to gun-rights activists, to defenders of the Bill of Rights, to anyone whose opinions some Silicon Valley hotshot decided to hate today. But I think we at least expected there’d be a fairly long slippery slope and that we weren’t even actually on the edge of that slope yet. But no. It has already begun. Brad R., who’s been as much on top of this issue as anyone…


    Family fun (and a homeschooling moment) with the eclipse

    Eclipse. Click for a short video. Now, if that time-lapse today’s eclipse isn’t quite as dazzling as a special effect from the latest Hollywood blockbuster, consider this: it was made as part of a father-son homeschooling project and made (over an hour and 20 minutes) with — I quote — “a box of recycled foam core, tablecloth, towel and tinfoil aperture.” I am impressed. The son also took this photograph at totality: Click to embiggenate. Not only that, but said family (near St. Louis) got Florida Grandma into the scene via Skype and a computer equipped with eclipse glasses. Three…


    C’mon, eclipse …

    Well, the big day is tomorrow and it sounds as if everybody all across this great land (or at least across the path of the event) is expecting pretty good weather for it. Except us, of course. The blessings of living in the Pacific Northwet littoral (I always wanted to use that word, even if I have to stretch a bit to use it here) rarely extend to clear, sunny mornings. Summer afternoons? Gorgeous! But between 9:00 and 11:00 tomorrow a.m. at eclipse time? Fog gradually giving way to partly cloudy. Sigh. And if I know the PNW, that usually…


    Sunday-Monday links

    Good advice from Brad R.: how to keep your libertarian website alive in the face of arbitrary decisions by domain registrars, cloud services, Google, and other “providers” who may not like your views. Poll (take it FWIW) says a majority of Americans, and even a plurality of black Americans, don’t want those Confederate statues torn down. Others, OTOH, want to begin with Lincoln, then tear down every monument to anyone who ever owned a slave. Bye-bye Washington and Jefferson. Bye-bye signers of the nation’s founding documents. Welcome to un-personhood. (Going to be quite interesting when that state at the top…


    What is it with the angry ones?

    I’ve been viewing with dread the power of a handful of Silicon Valleyites to kick anybody they want to kick out of their domain registries, search results, hosting services, and social media platforms. The people being booted may be slime, but most of them are guilty only of having ugly ideas. Expressing ugly ideas is an unavoidable — and protected — aspect of freedom. This sets a terrible precedent “Not censorship because it’s not done by government!” says traditional libertarian dogma. But traditional libertarians never envisioned a handful of the corporately self-righteous having arbitrary power to shut up anyone they…


    The evening cool

    Last night after an hour of work on the north wall and a hour of Downton Abbey, I realized I should blog something. I began news surfing to add to the trove of linkable pages always waiting in the wings of the browser. I’d barely started into the sort of article that’s normally a grabber (another scurrilous accusation against Assange and Wikileaks) when I realized I wasn’t the teeny tiniest bit interested. Not that I’m finally cured of news junkiedom, mind you. Merely that tonight I didn’t care. It’s summer. It’s waltzing by and I’m either working or thinking about…