Press "Enter" to skip to content

Month: December 2018

Are your Christmas presents spying?

Hey, that links post worked so well I think I’ll try to sneak in another post while The Wandering Monk is quietly busy in the other room. —– Are your Christmas presents spying on you? Or are you sending spies into a some innocent kiddie’s room or friend’s house? From wifi enabled stuffed animals to “smart” speakers that monitor your every word, Christmas just isn’t as jolly as it once was. The good folks of the Mozilla Foundation, bless their little hearts, once again present an interactive feature on creepy and not-creepy egadgets that are popular this season. You’ll need…

4 Comments

The return of the Monk and a prepper’s problem

The Wandering Monk and I (mostly the Monk, as usual) are building a pantry. We started this morning. It was good to see the Monk again; he’s doing much better this season than the last time the days got short and dark. For the last few years most of my food — bulk, freeze-dried, and otherwise — along with related equipment, has been wedged onto two bakers’ racks and a small bookcase at the back of the sunroom, hidden from street view by a shoji screen. The 7 x 2.5-foot space was crammed full. It held a lot, but so…

8 Comments

Putting up the Christmas tree and taking down the tree taxers (again)

What with all the household construction and attendant crowding and clutter, I didn’t put up a tree last year and came pretty close again this year. But over the weekend I got motivated. Even if it is crammed into a nook that’s also used for tool storage, art table, over-wintering succulent plants, construction materials, and the cat’s bathroom, it still brightens the house. For most of my life I was adamant about having a real tree — preferably one I cut down myself. I was such a live-tree snob I wouldn’t even speak the words “artificial Christmas tree.” Instead, I’d…

14 Comments

The right of self defense against the state

I get asked “that question” several times a year: “Is it time yet?” My standard answer is some variation on, “Morally, it’s past time to shoot the bastards, but the result would be catastrophic, not only for the shooters but for all gun owners and all freedomistas.” Yesterday reader TW sent a link to an article that aims for a more sophisticated answer. As TW noted, “It’s also unusually thoughtful for Reason. I guess unusual thoughtfulness happens when you farm out work to a Georgetown prof.” The professor in question, Jason Brennan, teaches ethics, economics, and public policy. And for…

9 Comments

Goodbye, Netflix

I inspected my Netflix DVD queue. Just nineteen discs, and nearly half of those were parts of series. Not one of them looked all that fabulous. The saved queue, movies not yet available on DVD, was more dismal yet. Until a few weeks ago, the saved queue had contained lots of great classic films and intriguing indies, but after years of watching their release dates remain unknown, I purged them. What was left engendered a deep, sinking MEH. I love movies. I love Netflix. Netflix is a great service at a great price. But what it’s serving has less and…

22 Comments

Friday links

  • Kurt Schlichter asks how much blood congressthing Eric Swalwall and company would be willing to shed to (try and) capture all our firearms. OUR blood, of course. Or the blood of their paid agents. Sure’s heck the left-elite aren’t okay with putting their own precious bodily fluids at risk.
  • I think — and hope — we’re beginning to see a groundswell of resistance to the kind of busybodies who alert cops when a child is happily walking alone.
  • An antidote for political outrage. 10 Comments
  • Thursday links

  • Bari Weiss and Eve Peyser — bitter enemies on Twitter — meet in person and discover that the human world is bigger and more nuanced than online snark. (An encouraging co-written piece.)
  • So. I trust that all you New Jersey gun owners will immediately turn in your standard-capacity magazines. Right? … No? Why, how shocking!
  • John Dingell pulls 60 years of congressional “wisdom” out of his … head, and comes up with progressive pop drivel. What do these people imagine the heartland of this country will do if they succeed in disenfranchising us and imposing iron rule from urban centers? 12 Comments
  • A national &^%$#@!ing day of mourning???

    Maybe you knew all about this, since Trump issued the proclamation last Saturday. But none of my newsfeeds informed me. Only when I stopped at the post office a few minutes ago did I get the memo. They’re going to be closed tomorrow (in the midst of the Christmas mailing crunch) and they ask us all to join them in a day of mourning for Bush the First. Yeah, I’ll just bet those employees who get a surprise day off with pay will spend all day keening in grief and wearing sackcloth and ashes. Suuuure they will. Looks like this…

    20 Comments