I wasn’t sure they’d ever do it: The Free State Project now has the 20,000 pledgers it said it needed for critical political mass. I wonder whether they’ve checked to see if all those pledges are current and good. I know I withdrew mine around the time they started the move prematurely. The FSP is an intriguing effort that’s made waves. More power to it and all its people. How well they can stand against the rising tide of “socialism” is anyone’s guess.
Resist the VAT or any other national sales tax. Always and forever. (I’ll never understand those for whom “tax reform” means “more taxes.” Or those who believe that the income tax will magically go away when some new tax is imposed. Do they not know how government works?)
U.S. Capitol cops have to abandon their shooting range after “safety” improvements caused unsafe conditions. (And what’s that about getting a little nick at the corner of your eye, fella? Not wearing your goggles, were you???) (H/T Jim Bovard)
Sometimes I’m not sure which is harder: writer’s block or that rare and supposedly wondrous state of flow, where words fly from the end of your fingers without conscious input from your mind, where things like eating, getting dressed, and taking the dogs for a walk either get forgotten or force themselves upon your attention like the unforgivable person from Porlock.
I used to live for the flow state. Now it exhausts me. Definitely more exhilarating and productive than writer’s block, though.
“This was all planned,” says former State Department inspector general, surprising no one but adding damning detail.
Also not surprising: Project Europe is doomed. But did anyone anticipate it would happen this particular way? Do you sometimes feel you’re watching one of history’s major shifts here? Something like the barbarians crossing the frozen Rhine in 406, but in slower motion.
If Bernie Sanders wins, he’d not only be the first Jewish president of the USA, he’d be the first candidate honest enough to admit to not being religious. Unlike, you know, Hillary who’s apparently a devout, lifelong believer in … oh, whatever.
You have to dig through the comments to get the message, but it’s possible the fedgov isn’t aiming to kill the Elio, after all.
The eight worst guns ever made. Yeah, I know there’s a lot of room for debate on these kinds of lists, but I seriously think they might have really nailed it here, especially on their #1 worst choice.
Another flash story via MJR: “Taze.” A few paragraphs; a world of encouragement.
Me? Well, directed imagination, I’ve got. Comes with the writer territory. Grit … not so much. I think, though, that when people take the grit test they’re tending to do the “90 percent of everybody is above average” variety of evaluation. Sitting at our computers it’s easy to say, “Yeah, sure, I never let setbacks discourage me. And I always finish what I start. And diligent, oh yeah, you betcha I’m the diligentest!” I told the truth about my failings and came out pretty much gritless. :-)
Reality is the only real grit test, of course. And in a pinch, I think sheer pig-stubbornness might suffice.
This is going to sound very silly to some of you smart guys, but I’ve never been up in the attic crawl space of this house. Reasons are complicated and I’ll probably go into them in some future BHM article. I knew generally what was up there, but until today I’d never even climbed a ladder, stuck my head through the cobwebby little hatch, and flashlighted around.
I didn’t go walkabout up there; just stayed on the ladder. But where I thought I’d find only unappealing but potentially useful storage space, I found this:
That peak is about nine feet up there, guys! And that’s the original main span of the house, so it’s a looooong room. Vertical sidewalls, too, albeit only about three-feet high (that’s the beginnings of cabinets and countertops). My brain dazzled, then got to work on ideas.
The only great big tricky thing: The stairway would have to come up right out of the living room. And that’s tough. A pull-down ladder won’t do because I’m thinking accessible living space, not seldom-visited storage.
Got some stairway ideas, but who knows yet if they’re good ones? Again I’ll keep the details for another time. Mainly I’m writing to say that I am stoked!
Laughing at myself for taking such an absurd long time to make this discovery. But stoked.
I know some will object that this little “flash story” is too optimistic. Okay. Still a beautiful, hopeful piece, though. (H/T MJR)
And this, dropped into comments by TSO, really is too optimistic. Or swimming too hopelessly against the tide. It also uses technology (provided by industrialization) to decry industrialization. Nevertheless, some truth there.
Donations have already helped make some repairs but more gratitude offerings are always welcome to help feed the volunteers, buy supplies, and enable Mike to finish writing Absolved once his house and yard are in order.
If you’re going to Pinson to help out, plan to provide your own overnight accommodations, but the Vanderboeghs and donors will supply what sounds like plentiful food. And thank you!
Paul Kantner was always a favorite, not only for his slightly geeky beauty, mellow voice, and style, but because he had a science-fiction sensibility that marked his greatest songs. For all his rockstar cool, I always felt like he was One of Us — the high school misfits, the people who “think too much” for their own good, the ones who’d probably rather be in their bedrooms reading Asimov, Heinlein, and Bradbury than getting public attention. People who’d rather not be messed with by authority, too.
Besides, I can still get a touch of contact high from listening to those old Jefferson Airplane songs. Kantner, Balin, Kaukonen, Slick … loved ’em all, each with their own remarkable talents, meshing so magically.
“Ayn Rand Made Me a Communist.” Um … you’d probably have to be a regular New Republic reader and already know how Jacob Bacharach is one; he doesn’t actually explain, except in a vague-ish indirect way. It’s still an interesting essay, though.
Question not asked: If this homeless guy can do all this, then why is he homeless?
Not a bad analysis of how the R-Party is coming apart at the seams. Leaves out factors you and I know well, but seems right in its basics.
Yeah, it’s a Communist hellhole. So we’ll open and close today’s news with Commies. But Cuba is beautiful, as these aerial photos show. And ohhhh, those empty white-sand beaches! This link was sent to me by a Panamanian taxista who helped make my couple of days in Panama City six years ago a pleasure. I’m pretty sure he’s been to Cuba.
And a bonus: Canada for President, courtesy of MJR, who knows a thing or two about all that. NB: Brief NSFW language.
In the olden days, people around here built garages (or perhaps they were originally carriage houses) on steep, otherwise useless, hills. The front of the building faced the street while the rest of the structure stood on posts.
These great old garages had magnificent 4 x 12 treated floors you could have parked a tank on. But the combo of wooden understructures and unstable soils of the hills doomed the buildings. Ninety or a hundred years later, most of them are gone and those that remain look like this:
Until a couple weeks ago, this one was still completely shingled and there was stuff stored inside that nobody had touched in decades. I pass this sad old beauty every day. I tend to think of myself as a decent scrounger. But it never occurred to me to ask the owner if I could take it apart and haul its pieces away. Even if I’d had the thought, I’d probably immediately have concluded, “Too darned dangerous.”
Another neighbor wasn’t so chicken. She asked and it was given. I don’t know her well, but she’s a beautiful woman about 40 with impressive artistic abilities. Oh, the projects she’ll make from this!
She first emptied the contents, and now has begun prying off the shingles. Isn’t it cool how the formerly hidden parts of 100-year-old cedar (there on the mid-left side) remain fresh and red when the exposed parts long ago turned gray and grew layers of moss?
I admire that lady’s chutzpah for taking this on. Never mind that she’s got six kids and has recruited all but the youngest to help her; it’s still a daunting and dangerous task.
I might just have to ask her what it would take to buy that old floor from her when she gets down to it. Those ancient floors make great retaining walls and, cut up and set into a bed of sand, could become unusual and attractive patio blocks.