- The courts have been so all over the place on police search issues that it’s hard to say what impact this will have. But the Supremes just declared that cops cannot prolong a routine traffic stop even for a minute without legit cause.
- Inside the strange and wonderful world of micronations.
- Emphatically NSFW, but funny: company posts a … unique Craigslist ad for engineers.
- Bet we’ve all wanted to do this at some time or another.
- Looks like a must-see documentary (though the characterization of Tasers as “rifles” needs some explanation for sure).
- Gradeschooler challenges school anti-pot propaganda. His activist mother may now face felony charges. Sick!
- This sucks, too. I’m so glad the war on pot is ending, but it just can’t happen soon enough for some.
- Whoof! Just look at all that assembled brainpower!
Archive for the ‘Books and Movies’ Category
I watched A Most Violent Year on DVD last night and found it a most remarkable movie.
It’s not the most technically astonishing movie I’ve seen lately (that would be Birdman). It’s not even the most chilling crime thriller (that would be Nightcrawler). It’s not even the best acted (which would be Whiplash). I occasionally didn’t buy some of the plot points and I thought 20 minutes could easily have been trimmed out of it.
Nevertheless, it was remarkable — and in a good way. Why? Because its protagonist is an independent businessman and a man of honor determined, against great odds, to do everything right.
- MamaLiberty reviews Jackie Clay’s Summer of the Eagles.
- Somebody in the mainstream media finally questions whether it’s right to destroy mom & pop businesses that aren’t sufficiently politically correct. Glad ordinary folk don’t even need to ask questions like that.
- Back when the RICO statutes were first passed, libertarian alarmists predicted that they’d be so misused that the feds would soon be busting penny-ante poker games. Well, it seems they’ve been misused for just about everything except that. But here’s one of the most creative turns of the RICO story.
- David Boaz notes that the final stage of socialism is when you run out of toilet paper. Talkin’ to you there, Venezuela.
- Feinstein continues to be a laugh a minute when it comes to tech knowledge. (H/T MJR)
- The Daily Beast interviews Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
- Opting out of email. Yeah. Sounds like a great idea when you have a &^%$##/! administrative assistant at your beck and call. To the rest of us this advice sounds as clueless as “let them eat cake.”
- Psychology Gone Wrong: The Dark Sides of Science and Therapy Sounds like an important book. Here’s a good overview.
- Ilana Mercer on freedom of association. And dialoging with a Neo-Nazi.
- Related: Kevin D. Williamson on the war on the private mind.
- Back in the day, science fiction was a realm where freedom of ideas prevailed. Prevailed by definition, I assumed, because how can you speculate about alternate futures and realities without the freedom to think unbound thoughts? I’m still having trouble understanding how political correctness has consumed SF.
- Self control in a world that promotes self indulgence. This is about primal eating, but has implications way beyond that. (H/T PT)
- Chris Christie has pardoned Shaneen Allen. (Updated to direct to Nicki Kenyon’s new post at The Zelman Partisans.)
- Five simple ‘Net security tricks from a Google engineer. I’m already doing four and a half of them. How about you?
- Don’t it just figure? Willie Nelson now has his own cannabis variety and hopes to open a chain of stores described as “the Whole Foods of marijuana.”
- Fascinating. Twenty-five percent of people have an extra color receptor in their eyes. Hm. Wonder how many of those are artists or go into fields requiring good color perception?
- So what do you think? Should this guy have been kicked off that plane or not?
- On hiding cops’ identities, a governor does the right thing (although maybe not for the right reasons).
- The war on geese. So funny I just had to steal it from Joel. Love the idea of a national border collie reserve, even if Kevin D. Williamson doesn’t know a border collie from a Lassie collie.
- Moviewise, it appears that both the Jane Austen craze and the zombie craze may both have jumped the shark. In the very same film.
You’re looking at three heavy boxes on that bottom shelf there. They’re physically heavy because they’re full of paperwork. But much bigger deal: they’re emotionally heavy because they contain everything I own that’s related to Randy Weaver and the horrors his family endured. Correspondence with Randy from jail. Notes from his trial. Notes and photos from my visit to his home (including the spot where son Sam was murdered by fedthugs).
I want them gone.
When Jess Hazzard rides through the gates of the Wyoming Territorial Prison, he wants only one thing: to get away from people as far and fast as possible and be alone.
He’s just served five hellish years for a crime he didn’t commit and is looking only for peace. But first he has to earn money, and here his reputation gets him in trouble. Not only is he known as a rapist, but as a gunslinger, and a “half-breed” Apache. Nobody will hire him and the cocky young son of the one rancher who extends a hand wants to kill Jess on sight for no better reason than to build his own reputation.
Jess moves wearily on — until he stumbles upon an ambush in progress. He rescues a rancher, Sean Thursten (pronounced “Seen” because his mother got the name from a book; a nice touch), from certain death. They quickly learn to trust each other. And at Sean’s ranch in the Wind River Mountains, Jess finds temporary refuge, a family of sorts, and ultimately hope, love, and salvation.
That’s Summer of the Eagles by BHM’s own Jackie Clay. It’s a new western published by Mason Marshall Press (aka Oliver Del Signore, BHM’s long-time webmaster).
If you read Mas Ayoob’s blog, you already know that he’s compared Jackie to Shakespeare and Twain for this story.
Go on Amazon.com and you’ll find nearly 40 reviewers loving it. And that’s just six weeks after publication. So well done, Jackie!
Now, I’m not going to go quite so far as likening Jackie to Shakespeare and Twain (sorry, Jackie). Not even as far as Louis L’Amour. Not quite yet, anyhow. But I will say that this is a good first novel, a page turner, clearly a work of love, and well worth your time.
The characters are well-drawn. Jess, Sean, and the people around them are likable, and you feel Jess’ weariness, wariness, and despair in every line. You also feel his satisfaction as he takes to the tasks of ranching (and to some extent, farming). And this, of course, is where Jackie’s writing shines. She knows what she’s talking about when it comes to everything from training horses to harvesting hay. Better yet, she applies her real-life knowledge to the service of the story. (You never feel as if she’s stopping to explain anything. Her expertise is well-integrated into Jess’ tale.)
Even the cover art — painted by Jackie herself — perfectly fits the dark, stormy, energetic mood of the story.
I’ll be very much looking forward to more Jess Hazzard stories.
The book has a few pacing and style issues. For instance, a wolverine hunt that’s peripheral to the main action occupies nearly as much space as the dramatic romance at the novel’s heart. (Of course, some of you guys would prefer it that way, I’m sure. :-) ) But pacing and stylistic niceties come with experience. The main thing is that Jackie’s a fine storyteller who has created strong characters and a wonderful setting that readers are going to enjoy in more books, hopefully for years to come. Up next: Autumn of the Loons, due this summer.
Want to know more before you buy? Read the first two chapters here.
Given that he had a rare form of early onset Alzheimers, his death at 66 may have been a mercy. But damn. He was the best. The best since Mark Twain. Maybe (we could argue about this) better.
ADDED: It bugs me that the obits are calling Pratchett a “fantasy novelist.” That’s like calling Twain a “writer of adventure stories for boys.” Pratchett’s books, especially the Discworld series, are hilarious social and political satires that just happen to be set in a world populated by vampires, trolls, golems, witches, werewolves, one six-foot-tall dwarf, and let’s not forget that terribly scruffy talking dog, Gaspode.
I Won’t Take the Mark:
A Bible Book and Contract for Children
By Katherine Albrecht, Ed.D.
Illustrations by Julia Pearson
Patterns and borders by AlfredoM Graphic Arts Studio
Designed by Monica Thomas
2014, 40 pages, $22.50
I have been remiss. I received review copies of this book around Christmastime and intended to write it up at the first of the year. I was planning to pair reviews with Vin Suprynowicz’s The Testament of James — something for believers, something for curious skeptics, good books from very different points of view.
Then the comment section on Testament got so weird (with people more interested in pushing personal grievances than talking about Vin’s book) that I freaked out & backed off from anything religion-related.
So I hope The Albrechts will be okay with “better late than never.”
Now it’s not only Mike Vanderboegh who is persona non grata at KABA. David Codrea gets sent down the Memory Hole.
Remains to be seen whether all things Codrea will be “disappeared” or just that one news item.
- Verizon makes a sadly hilarious response to the FCC’s “Throwback Thursday” decision to apply steam-engine-and-telegraph standards to the Internet. Get another laugh by clicking on the translation.
- Prove your identity to Microsoft or they won’t “allow” you to use their products that you’ve paid for? (H/T cat) The author’s claims about U.S. tech losses thanks to snoopery are right on. Will now be interesting to see how U.S. residents and companies route around the new FCC regulations.
- Beware of being neighborly without a permit.
- Nice infographics show what’s allowed and what’s not in the four places that have now legalized recreational cannabis.
- Jim Bovard’s tribute to Mike McNulty includes full-length versions of Mike’s most important (and heartbreaking) videos. I know nothing so far about how Mike died, but Joseph Baltar, who worked with him, left this comment.
Was up all night feeling creaky. Not actually ill; just too sour, achy, and generally uncomfortable to sleep. Useless today. But no doubt I’ll be brilliant (or at least brilliant-er) tomorrow. Would be hard to be less brilliant.
- Lucy and Ethel speak for the U.S. Department of State
- A letter concerning Muslim toleration.
- Ronald Ritchie, felony murderer of two, still thinks his primary victim deserved what he got.
- Oscar odds. Being mostly stuck with DVDs that aren’t out yet, I’ve seen very few of these films yet; probably soon. Looking forward to The Imitation Game, Foxcatcher, Birdman, and Kill the Messenger (based on the tragic truth telling of Gary Webb, who fought the fedgov and the major media and lost). Did see and loved The Grand Budapest Hotel. Everybody says Boyhood is going to win best picture, but the weird thing is that nobody ever says anything about it except, “Wow, they took 12 years to film it.” Anybody here seen it?
- The Mountains of MIT and other images from parts east. Holy cats, people! Get with the program; it’s still 60 degrees hereabouts. What’s wrong with you guys back there?
- From A.G. in comments: the beautiful typeface caught up its designer’s mini-madness.