Why Pretend?

Content Warning: Nipple

This time I’m going to go a bit far afield. I want to look back at media reaction to a stupid event that happened in 2004. I was on a consulting gig in some town or other and happened to turn on the TV in my hotel room for background noise, and saw the whole thing, live, and did not care very much one way or another.

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Sunday Sermon: On Being a Dangerous Person

“Kick it out,” said the voice from behind me; I waved back over my shoulder, not looking – this was another of the pan-handlers that worked Saint Paul Street in Baltimore. It was fall, 1993, and I was walking home from Harborplace downtown, with thenwife. The Saint Paul Street bridge over the Jones Falls Expressway, where we were, was usually whipped with wind and we had our hands jammed each in the pockets of our motorcycle jackets and were walking along, hunched over, probably talking about something.

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Perspective on the Self-Defense Defense

The topic of self-defense in this ridiculously over-armed culture is a fraught one, with many contradictions. On one hand, there are the people who insist that “good guys with guns are needed to stop bad guys with guns” and on the other they implicitly assume that the police cannot be relied upon to be the “good guys” – thereby supporting the notion of armed vigilantism, e.g.: Bernie Goetz or (maybe) Kyle Rittenhouse, George Zimmerman, and many others.

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Inside the Sausage Factory

The old saying is that one should not watch how politics are done, or sausage is made. I’ve seen the latter and it wasn’t too bad, but a visit to the cheese caves in Roquefort, France, put me off cheese for a long time. The smell was unforgettable. I imagine that I’d feel the same way about politics if I sat in on some meetings.

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In Honor of COP26

The COP26 meetings are over and they turned out exactly as expected. There were some particularly horrifying moments, such as when Nobel Price recipient Barack Obama, who earlier said:

“You wouldn’t always know it, but it [oil production] went up every year I was president,” he said to applause. “That whole, suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer and the biggest gas – that was me, people.”

… decided to lecture everyone about how bad fossil fuels are. You can’t make this shit up.

As I predicted, the aspirational goal of +1.5C is in the toilet: coal and oil producing countries are talking about “tailing off” new production, meaning “we’re going to keep drilling and digging and we’ll tail it off in a decade or two once it’s no longer our problem because we’re old people and we’re going to slide into our graves and leave you kids holding the bag.” +2.5C is the new aspirational goal and, frankly, I think humanity will blow that one, too.

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This Sort Of Thing Will Be A Problem

Blogging is not my “job” but it has forced me to become a dedicated follower of news. There was a time years ago when I read the front page of Google news and the New York Times and thought I was pretty tuned-in to what is going on. Since then I’ve learned not to congratulate myself and to seek, instead, the news that’s not fit to print: The Intercept, Counterpunch, Al Jazeera, and local/topical news. Putting customized search strings in Google news is another good trick – in case you’re wondering how I manage to scavenge up so much horror about the F-35 program: it comes to me automatically.

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A New Recommended Book!

My official policy on book recommendations is, briefly: you will find it worthwhile or I’ll refund your money. [stderr] I note that nobody has ever taken me up on that offer in many years (I had a similar offer on my personal website before I started stderr here) so either my recommendations are awesome, or nobody cares. And, my official recommended books list, with this new entry, is [stderr]

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