Lots of good stuff tonight.
More post-election ponderings:
- Old NFO says we're up the creek with not a paddle in sight, and follows up that article with insights from two of his readers. I can't disagree with either post . . .
- Morgan Freeberg, writing at House of Eratosthenes, points out: "Over the last twenty to thirty years or so, we have been seeing the ascension of a modern cultural crisis which takes the form of: People who loathe any kind of reckoning with details, insisting on unilateral control over efforts that can only be successfully realized by dealing with details." It's hard to find a better summation of the statist trend in US politics, particularly during the last election. Read the whole thing.
- American Mercenary analyzes how we got to where we are today in terms of reduced personal liberty.
- Tanker at Mostly Cajun offers two cartoons that sum up the election results in California and the US very aptly.
- The Dissident Frogman, writing from outside the USA, advises those who voted for another four years of Obama to "burn through every gallon of that sweet euphoria as quickly and fully as you can, for it will very soon become stale and leave only the putrid taste of rot in your mouth. I know you, for I’ve seen your peers and walk among them in the Land of the Frenchmen. Tomorrow, the effects of your plebiscite will pierce through the exhilaration of your victory, and they will crush you as much as they afflict those you mock today." Word.
- Velociman points out that we've sown the dragon's teeth as far as politics is concerned, and the next generation may well hold us accountable for what we've done to their financial future through our profligacy. It's hard to argue with him. In a later article, he offers a renewed emphasis on federalism, and activism at state and local levels, as a necessary counterweight to our out-of-control central government. I like the way he thinks.
Suz points out that it's no wonder men don't trust women when some of the latter behave like 'rationalization hamsters on steroids'. It's a very sad and sorry tale, but one that I fear is not as uncommon as I'd like to believe. Thanks for posting this, Suz - it's definitely food for thought.
The Silicon Graybeard introduces us to a fungus-and-grain replacement for packing foam. Sounds logical to me. I mean, once you've shaped and formed the fungus around something as packing material, it doesn't leave mush room for it to move . . .
Rev. Donald Sensing brings us a riveting video clip of a firefight in Afghanistan. He labels it "The most harrowing combat footage I have seen".
Claire Wolfe, a libertarian author whose blog 'Living Freedom' is well worth a visit, has just completed a free online 'anti-snitch book', as she calls it. It deals with how to cope with the challenge offered by informers and stool-pigeons, and the threat they pose to anyone trying to work outside officially approved structures. I found it very interesting, and very useful - particularly in an age of political and official paranoia such as ours. (Did someone mention the TSA? I rest my case.) Highly recommended.
Tim Stanley, guest-blogging at the Telegraph newspaper in London, clearly thinks less of J. R. R. Tolkien's hobbits than I do. In an amusing article, he begs for someone - anyone! - to "Send these horrid Hobbits back to the Shire". Somehow I suspect that the millions waiting for the first instalment of the new Hobbit movie trilogy won't pay much attention . . .
Several bloggers have interesting things to say about business, commerce and the economy.
- Warren Meyer writes about corporate DNA, and how hard it is to change a company's internal culture and way of doing business. He applies his arguments particularly to the GM bankruptcy, but also brings in Wal-Mart. Very interesting reading, particularly in these difficult economic times.
- Blunt Object points out that the 'product' made and/or sold by many organizations is by no means the same thing across the board. For some, it's the actual goods they sell; for others, it's the process by which and the structure through which they sell them. He makes good points.
- The always thought-provoking Charles Hugh Smith asks: "Is This Recovery "Self-Sustaining" or Merely a Mind Trick?" I think you can guess his answer - but go read what he has to say anyway. This graph from his article is particularly telling, and speaks volumes.
Earthbound Misfit points out that some criminals are so dumb, they practically invite the police to catch them - particularly when they reveal their crimes while applying to become cops themselves!
Al Fin brings us two articles with interesting facts about universities and tertiary education. In the first, he calls universities 'a new class of "robber barons" [who] steal from the poor and give to the sinecured and connected'. It's hard to argue with him, particularly when he provides facts and figures to back up his claims.
In the second article, he points out that the benefit of a four-year college education is being systematically eroded, even while the cost of obtaining it has never been higher. Consider this graph:
Says it all, doesn't it? Both articles are well worth reading, particularly if you're a college student or have children who are or hope to be college students.
Carteach, writing at his secondary blog, brings us a very interesting video from the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute (SAAMI). The video shows what happens when ammunition is dropped, burned or otherwise damaged, and demonstrates that it's by no means as dangerous as many people assume. Very useful information, and highly recommended viewing.
Two bloggers, one on either side of the Atlantic Ocean, point out that the combat readiness of the US Navy is open to question. Writing at the US Naval Institute blog, Cdr. Salamander asks: "What exactly are the larger Strategic implications of the clear decline in the US Navy’s global reach?" In answering that question, he cites a British blogger, who asks: "In a crisis, just where are the carriers?" Both are good questions, to which there are depressingly few good answers at present . . . and with the impending advent of the 'fiscal cliff' and defense budget sequestration, there may be even fewer in the New Year.
David McElroy has two very interesting articles. The first examines Ron Paul's retirement from the US Congress, and the 31 questions he posed that other politicians don't want to answer. The second points out that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict can't be over-simplified. There are good and bad elements and persons on both sides, and the US does itself and its citizens a disservice by taking one side against the other. Methinks he has a point. Both articles are thought-provoking, even if you disagree with Mr. McElroy's positions, and are therefore recommended reading.
Finally, Old NFO brings us a video reminder of how fortunate we were to survive our childhood. Funny, I remember a lot of those same things, even though I grew up many thousands of miles away! Seems that kids were (and probably still are) kids, anywhere and everywhere . . .