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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?

I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.

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"The brain is wider than the sky,
For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include
With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson

"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin

"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton

"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan

"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule -- and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken

"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt

"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley

"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss

"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire, the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind; and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon

"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon

"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority. They show disrespect for elders and they love to chatter instead of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers."
-- Socrates

"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook

"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook

"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization. We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr

"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion

"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing, with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson

"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices, intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation; a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition -- to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand

"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri

"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke

"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology; it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant

"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville

"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis

"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon, but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant

"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand

"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.

"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible, and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus

"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814

"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort, are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true, the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated. This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944

"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News

"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas

"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
-- Cicero

"Hypocrisy is the homage vice pays to virtue." -- François, duc de La Rochefoucauld

"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." -- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson

"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example." -- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance." --
H. W. Fowler

"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place." -- Kate Wilhelm

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein

"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho

"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).

"Nothing would be done at all, if a man waited till he could do it so well, that no one could find fault with it."
-- Lecture IX, John Henry Cardinal Newman

“Nothing is more common than for men to think that because they are familiar with words they understand the ideas they stand for.”
-- John Henry Cardinal Newman

"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
-- James Madison

"Those who are free from common prejudices acquire others."
-- Napolean I of France -- Napoleon I of France

"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.

"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128

"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)

"American life is a powerful solvent. It seems to neutralize every intellectual element, however tough and alien it may be, and to fuse it in the native good will, complacency, thoughtlessness, and optimism."
-- George Santayana, Character and Opinion in the United States, (1920)

"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days

"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs

"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden

"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
-- Batman


Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit. He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.

The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cute panda. Don't you love pandas?

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Contents © 2001-2013 All rights reserved. Gary Farber. (The contents of e-mails to this email address of Gary Farber are subject to the possibility of being posted.)

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world

[Blogroll now far below the sea line! Dive, dive, dive!]

You Like Me, You Really Like Me

Gary Farber! Jeez, the guy is practically a blogging legend, and I'm always surprised at the breadth of what he writes about.
-- PZ Meyers, Pharyngula

...Darn: I saw that Gary had commented on this thread, and thought: oh. my. god. Perfect storm. Unstoppable cannonball, immovable object. -- Hilzoy

...I think Gary Farber is a blogging god. -- P.Z. Myers, Pharyngula

...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow

‎"Gary Farber is a gentleman, a scholar and one of the gems of the blogosphere." -- Steve Hynd,

"Well argued, Gary. I hadn't seen anything that went into as much detail as I found in your blog." -- Gareth Porter

Gary Farber is your one-man internet as always, with posts on every article there is.
-- Fafnir

Guessing that Gary is ignorant of anything that has ever been written down is, in my experience, unwise.
Just saying.

-- Hilzoy

Gary Farber gets it right....
-- James Joyner, Outside The Beltway

Once again, an amazing and illuminating post.
-- Michael Bérubé, Crooked Timber

I read Amygdala...with regularity, as do all sensible websurfers.
-- Jim Henley, Unqualified Offerings

Okay, he is annoying, but he still posts a lot of good stuff.
-- Avedon Carol, The Sideshow

Amygdala - So much stuff it reminds Unqualified Offerings that UO sometimes thinks of Gary Farber as "the liberal Instapundit."
-- Jim Henley

...the thoughtful and highly intelligent Gary Farber... My first reaction was that I definitely need to appease Gary Farber of Amygdala, one of the geniuses of our age.
-- Brad deLong

Gary is a perceptive, intelligent, nice guy. Some of the stuff he comes up with is insightful, witty, and stimulating. And sometimes he manages to make me groan.
-- Charlie Stross

Gary Farber is a straight shooter.
-- John Cole, Balloon Juice

I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber

Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
-- Ogged

I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow

One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.

One of my favorites....
-- Matt Welch

-- Virginia Postrel

Amygdala continues to have smart commentary on an incredible diversity of interesting links....
-- Judith Weiss

Amygdala has more interesting obscure links to more fascinating stuff that any other blog I read.
-- Judith Weiss, Kesher Talk

Gary's stuff is always good.
-- Meryl Yourish

...the level-headed Amygdala blog....
-- Geitner Simmons

The only trouble with reading Amygdala is that it makes me feel like such a slacker. That Man Farber's a linking, posting, commenting machine, I tell you!
-- John Robinson, Sore Eyes

...the all-knowing Gary Farber....
-- Edward Winkleman, Obsidian Wings

Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged

We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!

Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog

Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog


Gary is certainly a non-idiotarian 'liberal'...
-- Perry deHaviland

Recommended for the discerning reader.
-- Tim Blair

Gary Farber's great Amygdala blog.
-- Dr. Frank

Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott

Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit

My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal

If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.

Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks

I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes

Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this?
-- Natalie Solent

You nailed it... nice job."
-- James Lileks

Gary Farber is a principled liberal....
-- Bill Quick, The Daily Pundit

December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 December 2011 January 2013

Blogroll is Always In Progress:

Roger Ailes
Alas, A Blog
The American Street
The Aristocrats
Avedon Carol
Between the Hammer and the Anvil
Lindsay Beyerstein
The Big Con
CantBlogTooBusy The Center for American Progress
Chase me Ladies, I'm in the Cavalry
Doghouse Riley
Kevin Drum
Fables of the Reconstruction
Gall and Gumption
Gin and Tacos
House of Substance
The Hunting of the Snark
If I Ran The Zoo
Lawyers, Guns & Money
Lotus: Surviving a Dark Time
Matters of Little Significance
Nancy Nall
Charlie Stross bastard.logic
Daniel Larison
American Conservative
American Footprints
Andrew Sullivan
Angry Bear
Balloon Juice
Beautiful Horizons
Bitch Ph.D.
Brad DeLong
Crooked Timber
Cunning Realist
Daily Kos
Debate Link
Democracy Arsenal
Edge of the American West
Ezra Klein
Glenn Greenwald 13th Floor
Hit & Run
Juan Cole
Kevin Drum
Lawyers, Guns and Money
List Project (Helping Iraqis who worked with us get out)
Marc Lynch
Mark Kleiman
Katha Pollit
Market Square
Matthew Yglesias
Megan McArdle
Metro Green
Pam's House Blend
Paul Krugman
Philosophy, et cetera
Radley Balko
Sadly, No!
Southern Appeal
Stephen Walt
Steve Clemons
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Taking It Outside
Talking Points Memo
The Poor Man
The Progressive Realist
The Sideshow
U.S. Intellectual History
Unqualified Offerings
Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Monthly
William Easterly
Newsrack Blog
Ortho Bob
The Poor Man
Prog Gold
Prose Before Hos
Ted Rall
The Raw Story
Elayne Riggs
Sadly, No!
Texas Liberal
Think Progress
3 Weird Sisters
Tristram Shandy
Washington Monthly
Ian Welsh
James Wolcott
World o' Crap
Matthew Yglesias
Buzz Machine
Daniel Larison
Rightwing Film Geek About Last Night
can we all just agree
Comics Curmudgeon
Dum Luk's
Glenn Kenny
Hoarder Museum Juanita Jean
Lance Mannion (Help Lance!
Last Words of the Executed
The Phil Nugent Experience
Postcards from Hell's Kitchen
Vanishing New York
a lovely promise
a web undone
alt hippo
american street
city of brass
danger west
fierce urgency of now
get fisa right
great concavity
happening here
impeach them!
kathryn cramer
notes from the basement
talking dog
uncertain principles
unqualified offerings
what do i know
crooked timber emptywheel
ezra klein
The F-Word
glenn greenwald
schneier on security
ta-nehisi coates
talking points memo
tiny revolution
Roz Kaveney
Dave Ettlin
Henry Jenkins' Confessions of an Aca-Fan
Kathryn Cramer
Monkeys In My Pants
Pagan Prattle
As I Please
Ken MacLeod
Arthur Hlavaty
Kevin Maroney
MK Kare
Jack Heneghan
Dave Langford
Onyx Lynx Atrios
Rittenhouse Review
Public Nuisance
Scoobie Davis
Nathan Newman
Echidne Of The Snakes
First Draft
Rising Hegemon
Cab Drollery (Help Diane!
Southern Beale
The Kenosha Kid
Culture of Truth
Talk Left
Black Ag=Q< Report
Drug WarRant
Nieman Watchdog
Open Left
Meet the Bloggers
Dispatch from the Trenches
Crooks and Liars
Campaign for America's Future
Iraq Today
Daily Kos
Lefty Directory
News Hounds
The Brad Blog
Informed Comment
UN Dispatch
War and Piece
Glenn Greenwald
Schneier on Security
Jim Henley
Arthur Silber
Julian Sanchez
The Agitator
Balloon Juice
Wendy McElroy
Whoviating (LarryE)
Scott Horton
Tennessee Guerilla Women
Looking Glass
Charles Kuffner
Brad DeLong
Busy, Busy, Busy
Oliver Willis
The Carpetbagger Report Shakesville
Down With Tyranny
Professor B
Monkey Media Report
The Grumpy Forester
Ian Welsh
Pacific Views
Booman Tribune
Matthew Yglesias
The American Street
Media Bloodhound
Liz Henry's Composite
The Heretik
Arizona Eclectic
Sisyphus Shrugged
Interesting Times
Talking Dog
Liberal Desert
Under the Lobsterscope
Seeing The Forest
Sean Paul Kelley's The Agonist
King of Zembla
Mark Kleiman
Liquid List
Elayne Riggs
No More Mr. Nice Blog
Fanatical Apathy
Blue Gal
Mark Evanier
Roger Ailes
Suburban Guerrilla (Help Susie with money!)
The Mahablog
Brilliant at Breakfast
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People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost, Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry, Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny. It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out. And She of whom I must write someday.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

STILL ALIVE.  Still struggling with life, trying to carry on.  Still problematic.  Having lots of therapy.

I hate to ask, but if you have a subscription, I still very much need your help and support as much as ever.  Donations hugely appreciated.

Content is something we hope to return to sooner or later.

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 30th, 2010, was the 10th blogiversary of this blog.  I began it on December 30th, 2001

8973 posts.  

I'd like to chat more about this, and much else, but I'm preoccupied with a dreadful cold.  

I'm too sick to go out to tonight's New Year's party I was greatly greatly looking forward to, but may all unable to celebrate with others tonight have as much good cheer as possible.

It's always possible the next day may bring a wonder to any of us.

It's always possible the next year may bring many wonders to any of us. You never know where you may find an unexpected joy, whether for a moment, or a lifetime.

Another phrasing I like is: remember that everyone has their own struggles, no matter how invisible to you or me.

Try to remember to be kind. (I'm so good at that in some ways, and I realize I'm so crap in others, and must work so much harder on those!)

Meanwhile, an important piece you should read on Tech’s Relationship With Depression, Suicide and Asperger’s:

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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

First, we don't kill all the lawyers.

Let's continue the examination of the lawfulness of the killings of American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan I began in my post, Off With Their Heads! (Many comments there; Amygdala version here.

(That various other non-citizens, including Muhammad Salme al-Naaj and Abdul-Rahman bin Arfaj, and another several Yemenis, were killed is another debate, but they should not be forgotten, either.)

Consider the justifications presented for these killings:

#1: Did they commit "treason"?  Possibly so!

Sticking point: the U.S. Constitution says very clearly:
Section 3 - Treason
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
It's almost as if the drafters of the Constitution considered this!

Our Constitution specifically defines "treason" and the only way someone can be convicted of it.  As You Know, Bob (everyone), the U.S. Constitution is superior to U.S. laws, which can't violate the Constitution.  So al-Awlaki and Khan can't have been put to death because they committed "treason."

The President has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution.

#2: It was justified to kill them because of their propaganda and speech.

Unfortunately for this argument, the Constitution also rules it out with the little-known, obscure, First Amendment freedom of speech.

Let's move on to more serious arguments.

But first let's jump to the White House presenting its official response as press secretary Jay Carney explains, and is questioned by Jake Tapper (!) of ABC News:

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
Some quotes:
TAPPER: You said that al-Awlaki was “demonstrably and provably involved” in operations. Do you plan on demonstrating or proving –
CARNEY: I — Jake, you know, I should step back. I — he is clearly — I mean, “provably” may be a legal term. I think it has been well established, and it has certainly been the position of this administration and the previous administration, that he is a leader in — was a leader in AQAP; that AQAP was a definite threat, was operational, planned and carried out terrorist attacks that, fortunately, did not succeed but were extremely serious, including the ones specifically that I mentioned in terms of the would-be Christmas Day bombing in 2009 and the attempt to bomb numerous cargo planes headed for the United States; and that he was obviously also an active recruiter of al-Qaida terrorists. So I don’t think anybody in the field would dispute any of those assertions. 
TAPPER: You don’t think anybody else in the government would dispute them. 
CARNEY: I think any — well, I wouldn’t know of any credible terrorist expert who dispute the fact that he was a leader in al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and that he was operationally involved in terrorist attacks against American interests and citizens.
In fact, all sorts of experts question whether he was "operationally involved" and so did the U.S. government. January 13, 2010:
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Friday, September 30, 2011


Who we hates, we do, because their parents are illegal immigrants.

And in Alabama, this is now happening

FOLEY, Alabama -- Many of the 223 Hispanic students at Foley Elementary came to school Thursday crying and afraid, said Principal Bill Lawrence.  
Nineteen of them withdrew, and another 39 were absent, Lawrence said, the day after a federal judge upheld much of Alabama’s strict new immigration law, which authorizes law enforcement to detain people suspected of not being U.S. citizens and requires schools to ask new enrollees for a copy of their birth certificate.  
Even more of the students -- who are U.S. citizens by birth, but their parents may not be -- were expected to leave the state over the weekend, Lawrence said.  
"It’s been a challenging day, an emotional day. My children have been in tears today. They’re afraid," he said. "We have been in crisis-management mode, trying to help our children get over this."  
Foley Elementary has the area’s largest percentage of Hispanic students, about 20 percent of its student body.  
Under the new immigration law, schools must check the citizenship status of any student who enrolls after Sept. 1.  
The students must present a birth certificate. Those who cannot do so have 30 days to submit documentation or an affidavit signed by a parent or guardian saying that they are here legally. 
Why?  Federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackwell.  
[...] The decision, by Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn of Federal District Court in Birmingham, makes it much more likely that the fate of the recent flurry of state laws against illegal immigration will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court. It also means that Alabama now has by far the strictest such law of any state. [...] 
The judge upheld a section that requires state and local law enforcement officials to try to verify a person’s immigration status during routine traffic stops or arrests, if “a reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the country illegally. And she ruled that a section that criminalized the “willful failure” of a person in the country illegally to carry federal immigration papers did not pre-empt federal law. 
In both cases, she rejected the reasoning of district and appeals courts that had blocked similar portions of Arizona’s law. Legal experts expected the Justice Department to appeal. [...] 
All summer, rallies for and against the law have been taking place throughout the state. Farmers and even the state agriculture commissioner have raised concerns about the law’s effect on farms, sheriffs have condemned it as too onerous for financially hurting counties and others have worried that it could seriously hinder the state’s efforts to rebuild after last April’s devastating tornadoes. [...] 
How onerous are we talking? 
Among the other sections Judge Blackburn upheld: one that nullifies any contracts entered into by an illegal immigrant; another that forbids any transaction between an illegal immigrant and any division of the state, a proscription that has already led to the denial of a Montgomery man’s application for water and sewage service; and, most controversially, a section that requires elementary and secondary schools to determine the immigration status of incoming students. 
The civil rights groups challenged this last section on the ground that it would unlawfully deter students from enrolling in school, even if it did not explicitly allow schools to turn students away. The judge dismissed their challenge for lack of standing, though she did not rule on the argument’s merits.
I kinda thought conservatives favored private contracts, but clearly there are cases where only Big Government can save the day by nullifying all contracts with someone.

Dismal, indeed: 
[...] The consequences for Alabamans will be serious — not just for the undocumented, but for their blameless citizen children, for those who are mistaken for unauthorized immigrants and for farmers and other business owners ensnared in the law. [...] 
Judge Blackburn upheld the “papers, please” section, an echo of Arizona’s notorious attempt to require state and local law enforcement officials to check a person’s immigration status during traffic stops if they have “a reasonable suspicion” that someone is here illegally. 
She upheld a section that criminalized the “willful failure” of an illegal immigrant to carry federal immigration papers. And she left untouched a section that requires elementary and secondary schools to collect data on the immigration status of incoming students and their parents, a clearly unlawful attempt to frighten families into keeping their children out of school.
You can't deny the law is having a huge effect already
[...] Hispanic students are vanishing from public schools in the wake of a court ruling on Wednesday that upheld the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration. Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children or kept them home this week, afraid that sending them to school would draw attention from the authorities. There are no precise statewide numbers. But several districts with large immigrant enrollments reported a sudden exodus of children of Hispanic parents, some of whom told officials that they would leave the state to avoid trouble with the law, which requires schools to check students’ immigration status.
SCOTUS will have to take Pyler v. Doe into account
[...] One grounds for challenging Section 28 will be the 1982 Supreme Court case, Plyler v. Doe. After Texas schools tried to block enrollment of illegal immigrants, or charge them tuition, the high court ruled that children residing in the US, whether legally or not, have a right to a free public elementary and secondary education.
While this is going on, SCOTUS today
The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to decide whether the length of immigrants’ lawful residence in the United States should be considered in determining whether their children may be deported.
But why does this hurt us all?  They're just criminals, illegals, after all.  

One could run through a list of these provisions, explaining.  But let's start by explaining how we're helped by denying any child an education.

What happens to these kids of illegal immigrants?
Children whose parents are illegal immigrants or who lack legal status themselves face “uniformly negative” effects on their social development from early childhood until they become adults, according to a study by four researchers published Wednesday in the Harvard Educational Review. 
The study concluded that more than five million children in the United States are “at risk of lower educational performance, economic stagnation, blocked mobility and ambiguous belonging” because they are growing up in immigrant families affected by illegal status. 
The study is the first to pull together field research by social scientists nationwide to track the effects of a family’s illegal immigration status on children from birth until they graduate from college and start to navigate the job market. It covers immigrants from a variety of origins, including Latinos and Asians. 
About 5.5 million children in this country have at least one parent who is an illegal immigrant, according to an estimate by the Pew Hispanic Center. Among them, about one million children were brought here illegally by their parents, while about 4.5 million are United States citizens because they were born here. 
In all, about 9.5 million people live in “mixed status” families that include American citizen children and unauthorized immigrants, Jeffrey S. Passel, senior demographer at the Pew center, said on Tuesday. 
“Unauthorized status casts a big shadow that really extends to citizen as well as undocumented children,” Marcelo Suárez-Orozco, a professor of education at New York University who is an author of the study, said on Tuesday. “It affects their cognitive development, engagement in school and their ability to be emerging citizens.” 
The Harvard study reports that “fear and vigilance” guide the home lives of young children whose parents are illegal immigrants, making the parents significantly less likely to engage with teachers or be active in schools. 
Parents’ fears of deportation led to lower levels of enrollment of their American children in public programs for which the children were legally eligible, including child care subsidies, public preschool and food stamps, the study found. [...] 
Many illegal immigrant parents work long hours in low-wage jobs, sometimes more than one job. New research on very young children cited in the Harvard study showed that the undocumented parents’ difficult work conditions “contribute substantially to the lower cognitive skills of children in their families.” This was true even though the children were more likely to be in two-parent families than American children as a whole. 
As teenagers, children without legal status face a hard awakening when they apply for jobs, driver’s licenses or financial aid for college and discover they are not legally qualified for any of them. Their paths diverge from siblings who are American citizens by birthright. 
“In late adolescence, they start to realize their legal limitations, and their worlds turn completely upside down,” said Roberto G. Gonzales, a sociologist at the University of Chicago whose research on college-age illegal immigrants is cited in the Harvard study. 
Academic achievement does little to lift the prospects of illegal immigrants who have grown up here. Out of 150 immigrants Professor Gonzales studied in depth, 31 had completed college or advanced degrees, but none were in a career that matched their educational training. Many were working low-wage jobs like their parents. 
The Harvard study found that many illegal immigrant youths, facing the “reduced promise of mobility,” had dropped out of school and begun the search for work they could do without legal papers, “forced deeper and deeper into an underground work force.” 
The researchers said that a generation of young illegal immigrants raised in this country was moving toward “perpetual outsider-hood.” 
But, hey, not my problem.  Their parents shouldn't have come here, in search of jobs. 

They're completely different from your or my American immigrant forbears.   

Who should we deport?  The Obama Administration is doing it
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced on Wednesday that it had arrested 2,901 immigrants who have criminal records, highlighting the Obama administration’s policy of focusing on such people while putting less emphasis on deporting illegal immigrants who pose no demonstrated threat to public safety.
Officials from the agency portrayed the seven-day sweep, called Operation Cross Check, as the largest enforcement and removal operation in its history. It involved arrests in all 50 states of criminal offenders of 115 nationalities, including people convicted of manslaughter, armed robbery, aggravated assault and sex crimes.
That's legitimate. But only if done carefully.

The rest?  We'll all pay the price, one way or another.  

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9/30/2011 08:17:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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I say we just kill all accused murderers from now on.

Think of the money saved, the deficit, and, of course, the children.

Now that we've established that the courts and Constitution don't matter, let's just jail all the accused criminals, too. Why lose sleep? They're murderers and criminals!

The state says so.

All Presidents need the power to assassinate people simply because they say so. What could go wrong? 

This matters not.
Amendment 5 - Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings.
Ratified 12/15/1791.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011


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Saturday, September 24, 2011
ORBIT WITH ME. Ever dream of doing this?

Dream a little dream.

Dream a big dream.


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Sunday, September 11, 2011


This is the price we paid.

Read The Rest Scale: 5 out of 5.

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Sunday, September 04, 2011
I'm officially back in major depression at the moment.  Severe clinical depression.  Yes, a flare-up of my lifelong problem, and part of being bipolar, combined with severe panic disorders, anxiety disorders, and a mild degree of agoraphobia. 

We'll hope the current bout of overwhelming pain, triggered by certain events, is a passing trend.

But right now I'm highly dysfunctional.  Apologies for attached lack of blogging.

Yes, I'm trying to seek more professional help.  I could use any help from local friends with that, frankly.

Friends are encouraged to write, but on the other hand, I'm apt to be too paralytically depressed to respond.  :-(

9/04/2011 10:13:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 2 comments

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Monday, August 15, 2011


Social media is very distracting from blogging.  So is real life social activity.  So is severe clinical recurring depression, panic and anxiety disorders.

My apologies.  

I'm still here. I'm still intending to get back to blogging Real Soon Now.  Trying to work on the depression and forming new habits to get back in the blogging groove.  

Miss y'all!  

8/15/2011 06:50:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A very important to me friend of mine -- not me -- with solid copyediting experience is looking for immediate freelance or permanent or temporary copyediting or proofreading work of any sort, either by mail/shipping, or locally in the Bay Area.  CV upon request.

She's also available at present for any sort of office work in the Bay Area, or other work suitable to someone with some mobility disabilities and chronic pain issues.  

Please write me at gary underscore farber at yahoo dot com with any questions if you have any leads.  Thanks immensely for your help.

Yes, I hope to be back to blogging regularly, or even semi-regularly, in the near future.

ADDENDUM: I've understandably lost a lot of subscribers in the last year and particularly the last six months, and money is pretty tight again.  If anyone optimistically would feel like subscribing, or donating, now would be a good time again.  I do hope to start repaying with more writing again soon.

Additionally, I'll give half or more of any donations in the next month to a friend who right now has a major crisis paying rent for the month; that's as much a huge motivation in my asking.

Thanks for any consideration.

UPDATE, July 19th, 2011: my friend is still looking for any work, including any Bay Area general office/admin, or retail work; write me at gary underscore farber at yahoo dot com with any info re possible work locally or freelance by mail.  And, yes, new or renewed subscriptions, and donations, would be wonderful: thanks to any who can help!

UPDATE, August 4th, 2011.  Yes, I intend to get back to posting; I'm momentarily focusing on working on some life-problems, and I appreciate your patience and faith that I'm not disappearing.

6/21/2011 03:41:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The Fourth Amendment continues to be onion-peeled into nothingness.  KENTUCKY v. KING puts another nail in the coffin as police gain the right to kick in your door simply because they hear movement within your dwelling.

Obviously that's probable cause, because noise indicates a crime

Does that make sense to you?  It does to 8 out of 9 members of the Supreme Court.
ALITO, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, BREYER, SOTOMAYOR,  and KAGAN,  JJ., joined. GINSBURG, J., filed a dissenting opinion.
Here's the gist: 
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the majority, said police officers do not violate the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches by kicking down a door after the occupants of an apartment react to hearing that officers are there by seeming to destroy evidence. 
In dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote that the majority had handed the police an important new tool. 
“The court today arms the police with a way routinely to dishonor the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement in drug cases,” Justice Ginsburg wrote. “In lieu of presenting their evidence to a neutral magistrate, police officers may now knock, listen, then break the door down, never mind that they had ample time to obtain a warrant.” 
The case, Kentucky v. King, No. 09-1272, arose from a mistake. After seeing a drug deal in a parking lot, police officers in Lexington, Ky., rushed into an apartment complex looking for a suspect who had sold cocaine to an informant. 
But the smell of burning marijuana led them to the wrong apartment. After knocking and announcing themselves, they heard sounds from inside the apartment that they said made them fear that evidence was being destroyed. They kicked the door in and found marijuana and cocaine but not the original suspect, who was in a different apartment. 
The Kentucky Supreme Court suppressed the evidence, saying that any risk of drugs being destroyed was the result of the decision by the police to knock and announce themselves rather than obtain a warrant. 
The United States Supreme Court reversed that decision on Monday, saying the police had acted lawfully and that was all that mattered. The defendant, Hollis D. King, had choices other than destroying evidence, Justice Alito wrote. 
He could have chosen not to respond to the knocking in any fashion, Justice Alito wrote. Or he could have come to the door and declined to let the officers enter without a warrant. 
“Occupants who choose not to stand on their constitutional rights but instead elect to attempt to destroy evidence have only themselves to blame,” Justice Alito wrote. 
Right.  Let's get more detail.
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Tuesday, April 12, 2011
BLOGGING IS LIKE A SIMILE. Let's try some news and article dumping throughout the day here, eh?

The Amygdala staff has been slack, scattered, and unfocused on posting to this blog; the staffers responsible have been sacked; once again, new staffers for new brain connections!

So: 2 US servicemen mistakenly killed by drone attack in Afghanistan.
[...] The Marines under fire were watching streaming video of the battlefield being fed to them by an armed Predator overhead. They saw a number of "hot spots," or infrared images, moving in their direction. Apparently believing that those "hot spots" were the enemy, they called in a Hellfire missile strike from the Predator.
Technology will triumph.

It worked in Vietnam! We're winning.

After all, unlike Vietnam, there are no safe havens across borders: Pakistan Tells U.S. It Must Sharply Cut C.I.A. Activities:
Pakistan has demanded that the United States steeply reduce the number of Central Intelligence Agency operatives and Special Operations forces working in Pakistan, and that it halt C.I.A. drone strikes aimed at militants in northwest Pakistan. The request was a sign of the near collapse of cooperation between the two testy allies.

Pakistani and American officials said in interviews that the demand that the United States scale back its presence was the immediate fallout from the arrest in Pakistan of Raymond A. Davis, a C.I.A. security officer who killed two men in January during what he said was an attempt to rob him.

In all, about 335 American personnel — C.I.A. officers and contractors and Special Operations forces — were being asked to leave the country, said a Pakistani official closely involved in the decision.

It was not clear how many C.I.A. personnel that would leave behind; the total number in Pakistan has not been disclosed. But the cuts demanded by the Pakistanis amounted to 25 to 40 percent of United States Special Operations forces in the country, the officials said. The number also included the removal of all the American contractors used by the C.I.A. in Pakistan.
This is what we call "big news."

It's also, when you read between the lines, leverage, and there will be a trade-off, and you'll have to read between the lines, at best, and look carefully at the right sources, to find information about it when it happens, should said information be findable -- but traces always surface on the internet:
[...] In addition to the withdrawal of all C.I.A. contractors, Pakistan is demanding the removal of C.I.A. operatives involved in “unilateral” assignments like Mr. Davis’s that the Pakistani intelligence agency did not know about, the Pakistani official said.

An American official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said without elaborating that the Pakistanis had asked “for more visibility into some things” — presumably the nature of C.I.A. covert operations in the country — “and that request is being talked about.”
Translation: the ISI just pulled the lever to try to get CIA to be as transparent as is possible with ISI in the hall of mirrors.

Expulsions are part of the game.

All intelligence analysis is about decluttering.
[...] Clutter exists only when those things exert a mental drag, or get in the way of living, in line with the old Afrikaans proverb, 'Alles wat jy besit vat van jou tyd' — 'Everything you own snatches at your time.'
My information sucking is a tad cluttering, but I declutter for you, my guests.
[...] "The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call 'life' that is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run," is how Henry David Thoreau, everyone's favourite 19th-century hut-dwelling minimalist, expressed the sense that owning things constitutes a spiritual burden. He advocated not decluttering, though, so much as simplicity; not throwing things out so much as not acquiring them in the first place. Decluttering can be a step towards greater simplicity. But only if, having thrown off the ballast, you resist accumulating more. Otherwise, you're not really decluttering. You're just keeping the decluttering industry in business.
Your Amygdala declutters information. (Link via Stef.)

I could check the quote, but there would be a cost. Without going to the source, I note that Wikiquotes has it as:
And the cost of a thing it will be remembered is the amount of life it requires to be exchanged for it.
-- Journals (1838-1859) (After December 6, 1845.)

Yet more succinctly, I note that:
* It is a great art to saunter.
o April 26, 1841
I must return to more saunter in my blogging.
* For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snowstorms and rainstorms, and did my duty faithfully, though I never received one cent for it.
o After February 22, 1846
Thoreau was, as we know, an early blogger. He merely lacked Hellfire missiles.

He also notes in Life Without Principle (1863):
We do not live for idle amusement. I would not run round a corner to see the world blow up.   
I would at least saunter.  I'm easily amused.

More information clutter to come.

ADDENDUM, 9:36 a.m.: Good to be back on Memeorandum.

ADDENDUM, 10:17 a.m.: Longer and considerably more serious and detailed variant about AfPak posted at Obsidian Wings.  Links to, and quotes from, Spencer Ackerman, David Ignatius, and Bruce Rolston, as well as myself.

ADDENDUM, 12:06 p.m.: George Carlin on Stuff:

4/12/2011 08:11:00 AM |permanent link | Main Page | | 4 comments

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Part 1 on Amygdala!

In Pottery Barn Libya, Part 1 (or do you prefer ObWi?), I began explaining the situation in Libya.  Now, more, and what America and NATO should do.

The tactical day to day sway of battle does not matter, save to those brutally slaughtered in it, and suffering from itSuffering greatly.

What matters are the choices America and Europe make.

Naturally, Joe Lieberman and John McCain want bombs away, all-out regime change.

Nothing makes John McCain happier: Back on the Battlefield: How the Libya debate snapped John McCain out of his 2008 funk—and into a fresh fight with Obama.

John McCain has never met a country he wouldn't like to bomb:
McCain, who insists on visiting Iraq and Afghanistan twice a year, often favors a muscular approach to projecting U.S. military power but is wary of entanglements with no exit strategy. The old aviator, who had both arms repeatedly broken in a Hanoi prison camp, says that experience has “also given me a sense of caution in light of our failure in Vietnam.” While McCain opposed the U.S. military actions in Lebanon and Somalia, he is sympathetic to humanitarian missions—and would even consider sending troops to the war-torn Ivory Coast if someone could “tell me how we stop what’s going on.”
Pressed on when the United States should intervene in other countries, McCain sketches an expansive doctrine that turns on practicality: American forces must be able to “beneficially affect the situation” and avoid “an outcome which would be offensive to our fundamental -principles—whether it’s 1,000 people slaughtered or 8,000…If there’s a massacre or ethnic cleansing and we are able to prevent it, I think the United States should act.”
McCain: bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb bomb Iran.

Bombs away.

"There will be other wars."

McCain: "We are all Georgians now."

Tough guy Anthony Cordesman naturally wants to fight.  Unsurprisingly, he used to be national security assistant to Senator John McCain.

Cordesman, who has, see previous links, always been deeply wired into the militarist networks of the Washington, D.C. village of talking heads and millionaire journalism, has a (surprise!) widely-quoted piece advocating we (surprise!) go all in.

Let's not.

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What is to be done?
Colin Powell famously said of Iraq, quoting Tom Friedman (who got it wrong)
'You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people,' he told the president. 'You will own all their hopes, aspirations, and problems. You'll own it all.' Privately, Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage called this the Pottery Barn rule: You break it, you own it.
Does anyone want to buy Libya, and own it for the next decade?

That's what's on order.

That, or negotiating a way out of this thing.

The Libyan rebels are a mess.  April 3rd:
[...] The rebel army’s nominal leader, Abdul Fattah Younes, a former interior minister and friend of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi whom many rebel leaders distrusted, could offer little explanation for the recent military stumbles, two people with knowledge of the meetings said.
Making matters worse, the men could hardly stand one another. They included Khalifa Heftar, a former general who returned recently from exile in the United States and appointed himself as the rebel field commander, the movement’s leaders said, and Omar el-Hariri, a former political prisoner who occupied the largely ceremonial role of defense minister.
“They behaved like children,” said Fathi Baja, a political science professor who heads the rebel political committee. 
Little was accomplished in the meetings, the participants said. When they concluded late last week, Mr. Younes was still the head of the army and Mr. Hariri remained as the defense minister. Only Mr. Heftar, who reportedly refused to work with Mr. Younes, was forced out. On Sunday, though, in a sign that divisions persisted, Mr. Heftar’s son said his father was still an army leader. [....]
On March 29th,  Obama's press secretary, Jay Carney told the press gaggle on AF1 that, in essence, he didn't know who the hell these people are, but let's hope for the best:
[...] Q    One of NATO’s military leaders testified on the Hill today that there had been signs of al Qaeda seen amongst Libyan rebels.  How does that affect the White House thinking on engaging with them?
MR. CARNEY:  Well, what I would say is that, as you know, we spend a lot of time looking at the opposition and now meeting with opposition leaders.  And the folks who are in London, the people that -- and the leader that Secretary Clinton met in Paris, have made clear what their principles are and we believe that they’re meritorious -- their principles.  I think they had a statement today that had some very good language in it that we support.
But that doesn’t mean, obviously, that everyone who opposes Moammar Qaddafi I Libya is someone whose ideals we can support.  But beyond that, I don't have any detail about individual members of the opposition.
Q    Does it concern you about how much you don't know about the opposition?
MR. CARNEY:  Well, what I would say is that we have met with opposition leaders and we're working with them, but as the President said, and as the opposition leaders who put out a statement today said, it’s up to them to decide who their leaders are going to be.
But we do know something of who they are right now, as Jason Packer explains:
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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Glenn Beck is leaving Fox News, but not, I'm afraid, leaving us alone.
(New York, NY)  Fox News and Mercury Radio Arts, Glenn Beck’s production company, are proud to announce that they will work together to develop and produce a variety of television projects for air on the Fox News Channel as well as content for other platforms including Fox News’ digital properties. Glenn intends to transition off of his daily program, the third highest rated in all of cable news, later this year.
Speculation is, of course, rampant.
[...] Two of the options Mr. Beck has contemplated, according to people who have spoken about it with him, are a partial or wholesale takeover of a cable channel, or an expansion of his subscription video service on the Web.

Reports this week that Joel Cheatwood, a senior Fox News executive, would soon join Mr. Beck’s growing media company, Mercury Radio Arts, were the latest indication that Mr. Beck intended to leave Fox, a unit of the News Corporation, when his contract expired at the end of this year.

Notably, Mr. Beck’s company has been staffing up — making Web shows, some of which have little or nothing to do with Mr. Beck, and charging a monthly subscription for access to the shows. 
He's not going away. Frankly, this is part of the not-that-slow collapse of the whole "tv network" paradigm that the internet is forcing. "TV' isn't going away as fast as traditional publishing, which is going away much faster than the traditional music distribution business, but it's circling the drain rapidly with streaming and direct deals for iPads and tablets and phones and all sorts of streaming.
Below, the worst of Glenn Beck, but why he's not stupid about media.  Laugh and weep.

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Sunday, April 03, 2011

The current attempt by the radical "conservative" Republican Party of Wisconsin, which is so typical of the national and other state Republican Party leadership, has met a roadblock.

But a reminder of what the philosophy of the GOP is, here:
Wisconsin Republic Party Leader: Hao! Dai ye! We won again! This is good, but what is best in life?
Cronan: The open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at your wrist, and the wind in your hair.
Wisconsin Republic Party: Wrong! Conan! What is best in life?
Wisconsin Republic Party Leader: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.
Wisconsin Republic Party Leader: That is good! That is good.
We have video of this meeting:

And thus the saga of Conan meets Cronan.

What's the latest development?

The Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Biddy Martin, has issued a public statement:

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Friday, April 01, 2011

It's still April 1st on the Left Coast for another two hours and five minutes (when I started this post; an hour and ten minutes when I finished), no matter what date you read above this post. 

Some foolish links are in order!

So, out of order!

Japan is on everyone's mind, but we need to remember than it's not all doom and gloom, and yet in the spirit of helping:

The Tactical Philanthropy Haiku Contest:
Donors want data
Nonprofits measure impact
Experts watch and smile
Hai, ku!  Can you write techie Haiku?  Win $50!

Some past winners I like include:
Chekov in the bay
searching hard for some space fuel
Nuclear wessels
-- Jay in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I bit a zombie.
it was ironic but the
taste was terrible.
-- Blake in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Learn from the Jedi.
Discipline, control, respect.
Dangerous muppet.
-- Patrick in Anaheim, California
Packets of photons
Streaming by our planet's sky
their address divine
-- Michaline in Chicago Illinois
Eat Theobromine.
Drink methyltheobromine.
Heliophobe, I.
--Zach in Tyler, Texas
Why kill Wash and Book?
Are they thinking what I am?
Firefly Zombies!
--Barak from East Brunswick, New Jersey
Advice for commenters arguing with bloggers:  
Don't argue with a
Mobius strip because it
Will be one-sided
--Jimmy from Poughquag, New York
Let there be peace:
Take me to the black
I am a leaf on the wind
My Serenity
--Jennifer in Dallas, Texas
And this speaks to, for, and sometimes it seems to be me:
I am all around,
Yet some can't seem to find me.
I am Internet.
--Terry in San Francisco, California
Read the rest!  Funny!

Did I say "geeks"?  Not yet! Let's read Henry Jenkins talk about gender and game design with James Paul Gee!

There's nothing bloggers like better than catching out the New York Times in embarrassing goofs!

Ny times oopsie clinton bachelet

I'm sorry I missed that press conference.

And srsly, nothing could be better news for bloggers than the NY Times digital subscriptions!  Why?
Can I still access articles through Facebook, Twitter, search engines or my blog?
Yes. We encourage links from Facebook, Twitter, search engines, blogs and social media. When you visit through a link from one of these channels, that article (or video, slide show, etc.) will count toward your monthly limit of 20 free articles, but you will still be able to view it even if you've already read your 20 free articles.
So just read a blog to get your New York Times fix!  How hard is that?

Meanwhile if you haven't heard of self-published fiction writerJacqueline Howett, here is how not to become a world famous author!

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Who is "Wisconsin's most dangerous professor"?  He's William Cronon.  Who he?  He's this incredibly threatening man:
[...] In 1991, Cronon completed a book entitled Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West, which examines Chicago 's relationship to its rural hinterland during the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1991, it was awarded the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Prize for the best literary work of non-fiction published during the preceding year; in 1992, it won the Bancroft Prize for the best work of American history published during the previous year, and was also one of three nominees for the Pulitzer Prize in History; and in 1993, it received the George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History and the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Award from the Forest History Society for the best book of environmental and conservation history published during the preceding two years. 
In July 1992, Cronon became the Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History, Geography, and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin ­Madison after having served for more than a decade as a member of the Yale History Department. In 2003, he was also named Vilas [pronounced "Vy-lus"] Research Professor at UW-Madison, the university’s most distinguished chaired professorship.
Cronon has been President of the American Society for Environmental History, and serves as general editor of the Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books Series for the University of Washington Press.  [...]  He has served on the Governing Council of The Wilderness Society since 1995, and on the National Board of the Trust for Public Land since 2003. He has been elected President of the American Historical Association for 2011-12. 
Born September 11, 1954, in New Haven , Connecticut, Cronon received his B.A. (1976) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He holds an M.A. (1979), M.Phil. (1980), and Ph.D. (1990) from Yale, and a D.Phil. (1981) from Oxford University. Cronon has been a Rhodes Scholar, Danforth Fellow, Guggenheim Fellow, and MacArthur Fellow; has won prizes for his teaching at both Yale and Wisconsin; in 1999 was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society' and in 2006 was elected a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He is obviously a Maoist of the worst Marxist-Leninist sort!

How do we know?  Because the Republican Party of Wisconsin wants him investigated.

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3/25/2011 05:19:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 1 comments

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

5.6k Saturn Cassini Photographic Animation from stephen v2 on Vimeo.
Sometimes we all need it. This is the brain and emotion cleanser I needed to see right now.

And any time.

Beauty enriches all our souls.

As does perspective.

View The The Rest Scale: 5 out of 5.  Wait for the color.  Watch it all.

You won't be sorry.

Via John Robinson's site for Sore Eyes.

3/22/2011 10:40:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 0 comments

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Mike Glicksohn was possibly the second most famous letter of comment writer to fanzines in all of fanzine fan history, after Harry Warner, Jr.

Mike was a writer, a publisher, a personality, a math teacher, a good man, a great fan, beloved by many, friend to even more.

141 High Park Avenue, Toronto, is an address I'll never forget, I saw it so many times. Later Mike wrote from  508 Windermere Avenue, and earlier from 35 Willard St., and 267 St. George St.,  all famous fan addresses.

Although in early days, giants such as Rick Sneary reigned, for the Sixties and Seventies and longer, it was Glicksohn who took the mantle of Warner as letter writer to almost all fanzines.

His own primary fanzine, done with fellow Hugo-winner, both together, and on her own, was Energumen.

Complete run:

Go read, view, and admire what you can of it.

It was one of the most deserving Hugo-winning zines ever.  The .pdfs can't begin to show the quality of production.  Mike was one of the most meticulous of publishers, in every detail from that beautiful 24-lb blue bond paper, to doing one of the most beautifully illustrated and graphically well-designed fanzines ever, finding and publishing, many for the first time, some of the best fan artists, later pros, ever published, including more or less discovering Tim Kirk, Alicia Austin, James Shull, George Barr, Derek Carter, and so many more, including Connie (Reich) Faddis, Alexis Gilliland, Mike Gilbert, the list goes on on and on.

Less known was that he published some of Joe Haldeman's first fan art:

He published Jack Gaughn, to whom the first issue in February of 1970 was dedicated, and a fold-out centerpiece of art was included, as well as that first cover. Many illos of that issue were by the great Alicia Austin.  His longtime great friend, Joe Haldeman, also managed to have a letter in the first issue.

Jay Kinney, Bill Rotlser (of course!), Phil Foglio, Bernie Zuber, Jeff Schalles, Arthur Thomson (ATom), and many others were among the numerous artists Mike published so immaculately.

The writers he and Susan Wood (Glicksohn) published won Best Fan Writer Hugos, their artists, Best Fan Artist Hugos.

That was in no small part due to Mike Glicksohn.

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3/18/2011 03:22:00 PM |permanent link | Main Page | | 13 comments

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

(Cross-posted at Obsidian Wings.)

If you happen to be in the environs of the San Francisco Bay Area from March 11th through 13th, I'll be here:

FOGcon: March 11-13, 2011, at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway Hotel

Fogcon is this (links mine):
The Friends of Genre Convention (FOGcon) is a literary-themed San Francisco SF/F con in the tradition of Wiscon and Readercon. Each year we’ll focus on a new theme in speculative fiction and invite Honored Guests ranging from writers to scientists to artists. We will build community, exchange ideas, and share our love for the literature of imagination.
Theme for 2011: The City in SF/F
Honored Guests: Pat Murphy and Jeff VanderMeer; Honored Editorial Guest, Ann VanderMeer; Honored Guest (Posthumous) Fritz Leiber

“There is more than one road to the City.”—Ursula K. Le Guin
The theme of this, the first FOGCon is:
Whether a glass-edged utopia or a steampunk hell, the city plays a central role in many works of speculative fiction. It can be an arena for conflicts between cultures, a center of learning or vice, a court of power and corruption. In its gutters and government buildings, the city reveals the values a society claims and those it actually honors. Because the city is open to everyone, it’s a place where new things can happen. No wonder it is such a rich topic for so many writers.
Lots of other kewl people will be there.  There will be programming!

I'm particularly, given the time-change, and our ability as science fiction people to slipstream, looking forward to these bits of programming:

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Crossposted at Obsidian Wings.

Don't tell me we can't win this.  Wisconsin Police Have Joined Protest Inside State Capitol.
From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, Ryan Harvey reports:
“Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”
Ryan reported on his Facebook page earlier today [February 25th -- gf]:
“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’
Ryan Harvey's video from Friday:
 My quotes:
[...] This is not a budget issue! This is a CIVIL RIGHTS ISSUE!  [...] Mr. Walker!  [...] We know pretty well now who you work for!  [applause] Let me tell you who WE work for! [points to self and police emblem]  We work for all of these people!  [applause] We are not here, Mr. Walker, to do your bidding!  We are here to do their bidding!  [...]  Mr. Walker, this not your House!  This is all of our House!  [camera pans 360°]
I want to give this officer a big fat kiss on the mouth.

Pictures from Ryan Harvey, February 25, Occupied Capitol Building, Madison, WI:






Hardhatted working class dreamers who lead us.


The people of Wisconsin.

THE PEOPLEdsc01619

All who stand of the people, by the people, for the people.
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Friday, February 25, 2011

Variant cross-posted at Obsidian Wings.

Congressman stops short of calling for Obama assassination. Georgia Congressman Paul Broun's Tuesday night’s town hall meeting:
The first question of the night (confirmed by Broun’s office) was “when is someone going to shoot Obama?”
Broun’s response, Athens Banner-Herald (Georgia):
The thing is, I know there’s a lot of frustration with this president. We’re going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we’ll elect somebody that’s going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. He then segued into Republicans’ budget proposal.
Today: Loughner indictment expected by March 9, trial in Sept.:
Dylan Smith,
Prosecutors said they will indict Jared Lee Loughner on more federal charges by March 9, a court order said Thursday. U.S. District Judge Larry Burns said in the order that he expects a trial to begin before Sept. 20. Loughner, 22, is the alleged gunman in the Jan. 8 shooting that authorities call an assassination attempt on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
[...] Six were killed and 13 wounded in the attack on a constituent meet-and-greet at a Northwest Side grocery store. Giffords remains in a Houston rehab facility, recovering from her wounds.
Georgia Congressman Paul Broun had best not hold town meetings on Obsidian Wings.

We would ban someone from there for such a statement.

But Republican Georgia Congressman Paul Broun lets it pass without a word and:
[...] Broun’s press secretary, Jessica Morris, confirmed that the question was indeed, who is going to shoot Obama? “Obviously, the question was inappropriate, so Congressman Broun moved on,” she said.
We wouldn't just move on, if we noticed that here.

But it's okay if you're merely a Republican Congressional Representative.

Move along. Nothing to see here.

In June, Greg Sargent wrote:

Sharron Angle floated possibility of armed insurrection:
Here's another one that could be tough for Sharron Angle to explain away: In an interview in January, Angle appeared to float the possibility of armed insurrection if "this Congress keeps going the way it is."
I'm not kidding. In an interview she gave to a right-wing talk show host, Angle approvingly quoted Thomas Jefferson saying it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years -- and said that if Congress keeps it up, people may find themselves resorting to "Second Amendment remedies."
What's more, the talk show host she spoke to tells me he doesn't have any doubt that she was floating the possibility of armed insurrection as a valid response if Congress continues along its current course.
Asked by the host, Lars Larson of Portland, Oregon, where she stands on Second Amendment issues, Angle replied:
You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.
I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.
Larson says Angle was floating the possibility of armed insurrection if Congress keeps it up under Reid et al.
[look below jump]

I say:

Be a real volunteer. Rally to Save the American Dream.

Read The Rest Scale: 5 out of 5.
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