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February 2011
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More on Spite

Note: I put this post up yesterday and then took it down. It came across all wrong, reading as if I were calling conservatives spiteful and stupid, when in fact I think we’re all spiteful and stupid. What I was really talking about was maturity and childishness, and the pressing need for mature leadership in […]


Rainy Oscar Sunday

A rainy morning in Tucson, Arizona, rarer than a pro-union guest on a Sunday morning talk show.

This morning’s schedule included a group motorcycle ride to Arivaca and Tubac, but no one wants to be wet and cold so the ride’s been slipped to next Sunday.

This evening’s schedule is, what else, the Oscars. It’s […]


Banned Book News Roundup

Here’s an excellent summary of the growing power of organized book-banning groups. The internet helps us, but it helps them too!

I usually limit these book-banning digests to news to from North America, but this article on international book-banning is too interesting not to share.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower has been challenged again, […]


Get Off of My Clothes and Out of My Tree!

Last month, in the wake of the Tucson shootings, I joined a chorus of bloggers commenting on what many saw as a connection … not necessarily causal but closely related … between calls to violence from the right and the spate of politically- and ideologically-motivated shootings we’ve seen in our country over the past two […]


Oh, for a Sound Social Atmosphere!

Regular readers are aware of my fascination with all things North Korean. I check the Korean Central News Agency site almost every day, and just this morning found this gem:

China Strives to Create Sound Social Atmosphere

Beijing, February 20 (KCNA) — China intensified the campaign against yellow culture and illegal publications in order to […]


Paul’s DVD Reviews

“You failed to maintain your weapon, son.” — Michael Caine as Harry Brown in Harry Brown.

The Last Station (2009) Confession time: I never read War and Peace, or Anna Karenina. I knew nothing about Tolstoy. Now I know something, and what I learned was interesting enough to make me want to know more. There […]


Paul’s Book Reviews

“Are you old?” “No. I’m only twelve. But I’ve been that for a long time.” — John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In

Djibouti, by Elmore Leonard I’ve always loved Elmore Leonard’s novels, not just for the pitch perfect dialogue, but also for the inevitable presence of memorably cool characters: Chili Palmer, Ray Givens, […]


When You’re Being Pecked to Death by Ducks

Nancy Nall sums it up perfectly: “It’s just as well that the weekend is coming, as I need to unplug from the internet and stop paying attention to politics for a while. I’m starting to feel that old sourness, the simmer I maintained from roughly 2004 through 2008 … no, through now, that pecked-to-death-by-ducks feeling.”