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Showing posts from March, 2010

Our poor, broken society

Today's Denver Post ran a piece by David Brooks from the New York Times under the heading "Our poor, broken society: two revolutions damaged community."

I found myself nodding in agreement all the way through. The broad thesis is based on the work of one Phillip Blond, a British writer. Brooks writes, "Blond argues that over the past generation we have witnessed two revolutions, both of which liberated the individual and decimated local associations.... First, there was a revolution from the left: a cultural revolution that displaced traditional manners and mores; a legal revolution that emphasized individual rights instead of responsibilities; a welfare revolution in which social workers displaced mutual aide societies and self-organized associations. Then there was the market revolution from the right. In the age of de-regulation, giant chains like Wal-Mart decimated local shop owners. Global financial markets took over small banks, so that the local knowledge of a…

Ireland's Potato

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We saw this at the Taipei Zoo yesterday -- a quite unexpected restaurant stop. For those having trouble reading the elegant English:

"Ireland's proverb says: There are two things in the world that can't be joked: 1.marriage 2.potato"

How true that is. A wise people, the Irish.

Escape sling instructions

I'll have to upload the picture for this, but these are the instructions for how to lower ourselves from our hotel room window in Taipei, should the need suddenly present itself. We're on the fifth floor, facing the street. There's a metal frame behind the window curtains, and a black, hard plastic box under the counter with the rest of the gear. The misspellings are intentional (on my part, not sure about on the part of the person who wrote them):

Step 1: Hang the speed-conteroller on the frame and fasten.

Step 2: Make sure nobody outside the window , release the belt reel.

Step 3: Encircle the belt to both armpits, the spring belt in one armpit, pull the rope (long side) to the end.

Step 4: Grip both belt and rope,climb out of the window, Facce to wall, loosen the rope and descend.

Step 5: During descending with arms downward clamping the rope. And keen hands against the wall for balance.

Step 6: Before landing, bend knees to decrease the shock.

Note: as landed, loosen the buck…

LaRue interviews LaRue - full interview

Jamie Larue interviews Jamie Larue from Douglas County Government on Vimeo.

As noted in an earlier post, Douglas County took down the Authors @ DCL site. They seem to be transferring some of them, like this new one, over to Vimeo. I still think the technical stuff to make this work is amazing.

Glenn Beck, Jon Stewart, and public libraries

Just saw this today. Click the entry title to get the video.

"Fresh from the week off, Jon Stewart jumped right in Monday night and took on one of his favorite targets, Glenn Beck, who used his appearance at CPAC as a chance to alert the crowd of the dangers of Progressivism.

"At the conference, Beck compared Progressivism to Communism, and cited previous progressives such as Woodrow Wilson and FDR, who pushed for the income tax and universal health care, respectively. Despite the former being used by elected officials to create things for the common good, Beck stressed that these were the first steps on the road to ruin.

"Upon hearing Glenn Beck announce that he learned this by reading books at the library, Stewart had some choice words for the Fox News host:

'Glenn, the library isn't free! It's paid for with tax money. Free public libraries are the result of the Progressive movement to communally share books. The first public library was the Boston public …