Archive for April, 2013

Saudi Arabia Deports Irresistible Men

April 19, 2013

And on a lighter note, I may have to postpone my trip to Saudi Arabia. Evidently they do not want handsome men who Saudi women could fall for in their kingdom. At least that is what this story in the Telegraph says.

The delegates from the United Arab Emirates were in attendance at the Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, when religious police officers stormed the stand and evicted the men because “they are too handsome,” according to the Arabic language newspaper, Elaph.

“A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission [for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices] members feared female visitors could fall for them,” Elaph reported.

The UAE released an official statement indicating that the religious police were anxious over the unexpected presence of an unnamed female artist in the pavilion.

“Her visit to the UAE stand was a coincidence as it was not included in the programme which we had already provided to the festival’s management,” Saeed Al Kaabi, head of the UAE delegation to the festival, said in a statement.

It was not clear if the woman’s presence was related to the decision to evict the “handsome” Emirati men.

Following the incident, Elaph said the festival’s management took swift action to deport the trio back to Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates.

With a majority Sunni Muslim population, Saudi Arabia is a deeply religious and ultraconservative society which forbids women from interacting with unrelated males and refuses to accord them with the same rights as men.

With my irresistible good looks, they probably wouldn’t even let me into the country.

Obviously I am kidding, both about traveling to Saudi Arabia and about my looks.

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Warsaw Uprising

April 19, 2013

Seventy years ago today the Jews trapped in the Warsaw ghetto rose up against their Nazi tormenters in a rebellion that they knew could only end in defeat. Since their knew they were bound for the death camps, they made the decision to die fighting rather than passively submit to torture and death. In a world in which evil, all too often has its way, it is good to remember great acts of heroism. I read about the commemoration ceremonies they are holding in Poland from Yahoo News.

Sirens wailed and church bells tolled in Warsaw as largely Roman Catholic Poland paid homage Friday to the Jewish fighters who rose up 70 years ago against German Nazi forces in the Warsaw ghetto uprising.

The mournful sounds marked the start of state ceremonies that were led by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski at the iconic Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. The president was joined by officials from Poland, Israel and elsewhere as well as a survivor of the fighting, Simha Rotem, to honor the first large-scale rebellion against the Germans during World War II.

About 750 Jews with few arms and no military training made their opening attack on April 19, 1943, on a much larger and well-equipped German force. The attack came after most of the nearly half a million inhabitants of the ghetto had already been sent to die at Treblinka.

The insurgency came when it was clear the Nazis were about to send the remaining residents of the ghetto to die too. The revolt was crushed the following month, and the ghetto was razed to the ground, most of its residents killed.

“We knew that the end would be the same for everyone. The thought of waging an uprising was dictated by our determination. We wanted to choose the kind of death we would die,” said Rotem, an 88-year-old who is among a tiny number of surviving fighters and was the key figure at the ceremony. “But to this day I have doubts as to whether we had the right to carry out the uprising and shorten the lives of people by a day, a week, or two weeks. No one gave us that right and I have to live with my doubts.”

Rotem’s uncertainty is in stark contrast to how the world remembers the revolt. Though a clear military defeat, it is hailed as a moral victory for the Jewish fighters, who refused to go without a fight to the gas chambers. It is prominently commemorated in Israel, part of a never-again ethos that stresses the importance of self-defense.

“The Nazi Germans made a hell on earth of the ghetto,” Komorowski said in a speech. “Persecuting the Jews appealed to the lowest of human instincts.”

During the ceremonies, Komorowski bestowed one of the country’s highest honors on Rotem — the Grand Cross of the Order of the Rebirth of Poland. Later the two of them, along with Israeli Education Minister Shai Piron and Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, a Polish Auschwitz survivor who helped rescue Jews during the war, walked side-by-side to the monument and bowed before it as soldiers laid a wreath for them.

To a military drum, other dignitaries followed them in paying their respects at the dark memorial to suffering and struggle, including Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, members of Poland’s Jewish community and U.S. Ambassador Stephen Mull along with an American survivor of the Warsaw ghetto, Estelle Laughlin.

Poland’s chief rabbi and a cantor also recited mournful Hebrew prayers as they were joined by three Polish army chaplains, one Catholic, one Eastern Orthodox and one Protestant. Psalm 130, which starts, “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! …” was recited in Hebrew and Polish.

Though the Warsaw ghetto uprising is well-known worldwide, it hasn’t received the same level of attention among Poles, for whom a separate city-wide revolt in 1944 plays a much more critical role in national memory.

Authorities, however, have been trying to change this and to convince Poles that the ghetto uprising is a key moment not just in Jewish but also in broader Polish history.

Newspaper articles in recent days have stressed the Polishness of the Jewish revolt, while officials have encouraged Warsaw residents to get involved in a month of commemorations that ends on May 16. That is the day in 1943 when the Nazis blew up the Great Synagogue, a jewel of 19th-century architecture, to symbolize their crushing of the revolt.

I don’t want to be too hard on the Poles since they suffered almost as much as the Jews at the hands of the Nazis, but I get the impression that exterminating the Jews was the one item on the Nazi agenda that many Poles would have agreed with. That makes the heroism of any Poles who helped the Jews all the more remarkable since they would have been dealing with the anti-Semitism of their neighbors as much as the Nazi authorities.

I suppose that the Ghetto uprising made little or no difference to the German war effort.  It did take the Germans a whole month to crush the revolt and maybe the units used to destroy the ghetto might have made some difference on the Russian front. We will never know. At least these Jews taught the world that the Jews could learn to fight and that oppressed peoples need not passively submit to tyranny.

 

 

Boston Marathon Suspects

April 19, 2013

One of the men responsible for the atrocity at the Boston Marathon has been killed and the other is presently the object of an intense manhunt in Boston. They are Dzokhar A. Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The Tsarnaevs are brothers from Chechnya and contrary to the fantasies of liberal commentators, are not Tea Partiers protesting  Tax Day. Rather, they appear to be followers of the Religion of Peace. Here are parts of the story I read at Yahoo News.

The Associated Press identified the surviving Boston bomb suspect as Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, 19, of Cambridge, Mass., and said that the suspects were brothers. The second bombing suspect is Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, according to NBC News, who was found with an IED on his body. The brothers’ family is believed to be originally from Chechnya, a volatile southern Russian republic.  Photographer Johannes Hirn took this photo essay of the older brother, a boxer. The captions suggest Tsarnaev came to America as a child with his family as refugees after fleeing Chechnya. Dhokhar Tsarnaev posted links to Islamic and pro-Chechnyan independence sites on what appears to be his social media page.

The University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth announced shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Friday that they were evacuating the entire campus after learning Tsarnaev is a student there.

At sunrise, Gov. Deval Patrick ordered a shutdown of all public transit and residents on the edges of Boston to stay indoors as a massive manhunt for the second suspect was underway. The entire city in Boston was under a shelter in place order by late Friday morning.

“This situation is grave and we are trying to protect the public safety,” said Massachusetts State Police Col. Timothy Alben, who ordered a lockdown of Watertown, Waltham, Belmont, Cambridge, Newton, Allston and Brighton. A no fly zone has been declared over Watertown. The city of Boston was eerily quiet during Friday’s rush hour, the city’s busy intersections totally abandoned.

Federal agents swarmed Watertown after local police were involved in a car chase and shootout with the men identified Thursday by the FBI as Suspect 1 and Suspect 2 in the Boston bombings. During the pursuit, officers could be heard on police radio traffic describing the men as having handguns, grenades and other explosives.

The mayhem began at approximately 10:20 p.m. Thursday when police said the bombing suspects robbed a 7-Eleven store in Cambridge. Minutes later, police said, the men shot and killed an MIT campus officer responding to the robbery call. The terror suspects then carjacked a Mercedes-Benz with the driver inside and fled, eventually letting driver go. They were then spotted in Watertown where they exchanged dozens of rounds of gunfire with patrol officers.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot by police and brought to Beth Israel Medical Center. He arrived at the hospital under cardiac arrest with multiple gunshot wounds and blast-like injuries to his chest. The second suspect fled on foot, leading to the tense manhunt that is still underway at this hour.

“We believe this to be a terrorist,” said Boston police Commissioner Ed Davis. “We believe this to be a man who has come here to kill people. We need to get him into custody.”

A transit officer, Richard H. Donohue, was seriously wounded during the exchange of gunfire, officials said.

In a radio alert sent issued to fellow officers, the suspect was described as a “white male with dark complexion … with thick curly hair wearing a charcoal gray hooded sweatshirt … possibly with an assault rifle and explosives.” Police in Watertown, Newton, Brighton and Cambridge were put on high alert. “Units use caution,” an officer said. “He might have an explosive object on his person.”

Worried residents in Watertown, a suburb about 8 miles from downtown Boston, were ordered to stay indoors and turn off their cell phones out of fear that they could trigger improvised explosive devices.

Dozens of police officers, many of them off-duty, searched backyards in pursuit of the second suspect, and a police perimeter of several blocks was established. K9 units and SWAT teams searched homes on Spruce Street as officers with a police robot searched an SUV that the suspects had abandoned. Multiple devices were left in the road and two handguns were recovered, according to police scanners.

The Watertown shootout occurred after a gunfight erupted near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the MIT police officer, 26-year-old Sean Collier, was shot and later died. The campus was placed on lockdown for several hours, and students were told to remain indoors.

Shortly before 2 a.m. Friday, MIT issued a statement on its website saying that the suspect “in this evening’s shooting is no longer on campus. It is now safe to resume normal activities. Please remain vigilant in the coming hours.” MIT, Harvard, Boston University and other local colleges have cancelled classes.

President Barack Obama, who attended an interfaith service for the bombing victims in Boston on Thursday, was briefed on the overnight developments, the White House said early Friday.

At approximately 3:30 a.m., Massachusetts State Police issued a plea on Twitter for residents of Watertown to lock their doors and not open them for anyone as they searched backyards and exteriors of houses there.

“Residents in and around Watertown should stay in their residences,” the alert read. “Do NOT answer door unless it is an identified police officer.”

This man is very dangerous and at this point doesn’t have anything to lose. Indeed, if he is a fanatic Muslim he may well desire to be martyred, taking as many infidels with him as possible, so they he can get his 72 virgins. Let us hope and pray he is apprehended quickly.

 

 

 

Advice from Rand Paul

April 18, 2013

Rand Paul has written a column for rare.us which I think is full of good advice for the Republicans, that is if they would like to start winning elections again.

 Many are saying that the Republican Party must change if we want to remain a viable national party. The advice from some is to become less conservative. These critics believe that the GOP will somehow do better if we become more like the Democratic Party. But why would anyone vote for a lesser version of the Democrats when you can vote for the real thing? It doesn’t make sense and defeats the entire purpose of having two parties.

It is true that Republicans will continue to lose if changes are not made. But some of those changes will require us to become more conservative, especially when it comes to economics. Other changes might not neatly fit into what we currently think of as left or right.

The Republicans will never be able to outspend or outpander the Democrats and they shouldn’t even try. One party, at least, ought to stand for fiscal sanity and keeping the country together instead of trying to divide Americans along racial and class lines.

The GOP is supposed to be the party of limited government but it has not done a very good job of proving it. If Republicans can become the party of balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility, we can appeal to millions from all walks of life who genuinely fear for the burden we’re placing on our children.

“Limited government” doesn’t mean no government. It means $2.6 trillion worth of government—the amount of revenue we currently bring in. Over the past number of years, Americans have had to learn to live within their means. Government must do the same and Republicans should be the party that shows how it can be done.

The Republicans have talked a lot about limited government and balanced budgets but have certainly not acted on these beliefs whenever they have had control of the government in recent years. I hope that with the rise of the Tea Party this will change.

We need a strong national defense, but perhaps this does not mean having an overly aggressive foreign policy that puts American troops all over the globe, all the time. After nearly a decade in Iraq and well over a decade in Afghanistan, no one wants to now see a misguided intervention in Syria or Iran, as some from both parties have suggested. A foreign policy that does not try to police the world, does not try to dole out welfare to the world through foreign aid, and that recognizes fiscal limits will be better for our military, our national security and the Republican Party.

The problem here is that somebody is going to have to act as the world’s policeman and like it or not, we are the only ones with the capacity to do so. Besides, would anyone prefer to live in a world dominated by China, or Russia, or the UN? Of course, we do not have to intervene everywhere there is a problem. We can and should pick our battles and there are some situations we should just stay out of. The civil war in Syria is a good example. We probably are going to have to intervene to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. It would have been a whole lot easier, and cheaper to take determined (not necessarily military) action against the Iranians years ago, but our leaders have just kept putting the problem off until it has grown.

We need to recognize that the rising generation does not want people put in jail for unduly long sentences for non-violent offenses. No one supports the use of drugs or encourages that kind of behavior, but too many lives have been ruined due to our unfair and unjust mandatory minimum laws. It doesn’t make sense to put someone who has made one mistake in prison with rapists and murderers—sometimes for sentences longer than rapists and murderers. Under our current laws, both George W. Bush and Barack Obama could have been served jail time due to their youthful drug use, and once released from jail, these two men wouldn’t have been employable, much less capable of winning the presidency.

Mandatory minimum sentencing also disproportionately affects those lacking the means to fight back, particularly minorities. This needs to change and Republicans should lead the way.

I am not for legalizing drugs but I think it is obvious to everyone that the War on Drugs has not been very effective. There is a real opportunity for the Republicans to develop effective and just policies here. I should add that many of the more egregious government violations of civil rights have been done in the name of the war on drugs and perhaps we need to seek a better balance between minimizing drug use and respecting civil liberties.

The GOP needs to be the party that embraces immigration while also demanding strong border security. Nobody wants a party that is perceived as wanting to round-up people. We can move the ball forward by offering an immigration policy that humanely deals with the 12 million undocumented immigrants already in the country, but puts the proper security measures in place so that we don’t have to keep revisiting this issue every few decades.

The problem I have with illegal immigrants is that they are here illegally. I do not like the idea of rewarding people who break the law with citizenship. A lot of the discussion on this issue seems to be fairly muddled on that one point. You may call these people “undocumented” but the simple fact of the matter is that they are in violation of the law. If immigration laws are too harsh or if they are unjust, than the laws should be changed, by an act of Congress. As long as the present laws are in place they should be enforced, and the Executive does not, or ought not, have the options of simply deciding not to enforce laws it finds inconvenient.

Fiscal conservatism, a more prudent foreign policy, ending mandatory minimums and immigration reform coupled with border security are but a few issues Republicans can lead on if we want to build the necessary coalitions that will allow us to remain a governing national party.

If we’re going to start winning on the West Coast and in New England, and if we’re going to attract the young, we must change. If we don’t evolve and adapt, the Republican Party will die.

The GOP of old, stale and moss-covered, is largely responsible for our party’s current quandary. Only a new breed of Republican—bold, innovative and dedicated to liberty—can get us out of it.

I hope the Republicans will listen to what Senator Paul has to say. Being the stupid party, they likely will not.

Children of the Commons

April 18, 2013

MSNBC commentator Melissa Harris-Perry‘s recent comment that we need to move away from the idea that our children are ours to the idea that children belong to the community has  proved to be more controversial than she, or anyone else at MSNBC, have anticipated, which shows that there is something terribly wrong at MSNBC.

Most conservative commentators have focused on the rather fascistic overtones of her remarks or have noted that public education is not, in fact, underfunded. I would like to tackle this subject from a different angle. I wonder if Melissa Harris-Perry is familiar with the concept of the tragedy of the commons.

The tragedy of the commons is a concept developed by Garrett Hardin in 1968. Put simply, it works something like this. Suppose there is a village in which every farmer has one cow which he grazes in the village commons. The number of cows that graze on the field is limited and the field is able to feed the cows. Now, suppose that one farmer decides to get another cow and let it graze on the common ground. He gets two cows to milk so he benefits more than his neighbors but two cows cost him no more than one. The presence of one more cow doesn’t hurt the green all that much. Then, other farmers decide to get another cow and put it on the green to graze. They get the benefits of having more cows to milk but their cost is no greater. However, as more cows are left to graze on the common field, at some point the field starts to become overgrazed and eventually what was once a fertile field becomes a barren, dusty wasteland.

The reason this happens is that while all of the farmers in the village benefit from the common field, it is no one person’s responsibility to maintain it. Each farmer gains the benefit of feeding his cows, whether he limits his number of cows or works to maintain the pasture and no one gains any extra benefit from doing the work of maintaining the field. Thus what is beneficial to each farmer individually, eventually ruins all the farmers in the village.

Garrett Hardin was an ecologist who was concerned about the problems associated with overpopulation and over use of natural resources. It is not easy to place him on any political or economic spectrum although he did favor government regulation as a means to resolve the tragedy and coercion to limit population. Environmentalists have used his analysis to justify restricting property rights for the common good. On the other hand, advocates of private property and the free market have pointed out that property and responsibility that belongs to everyone, really belongs to no one, and the best way to resolve the tragedy is through privatization of the commons. Human nature, being what it is, people are far more responsible for things that they feel personal ownership for, while common ownership property or a thing  means that no one person really feels they own it and so no one person feels really responsible for it, especially if they benefit from the use of it without the trouble of being responsible for it.

This is one of the reasons Communism didn’t work out so well. Consider Ivan, the worker at the collective farm. He didn’t own the farm, the fields or anything else at the farm. He did not benefit from the harvest and it made no difference to him if the crops rotted in the fields while he got drunk on vodka every afternoon. They weren’t his crops. They belonged to the people of the Soviet Union, so they really didn’t belong to anyone. Extend this sort of thinking over an entire national economy and you can see why there would be trouble.

With all of this in mind, we can revisit Melissa Harris-Parry’s statement that we need to get away from the idea that we personally own our children and are responsible for them and move toward an idea of community ownership of and responsibility for our children. If we make our children the responsibility of the village or the community rather than the responsibility of their parents, then the children will really be no one’s responsibility. Consider, as an extreme example to clarify matters, that there were a dystopian state that took children from their mothers at birth and raised them in institutions with trained caregivers attending to them. Does anyone truly believe that the children would be better off than if they were raised by their own parents? Melissa Harris-Perry has it backward. Children are more likely to be properly raised by parents who feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for them than by a village in which no one feels responsible for any one child. Indeed, it may be that part of the problem with public schools is precisely because they are public. No one really owns the public schools so no one is really responsible for the results of a public school education and no one feels any responsibility for spending the funding for public schools wisely.

The answer to the failure of the commons is not to create more commons but to privatize the commons as far as it is possible. If people have a stake in maintaining a continuing supply of a resource, they will see to it that the use of that resource is sustainable. It may be that the answer to the commons in education is greater privatization as a means of having the parents feel more that they are directly responsible for the state of their children’s education. In other words, we need to have more of a feeling of ownership of our children not less.

 

Boston Massacre

April 16, 2013

Yesterday, two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and injuring at least one hundred thirty. It is still too early to speculate much on who is responsible for this atrocity and what their motives might be, though some have already begun. There is a Saudi national who has been taken into custody and it is likely that this is the work of Islamic terrorists. If it does turn out to be Muslims, it will be interesting to see how the media and the Obama administration tries to spin things. I would guess that they will repeat the lines about extremists hijacking a religion of peace, etc. They certainly will never concede that the Religion of Peace‘s holy scriptures condone and encourage eternal war against the unbeliever. But, I am only speculating on insufficient evidence.

Of course there are other explanations and some have been quick to blame their fellow Americans, especially those who differ with them in politics. There is not much to be said about Mr. Tingle Up My Leg Chris Matthew’s rant except to recommend he read a history of the Weather Underground (Barack Obama’s old friends) if he really believes that domestic terrorists are all on the far right.

On a more positive note, the first responders and rescue personnel have, by all accounts, behaved with professionalism and even heroism as have the crowds at the event. We have learned some lessons since 9-11. One lesson seems to be that ordinary people react to terrorism more reasonably than their government. But, then most of the people at the highest levels of government are not worthy of the people they presume to lead.

 

 

Diversity Comics

April 15, 2013

 

The people at DC  Comics can certainly give themselves a well-deserved pat on the back for their recent attempts to promote diversity in the world of comic books. First, they decided that the latest incarnation of the Green Lantern would be the first homosexual hero in mainstream comics. Now they have decided to introduce the first mainstream comics transgender character in Batgirl. DC originally stood for “Detective Comics”. Perhaps DC should change it to mean Diversity Comics.

 

But, not all forms of diversity are welcome. Just ask Orson Scott Card who was hired to write new adventures for Superman. Card happens to be one of the many people in America who are not quite convinced that same-sex marriage is a wonderful idea and for this diversity from the standard Left-Liberal line the artist assigned to illustrate the stories stepped down, stores threatened to boycott the comic, and the new series has been quietly put on indefinite hold.

 

Evidently there is good diversity, based on sexual deviancy  and gender confusion and bad diversity which is based on an real differences of values and opinions. Or, perhaps to put it another way, true diversity will only be obtained when everyone thinks alike. It is a pity that Orwell didn’t live to see this day. He could have added diversity is conformity to the Party’s slogans; freedom is slavery, war is peace, ignorance is strength.

 

Check out the comments on the article from Wired I linked to, not to mention the rather snarky tone of the article itself. The great majority of the tolerant liberals seem to believe that since they have determined Card to be a bigot, he has no right to free speech or even employment. Luckily Orson Scott Card is already an established award-winning science fiction writer, but the message is clear to any aspiring writer, toe the politically correct line or else.

 

 

 

Medieval Tech Support

April 14, 2013

I think this video is hilarious. The actors are speaking Norwegian but there are English subtitles.

There is a bit of an anachronism here since the codex, that is, a book made up of sheets of paper bound together as opposed to a scroll, was invented sometime in the first or second century, well before there were monks copying manuscripts. The Romans had used wax tablets bound together as a sort of notebook, and some unnamed inventor had the idea to bind sheets of papyrus together, thus making a book that was far more convenient to read than a scroll that had to be unrolled. The new invention took off, in part thanks to the growing number of Christians who found a Bible bound in single volume more convenient than a set of scrolls. By 300 the codex was in common use and beginning to replace the scroll and by 600 the scroll had been completely replaced by the codex. So, by the Middle Ages, books were already a tried and trusted form of providing content. Still, I can imagine that those Romans who first started to use codices might have had some trouble getting used to turning pages, as opposed to unrolling, and maybe they needed the second century equivalent of tech support to guide them through the process.

The codex remained the dominant format for books through the centuries and past the invention of printing into the twenty-first century. It may be that the e-book will gradually replace the codex over the next century or more. Maybe a couple of hundred years from now, someone will make a video making fun of people of our time who have been having difficulty making the transition to electronic media.

 

 

Time Enough at Last

April 13, 2013

Time Enough at Last was the title of one of the more memorable Twilight Zone episodes. Perhaps you remember it. Harry Bemis was a bank teller whose one passion in life was reading. Unfortunately, he never had enough time to read. The bank president reprimanded him for reading while waiting on customers. His wife did not let him read at home, preferring a more social lifestyle. The only chance that Harry Bemis really had to read was in the bank vault during his lunch hour.

Time enough at last!

Time enough at last!

Bemis’s  habit of spending his lunches in the bank vault saves him when a nuclear war breaks out and he finds that he is the only survivor. He becomes lonely and despondent and contemplates suicide until he discovers the ruins of a public library. For the first time in his life, Harry Bemis has all the books he can read and time enough to read them. He eagerly stacks up the books and plans out in what order he will read them, but just as he picks up the first book, he drops his glasses, smashing them and making it impossible to read anything.

Here are the last few minutes of the episode.

You can watch the whole episode here.

It does sometimes seem as if the whole world is conspiring against us readers. Employers frown at us for reading on the job and actually expect us to work. Friends and family keep telling us to go outside in the fresh air and do various recreational activities that do not involve reading. Spouses expect us to take them places and do things with them, even talk. When they are in a romantic or amorous mood, they expect us to waste valuable reading time with sex.

Modern technology has made things a little better. Audiobooks allow us to “read” while driving or engaging in some activity. If you wear earphones, non-readers assume you’re listening to music. The invention of e-books has helped considerably. A Kindle is portable and easily concealed. We can carry whole libraries around with us to read at odd moments. I find that carrying a Kindle is a lot more convenient that the old method of carrying stacks of books. Even better, Amazon has apps for the iPhone and Android which allow you to read your Kindle books. We can read and non-readers think we are working and texting.

Still, there is never enough time for us readers to read as much as we would like. How nice it would be if there were some apocalyptic event which would destroy civilization. Sure, there would be a death toll in the millions and things would be really awful, but think of all the time we would have for reading.

There is one problem though. If there were a nuclear war or something, I doubt that electricity would be available. Without electricity to charge them, our Kindles, Nooks, and smart phones would quickly turn into expensive paperweights. Then we would end up staring at blank screens muttering, “It’s not fair”, just like poor Harry Bemis.

 

I’ve Been Busy

April 13, 2013

I see that I have not written anything since Tuesday. I apologize for this but between work and helping my mother-in-law move, I have been busy. It is not that I have had to move a lot of furniture, she hired professional movers for that, and my wife has worked much harder than I have at moving things, and so she is even more exhausted than I am. The fact is that being the man, I have been pressed into service whenever something especially heavy has needed to be moved. The cumulative effect of that and work has been tiring.

It is odd that physical work leads to mental exhaustion. I have a long list of things that I would have like to have written and typing on a keyboard takes very little energy. But, this week, I have found myself on my computer unable to do anything except play video games. I hope I am getting over it. Anyway, I am on vacation next week.

 


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