September 30th, 2024

One Man’s Trash

  • el
  • pt

  • One Man’s Trash, originally uploaded by jonl.

    The Tutor will go nuts. Keeping up with the Joneses arrives on the dumpster scene.

    September 30th, 2024

    Radically laying down their lives for the gospel…

    More on the christian madrassa movement…

    September 30th, 2024

    American madrassa…

    September 30th, 2024

    I like to watch — II

    Watching Leslie watch.

    September 30th, 2024

    Hey Mister Tangerine Man…

    David Weinberger has opened a “markets are metaphors” contest, offering readers a chance to provide him with one liners in Maastricht where he’s offering the keynote speech at a conference called “Markets are conversations.”

    Nothing will top Chris Locke’s “Markets are misheard lyrics,” but it’s a fun game to play anyway.

    September 29th, 2024

    Yo-yo across America…

    Check out the itinerary Amanda posted! Memphis to St. Louis to Kansas City and back to Louisville? A few hundred miles this way and a few hundred miles back! I’m happy they’re coming through Madison. I’ll try to get my fat face in a few shots, ever angling for another 15 pico-seconds of fame. Better, I’ll try to get a few pictures of Amanda and her entourage. She’s doing good work, you gotta admit it.

    September 28th, 2024


    Here’s a hypothesis based on two data points. I left it as a comment at Loose Poodle and I re-present it here:

    During drive time I had an insight that I’d like to share. I think those of us who don’t believe in god have a higher likelihood of believing in conspiracy theories. It would be interesting to rake together the data around this theory, to prove it or disprove it. I know I am quite likely to identify connections here in this life, and I think it might have something to do with not having that metaphysical stuff tying things together in a different way.

    The data:

    1. In one brief conversation a brilliant friend revealed both that he is “born again,” which is to say he experienced a life changing conversion experience; and, that he doesn’t have much time for conspiracy theories.
    2. I have never had a conversion experience nor do I expect to have one; and, my world view is framed by a sensitivity to the dynamics of power relationships in society and how those relationships support a structure of social classes.

    My friend is carefree, neither seeing nor crediting “the doomsday stuff,” as tristero calls it.

    …the very thought that the US government is seriously broken - that the Executive is beyond the control of anyone and everyone in the world - is such a truly awesome and terrifying thought that it can never be publicly acknowledged. If ever it is, if the American crisis gets outed and Congress and the Supremes openly assert that the Executive has run completely amok and is beyond control, the world consequences are staggering. It is the stuff of doomsday novels.

    Juke Moran says, “Moral centers, in a Velikovskian geometric, have Onanist characteristics.” I wouldn’t know about that of course, because my nose is stuck so deep in my own navel that I’m suffocating. But I like my little social science thought experiment:

    Answer these two questions, and please don’t mess with me, just tell the truth…

    1. Do you believe in god and how would you qualify that belief?
    2. Do you see conspiracies where the media and others around you see none, and give an example please?

    September 28th, 2024

    Sat Nam

    In our dreamsI’m old. Most of my exercise comes from bending over to pull my socks on in the morning and off at night. Of course, you could say I have to be strong to carry that fifty pound bag of excess fat around with me wherever I go. Yet, for all the physical deterioration, buried somewhere beneath the crust of my dimming consciousness there remain the good intentions. Someday I could get in shape. Someday I could break free of my bad habits.

    I’m gullible. Maybe short-sighted is a better word. In early August, when Beth suggested we sign up for the partner yoga class, it seemed far enough away that I could hope maybe I’d die before the first class. I’m averse to conflict. I agreed to go because it was easier to assent than to fight it out.

    Last week was the first class. Beth bought us matching yoga mats, smelly rolls of soft foam outgassing carcinogens. No way could it be healthy to lie about on these mats. I had a conflict. We missed the first class. All week the mats have been in my office, sort of a stealth oncology marketing gimmick if you ask me.

    Last night was the second class. I couldn’t come up with a good enough excuse to avoid it. There we were, with half a dozen other couples. Guess who was the oldest fat guy in the room. Hint: me.

    This morning I feel surprisingly good.

    September 27th, 2024

    Rest easy Rose…

    When two goats were offered unto the Lord (and only unto the Lord) on the day of expiation, among the ancient Israelites, we read that one of them was to fall by lot to Azazel. Azazel cannot, without some hardship on the sense, be taken for the name of the scapegoat itself: But it is no other than the name of the Devil himself, as might easily be proved from the monuments of the greatest (both Jewish and Christian) antiquities.

    In the signification of the word Azazel, there is indeed a notable declaration of those two properties that have signalized the devil; his being first a powerful (brave), and then an apostate (fleeing) spirit. The scapegoat, presented as a sacrifice unto the holy God, was ordered by him to be delivered up unto Azazel upon these two intentions.
    Cotton Mather

    Iva Toguri, a brave and good-hearted American, died yesterday. We knew her as Tokyo Rose, and despite the journalism of the Chicago Tribune’s Ron Yates, few of us yet know that she was no traitor, despite her conviction and the seven years she served in prison. She was sacrificed on the altar of Walter Winchell’s post-war self-aggrandizement.

    Iva Toguri was convicted of treason because of prosecutorial subornation. Witnesses were found who were willing to lie about what they heard Ms. Toguri say on the radio. It made a great story for Walter Winchell, but ultimately her reputation was restored and Walter Winchell was revealed as the worst kind of yellow journalist. It remains for justice to be served in the case of unnamed Federal prosecutor’s subornation.

    …in 1976, Ron Yates, Tokyo bureau chief for the Chicago Tribune, interviewed the two witnesses whose testimony had led to Ms. Toguri’s conviction. They admitted that they had perjured themselves under heavy pressure. That resulted in a series of articles for the Tribune, making a powerful case for Ms. Toguri’s innocence.
    “I think the thing that makes this so important to me was that it was two journalists who got her into trouble,” Mr. Yates said recently, “and I was just happy that it was a journalist who helped right a wrong a little bit.”
    A “60 Minutes” broadcast on Ms. Toguri, narrated by Morley Safer, helped increase public support for a presidential pardon and in January 1977, on his last day in office, Mr. Ford granted her a pardon and restored her citizenship.

    September 27th, 2024

    Line rider, a toy

    September 26th, 2024


    EEstor… that’s what I’m talking about. Got my fingers crossed that it goes big and that it goes big fast.

    September 26th, 2024

    Well endowed…

    Watching Amanda interview Jarvis my mind wandered to the Harvard endowment. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not wandering off into the misty distance of a techno-elitist, white privilege rap. I follow Amanda with pleasure. Her perigrinations promise not the picaresque vicissitudes of — oh, Tom Jones, nor Sal Paradise, nor even “Half Cocked Jack” Shaftoe and/or the lively Eliza; but, there is a pleasant revelatory energy that she broadcasts, and a modest Miller Lite ambience that is easily associated with the contradictions inherent in undertaking a road trip, an American journey, in a hybrid SUV. So I hope I can be forgiven for wool-gathering about the Harvard endowment while Mr. TV Guide himself — one of her personal heroes — and god knows we all need personal heroes and Jarvis is as Presbyterian as the next man and bully, I say, bully… harrumph, hack-hack-hack-hack…

    About the endowment… roughly US $29.2 billion, accumulated during the uninterrupted 370 year growth of the institution, which, for the arithmetically challenged was founded in September, 1636. The fund, which returned 16.7% during FY2006, performs about as well as, maybe a little better than the 461 private endowments tracked by the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO, not to be confused with some Verdi opera Babylonian king, really).

    At that incredible rate of return the endowment could more than double in five years if the managers just let it ride and if no more grateful alumni made any contributions. Speaking of grateful alumni (are dropouts “alumni?”)… it’s come to my attention that the Harvard endowment is worth more than Bill Gates himself!

    September 26th, 2024


    Bruce continues his examination of Alexander Cockburn’s put-down of the 9/11 contrarians, those who think more was done to pull down the unimaginative architectural shoebox monstrosities at the lower end of Manhattan than simply flying a couple of airliners full of passengers and jet fuel into them.

    We’ll never have proof because any evidence pro or con was hauled away and destroyed. So, I think it doesn’t do a lot of good to speculate. Jerry McNeely, my screen writing teacher hammered on the fact that truth is stranger than fiction so a writer should stay away from it. This was before the age of the docu-drama. And of course most docu-dramas suck, proving his point that a good story is a contrivance simply told. I don’t know what the story is regarding the WTC demolition and I don’t think it matters. What matters is what’s happening every day. The energy spent detailing the conspiracies around bin Laden, the deaths of Paul Wellstone and Mel Carnahan, the Bush/Saudi partnership, the furshlugginer Grassy Knoll… all of these things are better put aside to concentrate on why Billy Frist is a suck dog opportunist and Glenn Reynolds is his Butt Boy, on why Senator Allen never should have been elected in the first place, and why he damn sure better not be elected now that everybody knows he is an overt racist elitist bigot of the first water.

    The conspiracy of course exists. Laura Bush is as culpable as her Pet Goat. The point is, that we don’t get anywhere poring over dead documents like the Warren Commission report. We get somewhere when we can expose the current misbehavior of the miscreants in such a way that even the NASCAR daddies become ashamed to identify with them.

    When Senator Allen speaks of the turtles in his pond and says “Around here, only the [African Americans] eat them,” he scores points with his constituency. The politics of conspiracy are also politics of polarization, but one offhand racial epithet from a patrician senator playing good-old-boy mobilizes more bigoted assholes than the most brilliant conspiracy theory mobilizes well intentioned and thoughtful liberals, no matter how well wrought the theory.

    September 25th, 2024

    The Great American Blogpost

    Neil Patel offers five hints for making your blog popular through content. The hints are simple:

    1. Break news.
    2. Post on weekends.
    3. Write timeless posts.
    4. Teach don’t sell. And,
    5. Join in on conversations.

    Here’s some breaking news! Next weekend I will offer training centered on the following timeless posts:

  • Moby Post
  • Look Homeward Blogger
  • The Grapes of Blog
  • For Whom the Blog Posts
  • The Catcher in the Blog
  • I expect a huge conversation to come out of our examination of these five timeless posts. Naturally, everyone is invited to join in!

    September 24th, 2024

    The God Delusion

    I’ve read a hundred pages or so of Dawkins’ new book and it just keeps on rocking me with fundamental truth. You can get your copy through this link:
    The God Delusion

    Thanks to Norm Jenson at One Good Move for turning me on to it early. If you buy through the above link, you are supporting One Good Move.

    September 24th, 2024

    Roombah — humbug

    Stewart Brand writes glowingly of the Roomba at Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools blog. (Thanks to Dave Winer for the pointer.) I was awarded a Roomba for my half baked idea regarding robotic pet exercise devices last year at the Accelerating Change gathering.

    When I tried it at my house it didn’t work. Things that choked the Roomba:

    • Fringed rugs.
    • Differences in floor elevation, room to room.
    • Deep area rugs on hardwood floors… once off the rug, Roomba never wanted to climb back on, just kept cleaning the perimeter.
    • Dining room table and chair legs. Roomba could never find its way under the table.
    • Stairs.

    Our old farm-house just isn’t Roomba-friendly.

    September 24th, 2024

    Fludding me softly with her lies…

    Catherine Bennett on abuse memoirs as a genre…

    In a really fine piece of survivor-ware, you’ll find something redemptive - yet convincing - on every page. As a child, Briscoe read The Little Princess and vowed never to give up. Now we can read Judge Briscoe’s horrifying memoirs and vow never to give up. Such - assuming that their appeal is not witless voyeurism - is the moral that makes these memoirs of true-life victimhood so compelling to readers of the Oprah persuasion that they have not just become a genre of their own, with a well-stocked misery section in Borders, but spawned a flourishing sub-genre: miserable true-life memoirs of questionable or contested veracity.

    September 23rd, 2024

    The God Delusion

    The God Delusion arrived today! In a fit of bibliomancy, I opened it up and found on page 104 the assertion that “Pascal’s wager could only ever be an argument for feigning belief in God.” I’m going to like this book! In fact I intend to read some tonight right after I check out the video clips at One Good Move. Thank’s to Norm Jenson for all of this.

    | Next Entries »