Around the blogs

Another harvest from the blogosphere for your entertainment.

The Silicon Graybeard embeds a lovely video clip of the world’s ocean currents and their movements over a two-year period. Entrancing viewing.

Merlin has some interesting musings on how to make government smaller. Here’s an excerpt.

In short, we cannot in good conscience complain about the size and reach of the government when we ourselves are not doing everything we can to remove the need for their involvement. Hilary Clinton was right all those years ago. It does take a village. But it takes a village free of government intrusion and control.

To make the government smaller, we have to get up off our couches, get into our community, and get involved. Not because the government has told us to, but because it’s what we should do as friends and neighbors, as members of a community.

There’s more at the link. He writes from a spiritual perspective, but even those without religious beliefs will, I think, find a lot of common ground in his perspectives.

Wraith brings us a very interesting letter by Ayn Rand, dating from late 1943. It sets out her contemporary views on Christianity, morality, and a number of related issues, and gives what I found to be new insights into her philosophy of Objectivism (which was, and still is, fiercely criticized by religious leaders). Here’s a paragraph to whet your appetite.

Christ did say that you must love your neighbor as yourself, but He never said that you must love your neighbor better than yourself – which is the monstrous doctrine of altruism and collectivism. Altruism – the demand of self-immolation for others – contradicts the basic premise of Christianity, the sacredness of one’s own soul. Altruism introduced a basic contradiction into Christian philosophy, which has never been resolved. The entire history of Christianity in Europe has been a continuous civil war, not merely in fact, but also in spirit. I believe that Christianity will not regain its power as a vital spiritual force until it has resolved this contradiction. And since it cannot reject the conception of the paramount sacredness of the individual soul – this conception holds the root, the meaning and the greatness of Christianity – it must reject the morality of altruism. It must teach men neither to serve others nor to rule others, but to live together as independent equals, which is the only possible state of true brotherhood. Brothers are not mutual servants nor mutual dependents. Only slaves are. Dependence breeds hatred. Only free men can afford to be benevolent. Only free men can love and respect one another. But a free man is an independent man. And an independent man is one who lives primarily for himself.

More at the link. Thanks, Wraith! That was good reading.

Suz linked (in a comment at Tam’s place) to a post she’d put up last year, proving that she’d been ‘sexted’. I guess you could put it like that!!!

Speaking of Tam, she offers a sage perspective on the ongoing Trayvon Martin affair. As always, the lady offers sound reasoning and worthwhile reading.

The ‘Borderline Sociopathic Blog For Boys’ embeds a video of a boy who’s clearly neither socio, nor pathic (but might qualify as pathetic!).

Earthbound Misfit points out that at least some new TV’s will come complete with cameras and microphones – which opens the way for them to be used to spy on you in your own home, either for commercial advantage, or even by law enforcement and/or security agencies ‘trolling’ for potential troublemakers. I found her article particularly troubling in the light of a report by Wired that CIA director David Petraeus has spoken enthusiastically about the potential of such technology to make surveillance easier.

“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,” Petraeus said, “the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.”

Petraeus allowed that these household spy devices “change our notions of secrecy” and prompt a rethink of “our notions of identity and secrecy.” All of which is true — if convenient for a CIA director.

More at the link. As Earthbound Misfit concludes, all this suggests that there are good reasons to stay with older-technology appliances!

While on the subject of technology, Galrahn takes a hard look at the US Navy’s plans to retire a number of cruisers. He doesn’t like them at all, and appears to have good reasons for his objections. Sobering reading for those of us with a military background, and/or an interest in the strategic direction being taken by our armed forces. Recommended.

Dr. Grumpy tells us the tale of a woman with a ‘difficult’ daughter. The closing comment is a classic! I wonder if her daughter ever lived it down?

Frank W. James points out that the unseasonably warm weather we’re experiencing at the moment, and the relatively mild winter that’s almost past by now, are no reason for celebration. In his experience as a farmer, they may be harbingers of a very difficult growing season ahead – and that means greatly increased prices for our food by late summer. Worthwhile reading.

Seattle’s Big Blog lists ‘9 Strange Ways The World Really Might End‘. There’s not a whole lot we can do about any of them, but given all the apocalyptic hype about 2012, I thought you might enjoy checking out some real risks (no matter how remote) as opposed to the fantasies swirling around the Internet.

The inimitable Charles Hugh Smith tells us ‘How To Cripple the Real Estate Market in 5 Easy Steps‘. Turns out the US financial authorities have been doing precisely that! – not that the news will come as any surprise to those who’ve been following the economic crisis over the past few years. I believe that Mr. Smith is right on the button (as he usually is, in my experience).

CI-Roller Dude lists 15 ‘Clues that let you know it might be time to retire from Police Work’. Here’s a brief selection.

  • You’re now not only arresting the children of the people you arrested at the beginning of your career, but also the grandchildren (but they’re only going to juvenile hall).
  • The rookies ask you what it was like to drive a police car with a motor that had more than 350 cubic inches and a carburetor.
  • You don’t have anyone to drink coffee with on your patrol shift because all the new rookies drink the “power” drinks that you think taste like gun cleaning solvent, and can actually remove the copper fouling from your pistol.

More at the link. Funny, but also painfully true in some cases . . .

Finally, Carteach0 posts the grimly painful account of Glen Rhodes, who survived an accidental shooting. It contains plenty of lessons for us to learn, too, and is a powerful reminder of the need to practice safe handling of firearms at all times.

More from the rest of the blogosphere soon!



  1. I remember the first time I read that story on Carteach0's blog. Well worth the few minutes it takes to read it (or re-read it).


  2. Thanks for the shout-out, Peter! 😀 It still startles me that more than like three people read my ramblings…

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