Not exactly a resolution, but

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

I hope to do more blogging in 5772.

In defense of the debt-ceiling deal

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

In the aftermath of this week’s budget-cutting, debt-ceiling-raising compromise, both liberal Democrats and Tea Party Republicans have excoriated their respective leaders, charging that those leaders were snookered by the other side. The more I think about what happened, the more I believe that the Tea Party folks are right: Speaker Boehner got taken to ...

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New beta story: “Husbandry”

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The missionaries’ suntans contrasted with the rain falling outside Angela’s porch. They wore raincoats with the same lemon color as the house’s trim, and their facial expressions reminded her of puppies begging for attention. As the woman held up a plastic-bagged copy of The Watchtower, Angela rubbed sleep out of her eyes. Maybe ...

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Getting closer to nature

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

A flowering onion stem: a single umbel atop a tall, leafless scape.

At some point while researching a story, I came across information on companion planting. One of the suggestions from that page was that plants in the Allium family, including onions, are good to plant with fruit trees, because they deter pests. So when we had a couple of onion bulbs destined for the compost bin ...

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Debt ceiling: the endgame begins

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

1:09 p.m.
President Obama warns that if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 3rd, Social Security, disability, and veterans’ checks may not go out.
2:56 p.m.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–KY) proposes an escape hatch that would allow the President to unilaterally raise the debt limit, subject ...

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Lambda: the ultimate religion

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

The Puritans of the colonial era believed in Calvinist theology, which states that God chose who would be saved from eternal damnation, and if He didn’t choose you, nothing you did could change His mind about your fate. In order to join their churches, you had to convince the church elders that you were ...

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How I convinced my child to go the f—k to sleep

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Since insomniac children is a hot topic these days, I ought to share a story of our own adventures in this department.

When our youngest son was two years old, recently transferred from crib to toddler bed, he discovered the joys of getting out of that bed, opening his own door, and visiting his parents ...

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How the mighty hath fallen

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Whitey Bulger, who used to be the FBI’s second-most-wanted man, told a Federal magistrate in California that he needs a court-appointed attorney.

You’d think that a retired mob boss facing nineteen murder charges would have enough loot stashed away, somewhere, to hire a good lawyer. Maybe he invested his ill-gotten gains with Bernie ...

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The mutant as [ethnic slur]

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Reading various essays on the racial politics of the new X-men movie—see, for example, Ta-Nehisi Coates, N. K. Jemisin and Matthew Yglesias—reminds me just how sophomoric the whole “let’s use mutants as a metaphor for the oppressed minorities of the real world” conceit is. I mean, if African-Americans could fly or shoot laser beams ...

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Short, hopefully sweet, fiction

Last update on Nov. 11, 2014.

Seized with an idea for a short-short, I put aside the story I am working on in my Copious Free Time for long enough to write “Dying in the Zone”.

“My friends,” the crime lord says, “if we could all put our weapons down, I’m sure we could make some kind of arrangement.” You ...

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