The Official SobekPundit Blogger Interview: Thomas Sowell March 24, 2015Posted by Sobek in News.
Howdy, folks. I have a real treat for you all today. Much to my amazement, I actually got the opportunity to interview Pulitzer Prize winning economist Thomas Sowell. I’ve long admired his insightful work, so I can’t really express how excited I am about this. I should add that for no real reason at all, I wanted to start the interview with the following citation from the Book of Revelation:
And when the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was in heaven a silence which lasted about the space of half an hour. And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
I Love All of You March 24, 2015Posted by Sobek in News.
Last summer I drove across a couple of states to go to my High School reunion. You may be surprised to hear this, but I was never part of the “in” crowd back then. Quite the contrary. But my friends were great, and we’ve since moved all over the country, and so the reunion was a perfect opportunity to see them again.
What about all those other people? Everyone who made me feel excluded and weird and alienated for so many formative years? I’m writing this from the vantage point of many, many years after the fact, so it’s always possible that I’m misremembering everything, but I had to admit the possibility that they felt excluded and alienated and weird – or at least some of them, anyway. Maybe the reason we weren’t friends was because I didn’t make much of an effort to befriend them. So the reunion was a perfect opportunity to get to know all these interesting people who have lived lives, grown, and experienced the world in ways that I haven’t. The plan was to spend the whole time talking to people, whether or not I knew them, whether or not we were friends back in the day, or even if I didn’t like them back then. Because again, it’s possible I misremember everything, but I couldn’t think of anyone who I hated back then who I had an actual reason to hate.
I have to say, that reunion was about the most fun I’ve had in a room full of near-strangers (I’m not including IB meet-ups, because although you’re pretty strange, I can’t say you’re strangers). That includes the times when I shook hands and smiled, genuinely, at people I really didn’t like back then. I don’t remember why I didn’t like them, and rather doubt there was ever a reason beyond normal teen-aged angst. That being the case, the problem was more with me than with them. Several hours passed before I knew it, and it was time to go. I can’t wait for the next one in ten years.
Afterwards, I went to dinner with some friends, one of whom didn’t go to the reunion. He said it would have been nice to see some people, but he wasn’t interested in seeing many of them – the same types I’ve been mentioning, those who felt comfortable in their own skin, those who made him feel excluded and weird and alienated. “F*** those guys,” he said, because if they made him feel bad back in the day, why would he want to be friends with them now?
That question is why I’m writing this post as my farewell.
It’s possible that for everyone in High School who made me feel excluded and weird and alienated, there were three or four more who felt the same about me.
My on-line personality is a lot more curmudgeonly than the meat-space version, so when I heard the blog is going dark, I briefly considered writing something along the lines of “Screw you all, I’ve secretly hated you for years.” But even as a joke – which I’m sure you would recognize for what it was – I quickly decided was not the way to go out. The fact is, I love you goofballs a lot. This has been a great place to laugh, learn, commiserate, celebrate and mourn. The fact is, I spent too much time on negativity, even as a joke, and that’s something I want to change. I never want anyone to feel alone, unloved, friendless, unaccepted. I see too much of that, and it breaks my heart, and I want the world to be a better place, even if only by the tiniest amount, because I said something kind to someone who needed it on a bad day. I want my last post here to say, simply:
I love all of you.
Bye, Michael. -lauraw March 23, 2015Posted by anycomments in News.
At a meetup a few years ago, Michael introduced my husband to the miracle that is Texas smoked brisket. Other than corned beef, neither hubby nor I had ever had brisket before. But when Scott came home he was raving about it.
Now it is a semi-regular home project of culinary love.
Another great thing Michael did was make us laugh, especially in person. Such as when he tried to break into a tool company trailer that was parked behind the Doubletree hotel that time. I had never with my own eyes seen a corporate lawyer try to commit a break-and-entry / potential attempted larceny. Somehow, he managed to be back in our huddle before the cop showed up.
It’s hard to say goodbye. I can’t quite believe he’s gone. It’s also hard to say goodbye to this site which is an archive of a lot of fun times between us. But it’s his, and he’s not here. Time to go.
Love you, man. Say ‘Hey’ to Harrison for me.
Goodbye, Farewell, Amen March 23, 2015Posted by BrewFan in Ducks, Handblogging, Heroes, History, News, Sex, Terrorist Hemorrhoids, WTF?.
Shortly after 9/11/2001 I started reading Best of the Web Today by James Taranto. I really wasn’t interested in blogs but I was hungry for information about the new world we had all just been plunged into. James had links on his blog to other websites, one of which was to a blog called Allahpundit. I remember the tag line was something like, “an irreverent look at the Muslim world”. This intrigued me enough to click it and I was amazed at what I found; truly funny satire, brilliantly written. The comments were fun, and one of the commenters was a guy who had a blog called Ace of Spades HQ. This, then, would become my blogging destiny. There was no way to know that out of this fun read would grow friendships, both virtual and real. Over the many years since past I’ve had the distinct honor and privilege of getting to know some of the smartest, funniest, most compassionate people I have ever been blessed to know. Like a true family we’ve had good times and bad times, sharing and caring, and even the occasional dust-up.
I’m sure Geezer is going to share what inspired him to start this blog, so I’ll leave that to him. I’m just glad he did. With regard to how this blog should be ‘ended’, I believe the course that should be charted is to close comments, but leave this blog for posterity. There’s nothing quite like a stroll down memory lane and especially a thoroughfare lined with such beautiful memories as this one has.
I haven’t been participating much the last few years. Mostly lurking here and H2. I want everybody to know, though, that there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of you knuckleheads. I wish I was independently wealthy so I could fly around the country and hug you guys. Maybe cop a feel or two, but mostly hug. That would be most awesome.
Finally, I lift my glass and toast the finest kind. You all. And I lift my eyes and look for the finest kind of angels; Michael, Patty Ann, Harrison, Cranky.
It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fare-thee-well, Innocent Bystanders March 22, 2015Posted by Mrs. Peel in News.
As geoff mentioned yesterday, Innocent Bystanders is coming up on its ninth anniversary. Nine years ago, the troll “mike” had singlehandedly rendered comments at AOSHQ nigh-unreadable, and many of us had begun writing/commenting on smaller satellite blogs (which later became collectively known as the “Moronosphere”). As a joke, Retired Geezer created this blog, Michael’s Comments, and several of us gravitated here to comment.
The last nine years have been very busy for all of us. I haven’t posted anything here for ages and ages, and the few stalwart posters still trying to keep the blog going have become more and more overloaded, so we’ve decided to close Innocent Bystanders at the completion of its ninth year. Several of us will be writing posts over the next few days to refresh our memories on all the good times we had here; Dave will wrap the whole thing up on March 25. So, this is my farewell post. (more…)
American Policy for American People March 21, 2015Posted by geoff in News.
[This is likely to be my last post for this blog (#837!), as we prepare to shelve it upon the completion of its ninth year of existence. More on this tomorrow from Mrs. Peel, I hope.]
We are citizens of a global society, and we have responsibilities to that society. But we are also citizens of our nation, our states, our cities, and our communities. And we have responsibilities to all of those, too. Not to mention our responsibilities to our families and friends. And, of course, to ourselves.
So saying that we’re citizens of a global society is kind of meaningless, since we’re citizens of a variety of governmental and social structures, at all sorts of scales, and with different relationships to each one. The real question is: what are our priorities among all of those relationship?
Do I spend a dollar on my kid’s lunch, on a local homeless guy’s lunch, or on a starving African child’s lunch?
For conservatives, I believe that the answer is clear: fix your own problems before you worry about other peoples’ problems. And that’s a philosophy we expect to be exercised at the state and national levels as well. The President of the United States should make it his priority to take care of the American people first, before spending time and resources on others.
Before you grant executive amnesty to illegal immigrants, for example.
The executive amnesty debacle clearly illustrates that the President prioritizes the interests of non-citizens over those of citizens. Why? Because his first allegiance is to global society, and not to our nation.
Liberal pundits have long been bewildered by the popularity of Sarah Palin. She’s shallow on policy and says many unfortunate things – how can she appeal to the Right? The simple answer is that voters on the Right know that in her heart, Sarah Palin wants the same America they want, and that she’ll fight to make that America a reality. It’s her first priority.
But President Obama? It’s not clear that he wants an America at all.
The Bearable Whiteness of Being March 19, 2015Posted by geoff in News.
Lot of silly articles about “whiteness privilege” in the media of late. You remember whiteness studies, I’m sure. That’s the study of the little, almost hidden, privileges whites enjoy that minorities do not. It is part of the pernicious evil that is inherent to caucasians – an evil they cannot detect and are not considered competent to discuss.
Despite my obvious lack of qualification to address this matter, I thought I’d make (or re-make, if I’ve made it before) a point:
All those privileges and advantages whites enjoy? We did it on purpose.
Yep, I’m confessing everything right now – we are absolutely guilty of creating a system whereby whites enjoy a bias in conducting business and social transactions. We did it with full knowledge of what we were doing, and we’d do it again if we had to start over.
In fact, we’re doing it right now. Right this instant. Completely without remorse or regret.
So how can we possibly be this evil, and proud of it to boot? Well, I’ll tell you…
If you’re a parent, I’ll bet you have decided to teach your kids about:
- How to handle money and be responsible for your debts
- The importance of studying and hard work
- Being polite and respectful of adults and superiors
- Obeying laws and respecting law enforcement officers
- Moral values
- Speaking well and dressing appropriately
Just to name a few. You’re teaching your kids these thing as they were taught to you, because that’s how our parents and grandparents conducted their lives.
So when you walk into a bank, your dress, speech, and carriage reflect the heritage of previous generations. And by showing that you’ve accepted those values, the implication is that you will pay back the loan you’re asking for, because that’s what your predecessors did. They worked hard to build up a trust, and you get to collect on the investment they made.
But you’re not a freeloader: you’re passing it down to your kids by paying your bills on time, being polite and reasonable in business and social transactions, and trying to hew to a moral path. You do this because you know that if you do, you preserve the system and trust that those earlier generations built. If you don’t, it will be more difficult for you and your kids to conduct business and make your way through life.
But then one day, after decades of paying bills, honoring obligations, and trying to live a decent life; one day, after all that, someone will point at you (or your kids) and say, “Look at the unfair privileges and advantages they enjoy!”
And you will be officially and irredeemably white.
I Liked This Headline March 15, 2015Posted by geoff in News.
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S. Weasel vs. Hillary March 13, 2015Posted by geoff in News.
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I asked S. Weasel to take a shot at doing one of her treatments on the photo of Hillary using her Blackberry. It was the photo that was supposed to make Hillary look cool and hip to modern technology, which is especially ironic given her confusion about how many email accounts you can access on a single device.
Anyway, you can see the results of SWeasey’s efforts here.
Affairs of the Aft End March 13, 2015Posted by geoff in News.
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Three out of the top 4 of Digg’s Top-Ten Headlines:
Perhaps not very oddly, we find this article sandwiched among them, rounding out the top 4:
What do these four articles have in common? Well there’s certainly the fact that I don’t want to click on any of them. But it seems like I’m missing some other common thread, some link, some theme…
Plotting Happiness Across the US March 11, 2015Posted by geoff in News.
Where are the happiest spots in these somewhat United States? Check it out:
I’ll just take a moment to gloat unmercifully over Colorado’s ranking.
Of course, once you see a map like this, you wonder if there’s a correlation with political affiliation. The answer? Kind of: