Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Egads, what a silly title, I wince just typing that one in. But as the quotation marks suggest, I lifted it from someplace else, specifically this Nicholas Kristof piece.
In upper-middle-class suburbs on the East Coast, the newest must-have isn’t a $7,500 Sub-Zero refrigerator. It’s a standby generator that automatically flips on backup power to an entire house when the electrical grid goes out.
In part, that’s a legacy of Hurricane Sandy. Such a system can cost well over $10,000, but many families are fed up with losing power again and again.
(A month ago, I would have written more snarkily about residential generators. But then we lost power for 12 days after Sandy – and that was our third extended power outage in four years. Now I’m feeling less snarky than jealous!)
More broadly, the lust for generators is a reflection of our antiquated electrical grid and failure to address climate change. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave our grid, prone to bottlenecks and blackouts, a grade of D+ in 2009.
It would seem this “less snarky than jealous” business in the parentheses might have been inserted after initial publication. In any case, the honesty is refreshing. Not that you have long to wait before Kristof gets to the heart of the matter of what he wants to discuss…
That’s how things often work in America. Half-a-century of tax cuts focused on the wealthiest Americans leave us with third-rate public services, leading the wealthy to develop inefficient private workarounds.
It’s manifestly silly (and highly polluting) for every fine home to have a generator. It would make more sense to invest those resources in the electrical grid so that it wouldn’t fail in the first place.
But our political system is dysfunctional: in addressing income inequality, in confronting climate change and in maintaining national infrastructure.
The article isn’t very long and you should go read it from top to bottom.
It is a fascinating study in how otherwise-intelligent, and no doubt well-intentioned, people get from “I wish to be seen participating in a political process to provide safety nets for those who need them” to the mind-boggling “there is something wrong when the lowly individual is able to take extra steps to protect himself.” Turns out that chasm is not so wide & yawning. Or, if it is, the mental gymnastics of Kristof find a way to shrink it down and make the leap.
[W]here is the link between marginal tax rates and (a) the percentage of total taxes actually paid by top income earners, which has risen in the last 50 years, and (b) the electric grid. Assuming the false arguendo that higher marginal rates would have resulted in more tax revenue, where is the evidence it would have been spent on the national electric grid, rather than pork projects and giveaways for political constituencies?
There are those who believe, in the wake of this last election, that we are now heading for a “fiscal cliff” that entails such a damning fall, with such a great head of momentum built up, and we’re so close to the brink, that we as a nation are now doomed. If that is the case then it is to our national shame that things have progressed to this point, and we still don’t have a name for this mental feebleness which apparently has determined our lack-of-future. Words like “envy” and “jealousy” do not adequately describe it.
The calamity arrives; your neighbor prepared against it and you didn’t; somehow, your neighbor with the spare tire & the jack, or the jumper cables, or the swiss army knife, or the polyurethane or the canned goods or the bottled water in his basement must have screwed it up for everybody else. Or maybe the connection goes the other way? Looking out for each other depends, in some way that’s never quite stated or defined, on being unprepared for extraordinary discomforts, and thereby burdening your fellow citizens with your entirely avoidable lack of preparedness.
We don’t do right by each other unless we’re constantly diving from the stage into a mosh pit. Or something.
Month by month and year by year, I continue to be amazed that things that should not be called mental deficiencies, somehow are, and things that should be categorized that way, somehow are not. I do not know if oblivion is avoidable or not at this point. But one way or another, we’d better get cracking and start fixing this. We need to start categorizing these mental illnesses before we can address the spending issues, that’s the take-away from this. Or, could it be that the New York Times has branched out into the satire business and I shouldn’t worry? I hope that is the case. But I have to doubt it, and my concerns are there.
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