April 16th, 2011

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Oil Slick Impacts

Reports continue to roll in regarding wildlife killed or damaged by the BP oil slick and toxic dispersants.  This one features red snapper.  *sigh*  I like  red snapper.  But I'm getting reluctant to eat any seafood unless it explicitly says where it comes from, and is not from Gulf waters.  The oceans are filthy in general, but that part is just intolerable.

Origami Mage

Updated sketch of "unfolding wings"

meeksp has posted an update of the "unfolding wings" sketch based on my Origami Mage poem.  It incorporates various points of feedback from the (rather lengthy, now) discussion about the rough sketch, the characters, the setting, etc.  I am so pleased!  Thank you all for lending support to this project and leaving enough comments to warrant the extra work on this.

Yes, the project is still running.  The artist is working through new sketches and some of the previous ones are also headed for updates.  Keep watching that blog to see more nifty prompt-inspired sketches.
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Dissolving Local Governments

Okay, there are plenty of times when I want to drown a government in the bathtub.  But I am pretty sure that dissolving local governments and handing all that power to one person is a Very Bad Idea.  The last bulwark of democracy against plutocracy is that democracy is still on the books as the official government.  Dissolve the democracy and we are deeply screwed.

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Socialism and America

This article takes an interesting look at the history of socialism in America, of which there is a great deal more than most people think, and which has done more good than most would admit.

Personally, I care far less for idealogies than for results.  I have no particular brand loyalty in this regard.  What I care about is whether a society does a competent job of meeting basic needs for most of its members, providing opportunities for the more industrious and intelligent members, and pushing nuisances like crime and poverty down toward their irreducible minimums.  A society that takes good care of its people is good.  A society that doesn't is bad.  Most are somewhere in between, good at some things while sucking at others.  I think we'd make a lot more progress if we looked around to see who has solved which problems and how, then combined the solutions so that most societies would be doing well in most areas.  People hate that idea, though.