Saturday, 18 October 2008


Weekend reading suggestions

Some longer items, for your Sunday morning.

Radical sheeesh!  Saul Alinsky’s 1971 book Rules for Radicals has become one of those books better known by reputation than by intimate knowledge.  Its recent citation, in connection with the ACORN voter registration scandal, prompted “dicentra” to read it for the first time.  She has been making notes, and posting them over at the Protein Wisdom Pub.

Along the way, she found some interesting contrasts between Alinsky and today’s left.  The person who wrote this is a radical?
Let us in the name of radical pragmatism not forget that in our system with all its repressions we can still speak out and denounce the administration, attack its policies, work to build an opposition political base...  I can attack my government, try to organize to change it. That’s more than I can do in Moscow, Peking, or Havana.
or this?
The human spirit glows from that small inner light of doubt whether we are right, while those who believe with complete certainty that they possess the right are dark inside and darken the world outside with cruelty, pain, and injustice.  Those who enshrine the poor or Have-Nots are as guilty as other dogmatists and just as dangerous...
But it’s not all contrast, as you will find if you read on.  There are seven [update 11/1:] eight posts (each in the 1800-word range) up so far, with more to come:


Love the boat?
...Underlying the cruise ship model is the tacit assumption that it will never be called upon to sail into perilous waters.  Once this assumption is questioned, the beautiful luxury ship will lose its aspect as a vacation paradise and become a potential and very vulnerable death trap.
Twenty-first century life as a cruise ship.  Greater interdependencies: A solution to future problems, or “tying down the circuit breakers”?  A thought-provoking essay (and discussion) at Belmont Club.


Oh, what a couple.  “Armed Liberal” starts with the Milken Institute’s PowerPoints and builds “a long post on Fannie and Freddie.”  Even if you think you know what precipitated the mortgage meltdown, go read.


Really, it’s an estate.  Drew Pearce got to wash some windows at a 1907-vintage stately home in New Jersey.  They don’t build ’em like that anymore..
Is it possible to fall in love with architecture?  Because this house makes me giddy.  Not only is the place utterly charming inside, it’s built like a damn fortress.  The walls are at least two feet thick, solid stone. I bet there are 100 doors in the home, and each has a turn of the century brass lockset, in perfect working order, but with a 100 year patina you simply can not get at Home Depot. I went up into the attic late this afternoon.  I climbed up the back stairs central servant’s stairs ( it turns out that there is another staircase that goes from the end of the servant’s wing straight down to the laundry room and kitchen at the back of the house.  Who knew?  But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if I found a 4th staircase somewhere.  This place is immense!) to the attic door, went in, turned on the light, and was magically transformed into a 7 year old boy in an instant. Wow. Stunning.
Links to the saga:
Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3 - Day 4 - Day 5 - aerial photo (scroll down)

It appears that his work generated some referrals.  He’d better watch out, or he’ll wind up making over $250k!

(Hattip to Pete Allen for helping me re-find that last one.)

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