ferget the thews fit to print

felling those slats, whilst dreaming about ghosts and cats that gnawed on my knuckles, only to turn into her fingers grasping, speaking of ghosts and well, who wants to see those in the dead of dark? pondered opening the eyeholes to let the wandering greyhoke in, but then decided against. opened the eyehokes anyway, partially, and squinty. for a brief, felt that porous suggestion floor the pathways, spook of a man, then only the tracky glimmer of the stereo lights. then to sleep again.

all in all, there’s some sandwichy happenings. and yours t. can feel that greyrope tugging back and forth. and it’s not only a two-way anymore, like and but who or what’s gonna get lurped into the soup? the soup being briney and a bit hackneyed these days, full of flotsam (or jetsam, is it?). beware the squeaker.

even though the nightime scurls betrayed a deeper secret, all we can be recollectin’ is that cat nibble on my knuckle. it turned out even the heftiest, neerdowells, emblazoned caricadoes. ‘streuth! figgered the ol whing might be crouching in the back, liveries and sausage guns at the ready.

catch it all, damnital–the newest pokey solvent throatballcleaner on the marketye–fresh from the slime o’ darkest peru. there’s a hoboken in it fer ye, if ye can stomach that thin grue. (beware the thin grue, he’s twice as hungry as the fatted grue.)

not to speak it, but this one’s nowt sayin’ his dream-farthings
are any nearsight cleaner than those seven fat cows/seven thin
cows/eaten seven fat cows dreaming ould. speak it, but don’t say it, catch me? spoke, spake, spak. drink, drank, drunk. it’s all the same to us.

but at least there’s a big fish on the horizonal.

Book recommendation

I just finished reading Rogue Nation: American Unilateralism and the Failure of Good Intentions by Clyde Prestowitz and I have to say that I think this is perhaps the most holistically coherent book about US foreign policy that I have read in a long time.

The title of the book is deliberately provocative (sells more books, eh?) and one would think that the author was some kind of raving leftwinger. Not so, says the clam. You can read a brief biography of Mr. Prestowitz here. He considers himself an old school conservative, which I can respect and only wish that there were more like him around. This guy has a keen grasp on the intricacies and context of foreign policy and the book makes a compelling argument a more multilateral US foreign policy and that it is the US’ interest to do so.

Some links:
A radio interview where he talks about his book. The link takes you to the audio file, so click with care.
A print interview with Globalist magazine.
A collection of links about the book.
An article that C. Pretowitz wrote for the Boston Globe, 8/10/2003.
And finally, ye olde Amazon dealie.

Methinks the Democratic candidates for president should have a sitdown chat with this fellow. Especially dynamo ex-governor of Vermont, Howard Dean! (Who makes being a political junky fun again, I have to say.)

Paul Krugman essay on Americans and their tax cuts

I guess I’m sort of interested in economics (in a hobby-horse sort of way) because my mum teaches it. I just finished readingthis long article by Paul Krugman on the method behind the fiscal madness that are tax cuts, currently.

I can’t think of anyone who writes about the conjunction of economics and politics with greater clarity and reason than Paul Krugman.

UPDATE: A recent interview with Krugman over at Calpundit that fleshes out his views some more.

An earlier comment conversation…

A while ago, I was having a comment conversation with i from squub.

We were chatting about religion and such. He had lots of good things to say: so much so, that I was really at a loss as to how to reply. I’m still feeling vaguely disjointed and at a loss about it.

I get this feeling sometimes, like the other night in particular, that I have difficulty formulating or crunching together coherent ideas built around logical arguments and evidence and etc. (Do I feel more comfortable over on the right side? You bet.) Perhaps it’s evidence of a lack of intellectual rigor, on my part or maybe I just have too many contradictory pieces and bits floating around in this noggin of mine. Whatever the reason (and maybe it’s a false conception of mine: maybe I have a decent idea formulation brain-widget?), it’s sometimes a difficult stumbling block to get around.

So I’ll try to take a stab at it anyway. i’s comments about religion struck a deep chord with me for several reasons, mostly having to do with my OWN ambiguity about religion:

1) My mother is and has always been deeply religious (catcholic then protestant then catcholic again). In a way that I don’t particularly understand. For example, the churches that I grew up in were speaking-in-tongues, prophesying, laying-on-of-hands style of churching, which I always, even as a child, felt vaguely uncomfortable around. Perhaps sadly for her, none of us, her children, are particularly religious in the same way.

2) I wouldn’t, now, consider myself deeply religious at all, though at one time I did (ah, those heady (pre) and adolescent days). Have I just mellowed out or is it something that I’ve “lost”? Regardless, I’ve never felt particularly comfortable around religious people. Why? Hard to say. But I’ve always enjoyed the company of the ir- and anti-religious…

3) In spite of my current ambivalence towards religion, I still have (and have always had) a deep (non-intellectual) yearning? desire? need? for some kind of deeper mystical or emotional or transcendant connection to something bigger than myself. This causes some conflict within my own self. And it’s not really something which is easy to talk to anyone about, because I tend to surround myself with people who don’t seem to have much interest in talking about it (see number 2).

4) Is religion good or bad? It’s almost a meaningless question, except that I think that the goodness or badness of any institution or individual can be measured and held to account. And yes, I do feel as though you, i, are closer to the reasonably religious than they are to the religious extremists. Their voices usually are not quite so loud and strident.

A case in point is this guy: the Real Live Preacher. He seems to write about the same kinds of things that you were writing about in my comments there, only from the “other side”…

That’s all for now.

yet more books books books

This one’s all about Richard K. Morgan’s neo-noir sci-fi novel Altered Carbon.

(And, yes, this is all a lot in one day, but I got a little sidetracked and haven’t been updating here for a while.)

This book is set in a future (a bit like Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom) where people regularly back up there brains and have them “sleeved” into new bodies, sometimes other people’s bodies. Things get wacky, as you might imagine, and pretty brutally violent. A pretty compelling read, though.

You can purchase: here and here

more books books books

…And but hey: here’s another book I finished recently–Tim Powers’ Declare and accompanying interview.

What I could only describe as a supernatural, spy-thriller novel. The interview with Powers makes it a little more clear what’s going on there. He takes some historical characters and historical situations and ratchets out the what-if scenario out to a fantastic scale. I’d never really read much in the way of spy novels before, but I’m beginning to see why my grandfather digs them so much.

Here’re the Powells and Amazon links