June 30, 2005

Advancing Freedom

Posted by TMLutas

I have to disagree with Mary Madigan posting on Dean's World that President Bush went wrong in his speech here:

The terrorists, both foreign and Iraqi, failed to stop the transfer of sovereignty. They failed to break our coalition and force a mass withdrawal by our allies.
The lesson of this experience is clear: The terrorists can kill the innocent, but they cannot stop the advance of freedom

The muslim civil war centers around two visions of Islam, each of which thinks the other is heretical and whose adherents are going to hell. One of them, the Islamist party, kill the other side when they become too troublesome. The other side has a stronger theological case, is much more integrable in the world, and is much more likely to help its adherents live happy, productive, well adjusted lives.

The advance of freedom, as relates to winning the war on terror, is largely in stopping the Islamists from killing their opponents before their opponents convince the great mass of the Islamic middle that Islamists go to hell for their apostasy. Preventing a Sistani from being killed by a Sadr is crucial to our war aims. Sistani is not an innocent. He is an allied combatant, fighting on the religious front. Sistani puts out a pronouncement and hundreds of thousands turn away from terrorism as it is distributed throughout the Shia world. Mosques that spew hate suddenly get a bit less full, and the recruiting funnel for suicide bombers runs a bit drier.

We simply don't have the ability to substitute for the dysfunctional muslim world's police forces without instituting a draft and bleeding our country dry. The best we can do is to protect the force generating seed of these societies so that they can raise their own armies and clean up their own societies. The tree of liberty must be fed with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

June 29, 2005

Posting Irregularity

Posted by TMLutas

I'm back, for now. That darned real life is getting in the way of my personal crack habit known as posting to this blog and, if I value my family and its economic success, things are likely to stay that way for some time.

Then again, I feel inspired right now and every time I say something like the above paragraph, I get the strange impulse to prove myself wrong. To my remaining crop of regular readers, apologies, and I'll try to get some posts up with regularity. 3 a day on average (my New Year's resolution) is far, far away from what's going to happen.

June 24, 2005

Tax Revenues as a Public Good

Posted by TMLutas

I share in the general outrage at the Supreme Court's Kelo v New London decision. Let me take the majority line in Kelo seriously for a second.

Increasing tax revenues is a public good according to five justices. What does that make reducing tax revenues? What is the moral position of filing a tax certiori petition to reduce your tax bill? What is the moral position of a politician campaigning to reduce taxes?

The Supreme Court seems to be taking a moral position that it is better to tax than not to tax, inserting itself in the legislative policy debate that has dominated the 20th century and doing it on the losing side to boot. Higher tax revenues, higher government spending shifts more of the economy to spending systems that have been conclusively demonstrated (in the general case) to be less efficient at providing goods and services.

The Supreme Court has no business doing this. Tax revenue is simply not a public good.

Traffic Analysis

Posted by TMLutas

The insurgents are giving themselves away:

There have been cases where terrorist gangs have tried to seize all the cell phones used in a neighborhood where their hideout was.

A computer run can quickly find a gang that is doing this. If a neighborhood all of a sudden drops down to nothing or near nothing in terms of their cell phone conversations, it would show up in tower usage reports and other cell phone company records. Giving each cell phone company software that can be used to detect this sort of hostage situation and you have a pretty good idea where the neighborhood hideout is without violating customer privacy. Then again, if they don't take the cell phones away, the neighborhood rats them out by calling the police or military. It's a lose-lose for the insurgents.

I'm linking to Instapundit instead of just to Strategypage because the latter has no permalinks.

June 23, 2005

Fake But Accurate Environmentalism

Posted by TMLutas

Dan Rather will go down in history for bringing the damning phrase "fake, but accurate" into the vernacular. Apparently, we've had the journalistic phenomena long before Dan Rather squandered his credibility on fake memos to try to take down a president. Here's an environmental story that is common knowledge, but wrong.

The legend began in a 1998 commentary in Nature, a leading scientific journal. Graciela Chichilnisky and Geoffrey Heal, economists at Columbia University, stated, “In 1996, New York City invested between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in natural capital in the expectation of producing cost savings of $6–8 billion over 10 years . . . .” The authors explained that the city “floated an ‘environmental bond issue’ and will use the proceeds to restore the functioning of the watershed ecosystems responsible for water purification.” The article said that natural processes in the Catskills—“water purification processes by root systems and soil microorganisms, together with filtration and sedimentation during its flow through the soil,”—previously kept the water quality high, but “sewage, fertilizer and pesticides in the soil reduced the efficiency of this process to the point where New York City’s water no longer met EPA standards” (Chichilnisky and Heal 1998, 629–30). . .
Contrary to the article in Nature, the quality of New York City water has not declined in recent years. Water at the reservoir source and drinking water in New York City remained in compliance with standards set by the Safe Drinking Water Act, and “[t]he Catskill/Delaware water supply currently meets all necessary criteria” (National Research Council 2000, 200).

If its water had not fallen from compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards, why did the city face a choice between 1) investing “between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in natural capital,” supposedly the cost of purchasing and restoring the watershed, and 2) “building and maintaining a water purification filtration plant” at a capital cost of $6–$8 billion, plus running costs on the order of $300 million annually? The significant change took place not in the city or its watershed but in Washington, D.C.

On June 29, 1989, the EPA promulgated the Surface Water Treatment Rule (SWTR). The SWTR required that every surface-water system serving more than 10,000 people, no matter how clean or safe its water, either filter that water or successfully petition to the EPA for a “filtration avoidance determination” (FAD). This requirement had nothing to do with New York City in particular; its water remained excellent. The SWTR applied nationwide and was intended largely to deal with Cryptosporidium parvum, a microbe that survives chlorination. Arguably, C. parvum could become a problem in the Catskills watershed, where 350 wild vertebrate species flourish, many of which can act as carriers. . .

To comply with the SWTR, . . . the city could—and did—petition for a filtration avoidance determination. To obtain the determination, the city, in a Memorandum of Agreement signed on January 21, 1997, committed itself to partner with landowners and communities to build infrastructure to make sure that future economic development would not impair water quality.

The legend of declining NYC water quality is likely permanently embedded in environmentalist lore. The bureaucratic waste of making NYC expend money to fix what wasn't broken is a story that is condemned to the obscurity of historical footnotes.

Fake but accurate is dishonest myth making and this episode makes me wonder how much of what I know to be true just isn't so. No wonder Dan Rather thought he could get away with it.

HT: crumb trail

June 22, 2005

Just Because We're a Duck

Posted by TMLutas

Lee Harris opines that the US is a duck of a society, unique in fact. He's not too happy with the idea that we're trying to promote liberty and free markets around the world.

Paradoxically, America can only help the world if it remembers how profoundly different we are from the rest of the world. By assuming that other nations can copy us, we are forgetting that we are, in every sense of the word, inimitable -- the product of an exceptional set of circumstances that occurred in one spot of the globe at one particular moment in the history of mankind. That is why any foreign policy that refuses to recognize our own uniqueness is inevitably doomed to failure.

This is straw man punditry as nobody is actually saying that the world can copy us blindly. The Bush administration does think that a yearning for a free society is universal but that yearning will express itself in various ways, filtered through the powerful forces of local culture, local history.

There's nothing else there in the piece. There's no examination whether there might be certain lessons that can be drawn from the US system without blind imitation. Certainly imitation of the US educational system of the 40s served Japan quite well in its quest to move ahead post WW II. I'm sure there are plenty of other examples that are out there.

Inimitability may well be a factor of the overall US system. That says nothing about the imitability of system components, nor whether following the same direction (free markets, free governments) requires more detailed imitation at all.

Red on Red and Home

Posted by TMLutas

The NY Times is finally dispelling the myth of a unified insurgency fighting against the Iraqi government and its coalition allies. The article admits that this is nothing new

Marines patrolling this desert region near the Syrian border have for months been seeing a strange new trend in the already complex Iraqi insurgency. Insurgents, they say, have been fighting each other in towns along the Euphrates from Husayba, on the border, to Qaim, farther west. The observations offer a new clue in the hidden world of the insurgency and suggest that there may have been, as American commanders suggest, a split between Islamic militants and local rebels.

A United Nations official who served in Iraq last year and who consulted widely with militant groups said in a telephone interview that there has been a split for some time.

"There is a rift," said the official, who requested anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the talks he had held. "I'm certain that the nationalist Iraqi part of the insurgency is very much fed up with the Jihadists grabbing the headlines and carrying out the sort of violence that they don't want against innocent civilians."

I don't expect the "let's get out now" left to change much because of this story but they should. If the insurgency in Iraq is fractured and the local component comes in from the cold, what we have left is a foreign invasion by a non-state force, Al-Queda, with state backing in Syria and Iran which allow fighters and supplies to pass through. This should make a tremendous difference and cause progressives to rally to the side of the Iraqi government.

It's actually sort of sad that I don't think that this will happen. I've lost my faith in a large portion of the american left that they're a loyal opposition. I don't think that there are many elected officials in the Democrat party that fit that description but enough of their activist base fits that they're pushed into insane positions.

June 18, 2005

Schiavo Finale II

Posted by TMLutas

I just saw the National Review editorial on Schiavo's autopsy and despite my previous "finale" I can't let this pass. I understand where they're coming from but they're missing the point. The facts do matter. They're right that we don't have all of them but we do have more of them than we had before. The tussle over the denial of rehabilitative therapy, while not the end argument, was an important chapter over Schiavo's case and that's pretty much resolved in Michael Schiavo's favor. Whatever else, he seems to have decided right on that matter. It is important to be faithful to the truth and grant the other side (when they are right) their legitimate victories.

The ultimate question is at what point do you just let people go. Terri Schiavo stood close to the line but over time the line moved. Moving that line wasn't a good idea as we shall no doubt see in the future but the only way that we're going to have a hope of reforging consensus on the subject is by breaking our current political debating culture. The NR editorial doesn't do a thing to advance that and that is a real shame.

June 17, 2005

Schiavo Finale

Posted by TMLutas

I owe myself (and my readers) an honest bit of closure on Teri Schiavo. I was wrong, and the autopsy results (pdf) seems to have closed the book, on the level of damage Teri Schiavo had. I still can't understand Michael Schiavo and why he chose to act the way he acted. Seeking the additional tests the parents sought prior to letting go would have cost less, salvaged his reputation in an awful lot of people's eyes and perhaps saved us all from a national circus that should never have happened. His stand against testing and willingness to spend money on lawyers but not on medical tests was the strongest bit of evidence on the parents' side.

At this point, I hope that she is in a better place and at peace. I hope that the family will look to their own souls as they pray for hers.

June 16, 2005

Measuring Militias

Posted by TMLutas

Thomas Friedman wants to talk about Iraq but it's pretty much a content free column. The one real issue he raises seems to be whether the factions are going to start investing in their own militias so much that national institutions are going to start to whither.

Well, we need to talk about Iraq. This is no time to give up - this is still winnable - but it is time to ask: What is our strategy? This question is urgent because Iraq is inching toward a dangerous tipping point - the point where the key communities begin to invest more energy in preparing their own militias for a scramble for power - when everything falls apart, rather than investing their energies in making the hard compromises within and between their communities to build a unified, democratizing Iraq.

There's no there there, though as there's no data demonstrating that Iraqi militia not under government control are on an upswing. It's just a bald assertion without any evidence backing it up. A more measured and data filled piece was recently put out by CFR and lays out the challenges and the use of the militias. The militias are not exclusively made of loose cannons as Thomas Friedman seems to think but are a complex web of loose cannons, privateers who do the government's bidding, and anti-government operators. It's quite likely that a good number of the militia that Friedman worries about are already under government control but are doing the hard, dirty jobs that the formal army either isn't trained to do yet or that the government doesn't want its fingerprints on. In either case, the world of Iraqi militias is not as clear cut as Thomas Friedman makes out.

What would be needed would be a list of active militias, their activate strength and an estimate of their loyalties. No doubt such a loyalty chart exists but it's no doubt highly classified. We just have to trust that US troops are not sleeping on the job in keeping an eye on these groups.

June 13, 2005

Keeping the State Weak

Posted by TMLutas

I ran across an article on street cameras themed on the idea that they're really not such a bad thing for civil liberties. It's not a bad piece but misses the real problem of the cameras, they make the state too strong. A society where everything done by an individual in public is captured, stored, collated, and attached to a personal file makes it too easy to keep tabs on dissidents, on the loyal opposition, even on personal enemies of those in power.

The US has plenty of experience with corrupt governments. The municipal history of most major urban centers in the US can lay out entire corrupt eras where the city was controlled by this or that corrupt "machine". Corruption is not something that is of mere theoretical interest but a real, live concern that is a problem from the beginning of the Republic to today.

So what happens when those street cameras are controlled by a corrupt group that is technically savvy? There are no civil liberties problems per se with cameras but they make overthrowing the corrupt regime much more difficult. They are not a technology that can be turned off with a change in administrations. One bought election and they can be turned from a crime fighting tool serve an alternate role as a political discipline tool. Defy the machine and your business suffers as anybody in (or contracted with) city government who patronizes your store is caught on tape and given grief on the job. That sort of pressure could be done in the past by posting someone to watch a business and take down names but it was expensive, detectible, and embarrassing if the papers caught wind of it and snapped a picture or two of the political machine's spy.

People don't like to think about their government turning corrupt a few administrations down the road so the concern turns itself into a bogus fear about civil liberties. The problem of street cameras is real, though. They should be avoided where possible.

June 11, 2005

Tax Funded Pseudo-Science

Posted by TMLutas

Every time a major scientific figure argues beyond the evidence in favor of a policy point under color of science they are committing pseudo-science. CDC Director Julie Gerberding is doing it over obesity. Aside from the disgusting possibility that we're trying to extend the prevalence of unscientific, outdated weight guidelines and spending tax money to increase mortality overall, Director Gerberding's also doing something else, discrediting science in general.

The entire scientific community has a responsibility to science itself to ensure that it is and remains a neutral player committed most of all to the truth and politics or pet theories be damned. When physicists maintain that commitment, they enhance the credibility of not only their own field but of scientists in general. The reverse is true. By attacking a legitimate study without coming up with any challenges to the actual data gathered, the message is given that science isn't impartial, it does have an ax to grind, and it's not to be trusted.

June 09, 2005

Letter to the Paper ILVIII

Posted by TMLutas

It's important not to let revisionism escape unanswered when it is pernicious to our war aims and abusive of the truth. Fallujah was a successful operation whose reconstruction has been hampered by insurgency war crimes necessitating strict security.

The article *is* quite thorough, almost as educational as Lord Haw Haw. Sieges succeed when the administration of a city falls. The article does not actually contend that the US actually failed in its siege but that reconstruction is a problem. Maybe that's just a problem of headline writing. What cannot be fairly laid at the feet of propagandists at the Asia Times is the unsubstantiated assertion that "There are daily war crimes being committed in Fallujah, even now," and that a group is honestly working to "document the war crimes and illegal weapons that were used during the November siege" without making even one credible assertion of a war crime that the US perpetrated.

There were war crimes aplenty in Fallujah when it was under insurgent control. They were running torture chambers, raping and killing innocents, abusing all sorts of sanctuary provisions including the sanctuary of surrender, hiding among civilians, pretending to be wounded, using mosques for military purposes, fighting without uniform, etc. I do not think that this sort of thing is what Mohammed Abdulla, the executive director of the Study Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Fallujah is complaining about.

It is those abuses of the normal sanctuaries of war that require extraordinary security measures be imposed on the civilian population of Fallujah. That greatly slows down reconstruction and makes complaints and resentment inevitable. The war crimes are the insurgency's though and we should not forget it.

Climate Report Editing

Posted by TMLutas

Is climate research honest? Is government climate research honest? Those are the important questions regarding climate research reporting but the NY Times seems to be much more interested in assuming the answer is yes and shutting down the other side of the debate.

In a tone of continued pique that somebody on the other side is permitted to tweak presentation at all, the NYT goes on and on about Philip A. Cooney doing his job and editing reports that were spun in a way that was inconsistent with Bush administration policy. There's nothing inherently wrong with keeping left-wing political types on USG salary during conservative administrations, that's why we have a civil service system instead of a spoils system. But the voters have their say and the people they elect (and those whom are appointed by those elected officials) exert a welcome democratic influence on what would otherwise be an untouchable mandarin system. The NY Times doesn't seem to like that and would rather that election results have no effect on what the government actually does except for a bit of front window dressing.

In the EU they call that system "the democratic deficit" and it is recognized as one of the most severe shortcomings of that multi-national institution. It's really sad to see the NYT seek to import that sort of problem to this side of the Atlantic.

June 07, 2005

Intel Macs

Posted by TMLutas

Apple jumped off of NuBus when PCI overtook that less used standard, it jumped off of SCSI when IDE overtook SCSI for small computer use, and now it's doing the same for its processors as the heat profile of Intel chips actually is looking better than PPC. Wow, reasonable engineering decisions like this is going to make it really tough to sustain the "Apple is a cult company" meme.

One of the really good thing about Apple's hardware is that it used a reasonably sophisticated firmware system, IEEE-1275 or Open Firmware. One of the unresolved issues of the coming new hardware designs from Apple is whether they are going to continue using IEEE-1275 (and thus keep Mac OS X only for their own hardware) or they are going to also shift over to Intel's BIOS replacement, EFI which should mean that any competent EFI geek should be able to make hardware that OS X will run on. That's a big deal because it would mean that Apple sees more profit in shipping $129 boxes of OS X consumer and $999 boxes of OS X server than in shipping Xserves PowerMacs, iMacs, etc.

If this is the case, this is a huge announcement to the entire PC industry that they've been commoditized and the Dell model of cost reduction is king. Apple's exit from hardware would mean that innovation is dead as a business model for major PC manufacturers. The only point of competition would become in software and services.

Wickard v Filburn Redux

Posted by TMLutas

Mark Levin gets it right when he describes the now decided medical marijuana case as a throwback to the 1940s case Wickard v Filburn (1942) where a farmer was barred from growing wheat on his own land to feed his own farm animals. This was adjudicated as being sufficiently related to "interstate commerce" to be regulated by Congress (the farm did not cross state boundaries).

We've been getting away from this sort of "knee bone connected to" kind of logic that draws chains of indirect effects and alleges that the federal government can pretty much do what it pleases without limit. The 5 vote conservative federalist majority disintegrated because the subject was specifically drug policy. This irrationality when it comes to pharmaceuticals is a major reason why I still call myself a libertarian, no matter what foolishness organized libertarianism commits regarding foreign policy.

June 05, 2005


Posted by TMLutas

Bill Whittle has an enormously important essay (it's in two parts) on the subject of sanctuary. It examines the wider civilizational concept of sanctuary, a safe place for people to do as they like without Hobbes' "nasty, poor, brutish and short) state of nature impinging on their daily lives and also how various laws of war create their own form of sanctuary. He examines how the war on terror is to a great extent a war on sanctuary.

Read the whole thing.

Al Queda Rule 18

Posted by TMLutas

I had known that Al Queda had been instructing its adherents to claim torture happened in custody no matter what the actual facts were. Until John Leo wrote about it I didn't realize the instruction had a handy name, "rule 18". Al Queda's rule 18 is a declaration of war against free press. It is an announcement that they will do their best to coopt the press and to cause them to assert falsehoods and become a legal front for Al Queda propaganda.

The question of the hour would seem to be what special adjustments are the press making as regards to Al Queda rule 18? How are they discounting Al Queda information since they know that Al Queda policy is to lie to them (explicitly regarding torture but there seems no commitment to the truth on any matter)?

I have yet to hear about any measures the media is taking to safeguard the news from Al Queda's infowar campaign. Maybe I just haven't been following the news carefully enough but somehow I doubt it.

HT: Donald Sensing

June 04, 2005

Connectivity Restored

Posted by TMLutas

It's so nice to be back

June 03, 2005

Cannibal Cool

Posted by TMLutas

A Dartmouth grad student is apparently playing at breaking down the taboo against eating human flesh by advertising and possibly actually selling imitation human flesh for human consumption. It's a joke in extremely poor taste.

Taboos are there for a reason and if there ever was such a thing as using man as a means and not as an end to himself, it's in actually consuming his flesh for your own sustenance. I'm not worried that some guy is going to go all Hannibal Lechter because of "Hufu" but we've already eroded the larger principle of innate human dignity far too much to just laugh it all off.

HT: Master of None

Using Classroom Labor

Posted by TMLutas

It seems to me that combining the open source movement with classroom instruction would create a great deal of real world progress. Imagine a coordinated initiative that recruited software engineering class instructors to structure their classes in such a way that they solved real world problems for real world OSS projects. The students are there, writing code, but the code they write is actually submitted for real world use.

If it's good code, they will actually be able to say that they have real world experience on their resume. Their code was considered by their peers to be good enough to put into production use. This would give these students a real leg up in the job market over students who did not participate in such structured coding projects.

For the professors, it would be challenging to restructure each class to solve a new problem but it would also be invigorating and free them from the risk of students passing the answers from one class to the next. Since the problems to be solved would change, the code generated by each class would be useless in solving the next class' assignments.

There are literally tens of thousands of incomplete projects out there in publicly accessible repositories. This source of labor could be used to help finish a great many of them.

June 02, 2005

The Need for Roots

Posted by TMLutas

The Need for Roots is an important book for me. It's difficult for a libertarian to put aside economics but in this case it's absolutely essential as the economic analysis was way off. The importance of the book is that it seems very much to capture the sociological collapse of France that led to Vichy. It does so as a precondition for its true aim, the post WW II reconstruction of France and Europe in general (it was commissioned by the UK government for that purpose). After reading this book, I've come to believe that reconstruction failed and the France that collapsed so easily under German assault is still fundamentally with us in the behavior and beliefs of its elites.

Contrary to the mythology of the Resistance dominating French society, it seems to me that it is more the spirit of Vichy that animates today's French elite than that of the Resistance. We do not think much about Vichy in the US and thus misunderstand France at just about every turn because we do not recognize what is staring us in the face. We have a France that is unsure of itself, unsure that it deserves to remain on this planet. It loves the idea of Europe because it no longer truly loves its own identity with all its heart.

For a largely self-confident people like the US, such a country makes no sense. We have no idea how to deal with it. France certainly has no idea how to deal with us.

Thus we both move along in mutual incomprehension experimenting blindly in ways to reach a modus vivendi. When we reach temporary agreement, it is by accident and surprises both sides but because we do not understand why we agree we do not know how to preserve the peace we have accidentally found and we soon return to snarling and spitting at each other as the political stars go out of alignment and there is nobody at the controls who knows what can change and yet still preserve comity.

The most crucial battle of the just defeated EU Constitution is likely one of the ones that got the least serious attention by the US government, the fight by the christian churches of Europe to include a mention of the historic role of christianity in forming Europe. It was a struggle over roots and christianity lost.

The EU is rootless in its parliamentary voting majority and this is a danger that the US ill perceives because the nature of US roots is not unitary, but federal. The US concept of factions teaches americans to be rooted in a very unique way (so unique that the author of The Need for Roots skates right past the US model, probably because she couldn't grasp it). We are americans, members of a state, rooted in our own faiths, and these multiple sources of stability (along with others too numerous to mention) allow both for the stability and health that rootedness provides a nation and the simultaneous mobility that allows the mind numbing swirl of factions to adjust to each other peacefully instead of smashing into each other and warring.

The difference between the european and US models is the difference between a tree and a ground runner that periodically puts down roots along the the length of its runners. Neither is likely to understand the other without great effort. The difference in survival strategies is too great. As long as the tree and the ground runner both "work", are both self-sustaining, they don't have to understand the deep mysteries of the other's model. But the suicidal impulse of France in 1940 was not self-sustaining. Weimar was not self-sustaining. And I don't even have an idea of how many other EU nations today are in the same boat as Weimar Germany and Vichy France but it was enough that the nations of Christendom were unable to even mention Christianity in the preamble of their proposed constitution. A Europe that is not self-sustaining is a Europe that will cause trouble the world over.

This is not currently the sort of trouble that a Zimbabwe, North Korea, or Iran will cause. The present manifestations of rootlessness are largely benign but rootlessness will cause backsliding and growing dissatisfaction with current governments in Europe, leading to new parties, new leaders, and far less connectivity to Barnett's Functioning Core.

The unified impulse of all current mainstream political currents in the EU to further integrate make it incredibly likely that any new movement is likely to rise as a rejection. Integration will be perceived as a source of rootlessness and to become rooted, integration will be rejected as a necessary price. How far the backsliding goes is a great unknown but what is guaranteed is that it will be an unpleasant and likely dangerous development.

Understanding the need for roots in today's europe is the first step in lancing this boil on the global body politic before it becomes dangerous. You could do far worse than pick up Simone Weil's 1943 attempt at diagnosing an earlier manifestation of the same malady.

My Wonderful Librarian

Posted by TMLutas

My wife has a talent for finding books for me. She's the first to give me a true understanding of France and the problem it poses for Europe and she did it with a book she gave me for my birthday, a book that took me over a month to get through (and usually I'm a very fast reader). It was like I stepped off a cliff and instead of falling, I soared. Now she's gone and done it again in a completely different arena, my spiritual life. Partner, friend, lover, companion, my better half, and on top of it all, a great librarian.

I'll get around to properly reviewing The Need for Roots at some point but it's not the only winner she's graced me with.

{Ed: I stripped out the rest because the rest of the article turned into a review in truth and that doesn't fit with the title and the opening. It'll be the next item}

A product of BruceR and Jantar Mantar Communications, and affiliated contributors. Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's half-informed viewpoint on the world.

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