David Rodeback's Blog

Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Friday, July 1, 2011
Reentry, Second Attempt

Some not altogether idle chatter, a confession, and a few good links.

The year 2011 is half gone, and I can hardly believe that I've blogged only once, and that was back in February. I thought at the time that I was back in the groove and would be able to blog at least weekly, after a three-month vacuum. Google and certain other sectors of the universe proved to have other plans. I'm not happy about my long silence, but, at least in retrospect, I ruefully acknowledge the necessity of it.

There's no reason you should remember this, but I promised something at the end of my previous blog post, lo, these nearly fourscore weeks ago. To wit: "Next time, I'll even confess my rather pathetic method for remembering all this stuff, despite not having blogged in over three months." "This stuff" is the accumulation of links I foist upon blog readers, Twitter followers, and Facebook friends, in the hope that some of the good reading I find around the Web will interest you.

So here's my confession, and, if it proves I'm a geek, does that really tell us anything new?

I do most of my writing and much of my reading on my personal laptop. Ordinarily, I have two web browsers open at the same time. First, there is Firefox, with somewhere between three and eight tabs I like to keep open. These are my family calendar, a couple of Twitter-related tabs, a work thing that doesn't work in my other browser, another work thing I have to run without cookies on one browser, and with cookies on another, and so forth.

Most of my Web activity and nearly all of my Web reading is in Chrome. When I read something that I want to share, either by e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, or blog, I leave the tab open until I get back to it. At present, I have 29 tabs open, and for me that's not a lot. I've been over 60 once or twice in recent months. Chrome is an excellent enabler, because if I close it, it opens all the tabs next time I start it -- that can take a while -- and, if it crashes, it remembers what was open. Yes, this uses a lot of memory and processor power on ye olde Sony laptop (which isn't really olde). Yes, my colleagues mock me when I project a browser screen in a meeting, and they see, in addition to the tab or two we're using for the meeting, another three or four or five dozen tabs.

Hi, my name is David, and I'm a taboholic . . .

When this gets totally out of control and threatens to render my laptop useless, I dump links to a draft blog post of sorts. You don't want to see the one I have going now, but I can't resist giving you about five percent of it -- yes, one link in twenty. It's been more than four months, you see.

There's a piece about the Irish government raiding private pensions to pay its deficit. If you don't think Washington wants to do the same, you're not thinking darkly enough. The US government is already borrowing from federal pension funds to pay for its extravagance.

There's a fun piece from Reason, in the aftermath of Osama bin Laden's death, about how to recognize a terrorist master.

Among numerous links to insightful writing by Peggy Noonan are these to an essay on unsustainability and another on the saintly virtues of one of my personal heroes, the late Pope John Paul II.

Here's a story about the US government accidentally shutting down 84,000 innocent web sites with a public kiddie porn accusation, when they meant to shut down ten guilty ones. (Do we really want to let these people control the Internet? They want us to.)

That's almost exactly one-twentieth of my accumulated list of links to good reading from the past few months. Do the math; it's a very long list -- and that's after I culled out items of only transitory interest.

The problem -- if it is a problem -- is that when I read something insightful or enjoyable, I want to share it. If the sharing mechanism is bottlenecked, as it has been of late, it gets messy.

Let's get back to normal, shall we? My version of normal, I mean. I have two Twitter accounts; @DavidRodeback for personal and/or apolitical stuff, and @LocalCommentary for matters political. You'll find most tweets in both accounts are links to readings, though I sometimes tweet a play-by-play of a political convention or some such thing. You can find me at Facebook, too, with odd personal insights, pithy quotes, and selected readings. Then there's this blog, with the associated podcast. There's not a lot of duplication among the channels. You're welcome to loiter at any of them which interest or entertain you, for as long as you choose.

I'll do my best to see that the effort is not so nearly fruitless as it has been of late. Pardon my language, but . . . vacuums suck.

Next up: A little chat about one of the most important phases of our political cycle, which most people never even see happening at the local level. After that, I have a fundamentally different idea of the American Dream than I hear discussed these days.

Don't worry. I'll understand if you only believe further blog posts are imminent when you see them.

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