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enjoy it while it lasts

just a quick note to let you know that i might be around and posting a little less than usual over the next few days, as i have things [good things] which will require my attention in the real world. i'll also have someone sleeping in the room that has the computer and people tend to get a bit creeped out when they wake up and find me doing blog posts in the middle of the night. granted, they usually find it less creepy when they know me, but still, i probably won't be on line quite as much.

i shall return, and when i do, i will be harder to shut up than ever. i expect that this will represent more of a difference in my life than yours, since you just stop by to read occasionally, whereas i have to live with being me all the time. well, i guess that if i've borrowed something like one of your vital organs, you might get a little nervous if i suddenly disappeared, but that only applies in a few cases. for the rest of you, on the chance that you miss me, you could always:

download a radio show [episode 1, episode 2]

read a book

show me how much you love me

or simply peruse the archives of this blog until you see something new pop up, which will be in the very near future.

and let me take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all the people who do pass by this page and see what's going on here. it really does lift my spirits every day to see how many people have stopped by to glance over these ramblings.

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as long as you're here, why not read more?

don't speak

you might think that it sounds dramatic, but linguistic genocide is something that happens. people in power will go to great lengths to eradicate certain languages, not just for the sheer joy of making the world a lesser place, but as a way of beating down the culture that's associated with it. language has a unique reciprocal bond with culture, and every group that has attempted to break down another has recognised that forbidding a cultural group from communicating in their own language is an extremely effective way to tear apart their culture.

there are lots [and lots and lots and lots] of examples of this sort of thing, some successful, some not, but far too many to cover in one blog post. however, i thought it was worth looking at some languages that have been the subjects of active repression, and what the political consequences of that have been.

devastation :: the native north american languages :: it should come as no surprise that the largest genocide in history [by a ma…

long division

after the united states election last year, there were the usual calls for the country to unite behind the new president. that never happens anymore, because, since george w. bush scored a victory in 2004, having launched the country into a war in iraq for no reason, the people on the losing side of a presidential election have been pretty bloody angry about it. democrats hated bush 43. republicans really hated obama. democrats really hate trump.

it didn't help that trump didn't make the typical conciliatory gestures like including a couple of members of the opposite party in his cabinet, or encouraging his party to proceed slowly with contentious legislation. barack obama arguably wasted at least two and as many as six years of his tenure as president trying to play peacemaker before he felt sufficiently safe to just say "screw you guys" and start governing around the ridiculous congress he was forced to deal with. not-giving-a-shit obama was the best president in …

losers?

just a short time ago, i waxed prosaic about trump supporters who felt betrayed by their candidate pursuing in office the exact things that he said he would. short version: i have no sympathy.

today is a bit different. in the wake of america's bombing of a syrian air strip, in response to a chemical weapons attack by the syrian government, my facebook and twitter feeds were peppered with plaintive shades of "we believed you". these are the people who heard trump say that he wanted the united states to step back and focus on defending its own. indeed, trump did say such things, over and over; america cannot be the policeman of the world. even arch-liberal cynics like me had to admit that this was a refreshing argument to hear from someone outside the paul family, and, could easily have been turned into trump's greatest argument against hillary clinton. [he chose to go another way, which also worked.]

trump also said, repeatedly, that america needed to invest heavily …