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Here, There and Everywhere

Lacking an original thought in my head at the moment, I maintain weblogging momentum with this cavalcade of links catching my attention in the past few days:

♣ Denis Dutton, perhaps best known as the proprietor of Arts & Letters Daily, has launched a personal site, featuring his published articles and material of interest to students in his courses at New Zealand's University of Canterbury. Worth a look if only for the very fine Eadweard Muybridge animated GIF displayed in the banner. [Link via Virginia Postrel, who is herself musing on what Christmas lights tell us about the economy.]

♣ Yet another "upon closer inspection, homeschoolers appear almost normal" piece, this one out of central Virginia. [Link via Kimberly Swygert's Number 2 Pencil and, belatedly, Daryl Cobranchi.]

Terry Teachout, in a rare feint toward matters political, takes up the engrained inability of politicians and other public figures "to say anything without spinning it":

Back in World War II, shortly before the greasy cloud of spin had settled on the land, Gen. Joseph Stilwell, whose nickname was 'Vinegar Joe,' met the press after having been forced to retreat from Burma by the Japanese. He said, 'I claim we got a hell of a beating. We got run out of Burma and it is as humiliating as hell. I think we ought to find out what caused it, go back and re-take it.'

The day any politician of either party makes so blunt a remark within earshot of microphones -- and declines to retract, moderate, or invert it before the day is out -- you'll know the barometer of cultural health in America is moving in the right direction. But don't hang by your thumbs waiting for it.

♣ Brian Micklethwaite urges us all to read The Economist's dissertation on the historically mind-expanding qualities of coffee and coffee houses.


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