Weeds, Words and Sustainability

Some tasks lend themselves to extended thinking. Swimming. Painting. And reclaiming my lawn. The latter is a task that’s been going on all summer and grabs my attention for several hours each weekend. I tend to do math while swimming laps. The bucolic nature of working beneath the pine trees puts me in a greener frame of mind.

Creeping Charlie

When we moved into the house my friend Viviane, the noted vegetarian food writer, took Continue reading


England’s Mr. Blair and the Working Poor

The Road to Wigan Pier
George Orwell

George-Orwell (1903-1950)

I hate to start with a cheap trick but I fear it’s just too easy to pigeon-hole George Orwell–born Eric Arthur Blair for those who didn’t know. That’s the downside of assigning Animal Farm in high school as it was back in the 70s.  I’m not sure that’s still done; I’m equally uncertain  anyone then seeks out 1984 now that the date is safely past.

What I am certain of is that anyone who stops with those two books is denying themselves an Continue reading

A word of praise (second in a series)

Yes, we’re at it again. As a reminder, at AHC we do critical thinking and critical thinking involves being, well, critical. They do cheerleading elsewhere (maybe everywhereelsewhere) on the net. So we have a special responsibility to offer the occasional word of praise for worthy things we stumble across.

Way back on Monday the 14th, Megan McCardle posted a follow-up to an earlier piece on liberals in academia in which Continue reading

Politics and Markets: The Myth of the Rational Voter

The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies
Bryan Caplan

When Messner Vetere won the MCI business the trades reported that their pitch revolved around casting the long distance business as a daily election. Having spent some time as a consultant for AT&T I could buy that analogy as long as we’re talking about an election where votes can be bought. The efficacy of advertising aside, the game of getting people to switch is all about delivering a bribe and by the time I touched the business in the early 90s the Continue reading