It Is Beginning

We closed on the construction loan on the new new house yesterday. And our builder, who wasn’t involved in that process, met us in the lawyer’s parking lot as soon as we walked out and had us sign papers so he could start getting permits from the town and county. And tomorrow we’re going to meet him on the lot and finalize the location the house and driveway. Shit’s moving fast.

That’s the new lot. It goes back about 600 feet.

Walk one mile in that direction and you’ll get to our current house.

You might be able to see the two pink flags tied to trees just right of center. That’s the back and front of the proposed location for the house (they’re about 70 feet apart). And just about 30 feet behind the farthest flag, there’s a pretty steep hill. That’s going to stay wild.

So, the house is going to be one story. About 30% smaller than our current house. “Green” (geothermal A/C, high-efficiency windows, etc.). Quality over quantity. On just under 5 acres (vs. the 2 we’re on now).

It’s all very exciting and terrifying since we have to sell the house we’re in now before the new mortgage becomes even close to being affordable.

But, things have usually worked out before. So why not keep pressing our luck?

It’s Not Terrorism If White People Do It


The decision of American media organizations to publish or not publish the cartoons has typically been framed of one of bravery or cowardice, based on the assumption that publishing invites physical risk from some number of the 2.6 million Muslim-Americans who will take offense and perhaps action. was praised on MSNBC for its bravery, even though this purported risk did not actually enter into our calculus, and other outlets have presented their decision to publish as a way to defy the Islamist radicals who threaten free speech.

Writers at Vox have indeed been bombarded with threats for our Charlie Hebdo coverage. But not one of those threats has come from a Muslim or in response to publishing anti-Islam cartoons. Revealingly, they have rather all come from non-Muslims furious at our articles criticizing Islamophobia.

Ironically, these threats are typically couched in arguments that Muslims are inherently irrational and violent. Further, threats made with the explicit intention of silencing journalists from discussing Islamophobia are positioned as necessary “defenses” of free speech against the threat of Islam. The people making the threats seem unaware that they are themselves seeking to curb the very free speech they pretend to uphold.

Romney Advisor: Mitt Is A Time Traveler!

An anonymous advisor to Mitt Romney told the Boston Globe in an article published on Tuesday that if the former Republican nominee had been elected President, there would be no Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq, and Russian leader Vladimir Putin would never have invaded Ukraine.

“There wouldn’t be an ISIS at all, and Putin would know his place in life,” an anonymous longtime advisor told the Globe. “Domestically, things would be in better shape.”

ISIS originally formed in 1999 and has gone through many name changes since. It became ISI (“Islamic State in Iraq”) as far back as 2006.

NTT #26 – Results!


And so, congratulations to:

C Nelson Reilly !

Well done!

This was a tough one. That theme really limited what I could use. Originally, I was going to do 26 letters but with ‘connections’ between adjacent pairs (as with #18), but there just weren’t enough connections to get me all the way through the alphabet.