Book of the Month

Orlando's thirst for knowledge
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Stuff I Want to Learn: Sociology Edition

Yesterday, I went to the mall. This is not a new occurrence. I go to the mall almost every day. It is where the grocery store and the office supply store are, as well as the Starbucks and many, many restaurants. To get to the mall, I ride for about 10 minutes on a mini-bus, filled with people heading in my direction. Yesterday, the driver stopped on the way to fill up his tires. The compressor was owned by a guy who had set up a little business for himself on the side of the road. That’s also no big deal. Business regulation is a bit relaxed here in Jakarta—there are people selling all sorts of things in all sorts of places. [Read more]

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Stuff I Want to Learn: Boogey Boogey Boogey

It’s an election year. That must mean it’s time for Congressional representatives to announce support for ridiculous Constitutional amendments and for state leaders to instill fear in the population by creating all sorts of boogeymen, like (imaginary) undocumented Mexicans running roughshod in the Arizona desert, beheading (imaginary) poor, unsuspecting, hardworking, freedom-loving, salt of the earth Americans.

Which has me wondering: why is discussing problems and solutions like grown ups so unpalatable in America? [Read more]

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Stuff I Want to Learn: Is Privatizing Social Security a Good Idea?


I should make clear from the outset that I am not an economist. So this post is more of a question for those of you out there who actually know something about the way economies, and more specifically financial investments, work. [Read more]

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Stuff I Want to Learn: Climate Change - Congressional Travel Edition

When I want to learn about something, I generally start with my good friend, the Google. Depending on how much I want to know, it can stop there, or lead me to the local public library. Sometimes, when I want to know a lot about one particular thing, I even head for one of the university libraries in town.

What I want to learn today is why climate change is bad. Apparently, that can't be learned through Google or the library. It also can't be taught with access to the most current scientific studies or personal consultation with experts in the field.  It appears to require about a hundred grand, access to airplanes, and true bi-partisanship. [Read more]

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Stuff I Want to Learn: Why Are Republicans So Dumb?

No, seriously. I want to know why.

They get six years of free reign during which they drive the country into a ditch. Not just any ditch, either--a snow-filled ditch with a pond of thin ice at the bottom, far, far away from the nearest gas station.

Then, they start losing. So, instead of asking themselves why they are losing, they double down, and lose some more. [Read more]

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Stuff I Want to Learn: National Security

Right after the election was over, I started a series of posts called Stuff I Learned, about the history of American presidents, as I read a book called The American Presidency. I didn't get very far into the book, and now I can't find it. I'm not all that worried about finishing, not being a fan of non-fiction.

So, at least for now, I won't be sharing with you the stuff I learned about American history. Instead, I'm hoping you'll share with me stuff you already know, because I'm confused. [Read more]

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