Ken Watts

Two Questions about Grabel's Law

One Answer About Grabel's Law

The daily mull generally deals in questions which do not have final, simple, definitive answers.

This time is almost an exception.

Some time ago, I posted a little essay on Grabel's Law (you can find it here) :

Two is not equal to three, even for very large values of two.

The law, as most of you who find your way to this post will already know, is fairly famous on the internet and even on T-shirts and mugs.

Patriot Notes

Minimum Wage, the Gold Standard, and Willow Whistles

My adult son recently gifted me with a pocket knife.

I hadn't carried one since I was a boy, and it took me back to my first knife, and the very first thing I learned to carve: a simple whistle.

You start with a small branch, cut off a section, notch it, slide off part of the bark, carve out a hollow and a flat spot for your breath to go through, replace the bark, and if all goes well it makes a very pleasing sound.

Of course, you have to know what you are doing, and you have to actually do it.

Who to Vote for on Tuesday


I haven't been posting for the last few months because I've been up to my ears in another very complex project. (More about that in the future.)

I probably won't be posting much for a few months more.

But it occurred to me that silence can be misconstrued, and I wouldn't want anyone to think that I didn't care who won this election.

Here are the issues.

Patriot Notes

The Silver Spoon Effect: Mitt Romney and the Subtleties of Class Warfare.

The dust seems to have settled over last week's infighting about Mitt Romney's wife—whether she ever "worked a day in her life".

So it's time we took a look past the political games on both sides, and asked ourselves about the deeper values issue hidden in the subtext.

The first conversation, boiled down to its essence, went something like this:

Hilary Rosen: "Ann Romney has never worked a day in her life."

Barack Obama: "That's not fair. Being a stay-at-home mom is very hard work."

Patriot Notes

Stand Your Ground

There are many issues intertwined in the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin—race, gun control, the entire question of why the NRA would go out of its way to encourage so-called "stand your ground" laws—but there is one point about such laws that needs to be clearly made.

When a state passes a law which says, as the Florida law does, that a person can use force with immunity simply because he or she "reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent...great bodily harm," it runs the risk of causing the very situation it is trying to address.

Let me explain.

Patriot Notes

Santorum Has Got Hold of Some Bad Spirituality

When I first heard Rick Santorum's recent comments on Obama's "bad theology" I was ready to write a quite different post.

Here's what he said, on separate occasions:

President Obama believes in "some phony ideal, some phony theology...not a theology based on the Bible, a different theology."

“We were put on this Earth as creatures of God to have dominion over the Earth, to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit not for the Earth’s benefit.”

Patriot Notes

A Church is not a Person

I've been thinking about all of the uproar over Obama's recent decision, and compromise, concerning birth control and the Roman Catholic Church.

The controversy takes me back to two central issues in the culture war—the issues of freedom and power.

The two are intimately connected, of course. The more power I have, the more freedom I have. And, on the other hand, the more power you have, when it's power over me, the less freedom I have.

An Interview with Johnson N. Masters

An Interview with Johnson N. Masters - Conclusion

The conclusion of the exclusive daily mull interview with Johnson N. Masters, which began here, follows:

JNM: On the other hand, the Bible says almost nothing about a glimpse of a breast, or the use of four-letter words, or abortion, or gays, and yet those issues will mobilize the troops on a moments notice.

TDM: And this told you?

JNM: It was our first decent estimate of the epicenter. What do all of those issues have in common?

An Interview with Johnson N. Masters

An Interview with Johnson N. Masters - Part Two

The second part of the daily mull interview with Johnson N. Masters picks up where Friday's post left off:

TDM: Doesn't that require you to be something of a fortune-teller?

JNM: It would be impossible if I hadn't developed the Heuristic for Understanding Moral Patriotism.

TDM: And that is...

JNM: It's a tool for predicting the direction the collective conservative psyche is taking. I used the Northridge earthquake as a model.

TDM: The Northridge earthquake?

Patriot Notes

An Interview with Johnson N. Masters

This interview is a special report, only for readers of the daily mull. It ran a bit longer than I expected, so I'll be releasing it in three parts.

Johnson N. Masters is a compelling personality, in spite of his diminuative appearance. From his understated comb-over to his crisply pressed polyester sportscoat, he is the model of the insider conservative academic.

Patriot Notes

Jeffrey Sachs, Charles Dickens, and our National Budget Debate

Our current national budget debate reminds me of a quote from Charles Dickens in David Copperfield:

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six,
result happiness.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six,
result misery.

Jeffrey Sachs posted a fascinating piece in The Huffington Post Sunday, in which he applied a "misery index" to the economies of the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe.

Some Common Sense about a Free Market

Interlude: Net Neutrality and the Idea of Freedom - Part 2

I pointed out, in the previous post, that the recent Republican attack on net neutrality—on your right, for example, to read the daily mull even if your broadband company doesn’t like what I say here—that the Republican attempt to destroy that right is rooted in the specific notion of freedom which big money conservatives and social conservatives share.

The liberal view of freedom is centered in the individual—on the right to live as he or she sees fit, as long as that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others.

Some Common Sense about a Free Market

Six Ways to Strengthen the 99 Percent

Remember, this series is about creating a free market, and, in the process, strengthening freedom and democracy in the country.

A laisez-faire market is neither free, nor beneficial.

It will eventually be controlled by wealthy corporations to the detriment of freedom in general.

But a truly free market—one which is kept free of the dominance of wealth—is generally beneficial to all.

Last time we looked at the first of three ways to keep the market free, by stemming the power of wealth.

The three ways were:


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