AND A STAR TO STEER HER BY: Happy Father's Day (late, I know).Two excellent links, both courtesy of Family Scholars:"My Junior Moment": "So this Father's Day, I've signed my card with my full, formal name, to pay tribute to a man who embraced fatherhood from the get-go. For my father claimed me as his own -- loved me unconditionally -- long before I could ever do anything to make him proud.""Lost and Found": "There was a perfect degree of fatherlessness in my life. Until this past year." … [Read more...]

"It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen." --George Orwell, 1984(Summer is re-reading season.) … [Read more...]

"THROUGH THE YEARS WE ALL WILL BE TOGETHER": THE SILENT STARS GO BY. In which the last member of our party arrives. Memories and cider are mulled. And it's a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.Read it from the beginning here, or get the most recent section here. Probably two sections left.Soundtrack: Marc Almond, "Melancholy Rose." I have listened to this album, which I just got off Amazon, four times in the past 24 hours. I'm in love with it; I mean what I say. … [Read more...]

ANOTHER QUERY: For many expressions that fall somewhere between slang and dialect, there's an accepted spelling--"gonna," not "gunna"; "y'all," not "yawl."But there's one expression I may need to use in fiction soon, which I don't think I've ever seen in print. It's basically a slurring of "I'm going to," and is pronounced--depending, as far as I can tell, on the relative "blackness" of the accent--"I'mawna," "I'monna," or "I'munna."Have any of you all seen this in print? How was it spelled? … [Read more...]

"There is a growing sense, even among some elites, that if they have to depend solely and forever on the kindness of outside capital, they will never be productive players in the global capitalist game. They are increasingly frustrated at not being masters of their own fate. Since they have embarked on globalization without providing their own people with the means to produce capital, they are beginning to look less like the United States than like mercantilist Latin America with its disarray of … [Read more...]

RANDOM QUERY: I've seen a couple people say that "TarZHAY" is a DC-area thing. Can this possibly be true?(Um, I will blog about real things soonish. Really.)EDITED: OK, email consensus seems to be that this is a national phenomenon, which makes more sense. As Ratty points out, it's a pretty obvious joke. Thanks very much to everyone who wrote in with data points! … [Read more...]

"Owning formal property also tends to discourage unruly behavior. When people are forced to divide their property into smaller and smaller parcels, the heirs of their heirs, crowded off the family land, are more likely to squat elsewhere. Also, when a person cannot prove he owns anything, he is more likely to have to bribe his way through the bureaucracy, or with the help of his neighbors, take the law into his own hands. Worse still, without good law to enforce obligations, society in effect … [Read more...]