03 January 2012

Infamous Brad

Brad Hicks is a blogger who writes only very occasionally, but at length, on a range of subjects, always insightfully. I am reminded of this by his review of Amy Schalet's book Not Under My Roof: Parents, Teens, and the Culture of Sex.

I am, for the second time in two years, convinced that I live in a country full of superstitious, primitive, blood-thirsty savages.

Good stuff. And a good excuse for a set of links to my personal list of The Best Of Infamous Brad.

Christians In The Hands Of An Angry God is his best-known essay, and for good reason.

How did so many seminaries and so many preachers and so many authors get converted to this false gospel? What deal did they make with Satan himself, and why? What did they think that they were doing? These aren't rhetorical questions. I've met one of the people who “signed” that deal and helped enforce it. He was quite proud of his achievement, and years later told many of us about the meeting where that decision was made. It is only recently that I came to understand just who the other side in that deal really was, as opposed to who the fundamentalists in that room thought they were dealing with.

Fascinating, and very relevant to the relationship between politics and religion today. It's a five-part series; click through the next entry links at the top of each page.

Yes We Can Put Americans Back To Work. We Probably Won't, Though. A look at the history of the Work Projects Administration emphasizing a point that I'm baffled isn't more apparent to people, that the WPA built the backbone of American infrastructure that we depend upon every day.

In that four months, CWA [precursor to the WPA] workers had already built 1,000 rural airports, built 40,000 school buildings, built or resurfaced a quarter-million miles of roads, and laid twelve million miles of sanitary sewer lines, some of the first sewer lines laid in most counties. In four months. Right-wing Democrats and anti-tax pro-corporate Republicans screamed bloody murder about all the money that the CWA was “wasting,” but (and this is a point I'll come back to again) we're still using almost all of that stuff today. 75 years later, those “worthless” “make-work” projects are turning out to be some of the most valuable stuff the government had done in its first 150 years of existence.

He makes the case that we need to do that again, and he's right.

Atlas Shrugged 2: Shrug Harder is a meditation on the works of Ayn Rand.

I don't know how many of you realize that Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's science fiction classic, is actually only book 1 of a trilogy? Hardly anybody knows this, because she never got around to writing the missing middle volume. She wrote book 1 in the series. She wrote book 3 in the series, but didn't explicitly label it a sequel to Atlas Shrugged, she and her agent marketed it as a stand-alone volume. She never got around to writing the middle volume that bridges the two.

Nobody Will Ever Believe How We Got Here #OWS is about the weirdness of the origins of Occupy Wall Street.

Millions of Americans have been told by the corporate media, ever since the 1980s, that nobody but a handful of dirty hippies, and evil Satanic commies, and lazy welfare bums, and illegal immigrants, and of course more recently al Qaeda, but other than those people, nobody else but you has a problem with winner-take-all laissez faire oligopoly capitalism.

Not That the Actual Forbidden Knowledge is as Interesting as That There Is Forbidden Knowledge explores a chilling fact about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Don't say I didn't warn you that you may not want to know. But if you're reading me, maybe you do.

Update: Brad has moved off the LiveJournal platform to take advantage of Medium as a place to kick out the jams.

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