Wednesday, March 26th 2008

Fabulous coffeeshop find!
posted @ 12:02 pm in [ ]

I was out running some errands this morning, and I stumbled upon the most wonderful little coffee joint. It’s between a Vitamin Cottage and a post office, and right around where I do a lot of my errands, so it’s nicely located, even if it’s sort of neatly tucked in where I didn’t see it for, probably, months. All my courses are online this quarter, so having a specific place to go to do that online teaching is especially appealing. I prefer to get out and about when I have a lot of replying to postings to do. If I just sit there in my nightgown at home (especially when it’s springtime in Colorado), I just feel like a slug. I think Novo Coffee is about to become my new office.

Tuesday, February 19th 2008

No, You Can’t
posted @ 12:44 am in [ - ]

Okay, I find Obama really inspiring. That “Yes We Can” business gives me the kind of hope I never thought I’d experience, having been born at a time in American history after it was apparently fashionable to assassinate as many truly inspiring visionaries as possible. But I also really, really love good satire. Here’s some now. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 30th 2008

posted @ 9:18 am in [ ]

Another communique from Erik from a comment. I thought it warranted a posting of its own. Huh. I never thought I’d be a case study. When I did coursework at the Kennedy School, I used to really like those.

Hi again Meg,

This is Erik, your fellow docee from London. I just found out that a guy at Harvard uses my Blogger’s Manifesto for a course on “the arts of communication.” Link here:

Isn’t that cool? I love the thought that all those Harvard kids are discussing your case, DeVry hiring policies, and reading those great quotes from you.

Wednesday, December 26th 2007

More on Monday’s radio show
posted @ 9:17 am in [ - ]

Below is a link to Monday’s show’s archive. It’ll be in there for a couple of weeks, so if you’re interested, do give a listen soon.


audio stream

Special Guests: Dr. Meg, Touching Morons, Ziggies & Du4roux.

Featuring music by: Keijo, Phil Kline, Citay, Led Zeppelin,
Randy and the Boomchicas, Rev. Lonnie Farris, Steve Earle + Forro in the Dark, the Dirtbombs, Taggy Matcher, The Dynamics, Du4roux, Arsenal, Psychic TV, Touching Morons, Sage Francis, Dan le Sac & Scroobious Pip, Robert Hood, A Hundred Birds, Shawn Lee Ping Pong Orchestra, Christian Prommer, Simone White, Old Blind Dogs, Flight of the Conchords, Darci Hill + Bob Long, Jim Pepper and more..

Monday, December 24th 2007

My lifecoaching hits the airwaves
posted @ 4:01 pm in [ - ]

One of the wacky things I’ve been doing lately is visiting a friend’s radio show and posing as a really terrible lifecoach. Giving the worst advice I can possibly think of is so liberating, and I understand, somewhat entertaining. An archive copy of today’s show (which also features some local bands and terrific music) will be available later today here, at KGNU’s website. It’s been great fun! The advice consists of things like faking one’s own death, using bourbon as a reward system for meeting goals, and the like.

Thursday, December 6th 2007

Mutual fan mail
posted @ 11:06 am in [ ]

I got a comment way back in the “Dooced!” discussion from a fellow doocee. It seems he’s written a groovy book about blogging and freedom of speech that I figured y’all would want to know about. I paraphrase Erik thusly:

My book on blogging and freedom of speech on the Internet was just published — and you’re in it! Thanks for cheering me up a year ago. The bloggers will inherit the earth.

Indeed they will, Erik! Thanks!

Friday, November 30th 2007

Best cross-stitch site EVER!
posted @ 9:26 am in [ ]

Some months ago, a friend of mine put me on to Subversive Cross Stitch (R). It has a bunch of cute cross-stitch samplers that express sentiments I find much more apt than the usual ones. I think my favorite is “Don’t make me cut you.” With the holidays coming, I ordered up some of the patterns and have been crafting them for a few friends. Working with the proprietress / designer / resident wiseass has been a delight. The patterns are good and clear, the service is personal and great, and I even signed up for the newsletter. The major news item this month was that someone hand-delivered one of the site’s greeting cards — a tasteful sampler with the words, “Go F* Yourself” embroidered on it — to Anne Coulter. See? This is a great site! So many of us feel the need to express things to people and just can’t find the words at our local Hallmark stores.

Incidentally, I think these patterns make excellent first cross-stitch projects for anyone trying to learn how to do it. The kits are complete with everything you need including instructions, and the site even offers animated tutorials. Plus, it’s so much easier to learn a new skill if you’re creating something you don’t consider lame and boring. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, June 14th 2007

Lisa’s general awesomeness
posted @ 9:31 am in [ ]

Our fabulous hostess, modern-day Ben-flippin’-Franklin and founder of H2O Town, online newspaper of Watertown, Massachusetts; and the bat-outta-hell success Placeblogger; author; noteworthy tech analyst; fellow cyclist; groovy lady; citizen (and regular) journalist; best friend; and mother of two, among many other impressive credentials, has done yet another incredible thing! Check it out: Placeblogger just got a HUGEASS award to expand its technology and be even more fabulous, if that’s possible. Can I just say I am so proud of Lisa I might hurl?

It’s not just that my friend is unbefreakinlievable, of course. I’m always gassing on to the folks in my global affairs courses about how important and hopeful this kind of thing is. The fact that regular folks have unprecedented access to each other across all kinds of borders is a wonderful thing, capable of changing all the things people all over the world worry about, from being lonely or curious, to the habits of reigning disturbing political regimes, to the price of chickpeas. The Way Things Are is all about cooperation: We all cooperate with the value of a dollar, the price of gas and who rules us on a daily basis. When enough folks stop cooperating or choose to cooperate with something else, they inevitably change the nature of the system with which they’re interacting. In a very real way, then, the access regular folks have to each other really does change the world. Placeblogger is one of the sites that makes that access not just possible or easy, but natural.

So I’m not just proud of Lisa because she’s my friend and does cool stuff wherever she goes, but because she is literally and directly changing the world for the better. Thanks, Nisalator!

Tuesday, April 24th 2007

Another “Dear Blogger” letter…
posted @ 9:37 am in [ - ]

I’m on a fair few political mailing lists, many of whom send out occasional requests for me to post about various events and happenings. Sometimes I do it, as you know. At the bottom of this is a link to VideoVets, an organization composed largely of young veterans and their families, that is trying to put an end to the Iraq war. I support their efforts, and I’ll tell you why.

For one thing, invading Iraq was a bad, bad decision. In practical terms, the objectives are unclear, there’s no exit strategy, and the armed forces are spread far too thin to be effective. That’s how the Romans bought it: Trying to defend an overreaching empire with too thin an army. In moral terms, it was a clear violation of Just War Doctrine, which has guided political and military decision making for hundreds of years. It explicitly precludes preemptive attacks and wars that look a lot like bullying. This isn’t just to be nice or to adhere to some outdated notion of morality. If you check out the Correlates of War project or any number of other datasets or analyses, one thing that really stands out is that the aggressors lose nearly all the time. Often, doing the moral thing is also the easiest and best thing in the long run. It is my personal opinion that when the history books are written about the decline of the last superpower standing, the invasion of Iraq will be cited as the beginning of the end. It seems to me that the longer we hang out there, without objectives and racking up huge costs, morally, financially, and to the resources and humanity of our own country, the sooner that end will come, and the harder and faster the fall will be.

More importantly, though, the way the administration is treating the troops they claim to support is reprehensible. Extending tours of duty indefinitely, for example, is not okay. And it is really not okay to then claim that anyone who opposes the war opposes our troops. What an alarming load of crap that is. The best way to support our troops is to get them the hell out of harm’s way rather than leaving them to die on the other side of the world. With no clear objective for victory, there is no other possibility than defeat. Being sent to Iraq, our revered troops have two options: be killed or wait it out. There is no winning for them. Treating their lives, their families, their potential contributions to this country upon their uncertain return, so cheaply is nothing short of high treason. It is an attempted assassination of the state by the annihilation of its own finest resources. The goal of warfare, according to Clausewitz and others, is to destroy or substantially weaken the opponent’s warmaking powers. In this case, the opponent had no significant warmaking powers to begin with, and we are only destroying and substantially weakening ourselves.

Worst of all, a generation of Americans is being duped into enlisting. You know my position on that already: If a state can’t raise enough interest in its military projects to get citizens to go fight without coercion, it does not have enough support for them and those projects should be scrapped for practical as well as political reasons. Unpopular wars are recipes for disaster, both on the battlefield and at home.

I’ve had undergrads in my courses who served in Iraq, and they all tell me the same thing: The recruiter sold them a bill of goods, they say, told them they wouldn’t be put in harm’s way, they’d get to use some really cool weapons, make new and close friends for life, learn some in-demand skills, and get money for college. Once they enlisted, though, they got sent straight to Iraq, where they were shot at, and those friends for life were killed. They learned some new things, but did not find the weaponry cool and saw it being used on the wrong people. It was a horrible experience, they all report, they didn’t even get to come home when they were supposed to, it changed them forever, and they never would have enlisted if they knew what was really in store for them. “I was just coming out of high school,” they all say, “and I believed the recruiter.” Many blame themselves for being naive, but it’s not their fault the armed forces have to resort to gross dishonesty to get citizens to serve.

The part that just gives me a huge lump in my throat, though, is that most of them did it because of the promise of money for college. The cost of tuition at my university has nearly doubled in the last ten years. Education is becoming the provenance of the rich again, while at the same time, having degrees is becoming more important than ever. So what does a poor kid do to go to college, and have a future? He has to go be a target representing an unpopular regime thousands of miles from home, and hope he makes it back alive, ideally in one piece. Nobody should have to risk his life like that, especially at the beginning of it, for the opportunity at a decent job and a living wage. It’s outrageous, and it actually makes me feel physically ill. Can we sue Halliburton and make them set up a giant endowment for college scholarships?

So here’s the VideoVets project. Godspeed.


Saturday, February 3rd 2007

John K. has the grooviest blog!
posted @ 7:26 pm in [ ]

Those of you who really loved Ren & Stimpy, and those of you who just like good stories and good writing, will be delighted to know that John K. has a blog! This is a terrific posting right here. You should visit his site and egg him on.

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