This is awesome.

Swedish Citizens Now Control @sweden Twitter Account: Sweden’s people have officially taken over the @sweden Twitter account — and with the blessing of the Swedish government. One Swedish citizen will control the handle each week, tweeting about whatever they’d like, as part of a new project called Curators of Sweden.

“No one owns the brand of Sweden more than its people. With this initiative we let them show their Sweden to the world,” says Thomas Br�hl, CEO of VisitSweden, the tourism ministry that had been updating the @sweden account since January 2009.

Random Friday Thoughts

I had some time to think thoughts today:
  • I have a roommate, but I live alone.
  • Christopher Hitchens's greatest enemy was totalitarianism of thought - the idea of a cohesive whole of "rightness" from which all wisdom could spout.
  • That might be true, but I'm more worried about stupid, partial thoughts than the big lie. The big lie can be ganged up on. A chorus of foolishness is more subtle.
  • I need something to live for - perhaps someone or ones to live for. I am surviving in this status quo, but I don't feel personal growth in the number of ways I would like.
  • Conservatives believe in what is real. This is unifying. Liberals believe in what "should" be real - this is dividing. That's why I think conservatism is more powerful today.
  • Barack Obama's recognition of process failures was taken by many to be a promise to address them (albeit not explicitly, as to avoid process becoming a focal point. Process is boring.)
  • In many ways, the Obama admin has not done this.
  • I owe someone I respect a great deal a blog post about Troy Davis's execution. I've been feeling guilty about it for months.
  • I believe that technology will build a new way of living, gradually reshaping old paradigms, but for now the question is how to exist in a world defined by old trains of thought, but yet using the bullet trains.
  • "Good" people can do awful things. "Bad" people can be incredibly kind.
  • Labels are stupid.

"Nor Law, Nor Duty Bade Me Fight"

"Nor Law, Nor Duty Bade Me Fight":

Hitch loved poetry, as he expresses in this brief flash of brilliance here. But he knew this one by Yeats by heart:

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;

Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;

My country is Kiltartan Cross,

My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.

Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,

A lonely impulse of delight

Drove to this tumult in the clouds;

I balanced all, brought all to mind,

The years to come seemed waste of breath,

A waste of breath the years behind

In balance with this life, this death.

The Best of Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011 |

We got beat

Exclusive: Iran hijacked US drone, says Iranian engineer - Iranian electronic warfare specialists were able to cut off communications links of the American bat-wing RQ-170 Sentinel, says the engineer, who works for one of many Iranian military and civilian teams currently trying to unravel the drone’s stealth and intelligence secrets, and who could not be named for his safety.

Using knowledge gleaned from previous downed American drones and a technique proudly claimed by Iranian commanders in September, the Iranian specialists then reconfigured the drone's GPS coordinates to make it land in Iran at what the drone thought was its actual home base in Afghanistan.

From The Annals Of Chutzpah

From The Annals Of Chutzpah:

“Over 4,000 brave young Americans gave their lives in this conflict. I pray that their sacrifice is not in vain. I hope that their families will not mourn the day that their sons and daughters went out to fight for freedom for the Iraqi people. Unfortunately, it is clear that this decision of a complete pullout of United States troops from Iraq was dictated by politics, and not our national security interests. I believe that history will judge this president’s leadership with the scorn and disdain it deserves," - John McCain.

Yes, it was determined by politics: Iraqi politics and the 2008 SOFA. Does McCain believe the US has a right to occupy a sovereign democratic country against its explicit wishes for as long as he believes it to be in America's interests? That isn't neo-imperialism. It's imperialism.

Library Quidditch - YouTube

Mitt Romney: Too good to be trusted? | Deseret News

Mitt Romney: Too good to be trusted? | Deseret News: The problem, you see, is that there are three very different skill sets required for: 1. Getting nominated; 2. Getting elected; and 3. Governing as president. The skill set required for No. 1 seems to be rigid, uncompromising, far-right positions and a total distrust (or even hatred) of all moderates and liberals. The skill set required for No. 2 is the ability to reach out to the center of the political spectrum and to take positions that everyone can understand and appreciate even if they don't agree. The skill set required for No. 3 is to be able to attract the best and the brightest, to listen well, to analyze well, and to make and clearly explain strong, reasoned decisions that turn our country around and move it forward.

Mitt is best at skill set No. 3, second best at No. 2 and probably worst at skill set No. 1. If he gets over that first hurdle, he will be a remarkable general election candidate and, we believe, an extraordinarily successful president.


The boys and girls at my high school are remembering two 2010ers that lost their lives a few days ago in separate incidents. Life is precious and amazing, and it's a privilege to enjoy it.