In The First Circle Bookclub!

“When I say peacetime, I mean before Soviet power.” (Our kickoff post is here, and our discussion posts are here, here, here, and here.) One thing that gets mentioned a handful of times is “The Stalin Prize”. The official name for this was “The State Stalin Prize” and it got renamed to the USSR State…

In The First Circle Bookclub!

(Our kickoff post is here, and our discussion posts are here, here, and here.) Last week, we decided that we needed to take a week off to let everyone catch up to Chapter 48 – The Double Agent (Chapter 43, in the Red Version). In searching for various treatments of The First Circle, I really,…

Paris In A Day Jukebox and Open Thread

I’m pretty fundamentally a “staycation” guy, at heart, but this song makes me want to hop on a plane. My favorite part of the song is the “A thousand stairs up the Pompadou/We were gasping at the view” rhyme. That just makes me smile. Going anywhere this summer? Talk about it here. Or, heck, just…

In The First Circle Bookclub!

(Our kickoff post is here, and our discussion posts are here and here.) The story of how Solzhenitsyn edited The First Circle from the 96-chapter version (the black version) to the 87-chapter version (the red version) reads like distopian fiction as well. He wrote the book but had to do it in private, secretly. Despite writing it…

420 Weekend Jukebox And Open Thread

It’s theorized that this particular weekend will be bringing in hella tourists to both Colorado and Warshington to celebrate the first “legal” 4/20. The news reports I’m seeing out there for “Colorado 420 tourism” mention “thousands” of people coming here. Which, I suppose, is more interesting than “hundreds”. In any case, I stumbled across a…

In The First Circle Bookclub!

(If you haven’t yet, check out our kickoff post here, and our first discussion post here.) If you’re wondering what the Sharashka Marfino looked like, well, there it is. That’s a picture of it. Article 58 is what put the guys in the Sharashka in the first place. Well, most of them. If you’ve never heard…

In The First Circle Bookclub!

From each according to his ability, to each according to what is available. At the beginning of the essay in In The First Circle: A Novel (The Restored Text: The First Uncensored Edition) (henceforth “the black version”), there’s a short discussion about the change between the original censored version (henceforth “the red version”) and how it…

A Man Chooses. A Slave Obeys.

Ima tell you this story before I can tell you the next ‘un. (If you’re impatient, jump ahead to 3:24 on the video.) Way back in 2008, Irrational Games came out with a first-person shooter video game called Bioshock. (If you haven’t played it, and you know that you’re inclined to like first person shooters,…

Israel, Palestine, and Cosmopolitan

One of the issues (NPI*) that has been bothering all of us ever since there were people writing blogs is the problem of how to best solve the problems that Israel and Palestine are having with each other. There are more solutions than writers, if you can believe that! The whole “go back to 1968…

In The First Circle Bookclub!

By now, I’m going to assume you’ve got your copy of The First Circle: A Novel (The Restored Text: The First Uncensored Edition) (or, perhaps, the Kindle edition). Hurray! You’re in for a treat. I’m also going to assume that there are not only folks out there who have the Unexpurgated Version with 96 chapters but…

Solzhenitsyn!

So it seems that we tested the waters and have decided to read The First Circle: A Novel (The Restored Text: The First Uncensored Edition) (get the Kindle edition here). (I’m going to be reading the First Uncensored edition. You should feel free to read the version that they have at your local used shoppe,…

A Dialog on Liberty and Equality Wanders into the Guns In America Symposium

Note: This post is part of our League Symposium on Guns In America. You can read the introductory post for the Symposium here. To see a list of all posts in the Symposium so far, click here. John Howard Griffin (a stalwart friend of the Ordinaries) and I have been discussing Liberty, Equality, and What Would Libertarians…

Announcing The Upcoming Opposite Day Symposium!

Last year, we had a delightful time writing a handful of posts for opposite day. (Here‘s the original kickoff! James K wrote about The fallacy of separation of powers. Murali made a case for Democracy. Tod Kelly unravelled the mystery that is Kenny G. Jason Kuznicki explained how every market transaction is a swindle. Burt Likko’s dear…

Game Of Thrones Appendix!

The astucious MikeSchilling has put together a spectacular essay detailing the breeding habits of the Spanish Royalty. If you’re familiar with how Game of Thrones is pretty much a retelling of the War of the Roses, kinda, you won’t want to miss this shout out to the family that always pays its debts.

No, but it would help

Mitt Romney and the Republican Party got slapped down yesterday but, if you ask me, that’s not the most interesting thing that happened… After all, *SOMEONE* was going to win the election and if it wasn’t this guy, it’d be that guy, and if it wasn’t that guy, it’d be someone else. Even in the…

Election Day Jukebox And Open Thread

Tell your voting stories here. Was it a touch screen? Was it a punch ballot? Was it a scan-tron kinda ballot? Tell the rumors you heard about other people’s voting stories here. Heck, everybody knows that the person who comes in first will be this guy or that guy and the guy who comes in…