Welcome to the weekend! Here’s what I read this week and what I think you might find interesting…
The President’s first State of the Union (“SOTU” for those of you not in the political world) was this week, and I thought John Bolton’s column over at AEI was spot on, from a foreign affairs perspective.
Speaking of foreign affairs, keep an eye on this: Yemen separatists capture most of Aden, residents say.
And, staying in similar fields of discussion, if you’re going to read one thing this weekend, read this: The kill chain: inside the unit that tracks targets for US drone wars.
Departing from the global news and heading to something almost entirely first world: Most unhappy people are unhappy for the exact same reason. I’m not saying that I agree for what they think “happiness” really means, but I do think that there is a stronger and stronger correlation between depression and anxiety and screen time being shown in all of these studies. Parents take note…
And similarly: Why We Should Escape Social Media (And Why We Don’t)…Excerpt:
Stop attempting to be seen in social media and you vanish entirely. We dare not stop. And that’s why the first step away from social media — that first day disconnected — tastes bitter. It tastes bitter because we use the noise of media in our lives to drown out two things we’d rather not face.
Staying on the theme with a slight branch: Facebook Bans Ads for Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies
This was intriguing to me because I’m part of this “micro” generation that the author is discussing: Micro-Generation Born Between 1977-1983 Given New Name.
The man who brought us IKEA died this week – he was the 8th richest man in the world. Here’s a little more about him from the liberals at Quartz.
I should have addressed this one higher up, but let me just reference really quickly the whole FBI memo situation. I want you to check out what Mark Meadows said about a week ago over Twitter. It’s all collected in that link by conservative click-bait catnip site IJR. It seems like releasing the memo was the correct thing to do, and that when you have such diverse viewpoints politically all agreeing on this, you know there’s some consensus forming. Hillary’s former pollster Penn agreed, as did Meadows who is as conservative as you get, and obviously the call to do so came from our populist POTUS. Only a few disillusioned wilderness-bound neocons and John Kasich were blubbering about “how it was done.” Well how exactly would they have done it, I’d like to know? From my perch is seemed like we just watched an example of the brilliance of our founder’s, and how they planned for the separation of powers work. Congress provided the oversight, they blew the whistle, they bowed before executive privilege, the executive branch reviewed and agreed, and then had the memo released to shine sunlight on the matter.
Somehow I missed including this back during the holidays – worth a chuckle…at least an awkwardly painful one: Thanks a Lot! New Reasons Not to Eat Cookie Dough
I don’t think this is a good idea…Scoop: Trump team considers nationalizing 5G network
For my hipster friends: Study: 90% Of Bike Accidents Preventable By Buying Car Like A Normal Person
didn’t see this one get much play…whoops…NSA deleted surveillance data it pledged to preserve: The agency tells a federal judge that it is investigating and ‘sincerely regrets its failure.’
This week I finished the classic Sci-Fi book DUNE by Frank Herbert. This was a very interesting experience. This book is completely other, completely different than most books you’ll read. It’s super odd, super interesting, and super well written. Very hard to describe whether its worth reading, but I think so…if only to enjoy Herbert’s writing abilities. If you have no patience for Sci-Fi then this will stretch you beyond what you may be able to abide. But it was really enjoyable because of just how different it was.
I also finished Boundaries by Henry Cloud, and it was very helpful in many ways. In others it was a little annoying in that it stretched a concept a bit too far (i.e. the chapter on God’s boundaries was very close to causing me to puke on my kindle screen for his lack of understanding of what real “freedom” meant in the divine sense). The most helpful part of this book is how Cloud helps you evaluate different relationships and situations to see whether you’re letting others completely abuse you and run you down. He does a good job of showing what is appropriate and not selfish. Though more than one time I found his scripture citations to be woefully out of context – like he was proof-texting to fit the point he was making. Still, many of his principles are good – and its definitely worth reading this with some discernment. For some people, it could actually be quite a powerful wake up call, and a real helpful evaluation of their priorities and relationships – some of which may have reached a toxic level of control and manipulation.
Our family finished a young adults version of Tom Sawyer that we were reading at the dinner table. It was an enjoyable read – I’m really appreciative of the Usborne books, and how accessible they make stories like this one.
Lastly, I wrapped up several weeks in Ben Palpant’s Sojourner Songs. This is my second or third read-through of these poems in the past few years, and each time is highly enjoyable.
That’s it! I hope you enjoy your weekend and have a great week ahead!