By preventing a free market in education, a handful of social engineers – backed by the industries that profit from compulsory schooling: teacher colleges, textbook publishers, materials suppliers, et al. – has ensured that most of our children will not have an education, even though they may be thoroughly schooled.
This is the educational moment I gave to our Toastmasters club last night.
Ba Weep Granna Weep Nini Bon. Klatuu Verada Niktuu May the Force be with you. Ah, that one you understand. Now, we’re cooking with fuel oil. I know some of you are thinking of course I understood the last one, it was English. If you spoke geek, you would recognize the references. I speak fluent geek with emphasis on the Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, 80s cartoons, and anime sub-dialects. I’m not telling you this to brag about my knowledge of obscure media, but to reinforce the concept of knowing your audience. If we are delivering a speech on a technical subject, we would reduce the jargon for people unfamiliar with the subject, but that jargon would have special meaning when talking to a room of subject matter experts. If we are going to us acronyms, it’s a good idea to make sure that the acronyms don’t have another common usage for your audience. Such as when your national program office shares the same acronym as the inpatient mental health ward. Ask me.how I know. Another is watching what idioms and references we use using. Otherwise you’re standing up here wondering why people aren’t responding when you’re giving them the universal greeting from Transformers. Live long and prosper.
I’m doing this on an annual basis. Part of it’s my own curiosity at how my podcast habits change. I’m also curious what others think about the same podcasts and which podcasts come and go. One thing I noted from last year were reader comments about this host or that host supporting positions the readers disliked (particularly when the host was anti-gun). I’m trying to incorporate diverse voices in my podcast consumption, both to understand those I normally oppose and find out when my side is wrong.
I list the podcasts into some broad groups, with any annotations about frequency I listen to them or general impressions. I listen to my podcasts in Overcast. The app deletes podcasts I’ve listened to, plus it has a smart speed feature which will speed up if it hears dead air. Generally, I listen to my podcasts at 2X speed. I use three playlists:
- Daily – This is a playlist of what I want to listen to during my commutes, work, and other times. I used to have certain podcasts for certain days/times, but the volume and rate I go through them makes that difficult. Some are “promotable”, which means they go to the top. The rest are filler, and I’ll get to them when I can.
- Writing – I use this as a warm-up for when I’m going to write as well as general knowledge to improve my writing
- History – Podcasts on History.
My podcasts as of March 2019:
Friendly Fire – Three guys watching and critiquing war films. Sometimes they get a bit too much into the art of film, or into the wokeness world, but I generally end up enjoying what they bring to the film. It’s a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.
The Incomparable Game Show – Rotating panels playing rotating series of obstensibly board games. Often hilarious, sometimes dangerously so when driving. It’s a filler podcast on my Daily playlist.
Penn’s Sunday School – Penn prognosticating on the world with a few of his friends and/or guests. It’s a promotable podcast on my Daily Playlist.
Unjustly Maligned – This one is currently ended (the host hints he’d like to do more), but I’d recommend going through the back of episodes.
Economics / Libertarian Theory / Free Speech
The Bob Murphy Show – Bob Murphy discusses different concepts with in Austrian economics. Some of it is a little too far off mainstream for me, but it’s still intellectually interesting.
Cato Events Podcast – Recordings of various panels put on by the Cato Institute. I’ve heard a lot of very interesting discussions and arguments. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist. I will delete if the topic doesn’t interest me, as these can be pretty long.
Econtalk – Economist Russ Roberts does great interviews with a wide variety of guests and topics. I’ve been learning a lot. This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.
Free Thoughts – Interview podcast on libertarian issues and theories. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.
GAO Podcast – GAO discussing some of their reviews they’ve done on federal agencies. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist
Make No Law – Ken White delves into the case law around the First Amendment and free speech. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist
The Pursuit – Not sure if this was just a limited series or if there will be a second season, but a great overview of government seizures of private property. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist
Short Circuit – From the Institute of Justice, this one discusses notable cases that IJ is arguing. I put it under libertarian theory rather than politics because it discusses legal libertarian arguments rather than issues of the day. This is a filler on my Daily playlist.
So To Speak – FIRE’s podcast discussing free speech issues. The guests and legal theories put this more into theory although it sometimes delves into the issues of the day. This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.
Words & Numbers – Two economists from the Foundation For Economic Education discuss different aspects of economics from a libertarian perspective. Sometimes dipping into issues of the day. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.
Guns & RKBA
Assorted Calibers Podcast – The spiritual successor to the Gun Blog Variety Cast. Weer’d Beard and Erin Pallette are the real reason I listen to this, but the other segments are generally pretty good. This is a promotable on my Daily playlist.
Black Man With A Gun Podcast – Kenn’s podcast was one of the first I started listening to, and then I wrote Zombie Strike for him. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.
Civilian Carry Radio – I just subscribed to this one and haven’t made up my mind about it. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist
Down Range Radio – Right now, this is promotable, but it may get downgraded to filler. Some of Bane’s nonsense and glad standing is getting on my nerves. On my Daily playlist.
Firearms Nation – Interview podcast with leading competition shooters and others to discuss both competition and practical shooting techniques and strategies. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.
Geeks Gadgets and Guns – A couple of geeks discussing guns and other geeky stuff. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.
Gun and Gear Review – Another new (to me) podcast I’m evaluating. Currently, it’s a filler on my Daily playlist.
The Gun Nation – This one I’m pretty sure is defunct, but I’m keeping it on the list just in case it isn’t. It’s promotable on my Daily playlist on if it drops.
Handgun Radio – This one I’ve been enjoying. Especially the in-depth histories of different firearms companies. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.
Handgun World – This one is filler on my Daily playlist. Bob has good information, but sometimes his views annoy me, particularly when he goes off on rising evil.
Polite Society Podcast – Good information, but often too long if I have a backlog. This one is filler on my Daily playlist.
Pro-Arms Podcast – This one hasn’t been updated since 2017, but I recommend any serious shooter (new or old) go through the back episodes. If it ever updates again, it’s a promotable on my Daily playlist
Riding Shotgun With Charley – Interesting, but sometimes hard to follow the conversation due to road noise. It’s currently filler on my Daily playlist
Rifleman Roundtable – Not sure if this one is defunct, but it hasn’t updated in a while. Hosts from other gun podcasts discuss the gun issues of the day. It’s filler on my Daily playlist
Safety Solutions Academy– This one hasn’t updated in a while, but I still think everyone should go through the back episodes, Real good information. This is also one I recommend to new shooters. Paul is one of those trainers I’d like to learn from if I could scrape together the time and money. This one is promotable on my Daily playlist.
The Second Is For Everyone (2A4E) Podcast – Tony Simon’s been doing great work up in New Jersey spreading gun culture. His podcast with his friend Sean often has a different take than most gun podcasts.
Self-Defense Gun Stories – I like the analysis of what went right and wrong from a variety of professional trainers. This is another I recommend to new shooters and those who are thinking about using a gun for self-defense. This one is a promotable on my Daily playlist.
Skip’s Tactical Solutions Podcast – Avery’s a new voice in the gun podcast world, and I find some of her insights fascinating. It doesn’t hurt that she’s local. I may end up taking a class from her if I can scrape up the cash/time. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.
This Week In Guns – It’s the week in gun issues. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist
Trigger Words – Just subscribed to this one and haven’t made up my mind. It’s filler on my Daily playlist
Clear and Present Danger -A History of Free Speech – This is a filler podcast on my “Daily” playlist. It’s okay from a history perspective, and I might move it over to that playlist and refresh all of the episodes.
Hardcore History – Dan Carlin’s storytelling on various historical events is spellbinding. This is promotable on my History playlist on the infrequent occasions new podcasts show up.
Hardcore History: Addendum – A companion to the Hardcore History podcast where Dan Carlin does segments outside his normal narrative style. This one is promotable on my History Podcast.
The History of Byzantium – This is a sequel to the History of Rome podcast and the host tries to keep the same style. I would highly recommend listening to the History of Rome before jumping into this one. It’s filler on my History playlist.
A History of Europe, Key Battles – Haven’t actually listened to this one yet, but I’m keeping the first episode on my History playlist until I work through the backlog of History of Byzantium and Revolutions
The History of Rome – This is a great overview of Rome from its founding until the fall of the Western Empire. It’s a finished series. I’ve listened to all the episodes, but I’m keeping it on the list as a recommendation for others.
History On Fire – This one came highly recommended, and I have the first episode downloaded. I’m waiting to get through my backlog on my History playlist before getting into it.
Omnibus! With Ken Jennings and John Roderick – The conceit of the show is the hosts are leading an audio time capsule of odd bits of history for some far-future civilization. The choices are interesting bits of historical trivia. It’s filler on my History playlist.
Revolutions – Really good series on various revolutions. Each season goes through one of the more pivotal revolutions in history, starting with the English Revolution. This is filler on my History playlist.
Slate Presents – The first season was a history of Ruby Ridge. It’s Slate, so it came at it from a different perspective. It’s filler on my History playlist.
Slow Burn – The first season dealt with Watergate and the second with Bill Clinton’s impeachment. I’m fairly certain the producers were hoping the third season would be the Trump impeachment. Still, it’s a compelling podcast. It’s filler on my History playlist
War Stories – Good military history podcast. It’s in filler on my History playlist.
Cato Daily Podcast – A good quick bit in various topics from a libertarian viewpoint. This one I use as filler on my “Daily” playlist.
Contra Krugman – Bob Murphy and Tom Woods tear apart a Paul Krugman column using Austrian economics. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.
The Economist – I listen to the Economist, because it provides a different perspective and reports on areas that barely hit my normal feeds. This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.
The Editors – Editors from National Review discussing the issues of the day. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.
The Federalist Radio Hour – Editors of the Federalist website interviews guests about the issues of the day. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.
The Femsplainers – Christina Hoff Summers and her sidekicks discuss free speech and free thoughts issues of the day. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.
The Fifth Column – This is a really good roundup focusing on the issues of the day and how the media reports them. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.
The Long Game – Long interview form podcast with different former and current politicians. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.
LRC Presents: All the President’s Lawyers – I picked this one up because Ken White is one of the hosts. It’s a different perspective on Trump’s legal issues than most of my normal feeds. I’m impressed with the other host, I may pick up the parent podcast “Left, Right, and Center.” It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.
Mad Dogs and Englishmen – Charles Cooke. That’s why I listen to this podcast. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.
Neal Boortz Daily Commentaries – I loved listening to Boortz when he was on syndicated radio, and now I get two minutes of him. It’s interesting to see how I’ve diverged from him over the years. It’s promotable on my Daily playlist.
Ordered Liberty – This is a National Review podcast that started mainly discussing liberty from a traditional conservative side, but it’s meandered into daily politics. A bit heavier on the freedom of religion and abortion than I’d like, but understandable from the hosts’ perspective.
The One With Greg Gutfield – Greg does interviews in the way only Greg can do. Currently promotable on my Daily playlist.
Part of the Problem – Rabid anti war libertarian comedian Dave Smith is interesting. He’s certainly challenging some of my ideas. Particularly when he beers over to the conspiracy theories. Promotable on my Daily playlist.
Popular Front – A look into smaller conflicts going on or unusual aspects of modern warfare. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.
Power Problems – A Cato podcast focusing on foreign affairs. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist
Reason Podcast – Reason’s weekly podcast with their editors is promotable on my Daily playlist. The others are filler. Some good content and some that just don’t interest me. The latter might get deleted if the subject doesn’t sound interesting.
The Rubin Report – Long form interview with an eye to free speech and social justice zealotry issues. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist
Something’s Off With Andrew Heaton – Take the Daily Show, except with a libertarian bent. Funny and thought provoking. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist
Squirrel Report – Three former bloggers talking over the issues of the day. Amusing with gusts of hilarity. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.
The Tom Woods Show – I found this one when Tom interviewed Larry Corriea, and I like his take on many issues. It’s a filler on my Daily podcast.
Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell – Thaddeus interviews a varied list of guests. Some were very interesting, some less so. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.
War College – This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist. An interesting look at politics and military issues.
Wrongspeak – Another one devoted to the issues of free speech and SJWs. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist
Science and Skepticism
The Prism Podcast – A dentist and a pediatrician interview guests and discuss skeptical topics. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist
Skeptics Guide to The Universe – This was my first science podcast and really helped forge my skepticism. It’s a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist.
Science Salon – Michael Shermer interviews scientists, scholars, and other intellectuals on a variety of topics. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist
Skeptoid – Another one that helped in developing my skeptical outlook. It’s a filler on my Daily playlist.
Stories / Writing
This Is War – The host relates a combat veteran’s story interspersed with the veteran providing his/her own insights. This is the brutal personal side of combat and its effects on a person – both physical and emotional. It’s filler on my Daily playlist.
The Way I Heard It With Mike Rowe – After growing up with Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story”, this one is a wonderful substitute. It’s a promotable on my Daily playlist.
Writing Excuses – If you are a fiction writer, I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s currently the only one on my Writing playlist.
Clockwise – This is a promotable podcast on my Daily playlist. I like the format and it helps keep me up to date on tech issues and trends.
Daily Tech Headlines – Good summary of big tech stories. It’s promotable on my Daily playlist.
Bloodbound is becoming a staple in my metal playlist. This song is one of the reasons why.
I’m mostly commenting on the fact that a simple request from The Wife kept me from verbally taking apart the partisan witch collecting signatures to put an assault weapons ban on the next ballot.
That woman (the partisan hack, not The Wife) somehow in three sentences spoke more errors than she had words.
One hopes for a repeat meeting sans civilizing influence.
It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong.
Last night at Toastmasters, I did my first evaluation. I must have done a semi-decent job because I came home with a ribbon. My biggest challenge with evaluation is separating the speech from the content. Or to be blunt, not telling the speaker where his logic is faulty and why his position is wrong. It’s one of the reasons I joined the club. I needed to meet people who were not like me and thought differently from me. I think it will make me a better person.
In case you didn’t hear, I got myself hitched over the weekend. We did it here, and were one of the last who could do the ceremony and the reception at the park. For a pair that love old Florida, this was a wonderful place to celebrate our marriage.
The Wedding Ceremony & Reception – Or Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance
The venue had a bunch of restrictions about decorations and time available. We had to do a lot of pre-planning, pre-work, and contingency planning. I will admit, The Wife did some amazing work and coordination. We were able to set up everything fast, and had time/planning for when the rain started.
Fortunately, the rain was just for a little bit before the ceremony, and the rest of the day was gorgeous. As I told folks, it was just enough rain to knock the pollen down.
The ceremony went off without a hitch. The Wife suggested we write our own vows since we were doing a secular service. After hearing me speak at Toastmasters for the first time, the suggestion became a requirement. Since we didn’t have a videographer, I decided to include our vows for posterity. It’s my blog after all.
Derek- It’s amazing how one day someone walks into your life, and suddenly, you can’t remember how you ever lived without them
*I wish I could stand up here and promise you the world, but the world isn’t mine to give. What I do promise is my world, and all it entails. My love, support, passion, compassion, and enthusiasm. *
I wish I could promise you smooth sailing, but just like hurricanes, & as much as I’d like to be able to, the winds aren’t mine to control. What I do promise is a ship built to carry you to safety, and sails to weather any storm.
I wish I could promise you forever, but unfortunately, no one has figured out immortality yet. What I do promise is every second of this sliver of eternity I’ve been blessed with.
I wish I could promise you riches, but every vault has its end. What I do promise you is a life of abundance—An abundance of love and support, of strength and vulnerability, of sharing and drive, of passion, and of adventure– oh, and cats. I promise you an abundance of cats
I can’t even promise I’ll never hurt you, because even the best of intentions sometimes fall short. What I do promise is to always reach for you over my pride; to hold you, to heal you, and to seek forgiveness.
Derek, You are the Han to my Leia . . . the Wash to my Zoë . . . the Rick Hunter to my Lisa Hayes It’s said that marriage is like getting to have a sleepover with your best friend, every single night of the week. So let’s get this over with and start our forever sleepover.
*Vow. A sacred promise. Inviolable. Immutable. Lasting until the end of time and space. Not to be undertaken lightly or without deep consideration for what is being asked and offered. These are my vows to you. *
*First, a Vow to love you. Unconditionally. Eternally. Without hesitation. Further, to demonstrate my love to you in both big and small ways. *
Second, a Vow to walk the path of our lives with you. Sometimes in front, to be your shield. Sometimes behind, to be your cheerleader and to catch you if you stumble. Sometimes right at your side, to be your comforter and confidant.
*Third to be your partner in all things. To make your goals my goals. To make your dreams my dreams. To take your counsel when you give it and give you my best counsel when we are facing a decision. *
*Vows are sworn on what is most precious. So, to borrow the famous phrase, I swear this on my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor. *
I’ll admit she surprised me with the sci-fi geekery bit. Especially the Robotech part. The Brother helped her with that. (And was also responsible for a veritech included in the decorations around the cupcakes). We decided on cupcakes instead of a traditional cake for both ease of production and transport. The Wife and her mother made almost a hundred gorgeous cupcakes for the reception.
One little thing that was a big hit was a picture frame The Wife picked up at Goodwill and painted. People used it as a prop for all sorts of photos. I can’t wait to see them all.
We ran ahead of schedule, and the reception broke up organically without us having to kick anyone out. Which was a relief to me. Also a bonus, the venue’s organizer loved our table decorations, so we donated most of them to the park so they can use them for future events. We got home a bit earlier than planned, which allowed us to head up to St. Augustine earlier than planned.
We both love history and St. Augustine is just a four hour drive north. Waze ended up taking us through a lot of back roads due to I-4 being a mess around the Orlando Megaplex. We stayed in an AirBnB that was within walking distance of pretty much all of the historic district. The location was perfect for our needs. The room, while lovely, cured any temptation for trying the “tiny house” lifestyle. Also, accessing the room meant going through a gate with a low trellis covered in greenery. And by low, I mean walking through the gate to our room, I had to crouch like I was running up to the choppers at the beginning of MASH.
Small SNAFU – we watched the weather for the wedding relentlessly for the week leading up to the ceremony. Forgot to do so for St. Augustine, and apparently a cold front was coming through when we came up.
We saw a lot, shopped a lot, and walked a lot. Which was good, because we ate a lot. This was a bye week for me where I still record my calories, but I don’t worry if I’m over. Even way over. I’m really glad I went below my goal weight before the wedding. We’re both on strict diets to get back down to goals.
So my dearest brother got himself happily married last weekend and asked if I could supply a Metal Tuesday for him. I, of course, agreed. To mark such a momentous occasion, I decided to go with a momentous song: Winter’s Gate by Insomnium.
The album Winter’s Gate is a single, 40-minute song (though if you look at it on iTunes or Spotify or where-ever it is frequently broken up into “tracks”).
Based on a short story written by vocalist Niilo Sevänen, Winter’s Gate tells the story of a group of Vikings who set out to find a fabled island west of Ireland, despite the treacherous winter drawing near. The song/album wanders through multiple styles, from soothing, Anathema-like passages to raging black-metal-style riffs and drumming; but always with an Insomnium sensibility and style.
Winter’s Gate, despite being the band’s seventh album, may be their best work.