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I’d rather have 80% of Google’s features along with 100% of Apple’s interest in protecting my privacy than 100% of Google’s features with 0% of that privacy protection.
The recording shows the truck careening to a stop immediately in front of the two Marines. In all of the instantaneous violence Yale and Haerter never hesitated. By all reports and by the recording, they never stepped back. They never even started to step aside. They never even shifted their weight. With their feet spread shoulder width apart, they leaned into the danger, firing as fast as they could work their weapons. They had only one second left to live. The truck explodes. The camera goes blank. Two young men go to their God. Six seconds. Not enough time to think about their families, their country, their flag, or about their lives or their deaths, but more than enough time for two very brave young men to do their duty … into eternity. That is the kind of people who are on watch all over the world tonight—for you.

John Kelly’s speech. (via ufridman)

Never forget that right now, all over the world, there are men and women in service to this country doing the same. They have offered their lives, should the heavens want them, in defense of an ideal. An imperfect one. An experiment. Sometimes denied or delivered far short of the goal. Yet, one worth dying to achieve and defend. An ideal called Freedom.

(via patrickrhone)

Beer, well respected and rightly consumed, can be a gift of God. It is one of his mysteries, which it was his delight to conceal and the glory of kings to search out. And men enjoy it to mark their days and celebrate their moments and stand with their brothers in the face of what life brings.
Why is it that a large segment of left has embraced a code of appeasing “sensitivity” toward Islam—when they are its obvious next victims? Why do they wring their hands over “microagressions,” while urging us not to provoke people who execute homosexuals and throw acid in women’s faces?

Why does the left kowtow to Islam?

ABC News, if it cares one whit about its reputation, should ban Stephanopoulos from doing any 2016 campaign coverage. It’s bad enough that he was once a Clinton White House staffer. But everyone went along with the charade that his political days were behind him and that he just wanted to be an objective reporter. That charade ends today.

The Smartest Things Ever Said About Facebook

The Smartest Things Ever Said About Facebook



#GiveBooks this holiday!



There’s no shortage of essays on writing out there. Authors, poets, scholars and other creative voices spend years devoted to their art - it’d be crazy (and our loss) if they never took a moment to talk about the why and how. These five essays are available to read online for free, and they’re exceptionally useful and inspiring for young and aspiring writers. 

  • Despite Tough Guys, Life Is Not the Only School for Real Novelists by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

    This one is short, but it’s an important topic. When you read a lot of writing by the creative geniuses of the past - the ‘tough guys’, as Vonnegut calls them - like Hemingway who learned and crafted their voice through living, learning to write your own stories from classes (and from guides and advice online) can seem less honest or worthwhile. Vonnegut strikes that thought down. “The primary benefit of practicing any art, whether well or badly,” he writes, “is that it enables one’s soul to grow.”

  • Why I Write by Joan Didion

    “In many ways writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. It’s an aggressive, even a hostile act,” This essay by the author of The Year of Magical Thinking starts, “You can disguise its qualifiers and tentative subjunctives, with ellipses and evasions—with the whole manner of intimating rather than claiming, of alluding rather than stating—but there’s no getting around the fact that setting words on paper is the tactic of a secret bully, an invasion, an imposition of the writer’s sensibility on the reader’s most private space.“ Written in the 70s, the rest of the essay covers some of the barest truths about storytelling and why we do what what we do, centered around the idea that we write novels to find the answers we ask ourselves. 

  • Fail Better by Zadie Smith 

    In the tradition of the two essays before it, Fail Better talks about what it means to write and what you’re asking for from yourself (and the reader) when you do. Zadie Smith discusses failure as a concept for novelists, and the indeterminate “they” we can fall into traps trying to please. Smith’s most powerful insight comes when she breaks down the connection between the author and the reader, and the reader’s responsibility: “Readers fail when they allow themselves to believe the old mantra that fiction is the thing you relate to and writers the amenable people you seek out when you want to have your own version of the world confirmed and reinforced. That is certainly one of the many things fiction can do, but it’s a conjurer’s trick within a far deeper magic. To become better readers and writers we have to ask of each other a little bit more.

  • Where do you get your ideas? by Neil Gaiman 

    Neil Gaiman’s writing advice isn’t hard to come by. Thanks to the internet and the author’s willingness to embrace social media, you can find nuggets of wisdom doled out by the American Gods author from essays to tumblr asks on Gaiman’s blog. In it, he talks about every writer’s worst nightmare: “My idea of hell is a blank sheet of paper. Or a blank screen. And me, staring at it, unable to think of a single thing worth saying, a single character that people could believe in, a single story that hasn’t been told before. ” 

  • Not-Knowing by Donald Barthelme

    “The not-knowing is crucial to art, is what permits art to be made,” Barthelme, author of The Dead Fatherwrites, “Without the scanning process engendered by not-knowing, without the possibility of having the mind move in unanticipated directions, there would be no invention.” Barthelme’s mastery of words is clear in this essay. Famous for his playful post-modern style, he leads you through his concept of the art from the very first line (one that defines our site and mission, for all its simplicity) - “Let us suppose someone is writing a story.

For more advice and resources on writing and lit, follow us on twitter or at the site.




Start writing today…

The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.

Warren Buffett

(via stoweboyd)


Note to self.



This one goes out to all the aspiring writers out there during Children’s Book Week. Don’t forget that you have the power to write your own stories, too!  

I will always love The Mouse and the Motorcycle.



Sinclair Lewis



5 Unforgettable Love Letters to Libraries



5 Unforgettable Love Letters to Libraries

A major concern in A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones is power. Almost everybody – except maybe Daenerys, across the waters with her dragons – wields power badly.
Ruling is hard. This was maybe my answer to Tolkien, whom, as much as I admire him, I do quibble with. Lord of the Rings had a very medieval philosophy: that if the king was a good man, the land would prosper. We look at real history and it’s not that simple. Tolkien can say that Aragorn became king and reigned for a hundred years, and he was wise and good. But Tolkien doesn’t ask the question: What was Aragorn’s tax policy? Did he maintain a standing army? What did he do in times of flood and famine? And what about all these orcs? By the end of the war, Sauron is gone but all of the orcs aren’t gone – they’re in the mountains. Did Aragorn pursue a policy of systematic genocide and kill them? Even the little baby orcs, in their little orc cradles?

In real life, real-life kings had real-life problems to deal with. Just being a good guy was not the answer. You had to make hard, hard decisions. Sometimes what seemed to be a good decision turned around and bit you in the ass; it was the law of unintended consequences. I’ve tried to get at some of these in my books. My people who are trying to rule don’t have an easy time of it. Just having good intentions doesn’t make you a wise king.

George R.R. Martin, The Rolling Stone Interview
Imagine going back to 2009 and telling your iPhone 3GS-carrying self that, by 2013, you’d be downloading apps by scanning your fingerprint on the Home button.

Federico Viticci, iOS 8 Wishes

It’s pretty great, some times, living in the future.



Ray Bradbury

“So,” said Mercury, “where are we going?”

“I have to go see the Antichrist,” Christine said […]

“Oh jeez,” said Mercury. “Seriously? The Antichrist?” He said it as if she had announced she was going to a Nickelback concert.

“What do you have against the Antichrist?”

“He’s an ass, Christine. A real dickweed.”

“Well,” said Christine, “he is the Antichrist…”

“Hey, we all have our jobs to do. That’s no excuse for being a dickweed.”

Rob Kroese, Mercury Falls

If you love Douglas Adams’ humor, you’ll love Rob’s Mercury series.

The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone.

Donna Tartt, author of The Secret History (via writewild)

No pressure or anything.

We opt for more instead of better. Better is better than more.
If we’re to take the “collective right” explanation on its face, then the Second Amendment created a right that the states are powerless to execute, that the Federal government has no duty to provide, and that would be useless and oxymoronic if the latter did so anyway. If one spends five minutes thinking about the “collective right” theory, it quickly becomes apparent that the individual right is the only one that can possibly function appropriately, and is thus the only right that the amendment was ever intended to protect. To put it bluntly, the “collective right” approach makes no sense.

Apparently, increasing the minimum wage was not important for American workers during the first five years of Obama’s presidency — least of all his first two years, when Democrats controlled Congress and could have passed anything. (And did!)

No. The minimum wage did not become a pressing concern until an election year in which the public’s hatred of Obamacare is expected to be the central issue.


The minimum wage is the perfect Democratic issue. It will screw the very people it claims to help, while making Democrats look like saviors of the working class, either by getting them a higher wage or providing them with generous government benefits when they lose their jobs because of the mandatory wage hike.

American workers are suffering as a direct result of the Democrats’ policies on immigration. Republicans might want to point that out.

Since the late 1960s, the Democrats have been dumping about a million low-skilled immigrants on the country every year, driving down wages, especially at the lower end of the spectrum.

According to Harvard economist Jorge Borjas, our immigration policies have reduced American wages by $402 billion a year — while increasing profits for employers by $437 billion a year. (That’s minus what they have to pay to the government in taxes to support their out-of-work former employees. Of course, we’re all forced to share that tax burden.)

–Ann Coulter, Raise the minimum wage to $14 an hour using this one weird trick!

Ann can be visceral and caustic and turn people off, but she hits it out of the park with this one.


“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” –Jorge Luis Borges