But first, briefly . . .


Tom Anthony:  “Sharpening Your Disposable Razor – YouTube . . . Just 10 strokes on your blue jeans for stropping;  a few strokes on a polishing compound board for sharpening.  You should strop 100X more than you sharpen because dull blades are overwhelmingly the result of bent edge sections and not from an unsharpened edge.”

☞ Even cheaper, which is to say free (if you have a pair of jeans), than that strop I linked to a while back.


Peter:  “You may want to add mog.com to the list of music streaming services mentioned. it is similar to Spotify, in that you can select the specific songs you want to listen to, as opposed to the ‘radio-like” services. they also have a free option available.  One of Mog’s claims to fame is that they have the best audio quality of any of the services (320kbs for everything).  Not sure if anyone else has caught up yet.  I’ve been using their paid (ad-free) service without any problem for some time now.”


The item after this one is today’s headliner — violence as a disease.  But while we’re on the topic (and while we’re waiting for Congress to pass common sense background checks and other safety measures overwhelmingly supported by their constituents, including most NRA members), I wanted to share this email that came in from a friend over the weekend:

“I was at Quantico Thursday evening,” he writes.  “A friend got promoted to Brigadier General — his first star — and the Commandant pinned it on.  There were probably 70 or so high ranking officers at the reception.  I have been around Marines and wars for many years.  What really struck me as I watched the room, was the pain.  We have been in combat since 2001 and one of the guys I spoke with had five combat tours.  These Marines are the very best — the senior leaders, all in perfect physical condition, uniforms immaculate with incredible ribbons of gallantry.  But every single one had pain, deep, deep pain in their eyes.  It was just us, so the walls were all down and as the evening went on I talked with a number of my friends.  It comes down to killing.  They had all killed too much and they had buried too many of their own.  In some ways it was good to see — that they retained their humanity and the pain hurts.  If it did not, they would have been like the Nazis or the Serbs I knew in Sarajevo — who had no pain — or soul — in their eyes.  I felt honored to be in the room with such warriors, but I was also intensely angry at Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.  I do not see the same pain — or any pain — in their eyes.   So they send the best we have in our military off and these guys hurt bad when they do their duty and come home, but the ones who send them — they do water colors.  Sorry — venting.”

☞  I asked permission to post that — we’re partners in a social business venture — and he replied, “There is a public side and a private side to the Marines and it is appropriate that in the quiet times we grieve and hurt, which we do not share to the public.  But, the public should know.  And while we hurt when one of our own dies, we spend much more time and reflection over the ones we killed and that is what we discuss privately.  I spoke to a young staff sergeant recently and in the space of a ten-minute conversation, he repeated three times that he had killed three boys, but that he was okay.  He was so not okay and I tried to tell him that his anguish was not something he should try to gloss over.  I had two of my classmates killed from my CIA class and two of my Marine OCS classmates killed as well.  I infrequently think of them — daily I think of the others.  I know I am not okay, which in some way kind of makes me able to deal with all of the memories and failures at not being able to avoid or prevent the deaths.”

☞  “Thank you for your service” seems hardly adequate.

And now, finally . . .


TED Talks are billed as “ideas worth spreading.”  This one sure is.  It’s terrific on at least three levels:  its results, its rationality, and its replicability.


I hope you’re enjoying an extended July 4th weekend.  We celebrate a country that, for all its missteps, carries the imperative to expose those missteps (not ignore them with mindless patriotism) and the capacity and generosity of spirit to make progress toward a more perfect union.

Drive safely!

Wear sun screen!



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