Sunday, May 10, 2015

10 Items for Mother’s Day (and Todd’s Broadcasts)

1. If you want to be a good mom like mine, you don’t necessarily want to follow the example of Hillary Clinton, who has reportedly lied about things like Chelsea being in danger during 9/11 in order to boost political sympathy for both of them. (Can you say “sociopath,” America?)

2. A better model might be the imminent children’s book Azalea, Unschooled written by Liza Kleinman, who I knew a couple decades ago, when we were both doing things like writing material for the Kaplan test prep company.

You see, like maternal instincts, that sort of gig can lead to sympathy for homeschooling and unschooling -- yes, even among people who aren’t kooky libertarians like me or devout religious believers like some of my cousins.

Monopoly systems get lazy -- or fail to meet certain special or tailored needs -- and having additional options is good for everyone, as some left-liberals are beginning to agree as well.

3. There isn’t even a monopoly on the name Azalea, by the way, so don’t assume the child in the Kleinman book is either the American rapper by that name or the Australian rapper by that name with whom the American rapper has been feuding.

4. For novels of a more overtly political and libertarian bent, remember, you can always check out offerings at

5. If you like your pictures without words, there’s a book signing at ICP (1114 6th Ave. at 43rd) at 6pm this Tuesday (May 12) for the photography book Outer Boroughs: New York Beyond Manhattan, by William Meyers, parent (though not mom) of another friend of mine.

6. I’m so forgiving and pro-science that I’ll plug the Ayn Rand Institute’s event the next day (Wed., May 13, 7:30 at the CUNY Grad Center) defending genetically-modified foods even though a former ARI head just wrote a boneheaded piece calling libertarians (non-Randian libertarians, that is) enemies of liberty.

My promotion of the ARI event will help compensate for (A) my failure to attend last week’s Empiricist League talks on GMOs and other foods, (B) my failure to attend this event itself, since I’ll be outta town Wednesday, and (C) my science-loving utter failure to prevent A.I. running amok like errant children, as in the films Avengers: Age of Ultron and the far more nuanced Ex Machina, which has this cool song over its end credits.

7. And the day after ARI, speaking of science and liberty, remember to listen to me (for something like two whole riveting hours, I think) on Jim Melloan’s new Truth & Freedom radio show, right at that link from 6-8pm on Thursday, May 14.

8. Continue to catch me every day at your leisure as one of the panelists on The Run at

9. Or you can read Koli Mitra (despite her sharing a bit of my sick fascination with conspiracy theories) on such serious topics as language, sex, microfinance, fashion, and democracy -- and then maybe hire her if you’re looking for a cosmopolitan writer/sometime-lawyer.

10. With the S.H.I.E.L.D. season finale coming up Tuesday, I’m sure many of you are thinking about the creation of Marvel’s superpowered Inhumans characters by space aliens. Fewer of you were probably dumb enough to spend last Tuesday, Cinco de Mayo, drinking tequila and watching the fairly disappointing Mexico City press conference that was supposed to unveil unprecedentedly convincing Roswell alien photos (meh, could be mummified human fetuses again).

Of course, given the bizarre level of interest governments have shown in this topic over the decades -- and the genuine weirdness of even some of the best-documented sightings (albeit usually relatively simple ones involving oddly-moving shapes in the sky) -- I’m still not ruling out the possibility that we live on a planet with both highly gullible people making preposterous claims and visiting space aliens. (I may even still be writing about it for a familiar magazine, but I’ll have to get back to you on that one.)

P.S. While I am wary of telling people how to handle their parental authority (and have no intention of ever trying it myself), I will blog next time about The Problem of Political Authority, a topic on which I feel I can get a more rational handle.

Then again, punk-influenced music (even the relatively mellow kind) can make the anti-authoritarian point quite effectively too, so let me know if you want to be my +1 at a Feelies concert in Brooklyn this coming Saturday. 

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