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Farm Confessional: Butchering Your Animals

A farmer writes: “I want to describe what it is like to be present at butcher day, and what goes into the routine leading up to it. It is not just the moment the throat is cut, it is the combined moments leading up to its death – the birth, the growth and the eventual day of butchering – that allow you to understand what it feels like to look down at the same animal bleeding out. When we first started, I couldn’t look” (1,680 words)

In Kosovo

Notes on Kosovar culture and Albanian language. “Yes, one always descends into the Balkans, like some Dame Rebecca West. One takes up smoking again, despises health and well-being and complacent comfort, and feels the sharpest contempt for the sanctimonious academic colleagues one has left behind in the so-called West. Where is my track suit? Where are my cigarettes? Where is my broken nose?” (2,244 words)

Bill Clinton In Bubbaland

Letter from Little Rock, where Bill Clinton “dips in and out of town quite a bit”, staying in an apartment on top of his Presidential Library equipped with a replica of the Oval Office. “He has more friends than a dog has ticks”. But Hillary is “in some sense, an in-law, judged and critiqued, not real family”. Arkansas has still not forgiven her for failing to take her husband’s name when they married 35 years ago (3,350 words)

Inside The Ebola Wars Pick of the day

Gripping, close-up account of the outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, focusing on the first deaths and the medical and scientific response. The West Africa epidemic is out of control: “Health workers have lost track of the chains. Too many people are sick”. America and Europe can still hope to keep Ebola in check by diagnosing and quarantining sufferers. A vaccine is at least a year away (10,300 words)

Marc Andreessen In Conversation

Interview with venture capitalist about investment, innovation, tech culture, government. “If you’re a businessperson, especially a CEO, you run a dictatorship. But businesses and governments are different. They have very little to do with each other. When it comes to government, I am pro-gridlock. Three branches, two parties, representation, Electoral College, all good. Love it, fantastic, let’s do that again” (6,770 words)

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