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Aaron Ross Powell
Works at Cato Institute
Attended University of Denver
Lives in Alexandria, VA
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Aaron Ross Powell

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The Hard Part's the Story

You get to a point in the initial stages of a story where it kind of clicks. Where the plot shifts from a vague idea and a series of “What next?” questions to a big picture with all its edges defined. That’s where I am—finally!—with the new novella/novel.…
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Aaron Ross Powell

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So I made a mailing list you can sign up for to get a note, maybe once a week or, with links to my writing and other stuff. Join, because it'll be fun, I promise.
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Played a super fun game of the Monster of the Week tabletop RPG, based on Apocalypse World. Gotta say, compared to games like that and Fiasco, more traditional stat/skill/roll-for-initiative games have lost most of their appeal. Mechanics should be laser focused on facilitating a great story, which makes nearly all traditional-style RPGs, even "rules light" ones, seem mechanically ill-suited to the task and cumbersome.
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My short story collection, Animus: Six Tales of Crime and Terror, is now an audiobook, narrated wonderfully by Scott F. Feighner. Scott did an incredible job of giving the characters life, and managed to make me sound like a much better writer than I am.…
My short story collection, Animus: Six Tales of Crime and Terror, is now an audiobook, narrated wonderfully by Scott F. Feighner. Scott did an incredible job of giving the characters life, and mana...
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My review of Ellroy's new novel, and some thoughts on the evolution of his style.

Up front, Perfidia is a James Ellroy murder mystery set in Los Angeles in the 1940s. It’s big, complex, mean, and ugly in all the ways that make Ellroy the best crime writer alive today, and probably the best crime writer there’s ever been. But it’s not a…
Up front, Perfidia is a James Ellroy murder mystery set in Los Angeles in the 1940s. It’s big, complex, mean, and ugly in all the ways that make Ellroy the best crime writer alive today, and probab...
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Aaron Ross Powell

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Most of us enjoy violence. The top movies each year largely come from genres dependent on scenes of people getting hurt, whether comic book action, crime thrillers, horror, or sci-fi and fantasy epics. We play violent video games, shooting and punching…
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+Aaron Ross Powell I suggest you speak with +Thaddeus Russell.

The so-called neocons who drove us to war in Iraq actually all began in the Democratic Party. They all began as progressives, says Russell.

Mediaite’s Thaddeus Russell Talks ‘Liberal War Hawks’ with FBN’s Stossel  5:55
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/mediaites-thaddeus-russell-talks-liberal-war-hawks-with-fbns-stossel/
+Mediaite guest contributor +Thaddeus Russell appeared on +Fox Business Networks’s Stossel last night to discuss his recent column, “Killing to Save in Syria: When Liberalism is Lethal.”
Speaking with host +John Stossel, Russell explained his central thesis that while #progressive ideology is deeply rooted in the desire to “rescue” other countries, it comes with the unfortunate “obligation to kill.”

http://www.mediaite.com/online/killing-to-save-in-syria-when-liberalism-is-lethal/
+Thaddeus Russell writes: History indeed says don’t do it. But as the recent talk on Syria shows, liberals are so committed to their self-imposed role as savior that they will do it anyway. Perhaps we need to save the world from saviors, instead.
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Aaron Ross Powell

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Watched HBO's Going Clear last night. A powerful and infuriating documentary.

But here's the thing: At several points in the movie, we shift from being told about the horrors of the organization's practices to the silliness of many of its beliefs. Particularly the scene where Paul Haggis learns about Xenu and the interstellar DC-8s. I mean, it's crazy, right? Who could believe such nutty stuff?

I want to urge caution when giggling at the odd Scientology creation myth and other related weirdness. While the organization does awful things, the content of its beliefs is really no more silly than the stuff present in pretty much every major religion. Rising from the dead? Water into wine? Devils controlling our minds? A trip from Mecca to Jerusalem on a flying horse? Talking bushes?

The only difference with Scientology, the only thing that makes it so okay to laugh at, is its lack of distance. Hubbard invented this stuff just decades ago, instead of centuries or millennia. Thus it's very clear that it was invented. But so was all the rest of it. We just don't have records of it.

So if you're religious, chances are you believe things just as silly to the non-believer as the stuff in Going Clear. (And even if you're non-religious, chances are you have all sorts of unfounded, silly beliefs. We all do. They're just of a different category.)

Which is all just a long way of saying, "Be nice." Or, at least, be a little self-aware when poking fun.
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The Man with the Yellow Hat is super irresponsible and probably shouldn't be trusted to care for a monkey.
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I’m happy to announce the first book in the new Libertarianism.org Readers series, Individualism: A Reader, edited by George H. Smith and Marilyn Moore. I’m series editor on these, with quite a few more already planned. Individualism is one of most…
I'm happy to announce the first book in the new Libertarianism.org Readers series, Individualism: A Reader, edited by George H. Smith and Marilyn Moore. I'm series editor on these, with quite a few...
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Aaron Ross Powell

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My short story collection, Animus: Six Tales of Crime and Terror, is now an audiobook, narrated wonderfully by Scott Feighner. Scott did an incredible job of giving the characters life, and managed to make me sound like a much better writer than I am. Which is everything you could wish for in a narrator.

The book's available on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes.
Ebook: Kindle Audiobook: Audible | Amazon | iTunes Animus is a collection of six short stories, covering everything from mystery to thriller to science fiction. I’m particularly happy with the firs...
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Aaron Ross Powell

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I've been reading the new William Gibson novel since it came out and my Kindle says I've only make it 29% of the way. I just can't get into this book. I find the world-building entirely opaque and the plot doesn't click because I'm not engaged by the characters and have no idea what's going on. This may be the first of Gibson's books I don't finish.

Unless it gets way better at 30%?
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Aaron Ross Powell

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Top 40 Music, Kids These Days, and the Bland Middle

Is popular music today worse than it was when I was a teen in the 90s and was more aware of popular music? Of course! Generational decline is an ironclad law. Millennials are the worst! On her blog, Libby Jacobson has a nice analysis of this, comparing a…
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Have him in circles
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EMSI Public Relations's profile photo
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Writer and political philosophy guy.
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  • Cato Institute
    Research Fellow and Editor, Libertarianism.org, 2009 - present
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Alexandria, VA
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Birmingham, MI - Denver, CO - Boulder, CO
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Horror author and editor of Libertarianism.org, a project of the Cato Institute.
Introduction
I'm editor of Libertarianism.org, a project of the Cato Institute. And I also write horror novels. My first, The Hole, is available now from Permuted Press. My second, Karaoke Quintessence, is being serialized as I write it.
Education
  • University of Denver
    Law, 2009
  • University of Colorado at Boulder
    English, Philosophy
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