We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
He's the best story-teller in all of the world's literature
Say what?!? I can think of few authors I would rate much below Dickens. Slow, tedious, overly complicated, preachy, patronizing, predictable, and (worst of all) DULL. I hated Dickens when I was forced to read him in high school. From that day to this I have never again touched a Dickens novel, save only A Christmas Carol because I was curious to see just how much Patrick Stewart had improved on the original.
I read his entire body of work in the eleventh grade - on my own. I think he taught me everything there is to know about human nature. Shakespeare followed in a different vein, but with the same astounding gift of picking out the most obvious to the most arcane aspects of human nature and all of its conditions. Pure genius in both.