Rhyme Out The Old, Rhyme In The New!

I want to share a Shakespeare sonnet  which gives me a New Years-y  feeling.

But before I do, a few words from one of America’s most popular poets, in her day:  Ella Wheeler Wilcox. (1850-1919) Never heard of her?  I guarantee you know ONE line of hers: “Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep, and you weep alone!”  One of the “three-named ladies” of American lit (although it was Hawthorne who coined that phrase, before Ella’s time), most of her stuff seems kinda Hallmark-ish. But check this out, from The Year:... [Read More]

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Reality Leaker

The name of Reality Leaker crossed my computer screen today.   The Intercept ran a long column by Reality Leaker’s mother, in which she was whining about how short the sentences handed to Team Trump are, in comparison to Reality Leaker’s 63-month sentence.

I thought it was laughable, but I saw that Salon also had an article about mother Billie Winner-Davis’s whining, and the New York Times has an article about a stage play to tell Ms. Reality Leaker’s story.   Treason should make a great subject for a drama, but we all know that the convicted heroine of the story will be portrayed as a brave whistleblower rather than the treasonous felon she is.... [Read More]

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Books of the Year: 2018

Gnome carrying pile of booksHere are my picks for the best books of 2018, fiction and nonfiction. These aren’t the best books published this year, but rather the best I’ve read in the last twelve months. The winner in both categories is barely distinguished from the pack, and the runners up are all worthy of reading. Runners up appear in alphabetical order by their author’s surname. Each title is linked to my review of the book.

Fiction:

Winner:... [Read More]

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Louisiana school famous for getting minority kids into the Ivy League turns out to be a fraud

Over the last couple of years, there’s been a lot of buzz about T.M. Landry College Preparatory School in Louisiana. It was started specifically to get poor black kids into elite colleges, and that was the sales pitch to black families: yes, tuition is steep, but we’ll get your kids into the big leagues. And it appeared to be working. Viral videos of students getting acceptance emails/letters to Harvard, Yale, Brown, etc, were the toast of YouTube.

Until now.... [Read More]

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USA Today cheerleading for impeachment

They have got nuthin’.   This is a long feature, prominently highlighted at the default Google News aggregator, purporting to list a bill of particulars.   None of this is concerning; it is all old news, with the case for corruption resting on a house of cards of innuendo, guilt by association, and denigrating land development business as somehow inherently evil.

Six years ago I was thinking of USA Today as one of the least unreliable of the major mass media news organizations.   But in the Age of Trump they have energetically leapfrogged their competition in a rush to Leftist advocacy exclusively.   They are Fake News.   The Enemy of the People.... [Read More]

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This Week’s Book Review – King Arthur: The Making of the Legend

I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) My review normally appears Wednesdays. When it appears, I post the review here on the following Sunday.... [Read More]

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Saturday Night Science: Ultima Thule Encounter

New Horizon and 2014 MU69 (artists's conception)(Saturday Night Science usually appears on the first Saturday of the month.  I have moved up the January 2019 edition one week to discuss the New Horizons spacecraft fly-by of Kuiper belt object 2014 MU69, “Ultima Thule”, on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2019.)

In January 2006 the New Horizons spacecraft was launched to explore Pluto and its moons and, if all went well, proceed onward to another object in the Kuiper Belt of the outer solar system, Pluto being one of the largest, closest, and best known members.  New Horizons was the first spacecraft launched from Earth directly on a solar system escape (interstellar) trajectory (the Pioneer and Voyager probes had earlier escaped the solar system, but only with the help of gravity assists from Jupiter and Saturn).  It was launched from Earth with such velocity (16.26 km/sec) that it passed the Moon’s orbit in just nine hours, a distance that took the Apollo missions three days to traverse.

In February 2007, New Horizons flew by Jupiter at a distance of 2.3 million km, using the planet’s gravity to increase its speed to 23 km/sec, thereby knocking three years off its transit time to Pluto.  While passing through the Jupiter system, it used its instruments to photograph the planet and its moons.  There were no further encounters with solar system objects until arrival at Pluto in 2015, and the spacecraft spent most of its time in hibernation, with most systems powered down to extend their lives, reduce staffing requirements for the support team on Earth, and free up the NASA Deep Space Network to support other missions.... [Read More]

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House Investigation Reversal

The GOP lost the House of Representatives.   Chairmanships will flip from Republican to Democrat.   The House Committee on the Judiciary will go from control by Bob Goodlatte to control by Jerrold Nadler.   Nadler has said that the current investigations will end and new investigations will begin.

Here is Goodlatte’s summary letter:... [Read More]

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Resolved!

Idk about the border wall Gofundme.  It’s over $18M now, and you’d think this would be big news. The fact that it isn’t makes me feel like the total is just not very much money.  I mean,  people work and slave and worry all their lives  and never accumulate that much.  The fact that it can be accumulated in 12 days just by asking  for it creates a kinda “throw down the mattock”* moment for me.

But–nonetheless, because of what seems to me, and I’m sure to many Americans, like an impressive fundraising effort, I am resolved to look into whether a GoFundMe site could be started to fund efforts to do away with birthright citizenship.... [Read More]

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