An unwanted conversation

Re-Imagining the Court

While at National Review poking around for the sappy farewells and well-wishes to its most prominent Cuckservative, I came across a little diddy about Mayor Booty-grab’s plan to remake the Supreme Court. Apparently the plan is to expand the court to 5 Dems, 5 Reps, and then five chosen by the other ten. This plan on the face of it seems to be a “silver bullet” method of removing all partisanship from the high court, but I don’t think this will have any of the desired effects that either Booty-grab or Conservatives have in mind, in that Conservatives are likely to have their own complaints about the high court.

The writer who brought this to my attention–some three name person I have never heard of–voiced concern that this would shape the Court in the image of the two political parties. That is a valid concern, but one which I think is already a reality. Since the days of Bush the Younger, the environment in Washington D.C. pertaining to the courts were shaping up to be the party in control of the White House and the Senate dictated how the courts looked. This progressed (no pun here) to control of the Senate with filibuster-proof majorities. Then finally, and the way the Constitution was designed, a simple majority of 51. In short, long are the days when you could get a significant number of votes from the opposite party. Sure, Republicans play nice, but that is out of a mentality of Stockholm Syndrome. Democrats on the other hand are never going to allow reason to overcome what the party bosses dictate, just ask Miguel Estrada.... [Read More]


Privacy and Chromebook: an Oxymoron?

My wife  uses my hand-me-down Macbook Air (mid 2013), which she received when I bought my new(er) Macbook Air in early 2015 (wow, that went fast!). Hers is getting a bit quirky running updated OS, and the trackpad has been erratic responding to clicks since forever. So, we are near the point that a new laptop will be needed. She uses it exclusively for web browsing – no word processing or spreadsheet or anything. Maybe stores some photos downloaded from her cell phone. Hasn’t used even half the 120GB flash storage.

Being my frugal self, I can’t see spending $1000 (plus the 7% Commonwealth of PA extortion for the privilege of purchasing it online from another state/country) for a new one – 90% of the use is for online solitaire or jigsaw puzzles, with the occasional email or web search. So, I investigated Chromebooks, and found a reconditioned Acer Chromebook 14 with 32GMB flash storage, 4GB RAM, and a 14 inch full HD 1080 IPS screen for $155 shipping included! It arrived and I have been exploring it now for about a week.... [Read More]


64 means “mushi”

Well, this is for June 4th. In Japanese, numbers can make words easily. 6 can have the “mu” pronunciation and 4 can be “shi”. “Mushi” means dental cavity. So June 6th is Dental Cavity Day. Okay technically Fight Against Dental Cavity Day but I like the looser translation.

Happy Dental Cavity Day!!


Experimental Feature: Liking a Post Requests Comment Notifications

Since comment notifications were added to on 2018-02-20, the rule has been that when a new comment is added to a post on the site (I refer here to main site posts, not items posted in groups, which are handled entirely differently), notifications are sent to the author of the post and to all other members who have commented on the post so far (excluding, of course, the author of the new comment).  On 2018-06-10 this was revised slightly by allowing comments which contain just the text “follow” or “c4c” (an old-time bulletin board system abbreviation of “comment for comments”) to request notifications without actually appearing in the comments for the post or the “Recent Comments” box in the sidebar.

I have just revised this code so that in addition to the post author and other commenters, users who have “Liked” the post will also be notified of new comments.  It is common for posts to have a large number of likes but only a few comments, and thus for new comments to be largely invisible unless a user happens to see them in the “Recent Comments” box.  It seems to me that people who have liked a post will probably be interested in any comments it engenders, and that sending notifications to these people will increase engagement with the post and possibly stimulate additional comments.... [Read More]


Werewolves of Laredo

Before her retirement many years ago, my mother was a professor at an institution of higher learning in Laredo, Texas, teaching Spanish Literature and English as a Second Language. I ended up following her career path, though in a different discipline (History).... [Read More]


Jonah Goldberg Leaves National Review

After twenty-one years, Jonah Goldberg is leaving National Review.  Here is his final “G-File” at National Review Online.  He will remain a fellow at the National Review Institute (whatever that means).  The G-File will continue as an E-mail newsletter, to which one can subscribe via a link in the article.  He notes “(For legal reasons, I cannot take my subscription list with me, so I have to recreate it as best as possible.)”.

He and Steve Hayes (presumably this one)  are starting “something new” whose placeholder Web site’s title calls “NewCo by Steve Hayes & Jonah Goldberg”.


Monday Meals: 2019-06-03

Roast Goat Quarter

Roast goat quarter: ingredients

Easter dinner at Fourmilab is usually the traditional Swiss repast of roast leg of goat, served over rice with vegetables. This is an easy-to-prepare, can’t fail meal which is suitable for any occasion. Goat is considered a “red meat”, but I find it most comparable to turkey dark meat in flavour and texture. The taste is unique and not at all gamey. (Of course, this depends upon what the goat was fed. Swiss goats are usually fed on grass and forage; if your goat was fed on garbage and fish heads, all bets are off.)... [Read More]


Weekend Cruising

Sunday at 2pm one of us decided to go somewhere. This week, the adventure target was the Deschutes River Conservancy Area near Maupin , OR.
The other one decided it had potential, so off we rolled in the F150.

I love day trips. The weather was perfect, sunny along the whole route and all we needed to do was grab a travel mug of coffee (Try Black Rifle, I recommend highly) , a bag of beef sticks and grain free granola bars, the new camera and off we rolled. All else is in the truck at all times.... [Read More]


Religion: Less Than it Appears

So I have this loosely-formed but strongly held interlocking set of beliefs about the nature of man, God, and religion; namely that:

  • Man today is no smarter* than the Greeks, as well as those who died unremarked for long millennia before
  • God does not (necessarily) exist
  • Man only invented God as much as man invented himself
  • Both man as conscious being and God as omnipotent unseen superbeing have arisen from the same stew of molecules and motives
  • Writing and other extra-somatic stores of knowledge (say, hafted spear as instruction manual on how to build a spear) are the single greatest yet serendipitous “killer app” of the hand

And so on.  I further believe that there is such a thing as personal enlightenment, that which sets one human a plane above another, and that most purveyors of “enlightenment” are no more enlightened than any other used car salesman.... [Read More]


A Curmudgeon Copes With Living at an Inflection Point in History

The Forces are gathering against the Guy From Queens. They have become enraged at his obstinance, his insistence on standing his ground after every onslaught they have thrown.

They have moved from accepting a delay in their timetable to a realization that their very grand plan may be in peril.... [Read More]


Learning Late in Life

I love flying craft of all kinds; however, my passion is more of an awe of the aesthetics and history of flying, and my technical knowledge is limited. That’s why I was delighted to come across this book at a thrift store. Despite the strange green stains streaking a page,  it’s a keeper.  It is right on my level and I’m learning some terminology and concepts that are new to me.

Here’s a question: There was an illustration of an early experiment with flight, when a monk leapt from a building in giant wings and broke both legs. Why did he not fashion a dummy about his height and weight and toss it off the building before dreaming of launching off himself?