Justin Having Fun

Image from www.drudgereport.com.

Why is the world turning into humorless scolds? I really don’t care if Justin Trudeau dresses up for a party at a school. He wasn’t trying to have a good time. I see it no different than dressing up like a pirate.

I do agree that people who have destroyed others by a set of rules should have to live by them. If Justin Trudeau was quick to play the race card he should fold quietly and leave the game.

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Mollie on the Warpath

Mollie described in detail the slimy attacks on Brett Kavanaugh during his Confirmation hearings.  She wrote the book, along with coauthor Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network.  She predicted that more slimy attacks should be expected.

Mollie learned of the upcoming book release of a book about Justice Kavanaugh, by two New York Times reporters.   She anticipated more slime to be ginned up by the Talking Snake Media.   She started monitoring their pre-launch media appearances.   (She probably had to fight a little urge to jealousy, too, since they got the sort of media appearances that were never available to her and Ms. Severino.)... [Read More]

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Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s

I have been a fan of Big Clive’s YouTube channel for some time.  He specialises in tear-downs and reverse engineering of electrical and electronic gadgets, often revealing the clever (and occasionally hideously dangerous) tricks designers use to cut costs in mass-produced products.  Big Clive has what I call the “Orwell gift”—the ability to observe and describe precisely what he is seeing without any filter based on preconceived notions.  He deliberately does not monetise his YouTube channel to avoid pressure which might cause him to pull punches when something deserves scorn and mockery.

Here is something very different.  For a number of years Clive and his brother, both self-employed, cared for their mother who was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.  They decided to care for her in her home and not place her in a care facility as things became difficult.  She recently died after the disease progressed to the final stage in which she was unable to swallow food.  Here Clive describes his experience, the progression of the disease, the practical reality of caring for someone with it, and how Alzheimer’s reverts those afflicted to basic human characteristics.... [Read More]

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Claire Berlinski: “Is Democracy Doomed?”

Claire Berlinski has been posting an ongoing series called “Is Democracy Doomed?” to her E-mail distribution list, with copies archived at her blog at Substack.com.  The posts are an extended riff on a paper [DOCX] by political scientist Shawn Rosenberg, which purports to demonstrate that democratic governance is destined to self-destruct.  From the abstract:

Drawing on a wide range of research in political science and psychology, I argue that citizens typically do not have the cognitive or emotional capacities required [for democratic governance]. Thus they are typically left to navigate in political reality that is ill-understood and frightening. Populism offers an alternative view of politics and society which is more readily understood and more emotionally satisfying. In this context, I suggest that as practices in countries such as the United States become increasingly democratic, this structural weakness is more clearly exposed and consequential, and the vulnerability of democratic governance to populism becomes greater. The conclusion is that democracy is likely to devour itself.... [Read More]

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Book Review: Public Loneliness

“Public Loneliness” by Gerald BrennanThis is the second book in the author’s “Altered Space” series of alternative histories of the cold war space race. Each stand-alone story explores a space mission which did not take place, but could have, given the technology and political circumstances at the time. The first, Zero Phase, asks what might have happened had Apollo 13’s service module oxygen tank waited to explode until after the lunar module had landed on the Moon. The third, Island of Clouds, tells the story of a Venus fly-by mission using Apollo-derived hardware in 1972.

The present short book (120 pages in paperback edition) is the tale of a Soviet circumlunar mission piloted by Yuri Gagarin in October 1967, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution and the tenth anniversary of the launch of Sputnik. As with all of the Altered Space stories, this could have happened: in the 1960s, the Soviet Union had two manned lunar programmes, each using entirely different hardware. The lunar landing project was based on the N1 rocket, a modified Soyuz spacecraft called the 7K-LOK, and the LK one-man lunar lander. The Zond project aimed at a manned lunar fly-by mission (the spacecraft would loop around the Moon and return to Earth on a “free return trajectory” without entering lunar orbit). Zond missions would launch on the Proton booster with a crew of one or two cosmonauts flying around the Moon in a spacecraft designated Soyuz 7K-L1, which was stripped down by removal of the orbital module (forcing the crew to endure the entire trip in the cramped launch/descent module) and equipped for the lunar mission by the addition of a high gain antenna, navigation system, and a heat shield capable of handling the velocity of entry from a lunar mission.... [Read More]

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As California Goes, So Goes the Nation

The video embedded below details the decline of California over the last 50 years or so. Arguably, most of the decline happened during the latter half of that period. The narrator lists the usual litany of ills: higher taxes, poorer services, one-party rule, and increasing income stratification. Aside from the first of these, they are all markers of a third-world society. He’s not wrong about any of it.

What’s left unexplained is how this is tolerable for anyone. Victor Davis Hanson has addressed the this question in general terms but he’s personally unhappy with the regime because he has to suffer its negative consequences at his Central Valley farm. My perspective is somewhat different. I can afford to pay the confiscatory taxes and don’t have to deal with homeless or crime* in my neighborhood. Unaffordable housing is not my problem. The climate is great and the cultural amenities are superb. On the surface everything is fine.... [Read More]

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Better than “Tears of My Enemies”?

I was watching the award ceremony for baseball great, Mariano Rivera. He was receiving the highest civilian honor the nation can bestow from President Trump. He had such a heavy fastball that he broke bats. He broke so many bats that the Minnesota Twins gave him a chair made from them. When it comes to baseball I think, “Sitting on the shattered bats of my opponents.” is better than drinking the tears of enemies.

I wonder if I can get something made from the broken keyboards of trolls.

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This Week’s Book Review – Monster Hunter Guardian

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.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday.... [Read More]

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