They Grow Up So Fast!

Was out tending to the Koi pond yesterday, so was nearby when our local Mallard duck mom came by with her brood to visit the friendly (Trinity) waters.  The kids used to look like little brown ping-pong balls.  Not anymore; they are about 80% the size of mom!  Not old enough yet to show sex differentiation in their plumage.  Glad to see them since these visits are less frequent now that several of our fish are becoming quite large and thus imposing and dangerous in the Mallard brain.  Our water lilies are crazy-robust and plentiful this year, but their leaves were tested for durability by the babies.  Mom is the top-center quacker in the upper photo and is standing on the barely submerged rock in the lower photo.  Life is good.

... [Read More]

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Book Review: The Case for Trump

‚ÄúThe case for Trump‚ÄĚ by Victor Davis HansonThe election of Donald Trump as U.S. president in November 2016 was a singular event in the history of the country. Never before had anybody been elected to that office without any prior experience in either public office or the military. Trump, although running as a Republican, had no long-term affiliation with the party and had cultivated no support within its establishment, elected officials, or the traditional donors who support its candidates. He turned his back on the insider consultants and ‚Äúexperts‚ÄĚ who had advised GOP candidate after candidate in their ‚Äúdefeat with dignity‚ÄĚ at the hands of a ruthless Democrat party willing to burn any bridge to win. From well before he declared his candidacy he established a direct channel to a mass audience, bypassing media gatekeepers via Twitter and frequent appearances in all forms of media, who found him a reliable boost to their audience and clicks. He was willing to jettison the mumbling points of the cultured Beltway club and grab ‚Äúthird rail‚ÄĚ issues of which they dared not speak such as mass immigration, predatory trade practices, futile foreign wars, and the exporting of jobs from the U.S. heartland to low-wage sweatshops overseas.

He entered a free-for-all primary campaign as one of seventeen major candidates, including present and former governors, senators, and other well-spoken and distinguished rivals and, one by one, knocked them out, despite resolute and sometimes dishonest bias by the media hosting debates, often through ‚Äúverbal kill shots‚ÄĚ which made his opponents the target of mockery and pinned sobriquets on them (‚Äúlow energy Jeb‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúlittle Marco‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúlyin’ Ted‚ÄĚ) they couldn’t shake. His campaign organisation, if one can dignify it with the term, was completely chaotic and his fund raising nothing like the finely-honed machines of establishment favourites like Jeb Bush, and yet his antics resulted in his getting billions of dollars worth of free media coverage even on outlets who detested and mocked him.... [Read¬†More]

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Fun! Then, more Fun!

Not vouching for this site or author, but I simply can’t contain my joy at the bitch-slapping that was delivered to Pelosi, and can’t stop reading about it.¬† Don’t be tempted to characterize this as just so much grade school pranking.¬† If you think like Juan Williams, don’t click on this.¬† If you think like Emperor Greg Gutfeld, then go ahead.¬† So much winning!

Trump Outplays Pelosi at Her Own Game... [Read More]

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Past Master

Here is President Trump’s press conference on 2018-11-07.¬† I have watched press conferences of every president since JFK, and I have never seen such a masterful performance in the face of a uniformly hostile (and often aggressively rude) media.

... [Read More]

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‚ÄúOnce More, with Thinking‚ÄĚ: a Libertarian on Donald Trump

L. Neil Smith, a libertarian’s libertarian (one of the first members of the Libertarian Party, he was a candidate for Colorado State legislature on the Libertarian ticket in 1978 with essentially zero budget, outperforming any third party candidate in the district before or since, the 2000 Presidential nominee of the Arizona Libertarian party, and a participant in drafting the party’s platform in 2004).¬† He is the author of more than 35 books of science fiction, fantasy, and political analysis, including Down with Power, a practical guide to hard-edged libertarianism.¬† He is the founder and publisher of The Libertarian Enterprise, a weekly publication which has, on occasion, even featured some of my scribblings.

In 2016, he dismayed and even enraged some prominent libertarians by endorsing and voting for Donald Trump in the presidential campaign.¬† On several occasions he published articles explaining his rationale, to little effect.¬† This week’s edition of The Libertarian Enterprise¬†contains a new attempt titled ‚ÄúOnce More, with Thinking‚ÄĚ.¬† ¬†He begins:... [Read¬†More]

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When Someone Tells You Who They Are…

….believe them:

On Churchill’s Darkest Hour, and Ours

On Monday evening I took the time to watch Darkest Hour, wherein Gary Oldman gives an epic performance as Winston Churchill during the days and weeks after he rose to the prime ministership on May 10, 1940. Toward the end of the film, there was a scene where Churchill decides to ride the London Underground to Westminster. While on the subway, he speaks with a woman carrying a five-month old baby on her lap. Now while that woman and her baby were likely fictional, it struck me that were that baby still alive today, he would be five months younger than my own father, who turns 79 next month.

As William Faulkner wrote in Requiem for a Nun, ‚ÄúThe past is never dead. It‚Äôs not even past.‚ÄĚ... [Read¬†More]

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TOTD 2018/5/15: The Ideal and the Real

Why is it that so many of President Trump’s critics seem to have trouble comprehending that the real world does not operate or conform to abstract ideological principles?

Perhaps, as James Day Hodgson observes in American Senryu, what is fundamentally at issue is the inability of the innocent to understand evil:... [Read More]

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Diplomacy, Machiavelli, and the Art of the Deal

Per EThompson’s recommendation in the comments to my last post, I will share James Day Hodgdon’s verse on Machiavellianism and diplomacy from American Senryu:

Cynics first dictum:
For persuasion to succeed,
Conceal the intent.... [Read More]

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