Sep 17

Quote of the day – podcast edition

From Kevin Williamson – one of my recent favorite pundits:

Congress can use a little less self-importance and a little more self-respect.

Sep 17

Quote of the day – Joni Mitchell edition

From her Wikipedia Entry

Despite her prominence among the young musicians of the 1960s and 1970s, and her writing of “Woodstock” (where she was prevented from performing because her manager thought it was more advantageous to appear on The Dick Cavett Show[74]), she did not align herself with the era’s protest movements or its cultural manifestations. She has said that the parents of the boomers were unhappy, and “out of it came this liberated, spoiled, selfish generation into the costume ball of free love, free sex, free music, free, free, free, free we’re so free. And Woodstock was the culmination of it.” But “I was not a part of that,” she explained in an interview

Identities strike again I suppose.  Making one’s costless opinions (on Climate Change, Trump, the Vietnam War in this case)  of primary importance is perplexing, particularly when I do it.  Granted people do talk a lot about parenting, work, etc (i.e stuff they actually do every day) the opinions are useful proxies for something I suppose.

Sep 17

American in 2017, in one headline

Meet one of the couples getting married on the Mall in between a pro-Trump protest and a Juggalo rally


crimes were committed by people who identified as Juggalos

Sep 17

Quote of the day

From this documentary about Leonard Cohen

Poetry is not an occupation, but a verdict.

It’s odd – his relationship with the material world seems perfect, i.e. something to be consumed, not pursued or desired. The concepts aren’t diametrically opposed, but it does change the outlook.

He is a very good example of going through life as a tourist, like Hoffer, which I suppose is why I’m drawn to him.

Aug 17

Quote of the day for our modern, anxious times

From McArdle

Judge lest ye be judged

Which is putting it strongly.  The amount of time and effort put into posturing in the comment section is remarkable, and the more identifiable someone is, seemingly the more posturing.

Aug 17

American under delegated, retired, military rule

I suppose we’re at the point where someone should point out that if you combine

  • the presence of John Kelly selected as Trump’s chief of staff, Mattis as secretary of defense, and the host of other flag officers in his administration,
  • Trump’s seeming aversion to the nitty gritty aspects of administration
  • Trump’s inexperience with the subject matter

We largely have retired military rule – if they’re not making the actual decisions, they’re influencing the available options enough to where they might as well be.  It’s a good thing for the most part – Trump seems content to play court jester and social media director, and not much beyond that.  Seemingly he’s capable of  being somewhat presidential, but seems content to delegate any actual decision making to others, and just issue commentary.

Aug 17

The non special theory of our times, and media engineering

What if we don’t live in meaningful times, and what if the truly notable facts of the 2016 election are

  • A crowded Republican field – allowing the only candidate Trump an opening against more establishment types
  • A phenomenally unpopular Hillary Clinton

Coupled with

  • Advances in media engineering (like “financial engineering” creating new mortgage products, subprime and otherwise) allowing the media to profitably saturate America with “junk” (not necessarily fake”) news.
  • Increases in generalized anxiety due to Facebook, lack of physical activity and sleep deprivation

Match those two things together and we feel like we’re in some deep important times, even if in terms of importance it’s like we’re stuck in the 50s with out the cold war.


Aug 17

What people actually like about Donald Trump

Here is yet another article about Trump, and him saying offensive things, part 3939, to wit A Deal Breaker for Trump’s Supporters? Nope. Not This Time, Either.

Trump not apologizing for anything IS what people like about him – it doesn’t matter what he’s actually said, it’s the way he says it and defends it they actually like.  It’s the medium, not the message, much the same way the Democrats never minded Obama continuing Bush’s wars, NSA surveillance, or an official, not euphemistically named “Kill List”.  The more offensive, the more “courageous” it seems (courageous being something that prompts criticism, which is courageous by the standards of neurotic modern times, not in any actual sense).   If you’re a groupish person you are quite loath to criticize your “champion” (in the original sense of the word), and by and large you’ll come up with reasons for the behavior rather than condemn it.


Aug 17

I’m amazed that no one used this slogan in the 2016 election

From my own post all the way back in 2006

Better a third-rate fireman than a first rate arsonist.
Thomas Sowell

Aug 17

The first result for my name in google

Oddly is about police chases, murder/suicide and a gospel house band.