We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, August 19. 2019
Well, it's a bad day all around. For you, I mean. I'm swell. You have to face the work and worry that Monday brings with it, and you have to face it without Bird Dog. He's at the vet again, so you're stuck with me, Roger de Hauteville. We get Bird Dog de-wormed every year, because we love him so, and love to take care of him. Of course we don't bring him to be de-wormed until after fishing season is over, because worms are expensive. We're not made of stone, but we're not made of money, either. On to today's links.
Do tell. File this one under: Educated persons discovering common sense by accident. Hasn't anyone in academia ever heard of the effect of a shill before? They seem to understand the concept just fine when they're disrupting televised town hall meetings. Hi, I'm just a concerned citizen...
In case you're wondering, Dusty is a dog. The New York Times new slogan should be: All the solipsism that's fit to print.
Ah, the Daily Mail. The newspaper put that last word in their headline in all caps, not me. Like a good fisherman, they know how to jiggle the bait. But I doubt that the miniature trouser snake angle will prove out in the body of the article. I've read Under the Tuscan Sun, and several other books about women with turkey necks moving to Italy, and it's not the miniature kind they're looking for, or discovering there. Try farther east.
I knew a man who liked to tell people that they weren't really sitting on a chair, when they sat on a chair. He'd exclaim that the matter in their body and the matter in the chair repelled each other at the atomic level, so in reality, they were actually hovering above the chair, not sitting on it. I threw an apple at his head once, to remind him that only Isaac Newton matters to regular people. I wonder if I want to throw an apple at Professor Scott?
At the bottom of this article, you'll find a handy Facebook tracking beacon, er, I mean share button. You know, for your convenience.
The author is an Elon Musketeer, so I have my doubts. Especially since I understand that the intent and effect of the internet, however delivered, is to turn ten good jobs into one crappy one. Or one good job into ten crappy ones, if you're Uber. It's a fair tradeoff though, because instead of any silly benefits like a retirement fund or health insurance, there's foosball and smoothie bars in the WeWork office for the winners.
Hmm. This is quite the development. Why back in my day, you whippersnappers, we kept our money laundering to ourselves. Now they issue a press release.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. And the going is most definitely getting weird.
For some reason, this reminds me of the signs you once saw painted on the walls in tawdry barrooms: Free Beer Tomorrow
When will people learn that social media is only for fake viral propaganda, not paid propaganda. The ads are strictly reserved for selling T shirts with anti-Trump slogans. Sheesh.
Well, that's the news roundup for Monday. Don't let current events get you down. Go about your business, and have a nice day. But if I were you, I wouldn't bring any rice cookers onto the NYC subway today. The bomb sniffing dogs are bound to be getting unintentional postural and facial cues from just about everyone, not just their handlers today.
Saturday, October 20. 2018
Usually, when we speak of financial news, we're referring to central bank machinations and Wall Street piracy and great big old honking government budget contortions and hedge fund rapacity and interest rate shenanigans and so forth. That's great, because talking about the monetary policy of your next door neighbors on the evening news could get boring. "Well, Stefanie, we see a period of instability in cross-border money transfers for the foreseeable future. Ms. Howard maxed out the Discover card on those super-cute Louboutins I was telling you about during the break, and Mr. Howard, oh dear, has been to the strip club again, so I don't see them going to Sandals this winter. Now the weather..."
Well, I don't have time to scrape all your data from your Facebook pages to see how your personal finances are going, so going personal in the financial news isn't practical for me. And I would never peek in your windows to see how you're doing, but hey Ted, you should really tell your wife to stop undressing in front of the home security camera with the default password still on it. No reason. But let's at least take a Saturday look around the internet to see how we're doing in general, shall we?
My household has shrunk, too. My wife keeps wallpapering and the walls are getting closer.
Oh dear. No ready meals in Ireland. This sounds vaguely familiar. The company was obviously poorly run, though. Look, they made a profit one year. Any Musk could tell you that's not how to run a company.
I don't see the problem. They wanted a non-profit, and that's what they got.
Gratitude? For adolescents, Halloween now lasts for three months, while Thanksgiving consists of texting all day while your stepfather watches football and your mother orders takeout Chinese. Do the math.
Hmm. This article is unconcerned about HealthCare.gov data collection and an ensuing security breach, but doesn't like the timing of the announcement. Oh, and one of the squeegee buckets at the Sheetz is nearly empty.
I hope the tax money goes to fund $10,000 community art grants to help the homeless open non-profit, small press/artist-run spaces of their own.
If they get evicted, they can always take an Uber to San Francisco and vote for a homeless tax on Lyft.
I once played an Aerosmith record on my mom's stereo the day after my goldfish died. I still feel pretty bad about it.
I had no idea things had gotten this bad. The United States is apparently running out of Patels. Gentlemen, our country can't afford a Patel gap.
Typhus? Oh dear. I hope Prince Albert is OK.
The CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs forgot to mention the lamentations of the Goldman women, but other than that, a fine, Muskish tirade. I bet that shortselling Goldman employee won't be deejaying anytime soon after that verbal beating. In other news, Cleveland-Cliffs Initiates Dividend, Expect More Upside
I hope you have a great Saturday everyone, with very few lamentations around your hopefully typhus-free home!
Friday, October 19. 2018
The left has a pantheon of go-to authorities for this and that that I find amusing. In any setting where real work is performed, these dangerous intellectuals would be getting everyone else coffee, and getting the coffee order wrong, too. They'd be unable to give you correct change for their encore. The media takes the easy out, every time, by selecting someone from this Mount Rushmore of lamebrain notoriety to opine on the issues of the day, be it Krugman, or Bill Nye, or the knucklehead with the vendetta against Pluto, I forget his name. You know all their names if you watch TV. They once asked Krugman, the king of this empire of ill-formed opinion, what he thought of the internet. That's an accurate quote from the guy.
It's a ridiculous opinion, which is his stock in trade, I gather. It gets floated endlessly across the internet, and I saw it all over the place this week while looking for Maggie's Farm links. This opinion held him up to ridicule so badly that he got internet fellow travelers like the Snopes dissemblers to explain that he was just joking, or stirring the pot, or performing a thought experiment that the uncool couldn't grok. In short, he admitted he was wrong, without admitting he was wrong, of course.
Look, I'm not arguing that Paul Krugman isn't a rantipole, addlepated, intellectually stunted jerkwad hack, or that his mother doesn't dress him funny. I'll leave that to others. What I'm saying is that it's funny that he disowned this comment, because it's the only time he was on the right track with his opinions. The quote gets posted on the internet as prima facie evidence that Krugman is a fool, as if no further exposition is necessary. That's because the average internaut has no idea how profoundly the fax machine, and technology like it, changed the economy.
Posting this little quote is a form of begging the question. No, we don't all know reflexively that fax machines never mattered much, and the internet is everything. I stood in front of a teletype machine taking orders in the past, and slit open envelopes with mail orders from Fortune 500 purchasing agents, so believe you me, I know that fax machines transformed business. Many businesses in many parts of the world still use fax machines today as a primary form of business communication.
Google stole the Yellow Pages, Facebook stole magazine ads, Craigslist took over newspaper classifieds, Amazon got the Sears catalog, and Shopify is just a bunch of Fingerhut catalogs. Most other internet businesses are just unintentional Ponzi schemes who haven't run out of seed money or IPO cash yet. The fax machine soldiers on in the corner. So I say Krugman was almost right, for once in his life, and then immediately disowned his own comment, keeping his batting average at a thousand.
On to the links!
A charming story, but no, it doesn't make you the Queen. The guy you handed the sword to, however...
Millennials will go to any lengths to avoid admitting that they're wrong about anything, including cubicles, which were a fine way to balance privacy and office camaraderie.
I'm not sure if I'll trust this to replace streetlights until Paul Krugman weighs in.
What is it with these phlegmatic Finns? What is it with these female writers and parentheses?
There are parentheses inside of other parentheses in this article. What is it with these male writers always trying to one-up the girls? Oh, and that balance sheet is a mess, so I bet Krugman would love it.
Paul Krugman's head will explode while trying to explain this news while still blaming both Donald Trump and Brexit for all the world's ills.
Maybe abject discrimination against males of the species can produce another Ginni Rometty!
As usual, women, minorities, and Paul Krugman hardest hit.
Well, everyone at the FBI and the CIA is too busy ghostwriting articles at the New York Times to get any work done, so they had to sub it out.
Please notice that Fermi followers never circle back to question their begged question: If aliens are so likely... Says who?
That's funny. The internet shopping experience that replaced mail order catalogs lets advertisers discriminate by age, sex, and race when they decide who will see their ads. In order to promote racial equality, I demand that we immediately replace internet shopping with mail order catalogs and fax machine ordering. Who's with me? Besides Krugman, I mean.
Now fax in your comments, and have a great Friday!
Thursday, October 18. 2018
A long read but somewhat interesting. It makes one major error early: "Few people persist [in]doing actions that are obviously harmful ..." This assumes facts not in evidence, your honor. And your grammar is subtly atrocious.
Ah, the internet. You can be Amish, or you can be famous. Take your pick.
It's a testament to the mindset that this announcement is proffered like it's earthshaking news.
I filed this one under: If only Comrade Stalin knew!
Who are we to argue with a generation of balding toddlers who want to ride in the back seat while playing with their speak and spell long after mom's kicked the can?
It's almost like the President is pro-American or something. It confuses a lot of people. Not used to it.
These are always described as "sophisticated" scams. They're not. Telling a dullard clerk to click on stuff that looks vaguely like a bill is hardly Ocean's Eleven.
Thornton Mellon says been there, done that, got the T-shirt.
Alternate title: Three millennial women wonder aloud why Poland doesn't just do whatever Germany wants it to. Yeah, it's a mystery, gals.
Unfortunate choice of words there, Katanga. Anyway, can anyone recall some problem that appeared in 2008, that's not extant now? I'm drawing a blank, but something has changed. It's a mystery.
They got all that stuff from the military because Hollywood wasn't unanimously anti-American yet.
Why, this almost sounds like a church making a political, not an ecclesiastical decision. Does Putin want to behead a couple of wives or something?
Have a great Thursday, everyone!
Wednesday, October 17. 2018
I'd prefer they decided social media companies should censor their users. That way, they'd be responsible for everything on their service. Good luck with that. Speaking of which...
In the SJW pantheon, Halloween is now a combination of Christmas, Easter, Ramadan, and Passover, so anything goes. It's their high holy days, and it lasts for months. I say bring back All Saints Day, and keep your candy.
There's trouble in the Crimea? I blame the Scythians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Pontics, the Romans, the Goths, the Huns, the Bulgars, the Khazars, the Byzantine Empire, the Arabs, the Kypchaks, the Russians, the City State of Venice, the Mongols, the Turks, the Cossacks, the Russians some more, the English, the French, and Kingdom of Sardinia of all people, Germany, the Soviets, the Ukrainians, and the Russians some more. And Donald Trump, because why not.
Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The problem is I don't know which half. This is somebody's half, I imagine.
Then again, if turning a particular nationality into a marketable commodity is outlawed, America will turn into a one-party state.
This fellow gamed TripAdvisor reviews to make a shed in his back yard the most highly rated restaurant in London. It worked, so he actually opened the shed up as a restaurant, and he charged big money to serve cheap microwaved food on paper plates to patrons, who dutifully raved about it on social media because they're dullards. Now the whole world wants to interview him about his exploits, so he sends an army of random people in his place. No media outlet notices. Fake news? Is there another kind?
Get out of here with that email alternative. An email is like receiving a radioactive registered letter from the Gestapo to these kids. They won't answer that, either. The average college graduate has never spoken to a real adult about any topic, in any setting, and is terrified of answering their ringing phone. A generation of mannerless housebound agoraphobes who dress their pets in costumes for Halloween, which lasts for six months. Good jerb, social media.
And I'll bet they know how to answer the g*ddamned phone. Never mind all that. Let's get to the really interesting part of the story. Praful Tickoo is the greatest name I've encountered since reading about Hercules Mulligan in grade school.
Once again, Uruguay leads the way! Said no one, ever.
Sort of in their job description, fellas, despite your breathless reporting style.
I'm constantly reminded of a demented form of the Lady Godiva story. Everyone simultaneously wishes to ride naked through town, sometimes forbidding everyone else to look, sometimes forbidding anyone from looking away, all the while reserving the right to be a peeping Tom, 24/7.
Bon mercredi à tous! Oops again
Tuesday, October 16. 2018
It's nicer in the original French, and more subtle: Chacun voit midi à sa porte. It means that everyone sees everything from their own point of view. Adam Smith understood the concept. People have a foremost interest in their own affairs, and see everything in relation to their own worldview, wants, and desires. In commerce, it leads to the generation of wealth whenever a willing buyer and a willing seller get together. In politics, it leads to harridans testifying that someone looked at them funny thirty-five years ago.
I freely acknowledge that my doorstep has a very different noon than my neighbors. When I was younger, I found eccentricity in others piquant. Now I'm the eccentric, I guess. But I can't help noticing, as I search for news stories for you fine folks here at Maggie's Farm, that it's always the same noon in every news outlet on the planet. I also can't help noticing that their noon is my midnight.
On to the links!
After the game, the pawn and the king go in the same box.
Ripping yarns never go stale. Ask Joe Campbell
Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid.
Everyone watches TV in their pajamas, and shops at Walmart in their pajamas, so this would be a perfect fit.
You know, it tipped from opposition to insurrection on day one. Ask Steve Scalise. Bezos just like money. I guess Google figures China will pay more. Speaking of which...
Ils ne sont pas des traîtres. iIs sont de l'autre côté.
I'm sure everyone working at Facebook will resign in protest over this dastardly use of their product, such as it is. This is my "sure" face.
Fewer bugs? Your definition of hyperalarming and mine varies considerably. Chacun voit midi à sa porte.
I don't see noon on the cryptocurrency doorstep.
Punks? L’habit ne fait pas le moine. I'm sure, as always, women and minorities will be hardest hit by this law. Although, isn't it cruel to be nice to goths and punks? It cheers them up. They hate that.
Well, that's Tuesday's slate. Be sure to describe the angle of the sun on your stoop in the comments.
Monday, October 15. 2018
Will Rogers was one of the most interesting men of his generation (1879-1935), which is saying something indeed. His bio says he was a "stage and motion picture actor, vaudeville performer, American cowboy, humorist, newspaper columnist, and social commentator." There are a lot of people in contemporary society who have gained notoriety trying one or two of those descriptors. Every actor is a social commentator now, for instance. However, as far as I know, Will Rogers was alive in the 1930s, but only acknowledged that Hitler was Hitler. He didn't have a laundry list of Hitlers ready for awards ceremony speeches. And he had the guy's number as early as 1933:
As far as newspaper columnists go these days, none have the resume of Will Rogers. I'm fairly certain George Will was never a cowboy, for instance.
There was a bedrock of observation and wisdom behind the gossamer jibes, but never any malice. I know of no comedian today that could claim that. Malice is on the marquee these days. But malice doesn't last, I think. Malice appeals to the mob, and the mob gets tired from rioting and heads on home when their torches start to smolder and their pitchforks get heavy. No one will quote Amy Schumer in the year 2100. No one quotes her now, and I don't think she'll ripen none in the interim. Anyway, I decided to see if Will Rogers wisdom still applies to the news today. I report, you decide:
There are three kinds of men: The ones that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.
We are the first nation to starve to death in a storehouse that's overfilled with everything we want.
Letting the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than putting it back.
When you get into trouble 5,000 miles from home, you’ve got to have been looking for it.
"Don’t gamble"; take all your savings and buy some good stock, and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don’t go up, don’t buy it.
Half our life is spent trying to find something to do with the time we have rushed through life trying to save.
Never miss a good chance to shut up.
Advertising makes you spend money you haven't got for things you don't want.
When the Judgment Day comes civilization will have an alibi, "I never took a human life, I only sold the fellow the gun to take it with."
We hold the distinction of being the only nation that is goin' to the poorhouse in an automobile.
Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.
Have a great Monday everybody!
Saturday, October 13. 2018
I have a headache. I have a headache that has zip codes. I have a headache that should join the circus and be exhibited. I have a headache that would make Dante buy a Spirograph and get back to work. I have a headache that can only be described with Latin nouns. I have a headache that makes the back of my eyes behave like a stripper's tits.
But I don't mind my headache, really, because somewhere in the back of my throbbing skull, there's still room for a sunny little spot that reminds me that I have never had a Facebook page.
On to the Saturday links!
I filed this essay under, "Every culture but my own is wonderful."
She's new in town. She didn't know that the Canadian government only accepts Canadian Tire Money to avoid deportation.
Men who yell singsong doggerel into microphones held at a funny angle used LEO surveillance equipment to steal money from boosted credit cards, but their thermostat ratted them out. Man, I have a headache reading that.
Speaking of headaches, sing along with me: One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor...
There's a new sheriff in town, isn't there? Exxon spills a little oil and some birds get gooey, and they get a billion dollar fine. Data loss causes a lot more damage. Start treating it like an oil spill, and these little code monkey CEOs will wise up fast.
You know, I can solve this online privacy problem in about ten minutes. There are stalking laws on the books, aren't there? Make them apply to the internet. One big button required on every website that says, STOP FOLLOWING ME, AND ERASE MY INFO. If they don't, prosecute them like any other creeper ex-boyfriend or jilted bunny boiler.
Please note that Facebook regards these sorts of things as an accounts receivable problem, not a security problem. If you paid them, you could do it all you want. They have an app for that, I bet.
Yes, but you can get into trouble for simply seeding more people at random. Ask Antonio Cromartie.
If my math is good, which it's not, because I have a headache, 10,000 rupees is about 135 bucks American. I think Bezos the Clown can swing it.
I'm a pretty fair writer, even when I have a headache, but this guy has me beat. How does he manage to write about something so mundane while twisting himself into manifold contortions like an origami, short-bus, Ida Tarbell? That's talent. Of a sort
Have a great Saturday, everyone!
Friday, October 12. 2018
Guten Morgen to all you farmers, and all the ships at sea. It's me, Roger de Hauteville. Bird Dog is having his teeth sharpened at the veterinarian/day spa. So you're stuck with me.
Say, do you speak German? Guten Morgen is German. Like most greetings, it says, "good morning," but really means, "Screw you, get away from the coffee pot, I've got spreadsheets to lie to."
What I find fascinating about guten Morgen, and similar greetings, is that they appear to be accusations, more or less. Now, I've declined very few German verbs, and no invitations to cocktail lounges, but just saying good morning should be guter Morgen if you're just assembling words out of the dictionary. Guten Morgen is correct, however, because it's in the accusative case. Guten Morgen is really just a truncation of a really long sentence in German (is there another kind?) that directs you to have a nice day. Like howdy, or hiya, or howyadoin, or hallo fellow well met, it's an abbreviated, handy way to express a longer thought in a short burst of syllables. It appears to my not very well-educated eye that all greetings are in the accusative case.
So, from now on, to flesh out my greetings with the appropriate sentiment, and stay within the spirit of the accusative, I'll say, "Have a nice day, or else."
On to the links!
I'm sure this was accomplished in their usual, even-handed, transparent, and non=partisan way.
They named it ’Oumuamua? The name starts with an apostrophe? Okey Dokey then. Let's pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space, 'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth.
So, according to the Times, companies have been buying gobs of their own stock, which is bad, but they stopped for fifteen minutes to fill out some paperwork, which is also bad. I blame Trump, which I believe is conclusion I'm supposed to draw if I read anything in the Times.
I'm not buying it until I hear from Bob Ross. He can paint trees a lot faster than da Vinci, so he must know more about it.
There are welfare queens, and then there's this guy.
The Italian government still pays a guy to flip a switch twice a day? Good work when you can get it. Of course Amazon Echo users shell out scads of their own cash, and surrender all their privacy, just so they can shut off the lights in the room they're in without flipping a switch. You decide which is crazier.
I still keep all my money in greenbacks. They're real, and they're spectacular.
First, picture in your mind flying in a spaceship built by the lowest bidder. Now picture flying in a spaceship built by the lowest bidder in Vladivostok.
I'm trying to conjure up a name for someone less hip than Jeff Bezos, but I'm drawing a blank.
I blame Sesame Street. No, really. The minute children learned that the alphabet was supposed to get up and dance before you paid attention to it, every succeeding generation was doomed. Me, I prefer to snarl, "Good morning" to everyone at work and then scratch in my ledgers to fleece the customers and lord it over the employees. Jeez, kids these days.
Guten Morgen, Maggie's Farm readers, or else!
Saturday, February 17. 2018
Hello everybody. If the news seems pretty grim these days, don't worry too much about it. The government will fix everything. They're peculiarly suited to coming up with the answers to today's problems. After all, the surgeon who leaves a sponge, retractors, and his watch inside a patient knows where to look when they open the poor sod back up. Been there, done that.
We soldier on. On to the links!
Doesn't anyone take responsibility for their own actions anymore? That was a rhetorical question.
The Internet is a woman riding the subway wearing a bustier and a thong while complaining that everyone is looking at her.
A smart politician would tweak stalking laws in the US to include covertly tracking people across the Internet without their express written consent, with a one-button opt-opt that erases every bit of your data at any time from any web service. I don't know any smart politicians, and don't expect to meet one anytime soon.
I hate to break it to you poindexters, but the Uber driver's only real job is to supply the car you ride in. Oh, and to clean the puke out of the back seat every third passenger. Getting rid of the driver is a sideways move.
When I was young I learned about the Triangle Trade in history class. Sugar, tobacco, and cotton to England, textiles and rum to Africa, and unpaid interns to the Americas. I could have sworn they outlawed that sort of thing.
When I was young the kids who walked into walls a lot had their own classes, which were held outdoors quite often. They had their own bus, too. Now they have their own office building, which is nice.
I use Femgoplaces.com. It's a pretty cool search engine, you probably haven't heard of it. You type in your search terms, and they dispatch a girl to drive to a part of town she's not familiar with. When she gets there, she rolls down the window and asks the first person shes sees for the information she wants.
Yes, but will they shoot a tractor trailer into space? That's the true measure of technical innovation nowadays.
If I recall correctly, Romney really cornered the Mormon vote in Massachusetts. Well, he drove his wife to the polls. Same thing. Say, are there any Mormons in Utah?
When I read the headline, I assumed all the employees joined a New York City longshoreman's union, and one of their brothers was a union delegate.
Have a great Saturday, one and all!
Friday, February 16. 2018
What a charming and inspirational message.
I'm sorry, I was being pretending to be pleasant. As you know, I'm no good at it. Let's start over: Keerist, what drivel. But it's unexceptional drivel. No need to comment on how trite and meaningless the message is. Let's look at the spelling. I guarantee it was written, and shared quite a bit on social media, by college graduates. "You body"? Really? However, I'd like to point out that the word isn't misspelled. It's not a typo, either. The person who wrote it, and apparently a lot of people who read it, are blind to the fact that it's the wrong word. They have a condition I hereby christen Facebook Aphasia. They no longer have the mental ability to tell one word from another. It's not that they don't have the innate intellectual horsepower to learn the difference between you and your and you're. After all, they probably learned Klingon for their cosplay wedding ceremony. They're broken, not dumb.
I think, technically, I'm talking about semantic anomia, but I'm just a blowhard on the Internet, so Facebook Aphasia is good enough for me.
Of course proper doctor-type persons know you generally need brain damage from a shovel to the parietal or a tumor that makes tempura of your temporal lobe to give you a proper dose of semantic anomia. I hereby posit that a contemporary public school education followed by a trip to the academy is on par with a severe blow to the head. People have become brain damaged by a refusal to enforce abstract standards of right and wrong for grammar, or anything else for that matter. Through a continual process of calling anyone who notices you're in error a Nazi, and exposure to a continuous stream of word salad on electronic devices, there are entire generations who are literally unable to tell one word from another. They've been taught from the cradle to simply take a stab at all things grammatical. They've been conditioned to rely on hunches, and they're blissfully ignorant of where the knee-jerk reactions they call hunches are spawned.
So, welcome to the Facebook Aphasia world, where every voice is passive, every sentence starts with an adverb, and to, too, two is just the sound a Sesame Street train makes. There's no use whining about it, when wining about it works better. And dismember, never leaf anyone who touches your sole more than you body.
On to the links!
The horror! Pornography will not be immediately displayed by default on your computer screen? What do I need one for, then? And remember, never leave anyone who touches your soul more than his own winkie with safe search turned off
Remember kids, Tesla's taxpayer-subsidized piece of automotive space junk is brilliant, and Donald Trump is a doodyhead for wondering if a space station could be useful to anyone. It's just a hunch you have, but you hunches is always wright.
I hereby support research that may, one day, after millions in grants, allow humans to live to be 41, too. I sleep by hanging upside down in the closet already, so I've got a head start.
I bet conditional cash transfers break the poverty cycle from the moment the recipients get the dough until the moment their boyfriends make it to the strip joint.
Hmm. Maybe brain damage from Pokemon-induced car crashes is the reason no one can spell "definitely" anymore.
I dunno. Screaming, "No raises for anyone, NOW GET BACK TO WORK," always works great for me. I find this saves the employees the embarrassment of hearing how worthless and lazy they are during formal reviews. See, I worry about other people's feelings too much. It's a curse, really.
In the room the women come and go, talking of Michelangelo the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
By definition, a parent who wants their minor child to get a Facebook page is unfit, so wangling clear consent from them shouldn't be too difficult.
I thought Mark Zuckerberg's mentor's name was spelled "Beelzebub."
Yes, I'll be glad to give a screenshot of my driver's license to "Bongo International." Sounds as buttoned-down as the Bank of England.
Everyone have a great Friday. I hope today's links touched your soul more than you body!
Thursday, February 15. 2018
Try searching on the Internet for information about Thor. Good luck if you're not interested in comic book movies. The Internet is a million miles wide and 1/16" deep, and it's turtles all the way down. References to Thor, the actual Norse god of thunder, are an afterthought. The actual Thor, not the wisecracking Australian guy, seems like he was pretty important back in the day. When a day of the week is named after you, you matter.
I'm always fascinated to see who matters on the Internet, because I wandered the Earth before it existed. The Internet likes all kinds of people who seemed half a joke in their heyday to me. I think it's a totally ingrained fetish for pointless contrariness. It's a Howard Zinn world, and whatever you trot out, there must be a cranky alternative we can decide to like instead. That's why the Internet loves Tesla, a weird, mostly useless crank, and hates Edison. The daily Google Doodles are always nobodies that somebody has decided to exalt in place of people who accomplished a lot. I prefer the real deals. I have no interest in a movie about comic book Thor. The original article was interesting enough.
Speaking of original articles, How about Jack Kilby? Who's that you say? Oh, he's not Internet-famous enough to get welfare queens like Elon Musk to name their subsidized cars after him. He just more or less invented the integrated circuit by himself in 1958:
Almost all of the truly useful things in the world are invented by invented by guys like Kilby, not Tony Stark wannabes. They bring lunch to work in a paper bag, wear short sleeve shirts and clip-on ties with their J. C. Penney suits, and have ink stains on their shirt pockets. The Internet's not interested in them. Then again, the Internet isn't all that useful, so it's foolish to think a Facebook world would be interested in a real god, when a comic book god is available.
On to today's links:
The Gallivans don't sound like Internet people. The Free Sh*t Army wouldn't have asked for the packages to be stopped.
It's interesting that post-WWII Hungary didn't bother to collect taxes, because the money was devaluing so fast. They just printed some more and spent it. Stop me when I say something that sounds unfamiliar.
I'm a grown man, more or less. Like I said, I don't have heroes, or go to comic book movies looking for them. But Adam and Shivaun will do in a pinch if you put a gun to my head. Slaying dragons that desolate the landscape and sleep on mountains of gold still cuts some ice with me.
The Soviet Union used to announce they were lightening up every once in a while. Perestroika, tovarish! After a few months of letting you vent your spleen at the party meetings, they'd say, "Never mind," and anyone who opened their yap would be mining gold in Siberia with their bare hands for twenty years. Giving a recruiter access to your social media accounts is about the same idea.
I'm so old I remember when "scientists" warned us that living near power lines would give us cancer, but major roads giving us dementia is almost as good. Of course since next-to-no-one lives far away from power lines or major roads, your study can be bent, folded, or mutilated to suit any agenda.
Yeah, but at least your computer is finally doing something productive. I say leave it.
For $2,500 I'll promise to never work there in the first place.
Breakfast options and alcohol? That's a redundancy at my house.
I think there are still four or five days on the Millennial's calendar that aren't Halloween, but I wouldn't bet on it.
What's for dinner tonight, mom? Cling peaches in heavy syrup, creamed corn, and cranberry sauce with indentations from the can. You know, same as last night.
Well, that's it for today. Have a great Thor's Day! Look out for Saint Boniface, though.
Wednesday, February 14. 2018
Hello everybody. Roger de Hauteville here, King of Sicily. Bird Dog has asked me to sit in for him while he's away at a retreat. It's not exactly summer camp. He's in a 12-step program for toxic masculinity. He's been leaving puddles of masculinity on the floor here and there, and his minders have decided it's got to stop. So you're stuck with me again. I was available because I'm on a forced hiatus from my job, too. Damn HR harpy got me in hot water with the shareholders. She secretly recorded a marketing meeting I called. Total entrapment, in my estimation. I'll let you be the judge:
See? This is why American industry is falling behind the rest of the world. No respect for old fashioned quality control.
On to today's links!
I guarantee the wedding T-shirts all come in XXXL
For the sane reader who's avoided Snapchat's charms, a "Streak" is an endless stream of pointless, ephemeral messages sent between two instant message accounts. They give you a little gold star if you keep it going for 3+ days. Pavlov was born too soon, I guess.
Remember, if you want to test this theory, don't test it on animals if the HR lady is looking.
I didn't think this was possible. Apparently, you can rent a car with cash, too. The smart traveler always relies on carjacking only as a last resort.
They wouldn't have debated an invitation to golf with Donald Trump.
Now all you have to do to nullify your marriage is let your Snapchat Streak lapse.
Mr. President, we must not allow a radioactive harbor gap!
Do they have styrofoam classical columns for rent, too? Those things work great. You can pay for them with untraceable foreign credit card payments, too.
Further down the page there's a similar headline: New Macrobiotic family discovered in Whole Foods.
It's probably part of an ancient tradition that continues to this day. You make a pilgrimage to the shrine that holds the triptych with the sacred runes of plenty scrawled all over it. There are fantastic, indecipherable signs everywhere. You beg the totem for succor, and then while you're fumbling for a sacrificial offering, a disembodied, sonorous, god-like voice booms: Do you want fries with that?
That's nothing. Over 70 percent of Gen X-ers said they'd be willing to have their heads pounded onto a stake in a Swedish lakebottom for six months of free Netflix.
Have a great Wednesday, everybody!
Saturday, August 12. 2017
Nope. Dairy barns were painted white -- with lead paint --to indicate purity. Barns are painted all colors, but most red ones were covered with red lead primer. Lead oxide, linseed oil, turpentine and Japan drier. Most outbuildings didn't merit paint, and red lead primer was the cheapest stuff you could buy. Cary Grant learned not to mix white lead primer with red lead primer in Operation Petticoat.
Legos suck. Bring back American Bricks!
You can make butter with milk and a stick. Command economies can't solve anything.
We've finally reached peak passion.
Look at the picture. It's like these dweebs share one, big closet to go with their one, big opinion.
Listen, poindexters. We stopped going to the moon because there's nothing to do there. It was a stunt, to outdo the Soviet Union.
"Crowdfunded vessel." Heh. Have you tried my Indiegogo vaccines? They're free-range.
This accurate description of recent investor/business relationships tells you all you need to know about the last 10 years.
His motorcade doesn't obey the speed limit. They should revoke his driver's license, too.
He just really likes typing Libor.
Get Shorty was a perfect movie. Get Shorty was a passable book. Get Shorty will be a terrible TV show.
This becomes a problem when the government changes hands, apparently.
Have a great Saturday, everyone! Maybe paint your barn red, and then paint the town red.
Friday, August 11. 2017
Hi everybody. It's Friday. Light the smoking lamp early. Run the cocktail flag up the mizzen before you're under sail. It's noontime somewhere. Bust out the tonsil polish while the sun rides high. Bunk off. Take a mental health day. Slack. Don't kill the job. Make up your mind to procrastinate. Indole.
Read the links first, though.
If you've always wondered what a conservative is, and you work in hi-tech, the nice man will tell you in fourth-grade syntax about this rare but terrifying animal.
All of them work just fine, thank you -- if you're running them. Duh.
That's the best definition of blogging I've seen.
IBM should get with the times and appoint a female CEO to straighten out this mess. Oh.
Listen, iPhone drones. There's only one way to tell your airline you hate it. It has a steering wheel.
I and Pangur Ban my cat, 'tis a like task we are at; hunting mice is his delight, hunting words I sit all night...
An Irishman, late for an appointment, prays, "Lord, if you give me a parking space, I'll give up Guinness and go to Mass every Sunday." A parking space immediately opens up. The Irishman sticks his head out the window, looks up, and says, "Never mind, I found one."
Debts backed by physical assets are so 20th Century.
As long as Flinger's and Chotchkie's stay open, I don't care. You want to come over and watch Kung Fu?
Perhaps we should declare war on it. You know, a war on drugs.
It's unclear to me where Kevin Bacon fits into this.
Janet Yellen can't even cause inflation right. Where's Arthur F. Burns when you need him?
Thursday, August 10. 2017
All the guy at Google did was mention that in a private moment, he has entertained the thought that Google's wife has bingo wings and halitosis, and Google's kid eats library paste. Some how or another, it merits a sacking, followed by the kind of attention that Leo Tolstoy used to get in Russia. I don't get it.
I hereby propose that Google's original, stupid, gilt-edged lie of a motto, Don't Be Evil, be changed to a more up-to-date, honest version: Don't Be Male. Works for me. So does Start Page.
On to the links!
Everything is just Pichai at Google.
That's a lot of words to call a guy a conniving jerk.
I remember some inter-war poll of Oxford students who claimed they wouldn't fight for their country, either, egged on by Bloomsbury pansies. They all climbed into Spitfires when the time came. Talk is cheap, coming and going.
If you've never experienced the wonder of Russian dashcam video, you're in for a treat.
I remember that show. That was a good show. Good show all around, Glen, and RIP
Joe Stalin knew how to get women to undertake a grueling trek halfway across Russia to Siberia, whether they wanted to or not. I guess the NYT still misses the guy.
Net neutrality my keister. I wonder what the FCC fine for ten billion wardrobe malfunctions would be if cable and internet really got the same treatment.
Fighting over the last Funyun is bound to send your diastolic through the roof.
Someone should mention to little sooper genius boy that we already have self-driving trucks. They're called rail cars.
A woman plaintiff, so this one will stick.
In complex matters like these, it's much simpler to assume everyone involved, including the author of the article, is a jerk, and deserves no sympathy. Saves time and aggravation.
Well, there's the links. Have a great Thursday. And don't worry, Maggie's Farm waitstaff would never flirt with you to get a better tip. We might rifle through your belongings if you don't keep an eye on them, though.
Wednesday, August 9. 2017
A friend sent along this video from a recital for a music store in Los Angeles. Holy cow she's only ten years old. Double-plus good: That's her mother accompanying her on the piano. Cool choice of music, too. "Sicilienne" by Maria Teresia von Paradis. She was a blind musician and composer who had Salieri for a teacher and Mozart for a friend.
I don't know about you, but when I was ten years old, I was still eating earthworms I found in the playground, and my mother only played the radio. There's some hope for the human race yet.
On to the links!
Little Kimmie better not work outside in the yard too often. Shame if something fell on him.
Mmm. Polyphenols. If I recall my chemistry correctly (I bet I don't), Polyphenols are called "anti-nutrients." I don't go out of my way to eat anti-nutrients.
It appears that everyone in Europe is a French waiter now.
If you scuttle your ship, do you have to keep up the loan payments? I'm asking for a friend.
He's kinda cute. Unless you're a squirrel.
Neato. I wonder if they have a copy of Good Old Shoe?
Apple employees are revolting? I'll say they are.
I would have answered, "Because, unlike Greeks, they have some."
I love the term "cord cutters." People who used to pay one cable TV bill and a small internet bill will now pay seventeen streaming service bills and a giant internet bill for bandwidth. You know, to save aggravation and money.
Not a NIMBY, I see.
I think they misunderstood him. I think he was just referring to hanging them all on telephone poles.
Harrumph. Back in my day, sonny, we just married the boss's daughter.
Well, there are the links for today. I hope you're all ready for another grueling day of resting and vesting, or being henpecked, or maybe even working if you can't avoid it.
Tuesday, August 8. 2017
Lucille Ball? That Lucille Ball? Cate Blanchett is pretty enough to play Ethel Mertz. Maybe
Darwin worshipers hardest hit
"And pass the savings along to passengers." Pull the other one. It has bells on
All I know is that The Yakuza is a criminally underrated movie
According to David Stockman, the market will crash every day for 36 years and counting
No one brings the potato salad to the Mensa meetings in Equatorial Guinea
Poor Glenn. What did he ever do to this guy to get compared to MSNBC? Shoot his dog?
I remember the good old days when we called it "gnarly" instead of "awesome"
I remember the good old days when surfing was gnarly
I think I'm supposed to warn you there's some naked people if you follow the hyperlink. The way the internet is going, pretty soon we'll have to warn you when there aren't naked people at the link
You have to admit, that headline is right up there with Headless Body In Topless Bar.
Wow. That kind of fascist policing wouldn't fly in an enlightened country like the USA. And shootings and stabbings in Denmark? Must be fake news
Who could have predicted that Japanese youngsters would be better behaved than Americans?
They're just following orders from fewer people
Don Baylor was a blast to watch. He'd stand in one batters box and lean over the other one. RIP, big fella
Monday, August 7. 2017
Bird Dog has gone fishing for the week. His Raja Isteri figured his audience would bridle at seven full days without a little touch of Bird Dog in the night, so she kindly sent me a picture of him up to his old angling tricks. Bird Dog isn't much of a fisherman, truth be told. Just between you and me, he jacklights great whites. He even tried a salt lick once, but it didn't work all that well. I'm not sure why. Anyway, as you can see, Bird Dog is just another square old man who wears his shoes when he goes swimming.
On to the links!
Little-known fact: P. T. Barnum was actually a stoic who downplayed his opinions for public consumption
After a restoration process that took more than two years, the USS Constitution – first launched in 1797 and the oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat – was eased back into Boston Harbor on Sunday night.
Little-known fact: Bad writers use dashes and parentheses instead of commas. Really bad writers use them in headlines
Little-known fact: The best jokes are unintentional
Little-known fact: Anything about acting Estonian by Greeks
Apparently little-known fact to some people: The USSR is no longer operative. We've read their files. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were guilty, guilty, guilty
Little-known fact: An iPhone isn't a magic device that nulls out all existing laws. Very little known, apparently. Not for long
Little-known fact: You can hire bad writers who shotgun quotation marks and parentheses into everything to pretend to be impartially reporting on a newsworthy trend just to get a link back to the company that hired them, because the FTC isn't paying attention to the internet. Yet
Little-known fact: All the good news is bad now
Little-known fact: The road to total enlightenment is long and arduous. Bring a a bag lunch and a change of undershorts
Little-known fact: My parents produced an emotionally intelligent machine using nothing but a bottle of Mateus, a Bobby Darin record, and some private school tuition
Little-known fact: You can't mention this at Google, either
Have a great Monday, everyone. If you can manage it, you should go fishin'.
Saturday, August 5. 2017
Hello again. Roger here. Bird Dog's off to get wormed, or get his nails clipped, or something, so you're stuck with me. I can't do nearly as good a job as Bird Dog when it comes to assembling links for you fine people. My lips get really tired reading all those stories. However, he's started me off on Saturday. It's a smart strategy. Nothing much happens on the weekends, so I can't get into too much trouble. Of course George III is reported to have written "Nothing of importance happened today," in his diary on July 4th, 1776, so maybe I better scan the papers for you just in case. On to the links!
Our friend Gerard at American Digest is in the Saturday Evening Post? Signs and wonders, man. Signs and wonders.
Dirigiste? My French is rusty. She's not that fat, is she?
Just plug the holes, doc, and mind yer own business.
You know, you could turn it off. It sounds crazy, I know, but you could. Smart people never looked at it in the first place.
Pssst. Grok. Don't mention the Paleo diet to the Neanderthals. They think it's cultural appropriation.
Have a nice Saturday. Try to make sure that nothing important happens to you today.
Saturday, July 8. 2017
I need a funny quote about Saturday. I have to paste something in here. You fine readers deserve more than just a few links to digital fishwrap. You merit inspiration. You're worthy of something stimulating. The day itself warrants an attaboy.
Quotes about Saturday are thin on the ground, however. It's the day of rest of days. Saturday is for putting on go to hell pants and painting the fence. Mucking out plugged gutters off rickety stepladders. Going to the dump. Wags and deep thinkers alike have given Saturday a pass. The Saturday sojourn of sol across the firmament just doesn't move the apothegmatic meter.
I say no! Saturday must get its due. Let's see what we can find to tickle our Saturday intellect, and send us to the transfer station with a spring in our step:
No, it isn't.
See: Fey, Tina.
David strikes me as the kind of person who mentions his SAT scores to everyone he meets, even though he's 54. I don't know about you, but I'm not inspired by this quote. I don't want to add any weekend toil to the good, solid, fourteen hours of work I perform during the week. Let's move on.
Oh, dear. Old Lyndon Baines wasn't exactly Cicero, was he? I get the impression that this quote is an adulteration of a quote from Lady Bird Johnson, "Lyndon, every man has a need for a Saturday night bath, whether he's president or not."
Sorry Dale, but by Friday afternoon, I feel as though I've hit a wall.
Wait, that came out wrong. Never mind. Forget the whole thing. Here are the Saturday links. You're on your own for inspiration:
File that headline under: Girl with access to social media accounts who used to work at Buzzfeed. Charming dad and daughter, nonetheless.
More good dad goodness. Now that I think of it, Saturday is a dad kind of day. I can guarantee that this dad gets comped at Disney five times over. The video is more viral than the doorknob at an Ebola clinic.
A worthy topic, and the article isn't entirely fanciful or stupid. There's no way the surveys aren't skewed to the boneheaded side of the ledger. This fellow seems to think Generation Z are all Bernie supporters, face painters, and sign holders. Not hardly. Let me sum up the generational divide from my personal experience. Millennials have wasted their useful working and reproductive lives with childish agitation and untenable social and work situations. They're already toast if they haven't cashed out their failed startup stock options. Generation Z has learned to be circumspect, won't answer surveys, don't like Millennials, and will make Eisenhower look leftist.
One of those pleasant pieces of internet sea glass that washes up from time to time.
Anecdata: I was in the phone store on Wednesday. I had to choose a phone to go along with my new plan. I said, "Anything but Apple." Clerk said, "Everyone says that now."
By gad that webpage is a nightmare. Self-playing video that follows you around. Sidebar picture of a woman who got her makeup done at a funeral parlor hectoring you to change three sentences on your LinkedIn page to go from dumpster diving to six figures, and Jeff Bezos smiling or having a stroke, I can't tell the difference with him. You have to wade ten paragraphs in to find out anything important:
People who have been shut out of the labor market since Nancy Pelosi hove into view are getting jobs again. It makes me happy to hear of it.
Everyone pretends to be angry at the airlines, but it's the TSA they hate, but don't have the nerve to confront. Making people who fight with flight crews and police into celebrities encourages more of that sort of thing. This guy probably thinks he'll be on Oprah next week, sitting next to Gloria Allred, and clutching big checks from the airline and the company that makes Ambien. I have my doubts.
Oh noes! Not a culture of fear! Way to clutch those pearls, Politico. My tiny violin is working overtime.
That description only fits about 10,000 colleges.
Surprisingly, the combatants weren't pasty, obese neckbeards wearing trilbys and My Little Pony tee shirts.
Have a great Saturday, everyone!
Friday, July 7. 2017
The Maggie's Farm editor ate my homework. It does that once out of every five tries or so. It keeps me guessing in the most piquant fashion. The Maggie's Farm computer console is hooked up by a leather strop to the hub of Bird Dog's Farmall, and sometimes, if the humidity is high, the belt slips. Oh well. You'll have to skip my scintillating insights for today, and just read the boring old newspapers:
Your brain is 2/5ths as powerful as the most powerful computer ever built. It's not your brain's fault you use it to watch pro wrestling and worry about vaccines and autism. You could be doing something useful with it.
Theodore Dalrymple is one of maybe five intelligent persons currently writing for the internet.
Real scientists observe things and ask questions. Fake scientists make pronouncements and ask for edicts. This is real science.
I'd have left an upper decker.
How a grape blight resulted in the most famous photograph of all time.
Got that? Hamburger Helper is too hoity toity for poor people now.
It's agitprop. Posing. The police pretend to police while the rioters wreck stuff. The world has raised an entire generation of Wild Ones: What are you protesting? What have you got?
The nonsensical rulings are over. Not because the judges have gotten religion. They just know they'll be overturned and they'll look like fools. To paraphrase Jennifer Cavalleri, Gorsuch means never having to say you're sorry.
Goofy projects deserve a goofy design, I guess. If arithmetic isn't your strong suit, coal costs maybe $40 a ton. It cost 55 million dollars to build a solar array to avoid buying 40 million dollars-worth of coal.
Super Gonorrhoea? They'll probably make him into a Marvel superhero in the next edition.
It was kind to help her out instead of citing her.
First-time offenders? What does that mean? They were all virgins? There's a program? Back in my day my friends just slapped me on the back and said attaboy.
Have a great Friday, everyone!
Thursday, July 6. 2017
The world is moving strongly into a period of hostile takeovers.
For the purposes of our discussion, a hostile takeover is the subversion of an existing power structure from its current owners without shooting. I'll skip questions of merit. Deserve's got nothing to do with it, according to William Munny, the famous philosopher. Of course that line is a hostile takeover itself, from Lawrence of Arabia:
Sexual harassment lawsuits in the tech industry are a minor form of hostile takeover, for instance. Tech businesses were founded on circumventing established laws and customs by simply putting an http in front of your name. It worked for a while. They created nothing. They were hostile takeovers of existing power structures. They ignored laws and customs to get between the customer and the providers of goods and services they desire, as surely as Paulie in Goodfellas did to the restaurant and the patrons. Tech titans don't understand business much. That's why they're in charge of great affairs, but still sitting through TED talks about the productivity gains they'll enjoy by sorting their intellectual crayons by color. Their businesses are now big and established enough to be pillaged in turn, however, and the lady lawyers will have them, easy. They looked at my client funny, your honor. Make her CEO. You wouldn't look at Joe Pesci funny, and he's a walk in the park compared to any given woman in an office setting. I don't care. Uber run by Yahoo management doesn't bother me.
On a larger scale, shooting wars don't accomplish much anymore. Assad fights because he's weak, not because he's strong, for instance. If you order your affairs correctly, opportunities for plunder fall in your lap. People who are fighting are generally proxies of obscure power syndicates. For the most part, the world is a being ruled by syndicates. Gangster states. China is a syndicate. Russia is a syndicate. Their outward forms do not reveal their inner power structure. You simply watch what they do to identify what they're driving at. Russia wants a port on the Black Sea. They will keep the Crimea. That's not fair, say the Ukrainians. Fair? What's fair got to do with it? It's going to happen.
It appears that America is being run by a syndicate. There was a hostile takeover by an outsider who understood a proxy battle. The in crowd is attempting to put humpty dumpty back together again by any means they can muster. Looking for a head for this hydra is a waste of time. They do not need marching orders. They simply understand, as a group, that power is slipping away from them, so they might as well go all in, because if they don't, they'll be on the outside. You know, in the dreaded private sector.
They believe they deserve to run the United States, and signal their merit to rule by a series of categorical blandishments they swap with each other. They're a fraternity without Greek letters on the front. They don't think it's fair that they devoted their lives to the nomenklatura career track, only to have their skillset made superfluous by an outsider.
What's fair got to do with it? It's either going to happen, or it isn't.
On to the links.
The article's author inexpertly tries to flip the script back to: No one went to Trump's inauguration. He's not popular. There's 2500 words of foot stamping, and then a very interesting item I'd missed:
If that map at the top of this page looks like a nothingburger to you, you're not paying attention. I have found myself, completely by accident, doing business with businesses in three of the green countries, and the Ukraine, too. That's where the action is. Trump knows where the action is. His wife is Slovenian, after all, and she looks like she's still ready for action.
If you need a laugh, just sign in with any old words and play along with what you find. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so painfully accurate.
Ah, statistics. Did you know that 94.73 percent of statistics are made up on the spot?
Kathy Griffin and James Comey seen furiously taking notes.
Ooh. Independent analysts. I love those. They're better than anonymous sources. Did they prove that Amelia refused to show up for her physical in the Texas Air National Guard, too? I'm asking for a friend. Alright, alright, I'm asking for Dan Rather.
"Can" is not le mot juste. Does, and will be allowed to continue to do so, is more like it. The judge's reasoning is piquant: Did you see the way the plaintiff was dressed online? They were asking for it.
Farming subsidies pay better than farming.
I see the kamikaze ethos is alive and well in the land of the rising sun.
Have a pleasant pre-Friday, everyone!
Wednesday, July 5. 2017
I could never figure out if Christopher Plummer was any good. He's been a fixture in movies I like to watch for a long time. He wouldn't get carved into any cinematic Mount Rushmores or anything, but he was always hanging around. He's more important than a That Guy in the movies, but I have trouble picturing people plunking down the shekels because his name was above the fine print on the poster.
He was Kipling and Arthur Wellesley and Rommel to good effect. He flounced around as Commodus pretty well in The Fall of the Roman Empire. The Sound of Music was approximately the most successful movie ever made, so it looks good on a resume, but he was just a bright moon in Julie Andrews' orbit in that one. The Battle of Britain is movie worth rewatching, but he's hardly the star of it. And no one pays any attention to anyone else when Peter Sellers is eating the scenery, so his turn in the Pink Panther series is also a secondary one. He and Cato have to fight it out for second place.
I got the impression he takes himself pretty seriously. Or, perhaps, wants us to take him seriously. That can be deadly. It leads to Charlton Heston trying to do Julius Caesar (shudder). Plummer has also declaims Shakespeare, but only in places where Canadian pigeons act as critics, so I have no idea to what effect. He's Canadian himself, and they ladle awards and titles all over him, but I don't know if that matters. They give statues out at random these days, based on a virtue-signalling order I can't bother to figure out.
So I get this movie Barrymore. It's a more-or-less one-man-play set to celluloid. Plummer is John Barrymore, a famous actor you never heard of if you're under the age of 93. Anyway, it's Barrymore ten minutes before his liver became an insuperable sea anchor. Washed up, bank account hoovered by Hoover and alimony. A man who made a bundle in bad movies, got serious about his work, and became a formidable Shakespearean stage actor. The movie is just Barrymore, wandering an empty stage with a reader offstage to give him cues. He wants to do Richard III, one last time, but he has to prove to some backers that he can still find the lines in the fog of his alcoholism. He still needs the work, every which way.
So Plummer plays Barrymore, a man born to a stage family, who works in Hollywood for dough and entree to the high life, but who wants to be taken seriously. Plummer has a chair or two, a drinks cart, a rack of costumes, and a basket of swords and flyswatters to work with, and a man in the canyon of the curtains to yell something back when he yells LINE! That's it. Plummer has to conjure up a man, bigger than life, then make him small, and somehow resurrect the greatness in fits and starts. He has to cook envy and pity for the audience on a hobo stove while they wait.
I now know if Christopher Plummer is any good.
On to the links!
People who have never been backstage think show business is glamorous.
Hmm. I was unaware that the British Seaside had a bright side.
Identity thieves don't honor HIPAA rules? And an obese clerk with Mary Tyler Moore clothes and Post-It notes all over her monitor isn't good at safeguarding your medical records? I'm shocked. This is my shocked face.
Whoah. Back up. There's a river in Los Angeles? Who knew?
I think Dropbox flummoxes the modern tech investor, because it appears to make money.
Proof positive the Democrats are in the wilderness. Oh, and a mobile phone video game designer is their Natty Bumppo. Good luck with that.
Have a lovely Monday again today.
Tuesday, July 4. 2017
I have no desire to mock our British brethren on Independence Day. They are required by their circumstances to live on a pile of rocks and peat in the North Atlantic. We got the amber waves of grain. No sense rubbing it in. I'm not sure they'd acknowledge the slight. I imagine the reaction in Old Blighty at the occasion of the original Brexit was a shrug. The who, with the what now, where, has declared independence? Does that mean Lord Cornwallis will be back for the season in London? Jolly good!
The very idea that the United States would hold a grudge against England over the War of Independence seems odd to the modern American. There are plenty of European countries in line for mockery before we skip on down to the Anglo-Saxon-Norman-Scots-Irish-Welsh-Cornish-Manx-Chav conglomerate. Personally, I'd heap derision on, oh, I don't know -- Luxembourg -- before I'd mention Merry Olde. I mean, honestly, Luxembourg is a zip code, not a country. Their navy is a joke. Britain's navy has never been a joke. England expects that every man will do his duty, and they know how to get it out of him. In Luxembourg, mentioning Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash just means that Claus von Bulow is invited to your cocktail party.
Canada burned down the White House back in the day. Forgive and forget, I say. England shot Congreve rockets at Andrew Jackson. Water under the bridge, if you ask me. The Welsh may be swearing at us, but there's no way to tell by listening to them, so it's pointless to take offense. Australians do punch Americans with amazing regularity. But they punch everybody, so nobody takes umbrage. The United States is celebrating its 241st birthday today, and in the spirit of a guy who landed on his feet, I hereby invite the nation-state version of our crazy ex-wives, ne'er-do-well brothers in law, and illegitimate children to the barbecue. Happy Independence Day to one and all!
The USS Constitution is interesting as all get-out. It's made more interesting by the fact that it's basically a Ship of Theseus at this point. The United States is a Ship of Theseus. All the parts have been replaced a few times, but it's still basically the same thing.
I've been on that boat. It's basically a studio apartment with wood paneling you can drown in. People used to be brave.
All male humans know the Moshulu is the boat packed with immigrants that cruises past the Statue of Liberty in The Godfather Part II. We also know that Han shot first. We don't know much else.
Oh, THAT USS Massachusetts. The one they have in Fall River, Massachusetts is easier to visit, but it's just as rusty, I think. They have a submarine, too. It's basically a studio apartment with metal wallpaper you can drown in.
Castine, Maine was once called Bagaduce? Didn't he play the little bass player in The Partridge Family?
Ancient history, isn't.
Men who fought in a real, live shooting war weren't afraid of sparklers.
As Sam Adams used to say, "Hold my brandy smash and watch this!"
Goes to show what I know. I thought "Whistle-Belly Vengeance" was a reference to the Taco Bell drive thru. Silly me.
Pro Tip- Don't stick your knife in the salt cellar. Old Muttonhead gets sore if you do. Viz:
George Washington is the greatest man who ever lived. I mean it. He refused to become the king of America, though it was offered to him. When he turned over the reins of government to John Adams, it was the first peaceful transfer of real power by election in the history of the world. Many of his rules of civility still are intelligent, actionable advice for today's world. For instance:
Apparently, the internet needs to be abolished. George said so.
Happy Independence Day to Maggie's Farm readers, and all the ships at sea!