Skip to main content


Showing posts from May, 2020

Don't Let The Riots Go To Waste

You'd think I would have given up on trying to get a lucrative salary as a political consultant, by now.  But my advice to the president is to avoid getting too involved with the violence in the cities. They are "blue counties," after all. What does he have to gain? It is reasonable to say that Democratic mayors know their cities better than somebody in Washington DC, and therefore, know what steps should be taken. If the suppression of the riots is too soft, let the Democratic mayor take the blame. If a cop or national guardsman gets trigger-happy, let the Democratic mayor be blamed. It seems reasonable to me that the president should make extra resources available to the mayors. One way to do that is to begin a withdrawal of US troops from the Mideast and all the other places in the world where they are cruelly meddling in other people's affairs. Let them add to the security of Americans, in America, for a change. Station them around the cities where they m

Mother Nature's Miracle

And no, I am not talking about pretty tourist scenery. The miracles of nature that first come to mind are things like "raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens." That might be a little sappy for my tastes. I prefer rowdy puppies, or young women in the bloom of youth. But there are other miracles that take a moment of thought. What if you lived in this valley a few generations ago. A local farmer told me the water table was 300 feet down. Wikipedia says that the gravel detritus (deposited from the nearby mountains) is a mile deep. Imagine digging a well by hand, three generations ago, and hitting water after a reasonable amount of effort and suffering. What a miracle that would be! Ahh, but the long-suffering reader knows what my favorite miracle is: This cloud is a month early. There should be nothing but blue-white glare until the monsoons start in July. Hot, scalding, monotonous, and enervating.

Eating at a Restaurant!

Normally I chew myself out a little for eating at restaurants. It is expensive, the food isn't that great, and the music is intrusive and ugly. But today it felt great, after two months of Lockdown. Near here, a restaurant/store reopened in a small rural town. I was their first customer, so I left a big tip to get them started right. It seemed like the whole family was working there. Nobody was wearing their fear mask. It just felt so normal. There certainly is something to be said for taking things away from yourself, temporarily, just so you start to appreciate it again. from

Be Careful What You Wish For

Blogger sucks. It's time to look for an alternative. Went back to Blogger Classic so I could upload photos. I was overwhelmed with campers this past holiday. Am I already becoming nostalgic for the lockdown? The situation was exacerbated by competing campgrounds being closed: we are the only game in town. Everybody was acting healthy and active. Very few people were wearing the fear mask. What would it take for public spaces in Colorado to become truly uncrowded?: more than a Covid lockdown, I suspect. It would probably take a nuclear war. From

Even More Perfect, This Time Around

It is both remarkable and wonderful that powerful experiences can recur, and yet remain powerful, or even, take a step closer to perfection. One of these happened recently. I was working outdoors on a warm, windy, arid day in the American Southwest. I wish I had looked at the thermometer. It was probably only 70 F or so. But the sun was oppressive. Maybe I hadn't drunk enough water on the mountain bike ride, earlier in the morning. Just then, a cloud blocked the sun. The temperature seemed to fall by 15 F -- instantly. I wanted to fall down, upon my knees, and pray to almighty Somebody-or-Other for their Divine Mercy. OK, so I am milking the act a little here -- but not by very much! A modern secularist, under the right conditions, has the same instincts that their ancestors had, centuries, or even millennia, ago. If they think they are vastly superior to their ancestors, it is only because of their soft, comfortable, secure, and insipid existence. They need only experience some No

Bringing Back a Classic Slogan

Youngsters haven't seen as many classic TV ads as I have. I am genuinely fond of a couple of them. My all-time favorite was the old boy bringing in his Model T car for a free muffler at Midas Muffler. Likewise they haven't heard as many political slogans, although it is harder to think of ones that I was ever fond of. But one of the better political slogans was the one feminists came up with, circa 1970: "Get Your Laws Off Our Bodies!" It was a good slogan because it brought people over to their side who perhaps didn't like feminists, in general. Do you think the slogan is relevant today, during the virus panic? I think it is. It might need to be improved for accuracy. How much of the lockdown is about "laws" at all? -- as opposed to mere decrees from the Never Elected? Of course, the slogan is unlikely to be used by today's Progressives. After all, the slogan is essentially Libertarian, whereas the modern Progressive is firmly in the authoritarian

A Mostly Unfacetious Plan to Throttle-Up

After presidential elections a remarkable map of the USA shows up here and there: a map of blue counties and red counties. The map is impressive! It seems like 90% of America is red, on a square mile basis (especially if you ignore a couple indian reservations or the southern border). But those blue counties have enormous populations. Doesn't this suggest a way to stifle the virus, achieve political comity, and throttle-up the economy? I propose keeping the blue counties in lockdown -- permanently, if they want. That should have a real medical benefit: dense populations are breeding grounds for pestilence and disease. In contrast, the red counties can start to loosen up, faster. It should create an era of good feelings, too. Blue counties seem to favor lockdown -- on EVERYBODY. Let them stop being so generous, and keep the lockdown for themselves. They could think of it as "enlightened self-interest." Then they could get rid of their HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes on

Experience Wins Over Thinking and Reading

Real world experience is so important, compared to reading one more book. For instance I have read a lot about the Great War, World War I. But at some point I think, "I don't even feel sorry for you guys. Why didn't you rebel against your leaders, rather than be slaughtered every day?" In fairness, French soldiers did rebel in 1918. They would no longer 'go over the top'  when the officer blew the whistle -- they would no longer participate in suicidal and useless charges. But they held their ground defensively. They weren't deserters. Still, how could the vast majority of citizens and soldiers throw their lives away, based on the commands of leaders who were murderous fools? That is one good thing in experiencing the virus lockdown. I see a nation of sheep, throwing its livelihoods away, based on nothing but propaganda from the boob toob. Actually, we should stop comparing Americans to sheep, and change it to earthworms, instead. The American economy, 20

Appreciating the Oral Tradition

If only I had pushed in the direction of podcasts and audio books years ago, instead of waiting to discover this world during the lockdown! For years I have complained that reading books was a miserable activity during winter evenings, especially when camping. Even the most hard-core optimist would admit that reading is tedious. I would rather just blurt out that reading is unsociable, glum, and lifeless. It is an unnatural and annoying activity. Furthermore, we sometimes forget how recently the printed word has come to dominate the Oral Tradition. I envy my grandparents' generation for being able to listen to the Golden Age of Radio on a winter evening on their farms. Go back even further than that and you have the world of theatre, live and on stage, where the playwright's words are 80% of the show. My generation caught the end of the (tawdry) newspaper era, but saw the hegemony of movies (aka, eye candy) and television (aka, chewing gum for the eyes.) It would be interesting

What is the Ultimate Outdoors Shirt?

There are more important things to worry about right now, but I have always wanted the ultimate shirt for mountain biking in the summer time. The recreational industry has oversold the benefits of texturized polyester, supplex nylon, and polypropylene. The only thing these modern high-tech fabrics are good for is not absorbing water. That is important if you are climbing a 14'er in Colorado and you get caught in a squall or hailstorm. (Well OK, they are durable. But they are unforgivably hot and sweaty.) But I am mountain biking in warm summer weather, with low humidity. The cliche about cotton 'absorbing' sweat or water is irrelevant. So what if the fabric absorbs sweat? It evaporates quickly and cools the fabric. The only problem with thin 100% cotton is durability. Rayon is even cooler than cotton, but weaker yet; especially near the button holes. I have yet to find a long-sleeve rayon shirt, and I don't want flamboyant tropical colors. I am a Southwesterner, not a

More Warmongering After Crisis?

Many people might be wondering if the modern crisis will make important improvements to American policies. For instance, will Americans decide that spending a trillion dollars per year on intelligence agencies, foreign wars, and toys for the Pentagon is something we just can't afford any more, and that we need to reallocate that money elsewhere. I used to think so. But maybe that is just wishful thinking. I am rereading Madame de Stael's "Considerations of the Principal Events of the French Revolution." She was well-placed to know some of the famous actors of the Revolution, and eye-witnessed important events in it. And a woman author has a tendency to emphasize different things than the usual male historian.   She quotes an English politician who criticized Bonaparte: He must promise to make them the masters of the world, that they may consent to be his slaves. Was that true with the mob in ancient Rome? Their lives were miserable and hopeless most of th