Category: Life & Culture

Blast from the Future

Dateline 2048 AD, from the Associated Press-Fox news Hive Mind

With the 2048 Presidential election due to happen tomorrow, candidates have already announced their campaigns for the 2052 Presidential race (as well as a few for the 2056 race). One candidate that is particularly drawing attention is familiar face — Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Clinton, having lost her 2008 Presidential bid to Barack Obama, her 2012 bid to Bernie Sanders, her 2020 bid to Nikki Haley, her 2028 bid to Ivanka Trump, her 2036 bid to Bristol Palin and her 2044 bid to a cloned Ronald Reagan, has vowed that this time she will at long last become President.

Clinton was woken from cryogenic sleep shortly before her first campaign appearance and appeared a bit confused, saying that she was looking forward to being America’s “first woman President”. When it was pointed out that she would actually be the third, her campaign advisors said that the quote was taken out of context by cyborgs of the Republican-Libertarian-Texas Alliance.

Clinton has promised free college to all Americans (although college, as such, was abolished in 2045 after direct brain uploads made it obsolete). She has also promised to complete the work of Obamacare, which may prove difficult given that the entire insurance market imploded in 2020 and was replaced with the barter system.

Clinton is expected to face some controversy over her past experience. Her tenure as Secretary of State under Obama saw the rise of ISIS while her tenure as Secretary of Defense under Sanders saw ISIS turn the entirety of Iraq and Syria into a Jihadist Theme Park, featuring stoning of adulteresses and beheadings of infidels. Her brief stint as Secretary of Treasury was marred by controversy over putting her own face on the $20 bill.

Still, her motto of, “She’s rested, she’s ready, she’s thawed out, she only has three bionic limbs and really anyone who would have surrendered to those aliens” is expected to resonate with the seven people who still vote instead of spending their entire lives in the virtual pornography chambers the Sanders administration distributed in 2019.

“Enough already,” she told the virtual hologram of George Stephanopoulos. “I’m going to President this time. I don’t care if I did finish second in Iowa to a species of intelligent moss. It’s my turn.

Hal, The Novelist

So yeah, it turns out I’ve written a novel. You can click through that link for the details and an excerpt. At the present time, it is only available a self-published Kindle e-book thought Amazon. If it sells a bit, I might try to find a publisher for a real book.

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The story, it goeth thusly: many decades in the future, medical science has made aging a thing of the past. Painter Walter Winston, at age 128, finds himself dying from simply being exhausted from life. He sets off on a journey to revisit the places he’s lived, trying to rediscover himself, his life and the people who made it worth living. It’s science fiction, yes. But it’s not really about science. It’s about time and old age and regret and art.

It is with some sadness that I let the novel go because … I know I will never write anything like it again. My interests and my previous writings (and the book I’m working on now) tend to be more “traditional” sci-fi with spaceships and aliens and RR Lyrae stars. I’d never written anything this personal or artistic before and I can’t think that I would ever be able to summon those muses again.

But you never know.

I would also add, for the purposes of this blog, that it is not political at all.

For the next four days, as a special offer to those of you have been reading my writing here for so long, the novel is available absolutely free (after that, it will go to $3). It will also be available, for at least the next three months, through Kindle’s lending library and unlimited features.

You can find it here. I hope you will find the interest and time to read it. And I hope you will enjoy it. And if you do enjoy, please tell everyone you know to buy it!

Savages

They know just how to hurt us;

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Per established precedent they have demanded we release 5 prominent Muslims. I say we give them Obama, Kerry, Ellison, Andre Carson, and throw in Lois Lerner (the way she lies she can convince them of anything).

As if ISIS wasn’t on the “naughty” list already.

Suck My Space Nerd Stick

Out of the loop, as years go by I find myself more and more ensconced outside the fence, and I’m not even really looking in. I don’t care about current fads, don’t listen to the top 40 (my siruis XM stays on Watercolors, Symphony Hall, or Classic Vinyl), don’t go to the movies that much (last one I took my kid to see Jurassic World in Imax 3D, 18 bucks, are you kidding me?) and I don’t need Vanity Fair to tell me what wines to drink or books to read. So I am a bit nonplussed at all the Star Wars Hysteria going on;

I’m with Katherine on this one. Yeah, I remember the first 3, saw them in the theaters, but life goes on. This new generation have no such nostalgia pulls to the series, yet, when the MSM tells them that they should be excited, they follow in lock step.

I will probably rent it when it comes out at Redbox so I am marginally interested.

2 questions for the group, have you ever gone to midnight showings or stood in line for ungodly hours waiting to see any movies, like ever, and does anyone here actually have wood over this movie and feel they must see it today?

Turkeys and Drumsticks 2015

For eight years running, I have taken advantage of the Thanksgiving Holiday to give out my awards for Turkey of the Year and Golden Drumsticks. The latter are for those who exemplify the best traits in our public sphere. The former are for those who exemplify silliness and stupidity. I rarely give them out to someone who is evil; they are reserved for those who regularly make me shake my head and wonder what they’re thinking. It’s a sort of “thank you” for making blogging easier.

We’ll start with the Turkeys of the Year. For reference, the past winners are:

2007: Alberto Gonzalez, Nancy Pelosi, Hugo Chavez

2008: Sarah Palin, Sarah Palin’s critics, Hillary Clinton, Congress, Joe Biden

2009: Mike Steele, Glen Beck, the State Department, Sarah Palin, Andrew Sullivan.

2010: Janet Napolitano and TSA, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, MSNBC, Lower Merion Schools, California Voters.

2011: Nancy Pelosi, Republican Presidential Field, Occupy Wall Street, Anthony Weiner, the Eurozone.

2012: The Culture Warriors, Unions, The Poll Unskewers, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, MSNBC

2013: Healthcare.gov, the Platinum Coin, the Shutdown Caucus, the National Park Service, Fiscal Cliff Panic Mongers.

2014: Jonathan Gruber, Lamenting Democrats, Barack Obama, Jim Ardis, Paul Krugman

For This Year:

The Presidential Field: Here are your candidates for 2016:

On the Democratic side, a 68-year old political insider with a 30-year track record of deception, vindictiveness and blame evasion, running on her record of having unleashed chaos in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Then there’s the 74-year-old socialist, rejected because his views on gun control are insufficiently pure. Then there’s the “young” guy running on his horrible track record as mayor of a failed city and governor of a failed state. And, because things weren’t surreal enough, there was the former senator who looked like he’d gotten baked on his yacht and accidentally wandered into a Presidential debate.

On the Republican side, you have the reality TV show star with narcissistic personality disorder who has an iffy relationship with the truth and seems determined to insult every demographic he can. You have the brilliant brain surgeon who is clueless on policy and has crackpot ideas about history. You have the asshole Texas senator. You have the President of a nearly collapsed company running on her record as a businesswoman. You have the worst Bush yet, somehow managing to piss away the complete support of the establishment. And then you have a bunch of little guys vying to get 3% support so they can stay in the big debate.

Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Coolidge, Reagan, Bush I … and one of these guys. Ay, caramba.

So far, the only ones who impressed me are Webb and Rubio (see below). One is out and the other is still in fourth place.

College Students: Have you guys seen Life of Brian? In that movie, the anti-Roman guerrillas spend way more time fighting each other than fighting the Romans. This was modeled on 1970’s left-wing radical who hated the government but hated each other more for “splitting” the movement and being insufficiently ideologically pure. This process is happening with political correctness as they slowly turn on each other.

Think of what we’ve been seeing. Who are college students forcing out of positions of power? Who are they screaming at in public squares? Who are they banning from bringing cameras into their “safe spaces”? This ire is directed against people who agree with them on 95% of the issues. Occasionally, there are real issues. But all too much of the anger is because lectures on European history are too European, because there aren’t enough tenured professors of women’s studies, because someone suggested, maybe, that it wasn’t the university’s job to tell grown men and women what Halloween costumes to wear.

Previous generations of college students protested against wars, against vicious racism and against in loco parentis. This generation is protesting against offenses so trivial they are literally called “microgggressions”.

The Election Media: It’s a little under a year until the election and I’m already exhausted. They’ve pronounced Trump dead at least eight times. They’re bending over backward to not criticize Clinton. And they’re doing nothing to illuminate the issues with their focus on the horse race.

Rolling Stone: Last year, they published a horrifying tale of a campus rape that turned out to be a fiction. The blame laid squarely on them. They didn’t bother to call the fraternity in question. They didn’t bother to talk to the supposed victim’s friends. They didn’t bother to read the rather famous (in Charlottesville) book about a rape that the victim took her story from. That’s horrible. What moves them into mockery land is their refusal to take responsibility. No one was fired. They blamed it on the victim for being a good liar. And now they’re being sued for millions.

(And it would seem the lesson has not been learned. The Hunting Ground, a new and much-praised, documentary about campus rape, has an equally problematic relationship with the truth.)

Barack Obama: He pronounced ISIS contained days before they attacked Paris. His Obamacare is seeing double-digit rate increases and companies leaving because they’re hemorrhaging money. His Iran deal is … dubious. The Democratic nominees are trying to pretend that Republicans have secretly been President for the last eight years. His attempts to gin up support for Syrian refugees infuriated half the country.

Maybe he needs to appear between two ferns again.

Dishonorable Mention: Kim Davis, Jeremy Corbyn, Vox, Everytown USA, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Vox, Bill deBlasio, the NFL, the anti-vaxxers, Sepp Blatter, Greece, Volkswagen, Putin.

Now the Golden Drumsticks, awarded to those who best exemplified what is right with the world. Here are the past awards, the first round from West Virginia Rebel.

2007: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ron Paul, Barack Obama, David Petraeus, Juan Carlos, Burma’s monks

2008: US Military, Jeff Flake, Ron Paul, Republican Governors, Barack Obama

2009: The American Fighting Man, Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, George W. Bush

2010: The Tea Party, Chris Christie, Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the Next Wave of Republicans, David Cameron and Nick Clegg, The American Soldiers

2011: Seal Team Six, Mark Kelly, The Arab Spring, the Technicians at Fukushima

2012: Down Ballots, The Sandy Responders, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, Mathew Inman

2013: Francis I, Edward Snowden, Rand Paul, The American Military, The Institute for Justice

2014: Ebola Responders, Francis I, Rand Paul, David Brat, The Supreme Court

For 2015:

New Horizons and Dawn: It was another banner year for science, headlined by New Horizons stunning visit to Pluto and Dawn‘s visit to Ceres. The Philae lander also revived and began providing more data from a sublimating comet. In other science news, rubella has been rendered extinct in North America and polio is on the run.

Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler: These are the three men who stopped a would-be terrorist on a French train. Stone came home … where he got stabbed protecting a friend. As Charles Cooke said, we’re a few news cycles away from finding out this guy is Batman.

Amnesty International: In the face of withering criticism and a rising intense moral panic about sex trafficking, they did the right thing: called for the complete decriminalization of sex work for both providers and clients.

Video and Body Cameras: There are legitimate civil liberties concerns when it comes to cops always carrying cameras on them, especially with our culture’s tendency to exploit and shame people doing things on tape. But they are making a huge difference. They not only show when cops do bad things (such as recent horrific shootings in Chicago and Marksville), they exonerate cops who’ve been falsely accused of brutality or sexual harassment. For cities that have implemented them, complaints about police brutality and abuse are way down, both because cops are acting better and because people find it harder to make false claims. There are still issue to work out about when and how footage becomes public. But I think this is a big help on the way to criminal justice reform.

The Non-Crazy Presidential Candidates: Marco Rubio may not get the nomination and Rand Paul definitely won’t. But they’ve injected some much-needed sanity and real debate into the Republican primary. Jim Webb gets a shout-out here too for trying (and failing) to find a moderate stream of Democrat.

Honorable Mention: USA women’s soccer team, the American military, France, Francis I.

Put your nominees in the comments. And have a great Thanksgiving.

No Laughing Matter

A constant truism exhibited over the years by the left is their inability or unwillingness to deal with criticism. Probably from lack of practice, but when your megaphone, the bought and paid for MSM, suddenly forgets their lines and challenges previously held protocols for decorum, the flummoxed are at a loss, not knowing whether to scratch their watch or wind their ass. Ditto with that ever elusive concept known as free speech. “Free” seems to be a conditional term, like free for me but not for thee,”We will stand up and protect your right to express yourself, as long as we agree with that expression”. From calls to fire Rush to Obama’s war with Foxnews, the thin skinned absolutely refuse to tolerate that with they deem intolerant. Enter Miss Pantsuit;

In what appears to be a first for a serious presidential contender, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is going after five comedians who made fun of the former Secretary of State in standup skits at a popular Hollywood comedy club.

A video of the short performance, which is less than three minutes, is posted on the website of the renowned club, Laugh Factory, and the Clinton campaign has tried to censor it. Besides demanding that the video be taken down, the Clinton campaign has demanded the personal contact information of the performers that appear in the recording. This is no laughing matter for club owner Jamie Masada, a comedy guru who opened Laugh Factory more than three decades ago and has been instrumental in launching the careers of many famous comics. “They threatened me,” Masada told Judicial Watch. “I have received complains before but never a call like this, threatening to put me out of business if I don’t cut the video.”

No one should dismiss the reach and power of the Clintons (Vince Foster) or poo poo this guy’s concerns about his own personal safety.

We have seen Obama’s short fuse when it comes to the press not towing the party line. When Hollywood wanders off the reservation, even minutely, it can throw them for a loop. The left gets special reverence right up there with Muslims. Rip a Christian or a Jew, they can handle it, no worries on your end, but say something unflattering about a Muslim and those damn blasphemy laws kick in, and you better go into witness protection.

Talk Like a Pundit!

Because we need some comic relief, here’s PJ with a guide to Punditspeak, translating terms you’ll hear in the punditsphere into English. Viz:

highly placed source—anyone dumb enough to answer my emails or phone calls.

highly placed source speaking on condition of anonymity because—because they’re dumb but not suicidal.

on background—the highly placed source is pulling this out of his ass.

on deep background—the highly placed source is pulling this out of somebody else’s ass.

studies show—I’m pulling this out of my own ass.

The whole thing is pretty funny.