February 13, 2018

Sign of the Times

We're delighted to announce that Quinn Norton has joined The New York Times editorial board as our lead opinion writer on the power, culture and consequences of technology…

— Ari Bervacqua, THe New York Times Company February 13, 2018


NY Times Hires, Quickly Fires Journalist With History of Homophobic Tweets

Maxwell Tani, The Daily Beast

Would have lasted longer in the Trump White House, even without a security clearance.

February 07, 2018

Soak The Rich

The time-tested solution.

I am in favor of letting Donald Trump's kids go to state colleges for free, and increasing his tax rate to pay for the free college for the rest of the kids.

—Atrios, Eschaton, Feb 7, 2018

February 06, 2018

Apply As Needed To The Affected Area

“The higher, pretentious form of stupidity stands only too often in crass opposition to [its] honorable form. It is not so much lack of intelligence as failure of intelligence, for the reason that it presumes to accomplishments to which it has no right … The stupidity this addresses is no mental illness, yet it is most lethal; a dangerous disease of the mind that endangers life itself. … [S]ince the ‘higher stupidity’ consists not in an inability to understand but in a refusal to understand, any healing or reversal of it will not occur through rational argumentation, through a greater accumulation of data and knowledge, or through experiencing new and different feelings … We may say that the reversal of a spiritual sickness must entail a spiritual cure.”

One crucial word from How to Be a Stoic, Jan 19, 2016

This is stupidity as the willful ignorance of the unwise. Not mentally ill, no, but seriously and actively and obdurately mistaken. ἀμαθίᾳ :Amathia.

February 02, 2018

In Other Other News

Today, Devin Nunes Peeks Out From His Recusal (Six More Weeks Of Malfeasance Foreseen)

January 31, 2018

Idiot Souffle

This is just weird: Russia's SVR chief allowed into US to meet with DCI Pompeo

The chief of Russia's SVR has been specifically and personally forbidden entry into the United States of America for his part in the recent Russian expropriation of Crimea from Ukraine, which the US formally opposes. Allowing him entry into the country requires by law a special exemption from the Secretary of State that a visa be issued.

Of course, it could just be Russia begging the Trump administration as pointedly as possible under the circumstances to please —please— avoid fucking with Korea, the likelihood of which happening increases by the hour.

January 26, 2018

In Other News. . .

Foreign Policy EXCLUSIVE: President Donald Trump pressed senior aides last June to devise and carry out a campaign to discredit senior FBI officials after learning that those specific officials were likely to be witnesses against him.

But his aides dissuaded him, and the Republic was saved.

Just kidding.

January 13, 2018

Whoa, Nellie!

Keith Jackson, October 18, 1928 – January 12, 2018

For decade after decade Keith Jackson was a delightful college and pro football announcer. He had a rich drawl that didn't downplay the drama of a football game, if any was to be had, but he never made it out to be anything but that, a game, an entertainment, a silly something he was happy to witness and transmit. Good night, nurse, he's gone for good.

January 10, 2018

Dogs Barking Idiotically Through Endless Nights

…endless saturnalia of bunk, of bluff, of stupidity, of insincerity, of false virtue, of nonsense, of pretense, of sophistry, of paralogy, of bamboozlement, of actorial posturing, of strident wind music, of empty words—even, at times, of downright fraud

I'm sorry, Mr. Menken, but you say nothing here to distinguish your era particularly.

December 10, 2017

Annals of Constitutional Thought

Our forefathers did not intend the form of government required by, e.g., the 13th Amendment, says accused pedophile:

Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore said in 2011 that it would "eliminate many problems" for the US government if it got rid of every constitutional amendment besides the first 10.

"You know people don't understand how some of these amendments have completely tried to wreck the form of government that our forefathers intended."

— Roy Moore, 2011

November 27, 2017

Invitation To A Racism

The fellow handing Trump a card the President seems unable to decipher wears a yellow t-shirt under a long-sleeved, wide-collared shirt neatly adorned with more than a dozen ribbons recognizing specific contributions he's made during the course of a career in the US Marines. He's one of the surviving Navajo Code Talkers of WWII.

Behind him hangs a scarlet battle banner celebrating the US Army's victory over the Nez Perce in 1877, and in the background, looming over the proceedings, a portrait of Andrew Jackson.

This is some insulting symbology when you're hosting an event meant to celebrate the deeds of Navaho warriors. Just saying.

November 14, 2017


In the Philipines they have a word for it, amok, for when some random guy goes off on a killing spree (typically, by age-old custom, armed with a machete to slash at any he can reach before he's ended).

Amok in America is semi-automatically armed.

Case Solved

Limbaugh: Moore was a Democrat at time of sexual misconduct allegations

Weather Front

It's mid-November and Santa Cruz is toying with a rainy season.

A couple of desultory storms have passed through so far, but we haven't yet had that set of sequential drenchings that a real rainy season presents, with endless days of gray sky and soaked soil. Perhaps this next ten days will spell out what sort of season it will be. I'm constitutionally on the side of rain, myself.

November 06, 2017

The Precession of the Pleiades Enters The 21st Century

And I’ve done it well, I’ve done it really well, much better than people understand and they understand I’ve done well.

—A recent president's unforced evaluation is that though people understand he's done well, they don't fully get how right they really are: he's done it well, really well.

Who are the “special snowflakes” of early 21st Century America, the people whose underwear is too tight, who are too sensitive about everything, who can’t take even the least criticism? No, it’s not some exquisitely tuned 20-year old leftist at a selective private college. It’s the cultural right, the people who curl up into a Rush Limbaugh-endorsed fetal position every time anyone says even the slightest thing that perturbs the preciousness of their world. I get that everyone in all the wide world feels entitled to the integrity of the lifeworld in which they have grown and thrived as human beings. But that entitlement has its limits, and they are at a minimum the classic limits of liberalism: swing your fist if you must, but stop at my nose. In fact, stop well short of it. Right now we have a minority of people in the United States who insist that they can still flail wildly long after they have pummeled everyone else bloody.

If America is not great, it is not for a lack of attention to our sensitive right-wing snowflakes. They said: hands off our guns. Well, we stand now at the moment of the most intense judicial restraint on any attempt to restrict gun ownership and use in the history of this republic. They said: lower our taxes! We are the least taxed liberal democracy on the planet, we are 37 years into a national regime of ceaseless tax reduction. They said: cut the welfare state, get rid of the safety net! The safety net has been cut, the great revolution of the late 19th and early 20th Century in favor of public goods is nearly totally undone. They said: stop teaching our children what we don’t want them to know. Creationism is back in schools, the government is actively hostile to science, it’s ok for the top leaders of this country to endorse historical falsehoods and insist they be taught to the nation’s children. They said: we’re too free to see pornography and get divorced and live together outside of marriage and take drugs. And where is it that pornography is most popular and adultery flourishes and opoids and meth take hold? In Trumplandia, where people apparently need the Nanny State to stop them from doing what they blame on others who do it far less. They said: stop crime at all costs! And thirty years later, they’re still afraid in a country that locks up more of its own people than any other comparable nation, that allows cops to kill black men with impunity.

—Timothy Burke, Easily Distracted, November 6, 2017 via LG&M

November 05, 2017

While Trump Is Out Of Town

Having wrested the title of "crown prince" from Mohammed bin Nayef in June (crown prince the title of the presumptive next king in line, a title Mohammed bin Nayef relinquished without a great deal of fuss), Mohammed bin Salman has moved to further consolidated control over the fate of Saudi Arabia by taking key individuals into custody on charges of corruption.

Few observers expect there is no corruption in Saudi Arabia. Practices allowed, almost required, by the realities of great wealth may turn out to be corrupt if it suits the politics of the moment.

The world has had its fill of dynamic males, and yet will not cease but offer them up, even in the bleak quarters of Arabia.

November 02, 2017

Snarks On A Plane

November 01, 2017

Darvish for President

Speaking in my official capacity as an acknowledged Giants fan, it’s the best we can do this late in a dreadful season. Anybody else losing the World Series would have been meh. But the Bums, ah!

Rhymes With "Kick, Back"

It appears that over the course of three weeks in 2012, Paul Manafort wired a landscaping outfit, identified as Vendor K in the Special Council's indictment, $84,600 from a stash in an offshore account based in Cyprus.

Another landscaping outfit, identified as Vendor F in the indictment, was wired $265,800 over the course of 8 months in 2011.

How much of this money found its way back to Mr. Manafort after being sent to his gardeners remains to be seen. But, I mean, this is Augusta National-level lawn care.

October 29, 2017

World Series Update

The Houston radio crew brings to the airwaves the electricity and charisma of two guys reading from the menu at IHop.

Thanks Comey

It was one year ago today that James Comey took it on himself to effectively (very effectively) swing the presidential election to Donald J. Trump. Thanks, Comey.

October 25, 2017

Fats Domino, February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017

I'm older than rock 'n roll. I remember when it achieved liftoff in the mid-'50's. I was a kid then, what we would now call pre-adolescent. Fats Domino was right in the middle of it all, serving up musical treats even a kid my age could appreciate: rhythm 'n blues from New Orleans, a style happily expropriated into the seedstock of the newly emerged American popular music style.

I remember hearing Fats Domino's music the first time, sitting in the back seat of my grandparent's car, heading down Skyline from San Francisco to their cabin outside Boulder Creek:

You Made me cry/ when you said goodbye. /Ain't that a shame? /My tears fell like rain.

And then hit after hit from him. All the Blue songs, all the Walking ones: Blue Monday, Blueberry Hill, My Blue Heaven, I'm Walking, I Want To Walk You Home, Walking To New Orleans. Yeah.