URLs du Jour

2021-09-25

  • Mr. Ramirez illustrates it for you. Doing their jobs. [Doing their jobs]


  • Jim Treacher notes the latest from the Doddering Old Fool. I've subscribed to Jim's substack, and you should too, because of items like this Biden Finally Recognizes America's Biggest Threat: Horses. Sample:

    It’s about time the Biden administration did something about the biggest threat in America today: horses. First our hospitals filled up with people OD’ing on horse paste, and now those damn horses are killing black people at the border or whatever. Just say neigh! #BanHorses #JustSayNeigh

    Biden murdered seven children in Afghanistan with a drone strike, and nobody was fired. Some cowboys enforced the border on horseback, as they’ve been doing for 100 years, and Biden fired the horses.

    As Bob Dole would say: Where’s the outrage?


  • Lousy Story du Jour. Slashdot reports on the mutterings of America's least thoughtful progressive, who says 'Facebook Is What's Wrong With America'

    The Salesforce CEO and owner of Time Magazine, Marc Benioff, sees a common thread for what ails America today: deception that is allowed to spread like wildfire on Facebook. "This digital revolution really kind of has the world in its grip. And in that grip, you can see the amount of mistrust and misinformation that is happening," Benioff told CNN. From a report:

    "Look at how it is affecting the world. You can talk about the political process. You can talk about climate. You can talk about the pandemic," Benioff said. "In each and every major topic, it gets connected back to the mistrust that is happening and especially the amount of it being seeded by the social networks. It must stop now."

    "Some of these social media companies, especially Facebook, you can see that they don't really care that their platform is filled with all of this disinformation," Benioff said. The tech billionaire called for Congress to crack down on Facebook's disinformation problem. "I own Time and I am held accountable for what is produced on my platform," Benioff said, adding that CNN and other media outlets are also held accountable. "In regards to Facebook, they are not held accountable. So they do not have an incentive from the government. That has to change." Benioff urged Congress to review existing laws to try to stop the "level of deceit" happening on social networks.

    I'd say outlets like CNN and Time are too rarely "held accountable" for misinformation emanating from their journalism. Cases like Nick Sandmann's, where CNN et al defamed an actual person are relatively rare.

    And where do you go to hold (for example) Joe Biden "accountable" for his outright lies?

    Benioff isn't wrong about Facebook being a source of disinfo. He's wrong that it's worse than other sources, and that it uniquely must be forced to "stop now." Fix your stupid magazine first, Marc.


  • It's not as if Facebook isn't trying very hard. From Behind the Black, we have a report of its latest effort. Today’s blacklisted American: Garden hoes banned by Facebook!

    Today’s blacklisted American, garden hoes, is meant more to illustrate the utter brainlessness of the blacklist culture, and why every intelligent American should refuse to bow to it in any way.

    It appears that Facebook has been repeatedly flagging and then blocking posts on a gardening group because those gardeners periodically make reference to the gardening tool called a “hoe.”

    Maybe they could get away with calling them "strumpets" instead.


  • Might as well call a spade a spade, a hoe a hoe, and Joe Biden a… Daniel Henninger calls for accuracy in labelling: Joe Biden (D., Socialist)

    Last Thursday, Mr. Biden trundled out to give a speech for his mega-trillion Build Back Better plan. The press says the Biden plan is in trouble with moderate Democrats, which could make or break his presidency, with votes starting next week.

    This spending plan may be the whole Biden presidency, but it’s bigger than that. His seemingly run-of-the-mill afternoon speech was a significant statement. It was a public repudiation by Mr. Biden of the U.S. economic system.

    Partway through the speech, Mr. Biden felt obliged to assert: “I am a capitalist.” During the campaign he said: “I am not a socialist.” Both statements are false. Joe Biden is not a capitalist. He is a socialist. Democratic progressives don’t like the s-word, which is why they started calling themselves progressives. Bernie Sanders declared himself a socialist so long ago it’s too late to change. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez admits to being a democratic socialist. Fact-check scolds argue the s-word has no meaning in the American political context because no one is suggesting state control of the means of production. Be that as it may, listen to Mr. Biden talk about the system we do have.

    If Joe isn't a socialist, we're going to have to come up with a new word for someone who advocates vastly increased government control of the economy.

Iron Lake

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

A sister-recommended book. I think she likes books set in Minnesota. This one's way up toward Canada, north of Duluth.

The protagonist is "Cork" O'Connor, and as the present-day part of the book opens, he's in a bad way. Thanks to a tragic incident (eventually detailed) over which he presided as sheriff, he's now ex-sheriff. And he's moved into a barely-heated quonset-hut burger joint, due to his lawyer wife Jo asking him to leave his house, her, and their kids.

Although he's not in official law enforcement any more, Cork is asked by a local mother to track down her son, who went missing on his paper route during a nasty snowstorm. Thanks to a previous chapter, we know that the kid has witnessed a horrific and bloody scene at the house of Judge Robert Parrant.

Cork is of partial Native American descent, and there's a bit of his tribe's mythos dragged in. Specifically, the wendigo, an evil spirit. Could that help explain what happened to the judge? Yes, it turns out, sort of. In the sense that ancient supernatural legends often speak to universal human frailties and capacity for awful deeds.

There's a host of characters, most candidates for suspicion: the parish priest, an ambitious politician, Cork's semi-competent replacement, Cork's girlfriend, a coroner out of his depth, etc. There's a casino (where there are Native Americans, there always seem to be casinos) and that means criminal corruption.

I'm iffy about the series. Slight spoiler: the big climax here goes on way too long, involves our hero being not very smart or well-prepared, and I I think the author is unnecessarily vague about what happens at the very end. (What exactly did that shot hit?) Ah, well. It's a page-turner anyway. For wilderness noir, I think I'll stick with C. J. Box.

Started Early, Took My Dog

[Amazon Link, See Disclaimer]

I love the title. It's snipped from an Emily Dickenson poem, but I love it anyway. There are poetic references scattered through the book. (I assume there are more than I recognized, I'm not that literate.)

This is billed as a "Jackson Brodie" novel, but (as usual with this series) Jackson is absent from great swaths of the book, while other characters carry the narrative. Fine, I'm used to that by now.

Private investigator Jackson is hired by a lady living in New Zealand to investigate the circumstances of her adoption back in 1975. Not coincidentally, we're also shown the circumstances of a horrific 1975 murder of a prostitute, discovered by lady cop Tracy Waterhouse and her partner.

In the present day, that murder remains unsolved, and it becomes evident that there wasn't a lot of interest in solving it. Tracy is now retired from the police force, living a lonely and barren life. All that changes when she witnesses a young girl, Courtney, being abused. On the spur of the moment, Tracy shoves some cash to the abuser, and grabs the kid. Kind of an unconventional adoption.

And meanwhile, Jackson acquires an abused dog, in much the same way. No money exchanges hands, but he does beat on the abuser.

There's also Tilly, an aging actress now appearing in the private-eye TV show Collier, as mother to the show's hero. Unfortunately she's in the throes of dementia. But she witnesses a key scene, which later drives a very unfortunate climax.

There is a lot of super-Dickensian coincidence, some very dark humor. Rough justice is eventually delivered.