I haven't been bothering with timestamps on these posts, mainly because I hadn't expected to put up even as many as one every day, let alone more than two or three on the most active days. And almost nothing I post is exactly time-sensitive. If a given post ever is, I'll mention it in the content.
Timestamps on a Blogger, WordPress, or other blogging platform are auto-generated, but can easily be manipulated by the author, or by anyone else with admin access. It's not as if, by typing a time into the content of an entry here, I'm being any more or less accountable than some byliner at CNN or Fox News -- both of which use content-management systems very much like blogging software to put up their items.
So, I could tell you I wrote this less than an hour before midnight, and the only way you'd be able to refute that would be by getting a screenshot of it before then. But who's to say you didn't alter the timestamp on your screenshot? Besides: it's always less than an hour to midnight somewhere. <drink!>
Anyway, that's why I haven't been putting timestamps on here, and won't start putting them on tomorrow. That and, it would be a whole lot of extra work that would deter me (more than usual) from posting.
© Sunday, December 31, 2017 Kevin McGehee
So Mrs. McG and I are watching the Orange Bowl, featuring the Wisconsin Badgers vs. the Miami Hurricanes. Mrs. McG is enjoying the game mostly because she doesn't care who wins.
But I confessed that between these two teams I'd prefer Wisconsin.
"Why?" asked the Mrs.
I gave it a moment's thought and came up with, "Miami is sweaty New York."
She suggested I open a travel agency.
Update: Wisconsin won.
© Saturday, December 30, 2017 Kevin McGehee
One of the channels available to us here is Decades, which offers among other things reruns of "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In."
Last night, just for the heck of it, I Tivo'd an episode, and got a heck of a surprise when I watched it this morning. Among the big-name guests was Kate "God Bless America" Smith. Now, in keeping with how other big-name guests had been used on the show, I expected her to appear in music-themed sketches, giving solo one-liners, and perhaps as a foil (playing herself) to one or more "Laugh-In" regulars. And she did -- including as an opera-voiced scat singer backed up by a string quartet badly in need of a safe space, preferably padded.
She also had to contend in a couple of sequences with Tyrone F. Horneigh, Arte Johnson's Walnetto-craving dirty old man, including once where she had stood extolling the utility and virtues of the good old-fashioned washboard (never once mentioning its musical ubiquity in jug bands). Tyrone unwillingly helped her demonstrate one of its uses.
But they also had her appearing as a married woman on a balcony, creatively rebuffing a relentless and learning-impaired Casanova, played by Alan Sues. This is the sort of thing "Laugh-In" would normally have given to someone known for comedic roles. Well, she may very well have demonstrated comedy chops in her myriad radio and television appearances before 1968, but her timing and delivery in "Laugh-In's" closing joke-wall segment was a revelation to me.
© Friday, December 29, 2017 Kevin McGehee
In recent years, my New Year's Resolution has been, "Make Only One New Year's Resolution." It's worked out pretty well for me, but this time around I gave some thought to trying something new. The following are resolutions I considered, but decided against.
- Get a double dose of nostalgia by writing checks for some purchases -- and writing the wrong year on the date line.
- Ride a Segway and a Hoverboard -- at the same time.
- Write a thoroughly reasoned, factually supported argument in favor of outrage mobs.
- Buy digital music on 8-track tapes.
- Spend less time on social media.
- Teach the cats algebra, so they can teach it to me.
- Make more than one New Year's resolution.
Stick with what you're good at, that's what I say.
© Thursday, December 28, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Western leftists still obsessed with Israel are exhibiting the same "fighting the last war" syndrome that has plagued Pentagon planners and conspiracy theorists for generations. The fact is that aside from Hamas itself, Israel's only real enemy in the region -- since the battlefield defeat of ISIS, if not earlier -- is Iran. After that, its biggest enemies in the world are Russia and the Western Left.
Israel's immediate neighbors lost the stomach for waging war on Israel after having ... waged war on Israel. After getting their clocks cleaned a time or three, the most stubborn regimes turned to supporting "Palestinian" factions (Arafat's Fatah, for example, had Tunisian roots) so that the Jewish state would have to focus on insurgency rather than the overt military operations it had excelled at.
These days the Arab neighbors have either signed accords with Israel, or have insurgencies of their own to occupy them; ISIS may be defeated in Syria, but Assad still has U.S.-supported rebels to contend with.
Russia's beef with Israel is conventional geopolitics -- it represents a durable U.S.-allied outpost of Western power in a region Moscow would like very much to influence again, as it had briefly in the mid-20th century. In fact the nadir of Russian influence in the Middle East came during the 1990 preparations for Operation Desert Storm, when Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev proposed peace talks to head off the invasion of Iraq, and U.S. President George H.W. Bush simply ignored him. Bush doesn't get enough credit for that...
For the last few years the Arab states that once beset Israel have turned their attentions on the regional threat posed by a resurgent Iran emboldened by the nuclear deal unconstitutionally put into effect by then-President Barack Obama. Between that and the faltering cash flow from Persian Gulf oilfields, the Gulf states in particular have judged that distant Israel isn't the immediate enemy after all. They know that Iranians have little use for Arabs.
I mean, yes, they'll use them, but never to the Arabs' advantage.
And it's understood by the more realistic Arab regimes that if a nuclear-armed Iran launched missiles at Israel, resulting in mass casualties of "Palestinian" Arabs both in Israel itself and under the Palestinian Authority, Iran would privately regard those deaths not so much as collateral damage as, rather, icing on the cake. Nor would Israel's Arab neighbors have entirely clean hands, since many of those "Palestinians" were expelled from those countries to serve as cannon fodder in their above-mentioned insurgency strategy against Israel.
In recent months Saudi Arabia has cozied up to Israel in response to Iran's boldness; the Saudis know that getting along better with Israel can only improve their relations with the post-Obama United States. They also know that Israel is the only power in that part of the world with both the motive and the means to oppose Iran effectively -- after all, Israel also "reputedly" has nukes, and Iran doesn't know exactly where they are (unless Obama told them).
Any of this could be known and understood by Western leftists, and it may be -- but the Western Left regards as its sole significant enemy its domestic political opposition. Self-delusion has left it convinced that there are no existential threats more pressing than the outcome of the next election. Not only are they defined by this trait, but the trait itself is common to multiple pathologies described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. "Liberalism is a mental disorder" indeed.
The respectable Arab world's abandonment of the insurgency strategy is best illustrated by the utter lack of "Arab Street" reaction against President Trump's directive to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The loudest condemnation came from... Iran, Russia and the Western Left. Without Arab backing for telegenic demonstrations in Israel and the territories, even most "Palestinians" simply went about their legitimate business.
This is not your grandfather's Middle East.
© Wednesday, December 27, 2017 Kevin McGehee
The snow showers in the New Year's Day forecast have now morphed to mixed rain and snow for Dec. 31 (this Sunday) and Jan. 4 (a week from tomorrow).
By Friday I expect all of it to have disappeared entirely.
© Wednesday, December 27, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Last night Mrs. McG and I watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas," a favorite classic, but for the very beginning which -- well, you've heard it. You know.
Cringing time is here
Icepicks in my ears
Keeps throwing down
The Christmas song I fear
Squirming in my chair
Tearing out my hair
Are singing flat
Mind you, we don't watch it just to complain about that one song (the instrumental version is beautiful, as are the others -- especially Vince Guaraldi's other original compositions). And the "brats" are all older than either of us now (I suspect they've been older than us all along, but don't quote me on that).
Mrs. McG (who gets a collaborative credit on the rewriting of lyrics above) allows that if the song started an octave lower the off-key singing wouldn't be so noticeable. She also argued that letting one or more of the kids sing flat wasn't necessary for the verisimilitude the show's creators wanted with such young voice actors for the speaking roles. She may be right, a few sour notes should have sufficed.
I still think they did it on purpose though, perhaps confident, as the network was, that the show would fail and never be heard from again. But it's an old story, the entertainment industry being so out of touch with its audience it can't predict what will work and what won't.
Unrelated: I don't know what to say about the current forecast for New Year's Day -- having successfully avoided jinxing the previous one, I'm afraid to disavow belief in this one lest it have the reverse effect.
© Tuesday, December 26, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Christmas, 2017 Kevin McGehee
I don't even remember what year it was, but Dad had moved out, my brother had married and then separated (divorce would come in another year or two), and Mom was in the hospital for one or another of the medical problems she developed within a few years of retirement. I was working a temp job at a hardware wholesaler in downtown Sacramento that was preparing to move into a new building not far from the Sacramento Kings' temporary first post-Kansas City home court (it's now a state office building).
The wholesale company's president called all of the employees, including temps, upstairs just before closing for the holiday, and announced that we were all getting a free turkey for our Christmas dinners, to be picked up at the loading dock as we left to go home.
That was the only holiday bonus I remember ever receiving from any place I worked; it may be that I remember it because there was no one to share the feast with. Certainly no other employer ever gave me a turkey.
I took the turkey to my then-sister-in-law, who roasted it and gave me enough of it for my solitary Christmas dinner and some sandwiches, and the rest of the turkey was as much of a Christmas present as I could give to her and her teenage daughter (from her first marriage). I did eat my fill of my part of the bird, and it was long gone by the time Mom got out of the hospital, but I've been fortunate in that I never had to spend Christmas alone after that -- and once we were married Mrs. McG and I may have rescheduled our Christmases due to her shift schedules and to avoid trying to travel between Fairbanks and Chattanooga (where her mother was living then, and until moving in with us in 2012) during the holiday rush, but we always managed to have a Christmas together even if it wasn't right on the 25th.
I wonder these days how many people still cobble together their Christmas dinners from their own shopping lists rather than ordering pre-packaged dinners from a supermarket or restaurant. We certainly don't -- though some of the boxed-meal offerings, from places like Bojangles or Dickey's for example, still strike us as a little more non-traditional than we're ready for.
Then again, if Panda Express started offering something, it might make a decent "A Christmas Story"-themed dinner...
© Sunday, December 24, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Who Wants to Buy the Most Expensive House in America?
Depends. Is it portable?
“Let’s say you’re a super-wealthy single dude who just sold your company,” said Nile Niami. “You’ve just moved to L.A. and you don’t know anybody, so you hire someone to fill your house with partyers. You want everyone to know who you are, but you don’t want to talk to anybody. So you go sit in your V.I.P. room.”
Mr. Niami was giving a tour, and, unlike most home tours, this one started in the nightclub. It will have multiple bars, its own coat room and LED ceilings playing images of moving clouds. Beyond the floor-to-ceiling glass walls there is a swimming pool, along with panoramic views stretching to downtown Los Angeles and Century City.
Of course, at least half of that asking price is California real estate bubble.
Two heterosexual Irish men marry to avoid inheritance tax on property
Two Irish men have married in Dublin to avoid paying €50,000 in inheritance tax on a house.
Best friends Matt Murphy and Michael O’Sullivan are both heterosexual, but decided to get married when they discovered how much tax would have to be paid on the house Murphy, 83, intended to leave in his will to O’Sullivan, 58, who is his carer.
Same-sex marriage was legalised in Ireland following a referendum in May 2015.
It should be a simple matter of adding O'Sullivan's name to the deed via quitclaim, with him and Murphy designated as joint tenants with right of survivorship. This is how Mrs. McG and I were able to keep our house out of probate when her mother passed away -- Marie had all three of our names added to the deed by quitclaim in the same lawyer's office visit as closing on the purchase.
Ireland might have done better holding a referendum to reform its apparently backward real estate laws.
© Saturday, December 23, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Shakedown artists, apparently in Mexican prisons, have been faking kidnappings in efforts to get money from people.
For a brief moment on Tuesday afternoon, a Coweta man believed his wife had been abducted.
Fortunately, the scenario turned out to be fictitious, but the man was the latest victim of a “virtual kidnapping” scam.
The 57-year-old man was out shopping when he received a telephone call from a strange number. Upon answering it, the man heard a woman he believed to be his wife screaming in the background.
A stranger got on the line, called the man by his first name and explained he had taken his wife hostage, according to the police report.
The man asked the caller what he wanted, but received no reply. After being disconnected, the man called 911.
The other day I saw a report of this in Wyoming, with the twist that first the perps call the intended alleged kidnapping victim with a jury duty scam. If he or she falls for that, the callers manipulate them into saying things that can be used, as a recording, to convince one of the first recipient's family members that he or she has been kidnapped.
Apparently the Wyoming variant involves gathering information on a specific mark beforehand, while the version attempted here was more at random.
The jury duty scam has been around long enough, and its tactics debunked widely enough, that it shouldn't still work. The random kidnapping thing is more recent, but if someone called to tell me they'd kidnapped Mrs. McG, they'd most likely have to explain how they abducted her from inside a secure, federally owned building.
© Saturday, December 23, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Not well, but they can tell time.
The five cats we're now supporting have become accustomed to Mrs. McG feeding them at a certain time each evening. However in the last couple of days they've begun lobbying for their supper as much as an hour earlier than they're supposed to.
This is because of two factors that have combined in recent days: the approaching (now past) winter solstice, and a weather pattern that has been predominantly cloudy. Add those up and you have much earlier darkness than was the case when Mrs. McG settled on that particular time as when to feed them. And they're judging the time based on how long it's been since it got dark.
The cloudiness will eventually pass, and the days are soon to be getting longer as the Northern Hemisphere gradually tilts once more sunward. And then, come mid-March, they'll either be getting their supper an hour later by the clock, or they'll get fed what is, to them, an hour earlier. Since cats aren't stupid enough to change their mental clocks twice a year for reasons that have long since been debunked.
© Friday, December 22, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Messages like that pop up on so many sites now, I've taken to clicking "You got that right" simply because that's how I always respond to arguments in bad faith.
If I have to wait and let my browser load your ads -- and have them jump in front of me so that I have to close them before reading your content, your content isn't free.
The notion that ad-supported TV is "free" is just as false. Any time I am required to expend a resource in exchange for accessing content, I'm paying for it -- and time is non-renewable.
So stuff that in your fahoo forehs.
© Thursday, December 21, 2017 Kevin McGehee
If we have any stray gift tags -- you know, those little, decorated bits of thick paper you write "For Sweetie, From Santa" on so the handing out of presents avoids confusion? -- in the house, I have no idea where.
Apparently we're not the only ones. The clerk at Walgreens admitted she had looked for them in her store and been unsuccessful. According to my internet searches I could find some at, for example, Target, if it weren't smack-dab in the local retail combat zone. At this stage ordering some online would be pointless, other than to have them for next year. I'm considering it.
Part of this dilemma stems from the fact there are only the two of us here since Mrs. McG's mother passed away in 2015. Unwrapping gifts at home is now a quick affair, and we usually have fewer packages than choices of gift wrap. Buying online and having the vendor do the wrapping saves effort and paper (especially compared to when I wrap) -- and the gift-wrapped item comes with gift tags already attached. Well, I didn't do that this year, and while I'm pretty sure I'll know which packages are meant for Mrs. McG, the tag is both an insurance against cerebral flatus, and kind of a tradition.
I even looked for index cards I could cut to suit, but only found the kind with lines printed on the back. I may have to settle for that now that I know how scarce real tags have become.
© Wednesday, December 20, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Going to the mall, seeing all the decorations in the stores, hearing Christmas music from the speakers.
Dealing with the crowds...
Somehow it was okay back then because I didn't have to do the driving to get us there.
In Sacramento, Christmas shopping season was usually cold and foggy -- the valley socked in by a thermal inversion that prevented warm air from mixing down to the surface. It made "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" especially plausible, and that sort of made up for the perennial lack of snow. In fact I used to joke that our idea of a white Christmas was a foggy one.
Dad would drive on our family shopping excursions, usually to a mall but sometimes to a standalone store. My brother and I would get some cash and we'd all split up with instructions to meet back at the same spot when we had spent all we had -- and we were to spend it on gifts, not things for ourselves -- or simply ran out of ideas or time. This was why we sometimes had to go on more than one shopping trip.
I remember getting Mom perfume or a piece of jewelry, provided they were within my budget (I may have persuaded Dad to give me a little more, once or twice). My brother and I usually were listed as givers on one or another of each other's gifts, without actually having been in on the purchase. Once we got older, of course, the doling out of shopping cash ended and we became responsible for buying each other's presents.
It's been a good many years since I ventured into a mall or one of those old-fashioned bricks-and-mortar places for Christmas shopping. I confess there are parts of the experience I miss -- except that news reports about Black Friday mayhem always get the season off to an uninspiring start, and I'd just as soon not hear "Last Christmas" fifty times while waiting hours in a checkout line. Nowadays, the local retail combat zones are to be avoided until about the 27th.
Charlie Brown moaned about commercializing Christmas in 1965, and every year since then the retail industry has asked us to hold its beer.
Ah, well. The point of Christmas is still about a gift far more precious and durable than anything you might have grabbed away from you by a wild-eyed fellow shopper at Walmart. Even the part of Christmas the marketers emphasize all boils down to watching a loved one unwrap something you knew would make her happy. Even when I was still shopping the old-fashioned way, that was what made it worthwhile -- far more indeed than the decorations and the music.
© Sunday, December 17, 2017 Kevin McGehee
My reader may remember linking to a now-lost post I once wrote, griping about the continued reliance on strings of digits to identify the source and target of a telephone call.
The telephone number has a long history, rooted in the days when human operators connected each call by hand, and extended into the era of automated switching -- triggered at first by the clicks of a rotary dial, then the tones produced by the pressing of buttons. In those days the audio was transmitted entirely in analog on copper cables. These days it's sent as digital packets over fiber-optic lines, not at all unlike the data packets that criss-cross the internet. In fact the internet itself carries a significant portion of voice traffic these days, and not just for services like Skype or Vonage.
So why is it that on my cell phone call logs, each call is identified only by a ten-digit number, without any associated information?
When I receive an email I can usually glean some relevant information from the source email address. When I receive a phone call or an SMS text, all I have is a string of numerals that is only intelligible if I recognize it as belonging to someone whose number I've had occasion to memorize. It's even worse when I peruse the log and see an outgoing call I don't remember having placed. This happened to me the other day, and the only way to figure out whom I had called more than a week before was to redial the number and wait for someone -- or in this case, some robot -- to answer. Fortunately it wasn't some crook not only spoofing my number (but don't get me started on number-spoofing in the middle of this other rant) to make a call but somehow even hacking my carrier and/or my phone to do it; The call had merely slipped my mind.
As things now stand, with wireless caller ID decades behind its landline counterpart, the only way to make sense of a call log -- for those numbers I don't block, and no, I don't block them all -- is to create a record in my contact list for each call so I can associate a name or description with the number.
There's no reason for this. I should at least be able to add a note to each record in my call log so I can figure out, days or weeks or months later, what it was about.
Someday in the future, voice communication as we know it will be a thing of the past. Our "phone calls" will go to something more like an email address than a phone number. They'll come with headers on them like you can view in your email client, making it that much harder to obscure the true source of the call. Carriers are already at work on integrating the way our various forms of communication are handled and presented, but for some reason our call logs are lagging behind.
Meanwhile my smartphone's contact list is cluttered with entries for people and organizations I really have no reason to keep there, except that my stupid call logs are so damn stupid.
Update, after further investigation: Turns out I can download my call history from my carrier as a .CSV file, which when opened in LibreOffice is editable. So now I have notes -- though only up to tonight, and only with such information about mystery numbers as I was able to dig up online. And only going back six months -- though I suppose I could key in earlier calls from the call log on my phone, which goes back somewhat further, and which I've been keeping backed up in case of bug.
© Thursday, December 14, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Alabama elected a pro-abortion Democrat to the Senate today. He will not be re-elected to a full term.
Moore should have been able to weather the storm, but the fact is, he's a bit of a fruitcake. And so is Bannon, who just made it that much harder for the President he supposedly supports, to get his agenda enacted.
On the bright side, Al Franken has no obvious excuse anymore not to finalize his resignation. He'll have to come up with a new one.
Update, January 3, 2018: Welp.
I'd guess this has some bearing on the matter.
© Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Kevin McGehee
...deserves and needs to go down hard.
Doesn't matter if it was an incompetent Schumer hater who didn't know any better than to try to retail an easily falsified hoax, or a too-clever-by-half SJW false flagger trying to make everyone to the right of Schumer look like incompetent liars. Somebody needs to get to the bottom of it and make the perpetrator pay.
© Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Kevin McGehee
And it is that when you indulge in virtue signaling, nobody respects you.
The mayor [Pete Muldoon, of Jackson, Wyoming] added that he only agreed to take part in the production [aired on whichever late night show is currently afflicted with Stephen Colbert as its host] believing it would focus mainly on his decision to remove the president's portrait from town hall, and the 'friendly' tete-a-tete it set off between the liberal-leaning mayor and Tyler Lindholm, a conservative Wyoming lawmaker from across the state. Lindholm was subsequently edited completely out of the bit.
"I was told by the producers that the story was going to be about 'portrait-gate' and how the reaction to it -- including me getting fired from a job and getting death threats -- was really ridiculous," Muldoon shared. "I was hoping there would be some good jokes about that, even if they were at my expense. I was going to be a good sport about it. I don’t know what happened behind the scenes with Bobby and the producers. But I wasn’t expecting that someone I don’t really know and who has zero connection to my campaign, or even the community, would end up appearing in the skit making false statements."
He may have thought the publicity from removing the portrait of President Trump would make him look good to people who didn't like Trump, and ought to have been prepared for a backlash (though getting him fired was way out of line). What he obviously never expected was that to the professional Trump-haters he's just another flyover-country bumpkin. If he'd made his appearance a circus act in which he pissed on a Trump cutout, Colbert's staff probably wouldn't have improvised to the extent they did.
But they still would have used him purely as a punchline, and neither he nor Jackson would have been treated with any respect for it.
This, Mayor Muldoon, is why people supported Trump for the Republican nomination, why more people voted for him in the November election, and why still more who did neither of those other things (including yours truly) now support him as President. Especially when he unloads on the media for the hateful way they depict anyone from between the Hudson River and the Pacific Coast.
© Tuesday, December 12, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Hey, maybe there's an upside to having every corporation, agency, and (intentionally) non-profit organization out there amassing a dossier on you.
Suppose for a moment that, somehow, it's getting around that I not only don't answer cold calls but block repeat offenders, and that I'm not prone to following ad links that turn up in my browser, email, or whatever. This might explain why my volume of spam, either electronic or telephonic, seems to be so much less than everyone else complains about.
As market research trolls become more efficient and detailed in their information collection, those of us who swat them like flies whenever one unwisely attracts our notice, will become less attractive to them. They'll focus on the marks who answer the phone every time it rings without checking the caller ID, and whose response to online ads is ultimately no different from that of Pavlov's dogs.
They'll be the ones polishing their dust bunnies with the dust bunny polisher professionals use! -- and the rest of us will live in peace.
© Monday, December 11, 2017 Kevin McGehee
"How Old Is Humanity, REALLY?"
© Sunday, December 10, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Good morning, world.
It's twenty minutes to eight o'clock in subtropical west Georgia. The ground -- and trees -- are plastered with wet, sticky snow, and it hasn't stopped coming down. You know, I hate to imagine how much snow we'd have, or how early it would have started falling, if it wasn't for global warming.
I asked the ghost of Bing Crosby if it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas. He said, "How did you get this number?"
© Saturday, December 9, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Well, it's not quite quarter to 11 in the morning, and it's snowing. Bunches of big, feathery snowflakes are falling on my home acres. Not sticking yet, but if it keeps coming down like this for long enough, it might.
Not-jinxing may just be my superpower.
© Friday, December 8, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Because I don't want to jinx it by saying I believe it.
The "S" word has appeared in our local forecast, claiming there's a whiff of a possibility of a potential of a snowflake or two in our area tomorrow and/or Friday.
© Wednesday, December 6, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Yes it's a double standard, but whose?
I -- and all the conservatives I read -- want Franken gone too.
© Wednesday, December 6, 2017 Kevin McGehee
This is from an AP report, but when I tried to find a similar piece that's not behind a paywall I came up empty, so...
The University of Wyoming has joined colleges around the country in lobbying against any congressional tax legislation that could hurt graduate students' ability to pay for their education.
You want to know what hurts graduate students' ability to pay for their education? The fact you're turning out degree holders with no perceptible advantage in the employment market. The fact you're larding up your payrolls with people who teach identity-group "studies" courses that contribute nothing to the country but division and decline, and administrators who enforce arbitrary and capricious "rules" about "gender pronouns," "safe spaces," and unmerited status tribalism. The fact you've squandered what used to be a near universal esteem for academia in America by transforming your mission from creating world leaders to cranking out culturally illiterate crybabies.
You want to keep that from getting worse? Take the impact of this tax plan as a warning shot across your bow because you've been sailing toward an abyss from which you soon won't be able to turn back. Change course before technology and the times make your imminent destruction more of a boon to the future of civilization that it's already promising to be.
© Monday, December 4, 2017 Kevin McGehee
Why does every single goddamn song from the 1960s and early '70s have to be about Vietnam, or drugs, or both? Why can't you just take the goddamn songwriter's goddamn word for it, what the goddamn song is about, goddamn it?
© Sunday, December 3, 2017 Kevin McGehee
A month ago, when I posted this, I think I was reacting to the backlash against Harvey Weinstein's (and others') accusers.
Since then, of course, the hunt has turned the other way, snagging Al Franken, John Conyers, Matt Lauer -- even Garrison Keillor, along with dozens of less prominent targets in a wide range of industries and positions. They tried to drag Roy Moore into it as well, but once Gloria Allred got involved that one pretty much dried up, I think. My advice to any future accuser who wants to retain her credibility is to block Allred's number as soon as it appears on your caller ID.
I don't think I have anything worthwhile to say about the causes nor where it will likely end, but the whole thing reminds me of a game of Minesweeper -- how when you set off one mine, they all go off.
© Saturday, December 2, 2017 Kevin McGehee
You get what you pay for.
So, it's finally down to the end for Peter Capaldi as The Doctor. On Christmas Day, BBC America (and presumably BBC Not America) will air the Doctor Who Christmas Special that will end with his regeneration to female form.
Given the recent history of gender reassignment among fictional characters, it's easy to suspect this is solely for political correctness and isn't actually meant to serve the franchise except as a reason for those running it to pat themselves on the back at their cocktail parties. But let's not forget that the reimagining of old male characters as female goes back a ways. If "Battlestar Galactica" hadn't made Starbuck a woman, we might never have gotten so well acquainted with Katie Sackhoff. And Grace Park's Boomer (depicted in the original series by male actor Herbert Jefferson, Jr.) wasn't just a woman, but a Cylon "skinjob." That ain't hay. And it worked.
I've been watching Doctor Who's second incarnation from the beginning. I thought Christopher Eccleston left the show too soon; that David Tennant's version went too heartthrobby; that Matt Smith's Doctor brought the character back closer to what it had been over the course of its original run; and that Peter Capaldi somehow honed in even a little more on that track.
I also thought that the stories lost something when they went from multi-episode arcs to one-hour adventures -- violating the age-old rule of "show, don't tell" by suddenly having The Doctor already know, or easily able to figure out, what was going on so he could explain it all in a few minutes while he tried to decide what to do about it. The latter became the heart of the show, so that instead of focusing on the stakes in whatever peril was afoot, we focus now on The Doctor's reaction to those stakes. As a result, The Doctor's character -- always essential to the franchise, obviously -- has now become its sole focus, with companions and other characters merely plot devices, when they're not just shadows on the cave wall (though Nardole was a refreshing counterpoint to this trend -- but he's already gone).
Anyway, I'll watch the new she-Doctor. If it flies, it flies. If it bombs, it bombs. If the franchise can regenerate once after being off the air for a decade and a half, it can again.
© Friday, December 1, 2017 Kevin McGehee
It's been shipped, but hasn't shipped yet. It's supposed to arrive anytime between today and a week from today, but is expected to arrive on the 9th.
This vendor has nothing but five-star reviews on Amazon. That will almost certainly change sometime between right now and a week from tomorrow. I'm sure glad I placed this order the day after Thanksgiving, and not two or three weeks later.
© Friday, December 1, 2017 Kevin McGehee