jots with dots 3/27

Newsworthy: http://hotair.com/archives/2015/03/27/breaking-harry-reid-to-retire/ Fitting. I’ve used the word anachronism a few times this week. He’s an anachronism. Powerline likes to have some fun with the idea Reid’s eye thing was not an “accident”. http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/03/harry-reid-to-step-down-exercise-accident-not-to-blame.php Ya know those exercise springs superficially resemble those springs on a garage door, they are THAT big just about. I encountered a guy once who had a mishap with one of those garage springs he was working on, it almost took his head off.

Liberal outrage du jour: Indiana calling http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/pence-signs-gay-marriage-religious-freedom-bill Ya know the movie Footloose was set in Indiana? And it’s a cultural touchstone, that caricaturizes the social right, caricaturizes it even somewhat charitably at times…. Ya know, I’d like to be able to split the baby here. The fundies should get over some of their anachronistic biblically anchored sexual hangups. But yeah, there is ostensibly freedom of association, and you don’t want to see people prosecuted for exercising that. Hence the purpose of the law, but this law is obviously also one of these provocative bits of gamesmanship….

Gehar gehar gehar: http://www.vox.com/2015/3/26/8296531/stabenow-cotton-defund Yea, that’s a good one, such cleverness and seriousness there.

I agree with this seemingly counterintuitive notion: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121393/bowe-bergdahl-may-have-been-deserter-hes-no-coward Not a coward. But…. Ya know some people think there’s wisdom in doing the counterintuitive thing, they talk themselves into it… He shouldn’t have joined the army, he wasn’t suitable for it, and that was probably obvious to most. I don’t think he should be sent to prison. Discharge him and be done with it.

The trope is what, that vets can’t talk about their wars, they got it all bottled up. I’m sure that’s true to a point, but it helps to ask a sufficiently narrow question rather than ‘what was the war like’ and ‘did you kill anybody’. I know my dad’s story reasonably well, put the bits and pieces together over 40 years and committed it to memory. In light of Brian Williams, on St. Patrick’s day dinner with my family I was moved to ask my dad if he ever had a hard landing in a helicopter in 1966, or if he’d been out in the sticks and had to huddle around one overnight that’d been disabled. He said no, no actual chopper problems…. but what he said would happen…. And that they “did not like” [understatement] …. Is they’d be taken out in the morning by helicopter, walk around all day, walk through a village in the late afternoon and be instructed to do a weapons sweep… They’d do it and think it was clear or clean, then be walking back to the helicopter pickup spot about 5pm when VC guerillas or irregulars or whatever would materialize and start shooting at them. Musta happened more than once. Ironically, since that dinner I saw a very brief reference to Lt. William Calley, who with his village mass murders was consistently understood as deranged / psychotic in his way, right.. When did that happen… 1969 I see. Ya know, Calley was barbaric, for sure…. But I’d bet it’s also the mental dead end someone, somewhere in that theatre was to inevitably reach what with the anxiety and paranoia that had developed over those village encounters the first several years of the Vietnam war….. Then I asked my ma if it was really cool to go to a Big Ten school in the late 60’s. She said not as cool for her, as she lived at home. She did say during the 6 Day War the Jewish students would sing hava nagila in the union, and that it was electrifying. And she said after Kent State there was a student strike, and the administration did cancel the remainder of the semester, and you could take the grade you were getting at the time.

Jots with dots March 26

Israel week continues here….http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/24/opinion/david-brooks-how-to-fight-anti-semitism.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fdavid-brooks&_r=0 Brooks puts his finger on something I think apropos. Ya know I’m kind of obtuse and naïve right, in a way that can be a flattering attribute… or not.. and in a way that I thought was somewhat uniquely Minnesotan…. but it’s probably not, but then it’s somewhat flattering to America maybe. Thing is, I don’t think I knew that Jewishness was an ethnicity as well as a faith / culture until I was about 25…This despite, in the 70’s my parents were raising us in a house in Mac / Groveland in St. Paul, and there was a Jewish family across the street. Which was mentioned because the rest of the block was so uniformly Catholic. I think my mother’s response was merely ‘Jews don’t believe in Jesus’, which was wholly without value judgment and I think just an attempt to explain the distinction between monotheistic faiths to a child. And then, I’ve had Jewish relatives by marriage since the early 1980’s. But I still didn’t grasp much meaning of the distinction until well into my adulthood. It wasn’t covered meaningfully in my public school, and I actually didn’t grow up in a family where people were obsessed with ethnicities… our own Euro-Caucasian heritage such as it is a bit indistinct and blurry, we never glommed on to one and wore it on our sleeves. So… Brooks…. I’m led not to a dilettante observation about anti-Semitism…I think I can do better than that as kind of an anthropology / history guy. But to a dilettante observation about “Zionism” in a similar vein, so far as it concerns Americans, this after having a light bulb go off in my head while reading about West Bank settlement. See, I said before you can scarcely ever go wrong siding with Israel, its enemies being consistently loathsome. I still think that’s good advice in general. But I would imagine Americans with remedial understanding approve of “Zionism” so far as it merely stands for the existence of Israel. Which is a phenomenon as Brooks describes, of American’s being a bit detached from Jewish / Israeli issues in the world. And specifically here, not understanding the policy of settlement over those post-67 conquered lands as ‘Zionism’. Which does seem provocative when you give it the contemplation it requires….

Chait stains: I wanna say its fallacious the way the climate people go about branding contrarians as whores. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/03/why-is-a-liberal-professor-helping-coal.html Generally, I don’t think any of these big minds… lefties, righties… takes on the advocacy they do because people pay them. I think they advocate, institutions / entities see that, and they want to have those voices in their corner…and pay them to get more quality arguments. Chait gives Tribe more credit than that, but can’t help goading him about the size of his retainer.

Conservative outrage du jour: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/25/everything-the-white-house-told-you-about-bowe-bergdahl-was-wrong.html Me, I have a real tendency to mellow out about things. I look at it now like, ya know, the President thought it was meaningful engagement, and there’s wisdom in engagement. But the constant lying is grating.

Would seem to disqualify the narrative… http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/did-you-know-obama-just-took-new-executive-action-on-immigration/article/2562053

Jots with dots March 25

I’m sure everything he knows, he learned on SHS’ model UN team. http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/denis-mcdonough-benjamin-netanyahu-israeli-occupation-116319.html#ixzz3VEuDO687 Kind of a big deal eh, him and his statement. Now he was 88, I was 87, and I don’t recall ever having a conversation with him, but I’d bet my house I was in the same room with him on multiple occasions. I have some awe where’s he’s at now. Now ya know, in town I think that bunch, the McDghs as a whole, were / are rightfully known as very bright, high achievers, and super cordial. Great people all around. And ya think, stands to reason, there are families like that, several in every town….supremely structured and organized, on the ball, affluent, devout… and America’s best and brightest have a way of coming from those environs. …I don’t have any sense the McDghs were like that, cept for the devout part. With the 11 kids in something like a throwback Irish households…. chaotic is what I understand is close to the right word, from people who know. I hope I’m not speaking out of turn… but.. oh yea, I only have 4 readers. Anywho, they’re neat, the two brothers I have encountered have a lot of personal grace.

D was fairly explicit with his statement in ways I haven’t heard from the American govt. IE, relinquish the west bank. And I can see the sense in that. It would be an enormous gesture, and Israel has the power to do it without a consequence to their safety, really. I do question the wisdom of ‘settlers’ to the west bank in the first place. And I don’t know when that happened, cept to say I guess since 1967. But in modernity here we think of property in terms of title, and the Israeli powers that be had to know how provocative it might be to allow “settlers” to traipse in and chart off land that ostensibly was titled to somebody or some entity….It’s a problem, so make it not a problem.

Ya know, the whole idea of “settlements” in the old world seems a bit anachronistic. Also, it’s a bit jarring to understand we’re talking about a land space that’s the size of the corridor from here to St. Cloud say. I was looking at the “land” such as it is. And in my mind’s eye I see sand, a few date palms, and some intermittent olive trees. But if anyone’s going to settle, down by Eliat seems to be the logical spot. It’s sort of out of the way and with some space available. And next to the sea. Put some people there, make it into a world class city.

They’re such musical people…. http://theweek.com/speedreads/546008/ted-cruz-911-converted-country-music I said this before, I continue to be astonished at the virtuoso guitar playing that goes on in mediocre country music…. But I’m not generally a country fan. It’s hokey. Bro-country is worse. I kinda like… Taylor Swift… who does seem to take her craft seriously. I’m so ashamed…

Liberal outrage dujour. https://www.yahoo.com/politics/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-photo-charlie-114429739886.html I think this is the mundane expressed as the mendacious. Didn’t Dayton’s campaign run on the donations of one big benefactor? False equivalence? I like Menards. I bought a $29 Chinese sawzall there on Sat. I may regret that, that “Aristocrat” brand has sucked. But I don’t need one often.

I agree with this counterintuitive observation. Yea, if his money wasn’t impounded with the proper paperwork filed… http://blogs.citypages.com/blotter/2015/03/convicted_cop_killer_brian_fitch_would_like_his_3000_back.php Sorry, this stuff can’t be implicit or an afterthought.

Jots with dots March 24

Why not? http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/opinion/sunday/why-not-utopia.html I think it’s because the police state required to enforce utopianism negates the egalitarian utopian qualities of whatever you end up with. Quite the paradox. Ya know, righties have anxiety about society’s leftward drift while lefties pine for it…. I think the truth is, with the stable reproductive demographics of modernity here, the manpower required to enforce a tax code and sharing economy of the lefts dreams never materializes.

Related: I reject the premise: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/22/to-move-beyond-boom-and-bust-need-new-theory-capitalism Not being thoroughly academic about it, I just look at it like capitalism is the private title of the means of production and broad freedom to engage in commerce. But the subtext of this article and many like it since 2008 is that we need an economic method not subject to booms and busts. It’s not obvious to me why that’s a valid premise, capitalism is not disqualified by the presence / existence of booms and busts. Booms and busts, ie “cycles” exist outside of capitalism. Nor does it stand that “Lehman” or “AIG” are shorthand for capitalisms failure. You had a securitized market for mortgage notes, and it was grossly distorted by the government’s participation. Some people could discern this and bought bond insurance from … Lehman and AIG. . Hayekian knowledge thing, on both ends. Those securitized pools underperforming when people default is not a defect of capitalism. People buying bond insurance is not a defect of capitalism. Lehman and AIGs inability to pay during a deep downturn is not a defect of capitalism.

Government is just the things we do together and if you don’t like it you should just go live in Somalia chortle chortle…: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/03/23/union-that-fought-sunday-beer-growler-sales-lifts-objection/ See, thing is I’m sure if this union didn’t have the power to torpedo Sunday growler sales, income inequality in this state would be that much worse…. Thing at the end catches my eye. What’s the purpose of a “barrel limit” that necessitates reporting that figure to some bureau to distinguish between large and small brewers?

I don’t know why I am not to believe this… http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/03/23/dont-believe-obamas-faux-outrage-at-netanyahu/

Jots with dots March 23

I don’t know that it compromises Rand so much as they think …. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ted-cruzs-presidential-run-is-bad-news-for-rand-paul/article/2561868 1. We’re not assured Ted is all that libertarian-y 2. Rand is more appealing / Cruz carries a bit more baggage for being obnoxious. http://theweek.com/articles/545717/ted-cruz-protest-candidate-nobody-asking 3. Cruz is odd looking, has helmet hair of a sort. Not a handsome devil. Related: http://theweek.com/articles/545539/hey-libertarians-dont-give-rand-paul Do you ever really get the perfect candidate though?

I do have some sense this is a thing, just by what I hear on the radio. http://theweek.com/articles/545416/gop-war-over-defense-spending My view: the defense budget is pretty rich now, just by what I observe of the ecosystem as a whole through my relations in the services. Big support system for service members.

I agree with this seemingly counterintuitive observation http://www.newrepublic.com/article/121344/brookings-paper-fracking-benefits-consumers-billions-year

This is about as hyperbolic as anything Katherine Kersten wrote on the topic. Which is to say, it’s not. But it’s the type of story the Strib can’t do on their own turf because a chorus of too earnest by half local ethics in journalists types cry racism. Or ya know, worse, a chorus of wise ass journalist poseurs. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/22/world/middleeast/from-minneapolis-to-isis-an-americans-path-to-jihad.html?emc=edit_th_20150322&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=65767542&_r=1 Stylebook: I find the reference to “Somali elders” infantilizing, patronizing, and anachronistic.

The deuce, March 20

Doesn’t seem like a lot: http://bringmethenews.com/2015/03/20/targets-10m-settlement-given-early-ok-so-how-much-could-you-expect-to-get/ I had to swap out two cards. I think that inconvenience is worth say two household bi-monthly Target trips, IE, $300 bucks. Somehow I think we’ll get less. Like $3.

One of my core, spiritual principles is ‘people are people.’ But still, you can’t help but contemplate ethnic stereotypes at times. And this perplexes me: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/19/us/a-vineyard-dispute-800000-in-cash-and-two-dead-in-napa.html?_r=0 Huckleberry Swede from Minnesota goes to CA and bilks worldly Silicon Valley financial officer types. It’s oddball. I just don’t see the gregariousness and charisma among Swedes that is required of effective grifters, Coen’s ‘Fargo’ be damned. Read the article, there’s your crime with a silencer equipped pistol as well, the only one I have ever heard of. But I do imagine the guy was ostensibly using it to shoot pests in his vineyard, inasmuch as he thought he was actually operating a real winery. I was looking at the bay area yesterday on Google maps. I have mentioned: my side business is accoutrements for cowboy action revolvers. Every year I get a couple spring orders from Menlo Park or Livermore. Yesterday it was Livermore. What was the western set in the Central Valley? Oh yeah… The Big Valley.

This is a good question http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/03/20/the_secret_to_kingsman_the_secret_service_s_box_office_success.html because it’s an awful movie, perhaps the worst I have ever seen.

Backfire…Blowback… reacharound…whatever. http://hotair.com/archives/2015/03/20/atf-director-resigns-out-in-11-days/ Was he fired? If you accept the premise that the bureau there does necessary work I think you can be its boss and become terribly frustrated by the structural constraints that gun politics impose. And if you’re Jones, then moving on to a private sector job that pays better and is not a pita would be perfectly logical. In days prior I had warned that green tips was politically perilous to the point of stupidity, and that the limits of activist douchebag government apparatchik ism were being dangerously exceeded here with smackdown imminent. I was not hyperbolic enough. The gun control cause was very damaged by this (..which don’t bother me). Jones is whom to blame for it. This was an unambiguous political defeat for which he was fired.

Jots with dots March 20

CSI: Western Wisconsinhttp://www.riverfallsjournal.com/news/crime-and-courts/3697682-river-falls-men-charged-roberts-pipe-bomb-case Thing to understand generally is that western Favresconsin has kind of an Appalachian feel. By Appalachian, I mean “hillbilly”. I didn’t know there was a Frito Lay plant in Roberts, but it stands to reason. See prior sentences. The maglight thing mystifies me, but ya know what? There’s a fairly intellectual discussion going on nationally the last couple days about the end of marriage and two parent families etc. I figure these guys are not married. A married man wouldn’t be building bombs out of maglights, a foot would come down on that shit. Is that society’s fault that the middle class norm of marriage has been made unattainable for dunderheads, leaving their dunderheadedness unchecked? Or is the dunderheadism here with the guys disqualify their potential for marriage in any case…..

You could even call them “-re-education” camps, amirite? http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/415695/hillary-americans-should-be-put-camps-fix-fun-deficit-brendan-bordelon

Dilletante world affairs….K, that comment was valuable yesterday…to me. The problem is the Palestinians. You’re not really moving toward a potential for peace if you don’t give them a country, give the west bank back. People want a country. Moving on….I think I reject this premise, I don’t see the Netanyahu milieu as 180 degrees removed from small L liberalism. http://theweek.com/articles/545305/netanyahus-lesson-american-liberalszionism-not-synonymous-liberalism It’s still a democracy, and Arabs have rights within Israel. That’s what the righties here say, anyway. Apartheid seems too strong a word, but like I say… I’m a dilettante; the quality of my observation is questionable. As wisdom, I do figure you can hardly ever go wrong taking Israel’s side.

I am ready for some baseball. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/scorehe01.shtml I was moved look up Herb Score’s numbers yesterday. The conversational touchstone is that he was one of the great might-have-beens whose career was ended a liner back to the mound that broke his eye socket (in 1957). And I was aware he had a 20 victory season, but did not recall the nature of his domination in his two good years. You look at his stats….more than a strikeout an inning, historically low hits given up for a time, along with a couple truckloads of walks… that must have been Ryan / Koufax type speed. Which is also to say, the max effort 95-100 mph fastball has been in the game a long time, although I would venture not ‘forever’. My bet is Bob Feller sorta made that style stick finally in the 40’s.