I’m a sufficiently intimidated, mostly tame Republican
That would describe most Republicans, of course, but you have to ask why he would say something like that? We all know why, but some of us hide the truth behind a mountain of excuses.
We all know how it works. If anybody challenges a liberal talking point or questions the (by definition good) motives of someone on the left, the harpies in the media reflexively gang up on that person. As they’re doing right now with Giuliani’s comments. Then they start a McCarthy-style witch hunt asking everyone to distance themselves from the remarks. Then they completely misrepresent the answers they get — as they’re doing right now with Scott Walker.
Funny (as in queer, not amusing) how they don’t report on crazy leftist remarks or badger liberals to distance themselves from them.
The media are in full-throttle attack mode against anyone who gives pause to Giuliani’s statements.
Of course they are. It’s what they do. It’s so normal and expected that the media would defend Obama that nobody even thinks twice about it. It’s become so much a part of our culture that we don’t even notice it any more.
As a general rule I think it would be better if everybody, including pedestrians, obeyed all the traffic laws all the time. But that’s generally regarded as a hassle in the city and few people do it.
There are times when it’s clearly safe to cross the street, but the light is against you. We expect cars to wait in that situation, so why is it so unreasonable to expect pedestrians to wait? It’s not, IMO, but that’s not the way it us. Everybody seems to accept that pedestrians will break the rules. In that situation — with so many people regularly breaking the rules — it seems unnecessarily scrupulous to worry too much about following them.
In a way it’s like driving 5 mph over the speed limit just because you know the cops won’t enforce the rule that carefully.
But there is another moral aspect to crossing the street that is more interesting to me, and that’s the influence you have on other people. When you cross the street, other people around you assume it’s safe to cross and they go too.
Someone could argue that he’s not responsible for what other people do. “I didn’t tell them it was safe to cross,” the jaywalker might say. “They made that decision themselves.”
Well …. Not really. Whether you like it or not, whether you intend it or not, your actions influence other people. How culpable you are for that influence will vary by the situation, but it’s just being intentionally obtuse to claim that you don’t have some responsibility.
I think that same principle applies in lots of areas.
This weekend I watched most of Cassablanca. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it all the way through, and the last time I saw any of it was probably 30 years ago. Or more.
Generally speaking I’m an ornery fellow and have an aversion to anything that everybody has to do or has to see. I don’t like to use the hip slang, or follow trends. They irk me. You will never hear me saying “my bad.” I don’t watch the Oscars and I don’t care about bubble-headed water cooler conversation.
Anyway, I didn’t know about some of the undercurrents of Cassablanca — like the similarity between the moral dilemma faced by the Bulgarian gal and by Ilsa. It was very interesting — and they didn’t have to show any skin! There was no sex scene. Even when Ilsa shows up in Rick’s room in the middle of the night, clothes remained where they belong. And nothing about the movie suffers because of it.
In a few decades we have become a nation of voyeurs. In the modern consciousness, if two people have a relationship, we have to see it or it’s somehow “not realistic,” or prudish, or … something.
It seems that real chai is whatever someone in India does, however weird or nasty, unless they happen to do what Starbucks does, in which case nevermind.
The article says that people in India make chai a million different ways, and it’s hard to see what they all have in common. Except maybe the tea. And it’s even harder to figure out what disqualifies the Starbucks version — except, of course, that it’s American and successful.
There is a weird attitude about foreign ideas that wash up on our shores (to paraphrase Brad Paisley). It seems to be something like “whatever is successful is bad and inauthentic.” So if an American takes an idea from another country and makes it better, he’s somehow cheating. It would be so much more authentic if it was made in a crappy, unsanitary way by a poor person who’s standing in cow manure and hasn’t washed his cookware for 20 years.
My beef is mostly with the headline, which was not written to be informative, but to get clicks. In my case it worked.
I’m imagining a time — maybe ten years from now — when it’s clear that the climate is on a cooling trend, and all the AGW scare statistics have been laughed to scorn. (I’m not predicting this, I’m using this scenario to make a point.)
The cooling trend will be due to the sun. It will go through a cycle where it’s not blasting us with quite as much radiation.
The AGW crowd will say, “Well, our predictions would have been right except for the changes in the sun.”
And now I’m imagining an alternate scenario where the Earth warms far more than even the wildest AGW models predict, because the sun goes through a cycle where it really socks it to us.
The point is that “all other things being equal” is rarely the case. The climate will go up or down based on long-term trends that we don’t understand and can’t control.
We are currently in an interglacial period. We might slip back deeper into the ice age, or we might come out of it. Nobody knows which direction we’re heading, but either change would completely dwarf anything man-made CO2 might cause.
It’s somewhat like a man deciding to lengthen his day by driving. He knows that if he drives farther west, the sun will set later, so he’ll have more daylight. So he drives towards the sun. The trouble is that it’s morning and he’s driving east.
Do star-crossed lovers share the same fate in all possible worlds? No matter what world they find themselves in, John and Jillian can't seem to help falling into each other's arms, but the tale isn't always the same. This collection of two novellas and one short story explores how these two lovers interact in three parallel worlds. It includes The Witch's Promise, Pipe Dreams, and A Collision of Worlds.
The Hidden Village
Warring clans, a missing son, and a mysterious role-playing game at the center of it all. Geof Franklin gets the late-night phone call every parent dreads and learns that his son has been missing for weeks. As he relentlessly searches the city for Alek, he gets pulled into the orbit of a cult-like sub-culture of clans that live by their own rules and think nothing of killing anyone who stands in their way. To have any hope of reaching his son he has to keep digging, but he's digging himself into more and more trouble -- with the mysterious clans, and with the law.
Pipe Dreams is an urban fantasy / psychological thriller set in and around Washington, D.C. When John Matthews starts smoking his grandfather’s pipe (mysteriously obtained) he starts to see visions of his dead wife. Is he going insane, or has he discovered a dark family secret? Can John beat the forces that conspire to send his life into a downward spiral? And can he break the constraints of time and space and re-unite with his lost love?
Jeremy Mitchell is a refugee from a separatist, anti-technology community who is a fish out of water in the high-tech society of the 21st century. He recklessly plunges himself into his new environment and finds himself caught in a confusing web of technology and intrigue. Powerful forces try to make him a pawn in a contest between rival intelligence organizations, but he doesn't play along with their game and makes his own rules. His loyalties are tested by a budding love affair with a young college student, who, along with her computer geek girlfriend, are unintentionally pulled into the conflict. Paperback: $9.99 Kindle: $2.99
Maybe your spouse just bought you a brewing kit and you want to learn a little more about this home brewing thing. Or maybe you're just curious. If so, this is the book for you. There are a lot of details in brewing and sometimes it can get overwhelming. Beginning brewers often say they worry they're not worrying about the right things. That's why they need this book. The general rule is -- don't worry. There are a few things you need to pay attention to, but by all means, chill. Home brewing ingredients are so good these days that if you're moderately careful you can make really good beer at home. Without worrying.
Beginner's Guide to All-Grain Brewing
If you've tried basic homebrewing and are curious about all-grain brewing, this is the book for you. It's a quick and easy introduction to the essentials. It covers what you need to know without going into too much detail or the geeky specifics. It explains the basics about grains, what goes on in the mash and lauter tun, what you need to know about equipment and process, and provides practical tips, schedules and calculators to make sure you know how to brew your first all-grain batch.
Eggs are Expensive, Sperm is Cheap: 50 Politically Incorrect Thoughts for Men
When it comes to love, sex, dating and marriage, the world has gone crazy. The modern view is both stupid and destructive, but it's rarely questioned. It's thrown in our faces from every angle and has so infiltrated our culture that we don't even recognize it. We just breathe it in with the air. Eggs are Expensive, Sperm is Cheap asks young men to stop and think about it for a while, and presents a completely different view of how the sexes should relate. Available on kindle for just $2.99. (Note, this book was formerly titled "Before You Marry.")
Allison Warren is a washed up lawyer who is trying to make a career as a female detective / PI. Her first case involves a college friend who got in over her head with some neighborhood toughs. The cover illustration is by my pal Jake Warrenfeltz. Get it now for $0.99.
The Security Breach
This is a very short story about a chief security officer at a government contractor. He's hauled before a panel investigating a sexual harassment complaint -- against him. While he's away from his desk somebody is taking advantage of the opportunity and hacking the company servers, which contain sensitive government information. Is the accuser in on the attack? Was the harassment claim part of a larger gambit? Get it now for just 99 cents!
Tales from Crow Hill
This collection of exciting short stories explores a wide variety of themes and settings. A patriarch is stuck in a world ruled by women. A murderer is troubled by a religious tract. A hat transforms a shy man into a chick magnate and lands him in trouble with the mob. A possessed woman struggles to find meaning to her life after her demon is cast out. A nightmare experience in the office. A "family values" guy caught in a sordid affair. A man who fathers a child on a witch. You never know what you'll find in Tales from Crow Hill. Get it now for just $2.99.
Shy Hans can't make any progress with the lovely Sara and is afraid to approach her, but then a mysterious hat gives Hans the skill and confidence of an experienced pick-up artist. As he learns how to use the hat he discovers that he has his choice of many beautiful women. Will Hans stay devoted to Sara? Is there a secret price that comes with use of the hat? And has Hans gone too far in dating the fabulous Julia, the girlfriend of a dangerous gangster? Get it now for just $0.99.
Sam is a patriarch caught in a world ruled by women. In this dystopian future, men can't go to college, work white collar jobs, or even own books. They do all the hard and dangerous work that keeps the economy moving, while a select few of the most gifted women rule society and lead ostentatious lives of privilege. Other women are left to breed. Sam isn't the kind of guy to take this lying down. Kindle: $0.99 The cover art for this eBook is from delafo at fiverr.com.
The Inner Voice
Al knows exactly what Johnson is up to, and he isn't going to allow him to get away with it any longer. This human cancer has to be stopped before he ruins even more lives. Justice has to be done. But Al has to move carefully. Purchases for the job need to be discreet, and untraceable. He needs to learn how to make his own weapons that will leave no evidence at the scene of the crime. All the while, the tech guys at the office are watching, ... and Al wonders if he'll ever resolve his inner turmoil. Get it now for just $0.99.
Attack of the Tinkers
This is a collection of short stories based around the concepts in The Hidden Village, an (as-yet) imaginary game for city dwellers to play in their off hours -- at lunch or happy hour, or as they wander the city streets. The participants join a guild and compete with one another for members, points and territory. But there’s a secret purpose to the game that the players don’t know about. Get it now on the Kindle.