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May 21, 2019

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What book?

Well, all of them, but based on the first 75 pages, "The Second Creation: Fixing The American Constitution In The Founding Era" by Jonathan Gianapp, might be a good one for you.

No puns, so far.

Epigraph to Chapter Two, entitled "Language and Power":

"But I have often wondered that a convention of such wise men should spend four months making such an explicit thing. For .... it appears too much a like a fiddle with but few strings, but so fixed as that the ruling majority may play any tune they please upon it. William Manning, "The Key to Liberty" (1798)

Uber IPO: Unter

Reminiscent of the Jonestown cult:

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2019/05/symbolism-so-subtle-that-its-painted-itself-purple-and-is-dancing-naked-on-a-harpsichord-while-singing-subtle-symbolism-is-here-again

.... or the military.

I spent three sweltering summers (but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now; I can do pretty nifty square corners on the bed clothes ... for a former hippie) at a military academy in sultry, humid Indiana and on Sundays we, many, many hundreds of us, would pass in review on the parade field, but otherwise stand at attention or parade rest for several hours.

Kids keeled over from the heat every few minutes, their sabers and fake carbines rattling as they went down.

The secret is to flex your knees every few minutes.

And don't drink the refreshing vial of poison.

Cults don't tell you that.

Some 2019 fantasy & science fiction novels:

A Memory Called Empire, Arkady Martine

Ancestral Night, Elizabeth Bear

The Raven Tower, Ann Leckie

I can also recommend everything on the Hugo ballot.

To paraphrase Anton Chekhov regarding the placement of a pistol above the fireplace in a stage drama:

"If in the first act you have hung a Merrick Garland on the wall, then in the following one it should be fired. Otherwise don't put it there."

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2019/05/21/who-needs-payback-when-karma-is-on-your-side/

Fuck Republicans.

This is necessary b/c why?

because it makes the libs mad

What book should I read next?

'Hyperion' is turning out to be pretty good so far, for me.

Uber IPO: Unter

Only the first comment, and already the winner for best zinger of the thread!

No puns, so far.

:-)


because it makes the libs mad

Well sure but this has been a longstanding project of the GOP (and some Dems) dating back decades, before the passing of cleek's law. Why the party of "government can do no good" is in favor of a strong executive is...? I suppose they're all authoritarians and think the authority will be used against someone other than themselves.

This is necessary b/c why?

Because, since the libs will never be in power again (in their sidpa bardo), there's no reason to delay. So . . . why not?

Why the party of "government can do no good" is in favor of a strong executive is...?

Because that was when the other party was mostly in charge of the government. Or at least the legislature. The problem wasn't government controlling stuff so much as government controlling the wrong stuff. Combined with no prospect, that they could see then, of ever controlling the legislature themselves and enacting their own hobby-horse controls.

Now, of course, they have had a taste of control. Incompetence meant that they didn't actually accomplish much. But still, having lost total control hurt. So, like any self-respecting 3 year old, they are lashing out.

Why the party of "government can do no good" is in favor of a strong executive is...?

i believe the trick there is that "government" is defined in the footnotes as "when a lib says 'no'".

Sticking with a couple of the lighter items:

The GoT finale was okay and overly-criticized.

Could it have been any other way?

People need to use their turn signals more often and earlier.

Yes, and people need to make left turns as though they were trying to approximate a right angle as closely as possible, rather than in sweeping arcs to make the turns with minimal slowing. If people made right turns the way they make left turns, they'd be jumping the curb, knocking down signs, and sideswiping the corners of buildings.

i'd like it if i could find a way to stop people from realizing that yes, they really did want to go faster, the second i try to pass them.


die, italics. die.

I know we've done this before, but it was a while ago, and since I am caught in a vortex of reading maniacally and obsessively a) while I recover from my hip replacement amid all the boredom/discomfort that involves and b) to block out (as much as possible, as often as possible) external reality, I would very much value anybody's recommendations for absorbing, preferably multi-volume series. The one that's given me the most pleasure recently was the Vorkosigan Saga, recommended here by I forget whom. I also loved Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch stuff. I've bookmarked Doc Science's few above - any other recommendations, fantasy, sci-fi or otherwise? Don't assume they have to be new/current, I've only started reading like this again in the last 18 months, so have lots of catching up to do.

I know we've done this before, but it was a while ago, and since I am caught in a vortex of reading maniacally and obsessively a) while I recover from my hip replacement amid all the boredom/discomfort that involves and b) to block out (as much as possible, as often as possible) external reality, I would very much value anybody's recommendations for absorbing, preferably multi-volume series. The one that's given me the most pleasure recently was the Vorkosigan Saga, recommended here by I forget whom. I also loved Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch stuff. I've bookmarked Doc Science's few above - any other recommendations, fantasy, sci-fi or otherwise? Don't assume they have to be new/current, I've only started reading like this again in the last 18 months, so have lots of catching up to do.

This is necessary b/c why?

Their guy is the executive.

People need to use their turn signals more often and earlier.

Why take all of the surprise out of life?

:)

The answers to your political questions are self-evident and depressing: The Right has a chance to undo a century of legislation and judicial decisions and is going for it.

Your next book - that's a toughie; there are so many good books.

You like SF, right? I recommend a little-known but excellent Canadian poet and SF writer from the 80s,Phyllis Gotlieb, who wrote a series about bio-engineered sapient cats who join a Galactic organization and encounter astonishing aliens. The writing is deeply intelligent, compassionate, and often funny. The first book in the series is "A Judgment of Dragons," the next "Emperor, Swords, Pentacles," and finishes with "Kingdom of the Cats."

i'd like it if i could find a way to stop people from realizing that yes, they really did want to go faster, the second i try to pass them.

Yes!

Also, passing the person in the right lane on the 2-lane interstate highway at the pace of one inch a minute on cruise control IS NOT OKAY!!!

I'm thinking of YOU, people driving on I-35 north of Minneapolis in the summer....

People need to use their turn signals more often and earlier.

In Texas, using a turn signal is telling other people too much about your personal business.

If people made right turns the way they make left turns, they'd be jumping the curb, knocking down signs, and sideswiping the corners of buildings.

And there are those people who make right turns as though they expect, at any moment, for something horrifying to jump out in front of them.

If you haven't already read it long ago, I recommend Atlanta Nights.
No need to spend money on it since it is available online as pdf
http://www.cs.du.edu/~aburt/StingManuscript.pdf
For context: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_Nights
I have read it several times already, translated it into German and still dream about a Latin translation.

GFTNC, try Lee and Miller's Liaden universe series. As I recall, the first one (internal chronology, not order written) is Crystal Soldier. Although you can easily (perhaps even better) start with Local Custom, and treat the first 4 as back story.

Also the David Weber series starting with Oath of Swords. Gotta love a war god who has to plead with the hero to embrace him.

If you're looking to soak up a lot of time, read all of Weber's Honor Harrington universe novels.

Baen has a number of Weber's and other author's e-books for free if you want to test read before spending money.

re: russell on the other thread: Lincoln In The Bardo is a pretty good read.

GFTNC: Your mileage may vary but Edward St. Aubyns' "Patrick Melrose" series of novels, now available in one volume provided crackling prose and sharp, wicked dialogue.

People who merge into traffic as if they were the only traffic need to be both publicly shamed and have their license revoked.

TGFNC,
Fiction isn't the only thing out there in multi-volume format. Try Caro's The Years of Lyndon Johnson.

Best wishes.

I'll second the Caro recommendation (and I hope he manages to finish the fifth volume).

What Bobby said (4:12)

People who come to a full stop in the merging entrance lane to the freeway must also be dealt with in some medieval ways as well.

TGFNC,
I am a sucker for James Lee Burke. His early Dave Robicheaux stories are the best....

best,

bobby

Thanks all for the recommendations, I will check them out (had already downloaded a recommended starter for the Liaden universe). JDT: I've always heard that those Melrose novels are terrific, but (and I am sincerely very ashamed to admit this) I feel absolutely incapable at the moment of dealing with truly upsetting stuff in fiction. It's been such an awful 18 months and counting, not to mention what's happening in the world, that what I need at the moment is really escapism. And paradoxically, despite the fact that I seemed not to be able to read fiction for years but was more than happy with non-fiction, this too has completely reversed, so that lets out the Lyndon Johnson biography. Ah well, no doubt this too shall pass.

Lincoln In The Bardo is a pretty good read.

Agreed, and thank you. Read that recently, and thought it was excellent.

My wife and I are grinding our way through everything that Laurie R King has ever written. Started with the Holmes and Russell books, now I'm into the Kate Martinelli stuff.

Diverting page-turners, for discerning readers!

GFTNC:

I get it vis a vis the Melrose saga.

Some suggestions: engaging stuff, a little dark but very satisfyingly off kilter and a little cracked written by very original, but now somewhat neglected voices:

J.G Ballard's dystopian but fascinating short stories and his autobiographical novel "Empire Of The Sun". Roald Dahl's short stories for adults are laugh-inducing weird. And I've recently rediscovered Shirley Jackson after 50 years (best known for "The Lottery" and "The Haunting of Hill House"), but specifically her novel "We Have Always Lived In the Castle" and her relatively unknown domestic autobiographical works: "Life Among The Savages" and "Raising Demons", about raising her kids.

The latter are like "Please Don't Eat the Daisies", but more like "Please Do Eat The Daisies".

Try Walker Percy's first novel "The Moviegoer".

Please.

What book to read? Mine: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43152550-the-eclipse-dancer
"The storyline is simple in that it is easy to follow, yet intricate as layers unwind with a seamless, melodic flow. And, while the author excels at getting inside the heart and soul of her readers, the connection
garnered by what remains unsaid is remarkable. The writing is descriptive and artistic, without being flowery or overdone, and leaving just enough room to incorporate snippets of one’s own imagination. Some things are just not taught and Koerber’s writing is one of those things–she has a gift. " Reader Views

People who come to a full stop in the merging entrance lane to the freeway must also be dealt with in some medieval ways as well.

OMG.

once a week, i'm sure i'm going to end up pulverized between one of them and the pile of cars pushed into me by an 18 wheeler.

If you're looking for *series*, here's the list of this year's Hugo nominees (for this relatively new category):

The Centenal Cycle, by Malka Older
The Laundry Files, by Charles Stross
Machineries of Empire, by Yoon Ha Lee
The October Daye Series, by Seanan McGuire
The Universe of Xuya, by Aliette de Bodard
Wayfarers, by Becky Chambers

These are all good, but The Centenal Cycle is specifically about "elections and how to undermine them", and I found vol.1 too realistic a dystopia to get through easily.

Last year's nominees were:

World of the Five Gods, by Lois McMaster Bujold (which won)
InCryptid, by Seanan McGuire
The Memoirs of Lady Trent, by Marie Brennan
The Books of the Raksura, by Martha Wells
The Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson
The Divine Cities, by Robert Jackson Bennett

Of those, The Memoirs of Lady Trent and The Divine Cities were my favorites, but I also loved Raksura and World of the Five Gods.

I don't understand the group of lawyers (and others) who are dedicated to preserving/expanding/keeping the supremacy of the Executive/Presidential power. This is necessary b/c why?

Not sure if anyone has linked to this exquisite piece in The Washington Post. The accompanying video is wonderful as well.

I guess that doesn't really answer Ugh's question. Why? Other than self-enrichment, I don't know - and self-enrichment isn't the only story. What I think is: they're just horrible human beings.

they're just horrible human beings.

Well, if you define "horrible human beings" as simply lacking in empathy for anyone but "people like me", sure. I think the thing is, they really, really liked the world where they and people like them were in charge and flourished. Changes from there, even when they have no obvious relation to reducing their political and economic control, were bad by definition. And so they want to roll them back.

They're not really bad people . . . as long as you are their kind of people. And they don't (mostly) have anything in particular against everybody else -- the Stephen Millers of the world notwithstanding. Those others just can't be allowed to gain anything at the expense of "real people"™.

" I think the thing is, they really, really liked the world where they and people like them were in charge and flourished"

Isnt this the goal of everyone remotely interested in government? It is explicitly stated by women, people of color, etc.

Everyone wants someone like them to be in charge under the presumption that it would enable them to flourish.

Depends on how you define "someone like me" I suppose.

The question is whether it includes the exclusion of everyone else as by definition illegitimate. On the extreme ends you'll find that on both sides but in the US the real exteme left never had anything near complete control while the extreme right has significant influence and uses it at the explicit expense of others. We can talk again about this once we have a Maoist equivalent to the freedom caucus taking congressional control of the Dems. You'll find that the average commenter here are not fond of those guys either.

I don't understand the group of lawyers (and others) who are dedicated to preserving/expanding/keeping the supremacy of the Executive/Presidential power. This is necessary b/c why?

perhaps they're just Republicans who grew up knowing they had to be fans of BushCo's 'Unitary Executive' claims in order to stay in the party's good graces; they were taught to think that way, and now that's the way they think.

Regarding right, left and centre, there's a good article here:

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/06/06/democracy-and-its-discontents/

Again, thanks to all and I will check out all recommendations with which I was not already familiar.

Various unconnected thoughts:

JDT: I know a fascinating old woman who was in the same Japanese camp in Shanghai with Ballard - FWIW she says Empire of the Sun is extremely inaccurate! I had this conversation with her years ago, I will have to check with her exactly what she means, if it matters. I read the Roald Dahl adult stories when I was a teenager, and remember their very particular quality with pleasure. Anybody who enjoyed them, and is not familiar with Saki (currently out of fashion) would be well advised to try to obtain a collection of his short stories, they are sly, macabre masterpieces, most famously Sredni Vashtar but there are many others.

I quite enjoyed Lady Trent, and read Bujold's Five Gods in a rush after finishing the Vorkosigan books and needing a fix, ditto the Sharing Knife books. I found both weak stuff compared to the Vorkosigan saga, although I thought the Five Gods series the better of the two. I think Bujold wandered into Conan Doyle/Holmes territory with Miles Vorkosigan, and is suffering the consequences: she created a character so charming and interesting and alive, that nothing else she creates can generate the same interest.

I've enjoyed Scalzi's Old Man's War series, and have just finished the second of his Collapsing Empire Trilogy so now will have to wait for the third to be published. It's very annoying, this is why I prefer to wait and read finished series!

sapient - i don't know whether to love you or hate you for making me read that article. :-)

From the article:

A devout Catholic, Leo said he is driven by his faith and a literal interpretation of the Constitution. He also defended the practice of taking money from donors whose identities are not publicly disclosed, comparing his effort to shape the courts to those of abolitionists, suffragists and civil rights activists.

No, no, no, no, no. Fnck YOU!

Later, in response to written questions about the interlocking nonprofits, Leo described the network as “an effective and highly successful judicial coalition that’s organized just about the same as the Left’s, except that their coalition is significantly bigger and better funded.”

Don't get high on your own supply dude!

Leo told The Post he has employed techniques liberals used to derail the nomination of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court three decades ago.

You mean highlighting his writing and record and discussing what it would mean if he were a Justice and then voting accordingly? The horror. If only Merrick Garland had received the Bork treatment...

Read the whole thing, as they say, the dude is delusional and a cancer.

And WTF is a "literal" interpretation of the Constitution? Jeebus

GFNC: for series reading see Nathan Lowell...”Share” series at least start out as YA but grew on me...”Ravenwood” books interest in somewhat different direction

Have you read Dorothy Dunnett, GFtNC ?

That would certainly burn some time, and you would likely find it readable.

Lymond or Niccolo - the literary Pepsi or Coke question.

"Empire of the Sun was extremely inaccurate..."

It's on my fiction shelf. ;)

Nigel: alas yes, many years ago. I only wish I had Lymond to do all over again (actually have re-read them several times). As for Niccolo, I enjoyed but thought she had tipped over into too much twisty complication. However, I was glad she had time to finish it, albeit somewhat hurriedly, and make the ancestral connection.

JDT: I think she was trying to say that the way he portrayed the texture of life in the camp was misleading, but of course this is in a sense immaterial to anybody but other witnesses like her.

Wnickles: thanks, will give them a go.

Isnt this the goal of everyone remotely interested in government?

First, there is a difference between trying to get a seat at the table, and trying to hold on to the seat you currently have at the expense of others.

Second, no. The answer is no.

they're just horrible human beings.

Well, if you define "horrible human beings" as simply lacking in empathy for anyone but "people like me", sure.

This was a curious exchange, to me.

By some, maybe many, measures, "lacking in empathy for anyone but people like me" is kind of the horrible part of "horrible people".

You don't actually have to intend harm for your thoughts and actions to cause harm. The inability to imagine the experience of others, the inability to recognize and take responsibility for the negative outcomes of your own actions, the inability to recognize the fundamental humanity of people who aren't "like you" seems, to me, to be inseparable from what it is to be "horrible".

Everybody has prejudices, blind spots, inadequacies. Saints are thin on the ground. What is essential is our willingness to recognize and own them, and seek to overcome them.

And WTF is a "literal" interpretation of the Constitution?

Same as a "literal" interpretation of the Bible.

Reading the plain text and construing its meaning without regard for the historical, cultural, and linguistic context in which it was written, while assuming the motivations and intent of the author are the same as your own.

I wasn't too ripped up by the GoT finale, but I wasn't super invested in the books. However, I thought the music was fantastic, especially the way they reinterpreted the main theme at the end of the episode showing the various Starks going on to whatever destiny they had.

Here's a great youtube video of a lower brass version of the GoT theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTDEVUlCClk

From the notes
====
A few New York City low brass players were joking around at a gig a year ago, talking about how much fun it would be fun to record an arrangement of some cool piece of music with an "extra low" low brass section. (Meaning: an extra special amount of bass trombone players, along with a tuba and a few tenor trombones.) An epic piece of music like the Game of Thrones theme would be perfect for this. The idea almost never got off the ground, due to the expected difficulties in putting something like this together. Two weeks ago, with the current Game of Thrones season coming to a close and the deadline approaching to release this track, they realized there was actually a 90 min timeslot on a random Tuesday afternoon when 6 contrabass trombone players were all going to be free at once. It was time to do it. Once you get Six Contra players in one place, you either run away fast- or join in. Seventeen other top orchestral and commercial NYC low brass players joined them, bringing the ensemble to 23 players, and this is the result. Enjoy the sound.
=====

while assuming the motivations and intent of the author are the same as your own

the question is which is to be master — that's all.

russell, a lot of official saints were imo quite horrible people both personally and in what they triggered.
Plus saints tend to assume that either other people are too (if given the chance) or have to be lorded over for failing.

I really like what Russel said upthread--as usual very much to the point

I don't know if we have always lacked people in government who put ego before principles of governance--but that sure seems characteristic of Republicans in office today.

There's always Pepys' diaries, GFtNC.

a lot of official saints were imo quite horrible people both personally and in what they triggered.

Good point, that. Noted.

I rather have the feeling (from the outside, not being Catholic or even Anglican) that "official saints" and real saints are two barely overlapping categories.

Anyone else notice the similarities in these two stories regarding how fascist white republican men control their environments:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/trump-pelosi-coverup-infrastructure

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/mississippi-gop-call-mcleod-resignation-punch-wife-allegation

People need to use their turn signals more often and earlier.

Many years ago, when I went to work at Bell Labs in NJ, my aunt and uncle gave me an article from some NJ magazine titled How To Be a New Jersey Driver. As I remember, the section on turn signals included, "Turn signals give away your next move -- never use them."

My favorite was advice on car maintenance: "Never repair your front bumper. Tailgating is a way of life in NJ, and a rumpled bumper sends the message 'I'm not afraid to hit things' to the driver ahead of you."

Ben Carson causes Congress to lose its cookies:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/katie-porter-ben-carson-oreo-response

Other names of cookies and near-cookies Carson might be familiar with and resemble:

Animal Crackers, 'Nilla Wafers, and ....

https://www.top13.net/inappropriate-food-product-names/

The Representative opened a can of Megapussies on the jackass.


Book: Hand and Jim by Scott Eyman. It's the story of the 50 year friendship of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart. Very well written so you might enjoy even if you don't care about Hollywood or actors.

TV: Fosse/Verdon, an 8 episode series about Bob and Gwen just about to end on FX. It's based on the bio Fosse, which I'm reading concurrently. Some people may not be able to stomach Bob's treatment of women, but Michelle Williams' performance is worth the effort. I've only ever seen her in one other movie, but I think she might end up being one of the greats.

*Hank

As I remember, the section on turn signals included, "Turn signals give away your next move -- never use them."

I live in NJ, and there is some validity to this. I personally use turn signals, but I know that some people take them as a reason to speed up to prevent you from changing lanes. I put mine on, and after the shortest time that could be considered remotely reasonable, I'm moving over, like it or not. I only piss off the a**holes who try not to let me move over, which is more than okay with me.

I hate tailgaters, and I don't do it.

Here's the one piece of, I don't know, passive-aggressive (?) driving advice I would give and follow in NJ: When approaching a traffic circle, don't make eye contact or give even the slightest hint that you might see the other cars in the circle. Scare them with apparent obliviousness into letting you in.

"Drive offensively - let the other guy watch out for you!"

(Who here remembers that old PSA?)

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/lindsey-graham-trump-political-rectal-exam-hannity

The rectal exam is necessary in order to confront and ascertain the malignant nature of the conservative p mind where it resides and from whence its governing practices are pulled and are metastasizing.

The process will be complete when p, Graham and all of the their conservative ilk are fully disemboweled.

This will be one instance in which the cure is worse, as in fatal, than the disease, but the disease ravaging the body politic is the modern, anti-modernity conservative movement and it will be cured and the patient will suck it up.

The Secretary of the Treasury says that he is delaying the new $20 bill, featuring Harriet Tubman. Why? He claims that the Tubman change cannot happen next year because he’s too focused on trying to make the $10 and $50 bills harder to counterfeit.

Of course. Because the $10 bill and the $50 bill are used so much more than the $20. So obviously that's the place to focus. Riiiight....

Because p's racism and passion to destroy all traces of the black President are not counterfeit.

They are as solid as the three dollar ruble.

During the 2016 coup campaign, the vermin racist lout called the Tubman decision by Obama "politically correct".

Which is republicanese for "Whad you say, boy? Jasper, hand me that bullwhip."

But usually the figleaf isn't quite so lacy. At least, however bogus, it isn't (in most cases) quite so blatantly nonsense.

p's admission that everyone he hires are unqualified idiots and self-dealing bag men and those he retains are shameless, unqualified idiots and self-dealing bag women with the added bullet point on their resumes of being tireless butt lickers is getting uncomfortably close to my opinion that everyone he hires are unqualified idiots and self-dealing bag men and those he retains are shameless, unqualified idiots and self-dealing bag women with the added bullet point on their resumes of being tireless butt lickers:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/05/trump-admits-he-hired-an-idiot/

I should be impeached.

I would like to encourage everyone to heave a rotting peach at any Trumpy GOPer.

Impeach 'em all, I say.

It's been months since I've read the word "transparent" around here in regard to our Soviet government, from ANYONE:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a27568508/trump-pentagon-secrecy-congress-war-powers/

I'd say we've reached a consensus.

Season 8 of GOT was an illogical train wreck. I am no fan of Martin, but as boring and tedious as his later volumes are, there is no way he would have written such mindnumbingly stupid crap. For example, scorpions in episode 4 that would not be out of place on a modern battlefield, vs scorpions in episode 5 which couldn’t hit anything. As has been typical of Benioff and Weiss for the past three seasons, people and distances and objects and their locations and capabilities were twisted and mutilated in order to make the plot go the way they wanted it to go so they could finish the series and do something else.

Btw, on the larger subject, not objecting necessarily to GOT’s Darth Vader turn, but only to how it was done. This was almost as bad as the Star Wars prequels. In theory, someone could write a deeply engaging tragedy about how some amazingly gifted person took a turn towards the dark side, but in practice, Benioff and Weiss just redid Anakin Skywalker going bad because of adolescent angst. Okay, not quite that bad, but not good either.

Martin will probably do a much better job if he finishes. Can’t believe I am praising him.

Peter Jackson really screwed up the character of Denethor. Maybe Hollywood ( or Auckland) doesn’t know how to do tragic villains.

Wouldn’t that be empeach, Snarki ?

Or the peach which passeth all understanding ?

I went back and watched "The Long Night" (aka Batter of Winterfell). Liked it a lot more than the first time.

Benioff and Weiss just redid Anakin Skywalker going bad because of adolescent angst.

They should have done the Scooby-Doo ending.

These folks seem determined to push the Harding Administration into second place. But it's the sheer incompetence of the corruption which staggers the imagination:

President Trump has personally and repeatedly urged the head of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to award a border wall contract to a North Dakota construction firm whose top executive is a GOP donor and frequent guest on Fox News, according to four administration officials.
It's like they can't wrap their heads around the very idea of subtlety.

“They should have done the Scooby-Doo ending.”

I think they should have had a season introducing dozens of new characters, many of them boring as hell, and then gone on a multi- year sabbatical complaining about how hard it was to finish.

Anyway, enough from me on GOT. I vent about that because politics makes me even angrier about crap that unfortunately actually matters.

With things going poorly here (I'm out of the hospital, but my wife is back in, and speak to me not of politics nowadays) I've been going back and revisiting escapist literature from the past.

At the moment Dorothy Sayers' series (1930s) of detective stories featuring Lord Peter Wimsey. Very uneven, though she writes well, but has slapped together what seems like Agatha Christie and P.G. Wodehouse with a smattering of conspicuous learning on such matters as English bell-ringing, Oxford colleges, Scottish countryside, and a 1920s London advertising agency (she once worked in one).

Best, IMHO, are the novels where she introduces Harriet Vane, the only character other than LPW himself that she actually cares about and tries to flesh out into a real person, probably not unlike herself. These culminate in Gaudy Night, but you shouldn't read that without reading those that led up to it: Strong Poison and Have His Carcase. Other LPW novels are essentially stand-alone, however.

For those unfamiliar with her, DS later gave up detective fiction later to translate Dante (supposedly a very good Inferno) and write a number of books of essays on Christianity, which go down well with the C.S. Lewis mob!

In memory of the wonderful Judith Kerr, I shall re-read When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, which I last read aged ten.
Sadly, I don't still have that first edition...

If the US military presence overseas becomes entirely mercenary, what happens when (say) China comes along with a cheaper offer ?

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2019/05/us-and-south-korea-gear-burden-sharing-talks/589999/
Noting that he’d heard Cost Plus 50 was “fake news,” Moon, the National Assembly speaker and a member of the president’s party, nevertheless warned that if the Trump administration pressures South Korea to pay the full cost of U.S. troops stationed in the country, the Korean people might think, “‘U.S. troops are just mercenaries hired by the Korean government and they are here just to make money,’” which could turn public opinion against the United States.

Multiple South Korean officials whom I spoke with, in fact, expressed concern that Trump’s transactional approach to the alliance could stoke anti-Americanism. Eighty percent of South Koreans had a favorable view of the United States as of 2018, one of the highest levels of favorability among countries surveyed by the Pew Research Center. Confidence in the U.S. president, however, has declined from a high of 88 percent under Barack Obama to 44 percent under Trump..

Sorry to hear about your troubles, dr ngo. If you only read the Wimsey/Vane novels as far as Gaudy Night, you should definitely read the sequel to that, Busman's Honeymoon, which is a more than worthy finale. And actually, someone called Jill Paton Walsh has continued the Wimsey/Vane series, and alone among such "sequels" by other writers, has actually done quite a good job.

And... Theresa May is out.

And... Theresa May is out.

It's neck and neck on whether electing Trump or Brexit is the most destructive political result of 2016.

Meanwhile, the corrupt crime family and Kudlow inner circle vermin will make millions on the market opening this morning as p gave them overnight, for the umpteenth time, a front-running taste of his market-whipsawing China trade talk tweets, trades placed in overseas markets, .... .... now a quick resolution, yesterday it was all bearish long term trade war from his fingers, the day before ...... fuck these filth.

Facef*cker Jim Cramer carries their polluted water.

Don't clean the cesspool of republican corruption. Goddamned kill it.

Execute all republicans and conservatives.

Execute all bullying nationalist right wing filth the world over, in every country.

p's enemies will be arrested, tried, and jailed in show trials, and murdered in the streets by republican vermin.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1131716322369392646

Good.

Let's get this savagely violent Civil War going.

Expect martial law by election day 2020 and the bloody end of conservatism.

It's neck and neck on whether electing Trump or Brexit is the most destructive political result of 2016.

For the individual countries (the US and UK; not the rest of the EU or the world), Trump has pretty clearly been faster out of the gate. But Brexit (especially its fans) is working hard to keep the final result in question. A no-deal Brexit will probably give it the edge -- although Trump has time to keep at it.

For the world as a whole, however, Trump looks to have an insurmountable lead. (Although for Putin, as the financier of both, which was the better investment is less certain.)

still, at least he's not a Democrat.

amirite???!!!

From the perspective of the Democrats, I'd say you're entirely correct. ;-)

Just think if he hadn't changed parties a few years back.

i'd say there's about a 0.0000001% chance he makes it through the first round of D primaries.

and that's only because all the other candidates would have been killed in an asteroid strike.

A small amusement
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/0523-John-Cole-The-Scranton-Times-Tribune-PA.jpg

"But because I'm going to be working for you, I'm not going to have time to go golfing, believe me. Believe me. Believe me, folks."
- Our Idiot In Chief

thanks GOP. you're the best.

"And... Theresa May is out...."

Which essentially changes nothing with regard to Brexit.

Soon we'll have a new clown in charge, but the farce will roll on.

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