Premium gas is back below $3.00 per gallon in San Diego, and I filled the tank up on the GS for $12 and a bit. That’ll last me through the next work week.
There’s change you can believe in.
So, yah, I’m back to commuting via moto, these days. Perforce, actually. On account of the fender benders and such. Not me, mind, but my sainted wife.
It was a mutual back-up scenario in one of those parking lots so common here in Southern California: Painted as though the whole world drove Mini Coopers, when in fact – as everyone knows perfectly well – they all drive SUVs and steroidal minivans, and that. The great, rough beasts. Whilst talking on their cell phones, and gesticulating with their mitts. The horror.
The last few years, I have been getting subtle reminders that I am….getting old. Not that my spirit is feeling old. On the contrary, it is still 20 years old. But it does tell the body to do some things and the body just laughs.
The pictures I took as a 22-year-old Pfc in Germany seem to get a small but steady audience in Europe. Same for my pictures of Australia and the South Pacific when I was in my 30s. And even Germany in my 40s, a couple of years after the wall came down.
(Author Steven) Johnson notes that historians interested in genetics believe that the roughly simultaneous emergence of urban living and the manufacturing of alcohol set the stage for a survival-of-the-fittest sorting-out among the people who abandoned the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and, literally and figuratively speaking, went to town.
You know, when I was a kid, I always wanted to buy one of those submarines that were advertised in the comic books. You know the ones:
I didn’t buy one of course. It wasn’t like $6.98 grew on trees back in the day, and deep inside myself, in a demonstration that The World had already impinged upon my youthful innocence, leaving me just that teensiest bit cynical, I knew it was too good to be true. There just wasn’t any way that an actual submarine – seating two kids! – could be had for under $10. It had to be some sort of ruse, like the “X-Ray glasses” that’d let you see through, you know: Stuff.
Turns out I was wrong. Turns out you can too have a submarine for less than $10. Turns out you can have one * for free!
Mark Steyn – he of the Macleans/Human Rights Commission kerfuffle – is in fine mettle today. Happy though he is at having received the grudging permission from cultural elites to publish things they’d rather not think about – while being declared an “alarmist” for having noticed them – he nevertheless asks, “What would it take to alarm you?”
Sharia mortgages? Sure. Polygamy? Whatever. Honour killings? Well, okay, but only a few. The assumption that you can hop on the Sharia Express and just ride a couple of stops is one almighty leap of faith…
One of the better books I’ve read in the last few years was entitled, “The Great Mortality” – a splendidly written chronicle of the Black Plague. The author turned a particularly grim period of history into a gripping, if macabre page turner, virtually anthropomorphizing the virulent bacteria that killed around one third of all people then living in Europe and which in places reached a mortality rate as high as 50%.
In the New York Times today, two anthropologists challenge the accepted wisdom:
See if you can tease it out of this heartbreaking, enraging article from the Dallas Morning News.
Having completed the article and returned to this page, your attention is invited to the quote from Edmund Burke to your right **.
** 11-03-20 Since lex was referring to his own web page, the quote is as follows, courtesy of the Wayback Machine:
“A kind Providence has placed in our breasts a hatred of the unjust and cruel, in order that we may preserve ourselves from cruelty and injustice. They who bear cruelty, are accomplices in it. The pretended gentleness which excludes that charitable rancour, produces an indifference which is half an approbation. They never will love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate.”–Edmund Burke
The Honolulu Advertiser’s Richard Halloran reviews the Thanksgiving Day snub to USS Kitty Hawk. We had all heard about that incident but I missed the contemporaneous refusal by the PRC to honor the ancient maritime tradition of force majeure when a pair of small minesweepers caught at sea in foul weather were denied sanctuary. Part of the problem is misaligned military expectations, according to Halloran: The US sees mil-to-mil contacts as useful to increase trust and reduce the risk of inadvertent hostilities, while the PRC – and especially the Chinese armed forces – sees the contacts as a blunt lever of policy coercion.
But more than that, when you pick up the phone to call China it’s hard to guarantee that the parents will always be at home: