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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/12/20 in all areas

  1. 1 point
    I crossed my fingers that Mark Twain would return in 1985. Alas, it seems not to have happened. He hasn't appeared in 34+ years. 🙂
  2. 1 point
    Between Ben Domenech of the New York Post and psychologist Michael Hurd, who blogs at the Daily Dose of Reason, we have some bad news about our culture in snapshot form. First, Domenech contends that Joe Biden -- queue jokes about him taking his old boss's "lead from behind" literally -- has fallen victim to a process he helped create. Domenech starts with the irony that Biden bragged in the last Democratic debate about "almost single-handedly" keeping Robert Bork off the Supreme Court: Bork's defeat in the Senate at the hands of Mr. Biden and his colleagues was a turning point in many ways. One of the most significant ways was that it upended the standards for desirability in a judicial nominee. Pre-Bork, the most desirable thing was to have lots of experience so that senators would be convinced that the nominee was qualified for the job. Post-Bork, the most desirable thing became to have as short a paper trail as possible, so as to minimize the chances that a nominee's writing could be distorted or seized upon in a way that could ultimately derail the nomination. People haven't focused on it quite yet, but what we are and have been witnessing is a similar transformation in presidential politics. In presidential candidates, as with post-Bork judicial nominees, lengthy government experience has become a liability rather than a strength. [bold added]Domenech is absolutely right about this, and he elaborates a bit later: Image by Tarun Deep Girdher and Rana Swarajsinh, via Wikipedia, license. There is something, though, about the Democratic swoon for Messrs. Obama and Buttigieg that is particularly emblematic. It goes beyond the mere mechanics of campaigning or of opposition research. The short-on-experience candidates are the personification of judging on intentions rather than on results. They are the perfect representations -- Bernie Sanders, in a way, too -- of a party that prioritizes virtue-signaling over actually getting things done. [bold added]My only complaint with the above observations is that they don't go far enough. The Republicans went with a political novice in the last election, and their primary process, which Hot Air's Allahpundit observes "allowed Trump to pile up an insurmountable lead" isn't exactly built on the premise of thoroughly vetting anyone or carefully weighing alternatives, either. (The Democratic "debates" accomplish this in a different way: by everyone having (or pretending to have) views so indistinguishable we end up with things like all the candidates raising their hands as being in favor of medical care for indigent immigrants at taxpayer expense.) To begin to understand the significance of this bipartisan quest for a living, breathing embodiment of "none-of-the-above," we turn to Michael Hurd, who recently said: I think I finally figured out why Pete Buttigieg holds any appeal at all to Democratic primary voters. It's not because of who he is; it's because of who he isn't. [links omitted, bold added]And later: ... If you follow some of the things he has been saying over the last year, you end up pretty confident that he will, in the end, come out for things like the Green New Deal, nationalization of medicine, free college, economy-crushing tax rates and all the rest. And he did claim, at one point, that Thomas Jefferson references should be removed or renamed. If none of these things matter to Democrats, then they should have no problem voting for the socialist schoolmarm or the outright Communist, just as easily as Buttigieg. Maybe Mayor Pete's bland vagueness is a way for them to close their eyes to the destruction of their party and, quite possibly, the country. [links omitted, bold added]Our country has been sleepwalking from freedom to chains for generations, now, and the records of our uniformly lousy politicians are proof. And yet most people are too comfortable with our unstable mixed economy or too averse to thinking deeply about politics (which the mixed economy keeps making intrude our daily lives more and more each day) to think deeply about making a different choice than they have their entire lives. Voters sense something is wrong, but do not know or care to ask why. They evade the fact that all the unlikable people with bad records they reject were once young spouters of good intentions themselves -- and end up repeating the very same mistake. News flash: If everyone who runs on the same set of platitudes ends up with a bad record, consider the idea that it is the platitudes which are bad, having been put into practice and failing so many times. Until this changes, we will ironically have politics, which nobody wants to discuss seriously, taking up more and more of our daily lives because we keep electing people who tell us that they will take care of everything, and that they mean well. To propose to take even partial control of the lives of other adults is to propose to do exactly the opposite of what a government official should be doing. And it is not a good intention, no matter how nice the person making the proposal might seem. -- CAV Link to Original
  3. 1 point
    Went to the planetarium to listen to a talk on Betelgeuse. Afterward, in some small talk, the fact that Samuel Langhorn Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain (1835-1910), was born and passed away during years that Halley's comet had been visible from earth had come up. The internet is a marvelous resource in one regard, and can also provide plenty of distraction as well. A quick search for when Halley's comet has appeared in the visible skies of earth provide a history spanning from prior to 1066 until its anticipated return 2134. Utilizing the appearances provided searches can be created using any span indicated on the 75-76 year cyclical span. Combine this with the knowledge that historical figures are often listed with the year they were born and the year they passed away, keying in two consecutive appearances of Halley's Comet will provide the following. 1759-1835 1835-1910 1910-1986 The first batch provides a return that includes a print artist, Carl Wilhelm Kolbe (1759-1835). An illustration of his work can be found by clicking on the provided link. A second search provided "In memoriam Ernest Bueding (1910-1986). - NCBI", somewhat of a dead end usually for me, and "Customer reviews: Joe Owen, Seagrove N.C. ... - Amazon.com" linking to a book that perhaps has more appeal to folk that are related. Last, Samuel Clemens dates were punched in, and provided with two further potential follow through leads, Sydney Ringer (1835-1910) and Nelidov Alexandr (1835-1910), Russian diplomat, should that be an area of further interest. Speaking of distraction, this post was compiled with the recent blog and forum postings brought to the forefront by merjet kept in mind. Stand Out Of Our Light: #1, #2 & #3, as well as the sidebar dealing with the related reference to Diogenes, a funny philosopher, being duly noted here. A question that could be put forth on basis of what this started with is: What (other than the fact that they have all passed away) do Karl Wilhelm Kolbe (1759-1835), Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), Ernest Beuding (1910-1986), and Joe Owen (1910, 1986) have in common? Alex Trebek, I'll take Halley's Comet for $1000.
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