Why I Recommended Against Milo

 

As discussed on the main page, Milo Yiannopoulos has been invited to address CPAC this year in the major Saturday night address — the one that gets the television. About this I have mixed feelings, as I have mixed feelings about Milo in general. However, at my university, the College Republicans I sponsor discovered that they could get Milo to come speak for basically a song. Breitbart appears to pay a sizable chunk of the cost of his speeches. They asked my opinion.

I recommended against.

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How to Lose a Friend

 

Today I got a text from a neighbor and friend. His text was in reference to an upcoming Home Owners Association meeting. His first text was innocuous as was my reply. We have not really talked politics but I know he is a Democrat and he knows I am not. He has no idea for whom I voted. He then baited me and I took the bait. The following is the conversation exactly as it appears on my phone.

Friend: Just spoke to Caroline at Sweetgrass. Still — no hour for the meeting on the 28th, but tried to assure me it wasn’t a daytime event.

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Death Café: A Growing Movement

 

“We live knowing that everything dies. Like the sun, it’s a fact of life. And like the sun, we tend not to look right at it. Unless you’ve experienced a recent death, it’s probably not something you discuss. But a new movement is trying to change that, with a serving of tea and cake.” – Deena Prichep

This new movement is called Death Café. I was motivated to look into the topic since we have a couple of them in Florida. In Ms. Prichep’s article, she explains the origins of the movement.

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Sun Tzu and Big Table Envy

 

I come from a rather large Italian family. On my mother’s side alone, I am one of 28 first cousins. When I was a kid, family gatherings were crammed into a relation’s house and often spilled out onto their yard. One generation later, our family gatherings are now held in a rented hall or park. To an outsider, it must appear as utter chaos — I know it does to my wife, the only child of only children. But let me assure you, one thing has remained absolutely constant throughout all these years: neither I, nor any of my siblings or cousins, have ever moved from the Kids’ Table to the Big Table — and I am now 51 years old. Of course, I now understand that family tables are separated by generation. But as a kid, believe me, what I understood was Big Table envy.

The Big Table was where all of the cool and important stuff was going on. And to have a seat at the Big Table signified that you were also cool and important. And what kid wouldn’t want that: to be in on what the adults were discussing, to be included? And surely my opinions were needed: each was epic and bound to dazzle them all. But of course, every youthful assumption that I had was utter nonsense: there was almost never anything cool or important going on at the Big Table. And even if there was, then I certainly didn’t have the information or the experience required to participate intelligently. But, such is youth and such is Big Table envy.

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30 Days of Books: “The Iliad” by Homer

 

Last week I discussed my love of the Greek myths. Read the myths long enough, and eventually you’ll get around to reading the stories about the Trojan War. As a boy I read several versions of the story, as well as a version of The Odyssey that was written for younger ages. I knew so much of it, and yet it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I actually picked up The Iliad for the first time.

Now imagine my surprise when the story started in the middle of the entire Trojan War. Wait, this wasn’t a complete account? It seemed like such a long book, surely there was the whole war? Right? Right? Did I accidentally pick up an abridged version like the time I picked up The Romance of the Three Kingdoms which summed up many chapters into brief transitional paragraphs? Maybe I did the same thing here. Maybe?

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Milo to Be Keynote Speaker at CPAC

 

CPAC has announced that this year’s keynote speaker will be Milo Yiannopoulos, the controversial Breitbart editor whose talk was shut down earlier this month through violence at the University of California at Berkeley.

Yiannopoulos told The Hollywood Reporter that he will discuss his “experiences in America battling feminists, Black Lives Matter, the media, professors and the entertainment industry.”

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Some Perspective on WH Contempt for the Press

 

Jon Gabriel wrote a thought provoking post earlier today about the schizophrenic response to President Trump’s Thursday press conference. This post, similar to the schizophrenia inducing event itself, turned into a heated debate about the president, his temperament, and his reputed contempt for the press.

While it’s undeniable that President Trump is contemptuous of the press, I would just like to provide a little perspective on what contempt for the press actually is. No, I’m not comparing our fearless leader favorably to Adolph Hitler or any other odious autocrat from history. I would just like you to view a few minutes (or as much as you can stand) of the following White House press briefing led by Jay Carney three days after the Benghazi attacks.

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Trolling Identity Politics

 

Looking at my last post, I should make it clear that I don’t think y’all made a mistake with Trump. As a pragmatist — that election was a madhouse of opportunist mountebanks and Panglossian carnival barkers. I’ve seen more character from a police line-up. No, this was going to be awkward no matter what. And I will give Trump this — he isn’t Bernie Sanders. There is only one thing worse for People of Color than to be identified with a political party solely based on the color of their skin — and that’s to be associated with an ideological platform. Especially Bernie Sanders’ Willie Wonka factory of public optioned chocolate fountains, and other phantasmagorical free rides — furnished by Wall Street confiscated Golden Tickets.

The resulting black hole that once was our stock market afterwards wouldn’t be blamed on the dumber, louder version of William Jennings Bryan, and it sure wouldn’t rest on the saintly shoulders of the Rust Belt worker — nope, it would be all us Darkies’ faults. And if anyone thinks Sanders wouldn’t hesitate in dropping that steaming turd right off into our laps — just look at his cowardly behavior now.– as he unabashedly humps the Rust Belt voter’s leg like a Jack Russell who has only minutes before getting adopted by Bob Barker.

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The GOP Tax Plan Is in Trouble. Many People Are Saying This.

 

As conservative political reporter Robert Novak once declared, “God put the Republican Party on earth to cut taxes. If they don’t do that, they have no useful function.” Now imagine a new Republican president and Republican Congress — both of whom ran on cutting taxes — not being able to pass a tax cut. It might seem unimaginable. If so, stretch your imagination. Border adjustment is a key element of the GOP tax reform plan. It serves several purposes: raises a trillion bucks, makes it harder for companies to escape US taxes by shifting operations overseas, and gives a protectionist president a perceived win on trade that may help avoid harsher trade measures.

But border adjustment is in deep trouble. Which means tax reform may also be in trouble. Imagine that.

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I’m Moving to Canada

 

Last weekend my husband and I exhibited at the California International Antiquarian Book Fair with our Canadian location on the booth sign. So many visitors to the fair came into our booth and said either “I’m going to move to Canada”, Oh yeah, “You are lucky to have a nice/reasonable leader (most didn’t know it is a Prime Minister in Canada)”, Right, it was recently announced that Canada will now balance it’s budget in 2050. Trudeau is running the money faucet like there is no tomorrow and are no grandchildren to worry about, or both. Initially we said nothing but after a while I couldn’t help but comment on the fiscal issue. They always looked back at me with a quizzical look.

Beyond the ignorance about Canada generally, I still can’t get over people who assume that everyone in the world that they meet is politically in sync with them.

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It Couldn’t Have Been Any Better

 

Though perhaps little remembered today, the country music duo of Johnny Duncan and Janie Fricke were a staple of late 1970s and early 1980s country radio. It was then, as a kid growing up in the great West Texas city of El Paso, that I developed an appreciation for that particular musical genre which would never abate.

The ballads of Duncan and Fricke were often a bit on the seamy side, so I didn’t truly begin to understand what they were singing about until my teenage years, but when I did, I appreciated them even more.

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Hope and the Deep State

 

“Hope” by Aaron Zelman and L. Neil SmithI post reviews of every book I read here, but this post is about a novel I read fifteen years ago, Hope, by Aaron Zelman and L. Neil Smith, which, although I considered it a thriller bordering on fantasy when I read it in 2002, I now consider prophetic and highly relevant to events now playing out in the United States.

Alexander Hope, a wealthy businessman with no political experience, motivated by what he perceives as the inexorable decline of the U.S. into a land where individual liberty and initiative are smothered by an inexorably growing state, manages, defying all of the pundits and politicians, through a series of highly improbable events, to end up elected president of the U.S., riding a popular wave of enthusiasm he generates in large rallies where he tells crowds things they’ve never heard before from the lips of politicians of the Locust and Quisling branches of the unified party of the ruling class, or from their mellifluous mouthpieces in the mainstream media. Crowds find themselves saying, “Wait—that makes sense!”, and the day after the election finds America with a president unlike any in its history.

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Trump’s Rashomon Press Conference

 

Donald Trump’s press conference Thursday was the worst political failure in presidential history. And the presser was the most deft performance by a President ever witnessed.

Wait … which of the above sentences is true? Depends who you ask. First, let’s look at the response of Trump’s detractors.

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