California’s bullet train woes

Yet another thing gone wrong in the People’s Republic of California. 

Contractor’s Letter Says California Bullet Train Project Delays Are ‘Beyond Comprehension’

California won’t have a bullet train until (maybe) sometime in the 2030s. Unless you’re under the age of 30, wanna bet you won’t live long enough to ride on the Great California Bullet Train?

And costs are expected to skyrocket beyond the current price tag of $20.4 billion. 

Japan’s main bullet train, on the other hand, opened for service in 1964. That was less than 20 years after the nation’s WWII defeat.

But California is a Democratic Party-controlled state. Need we say more? And they wonder why we roll our eyes at the massive boondoggle that will be the Green New Deal. 

Bitcoin password woes

“Bitcoin has no company to provide or store passwords. The virtual currency’s creator, a shadowy figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto, has said Bitcoin’s central idea was to allow anyone in the world to open a digital bank account and hold the money in a way that no government could prevent or regulate.”

That’s great…until you lose your password. One more reason why I will probably never own Bitcoin. When the Biden crash comes, I’ll keep my last wad of cash in a shoebox under my bed.

Twitter wants an open Internet…in Uganda

I doubt there’s too much testosterone in the corporate offices of Twitter; but it would have taken a big brass pair—or incredible tone-deafness—for Twitter to tweet a message like this one:

“Ahead of the Ugandan election, we’re hearing reports that Internet service providers are being ordered to block social media and messaging apps. We strongly condemn internet shutdowns – they are hugely harmful, violate basic human rights and the principles of the #OpenInternet.”

The management of Twitter, it seems, is all about free political speech…so long as that speech happens to involve politics and Internet users outside the United States.

Or maybe Jack Dorsey is just trolling us…

Big Tech, unfree speech, the NYT’s ambivalence

“The Scary Power of the Companies That Finally Shut Trump Up”

Michelle Goldberg of the New York Times can’t quite bring herself to take the side of President Trump and recently silenced conservatives. But even a journalist at the New York Times can see that there’s something kerflooey about allowing a half-dozen tech companies to determine the bounds of free expression on the Internet.

The Democrats’ adoration of Stacey Abrams is totally not a cult

Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer posted this to Twitter last week, right before the most recent explosion of the world:

Just what you always wanted:  a Stacey Abrams prayer candle. 

You know, I could say a lot about this; but I think it’s best to just let this one stand on its own. 

Cuomo cries uncle

NY Gov. Cuomo’s tone shifts after months of coronavirus lockdowns

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has discovered economic reality, as he made an inevitable shift in policy today:

“We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass. The cost is too high. We will have nothing left to open. We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely.”

I’ve been wearing a mask in public since early April. I don’t mind, if it will enable restaurants, gyms, retail stores, and other businesses to remain open.

That’s the commonsense approach. But Democrats, who seem to believe that money grows on trees (or inside the printing press), always want to shut everything down. Pure magical thinking. 

No state, no nation, can preserve its healthcare system while simultaneously destroying its economy. The healthcare system ultimately depends on the economy. Well, duh. But that’s a profound revelation to Democratic governors like Cuomo and Whitmer. 

As someone once said, “The cure cannot be worse than the disease.” Well, duh, again. 

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**SAVE AT AMAZON on men’s running shoes**

Parler data breach

Every Deleted Parler Post, Many With Users’ Location Data, Has Been Archived

And yet one more reason why I don’t use social media to express myself. I’d sooner upload naked photos of myself to Edward Trimnell Books. (Don’t worry, I have no plans of doing that, either.)

It would appear that if you said anything inflammatory on Parler, you may have some problems down the road. But who knows?

A Twitter user who does not share the views of the typical Parler user apparently infiltrated the platform some time ago, and began archiving raw posts.

The Twitter user, @donk_enby, wishes to remain anonymous. Irony of ironies.

In practical terms, there is no guarantee of privacy on the Internet, and especially not on social media. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about sex…or politics.  Never assume that anything you type, view, or upload to the Internet cannot be found by someone, somewhere.

It is simply a question of: does someone out there with a lot of time on their hands have a motivation to go after you?

Forbes isn’t ready to move on

Poor, befuddled Joe Biden might be ready to move on from the turmoil of the 2020 election and its aftermath. But Democrats in Congress are another story.

So, too, the mainstream media.

In an editorial entitled, “A Truth Reckoning: Why We’re Holding Those Who Lied For Trump Accountable”, Randall Lane, Chief content officer of Forbes, implies that a post-Trump witch hunt should be the order of the day. This should start with—but not necessarily be limited to—those who worked in media-facing roles in the Trump administration.

You can read the whole thing, but here’s a sample: Lane depicts innocent, truth-seeking journalists (like the perma-smirking Jim Acosta of CNN, perhaps?) being out-maneuvered by the sinister femme fatale, Kayleigh McEnany:

“And finally, Kayleigh McEnany, Harvard Law graduate, a propaganda prodigy at 32 who makes smiling falsehood an art form. All of this magnified by journalists too often following an old playbook ill-prepared for an Orwellian communication era.”

In an interesting Freudian slip, Lane concludes by insisting that, “This isn’t cancel culture.” Lol.

Trump’s allies abandoning him

From POLITICO: Trump allies warn him not to run in 2024. 

“Weeks ago, he seemed like the clear frontrunner. Now, Republicans blame him for inciting riots at the Capitol and his 2024 prospects are in doubt.”

Donald Trump did not lead the siege of the US Capitol. Nor did he explicitly tell anyone else to undertake the action.

As dramatic as the event seems now, the Capitol Hill siege of January 6, 2021 is unlikely to be first and foremost in many minds three years from now.

I do, however, believe that between now and 2024, a new standard-bearer will emerge for Republicans and conservatives.

Hopefully an unconventional, straight-talking Republican with less personal baggage, and a temperament better suited to high office. Someone like Tom Cotton, perhaps.

Every politician has his or her moment, and for every politician that moment passes. Even for Donald Trump.

Twitter was already dying two years ago

After this week’s censorship brouhaha, many conservatives and moderates are abandoning Twitter in droves.

The great Twitter outflow isn’t new, however. Twitter has been a toxic cesspool for years. Both users and advertisers have taken note.

See this noteworthy article from The Verge, February 2019: Twitter keeps losing monthly users, so it’s going to stop sharing how many

What I’m reading: ‘The Father’s Tale’ by Michael O’Brien

I discovered Canadian author Michael O’Brien about a decade ago, when a relative insisted that I read Island of the World, O’Brien’s novel about one man’s resistance to Communist rule in the former Yugoslavia. I read Island of the World in like, three days, even though the book is over 800 pages long.

I was therefore willing to take on The Father’s Tale. This is the story of a reclusive Canadian widower who travels to post-Soviet Russia in order to search for his son. The college-aged youth has fallen under the influence of a dangerous cult. 

The Father’s Tale, at 1,208 pages, is even longer than Island of the World. It is also a somewhat slower read. One could furthermore make the case that O’Brien tried to cram too much plot into a single book here. Although the central character runs throughout, there are arguably multiple books within The Father’s Tale. If O’Brien were an indie author, he would have doubtless written The Father’s Tale as a series. The story is that big.

This isn’t a quick read, then. But most Michael O’Brien fans aren’t looking for quick reads, anyway. The story is engaging, and O’Brien uses the novel to take a very deep dive into Russian culture—especially the Russia of the turn of the twenty-first century, the time period when this book is set. 

**Preview: The Father’s Tale: A Novel on Amazon***

Twitter’s loss, Parler’s gain?

Twitter has permanently suspended President Trump, while “woke” Amazon employees are demanding that the online retailer purge Parler from Amazon Web Services.

(The group is called “Amazon Employees for Climate Justice”. I’m sure they’re not leftwing radicals, or anything.)

Meanwhile, though, Parler is welcoming an influx of ex-Twitter users who somehow don’t think that Jack Dorsey should decide the range of acceptable speech on the Internet. Make of that what you will.

A bad week for Mike Pence

After disappointing Trump supporters this week, Mike Pence has now been targeted by the radical left. “Hang Mike Pence” is trending on Twitter.

In our current political environment, the space in the middle is definitely becoming smaller and smaller. That said, there is no appeasing the “woke” mafia on Twitter. Best not to try.