Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Trump Speech To Congress

Trump has a higher ceiling for being President than Hillary, Obama, or Bush.

He also has a lower floor.

How much do you like risk?

I like what he said today. How's he gonna pay for it?
Take Risks

A review of Tyler Cowen's new book: The Complacent Class.

As the old skiing saying goes, "if you aren't falling, then you aren't skiing hard enough."

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Oscars

The mistake over Best Picture made the Oscars worth watching.

Reading Deadline or other news outlets made it seem like this was some sort of disaster. Are you kidding? This was the best thing to happen to the Oscars in 10 years. It somehow made a dying event seem alive again.

I mean, if they got the best picture right, there would be silence today about the Oscars. Why? Because no one fucking saw Moonlight. You couldn't pay joe-average to see the film. The material and subject matter is challenging to begin with, but couple it with the cinematic and storytelling style -- this was not a very pleasing or accessible movie. Its victory is a further reflection of how movies no longer occupy a central role in the culture. Will the Oscars going the way of the National Book Award?

An aside - important for future Oscar pool picks -- has the Academy "diversification" project now made black movies the new holocaust movie? In the old days, if one had any doubt about a category in a pool, the safest, most reliable pick was the holocaust film. Is that day now over? Gamblers - adjust.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Is Bill Maher Next?

Explain why Maher shouldn't be fired based on his old defense of pedophilia?

Similar content to Milo. Similar long distance past to Trump's locker room talk. Difference?

Maher is a card carrying liberal.
The Milo Thing

I like the guy. He's a provocateur who to my mind, provokes the people most in need of it. I don't see a significant moral distinction between the awful things he says vs. say, Tarantino's casual racism or any gangster rapper boasting of murder (although I suppose those are art vs Milo's political speech -- but again, I don't see the distinction). I get that he's not mainstream. But I also get the thing he's saying about the gay community -- it's well know many gay guys first sexual experiences happen with older men. Is this abuse? Maybe. Or, maybe, like with most matters of sex, it's complicated. But if it's abuse, I wonder why there isn't more attention paid to the gay guys actually participating in this type of thing (cough, cough, Bryan Singer) versus the guy who's willing to talk about it.

The whole thing is a hit job designed to take down a mouthy guy. And it's the take down culture I don't like. There's an assault on free speech and free thinking individualism in this country being wage on multiple non-governmental fronts. People want consensus and corporate thinking and I personally hate it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


TV: The Missing S. 2

Final two episodes were terrific, I though. I loved the final scene. Julian Baptiste - one of the greatest TV show characters of all time.

Film: In A Lonely Place

Forgot I had seen the movie before. That about sums it up. Long on character, short on plotting. I prefer my noir with better story.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

How Russia Fights

An insightful article on how the Russians use minimal resources to achieve their political goals.

My instinct is the Russians get the middle sized strategic picture right. They do a lot with a little. They punch outside their weight class. They are capable of strategic brilliance. But ultimately, they have a weak hand with a sensitive economy, too much wealth concentrated in too few (and corrupt) hands.

But they are patient and will stick around and wait for others to fuck up and take advantage.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


TV: The Missing S. 2

I really like the show. But serialized mysteries are a problematic genre in that the genre demands always end up stretching credulity. It's really hard to deliver on whatever is promised in the mystery. The twist at the end of episode 2 made me feel like that's where we're headed. That said, I freaking love Baptiste. Maybe my favorite character on television in the last few years.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


TV: This is Us and Easy

Neither show is for me. One thing I like about This Is Us is the freedom with which they move through time. But the tone is crushing. The overwrought emotion makes me want to puke.

Easy. I'm not even sure what the show is. Is every episode different? It's sort of like watching a bunch a short films about love, I guess. Too much liberal-hoo-ha. Felt very grown up college-student problem-ish. Marriage has sexual problems because woman makes more money than guy. Lesbian starts to change herself because of new girlfriend. This kind of thing. Very familiar. Maybe it's just I prefer more diversity in my viewing.
Good Analysis

Of serialized television.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Better Late Than Never

From Instapundit, ISIS on the ropes and has too many problems to deal with at once.

I sure as hell hope we can deliver a lasting defeat.
I Could See This Happening To Me

A college RA loses her job because she likes to play devil's advocate and doesn't promote social justice enough.

Unsurprisingly (and apparently, irrevelently):
“Justine’s residents love her,” her review noted. “She has been able to connect with many of her residents on a personal level.”

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

If You're Worried About Nazis

I'd look left rather than right.

Shutting down a Milo Yiannopoulos talk in Berkeley using violence. This is fascism.

Reviewing immigration policies may be a contentious policy decision, but fascism it is not.

At least recognize it.
Pretty Good Take

On the immigration stuff this weekend by Ross Douthat.

I'd be more supportive of Trump if he could do a better job of selling his ideas (which aren't all terrible) to those who haven't bought in. Instead, he seems intent on poking the bear. While I applaud poking the bear occasionally, now seems the time to govern and actually get things done. He could do a much better job selling the immigration policies by not being so sloppy and bombastic. He isn't running for office anymore. And he should remember he barely won.