?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Greenland?

It's been in the news of late that Trump wanted to buy Greenland from Denmark. This suggestion has prompted a lot of hilarity. Most of the hilarity is not based on the merits of the deal. (There ARE some merits - we have two military bases on Greenland for a reason.) The hilarity comes from two reasons.

First, buying a large chunk of a country is something that should be given rather more thought than you would give to selecting a variety of pop from a vending machine. There is absolutely no evidence that this "deal" was given even that level of thought.

Second, the "deal" was announced via Twitter on Monday. Today the Republicans are selling t-shirts with Greenland shown as part of the USA. It gives the impression that we should be glad Trump doesn't come out against deodorant or bathing, lest the stench in our public places grow too much.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/730709.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

Thoughts on a Monday

Various thoughts on a Monday.

Thought #1

I was with my Rotary club working both the National Night Out event and a festival in Darien. I was struck by some of the outfits people wore to the various events.

Thought #2

Via my LinkedIn feed, I found this site: Google Project Sunroof. It allows you to put in your street address and get an estimate of whether or not solar power panels on your roof would save you money or not. For my address, the savings were substantial. I don't know how they were calculated so I don't know how accurate they were. I pass the link on for entertainment value.

Thought #3

Last week, ICE raided seven plants in Mississippi to arrest ~700 illegal immigrants. None of the managers were arrested. It is clear to me that ICE is being used to do what American businesses have done since the Revolution, namely keep wages low by bringing in new immigrants whenever the old immigrants start demanding a fair deal. The swamp is not being drained.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/730375.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Last weekend I went to see the new Quentin Tarantino movie "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood." Some of the trailers would give one the impression that the movie is about the Sharon Tate murders and the Manson "family." It's not - although both sets of people are in the movie.

The movie is about Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, a fading actor and his long-time stunt double. It's a long movie, frankly almost plotless. What plot there is revolves around Rick's struggles in a Hollywood that's getting out of the business of making Westerns and into more modern stuff.

Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robie (who has very few lines of dialog) is there largely for color. The Mansons are in the movie primarily to keep the audience interested. Really, the whole thing is Quentin trying to capture a time and a place.

I find my reaction to the movie confused. In many respects, it was like going to a museum to look at the old stuff. The fact that there was a plot (of sorts) going on was almost besides the point.

The closest the movie got to making any sort of point about much of anything was to highlight how random the Tate murder was. That's an interesting point, I guess, but how relevant it was to anything else I leave to others to decide.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/730194.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

Money!

I'm writing a historical fiction novel set in 1986. I had reason to wonder in the course of the novel how significant a lump sum of $50,000 would be to a college freshman. I found a web page which listed how much a US Navy officer would get paid in 1986 - the first full year of my active duty career.

I discovered that I would have made around $20,000 gross in 1986. Now I was far from rich, but I was quite comfortable as a new college graduate with than income level.

My Twitter feed, ironically, also blew up with links to this site - menus (with prices!) by year.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/729856.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

I was wrong

The other day I stated that my place of employment was offering discounts on pop if you used a debit or credit card. They are offering discounts, but the reason isn't because it's cheaper to use a card. The reason is they want people to test their new contactless debit card and this is the incentive.

Every once in a while I make a mistake.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/729690.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

I appear to have been Microsofted.

I use Outlook 365 personal edition for my personal email via Comcast. I use the IMAP protocol for this account, which means my PC does not delete email from the account, so I can see emails on my phone and PC. I HAD this account set up so that Comcast emails would go to my personal folders.

Well, early last week, my Outlook 365 stopped connecting to Comcast. On Saturday, I did some troubleshooting. Lo and behold, now Outlook 365 will not let you deliver mail to a personal folder, at least not from an IMAP email. Nope, you have to have a separate folder structure for that. Yes, there USED to be a way to make that happy, but the button to do it has disappeared.

The suggested workaround is to create a custom search folder which will aggregate all email from your various accounts. When I found that "suggestion" I was tired of playing reindeer games with email.

This is why I'm not fond of subscription-based software.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/729461.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Credit is Cheaper Than Cash

My place of work, like many places, has a pair of vending machines in the break room. They recently put credit / debit card readers on the machines in addition to the bill and coin feeds. I just today realized that if you use a credit card to buy something, it's cheaper. Like 85 cents for a pop with cash, 50 cents with card. I assume it's significantly cheaper for the vending company to not have to come out and empty the machine.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/729306.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

Racist is as racist does

I guess it must be said: demanding a black woman "go back to her country" is racist, full stop. This is of course in response to Trump's demand that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar goes back to Somalia. It's especially racist in that the "logic" is that she's trying to make America like Somalia.

She left Somalia when she was six. She came to America when she was 10. She became a US citizen at age 17. She's American, whether Trump likes it or not.

No, she's not married to her brother. She's been married twice - one man at a time - both times to men with the first name of Ahmed, which is as common as John is in English-speaking countries. One was a US citizen when they married, the other a British citizen. (He went back to Britain.)

In short, the only reason Trump is mad at Omar is that she's the wrong skin color, the wrong sex, and doesn't kiss his ass. Anybody who says otherwise is delusional.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/729042.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

Thoughts on Utah

I had occasion to visit the Salt Lake City area over the 4th of July weekend. Herewith, some random thoughts.
  1. The greater Salt Lake City area is very north-and-south. All of metro Salt Lake and thus the majority of people in the state are jammed into a strip of land around 10 to 15 miles wide between the lake and the Wasatch Mountains. The later are shockingly steep, in many places being barely less than cliffs. As a result, there is really one main north-south road, I-15. If things are flowing on that road, traffic is good. If not, well, you’re stuck.
  2. Utah has funny laws regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol. Before the law changed in 2009 most places serving alcohol were at least nominally “private clubs.” Now, as I understand it, Utah has three classes of places serving booze to the public., to wit: Bars. These are over-21 only places, and they allow you to actually see the booze like in a regular bar.  Restaurants. These can let in all ages, but you must order food and the drinks are brought out from a back room, even if they have a physical bar area.  Taverns. These can serve beer only. Many local microbreweries (of which the SLC area has a lot) have this class of license which means they only sell their beer.
  3. Utah is a desert. (Yeah, news flash.) Salt Lake City is a high desert (around 4,500 feet high) and so gets cold in winter. In summer, it gets hot (90s) but there’s so little humidity that if you can find some shade and/or a breeze it’s quite comfortable. At night, it tends to drop off pretty quickly, which again makes for comfortable evenings.
  4. I learned the high-low desert difference at the Natural History Museum of Utah, which I visited on Sunday. The museum was well worth the admission price. (https://nhmu.utah.edu/)
  5. Also while in Utah, I visited Temple Square, which is the heart of the Mormon Church and right in the middle of downtown Salt Lake City. It was a surprisingly small area, although pleasant enough. Architecturally, it’s just okay – the buildings are either uninspired copies of European church architecture or modern buildings. Having said that, when in Utah one does what Utahans do.
This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/728697.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Golden Spike and Gentiles

On my trip to Utah, I visited the Golden Spike National Historical Park in Promontory Utah. Promontory is the name for a bit of high ground just north and west of the Great Salt Lake. Back in 1869, it was picked as the site to link up the first Transcontinental Railroad, not because it had any intrinsic value, but because it was a handy spot on the map. So, on May 10, 1869, they held a ceremony to complete the railroad. Basically, by nightfall that day, everybody was gone and the place was just a stretch of railroad track in the middle of nowhere.

It's still in the middle of nowhere, except now there's a National Park with a rather spare visitor's center. If you go, you can see replica steam-powered locomotives roll down the tracks, and on weekends they reenact the ceremony. It's a nice way to spend a couple of hours.

Of note to the title is the closest town to Promontory, namely Corinne, Utah. The town was founded less than a month after the railroad was finished, and for a decade or so thereafter, it was the site of a serious attempt to create a second power structure (other than the Mormons) in what was then the Utah territory. The attempt failed, and the town eventually became a sleepy Mormon farm village.

As far as Promontory, in 1904, the Union Pacific built the Lucin Cutoff, a route that crossed over the Great Salt Lake near Ogden Utah, cutting over a hundred miles off of the route. As a result, the old tracks (except for a few miles that tied Corinne into Ogden) were abandoned. In WWII, the tracks themselves were pulled up and recycled for the war effort. It wasn't until the late 1950s that tracks came back when the site went into government hands.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/728340.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

In Congress, July 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Georgia

Button Gwinnett

Lyman Hall

George Walton



North Carolina

William Hooper

Joseph Hewes

John Penn



South Carolina

Edward Rutledge

Thomas Heyward, Jr.

Thomas Lynch, Jr.

Arthur Middleton



Massachusetts

John Hancock

Maryland

Samuel Chase

William Paca

Thomas Stone

Charles Carroll of Carrollton



Virginia

George Wythe

Richard Henry Lee

Thomas Jefferson

Benjamin Harrison

Thomas Nelson, Jr.

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Carter Braxton



Pennsylvania

Robert Morris

Benjamin Rush

Benjamin Franklin

John Morton

George Clymer

James Smith

George Taylor

James Wilson

George Ross

Delaware

Caesar Rodney

George Read

Thomas McKean



New York

William Floyd

Philip Livingston

Francis Lewis

Lewis Morris



New Jersey

Richard Stockton

John Witherspoon

Francis Hopkinson

John Hart

Abraham Clark



New Hampshire

Josiah Bartlett

William Whipple



Massachusetts

Samuel Adams

John Adams

Robert Treat Paine

Elbridge Gerry



Rhode Island

Stephen Hopkins

William Ellery



Connecticut

Roger Sherman

Samuel Huntington

William Williams

Oliver Wolcott



New Hampshire

Matthew Thornton

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/728147.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

American Concentration Camps

Yesterday, a group of US Congressmen forced their way into a border camp - actually a concentration camp - being used to hold immigrants awaiting asylum hearings. See the article here. Note that the inmates are not yet illegal - if they win their asylum cases they become legal.

The conditions inside were not as bad as concentration camps ran by Nazis. That's a low bar to be sure, but the conditions were by any reasonable standard appalling. It is inhumane that my taxes are being used to mistreat people and to pay others to do so.

In related news, a right-wing activist has busily posted lies about the Congressional visit. This despite the activist not being even in the same state as the visit. If you have to lie about the visit to distract from the treatment, you have a problem.

I am not in favor of people entering the US illegally, and I suspect many of the inmates at these camps are economic refugees, not human rights refugees. That does not excuse maltreatment. Human rights are for all humans, not just some.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/727826.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

Crooks, Flim-Flam Men and Foreign Despots

Over at Talking Points Memo, they have a nice run-down of the state of play between Jerry Falwell Jr., his pool boy, and Donald Trump. The article is short, but the gist of it is that it appears that:

1) Falwell and/or his wife got caught with their pants down (literally) by the pool boy.
2) Michael Cohen, Trump's Fixer of Pants Malfunctions, fixed the problem by arranging for Falwell, a humble Christian minister, to toss money at Pool Boy. (Remind me, since when do Christian ministers get personally rich?)

Then, suddenly, Falwell endorses Trump. Trump, a man who wouldn't know a Bible if it fell on his head. Suspicious, anybody? The whole thing looks like something out of a bad soap opera. The fact that people seem to want to follow Falwell is another example of the American Right following a flim-flam man.

So where do the foreign despots tie in? We keep wondering why Trump is so friendly with Putin. Marshall suspects that Putin has something on Trump. Given Trump's lack of shame, I doubt that.

No, I suspect Trump fancies himself as another Putin. In this case, Trump (via Cohen) appears to have done something Putin would do - use blackmail to get somebody (Falwell) to endorse him. And thus a group of people get doubly fleeced by a flim-flam man: first in donating to Falwell and then in voting for Trump.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/727700.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

SImple, Obvious and Wrong

There is a proposal floating around the US to forgive all student loans for college. Although attractive, this proposal is wrong-headed. And it's unfortunate for those that have taken on debt for college.

The real problem is not people being in debt to go to college. The real problem is the high cost of college, which is caused by two interrelated factors. First, states used to fund state universities by money appropriated from tax income. Now they mostly fund those universities via tuition. Second, student loans are easy to get and well-funding by the Federal government.

Thus, colleges have no incentive to keep the cost of education low. If they don't get it from the state, the students will pay. The taxpayers who don't have students in school have no incentive to insist on state money going to state universities. Private universities can use the sticker price of their programs as a prestige factor and a way to control admission. The only loser in this is the now-indebted student.

Forgiving student loans is a one-time benefit which will, at best, do nothing to fix the cost of higher education and at worst encourage price inflation. If we'll forgive debt once, maybe we'll do it again.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/727363.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Bomb,bomb, bomb, bomb Iran...

[with apologies to the late Senator John McCain]

Comes news overnight that the US had bombers in the air ready to bomb Iran when said bombers were called back by Trump. Wily Coyote, Super-Genius At Large, thinks this is proof of Trump's genius.

I think it's proof that our situation is fully FUBAR. Any normal leader would have carefully considered whether or not to respond militarily, and once that decision was made they would have executed it. If anybody needed additional proof that Trump was incompetent, here it is.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/727204.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

A Stopped Clock...

They say a stopped clock is right twice a day. In this case, the clock that's stopped is Wily E. Coyote, Super-Genius At Large, AKA Vox Day.

Comes news today that two oil tankers in the Persian Gulf were attacked. Both ships are afloat and all crew have been evacuated. This comes on the heels of an attack on four oil tankers in the Gulf a few weeks ago.

In the previous attack, the empty tankers were hit with small bombs placed at the waterline - attacks calculated for maximum visibility and minimum damage. The Saudis and the US were quick to blame Iran for that attack. They are blaming Iran for the latest attack as well.

Mr. Coyote is claiming these attacks are false flags. Although he blames a lot of bad things on false flag attacks, here I think he's right. Where he's wrong is that he's blaming either the US or Israel for the incidents.

Personally I think it's the Saudis. They are glad to fight Iran to the last American. I also think they've taken the measure of our President and found it small. That plus he's currently advised by John Bolton, a man who's never seem a war he didn't like, would suggest it would be easy to get the US to fight Iran.

Elections have consequences.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/726869.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

NASFIC schedule

Herewith is my tentative schedule for NASFIC AKA Spikecon, to be held in Layton Utah (Salt Lake City area) on July 3rd thru July 7th.

Thu Jul 4 7:00:pm
Everything Old Is New Again
Stratus 9

Not every hero has to be young and studly. Not every woman has to be sexy and slim. More books are appearing with characters who are middle aged or even old. What are the dangers in writing these personas? How do you appeal to the younger readers? How do you make life experience a part of solving your plot twists?


Fri Jul 5 3:15:pm
The Changing Face(s) of Space Opera
Meridian E

Space Opera is changing, becoming more inclusive and populated by ever-more-diverse characters. What tropes define space opera? How do you modify or subvert them and still remain in the subgenre? We'll discuss how writers align space opera stories with modern values and expectations while adhering to the spirit of the genre.


Fri Jul 5 7:00:pm
Down the Rabbit Hole
Meridian F

Stories where people are transported to other worlds, parallel dimensions, or into virtual realities are becoming popular again. What is the appeal of this genre? How is this classic of fantasy being made new again?

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/726723.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

Firejammer by Jeff Duntemann

I've been a fan of Jeff Duntemann for some years. I read his latest book Firejammer over the past two days. It's really good.

The story is told from the point of view of Vincent Icehall, shuttle pilot assigned to the Tripartisan Economic Combine's ship Richard M. Nixon. They are in the process of negotiating a trade deal with an "unconsolidated" alien race on a world with a really bad volcano problem. Unconsolidated races are ones in which the planet doesn't have one unified government, and our aliens are at roughly an Iron Age civilization. But they are biological chemical factories who eat rocks and excrete a really superior adhesive - something that the Nixon's crew can sell.

Icehall had made friends with one of the aliens in a previous visit, and he renews the friendship. Then, in an action-packed last third of the book, he discovers that these aliens are really different in a number of non-obvious ways. He also discovers that their world's volcano problem is much worse then thought.

Many science fiction readers also read mysteries, and I think they do so for the same reasons. In science fiction, the question isn't WhoDunIt but HowDoesTheWorldWork. Jeff creates a very interesting world with very interesting humans and aliens. Well worth the read.

(Oh, and the title has special significance which you won't get until you read the end.)

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/726347.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Winter Flower by Charles Sheehan-Miles

Charles Sheehan-Miles, America's most criminally-underappreciated writer, gave me an advanced reader's copy of his new novel Winter Flower. I've just finished it and am starting my PR blitz on it.

The novel is the story of the Roberts family. When the book opens, we see Cole Roberts working his butt off managing a Waffle House in rural Alabama. It's a huge comedown from his six-figure job in IT. This is something the author has had some personal experience. We learn quickly that Cole's daughter Brenna disappeared two years ago on the night of her 16th birthday. This triggered a series of events that put Cole on probation and broke and sees his wife drinking wine out of a bottle and their younger son Sam a picked-upon recluse. Then things get worse.

What Charles is very good at is taking ordinary people and throwing them into extraordinary circumstances. That's exactly what he does in Winter Flower. All of his characters are at one point or another in life-threatening situations. They have to deal with them without superpowers or Navy SEAL training. They also have very real and very human frailties and faults which sometimes cause them to make bad decisions. In fact, all four of the Roberts family has made at least one bad decision in the book. But they continue on and try to do the best that they can.

I found the ending of this book surprising and unexpected but very believable. This is also a book with two endings - there's the end of the life-threatening stuff and then a realistic ending dealing with the aftermath. This book is just really damn good!

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/726246.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

Infrastructure Week

A few weeks ago, the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate stated publicly that they were willing to meet with and work with President Trump to pass an infrastructure bill. IIRC, the figure $2 trillion in spending was bantered about. This is of course after Trump spent his campaign and the first two years of his term promising a bill to rebuild America was coming out Real Soon Now.

When the talk of the Democrats working with Trump on anything was floated, various pundits stated that giving Trump any sort of political "win" was dangerous. I always found this stance problematic, since we really do need to run the country.

Comes news this morning that Trump cancelled a meeting with Democratic leadership to make a speech in the Rose Garden. The gist of his speech was that Democrats need to choose between “investigation” or “investment”.

Color me unsurprised. Trump is simply not capable of making a deal. His idea of a "deal" is "you do whatever I want." Nor was this a spontaneous outburst - the podium had a sign with anti-Mueller verbiage on it that took at least a few hours to make. So much for "infrastructure week."

The bottom line is that there is no downside to trying to work with Trump on a deal for anything. He'll either get rolled or blow it up. Either way, it's all "good" for certain values of good.

This entry was originally posted at https://chris-gerrib.dreamwidth.org/725778.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Tags:

Comment Policy

This is the personal blog of Chris Gerrib, and all opinions expressed here are solely his own. Commenters are welcome; however please be polite to me and my other readers. I reserve the right to delete comments that are rude, inappropriate or otherwise objectionable at my sole discretion. The opinions expressed in a comment are not necessarily mine, and if I do not delete a comment that should not be construed as my agreement with the commenter.

Latest Month

August 2019
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Terri McAllister