Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Voyage Out

Chapters 6 through 8.

What a fine writer she is.

And this is her first.


I am reminded by the ignorance of women depicted in this novel that during the Victorian Era there were more prostitutes in London per capita than at any time before or since.

That makes perfect sense.

That was a time, above all others, when men had to appreciate that, if you wanted something important done right, you could not rely on an amateur, no matter how inspired.

You had to go to a professional.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A full load of rich Australian Ballocks

Barnaby Joyce, Australian Politician at Center of Sex Scandal, Defies Pressure to Quit

Joyce is married and has a daughter.

He also has a former subordinate who is his mistress, pregnant by him.


But it looks like this is all really about parties jockeying for power within the ruling coalition.

FBI missed a step on Nikolas Cruz

F.B.I. Was Warned of Florida Suspect’s Desire to Kill but Did Not Act

The F.B.I. failed to act on a tip in January from a person close to Nikolas Cruz warning that he owned a gun and might conduct a school shooting, the bureau acknowledged on Friday, in its first admission that it might have been able to prevent the deadly attack at a Florida high school.

The tipster said Mr. Cruz had a “desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts” and advised the F.B.I. of “the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” the agency said in a statement.

The information should have been assessed and forwarded to the Miami F.B.I. field office, the agency said.

“We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received,” the agency said. 

“The information was not provided to the F.B.I. Miami field office, and no further investigation was conducted at that time.”

Not a hint anywhere what they could have done to prevent the shooting, anyway, had they followed through.

Mueller's grand jury indicts named Russians and Russian organizations

Fake news, huh?

13 Russians indicted for meddling in the 2016 presidentials

The special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election charged 13 Russian nationals and three Russian organizations on Friday with illegally using social media platforms to sow political discord, including actions that supported the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump and disparaged his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

The indictment represents the first charges by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, for meddling in the 2016 presidential election — the fundamental crime that he was assigned to investigate.

In a 37-page indictment filed in United States District Court, Mr. Mueller said that the 13 individuals have conspired since 2014 to violate laws that prohibit foreigners from spending money to influence federal elections in the United States.

The indictment charges that the foreigners falsely posed as American citizens, stole identities and otherwise engaged in fraud and deceit in an effort to influence the U.S. political process, including the 2016 presidential race.

Not really to the point, is it?

Liberal media heap red hot coals of blame on the National Rifle Association, and urge voters to "defeat the NRA at the polls."

But the NRA is not a party and fields no candidates, no more than the Sierra Club or the NAACP.

What voters need to do is defeat the Republican Party at the polls, and the liberal media need to make damn sure voters understand that.

Liberal media need to be publicly and vociferously blaming the Republican Party.

They need to yell as loud as they can.

You want more and better gun control?

Vote for Democrats.

You want less gun control?

Vote for Republicans.

The N.R.A. Can Be Beat

The Voyage Out

A fine book, so far.

Wonderful storm at sea at the start of chapter 5.

The rest of the chapter is both more surprising and very different.

Richard Dalloway's kiss!

Virginia Woolf.

So far, numerous books have been alluded to, mostly literature, but some philosophy and some history.

Nothing else.

Homework: write an essay on that.

Chapter 6.

Helen could hardly restrain herself from saying out loud what she thought of a man who brought up his daughters so that at the age of twenty four she scarcely knew that men desired women and was terrified by a kiss.

She had good reason to think that Rachel had made herself incredibly ridiculous.


Sexual harassment?

But she is faulting Rachel and blaming her father.

(The mother is dead.)

Consider Helen's attitude as expressed in the early pages of this chapter.

Write an essay on that.

Men are more aggressive than women, not only sexually but in general.

I say more aggressive, not more assertive, and I know the difference.

Because their souls are more aggressive, or because their bodies are better machines of aggression - so to speak?

Is it about testosterone, or just muscles and body mass?

Anyway, Rachel's immediate reaction is hilarious, though certainly not intended to be that by Woolf.
So far as it is anger at men, that is, for the circumscription of her life intended, and much overdone, by her parents and adult relatives, to protect her from men.

But then VW does, in the end, find herself safe only in a lesbian relationship.

And her friendships are more comfortable with gay men.


Rachel has no idea of work or bourgeois ambition.

Consider her view of her own father.

Is that VW's own ignorance, her own view?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

PA district maps

Governor Wolf has rejected the Republicans' half-assed plan for new districts to be drawn next year, by the legislature they control, to go into force for 2020.

The PA supremes condemned the current map as unconstitutional some weeks ago under the state constitution and demanded a new map by this week.

The court warned that if a new map that did not violate the constitution, to be used beginning with 2018, was not submitted in time the court would impose it's own map.

That leaves the new map, to be used in 2018, to be drawn by the PA supreme court, itself.

The PA Republican leaders say they will oppose that as a violation of the separation of powers.


Netflix has the Australian series by that name.

Wildly funny.

Much, much better than the American series.

About those AR-15s

In Florida, an AR-15 Is Easier to Buy Than a Handgun

The N.R.A. calls the AR-15 the most popular rifle in America. 

The carnage in Florida on Wednesday that left at least 17 dead seemed to confirm that the rifle and its variants have also become the weapon of choice for mass killers.

It is not hard to see why. 

Originally designed for troops to kill enemy fighters, the weapon became the military’s M16 and the shorter M4 carbine.

It was easily adapted for civilian use, with one major difference: Military versions can fire fully automatically — or in bursts of several shots — by depressing the trigger once. 

The civilian semiautomatic version requires a pull of the trigger for each shot.

But other features that make the AR-15 so deadly on the battlefield remain. 

It is light, easy to hold and easy to fire, with a limited recoil. 

Bullets fly out of the muzzle more than twice as fast as most handgun rounds.

Equally important for a gunman looking to do a lot of damage in a hurry: AR-15-style weapons are fed with box magazines that can be swapped out quickly. 

The standard magazine holds 30 rounds. Equipped in this way, a gunman can fire more than a hundred rounds in minutes.

The man accused of the killings in Parkland had “countless magazines” for his AR-15, the local sheriff said.

And there is still one more reason the weapon is so popular in states like Florida: They are very easy to buy — and for a 19-year-old like Nikolas Cruz, the accused killer, far easier to obtain than a handgun.

While Florida has a three-day waiting period for handgun purchases, anyone without a felony record, domestic abuse conviction or a handful of other exceptions can walk into a gun store, wait a few minutes to clear a background check, and walk out with an AR-15-style rifle, magazines and ammunition.

Under federal law, you also must be 21 to buy a handgun from a firearms dealer. 

But 18-year-olds can buy semiautomatic rifles.

Precisely how Mr. Cruz came to possess the gun is not clear. 

But the authorities said the AR-15 rifle that Mr. Cruz used in the attack was purchased legally. 

Not really to the point, is it?

Sex among workmates, whether equals or not, is not the problem.

Heck, I married my boss after a joyful affair of several years that conflicted with company policy.


No More Sex Between Ministers and Staff, Australia’s Prime Minister Declares