Monday, August 3, 2015


     Good morning, Gentle Readers. Having just passed an unusually good weekend, I’m without sufficient bile to produce one of my customary tirades. So have a few...what does Thomas Sowell call them? Passing thoughts on the random scene? Something like that, anyway.

     The slow but steady downtrend in the dollar prices of the precious metals has a number of folks in a tizzy. Is this the start of the long-awaited catastrophic deflation? they ask one another and me. I suppose it might be, but as long as national governments continue to acquire gold and silver, I intend to do so as well. After all, the dollar and its competitor currencies are controlled by those governments. Their masters know better than I, or any other private individual, where value is most reliably stored.

     It comes as no surprise to me that the U.S. Navy is considering levying charges against Lieutenant-Commander Timothy White for daring to fire his personal sidearm at the gunman who killed four of his fellow servicemen:

     We can’t have such untrained, irresponsible types using firearms in such a dangerous manner, now can we? Some innocent Muslim terrorist might get hurt!

     (Cf. Nidal Malik Hasan and “workplace violence.”)

     I’ve received a couple of emails requesting pictures of the Fortress of Crankitude’s newest cats. Accordingly, here’s Chloe:

     ...and here’s Zoe:

     After all, the whole point of the World Wide Web is the circulation of cute pictures and videos of cats, isn’t it? Why else would we value broadband access so greatly?

     Donald Trump’s campaign for the Republican presidential nomination continues to lead both the field and the political news. I can’t see why anyone would find this so surprising. Haven’t we been hearing how disgusted Americans are with “insider” politicians for years now? Isn’t it rather likely that that distaste helped to fuel the rise of Barack Hussein Obama, a nonentity from nowhere? Besides, we’re a year away from the actual selection of a nominee. That gives the press plenty of time to choose our candidate for us.

     In that regard, I’d be unsurprised if the press were to assist Trump in gaining the GOP’s nod. Their function, as we all know well, is to select the Republican candidate least likely to defeat the anointed Democrat...and there’s no one more defeasible than King of the Crony Capitalists Donald “three wives, four bankruptcies, and lots of donations to Democrats” Trump.

     The Left often succeeds at telling people to ignore the evidence of its misdeeds. Indeed, on occasion a Leftist will tell you, quite baldly, that you don’t mean what you just said, and expect you to defer to his assessment of your convictions. A commenter at PJ Media tells us:

     Back in 2009 then chairman of the US Catholic Conference of Bishops, the late Francis Cardinal George, relayed the conversation he attempted to have with President Obama about abortion. It didn't get very far because Obama kept insisting he had no differences with Cardinal George on the issue of abortion. Cardinal George kept saying that wasn't true and Obama kept insisting they were in agreement.

     The injunction against the Center for Medical Progress is part of that pattern. A thousand verbal reports on Planned Parenthood’s obscenities pale before a single video of a PP staffer dickering over the sale of fetal organs...and that pales in comparison to the videos of a fetal dissection that we’ve already seen. Therefore, the Left must prevent the circulation of any further videos, leaving only verbal attestations to these horrors, which they can simply contradict as loudly and obscenely as possible.

     Say, has anyone bothered to obtain Sandra Fluke’s opinion of the Planned Parenthood videos? She is America’s foremost expert on contraception, after all. And isn’t infanticide really just a form of post hoc contraception?

     “You have to be a little crazy to go into show biz,” as a character of mine once said. And when we reflect on the personal proclivities of such Hollywood luminaries as Tom Cruise and Angeline Jolie, there does seem to be adequate evidence to support her contention. Yet some of these marginal lunatics are also skilled entertainers. Cruise, whose off-the-silver-screen antics are the stuff of legend, continues to make exciting movies that draw large crowds. The most recent Mission: Impossible flick is one such...and the 53-year-old actor continues to do many of the stunts himself, which is something for us aged types to ponder over our Cheerios® and Geritol.®

     I’m pleased that there’s been no aversion to the “Quickies” pieces I’ve been producing. Now that I have the time to stay more or less on top of developments, I’m frequently struck by some passing news item that stimulates one such. It provides a pleasant sort of punctuation to a writer’s life.

     Twitter is often the source of such seeds. Yes, I’m on Twitter: @fporretto, for what it’s worth.

     As for the new “thin” Oreos, I’m unimpressed. They’re only seven calories less than a standard Oreo, you can’t twist ‘em apart, and they don’t soften in milk. What’s the point?

     Being a retired engineer, I can’t help but be sad about the untimely demise of the “hitchhiking robot.” The experiment was inherently interesting, and the robot struck me as more amiable than about three quarters of the people I routinely encounter. The story of its fatal battery puts me in mind of a fake news squib I read some years ago, about a gorilla that escaped from the Bronx Zoo only to be beaten to death by muggers. Having at one time lived in the Bronx, I had to double-check that piece to see if it was truly a satire. I doubt persons familiar with the City of Brotherly Violence – and you know who the “brothers” are, don’t you, Gentle Reader? – would doubt the linked story for an instant.

     And with that, it’s back to agonizing over Statesman. Till soon, Gentle Reader.


Backwoods Engineer said...

I for one like the "Quickies" format. And I'm looking forward to Statesman too.

JoeFromSidney said...

Interesting coincidence. My cats are also named Chloe and Zoe. However, they're black and gray striped, not black. Very affectionate. Every morning they sit on my lap while I drink coffee and read the newspaper.

Grandpa said...

Double stuff Oreos and milk. The morning / afternoon choice for me. Not to replace the evening choice of Fig Newtons and bourbon, and reading Poretto. And don't get me started on Jack Daniels and ginger ale (has to be Vernors or Red Rock)