Running for Office is Making a Promise to Serve Out Your Term


Imagine you buy a book. The cover and blurb offer an interesting story. You buy the book and really enjoy it. However, two-thirds of the way through, you find the story just ends and the rest of the pages are blank. You would feel cheated. You bought a book with the inherent promise the book would be complete. It is the minimum expectation, really.

When I agreed to run for President of my professional organization, the LPCA of GA, I was told it was a three-year commitment. I am coming to the end of that this June. The inherent promise to the organization and its members whose votes I solicited was that I would serve the three years. The President before me almost died during her first year. She ended up serving all three years. While my terms have not been that bad, I have paid a price to do this. I pay it gladly, but it is still there.

Relaxing at the Ricochet bar


Since so many of my posts generate discussions of alcohol rather than discussions of the actual topic (This is not my fault – it’s Barfly’s fault), I figured I’d just start a discussion of everyone’s preferred libations.

While I occasionally appreciate a good bourbon, tonight I’m enjoying an absolutely wonderful, refreshing beer.  Bourbon Barrel Imperial Milk Stout.  Smooth, chocolatey, and yummy.  At bit pricey ($14 per four pack – yikes).  But at 12% alcohol, you won’t be chugging 12 of these things anyway.

In the comments, feel free to discuss anything you like, except for the best bourbon, which is obviously Wellers.  Case closed.  $24 per bottle, and it’s the best bourbon I’ve ever tasted.  The best casks of this are used to make Whistle Pig, and the rest is sold as Wellers.  I’ve tried many bourbons that cost a lot more, but I’ve never tasted a bourbon as absolutely superb as Wellers.  Good luck finding it.  But if you do, buy it.  Trust me.

What Is The Plan of Newly-Arrived Illegal Immigrants?


Can some journalist please interview some of the recently arrived illegal immigrants — OK, I’ll accept it even if the journalist chooses to call them “migrants” or “newcomers” — what, exactly, did they think was going to happen once they illegally entered the United States? What was their specific plan?

In a hearing in which illegal immigrants were complaining about the quality and quantity of the goods and services that were being given to them at no charge to the immigrants, a New York City Councilwoman (a Republican, is that allowed in New York City?), asked some questions about what more the illegal immigrants expected. The councilwoman appears to be asking out of frustration that the city couldn’t do more. So her thinking seems to be, “The taxpayers should take care of whoever shows up. It’s tragic we can’t afford to. But it did cause me to wonder, what exactly do the immigrants think is going to happen when they arrive?” What is their plan? Do they really expect someone else to take care of their every need or want? And for how long? Do they have any concrete plans to become self-sustaining?

Sometimes an Eagle Hatches a Turkey


Over its existence the US Army Air Force and its successor, the US Air Force produced war-winning and spectacularly successful aircraft. Among them were the P-51, B-29, B-52, C-130, and F-15. Not all their aircraft were eagles. There were turkeys in the mix; even a few goose eggs.

Air Force Disappointments, Mistakes, and Failures: 1940-1990 by Kenneth P. Werrell, looks at the flip side of the coin. It examines not-so-great entries to the Air Force inventory. It includes missiles and electronics, too.

Some aircraft included in this collection are those you might expect to see. The YP-75 Eagle, a fighter produced from bits and pieces of other aircraft by automaker General Motors, set a benchmark for awful. So did the parasite fighter XF-85 Goblin. The nuclear-powered NB-36H takes a prize for the “what were they thinking?” award.

Kids these days…


As I discussed in a recent post, sometimes our adult children do things we’re not proud of.  It’s even more painful when you catch them in the act yourself.  So you can imagine my distress when I saw my beautiful little girl in a compromising position (see picture).  Ok, she’s 21 years old, and is normally a virtuous person of sound judgement.  And we all have the occasional lapse.  But you can imagine how upsetting it was for me to see her lifting the top layer of chocolates, which was still half full, so she could steal a chocolate from the bottom layer.

Me:  “What are you doing?!?”

Her:  “What?”

Saturday Night Classics — Never Gonna Let You Go


I wouldn’t have expected to choose this song for Saturday Night Classics, but what the heck. I actually stumbled on it at Rick Beato’s YouTube channel. He calls it “the most complex pop song of all time,” and his video analyzing it (see link below) is probably as good as or better than the song itself.

Quote of the Day – Freedom and Equality


Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free. – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Which matters more to you? Freedom or equality? For me it is freedom. I believe everyone should be allowed to rise to the level of their abilities. That makes sense (for me) since in a free society I am like a cork. I bob to the surface pretty quickly.

Making solutions impossible by using better tools


One of the points made by Chowderhead in his recent outstanding post (from which the picture of the lazy robot is shamelessly plagiarized) is that as computer processors and memory become cheaper and faster, the value of elegant and efficient programming is decreased.  Programmers use lots of inefficient loops and subroutines because they can – the computers are so good, they can run even big sloppy code and do it very quickly and precisely.  His point caught my eye, because I think this phenomenon is happening today in lots and lots of areas of modern life.

Rather than thinking of processing speed, think of money.  Imagine a problem.  Imagine how you would go about fixing that problem.  Then, imagine how you would fix that problem if you had unlimited money.  Fixing it with unlimited money would cost more, of course.  Why not?  Just like a programmer writing code for a really fast computer.  Who cares, right?  But my point is that the fix with unlimited money will probably not be better than the fix with a tight budget.  In fact, it’s likely to be worse, in much the same way as unlimited processing power leading to sloppy programming.

In my field, many believe that they can match the quality of care provided by a brilliant physician, simply with a nurse practitioner and a CT machine.  And it’s true to certain degree – even if the NP lacks experience and talent, if she has enough high-tech diagnostic tools available, she can pick up pneumonias, etc that she might have missed otherwise.  But there are problems with this approach.

Open Letter to Congressional Democrats


Dear Rep. Bonamici and Congressional Democrats:

I was recently made aware that the ratio of calls to Congressional Democrats’ offices have been running 6 to 1 in favor of Hamas and Iran over Israel. I thought I’d take a moment to share why that is.

We know this podcast is met with great anticipation and we want to assure you that while the packaging may change from week to week, it comes to you with the same great taste!

Fancy that.

Borders and Collateral Damage


Borders and Collateral Damage

As an American expatriate living in Seoul, I’m taking a great interest in my homeland’s border crisis. After all, as I’m typing this piece, I’m sitting only 35 miles (50 km) from the DMZ with North Korea and its growing arsenal of nuclear weapons. Not to mention the estimated 4000 or so artillery pieces the North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un has pointed at the South Korean capital, the inhabitants of which include my wife and myself.

Man Sets Himself On Fire Near Trump Trial Court


I don’t know if I can convey how much this sickens me, or how much it makes me want to puke (headline is here).

Thirty-five years ago, one of my co-workers did just this in a Philadelphia park. He was a dear man and a competent employee, someone who’d ended up reporting to me after an acquisition by my own hospital of another hospital on the other side of the state.  Someone whose story I knew parts of, but whose struggles I didn’t fully comprehend.

My (much despised, but that’s a different story) boss called me out of the blue one morning and said, “Did you hear what happened to P- L- yesterday?”

My Prayer


@susanquinn had perfect timing for me with her post, “Slip Slidin’ Away” on the Main feed. (If you see a post by Susan, stop scrolling and read it. Trust me on this.)

The day of the eclipse, I was at an event I helped organize, where families were viewing the Sun as much as we could through an overcast made of cement, building STEM kits, and driving Mars rovers through an apple orchard. I was giving out rockets I made from parts left over from the days when Pratt Hobbies sold rocket kits to schools and scout groups. Everyone was having a great time, and everything I posted on social media concentrated on the good stuff that was going on (except for that damn cloud cover). What I didn’t say was that I had to leave halfway through the day. My back just couldn’t take it. I had to go home and lie down.

We’ll have Manhattan, The D.A. and a jury, too…

And so we begin with apologies to Rodgers and Hart as our intrepid founders find themselves in the Big Apple together just as Donald Trump’s criminal trial in the Stormy Daniels hush money case seats its jury. To that end we bring on National Review’s Andy McCarthy, who just this week the former president called “a great legal scholar” to opine on whether Trump can get a fair hearing in front of this judge – and this jury – in this town.

Churchill’s Marlborough I: Genes Matter


Book number 18 of 2024

The older I get, the more I like nonfiction, especially history. One of my favorite historians is Winston Churchill. The first thing I read of his was A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, which I enjoyed so much that I next read his The Second World War, then The World Crisis his account of the First World War. It’s fascinating to read history that is written by a major actor in it. It doesn’t hurt that Churchill is a terrific writer with a wicked sense of humor. I’m not the only one to recognize his talent – he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

The Ancient Art of Troll


Do I own my own possessions and raise my own children, or are they somehow re-assignable for The Greater Good? A society cannot, for long, believe both of these things without tearing itself apart. In America today, mall riots and schools promoting gender surgery are showing just how incompatible these different belief systems are.

Those who hold that private property is sacrosanct are appalled by the “You Didn’t Build That” attitude of progressive liberals. We cannot accept anything they have to say on the subject.

Slip Slidin’ Away


Lately I’ve been in a bit of a snit, and anyone would have to admit I have good reason for my crankiness: the attacks in Gaza and by Iran on Israel, the fecklessness of our legislature, a president who is frightening in his ineptness and cluelessness. Those are enough “nesses” to put anyone in a bad mood. And yet, I usually manage to pull myself out of my annoyance by remembering how much I have to be grateful for.

It wasn’t working this time.

This week Dennis is casting a very wide net and reeling in stuff that… well, stinks like dead fish. From jury selection in the Trump criminal trial in NY to the new CEO of National Public Radio to the SCOTUS arguments on the J6 convictions to the foreign policy of the Biden Administration… it all smells to high heaven.

And we’re taking a deep dive into the mess Biden is making of the Middle East with Richard Goldberg, who served as the Director for Countering Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction for the White House National Security Council under President Donald Trump.

Students Forced to Address Their White Privilege


A health sciences program offered at Ohio State University requires those who sign up for the course to take part in an array of discussions and assignments about gender and race, including one that asks students to address their privileges if they are White, heterosexual or able-bodied.

One such required class assignment, which was outlined in the FOIA-obtained documents related to the course, is titled “Unpack the Invisible Knapsack” and asks students to complete a series of “activities” about their “privilege.”

Whither Our Duty-Free Morality


When the young emperor Caligula had recovered from a seemingly near-death paralyzing illness (status epilepticus ?) he summoned a man who was among those who had publicly offered their own lives to the gods to spare the young (then very popular) emperor.

The fellow assumed he would be honored and rewarded for his gesture.  Instead, Caligula was angry that this fellow had not ended his life.  It was as if he did not really want his emperor to live and even risked divine wrath upon the emperor himself for breaching his bargain with the gods.   An assisted suicide ensued.  And it became clear to all that Caligula was indeed [redacted] crazy.

What to make of the astounding, worldwide coalition shifts we’ve seen over the last decade? There are few better to pose the question to than Ruy Teixiera. He and Henry dive into the Democratic Party’s abandonment of the white working class and the Republican Party’s clumsy attempt to win them over.

Plus, Henry takes a look at a well-made ad from the Lauren Boebert team

Journalistic Ethics (Part I)


Note: This post was prompted by fellow member @bryangstephens, with whom I have had an on-going discussion spread over a vast number of unrelated threads concerning the nature of the press, the First Amendment and their role in American politics. 

Between the Civil War and the Great Depression, virtually every decent-sized American city had at least two newspapers. In addition to the popular press, many communities also had papers of ethnic or racial focus. Some of those papers, such as the Pittsburgh Courier, became influential outside of their areas of ownership and became important voices nationally. The Courier’s Wendell Smith was instrumental in helping Branch Rickey break baseball’s color barrier with the elevation of Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers.