A Note to Readers

When I make a serious mistake in something I’ve written here — which happens often — and I notice it — which happens less often — I try to fix the post. But that doesn’t generate a new email for those who get posts that way. So if you see something badly wrong in an emailed post it’s may be corrected on the blog (although, as in most things, there’s no guarantee).

Thus, today, this went out:

Maybe [Biden] actually believes it’s just those extreme MAGA Republicans we have to worry about, not the 5% or so who actually respect democracy and the rule of law.

It now says:

Maybe he actually believes it’s just those extreme MAGA Republicans we have to worry about, not the average ones who are lukewarm on democracy and the rule of law.

Please pardon this interruption in your daily affairs.

Changing Course

After talking with someone about the constant stream of bad news assaulting us every day, I decided to do something different with this blog. I’m going to try to post about more positive topics. Given how things are, this will probably mean I’ll have less to say.

The same phenomenon is visible in a political newsletter I get. The section called “Is That Hope?” — which features encouraging news — is always the smallest by far.

My posting less shouldn’t be much of a loss, however, since there is too much to read on the internet anyway (as well as in out of the way places like “books”).

But there’s one qualification: I intend to insert something like the following in every post, as a reminder and because silence might be seen as acquiescence:

The American president is a disaster. He is almost certainly doing something horrendous right now. That’s why we should vote him and every other Republican out of office in November. If you’re willing and able to support Democratic candidates in addition to voting for them, please do.

For example, I might point out that Gary Larson, the cartoonist responsible for The Far Side, has a site now. It features a few of his old cartoons every day (and it’s free). They had one of my favorites yesterday:

Untitled

And by the way, the American president is a disaster. He is almost certainly doing something horrendous right now. That’s why we should vote him and every other Republican out of office in November. If you’re willing and able to support Democratic candidates in addition to voting for them, please do. 

An Ingenious Device for Avoiding Thought

Not having come close to saving the world (since 2012) and finding that, in recent years, this blog has mainly dealt with things I’ve read, I’ve decided to stop posting here, maybe temporarily, maybe permanently.

Instead, I’ll continue to update a blog I’ve had since 2010 called “An Ingenious Device for Avoiding Thought”. Up to now, it’s consisted of brief comments on books I’ve read. I might as well use that blog to discuss other things as well, including other things I’ve read, instead of discussing them here.

Thus, I might discuss these recent articles over there: 

“Scientists Identify Four Personality Types: Sophisticated Psychological Algorithm Confirms That Some People Are Jerks” at The Washington Post

“The Ignorant Do Not Have a Right to an Audience” (on TV, in college lecture halls or elsewhere) at The New York Times

“Are We All ‘Harmless Torturers’ Now?” also at The New York Times

“Civility as a Reciprocal Public Virtue” at 3 Quarks Daily

“My Modest Proposal for Solving the ‘Meaning of Life Problem’ — and Reducing Global Conflict” at Scientific American.

I could discuss them over there, but probably won’t.

If you’re interested in following An Ingenious Device, or just want to give it a look, please click here.

Only Some Professional Writers Are Professional

Of course, I’m not one of them, if only because I’m not getting paid. You might see an occasional advertisement on this blog (I never do – they just remind me that you guys might), but not a dime comes my way. In fact, I’m paying WordPress more than seven cents a day just to keep whereofonecanspeak.com reasonably operational. 

But back to my topic: If you can stand it, Fred Kaplan of Slate has an excellent little summary of the email situation: “The Hillary Email Scandal Was Totally Overblown”. The whole thing is here. The “top comment” says “this is the most level-headed piece I’ve read on the email ‘scandal'”.

To quote one little bit, this is Mr. Kaplan writing about Patrick Healy, the New York Times reporter who produced a “news analysis” article in the form of an attack ad that Trump can use if he ever runs out of insults:

And yet, here is New York Times political reporter Patrick Healy, in a front-page news analysis, paraphrasing Comey’s rebuke of the current presumptive Democratic candidate for president: The FBI director, Healy wrote, “basically just called her out for having committed one of the most irresponsible moves in the modern history of the State Department.” I defy anyone to pore through the most scathing passages of Comey’s remarks and find anything that remotely resembles this description.

Wow. I would have thought that Hillary using a private email server couldn’t possibly make the list of irresponsible Secretary of State “moves” that includes things like Colin Powell selling Bush’s invasion of Iraq. But I’m not a professional writer like Patrick Healy.

Fortunately, neither is Fred Kaplan.

Dog Days, Blog Days

“Dog days”: the hottest period of the year (reckoned in antiquity from the heliacal rising of Sirius, the Dog Star). Also, a period of inactivity or sluggishness.

It’s hot and sultry here, but summer is only a week old. The weather doesn’t explain why this blog has entered a period of inactivity or sluggishness. Yet it has.

Yet I don’t want to let it die.

Therefore, I’m going to try something different: fewer words from me and more words from others whose thoughts deserve to be shared.

Coming soon: “Whereof One Can Speak (or Quote)”.

PS: The heliacal rising of a constellation [or star] is when it comes from under the rays of the sun, and begins to appear before daylight.