Monthly Archives: December 2016

Category: Espresso

{Note: None of the videos themselves are especially interesting. They are chosen for the music.}

Category: Theater

Friend of Hit Coffee David Pinsen got a letter to the editor published in the Financial Times:

Sir, Lionel Barber accuses Donald Trump of “eliding the difference between traditional Muslims and radical Islamic terrorists” (“The year of the demagogue”, December 17). But in doing so, Mr Barber elides Mr Trump’s points about Muslim immigration: that western governments are unable to screen out radical Islamic terrorists from peaceable Muslim immigrants, and that peaceable Muslim immigrants sometimes beget radical Islamic terrorists. Events proved Mr Trump right in both cases.

If you don’t want to use your FT click, you can also read from a picture of the print edition.

Category: Espresso

We have four potties for Lain. We messed up with the first one and she became afraid of it. The second one she just didn’t take a liking to. The third and fourth are a model that she likes and for a while was the only one she would use. At some point, she decided that she liked the other ones after all. So we have four in use. And so goes around using each one like the dog marking her territory.

Category: Espresso

This is an argument I am actually becoming accustomed to seeing in IntraLeft-Twitter.

Category: Espresso

While visiting home, I’ve been listening to some good ole country music. One of the artists has been James McMurtry. One of the songs that came up is this one:

This song was written in 2005, as a protest with an eye on the re-election of George W Bush. There were many of its kind, though this one was particularly good. It focused a bit on blood overseas but mostly depression at home. The title, “We Can’t Make It Here” relates to manufacturing and a nation basically feeling underwater. As far as economics go, the song isn’t great as it decries both the low minimum wage and the fact that those jobs are being sent overseas. To Singapore, of all places, which to my knowledge is not exactly known for low wages (though, importantly, does rhyme in the appropriate place).

mcmurtryWhat’s noteworthy about the song is that if you listen to it in 2016, it’s orbits around being something of a Trump anthem. Not just a matter of manufacturing and the like, but the haunting apocalyptic feel of it. The jobs are being shipped overseas and the factories are closing, oh and drug abuse and crime while people try to cope, “high on Jesus or hooked up dope.” He was talking about much of the same America that Trump was. McMurtry mightbe horrified by the comparison, and perhaps rightly as their prescriptions for what ails us do not perfectly overlap. But that gets into the specifics, and neither Trump nor McMurtry are models of internal consistency and deliberate policy.

McMurtry himself was at least somewhat aware of the potential for his lyrics to come across the wrong way, as he throws in what Clancy and I call a “Not Racist!” verse, in reference to Singapore:

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in
Should I hate ?em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away

The view from Asia may be entirely different. Which is to say, you don’t hate them for taking the jobs, but hating that they have the jobs might still not go over super well. That’s not something Donald Trump has expressed particular concern about. And McMurtry sings about “Will I work for food, will I die for oil, Will kill for power and to us the spoils“… Trump has talked about the spoils of war, but without the air of disapproval. Though the slogan “America First” has a loaded history and a lot of baggage, I don’t consider the sentiment behind it – to an extent – beyond the pale. But it does run contrary to the one-worldism of the contemporary left, and explains the distance between McMurtrian discontent and the Democratic Party.

Category: Theater

This is the state flag of Louisiana:


It is not a good flag. Not the least of which because it does not even have the instantly recognizable symbol of Louisiana, the fleur de lis. Given that the fleur de lis represents French Louisiana and not the entirety of Louisiana, it’s forgivable that the flag is not just that, but stylistically that would be a nice looking flag. Better than the pelican, anyway. But it’s just the pelican. The state bird. Feeding its children. Heartwarming, I guess, but most states would kill for a symbol like the fleur de lis to put on their flag.

What’s really weird is that it’s not like Louisiana can’t do flags. New Orleans has a flag that’s okay. And Acadiana, a region of Louisiana, has a flag that is darn near perfect:


The kicker is that the Acadiana flag was designed before the state flag of Louisiana. Sort of. A variation of the pelican flag was in use since the Civil War, but they updated the design in 1912, 1991, 2006, and 2010. So it’s not like they just haven’t gotten around to doing anything about the mediocre flag. They have just stubbornly refused to actually change it into something worthwhile.

A good flag is one that you see everywhere. Maryland isn’t exactly a jingoistic state, but they do love their flag. Washington DC has the pride of the slighted, and use their flag liberally. Texas gave itself a nickname based on its flag. Alaska and New Mexico used their great flags liberally.

I have spent a fair amount of time in RL Louisiana, and I never see their flag anywhere. I see the Acadiana flag a lot more often. That’s an indication that their flag is better than the state flag! That is what a flag is supposed to be.

Category: Statehouse

There is a book on Mom’s bookshelf that keeps catching my attention. Part of it is the pink color that makes it stand out, but the other is an intriguing title: Don’t Stop the Carnival. I can’t say why that title catches my attention, but it does. Probably once a trip I pick it out and see what it’s about. The plot doesn’t interest me terribly much, and isn’t memorable as evidenced by the fact that I have to keep checking to see what it’s about. But that is an enormously effective title. (Note: The book cover of Mom’s book at home is obviously different from the one for sale at Amazon.)

Category: Espresso

Category: Espresso

Category: Espresso