Then As Now

The short version: there were no WMDs in Iraq. That was a lie and the media promoted it shamelessly while silencing skeptical voices. Now Mueller has indicted zero Americans for working with Russia to influence the election. Russiagate was a lie and the media promoted it shamelessly while silencing skeptical voices.

Exactly. 100%. The dumb losers learned nothing. And we learned nothing either if we still believe them after each monumental fail.

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Book Notes: Recent Reading

On the flight today, I read Lianne Moriarty’s What Alice Forgot, start to finish. (The flight was delayed). It’s typical mommy lit, which is one of my favorite entertainment genres, and of very good quality. It obviously isn’t a work of art but it’s great entertainment. And it is a useful look into the nature of familial relationships.

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Mike Omer’s Glenmore Park series

1. Spider’s Web – this was his first book, and he had no idea how to construct a novel. The structure is terrible. But the story itself is quite captivating.

2. Deadly Web – this one was a total dud. Omer writes beautifully about serial killers so I have no idea why he kept getting distracted onto something else.

3. Web of Fear – it’s much better than the second one but I’m glad Omer dropped this series and started one about the FBI.

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Horacio Castellanos Moya’s El arma en el hombre is a novel I read to ensure one of my footnotes was right. But it’s a very powerful novel. Highly recommended for college literature courses. It’s probably the simplest, most accessible thing Castellanos Moya has written.

Class Differences

This is how class differences are constituted today:

As more screens appear in the lives of the poor, screens are disappearing from the lives of the rich. The richer you are, the more you spend to be offscreen.

The result will be an unbridgeable chasm in cognitive capacities and psychological health.

A landmark study on brain development of more than 11,000 children that the National Institutes of Health is supporting… is finding that the brains of children who spend a lot of time on screens are different. For some kids, there is premature thinning of their cerebral cortex.

This is from an article in the NYTimes that the app doesn’t let me link but you can easily find it.

And hey, who here was telling me that free governmental preschool won’t mean kids staring at a screen all day to make Microsoft rich?

In small towns around Wichita, Kan., in a state where school budgets have been so tight that the State Supreme Court ruled them inadequate, classes have been replaced by software, much of the academic day now spent in silence on a laptop. In Utah, thousands of children do a brief, state-provided preschool program at home via laptop.

The only reason why anybody is bringing up free daycare is to enrich tech companies. I’ll keep saying it like I kept saying that Mueller wouldn’t find anything, and I will be just as right.

I know everybody sincerely wants to be for something good but supporting the “free daycare” plan will contribute to the creation of a congnitively impaired underclass.

Don’t Pretend to Care

I just heard on TV that “Millennials are a generation that never experienced prosperity.”

When I hear this kind of thing, I lose all hope that anybody would do anything on climate. If it’s acceptable to say something like this about people who have known nothing but – God, forget prosperity – obscene opulence, then it’s hopeless.

If even this kind of completely out-of-control consumerist existence is perceived as hardship and privation, if they honestly believe they don’t have enough shopping, enough consuming, enough devouring the planet, then they need a whole galaxy of planets like this one to satisfy their hunger.

And yeah, yeah, it’s relative prosperity, Boomers or Genexers or whomever supposedly had even more gewgaws, I’ve heard all that chaloimes* many times. It’s really helping the climate to nitpick about all that.

I can understand the approach of “I get that the level of consumption in the US is ridiculous and if other regions of the world try to achieve it (and why shouldn’t they?), the planet can’t sustain it. But I don’t care because I just can’t be bothered.” I’m not discussing the morality of this position, but I get it. It’s deeply cynical but at least it’s honest.

But this whole “I care deeply about the planet but what we’ve got in terms of prosperity is insufficient” is so insanely hypocritical that I don’t have words for it.

And it’s also the smug shamelessness that kills me. Go tell people from Eritrea that you never experienced prosperity. Go to Cuba, to El Salvador, go to fucking Magadan and tell people who shit in outdoor toilets at -50 degrees how you are generationally deprived of prosperity. This is colonialist mentality on steroids. And it’s precisely the mentality that despoils the planet to feed a relatively small group of spoiled brats who feel hard done by if not every whim is satisfied immediately.

And I mean, just go be who you are, whatever. But don’t pretend to care when you clearly don’t.

* It’s what we call empty blabber in Yiddish.

Parenting Goal

Is your parenting aimed at producing the first place kid or the third place one in this picture?

I want to produce number 3 but, in all honesty, it doesn’t look like I’m going to achieve that. Neither N nor I are that person, so how can we teach what we ourselves aren’t?