Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 27 Link Log

On Friday evening I had a rare opportunity to take the laptop home for the weekend, so I could compose more book reviews right on this computer. (Some of the book reviews posted at this site look strange because most of them were composed on another computer--either my home computer, which uses floppy disks, or the Sickly Snail, which has some wacky knock-off word processing program of its own that actually runs quite efficiently until it's time to e-mail the documents--and e-mailed to myself.) I thought that if it rained this morning I might regret having taken the laptop home, but the rain was expected to run out by Monday. (Of course, now more is expected to start by Thursday.) Well, in this corner of Virginia we can usually trust the weather to do whatever is most inconvenient...I almost didn't come into town at all, because you just don't take a thousand-dollar laptop out into a pouring rain. I must always leave this computer at the store. I must always leave this computer at the store...

Lots of bloggers are offline this week, which is actually nice for this delinquent blog, giving me time to catch up. Categories: Animals, Book, Nasty, Nice, Obituary, Pictures, Politics, Retirement, Shopping,


Here's a true story that starts with another peaches-and-cream-colored cat...by going to a shelter, Mudpie's friend got to skip the whole stage where these cats make up their mind about liking humans at all, and leap right into the love-barrage stage.


So, it's a cat day. Be warned--once these unusual-looking cats decide they like you, they really like you. My experience of cats with this unusual color is that they have an unusual personality to match. First they seem hostile, then they flip over and cling (often literally). If they do warm up to other cats, at least enough to avoid serious bodily harm, the cat-to-cat relationship can help give the cat-to-human relationship a little breathing room.

Betsy from New Jersey: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36881263

Hannah from Arlington: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37021959

Nala from Alpharetta, Georgia: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37008284
I suspect these cats were encouraged to do some things cats shouldn't be encouraged to do, just to make a funny photo essay...I have to admit I like the one who seems to be nonverbally saying "Any cat can improve on that nasty stuff humans call perfume."



This one is mellower than the books that made O'Rourke famous; he wrote it in consultation with his sisters.

Nasty News 

Jim Geraghty shared this link and comment about the recent murders in Chicago in a longish e-mail.

The New York Times did a lengthy, in-depth piece in June – albeit one that mentioned Mayor Rahm Emanuel exactly once. Maybe there’s a hesitation to spotlight the ugly side of Chicago, or Emanuel’s tenure, or the city’s legendarily heavily Democratic leadership over the past century, or Obama’s hometown. Maybe it’s the glaring evidence that having really strict gun-control laws has had little effect on gang violence. In August, the state passed a law toughening penalties on anyone without a gun-owner identification card who brings a gun into the state of Illinois to sell. So far, there’s not much sign that that new law is having much effect, either.
The problems of Chicago’s violent neighborhoods – poverty, lack of education, lack of opportunity, family breakdown, drug abuse and addiction – exist to varying degrees in every other big city in America as well. So why is the gang violence in Chicago so much worse?

Nice News

In the classic monastic tradition, a teenager annotates a Bible as a gift for a friend. Whatever you think of her artistic talent, this web site just has to remind you (the way the eager-beaver student in the front row has to shout out the answer) that medieval monks/nuns/hermits dedicated their lives to this genre of art. They copied out the Bible by hand, they "illuminated" it with paintings (some of which were wonderfully badly drawn), they decorated it with colors, and, yes, they even "collaged" it. This was considered a form of lectio, a spiritual act. And I'd guess that, assuming the teenagers' friendship lasts long enough, the graphics will motivate the recipient to read as much of that Bible as he can...the way the notes my father scribbled in the margins of Bibles he'd read through motivated his children to read as much as we could, at whatever age we were that year.



Carrie Fisher...didn't even look 60.



This Maryland-based Blogspot features all visual content, all the time...very appealing visuals, to me. The artist doesn't limit herself to murals. She does all sizes of pictures in several different media, including food.



Another Democrat recovers from Election 2016:


For those who complain that other social media censor political content, specifically "more conservative" political content...Twitter's admitted it: if a bunch of left-wing trolls with nothing better to do exercise Twitter's various options to block your Tweets, you will be automatically "shadowbanned," sort of the way your junk-for-sale ad might be "flagged" on Craigslist by people who didn't want to see your perfectly legitimate ad bump their competing ads down to the bottom of the page. It's not happened to me yet, but it will. And it will probably always be politically skewed, because trolls with nothing better to do tend to be welfare cheats, a demographic that's automatically skewed to the left; conservatives tend to have lives. So, unless and until Twitter reforms its system to require human verification that an account needs to be banned, here's a social site specifically for conservative U.S. readers. The new Grassfire is on the flashy side for me, with a pop-up chat option and lots of videos, but it's sort of like Twitter with the guarantee that nice people aren't going to be blocked or hated just for posting conservative content. If this crowd vote that somebody's an obnoxious right-wing-nut, he is one. (If you want to be an obnoxious right-wing-nut, there seems to be a flamewar in the comments section of at least one Blaze post, daily.) Note that I receive no benefits if you join Grassfire; I don't even log in or post there every day, myself...you can if you choose.


And here's an example of a hatespew from the Illiberal Left...a case might be made that Donald Trump and Bill Clinton are brothers in tackiness, but this Tweet is tacky enough for...(clutches belt buckle, wails, rolls eyes)...Rahm Emanuel.



Thomas Sowell:



+Martha DeMeo seems to be doing a series of reviews of things practical homemakers would have liked to have received for Christmas. (Well, frugal practical homemakers don't mind getting them via post-holiday sales.) Here are two: if you're shopping for this kind of thing, you'll want to watch for the whole series: