Friday, May 20, 2011

Sometimes I hate being right.

So two days ago, somebody posted this satire link to lily. It's a joke about how Planned Parenthood is opening an $8 billion abortionplex.

My comment: "I give it no more than 2 days before it's being forwarded around as The Truth."

It is now two days later.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Eighteen Years

"Isn't it amazing how someone who was once a stranger, suddenly meant the world to you?"

I saw that quote recently, and immediately thought of someone who means the world to me.

Eighteen years ago today, we made that a formal promise. It's a big deal number for me - my parents didn't make it to their eighteenth anniversary. And now, I have.

We've got a long ways to go to catch her parents, though. They're somewhere north of 40 years and still going.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Random Counterfactual

Time for 'what if?' Point of departure: Nixon, finding out about the Watergate break-in, is shocked - shocked! - that his people would stoop so low and hands them over to investigators. Nothing is pinned on him, nobody rats, but suspicion remains. So...then what?

Presumably, Agnew still gets forced out and Ford takes over as VP. Nixon, politically wounded and unable to accomplish much, serves out the last of his term through to '76. Ford, presumably, runs for the nomination, but it's unclear he can get it without the imprimatur of being the incumbent. Given how close it was, it's probably not unreasonable to guess that Reagan takes it. Carter can still ride the anti-establishment wave (which would probably still be there, but not as strong), so we get Carter vs. Reagan in '76. This is a tough call - Carter barely squeaked out a win against Ford, and Reagan was a phenomenal campaigner. I suspect Reagan's better campaign skills would offset the loss of incumbency and still call this a narrow win for Carter.

We'll assume no other major changes through to '80. So...Reagan runs again, but does he get it? American political parties haven't been fond of giving second chances at the Presidency in the recent past - the last time a losing candidate was renominated four years later was Adlai Stevenson in '52 and '56. In our world, he won this one definitively, so I'd be tempted to say he pulls it off but with more competition, maybe co-opting Anderson as a VP pick instead of Bush.

That's as far as I've gotten so far. I may play with this idea some more, or possibly take it down an alternative leg of the trousers of time: what if Reagan won in '76?

Monday, May 2, 2011

On Death

So, apparently there was a big dust-up recently and somebody who'd done some very bad things got killed.

I don't like to celebrate the death of anyone. And, to be honest, I don't think most of the celebration is that he's dead. People would be celebrating the same if he'd just been captured. (Admittedly, a lot of them would be building gory fantasies about how he should die. These are the same folks who are now building these fantasies about how he should have died. Their disorders are their own problems.)

Before death, there's always the possibility that someone can change their mind. Repentance is a powerful thing, and there's always hope. (Yes, I'm an optimist. Sue me.)

But, he's dead, and it's probably better that way. Yes, now he's a martyr, but as a prisoner he'd have been a bargaining chip. One can threaten to kill people if a prisoner isn't released, but it's hard to do that with a martyr. The terrorists can just kill people in revenge, but it's not like they weren't trying to do that anyway while he was alive.

So, he's dead. I won't rejoice in his death. But I'm not about to mourn him.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

#26: Z is for Zebra

Because it is. It's always for Zebra.

Because, like X, there aren't any other interesting things for Z. The Romans dropped it from the alphabet they stole from the Greeks, then had to put it back in because they needed it for loan words. (Which is why it's sixth letter in the Greek alphabet, but dead last in the Latin one.)

And so we come to the end of 26 in 26. I'm mostly pleased with it, and hope to continue regular blogging service going forward.

Friday, April 29, 2011

#25: Y is for Yahoo!

Here's your old-fart comment of the day:

I remember when Yahoo! was at

Thursday, April 28, 2011

#24: X is for X

X isn't really for anything. Few words in English start with X; it's one of those odd letters that got glommed onto the end of the alphabet to make stealing from Greek easier.

Even worse, it gets used even less often than its companions W, Y, and Z, and rarely starts a word. Frequently lists cheat this with 'ex' words (a relatively common Latin prefix, meaning 'out of'), or fall back on X-ray or xylophone.

So, I'm going to say that X is for X, the letter itself. It's actually a nice letter. Just...not as the beginning of a word.