Thursday, August 15, 2019

A dissenting view of "A man for all seasons"

Instapundit has a post today invoking the movie, "A man for all Seasons"  posted by Gail Heriot.

  Not so fast!  Thomas More sent Protestants to the gallows very enthusiastically when he had the power to do so.  He also courted martyrdom.  Plenty of Catholics escaped to France when they realized they were in danger.  Escape might have been difficult but it was possible.  Instead,  he courted martyrdom, no matter how unpleasant this outcome would be for his family.  The man slept in a hair shirt, for God's sake.

  The movie was esthetically very pleasing, beautifully acted and photographed.  The script was very persuasive.  But you don't get to change history for esthetic reasons.  Facts should not be falsified.  But they are.  Look at all the movies about the Hollywood Ten.  They may have been persecuted but they were unpleasant individuals.  Dalton Trumbo was particularly elevated to undeserved sainthood.   And Elia Kazan was vilified.

      I'm not saying More should have been executed for his beliefs; no-one should be.  But he might have saved himself and did not attempt to do so.  He was not a martyr for free speech, as portrayed in the movie.  He sought martyrdom for religious reasons.  It must have been an unpleasnt surprise for him to die and wake up in hell.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Life for the working classes is not nasty, brutish, or short anymore.

I have been hosting airbnb lately,  which has given me the opportunity to meet lots of young men in the building trades.   They are not poor.  Unless $50 an hour with time and a half for overtime and double on Sunday is poverty.

  These guys are not only not poor, they are not stupid.  They study hard to qualify as journeymen--for electricians, it's a four year apprenticeship and the training is rigorous.  Those I have met are nice, polite young men who make their beds and bring in the garbage cans and offer to help me if they think I need help doing something.  They are respectful and polite.

  A college degree is no longer a golden ticket for young people.  Taking courses in diversity and inclusion will get you nowhere, and they are an insult to the liberal arts.   Spending hours in a classroom listening to some gasbag rave about the injustice of everything is tedious and a waste of time.

Monday, July 29, 2019

The Mueller investigation

In investigating what, if anything, can be learned from the Mueller report, I discovered that FBI agents do not videotape or record their interviews.  Instead, they file what is called a 302, a paper document summarizing their impressions!  This cutting edge technology was no doubt instituted by J Edgar Hoover, the great blackmailer of presidents of both parties.


In an age when every high school dropout has a cell phone that can photograph any interaction, the FBI files a 302.  Has no one ever suspected that an agent can say whatever he wants on this document, in other words, can lie, and no one can contradict him?  

  The Attorney General should order all agents to videotape all interviews by government agents.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

College life in the twentieth century

I went to college in the twentieth century.  They were pretty strict.  One sex dorms, with curfews, which were rigorously enforced.  If there were student organizations, I was unaware of them and didn't participate in them.  There was a student government, but I never knew anyone who participated in them or even voted in their elections.  They were powerless in any case and did not matter.

  There were not many officials in the administration.  Each college--arts and science, art, etc.--had a dean, and there was a dean of students.  I met only one dean in my time there, and that was when I wanted to drop Italian because I was simultaneously taking French and German and it was making me crazy to learn so many languages at the same time.  He gently remonstrated with me, suggesting that there would come a time when I would want to read Dante in the original, but reluctantly signed off on my request.

  Each dorm had a housemother.  Fraternities had them too, but I didn't belong to one.

  Here's how we spent our time.  There were classes all week, including Fridays.  During the week, we students studied, played games like ping pong, gossiped, hung out with friends, and went to the movies.  There were sports team, like football and wrestling.  Weekends we hung out with friends, dated, and drank.  No one coordinated our activities, unless we came to the attention of the police.

But our thoughts were our own.  Yes, you could believe anything you wanted to!   No one sought, in the words of Queen Ellzabeth, to have windows into our souls.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Trying to understand the Mueller Report

It's too much for me.  Trump did nothing we can prove, but he must be guilty anyway. 

  I don't recall when O J Simpson was acquitted of murder, that the verdict was Not Guilty with a Side Order of You Did It all Right.

  I'm also not happy with process crimes, like lying to the FBI about some matter of which you know nothing but you're going to jail anyway. as happened to Scooter Libby.  But that is a side issue.

  The thing that has me gobsmacked is the filling oout of form 302 by FBI agents.  In a day and age when cameras are obiquitous, agents do not record or film their interviews with "persons of interest."

Instead they fill out Form 302, afterwards, possibly with a chisel on a stone tablet.  How quaint!  Or maybe it's on sheepskin.

I no longer expect any government official to do his job.  They get paid for just showing up, doing anything must be contracted to an outside agency.

Friday, June 07, 2019

California dreaming, nightmare division

I just got back from California, aka Democratic headquarters.  Everyone is a Democrat there, including children, pets, and wildlife.  I really felt very lonely.  Wrong--I felt like a criminal.  I actually felt like someone in one  of those science fiction movies who finds himself dropped into a strange new universe which is not subject to gravity

I don't mind being thought crazy, but I  object to being told I have blood on my hands because of maniacs shooting innocent people some place I have never been.  I'm not a second amendment freak, I've never shot anyone with anything, even a slingshot. 

Are all the people in the US delusional?  Or is it just California ?

Sunday, May 05, 2019

I miss the old blogwolrd

 I am nobody, coming from a long  line of nobodies, respectable but  obscure, all of whom minded their own business  and did not share their innermost thoughts with anyone.  

  Contrary to this distinguished but uncommunicative heritage, I began sharing my thoughts, ideas, prejudices, and daily occurences on blogger in 2004. For one thing, it was free!

   At that time, the web was full of blogs by ordinary people like me- laymen, civilians, call them what you will-but they had a variety of interests, activities, professions, and were fun to hear from.  I used to have a blogroll, with 18 or 20 names on it, and I enjoyed interacting with them.

 Most of them were amusing, some very talented and witty. I would comment on their blogs, and they on mine.  Comments flew back and forth.  Most people posted every day or two -three days a week.  It was Facebook avant la lettre, but much more interesting.  People did not regularly post pictures of their pets, for one thing.  One really felt connected to fellow bloggers, unlike Facebook friends, who I am sure don't care a straw about me. Nor, to be honest, do I care for most of them,with exceptions.

    I liked to post about my family, growing up, about New Jersey, which I was about to leave or about Delaware, where I was headed,  about being Jewish, and about Mr Charm, my late husband, and his peculiarities.  Books I had been reading.  Weird stuff, and ordinary stuff.

  But what does it matter? That blog world is long gone.   I don't know what happened.  Perhaps the blogosphere was taken over by experts or poisoned by politics.  Or maybe most people had better things to do.  

  I miss my former blogfriends.  I wonder what happened to them, but I guess I'll never know.  Unless they post something on Facebook.