Nine is too many.

Leftovers & Links #45

From a review of a book I quickly decided not to read:

The author follows the lives of nine interconnected characters…

Over and out, right there. I can’t keep nine real people sorted in my head, can’t even remember which of my nephews is married to the anti-vaxxer. Keeping track of nine fictional characters over a few hundred pages? Nah, that just sounds like work.

Give me a good novel with *a* protagonist, please.

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Subpoena stonewalling: A timeline of futility.

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In this article’s title, and subtitle, and first few paragraphs, it’s acknowledged that having children makes most people unhappier. Yet the article boldly goes on to explain that it doesn’t, really, or that your happiness is less important than the joy of having children, or something.

Wife and I were childless by choice, and we heard all the propaganda. On the few and rare occasions when we discussed it with anyone, we almost always regretted it, but we never regretted not having children.

How’s about, let people decide such things for themselves. And that’s all I’ll say about that today.

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A Walgreens that’s shutting down looks pretty much like you’d expect a Walgreens that’s shutting down to look. 

The world needs more Walgreens that are shutting down.

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Stolen police helicopter surveillance footage 

Quote:  The lesson here (one of many) is that if you can't adequately protect your secrets, maybe you don't deserve to have them. 

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Philadelphia Police are no longer supposed to cite drivers for minor traffic infractions like broken taillights or a pine tree hung from the rear-view. Good news indeed, because everywhere cops have such discretionary authority, minority drivers are disproportionately pulled over, and ticketed, hassled, insulted, or maybe searched, arrested, and occasionally killed.

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Subway’s supposedly fake tuna has been in the news for what feels like years, and I’m weary of it.

Subway sucks and giant corporations lie, but there’s no plausible reason a giant sandwich chain would lie about what’s tuna. It’s a wingnut rumor that's led to a wingnut lawsuit, and it’s wingnut journalism for Reuters to cover it with a straight face.

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I'm also weary of hearing, reading, or thinking about Louie Gohmert, Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Madison Cawthorn, and the other wingnut politicians whose names mercifully don't come to mind at the moment.

We live in a country where plainly delusional fools can be elected to high office, spend years saying stupid things, and be re-elected by wider margins. Sucks, and understood. Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead, and Republicans are still stupid, cruel, and willing to believe anything. Got it, thanks.

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Looks like there was a whole lot of crooked going on at this hospital.

I don’t understand the complicated lines separating ‘legal’ medical corruption from ‘illegal’ medical corruption, which is everything in the American medicine-for-profit system.

If my doctor prescribes a brand-name drug, I assume there’s a modest kickback for doing so. Anyone who’s a doctor’s boss, and anyone higher up in the ranks — seems safe to assume the kickbacks are larger, and they’re all hardened criminals.

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“Unlike broadcasting, the papers have an additional obstacle in the changing nature of literacy in America. In addition to the functional illiterates, whose existence has been the subject of such concern for the last generation or so, we have many millions more who might be described as functional literates.

“A functional literate is a person who is able to read the manual of instructions for home appliances or machines at work. Functional literates can read well enough to fill out forms, do office work and written procedures of many kinds.

“What functional literates cannot do is absorb more than minimal amounts of information through the written word. They cannot get enjoyment out of reading. Reading is work, not leisure. The functional literates cannot keep their eyes on a printed page more than two or three consecutive minutes, because reading for these people, who may, by now, make up the bulk of our population, is a laboriously foreign activity done under compulsion and necessity. The functional literate is able to read just enough to get by and not one word more.”

Nicholas von Hoffman 

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In Seattle, where I grew up, I grew fat eating hundreds of 12-egg omelets at Beth's Cafe. Great food, 24/7, handmade art on the wall, and one of the waitresses had a zine. Here's a three-minute memorial to one of the finest diners in the world.

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Who created Aquaman? We actually don’t 100% know for sure.

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 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


 Sing along with Doug:
Doctor Who, by Craig Ferguson

Sincere tip 'o the hat:
Captain Hampockets
Follow Me Here
Messy Nessy Chick
National Zero
Ran Prieur
Vintage Everyday

Voenix Rising

Becky Jo
Name Withheld
Dave S.



  1. >Over and out, right there. I can’t keep nine real people sorted in my head

    I can do it in a movie, if it's a good movie. I liked Short Cuts, for example. But once a book adds too many ingredients to the plot, no thanks. Give me a hero or two, a villain or two, and some additional characters who maybe DON'T play super-important roles throughout the entire book.

    Subpoena stonewalling - here is a comment I made on Reddit yesterday:

    "None of these clowns will ever face any consequences for their 6 years of misdeeds. Never. I've been saying it for 18 months. This country is fucked. No justice for these evil, evil people just serves to embolden them.

    Mark My words, by 2027, we will be in an absolute totalitarian regime, like Turkmenistan or Turkey or Belarus."

    I'm fucking terrified.

    1. I don't really know how bad Turkmenistan or Turkey, but you're sadly correct, the criminals dismantling America will face no meaningful legal repercussions. Is it 'wrong' for me to root for extralegal?

      Not terrified here. I expect the decay will continue slowly, and that the bastards will leave me alone in my recliner for my last years. Young whippersnappers like you, though, should be terrified.

  2. A slight correction or shade of nuance on the Philly traffic thing : It looks like they still can cite people, just not INITIATE a traffic stop for those reasons. So instead of pulling a black guy over for a busted taillight, they'll get pulled over for going 26 in a 25 zone, then cited for all the other piddling bullshit, and "oh, I smell marijuana smoke, are you high? I better search the car."

    1. Exactly sir.

      I never say "all cops are bastards," because there are few absolutes in life, but *most* cops are bastards. The standards are higher to get a hairdresser's license than become a cop.


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