April 2017, Part 2

Jim Miller on Politics

Pseudo-Random Thoughts

The Seattle Times Thinks More Than Two Billion People Are Wrong:  Furthermore, our local monopoly newspaper thinks that about one million people in their circulation area are wrong.

Today is Easter for almost all Christians, about 2.4 billion world wide.  And about one million here in the Seattle area.  It is reasonable to assume that most of those people celebrated the holiday.

And that's not even counting those who see it as a secular holiday, having to do with bunny rabbits, egg rolls, and candy.

Regardless of their beliefs, you would think a news organization would find it newsworthy when two billion people do anything.

So here's what the Times said about Easter, today:

Why the silence?

I don't know; if the newspaper ever explained why it refuses to mention the subject, I missed it

Until a year or so ago, they had a rotating group of clerics, a Jew, a Muslim, an Evangelical, a Catholic, and so on, who wrote for them regularly, but they dropped them, without really explaining why.

(Here's what the Times has on the front page today:  Besides pointers to various ads inside the newspaper, there were five pictures, with headlines, pointing us to stories inside the newspaper, "Island of the orcas", "Tebow at bat", "Local pivot", and "Tree tales".

It is the strangest newspaper front page I've ever seen.

The "Local pivot" story has this sub-headline: "Listening to customers and embracing change", which seems ironic.)
- 7:27 PM, 16 April 2017   [link]

Happy Easter!  To all those who celebrate it today.

Easter flowers, 2008

Which is almost all Christians, this year.
- 11:26 AM, 16 April 2017   [link]

Five Thoughts About Dr. Dao's Removal From That United Flight:  (I wasn't going to discuss this incident, but our "mainstream" journalists have given it so much coverage that I could no longer resist.)
  1. Dr. Dao could have avoided all these problems if he had complied with the crew's request that he leave — and get paid for his lost time.   What they were asking was within their rights, and his refusal was not within his right.
  2. You can find an explanation for his refusal in this Daily Mail article.
  3. If he struck one of the officers, as some say, you can understand — though not excuse — why they treated him roughly.
  4. Some good may come out of this, if it encourages airlines to come up with better policies.  Here's an idea worth exploring..
  5. Our "mainstream" journalists have given this incident way too much coverage.
And way too little coverage to stories like this one.
- 4:09 PM, 14 April 2017   [link]

This Prediction Seems Improbable, but I'll pass it on anyway.
The professor who took hell for predicting President Donald Trump has a much longer case for predicting President Mike Pence — and it’s all in his new book, out next week.

Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University, reached meme-status last fall for predicting long before anyone else that Trump would win, using a formula based on the popularity of the party in control of the White House that accurately predicted the eight previous presidential elections.  Now Lichtman wants everyone to pay attention to the rest of what came through his crystal ball — that Trump will now be impeached.
Lichtman probably hates that reference to his "crystal ball" — I would, if I were he.

(And I have to admit that he did way better than I did, in predicting last November's presidential election.)
- 3:31 PM, 14 April 2017   [link]

Where Has Barack Obama Been, Since Leaving The Presidency?  Back home in Chicago, getting to know his neighbors and offering, quietly, to help with Chicago's crime problems?  Back in his childhood home in Hawaii?

Not exactly.
The Obamas are making the most of their vacation time.  Since leaving the White House in January, they have been hitting some of the most exotic destinations imaginable.

After spending a few days in Palm Springs, Barack and Michelle Obama kicked off their tropical tour with a visit to entrepreneur Richard Branson's private Necker Island.

The next stop was The Brando, a luxury island resort on the atoll of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia.  The resort is so exclusive, it can only be reached by boat or by two-engined Air Tetiaroa planes, according to People magazine. The former president has been there since March 15, while Michelle only joined her husband last week.
The Daily Mail has pictures from French Polynesia.  (And a few critical comments.)

What strikes me about those last two destinations is that they are outside the United States.  I don't know of any other president who, on leaving the presidency, left the United States almost immediately.

(The exclusivity of the places the Obamas visited doesn't bother me much, since those places are generally far easier for the Secret Service to guard.)
- 9:16 AM, 14 April 2017   [link]

Parents Will Appreciate this commentary on PBS cartoons.
- 8:24 AM, 14 April 2017   [link]

Could There Be Life In One Of Saturn's Moons?   NASA has found the necessary ingredients.
The geysers of Saturn's moon Enceladus are gushing food for life, scientists say.

Researchers report Thursday in the journal Science that the jets of ice and gas coming from the moon's south pole contain molecular hydrogen, a chemical characteristic of hydrothermal activity.  On Earth, hydrogen provides fuel for communities of organisms that live around vents on the seafloor.  Its presence on Saturn's icy moon suggests that this alien world, which harbors a saltwater ocean encased in a frozen crust, has the right conditions to give rise to microbial life.
As I understand it, there may be bacteria on Earth, right now, that could live in Enceladus.  Which implies that there might be bacteria living there, now.
- 4:33 PM, 13 April 2017   [link]

Today's New Yorker Cartoon Is Just So-So, but the four cartoons preceding it are all excellent.
- 4:11 PM, 13 April 2017   [link]