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    • The Fall of the USSR
      The best book on both successes and failures of the Soviet Union is Mancur Olson’s “Power and Prosperity.”  If you haven’t read it, you should.  The second best is Randall Collins essay in Macrosociology. The great problem with most critiques of the  USSR is that they do not explain its successes.  In the 20s and […]
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Just because. I have forms to fill out. They’re tedious. My mind is somewhere else. 

Comey’s Comet

He just keeps coming around. 

Or does the News orbit around him?  

Any time there’s a major investigation, he’s somehow personally involved.  Why is that?  He’s gotten a lot more than his 15 minutes of fame. Now he’s just bogarting the microphone. 

Remember when Ashcroft was laid up with appendicitis or pancreatitis or whatever the hell it was and Comey sped to the hospital to head off Alberto Gonzales?  Those Bush guys were masters of sophistication compared to the Trump gang. 

Comey says he’s been defamed. You mean like he defamed Hillary Clinton last year and saddled us with Trump and the granny starvers for four years? (Sounds like the name of a band, doesn’t it? Anyone want to take a stab at what kind of music they play?)

I saw Paul Ryan a few minutes ago trying to spin Comey’s testimony by saying that Trump is not a politician and didn’t know better. 

Is that the best he could do?  That the sotto voce request was unintentional?  Really? The guy is a billionaire, allegedly. He knows what he’s doing. 

And in any case, government officials are not supposed to swear loyalty to a person. They’re supposed to swear fealty to the constitution and the laws of the land. Capisce? 

Then there was the rambling thing that John McCain did about why was it ok to drop the Clinton campaign’s ties to Russia but not Trump’s. I think he deliberately messed that up. His masters may have told him to get in line but instead he just sounds incoherent. There aren’t any useful sound bites for Fox News to work with. It’s doesn’t track logically. 

Wait, lack of logic has never made a difference to the emotional reasoners of the Fox News audience. So, have at it Senator. Toss that word salad. 

Speaking of Fox, the Washington Post has been following the chyrons at all of the network news channels. The tribalism is distinct. There’s a Fox News tribe of the perpetually mislead and willfully ignorant, and then there are the rest of us. 

The Intelligence Committee has gone behind closed doors. We won’t know what is being said. But keep your eyes peeled on the faces of the committee members as they come out. Especially the respective parties. Should be interesting. 

That was fast 

Got a job. 

Tentatively. 😉. 

And the #1 song in the country this week is …

Despacito. Sung entirely in Spanish. Brush up on your reggaeton and cumbia. 

Suck on that, Trumpsters. 

Send the French Foreign Legion!!

President Macron of France bitch slaps Donald Trump with the reality glove and invites scientists and engineers to emigrate to France. 

Then he finishes with “Make Our Planet Great Again”

Oh, snap, that’s gonna hurt. 


He’s so easy on the eyes and loves older women. What’s not to love?  


Battle of the manspreaders. There’s a whole anthropology paper in this single picture:

Is there really any contest?  

WTF does he mean??

Trump is having another covfefe moment. This time, he is planning a “Pittsburgh, not Paris” rally to celebrate getting out of the global climate accord. 


I don’t even know what that means. Clinton won Allegheny County by 14000 more votes in 2016 than Obama won it in 2012. Pittsburgh is NOT Trump Country. The collective IQ here is still pretty high. Most of us are literate. We don’t even need secret hand signals to identify ourselves. We can easily avoid the raving fanboys and sTrumpets who bore us to death from their portable tables in the mall.

The Trump supporters here are outnumbered. They just haven’t come to accept it and understand that we consider  their willful ignorance tedious.

Or does he mean that Pittsburgh circa 1960 will become the new model with all the pollution from the coal generated smoke and sandblasting that turned our air into a dirty chunky mess? Like this?  

Well, this is what happens when you never actually get out of your vehicle on the way to your pre-election rallies. The steel mills are mostly gone and Pittsburgh is a robotics and IT center these days with a well educated urban population. Oh sure, there are Trump people here who can’t be reasoned with but like I said, they are outnumbered. 

Pittsburgh belongs to the rest of us. Don’t drag our beautiful, clean city into your stupid fight with the rest of the planet, Donald. 

Night Cap: Cry to Me

Pour me a Tin Cup Whiskey, Rico. I have to tell you something. 
The fall out of the financialization and application of Silicon Valley flexible labor rules has struck my profession and generation hard. I downsized and sweated through income instability and contracting and changed fields and it still manages to find me like the scary monster in some Alien franchise movie. 

It struck again about 3 weeks ago. The company I worked for decided to replace about 25% of its workforce with offshore resources. As an employee who chose to start from the bottom all over again and was still in the process of learning her subject area, I was on the list of replaceables. I kind of knew it was coming. I’ve developed a sixth sense about these things. It definitely wasn’t performance related. It was just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

I spent a couple of days under the covers.  But this time, I found I had a lot more friends on my side who offered me their support or drove hundreds of miles to crawl under the covers with me and make me dinner so I ate well. That helped so much. And a few days after I was laid off, a former colleague called me about a position she had open in her group. I applied and had face to face interviews today. Keep your fingers crossed. With any luck, this will be of short duration. 

This night cap goes out to all of you. May you have friends as true and loving on your side when things go bad who you can cry to. 

I love you all.