Showing posts with label wsj. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wsj. Show all posts

Friday, July 12, 2024


Image by kalhh from Pixabay

Letters from Flyoverland featuring the wit and wisdom of a garrulous geezer and {Dana}a persistent hallucination and charming literary device.

                     ABOUT                                              GLOSSARY 

"Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change." -Thomas Hardy 

Dear Gentlereaders,
Yes, some of the "boilerplate" that formerly preceded my greeting is gone.  

"There are five parts of a friendly letter, and one optional part. The five include a heading, greeting, body, closing, and signature. There's also an optional postscript a writer may decide to include." -Sister Mary McGillicuddy

Yes, Virginia, in the distant past H. sapiens had to compose letters on sheets of unformatted paper, sometimes called stationary, and apply a format they had learned in grade school.

{So it's true, you've disinherited the Stickies!}

Nah, but they're all over 18 now and two have moved out so they've all been promoted to gentlereaders. None have left Canada's version of the Deep South yet (Northern Ohio) and our lives remain closely intertwined. Duuude moved to Tennessee to launch his life now that school's finally behind him but returned two minutes later, burned by some extended family members. 

I say finally because to him, as it did to his beloved grandfather, being done with mandatory schooling feels like having completed a prison sentence imposed on an innocent man. 

Fortunately, he's an easy-going, well-adjusted young man who doesn't hold grudges (unlike his beloved grandfather who often does despite his best efforts to the contrary) who plans on trying again once he can afford to do so without "help" from anybody.

Like me, he would prefer to live south of the Mason-Dixon line. Unlike me, he doesn't mind hot and humid weather as much as I do.    

There's a bit of drama in my life right now (some good, some bad), and given that I've recently obtained Cosmic Geezer perspective, I thought it would be a good time to make some changes. Not just in my column, but in other aspects of my life that I won't bore you with. Now that I've been blessed with CGP much has become clear.

And of course, we all gotta do what we need to do to maintain the illusion of control. 

{The illusion of control?}

The subject of a future column, stay tuned. Now, if you're still here, and still awake...

{Wait-wait-wait. What's with the title? What's this got to do with David Bowie?}

Nothing, the title is just clickbait. 

{You're gonna make people mad!}

People who are only interested in reading about Mr. Bowie will flee in short order. People who are interested in reading about Mr. Bowie but who are also naturally intelligent, inquisitive sorts who like to read the work of clever columnists will keep reading, at least for a bit. 

Perhaps I'll pick up a new fan. Hopefully, no one will try and track me down and kill me. I wouldn't mind an attempted cancelation, all publicity is good publicity if you spin it properly. The Information Age is also the All Show Biz all the Time Age. 

{Hmmm... You may be smarter than you look.}      

Good thing, right?

The classics never get old. For those of you reading this via the dead trees format: BA DUM TSSS!

{Hi-LAR-ious. Can we hope for some meat on this sandwich?}

The Wall Street Journal, as my millions of regular readers know, is my personal paper of record. 

Although the news division now is forced to demean itself by drifting slightly leftwards... 

And featuring slightly more in the way of celebrity/fashion/self-help/sensationalist/doom-mongering shtuff that many H. sapiens can't seem to ever get enough of to maintain circulation numbers (or at least I hope that's why they're doing it),

They still also publish the sort of high-quality journalism they're famous for, including stories that are not widely reported on elsewhere but should be.  

For example, the Emperor's minions, lackeys, and sneaky students are stealing our chips.

{Frito Lay products are as popular and widely distributed in China as they are here. Personally, I can't get enough Roasted Fish, why do they need to steal our chips?}

I'm talkin' computer chips, specifically Nvidia AI chips. "Nvidia’s chips are highly coveted for their ability to handle the massive computations needed to train AI systems that are critical to China-U.S. tech rivalry." -Raffaele Huang/WSJ 

{Just a sec', I'll be right back... Hey, I enjoy reading lengthy articles about the technology sector as much as the next guy person. Still, I think you'd be doing your gentlereaders a public service by providing a summary.}

Easy Peasy, here's another quote from the article. 

"The student is part of a barely concealed [widely known, easily accessible] network of buyers, sellers and couriers bypassing the Biden administration’s restrictions aimed at denying China access to Nvidia’s advanced AI chips..."

{Student, what student?}

The article begins by describing how a Chinese student studying in Singapore brought home a half dozen Nvidia AI chips when he flew home to China for a vacation for which he was paid $100 each by a Chinese middlemanperson. 

Depending on the particular chip, they will be resold for roughly 20 to 30k — each. 

"The Commerce Department, which oversees enforcement of the U.S. restrictions, didn’t respond to requests for comment." 

Given that we're fighting Cold War Two, even if The Fedrl Gummit doesn't like to acknowledge it — we shouldn't needlessly risk offending a country that supplies slave labor (and lots of customers) to build us cool sneakers and smartphones — you'd think we'd be all over this. 

{Hey, If you would stop ignoring the artificial intelligence built into your spell checker you would know that you should have written you would think that we would be all over this. You'd and we'd are some pretty ugly lookin' contractions...just sayin'.}

On an unrelated note, I'm officially endorsing Camalla Harris and Pete Buttigieg for president and vice president (respectively) this year. 

Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg, vote for them and we'll all win big! I'm on a fixed income so I wrote a slogan in lieu of a donation.

{AI wants you to write instead of in lieu of in lieu of.} 

She's a woman, of a couple of different colors, and he belongs to the LGBT+ club. Between them, that's three (or four, depending on how you count) different historically marginalized minorities. Most importantly, there's no trace of Satan's inadvertent minions, straight white males. 

Being a straight white male myself, this is my way of apologizing for being responsible for everything that's wrong with the world. 

{Pete who?}

Have an OK day, 
Colonel Cranky

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Friday, March 17, 2023

Older, Not Necessarily Wiser

A quotable quotes column. 

Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.  

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating meltdown.  


Featuring Dana: Hallucination, guest star, and charming literary device 

"Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative." -Maurice Chevalier

Dear Stickies and Gentlereaders,

Wisdom is alleged to be a side effect of old age. 

Oscar Wilde said that "With age comes wisdom, but..." (the writer emphasizes but, and then pauses for effect).

{But what?}

The second half of the quote is, but sometimes age comes alone. 

H.L. Mencken said, "The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom."

Kurt Vonnegut said, "True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country." 

I'm currently 69 (the new 39) years old and recently discovered that the average age of the members of the U.S. Senate is only 64, which means that many of them weren't even old enough to be freshmenpersons when I was a senior and everyone knows how uncool freshpersons are. 

However, I also discovered that 34 of 'em are older than I am and that a personal favorite of mine, Chuck Grassley, a friend of corn farmers everywhere, is 89 and tied for first place with Danne Feinstein. Ms. Feinstein, as you may have heard, was recently surprised to discover she was retiring. 

The average age of the members of the House is a youthful 57, which means that when I was a senior in high school, the average Congressperson was only in second grade. However, 87 are my age or older, 36 are 75 or older, and 12 range in age from 80 to 86.  
{What's your point?}

When I become king, Dana, I'm going to decree that 75 is the mandatory retirement age for congresspersons. If they wish to continue to serve the people they can always get jobs as lobbyists.

As of 2020, the average H. sapien was dead by the age of 73.7. Currently, there are 60 lucky members of the 118th Congress who are beating the odds. As of 1/23, the congressional approval rating stood at 21%. Your question answers itself. 

Sylvia Garcia, 72 (D.-Tx) who represents "much of eastern Houston" according to Wikipedia, has only been a congressperson since 2019 but has been a politician for roughly 40 years. Recently, she was (semi) famous for (almost) 15 minutes. 

Ms. Garcia is a member of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, details here if, unlike me, you have a life and find following politics and/or current events boring and would like a briefing. 

Bottom line: The Red team says The Fedrl Gummit has been stepping, treading if you will, on the rights of the people it's supposed to serve. The Blue Team says nuh-uh.  

Journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger were called in front of the committee to testify about their role in publishing the details of what appears to have been a, um, unhealthy relationship between Twitter and The Fedrl Gummit (TFG) prior to its purchase by Tony Stark, a.k.a. Elon Musk.  

If you're unfamiliar with that kerfuffle... take care, and I'll catch ya later. It would take a column or two to even begin to adequately explain that particular he said, she said, they said.

In the following YouTube clip, Congressperson Garcia is beating up on Messers. Taibbi and Shellenberger for refusing to reveal what she wants to know about the stuff they've published that reveals some shady connections between Twitter and TFG prior to Mr. Musk's purchase.  

While this would seem to prove that getting on the wrong side of TFG can get ya stepped on, Ms. Garcia, at 72, is as focused and relentless as Jack McCoy on Law & Order back in the day.


At about five minutes in she reveals that she doesn't know who Bari Weiss is. 

Ms. Weiss (apropos of nothing, a fellow former Yinzer) is a journalist who's had important jobs at the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Nowadays, like Mr. Taibbi, she's gone out on her own, via Substack, in order to practice traditional (i.e. real) journalism, with no one to answer to but her readers.

Musk turned to her and Taibbi for that very reason. They have led the charge to get the story, stories (Pl) actually, out into the world. Congressperson Garcia, with a straight face, asks Mr. Shelleberger if he, Taibbi, and Weiss are " this as a threesome?"

Cue grins and suppressed laughter. 

Garcia, apparently oblivious, continues her attack as if nothing happened, instantly losing all credibility. The head of the committee, Congressman Jim Jordan, then provides a succinct epilogue to the performance. 
                                                The End 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Friday, February 3, 2023

Dear Tiffany,

Image by Monika from Pixabay 

This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids — the Stickies — eventual selves to advise them and haunt them after they've become grups and/or I'm deleted.  

Trigger Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, or grups may result in a debilitating meltdown.  


Featuring Dana: Hallucination, guest star, and charming literary device

"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or..." 
                                                                                        -Barack Obama

Dear Stickies and Gentlereaders (and Tiffany),

Hoo-Boy... I've done it again. 

I apologize, Tiffy, may I call you Tiffy? You see, I saved a quote attributed to you and I don't know where I got the quote from. In my defense, I'm almost old. I'll be turning 40 next summer and my short-term memory, as well as my organizational skills, ain't what they used to be. 

I think that it may have been in the Wall Street Journal. Their opinion page occasionally includes an item called Notable & Quotable that features a quote from someone who's not necessarily important or well-known. Regardless of where I found the quote I'm certain that you are the quotee. 

{There's no such word as quotee, and don't you mean opinion pages, plural?}

Are you sure? And for the record, the online version of the WSJ posts all three pages of op-eds that are published in the dead trees version as one long scrollable page, Dana. Anyway, I find Tiffy's quote to be interesting and worth sharing.  

Tiffany shares Mrs. Clinton's and Barack Obama's opinion of the Deplorables. Being semi-deplorable myself, naturally, her quote caught my eye.  

"I understand why they might be grumpy. After all, in all sorts of ways, especially economically, they’ve lost/are losing ground. What I don’t understand is why they don’t learn to code, or pitch ideas for reality TV shows, or something instead of whining about it all the time."

Obviously, Tiffy is not devoid of empathy, but clearly she's no pushover.

You know what? I'll wager that If she courageously decides to reproduce in spite of the many problems and downsides of doing so in a postmodern world — finding a genetically and financially suitable mate, the environmental impact of creating yet another carbon dioxide emitting H. Sapien, finding woke daycare, stretch marks, etc. — she'll be a tiger mom (tiger birthing person?) regardless of which ethnicity she self-identifies with.

{You're just recruiting um... fresh participators? The Ponzi scheme that finances your Social Security checks requires a steady stream of same.}

Is participator a real word? Anyhow, don't get her started:

"And don’t get me started on the Bitter Clingers! They may think that their “religion” gives them the right to not have anything to do with abortion, or baking cakes for LGBTQ etc., but what if it was still legal in some states to refuse to serve white, brown, etc sorts of people?"

Abort that baby, bake that cake, and shut up! A woman of principle. I must admit I'm confused though. Refusing to serve a person of pallor is the sort of discrimination actively encouraged by many of the awokend as atonement for sins real or imagined.

If the Supremes were to just wake up and start interpreting dust-covered legislation, and the moldy old Constitution for that matter, in a much more flexible way Tiffy's frustrations could easily be resolved.  

"It’s our duty to drag these folks into the 21st century for their own good!"

The last line of the quote is my favorite. It reminds me of the idealism many of my fellow Boomers and I professed a long time ago in a zeitgeist, far, far away — at least for a minute or two before most of us were mugged by reality and had to get a real J.O.B.

Unfortunately, it also reminds me of the late, not-so-great Mao Tse-Tung's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and/or any given inquisition conducted by the Catholic church over the course of several centuries. But in her defense, given the current state of the American education system, Tiffy may never have heard of either.

Fortunately, this being the 21st century — and not the late middle ages and early renaissance when the inquisition was really rockin', or the swingin' sixties when Chairman Mao was Chinese communisms comeback kid — we don't torture and/or execute heretics anymore, at least in America.

We just dox 'em, cancel 'em, and destroy their livelihoods and reputations. We've come a long way, baby. And if they profusely profess the error of their ways (and hire the right public relations specialists) redemption is theoretically possible.

{Hey-hey-hey, wait a second. You're turning 70 next summer, not 40, what do you think you're...}

Well, gotta go, Tiffy. If I don't get out the door soon I'm gonna be late for this week's Ironman Triathlon. Please feel free to contact me if you should happen to read this.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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