Citizen Canine

Citizen Canine

I drove past this place in Oakland. Paws down the best name ever for a doggie day care . . .

See You in Hell: Hot Yoga


[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE]

Greetings everyone!

We’re trying a new offering down here: Hot Yoga. Not 105 degrees hot. REALLY hot! NEXT-LEVEL hot!

See you in Hell . . .

What Can USC Students Tell Us About Inequality?

Tommy Trojan

Well, according to the New York Times, some USC students jet to Bali for spring break, while some of their classmates work overnight shifts to pay for books!

  1. Instead of inequality, think of it as diversity. So now it’s a good thing!
  2. The Times for some reason writes USC as U.S.C., even though nobody does that.
  3. I’ve noticed the Times always measures life outcomes in terms of money, like that’s the only possible criterion.
  4. What ‘s so great about jetting to Bali anyway? What are you going to do, lay on a fucking beach? There are 50 beaches within two hours of USC. It’s the same sun up in the sky. You’re the same person with the same problems in Bali as you are here. You jet to Bali, you jet home, absolute waste of time.

Sanctuary Cities?

Pelosi fumes over White House plan to release immigrant detainees in sanctuary cities

Fox News

Sanctuary cities: Immigrants, regardless of status, are safe in our city. Bring them here! They are welcome. This is the very point of a sanctuary city!

President trump: Ok, we’ll send a few busloads over right now.

Sanctuary cities: Wait — what?

Yanked Down to the Bottom

Peggy NoonanIn the old party of classic 20th-century Democratic liberalism, they wanted everyone to rise. . . . Now there’s a mood not of Everyone Can Rise but of Some Must Be Taken Down. It’s bitter, resentful, divisive. . . .

America is not good guys in a foxhole to them, it’s crabs in a barrel with the one who gets to the top getting yanked down to the bottom — deservedly.

Cyber Liability Insurance

“Does your company have cyber liability insurance?” an insurance agent asks me. “It protects you against hacking.”

“No one I work with is smart enough to hack into anything,” I reply. “Do we still need it?”

17 Things We Love About Pugs

From Icon Dogwear:

Life is Beautiful, Living is Pain

Hopes rise and dreams flicker and die. Love plans for tomorrow and loneliness thinks of yesterday. Life is beautiful and living is pain. The sound of music floats down a dark street.

Hunter S. Thompson

W.S. Merwin, 1927-2019

W.S. Merwin

I think there’s a kind of desperate hope built into poetry that one really wants, hopelessly, to save the world. One is trying to say everything that can be said for the things that one loves while there’s still time.

W.S. Merwin

RIP W.S. Merwin

Also . . .

The Moral Compass Oscillates

Following up on the college admission scandal . . .

Moral compass

Now that we have faces and names, sums of money, and details on specific subterfuges, the level of anger, shock and indignation is much higher than I would have expected regarding what I thought was already taken as a truism: that parents with money and influence can get their kids into colleges that they couldn’t get into on their own merits.

Everyone also knows that students are routinely admitted to colleges based on various forms of diversity rather than on academic achievement. Moreover, virtuous Americans agree that tilting the system in this way in favor of academically unqualified individuals is a good thing.

I would have thought that the moral question is whether it’s right to tilt the admissions process at all based on non-meritorious criteria such as demographics, including the demographic of having rich parents.

If everyone agrees that the process should be tilted, I wouldn’t expect the moral compass to oscillate based on the direction of the tilt.

Why would tilting the process in one direction be admirable but tilting it in a different direction be reprehensible?

If it’s admirable for you to put your thumb on the scale, why is it odious and vile for others to do the same?

Are We Agreed That Rigging the College Admissions Process is a Good Thing?

Outraged parents are filing lawsuits in the college admissions scandal . . .

One parent, Jennifer Kay Toy of Oakland, believes her son Joshua was not admitted to some colleges because wealthy parents thought it was “ok to lie, cheat, steal [steal?] and bribe their children’s way into a good college.”

She has therefore filed a $500 billion lawsuit (sounds reasonable) accusing 45 defendants of defrauding and inflicting emotional distress on everyone whose “rights to a fair chance at entrance to college” were stolen through their alleged conspiracy.

Not reported: where (or if) Joshua is actually attending college, or which colleges Ms. Toy thinks he would have been admitted to if not for the aforementioned skulduggery.

There are also students filing suits, alleging among other things that their degrees have been devalued by skepticism over the validity of the admission process.

I think these lawsuits founder on at least a couple of points:

  1. None of the people or universities involved invented lying, cheating or bribing as a way to get into college. We’re now able to put actual faces to it (William Singer, Lori Loughlin, Felicity Huffman, etc.) but the proposition that the college admission process was untainted until Singer and his fellow fraudsters corrupted it is not going to stand up to scrutiny.
  2. As regards skepticism about academic bona fides, not only have students for decades been routinely admitted to colleges based on criteria other than academic achievement (e.g., “diversity”), but virtuous Americans seem to agree that rigging the system in favor of otherwise unqualified individuals is a good thing. Where are the lawsuits over diversity admits devaluing academic credentials?

Signing Your Life Away

I had surgery last week to remove a basal cell carcinoma. It’s a common outpatient procedure but the consent form I was given to sign when I checked in listed out all the worst-case scenarios: I might be disfigured, I might bleed to death, etc.

After signing it, I took the form back up to the nurse and said “This information is so alarming that I changed my mind about doing the surgery. See you later.”

“Ha ha,” she chuckled. “You’re signing your life away.”

“Yes . . . maybe you’re not supposed to say that.”

Alex Trebek Has Cancer

And yet Pat Sajak is in perfect health . . . this is fair?!

Actually, I’ve never liked Alex Trebek. I used to watch the original version of Jeopardy!, hosted by a guy named Art Fleming, who, unlike Trebek, didn’t act like he was smarter than the contestants just because he had the answers right there in front of him . . .

Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash


To honor Johnny Cash on his birthday (Feb 26, 1932), I played this video for my students this morning.

Fortunately, God didn’t cut any of them down before the end of class, but sooner or later . . .

Robert Kraft Charged With Solicitation

As I understand it, he paid for a massage but received some additional services.

I’ve seen videos where a man meets up with a female real estate agent and receives services above and beyond a home tour. Sometimes people just hit it off.

Or maybe the masseuse was a Patriots fan.

Skyrocketing Pedestrians

New technology shows promise reducing skyrocketing pedestrian fatalities CNBC

Skyrocketing pedestrian

I thought from the headline and the photo that the article was about fatalities involving skyrocketing pedestrians . . .

Media Using the C-Word (“Crisis”)

White House requests $3.7 billion in emergency funds for border crisis

Washington Post 

Daniel’s journey: How thousands of children are creating a crisis in America 


Shocking Photos Of Humanitarian Crisis On U.S. Border Emerge

Huffington Post

“$3.7 billion [requested] to cope with the humanitarian crisis on the border and the spike in illegal crossings by unaccompanied minors from Central America.”

ABC News

Caveat: Those media quotes are from 2014 when President Obama was requesting emergency funds to deal with the border crisis.

My go-to question for Democratic politicians would be “How do you respond to the president’s statement that we have a humanitarian crisis at the border?” And when they’re done with their predictably withering response, I’d say, “No, I was referring to President Obama’s statement.”

I Need to Acquire a Quirky Personality Defect

My great uncle died recently . . . of the people who spoke at his funeral, the thing that everyone seemed to zero in on was that he didn’t like to have to tell people how to do something more than once. He told you once and if you didn’t get it, he got angry about it.

I wonder what people will say at my funeral? I don’t know that I have a distinguishing trait that everyone knows.

In any case, I’m going to start telling people things once and once only and then yelling at them if I have to repeat myself.

My Boyhood Sports Heroes Are Dying: Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson played and managed for a number of teams, but I remember him best as part of the Baltimore Oriole teams managed by Earl Weaver, with Mark Belanger, Davey Johnson, Boog Powell, Don Buford, Paul Blair, Andy Etchebarren, Elrod Hendricks, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, Tom Phoebus, and fellow Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer.

RIP Frank Robinson

God’s Silence

“But just think of Gethsemane, Vicar. Christ’s disciples fell asleep. They hadn’t understood the meaning of the last supper, or anything. And when the servants of the law appeared, they ran away. And Peter denied him. Christ had known his disciples for three years. They’d lived together day in and day out — but they never grasped what he meant. They abandoned him, to the last man. And he was left alone. That must have been painful. Realizing that no one understands. To be abandoned when you need someone to rely on — that must be excruciatingly painful. But the worse was yet to come. When Jesus was nailed to the cross — and hung there in torment — he cried out — ‘God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me?’ He cried out as loud as he could. He thought that his heavenly father had abandoned him. He believed everything he’d ever preached was a lie. The moments before he died, Christ was seized by doubt. Surely that must have been his greatest hardship? God’s silence.”

Winter Light
Winter Light