2016, a Dickensian year

A recap of the year appears to be de rigueur for posts on December 31st, so I should give it a try.  The problem is that I’m not sure I’ve got anything creative to add.

Politically, we all know this year gave us Trump, for better or for worse.  My suspicion is that we may see a number of right things done for the wrong reasons.  If the left ever tries to reach across to Trump instead of castigating him, then we may see more wrong things done for wrong reasons.  From my point of view, the trick will be to hold Trump’s feet to the fire, but in a friendly manner; warming those tootsies instead of scorching the soles.

Internationally, we are living the Chinese curse of interesting times, thanks in part to Chinese regional power ambition.  The Russians are trying to reclaim a measure of their former influence in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.  The EU is moribund and Brexit may not be sufficient to revitalize the United Kingdom.  Perhaps Scotland and Catalonia should be allowed to go their own way; for that matter, perhaps so should California.  As a thought experiment, would the world be a safer place if every little tribe got their own enclave?

Professionally, the first half of my year went very well, but the second half slowed considerably.  I will say that I made more money this year than ever, but I hope I can top that number once or twice before I retire.  Personally, the first quarter of the year was rough, the middle of the year was idyllic, but the clouds of major health issues slowly filled the skies, leading to a stormy autumn for me and mine.  Things are looking up as the year comes to a close, and I believe I will close on that note.  God bless you all and may 2017 be less interesting than 2016.



Obviously, I haven’t gotten the hang of writing on a regular basis.  I’ll have to work on this.  As I noticed previously, I seem to write more when I’m angry, and I have to say I’ve been rather mellow as the year has come to an end.



Move government out of DC!  It’s an idea that’s been floating around the back of the skull of this dino for a while, and I wholeheartedly support the idea.  I would add to the suggestions the concept that there be some logic behind relocations.  For example, moving functions of the Energy Department to Houston would be a no-brainer, as would Agriculture to Omaha.  Interior could go to Salt Lake City.  You might suggest Denver, but the last thing Colorado needs are more professional bureaucrat Democrat voters, while Utah has more room for vote dilution.  However, the EPA should go somewhere in the Animas River watershed.

Wrapping up Cooper-McCrory

Read an article on Carolina Journal suggesting that McCrory was outperformed by Trump in rural counties and vice versa in urban counties.  Let’s see if there is anything deeper there.

Looking at counties that Donald Trump won, but McCrory lost.  Turns out there were only 4 counties that fall into this category.

Jackson County – southern mountains

Roy Cooper 9,205               Pat McCrory 8,782   approximately 400 vote difference

Donald J. Trump 9,870     Hillary Clinton 7,713 – 1100 voters for Trump/not McCrory

Granville County – Piedmont, country/outer suburbs of RTP area

Roy Cooper 13,528              Pat McCrory 13,308 200 vote difference

Donald J. Trump 13,591     Hillary Clinton 12,909   300 voters for Trump/not McCrory

Nash County – Piedmont – small cities and Cooper’s home county

Roy Cooper 24,646 Pat McCrory 22,485 – 2,150 vote difference

Donald J. Trump 23,318 Hillary Clinton 23,235 – 900 voters for Trump/not McCrory

New Hanover – Coastal plain/Wilmington

Roy Cooper 56,367 Pat McCrory 51,101 –  5000 vote difference

Donald J. Trump 55,341 Hillary Clinton 50,975 – 4200 voters for Trump/not McCrory

The biggest thing that stands out to me is that McCrory was really hurt in New Hanover County/Wilmington relative to Trump.  There have been some suggestions that the ending of NC film production tax credits hurt McCrory in this regional film production center, but I would have thought many people voting with that as an issue would not be Trump supporters anyhow.  I’m open to suggestions here.

Anyhow, at this point it’s time to dig in and hold the gains achieved by 4 years of Republican governance until Dan Forest can be elected governor in 2020.  Run, Dan, Run!


“Don’t Steal” soap

I have read science fiction since I was a kid.  Many years ago, in a “Best of” collection, I read a story from a Soviet author about an inventor with marvelous ability but lousy people skills.  The story stuck in my mind because the inventor’s former girlfriend marries another inventor who knows how to climb the greasy pole despite no real gift for invention.  We never meet the second inventor, but at several points in the story, his inventions are described.  The one that stuck in my mind was “Don’t Steal” soap, with an India ink core embedded in the soap.  Use the soap long enough and the user’s hands will be indelibly dyed black.  Of course, this ridiculous product was eagerly adopted by the appropriate design bureau for use in the apartment block-warrens of the proletariat.  This has always struck me as a beautiful example of the combined perfidy and inanity of any Communist, socialist, or “top-down” command system.  I wonder how the author managed to pass this by the censors.

Anyhow, I came across this story again recently.  The title of the story is “A Modest Genius” by Vadim Shefner; I recommend that you read it when you can find it.