Featured Editorials

A symptom of dysfunction: fewer than half of voters choose almost every candidate that appears on a ballot

Democrats comprise 30% of registered voters. Republicans: 29% (source). Yet, in most cases, these two parties choose 100% of the candidates who appear on the ballot for a general election. In some cases the situation is more dire (for example, California's "jungle primary" all but guarantees that in many if not most cases the only two candidates who appear will be Democrats).

The Future is Here, and It's Incredibly Ugly, Expensive and Doesn't Work

The ugly mess that a half century of capital growth and technological "progress" produced:
Porsche 917LH (1969-71) Top speed - 239 mph (Le Mans, France, 1971).
Porsche 919 Hybrid (2014-2018) Top speed - 223 mph (Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, 2018).

Open Thread Friday 3-13-2020

Welcome and good day. It has been a fast few weeks. I hope you and yours are well and have had time to make some preparations for staying in place if necessary. The necessary part has become more real as we have seen how fast this virus can move in our communities. This is not an abstract event in other countries seen on TV or our web devices.

Dr. Amy Acton, Director of Ohio Department of Health, discussing community spread in Ohio. Do the math for your local area.

El Cid Rides Again (Plan A)

In 1099 AD, during the early days of the Spanish Reconquista, the Christian statesman and general Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (aka El Cid) died of illness while defending Valencia from the Moors. As the battle raged and with their Hero dead, the surviving nobles inside the walls desperately needed to find some way to rally their dispirited troops for one final charge to break the siege and relieve the city.

el cid.png

And so, as the legend tells, Rodrigo's wife Jimena ordered the corpse of El Cid to be mounted in full battle dress on his faithful steed. The animal was then sent galloping straight at the Moorish lines. The Valencia troops, stunned out of their apathy by the seeming miracle of a resurrected El Cid, instinctively followed the warhorse into battle and won a smashing victory before anybody on either side realized the guy leading the charge wasn't actually sentient.

900 years later on Super Tuesday 2020, El Cid rode again.

Hot Air

Our local Dominican Hospital is putting up tents in their parking lot in preparation for the Coronavirus. UCSC has required students to take classes online now and if possible to leave and study from home.

What is interesting about this to me, is that people are simply taking matters into their own hands. No one is telling them to do this. No one is organizing them. Without any imposed structure things are happening quickly and in a coherent way. All this, and to date there are only two known COVID-19 cases in our county. Clearly we can solve problems and self organize when we are presented with an imminent threat.