The Daily Broadside


Posted on 07/31/2023 5.00 AM

JCM 7/30/2023 8:24:19 PM

Posted by: JCM

vxbush 7/31/2023 5:54:56 AM

What has Obama been doing on Martha's Vineyard?  Photos Show Barack Obama Playing Golf With Bandaged Hand, Black Eye

The tape could have been preventative to help his golf game. No disagreement there. But what caused the black eye? 

vxbush 7/31/2023 6:31:36 AM
JCM 7/31/2023 7:01:51 AM

Reply to vxbush in 1:

The Harry Reid work out program!

JCM 7/31/2023 7:03:49 AM

A very Seattle story.

Man fatally struck by Seattle Monorail while spray-painting building

vxbush 7/31/2023 8:18:33 AM

In #3 JCM said: The Harry Reid work out program!

Heh. Somehow, I doubt that, but who knows? 

buzzsawmonkey 7/31/2023 8:22:43 AM

In #1 vxbush said: But what caused the black eye? 

It's a symbol of Obamacare.

vxbush 7/31/2023 9:38:54 AM

In #6 buzzsawmonkey said: It's a symbol of Obamacare.

Okay, now I want to see a drawing of Obama with a black eye and "Obamacare!" emblazoned on it. That would seem apropos. 

Occasional Reader 7/31/2023 11:16:52 AM

You know, during the dark days of Fuhrer Trump, I don't recall basic childhood disease antibiotics being out of stock in major pharmacies.  

/fortunately, I found amoxicillin at a non-CVS joint

Occasional Reader 7/31/2023 11:17:38 AM

In #1 vxbush said: But what caused the black eye? 

Argument with "Big Mike". 

vxbush 7/31/2023 11:20:10 AM

In #8 Occasional Reader said: You know, during the dark days of Fuhrer Trump, I don't recall basic childhood disease antibiotics being out of stock in major pharmacies.  

It seems as if the number of drugs that are out of stock is growing larger and larger. There were some drugs that were difficult to get during the Trump years, but the number of drugs has gone up (look at the third chart). 

Occasional Reader 7/31/2023 11:39:39 AM

Reply to vxbush in 10:

Bidenomics!  Awesomeness!

The more people who die from treatable diseases, the lower the total human carbon footprint!  WINNING

Occasional Reader 7/31/2023 11:42:52 AM
RIP, Paul "Pee-Wee Herman" Reubens. 
buzzsawmonkey 7/31/2023 11:50:35 AM

In #12 Occasional Reader said: RIP, Paul "Pee-Wee Herman" Reubens. 

Met him back in 1969, at a summer college program for high-school kids, and saw him perform in the play that his part of the program staged. He was a superb actor, long before he invented his "Pee-Wee" persona.

Occasional Reader 7/31/2023 12:01:20 PM

Reply to buzzsawmonkey in 13:

You have led an interesting life. 

buzzsawmonkey 7/31/2023 12:16:43 PM

In #14 Occasional Reader said: You have led an interesting life. 

...And hope to continue to do so.  Frankly, though, whatever I've experienced has always seemed to me to be just...well...whatever was happening.  It's only upon looking back that I sometimes think, "Gee, maybe that's not what everyone else has done..."

buzzsawmonkey 7/31/2023 12:30:23 PM

Reply to Occasional Reader in 14:

A week or so ago, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut did a "Guest Editorial" in the New York Times, touting his proposed legal restrictions on online content providers and apps to prevent kiddies from rotting their minds with their cell phones.  I wrote the following, which did not see print as far as I know, in response to that;

To the Editor:

I commend Senator Murphy for addressing the evils of algorithmic online searches. He approaches eloquence when he says, “We all know instinctively that the journeys in life matter just as much as the destinations. It’s in the wandering that we learn what we like and what we don’t like.”

However, by concentrating on “happiness,” and upon the legal solution he proposes, Senator Murphy fails to fully address the damage wrought by reliance on algorithms.  Anyone who has dealt over the phone with the increasingly-common automated “customer service representatives” knows how grossly inadequate they are at addressing a problem.  Algorithmic searches are much the same thing—canned responses to stimuli written by anonymous and unaccountable programmers.  They  provide little actual information save by fortuitous chance.

Any question I or my siblings posed to our parents was invariably answered by what became a household catch-phrase: “Look it up.”  To that end, we had numerous books on various subjects.  Two cornerstones of that home library were a hefty unabridged Webster’s dictionary and a set of World Book encyclopedias.  These were always the starting point of such explorations—but the World Book was the then-equivalent of today’s algorithmic searches.  To say “It isn’t in the World Book” was to invite derision. There were many times when something one sought was, in today’s e-lingo, “404 not found.” Then we headed out to the public library.

The replacement of public- and school-library card catalogs with computer terminals was a terrible blow to youthful learning.  Just as paging through the unabridged Webster’s for a definition often revealed unexpected  and delightful bits of knowledge, combing the card catalog would reveal previously-unknown sources of information beyond what was originally being sought.  A targeted search by computer terminal, like the algorithmic search on a phone or computer, does not encourage mental detours.

While Senator Murphy’s proposed legal solution has merit, any household can—and should—have at least a modest reference library which they teach the child to use.  Our current home reference library includes a midcentury edition of Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary; the Oxford Book of Quotations; the Oxford Dictionary of English Literature, which contains fascinating entries not only on authors, but on their works and the characters in them; a Webster’s biographical dictionary; the Variety Music Cavalcade (3d Edition), which lists popular American songs from 1620 to 1969, organized by year, with historical snippets recording the events of that year; the Fairchild Dictionary of Textiles; “America’s Table,” a dictionary of foodstuffs interspersed with notes on the restaurant business; and two classic-film guides, one British and one American, providing contrasting viewpoints.

All of these books were acquired secondhand at low cost.  They have all, at different times, been invaluable adjuncts to knowledge and conversation. Any parent concerned with their child’s development should consider acquiring a similar collection, curated to their needs and fields of interest, and seeing that it gets used.  However necessary Senator Murphy’s legal proposals may be, it is more important to have the means for fostering knowledge and curiosity ready to hand in the home.

JCM 7/31/2023 1:44:43 PM

Reply to buzzsawmonkey in 16:

My dad had acquired a set of the Harvard Classics... I didn't read all of it... but a bunch.

buzzsawmonkey 7/31/2023 2:28:31 PM

In #17 JCM said: My dad had acquired a set of the Harvard Classics... I didn't read all of it... but a bunch.

The whole point of the "Harvard Classics" was that you could educate yourself without having to run the credential and tuition gauntlet.  It was a step towards the democratization of knowledge/education---something almost forgotten now.

More power to you, and to your father for acquiring the means.

Occasional Reader 7/31/2023 3:24:10 PM

In #18 buzzsawmonkey said: The whole point of the "Harvard Classics" was that you could educate yourself without having to run the credential and tuition gauntlet

But where's the grift (and the class self-protection) in that?! 

Kosh's Shadow 7/31/2023 4:34:26 PM

We had two sets of encyclopedias from the 1930's, and relatives had a set of "great books". I read some of those but could not get through DOn Quixxote. I did read that in a more readable translation many years later.

SNL did a parody ad "Great Bookedges of the Western World" - just the edges you could put on your shelves to look like you are well-read. That is probably about how most of those sets got used.

buzzsawmonkey 7/31/2023 5:47:02 PM

In #20 Kosh's Shadow said: could not get through DOn Quixxote.

The great SJ Perelman called Don Quixote "the world's most unread classic."

vxbush 7/31/2023 6:05:10 PM

In #21 buzzsawmonkey said: The great SJ Perelman called Don Quixote "the world's most unread classic."

I haven't touched that one--yet. Someday I might get interested enough to read it, but not yet. 

Kosh's Shadow 7/31/2023 6:23:35 PM

Reply to vxbush in 22:

I can look up the Kindle edition I read. I would say most people do not make it to the end, but some parts are worth it (assuming the translation is readable)

Of course, the play/movie Man of La Mancha gets the message backwards.

Occasional Reader 7/31/2023 7:24:37 PM

Reply to buzzsawmonkey in 21:

I tried tackling it in the original early 17th century Spanish some years ago.

And… gave up, after a couple dozen chapters.  It was heavy sledding, to put it mildly.

Kosh's Shadow 7/31/2023 7:50:30 PM

You must be logged in to comment.