Reviews

A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Feast of St. Thomas

Today, 28 January, is the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, translated. Do something logical in his honor.

His feast had been set originally on 7 March, the day of his death, as is customary. But it fell within Lent too often and so was shifted in 1969 to 28 January, when his remains were removed from Naples, where he had lived, and reburied in the Church of the Jacobins, the mother church of the Dominican order. This process is known as "translation." During the Revolution, the church was vandalized by the Enlightened: the stained glass windows were smashed and the medieval murals painted over with whitewash. The building was converted into an army barracks. In the early 20th century, the building was restored bit by bit and functions now as a monument and museum. It was called the Church of the Jacobins not because the leftist armies had vandalized and occupied it, but because the Dominicans had once been headquartered in Paris on the Rue St.-Jacques.

To celebrate the day, TOF will try briefly to recap one of his famous metaphysical demonstrations in as modern a lingo as possible; to wit, the Argument from Motion.¹

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Apparently, Russians are getting a laugh out of the whole thing.



"Nightmare of Obama"

Caption was: "Come on Lyudmilla! Hack those Yanks!"

Caption: Typical Russian Hacker





Saturday, January 7, 2017

Fake News I

The topic of "Fake News" being much in the news lately, TOF thought he would much amuse himself by noting occasional sightings of the species here and there in the wild. Not being a frequenter of many of the places where these things are said to dwell -- indeed, he has never heard of many of them -- he is forced to rely upon his own sources and upon logical and rational analysis to identify them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Fearless Forecasts for 2017

  1. Trump's base will gradually realize that they have helped elect a(n admittedly unorthodox) liberal Democrat to office. Having pledged to retain precisely those aspects of the Affordable [sic] Care Act that make it unsustainable [e.g., last-minute coverage of pre-existing conditions], he will preside over the implosion of the entire health-care payment "system" [sic] and replace the wreckage with a Canadian-style national system. Then he will stun everyone by inviting Health Canada to operate the system rather than the Chicago Machine, thus forestalling the predicted Zombie Apocalypse by preventing the legendary Dead of Chicago from rising up and seizing control of the Levers of Power. 
  2. Russia, in her never-ending search for more Russians to demographically shore up the Rodina, will discover large numbers of them not only in Lithuania and Kazakhstan, but also in Alaska and Brighton Beach, all with a heretofore unspoken longing for reunion with Mother Russia. The obvious solution -- less vodka and more polovoye snosheniye at home -- will not be attempted.
  3. Speaking of which, Hiram Bosworth of Ottumwa, Iowa, will discover malware on his home smart-coffeemaker and the CIA will immediately announce it as Putin's attempt to infiltrate the Internet-of-Things and subvert the American-Way-of-Life with bad coffee. Remnants of the John Birch Society will bring suit against the Democrats violation of the copyright on finding Russians under every bed.
     
  4. Representatives of Occupy America and the Tea Party will hold a joint meeting and realize that their mutual diagnosis -- that the government is in thrall to vested interests -- is the same, but that their respective solutions -- to expand the power of Government regulations on the one hand and to elect a bona fide Vested Interest to the office of President on the other hand -- are a bit incoherent and related in the way of an addict and his enabler. On a voice vote, they adjourn to Otto's Bar and Grill and, in a show of intermural unity, fall off the wagon.
     
  5. The Talking Heads of the MSM will continue to explain to the public the inexplicable loss of the election by the Space Princess. They will continue to natter on about Russian interference (without specifying what that interference actually consisted of) and about Angry Misogynistic White Men (without discovering any large upwelling either of males or whites among the tallied votes). No one will mention triple digit increases in the price of health insurance under the "Affordable" Care Act or the proposal of a No-Fly Zone over Syria, where the Russians constituted the primary fliers -- and hence of the palpable risk of a shooting war with Russia. A few folks in Otto's Bar and Grille, where the Talking Heads are explaining things, will put down their beers and say, "Ain't you the folks who were so wrong about who was going to win? So why should we listen to you now?" The Talking Heads have no good answer, and so they talk louder. Everyone stops listening to them.
     
  6. 2017 will be declared the warmest year on record, after adjustments. Raw temperature data continues to show no increase. Snow will fall.
  7. Sometime during 2017, a substantial number of people will discover that they are not actually in imminent danger from white cops, immigrants, blacks, or other bogeymen. (Most young black men are shot by other young black men, not by cops; most black shooters shoot black victims, not white suburbanites; the problem with illegal Mexican immigration is not immigration or Mexican, but its illegal nature, which allows drug runners and others to conceal themselves among them.) Statistical analysis will be made a required course in high schools. 
  8. The big blockbuster of 2017 will be Indiana Jones and King Solomon's Mines, in which the image of a younger Harrison Ford will team up with the images of Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn on the African Queen to fight Nazis as they search for the aforesaid mines. It will be the first major motion picture to feature no actual live actors in the main parts, but some will argue that a precedent had already been set by S. Stallone and A. Schwarzenegger. Nazis once again will prove to be the most perdurable villains, since no one will picket or complain about their depiction.
  9. The New Witch Hunts will continue as people purge themselves on anti-social media by confessing the sins of other people, often creating these sins de novo from rumors and snippets of quotes. A few will long for the days when confession was under the seal of secrecy. The New Donatists will declare more sins to be lifelong unforgivables and will denounce those who forgive as being haters and 'phobes.
  10. Donald Trump will be impeached on his first day in office, but the Supreme Court will rule that he must first have committed a crime to be impeached for. Just being Donald Trump, while surely aggravating, is insufficient. Also, the media lack jurisdiction, the Bill must originate in the House, not MSNBC. The Supreme Court is accused of being partisan, but Justice Ginsburg, writing for a unanimous court, rules that "we haven't yet completely lost our minds."
  11. The teaching of Western Civilization will be banned from most college campuses as being inherently racist, inasmuch as it focuses primarily on the art, science, and politics of white people.
  12. The president of Turkey points out that under sharia only a properly constituted Islamic government can declare jihad. He then declares Turkey a muslim state and appoints a caliph to succeed Halife İkinci Abdülmecit Efendi. The new Caliph declares ISIS to be takfir and launches holy war against them under the motto "Be careful what you wish for." Everyone save a few Korean War vets have forgotten how the Turks once fought. All Turkomen, many Arab Sunni, and even some Shi'ites join in with enthusiasm. Erdoğan renames his cabinet the Sublime Porte. The French, British, and Russians look on with caution; the Americans with incomprehension.
  13. The CIA reveals that its acronym actually stands for Can't Interpret Anything.
  14. Scientists at CERN studying the "God particle" announce that just as ordinary particles seem to be both particle and wave at the same time, the Higgs boson seems to be three kinds of fields, each distinct yet all somehow the same thing. No one can figure out how this can be so. The Pope chuckles and says apparently to no one present, "Oh, well played."
  15. In their eagerness to shun the cliches of bourgeois art and music and claim the coveted mantle of "intellectual," the avant garde will plunge ever deeper into incomprehensibility, completing the transition from Tonkunst to Klangkunst in both visual and aural media. Meanwhile, the People, in whose name the garde have been avanting, ask if its got a good beat they can dance to. Thus between the primitivism of the one and the revolutionism of the other, the artistic traditions of Western Civilization will be all but lost.
  16. Campaigning for the 2020 election will begin 21 Jan 2017.
TOF's Faithful Reader is asked to contribute his or her own particular insights to the future. 

Whoa, What's This?

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