1/2/16…Ah, well….

Tweets are the tea-leaves and entrails that the current era’s punditical haruspices pore over for guidance as to what to opine. Frankly, I have no time for Twitter. I’m tweeting more than I ever have – I’m up to possibly two Tweets a week, always to promote FIXERS and this website – but I think the media’s dependence on it to source material is ridiculous. I also consign quite a few inbox messages to spam, and while I’m sure I thereby discard legitimate stuff, if I don’t absolutely recognize the sender, or the format doesn’t pass the smell test, I don’t look further. 

1. FB has a feature that dredges Memory Lane for stuff one put up in the past. Here’s one of mine from 3 years ago that I rather fancy: On this whole wealth envy business. I was once asked “Don’t you wish you were as rich as X?” To which I replied, “Not really – because to be as rich as X, I would have to be X, and I don’t find that very appealing.” I’ve been quite well off, but I now live in reduced circumstances. The latter has its limitations, certainly, but there’s this to be said: one meets an altogether better class of people. As for the friends one had, whose adoption seemed sufficiently tried to be grappled to one’s breast with hoops of steel, many have escaped, sawing through the old bond of friendship with hacksaws forged from gold and diamonds.

2. http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/visiting-disney-world-is-the-modern-version-of-making-a-medieval-pilgrimage?utm_source=Atlas+Obscura+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1305de4aa3-Newsletter_1_2_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f36db9c480-1305de4aa3-63378865&ct=t(Newsletter_1_2_2017)&mc_cid=1305de4aa3&mc_eid=52a8ddceb0 Which I guess makes “Pokemon Go” the present-day equivalent of the Crusades.

3. No comment: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/david-fahrenthold-tells-the-behind-the-scenes-story-of-his-year-covering-trump/2016/12/27/299047c4-b510-11e6-b8df-600bd9d38a02_story.html?utm_term=.0e1f46f97f4f Actually, there is something here that’s worth commenting on, and which obliges me to choke down a bit of crow re Twitter. Let’s call this “populist journalism.” When Farenthold tweeted about his search of the evanescent Trump charity contributions, hundreds if not thousands of people stepped forward to help in the search: scouring records, doing on-site spotting, providing checkable leads and so on. This exponentiates the candlepower that a journalistic spotlight can focus on a subject and the chances that the bad stuff, no matter how artfully or expensively concealed, will be dragged kicking and blinking into the light. As Joe Louis said of Billy Conn, “He can run but he can’t hide.” Something like this needs to be done for each of the 535 members of Congress: thousands of people turning over stones and rotted stumps in every district, chancery and jurisdiction in the land.

4. The second part of a long post submitted by Alexander. This is Part II, which delves into the political ramifications of the financial phenomena discussed in Part I, which I found heavy going, but you may link back to it: http://bawerk.net/2016/11/11/toward-a-new-world-order-part-ii/  I found the writer’s conclusion to make eminent good sense: The key point is that the political distance between a vote for the international socialist and the national socialist voter is miniscule. A blue-collar worker in Pennsylvania, downtrodden by years of hardship, will easily switch to the party that promises to restore old glory days. Pundits are obviously puzzled – how can a union man vote for the party for the rich? How can he vote for a party that are miles away from his political self-interest? The answer of course is that the union man is not. He is rationally voting for a party closely resembling the one he used to vote for, only this one comes with a slightly new rhetoric.

5.Trump called out the Capitol Hill cowards whose first act of the new session was to eviscerate the various corruption statutes on the books. This underscores what no one is willing to concede the president-elect. His plays hard – but he plays by the rules, and has never, at least to my knowledge, been prosecuted for corruption or any other criminal behavior. Trump understands what Sam Collins, the spy-turned-casino-impresario in the original Tinker Tailor… understood: “We get all the help we need from the arithmetic.”  That is: from the odds that people made stupid by greed or other motives persist in trying to buck. Call Trump anything you want, but don’t call him a crook.

g. This is very good. Thanks to my friend Maeve Yore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hER0Qp6QJNU

h. An interesting article. As I read it, I kept thinking about the standard Hamptons rejoinder that members of the Africa-American community won’t do the work- landscaping, for example – that immigrants will and it has nothing to do with wage scales. This makes no sense. Perhaps the answer is they won’t do that  work for that money. Oh – and thanks once again to Naked Capitalism. I subscribe to The American Conservative, but somehow missed this: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/harvards-george-j-borjas/