Pixel Scroll 5/18/21 Manic Pixel Dreamsnake And The Scrollers Of Doom

(1) RIDLEY TO WRITE NEXT BLACK PANTHER SERIES. The New York Times announced today in an exclusive interview that Academy Award-winning writer John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) will helm Marvel’s next Black Panther comic book series alongside Marvel’s Stormbreaker artist Juann Cabal (Guardians of the Galaxy). Their series will begin this August.

Building from the epic last chapter of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ groundbreaking multi-year Black Panther run in BLACK PANTHER #25 next week, Ridley will kick off an action-packed espionage story that will impact everything in T’Challa’s life and have ramifications for the entire Marvel Universe!

In this new ongoing series, secrets from T’Challa’s past have come back to haunt him. Fresh from returning from his adventures in space, Black Panther receives an unexpected and urgent message from a Wakandan secret agent. T’Challa must race the clock not only to save his agent, but also to keep his true agenda under wraps. Because if the truth comes out, it could cost T’Challa everything…

“It’s a hybrid espionage-superhero thriller, but at its core, it’s a love story,” Ridley told The New York Times. “And I don’t mean just romantic love, although there’s some of that as well. It’s love between friends.

“We’re coming out of a summer where we saw Black people fighting for our rights, standing up, fighting in ways that we haven’t had to do in years,” Ridley added. “And it was really important to me after the year we had where we can have these conversations with Black people and we can use words like love and caring and hope and regret and all these really fundamental emotions that everybody has.”

(2) AMAZON PUBLISHING’S LIBRARY AGREEMENT. The Digital Public Library of America has signed an agreement with Amazon Publishing to make their ebooks available to U.S. libraries:

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce that we have signed an agreement with Amazon Publishing to make all of the approximately 10,000 Amazon Publishing ebooks and audiobooks available to libraries and their patrons through the DPLA Exchange, the only not-for-profit, library-centered content marketplace. This marks the first time that ebooks from Amazon Publishing have been made available to libraries. Like our previous publisher arrangements, this agreement furthers our mission to expand equitable access to ebooks and audiobooks while protecting library patron privacy.

Amazon Publishing titles will begin to be available in the DPLA Exchange via four licensing models this summer; we expect that libraries will be able to access all of the Amazon Publishing titles by the end of the year:

  • Unlimited, one user at a time access, two-year license
  • Bundles of 40 lends, available with a maximum of 10 simultaneously, with no time limit to use the lends
  • Bundles of five lends, available simultaneously, with no time limit to use the lends
  • 26 lends, one user at a time access, the lesser of two years or 26 lends license

Library patrons will be able to access Amazon Publishing titles through SimplyE, the library-developed and managed e-reader app founded by New York Public Library. 

Publishers Weekly’s analysis says the deal will reduce pressure for a legislative solution:

…The deal will also serve to blunt a major criticism of Amazon, which until now had not made its digital content available to libraries under any terms—an exclusion that librarians have loudly criticized for years, and which was brought to the attention of lawmakers in an ALA report last year. In fact, an Amazon spokesperson revealed news of the potential deal with DPLA last year after reporters from The Hill contacted the company regarding a petition urging Congress to pursue “an antitrust investigation and legislative action to preserve and expand library services.”

(3) LIVING INSIDE THE STORY. F&SF invites readers to find out just how far Eugen Bacon, author of “When the Water Stops” in F&SF’s May/June issue, will go to research a new work in this author interview.

SRT: What literary (or other art/history) pilgrimages have you gone on?

EB: Bendigo is a mining town in Australia. I took a tour to the Central Debora Gold Mine for what they called Nine Levels of Darkness (228 metres) in a miner’s cage to research a portion of my novel Mage of Fools by Meerkat Press in March 2022. One scene happens in a mine and I needed to experience it to write it. Imagine what would happen if I were researching a cannibalistic serial killer.

(4) CHILL OUT. James Davis Nicoll is all in favor of science fiction where the heroes get a nice nap before the action starts: “Space Hibernation: Five Stories Featuring Sleeper Ships” at Tor.com.

The Winds of Gath by E. C. Tubb (1967)

Determined to find his lost home world, Dumarest of Earth travels from world to world. Itinerate labourers like Dumarest must travel by the cheapest method available: cold sleep, AKA “Low Passage.” True, the odds of waking from Low Passage are only five in six, assuming the traveller is well-fed and healthy, but it is a risk Dumarest and his companions accept.

Surviving yet another gamble with Low, Dumarest is confronted by yet another Low reality: there is no protection or warning for the traveller should the starship captain alter destination in flight. Rather than waking on prosperous Broome, Dumarest is stuck on tide-locked Gath. Gath is not prosperous and escape may prove quite difficult. If escape is possible at all.

(5) THE BEST OF CORA BUHLERT 2021. Cora Buhlert is making her 2021 Hugo Voter Packet submission available to everyone – and it’s up now.

(6) PILING UP THOSE CANS OF FILM. “Amazon in talks to buy ‘James Bond’ movie studio MGM” reports the Los Angeles Times.

Amazon is looking to bulk up its film and TV operations with MGM’s deep film library and substantial television production work as it looks to keep Prime Video competitive with Netflix and Disney+, which are spending billions to dominate the streaming wars, the sources said.

The Seattle company had long been thought to be a potential acquirer largely because of the appeal of the MGM film and TV library, which includes 4,000 movies such as “Robocop” “The Pink Panther” and “The Silence of the Lambs.” MGM’s scripted TV division is responsible for “Fargo,” “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Vikings.”

The Information first reported the talks, which escalated recently and are said to be in the advanced stages. Sources said the purchase price being discussed is within a range of $7 billion to $9 billion….

(7) ELECTION INTERFERENCE. Essence of Wonder with Gadi Evron will continue its discussion of threats to last year’s US elections in “US Election Interference in 2020 and Beyond Part II – Domestic Interference”. Register at the link. Joining the team for this program will be Bryson Bort (founder of Scythe), Matt Masterson (Former Election Security Lead for CISA), Harri Hursti (Nordic Innovation Labs), and SJ Terp (Strategist, ThreeT Consulting).

(8) LIVING IN SPACE. Jeff Foust reviews two books about the science of settling on Mars and the Moon for The Space Review: “Developing Space and Settling Space”.

Developing Space by John Strickland with Sam Spencer and Anna Nesterova
Settling Space by John Strickland with Sam Spencer and Anna Nesterova

For all his talk about wanting to make humanity multiplanetary, Elon Musk hasn’t said much about how he would ensure people would stay alive on another world. Musk is happy to talk about how Starship can make it possible for people to go to the Moon, Mars, and elsewhere in large numbers, including that vision of a million people living on Mars. But exactly what people would do once on Mars, and how they would survive the extreme environment there, is an exercise left for the reader.

That reader—or maybe Musk himself—could turn to the two volumes recently published by John Strickland, called Developing Space and Settling Space. Strickland, a longtime space advocate and regular contributor to The Space Review, spares no detail in his analysis of how humans can not only get to other worlds—or create their own in the form of space settlements—but also survive and thrive once they got there….

Don Sakers

(9) DON SAKERS OBIT. Author and retired librarian Don Sakers (1958-2021) died May 17. From 2009 to the present he was Analog’s book reviewer, with a “Reference Library” column in every issue.

He most enjoyed being remembered for exploring the thoughts of sapient trees in The Leaves of October (part of his Scattered Worlds series), beating the “Cold Equations” scenario (“The Cold Solution,” Analog 7/91, voted the magazine’s best short story of the year), and editing Carmen Miranda’s Ghost is Haunting Space Station Three (1989), an anthology inspired by Leslie Fish’s filksong, to which he contributed two stories.

Sakers lived at Meerkat Meade in suburban Baltimore with his spouse, costumer Thomas Atkinson.

(10) GRODIN OBIT. Actor Charles Grodin has died of cancer at the age of 86. His best genre roles were in the movies Rosemary’s Baby (1968), King Kong (1976), Heaven Can Wait (1978), The Incredible Shrinking Woman (1981), and The Great Muppet Caper (1981). He also appeared in single episodes of TV’s Captain Nice, and My Mother the Car. The Hollywood Reporter’s career notes mention —

…Grodin’s characters occasionally displayed a sinister side. In King Kong (1976), he played the shady businessman who tries to cash in on the giant ape; two years later, he portrayed an oily lawyer in the screwball comedy remake Heaven Can Wait, starring Warren Beatty.

Early in his career, Grodin was in the running to star as Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate (1967), then played an obstetrician in Rosemary’s Baby (1968)….


  • May 18, 1962 — On this date in 1962, The Twilight Zone aired “I Sing The Body Electric,” scripted by Ray Bradbury. They make a fairly convincing pitch here. It doesn’t seem possible, though, to find a woman who must be ten times better than mother in order to seem half as good, except, of course, in the Twilight Zone. — Intro narration. Although Bradbury contributed several scripts to the series, this was the only one produced. An large ensemble cast was needed, hence Josephine Hutchinson, David White, Vaughn Taylor, Doris Packer, Veronica Cartwright, Susan Crane and Charles Herbert all being performers.  This was the year that the entire season of the series won the Best Dramatic Presentation Hugo at Chicon III.   


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge and John Hertz.]

  • Born May 18, 1852 – I.L. Peretz.  A great figure in Yiddish literature; a score of stories for us, among which a classic version of the golem legend.  Extra credit: compare Avram Davidson’s.  (Died 1915) [JH]
  • Born May 18, 1919 – Margot Fonteyn.  Dame Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire; named prima ballerina assoluta of the Royal Ballet by Elizabeth II.  Danced many fantasies e.g. The FirebirdGiselleRaymondaSwan Lake.  (Died 1991) [JH]
  • Born May 18, 1930 — Fred Saberhagen. I’m reasonably sure I’ve read the entirety of his Berserker series though not in the order they were intended to be read. Some are outstanding, some less so. I’d recommend Berserker ManShiva in Steel and the original Berserker collection.  Of his Dracula sequence, the only one I think that I’veread is The Holmes-Dracula File which is superb. And I know I’ve read most of the Swords tales as they came out in various magazines. (Died 2007.) (CE) 
  • Born May 18, 1931 – Don Martin.  Album covers for Miles Davis, Art Farmer, Stan Getz.  A cover and thirty interiors for Galaxy.  Mad’s Maddest Artist, of floppy feet, onomatopoeia – his car license plate was SHTOINK – and National Gorilla Suit Day.  Fourteen collections.  Ignatz Award, Nat’l Cartoonists Society’s Special Features Award, Will Eisner Hall of Fame.  (Died 2000) [JH]
  • Born May 18, 1934 — Elizabeth Rogers. Trek geeking time. She had two roles in the series. She provided the uncredited voice for “The Companion” in the “Metamorphosis” episode. She also portrayed Lt. Palmer, a communications officer who took the place of Uhura, in “The Doomsday Machine”, “The Way to Eden”, and the very last episode of the series, “Turnabout Intruder”. She also had appearances on Time TunnelLand of The GiantsBewitchedThe Swarm and Something Evil. (Died 2004.) (CE) 
  • Born May 18, 1946 — Andreas Katsulas. I knew him as Ambassador G’Kar on Babylon 5 but had forgottenhe played the Romulan Commander Tomalak on Star Trek: The Next Generation. His first genre role on television was playing Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and he had a recurring role in Max Headroom as Mr. Bartlett. He also had appearances on Alien NationThe Death of the Incredible HulkMillenniumStar Trek: Enterprise anda voice role on The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest. (Died 2006.) (CE) 
  • Born May 18, 1946 – Larry Smith, F.N.  Chaired Marcon III-XII, Fan Guest of Honor at XIII; vice-chair of Chicon IV, Fan Guest of Honor at Windycon 27; co-chaired Ohio Valley Filk Fest 14, World Fantasy Con 2010.  Fellow of NESFA (New England SF Ass’n; service).  Bought Dick Spelman’s book business when DS retired, became a leading book dealer with wife Sally Kobee, ran Dealers’ Room at many Worldcons.  (Died 2017)
  • Born May 18, 1948 – R-Laurraine Tutihasi, age 73.  Active in fanzines, the N3F (Nat’l Fantasy Fan Fed’n; won its Kaymar and Franson awards), and otherwise.  Loccer (“loc” also “LoC” = letter of comment, the blood of fanzines) at least as far back as Algol and The Diversifier, also ArgentusJanusFlagBroken Toys.  Her own fanzine is Purrsonal Mewsings.  [JH]
  • Born May 18, 1952 — Diane Duane, 69. She’s known for the Young Wizards YA series though I’d like to single her out for her lesser-known Feline Wizards series where SJW creds maintain the gates that wizards use for travel throughout the multiverse. A most wonderful thing for felines to do! (CE) 
  • Born May 18, 1958 — Jonathan Maberry, 63. The only thing I’ve read by him is the first five novels in the Joe Ledger Series which has a high body count and an even higher improbability index. Popcorn reading with Sriracha sauce. I see that he’s done scripts for Dark Horse, IDW and Marvel early on. And that he’s responsible for Captain America: Hail Hydra which I remember as quite excellent. (CE)
  • Born May 18, 1969 — Ty Franck, 52. Half of the writing team along with Daniel Abraham that’s James Corey, author of The Expanse series. I’ll admit that I’ve fallen behind by a volume or two as there’s just too many good series out there too keep up with all of them, damn it, but now that it’s ended I intend to finish it. (CE)
  • Born May 18, 1971 – Boros Attila, age 50.  (Personal name last, Hungarian style.)  Two dozen covers.  For Wild Cardshere is Four Aceshere is Only the Dead Know Jokertownhere is Ace in the Hole.  [JH]


  • At Lio’s booth he charges ten times what Lucy did – which makes a kind of sense when you consider what the demand was for his makeover material a year ago.

(14) IN TUNE WITH SFF. Jackiem Joyner is a contemporary saxophonist, author, and music producer. He’s released seven albums, has two number one hit songs, and five Top 10 Billboard singles. On the sff side, his second sff novel, Timelab: Episode One, came out in October.

Two Scientists. One from long ago. The other from modern day 2018.
Both on the precipice of greatness.
Both met with disdain, and in one case, branded a witch.

Sir Bernard, a seasoned and trusted scientist, living in the time of King Caesar, is lauded by many… until his invention sparks rage and fear among the people. When they brand him as a witch, practicing dark magic, he makes a daring escape via his time machine.
He finds himself in San Francisco, 2000 years in the future. There, he befriends Kyle, a young, talented physics student, whose brilliance also sparks distrust, and in some cases, maltreatment.
Together, the two scientists are a formidable force, but there are barriers that prevent them from making good use of their scientific theories.
Sir Bernard’s homeland is on the brink of war. To save his people, he must go back in time, but first he’ll need a new, more powerful time machine.
Kyle has struggles of his own. His brain puts him ahead of the class, but he has trepidation about his mother’s legacy. He wants to clear her name and prove that she didn’t intentionally detonate a scientific lab, killing everyone, including herself.
Two scientists from vastly different worlds fight to erase the past. Can they prove their theories are real and can they save lives and reputations, including their own?

(15) YOU HAVE TO BE OH SO SMART OR OH SO NICE. The artist is trying to nice despite the kerfuffle: “’Sinister’ statue of mythical Irish creature put on hold in Co Clare”IrishCentral tells all about it.

Sculptor Aidan Harte has shared with IrishCentral his thoughts about the controversy surrounding his ‘Púca of Ennistymon’ statue.

Harte told IrishCentral on Wednesday morning: “All I can say is that it matters what all the people of Clare think.

“A vocal minority seem to have been set against it from the start, and that culminated with the priest denouncing it from the altar as a pagan idol.

“That’s silly; the Púca is no more pagan than the leprechaun.

“But since the controversy went national there’s been a swing, with locals who like it now speaking up. That’s welcome and I hope it goes ahead.

“The brief was to make a statue that would attract tourists to Ennistymon. The Púca hasn’t even been put up yet and all Ireland is already talking about it!”

(16) THAT’S WHAT TIGERS DO. Entertainment Weekly tells how “C. Robert Cargill pays tribute to a sci-fi hero in robot apocalypse novel Day Zero”.

C. Robert Cargill‘s just-published science-fiction novel Day Zero hinges on the relationship between a boy named Ezra and his tiger-resembling “nannybot,” Pounce.

“It’s the eve of the robot revolution,” the author and Doctor Strange co-writer, 45, tells EW. “When everything hits the fan, it’s up to a nannybot to decide whether he wants to join the revolution or protect the boy he loves.”

Day Zero is a tip of a hat to the late science fiction writer Harlan Ellison, whose tale A Boy and His Dog found a character named Vic and his telepathic canine partner Blood attempting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Cargill got to know Ellison when he and Doctor Strange director Scott Derrickson signed on to turn the Ellison-written Outer Limits episode “Demon With a Glass Hand” into a movie.

“The big deal was announced and nobody had told Harlan,” says Cargill. “Harlan immediately hit all of the [web] boards he was frequently on and goes, ‘Who the hell is C. Robert Cargill?’ Three different friends reached out to me on the same Saturday morning and said, ‘Ah, Harlan Ellison is looking for you. He seems kind of pissed.'”

Although the film was never made, the pair became friendly.

(17) CATCH ‘EM ALL. Input leads the cheers for this obsessive collector: “All hail King Pokémon!”

“We’re honored to have the one and only King Pokémon!” an announcer calls out.

On this mid-March day, he strides into Collect-A-Con, a two-day, first-of-its-kind conference dedicated to non-sports trading cards, in Frisco, Texas. By his side are fellow Pokémon royalty — RealBreakingNate and Leonhart, two mega-popular Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) YouTubers. Making his way through the cheering crowd, King Pokémon waves and smiles, his demeanor that of a kid popping bubbles: lit-up, blissful.

The King is Gary Haase, a 67-year-old father of three from Las Vegas. His Pokémon TCG collection’s estimated total value is more than $10 million, making it the most expensive in the world. In this windowless Embassy Suites ballroom, owning top-tier Pokémon cards makes you a star. And Haase, who has obsessively collected Pokémon cards since 1998, is a bona fide celebrity. One meet-and-greet, expected to go for an hour and a half, lasts five hours….

(18) QUACKING UP. The New Yorker chronicles “The Strange Story of Dagobert, the “DuckTales” Bandit”.

…He mailed a ransom note to the store demanding a million marks—the equivalent of more than a million dollars today. “I gave you a demonstration of my determination to achieve my goal, including with violence,” he warned. “The next time there will be a catastrophe.” Funke instructed the store to place a coded message in the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper if it was willing to comply: “Uncle Dagobert greets his nephews.” Dagobert Duck is the German name for Scrooge McDuck, the money-grabbing duck from Disney’s “Uncle Scrooge” comics and “DuckTales” TV show.

Funke sent directions to a forested area, where police officers found a box attached to a telephone pole, with a linen bag inside bearing the “DuckTales” logo and an image of Scrooge McDuck. They also found a strange contraption designed to connect the money bag to the back of a train using electromagnets. Funke instructed them to attach the money bag to a train from Rostock to Berlin. When the train roared past, he pushed a button on a transmitter to deactivate the magnets, but the package didn’t drop; the police had tied it to the train. He sent another letter, changing the pickup location. On August 14th, he again waited near the train tracks, wearing gloves, black glasses, and a gray wig. This time, the package eventually detached and crashed against the tracks. As Funke ran to pick it up, the train stopped and police officers jumped out. “Stand still or I’ll shoot!” an officer cried, firing his weapon into the air.

Funke grabbed the package and scampered to safety. When he opened it, he saw that only four thousand marks were real; the rest was Mickey Mouse money. He had threatened the store with another bomb if it didn’t pay up. Meanwhile, it didn’t take the police long to connect the two bombings: both involved voice changers, a treasure hunt, ingenious gadgets, and money thrown from a train. They were dealing with a serial bomber who appeared to take inspiration from the capers in comic books featuring Scrooge McDuck. From that moment on, they called him Dagobert….

(19) TRAILER PARK. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania comes to theaters July 23. SYFY Wire frames the scene:

As the film opens, the title hotel — set up by Dracula (Brian Hull, replacing original star Adam Sandler) as a haven for himself and his monster friends where they could be free of human persecution — is celebrating its 125th anniversary, and Dracula’s son-in-law Johnny (Andy Samberg) is doing his best to throw a killer bash for his father-in-law. When things go wrong, Johnny worries that he’ll never really be able to relate to Dracula and his pals because he’s not a monster.

Enter Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan), who reveals that he’s developed a “Monsterification Ray” that will transform Johnny into the monster he’s always wanted to be. Of course, the ray can also transform any monster it hits into a human, and when the invention goes haywire, the whole monster squad gets an unexpected and unwelcome taste of mortality.

(20) VIDEO OF THE DAY. In “Honest Game Trailers: Resident Evil Village” on YouTube, Fandom Games says in this game you “Have the arena of a small country as you blast away at vampires, werewolves, livestock, and the Borg!”

[Thanks to Andrew Porter, Martin Morse Wooster, JJ, Michael Toman, John King Tarpinian, Cat Eldridge, John Hertz, and Mike Kennedy for some of these stories. Title credit goes to contributing editor of the day Tom Becker.]

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92 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 5/18/21 Manic Pixel Dreamsnake And The Scrollers Of Doom

  1. @Jack Dominey: A quoted price on Amazon of over $200 doesn’t actually mean that anybody is willing to pay that, but a signed copy did go for $142.50 on Ebay recently.

  2. @Dann665–

    I’m not really devoted to keeping him in power. Considering him to be the ‘least bad’ option isn’t much of an endorsement from me considering the field of awful options. (FWIW, I might have voted for Tulsi Gabbard if the DNC hadn’t colluded to hand the nomination to Mr. Biden.)

    The DNC didn’t collude to hand the nomination to Mr. Biden

    The Democratic primary voters voted for Biden, and didn’t give any serious consideration at all to the Republican who changed her registration to Democrat because she wasn’t going to get elected to Congress from Hawaii as a Republican. Her views are, with very few exceptions, to the right wing of the Republican party, and she didn’t seem to have much use for her “fellow Democrats.”

    Guess what, Dann. The reason those views don’t win Democratic votes, and Gabbard was somewhere down in single digits, is because actual Democrats don’t share those views But, I guess it’s not a surprise that someone who thinks Trump was the “least bad” of those on offer in 2020 can’t wrap his head around the idea of a candidate being rejected because of mere voters.

    I am devoted to free and fair elections. I think having an impartial media is a crucial component to having such elections. We don’t have an impartial media.

    What do you mean by “impartial,” Dann? Treating Trump’s multiple credible accusations of rape, on-camera mockery of a reporter with a medical condition, refusal to send disaster relief to Puerto Rico and California because they didn’t vote for him, and putting his unqualified offspring who couldn’t get security clearances except by presidential fiat as “normal,” while claiming Biden simultaneously has dementia and is engaged in a clever plot to sell us out to China, trying to create a scandal out of Hunter Biden pretty much breathing in public (no, he didn’t fly from California to New Jersey to drop off his laptop for repair at a shop that isn’t certified to work on that brand), pretending Joe Biden was engaged in a corrupt private action trying to get a prosecutor in Ukraine fired to protect Hunter, even though he was in fact carrying out Obama administration policy in cooperation with our European allies because that prosecutor was extremely corrupt, and refusing to act against corrupt companies, and oh, by the way, Hunter Biden wasn’t with Burisma then, so it’s difficult to see what you think Joe might have been protecting Hunter from.

    Oh, wait, I forgot. There’s the Champ Biden and Major Biden scandals, too. Champ is twelve or thirteen now, and yeah, he looks like an elderly large dog, not bouncy little puppy. And a couple people were too effing stupid not to try to pet Major when he was stressed by his new environment. Scandals!

    Sorry, Dann, but i’ve met too many people who are sure they know dogs, who are sure they know better than me when I’m telling them my dog is not interested in being petted right now. A nip is not what you get from an aggressive, dangerous dog; it’s what you get from a nice dog whose other signals that it doesn’t want to be touched right now have been ignored.

    Biden is not getting much negative press because he’s not picking fights on Twitter, insulting our allies, making decisions that are grossly incompetent, grossly corrupt, or both. He’s been appointing people who actually have qualifications and experience in the areas he’s appointing them to, speaking when he genuinely has something to say, and doing his job.

    He’s not taking several hours out of the middle of the day for “executive time” watching tv, or spending nearly every weekend at a golf course or other resort that he owns.

    He’s doing his job, something Trump never even considered doing.

  3. 9). Sorry to hear this.
    “Carmen Miranda. …” is sitting on my shelf yellowing and fragile. I need to take it down and reread it. Hard to believe it’s been 31 years.
    I love anthologies where the writers can go off in weird tangents.
    “Carmen Miranda’s Ghost”
    “Alternate Kennedys”
    “Chicks in Chainmail”

  4. @Dann

    if the DNC hadn’t colluded to hand the nomination to Mr. Biden.

    The DNC did no such thing. More than anything else, it was Jim Clyburn’s endorsement of Biden before the South Carolina primary that was the tipping point. After that, Biden won Super Tuesday and the primary was pretty much over. Come on, Dann. I’m old enough to remember what happened, and you should be too.

  5. @Bonnie McDaniel

    The DNC did no such thing.

    Please forgive my imprecision. I loathe things like “the Democrats” or “the Republicans” as it usually implies a larger group than the facts would support.

    A combination of prominent Democrat politicians and some DNC staff worked to not only support Mr. Biden but also to get others to leave the field so that the “not Sanders” vote would be unified behind a single candidate. Previously, the “not Sanders” vote was diluted among several candidates so that Mr. Sanders was on a relatively easy path to the nomination.

    Their actions handed the nomination to Mr. Biden.

    @Lis Carey

    To save some of Mike’s bandwidth and all of us a lot of time, I’m not going to go point by point.

    But here’s an important point. I actually agree with some of your criticisms of Mr. Trump. His flaws are many and varied. I don’t think he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’d like to see Ben Sasse make a run in 2024 to give you an idea of the type of person that I’d like to see in the Whitehouse.

    Her [Tulsi Gabbard’s] views are, with very few exceptions, to the right wing of the Republican party,

    Nope. Her ideas about social spending put here well into the center of the country which is left of the center of the GOP. She is a solid centrist. A party bent on offering a “unity ticket” would do well to include her in their thinking.

    I’d prefer that Mr. Biden finish out his term in good health. I think the odds of that happening aren’t all that good. Had he selected Ms. Gabbard as his VP, I would have either voted for Mr. Biden or for the Libertarian candidate.

    I was persuadable last year as long as we were talking about centrist candidates with centrist policies. The Dems opted to go further left. Nope.

    (no, he didn’t fly from California to New Jersey to drop off his laptop for repair at a shop that isn’t certified to work on that brand)

    Again, nope. It was his laptop. The emails were real. Were it Donald Trump Jr’s laptop, the MSM would have it splashed across the front page and at the top of the news hour for weeks on end. Because that information threatened a Democrat, the MSM buried it.

    Biden is not getting much negative press because he’s not picking fights on Twitter,

    So you know, this is perceived as a stereotypical reaction among folks on the right. Inflation is accelerating. The price of gas has jumped considerably. Russia is in a strong economic position. The Middle East is back on fire. China is getting more aggressive.

    And the perceived stereotypical response from the left is “at least Biden’s tweets are nice”.

    I’m less concerned about whether a President is “mean” and more concerned with whether or not an American administration’s policies resolutely promote American interests.

    I don’t know about your personal perspective, but I perceive that there are those on the left that long for a politically neutered America. I hope they never find out what that means to the world, but I’m afraid that we are all about to learn a really hard lesson.

    In case anyone is interested, I set down my thoughts on Mr. Trump shortly before election day. My hair wasn’t on fire. Really.

    M. de Lamartine wrote me one day: “Your doctrine is only the half of my program; you have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity.” I answered him: “The second half of your program will destroy the first half.” And, in fact, it is quite impossible for me to separate the word “fraternity” from the word “voluntary.” It is quite impossible for me to conceive of fraternity as legally enforced, without liberty being legally destroyed, and justice being legally trampled underfoot.” – Frederic Bastiat

  6. I suspect Dann is hoping that President Biden will be impeached on January 2, 2023 (for being a liberal communist socialist BLM unamerican traitor to America) once the Republicans gain the majority in Congress again as the fruit of voter suppression and gerrymandering and midterm trends come to full fulmination and poisonous flowering..

  7. @Paul Weimer


    He’s old. It is showing in his speech and movements. The media was quite critical of Ronald Reagan for far less obvious signs of natural aging. I’m not sure he has enough gas in the tank to get to the end of this term of office.

    I really hope I’m wrong on that count, but the odds do not appear to be ever in his favor.

    The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. – Isaac Asimov

  8. Their actions handed the nomination to Mr. Biden

    Hogwash. The millions of voters in the primaries handed the nomination to Mr. Biden. (And I say that as someone for whom Biden wasn’t my first, second or even third choice in the original Democratic field. But come November, he was certainly a better choice than the most corrupt president this country has ever seen.)

  9. It’s pretty clear that some of the kind of coordination that Dann talked about occurred. Most of the centrist candidates dropped out pretty quickly in a way that opened up a space in which Biden was the remaining centrist candidate. They also all quickly turned around to endorse Biden. That doesn’t happen on its own. I’m just not sure why that’s a problem. I’m not especially fond of their politics, but I don’t see why its a problem that a set of candidates in this context (the Democratic Primary, where it is expected that all the candidates will eventually support the winning candidate) realized that they are splitting the moderate vote and created a context where a candidate with their principles would be in a greater position to win. The voters still had to option to vote for Sanders or Warren rather than Biden. They chose to support Biden. It wasn’t my choice, but it was a pretty clear choice of Democratic voters as the process went on.

  10. Dann complained:

    He’s old. It is showing in his speech and movements… I’m not sure he has enough gas in the tank to get to the end of this term of office.

    You DO realize that if Biden ‘runs out of gas’ the presidency doesn’t revert to the previous one.
    No, Really!
    It’s in the Conservatives “Holy of Holies” the U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 1, Clause 6). Go look it up!
    You know who would become President? Kamala Harris! And you know what? I’m good with that, and i suspect that lots of Filers here are good with it too.
    So you can stop now.

  11. John A Arkansawyer: I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for two good long terms for Biden. He turned out to be an actual Democrat from the Democratic wing of the party.

    I’ll take an old, sane President who surrounds himself with good advisers to whom he listens, over an old, narcissistic sociopath with the mentality and the 70-word vocabulary of a 5-year-old who refuses to listen to anyone, any day.

  12. @Robert Wood

    Mr. Biden is not a centrist relative to the entire nation. Only within the Democrat Party that is drifting leftward. We are a (slightly) center-right nation. He is decidedly left of center.


    You DO realize that if Biden ‘runs out of gas’ the presidency doesn’t revert to the previous one.

    I fully realize that there are ardent Trump supporters that think there is some way to undo or reverse the legitimate outcome of the 2020 election. Sort of like some Democrats in 2016-2017 who thought there was a way to invalidate the legitimate outcome of the 2016 election. And I heard from some left-of-center friends/acquaintances that thought that a successful impeachment of Mr. Trump would put Nancy Pelosi in the Whitehouse. Odd ducks have odd thoughts.

    You are cordially invited to presume that I am not one of those folks and proceed from there.

    IMO Mrs. Harris would be even worse than Mr. Biden. But to each their own.

    ‘There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running around with lit matches.’ Ray Bradbury

  13. Hey, Dann, you got links to coverage of the January 2017 insurrectionist riot attempting to prevent the certification of the election results. Surely at least Fox News covered it, right?

    Or, it never happened and you’re just fantasizing again.

    Nor were there months of audits and reaudits and re-reaudits, looking for proof ballots were printed in Russia. Nor mad theories that Hillary Clinton was going to be inaugurated in March. Nor any of the other anti-democracy stunts your fellow Trumpists have been so gleefully participating in.

    Biden is fit, healthy, and active for a man his age. He has no difficulty uttering complete, coherent sentences when he’s not in front of a teleprompter (which all politicians, including Trump, use when making prepared remarks.)

    And he has appointed competent people to government positions.

    None of this can be said of Trump.

    Oh, and Biden also doesn’t think he could shoot someone in public and not lose any support–both because he’s not a whackadoodle megalomaniac narcissist, and because the Democratic party isn’t Biden’s cult of personality.

    And, sorry, but of course you leave out several steps in the “think Nancy Pelosi would become president” thing.

    If Trump were removed, AND Pence without a new VP being confirmed, then yes, Pelosi would have become President. This becomes an especially entertaining scenario when the insurrectionists were hunting the halls of the Capitol, with at least a stated intention of hanging Pence, and preventing the certification of the Electoral College results.

    Had they succeeded, yes, the likely result of that would have been President Pelosi, NOT an unelected second term for Trump.

  14. Dann665: The vast majority of the country supports almost every policy that Biden has put forth, and several even more liberal ones that he has not but policy wonks are saying he absolutely should.

    When you ask people to self-describe where they are on the political spectrum and where other people are in relation to them, you would think Biden was a Centrist with a tilt left. When you ask people what policies they actually favour, Biden, and the mainstream democrats, end up being often a touch right of centre.

    This is partly because perspective is skewed by people loyal to a party without regard for its actual policies or whether they agree with those.

    It is more skewed by people who are one or two issue voters, who might, if they bothered to check, line up with the mainstream Democrats, or even close to Sanders or the Squad, with the sole exception of of being anti-choice or some such issue. But being anti-choice (or whatever) is SO IMPORTANT they cannot even consider themselves aligned with someone who matched 98% of their preferred policies if the 2% is that one thing.

  15. Dann, I was talking about Biden within the context of the Democratic Primaries, so I’m not sure why you made the point that you made. There are more conservative Democrats than Biden, Lieberman comes to mind, but he definitely has been on the right side of the party. He helped found the Democratic Leadership Council and was a pretty important architect of the draconian crime bill. He was even proud of being able to work with arch segregationists. His presidency at least on the economic side of things has been a little bit of a surprise and has moved in moved in a more progressive direction than I had expected. I suspect that it’s caused by his experience in the early years in the Obama Administration, watching legislation get watered down for no particular purpose and the fact that there is a pretty strong consensus that the low stimulus programs of the Obama Administration stretched out the recession longer than it needed. Or maybe its just that the man really likes trains.

    Lenora Rose is also right to point out that these policies have been really popular.

    Finally, I’d point out that the popular Jesse Jackson campaigns of 1984 and 1988 were to the left of the Sanders Campaigns of 2016 and 2020.

  16. How far to the right things have moved in the last 50 years: I’d describe Obama as a “Reagan Democrat”: 40 years ago, he would have been mainstream GOP.

  17. John A Arkansawyer: To quote a famous song about fascists and/or murderers, “Let’s talk about the future now, we’ve put the past away.”

    You’re welcome to do whatever you want.

    When someone who never said a word about the advanced age and poor physical and mental capacity of the previous occupant of the Oval Office whines about Biden’s age and physical condition, I’m going to point out their raging hypocrisy.

  18. @Lis Carey

    Hey, Dann, you got links to coverage of the January 2017 insurrectionist riot attempting to prevent the certification of the election results. Surely at least Fox News covered it, right?

    That right there is some mighty fine hair-splitting. As fine as frog’s hair, one might say.

    So the riots that occurred on Inauguration Day in 2017 don’t count because they didn’t involve invading the Capital? And the riots focused on federal courthouses and other federal facilities in Oregon and Washington State don’t count?

    I disagree. All rioters should be prosecuted. Anything less invites a spiral of partisan violence.

    A monarch’s neck should always have a noose around it. It keeps him upright. – The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

  19. Dann665: So the riots that occurred on Inauguration Day in 2017 don’t count because they didn’t involve invading the Capital?

    I’m sure you had American History and Government classes in high school. So I’m sure that you understand the distinction between “riot” and “sedition and insurrection”.

    If not, then I suggest you take a refresher course.

  20. @Dann665–

    So the riots that occurred on Inauguration Day in 2017 don’t count because they didn’t involve invading the Capital?

    I repeat, got links? Because I don’t remember riots on Trump’s inauguration day. Some demonstrations, yes. Riots, no.

    And the riots focused on federal courthouses and other federal facilities in Oregon and Washington State don’t count?

    We’ve all seen the video of those, Dann. It pretty consistently got violent when the cops decided to make it violent–except when even that didn’t happen, and most of the protesters had gone home, and a new group of people moved in. People who were Proud Boys or Proud Boys adjacent, not BLM. Some, of course, were just opportunistic looters.

    The protests were protests against police brutality. Even if the protesters did become rioters (and some, no doubt, did), no, that’s not the same thing as invading the Capitol, hunting for the VP and the Speaker of the House, and trying to prevent the certification, and thus the inauguration, of the lawfully elected new president and (try to) keep the guy that lost in office.

    Really, I’m almost certain you know the difference between “riot” and “sedition and insurrection.”

    Even if it’s less than clear that you know the difference between “protest” and “riot.”

  21. @JJ

    Attempting to burn down a federal facility, and in particular, a federal courthouse is an act of insurrection.

    @Lis Carey

    There were protests. There were also riots. People were arrested. Property was torched. Ignore the media labeling/excusing riotous activity as being “mostly peaceful protests” or some other such malarkey.

    and most of the protesters had gone home, and a new group of people moved in. People who were Proud Boys or Proud Boys adjacent, not BLM. Some, of course, were just opportunistic looters.

    I find this interesting because my various social media feeds include a heavy rotation of posts that point out that John Earle Sullivan, a BLM participant from last year in Utah, filmed the incursion into the Capitol. The underlying assertion is that there were BLM and/or antifa activists either urging violence or leading violence.

    Everyone is blaming bad actors on the other side for stuff their own people did. While there might have been PB’s in Oregon/Washington, the lion’s share were the Cheka-inspired antifa.

    FTR, I still think the Jan 6th incursion was wrong. Criminally so. I blame Mr. Trump for facilitating the peaceful assembly the occurred prior to the incursion. He lied about the outcome of the election. And the violence was largely committed by Trump supporters.

    Y’all can have the last word here.

    This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. – Dorothy Parker

  22. @Lis Carey

    Because I don’t remember riots on Trump’s inauguration day.

    Windows smashed and vehicles set on fire, police injured by people throwing bricks, businesses vandalized, street brawls — this is at least as much of a riot as Jan 6 was an insurrection.

  23. @bill–

    Windows smashed and vehicles set on fire, police injured by people throwing bricks, businesses vandalized, street brawls — this is at least as much of a riot as Jan 6 was an insurrection.

    Well, let’s see:

    More Than 200 Arrested in D.C. Protests on Inauguration Day
    217 people were arrested and six police officers suffered minor injuries after some protesters set fires and smashed windows in the nation’s capital.

    What I notice, reading not just this headline and subhead, but the whole article is–no deaths. No serious injuries. They had to scavenge the DC area and NYC for enough to report on.

    So, yeah, you could call some of that rioting, for sure.

    You’ll have noticed two important facts beyond the “no deaths, no serious injuries” though.

    One thing is this:

    Acting Police Chief Peter Newsham said that by around 6:30 p.m. ET things had calmed down, but authorities were still monitoring several groups.

    At 6:30pm, they’re already at the “things have calmed down, but let’s keep an eye on it and makes sure it doesn’t heat up again” stage.

    The other is that no, it isn’t hundreds of people storming the Capitol, or the inauguration site. No one was trying to prevent the inauguration. Of course, the fact that Obama, unlike Trump, wasn’t illegally trying to stay in power, and Hillary Clinton wasn’t conducting a months-long campaign started in October claiming she only lost due to massive fraud and illegal voters.

    Neither Clinton nor Obama gave speeches saying that “if you don’t fight, you’re not going to have a country left.

    Oh, and a third thing: Yes, there really is a huge, highly significant difference between rioting, and insurrection. One’s a crime, and the other is both a crime, and a threat to our democratic republic.

    But, after all, Republicans have been increasingly clear, for more than a decade, that they really don’t like the “democratic” part of the phrase, “democratic republic.”

  24. So I’ve changed your mind, and you agree now that there was in fact rioting. I’m glad to hear it.

  25. @bill–you provided a link to a credible source, something Dann still hasn’t done. Funny how that works!

    It’s unclear to me, still, whether you recognize the difference between rioting, and insurrection.

  26. Thank you for providing a link, Bill.

    Dann: Jayden X, or John Earle Sullivan, is known for claiming affilitation to BLM but beign treated by other BLM members as an undesirable agitator. He seems to be less someone who has a cause and more someone who likes to be on hand when crap is stirring and provoke responses. Nobody credible has taken his presence on Jan 6 as proof positive of actual BLM/Antifa activity.

  27. Dann665: John Earle Sullivan, a BLM participant from last year in Utah, filmed the incursion into the Capitol

    I’ve been watching over the last few years as you’ve repeatedly posted lies, strawmen, and derails. It’s fascinating. It’s as if you think the people here are too stupid to read the news, keep up with current events, and know that the disinformation you post is exactly that.

    If you’re going to post utter bullshit, surely the least you can do is manage something that isn’t so blatantly obviously bullshit that it insults the intelligence of everyone here. 🙄

  28. @Lis Carey

    We’ve all seen the video of those [riots in Portland], Dann. It pretty consistently got violent when the cops decided to make it violent–except when even that didn’t happen, and most of the protesters had gone home, and a new group of people moved in. People who were Proud Boys or Proud Boys adjacent, not BLM.

    I don’t think “pretty consistently” is accurate here — many (most?) of the riots were not instigated by police. And they are still happening. No Proud Boys noted, but several of those arrested did have Antifa history. (And in general, I think this was the case. Far more riots with Antifa raising hell than with Proud Boys. But if you know otherwise, I’d be pleased to read the evidence.)

  29. Pingback: Top 10 Posts for May 2021 | File 770

  30. I was greatly disappointed that a special prosecutor wasn’t appointed to look into the credible allegations of electoral fraud. The 2020 election gravely damaged the faith of at least 50 million (at least that, if not double) Americans in the integrity of their democracy. This is an unambiguous negative. A SP in which the great majority could have had confidence in would largely ameliorate this deep and lasting wound to our body politic. If I had been AG, I would have appointed William Weld. A moderate former Republican who literally ran against Trump and was vocally anti-Trump, so no bias in that direction. He would have been a reasonable compromise. Instead, what did we get? An even more divided country. Like that’s what we needed. And for those who profess to believe that the 2020 election was clean as newly fallen snow, what’s the harm in a SP? They won’t find any evidence of fraud, surely? And then a bit of healing could occur and the whole thing laid to rest. The refusal to investigate thoroughly makes many (rightly) suspicious that shenanigans occurred.

  31. @Miles Carter-There is no credible evidence of electoral fraud. If there were, the Trump team would have offered it in at least one or two of their sixty or so cases challenging the results. In their press conferences, it was all, “Oh, no, look at all this electoral fraud!” In court, when pressed, it was, “Oh, no, Your Honor. We are not alleging electoral fraud.”

    All of their state claims (you do remember that elections are run by the states, right?) have been investigated and found baseless, most of those investigations run by Republicans in Republican-run states.

    There is no investigation that will “reassure” the diehard Trump supporters, if it doesn’t conclude that Trump won and is still president. And probably that Biden both is far gone in dementia, and is a cunning agent of China.

  32. Miles Carter: credible allegations of electoral fraud.

    Citation required.

    Miles Carter: The 2020 election gravely damaged the faith of at least 50 million (at least that, if not double) Americans in the integrity of their democracy.

    The 2020 election didn’t do that. What did do that damage was a year of Trump and a bunch of other GOP politicians repeatedly making false claims about fraud in an effort to stir up their base into insurrection (and they eventually succeeded).

    What’s needed is for Trump and all of those GOP fraudsters to admit to the American public that they were lying, and that their baseless claims are false.

  33. @Lis Carey

    All of their state claims (you do remember that elections are run by the states, right?) have been investigated and found baseless

    This is very wrong.

    The Sec of State of PA wanted to count ballots that had been submitted without ID. The PA court said no, you can’t do that.

    The Election Board and other elements of the government of Clark County NV refused to provide public information to the Nevada Republican Party, as required by Nevada open records laws. The Nevada court said no, you can’t do that.

    The Virginia State Board of Elections wanted to count ballots received after the election, in violation of VA state law. The VA court said no, you can’t do that.

    The MN Sec of State did not want to enforce a statutory deadline by which ballots must be received to be counted. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said to set aside all ballots received after the statutory deadline.

    Michigan Sec of State told election clerks to ignore discrepancies in signatures between ballots and registration, and to presume that signatures are valid on mail in ballots. Michigan court said that was illegal.

  34. bill, you make me regret no one overthrew the government when the Supreme Court openly stole the election in 2000. But my side is full of very stupid people who play by the rules while the other side cheats, then yells at the ref when they get caught, enough to get their way through intimidation. Enough of that.

  35. At risk of piling on to ironic effect, there is no credible evidence that any widespread, coordinated malfeasance occured in the last POTUS election. None. It genuinely distresses me that people keep flogging this calumny.

    I TOTALLY understand frustration with the electoral college and jerrymandering, and I totally understand uneasiness with government power and secrecy. But this sort of undermining of the system despite evidence, despite data,.despite multipartisan testimony, ends in tragedy. Stop it.

    The only reason someone might be right that this election was fixed is if they had fixed it in their favor and lost anyway. Anyone want to cop to that? I didn’t think so.

    If I can survive 2000, 2004 and 2016, you can survive this. I promise.

  36. Trump and his legal team are bumblers. Their incompetence proves nothing about the underlying claims. Here are a few links (out of the dozens that I have) that show the claims of electoral malfeasance are colorable:






    I picked those at random. I could post several dozen more links but I think Mike wouldn’t like that. If anyone spent a few minutes on Google they could yield a bunch more. I’m not saying that the the election was definitively stolen, I’m saying lets have a full and open investigation. Nothing turns up, great! You can laugh at all us doubters. But we spent years and millions on the nothingburger that was the “Russia collusion” conspiracy theory. It’s not too much to ask to appoint a SP for this.

    That’s all I’m asking for. A transparent investigation. There’s just enough allegations and statistical evidence of fraud to make it worthwhile. Let’s get a moderate SP appointed and get it out of our body politic. This issue goes to the core of our republic. Enough people believe that there was significant electoral fraud that an investigation by a neutral SP is the only reasonable course of action. Anyone who opposes that believes there’s something to hide. There is no other reasonable conclusion.

  37. @Miles

    The Gateway Pundit? Really? The most dishonest guy on the internet?

    If “enough people believe” the earth is really flat, would you call for an investigation of that too? ?

  38. @Miles Carter–All the investigations by state officials, the level at which these investigations are normally and appropriately conducted, have been by Republican state officials. Do you have some plausible explanation for why Republican officials in the states where Trump has tried to contest the results would be in league against him, and helping to illegally put Biden into office?

    Some reason why the evil Democrats would rig the results to put Biden in office, but leave the Senate with only a 50/50 split, and Republicans able to block nearly everything?

    Some reason why we should take seriously raving right sources like The Washington Examiner, PJ Media, The Gateway Pundit, and, dear God, Just the News?

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