Will

I don’t think cartoonist Stephan Pastis is looking forward to the new year . . .  (Click the image to see a larger version at the cartoon’s Web page.) Peter

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Doing greater harm by trying to do good?

I note that New York’s new discovery reform laws, which take effect on Wednesday, contain a double-edged provision that might threaten victims of crime. Have you ever made a call to 911 to report a crime? Next year if you do, your contact information will end up in the hands of the suspect police arrest. It’s a new reality of New York’s discovery reform laws taking effect just 12 days from now on January 1st. . . . Albany County District Attorney David Soares is dreading the conversations he knows we will have to have with crime victims. “By the way, I

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Bob Gibson said…

Paolo Benedetto Bellinzani was an 18th-century Italian composer.  Not much of his output is remembered today, but his Sonata for Flute in D Minor is one of them.  It’s a light, pleasant piece that makes easy listening. I hope your post-Christmas digestion is recovering from the overload – just in time for the New Year celebrations next week! Peter

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Saturday snippet – deterring a thief in Haiti

Max Hardberger has written several books inspired by his time at sea, first as a marine captain, and later as a well-known recovery expert, “stealing back” ships and other big-capital items that had been stolen from their owners.  In his book “Freighter Captain” (officially a novel, but which is obviously and unashamedly highly autobiographical), he describes several months in command of an old, ramshackle tramp steamer trading between the USA and Haiti. Theft was a perennial problem in Haiti, with light-fingered visitors coming aboard in the dead of night from canoes or small boats, and stealing anything that wasn’t nailed down. 

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A nifty, low-cost camper van conversion

I’ve long wanted a travel trailer or small camper, something Miss D. and I can use for weekend getaways, or even for a week or longer.  However, it’s been financially impossible for us, and looks like it’ll be that way for some time. Nevertheless, I keep my eyes open for good ideas in that area.  I was struck by this article about a low-cost conversion of a 2017 Ram cargo van.  It’s filled with interesting touches and useful ideas, as well as lots of photographs.  Here’s an excerpt. When we bought her, our immediate thought was to hire professionals to build it for us

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Gun violence, race and culture

A fascinating article at Medium examines the map of suicides and homicides in America involving guns, and comes to some conclusions that are sure to be controversial – but the author seems to make a good case.  Here’s a very brief excerpt from a long and detailed article, that you really should read in full (the maps are essential to understanding the author’s case).  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis. We hear a lot of banter from the “anti-gun” media that these problems are gun problems, and they’ve concocted this “gun deaths” number in order to lump these into the same problem

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Santa’s journey – Royal Tank Regiment edition

It seems that, for their last PT parade before Christmas each year, the Royal Tank Regiment in the UK (the oldest tank unit in the world) stages a fun race for wannabe Santa Clauses in their makeshift sleighs.  This Christmas was no exception. Having to eat six mince pies and drink half a gallon of milk at the halfway point might be described as cruel and unusual punishment . . . Peter

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Frustrating Big Brother about firearms

We’re seeing more and more talk from the political extremes in the USA concerning imposing their views on others, or violently rejecting such attempts.  A good example may be found in Virginia right now.  A newly-elected Democrat majority is threatening to impose draconian restrictions on firearms rights, which has led to a backlash where almost 90% of the counties in the state have passed resolutions declaring themselves “Second Amendment sanctuary zones“, or words to that effect.  The language from both sides is becoming more heated, and I think there are serious implications for the future. (It’s also worth noting that the

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