Posts in ‘Blog’

Conversation with a Daughter

Sometimes life surprises you and one of your children asks for advice. Does it get any better than that?

  • Posted: April 18, 2018

After the Flush

There is a great mass of infrastructure in a city hidden from view. Out of sight, out of mind is the old saying.

  • Posted: February 1, 2018

Barbarians of the Gong Show

Do you remember Chuck Barris and The Gong Show? Did he predict the coming of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders?

  • Posted: November 8, 2017

“Eeyew” in the Baltic

Cruising in the Baltic Sea is short on sunlight, but you can see tomorrow from there.

  • Posted: October 4, 2017

Annals of Imperial Google

Its too bad that engineers don’t take the Humanities in college seriously. There’s good career advice there.

  • Posted: August 23, 2017

Uber Tales

Travis Kalanick is unemployed. Donald Trump claims another victim.

  • Posted: June 27, 2017

Trump in Saudi Arabia

President Trump went to Saudi Arabia and made a deal. But whose interests are being served?

  • Posted: June 14, 2017

Professional Thought

How does a Professional think? How does a Professional earn a living? Tales from Engineering’s Darkside.

  • Posted: May 9, 2017

Pontius Pilate & the Truth

At Easter, I often find myself thinking about Pontius Pilate.

  • Posted: April 11, 2017

A Tale of Two Towns

Traveling through the Land of the Deplorables — Would people rather work at productive jobs or wait tables?

  • Posted: March 31, 2017
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  • What I’m Reading

    What I’m Reading

    The Twelfth Department
    By William Ryan

    What happens when we forget, or never bothered to learn, what we believe in and why we believe? What happens when the emotional whirls of Facebook and Twitter are the depths of our understanding? Evil, great evil, is regularly found lurking in the unexamined depths of good intentions. Mathew Arnold put our present political climate in memorable words years ago:

    And we are here as on a darkling plain
    Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
    Where ignorant armies clash by night

    Novels, good stories, provide a lens to see life, including our beliefs, without camouflage. As an example, JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the finest Bible commentaries ever written. Progressive political ideals may lack in recent electoral success, but have undisputed possession of today’s moral high ground. And while death and taxes may be the only sure bets, the eventual victory of those holding the high ground have very good odds in any battle.
    And so fiction provides a look at eventual victories. There is no question that the outlines of today’s progressive agenda can be clearly seen in other times and places. William Ryan takes us to a time and place fondly imagined, idealized at the time, by the forefather’s of todays progressive leadership. In The Twelfth Department, we see a police captain in 1930’s Moscow. Captain Alexei Korolev is just a man trying to be a good father, a good citizen, a good police officer. In many ways Alexei is a fortunate man, with a good reputation and many more material advantages than the average citizen. But a high profile murder brings him into ambiguous circumstances. The tone of the book is respectful of life in Moscow, with no axes to grind. It is just a portrait of a man trying to do his job, bringing a gruesome killer to justice, among ordinary human beings seeking only to live normal lives in a progressive paradise.

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