Ink Black Heart by … Robert Galbraith

Meh.

The Ink Black Heart is a crime fiction novel by the English author J. K. Rowling, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. 

It is the 6th novel in the Cormoran Strike series. …

Of the six, for me this was worst. Too long. Too slow paced. And WAY too much hateful back-and-forth text messaging.

Skip it — and hope for better with #7.

As a Kirkus reviews put it, by the time you get to page 1462 you no longer care who murdered who.

I made it about half way through before giving up.

Foolishly, the billionaire author engaged in online debate on the topic of transgender people and related civil rights. These have been criticised as transphobic by LGBT rights organisations and some feminists, but have received support from other feminists and individuals.

As a person of wealth and power, Rowling’s inevitably punching down when she engages with critics.

Rowling does a lot of charity work. Is a good person. And should simply stay quiet online — like MacKenzie Scott.

As a big fan of Rowling’s books, this one wastes too much time describing the good and bad of online fandom. Not enough on the painful but entertaining relationship between lovely Robin Ellacott and gruff, unlovable Cormoran Strike.

My best guess is that her mind was not on Robin & Cormoran while writing — but on personal grievance.

And after all this — I still don’t understand her position on those few individuals (0.1% to 0.6% of the population) born with gender identity or gender expression that does not correspond with their sex assigned at birth.

Personally, I don’t care if you are trans, from Transylvania, or choose to medically transition to another sex.

Everyone should have equal opportunity.

OF COURSE when it comes to what sport to play there should be rules. And each sport should set those to be as fair as possible to all participants.

The TV series Strike has 4 seasons as I post. It’s quite good.

I was WRONG about anonymity online

It seems self evident that people would be more civil online IF they couldn’t be anonymous.

But research shows that’s not the case.

Perhaps the world expert in governance of online speech, Kate Klonick, concluded that having both public and anonymous options is BEST for reducing hate and increasing the value of social media.

Many, many individuals are unable to speak honestly unless they can be anonymous.

Listen to her interviewed on Pivot.

John Lewis Christmas ad 2022

The John Lewis Christmas ad is now such a big annual tradition that it feels like the official start of the festive season. …

Mashable

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube. This is fantastic.

“Over 108,000 children in the UK are in the care system. We’re making a longterm commitment to support the futures of young people from care.”

Build Better Refugee Camps

Karmod Prefabricated Building Technologies is a leading Turkish company founded in 1986 and has since been running projects in more than 100 countries around the world.

They provide many different kinds of buildings for refugee camps.

In the near future we’ll have more refugees, not fewer. And they’ll be more desperate.

Afraid to return home. Willing to risk death to escape.

Of course each nation should have a system for handling claims for asylum. But only a small percentage will be granted entry. As populations are getting older, many nations — starting with Japan — need MORE young people to migrate.

BEST of many bad options for refugees not chosen for asylum is to stay on the border. Months. Perhaps years.

There are about 700 refugee camps worldwide, as I post.

Who should pay?

I’d first look to organizations like the Gates Foundation. And to other billionaires who have far more money than they could ever spend.

Life in camp should be minimal. But safe. Police. Schools. Clean water. Medical facilities.

Transportation home should be offered.

If possible, there should be opportunities to work and volunteer.

Some will be under age-18. They should have special protection as should anyone with physical or mental challenges.

Some of the nations most needing decent refugee camps:

  • Syria — 6.8 million refugees and asylum-seekers
  • Venezuela — 4.6 million refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants
  • Afghanistan — 2.7 million refugees and asylum seekers
  • South Sudan — 2.4 million refugees and asylum-seekers
  • Myanmar – 1.2 million refugees and asylum-seekers

Trump and his political ilk around the world don’t want to help refugees. Instead, they use the problem to anger people — hoping to motivate them to vote for right wing political parties.

That’s much easier than motivating regular people to HELP refugees.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Louis C.K. on “White Privilege”

Louis C.K is an asshole. If you’ve cancelled him, I don’t blame you.

I never followed the guy in the first place.

BUT nobody has explained White Privilege more succinctly:

“… I’m not saying that white people are better. I’m saying that being white is clearly better. Who could even argue? If it was an option, I would re-up every year. …” 😀

Norway – the most successful nation 2022

I’m in Tromsø, Norway as I post.

Most oil rich small nations suffer from severe economic and social issues — but not Norway (5.5 million).

Norway kept control of natural resources in Norway. In 1990 they created the Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund – today worth about $1.2 trillion.

By comparison, the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund where I live is worth only about $18.9 billion. Norway did it right. Alberta did it badly. The 2015 Fraser Institute report titled Fumbling the Alberta Advantage details the bungling.

Norwegians pay some of the highest taxes in the world — but enjoy some of the best health care, education and infrastructure. Small towns well above the Arctic Circle enjoy a good quality of life.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Airlines NOT Paying Compensation

DON’T ASSUME AIRLINES WILL PAY YOU THEIR LEGALLY OBLIGATED COMPENSATION.

Summer 2022, their lawyers are doing everything possible to avoid payouts.

As I feared, Westjet airlines will not compensate me for being stranded at an airport overnight.

They are pretending there was a delay at my international connection in Toronto — my Westjet flight from Europe landed on time and I planned a long layover just-in-case.

My Toronto flight departed 80 minutes late causing me to miss a connection by about 10 minutes.

The problem had nothing to do with my international connection.

My cost was only about $100 and time — so I don’t think I’ll take Westjet to small claims court this time. But if I did, I’m sure I’d win.

“Normal” Americans

Cable news and social media bring too much attention to extremists — ignoring the vast majority.

For example, FOX wants Marjorie Taylor Greene on air because her wrong and stupid statements get ratings.

In reality …

  1.  75% of people in the U.S. never tweet.
  2. On an average weeknight in January, just 1% of U.S. adults watched primetime Fox News (2.2 million). 0.5% tuned into MSNBC (1.15 million).
  3. Nearly three times more Americans (56%) donated to charities during the pandemic than typically give money to politicians and parties (21%).

📊 One chart worth sharing: As polarized as America seems, Independents — who are somewhere in the middle — would be the biggest party.

  • In Gallup’s 2021 polling, 29% of Americans identified as Democrats … 27% as Republicans … and 42% as independents.

Axios – The new silent majority: People who don’t tweet