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.

Xi Jinping now Dictator for Life

One man will now decide whether or not China invades Taiwan.

That could lead to a World War.

It’s very possible that the dictator will need something to distract the population as Covid continues to drag down the economy.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Economist was at the Party Congress.

Xi Jinping has no interest in succession planning

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.

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie

“… ingenious crime puzzle and a still more ingenious solution …

Wikipedia

Published 1933, this was the last of Christie’s books to be openly antisemitic.

She used the “N” word, too, in many of her books.

It gives us an indication of when racism started to become unfashionable in British pop culture. Part of the backlash against Hitler.

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.

Staying NEUTRAL is Supporting the Oppressor

In Coach Education we have a concept called ETHICAL ACTION.

If you see something you think is wrong, take action.

Record what you saw in a diary. Keep records.

Videotape what you saw.

Notify authorities in a respectful, diplomatic way.

Ideally you ask the (possible) offender: Why are you doing that? I don’t understand.”

People wonder why I’m so vocal about the high crimes of Donald Trump.

Ethical action. That’s why.

Trump inspired smarter people in Florida to enact a law called Don’t Say Gay. That’s like passing a law called Don’t Say Black. Don’t Say Latino.

We should take ethical action against people who discriminate when their Constitution clearly states that ALL ARE CREATED EQUAL.

Support the lesser of two evils if both sides are bad.

Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor. Initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler and a self-identified antisemite. Later best known for his opposition to the Nazi regime during the late 1930s and for his widely quoted 1946 poem:

“First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”