Night Moves

[Amazon Link]

This is my twentieth Doc Ford book. I've already bought number 21, and I'll get around to it. I'm not sure I'll continue beyond that, it's getting pretty tedious. All respect to the author, Randy Wayne White. He's certainly found a niche, and he's writing his books the way he wants, more power to him. But I'm losing interest.

This one starts out well. Doc and his permanently drug-addled buddy Tomlinson team up with pilot Dan Futch to solve a real life mystery, the fate of Flight 19, five US Navy torpedo bombers that flew out of Fort Lauderdale in 1945 on a routine training mission. Is it possible they got really lost and crashed in the remote Everglades? They pile into Futch's plane to check it out.

Unfortunately, Futch's plane has been sabotaged, and they are nearly killed. Somebody's trying to kill … one of them, or maybe some combination of them. There is no shortage of suspects: Ford, of course, has any number of enemies that might have tracked him down. Tomlinson has been contending with a Haitian drug dealer, and he's also balling the estranged hot-to-trot wife of a zillionaire (who also has an in-law with violent tendencies). And Futch has problems with … I forget who his antagonists are, sorry.

And also appearing in Doc's marina is a mysterious, suave, Brazilian hit man. Is he after Doc? Or someone else?

Oh, and Doc gets a dog. And has woman problems, as usual.

So it's a complex story, and after that promising beginning, it just kind of meanders and bumbles around until it finally ends.

URLs du Jour

2017-09-23

Righteous

■ There are some Proverbs that set an impossibly high standard, and Proverbs 20:7 is one of them:

7 The righteous lead blameless lives;
    blessed are their children after them.

It's a good thing that there were (apparently) none of the righteous in the crowd described in John 8:2-11.


■ George F. Will writes on Our dangerous, idiotic national conversation.

At this shank end of a summer that a calmer America someday will remember with embarrassment, you must remember this: In the population of 325 million, a small sliver crouches on the wilder shores of politics, another sliver lives in the dark forest of mental disorder, and there is a substantial overlap between these slivers. At most moments, 312 million are not listening to excitable broadcasters making mountains of significance out of molehills of political effluvia.

That's the down side. On the up side, it gives us plenty of blog fodder.


■ I've been a dog owner for slightly over a year, so I'd like to think that the headline of 's column is true: Dogs’ love of man is real.

One of my favorite kinds of news stories is the report of a new scientific study that verifies the obvious. You’ve seen them. New research finds that heterosexual men are attracted to very attractive women. Evidence collected by wildlife researchers has confirmed that bears really do use the woods as toilets.

… and Emory neuroscientist Gregory Berns has employed MRI to look inside doggie brains—yes, he was able to locate them—to verify that dogs respond to praise, with or without food reward.

You can get Dr. Berns' book from Amazon. The science is therefore settled.


■ What mental image is summoned for you by this Daily Beast headline: Jimmy Kimmel Got a Hand From Chuck Schumer in His Fight Against Obamacare Repeal? You'll find my answer below the excerpt:

Over the past week, opposition to the latest Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare has been driven by a late-night talk show host who had expressed little interest in health care policy prior to this year.

Jimmy Kimmel’s nightly monologues decrying Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy’s (R-LA) bill became must-see TV, as the ABC host systematically attacked both the specifics of the legislation and Cassidy himself.

Behind the scenes, the ABC star was getting an assist. Kimmel and his team were in touch with health care officials, charities and advocacy groups, multiple sources told The Daily Beast. He also was in touch with the office of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) who, according to a source familiar with their conversations, “provided technical guidance and info about the bill, as well as stats from various think tanks and experts on the effects of [Graham-Cassidy].”

If you're like me: Schumer as the ventriloquist, Kimmel as the dummy. The location of Schumer's "hand" is… left as an exercise for the reader.

Which brings us to our Tweet du Jour


■ Our Google LFOD Alert brought this WMUR report from John DiStaso: Speaker Jasper calls on NHGOP to ‘distance ourselves’ from Free State Project.

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper Thursday doubled down on his belief that the Republican Party should reject the Free State Project, warning that it could “destroy” the party.

Jasper has an issue with the "Statement of Intent" Free Staters are asked to sign onto:

I hereby state my solemn intent to move to New Hampshire with the Free State Project. Once there, I will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of individuals' rights to life, liberty, and property.

Jasper thinks the Constitution requires a lot more from government than that. No Lockean he.

Unsurprisingly, Jasper's comments have been cheered by… well, mostly Democrats, as near as I can tell. State Rep JR Hoell, R-Dunbarton begs to differ:

“Thankfully, liberty-minded Granite Staters, both Republicans and independents, have a place where they can work to build the ‘Live Free or Die’ values into effective policy – the House Freedom Caucus,” Hoell said. “We work with members of all parties to promote the notion that government should stay out of your life and your pocketbook. Moreover, we don’t put a litmus test on whether or not individuals moved here from out of state or were born and raised here with these values.”

As NH politicos know, Jasper was first elected Speaker of the House by defeating his own party’s nominee with support from House Democrats. So when he talks about tearing apart the state GOP, he's speaking from experience.


■ But bopping around the Free State Project's website unearthed the blog of FSP founder Jason Sorens, and he has an interesting post on Amazon's casting around for a new headquarters: Why Amazon Won't Choose New Hampshire

Amazon won’t choose New Hampshire, because we simply don’t offer the corporate welfare other states do. According to Bureau of Economic Analysis data, New Hampshire offers less than half the subsidies to business that Amazon’s home state Washington does as a percentage of its economy, and the second lowest amount in the country (after West Virginia).

Interestingly, West Virginia and New Hampshire are also number one and two (respectively) in Drug Overdose Death Rates. Correlation or causation? You be the judge!