■ Proverbs 19:28 is not fond of either the corrupt or the wicked:
28 A corrupt witness mocks at justice,
and the mouth of the wicked gulps down evil.
That second line does not conjure a pleasant mental image. No sir.
"The world is millions of years old,” he says sagely. “And the world is never finished.”
Professorial and at times even a little prophetic, Bob Lutz, late of General Motors, isn’t what you’d expect from an old-fashioned American car guy: Zurich-born and Lausanne-educated, he knows a half-dozen languages and did stints at GM Europe, BMW, Ford, Chrysler, and the Marine Corps before returning to General Motors, where he was, among other things, an early advocate of electric cars. In a wide-ranging radio interview with Glenn Beck (who made his reputation as a conservative polemicist but whose straightforward interviews often are terrific and barely touch on politics), Lutz spoke at length about the future he imagines for the automobile industry: autonomous pods that consumers hail on demand rather than owning, networked together in ways that render such familiar 21st-century headaches as traffic jams and car accidents largely (perhaps entirely) a thing of the past. Rich people in the future will own sports cars for the same reason today’s rich people own horses.
Very interesting and insightful, even by @kevinNR standards.
■ Gregg Easterbrook's TMQ for the week is a lot of football, but also muses on the nature of sci-fi time travel. For example:
The Terminator franchise has been sustaining itself with new timelines. The Harry Potter play involves alternative timelines. The 2009 flick simply called Star Trek that rebooted the franchise as super-advanced from the get-go—TMQ liked the Original Series setting in which Starfleet was low-rent and coffee was served in foam cups spray-painted silver—created a new timeline in which the planet Vulcan is destroyed; in which two Mr. Spocks exist simultaneously (there’s Old Original Spock, played by the late Leonard Nimoy, and New Improved Spock, played by Zachary Quinto); in which Scotty possesses tech centuries before the tech is invented; and in which the actors have way better haircuts.
Spoiler in there for the next Star Trek movie, so beware. Well, not a biggie (mouseover to reveal): Kirk's father, George, played by Thor, will be in it. Perhaps McCoy's line will be "He's not dead, Jim."
■ Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon notes a sad story: VOA to Fire Three Employees Over Controversial Radio Interview.
The Voice of America, the official U.S. government broadcaster, has notified three employees of its Chinese language division that it plans to fire them for conducting a controversial interview with a Chinese dissident.
I'm old enough to remember when it was the VOA's frickin' job to broadcast the truth into Commie countries. If we aren't going to do that any more, why have a VOA at all?
■ The LFOD bell chimed for an article by Spencer Tulis in the Finger Lakes Times. link
Riggs Alosa, 23, graduated from Hobart College this past spring. He
headed back to his family’s current home in Vermont to ponder his
future. He has a degree in English with a focus in poetry but didn’t
have immediate plans to enter the crazy 9-to-5 work world quite
Having grown up in New Hampshire, it isn’t a surprise that he takes that state’s motto — “Live Free or Die” — to heart.
Sitting on the family property was a 1969 Volkswagen Westfalia microbus that his dad had bought some 10 years earlier. His dad was a fan of the Grateful Dead but bought it more because he liked the looks of it.
Bottom line: Riggs and his late dad's Westfalia are on a classic American Odyssey. For an English major with a poetry focus, it will no doubt be filled with interesting encounters with the real world. I wish him well, and suggest a return to NH when he's ready to settle down.