"They Were Separated in Both Space and Time!"

Sorry for getting all Einsteinian on you there.

Our weekly phoniness feature:

Warning: Google hit counts are bogus.

Candidate EBO Win
Hit Count
Joe Biden 44.5% +2.6% 407,000 -27,000
Donald Trump 44.5% -0.7% 1,900,000 -570,000
Robert Kennedy Jr 3.5% +0.7% 42,200 -600
Michelle Obama 2.2% -0.4% 264,000 -16,000
Kamala Harris 2.1% -0.1% 120,000 0
Other 3.2% -2.1% --- ---

That's right: as I type, the EBO folks calculate that the bettors they sample consider the race to be a coin-flip between Bone Spurs and Wheezy.

Don't want to say I told you so. But I told you so.

Also of note:

  • It's a joke. Isn't it?

    Reason's Eric Boehm has the story: Meet 'Literally Anybody Else,' the Presidential Candidate That 2024 Demands.

    Like most Americans, Dustin Ebey is unhappy with the prospect of an electoral rematch between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

    Unlike most of us, however, he's decided to do something about it.

    The 35-year-old Texan became a viral sensation this week after legally changing his name to Literally Anybody Else and declaring his candidacy for the White House. The goal, he told Reason on Thursday, is "giving a unified voice to the idea that we deserve better."

    His website needs some work, I notice. But he's a real possibility for me.

  • Appropriately. Matt Welch looks at another failed effort to at least look sane: No Labels Abandons 2024 Presidential Campaign Effort.

    After years of heavy-breathing hints about giving polarization-fatigued Americans a bipartisan presidential choice, and months of painstakingly obtaining ballot access in nearly two dozen states, the 14-year-old centrist nonprofit No Labels has decided to not act like a political party after all.

    "Americans remain more open to an independent presidential run and hungrier for unifying national leadership than ever before," founding CEO Nancy Jacobson said in a press release Thursday afternoon. "But No Labels has always said we would only offer our ballot line to a ticket if we could identify candidates with a credible path to winning the White House. No such candidates emerged, so the responsible course of action is for us to stand down."

    I assume when they looked at the polling, they didn't think they could compete against Literally Anybody Else.

  • If only more MSM outlets were (eventually) this honest. Now it can be told: Sage Steele did a phony interview with President Dotard.

    What do you call an interview where the interviewer cannot ask spontaneous follow-up questions?

    Not an “interview,” that’s for sure.

    But that’s apparently what we got in 2021 when former ESPN host Sage Steele “interviewed” President Biden, according to none other than Steele herself.

    “That was an interesting experience in its own right because it was so structured,” she said recently in an interview with Fox News Digital. “And I was told, ‘You will say every word that we write out, you will not deviate from the script and go.’”

    ESPN? I assume they were softball questions. (Heh.)

Recently on the book blog:

Last Modified 2024-05-20 6:17 AM EDT

A Canticle for Leibowitz

(paid link)

I was inspired to put this on my to-read list thanks to a couple books by Derek B. Miller, The Curse of Pietro Houdini and Radio Life. Both acknowledged a debt to A Canticle for Leibowitz as an inspiration.

Which makes sense. Like Radio Life, this book drops us into a dystopic Earth, with human civilization nearly wiped out, without much explanation. And, like Curse, the action centers around a monastery. (The author, Walter M. Miller, Jr., no relation to Derek, participated in the bombing of the Italian monastery at Monte Cassino in WWII.)

I've had this book (a 75¢ Bantam paperback) since 1968 or so. Guilty admission: I can't remember if I previously read it. I might have a dim recollection of a certain character who, um, wanders throughout the book, but that's about it. (I may be confusing him with a continuing character from Neal Stephenson novels, but—hey, is he the same guy?)

The novel stitches together and revises three novellas that Miller wrote for The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in the 1950s. It won the Hugo Award for best novel in 1961. The three sections are spaced centuries apart.

In the first, young Francis is on a desert vigil when (with the assistance of that wanderer) he discovers an ancient shelter containing lost technological knowledge, the "Memorabilia", saved from the anti-technological post-apocalypse jihad by "Saint" Leibowitz. Things don't work out well for him.

In the second part, hundreds of years later, the budding scientists and engineers of the day are analyzing the Memorabilia, making some crude progress toward generating electricity; it's a time of political intrigue as well.

And in the last part, another few centuries on, mankind has re-developed technology in full, with starships. And nukes. The monastery searches for some way to preserve the church in the face of another Armageddon.

My paperback's front cover quotes the Chicago Tribune review, which calls the book "terrifyingly grim". I see their point, but there's also some funny stuff, especially in the early going. But, on the whole, it's kind of a downer. A good, well-written downer, but still.