A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Monday, May 15, 2017

Everything Old is New Again

The president fired the FBI director a few months after taking office.  (A director appointed, be it noted, by a president of the other party, and still had several years to go in his 10 year term.)  Perhaps the president had some skeletons in his closet that he did not want investigated. The excuse he gave for the firing seemed weak.  Surely, everyone remembers the uproar and outrage that followed  "A coup," said some. "A constitutional crisis!

Or not. The media accepted Clinton's sacking of Sessions in 1993 as being due to misuse of a government airplane (Oh, horrors!) and not due to any investigation creeping near to the Oval Office. Of course not. Alas, Clinton shortly thereafter got Ken Starr as a Special Prosecutor, so firing Sessions did not do him a whole lot of good.


Gary Varval in the Washington Times
But what is even more remarkable in the second-time-as-farce repeat of history, many of those now clutching their pearls over the firing of Mr. Comey were among those earlier calling for his sacking! Is a little bit of principled consistency too much to ask for? Granted, it is Washington and neither principles nor consistency are very thick on the ground there; but, still.

TOF feels lonely in stating that Comey was in a no-win situation once he saw the hand grenade roll into his foxhole. If he kept mum about the trove of emails that popped up in another investigation, after he had formally and publicly closed the Clinton email investigation, he would be accused of trying to influence the election by concealing possibly relevant information from the public. What if these were (some of) the missing 30,000 emails that had been subpoenaed and not turned over? OTOH, if he went public, he would be accused of trying to influence the election by keeping the email controversy alive. So he threw himself on the grenade. Keeping silent would have been worse.

David Horsey at the Washington Times
Despite the effort to blame her loss on anything and everything else, where are the post-election polls that show people switching from Clinton to Trump because of the last-minute email kerfuffle? Outside the Beltway and its aficionados, how many people were persuaded by that? Sure, anyone else who had handled classified material so carelessly would have had his security clearance revoked and kept far away from secured servers, and probably escorted from the building with his personal belongings in a box; but the real scandal is less the email contents than it is the privileged treatment of the offender. This, in a year when Privilege was an Issue.

She did not lose the election because the working class voters in the Rust Belt cared a great deal about Insider Football, but because they were worried about jobs and it seemed all she wanted to talk about was who could use which bathroom.


  1. Well, that, and the gun the Dems were holding to our collective heads over gay 'marriage' (of which the whole bathroom thing was just the next chapter). . .

    Honestly, I think that, when Hill'ry broke out her 'basket of deplorables', a whole bunch of people raised up the one-finger salute and said, "Deplore this!"

  2. This reminds me of one of the last political conversations I was involved in, right after the election. Coworkers were bemoaning all the evil that was bound to follow, now that the hateful, ignorant bigots had elected Trump. I told them not to worry, since the world had been destroyed in a nuclear holocaust under Reagan.

    They didn't get it. The only comeback I got was Reagan's dirty dealings in central America. I replied that nobody was worried about that before the election - we were all assured that electing Reagan was going to start WWIII ASAP, and that voting for him made you a bloodthirsty insane warmonger. But Reagan didn't start WWIII, neither did he (unlike FDR) round up people and lock them away. So - why are you trusting the same people to tell you the truth now?

    Turns out you don't even need a Ministry of Truth to make people put inconvenient items down the memory hole - they'll do it by reflex, and not even notice.

  3. Well, LBJ assured Americans that if they voted for Goldwater, America would be up to her eyeballs militarily in Vietnam. My dad did (as did many others), and we were.

  4. Michael,

    We were wondering if you would like to join the Lifeboat Foundation Futurists Board as shown at

    We just had Kevin J. Anderson, Catherine Asaro, Elizabeth Bear, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Ben Bova, David Brin, Michael Bunker, Brenda Cooper, Blake Crouch, Joshua Dalzelle, Bill DeSmedt, Paul Draker, Jacqueline Druga, Alan Dean Foster, Kevin George, Kathleen Ann Goonan, James Gunn, Joe Haldeman, Peter F. Hamilton, Brian Herbert, William Hertling, Hugh Howey, Sarah Hoyt, Sara King, Harry "Doc" Kloor, Dani Kollin, Nancy Kress, Douglas Lain, W.J. Lundy, Ken MacLeod, Hannu Rajaniemi, Mike Resnick, Douglas E. Richards, A.G. Riddle, John Ringo, Jeremy Robinson, Justina Robson, Nick Sagan, Robert Sawyer, Karl Schroeder, Jasper T. Scott, Nisi Shawl, David Simpson, Nicholas Sansbury Smith, Allen Steele, Peter Watts, and Frank White join our Futurists Board so you would have some good company!

    Eric Klien
    Lifeboat Foundation
    +1 (775) 409-3122 Voice
    +1 (775) 409-3123 Fax
    Skype ID LifeboatHQ
    Twitter LifeboatHQ


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