Sunday, September 27, 2020

New From Alexis de Tocqueville

"Tocqueville, was a French aristocrat, diplomat, political scientist, and historian. 

He is best known for his works Democracy in America and The Old Regime and the Revolution

In both, he analyzed the improved living standards and social conditions of individuals as well as their relationship to the market and state in Western societies. 

Democracy in America was published after Tocqueville's travels in the United States and is today considered an early work of sociology and political science."

(The above was cut and pasted from Wikipedia.)

Tocqueville wondered at various aspects of t the United States of America as he toured it and as he discovered it.

He found America's proclivity to form associations for the achievement of socially advantageous purposes to be of especial note.

Even more special than that, he found that America seemed to be proving that a people could govern themselves, sans roi.

He found that to be amazing.

Oddly the thing that I remember most from his book was his description of a farmstead that he had wandered upon somewhere in the frontier - Ohio/Indiana in those days: he said that the people had enclosed their keep with a fence made up of a fairly robust weave of the branches of some local shrub.

The branches had apparently retained enough vitality and sap to sprout leaves and put down roots; the result was a keep enclosed in a living shrubbery barrier.

For some reason that has always been one of my favorite images of early America.

Given my interest in Tocqueville I was recently excited by the discovery of some unpublished parts of the manuscript that became Democracy in America.

In a cellar of a building on rue Guénégaud in Paris, in an alcove in the limestone wall, some workers found a roll of paper nearly destroyed by the humidity of two centuries; but, since it had been rolled, it could be unrolled and read.

It had been intended to have been included in  Democracy in America.

Here it is.

"I do have one overriding concern, however.

Prosperity for all will no doubt result in an increase in the less than intelligent, less than perceptive, less than - shall we say - thinking, class; that increase, in Europe, would merely swell the streets with urchins; however, in egalitarian America, that might well swell the polling places with fucking morons.

One can only hope that if this observation be accurate, that the fucking morons will remain a minority, albeit a vocal and troublesome one, and that of the leaders from whom they are offered a choice  at the polling places, none of their class will prevail."

I think I like this almost as much as the keep with the living fence story.

Friday, September 25, 2020

If I Were A Woman

 If I were a woman, and donnie nominated me for anything, particularly the Supreme Court, I would feel thrice defiled: once by having had the dildo utter my name, once by having had to respond to his utterance, and once to know that I would be a laugh line for night-time television for years to come.

Having that viewpoint, I can't help but wonder what kind of creature it is that donnie is going to have jump out of the cake.

What kind of creature would accept that sort of defilement?

And why would we want that sort of creature to replace one of our great justices?

But then why do we continue to tolerate the dildo?

Thursday, September 24, 2020

So donnie Will Accept A Free And Fair Election

 The fact that such an inane statement is news, and that it is supposed to bring a vast transcontinental sigh of relief is a red light indicator of how much trouble we are in.

The fact that the republicans had previously assured all of us that donnie was only kidding about not being willing to accept the  will of the people and to a peaceful transition rather than spearheading articles of impeachment in the House is an equally red blinker of how little hope there is for the future of the United States.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

donnie's Saturday SCOTUS Announcement: Can't You Just See It?

 The dildo is going to announce his choice to replace RBG on Saturday.

Can't you just see it?

There will be a massive stage rigged up in the White House slime garden.

An image of the Virgin Mary (or is it The Lady of Slovenia?) will be festooned across the Whitehouse providing a dramatic backdrop for the imminent festivities: donnie's FEMALE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.

A huge band - impressed sailors from the US Navy - will open with the Navy hymn, then the scene will transition artfully to a massive super sized screen that will suddenly appear, popping up from the ground, that will present Bert Parks singing "There She Is Miss America".

After finishing his song Bert will transition in the video with a screen scrape sideways to a fade in to Ol' Mitch and the Boys singing and dancing to "You Can't Always get What You Want".

Then a huge cake will be wheeled onto the stage in front of the Navy Band.

After a massive crash of dramatic chords issued from the various band instruments of the Navy and donnie shrieking mindlessly something about "I give you Roe vs Wade" some generic blond republican fascist woman will leap out of the cake clad in a high school cheer leader's outfit.

She will shriek into the void in the slime garden " god bless America; god bless Mitch McConnel; god bless president trump".

A flight of Vietnam era Huey choppers, Navy whatever Fxxs they fly these days, and vintage Airforce C130s (in support of tradition - a reference to SCOTUS before expropriation) will then buzz the stage.

Fade to black.

Images From Paris Aquarium Tropical

 When I am in Paris I always go to the Paris Aquarium Tropical.

It's a great place to spend a rainy afternoon, having taken the Metro, to avoid the rain, to get there.

On a sunny day it is an equally great place to visit, having walked down the Seine to Pont d'Austerlitz and across to la Bastille and along the back side of the new Opera to the steps leading up to la Promenade des Plantes, and all the way down la Promenade to the golden guy right by an entrance to le Bois de Vincennes; skip the Bois and go left, behind the golden guy and across the street to le Aquarium.

The aquarium is always full of teachers and parents with hoards of little kids who pound on the faces of the aquariums, all of which have signs saying ne touchez pas, or something similar.

I always take an amazing number of pictures, most of which are a waste of chip space, the lighting conditions and activity level of the denizens of the aquariums being what they are.

But I do get a few that are pretty good.

Here are some of them.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Heart Of Anarchy

 I have never been so excited in my life as when I saw this news.

I was born in Seattle, left for Portland when I was five years old and have been back in Seattle since 1992.

After leaving Seattle in 1948, I grew up in Portland and only left twice: when I went into the Air Force - I returned to Portland after that - and when IBM asked me to begin the Trek d'IBM which ultimately returned me to Seattle.

I guess anarchy just always brings you back.

Being born in anarchy in Seattle, and moving to and growing up with anarchy in Portland, wherever I was in between couldn't undo the anarchy bred into me early and often.

I should warn Jefferson City, San Angelo, Clovis, Boca Raton, Omaha, Atlanta (really Alpharetta) Spokane, Saigon, Fukuoka, and Upper Saddle River that, since I once lived in all of them, they will probably be added to the list.

Upper saddle River - being close to NYC - is probably why New York is on the list.

A perfect trifecta, I would assert.

The Evil Witch Meets The Putin Playbook


Can't you just see Nancy Pelosi sneaking in to Justice Ginsburg's room, leaving the letter, and cackling fiendishly as her green glowing witch's face exits the room through the wall?

Anyone who has read "The Invention of Russia" will recognize this as straight out of the Putin Playbook.  

Fauci and Redfield are the carboard cutout placemen in donnie's info war on public health and science.

The short version of the Putin Playbook is that if enough different stories are spewed out - some of them even marginally true - the government can induce an "oh what's the use?" reaction from the citizens; then all bets are off, and the glorious leader can reign supreme.  

The fact that donnie is no Putin - more like Joffrey in Game of Thrones - doesn't make things much better.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Images From Various Venues

Dandelions don't get their just due.


Islam in Paris; Looks good to me.

Beam me down.

I never know what to say when I am seeing this place; so I don't say anything.

Cop boat in Rome

Paris: THIS is a cop boat.  It backs up the French Navy.

I never can stop taking pictures of goldfinches.

Hard to believe that this is a chickadee.

Pretty good camouflage 

I've always liked turtles.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Supreme Court Slam Dunk

 Ol' Mitch and the boys are ready to get another fascist on the Supreme Court.

Time before last Ol' Mitch said that with ten months before a Presidential election the people needed to be given the right to have a voice in the choice: he blocked the nomination of Obama's candidate.

That was a fairly heinous breach of the Constitution.

Most probably.

But nobody cared much.

By Monday morning, if the Senate stays in session every day until 3 November there are 44 days left until the election.

There are two things to consider here.

First the Supreme Court is the unbelievably important, co-equal third branch of our government.

Indulging in a slap dash 44 day long goat rodeo to appoint Justice Ginsburg's successor is malfeasance of a criminal sort (I considered a term starting with "cluster" for my description here, but I thought better of it; if you've ever seen a goat rodeo you will probably concur that it is a suitable alternative description).

Second if 300 or so days is way too little time in which to effect such an appointment, what is 41 days?

Alternate facts reign supreme.

There is a way that I can think to stop this impending farce, however.

The House of Representatives should rev up the impeachment machine again.

There are hundreds, probably thousands of  impeachable acts committed by donnie before and after his last Court date.

If the Senate can slam dunk a Justice, the House can slam dunk some Articles.

Let's see how Ol' Mitch and the boys handle that little side show.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Putin, Wray And Johnson: A Chilling Syllogism

 Christopher Wray, the head of the FBI, testified this morning to the House of Representatives that the Russians have mounted a misinformation campaign to undermine Joe Biden's presidential campaign.

Not so coincidentally, Senator Ron Johnson is revving up the publicity around his investigation of Joe Biden.  

I can't help but draw the obvious conclusion:

The Russians are after Biden; Ron Johnson is after Biden; therefore Ron Johnson is a Russian agent.  

That seems to be an unassailable conclusion.

If Senator Merkley must contend with an opponent who carte blanche endorses QAnon, I ought to be able to indulge in a little tongue in cheek linkage.

The problem is that this tongue is far from engagement with this cheek.