Sunday, May 30, 2021

One Of My Favorite Places In Paris ...

 ... is Crêperie Les Pecheurs.

This lady left her ship's masthead to hang on the wall at Les Pecheurs.

What Did Madison Mean? Part Two

 In the post alluded to I asserted that the Second Amendment does not support individual holding or bearing of arms or of the holding or bearing of arms for hunting or personal self defense.

Why did I say that?

Read it and tell me how you can disagree.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

It doesn't say  "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Not only does it not say that it's OK for individuals to keep and bear arms - for any purpose - it specifically says that it's only OK to keep and bear arms as a component of a well regulated state (meaning "national" as I previously pointed out) militia.

That doesn't mean that one can't keep and bear arms as individuals.

It only means that if one does that act, that act is not defended by the Constitution; the legislative components of United States governments can pass laws as they see fit in regulation of that or any other act not protected by the Constitution.

Since the never ending band designee of daily mass shootings is underwritten by the rock solid stand that the Constitution says that any kind of weapon can be owned and brandished by almost anyone, any time and anywhere - which the Constitution clearly does not say - one is left gasping in incredulity and asking the question how did we get to this?

The answer is a simple one: the doctrine of derived implication.

The doctrine of derived implication says that if the Constitution mentions something, a highly paid enough band of lawyers can, with finely honed circular imploding logic derive any right they want.

That was the basis for the Warren Court deciding Roe vs. Wade; I think there they even had to derive "privacy", because I don't think "privacy" is mentioned in the Constitution.

But unlike Roe vs. Wade which has resulted in immeasurable social good, the Second Amendment Derivers have only delivered mayhem and misery.

But they've made a lot of money.

A Slightly Edited Reaction From My Son Concerning A Recent Link I Shared

 From The Examiner:

Arizona Senate considering another audit of Maricopa County 2020 election: Report

The Arizona Senate may sign a deal for another 2020 election review in Maricopa County following reports that some overseers of the audit are dissatisfied with the process.

The present audit, which includes a review of 2.1 million ballots cast in the state's November election in the county, has been underway since April 23 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, led by the hired firm Cyber Ninjas. Audit liaison, former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, told a reporter with CBS5 News on Thursday that hand counters had gone through more than 800,000 ballots so far. Organizers have said they hope to finish by the end of June.

But the GOP-led state Senate is already eyeing another recount that would be entirely electronic, running digital images of ballots through a program to count all votes cast for every race on the county's ballot, according to the Arizona Republic. Bennett told the outlet they are considering a California-based election transparency nonprofit group called Citizens Oversight for the job, and the results from both audits could be compared to one another.

Citizens Oversight founder Ray Lutz, 63, told the Arizona Republic this week his group has never been commissioned to audit an election, adding that the technology being pitched for the process has never been used for an official audit.

"I would say absolutely this is a grand test," Lutz said. "I think it is certainly a big test for me because I have put a lot of work on it for the last year and a half or so." 


Here is what Joe, my son, said:

"I heard they are going to hire the cast of the Muppet Show to complete the recount. 

Gonzo will be in charge with his chickens doing most of the re-count, with their beaks checking for bamboo paper and with Beaker doing chemical audits of the audits which of course will lead to explosions.

Miss Piggy and Kermit will be running the PR department, the band will set up out front to entertain the trumpies and the media.

The Chef, of course will be cooking chickens (not Gonzo's counting ones) and the two old men in the balcony will run a 24/7 play by play of the actions to be streamed on CNN.

Scooter will be doing live reporting for Fox.

That will be unbeknownst to him; he was thinking he was working for NPR.


It runs in the family.

What Did Madison Mean By that?

 My daughter and I spent an hour catching up in a phone call this morning.

I mentioned in passing that I had posted on my blog a short thought about the Second Amendment.

That got us into a back and forth on why, what, how, when and all those other things that come to mind when one perceives the nightmare descendant to that simple statement that has been breathed to life by the Supreme Court and enhanced and abetted by the NRA.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The first thing I mentioned in my part of the exchange was that the starting point of difficulty presented by this snippet of prose from James Madison is the meanings of two words: "state" and "militia".

As recent to Madison's statement as the recently completed Constitutional Convention there was widespread disagreement about what "state" meant; most looked upon the entities that they were representing at the Convention as what we would today call "nations".

And, although as best as I can remember, the word militia never entered into the Convention's deliberation, if such a word had entered the deliberations it would have been generally interpreted as meaning what the word had meant in England for a couple hundred years - at least.

England had never had a standing army because Magna Carta says that the King can't spend money without the approval of the Barons - later the Parliament - and the Parliament wasn't going to pay for the king to have a standing army; all they had to do was look across the water to France to be able to see how bad an idea it was for the King to have military power; besides law and order ought to be a local thing; so the idea of a local constabulary was brought into being across Britain's myriad localities and these constabularies came to be called militias.

It could be argued that there is a third word in the Amendment that is of questionable meaning: "people".

But, back to Roman times, that word has referred to the aggregate population of the "state" ("nation").

So, if one takes the apparent face value meaning of the Second Amendment, it seems to say that the aggregate population of the nation have the unabridgeable right to keep an inventory of weapons in support of the mission of keeping domestic order.

There isn't any mention of an individual right to keep and bear arms.

There also isn't any mention of a right to keep and bear arms for hunting or for personal defense.

So how did we get to the nightmare of unlimited guns, including weapons of war, available without any control or constriction, in the closet or under the beds of every red blooded INDIVIDUAL American?

The Answer Is So Obvious, Missing It Is Ridiculous

 Now that Americans are back on the streets and in the venues and meeting in bars, restaurants and pot shops the Ol' Mass Shooting Machine is ramping up to a high pitched hum.

After every one a lot of thoughts and prayers are unleashed upon the land.

And then the vast cascade of fixes to the mass shooting problem get onto the airwaves and vast hoards of droning pundits talk about what needs to be done.

There are endless discussions about background checks, safety training, red flag laws and on and on and so forth ad infinitum.

The problem is obvious: there are at least 300 million too many guns in America.

The solution is to quit selling new ones and collect and melt down the existing inventory.


“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

How the Constitutional Literalists can interpret that vague and benign statement into a situation where anyone, any time, anywhere can buy, and brandish openly, and massively, multiple weapons of war is a mystery that, until solved, and banished from the law of the land will allow the mass shooting machine to continue at pace.

That bogus and convoluted interpretation of the simple statement that is the Second Amendment must be struck from existence; until it is, and until the consequent elimination of the massive pile of weapons stored in our country is removed we are going to have mass carnage.

As long as three hundred million guns are only a nutcase away from mayhem we are all going be ducking and covering for the rest of our lives.

Rounding Out The Month

 Overnight there was another shooting.

This time in Florida - Miami, I guess.

The good news is that this one doesn't qualify for the category "mass shooting".

I hear to make minimum acceptable on the sliding scale of shooting categories there need to be at four dead people at the site; this one only had two dead; there were a whole lot of near dead though, so maybe they can upgrade this one later in the day.

Another thing of note on this one is that it sounds more like a gang hit than your typical garden variety "misunderstood nutcase deciding to make a statement" shooting; in this one three people got out of an SUV, armed with semi automatic weapons and sprayed a crowd of concert goers.

I couldn't help but wonder if this was the concert that was making a statement by charging people who could prove being vaccinated $19.99; those who couldn't, or wouldn't, were charged $999.

Maybe the SUV Three were donnie voters who refuse vaccination.

In that case they were just patriots exercising their god given right to express themselves.

That would explain things in this case and let us all move on with our lives and wait to see what "real" mass shooting crops up over night.

Nice to be back on an even keel.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Or Do We Let The Morons Take Over?

 A good  question which only history will answer.

And most of us won't be here to hear the answer to that question.

But I fear, no matter when the answer comes, only the morons will like the answer.

Sunset is falling - setting I guess - on America.

And the sun is an irreversible force.

China Or Us; It IS A Decision, Not Just Fate

 It IS a decision.

And WE CAN make it: do we want to fade into a Britain-like after glow of world leadership, or do we want to move forward - again?

We have been here a lot of other times: 1860, 1917, 1941, 1950, and 1968 among them.

All but one of those dates involved a war, and they were wars that we entered and the whole world benefited from our entry.

1968 was a first ever thing of the people: the question was posed, are we a nation that means what what is said in our founding documents or are we just bullshit artists?

The jury is still out on that question, but the question is still, at least, open.

Ronald Reagan made a yeoman's theatrical attempt at an answer: he asserted that we are not a nation in which welfare queens will be allowed to exist, but we are a nation in which a properly directed trickle of the vast fruit of the aggregate contribution of every American will lift all boats (presumably lifting most to the surface).

We have had 41 years of that economic assertion and most of us are still at or below the surface.

The trickle down hasn't lifted any boats; it has trickled down the toilet; but a few toilet manufacturers have become blindingly rich.

Joe Biden apparently has seen that state of affairs and thinks that it is time to change it.

He has made a modest proposal to play catch up in investment in America that has been in abeyance since Reagan, for over 40 years.

If one looks at the state of things - America as a non-player in the world, except for Super Hero movies and trillion dollar stupid wars, and China as the nation that holds the world in a supply chain chokehold and imminent nuclear threat checkmate - it might seem that the time is nigh for America to awake from its conspiracy theory based nut culture induced malaise, and invest massively in its people, for they ultimately are our foundational infrastructure, its institutions and its things and products - classic infrastructure - and in re-creating American resident supply chains - supply chains that can serve the world, not just America, and in launching programs that unleash American creativity, and jobs, in support of getting us off the constantly incrementing upwards rheostat of global warming.  

A lot of jobs result from doing those things.

A lot of taxes result from those jobs.

A lot of prosperity will result for most of us, rather than for almost none of us, from doing those things.

So, here is the decision.

Will you do everything necessary to see that you get to vote in 2022, in spite of all the republican laws that exclude you, for a slate of senators and congress people who will be willing to say "yes" to the salvation of America?

Or do want China to be the next template for the world?


A Pretty Flower

 I have no idea; Screen Saver just served it up and I screen captured it.




57 of 100 senators voted "guilty" in trump's second impeachment trial.

That's really close to guilty.

That's way more than halfway from not guilty.

Since the January 6 insurrection and trump's role in it were the backbone of the prosecution's case for finding donnie guilty, that "way more than halfway" thing, in the face of merciless pressure from the man on trial to find him innocent is a big deal: one might conclude that the truth of the matter is probably the prosecution's case, but that the winner of the matter was the merciless pressure from the person on trial; so the fact that 7 people subject to that merciless pressure nonetheless voted "guilty" might cause one to conclude that "guilty" was indeed the factual truth of the matter.

So if one were one of the many cowering-in-the-Senate-Cloakroom "Pressurees" one would probably not want a genuine bi-partisan commission rooting around in January 6, 2021.

One might really not - no, change "might" to "probably" or perhaps, "surely" - like what the commission would find.

The Record So Far


  • Unanimous "no" to American Relief Act
  • Unanimous "no" to "human infrastructure" :  Senator Shelley Moore Capito 05/28/21
  • Unanimous "no" to having the rich pay taxes
  • Unanimous "no" to controlling climate change
  • Near unanimous endorsement of a soon to be indicted criminal for another term as president
  • Removal of a republican for telling the truth
  • Continuation of a republican for crazed hate filled outbursts
  • Continuation of republican who stalks a fellow member
  • 25% endorsement of QAnon
  • Unanimous "no" to national voting reform
  • Roughly 40% endorse The Big Lie
  • Unanimous "yes" to elimination of all but core criminal "base" from the vote
I can't remember all the rest.

But there are more, many, many more.

So when one looks at 2022 it is possible to see a uniform, easy to understand, bulleted campaign strategy that would serve as the uniform template for a national, coherent, add campaign aimed at "the rest of us".

If one were not concerned with massive disenfranchisement already accomplished, one would be optimistic about "our" future.

Une Gentile Vitrine!!

 I go into a lot of cathedrals and churches when I am in Paris or other parts of France.

The windows are the obvious reason.

We once attended the story teller's tour of  Cathédrale de Notre-Dame de Chartres.

The guide and story teller for the tour was Malcomb B. Miller an expatriot Brit and holder of the Legion d'Honneur due to his lifetime commitment to and attendant expertise in the the windows of Chartres.

So from that point forward I could see that "looking at church windows" was a pretty big deal, tantamount to an industry, in France.

(The windows of Chartres are a recurring and pivotal theme in the autobiography - really an almost mystical contemplation of the past - complete with a never ending attempt to calibrate its force and an aggressive attempt at seeing into the future and calibrating it against the calibration of the past, rather than an autobiography - of John Adams' great grandson, The Education of Henry Adams.)

So I started doing the easiest thing possible: taking pictures of the windows every time I go into a cathedral or church.

It's easy in the sense of clicking a shutter.

It's almost impossible - for me - to get anything that adequately tells the tale of those amazing stories and explosions of color.

In any event I have compounded my problem by not making any attempt to document where any image might have come from.

So when Screen Saver serves up the occasional image of a window that has any merit I have no idea where it came from.

So it is with this one: it's verging on OK, but I don't know where it came from.

My favorite subject cathedral is St. Severin in Paris, but I'm pretty sure it's not from there.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Cats Three

 I have posted some images of our three reclaimed feral kittens - siblings all - on Instagram over time.  I can't remember if I have ever posted any on my blog.  I am posting some now.  

I Thinned The Radishes

 It seemed a waste to throw them away just because they were young and in the way and needed to be removed to allow for their brothers and sisters to have room to get bigger.

Even though they were small they were pretty nice little radishes.

So I washed them and spun them.

Since I like radish greens in salads, I did the obvious.

I made a radish salad with the greens and bonus baby radishes.

It was good.

And I still have some left over for another salad.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

I Didn't Know What This Could Be In Paris The First Time I saw It

 I thought I was having a hallucination.

But after I had it absorbed and realized what it was, I had fun adding  comments.

Walk On The Anacortes Ferry Dock Trail

 Sometimes when I have an extended wait for the ferry I take a walk on the several mile long trail the runs along the edge of the bay.

The trail is a sort of microcosmic spectrum of habitat.

In the fall the rains fill a swampy area that covers a lot of acres and a variety of brackish water plant life that has adapted to being in a foot or more of water part of the year to being in dry ground other times.

There are niches of all kinds of native trees and bushes: salmonberry, thimbleberry - not really native - elderberry, Pacific Crabapple, salal, and so forth.

Here's what Pacific Crabapple look like.

There are a lot of old big leaf maples and a fair number of Douglas fir.

There is an alarming stand of poison hemlock.

There are a lot of teasels.

There are a lot more things that I can't remember right now.

That whole mélange amounts to great habitat for a wide variety of creatures, and the access to the habitat by a walkable trail gives someone with a camera a lot of opportunities to take pictures of some of those creatures.

I have walked that walk and taken pictures a lot of times when I had a long wait for my ferry and when the weather was good enough to support walking and shooting.

Yesterday was one of those days.

At the very beginning of the trail it is a boardwalk that skirts and then goes into part of the swamp.

This being mid May the water is mostly gone.

In previous times when the water was pretty well maximum I got some good pictures of a bullfrog.

Yesterday there were a few puddles, enough water that it served the purpose of a song sparrow who apparently wanted to be a swamp song sparrow; I have never seen a song sparrow wading; maybe it thought it was a sand piper.

A little farther along I saw some native honey bees pollinating native blackberries.

I was pretty close to where I remember two lone Douglas firs had been the home of a pair of ospreys. 
One of the trees was a background and one had a nest in it.  One time I got a few pretty good pictures of the pair at their nest.  They were at the outer edge of what my 24/240 telephoto lens can do, but the 43mpx sensor made cropping possible for additional magnification.

After seeing nothing of consequence for a while I heard a soft chirp - just one - and I stopped; I was way beyond the osprey trees, which yesterday still had the nest but didn't have the birds, but that chirp sounded like an osprey.  I scanned the Douglas fir in front of me and at first saw nothing; then I saw a big wing - just like the one in the picture you are looking at - and I tried to get in a position where I could see the whole bird and get a picture or two; they would have been really good because the bird was really close; but I couldn't.

The bird shot into the air, immediately got to critical altitude, and folded up in that famous osprey fold that they adopt as the optimum way to plummet into the water and grab a fish that they have seen.

This bird did all of that.

Of course I couldn't perceive what was happening quickly enough, nor could I get organized quickly enough to get a picture.

If I had, and if I had the shutter speed set high enough, and if autofocus worked well enough, I would have gotten a pretty good picture.

But I didn't so I hope my words have acted as a pale substitute.

Finally, not long after the osprey incident, I got some shots of a great blue heron trying to get something it had caught into its gullet rather than wrapped around its beak.  

To that end the heron was shaking its head quite violently.

I guess I had the shutter speed set pretty high because I got a couple of pretty good pictures.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Bibliothèque Mitterrand

 The real point to having taken this picture is that the sign says that you get to Mitterrand's library via the foot bridge Simone de Beauvoir - Jean Paul Sartre's female life companion.

But that really isn't the point.

From the realm of Noel's never ending obscure interests the real reason for this image's post is that Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir lets one cross over the Seine into Parc de Bercy.

Parc de Bercy is a fairly recent addition to Paris' parcs I learned recently when I read The Seine, a book by Elaine Sciolino. 

But even that isn't the point of this image posting.

The real reason is that in the book Elaine tells about a 5000 year old settlement that the workers uncovered while making Parc de Bercy.

The settlement she described from the archeological reports was exactly the settlement that I described in A Curious Confluence.

Hearing a contemporary author describe the archeological findings that perfectly described "my village" in "my book",  I having no idea at the time of writing that book that there even was, or was ever going to be a Parc de Bercy was, frankly, unnerving.

The only disparity is, I had the settlement on Isle de la Cité on the site where Our Lady later raised her cathedral - burned to the shell recently.

Maybe there was more than one such settlement 5000 years ago.



It's Hypnotic


Tuesday, May 18, 2021

It Would Be Entertaining If It Weren't So Lethal To Most Of Us

 Instead of Netflix, Amazon Prime or HBO it comes out on Fox.

And it's not a movie or a mini-series or a documentary.

It's a 24 hour a day Opus Maximus.

It hasn't yet gotten a name but it shouts to be called "The Republicans: Bless Their Hearts".

In format it's a cast of clowns in a never ending series of double takes and pratfalls.

Like Laugh In it is fast paced and has myriad recurring bits: we jump without transition from Kevin McCarthy saying that trump was responsible for the insurrection to  McCarthy kneeling in homage at Mara Lago to McConnel saying the sole objective of the party is to block any and all policies proposed by the Biden Administration to Matt Gaetz  wearing a gas mask, to Matt Gaetz crashing impeachment proceedings, and to Matt Gaetz being accused of sex trafficking and to Matt Gaetz being accused of having paid sex with a minor and to it being revealed that the Justice Department is investigating Matt Gaetz for sex trafficking and having sex with a minor and to various of Matt Gaetz' Venmo transactions being traced to being payment to underage women (it should be obvious - and part of the delicious "bless their hearts" component of the Opus - that Matt Gaetz will be the republican candidate for president in 2024) and, since all good comedy needs the occasional offsetting straight faced foil, to Biden outlining his two revolutionary plans for America - it's people and its infrastructure - and then to get back on track, a fade to black where we hear the voice of Mitch McConnel saying that the republicans will block everything proposed by the Biden Administration.

One of the recurring Laugh In-like bits is a quick fade-in/fade-out of a somber looking fellow saying "we are looking for bamboo in the ballots; that will prove beyond doubt that trump won".

It just keeps going: never ending clips of republicans and their evangelical analogues fade in and out among the Matt Gaetz clips, intermingled as it were for a cosmically meaningful mélange in which we see Matt fading to a pasty faced evangelical fading to Jim Jordan Fading to Newt Gingrich, we hear "sex trafficking" we hear "we will stop the mass murder of our unborn" we hear "if they had been decent children of god they would have been born to rich white people" and we hear "yer on yer own; we got you born; now run with it"; at that point a still image transitions in screen right; it is a huge arch not unlike de Triomphe; emblazoned on it the words "Enter Here My Little Serfs" .

And occasionally we get historical comedy: Ol' Mitch saying "we can't have a Supreme Court Justice appointed this close to a presidential election" and then a fade to black accompanied by "we have to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice because of the proximity of the Presidential election".

All in all it's addictively entertaining.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Flying Saucers

 60 Minutes tonight is the latest credible story about what we have been talking about for 70 years.

The New Yorker Radio Hour was the most recent other story of this type of which I am aware.

That was a week ago Saturday.

Everything in the current crop of stories is just more of the same that we have heard for 70 years.

The things move in manners and at speeds that nothing we have ever produced come anywhere close to being able to do.

The two obvious answers to what these things are are they are either from somewhere else or from an earthly power not us.

The problem with the not us answer is that we have been seeing these things for 70 years and they were every bit as unexplainably amazing in their capabilities then as they are now.

70 years ago the world was pretty much on its knees in the wake of WWII.

The chance that Japan or Germany or England or France had developed 28th century technology in the midst of the crumbling of civilization of the Twentieth Century was then and is now unlikely.

So the two possibilities left are that we have been and are being surveilled by some other life form or the US, in tandem with the Manhattan Project developed something amazing and we are waiting for the appropriate moment to unleash it upon something.

For most of the 70 years of UFO reports the US Government has depicted every report at best trivial misinterpretation of natural and explainable phenomena such as meteors and swamp gas or at worst the ravings of lunatics.

The fact that we are suddenly confronted with myriad government endorsements of the existence of these things is more unnerving than 70 years of denials.

It would seem to me that the answer to this new found candor is that whatever they are they are ours and whatever they were intended for is imminently going to be revealed.

Nonetheless, I personally think it's the aliens.

But it also could be our first ever proof of the practical implication of quantum physics: it's us from somewhere else and some other time in the bubble.

What Size Is A Significant Nation These Days?

I ask that question because now that the United Kingdom has exited the European Union, the UK finds itself alone in the world as a standalone nation, sans colonies, sans everything that 150 years ago made Britain an Empire; in this new sans environment Britannia finds herself the amazing shrinking country.

Today she is, give or take, 65 million people.

That's the same size as France and Italy.

That's not that much bigger than California.

That certainly is substantially less than the 500 million of the European Union that Britannia decided to exit.

But things are about to get interesting.

Scotland is inexorably heading toward a secede from the UK vote; they voted on that a while back and 55% voted to stay; but that was before the English component of the UK voted to leave the EU; since there are way more English than there are Scots, Welsh and Northern Ireland the English vote prevailed; Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay in the EU but they are too few to have a say; so now they want to go back; secession is the only path to that end.

Wales is in the wings watching.

Northern Ireland voted about as overwhelmingly as Scotland to remain in the EU.

What they are likely to do is complicated by the history back to James I (James III of Scotland who ascended the throne of England and commenced the UK) whose son - James II - actually came back to Great Britain after abdicating and running away as his son in law William of Orange moved with an army from the coast into London; James tried to overthrow his son in law and his son in law's wife - his, James II's daughter Mary.

The politics surrounding William of Orange - William III of England - and his wife and queen, Mary, spawned an ugly little civil war that had most of its battles in Ireland.

What has remained has been northern Irish loyalty, almost psychotic loyalty to the main island; the marching season dredges up the whole thing year after year.

But those people liked being in the EU; they might someday do the unthinkable and merge with the Irish Republic and thus rejoin the EU.

So where does that leave the English?

Assuming that they keep Northern Ireland in the kingdom but lose Scotland and Wales that leaves them, at about 56 million in a group of states that are 40 million or a bit more: Poland, Spain and California.

If they were to lose Northern Ireland England would be alone in the world with54 million people.

Nigeria has a population of 260 million.

I see the tactic: secede from the EU; but I'll be damned if I can grasp the strategy.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

C'est Pas Une Chose Non Tilt: This Is Not A Non Tilt Thing

 Picture a scales.

There is a vertical central member with an arm mounted near the top of that member at the middle of the arm.

That arm is mounted in that manner to serve a function.

The function is to measure the difference of the weight in each of the two trays mounted at the respective outer ends of the arm.

In the olden days one tray had a known weight so that the unknown weight of something that someone was trying to sell could be established from a known beginning point.

Those trays can be empty - which they are at time zero - or they can have weight in each of them.

After time zero, as weights are added to either side the arm tilts either one way or it tilts the other way.

Theoretically the arm could always be a no tilt thing.

Jews went into Palestine in 1948 and formed a new country: Israel.

Jews went in and took homes from Palestinians and sent them to camps; Palestinians have been in camps ever since.

I once saw a documentary in which was an interview of an Israeli Jew woman in her home.

It had been the home of a Palestinian until 1948.

The interviewer asked the woman how she felt about having taken someone's home from them.

"I got mine" she said.

I used to know somebody like her when I lived in New Jersey. 

Also, I couldn't help remembering Pug Henry buying the home of a Berlin Jew at a ridiculously low price and having the Jew thank him for buying it, because the Jew's alternative was to turn his house over to the Nazis.

For nothing.

But that was then and this is now.

The Pug Henry allusion is a useful one, however.

It gives us an idea of how many weights to put on the Israeli tray of cosmic scale.

Or at least what the name of the weights might be - cosmic is a six letter word, and as such it squirms from under being individually weighed - so we will just start putting those weights on the scale and name the one illustrated by Wouk's story of Pug Henry: "expropriation".

We need to add immediately "six million exterminated".

We need to add "centuries of on and off pogroms, and laws designed to continually expropriate the wealth of the Jews as they lived and prospered over centuries in Europe".

I think we need to add the "Inquisition".

But that is not the same as saying that, as in the olden days, we know the weight of those things.

Because we don't, because that weight is unknowable but it is cosmically huge.

The weights on the Palestinian tray are also nameable but even more difficult to quantify exactly in grams than are the Israeli weights.

They are "expropriation" - the interview noted, above is only one case among many.

Were there hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands or ... ?

We don't know; Israel won't tell.

But "expropriation" goes on the tray, as does "murder", "assassination", "war crimes", "thuggery", "massive deaths" and so on and so forth.

The Jews are lucky: unlike the Palestinians, they have a documented and accepted number from which they can build their fascist aggression: six million; it almost sounds like a song lyric; it certainly is true; nobody rational argues with that number.

It's just that some of us - maybe only me - think that a people who have had that happen to them should be way more human than are the Israelis.

I don't know the tilt or lack of tilt of the cosmic scale because the weights have only names, not weight - it would be cosmically stupid to try to assign such - but on the scale of being human, I think the tilt favors the Palestinians.

This is not a non tilt thing. 

C'est pas une chose non tilt.



Salmon Berries

Salmon berries are a kinda blah tasting berry that prosper in the rain forests from Northern California to Southern Alaska.

Every season dark green thickets suddenly are festooned with shiny green reflecting points of light that turn to salmon roe color and, finally to a black red.

I have been wandering the rain forests of Oregon and Washington for all of my life - sojourns elsewhere excluded.

Every year the berries appear and seem to be as abundant as ever.

Sadly, the creature for whom they are named teeters on the edge of extinction.

When I was young enough to have two living grandfathers I used to walk with one of them along a country road not far from his house in the woods.

There was a water filled ditch at the road's edge.

At a certain time of year the ditch was filled with salmon returning from somewhere and going to somewhere.

That ditch is now a strip mall.

Those salmon don't even appear in countable numbers on major salmon highways like the Columbia River any more - ask your local Orca and they will tell you that is why they are gradually starving to death: the massive sea of silver that abounded once has disappeared, and they - the Orcas - are disappearing with it.

The Southern Pod at least; but I am confident that humans are well on the way to eliminating the food of the other pods.

There is a delta at the mouth of the Willamette River to which The Original People used to repair in Autumn.

They gathered nuts and berries and such for the winter, gamboled in the sun and hunted and fished.

Chief among the fish that they harvested were salmon - BIG salmon, unlimited, or so it seemed, salmon.

The people split them and dried them in the sun, they spilt them and smoked them and for their occasional Autumn celebratory feasts they broiled some of the choicest on planks of cedar.

I have heard that there was an Original People tale that there were so many salmon that it was possible to walk on their backs across the narrow stretch of water from the land that is today US Highway 30 over to what is today called Sauvie Island; the salmon are pretty much gone and one would need to jump off a houseboat to get in the salmonless water to swim to the island.

They now grow a lot of cucumbers there; I guess that's cosmic parity.

And the salmon berries remain of a reminder of what once had been.

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Brief Story Of A Sharp Shinned Hawk

 We see them fairly often.

They like to sit on our clothes line posts.

They are a small hawk, but fierce looking and beautiful.

A couple of years ago one had landed on the clothes line and I was getting my camera but it wouldn't wait and flew across the open space of our neighbor's seagrass  into some Douglas firs.

Just as the hawk had disappeared into the gloom of the firs a bald eagle appeared.

Camera ready, we shot some shots.

Here is one of them.

It took us a while to notice what the eagle was eating: the wings hanging down below the branch tell the tale.

The hawk had flown into the beak of an eagle just after the eagle had landed in the tree that the hawk had decided to fly to.

There may be  novel in that story.

Tomato Tarte In Process

 Just before it caught fire.

A Few Thoughts For Today, I Guess

 I guess the big story of the last 48 hours is Big Blonde Mama Fascist, I can't remember her name, but I think I remember that she is from Georgia (apparently the transition to participating in modern American Democracy has hit a snag in the Peach State) chased Alexandria Cortez down the hall the other day, shrieking at her about being a terrorist.

AOC just kept walking, albeit rapidly; she had no idea whether Georgia Nut Woman was going to pull out her god-given-right-to-tote Glock automatic pistol and exercise her god given born in Georgia right to turn to burger meat anybody who looks "colored"; I admire AOC for her guts, but would have preferred that she had called the Capitol Police - but I guess donnie must have put a stay on that sort of request back in January, so I guess I am just glad that the Georgia Nut Case held fire.

I guess the story in that story is that we didn't have bloodshed - so far - this quarter in our Capitol.

It's nice to go three months without spattering the wall of the Capitol with blood.

I guess I am glad that the Georgia Nut Case didn't think she was after Senator Sumner - she being totally delusional - so who knows what segment of alternate facts she might be operating in at any point of time.

But it might have been interesting if they had gone at it: I'll take a lithe street fighter from Queens every time over a brain dead blonde blivet from Georgia.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Images Du Jour Et Antérieurement

Cinq likes to help in dinner preparation; or maybe he likes to look at his reflection in the lid. 

These were in a garden in Rome.  I was trying to get pictures of the parrots that were making a lot of noise there when I saw these lurking in the undergrowth.

That building next to the steps is some kind of station in the old Paris water system.  My understanding was that it was no longer part of the system; it seemed smart to leave it because it is beautiful.

Thunderstorm brewing on la Seine.

Sometimes I just point and shoot.

And sometimes I don't.

This is on Isle des Cynges - the Island of the Swans.

One day the weather was awful and I didn't want to go out and try to take pictures in the rain and, anyway, I felt as if I had taken all the pictures that were there to take.  I finally realized that for mental health reasons I needed to get out and walk and shoot.  I was amazed how many subjects shouted at me "take me; take me".

A magic portal in Bois de Boulogne

Neons are hard to get a decent picture of (how about that for a sentence Sister Justitia?)

We were walking on Shark Reef when we met these goats who were out walking their human.  Goats are about the most charming animals I know of.

The wings are the whole thing with this image.