Saturday, 08/29/2015

Pinot Haiku

Just in my belly, 
Sorry your funeral is:
Drunk fly in the wine.

ntodd

August 29, 11:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

because i am mad, i hate you


Happy birth/deathday, Inga.

ntodd

August 29, 10:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Nothing remained: Nothing, the wanton name

The Annihilation of Nothing:

Complete, in ignorance, new combinations.
Only an infinite finitude I see
In those peculiar lovely variations.
 
It is despair that nothing cannot be
Flares in the mind and leaves a smoky mark
Of dread.
               Look upward. Neither firm nor free,
 
Purposeless matter hovers in the dark.

Thom Gunn.

ntodd

August 29, 8:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Katrina: Whose Fault?

Who is more to blame?

Certainly it isn't G-d's problem...

ntodd

August 29, 7:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Daniel Webster, Socialist

Robert Reich posts today:

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"Universal suffrage can not long exist in a community where there is great inequality of property."

-- Daniel Webster (1831)

Yeah, it's pretty close to exact, just missing a couple words, but comes from an address delivered in 1820:

The history of other nations may teach us how favorable to public liberty are the division of the soil into small freeholds, and a system of laws, of which the tendency is, without violence or injustice, to produce and to preserve a degree of equality of property...A few large estates grow larger; but the number of those who have no estates also increases; and there may be danger, lest the inequality of property become so great, that those who possess it may be dispossessed by force; in other words, that the government may be overturned.
...
The true principle of a free and popular government would seem to be, so to construct it as to give to all, or at least to a very great majority, an interest in its preservation; to found it, as other things are founded, on men's interest. The stability of government demands that those who desire its continuance should be more powerful than those who desire its dissolution. This power, of course, is not always to be measured by mere numbers. Education, wealth, talents, are all parts and elements of the general aggregate of power; but numbers, nevertheless, constitute ordinarily the most important consideration, unless, indeed, there be a military force in the hands of the few, by which they can control the many.

In this country we have actually existing systems of government, in the maintenance of which, it should seem, a great majority, both in numbers and in other means of power and influence, must see their interest. But this state of things is not brought about solely by writtten political constitutions, or the mere manner of organizing the government; but also by the laws which regulate the descent and transmission of property.

The freest government, if it could exist, would not be long acceptable, if the tendency of the laws were to create a rapid accumulation of property in few hands, and to render the great mass of the population dependent and penniless. In such a case, the popular power would be likely to break in upon the rights of property, or else the influence of property to limit and control the exercise of popular power. Universal suffrage, for example, could not long exist in a community where there was great inequality of property.

The holders of estates would be obliged, in such case, in some way to restrain the right of suffrage, or else such right of suffrage would, before long, divide the property. In the nature of things, those who have not property, and see their neighbors possess much more than they think them to need, cannot be favorable to laws made for the protection of property. When this class becomes numerous, it grows clamorous. It looks on property as its prey and plunder, and is naturally ready, at all times, for violence and revolution. 


It would seem, then, to be the part of political wisdom to found government on property; and to establish such distribution of property, by the laws which regulate its transmission and alienation, as to interest the great majority of society in the support of the government. This is, I imagine, the true theory and the actual practice of our republican institutions.

With property divided as we have it, no other government than that of a republic could be maintained even were we foolish enough to desire it. There is reason, therefore, to expect a long continuance of our system. Party and passion, doubtless, may prevail at times, and much temporary mischief be done. Even modes and forms may be changed, and perhaps for the worse. But a great revolution in regard to property must take place, before our governments can be moved from their republican basis, unless they be violently struck off by military power. The people possess the property, more emphatically than it could ever be said of the people of any other country, and they can have no interest to overturn a government which protects that property by equal laws.

Shorter: there's a reason France had a revolution, and America shouldn't allow the same situation to arise, so hold onto your heads, Koch Bros.

ntodd

August 29, 4:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Friday, 08/28/2015

The Edge Of Night


All shall fade...

ntodd

August 28, 10:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Meditation At Fifty Yards, Moving Target

Safety First:

Never point your weapon, keep your finger   
off the trigger. Assume a loaded barrel,
even when it isn’t, especially when you know it isn’t.   
Glocks are lightweight but sensitive;
the Keltec has a long pull and a kick.
Rifles have penetrating power, viz.:
if the projectile doesn’t lodge in its mark,
it will travel some distance
until it finds shelter; it will certainly
pierce your ordinary drywall partition.
You could wound the burglar and kill your child   
sleeping in the next room, all with one shot.

Rita Dove.

ntodd

August 28, 8:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dr Ben Carson Isn't At War With Women


Just on what's inside--don't care if you're still using it.

ntodd

August 28, 2:11 PM in Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0)

#throwbackthursdayonfriday


How did such a little guy grow into a lion?

ntodd

August 28, 9:42 AM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, 08/27/2015

And My Girlfriend, Tuesday Weld


Turns out I know her as well as I know Morgan Fairchild.

ntodd

August 27, 10:48 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly...

The Righteous Man:

Blest is the man who goes where evil reigns
And raises there his voice for righteousness;
Who, unabashed, the lawless ones arraigns,
And, unafraid, plucks at their consciences.
Blest is the man who, in times of decay,
When even boldest spirits are all cowed,
Will with his cries arouse the slumbering crowd
And then before their eyes the truth display.

Ivan Franko.

ntodd

August 27, 9:25 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Treason In The Defense Of Bigotry Is No Vice

Dying on Asshole Hill:

A Kentucky clerk's office on Thursday again refused to issue a marriage license to a gay couple, in defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the country two months ago.
...
The action Thursday came just a day after a federal appeals court upheld a ruling ordering the clerk in rural Rowan County to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

U.S. District Judge David Bunning had already ordered Davis to issue marriage licenses two weeks ago. He later delayed that ruling until Aug. 31 or until the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling. The appeals court did so on Wednesday, denying Davis' appeal.
...
Mat Staver, an attorney for Davis, said he was disappointed with the ruling. He said he plans to discuss options with Davis, including an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
...
It's unclear how Davis would react if she were to ultimately lose her appeals. She testified in federal court last month she would "deal with that when the time comes." Saturday, she spoke to thousands of supporters at a religious freedom rally at the state capitol, saying: "I need your prayers ... to continue to stand firm in what we believe."

"Regardless of what any man puts on a piece of paper, the law of nature is not going to change," Davis told the crowd.

Davis has said she will not resign. She can only be removed from office if the state legislature impeaches her, which is unlikely. If she continues to defy a federal court order, a judge could hold her in contempt and order hefty fines or jail time.

"Certainly none of those are appealing to my client," Staver said. "No one wants to be fined or go to jail and she's always been a law-abiding citizen. She's just caught in a very difficult situation."

She's always been a law-abiding citizen...'cept for, you know, this law.

ntodd

August 27, 8:10 PM in And Fuck..., Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

We All Live (And Die) Politics

To discuss society, its ills, and how to address them (or not) through policy is politics.  To cry about "politicizing" anything is to cry about breathing.

ntodd

August 27, 7:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

A Whole New School Adventure


Taken by Principal Dodge yesterday.

ntodd

August 27, 11:39 AM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 08/26/2015

Just as every cop is a criminal..


And all the sinners, saints.

ntodd

August 26, 10:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Laughter roared like thunder through the plains of heaven

The Dance:

Izanami
gave birth to rocks, trees, rivers, mountains, grass
and last, a blazing child
          so burned she died.
 
          In the land of darkness
          a mass of pollution.
 
          Ah wash her clear stream
 
          —skinny  little  girl   with   big ears
          we have passed through
                    passed through,     flesh out of flesh.

Gary Snyder.

ntodd

August 26, 9:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 08/25/2015

The Meat And Potatoes Of Music


Don't mind that, it's just the melody of my stomach.  Thanks, Lenny, for making me hungry.

ntodd

August 25, 10:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Who am I but a teeth-grinder?

Sequestrienne:

If it isn't too late   
let me waste one day away   
from my history.   
Let me see without   
looking inside   
at broken glass.

Dorothea Tanning.

ntodd

August 25, 9:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Because The Gay Agenda Is All About Discrimination

Equal discrimination under the law, bitches!

CRUZ: Imagine if this were inverted. Imagine if there were a gay florist — now I know that’s hard to imagine, a gay florist — but just go with the hypo[thetical] for a second. Imagine if two evangelical Christians came to a gay florist and they wanted to get married, and the florist said, “You know what? I disagree with your faith. I have problems with your faith.” You have no entitlement to force that florist to provide flowers at the Christians’ wedding. We are a pluralistic nation that tolerates diversity.

I think most people just want to smell the flowers and not go out of their way to be dicks to each other.  

But hahaha, gay florist!  And he's still wrong: those unimaginable gay florists should not discriminate in the public sphere, either.  Joke's on you, asshole.

ntodd

August 25, 9:29 PM in And Fuck..., Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (2)

Flyby


Saturn, August 1981.


Neptune, August 1989.

Thanks for the memories, Voyager 2!

ntodd

August 25, 6:40 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)

5th Vermont

According to Vermont in the Civil War, John Crown of Swanton enlisted on September 12, 1861, was mustered in with everybody else on the 16th, and discharged with disability the following year on March 2 (dying in 1863).  His discharge came during the 5th Vermont's time with Smith's Division at the Camp Griffin Defences around Washington, just before they moved to Alexandria.

I can't find any more biographical information on Private Crown, but I'm guessing he was done in by disease:

To most observers, hearty Vermont boys averaging five feet ten inches in height with standard bearers six feet six inches and six feet eight inches, boys hardened by the rigors of hill farm life, seemed unlikely victims of disease. Yet a January 28, 1862, report from the Surgeon General of the Army told a different story: "The Vermont regiments in Brooks' brigade give us the largest ratio of sick of all the troops in the army, and that ratio has not essentially varied for the last three months..."

During these early months of the war the sickness in most other units in the army seemed comparatively insignificant to the experience of the Vermont Brigade. In November, for instance, Charles TripIer, Surgeon General and Medical Director of the Army of the Potomac, reported that "12 Massachusetts regiments averaged 50 sick each [,] Pennsylvania regiments averaged 61 sick each [and] 5 Vermont regiments averaged 144 sick each."

The frequency with which TripIer communicated with the high command about the "disease ridden Vermont brigade" underscored the urgent desire at the highest levels for answers and solutions. They wanted to know why the number of sick in the Vermont Brigade was higher than the number in any other unit. They had sufficient clothing, TripIer reported, and according to a hospital inspector, the police of all the regiments was satisfactory, as was the condition of their tents. The locations of the camps of the Fifth and Sixth Vermont presented drainage problems, but so did the Third's; and that regiment had the fewest number of sick in the brigade-eighty-four in January.  The Surgeon-General had few answers; for the most part, the origins of the sickness in the Vermont Brigade would remain an unfathomable mystery.

The diseases which crippled regiments and bewildered and frustrated the high command consisted of two broad kinds: childhood diseases (measles, mumps, chicken pox, and whooping cough) and camp diseases (diarrhea, dysentery, malaria, typhoid fever, and respiratory tract infections). The infectious diseases of childhood struck first. In the state camps of assembly and in the central training camps where large numbers of disease-susceptible recruits assembled, the childhood diseases-especially measles-often infected as many as thirty percent of the members of a regiment...

When, in December, 1861, Dr. Phelps made his report on the condition of Vermont soldiers at Camp Griffin, the number of cases of measles was decreasing. By this time the problems were the camp diseases, which Phelps identified as remittent and intermittent fevers (malaria), typhoid, pneumonia, and diarrhea. Because of its unusually high number of victims and high mortality rate and the susceptibility of its victims to relapses and repeated attacks, diarrhea, or the organisms which caused it, became the army's most troubling disease.

Hadn't even met the enemy yet, but were dropping like flies.

ntodd

August 25, 3:18 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Quiet, Too Quiet


Sam demanded to see if the General Store had reopened yet.  Not until next week, reportedly.


Then the boy wanted to visit the big cemetery to take some pictures.  So much like his daddy.


This is the stone I was hunting for.  More on John Crown in a bit.


Sam naturally noticed a stone with a Samuel.  This lady was born before Vermont joined the Union.


The school before all hell breaks loose tomorrow.  I can't wait.

ntodd

August 25, 2:34 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (2)

The Dreaded International Chinese Communist Conspiracy


We need Jeb! to protect Us! from Yellow Anchor Babies!

ntodd

August 25, 12:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Convenient Instruction Of Youth

With Samuel's first day of kindergarten tomorrow (Sadie's pre-k career starts next week), I have thoughts of Vermont's commitment to education rumbling anew in my brain.  Consider this excerpt from A History of Fletcher Vermont:

The Beers Franklin County Atlas (1871) [ed note: look here!] shows ten districts with a school in each.  For reasons unknown, there is no District 10, but there is District 11 in the northeast part of town...The buildings were so spaced throughout the town that no child, theoretically, would need to walk more than two miles to school, one way...Consolidation of schools gradually took place from the early 1930s, the Great Depression, through the next three decades until the new school was constructed ¼ mile south of Binghamville in 1962.

That "new" building is still operating today, with some addition and modification.  Voters rejected a district consolidation plan about 4 years ago, and last year rejected a bond for another expansion.  So there are significant space issues, but nothing like what some schools have to deal with. 

Anyway, from the beginning of our Republic, education has been extremely important, as Ira Allen noted in his History of Vermont:

The greatest legislators from Lycurgus down to John Lock, have laid down a moral and scientific system of education as the very foundation and cement of a State ; the Yermontese are sensible of this, and for this purpose they have planted several public schools, and have established a university, and endowed it with funds, and academic rewards, to draw forth and foster talents.

It should come as no surprise that this is codified in our constitution:

Section 68: [A] competent number of schools ought to be maintained in each town unless the general assembly permits other provisions for the convenient instruction of youth.

Talk about convenient!  I fully expect both Sam and Sadie to attend the same facilities--walking through our woods with their friends--until they graduate from 6th grade and move on to other area schools.

ntodd

August 25, 11:26 AM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, 08/24/2015

Up Against The Wall Motherfucker


Wait, is that Bernie Sanders?

ntodd

August 24, 10:59 PM in And Fuck... | Permalink | Comments (0)

Know this: in some way you’re already dead.

To the One Who is Reading Me:

You are invulnerable. Didn’t they deliver
(those forces that control your destiny)
the certainty of dust? Couldn’t it be
your irreversible time is that river
in whose bright mirror Heraclitus read
his brevity? A marble slab is saved
for you, one you won’t read, already graved
with city, epitaph, dates of the dead.
And other men are also dreams of time,
not hardened bronze, purified gold. They’re dust
like you; the universe is Proteus.
Shadow, you’ll travel to what waits ahead,
the fatal shadow waiting at the rim...

Jorge Luis Borges.

ntodd

August 24, 10:12 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Intersections And Such


Sadie says goodbye to C&C on Friday.


Show me love!


From 104a on Saturday.


Now on 104.


Driving through the Intersection.

ntodd

August 24, 9:03 PM in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, 08/23/2015

eight, eight, I forget what eight was for


I do feel sorry for the lost gods.

ntodd

August 23, 10:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

To let the beautiful night be canopied over my tomorrow.

Revolt Against The Sun:

She stood before the sun, screaming:
'Sun! You are like my rebellious heart
Whose youth swept life away
And whose ever-renewed light
Gave the stars to drink.
Careful! Do not let a bewildered sadness
Or a sighing tear in my eyes deceive you.
For sadness is the form of my revolt and my resistance
Beneath the night—divinity be my witness! '

 Nazik Al-Malaika.

ntodd

August 23, 9:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Before Apollo 8

The first earthrise:

[O]n 23 August 1966, Lunar Orbiter 1 snapped the first photo of Earth as seen from lunar orbit (Larger view). While a remarkable image at the time, the full resolution of the image was never retrieved from the data stored from the mission. In 2008, this earthrise image was restored by the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project at NASA Ames Research Center. We obtained the original data tapes from the mission (the last surviving set) and restored original FR-900 tape drives to operational condition using both 60s era parts and modern electronics. 

What a tantalizing hint of what was to come in a few short years...

ntodd

August 23, 8:22 PM in Mars, Bitches! | Permalink | Comments (0)