Ensemble Of Passionate Feeling And Sensuous Warmth
I Could Tell You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You With A Death Panel
Glad he cleared that up:
Insider Louisville asked McConnell after the event if he would make a push for [Social Security privatization] if he was elected Senate Majority Leader and could set the agenda, but he declined to reveal if he would do so.
“I’m not announcing what the agenda would be in advance,” said McConnell. “We’re not in the majority yet. We’ll have more to say about that later,” assumedly meaning at some point after the election in 12 days.
Dog knows you wouldn't want to tell voters what to expect before the election!
American Epidemiological History
The coolest and firmest minds, even among the Quakers in Philadelphia, have given their Opinions to me that nothing but the Yellow Fever could have saved the United States from the total Revolution of Government.
- John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, June 30, 1813
Oddly enough, I've blogged on occassion about disease and epidemics in history. So naturally I found this Mother Jones article interesting: 5 New York Epidemics That Were Way Worse Than Ebola Will Be.
- Yellow fever (1795-1803)
- Cholera (mid-1800s)
- Polio (1916)
- Influenza (1918)
- HIV/AIDS (1981-present)
Germs had a big role in our history. Heck, back in the day Congressional recess was less about going home to fundraise and more about avoiding yellow fever. And in a related vein, plague made it easier for the Pilgrims to steal land from the locals (and made them kinda scary).
Bipartisan! Dignity! Sexy!
Apes In Space
On October 24, 1946, not long after the end of World War II and years before the Sputnik satellite opened the space age, a group of soldiers and scientists in the New Mexico desert saw something new and wonderful—the first pictures of Earth as seen from space.
The grainy, black-and-white photos were taken from an altitude of 65 miles by a 35-millimeter motion picture camera riding on a V-2 missile launched from the White Sands Missile Range. Snapping a new frame every second and a half, the rocket-borne camera climbed straight up, then fell back to Earth minutes later, slamming into the ground at 500 feet per second. The camera itself was smashed, but the film, protected in a steel cassette, was unharmed.
Fred Rulli was a 19-year-old enlisted man assigned to the recovery team that drove into the desert to retrieve film from those early V-2 shots. When the scientists found the cassette in good shape, he recalls, "They were ecstatic, they were jumping up and down like kids." Later, back at the launch site, "when they first projected [the photos] onto the screen, the scientists just went nuts."
Before 1946, the highest pictures ever taken of the Earth’s surface were from the Explorer II balloon, which had ascended 13.7 miles in 1935, high enough to discern the curvature of the Earth. The V-2 cameras reached more than five times that altitude, where they clearly showed the planet set against the blackness of space.
And yet, we still haven't found a monolith on the Moon yet.
*throws bone into the air*
Full Faith And Credit
The Pack’d Pollution And Remorse Of Time
The south-wind strengthens to a gale,Across the moon the clouds fly fast,The house is smitten as with a flail,The chimney shudders to the blast.On such a night, when Air has loosedIts guardian grasp on blood and brain,Old terrors then of god or ghostCreep from their caves to life again;And Reason kens he herits inA haunted house. Tenants unknownAssert their squalid lease of sinWith earlier title than his own.
A Canticle For Miller At Monte Cassino
Children Of The Land
Well-played, Madame Secretary. Readers, of course, get my friend's reference:
It is a bowdlerization of an encounter between Churchill and a fellow Member of Parliament, related to me by the late Ronald Golding, the bodyguard present on that occasion:
Bessie Braddock MP: "Winston, you are drunk, and what's more you are disgustingly drunk."
WSC: "Bessie, my dear, you are ugly, and what's more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly."
This world famous encounter occurred late one night in 1946, as Churchill was leaving the House of Commons. Lady Soames, who said her father was always gallant to ladies, doubted the story, but Mr. Golding explained that WSC was not drunk, just tired and unsteady, which perhaps caused him to fire the full arsenal.
It's only natural that the former First Lord of the Admiralty would respond with a broadside...
These People Have No Souls
Jesus fucking Christ, are there really such people in our world?
I have noticed that on Halloween, what seems like 75 percent of the trick-or-treaters are clearly not from this neighborhood. Kids arrive in overflowing cars from less fortunate areas. I feel this is inappropriate. Halloween isn’t a social service or a charity in which I have to buy candy for less fortunate children. Obviously this makes me feel like a terrible person, because what’s the big deal about making less fortunate kids happy on a holiday? But it just bugs me, because we already pay more than enough taxes toward actual social services. Should Halloween be a neighborhood activity, or is it legitimately a free-for-all in which people hunt down the best candy grounds for their kids?
Last year's pic (with a little weird perspective from cam phone) for comparison.
School pics came back!
Lost In A Lost World
Sorry, feeling a little Scilly.
By Ivan Bunin:
Дым облаков курился по горам,
Пустынный мыс был схож с ковригой хлеба.
Я жил во сне. Богов творил я сам.
The hills in smoke-like rings of cloud were caught.
The cape looked like a loaf of bread. In fancies
And dreams I lived. The gods myself I wrought.
This felt appropriate since I'm rereading the Earthsea cycle.
On this date in 1907, the Knickerbocker Trust Company collapsed, sparking the Panic of 1907. This is something that must cause Ron Paul and his friends a great deal of consternation. Not due to the economic and human cost involved, but because it drove commies in Congress to unconstitutionally create the Evil Fed.
So one might say the American Republic ended on that day.
If You're Not A Scientist, Start A Blog
Really, members of The Know-Nothing Party shouldn't try to form policy:
When politicians say “I’m not a scientist,” it is an exasperating evasion. It’s a cowardly way to avoid answering basic and important policy questions. This response raises lots of other important questions about their decision-making processes. Do they have opinions on how to best maintain our nation’s highways, bridges, and tunnels—or do they not because they’re not civil engineers? Do they refuse to talk about agriculture policy on the grounds that they’re not farmers? How do they think we should be addressing the threat of ISIS? They wouldn’t know, of course; they’re not military generals.
No one would ever say these things, because they’re ridiculous. Being a policymaker in a country as large and complex as the United States requires making decisions on a variety of important subjects outside of your primary area of expertise. Voters wouldn’t tolerate this “I’m not a scientist” excuse if applied to any other discipline, yet politicians appear to be using this line successfully to distance themselves from experts crucial for solving many of our country’s most important problems.
Well, to be fair, they don't know anything about governance--except sabotaging it--but people still vote for them. So who cares if they know nothing about science to such an extent they go along with the smallest minority of scientists who buck the overwhelming consensus?
Crazy...LIKE A FOX!
Haters are ready to go to jail to defy laws that won't send them to jail. But maybe they will once Obama finally, after quietly biding his time for years, goes all dictator on our asses. He's just that clever and evil.
The Money Comes From Somewhere
Fox News hosts on Wednesday agreed that McDonald’s quarterly profits had dropped by 30 percent because workers had called for an increase in the minimum wage.
“Workers’ wages might be to blame,” Fox News host Brian Kilmeade announced in a segment with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo.
“This is the implication of raising the minimum wage for certain companies,” Bartiromo said. “Something’s got to give. The money comes from somewhere."
Although some local governments have raised the minimum wage in recent months, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson has not pointed to that as a factor in falling profits. In fact, McDonald’s profits have been trending down since 2012.
I Could Have A Full-time Job
Yelling 'Blog!' At A Crowded Fire
Given that I've blogged a fair amount about big fires (Boston in 1760 and 1872, New Orleans in 1788, Portsmouth in 1802), it's a bit surprising that I didn't post anything about Chicago earlier this month. Well, I have been a bit busy of late, making my obsessive long-form history posts more difficult to muster.
Anyway, while I was persuing laws passed by the 42nd Congress for yesterday's Election Day post, I noticed a few statutes pertaining to the Fire.
- December 21, 1871: an act to build a new, fire-proof Federal building in Chicago to replace the one that burned down.
- March 12, 1872: an act to build a fire-proof Federal building in Albany.
- April 5, 1872: an act to provide relief to Chicago fire victims.
Apparently places like Cincinnati and Hartford didn't rate getting fire-proof buildings. Neither did Trenton, but they at least got a fire-proof vault. Maybe Albany did because it had a big fire in the 18th century, or the NY delegation was better at getting stuff for their constituents? Dunno.
I have no larger point, other than we wouldn't need fire regulations if libertarians would stop setting fires.
As usual, Furio came with us to pick up Sam at school.
As usual, Sadie didn't keep her jacket on long, nor wanted the low hanging leaves.
This Is Not About Ebola
Katy Perry's Ex-Husband Is Willing To Die Unconditionally
TBogg's basset hounds are better activists:
[I]f you want to start a revolution — and good luck with that if you think it will be grow from podcasting your complaints about how unfair the world is — you need to start somewhere, and that is at the local level and then upward. Conservatives knew that when they started packing school boards years ago, developing candidates who blossomed at right about the same time that the Tea Party suddenly appeared. They’ve worked themselves through the state legislatures and one need only take a look at some of the GOP candidates who might be elected on a national level in a few weeks to see how government can be made to work for you or against you or, as is current case: not at all.
So if you’re waiting for a political messiah to rise up and save the world, take a number and go wait with the End Timers over there on the bench.
And if you think that Russell Brand is that messiah, then you’ve got an even longer wait. He’s just Tiger Beat Che Guevara living in a digital world.
Indeed, that's been central to my point for quite some time. But nobody listens to me because I wasn't married to the chick with fireworks bursting from her boobs, so I'm just going to sit over here and wait for somebody to start the revolution...
I recall back when the first LOTR movie came out, Kevin Drum was all disappointed by Gandalf's not-very-flashy magic (not gonna dig up the post). He was unimpressed with the stand at Khazad Dum, even.
Naturally, I was annoyed because what the Grey Pilgrim did was consistent with the books, showed a great deal power as well as restraint, and wasn't the whole fucking Tolkien universe full of magic to the casual observer? Sorry it didn't sparkle or explode enough, Mr Muddle.
That was brought back to me as I finished up the books recently. And this week I happened to stumble upon a neat little article about rules in magical worlds (how rigid or loose they are).
I'm now cranking through Earthsea again--a much faster read than Tolkien's dense work, probably because Le Guin doesn't spend pages and pages on songs and instead just alludes to old tales and such. Anyway, I just started the 2nd book, and it's fun to see that there are many kinds of magic that have different implementations. But in the best fantasies, I find there is a good emphasis on equilibrium in the world.
Kinda goes for technology too, it seems.
I'm Feeling John Birks
Frost At Midnight
By Samuel Coleridge:
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.
Chilly, but no frost in the forecast tonight, which is weird.
The Trouble With Stubborn Facts
Fund also argues that holding elections on a single date is a Constitutional requirement, or at least sort of Constitutional-ish:
The notion of Election Day isn’t just a tradition; it’s in the Constitution. Article II, Section 1 states that “Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.” Congress codified this requirement in 1872 by setting a uniform presidential election date.
If you read this passage slowly, you will note the progressive deterioration of Fund’s argument. The first sentence asserts baldly that a single election day is “in the Constitution,” which sounds like, you know, a requirement. This raises the question of why Republicans have not mounted a successful constitutional law challenge against early voting.
The answer begins to reveal itself in Fund’s second sentence. It explains that the Constitution states that Congress “may” — but not must — set a uniform day for “choosing the Electors,” which is not the same thing as voting, anyway. (You could choose the electors on a single day after you count all the votes, which may be cast over a longer period of time.)
The final sentence points out, correctly, that there was no set day until Congress decided to create one in 1872, which is another way of saying that a single day when everybody votes is not in the Constitution at all.
The notion of Election Day isn’t just a tradition; it’s in the Constitution. Article II, Section 1 states that “Congress may determine the Time of choosing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their votes; which day shall be the same throughout the United States.” Congress codified this requirement in 1872 by setting a uniform presidential election date. But in a rare bow to the notion of federalism, today’s courts have nonetheless been reluctant to invalidate state laws that go against this dictate. In 2002, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Oregon’s vote-by-mail law because of “a long history of congressional tolerance” toward absentee voting. It rejected arguments from the Voting Integrity Project that Oregon’s effective end to voting in person represented “the difference between the exception to the rule and the exception that swallows the rule.”
He's correct that on Groundhog Day of 1872, the 42nd Congress set a day for House elections to the 45th Congress. House elections. Not presidential. As I've noted before, election day to choose the Electors was legislated back in 1844.
Principles of liberty fundamental enough to have been embodied within constitutional guarantees are not readily erased from the Nation's consciousness. A governmental practice that has become general throughout the United States, and particularly one that has the validation of long, accepted usage, bears a strong presumption of constitutionality.
Multi-day elections go back to the early days of our Republic. Get over it.
PPS--The right to vote was explicitly enforced by a law requiring paper ballots in May, 1872. Just sayin'.
Worry's For Another Day
Excitement builds as the big sibs line up after school yesterday.
Three Places In New England
To A Reason
By Arthur Rimbaud:
A tap of your finger on the drum releases all sounds and initiates the new harmony.
A step of yours is the conscription of the new men and their marching orders.
You look away: the new love!
You look back,—the new love!
“Change our fates, shoot down the plagues, beginning with time,” the children sing to you. “Build wherever you can the substance of our fortunes and our wishes,” they beg you.
Arriving from always, you’ll go away everywhere.
The plague of unreasoning hysteria will always be with us...
The Trees Are Stripped Bare
Good Ebola News
For a change of pace:
- Quarantine ending for the Dallas ebola patient's family.
- Infected Spanish healthcare worker is free of Ebola.
I'm sure this will cure all the viral hysteria.
I Must Now Keep Looking In
Dawn comes later and later now,and I, who only a month agocould sit with coffee every morningwatching the light walk down the hillto the edge of the pond and placea doe there, shyly drinking,then see the light step out uponthe water, sowing reflectionsto either side—a gardenof trees that grew as if by magic—now see no more than my face,mirrored by darkness, pale and odd,startled by time.
"White people in New Hampshire really need to do some self-reflection and regulate their animal impulses..."
At least they're rioting about something horrible that exists, like pumpkins and their destructive influence on Halloween, not mythical white privilege that killed a kid.
The World Turned Upside Down
Bryan provides an important reminder and a good question:
In this centennial of World War I it is important to remember that 17 million people died in that conflict, but 50 million people died in the Spanish influenza pandemic that followed.
The Federal government gave a grant to a small Alaskan fishing village to install a close circuit TV monitoring system to watch for terrorists, but cut funding for the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. From 2000 to 2010 a total of a little more than 3,000 Americans have died from terrorist attacks while 50,000 Americans die every year from the flu. How does that make sense?
Answer: it doesn't.
A Raid Upon Accessible Towns In Vermont
Counsel for the United States arguing for Canada to extradite perpetrators of The St Albans Raid, which happened 150 years ago:
[L]ong previous to the 19th day of October last, the day when the crime in question was committed, a plan was organised in our Province of Canada, by a party of men calling themselves Southern Refugees, who at the time were enjoying the hospitalities of our citizens and the protection of our laws, which plan had for its object the robbery of our neighbours in the peaceful town of St. Albans.
It is proved that in pursuance of this illegal and treacherous organisation, and two or three days preceding the said 19th day of October, these so called refugees, to the number of about 20, secretly left this Province, and stealthily introduced themselves into the town of St Albans.
It is proved that after their arrival there, and so soon as these evil disposed visitors had marked out the persons whom they intended should become the victims of their cowardly and felonious operations, they cast aside the disguise assumed for the occasion, and in the afternoon of the 19th day of October last, suddenly emerged from their hiding places, and appeared among the unsuspecting citizens of St. Albans armed with the deadliest kind of weapons; each man of the party threatening instant death to all or any of the panic stricken citizens who dared to oppose him in his work of plunder.
It was essentially a series of bank jobs:
While the banks were being robbed, other members of the raiding party compelled citizens who were on the streets or on the American House veranda, to line up in the park. Guards were stationed to prevent any person from leaving Main Street.
Collins H. Huntington, a well known citizen, came along the street, on his way to the Academy to get his children, who were attending school. He was accosted by a stranger, who ordered him to cross the street to the park. Mr. Huntington paid no attention to the order, supposing the man to be intoxicated or insane. This stranger, who was Lieutenant Young, the leader of the bank, then fire at Mr. Huntington, inflicting a flesh wound.
Capt. George P. Conger, who had recently returned from the war, was ordered to the park by Young, but he ran into the American House, out the back door to Lake Street, and gave the alarm. Citizens began to assemble and the raiders seizing horses at Fuller's livery stable, and from persons on the street, started north, attempting to burn the village by throwing Greek fire.
Captain Conger organized a pursuing party, and a running fire was kept up through the village streets. Elias J. Morrison, a contractor from Manchester, N. H., who was engaged in building the Welden House, was mortally wounded by one of the shots, a bullet entering his abdomen. He died three days later, as a result of the wound. It was a peculiar coincidence that the only person killed was a man said to have been in sympathy with the Confederate cause.
Captain Conger and a party of citizens followed the raiders, who took the Sheldon road. It is said that the plan outlined contemplated an attack on the Sheldon Bank, but finding it closed, and knowing that they were pursued, the raiders hastened on. They fired two bridges, but the blaze was extinguished by Captain Conger's party.
Their flight was so precipitate that some of the bank notes were dropped by the robbers. The raiders were pursued to the Canadian border and Captain Conger entered Frelighsburg, Que., where he ordered the arrest of every raider that could be found, but the robbers had scattered and none could be located at that time. Captain Newton, in command of a company, took a westerly route to cut off the retreat of the raiders, but without success.
It appears that the raiders at first had planned to set fire to the residence of Gov. John Gregory Smith, and during the confusion that followed to rob the banks, but this plan was abandoned, as it was feared that the banks would be locked in such an event, and it might be impossible to gain entrance. At the time of the raid Governor Smith was attending a legislative session at Montpelier, and all the men employed about his estate were out of town or working at some distance from the house. Soon after the raid began, a servant girl from a neighboring house rushed into the Smith house, exclaiming: "The Rebels are in town robbing the banks, burning the houses and killed the people. They are on their way up the hill intending to burn your house."
Such a message might well strike terror to the bravest heart. But Mrs. Smith did not lose her self control. She informed her servants of the peril that threatened them, drew the shades, closed the blinds, and bolted every door but the front entrance. Mrs. Smith's first impulse was to run up the flag, but she decided that such an act might be rash, under the circumstances. She then began a search for weapons, but could find only a large horse pistol for without ammunition, and with this in her had she took her stand in front of the house.
The raiders escaped across the border, where they were arrested but never sent back to the US so Canada could maintain its neutrality. And thus endeth the northernmost land action during the Civil War.
PS--Mostly a repost.
But Where's My Creature Power Suit?
Of course, we've been doing such things for a long time--Wright Bros figured out wing warping by observing nature, for example.
If only Obama had dealt with Ebola as decisively (and humorously) as Reagan handled AIDS.
Let The Trumpet Sound
Firewalls And Ebola
Saw somebody on FB say he didn't care how a travel ban would negatively impact countries where Ebola is at crisis levels. Must hate fire departments putting out blazes in his community's' homes, because it's not like that shit could spread, and fuck those people for not having fireproof houses, anyway.
Fear Is The Mind Killer
Echidne on our low handed enemy:
[T]he individuals who shared an apartment with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient in Dallas, have not yet developed Ebola, despite sharing living space with him after he became symptomatic*. The two more recent cases, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, are nurses who cared for Duncan when he was in a later stage of the illness. It's also clear that they were not sufficiently trained or protected.
Thomas Eric Duncan himself caught Ebola from a patient who died on the same day.
An important component that Rand "Three Feet" Paul seems to (accidentally and/or deliberately) misread about what we already know about the virus. Not unlike how people freak out over vaccines that are unavoidably unsafe--common sense is a horrible guide in such cases.
Out of excess of caution, we label people who have come within 3 feet of a patient in certain spaces "low risk" because they might in some instances possibly come into contact with bodily fluids of a symptomatic patient in particular late stages of the disease when virus prodution is high. But the R0 is low for a reason.
If you don't stick yourself with a gom jabbar covered in an EVD-infected person's poop, you can probably just turn of the Fox News and sleep soundly. Unless you're afraid of an ELE caused by asteroids.
Dear Phillis, seek for heaven's joys...
By Phillis Wheatley:
[K]eep them ever Virtuous, brave, and free --But how, presumptuous shall we hope to findDivine acceptance with th' Almighty mind --While yet (O deed ungenerous!) they disgraceAnd hold in bondage Afric's blameless race;Let virtue reign -- And those accord our prayersBe victory our's, and generous freedom theirs.
It's unclear when she was freed, but some people peg today in 1775.
All But Hobbits Would Find This Post Exceedingly Dull
They liked to have books filled with things that they already knew, set out fair and square with no contradictions.
Two Plus Two Is Four, You Moron
A New Path
Auggie in Smoke:
They're all the same, but each one is different from every other one. You've got your bright mornings and your dark mornings. You've got your summer light and your autumn light. You've got your weekdays and your weekends. You've got your people in overcoats and galoshes, and you've got your people in shorts and T-shirts. Sometimes the same people, sometimes different ones. And sometimes the different ones become the same, and the same ones disappear. The earth revolves around the sun, and every day the light from the sun hits the earth at a different angle.
This concept inspired my old Intersection project. The spot has changed quite a bit since I stopped shooting there, but I haven't gotten around to revisiting it for a picture. Wonder if I could do a new version in the front yard?
I could call it Path.
Or maybe Gnome.
Eh, there's change over time, obviously, but not much chance of seeing different people, cars, construction, etc. But maybe you'll still see pictures from time to time...