May 5, 2020

At the Blue Stripe Café...

IMG_5038

... you can talk all night (and shop through the Althouse Portal to Amazon).

The photo was taken at 5:49 this morning. The actual sunrise time was 5:45. I almost did not make it out to my vantage point. As I stepped onto the trail in the twilight, I heard the loudest, craziest crane noise I have ever heard. I kept going, the noise stopped, but then I saw — up ahead, on the hill about 20 feet away from the trail — 2 very large cranes standing side by side. They were not moving away. They had their territory staked out, and I was the intruder. I considered turning around and leaving, but I decided to keep going. Do cranes attack? I didn't think they were sandhill cranes, because I didn't see the red patch on their head, and they were strangely huge. But I've researched the sound of all the large birds at that location, and I have to admit that they were sandhill cranes, which I think of as friendly. But these things were spooky. I really did not trust them at all.

Ah, here is an article in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette about the dangerousness of sandhill cranes:
Sandhills are big. They’re as tall as humans, with a wingspan approaching 7 feet.... Sandhill cranes are also delicious... “the prime rib of game birds” or “ribeye in the sky”.... Imagine a crumpled marionette suddenly springing to life as the puppeteer lifts its strings. Glenn’s crane [the crane Glenn shot] did that.... My brave friend now finds himself eye to eye with a fiercely angry bird, a bird with a foot-long rapier for a beak, a bird with an eagle’s talons, a bird now trying to pounce on my back-pedaling buddy.... I am standing now beside another crane [which] decides to re-enact the drama just played out. A scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds races through my head — the scene where the guy’s eyes get pecked out by seagulls. Only this is no itty-bitty seagull. It’s the bloodthirsty pterodactyl from Jurassic Park. Wilkerson screams again: “Shoot him! Shoot him!” And just as the demon is about to thrust his beak through my pounding heart, I do. Wilkerson had warned us. “Cranes can be dangerous,” he said. “Be careful how you approach birds, even when they look like they’re dead.” On another day... [a] man had [a] sandhill’s neck in a death-grip, but again and again the bird buried its knifelike beak in his face. The talons of one foot were embedded in the man’s arm; those of the other were locked in his thigh. Fortunately, the bird’s thrusting bill missed his eyes, but the hunter was frightfully injured and had to be transported to a hospital... I figured out then why there are no crane dogs to retrieve the birds. Imagine a Labrador or Chesapeake shish kebab. Picture your favorite hunting dog carried off in the talons of your game....

177 comments:

Mark said...

This is the question -- Will the investors in fear and defeatism win? Will they distort the market long enough for things to crash?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Mark - someone is making money. Who is it?

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I'm genuinely asking. Someone's always making money. When you can figure that out you have most of the puzzle.

SteveB said...

Admirable crane technique.

h said...

've been following the data from the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html

I know there are so many other data sources, that people will be inclined to object to this. But using this measure yesterday was the first day in which "new covid deaths" fell below 1000. Deaths on May 4: 67456; Deaths on May 5 68279. Daily change 823.

First time below 1000 since April 9 according to my records. Peaking at over 4000 on April 17 and 18 (though those days may have included the weird re-definition of covid deaths in NY I'm not sure.)

I will watch with interest to see if the washington post makes a story of this landmark.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

RBG hospitalized w/ infection from gallstones

...we wish her a speedy recovery, and retirement as well
***
@Althouse

dont let those cranes fly off with your Beloved--

...no more Gany-Meades !

stevew said...

I was furiously and aggressively accosted by a grouse once, while on a walk in the local Audubon. It was terrifying, though I was not injured. I was quite impressed that the little fella was about 18" tall and rather assertive, given that I am 70" tall and roughly 165 lbs heavier.

Eventually we parted ways without serious incident. Lesson learned.

iowan2 said...

Insty reports RBG is in the hospital with an infection. McConnell needs to be investigated, get Whitehouse on it.

Mark said...

Well, the investors in alarmism certainly are determined to make us fail, and they have certainly instituted policies requiring the fruits of hope to be burned and buried. Will they succeed?

I for one do not take the prevention of President Dementia to be guaranteed. Election Night 2016 I kept the TV on the movie channels, refusing to watch our country commit national suicide. Trump's win was a shock.

Because frankly I no longer have faith in the American people. People anywhere are a fickle bunch and a foolish bunch. And I still don't have faith in them.

David Begley said...

Nebraska is the main destination of the Sandhill cranes. The Sand Hills are in Nebraska! But the Sandhill cranes mostly hang out in Hall County along the Platte River. The Platte is about 125 miles south of the Sand Hills.

I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never seen the Sandhill cranes before this year. My excuse? March Madness; an event Creighton Bluejays regularly participate in.

Ann is correct. The cranes make a racket. But we heard millions of them. It was an eerie prehistoric sound.

I urge all readers to visit Nebraska to see this. Well worth it.

Mary E. Glynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anne-I-Am said...

So now it looks like the "evidence" of asymptomatic spread of the Chinese virus was merely an anecdote--and one misreported, at that. The German man supposedly infected by an asymptomatic Chinese woman turns out to have been infected by ... a symptomatic Chinese woman.

Of course, there are no actual trials looking at asymptomatic spread, we are just expected to swallow it whole, like the myth of "social distancing" and masks. None of these things actually have anything like data supporting them--just the assurances of the same experts who scolded us for hoping that HCQ worked because, they said, there are no randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

Rod Dreher, who gets on my nerves with his panic-stricken diatribes, wonders why some of us refuse to wear masks. How dare we! Well, maybe a few deplorables are paying attention to the inane verbal gyrations of our supposed "experts." And by the way, anyone who has to wear an N95 in order to work (painting cars, working with chemicals, working with small particulates) knows that a rag over the mouth and nose does exactly SQUAT. So why should they bend the knee to an "expert" exhorting them to wear a rag over their faces to keep out a virus smaller than the particulate matter they work with in their jobs?

Mark said...

we are just expected to swallow it whole, like the myth of "social distancing" and masks. None of these things actually have anything like data supporting them

For all their claims to be acting solely on the basis of "the data and the science" (almost entirely Dem authorities asserting this), whenever the data and science begin to conflict with their predetermined narrative and policies, they go off looking for other "data" and "science," that which is ideologically-tainted itself, in order to justify continuing the lockdowns for everyone.

Danno said...

David Begley said..."I urge all readers to visit Nebraska to see this. Well worth it."

Nebraska was a drive-thru state before the term flyover was coined.

narciso said...

Rod dreher got his benedictine optionams hes still not happy.

Dr. Ferguson was all too happy, till the diagnosis came in

Mark said...

Rod Dreher occasionally has some brilliant insights and ability to communicate them.

But he also has more than a few personal issues. And when those personal issues are fueled by his zealousness, it is not pretty.

J. Farmer said...

@Anne:

Of course, there are no actual trials looking at asymptomatic spread, we are just expected to swallow it whole, like the myth of "social distancing" and masks. None of these things actually have anything like data supporting them--just the assurances of the same experts who scolded us for hoping that HCQ worked because, they said, there are no randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

I agree with this to a point. But there's also a problem on the demand-side. People, for the most part, do not do well with explanations that involve a lot of nuance, ambiguity, and caveats. Social systems crave stability, and they detest the unknown. Most people don't really want to be informed by "experts." They want to be reassured. If people actually behaved in the data-driven, empirical way you describe, social cohesion wouldn't be possible. You don't rally a group of people around a cause by using cold logic and dispassionate reasoning. It involves a lot of mind games and appeal to emotion.

narciso said...

More evidence of the fraud oerletrated against general flynn is born out.

narciso said...

Including the fact that zack and vindman who set up flynns trip to khodinka had themselves deep russian ties.

Anne-I-Am said...

JFarmer,

I understand what you are saying. But for what you describe to happen and increase or bolster social cohesion, there has to be trust. And those who expect us to trust them have shown repeatedly that they are absolutely not to be trusted.

Original Mike said...

When cranes attack…

You should arm yourself. And they are delicious!

David Begley said...

Danno:

You haven’t lived unless you have seen the Nebraska Sand Hills and canoed one of our rivers.

Rusty said...

What do I always tell you,Althouse? Nature isn't there for your enjoyment. To nature you are prey. When step oput on your stoep and latch the door behind you all certainty disappears.

J. Farmer said...

One of the problems with a lot of the great 19th century intellectual movements is evident in their names: Darwinism, Marxism, Freudianism. They function more as personality-based cults than a set of ideas that try to explain and predict observable phenomena. People tend to come to these movements not on the basis of superior argument or a more intelligible marshaling of the evidence but through some sense of a shared worldview and set of values. Nonetheless, all three were important intellectual contributions. They're not important because they got the right answers to the questions. They're important because they started asking the right questions.

William said...

I live in NYC. During the day just about everyone wears a mask. All my life I have made a valiant effort to be just like everyone else, and during the day I wear a mask....Maybe it gives people on the subway some protection, but I doubt its effectiveness in the great outdoors. Still, it's become the outward sign that you're a good citizen and believe in the one true path to salvation. It's like wearing a crucifix or a yamulke. It shows your faith.

Mary E. Glynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
J. Farmer said...

@Anne:

I understand what you are saying. But for what you describe to happen and increase or bolster social cohesion, there has to be trust. And those who expect us to trust them have shown repeatedly that they are absolutely not to be trusted.

Totally agree about trust. It is an extremely important factor. Fukuyama wrote a pretty good book on the topic in the 90s. Trust is one of the biggest challenges for diverse societies. Multi-ethnic societies typically display less trust and more clannish behavior. They're also a lot more unstable. "Diversity is our strength" is the Big Lie of our era. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. If "diversity is our strength" was such an obvious truth, it wouldn't need a relentless PR campaign to convince people.

narciso said...



So they got it wrong, what are the odds

https://mobile.twitter.com/MZHemingway/status/1257821560276234253

Mark said...

BRISTOL, Tennessee/Virginia state line — Joe Deel is behind the chrome-trimmed turquoise counter of his legendary diner, The Burger Bar, working with his wife Kayla, daughter Emily, and sous chef Corey Young; they can see people going in for lunch at the State Line Bar and Grill just across the street from them less than 50 yards away in Tennessee.

But their round, black-topped stools in Virginia remain as empty as they were nearly two months ago when the coronavirus first shut down the country.


https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/on-virginia-tennessee-border-one-side-is-now-open-for-business-the-other-is-still-on-lockdown

Mary E. Glynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
narciso said...

Well the wizard behind the scenes was withhis mistress while telling everyone else to hunker down

J. Farmer said...

You are a know it all poseur whom everybody pretty much hates, and will cause others to drop from the conversation.

And this observation is supposed to dissuade me?

In a few inutes, you will be monopolizinng the conversation here, all night, with your female sock puppets. Whu?

Perhaps you are one of my female sockpuppets.

Are you on meth?Stay up all night tweaking with the recent business bailout?

Hendricks and tonic and a pack of Marlboro Lights. I've had no bailout. I didn't even qualify for a stimulus check. I apologize for my life not being in free fall. That really seems to aggravate you.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

J. Farmer said...
Darwinism ... personality-based cults than a set of ideas that try to explain and predict observable phenomena.


This is nonsense. There is no personality cult associated with Darwin, any more than there is one associated with Newton or Gauss. All three are scientific giants who earned respect through the power and timelessness of their ideas.



narciso said...


But of course

https://mobile.twitter.com/Kredo0/status/1257777846698643459

narciso said...

You think the state can do what they wish with your property or your life if need be on dubious premise.

Mark said...

“Democrats were the most likely to report deteriorating mental health since the virus outbreak, and they were also the most likely to feel underserved by public officials during this time: 72% thought public officials had not yet done enough,” said the survey for Boston-based College Finance Co.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/majority-of-democrats-say-virus-worsened-their-mental-health

Liberals/Progressives/Dems and Conservatives/Republicans and Libertarians* not only believe differently, they think differently with profoundly different worldviews.



*Libertarians are a class among themselves.

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Birkel said...

How long will it take McConnell to schedule the hearings to replace RBG, when that day arrives?

gilbar said...

J Farmer said...
Most people don't really want to be informed by "experts." They want to be reassured. If people actually behaved in the data-driven, empirical way you describe, social cohesion wouldn't be possible

Robert A Heinlein Said...
Man is Not a Rational Animal, He is a Rationalizing Animal

Temujin said...

We've got a few Crane couples (Mr. & Mrs. Crane) + 1 Sandhill single looking for a mate that hang around my Florida neighborhood. Plus others screeching as they come in for a break at the water preserve in the area. Whooping and Sandhill cranes.They are loud, but beautiful. Fun to watch. They seem very at home here and walk down the streets, or through the yards, barely looking up at us as we walk our dog. Except for the other morning.

We were walking the dog out on a boulevard that runs alongside our neighborhood. We were across the street from our neighborhood, and with the dog ran back across the street onto the grassy boulevard that splits the street and came up suddenly on a crane (the single one) that we had not noticed. He reared up, spread his massive wings, let out a huge screeching noise, and came at us in a slow, but menacing walk.

We continued running past him, then walked across to our neighborhood, but I kept an eye on him behind us. He actually followed us into the neighborhood, still making weird threatening sounds. He stopped his pursuit of us to start pecking the rear of a black Ford SUV. I'm not sure what he sees in this Ford, but I've seen him previously come out of the pond area, walk down the street, strut around the Ford, then start pecking into the side and rear of it. I'm assuming he's seeing his reflection and thinking it's a damned good looking bird. But it's only this black Ford SUV that he does it to. And it's one of the only neighbors I don't know here. I wonder if he notices dings or marks in his car? I should probably leave a note. "Dear neighbor. Sorry for the dings. But I like your curves. Signed, Mr. Crane."

I usually walk by the water areas with an eye out for gators. I'll give the cranes some leeway going forward. Between the gators, bobcats, cranes, and snakes, I might have to start carrying when going for a walk at dusk.

narciso said...


We're beyond bearded spock


https://mobile.twitter.com/greg_price11/status/1257832033084157954

Sebastian said...

And honest prog, via Instapundit:

"I don’t want an investigation. I want a coronation of Joe Biden,” Tolchin, 91, wrote. “I don’t want justice, whatever that may be. I want a win, the removal of Donald Trump from office, and Mr. Biden is our best chance.”

gilbar said...

Tolchin, 91, wrote...

I don't want democracy, I WANT A DEMOCRAT!
fixed it for him

Anne-I-Am said...

J Farmer,

Wow. I check out to go do other things, and when I come back, the "blog administrator" (is that Meade?) has deleted some comments which were evidently less than complimentary. I miss all the fun. For the record, from the quotes you evidently pulled, I disagree.

But I must be one of your "female sock puppets." That of course, is assuming facts not in evidence.

I am always bemused by people who are so intimidated by others' intellects that they must insult in order to feel better about themselves.

I think we have proven over the past several weeks that a number of people can carry on whatever conversation they like on this evening thread, happily ignoring those who are entertaining topics they find boring and unrewarding.

Original Mike said...

"Newton was bright, but Leibniz did everything Newton did, but with more style."

Really? Gravity, wave theory of light, reflection telescopes, …

I never knew. That Leibniz was quite a guy.

Anne-I-Am said...

Besides, Newton was an accomplished alchemist, regularly poisoning himself. Could Leibniz do that?

Sebastian said...

"That Leibniz was quite a guy."

He was.

narciso said...

Candide was supposed to satiring leibniz is a grim monty pythonesque way, but i didnt get the gist.

Anne-I-Am said...

I gotta go grab a shower--it was a hot, sweaty, dusty run past people who made my laugh out loud as they turned their backs and cowered in fear as I ran by. The cringing and hunching alternately bemuse me and anger me. Where do all these cowards come from? What good will they be if the shit ever really does hit the fan?

narciso said...

They are eloi or those set up for carousel,

Original Mike said...

"He was."

No doubt.

J. Farmer said...

@Arm:

This is nonsense. There is no personality cult associated with Darwin, any more than there is one associated with Newton or Gauss. All three are scientific giants who earned respect through the power and timelessness of their ideas.

I agree with your last sentence. But that does not refute the existence of a personality cult. Darwininism is more prone to this than other branches of science, because it straddles the line between the natural and social sciences. It has implications for society of a different degree than chemistry or physics.

Fernandinande said...

Darwinism

That term is generally only used by Jesus freaks, and the MSM when it/they don't some facet of evolution, generally something about humans (though "Darwinian evolution" is sometimes used), in order to make it sound like a named-based cult, which of course Darwinian evolution itself it isn't, any more than Newtonian mechanics is a name based cult.

Ferinstance, the Cal Tech biology course listing mentions "evolution" 33 times, Darwin/Darwinisn zero.

Harvard has 82 courses with Evolution in the title, zero mentions of Darwin/Darwinisn.

Howard said...

Blogger gilbar said...
Robert A Heinlein Said...
Man is Not a Rational Animal, He is a Rationalizing Animal


Ha! Good Knowledge, gilbar. Daniel Kahneman got the Nobel Prize for explaining that

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@narciso:

You think the state can do what they wish with your property or your life if need be on dubious premise.

That is a tautology. A state can do what a state does.

Tomcc said...

Anne-I-Am: I've been very interested in hearing about asymptomatic spread of the Coronovirus. What I had read inferred that it was probable. Have you seen something that sheds some light on that question?

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

stephen cooper said...
Newton was bright,
but Leibniz did everything Newton did,

backwards and in heels.

Howard said...

Typhoid Annie getting her freak on. You go gryl

Ken B said...

Anne is back, boasting about how little she values the safety or comfort of others.

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@Fernandistein:

Ferinstance, the Cal Tech biology course listing mentions "evolution" 33 times, Darwin/Darwinisn zero.

Harvard has 82 courses with Evolution in the title, zero mentions of Darwin/Darwinisn.


I am not talking about the professional field of biology. I am talking about the way the ideas exist among the population. Very few people can explain Freud's theory of pscyhosexual development, but they know concepts like "oral fixation," "anal retentive," or "Oedipus complex."

Mark said...

We've been doing well.

Like last night.

Ignore it.

narciso said...

Leibnix waxes too theoretical and less practical

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ken B said...

Howard
I want to start a meme. A catchier, more focused word for the denialists. I want something like “vaxxer”. Scornful, dismissive, unambiguous. My word is “viruxxer”.

I think the analogy to vaxxer is immediately clear, and it’s still obviously about the virus. Viruxxer.

What do you think?

Your opinion is sought too Inga.

Anne-I-Am said...

Tomcc,

The original assertion of asymptomatic spread came about because the first German patient became infected after interacting with a Chinese businesswoman. The first assessment was that she had no symptoms until she was on the plane home to China, when she developed a fever. The first researchers did not, in fact, speak to her--they went by the assessment of those she came in contact with that she seemed well.

Much later, the researchers spoke to her. She reported that she had indeed been symptomatic while in Germany--with non-specific complaints of muscle aches and fatigue. Clearly, this was not a case of asymptomatic spread. Nonetheless, that was the genesis of the idea of the so-called asymptomatic spreader.

There has been no research done, as far as I can tell, on whether someone can never be ill themselves with the virus, yet infect others. All of the reporting is anecdotal and based on assumption. Given that the symptoms are mild in the majority of the cases, I suspect many people would say they were asymptomatic, when in fact, they had minor symptoms easily attributed to something else. Especially given that allergy season has been ramping up in parts of the country (it started here in Cali over a month ago), a runny nose, cough, occasional sneezing, sore throat, all can be chalked up to allergies.

narciso said...

Oh


https://www.pix11.com/news/coronavirus/health-workers-that-volunteered-to-come-to-ny-during-pandemic-have-to-pay-state-income-tax-cuomo

Mark said...

Baseball resumes in South Korea.

Mark said...

Biden's attempt to cancel democracy fails.

Federal judge orders officials to restore N.Y. primary.

Anne-I-Am said...

Mark,

They are easy to ignore. They say nothing witty, nothing original. They contribute no ideas to the conversation. I imagine them either as cartoon chickens, running around with their heads cut off, or petulant little schoolgirls, mad because they aren't getting the attention they crave from teacher.

I have been insulted more meaningfully by teenagers.

Mark said...

Note -- the restoration of the Dem presidential primary does not increase any "dangers" in voting. A primary election was already scheduled to go on for other offices.

Anne-I-Am said...

narciso,

Cuomo really is an ass, isn't he? I think the rest of the country has had it up to its eyeballs with New York. The list of DeBlasio's and Cuomo's fuck-ups is astounding.

Ken B said...

Narcisco
Is it it just Cuomo's accent? That “Thank you” sounded like “Fuck you”. Must be my hearing.

Anne-I-Am said...

JFarmer,

Back to Diversity is our Strength nonsense. It seems that the NIH and CDC feel that they have too much time on their hands and aren't sufficiently challenged by the Chinese virus. They are offering extra grant money to researchers who can scrounge up a minority (no Asians need apply, obviously) to work for them. Because diversity is even more obviously our strength when it comes to science, whose facts change when investigated by a black or a Tamil or a Hmong.

narciso said...

It might as well have been, he should wear that grim reaper costume from that lawyer in florida along with mayor bane, that s wilhelm. After (redacted) up so mamy ways you are going to punish those who deign to enter gotham prefect

narciso said...

I dont know focus on people who have skills in molecular biology genetics epidemiological tracking can they do that, is that too taxing

Howard said...

I don't know Ken. They suffer from narcissistic personality disorder by proxy. Vain is the new Black.

J. Farmer said...

@Anne:

I am always bemused by people who are so intimidated by others' intellects that they must insult in order to feel better about themselves.

I think we have proven over the past several weeks that a number of people can carry on whatever conversation they like on this evening thread, happily ignoring those who are entertaining topics they find boring and unrewarding.


I agree. I used to listen to Howard Stern, and I always loved the hate calls. Stern would frequently retort, "Stop listening!" It isn't enough to not like something someone created. The creator must be told they're an awful person. Others must be prevented from experiencing it. It's the mentality of the heckler.

narciso said...

We go the beach yesterday, we run into someone from boston, who just arrived are they doing the wuhan express tour.

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stephen cooper said...

"Harold"

Howard said...

Also Ken, phony toughness is contagious. They don't want to appear weak to peers because they haven't evolved past high school angst.

narciso said...



Are they trying to anger zombie michael crichton

narciso said...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=G3A8xdC-Dqo

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

Everyone's gushing over Caitlin Flanagan's breast cancer article.

I immediately thought of Norm MacDonald's review of Tig Notaro's one-woman show about her own breast cancer diagnosis. "Everyone gets cancer and dies." He rejected the notion that it was brave or interesting. He gave as a counterexample the character actor Richard Farnsworth. He ended his career with a fantastic performance in Lynch's The Straight Story. He was riddled with cancer during production, kept his diagnosis to himself, got his affairs in order, and used his big toe and a shotgun to blow his head off. Now that is brave.

Anne-I-Am said...

JF,

Like Bill Buckley said, "Cancel your own damn subscription!"

Damn, but these toddlers are persistent. You'd think being ignored by the targets of their puerile character assassination would impel them to seek release elsewhere. No such luck.

I am noodling in my head an idea about the myth-stimulating nature of this event. Not just those who seem paralyzed by fear (oddly, often not those truly vulnerable), but those who are indulging the worst part of human nature--the snitches, the scolds, the hectoring, the Salem witch trial persona.

As I noted earlier, this doesn't reassure me about our chances in a true cataclysm.

Birkel said...

Total deaths down 3% in the United States.
Businesses opening so maybe the economy won't stay crashed.
RBG might get replaced on the Court.

The screaming ninnies will be very sad when things don't go horribly.

Meanwhile, I had a very nice time with some great people and life goes on.

Kylos said...

Here’s a sandhill crane attacking my car.

Birkel said...

Total deaths down 3% in the United States.
Businesses opening so maybe the economy won't stay crashed.
RBG might get replaced on the Court.

The screaming ninnies will be very sad when things don't go horribly.

Meanwhile, I had a very nice time with some great people and life goes on.

Mark said...

Arlington County is one of the wealthiest in the nation. We are so full of one-percenters that our progressive County regime is all to eager to spend a million dollars on a single bus stop (that is a true statement, not hyperbole). Currently, we have a project that is costing well over $60 million to build a glorified swimming pool in an inconvenient, hard-to-get-to location next to the interstate highway and adjacent to the Potomac.

For all our penchant for spending and all our Smarter-Than-You-So-Shut-Up Progressive Betters, two months into the crisis, this is our County website for COVID statistics -

COVID-19 Dashboard

Arlington County is improving and reformatting the way we present COVID-19 epidemiologic data. Please check back later for more information.

For additional data and information about COVID-19, please visit the Virginia Department of Health.

Learn more about the COVID-19 response in Arlington.


https://www.arlingtonva.us/covid19-dashboard/

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stephen cooper said...

well, either completely blameless or cowardly, but never "brave" as such ----- the bravery was in the living every single time

William said...

Compared to love, religion, class, etc., economics is the one area of human endeavor where people are more apt to follow the dictates of reason rather than their heart. In this regard, it is instructive to ponder the example of Newton. He put a bundle into the South Sea Bubble. He thought the whole thing was exaggerated and took his money, which had appreciated considerably, out. The South Sea stocks continued to rise. He reconsidered and put his money and more back in. The South Sea Bubble collapsed and he lost everything.....Newton is generally considered one of the smartest men who ever lived, and the stock market made a fool of him....You can be very smart and do very stupid things.

Anne-I-Am said...

Farmer,

OMFG. I read the first three paragraphs. Talk about narcissism. The horrors of having breast cancer (like how many other woman in the world?) while Donald Trump is president!. The underlying message seems to be, "I wasn't supposed to die! That's for the deplorables!"

And her claim that conservatives want to "sacrifice" her, that Trump thinks she should die so we can open up the economy. Is that projection? That she thinks the entire nation should cease to live so that SHE might be "safe?" An illusion, anyway. She isn't that much at risk. And her risk is easily mitigated by staying the fuck home.

I had a neighbor with terminal BC. She WAS a heroine. She kept taking care of 5 kids, participating in her church community, doing volunteer work, laughing and smiling and being a good friend. She never talked about the times she lay in bed with a vomit bowl (I was there for a few of them). She laughed at the curly grey hair that grew in after she lost her straight chestnut locks. She was a treasure, and a pleasure to be around. She died quietly, but was mourned greatly.

narciso said...

In a different era it might have been an interesting twilight zone episode or even original star trek, there were several that dealt with the aftermath of outbreaks.

Mark said...

those who are indulging the worst part of human nature--the snitches, the scolds, the hectoring, the Salem witch trial persona

There is, and has been, a disturbing propensity in the human condition ever since the Fall.

Some become kapos and collaborators out of fear-based desire for self-preservation. Others do so eagerly and voluntarily.

To look at the likes of the Washington Post and CNN and NYT and the other virulent toxins in our society, institutionally and individual persons, is a sad commentary on humanity.

This much is clear, if left to himself, man will go at the speed of light toward Hell.

Thankfully, we are not left to ourselves.

narciso said...

She does realize this procrustean strategy that shes in favor of, makes things worse.

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne-I-Am said...

Another anecdote. Julius Goodman, chairman of the neurosurgery department at IU, diagnosed himself with a glioblastoma after he got lost driving home from work. He stopped working, got his affairs in order, and enjoyed his family until his death six months later.

I don't consider him a hero because he didn't fight. He was not naive about the ravages of a glio and the likely futility of treatment. On the other hand, I have a friend whose MIL was dx'd with a glio. She sought extraordinary care, got treated with an experimental drug out here at UCSF, and lived for 8 years.

I have little patience for those who want to turn what is, after all, a commonplace into a public spectacle.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
narciso said...

Cancer doesnt seem the right word, its rather staggering what these entities do to people and the treatments arent much better.

narciso said...

Israel is still a settler state, despite its cosmopolitan gloss, and in rhe territories where the sayaret operate its frontier justice.

Anne-I-Am said...

Mark,

Some of us would hurtle, some just skip along, remarking on the beautiful weather. But end up in the inferno, all the same. I don't consider myself an exception. "Who will rescue me from this body of death?" How strange of God, and rather endearing, that He loves us so much.

J. Farmer said...

@stephen cooper:

j Farmer - suicide is always cowardly, sorry dude.

I think we can distinguish between suicides resulting from desperation versus those from preparation. Our biological and biographical lives do not always overlap. Lingering in a prolonged state of organ failure, varying degree of consciousness, and dulled by heavy narcotics is not ennobling. If you're trapped in a burning building, you have the right to jump.

narciso said...

Two people i know have passed on fairly quickly after developing stage 4, a third has decided not to take the treatments and enjoy life as much as they are able to.

William said...

What with hubris, your chances of doing something stupid are probably increased by being smart. Bertrand Russell, back in the twenties, was asked who were the three greatest geniuses currently alive. They asked Russell because he was considered one of the wisest men of his era. Russell said there were only two geniuses alive on earth: Einstein and Lenin. That right there shows you how much you should distrust the judgement of smart men judging who's smart....Okay for Einstein, but, wow, did he ever get Lenin wrong....Lenin himself was pretty bright. He wrote sixty books of over six hundred pages. Many of them were dense with statistics whose numbers he crunched to prove the efficacy of a Marxist economy. I guess it does take a certain amount of genius to fuck up the world as much as Lenin did. He was the Napoleon of his era.

Mark said...

In the face of the coronavirus epidemic, leading proponent of physician-assisted suicide is now in favor of life and not so eager for death after all:

https://compassionandchoices.org/news/group-praises-congressional-leaders-for-expanding-access-to-telehealth-services-during-coronavirus-crisis/

https://compassionandchoices.org/news/coronavirus-newsletter-note-from-ceo/

Anne-I-Am said...

narciso,

Cancer is blind life, having its way. It is fascinating--and horrifying.

The tx are getting so much better. Targeted, and so having fewer side effects. The treatments are fragmenting, getting more and more specific to particular mutations. The bad news is that many mutations remain untargeted. The good news is that the targetable mutations are so highly treatable that people live for years with a good quality of life.

Sorry for the abbreviations. Dx means diagnosis. Tx means treatment. Sx means symptoms.

Mark said...

Walking with Mrs. Walton, Martha Rose, an Eddie Haskell wannabe, plays the rat and coyly squeals on Mary Ellen wearing a ring that is known to be lost by another woman.

narciso said...

True, but it seem otherwordly like some alien parasite that draws life from a person.

narciso said...

Why was bertrand russell so wise a talented mathematician but thats about all on the 40s he wanted to nuke soviet union preemptively by the 70s he wanted to try the west for assorted crimes.

FullMoon said...

"suicides resulting from desperation "

Permanent solution to temporary problem.



stephen cooper said...

j farmer , i get what you are saying.

there are many existential questions we can only answer for ourselves, if we try to answer for others, it would be arrogance.

Should I marry that hot crazy chick who will be a terrible mother to our children in 5 years and will be obese in 10 years?
I would.
Should I take painkillers to mitigate the horror of being in pain every hour of every day for the last 40 years, even if it makes me unpleasant to be around from the narcotic effects?
I wouldn't. And I didn't.
Would I commit suicide if I had a terrible medical diagnosis, or would I pray to God to release me at the right moment, so that I could, in my suffering, pray for others in a way that might be effective?
Not sure which way I would go, I would hope I would go the right way.

Anyway, I know a lot about suicide, and many people who commit suicide appear to be almost blameless, and many appear to be very selfish. Trust me, there is a reason I do not volunteer for suicide hotlines. I know too much.

Anne-I-Am said...

narciso,

That it does, and yet it is absolutely part of us. What is more astounding, if one knows enough and takes the time to think about it, is how often it doesn't happen! My leukemia docs and I marvel at the body's repair mechanisms. Our DNA is being bombarded every second with ionizing radiation, causing DNA strand breaks. Yet our body busily repairs them over and over. What is amazing is how rarely cancer develops, given the trillions (zillions? Gazillions?) of opportunities it has during our lifetimes.

And even when a cell goes berserk, our immune system is constantly surveiling. Natural killer cells ( I adore that name) spend their lifespans prowling for tumor cells. (Now, to be fair, certain cancers figure out how to cripple the NKs.).

And think of this! We have even basically cured a once universally fatal cancer, chronic myelogenous leukemia, with a pill.

I recommend The Emperor of All Maladies. A dense read, but fascinating.

Mark said...

"suicides resulting from desperation"

They also result from the example of others who killed themselves.

Suicide is contagious.

narciso said...

Well that is true nature is infinitely complex than we imagine, looking at it that way it does look like an unlikely roll of the dice.

Mark said...

My leukemia docs and I marvel at the body's repair mechanisms.

There never was a doctor who healed a single person.

All a doctor can do is help the body to heal itself.

Narr said...

No, Lenin wasn't the Napoleon of his era, he was the Lenin of his era.

Other than one being a lifelong soldier of superlative gifts and a legend in his own time, and the other being a lifelong failed revolutionary crank until he found a rich backer, they were a lot alike.

Narr
There was no Napoleon in Lenin's day--historians would notice




narciso said...

Thats very reductive i think, doctors and nurses have great gifts that you cant just right off, it is true as cs lewis pointed out the world of even a hundred years ago wa more feral than we allow ourselves to believe.

narciso said...

Had kornilov had been allowed to play napoleon lenin would be a footnote.

walter said...

My apologies if this came up earlier:
"The scientist whose advice prompted Boris Johnson to lock down Britain resigned from his Government advisory position on Tuesday night as The Telegraph can reveal he broke social distancing rules to meet his married lover.

Professor Neil Ferguson allowed the woman to visit him at home during the lockdown while lecturing the public on the need for strict social distancing in order to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The woman lives with her husband and their children in another house.

The epidemiologist leads the team at Imperial College London that produced the computer-modelled research that led to the national lockdown, which claimed that more than 500,000 Britons would die without the measures.

Prof Ferguson has frequently appeared in the media to support the lockdown and praised the "very intensive social distancing" measures."
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/05/05/exclusive-government-scientist-neil-ferguson-resigns-breaking/

Damn..that guy just wants people to DIE! Even worse if they ween't wearing masks.

J. Farmer said...

@Anne:

She was a treasure, and a pleasure to be around. She died quietly, but was mourned greatly.

I had an aunt of a similar persuasion who passed away in her mid-50s. My father's family was only peripherally involved in the southern church scene, but a few family members became pretty devout Pentecostals and moved their families to East Tennessee to get away from Florida heathenism. Out of dozens of extended family members, they are the only ones who live outside the state. The family is squarely in the cracker tradition. Scots-Irish and North English borderlanders who arrived by way of the Carolinas. They have a strong work ethic and a strong party ethic.

The "holy roller" branch of the family were frequently the butt of jokes and the topic of gossip. While all the family would confess being Bible-believing Christians, they loathed organized religion, which they considered phony and insincere. I joined in this as a teen and would say stupid things like, "I'm not religious; I'm spiritual." Attending a church service with a charismatic preacher and a congregation that practiced speaking-in-tongues did little to disabuse me of this opinion.

Once I had the opportunity to relate to them as adults and not authority figures, I had a much different opinion. While I didn't share their beliefs, I shared their values. Wanting to shield your children from a perverse, promiscuous popular culture is not a bad idea, even if "fundamentalist Christians" believe it. If "social conservatism" means commitments to family and community, why is that a bad thing?

Anne-I-Am said...

walter,

This is why people don't listen to the experts. Because they apparently don't believe their own bullshit. Just like Obama and Gates, burbling on about AGW, then buying property right on the ocean.

This is what leads me to contempt for these people. Because their hypocrisy reveals their will-to-power. It isn't about saving the world from corona virus, or global warming, or racism, or WHATEVS. It is about the boot on the face--and being the one wearing the boot.

narciso said...

Remember that twilight zone episode with pat weaver as the grand inquisitor and burgess meredith as the doomed philosoplher.?

narciso said...

Pbs is running the original poldark series from 1975?

Yancey Ward said...

"Besides, Newton was an accomplished alchemist, regularly poisoning himself. Could Leibniz do that?"

Well, Newton was the original Dread Pirate Roberts.

Mark said...

I do regret the totally loss of trust in so many areas of society and culture.

I know I say often to put not your trust in man or in transient things, but to trust in God and the eternal, but in order to live in the world, you need some degree of trust in others. You cannot doubt and distrust EVERYTHING. You can't survive that way.

But we are long past the time when you can believe what you read in any newspaper or magazine or TV news or what any person of "authority" has to say, or even trust in the integrity of the design and building of roadways and other infrastructure.

It is an oppressive dictatorship indeed when truth has been banished and relativism and the lust for power rule the day.

Mark said...

And, no, I ain't wearing no effing ribbon.

walter said...

"Thousands of elective procedures have been delayed in Ontario, Canada, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and an estimated 35 people have died because cardiac surgeries were postponed.

Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott announced on Tuesday that around 35 people have died thus far because their surgeries were delayed over coronavirus concerns, according to researchers associated with the United Health Network in Toronto.

Hospital beds in Ontario are relatively empty, a local watchdog group noted, with the Canadian province having delayed 52,700 surgeries since March 15 and postponing an additional 12,000 elective surgeries a week.

“A report has been released today by [University Health Network] with respect to cardiac deaths and it has been estimated that approximately 35 people may have passed away because their surgeries were not performed,” Elliott said.

“Any death that happened because of COVID-19 — whether directly or indirectly — is a tragedy,” she continued. “We feel for those families who’ve lost family members — whether it has been from cancer death, cardiac death or a COVID-19 death. But these were decisions that we had to make. The decisions were made by medical personnel.

“That’s not something any of us want to hear. It certainly was not intended,” she added. “Any death is a tragedy.”
https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/dozens-die-in-canada-due-to-delayed-cardiac-surgeries-during-pandemic-health-minister-says

Anne-I-Am said...

J Farmer,

I find you fascinating. Thank you for sharing that. My dad's side of the family, on HIS dad's side, is Scots-Irish. So easy for the cosmopolitan to mock, yet they are the source of the "work ethic" that made America.

I have perhaps grown more paranoid as I have gotten older and seen more of the progressive side of life. I do believe that there is a current within progressivism that is driven by animus toward those of faith (but only Christians and orthodox Jews, never the Muslims) and toward social conservatives. They want to conquer; they want to cram their way of life down our throats. That sounds paranoid. But I have begun to believe that paranoia does not negate reality. It isn't enough to be able to live their lives the way they want (abortion, gay marriage, open marriages, the glorification of porn, etc)...we must not be allowed to avoid it or ignore it. We must be made to celebrate it--even if it is a simulacrum of celebration. "Dance, bitches."

I find these people baffling. I find them frightening for others--because most people are not as conflict-oriented as I am. At the same time, I wonder if there is a line which these idiots just should not cross, because it is true: we have all the guns.

Rod Dreher was bemoaning the armed protest in Michigan. I thought the guns were unnecessary, but understandable. One thing after another has been a gigantic FUCK YOU to the conservatives, the working man, the nobodies. "We're going to put a man in your daughter's locker room--suck it, bitches." "You are gonna bake that cake, you bigot." And so on. Well guess what? When push comes to shove, the biggest FUCK YOU in the world comes from the people who have the weapons.

Anne-I-Am said...

narciso,

I loved Poldark! I may have to watch it again.

WY,

Bwahahahaha.

Mark,

Ribbon?

narciso said...

But value choices are one thing impinging on ones livelihood threatening their sanity even their health is something else again.

effinayright said...

J. Farmer said:

One of the problems with a lot of the great 19th century intellectual movements is evident in their names: Darwinism, Marxism, Freudianism
***************************

None of those people named themselves as cult leaders.

I agree that Marx and Freud have been falsified over time. 50 years ago you could not avoid Freud being discussed in newspapers, magazines and academia. Today: nada. Marx? Aside from some bitter-enders, he's no longer cited as evidence of anything. Too many socialist countries have failed for him to be believable.

But...Darwin? Where has Darwinism been falsified? What more scientific explanation for the changes in life on Earth has more weight?

Or are you claiming that "Intelligent Design" -- which itself is utterly unfalsifiable--is better science?

Mark said...

Michigan's governor continues to lockdown the entire state -- through a strained and overbroad application of a decades-old emergency-powers statute -- even though the state has been trending downward for weeks and even though most counties north of the thumb have had only a handful of cases.

narciso said...

Whitmer and pritzker and evers are demanding serfdom over citizenry, claiming powers they werent entitled to.

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

that twilight zone episode with FRITZ weaver as the grand inquisitor

Mark said...

The ribbons aren't coming.

The ribbons are here.

And they are the number one indicator that they care more than you.

narciso said...

I knew it wasnt dennis, so we cave the question of causality did the flatline ameliorate the problem take the uk for example

Mark said...

Progressivism is by its very nature dedicated to the destruction of the existing order, whatever that order is, even the order instituted by yesterday's progressivism.

Progressivism, by its nature, must ALWAYS progress, must always be moving forward, must always view that which has been handed on (traditio) with contempt. It is largely related to that original error of man wanting to make himself a god.

Anne-I-Am said...

Mark,

Ah. Of course. But I have accepted my role as murderous avenging angel of death, gleefully infecting the vulnerable far and wide, inflicting death and suffering on all with whom I intersect. /sarc

Oppenheimer had no idea. "I am become death, destroyer of worlds."

Mark said...

The Inquisitor: "You are obsolete. Obsolete."

Me: "Guilty."

narciso said...

But like ferguson his faith in immutable law only went so far

heyboom said...

Alberta stormtrooper bloodied during blaster-related police response on May the Fourth

Are these Canada's finest?

Mark said...

News bulletin -- "God is dead. A day of solemn mourning will be observed this coming Friday to honor the memory of the late diety."

https://youtu.be/7aOfZgVf9NY

Mark said...

A lot of ST guest stars in that Insight episode.

J. Farmer said...

@Anne:

One thing after another has been a gigantic FUCK YOU to the conservatives, the working man, the nobodies. "We're going to put a man in your daughter's locker room--suck it, bitches." "You are gonna bake that cake, you bigot." And so on.

I think this is true. When I was growing up, the line was always that the religious right wanted to "take us back to the 50's." The lifestyle depicted in Leave It to Beaver was the enemy. The answer was 60's bohemianism. Free love. Express yourself. Life was all about self-actualization. An entire academic industry called "social sciences" was created to preach the new gospel and give it a patina of "scientific" respectability. We're not dogmatic like those dumb, superstitious Christian conservatives. We can't help that our "research" just so happens to reinforce our entire worldview.

I think this is the primary project of the identity left. It advocates the therapeutic model for social ills: non-judgment and unconditional positive regard. We have to encourage self-esteem and self-expression. Life's all about finding your passion and being happy. The traditional white family is dull and old-fashioned and probably deplorable anyway. An interracial lesbian couple with an adopted baby from Korea is "who we are." All the artificial constructs that divide us must be eliminated and we'll all live as a global people.

The only thing standing in the way of us and this paradise is the ignorant, bigoted, backwards obstructionism called "old white men." They're simply too deranged and deluded to see the truth. They just have to die. Penn Law professor Amy Wax pointed out an irony about our cosmopolitan new upper-class. They "preach the sixties but live the fifties."

Mark said...

I think this is the primary project of the identity left. It advocates the therapeutic model for social ills: non-judgment and unconditional positive regard. We have to encourage self-esteem and self-expression. Life's all about finding your passion and being happy.

There is a certain conceit in that, in them thinking that they are revolutionary and the first to think such things.

But there is nothing new under the sun.

Much of traditionalism is simply passing on the hard-earned lessons of all that.

J. Farmer said...

@wholelottasplainin':

But...Darwin? Where has Darwinism been falsified? What more scientific explanation for the changes in life on Earth has more weight?

Or are you claiming that "Intelligent Design" -- which itself is utterly unfalsifiable--is better science?


I accept the materialist explanation of evolution. I purposely chose examples that had a partisan angle. I am not talking about the belief systems; I am talking about how they exist in popular discourse. People, for the most par, do not arrive at these ideas on their own. They are told them and then make a decision about whether or not to believe them. Reasoning and a weighing of evidence are only a part of that process. How much a part is up for debate, but I tend to believe it is less than what many people assume.

Anne-I-Am said...

JF,

Charles Murray points out the same. The upper class preaches free love, but lives marriage to one person, children in wedlock, finish your education, etc. They push the lower classes to self-destructive libertinism, while eschewing it themselves.

One problem with the therapeutic approach is that the prescription is ineffective, even destructive. "Do what makes you happy" is in fact a path to unhappiness. I had this fight frequently with my ex. I perhaps overreacted to my sons' indulgence of their teenaged passions (why do boys masturbate SO much?), but my point to him was, I think, valid. We are not meant to indulge our animal appetites. Those can be sex, food, alcohol, general carousing, fighting...

I know you aren't a believer, but I say that God calls us to be MORE THAN. More than the animal. More than our libido. More than our gluttony. More than our wrath. As hard as it is to control our appetites, we feel better about ourselves when we do. Forget self-esteem. Humans don't need more self-esteem; we are vain and self-important creatures as it is. We need self-respect. And that comes from self-control and discipline and productivity.

I think one of the great malaises of our time is lack of discipline and productivity. Laziness is, I think, the human default. Yet it is toxic.

Maybe that is the Scots-Irish speaking in me, though.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Coronavirus-style remote learning could replace old model of education

Cuomo dropped the bombshell while announcing a partnership with the Gates Foundation to “reimagine” education in the post-COVID era.

can we quarantine these people?

stephen cooper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@Mark:

But there is nothing new under the sun.

I don't entirely agree with that. The industrial revolution was a massive force that completely reshaped human existence on a level not seen since the neolithic revolution more than 10,000 years prior. The "identity left" is almost a totally post-industrial ideology. It is a pretty decisive break from the agrarianism that defines most human existence up to that point. Physically demanding work was replaced by cognitively demanding work. Life rhythms were no longer attached to the seasons and the climate but to managerial organization. Time discipline had to be enforced. Self-actualization isn't much of a priority in a world where most people devote most of their productive energy to just staying alive. We live in a world where a primary health problem is over-nutrition. People, especially poor ones, have too much cheap delicious food to eat. This is uncharted territory.

Mark said...

God calls us to be MORE THAN

Transcendence. There are things greater than ourselves. Things beyond ourselves. For example, justice. Whenever we limit ourselves to human conceptions of justice, rather than a higher law conception, we end up with an awful lot of tyranny.

Two quotes:

From a movie whose title is in the quote -- "What if this is as good as it gets?" Which leads to utter despair in the people it is said to.

and

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

I prefer the latter sentiment. The idea -- no, the certainty -- that there is "something" more, something greater, is the hope that sustains you no matter how desolate the desert we journey through.

Anne-I-Am said...

Mark,

Thank you for the interaction tonight. How nice it was to have, and to have headed off the usual suspects, with their desire for rancor and unpleasantness, at the pass. I wish they would find another blog on which to vent their spleen. I just don't understand the vitriol.

JF,

As usual, provocative and welcome conversation.

I am going to search out Morpheus. The last two nights, he has been cruel--withholding rest until late. Then I dream about monstrosities like murder hornets. I think that those things are proof certain of the coming apocalypse.

J. Farmer said...

@Anne:

I know you aren't a believer, but I say that God calls us to be MORE THAN.

The closest I come to believing in god is a belief in the transcendent. That feeling you get when looking at the Grand Canyon or attending a good concert or staring at the Sistine Chapel or during a particularly good orgasm. A brief destruction of the ego and a sense of oneness with the universe. I admit that's a pretty hippie construction of an experience that is hard to put into words. I accept a meaningless, indifferent universe. But we all have to find meaning in our lives. We cannot accept being blobs of matter and energy floating in space. We must be part of something bigger. We must matter. We have to be important. Humans have never had a wider array of choices in how to define their lives. That may not be a good thing.

J. Farmer said...

I am going to search out Morpheus. The last two nights, he has been cruel--withholding rest until late. Then I dream about monstrosities like murder hornets. I think that those things are proof certain of the coming apocalypse.

"Sleep, those little slices of death, how I loathe them."

Work resumes in two weeks. I look forward to returning to a more normal sleep-wake cycle. I haven't regularly stayed up all night and slept til noon since "summer vacation" was a thing.

William said...

The early revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries of the Russian Revolution were well read in history and could see the parallels with the French Revolution. They openly speculated as to who would emerge as Napoleon. Not Lenin though. He wanted to be Lenin.....The big four prophets of the twentieth century were Marx, Freud, Einstein, and Darwin. Only Einstein and Darwin still have currency. Marx never inspired much of a cult in his personal life but those of his disciples who achieved power certainly did....Freud, for a psychoanalyst, was reasonably sane and proper. His admirers admired him more than was warranted but he was never cult leader. Einstein seemed like a decent sort who led a decent life and did not use his position as the world's smartest man to leverage money and sex like most of us would do.... Of the four great prophets, Darwin seems to have had the most wretched life.

Lucien said...

Not an Obama fan, but buying waterfront property today and believing that sea levels will rise by millimeters each year are not inconsistent positions. You could live in the property for years, sell it for a profit and go on your merry way.

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

Watch How Bees Deal With Murder Hornets

"You can't, except in the lowest animal sense, be in love with a girl if you know (and keep on remembering) that all the beauties both of her person and of her character are a momentary and accidental pattern produced by the collision of atoms, and that your own response to them is only a sort of psychic phosphorescence arising from the behaviour of your genes. You can’t go on getting any very serious pleasure from music if you know and remember that its air of significance is pure illusion, that you like it only because your nervous system is irrationally conditioned to like it. You may still, in the lowest sense, have a ‘good time’; but just in so far as it becomes very good, just in so far as it ever threatens to push you on from cold sensuality into real warmth and enthusiasm and joy, so afar you will be forced to feel the hopeless disharmony between your own emotions and the universe in which you really live." --CS Lewis

walter said...

Lucien,
Maybe they should add a hundred solar panels to mitigate the bad optics.

Crazy World said...

Dentist and car washes opened up yesterday here in Hawaii, today was very busy golf courses and car dealerships tomorrow malls. MAGA

Lewis Wetzel said...

Of the four great prophets, Darwin seems to have had the most wretched life.
Piles.

Lewis Wetzel said...

J. Farmer said...
. . .
The closest I come to believing in god is a belief in the transcendent. That feeling you get when looking at the Grand Canyon or attending a good concert or staring at the Sistine Chapel or during a particularly good orgasm. A brief destruction of the ego and a sense of oneness with the universe.


Christopher Hitchens claimed to believe in the numinous. Not the transcendent, the numinous. Which makes me believe that Hitchen's atheism, if not exactly a fraud, was a performance.

Fernandinande said...

Christopher Hitchens claimed to believe in the numinous.

Just as an emotion. It's dishonest of you to claim otherwise:

"We know we’re going to die, which gives us a lot to think about, and we have a need for, what I would call, “the transcendent” or “the numinous” or even “the ecstatic” that comes out in love and music, poetry, and landscape. I wouldn’t trust anyone who didn’t respond to things of that sort. But I think the cultural task is to separate those impulses and those needs and desires from the supernatural and, above all, from the superstitious."

Which makes me believe that Hitchen's atheism, if not exactly a fraud, was a performance.

You religious nuts are so pompous and narrow minded that you can't "believe" that other people don't share your dopey superstitions.

Paco Wové said...

"her claim that conservatives want to "sacrifice" her, that Trump thinks she should die so we can open up the economy"

A close relative has advanced cancer; she lives on the east coast, and the lockdowns have considerably complicated her life and her ability to get care. She knows how to protect herself from coronavirus, and the government's actions aren't doing her any good.

Kay said...

The photo kind of reminds me of “Rhein II” taken by Andreas Gursky. It’s got a similar kind of symmetry and flatness to it. It’s also one of the most expensive art photographs to ever sell.

J. Farmer said...

@Lewis Wetzel:

Christopher Hitchens claimed to believe in the numinous. Not the transcendent, the numinous. Which makes me believe that Hitchen's atheism, if not exactly a fraud, was a performance.

In 1979, Laurence Olivier was given an honorary Oscar for lifetime achievement. He gave a speech that had the audience in rapture and a closeup shot of Jon Voight caught him mouthing "Wow!" Michael Caine claimed Olivier admitted to him the next morning: "I didn't have a clue what to say, so I just fell back on that old 'We're off to Salisbury!' business that one uses when one wants to sound like Shakespeare but can't remember the words."

Hitchens was undoubtedly a gifted rhetorician, but he mostly made his career off milking the American love affair with British accents. The booze and cigarettes were part of the act. It's unsurprising he was a preferred guest of Bill Buckley. Both were "professional" public intellectuals who had mastered the Oxbridge debating style: always prefer a glib witticism to actual insight. It's amusing that Hitchens pivoted from his dead-end, increasingly desperate support for the Iraq War to a perpetual book tour mocking the faith-based certitudes of the religious.

tcrosse said...

A few days late, but here's Oscar Brown Jr, c. 1963, with an account of what happened to the native american woman on the Land O Lakes butter box

Hey Skipper said...

@Mark:

But there is nothing new under the sun.

@Farmer:

I don't entirely agree with that. The industrial revolution ...


Don't forget about women's ability to choose their fertility. It is possible that humanity will self-extinguish within several hundred years.

Lurker21 said...

The big four prophets of the twentieth century were Marx, Freud, Einstein, and Darwin. Only Einstein and Darwin still have currency.

Nietzsche was certainly a big noise, and may have been more accurate or relevant so far as society went than some of the others. One could also make a case for Max Weber.

Freud, for a psychoanalyst, was reasonably sane and proper. His admirers admired him more than was warranted but he was never cult leader. Einstein seemed like a decent sort who led a decent life and did not use his position as the world's smartest man to leverage money and sex like most of us would do....

Freud was something of a cult leader, though it was a rather smallish cult, certainly more modest in its aims than the Marxists were. Einstein could be quite a dick in his personal life, but yes, he wasn't seeking wealth and power for himself.

Newton became something of a cultural-political icon for the enlightenment. Today, he's just seen as a great scientist. One could make the same case for Darwin, but the struggles over evolution and related issues are still going on, and the idea of a "Darwinian" world or universe is still somewhat controversial or provocative, so we haven't quite moved on to to the point where he can just be thought of as a great scientist.

Hey Skipper said...

@J Farmer:

Hitchens was undoubtedly a gifted rhetorician, but he mostly made his career off milking the American love affair with British accents.


Clearly, you haven't read any of his essays.

J. Farmer said...

@Hey Skipper:

Clearly, you haven't read any of his essays.

I grant Hitchens' talent as an essayist. But that isn't what made him a rock star. He was, above all, an orator. And he clearly craved mass adulation.

ga6 said...

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/05/04/forecasting-bird-migration-with-weather-radar-and-models/

Lewis Wetzel said...

Fernandistein said...
Christopher Hitchens claimed to believe in the numinous.
Just as an emotion. It's dishonest of you to claim otherwise:


The Talk I remember from Hitchens went into some deatail about his regard for the "numinous." Let me see if I can find it online. I think it was as part of debate or quasi-debate on religion.