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Thursday, December 01, 2016

The Powers Of The World: Hagia Pharmaka!

 Hagia Pharmaka  -  Holy Drugs

There are powers in the world.
Mysteries that emerge from our living in the world.

This is not a new discovery. Quite the opposite. Since antiquity we have had gods and demons and forces and fates, fairies and sprites, that may push or pull us, bless us or bane us.
Not new at all.

What is modern is that we have drained the spirits from the world. We have made all things material objects, facts, and processes, and thrown the baraka into the dustbin.


Only, they do come back!

Drugs - once seen as the opium poppy crowned goddess of Crete...
War and Weapons - once Mars and Ares and Kibuka and Bosou...
Food - once Ceres, once the Corn Deity...
Power and Compulsion - all the forces and fates and things that go bump in the night.

I have taken to referring to these things as Lois - the French word pronounced "Lwa" - which is based on Haitian use of Loa  ("Lwa") for deities. It is mostly just a name I use and I do not necessarily imply anything "law-like". I did not want to use "gods" nor "powers". Any term would have too much baggage. I chose "lois", or "loi" in the singular.
I think I shall spell it Lwa, too, just to make it easier.

So what?
So who really cares what I call things that don't have any traction anymore?

Like Drugs.

Drugs are no law, no power of the world. Drugs is not a god!

Or is it?

Who is winning the war on drugs? Drugs wins.
Who gets the hectatomb of thousands of human sacrifices dead from drugs? Drugs gets them.
Who drives society on to spend billions of dollars fruitlessly? Billions invested with no return? Drugs does.

If Drugs ran for president, I would vote for that real power, that lwa.
We may have made Drugs just a "social problem", but I think that social problem can run the world. In fact, Drugs turned Afghanistan into the Number 1 producer of Opium just after NATO kicked out the Taliban and took over in 2001.
Drugs runs the world sometime.

Drugs is no small change.
Drugs has as much power as Santa Muerte, does it not?  Drugs is very much Lwa.

Hagia Pharmaka - Holy Drugs!


Continuous Transportation: Buses

 Un État de Transport Continu
inspiré par le film Transperceneige

Empress Market Bus Stop, Karachi, Pakistan

Arif Mahmoud

In Which I Discover Heidegger

I have discovered the works of Martin Heidegger.
Of course, I had read the small book on the concept of being and not-being, about "on kai me on", a long time ago and thought it more philologic than philosophic, and drew no vasty deep conclusions from it.

Now the real deal cometh.

First, I wonder why so little that is life-enriching in Heidegger is emphasized in the modern day. There are extensive forests of wood devoted to Deconstruction, but I find that concept to be of comparatively little interest.

Second, I find that Heidegger has much in common with scientists and philosophers of science who are trying to clarify the foundations of quantum theory.
In this we read:
Fuchs calls this approach quantum Bayesianism... because he believes that... probabilities – including quantum probabilities – “are not real things out in the world; their only existence is in quantifying personal degrees of belief of what might happen.” This view, he says, “allows one to see all quantum measurement events as little ‘moments of creation’, rather than as revealing anything pre-existent.”
There is a great Cartesianism still in the view of observer as creator, but there is also a awareness of revelation in a I-You relation rather than an I-It. There is no detection of a pre-existing It by a pre-existing Me.
The little moment of creation refers to a new awareness or knowledge, I think.
I hate Cartesianism.
In honor of Fidel, recently gone to the Pantheon, I paraphrase:
Heidegger, Si!
Descartes, No!

And I promise I shall not throw a lot of Heidegger-Stoff   (Heidegger stuff)  into the old blog and make things uncomfortable, because philosophy taken raw - as it were - can cause one to "swoon... or simulate a throw".


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I'm Gonna Wash That Racism Right Outta My Hair !!

Mary Martin as Nellie Forbush in South Pacific

I am glad that I was not sucked into that ghastly I-must-write-about-the-election-because-my-ideas-are so-cogent vortex that sent many a brave hearty to Davey Jones' Locker of post-election hangover.
I mean, I really am.
I would have posted, oh, about 300 posts about the election, and a lot of it would be trivial, just like the discussions of the candidates themselves were trivial beyond belief. Of course, if my sage advice had been printed, perhaps a couple of thousand votes would have swayed the populace into the channels I promoted. Who knows?

I read my last post. It was about that Steve Bannon fellow.

From The Jerusalem Post:
Stephen Bannon, in a 2014 talk, said racism would eventually get “washed out” of right-wing nationalist movements, and spoke repeatedly of Western society being built on “Judeo-Christian” ideas.

Bannon, the chairman of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign who was named this week by Trump to be a top White House adviser, has been accused of being part of a broad movement, the alt-right, which includes racists and anti-Semites. Earlier this year, he called Breitbart News, the website he formerly chaired, a “platform for the alt-right.”

A number of Jewish groups have condemned his hiring, a few defended it and others are silent.

In a question-and-answer session he gave at a conference at the Vatican in 2014, unearthed by Buzzfeed News, Bannon downplayed concerns of anti-Semitism and racism in European right-wing nationalist parties, suggesting that bigots were on the fringes of those movements and would fade away.

“I’m not an expert in this, but it seems that they have had some aspects that may be anti-Semitic or racial,” Bannon said, according to the transcript published by Buzzfeed Tuesday. “Some that are fringe organizations. My point is that over time it all gets kind of washed out, right? People understand what pulls them together, and the people on the margins I think get marginalized more and more.”

Bannon expressed similar sentiments in an interview with the New York Times Tuesday, saying “It’s not that some people on the margins, as in any movement, aren’t bad guys — racists, anti-Semites. But that’s irrelevant.”

Even a cursory reading of history, such as I did in my student years, would have disclosed that Racism was not "washed out" of right-wing nationalist movements in pre-World War II Germany. The contrary happened. The Holocaust happened.

Radical groups can win. The Bolsheviks won in Russia, even though - their name notwithstanding - they were a minority in the country.

Racism is not something that a right-wingish Nellie Forbush can nor will wash out of her hair. Radical racism does not fade away. We thought it would fade away after World War II, yet here it is.

The bad guys are never irrelevant. Mr. Bannon's attitude is a blindness that will work against him.

Further in the article:
In the 2014 Vatican talk, Bannon stressed several times that Western civilization was built on “Judeo-Christian” values.

“If you look at the leaders of capitalism at that time, when capitalism was I believe at its highest flower and spreading its benefits to most of mankind, almost all of those capitalists were strong believers in the Judeo-Christian West,” Bannon said, according to a transcript published by Buzzfeed Tuesday. “They were either active participants in the Jewish faith, they were active participants in the Christians’ faith, and they took their beliefs, and the underpinnings of their beliefs was manifested in the work they did.”

I do not trust anyone who speaks in Vast Generalities:  "Judeo-Christian" values.
Which values? All such values? Surely not every law in the Scriptures of both faiths?! Surely not such blather as "Blessed are the meek." Who believes that "value"?!

Tell me exactly which values. Are your values those which led to the slaughter of the Moabites, and later applied smoothly to the Native Americans? Those are certainly reasonable values, yet most of us today would find them reeking too much of the abyss.

I have found that generalities are the refuge of those who do not know or those who wish to obscure their agenda.

The people in charge for the next 4 years are (a) those who have no conception of working with ideas and refining them into a workable policy - rather they rely on TV spots like taking credit for Ford not moving some work to Mexico; or (b) are those who are members of polarized ideological groups for whom society is a zero-sum game.

Sometimes I wonder if I care anymore.
One sees Confederate flags now in many places. That is an insult to my ancestors who fought for the Union and for the Constitution.

The history lesson that needs to be taught is that many of our ancestors fought in the Union cause and the Confederate flag is the symbol of rebellion, of slavery, and is an insult to the descendants of those brave people.


Monday, August 22, 2016

The Deception Of The Rational

 My Three Nephews, Aydan, Austin, and Aloyius

(pronounced Aloyius as Ah-LOY-shus)

My three nephews stopped by to see my granddaughter, who was now 6 months, 7 days new, Mary Olivia Adenike. They were glad there was an A-name in there. It made them feel that the circle was unbroken.

After a chorus of "goo-goos" and "cutiekins" that would have pressed Handel's Messiah hard for the Oscar for Longest Running Time, the baby became interested in food, so mother and child retired to the lactorium. (I just made that word up... I think. Actually, Seneca probably made it up. Or Cato the Censor, who may have objected to Roman matrons feeding their babies in the forum.)

So we had time to ourselves.
They said "Well, Unkie, quid novi sub sole?"
I mentally choked on "unkie" and said something like "Nihil nisi bonum de mortuis," or other. It was on my mind.

I mentioned that I had not been blogging much lately.
They seemed surprised, saying that they hadn't noticed.
Such is life.

I had not written much because we were in a time when this stuff is current:

How Donald Trump's New Campaign Chief Created an Online Haven for White Nationalists
Breitbart News is "the platform for the alt-right," boasts Stephen Bannon.
Sarah PosnerAug. 22, 2016 6:00 AM
Last week, when Donald Trump tapped the chairman of Breitbart Media to lead his campaign, he wasn't simply turning to a trusted ally and veteran propagandist. By bringing on Stephen Bannon, Trump was signaling a wholehearted embrace of the "alt-right," a once-motley assemblage of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, ethno-nationalistic provocateurs who have coalesced behind Trump and curried the GOP nominee's favor on social media...
"We're the platform for the alt-right," Bannon told me proudly when I interviewed him at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in July. Though disavowed by every other major conservative news outlet, the alt-right has been Bannon's target audience ever since he took over Breitbart News from its late founder, Andrew Breitbart, four years ago. Under Bannon's leadership, the site has plunged into the fever swamps of conservatism, cheering white nationalist groups as an "electic mix of renegades," accusing President Barack Obama of importing "more hating Muslims," and waging an incessant war against the purveyors of "political correctness."

"Andrew Breitbart despised racism. Truly despised it," former Breitbart editor-at-large Ben Shapiro wrote last week in Daily Wire, a conservative website. "With Bannon embracing Trump, all that changed. Now Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with [technology editor Milo] Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers."

Exactly who and what defines the alt-right is hotly debated in conservative circles, but its proponents—who tend to be young, white, and male—are united in a belief that traditional movement conservatism has failed...

Trump's new campaign chief denies that the alt-right is inherently racist. He describes its ideology as "nationalist," though not necessarily white nationalist. Likening its approach to that of European nationalist parties such as France's National Front, he says: "If you look at the identity movements over there in Europe, I think a lot of [them] are really 'Polish identity' or 'German identity,' not racial identity. It's more identity toward a nation-state or their people as a nation."...

The last paragraph is a debacle. Really, a debacle. It is like a Von Schlieffen plan for the future of Mad Max and Thunderdome.

There is nothing in that article that has the slightest attar of the rational about it. It is a cameo appearance of the coming monster that is our life in the future. I always imagined we would end up like Fahrenheit 451, peacefully memorizing ancient books in the first snows of winter, like shipwrecked Ben Gunn-Swiss Family Robinson, cast off from Techno Paradiso and the Weapon Society and partaking of a Moveable Feast Refugee Camp.


August 22 2016

It is day break at Harsens Island, Michigan.

The Right Honourable Paul J. Martin just passed heading downriver

She was brightly lit as the sun had not yet risen at 6:00 AM. One can tell the summer is reversing itself into autumn. When I look up I expect to see flocks of geese flying their routes to the South and following the ribbon of the St. Clair River as far as their next landmark navigational change.

I wonder if geese use ponds and rivers and coastlines as landmarks the same way humans use bars, taverns, and pubs? Or do they spit on the ground, squash it with their feet, and see which way the spittle flies? Or do they roll raven bones?

Soon the Cuyahoga was upward bound

I forget which great iconic freighter of my youth the Cuyahoga forms the modern day re-incarnation of. She was built in 1943 and I think she was the John J. Boland for her first life, but that could be way off. Back then Great Lakes freighters ruled the roost and preened themselves on their spit and polish; steel and the taconite ore needed were King Arthur and the freighters were the Round Table, and we read books based upon their exploits and quests.

Back then, freighters ran on real coal and the smoke was dark and thick. When rain moved in, the smoke hung stepped down from the prominence of the rear stack and descended to the river where it tailed the vessel and you could smell its biting odor.
Flies and insects alit on surfaces, too. The bees got dopey and just sort of sat around in uncharacteristic spots, waiting for a human being to plop themselves down and get a sting... or not... I mean, was it worth the effort? It was a lot like Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront crying that he coulda been a contendah!
I mean, at the onset of a big summer storm, the entire flying insect world acted as if they had started drinking at 6 o'clock in the morn and the bars had unexpectedly shut down at 2 o'clock afternoon and they stumbled out onto the fading sun and were alternately crying Mother Machree and blessing her sainted preciousness or starting a fight at the merest provocation.

The granddaughter is visiting for the first time. Every bit of nonsense and sound and fury of the world fades away at her approach.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

After San Rocco's Feast Day

Corleone watches Fanucci (in the white hat under the San Rocco sign)

The Feast of San Rocco has come and gone again.
August 16 is a great day for remembrance; great folks were born that day and Ob/Gyn staff have looked at each other in wild surmise on an August 16, sure that they would never forget those moments...

I had the pleasant discomfort of people calling me on the telephone and getting as far as "Happy...", at which point I interpolated "... San Rocco's day. Thank you. We are doing the parade this year."
I was referring to the traditional parade held on the feast day of San Rocco in various Italian communities, and even though I am not of Italian descent, I have taken to singing Ghirlandaino Veta Mia and swinging my arms about in the carefree manner of one of Johnny Caspar's thugs walking in the woods at Miller's Crossing.
(As if I were from if I recognized that the cathedral in Modena was that of Santa Maria Assunta e San Geminiano... as if August 15 did not precede August 16 and Santa Maria Assunta precede San Rocco... cycles and cycles!)

If you have seen Godfather II, the parade featured was a parade on the feast of San Rocco;  you know, just before Fanucci has his unpleasantness; the parade with the statue of the saint covered with currency attached by the devotees along the street.

Oddly, Coppola's film has everyone dressed as if it were fall instead of in the heat of summer, but it could have been one of those years without a summer when some volcano in the Philippines or Sumatra blew up and the ash cut down on the amount of sunlight reaching the earth's surface.
Mary Shelley skilfully used such a vulcanologists' trick to write Frankenstein, if you recall.

Shrine to San Rocco in New York, 1888,  photo Jacob Riis
...Writing a decade later Riis said the shrine shown in his photographs was one of many erected on August 16th each year within the "darkest and shabbiest" of the back yards in the Italian neighborhoods. He said one of his few pleasing memories of an area he called "foul core of New York's slums," was seeing Bandits' Roost lighted up in honor of San Rocco:
An altar had been erected against the stable shed at the rear end of it and made gaudy with soiled ribbons, colored paper, and tallow dips stuck in broken bottle-necks. Across the passageway had been strung a row of beer-glasses, with two disabled schooners for a center-piece, as the best the Roost could afford. In sober truth, it was the most appropriate. It made a very a brave show, and, oddest of it all not a displeasing one. At all events, I thought so. Perhaps it was the discovery of something in the ambitions of the Bend that was not hopelessly of the gutter which did it.[1]

and then we read:
...Riis does not mention a practice which a journalist reported a few years later: "Every one of the faithful who has an ache or a pain will buy from the liberal stores kept in the church a wax leg, or head, or arm, or hand, according to where his or her ailment is, and place it as an offering at San Rocco's shrine. Those who are sound of body and limb will offer decorated candles with their prayers and light them themselves at the shrine."[2] The reporter was wrong about the source of the effigies. They were called voti di cera (vows of wax) and were sold by street vendors. In 1906 a reporter told readers of these "hands, feet, legs, and heads, the latter with the flush of youth on their rounded cheeks, the other members painted with gaudy ribbons" that were sold by a street vendor at a make-shift stand.[3]
which makes a connection with vast antiquity, for such images of body parts are found in old shrines to Aesclepius.
I am fascinated by intelligence, in that it unites all things. It takes suffering and disease, gives it symbolic form, and then approaches the powers of the world and creation seeking a return to a memory: that state of wholeness and health.
And I have no doubt there are "powers" in the world. That is fairly obvious. Where this line of thought breaks down is the point where intelligence tries to make an equations between a power and The Holy. I do not think that works too well.

I have not posted for a while.
You would think in this election year I would have a lot to say. Well, it is all too obvious to comment on.

I have a few observations:

1) Donald Trump

The candidate's entrance to the Republican Convention was mortifying; it was directly from the professional wrestling circuit. Applying such contrivances to sports is a silly enough and harmless exercise, but when applied to Politics and Power and Persuasion, it becomes a little too Leni Riefenstahl doing a documentary in Nürnberg for my tastes.

In this juxtaposition of photo and comment, I do not wish to compare Mr. Trump to Herr Hitler. I do wish to say that the glorification of power opens an abyss, and Mr. Trump is but a new form of the American taste for the celebrity of power.

2. Among the Powers of the World in the present day are

(a) Weapons
The moment of silence that the US Congress has for the most recent victims of mass shootings has become very frequent and begins to resemble an invocation to the Aztec gods of death rather than a memorial.

(b) Drugs
Drugs have won the war and drive us on, demanding more and more sacrifice of lives and wealth in a potlach heavily weighted to the dark side of the gods of intoxicating madness.
A saner policy would recognize the beneficial side these powers.

and the last observation is

3. Brexit

As long as the EU covers the area once covered by The Holy Roman Empire, it shall remain integral, unified, and successful. The central dynamics that let the old empire continue are available to be used more efficiently to ensure the success of the EU as a going concern.
The outlying countries are a drag on the EU, and Britain... well, in Orwell's 1984, Britain is merely a small part of Oceania named Airstrip One.

Fonderia USA


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Let The Word Go Out... all terrorists and gorillas that America will tarantino-ize any difficulty into libelous Tweets and horrendous SnapChats, losing sight of our basic common heredity and finding only our hatred of each other.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Immedia versus Social Media

I am reading The Washington Post article:

13, right now
This is what it's like to grow up in the age of likes, lols and longing
Story by Jessica Contrera
Photos by Victoria Milko
She slides into the car, and even before she buckles her seat belt, her phone is alight in her hands. A 13-year-old girl after a day of eighth grade...

And once again I ask myself whether Social Media brings us closer together, farther apart, or is neutral as to immediacy.

As I think it, I create the word "Immedia" which seems in my brain to stand for immediate and intimate activity between persons; of course, it brings to mind Heidegger's being-in-the-world versus what I had called having-in-the world.

In this article, the young girl has vastly more connection with large numbers of people than individuals did in the pre-iPhone days and the pre-Internet days. And rather than asking about the effect of such a large amount of communications, I only ask if these communications - even considered singly one at a time - may have the same effect of face-to-face interaction.

It seems to me the answer in in the subtitle; it is the acronym "lol".

Electronic Communication lacks gesture, touch, deep affect: for example, we usually cannot see the face of those to whom we speak. But even with Skype and camera, the experience of facial recognition is flat and bland.

LOL was devised due to the ambiguity of internet chat and emails, for language alone often leaves it unclear whether one is happy, mad, sarcastic, solicitous, etc. Those emotions are more easily conveyed in person.
So LOL was devised in order to let the recipient know the sender was happy and laughing... at least the sender wanted the recipient to believes so.

So new modular expressions come into being to attempt to fill the voids left by electronic communication, thereby demonstrating that there are many such voids in the first place, and these empty spaces are like interstellar dust between us and distant galaxies, obscuring the far - and near - brilliance.


Thursday, May 26, 2016

High-Context Vs. Low-Context

Edward T. Hall in his book Beyond Culture (Doubleday, 1976) made a distinction between "high" and "low-context" cultures.
I quote from a discussion in the 3rd edition of John A. Hostetler's Amish Society, p. 18:

A high-context culture is one in which people are deeply involved with one another. Awareness of situations, experience, activity, and one's social standing is keenly developed. Information is widely shared.Simple messages with deep meaning flow freely. There are many levels of communication - overt and covert, implicit and explicit signs, symbols, and body gestures, and things one may and may not talk about. Members are sensitive to a screening process that distinguishes outsiders from insiders...

Low-context cultures emphasize literacy and rationality. Highly bureaucratized segments of culture within American life are "low" in context because information is restricted primarily to verbal communication. Other levels of awareness are underdeveloped or dormant. Ways of perceiving are restricted primarily to linear systems of thought, a way of thinking that is considered synonymous with truth. Logic is considered the only road to reality. Low-context cultures use primarily mathematical models to explain nature and environment. People are highly individualistic and somewhat alienated in contexts that require little involvement with other people...
People in low-context cultures are prone to use manipulation to achieve their goals and are also prone to be manipulated... In times of crisis, individuals expect help from institutions, not from persons.

I find this imprecise, but extremely interesting and full of promise in understanding.

Washington Post
I pushed my pre-K students toward reading. And I feel guilty about it.
It’s a Tuesday morning in Room 132, and standing before me is a 4-year-old boy asking for a graham cracker. I’ll call him Josue. His swinging arms are about to topple a crayon cup on my desk, so I steady the cup with one hand and reach for the crackers with the other.

“Ggg — graham cracker. What letter is that, Josue?” I ask, because in the public pre-kindergarten program where I taught for four years, a graham cracker was never just a snack. Every detail, from ceiling to circle-time rug, pulled double duty in pursuit of our mission: to battle the achievement gap. I had just one school year to fill in an early-literacy spreadsheet with categories in uppercase and lowercase letters, letter sounds, rhyming and writing. When Josue went to kindergarten, he would be expected to read.

I am prideful about my completed spreadsheets. A neat row of good scores next to a child’s name reassured parents, lightened the load on my kindergarten-teaching colleagues, and made it easier and less stressful for my students to meet the next round of assessments.

At the same time, I am deeply troubled about the way I pushed Josue and many other children. Early-childhood education studies suggest that hurrying kids to read doesn’t really help them. As Defending the Early Years and the Alliance for Childhood put it in an elegantly simple report this month: “No research documents long-term gains from learning to read in kindergarten.” And all the time spent discreetly drilling literacy skills to meet standards imposes a huge opportunity cost. It crowds out the one element in early-childhood classrooms proven to bolster learning outcomes over time: play.

Play isn’t wasting time when you are little. It’s sense-making and experience-building. More important than performance on lowercase-letter assessments is time spent in the block area, working out differences of opinion with other kids. As they create a city together, they solve self-selected problems of engineering, resource-sharing, consensus-building, language and friendship...

Here we see that Play is a learning of many things, one of which is being actively involved in a high-context situation... the completed spreadsheets are the low-context awards for the teacher.

In another column,
This ed-reform trend is supposed to motivate students. Instead, it shames them.
A third-grade teacher on why "data walls" don't work.
My third-graders tumbled into the classroom, and one child I’d especially been watching for — I need to protect her privacy, so I’ll call her Janie — immediately noticed the two poster-size charts I’d hung low on the wall. Still wearing her jacket, she let her backpack drop to the floor and raised one finger to touch her name on the math achievement chart. Slowly, she traced the row of dots representing her scores for each state standard on the latest practice test. Red, red, yellow, red, green, red, red. Janie is a child capable of much drama, but that morning she just lowered her gaze to the floor and shuffled to her chair.

In our test-mired public schools, those charts are known as data walls, and before I caved in and made some for my Northern Virginia classroom last spring, they’d been proliferating in schools across the country — an outgrowth of “data-driven instruction” and the scramble for test scores at all costs. Making data public, say advocates such as Boston Plan for Excellence, instills a “healthy competitive culture.” But that’s not what I saw in my classroom.

The data walls concept originated with University of Chicago education researcher David Kerbow, who in the late 1990s promoted visual displays to chart students’ progress in reading. Kerbow called these displays “assessment walls,” and he meant them to be for faculty eyes only, as tools for discussion and planning. But when that fundamentally sound idea met constant anxiety over test scores in K-12 schools across the United States, data walls leaked out of staff-room doors and down the halls. Today, a quick search on Pinterest yields hundreds of versions of children’s test scores hung in public view.

“Diving Into Data,” a 2014 paper published jointly by the nonprofit Jobs for the Future and the U.S. Education Department, offers step-by-step instructions for data walls that “encourage student engagement” and “ensure students know the classroom or school improvement goals and provide a path for students to reach those goals.” The assumption is that students will want to take that path — that seeing their scores in relationship to others’ will motivate them to new heights of academic achievement. They are meant to think: “Oh, the green dots show my hard work, yellow means I have more work to do, and red means wow, I really need to buckle down. Now I will pay attention in class and ask questions! I have a plan!”

How efficient it would be if simply publishing our weaknesses galvanized us to learn exactly what we’re lacking.

That late night when I got out my markers and drew the charts, I rationalized that it was time to drop all pretenses. Our ostensible goal in third grade was similar to what you’d hear in elementary schools everywhere: to educate the whole child, introduce them to a love of learning and help them discover their potential. We meant that wholeheartedly. But the hidden agenda was always prepping kids for the state’s tests. For third-graders, Virginia has settled on 12 achievement standards in reading and 20 in math, each divided further into subsections. And once blossoms were on the trees, we were just a few weeks from the exams that would mark us as passing school or a failing one. We were either analyzing practice tests, taking a test or prepping for the next test. Among the teachers, we never stopped talking about scores, and at a certain point it felt disingenuous not to tell the kids what was really going on.

I regretted those data walls immediately. Even an adult faced with a row of red dots after her name for all her peers to see would have to dig deep into her hard-won sense of self to put into context what those red dots meant in her life and what she would do about them. An 8-year-old just feels shame.

Psychologists Todd Kashdan and Robert Biswas-Diener point out in their book “The Upside of Your Dark Side ” that while some uncomfortable feelings can be useful, shame is not productive. Guilt, they say, can encourage people to learn from their mistakes and to do better. In contrast, “people who feel shame suffer. Shamed people dislike themselves and want to change, hide, or get rid of their self."...

"Test-mired public schools..."  are a symptom of the low-context approach to education.

And it seems so obvious that this is a form a marginalization verging on abuse.
Why was it not immediately apparent?
I think low-context culture may be more prone to abuse because there is so little awareness of others are people instead of objects of desire or education or commercialization, etc.


The Bridge At Deir Ez-Zor

This is the bridge at Deir ez-Zor, Syria, over the Euphrates river taken sometime in 2006-2009 by two Canadian bikers.
Deir-ez-Zor: Notes For Bike Tourists

Recently it has been in the middle of the war.
AhlulBayt News Agency - Deir ez-Zor province in eastern Syria includes the three cities of the capital Deir ez-Zor, Al-Mayadin and AL-Bukamal. Over 90 percent of the territory of Deir ez-Zor was seized by ISIS terrorist group in mid-December 2014. It is located between Raqqa, the self-acclaimed capital of ISIS terrorists in Syria, and other ISIS-held areas in the neighboring Iraq. ISIS has one of the most significant sources of income now that it holds a majority of the province’s oilfields and produces and sells oil. Meanwhile, the forces of the government of President Bashar al-Assad still hold control of Deir ez-Zor’s center and also its airport.

During the past two years, Deir ez-Zor witnessed limited clashes between the Syrian armed forces and the terrorists of ISIS, but ISIS’ militants failed to usurp control of the remaining areas of the city from the Syrian forces.

Since August 2015, Deir ez-Zor has been under the tight siege of the ISIS fighters, with over 200,000 Syrian civilians in the city are now trapped in encirclement. The Russian and Syrian planes regularly airdrop aid facilities and food crates to the civilians trapped in some parts of Deir ez-Zor as the only way of access to the besieged city.

Recently, especially since May 7, 2016, ISIS terrorists launched a new wave of efforts, aiming at capturing what remained of Deir ez-Zor province. During the initial assaults, they managed to take control of the whole roads leading to the airport, al-Thayem Oil Refinery and a couple of districts inside the capital city...

This photo of the bridge at night ran with the story about the fight with ISIS. The name of the town has been misspelled;   you can have some leaway with the definite article "al" and the word "zor":
al zor, az-zor, el-zor, ez-zor, ezzor, even ezor, I suppose, although that single "z" would be quite wrong.
It seems to be a photo from quieter times.

The world never seems to have gotten over World War I and its aftermath, thinking Sykes-Picot Agreement here, although the 1917 Balfour Declaration has also had its place.
The results of WWI led to WWII. WWII led to a continuous Cold War, and that has led to a state of constant war, a ceaseless questing for supremacy by the sole superpower.

If you recall during the Bush years, we also claimed the infinity of Space.


Dasein und Dahaben?

What shall I talk about?

The Memorial Day weekend approaches, my mum is in the hospital and actually enjoying herself enormously, and I am trying to get her planned Memorial Day weekend party together and get ready to take off to Maryland myself Monday morning.
And it is a lot more complicated that it appears.

That is what is so interesting about language: it can take the most horrendously complex things and set them down on a piece of foolscap, and they do not seem as weighty and overwhelming - but they are, really! - and one may crumple up that scrap paper and toss it.

So where am I in re the complexity of Life? Infinite detail versus clearly-cut linear rational language chit-chat?

I think I shall start with Martin Heidegger...

 Martin Heidegger

Heidegger and the concept of Celebrity as it exists today in our society.
For I had recently read again of a celebrity who said that they found it hard to believe that they were a celebrity, that they felt as if they should pinch themselves to determine whether they were dreaming, that they were wretchedly fearful that it would all disappear.

The main point here is whether one has achieved a celebrated status due to one's great and continued acts, or whether one has actually done little, but has accrued a media-endowed celebrated status.

In the second case, one may well fear the sudden cessation of celebrity.

Acts, action, being, living; these refer to Heidegger's Dasein: Being-In-The-World.
(compounded of da [there] and sein [to be].)
It is an intimate life within the world, not a detached pseudo-Cartesian subject who views the objects of the world from a privileged viewpoint outside the rough-and-tumble, and this privileged viewpoint endows the subject observer with a dispassionate view and almost total "objectivity".

The pseudo-Cartesian is not an example of being-in-the-world, rather they are outside the world.
What is it to be outside the world? To be that perfect observer?

 "Rainy Day" Cartes

It is somewhat like that celebrity who has actually done little themselves to attain their high status, rather it is the work of media and press agents and publicists and talking-heads.

In essence, the celebrity who does little does not Act; they are not acting totally in the world, and our study of them is not a study of being-in-the-world, rather they "have" celebrity status thrust upon them.

They are a study of Dahaben:  Having-In-The-World.
(compounded of da [there] and haben [to have]....  Apologies all around, not only to Prof. Heidegger, but to anyone who speaks German.)

I play with this notion.
I wonder if our society tends to be more of a Dahaben society which values Having rather than Being?
For example, we tend to "have" religious beliefs rather than "live" and "act" religiously.
It is a matter of talking the talk rather than walking the walk, if you will. How simple it is to sit back and talk, smoke a pipe, nibble lembas and sip miruvor rather than walking a long journey. Ask Bilbo Baggins.




Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sinum Conservate! Preserve The Bay!

Brother Alex of the Order of St. Paul of the Settled and the Wild

Every time I come to Maryland, I try to visit the house of the order of St. Paul of the Oikumene (the settled and inhabited areas) and the Antioikumene (the wild areas). Their service is to conserve and keep clean the Chesapeake Bay. So far, they have been focused and successful as a non-profit that receives some State funding, but not directly, as that would violate Church-State separation.

Maryland and Virginia have found that a religious order, non-profit, seems to be more effective than the previous short term and cyclical efforts to clean and re-clean the Bay.

The House of St. Paul, The Settled and the Wild, Tilghman Island, MD

Friday, April 29, 2016

Maryland's Adultery Law

It is still a crime to commit adultery in Maryland. It is also difficult to get a divorce in Maryland; you need grounds and it takes about 2 years to accomplished fact. So if you are tarrying with friends of the opposite sex while you wait for your divorce, you may commit the crime of adultery.

All of which raised in my mind the question that if the State would define Marriage and the State would define Adultery, then how does the State define liaisons between people of the same sex?
I mean, if you had a same-sex marriage foundering on the rocks of discord, and the principals had a dalliance here and there, would that be adultery?
If so. the State would not only have re-defined marriage but also have re-defined adultery from ancient prescriptions of many years ago.


The Relativity Of The Zika Virus

Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican

I had a post about Zika virus in which the Republican Party in control of the House and Senate had decided to drag their feet on any funding to combat the sickness under a lame-duck president.

As it has so far turned out, the Republican controlled Congress has managed to adjourn for 10 days without funding research to comb ate the disease.

The Atlantic
...In early February, the Obama administration asked Congress to quickly pass nearly $1.9 billion in emergency funds. It trotted out public-health officials to explain what they knew about the virus’s potential effect in the Americas, and what they needed to develop: a vaccine, top-flight diagnostic tests, rapid-response teams for any Zika clusters that pop up in the United States, among other measures.

So far, Congress hasn’t allocated any new money. The White House grudgingly repurposed about $600 million in Ebola funds for Zika earlier this month, at House Republicans’ urging, but the administration and public-health officials maintain much more is needed. The number of cases in the continental United States and in the territories continues to grow. Scientists have confirmed the virus causes the birth defect microcephaly and the immune disorder Guillain-Barré, and are investigating a link between Zika and brain and spinal-cord infections. Officials are also concerned about the coming warmer months, particularly in warm-weather states. “Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” said Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s principal deputy director, at a White House briefing two weeks ago.

Congressional Republicans have said for weeks now that their questions on Zika funding haven’t been answered—an allegation the White House and Senate Democrats have refuted. Specifically, Republicans say they need to know how much money is needed before the 2016 fiscal year ends in late September; how much is needed in fiscal year 2017; and, of course, how exactly it’ll be spent. John Cornyn, the Senate Majority Whip, cautioned Thursday against writing a “blank check” to the administration without hearing the Zika “plan of attack.”

Democrats have condemned the standstill. “Too many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle still don’t seem to see Zika as an emergency,” Senator Patty Murray, the ranking member on the Senate Labor/HHS subcommittee, said Thursday. Some Republicans think it can wait “weeks, or even months,” she added. “Republicans in Congress might be able to wait that long—but families across the country simply can’t.”
“We shouldn't be taking 10 days off as a dangerous virus threatens this nation,” Reid said.

Members of the House GOP have been especially, and predictably, hawkish about how money is doled out. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said the administration has enough money for Zika as it is. Some have suggested more money can be gleaned from Ebola coffers, and House Speaker Paul Ryan has said the White House has “a bit of a track record of over-requesting what they need.” Representative Tom Cole seemed to push back Thursday on the notion that Republicans are unnecessarily blocking funds. “I want to remind the White House, it was a Republican Congress that appropriated everything and more to combat Ebola just last year,” said Cole, the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that finances public-health agencies, in a statement. “It was a Republican Congress that provided double the increase in funds for the National Institutes of Health requested by the White House. And it was a Republican Congress that appropriated more for the Centers for Disease Control than the White House requested.”

The debate in the Senate didn’t look so dire last week. After months of no movement, lawmakers appeared to have a modest breakthrough: Senate appropriators announced at a markup meeting that they were closing in on a Zika deal. But the chief negotiators, Murray and Missouri Republican Roy Blunt, still needed to accomplish two difficult tasks: settling on an exact dollar figure and determining how to get the funding through Congress...

Things to note:
In the second paragraph, there was re-purposing of $600 million in Ebola funds for Zika. What I would like to know at this point is where is the research at into the viability of the Ebola virus which was discovered within the past 5 months living in the eyeballs of people who had recovered from Ebola? Is the virus still alive anywhere else in the bodies of the people? What is the possibility of another epidemic arising from these sources, and would the extra Ebola funding have possibly helped to stop such a possibility?

Representative Tom Cole in paragraph 5 seems to think that what was done in the past against Ebola is a gold star for the Republicans for the present Zika.

After 10 days, they will be back to afflict us with as much venom as they afflict us with their absence.

10 days from the point of view of a Republican legislator is a wink of the eye, whereas from the viewpoint of a pregnant mother in her first trimester, it is an eternity.

[Our Age of Irony!
Once again we see people that preach family values and the protection of children actively position themselves against the integrity of the family and the welfare of children!]

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Big Ted Cruz Announcement !!

Ted Cruz announced that is he were to be elected president, he would put Carly Fiorina's face on the $20 bill. She is the only person I ever saw who looked more severe than Harriet Tubman.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New Mommies' Exercise

I just walked a fretful Mary Olivia Adenike around the kitchen, front hall, and dining room for about 2 hours this morning. I was surprised I did not seem to have my usual aches and pains.

However, this marathon gave me an idea for a exercise manual for new parents, one exercise of which should be:

Pick up the 12-pound weights,
walk 100 feet,
do 10,000 reps.


I Know For Whom I'm Voting

And it is not Hilary Clinton. I will write in Sanders name if I must, or I shall vote Green, but I cannot morally cast a vote for that atrocious person. She and her amoral husband will go down in infamy into history.

I mean, they are only amiable and friendly and supportable in their contrast to the viciously ignorant Republican crowd that has festered in the nation's capitol for so long... not all Republicans, just the know-nothings, the covert racists, the intellectually bankrupt.

I was reading about her debate with Bernie in New York back two weeks ago:

Defending Attack on Libya, Clinton Blames Obama—And Suggests Repeat for Syria
During a heated Democratic debate in New York on Thursday night, Hillary Clinton sought to both defend and deflect responsibility for her central role in destabilizing Libya—by blaming President Barack Obama.

"The decision was the president's," she said in response to criticism from rival Bernie Sanders over her leadership as then-Secretary of State during the 2011 military intervention to overthrow Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

"Did I do due diligence? Did I talk to everybody I could talk to? Did I visit every capitol and then report back to the president? Yes, I did. That's what every secretary of state does," Clinton said. "But at the end of the day, those are the decisions that are made by the president to in any way use American military power, and the president made that decision, and yes, we did try without success because of the Libyans' obstruction to our efforts, but we did try and will continue to try to help the Libyan people."

The remarks come just days after Obama admitted in an interview with Fox News that "failing to plan for the day after" Gaddafi's toppling was the "worst mistake" of his presidency.

In a previous debate, Clinton said the president had made "the right decision at the time" and blamed the instability that followed on the Arab Spring and "a lot of other things." ...

This is the same Hilary Clinton who in an interview laughingly said, "We came, we saw, he died."
The very same person.
Look at the video of her laughing:

Let's run a duelling videos selection of Gadhaffi's last minutes alive Hilary's laughter and do it over and over until we're sick of both of them. It won't tale long. Gadhaffi was a wretch who killed people and Hilary created Syria, although she is trying to pretend she did not.
...Clinton responded with both another seeming criticism of Obama—and by suggesting regime change in Syria.

"Yes, when I was secretary of state, I did urge along with the Department of Defense and the CIA that we seek out, vet, and train, and arm Syrian opposition figures so that they could defend themselves against [President Bashar al] Assad. The president said no."

"I think it's only fair to look at where we are in Syria today and yes, I do still support a no-fly zone because I think we need to put in safe havens for those poor Syrians who are fleeing both Assad and ISIS and so they have some place they can be safe," she said. "Nobody stood up to Assad and removed him, and we have a far greater disaster in Syria than we are currently dealing with right now in Libya."
 She admits her role in the disaster.
And President Obama in the first quote admits that he and his administration - which therefore includes Hilary Clinton - did not plan for Libya after Gadhaffi, even though they have the 10 year plus horrible example of an Iraq War which did not plan for life after Saddam Hussein!!

Even if President Obama could run for a third term, I do not think I would vote for him.
We need something else.


Friday, April 22, 2016


I have gotten tired of the word "hiatus".
I mean, all the blogs I view whose authors have neglected their postings usually have a self-serving notice that they've been busy or they've been on hiatus or are soon gonna be on hiatus or are fixin' to go on hiatus.

I've been on hiatus for a bit merely because I have lost interest in my thoughts and ideas. If they do not interest me, I certainly am not going to serve my Peloponnesian ideas up to you like some ghastly feast of Tantalus....




Why is "Peloponnesian" spelled with a double "n"?
 I mean, "Pelops: is the guy's name, and "nesos" for "island" has but one single "n".

I thought maybe the genitive of Pelops might have an "n" and I'll have to look it up, but most -ops words don't have an "n" pop up in the genitive... I think.

It Takes A Village To ...

PBS NewsHour:
‘Sesame Street’ moves to HBO, with re-airs on PBS
After calling PBS home for 45 years, HBO is now how you first get to “Sesame Street.”

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit group that produces the show, announced Thursday that the next five seasons of the popular educational children’s show will start premiering this fall on the premium cable network, famous for adult dramas such as “The Sopranos” and “Game of Thrones,” and made available to all its streaming services.

The five-year deal allows HBO to widen its programming to include a long-running and prestigious children’s show, while Sesame Workshop will be able to produce twice as much content each year.

The deal doesn’t mean “Sesame Street” has abandoned its PBS roots. The new episodes will be available to PBS and its member stations, free of charge, after a nine-month delay...

It takes a whole village to PAY to raise a child...

Premium channel HBO? If you can afford premium HBO, you can afford an au pair to nanny and tutor your child.
As far as the re-airings on PBS after 9 months, I guess we'll see about that.

I do not think my sour grapes on this news is just being a curmudgeon; I think our society lacks the imagination and drive to provide essential services for child upbringing at no cost for all people for the long term. This includes not only education, but also such things as paid 6 month leave for new parents, and a real commitment to eliminate child abuse.

Oh, we are committed to eliminating child abuse?!

I'm sorry. I guess I got a different idea from looking at all those Syrian kids washing up on the shores of the Mediterranean, and NATO's thinking that things will improve by paying off the nouveau tyrant Erdogan, who will probably apply a variant of the Armenian Solution to this problem.


Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Family Values In Republican Florida

“They are Man's,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree

Florida pledges better health care for poor children to settle lawsuit
Wednesday, April 6, 2016 Reuters
(Reuters) – Florida officials will boost access to health and dental care for poor children in settlement of an 11-year-old class-action lawsuit, the groups behind the legal action said on Tuesday.

The lawsuit, filed in 2005, accused Florida officials of failing to pay doctors enough for treating 2 million children with government-supported health coverage, adding that this discouraged physicians from providing their services.

The settlement calls for Florida to increase payments to physicians who treat poor children and sets benchmarks for preventative and dental treatment to be met over five years, according to the Philadelphia-based Public Interest Law Center, which represented the plaintiffs.

Florida health officials and attorneys for the plaintiffs, among them the Florida chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, were ordered to negotiate a settlement after a U.S. district judge in December 2014 found Florida fell short of federal standards for providing healthcare to poor children.

Nearly 80 percent of children with government-supported healthcare in Florida were never able to see a dentist, the judge said in his ruling.

The agreement marks a “significant step forward in improving access to medical care” for poor children in Florida, Tommy Schechtman, president of the Florida chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said in a statement.

An official of the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration could not be reached for comment late on Tuesday.

"Are there no prisons?"
"And the Union workhouses... Are they still in operation?"
"The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?"


Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Labyrinthine Ways

 Bonnie Blue Butler

Irregular, twisting, and convoluted ways they are...
I believe this was intended to the title of Graham Greene's novel The Power And The Glory, but there was a sea change from the inscrutable workings of the divine to the potency and awesomeness of those workings. Interesting.

There was a story that was similarly interesting:
The Guardian
‘Disgusting’ trolls target family of girl, 9, killed on Cotswold hunt
Horseriders unite in support of family of Bonnie Armitage, whose accidental death was called ‘karma’ by anti-bloodsports activist
Horseriders have criticised comments on a hunt saboteur Facebook group about the death of a nine-year-old girl in a riding accident.

Online trolls claimed Bonnie Armitage’s death on Saturday was “karma” because she was riding with the Cotswold hunt.

Bonnie died in hospital after the accident in Miserden, near Stroud, Gloucestershire, when she was kicked by a horse as she rode her pony.

Her death has hit the equestrian community hard. Fellow riders are showing their support for her family by posting photographs on Facebook of themselves wearing something blue, Bonnie’s favourite colour.

Lucy Barnett posted a picture of her horse and wrote: “Such a tragedy to hear we’ve lost another devoted young rider. Bonnie was just nine years old and was killed by a fateful kick whilst out hunting doing what she loved the most.

“It’s heartbreaking to hear, such sad news. My condolences to her friends and family.”

Stacey Williamson wrote on Twitter: “#blueforbonnie lets show Bonnie’s parents there is so much more support behind them than there is vile trolls.”

Williamson was responding to posts on a Facebook page for hunt saboteurs, where one person said: “Karma. Hopefully the parents don’t indulge in such a disgusting vile pass time any more [sic].”

Another wrote: “Fox 1 - 0 Murderous parents.”

And a third post said: “Tragic and unnecessary but nothing good comes from bloodlust how different it would be if her parents hadn’t put her at risk.”,,,

First, come down angel band, come and around her stand and bear her away on snow white wings to her immortal home.  That is what I said when I read this.

Then, this whole nonsense about SOCIAL media is more technological claptrap. There is nothing social about it. There is no society with people who are so obsessed with their own beliefs that they celebrate the death of an innocent.
Back before computers, to regale ourselves with such misanthropic trolls and their words, we would need to have gone to bars and pubs in the absolutely sketchiest parts of the metropolis. Now, in our Brave New World, we have them right in our studies and bedrooms and living rooms on the computer.

The Bar Room into the Living Room...
Is there any wonder that the USA Republican Party's primary has on live TV and Twitter engorged itself in discussions about sexuality in all its forms?!
If you don't know what I'm talking about, I remind you that Mr. Trump led the charge by referring to Ms. Kelly's time of the month.

This led to comparing male body parts and then to aspersions about the wives...........

However, the most ghastly thread that runs through it all is the fact that Scarlett O'Hara's and Rhett Butler's  child was Bonnie Blue Butler, and the names Bonnie are the same and their loves of Blue are comparable. Then they were both killed in accidents while riding horses.

Bonnie Armitage

The Universe is smaller than you think. We run in tight circles to our fate.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Truffles And Trump

 Rupert Murdoch and FOX Sniffing Out Dangers to the Republic

Half of the Republican Party thinks Mr. Trump is the horn which Gabriel blows at midnight, the other half thinks he's not all that bad.
Ditto the media. I mean, FOX News has trash-canned that whole business of "Fair and Balanced" as of the first attack on one of their blonde anchorpersons. The Huffington Post Real Estate section runs a disturbing little denial at the end of any news articles that mentions Chicago's Trump Tower stating that Mr. Trump is a fascist scoundrel.

I think that is taking journalism to the bridge too far, to the narcissistic road not [hitherto] taken. I mean, because of Mr. Trump, journalists of all stripes have laid aside their differences and agreed upon one thing: they - the journalists - are much smarter than the rest of us, and they have the uncanny ability to sniff out the rotted truffles of fascism!

Is he a demagogue?
And why - exactly - is demagoguery so evil?
Huey Long was a demagogue, and he accomplished things for the people of Louisiana which would have taken regular politicians a couple of centuries to get around to. It seems that if you think it is possible that the deck is stacked against us and in favor of the rich and powerful, then it stands to reason that you are going to back a guy who will be very "innovative" when it comes to getting things done.

It is a dream, and even if Mr. Trump were elected, he would find the deck stacked against him.


The 3rd Party Wheeze is going to be the long term effect of all this anyway.
Hitherto, all the disaffected members of the GOP and Independents and Democrats who like their politics with some real spice that gives them heat, and not just to the rich, will have a national face around which to cluster.
They did not have a spokesman before... or a "bespokes-man" either.

The Fiscal Times
Forget Trump: Here's Who's Really Destroying the Republican Party
The seminal event in the crackup of the Republican Party is not the rise of Donald Trump as their presidential nominee, contrary to popular opinion. It was the overthrow of John Boehner as Speaker of the House. That showed the power of the forty-odd members of the House Freedom Caucus, and their incompatibility with the GOP establishment and the compromises required by divided government (or for that matter, math).

The change in leadership at the top has not bridged this divide. Despite months of happy talk, the Freedom Caucus rejected Paul Ryan’s budget resolution, likely leaving the Republicans with no budget this year, after they made returning to regular order a campaign promise in 2014. The lack of a budget is just a sidelight to the continuing irreconcilable differences between conservative factions. Trump will not be able to fix this either; only a purge of one side of the party or the other would.

The Freedom Caucus essentially wants to control government from a base of 40 members of the House, with only a few allies in the Senate and no president willing to agree to their demands. They want to defund Planned Parenthood, balance the budget through massive spending cuts, dismantle government healthcare programs, and overturn every executive order of the past eight years, regardless of not having the two-thirds support in Congress that would be required currently to override Obama vetoes and make that happen...
(emphasis mine)
 I wrote 2 weeks ago about getting 50 seats in the House. See? It is feasible.

Just remember the famous quote of Santayana:

"The truffle slicing mandolins of the gods slice slowly... but they slice very thin!!"


The Risks Of The Modern Democracy

Boaty.... if the Voters Get Their Way

Boaty McBoatface debacle shows the perils of crowdsourcing opinion: From Hooty McOwlface to Mr Splashy Pants
​When a poll suggested that a new ship be called 'Boaty McBoatface', it was just the latest strike in the risky business of 'ask the public' PR.
Simon Usborne Tuesday 22 March 2016
It wasn't necessarily a silly question, but in a nation of bored people genetically programmed to take the piss, it was perhaps predictable that it might invite a silly answer. So it was that a nice idea became a global public relations headache when the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) asked: “What shall we call our fancy new boat?”

At the time of writing, the website built by the science body to host the competition to name its £200m polar research vessel had sunk without a trace, inundated as it was with votes for Boaty McBoatface, the submission of a former local radio presenter. As America may yet learn, democracy can be a risky way to get things done...

Then today
Trainy McTrainface saluted by commuters after locomotive homage to Boaty McBoatface at Waterloo
Name change intended to bring a ‘smile to the face of customers’
Kayleigh Lewis
A railway worker renamed Tuesday’s Portsmouth to Waterloo service Trainy McTrainface in a playful homage to Boaty McBoatface.

The temporary renaming of the 0729 South West Trains service was a response to the Boaty McBoatface debacle, which saw the National Environment Research Council (NERC) allow the public to vote on the title of a new £200m state-of-the-art research vessel.

“It is a one-off by one of our creative guards who wanted to bring a smile to the face of our customers,” a spokesperson from the railway company said of the hat-tip...

Didnt expect my train to have a name today @SW_Trains #trains
— Matthew Fifield (@funfield5) March 22, 2016

He told the Evening Standard: "My trains were all delayed today so it brightened my morning to see it."
It also brought cheer to many other commuters, who took to social media to "salute" the temporary renaming.

Bravo the member of South West staff at Waterloo. Trainy McTrainface.
— Harry Wallop (@hwallop) March 22, 2016...

However, ... it fell behind schedule.

are you sure about Trainy McTrainface @SW_Trains ..... surely Latey McLateface is more appropriate?
— Lee Mark Davies (@LeeMarkDavies) March 22, 2016


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

What's Up With Mawra?

Mawra Hocane

What kind of a name is Hocane? There is a story behind it.

The Express Tribune
Unraveling the mystery: Here's why Mawra and Urwa's surname is 'Hocane'
 It’s just a different way to spell… Hussain...

“I changed the spelling of my surname name when I was in the seventh grade back when I had no idea it would become so famous one day that people would start asking questions about it,” Mawra disclosed to The Express Tribune.

“I knew my first name was unique because people always asked me what it meant. But in my class, a lot of students had the same surname: Hussain. It’s silly but I was very little then and I wanted my surname to be unique too. So I changed the spelling and started writing is as Hocane,” she added. “I thought people would pronounce the ‘C’ as ‘S’, like in Celina and never thought people would pronounce it ‘Hu-Can’ and not Hussain. But that obviously never happened.” ...

However, nothing is quite so simple.
Yesterday, the hashtag #AskMawra was trending on Twitter. And the bubbly Mawra Hocane fell victim to cyber-bullying.
Why don't you write in "Hussain" in straight style. . . Why this ajeeb "Hocane" ? ? ? #AskMawra

  • Samad Aslam Khan@SamadAslamKhan 15h15 hours ago
    @ZulfiqarAnsari One should be proud of having such names in their Full Name instead of being afraid

    Likes like a lot of brothers dumping on the sisters again.

    If Hocane is ajeeb, it is a wonderfully beautiful ajeeb!  And  'azeez!