Tuesday, 01/24/2017

Illegitimate Ducks

In 1933, the 20th Amendment was ratified on January 23rd, finally acknowledging that presidents could get to DC much faster than in the 18th century.  Alas, it meant we got President Snowflake that much sooner.

And in 1964, the 24th Amendment was ratified on the same date.

A Democratic Senator from Mississippi saw banning poll taxes for the threat it was:

[T]he next step will be an effort to remove the registration qualification, the educational qualification of Negroes. If that is done we will have no way of preventing the Negroes from voting.

His state naturally rejected the amendment in 1962 and has not ever ratified it.  Is this the America that our Snowflake wants to bring back?

ntodd

January 24, 5:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

"The creature is driven by rage and pursued by an investigative reporter."

Human interest stories do not make front page.  We are all gonna fucking die, but at least President Snowflake will finally get the recognition he deserves as History's Greatest Monster.

ntodd

January 24, 4:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, 01/23/2017

Listen To Kirk Hammett: Reject American Carnage


Poor Baron Trump: Dreams of war, dreams of liars, dreams of dragon's fire...

ntodd

January 23, 11:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

I, For One, Think We Don't Have Enough National Days Of Patriotic Devotion

Beat! Beat! Drums!

Are beds prepared for sleepers at night in the houses? no sleepers must sleep in those beds,
No bargainers’ bargains by day—no brokers or speculators—would they continue?
Would the talkers be talking? would the singer attempt to sing?
Would the lawyer rise in the court to state his case before the judge?
Then rattle quicker, heavier drums—you bugles wilder blow.
 
Beat! beat! drums!—blow! bugles! blow!
Make no parley—stop for no expostulation,
Mind not the timid—mind not the weeper or prayer,
Mind not the old man beseeching the young man,
Let not the child’s voice be heard, nor the mother’s entreaties,
Make even the trestles to shake the dead where they lie awaiting the hearses,
So strong you thump O terrible drums—so loud you bugles blow.

Walt Whitman.

ntodd

January 23, 11:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Whose funeral is it?


Ours.

ntodd

January 23, 10:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Live And Let Liberty Die

Mock funerals, jazz style or otherwise, have a rich history in America.  We should be seeing a lot more over the next few years.  Real ones, too, sadly.  All caused by President Snowflake.

ntodd

January 23, 9:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Alternate Message Discipline


I understand President Snowflake plans to have an Agony Booth insalled right next to the WH bowling alley.

ntodd

January 23, 8:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Minority President Says Wahhhhhhhhhh

Imma start calling him President Snowflake.  How's this guy ever going to stand up to Jyna and scary Mooslims if he can't handle alternative-alternative facts?

ntodd

January 23, 6:10 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Punching Nazis Is Bad: Views Differ

I do not condone punching Nazis.  Ever, even when they pose an existential threat.  That said, I do admit to enjoying a good Nazi Punching meme or joke, and think Francis needs to lighten up.  Schadenfreude sounds better in the original German...

ntodd

January 23, 5:31 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, 01/22/2017

a film score without the film


The Year 2017.

ntodd

January 22, 11:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Such is the story made of stubbornness and a little air

Deaf Republic:

Let us wash our faces in the wind and forget the strict shapes of affection.
Let the pregnant woman hold something of clay in her hand.
For the secret of patience is his wife’s patience
Let her man kneel on the roof, clearing his throat,
he who loved roofs, tonight and tonight, making love to her and her forgetting,
a man with a fast heartbeat, a woman dancing with a broom, uneven breath.
Let them borrow the light from the blind.
Let them kiss your forehead, approached from every angle.
What is silence? Something of the sky in us.
There will be evidence, there will be evidence.
Let them speak of air and its necessities. Whatever they will open, will open.

Ilya Kaminsky.

ntodd

January 22, 10:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Right To Study Painting, Poetry, Musick...

America was indebted to emigrations for her settlement & Prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture & the arts.

 - James Madison in Convention, August 13, 1787


Labor by Manuel G. Silberger (born in Hungary), 1936.  Commissioned through the Federal Art Project (Cleveland).

If certain people had their way, a lot of art would never have been created and a lot of artists would've starved to death during the Depression.  So, too, will it be in the Minority President Epoch.

ntodd

January 22, 9:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Quid est veritas?

John 18:

37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?

Surely, Pilate was jesting...

ntodd

January 22, 8:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Scene On The White House Steps


It's a Potemkin Presidency.

ntodd

January 22, 7:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

AltTrue

I see Room 101 in somebody's future:

After top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway coined the phrase "alternative facts" on Sunday, Merriam-Webster decided to weigh in by reminding everybody that some definitions just aren't that subjective.

In an interview Sunday morning, Conway argued that White House press secretary Sean Spicer wasn't lying about crowd size at Donald Trump's inauguration—he was just giving "alternative facts."

Lookups of the word "fact" spiked after Conway's impromptu semantic innovation, according to Merriam-Webster, which tweeted its own definition.

Can't wait for their updated definition of 'newspeak'...

ntodd

January 22, 6:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, 01/21/2017

so let me hammer this point home


Like all fireworks and all sunsets, we all burn in different ways...

ntodd

January 21, 11:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

ghost-ridden crossroads, leafmold paradise

What Kind of Times Are These:

There's a place between two stands of trees where the grass grows uphill
and the old revolutionary road breaks off into shadows
near a meeting-house abandoned by the persecuted
who disappeared into those shadows.
 
I've walked there picking mushrooms at the edge of dread, but don't be fooled
this isn't a Russian poem, this is not somewhere else but here,
our country moving closer to its own truth and dread,
its own ways of making people disappear.

Adrienne Rich.

ntodd

January 21, 10:39 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Another promise, another scene


Another package lie to keep us trapped in greed.

ntodd

January 21, 9:53 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

employing influence to appease the present tumults

John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, June 30, 1813:

I was Sufficiently plagued by Ps and Ts and Ss. These however, were but Puppets danced upon the Wires of two Jugglers behind the Scene: and these Jugglers were Hamilton and Washington. How you Stare at the name of Washington! But to return, for the present to

“The Sensations excited, in free yet firm Minds by the Terrorism of the day.” you Say, none can conceive them who did not witness them; and they were felt by one party only.”2

Upon this Subject I despair of making myself understood by Posterity, by the present Age, and even by you. To collect and arrange the documents illustrative of it, would require as many Lives as those of a Cat. you never felt the Terrorism of Chaises Rebellion in Massachusetts. I believe you never felt the Terrorism of Gallatins Insurrection in Pensilvania: you certainly never reallized the Terrorism of Fries’s, most outragious Riot and Rescue, as I call it, Treason, Rebellion as the World and great Judges and two Juries3 pronounced it.

you certainly never felt the Terrorism, excited by Genet, in 1793. when ten thousand People in the Streets of Philadelphia, day after day, threatened to drag Washington out of his House, and effect a Revolution in the Government, or compell it to declare War in favour of the French Revolution, and against England. The coolest and the firmest Minds, even among the Quakers in Philadelphia, have given their opinions to me, that nothing but the yellow Fever, which removed Dr Hutchinson and Jonathan Dickenson Sargent from this World, could have Saved the United States from a total4 Revolution of Government.

I have no doubt you was fast asleep, in philosophical Tranquility, when ten thousand People, and perhaps many more, were parading the Streets of Philadelphia, on the Evening of my Fast Day. When even Governor Mifflin himself, thought it his Duty to order a Patrol of Horse And Foot to preserve the peace, when Markett Street was as full as Men could Stand by one another, and even before my Door; when Some of my Domesticks in Phrenzy, determined to Sacrifice their Lives in my defence; when all were ready to make a desperate Salley among the multitude, and others were with difficulty and danger dragged back by the others; when I myself judged it prudent and necessary to order Chests of Arms from the War Office to be brought through bye Lanes and back Doors...

Apropos of nothing.

ntodd

January 21, 8:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ducktator a l'Orange


Life imitates art.

ntodd

January 21, 7:26 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Day Of Prayer And Fasting Would Be Yuge

I'm heartened by all the massive marches and traffic shutdowns today, including in Mount Peculiar.  Imagine if all the people who turned out for this protest called in sick on a particular day?

I remember the heady days of 2007 when Monkeyfister and I were pushing for a general strike.  Sadly, the rest of the nation didn't follow our lead, but you know, I get it.  It can be hard to imagine collective action when we couldn't even get the most popular candidate elected.

Yet, we could learn from the Greeks and the Indians and the Germans.  We don't even need to do everything in concert, just so long as people choose one arc of escalation or another.  We just can't let today be the end, but rather the beginning.

ntodd

January 21, 6:53 PM in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, 01/20/2017

ONE HUNDRED MILLION PEOPLE WERE IN ATTENDANCE!!!


BEST. INAUGURAL. EVER!

ntodd

January 20, 11:21 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

The news was brought to the mountains by a unicorn and an echo.

Incantation:

Human reason is beautiful and invincible.
No bars, no barbed wire, no pulping of books,
No sentence of banishment can prevail against it.
It establishes the universal ideas in language,
And guides our hand so we write Truth and Justice
With capital letters, lie and oppression with small.
It puts what should be above things as they are,
Is an enemy of despair and a friend of hope.
It does not know Jew from Greek or slave from master,
Giving us the estate of the world to manage.
It saves austere and transparent phrases
From the filthy discord of tortured words.
It says that everything is new under the sun,
Opens the congealed fist of the past.

Czeslaw Milosz.

ntodd

January 20, 10:37 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

the desire to stay alive welled up in him


The taking of minor risks suddenly seemed stupid...

ntodd

January 20, 9:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

To Exist Is To Resist, Redux


We can learn from my Palestinian friends, Insha'Allah.

ntodd

January 20, 9:02 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What's this 'we' shit, Kemosabe?

It's certainly possible, even likely, that the Republic (and a handful of very rich people) will survive Minority President and His Congressional Gimps.  It survived W.  It survived Raygun.  It survived Nixon.  WWII, The War of Northern Passive-Aggression, 1812.  Etc.

But lots of people, not just Americans, died because of policies promulgated by Presidents Pet Goat and Happy Dementia and Paranoid Plumber.  Lots of people died in lots of stupid wars.

As my son said when Minority President first was declared victorious under our anachronistic, pro-slavery system: "I'm a white [cis-het] man, so probably will be okay."  Let's not be so glib as to forget the 30,000,000 Americans who will lose health insurance.  Women, queers, people of color, et al, who will lose hard-gained protections.  Our infrastructure and environment, for fuck's sake.

You guessed, it's all for the best...

ntodd

January 20, 8:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

Minority President 3:15


Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.

ntodd

January 20, 7:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

When the world shall be perfected under the reign of the Almighty

We're just witnessing social justice in the Minority Present Epoch, amirite?

Mishnaic appearances of the phrase mipnei tikkun ha'olam...attempt to solve large societal problems caused by legal technicalities.

In one case, this phrase is used to allow a widow more easily to collect the amount of money stipulated in her ketubah (marriage contract) (Mishnah, Gitten 4:3). According to traditional Jewish law, when a man dies, his children inherit his estate. The children, however, owe their mother the amount of money agreed upon at the time of marriage.

Ordinarily, someone who comes to collect a debt must first swear an oath that she or he has not previously collected this debt. Given the seriousness of oaths within Jewish law, the Rabbis recognize that a widow might be afraid to offer such an oath, and therefore may forfeit the money owed to her. Invoking the concept of tikkun ha'olam, the Rabbis free her from this serious oath. In this case, the Rabbis actually use the concept of tikkun ha'olam to eliminate a legally necessary procedure.

The concern that widows will not receive the money owed to them thus becomes more important than the general rule for collecting debts.

Emoluments, eschmoluments!

ntodd

January 20, 6:43 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

“A love of nature keeps no factories busy.”


Courier delivery in the Minority President Era.

ntodd

January 20, 4:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Selah

Psalm 140:1-3:

Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.

They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips.

Speaking of poison, I'm guessing the Minority President will be gutting environmental protection, so we can expect the First Plague any day...

ntodd

January 20, 2:42 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

We hung up our lyres


How can we sing?

ntodd

January 20, 12:01 PM in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Humble President

The First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789:

[T]he magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence one who (inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpracticed in the duties of civil administration) ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions all I dare aver is that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope is that if, in executing this task, I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof of the confidence of my fellow-citizens, and have thence too little consulted my incapacity as well as disinclination for the weighty and untried cares before me, my error will be palliated by the motives which mislead me, and its consequences be judged by my country with some share of the partiality in which they originated.

Geo. Washington.

ntodd

January 20, 9:40 AM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, 01/19/2017

trump's like the father I never visit


Not sure any of us will meet again.

ntodd

PS--Because I can't embed this one.

January 19, 11:07 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mrs Gaskell Would Be Appalled

Not Shel Silverstein:

I eat my peas with honey;
I've done it all my life.
It makes the peas taste funny,
But it keeps them on the knife.

Anonymous.

ntodd

January 19, 10:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

1 Thessalonians 5:2


Fall, rise and fall, rise and...

ntodd

January 19, 9:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Compare And Contrast

My hyper-local post-election analysis from 2008.  Somehow different from what I've read in the wake of the Minority President's "victory".

ntodd

January 19, 8:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

#tbt


Dateline: Littleton, NH, November 5, 2008.  Two plucky kids who helped elect Trump by working hard to elect Obama.

ntodd

January 19, 7:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Donald J Petrouchka


Damn, that Moor is COLD.

ntodd

January 19, 6:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Protest: You're Doing It Wrong

Seriously, the Giant Puppets are why we have Trump, so you damned hippies get outta my First Amendment Zone.  Oddly enough, "are you marching?" was a common question amongst my colleagues this week in Boston...

ntodd

January 19, 5:12 PM in Pax Americana | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, 01/18/2017

Toad Of Toad Hall


Sleep, little people, to Lullaby.

ntodd

January 18, 11:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

мужик взялся за топор

I was washing outside in the darkness:

Star-salt is melting in the barrel
icy water is turning blacker
death’s growing purer, misfortune saltier
the earth’s moving nearer to truth and to dread.

Osip Mandelstam.

ntodd

January 18, 9:40 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Everything belongs to me in the night.

At Day's Close: Night in Times Past:

On a practical level, the sources of night’s allure were considerable, including the natural mask it afforded persons in lieu of the facades often adopted during the day. “Dark enough,” affirmed a London writer in 1683, “to come back to one’s house without being taken notice of by the neighbours.”

Even on clear nights, danger of public exposure receded owing to fewer pedestrians. With most persons confined to their dwellings, public behavior invariably became more private—all the more, observed the playwright Aphra Behn, once “mortal eyes are safely lockt in sleep.” Then, too, personal associations at night were the product of choice, not circumstance—trusted friends and family rather than workmates or inquisitive superiors.

I have a late dinner with colleagues tonight.  When I'm on the road, all I want to do is curl up and go to sleep after the day's work...alas.

ntodd

January 18, 6:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, 01/17/2017

And time doesn't wait for me, it keeps on rollin'


Heard this on my commute to Bahston today.  Also, Fall Out Boy.

ntodd

January 17, 11:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Maybe This Should Be The Inaugural Poem

[A dreadful darkness closes in]:

A dreadful darkness closes in
                     On my bewildered mind;
O let me suffer and not sin,
                     Be tortured yet resigned.
 
Through all this world of whelming mist
                    Still let me look to Thee,
And give me courage to resist
                    The Tempter till he flee.

Anne Brontë.

ntodd

January 17, 10:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

When We Do Wrong For The Right Reasons, We Should Expect Consequences

And mercy.  Obama biffed a lot of moral challenges, but he got this one right even when Manning did, really, do something wrong.

The best we can argue is that a) the good outweighs the ill, and in any case b) the circumstances of her detention are pointlessly inhumane. Manning’s own account of her wrongdoing, for me, shifts the balance of deliberation towards mercy, and I do agree that Obama has made the correct decision by commuting her sentence. A pardon, on the other hand, would go too far.

Fine lines are fraught with danger...

ntodd

January 17, 9:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday, Ben!

Oddly enough, I'm in Benjamin Franklin's birthplace for a few days, and if he were alive today we'd be toasting (moderately) his health at the ripe old age of 311.  Anyway, here's a couple posts that feature him on this here moldy old blog:

On my way to the Health Leads national office tomorrow morning, maybe I'll stop by his family obelisk to pay my regards (didn't feel like it in the rain).

ntodd

January 17, 8:55 PM in Constitution, Schmonstitution | Permalink | Comments (0)