October 7, 2018

Equality in language only

After writing this yesterday morning, I took Heidi and John to the nursery, where I was putting in a shift. The staff told me I could get off early to go to Vanja’s last-day-of-school even if I wanted, so I took Heidi and John with me and went to the church a few blocks away where it was taking place. Compared to the last-day assemblies of my own school days, which had taken place in a chapel with hymns and a priest in full garb in an atmosphere that was starched and solemn, the last thing we had to endure before the summer, which seemed to us to be ready and waiting outside, Vanja’s last day was like something from a different world. … It was like an audition for American Idol. The priest spoke about how important it was to be joyful, he told them fame and fortune didn’t matter and that everyone was equal. There was no mention of God, Jesus, or the Bible. After the sermon, which lasted all of five minutes, the pupils who had stood out most during the year were called forward. They received diplomas. Some for their fantastic grades, some for their fantastic personal qualities, which, judging by what was said, consisted of taking responsibility for others and caring. … After we got back to the nursery and I was busy filling the dishwasher and wiping the kitchen counter, the nursery head asked me how the even had gone. I said it was like being in the United States. That I’d never seen anything as Americanized before. The best students singing and performing for the others, diplomas awarded to those who had stood out. And the absurd sermon given by the priest, who said everyone was equal, while everything that was going on around him said the opposite, with some students singled out as being more valuable than others and put on display in all their glory. …

Equality was the supreme principle, and one of the consequences was that expressions of the singularly Swedish were seen as exclusive and discriminatory, for which reason they were shunned. … It was this same ideology, hostile to all difference, that could not accept categories of male and female, he and she. Since han and hun are denotative of gender, it was suggested a new pronoun, hen, be used to cover both. The ideal human being was a gender-neutral hen whose foremost task in life was to avoid oppressing any religion or culture by preferring their own. Such total self-obliteration, aggressive in its insistence on leveling out, though in its own view tolerant, was a phenomenon of the cultural middle class, that segment of the population which controlled the media, the schools, and other major institutions of society … . But what did this ideology of equality actually entail? A recent study said that differences between pupils in Swedish schools had never been greater than they are now. The gap between the ablest children, for whom the future is bright, and the least able, whose futures lie outside the zones of influence and wealth, is widening year by year. The trend in the study is clear indeed: the strongest pupils are those from Swedish backgrounds, the weakest are from immigrant backgrounds. While we might be concerned not to offend people from other nations and other cultures, going so far as to eliminate everything Swedish, this happens only in the symbolic world, the world of flags and anthems, whereas in the real world everyone who does not belong to the Swedish middle class, which is hostile to all difference, is kept down and excluded … . … Equality in Sweden is confined to the middle class, they alone are becoming more equal; elsewhere the only equality is in the language, managed by the same middle class. In Sweden something happening in language is much worse than something happening in reality. An instance of one moral code applying in language and another in reality used to be called a double standard. This was what was going on at Vanja’s last-day-of-school event; the ideal of everyone being equal, and fame and wealth being unimportant, applied in the language of the priest, whereas the reality surround that ideology said the opposite: the most important thing is to be rich and famous. Every child there harbored that dream, it was in the air. And the more I see of it, this self-blind and self-satisfied ideology of quality, believing as it does that the conclusion it has reached is universal and true and must therefore govern us all – although in fact it is valid only to a small class of the privileged few, as if they comprised some little island of decency in an ocean of commercialism and social inequality – the more the significance of my life’s struggle diminishes … . … Oh, how then, for crying out loud, can we make the lives we live an expression of life, rather than the expression of ideology?

My Struggle (Min Kamp), Book 6, by Karl Ove Knausgård, translated by Martin Aitken

October 6, 2018

Viewpoints

This week’s The Commons, out of Brattleboro, Vermont, dedicates its “Voices” section to “The Supreme Court Hearings and the Trauma of Sexual Assault”, asking “What do the Kavanaugh hearings say about our politics and how our society treats survivors who have suffered in silence?”

Although there are 5 “Viewpoints”, 1 regular column, and 3 letters, only one viewpoint is presented, however. There is no questioning of the assumptions behind their theme. For example, maybe the Supreme Court hearing had nothing at all to do with the trauma of sexual assault except in the minds of those forcing the issue in to derail it. And maybe that’s what speaks more about our politics and how our society treats survivors, such as cynically using them to achieve a political end – or mere campaign event – that has nothing to do with actually helping victims of sexual assault.

Of course, in this atmosphere, who would dare to raise such views, such a voice, and incur the wrath of the whipped-up mob?

October 2, 2018

Paul Krugman defends his privilege

Gary Taustine comments in reply to Paul Krugman’s opinion piece “The Angry White Male Caucus: Trumpism is all about the fear of losing traditional privilege”:

Dear Paul,

Have you ever considered, even for a moment, that the white folks who voted for Trump are not scared of losing the fictional “privilege” of which you speak, but rather, sick and tired of being told they’re privileged as they struggle to make ends meet?

Perhaps your own wealth and privilege make you feel guilty and uncomfortable, so you’d rather ascribe your charmed life to race instead of facing the fact that you, personally, are one of the few truly privileged people in this country.

From your ivory towers you and your fellow leftist one percenters haphazardly label everyone who disagrees with you as small-minded bigots, terrified of losing advantages they’ve never known and entitlements they’ve never enjoyed, and you wonder why you lost the election.

Here in Manhattan, where a MAGA hat is a 100 percent reliable form of birth control for men, I’m sure most everyone agrees with you, but that’s the danger of living in an echo chamber. Venture outside of your bubble and you’ll find that you’re part of a jaded, uninformed minority whose views of the working class are as ignorant as they are offensive.

This is not an issue of race; the only color of privilege in America is green, and the interests of the truly privileged one percent on both sides of the aisle are well served by suggesting their advantages are enjoyed by all 62 percent of Americans lacking melanin. If they didn't pit races against one another, eventually everyone might recognize the real enemy.

Some Dude replied:

@Gary Taustine
You sound better aligned with Bernie Sanders than with Trump. How do you figure that the poster man-child for upper class greed is going to help the working class? That defies even pretzel logic.

And Gary Taustine:

@Some Dude

I'm no socialist, I'm an independent capitalist, and I don't think Trump cares any more about the working class than Rian Johnson cares about Star Wars fans, but I know that the trade deals Trump has been shredding rewarded huge corporations with massive profits for outsourcing jobs. I also know that his tax cuts greatly benefit the super-wealthy while adding to the deficit, but they help those who really needed some relief as well, and the corporate cuts have resulted in historically low unemployment.

So when I see one side rewarding the wealthy while exporting jobs and the other rewarding the wealthy while creating jobs, logic dictates going with the latter.

September 29, 2018

Memories and Stories | Cuimhní agus Scéalta

Our memories are our stories. We can construct them in the spirit of vengeance or forgiveness.

Is ár scéalta ár gcuimhní, a bhfuil iad a tógáil i ndíoltas nó i ndíolghadh.

September 8, 2018

Unhinged

From Karli Thompson, Democracy for America, 7 September:

URGENT: Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski need to hear from you IMMEDIATELY about Kavanaugh's dishonesty on Roe v. Wade. Will you take a minute to make an emergency call to their offices now?

An email leaked to the New York Times yesterday confirmed what we already suspected: Brett Kavanaugh lied when he told Susan Collins that he believes Roe v. Wade is settled law.

Not only that, but during questioning yesterday, he referred to birth control medication as "abortion-inducing drugs" -- a construction used by the far right to demonize birth control and pave the way for severe restrictions on a woman's right to regulate her own body. ...

A vote for Kavanaugh is a vote to strip women of their bodily autonomy. Period. ...

From Zephyr Teachout, 7 September:

At last night's final debate, one of our opponents took the personal and petty attacks to a new level. He took a page out of the Republican playbook and used a gendered attack against Zephyr — calling her "unhinged."

Why? Because Zephyr correctly pointed out that he voted with Wall Street lobbyists to roll back key provisions of Dodd-Frank. ...

From Ben Jealous, Democracy for America, 8 September:

On Thursday night, at his rally in Montana, Donald Trump finally did it -- he attacked me personally:

"In Maryland, the Democrat candidate for governor wants to give illegal aliens free college tuition, courtesy of the American taxpayer. Come on in, free college!"

He attacked my plan to extend tuition-free community college to all Maryland residents, including DREAMers. And he attacked it with the same hateful language he always uses -- rhetoric meant to divide us. ...

[[[[ ]]]]

Almost all of such e-mails from these and other campaigns have this tone of desperate import and apocalyptic battle. Granted, they are to people who have already expressed support for the causes, or at least the people and organizations promulgating them, but frankly, they should be a complete turn-off to anyone who has any self-respect.

The first example about Kavanaugh is a baldfaced lie. Twenty years ago, Kavanaugh wrote, as legal vetter of an opinion piece in support of one of Bush's appeals court nominees, that the statement “It is widely accepted by legal scholars across the board that Roe v. Wade and its progeny are the settled law of the land” may not be accurate. He did not say that he himself does not accept it as such. And he told Collins that he does.

Similarly, regarding his reference to "abortion-inducing drugs": In the case in question he recognized that the general requirement of the ACA to provide contraception included, indeed, "abortion-inducing drugs" (such as RU-486), which some religious groups could not accept. He also stated in the same opinion "that the government has a compelling interest in facilitating access to contraception for the employees of these religious organizations".

Regarding the second example, I have not seen or even read about the debate in question, but in fact, Dodd-Frank protected potential home-owners only by severely limiting their access to credit. Instead of facilitating families to buy homes on fair terms, Dodd-Frank turned the market over to landlord/investors. The "rollback" that was made was actually good, raising the threshold of assets for a bank to be subject to the severe restrictions of Dodd-Frank. To criticize voting for that change simply because "Wall Street lobbyists" supported it does seem rather unhinged. And it is certainly unhinged to think the adjective is "gendered". Omarosa Manigault Newman's book Unhinged is just one major example of the term's frequent use in reference to Trump.

Finally, Ben Jealous: You weren't attacked personally. Your plan to provide free community college to illegal aliens was. And it was not done with hateful language, but simply mocked on its face.

Almost all "rhetoric meant to divide us" is coming from the Democrats like this. They mischaracterize, lie, and hide behind identity politics in an obvious inability to defend their own policies or honestly criticize policies they oppose. Anything that some of them might have to offer is getting overwhelmed by their continuing derangement over Trump's election. And as long as that dominates (persecution of Trump is in fact Teachout's primary campaign promise), they can not overcome their implicit disdain for voters.

(I am sure that fundraising e-mails from other campaigns are just as bad — I get only these "progressive" ones because I donated to Bernie Sanders's primary campaign. And they rather underscore that they aren't actually very progressive, but little more than politics as usual.)

August 27, 2018

An Mhaighdean Óg

Dá mbeidh’ áitreabh agam féin
No gabháltas a’s réim,
Caoirigh breágh’ bána
Ar árd-chnoc no sléibh,
Sláinte agus méin
Agus grádh ceart d’á réir,
Bheidhinn-se ’s mo ghrádh geal
Go sáimh ann san tsaéghal.

Tá maighdean óg ’san tír
’S is réaltan eólais í,
Grian bhreágh ar bórd í
A’s togha de na mnáibh,
A cum fada breágh
’S a cúilín crathach bán
’S gach alt léi ar lúth-chrith
Ó búcla go brághaid.

Dá mbeidhinn-se ’s mo rún
Ar choill ag buain cnó
No ar thaoibh lisín aoibhinn
’S gan dídionn orrainn acht ceó,
Bheidheadh mo chroidhe-se d’á bhreóghadh
Le díogras d’á póig
’S gur b’é grádh ceart do chlaoidh mé
’S do fhíor-sgair mo shnódh.

Dá mbéidhinn-se ’s mo ghrádh
Ar thaoibh chnuic no báin
’S gan feóirling ann ár bpóca
Ná lón chum na slighe,
Bheidh’ mo shúil-se le Críost
Le ár ndóthaint gan mhoill
A’s go dtógfadh mo stór geal
An brón so de m’ chroidhe.

Dá mbéidhinn-se ’s mo ghrádh
Cois taoide no tráigh
’S gan aon neach beó ’nn ár dtimchioll
An oidhche fhada, ’s lá,
Do bhéidhinn-se ag cómhrádh
Le Neilidh an chúil bháin
Is liom-sa ’budh h-aoibhinn
Bheith ag coímhdeacht mo ghrádh.

 

If I had a home of my own
Or a holding and position,
Fine white sheep
On a high hill or mountain,
Health in body and mind
And love in turn,
Myself and my bright love
Would live there peacefully.

There is a young maiden in the land
And she is a star of knowledge,
A splendid sun at table
And a pick among women,
Her long lovely form
And her waving fair hair
And her every joint aquiver with life
From buckles to breast.

If myself and my sweetheart
Were gathering nuts in the wood
Or beside a pleasant little rath
And nothing sheltering us but mist,
My heart would be sick
With passion for her kiss,
Such love would destroy me
And scatter my composure.

If myself and my love
Were beside hill or moor,
No farthing in our pocket,
No food for the way,
My hope would be with Christ
For our provision soon
And that my bright treasure
Would take this sorrow from my heart.

If myself and my love
Were beside tide or strand
With no one alive around,
The long night and a day
I would be talking
With Nelly of the fair hair,
My own pleasure won
To be with my love.

from Abhráin Grádh Chúige Connacht, Douglas Hyde (1893);
revised translation by Eric Rosenbloom (2018)

Tune by Eric Rosenbloom:

Dá dTéidhinn-se Siar

Dá dtéidhinn-se siar is aniar ni thiucfainn,
Air an g-cnoc do b’áirde is air a sheasfainn,
’S í an chraobh chúmhartha is túisge bhainfinn
’Gus ’s é mo ghrádh féin ar luaithe leanfainn.

Tá mo chroidhe chomh dubh le áirne,
Ná le gual dubh dhoighfidhe i g-ceartaidh,
Le bonn bróige air hállaidhibh bána,
’S tá lionndubh mór os cionn mo gháire.

Tá mo chroidhe-se brúighte briste,
Mar leac-oidhre air uachtar uisge,
Mar bheidh’ cnuasach cnó léist a mbriste,
Ná maighdean óg léis a pósta.

Tá mo ghhrádh-s’ air dhath na sméara,
’S air dhath na súgh-craobh, lá breágh gréine,
Air dhath na bhfraochóg budh duibhe an tsléibhe,
’Gus is minic bhí ceann dubh air chollainn glégil.

Is mithid damh-s’ an baile seó fhágbháil,
Is geur an chloch ’gus is fuar an láib ann,
Is ann a fuaireas guth gan éadáil,
Agus focal trom ó lucht an bhiodáin.

Fuagraim an grádh, is mairg do thug é
Do mhac na mná úd, ariamh nár thuig é,
Mo chroidhe ann mo lár gur fhágbhuidh sé dubh é,
’S ni fheicim air an tsráid ná i n-áit air bith é.

 

Were it me going west, from the west I’d not return—
On the highest hill, there I’d stand,
And the first fragrant branch I’d pick,
My own love that I’d quickly follow.

My heart is as black as sloe,
As black coal burned in a forge,
As bootsoles dirtying white floors,
And a deep melancholy over my smile.

My heart indeed is bruised and broken,
Like an ice-sheet on water,
Like gathered nuts are after cracking,
As a young maid after marrying.

My love the color of blackberries,
The color of raspberries a fine sunny day,
The color of black mountain heath-berries—
There was often a black head on a pure body.

It’s time for myself to leave this town,
Where the stone is hard and the mud is cold,
Where there is song without profit,
And a heavy word from the chattering mob.

I warn of love, and woe to who gave it
To yon woman’s son, who never understood it,
My heart in my stomach, where he left it black,
And I don’t see him on the street or anyplace at all.

from Abhráin Grádh Chúige Connacht, Douglas Hyde (1893);
revised translation by Eric Rosenbloom (2018)

can be sung to the tune of “Scarborough Fair”

August 17, 2018

“Much of the news media is indeed the enemy of the people.”

Comments to The Commons (Brattleboro, Vt.) editorial, August 15, 2018:

Ruby Bode comments...

Yet what press operations have been “reined in and silenced”? Facebook increasingly closes down TeleSur and Venezuela Analysis, and Alex Jones and InfoWars have been shut down in a concerted action by Itunes, Youtube, Spotify, and Facebook. Many other conservative broadcasters have been removed from or “shadow-banned” by Twitter and demonetized by Youtube. It is not the President’s critics being silenced, but his supporters, along with critics of American “liberal” imperialism.

Yet this editorial ignores all that and continues to wallow in the demonization of Trump that has appeared to be the mission of most of the press since election day 2016, not in the interest of “comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable” (where was that rabid sense of mission during Obama’s administration and Clinton’s campaign? where will it be when Trump’s terms are done?), but in what can only be called a naked antagonism to the results of an election. …

Ruby Bode continues...

… The advice to “think about and read your news critically” in fact provides good reason to distrust much of the press. The criticism of Trump “blaming the messenger” applies just as aptly to this editorial. Indeed, it closes in neo–John Birch Society fashion, “without the slightest hint of shame”, by evoking “a foreign hand”. The same brand of “incendiary rhetoric” – even the prurient obsession with prostitutes – was prominent against President Kennedy in 1963.

Jane Palmer replies...

Trump is not consistent in his criticism of the press. He only attacks the ones that don’t agree with him.

Ruby Bode replies...

And the only outlets that have been “reined in and silenced” are those who support the President (Infowars has been shut down in a coordinated move at Youtube, Facebook, Itunes, and Spotify, and many “conservative” Twitter users are repeatedly banned or “shadowbanned”), along with critics of “liberal” imperialism (Telesur and Venezuela Analysis have been repeatedly shut down on Facebook).

Ruby Bode further replies...

Also, Jane Palmer’s comment belies the premise behind this editorial. Trump is in fact consistent: He attacks those who unfairly attack him. His use of the broad terms “press” and “people” are the rhetorical exaggerations he is known for. Some press outlets are against some of the people, against those who voted for Trump and the increasing numbers who think he should be given a chance. And by agitating for his removal with John Birch Society–inspired hysteria, they are against our democracy itself.

TB Smith says...

The divisiveness brought on by this shamefully poor excuse for a president has been once again, borne out by this article, and the responses to it .. his most devoted followers are the most gullible and easily swayed sheeple since the “Kool-Aid party in Jonestown” ... those who stand up the most fervently to this dictator “wannabe”, will , in the end, see him and the fellow purveyors of his garbage rhetoric like FOX News, Alex Jones, Breitbart, etc., crumble and be dumped like stale crackers (pardon the pun) .. we must impeach this tyrant before too much damage is done, either from within or outside our borders.

Ruby Bode replies...

So it’s OK that access to outlets that simply recognize Trump as President is indeed being shut down? But isn’t that exactly what this editorial is against? Should outlets that cheered on Obama’s wars and love of Wall St have likewise been shut down? Only John Birch Society–inspired screeds against Trump indicate the “legitimate” press?

Ruby Bode replies again...

TB Smith’s comment in apparent support of the us-vs-them tone of this editorial illustrates why so many people distrust so much of the press (although, again, it appears to be only pro-Trump and anti-imperialist outlets that are actually being shut down): They are promulgating hysterical claims about fascism, Russians, and “crackers” not in the interest of the people, but wholly on behalf of the neoliberal/neoconservative program of Reagan, Clinton, Bush, and Obama to deny Trump the Presidency and even remove him from office – not democratically, but by coup if necessary. That makes the press rather anti-democratic and, indeed, against the people.

banar Singleton says...

Spot on...thank you for challenging those who would blanketly dismiss your opinion/facts to do their own “facts checking”. Unfortunately I fear many if not most of these sheep will be lead to slaughter thinking that they are going to the trough.
a day ago

Ruby Bode replies...

Since when does the press get a free pass? Remember the Maine? The mainstream press has always been promoting the agendas of the powerful, the parties of war and Wall St. Not questioning the criticism of President Trump (particularly as it is rarely about actual policy and is so often in apocalyptic tones) is no more responsible than not questioning the voices of support.

Bev Matias says...

Thank you for your efforts to disseminate the news of the day and resist the hate-filled and deceitful rhetoric of this administration. I cannot believe, still, in this country that it is necessary for the press and regular citizens to defend themselves. Only one quarter or less of the citizens believe a word he says yet you are forced to defend yourselves because his speech is so incendiary. The press is now officially our last line of defense.

Ruby Bode replies...

Last line of defense against what, exactly? Having to live with the results of a democratic election?

Judith Skillman says...

Excellent and informative writing about the media and about the state of our nation. We must support the press speak truth to power, now more than ever before.

Ruby Bode replies...

We are also obliged to criticize the press when they merely echo the lies of the powerful. In this case, much of the press has taken a side, not just against the policies of the President, but against the election itself on behalf of the parties of war and Wall St. Just as the US has in the past agitated in other countries for coups against democratic outcomes they don’t like, much of the press, including this editorial, is now agitating for a coup here at home.

See: “Press and editorial wallow in demonization of Donald Trump”, September 12.

June 9, 2018

FEAR etc.

Fear, m., a man

Féar, m., grass

Fear, v. tr., pour out, rain, give forth, send, grant, bestow

Fearthainn, f., rain; tá sé ag cur fearthainne, it is raining

Fearb, f. a welt, a stripe; a blotch caused by a satire, etc.; a groove, a notch; the notch-end, scroll or peg-box of a violin; al. “beaded edge or caiseal of a fiddle” (Car.); al. a dish or trencher; d’fhéach mé ar a feirb, I looked at the peg-box; bhí poll ar a feirb, the scroll was perforated; al. a word (Lat. verbum); al. fearb, feirbh.

Fearb, f., a doe or dear

Fearg, f., anger, wrath, fury

Fearn, f., the alder tree; alder timber; ... the letter F; al. a shield.

Fearr, a., comp. of maith; better, best ...

Fearsa, m., a verse

Fearsach, -saighe, a., full of small ridges as a strand (O’R.).

Fearsaid, f., a shaft; a spindle; the ulna of the arm (f. na láimhe), the fibula of the leg (f. na coise), a club

Feart, m., virtue, power, force, strength, efficacy, desert, merit, expedient; heed; a miracle, a prodigy

Feart, m., a grave, a tomb, a vault; a trench.

May 31, 2018

Bean/Beann/Binn/Beannacht

[Dinneen, 1927]

bean, … a woman, a wife; …

beanaim, I cut, etc.; … I strike; … See bainim and cf. buainim.

[Ó Donáill, 1977]

bainim, I dig out.

beann, f. (gs. binne, npl.~a, gpl. ~). 1. Horn, antler. 2. Drinking-horn. 3. ~ buabhaill, bugle-horn. 4. Prong. [Ó Donáill]

beann, f. (gs. binne). Regard; dependence. [Ó Donáill]

beann. 1. gpl. of binn. 2. f = binn.

binn, f. (gs. ~e, npl. beanna, gpl. beann). 1. Peak. 2. Gable. 3. Cliff. 4. Corner; edge, margin. 5. (Of garment) Lap. 6. ~ sleáin, wind, flange, of turf-spade. ~ siosúir, blade of scissors. 7. Side, portion. 8. = beann.

binn, a1. 1. (Of sound) Sweet, melodious.

binn, f = beann.

[Dinneen]

beann, gs. beinne, binne, beanna; ds. beinn, binn; pl. beanna; f old neut., a point, a peak; a mountain peak; a headland; a cliff; a pinnacle; a crest; a top; tip, peak or skirt of a garment; b. a gúna ar bhaitheas a cinn, her dress drawn over her head; a lap; im’ bheinn, on my lap; a corner; ceithre beanna an tighe, the four corners of the house; a gable, al. a spire, a steeple; ní saor go binn, the test of a mason is the gable; clár binne, bargeboard; a mast-peak, a wing, a branch, an arm, a bracket; gach b. de’n chrann, every arm of the tree; b. croise, arm of cross; b. dá chabhlach, a wing of his fleet; b. chluig, clock hand; a prong; píce dhá mb. (trí mb.), a two- (three-) pronged fork; a goblet, a horn, fig. a long ear; péire beann, a pair of long ears; b. buabhaill (al. buadhalach), a bugle-horn; beanna chinn, his horns (of jealousy, poet.); a couplet, a stanza; leath-bheann, a line; the full complement of cattle to stock a farm, agistment; bárr binne, a privileged beast over and above the agistment, fig. bí b. b. ar Éirinn sinne, we are not privleged persons in Ireland; báirr-bh., excess stock; care, regard, respect; ní’l aon bh. agam ort, I care not about, ignore, disklke or am independent of you; is suarach mo bhinn ort, I care little about you, I am not dependent at all on you; is mise beag-bheann ort, id.; common in place names; B. Gulban, Bengulbin; Beanna Beola, the Twelve Pins; B. Éadair, Howth; al. binn, beinn, béinn (cliff, Antr.); Corrán Béinne, Horn Head.

beannach, beannaighe, a., horned, forked; cornered; gabled; peaked (as mountains); an t-Oileán Trí-Bheanach = Trinacria (Sicily); skipping, prancing, nimble; capall b., a prancing horse; standing out to the vision, distinct; fiadh b., a deer, a stag; tigheanna b. buacach, a gay flounting lord (Car.).

beannacht, … a blessing; …

beann mhear, f., henbane; …

beannóg, -óige, -óga, f., a coif, a cap, a corner of a woman’s cloak; al. beannán.

beannóg, -óige, -a, f., a step, a bounce; …

May 1, 2018

Renewable energy undermine

Jeff Rice @EvolvingCaveman asked on Twitter: Hi @windwatchorg, Haven't you guys got anything better to do than try to undermine clean, green #RenewableEnergy? Enlighten us - what would you like to see make up our energy mix? Expensive nuclear? #ClimateChange causing #FossilFuels? @GeorgeMonbiot

National Wind Watch @windwatchorg answered:

The unfortunate fact is that renewable energy does not meaningfully replace fossil and nuclear fuels.

And such diffuse (low-density) sources as wind and solar require massive plants to capture even enough to make selling virtue-signaling green tags profitable.

That means wind and solar on an industrial scale necessarily have adverse effects of their own, particularly as they need huge tracts of previously undeveloped rural and wild land, including mountain ridge lines.

And being intermittent and, in the case of wind, highly variable, they still require backup, which is forced to run much less efficiently (ie, with more carbon emissions) than it could without having to contend with wind's erratic generation.

So for such utter lack of actual benefit coupled with substantial harm, no, we do not support wind and work to protect the environment from its depredations.

We advocate conservation, which reduces fossil and nuclear fuel use much more than wind and solar do.

Jeff Rice replied: I notice that you haven't answered my question...

National Wind Watch answered: That's a separate issue from National Wind Watch's mission to educate people about wind's shortcomings and harm. We do not take a position for any over any other except to note that wind is not a solution.

Jeff Rice: Campaign organisations have long recognised the need to promote solutions to the problems they campaign against. Your anti #WindPower campaign lacks substance and comes across as NIMBYism. It also looks like you are apologists for the #FossilFuels industry. #NIMBY

National Wind Watch:

That is of course a risk we take. On the other hand, there are plenty of groups already proposing solutions, and those who question wind power represent people of very different views, from off-grid deep green to pronuclear free marketers.

Our role is to provide a resource for all of them on the issue of industrial-scale wind power. If people see that as being apologists for fossil fuels or giving comfort to climate skeptics or NIMBYism, that is a failure of imagination on their part.

It is a failure of environmentalists, driven by the "need to promote solutions", that they have forgot their role is to challenge and question solutions, especially those promoted by government and industry and banking in collusion.

Jeff Rice: Various forms of #RenewableEnergy are the solution! Although, do you think that we don't need to tackle #ClimateChange or air pollution? And as for renewables being supported by the establishment - what utter nonsense. Governments are very much wedded to #FossilsFuels!

National Wind Watch:

Wind and solar would be great if their benefits far outweighed their harm, but, as already noted, on a large scale their harm far outweighs their benefits, because they do very little to alleviate carbon emissions, pollution or fossil fuel dependency.

As to government support for wind, it is hardly a secret that subsidies, regulatory favoritism and special market structures are necessary for wind development.

Jeff Rice: Why do you think wind and solar DON'T reduce carbon emissions? A gross inaccuracy on your part.

National Wind Watch: How much have carbon emissions decreased with the massive industrialization of rural and wild places with wind turbines around the world since the 1990s? It's madness to continue.

Jeff Rice: Why you are wrong: It's a myth that wind turbines don't reduce carbon emissions

National Wind Watch: Goodall and Lynas point to a passing reduction of electricity generation from CCGT plants, not to any actual reduction of fuel use or carbon emissions.

April 9, 2018

Prayse and disprayese

‘The disfiguring of names is a serious business, though it is often very comical in Joyce’s work and in other places where the Irish penchant for theatricality manifests and amuses itself; yet it is traditionally an office reserved for the Irish bard who was both feared and admired for his ability to “nail a name” on a friend of foe. Terrence Des Pres explains the historical link between naming, satire, and bardic disfigurement in a discussion of Yeats and the ancient, bardic rat-rhymers, suggesting that “the blemish of a nickname” was one of the Gaelic bards’ best defenses against an enemy:

As late as the seventeenth century a famous bard (Teig, son of Daire) challenged his own patrons (the O’Briens) by threatening to “nail a name” on them with his “blister-raising ranns”. ... To “nail a name on a man” could ruin his tribal standing, destroy his reputation and the honor on which his personal worth depended. (Terrence Des Pres, Praises and Dispraises: Poetry and Politics, the Twentieth Century (1988), p. 42)
‘Des Pres explains that “mockery, invective and magical injury” were often involved in cursing of this sort (42), and that the potency or believed potency of the relevant rhymes, verses, and incantations endowed the rat-rhymers with a certain fame: “Irish bards were often more famous for their cursing than for their more constructive powers, their duties and privileges as ministers to the tribe” (38).’

—Claire A. Culleton, Names and Naming in Joyce (1994)

‘Irenius: There is amongest the Irishe, a certen kinde of people called the bardes, which are to them insteade of Poetts, whose profession is to sett forth the prayses and disprayese of men in theire Poems or rymes; the which are had in soe high regarde and estimacon amongest them, that none dare displease them for feare to runne into reproach through theire offence, and to be made infamous in the mouthes of all men. For theire verses are taken up with a generall applause, and usuallye sonnge att all feaste meetings, by certen other persons whose proper function that is, which also receave for this same, great rewardes, and reputacon besides.

‘Eudoxus: Doe you blame this in them, which I would otherwise have thought to have ben worthie of good accompte, and rather to have ben mayntayned and augmented amongest them, then to have ben disliked? for I have reade that in all ages Poetts have bene had in specyall reputacon, and that me seemes not without greate cause; for besides theire sweete invencons, and most wyttie layes, they are alwayes used to sett forth the praises of the good and vertuous, and to beate downe and disgrace the bad and vicyous. Soe that many brave younge mindes have oftentymes, through the hearinge the prayses and famous Eulogies of worthie men songe and reported unto them, benn stirred up to affecte the like commendacons, and soe to stryve unto the like desertes. ...

‘Irenius: It is most true that such Poettes, as in theire wrytinge doe labor to better the Manners of men, and through the sweete bayte of theire nombers, to steale into the younge spirittes a desire of honor and vertue, are worthy to be had in greate respecte. But these Irish bardes are for the most parte of another mynde, and soe far from instructinge younge men in Morrall discipline, that they themselves doe more deserve to be sharplie decyplined; for they seldome use to chuse unto themselves the doinges of good men, for the ornamentes of theire poems, but whomesoever they finde to bee most lycentious of lief, most bolde and lawles in his doinges, most daungerous and desperate in all partes of disobedience and rebellious disposicon, him they sett up and glorifie in their rymes, him they prayse to the people, and to younge men make an example to followe.

‘Eudoxus: I mervayle what kinde of speaches they cann finde, or what face they cann put on, to prayse such lewde persons as lyve so lawleslie and licensiouslie upon stealthes and spoiles, as most of them doe; or howe can they thincke that any good mynde will applaude the same?

‘Irenius: There is none soe bad, Eudoxus, but that shall finde some to fauor his doinges; but such licentious partes as these, tendinge for the most parte to the hurte of the English, or mayntenance of theire owne lewd libertye, they themselves, beinge most desirous therto, doe most allowe. Besides these evill thinges beinge deckt and suborned with the gay attyre of goodlie wordes, may easilie deceave and carry awaye the affeccon of a younge mynde, that is not well stayed, but desirous by some bolde adventure to make profe of himselfe; for beinge (as they all bee) brought up idlelie, without awe of parents, without precepts of masters, without feare of offence, not beinge directed, nor imployed in anye coorse of lief, which may carry them to vertue, will easilie be drawen to followe such as any shall sett before them: for a younge mynde cannot but rest; yf he bee not still busied in some goodnes, he will finde himselfe such busines as shall soone busye all about him. In which yf he shall finde any to prayse him, and to geve hym encorragement, as those Bardes and rymers doe for little rewarde, or a share of a stollen cowe, then waxeth he moste insolent and halfe mad with the love of himselfe, and his owne lewde deedes. And as for wordes to sett forth such lewdenes, yt is not hard for them to geve a goodlie glose and paynted showe thereunto, borrowed even from the prayses which are proper unto vertue yt selfe. As of a most notorius theife and wicked outlawe, which had lyved all his tyme of spoiles and robberies, one of theire Bardes in his praise findes, That he was none of those idle mylkesoppes that was brought up by the fyer side, but that most of his dayes he spent in armes and valiant enterprises; that he never did eate his meate before he had wonne yt with his sworde; that he laye not slugginge all night in a cabben under his mantle, but used commonly to kepe others wakinge to defend theire lyves, and did light his Candle at the flame of their howses to leade him in the darknes; that the day was his night, and the night his daye; that he loved not to lye woinge of wenches to yealde to him, but where he came he toke by force the spoile of other mens love, and left but lamentacon to theire lovers; that his musicke was not the harpe, nor layes of love, but the Cryes of people, and clashinge of armor, and that fynally, he died not wayled of manye, but [made] many wayle when he died, that dearlye bought his death. Doe you not thinke, Eudoxus, that many of these prayses might be applied to men of best desert? yet are they all yeilded to moste notable traytors, and amongest some of the Irish not smallye accompted of. For the same, when yt was first made and soung vnto a person of high degree, they were bought as their manner is, for fortie crownes.

‘Eudoxus: And well worth sure. But tell me I pray you, have they any arte in their composicons? or bee they any thinge wyttye or well favored, as poems shoulde bee?

‘Irenius: Yea truly; I haue caused diuers of them to be translated unto me that I might understande them; and surelye they savored of sweete witt and good invencon, but skilled not of the goodly ornamentes of Poetrie: yet were they sprinckled with some prettye flowers of theire owne naturall devise, which gave good grace and comlines unto them, the which yt is greate pittye to see soe good an ornament abused, to the gracinge of wickednes and vice, which woulde with good usage serve to bewtifie and adorne vertue. This evill custome therefore needeth reformacon.’

—Edmund Spenser, A vewe of the present state of Ireland: discoursed by waie of a dialogue betwene Eudoxus & Irenius (1596) (via Corpus of Electronic Texts, University College, Cork)

“’Tis not war we want to wage
With Thomond thinned by outrage.
Slight not poets' poignant spur—
Of right ye owe it honor.

“Can there cope a man with me
In burning hearts bitterly?
At my blows men blush I wis,
Bright flush their furious faces.

“Store of blister-raising ranns
These are my weighty weapons,
Poisoned, striking strong through men,
They live not long so stricken.

“Shelter from my shafts or rest
Is not in furthest forest—
Far they fall, words soft as snow,
No wall can ward my arrow.

“To quench in quarrels good deeds,
To raise up wrongs in hundreds,
To nail a name on a man,
I fail not—fame my weapon.”

—Douglas Hyde, from a poem by Teige Mac Daire (The Golden Treasury of Irish Songs and Lyrics (1907), edited by Charles Welsh)


(‘At the commencement of the seventeenth century, most of the senachies in the kingdom were engaged in a poetical controversy respecting the claims to superiority between the great northern family of O'Neal and the great southern one of O'Brien, a subject on which several thousand verses were employed. These have been collected, and are termed by Irish scholars, ‘the Contention of the Bards;’ the contest arose out of a composition of Teige Mac Daire's, who was retained as poet by Donogh O'Brien, the fourth Earl of Thomond, and was answered by Louis O'Clery, poet to O'Neal. Rejoinder and reply almost innumerable ensued, and the majority of the bards of that period became involved in the dispute.’ —Thomas Crofton Croker, Researches in the South of Ireland (1969) (via Corpus of Electronic Texts))

April 7, 2018

CATHÚ: conflict, temptation, regret

From Foclóir Gaedhilge agus Béarla, 1927, by Patrick Dinneen:

Cathughadh, -uighthe, m., act of fighting, rebelling against (re); act of sorrowing; sorrow, contrition; temptation, trial; mo ch. é, alas! I grieve because of it; c. do dhéanamh, to fight; longing; hankering (=caitheamh); c. i ndiaidh (g.), a hankering after (N. Con); c. do chur ar, to tempt; ná léig sinn i gcathuighibh, “lead us not into temptation”; cath, pl., cathaí, id.

Cáthughadh, m., act of befriending (Meath); cf. cátha.

March 17, 2018

Hillary Clinton says it’s your fault, you are what’s wrong

India Today Conclave 2018, Keynote Address, 10 March, Hillary Rodham Clinton


36:00. Aroon Purie: … So what’s gone wrong in America?

HRC: Look, I think that there are several big, uh, problems that beset us and to some extent you’re seeing them in Europe, um, one is the phenomenon of disappointment, of a sense of being left behind in a fast-changing economy. That is absolutely true, it’s been going on for years, but it has sped up. Some of it is the overhang from the disastrous financial crisis of oh-7 oh-8 oh-9, where millions of people lost their jobs, they lost their savings, they lost their homes, and nobody was ever punished for it is the way they look at it. Y’know, y’know, what happened to the bad guys? Nothing. And I’m stuck in a hole after having worked hard and I’ve got nothing to show for it. Some of it was a reaction to advancing opportunities and rights for, um, other groups, for example, African-Americans, um, for the LGBT community, uh, for women, and some people were fury that that meant it was a zero-sum game and there was no similar, uh, potential for them. I think there was also the reaction against immigrants, which you see again in Europe, which has a very difficult set of challenges because of a flooding of immigrants from the Middle East and Africa. Our immigrants, primarily from, uh, Latin America led by Mexico, from India, China, other places, are hard working, productive, law abiding, but if you remember, Trump started his campaign attacking immigrants. Because he knew that in many parts of the country — and let me just hasten to add, in many parts of the country where there aren’t very many immigrants — he was able to scapegoat immigrants. If you have problems, if you’re not happy with your job, you don’t think you’ve gotten enough advancement, y’know you’re working for, y’know, a woman now, ya don’t like it — whatever the reason was, um, he stirred that up. And anti-immigrant feeling became so virulent, um, thanks to his, un, rhetoric that it was a big motivator in a lot of the, uh, votes in certain parts of the country.

If you look at the map of the United States, there’s all that red in the middle, where Trump won. I win the coasts, I win, y’know, Illinois, Minnesota, places like that, but what the map doesn’t show you is that I won the places that represent two-thirds of America’s gross domestic product. [applause] So I won the places that are optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward, and his whole campaign, Make America Great Again, was looking backwards. Y’know, you didn’t like black people getting rights, you don’t like women, y’know, getting jobs, you don’t wanna, y’know, see that Indian-American succeeding more than are — whatever your problem is, I’m gonna solve it. So it was a symptom, but it was also a cause, because having someone run for President who voices those ideas, who rejects so much of the American story and our values, was also the underlying cause as well.

40:00. AP: I was also surprised, uh, looking at the details of the American election, is how almost 52% of white women voted for him, despite the Billy Bush tape and so forth. How do you explain that?

HRC: Well, I should start by explaining that, um, Democrats, eh, going back to my husband and even before but just in recent times going back to Bill and, and and uh, our candidates and then President Obama, have been losing the white vote, including white women. Uh, we do not do well with white men and we don’t do well with married white women. Um, and part of that is a, an identification with the Republican Party, uh, and a, un, a, a sort of ongoing pressure, uh, to, uh, vote the way that your husband, your boss, uh, your son, whoever, uh, believes you should, and what happened in my election is I was on the way to winning, um, white women until [cough] former Director of the FBI Jim Comey dropped that uh very ill-advised letter on October the 28th and my numbers just went down because all — and I heard a lot of anecdotal evidence about this, people have written about it — all of a sudden, y’know, white women who were going to vote for me, and frankly standing up to the men in their lives and the men in their workplaces, uh were being told she’s going to jail, y’know, you don’t want to vote for her, y’know, it’s gonna be terrible, you can’t vote for that. So it just, it stopped my momentum and it decreased my vote, uh, enough — because I was, I was ahead, I was winning and I thought I had fought my way back in the ten days from that letter until, uh, the election, I fell a little bit short, and so I think that it, it was part of a historical trend that I was bucking and then it collapsed on me.

March 10, 2018

Wind power does not reduce CO₂ emissions.

“In a wind-thermal system, production variations from the intermittent character of wind power results in an increase in system costs and a decrease in the efficiency of wind power as a means to reduce CO₂-emissions from the system. This effect gets increasingly pronounced with increased levels of wind power grid penetration and is due to the adjustment in production pattern of the thermal units to the variations in wind power production. As wind power grid penetration increases, the conventional units will run more at part load and experience more frequent starts and stops. Also, wind power may need to be curtailed in situations where the costs to stop and restart thermal units are higher than the difference in running costs of wind power and the thermal units. Thus, variations in wind power reduce the possibility of the power system to lower CO₂-emissions by adding wind power capacity to the system.”

—“Large scale integration of wind power: moderating thermal power plant cycling” by Lisa Göransson and Filip Johnsson, Wind Energy 2011; 14:91–105

-o-o-o-o-o-

Olaf Errwigge (Facebook) —

There is no argument that burning fossil fuel to generate electricity releases CO₂ into the atmosphere, or that using the wind to generate electricity does not. But it does not follow that adding wind to the grid reduces CO₂ emissions from other sources: Where there is little hydropower (no CO₂ emissions) to balance the highly variable wind, fossil fuel–fired generators are forced to work less efficiently, ie, with more emissions per unit of electricity generated. Furthermore, the best “balancing” plants for wind are open-cycle natural gas–fired turbines (OCGT), which can respond quickly enough to compensate for the continual changes of wind generation. But combined-cycle natural gas–fired turbines (CCGT) are substantially more efficient efficient, such that wind + OCGT may not represent lower emissions than CCGT alone. Thus, wind power’s manufacture, transport, and maintenance would indeed contribute to increased CO₂ emissions. And there is no benefit at all to weigh against its other adverse impacts on the environment, wildlife, and human neighbors.

Result: Wind + fossil fuel generation does not necessarily mean lower CO₂ emissions, particularly in the comparison of wind + open-cycle gas (necessary to quickly respond to wind’s continually variable generation) vs. the much more efficient combined-cycle gas alone.

And, of course, where there’s hydro, that’s the preferred source to ramp back as the wind rises: no CO₂ involved at all.

With virtually no benefits, wind power’s many adverse impacts – on the environment, wildlife, and human neighbors – not to mention its financial cost and the carbon and materials footprint of its manufacture, transport, and maintenance – are impossible to justify.

Also see: Why wind power does not substantially reduce emissions

February 7, 2018

“Open Borders” keep wages down

Neil Munro writes at Breitbart:

... The push for a DACA amnesty is largely powered by the alliance of business interests and Democrats who want more imported workers to help keep Americans’ wages from rising, and to eventually vote for Democratic candidates. The push is strongly supported by establishment journalists, even though business groups also want to cut their white-collar wages. Multiple establishment columnists are also eager to replace Americans with immigrants.

Companies want more imported workers because the nation’s formal unemployment rate is low. Without a reserve army of unemployed people, companies are forced to compete for new workers by offering higher wages, bonuses and training opportunities. For example, a new chart shows that annual wage growth (including inflation) rises above 2 percent once the “prime age non-employment rate” drops below 23 percent.


The January wage-rise was cited by several economists as a reason for the sudden drop in stock prices because a year of rising wages means lower profits for investors.

But there are also millions of sidelined Americans who have not worked for years, largely because wages have been lowered by mass immigration. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed this month that 74 percent of college-trained Americans hold jobs — but only 57.5 percent of high-school graduates and only 45 percent of high-school dropouts are working. However, employers don’t want to employ these sidelined Americans. Some lack workplace skills or training, some are living in rural areas far from immigrant-fueled economic hotspots, and some have drug problems amid the national opioid epidemic.

Those millions of disadvantaged Americans are the people that Democratic Sen. Carper wants to discard in favor of illegal immigrants. He told MSNBC:
A lot of people on our side and others as well, they look at the dreamers and say the morally right thing to do here — these are kids who came over here, they were young, didn’t come by their own volition, their parents brought them, they grew up here, they were educated here, work here in many cases, and we have a moral responsibility to them, that’s all true.

Having said that, actually, there is an economic imperative here as well. Today, when folks want to work in this country, there is still 2 to 3 million jobs unfilled. Unfilled! Nobody is there to do the jobs, they don’t have the education, the work skills, the work ethic, they can’t pass a drug test, and one of the reasons why I think the stock market is gyrating around is because we are at full employment. And at a time when we have all these jobs to fill, are we going to send 700-800,00 people back home to the countries where they were born? They are perfectly capable of doing these jobs, they can pass a drug test, why would we do that?

It is economic insanity and I think the business community is saying that to the administration.They are certainly saying that to those of us in the Congress, and we should focus on that economic, economic side as well … Doing a deal with the dreamers is as much about – as I said earlier — is about making sure we have the folks who can go to work tomorrow.
Carper is not the only D.C. politician who wants to discard Americans. Numerous other Senators are urging an amnesty even though millions of Americans are sidelined, while wages and salaries have been stuck since 2000, so allowing the stock market to grow rapidly.

Nearly all Democratic Senators, plus a few Republicans — including Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner – support the DREAM Act which would allow up to 3.25 million illegals to replace sidelined Americans.

GOP Sens. Thom Tillis and James Lankford have proposed an amnesty for roughly 2 million illegals to help employers.

Wisconsin GOP Sen. Ron Johnson has publicly backed a plan to import 500,000 workers per year, allowing companies to replace swaths of their American workforces. ...

Four million Americans turn 18 each year and begin looking for good jobs in the free market.

But the federal government inflates the supply of new labor by annually accepting roughly 1.1 million new legal immigrants, by providing work-permits to roughly 3 million resident foreigners, and by doing little to block the employment of roughly 8 million illegal immigrants.

The Washington-imposed economic policy of economic growth via mass-immigration floods the market with foreign labor, spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees. It also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least 5 million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.


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More articles by Neil Munro:
Tech Firms’ Immigration Bill Targets College-Grad Salaries
CEOs to Congress: Import More Cheap Labor

February 6, 2018

The catharsis of a witch hunt

Some interesting exchanges on Twitter regarding the hounding out of Wayne Pacelle from the Humane Society ...

Carol J. Adams @_CarolJAdams
Feb 3

Here I helped #WaynePacelle with his letter to the #HSUS staff upon resigning from the #HumaneSocietyoftheUnitedStates. #TimesUp #TimesUpAR


El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 3

I never thought that much of HSUS, and @_CarolJAdams has always been one of my guiding lights. But this is distasteful and infantile. @VINEsanctuary

solo‏ @OezlemSandra
Feb 3

How so? Because children tend to be direct and tell the truth?

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 3

If @_CarolJAdams is telling the truth, then she ought to present actual evidence, not anonymous allegations and innuendo. Without that, this looks like mere vindictive character assassination.

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 5

"Believe the children" was the mantra of the day-care satanism witch hunts of the 1980s. Children are actually adroit liars. As are adults, both men and women.

[cf. Bret Stephens, N.Y. Times, Feb 9 ‘But it’s precisely because Dylan [Farrow]’s account plays to our existing biases that we need to treat it with added skepticism. Most parents know that young children are imaginative and suggestible and innocently prone to making things up. The misuse of children’s memories by ambitious prosecutors against day-care center operators in the 1980s led to some of the worst miscarriages of justice in recent U.S. history. You don’t have to doubt Farrow’s honesty to doubt her version of events.’]

[[[[ | ]]]]

Carol J. Adams @_CarolJAdams
Feb 3
Carol J. Adams Retweeted El Rucio

If @_CarolJAdams is telling the truth, then she ought to present actual evidence, not anonymous allegations and innuendo. Without that, this looks like mere vindictive character assassination.
Read the papers, please. See the New York Times on Pacelle's sexual assault of a woman in his office, WaPo and Politico have covered Pacelle too. Women have spoken on the record. There is no innuendo. There is, on the other hand, a refusal to believe women by many. Is that you?

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 4

Women are capable of lying. Why not believe Pacelle's denial, which is no less uncorroborated than the allegations.

Carol J. Adams‏ @_CarolJAdams
Feb 4

Because I have talked to numerous of his victims who did not know each other. I really have to ask why you are willing to believe him. And stop insulting me and everyone else. Read all the material.

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 5

I respect your judgement, but it is after all just YOUR judgement.
And I read all the material, so please stop insulting me with the assumption that I haven't.
Finally, again, why should I believe Pacelle any less than I believe his accusers?

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Guy Scotton @GuyScotton
Feb 2
Guy Scotton Retweeted VINE Sanctuary

Time's up!

VINE Sanctuary Retweeted The Humane Society of the United States
Today, the Humane Society of the United States accepted the resignation of President and CEO, Wayne Pacelle. Read more: http://bit.ly/2nxqgEp
Time's up for Wayne Pacelle - a case that should be read in the context of the many testimonials of male entitlement, exploitation, and predation within the movement: https://www.canhad.org/read-testimonials/ … A systemic scourge calls for systemic change in the policies and priorities of such orgs.

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 3

Are you implying that all of those testimonies are about Wayne Pacelle? Or that Pacelle has been sacrificed because we don't know who those testimonies are about (let alone their context)?

Guy Scotton @GuyScotton
Feb 3

Oh, neither, apologies if unclear. I meant that both illustrate a systemic failing in the expectations, policies, and priorities of animal advocacy. As some articles have noted, something like Tofurky's giving policy might be indicative going forward: http://tofurky.com/discrimination/

El Rucio @ElRucioDos
Feb 3

As inherently lawless, the power of the mob is even more dangerous than the power of well paid executives. So yes, discrimination and harassment policies are apparently needed to remedy abuses in both directions.

Guy Scotton @GuyScotton
Feb 3

Begone. [blocked]

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Update:  Carol Adams seems to be very pleased with her new crusade (she posted her alteration of Pacelle’s letter of resignation on Instagram and Facebook as well as Twitter). Now she is demanding that all men should probably have to apologize and even specifies what they should say. As El Rucio already said, this continues to appear vindictive and childish. It is also dangerous, evoking kangaroo courts, public shaming, and reeducation camps in its heedless witch-hunting righteousness.

January 31, 2018

State of the Union, January 30, 2018

Donald Trump’s January 30, 2018, State of the Union address to Congress (excerpted):

... Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.

Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low. African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history.

Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value. That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts.

And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.

Our massive tax cuts provide tremendous relief for the middle class and small businesses.

To lower tax rates for hardworking Americans, we nearly doubled the standard deduction for everyone. Now, the first $24,000 earned by a married couple is completely tax-free. We also doubled the child tax credit. ...

Here tonight are Steve Staub and Sandy Keplinger of Staub Manufacturing — a small business in Ohio. They have just finished the best year in their 20-year history. Because of tax reform, they are handing out raises, hiring an additional 14 people, and expanding into the building next door.

One of Staub’s employees, Corey Adams, is also with us tonight. Corey is an all-American worker. He supported himself through high school, lost his job during the 2008 recession, and was later hired by Staub, where he trained to become a welder. Like many hardworking Americans, Corey plans to invest his tax‑cut raise into his new home and his two daughters’ education. Please join me in congratulating Corey.

Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses — many of them thousands of dollars per worker. Apple has just announced it plans to invest a total of $350 billion in America, and hire another 20,000 workers. ...

Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of Nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family.

We all share the same home, the same heart, the same destiny, and the same great American flag.

Together, we are rediscovering the American way.

In America, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are the center of the American life. Our motto is "in God we trust." ...

For the last year we have sought to restore the bonds of trust between our citizens and their Government. ...

All Americans deserve accountability and respect — and that is what we are giving them. So tonight, I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove Federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people. ...

Many car companies are now building and expanding plants in the United States — something we have not seen for decades. Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama. Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country. This is all news Americans are unaccustomed to hearing — for many years, companies and jobs were only leaving us. But now they are coming back.

Exciting progress is happening every day.

To speed access to breakthrough cures and affordable generic drugs, last year the FDA approved more new and generic drugs and medical devices than ever before in our history.

We also believe that patients with terminal conditions should have access to experimental treatments that could potentially save their lives.

People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the "right to try."

One of my greatest priorities is to reduce the price of prescription drugs. In many other countries, these drugs cost far less than what we pay in the United States. That is why I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.

America has also finally turned the page on decades of unfair trade deals that sacrificed our prosperity and shipped away our companies, our jobs, and our Nation’s wealth.

The era of economic surrender is over.

From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.

We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones.

And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.

As we rebuild our industries, it is also time to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure.

America is a nation of builders. We built the Empire State Building in just 1 year — is it not a disgrace that it can now take 10 years just to get a permit approved for a simple road?

I am asking both parties to come together to give us the safe, fast, reliable, and modern infrastructure our economy needs and our people deserve.

Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.

Every Federal dollar should be leveraged by partnering with State and local governments and, where appropriate, tapping into private sector investment — to permanently fix the infrastructure deficit. ...

We want every American to know the dignity of a hard day’s work. We want every child to be safe in their home at night. And we want every citizen to be proud of this land that we love.

We can lift our citizens from welfare to work, from dependence to independence, and from poverty to prosperity.

As tax cuts create new jobs, let us invest in workforce development and job training. Let us open great vocational schools so our future workers can learn a craft and realize their full potential. And let us support working families by supporting paid family leave.

As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens. That is why this year we will embark on reforming our prisons to help former inmates who have served their time get a second chance.

Struggling communities, especially immigrant communities, will also be helped by immigration policies that focus on the best interests of American workers and American families.

For decades, open borders have allowed drugs and gangs to pour into our most vulnerable communities. They have allowed millions of low-wage workers to compete for jobs and wages against the poorest Americans. Most tragically, they have caused the loss of many innocent lives. ...

The United States is a compassionate nation. We are proud that we do more than any other country to help the needy, the struggling, and the underprivileged all over the world. But as President of the United States, my highest loyalty, my greatest compassion, and my constant concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers, and America’s forgotten communities. I want our youth to grow up to achieve great things. I want our poor to have their chance to rise.

So tonight, I am extending an open hand to work with members of both parties — Democrats and Republicans — to protect our citizens of every background, color, religion, and creed. My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans — to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too. ...

Over the next few weeks, the House and Senate will be voting on an immigration reform package.

In recent months, my Administration has met extensively with both Democrats and Republicans to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform. Based on these discussions, we presented the Congress with a detailed proposal that should be supported by both parties as a fair compromise — one where nobody gets everything they want, but where our country gets the critical reforms it needs.

Here are the four pillars of our plan:

The first pillar of our framework generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age — that covers almost three times more people than the previous administration. Under our plan, those who meet education and work requirements, and show good moral character, will be able to become full citizens of the United States.

The second pillar fully secures the border. That means building a wall on the Southern border, and it means hiring more heroes like CJ to keep our communities safe. Crucially, our plan closes the terrible loopholes exploited by criminals and terrorists to enter our country — and it finally ends the dangerous practice of "catch and release."

The third pillar ends the visa lottery — a program that randomly hands out green cards without any regard for skill, merit, or the safety of our people. It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country.

The fourth and final pillar protects the nuclear family by ending chain migration. Under the current broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives. Under our plan, we focus on the immediate family by limiting sponsorships to spouses and minor children. This vital reform is necessary, not just for our economy, but for our security, and our future.

In recent weeks, two terrorist attacks in New York were made possible by the visa lottery and chain migration. In the age of terrorism, these programs present risks we can no longer afford.

It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century.

These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern, and lawful immigration system.

For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.

Most importantly, these four pillars will produce legislation that fulfills my ironclad pledge to only sign a bill that puts America first. So let us come together, set politics aside, and finally get the job done.

These reforms will also support our response to the terrible crisis of opioid and drug addiction.

In 2016, we lost 64,000 Americans to drug overdoses: 174 deaths per day. Seven per hour. We must get much tougher on drug dealers and pushers if we are going to succeed in stopping this scourge.

My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need. The struggle will be long and difficult — but, as Americans always do, we will prevail.

As we have seen tonight, the most difficult challenges bring out the best in America.

We see a vivid expression of this truth in the story of the Holets family of New Mexico. Ryan Holets is 27 years old, and an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department. He is here tonight with his wife Rebecca. Last year, Ryan was on duty when he saw a pregnant, homeless woman preparing to inject heroin. When Ryan told her she was going to harm her unborn child, she began to weep. She told him she did not know where to turn, but badly wanted a safe home for her baby.

In that moment, Ryan said he felt God speak to him: "You will do it — because you can." He took out a picture of his wife and their four kids. Then, he went home to tell his wife Rebecca. In an instant, she agreed to adopt. The Holets named their new daughter Hope.

Ryan and Rebecca: You embody the goodness of our Nation. Thank you, and congratulations. ...

Last year, I also pledged that we would work with our allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth. One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated. ...

[F]reedom stands tall over one more monument: this one. This Capitol. This living monument to the American people.

A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way.

They work in every trade. They sacrifice to raise a family. They care for our children at home. They defend our flag abroad. They are strong moms and brave kids. They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines.

But above all else, they are Americans. And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation, belong to them.

Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them.

Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it is the people who are making America great again. ...

January 18, 2018

Shortsighted and dangerous

Olaf Errwigge writes in The Commons in response to Michael Bosworth, “Which price do we pay? Keeping additional industrial-scale wind power out of our region is shortsighted and dangerous. Is there any middle ground?”:

Bosworth’s earnest appeal first requires that his premises be examined. Is wind energy actually “economically efficient” or “acutely needed”? Is the price actually just “some soil disturbance, some bird mortality”? Does it actually bring “significant benefits”?

Wind is a diffuse, intermittent, and highly variable resource, so there is no way that it can be economically efficient or have only moderate adverse impacts, because massive machines over vast (rural and wild) areas are required to collect any meaningful amount. The Windham Regional Commission Energy Plan clearly notes the unavoidable habitat destruction and fragmentation as well as many other environmental impacts:
“Wind turbine placement can be difficult and controversial because of natural resource impacts, aesthetics, noise, and the need for placement at elevations of 2,500-3,300 feet, locations in Vermont that tend to be sensitive with thin soils and steep slopes. The windiest areas in the region are most often on the higher-elevation ridgelines that are sensitive habitats for plants and wildlife, and are the source of the region’s most pristine headwaters. In areas where road access does not exist, new permanent roads must be built to service the wind facility. Other potentially negative environmental impacts include bird and bat mortality, habitat disruption and fragmentation, erosion, pollution from facility maintenance, turbine noise, and visual flicker.

“Given the nature of utility-scale wind development, which involves considerable blasting, road building, and other permanent alterations of the landscape and surface hydrology, it is deemed to be incompatible with the two aforementioned land use designations [ie, Resource Lands and Productive Rural Lands].”
And benefits? Its intermittency and high variability require that wind be 100% backed up by other sources. Wind serves as only a feel-good add-on to an electrical system that has to be able to work without it anyway, ready to kick in when the wind drops, and standing by to continuously balance its erratic feed. Those other sources do so at a cost to their own efficiency.

In short, the benefits of large-scale wind power are virtually nil, and the adverse impacts are substantial. It is certainly not "shortsighted and dangerous" to recognize that reality and to discourage such a destructive and unhelpful form of energy development.

January 3, 2018

Old forests are essential to sequestering carbon, logging doubles release

(Burning wood is not carbon neutral.)

From The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, ch. 16:

In a very simple, widely circulated image of natural cycles, trees are poster children for a balanced system. As the photosynthesize, they produce hydrocarbons, which fuel their growth, and over the course of their lives, they store up to 22 tons of carbon dioxide in their trunks, branches, and root systems. When they die, the same exact quantity of greenhouse gases is released a s fungi and bacteria break down the wood, process the carbon dioxide, and breath it out again. The assertion that burning wood is climate neutral is based on this concept. After all, it makes no difference if it’s small organisms reducing pieces of wood to their gaseous components or if the home hearth takes on this task, right? But how a forest works is way more complicated than that. The forest is really a gigantic carbon dioxide vacuum that constantly filters out and stores this component of the air.

It’s true that some of this carbon dioxide does indeed return to the atmosphere after a tree’s death, but most of it remains locked in the ecosystem forever. The crumbling trunk is gradually gnawed nad munched into smaller and smaller pieces and worked, by fractions of inches, more deeply into the soil. The rain takes care of whatever is left, as it flushes organic remnants down into the soil. The farther underground, the cooler it is. And as the temperature falls, life slows down, until it comes almost to a standstill. Adn so it is that carbon dioxide finds its final resting place in the form of humus, which continues to become more concentrated as it ages. ...

Today, ... forests are constantly being cleared, thanks to modern forest management practices (aka logging). As a result, warming rays of sunlight reach the ground and help the species living there kick into high gear. This means they consume humus layers even deep down into the soil, releasing the carbon they contain into the atmosphere as gas. The total quantity of climate-changing gases that escapes is roughly equivalent to the amount of timber that has been felled. For every log you burn in your fire at home, a similar amount of carbon dioxide is being released from the forest floor outside. And so carbon stores in the ground below trees in our latitudes are being depleted as fast as they are being formed. ...

Where is the end of the road for our forests? Will they go on storing carbon until someday there isn’t any left in the air? This, by the way, is no longer a question in search of an answer, thanks to our consumer society, for we have already reversed the trend as we happily empty out the earth’s carbon reservoirs. We are burning oil, gas, and coal as heating materials and fuel, and spewing their carbon reserves out into the air. In terms of climate change, could it perhaps be a blessing that we are liberating greenhouse gases from their underground prisons and setting them free once again? Ah, not so fast. True, there has been a measurable fertilizing effect as the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have risen. The latest forest inventories document that trees are growing more quickly than they used to. The spreadsheets that estimate lumber production need to be adjusted now that one third more biomass is accruing than a few decades ago. But what was that again? If you are a tree, slow growth is the key to growing old. ... And so the tried and tested rule holds true: less (carbon dioxide) is more (life-span).

When I was a student of forestry, I learned that young trees are more vigorous and grow more quickly than old ones. The doctrine holds to this day, with the result that forests are constantly being rejuvenated. Rejuvenated? That simply means that all the old trees are felled and replaced with newly planted little trees. Only then, according to the current pronouncements of associations of forest owners and representatives of commercial forestry, are forests stable enough to produce adequate amounts of timber to capture carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and store it. Depending on what tree you are talking about, energy for growth begins to wane from 60 to 120 years of age, and that means it is time to roll out the harvesting machines. Has the ideal of eternal youth, which leads to heated discussions in human society, simply been transferred to the forest? It certainly looks that way, for at 120 years of age, a tree, considered from a human perspective, has barely outgrown its school days.

In fact, past scientific assumptions in this area appear to have gotten ahold of the completely wrong end of the stick, as suggested by a study undertaken by an international team of scientists. The researchers looked at about 700,000 trees on every continent around the world. The surprising result: the older the tree, the more quickly it grows. Trees with trunks 3 feet in diameter generated three times as much biomass as trees that were only half as wide. So, in the case of trees, being old doesn’t mean being weak, bowed, and fragile. Quite the opposite, it means being full of energy and highly productive. This means elders are markedly more productive than young whippersnappers, and when it comes to climate change, they are important allies for human beings. Since the publication of this study, the exhortation to rejuvenate forests to revitalize them should at the very least be flagged as misleading. The most that can be said is that as far as marketable lumber is concerned, trees become less valuable after a certain age. In older trees, fungi can lead to rot inside the trunk, but this doesn’t slow future growth one little bit. If we want to use forests as a weapon in the fight against climate change, then we must allow them to grow old ....