One More Damn Thing

SCOTUS is going to hear a case about whether states can punish electors who are “faithless”that is don’t give their vote to the winner of the popular vote in their state.
At the same time, though we don’t hear much about it, a number of states (i think 15 ) have entered into some kinda pact that their electors will vote for the winner of the nationwide popular vote. (This is incomprehensible: why would smaller states want to give up the very provision in the fed constitution which safeguards their power? But anyway..)

Have you ever read the US Constitution Art II, Sec 1, paras 2-4, as amended by Amendment XII (1804)?It does not say anything about for whom the electors must vote. The electors are appointed in a manner determined by each state’s legislature. Then as for the rest, it sets out when anD where they meet, and various other contingencies.... [Read More]

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Come Let Us Mock At The Great..

There’s a piece up on American Thinker, by Shurk: “What do the Democrats Fear in Donald Trump? Greatness”.  Please read, O Ratty (and I’m sure some kind soul will link to it😬).
We’ve gotten used to The Don, even we might forget how totally extraordinary he, everything about him, actually is.

Oh yeah, people will mock us, as they mock him, revile us, say all manner of evil against us as they do against him. (I don’t intend a sacrilege, I’m just making use of the marvelous poesy of the scripture) Isn’t that the mark of all who “have made greatness [their] companion”?
( As you’ll surmise, that line, and the title, are part of Yeats’ ouevre.)... [Read More]

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Class Dismissed

In Austen’s Emma, the eponymous heroine famously remarks that the yeoman farmers”are precisely the order of people with which I feel I can have nothing to do….a farmer can need none of my help and is therefore in one sense as much above my notice as in every other he is below it.”
I recently wrote about the unique obstacles involved in a long-standing cross- gender friendship. But additionally, he was a carpenter and I was a lady, (metaphorically, if you remember the Tim Hardin song). So it was also cross-class. If I’m gonna write about it all, may as well be blunt. Like Emma herself.
It’s two decades since I left the Philadelphia Main Line, and nothing stays the same. But back then it was a sort of palimpsest: a page upon which more than one text has been written, so both exist interlineates faintly on the same surface.
For instance, to say you lived in Bryn Mawr often elicited the reaction from people, “oh! Bryn MAAHRR!” with a mocking la-di-da affect. By that time the big mansions on large tracts, originally summer homes for the wealthy Philadelphians who commutes to them via the Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad, were mostly gone, turned to schools or churches of just demolished and the demesnes subdivided, but, still, it was a wealthy zip code, where a lot of professionals had moved into the shells of the now etiolated families whose names were be found in the Social Register (original version only, not the newer one which included morganatic unions.)

That was one text. But there was another: working-class Bryn Mawr. Railroad Avenue. The streets off Lancaster. They were by no means slums, they were well-kept neighborhoods, well-kept by the workmen who also kept up the richer people’s homes: municipal workers, truck drivers, many of whom had second or third jobs as landscapers. They had not gone to college, although their children had or would.
And they were invisible to the wealthier denizens. Like Emma’s yeomanry, they didn’t need charity. And they didn’t have anything the socially-conscious wealthier people aspired to possess. So they were both above, and below, the notice of the professionals and the (rapidly declining) scions of the former aristocracy. ... [Read More]

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…That He Who Runs May Read..

We are all hoping, not without justification, for a quick disposal of the impeachment charges in the Senate. I’m going to try to not even watch the news, may’s well just await the outcome,at this point. It SHOULD go our way, we’ve been assured it will, our side has the majority in the Senate. Hope is not unfounded. Cautious optimism is warranted.

But I keep seeing Romney’s fixed plastic smile…so, um, what if they betray us?... [Read More]

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Within the Live Ash Circle

I think maybe the world, or at least our little world here, our corner of the “conservative blogosphere” ( really? Is that what our Mischief is?) may be ready for a palate cleanser vis à vis the British royalty, after the rebuke of Prince Andrew and the tawdry tantrum of Morganatic Meg. Hey! remember that the Kings of England were the subjects of Shakespeare’s great plays, remember King Arthur and all that the Camelot myth once meant to us, pretty much throughout the Anglosphere. Maybe we’d like to blow off the glitter and see if we can catch just a fleeting gleam of the gold.

If you’re up for that, I recommend Mark Helprin’s 2005 novel, Freddy and Fredericka. It’s a hilariously funny book in which a young Charles-and-Diana-esque royal couple are dispatched to our shores to recover the colonies for the Crown. But funny isn’t all it is. “Live ash circle” is an anagram, as is the name of “Mr. Neil”,an irascible old gent the Queen summons when it appears that maybe Prince Freddy isnt, yet, quite the kingly thing. It’s kinda a picaresque, like the Grail cycle itself.... [Read More]

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See How Well It Works (II)

Oh, no Nono, I can barely stand it! Ok, I just read that Meghan signed a deal with Disney before or at the time she and Hapless Hal announced their fleeing the palace coop. But whatever the venture is, she’s giving all the profits from it to a worthy cause: (Wait for it..):
Elephants Without Borders.

Morganatic Meg: I’m giving my money to Elephants Without Borders! ... [Read More]

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…And the idols were broke in the temple of Bail!

…..That’s “Baal” of course, a line from Byron’s great great poem The Destruction of Sennacherib.Pls read at ur leisure! But my point:

The custom of allowing bail as security for appearance in court , instead of holding the accused in jail until trial, was traditionally regarded as an unadulterated good ! It’s not an express constitutional right, but has been held to come under the 8th Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment. But recently it has come to the Left’s attention that bail is usually put up in the form of cash or a cash bond. Money ,wealth, filthy lucre! And not everybody has the same amount of the stuff, so: inequality!! The reaction to this revelation coulda gone either way: keep everybody in jail till trial, no matter how rich the perp is—or: let everybody out until trial, no matter how impecunious the perp. Progs opted for the latter.... [Read More]

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Royally Screwed

The shallow, self-promoting, heedlessly cruel Wallis Simpson lives again in Megan Markle. I read a bio of that temporally-challenged monarch, Edward VIII. It’s been a while, but what I remember is, the poor deluded bozo had to spend the rest of his life begging his brother the king for money, and desperately wangling to legitimize the title, or salutation, “Your Royal Highness” for his gay divorcée. It doesn’t sound like they were happy. It sounds like they were sodden, bitter alcoholics. The Duke and Duchess of Windsor were shipped off to govern the Bahamas, which resulted in civil unrest there for the first time ever. “David” (that was Edward VIII when he was at home) was kinda a disappointment to the slender silk-clad American and she voiced her disdain within their circle.

In Harry’s case, it sounds like a case of “I just can’t wait to be King!” Because that’s never gonna happen, probably; he’s 6th in line. He certainly isn’t the first royal to feel that he’s got all the constraints and duties of His heritage, with none of the at least ceremonial power. ... [Read More]

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It’s 2020. Do You Know Who Your Poet Laureate Is?

The Poet Laureate of the US serves from October to May. I’m not sure whether that means they serve more than a year, or less. I reckon it must be the former, since I read that Billy Collins was the Laureate on 9/11, and it took him a year to write his commemorative work The Names. That’s one of the things they’re supposed to do: memorialize any momentous event in verse. They get $35 K to do it, so,they oughta be able to come up with something!

For 2019-2020, it’s Joy Harjo, an Ameri—uh, no I should say “Native American” poet, our first! Mvskoke Nation. I’m kinda surprised she accepted the post since she appears to be a Trump-hater. That’s disappointing. Maybe she likes Warren.... [Read More]

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I’ll Have The Crow

I’ve said all along that I didn’t think Nick Sandman’s case was a winner. But now, well, he didn’t win, but CNN made a “business decision” to settle with him. For how much, we don’t know. So it’s likely the other media defendants will take the same course of action. The lad will end up quite financially comfy, though he probably won’t be getting into Harvard on the strength of his notoriety.

For his sake, I’m happy to have been wrong.... [Read More]

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See How Well It Works?

…that’s the punch line of the joke where moron says he has, idk, scattered old peanut shells in his yard to keep the elephants away. Response: “But there are no elephants in North America.” Moron: “See how well it works?”
Whatever happens, the Left claims it as proof of its hypotheses. F’rinstance, the deadly stampede at Soleimani’s funeral. See? Poor Iranian people are dying because of what Trump did! Their blood is on his hands! “Our” hands!
Except….stampeding is kinda what always happens in the Muslim world wherever 2 or 3 (thousand) are gathered together. Almost every year, a fair number of the pilgrims who set off for the obligatory hajj to Mecca never come home; they’re beaten into the desert sands by the feet of their co-religionists.
And the present catastrophic fires in Australia. See? Climate change!
Except wildfires happen every summer in Australia, started by natural causes. It’s real hot there! Always has been. Yes this incident is unusually widespread, and they desperately need rain. But it isn’t unprecedented, and neither are droughts.

Just as they’ve been openly praying for an economic recession to forestall Trump’s re-election, they’re now gleefully awaiting Iran’s “revenge”, its just response to the elimination of Soleimani. (Never mind that the strike was itself a retaliatory move on our part, after suffering several provocations with remarkable restraint. (Gee, I remember,
Was it just a few months ago?when Trump,was excoriated for not attacking when Iran shot down our billion-dollar drone!) I’ll wager they’re hoping for another 9/11, just like they’re hoping for a replay of the suffering we endured in 2008. It would be worth it to them just to be able to say “we told you so”. ... [Read More]

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Mystery of the Elector’s Bones

A short exchange with @jojo on my Epiphany post reminded me of this: whatever happened to the relic collection of Elector Frederick III of Saxony?
No wait! Don’t move on just yet, this is really interesting. This Frederick was the one who protected Martin Luther, nobody really knows why. And a few years ago I read Christopher Buckley’s great novel The Relic Master, about his factotum, Dismas (y’know, like the Good Thief on the Cross) whose job it was to procure scared items for the Elector.
The book is very funny; I recommend it! And although Dismas himself is fictional, the part about Frederick III’s priceless and extensive collection of sacred relics is not. He had over 17,000 items for which he had paid vast sums of money, because the bidding for such things was fierce. In his day, it must have represented one of the greatest concentrations of value in the Western world.

Many of the relics were bones: knuckle, toe, jaw of some saint or other. I think the saints’ club was less exclusive in the 16th century. But it was also things like a blade of hay from Jesus’ manger, His foreskin, a stoppered vial containing the Virgin’s breath, a strand of her hair, instruments of martyrdom like St Sebastian’s arrows, textile fragments like the Shroud of Turin.
Veneration of such relics wasn’t something Luther approved of, not at all! The prickly priapic Protestant railed against the avarice of such practices, which makes it all the more mysterious that Frederick patronized and protected him. And all the more ironic that,in 2017, the 500 year anniversary of his Theses, the tiny town of Wittenberg was bracing for an influx of about 500,000 people coming to, well, venerate relics of Martin Luther!
Having read the novel right before we visited Saxony, I expected to hear about this once-priceless collection, maybe see at least a selection of its items, somewhere. If not that, to encounter an amusing legend about a post-Reformation Bonfire-of-the-Vanities type conflagration where the valuable items were destroyed in an orgy of purification.
But no. Nobody had ever heard of the relic collection. And I’ve tried researching its subsequent history, to no avail. This supremely coveted, painstakingly acquired, fabulously valuable assemblage seems to have just…disappeared.
Maybe it was warehoused somewhere until, after the Reformation, people just forgot any significance the items once had? A stray cow munched up the blades of hay from Jesus’ manger, a dusty glass vial rolled off a shelf and broke without anyone realizing the Virgin had just released her last breath? Feral dogs got in and worried at the sacred bones, which disappointingly crumbled to dust in their jaws?
Or what?
Ou sont les nieges d’antan? And whither the Elector’s bones?

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Stand Down! or I’ll Blow This Statue’s Head Off!

Awwww, are the wittle Iwanians upset that big bad Twump thweatened their pwecious “cultural sites”? That is really beyond the bounds of civilized society! I mean: kill, maim, and blow up all the mere mortals you want, we’ll make more! But these great and beautiful edifices, works of art and literature: immortal! irreplaceable! #standiwthIran! The entire world, surely, can unite in condemning this threat to our entire planet’s heritage!

Yeah they can—now that it’s Trump who said it! But, uh, I don’t remember much condemnation when the fanatic Muslims dynamited those two gigantic Buddha statues. When they destroyed the Assyrian ruins at Palmyra, when they gleefully laid waste to the Mosul Museum. Oh I reckon a few archaeologists and curators wrung their hands, but….nothing political. The famously callous and indifferent world-at-large “understood” they committed this wanton destruction in the name of monotheism. They did it for their faith, and we must—on pain of universal obloquy! respect “faith” so long as we’re not talkin’ Judaism:or Christianity! ... [Read More]

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For Epiphany

“…All this was a long time ago, I remember/And I would do it again, but set down/This set down/This, were we led all that way for/Birth, or Death? There was a Birth, certainly/ We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen Birth and Death/And thought they were different. This Birth was/Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death./ We returned to our places, these Kingdoms/But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation/With an alien people clutching their gods./ I should be glad of another death.”
—T. S. Eliot, Journey of the Magi

I think last year I posted Yeats’ poem, which I prefer, but this one is a biggie. ... [Read More]

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