Snippets

Would you be whining about your work if you had an incredibly powerful job, could have it as long you wanted, work full-time nine months of the year, and make enough to put you in the top 2% of earners with the chance to make even more? And yet here is John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, publicly bemoaning that Americans question the legitimacy of his Court. Apparently, he is so unhappy that so many see his work as illegitimate that he is going to resign. Just kidding.

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.” George Eliot.

I have listened to the summer sounds. I take my coffee and reading material to the porch as the light is dawning and pause periodically to listen to the bird songs, even though I cannot identify any of the calls. After dinner and dusk, I take a book to the porch and pause in my reading to hear the symphony of the cicadas. During the daylight I hear deer, chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits rustling the dry leaves in the woodlot next to my reading spot. But, unfortunately, during the day I also hear the summer sounds of lawn mowers, weed whackers, leaf blowers, and backhoes.

It must be a sign of age: I think of my youth as all the time before I was sixty-eight.

A fact that surprised me: The first medal awarded to an American at the 1936 Berlin Olympics was for art. Art competitions were part of the summer games until 1948.

Another fact that surprised me: Iceland has no ants.

A recurring question that mystifies me: Why are Americans so besotted with the un-American institution of the British royalty?

Sometimes when conservatives rail against critical race theory they betray complete ignorance of what it is. Perhaps they oppose it because they think that it is a system for picking horses.

 “In the middle of the twentieth century, any Mississippi schoolchild who achieved an eighth-grade education had been exposed to a state history textbook [Mississippi through Four Centuries] that told of the glories of the Klan. In discussing Reconstruction, it said the Klan whipped and even killed Blacks ‘who had been giving trouble in a community. . . . The organization helped the South at a difficult time.’” Curtis Wilkie, When Evil Lived in Laurel: The “White Knights” and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer. (2021).

Tony Horwitz, in Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (1998), reports that a visitor to a civil war battlefield asked a park ranger why so many Civil War battles were fought on national parks.

The philosopher said, “Half of wisdom is being silent when you have nothing to say.”

Snippets

His ex-wife said a Republican seeking a senate seat had physically abused her and their son. Previously, he had left office when it was learned that he had taken pictures of his naked hairstylist without her consent. Am I being sexist if I think that it should disqualify any male from being elected to office if he has a hairstylist?

We have honored people by naming parks, craters, stars, mountains, prizes, streets, buildings, campuses, and more after them. Doctors, however, often have maladies named after them. Do they like that?

The Supreme Court justice was hospitalized for an infection. He stayed in the hospital longer than first predicted. We were told that he did not have Covid, but there was nothing said further about the nature of the infection. How many of us were hoping that it was related to an STD?

Nearly 90% of American students attend public secondary schools. Only three of the present nine Supreme Court justices did. None of the justices attended a public college, university, or law school.

The Final Four is alliterative. Did the NCAA phrasemongers also think Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen were alliterations?

I have been trying but failing to understand who comprise “the elites” conservatives rail against. Are the Elite Eight in that group or do they comprise it?

I received a letter “signed” by Donald J. Trump urging me to become a member of the Republican National Committee. It did not offer me any membership benefits but urged a money contribution. The letter pointed out Biden’s less than stellar poll numbers and continued, “And my polls are at an all-time high.” I wondered about that and went to RealClearPolitics, which aggregates polls. It reported that Trump’s favorability number was 44.6 and his unfavorable rating was 50.8. They are a bit better than Biden’s, which were 42.5 and 52.0, but would you brag about polls that show the majority of the country views you with distaste?

The letter’s salutation from the RNC signed by Trump was “Dear Fellow Patriot.” And I have thought that “Trump, the patriot” was a very short joke.

Why is it that some jokes are painful if told by the comedian but make me laugh when told by a ventriloquist’s dummy?

“A different taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.” George Eliot.

Even though the book review interview stated that the author had written many books and I have not, I felt as if I were the same as the writer when the interview reported that the novelist can’t read Proust anymore.

Proper perspective. After that incident that got a lot of attention at the Oscars, a Brooklyn news source had the headline, “Brooklyn Man Gets Slapped on National TV.”

Snippets

          Before this March, when was the last time you put “social” and “distance” in the same sentence? Social distancing seems to be an oxymoron, but perhaps there is no better term. Keep a respectful separation from others, but “a respectful separation” sounds like a divorcing couple trying to convince friends and relatives that everything is amicable. If there is social distancing, is there a remote intimacy? That sounds like many relationships in their tenth year.

          Do you think Melania has barked, “Social distance! Social distance!” so often, she now just utters, “SD! SD!”?

          Are there controlled scientific studies that support six feet as the proper social distance? I have not seen them cited. If good science backs up that amount of separation, I think the study would have been in the metric system. What is the proper social distance in Europe?

          Does anyone do a drinking game where a shot must be downed every time Vice President Pence mentions Trump in one of those briefings? Participants would be drunk within thirty seconds. After two minutes, they would have to be taken to an ICU that would not have open beds and need a ventilator that might be found by bidding on ebay.

          Only “essential” businesses are open in New York. Liquor stores are classified as essential. Only essential businesses are open in Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Liquor stores are not labeled essential there. Make of that what you will.

          I had the horrifying dream that during a coronavirus briefing, I lost a pound every time the president referred to himself. I saw myself shed weight and quickly I was at a desired poundage, but I sped past that into appearing anorexic. In a few minutes, I was a skeleton. I woke up in a cold sweat.

          Is Greenland free of the coronavirus? If so, maybe Trump should have bought the island after all.

          While COVID-19 has clusters, it is a national problem. However, the Trump administration has only lackadaisically tried to increase the production and distribution of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and ventilators for those who get seriously sick. As a result, life-and-death choices will have to be made as to who gets protected and treated. Where is Sarah Palin and all those who were entranced by her as she ranted delusionally about Obamacare death panels? Now we have planning for the life-and death decisions. And they should be called TPDs—Trump Death Panels.

          “He was like a cock who thought the sun had risen to hear him crow.” George Eliot [Mary Ann Evans].