I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
June 02, 2017 - 10:40 a.m.
Oh, great I have something akin to poison ivy on my arms. I'll pick up some hydrocortisone today. I had to stop in the middle of the word "hydrocortisone" as I remembered to pay my phone bill. Then forgot what I was doing. Now I'm back and itching.
Yesterday's adventure was accompanying Bernie to his doctor's appointment in the City. I mentioned that yesterday but forgot to tell you that on the return trip we were accosted by two young men on the subway. I was busy reading the Times on my phone but I kept one eye on them. They were clean cut with light shirts and ties and recognized them for what they were, Mormon missionaries. They started chatting Bernie up before they said what they were. I was ready to jump in and create a diversion to their proselytizing. As soon as they announced themselves I told them I knew that was what they were from the way they were dressed. It's tougher guessing with the women. They then turned their focus on me. They asked if I've talked to missionaries before. I didn't tell them about the super annoying ones that came to our house minutes after my parents and I returned from an 8-week summer vacation. We hadn't unpacked and they didn't realize that it was a bad time. I did tell them about the super cute Welsh missionary I talked to in Central Park. I left out the detail that as she was trying to convert me I was trying to seduce her. Neither of us succeeded. I did get a book of Mormon out of it which was the reason I started talking to her. The guys yesterday asked me what I thought of it. When they said they wanted to know even after I told them they didn't want to hear it, I told them the truth. "It reads like it was written by an illiterate trying to sound like the King James bible." Have you read it? That is exactly how it reads and it is pretty much what it is. Everything remained cordial, Mormons missionaries are extraordinarily polite. I give them credit for that. They are legitimately generous. They are just wrong. I had one other encounter. I was waiting for someone in a playground and there were some missionaries playing some very geeky game. I've forgotten which one, I think it's based on an ancient Egyptian game. They were not "working" and I approached them, geek to geek, and talked about the game.
I stayed in last night but before dinner I went to Lickity Split for ice cream. There is no reason that the ice cream has to come after the meal. I had what I always get there, bittersweet symphony, coffee ice cream with chocolate pieces. I went to the IGA and bought corn. It was in a package, I usually avoid that, and was too expensive, but I was craving corn on the cob. I steamed it. We have a grill. I have to see if we have gas and try grilling now that the weather is warm. Grilled corn is the best.
Yesterday's big real-world news was Trump pulling the US out of the Paris Accord. As I wrote yesterday, I realize most of My Gentle Readers know how bad this is. I'm not going to tell you what you already know. I will point out that is does not have to be a disaster. Advancements in clean energy technology might be enough to save the world. People will stop burning coal because it will cost more than solar and natural gas. The main reason we've had reductions in our greenhouse gas production is that natural gas has gotten so cheap that it replaced coal. Natural gas emits more carbon than solar and wind but far less than coal. As wind and solar get cheaper they will eat more and more into coal and start eating into natural gas.
It's going to be tougher without government support but it doesn't have to mean that the US gets frozen out of the growing clean energy technology field. Solar will be tough as the Chinese control the world's supplies of rare earths that are necessary to build solar panels. The irony is that the reason for that is their lack of environmental protections. Mining rare earths exposes the miners to radiation that is not tolerated in the rest of the world. In China it is, so they can produce rare earths cheaper than anyone else.
Elon Musk is a global leader in battery technology, that's the real story of the Tesla. He's be perfectly happy if everyone else made electric cars as long as he sells them the batteries. Musk pulled out of Trump's technology advisory boards in response to Trump pulling us out of Paris. Some people thought that Musk should never have joined them but I'm with him. He tried to be a voice of reason. If he had succeeded in keeping us in the Accord it would have been well worth it.
I'm going to not lose hope. We can't even leave the accord for four years. We could have a new president by then, one that will listen to reason. Till then we can work on the state and local levels. We can fight every change in regulation that Trump tries to enact. The majority of people in every state think we should have stayed in Paris. We can use that to apply pressure to congress. The Democrats can win over even more of the educated upper-class population, those that realize that lowering their taxes is not enough compensation for rising sea levels. Some good can come of this.
That wasn't what I meant to write about it but that's what came out. It's better than what I planned; that was on tribalism and how people form their opinions. I'm on much stronger ground here.
OK, now to feed the cats, make my breakfast, and head out to therapy then singing with Terre Roche at Wagner Park at 7 PM. Come join me. All you need to bring is yourself. They provide song books to sing from and yoga mats to sit on.
Brother Brothers in Arms - October 01, 2017
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