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Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday evening, July 25, 2017. I’ve said this God knows how many times, but I hope you won’t mind if I say it again. The goal of the rich greedy bastards of the corporatist Right who own and run the Republican Party is to create a workforce of desperate, depressed, demoralized and obedient wage slaves who will take whatever job they can get for whatever pay the owners deign to pay them under whatever conditions the owners think will best serve the bottom line. Repealing Obamacare is just the first step. Next comes the total elimination of Medicaid. Private-employer... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Lance Mannion
Posted Sunday morning, July 23, 2017. There are no good people. Well, very few of them. What we rely on to keep life from becoming a complete hell on earth are bad people who know they are bad and don’t like that about themselves and go out of their way to try to be good or at least try not to be too bad. They are outnumbered by people who suspect they are bad but pretend to be good. They generally avoid doing major wrong by following as best they can the example of the bad people who are trying... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday night, July 22, 2017. In the middle of his second week in the hospital, Yossarian dreamed of his mother, and he knew again he was going to die. The doctors were upset when he gave them the news. “We can’t find anything wrong,” they told him. “Keep looking,” he instructed. “You’re in perfect health.” “Just wait,” he advised. ---from Closing Time by Joseph Heller. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday night, July 21, 2017. Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow. Adolph Northen. Via Wikimedia Commons. “Well, Napoleon finished a little bit bad. But I asked that. So I asked the president, so what about Napoleon? He said: ‘No, no, no. What he did was incredible. He designed Paris.’…The street grid, the way they work, you know, the spokes. He did so many things even beyond. And his one problem is he didn’t go to Russia that night because he had extracurricular activities, and they froze to death. How many times has Russia been saved by the weather?”---from President Donald Trump’s... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Looking to buy a car? 1941 Chevy. Roadside auto sale. On north side of Route 300. This morning, Thursday, July 20. 2017. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
Thursday. 8:53 a.m. Bright sun. Blue skies. 77 degrees. Chicory, mullein, Black-eyed Susans, trefoil---Birdsfoot trefoil. Purple loosestrife in ditches and low, wet spots. In case you were wondering what’s springing up along the roadsides here in the Northeast. Day lilies mostly gone. Seems early. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday evening, July 19, 2017. “The kids didn’t like it at all.” Joan Crawford with Walter Huston in Rain. James Baldwin on why movie stars aren’t allowed to act: The distance between oneself---the audience---and a screen performer is an absolute: a paradoxical absolute, masquerading as intimacy. No one, for example, will ever really know whether Katherine Hepburn or Bette Davis or Humphrey Bogart or Spencer Tracy or Clark Gable---or John Wayne---can, or could, really act, or not, nor does anyone care: acting is not what they are required to do. Their acting ability, so far from being what attracts... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Monday night, July 17, 2017. Yossarian, in his old age, contemplates the state of the world from his hospital bed. Heller wrote this in 1994. A prick in the White House? It would not be the first time. Another oil tanker had broken up. There was radiation. Garbage. Pesticides, toxic waste, and free enterprise. There were enemies of abortion who wished to inflict the death penalty on everyone who was not pro-life. There was mediocrity in government, and self-interest too. There was trouble in Israel. These were not mere delusions. He was not making them up. Soon they would... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday, July 16, 2017. “President Trump is the greatest thing that’s happened to this country,” said Luther Strange, who was appointed to the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions. “I consider it a biblical miracle that he’s here.”---from an op-ed in the New York Times by Timothy Egan. July 14, 2017 Read your bible. You want to understand how Right Wing Christians reconcile their professed Christian faith with their support---enthusiastic and apparently whole-hearted support---for the most profane and morally and spiritually bankrupt man to ever hold the office of president, the answer is there in the bible, specifically... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Saturday night, July 15, 2017. It was 2001. He had arrived in Texas at the start of the summer. He came from Dhaka, in Bangladesh, by the way of two years in New York City. Here on the fringes of the Dallas metroplex, he began his day at 5 a.m., dressing quickly at his boss' house, where he was living, and rushing to get behind the counter before dawn. He sold County Time lemonade and Tahitian Treat punch, Coors Light and ten-cent candies, Gillette razors and Copenhagen tobacco products until midnight or 1 a.m., mining the Dallas Morning News... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday afternoon, July 14, 2017. Kentucky’s junior Senator Rand Paul, one of the only two Republicans who’ve taken a principled stand against the Senate’s bill to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act. Unfortunately, his principles are evil-minded. Even more unfortunately, they’re not that much different from the principles that are behind most of his Republican colleagues’ intention to vote for it. Photo by J. Scott Applewhite, courtesy of AP via the New York Times. From the Los Angeles Times: With their bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act only a vote away from collapse, Republican leaders scrambled Thursday... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2017 at Lance Mannion
Posted Thursday morning, July 13, 2017. Yesterday was Thoreau’s 200th Birthday. Henry Thoreau gave up his scandalous life To live among the sand cranes and the ants. He was a little afraid of women, but he Kept company with his handsome language. His cold look made many men uneasy. He would know each spring day which blossom Would boldly open; he kept track of that. Mostly, he lived extravagantly alone. ---- “How Thoreau Lived” by Robert Bly. Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Thursday morning, July 13, 2017. There's all kinds of evil at work behind the Republican plans to repeal Obamacare. Thousands of people will die and that is by design. The masses have to be taught a lesson. They must be reminded of their place in the grand scheme of things. Near the bottom. They must learn who they can turn to when they're hurting, sick, or in trouble. No one. Not the government, at any rate. The determined drive to repeal Obamacare and “replace” it with empty promises and needless cruelties all in the cause of saving a few... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday morning, July 12, 2017. “TOUCHING TUSKS: The narwhal’s iconic tusk is actually a repurposed canine tooth. This complex sensory organ transmits stimuli from ocean water to the brain.” Photo by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic Creative. The photo’s from a gallery at National Geographic. There are fourteen photos of fourteen species of whales. The pictures are, says reporter Carrie Arnold, “stunning.” That’s no idle boast. To see all fourteen click on the photos or follow the link to 14 Jaw-Dropping Pictures of Whales. “Also known as white whales, belugas (pictured, an animal at St. Lawrence Marine Park in Quebec)... Continue reading
Posted Jul 12, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Tuesday night, July 11, 2017. In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not openly at war, a young man met a young woman in a classroom and did not speak to her. For many days. His name was Saeed and her name was Nadia and he had a beard, not a full beard, more a studiously maintained stubble, and she was always clad from the tips of her toes to the bottom of her jugular notch in a flowing black robe. Back then people continued to enjoy the luxury of wearing more... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2017 at Lance Mannion
Mined from the notebooks, Thursday, May 11, 2017. Another very short essay. I know you know this. But your confreres online don’t seem to know, and it’s up to me to set them straight. So you can relax. I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to them. Telling them things they ought to know but don’t. Things you and I know as a matter of course. But consider this. We all know things we don’t actually know. That is, when the moment calls for it, knowledge we called on just the other day, deserts us. It just doesn’t figure in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2017 at Lance Mannion
Mined from the notebooks, Thursday, May 11, 2017. Posted Monday, July 10. Another very short essay. I know you know this. But your confreres online don’t seem to know, and it’s up to me to set them straight. So you can relax. I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to them. Telling them things they ought to know but don’t. Things you and I know as a matter of course. But consider this. We all know things we don’t actually know. That is, when the moment calls for it, knowledge we called on just the other day, deserts us. It... Continue reading
Posted Jul 11, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday night, July 9, 2017. On the way out of the movie theater last night, we followed a pair of couples in their thirties on a double date who’d just seen Spider-Man: Homecoming too. Sounded like they all liked it, but the snatch of their conversation I overheard was about Wonder Woman. Seems that one of the two women didn't like it. Actually, she hated it. She thought it was stupid. It wasn't "real." I don't think she meant real as in realistic and she thinks Greek gods are mere fantasy while teenagers being bitten by radioactive spiders and... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday morning, July 9, 2017. Moreover, the use of horses in logging increases human employment. One person operating a skidder may replace three teamsters. We are taught to see that as an advantage, and it is, but only to the company that makes skidders, and to the suppliers of fuel. The advantages of horse logging, much to the contrary, accrue to the forest and the human community. The Amish horseman we talked with earn a good living, working as "independent contractors." in a time obsessed with "job creation," perhaps we need to argue about the worth of three people... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Mined from the notebooks, June 24, 2017. Posted Saturday morning, July 8. So. Other day. Grocery store parking lot. I'm looking for a space. There's a bank of handicapped slots near the front doors. I have my choice, so it's really no skin off my nose that someone's parked almost crosswise in one of the spots. Angled in like one of those jerks who feel entitled to take two spaces so no one can park next to him and maybe ding his doors when they open theirs. This irks me and makes me suspect the driver of being a jerk... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Friday night, July 7, 2017. From Some Rise By Sin, a novel by Philip Caputo. Father Timothy Riordan, a Franciscan priest, serving in Mexico, is having trouble writing the homily for the funeral mass for two young parishioners killed by gunfire: He didn't believe his own words. There must be something else he could say, closer to the truth. Two days earlier, a detachment of paratroopers attempted to quell a demonstration in the plaza...A gun went off---whose, no one knew for sure---and the soldiers opened fire...Angel and Hector had been standing up on the bandstand...when the bullets found them.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at Lance Mannion
Posted Friday morning, July 7, 2017. The shadowy cave we live in extends far out Over the world. It’s dark there. Even Amundsen And all his dogs couldn’t find the end of it. ---from “Visiting the Teacher” by Robert Bly. Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Adapted from the notebooks and tweeter feed, Thursday, June 29, 2017. Posted Thursday evening, July 6. President Franklin Roosevelt and his “little dog Fala”, taking a drive around Hyde Park. That our Mr President Trump would get mad at having his sanity questioned on TV is understandable. That he'd want to respond in public is also understandable although unpresidential. But that he would even think to respond the way he did is vicious and creepy and so self-evidently wrong every which but loose, that the fact he went ahead and did it anyway is proof he is mentally unfit for... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Wednesday evening, July 5, 2017. “An orphan giraffe is being fed by his Samburu keeper at the Namunyak wildlife Consevancy in Kenya. The Samburu are traditionally nomadic pastoralists. The community here has been deeply involved in creating and managing the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy.” Photo by Ami Vitale, National Geographic. I swear that once upon a time I must have known what “reticulated” means. You're dealing with someone who used to read dictionaries for fun. In sixth grade I won a classroom contest for coming up with the most synonyms for "defeated" --- as in the Packers defeated the Cowboys.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 5, 2017 at Lance Mannion
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Posted Sunday morning, July 2, 2017. “A male Pin-tailed Whydah at Londolozi Private Game Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa.” Photo courtesy of New Jersey Birds, via Wikipedia. Considered as parasites with the potential to become the avian equivalents of kudzu and zebra mussels, Pin-tail Wydahs, although interesting, are no more interesting than cowbirds. The males look more interesting. During the breeding season, their black tail feathers grow twice as long as the bird’s body, and show off those feathers in an in-air mating dance that's quite a spectacle.. Female whydahs look like house sparrows, but their great evolutionary achievement is laying... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2017 at Lance Mannion