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“They” are taking over, are they?

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

[ by Charles Cameron — might be of interest to John Robb & Adam Elkus ]

Whoever “they” may be, they’re taking over all over:



  • Washington Post, MS-13 is ‘taking over the school,’
  • South China Morning Post, Wild boars are taking over Japan’s small towns
  • **

    Two things:

    One. In each case, we have a well-studied context — education, Japanese urban living — invaded by an unexpected “alien” force — a virulent gang, wild boars — which will easily blindise students of the context, resulting in unanticipated consequences..

    And two. there seems to be enough parallelism between the two instances on “taking over” that we should be able to abstract a rule from the pair of examples — though I’m terrified to think what the implications of such a rule might be..



  • Global warming may be a factor in the exploding Japanese wild boar population
  • Some of the wild boar in Japan are radioactive thanks to Fukushima
  • **

    Pamplona, the Running of the Bulls; Tokyo, the Running of the Boars:

    Voluntary (above); involuntary (below).

    Shorts 3: Bear, Tiger & Sanctuary, Service / Servitude, &c

    Sunday, March 4th, 2018

    [ by Charles Cameron — gotta serve somebody, but best not Richard III ]

    Bear vs Tiger:

    Watch a bear pick a fight with a tiger to try to save her cub

    Only a few dozen tigers roam this 30,000-acre reserve in central India, according to the Hindustan Times. Yet they dominate the coveted water holes, where barking deer and hyena packs must come to drink. Even humans have to respect the laws of nature in this park. [ .. ]

    And Matkasur ran from the bear; this time not turning back. She chased him all the way to the water hole. He splashed straight into it, as if it were sanctuary. Maybe it was, because the bear stopped at the water’s edge.

    Projecting sanctuary back to the animal realm — semi-joking, srsly? And water, holy water, as the sanctuary? Or would the boundary (limen, in Victor Turner‘s terms) between earth and water might be enough? Obvs, the tiger doesn’t think, “Ah, Victor Turner time!” — but what might be the sensibilities of tiger and bear cognition? Seriously?

    Paleo-religion? Time to rethink sanctuary cities?

    Tyger! Bear!


    It Can’t Happen Here, i:

    It Can’t Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis, and a 1936 play adapted from the novel by Lewis and John C. Moffitt.

    Published during the rise of fascism in Europe, the novel describes the rise of Berzelius “Buzz” Windrip, a politician who defeats Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and is elected President of the United States, after fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and “traditional” values.

    And so on..


    It Can’t Happen Here, ii:

    Inspired by the book, director–producer Kenneth Johnson wrote an adaptation titled Storm Warnings in 1982. The script was presented to NBC for production as a television miniseries, but NBC executives rejected the initial version, claiming it was too cerebral for the average American viewer. To make the script more marketable, the American fascists were re-cast as man-eating extraterrestrials, taking the story into the realm of science fiction. The revised story became the miniseries V, which premiered May 3, 1983

    And so forth..


    It can’t happen here, [Richard] iii::

    Wachet auf!


    Serve somebody, i:

    Why I regret being in the pocket of the NRA: Marc Dann

    The mass murder of 17 students and staff at a high school in Parkland, Florida, has reignited the national debate about the availability of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that began nearly 30 years ago. Since the Parkland massacre, I’ve been asked repeatedly why politicians steadfastly oppose banning firearms that serve no other purpose than to efficiently kill innocent human beings.

    I know the answer because, as an Ohio state senator and attorney general, I was in the pocket of the National Rifle Association. [ .. ]

    I made a devil’s bargain with myself: To stay in office, I adopted pro-gun positions that made me uncomfortable.

    The bargain paid off.

    Amazing to see how (a) how he quite casually invokes theology by way of explanation, and/or (b) how the Faustian bargain “myth” works out in real life:

    I soon learned however, that in making a deal with the devil to advance my political career, I had abandoned my principles and sold my soul.

    D’oh! That’s what the Bargain is! You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed, you’re gonna have to serve somebody:


    Serve somebody, ii:

    Yom may be the heavyweight champion of the world..

    I’ll end on this note.

    Eagle deaths: an interesting contrast — a DoubleQuote

    Thursday, July 20th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — on imbalances in public interest, reporting, just one example ]

    David Hardy at Of Guns and the Law posted Eagle deaths: an interesting contrast today, Jonathan at ChicagoBoyz picked up on it, and when I looked at it myself, I saw the first two of Hardy’s three paragraphs as a DoubleQuote — making two points in counterpoint, as a musician might say, Hardy’s phrase “interesting contrast” meaning much the same thing. I like to use my DoubleQuote graphic formulations for such juxtapositions, as I’ve done here with Hardy’s “DoubleQuote in the wild”:

    Hardy’s third and final paragraph reads thus:

    When worked at Interior, a quarter century ago, I was told that bird deaths due to wind farms were massive, but orders were to do and say nothing, because wind power was fashionable. Hmmmm..



    If you took all the world’s potential “compare and contrast” pairs, and tried to balance them all equably, so that no comparisons ever had the kind of imbalance Hardy exposes here, there would be too many subjective factors for everyone to agree on, and worse thasn that, all too frequently balancing one pair of issues would almost certainly imbalance others..

    So we’d always have room to complain that something or other wasn’t fair.. Sort of like a Gödel’s incompleteness theorem for idealists?




  • Associated Press, Bald eagle threat: Lead ammo left behind by hunters
  • Politifact, Trump inflates wind turbine eagle deaths
  • Sunday surprise: Paul Ryan

    Sunday, May 7th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — Paul Ryan and friends, plus dogs, pants, tardigrades, and the quantum cat ]

    Kyle Matthews provides his Twitter followers with a fine example of a visual DoubleQuote, which I’m reproducing here with the two images at the best magnification for Zenpundit:

    If Paul Ryan and company were performing a re-enactment, they could scarcely have done a better job!


    On a more serious note.. Paul Ryan gave a presentation of his health care plan, which CNN brings you complete, thus:


    Less seriously again though, as Time reports, The Internet Is Having a Field Day Turning Paul Ryan’s Health Care PowerPoint Into Hilarious Memes. This one in particular caught my eye:


    Take a closer look at that slide. It’s amost a koan do dogs have pant-nature?

    Sometimes imagining yourself into the scene helps solve the conundrum:

    Or applying it to another koan:

    Or applying it to the lovely but somewhat complex tardigrade..

    Hey, you could always reduce it to the quantum level..

    — probably — but not once the wave-form collapses..

    Canadians, however, got all practical and entrepreneurial, with a company called Muddy Mutts:

    Oh, and cute:


    With any luck, I took your mind off politics for a moment there..

    There’s nothing I can see, so I can’t perceive it..

    Monday, April 10th, 2017

    [ Charles Cameron — on what may yet remain invisible ]

    It is, surely, a matter of both culure and disposition:


    The Dale McKinnon quote is from In the Light of reverence, a documentary presenting native spirituality in conflict with western land uses in Lakota, Hopi and Wintu sacred areas (the Devil’s Tower, Colorado Plateau, and Mt Shasta, respectively):

    Highly recommended.


    Saint-Exupery‘s quote, from The Little Prince, offers a possible explanation and response.

    Paul Klee on the role of the artist:

    Art does not reproduce the visible; it makes visible


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