Category Archives: Shorter – More off the cuff

Omen? Chance?

Yesterday as I was walking up our driveway after yet another day of rain, my eye caught several of these leaves lying on the still damp asphalt.

Where did the orange come from? Why had it not faded like the rest of the leaf? It caught my interest.

Such fine structure just below the surface. Delicate leaf veins. What would the newly possible increase in environmental poisons do to that delicate life? .. to the orange?

What else has an unusual orange swath — Donald does. He has turned his negating touch to nature, banished eco-protective regulations. Might he too be blown away by some storm? Omen? Pure coincidence— in a universe in which nothing happens by accident?

Had I been caught yesterday in DTS mania for always being the focus of conversation, I would have missed this reminder that all beauty happens in the present. I am grateful for the orange decorated leaf.

Too good not to share

from: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/4/22/1939530/-Too-Good-Not-to-Share-Ode-to-Sean-Hannity-by-John-Cleese?utm_campaign=trending

Ode to Sean Hannity

by John Cleese

Aping urbanity

Oozing with vanity

Plump as a manatee

Faking humanity

Journalistic calamity

Intellectual inanity

Fox News insanity

You’re a profanity

Hannity
 

Thank you, John Cleese!. But a short historical correction applies here. DT cannot hold the title,the greatest leader in all of history. You see, the Title is already taken. It was first bestowed, with all due insincerity, on …. drum roll…..Adolph H, late of the 13 year long Thousand Year Reich. Adolph, a worthy rival to DT in egotism, ate it right up. Leader Fuehrer FIeld Marshall Stable Genius Feldherr in the Nazi State or the dirty delusion of a Trump State, it all meant #1 guy and respect it or else!

It was originally published by the Nazi Party, but that backfired. Subdued and threatened German soldiers, who wanted to laugh privately but thoroughly at the malignant corporal clown, with tongue in cheek shortened to Gröfaz – German soldiers’ derogatory acronym for Größter Feldherr aller Zeiten.(Grö+F+a+Z) (Thank you, danke schoen Wikipedia)

One history of humor in the 13 years of the Thousand Year Reich indicated that Gröfaz became a popular derogatory term outside the Wehrmacht. It could have been heard by Germans just as an acronym to laugh at, but it also, when spoken fast, and semi-whispered at a distance almost can be heard as the German for “greatest fart” größter Feldherr aller Zeiten ~ Grö-faz/Größ-furz.

What it sounds like in German

At any rate, the full title can belong to only one Deluded Stable Genius, and AH took that accolade. However, the acronym has now become a term unto itself. It is listed on Wikipedia as a German military term. And therefore it may be bestowed with all rights and honors appurtenant thereunto upon the fake sun tanned brow of DT: D Gröfaz T. OR DT, Gröfaz— has a certain ring to it, nicht wahr/ right?

Our Healthcare System: a loaded gun aimed at YOUR heart

What is the key to keeping our economy from tanking in ways that will make the Depression look easy?

In. what ways have the Chinese, Italians, Germans, been able to slow down CoVId19?

In China, officials could tell employees to stay home and gets medical care because everyone has it. That then is THE indispensable lever in restricting the spread of CoVid19. McKinsey agrees on that score. Their is also a NY Times articles this am in which a very well known economist in Chicago says the same thing.

It makes me livid and scares me to death. And I mean to death very seriously because I am exactly the person who is most vulnerable to this disease. Sadly there could now be countless others who find themselves tied to the rails with the train coming.

If its spread in the US is not restricted and it spreads fast, then many more people than in China will become infected. But unlike in China, Germany, etc., many will have to go to work sick, because they do not have a uniform comprehensive coverage and will lose i income and maybe their jobs if they stay home sick. It will spread fast as people work to have the funds to be treated for the infections that raise the speed and degree of spread.

Isn’t that just great….

So: Fast spread fueled by sick workers trying to stay employed,is a real possibility here.

What other proof does anyone need that the accursed “free market” health care system in the US is a moral obscenity and a conduit for precisely the colossal national economic and thus also security calamity that the cynical, stupid, senile Republican advocates for that obscenity desperately want to avoid?

We cannot cure or stop this virus. There will not be a magical sudden appearance of some wonder cure. This is not a movie. The only effective tool is restriction. And to restrict, people must stay away from work when sick.

They cannot in the USA. Just think of it: the country with the world class academic training in managing pandemics will not let itself have the key tool to do that: universal comprehansive healthcare so that employees can stay home to recover with no fear of loss of jobs or income.

And it could wreck our economy and then the world’s. The sky could easily fall and not just on Chicken Little.

We do not have a health care system. We have a health catastrophe system, one of the best health care systems that the 19th Century can offer, owned and managed by Scrooges, Skinflints, and Sadists economic bloodsuckers. They and their Republican puppets have been able for years to intimidate, distract, b.s. and smoke out any reasonable understanding of how their system sets up the country for disaster. Yes, the Germans have it right: die Dummheit stirbt nie aus— stupidity will never become extinct.

The CoVid19 virus is showing us unequivocally what decades of rational argument have been unable to establish: our patchwork, sieve-like, rusty, creaky healthcare “system” might as free be a Big Gun aimed right at all of our Hearts. It is time we turned that gun around, aimed it at the asset-sucking leaches and vampires who own the means that limit our health and safety, and run them out of town.

Back to the Stable

Give us a break! A big bad thing called CoVid19 Pandemic is sprinting around the corner for the US. And two things are striking about our national DT: first, he is trying to make us believe that this is good because he delayed it; second—have you seen the look on his face in briefings with Fauci? Like a little kid who has lost his mommy in a Super Mal-Mart.

The nonverbals, Donald, are saying that the verbals are lying—once again. And those of us who have studied nonverbals tend to like the rule of thumb about nonverbals: the truth can be read nonverbally. Much easier than sifting through wordsmithed propaganda.

DOn’t believe me? Ask any successful actor — no not Trump, I said successful. Or dogs: they know that they can tell a humans exact emotional state by observing the left side of the face.

Try it out:

When Donald came to the White House, his stable genius told him that he shoukd eliminate the Pandemic operation at CDC. One wonders, why?

Let’s see — what was DT’s really big initiative at that time? Maybe two: 1.,trying to use Ukraine to Trump up lies against Joe Biden and 2., The Wall. It cannot have been to save money for Ukraine because he was pressuring them by withholding the committed, promised foreign aid.

So that leaves The Wall. And how successful was this initiative? Reports from locals, border patrol, whomever all, ALL say effectively that DT might as well have put up a huge block of Swiss Emmenthaler cheese —the one with all the large holes -or a fence made from large hole sieve mesh.

And now that eternal liar is strutting around saying that keeping people out earlier in his three year long temper tantrum substitute for leading — keeping them out postponed our engagement with CoVid19. Or it was his blabbing, before the truth about our state of total lack of the crux of preparedness, test kits, hit the fan.

We could have been prepared, the Germans weteandtgeybwere not hiding their efforts or resources. Die ZEIT, the online German newspaper I read, reported early during the Wuhan crisis, that a researcher in Berlin, probably at the Robert Koch Institut, had developed a valid, reliable test.

The question is: why did we not license it and use it here?

Simple:. There were no fireman in the firehouse when the flames erupted in the neighboring town. DT had closed it down.

Throw this in also: Germany, where weeks long exposure to the virus has been slowed to between 200 and 300 cases as if today, has no academic program to train for some key aspects of pandemic research and management. In Hamburg there is a team working on testing anti-CoVid19 substances. The team leader is a very skilled and well known researcher. But to get up to speed, even with the Ph D or MD and all sorts of other sub specialties, she had to leave Germany to get training at the #1 place on this earth for that: Massachusetts General Hospital.

Did we engage Mass General for anything back when we could have slowed this thing down? We still are using our scant supply for only the most severe cases. We still cannot test anyone who might have the virus, and that means that we cannot stop, hinder, or even slow this plague in the US.

Another cute little fact is this: the broken humans in charge have no policy about compensation fir this who get this but cannot afford to stay home. And they are not even discussing it! So more people will get infected right when we desperately need to reduce the infection rate.

Healthcare by Scrooge, the social Darwinism version of charity: let them die then, are there no work house, let them wait until succor trickles down from what’s left over after the 1% takes all they want.

When you find yourself eating stockpiled dehydrated foods while DT and his buddies feed their greasy gluttony with steak, when you are, wondering whether your pipes will freeze because everyone at the power company is sick and our shaky, , patchwork grid just shorted out, when you are locked away in your room unable even to pet your dog o hug your wife, when your aching tooth will just have to rot in your mouth because the dentist either won’t see you or is closed:

REMEMBER this is the gift, entirely 1000%, of our very own Stable Genius, Donald J Trump more aptly labeled the American case of DT.

And also NEVER FORGET:

our DT from the Genius Stable was saved from having been put back in his stable stall with all the other horses asses by Moscow Mitch McConnell and the Senile Senate Simpletons minus One.

These are the Servants of Self who want to continue to keep healthcare in the Unknowing States a loaded weapon, these are the Servile Skinflints who hold that loaded weapon pointed directly at my, your and our children’s and grandchildren’s hearts.

Was there ever a better case of de facto treason of the greedy, by the soulless and for the vultures against The People?

Let’s herd ‘em all up, lasso the herd leaders and drive ‘em all back into the Genius Stable with the #1 horse’s ass, ol” DT.

Who was this guy, Go-‘ee-thee (Goethe)?

Who was this guy, Go-ee’-thee?

I know.  I write about German things and especially Goethe a lot.  A century ago that would have been the norm.  German was taught in the secondary schools.  Until the Kaiser thought it neat to try to link up with the Mexicans in WW1 to invade the US, it was a neck and neck race in public opinion as to whether we would enter the war on their side.

Germans, not Englishmen, were amongst the first immigrants to the New World.  Buy the time the English got here, they were so settled in that nobody thought of them as foreign.

So right off the bat, pronunciation.  I owe it to the last polymath (universal genius) of the Western world to get folks at least a bit closer to how he would have said his name.

  1. SaY Ger-tuh,  Go on, do it—out loud.
  2. Add a little change to the [-er-]:  as you say it, try wrapping your lips around it as if you were trying to say the [w] in [wood].   Yes, you who thinks this is rinky-dink, try it.
  3. that little change is called an Umlaut, or altered sound.  It appears in today’s German as two dots above [a]. [o] and [u] in certain spots:  ä (or in older German ae), ö (or in older German as oe  – like Goethe—today his name could and would most likely be written Göte or Göthe—[th] is pronounced just the same as our [t] in Getman) and ü (or in older German as ue).

OK, I am done doing German training for old time’s sake.

Now Goethe/Göte/Göthe.

He was born in 1749 Johann Wolfgang Goethe, he died in 1832 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  The [von] was added when someone had been elevated into the nobility.  The French use, I believe, the prefix d’ or de’ before a family name to indicate nobility, von (of or from) does the same in German.

What he did between those dates made him the very first international celebrity —Napoleon thought his first novel, The Sufferings of Young Werther, one of the greatest works in western literature.  He wrote that at age 24—but I am getting ahead of myself.

When you read the short bio of him below, remember this:  by our standards, his way of life was hard, possibly even primitive. The shortest way to describe life in 18th and early 18th century Central Europe is the titis of a great book about life before that time: A World Lit only by Fire.

  • you wrote everything by hand: no spell check, no moving paragraphs around, no grammar checks.  Lots of crossings out, arrows, etc.  Some of Goethes most famous works were written without any edits at all — including the most famous poem in german, considered by many (including me) to be a perfect work.
  • he wrote in German when the languages of culture then were French and Italian. 
  • He did some jail time for having taken philandering too far and too lightly.
  • No easy way to compare notes with other like minded folks. Want to share a document? It had to be carried by a friend, or the Post–but only to the borders of the little dukedom in which you lived. It was one of 100+ German speaking little -doms in Central Europe, and you had to arrange visas permits, yellow coach mail service in every one between your home and the end target. Things were MUCH slower.
  • Getting sick could well be fatal. No antibiotics, not even antiseptic treatments: bleeding was a favorite, using leeches to draw blood (yours). Surgeons traveled like barbers, announced their arrivals with drums, music: no setting up ahead of time. Some were not too bad, most were quacks.
  • Democracy? No. At best, an enlighlened absolute monarch/ Goethe lucked out that way with a supportive, enlightend Duke in Weimar – -but still an absolute ruiler. Lots of mother-may-I to do just routine stuff, like go to the next -dom for a vacation.
  • Travel: by yellow coach (yellow easily seen, meant mail too). Dusty, hot, crowded over rutted, bumpy dirt roads that could and did break wheels, axles out where the only help was passengers and lawlessness was more likely than in town. Rest areas? No–inns, to feed horses, have a fast beer, climb. back up and rumble off again. Overnight: unlikely a room of your own. MOre likely sleeping in same bed with one or two others, and having o keep your valuables safe on your own.
  • Sanitation? Perhaps partly indoors and private, more than likely outdoors, or even just dump the night pan out the window into the street gutter. That may have been on the wane by then, and bathing … there was a reason for perfumes.

That’s just a short overview. Bottom line is double edged: a life hard physically, mentally, spiritually but at the same time, one that left anyone who lived it on its terms with a very up close and personal experience of all the pluses and minuses of human life. And one that landed in one of the most productive times for great art ever: Goethe, Schiller (poem of Ode to Joy in Beethoven’s 9th Symphon), Mozart, Beethoven and so on.  A hard time alive with the spark of learning and creating.

Which is why Faust, which Goethe honed into a great work for a long time, is in its story of selling the soul to the devil not just some theory but the literary-distillation of an unassailable depth and breadth of living by its author.

That legacy is well worth studying, loving, embracing and advocating.  100 years of wars with the Germans on the other side has left us out of touch with their huge contributions to Western Civilization. IT needs to be brought back. After all, we almost went into World War I on the side of the Kaiser. That is why I mention him so much.  .

About his life:

Goethe https://api.poets.org/sites/default/files/styles/poem_a_day_portrait/public/images/biographies/JohannWolfgangvonGoethe_NewBioImage.png?itok=UCja0V4Q

“By the time he completed his studies, he had composed a satirical crime comedy, fallen in love with folk poetry, and developed a deep affinity for Shakespeare, the figure responsible for what he termed his “personal awakening.”

Throughout the 1770s, Goethe practiced a unique, progressive version of law across Germany, while maintaining a side career as an editor, playwright, and poet. He wrote his first widely-read novel, the loosely-autobiographical, joyfully-romantic tragedy, The Sorrows of Young Werther, in 1774, at the age of 24. The book was an instant international success. Napolean Bonaparte called it one of the greatest works of European Literature. It sparked the phenomenon “Werther-Fieber” (“Werther Fever”), in which young men throughout Europe began dressing like the tragic protagonist, and brought Goethe to the court of Carl August, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, where he would become an important advisor….

Despite his success and influence as a poet, Goethe expressed that he took no pride in his literary accomplishments, and believed instead that his work as a philosopher and scientist—in particular his theories about color—would be his true legacy. However, his writings—emotive, far-reaching, prophetic, and formal—stimulated generations of Western literature and thought. Randall Jarrell, who translated Faust from his Poet Laureate’s office at the Library of Congress, called him his “own favorite daemon, dear good great Goethe.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, deeply influenced by Goethe’s merging of science and art, called Goethe the “surpassing intellect of modern times,” and said of his life:

Such was his capacity, that the magazines of the world’s ancient or modern wealth, which arts and intercourse and skepticism could command,—he wanted them all. Had there been twice so much, he could have used it as well. Geologist, mechanic, merchant, chemist, king, radical, painter, composer,—all worked for him, and a thousand men seemed to look through his eyes. He learned as readily as other men breathe. Of all the men of this time, not one has seemed so much at home in it as he. He was not afraid to live.

Goethe died in Weimar on March 22, 1832. He is buried in the Ducal Vault at Weimar’s Historical Cemetery.”

Amerika/America, du hast/you had….

We are nowhere near the end of the Trump-thumping we are taking.. We are not at the beginnig of the end, nor the end of the beginning.  We may be at the start of the beginning.  And that makes it all even more sad and urgent.  We have already lost so much; it is such a great shame.

Towards the end of his life, the great German poet, scientist, lawyer, statesman etc;, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) became very enchanted with the energy, robust freedom and lack of a haunting past in the young American Republic.  During those later years he wrote the following poem (here in English translation praising and expressing an important hope about us and  our republic:

(If you want to know more about who Goethe was, read my post “Who is this guy Go-ee’-thee (Goethe)?

Amerika du hast es besser

America, you have it better

Than our old continent.

You have no tumbledown castles

And no basalt deposits.

Your present is not disturbed deep down by

Useless remembrance and vain strife.

Use the present with good fortune!

And if your children write poetry,

May a kindly fate guard them from writing

Stories of knights, rascals, and specters.

http://www.bachlund.org/Amerika.htm

 translation by Marilyn Barnett

One of DT’s first targets for negation remains our fragile, wilting ecosystem.  We must get it back under control —and fast—.  Before DT touched nature with his cold, dead hands, an annual reduction of atmospheric hydrocarbons by 2% would have saved us-but we were barely making that. Now after he has negated our environmental protection, the yearly target for a timespan 4 years shorter than in 2016 is 5%.  And we had been barely eking out a scrawny 2%…. If we fail now, there will not be a second chance, the resulting inhospitable, lethal climate will make this planet uninhabitable.

Let us remember the hopes and faith that so many had for us so many years ago.

But we can only get to the end of the beginning by accepting without filtering where we are today. That’s the first step.

To that end, today Goethe’s hopeful poem could only be written something like this:

Amerika, du hattest es besser…

America, you had it better

Than our old continent.

But you failed to save your forests and oceans, 

You permanently poisoned pristine waters.

Shame! your present is blighted by leaders of

Useless remembrance and vain strife.

You misused the present in bad faith!

And your children will never write verse,

Condemned by drudge lackeys and their bumbling boss, to

end with a whimper: 

as nature winds down in reverse..

Where indeed have all the flowers gone, long time passing? How much pain must good men endure, before they throw off this yoke?