… i read Heather Cox Richardson and get the overwhelming impression that democracy is crumbling and there is little we can do about it… its not a good start to the day…

Heather Cox Richardson post this morning is largely about voting rights… Biden and Harris went to Georgia and made a speech vowing to protect voting rights and urging legislators everywhere to stand up for Democracy… the Senate is the roadblock… the filibuster is the roadblock… Senators Manchin and Sinema and possibly a few others are the roadblock… all the news analysis is suggesting that Manchin and Sinema will not budge… i am presently skeptical about whether Democrats are going to be able to do anything… but, as Rachel Maddow might say… watch this space…

First notes…

228.8 lbs

… the weight loss trend comes to a halt… most likely water weight gain which is cyclical…

… Chas got me up extra early this AM… i think he had to go to the bathroom… i feel certain a nap will be necessary today… i can’t keep running on six hours of sleep every night… i feel a bit numbed, drained, not my usual ready to read and pay attention self… i did just rough out a number of Haiku…

… Heather Cox Richardson writing about January 6… it disturbs me that main stream media is openly discussing the possibility that Democracy won’t survive… 45 has grown stronger, not weaker… a sizable portion of the population is fine with autocracy… is maneuvering to impose minority will on the majority, a patriarchal, mostly white minority… the civil war all over again… the thought occurs to me… if the multiarchy ascends and runs the show, won’t the exploitation of minorities and people in general be challenged?… is this a sign that market capitalism can’t survive without slavery of one kind or another?… why, as E. F. Schumacher speculated, shouldn’t an economy be constructed around the principle of making every life better, allowing every individual to grow to their full and natural potential… why should people be forced into work that does not fulfill them or make them better human beings?…

… i have had the idea to do a piece on texts that give me the hint of a different way to do things… i want to post it… just, these writings point to a different way of looking at things, a different way of living… i am not clear yet on what they add up to, but they certainly point to something… i will share it and keep updating it… my great conundrum is this… how can a new way of looking at and doing things come about when the dominant world order is so… dominating… i imagine one needs to construct a hybrid that is able to operate on its own core principles but which plugs into the bigger system as required for it not to become an isolated utopia destined to collapse under the weight of its ideals… a pragmatic way of being based on some core principles… an alternative way of living that seeks to mitigate market capitalist exploitation… Braiding Sweetgrass, Buddhist Economics, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance are three texts that come to mind as offering an alternative path… my plan is to re-read these texts and see how my ideas might solidify…

First notes…

227.2 lbs

… second day of No S diet observance… weight down again…

… i spent most of yesterday installing the new storm door… it went pretty well… i have to make some adjustments to the frame that will be a bit of a pain, but it is installed and we are happy with it… the door was not as custom as i would have thought we paid for… it came with extension pieces and was more than an inch short of the full height required… it was, at least, just short of the full width of the rough opening as it should have been… the door cost us $850… its a good door… well insulated, weatherstripped, and features a screen that automatically drops down when the top window pain is lowered… for the good weather… i practiced what i learned from 4K Weeks… embrace what one is being asked to focus on in the present moment… let the other priorities stand in abeyance while this one thing claims center stage… return to the rest when it is done…

… we watched more Station 11 last night… i fell asleep… i find the current rage for telling stories in non-linear fashion a bit tedious… i get the artfulness of it… i suppose it develops a kind of suspense that might keep some hanging on waiting to figure out what it is all about… it seems more device than art to me in this case… at this moment i compare it to Georges Perec’s life which in a way, is this concept on steroids, but it works better in Perec… perhaps it works better in the book the series is based on…

… Heather Cox Richardson this morning, as expected, is all about the J6 Select Committee asking Sean Hannity to appear before it and answer some questions… Hannity will likely decline to do so on first amendment (freedom of the press) grounds… the committee’s questions were narrowly aimed at communications between Hannity and 45’s administration and it is clear that he is acting as adviser, not journalist, and, in any case, Hannity has said in public, on air, that he does not consider himself a journalist… there is a good chance the committee could compel his testimony should they wish to… whether they will or not is probably dependent on how effectively they can steer clear of the violation of first amendment rights accusations that will certainly be leveled by Trumpist conservatives… one needs also to have a clear eyed view of whether 45 will become president and how the tools of government might be used to exact revenge…

… every day, Liz Cheney is more a hero to me, as is the entire Select Committee, as every member is enduring death threats and threats to their careers in general… Cheney is currently not expected to survive the next election cycle…

… i have allowed myself to think that Democracy will not win this current struggle… one of the key ways it could stay in the game, national voting rights legislation, seems unlikely given the intransigence of Manchin and Sinema on the filibuster rule… personally, i don’t think Mitch McConnel would hesitate for a second to throw it overboard if it stood between him and something he wanted to accomplish…

… the other thing that could save democracy is the work of the J6 Committee… they appear to have a pretty clear picture of what happened… there appears to be criminal culpability on the part of 45 and senior members of his administration… but… the attempt to overturn democracy is ongoing and the partisanship is so fevered and delusional that over 70% of Republicans believe the last election was stollen from them, even though there is no audit of the election, official or otherwise, that has turned up any wrong doing, any fraud… Facts said Kelly Anne Conway, don’t matter. What people believe matters… the truest words ever uttered by a political operative… whatever you can get the people to believe is what matters… and, a majority of the people is not needed, only radicalization of enough of the minority to a fevered pitch… Trumpian conservatives are winning the belief and fever pitch game at the moment…

First notes…

227.8 lbs

… first day of following No S diet… weight loss… it’s one day… i will see if i can keep it up…

… last night, as i was lying in bed i wrote a note… “i am beginning to imagine the unimaginable”… that is, i am beginning to imagine the United States as a failed democracy… i have started to give up hope that the ship can be righted… i did this partly on the advice of Oliver Burkeman, author of Four Thousand Weeks, and partly out of real despair that the political stars are aligned against democracy right now…

… this morning i read Heather Cox Richardson’s posts from yesterday and today… hope flickered to life… the stage is set… a battle for the soul of the country will unfold in the coming weeks and months as the January 6 Commission makes its case to the public… and the Senate will try to amend the filibuster in order to protect voting rights… if enough people believe the findings of the J6 Commission, and the Senate passes voting rights legislation, all may not be lost…

… in the meantime, what i can do is help make sure the small levers of democracy where i live aren’t corrupted and make genuinely good information available to anyone who will read/listen… and, of course, i will vote like democracy depends on it…

… more broadly however, in the department of letting go of hope, i acknowledge that this democracy may well be reaching the end of its run… the cosmos, as Burkeman and so many before him have pointed out, really doesn’t care if democracy continues in the US or not… it simply unfolds and humanity responds in whatever way helps it survive… it may even be that the welling up of intelligence on the planet is pointed to an advancement that will have little to do with human freedom… i prefer to think not, but this is the trend of the “dominant culture”, for a few powerful elites to be in control and for the rest of us to be subsumed in effective slavery…

… i think to myself, nobody asks to live in a time when the social order turns itself upside down… i think to myself, i did not plan for my old age to be lived out in times of social order dismantling… i planned for it to run out in relative peace and quiet… i wonder if senior citizens overtaken by WW II felt this way?… looking forward to a little peace and quiet and not being challenged by the rigors of making a living and what happens?, a devastating war… as a white, middle class male, am i one of the few to have this blessing?… it did not feel that way as my life unfolded… there were certainly disappointments and challenges… but was i ever really challenged the way, say, a black man is challenged in our society?… we all have troubles… some of us from positions of relative advantage… even with that, there are troubles…

… i was thinking yesterday, why do people write?… originally, to express and communicate, to develop and record collective wisdom… i was thinking about this because i was thinking about how the dominant culture turns writing from expression and communication into a means for economic ends… we are made to believe that we must have an audience because we can’t monetize if we don’t have an audience… for this reason, we don’t accumulate wisdom and share it freely… we put a price tag on it… and because the ability to put a price tag on it means the work must be marketed, we start to see a world in which wisdom doesn’t prevail, only what is marketable prevails… words are useless if one can’t monetize them in this society… but really, reading and writing is about developing and communicating wisdom…

… we started watching Station 11 last night… central to the narrative is a graphic novel written by a young black woman… she writes and draws, but nobody has ever seen more than little bits and pieces of what she writes and draws… one day, she delivers a copy to her ex and says, “i finished it”… until that moment, she does it only for herself… this to me is the purest form of creation… work done entirely for its own sake… work done because we feel compelled to do it… that is what this blog, this Notes On Attention Paid is… something i do trying not to hope anyone will read it and doggedly pursuing it even though nobody reads it… i apply time out of my precious 4K weeks to doing it largely because i don’t seem to be able to not do it… it anchors me… it gives me something meaningful to do…

Republicans Should Help Reform the Electoral Count Act

… wow! just wow!… the Editors of the very right leaning National Review arguing for electoral count reform based on the fiasco of 45 and making it clear that 45 behaved badly and caused the January 6 riot …

When these efforts failed, the Trump campaign simply had several slates of Trump electors “cast” public votes on the required day, without any sanction from any arm of state government. A lawsuit, objections in Congress, legal memos by Trump adviser John Eastman, and ultimately the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally and subsequent riot at the Capitol were all directed at having either Vice President Mike Pence or Congress certify these fraudulent electors, or at least delay the counting of votes by electors properly certified by state governors.

… i know, i know, we lefties use the term ‘insurrection’ to describe what happened on January 6, but until that is fully established in legal proceedings, as we all believe it will be, i am good with ‘riot’ if it gets us to agreement on electoral count reform… you know, i say potato, you say potato…

Beginning the day… i wake at 2:30 AM… stay in bed… get up at 3:30 AM… Fiona comes with me… i weigh myself, 230.8 lbs, get dressed, go down stairs, let Fiona out, fill the kettle, put it on the stove, take my meds and vitamins, feed the cat, let Fiona in, read HCR, which depresses me… she’s struggling with the idea that the game may be lost already, democracy may be on its way out… she is trying to have hope… i make the coffee, put a little cold water into my thermal mug, add a pinch of cinnamon, add a little agave, pour coffee into the mug, screw the top on, return to my studio/dressing room upstairs… Fiona is waiting for me on the studio bed… i start to settle down but Chas whines… i let him out of the bedroom where H is sleeping… Chas, Fiona and i return downstairs… i let them out… i read an article in The Bulwark arguing that Lauren Boebert should not be stripped of her committee assignments because of her Islamophobic comments aimed at representative Ilhan Omar… i am on the fence as to whether i agree or not… the author argues we should deplore and ignore citizen Boebert but we should not block congressperson Boebert from representing her 700K constituents… the dogs come back in, i give them and the cat treats, the dogs and i return upstairs… i let the dogs into the bedroom where H is sleeping and return to my desk… i spend the first 45 minutes organizing my journal… i have been reading through it at the rate of two weeks per day, which should have me finished by the end of the year…

What i read today…

  • Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, December 5, 2021… HCR sounding the alarm about failing democracy in this country in the most strident way to date…
    • The problem is this: “Democrats…need to win every single election from here to prevent the destruction of democracy, while Republicans only need to win one. And the American system is set up so that Republicans will win sooner or later, whether fairly or by cheating.” Atkins urges the American people to “start thinking about and planning for what ‘Break glass in case of emergency’ measures look like—because it’s more likely a matter of when, not if. It not only can happen here; it probably will happen here. Conservatives are guaranteed to make every attempt to turn America into the next Russia or Hungary. It will take coordinated, overlapping solidarity among both regular people and elites across various institutions to stop it.”1
  • The Plague Legends… Emily Urquhart writes about plague legends and the early days of the pandemic… she captures well the feelings so many of us had and the struggle to preserve sanity and well being…
  • Ron DeSantis and His State Guard Aren’t Happening in a Vacuum
    • Again: Political grandstanding is the most innocent possible explanation. But not the only possible explanation. DeSantis’s private force cannot reasonably be viewed in isolation from the other challenges Republican governors and legislatures have been raising—not only with their National Guards, but by probing every possible weak point in the Constitution when it comes to vaccines, voting, vote counting, and more.2
  • Winter Trees as a Portal to Aliveness, Maria Popova, The Marginalian
    • In winter, we are prone to regard our trees as cold, bare, and dreary; and we bid them wait until they are again clothed in verdure before we may accord to them comradeship. However, it is during this winter resting time that the tree stands revealed to the uttermost, ready to give its most intimate confidences to those who love it. It is indeed a superficial acquaintance that depends upon the garb worn for half the year; and to those who know them, the trees display even more individuality in the winter than in the summer. The summer is the tree’s period of reticence, when, behind its mysterious veil of green, it is so busy with its own life processes that it has no time for confidences, and may only now and then fling us a friendly greeting.3
  • Ursula K. Le Guin on Being a Man
    • That’s who I am. I am the generic he, as in, “If anybody needs an abortion he will have to go to another state,” or “A writer knows which side his bread is buttered on.” That’s me, the writer, him. I am a man. Not maybe a first-rate man. I’m perfectly willing to admit that I may be in fact a kind of second-rate or imitation man, a Pretend-a-Him. As a him, I am to a genuine male him as a microwaved fish stick is to a whole grilled Chinook salmon.4

First thoughts…

230.0

… i am up at 2:30 AM for the bathroom… back to bed… up again at 4:30 AM… a brief check of FB for comments on my post about our first viewing of Love Actually this holiday season… two comments about the same thing… i omitted a hyphen which transformed a comment centered around my second wife into a comment centered around my first wife… the first one to call it out was B, who rarely comments on anything i post… i am slightly annoyed because i think it slightly obnoxious… the second one is a pile on to B’s comment from an acquaintance who also happens to be a word nerd… both are annoying as they bypass the sentiment of the post and go straight to demonstrating how smart they are and (by inference) i am not… except their emotional intelligence is sadly lacking… everyone else ignored, if they even noticed, and dove into the spirit of the post… the hyphen comments have me thinking a little about my first wife and, for some reason, about the abortion we got when we were married… it was a sad day for us… i believe she came to blame me for it… for all kinds of things in the end… i hope she is doing well and found happiness… i have…

… i had a quasi productive day… things didn’t go together the way i hoped and i wound up with a couple of hours of unproductive time in the late afternoon… H needed some cookie tins, we went looking for them at Michael’s… didn’t find them… went to Adams… came home… i also wound up having to invest time in reprogramming my smart fixtures into smart home because it came undone for reasons i don’t quite understand, except an update to the app disconnected me from my account and i had no record of my account in my password app, so, new account requiring that fixtures be reconnected… the upside is that we are one or two lightbulbs short of having the basement lights on voice command… new bulbs are arriving today, along with a new dimmer switch for the dining room which will, i hope, put the dining room on voice command…

… a moment to get my studio lighting reconnected…

… HCR took the night off… on the politics side of things, a comment by Donny Deutsch on the Nicolle Wallace show has been spinning around in my mind… he did an informal survey of the crowd he travels with and discovered that they are not concerned with wether democracy lives or dies, only with how one thing or another hurts or helps them economically… DD travels with the wealthy, so, we know where the wealthy stand… the problem is, i don’t think enough of the rest of us who should care really think there is a major threat to democracy in this country… they either don’t believe it, are sticking their heads in the sand because it is too difficult to contemplate, or, they are part of the 25%-35% of us that think oligarchic/authoritarian/fascist government is what protects their interests and beliefs the best… it should be noted that this is largely the white patriarchal crowd…

… as i read DD’s Wikipedia article i wonder if the man can possibly be in touch with any kind of reality the majority of us live with… i agree with his views generally… at least the ones i know about… but it makes me mindful of “the club” of the wealthy that has a lot to say about how things will go in this country…

US added to list of ‘backsliding’ democracies for first time

_ The organisation’s secretary general, Kevin Casas-Zamora, said: “The visible deterioration of democracy in the United States, as seen in the increasing tendency to contest credible election results, the efforts to suppress participation (in elections), and the runaway polarisation … is one of the most concerning developments.”1

this article was noted by MSNBC last week… it made an impression on me, but truthfully, i already knew what it was telling us… we are backsliding and furthermore, i believe the next three years will decide whither democracy in the USA… there is far too little alarm about the slide and the tools for countering it seem to be lacking, or perhaps, the situation is at the precarious edge of the cliff with one having to be very careful of what levers they try to pull as the wrong move could plunge us over the edge…

… over the holiday weekend i had two brief but eye opening conversations, both with close family members…

… one believes that we will be able to resist the extremes of either end because we are, basically, a centrist country… they believe that the people in the middle, of which they are one, will save the day… i am not optimistic on that point… it might be true if the voting landscape were not in the process of being skewed to favor a radical minority on the right… voting rights legislation is required if there is to be hope of the middle being able to stave if off…

… another was anxious to defend the idea that the January 6th riot/insurrection was nothing more than an impassioned protest that was mostly peaceful… it was the first time i have experienced a close family member believing something that is utter nonsense…

… together they made me more alarmed than ever…

First Thoughts

HCR meter, democracy is on the ropes… pointing to the spreading and increasingly blatant disinformation campaign in progress by the far Right… this morning’s stars are Marco Rubio and Tucker Carlson… Rubio apparently gave a speech that would have been unimaginable just a year or two ago… a speech that indicates he is banking on victory for authoritarianism and wants to be on the right side of it when we get there… another essay in Mother Jones names Fox News and Tucker Carlson in particular, as fascist propagandists… this has got to be beaten back… my belief is that Democrats in congress could make it easier by eliminating the filibuster, at least on two issues… voting rights and the debt ceiling… i too believe that democracy is on the ropes and that we have precious little time to save it…

… a disrupted day yesterday… plumbing problems escalated significantly when sewage began backing into the toilet in the basement and then overflowing… the stench… the mess… the frantic calls to the plumber… the $200 check handed to the plumber for fifteen minutes spent clearing the house trap which had become clogged… the flow of the entire day disrupted… it is remarkable how much i depend on my expected ordered flow of things happening…

… the backing up of the house trap seems an interesting metaphor for what is happening to the plumbing of Democracy…

… i did manage to make some quick revisions on J’s website and their LinkedIn page… their LinkedIn page is a bit of a mess… will have to help them with that…

… at the top of David Corn’s article, this image of Tucker Carlson…

Tucker Carlson at Politicon in Los Angeles on October 20, 2018 Christian Monterrosa/AP

… TC turns my stomach… i remember him on CNN’s Crossfire back in the day… he was an obnoxious twit back then… he’s morphed into something monstrous-to-me now… doesn’t he look monstrous in the photograph?… the point of the choice of image…

… i am toying with getting active in supporting democrats in next year’s election run up… i don’t have much money to give, but i have some time, which i’d really rather not expend that way, but i believe we are reaching a tipping point and need to be on deck in defense of Democracy…

… i was surveying the organization of my journal in Ulysses yesterday… i have this wonderful warm feeling of it being almost there as a cohesive product that could solidly support… something… but what something?… well organized thoughts and notes are the foundation of something bigger, if you want them to be… what is the bigger thing i am moving towards?… the coupling of journaling, thinking, and posting on a blog… something that develops the broad story of a particular human being at a particular stretch of moments in time grappling with the cosmos as it impinges on them… as i write this i am aware that when one has a project like this, puts large amounts of time and energy into it, one starts to desire an audience… one is supposed to desire an audience… the question sits in the shadows, what is my target audience?… my answer has been… i don’t care about my target audience… i want to craft something that is profoundly satisfying to me… this is what i seem to be on the path of now… it feels good… it needs tightening up and refining… it seems to be firing on nearly all cylinders, to use a gas engine phrase that is becoming quaint… can i push it to peak performance soon?…

HCR Meter

… from, Letters from an American, Heather Cox Richardson…

Today the Washington Post published a long report about the events before, during, and after January 6, compiled by a team of more than 25 reporters and additional staff who reviewed video and court transcripts, followed social media posts, and interviewed more than 230 people. The report lays the blame for January 6 on Trump and warns that we are in a fight for the survival of democracy.1

… and…

The Washington Post suggests that they made that calculation in the immediate aftermath of January 6 because Trump continued to command his base and they worried about being primaried from the right if they didn’t support Trump’s Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen. And so they acquitted him in his second impeachment trial and supported the “audits” of state election results that had already been proved secure.

But that leaves a circle to be squared.

Winning a primary by staking out turf as a Trump supporter would mean losing in the general election… unless state legislatures fixed elections so that Republicans would win, no matter who the Republican candidate happened to be.2

… the next three years are “all hands on deck”…

… sign up for her newsletter here


  1. Richardson, Heather Cox, Letters from an American, October 31, 2021: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/october-31-2021 [return]
  2. Ibid [return]

In Defense of Democracy

this letter, written by Todd Gitlin, Jeffrey C. Isaac, and William Kristol was published simultaneously by The Bulwark and the New Republic on the 27th of October, 2021… it is extraordinary to be living in a time in the United States of America, when conservative and liberal thought leaders see the need to come together and speak out in defense of Democracy… it’s as if, and i don’t think this comparison is remotely overblown, we are living in the ramp up to Nazi Germany…

… it was clear that the defeat of 45 and his departure from the power of the presidency was not going to be the end of the story… this is the conservative white patriarchy’s last best chance to put themselves permanently in control, and they are not going to let it slip by without a Herculean effort to do so…

… the saddest part is the way ordinary people have become manipulated puppets, embracing every fear the radical right is offering… allowing themselves to be turned to hatred of their fellow man and woman…

… federal voting rights legislation is desperately needed at this point… nothing else will matter if it isn’t accomplished… there is no gain in infrastructure, soft or hard, that is worth the loss of Democracy… this is not being taken seriously enough by the Democrats on Capitol Hill… it is an all hands on deck emergency… will they wake up in time?… i grow more afraid by the day…

… i wonder where H and I will go, what we can do, if the country turns to authoritarianism?… we will certainly not be on the long end of that stick… i fear it will leave us impoverished and tossed away in what should be the prime of our old age…

First Thoughts

… morning off to a bad start… Chas whines until i get up… it’s almost time anyway… both dogs ready to go… running around the ground floor while i weigh myself and get dressed… weight on a steady upward trend… don’t feel like i have been eating too much, but the trend is the trend… then while doing the morning set up, the dogs prancing all over the place until the side table by the couch is knocked over… not hard to do, it is too tall for the three legged slenderness of its legs, making it wobble at the slightest touch… the crash startles and enrages me, WTF! i scream several times while turning on lights to see what damage has been done and return everything to it’s wobbly higher potential energy place1… H gets up to ask what’s going on… i explain and apologize for waking her up… i think she was up already anyway… Fiona slinks off to the second floor and back to bed with H… Chas braves my ill mood on the ground floor, then accompanies me upstairs… i let him in to the bedroom and then happily am by myself again, the house at peace…

HCR meter, Alarm! Alarm!, democracy is under assault… yes it is, and whether congress is going to do anything about it is a serious question… so far, it doesn’t look like it… all kinds of sinister shit going on… contemplating the need to get involved locally… it’s all hands on deck for the 2022 midterm elections… congress must stay in the hands of Dems…

… drank too much last night… feeling the effects this AM… combination of needing to relax in a very worryingly unsavory national climate and just liking the effects of a drink or two at night… during dinner H wonders if we should line up to get our free joint on Friday… a store is giving them out two Fridays a month… i am sure they will be selling when the state works out the appropriate licensing regulations… i thinking that might be a better way to relax… less unpleasant effects the next day?… or would i overdo that too?… i wonder if there is a legal limit to pot and driving?…


  1. I initially write “return everything to its higher entropy place,” then suspect that I have not understood entropy correctly… high entropy equals low level of order, though it is questionable that the concept applies at all to the situation… I look up entropy and find a wikipedia entry that explains in great detail what entropy is, without being very clear at all, but that is because entropy is a hard to grasp concept… [return]

First Thoughts

… lots swimming around in my brain this morning… watched Derek Jarman’s The Garden last night… Senate Republicans blocked discussion on a pared down voting rights bill authored by Manchin who had claimed he could get ten Republicans to back it… that, since learning how to season and care for my cast iron pans, they have become my most used and loved pans in the kitchen… how well my Jelly Comb vertical mouse works and how all neck and shoulder pain in my mousing arm side has disappeared… that i will start the journals of Denton Welch this morning… that i had no alcohol last night and feel better this morning, though not as wonderful as the day on Block Island when i had no alcohol and drank sumac-aide, i was euphoric on that day, so i wonder, is sumac a tonic?…

… so, back to the top, The Garden, a strange and wonderful film… about repression of gays, especially by the church… about relentlessly invasive modern society… about capitalism’s relentless presence… the imagery, oh the imagery, so inspiring… so damn good… i had only an inkling of what the movie would be like from Modern Nature… knew that Tilda Swinton was in it… didn’t realize that Jarman himself appears in numerous places… the film concocted as a set of dreams… the landscapes of Dungeness spectacularly bleak and desert like, and in the shadow of a nuclear power plant… did he buy the cottage because it would make a fantastic filming location?…

… as for voting rights… ahhh the filibuster, whither the filibuster?… we are up against a wall, the moment when the country decides whether it is white, male patriarchal, or a multiarchy?… the numbers are on the side of the multiarchy, the power balance presently skewed in favor of patriarchy… what will be the outcome?… disaster, from my point of view, if the filibuster is not amended for arguably the most important historical moment of my longish life…

… cast iron pans, what a difference proper seasoning and maintenance makes!… i had always tried to take good care of them, but i finally learned how… past the basic seasoning routine (a thin application of grape seed oil, one hour in a 500 degree oven, repeat several times), learning to rinse with hot water, even soak briefly, has been transformative… then drying, heating up and application of a thin coat of oil before storing… that’s it… my pans are mostly non-stick and when they do stick, cleanup is easy… long live cast iron pans!… and they do, properly cared for…

… another piece of equipment that is working well is my Jelly Comb vertical mouse… i have been through so many input devices… this is the one that works and i love it!…

… the journals of Denton Welch… read the short bio on the cover flaps… somewhat sad but amazing figure… a bad accident when he was 20 partially paralyzed him and left him in continuous until his death 13 years later… reputedly a prolific and brilliant writer… he trended homosexual…

… about no alcohol… always feel better the next day… when will i be able to profit from that knowledge?…

… must see if i can buy sumac commercially… and i can… powdered for use in cooking, as tea, loose or in bags… the latter is expensive… i am going to check the health food stores for the tea, will order the ground version from Spice House…

… the horn of a freight train in the distance… Fiona exhales a deep breath while sleeping on the bed near by…

HCR meter

… not smoke, fire…

… about the debt ceiling fight, 45’s control of the Republican Party, the efforts of a hyper-radicalized minority to seize control of the country…

… we are heading towards a full bore constitutional crisis that will play out in the next two election cycles… 2022 will give us a good idea of where the country stands…

… Democrats have the power to reign it in, if they become willing to alter, limit or abolish the filibuster… so far they have not been willing to do that, but the debt ceiling will present itself as a continued battle in December that may require it… will Senators Sinema and Manchin get on board?… or will they go down in history as the two senators that could have stopped authoritarian rule but didn’t?…

… the country has been to this kind of precipice before… the last time a civil war broke out…

… it seems we come to the precipice periodically and manage to preserve democracy, albeit at great cost… will it be preserved now?… hard to know…

First Thoughts

… HCR meter… do or die… the moment has arrived when voting rights legislation must be passed or the current gerrymandered redistricting will be locked in and the Dems are likely to loose control of house and Senate in 2022 and likely as well to loose control of the Presidency in 2024… according to most liberal pundits, this would be a disaster for democracy… all eyes on Washington and the Dems this week… in particular, Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema…

… my weight has been steadily climbing… two factors… not enough exercise, too many carbs… must reverse the trend…

… my left foot seems to have rounded a corner… standing on it while working in the kitchen did not cause pain yesterday… i can still feel some residual discomfort, but i think it is nearly healed… i will try a longer beach walk this AM… M and i continue to have micro text exchanges… they seem to be settling in to life on their own nicely…

… much hand ringing over H’s M… trying to figure out how to be sure she gets to the doctor for x-ray and consultation… H will not be easy to live with if this is not well set up on our departure… the current plan is to get them off the island to P’s house on Sunday… L will then pick them up and get them to the doctor on Wednesday… how they get back to BI will be up to them… we haven’t told M yet that we were unable to postpone our car reservation on the ferry so it will be Sunday… hopefully that won’t be a problem…

… looked up the recipe for rose hip jam… had forgotten how involved it is… well, gonna do it anyway… will gather the supplies today…

… looking forward to getting home… lots of house and yard maintenance work awaits and it is a bit of a drag living in a house that needs so much attention, but it is home and i look forward to being home which i have barely been for the past month…

… checked the weather and tide level… today will be the day to walk the length of the beach at Mohegan bluffs… haven’t done that yet… looking forward to it…

… feeling good today, in spite of two beers and a couple glasses of wine… made swordfish last night, my best iteration of the pan roasted swordfish recipe that is always so successful…

Fish, Seafood

Prep Time: 1 hour (mostly waiting)

Cook Time: 25 minutes | Servings: Yield 4 servings

Ingredients:

1/8 cup butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

½ garlic clove, grated

¼ teaspoon ground mixed peppercorns, plus more for sprinkling

¼ teaspoon (packed) grated lemon peel

½ tablespoon olive oil

2 1-inch-thick swordfish steaks (about 6 ounces each)

Directions:

An hour before cooking:

Salt swordfish steaks on both sides. Cover and refridgerate.

Soften/melt butter in microwave. Add parsley, garlic, ½ teaspoon ground mixed peppercorns, and lemon peel in small bowl. Stir together and let sit. Butter should begin to re-solidify.

15 minutes prior to cooking:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Pull swordfish steaks out of refridgerator to allow to warm up.

To cook:

Heat oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle swordfish with ground mixed peppercorns. Add swordfish to skillet. Cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn swordfish over and transfer to oven. Roast until just cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer swordfish to plates. Add seasoned butter to same skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping up browned bits, until melted and bubbling. Pour butter sauce over swordfish and serve. Source

01 First Thoughts

… bird singing brought me to, such a nice way to wake up, with the birds, unless you have a summer job at the Ford Motor plant and the birds mean you have to get up and go to work on the assembly line… took a few years before i enjoyed the sound of birds at dawn again…

… trip to have lunch and get goodies at S’s restaurant was a success, especially for H, who craves getting out and seeing family…

… i made a post to Micro.blog and shared it to FB, not much attention either place, but that’s ok, i am making the record in a place that isn’t trying to collect all my data and sell me things… i am focusing my attention on Micro.blog, nice community, add free… none of my geographically local friends are on it that i know of, but i am slowly making new acquaintances from around the world…

… it is raining out… i can hear the rain splashing on the pavement outside my studio window… it is cooler too… speaking of which, my desktop fan should arrive today… hoping it will make my studio bearable to work in when the heat returns as it is supposed to this week…

… Heather Cox Richardson and The Economist Magazine both talking about the perilous time for democracy our country is passing through… the alarm bells are being sounded… HCR’s post talks about the parallels between now and the time leading up to the Civil War, and, hard to believe, it was worse then… the Economist article points to the changes in the power to certify and administer elections as the greater threat compared to legislation that restricts voting and some claim is targeted to communities that vote more Democratic than Republican… in the 1860’s, Republican Party resistance (the Republicans were the more liberal party back then) and public disgust eventually preserved democracy… it’s not predictable which way things are going to go in the next few years… for the moment, Democrats have greater control over the leavers of Federal government than the Republicans had in the 1860’s, which puts them in a stronger position to resist…

20210614.03 Clash of World Orders

 The G7 leaders offered a visible show of solidarity, with leaders talking and laughing together. Its statement repeated U.S. President Joe Biden’s slogan that we will “build back better,” and it painted a world that addresses climate change, prevents the exploitation of labor, demands gender equality, and protects human rights.1

… a world (in which humans) address climate change, prevent human exploitation, demand gender equality and protect human rights… these are good things, things every human should want, but power dynamics being what they are, autocracies are still a viable alternative… one could argue, an emerging dominant alternative… it is hard to imaging these things prevailing under autocratic leadership…

05 Anti-Democratic Conservatism

this article by Joshua Tait in The Bulwark reviews the history of Anti-Democratic conservatives… it is centered around William F. Buckley and the National Review… it is a long but worthwhile read… whether we retain Democracy or not is the defining issue of the next two to four years…