While 2017 happens…

If not the very best picture of 2017 so far, the one below, which has been sweeping through Twitter, has to be in the running at least for best and most sympatico – “this man is all of us just living our lives while 2017 happens lol!” – amateur photo:

Man, Mower, Tornado

THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Cecilia Wessels, mandatory credit

According to the photo caption at Times Colonist, “Cecilia Wessels snapped the picture of her husband, Theunis, as the twister passed near their home in Three Hills.”


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3 comments on “While 2017 happens…

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  1. I had a more specific, very un-sympatico reaction. In the recent past, my neighborhood was populated by several lawn obsessed types who mowed their lawn 2, even 3 times a week. Imminent rain, especially thunderstorms (tornados are fairly rare here), seem to cause in them an uncontrollable urge to mow, lest the unmowed grass grow too much from the fresh rain to be outside acceptable limits. So it can be fairly common for them to mow through approaching lightning and thunder, right up to, and frequently past the arrival of downpours.

    This is only part of a larger pattern of annoying behavior, including lecturing lawn slackards and remowing their lawns whenever neighbors have outdoor gatherings. Lawn signs seem to indicate a high correlation with Tea Party politics and a fondness for that fellow.

    So I took this guy to be merely marginally more committed to the project of the perfect lawn (and by extension, the perfect libertarian world) than my neighbors. That is, anything but sympatico.

    Maybe I observe here only a local correlation between excessively committed lawn behavior and excessive political beliefs.

    • Yes – that is very un-sympatico reactionwise, bob. Which is unusual for you. Though Joni Mitchell might once have sympatico’d your unsympatico-ness kind of maybe, at least in the Summer.

      Main problem in my neighborhood, now that the drought is officially over, is the most lawn-obsessed near-neighbor loves his leaf-blower fiercely, meaning early wake-ups on a regular basis. He also happens to the only neighbor who throws loud latenight parties. I am thankful that he doesn’t connect the two practices, or at least hasn’t so far: Loud latenight party followed by early morning leafblowing.

      I don’t know whether he supported that fellow. It would surprise me for various reasons having to do with ethnicity. Might seem too personal a question for me to ask him, as we’re just neighbors, not friends, even though it might be interesting in relation to your theory, if not obviously definitive evidence in isolation – I mean as to whether relative lawn-obsession correlates more strongly with that-fellow-support than ethnic factors. We may never, sadly, know the answer, what with so many skilled researchers devoting themselves to tired, over-researched subjects like climate change and species extinction and such.

  2. I suspect that as you may suspect that lawn obsessed behavior correlates poorly with more general rightish political tendencies in the general pop. As the older generation of local lawn obsesses bow to their infirmities, the new generation, so far somewhat less obsessed, seem more mainstream politically. While still susceptible to the siren call not only of overly frequent mowing, but to fertilizers and weed killers, they seem to be otherwise agreeable humans.

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[C]limate scientists have a strange kind of faith: We will find a way to forestall radical warming, they say, because we must.

It is not easy to know how much to be reassured by that bleak certainty, and how much to wonder whether it is another form of delusion; for global warming to work as parable, of course, someone needs to survive to tell the story. The scientists know that to even meet the Paris goals, by 2050, carbon emissions from energy and industry, which are still rising, will have to fall by half each decade; emissions from land use (deforestation, cow farts, etc.) will have to zero out; and we will need to have invented technologies to extract, annually, twice as much carbon from the atmosphere as the entire planet’s plants now do. Nevertheless, by and large, the scientists have an enormous confidence in the ingenuity of humans — a confidence perhaps bolstered by their appreciation for climate change, which is, after all, a human invention, too. They point to the Apollo project, the hole in the ozone we patched in the 1980s, the passing of the fear of mutually assured destruction. Now we’ve found a way to engineer our own doomsday, and surely we will find a way to engineer our way out of it, one way or another. The planet is not used to being provoked like this, and climate systems designed to give feedback over centuries or millennia prevent us — even those who may be watching closely — from fully imagining the damage done already to the planet. But when we do truly see the world we’ve made, they say, we will also find a way to make it livable. For them, the alternative is simply unimaginable.

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They were concerned that any pre-election response could provoke an escalation from Putin. Moscow's meddling to that point was seen as deeply concerning but unlikely to materially affect the outcome of the election. Far more worrisome to the Obama team was the prospect of a cyber-assault on voting systems before and on Election Day. They also worried that any action they took would be perceived as political interference in an already volatile campaign. By August, Trump was predicting that the election would be rigged. Obama officials feared providing fuel to such claims, playing into Russia's efforts to discredit the outcome and potentially contaminating the expected Clinton triumph.

This, right here. This is where they choked. The American people had damned close to an absolute right to the information their government already had. The most fundamental act of citizenship is the right to cast an informed vote. The idea that the Obama administration withheld the fact that the Russians were ratfcking the election in order to help elect a vulgar talking yam is a terrible condemnation of the whole No Drama Obama philosophy. Would Donald Trump have raised hell if the White House released what it knew? Of course, he would have. But, as it was, the American people went to vote with only about half of the information they needed to assess his candidacy. This was a terrible decision.

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Changing views of U.S. presidents over past decade and a halfAs Pew Research Center’s global surveys from George W. Bush’s presidency illustrated, many of Bush’s key foreign policies were unpopular, and by the time he left office Bush was viewed negatively in most of the countries we polled. His successor, Obama, generally received more positive ratings throughout his White House tenure.Today, in many countries, ratings for President Trump look very similar to those for Bush at the end of his term. This pattern is especially clear in Western Europe. In the UK, France, Germany and Spain, the low levels of confidence in Trump are very similar to the poor ratings for Bush in 2008.

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CK MacLeod
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+ BTW, I recently upgraded some this and that on the back end of the blog, and it does seem to make comments post much faster [. . .]
Gutenberg: The Invention of the Printing Press, the Destruction of WordPress
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For WordPress self-hosted people, there is already a "restore legacy editor" plugin, even though Gutenberg hasn't been installed yet as the default.

Gutenberg: The Invention of the Printing Press, the Destruction of WordPress
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+ I thought you were on WordPress.com, not self-hosted WordPress. I can't find any info on WordPress.com and Gutenberg or Gutenbergerish editing, so I don't know [. . .]
Gutenberg: The Invention of the Printing Press, the Destruction of WordPress

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