The Farmer and The Viper

The story concerns a farmer who finds a viper freezing in the snow. Taking pity on it, he picks it up and places it within his coat. The viper, revived by the warmth, bites his rescuer, who dies realizing that it is his own fault. The story is recorded in both Greek and Latin sources. In the former, the farmer dies reproaching himself “for pitying a scoundrel,” while in the version by Phaedrus the snake says that he bit his benefactor “to teach the lesson not to expect a reward from the wicked.” The latter sentiment is made the moral in Medieval versions of the fable. Odo of Cheriton‘s snake answers the farmer’s demand for an explanation with a counter-question, “Did you not know that there is enmity and natural antipathy between your kind and mine? Did you not know that a serpent in the bosom, a mouse in a bag and fire in a barn give their hosts an ill reward?”

Because it seems lessons for the populous are usually not learned by the populous.

Spring Semester

I’ve started Spring Semester. Two online classes. One for Psychology, the other through the Pharmacy School. Both are writing intensive. I really didn’t have a choice as I was late getting around to registering. So, basically the first three classes of my resuming my education are writing intensive. I’m a glutton for punishment.

What Now?

Is the Reality Based Community up to the challenge? Is it up to holding the line against a presidency so blatantly, brazenly adept at lying without shame, without conscious? Is there enough left of this old community of bloggers to challenge the gas lighting that will spew doubt and deception as if it were Monopoly Money impersonating real tender? I don’t know. Many of the founders of the old blogs have moved on to higher more respectable platforms, blogging being a thing of the past for them. Other blogs have evolved beyond into social sites no longer capable of much more than being a part of the noise they once railed against so proudly.

I think the past is not the answer for the progressives of the internet. For one thing, there were still eight years of George W. Bush. Granted, there was the proud moment of not only electing but re-electing the first African-American President, Barack Obama. However, after eight years we find ourselves facing a Presidency worse than anything good ole’ George was ever capable of creating. And with an even more cravenly self-centered Republican party ensconced in Congress devoid of compassion and empathy.

And while we may look upon Barack as a source of pride, we are faced with Congress lost to us for quite some time. Gerrymandering, cronyism, and out and out corruption has kept the progressive from gaining any significant presence in the House of Representatives. And as for the Senate? We managed to increase our representation by what? One?

It is time to let go of the ideas of the past, be they noble or not. The fact is we managed only to elect a President for two terms. Otherwise, we’ve not managed to prevent the conservatives from holding an unequal share of power. Though I use the term conservatives with a bit of reserve, as the conservatives of old have been subjugated to the midden pile. But that is for another day.

For now, the progressives need to assess their goals, their tactics, and the outcome of the last 16 years and recognize that they have not been successful. We have railed against those who would proclaim the President a king, yet have we not treated it as just that? Have we not so totally focused on winning the Presidency that we failed to recognize the United States of America is not a dictatorship and the Presidency not the sole seat of power?

I’ve no doubt the incoming man who will hold the Office has not an inkling of what the Constitution even says. However, I believe that those of us on our side fail to recognize what the Constitution means, even if we know the words.

I do not have the answers to our dilemma. I don’t even have questions to help reach the answers needed to direct our future actions.

However, I do have hope. Change does not happen overnight. Indeed, it does not happen in years. It happens over decades, with losses, and failures at every turn. That is what we are in the midst of right now. Instead of pointing our fingers blaming each other for our current failure, let’s look at ourselves first. See how we failed to work with others, and forgot what it is we all have in common. Then and only then can we forge questions that will teach us answers, allowing us to emerge stronger, with more discipline and determination.

Science Fact

It’s no longer science fiction. We now live in a time where a rocket can blast off, separate, and than land! And not only land, but land right on the x of a pad on a drone ship in the middle of the Pacific. I am soooooo geeking out right now.

This is the live feed. But I’m sure you can find the launch. Oh, and for the record, the first stage took off and landed all under 10 minutes.

Truly, Trippingly Bizarre.

Political Wire

Max Boot: “There is only one way to get to the bottom of this tawdry affair: Appoint a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate all of the allegations and issue a public report. The former C.I.A. directors Leon E. Panetta and Michael V. Hayden, among other possible choices, would provide instant credibility if they were appointed to lead such a panel.”

Has there ever been a more inept person slated to fill the Presidency than Trump? If what Max Boot recommends comes to pass, this will be the first President to enter office under investigation.

 

 

Oh, and there’s this from Fortune:

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, the law firm advising President-elect Donald Trump on handling his business conflicts, won the Russia Law Firm of the Year award in 2016.

The law firm announced the award in a press release last May, noting it was recognized in the Chambers & Partners’ 2016 Chambers Europe guide. According to Morgan Lewis’ website, the firm’s Moscow office staffs more than 40 lawyers who are well known in the Russian market and “have deep familiarity with the local legislation, practices and key players.”

Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that he had no ties to Russia and repeated the sentiment during a press conference later in the day.

Is he truly that ignorant to believe he can get away with claiming no connection when his law firm won the Russia Law Firm of the Year award in 2016? What the hell? In what world is it okay to lie like this? And don’t get me started on the fact he has been cozy with Putin, the ex-KGB and now ruler of Russia.

And the GOP is okay with all this?

I swear, a Russian sleeper cell must have finally managed to drop acid into ever single water supply for the whole damn nation.

 

The Story So Far

(BuzzFeed)

Now BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.

The document was prepared for political opponents of Trump by a person who is understood to be a former British intelligence agent. It is not just unconfirmed: It includes some clear errors. The report misspells the name of one company, “Alpha Group,” throughout. It is Alfa Group. The report says the settlement of Barvikha, outside Moscow, is “reserved for the residences of the top leadership and their close associates.” It is not reserved for anyone, and it is also populated by the very wealthy.

The Trump administration’s transition team did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment. However, the president-elect’s attorney, Michael Cohen, told Mic that the allegations were absolutely false.

At this point posted without comment except that maybe this will develop along further lines.