U.S. Election

About the American election – I found both candidates anxiety-inducing. But I think conservatives and Republicans should be pleased: Biden will be president, but the progressive left has been dealt a serious blow. I hope the Republicans will hold the Senate – should that happen, this will be the first time in 116 years that the one who won the presidency didn’t carry the Senate. That would be terrific. Further, it would seem Trump got more votes from minorities this time around, as well as from white women, whereas white men moved over to Biden. This puts to death the notion that Trump supporters can be dismissed as white supremacists and bigots, et cetera.

There is a genius somewhere in the American voter and in the system of checks and balances. Biden goes to the White House with the GOP potentially in the driver’s seat. I think the example of Susan Collins in Maine is noteworthy: she won by nine points when her opponent spent $100 million. And yet the state of Maine went Democratic. The United States is a healthy democracy with robust public debate. I’m not naive, and Biden could – and likely will – disappoint. But I hope he will cut the vile AOC/Ilhan Omar/Rashida Tlaib gang of antisemites and economic illiterates out of the picture.

JFK

It has been said – I have said it, maybe even on this website – that the current Democratic Party would never select tax-cutting, hawkish, war hero, Cold Warrior JFK as their leader. Sadly, this is true. Say what you will about JFK, but once we had leaders, and he was one of those leaders.

November 11th

Remember to visit my other site. And please enjoy this A.E. Housman poem, relevant to the day. Really quite simple and profound.

Here Dead we Lie

Here dead we lie because we did not choose,

To live and shame the land from which we sprung.

Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose;

But young men think it is, and we were young.

Spooky Cemetery Cats

Ok, they’re not spooky. They’re gorgeous. Both of the cemeteries featured here provide some care for the ferals who live on their grounds – I think the Italians do a better job of it, though.

The first two are from the Cimetiere de Montmartre, Paris, 2018. Truffaut and Stendahl and La Goulue are also buried there, so those artistic giants are in good feline company.

“Do you mind, lady? I’m trying to groom.”

When a cat finds a ray of sunshine, a cat’s got to rest, even on someone else’s final resting place.

Next images are all from Rome’s Protestant Cemetery – or Cimitero Acattolico.

Radical Calico Cat, hanging with Gramsci, 2016.

At Keats’ grave, contemplating life, poetry and mice, 2016.

Whose ghost are you? 2013.

“Leaving already, tourist? Good.” 2013.

Happy Hallowe’en, all!

Samuel Paty: Important Stories Overlooked

Yes, Covid is a defining story. But you know what isn’t? Trump vs. Biden. This too shall pass and America will survive because it is a great country. The anger and the loudness don’t make it “the most important election of our lifetime.” Nope.

Here is something that will have a far greater impact – CRISPR.

And frankly, the tragedy of Samuel Paty should be the headline in every Western country, in every Western newspaper. But it is not. We are cowards. We are blithe. I fear it is too late for Europe (as spot-on as Macron was in this speech, he can’t do it alone), but maybe not for North America. I stress the “maybe.”

After the Charlie Hebdo massacres, someone I had thought to be sane-ish, told me I was wrong to view it as a black-and-white issue. Oh no, she said – there are “nuances” and “shades of grey.” Seriously? Slaughtering people because they mocked your faith and slaughtering people because they are Jews are actions that are nuanced? I referenced this person’s nonsense here (column is from 2015 and links may no longer work).

We need moral leaders. Principled leaders. Trump is not one, but anyone who thinks Biden will be one is deluded, and then some. Where are our moral leaders on Paty? The Pope recently made an exciting and positive comment about gay civil unions. Wonderful, of course, but a week after Paty’s murder he has yet to utter the man’s name and yet to issue a condemnation of the murderer and his motivation. I’m not surprised, though: after Charlie Hebdo, Pope Francis said a remarkably stupid thing about the massacres, apparently excusing the crimes (see my column above).

When the President of France is your greatest hope…

Beryl O’Links: Thanksgiving Edition

Friends, I posted yesterday – see my previous post, “Sunday Sanity” – about how a certain kind of article (a rational, historically accurate article that challenges a beloved-by-the-chattering-classes narrative) could never appear in The New York Times. Turns out I was wrong – Bret Stephens on the 1619 Chronicles.

More on the wonderful Stanley Crouch.

Noor bin Ladin on how being Osama’s niece has caused her less grief than her support of Trump.

On Philip Larkin’s heartwarming side.

To be filed under “Duh!”: alcohol consumption rises sharply during pandemic.

Sue me: I like BHL!

Why T. S. Eliot still matters.

Though it’s hard for some to admit – seriously, I have seen people tying themselves into pretzels to not admit this – the Abraham Accords are a positive and huge development.

Grizzly kills hunter: the animals are done with us, part one.

Parrots curse visitors to wildlife park: the animals are done with us, part two.