Poem for the impeachment

This poem “Protest” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox published 100 years ago seems appropriate today as we begin to take action to restore our national decency.

PROTEST

To sit in silence when we should protest

Makes cowards out of men. The human race

Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised

Against injustice, ignorance and lust

The Inquisition yet would serve the law

And guillotines decide our least disputes.

The few who dare must speak and speak again

To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,

No vested power in this great day and land

Can gag or throttle; Press and voice may cry

Loud disapproval of existing ills,

May criticise oppression and condemn

The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws

That let the children and child-bearers toil

To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

Therefore do I protest against the boast

Of independence in this mighty land.

Call no chain strong which holds one rusted link,

Call no land free that holds one fettered slave.

Until the manacled, slim wrists of babes

Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee;

Until the Mother bears no burden save

The precious one beneath her heart; until

God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed

And given back to labour, let no man

Call this the Land of Freedom.


Note that most modern versions of this poem say “To sin in silence…” but this was the wording I found online in the published book of poetry.

Judicial bias is as real as rain

We do not ever really know what is in the mind of a judge who decides a case. We can only analyze the outcome. But we do know three things:

1) It is absurd to say that judges do not have predictable and demonstrable personal bias. Anyone who works with judges regularly as an underling or attorney would find the suggestion of open-mindedness in this article to be laughable.

2) The absurd political process of Garland/Kavanaugh will forever mar the reputation of the Supreme Court. The average middle-of-the-road person now sees the court as a political tool.

3) This threat to the reputation of the Judiciary won’t be fixed by denying the existence of partisanship in an academic setting like this William and Mary conference. How about data-driven analysis of case history?

https://www.wsj.com/articles/judges-say-they-arent-extensions-of-presidents-who-appointed-them-11568566598

A lesson learned about aging

When my refrigerator movers did not show up yesterday, I faced a dilemma. It was already getting dark and no response to text or call. Damn millennials strike again! My plan was well thought out. They would show up at the planned time, help me move in the new refrigerator from the trailer in the front of the cabin and take the old refrigerator that works fine but is a little smaller in exchange for their help.

In past decades I’ve moved plenty of refrigerators on my own. Once you get the doors off, it is not so bad. I learned that I can carry them “tortoise shell style” on my back even up flights of stairs. But today’s refrigerators are larger and I had doubts. Plus, I noticed a significant loss of shoulder strength and overall lift strength summer since I stopped going to the gym. At age 59 I should at least begin to consider these things. It was just too far from the bayshore and I would rather walk with the dogs. I realize now that skipping the gym was a mistake, but that’s a different story.

IMG_2303In addition to the physical concern, I notice an overall decline in my eagerness to tackle physical projects lately, especially in the heat. The lawn mowing, for example, was often delayed this summer before I finally get around to it.

So I decided to just do the “prep work” and then get another helper to move later. I stored the food in a large boat cooler, removed the refrigerator doors and cleaned it out. I thought that I might as well keep going while I have the time and energy. Then I removed the door to the house and the door on the the porch. Then removed the narrow door frame. So far, so good.

Now, while I had time, I could just move out the older smaller and lighter refrigerator. That went fine.

Then, before I quit, maybe I could at least get the new refrigerator off the trailer to the steps. It was ridiculously bulky and heavy. But it seemed manageable as long as I kept it tilted on an angle. Maybe I could walk it up these steps? That worked. Maybe keep going. Lets’ just get it into the kitchen before I put the house doors back on to keep the bugs out.

Wow. OK. Done! Both refrigerators moved. I didn’t think I could do it but it is done.

Only one problem: I measured incorrectly and the new larger refrigerator does not fit in the space. How did I make that error? I don’t know. Years of construction experience have taught me to measure twice. I did. I suspect a memory issue in comparing measurements at two different locations. So I moved the new refrigerator back out and is now an extra refrigerator in my porch office. The original refrigerator will get a new coat of appliance paint and go back into service. In total it cost me a half day of extra work.

Lesson learned: My memory capabilities may be aging faster than my physical capabilities. I write everything down related to my work and professional responsibilities. It is time to do that for personal activities as well.

 

The Party is always right

“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”
– George Orwell in “1984”

Yesterday’s political lie and cover-up by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration left me surprised, disheartened and sad. I thought that NOAA was trustworthy. I used to think that the agency is guided by the scientific process. Yesterday the Washington Post reported that this is not an isolated event; that a “top official” had instructed its scientists to not resist Trump’s fake political propaganda in the recent past.

It is sad to see how far we’ve fallen as a society.

Eastern philosophy

I just finished Thoughts Without a Thinker by Mark Epstein on Blinkist.
https://blinki.st/c81cb1ff60ef?blinkspack=thoughts-without-a-thinker-en&supplement=1