Also spent a lovely afternoon with one Frances Madeson. No, not the pithy Queen of Comments at this here blog (who, if I'm not mistaken, is still sojourning Down Under), but her avatar, persona, POV, and narrator of her novel: Cooperative Village. That Frances is a sketch—a cross between Lucy Ricardo and Josef K. So sweet it's hard for her to be angry, she still manages to satirize—albeit gently and lovingly—the downtown demimonde in this romp through the lower East Side. Her voice is the absolute star of the book, passionate, humorous, articulate. FM: I hope you're gathering material for the sequel (Oz, missing mother, hopeless love for hubby, life underground: the possibilities!)
I went pretty much without news/electronic input for the week, but I gather a few things happened in my absence. The government didn't shut down because the parties reached an eleventh hour agreement. How mundane. Now Wisdoc can go back to work and get paid for it. I'll say it again: the way to get the budget back in balance is to put corporate taxation on the same accounting footing as corporate finance—if a company posts a profit for shareholder and performance bonus purposes, it should pay taxes on that same amount, not some phonied up set of books. Oh, and de-militarize the global economy.
Did you know that today marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the U.S. Civil War? Secession was about nothing less than the right of the States to regulate (or not) the private property interests of certain human beings in owning certain other human beings. BDR points to this brief which pretty much tells the tale.
Harvard Prof. Larry Tribe thinks President Obama is in violation of the Constitution in the way in which his administration is detaining and treating alleged Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning.
The situation in Japan is now admittedly worse. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor is now in full-on meltdown, a 7 on a scale of 7. That's Chernobyl. And they keep getting hit with powerful aftershocks. May the all-compassionate Buddha bless them.
Oh yeah: Turns out that hydraulic fracking is even worse than we thought. I mean, we knew it was causing localized earthquakes in Arkansas. Now it seems it's contributing to global warming. Natural gas isn't really all that cheap.
This is promising:
"Bolivia is set to pass the world's first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans. The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country's rich mineral deposits as "blessings" and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry."
Don't panic just yet, but it seems that a giant gamma ray blast has drawn a bead on us and is bearing down.
Some scientists think they have gotten closer to discovering how life could have emerged from non-living matter: it has something to do with sugars and self-replicating RNA. Truly, this has to be the biggest mystery of all.
Oh, yeah. Commenter Charles F. Oxtrot has apparently passed on. His constructive destruction blog disappeared around April Fools day and now appears to be stilled. You can check this out, though, for rumors of his further demise. Hope all's well!
The best song you never heard:
Don't worry, for those of you following along at home, the Canetti series will eventually end!