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January 17, 2018

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"Is" a wakeup call and "should be" a wakeup call are two different things.

We can hope.

Well, even if you wake up, the next question is: what are you going to co about it? Or maybe, what can you do about it?

It would be nice if if was a wake up call for the Republicans to move away from ideology, push the moneychanges out of the party and stand up to their crazy base. I wish.

i hope it scares them so much they refuse to run in such a terrifying environment.

Maybe in late November we can read articles like "How Trump killed the Republican Party". Which will be unfair, but I'll take it.

my guess is that, running in a district that went for Trump by 17 points, her smartest move was leaving Trump out of it.

making the case for why (D) policies are better for most people should be a lay-up in 2018. even with the Greatest Tax Break Eva!1!.

lay out the obvious differences and people will figure it out. people are generally smart, it shouldn't be that hard.

and get people to the polls.

I'm torn on the bear issue.

If she contributes to the extinction of the black bear species, I'll be on board with her hunting them only if she also brings about a species-level extinction event for the entire republican party.

On the other hand, if we leave a few republicans in zoos behind bars, (I'd say OK to a few being stuffed and placed in Natural History Museum dioramas, perhaps depicted crawling in and out of their shitholes), I hope she leaves a few bears around too (can we hope Grizzlies re-inhabit Wisconsin) to eat those few conservative survivors, so the kids can see what happens to assholes when become the hunted prey.

Politics in America is an odd thing: No matter where you are on the political spectrum, you have to promise the American voter that you will and they can carry on shooting and killing something, someone, somewhere, sometime.

My fellow Americans, I am for subsidized day care and universal hugging, but don't let my opponent try to tell you that I don't have my lethal, bloodthirsty side too.

Politics in America is an odd thing: No matter where you are on the political spectrum, you have to promise the American voter that you will and they can carry on shooting and killing something

Or you can insist that you are against guns altogether. And thereby contribute to a continued Republican majority in Congress, etc. Your choice, of course. But purity does have a price.

I should, perhaps, note that I do not personally own a gun. And never have (save, for a brief period, the 22 rifle that I inherited from my father, before I got rid of it).

I know how to shoot, of course. Took the NRA rifle safety course in Jr High. And, like all Air Force officers, I was required to qualify annually with a 38 while on active duty.

So, while I see zero need to own a gun, it's not the kind of blind allergy some have.

I'm a deep environmentalist.

I don't think that black bears are threatened, even in the contiguous states; there's tons of them in the Rockies and in Canada and in Alaska. I don't like bear hunting, but I don't seen a good environmental reason to prohibit limited black bear hunting where populations will support it.

Grizzlies are a different story.
Read the chapter "Escudilla" from Leopold's A Sand County Almanac

Hartmut had an earlier comment about the IE etymologies for the word for bear, noting that the word we have is not the real word, but a substitute because it was a taboo word.

https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=tzU3RIV2BWIC&pg=PA56&lpg=PA56&dq=bear+prehistoric+man+etymology&source=bl&ots=wXk2Z1d9bF&sig=dUgHVDg5ZaV_pKAJTnxwvJCM0e0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiVndGDjODYAhXHX5QKHX5bAlsQ6AEIVjAH#v=onepage&q=bear%20prehistoric%20man%20etymology&f=false

While it is extremely tenuous to imagine that the ideas of prehistoric ancestors color our thinking now, I have to wonder if the reverence for bears comes from something a lot deeper than simply worry about extinction.

the word we have is not the real word

I missed Hartmut's comment, but this sounds a little like the claim that the Iliad and the Odyssey were not written by Homer, but by an earlier poet of the same name.

there is a joke involving armed bears in here somewhere....

I can't think of anyone, anywhere on the political spectrum, who has any interest in banning firearms for purposes of hunting.

The biggest problem with black bears, specifically, is that they are if anything too comfortable around people. They love trash cans and bird feeders. They're like 250 pound raccoons who don't know their own strength.

I have to wonder if the reverence for bears comes from something a lot deeper than simply worry about extinction.

things that can, and will, kill and eat you for lunch tend to inspire awe.

. . . thinking about a particularly hairy and gay ex-Army guy I know . . .

sorry, that was supposed to be 'particular'.

things that can, and will, kill and eat you for lunch tend to inspire awe.

Black bears don't eat humans. They prefer to eat vegetation, insects and sometimes small rodents. They sometimes maul humans if they feel threatened, but they're relatively shy. They are fairly frequently seen around my neighborhood, and they do some damage - we are asked to secure our trash and place electric fencing around birdfeeders, and other items attractive to bears.

They can cause problems, but it seems that humans need to figure out how to live with animals who share their habitat. I don't like the idea of killing them, but I suppose when it's part of a system of wildlife management it's difficult to object to people taking them (especially for food). I'm with joel hanes on this.

The point about 'bear', as I remember it, is that the various Indo-European language families have different names for it, which are suspiciously easy to interpret as descriptions--the Slavic one means 'honey-eater', the Germanic one means 'the brown one', and so on. Which suggests that there were a variety of euphemisms people were using, because it's dangerous to say the names of things that can eat you, and what we've inherited are these euphemisms.

The Algonquian languages have something that may be similar with 'mountain lion', which has a name that means 'he has a long tail'.

Video featuring Ben Kilham, who wrote Among the Bears, a wonderful book about raising orphaned black bear cubs in NH.

Joking aside, bears do seem to command a lot of interest/reverence.

My name in Hebrew, passed down from my grandfather, is Dov, which means "bear."

I wonder how many names are based on animals. "Leo," or "Leon," surely. "Felix," maybe. Others?

Felix is a male given name that stems from Latin (fēlix, felicis) and means "happy".

From Wikipedia.

From Latin fēlīnus, from fēlēs (“wildcat, marten”).

From the etymology of "feline" in Wiktionary.

Too lazy to do links.

I've had three people in my life, including one of my grandmothers, whose names were female derivations of "felix."

Some people think "Arthur" is related to Celtic artos=bear.....

Philip (name) Philip is a given name, derived from the Greek Φίλιππος (Philippos, lit. "horse-loving" or "fond of horses"), from a compound of φίλος (phílos, "dear", "loved", "loving") and ἵππος (hippos, "horse").

From Wikipedia.

Ursula - she-bear.

Hartmut's comment was here
http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2018/01/ur-american-sh1thole-values-nfl-open-thread.html?cid=6a00d834515c2369e201bb09e86e39970d#comment-6a00d834515c2369e201bb09e86e39970d

and the google books link confirms it (not that I was disbelieving Hartmut, I've never seen him make a mistake with a reference)

I love the kind of argumentation that you find in historical linguistics, though it can give rise to just so stories. I've mentioned that the town and prefecture I live in has a bear as its mascot
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumamon
and has that name despite the fact that there never seemed to be a large population of bears. The standard explanation is that the original meaning was a word that means bend in the river and Kato Kiyomasa changed the chinese character to bear+origin. However, in poking around about bears, apparently Korean mythology is based on two animals, the bear and the tiger.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ungnyeo
so now I'm wondering if there is a deeper relationship there rather than Kato just deciding on a whim to change the character.

I can't bear this much longer...

Hey. I hear the thugs in the GOP are going to shut down their own government. Get the word out.

bob mcmanus: If Trump is like Stalin, can the transition be far behind? The contradictions heighten themselves, eh?

Black bears don't eat humans.

Understood.

That said, I wouldn't want to tangle with one.

Once, long ago, when I was a kid, I was traveling with my family to GA on a family visit. On this particular trip we were taking the mountain route, via Skyline Drive.

At some point along the way, there were black bears hanging out at a roadside rest stop, looking for snacks in the trash bins. One of the other families were trying to get their grade-school age daughter to pose with one of the bears.

How cute!!

Upthread I led off by saying "the problem with black bears...". The problem isn't the black bears.

it seems that humans need to figure out how to live with animals who share their habitat.

Agreed.

the reverence for bears

To re-phrase my comment upthread, IMO the reverence for bears comes from the recognition of a powerful and intelligent being who we share a world with.

We think we own the place now, so reverence has devolved to fear, or disneyfication.

It's late-ish and I have so far imbibed a combination of a nice Albarino and a Jamieson's and soda, so I will venture a perhaps related aside.

I think a lot about the modalities of consciousness that may once have been common among humans, and have since been lost. Or, if not lost, have fallen from anything like common experience.

An example: I have at various times made a fairly serious study of Afro-Caribbean music, from the point of view of the drumming traditions. All of that stuff is rooted in traditions where the music is vehicle for inducing ecstatic trance, including spirit possession.

I don't think the average modern citizen of an OECD nation could find their way into an ecstatic trance with both hands and a flashlight. It's just not available to us, as a form of consciousness. It is profoundly outside of our repertoire.

But, for millions of people, it's a commonplace.

We couldn't get there from here, even if we wanted to. Not without re-learning our understanding of, frankly, the nature of reality. People have made that journey, it's not impossible. But it requires you to change your life.

I think to really grasp what it means to revere a bear, or bears, or bear-ness, we would have to step outside of pretty much everything we know as participants in a modern technological world.

To really grasp it, we might have to make ourselves vulnerable to the possibility of encountering a fellow-being that could, at will, kill us. A peer, not under our control and not answerable to our command.

It would be a different order of experience, for most of us.

Great comment, let me pick at it a little if you don't mind. I think that a lot of the experiences you mention are accessible to us if we can let go. However, it seems to me that the Western experience with logic and rationality makes that exceedingly difficult. A few years ago, they had a Japanese TV program about EDM/trance music and they got some kids who were really into that genre to put on the headset that measures brainwaves. I was watching it with only one eye, so sorry for not being exact, but they started this music and BAM 30 secs into it, they've got trance like brainwaves. There was a professor on the program and he was astonished that these kids could, just listening to this music for a bit, drop into that.

I've mentioned that I do aikido and a lot of aikido is placing yourself in a position where you can do great harm to another person/another person can do great harm to you. Within the limit of aging bodies (damn it!) we try to move close to the point where a few more centimeters and you've got a broken bone or a dislocated joint.

The case of animals is a bit different because our encounters with them are so attenuated, and it is hard to build up that reverence and awe. But, there seems to be evidence that fear of some animals by other animals is not learned but innate
https://animalcogblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/the-monkey-and-the-snake/

Now, it seems preposterous that something like that could last thru some 5000 years of human history, and certainly, there are people who are just not going to pay attention to their minds telling them to watch the F out. And we have a pretty stupid societal impulse to promote a no fear approach to a lot of things
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Fear

It is interesting to find articles like this
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/freedom-learn/201105/how-hunter-gatherers-maintained-their-egalitarian-ways
which marvel at the fact that hunter gatherers were egalitarian. Another variety is when they discover some prehistoric remains of someone and find a host of infirmities that would mean that other people would have to gather food for them. It's a sign of the f**kedupedness of our society that we can't take that as a given and are amazed that they didn't leave grandpa out to die on his own.

But I would like to think that there is a little voice that whispers in our ears, telling us these things and if we could only be quiet enough to hear it, we might find our lives and society being a lot better.

Finally, request from Russell for a front page post. I would love if you took a shot at explaining the concept of the clave. I would love to at least have an inkling of what it is.

I don't think the average modern citizen of an OECD nation could find their way into an ecstatic trance with both hands and a flashlight. It's just not available to us, as a form of consciousness. It is profoundly outside of our repertoire.

But, for millions of people, it's a commonplace.

We couldn't get there from here, even if we wanted to. Not without re-learning our understanding of, frankly, the nature of reality

For which, back in my youth, some people took a typically Western alternate path: Better Living Thru Chemistry. Briefly: LSD

@Norvin: "Which suggests that there were a variety of euphemisms people were using, because it's dangerous to say the names of things that can eat you, and what we've inherited are these euphemisms."

The same analysis could be applied to the word "butterfly" that differs greatly among languages.

I, for one, welcome our butterfly overlords.

There is a paper in an old Berkeley Linguistic Society proceedings that I of course can't find that posits the lack of reflexes for butterfly is due to the fact that it is not an animal that provides any kind of benefit to man (other than aesthetic) so it doesn't need to move from language to language. This article gives some of the various etymologies
http://theweek.com/articles/445825/curious-linguistic-history-pineapples-butterflies

Victor Mair talks about the etymology in Chinese here
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=23775

I remain neutral on the question of any butterfly gap

QOTD (and I've already lost the link to who said it, elsewhere on the Internet):

Decades ago a scientist working in the US parks system said that it was difficult to develop a bear-proof rubbish bin because “there was a considerable overlap between the intelligence of the brightest bears and the dimmest tourists”.

lj, I live in a city myself that has a bear in its coat of arms, a legend attached to it and that most people believe to have the bear in its name too (Berlin = Baer-lin = little bear).
Unfortunately, that is all wrong because the animal and the legend came both from misunderstanding the existing slavic place name which translates as 'settlement in the swamp'.
No visible swamp left but unknown to many Berlin is built on stilts, i.e. all buildings near the original river bank settlement are erected on thousands of wooden poles. And the district of Spandau (originally a city of its own a few years older than Berlin) has an actual swamp castle (the Citadel) more or less floating with no firm foundation. Don't know when the last wild bear was sighted in the area, so 'swamp place' makes a good deal more sense. ;-)

Bears, huh. Reading Jameson on Adorno about modern hard science as recapitulated shamanism with its taxonomies and classifications but this time desacralized and democratized with a anti-mimetic taboo. One names the bear but now can no longer be the bear.

But...and I gave it time...back to the OP. I celebrated in 2006 which was the most recent time alcohol has passed my lips and I learned a lesson. The election, legislation, and executive actions remain on a level of representation and rhetoric and I will now wait to see what happens before I give a shit.

Emma G:"If the vote made a difference they'd make it illegal."

"...she did it without running against Trump."

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/17/republicans-wisconsin-special-election-surprise-345082?lo=ap_a1
Democratic pollster Brian Stryker, who worked on Schachtner’s race, noted that the campaign talked “pocketbook issues, like health care and tax reform, in context of the national debate,” without naming the president or Ryan. “We didn’t need to,” he explained, “because that’s already in the minds of voters.”

Sykes warned Republicans that “Trump is the subtext in all of these races, which makes it really, really hard for Republicans to fight against that mood music.”...

"Caleb" is possibly derived from the Hebrew for "dog," which is spelled the same.

The disenchantment of the world is nearly complete.

Just a little something to fuel liberal outrage (on the off chance you need it): An article entitled FBI looking at Russian funding links to NRA. Wheeeeee!

It'd be nice if there was just a little conservative outrage too at that news.

Meanwhile, Betsy DeVos and her brother are putting corporal punishment back in the schools:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/stephanie-clifford-trump-spanked-forbes-mother-jones

THWACK!

For those acting out their BDSM fantasies at home, especially those in the, umm, fundamentalist community meeting with their parishioners at the Say Howdy Motel on the skirts of town, here's a little hint to avoid the sting on the bottom of that heavy-bonded, glossy folded Forbes magazine when the porn star goes for the reacharound:

Just before spanking commences, shove a copy of the 1000-page Atlas Shrugged deluxe version with the pop-up Dagny Taggart down the back of yer Make America Great Again shorts.

Interesting Guardian article on Indiana, which does not contradict the tsunami thesis, irrespective of the Trump base holding firm...
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/22/trump-great-job-muncie-indiana-year-election

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