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Ormond

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  1. Leaving aside the ethical problems with the above strategy -- where are you going to get these candidates to "plant"? Where are you going to find people who would "finish their terms as adult Democrats" who are going to be able to convincingly "toss the red meat" during a Republican primary? Anyone who's really interested in running for Congress at all is very likely to already have a track record as to his or her positions on issues that the media can easily find, and when that is brought up by primary opponents who have been vocally Trumpian for years how are the "plants" going to convince voters they are not really "plants"? This seems like a fantasy scenario which is not at all workable. But maybe you aren't really serious about it. I really don't think there are enough people dumb enough to do this in any election where there is a "D" by the name Trump. Maybe in western Nebraska this could work since our state senators are elected on a "nonpartisan" basis with no party designation on the ballot, but even that's a stretch given how much media attention would be focused on a Democrat with the name Trump running in such an election.
  2. Last week I finished Chronospace, a time travel science fiction novel by Allen Steele. One of its main premises is that flying saucer UFOs are not alien vessels but time travel machines from our own future. I liked the characters and it was interesting to see what he came up with for a new timeline when his time travelers changed history by inadvertently delaying the 1937 explosion on the airship "Hindenburg" by half an hour so that no one is killed as a result of the disaster. The PrimeTimers club for older gay men I now belong to in Omaha has started a book discussion group. Last night I finished The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. the book club's first selection. It's a mostly "cozy" murder mystery where the amateur detectives are four residents of an upscale retirement community in the Weald district of England's county of Kent. It was well-written and had lots of twists and turns. The four members of the club are very different from one another despite having ended up as residents of the same retirement village. Though at one point Elizabeth, the leader of the Thursday club, seemed a bit too arrogant and domineering in her treatment of the local police to me, it was mostly a fun read -- though Americans will have to Google a lot of references to modern British slang and business names (such as Waitrose, an upscale supermarket chain) to fully understand some of them. So a good choice if one is looking for a light murder mystery.
  3. Well, at least you have good self-insight. P.S. Sorry I didn't see DMC had said the same thing before I posted this. This thread just moves too quickly for me.
  4. Obviously weird things happen to surnames when they move from one language/culture into another. As a surname Fuck is a Brazilianized form of a German surname. Here is a link to an article about a Brazilian-born basketball player in Canada with the surname: https://www.complex.com/sports/2015/03/guy-fuck-canadian-basketball-player-allowed-use-real-name I am mystified as to how that spelling ended up being pronounced "Foo-key" in Brazil, as that certainly does not seem to correspond to what I think of as normal Portuguese pronunciation of that combination of letters. Though the basketball player thinks his surname is from Fuchs, since he says it meant "fox" in German, I wonder if it really was originally Füge, another German surname which meant "suitable, skillful" in Middle High German. Füge would seem to me to more likely lead to the "Foo-key" pronunciation than Fuchs would. P.S. The slang meaning of "penis" for "dick" is first attested in the 1890s as British army slang, and wasn't really widespread in English-speaking countries until around WWII. So it's only been in very recent history that people would have seen anything odd about Dick or Dicks as a surname.
  5. Here is the link to today's column: https://omaha.com/lifestyles/cleveland-evans-cedric-is-likely-a-modern-misspelling-of-a-medieval-name/article_d9140a86-1173-11ec-a9e9-f7290b450bbd.html It was only while writing this column that it finally dawned on me why male names like Cedric, Reginald, Percy, and Nigel which had "effete British upperclass" images for Americans were so much more popular with Black than White parents in the USA during the 20th century. I now think it's the same motive as that for the fashion for newly created names like DeJuan and Lakeisha that came along a few decades later -- the desire among Black parents to give their children names that proclaimed "you are a unique worthy individual and just as good as anyone else."
  6. You undermine your argument with your middle sentences. The Republicans of the Civil War era are not the same sort of group as the Republicans of 2021. The Republicans of 2021 aren't even the same coalition of persons as the Republicans of 1971 were. My favorite politician of my lifetime is still Linwood Holton, who was the first Republican governor of Virginia after Reconstruction 1970-1974. He had school age children while he was governor, and he sent his kids to the Richmond public schools that they would have been assigned to if the governor's mansion was a private home, though there was a law on the books stating the governor could send his kids to any public school he wanted to. This meant his kids were attending mostly Black schools, an unheard of thing for a White Virginia politician of the times. But he was the last of the old style moderate Republicans in VIrginia -- while he was governor, the state Republican party was taken over by the conservatives who were leaving the Democratic party. The Republicans actually nominated Mills Godwin, who had been the Democratic governor for the term before Holton's, to succeed him. Holton didn't even attend the Republican convention where Godwin was nominated. I myself was an alternate delegate to the Republican convention that nominated Godwin. I was disgusted by the party's repudiation of Linwood Holton, and it was the beginnig of my disillusionment with the party and leaving them myself 20 years after that. Those who run the Republicans today are not Linwood Holton's Republicans. Heck, they're probably not even Mills Godwin's Republicans but are way more right-wing than that. The people who ended slavery and were killed by the KKK during Reconstruction would not be welcome in today's Republican party, and it is historically silly to bring them up in any discussion of the politics of 2021, except to be amazed at how much things can change over 160 years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linwood_Holton
  7. I was quite engaged by the Harry Potter bookes when I read them and I was in my 50s then. And I know several other people about my age who were, too. So I'm not going to trust you on that, sorry.
  8. I'm afraid you will have to explain that further. When I type "zorral" into Google Translate I get nothing. "Zorra" means "fox" in Spanish but foxes are generally associated with "slyness" in English speaking culture, not "annoyingness".
  9. Though it's not relevant in the larger scheme of things, I first have to say that I really hate the "elephant" and rider metaphor. Elephants are among the most rational and intelligent animals. I think the world would probably be a better place if it were run by Loxodonta africana and Elephas maximus rather than Homo sapiens. A lot of what you say fits my own personality and beliefs. But at this moment in history (and perhaps because I have reached the age of 70) the idea of trying to engage with Trumpists is just too tiring. I feel like people have been trying to deal with this for decades and it the polarization has just gotten worse, driven by the authoritarian right-wing side. I was a Republican until about 30 years ago. I am very grateful for the Liz Cheneys and Adam Kinzingers of the world. But there just don't seem to be enough of them any more for the Republican party to be worth saving. People like McConnell may occasionally make superficial pro-democracy remarks but they've sold their souls for lower tax rates. Reading your post makes me more depressed because it's hard to see how this can be fixed unless all those who are against the authoritarians, whether conservative, liberal, or socialist, first band together to defeat them at the ballot box. It's so hard to focus on the "common humanity" of those whose entire attitude seems to deny common humanity to anyone in the center, much less the left.
  10. The above has me wondering -- is it always a simple matter of a regular law being changed to determine the procedures by which a replacement Senator is chosen? Or are there states where this procedure is written into the state constitution and so it wouldn't be so simple?
  11. And I have just been amazed by younger people not knowing a bit of trivia almost everyone in my generation would be familiar with.
  12. Here's the link to today's column. It still boggles my mind how many girls were named Laci because of murder victim Laci Peterson. https://omaha.com/lifestyles/cleveland-evans-are-you-reading-what-happened-to-lacey/article_a1ad325c-05b6-11ec-aac7-33a4bced9636.html
  13. Come on, people who really want to continue working past 70 (as opposed to those who feel they must because of financial reasons) do so because the work in their occupation is NOT "toiling" to them. They are people who love what they do and whose sense of self is wrapped up in their occupation and position. They believe they are getting much more enjoyment on average every day by continuing to work then they would if they retired -- in their minds retirement would lead to boredom and depression. I don't think that's really what would happen to most of them, but I think that is their own belief about the matter.
  14. What is your definition of "likely"? To me "likely" means something has over a 50% chance of happening. The average life expectancy for an 88 year old woman in the United States is 5.64 years, and Feinstein being highly educated and getting excellent health care are factors that are going to raise her life expectancy above average. So I would never say it's "likely" she will die within the next year.
  15. Ormond

    History in Books

    If one is looking for older historical fiction, two novels which were assigned to me in English class way back in high school which I still remember as being very good are The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade and The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett. The first has as its main characters two young people who turn out to be the parents of the famous philosopher Erasmus. The second focuses on two English sisters between about 1840 and 1905, one of whom leads a conventional life and the other who elopes with a cad to Paris, though when they are elderly they end up living together again. I also remember reading Oliver Wiswell by Kenneth Roberts, which is rather remarkable as a book by an American author set in the American Revolution whose title character is a Tory, portrayed as a very admirable person.
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