Notes from all over

Here’s a motive for one of great crimes of the 21st century:

Wealth increase in the pandemic for founder/CEOs of
Amazon: $91 billion
Walmart: $38B
Google: $37B
Microsoft: $33B
Facebook: $28B
Nike: $8B
Apple: $8B

Small businesses: collectively lost over $200 billion

We’re witnessing a record wealth transfer

Amazon: profit up 100%
Walmart: profit up 80%
Target: profit up 80%
Lowe’s: profit up 74%
Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Google: stock at record high

Small businesses: 21% closed; revenue for rest down 30%. They’re gonna go extinct in the lockdown without help.

(Via Clarissa.)

Continue reading “Notes from all over”

Trapped in an alternate universe

We’ve been living in a counterfactual world since at least 1960. Nixon won the election, but in our space-time continuum, Kennedy was inaugurated president. It looks like we’re at another inflection point. So, what now?

Francis X. Maier:

What may be coming our way is an odd kind of “new colonialism,” with flyover country—that Dark Continent formerly known as places like Kansas, Alabama, and Tennessee, largely inhabited by reactionary troglodytes—reduced in effective power to mission territory for our enlightened coastal elites; who, after all, are much smarter than the rest of us and have the expert skills to run our complex technocracy.

And of course, they’ll do all this unselfishly, heroically really, for the benefit of us natives.

Severian:

What’s going to come of the electoral mess? Nothing good, as we’ve discussed ad nauseam. The likely outcomes — the ones produced by humans, excluding meteor strikes and plagues and other acts of God — range from “bad” to “inconceivably horrible.” There really aren’t any Forces of History, my friends, but something out there wants what it wants, and what it wants, apparently, is rat utopia, the kinder gentler police state, Karen uber alles. Even the increasingly unlikely event of a total Trump victory in the courts only delays it a few years, tops. We all know which way the world is heading.

So… what do we, as individuals, DO?

Tend your gardens. Raise your children. Be loyal to your friends. Pray. Meditate. Read the great books, view the great artworks while that’s still permitted. Enjoy your time in the sunshine, because that’s all any of us ever really get in this world. Amor fati.

See also Edward Feser.

Survivor

December arrived last week and wiped out most of the garden outside. The weather has since reverted back to October, and it turned out that the cold and snow barely touched the California poppies. They started blooming back in the middle of May, over five months ago. After their big display in May and June, and unlike the rest of the hardy annuals which faded out in the summer heat, they kept going and have always had a few blossoms open. Not even the snow and ice a week ago stopped them. There’s mild fall weather scheduled for the rest of the week, so there should be color for a little while yet.

Ancient noises

Here’s another hit tune, this time a gymel from the thirteenth century, “Edi Beo Thu, Hevene Quene,” in a thoroughly historically-uninformed arrangement. All the sounds are u-he’s Hive.

The original sounded something like this:

“Edi Beo Thu” was originally a vocal piece. It might be interesting to hear how a pair of Mikus handle Middle English, but I expect that the results would be unintelligible.

Dracula and friends

Update: Never mind. The show has been cancelled.

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The local orchid organization is holding its annual show and sale this Saturday at Botanica in Wichita. There may well be some Dracula orchids for sale and possibly in bloom for the holiday. Here’s the flyer. (The orchid pictured is a Paphiopedilum.)

Here’s Don Ross with “Dracula and Friends, Part One.”

Ross, unfortunately, will not be at Botanica, though he turns up occasionally at Winfield.

Today’s quote

TS:

The larger issue is that Trump is an unwitting revealer of character – just ask the many “journalists” who have been outed as frauds and hacks by him. You could call Trump a one-man honest-broker detector, a tester of character, like whether your house can stand up to really strong winds. In Catholic parlance, Trump is a near occasion of sin for reporters.