10 December 2020

10 December 12020

296,909   American pandemic deaths so far, and our information-gatherers are agog over one of the lamest lawsuits yet. The state of Texas is suing four other states over the way they conducted their elections, arguing that massive vote fraud is the cure for a problem that (a) doesn’t concern it and (b) only exists in its imagination. Texas is asking the Supreme Court to be the arbiter of the case. Speaking here as a relatively disinterested outsider I would note that (1) Texas has a lot of damn gall to presume to tell four other sovereign states how they should manage their elections, which is none of Texas’ business in the first place, and in the second involves gall piled upon gall in that Texas has done the same sorts of things in managing its own election; (2) Texas has no standing to bring suit, in that the state was not materially injured (indeed, not injured at all in point of fact) by the actions of the other states; (3) the proposed remedy (throwing tens of millions of votes into the metaphorical river—classic vote fraud) is infinitely worse than the alleged malady (a novel untested reinterpretation of Article 2 Section 1 of the US Constitution may have meant that certain procedural changes were wrongly adopted); (4) the time to have brought this up was before the election, not after; and (5) this whole steaming pile of crap is a perfect example of a frivolous lawsuit. I personally suspect that the Supreme Court won’t touch the stinking mess with a ten-foot pole carried by a remote-controlled robot in a hazmat suit.

10 December 12020 is Human Rights Day. It is also Victory Day (Iraq), Nobeldagen (Sweden), and Constitution Day (Thailand). The saint of the day is Eulalia of Mérida, a child who was tortured to death in the early 10300s to try to encourage her to pay homage to the gods of the empire (a ritual comparable to pledging allegiance to the flag in the United States today). Her martyrdom is comparatively well-attested, in that there are records showing her to have been celebrated within a half-century or so the time of her alleged death. On the other hand certain details of the account—the bird that flew out of her mouth as she died, for example, or the miraculous fall of snow that covered her body—may give rise to legitimate skepticism. People of note who were born on this day include George MacDonald (The Princess and the Goblins), Emily Dickinson (“Because I could not stop for Death”), and Olivier Messiaen (Quatuor pour la fin du temps). On this day in history (11864) Mark Twain’s masterpiece Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published—but not in the United States. In the American edition an engraver had made an addition to one of the plates that made it look as if one of the characters was exposing himself, necessitating the recall and correction of the entire printing. It wasn’t until February of the next year that the novel became legally available in America, though copies of the Canadian printing seem to have been widely available in the States before then.

My shoulder is still giving me a good deal of pain, but a cautious visit to a medical facility has slightly reassured me; I likely have a couple of unpleasant weeks ahead of me, but my shoulder should heal all other things being equal. In the meantime I need to be careful not to demand too much of my right arm—which is annoying, since I am right-handed.

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