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Monday, March 07, 2016

Omnium And Gatherum: March 7 2016

The Duke Of Omnium and Gatherum (Roland Culver) from The Pallisers (1974)

I seem to remember talking about "omnium and gatherum", or "omnium et gatherum", elsewhere. Briefly, it is a macaroni phrase (I don't seem to recall whether I talked about macaroni things, but I surely must have) combining Latin and English, meaning - in a macaroni sense - "of all things here gathered (in myriad number by far!)"

If I have used"macaroni" wrongly.... I doubt it.

To save time for my book writing, yet to maintain blog contact, I shall post some tid-bits omnium et gatherum from time to tempus, thus keeping a foot in both worlds - as it were- a type of promiscuous usage writing (promiscui usuo) where I sort of... keep a hand (previously "foot"!) in... both worlds...

So, The Omnia Et Gathera of March 7, 2016  (using the Latin neuter plurals ending in -a):

Portland Press Herald
Automatic voter registration takes hold on West Coast
"There's no other fundamental right we have as citizens that requires you to register or fill out a form," said Alex Padilla, California's Democratic secretary of state.
... Voter registration laws in the U.S. have only been around for about 150 years, said Paul Gronke, a political science professor at Reed College in Portland who specializes in voter behavior.

“Voter registration was put in place in the U.S. in the 1870s and the 1880s – and the historical record is very clear – first to hold out Catholics, southern European immigrants and to push African Americans off the rolls,” he said...

Noble causes all.

Please consider Michigan also as a very special instance of disdain for the voters.
The Flint Water Crisis was midwifed and doctored into being by a special Emergency Manager, a post with powers that override the local governments where they hold power. A law establishing such Emergency Managers was passed by the Republican legislature back in 2011 and signed by Governor Snyder. However, the people of the State held a special refendum and soundly defeated the measure.

Therefore, the anti-democracy Republicans passed a bill almost exactly the same, but attached at the last moment and small budget funding measure... and budget-funding measures are not liable to referendums!

Pro Publica
The Referendum That Might Have Headed Off Flint’s Water Crisis
Michigan’s voters decided to scrap the kind of super-empowered emergency managers who made questionable decisions in Flint – but state lawmakers found a way to revive the program.
by Alec MacGillis
ProPublica, March 4, 2016, 12 a.m.
... The replacement differed in some particulars — it gave local elected officials the right to propose alternatives to an emergency manager’s cuts, if they saved as much money, and to vote to remove him or her by a two-thirds vote (though only after 18 months.) But it retained the main elements of the rejected law, such as the power to modify union contracts and sell off local assets. The tweaks would only apply to future emergency managers, not the ones already governing cities and school systems. And the legislature attached a small budget appropriation to the new law, which made it impervious to referendum...
In essence, the Republican lawmakers in their legendary disdain and lack of comprehension of "scientifickal stuff" saw no difference between the Arithmetic of cutting costs and advanced Chemistry.

It is all well and good to ignore democracy. If the people of Flint had been guilty of their own poisoning, they would have themselves to blame. However, it is the Republican legislature and Governor Snyder who are to blame, being the first cause from which these evils flowed.

Let us hold them accountable.

Foreign Policy
What Would a Realist World Have Looked Like?
From Iraq and WMDs to Israel and Palestine to Syria and Russia, how the United States could’ve avoided some of its biggest mistakes.
By Stephen M. Walt January 8, 2016
... When the Cold War ended, the United States was on good terms with all of the world’s major powers, al Qaeda was a minor nuisance, a genuine peace process was underway in the Middle East, and America was enjoying its “unipolar moment.” Power politics was supposedly becoming a thing of the past, and humankind was going to get busy getting rich in a globalized world where concerns about prosperity, democracy, and human rights would increasingly dominate the international political agenda. Liberal values were destined to spread to every corner of the globe, and if that process didn’t move fast enough, American power would help push it along.

Fast forward to today. Relations with Russia and China are increasingly confrontational; democracy is in retreat in Eastern Europe and Turkey; and the entire Middle East is going from bad to worse. The United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars fighting in Afghanistan for 14 years, and the Taliban are holding their own and may even be winning. Two decades of U.S. mediation have left the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process” in tatters. Even the European Union — perhaps the clearest embodiment of liberal ideals on the planet — is facing unprecedented strains for which there is no easy remedy...

When you look at who is running for president, it seems that one knows nothing about policy, one has an ante-diluvian view of policy, and one is an architect of some of the most baleful policies.

Ruth Rosenthal

Copyright Ruth and Howard Rosenthal October 2015

At first I thought it was Photo-shopped, but it is a cafe in Valparaiso, Chile as seen from a cog-rail train ascending an urban cliff.
Lovely photos.

Book Abacus

Where on may find anything from Nancy Reagan (may God rest her soul):

to Thomas Aquinas:

 This Book Abacus by far alright!

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