Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Up early.

Men in black suits on the phone. Events in America commanding the worlds attention. Angus is up super early to talk to them. That walk across Lafayette Square to St.John's was designed to impart strength but on television viewers saw clouds of tear gas and low flying helicopters. Perhaps not the photo op intended. Russia and China and other mischief makers will be delighted. Interestingly not one of the experts being interviewed in the studios draws the direct link between Minneapolis, the pandemic, lockdown, lack of jobs , shortage of cash and street violence. Some of the men in dark suits also seem surprised that Covid could be part of the story. It was noted that the VP was not there - even though everyone else was.

France is slowly coming back to life. Restaurants and cafes will be allowed to open up again from Thursday. There will be no standing at the bar in cafes and in restaurants the initial opening will be for tables outside. In this weather that's no hardship.

It was  a holiday here yesterday. The third this month. Many of the villagers have taken the opportunity to head off into the mountains or to the seaside. The shutters on the houses by the war memorial all tighly closed.

No cars on the lane. As quiet as it was at the peak of lockdown. Sophie is down in a ditch and delighted to find a dessicated shrew that an owl has dropped from its perch in a plane tree. There is much snuffling, tail wagging and the occasional squeak. I assume the squeaks are those of a true canine gourmand relishing some savory flavors.

It did get windy last night. Cloud blew in from the mountains and there was a feeble attempt at rain. The farmer was right.

Housing : https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/06/01/housing-hardships-reach-unprecedented-heights-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Riots : https://scholars-stage.blogspot.com/2020/05/on-days-of-disorder.html


  1. Hari OM
    These are serious times. COVID has played its part by simply pulling away the veils (some of them very thin) of Human Nature. The virus, nasty as it is, remains only a virus. The behaviours and reactions engendered by its presence is what is telling. The very intellect which raised us to the top of the animal kingdom is now often used to justify and ratify often indefensible positions. To some extent in the UK, that bubbling disparity ('them and us') was already being revealed from the Brexit process. Gratitude must be there that we at least do not have the mass bearing of arms and (arguably) a more answerable police force. In general in the world, however, what has always been present but periodically quelled and sublimated, is again rising to 'open lather'. It is somehow made worse by our now being part of a global culture.

    Yet again I reiterate that no century has passed without a major upheaval involving conflict in one form or another which, ultimately, resulted in a resolution of peace and improved living. Weathering these storms will be the individual challenge as much as it is the collective.

    I've been sitting pondering a bit more on this and hoping to have something light to finish off with... but I fail... YAM xx

  2. Bertie and I are impressed with the farmer's weather predictions. Here in Aberdeen it was warm enough for a very enjoyable swim in the River Dee yesterday (Gail not Bertie!) but the highs of 9ÂșC are forecast for the weekend... Outdoor dining is unlikely to be a success in Northern Scotland.

  3. Watching the execution without trial of George Floyd for a crime that might have drawn 3 years in prison was terrible. I haven't spoken with my Trump-voting family but I suspect they would blame Floyd as they have blamed other victims of police violence for having committed some original sin that justifies anything done by cops.
    Yet cops managed to arrest Peter Manfredonia, who killed two people and injured another and who was armed and on the lam, without shooting him or restraining him with a knee on the neck. How is an unarmed black guy so much more dangerous than an armed white guy who already killed two people? And contrast the forceful crackdown on unarmed, peaceful crowds protesting police violence vs. the armed protests about getting haircuts and going back to bars.
    My family are conservatives who would rather see innocent people punished or suffer rather than let one guilty person get away with something (exceptions for people like themselves, who are principled and reasonable even when doing something illegal, whether it be minor like speeding or major like stealing), whereas liberals would prefer a few guilty people escape punishment rather than risk unjustly punishing one innocent person.

    1. There was a murder in Minneapolis a year or so ago where a black policeman shot a white woman in cold blood while she was standing in her yard in her pajamas. She had called for police fearing an intruder. He could not have mistaken her for an intruder and she was no threat whatsoever. There were no riots or burning down of cities when that terrible injustice happened. I also have seen a photo in the last few days of a white cop in France doing the same knee maneuver on a black guy and am wonder why and what happened with that. The George Floyd situation has not been fully investigated and since the cop was so blatant and knew he was being video recorded, I think there is much more to this story, but now it has turned into such a firestorm, I wonder if the full truth will ever be known. Innocents are being hurt badly by these anarchists, even one officer killed already and several wounded. ,Since the 1960's the same America haters have been pulling these societal disruptions if you remember the Weather Underground. This is an escalation of the same tactics. A tragedy all around.

  4. Gosh who would have expected such turmoil in this year? Angus you seem an astute observer of what is happening, and we agree with your impression, and you have to explain that to your contacts.

    Thank you for the pictures of your slice of sunny rural France. At least there is some sort of normal life happening in the world.

  5. The weather being hot used to be an assist as a riot starter.

  6. Pence's absence hadn't occurred to me until you mentioned it. Perhaps the thinking was that he had to remain behind in safety in case something happened to the President, which of course is ludicrous. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs was marching in full camouflage, though, and also a ludicrous sight. Apparently several of the peaceful protesters were injured in the clearing of the park. What will ensue if Trump loses the election will be far worse. Or if he wins, come to think of it.

    Love the rear end shot of Sophie. Easy to imagine how delighted she was with her discovery.

    1. I read somewhere that the only thing that was saving Trump from a bullet was the thought that Pence would then become president.