Happy Thanksgiving 2020 from the Curmudgeon

Mars is red,
Uranus is blue,
Holiday Greetings
From the Curmudgeon to you

As we do every year, your Curmudgeon extends holiday greetings to all, including our many non-US readers who don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.

This was our original Thanksgiving thread from 2008, which is still worth reading: Of Plymouth Plantation: “Every Man for His Own Particular”.

As you surely know, Plymouth Colony occupies a special place in American history. Its original settlers arrived on the Mayflower, and the descendants of that legendary voyage still take pride in their heritage. Also, it was the Plymouth colony that observed the first Thanksgiving.

But it’s not generally known that the original settlers began by practicing bible communism, a peculiar kind of economic and social arrangement that they thought would bring the blessings of heaven upon them. It didn’t. Instead, it resulted in misery.

From that experience they learned a big lesson which is well described in William Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation. That’s what our Thanksgiving post from 2008 is all about. As Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797) said: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

Thanksgiving is traditionally a slow time for our kind of news news, but we conducted our usual news sweep anyway — and found nothing of interest. It’ll probably be like that all day, so we’re declaring this post to be an Intellectual Free Fire Zone.

We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — feel free to express yourselves about science, economics, politics, philosophy, etc. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

But wait — before we throw open the comments, we must give you our famous guarantee of quality:

Self-Proving Truth Certificate

Everything written by the Curmudgeon in this blog is true. The presence of this Certificate is your proof. Our logic is undeniable.

Okay, the comments are open. Have at it!

Copyright © 2020. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

25 responses to “Happy Thanksgiving 2020 from the Curmudgeon

  1. Oh, I just can’t wait to see FrankB’s reaction to this!

  2. @ Our Curmudgeon: I trust that your Miss Scarlett will be the beneficiary of some portion of Thanksgiving turkey!

    Happy Thanksgiving from the UK (a nation of ingrates that does not celebrate the day)

  3. @Megalonyx
    And there is the question as to whether the presumed grantor-grantee could conceive of any offense, any lapse from perfection. What is there that would be in need of pardon?

  4. Michael Fugate

    Silly platitudes from US presidents on Thanksgiving

    Lots of thanking gods for how awful things are – makes no sense.

  5. @DaveL: “I just can’t wait …..”
    You’ll have to; I hope you won’t burst from curiosity. Unless you’re smart enough to think of looking up my comment from a year ago. From two years ago might be asked too much from you.

  6. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the day, and have a wonderful and safe day to all.

    That said, this would be a good time for all of us to pledge to ourselves not to repeat “things we’ve heard” or “something we read on the internet” unless we know it to be true or know it to be from a well-vetted source.

    Much damage is being done in the United States by the promotion of the idea that our election was rigged. Trump was promoting this idea long before the election took place — does he possess some special power of seeing the future? Of course not. He was only setting up the face-saving way to explain his forthcoming loss, not caring a whit about the damage it is now doing here.

    Seriously — think of how vast the conspiracy would have to be for Biden to falsely win the popular vote by over six million. Even if some “Deep State” conspiracists within the NSA or wherever were able to rig the computers in enough states to throw the election to Biden, it would require the cooperation of so many people that it could never be kept under wraps. Someone would talk. So far, crickets. No evidence of enough fraud or even honest mistakes to make any difference in the outcome.

    And yet, 77% of Trump’s supporters believe the election was rigged. Why?
    Because The Donald said so, and the supporters keep re-enforcing the notion by spreading the bull manure on Facebook, Twitter, email, whatever.

    And to what end? To instigate a civil war? Is that what we want?

  7. Michael Fugate

    And just think, with his power, if only he had ordered a mask mandate in March…

  8. Trump has a plan of action to battle the virus – herd immunity. He’s purposely exposing people to the virus in his open air super spreader events and all his get-togethers. He purposely requires White House personnel to not use masks. His latest expert, Dr Atlas, is helping Trump 100% by promoting this idea, like Rasputin and the Tsar. It’s also the easiest way Trump can show his leadership since he’s not required to do anything at all, just play golf, watch Fox and tweet while exposing people to get sick and survive or die. Sacrifices he’s willing to accept. Losers and suckers are his followers, drinking from the Trump kool-aid he freely provides.

  9. Thanks, FrankB, you didn’t disappoint. Frustrated mailice, curdled bile, topped off with a causeless insult – what else would I expect?

  10. About the so-called monolith in Utah. It has been visited by several people, and it has been determined to have been placed there in 2015. But no one has been named.
    We should hear from the ID people how it has been shown to be a product of intelligent design.
    Yet aren’t the rocks also intelligently designed? What difference does ID make?

  11. chris schilling

    It’s nice the way a national holiday can bring everyone together in peace and harmony. COVID-19 gives thanks, too, and promises to spread the love and infection.

    FrankB and DaveL are treading the boards again, diligently acting out their roles as George and Martha in Albee’s classic Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? And they’re still as fresh as ever!

    All’s right with the world.

  12. All very true, chris schilling. Mind you, an awkward family Christmas makes George and Martha’s interactions seem picayune. Don’t ask me how I know.

    But you’re right. I should not be baiting FrankB, simply because it’s so easy as to be no challenge. Nor should we be refighting the battles of the 1930’s. It’s pointless. The decision was in long ago.

    I suppose it’s possible that outraging him here keeps him out of worse mischief; and it amuses me, but that’s not reason enough for indulging in ridicule of irrelevant curiosities like socialism, any flavour. The Red Revolution came and went, leaving old lefties high and dry, and, like Earth, mostly harmless. There are far worse threats now, from other forms of totalitarianism.

    So I’ll take the hint and stop.

  13. @ChrisS: thanks for the compliment – it’s an excellent movie with excellent actors.

    @DaveL: So you don’t even know yourself what you expected from me in your first comment, given our dear SC’s blogpost about Thanksgiving, let alone why I should in a different way from last few years.

    “Nor should we be refighting the battles of the 1930’s.”
    Ah, you realize this more than 40 years after me. That’s still worth a compliment. Is there hope you’ll stop writing nonsense about red revolutions and me getting worked up about them?
    Yup, let me give you an update. Fortunately the Soviet-Union is gone. Since many decades Germany is a European pillar of freedom and democracy, together with France. It’s alt-right – aka neonazi light – that undermines it. As I reported a few days ago in the last FFZ the dangerous Dutch version has blown itself up this week. You have lost an anti-EU ally. Perhaps that should be reason for me to celebrate a form of Thanksgiving. At the other hand your authoritarian anti-EU allies in Poland and Hungary are pretty successfull. Also I expect Brexiteers to continue 19th Century politics (resulting in a restart of the Troubles), so perhaps I should postpone the celebration a bit.

  14. DavidK notes (with my emphasis):

    Trump can show his leadership since he’s not required to do anything at all, just play golf, watch Fox and tweet while exposing people to get sick and survive or die.

    Following the election, and Tucker Carlson’s failure to whole-heartedly embrace Sidney Powell’s whack-a-doodle fantasies, Trump and his loyal minions have savagely turned against Fox, vociferously denouncing it as yet another tool of the ‘Fake News Lame-stream Media’ funded by George Soros and dedicated to establishing World Communism.

    Murdoch, after all, has always been a weathervane; in the UK, his rags merrily switched from Tory to Labour during the Blair years, and switched back again thereafter.

    In the US, the Trumpistas have instead now embraced embrace the world of Alternative Facts as reported by Newsmax or OANN (One America News Network)–which is, appropriately enough, an anagram of ONAN, but that is by the by.

    I believe Breitbart is still in favour, and many continue to worship at the shrine of Bannon’s organ.

  15. Eeeek! “Fundeded”????

    Dare I yet again call upon the Great Hand of Correction?

    The alternative would be dunning George Soros to toss me some cash for a typing and spelling class.

    [Voice from above:] A mere mortal would tire of your endless blunders, but that is no problem here.

  16. chris schilling

    Yes, but as to which one of you gets to be Burton, and which one Taylor — you’ll have to fight that out with each other.🤕

  17. @retiredsciguy

    I pledge myself not to repeat things I’ve heard or something I’ve read on the internet without providing the appropriate link.

  18. MEMRI-TV: “Egyptian researcher Ahmad Abdou Maher said in a November 16, 2020 interview on Al-Hadath Al-Youm TV (Egypt) that young people are becoming atheists because they see unscientific facts in religious texts, such as claims that the sun hides under God’s throne when it sets or that a woman’s pregnancy can last as long as four years. He also said that the proportion of the religious texts that such statements comprise is irrelevant, much the same way the proportional weight of coronavirus in a person’s body is irrelevant. For more about Ahmad Abdou Maher, see MEMRI TV clips No. 5999, 5669, 5409, and 5234.”

    An Islamic Reformation?

    One can only hope.


  19. Random asks: “An Islamic Reformation?”

    And I agree, one can only hope. But there have been several of those.

    Islam has been kinda sorta like Protestantism since the first generation after the Prophet, ie, without a generally recognised college or religious authority, but even more loosely organised, with what might be described as associations of generally like-minded believers rather than formal denominations. The major split was Sunni/Shia, of course – and it was over politics, power and authority, not doctrine so much. (This is pretty much the norm for religious schisms.) Still, there is at least as much variation in interpretation in Islam as between the Protestant churches in Christendom.

    I think that the Wahabbism which has been heavily promoted by the Saudis has shifted the whole body of Islam towards radicalism and militancy. That does not mean that all or most Muslims are radical or militant. But it does mean that militants are more numerous, more prominent and more supported than a generation or two ago.

    Now, it might be that what happened in Christianity is happening or will happen in Islam. Perhaps there is, or will be, a general movement away from the faith, as Random’s source believes. But there will be a counter-current.

    Sure, across Europe and America, in what used to be possible to describe as “Christendom”, there has been a steady decline in Christian observance and practice, Church attendance and orthodox belief. But at the very same time, there has been a rise in militancy from the fundamentalists and the evangelical wing. It has often been pointed out here and elsewhere that Biblical “young-Earth” creationism was a shy, retiring beast until Morris and Whitcomb did their dirty work in the early 60’s. Now it is out and loud.

    If there is a similar contraction in Islam, I think it is reasonable to predict a similar development. And remember that another effect of the Protestand/Catholic Reformation:was religious warfare for centuries.

    Even if this bloke is right, we’re not out of the woods yet.

  20. @ChrisS: “but as to which one of you gets to be Burton, and which one Taylor”
    I’d be flattered to be compared with either of them.

  21. Flynn Stone meet the Flynn Stone
    They’ve been pardoned for their felonies
    Good-bye, law and order
    They’re forgiven by their fav crony

  22. People are saying that if enough pickups with Trump flags gather to protest in one place it summons angels from Africa.

  23. I deplore the assassination of scientists.

  24. Derek Freyberg

    Thanks for a wonderful second comment, Matt.
    I can’t say that I have seen this one on the internet, apart from here, but it sounds all too plausible, especially if it also involves Paula White speaking in tongues.