Saturday assorted links

by on June 3, 2017 at 1:24 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1. A Christian responds to my earlier post on God, but I don’t see many actual arguments for the existence of God in there (criticizing “metaphysical nominalism” doesn’t count).  The testimony argument is offered, but I considered that in my original post, and I don’t see a rebuttal to what I wrote.

2. Good short overview on indirect costs and federal overhead payments.

3. Very good Yuval Levin short essay on the CBO and health care policy scoring.

4. James Wood appreciation of W.G. Sebald.

5. January 2016 Tyrone take on why Democrats should support Donald Trump for reasons of climate change.

6. Is it Randal Quarles and Marvin Goodfriend to the two open Fed seats? (NYT)  Here is Goodfriend’s 2016 paper on dealing with the zero lower bound (pdf).

1 Ray Lopez June 3, 2017 at 1:32 pm

More comments needed.

2 Ray Lopez June 3, 2017 at 1:34 pm

@#4 – what’s so funny about the Holocaust? I think TC is next to be ridden out on a rail by linking to this offensive story, following Kathy Griffin and Bill Maher… funny!

3 Viking1 June 3, 2017 at 2:03 pm

The funny thing about Kathy Griffin is the unexpected reaction, she managed to pierce her bubble and echo chamber.

The funny thing is that most liberals don’t see much inappropriateness in the head replica, I don’t either, because my support for freedom of speech is absolute.

One year ago, the liberals would scream hate speech, if someone showed a replica severed POTUS head, today, not so much.

Likewise, it would have been highly inappropriate to compare POTUS to a chimp 8 years ago, but 9 years ago, it was expected.

4 Ray Lopez June 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm

@Viking1 – I think it’s all ‘complacency’ as TC would say…to be protected by your bubble and echo chamber as you say.

Bonus trivia: Who Killed Hammarskjöld? (by Dr. Susan Williams, highly recommended, I have a feeling TC will review it soon)

5 dearieme June 3, 2017 at 4:59 pm

Who killed Olaf Palme? Was any progress ever made on that one?

6 Anonymous June 3, 2017 at 4:12 pm

I have seen some liberals defend Griffin, but I think it is a better opportunity to show that you can keep your house in order. Shun her, as she deserves to be shunned. And of course since all she wants is attention, that is the best punishment.

Kathy who?

7 Moo cow June 3, 2017 at 6:00 pm

Is there an “E” list?

8 chuck martel June 3, 2017 at 6:28 pm

Beheading was a pretty normal part of life in previous centuries and was celebrated by the opponents of the headless. The beheading of Goliath, John the Baptist, Holofernes and others was the subject of serious art for centuries, art that once and even now is admired in public places. Upon the restoration of the English Stuart monarchy Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector, was exhumed, beheaded and his head displayed in public for 18 years.

9 buddyglass June 3, 2017 at 9:00 pm

If it were President Ben Carson’s head she’d been holding, we might see more reaction.

10 Anonymous June 3, 2017 at 11:58 pm

My support for freedom of speech also has tremendous latitude, but that’s slightly afield of the question of the image’s “appropriateness”. Certainly it is to be allowed without punishment from the state, but inasmuch as it is invidious and displays remarkably poor taste, I wouldn’t argue with the label of “inappropriate”.

11 Boonton June 4, 2017 at 2:21 pm

“The funny thing is that most liberals don’t see much inappropriateness in the head replica, I don’t either, because my support for freedom of speech is absolute.”

Actually most liberals did see the inappropriateness of her ‘joke’. I’m not impressed that you can find people on the Internet cheering the death of Thatcher or Scalia. That’s about as insightful as observing that some football fans cheer when a player from the other side is injured.

I do find it amazing that conservatives who complain about political correctness become total PC Nazis when the role is reversed. It isn’t enough to shrug and say Griffin’s joke bombed, not enough she loses some of her gigs…every ‘liberal’ (i.e. all celebrities except country singers who are presumed conservative ‘cept the Dixie Chicks) must denounce. Likewise Bill Maher must immediately be fired for using the ‘n-word’….even though he has given supposed right-wing ‘victims’ of political correctness like Ann Coutler and Milo a huge amount of airtime.

12 TMC June 5, 2017 at 11:09 am

It’s just a case of wanting liberals to live up to their own values. Or down as the case may be.

13 Boonton June 5, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Ahhh how enlightened.

Or more likely it is the behavior of an immature spoiled brat who is keen to pick out the slightest deviation from absolute perfection in the judgment and behavior of all but actually cares nothing about those values when it comes to his own behavior. Quite a few criminals are very keen on all the intricacies of criminal procedure and will happily pounce on any failure of cops or prosecutors to follow the letter of the law, but that’s simply because they are thugs out for themselves. Not some type of performance artist trying to illustrate how values become incoherent.

14 A clockwork orange June 3, 2017 at 10:49 pm

Sechenov’s major interest was neurophysiology (the structure of the brain). He showed that brain activity is linked to electric currents and was the first to introduce electrophysiology. Among his discoveries was the cerebral inhibition of spinal reflexes. He also maintained that chemical factors in the environment of the cell are of great importance\\ Chomsky one up

Sechenov’s work laid the foundations for the study of reflexes, animal and human behaviour, and neuroscience. He was an influence on Vladimir Bekhterev and Vladimir Nikolayevich Myasishchev when they set up the Institute of Brain and Psychic Activity in 1918.

See Brith Shalom Society
Alan Dershowtiz
Sechenov’s work laid the foundations for the study of reflexes, animal and human behaviour, and neuroscience. He was an influence on Vladimir Bekhterev and Vladimir Nikolayevich Myasishchev when they set up the Institute of Brain and Psychic Activity in 1918.

Tyler Cowan
the weak type.” Pavlov and his researchers observed and began the study of transmarginal inhibition (TMI), the body’s natural response of shutting down when exposed to overwhelming stress or pain by electric shock.[

The British philosopher Bertrand Russell was an enthusiastic advocate of the importance of Pavlov’s work for philosophy of mind.[35]

Burrhus Frederic Skinner

15 rayward June 3, 2017 at 2:18 pm

3. Levin’s essay is neither short nor very good. Perhaps its length caused me to overlook its goodness. No, I don’t think so. Levin is doing what any smart essayist would do when defending the indefensible: don’t. Instead, try to focus attention on something besides the details of the indefensible, the CBO. For example, Levin complains that CBO projects that 18 million would lose their coverage almost immediately even though it’s only the mandate (i.e., the elimination of the mandate) that is effective immediately, and given that the penalties for not complying with the mandate are minuscule, the CBO must be overestimating the impact. Levin ignores, completely and totally ignores, the impact that AHCA will have on the exchanges, namely insurers dropping out, premiums going up, and impending doom. Duh. But in Cowen’s estimation, Levin’s essay is both short and very good. Nope. Cowen frequently makes the case that it’s expectations that determine behavior. I agree, and the expectation that Obamacare is being repealed will affect lots of peoples’ behavior.

16 A shagbark tree named supertramp June 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

rayward pointing is finger straight at the man: Thou art the man! You’re the man now dog.

17 mulp June 3, 2017 at 3:19 pm

His criticism seems to be the CBO operates on the kind of liberal ideal the Milton Friedman argued he held to, objective analysis. But that it’s biggest problem is its part of a liberal budget process that Congress imposed on itself to create “regular order”, a systematic process of taxing and spending that takes into account the zero sum mandate of nature, zero sum on the economy, and thus the zero sum on government.

He argues for its replacement.

But he doesn’t propose a replacement.

But I’m sure any replacement by those aligned with him would be free lunch, not zero sum.

For example, a conservative budget precess would always be positive sum. Cut taxes, the budget ends up in surplus. Cut payments that go to workers, unemployment will fall. Cut subsidies for food and housing, homelessness and hunger will fall. Cut costly regulations so paying workers is no longer required and more workers will be hired and all workers will be paid more.

Everyone knows that the reason for businesses cutting costs is to create jobs, so every factory worker cheers when cost cuts are announced because they will all get pay raises and get a lot of new hires to help them do the production work.

When he says the CLASS portion of the law was unsustainable, and thus rightly repealed, he fails to notE that what CLASS was going to pay for is still being paid for, but out of mostly Medicaid and by the States with no offsetting revenue coming from those at risk, most everyone, paying a premium to get needs partially paid for in the somewhat small chance, about 10%, that it will be needed. Eliminating CLASS did not eliminate the risk or costs which everyone repeatedly States are looming as unsustainable costs.

I have a cheap alternative to the CLASS solution, and to the Medicaid solution that is replacing it: euthanasia. It would get a great CBO score, probably on the order of a ten trillion budget surplus over ten years. Although it would require gaming the criteria for euthanizing the costly indigent.

18 Mark Thorson June 3, 2017 at 3:29 pm

We already had a form of euthanasia highly optimized to reducing the cost of senior assisted-living care and Social Security: tobacco. People died just about the time they retired. De-regulate tobacco to what it was 60 years ago and the numbers will look much better.

19 Ray Lopez June 3, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Good point about smoking. I was surprised, when I held Philip Morris (MO) stock about 20 years ago, and foolishly sold it, that it kept going up. I thought for sure the government would put MO out of business the same way they put Paladin Press & Solder of Fortune magazine out of business. It’s also true that roughly ‘only’ about one-third of lifelong smokers develop cancer, and some people develop cancer who are total health food and fitness nuts. Quality of life vs quantity of life.

Bonus trivia: tobacco plants have an affinity for Polonium (Po) found in clayish soil, and one theory is that smoking is bad because on rare occasions the tobacco leaf has microscopic amounts of Po, that, if it gets lodged in your lung areola tissues, will with near 100% certainty develop into lung cancer. So eliminate the Po and you eliminate the cancer. Then there’s vaping as a nicotine substitute (foolishly banned). Thank you for smoking.

20 Mark Thorson June 3, 2017 at 11:14 pm

It’s not from the soil. It’s from phosphate fertilizer, which gets kicked up as dust that settles on the tobacco leaves.

21 Ray Lopez June 4, 2017 at 1:54 am

@Mark Thorson – thanks for the Wired link, and fertilizer Po contamnation, but I recall tobacco roots absorb Po, and I was right, see the below. Also if this physics poster, who seems knowledgeable, is correct, Po in tobacco is not the leading cause of cancer (after all smoke has so many other chemical carcinogens in it) but it’s definitely a factor. – RL

It is well documented that tobacco has an elevated concentration of Po-210. There are two theories as to why: 1) Tobacco roots selectively absorb Po-210 from the soil 2) Radon-222 decays in the atmosphere and the decay products falls onto the leaves of Tobacco plants. These products eventually decay into Po-210. As I understand it the atmospheric decay is the primary source of Po-210 in tobacco. Either way the Po-210 in tobacco comes from the decay of natural Uranium. Going organic isn’t going to reduce its concentration. You also have to be incredibly careful when talking about doses. When talking about health effects not all doses are equal. In the case of Po-210, this is very true. Po-210 is an alpha emitter. Alpha particles don’t travel very far in solids. This has two consequences. First they are easily to shield. In fact the outer layer of our skin, which is all dead cells, is enough to stop most alphas particles. Thus an external exposure to alphas carries a small heath risk. Second, because they don’t travel far in solids, they deposit all there energy in a small region. As a consequence alpha emitters are really bad when they are ingested or inhaled. They tend to do a lot of damage locally. Concerning the heath effects of Po-210 in tobacco. Its not the primary cause of the numerous heath risks associated with smoking. At the same time, it probably causes some cases of cancer.


Bonus trivia: avoid rice grown in US southern states, due to historical boil weevil pesticide control, rich in arsenic, the rice grown down there is much higher in cancer-causing arsenic, especially the brown rice, than anywhere else in the world outside of India (arsenic is in Indian well water).

22 Alexander June 3, 2017 at 2:26 pm

1. I think the summary to should mention that the author does not understand what ‘heritable’ means.

23 A clockwork orange June 3, 2017 at 9:34 pm

I guess a conneticut yankee in king Arthur’s court predicted my struggle As Darwin always suggested.
adamantinely Manichean enoch emory spit vitriol at the shrunken mummy ohio has a perfect conscience. The bathwater to rob peter to pay paul
gesture and expression do equal figure
Flattery to be asleep pleasure to find smith to heap agony upon their brows
Grief-strickenness is done.
Doctors are visionaryes argus eyed obamas cemeteries

And yet, this too shall pass…John smith and john the Baptist’s bad writing.

24 rayward June 3, 2017 at 2:30 pm

1. What book have you recommended the most? Cowen: “Perhaps Olaf Stapledon’s Star Maker. Either that or the Bible.”

25 A clockwork orange June 3, 2017 at 9:59 pm

Sigmund freud, david coggins, schadenfredue

26 A shagbark tree named supertramp June 3, 2017 at 11:49 pm
27 Schroeder June 3, 2017 at 2:37 pm

I’ve been following MR for years, and I was unaware of Tyrone.

The other entries were enjoyable, though my first reaction was against using a name which over-indexes as black as a straw man / evil twin

28 TerriW June 3, 2017 at 2:42 pm

The Ty* pool is pretty small.


(That was the name of one of our witnesses in our students’ recent Mock Trial, and they were all designed to be gender-and-everything neutral to accommodate the range of student that would play him/her.)

29 Anonymous June 3, 2017 at 4:06 pm

How about celebrated old-time baseball player, Tyrus (Ty) Cobb?

30 Ray Lopez June 3, 2017 at 6:13 pm

I was so taken by Tyrone as Tyler’s evil brother, that when he mentioned he was a professor at Cornell, I Googled Cornell’s faculty, but could not find him.

31 Jg June 3, 2017 at 2:42 pm

Duns Scotus argument for God is considered one of the best, if not best.

Send me a note and I will forward my login username and password

32 Thanatos Savehn June 3, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Agreed. But the musings of the subtle doctor are far beyond the scope of this sort of blog. I think Tyler was just virtue signaling to his tribe rather than inviting us to engage with the implications of an actual infinite; and in so doing come either to eternal fame (e.g. Aristotle, Aquinas/DunsScotus, Max Planck) or madness (Georg Cantor, Kurt Godel).

33 Ted Craig June 3, 2017 at 2:48 pm
34 A clockwork orange June 3, 2017 at 10:00 pm

youj guys, together, we created, a more perfect union!!!!!!

35 Meets June 3, 2017 at 4:15 pm


Say what you want about Trump, but his nominees to various roles continue to be brilliant.

Nominating a guy who supports negative interest rates is exactly what we need.

Perhaps this is why the market has set all-time high once again.

36 CM June 3, 2017 at 4:30 pm

1 is pretty lame. The existence of the Christian God, perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, all loving creator of all, is an extraordinary claim. A person may find it unconvincing or uninteresting without having to digest thousands of pages of apologias for it.

37 mais je suis ici June 4, 2017 at 1:53 pm

I think what counts as “extraordinary” varies from person to person and that–at least in my experience–invoking that term is (inadvertently) an exercise in begging the question.

Now, one does not need to read *thousands* of pages of dense theological material to discuss the existence of God, but I do think Tyler might benefit from reading a couple basic treatments. The non-zero possibility that several of the major religions in the world are true merit more than a cursory glance. It is not the sort of issue someone would want to get wrong.

38 Demosthenes June 3, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Uhh, re: 1.: You don’t see many actual counter-arguments there because they aren’t really trying to make them. It’s represented as observations on your post and not written as a rebuttal.

39 lxm June 3, 2017 at 6:55 pm

Here’s the link to the original Tyler Cowen on God article:

I believe that is correct. (ha ha)

I pretty much agree with TC. There may or may not be a God. But for us humans, God is an invention, an invention by mankind. Faith is built in to us. Well, why would human kind invent a God? Why would we need faith? Because we need to form communities. We need to tell the difference between us and them. So we can kill them if the need arises. Read your history. Lots of stories along these lines.

The bottom line for me is this question: Why would God want to have anything to do with such a murderous tribe as we humans are?

40 derek June 3, 2017 at 7:42 pm

>murderous tribe as we humans are

Compared to what?

41 lxm June 3, 2017 at 8:02 pm

You got to be kidding!

Compared to what? You name it. Do Giraffes routinely kill other giraffes? Do rabbits or squirrels routinely kill other rabbits and squirrels? Do deer routinely kill other deer? Do dogs routinely kill other dogs? Even lions and tigers do not routinely kill other lions and tigers. But we, humans, routinely kill other humans and make up reasons why we should.

Read your history.

42 lxm June 3, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Not even mosquitoes kill other mosquitoes

43 Thiago Ribeiro June 3, 2017 at 9:26 pm

Men do not kill other men.

44 So Much For Subtlety June 3, 2017 at 10:30 pm

Giraffes I do not know about. But rabbits do routinely kill other rabbits. One of the big mistakes parents make in the English-speaking world is letting their children read Watership Down. It is more realistic about the way rabbits treat each other than most children can cope with. Dogs routinely kill other dogs. They will eat them too. Lions and tigers routinely kill other lions and tigers. A recent David Attenborough show even followed two young female tiger cubs on the edge of adulthood whose father died. Their mother’s new partner killed one and the other disappeared.

What is remarkable about humans is that we live in such large numbers, so close together, with so little violence. Even chickens will kill each other at human densities.

Remember that the fiction of human equality is based on the Christian gospel. Without it, there is no reason to even think women are equal to men, or stupid people to smart – or non-Whites to Whites. These are theological positions which are unlikely to outlive the religion that spawned them.

45 msgkings June 4, 2017 at 12:03 am
46 So Much For Subtlety June 4, 2017 at 7:59 am

See? Some people are offended when their God is questioned.

47 mais je suis ici June 4, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Well, msgkings, what exactly was wrong with what he asserted? It seems uncontroversial that modern notions of equality find their historical roots in Christian theology, especially the Pauline epistles, but also Jewish notions of equal treatment under the law, equal value of the sexes, the elimination of wealth-based class distinctions, etc.–all notions that were almost completely alien to the pagan cultures that surrounded the production of the OT/NT.

Whatever we are to say about modern expressions of religion, it is hard to see how equality can be objectively justified on any secular regime.

48 MMK June 3, 2017 at 7:21 pm

5. I have made this point a couple times (and Tyler rebutted it in a Bloomberg column a couple weeks ago) but Trump is the best president in the last 30 years for a libertarian. All the sudden mayors and governors realize that they don’t NEED the federal government to take action on climate change and that they can take initiative and do it themselves. Furthermore, rich billionaires are donating their own money to the cause! And business as well! It’s almost like Americans have realized that what happens at the national level doesn’t really matter. Trump 2020!

49 Ray Lopez June 3, 2017 at 9:25 pm

Lenin beat you to it, MMK. “The worse, the better” (Чем хуже, тем лучше)

50 aMichael June 4, 2017 at 1:42 am

I love Congressional gridlock, too, but I’m not sure it’s worth having the nuclear codes on Trump’s person, especially when you consider that just about any Republican would face similar gridlock. Democrats would still be able to filibuster. Moderate republicans would still be worried about backlash for repealing Obamacare. You could make the case that the incompetence of the current administration is fuel on the gridlock fire, but again, I’m not sure it’s worth having that same incompetent administration be in charge of foreign affairs and trade deals.

51 Peter M June 3, 2017 at 7:31 pm

Re: God

Regarding the last section, where the writer wants Tyler to read about “The Historical Jesus.” Well. Some years back a group of 150 theology academics got together into something called The Jesus Seminar. They ended up voting on which aspects of the New Testament seemed true. Most said that the parables and the Sermon on the Mount ring true, but that the biographical part (Christmas, the Crucification) seemed made up. There are several reasons for this. First, the Gospels contradict one another on key points — something which was evident to Jefferson, and to German theologians in the 19th century. Just google “Bible contradictions” to see some of the more famous and laughable ones. Second, many scholars think parts of the New Testament are forgeries. Paul’s Letters and the last section of Mark are famous examples. Read Bart Ehrman if you want to explore this. Third, there is ample scholarship saying that as for the Old Testament, there is scant evidence that the famous patriarchs ever existed. King David’s “kingdom” was something like a few villages. And while you will see apologia for Old Testament archeology, some recent archeology casts grave doubts on early scholarship. “The Bible Unearthed” by Israel Finkelstein at Tel Aviv U. is a fun read. (Or you can read the synopsis on Wikipedia.)

If you want to have some fun with your own scholarship, just take the different Christmas stories in the gospels. And try to keep track of the elusive Christmas star. After years of study on my own, I came to the conclusion (as did Mencken in “Treatise on the Gods”) that there is scant evidence that the Old or New Testaments are reliable records of anything other than the fictions and fantasies of a few old men. Likely, a man named Jesus existed, but even he isn’t really deified until the last Gospel. (Messiah in the earlier books does not mean “God.”) More likely, the biography of Jesus was an attempt to make the religion more popular as the memory of the real Jesus faded — and that’s why you see parallels in Christianity and other religions like Mithraism.

Otherwise, just be good to one another, and don’t pay a dime to anyone to tell you about their version of what and who God is.

52 Ray Lopez June 3, 2017 at 9:29 pm

Sounds like you need to read Bart Erdmann my friend, start with “Misquoting Jesus”. He had his Jesus Moment and became an agnostic. For the rest of us Christians that believe in ritual (I’m Greek Orthodox / Catholic, the latter due to my hot, half my age gf’s side), there’s never any conflict between differing versions of the bible. Just do the Holy Cross, say a few words of prayer, and move on. Don’t overthink it…

53 Sam Haysom June 4, 2017 at 3:13 am

Look I get it you find the existence of Christianity unpalatable so you reach for any stick to bash it with, but the Jesus seminar has been almost entirely discredited by even most (decidedly non-fundamentalist) academic theologians.

Also you left out Edmund Wilson from your bitter skeptic roll call.

54 efim polenov June 4, 2017 at 5:31 pm

A touching anecdote about Edmund Wilson, which I recently read in “Sundays” interviews with George Steiner (recommended on this website a month or so ago, I think) – nearing death, and money being no object, he (Bunny Wilson) hired some Hungarians to teach him their language as best they could, for an hour or so each day, in the time he had left – he did not want to die without discovering as much great poetry as he could, and had heard there was great untranslatable poetry in Hungarian (he was right, by the way). Say what you want about him, he was not completely a lost cause.

55 efim polenov June 4, 2017 at 5:44 pm

speaking of overthinking, I sometimes overthink things too – for example – Mosquitoes. In the aeons and aeons the little guys have lived on this earth, trying (always unsuccessfully, bless their little mosquito hearts) to conquer the world, less than one in a million of the mosquitoes that have been born, in some distant puddle or slow creek or some other distant watery cradle, has bitten a human before dying its sad little unobserved mosquito death. (Don’t stop here, that was not my point….) And sometimes (I do not say often, just sometimes) a swarm of Mosquitoes has scared off a random plaguish Rat or plaguish Mouse, who, through no fault of his or her own, was driven by hunger and innocently but very menacingly threatened the health of every man, woman and child in the house or home. Is it too much to wonder – about this – if it is hard to count angels arithmetically but rather easy to count angels using a small number squared and squared again (and again, and again, but not all that many agains are needed for these near infinite angels, to tell the truth) – can there not be a single angel for every single mosquito, some of whom, like, on their best days, the Rat and the Mouse were (and continue to be – my pet Rat is named Mikkle), have been friends to man? (what mosquito would not prefer to be a firefly – and – thinking back on the plague years – are we not lucky that some, at least, mosquitoes did not make that choice?)

56 efim polenov June 4, 2017 at 6:14 pm

“Quand tout l’aurait été, plains-la; tu sais aimer”

57 e. p. June 4, 2017 at 6:20 pm

capablanca, not morphy, not even aleinikoff.

58 e. p. June 4, 2017 at 6:21 pm

John 21:3

59 e. p. June 4, 2017 at 6:22 pm


60 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 6:35 pm

boker tov

61 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm

sans peur

62 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 6:39 pm


63 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 6:39 pm

a five letter word for love is music

64 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 6:42 pm

egal elan gale lane lean

65 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 6:45 pm

joy to x

66 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 6:48 pm

John 21:3 – yes, it was a good night for the fishes. Some of us remember.

67 efim polenov June 4, 2017 at 7:00 pm

at 6:20: if you are going to humbly engage in pastiche – not that I would – choose Pushkin, not chekhov, not even tolstoy.

68 e. p. June 4, 2017 at 9:41 pm

please – and thanks – no irrelevant replies. We all know this is 2017, or not. For the mosquitoes, for the innocent fish that night in the Sea of Galilee, for the good Rats, including Mikkle, for the good Mice – please no irrelevant replies. Cor ad cor loquitur. Luciolae vix e conspectu silva nituntur luciolae agmen desideratum cognovescerunt tu autem cognovatisti. (Heart speaks to heart = the fireflies, outside the visible limit of the forest, glow, having known the desired companionship, you knew it as well). (cognovatisti is incorrect but recognizably sympathetic.)

69 e. p. June 4, 2017 at 9:45 pm

“for the innocent fish that night in the Sea of Galilee”. Nice. One hopes it was not said aristocratically – if not, nice.

70 e. p. June 4, 2017 at 9:53 pm

The fish knew what it is to love other Fish. ! Corinthinans 14:19. The Fish loved other Fish! Egal egan gale lean lane! A five letter word for love is music. A good night for fishes. Some of us remember. (This all makes sense – believe me – “Quand tout l’aurait ce qu’il etait, plains nous; tu sais aimer.”

71 e. p. June 4, 2017 at 9:56 pm

“for the innocent fish that night in the Sea of Galilee” – I remember.

72 e. p. June 4, 2017 at 9:58 pm

boker tov, semper.

73 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 10:22 pm

please please please do not respond. There have been thousands of comment threads here: reply on another one, do this one little thing for me. Unless, my friend, you can explain why Capablanca (and the other two) should not, from your point of view, be compared to Pushkin (and the other two): or unless, you too, remember the unexpected happiness of the fishes in the Sea of Galilee that night. It is no small thing to know one is as safe as those who have no fear – do you understand – are willing to make us. God bless us all, may we all provide even greater safety to those we love. I remember. A five letter word for love is GIFTS. I remember, whether I want to or not, the unexpected happiness of the fishes in the Sea of Galilee that night. Thinking about it, I say to myself the lines from Hunt’s poem about Jenny. And I was so so so much luckier, and am so so so much luckier, than the poet. Joy to x, mi amice. Excelsior.

74 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 10:39 pm

No the poet was happy too, albeit neither the poet nor his wife, in their long lives, thought even once one single compassionate thought for the fish in the the Sea of Galilee. And vice versa, as they used to say. Well, Life, of which none of us has very much, at least not yet, is like that. Nobody cares, and that is all right. Egal élan gale lane lean. John 21:3; better yet – 1 Corinthians 14:19. Someone lived this, believe it or not. I remember. Seriously, I remember.

75 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 11:10 pm

“Good luck will rub off when I shakes hands with you” please please do not reply unless you are a Mosquito or a Mouse or a Rat or a Fish in the Sea of Galilee who swam as a fish might have swum, swimming peacefully that night, or unless you too wonder, seriously, about what Pushkin and Capablanca thought about shaking hands, that sunny afternoon , wishing good luck …. (Happy Birthday to my grandfather, who would have been 150 tomorrow – believe it or not, I remember, my young friend from so long ago).

76 e.p. June 4, 2017 at 11:13 pm

“Quand tout l’aurait été, plains-la, tu sais aimer”

77 e. p. June 4, 2017 at 11:30 pm

24 and done! Thanks for reading! 20 was the one. I, much less than others, but in my small way, suffered for the unexpected happiness of others. They remember.

78 efim polenov June 8, 2017 at 11:55 pm

Thanks, Tyler C. and Alex T., for not reading this, or for reading this and not deleting this. It represents quite a lot of unnoticed work. There were no typos in the English words and the few missed accents in the French words are made up for by accurately quoting, in an appropriate context, the sometimes lovable Alfred de Musset. In fact, 20 was the comment that mattered most (June 4 at 10:22 pm). The writer of these comments was not, strictly speaking, ‘me’. Interestingly (seriously, interestingly – whether or not you care) it is not that hard to coach a dog, or a cat, or even a parrot, to clearly take enough of an interest in life and communication to surprise their fellow beings with unpredicted responses, or uncoached observations (in their languages, of course) to (the responses) or about (the observations) the world we share. (Unclear — to us — communication is what animals are all about – and I have tried, but I have never found an articulate modern person who cared enough to express the meaning of those unclear communications – (one gives up, I give up) s-s-s-s-s-so I am only referring to clear communications). The Rat with the name of Mikkle, if such a Rat exists (well such a Rat does, of course), is no different than any other Rat that has been loved by its human coach. Some day I will do my best – or, more comprehensively accurately, some day I will have done my best – to gently coach a robot. The ones I coach will, God willing, be (3 out of 3) kind, tolerant, and not uncorrect. Nichevo, Sergey, nichevo, Tatyana, nichevo, Benny (I miss you Benny).

79 Donald Pretari June 3, 2017 at 8:05 pm

#6…Good to see another Yale Law School alumnus joining the Washington crowd. And he’s an investment banker, as well. If he’s a billionaire he wins the common man’s trifecta. I’m pretty sure he heads the Sinecure Group.

80 Berny Belvedere June 3, 2017 at 10:15 pm

#1: Hays wasn’t offering arguments for the existence of God in that piece. It consisted of a series of observations in response to your original post. The same author has something closer to what you were expecting here: and also here:

Thanks for linking to us, Tyler. Cheers.

81 Tom June 3, 2017 at 10:33 pm

#1. Why are atheists always so obsessed with whether God exists or not – it can’t be proven or disporved – than the benefits of believing in a higher being?

82 Cptn Obvious June 4, 2017 at 8:36 am

You stole my line +1000

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