Archive for United States of America

seule laTerre est éternelle

Posted in Books, Kids, Mountains, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2022 by xi'an

A few weekends ago, my wife (easily) convinced me to go watch a film in Paris. More precisely, an extensive interview, about Jim Harrison as the film was soon to be retired from cinemas. This was the first time I was going back to a cinema since Nomadland, last June. I am unsure the film, Seule la Terre est éternelle (Only Earth is forever) is shown anywhere but France as the film producer François Busnel is French (if the dialogies are in English). Anyway, this is quality time spent with Jim Harrison, a few months before he died, listening to him talk or mostly monologue about everything, from food to life and death, and World literature, obviously! In a very homely way, at his desk, driving (enormous) truck or around meals. In a way, there is nothing extraordinary about what he discusses, it could almost be the guy next seat in a remote pub or bar, going a wee bit sentimental after one drink too many. And the way the sessions are separated by long shots of sunset over Western landscapes and other terrific views is somewhat cheesy. Still, I enjoyed the time spent with him there, connecting with his books and the ever present spirit of wilderness and beauty, despite the often sorry live of his characters, suited to the It’s a good day to die motto. In an impressive bonhomie that hides his immense culture (as when he starts talking about Stendhal and Rabelais) and kind remembrance of others, except when expressing incomprehension at being sometimes compared with Hemingway (which is indeed absurd in their opposite relation to Nature, if not to drinks!). I’ve read that 75% of the film viewers (in France) have not read any of his books (but may some have watched Legends of the Fall), which I find harder to understand, but for his readers this is a treat. Plus, the long ride through the Western States, from Montana down to Arizona, was far from unpleasant as it reminded us of this great trip around Yellowstone we took ages ago.

holy war

Posted in Books, Kids with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2021 by xi'an

In a series of fascinating tribunes in the New York Times, Katherine Stewart points out the frightening anti-democratic views of the Christian extreme-right in the US. As exemplified by

“…a political system that gives disproportionate power to an immensely organized, engaged and loyal minority. One of the most reliable strategies for producing that unshakable cohort has been to get them to agree that abortion is the easy answer to every difficult political policy question. Recently, religious right leaders have shifted their focus more to a specious understanding of what they call “religious freedom” or “religious liberty,” but the underlying strategy is the same: make individuals see their partisan vote as the primary way to protect their cultural and religious identity.” K. Stewart

delayed… [cover]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , on April 17, 2021 by xi'an

voting inequalities in the US

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2020 by xi'an

“We’re the only advanced democracy that deliberately discourages people from voting.” Barack Obama

Following a poorly attended local election in France last weekend, over-interpreted by media and political analysts as usual, with poorer categories more likely to abstain, I reflected on the supplementary degree of voting inequality in the US, where active voter suppression and voting discrimination run uncontested by legislative and constitutional bodies. As it happens, even for federal elections, the election laws are state-based, voted by partisan state lawmakers and implemented by equally partisan officials.This means discriminating practices can become part of these laws, including different restrictions on acceptable forms of identification that poorer voters may be unable to purchase, restrictions on voter registration and in particular on active drives for minority registrations, discriminatory closures of voting (poll) places,  as e.g. a single voting place for 600,000 voters, meaning unreachable stations for those without transportation means and those housebound, abusive voter purges by local administrations, e.g., the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck System having 99% more chances to remove legitimate than illegitimate voters, lifelong felon disenfranchisement, including for citizens having completed their sentence, some places asking for on-the-spot proof of US citizenship, involving document poorer voters cannot access, mail-in voting discrimination, no worker protection for participating in the vote, which takes place during the week, grossly underfunded poll budgets, leading for instance to hour long polling queues and various mismanagement of the votes, the possibility for National Guard staffing poll stations, and the century long absurdity of gerrymandering, where something like 60 million Americans live in a place where the ruling party has received the minority of the votes in a state election. Not to mention the election by an electoral college of the president where the winner may lag by 3 million votes behind his contender… And running uncontested grossly misleading political adds


Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968)

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2018 by xi'an

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