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Missive #293

“We sailed for America, and there made certain preparations. This took but little time. Two members of my family elected to go with me. Also a carbuncle. The dictionary says a carbuncle is a kind of jewel. Humor is out of place in a dictionary.” — Following the Equator
So begins this classic piece of travel writing, brimming with Twain’s celebrated brand of ironic, tongue-in-cheek humor. Written just before the turn of the century, the book recounts a lecture tour in which he circumnavigated the globe via steamship, I think this is the last of Twain’s travel books. I have enjoyed them all but this one did not have as much of his celebrated humor in it as the book promo claims. Over the years I have read Twain’s fiction and did not particularly care for it but he has a lot of other nonfiction that I do plan on reading. including stops at the Hawaiian Islands, Australia, Fiji Islands, New Zealand, India, South Africa and elsewhere.
View the world through the eyes of the celebrated author as he describes a rich range of experiences — visiting a leper colony in Hawaii, shark fishing in Australia, tiger hunting, diamond mining in South Africa, and riding the rails in India, an activity Twain enjoyed immensely as suggested by this description of a steep descent in a hand-car:
“The road fell sharply down in front of us and went corkscrewing in and out around the crags and precipices, down, down, forever down, suggesting nothing so exactly or so uncomfortably as a crooked toboggan slide with no end to it. … I had previously had but one sensation like the shock of that departure, and that was the gaspy shock that took my breath away the first time that I was discharged from the summit of a toboggan slide. But in both instances the sensation was pleasurable — intensely so; it was a sudden and immense exaltation, a mixed ecstasy of deadly fright and unimaginable joy. I believe that this combination makes the perfection of human delight.” — Book promo @ goodreads.com

I think the worm may have started to turn, it is going to take some time but to mix metaphors the pendulum has reached its maximum amplitude on the left and is starting its swing to the right.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is often considered to be one of the most liberal circuit courts in the country. This is due in part to the court’s history of appointing judges who have a more progressive outlook on the law. Many of the court’s judges have been appointed by Democratic presidents, and some have been known for their liberal leanings.

However, the court ruled that California’s attempt to mandate the Covid-19 shots was illegal and that Jacobson v. Massachusetts did not apply because the not-vaxx is not a vaccine and the state could not claim a legitimate state interest in forcing medical treatments that do not provide immunity.

In summary what the court said was the ‘jab’ was a medical treatment and a competent person has a constitutionally protected liberty interest in refusing unwanted medical treatment.

Here is another pendulum swing.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday [30 May 2024] revived the National Rifle Association’s lawsuit accusing a New York state official of coercing banks and insurers to avoid doing business with the gun rights group in a ruling that warned public officials against wielding their power to punish speech they dislike.

The justices, in a 9-0 decision authored by liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor, threw out a lower court’s ruling that had dismissed the NRA’s 2018 lawsuit against Maria Vullo, a former superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services.

At issue is whether Vullo wielded her regulatory power to coerce New York financial institutions into cutting ties with the NRA in violation of protections under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment against government restrictions on free speech. — Reuters

My walking progress can be see on Google Maps with the starting location of 32.54640,-117.02978 and the destination at 35.76394,-119.77712. These last four weeks were a little fewer miles and that will continue while I’m at this camp. I’m at altitude and also have some climbing on some of my routes so the distances each walk have been reduced. Maybe increase slightly before I leave here.

There was heavy smoke here this morning. I think it it is coming from the Antone wildfire and from five fires burning in the Plains of San Agustin. There are also a lot of fires in the Gila Mountains that may be adding smoke. It is wildfire season and there are weeks remaining before the monsoons come with and rain to help the firefighters.

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