Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for March 26th, 2022

First Texas dandelion of the season

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Saw my first Texas dandelion (Pyrrhopappus pauciflorus) of the year on March 18
at McKinney Roughs Nature Center in the town of Cedar Creek in Bastrop County.


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Yesterday’s commentary looked into a passage from Voltaire in which he observed that if people can make you believe contradictory or otherwise impossible things, then they can get you to perform unjust actions. Along those lines, consider this interchange from March 23rd, as the United States Senate continued interviewing the latest nominee for the Supreme Court, Ketanji Brown-Jackson. When it fell to Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn to ask questions, this dialogue ensued:

Blackburn: Can you provide a definition for the word “woman”?
Brown-Jackson: Can I provide a definition?”
Blackburn: Yeah.
Brown-Jackson: No. I can’t.
Blackburn: You can’t?
Brown-Jackson: Not in this context. I’m not a biologist.

You can watch the rest of the interchange if you want to. I wish Senator Blackburn had seen (or if she had, remembered) another recent interchange from which she could have borrowed a line to respond to “I’m not a biologist.” That other dialogue involved a British woman named Kellie-Jay Keen, of the women’s rights group Standing for Women, and an American man next to her in the stands at a swimming meet where a person who is genetically and physiologically a man was competing against conspicuously smaller swimmers who are genetically and physiologically female. Here’s an excerpted version of the conversation (which was hard to make out in the noisy gym):

Keen: Is he the same as the other girls in the pool?
Man: Every body is different.
Keen: No. Are you saying he doesn’t have male organs? I’m a woman. That is not a woman. Do you have ovaries? I’m a woman, and that is not a woman.
Man: Let me ask you, are you a biologist?’
Keen: Oh my God, don’t be ridiculous.
Man: No, I’m serious.
Keen: I’m not a vet, but I know what a dog is.

The classic tale about mass delusion in denying an obvious truth is Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” If you’ve never read it, now’s your chance.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 26, 2022 at 7:55 AM

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