September 26, 2023

"Mr. Biden and Democrats in Congress last year authorized hundreds of billions of dollars in federal incentives for manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, electric cars and semiconductors...."

"As a result, many companies, including First Solar, have announced the construction of dozens of factories, in total, around the country. But nobody is entirely sure whether these investments will be durable, especially in businesses, like battery or solar panel manufacturing, where China’s domination is deep and strong."

If you're going to San Francisco...

Link to SF Gate.

Joe Biden touches down to join the UAW picket line and departs for San Francisco.

 I'm reading the President's public schedule for today:


ADDED: Jill packed my bags last night pre-flight...
Zero hour 11:35 a.m.

"Asked specifically about Mr. Trump’s election fraud lies, which [J.D.] Vance has at times promoted, the senator again shifted into slippery explainer mode."

"'I think it’s very easy for folks in the press to latch onto the zaniest election fraud or stolen election theories and say, "Oh this is totally debunked,"' he said. 'But they ignore that there is this very clear set of institutional biases built into the election in 2020 that — from big tech censorship to the way in which financial interests really lined up behind Joe Biden. People aren’t stupid. They see what’s out there,' he said. 'Most Republican grass roots voters are not sympathetic to the dumbest version of the election conspiracy. They are sympathetic to the version that is actually largely true.' Except that, as evidence of what is 'actually largely true,' Mr. Vance pointed to a 2021 Time article detailing a bipartisan effort not to advance a particular candidate but to safeguard the electoral system. More important, the 'dumbest' version of the stolen election conspiracy is precisely what Mr. Trump and his enablers have been aggressively spreading for years.... Mr. Vance may want to believe that most Republicans are too smart to buy such lunacy, but he is too smart not to recognize the damage to American democracy being wrought by that lunacy."

Writes Michelle Cottle, in "What Is J.D. Vance’s Angle?" (NYT).

"I could just cry because I’m so tired of having to fight for little kids because they just want to be included."

"I wish that people were as passionate about little kids being able to be included or grow up as they were about fictitious women’s fairness in sports. I have to tell you I am very tired."

Said Jonathan Van Ness, quoted in "'Scared' Jonathan Van Ness bursts into tears during debate with Dax Shepard defending trans rights" (NY Post). The "debate" is a long conversation on a Shepard's podcast.

"I was really bullied for my gender expression as a little kid. And there’s a lot of little kids who aren’t going to go be Olympic gold medalist. They don’t want to f–king go to the Olympics. They’re not gonna play —90 to 99% of kids who want to play sports aren’t trying to go to the Olympics, right?"

"With his mysterious air, his Beatle haircut and his trademark black turtleneck, Mr. McCallum was a magnet for teenage fans."

"Sent on a publicity junket for the show to Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge in 1965, he was mobbed by screaming female students and had to be rescued by police officers.... 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' ended in 1968, and Mr. McCallum retreated happily to lower-profile roles.... But everywhere he went, he said, the Russian secret agent stalked him. 'It’s been 30 years, but I can’t escape him,' he told The Times in 1998. 'Illya Kuryakin is there 24 hours a day.'"

The obituary does not mention the other McCallum role that made a big impact on us throbbing teenagers of the 1960s. He was the simple man who grew a big brain on "The Outer Limits":

"Your ignorance makes me ill and angry."

"I was gonna get back to acronyms and I’m gonna withstand not doing that."

Said President Biden, quoted in "Biden fumbles acronym during Pacific Islands forum speech: 'Doesn’t matter what we call it'" (NY Post).

If you think about it — and I had to think 3 or 4 times — "I’m gonna withstand not doing that" makes sense. He "was gonna get back to acronyms," but he couldn't think of the acronym or couldn't or wouldn't say it, so he was "not doing that" — not "get[ting] back to acronyms. You just have to figure out the function of "withstand." It makes sense — and I'm a believer in "charitable interpretation" — if you see "withstand" as a determination to stand against — to successfully resist — getting back to acronyms... but, no... he said he was going to resist NOT getting back to acronyms. Well, I think you get it. He meant he's going to survive not getting back to acronyms. Because of course he will. He survives everything. He seems feeble and befuddled, but he goes on and on.

Taking stochastic terrorism seriously.

I'm reading "Trump Floats the Idea of Executing Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley The former president is inciting violence against the nation’s top general. America’s response is distracted and numb" (Brian Klass, in The Atlantic)(analyzing Trump's Truth Social post that said Milley’s call to China on l on January 6, 2021, was 'an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH'):
Trump loves to hide behind the thin veneer of plausible deniability, but he knows exactly what he’s doing.... The suggestion is clear, and it comes from a man who has one of America’s loudest megaphones—one that is directed squarely at millions of extremists who are well armed, who insist that the government is illegitimate, and who believe that people like Milley are part of a “deep state” plot against the country. 
Academics have a formal term for exactly this type of incitement: stochastic terrorism.

September 25, 2023

Sunrise — 6:44.


Things you already knew... right?

"The new phone call etiquette: Text first and never leave a voice mail" (WaPo).

"Mrs. Clinton projects about projection."

Our awful gerontocracy is unleashing retrograde ageism.

That's the new New Yorker cover, by Barry Blitt, discussed at "Barry Blitt’s 'The Race for Office'/The artist discusses hernias, walkers, and the joys of old age." Or... no... he never discusses the use of aging stereotypes in this cartoon — only his own aging. 

It's a well-drawn cartoon. I don't want to focus on Barry Blitt's use of walkers to express oldness. I want to raise the general topic: Our justified desire to criticize those who are clinging to power and subjecting us to a gerontocracy should not release us from the ethical responsibility to refrain from expressing contempt and disgust toward the old. 

By the way, only something like 15% of those who war 80+ years old use a walker, and some of them might be safer without it. I don't think it's good to think of aging as necessarily involving the use of a mobility device. And obviously, none of the oldsters on that New Yorker cover actually use a walker... not when we're able to see them, at least. We're all getting older, and it's better not to lean toward pessimism. There are lots of things you can do every day to enhance your capacity to walk unassisted when you are 80, 90, or 100.

I'm annoyed at the gerontocracy for existing in the first place, but also for bringing negativity into the way we think about getting old.

"I've been super-critical of Trump, obviously."

"But Archer City never became the literary destination that he’d hoped, and his store, Booked Up, struggled financially...."

"McMurtry had followed the family tradition after all, lashing himself to a dying industry and getting his heart broken in the process. After his death, the Texas legislature passed a resolution honoring his memory; two years later, a state representative said that schools 'might need to ban 'Lonesome Dove"' for being too sexually explicit."

September 24, 2023

Sunrise in the rain — 6:39, 6:45, 6:49/

IMG_3526 2

IMG_3534 2


The form of lying and cheating that some people openly acknowledge, under their full name, in The New York Times.

I'm reading "Sharing a City Apartment With a Big Dog? Good Luck. First, you’ll have to convince someone to rent to you" (NYT):
Natalya Haddix, 24, a marketing consultant, is one of many pet owners who have skirted housing restrictions by declaring their dog an emotional support animal. This has allowed her to share her 688-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in Miami with a Great Dane puppy named Cair.... 
Ren and Zach Glass sidestepped disaster when they won a housing lottery in 2016 for a small two-bedroom apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, only to discover that the building did not accept dogs. They registered their shepherd-collie-pit bull mix, Trolley, as an emotional support animal.... After Trolley died, a little more than a year ago, they adopted Cosmo, a 50-pound pit bull mix....