August 13, 2022

"The dust is still settling on what exactly will come of the search — such as, what type of classified information does the FBI suspect Trump to be in possession of?"

"But polling from YouGov conducted on Aug. 9 found that 62 percent of Americans thought it was either 'a very big problem' (45 percent) or 'somewhat of a problem' (17 percent) that Trump allegedly held onto classified documents after leaving office. That said, as we’ve seen with previous investigations of Trump, public opinion is split starkly along partisan lines, and Americans generally remain leery of taking action against him. That same Aug. 9 YouGov poll, for instance, found that 76 percent of Democrats — and 44 percent of independents — said they’d consider it a very big problem, compared with just 12 percent of Republicans. And an Aug. 10 poll from Politico/Morning Consult corroborates this breakdown: 81 percent of Democratic registered voters said the search was based on evidence that Trump had committed a crime, while only 16 percent of Republicans agreed."

"Religion, a medieval form of unreason, when combined with modern weaponry becomes a real threat to our freedoms."

"This religious totalitarianism has caused a deadly mutation in the heart of Islam and we see the tragic consequences.... [W]e all must... defend the art of satire, which has always been a force for liberty and against tyranny, dishonesty and stupidity. 'Respect for religion' has become a code phrase meaning 'fear of religion.' Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and, yes, our fearless disrespect."

Said Salman Rushdie, in 2015, after the Charlie Hebdo attack, quoted at HuffPo (and at Rushdie's Wikipedia page).

"I really don’t think there’s any need to have a discussion. He did a good job last year, kind of got off the rails this year."

Said Robin Vos, quoted in "A Top Wisconsin Republican Fires the 2020 Election Investigator He Hired/Robin Vos, the speaker of the State Assembly, said he was ending a widely criticized 14-month inquiry into the state’s 2020 results led by Michael Gableman, a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice" (NYT).
In March, the former justice presented state legislators with a report that said they should consider decertifying the election.... As Mr. Vos resisted the decertification push, Mr. Gableman continued to promote false election claims. Last week, he endorsed Mr. Vos’s Trump-backed primary opponent, a far-right political neophyte named Adam Steen who came within a few hundred votes of toppling Mr. Vos. 

Female privilege resisted.

Presidential daughter and daytime TV personality Jenna Bush Hager must have thought she was performing her role as a playful, delightful female as she invaded the personal space of the male TV personality Justin Sylvester during a cooking segment of the "Today" show:


I had never heard of Justin Sylvester, so everything written above this sentence is my reaction to that video, which I'd watched with the sound off. My question was: Is he married? I wondered if he was the sort of man who thinks about his wife and how she would feel if she saw another woman breasting into him and squirming.

But, researching, I quickly encounter Sylvester's own reaction to the reaction to that video and, while I don't know if he's bullshitting to preserve his access to women's daytime TV, I can see that protecting this imagined wife is not what was going on:

August 12, 2022

Sunrise — 5:48, 5:50, 5:56, 5:59.





Writes about whatever you want in the comments.

I've curated 5 TikTok videos for you tonight. Let me know what you like.

1. Awaiting the first sunset since April.

2. A wasp cut of a cold cut.

3. "No, it's Baron of Bad News."

4. Baron Ryan on the age-old subject, Nothing is something.

5. "Be absolutely miserable, but change nothing...."

"Heche was charismatic and cool, with a terrific camera presence, an intriguing and sexually charged opaqueness, on the verge of disillusionment or hostility...."

"In the political satire Wag the Dog, she was the cynical presidential aide, increasingly anxious at the outrageous lies that she is helping to promote.... Heche was stylish and smart – often radiating a sophisticated refusal to be intimated, which isn’t the same as cynicism."

RIP Anne Heche.

Here she is in "Wag the Dog":

"President Barack Hussein Obama kept 33 million pages of documents, much of them classified. How many of them pertained to nuclear? Word is, lots!"

That's a statement Trump put up today on his website.

"A poor town in an empty part of Texas. A famous artist with a prominent following comes to town, buys up old buildings and cheap land..."

"... and builds museums full of crushed cans and boxes, scattered over concrete floors, inside buildings that are forever 1984 like Michael Graves in formaldehyde. Money comes in, the wealthy, the celebrities. There are pilgrimages to visit empty glass sculptures resting inside overheated warehouses surrounded by dry, hot grasslands. The artist dies, filled with resentment and anger, but somehow leaving behind a legacy, with a lot of debt, which will someday turn into hundreds of millions and enrich foundations, museums, his progeny. And the silent objects (also called ART) wither and decay, much like the state and the nation that surrounds it, a place of guns, oil, fanatic politics, speculative housing and the worship of junk as meaningful art."

Somebody else says: "I say surrender it to the elements. I would love to visit when nature has won out. It's gorgeous desolate landscape and didn't need Judd's imposition."

"There was just one attacker. He was dressed in black. He had a loose black garment on. He ran with lightning speed over to him."

Said Elisabeth Healey, 75, an audience member, quoted in "Salman Rushdie Is Attacked Onstage in Western New York/The author was set to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution when an assailant rushed at him" (NYT).

"Highly educated metropolitan elites have become something of a self-enclosed Brahmin class."

The self-enclosed Brahmin David Brooks concedes at the outset of "Did the F.B.I. Just Re-Elect Donald Trump?" (NYT).
But the Trumpian propaganda turns what is an unfortunate social chasm into venomous conspiracy theory. It simply assumes, against a lot of evidence, that the leading institutions of society are inherently corrupt, malevolent and partisan and are acting in bad faith.

If only Trump were careful and merely posited a hypothesis. 

NPR's prissy headline: "Weighing the pros and cons of Beto O'Rourke dropping an f-bomb on a heckler."


Dropped an f-bomb. Give me a break. Saying "fuck" isn't the equivalent of violence. It's not a bomb. Say "f-word" if you're somewhere — where?! — where you can't say "fuck." But in this case it wasn't the f-word. It was the M-WORD.

Beto O'Rourke called a guy in the crowd "motherfucker." "Motherfucker" is a lot worse than "fuck." It has a separate entry on George Carlin's 1972 list of "Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television." As you can see at that last link, to Wikipedia, Carlin later spoke of some guy criticizing him saying "motherfucker is a duplication of the word fuck, technically, because fuck is the root form, motherfucker being derivative; therefore, it constitutes duplication. And I said, 'Hey, motherfucker, how did you get my phone number, anyway?'"

Anyway, what does NPR have to say about the pros and cons of Beto calling a guy in the crowd "motherfucker"?

"Many words we consider, at best, crude were medieval common-or-garden words of description..."

"... arse, shit, fart, bollocks, prick, piss, turd – and were not considered obscene. To say ‘I’m going to piss’ was the equivalent of saying ‘I’m going to wee’ today and was politer than the new 16th-century vulgarity, ‘I’m going to take a leak’... Sard, swive and fuck were all slightly rude words for sexual intercourse.... Frig and jape were also on the cusp of offensiveness.... For a phrase to express unfortunate circumstances that seem impossible to overcome (‘we’re fucked’), the Historical Thesaurus of English tells us that they would have proclaimed themselves to be ‘in hot water’ (first use 1537), ‘in a pickle’ (1562), ‘in straits’ (1565) or, in the most extreme predicament, at one’s ‘utter shift’ (c.1604). To ‘fuck up’ or spoil something, they’d have used ‘to bodge’ or ‘to botch’. To say something was codswallop, baloney, bollocks, they’d have gone with trumpery, baggage, rubbish or the wonderful reduplicating terms that appear in the 1570s and 80s: flim-flam, fiddle-faddle, or fible-fable."

The CDC just changed its approach to fighting the coronavirus — leaving it to individuals instead of schools, businesses, and other institutions.

WaPo reports.
“I think the question is, is the CDC finally saying, ‘Look, we’ve done what we can do to contain the most acute phases of this pandemic?’” said Jeanne Marrazzo, an infectious-diseases expert and clinician at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “So are they just finally saying that it is time for us to sort of take a step back and think about putting this back to the individual person?”... 
Social factors and not just virologic ones have shaped the CDC’s approach. The agency’s director, Rochelle Walensky, has said the agency wants to offer practical recommendations that can, and will, be followed by a broad swath of the public. That means taking equity issues into account, because people do not have equal access to tests, or the same ability to work remotely or isolate from family members....

"Written as though theft were something to be winked at. Bless this newspaper, which even in its decorating articles can't call a spade a spade."

"One has already despaired of real news being anything but understanding of perpetrators, even violent perpetrators. Except maybe the louse Donald Trump, or Ghislaine Maxwell."

Writes a commenter at the New York Times article, "The Lamp That’s Taking Over New York/A sleek newcomer, the Pina Pro, is appearing on droves of outdoor tables in the city — and sometimes disappearing, as diners fall for its mellow glow" ("At Altro Paradiso, a few lamps have mysteriously disappeared, Ms. Miller said. When the restaurant didn’t yet have one for every table, 'people would fight over them,' she added.")

And in case you're distracted by the question "Is It Racist To 'Call A Spade A Spade'?," someone answered the question on NPR back in 2013
"Rather than taking the chance of unintentionally offending someone or of being misunderstood, it is best to relinquish the old innocuous proverbial expression all together." 
That is, it's not racist. The spade in question — in the original 1542 writing by Erasmus — was the garden tool. That it is a garden tool — and not a playing card or a person of color — is clearly demonstrated by this witticism in Oscar Wilde 1895 play "The Importance of Being Earnest":
CECILY: "Do you suggest, Miss Fairfax, that I entrapped Ernest into an engagement? How dare you? This is no time for wearing the shallow mask of manners. When I see a spade I call it a spade."

GWENDOLEN: [Satirically.] "I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different."

"Afterlife conversation - extremely booooring.... stopped watching about half-way through."

Said Whiskeybum, in the comments to the collection of TikTok videos I posted last night, here

There's an easy riposte: You think that's boring, wait 'til you see the actual afterlife, and try stopping halfway through. What's half of eternity?

But I commented earnestly over there: "My favorite might be the conversation, and not because of the particular things they say about the afterlife, but because of the interesting interior where they are sitting and the way each of them is reading a different book and has a different style mug in front of them. It's just a nicely set up, gentle contrast between the 2, who ultimately have hit it off, despite taking somewhat opposing positions on the afterlife. There's a gentleness to it that I find very appealing. Both roles played by one person, Baron Ryan. As a commenter says [at TikTok] 'Your chemistry with yourself is amazing.'"

Here's that video. Here's a collection of all of his videos. And here's a well-made video about Baron Ryan, explaining what he's doing and showing exactly how he does it: