June 6, 2020

At the Sunrise Café...

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... you can talk 'til dawn.

That photo was taken at 5:19 this morning — actual sunrise time, 5:18 — so please think of using the Althouse Portal to Amazon if you are doing any shopping.

"I think I'm going to buy an RV and travel from now on in an RV with our first lady. I don't think anybody would mind that."

#32 on a list of "The 39 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's Friday 'press conference'" (Chris Cillizza, Politico).

Las Vegas is back.

Big protest crowd in Philadelphia.

"Before you rule out my dream, you have to face me first. Take my life before you take my dream away."

Said Mair Maktabi, owner of the restaurant Dubai Madison, quoted at NBC15, in an article about State Street businesses damaged by the vandalism and theft of the last week.

When his windows were broken, Maktabi leapt into action wielding a sword (an antique that is, in normal times, a wall decoration). Look:



"I have to protect my business before my life. I put all my life into my business, so looters are just going to come and take my business? No, take my life before you take my business."

Dubai Madison is open for business — and it has 4 stars on Yelp. Maybe check it out if you're in town.

At the first link, you can see that they surveyed 100 businesses on State Street and 42 of them said they don't think they will be reopening.

"Presumably [Andrew] Sullivan’s editors are frightened that he might make the radically bourgeois point that looting and violence are wrong."

"Cockburn understands that Sullivan is not just forbidden from writing for the New York magazine about the riots; his contract means he cannot write on the topic for another publication. He is therefore legally unable to write anything about the protests without losing his job — at the magazine that, in 1970, published Radical Chic, Tom Wolfe’s brilliant and controversial excoriation of progressive piety. It’s the bonfire of the liberals!... Sullivan, a source close to New York magazine reveals, has to have his work vetted by sensitive junior editors to make sure it doesn’t trigger them."

Writes Cockburn in American Spectator (after Andrew Sullivan tweeted, simply, "Heads up: my column won't be appearing this week").

"Who cares what some paper-pushing apparatchik thinks? It’s all a bit creepy and unsettling."

"Why must this university’s senior administration declare, on behalf of the institution as a whole and with one voice, that they unanimously—without any subtle differences of emphasis or nuance—interpret contentious current events through a single lens? They write sentences such as this: 'We have been here before, and in fact have never left.' Really? This is nothing but propaganda. Is it supposed to be self-evident that every death of an 'unarmed black man' at the hands of a white person tells the same story? They speak of 'deep-rooted systems of oppression; legacies of hate.'...  Is it obvious that 'hate'—as opposed to incompetence, or fear, or cruelty, or poor training, or lack of accountability, or a brutal police culture, or panic, or malfeasance—is what we observed in Minneapolis? We are called upon to 'effect change.' Change from what to what, exactly? Evidently, we’re now all charged to promote the policy agenda of the 'progressive' wing of American politics.... This is no reasoned ethical reflection. Rather, it is indoctrination, virtue-signaling, and the transparent currying of favor with our charges...."

Writes Glenn Loury in "I Must Object/A rebuttal to Brown University’s letter on racism in the United States."

"This bill would cheapen the meaning of lynching by defining it so broadly as to include a minor bruise of abrasion."



Here's the transcript.
I seek to amend this legislation, not because I take it or I take lynching lightly, but because I take it seriously, and this legislation does not. Lynching is a tool of terror that claimed the lives of nearly 5,000 Americans between 1881 and 1968. But this bill would cheapen the meaning of lynching by defining it so broadly as to include a minor bruise or abrasion. Our nation’s history of racial terrorism demands more seriousness from us than that.... It would be a disgrace for the Congress of the United States to declare that a bruise is lynching, that an abrasion is lynching, that any injury to the body, no matter how temporary, is on par with the atrocities done to people like Emmett Till, Raymond Gunn, and Sam Hose, who were killed for no reason, but because they were black. To do that would demean their memory and cheapen the historic and horrific legacy of lynching in our country.... We have had federal hate crime statutes for over 50 years, and it has been a federal hate crime to murder someone because of their race for over a decade. Additionally, murder is already a crime in 50 states. In fact, rather than consider a good-intentioned but symbolic bill, the Senate could immediately consider addressing qualified immunity and ending police militarization. We can and must do better....
At the link — the heated response from Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. Harris accuses Paul of having "no reason... other than cruel and deliberate obstruction on a day of mourning." Booker praises Rand Paul — doesn't "question his heart" — but stresses what it "would mean for America" to pass the bill right now instead of getting hung up on "legalistic issues."

"It is a truth that may be hard to imagine in a world devastated by illness and economic insecurity, riven by racism and unrest, but we will get dressed again."

"Dressed not for the anonymity of the hospital or the essential work force, the heat and heartbreak of the protest, the anomie of the supermarket or the park, but for the next stage catharsis. Capital D Dressed. It is both history and human nature."

Writes Vanessa Friedman in the NYT.

That offended me a little. I understand she's feeling the pressure to get back to big fashion — very expensive clothes and gala dress-up events — but that doesn't mean that these other things we do while wearing clothing are hollow and empty and deserving of words like "anonymity" and "anomie."

If fashion matters, it should matter when we're doing the things that are the most substantial aspects of our life — going to work, engaging in political expression, doing our walking-around errands, and recreating in public spaces. What do we wear when we're out in the street? And even if we're keeping it simple, how do we feel? There's no reason to think that if we're wearing jeans and a t-shirt or leggings and a sweater we're in a state of anomie.

Friedman is concerned about the business of fashion — and it seems that consumer psychology is more of a means to an end. What will bring shoppers back to the physical stores?
It’s going to be the irrational, emotional pull of a … something. The gut punch of recognition that comes from seeing a new way to cast your self. One that signals: “Yes, I have changed. Yes, things are different. Now we emerge in a new world.”
Perhaps she's posited anomie because it seems to be something that can be solved through shopping for new clothes.
It’s on fashion to define that something, because that something is going to be how history remembers whatever happens next. It will do what clothes always do, which is symbolize a moment, and give it visual shape. What that shape will be is the existential question facing designers right now.
I think she's saying "existential" because designers are faced with a threat to their existence, but it halfway feels as though she's talking about philosophical existentialism, because she's posited the problem of anomie in the consumer.

"And Larry was saying that with a hurricane, you have a horrible hurricane in Florida or Texas, and it’s devastating. And then the hurricane goes away..."

"... and within two hours, everyone’s rebuilding and fixing and cleaning and cutting their grass. I’ve seen it in Texas. I’ve seen it everywhere. I’ve seen it everywhere. Texas had a massive one, Louisiana, hurricanes, Florida hurricanes. But what happens is right after the hurricane, boom, and this is what this is, this isn’t a terrible recession. I don’t even mention the D word. I don’t talk about the D word, I don’t want to talk about it, because every time somebody even mentions it, I don’t like the D word. But if you had a really, really big, bad recession, it could take 10, 12. How long did it take in 1929? It took many years to recover from that. How long? 10? I heard 10, I think, longer than 10, but that’s okay. I heard 14, 15 years. Larry says 10, so let’s go with 10. But it takes a long time to recover, but a hurricane you’re back in business in one day, two days, three days, and it’s devastating and it’s hard. And this was a hurricane. And it’s going to get better fast...."

That's Trump yesterday — here's the transcript — from what was billed as a "press conference," but played much more like a Trump rally. He seemed to be giving a rally speech. He was pumped up over the great jobs report, and he went through his topics — even oldies like how he won in 2016 — the way he used to do in the days when there were rallies. The difference was a lack of crowd noise... and "You Can't Always Get What You Want" didn't play when he finished. But he can't always get what he wants.

The press had to sit there quietly and put up with the entire tirade. When he was done, he had some legislation to sign, and he wanted to sit down at his little table, get out his Sharpie, and do the signature ritual in a formal manner, but the pent-up press couldn't resist beginning the questioning. They'd waited so long. When is it their turn?

One of the press called out:  "Mr. President, what happened to the plan for systemic racism? Mr. President, why haven’t you laid out a plan to address systemic racism?"

Trump admonished the reporter — "I'd like to sign this bill" — but he also defended himself on "race relations": The economic recovery is "the greatest thing that can happen... for the African-American community, for the Asian-Americans, for the Hispanic American community, for women, for everything."

The questioner insisted on hearing about Trump's "plan," and Trump said having a strong economy was his plan. Another questioner jumped in and began to ask how a better economy would solve the problem of racism, but Trump cut him off — "Excuse me, I’d like to sign this." The questioner nevertheless persisted: "Yeah. Just to follow up, how would a better economy have protected George Floyd?" Trump expressed irritation: "Excuse me, do you mind if I sign this?" The questioner said, "Sure, I’ll ask after," and somebody else prolonged the interruption with a counterproductive "Will you take questions after, sir?" That re-activated the first questioner, who brought up that unemployment of black people just "went up by .1%," so "How is that a victory? How is that a victory?" He said it twice, provoking Trump to say, "You are something." So he said it a third time, "How is that a victory?"

It was outdoors, in the Rose Garden, and obviously hot. Trump had had his Cabinet members standing behind him, taking the risk that somebody might keel over. He ended the signing by calling Larry — Larry Kudlow — over to speak, and Larry said, "Thank you, sir. I’ll be brief as I can. I know it’s pretty darn hot." Trump said: "I haven’t noticed that. Is it hot? Nobody hot." Hilarious. Especially if you like a tinge of sadism in your humor. A tinge. Don't overreact. It's a great line. I want to remember to use it if anyone ever points out that it's hot when everyone knows it's really hot. I haven’t noticed that. Is it hot? Nobody hot.

And he never got back to the reporters for their questioning. They'd shown what they were spring loaded to do. It wouldn't be Why do you believe the economy will take off like a rocket ship? How will a burgeoning economy help everybody? It would be Where is your plan to overcome systemic racism? So he walked out of what was inaptly named a press conference.

There is one more difference from a rally. He would have taunted the press loudly and at length. Here he just gave them the cold shoulder — the cold shoulder and the most minimal taunt: You are something.

"Madison community members gathered for a six-hour long barbecue with food trucks, picnic blankets, rap performances, art and even a magic show..."

"... at James Madison Park to celebrate [Breonna] Taylor's birthday. Organizers from Freedom, Inc. and Urban Triage — local organizations that hosted the event — said the event was a 'celebration of life' for Taylor. After the party at the park, protesters headed to the Capitol Square for another celebration, this time led by youth organizers. The energy was similar, with a DJ, lots of food and a table for an open mic sign up. 'We're gonna scream. We're gonna shout. We're gonna dance,' youth organizer Ayomi Obuseh, 19, said at the start of the night. 'We're here to have a party.'"

The Wisconsin State Journal reports.

The photographs at the link give the impression that it was a very positive atmosphere. There are crowds without the sort of "social distancing" we were all supposedly doing last month, but who does not hope for the best?

ADDED: I just noticed one of the subheadings over there is "Seventh day of anti-police protests in Madison." "Anti-police protests" — is that the right term? Is that what organizers and participants want to say — that they are against the police generally?

Elsewhere in the article I see the protests characterized as against "police violence" and against "police brutality." That's a much better way to put it! Virtually all of us are against police violence and police brutality. But "anti-police"?! Most of us are not.

June 5, 2020

At the Creature-of-the-Day Café...

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... you can look through any window.

I checked the photographs of all 870 insects of Wisconsin, then double-checked a separate page of dragonflies of Wisconsin and wasps of Wisconsin, and I found nothing with wings like that and a red spot on its thorax/abdomen, so I cannot tell you what it is. I know when I saw it, I jumped up, grabbed my camera, and yelled, "It's the murder hornet," and for that, I will encourage you to use the Althouse Portal to Amazon.

I think they're hoping!

I'm seeing "Why the Shockingly Good Jobs Report Might Be Bad News" (New York Magazine).

What godawful talking points did they come up with?

I get email from Tom Cotton, addressing me as "Patriot."

It says:
On Wednesday, I published an article in the New York Times calling for an end to violence in our streets. Outnumbered police officers, encumbered by feckless politicians, bore the brunt of the violence.
Feckless!*
These rioters, if not subdued, not only will destroy the livelihoods of law-abiding citizens but will also take more innocent lives. The overwhelming majority of Americans are sick and tired of this violence and want to see strong action taken to restore law and order.

I’ve caused a total meltdown from the media and radical liberals. Reporters are attacking me and going after the New York Times for having the audacity to publish a piece that doesn’t fit within their liberal ideology.
He is glorying in their attack on him and fundraising. Of course, that's how it's done.  There follows a request for a donation, with clickable links. He says "socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez" are "are trying to silence," and "liberal media and their democrat cronies" — yeah, small "d" — are "trying to silence our conservative voices."

I never give money to politicians. I'm just showing you that Tom Cotton is fundraising over the NYT reaction to its publication of his op-ed, that I was addressed as "Patriot," and that "feckless" has returned.
___________________

* I've already done a post about "feckless" — back when Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a "feckless cunt." I said: "In case you're wondering what the fuck 'feck' even is that we should feel bad about the lack of it, it's just another way to say 'effect.' So to be 'feckless' is to be lame, without effect." That was in the beginning of June 2018. Later that same month, Kathy Griffin called Melania Trump a "feckless complicit piece of shit," and I blogged it here. So... "feckless" had a moment, 2 years ago.

A restaurant and a café are trying to be open on State Street — despite boarded up windows and with the help of some slap-dash painting.

Photographed by me yesterday...

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Look closely — it cries: WE'RE OPEN...

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The word "PEACE" is right next to a fist...

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"District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday had 'Black Lives Matter' painted on the street that leads to the White House..."

"... where protesters have been demonstrating following George Floyd’s death in police custody. 'There was a dispute this week about whose street this is,' John Falcicchio, chief of staff for Bowser, a Democrat, said in a tweet. 'Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear that this is DC's street and to honor demonstrators who (were) peacefully protesting on Monday evening.' People were seen painting the words "Black Lives Matter" on Friday morning in large block letters in yellow across 16th street, which leads to Lafayette Square and the White House."

NBC reports.

Video of the painting at the link. The letters are the full width of the street, and the words look like they go on for 3 blocks. It's as big as it can be and still be on the street.

ADDED: I guess the President needs to change his stationery right away...

Bad faith.

"I thought he was just saying he reads the Bible. In there, it says we're all sinners. 100% not very good people."

I comment at Facebook, where my son John put up a link to "Biden claims '10 to 15 percent' of Americans are 'just not very good people'" (Fox News).

John's comment was: "A basket of deplorables, if you will."

The full quote from Biden:
“Do we really think this is as good as we can be as a nation? I don’t think the vast majority of people think that. There are probably anywhere from 10 to 15 percent of the people out there who are just not very good people, but that’s not who we are. The vast majority of the people are decent. We have to appeal to that and we have to unite people -- bring them together. Bring them together.”
Here's what I was remembering:



"The president held up a Bible at St. John's Church yesterday. I just wish he opened it once in a while.... instead of brandishing it...."

To "brandish" is "To flourish, wave about (a sword, spear, dart, club, or other manual weapon) by way of threat or display, or in preparation for action" (OED).

"Brandish" is a key word in the Bible — Ezekiel 32:10:
I will make many peoples appalled at you, and the hair of their kings shall bristle with horror because of you, when I brandish my sword before them. They shall tremble every moment, every one for his own life, on the day of your downfall....
The hair of their kings shall bristle with horror...

(Source: "Trump boarded Air Force One in high winds — and the photos of his hair are mesmerizing.")

Fantastic! "U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly declined to 13.3% in May."

Headline on the front page of The Washington Post. The article is "Unemployment rate drops to 13 percent, as the economy picked up jobs as states reopened/There are hopes that April’s unemployment rate of 14.7 percent will reflect a bottoming out of the economy. With some 30 million workers collecting unemployment benefits, the labor market has been upended."

The NYT article is "Unemployment in U.S. Unexpectedly Fell in May/Hiring rebounded in May, defying expectations, with 2.5 million jobs added, the Labor Department said": "Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April."

AND: "Dow futures up more than 500 points after jobs report shows surprise jump in payrolls" (MarketWatch).

ADDED: Trump on March 23:



"And you will see the economy skyrocket once this is over. I think it's going to skyrocket. It's a pent-up demand. It's a built-up demand. And I guess you really have to say: Who knows? But I think it's going to be a tremendous day when we win...."

"Many white people I know are spilling over with guilt and overzealous attempts to offer sympathy."

"I have been avoiding them as best I can.... But brazen as ever, white people who have my phone number are finding a way to drain my time and energy. Some are friends, others old co-workers and acquaintances I’ve intentionally released from my life for the sake of my peace of mind. Every few days I receive a bunch of texts like this one, from last week: 'Hi friend. I just wanted to reach out and let you know I love you and so deeply appreciate you in my life and your stories in the world. And I’m so sorry. This country is deeply broken and sick and racist. I’m sorry. I think I’m tired; meanwhile I’m sleeping in my Snuggie of white privilege. I love you and I’m here to fight and be useful in any way I can be. **Heart emojis**' Almost every message ends with seven oppressive words — 'Don’t feel like you need to respond.' Not only are these people using me as a waste bin for guilt and shame, but they’re also instructing me on what not to feel, silencing me in the process.... You invite me to coddle you and respond to you and tell you it’s not your fault and that you are special. That attacks my dignity. That dehumanizes me...."

From "I Don’t Need ‘Love’ Texts From My White Friends/I need them to fight anti-blackness" by Chad Sanders (NYT). Well said.

Chad Sanders is a writer with a new book coming out, the first line of the op-ed tells us. I liked his writing and wanted to promote his book, but I'm coming up with a whole lot of cheesy titles like "Wife Watching 102" under the name Chad Sanders. I presume it's a different Chad Sanders!

ADDED: I'll just note that I do see the opportunity here to analogize the sexual fetish of wife-watching with the white-person fetish of exuding empathy for black people.

AND: I don't think this was there before, but the NYT page now says: "Chad Sanders (@ChadSand) is the author of the forthcoming book 'Black Magic.'" A search at Amazon did not turn up anything.

You could say, the hardest part of everything is other people.

I'm seeing the NYT headline: "The Hardest Part of Having a Nonbinary Kid Is Other People/A mother recounts the pushback she received from her own family in raising a gender-nonconforming child."

Just remember: You are somebody else's "other people."

I have my problems with other people. Maybe try, if you can, to live in a way where you depend on yourself and draw on energy from within. If you keep demanding that "other people" rearrange their beliefs and behavior to smooth your way in life... 1. They're only going to go so far, 2. You've made yourself dependent on them, and 3. You're the "other people" too.



For the impatient or music-averse, here are the lyrics. (Key phrase:"We are the other people/We are the other people/We are the other people/You're the other people too.")

And what did Jean Paul Sartre mean by "Hell is other people"?

"Did it say, oh, you need thanks also? Sorry, I forgot you. I want to tell you thanks..."

I attempt to answer Meade's question whether I got his texted link to something about Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. Meade said: "You got it."

Here's the thing — a blog post by David Blaska, "Mayor Satya tries to make nice with police."

"He had this little list of rules that he lived by. They're all really good ones like, Don't talk all the time, Listen to your mentors and friends and learn from them."

"I actually have them memorized, which is kind of weird. Nobody likes an overbearing big shot, which sounds so much like his words... Help a friend when they're hurting."

Said Jenna Bush — her eyes welling with tears (according to The Daily Mail).

IN THE COMMENTS: Wince said:
"Nobody likes an overbearing big shot."

And, try as you might, nobody likes a wimpy, ineffectual establishment Republican.

Well, not until you're out of office or dead, and then only to use you as the new standard-bearer to attack and cow your successor Republicans.
AND: MadisonMan said:
"Nobody likes an overbearing big shot."

The Press gets to decide who fits that description.
Meade responded:
It's almost as if the Press is, itself, an overbearing big shot.

Why is the Third Amendment trending on Twitter?

The typical experience on Twitter is that you see that the Third Amendment is trending on Twitter and you click and you just get lots of tweets asking Why is the Third Amendment trending on Twitter?

But I got to the answer quickly enough. Senator Mike Lee tweeted this:


Twitter users piled on. I'm reading things like:
1. "You Republican Senators should really try reading the Constitution once, instead of just using it for toilet paper. The Third Amendment prohibits the government from quartering troops over objections, you fascist cheese biscuit."

2. "It’s called the Third Amendment, and as a lifetime member of the National Anti Quartering Association they can sleep in my house when they take it from my cold, dead hands."

3. "All my old law professors who have been waiting forever to talk about the Third Amendment: your moment has finally arrived. Enjoy yourselves."
And this is a comic meme I'm seeing in a lot of versions — I'm just picking one:

The NYT bows: "In an embarrassing about-face, The New York Times said Thursday that an opinion piece it ran by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton... did not meet its standards."

"Cotton’s op-ed, titled 'Send in the Troops' and first posted online late Wednesday, caused a revolt among Times journalists, with some saying it endangered black employees. Some staff members called in sick Thursday in protest. The Times said in a statement that a 'rushed editorial process' led to publication of a piece that did not meet its standards.... Earlier Thursday, Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger and editorial page editor James Bennet defended its publication, saying they believed it was important to discuss controversial ideas in a public forum rather than keep them quiet. But, the Times reported that later, Bennet revealed that he had not read Cotton’s piece prior to its publication. 'As a result, we’re planning to examine both short term and long term changes' to its opinion pages including expanding its fact-checking operation and reducing the number of op-eds, which are opinion pieces written by outside contributors that it publishes, the Times said [in] its statement.... Also Thursday, the Philadelphia Inquirer apologized for a 'horribly wrong' decision to use the headline 'Buildings Matter, Too' on an article. Some 30 members of its 210-member editorial staff had called in sick Thursday following the mistake, which black staff members angrily condemned...."

AP reports.

Cotton reacted, saying the NYT is "surrendering to the mindless woke mob."

A particular problem with Cotton's piece was that it said "left-wing radicals like antifa infiltrating protest marches to exploit Floyd’s death for their own anarchic purposes," but the NYT has not yet reported that the violent element was antifa. Its news story on June 1 had said "conservative commentators are asserting with little evidence that antifa, the far-left anti-fascism activist movement coordinates the riots and looting."

Whether Cotton was right or wrong about the facts, there is a problem with factual assertions in op-eds. I've written op-eds for the NYT, and it was with a very short deadline and I was trusted to get the facts in order. I don't know how much the Times intends to change its process, but I assume it wants and needs to have some distance between itself and the writers it brings in from the outside to give a hot take on a breaking controversial story.

ADDED: Why isn't there more reporting in the NYT about who's responsible for the violence and disorder accompanying the protests? A rational inference is that they are not pursuing it or they are suppressing what they have because it impugns the left. Please rebut that presumption if it's wrong, NYT.

Things that feel more substantively meaningful than they are...


Things people are saying on Twitter, which I'm not bothering to do links for: "Even GOD is speaking out against Trump"/"If only the lighting hit Trump while he was photo oping in front of a Church with bible in his hand"/"Dear God, aim more north. White building, surrounded by fences. 38° 53' 52.6452'' N and 77° 2' 11.6160'' W."

It's not all anti-Trump. Even as lightning makes many/most people think it's God!, the thought that God is speaking out is closely followed — like thunder after lightning — with the interpretation He is expressing an opinion similar to my own.

Thus, there's also this: "It’s God’s way of saying ‘go home’ to these anarchists, and saying 'this is mine!'"

By the way, to give God directions — replete with longitude and latitude — is to say outright that you don't think He is omniscient. Might want to fine-tune your prayers. And as you note, He is already angry. He is wrathful. Don't tell Him what to do.

June 4, 2020

At the First Light Café...

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... you can talk all night.

And I'll give you this bonus toad...

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... to highlight the availability of the Althouse Portal to Amazon.

Trump started a new craze — Bible-clutching for the camera.

Nancy Pelosi is doing it.

“The Trump administration on Thursday released new requirements for states to report coronavirus data based on race, ethnicity, age and sex...”

“... of individuals tested for the virus, in an effort to respond to demands from lawmakers for a better picture of the pandemic.... The new guidelines came as Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, faced a barrage of questions from House lawmakers at a health subcommittee hearing about his agency’s often halting response to the pandemic, and what some members of Congress said was its failure to anticipate the pandemic’s effect on black and Hispanic communities.“

The NYT reports.

Not all of Madison's boarded-up up windows have painted murals.

Go 3 posts down to see my photographs of the painted murals I saw today. I want to show this separately — messy graffiti on The Wisconsin Veterans Museum:

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That graffiti is not limited to the temporary plywood. Most of it is on the permanent wall. Why would anyone with what they believe is a good cause choose to deface a veterans museum? There's the idea: Where is our museum? It's written in black (with the spelling of "museum" corrected in red). You see that? Obviously, many veterans are black, but many police officers are black, and that doesn't stop them from saying "Fuck 12" ("fuck the police").

"They tried to live as they had in Berkeley, in an improvisational community, their doors open to anyone."

"But things started to go missing, and it was unclear whether their neighbors also believed in communal sharing or if they were taking advantage of the Kingstons. Kahalu’u is on the island’s windward side, and Maxine, like many Chinese people who believe that wind disturbs one’s qi, or life-force equilibrium, found the constant gusts distressing. She couldn’t think.... In the seventies, publishers had begun responding to America’s social realities by offering challenging, textured depictions of what it meant to be part of a minority. 'The Woman Warrior,' which was marketed as a memoir based on Kingston’s upbringing, seemed to adhere to typical preconceptions—the cascading effects of patriarchal traditions, the stern and unaffectionate immigrant parents, the children caught between duty and dreaming. But, unlike most ethnic coming-of-age tales of the time, it seeded doubt about its own authenticity.... By the end, you don’t know which, if any, of these stories are true, or whether they constitute a reliable depiction of Chinese-American life.... I thought about what Kingston had said.... A writer is always alone.... These sketches of her life weren’t for anyone but her. They were not... 'a story to grow on'.... 'It’s really enjoying my present life... I am really enjoying going to buy that winter melon. I’m deeply into it..... I’m so sane in my work. That’s why it’s fiction.'"

From "Maxine Hong Kingston’s Genre-Defying Life and Work/The Asian-American literary pioneer, whose writing has paved the way for many immigrants’ stories, has one last big idea" (The New Yorker).

Love Trumps Hate.

We went down to State Street to see the aftermath of the protests...

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Meade wore his Peace gear...

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Down on State Street here in Madison, every ground floor window is covered in plywood, and there's an effort to turn it into something good by painting murals.

A small procession...

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"Silence is complicity"...

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"Silence is violence"...

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That's at the art museum, but the award for the best painting goes to...

F3E6DCBB-747F-41C0-AFF9-35AADF7C4F34_1_201_a

Walking with coffee...

6C11DEEC-347F-4037-9903-F1B23198E8A3_1_201_a

Controlling the narrative...

A3DB724B-BAB2-44E0-88AD-9E1F4AAA8F54_1_201_a

The iconic Triangle Market...

9FFF9857-788E-4A43-A8E1-34CCE4AFA481_1_201_a

And the beloved Paul's Books...

4E741E78-998C-4008-BEF5-6529776DEB9F_1_201_a

Nonsense... this was on the credit union...

C49A13E3-A66B-4C73-B25E-FFA150A971B6_1_201_a

"Inclusion" — It's Sugar....

E08E0863-2F3D-4AE3-B979-71EE5E65BCC3_1_201_a

"UNITY"...

A0A107A9-3754-4C34-A976-972E5946D5F5_1_201_a

Imagine not leaving Ragstock alone!

D5DA11B2-B51C-4E3E-B046-D8E8A137E91F_1_201_a

Background: "For three nights, business[es] on and around State Street in Downtown Madison have been sitting ducks for those who have taken advantage of the uproar over the killing of George Floyd to vandalize and steal their property. Almost every business on the street, from new ventures to those that have been around for decades, has been hit by graffiti, broken windows or looting. Above most of these properties are apartments occupied by residents, many of them terrified of what the nightly raids might bring. While the owners are weary of the damage, support for the cause behind the protests is nearly unanimous" (Wisconsin State Journal, with interviews with shopowners).

Room Rater isn't really into neutral principles of interior decoration.



Not even a mention of the empty shelves. And he gets a perfect 10? This is kind of like the way he won the Nobel Prize, and it's actually patronizing. To leave no room to say "perfect" is to say this is as good as I think you're going to get.

It's time to play "Was that racist?"

I'm getting email from an outraged reader who's on my case for not censoring the following comment, which appeared on yesterday's post about a NYT article titled, "Protests Draw Shoulder-to-Shoulder Crowds After Months of Virus Isolation." Out of discretion, I will refrain from naming the commenter, who said:
I'm sayin right out now. Like the 60s, the bulk of the "protesters" are lookin for a hook up. Nothin like a meaningful virtue signal to fire up the hormones. Mostly lookin for that Hot Monkey Love the libs all crave.
Was that racist?

IN THE COMMENTS: Leslie Graves said:
Is it safe to assume that they thought this because of the reference to "hot monkey love"?

I looked it up on Urban Dictionary, where the meaning is given as "To engage in hot serious sex. To go at it with the prowless [sic] of a monkey. In that you actually make each other wanna make noises similar to that of a screaming monkey."

Urban Dictionary doesn't represent this as having racial overtones.

The person also might have thought that claiming that hormones and the desire to hook up are actually what is causing folks (some of whom are people of color) to flood into the streets, as opposed to a high-minded desire to protest the killing, and that saying that is insulting to those people of color in a racist way.

I will say that back in the 60s, whenever there was an anti-war protest in nearby Madison, it was very common for the old folks to offer commentary suggesting that the main reason for those students (virtually all of whom were white) to flood into the streets was to get some action. So, that's how I read the comment.
MadisonMan said:
Why run to the teacher, so to speak, over something like this? If you find something in the comments racist enough to email the host, why isn't racist enough to comment on directly?
Some people don't want to engage in open debate. They want censorship. The person who emailed me said: "I don’t subscribe to the Zuckerberg view" and wanted to attribute it to me for not "filtering" it out. I get something like 1,000 comments a day and, though I delay them in moderation to squelch known trolls, I can't possibly read them all and think about what they mean. In any case, I do subscribe to the Zuckerberg view.

ADDED: Is Gilda Radner racist?



Is Maureen Dowd?

"What’s happening at the NYT is an attempted coup."


What is happening at the NYT? Here are 2 earlier Sullivan tweets:
The Op-Ed was designed so it offers an opposite view to the Editorial board. Liberals believe that ideas should be open to debate. This should be utterly uncontroversial in a liberal paper.

It’s important to understand that what the mob is now doing to the NYT is what they did to Evergreen University. They hate liberal institutions and they want them dismantled from within. These people are not liberal and they are a disgrace to journalism.
Here's what that refers to (I presume): "New York Times staffers revolt over publication of Tom Cotton op-ed" (CNN):
Staffers at The New York Times expressed dismay Wednesday over the newspaper's decision to publish an op-ed written by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton that called for the U.S. military to be deployed in cities across the country to help restore order....

A parade of Times journalists tweeted a screen shot showing the headline of Cotton's piece, "Send In the Troops," with the accompanying words: "Running this puts Black @NYTimes staff in danger."...

Amid the Twitter outrage, however, editorial page editor James Bennet posted a series of tweets on Wednesday evening to explain his decision to run the op-ed.... "Times Opinion owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy. We understand that many readers find Senator Cotton's argument painful, even dangerous...We believe that is one reason it requires public scrutiny and debate."...
If you're trying to remember the Evergreen University story — here.

"Attempted coup" is strong language, but I am glad to see Sullivan taking this position and glad the NYT is keeping the op-ed tradition alive. It's important!

ADDED: The frenzied desire to blot out Tom Cotton's opinion displays fear that it's effective and hard to controvert. If Cotton's opponents think his opinion is so horribly wrong, they should welcome his putting it out there, clear and brightly lit. Then they should slam it to hell on the merits. But no, they've gone into a weak victim mode and demand protection from the scary power of Cotton's ideas.

"Hey, baby!"/"No! It's surprisingly okay!" — things I said out loud before 5:30 a.m.

1. "Hey, baby!" — I was addressing this creature:

IMG_5861

2. "No! It's surprisingly okay!" — A response to a human creature who asked me "Is it buggy out there?" as I was running back from my sunrise vantage point.

3. Creature observed but not spoken to:

June 3, 2020

At the Yellow Café...

IMG_5786

... you can talk all night.

"I mean, a guy like Sleepy Joe Biden was in there for 43 years, and he says, I think we should do this."

"I saw today, he took his mask off for the first time in a while, I haven't seen his face for a long time. And he said, I think we should do this, or I think we should do that. And actually then he started speaking through the mask again. He feels comfortable with the mask on I think, and -- even though there was nobody anywhere near him, which is interesting, but he made a statement about what he should do. I said, he's been there for 43 years, he was vice president for 8 years, he didn't do a thing. His crime bill was a disaster.... Well, you see... that speech was written, he didn't say that, he repeated the words. That's all. That speech was written for him because he doesn't speak like that. But here's the thing, he did a crime bill that was a disaster. What he did with Clarence Thomas was a disaster, it was a disaster the way he treated Clarence Thomas..... Now, he's not the same Biden. He's about half, maybe less, but the fact is that he doesn't -- he doesn't say that... he's surrounded by -- the Democrats have bad policy, in many ways they're bad politicians, because their policy -- open borders, take away everybody's guns. You know, they want to take your guns away, except now more people have bought guns in the last three, four days than they have in a long time, because when they look out on the streets.... That's right. And the Democrats want to take their guns away."

Said Trump, attacking Biden today on "Fox and Friends."

Here's the audio and complete transcript.

"America is in turmoil and stocks are booming. Is the market broken?"

Asks Matt Egan (at CNN Business).

Why Drew Brees is trending on Twitter — lots of hostility for saying this:

"... when assessing how voters evaluate Trump and where his approval ratings might go, it's perhaps important to note that both COVID and the protests involve profound disruptions to everyday life..."

"... in a way that say impeachment didn't. The protests perhaps slightly less so if you're not living in a major city, although there are also a lot of protests in smaller cities. But the images on TV will instantly remind Americans everywhere that 'this is not normal.' But there are a lot of voters who, in ordinary times, are softly pro-Trump. They may not like his conduct. But they think 'politics is silly,' 'both sides are so partisan,' 'this stuff is overblown.' LOTS of people in this bucket and they are underrepresented on social media. This is usually contingent, though, on their financial circumstances going OK and basically being able to live life as normal. They may be forced to reassess when there are big disruptions. It's these people Trump should be worried about."

Tweets Nate Silver.

I was reading that slowly and thinking about each step, and I can honestly say that I was surprised by the last statement — "It's these people Trump should be worried about."

It's these people Trump should be worried about? I think if you're softly pro-Trump, you want things to be getting back to normal — emerge from the lockdown, restore order along with more harmonious racial relations, and build the economy back up. You want to see that happen and you want to believe that is happening. I'm thinking that these people won't be receptive to Democratic Party arguments aimed at exaggerating and increasing the disease-and-racism negativity we've been experiencing.

"The demonstrations have spurred fears that they could cause a deadly resurgence of the coronavirus."

"And for those sympathetic to a growing movement, deciding whether to attend protests has been complicated: Some people have avoided them entirely, reasoning that the chance of contracting the coronavirus in a crowd is too high. Others have joined despite the risks.... No one has studied the precise dynamics of how the virus may be transmitted under the mix of conditions that prevail at mass protests. And because of delays between exposure to the virus and the start of symptoms, and then hospitalizations and deaths, the impact of the protests on virus spread will not be known for several weeks.... Yelling, shouting and singing can increase how far those droplets are projected. Crowds and the length of time an uninfected person is near someone who is infected also increase the risk of transmission.... Black people were already suffering from a disproportionate number of coronavirus infections; now many members of their communities are protesting the death of Mr. Floyd.... [P]ublic health experts emphasized that police violence against black people in America also represents a public health crisis."

From "Protests Draw Shoulder-to-Shoulder Crowds After Months of Virus Isolation/Much of the country stayed inside, separated, as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Now protests are creating crowds, threatening a resurgence" (NYT).

I would add that the protests have changed the politics of emerging from the lockdown. There had been a partisan split, with those on the left demanding far more caution and hesitation and those on the right stressing freedom and getting back to work. But with the protests, many people on the left wanted to get right out there into the streets, into the crowds, and they just did it. Maybe some people on the right wanted to say they ought to be more careful and prioritize safety. That mixed up the politics very quickly and very thoroughly.

I hope what we learn is that the virus is not that contagious and not that dangerous or that in any case, for whatever reason, it is withdrawing. And I hope that the peaceful, earnest protesters outnumber and overwhelm the agents of chaos and that some rational, practical, constructive solutions can come to light.

"A bronze statue of Frank Rizzo, the former Philadelphia mayor and police commissioner known for his violent law enforcement strategy, was pulled down..."



"A bronze statue of Frank Rizzo, the former Philadelphia mayor and police commissioner known for his violent law enforcement strategy, was pulled down by city authorities overnight Tuesday, according to NBC Philadelphia. Rizzo, who served as police commissioner from 1967 to 1971 and mayor from 1972 to 1980, oversaw a legacy of police brutality in the city and of discrimination against minorities" (Daily Beast).

"What was Sheriff Mahoney’s reward for being sufficiently 'woke'? The social justice warriors stormed his home Tuesday..."

"... his private residence, where he lives with his family — to pretty it up with their anti-cop doggerel. Those included demands that all black jail inmates be released forthwith. At least they did not vandalize his house. But it is trespassing."

Writes David Blaska.

"... Ivanka. Always Ivanka. She stood tall on her stilettos. She rose, golden-haired, above the group."

"She was dressed in black cropped pants and blazer. She was toting a very large white handbag and later was wearing a matching face mask with tiny metallic stars.... and White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany... was in a closefitting double-breasted blazer with gold metallic buttons and skinny trousers. She was perched atop a pair of stiletto pumps — a style of footwear that this White House, all on its own, may be keeping in circulation."

From Robin Givhan's fashion-and-politics account of Trump's Bible-laden procession to St. John's Episcopal Church.

It wasn't a terribly far walk...



... but I was struck that the women had to — or chose to — wear stilettos. It made me think of those traditions of crawling to church — deliberately taking on pain and suffering as you make your way to the sacred destination. There are similarities and differences...



The look is not meant to say I am suffering. The idea is to walk fluidly alongside the men as if it's completely natural and perfectly comfortable. There's no visible expression of humility or sacrifice. If anything, the expression is of pride in the prettiness, the extra height, and the complete hiding of any difficulty.

So, it's a bit like a hair shirt, which is a hidden item of clothing that inflicts suffering and is worn as penitence. And yet the stilettos are not worn in secret. They are quite conspicuous and that is the point. And the suffering is merely endured, not undertaken for a higher purpose.

Have stilettos gone out of fashion? Robin Givhan — whose work requires her to keep up with fashion — calls them a "style of footwear that this White House, all on its own, may be keeping in circulation." That has to mean they are passé. Maybe it's like the way right-wing women in the 1960s continued to wear teased, sprayed bouffant hairdos long after other women had moved on to what was called "the natural look."

Joe talks about monkeys stealing coronavirus vials and other monkey-related topics.



"They believe that monkeys and some chimps are in the Stone Age now...."

What are you saying about my "style" if I can "update" it with this?

Here's an ad for Wayfair that got served up in my Facebook feed:



That is so inappropriate! A Last Supper fruit bowl?! And I don't even know what a Compact Electric 26 Pound Daily Production is. I do know that if you click on a Wayfair ad, you'll be forced to give them your email address before you can advance to the product, so I'm never going to find out what a Compact Electric 26 Pound Daily Production is or how much I would have to pay for that complicated and insane fruit bowl. Wouldn't something other than fruit seem more apt? I don't know... Necco wafers?

And then I keep getting these ads for Hawaiian shirts:



What's up with that, New York Times? I see Hawaiian shirts and I don't know about you, but I think: Right-wing terrorists. Is some algorithm identifying me as a consumer of right-wing costumery?

If you don't know what I'm talking about here's "Men wearing Hawaiian shirts and carrying guns add a volatile new element to protests" (in today's Washington Post):
They’ve appeared, sometimes carrying assault rifles, at protests in Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia and dozens of other cities, often wearing Hawaiian shirts — a seemingly goofy uniform that, within the ranks of their movement signals adherence to a violent, divisive, anti-government ideology....

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Sunday tweeted an Associated Press photo showing two white men atop an overturned police car in Salt Lake City, both holding what appear to be assault rifles. Spray painted on the side of the car is “4 George,” an apparent reference to George Floyd, the unarmed African American whose killing at the hands of Minneapolis police last month sparked the recent unrest. One of the men standing on the vehicle in the photograph was wearing what appeared to be hunting garb. The other was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, as was a third man filming the activity....

Adherents of one particularly radical fringe group, which goes by Boogaloo Bois and several similar names, openly anticipate a civil war.... The Boogaloo were the first to don Hawaiian shirts as symbols of their extremist ideas. As social media companies cracked down on their posts for violating various policies, the supporters adopted new names and images to avoid detection, such as “Big Igloo,” “Boojahadeen” and “Big Luau.” The latter gave rise to wearing the distinctively patterned shirts....
So why is the New York Times festooned with the distinctively patterned shirts when I go over there? It's making me uneasy. I don't know if a Compact Electric 26 Pound Daily Production would help.

And I need to say for the record that — with the exception of buttons worn in 1960 and 1988 — I have never clothed myself in any sort of overt political messaging and I've always worried that I might unintentionally wear something that had a meaning I did not know about. Imagine wearing a cheerful floral-patterned shirt and being thought of as a member of some awful group that has for some darkly humorous reason adopted shirts like that as their signal!

So you won't have to ask, the answer is Richard Nixon and Jesse Jackson.

"Mary Sweeny... was an American woman known as 'the Window Smasher' because of her mania for breaking glass windows across Wisconsin and neighbouring states during the 1890s...."

"One cause of her window breaking sprees was reported to be drinking; it was also noted that she was seeking vengeance against medical doctors. She is said to have used cocaine to self-medicate because "it quiets her nerves." She was quoted as liking 'to hear the glass jingle.' She broke windows of shops and trains using anything to hand, including stones, sticks of wood, or a satchel. Authorities dealt with her by arresting and jailing her, hospitalising her, committing her to insane asylums, and paying for her rail travel to another town. She boasted that she would quickly escape from hospitals and asylums, and succeeded several times. Her sanity was assessed by doctors, who declared her sane, or as one newspaper stated, She appears to be perfectly rational on all subjects except that of window smashing.' She did not know why she broke windows but did it only 'when the craze seized her.'"

Wikipedia tells the story of Mary Sweeny — whom you will remember if you ever read the book or saw the documentary movie "Wisconsin Death Trip."

I'm thinking about Mary Sweeny today, as so many people in our country now seem to have acquired a mania for breaking glass.

I first blogged about the movie "Wisconsin Death Trip" on March 4, 2004, less than 2 months after starting this blog. I said:
Is there something especially morbid and sick about Wisconsin? As a person living in Wisconsin, I had to wonder if the book was picking on us, or, no I didn't really, because there is always the out for us here in Madison to say Madison is an island of difference within the state. But I knew this film was well regarded.... It was quite beautiful and original visually and quite moving and full of fascinating characters (like Mary Sweeny, a cocaine-sniffing woman with a mania for breaking glass)....

We tend to think of Wisconsin as a notably healthy, wholesome place. (Notice the characters in movies who say they are from Wisconsin: Annie Hall, Jack Dawson in Titanic, etc., etc.) So I am thinking: to show the dark side of Wisconsin is to say something about the dark side of humanity. This story of Black River Falls in the last decade of the nineteenth century is (as presented through the film, if not the book) a universal story of passion and violence and death and madness.
There were no comments on the blog back then, but it became possible to comment later when I activated the comments function. There is one comment there now, dated June 11, 2009. It's Meade, whom I met in January 2009. He said:
I shall move to Wisconsin and protect you from the dark side of humanity. It will be my mission of love... my raison d'etre.*
The dark side of humanity has not gone away, Meade's mission continues, and I'm still looking for the light. I've taken up the ritual of running to see the sunrise over Lake Mendota — over Lake Mendota and the Mendota Asylum for the Insane — which is now called the Mendota Mental Health Institute — where Mary Sweeny was committed in 1897.
_________________

* I corrected Meade's typo, and I also corrected my misspelling of "Mary Sweeny."

"Drug enforcement agents should not be conducting covert surveillance of protests and First Amendment protected speech."

"That kind of monitoring and information sharing may well constitute unwarranted investigation of people exercising their constitutional rights to seek justice. The executive branch continues to run headlong in the wrong direction."

Said Hugh Handeyside, a senior attorney for the ACLU, quoted in "The DEA Has Been Given Permission To Investigate People Protesting George Floyd’s Death/The Justice Department gave the agency the temporary power 'to enforce any federal crime committed as a result of the protests over the death of George Floyd'" (BuzzFeed News).

"Pvt. Triplett enlisted in the 53rd North Carolina Infantry Regiment in May 1862, then transferred to the 26th North Carolina Infantry Regiment early the following year..."

"... according to Confederate records. He fell ill as his regiment marched north toward Gettysburg and remained behind in a Virginia military hospital. He ran away from the hospital, records show, while his unit suffered devastating losses at Gettysburg. Of the 800 men in the 26th North Carolina, 734 were killed, wounded or captured in the battle Pvt. Triplett missed. Now a deserter, he made his way to Tennessee and, in 1864, enlisted in a Union regiment, the 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry. Known as Kirk’s Raiders, the 3rd North Carolina carried out a campaign of sabotage against Confederate targets in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina. After the war, former Kirk’s Raiders were despised in areas of the former Confederacy. Pvt. Triplett, by then a civilian with a reputation for orneriness, kept pet rattlesnakes at his home near Elk Creek, N.C. He often sat on his front porch with a pistol on his lap.... Pvt. Triplett married Elida Hall in 1924. She was 34 when Irene was born in 1930; he was 83."

Their daughter, Irene Triplett, was the last person to receive a Civil War pension (Wall Street Journal). Irene had mental disabilities, so as the "helpless adult child of a veteran," she qualified for government support. She has now died, at the age of 90.

June 2, 2020

At the Sunrise Café...

IMG_5829

... you can talk about whatever you want.

I took that photograph at 5:15 — 5 minutes before the "actual" sunrise time.

But that was then. There's a big thunderstorm rolling in now. The wind is howling... so consider using the Althouse Portal to Amazon.

"We're on your side! We're on your side!"

Color of Change President Rashad Robinson spent a "lot of time explaining" things to Mark Zuckerberg and said that Zuckerberg "just very much lacks the ability to understand it."

I'm reading "Zuckerberg Leaves Race Justice Leader Frustrated After Call" (Bloomberg).

I wonder if Robinson has "the ability to understand" that someone can understand your argument and still not agree with it. You can get so deeply into your own ideas that you think people who don't agree with you haven't grasped your point.

Robinson wants Facebook to take down Trump's "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" post.

If Zuckerberg spent a lot of time explaining his position to Robinson, I am sure Zuckerberg would never accuse Robinson of just very much lacking the ability to understand it.

"If you can’t keep a Fox News correspondent from getting attacked directly across from your house, how can you protect my family? How are you going to protect the country? How hard are you trying?"

Said Tucker Carlson, quoted in "Tucker Carlson of Fox News Accuses Trump of Being Too Lenient on Protests/In a sign of partisan divide, his monologue came as Anderson Cooper of CNN criticized Mr. Trump for calling protesters 'thugs'" (NYT).

More Tucker: "[I]f you don’t protect them — or, worse, if you seem like you can’t be bothered to protect them — then you’re done. It’s over. People will not forgive weakness." That was after Trump's little speech yesterday about dominating the streets and sending in the military even if state and local government don't want it.

Over on CNN, Anderson Cooper said: "The president seems to think dominating black people, dominating peaceful protesters, is law and order. He calls them ‘thugs.’ Who is the thug here? Hiding in a bunker, hiding behind a suit. Who is the thug?"

The Apple Store in Madison is chicly sculptural, boarded up in black.

FF9568CD-568A-4959-9807-30C3C66B2A6E_1_201_a

In normal times, that black expanse is all sparkling clear glass.

"The looters tore off the plywood that boarded up Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square, swarming by the dozens inside to steal whatever they could find before being chased down by the police."

"Others smashed the windows at a Nike store, grabbing shirts, jeans and zip-up jackets. They crashed into a Coach store, vandalized a Barnes & Noble, ransacked a Bergdorf Goodman branch and destroyed scores of smaller storefronts along the way. The eruption of looting in the central business district of Manhattan — long an emblem of the New York’s stature and prowess — struck yet another blow to a city reeling from the nation’s worst coronavirus outbreak....  On Tuesday... Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, criticized the city’s response, saying, 'The NYPD and the mayor did not do their job last night.' Beginning Monday afternoon and growing wilder as night fell, small bands of young people dressed mostly in black pillaged chain stores, upscale boutiques and kitschy trinket stores in Midtown Manhattan, as the police at first struggled in vain to impose order. Within hours, the normally vibrant center of wealth and upscale retail had descended into an almost clichéd vision of disorder: Streets were speckled with broken glass and trash can fires. Bands of looters pillaged stores without regard for nearby police officers....  'Stop doing this!' one distraught woman yelled, her friends holding her back as she lunged toward the looters. 'George Floyd’s brother said not to do this! That is not what this is about!' Several reporters and photographers for The New York Times witnessed numerous scenes of people setting upon storefronts all across Midtown.... Even as rows of police vans flanked the surrounding streets, the looters seemed to know that they were winning the game of cat and mouse...."

The NYT reports.

A highly rated comment over there:
This is what it looks like when a social movement dies in real time. The coverage in the NYT doesn't do justice to the sheer utter destruction in significant parts of the city - when you see it, it looks like war. People sitting comfortably in the suburbs have no problem justifying the criminality while playing woke on Twitter, but I'd love to see their reactions when its their communities that are being overrun, their neighbors' businesses are being looted and their streets are left burning. The protests are over and the message has been heard; at this point its just enabling criminality.

Vandalized stores on State Street.


They got Ian's Pizza! The darling of the 2011 anti-Walker protests!

A closer look — "Nasty ass Pizza":

New dean — Welcome!

Hey, Trump, what were you doing with that Bible in your hand?


What was Trump really doing with that Bible? Pick the answer closest to what you think.
 
pollcode.com free polls

Things we're starting to understand.

Things not believed.

Journalism in the passive voice: "The statue Forward, on the Capitol grounds facing State Street, is covered in paint."

A caption under a disturbing photograph, in "Photos: Madison anti-police protests enter Day 3 with promise of more to come" (Wisconsin State Journal).

Another caption: "Several windows on State Street were freshly shattered early Tuesday morning."

It's as if windows shatter on their own and statues ooze paint from within.

The "Forward" statue is the most important public sculpture in Madison, I believe. It embodies the state's motto and it is situated at the top of State Street in front of the Capitol. At the height of the anti-Scott-Walker protests in 2011, when there were huge crowds of protesters in and around the Capitol, the statue was appropriated for the protesters' expression, but only this much:

P1060750

That was when the inside of the Capitol was in this condition:

P1060772

I've also seen a pussy hat on Forward (during the Women's March in 2017) and the Guy Fawkes mask (during the Walker recall election in 2012):

Untitled

But what I'm seeing in the photograph is not a respectful appropriation of the statue as a speech prop. It's really hostile defacement and damage.

"The Madison School District administration is recommending that whenever staff and teachers must be laid off, qualifications and not seniority will decide who gets let go."

"The proposal suggests layoffs take into account a staffer’s qualifications, such as certifications, scores on a state-mandated teacher evaluation, training and cultural competency, and not the time someone has been working for the School District."

The Wisconsin State Journal reports.

The red flag is "cultural competency."

The article doesn't expand on the term, but I found this Wikipedia article: "Cultural competency training":
Cultural competence comprises four components: (a) awareness of one's own cultural worldview, (b) attitude towards cultural differences, (c) knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, and (d) cross-cultural skills....

School is considered to be the second learning home for kids.... In the United States, there is an underlying difference among parents as to how a kid should be raised, but it is clear that cultural competency should be taught at a young age....
You have to worry that this alternative to seniority could entail — intentionally or unwittingly — racial, religious, and political discrimination.

Imagine Bush endorses Biden... it isn't hard to do...


ADDED: Trump could easily use this against Biden. Consider "Joe Biden’s Vote for War/In October 2002, he was one of 77 senators who gave President George W. Bush the authority to use force in Iraq. He is still trying to explain that choice" (NYT, January 2020):
Nearly two decades later, Mr. Biden, who by 2005 was calling that vote a mistake, is running for president in part on his foreign policy experience, emphasizing his commander-in-chief credentials at a moment of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. Yet the Iraq war vote is part of the extensive record he cites, and he has struggled to accurately account for it on the campaign trail, repeatedly suggesting he opposed the war and Mr. Bush’s conduct from the beginning, claims that detailed fact checks have deemed wrong or misleading.
Trump was always against the Iraq war. A Bush endorsement for Biden would be a great way to alienate Bernie Sanders supporters.

"A Twitter account claiming to belong to a national 'antifa' organization and pushing violent rhetoric related to ongoing protests has been linked to the white nationalist group Identity Evropa..."

"... according to a Twitter spokesperson. The spokesperson said the account violated the company's platform manipulation and spam policy, specifically the creation of fake accounts. Twitter suspended the account after a tweet that incited violence. As protests were taking place in multiple states across the U.S. Sunday night, the newly created account, @ANTIFA_US, tweeted, 'Tonight’s the night, Comrades,' with a brown raised fist emoji and 'Tonight we say "F--- The City" and we move into the residential areas... the white hoods.... and we take what's ours …'"

NBC News reports.

I saw that "move into the residential areas" on Sunday night. I believe somebody in the comments here linked to a saved image of it. I found it extremely disturbing. Here, I still have the image, because I texted it to someone, because it did create the fear it was intended to create: