July 2, 2022

Sunrise — 5:05, 5:20, 5:24, 5:26





Write about whatever you want in the comments.

I've got 10 TikToks for you tonight. A nice round number. Let me know what you like best. I'm predicting #6.

1. Irish guys doing American accents to talk about the 4th of July.

2. The real deal behind this Bali beach.

3. A very charming rendition of "Gymnopedie."

4. The hottest birds.

5. A Kamala impression.

6. The meticulous restoration of an ox-tongue iron.

7. A porcupine tail hairbrush.

8. Sandy Dennis laughs and screams.

9. A puzzling Zillow listing.

10. "POV: you're at a diy house show." (This is a whole page of "duets," so click around. The first one, in the upper left corner is the original, and then others have added their interaction with him in a split screen.)

"I’d Rather Die Than Delete Truthful Tweet For Cancel Creeps."

 Writes Jordan Peterson at The Daily Wire.

Since Twitter did not do me the favor of actually specifying my crime, we unfortunately have to guess at why this has occurred — and that’s actually a big problem in and of itself, and also indicative of the utter carelessness of the Twitter organization with regard to the propriety of its own censorial actions. I should at least know exactly what I did wrong if I am required to “acknowledge that” my “Tweet violated the Twitter Rules.” 

What rules, you sons of bitches?...

"Whereas elopements began as a way to surreptitiously tie the knot, today, they’re all about creating something special, specific, and small — but by no means secret."

"These events are not meant for large crowds in the moment, but they are meant to be shown off, and so incredible photography becomes a nonnegotiable.... [E]lopements allow couples to 'treat themselves to their flavor of extravagance' — one that is suddenly attainable. So if a traditional wedding is vanilla or chocolate, think of this new brand of elopements as an Instagram-only hot-fudge sundae with a gold-leaf brownie balanced on top: It is lavish and luxurious, aspirational and impressive, meant to be admired by friends and strangers via social media. Delicious enough onscreen, but even better in real life."

"Salad is a first-world luxury..... Lettuce is a vehicle to bring refrigerated water from farm to table."

"If you have an intuitive sense that a food that’s 96 percent water is a waste of resources and a nutritional zero, you’re right.... Salad... uses too many resources for too little food to be a smart choice for either human or planetary health. It graces my table because I like it and because it can help me say no to seconds of lasagna. But that’s a solution to a first-world problem: too much food.... Lettuce lends its health halo to anything that gets put in a bowl with it.... If you buy a salad, and then remove the lettuce, you see what you’re really eating for lunch: sad little brown piles of croutons, dressing, shredded cheese, and chicken strips. Of course there are grain- or bean-rich salads, populated with bona fide nutritious vegetables like kale and broccoli.... But they’re the outliers. Most salads are nutritional and environmental losers."

"In Middle English, male children were 'knave' girls while female children were 'gay' girls."

"Only in Modern English did 'girl' come to refer only to female children. Why this happened isn’t certain, but it’s not uncommon for words to specialize over time in that way: 'meat' originally referred to all food or sustenance, kind of like the phrase 'daily bread'; 'apple' to fruits generally; and 'queen' began as a word for 'woman' in general, and only later specialized royally. However, which words go in which directions can be quite fortuitous, and some words acquire wider, rather than narrower meanings. 'Dog' first referred to certain larger, more powerful dogs, then came to mean all dogs. 'Child' came to mean all pre-adults rather than just the littlest ones. As we moved from Middle English to Modern English, even 'child' could take on a female meaning in a certain context. A line in Shakespeare’s 'The Winter’s Tale' asks, 'A boy or a child, I wonder?' And one might suppose that this suggests that a girl is somehow less distinctive than a boy, a mere generic 'child.' But it’s possible this actually traces back to when 'child' referred specifically to female children."

At a time when the classical canon was considered sacrosanct, [Richard] Taruskin advanced the philosophy that it was a product of political forces."

"His bête noire was the widespread notion that Beethoven symphonies and Bach cantatas could be divorced from their historical contexts. He savagely critiqued this idea of 'music itself,' which, he wrote, represented 'a decontaminated space within which music can be composed, performed and listened to in a cultural and historical vacuum, that is, in perfect sterility.'... Mr. Taruskin’s most consequential flamethrowing was his campaign against the movement for 'historically authentic' performances of early music.... 'Being the true voice of one’s time is (as Shaw might have said) roughly 40,000 times as vital and important as being the assumed voice of history,' he wrote in The Times in 1990. 'To be the expressive medium of one’s own age is — obviously, no? — a far worthier aim than historical verisimilitude. What is verisimilitude, after all, but correctness? And correctness is the paltriest of virtues. It is something to demand of students, not artists.'... The Oxford History of Western Music, published in 2005, grew out of Mr. Taruskin’s undergraduate lectures at Berkeley and his dissatisfaction with textbooks that presented a parade of unassailable masterpieces...."

"Everything — hair, makeup, jewelry, wardrobe and nail care — seemed to communicate calm, control and, especially, neutrality...."

"[Cassidy Hutchinson] wore minimally visible makeup — what appeared to be light bronzer, but no discernible colors of lipstick or eye shadow.... Social media teems with thousands of tutorials on 'reshaping one’s face' with contouring makeup, how to make eyes look bigger, noses smaller, skin smoother. The overall messages are clear but contradictory: 'become an artist of the self,' 'make yourself beautiful' and 'do it imperceptibly.' It’s a tall order — time-consuming, hard to ignore and subject to wide interpretation. And it’s especially hard for women in politics.... Many of the (often young and attractive) women of the Trump administration favored an overt, high-glam style, and we saw a lot of very long hair, dramatic false eyelashes, sheath dresses and stiletto pumps — a 'beauty pageant' vibe said to be favored by the former president.... At the hearing, Ms. Hutchinson’s image was distinctly different from that aesthetic. She dressed as if ready to blend into the corridors of power, to do her job, to convey depth over surface (although she was noticeably telegenic)..... And the nation is unlikely to forget the day Cassidy Hutchinson, with her precise, low-key style, told her disturbing story."

From "Muted Tones Spoke Loud and Clear/At a surprise session of the Jan. 6 hearings, Cassidy Hutchinson calibrated her appearance to keep us listening" by Rhonda Garelick (NYT).

I'm laughing at the happenstance of seeing "surprise" again so soon after going on about the tedium of surprise. But I'm blogging this piece because I'd blogged, just yesterday, about Cassidy Hutchinson's makeup: She seems to be wearing dark foundation on her face that doesn't match her skin tone. I'm saying that based on the light pink color of her hand, which we keep seeing held up next to her face, because that's the appropriately evocative taking-the-oath position.

"[Trump] recently surprised some advisers by saying he might declare his candidacy on social media without warning even his own team..."

"... and aides are scrambling to build out basic campaign infrastructure in time for an announcement as early as this month. That timing would be extraordinary — presidential candidates typically announce their candidacies in the year before the election — and could have immediate implications for Republicans seeking to take control of Congress in November. Mr. Trump’s presence as an active candidate would make it easier for Democrats to turn midterm races into a referendum on the former president, who since losing in 2020 has relentlessly spread lies about the legitimacy of the election. Some Republicans fear that would distract from pocketbook issues that have given their party a strong advantage in congressional races.... One of the most compelling arguments against an early announcement had been federal campaign finance laws. If and when Mr. Trump announces, he would be ineligible to use any of the $100 million that he has parked in his political action committee to directly support his presidential run. His campaign would also be constrained by a strict $2,900-per-person donation cap for the primaries...."

He "surprised some advisers by saying he might" surprise them. So much surprising. And it's all so predictable. Do you ever get tired of the tedium of surprise? 

Am I the first person to write "the tedium of surprise"? Google says yes, but...
... taking the quotes off, the second hit has trump in it: "The Tedium of Trump." And that was back in 2020, just before the election.

From that article:

What sort of law protecting access to abortion do you think Congress should pass?

That's a question I asked yesterday, because I was dissatisfied with the question Emerson polling had asked — "Should Congress pass a law legalizing the right to abortion?" There's such a wide range of things Congress could do, notably protect a short period of entitlement to abortion. 

I don't expect Congress to take advantage of the opportunity to come together and do something practical and helpful, and obviously my little unscientific poll shows an overwhelming preference for Congress to do nothing at all, but I just wanted to suggest that it would be sensible for Congress to create a statutory right to abortion in the first 10 weeks, leaving the rest of the legislative choice to the states.  

I'd like to see some proper polling of this question. I understand why Democrats in Congress are concentrating on the "viability" line that the Court had identified. But I wish they would consider an earlier point, in order to get a modest time-limited right in place to meet the real needs of women in states, like mine, who now have no right to abortion.


July 1, 2022

Sunrise — 5:13, 5:22, 5:26, 5:28.





Write about whatever you like in the comments.

"A group of educators in Texas proposed referring to slavery as 'involuntary relocation' in second-grade classes..."

"... before being rebuffed by the State Board of Education.... Aicha Davis, a Democratic board member representing Dallas and Fort Worth... told The Washington Post on Friday that when looking through a hefty package of recommendations, she saw the proposed language the group wanted to suggest, and 'I immediately questioned it. I am not going to support anything that describes the slave trade as ‘involuntary relocation'.... I’m not going to support anything that diminishes that journey.' Part of the proposed draft standards for the curriculum directed students to 'compare journeys to America, including voluntary Irish immigration and involuntary relocation of African people during colonial times,' the Texas Tribune reported and Davis confirmed to The Post. She said that such comparisons were 'absolutely' not fair. 'The journey for the Irish folk is totally different from the journey of Africans,' she said, adding that any comparisons 'will distort a lot of things in a young child’s mind.'"

It was an invitation to the children to compare things, that is, to think for themselves. Why wouldn't you imagine that the children could grasp how much worse it is to be forced into slavery? 

What is wrong with teaching the tragic story of the Irish? Why diminish their suffering and slough them off as "Irish folk"? History isn't a matter of deciding which people suffered the most, then only telling their story and forbidding all comparisons, but what school boards do never has much to do with ensuring that history is taught in a soundly professional way. 

"Are We Still Monogamous? And 6 Other Questions to Ask Your Partner."

A NYT piece. I've extracted some snippets of advice for you if you're in a couple:
... look back over the past week or month and ask, “How many minutes did we spend actually doing something fun or pleasurable together?”... name one thing they appreciate about their sex life.... identify what [an expert] called micromoments when they came through for each other.... regularly update their 'monogamy agreements' by discussing the details of what forms of attachment they find acceptable outside of their main relationship, and asking whether those have changed.... focus on asking for what they want and what they need....
The article assumes you have something it calls a "monogamy agreement." Is this a document? We're told it's supposed to be "specific":
Perhaps you and your partner long ago agreed to sexual fidelity. But what about online conversations? “What about things like pornography?... What about flirting with a friend? What about having lunch with an ex?”

If you're specifying and multiply all the ways in which it's possible to be nonmonogamous, does that mean you're awfully monogamous or awfully nonmonogamous?  

ADDED: Yeah, what about online conversations?

"New York City suddenly removed its color-coded coronavirus alert system on Thursday just as newer Omicron subvariants are fueling another rise in cases and hospitalizations."

"Mayor Eric Adams and health officials quietly took down the city’s high profile alert system that warned New Yorkers when they were at a greater risk of catching the virus and should consider taking more precautions.... Under the color-coded alert system introduced by Mr. Adams in March, certain health policy measures were recommended at each level of risk. At the high risk level, the mayor was encouraged to require face masks in all public indoor settings and to bring back a vaccine mandate for restaurants and bars that was in place under the last mayor, Bill de Blasio. When the city reached the high risk level in May, Mr. Adams chose not to reintroduce mask and vaccine mandates...."

Maybe you don't want policy choices too tightly to the facts about the virus. There are other factors to consider — the economy, the psychology of the people, the political risks. Looking at all the factors — that's science too.

What does "suggests" suggest? It makes something sound untrue, but you haven't shown anything untrue.

I'm trying to read — at Politico — "Clarence Thomas suggests Covid vaccines are developed using cells of ‘aborted children’/Cells obtained from elective abortions decades ago were used in testing during the Covid vaccine development process, a practice that is common in vaccine testing."
Maybe there was an earlier draft of this article that made more sense, but the way it is now, what Clarence Thomas "suggests" happened is the same thing Politico tells us really happened.

What's not true is that the vaccines contain cells from aborted fetuses or cells derived from cells from aborted fetuses, but Thomas didn't say that. He said that some litigants opposed to a vaccine mandate "object on religious grounds to all available COVID–19 vaccines because they were developed using cell lines derived from aborted children."

Is it wrong to confront the witnesses against you?

This is in the L.A. Times:

"Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn its 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling... 59% of voters think that Congress should pass a law legalizing the right to abortion."

Well, that's poorly written, by Emerson College Polling

What does it mean to "legalize a right"? The statute would legalize abortion. Or you could say the statute would create a right to abortion or make a statutory right out of what once was recognized as a constitutional right. But there's no need to "legalize a right." There's no law against an abortion right that needs removing. The states are free to make laws that give women the right to have an abortion. That may not always be the case. It might be that if Republicans of a certain sort win enough seats in Congress, they will pass a federal law proscribing laws that create a statutory right. At that point, if you wanted to get that law repealed, just to leave it to the states to make their own abortion laws, it might make sense to speak of "legalizing the right to abortion." But even then, it would be awkward.

I downloaded the full poll and I see that was the question: "Should Congress pass a law legalizing the right to abortion?" Did anyone respond, "What do you mean?" 

"Biden With Higher Approval Than US Congress & Supreme Court."

"The latest Emerson College Polling national survey of US voters finds..."
....a majority disapprove of President Biden, Congress, and the Supreme Court. Biden has a 40% job approval, while 53% disapprove of the job he is doing as president. Since last month, Biden’s approval has increased two points. The US Congress has a 19% job approval, while 70% disapprove of the job they are doing. The Supreme Court has a 36% job approval; 54% disapprove.

That's a very nice way to deliver Biden's low approval rating. Everyone else is even less popular. 

And Democrats seem to be stuck with him:

"[T]he framers believed that a republic— a thing of the people—would be more likely to enact just laws than a regime administered by a ruling class of largely unaccountable 'ministers.'"

Writes Neil Gorsuch, citing Federalist No. 11, concurring in yesterday's case, West Virginia v. EPA.

He continues:
From time to time, some have questioned that assessment.1 
That footnote goes to an attack on Woodrow Wilson (I've replaced the citiation with a hot link and added boldface):
For example, Woodrow Wilson famously argued that “popular sovereignty” “embarrasse[d]” the Nation because it made it harder to achieve “executive expertness.” The Study of Administration. In Wilson’s eyes, the mass of the people were “selfish, ignorant, timid, stubborn, or foolish.” He expressed even greater disdain for particular groups, defending “[t]he white men of the South” for “rid[ding] themselves, by fair means or foul, of the intolerable burden of governments sustained by the votes of ignorant [African-Americans].” He likewise denounced immigrants “from the south of Italy and men of the meaner sort out of Hungary and Poland,” who possessed “neither skill nor energy nor any initiative of quick intelligence.” To Wilson, our Republic “tr[ied] to do too much by vote.” 
Sometimes the Critical Race Theory comes from the right!

That's at page 4 of his opinion. At page 16, attack the dissent, he brings back Woodrow Wilson:

"We have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law, and the way to do that is to make sure the Congress votes to do that. And if the filibuster gets in the way, it’s like voting rights, we provide an exception for this, or an exception to the filibuster for this action."

Said President Biden, quoted in "Biden, Chiding Court, Endorses Ending Filibuster to Codify Abortion Rights/The president called the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade 'destabilizing' and said Congress needed to act to codify it into law" (NYT).
It was only the second time Mr. Biden has urged Congress to scrap its rules on the filibuster. In January, he called on lawmakers to make an exception to pass legislation to add voting rights protections. Speaking at a news conference in Madrid... Mr. Biden lamented the impact of the court’s decision on a woman’s right to have an abortion, calling Roe a “critical, critical piece.”

A critical, critical piece of what? I'm sure he left it hanging. The NYT would not edit him into less articulateness. Here's the full statement at the White House website: "Remarks by President Biden in Press Conference/Madrid, Spain."

Ah! An entire press conference. Interestingly, Biden had already used the phrase "critical, critical." Earlier in the press conference, a NYT reporter asked him "How long is it fair to expect American drivers and drivers around the world to pay that premium for this war?" He said:

June 30, 2022

Sunrise — 5:19, 5:20, 5:24, 5:25.





Talk about whatever you want in the comments.

"You'll get more than dirty looks, you'll get the shushing of a lifetime by retirees who just dropped $300 on wine and cheese."

That's if you sit close to the stage and don't keep quiet. That's the advice at Reddit given to a Madisonian who is thinking of going to next week's Concert On The Square and wants to know if there's any "unwritten etiquette" that needs to be observed.

If you're wondering if I'm one of the shushing retirees, no, I've lived in Madison for 38 years, and I've never gone to one Concert On The Square. I don't know if I've gone to any sort of outdoor classical music concert in my entire life. If I did, it wouldn't be because I thought it would be good listening but because it's a social occasion. Isn't classical music supposed to be indoors? Don't you need walls for it to sound right?

Let's take a solemn moment to witness the swearing in of Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Will Trump be charged with a crime?

This is your big chance to think about an array of options and rank them in order of likelihood. I'm sure I'm forgetting some possibilities and that you will tell me about them in comments. I'm deliberately leaving out the possibility that he could die before things are resolved. That's too morbid. I'm also leaving out the possibility that the United States itself could pass away. That's too remote, though perhaps not all that remote to those who are inclined to believe in coups.

Here are your options, identified by letter so you can use numbers to rank them. I'm putting them roughly in order of severity.

A. Trump is never charged with any crime.

B. Trump is charged with a crime but President Biden — perhaps observing that "we are not a revengeful people" — immediately pardons him, so he is never brought to trial, and the government is never challenged to prove the charges.

"[T]he Bolsheviks, under Vladimir Lenin, took control of this symbol of tsarist decadence" — The Imperial Porcelain Manufactory — and renamed it the State Porcelain Manufactory, "seeing surprising potential in it..."

"...  as a wheelhouse for artistic innovation and the production of propaganda. Stocks of unpainted, snow-white china became a tantalising canvas for avant-garde artists keen to express their utopian ideologies and rouse enthusiasm for the new socialist era, giving this delicate, bourgeois material an unexpected, almost contradictory, second life.... Agitation porcelain, as it became known, featured effigies of Lenin and was decorated with calls to action.... [C]rockery once intended for the lavish feasts of the Romanovs was now emblazoned with militant Reds trampling upon their white ermine furs (Adamovich, 1923). Danko's porcelain chess set (1923) used the same colour play, with a red army taking on a white skeleton king whose proletariat pawns are in chains. While the porcelain plates' blocky constructivist artwork conveyed energy, explosions and destruction, the requisitioning of the factory was part of a softer approach to demonstrate the communists' respect for Russian patrimony, and ingratiate the precarious new regime with the powerful upper-middle classes whose support they depended on in order to govern."

"It’s good to know that Melville, according to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s son, Julian, had the company of 'a black Newfoundland dog, shaggy like himself, good natured and simple.'"

"('My shaggy ally' was how [Emily] Dickinson referred to her own Newfie, Carlo.) Readers of Moby-Dick may remember that after Ishmael wakes up in Queequeg’s arms in the Spouter-Inn, and complains of the 'unbecomingness of his hugging a fellow male in that matrimonial sort of style,' Queequeg 'shook himself all over like a Newfoundland dog just from the water.'"

I looked up the passage in my own (Kindle) copy of the book:

Putin "obviously isn't" a woman? Do we still talk like that? Come on, Boris, your effort to sound up to date is at least 5 years out of date.

Somebody responded:

"Admitting and accepting guilt is not easy. It’s painful looking at yourself in the mirror. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know better 25 years ago.... It was after what happened to George Floyd..."

"... that I began to wrestle with my having bought into systemic racism in ways I was never aware of. That was really the moment that I began to examine the ways I had participated. I knew then I needed to course-correct.... What makes this truly emotional for me is that I want this connection I didn’t have.... I deeply, deeply want this connection with the Black community that I didn’t have. Because of 'Friends,' I never attained that.... In this case, I’m finally, literally putting my money where my mouth is.... I want to make sure from now on in every production I do that I am conscious in hiring people of color and actively pursue young writers of color. I want to know I will act differently from now on. And then I will feel unburdened."

Kauffman — who gets this fawning publicity — endowed a professorship in the African and African American Studies department at Brandeis. The amount of her donation is 1% of her $400 million net worth. I'd say she ought to contribute something more like $40 million before she claims to have literally put her my money where my mouth is. It's still the wrong use of "literally," but it wouldn't be so bad.

"It was a rowdy, frequently lawless brotherhood bound, in no particular order, by machismo, tattoos, winged death-head insignia, booze, dope, rides to nowhere..."

"... on thundering Harley-Davidson hogs and a lust for the unfettered freedom found on the open road. 'Discover your limits by exceeding them,' Mr. Barger urged. Woven into the Hells Angels history was a tradition of crime and violence — much of it involving Mr. Barger, a fact he boastfully acknowledged. He once referred to himself as belonging to a band of 'card-carrying felons.'... Mr. Barger’s rough and anarchic manner belied a disciplined entrepreneurial streak. He promoted his renegade brand, carefully marketing Hells Angels-themed T-shirts, yo-yos, sunglasses and California wines. He registered trademarks on club logos and designs, and retained an intellectual property rights lawyer to sue poachers, a frequent occurrence.... In 1998, he moved from Oakland to suburban Phoenix.... He ran a motorcycle repair shop and mellowed in suburban life, doing yoga and continuing to lift weights... He kept riding the open road, thousands of miles a year.... What did his nonconformist life teach him? 'To become a real man.... you need to join the army first and then do some time in jail.'" 

"I once knew a man who saw what little had been achieved since independence in a land filled with people with the greatest potential for achievement, and yet they were poor."

"But he got it done. Sometimes, with the needed support. Sometimes, without. So, will it be with his son. You will get no excuses from me."

Said Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in his inaugural address, referring to his father. And... there to witness it all, Imelda Marcos, still alive and kicking — I say "kicking" to call attention to her feet, famously possessed of a multitude of shoes — at 92. 

"It is very John Roberts to hold his last two opinions for the final day, one of which hands a win to the Biden administration and the other of which hands a big loss to the Biden administration."

 Writes James Romoser at SCOTUSblog.

The Biden loss, discussed in the previous post, is West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency. 

The Biden win is Biden v. Texas. Here's the NYT write-up, by Adam Liptak:

"The Supreme Court on Thursday limited the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon emissions from power plants..."

"... dealing a blow to the Biden administration’s efforts to address climate change. The vote was 6 to 3, with the court’s three liberal justices in dissent, saying that the majority had stripped the E.P.A. of 'the power to respond to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.'...  The implications of the ruling could extend well beyond environmental policy and further signal that the court’s newly expanded conservative majority is deeply skeptical of the power of administrative agencies to address major issues facing the nation and the planet."

"I was interested to see that Hillary called Clarence Thomas a 'person of grievance.' That sounds like a phrase, whether newly minted or not, that Ann might be interested in discussing."

Wrote Norpois, in a comment in last night's open thread.
Is a "person of grievance" someone who overdoes their grievancing? as I think Hillary meant? More generally, aren't virtually ALL Hillary supporters "person of [some sort of] grievance"? I don't necessarily mean that in a condemnatory way. You could say, in a democracy, all political views are expressions of grievance. Is this a new phrase I've missed?
Here's the video clip of Hillary:

There's already enough paranoia about bugging out and hunkering down — must we add prions?!

I'm reading this advice about "go bags" and "stay bins" in The New York Times:
No matter where you live, every home should have a “go bag” and a “stay bin.” The go bag is what you grab when you have to leave the house in a hurry, whether to get to the emergency room or to evacuate because of a fire or a hurricane. The stay bin is a two-week stash of essentials to be used in case you have to hunker down at home without power, water or heat. In the event that you need to stay put instead of flee, keep a stay bin in your home. Use a large plastic bin or a similar container to set aside the essential items for a two-week prion....

I'm just noticing that the game The Floor Is Lava is indoor parkour.

I'd linked to a TikTok I called "A grown man plays the floor is lava." And tim maguire said:
I'd like to see #4 on a Parkour course, whereas I hate to see him putting all his weight on things that were not designed to hold his weight. Left Bank is probably right--he's a renter.
Yeah, I thought, The Floor Is Lava is indoor parkour. But that can't be a new insight. Googling, I found this:

That made me think about something I just noticed on Instapundit:

MAYBE — JUST MAYBE — MEN AND WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT AND DON’T ALWAYS SHARE THE SAME DESIRES AND GOALS: Women are still less likely to aspire to leadership in business, despite decades of gender initiatives – we need to find out why.

Posted at 7:35 am by Stephen Green Link to Article 

"The federal prosecutors working on the case watched [Cassidy Hutchinson's] appearance before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot and were just as astonished..."

".. by her account of former President Donald J. Trump’s increasingly desperate bid to hold on to power as other viewers. The panel did not provide them with videos or transcripts of her taped interviews with committee members beforehand, according to several officials, leaving them feeling blindsided. The testimony from the aide... came at a critical moment in parallel investigations that will soon converge, and possibly collide, as the committee wraps up a public inquiry geared for maximum political effect and the department intensifies a high-stakes investigation aimed at securing airtight convictions. Committee members have repeatedly suggested that Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has not moved fast enough to follow up their investigative leads. But for reasons that are not entirely clear... members have resisted turning over hundreds of transcripts until they are done with their work...."

Something doesn't fit together! The NYT says the reasons "are not entirely clear." That's putting it mildly! 

I did put an ellipsis after that phrase, and I don't want to seem as though I'm withholding something insightful the reporters —  Glenn Thrush, Luke Broadwater and Michael S. Schmidt — might have said. 

Here's their sketching out of the possibly reasons that may be lurking inside the unclarity: 1. "classic Washington bureaucratic territorialism," 2. "the department’s unwillingness to share information," and 3. "the desire to stage-manage a successful public forum."

Something's amiss. Let's brainstorm some less mushy reasons. I invite you to speculate about the motives and to put it as clearly as you can or as brutally as you wish. 

June 29, 2022

Sunrise — 5:22, 5:23, 5:24, 5:26.





Write about anything you want in the comments.

I've chosen 6 TikToks tonight — chosen them for myself. It's a crapshoot whether you'll like them. But tell me what you like.

1. Robot answers the trolley problem. 

2. A simple approach to cutting your own hair.

3. Being a Democratic or a Republican should not be a life-style brand.

4. A grown man plays the floor is lava.

5. How different farm birds eat watermelon.

6. Girls who like their own name too much.

"[S]hortly after he cinched the Democratic nomination, [Bill] Clinton gave a speech to [Jesse] Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition group — in which he attacked the group..."

"... for also hosting a relatively obscure rapper named Sister Souljah, who in the wake of that year’s Los Angeles riots said in an interview, 'If Black people kill Black people every day, why not have a week and kill white people?' Clinton told the Rainbow Coalition that 'if you took the words "white" and "Black" and reversed them, you might think David Duke was giving that speech.' Jackson was furious and called on Clinton to apologize — exactly the response Clinton was hoping for. The Black syndicated columnist Clarence Page later wrote that by picking the fight, Clinton 'impressed swing voters, particularly white suburbanites, with a confident independence from Jackson that other Democratic presidential candidates had not shown.' A loudly performed repudiation of a putative far-left extremist would come to be known as a 'Sister Souljah moment.' Clinton ran for president as a factional candidate, against the Republicans but also against his party’s liberal wing, so that when he won, he remade the Democratic Party in his own — and the D.L.C.’s — image. In 1995, midway through Clinton’s first term, 23 moderate House Democrats formed the Blue Dog Caucus to, in their words, 'represent the middle of the partisan spectrum.'"

From "The Vanishing Moderate Democrat/Their positions are popular. So why are they going extinct?" by Jason Zengerle (NYT). This is a very long article. I've just pulled a little snippet from it.

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul "has filed a lawsuit... seeking to block the state's 173-year-old ban on abortions that was triggered after the collapse of Roe v. Wade ...."

Kaul has no plans of enforcing the ban, though local law enforcement officials could choose to do so. [Governor Tony] Evers said Tuesday he would grant clemency to those prosecuted under the ban....

But those 2 won't be in office forever, and acts done now could be prosecuted after they are gone.  

You've heard of the smoking gun. Now comes the splattering ketchup.

From "Here's every word from the sixth Jan. 6 committee hearing on its investigation" (NPR):
He motioned for me to come in and then pointed towards the front of the room near the fireplace mantel and the TV, where I first noticed there was catsup dripping down the wall and there was a shattered porcelain plate on the floor. The valet had articulated that the President was extremely angry at the Attorney General's AP interview and had thrown his lunch against the wall, which was causing him to have to clean up. So I grabbed a towel and started wiping the catsup off of the wall to help the valet out. And he said something to the effect of, he's really ticked off about this. I would stay clear of him for right now. He's really, really ticked off about this right now..... There were — there were several times throughout my tenure with the Chief of Staff that I was aware of him either throwing dishes or flipping the tablecloth to let all the contents of the table go onto the floor and likely break or go everywhere.

Now that we know about the ketchup — "catsup" — what should we do? How off the norm is it to express anger in the White House by throwing an object? 

I think first of Hillary Clinton throwing a lamp at Bill. Did that happen? I'm seeing "That ‘Hillary Clinton threw a lamp/book/Bible’ story has been circulating for ages" (WaPo):

Kamala Harris and her "really interesting" Venn diagram.

Wanting to write about something Kamala Harris had said about the overturning of Roe v. Wade, I thought I'd find it in The Washington Post. But the name "Kamala" appeared nowhere on the home page and a search for the most recent mentions of her name turned up this:

Her name hasn't appeared in The Washington Post in 20 days. If we go back as far as the beginning of May, there are 3 mentions — 2 of which are about the prospect of the overruling of Roe v. Wade.

June 28, 2022

Sunrise — 5:25, 5:47, 5:48.




Talk about whatever you like in the comments.

I've got 6 TikToks for you tonight. Let me know what you like best.

1. Your girlfriend who has a boyfriend is really annoying

2. The coffee is the perfect color and the paper towel is repurposed.

3. Moby is displeased with President Biden.

4. Helena Bonham Carter has a poem she sends to people she feels are a bit lonely.

5. In the 80s, Ricky Gervais aimed to be something of a David Bowie.

6. If you want a really sweet relationship....

"Preoccupied with spiritualism and the occult as well as with her painting, Ms. Keane said nothing publicly even after discovering what her husband was up to..."

"... remaining passively complicit in the fraud for a decade. She even sat through press interviews, nodding approvingly while he told of his own artistic struggles and virtuosities. 'The whole thing just snowballed, and it was too late to say it wasn’t him who painted them,' Ms. Keane told The Times years later. 'I’ll always regret that I wasn’t strong enough to stand up for my rights.'"

"Hey pal, it’s Dad. It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you get a chance just give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk to you. I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear. And anyway if you get a chance give me a call, I love you."

Said Joe Biden, in a voicemail in late 2018, quoted in "Voicemail indicates Joe Biden knew of Hunter deals with 'spy chief of China'" (NY Post).

During a campaign appearance in Iowa in September 2019, Joe Biden said, “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.” His former press secretary, Jen Psaki, and his chief of staff, Ron Klain, have both repeatedly echoed that sentiment.

The Biden voicemail followed a Times report on Dec. 12, 2018, detailing Hunter’s dealings with Ye Jianming, a “fast-rising” Chinese oil tycoon who headed CEFC China Energy Company in 2016 before being arrested two years later amid allegations of economic crimes.

"Stardust, an astrology-focused menstrual tracking app that launched on the App Store last year... one of Apple’s top three most-downloaded free apps right now... [had] put in writing that it will voluntarily..."

"... without even being legally required to—comply with law enforcement if it’s asked to share user data.... A widely-shared concern is that law enforcement can use personal data created in apps against people who’ve sought or gotten abortions illegally."

That went up at Vice yesterday, but there's an update saying that "Stardust changed its privacy policy to omit the phrase about cooperating with law enforcement 'whether or not legally required.'" 

 You can attempt to comprehend a TikTok from Stardust, which I'll put after the jump. It's pretty complicated — includes the phrase: "We're not an evil corporation...."

Is it paranoid to imagine that the government would aim to keep track of women's menstrual cycles for the purpose of detecting abortions? We're often chided for not caring enough about how much privacy we sacrifice by using apps, and this one is really intrusive, and it's luring in young women who have the gullibility to want to connect their period to astrology. 

"In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, former vice president Mike Pence says abortion should be banned nationwide..."

"... and is planning behind the scenes to focus on the issue in the coming weeks, according to advisers.... On Friday, Pence’s organization, Advancing American Freedom, shared a video highlighting that record.... Some Republican strategists called the end of Roe an opportunity for Pence.... 'He just needs an issue set that he can really dig into that’s not about January 6 or Trump or anything,' said Republican strategist David Kochel, who has worked on six presidential campaigns. 'He’s comfortable talking about [abortion],' he added. But Kochel said Trump still has the simplest message to voters about the Supreme Court ruling: 'You’re welcome.'... Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich on Friday disputed that Trump has privately expressed misgivings about overturning Roe.... Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)... said in a recent statement that the state would 'work to expand pro-life protections' but did not chart out specifics.... Former secretary of state Mike Pompeo called for increased support for pregnancy care centers, organizations that counsel people against abortions and provide them with resources..... Nikki Haley... said in a statement that she hopes for 'a renewed commitment from elected lawmakers to support and protect mothers and their pre-born babies.'"

"A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 50% of Likely U.S. voters approve of the Supreme Court abortion ruling, including 38% who Strongly Approve..."

"Forty-five percent (45%) disapprove of the Supreme Court’s new ruling, including 38% who Strongly Disapprove."

38% in the opposing strongly categories. Exactly balanced.

But in the larger groups — combining stronglys with other degrees of feeling including the passionless and the utterly bored — there are 5 more percentage points on the side of approving of what the Court did. 

Why might that be? It could be that some people approve of whatever the Supreme Court does. They're the experts! They ought to know. That said, 50% is way less that the total percentage that know absolutely that they personally will never need an abortion. Maybe there are a lot of people who just want to be rid of the unpleasant subject — either way. Don't ask me. Ask the Supreme Court. 

Well, it goes right along with the loss of the right to abortion.

I'm reading "Every branch of the military is struggling to make its 2022 recruiting goals, officials say/With a record low number of Americans eligible to serve, and few of those willing to do it, this 'is the year we question the sustainability of the all-volunteer force,' said an expert" (WaPo).

And you thought your body was yours.

But wait!

"Roe v. Wade... invited no dialogue with legislators. Instead, it seemed entirely to remove the ball from the legislators’ court."

"In 1973, when Roe issued, abortion law was in a state of change across the nation. As the Supreme Court itself noted, there was a marked trend in state legislatures 'toward liberalization of abortion statutes.' That movement for legislative change ran parallel to another law revision effort then underway — the change from fault to no-fault divorce regimes, a reform that swept through the state legislatures and captured all of them by the mid-1980s. No measured motion, the Roe decision left virtually no state with laws fully conforming to the Court’s delineation of abortion regulation still permissible. Around that extraordinary decision, a well-organized and vocal right-to-life movement rallied and succeeded, for a considerable time, in turning the legislative tide in the opposite direction."

Said Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in 1992, shortly before Bill Clinton nominated her to the Supreme Court, quoted yesterday, in Aaron Blake's WaPo column, "What Ruth Bader Ginsburg really said about Roe v. Wade."

Blake is quoting that to correct people who might think Ginsburg thought that Roe was wrong about the existence of a right to abortion. 

"The bodies of 46 migrants were found in the back of a sweltering tractor-trailer in San Antonio on Monday..."

"... the deadliest smuggling incident of its kind in U.S. history.... Rescuers pulled 16 people from the truck who were still alive and conscious, including four minors, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood told reporters.... According to Hood, the bodies removed from the truck 'were hot to the touch.'... The deaths come amid a surge in migration at the border, with the latest U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures showing that immigration arrests there in May rose to the highest levels ever recorded.... Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) was quick to blame the president for the tragedy, writing that 'these deaths are on Biden' in a tweet.... The deaths 'are the result of his deadly open border policies,' Abbott wrote. 'They show the deadly consequences of his refusal to enforce the law.'"

WaPo reports.

The previous record number of deaths in one incident — in the United States — was 19.

"[Elizabeth] Warren called on Biden to declare a national medical emergency, and she said the administration could establish Planned Parenthood outposts on the edge of national parks."

"'The point is the acknowledgment of the emergency situation and the urgency of getting help out,' she said in an interview. 'People need help immediately.' Biden and his team have signaled discomfort with many of these ideas.... A senior White House official said Biden is simply being honest with the public about what he can do unilaterally.... The official said that while the proposal to set up abortion clinics on federal lands was 'well-intentioned,' it could put pregnant people and providers at risk, and that in states where abortion is illegal, women and providers who are not federal employees could be prosecuted. Some legal experts have also raised questions about whether such a proposal would stand up in court, and White House officials worry it would violate the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion except if a pregnant person’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy results from rape or incest.... If Biden pursued aggressive executive actions to expand abortion access, even if those moves were ultimately overturned by a court, it would energize supporters and signal to voters that Democrats are putting up a fight, advocates said.... Some Democrats... say it’s critical to show voters what the party would do if it had even slightly bigger majorities...."

ADDED: She should have said national forests

June 27, 2022

At the Milkweed Café...


... you can talk about anything you want.

"One frustrated Title IX coordinator told me she sometimes thought of her job as running 'The Break Up Office.'"

"She said many young people lacked the skills to navigate relationships themselves, and often didn’t want to. Why should they? Instead of focusing on punishing students who commit truly bad acts and aiding their victims, campus administrators transmitted the message that recasting any sexual experience as malign, and then reporting it to school authorities, is an act of bravery."

"We’re never going to be the ones to cross the police barrier or cross something in order to get to somebody."

Said Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of Proud Boys, in a recorded video conference on Dec. 30, 2020, quoted in "Proud Boys Ignored Orders Given at Pre-Jan. 6 Meeting/The directives, given during a video conference, included obeying police lines and keeping away from ordinary protesters. But members of the far-right group played aggressive roles in several breaches at the Capitol" (NYT).

"More than 1 million voters across 43 states have switched to the Republican Party over the last year..."

"...  according to voter registration data analyzed by The Associated Press. The previously unreported number reflects a phenomenon that is playing out in virtually every region of the country — Democratic and Republican states along with cities and small towns — in the period since President Joe Biden replaced former President Donald Trump. But nowhere is the shift more pronounced — and dangerous for Democrats — than in the suburbs, where well-educated swing voters who turned against Trump’s Republican Party in recent years appear to be swinging back."

"A law that would have allowed noncitizens to vote in local elections in New York City was struck down by a State Supreme Court justice in Staten Island who said it violated the State Constitution...."

"The legislation placed New York City at the forefront of a national debate about voting rights, as some states began to expand eligibility while others went in the other direction, moving to explicitly bar noncitizens from voting."

"In the end, the [School] District’s case hinges on the need to generate conflict between an individual’s rights under the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses and its own Establishment Clause duties..."

"... and then develop some explanation why one of these Clauses in the First Amendment should '"trum[p]"' the other two. But the project falters badly. Not only does the District fail to offer a sound reason to prefer one constitutional guarantee over another. It cannot even show that they are at odds. In truth, there is no conflict between the constitutional commands before us. There is only the 'mere shadow' of a conflict, a false choice premised on a misconstruction of the Establishment Clause. And in no world may a government entity’s concerns about phantom constitutional violations justify actual violations of an individual’s First Amendment rights. Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic—whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a [football] field, and whether they manifest through the spoken word or a bowed head. Here, a government entity sought to punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment. And the only meaningful justification the government offered for its reprisal rested on a mistaken view that it had a duty to ferret out and suppress religious observances even as it allows comparable secular speech. The Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination."

From Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, announced just now, written by Justice Gorsuch and joined by the 5 Justices most likely to join Gorsuch.

Oh! I'd forgotten the Supreme Court is doing new case announcements this morning!

They haven't started yet, but the 5-minute-warning buzzer just sounded.

Watch the roll out of new cases at SCOTUSblog, here.

1. "The Court holds that both the free exercise and free speech clauses protect [a coach's] right to pray at midfield following high school football games." Here's the opinion, Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. From the syllabus of the opinion:

"If we can’t safely go out and have sex and know that we will have a choice after that, then why should we be expected to?"

Such a crazy question, asked by Caroline Healey, "a 22-year-old event coordinator," quoted in "Sex Strike! Abstinence trends on Twitter in wake of Roe v. Wade ruling" (NY Post).

It's not just on Twitter. The Post encountered Healy at a protest. She also said:

“I think it’s absolutely valid for us to be withholding the Holy Grail that men seem to think is important... Why shouldn’t we withhold it if we’re always worried that they’re not going put a condom on, that they’re going take one off after we ask them to...."

That's hath wrought.

I'm trying to read "How Susan Collins can repair the damage she has wrought." It's Washington Post column by Jennifer Rubin. 

The "damage" she wrought was voting for Trump's Supreme Court nominees. By her own statement, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh conned her:
After the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health was released, she asserted in a statement, “This decision is inconsistent with what Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said in their testimony and their meetings with me, where they both were insistent on the importance of supporting long-standing precedents that the country has relied upon.” She then declared that she wanted to preserve Roe in statute, citing her support for the Reproductive Choice Act, which she introduced. (When a similar, Democratic bill came to the floor, she voted no. Her excuse: “It doesn’t protect the right of a Catholic hospital to not perform abortions.” In other words, millions of women whose rights she pledged to defend should take a back seat to … Catholic hospitals?)

Hmm. How about the damage wrought by Democrats who have refused to pass Collin's Reproductive Choice Act because they're keen on depriving Catholic hospitals of the right not to perform abortions?

ADDED: "Wrought" is archaic and it's used these days for effect, so what effect is intended? It's not jocose. Is it Biblical — a grand pronouncement? 

But I must concede that you don't have to use "hath" for "have" whenever you think "wrought" is better than "done." The OED has this quote from the Psalterium Carolinum of 1657:

The war our sins have wrought, With Peace, which Christ hath bought.

ACTUALLY: The Psalterium Carolinum had to use "have" with "sins," because "hath" is singular. That's why it's "hath" with Christ. So that quote doesn't require my concession! 

"Twenty-one teenagers were found dead early Sunday morning in a tavern in the coastal city of East London, South Africa... in a tragedy that remains something of a mystery..."

"Initial reports were that the teenagers, who the police say ranged in age from 13 to 17, died from a stampede.... [A government spokesman] said the tavern had hosted a large party on Saturday night, featuring two DJs who were celebrating their birthdays. The party was also billed as a celebration of South Africa’s dropping its mask mandate for public places... Bouncers told investigators that in an effort to control the crowd, they closed the doors to the venue.... But the theory of a stampede seemed inconsistent with what forensic experts had found so far in terms of injuries to the victims.... Victims were found sprawled on the gray tile floor, but also on a sofa and a coffee table. 'In terms of physical evidence, nothing points to a stampede'...."

Why was there a 6-point drop in support for abortion rights in the month that the Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade?

I'm trying to understand this new Marist poll, which was conducted on June 24th and 25th. The Supreme Court decision came out on the morning of June 24th. Of course, there was also the leak of what turned out to be the majority opinion. That happened on May 2nd.


Is the Court's opinion — or the press coverage of it — moving people against abortion rights? I don't know, but if I did know, I can think of reasons why that might happen.

It might be that some people accept the word of the Supreme Court, and if the Court says there is a right, they believe that, and if the Court says there is no right, they believe that too. Similarly, some people might feel influenced by the views of these other people, the Justices, because they are smarter and more educated and have immersed themselves deeply in the subject.

June 26, 2022

Sunrise — 5:07, 5:22.



Write about whatever you want in the comments.

I have 6 TikToks for you tonight. Let me know what you like best.

1. You may have mixed feelings about child labor.

2. The child's song: "Please Stop Bugging Me."

3. Harmonizing on "Creep."

4. The North Carolinian in experiences the weirdness of Wisconsin.

5. Saving a sheep.

6. That fevered email written in a Covid fervor.

"Several years back, you offered a stunning reading of the Rapunzel story. You looked at the beginning, in which a pregnant woman..."

"... so craves the parsley growing in a witch’s garden that she steals some, and the witch punishes her by taking her baby. The baby grows up to be Rapunzel, the girl with long hair who is locked in a tower. I’m thinking of the story now because our Supreme Court seems poised to strike down Roe v. Wade."

Warner answers:

"Before he goes out to hunt, Brian Leydet pulls on his hiking boots and his all-white jumpsuit, fetches a homemade flannel flag..."

"... out of his car and then, most importantly, duct-tapes his socks to his pant legs. Then he heads into the undergrowth, dragging his flag around like a morose matador.... Mr. Leydet’s quarry is quick to attach to the white flannel, using its tiny hooks on their legs to grab hold....."

"Destruction begins with small details. What is happening is not just a matter of food, but a way of mocking the people’s heritage."

"And when you mock the heritage of a people in this way, it is a prelude to trivializing what is most important and diluting or dissolving identity."

Mansaf is a rice-and-mutton dish traditionally eaten from a large, shared platter using one's bare hand. We're told "Often, the sheep’s head is placed at the center of the platter. Its cheeks, eyes, brain and tongue are highly prized and intended for the table’s most important guest."

Perhaps the traditional style of eating is more important than the food itself, but does that mean you shouldn't eat the food without the traditional behavior, that it's a mockery to eat it in some other way? I can see why you might want to deprive people of the food unless they follow the tradition, because that would cause people who crave the food to slow down, gather together, and interact with each other. But it's hard to understand that eating the food — with a spoon — from a paper cup is mockery.

The only thing I could think of is if someone were to sell communion wafers for people to snack on like a roll of Necco wafers.

"Nearly 70 abortion procedures with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin scheduled for Friday and Saturday had to be canceled..."

"Lucy Marshall, president of Women's Medical Fund in Madison, said no clinics in Wisconsin are providing abortion care as of Friday morning.... After a draft opinion indicating the court was poised to overturn Roe was leaked, [Wisconsin Attorney General Josh] Kaul said he would not enforce the state's abortion ban. Still, local law enforcement officials could choose to do so. Gov. Tony Evers attempted to repeal the state's abortion ban prior to the SCOTUS decision. But Republican lawmakers rejected the special session Wednesday, gaveling in and out within seconds.... In a Marquette Law School poll this month that surveyed just Wisconsin residents, 58 percent of respondents said they are 'very concerned' about abortion policy. The June poll also shows 31 percent said abortion should be legal in most cases, 27 percent legal in all cases and 24 percent illegal in most cases."

The abortion ban Kaul refers to dates back to 1849, and it makes abortion a felony (unless it is needed to save the woman's life).

"Men really need to consider what losing access to safe and legal abortion means for them."

Said Joe Colon-Uvalles, an organizer at Planned Parenthood, quoted in "The Voices of Men Affected by Abortion/In light of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, advocates from all sides of the issue have called for men to be part of the conversation. The Times heard from hundreds who wanted to share their stories" (NYT).

The NYT solicited "stories" from "men who have grappled with abortion in their own lives." From the "hundreds" of responses, the Times made it's selections, and I'll just cut that down to various men's feelings without giving you the details of names, ages, and circumstances. Each quote is from a different man:

"In many states, including Wisconsin, Ohio, Georgia and Florida, abortion’s new battleground is decidedly unlevel, tilted by years of Republican efforts to gerrymander state legislatures..."

"... while Democrats largely focused on federal politics. As abortion becomes illegal in half of the country, democratic self-governance may be nearly out of reach for some voters.... Democrats may have won the popular presidential vote in five out of the last six elections, but Republicans control 23 state legislatures while Democrats lead 14 — with 12 bicameral state legislatures divided between the parties. (Nebraska’s legislature is elected on a nonpartisan basis.)... Unshackled by the Supreme Court and often largely unopposed by Democrats, conservative organizations backed by billionaires like Charles Koch — including the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Republican State Leadership Committee — set out more than a decade ago to dominate policymaking at the state level.... In Wisconsin, Democrats hold virtually every statewide office, including governor. Yet, waves of gerrymandering have left Republicans with close to a supermajority in the State Senate and Assembly. That means an abortion ban that was passed in 1849, when only white men could vote, is set to go back into force now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. 'Because the structure of Wisconsin’s ultragerrymandered maps are so rigged against small-d democracy, we are going to have a law on the books that the overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites oppose,' said Ben Wikler, the chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.'"

I went to a theater to see a movie for the first time in over a year.

It's been over a year since we went out to see a movie. We saw "Nomadland" in April 2021, and when we saw that it had been over a year since we'd gone out to see a movie. Covid has been part of these long gaps, but not all of it.

I'm not sure I will ever want to see a movie in the theater again. My #1 problem is that you are bound to sit through it. You can't pause. You can't walk away and come back later. That can be a positive. You've committed to sit through it and you almost certainly will. It's now or never.

Ha ha. Guess what move we saw? Yes, you're right. It was Baz Luhrman's "Elvis":

I would have enjoyed this so much more on my TV. In fact, I would have enjoyed it much more if it had been made as a TV mini-series with 5 or 6 hour-long episodes. Because this movie was too long and too short. There were so many ideas that could have been worked through. There were 2 big themes: Elvis's relationship to black people and their music and Elvis's bondage to Colonel Tom Parker. That had to be compressed in the movie, and the movie was still 2 hours and 39 minutes.