July 9, 2022

At the Sunrise Café...


... you can talk about whatever you want.

Here are 8 TikTok videos to amuse you this evening. Let me know what you like best.

2. One more time... with just the best parts.

3. Kevin Bacon would like you to know he's 64 (as of yesterday).

5. When Mother talks to the scam callers... sometimes they cry.

7. If you had a bowl of rice, what would you put on top? (In 5 different countries.)

8. When introverted dogs get together.


"Unlike nouns and pronouns, verbs don’t have 'proverbs' to pick up the pace, although we cheat a little with sentences such as, 'Susan drank wine and Mary did, too.'"

"Verbs are grammatically more complex than nouns but have less to reveal. When you’re about to say a verb, you’re less likely to be saying something new, so your brain doesn’t have to slow down what it’s already doing to plan for it."

From "Why Nouns Slow Us Down, and Why Linguistics Might Be in a Bubble" (The New Yorker).

(The title refers to a study that found that in 9 different languages, "the speech immediately preceding a noun is three-and-a-half-per-cent slower than the speech preceding a verb. And in eight of nine languages, the speaker was about twice as likely to introduce a pause before a noun than before a verb....")

Of course, "proverb" is a word. It's just not a word that parallels "pronoun."

That article came out in 2018, before the current obsession with pronouns. These days we ask, What are your pronouns? But it would be more interesting to know: What are your proverbs?

Mine are: Nothing ventured nothing gained and Truth is stranger than fiction.

"What did I learn?... That mathematics is both real and not real. Like novelists and musicians, mathematicians produce thought objects..."

"... that have no presence in the physical world. (Anna Karenina is no more actual than a thought about Anna Karenina.) Like other artists, mathematicians also have the run of a world that others hardly or only rarely visit. For mathematicians, though, this territory has more rules than it does for others. Also, what is different for mathematicians is that all of them agree about the contents of that world, so far as they are acquainted with them, and all mathematicians see the same objects within it, even though the objects are notional. No one’s version, so long as it is accurate, is more correct than someone else’s. Parts of this world are densely inhabited, and parts are hardly settled. Parts have been visited by only a few people, and parts are unknown, like the dark places on a medieval map. The known parts are ephemeral, but also concrete for being true, and more reliable and everlasting than any object in the physical world.... An imaginary world’s being infallible is very strange. This spectral quality is bewildering, even to mathematicians. The mathematician John Conway once said, 'It’s quite astonishing, and I still don’t understand it, despite having been a mathematician all my life. How can things be there without actually being there?'"

"The bots thing, man, I don’t know. We have talked about this before. Back before the market crashed, back when he was pretending to want to buy Twitter, Musk was pretending..."

"... that he wanted to buy Twitter in order to clean up the bot problem. Now he is pretending to want to get out of the deal because of the bot problem. It is tiresome to pretend to take this seriously, so let’s not. Still, as a legal matter... Is this pretext good enough to get him out of the deal? Well, look. If Musk can prove that in fact Twitter has been running a years-long fraud on its shareholders and advertisers — that it has knowingly been massively understating the number of bot accounts in order to trick companies into buying Twitter ads and shareholders into buying Twitter stock — then, sure, maybe that will get him out of the deal.

"President Joe Biden and numerous mainstream media outlets have touted the story of an unidentified 10-year old girl who traveled to Indiana to obtain an abortion..."

"... that was illegal in her home state of Ohio. Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist, claimed a child abuse doctor referred to her a 10-year-old patient who was pregnant and seeking an abortion a few days past Ohio’s six week limit. The story was originally published in the Cincinnati Enquirer then quickly picked up by national outlets including Politico, The Washington Post, CNN, Teen Vogue, The Hill and numerous other outlets, which did not claim to have independently verified the story and in several cases simply cited previous reports. Bernard’s account did not mention specifics such as the name of the young patient’s doctor, any of the towns where these events took place, whether charges were being pressed against the child’s alleged rapist and at what point, if at all, Bernard or the child abuse doctor contacted the authorities regarding the individual who had impregnated the 10-year-old."

Yes, I have been waiting to hear the name of the rapist and news of his arrest or details about a rape by an unknown man who has eluded arrest. Of course, I care about a 10-year-old girl facing pregnancy and denied access to abortion in her home state. But rape is an even more serious problem! 

Russell Brand has fun with Kamala Harris's "passage of time" and Joe Biden's difficulty clapping.

"All the kids were screaming and yelling. I remember, I said to the kids, I go, 'Well, OK, well, what do you guys think I did wrong?'"

"And a line formed. These kids said everything about gender, and this and that and the other, but they didn’t say anything about art.... And this is my biggest gripe with this whole controversy with 'The Closer': That you cannot report on an artist’s work and remove artistic nuance from his words. It would be like if you were reading a newspaper and they say, 'Man Shot In The Face By a Six-Foot Rabbit Expected To Survive,' you’d be like, 'Oh my god,’ and they never tell you it’s a Bugs Bunny cartoon.... When I heard those talking points coming out of these children’s faces, that really, sincerely, hurt me. Because I know those kids didn’t come up with those words. I’ve heard those words before. The more you say I can’t say something, the more urgent it is for me to say it... And it has nothing to do with what you’re saying I can’t say. It has everything to do with my right, my freedom, of artistic expression. That is valuable to me. That is not severed from me. It’s worth protecting for me, and it’s worth protecting for everyone else who endeavors in our noble, noble professions.... And these kids didn’t understand that they were instruments of oppression. And I didn’t get mad at them.... They’re kids. They’re freshmen. They’re not ready yet. They don’t know."

Said Dave Chappelle, quoted in "Dave Chappelle special quietly released on Netflix, defends trans jokes" (NY Post). I need to watch this immediately.

UPDATE, 8:59 a.m.: I just watched it.

"I’ve been actively avoiding the news for years. It wasn’t always this way. I’ve been a journalist for two decades..."

"... and I used to spend hours consuming the news and calling it 'work.'... It felt like my duty to be informed, as a citizen and as a journalist — and also, I kind of loved it!.. I was too permeable.... So, like a lot of people, I started to dose the news. I cut out TV news altogether, because that’s just common sense, and I waited until late afternoon to read other news.... I went to a therapist. She told me (ready?) to stop consuming the news. That felt wrong.... Then one day a journalist friend confided that she was avoiding the news, too. Then I heard it from another journalist. And another. (Most were women, I noticed, though not all.) This news about disliking news was always whispered, a dirty little secret. It reminded me of the scene in 'The Social Dilemma,' when all those tech executives admitted that they didn’t let their kids use the products they had created."

She decides that news needs to be rebuilt around human needs. It needs to give people: 1. hope, 2. a sense of agency, and 3. dignity. 

These kids today "are fluent in the thin-gruel cant (diversity, inclusion, equity, anti-racism, antipatriarchy, antiheteronormativity, etc.) of ostensibly political but actually just emotionally satisfying performative demands."

Says George Will, in "How millennials became aggressively illiberal, censorious young adults" (WaPo).
In a flattened world drained of greatness, today’s steep decline of humanities majors among undergraduates is a lagging indicator of lack of interest in humanity’s lessons learned on the path to the present. Given this nation’s unhappy present, it is remarkable to remember that the arrival of screen-soaked lives was cheerily announced as the next stage of the “information age.” LOL.

I wondered: How old is George Will? Answer: 81.

"Crimo attempted suicide in April 2019. Then, in September of the same year, he announced to his family that he wanted 'to kill everyone.'"

"Police visited the Highland Park home where Crimo lived with his father and uncle, and confiscated 16 knives, a dagger and a sword. Because no complaints were filed, there was no further investigation. Still, if these incidents didn’t raise red flags, then the world must be color blind. Three months later, Robert Crimo began buying guns with his father’s signed approval. The real quiet kid passed four federal background checks, purchasing five guns — including the one used at the parade.... Had Bob Crimo been nosier, he might have discovered that his quiet son was quite loquacious as his online persona named Awake The Rapper. Posting thousands of videos, songs, messages and photos, he was a young man clearly obsessed with violence.... He was also a dedicated contributor to an online forum where people share violent photos and videos of people dying. How could so many have missed what is now so obvious?"

"A pickup truck in front of her — driven by her husband, with her children aboard — took a powerful hit from a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt."

"He and the kids were fine, although the truck was reported to be 'completely fried.'... [T]he steel-framed vehicle acted as a 'faraday cage,' in which the current of the lightning bolt goes around the metal body and typically exits to the ground from the tires. The strike will avoid people as long as everyone is inside the vehicle and not touching the outside metal. This is also a reason aircraft are often struck by lightning without major damage. Concurrently with the first flash, a bright orange sheath surrounds the spot where it connects with the truck as sparks erupt in all directions. In less than a blink of an eye, two more rapid-fire flashes are seen, as is smoke rising from the impact location."

Here's the amazing video.

"Providers of sex education in schools are teaching children that prostitution is a 'rewarding job' and failed to advise a 14-year-old girl having sex with a 16-year-old boy that it was illegal."

"Outside organisations teaching children about sex also promote 'kinks' such as being locked in a cage, flogged, caned, beaten and slapped in the face, The Times has found.... Last night campaigners said that 'inclusiveness is overriding child safeguarding' and that the materials were 'bordering on illegal.' This week Rachel de Souza, the children’s commissioner, revealed that she would review sex education being taught in schools after Miriam Cates, an MP, was contacted by a parent whose nine-year-old child came home 'shaking' and 'white as a sheet because they’d been taught in detail about rape.'  Relationship and sex education (RSE) became compulsory in English secondary schools in 2020, with many contracting out the teaching. Since then an industry has sprung up of providers who produce resources and go into schools to teach sex education and gender issues... The Proud Trust produced a range of resources called Alien Nation that asked primary schoolchildren aged seven to 11 whether they felt closest to 'planet boy, planet girl, planet non-binary.' It also asks: 'Which planet were you sent to as a baby' and 'What would your ideal planet be like?'"

July 8, 2022

At the Sunrise Café...


... you can write about whatever you like in the comments.

A lunchtime TikTok break. I've got 8 selections. Let me know what you like.

1. Feeling really blessed and lucky to hear the northern bobwhite.

2.  Joe Biden explains sex.

3. The interior decoration style of various men, based on their clothing style.

4. A woman is mystified by the phenomenon that is pick-up basketball.

5. A cathedral of milk and other AI-generated images.

6. I don't usually select videos about dementia, however good they are, but this one is an exception — about remembering love.

7. The most steadfast sister comforts her brother.

8. Certified vibesmith teaches you how to vibe professionally.

"The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday prohibited the use of most drop boxes for voters to return absentee ballots, giving the state’s Republicans a major victory in their efforts to limit voting access in urban areas."

"The 4-to-3 ruling by the court’s conservative majority will take effect for Wisconsin’s primary elections next month, though its true impact most likely will not be felt until the November general election. Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, and Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, both face what are expected to be very close re-election bids. The court adopted a literal interpretation of state law, finding that returning an absentee ballot to a municipal clerk, as Justice Rebecca G. Bradley wrote for the majority, 'does not mean nor has it been historically understood to mean delivery to an unattended ballot drop box.'"

"I never found Donald Trump to be remotely captivating as a stand-alone figure. He’d been around forever and his political act was largely derivative."

"His promise to 'drain the swamp' was treated as some genius coinage, though in fact the platitude had been worn out for decades by both parties. Nancy Pelosi promised to 'drain the swamp' in 2006, just as the Reagan-Bush campaign had vowed to 'Make America Great Again' in 1980. Trump said and did obviously awful and dangerous things—racist and cruel and achingly dumb and downright evil things. But on top of that, he is a uniquely tiresome individual, easily the sorest loser, the most prodigious liar, and the most interminable victim ever to occupy the White House. He is, quite possibly, the biggest crybaby ever to toddle across history’s stage, from his inaugural-crowd hemorrhage on day one right down to his bitter, ketchup-flinging end. Seriously, what public figure in the history of the world comes close? I’m genuinely asking. Bottom line, Trump is an extremely tedious dude to have had in our face for seven years and running."

ADDED: I'm contemplating the writing: "from his inaugural-crowd hemorrhage on day one right down to his bitter, ketchup-flinging end." That's kind of good, isn't it? Hemorrhage implies blood, and ketchup is used sometimes as fake blood. It's a little unmixed metaphor to discover.

"How do you know who’s in bad faith? Like, what’s my faith? You’re sort of looking into people’s hearts..."

"... and saying, 'This person who disagrees with me, they’re not mad at me because I got something wrong, they’re not mad at me because they think I’m too liberal, they’re fundamentally in bad faith.'"

Ben Smith challenged Taylor Lorenz, quoted in "Taylor Lorenz grilled over claims that critics are acting in 'bad faith'" (NY Post)(video of a long interview at the link).

Lorenz's babbling non-answer is so inane I couldn't decide whether to accuse her of being in bad faith or confess that I no longer knew what "bad faith" even is:

"Towards the end of class, Phoebe asked us all to smile for her, even though it was evident that we were all tired and upset by her microaggressions throughout the class."

"I would also call this an act of aggression towards us. We do not owe her any performative emotions." 

Said a complaint filed against Phoebe Gloeckner, a professor at my alma mater, the University of Michigan School of Art and Design, quoted in "Meet the ballsy art professor students tried — and failed — to cancel" (College Fix).

Gloeckner teaches a course on the art of comics, and she demanded that the students study the work of R. Crumb.

"I said some things that didn't go over well... I learned a lot..."

Macy Gray squirms under pressure:

"Shinzo Abe, 67, Dies After Being Shot During Speech/The former prime minister of Japan was assassinated on Friday in the city of Nara."

 The NYT reports, just now.


Mieko Nakabayashi was in a TV studio, waiting to be interviewed about Boris Johnson’s resignation, when she heard that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had been shot during a campaign speech.

Ms. Nakabayashi, a former lawmaker and a professor of political science at Waseda University, said she and the program’s hosts were “astonished,” adding that “they couldn’t believe that this could happen in Japan.”


The attack on former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan was especially shocking because it involved a gun — a type of crime that is extremely rare in a country with some of the most stringent laws around buying and owning a firearm. 

Why assassinate a former leader? Because of the positions he took?

During his two terms the 67-year-old conservative prime minister faced steep opposition for his push for a more muscular military and his bid to revise a pacifist clause in the country’s Constitution, which had been imposed by the United States after World War II.

July 7, 2022

Sunrise — 5:25, 5:30.



Write about whatever you want in the comments.

Beasts of Wisconsin.

1. There are 24,000 bears in Wisconsin: "The DNR said in 1989 there were only about 9,000 black bears in the state. Now the population is up to 24,000. 'Our bear population has been steadily increasing and expanding southward'...."

3. We spotted 6 foxes romping together in our neighbor's lawn just before sunrise the other day. They were very active, even trying to run up a tree. The next day, same time and place, I saw them again. At what point do you say, now, there are too many foxes?

4. Seen today in great numbers: very tiny toads/frogs (about a half inch long), extremely nervous chipmunks, rabbits (doing their best to look like rocks), turkeys.

"Estimates of just how many babies will be born because of new abortion restrictions vary. One researcher suggests 75,000, another 180,000."

I'm reading "Many more babies will be born post-'Dobbs.' We need to help them and their moms" by Alyssa Rosenberg (WaPo).

That's 75,000 to 180,000 per year. Rosenberg doesn't seem to notice that to emphasize the number of new babies is to say, implicitly, that during the reign of Roe, that's the number, per year, that were quietly and invisibly kept from our presence.

But Rosenberg calls our attention to the importance of making life in America good for parents and children. The end of Roe creates an opportunity to lobby for things like better child care and health services. I would think most of those who longed for an end to Roe would want to join forces with women's rights advocates and work to lighten the burdens of parenthood. 

That's Rosenberg's pitch:

"The breeding kink—intense sexual attraction to the idea of getting pregnant, or getting someone else pregnant—is having a moment right now."

"A deluge of viral TikToks of users are professing their yearning to breed and be bred. A porn creator told Vice this week about a recent surge in demand for 'breeding' content. There is quite literally a WebMD article on breeding fetishism, not to mention an entire genre of horror movies and documentaries about unethical fertility doctors secretly fathering hundreds of kids. And the discovery of Elon Musk’s eighth and ninth (known) children on Wednesday led the richest man in the world to triumphantly tweet: 'Doing my best to help the underpopulation crisis,' and 'I hope you have big families and congrats to those who already do!'

Cheung answers her question:

"I was surprised that the dissenters never tried to defend the right to abortion and never try and offer an alternative ground. They relied entirely on stare decisis."

Said Larry Kramer, in "Liberals Need a Clearer Vision of the Constitution. Here’s What It Could Look Like. The legal scholar Larry Kramer on why the left’s embrace of judicial supremacy was a mistake" (NYT). 

"When he was 12, Mr. Brook had fallen in love with the heroine of 'War and Peace' and decided to marry someone named Natasha."

"'And so it came about,' he wrote in his memoir, 'Threads of Time' (1998). He married the actress Natasha Parry in 1951."

"[John Andrew] Rice and his fellow dissidents believed that a college should be owned and run by its faculty and students."

"There would be no board of trustees, no dean, no president and limited administration beyond a secretary, treasurer and the lead role of 'rector,' all of whom taught classes, as well. There was also a Board of Fellows, which was composed of several professors and a student representative — this group would primarily make business decisions on the college’s behalf — as well as a 'disemboweled' advisory council... that had no real power. As for the curriculum, there wasn’t one, really: neither required courses nor formal grades."

"Often the problem is 'death by a thousand cuts'... when we garden too aggressively in the root zone" of a tree.

"Or worse, if an irrigation system is installed, slicing repeatedly through the tree’s lifelines. He is a proponent of 'living green mulch, not a ring of bark mulch.' But transforming an area under established woody plants into a ground-covering, herbaceous layer requires a gentle hand and patience. 'You need to start with small plants or divisions and dig very little holes,' he said. Think soil knife, not shovel: With larger tools (or plants), the tree roots will get chopped up. 'A few is no big deal,' he said. '“But when you’re disturbing lots of roots, that can affect the tree.'"

From "In Your Enthusiasm for Planting, Don’t Forget About the Trees/Trees can take a lot of punishment, but they have their limits. Here’s how to work around them safely" by Margaret Roach (NYT).

"He" = Christopher Roddick, head arborist and foreman of grounds at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

This article caught my attention because it seemed so weird to me to think about people who would forget about their trees. And yet I have encountered people who are fired up about things they want to do with their yard that really do amount to forgetting about the trees. 

"Always love your photos, the rising and the setting. How about you take a stab at D Millbank(sic, maybe)’s defense of Biden in WaPo today."

"I trust your judgment enough to want to know what you thought…. Is this the denial stage then, or a shot off the bow to start it?"

Wrote Rhonda, in the first post of last night's open thread (which had a few sunrise photos).

I'm glad to hear from Rhonda. Why, only 5 days ago, I commented — in a post about pinkness — that the name Rhonda means "the noisy one." The name Rhoda means rose — pink. One letter makes so much difference.

But here's Rhonda making noise about me possibly blogging a Dana Milbank column that I'd already skimmed and deemed too dumb to blog: "Give Biden a break." Give me a break.

Speaking of volcanoes....

 ... a new movie:

"The Last Day of Pompeii is a large history painting by Karl Bryullov produced in 1830–1833..."

"... on the subject of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.... The painting was received to near universal acclaim and made Bryullov the first Russian painter to have an international reputation... Sir Walter Scott is said to have studied the painting for an hour before declaring that it was not an ordinary painting, but an epic.... It was seen there by Edward Bulwer-Lytton whose novel The Last Days of Pompeii was published in 1834.... Ivan Turgenev described the painting as 'the glory of Russia and Italy' and it inspired Alexander Pushkin to write a poem about the destruction of Pompeii.... Gogol opined that it was a 'bright resurrection of painting, which has been for too long in some sort of semi-lethargic state,'  but was not alone in seeing a parallel between Pompeii and contemporary Saint Petersburg and the painting as a forecast of divine retribution for the modern city's decadent Western ways. The dissident Alexander Herzen, meanwhile, saw it as an allegory about the collapse of European monarchies or the tyrannical power of the Russian state over the individual""

"The Georgia Guidestones, a 19-foot mysterious granite monument in the Peach State, was demolished on Thursday for safety reasons, after being damaged in a blast."

Newsweek reports.

The big mystery about the monument wasn't how it got there, but just who paid to buy the land and put it up. It looks a bit like Stonehenge, but it's not ancient. It went up in 1980, financed by someone who worked through a banker who was sworn to protect his anonymity. 

The stones were engraved with 10 principles (in 8 languages), and the first one is blatantly evil, once you penetrate the euphemism "Maintain":
  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
  2. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity.
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
  4. Rule passion — faith — tradition — and all things with tempered reason.
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
  9. Prize truth — beauty — love — seeking harmony with the infinite.
  10. Be not a cancer on the Earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature

"Brad Pitt believes he suffers from prosopagnosia, a rare 'face blindness' disorder — but 'nobody believes' him...."

"Pitt, who has not been formally diagnosed, worries about appearing 'remote … aloof, inaccessible [and] self-absorbed' while struggling to recognize faces, according to the article.... 'So many people hate me because they think I’m disrespecting them.... Every now and then, someone will give me context, and I’ll say, "Thank you for helping me"'...."

I've blogged about prosopagnosia twice before. The first time, in 2006, was the first time I'd heard of the condition. It was funny to read that just now, because it's almost identical to what I thought a moment ago, when I read about Brad:

July 6, 2022

Sunrise — 5:08, 5:08, 5:29, 5:37.





Talk about anything you like in the comments.

"In ancient Greek, kanon, the word for rule, was connected to the usefully straight and tall giant cane plant, which was used to make measurements."

"It’s because of this connection that the word became associated both with laws and with the idea of a model—that with which something is compared, but to which it is not meant to be identical. (No one suggests a ride in a model train.) This association is interesting, because the idea of following a model or paradigm is now seen as distinct from or even counter to following rules. Similarly, the Latin term regula connects both to straight planks used for measuring and building and to a model by which others are measured more metaphorically—the ruler of a nation, say. In that more metaphorical case, the ruler may be the source of rules, and possibly exempt from them; alternatively, the ruler can be exemplary, the ideal by which one determines how one ought to be."

I'm reading "Why Do We Obey Rules? Some last and some don’t, yet we cling to them in times of change" by Rivka Galchen (The New Yorker)(discussing the book "Rules: A Short History of What We Live By" by the historian of science Lorraine Daston).

"I don’t want to get into how we know he was in Wisconsin, but we know he traveled into the Madison area before turning around and coming back."

Said Christopher Covelli, a spokesperson for the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, quoted in "Alleged Illinois parade shooter came to Madison area before arrest, authorities say" (Wisconsin State Journal).

UPDATE: From the Washington Examiner, noting that Crimo has confessed:
Police also revealed that after the shooting, Crimo had considered carrying out another attack at a celebration in Madison, Wisconsin. Crimo arrived at the event in Wisconsin but indications are that he had not put in enough thought and research to conduct the attack, Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli said. Crimo ditched his phone while in the Madison area....

Gavin Newsom is running for President against Ron DeSantis.

I found that at "Gavin Newsom’s TV ad slamming DeSantis fills a void among Democrats" (WaPo).

I was going to end this post with just: "Catch up!" 

But that made me think of Trump.

"[D]ozens of celebrity Democratic supporters and activists... joined a call with White House aides last Monday to discuss the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. The mood was fatalistic...."

"[Deborah] Messing said she’d gotten Joe Biden elected and wanted to know why she was being asked to do anything at all, yelling that there didn’t even seem a point to voting. Others wondered why the call was happening. That afternoon, participants received a follow-up email with a list of basic talking points and suggestions of Biden speech clips to share on TikTok. The call, three days after the decision eliminating federal abortion rights, encapsulates the overwhelming sense of frustration among Democrats with Biden. It offers a new window into what many in the President’s party describe as a mismanagement permeating the White House...." 

"In deadly assaults and harmless bursts of celebratory explosives, a divided nation demonstrated this holiday weekend just how anxious and jittery it has become..."

"... as the perennial flare of fireworks saluting American freedom reminded all too many people instead of the anger, violence and social isolation of the past few years."

Fisher quotes:

Thane Rosenbaum, a lawyer and novelist who runs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society at Touro University in New York: "There is a fundamental national insecurity now, after a perfect storm of social chaos where covid forced us to stay apart and the killing of George Floyd unleashed a movement that broke trust in the people who protect us... We’re in a moral panic: ‘Will anyone pick up the phone if I call for help?' Women feel more vulnerable because of the Supreme Court decision on abortion. Everyone feels more vulnerable because of soaring gas prices. People don’t see a way out."

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum and a former Boston police official: "[W]e’re in uncharted territory in terms of anxiety... With the George Floyd murder, war in Ukraine, the questioning of elections, people don’t know who to trust. Who would think that in an iconic place like Highland Park, you would need to post snipers on rooftops on the Fourth of July? But that’s what we’ve come to. Nothing feels safe anymore."

Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist: "We are disoriented, unable to speak the same language or recognize the same truth... We are cut off from one another and from the past."

"We’ll deal with what we need to deal with... as we move forward, all agreeing that we've got to be smarter as a country in terms of who has access to what."

Said Kamala Harris, quoted in "Harris visits Highland Park after mass shooting at July Fourth parade/Harris went to the Chicago suburb shortly after authorities announced first-degree murder charges against the shooting suspect" (NBC News).

July 5, 2022

Early July wildflowers at sunrise.


Talk about whatever you want in the comments.

I've got 9 TikToks for you this evening. Let me know which ones you like best.

1. "Benjamin Franklin or food?"

2. Taking work seriously. 

3. "People always say that kids with Down Syndrome always super happy...."

4. "The great phone books.... why, yes, I remember them well...."

5. Cursing at the neighbor in Italian....

6. "Stay here with me, an old man..."

7. Nick Cave sings the word "bathtub" 10 times — ranked.

8. So you think your kid will feel the magic of the movie that felt like magic to you when you were a kid?

9. Scott!! 

"I am not a Trump supporter, in any way, shape or form. I have had the opportunity to have him on my show, more than once, and I have said no every time. I don’t want to help him, I’m not interested in helping him."

Said Joe Rogan, quoted in "Joe Rogan reveals if he will ever host Donald Trump on his podcast" (NY Post)(video at link).

"WOMEN OF THE WORLD! We are being stripped of our rights over our bodies, our lives and even of our name!"

"They don’t call us 'women' anymore; they call us 'birthing people' or 'menstruators,' and even 'people with vaginas'! Don’t let them erase you! Every human on earth owes you!"

Will post-Roe legislation protect embryos left over from the process of in vitro fertilization?

I'm reading "Infertility Patients and Doctors Fear Abortion Bans Could Restrict I.V.F./The new state bans don’t explicitly cover embryos created outside the womb, but legal experts say overturning Roe could make it easier to place controls on genetic testing, storage and disposal of them" (NYT).
[M]any fear that regulations on unwanted pregnancies could, unintentionally or not, also control people who long for a pregnancy.... So far, the texts of the laws taking effect do not explicitly target embryos created in a lab.... By using the word “pregnancy,” most trigger bans distinguish their target from an embryo stored in a clinic....

Some medical and legal experts have proposed... creating one embryo at a time by storing sperm and eggs separately and thawing them only to create individual embryos as needed... 
[Another option] is called “compassionate transfer.” 
A 2020 position paper by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine says the term refers to a request by a patient to transfer embryos in her body “at a time when pregnancy is highly unlikely to occur, and when pregnancy is not the intended outcome.” For people who see the frozen embryo as human life, a compassionate transfer is a kind of natural death for the embryo, rather than having it destroyed in a lab. 
Katherine Kraschel, an expert on reproductive health law at Yale Law School, noted that clinics could be forced to store embryos that embryologists have determined are unlikely to result in a pregnancy. “It could also mean that ‘compassionate transfer’ is recommended not to honor a patient’s moral valuation of their embryos but because the state has imposed its moral valuation upon them,” she said. 

Another concern is that special consideration for the women who participate in I.V.F. can — and therefore will — be portrayed as racist:

Judith Daar, dean at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University and an expert in reproductive health law, said that passing a state law that would distinguish infertility patients from those seeking an abortion risked having a discriminatory impact, “given that the majority of I.V.F. patients are white, while women of color account for the majority of all abortions performed in the U.S.”

"Some of you might decide that this place isn't for you, and that self-selection is OK with me. Realistically, there are probably a bunch of people at the company who shouldn't be here."

Said Mark Zuckerberg, quoted in "Mark Zuckerberg Just Told Facebook Employees to Quit. He Missed the Most Important Point/In a call with employees, Facebook's founder tried to rally the troops" (Inc.).

The baleful/baneful distinction.

 I'm reading a post at Instapundit:

MORE DOWNSIDES OF OUR FECKLESS RULING CLASS:  Get Ready: A Baleful Consequence of Inflation You’ve Heard Too Little About.

I don't blog about economics, and not because I don't think it's important. I just think I have nothing worthy to contribute. I do, however blog about language, even when it's not important. In this case, I have the usage question: Should that be "baleful" or "baneful"? Are we talking about a "baleful consequence of inflation" or a "baneful consequence of inflation"?

"Real marriage comes the day you realise that this person [your spouse] is exquisitely designed to stick the burning spear right into your eyeball."

Said Terry Real — who's "personally healed" Bruce Springsteen and Bradley Cooper — quoted in "Have you got ‘marital hatred’? Probably/He’s the couples therapist to the A-list who says it’s normal to have some (very) dark thoughts about your spouse. Terry Real talks to Andrew Billen" (London Times).

“I teach my students to always be respectful of the exquisite intelligence of the adaptive child. You did exactly what you needed to do back then to preserve yourself but I have a saying, ‘adaptive then, maladaptive now’. You’re not that little girl and you’re not dealing with your histrionic mother. You’re dealing with your husband. Things are different.” 

"I am appalled that even as a healer I have to get my cup poured into in this incident, but in this incident I will continue to pour into other people's cup as a way to pour into my own cup."

Said Charles Murrell, "an artist and peace advocate in the Boston area." 

"Robert 'Bobby' E. Crimo III... performed as a rapper who went by the name 'Awake,' whose recent music videos included depictions of mass murder."

"Crimo’s most recent video posted to YouTube showed him in the aftermath of a school shooting. It ends with Crimo draping himself in an American flag.... Crimo had his own Discord server, where fans and people who knew him would chat. The community featured a politics board filled with nihilistic political memes. The most recent post before the shooting, which was posted in March, was a picture of Budd Dwyer, the Pennsylvania state treasurer who shot and killed himself on live television in the late 1980s, along with the caption 'I wish politicians still gave speeches like this.'... Crimo didn’t frequently post about major political figures on his websites, except for two posts about former President Donald Trump. A video posted to Crimo’s YouTube page on Jan. 2, 2021, appears to show Crimo among a throng of protesters cheering for Trump’s presidential motorcade outside an airport. Crimo flips the phone’s orientation to reveal his face at the end of the video. Crimo is also seen draped in a Trump flag in a June 27, 2021, post on Twitter. The post is captioned with only the word 'spam.'"

"A woman goes through a completely unique experience and surgery and finding oneself doesn’t change that."

"Being a little girl is a whole epic book, you know? You can’t have that just because you want to be a woman."

Here's the whole interview, which begins with her explanation of why she thinks the United States needs a new flag. I'll make it start where Morgan introduces the topic, What is a woman? He asks her for her definition, and she answers before reflecting on what to say about trans women:


Morgan moves straight to the question of trans women participating in women's sports. He supports trans rights, but not that. She enthusiastically proclaims, "I totally agree."

July 4, 2022

July 4th.


Why are doubts something to "chip away" at? Why wouldn't you explore doubt?

I'm trying to read "New Insights Into Trump’s State of Mind on Jan. 6 Chip Away at Doubts" by Peter Baker in the NYT.

I'm thinking about how reasonable doubt is the standard for judging criminal guilt.

I'm thinking about how George W. Bush used to be condemned for being incurious

Why wouldn't you look into doubt? Why wouldn't you see doubt as inviting exploration and contemplation? Why would you think in terms of destroying doubt — like it's some cloddish block of stone and you've got a chisel and mallet? 

Baker writes:

"Women, of course, have been accommodating. They’ve welcomed transgender women into their organizations."

"They’ve learned that to propose any space just for biological women in situations where the presence of males can be threatening or unfair — rape crisis centers, domestic abuse shelters, competitive sports — is currently viewed by some as exclusionary. If there are other marginalized people to fight for, it’s assumed women will be the ones to serve other people’s agendas rather than promote their own. But, but, but. Can you blame the sisterhood for feeling a little nervous?... For essentially ceding to another backlash?... Seeing women as their own complete entities, not just a collection of derivative parts, was an important part of the struggle for sexual equality. But here we go again, parsing women into organs.... Those women who do publicly express mixed emotions... are maligned as somehow transphobic or labeled TERFs.... When not defining women by body parts, misogynists on both ideological poles seem determined to reduce women to rigid gender stereotypes.... Women are maternal and domestic — the feelers and the givers and the 'Don’t mind mes.'... Gender identity workbooks created by transgender advocacy groups for use in schools offer children helpful diagrams suggesting that certain styles or behaviors are 'masculine' and others 'feminine.' Didn’t we ditch those straitened categories in the ’70s?"

"If, God forbid, Trump runs and wins in 2024, the first thing he’ll do is find any pretext to prosecute Joe Biden, and then it’s off to the races."

Says Bret Stephens, in the context of a conversation — with Gail Collins at the NYT — about what Merrick Garland ought to do about maybe prosecuting Trump. 

Gail Collins responds:
Well, if I wanted to make sure the reputation of Merrick Garland didn’t suffer, I’d prosecute rather than risk being remembered as the guy who wimped out. And as a matter of principle … well, gee.

Is "wimped out" something we're still allowed to say?  Why not "I’d prosecute rather than risk being remembered as a pussy"? Where's the line these days? You're allowed to impugn a man's masculinity with... which words?* Or are we moving toward regarding all the once-gendered words as nonbinary?

Stephens inserts: 

How will the Supreme Court nominees of Democratic Presidents answer the question "Will you vote to overrule Dobbs?

That's my question, jumping way ahead after reading the New York Magazine headline, "Could Dobbs Be Reversed Like Roe Was?" 

That's by Ed Kilgore. I'll have to publish this post and click on my "Ed Kilgore" tag to see what I've thought of his published musings over the years, but come on. Obviously, Dobbs can be overruled. We won't be able to stop talking about overruling Dobbs. Remember, we talked about overruling Roe for 50 years before it happened? Do the Dobbs haters have that kind of passion and stamina? 

At some point in the next 50 or 100 years, there will be a majority of Supreme Court Justices who want to overrule Dobbs and get back to Roe (or forward to a new, better Roe (Casey was already a new, better Roe, and Roe can be re-improved)).

Now, let's see what Kilgore says:

"BookTok is not dominated by the usual power players in the book world such as authors and publishers but by regular readers, many of them young..."

"... who share recommendations and videos of themselves talking about the books they love, sometimes weeping or screaming or tossing a copy across the room. The most popular videos don’t generally offer information about the book’s author, the writing or even the plot, the way a traditional review does. Instead, readers speak plainly about the emotional journey a book will offer."

From "How TikTok Became a Best Seller Machine/#BookTok, where enthusiastic readers share reading recommendations, has gone from being a novelty to becoming an anchor in the publishing industry and a dominant driver of fiction sales" (NYT).

The top comment over there: "Truly — I don’t get TikTok. A direct feed to China, a few seconds of messaging, it’s like walking into a circus, with crowds, noise, sights, chaos, confusion. That it has taken off and become the vehicle of choice for young people says nothing good about our limited and shrinking attention span. Even if it’s pushing a book."

Yeah, whatever happened to "Booknotes" with Brian Lamb? Here's the last episode, from 2004: "Why Read?" 

I love the way that commenter bitches about young people lacking the capacity to pay attention while seemingly admitting that all he did was take a quick look, perceive chaos, and adopt the opinion of not getting it. 

July 3, 2022

Sunrise — 5:25:04, 5:25:39, 5:25:43.




Those are just my sunrise pictures from this morning. You can write about anything you want in the comments.

I have 6 TikToks for you tonight and no idea which one you'll like best. So let me know.

1. Random boy doesn't seem to know what freckles are.

2. The Italian husband makes caprese salad.

3. Do you think your happiness depends on finding that special someone?

4. Why not paint your car Tiffany blue?

5. Time to practice hippie dancing.

6. The Canadian guy was warned: Don't let New York City change you.

"I walk around the neighborhood that encouraged me for so many decades, and I see the reminders of Harvey and the Rainbow Honor Walk, celebrating famous queer and trans people."

"I just can’t help but think that soon there will be a time when people walking up and down the street will have no clue what this is all about."

Said Cleve Jones, who lived in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco for 50 years before moving out of the city altogether, to live in a small house with a garden, quoted in "Once a Crucial Refuge, 'Gayborhoods' Lose L.G.B.T.Q. Residents in Major Cities/Many are choosing to live elsewhere in search of cheaper housing and better amenities. They are finding growing acceptance in other communities after decades of political and social changes" (NYT).

It's not just about housing costs:

Trump is the most popular political figure in America.

 According to the new Harvard-Harris poll:

The key to understanding this is that all of the other political characters are more unpopular than Trump.

ALSO... and this must scare the bejeezus out of a lot of people:

"The [Rainbow] gathering is organized around large camps and communal kitchens that serve coffee, tea and food. No money is exchanged."

"At a trading post, kids and adults bartered for jewelry, stones, glass pipes and Snickers. A painted rainbow was being erected over the 'Granola Funk' stage in the meadow, where a musical, a gong show and other performances would take place. At the Christian-themed Jesus Kitchen, one attendee said the nondenominational gatherings had made him a believer. 'I’d never seen Christians do it the way these guys do it,' said Gavin Boyd, 25, a carpenter from Fort Collins, Colo. It was, he said, less orthodoxy and more spirituality."

This weekend is the 50th Anniversary of the first Rainbow Gathering.

Most of the WaPo article is about the locals worrying about the environmental impact of the gathering and the group's basically good reputation for sanitation and cleanup. There was a little something about politics:

"One complication in this case has been the chaotic jumble of rich and famous people who moved in and out of [Jeffrey] Epstein’s orbit."

"The names thrown about over the years have driven a frenzy of media interest but led to no clear evidence of wrongdoing.... Leland Nally, a writer and film-maker who painstakingly called all 1,500 people in Maxwell and Epstein’s little black book of contacts for an article that appeared in Mother Jones magazine in 2020, warns against jumping to conclusions based on whose name was jotted down. Epstein was obsessive. 'He absolutely was a social-ladder-climber and a collector of these people, so I think he was very quick to put people in this black book,' he says. That said, it is surprising that those who were around Epstein with any frequency did not have at least an inkling of what he and Maxwell were doing. 'I think it’s impossible for many of the people who were close with them throughout the years to have no idea of what was going on,' Nally says.... When [Virginia] Giuffre, now 38, asked Epstein why [Bill] Clinton spent time with him, she claims he laughed and told her: 'Let’s just say he owes me favours.' Epstein cultivated this image, Nally says: 'He enjoyed being seen as a sort of supervillain wacky billionaire.'"

"On Capitol Hill, House Democratic leaders are discussing ways to force Republicans into uncomfortable positions on abortion..."

"Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter to colleagues Monday noting that leadership had been discussing potential votes related to abortion... House leaders have asked committee chairs to flag legislation that they could consider voting on to hold Republicans accountable on numerous protections, according to two House Democratic aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity to outline private deliberations. A House GOP aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss their member’s thinking, acknowledged that such votes could put them in a tough spot with their base. Some senior Democratic aides in the Senate have voiced wariness of deploying a similar strategy in their chamber, worrying that holding such kinds of votes might allow Republican senators who voted to confirm Supreme Court justices who overturned Roe to claim they acted to uphold women’s reproductive rights. Those dynamics arose in the Democratic caucus meeting where a group of women senators discussed strategy ahead of the court ruling — tamping down the possibility that there might be a string of 'show votes' to demonstrate Republican opposition to abortion rights and potentially other freedoms. Instead, the three Democrats familiar with the meeting said, a likelier strategy is to attempt over the summer to pass bills on the floor by unanimous consent — a maneuver that would publicly demonstrate GOP opposition to popular measures but would not require all senators to cast votes on them."

"It’s curious that booing is absent from modern theatre, because it’s as old as European drama."

"The earliest reports of audience booing were recorded at the annual festival of Dionysus in Athens where playwrights competed to win prizes for their efforts. The verdict was delivered by the crowds who howled (that is, booed) at the worst dramas and cheered for the best.... [These days a]udiences have developed alternative ways to express their dissatisfaction. Coughing is the commonest method.... Noisily turning the pages of the programme tells your neighbours that you’re unimpressed by the antics on stage. Fiddling with sweets or rattling your ice cubes has the same effect. Snoring is sometimes heard in the stalls – surely the most lethal form of theatre review.... We are confused about booing. We enjoy the sound because it represents a revolt against authority, against celebrities who misbehave, and against poor taste. Yet we also consider it discourteous and even vulgar...."

Writes Lloyd Evans, in "Three cheers for booing in the theatre" (Spectator).

The oldest meaning of the verb "boo" — going back to the 1500s — is "To low or bellow as a cow does" (OED): "The ungodlye colleges of priestes..that dayly boo and rore the holye scriptures" (a1555).

"Numerous people close to the committee’s work say the abrupt decision to go public with Hutchinson’s testimony, which surprised even some of its top aides..."

"... and which involved presenting the world with details the committee itself had learned only days earlier, was necessary to prevent her account from leaking. With evidence that Trump allies were trying to influence her decision to talk, some members also worried she might back out if they waited any longer.... [B]y rushing Hutchinson onto the witness stand, the committee has also exposed itself to criticism that it failed to thoroughly vet her claims. Hutchinson has come under intense scrutiny from Trump and his allies, who have accused her of lying or derided her for relaying hearsay that would not hold up in a criminal proceeding. So far, no one has publicly corroborated her account of a struggle between Trump and the Secret Service in his presidential SUV.... Officials have said anonymously that the Secret Service agents involved are prepared to contradict Hutchinson in sworn testimony.... One person familiar with the investigation who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to address sensitive matters, called the story of Trump lunging at a Secret Service agent an 'unforced error' that amounted to a colorful aside, when the main point, not in dispute, was that Trump was furious at being barred from proceeding to the Capitol...."

From "The Jan. 6 committee bet big with Cassidy Hutchinson. Did it pay off? The decision to accelerate her testimony has led to second-guessing but also produced some of the most memorable hearing moments to date" (WaPo).

I don't care whether "Trump was furious at being barred from proceeding to the Capitol." There's got to be more about what he believed would happen there. I'm stuck on the idea that what he wanted was a huge, attention-getting protest against resolving the election without more inquiry into whether the vote counts were accurate. If he had joined the crowd it would have been a stunning sight. But he didn't get his way. It was too dangerous. That he thought he could do it seems to be evidence that he was NOT picturing a violent scene. So what if he was "furious" that he didn't get to do his gigantic, historic photo-op?

"One day I hope to become a mother. But for now I have sex just because I like it. Sex is fun. For the puritanical tyrants seeking to control our bodies..."

"... that’s a problem. This radical minority, including the right-wing faction on the Supreme Court, probably won’t stop at banning abortion. If we take Justice Clarence Thomas at his word — and there’s no reason not to — the right to contraception could be the next to fall. Why? Because many in this movement are animated by an insatiable desire to punish women who have sex on our own terms and enjoy it.... They are part of a movement intended to curb the hard-won freedom to pursue careers and joys outside the confines of wifehood and motherhood.... In the America where I came of age, I was told my life was worth more than my ability to have babies. And my sexuality was nothing to be ashamed of.... Later, when I was a student at the University of Michigan, the movement for sex positivity was thrilling and liberating. We learned that pleasurable sexual experiences between consenting adults of all genders and orientations were to be celebrated.... " 

Writes Mara Gay, in "The Republican War on Sex" (NYT).

"Patients were typically confused when presented with a clinic that looked mostly like a house and a little like a church."

"They described to me how anti-choice protesters would prolong and exploit this confusion to keep patients away from medical care for as long as possible, employing medical misinformation or simple guilt. When a car did make it into the clinic parking lot, the protesters could not physically approach whomever got out of it without trespassing, so they just yelled at them. They had an elevated platform for this purpose, built right up against the clinic’s property line...."  

They chose to talk about sex a lot. They tended to be opposed to birth control and were fond of explaining 'God’s plan for human sexuality.' One woman illustrated this plan with unasked-for details about her virtuous married sex life. She felt that abortion and hormonal birth control were murder, and that condoms were undignified. Her husband learned to suppress his sexual urges, she said, and they now had sex only for procreation....