August 27, 2022

At the Sunrise Café...

IMG_2404

... you can talk about whatever you want.

I've got 5 TikToks to amuse you on this Saturday midday. No corn, just animals, hair, Mahler, and physics. Let me know what you like.

1. Geese are weird and terrifying (and I think it's real, and not some sort of animation). 


"Contrary to popular perception, totalitarian ideologies are not coherent or consistent..."

"... rather, they are opportunistic concoctions of ideas and words that are useful in times of crisis and mobilization... [Aleksandr Dugan's] star seemed to rise in 2014, when Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine for the first time. Dugin... had called for the creation of a 'Russian World,' a geographically non-specific concept that imagined Russia on a civilizational mission rooted in traditional values and the Russian Orthodox religion.... In 2014, the Kremlin, in its pivot from the politics of Soviet nostalgia to the politics of imperial resurgence, started speaking Dugin’s language...." 

"Alex Berenson Sued Twitter Over Being Banned and Was Reinstated."

It's a long segment so don't miss the key material near the end, explaining why he settled with Twitter and how he's moved on to publishing documents showing that the federal government pressured Twitter to ban him. Twitter had accepted him, he says, and White House people said they wanted him banned, and, within 6 weeks, he was banned.

That clip should be put alongside this other Joe Rogan clip, from one day earlier. Here's Mark Zuckerberg talking about the FBI's pressuring Facebook to moderate content:

"I am old enough to have visited Stonehenge (as a child) when you could wander around in the circle and touch the stones..."

"... and it wasn't crowded. I found it a magical experience I've never forgotten. I don't think traipsing past 50m away in a line of other visitors would have the same effect mind you"/"The difference between then and now is depressing, English Heritage have completely sanitised the experience, the drive-by is great though, just don’t do it unless you have a fair bit of time"/"I had it to myself in 1975, oh, and my Australian girlfriend who, fortunately married someone else. Poor darling. Very hot August." 


Dan Snow is identified as a "broadcaster," and he's giving advice to visitors doing a historical tour ("You take in York, you take in Durham, you take in Hadrian’s Wall, Hexham — you get into the Borders, Edinburgh, Kelso, Stirling Castle. I think that trip is probably stronger, the strongest in the isles. I think I would suggest people go to Durham Cathedral rather than Stonehenge").

A "bestselling historian," Tom Holland, says Snow is "deranged," because Stonehenge is "iconic," easily "recognise[d] from a silhouette." But I think those are the very things that disappoint you when you go see them in person. You get the feeling, yes, there it is, looking exactly like all the pictures I've seen. Maybe it's a bit of a surprise to see that it's bigger or smaller than it seemed from the picture. And if it's something you thought would give you a magical mystical experience, you're least likely to get it if the place is a popular tourist attraction.

"We aren’t defending Mr. Trump’s behavior in any of this. He brings much of his trouble on himself."

"But his political enemies make it worse when they break political norms themselves. They also help Mr. Trump by making him into a political martyr. If you’re going to indict a former President, you’d better have him dead to rights on something bigger than mishandling documents."


That's about what I'm thinking on the subject. I wouldn't use the phrase "dead to rights." I know it just means caught in the act/caught red-handed, but in America, even when you are caught red-handed and all the evidence is against you, you have rights. I know the "to rights" part of the phrase isn't a reference to legal rights (and "dead" doesn't mean not living), but it's distracting.

US, 1854, originally New York City criminal slang, thence entered general use. dead (“completely, utterly”) + to rights (“properly”)....
With sufficient evidence to establish responsibility definitively.
Anyway, the WSJ is saying you need a more important crime than mishandling documents, and even if you had it, you'd also need absolutely indisputable proof before you indict a former President. 

A very well designed graphic... except that it's hard to figure out what it's arguing.

"Children’s National Hospital has been inundated with threatening emails and phone calls after an influential right-wing Twitter account published a recording..."

"... that falsely suggested the hospital is performing hysterectomies on transgender children, a hospital spokeswoman said. The torrent of harassment was accompanied by social media posts suggesting that Children’s be bombed and its doctors placed in a woodchipper. The recording, made by Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik, features two telephone operators at the renowned D.C. medical facility stating — in response to Raichik’s questions — that a 16-year-old trans boy would be eligible for a hysterectomy at the hospital’s gender development clinic. Children’s has not disputed the authenticity of the recording but said the employees provided inaccurate information."

This post marks the occasion of my abandoning the shorthand "WaPo" for The Washington Post. It suddenly looks offensively cutesy to me. It saves keystrokes but it imposes lightheartedness. 

The removal of healthy, functioning organs from children is shocking. True threats of violence are wrong, but they don't cancel out the wrongs that provoked the death threats. But did the hospital do wrong? We're told the recording was real — "not disputed" — but "employees provided inaccurate information." How inaccurate?

Here's the recording:

August 26, 2022

At the Sunrise Café...

IMG_2385X

... you can talk about anything you want.

My TikTok post today is an all-corn collection. If you've been following my TikTok blogging, you saw the original boy who believed in corn...

... on August 5th (#1), and, on August 19th, you saw that incredibly charming interview brilliantly transformed into music (#5), and, on August 22, you saw the lines of the "It's Corn" song ranked (#4). That's all you need to know to receive this set of further developments. Believe me, there are many, many more "It's Corn" videos on TikTok. What I've got here is optimized for your enjoyment of this spiraling trend:

1. The sidewalk chalk version.

2. Is it okay to do cornface?

3. Her friends aren't on TikTok and don't know the corn song.

4. The song becomes a TED talk.

5. The Conor Oberst impression.

6. The Gregorian chant version.

7. Social media manager explains the song to 70-year-old male heads of marketing at a finance company.

8. The teacher wants to use the song as an example of great opinion writing.

9. At some point, corn itself gets anxious

"When Dalton arrived, [Brian] Wilson was refusing to co-operate with the swarm of journalists surrounding him. 'He was sitting at the edge of the ocean, playing with the stones'...."

"To the dismay of the other photographers Dalton, an easygoing and charming Englishman, was able to break through to him and 'everything I asked him to do, he would do.'... Wilson.... invited Dalton to live with him and his girlfriend, Barbara. For years afterwards, every time they saw each other, Wilson would say: 'David, you always turn up just at the right time.' It was during this 'spooky' period, when Wilson was nearly always high and so paranoid that he slept with guns under his bed, that Dalton was first introduced to Charles Manson. Wilson was enamoured by the longhaired cult leader: he kept a bullet that Manson had given him on his mantlepiece and drove 120mph into the desert to tell Dalton that 'Charlie is cosmic'.... Dalton was also taken with him and, with his girlfriend Andy (whom he called his 'acid bride'), even went to stay on Manson’s Spahn ranch in Topanga Canyon for a time. There they rode horses in the moonlight and milled around with Manson and his 'family' of spellbound followers....."

Well, I guess we all have to read this thing now.

 I was about to eat lunch, but suddenly: The Affadivit!

ADDED: From the NYT:

The affidavit — including more than three dozen pages of evidence and legal arguments presented by the Justice Department’s national security division plus supporting documents — describes the government’s monthslong push to recover highly classified materials taken from the White House by a former president who viewed state documents as his private property....

"And drove down to Newark, Delaware where my dad worked at an automobile agency. And I walked in and I had my spikes."

"And because the reason I was going down, when your dad works at an automobile agency, the great advantage you get a new car to go to the prom or a good used car.  You think I’m joking. I’m not joking. And so I went down to my 51 Plymouth with beach towels for seat covers. And I had my uniform on, my spikes off. I ran in and the woman’s name was Mary, who ran the place. I said, 'Mary, where’s dad?' She said, 'He’s out in the lane going into the repair shop.' I’ll give you my word, true story. And my dad was a well dressed, refined fella. And I walked out and my dad was pacing back and forth between the big garage door, going into the repair shop and the door going out of the showroom. And I looked up, he said, 'Oh, Joey. Honey, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.' I thought God, something happened. This is before cell phones. So I thought something happened to one of my brothers or my sister or my mom or something. I said, 'What’s the matter, dad?' He said... 'I went to Charlie and asked to borrow the money.' He said, 'He won’t lend it to me.' He said, 'I’m so ashamed. I’m so damn ashamed.'"
 
Said President Biden, quoted in "President Biden on Student Loan Forgiveness Transcript" (REV).

"And jeans, while pleasant for some, are like sausage casings for others. A good high-necked dress or a suit and tie may be genuinely more comfortable."

"(Miss Manners has more than one gentleman friend who prefers to wear the latter while aboard an airplane — or even while taking a nap.)"

From a Miss Manners Q&A (in WaPo) answering a question from a woman who doesn't like comments from her friends about how she's "overdressed" when she's really — or so she says — dressing for comfort.

"Jamie Foxx Is Secretly a World-Class Trump Impersonator."

 NY Magazine declares.

I disagree. It's not secret. Here's the evidence:

The Levanter cloud.

 

Found via "Remarkable ‘Levanter’ cloud seen over the Rock of Gibraltar" (WaPo), which explains that "the Levant wind that blows eastward across the local terrain," and "[m]oist surface air is forced upward by the sudden spike in topography and ascends to a height where the temperature is cooler than the surface air’s dew point" where it "condenses, forming a cloud."

"I thought California would be wild in the sense of nature. It turned out to be wild in the sense of drugs and parties."

"I wanted to live close to the kind of wild nature that must exist somewhere on a large scale.... In 1977 I moved to a mobile home on Robie Creek, a 40-minute drive from Boise. For the next three years, I lived in the backcountry northeast of McCall in a cabin with no running water or electricity. After that I lived adjacent to the Salmon River for 38 years, with a national forest as my nearest neighbor.... President Biden should issue an executive order immediately directing his secretaries of the interior and agriculture to take all steps available to them to stop commercial logging on public land.... Trees absorb carbon dioxide and water from the air and ground and through the process of photosynthesis release oxygen into the air.... Federal law requires that most public lands be managed for multiple uses, such as recreation, gas and oil development, mining and logging. But this longstanding policy is running headlong into efforts to slow the warming of our planet.... In 1970, my collaborator Toni Stern wrote the lyrics to my most popular song, 'It’s Too Late.' That title should not refer to the climate. That’s why, at age 80, I’m using my voice to call on Mr. Biden to stop commercial logging in our national forests."

Interesting to awkwardly weave in the song title "It's Too Late" when she didn't write those words. It makes it seem that she didn't write the first draft. Whatever. I love trees too. But what about democracy? If the statutes say "most public lands [must] be managed for multiple uses, such as recreation, gas and oil development, mining and logging," isn't it radically undemocratic for the President to single-handedly nix that policy?

It's an emergency — everything is an emergency now (e.g. student debt) — and we can't wait, so the President must act alone. 

"Commuters expected to have less pleasant rides if they tried to strike up a conversation with a stranger."

"But their actual experience was precisely the opposite. People randomly assigned to talk with a stranger enjoyed their trips consistently more than those instructed to keep to themselves. Introverts sometimes go into these situations with particularly low expectations, but both introverts and extroverts tended to enjoy conversations more than riding solo. It turns out many of us wear ridiculously negative antisocial filters.... People underestimated how much they’re going to enjoy deeper conversations compared to shallower conversations. They underestimated how much they would like the person. They underestimated how much better their conversation would be if they moved to a more intimate communications media — talking on the phone rather than texting. In settings ranging from public parks to online, people underestimated how positively giving a compliment to another person would make the recipient feel. We’re an extremely social species, but many of us suffer from... undersociality...."

The top-rated comment: "Notably missing is the fact that many women protect themselves from unwanted, insistent intrusion and comments, even the possibility of being followed and harassed, by immersing themselves in phones or books in public places."

Yes, Brooks says nothing about sex or gender at all. Also nothing about boredom or the fact that trains are noisy.

Nothing about race or religion either, as the third-highest-rated comment shows: "As a white, Christian male, David Brooks has no earthly idea how dangerous it may be for some of us to 'strike up a conversation' with strangers...."

Reading these comments, I'm finding the word "Your" in the headline obtuse and perhaps mean.

When was the first time?

"[W]e'll pass election reform, and make sure no one, no one has an opportunity to steal an election again."

Said President Biden last night, quoted in "Biden slams 'MAGA Republicans,' compares the philosophy to "semi-Fascism'" (CBS News).

Steal an election again? When was the first time?

August 25, 2022

At the Thursday Night Café...

IMG_2363

... you can talk about whatever you want.

Is anyone listening to the new Joe Rogan podcast, the one with Mark Zuckerberg?

I clicked it on and then off again after a minute and a half, basically as soon as Joe stopped talking and Zuckerberg began. I just felt a reflexive revulsion. 

There are some articles about it though, so let's read that. The Independent has a lot of transcription, so I'll begin and end there and just cherry-pick some quotes from MZ:

"A federal judge in Florida on Thursday ordered that a redacted version of the affidavit used to obtain a warrant for former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida residence be unsealed by noon on Friday..."

"The decision by Judge Bruce E. Reinhart came just hours after the Justice Department submitted its proposal for extensive redactions to the document.... He appeared to accept the requested cuts.... [T]he order said that he... found them to be 'narrowly tailored to serve the government’s legitimate interest in the integrity of the ongoing investigation.'"

"More alienated Latinos are turning to unofficial saints."

Axios reports. 

La Santa Muerte, a skeleton figure that resembles the Grim Reaper, is the most well-known.... Although originally tied to cartels, devotees now include members of LGBTQ+ communities and the middle class.

Oh, Spotify, you know us so well.

Meade and I have separate Spotify accounts, but we link them in a playlist they call "Ann + laurencemeade/A blend of music for Ann and laurencemeade." Today, we noticed a spot to touch with an option called "View Blend story." Okay. Spot touched. This screen pops up:

 

"The song that brings you to together"! Ha ha. Can't you imagine us sitting around hating capitalism together? I wonder what the actual song that brings us together is. 

You can listen to the song here. I'm not recommending it, just showing you that it is a real song:

"I’m just sick of seeing him! I know he says he’s gonna retire—someone needs to grab that little elf and chuck him across the Potomac."

Said Ron DeSantis, quoted in "DeSantis Rages About ‘Little Elf’ Fauci: ‘Grab Him and Chuck Him Across the Potomac’/A man was recently sentenced to three years in prison for threatening to hunt down Fauci and break every bone in his 'disgusting elf skull'" (Daily Beast).
DeSantis, who recently debuted a performative tough-guy “Top Gov” campaign ad with himself as “Maverick,” has long taken aim at Fauci to burnish his MAGA credentials.

Last year, for instance, he began hawking “Don’t Fauci My Florida” merch as coronavirus cases spiked in his state. Fauci, meanwhile, has been the target of countless death threats. A man who said he wanted to break every bone in Fauci’s “disgusting elf skull” was recently sentenced to three years in prison.

I'll just do a poll:

 
Should DeSantis be calling Fauci a "little elf" and envisioning a violent action against him?
 
pollcode.com free polls

Background on the second option, from the Wikipedia article "Dwarf Tossing":

"Worse than the cost is the moral hazard and awful precedent this sets....

"Those who will pay for this write-off are the tens of millions of Americans who didn’t go to college, or repaid their debt, or skimped and saved to pay for college, or chose lower-cost schools to avoid a debt trap. This is a college graduate bailout paid for by plumbers and FedEx drivers. Colleges will also capitalize by raising tuition to capture the write-off windfall. A White House fact sheet hilariously says that colleges will 'have an obligation to keep prices reasonable and ensure borrowers get value for their investments, not debt they cannot afford.' Only a fool could believe colleges will do this...."

Says the Editorial Board of The Wall Street Journal, in "The Half-Trillion-Dollar Student-Loan Executive Coup/Biden’s student-loan write-off is an abuse of power that favors college grads at the expense of plumbers and FedEx drivers."

"Widely canceling student loan debt is regressive. It takes money from the broader tax base, mostly made up of workers who did not go to college..."

"... to subsidize the education debt of people with valuable degrees. Though Mr. Biden’s plan includes an income cap, the threshold does not reflect need or earnings potential, meaning white-collar professionals with high future salaries stand to benefit. Student loans, moreover, are a poor proxy for household income: An analysis by policy researcher Jason D. Delisle found that, in 2016, students from high-income and low-income families were just as likely to take on debt for their first year in an undergraduate program — and students from high-income families borrowed the largest amounts...."


Elsewhere in WaPo, the columnist Alexandra Petri is mocking the Americans who complain about other people getting the money. From "Stop improving things right now! Everyone must suffer as I did!":

"I like this about as much as I like electric mountain bikes. Which is to say not at all. Some spectacular things should be earned."

"These metal abominations scar beautiful places in the natural world. Go to an amusement park or IMAX theater for your manufactured thrills."


Another commenter responded: "I'm not a fan of electric mountain bikes, scraping undeveloped nature for human activity or a tram that could whisk you the bottom of Grand Canyon. I don't object to a via ferrata at a responsibly-developed, sustainability-focused resort like Taos Ski Valley, which was already a year-round destination popular with climbers, mountain bikers and hikers."

I found this video of the longest via ferrata in Switzerland: 

How far into the NYT article "Biden to Cancel $10,000 in Student Debt" must we read before we see anything about the President's power to do such a thing?

Here's the article, "Biden to Cancel $10,000 in Student Debt; Low-Income Students Are Eligible for More/The debt forgiveness comes after months of deliberations in the White House over fairness and fears that the plan could make inflation worse ahead of the midterm elections."

I suspect that less than 1% of Americans, if surveyed now, could correctly answer the question: What legal basis did President Biden cite for his power to cancel student debt? I don't know the answer, and I'm not even sure he did cite any basis for this giant arrogation of power. I don't think he said: The President has the power to do anything he can get away with. Or: We'll find out when the people go to the polls in November. Or: The joke's on you because no one has standing to challenge it.

I just want to see how far I need to go into this NYT article before I find anything in the general area of an answer to my question.

Paragraphs 1-3: Nothing. There is this interesting quote from Biden: "All of this means people can start finally to climb out from under that mountain of debt." If you're under a mountain of debt, does $10,000 change your life? He didn't say it would, only that you could "start" getting out from under it. 

August 24, 2022

Sunrise — 6:15, 6:16.

IMG_2373X

IMG_2376X

Write about whatever you want in the comments.

I've curated 8 TikToks for your pleasure tonight. Let me know which one (or ones) you like best.

1. That fish!

2. The dog's delicate care for a plant.

3. Sounds you don't hear anymore.

4. Do you pronounce these words correctly?

5. A designer food experience.

6. How to dress for a work meeting.

7. Her not understanding any critically acclaimed film.

8. The jazz they play in stores in Tokyo. (And here's his "In-Store (Tokyo Jazz)" playlist.)

"Abu-Jamal was born Wesley Cook in Philadelphia in 1954. As a teenager, he co-founded a local chapter of the Black Panthers..."

"... which advocated socialism, Black nationalism and armed self-defense. He later became a radio journalist and president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, known for his sympathetic coverage of MOVE, a radical, antigovernment Black power group whose relationship with the police (who firebombed their compound in 1985, killing 11) remains a raw subject in Philadelphia. In 1982, Abu-Jamal, who had no prior criminal record, was convicted of first-degree murder in the 1981 killing of Police Officer Daniel J. Faulkner, who witnesses testified was shot by Abu-Jamal as the officer was arresting his brother. The acquisition of his archive is not just unique, but also potentially controversial.... The archive came to Brown [through]... Johanna Fernández, a historian.... [who has said]... 'He was the Che Guevara of our time'...."

"Biden to cancel up to $10,000 in student debt for most borrowers and $20,000 for Pell recipients"

WaPo reports, based on what "four people familiar with the matter said."

Biden has drawn the ire of activists and some student loan borrowers who were growing tired of promises of a decision that stretched over more than a year. Biden had previously expressed reluctance to grant forgiveness to people who attended elite universities, while moderate Democrats and Republicans derided the policy as fiscally irresponsible....

DeSantis haters are driving more views to this DeSantis ad. They liken it to the Dukakis tank ride...

 ... but are they right or is this a good ad?

 

Did DeSantis successfully lure his antagonists into propagating this ad? I only noticed it because Gillian Brockell wrote this WaPo column: "DeSantis fighter jet ad conjures 1988 Dukakis tank debacle."

Hipster Trumpism.

ADDED: The post title is based on the old concept "hipster racism." Remember "hipster racism"?
Carmen Van Kerckhove coined the term hipster racism in the article "The 10 Biggest Race and Pop Culture Trends of 2006", citing "Kill Whitey" Parties and "Blackface Jesus" as examples. "Kill Whitey" parties, as described by The Washington Post, were parties held for hipsters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, by Jeremy Parker, a disc jockey who goes by the name The Pumpsta, in an attempt to "kill the whiteness inside". These were parties in which white hipsters mocked the black hip-hop industry, and essentially a part of African-American culture, for the sake of irony. Van Kerckhove also regarded the use of blackface by white people and the normalization and acceptance of such use from other individuals as hipster racism....

There was also "hipster sexism," circa 2012: 

August 23, 2022

At the Sunrise Café...

IMG_2350X

... you can write about whatever you want.

"What's one of your toxic traits?"/"I listen to male manipulator music...."

@chrisklemens

this receives a huge “HUH”

♬ original sound - Chris Klemens


It's not a joke, and it's not just this one guy's characterization of "Smiths, Radiohead, that kind of stuff." I checked, and he's right. There are playlists and it's called "male manipulator music":


ADDED: Know Your Meme says the term originated on November 16, 2020, when @shortc1rcuit tweeted, "ladies and lads, what are some music 'red flags'? for example: radiohead, slowdive, the smiths. male manipulator music, if you will." 

Jupiter.

From the NASA Webb Telescope:


ADDED: From the WaPo article "‘Incredible’ Jupiter images revealed by NASA’s James Webb telescope":
Jupiter, where a day is about 10 hours long, has at least 50 moons. The four largest are named: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto were first observed by Italian physicist Galileo Galilei in 1610. The images also capture Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot, which appears white in the photographs as it’s reflecting sunlight, says NASA. The Great Red Spot is in fact a giant storm bigger than the size of Earth, which has been raging for centuries.

"The author is in her 'Making up articles out of nothing at all and getting them published in the Washington Post' era."

The perfect comment on a WaPo article by Jessica M. Goldstein, "Down and out and extremely online? No problem: Just enter a new ‘era.’ Rebound from a breakup with a ‘Reputation era.’ Rebrand your failure as a ‘flop era.’ No calamity is too great or small to be romanticized as an ‘era’ on social media."

"Wait. The guy who tried to kill his own VP will be hanging in National Portrait Gallery? No. Absolutely not."

That's the second-highest-rated comment on "Smithsonian’s Trump portraits to be funded with $650K from Trump’s PAC" (WaPo).

First-highest-rated is: "They've already got the Trump as Rambo riding a dinosaur and holding a machine gun. Do they really need a new painting for any reason?"

"I struggle... with what I think of as duplicitousness: She actively restricts who she tells about her pro-life views..."

"... because she fears it will hurt her advancement prospects and could end friendships. She hopes people will see her as a good person and not judge her first on her anti-abortion views. I cannot decide if this is lying. And while I disagree with her views, it is the potential lying that is most questionable to me. Maybe it’s like being queer and choosing to stay in the closet, but there’s the issue of what is a choice and what is inherent. Is it right for her to withhold the truth, or even lie, to protect herself, for the sake of her reputation and friendships?"

Appiah runs with the sexuality analogy, "the closeted employee in a homophobic workplace":
Concealing your sexuality is consistent with self-respect if it’s motivated not by shame but by prudence. Nor are our deepest convictions exactly volitional: Could you choose to see abortion as wrong?

Here's another analogy: religion. What if you know your colleague believes nonbelievers in her religion are going to Hell? Is she unethical not to let her coworkers know that's what she thinks of them? To state the obvious: This subject matter is not appropriate for the workplace! It's certainly not wrong to keep quiet about it. The difficult question would be what if she believed ethics required her to disclose.

"Most judges would be a tad annoyed by the contradiction as the government continues to frame the public debate with its own selective leaks while using secrecy to bar other disclosures."

"That includes sections of the affidavit that detail the communications with the Trump team, information that is already known to the target. Someone is clearly lying. The Trump Team said that it was cooperating and would have given access to the government if it raised further objections. The Justice Department has clearly indicated that time was of the essence to justify this unprecedented raid on the home of a former president. Yet, Attorney General Merrick Garland reportedly waited for weeks to sign off on the application for a warrant and the FBI then waited a weekend to execute that warrant. It is difficult to understand why such communications could not be released in a redacted affidavit while protecting more sensitive sections. The latest leak to to the New York Times offers details on what was gathered from Mar-a-Lago...."


Turley: "It is litigation by leak where the government prevents others (including the target) from seeing key representations made to the court while releasing selective facts to its own advantage. It shows utter contempt for the court and the public."

"Sweating in the sun, two dozen teenagers spread themselves across picnic blankets in a grassy park... Emma Rose Smith, 17, rose from the blankets, tucked her pale-blonde hair behind her ears...."

Interesting prose style for the Washington Post article "After Roe, teens are teaching themselves sex ed, because the adults won’t."

The accompanying photograph shows four 17-year-old girls, slouching together in a line, with glum faces and bared midriffs. 

What is the message? What I'm getting is: "the adults" had better school these kids.

"Twitter executives deceived federal regulators and the company’s own board of directors about 'extreme, egregious deficiencies' in its defenses against hackers..."

"... as well as its meager efforts to fight spam, according to an explosive whistleblower complaint from its former security chief. The complaint from former head of security Peiter Zatko, a widely admired hacker known as 'Mudge,' depicts Twitter as a chaotic and rudderless company beset by infighting, unable to properly protect its 238 million daily users including government agencies, heads of state and other influential public figures. Among the most serious accusations in the complaint, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Post, is that Twitter violated the terms of an 11-year-old settlement with the Federal Trade Commission by falsely claiming that it had a solid security plan."

August 22, 2022

At the Sunrise Café...

IMG_2334D

... you can write about whatever you want.

"A life-size head of a horse, made from Greek Pentelic marble, that looks remarkably like the one on display in the museum, tiny chips and chisel marks and all..."

"... carved by a robot. At a workshop in Carrara, Italy, a robot sculptor has been putting the finishing touches on a copy of the Horse of Selene, scheduled to go on display in London during the first week of September. The horse is one of the best known of the 2,500-year-old sculptures — also known as the Parthenon Marbles — taken from the Acropolis in Athens in the early 1800s by Thomas Bruce, the seventh earl of Elgin, when he was ambassador to the occupying Ottoman Empire.... The British government says Elgin had permission to remove them. Others say the permission was limited to pieces found in the rubble.... In any case, Elgin had the 5th-century B.C. marbles torn down from the Parthenon and shipped to Britain, where he intended to display them privately in his home. He instead sold them to the British government for $42,000 to help pay for a costly divorce."

From "A solution for the Elgin marbles: Robot-carved replicas? Amid a global reckoning on colonialism and cultural supremacy, pressure is growing on the British Museum to return the sculptures to Greece" (WaPo).

"The Defense Department on Monday again said it will not help the District deal with the thousands of migrants who’ve arrived on buses from Texas and Arizona..."

"... upholding the department’s previous denial of D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser’s earlier request for National Guard deployment. In a letter to Bowser (D), Pentagon Executive Secretary Kelly Bulliner Holly outlined a host of reasons National Guard troops can’t be deployed, including the fact that its members are not trained to provide the type of services that would be required to help the migrants, including feeding, sanitation and management of a central processing facility. More than 7,000 migrants from countries such as Venezuela or Nicaragua have arrived at Union Station on buses since Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) began offering the free rides in April to highlight what he had called lax border enforcement policies by the Biden administration. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) followed suit in May."


"More than 7,000 migrants... since... April" — but what is the number of migrants who came to Texas and Arizona since April and have not yet moved on to other states? Is 7,000 supposed to look like a huge number or a tiny number? And is it a military problem or not? Bowser proposes to militarize it within Washington, but would she view the entire migration across the southern border as a military problem?

"The propaganda wing of Big Vacation tells everyone that vacations are these reinvigorating and reforming respites."

"They’re where Stella got her groove back. Where you can find Parts Unknown. Where you’re supposed to eat, pray and love until you finally forget Sarah Marshall. Unfortunately, I have not enjoyed them the way I’ve been told they should be enjoyed. I usually have a good time, but I’ve had a good time at Arby’s.... I’ve grappled with this vacation angst for years, questioning why they just never felt great to me, and wondering if a combination of writer person brain worms and PTBD (post-traumatic brokeness disorder) made me unable to truly appreciate them."

Writes Damon Young in "Everyone’s vacationing wrong" (WaPo).

A nice, precise 10 for today. Here it is, Althouse-curated TikTok. You can rank them, like that lady ranked the lyrics of "It's Corn."

1. The vacation on TikTok vs. Reality.

2. The price of an overnight stay — with breakfast and a beautiful view — in Kyrgystan.

3. What country is longest, north to south?

4. The lines of "It's Corn" — ranked.

5. Spend $80,000 on a truck....

6. Sometimes a m-f talks nice to your face...

7. The phrase "we love that for you."

8. She believes she is still 70.

9. Ricky Gourmet reads the letter his 12-year-old self wrote him.

10. Trying to read.

"Russia has accused Ukraine’s secret services of assassinating the daughter of an ultra-nationalist philosopher who had backed the invasion of Ukraine..."

"... prompting fears that Moscow could exploit her death to justify a new round of missile attacks on Kyiv. Darya Dugina, 29, was killed on Saturday night when her car exploded on a highway near an elite residential region close to Moscow. She had been with her father, Alexander Dugin, at an event shortly before the blast. It is believed that he was the intended target.... However, the exiled Kremlin critic Ilya Ponomarev said a group of Russian partisan fighters known as the National Republican Army (NRA) had claimed responsibility for the bombing.... Ponomarev said he supported the NRA and defended the group’s right to launch violent attacks inside Russia. 'The war is a colossal crime,' he wrote on Telegram, the messaging app. 'There are people who consider it right to punish the initiators of the war and its ideologists. They do what they think is right.'"

Oil change.

IMG_5165

"At Zucker’s Trump-baiting CNN, Stelter thrived.... But Zucker was forced to resign from the network, and a new regime under Chris Licht stepped in..."

"... with a goal of rejiggering CNN’s programming, scrubbing it of liberal political valence....Under new ownership, CNN’s parent company was in thrall to the libertarian billionaire John Malone, who said that he wanted to see 'CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing.'"

Writes Clare Malone in "A TV Face of the Trump Resistance Exits/Brian Stelter, the host of the CNN show 'Reliable Sources,' which was cancelled this week, went from media chronicler to media-chronicled" (The New Yorker).

I had trouble understanding that headline because I have been using the tag "the Trump resistance" to refer Trump and his supporters as they've resisted accepting Biden's victory in the 2020 election. That includes the January 6th riot/insurrection and the investigation into it. So it took me a couple seconds to see "the Trump resistance" as meaning the resistance to Trump and not the resistance by and on behalf of Trump. That reveals how little I have bothered with the CNN eminence that was Brian Stelter. The truth is, I don't watch any TV news channels.

Back to the article. This next sentence had me almost changing course and inviting readers to participate in a sentence-diagramming contest (or just to rewrite this in as few words as possible):

"Particularly given the intense public and historical interest in an unprecedented search of a former President’s residence, the Government has not yet shown that these administrative concerns are sufficient to justify sealing."

Said Judge Bruce Reinhart, rejecting the government's argument that redacting the names of agents and sources wouldn't be enough to protect its interests.

The lanternfly and the unborn baby.

Meade texts me the link to this NYT article: "In the Lanternfly War, Some Take the Bug’s Side/Even as the invasive pest spreads across 11 states and threatens agriculture, lanternflies are winning sympathizers who resist kill-on-sight orders." 

He pulls this quote...
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals offered a less than full-throated defense of the lanternfly. The advocacy group did advise people, however, to carefully consider their actions if it involves “killing any living being, no matter how small or unfamiliar,” said Catie Cryar, a PETA spokeswoman.
... and says:
"Killing any living being, no matter how small or unfamiliar"

Like an unborn living human being? 
He quotes...
The bugs “didn’t ask to be invasive, they are just living their own life,” [said Catherine Bonner, 22, a Temple University student in Philadelphia]. “I would be bummed if I suddenly started existing somewhere I wasn’t supposed to exist and everyone started killing me for it.”
... and says: 
Like suddenly existing somewhere like your mother’s body?

"Even as roughly half the states have moved to enact near-total bans on abortion... anti-abortion activists are pushing for a long-held and more absolute goal..."

"So-called fetal personhood laws would make abortion murder, ruling out all or most of the exceptions for abortion allowed in states that already ban it. So long as Roe established a constitutional right to abortion, such laws remained symbolic in the few states that managed to pass them. Now they are starting to have practical effect. Already in Georgia, a fetus now qualifies for tax credits and child support, and is to be included in population counts and redistricting. The laws also open up questions well beyond abortion, about immigration and who is entitled to public benefits.They have the potential to criminalize common health care procedures and limit the rights of a pregnant woman in making health care decisions.... [F]or anti-abortion advocates, simply returning the regulation of abortion to the states was never enough. 'Life begins at conception,' Representative Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, said in proposing the Unborn Child Support Act in Congress this month, 'and this bill is a straightforward first step towards updating our federal laws to reflect that fact.'"

Here's the text of the proposed Unborn Child Support Act. You might think, reading the NYT, that Johnson is talking about a federal takeover of this subject that the Supreme Court was supposedly leaving to the states, but it's about the federal government assisting in the collection of child support payments if state law imposes it on fathers of children who exist in utero. 

I see the reason to fear the general "personhood" movement, but even if you favor abortion rights, you might still want men to owe financial support to women who are carrying their children. 

August 21, 2022

At the Sunrise Café...

IMG_2330D

... you can write about whatever you want.

"Nearly everything about Michael Heizer’s land art megasculpture called 'City' can seem hard to fathom."

"That it’s a mile and a half long and nearly half a mile wide, smack in the middle of a remote stretch of the high Nevada desert, where what passes for a neighbor is Area 51. That the nearest blacktop is an hour’s drive away, on a dusty, bumpy, former livestock trail, across a couple of mountain ranges. That it cost $40 million to build. Even that it’s called 'City.' It’s a city in name only. Exquisitely groomed dirt mounds, roads, buttes and depressions like dry lake beds spread out in no immediately obvious order and in different directions.... It’s meant to be trekked and explored on foot, slowly, at eye level, where the site swallows you up.... There are moments I’ve resented trudging from one end of the site to the other, through the dirt and the heat or cold, waiting for an epiphany.... It is bravado, awesome and nuts...."

“On Thursday, two days before her death in a car bombing outside Moscow, she argued on a state television talk show that 'the Western man lives in a dream — a dream that he got from his global hegemony.'"

"On Friday, she delivered a lecture on 'mental maps and their role in network-centric warfare,' describing atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in Bucha, a Kyiv suburb, as a staged event. And before she died on Saturday, she attended a nationalist festival with her father outside Moscow called Traditions.... She told a state-run Russian radio station that the Azovstal steel plant, where the [Mariupol]’s defenders made their last stand, was filled with 'Satanist,' 'black energy.' Echoing her father, Ms. Dugina’s public commentary provided an ideological framework for Mr. Putin’s aggressive foreign policy. In an interview with a Russian broadcaster hours before her death, she [said, describing what Russia was fighting against in Ukraine]... 'This is liberal totalitarianism, this is liberal fascism, this is Western totalitarianism.... It has reached its end.'"

Here are 9 TikTokk videos I found to while away your next 10 minutes. Let me know what you like best.

1. The lizard's table manners.

2. The chef disapproves.

3.  A drawing of chaos and order.

4. Sidewalk chalk art.

5. Broadway Barbara can help you get a good night's sleep.

6. Nurse Melissa is back with her Nancy Pelosi lip-synching.

7. Infuse other exercise classes with religion the way yoga classes use Hinduism.

8. "I want to be the Bob Woodward of 'Family Feud' clips. I want to lead a ragtag group of journalists into the Steve Harvey reaction underworld, like that movie 'Spotlight.'"

9. Evel Knieval and all his friends.

Quiet quitting — "renouncing hustle culture, quitting 'the idea of going above and beyond at work'" — is "resonating strongly" with "Gen Z and millennial knowledge workers."

Writes Taylor Telford in "'Quiet quitting' isn’t really about quitting. Here are the signs. Burnout is at an all-time high. Here’s what managers should be on the lookout for" (WaPo).

What managers should be on the lookout for? This column is oriented toward management! What about the workers who are claiming entitlement to their own mind and their own time and consciously limiting their work to what they are paid to do?

The column quotes Joe Grasso, a "senior director of workforce transformation at Lyra Health," who cites warning signs like "withdrawing from the team, limiting communication and interaction to only what’s required" and "cynicism or apathy" or "complaints from colleagues... [who] feel frustrated by having to pick up the slack or feeling shut out." It's like a disease!

Who is censoring Jamie Foxx?

Maybe, like me, you heard Bill Maher, on his HBO show this week, expressing outrage that "gatekeepers" were refusing to release a Jamie Foxx movie. 

Initially scheduled for a February 16, 2018 release to coincide with that year’s NBA All-Star Game, “All-Star Weekend” has yet to make it into theaters..... 

Flashing electronic sign says "ENJOY NATURE."

IMG_2324

TO BE FAIR: Context:

IMG_2322

"Why on earth would you include a destination in Texas on this list? "/"No way I'm spending a dime in Texas; let them rot"/"Sorry Texas. Not one dollar of mine will be spent there until it joins the 21st century."

"Texas? Not if you’re a woman who prefers to retain human rights"/"Sorry, not spending a dime in Texas for any reason whatsoever"/"Interesting list. But you’re crazy to think I would ever step foot in that anti woman cesspool calked [sic] Texas!"/"Skip Texas. The state is far too retrograde. Go someplace nice instead"/"Texas will receive ZERO of this feminist's dollars!"/"Texas? Never"/"No way jose.....Texas can split away from the other 49 states and we'd never miss them! Texas doesn't offer anything to me.....and I'll never visit that state again...."
For a rustic trip, visit Caddo Lake, Tex., a protected wetland decorated with otherworldly bald cypress trees covered in Spanish moss....

You can't get anywhere "otherworldly" when you start where those commenters are. Your politics accompany you everywhere. There can be no getaway. You can go to an elaborately "decorated" wetland, but you cannot escape the minimalist swamp of your sameworldly mind.

Not all the comments are about abortion. There's also "Why does the Washington Post not use the standard USPS state abbreviations?" 

And I would have thought that someone taking a strong progressive position on abortion would eschew the phrase "no way jose" (especially when making a show of refusing to enter a state with a large Hispanic population).