March 18, 2023

At the Saturday Night Café…

 … you can talk about whatever you want.

Pandemic nostalgia.

"Unpopular opinion: I don’t have zoom fatigue and I miss zoom happy hours and game nights. I feel more isolated now than I did when friends all took time to chat online at the beginning of the pandemic."/"What I miss most about it is getting everyone in one space and catching up together, as opposed to just visiting one friend wherever they are."

Be careful expressing this nostalgia though, because you'll be judged for your lack of awareness of your privilege:
It can feel a little callous, or at the very least uncool, to admit to missing any part of those days. While so many millions of people were sheltering at home, millions more were risking their lives just going to work, mourning lost loved ones or struggling to even get internet access.

"Trump says 'illegal leaks' indicate he will be arrested Tuesday in N.Y. hush money probe."

 NBC News reports.

Trump, in posts on his social media platform Truth Social, referenced reports that he could soon face possible criminal charges in New York relating to a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. 

The 76-year-old presidential candidate has said he has no plans to drop out of the race even if he gets indicted. “Absolutely not,” he told reporters at a political event in early March, adding that getting charged “would probably enhance my numbers, but it’s a very bad thing for America.” 

AND: Here's the NYT headline: "Trump Claims His Arrest Is Imminent and Calls for Protests, Echoing Jan. 6 His indictment by a Manhattan grand jury is expected, but its timing is unclear."


"So if little girls experience their menstrual cycle in fifth grade or fourth grade, will that prohibit conversations from them since they are in the grade lower than sixth grade?"

"It would."

From "Florida bill would ban young girls from discussing periods in school" (WaPo).

The GOP lawmaker representing Ocala, Fla., later clarified that it “would not be the intent” of the bill to punish girls if they came to teachers with questions or concerns about their menstrual cycle, adding that he’d be “amenable” to amendments if they were to come up. 
The bill ended up passing, 13-5, on Wednesday in a party-line vote....
“I thought it was pretty remarkable that the beginning of a little girl’s menstrual cycle was not contemplated as they drafted this bill,” [said state Rep. Ashley Gantt (D)].

"How do you win the Big Ten regular season by a significant distance, roll through the conference tournament and then come out and lose to a team ranked 275th..."

"... in the efficiency ratings? A team, by the way, that only got into the NCAA Tournament because Merrimack, which beat Fairleigh Dickinson in the NEC championship game, was ineligible for the Big Dance."

The tall versus short hijinks were like something in a Disney cartoon. We were, of course, for Purdue — West Lafayette is Meade's hometown — but I thought it was pretty funny how the little guys were slipping in and around the crowd of giants. 

Judge Duncan's Wall Street Journal column: "My Struggle Session at Stanford Law School."

Stanford Law School’s website touts its “collegial culture” in which “collaboration and the open exchange of ideas are essential to life and learning.” Then there’s the culture I experienced when I visited Stanford last week.... 
When I arrived, the walls were festooned with posters denouncing me for crimes against women, gays, blacks and “trans people.” Plastered everywhere were photos of the students who had invited me and fliers declaring “You should be ASHAMED,” with the last word in large red capital letters and a horror-movie font. This didn’t seem “collegial.” Walking to the building where I would deliver my talk, I could hear loud chanting a good 50 yards away, reminiscent of a tent revival in its intensity. Some 100 students were massed outside the classroom as I entered, faces painted every color of the rainbow, waving signs and banners, jeering and stamping and howling.  As I entered the classroom, one protester screamed: “We hope your daughters get raped!”

It was a big protest, generated by the real human beings the law school had assembled as its student body, not propaganda on the institution's website. It's real life, like the life experienced beyond the courthouse and beyond the law school, and it's not that polite. You know, it's also not polite to put "trans people" in quotation marks. It's a more polished form of incivility, but law students have long protested about the way law dresses up and glosses over injustice.

March 17, 2023

At the Friday Night Café...

... you can write about whatever you want.

"Do you like The Zombies" — a random text from my younger son at 6:31 today.

"It goes back to a poem by Yeats," said the architect Eric Owen Moss...

"... citing The Second Coming, which includes the line 'the centre cannot hold.' It is one of the many references he casually invokes throughout our conversation, from Moby-Dick to Dionysus and Apollo, the paintings of Gustave Courbet and Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser. I ask him about deconstructivism, the 1980s style of architecture with which he is associated, to which he responds that he prefers the term 'dialectical lyric.'... Moss may like to operate on a higher conceptual plane, but why should we care about the hermetic theories behind his big steel pile? 'That’s a fair question,' he shrugs. 'Does anybody give a shit? Is anybody listening? Maybe three people we know, one in London, one in Shanghai. But I think the effect of it is what interests me. It’s an opportunity to show there are other ways to imagine.' He narrows his eyes, as if summoning a momentous truth. 'What you see isn’t all there is to see. Can you listen for things you haven’t heard?'... Moss is right: there is more to see than we have seen. But it might be better for all of us if it remained unseen...."

"When the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame started in 1983, you would have thought they might want to begin with Sister Rosetta..."

"... with those first chords that chimed the songbook we were now all singing from. The initial inductees were Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley; not a woman in sight. Sister Rosetta didn’t get in until the Rock Hall was publicly shamed into adding her in 2018. (She was on a US postal stamp two decades before the Rock Hall embraced her.) Big Mama Thornton, whose recording of Ball’n’Chain also shaped this new form of music? Still not in. Today, just 8.48% of the inductees are women... If the Rock Hall is not willing to look at the ways it is replicating the violence of structural racism and sexism that artists face in the music industry, if it cannot properly honour what visionary women artists have created, innovated, revolutionised and contributed to popular music – well, then let it go to hell in a handbag."
Writes Courtney Love, in "Why are women so marginalised by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?" (The Guardian).

Why hasn't Love written off the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? However much contempt she has for the place, she says it's "a bulwark against erasure... game recognising game, history made and marked... a king-making force in the global music industry." It makes "the difference between touring secondary-market casinos opening for a second-rate comedian, or headlining respected festivals."

AND: I see she quoted Breitbart yesterday:

“The International Criminal Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia for war crimes…”

The NYT reports. 

What's the point of Pence if he's going to be crudely disrespectful?

I'm reading "Pence defends joke about Buttigieg 'maternity leave'" (AP). 

Pence was speaking at a roast — the Gridiron Dinner — and said that Pete Buttigieg took “maternity leave.” That was the set up for the joke: “Pete is the only person in human history to have a child and everyone else gets postpartum depression.”

Pence defended himself this way: “The Gridiron Dinner is a roast. I had a lot of jokes directed to me, and I directed a lot of jokes to Republicans and Democrats. The only thing I can figure is Pete Buttigieg not only can’t do his job, but he can’t take a joke.”

That's not consistent with the Pence brand, which is to be relentlessly civil and predictably strait-laced. Even aside from that, it's just plain wrong to claim that a joke is directed at one person when you are using mockery aimed at a group. To say that a gay man is taking "maternity leave" is to mock gay people in general. Why would he want to do that? Also, he's making light of postpartum depression, a mental illness.

If Trump had made these jokes, it would be consistent with his brand. He's a comedian and he steps over the line to shake up the squares. But Pence?! He is the square. If you're the square, be the square. 

Critics of "woke" politics should not use the word "woke" because "one should never rely on language one cannot hope to control or even fully explain."

Writes Thomas Chatterton Williams, in "You Can’t Define Woke/The word is not a viable descriptor for anyone who is critical of the many serious excesses of the left yet remains invested in reaching beyond their own echo chamber" (The Atlantic).

I watched the viral clip of the conservative writer Bethany Mandel...
We watched and talked about that 2 days ago, here

Chatterton Williams recommends "limiting our reliance on in-group shorthand, and embracing clear, honest, precise, and original thought and communication."

I wonder if Chatterton Williams was named after the poet Thomas Chatterton. Ah! Yes, he was.

Do you know the amazing life story of Thomas Chatterton?

Kamala Harris talks to the Howard basketball team — which was expected to lose and did lose — as if they were little kids crying over losing and desperate for a self-esteem boost.

ADDED: In other college basketball news:

"The via about recognizing that when you don’t know the right way forward, you might succeed by focusing on what you know to be wrong...."

"For example, after a weekend at the beach with your family, you can probably list the irritations far more easily than the pleasant aspects, even if on balance the trip was all right.... When you get home, you’ll have a list of things you experienced, and you can easily name the ones you didn’t like and don’t want to repeat next time (for example, bringing your brother-in-law). In contrast, the things you might add (such as a different guest, who, you hope, won’t get arrested) are hypothetical. Subtractive knowledge is practically guaranteed to lead to improvement, but additive knowledge is often just a guess. "

This is consistent with my adage Better than nothing is a high standard. And the famous saying Less is more

Brooks assures us that following the negative way does not make you a "negative person." I feel sorry for anyone who's governed by the fear of negativity. How cluttered your world must be!  

This is well-animated, but should be viewed as what not to do.

"[T]he behavior of these social media hordes represents an anti-democratic, anti-intellectual mind-set that is harmful to the cause of art and antithetical to the spirit of movies."

"Fan culture is rooted in conformity, obedience, group identity and mob behavior, and its rise mirrors and models the spread of intolerant, authoritarian, aggressive tendencies in our politics and our communal life."

March 16, 2023

At the Thursday Night Café…

 … you can talk about whatever you want. 

"You know, when you’re a certain age, you use the words that you know from when you were a kid or you remember saying, and that’s what I did today, and I shouldn’t have."

"I should’ve thought about it a little longer before I said it, but I didn’t. And I should’ve said ‘cheated,’ but I used another word, and I’m really, really sorry."

Goldberg was disparaging Trump supporters — "people who still believe that he got gy---d somehow in the election" — when she collaterally disparaged Romani people.

The "g" word — used as a verb like that — is highly processed into the language, but it's carrying forward a stereotype, so it shouldn't get by on that ground that it's become disconnected from the original reference. I don't think it's a big deal for someone to have said it, but going forward, you ought to plan to avoid it.

ADDED: Here's the relevant OED entry:

"I can read Henry James in a dim room near the ocean on a beach day without feeling I’m missing life."

Now there's a super-power! What reading skills of yours compare to that?

The impressive power belongs to Mona Simpson, quoted in "Mona Simpson’s Fiancé Promised to Read ‘Middlemarch.’ He Never Did. Now He’s Her Ex. 'Certain men are constitutionally incapable of reading one of the greatest novels ever written,' says the author, whose new novel is 'Commitment'" (NYT).

Oh? Do you want to talk about that fiancé? That's what made me click through to the interview. I've read the article, and I've actually read "Middlemarch." Have you? Would you reject someone who's "incapable of reading" "Middlemarch"? 

"Until about a decade ago, though, elections for state supreme courts were usually only the province of wonky election nerds and those in the legal profession."

"But things changed in the early 2010s. 'There was a recognition, especially on the right, that these courts were major players in high-profile policy fights,' said Douglas Keith, an expert on state courts at the Brennan Center. Republicans had tremendous success in gubernatorial and state-legislative elections, but the laws they passed still encountered obstacles in state courts. As a result, outside groups like the Republican State Leadership Committee started spending serious money on judicial elections.... As the 2020 redistricting cycle loomed, conservative and, increasingly, liberal groups zeroed in on state supreme courts as a key battleground.... The U.S. Supreme Court has also raised the stakes of state supreme court elections by delegating major legal questions to the states over the past few years. For instance, the 2019 case Rucho v. Common Cause declared that only state, not federal, courts could decide partisan gerrymandering questions. And now that Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has ended the national right to abortion, the power to re-legalize abortion in states that have banned it ultimately rests with state supreme courts. Indeed, abortion and redistricting are both at stake in this year’s Wisconsin Supreme Court election...."

The Supreme Court is not "delegating major legal questions to the states." The delegating is done by the Constitution, and "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The Court is merely — officially — only figuring out what questions are determined by federal law and declining to exercise power it doesn't have. That's either judicial restraint or judicial activism, depending on some mysterious blend of your political predilections, credulity, and hopes and dreams.

"The Full Audio Recording Of Judge Kyle Duncan At Stanford Law."

Presented by David Lat at Substack.

I've listened to the first 22 minutes (and intend to finish later). That is, I've relistened to the Tirien Steinbach intervention, and I've heard, for the first time, everything that went before, that is, what students did that required the intervention.

As I heard it — and much of it was difficult to hear — there was one student who did most of the speaking, and she seemed to be trying to control the event by addressing the judge, inviting him into a dialogue instead of delivering his prepared remarks. The rest of the crowd seems to be supporting her effort, adding to the pressure on the judge, as if he might decide that the best path through the evening was to throw the written speech aside and take on all comers.

I can imagine a character in a movie doing something like that, really looking the questioning student in the eye and saying words that truly connected.

The movie in my head looks something like this:

"Hey Siri, what do you think of ChatGPT"

"The Biden administration wants TikTok’s Chinese ownership to sell the app or face a possible ban, TikTok said on Wednesday...."

"... as the White House hardens its stance.... The new demand... is a significant shift in the Biden administration’s position.... It harks back to the position of former President Donald J. Trump, who threatened to ban TikTok unless it was sold to an American company...."

The NYT reports.

I would like to link to a list or timeline showing the Biden Administration's rejection and more recent acceptance of Trump ideas/policies. There seems to be a cluster of them lately. It's causing opinion pieces like "Be careful, Biden. You might be inviting a challenge from the left" (in yesterday's WaPo).

"When you turn the neck side to side, those vessels will rotate within the bone. If you turn your head quickly or rotate quickly..."

"... like a car accident or manual manipulation or sport, the vessel can get abruptly torqued."

Said the neurosurgeon Betsy Grunch, quoted in "Is It Safe to Get Your Neck Manipulated by a Chiropractor? Most joint manipulations aren’t dangerous, but one rare complication can result in serious injury" (NYT).

March 15, 2023

The light and the dark view of the sunrise at 7:30.



Open thread in the comments.

"Gender ideology, today, is one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations. Why is it dangerous?"

"Because it blurs differences and the value of men and women. All humanity is the tension of differences. It is to grow through the tension of differences. The question of gender is diluting the differences and making the world the same, all dull, all alike, and that is contrary to the human vocation."

Said Pope Francis, quoted — translated — in "Pope Francis: Gender ideology is ‘one of the most dangerous ideological colonizations’ today" (Catholic News Agency).

Coming out to your parents... as straight.

A TikTok video after the jump.

"[Judge Kyle] Duncan was treated like a politician, because that’s what he is..."

"... and politicians have long understood that, in the United States, shouting at them is our birthright.... The idea that a political speech deserves the quiet deference one brings to a golf course or a tennis match is an idea that runs counter to our American traditions. I’m old enough to remember the last State of the Union address, and I recall Majorie Taylor Greene spending the president’s entire speech braying like a howler monkey looking for a date. I see no reason for Stanford Law students to comport themselves better than Republican members of Congress."

Sunrise — 7:07, 7:12.

IMG_0513 2

IMG_0529 2

"Generally speaking, the best you can hope for in Horizon Worlds is the kind of aimless if well-intentioned chat you might get on a smoke break outside the work canteen."

"There’s usually a lot of talk about where people are from, of the 'I used to live in X, but now I live in Y' variety. That said, the unlovable lo-fi graphics and interpersonal randomness can give Horizon Worlds a kind of a perverse, bockety charm. Unlike Twitter or Instagram, there’s no scope to broadcast your brand here; everybody’s just thrown together, like at a ’90s music festival with no music. Plus the metaverse is the one place I don’t look at my phone every five seconds. There’s no option but to be present. I meet some nice people, particularly at A Very British Pub. BusinessAlum has bright-yellow, strawlike hair and speaks in a high, reedy voice, as if he’s just dropped in from Sesame Street. 'I used to live in Quincy! But the commute was so bad! And the snow! Ten feet of snow in a week! I fell and broke my back! Now I live in Florida!'"

Nice to run into that because I was just wondering if anyone was using Metaverse... and I was just trying — 2 posts down — to start a conversation about conversation.

Plus, I learned a new word: "bockety." This is an Irish English word. (Murray grew up in Dublin.) Used to refer to a person, "bockety" means able to walk only with difficulty. Of a thing, such as Horizon Worlds, "bockety" means rickety and ramshackle. I found these definitions in the OED, which points to the words use in this story by Sean O’Faolain, "The Sugawn Chair" (The Atlantic). 

The conservative author trips up when asked to define that word she's using — "woke."

"[Paula Marantz Cohen] is a self-professed 'talker,' the sort of person who lives for chatty checkout lines, leisurely coffee dates, vigorous college seminars, and spirited dinner parties..."

"... as well as spirited daydreams about whom you would invite to your fantasy dinner party of historical figures. She writes of the special 'synthesis' that occurs in marriage or other long-term partnerships, in which one’s lexicon merges with that of another, producing shorthand terminology and a distinct rhythm and style. But she doesn’t prize these types of decades-long exchanges over others; she always remains open to new connection. 'Surely, my readers can identify with that welling of positive feeling—that almost-falling-in-love-with someone with whom we engage on an authentic level,' she writes. 'I have felt this not only for friends and even strangers with whom I’ve had a probing or even a fleeting conversation but also for whole classes of students where it can seem that the group has merged into one deeply lovable and loving body.'..."

"Declaring this week that defending Ukraine against Russia’s invasion was not a vital interest for the United States, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida cemented a Republican shift..."

"... away from hawkish foreign policy that has played out over the past decade and accelerated with Donald J. Trump’s political rise. Mr. Trump and Mr. DeSantis — whose combined support makes up more than 75 percent of Republican primary voters in the nascent 2024 presidential contest — are now largely aligned on Ukraine, signaling a sharp break from the interventionist approach that drove former President George W. Bush’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan."

DeSantis called the Ukraine/Russia war a “territorial dispute,” and thus, in the words of the NYT, "dismissed the argument that Mr. Putin’s aggression threatened the postwar international order" and "unequivocally rejected the idea that the conflict is a war to defend 'freedom.'"

"I think the focus on the [Stanford DEI dean Tirien] Steinbach is a mistake, for reasons I articulated..."

"... in my post 'Firing Diversity Dean Over Judge Shout-Down May Help Stanford Law School Escape Consequences Of Its Toxic DEI Culture.' My point was that Steinbach was just doing what was expected of her as a DEI officer. She is the symptom, not the underlying problem, which is the DEI culture of intolerance.That toxic culture evidenced itself after the shout-down. The Stanford Law School Chapter of the Federalist Society, which invited Judge Duncan to speak, got almost no faculty support (only two reached out privately), even though not just Judge Duncan but also Federalist students were targeted. Through its silence, the faculty sent a strong message that what happened was acceptable (had it been a liberal judge shouted down, you can be sure there would have been a faculty uproar.)"

It's so much easier to target one person. It's the old rules-for-radicals idea: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." The law school dean, by apologizing for Steinbach, has helped isolate the target, as if the larger DEI Culture is not under attack. How weak is that culture? The students ought to suspect the entire thing is a con. Ironically, Critical Theory teaches us always to suspect that these efforts are a con.

Jacobson says it's a mistake for conservatives to begin with the attack on the isolated target. He recommends skipping that step. Here's how Saul Alinsky explained his "Pick the target" approach in "Rules for Radicals":

March 14, 2023

At the Tuesday Night Café...

 ... you can talk about whatever you want.

"Spanning thousands of miles... the blob — a tangled, buoyant, mass of a type of seaweed called sargassum — is expected to come ashore in Florida..."

"... and elsewhere along the Gulf of Mexico.... [I]t will then begin to rot, emitting toxic fumes and fouling the region’s beaches over the busiest summer months....While floating sargassum can benefit marine animals by providing shade and shelter, the problems begin once it comes ashore. As the sargassum begins to die, it degrades the water quality and pollutes beaches, scientists say. It can also choke vital mangrove habitats and suck oxygen out of the water. The decaying algae also releases hydrogen sulfide, a colorless gas that smells like rotten eggs, and can cause respiratory problems in humans.... The most immediate threat, however, is to tourism."

"'Horror.' That’s how one train operator recently described the scenes he sees daily."

"He declined to use his name because he was not authorized to talk to the media. Earlier that day, as he drove the Red Line subway, he saw a man masturbating in his seat and several people whom he refers to as 'sleepers,' people who get high and nod off on the train. 'We don’t even see any businesspeople anymore. We don’t see anybody going to Universal. It’s just people who have no other choice [than] to ride the system, homeless people and drug users.'"

"In decades of covering campaigns, I’ve seen plenty of historical relics... But none of that prepared me for the morning last fall..."

"... when my dog was running around with her pack of neighborhood playmates, and my friend Ledge turned to me and asked a question so bizarre that for a moment I was sure I’d misheard him. 'Hey,' he said, 'did I tell you I have John Marshall’s gallstones?'... You can still visit Marshall’s house in Richmond, where any mention of a troubled urinary tract is conspicuously missing. I suppose someone who lived in a normal city, maybe Akron or Omaha, would have nervously laughed off Ledge’s question and started talking to someone else. But in Washington, where we practice what Abraham Lincoln called our 'political religion,' we cling to creepy totems, proof that the Founding Fathers and their celebrated successors once walked among the living...."

You'll have to read the story, but it ends: "All that remained of the world of Aunt Judy and her parents was an unbearably sad legacy, and it had come to rest in his basement, where the easiest thing to do was to look away. We’re all collectors of something, whether we choose to be or not."

"A Russian fighter jet forced down a US Air Force drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday after damaging the propeller of the American MQ-9 Reaper drone..."

"... according to the US Air Force. The Reaper drone and two SU-27 Flanker jets were operating over international waters over the Black Sea when one of the Russian jets intentionally flew in front of and dumped fuel in front of the unmanned drone.... The incident marks the first time Russian and US military aircraft have come into direct contact since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine just over a year ago...."
CNN reports.

"[S]ome conservatives, unable or unwilling to adopt the type of horny-bro aesthetic that embraces sports, sex and generally letting 'you do you'..."

"... have resorted to a paint-by-numbers anti-feminism. Conservative women are hot, The Federalist says! Single women are pathetic cat ladies, too ugly to love, say two actual members of Congress! It’s a strange interpretation of masculinity, as if learned from old issues of Maxim and a particularly bitter next-door neighbor.... [I]t seems as if attracting the horny bro to the Republican Party is increasingly more important than sating the conservative, particularly when it comes to getting voters. When the Bang Girls (of Bang Energy drinks) threw cash at conservative teenagers at a Turning Point USA youth conference in 2020, some elders argued that it was embarrassing and deplorable, far removed from 'conservatism.' But one Twitter user [said]... perhaps the message was actually incredibly effective: 'hot women and money. Being conservative will help you achieve those things. that’s what it has to do with it, that is the implication. Join us and get those things.' William F. Buckley would be horrified. Hugh Hefner would be proud."

My city is suing Hyundai and Kia for not making their cars harder to steal.

"... they wanted to be a mom and care for a house"... She doesn't seem to notice that she left out anything about having a husband.

Did these college friends get what they wanted... or did some man horn in on their sweet dream? Well, of course, there would need to be a man to float the dream with a cash flow, but if all they want is to be a mom and care for a house, they could lose the man and keep the cash, the kids, and the house and still have everything they want. I hope PoliMath is misstating the mindset of the college women, but I have a problem with a dream life that uses another person as a means to an end. The husband could also be seeing his wife as a means to an end. Maybe all he wants are children and a well-kept household.

Anyway, I went on to read the NY Post article. This was the most interesting part:

"In the middle of one night eight years ago, when my daughter was an infant, I was nursing her on our living-room sofa when a hulking blur loomed in the corner of my eye."

"I turned toward the nursery, adjacent to the living room, and saw, for a single billowing moment, a giant floating baby—a kind of Mylar-balloon version of my own baby—hovering in the doorframe. I knew it wasn’t real, yet there it was. Two years later... holding my infant son, I felt a hard yet yielding pressure just below my shoulder blades.... A few nights later in that room, I sensed a hand on my shoulder that wasn’t there. A ghost, or something like a ghost, was in the room with us. I felt this to be true, and I knew it was not true.... When both of my children were infants, the same image flashed inside my eyes several times a day: that by some spasm or seizure or uncontrollable urge I would throw the baby against a wall. The image was blurry, monochrome, sped-up, a squiggly pencil animation that instantly erased itself. Outside of the flash, I felt no fear that I would actually hurt my child. But I was frightened and ashamed.... The vast majority of new mothers have unwanted thoughts about their infant being harmed...."

"[Jimmy Carter] asked me to do his eulogy – excuse me, I shouldn’t say that."

Blurted our President, Joe Biden, quoted at CNN.

He went on a bit longer: "I spent time with Jimmy Carter, and it’s finally caught up with him. But they found a way to keep him going for a lot longer than they anticipated, because they found a breakthrough."

"You might read comments somewhere that I was, at some point, given 'permission' to deliver my remarks by the DEI Assistant Dean, Steinbach. Nonsense."

"For a good 20-30 minutes (I’m estimating), I was ruthlessly mocked and shouted down by a mob after every third word. And then Steinbach launched into her bizarre prepared speech where she simultaneously 'welcomed' me to campus and told me how horrible and hurtful I was to the community. Then she said I should be free to deliver my remarks. Try delivering a lecture under those circumstances. Basically, they wanted me to make a hostage video. No thanks. The whole thing was a staged public shaming, and after I realized that I refused to play along."

Said Judge Kyle Duncan, interviewed by Rod Dreher (at Substack).

So, the judge declined to deliver his speech after Steinbach quieted the crowd for him. He's also now calling for her to be fired. He says it was a "staged public shaming," but that's the same thing as saying that the protest was planned. He and his supporters are engaging in staged public shaming too, and they want a person not just disrupted on one evening but deprived of her job. That's tit for tat and a refusal to stand down.

"It was alliterative, it was descriptive, and I liked the contradiction – a flop that could be a success."

Said Dick Fosbury, quoted in "Dick Fosbury, Olympic champion who changed high jump forever, dies aged 76/Oregon athlete who invented the Fosbury Flop won historic gold medal at Mexico City games in 1968" (The Guardian).
His technique, honed in college competition in Oregon, involved jumping backwards and arching his back over the bar, thereby reversing and ripping up decades of high-jump orthodoxy....

It's hard to remember what everyone else was doing and thus how weird that looked to people in 1968.

Would you want to become famous like that?

"One of the most enduring public images of Ms. Schroeder is of her crying when she announced in 1987 that she would not run for president."

"At an outdoor event in Denver, she choked up with emotion, pressed a tissue to her eyes, and at one point leaned her head on her husband’s shoulder. The episode outraged some feminists, who said her tears had reinforced stereotypes and set back the cause of women seeking office. It was an ironic charge against a woman who had done so much to promote that cause. Ms. Schroeder was the first woman elected to Congress from Colorado and the first to serve on the Armed Services Committee. She had to fight blatant discrimination from the start, facing questions about how, as the mother of two young children, she could function as both a mother and a lawmaker...."

That indelible crying:

March 13, 2023

Sunrise — 7:25.


"Changing a dysfunctional relationship will invariably require you to say hard things to a family member...."

"People often put off difficult conversations because they are searching for the 'right' words. It’s OK to say something like 'I don’t want you yelling at me anymore,' she offered as an example, adding, 'There’s not a more "beautiful" or perfect way to say that.... We have tricked ourselves into thinking that we’re supposed to always feel comfortable, so even as we’re saying hard things our goal is to say it without the other person feeling upset or mad or wanting a further explanation.... And that’s not realistic.'"

"How to Get Behind the Scenes at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin?... The writer gets a room of her own at the architect’s former home in the Wisconsin hills. A weekend workshop offers ample time to explore the grounds."

A NYT travel article. The author, Elain Glusac, takes a baking workshop.

When I read "A weekend workshop offers ample time to explore the grounds," I thought they were saying there's not all that much to see in this part of Wisconsin, but, calming down, I think it just means that you won't be in the baking class constantly, and there will be blocks of time when you can walk around the private property that is part of Taliesin. I don't think they are saying it wouldn't be a good idea to base yourself in this area — Spring Green — for a longer time.

Indeed, they don't even mention the American Players Theater, which is right down the road. This season's tickets go on sale today — here! Of course, there are many hikes beyond the private Taliesin grounds. And probably nearly everyone needs to get a look at the House on the Rock.

Back to the NYT article:

Lady Gaga is here to help... but don't touch her!

I like the way she got all dressed and made up and coiffed for the red carpet, then took it all off to do her stage performance styled pretty much like the average person watching the show at home from the couch.

"The federal judge in a closely watched lawsuit that seeks to overturn federal approval of a widely used abortion pill has scheduled the first hearing in the case for this week..."

"... but he planned to delay making the public aware of it, according to people familiar with the case.... Judge [Matthew J.] Kacsmaryk, a Trump appointee who has written critically about Roe v. Wade and previously worked for a Christian conservative legal organization, told lawyers in a conference call Friday that he did not want the March 15 hearing to be 'disrupted'.... In asking the lawyers to keep quiet about the hearing, the judge did not issue a gag order, which would bar the participants on the call from sharing the information. Rather, he asked them to keep the information secret 'as a courtesy.' He said that the court would provide seating for the public and the press, but his plan to provide little advance notice seemed likely to have the practical effect of minimizing the number of people who would attend, according to people familiar with the discussion. Amarillo, in the Texas Panhandle, is several hours’ drive from other major Texas cities, and only a couple of those cities provide direct flights."

"We will slowly roll out to every individual news agency. They can come see the tapes as well. Let everyone see them to bring their own judgment."

Said Kevin McCarthy, quoted in "McCarthy: January 6 tapes to be ‘slowly’ rolled out to networks besides Fox News/Republican House speaker has only let Fox News see the tapes so far, giving access to the primetime host Tucker Carlson" (The Guardian).

Why is he saying "tapes" — to make it seem as though this material is bulky and difficult to copy and transfer to various places? You can "can come see the tapes"?! Isn't this all digital material that could be sent to anyone effortlessly? 
On Sunday, McCarthy claimed he did not “give” the tapes to Carlson. “I didn’t give the tapes,” he said. “I allowed [him] to come see them, just like an exclusive with anybody else. My goal here is transparency.”

Well, you are failing. That doesn't feel transparent at all. And if everyone else could just do what Carlson had to go — where? — to "see," why didn't everyone else just do that? And how did Carlson produce an edited version if he was just "seeing" "tapes"? Something like this?:

"While the FDIC guarantees deposits up to $250,000, the overwhelming majority of SVB deposits exceeded that amount."

"It was the bank of choice for many tech start-ups. Without access to their cash, those companies would have difficulty meeting payroll. Additionally, the sudden collapse of SVB could lead companies and individuals who have deposits in other similar financial institutions to withdraw their money starting on Monday, triggering more bank runs, and more bank collapses.... Defenders of this decision will try to make it seem as if it’s an extraordinary, one-off decision by regulators, but in practice, it has created a huge moral hazard by signaling that the $250,000 FDIC limit on deposit insurance does not exist in practice...."

I'm not linking to this because I agree with it. I don't know what the right answer was or what the real risks were. 

Here's what Elizabeth Warren says, "Silicon Valley Bank Is Gone. We Know Who Is Responsible" (NYT):

"The whole night, down to Rihanna’s eloquent performance of 'Lift Me Up' from 'Wakanda Forever,' felt well oiled but entirely preprogrammed because, of course, it was."

 What?! Everyone seemed drunk? I might have watched if I'd known that.

Hey, WaPo, "well oiled" means drunk. If you don't mean literally that oil, the lubricant, was used, you have to get "machine" in there — something like The show worked like a well-oiled machine — if you want to say it functioned effectively. 

I'm reading "It was a lovely, back-to-basics Oscar night. Sorry about that. At Sunday’s 95th Academy Awards, a focus on the winners, not the drama" (WaPo).

Yes, the Oscars took place last night. The thing that we'd be hearing criticism of if it didn't happen happened, so there's no way to know what motivated the Academy, and I just don't care anymore.

I don't know if Rihanna somehow injected "eloquence" into "Lift Me Up," but I read the lyrics, and they're the opposite of eloquent:
Burning in a hopeless dream
Hold me when you go to sleep
Keep me in the warmth of your love
When you depart, keep me safe
Safe and sound

But that nonsense did not win. This won: 

Translated lyrics hereLike the shrill voice of a bird that can ring your ears... Like singing a song that can make your fingers snap to the beat....

March 12, 2023

6:09 a.m. — Daylight Saving Time.




ADDED: I knew Daylight Savings had happened. I put it in the post title. But I wrote 6:09 — though I'd just looked at the info for the picture and seen that it was 7:09. At least I didn't miss any appointments.

As long as we're talking about the president of Stanford University (see previous post)...

 ... let's read "This 18-Year-Old College Journalist Could Bring Down Stanford University’s President/Theo Baker recently became the youngest-ever recipient of the prestigious Polk Award" (BuzzFeed).

Baker and the Stanford Daily merited a “special award” for their series looking into allegations that scientific papers coauthored by Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, a noted neuroscientist, contained manipulated imagery. 

Did the Stanford president and the Stanford law school dean apologize for what the DEI dean said to calm the students who were shouting down Judge Kyle Duncan?

That's what Ed Whelan asserts over at National Review. He says:
In an obvious reference to DEI dean Tirien Steinbach’s bizarre six-minute scolding of [Judge Kyle] Duncan, their letter observes that “staff members who should have enforced university policies failed to do so, and instead intervened in inappropriate ways that are not aligned with the university’s commitment to free speech.”

As you know, I defended Tirien Steinbach.

"How Rod Dreher's Blog Got a Little 'Too Weird' for The American Conservative."

I'm reading this Vanity Fair article by Caleb Ecarma. Subtitle: "The right-wing commentator’s columns, which were unedited and bankrolled by a single donor, will be shuttered Friday after a 12-year run. Sources say it was ultimately a diatribe on circumcision that was a bridge too far."
Over the last 12 years, Dreher... has built a cult following with some of the most bizarre diatribes in opinion journalism. He has warned that so-called sissy hypnosis porn is “profoundly evil;” detailed the “formal” Catholic exorcism of a friend’s suicidal wife; and recalled—in unsettling detail—the time he witnessed a Black classmate's uncircumcised penis....