September 30, 2023

Sunrise — 6:48, 6:53, 6:57.


IMG_3608 2

IMG_3616 2

Architect Vishaan Chakrabarti saw that "[t]he way to revamp the refinery... was to drop a freestanding building with desirable ceiling heights into the perimeter and use the old as a screen."

"The floors would align irregularly with the arched windows, but that unpredictability would be an asset, making each floor distinctive. At first glance, the result looks like a magic trick, a ship in a bottle — or rather a bottle in a ship — with a thick-walled headquarters of sugar production demoted to decorative sleeve.... What has been lost in this exercise of rationalism is the Gothic weirdness of the plant’s former guts, the platforms and voids and catwalks that characterized a place designed around inanimate objects and the transformation of a product from goo to granules. The result is plainer and more conventional, but preserving that interior drama would have come at the cost of clarity and usability...."

Ron DeSantis tells Bill Maher "don't act like" it was a "unique thing" to say that the election was stolen...

... and gets applause from the "Real Time" audience:

"Let's go back to 2016. Your friends in Hollywood were cutting ads telling the Electoral College to vote against Trump... because the election was stolen. They said Russia stole the election. For years they said that."

"New York City’s sewer system is built for the rain of the past—when a notable storm might have meant 1.75 inches of water an hour."

"It wasn’t built to handle the rainfall from Hurricane Irene, Hurricane Sandy, or, more recently, Hurricane Ida—which dumped 3.15 inches an hour on Central Park. And it wasn’t built to handle the kind of extreme rainfall that is becoming routine...."

More than 8 inches of rain fell in NYC yesterday.

"The Senate's move to relax its unofficial dress code has led to a surprising development: an official dress code."

NPR reports.

It's not the way it always goes, but it shows the risk of seeking a new rule. You may end up with a reinforcement of the old rule. More precisely, it shows the risk of ending the enforcement of an informal practice. It led to the formalization of the old practice into an official rule.

In this case, the change that backfired was all about accommodating one person, John Fetterman, a man with mental problems — he was recently hospitalized for depression. It is, it seems, especially important to him to wear hoodies and gym shorts, and what is the big deal? Let the unfortunate man have what he seems somehow to need. 

But he's in one party, and there's the other party, and it was a ripe opportunity to drag out the age-old argument: What if everybody did that? And we easily picture the Senate full of unlovable oldsters dressed as if they're about to attend a backyard barbecue. Can't have that. And so, John Fetterman must be forced into a suit and tie, at whatever cost to his fragile mind.

They even resorted to teasing him, calling the new rule "The SHORTS Act" (for "SHow Our Respect To the Senate"). That resolution was introduced by Mitt Romney (along with Joe Manchin). Mitt Romney, teasing a man with mental problems? Fetterman still has the option of standing in the doorway in his hoodie and shorts and participating without entering the room.

Good thing they got that done... as a symbol of all the things they haven't got done. 

September 29, 2023

Sunrise in heavy fog — 6:55.


As well she should.

I'm reading "Melania Trump ‘quietly’ renegotiated prenup with Donald ahead of potential second presidential term, legal woes: sources" (Page Six).

Over the last year, Melania and her team have been quietly negotiating a new ‘postnup’ agreement between herself and Donald Trump.” The source further said, “This is at least the third time Melania has renegotiated the terms of her marital agreement,” but the source added that it’s not because the former first lady is going anywhere. “Melania is most concerned about maintaining and increasing a substantial trust for their son, Barron"....

"In June, I wrote an article in the Boston Globe titled 'I am the wrong kind of Black professor,' which criticized the default assumption..."

"... that Black academics should be interested in Black subjects. Afterward, I found myself inundated by a small flood of requests to write and talk about race in America. Ironically, saying that I’m sick of talking about being Black invited a rush of opportunities to do just that.... We all make choices, and I don’t want to suggest that Kendi is a victim or that we should pity him. He basked in the accolades and accepted lavish speaking fees. But though I don’t condone Kendi’s race grift, I do understand how easy it would be to become a grifter. His rise in 2020, and his ignominious decline today, are a mirror held up to liberal America. His failure, intellectual and moral, is as much ours as it is his."

"The Supreme Court on Friday said it would... decide whether laws passed in Texas and Florida can restrict social media companies from removing certain political posts or accounts."

"Tech industry groups, whose members include Facebook and Google’s YouTube, asked the court to block Texas and Florida laws passed in 2021 that regulate companies’ content-moderation policies. The companies say the measures are unconstitutional and conflict with the First Amendment by stripping private companies of the right to choose what to publish on their platforms.... 'The act of culling and curating the content that users see is inherently expressive, even if the speech that is collected is almost wholly provided by users,' Solicitor General Elizabeth B. Prelogar told the justices. 'And especially because the covered platforms’ only products are displays of expressive content, a government requirement that they display different content—for example, by including content they wish to exclude or organizing content in a different way—plainly implicates the First Amendment.'"

Dianne Feinstein has died.

"Senator Dianne Feinstein Dies at 90/The California Democrat, the oldest member of the Senate, had been declining in health for months" (NYT).

ADDED: The NYT story is just a squib with the notation "This is a developing story. Please check back for updates." I can't understand why they wouldn't have a long and complete obituary ready to publish at the push of a button.

Mrs. Feinstein won her Senate seat in what became known as the Year of the Woman, an election that sent 24 new women to the House of Representatives and brought the total number of female senators to six.

"I was three years divorced, living in leafy, small-town New Jersey, when I looked out my kitchen window and saw a neighbor friend drop off some wildflowers he promised for my nascent woodland garden."

"He didn’t ring the bell. It was hot outside, so he placed them under the shade of a crape myrtle. As he pulled away, I felt, to my great surprise, maybe a half dozen little orgasms ripple through me. From that moment, I had touch-free orgasms whenever I saw him or heard his name. Suddenly, this man’s physical beauty was unparalleled. He was a creative genius. As I slid into an 11-year delusion that overtook my life, he became 'my beloved.'..."

ADDED: It's only by chance that this post follows the previous post, which is about "bristling" at the touch of a partner with whom you have an established sexual relationship. The shared topic is puzzling automatic bodily reactions. What do they mean? 

"If you’re the bristler, acknowledge how vulnerable your partner feels when he or she initiates sex, and honor your partner’s attempts to connect with you...."

"'You can say something like "Oh, sorry, honey, you startled me, let’s circle back to this tonight"'...."

"Ramaswamy, whom none of the other Republican candidates for President can really seem to stand, either politically or in the most basic human way, spread his arms dramatically..."

"... to indicate the others onstage. 'These are good people, who are tainted by a broken system....' 'Not all of us are tainted!' the North Dakota governor, Doug Burgum, who is polling around one per cent, called out, and then Scott, Ramaswamy, and the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, started speaking all at once. It took close to two minutes for their voices to become fully disentangled. When Ramaswamy tried claiming credit for disinvesting from China, Nikki Haley, Donald Trump’s former U.N. Ambassador, jumped in: 'Yeah, right before you ran for President,' perhaps the lone good line of the crosstalk apocalypse. Ramaswamy did not look flustered—his smile was broad, his hair was piled into a pompadour, his voice was declarative—but he also plainly had no idea what he was trying to say. At one point he tried to break through the noise, saying sardonically to his rivals, 'Thank you for speaking while I’m interrupting.'" 

Here's a clip of that chaos:

"For better or worse, she wished the lawsuit were done with. 'It’s in God’s hands now,' [Olivia Hussey] said."

"'It’s all in God’s hands in the end.' Even if it failed, she said, she’d be okay. 'Most people on their deathbeds, even the most evil people, have to say, What have I done? And what was wrong? And what did I do right? I’m not afraid to die because I’m not scared of my reckoning.' She’d made her share of mistakes, and sometimes she wondered whether filing the lawsuit was one of them. But she could live with that. 'Nobody’s perfect,' she said. 'If we were perfect, there’d be no need for all this charade, this illusion that we call life. If we were perfect, we’d all be angels.'"

The lawsuit, filed the day before the Child Victims Act expired, is based on the idea that Hussey and Whiting were traumatized by the way the director, Franco Zeffirelli, forced them into appearing naked. They say the movie is "essentially pornography," "a poisonous product," and "evidence of a crime."

September 28, 2023

Sunrise — 6:45.


"I am Batman."

A new ad for Trump... featuring many celebrities who are made, against their will, to look like they love Trump.

"In cold weather, I feel more alive..."

"This is, without a doubt, my soul season, especially the time leading up to the long darkness of the polar night, because, with the darkness looming, you just naturally soak up the moments even more. Every day feels special, especially in the golden hour, the burning rays of the setting sun."

"And when you have the President of United States sleeping with a member of the teachers union, there is no chance that you could take the stranglehold away from the teachers union every day. "

Said Chris Christie, in last night's GOP debate.

Later, from Mike Pence: "I’ve been sleeping with a teacher for 38 years."

(From the transcript, at The Pavlovic Today.)

"The meandering and at times indecipherable debate seemed to validate former President Donald J. Trump’s decision to skip it."

"With only occasional exceptions, the Republicans onstage seemed content to bicker with one another. Most of them delivered the dominant front-runner only glancing blows and did little to upend the political reality that Mr. Trump is lapping all of his rivals — whose cumulative support in most national polls still doesn’t come close to the former president’s standing."

From "5 Takeaways From Another Trump-Free Republican Debate/The party’s front-runner took few hits as his rivals bickered, Nikki Haley delivered an assured performance, Tim Scott reasserted himself and Ron DeSantis took his first debate swipes at Trump" (NYT).

I only watched about 3 minutes of the debate. I don't have cable anymore, so I had to search for a live feed on YouTube, and I found something that had the debate on the left side of the screen and some guy with a headset on the right side who would mutter short comments now and then. The guy was ridiculous and distracting, but the debate seemed worse. A moderator asked an absurdly long question about the auto strike, and then Tim Scott started talking and acted as though we were dumb to take something stupid he'd said literally. And I was gone. 

"From my perspective, the approach of the Democratic Party—and not just the Party itself, the rank-and-file Democrats and liberals—has been a singular mission to destroy Donald Trump..."

"... as though that will solve all problems. So when I see these indictments, whether all of them are correct or not, fair or not, I think the entire mind-set is, We are going to jail this man and destroy this man, and that will solve our problem...."

Said Peter Daou, quoted in "Peter Daou’s Theory of Election Interference—by Democrats/The former Clinton aide, now running the third-party Presidential campaign of Cornel West, on his recent political awakening" (The New Yorker).

Everybody's talking about Doug Burgum.

"If there was one constant on Wednesday night, it was that the Fox News anchor did not want to hear from the North Dakota governor" (The Daily Beast).

"I'm not convinced he's a great cowboy — he must shop at Dudes 'R' Us — but upon closer inspection, it appears he's got his boots properly placed in the stirrups. So, he's got that going for him. Git along, little Dougie.... Who in Bismarck has Burgum ever led? Moderates mock him and Trump crazies despise him despite his will-o'-the-wisp willingness to acquiesce to almost anything in the interest of political expediency...." (Inforum).

"What we are practicing here is not voodoo. I think our justice system will see that there’s enough science to support this, that they will understand that this is appropriate care."

Said nurse practitioner Katherine Mistretta, one of the plaintiffs, quoted in "Montana’s Ban on Transition Care for Minors Is Blocked" (NYT)("A state judge in Montana on Wednesday temporarily blocked a law that would have banned transition care for children under 18 starting on Sunday, while a lawsuit filed by patients and medical professionals proceeds").

September 27, 2023

The woods at 6:10 p.m.


Men in shorts.

"A notorious Long Island mom charged with repeatedly running over her teen son’s reputed bully was sensationally acquitted of attempted murder Tuesday...."

"Jennifer Nelson, 36, had faced up to 25 years in prison for repeatedly ramming her Honda Passport into a 15-year-old boy she believed had stolen her child’s Adidas Ye slides last October. But it took a Suffolk County jury less than four hours to clear her of the top rap, and instead opt for a lesser conviction of leaving the scene of an accident with serious injuries.... The violent confrontation came two hours after Nelson was captured on cell phone camera pulling a knife on a group of teens she believed had just beaten and robbed her son.... Nelson said she only wanted to scare the assailants when she had threatened them with a blade."

The comments over there are very supportive of the woman: "Good for her," "You go, Mama Bear! Congratulations!," "When bullies aren’t prosecuted street justice is required," My new Hero, you go girl!"....

This looks like jury nullification.

"NY Times columnist Michelle Goldberg has written a defense of Ibram Kendi which is probably the least convincing thing you’ll read today."

"To be clear, I don’t think the problem is with Goldberg, who is a decent writer when she has a meaty story to work on. The problem in this case is that attempting to blame Kendi’s problems on 'the system' just isn’t credible.... If the left wasn’t so driven by fads and celebrity, this wouldn’t have happened. Why wouldn’t it have happened? Because Kendi never would have been given all of that money in the first place. This is the best defense she can come up with. It’s not Kendi’s fault he was unprepared and undisciplined, it’s everyone else’s fault for believing in him.... But Goldberg’s readers just aren’t buying it. There are so many good responses here I’m not sure where to begin...."

Writes John Sexton (at Hot Air)(with lots of quotes from NYT readers).

"In his influential book 'Imagined Communities,' Benedict Anderson argues that shared reading—newspapers, pamphlets, novels—made modern European nations possible."

"Frenchmen were people who shared news and stories in French; English people came together through the Illustrated London News, the books of Dickens, the cult of Shakespeare. By the time Jack Kirby left Marvel, in 1970, and Lee stepped down as editor-in-chief, in 1972, they and their colleagues had founded a kind of miniature nation: followers versed in a language of secret identities, geographies, and histories, eager for news that only they understood, and ready to forge a next generation.... Amateurs and professionals, over decades, come to something like consensus about which books matter and why...."

"The federal investigation into President Joe Biden's handling of classified documents prior to becoming president has grown into a sprawling examination..."

"... of Obama-era security protocols and internal White House processes.... Sources who were present for some of the interviews, including witnesses, told ABC News that authorities had apparently uncovered instances of carelessness from Biden's vice presidency, but that -- based on what was said in the interviews -- it seemed to them that the improper removal of classified documents from Biden's office when he left the White House in 2017 was more likely a mistake than a criminal act.... Meanwhile, special counsel Smith's team has aggressively pursued former President Trump and two aides in his investigation into Trump's handling of classified records after leaving office.... In Biden's case, all of the classified documents found in locations associated with Biden were voluntarily provided to the government...."

"The TV in the Oval dining room is blaring, and the president is yelling... I hear him say 'hang' repeatedly. Hang? What's that about?"

Writes Cassidy Hutchinson, in her new book, quoted in "Cassidy Hutchinson says Trump said 'hang' as he watched rioters chant 'hang Mike Pence' on Jan. 6/He watched the Jan. 6 Capitol attack unfold on a TV in the Oval, she said" (ABC News).
Last year, Hutchinson testified before the House Jan. 6 committee that she overheard then-White House counsel Pat Cipollone and then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows recounting Trump's reaction when told rioters were chanting "Hang Mike Pence!" -- that he responded he "deserves" it.

Trump has denied saying Pence deserved to be hanged, calling Hutchinson a liar....

Well, it is odd that a new detail has emerged. If it's important — and presuming that it's true —  Hutchinson should have told the committee. But I can see thinking that it wasn't important. If Trump was gazing at the television, listening to rioters chant, he might repeat the key word out loud as part of absorbing what he was hearing. Don't we do that — repeat words we hear out loud? I could imagine repeating a chanted word as a way of saying: Wow, they're actually saying that. In that light, saying Pence "deserves" it, would seem more important.

Of course, I don't know whether Trump or Hutchinson or both are lying.

And here's my post from 3 days ago, wondering why Trump antagonists were stressing the dining room: "What's special about the thought of him sitting in that particular place? Is there some idea that we'd be more outraged if we pictured Trump in the dining room?"

"Producers of juice-inspired alcohol say they’re not targeting kids at all, but instead adults who are perhaps nostalgic for the familiar flavors of their childhood."

"Even if they don’t drink actual fruit juice much anymore, adults might still feel affection for those colorful cartons and bottles. BeatBox co-founder Brad Schultz says... 'It’s comforting... The majority of people look at the past as a positive, and they look back with fondness.'"

Apparently, there's a "juice-ification" trend that includes "multiple brands of 'hard juice,'" "spiked versions of juice-based beverages, including Simply Peach and SunnyD.," mystifying requests for "juicy beers," and wine that doesn't even try to imitate serious wine, but might call itself "party punch."
Meanwhile, nonalcoholic fruit juice is declining in popularity — as more and more people come to realize it's not a healthy option. It's loaded with sugar. You'd think people would also want to avoid extra sugar when they're drinking alcohol, but perhaps they're on a vacation from health concerns when they're drinking.

"Commander Biden bites another Secret Service agent, the 11th known incident."

It's a dog story, at CNN.

“This isn’t a Secret Service thing. This is a this is a workplace safety issue,” CNN contributor and former USSS agent Jonathan Wackrow told CNN. “There’s uniqueness here where it’s the residence of the president of the United States, but it’s also the workplace for hundreds, thousands of people. And you can’t bring a hazard into the workplace....”...

ADDED: That headline seemed funny for a half second, what with "Commander Biden." Joe Biden is the Commander in Chief, and who gives dogs the human family's last name? 

"A lawyer for Mr. Trump, Christopher M. Kise, indicated that he would likely appeal the decision, which he called 'outrageous' and 'completely disconnected from the facts and governing law.'"

"He said that the judge ignored an earlier appeals court ruling and 'basic legal, accounting and business principles.'...  While the trial will determine the size of the penalty, Justice Engoron’s ruling granted one of the biggest punishments Ms. James sought: the cancellation of business certificates that allow some of Mr. Trump’s New York properties to operate.... The decision could terminate his control over a flagship commercial property at 40 Wall Street in Lower Manhattan and a family estate in Westchester County. Mr. Trump might also lose control over his other New York properties, including Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan and his golf club in Westchester.... [The decision] could shut down an entity that employs hundreds of people working for him in New York, effectively crushing the company. 'The decision seeks to nationalize one of the most successful corporate empires in the United States and seize control of private property,' Mr. Kise said."

The judge included a joke in his opinion:
“The documents do not say what they say; that there is no such thing as ‘objective’ value,” the judge wrote, paraphrasing their arguments as he saw them, and adding, “Essentially, the court should not believe its own eyes.” In a footnote, he added a line from the movie “Duck Soup” uttered by Chico Marx: “Well, who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”"

September 26, 2023

Sandhill cranes — at 2:34 p.m.



This is a "café" post, so write about whatever you want in the comments.

"President Biden and his campaign are working on a critical project for his re-election bid: Make sure he doesn't trip."

Axios reports.
With a physical therapist, Biden has been doing exercises to improve his balance as far back as November 2021.... Biden works out many mornings with physical therapist Drew Contreras, who also worked with former President Obama. Biden's doctor has recommended exercises for balance, which he called "proprioceptive maintenance maneuvers."

I think this is fine. Physical therapists are fantastic, in my view. You really can learn to protect yourself from falling, and they have the training to show you how. I would not look at this program with puzzlement or mockery, as Axios seems to want us to do. 

"Mr. Biden and Democrats in Congress last year authorized hundreds of billions of dollars in federal incentives for manufacturing solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, electric cars and semiconductors...."

"As a result, many companies, including First Solar, have announced the construction of dozens of factories, in total, around the country. But nobody is entirely sure whether these investments will be durable, especially in businesses, like battery or solar panel manufacturing, where China’s domination is deep and strong."

If you're going to San Francisco...

Link to SF Gate.

Joe Biden touches down to join the UAW picket line and departs for San Francisco.

 I'm reading the President's public schedule for today:


ADDED: Jill packed my bags last night pre-flight...
Zero hour 11:35 a.m.

"Asked specifically about Mr. Trump’s election fraud lies, which [J.D.] Vance has at times promoted, the senator again shifted into slippery explainer mode."

"'I think it’s very easy for folks in the press to latch onto the zaniest election fraud or stolen election theories and say, "Oh this is totally debunked,"' he said. 'But they ignore that there is this very clear set of institutional biases built into the election in 2020 that — from big tech censorship to the way in which financial interests really lined up behind Joe Biden. People aren’t stupid. They see what’s out there,' he said. 'Most Republican grass roots voters are not sympathetic to the dumbest version of the election conspiracy. They are sympathetic to the version that is actually largely true.' Except that, as evidence of what is 'actually largely true,' Mr. Vance pointed to a 2021 Time article detailing a bipartisan effort not to advance a particular candidate but to safeguard the electoral system. More important, the 'dumbest' version of the stolen election conspiracy is precisely what Mr. Trump and his enablers have been aggressively spreading for years.... Mr. Vance may want to believe that most Republicans are too smart to buy such lunacy, but he is too smart not to recognize the damage to American democracy being wrought by that lunacy."

Writes Michelle Cottle, in "What Is J.D. Vance’s Angle?" (NYT).

"I could just cry because I’m so tired of having to fight for little kids because they just want to be included."

"I wish that people were as passionate about little kids being able to be included or grow up as they were about fictitious women’s fairness in sports. I have to tell you I am very tired."

Said Jonathan Van Ness, quoted in "'Scared' Jonathan Van Ness bursts into tears during debate with Dax Shepard defending trans rights" (NY Post). The "debate" is a long conversation on a Shepard's podcast.

"I was really bullied for my gender expression as a little kid. And there’s a lot of little kids who aren’t going to go be Olympic gold medalist. They don’t want to f–king go to the Olympics. They’re not gonna play —90 to 99% of kids who want to play sports aren’t trying to go to the Olympics, right?"

"With his mysterious air, his Beatle haircut and his trademark black turtleneck, Mr. McCallum was a magnet for teenage fans."

"Sent on a publicity junket for the show to Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge in 1965, he was mobbed by screaming female students and had to be rescued by police officers.... 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' ended in 1968, and Mr. McCallum retreated happily to lower-profile roles.... But everywhere he went, he said, the Russian secret agent stalked him. 'It’s been 30 years, but I can’t escape him,' he told The Times in 1998. 'Illya Kuryakin is there 24 hours a day.'"

The obituary does not mention the other McCallum role that made a big impact on us throbbing teenagers of the 1960s. He was the simple man who grew a big brain on "The Outer Limits":

"Your ignorance makes me ill and angry."

"I was gonna get back to acronyms and I’m gonna withstand not doing that."

Said President Biden, quoted in "Biden fumbles acronym during Pacific Islands forum speech: 'Doesn’t matter what we call it'" (NY Post).

If you think about it — and I had to think 3 or 4 times — "I’m gonna withstand not doing that" makes sense. He "was gonna get back to acronyms," but he couldn't think of the acronym or couldn't or wouldn't say it, so he was "not doing that" — not "get[ting] back to acronyms. You just have to figure out the function of "withstand." It makes sense — and I'm a believer in "charitable interpretation" — if you see "withstand" as a determination to stand against — to successfully resist — getting back to acronyms... but, no... he said he was going to resist NOT getting back to acronyms. Well, I think you get it. He meant he's going to survive not getting back to acronyms. Because of course he will. He survives everything. He seems feeble and befuddled, but he goes on and on.

Taking stochastic terrorism seriously.

I'm reading "Trump Floats the Idea of Executing Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley The former president is inciting violence against the nation’s top general. America’s response is distracted and numb" (Brian Klass, in The Atlantic)(analyzing Trump's Truth Social post that said Milley’s call to China on l on January 6, 2021, was 'an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH'):
Trump loves to hide behind the thin veneer of plausible deniability, but he knows exactly what he’s doing.... The suggestion is clear, and it comes from a man who has one of America’s loudest megaphones—one that is directed squarely at millions of extremists who are well armed, who insist that the government is illegitimate, and who believe that people like Milley are part of a “deep state” plot against the country. 
Academics have a formal term for exactly this type of incitement: stochastic terrorism.

September 25, 2023

Sunrise — 6:44.


Things you already knew... right?

"The new phone call etiquette: Text first and never leave a voice mail" (WaPo).

"Mrs. Clinton projects about projection."

Our awful gerontocracy is unleashing retrograde ageism.

That's the new New Yorker cover, by Barry Blitt, discussed at "Barry Blitt’s 'The Race for Office'/The artist discusses hernias, walkers, and the joys of old age." Or... no... he never discusses the use of aging stereotypes in this cartoon — only his own aging. 

It's a well-drawn cartoon. I don't want to focus on Barry Blitt's use of walkers to express oldness. I want to raise the general topic: Our justified desire to criticize those who are clinging to power and subjecting us to a gerontocracy should not release us from the ethical responsibility to refrain from expressing contempt and disgust toward the old. 

By the way, only something like 15% of those who war 80+ years old use a walker, and some of them might be safer without it. I don't think it's good to think of aging as necessarily involving the use of a mobility device. And obviously, none of the oldsters on that New Yorker cover actually use a walker... not when we're able to see them, at least. We're all getting older, and it's better not to lean toward pessimism. There are lots of things you can do every day to enhance your capacity to walk unassisted when you are 80, 90, or 100.

I'm annoyed at the gerontocracy for existing in the first place, but also for bringing negativity into the way we think about getting old.

"I've been super-critical of Trump, obviously."

"But Archer City never became the literary destination that he’d hoped, and his store, Booked Up, struggled financially...."

"McMurtry had followed the family tradition after all, lashing himself to a dying industry and getting his heart broken in the process. After his death, the Texas legislature passed a resolution honoring his memory; two years later, a state representative said that schools 'might need to ban 'Lonesome Dove"' for being too sexually explicit."

September 24, 2023

Sunrise in the rain — 6:39, 6:45, 6:49/

IMG_3526 2

IMG_3534 2


The form of lying and cheating that some people openly acknowledge, under their full name, in The New York Times.

I'm reading "Sharing a City Apartment With a Big Dog? Good Luck. First, you’ll have to convince someone to rent to you" (NYT):
Natalya Haddix, 24, a marketing consultant, is one of many pet owners who have skirted housing restrictions by declaring their dog an emotional support animal. This has allowed her to share her 688-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in Miami with a Great Dane puppy named Cair.... 
Ren and Zach Glass sidestepped disaster when they won a housing lottery in 2016 for a small two-bedroom apartment in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, only to discover that the building did not accept dogs. They registered their shepherd-collie-pit bull mix, Trolley, as an emotional support animal.... After Trolley died, a little more than a year ago, they adopted Cosmo, a 50-pound pit bull mix....

"The suit turns a man into a compact, easily readable visual unit over which the eye skims quickly, uninterrupted by embellishments or intricacies of silhouette."

"Suits, therefore, homogenize men’s bodies, making variations of weight, even height, less noticeable, focusing attention on the face. Men’s suits say 'we are heads, not bodies.'... Women are still the adorned, visible, bodily sex whose physicality gets staged by clothes. Accordingly, women’s fashion — including even business attire — requires a near-infinity of daily micro-decisions from head to toe.... Leisure wear for women risks depriving them of gravitas, making them look 'off duty,' and hence outside the space of authority.... [W]omen’s dignity and authority remain, alas, more socially precarious than men’s — harder to construct sartorially and far easier to lose. Taking away the dress code might exacerbate this inequity. What’s more, formal business attire offers some of the most gender-neutral fashion options, thereby enhancing sartorial equity for nonbinary individuals...."

I understand that to mean that John Fetterman's dressing in a sweatshirt and shorts is an exercise of male privilege.

Dylan at Farm Aid.

For more info: "Bob Dylan Suprises Crowd at Willie Nelson’s 2023 Farm Aid Festival in Indiana/In July 1985, the singer's remark onstage at the Live Aid charity mega-concert inspired [Willie] Nelson to create his first benefit for America's family farmers in September of that year" (Billboard).

ADDED: Full set.

"Behind the scenes, Biden has also started telling more jokes about his own age, hoping to defuse the concerns..."

"...of many voters and party leaders. 'I know I look like I’m 30, but I’ve been around doing this a long time,' he said at an event at a private home on Thursday. He has also stepped up his attacks on Trump, describing his continued shock at the thought of the former president sitting in the private dining room next to the Oval Office and doing nothing to stop the rioters who attacked the U.S. Capitol in his name on Jan. 6, 2021. 'He tells his supporters, and I’m quoting him, "I am your retribution,"' Biden said at another donor event in New York this week. 'What a hell of a good way to run.'"

"Move on," not from Biden, but from doubts about Biden... and not all the doubts, just that one doubt that surely cannot be the only issue, the doubt over his age. It's absurd that the substance of the campaign has been less than nothing — merely attempting to eliminate one negative.

Anyway, I was interested in the reference to the dining room — Trump "sitting in the private dining room next to the Oval Office" on January 6th. What's special about the thought of him sitting in that particular place? Is there some idea that we'd be more outraged if we pictured Trump in the dining room? It feels like a game of Clue: Mr. Orange with the lead pipe in the dining room.

The dining room detail jumped out at me because it was in last Sunday's "Meet the Press" transcript:

"I'm actually in favor of immigration—legal immigration. High fences, wide gates."

"Politicians in the past have appealed to xenophobia and bigotry in calling for a tough border policy. My call for a tough border comes from a different place. It comes from compassion and humanitarian conscience. I call upon all Americans, of every party and political persuasion, to face facts. President Biden's loose border policy has been a disaster. Under Biden, it's easier for migrants to enter illegally than legally. His policy is tantamount to "narrow gate, no fence.'"

Writes Robert F. Kennedy Jr., in "Biden's Border Policies Have Made Every U.S. City a 'Border Town'" (Newsweek).

Out there lying about what is outlying.

From the WaPo article:
The Post-ABC poll shows Biden trailing Trump by 10 percentage points at this early stage in the election cycle, although the sizable margin of Trump’s lead in this survey is significantly at odds with other public polls that show the general election contest a virtual dead heat. The difference between this poll and others, as well as the unusual makeup of Trump’s and Biden’s coalitions in this survey, suggest it is probably an outlier....

We're told in the second paragraph, that "more than 3 in 5 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they would prefer a nominee other than the president."