October 21, 2023

Sunrise — 7:01, 7:06.

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Lakeside foliage.

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"The Gag Order violates virtually every fundamental principle of our First Amendment jurisprudence. It imposes an overbroad, content-based prior restraint on the leading Presidential candidate’s core political speech...."

Wrote Trump's lawyers, quoted in The Hill, which says:

A federal judge swiftly granted a request from former President Trump to pause her gag order limiting his speech in the election interference case while he appeals the decision.... A Monday decision from Judge Tanya Chutkan bars Trump speech that “targets” foreseeable witnesses in the case, lawyers on the case including prosecutors and court personnel. It does not bar Trump from criticizing President Biden, campaign rival and former Vice President Mike Pence or the Justice Department and his prosecution in general.

Another quote from Trump's lawyers: "Given its extraordinary nature, one would expect an extraordinary and compelling justification for the Gag Order. But that is conspicuously absent. Instead, the Court generically states it must enter the Gag Order to prevent supposed ‘threats’ and ‘harassment'...."

"At age 53, he is considered elderly in the prison system. That’s because incarceration accelerates aging...."

From "Elderly and Imprisoned: 'I Don’t Count It as Living, Only Existing'" (NYT).

Research shows that most people age out of criminal conduct. Moreover, the Department of Justice asserts that the risk of elderly people reoffending after release is minimal. Yet decades of tough-on-crime sentencing and increasingly rigid release policies have left many to grow old in a system that was not designed to accommodate them. The cost is high, for both the residents and the public at large.... Efforts to reduce the aging prison population are driven not solely by compassion but also by the tremendous cost of incarcerating older people....

"Mitt Romney Admits He Didn’t Know Anything About Burisma During Trump’s Ukraine Impeachment."

Writes Mollie Hemingway (at The Federalist)(relying on the new book "Romney: A Reckoning")

[At the time of Trump's first impeachment,] “Sean Hannity accused Romney of ‘morphing’ into a ‘weak, sanctimonious Washington, swamp politician,’ and suggested the senator was simply ‘jealous’ of Trump’s myriad successes.”...

"Rut Hodaya Perez is... [a] 17-year-old Israeli girl who has myotonic dystrophy.... But that didn’t stop Hamas gunmen from snatching her..."

"... on Oct. 7 from a trance music festival near the Gaza border during their spree of kidnapping and slaughter. Rut is now among the large and varied group of captives that Hamas is believed to have dragged back to its underground labyrinth of tunnels in Gaza. 'She is not built to live in a place like that,' said her sister, Yamit...."

From "For the Most Vulnerable Hostages, a Plea for Mercy/Hamas released two American hostages on Friday, but concern is rising about the hundreds still held in Gaza, especially the injured and ill" (NYT).

"Now we’re discomforted by our own killings, aware of the details and the violence we committed under the bright banners of 'nation-building' or 'winning hearts and minds'..."

"... or whatever our officers told us as the seasons changed. In the shadow of our failures, our silence hangs over it all. It was hard not to be jealous of [the Ukrainian sniper] Raptor and his team, especially in the wake of my lost war. Therein was the trap, the dizzying seduction of the 'good kill.'"

October 20, 2023

Sunrise — 7:09.


Looks ominous, no? But an hour later, it was a bright blue sky, and all day it was brilliant and crisp.

Goodbye to Gahrie.

From a comment submitted through Gahrie's account, to a post from last Saturday, "In the debate about whether to take the woke version of progressivism seriously as a revolutionary ideology....":

"Interviews with dozens of liberal Jewish leaders and voters, and a review of social media posts, private emails and text chains of liberal Jewish groups..."

"... reveal a politically engaged swath of American Jewry who are reaching a breaking point. They have long opposed the Israeli government’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, supported a two-state solution and protested the right-wing government of Benjamin Netanyahu. But in the Hamas attacks, many saw an existential threat, evoking memories of the Holocaust and generations of antisemitism, and provoking anxiety about whether they could face attacks in the United States. And they were taken aback to discover that many of their ideological allies not only failed to perceive the same threats but also saw them as oppressors deserving of blame.... Some Jews see their safety as precarious, but some of their allies focus on their privilege. By contrast, many progressive activists have long expressed an affinity and identification with Palestinians, viewing them as a minority group whose plight is ignored or dismissed by those with more power.... [Boaz Munro, grandson of Holocaust survivors, said that in the 'racial discourse'] Jews end up in the top of the hierarchy.... You’re white. You access whiteness.'"

Oddly tucked away inside this discussion is something about Kamala Harris:

"I'm not going to suffer through 5-10 hours of commuting each week in hopes that I'll have a random fortuitious encounter at a bus stop or coffee shop."

"My employer pays me to work; if they think wandering around the city would help me work, they can pay for me that time."

That's just one of the comments on the NYT article, "Cities Foster Serendipity. But Can They Do It When Workers Are at Home? Revisiting a theory about chance collisions and innovation."

From the article: "Exactly how these in-person collisions work — how they turn into ideas, then innovation, then human progress — is still a bit mysterious. Tom Wolfe observed 40 years ago that workers in the Silicon Valley semiconductor industry met after-hours at the same bars to trade stories of their progress.... [Some economists today] think of Silicon Valley as having an underlying social network of friends-of-friends, former college classmates, onetime co-workers and the like. People running into one another at the bar or supermarket activate links on that network and begin to chat. The whole point is that these are not planned meetings between people who believed ahead of time that they had something in common they needed to talk about...."

"Jon Stewart’s show on Apple’s streaming service is abruptly coming to an end..."

"Mr. Stewart and Apple executives decided to part ways in recent days.... [P]otential show topics related to China and artificial intelligence were causing concern among Apple executives, a person with knowledge of the meeting said.... Apple’s foray into entertainment has raised the risk of collateral damage to its brand or estrangement of the diverse customers who buy its pricey iPhones and iPads...."

The trees, at 7:35 a.m., today.


For comparison, the same view yesterday and the day before.

Greta Thunberg deletes a tweeted photo because "It has come to my knowledge that the stuffed animal shown in my earlier post can be interpreted as a symbol for antisemitism..."

"...  which I was completely unaware of. The toy in the picture is a tool often used by autistic people as a way to communicate feelings. We are of course against any type of discrimination, and condemn antisemitism in all forms and shapes. This is non-negotiable. That is why I deleted the last post." 

Here's the link to that quote.

Here's the original post, with the stuffed animal, an octopus, posed just over Thunberg's shoulder:
Here's the post that replaced it, as devoid of the octopus:

"Swift is as inescapable as Captain America once was...."

From a Washington Post headline I didn't click on. It promised: "Here’s how to understand the phenomenon."

I'm just going to guess that what explains the purported inescapability is that mainstream media puts it on their front page every damned day. If I click, it should say, ha ha, your click is the reason. I resist this recursive madness.

And yet, I think Captain America was, recently, a woman, so perhaps the answer is: We always need a beautiful woman upon whom to project our hopes and dreams.

ADDED: It's a kind of serial monogamy. Not long ago, it was Barbie every day. They're not doing Barbie anymore. It's Taylor Swift every day.

Sarah Silverman is "all over the place" and "I apologize."

Listen to the "Israel-Hamas Mini Episode" of her podcast. She lets you see her jumbled thoughts in motion. 

She expresses surprise to hear anti-semitism coming from the left. She'd been thinking the left is her side. But she can't really be surprised. 

Then there's Ezra Klein's podcast episode, "Israel Is Giving Hamas What It Wants." It's much less personally expressive, but it's a similarly jumbled set of statements from someone who is Jewish and feels called to align with the left. 

The contestants were so feminist that they didn't recognize a simplified definition of feminism.

October 19, 2023

Sunrise — 7:11.

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"Video shows rocket fired from Gaza make sharp turn back before blast seen at hospital."

"Video from Al Jazeera appears to show a rocket fired from Gaza make a sudden turn moments before a deadly blast was seen at the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza" (CNN)(video at link).

"You cannot forget that the same people that attacked Israel are right now pouring at levels that nobody can believe into our beautiful U.S.A. through our totally open border."

Said Donald Trump, quoted in "For Republicans, All Roads Lead to the U.S.-Mexico Border/G.O.P. lawmakers and candidates regularly invoke record-high border crossings to address a range of issues, including crime and jobs" (NYT).

It doesn't appeal to me, this merging of the illegal immigration issue with the Hamas massacre and its aftermath, but perhaps you're enthused about Republicans leveraging their old issue on this new tragedy.

Should Republicans merge the immigration issue with the issue of Israel?
pollcode.com free polls

ADDED: Here's another version of Trump's statement, posted at Truth Social:

"I knew that if they are hungry, they are angry.... I told him I had to inject insulin, trying to distract them from the fact I have children who are police officers … I offered them drinks: Coke Zero, water."

Said Rachel Edri, quoted in "Chilling new image shows terrorist with Israeli woman who cooked for them to escape hostage nightmare" (NY Post).

"[T]he feminist movement I once knew... has lost its moral compass. It is moribund, hijacked, 'Palestinianized' and Stalinized."

"It is, at best, an arm of the Democratic Party, which shows every sign of restraining if not betraying Israel."

Writes the venerable feminist author Phyllis Chesler, in "Response to Hamas horror shows the feminist movement has lost its moral compass" (NY Post).
Feminists, including academics and human-rights-organization officials, rose up and at least cried out when Afghan, Saudi, Iranian, Pakistani, Yazidi and Ukrainian women were raped, kidnapped into sex slavery or murdered.... Rape in a war zone is considered a crime — as long as the victims are not Jews.

I wasn't trying to catch exactly the same view, but I did have a favorite cluster of trees.

Wednesday morning at 7:29:

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Thursday morning at 7:24:


"There’s always costs. ... But I caution this: While you feel that rage, don’t be consumed by it..."

"I know you feel like there’s that black hole in the middle of your chest. You feel like you’re being sucked into it. The survivor’s remorse, the anger, the questions of faith in your soul. Staring at that empty chair, sitting Shiva. The first Sabbath without them."

Said President Biden, quoted in "Biden, in Israel, hits notes of loyalty, emotion — and caution/In an extraordinary moment, an 80-year-old president flies into a war zone" (WaPo).

He met Israeli first responders and families affected by the Hamas attack... “God love ya,” he told one survivor.... 

At one point, Biden could be heard recounting the story of when his wife and children were injured in a car accident. He whispered throughout....

October 18, 2023

Sunrise — 7:01, 7:04, 7:16.




"A judge warned Donald Trump and others at his New York civil fraud trial to keep their voices down..."

"... on Wednesday after the former president threw up his hands in frustration and spoke aloud to his lawyers while a witness was testifying against him. Judge Arthur Engoron gave the admonition after Trump conferred animatedly with his lawyers at the defense table during real-estate appraiser Doug Larson’s second day of testimony at the Manhattan trial. State lawyer Kevin Wallace asked Engoron to ask the defense to 'stop commenting during the witness’s testimony,' adding that the 'exhortations' were audible on the witness’s side of the room. The judge then asked everyone to keep their voices down, 'particularly if it’s meant to influence the testimony.'"

The Guardian reports.

"Some years ago, scientists in Switzerland found a way to make people hallucinate. They didn’t use LSD or sensory deprivation chambers."

"Instead, they sat people in a chair and asked them to push a button that, a fraction of a second later, caused a rod to gently press their back. After a few rounds, the volunteers got the creeping sense of someone behind them. Faced with a disconnect between their actions and their sensations, their minds conjured another explanation: a separate presence in the room. In a new study... researchers... found that volunteers were more likely to report hearing a voice when there was a lag between the push of the button and the rod’s touch than when there was no delay. The findings suggest that the neurological roots of hallucinations lie in how the brain processes contradictory signals from the environment, the researchers said."

"Not only does the act of bagging up your own stuff create new opportunities to make it out the door without paying for everything...."

"... but understaffed stores also enable theft overall. The most reliable way to deter shoplifting is to make thieves think they’re going to get caught, but when even customers who want to pay for something struggle to flag down an employee, the store has already forfeited that battle entirely.... The kiosk technology, as it stands, just isn’t good enough to support the level of autonomy from the vagaries of paid human labor that retailers wish their stores could have...."

"There are calls to burn down your home, Mitch; to smuggle guns into DC, and to storm the Capitol."

"I hope that sufficient security plans are in place, but I am concerned that the instigator—the President—is the one who commands the reinforcements the DC and Capitol police might require."

Mitt Romney texted Mitch McConnell on January 2, 2020, quoted in "The Juiciest Revelations From Mitt Romney’s Tell-All Biography" (NY Magazine).

Romney wrote that he'd just heard "from Angus King, who said that he had spoken with a senior official at the Pentagon who reports that they are seeing very disturbing social media traffic regarding the protests planned on the 6th."

Another "revelation" from the book:

"Casino owners discovered in the late 1980s that people who gambled on screens became addicted three to four times faster..."

"... than those who gambled at tables. The rest of America had learned that lesson by 1992, when a third of homes had Nintendo systems. Men without jobs have video games the way men without girlfriends have pornography, and growing numbers of men are finding the substitute good enough to be going on with, declining to pursue either permanent employment or marriage. The historian David Courtwright calls this 'limbic capitalism,' the redirection of America’s productive energies into inducing and servicing addictions."

From "Boomers/The Men and Women Who Promised Freedom and Delivered Disaster" — a 2021 book by Helen Andrews (and I earn a commission if you buy it using that link).

Here's a 2019 Vox interview with Courtwright. Excerpt: "I make a distinction between ordinary capitalist enterprises like companies that sell people rakes or plows or nails or whatever.... But I think of limbic capitalism as capitalism’s evil twin, a really cancerous outgrowth of productive capitalism. There is a certain class of brain-rewarding products that lead to a form of pathological learning that we call addiction...."

"And if they weren't exhilarated by this challenge to the monopoly of violence, by this shifting of the balance of power, then they would not be human. I was exhilarated."

Said a Cornell professor — who calls himself a "historian of the Black radical tradition" — quoted in "WATCH: Cornell Professor Says Hamas Atrocities Were 'Exhilarating'" (Washington Free Beacon).

To "exhilarate" is "To make cheerful or merry; to cheer, enliven, gladden" (OED). It has the same root as "hilarity."

"President Biden landed in Israel... after a deadly explosion at a hospital in the Gaza Strip left Palestinians and Israelis trading blame...."

"Neither side’s account could be independently verified, and the cause of the blast and its death toll remained unclear. During an appearance with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, Mr. Biden appeared to endorse Israel’s denial of responsibility, saying: 'Based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you.' It was not clear from his comments whether U.S. intelligence agencies have independently validated Israel’s claim.... Rarely has an overseas presidential expedition been so uncertain even in its itinerary at the time of takeoff, and so freighted with jeopardy both political and physical...."

"The more she researched, the more she thought [chickens] would be good for her son, ideally providing him with a sense of purpose and companionship..."

"... she said, and their 'chicken chatter' could be comforting background noise for her son, who has anophthalmia, and was born without eyes. C-Jay is missing one-third of his brain and half of his right lung, and his heart is on the right side of his body rather than the left. He also has autism, epilepsy and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. C-Jay is a social person, his mother said, and pandemic-induced isolation took a toll on his mental health.... The process to be granted an exception to the law [against backyard chickens] was more challenging and complicated than Amy had anticipated.... [Later, Amy filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission] claiming Bangor was discriminating against her son by not giving him an exemption to the no-chicken rule.... 'He deserves to have his chickens,' Amy said. 'They help him to cope and make sense of his world.'"

"We do not engage in ideological confrontation, geopolitical games, or form confrontational political cliques."

Said Xi Jinping, quoted in "Xi, with ‘old friend’ Putin at his side, claims U.S. is holding back Global South" (WaPo).
[Xi took] aim at American and European efforts to “de-risk” supply chains by reducing dependence on China. “Seeing other people’s development as a threat and economic interdependence as a risk will not allow you to live better and develop faster,” he said.... 
This is only the second time Putin has left Russia since his March indictment, after a trip last week to the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek. Putin, stepping onto the stage to deliver remarks after Xi’s, praised China’s achievements and touted a shared desire for global economic progress that respects “civilizational diversity and the right of each country to its own model of development.”

October 17, 2023

Sunrise — 7:13, 7:14.



"Then the elephant... rolled over her from right to left, like a steamroller. 'All my bones broke at once: my collarbone, my ribs, my pelvis'..."

"'I didn’t feel it, but I heard it. I thought: "Oh, shit. That’s my spine."' She believes that what saved her was that the ground was soft.... She remembers feeling the elephant’s short, bristly hair against her skin; the way it blocked out the sun as it went to roll over her again. She braced herself for the end, for her skull to be crushed...."

"The Lake Washington United Methodist Church began experimenting with offering a beachhead for the 'mobile homeless' in 2011 in response to Seattle’s 'scofflaw ordinance'..."

"... which called for the impounding of cars that had accrued multiple parking tickets, a law that was disastrous for people forced to live in their cars. 'Our simple idea was, "Hey, if they’re in our parking lot, they won’t get parking tickets. And they won’t get booted and towed,"' said Karina O’Malley, who helped create the program. Now it is one of 12 in Washington State...."

The article focuses on a woman — Chrystal Audet, 49 — who was living in her Ford Fusion with her 26-year old daughter and her dog. What's most shocking is that Audet is a social worker, employed by the state, who earns over $72,000 a year

7:05 a.m.


"Sounding increasingly agitated, he pushed back at us with questions of his own. What would we do if we were forced to live in a cage?"

"If committing this attack had been suicidal for Hamas, why weren’t Netanyahu and President Joe Biden celebrating? He had to be reminded that Hamas fighters and other militants had slaughtered more than a thousand Israelis."

From "What Was Hamas Thinking? One of the group’s senior political leaders explains its strategy" (The New Yorker). 

"He" = Mousa Abu Marzouk, a senior political leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The column ends with a quote from Marzouk, which he made 25 years ago when he was a prisoner at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in NYC: “If you read history, you know that violence only breeds violence: imposing your will through muscle, through force, is no solution.... you’ve got to compromise; you’ve got to understand each other. If you use muscle alone, perhaps you’re a temporary winner, but in the long run you are a loser.”

"In 2020, Mr. Milei, a self-identifying Catholic, called Pope Francis an 'imbecile' and 'the representative of the Evil One on earth' because he defends 'social justice.'"

"Last year, Mr. Milei said the pope 'always stands on the side of evil' because he supports taxes. And last month, in an interview with the former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Mr. Milei said the pope 'has an affinity for murderous communists' and is violating the Ten Commandments. Those are bold words for a man trying to become president in Argentina...."

"American parents already pack Lunchables for their kids’ lunches, so bringing Lunchables to school cafeterias makes sense for parents, kids and for the brand."

Said a Kraft Heinz  spokesperson, quoted in "How Lunchables Ended up on School Lunch Trays/Weak rules and industry power have allowed ultra-processed products on the menu" (WaPo).

"It will be a trip fraught with risks, both political and physical...."

"Before the announcement, two administration officials, noting the pro-Palestinian marches in Europe, in New York and on some American college campuses, said in interviews that they could already sense the narrative shifting. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the administration’s internal assessments...."

The political risks for Mr. Biden are difficult to measure. In his first significant public effort to urge caution on Israel, Mr. Biden warned on “60 Minutes” on Sunday that “I think it’d be a big mistake” for Israel to occupy Gaza again, a step Israeli officials say they have no intention of taking. But they have not explained who would run the Gaza Strip in the absence of Hamas, or how they could keep a similar group from arising from the ashes of Gaza City.... 
“Biden believes he has the moral authority here,” said Thomas R. Nides, who served as Mr. Biden’s ambassador to Israel until he resigned over the summer. “He has stood up for the state of Israel. He believes they are right to be dismantling Hamas. But he wants to show he stands for humanity, too.”....

The comments at the NYT express overwhelming negativity toward this trip: "Biden absolutely CANNOT accept Netanyahu's invitation at this time! We cannot be responsible for Israel's actions and the civilian casualties"/"Bad Idea. Let the Israeli PM take full responsibility for the military actions it is taking. Send aid, back them up with words, but don't be physically seen as being linked"/"No. We don’t need the President of the United States going into a war zone"/"Netanyahu has been playing President Biden like a piano throughout this crisis, and is humiliating America in the process"/etc.

I feel compelled to disagree.

I'm reading "Robert Sapolsky Doesn’t Believe in Free Will. (But Feel Free to Disagree)/Shedding the concept 'completely strikes at our sense of identity and autonomy,' the Stanford biologist and neurologist argues. It might also be liberating" (NYT)

The interviewer asks, "So, whether I wore a red or blue shirt today — are you saying I didn’t really choose that?"

Sapolsky answers:
Absolutely. It can play out in the seconds before. Studies show that if you’re sitting in a room with a terrible smell, people become more socially conservative. Some of that has to do with genetics: What’s the makeup of their olfactory receptors? With childhood: What conditioning did they have to particular smells? All of that affects the outcome.

And what of those of us who have lost all or most of our sense of smell? Is this random affliction making me liberal?

Asked "Do we lose love, too, if we lose free will?" he says:

Yeah. Like: “Wow! Why? Why did this person turn out to love me? Where did that come from? And how much of that has to do with how my parents raised me, or what sort of olfactory receptor genes I have in my nose and how much I like their scent?”

Lacking a sense of smell, am I more free? I know, he'd say I'm not free at all. I lack this factor that affects other people's decision-making, but that just leaves me disproportionately affected by the remaining factors.

It seems clear, based on the whole article, that believing there is no free will makes people more liberal. You won't think people deserve the rewards and punishments that come their way. But you don't have free will to decide not to believe in free will. First, comes the desire to justify the status quo and to punish wrongdoers, and then comes the belief in free will. Take that away, and you'll run into the arms of Sapolsky.

October 16, 2023

Sunrise — 7:16.

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"In 1922, The New York Times published its first article about Adolf Hitler. The reporter, Cyril Brown, was aware of his subject’s anti-Jewish animus..."

"... but he wasn’t buying it. 'Several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler's anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded,' Brown wrote, 'and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers.' Two years later, the Times published another news item on the future architect of the Holocaust: 'Hitler Tamed by Prison.' The Austrian activist, the piece said, 'looked a much sadder and wiser man,' and 'his behavior during his imprisonment convinced the authorities that [he] was no longer to be feared.' Many got Hamas wrong. But they shouldn’t have. Again and again, people say they intend to murder Jews. And yet, century after century, the world produces new, tortuous justifications for why anti-Jewish bigots don’t really mean what they say—even though they do."

"The 63-year-old educational consultant and psychotherapist is part of a small but increasingly vocal group of people who favor phasing out racial categories...."

"Yet they recoil at the idea of being confused with people who call themselves 'colorblind,' those 'who are trying to deny that there is racism in the world,' [Carlos] Hoyt said. The government must account for harms caused by 'race,' but without resorting to debunked categories that suggest it is biological, he said. Hoyt read aloud the Census Bureau’s caveats, that 'the racial categories included in the Census Questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country, and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically.' He sighed. 'To recognize that race … is a false concept but to keep doing it anyway, there’s something intellectually problematic about it.'... There’s a principle in psychotherapy that says you don’t take away a client’s defenses unless you have something to replace it with, because it’s serving a purpose, right?' said Hoyt...."

"No one in our company openly mocks pronouns, but a cis, straight Hispanic female colleague offers that her pronouns are 'She/Her/Ella.'"

"... She is using pronouns to further her own personal branding.... This is an appropriation of a space that queer and trans people won so their most basic identity could be appropriately recognized at work. There are other venues in which to be proud of one’s cultural heritage. This colleague leverages identifying pronouns for her own benefit, diluting the concept for everyone else. Ethically speaking, is it OK for her to use pronouns this way?"

This is a question sent to the NYT work advice editor Roxane Gay by a man who calls himself "a queer person of relative privilege (white, gay, male, senior in the organization)."

"So, I don't know that it's going to jump me back into church, but what it did was it gave me good reason to not abandon... there's something there, and it's there for everybody, whatever your religion, it doesn't matter."

Said Whoopi Goldberg.

Trump is up by 2 in Wisconsin.

Blandly reported by Emerson College Polling as: "Wisconsin 2024 Poll: Trump and Biden on Track for Another Close Election." 


"At least six British citizens were killed in Hamas’s attacks on Israel, Rishi Sunak told MPs this afternoon as he described the atrocity as a 'pogrom.'"

 The London Times reports.

The English word "pogrom" comes from the Yiddish (and Russian) word — "pogrom" — for destruction.

The OED definition: "In Russia, Poland, and some other East European countries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: an organized massacre aimed at the destruction or annihilation of a body or class of people, esp. one conducted against Jewish people. "

The earliest English use was in 1889 ("This unprovoked attack of an armed force upon sleeping an defenseless prisoners is known..as ‘the pogróm of May 11’").

A second meaning, going back as far as 1906, is "An organized, officially tolerated, attack on any community or group." For example, in 1964, New Statesman wrote: "The charge that there had been a plot—a ‘pogrom’ in the contemporary phrase—to crush Ulster's resistance to Home Rule by force of arms."

"Federal judge Tanya Chutkan partially granted prosecutors’ request for a gag order on Donald Trump..."

"... in his trial over charges related to the trying to overturn the 2020 election. The former president will be banned from attacking special counsel Jack Smith and his staff, as well as witnesses in the case and court staff, but Chutkan declined to stop him from alleging the case is politically motivated, or criticizing the government generally."

The woods at 7:29 a.m.


"While a prosecutor was interviewing potential jurors, [Judge Traci] Soderstrom apparently observed that he was 'sweating through his coat' and called him 'an arrogant asshole.'"

"Later, as the prosecutor questioned a witness, the judge [texted the bailiff], 'this is dumb' and 'he looks constipated.' During opening statements, Soderstrom opined that the defense attorney was 'awesome' and 'so smart,” asking the bailiff, 'Can I clap for her?'...  At another point, she appeared to have made up her mind about the case prematurely, musing that the 'state just couldn’t accept that a mom could kill their kid so they went after the next person available'... [A]fter the bailiff made a 'crass and demeaning reference to the prosecuting attorneys’ genitalia,' the judge reportedly responded with a laughing emoji.... As a witness watched a video from the stand, the judge reportedly texted: 'This shit is boring.'"

The judge has been suspended and may be removed. Her 500+ texts to the bailiff became public after this video went up on YouTube, revealing the judge using her phone to check social media and text. In the old days, the judge's mind would wander and maybe there would be sleeping or reading, but texting shows.

(You might be thinking sleeping shows, but I think, legally, that's always called "resting my eyes.")

"There’s a lot of pent-up envy of San Francisco from a lot of other cities that think of themselves as more important."

Said an unnamed friend of Nathan Heller, quoted in "What Happened to San Francisco, Really? It depends on which tech bro, city official, billionaire investor, grassroots activist, or Michelin-starred restaurateur you ask" (The New Yorker).
[T]he city’s influence can also be measured by its long shadow in Democratic politics. San Francisco, it’s easy to forget, is a small city... Its social sphere is startlingly compressed.... From this tiny ecosystem the political careers of the nation’s Vice-President, the governor of its most populous state, the recent longtime Speaker of the House, and (until last month) the most senior Democratic member of the Senate emerged.... 

"To me, making music for girls is just the waviest thing you could do. Of all the things people could say about me..."

"I was never affected by the whole ‘This is soft, this is emotional’ or whatever. I guess I could just make music for dusty guys or whatever, but that’s not what inspires me."

Said Drake, in 2019, quoted in a new article, "Drake’s Era of Masculine Frustration/On his new album, 'For All the Dogs,' the star rapper wallows in his discontent" (The New Yorker).

I had to look up "wavy." Didn't know if it was good or bad. (It's good.) And "dusty" (it's bad. I remember when "dust" meant money (1970s)).

Anyway, about the new album, the New Yorker writer, Carrie Battan, says:

"Human remains collections were made possible by extreme imbalances of power."

"Moreover, many researchers in the 19th and 20th centuries then used such collections to advance deeply flawed scientific agendas rooted in white supremacy — namely the identification of physical differences that could reinforce models of racial hierarchy."

October 15, 2023

Lakeside, once again.

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Write about whatever you want in the comments.

We'd had a few days of rain, but today there was some blue sky and brisk wind. It was nice to get back to the usual afternoon walk. This is the western view at 3:25 p.m.

"One night, he had a dream, a nightmare presumably, from which he dared not wake. When he did..."

"... he ate a brief lunch, and retired to his room, took a large draft of laudanum, and, presumably high as a kite, spent the next three days and nights penning what would become The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, finishing it in a state of exhausted triumph. Here, the author—this one, me—would like to interject. Sixty thousand words in three days! Good God. Where, exactly, does one procure this laudanum? It sounds like a downer, and yet . . . did I read that cocaine was involved? So it’s an upper, mellowed by morphine? Can it be synthesized? Is it smokeable? Injected? Why aren’t we making this stuff now? . . . Ahem. What’s really remarkable is what happened afterward. Stevenson gathered [his wife] Fanny and [his stepson] Lloyd around him and proceeded to read his tale.... Fanny...  insisted that Stevenson had... failed to see the essential allegory of the tale. Furious, Stevenson tossed the manuscript into the fireplace."

"He raged at her myopic imbecility. They had a colossal argument, and then, pointing to the ashes of his work, he conceded that, well, perhaps on second thought, she’d been right after all, and he returned to his room, to his laudanum, and wrote a new draft, again in three days. I have a special affection for Dr. Jekyll, of course. I think anyone who has engaged in a course of action that violated their moral code, and did so not with remorse but rather great enthusiasm, will empathize with the tale. That it was written during the height of the Victorian era, with its buoyant belief in the inevitability of progress and rectitude, makes it all the more remarkable. Stevenson, clearly, had a dark side, and perhaps this too explains his wandering ways. The contented stay put. The disaffected always have one foot out the door...."

I read Troost's book a while ago, but I'm rereading that part because I just watched the 1931 movie — part of the Criterion Channel's "Pre-Code Horror" collection — starring Fredric March. Highly recommended. Excerpt:

"It’s pretty typical to find that about one in three people have had no partnered sex in the prior year..."

"[Knowing that] can help to normalize these periods of little to no partnered sex.... That said, for those looking for some longevity in their partnered sex life, it’s important to think about sex in a holistic way."
Said Debby Herbenick, director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the Indiana University School of Public Health, quoted in "8 Sex Myths That Experts Wish Would Go Away/Everyone else is having more sex than you. Men want sex more than women do. And more" (NYT).

Herbenick repeatedly used the phrase "partnered sex." Is that a well-established retronym like "snail mail" and "acoustic guitar"... and "cis-gendered"?

"It seems to me like the more time goes on, the more Trump is a shoo-in."

"It seems like if this shit keeps getting crazier and crazier, there are going to be a lot of liberals voting for him. He was the one in the beginning saying we've got to stop people from dying. Like, do you want Ukraine to win this war? Remember that conversation? He's like, 'I want people to stop dying.' Like, which is the best answer any politician has ever given. And the way he said it. See if you can find the one where he's talking about Milley leaving stuff over in Afghanistan. I might have saved it. It was so funny, the way he was saying it. Did you see the thing he was saying about electric tanks? That's hilarious too. ... 'They're gonna make electric tanks, it's gonna be great for the environment, they're not gonna work well. They're not gonna run long. They're gonna blow the shit out of everything, but it's gonna be good for the environment.' And the way he said it was like a guy doing standup.... The way he says it, it's like he sets it up like he's setting up a punch line. Like, he sets up the story, 'Sir, it would be cheaper to leave them over.' He's like... 'That guy's a fucking idiot.'  To see a guy like him talk like that...."

Said Joe Rogan — recorded October 11, 2023.

Did you think Madonna would lay down and die?

"Seven sorority sisters, suing anonymously as Jane Does... said Artemis only posed as a transgender woman to get into the sorority...."

"As she read the allegations, Artemis felt angry and betrayed. 'Some parts were completely made up,' she said. 'Others were things I remember but in their version was twisted to look weird, gross, sexual.' Many passages felt deeply personal, as though those filing the lawsuit could sense her deepest anxieties. She was still learning to dress as a woman and had been able to afford only a few long dresses that reflected her modest Mormon upbringing. The lawsuit took note: 'Other than occasionally wearing women’s clothing, Mr. Smith makes little effort to resemble a woman.' 'Mr. Smith is 6’2” tall, and he weighs 260 pounds. No other member of Kappa Kappa Gamma has comparable size or strength.' Other accusations homed in on the social awkwardness that Artemis says was partly a symptom of her autism. 'He has several times chosen to sit for hours on the couch in the second-floor common area. He does not study. He does not speak to the women who live there.... Mr. Smith has, while watching members enter the sorority house, had an erection visible through his leggings. Other times he has had a pillow in his lap.'..."

From "A trans woman joined a sorority. Then her new sisters turned on her. A 21-year-old University of Wyoming student was looking for community. Instead, she faced death threats, a federal lawsuit and an attempt to kick her out" (WaPo).