Thursday, May 19, 2022

The Zinger That Wasn't


Some effort to award young Doocy a point over the new White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre on Monday, in her official debut, on the part of this RealClear reporter:

I don't know whether the story is going to have any legs or not, but in the first place, everybody but billionaires and MMTers recognizes that raising taxes is a way to reduce inflation—inflation is when there's too much money circulating, and taxation pulls the money out of circulation. Though its effectiveness must depend on who or what is getting taxed, and what possible side effects it might have; some Bloomberg idiot at WaPo writes, for instance, that it can cause an overtime rejection crisis among the fed-up workers

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Election Day


Image via The Geek Anthropologist.

New Yorkers from upstate and Long Island may not even realize it, but today is Election Day for them—an election in which hardly anybody normally bothers to vote, for their local school boards (in New York City, we don't have them at all, having surrendered the Education Department to mayoral control under the Bloomberg administration), because how is that even important?

It's becoming important now, as a key component of the web in which Republicans are attempting to take control with the bogus issues of "critical race theory" and anti-trans terror focusing on girls' bathrooms and sports teams, and the right to bully LGTBQ+ kids in general, and COVID masking and shutdowns. The enemy can bring out voters in some force, no doubt generally old people with no schoolchildren of their own; former GOP lieutenant governor and celebrated Pants-on-Fire liar Betsey McCaughey warns readers at the New York Post that 

In school-board elections from Long Island to Albany and westward Tuesday, New York parents outraged by the indoctrination and sexualization of their children will try to wrest control.

Don't let them succeed. Please please please check with your local media and find out what you can about the candidates and vote! On other races...

For the Record: Grindelwald on "Mainstream Democrats"

I didn't spend much time on the East Side during my ten years in Buffalo, to my shame, if you like, and certainly to my loss, as is proven by the one occasion I remember—a visit to a jazz club somewhere near Jefferson Avenue to hear a couple of sets by the McCoy Tyner Quartet, which was transcendentally good, maybe 1978. 

I won't say I was like Bill O'Reilly being astonished to learn that they had cloth napkins in Sylvia's in Harlem, because I wasn't, but I wish I would have thought about going there more often.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Literary Corner: Tragic Event


A Tragic Event

By Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America

I think they had
a tragic event
in Buffalo.

Tragic event
in Buffalo with
numerous people being killed.

In 18 months in Afghanistan,
we lost nobody.
No, agreed, it's not funny.

I might as well note that, if he's really trying to brag about how he managed the US war against Afghanistan better than President Biden is managing the race war Trump is busy fomenting in New York State and elsewhere in the US, it wouldn't be true at all. The Trump administration was prosecuting a was in Afghanistan for all 48 months. Though the toll of dead American military was greatly reduced for its last 11 months, after the administration negotiated the surrender to the Taliban in February 2020 (leaving the Biden administration to carry the surrender terms out in August 2021, when the Taliban were unable to prevent their Qa'eda enemies from killing another 13 American soldiers), and included no further combat deaths, but I have no idea what "18 months" he would be talking about.

Via Wikipedia.

While the last year of stochastic terrorism on US soil under the Trump administration included 22 murders:

  • Of the 7,750 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against persons in 2020, 53.1% were for intimidation, 27.9% were for simple assault, and 17.9% were for aggravated assault. Twenty-two (22) murders and 21 rapes were reported as hate crimes. The remaining 32 hate crime offenses were reported in the category of other.
  • Of the 3,147 hate crime offenses classified as crimes against property, most (74.1%) were acts of destruction/damage/vandalism. Robbery, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, arson, and other offenses accounted for the remaining 25.9% of crimes against property.
That's following up on the 51 hate crime murders reported in 2019, including the killing of 22 in an El Paso Walmart in February in "response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas" (an imaginary invasion that was a big element of Trump's 2016 election campaign). 

Official statistics aren't out yet for 2021, but my impression is in spite of the horrific spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans and African Americans, there really have been fewer fatalities since President Biden took office (eight deaths last year from the Atlanta serial killer who claimed to be driven not by hate but by "sex addiction", three awful murders of women in New York City this year so far before Saturday's white nationalist massacre of 10 in Buffalo). It's idiotic trying to keep score anyway (remembering the times Norway and New Zealand jumped to the top of the world list), but I can't seem to help myself, sorry.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Good News, Maybe

Kash air guitar dance moves. Vvia India Abroad.

This is something I landed on completely by chance, and I have no idea who else knows about it, except to the extent that the Establishment Media don't seem to, or at any rate they aren't talking about it, involving Mr. Kash Patel, the Devin Nunes staffer who ended up playing a peculiarly ambiguous role in the Trumpery, alongside the equally ambiguous Ezra Cohen-Watnick, of getting cycled into Trump administration jobs where nobody wanted him or seemed to know what he was supposed to be doing, leading to a certain amount of paranoia in which I myself was, not to put too fine a point on it, participating, especially after Mark Esper suddenly got fired as secretary of defense (on 9 November, 2020, shortly after the November 2020 election) and Patel suddenly got posted to the Pentagon as chief of staff to Esper's acting replacement, Christopher Miller, and we all started wondering why (Trump had floated the idea of making him deputy director of the FBI before, and acting CIA director after that).

As with so many other still-mysterious aspects of the Trump presidency, there’s a riddle at the center of Patel’s many activities. Beyond the basic goal of advancing Trump’s personal agenda, was there a larger mission? Was there a systematic plan, for example, to gain control of the nation’s intelligence and military command centers as part of Trump’s effort to retain the presidency, despite his loss in the November 2020 election? Or was this a more capricious campaign driven by Trump’s personal pique and score-settling without a clear strategy?

I was imagining things less grand and horrifying than that; I was thinking of him and his fellow minions rifling through the files drawers of DOD and pulling incriminating documents, to keep them out of the hands of the huge investigations that would no doubt be engulfing them all  after President-elect Biden was sworn in. Maybe something like the documents he was wishing for in February 2021:

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Left But Not Left Behind


Mercator projection with Tissot's indicatrixes of distortion in the form of the red circles, each of which represents an area with a 10,000-kilometer diameter. Image by Justin Kumimune via Wikipedia.

A brief encounter with some Naderite yielded a pretty good analogy

it's kind of spectacular how much he didn't get it:

Yes indeed, you can, and you can flatten a globe into a Mercator projection,  but when you're planning global activities you don't pretend to believe that Greenland is really twice the size of South America or that Anchorage is 25,000 miles from Vladivostok. Making a practical use of the left-right spectrum as a basis for decision making is like deliberately setting out to make yourself an order of magnitude dumber than a flat-earther.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Lemon, Aid


Drawing via Antarctica Journal.

Roy at his Substack and others are understandably feeling heated about the people who aren't feeling heated at all, who call themselves liberals but seem more concerned about the comfort and quiet of Supreme Court justices in their upscale neighborhoods than the 50-odd percent of the population with wombs whose rights are being snatched away by those same justices

It’s pretty wild to see how easily leaders from both sides of the aisle accepted this fraudulent crisis at face value when the engineers of the assault on our rights were the alleged targets.  At the same time, when you talk about the very real danger the draft Dobbs decision poses to not only the right to abortion but also other unenumerated rights such as gay marriage and contraception — as can be clearly read in Alito’s opinion — not to mention the dead certainty that Republicans will use the decision to try and ban abortion outright nationwide, the toffs don’t seem nearly as exercised.

Part of the reason, I think, is because conservatives are loudly declaring that they won’t do any such thing, and the Very Serious Democrats cannot bring themselves to suggest they’re lying.

I'm wondering if the Very Serious Democrats—TV civility Democrats like Paul Begala and Chris Coons, are worth the attention. For one thing,

Monday, May 9, 2022

Opinions: Postscript

Ruta graveolens, rue, meaning "repentenance", though as Ophelia says "we may call it herb of grace o' Sundays." Photo via BardGarden.

I found a terrific piece of actual scholarship, as opposed to bloggy poking around in the evidence, in support of my guesses on the legal status of abortion in early modern England, in Carla Spivack, "To 'Bring Down the Flowers': The Cultural Context of Abortion Law in Early Modern England", in William and Mary Journal of Women and Law XIV/1 (2007), which took on the 2006 book by Joseph Dellapenna that may well have been Alito's basic source, Dispelling the Myths of Abortion History, and its assertion that

contrary to Justice Blackmun's historic analysis in Roe, "abortion was considered a serious crime throughout most of European history" and that "courts did... punish abortions before quickening during the Middle Ages."

On the contrary, Spivack shows,