Monday: Hili dialogue

November 15, 2021 • 6:30 am

It’s Monday, November 15, 2021 and National Raisin Bran Day. I do like that stuff although I almost never eat cereal (or breakfast).

It’s also National Bundt Day, celebrating the Bundt cake, National Spicy Hermit Cookie Day, National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day, I Love to Write Day, America Recycles Day, Steve Irwin Day (he wasn’t born or died on November 15, so the date is a mystery), and International Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

Here are some lovely (and undoubtedly tasty) Hermit Cookies, in this case shaped like slabs. The recipe is here, and looks like a cookie version of Indian Pudding (cornmeal, molasses, spices, etc.)


News of the Day:

I have little news today because a). nothing much happened, b). I am exhausted from insomnia, and c). Our electricity went off for two hours yesterday evening and I missed the evening news as I had to sit in the dark without television. . The evening news is always my spur to writing this section, and then I trawl the Internet to see what’s happening. Let us do that. .

*According to the Wall Street Journal, Biden’s Build Back Better bill, now back up a bit ($2 trillion) may pass the House, though of course the Senate vote is up for grabs.( I still don’t understand how the “reconciliation process” can completely circumvent a filibuster, for this process now seems to be used in every bill.)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) appears to have enough votes now to pass the education, healthcare and climate bill, known as the Build Back Better plan, in coming days. In a carefully worded statement, a group of centrist Democrats who held up the bill earlier this month committed to vote for the legislation no later than this week, as long as cost and revenue estimates from the Congressional Budget Office largely line up with administration figures showing the bill is fully paid for.

And Uncle Joe schooled the “Progressives”:

A White House official and lawmakers said the president told progressives at a meeting on the day of the vote on the infrastructure bill that if the infighting didn’t stop, he would have to drop the Build Back Better package and move on.

*We all know that Queen Elizabeth can’t live forever but now, at 95 and still getting about, it looks like she can. But she’s circling the drain, having missed two overseas trips to the climate summit in Glasgow and a a jaunt to Northern Ireland because an unspecified hospitalization for “exhaustion”. Now we’re told that she will also miss a remembrance service because she sprained her back. Maybe that’s true, but she hasn’t been seen since mid-October, a very long time for her. She’s not in hospital, but I wonder what Prince Charles is thinking.

*A grim (for me) editorial in the Washington Post by conservative writer and academic Hugh Hewitt tells all in the title, “‘Roe’ will be overturned. The federal courts will go back to normal.” What the hell is “normal” with a bunch of Catholics on the bench bent on turning religion into law? A quote from the jubilant Hewitt:

“Out, out damn spot” is the perfect summary of the thinking of serious conservatives toward Roe, as well as Planned Parenthood v. Caseythe 1992 case that narrowed Roe. I am an optimist; come late June 2022, at least six members of the Supreme Court will overturn these cases. The Dobbs case is due for oral argument on Dec. 1 before the high court. Roe’s Waterloo is, finally, at hand.

Most states that permit abortion now — such as New York and California — will see their laws untouched by the jettisoning of Roe and Casey. The subject of “reproductive rights” will return to the control of a self-governing people exercising their views through elected representatives at the state level. If the left wishes to constitutionalize abortion law again, it will have to do it the old-fashioned way: with an amendment to the Constitution.

Yes, but if this goes down, many states will prohibit abortions, despite most Americans favoring the “pro choice” position. I just want to know where in the Constitution the majority that overturns Wade will find something specifying that a fertilized egg is a person. And how will they justify overturning an already justified decision?

*Two pieces on Thanksgiving from HuffPost (click if you must read). The grammar in this first one sounds wrong to me. “Big OF a Thanksgiving turkey”?  Why not just “big a Thanksgiving turkey”?

And this one will take the fun out of Thanksgiving, as it’s guaranteed to make you feel guilty. Nix on the stuffing, mac and cheese, and even the cranberry sauce (how much cranberry sauce do people even eat at Thanksgiving?); what you want are heaping helpings of Brussels sprouts and squash. Yuk! More culinary fascism!

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 761,980 an increase of 1,133 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,117,769, an increase of about 4,700 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on November 15 includes:

As in all these cases, the Spanish eventually killed the ruler. In Atahualpa’s case, he was promised that he wouldn’t be executed if he converted to Catholicism, which he did. But they killed him anyway, with a garrote. Here’s a depiction of his execution, though it shows him being burned at the stake (the initial method that was changed).

A dramatic depiction of the ruler’s funeral (see? he’s not charred!) by Luis Montero (ca.1867). Since Atahualpa converted to Catholicism, he was given a Christian burial. 

Here’s Pikes Peak (no apostrophe, but why not?). Height 14,115 feet (4,302.31 m):

Here’s Sherman photographed by Matthew Brady. Sherman always looks like he just got out of bed:

Here are Sherman’s men tearing up a railroad track in Atlanta:

Here some Roma (not called “gypsies” any more) in a concentration camp. The U.S. Holocaust Museum notes that “historians estimate that the Germans and their allies killed between 250,000 and 500,000 European Roma during World War II. It is estimated that the prewar Romani population numbered between 1 and 1.5 million.”

Gypsy prisoners at Bełżec. ——US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Archiwum Dokumentacji Mechanicznej

Here it is!

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1708 – William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, English soldier and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1778)
  • 1738 – William Herschel, German-English astronomer and composer (d. 1822)
  • 1882 – Felix Frankfurter, Austrian-American lawyer and jurist (d. 1965)

Frankfurter was nominated to the Supreme Court, where he served for 23 years, by FDR; a photo of the official nomination is below. Frankfurter also helped found the ACLU:

For some reason artists love Siamese cats, and O’Keeffe was one of them. Here she is with her moggy:

Rommel and von Stauffenberg (below) both died because they were involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler. Rommel, a military hero, was given the choice of taking cyanide or standing trial. If he chose suicide, which he did, his involvement with the plot would be kept secret, he’d be buried with full military honors, and his family would not be persecuted, as they would be if he stood trial (where he’d surely be convicted).

von Stauffenberg (below) was the man who placed the bomb in the briefing room where Hitler and his flunkies met. Four people were killed, but Hitler, protected by a part of the oak table under which the bomb was placed in a briefcase, survived with minor injuries. von Stauffenberg was tracked down and executed. Here’s the room after the explosion:

  • 1932 – Petula Clark, English singer-songwriter and actress

She’s 89 today; how time flies!

  • 1942 – Daniel Barenboim, Argentinian-Israeli pianist and conductor

Those who died on November 14 include:

  • 1917 – Émile Durkheim, French sociologist, psychologist, and philosopher (b. 1858)
  • 1949 – Narayan Apte, Indian activist, assassin of Mahatma Gandhi (b. 1911)
  • 1949 – Nathuram Godse, Indian assassin of Mahatma Gandhi (b. 1910)

Here’s a photo of the conspirators (caption from Wikipedia). Nine men stood trial, eight were convicted, six were given life sentences, and Apte and Godse were hanged. (Godse is the one who shot Gandhi.)

The triale of persons accused of participation and complicity in Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination opened in the Special Court in Red Fort Delhi on May 27, 1948. A Close up of the accused persons. Left to right front row: Nathuram Vinayak Godse, Narayan Dattatraya Apte and Vishnu Ramkrishna Karkar. Seated behind are (from left to right) Diganber Ram Chandra Badge, Shankar s/o Kistayya, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Gopal Vinayak Godse and Dattatrays Sadashiv Parachure.
  • 1954 – Lionel Barrymore, American actor, singer, director, and screenwriter (b. 1878)
  • 1958 – Tyrone Power, American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1914)
  • 1978 – Margaret Mead, American anthropologist and author (b. 1901)

Here’s Mead in Samoa in 1926, doing her famous field research. The validity of that research is now debated, with some anthropologists claiming that she was hoaxed about the sexual mores of the Samoans:

  • 1998 – Stokely Carmichael, Trinidadian-American activist (b. 1941)

The above two deaths, of course, were by execution (hanging)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is vain as she wants to look good for the forest creatures.

A: How do you look?
Hili: OK, I can go to the forest.
In Polish:
Ja: No jak?
Hili: w porządku, mogę iść do lasu.

Here’s a photo by Matthew of his most recently acquired cat. Caption: “Harry trying to hide by flattening his ears while dreaming of catching the wood pigeons I have just fed on the roof…”

A Gary Larson cartoon from Stash Krod:

From Facebook:

And from Instagram via Stash Krod: a serval with its chicken dinner. Click the arrow; sound up to hear the growls!

I don’t know if Richard is prompting us to think or instructing us, but his conjecture below seems wrong. Think about how a common ancestor becomes two or more isolated lineages. It’s via the geographic isolation of two (or more) populations, not two individuals. He’s responded to my tweet with an email, so stay tuned: we’ll sort this out!

This is an old one I found tweeted by Joyce Carol Oates with one of Anthony Hutchinson’s Bengal cats that he brought to the New Yorker Cats vs. Dogs debates. I took the picture. Look at those lovely kitties!

God has a sweet tooth!

From Barry. As a secular Jew, I eschew these people and their ridiculous comparisons. Tattoo numbers on your arm and shave your heads, then we’ll talk. Oh, and about those foreskins. . .

A tweet sent by Ginger K.. Click to see the whole agreement.

Tweets from Matthew. The anti-Semites are out again in Poland. Translation:

#Poland : “Death to the Jews” chanted in a far-right demonstration, the Minister of the Interior calls for legal proceedings.

I never saw this movie:

Sound up on this one. It looks like a disco!

Wally the Errant Walrus has a female Doppelgänger! Seehouses is an English town.

47 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. There’s a great cure for insomnia and a great way to right the ship – an email from Richard Dawkins all about evolution! Hooray! Looking forward to this!

  2. Oh I just noticed Kurosawa’s Dreams – never made it through this because it was so rich! Almost FELL ASLEEP!

    I need to try it again!

  3. She [Queen Elizabeth]’s not in hospital, but I wonder what Prince Charles is thinking.

    “Uneasy is the head that wears a crown,” like Henry IV, would be my guess.

    1. Or maybe he has Richard II in mind:

      For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
      And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
      How some have been deposed; some slain in war,
      Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed;
      Some poison’d by their wives: some sleeping kill’d;
      All murder’d: for within the hollow crown
      That rounds the mortal temples of a king
      Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits,
      Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
      Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
      To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
      Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
      As if this flesh which walls about our life,
      Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
      Comes at the last and with a little pin
      Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king.

  4. But she’s circling the drain, having missed two overseas trips to the climate summit in Glasgow and a a jaunt to Northern Ireland because an unspecified hospitalization for “exhaustion”.

    Glasgow isn’t overseas from any of the places where the Queen lives.

    I was discussing this with some friends yesterday. The fact that she’s missing the Remembrance Day service is the really concerning one. In fact, my brother thinks she’s already dead and they’re just delaying the news until after.

    Also yesterday (in terms of nothing much happening) – I don’t know if this would reach the USA – we had an attempted terrorist attack in Liverpool. A man with an IED took a taxi to Liverpool Women’s Hospital. He was foiled by the driver who locked him in so the bomb only destroyed the taxi.

    Also, also bow ties must be quite difficult to do up if you haven’t got fingers, never mind opposable thumbs. So I reckon it’s a tricky ducky dickey.

    1. It was in the news yesterday showing the taxi in flames. A slow day as Sunday usually is. Sullivan was on 60 minutes last night and I’m sure PCC would have watched if he had electricity. 60 minutes also attempted to explain the huge grid lock in logistics. I think the American free enterprise, no regulation system carries much blame. Also, the fact that our ports are owned and funded at the city level. As Hamilton tried to tell us, there is good reason for federal control of many things. Jefferson still wins the battle and it is killing us.

    2. > “Glasgow isn’t overseas from any of the places where the Queen lives.”

      I thought the same thing. I don’t like how we use the term ‘overseas’. I hear people say that a Californian going to Canada is travelling overseas, but a Californian going to Hawaii is not. People talking about the four constituent countries/nations of the UK make matters even weirder. Belfast, of course, is over the Irish Sea from Great Britain; does that make it ‘overseas’? And don’t get me started on the overseas territories.

      1. Travelling to Canada from California is best described as “international” in my book. London to Glasgow is trickier because it is either in a different country or not depending on your definition of “country”. However, I don’t think anybody from England would count Glasgow as international.

        Also, the Queen has a residence in Scotland at Balmoral.

        1. I’ve given up trying to figure that one out. Sometimes intergovernmental and cultural relationships supersede traditional definitions, like many Europeans thinking a flight from Germany to Austria is not international.

          I’ve seen airlines, beer companies, and shipping companies all use something other than ‘traditional’ definitions of ‘international’. I flew from the US to Canada and did not get the standard international refreshments because the airline considered it a domestic flight. Canada Post has three broad destinations, Canada, US, and International. And Canadian beers… anything from in-province is considered domestic; anything from out-of-province is considered an import. Many of my Irish friends have told me similar stories about Ireland and the UK.

          Of course, both the US and Canada are multi-national federations. Aboriginal peoples in both countries are considered separate-but-not-sovereign nations. The Quebecois are a separate nation from Anglo-Canadians. I hesitate to think about whether a trip from Toronto to Montreal should be considered inter-national.

          Eh, whatever. It’s all arbitrary. I don’t take it too seriously.

    3. I didn’t know you could lock someone into a car so he couldn’t get out. Glad you can.
      Maybe this is a feature of taxis, handy for fare disputes, assaults on the driver, terrorists with bombs…
      Enough left of him to get an ID and what cause he wanted to kill for?

      1. There’s probably a way of getting out if the doors are locked but you have to know about it. Apparently Tesla’s have a manual door release for the back doors but it is fairly well hidden.

        Anyway, the police have arrested three other people in connection with the incident, so I think they must have identified the bomber. The taxi driver is in hospital but his injuries are not life threatening, apparently.

      2. Many cars have child proof safety locks on the rear doors that you can set so that kids in the back seats can’t open the doors. I just looked at my Prius, and indeed, it has a simple toggle switch on the rear door that turns on this feature. When the door is closed, you can’t reach the switch.

  5. > “There are sibling POPULATIONS, not sibling individuals.”

    My impression of the term ‘Most Recent Common Ancestor’ (MRCA/Concestor) of two populations is the individual who was the last point at which they constituted one common breeding population, even though speciation/branching/grouping had already started. The offspring of that MRCA were, by definition, siblings (having the same parent), but each was an ancestor of a separate branch. So sibling populations, but also individual siblings.

    1. But why do you think that a single individual constitutes the last point at which the two daughter populations constituted a common breeding population? Imagine an earthquake results in an island splitting off from the continent. The individuals of a given species on that island don’t all share a single common parent with their conspecifics who remain on the mainland so if the two now isolated parts of the original population eventually evolve into separate species it would not be the case that there was a single individual who was their common ancestor.

      1. I’m trying to summarize Dr. Dawkins’ _Ancestor’s Tale_. A lot of this is only defined tens or hundreds of generations after the fact – and may be redefined after certain events (a lineage dying out, etc.). There is the argument that every living human will either be the ancestor of all future humans or of none (at an arbitrary point in the future). Even if you have grandchildren today, we still won’t know whether your lineage will die out, or comprise all of future humanity 30-40 generations from now. The same applies working backwards; future events determine well after the fact who the MRCA is. In your example, when the island calved, there might have been dozens of MRCAs for various lineages; as lineages merge or die off, the number of total lineages, and therefore the number of MRCAs dwindles to one for the entire population. The children of that singular MRCA are themselves not the MRCA of the entire population, but of sub-populations. Siblings and sibling populations. But, at the moment of the splitting, and for several generations thereafter, the MRCA would have existed long before the splitting, just as the MRCA for people in the US was not an American.

    2. Individual siblings might each become members of isolated populations of the same species which then eventually evolve into separate species. But the siblings can’t ever be the MRCA because that is a category error. They can only be a MRCA, as in a representative individual of their MRCA species. Evolution happens to species, not individuals. If the individuals were not members of a group then speciation could not happen because there would be no breeding. An individual that becomes isolated from it’s species gene pool can’t evolve into a new species.

    3. Exactly. I cannot see what is wrong with that statement.

      But it forgets that there were other individuals alive at the same time that were also ancestors of the modern population.

      It is like genealogists who look at one line of ancestry & trace back to one totemic ancestor say William the Bastard. But in that generation any descendant must have numerous unknown or unnamed ancestors, within a population.

  6. I am not sure there is much behind Biden’s warning to the Progressive Caucus. First, does Biden have any other legislative priorities besides Build Back Better? Maybe he would just unbundle it, and pursue individual measures. Second, he’s going to need the Progressives in order to pass almost anything. Biden may well find himself gridlocked by his own party.

    With regard to Reconciliation, I am not an expert, but the web page of the House Budget Committee has an article that says this:

    Why not use it for everything?

    Other special rules, which are designed to protect the rights of the minority party, apply to reconciliation bills. Only policies that change spending or revenues can be included. Senate debate time is limited, and only certain kinds of amendments can be offered. For example, the Social Security program cannot be changed in reconciliation.

    The whole article is worth a read. I think the rules also limit how often it can be used, or at least the Parliamentarian said that they could only use it once more this year.

  7. “Here’s Pikes Peak (no apostrophe, but why not?)” – idiocy, was my first thought. It turns out that the name was decided by the United States Board on Geographic Names

    which does not recognize the use of the possessive apostrophe and has only granted an exception five times during its history,[9] including one for Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

    So now we know who to blame for the idiocy…

    1. Under the Law of Conservation of Apostrophes, an apostrophe ionized from one place must reappear in the ground state somewhere else. The one from Pike(‘)s Peak, after being lost lo these many years eventually turned up on the directional sign for Plains Rd. during local road reconstruction a few years ago. The road itself has been there for ages but the new sign said Plain’s Rd. —>. Big green sign, too. No missing it. I would have provided a photo but the county has corrected it.

      No telling where the apostrophe is now. It being autumn, probably on a sign saying U-pick Apple’s

    2. It is common to omit them in names, so don’t get too het up! Grays Inn Rd, Foots Cray, Kings Cross etc.

      Did they use them in Old English? No? Well, what was good enough for Alfred the Grest is good enough for me 🤓

  8. I still don’t understand how the “reconciliation process” can completely circumvent a filibuster, for this process now seems to be used in every bill

    My limited understanding is: the Senate agrees to a slightly different bill than the House (so it doesn’t “circumvent,” it’s just a version the Senate finds palatable enough to pass), and then both House and Senate send a few people to form a committee that comes up with a unified bill which I think doesn’t need to be re-voted on, it’s just counted as ‘passed’ because the unreconciled bills were passed and both sides agree this is how they were going to fix the differences.

    Most states that permit abortion now — such as New York and California — will see their laws untouched by the jettisoning of Roe and Casey. The subject of “reproductive rights” will return to the control of a self-governing people exercising their views through elected representatives at the state level

    He is either naive or dissimulating. The moment the right gets Roe thrown out, either conservative states or conservatives in liberal states will start working on test cases where they argue abortion violates federal laws against murder, and thus must be made illegal everywhere. And with this court, they have a pretty good chance of getting that passed.

    Nobody be fooled by the ‘states rights’ conservativism Hewitt is pushing. The evangelicals will not be satisfied until there is a total nationwide ban on abortion, ‘morning after’ pills are likewise illegal, and poor women are going to jail for miscarriages if they so much as smell a joint or have a beer. They don’t want liberal states allowing abortion, they want it gone and women’s reproductive choices controlled.

  9. If you missed the F1 race yesterday in Brazil it’s too bad. Probably one of the best drives by the greatest race driver in the history of formula one.

    1. I was visiting friends this weekend so I didn’t realise what happened. Penalised 25 places over the course of the weekend and run off the road but still wins. Hamilton is the greatest.

      1. +1

        One could be forgiven for thinking that someone running the Sao Paulo GP had it in for Lewis. He gets heavily penalised for a minor technical infringement, and Max gets his knuckles gently rapped for running Lewis off the road, and weaving dangerously in front of him while Lewis was trying to overtake.

  10. Think about how a common ancestor becomes two or more isolated lineages. It’s via the geographic isolation of two (or more) populations, not two individuals.

    But if you trace those populations back, wouldn’t one always reduce to one mother at some previous time (that time being long before the speciation event)?

  11. The Gary Larson cartoon reminds me of a funny breakfast incident decades ago. A friend and I had stopped for breakfast at a proverbial ‘hole in the wall’ with the creative name Ed’s Eats. It was definitely a dump, but for some reason it was one of our regular breakfast joints.

    This one so far unremarkable day as we are working our way through eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns and toast, my friend says to me, “Hey, check this out.” I look over as he pushes something dark brown out from underneath some of his hash browns with his fork. It was a fairly good size, perfectly identifiable spider. It was well flattened, like the hash browns, and also like the hash browns had been well fried.

    My friend continued to eat most of the rest of his breakfast, leaving just a bit of hash browns on the plate along with the spider. He then gestured to the waitress, who came right over, and showed her the well fried spider on his plate. She apologized and said she would of course take his breakfast off the bill. But my friend, ever pragmatic, says, “Can I just get another breakfast instead?”

  12. I just want to know where in the Constitution the majority that overturns Wade will find something specifying that a fertilized egg is a person.

    If SCOTUS overrules Roe v. Wade, it won’t be based on the finding that a fertilized egg constitutes a “person.” Were the Court to do so, it would mean abortion would be illegal in all 50 states (and the US territories), and, under the Equal Protection Clause, abortion would perforce constitute murder. (This is the ultimate goal of the hardcore anti-abortionists, but even they recognize that the constitution would need to be amended to confer “personhood” on fetuses.)

    To give the Devil his due, the anti-abortion justices would turn the above question around and ask, whence in the constitution’s text comes the right to an abortion. The foundation for the right to reproductive freedom announced by the Court in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was laid in the 1965 case Griswold v. Connecticut, holding that a state could not deny contraception to married couples. This was the case in which Justice William O. Douglas, writing the majority opinion, made the oft-maligned statement that “specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.”

    On one hand, this seems thin gruel on which to base a constitutional right from a texualist standpoint. But, then, I’m not a textualist or originalist, or even a “living constitutionalist” like Justice Stephen Breyer, or an adherent to any other overarching theory of constitutional interpretation. (Frankly, such overarching constitutional theories are above my paygrade.) I tend to agree with former 7th Circuit chief judge (and University of Chicago law professor) Richard Posner that SCOTUS decisions are pragmatic — that result precedes theory, with theory supplying the justification for the result the justices believe to be correct. What’s more, there are several recognized constitutional rights with no basis in the constitution’s text that even conservatives now recognize as noncontroversial — among them the right to travel freely between states, the right to private association, and the right to marry (which was controversial as to interracial couples until 1967, and as to same-sex couples until 2015, but never as to heterosexual same-race couples).

    In any event, with six current members of the SCOTUS firmly opposed to abortion rights, the only chance Roe v. Wade has of surviving in any form lies with the doctrine of stare decisis, which cautions against overruling well-established precedent (even where current Court members believe the earlier case was wrongly decided). I think this is where Chief Justice Roberts would come down on the matter, given his druthers. The question is whether he will be able to bring along at least one of the five hardcore conservatives to his right to join him in this view. (Justices Kavanaugh and Gorsuch would appear to be the two leading candidates to do so; Thomas, Alito, and Barrett are beyond reach, in my view.)

    1. Were the Court to do so, it would mean abortion would be illegal in all 50 states (and the US territories)

      That will be Texas and Ohio’s 2023 test case – after the 2022 cases overthrow Roe. I’m of the opinion that religious conservatives have no intention of stopping at “States’ rights” in this instance.

      And if the court does something insane and says it is beyond the judicial system’s power to oversee the type of direct fine system Texas has, then I bet it won’t take even a month before Texas passes a law saying you can fine any Texan helping a woman leave the state to get an abortion somewhere it’s legal.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if things have changed in more recent years (decades), in fact I’m pretty sure they have, but when I was growing up, and even when I had kids of my own, circumcision was definitely very common among Christians in the US. It was even common in non-religious families.

  13. It seems that the line

    >> The above two deaths, of course, were by execution (hanging)

    is misplaced, unless there’s something about Margaret Mead and Stokely Carmichael that I don’t know.

  14. Could R.D’s wombat/human conjecture be possible if the isolation was sudden. For instance, a tsunami or storm washing away some critters on a raft of vegetation. The marsupial ancestor sailing away, leaving his/her placental ancestor sibling behind. My guess is that it’s more than highly unlikely, but is it impossible?

    If it is impossible, then what about this sentence from the bestseller: Sapiens

    “Just 6 million years ago, a single female ape had 2 daughters. One became the ancestor of all chimpanzees, the other is our own Grandmother. .

  15. Vaping delta-8 THC is my cure of insomnia, just like pot was in college / young adulthood. I’m a big user of caffeine also may be the real underlying cause – but legalizing delta-8 hit the spot. No hallucination effects but enjoy it with a nightly movie, snacks and off to a good sleep.

  16. I’m not sure if this is the correct comment space to respond to your question why there is no apostrophe in Pikes Peak. There is a US Board of Geographic Names, with a website you can search. I used to consult the website when I was doing land trust work and there were questions about place names. In one instance an island name was complicated and I made a special inquiry about it and I was told that apostrophes are not allowed in official names.

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