Saturday: Hili dialogue

July 23, 2022 • 6:30 am

It’s Cat Sabbath, all the challah is made, and the moggies are looking forward to gefilte fish and roasted chicken on this Saturday, July 23, 2020: National Vanilla Ice Cream Day (one of my friend’s dad ate at least a quart of the Breyer’s version every day, and lived to be 90).

It’s also National Day of the American Cowboy, Hot Enough for Ya Day, Gorgeous Grandma Day, and Peanut Butter and Chocolate Day, whose finest instantiation is this:

Stuff that happened on July 23 include:

This was a clumsy machine, where you had to move a lever to a notch corresponding to the letter you want, and then press down. But it was still faster than hand-setting type. Here’s a depiction of one in use:

And a letter Burt composed on his typographer and sent to his wife. A bit messy, no?

Before that there were two separate colonies: “Upper Canada” and “Lower Canada”. Here’s a map captioned by Wikipedia, “The Canadas, Upper Canada (orange) and Lower Canada (green) prior to 1809, with contemporary Canada in pink surrounding it.” The Act of Union eliminated the separate legislatures between the green area and the orange (largely French-speaking) area.

It was undoubtedly a Model A, and it was bought by Ernest Pfennig, a Chicago dentist.

Archibald Brown was blown up by a grenade secreted in his wheelchair; the perp was his son, who chafed under Archibald’s despotic behavior. Eric was declared insane, sent to prison, and got out in 1975. Here’s the exploded chair; Archibald was blown to bits:

  • 1962 – Telstar relays the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television program, featuring Walter Cronkite.
  • 1962 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Here the great Robinson gets his plaque, which was later edited (second picture) to a new version:

Branch Rickey with Jackie and Rachel Robinson as Jackie holds his HoF Plaque.

From the NYT, with editing from 2008 that added his playing style and history of integrating baseball:.

When he was elected, the words on his bronze plaque at Cooperstown reflected his wishes.

Those words began, “Leading N.L. Batter in 1949,” and followed with his fielding and stolen base statistics, and then “Most Valuable Player in 1949. Lifetime Batting Average .311,” before concluding with more fielding statistics.

“A Player of Extraordinary Ability Renowned for His Electrifying Style of Play,” the words on the new plaque begin before reciting several of the same statistics. They then conclude, thankfully, with, “Displayed Tremendous Courage and Poise in 1947 When He Integrated the Modern Major Leagues in the Face of Intense Adversity.”

All passengers and crew survived, as they were exchanged for Arab prisoners.

This is an amazing story; the plane landed without fuel or power except for hydraulic power, gravity power to drop the landing gear, and some backup battery power. It came down on a runway at a decommissioned RCAF base, a runway that had been converted into a racetrack. Everyone survived the 41,000-foot fuel-less glide, and here’s the plane after landing:

  • 1992 – A Vatican commission, led by Joseph Ratzinger, establishes that limiting certain rights of homosexual people and non-married couples is not equivalent to discrimination on grounds of race or gender.

I don’t know why there’s a difference in discriminating between gays or discriminating against people of different genders or races. Ask a Catholic!

  • 2018 – A wildfire in East Attica, Greece caused the death of 102 people. It was the deadliest wildfire in history of Greece and the second-deadliest in the world, in the 21st century, after the 2009 bushfires in Australia that killed 180.

Da Nooz:

*Well, that didn’t take long. Yesterday Steve Bannon was found guilty of two counts of contempt of Congress, the first of Trump’s close aides to become an Official Criminal. Now these are only misdemeanor charges, each carrying a maximum sentence of $1000 fine and 12 months in prison, but the Big Boy won’t get nearly that much. I hope he does get some jail time, just for grins, and I’m pretty sure the judge will sentence him to at lest a short stint in the pokey.

Bannon didn’t testify, nor did he mount a defense, but he pleaded “not guilty”. The case was straightforward, for he did refuse the subpoena, and for the jurors that’s all she wrote:

From the NYT:

The jury’s verdict, reached after less than three hours of deliberations, came one day after video of Mr. Bannon briefly appeared in a public hearing of the House committee he had snubbed. Investigators played a clip of him saying that Mr. Trump had planned to declare victory in the 2020 election, no matter what the results were.

Mr. Bannon remained defiant in remarks outside the courthouse, saying the prosecution’s assertion that he had chosen “allegiance to Donald Trump over compliance with the law” was correct, but omitted an important detail.

“I stand with Trump and the Constitution,” Mr. Bannon said. “I will never back off that.”

Judge Carl J. Nichols set a sentencing date in late October but David I. Schoen, a lawyer for Mr. Bannon, said they would appeal the guilty verdict.

 *Ken’s news:

Librarians in Oklahoma have been warned to avoid using the word “abortion” and not to assist library patrons in finding abortion-related information.

We think of librarians as the dispensers of information, not concealers of it, and this will surely piss most of them off. But rendering this assistance could be illegal!

Library workers across Oklahoma’s Metropolitan Library System (MLS) were shocked this week after receiving instructions to avoid using the word “abortion” and not to help patrons locate abortion-related information on either library computers or their own devices. Workers were warned that they could be held legally liable and face penalties under the state’s abortion laws.

“If a staff member gives any information on how to obtain an abortion, then that person may be found personally liable and will also make MLS liable,” says a memo, which was obtained by Motherboard after being emailed to workers at one library branch in the Oklahoma City area. “Civil penalties include a $10,000 fine plus jail time and the staff member will lose their job due to being informed by MLS and disregarding the warning.”

The message also asks library workers to be wary of people who try to trick staff into giving them information on how to obtain an abortion so they can report them to authorities. Branch managers have given similar guidance to library workers across the system, according to workers who spoke with Motherboard on condition of anonymity.

This is out and out censorship, but I suspect that, given the odious nature of these new laws, it’s legal.

*Over at Medium, historian Nadin Brzezinski has a piece called “Logistics collapse,” explaining Why Russia will lose in Ukraine. (We’ve had a couple recently explaining why Russia will win in Ukraine.

And, as the title implies, it’s the logistics, stupid! They simply can’t get enough weapons to Russian troops, equipment isn’t maintained, and generals are shooting themselves because of abject failure. As for ammunition,

The problem [the Russians] have is they don’t have the trucks to drive these from bases inside Russia. Nor do they know how to do that. Russia would need something like the Red Ball Express after the Allies landed at Normandy. They don’t have the trucks at this point.

Brzezinski goes on about various political issues that have fouled things up, and concludes this way:

Perhaps, but her article hasn’t changed my mind. A pessimist is never disappointed, and so I try to think Russia will win because I’ll feel so good if they don’t. But I still think they will, garnering at least a huge piece of Ukraine, simply because Russia (and Putin) can’t afford to lose. Remember, though, I’m far from being a pundit about anything save evolution.

*However, if you read Andrew Sullivan’s main Substack segment this week, “Putin’s Long Game in Ukraine“, you’ll see that Sully arrives at the opposite conclusion: Russia will at the least help itself to a large portion of Ukraine. And he worries that the West will grow weary of the war, and just give up (we have other issues)

*Be sure to have a look at Nellie Bowles’s “TGIF”, her weekly news summary on Bari Weiss’s Substack column. (Do subscribe if you read regularly.) This week’s is called, “TGIF: Prince Harry, Dave Chappelle, and AOC“: clickbait for sure. I read it as much for the snark and sarcasm as for the news, and really look forward to Bowles’s weeky production. Here are two items from a long summary:

→ Prince, please, this is not your country: Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, the Prince turned celebrity, has decided it is his new job to be America’s top woke-scold, weighing in on various topics when he sees fit to leave Montecito. The latest: He was invited to the UN (?!) and spoke about U.S. abortion law (!?!?) “The rolling back of Constitutional rights here in the United States” is part of a “global assault on democracy and freedom”? Who is this guy? Why exactly is he getting a stage anywhere at all? He is not the monarch of any country, but least of all ours.

→ Antifa putting on a summer camp: If I know our Common Sense readers, I know where you’ll want to send young Lilac and River. Antifa summer camp! It’s real. Scroll through the past summer activities. Your bundles of joy can choose between activities like: “White Supremacy Reflection” and “What Is Police Abolition?”

*Doctored data appear to have been a keystone of research on Alzheimer’s for a long time. The Torygraph reports (archived), and links to a Science article (h/t: Jez).

The key theory of what causes Alzheimer’s disease may be based on ‘manipulated’ data which has misdirected dementia research for 16 years – potentially wasting billions of pounds – a major investigation suggests.

A six-month probe by the journal Science reported “shockingly blatant” evidence of result tampering in a seminal research paper which proposed Alzheimer’s is triggered by a build-up of amyloid beta plaques in the brain.

In the 2006 article from the University of Minnesota, published in the journal Nature, scientists claimed to have discovered a type of amyloid beta which brought on dementia when injected into young rats.

It was the first substance ever identified in brain tissue which could cause memory impairment, and seemed like a smoking gun.

The Nature paper became one of the most-cited scientific articles on Alzheimer’s ever published, sparking a huge jump in global funding for research into drugs to clear away the plaques.

But the Science investigation claims to have found evidence that images of amyloid beta in mice had been doctored, in allegations branded “extremely serious” by the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The possible fraud was uncovered by Matthew Schrag, a neuroscientist at Vanderbilt who found doctored photos supporting a key “finding” that, while not universally accepted (there is no universal consensus about the cause of Alzheimer’s), became the basis of nearly all research trying to mitigate or cure the disease. Part of the report from Science:

The first author of that influential study, published in Nature in 2006, was an ascending neuroscientist: Sylvain Lesné of the University of Minnesota (UMN), Twin Cities. His work underpins a key element of the dominant yet controversial amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s, which holds that Aβ clumps, known as plaques, in brain tissue are a primary cause of the devastating illness, which afflicts tens of millions globally. In what looked like a smoking gun for the theory and a lead to possible therapies, Lesné and his colleagues discovered an Aβ subtype and seemed to prove it caused dementia in rats. If Schrag’s doubts are correct, Lesné’s findings were an elaborate mirage.

A 6-month investigation by Science provided strong support for Schrag’s suspicions and raised questions about Lesné’s research. A leading independent image analyst and several top Alzheimer’s researchers—including George Perry of the University of Texas, San Antonio, and John Forsayeth of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)—reviewed most of Schrag’s findings at Science’s request. They concurred with his overall conclusions, which cast doubt on hundreds of images, including more than 70 in Lesné’s papers. Some look like “shockingly blatant” examples of image tampering, says Donna Wilcock, an Alzheimer’s expert at the University of Kentucky.

The authors “appeared to have composed figures by piecing together parts of photos from different experiments,” says Elisabeth Bik, a molecular biologist and well-known forensic image consultant. “The obtained experimental results might not have been the desired results, and that data might have been changed to … better fit a hypothesis.”

The NIH spends $3.2 billion dollars annually on Alzheimer’s research, much of it motivated by the amyloid clump hypothesis. It may still be right, with any fraud just used to buttress a hypothesis that still might be true. Or amyloid clumps could still be the cause of the dementia, but a different kind of amyloid than the one implicated by Lesné (Aβ*56).  But it could also be the case that 16 years of work on the disease has been wasted. The NIH is investigating. (h/t Jez).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej comes to Editor-in-Chief Hili with an issue. Hili efficiently delegates the problem.

A: I have a problem.
Hili: When you find a good solution let me know.
In Polish:
Ja: Mam problem.
Hili: Jak znajdziesz dobre rozwiązanie to mi powiedz.

And Baby Kulka approves of this post:


From the Perth Observatory:

From D. J. Grothe:

From Jesus of the Day:

The Tweet of God:

From Dom, a beautiful jewel wasp:

From Simon: Advice from the Donald on sanitizing your insides:

From Ken; I’ve added a followup tweet so you can see the gonzo Republicans:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: Vandalism in Germany: trees commemorating Holocaust victims cut down, swastikas drawn on Holocaust memorial.  The usual stuff.

Tweet from Dr. Cobb. Here he is (in the second tweet) at the Bluedot Festival explaining his latest published book (which he hadn’t even seen in print) in one minute:

Can America get any crazier with respect to guns? The answer is, “Yes, of course!”

From the article above:

SIG Sauer’s new MCX-SPEAR fires bullets with twice the kinetic energy of those from an AR-15. That means double the horrifying force that mangled the victims of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, and left one youngster essentially decapitated.

“It’ll shoot through almost all of the bulletproof vests that are worn by law enforcement in the county right now,” said Ryan Busse, a former firearms company executive who is now a senior policy analyst with the Giffords Law Center and author of Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry that Radicalized America.

The MCX-SPEAR is the civilian version of the U.S. Army’s NGSW-R (Next Generation Squad Weapon-Rifle), which was created with the express purpose of tearing through enemy body armor.

“This is a weapon that could defeat any body armor, any planned body armor that we know of in the future,” then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told the Army Times in 2019. “This is a weapon that can go out at ranges that are unknown today.”

The MCX-Spear: coming soon—to a mall near you!

And I’ve saved the best for last: a terrific attack ad on Dr. Mehmet Oz, the quack who, you might know, is running as a Republican candidate for the Senate from Pennsylvania—even though he apparently lives in New Jersey. Don’t miss this; it’s even better than LBJ’s famous anti-Goldwater ad from 1964:

43 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. Can America get any crazier with respect to guns? The answer is, “Yes, of course!”

    It’s almost as if there’s an evolutionary arms race between weapon makers and armour makers.

      1. Two strange incomprehensible statements in one post.

        Violence is actually the last refuge of those whom “the system” — the international rules-based order in which state actors with badges control a monopoly on the use of force— finds it no longer convenient to hold up its end of the bargain in protecting ordinary people from predators.

        1. Violence is also often the first refuge of those who outright reject that they should be burdened by a rules-based order in which state actors with badges control a monopoly on the use of force.

          1. Hi Ken. I’m confused. Do you have to purchase the next gen rifle in order to fire this new ammo? The ad sounds like it. It’s the ammo doing the damage, not the rifle. Did they maybe do something to the rifle barrel of this new gun to accommodate the higher velocity ammo, or could this ammo be fired out of existing AR 15’s?

    1. The ammunition is called “Fury.” Nice. That’s just the mood you would want inside the head of someone walking around with one of these.

      1. Hi Ken. I’m confused. Do you have to purchase the next gen rifle in order to fire this new ammo? The ad sounds like it. It’s the ammo doing the damage, not the rifle. Did they maybe do something to the rifle barrel of this new gun to accommodate the higher velocity ammo, or could this ammo be fired out of existing AR 15’s?

        1. The short answer is no. The .277 is a larger cartridge than the .223 used in most AR-15s. It fires essentially the same projectile as the .270 Winchester, which is a pretty common hunting round.

          1. Thank you Max+Blancke; I suppose I should have looked up the calibre of the round before I posed the question. I appreciate the response.

        1. I’m afraid that’s outside of my sphere of knowledge as well! I was just going by the picture in the ad.

    2. There’s no reason arms makers won’t go as crazy as the GOP politicians that support them. After all, they are both giving the voters what they want. Look for the RINO-hunting version of this weapon soon at a gun store near you.

  2. I can’t read Andrew Sullivan’s article because it is paywalled, but even the title leads me to think it’s not worth the money. “Putin’s long game” Really? Putin’s plan for Ukraine involved winning the war in a week back in March. Does Sullivan think that Putin is doing anything now except scrabbling to avoid the appearance of a disastrous defeat?

    While I’m criticising articles about the war in Ukraine, the other article you posted contains an incidental error that always gets me wound up. The M4 Sherman was not the deathtrap of popular myth. In fact, five out of every six American* crewmen in Sherman tanks that were hit by enemy fire survived, mainly because it was very easy to get out of. Contrast this with the Russian T34, where only one in six crewmen survived. Also, the Sherman wasn’t called a “zippo” except for the flame thrower tanks.

    * British survival rates in Shermans were significantly lower possibly because their crews didn’t wear helmets.

    I don’t think the new Sig Sauer assault rifle is going to replace the AR-15 as the mass shooters’ weapon of choice any time soon. They are significantly more expensive and I expect the ammunition will be more expensive too. Also, I understand the armour piercing ammo will not be available to civilians. This doesn’t make it OK, of course. The kind of body armour warn by civilian LEOs is really only designed to stop handgun ammunition. The ordinary bullets for this gun will more than suffice to kill anybody in the streets of America.

    1. Huh. I understood that the Germans referred to the tank as “Zippos” bc one shell striking it would cause the tank would catch fire. That was from a WWII documentary. But that too is wrong, apparently.

      1. Most Sherman M-4 tanks had gasoline engines. I suspect that the fire hazard was greater than those later versions with diesel.

    2. Sullivan’s view on Ukraine is indistinguishable from Putin’s, who thinks that Ukraine is not a country, and belongs to Russia. It’s hard to believe, but, if you read his opinions, it’s clear that Sullivan wants the West to help Putin to make Russia great again.

  3. “The Act of Union eliminated the separate legislatures between the green area and the orange (largely French-speaking) area.”

    Looking at the map the green area was the French speaking one.

  4. > Sig Sauer assault rifle is going to replace the AR-15….
    It’s not meant to replace the old standbys, but to add to their collections.

    We’ve seen the homeowner photos of owner’s proudly displaying their favorites on their driveways— you have to keep up? (What if your neighbor gets the new one and you don’t?) And Obama and Biden will always be coming to take away their guns.

    When has money ever come between USAsians and their guns?

  5. If you read the Science article, do click through to; part of the story about the Alzheimer’s data can be followed there in “real time” and you can see the images in question. PubPeer allows people to discuss published papers, but a major activity is to call out cases of possible image manipulation. It can be intriguing to follow a paper that starts to gain attention for the wrong reasons. This can result in anything from no response, to an error correction, to complete retraction of the paper.

    At PubPeer, you can see some putative manipulated images from the Lesné et al. 2006 Nature paper. The author response so far suggests that at least some of the anomalies are image-processing artifacts introduced after submission to the publisher, but other observations (such as putative duplication of elements in figures) could be hard to explain away.

    If fraud charges stick, the group’s overall publication history will come under scrutiny. In fact, numerous images in their other papers are being questioned on PubPeer by Elisabeth Bik (the forensic image consultant mentioned in the article above) and others.

  6. In the 2006 article from the University of Minnesota, published in the journal Nature, scientists claimed to have discovered a type of amyloid beta which brought on dementia when injected into young rats.

    My field is condensed matter physics, and I have a hard time understanding why such an important result would not have been reproduced many times by different labs around the world. A few years ago we had a case of fraud in condensed matter:

    It did not take long for the fraud to be discovered because no one could reproduce Schon’s results.

    Clearly, the reproducibility crisis in science does not just involve the *ability* to reproduce important experiments, but extends to the *desire* to reproduce important results.

    1. It’s more the desire to refute than the desire to confirm. I think that’s what you mean. If I was dishonest and wanted to confirm a colleague’s work out of groupthink or loyalty to the cause of beta-amyloid, I could Photoshop an experiment to show exactly that.

      Novel results in medical research immediately suggest the possibility of lucrative treatments someday being funded by health insurance. Whole industries will spring up if an idea becomes patentable. It won’t matter if it doesn’t work, because founded on scientific error or fraud. All that matters is that patients and their doctors can be induced to demand that the new treatment be paid for. Most treatments have such small effects that distinguishing them from zero requires large clinical trials. If the trial looks only at “surrogate” outcomes, like pictures from a machine, a fraudulent surrogate usually just means the true effect is even closer to zero than you had hoped. In medical care, patients generally want to have even tiny benefits given to them, as long as side effects are tolerable (unless it’s a vaccine of course. Then they become skeptics all of a sudden.).

      Ironically, it’s the very small effects of most new treatments and the enormous sums likely to be spent on them that should demand skepticism. But these two features work against skepticism under the current incentives.

      Yes, you have to want to debunk somebody’s potentially lucrative breakthrough that they are going to stake their career on. And it’s not like a bridge is going to collapse or a nuclear power plant is going to melt down if we let these things pass undetected.

      1. It’s more the desire to refute than the desire to confirm.

        Yes, certainly. If you have a competing hypothesis then you are certainly motivated to refute.

        But even if you believe the result, you may be interested in reproducing it because attempts to build on the result will fail.

        1. “Should”, not “may”. Perhaps the culture and the incentive structure in physics encourages people to put the effort and resources into replicating results just because they should want to, and so do. Maybe they are just so curious that may = should = do. A fossilized error like phlogiston would be a terrible thing.

          I hate to say it but in some research fields, many people may be interested (in the pejorative sense) in not testing others’ results for replicability. Depending on how you structure the subsequent research, you may not need the original results to be true. If grant money was spent chasing the Loch Ness monster, that money was not wasted from the point of view of those who received it and built empires with it. If your later research sought to examine the intersectionality of gender identity evidenced by the monster’s behaviour, you wouldn’t want to redo the early sonar and photographic studies because that would refute the existence of your object of study and your grant would be forfeit.

          Also, as Mark suggests below, when a leader in the field publishes something ground-breaking, most lesser lights who can’t replicate assume individually they just didn’t have the skills. But if they don’t publish, for fear of being mocked as incompetent, they’ll have no way to know that 10 other neuro-science groups around the world couldn’t replicate either, unless they get together in the bar at a meeting and start confessing. “Geez, I couldn’t get those beta-amyloid experiments to work either. Maybe I need a better photo editor…..kidding! …I think.”

          If you develop a treatment that reduces the number of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain but doesn’t slow the decline of mental function in patients with dementia and the FDA licenses it anyway, it suddenly becomes very important if beta-amyloid is the Loch Ness monster. The best we can say is that truth eventually outs, but only if it matters to people who think dirty.

          1. Absolutely! And the reluctance of journals to publish negative results certainly doesn’t help. As a minimum, all trials should have to be published so that the outcomes can’t be cherry picked.

      2. I beg to disagree somewhat, not in all cases. Some do work, eg. intra-vitreal injections of anti-VEGF’s (anti vascular endothelial growth factor) are very effective in treating macular oedema.
        Sildanafil and Taladafil for ED is kinda miraculous too.

    2. It is surprising that no one published an attempt to reproduce it. But what could happen is that if an experiment is re-attempted and found to not give a desired result, then a researcher (often a technician or grad student or post-doc) would assume they did something wrong, and just not publish that detail.

  7. Let’s perform a little Gedankenexperiment. Let’s imagine that Americans lose all interest in guns and become pacifists. What are the knock-on effects?

    (1) our defense budget and military would shrink dramatically

    (2) countries around the world that live under the U.S. defense umbrella, such as Japan, would rapidly acquire nuclear weapons and beef up their military

    (3) military adventurism around the world would increase

    (4) global shipping lanes would become a lot less secure

    The point is that we cannot be a world hegemon and a guarantor of rules-based world order without a degree of warrior ethos and martial spirit among the populace. And you cannot develop a martial spirit among the people while at the same time telling them that any interest in guns is illegitimate.

  8. Re Bannon and time in the clink.

    “Each count of contempt of Congress carries a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail, as well as a fine of $100 to $100,000. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”

    So it seems that he gets at least the minimum. Perhaps more depending on how much he pissed off the judge. Unless he gets off on appeal – which seems vanishingly unlikely.

  9. … these are only misdemeanor charges, each carrying a maximum sentence of $1000 fine and 12 months in prison, but the Big Boy [Steve Bannon] won’t get nearly that much. I hope he does get some jail time, just for grins, and I’m pretty sure the judge will sentence him to at lest a short stint in the pokey.

    Bannon faces 30-day minimum-mandatory sentences on both contempt counts for which he stands convicted. The judge could run the two 30-day sentences concurrently, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he runs them consecutively, so that Bannon serves at least 60 days. The judge could give him up to two years by running the two one-year maximum sentences consecutively, but I would be surprised if Bannon ended up with more than six months in stir.

    I expect the judge will remand Bannon to custody at his sentencing in October, So whatever the merits of his appellate issues, and whatever sentence he ultimately receives, unless he’s given the two-year max, Bannon will almost certainly have done all his jail time before the appellate process runs its course and the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals reaches a final decision affirming or reversing his convictions.

    Ol’ Sloppy Steve has definitely entered the “and find out” phase of the “fuck around and find out” process.

  10. I don’t know why there’s a difference in discriminating between gays or discriminating against people of different genders or races. Ask a Catholic!

    If you want to know why they are all the same, and why it should be lawful to discriminate against all of them, ask an American rightwinger. They opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s, and SCOTUS’s 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.

  11. The plan landing out of fuel reminds me of the airliner that had to land in a field. It was able to do so without collapsing the landing gear. In fact, they later took off from the same field after

    1. Damn comment got away from me before I was finished!

      The plan landing out of fuel reminds me of the airliner that had to land in a field when both engines failed due to ingesting too much water in a rain storm. It was able to land without collapsing the landing gear or injuring any passengers. In fact, they were able to repair the plane and it later took off from an adjacent highway!:

  12. I looked at the Antifa summer camp (“Budding Roses”) link, and it does look, well, strange. There are modules such as “Tear Gas for Portlanders” and those that cover the prison industrial complex. Yet, if you read their definitions of terms such as racism and white supremacy in their White Supremacy Reflection module, they all seemed very reasonable to me. I don’t know how to reproduce that particular module syllabus here, so go ahead and have a look for yourself if you have the time.

  13. The Gimli Glider story is well worth reading, not only for the uncommon skill shown by the two pilots—the senior pilot was an accomplished glider pilot, believe it or not, and his experience was essential in several ways to the successful landing. Nobody aboard panicked, either, even when the plane started falling sideways.

    It is also of larger importance in understanding how errors still occur in systems that must operate with very high degrees of reliability. The Wiki refers to the Swiss Cheese model, which is also called the normalization of deviance. The engines failed simply because a complex system failed to load enough fuel in Montreal to get more than halfway to Edmonton.

    The plane was only minimally damaged. It was repaired on site and flown to nearby Winnipeg to be returned to service. The nose gear didn’t actually break or collapse. It just didn’t lock—the pilots were aware of this while still airborne—and the weight on it simply pushed it back into the well, dropping the nose to allow the pilot to ease it into the guardrail as an extra brake on the short “runway”, as you see in the photo.

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