Friday: Hili dialogue

September 2, 2022 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, the lead-in to the three-day Memorial Day weekend. It’s also National “Grits for Breakfast” Day. But why the scare quotes: are you supposed to pretend you had grits for breakfast? I happen to love them, as they’re a good starchy medium for sopping up fried eggs or gravy. Others can’t stand them, but those people are wrong.

Here’s part of the country’s best breakfast: at the Loveless Motel and Cafe (no longer a motel) in Nashville. I don’t show their biscuits (also the country’s best), but here is country ham with red-eye gravy (gravy in ramekin at left), fried eggs, and grits to the right.

There is no better way to start the day. If you’re in Nashville, go! (Photograph below from 2012; breakfast was part of my honorarium when I spoke at Vanderbilt.)

It’s also National Blueberry Popsicle Day, World Coconut Day (don’t forget to put the lime in), National Chianti Day, Wear Teal Day, and Victory over Japan Day (see below).

Stuff that happened on September 2 includes:

Mary had been in France since 1548, but had been Queen ever since she was six days old, and eighteen when she entered Edinburgh. Regents governed in her place until she returned to Scotland. Here’s an imagined painting of the scene by Willliam Brassey Hole.

Photo credit: Museums & Galleries Edinburgh – City of Edinburgh Council

From Wikipedia: “Central London in 1666, with the burnt area shown in pink and outlined in dashes.” The Tower of London was spared.

A bit more about this:

The Carrington Event was the most intense geomagnetic storm in recorded history, peaking from 1 to 2 September 1859 during solar cycle 10. It created strong auroral displays that were reported globally and caused sparking and even fires in multiple telegraph stations. The geomagnetic storm was most likely the result of a coronal mass ejection (CME) from the Sun colliding with Earth’s magnetosphere.

The geomagnetic storm was associated with a very bright solar flare on 1 September 1859. It was observed and recorded independently by British astronomers Richard Carrington and Richard Hodgson – the first records of a solar flare.

A geomagnetic storm of this magnitude occurring today would cause widespread electrical disruptions, blackouts, and damage due to extended outages of the electrical power grid.

This is the battle that made Kitchener famous, and its most famous event was the charge of the 21st Lancers, shown below. Winston Churchill was at the battle as well.

(From Wikipedia): The charge of the 21st Lancers by Edward Matthew Hale[a]
A poster with Kitchener:

Here’s Eldred in 1912; he got the rank because he earned 21 merit badges. Below that is Eldred’s own bade:

Here’s a reconstructed video of the crash, including the original voice transmissions. A fire onboard made the plane unable to fly except manually, but the smoke in the cockpit kept the pilots from seeing where they were. They were in fact headed straight into the ocean at 345 mph, causing a deceleration of 350 Gs, which of course caused the plane to disintegrate.

Da Nooz:

*Joe Biden apparently kicked off his next campaign for President with a prime-time television speech (transcript here) in which he name-checked Trump and his minions (“MAGA Republicans”), something he doesn’t often do. The NYT has a news analysis, but did anybody really believe Uncle Joe when he said, in his last campaign, that he’d bring the country together?

From the NYT:

And so the president who declared when he took office that “democracy has prevailed” declared in a prime-time televised speech that in fact democracy 19 months later remained “under assault.” Former President Donald J. Trump “and the MAGA Republicans,” as Mr. Biden termed his predecessor’s allies, still represent a clear and present danger to America.

If it sounded like a repeat of the 2020 campaign cycle, in some ways it is, although the incumbent and likely challenger have changed places. A country torn apart by ideology, culture, economics, race, religion, party and grievance remains as polarized as ever. Mr. Biden has scored some bipartisan legislative successes, but he has been singularly unable to heal the broader societal rift that he inherited. It may be that no president could have.

With an opposition party that has largely embraced the lie that the last election was stolen and remains in thrall to a twice-impeached and defeated former president who encouraged a mob that attacked the Capitol to stop the transfer of power, Mr. Biden’s appeals to national unity have found little traction. Some Republicans have argued that his efforts to build consensus were fainthearted at best, while some Democrats complain they were excessive.

Either way, they have made little difference in the national conversation. And so with the midterm congressional campaign getting underway in earnest, Mr. Biden has dispensed with the unity message, at least for now, reaching into the 2020 file cabinet and bringing out the call to win “a battle for the soul of this nation” that was the cornerstone of his successful election.

And the end of Biden’s speech:

Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.

Now, I want to be very clear, very clear up front. Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology. I know, because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Republicans.

But there’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. And that is a threat to this country.

He’s going to run again, or so I predict.

*The Washington Post reports that Virginia Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court hyper-conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, emailed dozens of lawmakers in the 2020 battleground states of Arizona and Wisconsin, pressing them to overturn Biden’s election.

The Washington Post reported this year that Ginni Thomas emailed 29 Arizona state lawmakers, some of them twice, in November and December 2020. She urged them to set aside Biden’s popular-vote victory and “choose” their own presidential electors, despite the fact that the responsibility for choosing electors rests with voters under Arizona state law.

The new emails show that Thomas also messaged two Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin: state Sen. Kathy Bernier, then chair of the Senate elections committee, and state Rep. Gary Tauchen. Bernier and Tauchen received the email at 10:47 a.m. on Nov. 9, virtually the same time the Arizona lawmakers received a verbatim copy of the message from Thomas. The Bernier email was obtained by The Post, and the Tauchen email was obtained by the watchdog group Documented and provided to The Post.

“Please stand strong in the face of media and political pressure,” read the emails sent Nov. 9, just days after major media organizations called the presidency for Biden. “Please reflect on the awesome authority granted to you by our Constitution. And then please take action to ensure that a clean slate of Electors is chosen for our state.”

The issue, of course, is whether this produces conflicts of interest for her husband. If he was fully cognizant of this, and agreed with her and prompted her to act, then the answer is yes. But if she did it without his prompting or agreement, I don’t see the issue, as she’s a citizen with freedom of speech. Granted, she’s also a nutjob who acted rashly, knowing that it could influence the lawmakers because of who her husband is.  And, I suppose, that could be a problem. What’s more of a problem is that she also emailed Mark Meadows, Trump’s White House Chief of Staff, along the same lines following the election. When the wife of a Supreme Court justice tries to use her influence with the White House, and a Supreme Court case comes up in which the 2020 election is contested, then Clarence Thomas should recuse himself.

*Over at the NYT, Asra Nomani, a Muslim who used to write for the Wall Street Journal, argues that  “School is for merit.” As you know, merit is being devalued, or even considered racist, because meritocratic evaluation does not lead to equity. Nomani knows this, and has experienced it, but she’s suing her local high school to institute “merit-based race-blind admissions.” She may well win this suit, but it will all become moot when the Supreme Court overturns affirmative action this fall. That said, there are plenty of people trying to figure out how to obviate or destroy the meritocracy, so it’s important to keep the value of merit in mind as we try to give everyone equal opportunities. A few quotes from Nomani:

Merit demands excellence and rigor. It is not, as its critics often insist, an elitist, classist or racist value. It acknowledges that all kids have talents. Even though talents are not distributed equally, it is our obligation as parents and teachers to nurture each child’s individual spark and make sure that all children have the chance to be the best that they can be. I learned that on the Morgantown High volleyball team. I was never going to make the Olympic team. But Coach Rice encouraged me to understand that the most valiant, healthy challenge is a personal one, to strive to do and be my best.

Merit should never have become a battlefront in the culture wars. I understand the impulse to declare the system rigged when so many children, particularly Black and Hispanic children, have fallen behind academically. But the answer to racial disparities in math and reading scores and advanced academic enrollment is not to blame the game and rerig it to favor outcomes that please certain political constituencies but do little to make life better for struggling children. The solution is to channel more resources into disenfranchised communities — from the Black urban poor to the white rural poor in my native West Virginia. The solution is not to give up on merit.

. . .Unfortunately, these misguided policies are spreading across the education landscape. In California and Virginia, school districts are moving to decrease the number of D and F grades doled out and putting in place “equitable grading,” like making a 50 (instead of a 0) the lowest grade a student can receive and allowing missed deadlines in new “reasonable late work policy” guidelines. School districts in other parts of the country are eliminating academically advanced programs, advanced placement classes and valedictorian honors.

This race to the bottom doesn’t help the young people it sets out to uplift, including students with learning disabilities, people facing socioeconomic challenges and new English language learners.

*Two days ago I criticized an article in Inside Higher Ed in which two authors, realizing that affirmative action is on the way out, tried to find ways around its upcoming demise. Sadly, the solutions offered were risible, except, I think, for the idea of increasing funding to universities historically catering to minorities. In a new article on his Substack called “Against detached entitlement in intellectual spaces“, author Jessie Singal does a much better analysis of the IHE piece than I did.  A snippet:

It’s also noteworthy how little Tichavakunda and Kolluri have to offer in the way of substantive non-RBAA policies to address the lack of black (and to a somewhat lesser extent, Latino) students at competitive colleges. This is a really big, thorny problem that has existed for decades. At root, it comes down to the fact that black and Latino kids are simply less likely to be accepted into these schools if you use “traditional” metrics. As the University of Michigan put it in an amicus brief it filed supporting the pro-RBAA side of the SCOTUS case being heard this fall:

The University of Michigan has concluded that while targeted recruiting and outreach efforts, combined with emphasis on socioeconomic factors in admissions, are helpful in increasing attendance by underrepresented minorities, such measures are not themselves sufficient to secure the educational benefits of student-body diversity. While U-M’s efforts have attempted to expand the cohort of qualified racially and socioeconomically diverse candidates, the overall pool of potential minority applicants with competitive academic qualifications remains very small—both in absolute terms and relative to the number of qualified non-minority and wealthier applicants.

I’ve argued previously that people tend to stigmatize this sort of argument as itself racist, but that they shouldn’t. These numbers reflect, in part, the fact that certain groups have gotten a raw deal as a result of the nation’s very racist past and need more help to catch up with everyone else. It has nothing to do with being black per se — certain recent black immigrant groups are flourishing (those from Nigeria and Ghana in particular), doing better than many non-black ethnic groups, in part because they simply aren’t lugging this baggage around. It’s the subgroups that have been locked in intergenerational cycles of poverty that are the ones most likely to be shut out of higher education. It isn’t a surprise that a group that is numerically small (the United States is just 12.4% black) and whose ancestors were disproportionately likely to have been subjected to this sort of historical brutalization would have trouble competing for slots in competitive higher education settings.

He goes on to criticize Tichavkunda and Kolluri’s solutions of offering AP (advanced placement) African-American studies courses, and requiring DEI statements for all applicants to colleges.

So if you introduce another AP class, whatever the subject, you’ll get… a group of disproportionately Asian and (to a lesser extent) white kids taking it, racking up college credit, and using that to jockey in the admissions game. It isn’t like by introducing a black-related subject, you’ll suddenly get more black students qualified to take and pass AP courses, because the question of who does and doesn’t enroll in college-level coursework as a high-school student is overdetermined, and sadly has a lot to do with factors which occur much earlier in life.

It’s a very similar deal with “requiring students to include in their application a statement on their commitments to racial justice.” We already know what would happen in a hypothetical race-blind admissions system that introduces this element: Kids in positions to “write” (read: have their parents hire someone to write for them) compelling admissions essays will pen searing, poignant, beautiful essays about their commitment to racial justice. These kids will be… the same kids already dominating college admissions.

In the end, Singal himself offers no solution to inequity (I would say “equal opportunity”), except to say, as do I, that it’s a “very serious problem.”

*I rarely read The Wall Street Journal‘s op-eds because they’re so predictably conservative, but this title took me aback: “Donald Trump’s vendetta politics.” It’s based on his assault on Elaine Chao, Mitch McConnell’s wife, who is ethnic Chinese. And that’s why Trump makes fun of her, using her ethnicity as a tool in his war against McConnell. The WSJ is unusually strong in its anti-Trumpism here:

Mr. Trump has been pursuing a vendetta against Mitch McConnell since the Senate GOP leader denounced the former President’s role in the events of Jan. 6. Mr. Trump calls him “a broken down hack politician,” despite Mr. McConnell’s role in keeping a Supreme Court seat open in 2016 for Mr. Trump to run on. The Court issue was crucial to Mr. Trump’s victory, and Mr. McConnell was indispensable in getting his judicial nominees through the Senate.

Mr. McConnell is wise to ignore Mr. Trump’s attacks. But that may be why Mr. Trump has recently dragged in Ms. Chao, who is Mr. McConnell’s wife. On Aug. 20 in a post on Truth Social, his social-media site, Mr. Trump said Mr. McConnell “should spend more time (and money!) helping [Republicans] get elected, and less time helping his crazy wife and family get rich on China!”

Of course the paper has to get its licks in against the Democrats, too, as they apparently “tried to dig up dirt” on Ms. Chao (fruitlessly), but the piece’s ending is strongly critical of the Orange Man:

Beyond the unfairness to Ms. Chao, all of this relates to Mr. Trump’s role in the GOP. Instead of focusing on President Biden, Mr. Trump cares above all about settling scores with members of his own party. His politics is always about himself, not a larger cause. His vendettas have already hurt Republican prospects in 2022 by blackballing good candidates and letting Democrats divert attention from Mr. Biden’s failures. No wonder Democrats are thrilled to have Mr. Trump around.

Yes, the paper’s op-ed is Republican, but here their take on Trump’s behavior is on the money.  But let him be crazy; as the paper says, he’s hurting Republican prospects.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is sunning and punning. It turns out that the pun works in Polish, too:

Hili: Sometimes I indulge in musing.
A: And then what?
Hili: And then I’m sitting here being a-musing.
In Polish:
Hili: Czasem wpadam w zadumę.
Ja: I co?
Hili: Siedzę zadumana.

. . . and a lovely photo of Szaron taken by Paulina:


From Not Another Science Cat Page:

From the Cat House on the Kings:


And our third cat cartoon of the day, drawn by Lars Kenseth and contributed by Stash Krod:

The Tweet of God, who sees all that will happen:

From Simon: Larry the Cat wants to rise above his station and be the Prime Minister!

I found this one:

From Malcom, a neuronally disadvantaged moggy:

A rare plaudit from Andrew Sullivan:

From The Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. This one isn’t hard!

I presume the little ball in the upper-right corner represents the Earth:

And a beautiful butterfly with fuzzy legs:

45 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

          1. You know, I only ever _heard_ the number – never watched it. And I’m scanning it for detail – a fin? Wow – obscure! 🙂

  1. It is sad that “TED Talks” have produced their own cliché, apparently taken from the 90’s movie The Matrix. I thought TED Talks were the best thing since sliced bread when they started.

  2. Did anyone really think that Biden would bring the country together? I would argue that there were people who did. First of all, it’s what he said he would do, and he’s all grandfatherly and stuff. Second, it would have been the right and smart thing to do. Was that more important than the fact that he wasn’t Trump? Well, they are probably related. Of course, a lot of people didn’t believe that, which is why Trump got 74 millions votes in 2020 vs. 63 million in 2016 (Wikipedia).

  3. “Now, I want to be very clear, very clear up front. Not every Republican, not even the majority of Republicans, are MAGA Republicans. Not every Republican embraces their extreme ideology. I know, because I’ve been able to work with these mainstream Republicans.

    But there’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. And that is a threat to this country.”

    I watched Biden’s speech last night. There’s a bit of a hitch in the giddy up of old Uncle Joe’s delivery these days (and, truth be told, he’s never been all that great a public speaker), but the words he spoke rang true. If anything, he gave the GOP the benefit of the doubt by overestimating the number of “mainstream Republicans” left in the Party. There are still plenty of principled conservatives in this nation, I believe, but most of them no longer claim the mantle of the once Grand Old Party — either having left on their own with the rise of Trumpism or having been driven from its ranks more recently for no reason other than their refusal to endorse Trump’s Big Lie about a stolen election.

    1. Persons who vote for a MAGA Republican are aiding and abetting fascism, whether or not they not have the foggiest notion of what the term denotes. Scholars debate what fascism means since the term is hard to define precisely. But, many would agree on this as stated by Jason Stanley: “Fascism is a cult of the leader, who promises national restoration in the face of supposed humiliation by immigrants, leftists, liberals, minorities, homosexuals, women, in the face of what the fascist leader says is a takeover of the country’s media, cultural institutions, schools by these forces. And that’s why you need a really macho, powerful, violent response.” In other words, MAGA Republicans are so aggrieved that they are willing to jettison democracy in the hope that the exalted leader will cure their long festering cultural fears of a changing world. This is abundantly clear when we are witnessing time and time again, MAGA Republicans refusing to accept the results of an election they lost – the foundational bedrock of a democratic system.

      For an expanded presentation of Stanley’s understanding of fascism, go here:

      1. It is sort of difficult to define fascism concisely, but it is not difficult to define it precisely. Benito Mussolini wrote “The Doctrine of Fascism” for that purpose. Stanley has redefined fascism in order to apply that label to people he disagrees with politically. That happens a lot these days.

        A key element of fascism is the absolute power of the State. “For Fascism the State is absolute, individuals and groups relative. Individuals and groups are admissible in so far as they come within the State.” “Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State”.

        The road to fascism through a policy of individual liberty and limited government would be a long road indeed.

        Stanley makes the literal claim that “When voters in a democratic society yearn for a CEO as president, they are responding to their own implicit fascist impulses.” Which seems to carry the implication that lawyers or soldiers lack fascist tendencies, and that someone from “business” would not focus on economic matters.
        Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, Pétain, Quisling, and Perón came from military backgrounds. Pavelić was a lawyer.
        Many lesser fascists, like Mosley, rose from within the existing political structure.

        Incidentally, the quote most people associate with Stanley, and the one most familiar to me, is “Democracy, by permitting freedom of speech, opens the door for a demagogue to exploit the people’s need for a strongman.”

        The whole policy of labeling people fascists, Nazis, or racists for supporting particular political candidates is misguided and a poor strategy in today’s world. When someone who knows for a fact that they are none of these things, and hears themselves being so accused, they are going to wonder why someone is telling such lies about them, and probably assume that those making the accusations are either terribly deluded or just malevolent.

    1. Aargh! My wife just pointed out the comments below the hedgehog video – the situation isn’t as altruistic as it seems, apparently…!

  4. I think it was a huge mistake for Biden to attack Trump’s voters. An awful lot of those “MAGA Republicans” were Obama voters in 2008 and 2012, and then voted for Trump in 2016.

    One needs to understand that the “yellow vests” in France, the “Canadian truckers,” and the “MAGA Republicans” are all driven by similar, working class concerns.

    I think people like Batya Ungar-Sargon and Ruy Teixeira are on the right track in terms of understanding what is going on.

    For example, Teixeira writes about Hispanic voters:

    But they certainly don’t feel like they’re getting ahead right now. In tracking data collected by the Civiqs polling firm, just 12 percent of Hispanic working class voters say their family financial situation has gotten better in the last year, compared to 50 percent who say it’s gotten worse and 36 percent who say it’s remained the same. Given that Hispanics are far more likely to cite inflation and the economy than any others as the top issues for 2022, that makes it clearer why Hispanic support for Democrats is so weak, despite the party’s strenuous efforts to focus voter attention on abortion rights, gun control and the January 6th hearings.

    But there is one group among whom these efforts appear to be working: college-educated whites. These issues loom large for these voters and they are less likely to be influenced by current economic problems. So we have results like the recent New York Times-Sienna poll, where Democrats have a 21 point lead in the generic Congressional ballot among these voters, despite being essentially tied among Hispanics.

    It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Democrats’ emphasis on social and democracy issues, while catnip to some socially liberal, educated voters, leaves many Hispanic voters cold. Their concerns are more mundane and economically-driven. This is despite the fact that many of these voters are in favor of moderate abortion rights and gun control and disapprove of the January 6th events. But these issues are just not salient for them in the way they are for the Democrats’ educated and most fervent supporters.

    In short, they are normie voters.

    1. … it was a huge mistake for Biden to attack Trump’s voters.

      There’s your mistake. Biden didn’t attack all Trump voters, only the MAGA type — the type, that is, that (as Donald Trump is wont to brag) would still vote for Trump even if he shot someone in cold blood on 5th Ave., the type that is all-in on Trump’s lie (despite the absolute dearth of evidence to support it) that he won a huge, landslide victory that was stolen from him by massive voting fraud.

      There is, perforce, no reasoning with such people; they must be defeated at the ballot box — and defeated before the MAGA types render the ballot box useless as a tool for preserving majority-rule, representative democracy.

      1. Hear, hear! I agree with Ken.

        I’ll grant some benefit of the doubt to people who voted for Agent Orange in 2016 because they were feeling frustrated and ignored by the “elites.” But if you still support Agent Orange after he *urinated all over America’s tradition of peaceful transitions of power,* that’s on you.

      2. I’ll take my victory lap now. Biden has walked backed his remarks, confirming my judgment that he made a mistake.

  5. “Mr. Trump said Mr. McConnell ]should spend more time (and money!) helping [Republicans] get elected, and less time helping his crazy wife …'”

    McConnell’s “crazy wife” was Donald Trump’s Transportation Secretary for four long years — much longer than most of Trump’s other original cabinet-level appointments lasted — having resigned in protest only after Trump fomented the Jan. 6th insurrection.

    What a vindictive buffoon.

    1. Vindictive buffoon indeed. Though I have zero sympathy for the McConnells. Actually, I think it’s great that they are all getting along so well.

  6. “It’s also National “Grits for Breakfast” Day. But why the scare quotes: are you supposed to pretend you had grits for breakfast?”

    Just an educated guess, but I don’t think these quotes are meant to be scare quotes; they’re a clumsy attempt at mapping the phrase, which should be done with parentheses, like so:

    [National] [Grits for Breakfast] [Day]

    I.e., today is the national day of having grits for breakfast. Without the “scare quotes,” you might interpret the phrase incorrectly, such as:

    [National Grits] [for Breakfast] [Day]

    Meaning, there is a kind of grits called National Grits, and you’re supposed to have them for breakfast today.

    Steven Pinker pointed out such ambiguity in phrase mapping in one of his books, where he poked fun at a campus flyer advertising “A Panel on Sex with Six Professors.”

    1. A hyphen will sometimes do the trick, too. Denoting the difference between a man eating chicken and a man-eating chicken, for instance.

      1. Good point, although National Grits-for-Breakfast Day sounds British rather than American.

        If English had declensions, this wouldn’t be a problem.

        1. Or we could smash all the words together and make a long compound noun like German does: Staatgritsfrühstücktag!

    2. You’re on the right path, my nectar-loving friend, but I wouldn’t call it a clumsy attempt. Using quotation marks to group a phrase used in an adjectival or appositive manner has roots in older English writing practice. I regret I don’t have time now to cite a source; I’ll work on it later. I’m thinking that I’ll turn to Fowler’s first…

  7. And some biological trivia to fit in with the adoption of the Gregorian calendar: you may have heard of the Mayfly, and if you have ever aspired to cast a dry fly on the chalk streams of south west England, you understand their significance to the brown and the rainbow trout. The problem is in the name—the Mayfly hatch is always in the first week of June, so why are they Mayflies? Well it used to be an accurate name, up until 1752! Now you know why.

  8. Count me in as a Canadian totally converted to Grits!

    Whenever I’ve gone down South I indulge (over indulge!) on Grits wherever I can fit them in a meal. Shrimp and grits, one of my all time favorite meals!

  9. Yes to Grits for Breakfast (something I didn’t discover till college). Mostly, these days, I cook up my grits with veggies like (currently) okra and tomatoes with shrimp, or broccoli & cauliflower with little cocktail half-smokes and other variations on the theme.

    But back in college we’d make the grits the night before and pour them in an empty can. Next day we’d cut the bottom of the can out and push them thru, slicing patties off as we went, which would be fried along with sausage & eggs. Good eatin’!

    1. Grits are fine, and I’ll order them on occasion. But generally, if I want corn with my breakfast, I prefer mush or scrapple; if I want a porridge, I go with Malt-O-Meal (or sometimes oatmeal); and if it’s a big breakfast, I prefer hash browns or home fries.

      Actually, your way of letting the grits set the night before and then frying up slices sounds an awful lot like mush. Though I think I read somewhere that mush typically has a bit finer grind than grits.

  10. It appears that the pun about musing is a pun both in English and Polish.

    And if this catches the attention of Malgorzata et al, any news from your earlier Ukrainian guests?

    1. Yes, we are in daily contact. The little town they live in is quiet, far from the front. All mines Russians planted in the town while they occupied it were removed even before Natasza (mother) and Karolina returned. Of course, there are some problems with supply to the shops but there is enough food in the house. The family have a garden where Natasza planted diverse vegetables and is now busy making the preserves for the winter out of the harvest.

  11. “the educational benefits of student-body diversity.” Perhaps I’m late the party, but can someone suggest a source that explains what these are?

    1. Copy and paste the quoted phrase into your search engine to find numerous articles identifying educational benefits.

      But this is not a topic I can claim expert knowledge on, so how accurate these identified claims are I don’t know. As a former teacher, I concluded decades ago that a lot of educational research, especially popular summaries of studies in educational outcomes, is junk science and ideological posturing contested by other researchers, omitting important limitations and contexts, and subject to publication bias.

  12. Singal: It isn’t a surprise that a group that is numerically small (the United States is just 12.4% black) …

    Why is that relevant? Jews (just as one example) are a smaller fraction.

    … and whose ancestors were disproportionately likely to have been subjected to this sort of historical brutalization …

    But inheritance is not Lamarkian. Kids are born anew each generation. So what actually is preventing today’s black teens doing as well as others?

    … certain recent black immigrant groups are flourishing … in part because they simply aren’t lugging this baggage around.

    So what actually is this baggage? It can’t be poverty, since one can compare black Americans to those of similar socio-economic status in other racial groups, and poverty does not explain the difference.

    So is it culture? For example, is it an anti-school, anti-academic attitude? Or something else? We need to be clear about that the “baggage” actually is. Only with a correct diagnosis can one fix a problem.

    1. It’s much the same in Canada, where we never had plantation slavery to explain it.

      Most Black people here are immigrants and their descendants from majority-Black Caribbean countries and Guyana, beginning with independence in the 1960s. Their ancestors were of course slaves from Africa but they have been running their own show for many years—no Jim Crow but there is a pecking order in Jamaica based on how light your skin is, with passable white-looking people at the top. Causes occasional friction in workplaces here.

      Unfortunately the West-Indian popular underclass culture apes the worst of American ghetto culture, just less murder because handguns are sort of hard to get, have to be smuggled at great profit. OTOH, in the absence of official affirmative action, we don’t automatically assume that Black people at work are incompetent. Some prominent public sector hires in sinecures seem to have been made not because the person was Black, but because she is a grievance-feeding, race-baiting Black person who gives the organization what it wanted.

      Obviously, systemic racism explains everything. The newspapers can always rustle up a professor to promote critical race theory. Immigrants from other parts of the world tell pollsters that Canada is getting too woke as it tiptoes around a social problem that got violent with guns only in the 1990s.

  13. Ok, so this comment is off topic, but I read something interesting today. It was a article about C3HOH-powered ships, and the moral issues with capturing CO2 to produce it.
    “This undermines the whole point of combating climate change and reducing emissions, which is to stop burning fossil fuels. ”

    All this time I had been under the impression that the push to stop using fossil fuels was to reduce atmospheric emissions, although some odd references to this had popped up in the mission statements of some environmental groups over the years.

    Nobody goes to for cutting edge science, but it does give some insight in how people are thinking.

    1. I saw that, figured it was par for the course. Your observation is particularly trenchant in that ocean shipping has no apparent non-emitting solution. So if the climate zealots are opposing methanol for shipping they are going to a place much darker than merely wanting us all in EVs by 2050….such as killing globalization.

      CO2 capture itself is a can of worms, how you do it and what you do with it. A working understanding of it is essential to assessing the feasibility of Net-Zero. Without world-scale removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, ~20 gigatonnes/year, there is no Net-Zero. Meeting Paris targets will require Gross-Zero by 2050.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *