Friday: Hili dialogue

November 25, 2022 • 6:45 am

Welcome to the middle of America’s four-day Thanksgiving holiday: Friday, November 25, 2022, and National Parfait Day. I doubt that any of the 70,000-odd subscribers will have a parfait today, but if you do, send in a photo.

It’s also Maize Day (what you call “corn”), National Leftovers Day, Black Friday, the day to stock up on holiday and Coynezaa gifts, National Native American Heritage Day (Elizabeth Warren excluded), National Flossing Day, and International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Remember this ad for Mazola Margarine?

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 25 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*It’s a slim news day today, probably because all the American reporters are on holiday (after all, only a small part of the world celebrates American Thanksgiving. But there are two New York Times articles worth reading. The firt one is an update of an article first published in 2017, “Why does the U.S. have so many mass shootings? The answer is clear: guns.”

Authors Max Fisher and Josh Keller rule out some alternative explanations:  that the U.S. is especially prone to crime or violence, that we have a higher number of mentally ill people, or that the racial divisions help promote mass shootings.  Citing a study from 2015 by Adam Lankford, they show that there’s a very strong correlation between the rate of mass shootings and the rate of gun ownership (note: these are per capita rates and so control for population size):

From the article:

Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the global population but own 42 percent of the world’s guns. From 1966 to 2012, 31 percent of the gunmen in mass shootings worldwide were American, according to a 2015 study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama.

Adjusted for population, only Yemen has a higher rate of mass shootings among countries with more than 10 million people — a distinction Mr. Lankford urged to avoid outliers. Yemen has the world’s second-highest rate of gun ownership after the United States.

Worldwide, Mr. Lankford found, a country’s rate of gun ownership correlated with the odds it would experience a mass shooting. This relationship held even when he excluded the United States, indicating that it could not be explained by some other factor particular to his home country. And it held when he controlled for homicide rates, suggesting that mass shootings were better explained by a society’s access to guns than by its baseline level of violence.

Gun regulation is also a factor:

In 2013, American gun-related deaths included 21,175 suicides, 11,208 homicides and 505 deaths caused by an accidental discharge. That same year in Japan, a country with one-third America’s population, guns were involved in only 13 deaths.

This means an American is about 300 times more likely to die by gun homicide or accident than a Japanese person. America’s gun ownership rate is 150 times as high as Japan’s. That gap between 150 and 300 shows that gun ownership statistics alone do not explain what makes America different.

The United States also has some of the weakest controls over who may buy a gun and what sorts of guns may be owned.

Switzerland has the second-highest gun ownership rate of any developed country, about half that of the United States. Its gun homicide rate in 2004 was 7.7 per million people — unusually high, in keeping with the relationship between gun ownership and murders, but still a fraction of the rate in the United States.

Swiss gun laws are more stringent, setting a higher bar for securing and keeping a license, for selling guns and for the types of guns that can be owned. Such laws reflect more than just tighter restrictions. They imply a different way of thinking about guns, as something that citizens must affirmatively earn the right to own.

You can read the article to see how they rule out other factors, though remember that this is a news article, not a multivariate statistical analysis Fisher and Keller conclude: “The only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns.” I happen to agree, and if I had magical powers, I’d make every gun in America disappear, save those in the hands of police or the military. Barring that, we at least need gun laws as strict as they have in, say, England or Scotland.

*In other “hard analysis”, the NYT News Analysis describes how the U.S. is entering “a new era of direct confrontation with Iran.” Better late than never, I say, but we’ve gone way too easy on this odious theocracy for years, including tempting them with goodies to stop building a bomb that they’re secretly building anyway. I didn’t know that we’d imposed new sanctions on Tehran. I applaud all these actions, which support the Iranian people trying to free themselves from a religious dictatorship that despises women, gays, and criticism.

Over the past few days, Iran has told international inspectors that it plans to begin making near bomb-grade nuclear fuel deep inside a mountain that is hard to bomb, and dramatically expand its nuclear fuel production at a plant that Israel and the United States have repeatedly sabotaged.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, in view of this announcement, Israel, either by itself or with the help of the U.S., goes after the facilities. Don’t underestimate the determination of Israel to keep bombs out of the hands of Iran. The article continues:

Iranian forces have shot or locked up antigovernment protesters, provided Russia with drones for its war in Ukraine and, some Western intelligence agencies suspect, may be negotiating to produce missiles as well for Russia’s depleted arsenal. The United States accused Iran on Tuesday of once again violating Iraqi territory to conduct attacks in the Kurdistan region.

A new era of direct confrontation with Iran has burst into the open. Its emergence was hidden for a while by more dramatic events — including the Ukraine invasion and rising U.S. competition with China — and negotiations with Tehran dragged on, inconclusively, for 18 months.

Now, Mr. Biden’s hope of re-entering the United States into the deal with Iran that was struck in 2015, and that President Donald J. Trump abandoned, has all but died. Negotiations halted in September, and in recent weeks Mr. Biden has imposed new sanctions on Iran and expressed support for protests that Iran’s hard-liners have portrayed as a mortal threat.

At the White House, national security meetings on Iran are devoted less to negotiation strategy and more to how to undermine Iran’s nuclear plans, provide communications gear to protesters and interrupt the country’s supply chain of weapons to Russia, according to several administration officials.

“There is no diplomacy right now underway with respect to the Iran deal,” John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council at the White House, bluntly told the Voice of America last month. “We are at an impasse right now, and we’re not focused on that.”

It’s great to hear that we’re supporting the protestors. This is what the U.S. is supposed to do: support the cause of freedom everywhere.

*From The Daily Fail via reader David Anderson: A sewing magazine called Simply Sewing has infuriated its readers by inserting the preferred pronouns of all its contributors. (I’ve put in a red rectangle below.)

From the Fail:

It appears the culture wars have spread to the rather staid world of needlework.

Readers of a popular sewing magazine are infuriated after it began stating the pronouns of contributors.

The woke makeover at Simply Sewing – which has a readership of almost 25,000 – was labelled ‘nonsense’, ‘mindless’ and ‘stupid’.

In the latest issue, stitcher Preya Broom shows readers how to make a 1950s-inspired shirt dress, with her name and pronouns – she/her – at the top of the article.

She declares: ‘It’s great that Simply Sewing magazine has started using pronouns. It’s a big part of being an LGBTQ+ ally and helping create a more inclusive society.’ But readers of the £9.99 magazine are not so sure.

. . .On an online discussion site, one said she was irritated by the addition of pronouns to each article, adding: ‘I get so het up about all this. Some of the people don’t have their pronouns displayed so hopefully they are the sensible ones who refuse to partake in this nonsense. They are all ‘she/her’ anyway.’ Others agreed.

‘A lot of folk mindlessly add pronouns as they think it’s just the done thing,’ said one. ‘They don’t realise how stupid they look.’

Two other women contributors in the same issue of Simply Sewing are described as she/her alongside their pictures. Simply Sewing is published by Our Media. It did not respond to requests for comment.

I tell you—it’s the end of the world as we know it.

*I knew it: Elizabeth Holmes’s prison sentence is going to be a cakewalk, served in a women’s federal “prison camp” in Texas (see more here). And if that doesn’t really count as “prison”, reader Ken Kukec (whom I bet $20 that Holmes would never see a day in jail), owes me $40, because on his instructions I gave my $20 to charity At any rate, Gizmodo tells us about the 11 years (probably more like 9) that Holmes will be serving at a federal equivalent of college: From Gizmodo:

District Judge Edward Davila has proposed sentencing Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to a federal prison camp in Texas, according to court filings. “The Court finds that family visitation enhances rehabilitation,” Davila wrote in the filing, according to Bloomberg, which summarized the terms of Holmes’ sentencing.

The prison camp is located in Bryan, Texas, and was proposed as an alternative to Holmes serving her 11-year 3-month sentence at a California prison. There are a few prison camps like this one across the country that typically have a low security-to-inmate ratio, dormitory housing, and a work program. “…compared to other places in the prison system, this place is heaven. If you have to go it’s a good place to go,” Alan Ellis, a criminal defense lawyer, told Bloomberg.

Keri Axel, a criminal defense attorney, told Yahoo! Finance that it is common for non-violent offenders like Holmes to serve out their time at minimum security facilities. “Sometimes they’re called ‘Camp Fed’ because they have a little bit more amenities, and they’re a little nicer places,” she said, adding the caveat, “they’re not great places. No one wants to be there.”

Although the judge has recommended the prison camp for Holmes’ incarceration, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons will make the final decision. Holmes was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison on November 18 after she was found guilty of defrauding Theranos investors out of millions of dollars as part of her failed blood-testing startup. She was also sentenced to three years of supervision after her release.

It is odd that they put Holmes in Texas when there’s another cushy camp in Dublin, California, closer to where Holmes’s family lives. Dublin is where Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman served their time after the college admissions scandal, and also the facility where two of the Manson girls and Heidi Fleiss were lodged.

From the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, who oversaw the trial and sentenced her on Friday, ordered Ms. Holmes to surrender to the facility in April. He also recommended that she be allowed family visitation, saying that it enhanced the possibility for rehabilitation. Upon release, Ms. Holmes would serve three years under court supervision, the judge said.

Federal prosecutors have said Ms. Holmes could get about a 15% reduction on prison time with good behavior, which would put her sentence at 9 1/2 years with no possibility for parole.

Look at this place!

(from Gizmodo): A view of the Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas. BUREAU OF PRISONS

*I’m a day late calling attention to this WaPo piece, but it will come in handy at Christmas: “What not to talk about at the Thanksgiving table.” Here are the five tips, with the article’s words indented.

While the Thanksgiving table is a rare opportunity to bring people together for a meal, the conversation there can be uniquely fraught. The table often includes a mix of people who don’t normally spend time together — chatty grandparents and sullen teens, picky eaters and exuberant noshers, sober friends and holiday imbibers, vegetarians and turkey lovers, liberals and conservatives, skilled chefs and bad cooks, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.

Alice Julier, professor of food studies at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, said she often talks with students who feel anxious about returning home for the holiday meal.

“There’s nothing like a holiday meal to bring into focus what has or hasn’t changed in a year,” said Julier, author of the book “Eating Together: Food, Friendship and Inequality.” “It gives you a chance to assess. Who’s aged? Who’s deepened their quirks or belief systems? Who has changed their eating practices? All those things come together in a single day, in a single meal.”

The tips:

1.) Don’t comment on what others are eating. Why? It’s woke, Jake!

Although it’s fine to praise the chef or talk about how much you love sweet potato casserole, refrain from making comments or jokes about what others are eating or not eating. Discussion of food choices can put children at risk for eating disorders. And it can be a trigger for adults with a history of disordered eating. [Note that they don’t say “eating disorders,” which is probably also a trigger.]

2.) Stop talking about the wine.  I thought that they said this because oenophies can be boring and snobbish, but no, it’s because of TRIGGERS.

Be aware if one or more of your guests is recovering from alcohol use disorder. Excessive discussion of wine or alcoholic beverages can make them feel uncomfortable. When you have a sober guest at the table, keep the wine and alcoholic beverages on a separate table, so bottles are not being passed around them.

3.) Don’t ask students about grades, school problems or college plans. Again, this is to avoid stressing out the already stressed-out students.

4.) Avoid asking people about having kids or getting married. This is self-explanatory—it’s intrusive.

5.) Skip the politics.  Again, self-explanatory; these days, it can easily scupper a supper. But they forgot one topic—religion!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, poor Baby Kulka is harassed by Hili:

Hili: I told you not to sit here.
Kulka: But I’m not disturbing anyone.

In Polish:

Hili: Mówiłam ci, że nie masz tu siedzieć.
Kulka: Przecież nie przeszkadzam.


From Malcolm, more video of the chimp and its baby who have gone viral. Clearly this maternal instinct is due not to evolution, but socialization.

From Stash Krod:

From Nicole:

For crying out loud, God is posting poetry at Mastodon. (It’s not great poetry either, though it rhymes and scans.) I am not keen on that site:

From Masih: women enjoy their freedom (singing, like not wearing a hijab, is forbidden):


From Luana, one of the best tweets of the year:

From Barry, a white peacock this time to compare to a “regular one”. The ones in the second tweet are leucistic, I think, for were they albino they’d have pink eyes. It’s a beaut!

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a boy put in the camp at seventeen, and shot shortly before he became 18. Look at that expression of fear!

Tweets from Dr. Cobb.  First, “signage” interpretation:

A cat helps with a save:

Preserved nasal botflies from a camel. Poor camel!

This is a really heartwarming story. Sound up and watch the whole thing:

52 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

    1. I sent the Prof. the link a little bit ago, didn’t see you post it. It will be interesting to see the winning bid. When I saw this article last night I could swear it said they were expecting the document to surpass £400,000, now they’re saying £1,000,000. I’d rather see it end up in a museum myself.

  1. I knew it: Elizabeth Holmes’s prison sentence is going to be a cakewalk, served in a women’s federal “prison camp” in Texas (see more here). And if that doesn’t really count as “prison”, reader Ken Kukec (whom I bet $20 that Holmes would never see a day in jail), owes me $40

    It might be a cushy prison, but it’s still a prison. I think Ken is still the rightful bet winner.

    The “sponsor a lib” campaign is currently suspended because Elon Musk had to stop it temporarily because too many people were paying for the check mark (many of them libs) so they could impersonate him and mock him. I’m a bit upset because, it being a holiday in the US, few people are reporting on the Twitter car crash and that’s my main entertainment at the moment.

    1. The argument against sending Holmes to the proposed minimum security prison is that institutions such as that one should not exist. Inmates there do not suffer enough. The retribution of society for the crimes committed is not sufficient, even though if one does not believe in free will, the person had no choice in engaging in the crime. I am no expert in the type of institution that is chosen for incarceration – minimum, medium, high security – but it seems to be based to a degree on whether the crime was violent or not and to the extent that the inmate represents a physical threat to others or is likely to attempt to escape. Holmes’ crime was not violent nor is it likely that she will plot to escape or physically attack others. Holmes will be denied her freedom for about a decade and subject to the orders and regimen dictated by prison authorities. This is enough for me. Quelling my desire for retribution, I think it appropriate that Holmes need not spend her incarceration in a small cell where her physical safety could be threatened by violent inmates. If there is such a thing as rehabilitation and that is the goal of incarceration rather than inflicting great physical discomfort then the minimum security prison may very well be sufficient to accomplish that for Holmes.

      1. Very well said historian. Before I read your eloquent words, I was simply and clumsily about to say that loss of freedom of movement for any significant period of time let alone ten years, and being under the thumb of the screws 24/7 is pretty huge to me. I was climbing the walls from the simple short-lived Covid semi-confinement.

          1. All joking aside, the loss of personal liberty is a big deal. I’ve worked in a youth “facility”, or junior prison, as I called it. No bars on windows, no cells, no solitary confinement, focus very much on rehabilitation, still had a school of sorts mon-fri usual times, no fences outside, no armed guards. It was imprisonment all the same. No tv, no cell phones or computers, limits on phone calls (dialed by staff, and in full earshot of the group), visits allowed one day a week and only family members allowed, reading was highly restricted, few to no food choices, limits on personal clothing, hygiene items and belongings, everything done as a group, including showers (individual stalls) toilets, eating, recreation, group therapy, and most restrictions for violations such as attempted eloping. The place may have looked a bit like a camp with dorms but it was far from it. A kid would be there by court order, 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week, for 6, 12, 24 months depending on situation and behavior. I was only there 40 hours a week and by choice as an employee yet I was miserable and didn’t last long. Worst job I’ve ever had. Sent me spiraling into a very severe depression. And these kids were often repeat “guests”, frequently had siblings or parents who had been in as well, and/or had family who had been or were currently in actual prison, and a fair few would end up there themselves. I’m not even sure what the word “rehabilitated” means anymore, or justice for that matter, but I don’t doubt that when someone says they want (or these days DEMAND) “justice”, they mean revenge and retribution.

            1. Thanks Christopher for this chilling list of some of the reality and its impact on you just being adjacent to human beings who were compelled to live it.

      2. Of course, some places (such as Florida) openly say that the purpose of their prisons is not rehabilitation but retribution, as official policy. They also brag about the fact that their facilities have no air conditioning. The Sunshine State.

        1. Robert, if you can direct me to sources where this sentiment is expressed I’d be very interested to see them. I’m always looking for real world examples of an explicit commitment to retributivism. Thanks!

          1. You want to find retributivism, Tom, it’s apotheosis was probably the Maricopa County Jail during its quarter-century under the tenure of (pardoned federal convict) Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

            Arpaio put inmates in unairconditioned tents in the scorching 110-degree Arizona heat, made them wear pink underwear, denied them adequate medical care, made them work on chain gangs, and fed them — well, whatever the hell it was he fed them, it didn’t qualify as “food.”

            1. It still makes me furious to know that Arpaio got away with what he did for so long, and that he’s not in prison for it. One of the most disgusting human beings in this country.

              Ken, you’re our resident lawyer. I’ve always wondered: how did that man get away with doing so many clearly illegal things out in the open for such an enormous length of time?!?

              1. In Arizona, sheriff is an elected position, and the voters kept returning Arpaio to office.

                As you’ve probably noticed, Arizona has a lot of wingnut voters, going back to when Barry Goldwater was one of its US senators. (When Barry ran for president in ’64, he was considered an extremist and lost in a landslide to LBJ, though ol’ Barry had a lot of positive qualities, too, and by the standards of today’s GOP, he’d be considered a RINO).

                In most states that were once deep Blue or deep Red, but have since gone Purple, the Party that had control but sees it slipping will moderate its policies to appeal to centrists and Independents.

                Not freakin’ Arizona. Look at the slate of Big-Lie-espousing wackos it ran in the last election — for US senator, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state (an actual Oath Keeper), and AG — all of whom got their asses whipped. And the chairwoman of the AZ Republican Party — the ghoulish “Chemtrail” Kelli Ward, who went after John McCain’s senate seat as soon as he disclosed he had incurable glioblastoma — is the biggest wackjob of all.

                The law finally caught up to Arpaio (who’d long been under federal investigation for racial profiling), albeit decades too late, about the same time the voters were ready to turn him out anyway. But Trump pardoned him even before the federal judge could pass sentence — apparently to demonstrate to those thinking of cooperating against Trump the alacrity with which he was willing to employ the pardon power for partisan purposes.

        2. There is always a place for retributive Justice as many crimes do not fit the rehabilitative model. The best example I would give is OJ Simpson. Assuming for the sake of argument he committed his crime he was already a functioning member of society and given the personal nature of the murder it is doubtful he would kill again. You could say he already did the definition of rehabilitated so putting him jail would be a strictly punishing move.

          1. You could say he [OJ] already did the definition of rehabilitated …

            You could say that, yeah, but then you’d be ignoring the armed-robbery beef for which he did nine years in Nevada.

            And, were OJ outside an ex-girlfriend’s condo brandishing a knife while I was inside the condo boning her, I’m not sure I’d be willing to stake my safety on The Juice’s successful rehabilitation. Would you? 🙂

  2. It’s very easy to say that guns cause mass shootings, but that really don’t explain why they seem to have increased (I would say out of proportion to gun ownership) or why so many of the shooters are either criminals (gangs) or people who are clearly mentally disturbed.

    1. I think that instead of focusing on the “motives” of shooters, we should be focusing on the motives of those who believe that our society should be awash in guns.

      Their “freedom” should be held above the right to life and safety of everyone else, according to them. I have never heard one of them offer any potential solution to the carnage beyond “more guns”.

      And, any requirement to have to demonstrate competence is an impingement on their “freedom”.

      Why? Why should their privilege trump everyone else’s rights?

      I think that gun manufacturers’ and purveyors’ profits have a lot to do with it.


      1. Here is your chance Linda. I don’t think “our society should be awash in guns,” but owning them is a fundamental right, and I own several. How is your argument different than the woke who think no one should be able to utter certain opinions (or single words) that are harmful and make people feel unsafe? Should demonstrating competency be required before exercise of First Amendment rights? My right to own a gun affects your rights not at all – it’s just that, like the woke, you think you have a right to safety, a ludicrous idea.

    2. It seems to me that, in America, much of the gun ownership is caused by lawlessness, high crime rates, and the need to protect your family. If that is the case, the problem is not the guns. (I haven’t read the NYT article)

  3. It may have something to do with American culture. Guns are part of it. And compare police series from the United States and Great Britain, and you may notice the difference in violence.

  4. Had a nice Thanksgiving meal with friends who had visitors over we had never met.

    —We broke the rules of Thanksgiving conversation by talking about guns, briefly. (I don’t remember who initiated the infraction.) Fortunately the conversation didn’t reach a flash point. The words “It’s complicated” were uttered; these were the “trigger words” that wisely ended the conversation.

    —We were asked if we had kids. Intrusive, but I don’t take offense at innocent questions.

    —Food was great! We did not compare what was on each other’s plates or talk too much about the wine.

    —No parfait chaser today, but good idea!

    It’s true that Holmes will be in a cushy-enough place that she probably won’t be assaulted too often. But she will lose her freedom, which will probably entail a major change of lifestyle—for the worse. No, she had no choice but to do what she did (no “free will”). At the same time, her incarceration will affect the structure of her brain, probably improving her inhibitory function, making it less likely that she will harm others in the future. So, this isn’t Alcatraz, but her incarceration represents a net gain.

    Iran’s leadership? Feh!

  5. Regarding the pronouns at the sewing magazine, I find it funny that so many readers were “triggered” (and by god how I have become so tired of that word, much like “woke”) by the inclusion of the authors pronouns. If the inclusion of the pronouns is nonsense, the reaction to them is at least as bad.

      1. I’m old enough to remember when addressing a woman as “Ms.” was considered ridiculous; now it’s routine. It will take a while for this to catch on, but it will and then it will seem normal. As one of my teachers once said about manners, “It costs me nothing and makes the other person feel good. Why not?”

    1. Well, there’s simply no need for it. Are the magazine contributors constantly referring to each other in the 3rd person? It’s done purely to indicate that they’ve adopted gender ideology to some degree or another. Is there genuinely not to be any place in the universe where one can escape The Message?

      1. Let me offer some thoughts about the need, and bear in mind this comes from a 60+ year old 100% white European guy. I tend to say Yes Ma’am or No Sir, and I would like to think that is a reflection on my upbringing. There I have been times when I have been dining out and had a particularly gracious server or host, and I have addressed them with a “Yes Ma’am” only to stop and consider their appearance in a bit greater detail. And just maybe they might have been a woman who was presenting more like a man, and I don’t know, perhaps my gracious salutation was hurtful to them in some small way. I may not really care about their gender presentation, but it is likely that THEY cared. And even if they came by their dysphoria through questionable means, they care about it and that care hurts me none at all. So if I can be gently informed about someone’s preferred gender orientation I will be happy enough to comply. Again it hurts me none at all.

        Back to the magazine article, the offended readers were harmed exactly zero, zilch, nil by the inclusion of gender pronouns. They were not charged more for the magazine, the published pronouns likely did not result in an inferior article. No, they just saw those pronouns and were offended and felt the need to call out and say so. I agree adding the pronouns is a questionable call, and maybe one the magazine regrets in the future, but for now WHO DID THEY HURT?

        1. How do you know that those people asked to have their pronouns specified? Who does it hurt to change the word “woman” to “womb bearer”? Like that, this is an authoritarian move to control discourse and therefore thought. You don’t seem to realize that being offended, whoever you are or by what, is having harm done to you. I could give you a gazillion examples from the woke.

          Does it hurt people when men are called “penis bearers”?

          1. If someone bought a magazine to learn how to knit a cardigan and felt the need to complain because the author’s pronouns are listed, then I put that person in the same category as the poor Christian who is upset the coffee cup says Happy Holidays and not Merry Christmas. You have a right to be offended, I have a right to see your actions as petty.

            But to make sure my position is understood: the whole sex/gender/pronoun kerfuffle is a hot mess and a lot of people have it wrong. But if an individual asks me nicely to refer to them using a particular pronoun, I would do my best to oblige.

            1. Yeah, and I’ve said the same thing as you did in your last sentence: it’s civil to oblige. But the whole policing of language is authoritarian, and if you’re complaining that I’m petty about this. . . .well, I’ll take it as an insult.

        2. “WHO DID THEY HURT?”

          Have you ever watched “The Handmaiden’s Tale” on Hulu? One of the things I find so difficult about watching it is, strangely enough, that “God’s eye” greeting everyone is required to use. Even tho, just watching the show vicariously, I am not required to talk that way, it still is grating and somehow oppressive, and makes the show difficult to watch.

          As I indicated, even a moment of respite from The Message would be nice. But that isn’t an option. It is relentless and all-consuming, and no opportunity to spread the Gospel shall ever be passed up. Requiring that all things everywhere be viewed thru the lens of identity politics does indeed hurt. It is suffocating and tiresome. Maybe not for you, but for me and many others, yes.

  6. Something I’ve wondered about regarding the pronoun campaign is: how does it end? Or does it even have an expiration date? In my workplace, I have not engaged with the campaign for many reasons, but mostly because I don’t have a pronoun preference and am satisfied to keep using the name and signature I have used my entire literate life. If my co-workers are truly confused about my sex category or my gender, that says quite a bit about their perception skills. But if I did add pronouns, and then later decided to omit them, will I be seen as transphobic by my peers?

  7. “…refrain from making comments or jokes about what others are eating or not eating. Discussion of food choices can put children at risk for eating disorders. And it can be a trigger for adults with a history of disordered eating.”

    This is hilarious. Some of the best jokes last night came at my and my niece’s own expenses, at we are famous for putting away a lot of food, and one dish in particular. We all had a good laugh. She has not developed and eating disorder. She and I both always have a great time talking about it and seeing who ends up eating more, and then complaining about how stuffed we feel after as we sprawl out on the couch, exhausted.

    Let’s just make everything no fun anymore, because goodness forbid anyone feels any stress of any sort ever.

  8. No one objects to the new euphemisms “disordered eating” and “alcohol use disorder?” My first thought was that disordered eating could make a big mess?

  9. I hope the US is able to provide some meaningful support to the Iranian resistance/protesters and that the whole sorry mess of mullahs comes crashing down soon, to be replaced by a group with no interest in supporting P*tin. Sic Semper Tyrannis!

  10. … adults with a history of disordered eating. [Note that they don’t say “eating disorders,” which is probably also a trigger.]

    “Disordered eating” sounds like somebody doesn’t know whether to put gravy on the turkey, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, or all three.

    4.) Avoid asking people about having kids or getting married.

    Been a while since I heard anybody ask “when are you gonna make an honest woman of her?” 🙂

    1. I lived with a family in Germany when I was 16 and on one holiday I did some disordered eating. We were having broiled meat with root vegetables and mashed potatoes. In a gravy boat, I thought the white sauce was a white gravy like you see on chicken-fried steak. I love gravy, so proceeded drenching everything on my plate with it. My German “mom” laughed, saying: “I’ve never met anyone with such an appetite for horseradish.” Oops! I told her I thought it was gravy and the table burst out laughing. 🙂

      By the way, during my month living in Germany, I was treated to some of the best meals of my life. I was also introduced to Nutella on French bread with salty French butter…omg I was addicted.

      1. I’ll bet that meal cleared out your sinuses for a while, Mark. 🙂

        I love horseradish, but even I draw the line on pouring it over everything on my plate.


        1. I was able to salvage the meat and roasted veg by scraping most off, but the mashed potatoes were beyond recovery. I too love horseradish, but not like that- Nein!,/i> indeed. 🙂

    1. Yes, Ken, as a disinterested observer I think the common sense interpretation of Jerry’s bet was that Ms. Holmes would get only probation or a suspended sentence or community service or some such. While I didn’t follow the case I remember thinking that would be most unlikely and that Jerry was making a sucker bet against himself.

      I think you win.

      (But Sheriff Arpaio’s Nutraloaf is food. Feeding it to prisoners may violate public policy but they wouldn’t starve from eating it.)

  11. The conversation tips are silly. The whole purpose of talking to other people is to get them worked up about something, religion or politics for example. The best approach to Thanksgiving conversation is to rubbish the entire idea of Thanksgiving.

  12. > This is what the U.S. is supposed to do: support the cause of freedom everywhere.

    Nope. This is what the US are supposed to do:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    If you’d like to amend the Preamble to the Constitution, it may be possible.

  13. I am suspicious that there’s no trend line through that scatter plot.

    Just eyeballing it, it seems hard to see any kind of trend in that cluster that excludes Yemen and the US. And it’s very hard to reconcile Yemen and the US with each other.

  14. “A sewing magazine called Simply Sewing has infuriated its readers by inserting the preferred pronouns of all its contributors.”

    The conniving element here is that prospective contributors must provide their pronoun preferences or, one assumes, not be accepted for publication. I’ve come across this bit of subtle coercion in trying to enter a book of mine in contests where preferred pronouns is a required field in the on-line application form. On principle I decline to cooperate, but that means I’m excluded from entering those contests. The only consolation is that my book (or my identity) probably wouldn’t be woke enough to win the contest anyway.

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