Friday: Hili dialogue

January 27, 2023 • 6:45 am

Greetings on Friday, January 27, 2023: National Chocolate Cake Day. It’s a good day to have a “cake shake” at the famed Chicago hot-dog chain Portillo’s. They put an entire piece of frosted chocolate cake into a milkshake. I’ve had their terrific dogs, but not a cake shake. My New Year’s resolution is to remedy that.

It’s also National Geographic Day (the organization was founded on this day in 1888), Thomas Crapper Day (he died on this day in 1910), and International Day of Commemoration in Memory of Victims of the Holocaust, honoring the day in 1945 that Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army.  Here’s are photos of released inmates taken on or around the day of liberation (read more and see other photos at this History Channel site).

And a tweet:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the January 27 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*More rogue cops.  Five Memphis police officers have been charged with the murder of Tyre Nichols, a 29 year old black man, after they stopped him for reckless driving. The stop was captured on video, but it hasn’t yet been released (the family and head cops get to see it first.  I’ll reserve judgment, as usual, but since the police chief who has seen the video says that the beating the cops gave the man was “a failing of basic humanity,” I assume that the cops used excessive force. From the NYT:

Here are the details:

  • The officers — Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills Jr. and Justin Smith — were arrested on charges including second-degree murder. “The actions of all of them resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols and they are all responsible,” Shelby County District Attorney Steven J. Mulroy said of the officers. All five officers, who are Black, were fired last week.

  • A lawyer for Mr. Nichols’s family said the family was encouraged by the charges. “That these five officers are being held criminally accountable for their deadly and brutal actions gives us hope as we continue to push for justice for Tyre,” the lawyer, Ben Crump, said in a statement. He added, “This tragedy meets the absolute definition of a needless and unnecessary death.” Here is what we know about Mr. Nichols.

  • Video of the traffic stop will be released Friday, Mr. Mulroy said, as the city braced for any angry response to the footage. David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, said he had watched the recordings. “In a word, it’s absolutely appalling,” he said. He added, “This was wrong, this was criminal.”

  • Mr. Nichols was stopped by officers on suspicion of reckless driving on the evening of Jan. 7. After what the police described in an initial statement as two confrontations with Mr. Nichols, an ambulance was called after he complained of shortness of breath.

  • Mr. Nichols “suffered extensive bleeding caused by a severe beating,” according to preliminary findings of an autopsy commissioned by his family. His family shared a photograph taken before he died on Jan. 10 that showed him in a hospital bed, apparently unconscious, his face bruised and swollen.

The D.A., who must have seen the video since he laid the charges, agreed with the police chief. What we might well have here are authoritarian and bloodthirsty cops. Really, a beating? I’d be curious to know what Nichols did that would deserve such an attack.

*Over at her Free Press site, Bari Weiss initiated a discussion among readers about why New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern resigned. Was it because of her low approval ratings (in the thirties) that came from her policies, or was she the victim of sexism?

Could there have been a more perfect avatar of Davos-progressivism than New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern? There she was—the youngest woman on the world stage, and pretty to boot. When she brought her three-month-old to the UN General Assembly, the press went wild.

Outside of New Zealand, the press loved everything Ardern. Her handsome fiance. Her fashion sense. The fact that she was the first Kiwi PM to march in a gay pride parade.

“Lady of the Rings: Jacinda Rules,” declared Maureen Dowd of The New York Times.

Vogue crowed her the “anti-Trump.”

But while the leader was beloved by elite Americans, the warm feeling didn’t extend to her own citizens. The most recent polls out of New Zealand saw Ardern’s Labor Party approval ratings in the low thirties.

Facing the prospect of a devastating election in October, Ardern pulled the plug. Last week, she resigned. “I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice.”

The Washington Post chalked the whole thing up to sexism. “Sexism dogged Jacinda Ardern’s tenure. Battling it is part of her legacy.”

Never mind that New Zealand implemented some of the most draconian Covid policies in the world outside China. Or that there is growing gang violence in the country. Or that inflation there is at 7.2 percent.

“I know there will be much discussion in the aftermath of this decision as to what the so-called ‘real’ reason was,” said Ardern. “I can tell you that what I am sharing today is it.”

She said the reason is that she wanted to finally get married and needed time to plan the wedding.

So let’s discuss.

As of yesterday afternoon there were about 515 comments in the discussion, most of which ignored the question or talked about Canada. This answer, by Jill, seemed the most cogent of the batch I inspected. As for me, I had great hopes for Ardern but she was both too woke and too lax in carrying out the promises she made.

*The Associated Press has an intriguing article about gene therapy for brain diseases, which has promise for greatly improving conditions caused by mutations in single genes, but also for more complex maladies like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. A genetically engineered virus containing a working version of a gene whose mutation has caused a disease is infused into the brain (preferably in a young person before much damage sets in), and the gene gets inserted into the brain cells. In some cases in can make a huge difference.

When Rylae-Ann Poulin was a year old, she didn’t crawl or babble like other kids her age. A rare genetic disorder kept her from even lifting her head. Her parents took turns holding her upright at night just so she could breathe comfortably and sleep.

Then, months later, doctors delivered gene therapy directly to her brain.

Now the 4-year-old is walking, running, swimming, reading and riding horses — “just doing so many amazing things that doctors once said were impossible,” said her mother, Judy Wei.

Rylae-Ann, who lives with her family in Bangkok, was among the first to benefit from a new way of delivering gene therapy — attacking diseases inside the brain — that experts believe holds great promise for treating a host of brain disorders.

Her treatment recently became the first brain-delivered gene therapy after its approval in Europe and the United Kingdom for AADC deficiency, a disorder that interferes with the way cells in the nervous system communicate. New Jersey drugmaker PTC Therapeutics plans to seek U.S. approval this year.

Meanwhile, about 30 U.S. studies testing gene therapy to the brain for various disorders are ongoing, according to the National Institutes of Health. One, led by Dr. Krystof Bankiewicz at Ohio State University, also targets AADC deficiency. Others test treatments for disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s.

. . .Challenges remain, especially with diseases caused by more than a single gene. But scientists say the evidence supporting this approach is mounting — opening a new frontier in the fight against disorders afflicting our most complex and mysterious organ.

“There’s a lot of exciting times ahead of us,” said Bankiewicz, a neurosurgeon. “We’re seeing some breakthroughs.”

The most dramatic of those breakthroughs involve Rylae-Ann’s disease, which is caused by mutations in a gene needed for an enzyme that helps make neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, the body’s chemical messengers. The one-time treatment delivers a working version of the gene.

Because our blood-brain barrier (read about it; it’s a wonderful evolved system) prevents pathogens in the body from getting into the brain, the engineered viruses are put into the brain through a tube that goes through a hole drilled in the skull.

*If you’re into red wine, and especially Italian red wine, I’d have a read of Lettie Teague’s Wall Street Journal column in which she enthusiastically recommends five Lange (a region) Nebbiolo wines that are all in the vicinity of $20. She calls them “the bargain Barolo, for they’re made from the same grapes as the great Barolo and Barbaresco wines. Although I haven’t tried one of these, you can bet that I will. They look to be widely available, too.

Just about every great wine has a “good” counterpart: a wine made from the same grape in the same place but in a more accessible and/or affordable style.

For lovers of Barolo and Barbaresco, the great wines from the Langhe region in Piedmont, Italy, that wine would likely be Langhe Nebbiolo. It’s made from the same grape in the same place, but unlike its superstar counterparts, it’s incredibly cheap. How much does a Langhe Nebbiolo actually resemble a Barolo or Barbaresco? I’d say it depends on where the grapes were sourced, how the wine was vinified and, perhaps most important, how much pride the producer takes in making a “lesser” wine.

Nebbiolo is considered one of the world’s greatest grapes, but unlike widely planted varietal superstars such as Cabernet and Merlot, Nebbiolo is really only great in one place: Italy’s Piedmont. It’s planted elsewhere in Italy (chiefly Valle d’Aosta and Lombardy) and in various places around the world, but the consensus among wine professionals is that truly world-class Nebbiolo only comes from Piedmont.

The Langhe hills of Piedmont are particularly well suited to this early-budding but late-ripening variety. In many ways, it’s a contradictory grape: light-bodied, almost translucent and marked by beguiling aromas of red fruit and spice that evoke comparisons to Pinot Noir; and yet, unlike Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo wines can be quite tannic, even astringent and high in acidity, particularly in their youth. I’ve had young Nebbiolos that could strip the enamel from your teeth.

Read the piece and then go to the wine store. If you’re loaded, you can even pick up a genuine Barolo, but it will require aging. Here are her recommended wines:

*And I’ll finish with a brief nomination for Tweet of the Year:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is adhering to Bart Erman’s conception of Jesus: a Jewish apocalyptic, messianic preacher:

Hili: If my eyes do not deceive me the world has gone crazy.
A: Nihil novi sub sole.
In Polish:
Hili: Jeśli mnie wzrok nie myli, to świat zwariował.
Ja: Nihil novi sub sole.

Lagniappe: Matthew sent a photo of the family cat Pepper (they have three moggies) watching a duck on YouTube. Matthew says, “This is a cat tv channel. 8 hours of birds.”


From the Facebook site Not Necessarily Stoned, but Beautiful: Hippies of the 60s and Beyond:

So true! From Pradeep:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Masih, a rude gesture surely inspired by religion. Look at the Queen’s expression when she’s blown off.

From Barry, who notes, “This is strange. Why would a bunch of lions not go in for the kill when they had the chance? It’s interesting that the roughhousing, if that’s what it is, got in the way”:

From Malcolm: a single brain neuron seeking a connection:

I like Gal Gadot more than Philomena Cunk, and that’s saying a lot!

From the Auschwitz Memorial: Two tweets today.

An eleven year old gassed upon arrival:

Tweets from Herr Professor Cobb aus Manchester. First, a 3.5-minute rescue story, this time of a magpie who imprints on his rescuer. Sound up. (As usual, all ends well in DodoLand:

Poor rat! I hope it was all right. . .

. . . and a frightening horse:

57 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    98 – Trajan succeeds his adoptive father Nerva as Roman emperor; under his rule the Roman Empire will reach its maximum extent.

    1606 – Gunpowder Plot: The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins, ending with their execution on January 31.

    1820 – A Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovers the Antarctic continent, approaching the Antarctic coast. [Of course, we all know that the Māori got their first on a raft of human bones…]

    1825 – The U.S. Congress approves Indian Territory (in what is present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears”.

    1880 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his incandescent lamp.

    1944 – World War II: The 900-day Siege of Leningrad is lifted.

    1967 – Apollo program: Astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee are killed in a fire during a test of their Apollo 1 spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.

    1973 – The Paris Peace Accords officially ends the Vietnam War. Colonel William Nolde is killed in action becoming the conflict’s last recorded American combat casualty.

    1996 – Germany first observes the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    1756 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian pianist and composer (d. 1791).

    1832 – Lewis Carroll, English novelist, poet, and mathematician (d. 1898). [Real name, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.]

    1918 – Elmore James, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1963).

    1924 – Brian Rix, English actor, producer, and politician (d. 2016). [Best known for running around the stage in his underwear in various farces in London’s West End.]

    1929 – Mohamed Al-Fayed, Egyptian-Swiss businessman. [Promoted the theory that Princess Diana and his son Dodi died as the result of a conspiracy involving the queen’s husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the British security services…!]

    1944 – Nick Mason, English drummer, songwriter, and producer.

    1957 – Janick Gers, English guitarist and songwriter.

    Wearing a toe tag:
    1596 – Francis Drake, English captain and explorer (b. 1540). [And pirate, if you’re Spanish.]

    1851 – John James Audubon, French-American ornithologist and painter (b. 1789).

    1873 – Adam Sedgwick, British geologist, Anglican priest and doctoral advisor to Charles Darwin (b. 1785).

    1901 – Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer (b. 1813).

    1910 – Thomas Crapper, English plumber and businessman (b. 1836).

    1922 – Nellie Bly, American journalist and author (b. 1864).

    2009 – John Updike, American novelist, short story writer, and critic (b. 1932).

    2010 – J. D. Salinger, American soldier and author (b. 1919).

    2014 – Pete Seeger, American singer-songwriter, guitarist and activist (b. 1919).

  2. The tweet incorrectly refers to a water buffalo. It is an African buffalo Syncerus caffer. Still odd that the lions let it walk away though.

    1. Agree, that seems weird and maladaptive behavior. If you are going to squabble over lunch, at least kill it first!

    1. I think this is the one. (Elsewhere Jill says she lives in London, grew up in NZ and had children in Australia. She also wrote, “The compassion of the feminine ethos is appropriate for an infant but not to lead a nation.”)
      Jan 26
      This is a bit of a rough draft but outlines some of the reasons that Jacinda Ardern lost popularity.

      Jacinda Ardern is considered by many as one of the worst prime ministers in the history of NZ and has left the country in tatters. Not that you would know that if you read the legacy media.

      COVID – creating two classes of citizens by demonising those who chose not to be vaccinated. If you were not vaccinated, you could not take part in any sort of life. Doctors could potentially lose their licence if they questioned the vaccination drive or wanted to use therapeutic tools rather than vax. Ardern refused to speak to the people who were protesting outside Parliament for many weeks over the vaccine mandates, much like Justin Trudeau.

      She took a soft diplomacy approach against China saying it is best to talk talk talk but ironically refused to talk to her own constituents when they were crying out in protest in front of Parliament.

      Passed the most radical abortion law in the world – full term abortion.

      Told citizens not to believe anything unless it was what the Government said – you must go to them for the “single source of truth”. Everything else was mis or dis information.

      Did not deliver on any of her election platforms, including:

      • Building 100,000 houses – only built 1500

      • Making housing more affordable – rather the cost of housing sky rocketed

      • Build a new light rail to ease the traffic congestion – didn’t built one inch!

      • End child poverty – zero difference – inequality is worse, and the only reason child poverty did not get worse is she handed out more benefits

      • Reduce prison population – have reduced sentencing and crime has gone through the roof, weekly ram raids carried out by children (because they don’t get charged as adults) and police will not pursue get away cars in case it is too “dangerous”

      Only 67% of children are attending school daily.

      After the 2019 Mosque massacre, she called back all guns. Guns were returned by law abiding citizens, but all the illegal guns stayed with gangs. Gang violence has increased.

      Maori people being granted:

      • control over public waterways

      • priority for health care over Europeans

      • Maori “knowledge” to be given equal recognition to Western science but without any scrutiny whatsoever.

      Renaming the country Aotearoa without a democratic vote and changing many names into the Maori language. Imposing the Maori language on schools.

      Centralising healthcare during a public health crisis. This makes no sense to do during a crisis and what’s more a top-down approach is nonsensical. Doctors should be making decisions on what is best for their patients.

      1. Writing more generally than Leslie, I would say Labour overpromised in 2017 and has underdelivered ever since, was extremely undemocratic, non-transparent and sometimes untruthful and unkind while claiming the opposite, never understood cost-benefit calculations in public policy and projects, oversaw government departments and policy very poorly, was often authoritarian and contemptuous of public opinion, and spent profligately.

        It might well be that Ardern has nothing left in the tank – young child, demanding job etc, but it also true that the gap between government spin-doctoring and reality is so wide that even the previously supportive media and many of her voters in 2020 can now see the empress has no clothes.

  3. Say what you will about George Santos, but I am hopeful his being in Congress will allow us to see more of his wife, Morgan Fairchild.

          1. Like most other questions regarding his background, between his braggadocio and denials, George Santos/Anthony Devolder/Kitara Ravache has this issue surrounded.

  4. Was it because of her low approval ratings (in the thirties) that came from her policies, or was she the victim of sexism?

    Why couldn’t it be for the reason she said? i.e. she doesn’t have the energy to do the job anymore.

    1. Right? I know we’re all cynical and never take things at face value anymore, but sometimes there’s no hidden reason beyond the explanation given.

    2. Because she could have hung on until the next election. I didn’t see any signs that she was getting tired of the job, nor did any of the Kiwis I talk to tell me that. I think she bailed before she lost. But of course I could be wrong and her words might have been genuine.

      1. In retrospect you could see a good degree of exhaustion. The extreme degree of misogynist and general hate, threats of violence directed at her were probably also major factors. I have seen at least one report of serious verbal abuse directed at her while she and family were in a cafe-including threats to her daughter. The daughter is also about to start school which is likely to raise serious security issues. Most readers would be astounded at the very low level of security previously surrounding the Prime Ministers. Usually a couple of protection officers. Other ministers would have none and I suspect in the past it would be minimal for families. In Wellington you can run into senior ministers on the street. The level of security now required for Ms Adern and family is unprecedented by local standards. One suspects her daughter having to be surrounded by that at school might also be a factor.

    1. And no Joan Baez, Country Joe McDonald, Roger Daltrey, Paul Jones, Maggie Bell..the list of the undead goes on

        1. Indeed. Since you mention Stone the Crows, Colin Allen is 84 and Ronnie Leahy is 75. Not sure about Steve Thompson.

          And the wonderful Les Harvey would have been 78. Electrocuted on stage in Swansea in May 1972. A tragic loss to the electric blues.

  5. Santos is a man of excellent birth and education, endowed by nature with a phenomenal mathematical faculty. At the age of twenty-one he wrote a treatise upon the Binomial Theorem… . But the man has hereditary tendencies of the most diabolical kind. Must have shoved him off the rails.

  6. Mick but no Keith on that list of geriatric musicians? How can they break up the Glimmer Twins? Both were born in ’43.

    Hard to believe that the women who were the objects of my adolescent fantasies are now in their mid-70s to early 80s.

    1. Perhaps the makers of the list are assuming, as many do, that Keith Richards is indestructible. He’s going to live forever, so his age is irrelevant.

  7. Do these aging rock n rollers still have their hearing? I know that loud music did a number on my hearing… If they’re using hearing aids, I suppose they would have invested in very discrete ones that don’t show.

    1. One more thing: Re the tweet of the Spanish queen: I was prepared to hate on the Iranian ambassador who refused to shake hands with Queen Letizia. But then I read this description of the part of the scene we couldn’t see (because the ambassador’s back is to the camera):

      “He actually places his hand on his heart and nods in her direction. It’s called a salaam and it’s … how men “shake hands” with women in Islamic cultures in formal situations like this.”

      I rather like the non-touch form of greeting (putting hand on heart and bowing), especially in the age of Covid, but still. It doesn’t mitigate the fact that the prohibition on shaking hands with women is rooted in exceptionally regressive beliefs about women as defiled creatures and sexual temptresses.

      Here’s what Muhammed (I think) said about it:

      “For a man to shake hands with a non-mahram woman (one to whom he is not related) is haraam and is not permitted at all. Among the evidence for this is the hadeeth of Ma’qal ibn Yassaar (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘If one of you were to be struck in the head with an iron needle, it would be better for him than if he were to touch a woman he is not allowed to.”

      Speaking of sexual temptresses, I’m a cishet female (as the woke say), but if I was gay, Gal Gadot would definitely be my crush. I love her in this great SNL sketch:

  8. My dear friend Dr. Michael Kaplitt at Cornell Weiss performed the very first gene therapy operation to treat a patient’s Parkinsons back in 2003. Over dinner at Le Caprice in London a few weeks later he asked, “Did you know brains make noise?” and proceeded to show me a video of the patient’s skull with a quarter-sized incision and his hands feeding in the tube using a scanner for guidance. Yes, he turned up the volume and the noise was just audible. It would take two hours to insert the tube then inject the adenovirus into the affected cells. Everyone said he was crazy (and I was too and did lose a small fortune backing him). But twenty years later it can be seen that this man, among others, advanced the science. BTW, dinner was delish and I managed to keep it down..

  9. I’m curious what you think somebody could do to “deserve” to be beaten to death by police. Knowing that you are a staunch opponent of the death penalty I assumed your answer would be “nothing, of course”, but apparently I was mistaken.

    1. What I meant was what he could possibly do to deserve to be beaten. The only thing I could think of was that he had a weapon and was about to use it, in which case deadly force by the cops would be warranted (“deserved” is not as good a term, but still warranted). But I don’t think that was the case; I didn’t hear he had a gun.

      I’m sorry to use this language here, but you are a jerk, trying to catch me out this way. Of course nobody deserves to be beaten to death if they’re not posing a deadly threat to the cops.

  10. The Washington Post chalked the whole thing up to sexism. “Sexism dogged Jacinda Ardern’s tenure. Battling it is part of her legacy.”


    She said the reason is that she wanted to finally get married and needed time to plan the wedding.

    Umm … interesting way for the ex-Prime Minister to battle sexism.

      1. I like the way he makes an appearance on piano in the middle of the Playing for Change/Songs Around the World cover of “Peace Train”:

      2. Cat Stevens wrote some great songs – I was playing “The First Cut is the Deepest” on guitar just yesterday.

    1. Or maybe he should be in the class with Eric Clapton and Van Morrison (who also wasn’t mentioned). The “a-hole class” 😝

  11. I read that the officers charged with murder are black, so I’m surprised there hasn’t been an outcry about black officers being charged much more speedily than white officers. Or maybe there has, but I’ve missed it because I’m not on Twitter.

  12. IRT Ardern, here’s Tara Henley today. She comes down to a stance similar to Jerry’s. Henley is Canadian, hence her mention of Justin Trudeau at the end. Jerry mentioned that many of the comments to Bari Weiss’s question kept bringing up Canada. Canadian friends, what’s going on that what Ardern did and Trudeau is doing are somehow related?

    1. I came a bit late to the Comments on the Ardern resignation, although still likely before anyone had woken up yet in New Zealand, and I did think it was rude of us to talk about Canada so much. I include myself here because I did engage with some of those commenters, although in my defence I did first post a long comment citing the wide-ranging discussion here on WEIT from Jerry and NZ readers, as below. Indeed, it was because of Jerry’s interest in science education in NZ that I dove into Ms Weiss’s Comments section in the first place.

      To answer your question, Stephen, yes, Canadians do see Justin Trudeau and Jacinda Ardern as cut from the same cloth (for better or for worse.) Her obsession with reconciliation — elaborated in NZ through the evisceration of science education and in Canada with money, inflamed by the residential schools mass hysteria — touches a particular nerve here. It’s deeper than Covid policies. Also, a modern Parliamentary system is essentially an elected dictatorship as long as it lasts, with no checks and balances on the power of the Executive embodied in the Prime Minister. They therefore do things there somewhat similar to the way we do them here. We have two leftist parties and a separatist seditionist party which emasculates our Parliament. They have some proportional representation and a special Maori party that only Maori can vote for that does the same to theirs.

      I think the choices are framed in NZ and Canada differently from in the United States. Most American readers of WEIT are partisan Democrats, for your own good reasons I’m sure, and could not imagine voting Republican even if that was the only way to stop progressive-woke racial policies, which you decry, and climate-action folly, which you embrace (for now, until it starts to cost you.) At least no one on the Right in Canada (such as it is) is calling for a theocracy. Even the Left doesn’t accuse them of that — the response would be “Huh?”. So Canadians see a bit of “us” in NZ that makes us think we know enough to comment on their issues (even if we don’t.)

        1. My own theory is that Ms. Ardern and our PM Justin Trudeau are both angling for the same post-politics sinecure at the United Nations to be a professional scolder of indigenous-climate-justice-something-or-other in Geneva. She is more of a darling internationally while he has looked more doltish and frankly stupid much of the time. Peter Zeihan says that Donald Trump “lo-o-o-oved” Justin Trudeau because Trudeau was the one foreign leader whom the rest of the world acknowledged that Mr. Very Stable Genius was smarter than. Yet he has shown remarkable political durability. If he throws enough money at health care he could last twenty years, as his father did despite being loathed by most of the country.

          I don’t think either of them has much chance at the UN because they both come from comfortably well-off white-majority colonial countries who haven’t actually done anything about climate change except lecture foreign leaders as to why they won’t sell them fossil fuels. Trudeau is a cheerfully self-confessed génocidaire but that shouldn’t be a black mark against him certainly not at the UN. He is clearly playing to the international stage on both issues. Canadians don’t really care very much about either if it costs them money, and it is starting to get to where policy directions on both files could start costing us a lot if actually implemented.

          Ardern hitting the job market first will be concentrating Trudeau’s mind, surely.

  13. Now that rock & roll is truly dead, it’s very interesting to see the list of musical stars who caught their wave over a twenty year period and who we celebrate fifty and sixty years later. Who emerged from the last twenty years and will maintain their fan base fifty or sixty years from now? My guess is the list will be very short and include:

    Adele (Because angst)

    That’s it. The lyrical and instrumental chops are gone from music. I heard the other day that Nick Cave dissed a “song that sounds like Nick Cave” as written by ChatGPT as “not artistic” because art must come from deep, deep anxiety. Tell that to Keith Richards and he’ll snort your ashes too. Rock and roll came from the sexual revolution, period. Anxiety? No head, no backstage pass. Not hard to figure out. Music now? Auto tune, 15 credited songwriters on every hit song, electronic beats. One of the reasons we stopped making Live from Abbey Road in 2012 is because Pharrell Williams samples or live were on almost every song. He would’ve had to camp out at the Studios to play with all of the different acts.

    1. Rock’n’roll comes from the blues, and the blues is all about sex. I wouldn’t say that rock’n’roll “came from” the sexual revolution so much as that it helped cause the sexual revolution. Elvis shook his hips during the Eisenhower administration, and it shook the nation right down to its repressed complacency.

  14. I don’t know why the Bari Weiss piece about NZ attracted so many people who wanted to talk only about Canada, but for what it’s worth I alluded to the issues you have raised here on WEIT about the attack on science and science education. I also mentioned the concerns raised by NZ commenters here about the bi-racial state (the Maori minority and everyone else) being pursued by the Ardern government. I don’t know if those had much to do with Ms Ardern’s decision to resign but Ms. Weiss and many of her readers seemed genuinely mystified about the place. They thought it to be some idyllic lush sub-tropical paradise populated by leftist white people with no military spending insulated from the hate in the rest of the world. That there is gang violence in New Zealand seemed particularly surprising to readers on this side of the International Date Line.

  15. On NPR’s Morning Edition, I heard Ben Crump say ( I presume in response to a question) to the effect that the ethnicity/race of the policd wasn’t the issue, it was that of the victim of police violence.

    Further, from NPR: :

    “I think that attorney [Ben] Crump is spot on, and others who have said: When you look at this it’s not ever really about the demographics or the ethnicity and the racial makeup of the officer, it’s about the demographics, the ethnicity and the racial makeup of the person who is being policed. And when it’s been Black people, it doesn’t matter whether the officers are white or Black, we are still prone to disproportionate and egregious brutality.”

    As Crump was significantly involved in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder, may one reasonably trust that that was likewise his position in that situation? (It certainly wasn’t the position of not a few people.) It certainly won’t do should some intrepid reporter document his saying otherwise regarding the Floyd situation.

    1. I had a rather bizarre conversation with my (US citizen) sister earlier. She seems happy to exonerate the Memphis cops of racism (simply because they’re black, as far as I can tell) but also to believe that race must play a part in every instance in which a black man is killed by white cops.

      She later argued that the Memphis cops might have internalised racism, as a result of being brought up in a racist society, and that that could be a factor in the Tyre Nichols case. An alternative hypothesis might, of course, be that authoritarian types, regardless of ethnicity, are attracted to positions of power and that some of them exercise their roles with an unwarranted display of violent control.

      1. Getting police officers willing to work in Memphis, one of America’s blackest and most violent cities, must be a heroic task. It seems unlikely that any white police academy graduate would want to go within 20 miles of the place. Why on earth would you? Even Minneapolis, also struggling to staff its ranks, would be better.

        I suppose if you are going to create the climate that all cops are bastards, you are going to have to live with the result: The only cops you can hire will be bastards. Nobody has to be a cop.

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