Wednesday: Hili dialogue

February 15, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to a Hump Day (Húfudagar in Icelandic) , Wednesday, February 15, 2023: National Chewing Gum Day. (I don’t use the stuff; it loses its flavor in a minute or so and then turns into an exercise in mastication).

It’s also National Gumdrop Day, National I Want Butterscotch Day, National Hippo Day, Susan B. Anthony Day (she was born on this day in 1820), Singles Awareness Day and National Flag of Canada Day (in Canada):

And a mom and baby hippo:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the February 15 Wikipedia page.

Wine of the Day:  It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Riojas, as there are some great bargains to be found. This is one of them, though you may not consider a $27 bottle to be a bargain. But this 2018 Remelluri “Lindes de Remelluri” Labastida was absolutely terrific, and a great choice with simple meal of old Gouda cheese, a heated-up crusty baguette, wrinkled black olives, and fresh tomatoes. (My view is that the best wines should be drunk with simple and not complex food. It was liquid velvet with an overwhelming nose of black cherries, almost sweet with its lack of tannin, and not overly gutsy. It’s halfway between the aged “vanilla-flavored” Riojas and the massive ones. It’s perfect for drinking now though it’s only five years old; I suspect it will improve for another 5 years.

Here’s Robert Parker’s review at; he rates it 94/100:

Produced with grapes from suppliers, the 2018 Lindes de Remelluri Viñedos de Labastida comes from a cooler and wetter year not without challenge. A blend of Tempranillo, Garnacha and Graciano, it fermented with indigenous yeasts and matured in barrels of different sizes and origins for 13 months. This is more reticent and serious, with a grainy sensation on the palate, beautifully textured. It has more austere tannins. This is probably the finest vintage for this wine so far.
Rating: 94+

I didn’t detect any graininess, but the tannins are tamed and it’s simply delicious. If you can find it at this price, buy it.

Da Nooz:

*Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the head of its government, has decided to step down after eight years in the position.  She will leave when her successor is chosen. Sturgeon had recently been involved in the big gender kerfuffle about trans women being sent to women’s prisons, but that’s not the reason given for her exit.

She said her decision, which was unexpected, came “from a place of duty and of love” and was not a reaction to short-term pressures.

“This decision comes from a deeper and longer-term assessment,” Ms. Sturgeon, 52, said during a news conference in Edinburgh. “I know it seems sudden, but I have been wrestling with it, with oscillating levels of intensity, for some weeks.”

*South Carolina governor Nikki Haley has announced her candidacy for the Republic nomination for President. Here’s her announcement on Twitter. It begins by emphasizing her race (she’s 100% Indian, of Sikh ancestry), but then promises to bring America together. Then there’s a dissing of (progressive) Democrats, showing AOC and the 1619 Project, a touting of God by name, a dissing of Joe Biden’s record as “abysmal”, and then a call for a “new generation of leadership.” Tellingly, there’s no image nor mention of Trump. I do like her ending, which is clever even though she’s a Republican: “I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more when you’re wearing heels.” (And so it was with Speaker Pelosi!)  I doubt Haley will get the nomination, but I’m not sure that Trump will, either.  At any rate, I’ll be voting for the Democrat.


*I’m quite worried, as the Russian “Spring” offensive has begun in earnest, that they’re going to quickly take over parts of eastern Ukraine. They’ve already written off one major city to the Russians, and badly need ammunition and weapons. We can’t forget them!  From the NYT:

With Russia bearing down on a strategically important city in eastern Ukraine, NATO defense ministers promised continued military support to Kyiv, whose forces are expending ammunition faster than allies can produce it.

As Russia continues to make gains — particularly around the fiercely contested eastern city of Bakhmut — and the war nears its first anniversary, the U.S. defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, said Western nations were focusing on Kyiv’s “most pressing needs,” including tactical training that could reduce Ukraine’s dependence on artillery fire.

“They have used a lot of artillery ammunition,” he said after meeting with fellow NATO defense officials and the U.S.-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group, a larger group of nations that has pledged military and financial support to Kyiv. “We’re going to do everything we can working with our international partners to ensure that we give them as much ammunition as quickly as possible.”

At the same time, Mr. Austin said, allies were working with Ukrainian soldiers to emphasize training on maneuvers and “shaping the battlefield,” which could help ease their consumption of ammunition.

. . .Much of the recent fighting has been concentrated around Bakhmut, where Ukrainian officials said Tuesday they were urging the civilians still in the city — fewer than 5,000 from a prewar population of about 70,000 — to leave. Russia has been slowly advancing on Bakhmut, with heavy artillery fire and punishing casualties on both sides.

Ukrainian officials have said that they are in dire need of NATO-caliber artillery shells to work with allied-supplied heavy guns, as well as more Soviet-caliber ammunition for the T-72 tanks they already possess in large numbers.

I really can’t beat the thought that, when the dust settles, eastern Ukraine (at the least) will be part of Russia, gone the way of Crimea. If that happens, we’ll have to accept that Russia is acting like Nazi Germany when it took over the Sudetenland and then the rest of Czechoslovakia. “Peace in our time,” as everybody is so afraid of nuclear war (rightly so), that Putin can call anybody’s bluff. I’m not even convinced that if he attacked a NATO country, the rest of NATO would come to its defense—an action required by treaty.

*Well, they know who the gunman is who killed three Michigan State students (and critically wounded five others), but they have no motive. I suppose there are three reasons to want a motive: to provide some “closure” for the families of the victims (by making sense of the killings), to try to understand why people kill en masse in an attempt to prevent future killings, and to see if the killer is linked to anybody else who might do harm. So far, though, no dice:

The 43-year-old gunman who killed three students and wounded five others at Michigan State University had no apparent connection to the campus, police said Tuesday as they searched for a motive for shootings that terrified the community for hours.

Investigators were sorting out why Anthony McRae fired inside an academic building and the student union just before 8:30 p.m. Monday. An hourslong lockdown at the campus in East Lansing ended when he killed himself miles away while being confronted by police.

The shooting happened the day before the fifth anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that killed 17 and is the latest in what has become a deadly new year in the U.S.

“We have to do something to stop the gun violence that’s ripping apart our communities,” President Joe Biden said in a speech Tuesday, mentioning Michigan State.

Meanwhile, a school district in Ewing Township, New Jersey, closed for the day after investigators said that McRae, who lived in the area years ago, had a note in his pocket indicating a threat to schools there. But it was determined there was no credible threat, local police said later in a statement shared by the superintendent.

The dead and injured in the gunfire at Berkey Hall and the MSU Union, a popular place to eat and study, were all Michigan State students. Five remained in critical condition at Sparrow Hospital, said Dr. Denny Martin, who fought back tears during a news conference Tuesday.

“We have absolutely no idea what the motive was,” said Chris Rozman, deputy chief of campus police, adding that McRae, 43, of Lansing, was not a student or Michigan State employee.

I’m sure that the cops can’t always find a good motive, and I wonder what effect that has on the victims’ families. I can imagine that a killing without a motive is more “senseless” than one with a motive, but I wonder if that would make a difference to the families. Does it make a difference if a child dies of cancer caused by toxic compounds in the water (viz. Erin Brockovich), or if the cancer has no known cause?

*Nature has some good news for us: “Eight countries eliminated a neglected tropical disease in 2022“. There is actually more than one disease eliminated (“NTD” stands for “neglected tropical disease”). This information comes from a World Health Organization Report.

NTDs are a group of around 20 conditions that affect more than one billion people worldwide but have been largely overlooked by global health agendas. The diseases generally affect people living in impoverished communities and can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites or toxins.

Last year, the Democratic Republic of the Congo eliminated guinea worm disease, which is caused by a parasite, joining 16 other countries that have rid themselves of the condition. Togo, Malawi, Saudi Arabia and Vanuatu got rid of trachoma, a bacterial infection that causes blindness, and Uganda and Equatorial Guinea eliminated a type of African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, which is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma brucei.

Here are all eight, and the number of countries that have completely eliminated them or eliminated them as a public health problem:

. . .Preventive chemotherapy has been highly effective at tackling some NTDs, namely trachoma, lymphatic filariasis (also called elephantiasis), river blindness (onchocerciasis), schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiases (diseases involving parasitic worms). Medication given at regular intervals to groups or populations treats infections and stops their spread.

Many NTDs, including schistosomiasis, are waterborne, so efforts to provide people with safe water, sanitation and hygiene — WASH — can help to eliminate them, says Mutapi. The report notes that the COVID-19 pandemic increased hand-washing efforts. Although the impact of these efforts on transmission of some NTDs is yet to be fully appreciated, it said, “it is likely to be significant”.

Reader Leslie, who sent me the link to this paper, noted the following:

Some good news.  Really good news.. Much of this was accomplished with rural health workers doing basic grass-roots stuff delivering sanitation, vaccines, and cheap oral drugs like ivermectin to huge numbers of people.With Malaria and TB, we have a ways to go, but these are really important advances that will improve the lives of millions of people.

*Five days ago I wrote about a bill being considered by the Montana state legislature that would ban the teaching of “theories” in the science classroom but allow the teaching of “facts”. It assumed that a theory was equivalent to a “speculation,” which isn’t what what a scientific theory really is (think about the “theory of relativity,” the “theory of atoms”, or “the germ theory of disease). And the sponsor was a Republican, of course, and the goal was almost certainly a hamhanded way to ban the teaching of evolution, which some mushbrains consider a theory but not a fact.

Well, more good news: the Sensuous Curmudgeon reports that “Montana’s 2023 Crazy Science Bill—it’s dead.” Indeed it is. It is an ex-bill, singing no more with the Choir Invisible. It will not be passed. It will not go to the government, nor pine for the fjords (h/t Steve):

You’re all aware of the crazy science bill that was recently considered by the Montana legislature. The last time we blogged about it two days ago — that was Wild Hearing on Montana’s Crazy Science Bill.

It appears that the insanity and stupidity were just too much for the state legislature, so they voted to “table” the bill. That means no further action on it will occur. Tabling effectively “kills” the bill.

We found the news at the website of our friends at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). Their post is titled Montana’s antiscience bill tabled in committee, and it was written by Glenn Branch, their Deputy Director. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

Montana’s Senate Bill 235, which would have crippled science education in the state by excluding anything but “scientific fact” from curriculum and instruction, was tabled by the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee on a 11-0 vote on February 13, 2023.

The committee vote was 11-0. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Then Glenn says:

Among those voting to table the bill was its sponsor, Daniel Emrich (R-District 11), who earlier offered to amend the bill, according to the Daily Montanan (February 13, 2023). He reportedly described the bill as “confusing in its simplicity.”

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!. He should have said “confusing in its stupidity.”

After that, Glenn ends his brief post with this:

The vote was taken a week after the bill received a hearing in the committee, at which only one person testified for the bill [Hee hee!] while a host of students, teachers, and representatives of educational organizations testified against it, as NCSE previously reported.

So there it is, dear reader. Creationism — at least the insanely stupid version promoted by Daniel Emrich — seems dead in Montana for this year. But there are undoubtedly more creationists in the legislature, so something else might just pop up. Stay tuned to this blog!

*The Free Press has a piece “The Witch Trials of J. K. Rowling” by Megan Phelps-Roper, who actually obtained a long interview with Rowling about her demonization as a “transphobe” (see tweets below), as well as interviews with a number of people involved in “the with trials”  The conversations will occur as a series of Spotify podcasts, which include interviews with people on both sides of Pottergate, but the link above has an introduction, part of which is below:

 . . . last summer, I headed to Scotland.

Rowling was ready for the conversation I had suggested—and she had many things to discuss. Her experience of escaping a physically and psychologically abusive marriage. The origin story of “Harry Potter,” and its relevance to the conflict Rowling is embroiled in today. And the details of how—and why—she came to drop a “hand grenade into Twitter” with her tweets in 2020.

Rowling told me that she took that step with full knowledge of the magnitude of the backlash her statements would cause.

“I never set out to upset anyone,” she told me. “However, I was not uncomfortable with getting off my pedestal.” Of the fans who accused Rowling of “ruining her legacy,” the author said: “You could not have misunderstood me more profoundly.”

. . .I’ve spent the better part of the past year speaking with people on all sides of this conflict: trans adults, teens, clinicians, and advocates; historians, reporters, authors; Christians who boycotted Potter in the 1990s; doctors, lawyers, and even experts on witch trials. I also sat down with Rowling in her Edinburgh home over the course of several days.

These topics are beyond fraught, and I’m grateful to those who were gracious enough to be open and vulnerable with me—often on the most sensitive of subjects. Regardless of where they stood on the issues, many of the people I spoke with expressed similar concerns about going on the record: the waves of personal attacks that seem to come for anyone who speaks up; the fear that listeners would take them out of context; that they would lose their friends, family, career, safety; that their reputations would be destroyed.

I am not immune to these fears. And yet, I remain a believer in the power of conversation. The ones I had for this series challenged my assumptions and showed me that this conflict is even more complex than I had imagined. I don’t pretend to have answers to the deep questions at the heart of this series. But I’m more persuaded than ever that talking—and listening—will help us find the path forward.

Subscribe to The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling and listen to the trailer here.

The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling will begin on Tuesday, February 21, everywhere podcasts are available.

Having read what she wrote and seen her Tweets, I’ve been pretty much on Rowling’s side, and especially dislike the people who call her a “Nazi” and a transphobe (P. Z. Myers recently called her a “revolting bigot.”) How she’s been characterized instantiates the darker side of wokedom. You can sign up for free at the penultimate link above to hear the “audio documentary” at Spotify.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is looking for signs of Spring:

Hili: Children are playing ball.
A: What’s the conclusion of that?
Hili: That the winter is mild.
In Polish:
Hili: Dzieci grają w piłkę.
Ja: Jaki z tego wniosek?
Hili: Że zima jest łagodna.


From Cat Community via Merilee:

From Stash Krod, a bizarre Kliban cartoon:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Masih, lecturing in D.C.; it looks as if most of the audience raise their hands. Sound up  She’s going to wear herself to a frazzle running around publicizing the dissent in Iran, but if the theocracy there really does fall, she’ll have had a big part in it.

Ricky Gervais found some interesting art at the Hermitage in Amsterdam (not the one in St. Petersburg):

From Simon: J. K. Rowling, widely and unfairly demonized as a “transphobe,” is now being called a Nazi as well, and is starting to sic her lawyers on the social-media mob. Look how quickly one of them turns tail and apologizes!. Be sure to look at all three bits:

From Barry: the monkeys need to make a choice, for crying out loud. Why is it that creationists can’t spell or use punctuation correctly?

From the Auschwitz Memorial; it’s the expression on the faces of these new prisoners that always gets me. He lived but two weeks before dying.

Tweets from the striking Professor Cobb, who asked me what my answer would be to the question below. My first thought was “if you consider abiogenesis [how life originated] part of evolution, I’d like to know how that started.” But many people say that the transition from nonlife to life is not part of evolution, which gets started only when there’s life. If you rule abiogenesis out, I have a lot of other questions. .

Jet-propelled frogfish!


33 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

      1. I liked Desanctimonious better, but it’s not really Trumpy since the “guy with the best words” probably doesn’t know what sanctimonious means. “Meatball Ron” is much more his style.

        1. South Carolina has long been known for its dirty, bareknuckle politics. (During the 2000 Republican presidential primary, there was a nasty whisper campaign against John McCain claiming that the Bangladeshi daughter he’d adopted with his first wife was actually the illegitimate child he’d fathered with an African-American woman. That incident may well have turned the tide against the insurgent campaign McCain was waging against George W. Bush. South Carolina was also home to Republican political operative Lee Atwater — architect of the infamous Willie Horton tv ads run against Michael Dukakis during his 1988 presidential race opposite Poppy Bush, as well as numerous racially charged dirty tricks during other campaigns.)

          When Nikki Haley first ran for SC governor in 2010, she was subjected to a smear campaign claiming that she’d had affairs with powerful men to advance her political career. Given that Donald Trump has no bottom, that there is no behavior too base or disgusting for him to engage in, if Haley makes a move in the polls, look for Trump to resurrect those rumors.

          1. Thanks for the overview of SC politics. I didn’t know it had that particular history. I know of the infamous Atwater antics, but didn’t know he was from SC.
            I didn’t know about those Haley rumors either. And you’re right, if Trump sees her as a threat, there is no doubt he’ll go down that road. I’m sure she knows of this possibility as well. Like I said yesterday (iirc) you have to be a masochist to get into the political ring with Trump

  1. On this day:
    1493 – While on board the Niña, Christopher Columbus writes an open letter (widely distributed upon his return to Portugal) describing his discoveries and the unexpected items he came across in the New World.

    1870 – Stevens Institute of Technology is founded in New Jersey, US, and offers the first Bachelor of Engineering degree in mechanical engineering.

    1879 – Women’s rights: US President Rutherford B. Hayes signs a bill allowing female attorneys to argue cases before the Supreme Court of the United States.

    1923 – Greece becomes the last European country to adopt the Gregorian calendar.

    1933 – In Miami, Giuseppe Zangara attempts to assassinate US President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, but instead shoots Chicago mayor Anton J. Cermak, who dies of his wounds on March 6.

    1942 – World War II: Fall of Singapore. Following an assault by Japanese forces, the British General Arthur Percival surrenders. About 80,000 Indian, United Kingdom and Australian soldiers become prisoners of war, the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history.

    1946 – ENIAC, the first electronic general-purpose computer, is formally dedicated at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

    1949 – Gerald Lankester Harding and Roland de Vaux begin excavations at Cave 1 of the Qumran Caves, where they will eventually discover the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls.

    1971 – The decimalisation of the currencies of the United Kingdom and Ireland is completed on Decimal Day.

    1972 – Sound recordings are granted U.S. federal copyright protection for the first time.

    1992 – Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is sentenced in Milwaukee to 15 terms of life in prison.

    2001 – The first draft of the complete human genome is published in Nature.

    2013 – A meteor explodes over Russia, injuring 1,500 people as a shock wave blows out windows and rocks buildings. This happens unexpectedly only hours before the expected closest ever approach of the larger and unrelated asteroid 2012 DA14.

    1564 – Galileo Galilei, Italian astronomer, physicist, and mathematician (d. 1642).

    1748 – Jeremy Bentham, English jurist and philosopher (d. 1832).

    1820 – Susan B. Anthony, American suffragist and activist (d. 1906).

    1850 – Sophie Bryant, Irish mathematician, academic and activist (d. 1922).

    1874 – Ernest Shackleton, Anglo-Irish captain and explorer (d. 1922).

    1951 – Jane Seymour, English-American actress, producer, and jewelry designer.

    1954 – Matt Groening, American animator, producer, and screenwriter.

    Took the dirt nap:
    1933 – Pat Sullivan, Australian animator and producer, co-created Felix the Cat (b. 1887).

    1965 – Nat King Cole, American singer and pianist (b. 1919).

    1984 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer (b. 1908).

    1988 – Richard Feynman, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918).

    1998 – Martha Gellhorn, American journalist and author (b. 1908).

  2. “… the gunman is who killed three Michigan State students (and critically wounded five others)..”

    Why does no one thank the Good Guy With a Gun for preventing the violence from becoming as terrible as it can get? Good Guy made sure the violence was minimized.

    Thank you, Good Guy With a Gun.

    Gee, Maybe _I_ can _be_ a Good Guy With a Gun (GGWaG)!

    ^^^Only in Fantasyland. This comment is … what, scornfully criticizing?… the notion of GGWaG. Especially since in many cases like this the “Good Guy” kills themselves. What sense that makes is beyond me.

  3. “… a bill being considered by the Montana state legislature …”

    On this idea, but at another level, I’ve been thinking lately the distinction between science and applied science might help in general. This folds into the notion discussed here of science writ large (I think is how PCC(E) put it).

    “Theory” has an air of loftiness to it that, perhaps, is perceived as competing with religion. But compare that to “applied science”. It sounds completely on its own.

    OK, just wanted to air that unsolicited idea out, thanks.

  4. As Haley’s candidacy progresses, stay tuned for the ritualistic condemnations of her as a fascist and racist, especially if she looks to be a strong candidate.

    1. Well I certainly hope it doesn’t come to that. But I have no problem dismissing Haley as a shameless opportunist who had no qualms about carrying water for Trump, who arguably does exhibit traits that align well with fascism and racism. When it comes to the GOP, they are all about party, power, and personal ambition over country.

    2. Why “ritualistic”? Haley is a noted flip-flopper. She was sharply critical of Trump when he ran for the presidency, stating in 2015, “Every time someone criticizes him, he goes and makes a political attack back. That’s not who we are as Republicans. That’s not what we do.” She later stated Trump represented “everything a governor doesn’t want in a President.”
      In her book “With All Due Respect: Defending America With Grit and Grace”, she heaped praise on Trump.
      In October 2021, she wrote “He has the ability to get strong people elected, and he has the ability to move the ball, and I hope that he continues to do that. We need him in the Republican Party. I don’t want us to go back to the days before Trump.”

      On April 12, 2021, she stated she would not run if Trump was a candidate.

      Her record speaks for itself.

  5. What most MSM stories that I’ve seen about the Michigan shooting leave out is that the alleged shooter was arrested in 2019 on a felony gun charged. This would have landed him in jail for five years, had not the Soros-backed prosecutor let him plea to a misdemeanor. The office of the prosecutor said that, even if he had been convicted of the felony, they wouldn’t have pursued the maximum sentence. Except for the activist prosecutor, our alleged murdered might actually have still be in jail. I ask you, what good are gun laws if they are enforced in this manner?

    1. I was surprised that Soros (the right’s favorite bogeyman) would be involved in a local election for prosecutor, so I clicked on your link. I’m not sure what a website offering computer programming tutorials has to do with anything.

  6. The reasons behind why Nicola Sturgeon has decided to step down are numerous:

    Scotland has one of the highest drug death rates in the developed world.

    A review of the Scottish education system by the OECD found multiple failures and a lack of long-term strategies or vision.

    An investigation is underway into the procurement process for two ferries that were supposed to cost £72 million and have to date costs £500 million and are still not finished, years after they should have been in service.

    Scotland has the worst health inequalities in western and central Europe (the life expectancy gap between the most and least deprived areas in Scotland is about 13 years for men and 10 years for women, the gap in healthy life expectancy (the number of years lived in good health) is even greater – roughly 23 years for males and 24 years for females).

    It is estimated that 19% of Scotland’s population (over 1 million people each year) were living in relative poverty after housing costs in 2017-20.

    The Gender Recognition Reform bill is opposed by 70% of the population in Scotland (and a third of her own party’s members). On top of the double rapist who was initially placed in a women’s prison, today The Times reported that four of the five transwomen currently in the Scottish female prison estate were convicted of murder. Kate Coleman, of Keep Prisons Single Sex, said: “These are violent male offenders, all four of whom have caused significant problems in the female estate . . . including sexual exhibitionism (Stewart and Eastwood), harassment and stalking (Eastwood), sexual threats and inappropriate sexual relationships (Green) and violent assault (Young).”

    And there’s an on going police investigation into £600,000 of money raised for another referendum on Scottish independence which has apparently gone missing, and a £100,000 loan to the Scottish National Party by its CEO Peter Murrell (who is Sturgeon’s husband – cosy!) which is thought to be related to the missing funds.

    Probably the biggest issue for a political party whose raison d’être is to secure Scottish independence is the fact that a recent poll shows that support for independence has fallen in the past few weeks to 37%, it’s lowest level for a very long time.

    Whoever succeeds Sturgeon will have a full in-tray!

  7. He [Daniel Emrich (R-District 11), the sponsor of Montana’s proposed anti-science statute] reportedly described the bill as “confusing in its simplicity.”

    More like Montana state senator Emrich is cryptic in his obtuseness.

    Good to see that, as the Sensuous Curmudgeon’s headline alludes, Montana’s 2023 crazy science bill went the way of Conrad’s Mistah Kurtz.

    1. “Confusing in its simplicity” is actually an excellent way to describe their alternative to the Theory of Evolution: God did it.

      Needs to be more explicit.

      1. The trouble with “goddidit” as an explanation for anything is that when you dig into it, it’s actually not simple. To start with, we would like to have some generally agreed-upon definition of “god” — which we’re still waiting for after all these millennia!

        As was pointed out somewhere, although you might say the classical-era concept of there being four elements (air, earth, fire, water) is “simpler” than the more laborious distinction of 98 naturally-occurring elements, the latter theory actually explains our observations better, with fewer ad hoc assumptions (i.e., none). So 98 elements turns out to be the simpler explanation.

    2. Reply to #9: I don’t know about Emrich, but I know someone with similar ideas. Her fear is that teaching evolution will make us lesser beings. To her this is about cultural identity, not knowledge. It took a long time to establish that. Hers is part of a broader problem, one in which people would rather make up stories than be instructed by scientific knowledge and history. The broader issue, of course, is not restricted to Christianity and Christians.

  8. Funny to see the moka pot as I sit here, drinking Bialetti coffee out of my Bialetti cup (both purchased at the Bialetti store in Verona), made in my stainless-steel (induction friendly) Bialetti pot. Maybe part of it is the ritual, but it’s more fun and seems to taste better than what I get out of the Keurig.

  9. In Germany, prominent critics of transactivism are very often being portrayed as right-wing radicals or even being placed in the vicinity of right-wing extremism by teh woke. Even if they openly declare their support for the Greens or the SPD or are a party member there.

    But no activist has yet dared to go so far as to call these people Nazis.

  10. “J. K. Rowling is starting to sic her lawyers on the social-media mob.”

    Wait … are we for free speech or for law suits to suppress free speech … I’m confused.

    1. I’m for free speech, of course, and Rowling has taken a lot, but the people who call her a Nazi are violating British speech laws and she has a right to sue. Would I sue if someone called me a Nazi? I couldn’t in the U.S. anyway, but there are laws against harassment. I’m just reporting what she’s doing.

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