Saturday: Hili dialogue

February 18, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Cat shabbos: Saturday, February 18, 2023: It’s National “Drink Wine” Day, but why the scare quotes? Are we supposed to just pretend to drink wine?

It’s also Crab-stuffed Flounder Day, World Whale Day, Red Sock Day, World Pangolin Day, Wife’s Day (Konudagur) in Iceland, and “Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane Day“. This happened in 1930, and here’s the story:

On February 18, 1930, a Guernsey cow named Nellie Jay, who also was known as Elm Farm Ollie, flew from Bismarck, Missouri, on a Ford Trimotor plane, to the International Aviation Exhibition in St. Louis. Nellie Jay was chosen because she was a high milk producing cow, and because she had a calm nature. The trip was taken to show the ability of the aircraft, and to take scientific data about the cow’s behavior. Claude M. Sterling piloted the aircraft, while Elsworth W. Bunce of Wisconsin accompanied the cow, and was the first man to milk a cow in flight.

During the 72 mile flight, the milk that Nellie Jay gave was packaged in paper cartons. It was then parachuted to spectators who were watching the flight. Nellie Jay reportedly produced 24 quarts of milk during the flight, and it is even believed that Charles Lindbergh received one of the quarts at the Exhibition. Nellie Jay became known as the Sky Queen after the flight.

Below: Elm Farm Ollie and the plane (read more here):

And for the pangolins via Don Strong:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the February 18 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Ho hum: another day, another mass shooting. This time six people were killed yesterday afternoon in Mississippi:

Days after a shooting rampage at one of the country’s largest colleges, gun violence shocked a small community in Tate County, Miss., where a 52-year-old gunman killed six people, including his former partner, at three locations, according to local officials.

Richard Dale Crum, of Arkabutla, Miss., was arrested after the shootings and charged with first-degree murder in at least one killing, according to the Tate County Sheriff’s Office. Additional charges for each of the other victims will be filed in the coming days, the office added.

Authorities have not identified the victims, and the motive for the rampage remain unclear.

“That’s the million dollar question: Why? Why did this happen? What caused this to happen? We’re certainly working to get that,” Tate County Sheriff Brad Lance said. “We’ve never approached anything of this type of magnitude.”

The shootings occurred in Arkabutla, a rural community of about 300 in Tate County, about 45 miles south of Memphis.

This statement appeared in last night’s report, but is gone this morning:

“Please pray for the victims of this tragic violence and their families at this time,” Reeves continued.

This morning there is this one:

“We are 48 days into the year and our nation has already suffered at least 73 mass shootings,” Biden said in the statement. “Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough.”

What a refreshing statement.  What’s enough will be getting rid of the damn guns.

*Andrew Sullivan’s Weekly Dish piece, “The greatest scandal in gay rights history,” heaps praise on the NYT (see yesterday’s piece) for not caving into the “we’re harmed” mob who wrote a letter criticiizing the paper’s transgender coverage:

Readers know I’m often merciless about the NYT, but Joseph Kahn is a hero for the clarity of this. The writers under attack from their peers — Emily Bazelon, Ross Douthat, Katie Baker, and Azeen Ghorayshi — are among the best there are. Each of their pieces is fair, balanced, nuanced and deep. Defending them from these attacks on their integrity is the first and right thing for an editor to do. The next is to discipline those who’ve openly broken NYT policies in this latest tantrum. (The WaPo last year fired Felicia Sonmez for “misconduct that includes insubordination, maligning your co-workers online and violating The Post’s standards on workplace collegiality and inclusivity.”)

And Sully deems the GLAAD letter as without substance:

The point of the letter is not that the pieces had errors, but that they were published at all. They shouldn’t have run because opposition to affirmation-only transition for gender dysphoric children is entirely illegitimate, and the task of journalists who already know this is to suppress rather than describe the argument. As the sign at the protest outside the NYT blared: “The Science Is Settled,” as if science is ever “settled,” and as if journalism is about ignoring and censoring controversy, not reporting and airing it.

One more criticism of the letter. It uses the terrible history of the NYT on coverage of gay men and AIDS in the 20th century as equivalent to the reporting of Bazelon, Baker, et al, today. This is unhinged. Transgender people today are fully covered under the Civil Rights Act; in the 1980s, gays had nothing. In the 1980s and 1990s, the NYT opposed using the word “gay” because it legitimized homosexuality in some way; today the NYT prints “queer” or “trans” or LGBTQ+ in almost every other article.

. . . I no longer trust the medical establishment on this, let alone the trans activists. And neither should you. What you should want is the press to thoroughly report on this question, airing all sides, giving you all the data points they can. That’s what Emily Bazelon and Katie Baker did — with a skill perhaps only a fellow writer can appreciate. They should be given Pulitzers, not demonized by their peers.

Third, he calls our attention to an upcoming book, Time to Think: The Inside Story of the Collapse of the Tavistock’s Gender Service for Children:

And this attempt to suppress reporting on the subject comes at a very strange time. Next week, a new book will be published about the Tavistock Centre, the place responsible for the medical and psychological treatment of children with gender dysphoria in Britain. It’s written by a liberal female journalist, Hannah Barnes, of a flagship British documentary show, Newsnight.

Her book exposes a huge medical scandal, in which countless children were put on puberty blockers with almost no psychological evaluation, and with rates of autism and domestic abuse that were already through the roof. It shows what happened when the new affirmation-only puberty-blocker experiment, only begun in the late 1990s, was left to run its course, with no opposition and no dissent allowed. Check out an extract here. Here’s where I sat up straight:

He then gives a quote about the horrors of the Tavistock Clinic, but you can read for yourself.

*In the name of equity (“all must have prizes”), secondary schools are jettisoning honors and advanced-placement faster than crap goes through a goose. As the WSJ reports, The story begins with a Culver City (CA) high school eliminating honors English classes. Some parents objected.

The parental pushback in Culver City mirrors resistance that has taken place in Wisconsin, Rhode Island and elsewhere in California over the last year in response to schools stripping away the honors designation on some high school classes.

School districts doing away with honors classes argue students who don’t take those classes from a young age start to see themselves in a different tier, and come to think they aren’t capable of enrolling in Advanced Placement classes that help with college admissions. Black and Latino students are underrepresented in AP enrollment in the majority of states, according to the Education Trust, a nonprofit that studies equity in education.

This is one of the arguments used against putting students on “tracks”, which creates a hierarchy which creates ranking which creates bigotry. Yet it’s possible, as was true in my high school, to take a mixture of honors and regular classes depending on your abilities and interest. The article continues:

Since the start of this school year, freshmen and sophomores in Culver City have only been able to select one level of English class, known as College Prep, rather than the previous system in which anyone could opt into the honors class. School officials say the goal is to teach everyone with an equal level of rigor, one that encourages them to enroll in advanced classes in their final years of high school.

Of course an “equal level of rigor” translates into “a lower general level of rigor than before”, because you can’t let underpeforming students fail.

“Parents say academic excellence should not be experimented with for the sake of social justice,” said Quoc Tran, the superintendent of 6,900-student Culver City Unified School District. But, he said, “it was very jarring when teachers looked at their AP enrollment and realized Black and brown kids were not there. They felt obligated to do something.”

Culver City English teachers presented data at a board meeting last year showing Latino students made up 13% of those in 12th-grade Advanced Placement English, compared with 37% of the student body. Asian students were 34% of the advanced class, compared with 10% of students. Black students represented 14% of AP English, versus 15% of the student body.

This is the classic debate between equal opportunity versus equal outcomes. I stand for the former, but that’s no surprise. What say ye?

*Here are three bits from Nellie Bowles’s weekly news summary at The Free Press, this week called: “TGIF: World turned upside down“:

→ Also in Oakland: A man charged with murdering three people saw his case pled down to just 15 years in prison. It’s a sign of how new progressive district attorney Pamela Price plans to handle violent crime. The judge apparently did not get the memo that there’s a new sheriff in town, and he was shocked: “I haven’t seen any remorse. I’m gonna need to get here, OK?” he said. “Because I have never seen a case pled down like this before.”

→ Do not cure blindness, you monster: Popular YouTuber MrBeast decided to get some content out of helping people. He paid for cataract surgery for a thousand blind or nearly blind people, and he recorded (with their permission) the joyful moment their vision cleared. Now, I think it’s gauche—charity should be done quietly. But I did not think curing blindness itself is controversial. And yet, in fact it is. Have you ever considered that people might want to stay blinded by cataracts? That assuming someone wants to see is ableist?

One Washington Post reporter tweeted (then deleted): “What truly needs curing is society’s view of disabled people.” Here’s TechCrunch: “MrBeast’s blindness video puts systemic ableism on display.” (I disagree with the argument, but it’s actually a lovely piece of writing by someone born quite prematurely and who has impaired vision.) There’s even a BuzzFeed story, which describes the “huge problem.” The problem: “MrBeast’s video seems to regard disability as something that needs to be solved. He doesn’t say in the video or in any of his subsequent public statements whether he consulted with the video’s subjects about how they felt to have their disability treated as a problem.”

I’ll make it fast: there is a movement that makes the word disabled into a broader cultural and social identity, one that includes people who would not have previously been considered disabled at all. And this group is against efforts to cure. So to be in the cool crowd: next time you meet a doctor who talks about curing blindness, throw your wine right at him. That monster.

→ The FBI infiltrated BLM to stir things up: The FBI reportedly got involved in Denver’s Black Lives Matter movement and worked to encourage naive young activists to get more violent, the better to score some arrests. From an Intercept story exposing this: the informant would meet with young BLM recruits in his apartment, where there’d be a table full of guns, and he’d push for escalation.

Lately, the FBI has been coded as progressive, part of the #resistance, its various square-jawed figureheads frequently appearing on MSNBC as the good guys to talk about how bad January 6 was, etc. So hopefully this is a nice reminder: the FBI is not your friend. The agency infiltrates any inconvenient American political movement, left or right, homes in on the dumbest, most malleable members, and encourages them to escalate just a tiny bit, just enough to get into criminal territory.

If you’re someone who is organizing a protest for some cause or another (honestly, nothing is too small for the FBI, so even if it’s to keep your local bookstore open, be aware), and a guy shows up with lots of time on his hands, a cool truck, cargo shorts, and a pile of guns—that, my friends, is a trap.

*The NYT discusses the controversy over standardized tests for law school admission, most often the LSAT but sometimes the GRE. The American Bar Association is arguing about the requirement for an LSAT, but both sides argue that their proposal will increase racial diversity:

A long and lawyerly debate is underway at the American Bar Association over a question that could have lasting consequences for diversity in legal education: Should taking the LSAT be mandatory for people applying to law school?

Today, law schools accredited by the bar association must require applicants to take a “valid and reliable” admission test — in most cases, students take the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT. The association is considering dropping that requirement, and letting each law school decide for itself whether tests are necessary.

Opponents and supporters of the change both make arguments on behalf of diversity — a sensitive subject in the field of law, which is disproportionately white. The arguments echo other debates over standardized testing at all levels of higher education, a practice that some see as an equalizer and others see as a barrier.

The anti-test faction sees the lower scores of black applicants as bar to diversity of lawyers (only 5% are black)

Proponents want to give law schools more flexibility in how they recruit and admit students, in the hope that doing so may make a dent in the profession’s relative lack of diversity.

Research by Aaron N. Taylor, the executive director of the Center for Legal Education Excellence at AccessLex, a nonprofit organization, suggests that use of the LSAT in admissions is one of the reasons that Black aspiring lawyers are accepted to law schools at lower rates than their white counterparts.

The pro-test faction not only wants a standardized measure to give a semi-objective way to rank applicants, but worries that the subjectivity of “holistic admissions” may itself count against minority applicants, as it has against Asian-Americans at Harvard:

Many opponents say they are open to change, but don’t want to rush. Without a standardized test, they say, law school student bodies could become even less diverse, because other criteria for deciding who to admit could turn out to be even more biased against applicants of color, as well as people from low-income families and first-generation college students.

Paulette Brown, a delegate and former member of the bar association’s council, who was also the first Black woman to serve as the association’s president, said she was undecided on the LSAT question until last week. At the Feb. 6 delegates’ meeting, she made a last-minute decision to speak against dropping the requirement.

“Every time I hear the word ‘flexibility,’ the hair goes up on my neck,” Ms. Brown said to the delegates. “Because when you talk about flexibility, that means subjectivity. And when you introduce subjectivity into any process, it provides too much opportunity for mischief.”

In other words, she said, unconscious bias could creep in. Like other opponents of the change, Ms. Brown argued that the association should wait and collect more data.

It seems to me that some standardized measure needs to be used so that there’s one factor that can’t be “subjective”, but what do I know—I’m no lawyer .

*The Oscar ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 12, beginning at 8 pm EST.  Jimmy Kimmel will be the host: no danger that he’ll speak the truth like Ricky Gervais. The AP gives a list of channels where you can watch it, but it will be broadcast live on ABC, which is still free. Here are their hot tips:


The 10 movies competing for best picture are: “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” “The Banshees of Inisherin,” “Elvis,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “The Fabelmans,” “Tár,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Triangle of Sadness,” “Women Talking.” Here’s a guide to how you can watch them.

If there’s any justice in this world “Tár” will win (along with Cate Blanchett for best Actress), but I haven’t seen all of the movies. (I’ve seen most of them.) If injustice prevails, “Top Gun: Maverick,” or, god forbid, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” will win.


The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is yet to announce presenters. But it has said that winners to all categories will be announced live on the show. (Last year, some categories were taped in a pre-show, something that caused an uproar among academy members.) Nominees for best song are often performed, though nothing is confirmed yet. This year’s nominees include Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Lady Gaga’s “Hold My Hand,” from “Top Gun: Maverick,” and Kala Bhairava’s “Naatu Naatu,” from “RRR.”


Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s indie sci-fi hit “Everything Everywhere All at Once” comes in with a leading 11 nominations.

That is totally ridiculous. It’s the one film I saw this year that I couldn’t watch to the end. (As always, judgments are subjective.)

Close on its heels, though, is the Irish friends-falling-out dark comedy “The Banshees of Inisherin,” with nine nods, a total matched by Netflix’s WWI film “All Quiet on the Western Front.” Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) may have a slight edge on Cate Blanchett (“Tár”) for best actress. Best actor is harder to call, with Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”), Colin Farrell (“Banshees”) and Austin Butler (“Elvis”) in the mix. In the supporting categories, Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”) are the frontrunners. Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”) may win his third best director Oscar, though the Daniels could also pull off the upset.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has been reading. . . 

Hili: to hide in the wardrobe or to face the adversities of fate?
A: Ask Hamlet.
In Polish:
Hili: Schować się w szafie, czy stawić czoła przeciwieństwom losu?
Ja: Zapytaj Hamleta.
. . . and Kulka has gotten to the dishrack:


From America’s Cultural Decline into Idiocy:

From Ducks in Public:

From Stash Krod:


From Masih, yet one more courageous Iranian woman:

This tweet by Andrew Sullivan in his weekly article: an emission by the odious Chase Strangio, an ACLU LAWYER in charge of LGBT+ affairs. Look how this man, full of hate, brands Rowling as an enabler of fascism! (Of course he can’t forget that’s she’s also white.) The fact that Strangio still has a job speaks very poorly for the American Civil Liberties Union.

From Malcolm. Is that a d*g I spy?

From Luana. Would you go to this doctor?

A heartwarmer from Simon:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: dead at 42.

Tweets from Matthew Cobb. The first is a secret message from Putin:

This is hilarious:

And a beautiful bug (yes, it’s a true bug, in the order Hemiptera):

47 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. “charity should be done quietly” – Usually I would agree, but a children’s bookshop in Norwich was on the verge of closing & appealed for money. Russell Crowe kindly donated £5,000 & after that lots of people also donated. So publicity can help increase donations…

  2. “… Elsworth W. Bunce of Wisconsin accompanied the cow, and was the first man to milk a cow in flight.”

    What I want to know is when that’ll appear as a Google Doodle.

      1. So Bunce was also the last man to milk a cow on a plane… I mean in a plane…

        My grammar alert is going off :

        The last man to milk a cow while both the man and the cow were in an airplane together…. while the airplane was in flight.

        1. … aaaand re-reading the original shows how quickly I forget. “in flight” is good, though it does not specify what flying craft.

          The next set of multi-million-view YouTube videos for this are just sitting there for the taking, I think!

        2. Odd that. We do say, on a train, on a plane, on a ship, but in a car. At least the Royal Navy gets it right when they talk of having served in HMS Ark Royal, and “those who go down to the sea in ships.”

  3. On this day:
    1735 – The ballad opera called Flora, or Hob in the Well went down in history as the first opera of any kind to be produced in North America (Charleston, S.C.)

    1885 – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in the United States.

    1911 – The first official flight with airmail takes place from Allahabad, United Provinces, British India (now India), when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away.

    1930 – While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto.

    1930 – Elm Farm Ollie becomes the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft.

    1943 – World War II: The Nazis arrest the members of the White Rose movement.

    1954 – The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles.

    1970 – The Chicago Seven are found not guilty of conspiring to incite riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

    2010 – WikiLeaks publishes the first of hundreds of thousands of classified documents disclosed by the soldier now known as Chelsea Manning.

    2021 – Perseverance, a Mars rover designed to explore Jezero crater on Mars, as part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, lands successfully.

    1745 – Alessandro Volta, Italian physicist, invented the battery (d. 1827).

    1838 – Ernst Mach, Austrian physicist and philosopher (d. 1916).

    1919 – Jack Palance, American boxer and actor (d. 2006).

    1931 – Johnny Hart, American cartoonist, co-created The Wizard of Id (d. 2007).

    1931 – Toni Morrison, American novelist and editor, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2019).

    1933 – Yoko Ono, Japanese-American multimedia artist and musician.

    1933 – Bobby Robson, English international footballer and international manager (d. 2009).

    1946 – Michael Buerk, English journalist.

    1950 – Cybill Shepherd, American actress.

    1954 – John Travolta, American actor, singer and producer.

    1965 – Dr. Dre, American rapper, record producer, and entrepreneur.

    Took an all expenses paid trip aboard Stygian Cruise Lines:
    1546 – Martin Luther, German priest and theologian, leader of the Protestant Reformation (b. 1483).

    1564 – Michelangelo, Italian sculptor and painter (b. 1475).

    1967 – J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist and academic (b. 1904).

    1982 – Ngaio Marsh, New Zealand author (b. 1895).

    2014 – Maria Franziska von Trapp, Austrian-American singer (b. 1914). [Portrayed by Heather Menzies as the character “Louisa” in The Sound of Music. She died at age 99, and was the last surviving sibling portrayed in the film.]

    1. “All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn. American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since.”—Ernest Hemingway

      1. His struck me as an accurate assessment of Huck Finn, though it seemed odd coming from Papa, who never employed much humor in his own writing.

        1. By chance just last evening I came across what is now my favorite take on Huckleberry Finn. Found early in chapter two of Walter Mosley’s Black Betty, in the Easy Rawlins series.

          Easy: “I’d picked up Huckleberry Finn at a used-book store in Santa Monica. A few liberal libraries and the school system had wanted to ban the book because of the racist content. Liberal-minded whites and blacks wanted to erase racism from the world. I applauded the idea, but my memory of Huckleberry wasn’t one of racism. I remembered Jim and Huck as friends out on the river. I could have been either one of them. . . . Mr. Clemens knew that all men were ignorant and he wasn’t afraid to say so. After about a hundred pages I still hadn’t got the urge to go burn books, so I went to the kitchen instead and started breakfast.”

  4. Chase Strangio is a woman. Her vicious racist slash at Pamela Paul needs to be understood in terms of the bitter hatred of other women that only women can give themselves over to. I honestly can’t imagine a man saying something like this about a woman in a public venue. Taking drugs so she can grow a beard is beside the point.

      1. “Chase Strangio” sounds like the name of a character who’s escaped from a Thomas Pynchon novel — you know, like Oedipa Mass or Yasheem Halfcourt or Shasta Fay Hepworth.

      2. Yes, women who take testosterone can pass as the opposite sex much better than men taking oestrogen do. The eye seems to be more easily deceived by facial hair and male-pattern baldness. That said, transmen are usually noticeably shorter and slighter than biological males. Whilst photos can be deceptive, especially the heavily filtered ones that transwomen are so fond of using, seeing someone “in real life” is usually enough for you to correctly identify their birth sex, although it can be hard to pin down exactly what it is about their appearance, voice, movement etc. that enables you to do it.

  5. To answer your question, the answer is: Equal Opportunity.

    If equal opportunities are available, just outcomes will follow. People will enter the professions and vocations for which they have the interest and the aptitude. That’s what we should be seeking.

  6. There was a piece in The National Review this week on mass shootings and statistics. They reject the Gun Violence Archive’s definition of mass shootings in favor of the FBI’s definition.

    There are in fact four characteristics that almost all mass killers do seem to share: being mentally ill, under 50, male (135 of the 140 shooters), and known extensively to the FBI or local law enforcement.

    1. Why is the FBI definition better? If a person goes out with murderous intent with a gun but “only” succeeds in maiming half a dozen people who all survive but with life changing injuries, is that too trivial an event to be worthy of considering when thinking about whether or not mass shootings are unacceptably frequent? If a gunman stays on private property and “just” slaughters all his family members is that not relevant to a debate about how often guns are used in multiple homicides? It seems to me that demands to exclude such things from the data are motivated by a desire to downplay what is a very serious problem rather than to achieve statistical rigour.
      Of course, if we wish to look at trends it is important to define what we mean and it is possible and not necessarily underhand for people to adopt slightly different definitions depending on what exactly they are looking at/for. What is not acceptable is to change the definition used part way through the time period you are analysing in order to modify the trend in the direction that favours your particular slant on the issue.

      1. From my reading of the saga of defining the term, the goal of the FBI’s definition was to try to focus on the peculiar psychology of people who go out with the intent of killing lots of innocent strangers.
        It is not that someone killing a group of their estranged family members is not equally horrific. But someone who does that is in a different mental place than someone who decides to plan and execute a shooting at an elementary school.

        They tried to define it in such a way that most familial murder/suicides, and gang shootings were excluded from this particular set. Not for the purpose of minimizing the others, but for law enforcement classification purposes.
        The GVA definition was formulated for the specific goal of being able to report high numbers of such events for political purposes.

        Personally, I can see how someone could get to the mental state where they contemplate suicide. Some horrible confluence of events, or perhaps the beginning of a progressive illness. I have known a person who attempted to kill himself with a gun, but flinched at the last moment and injured himself instead. He was someone who I had worked with for years, but succumbed to a combination of stress and several days lack of sleep.
        Most of us have known people undergoing serious domestic differences, where someone with an unsteady temperament could resort to violence. It is not a situation I have personal experience with, but I can understand it, assuming that the perpetrator has become exponentially angrier than I ever have, coupled with latent inability to control their violent impulses. I suppose workplace violence comes from much the same place.
        Then you have people who plan then perpetrate an attack on kids in a school, or strangers at a parade. People shopping. Kids.
        The process of reasoning that they use to arrive at the decision to do something like that is unfathomable to me. Brain parasites, perhaps.
        I think such people deserve to be in a special category, so that experts can figure out their motivations and commonalities, then identify and isolate them before they act.

        1. Different definitions may be useful for looking at different parts of the overall problem and I don’t doubt that the mental state that leads someone to attack a school or a shopping mall is different to that of someone who slays his entire family. It doesn’t follow from that, though, that there is something sneaky about the GVA definition which gives a measure of the overall problem of the number of people that get shot in mass shootings of one kind or another. If there are 670 or so occasions in the year when multiple shootings occur that is a terrible statistic and I find it bizarre that anyone should seek to dismiss it as some kind of fraud. It seems like saying you shouldn’t report the total number of road traffic fatalities because only some of them were caused by drunk drivers.

          1. If you were working towards stricter penalties for drunk driving, or leading a temperance movement, in your reporting the scale of the problem you would want as broad a definition as possible. Doing so is not necessarily dishonest.
            GVA, Mother Jones, and the FBI are all pretty transparent about their methodologies.

    2. I’ve read that such terrorists share another common trait: misogyny. Almost all of them have a pattern of abusing women.

  7. Did the Washington Post reporter bother to ask those who had their vision restored how they felt about it? Did they feel duped? Used? Wish they had remained visually impaired? Has the reporter ever sat with a young child, blind since birth, when at age 9 or so they suddenly understood that they were different than the other kids? I have. We sat, we cried, we hugged, they let out all their emotions, the rage, frustration, hopelessness, tried begging and bargaining and pleading, wished they could make me like them and themselves like me by trading eyes, wanted to make a doctor fix them…eventually the child calmed down, we talked it over, and hugged a bit more. Then there was a return to acceptance, with my reassuring them that they were a wonderful kid and would love them no matter what. But if it was possible to give that child vision, even as they had said, by trading my eyes for theirs, I would have done so in a heartbeat. I still get overwhelmed with emotion when I think of this moment. I may not like the pathetic showmanship of the youtuber, but I can’t argue with the results. It’s one thing to end the stigma, to appreciate the human value of someone who has a disability and to love and accept them for who they are not pity them for who they are not, but to be a person who would rather stand by and not help someone who can be helped, well, that’s the real monster.

    1. Both my parents had cataract surgery last year. They seemed absolutely delighted with the results, although, when told she could have her distance vision corrected, my mother refused on the following grounds: “I look silly without a pair of glasses on”.

  8. I dunno…the circled text on the chicken drumstick packaged looks like a photoshop job.

    That’s all I’ve got today.

  9. “What’s enough will be getting rid of the damn guns.” Are there suggestions about how this could be accomplished?

    1. Yes. Ban them. That’s what we did in the civilised world.

      Well, you don’t have to ban them completely but you do need to make them much harder to get hold of and you should mandate training and insurance and keeping them securely stored. You should also definitely ban people from carrying them in public spaces.

      1. But Jeremy, all those gun safety measures only prevent accidental shootings. A person using a gun to kill someone is not even guilty of improper storage: a gun in use is not being “stored”, improperly or otherwise. The measures do nothing to prevent criminal use.

        People in many parts of America have convinced themselves they need to carry a gun for protection because so many criminals carry them and seem not reticent to use them. This might be faulty reasoning but it explains why laws prohibiting carriage will never pass. People do get to vote on laws. The voters know that only the law-abiders will obey the law. The criminals who don’t care about the law will go right on carrying them. And using them.

        I ask gun-control enthusiasts if they are willing to have the police frisk everyone on the street, stop every car, and search every dwelling without probable cause in order to confiscate all those now-banned guns. They aren’t willing to do that now when much gun possession is already illegal because not licensed. Too many black people will be over-policed and over-incarcerated for that to last more than a year or two. Why do you think a total gun ban would be enforced any more enthusiastically when so many of the guns people worry about are wielded by black people? That’s the elephant in the room. You aren’t going to reduce black gun crime by disarming white people.

  10. I’m with you on the Oscars: Tar was like a new King Lear, Banshees was slightly edgy malarky, Fabelman pleasant malarky, Everything everywhere just a mess. I would like to see Women Talking (I’m Canadian and so are Toews and Polley), but not streaming yet.
    My companions watching Tar didn’t like it: the character was such a bitch. I wonder if they thought King Lear was a nice person?

  11. That’s the million dollar question: Why? Why did this happen? What caused this to happen? We’re certainly working to get that,

    Really? They can’t even make a guess?

    The reason is that a man with murderous intent was able to lay hands on a gun easily. That’s all they need to focus on.

    You may argue that is not [i]why[/i] he had murderous intent and we need to understand that. Yes, maybe we do, but it won’t help with stopping mass shootings because there are probably as many reasons why mass shooters have murderous intent as there are mass shooters. Fixing the underlying reason for this man deciding to kill people isn’t going to stop the next man, and the one after that or the one after that, all of whom will likely be doing their shooting next week.

  12. Re the @queer surgeon who is against “professionalism” (yet another -ism I need to watch out for). I don’t do twitter, but I clicked on his pic from above, and it took me right to…..

    bragging about a “formal” professional achievement:

    Pinned Tweet

    Blair Peters, MD (he/they)
    Jun 8, 2021
    I just became one of the first surgeons in the world to complete formal academic fellowship training in advanced gender-affirming surgery.

    Did it all whole looking like your queer uncle/thuncle.

    #medtwitter #gaymedtwitter #LGBTQinHealthcare #thuncle #PRIDE

  13. Putin’s feet during his meeting with Lukashenko.

    Vlad’s just biding his time, waiting for the meeting to end, so he can pop his earbuds in and start dancing “The Mashed Potato” to Dee Dee Sharp’s tune:

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