Wednesday: Hili dialogue

May 24, 2023 • 6:45 am

It’s Hump Day (“ਹੰਪ ਦਿਨ ” in Punjabi):  May 24, 2023, and National Escargot Day. Will you be dining on these gastropods? Here’s a real book:

It’s also Asparagus Day, Brother’s Day (but which brother?), Declaration of the Báb, and, in Bermuda, Bermuda Day.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the May 24 Wikipedia page.

Posting may be light today as I’m tired, but for a good cause. The Pinkah is here giving two lectures here, and we had a chatty dinner last night. I knew he’d be wearing his custom caiman boots made by Lee Miller of Austin, Texas, and so I wore mine as well. (Mine are on the left.) His are caiman, mine kangaroo.

Da Nooz:

*Obituaries first:  Bob Zimmer, ex President of the University of Chicago, Free Speech Advocate, and Saviour of the Ducks at Botany Pond, died yesterday of brain cancer at 75. I’ll have more to say about him later today. It is a very sad day for all of us.

*According to the Washington Post, Texas is about to become a state theocracy. Apparently lawmakers were heartened when the Supreme Court ruled in 2022 that a football coach praying and leading prayers on the field after the game really was acting privately, and people just joined in out of the love of God.  There’s little doubt that the Supreme Court is going to further dismantle the church-state wall, but Texas will do it first:

Texas lawmakers are scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to require that the Ten Commandments be posted in every classroom in the state, part of a newly energized national effort to insert religion into public life.

Supporters believe the Supreme Court’s ruling last summer in favor of a high school football coach who prayed with players essentially removed any guardrails between religion and government.

The bill, which is scheduled Tuesday for the House floor, is one of about a half-dozen religion bills approved this session by the Texas Senate, including one that would allow uncertified chaplains to replace trained, professional counselors in K-12 schools.

Texas’ biennial legislative session is short, chaotic and packed, and it was not certain Monday whether the Ten Commandments bill would definitely get a vote Tuesday. If it doesn’t by midnight, it’s dead for the session. But groups that watch church-state issues say efforts nationwide to fund and empower religion — and, more specifically, a particular type of Christianity — are more plentiful and aggressive than they have been in years. Americans United for Separation of Church and Statesays it is watching 1,600 bills around the country instates such as Louisiana and Missouri. Earlier this year, Idaho and Kentucky signed into law measures that could allow teachers and public school employees to pray in front of and with students while on duty.

Many legislators cite the Supreme Court’s June ruling in favor of Coach Joe Kennedy of Bremerton, Wash., who prayed with his players on the 50-yard-line. They see the Supreme Court as righting the American ship after a half-century of wrongly separating church and state.

And look how far Texas lawmakers hae tried to twist the First Amendment, which says this (my emphasis)

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

“There is absolutely no separation of God and government, and that’s what these bills are about. That has been confused; it’s not real,” said Texas state Sen. Mayes Middleton (R), who co-sponsored or authored three of the religion bills. “When prayer was taken out of schools, things went downhill — discipline, mental health. It’s something I heard a lot on porches when I was campaigning. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time.”

Umm. . .a separation of religion and government is exactly what the founders intended, and we know this because of their writings (Jefferson, for instance). Since the public schools are organs of the state, there can be no official prayers or show of religion. The coach violated that, but mandatory Ten Commandments in every class, a Juedo-Christian expression, violates it even more clearly. It’s odd that as the U.S. becomes less religious, more and more of these bills show up. Perhaps the faithful are trying to fight a rearguard action with the law.

*Apparently a group of Russian fighters aligned with Ukraine and disaffected with the Putin regime have begun launching attacks on Russian forces inside Russia.

Fighting raged for a second day on Tuesday in the Belgorod region of southern Russia as a Ukrainian-aligned paramilitary group claimed to seize villages and rebuff counterattacks, in a the most dramatic instance to date of bringing the war into Russian territory.

The Free Russia Legion, a group of Russian volunteers who have taken up arms to fight for Ukraine, claimed responsibility for the incursion, while Kyiv publicly denied direct involvement, turning the tables on a Russian strategy that preceded the invasion last year of sending unacknowledged weaponry and soldiers into Ukraine.

Russia’s Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday afternoon that it had pushed the militants back across the border, adding that scores of “saboteurs” had been killed. That claim could not be verified, and people who said they represented the fighters maintained the attacks were continuing and had gained new ground. Those statements also could not be verified.

The incursion could compel Russia to divert soldiers from a long and unevenly defended front in southeastern Ukraine ahead of a long-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive, military analysts said. It seemed intended as well to unnerve and embarrass the Russian leadership by showing a weakness in border defenses.

Anything that ties down Russian soldier is to the good, but information from the area is murky. Bakhmut is lost, the war is well into its second year, and Russia is still inside Ukraine, while palling around with China on the side. I have no idea what things will be like a year from now.

*The inter-party talks to do something about the debt limit continue, but not much is happening except that the GOP blames the lack of progress on Biden. (Of course the blame goes the other way, too.)

Debt ceiling negotiators for President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy holed up for more talks at the Capitol Tuesday, but Republicans warned of a “lack of urgency” at the White House to resolve the budget standoff in time to avert a potentially chaotic federal default.

With barely a week to go before a deadline as soon as June 1 the Democratic president and the Republican speaker were staring down a financial crisis. Failure to strike a deal would be unprecedented, and certain to throw U.S. financial markets into turmoil, inflicting economic pain at home and abroad.

Behind closed doors, McCarthy urged his slim House Republican majority to “just stick together” despite their own factions as he negotiates the strongest deal possible for conservatives, said lawmakers exiting the private session.

“We’re not there yet,” McCarthy said at the Capitol, reiterating he won’t bring any bill forward “that doesn’t spend less than we spent this year.”

. . .Dragging into a second week, the negotiations over raising the nation’s debt limit, now at $31 trillion, were never supposed to arrive at this point — a crisis in the making.

The White House insisted early on it was unwilling to barter over the need to pay the nation’s bills, demanding that Congress simply lift the ceiling as it has done many times before with no strings attached.

Well, the White House is bartering, and what we see is a political game of chicken, with both parties, afraid that they’ll be blamed if a deal isn’t struck, is holding the American public hostage. We have about a week before everything goes to hell.

*It’s exactly one week until grifter Elizabeth Holmes must turn herself in to begin her 11+ year sentence for wire fraud. The San Francisco newsletter SFGate reports what it’s like inside the federal pen where Holmes will be spending more than a decade. (The feds don’t give you must time off for good behavior.) The minimum-security prison is FPC Bryan, in Bryan, Texas.

Davila recommended Holmes be sent to Federal Prison Camp, Bryan, a minimum security women’s facility about 100 miles north of Houston. FPC Bryan is run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which oversees inmates who have been convicted of federal crimes, like counterfeiting, treason and interstate criminal activity.

Wake-up is at 6 a.m. every day, according to FPC Bryan’s “Inmate Admission & Orientation Handbook,” and all inmates must be counted at least five times daily in official roll calls. Inmates must make their beds and clean up their cells; the unit with the best weekly “sanitation rating” gets called first for meals, while the unit with the worst hygiene comes in last.

All inmates who are able must have a “regular job assignment.” The prison offers business classes and even forklift training for women who would like to be certified.

Although the facility is minimum security, there are many limitations on what inmates can wear and own inside the prison. They are “prohibited from wearing any clothing not government-issued or purchased in the Commissary” and “may possess only one approved radio or MP3 player, and watch at a time.” Jewelry is limited to a “plain wedding band and an appropriate religious medallion and chain without stones,” but their value cannot exceed $100.

The commissary at FPC Bryan is relatively luxurious compared with other prisons. The women there can purchase hobby items to pass the time, like a crochet needle for $1.30 and yarn for $3.55; an MP3 player (brand not specified) is $88.40. If they’re sick of being eaten alive by the bugs in Texas, they can buy insect repellant for $10.35, and those who want some variety from the usual prison fare can get ramen for 30 cents and a pint of ice cream for $2.

The commissary does not offer black turtlenecks, but Holmes could pick up a neck gaiter in a pinch for $10.55.

My two questions were these: was there any limit on the money inmates could receive? And are conjugal visits permitted? The answer to the first appears to be no, meaning that Holmes could have a million bucks to buy goodies from the commissary. That would make her queen of the prison. The answer to the second is that no, visits are permitted, but not conjugal ones.

*Yes, it’s the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, which lures more conservatives than CPAC, but when they’re right they’re right. And they are right when they call out Scientific American for it’s “progressive” binge of both distorting facts about science and writing about stuff that isn’t science. The op-ed is “Wokesters in search of nonbinary birds,” not a bad title. And permit me to tout my writing a bit: remember this piece?

The politicization of formerly respected scientific publications is one of society’s more disturbing recent trends and it seems that yet another periodical is willing to surrender its claim to authority.

Laura Helmuth, Editor in chief of Scientific American, recently tweeted:

White-throated sparrows have four chromosomally distinct sexes that pair up in fascinating ways
P.S. Nature is amazing
P.P.S. Sex is not binary

Other Twitter users were not impressed. Ms. Helmuth’s missive now carries an attachment from Twitter:

Readers added context they thought people might want to know

White-throated sparrows have 2 sexes with 4 unique chromosome combinations.
There are still just 2 sexes that produce either sperm or eggs.
The female types are the white-striped females and the tan-striped females.
The male birds are white-striped males and tan striped males.

One can debate whether and how Twitter should address errors in user comments, but it’s clear that the operators of the social media platform are not the only ones raising an objection to the claim a sparrow with four sexes.

“It’s just incredible how far [Scientific American]– a periodical I admired — has fallen from its mission to provide accurate, clear, and vivid coverage of science,” observes Yale professor of social and natural science Nicholas Christakis, who is also a physician.

Dr. Christakis points to a post on the Why Evolution Is True website maintained by Jerry Coyne, an emeritus professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Chicago.

They then quote me at length, but you can read the original post. Here’s a snarky comment, for even the WSJ knows that sparrows come in just males and females.

Seems fairly straightforward, so perhaps a determined band of woke bird-watchers will now set off into the wilderness searching for an animal species that is just as confused about gender as human magazine editors. But this seems unlikely, as such an approach would necessarily require empirical evidence.

And apparently Helmuth is still at it. Go look at the Sci. Am.  “opinion” pages, which I do only until my stomach can stand it, and you’ll find tons of “progressive” political articles that have nothing to do with science. Conservative views are not to be seen.

Perhaps this is not so much a problem in science as a problem among the people who write about science. For those inclined to give Ms. Helmuth the benefit of the doubt and assume her errors are not driven by political bias, she’s tweeting today about a new opinion piece calling for reforms at the Supreme Court that for some reason appears in her magazine called Scientific American.

Sometimes it seems like today’s science media really does operate as a species with just one point of view.

And that, as we know, erodes public trust in science. It’s as if the National Review published a paper on the chromatophores of the octopus.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is in Andrzej’s work chair. When I asked why Hili called him a hypocrite, Malgorzata explained, “Because he wants to move Hili from his chair into the sofa by using sweet words about her being more comfortable there. He wants his chair to himself.”

A: Maybe you would prefer to lie on the sofa?
Hili: No, I’m quite comfortable here, you hypocrite.
In Polish:
Ja: Może wolisz leżeć na sofie?
Hili: Nie, tutaj jest mi zupełnie dobrze, ty hipokryto.
And a photo of the affectionate Szaron:


From Meanwhile in Canada:

From Jesus of the Day:

From America’s Cultural Decline Into Idiocy:

From Masih, Unfortunately, some Iranian women won’t leave the ones alone who don’t want to wear a hijab. Note the attempted slap with a book:

From Barry, who urges you to look at some of the guesses in the thread about what the cat is reading:

From Malcolm. Now this is intriguing! She can’t tell her story, but can to reporters? You can read about Sarah Parcak here, she’s “an American archaeologist and Egyptologist, who has used satellite imagery to identify potential archaeological sites in Egypt, Rome and elsewhere in the former Roman Empire”:

From Simon, who presents Trump, the Master of Hyperbole, especially when it concerns him!:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a girl who died at 14; below: colorized photo of Tova and her sister:

Tweets from Dr. Cobb, back home in the bosom of his family (including the three cats). First, a passel of dragonflies—or whatever they call a group of ’em:

Matthew likes this farm:

A cat with a job:


28 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1595 – Nomenclator of Leiden University Library appears, the first printed catalog of an institutional library.

    1607 – One hundred-five English settlers under the leadership of Captain Christopher Newport established the colony called Jamestown at the mouth of the James River on the Virginia coast, the first permanent English colony in America.

    1626 – Peter Minuit buys Manhattan.

    1683 – The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, opens as the world’s first university museum.

    1689 – The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration protecting dissenting Protestants but excluding Roman Catholics.

    1813 – South American independence leader Simón Bolívar enters Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and is proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).

    1844 – Samuel Morse sends the message “What hath God wrought” (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from a committee room in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate a commercial telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington D.C.

    1873 – Patrick Francis Healy becomes the first black president of a predominantly white university in the United States.

    1883 – The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction.

    1930 – Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight).

    1941 – World War II: In the Battle of the Atlantic, the German Battleship Bismarck sinks then-pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Hood, killing all but three crewmen.

    1956 – The first Eurovision Song Contest is held in Lugano, Switzerland.

    1961 – American civil rights movement: Freedom Riders are arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, for “disturbing the peace” after disembarking from their bus.

    1988 – Section 28 of the United Kingdom’s Local Government Act 1988, a controversial amendment stating that a local authority cannot intentionally promote homosexuality, is enacted.

    1991 – Israel conducts Operation Solomon, evacuating Ethiopian Jews to Israel.

    1999 – The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands indicts Slobodan Milošević and four others for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Kosovo.

    2000 – Israeli troops withdraw from southern Lebanon after 22 years of occupation.

    2019 – Under pressure over her handling of Brexit, British Prime Minister Theresa May announces her resignation as Leader of the Conservative Party, effective as of June 7. [We’ve had three prime ministers since then…]

    1686 – Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, Polish-German physicist and engineer, developed the Fahrenheit scale (d. 1736).

    1803 – Alexander von Nordmann, Finnish biologist and paleontologist (d. 1866).

    1878 – Lillian Moller Gilbreth, American psychologist and engineer (d. 1972).

    1879 – H. B. Reese, American candy maker, created Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (d. 1956).

    1905 – Mikhail Sholokhov, Russian novelist and short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1984).

    1926 – Stanley Baxter, Scottish actor and screenwriter.

    1938 – Prince Buster, Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer (d. 2016).

    1941 – Bob Dylan, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, artist, writer, and producer; Nobel Prize laureate.

    1944 – Patti LaBelle, American singer-songwriter and actress.

    1949 – Jim Broadbent, English actor.

    1960 – Kristin Scott Thomas, English actress.

    1964 – Liz McColgan, Scottish educator and runner.

    1969 – Jacob Rees-Mogg, English politician. [A ridiculous figure who has been dubbed the “Honourable Member for the 18th century” and once took his nanny on the campaign trail…]I

    We may have years, we may have hours, but sooner or later, we push up flowers:
    1543 – Nicolaus Copernicus, Polish mathematician and astronomer (b. 1473).

    1843 – Sylvestre François Lacroix, French mathematician and academic (b. 1765).

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

    1965 – Sonny Boy Williamson II, American singer-songwriter and harmonica player (b. 1908).

    1974 – Duke Ellington, American pianist and composer (b. 1899).

    1991 – Gene Clark, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1944). [Founding member of the Byrds and writer of their best-known hits.]

    1995 – Harold Wilson, English academic and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1916).

    2014 – Stormé DeLarverie, known as the “Rosa Parks of the lesbian community” (b. 1920).

  2. “Bob Zimmer, ex President of the University of Chicago, Free Speech Advocate, and Saviour of the Ducks at Botany Pond, died yesterday of brain cancer at 75.”

    I only know about him from this website.

    … myself, as an anonymous nobody, is flummoxed and confused – What can I say – I’m glad he was featured here.

  3. Before I finish reading Hili this morning, i just want to express my sorrow over the loss of Bob Zimmer. I only knew him through your writings but gained tremendous respect for him as a human being and a great educational leader.

  4. (The feds don’t give you must time off for good behavior.)

    Under Title 18 of the United States Code, section 3624, federal prisoners get 54 days a year (approximately 15% of their time) off their sentences for good behavior, unless the Federal Bureau of Prisons determines that an inmate has not satisfactorily complied with institutional regulations.

    1. I think that’s all Florida gives as well, if I recall. I tell you, her “prison” sounds awfully nice compared to Raiford. No knitting needles there, I can promise you that…but they do use needles for lethal injections…about once a month for a while there, if I remember correctly.

      1. You remind me when Strenger on The Wire season two orchestrated the “hot hit” in the prison to help Avon and “D” (though D was done with that cruelty and paid the ultimate price) to frame the prison guard who was messing with Wee Bey and his faux fishies. Avon and Strenger…whoa.

  5. I think that the GOP can only be blamed for the debt ceiling issue in two ways: 1) that they allowed the ballooning of the deficit to happen; 2) that they are now trying to stop it. The Dems can only be blamed for the first.

  6. A story on the Daily Beast this morning says that the Texas Ten Commandments bill failed to come to a vote and so is dead for this session at least.

  7. The incursion into Belgorod seems to be more than some little cat and mouse operation. There’s considerable footage in this link. And Russian troops are being re-deployed from Ukraine because there simply are no reserves in Russia. Good!
    It also turns out that for a few yrs after WWI, Belgorod was part of Ukraine, and it was spelled Bilhorod, in case you see it spelled that way.

  8. I often hear religionists disparage the phrase “separation of church and state,” claiming that it’s just something Thomas Jefferson alone believed, and that he lacks any authority to opine on the intent of the First Amendment because he was in France at the time the Bill of Rights was drafted and enacted. However, James Madison (generally recognized as the author of the Bill of Rights) actually used the same phrase: “The civil Government, though bereft of everything like an associated hierarchy, possesses the requisite stability, and performs its functions with complete success, whilst the number, the industry, and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people, have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the State.” (March 2, 1819 letter to Robert Walsh) Moreover, a multitude of writings by the Founding Fathers (to numerous to include here) also acknowledge this principle, albeit without using that exact phrase.

    Surprisingly, even conservative icon Ronald Reagan agreed with this principle: “We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate.” (Speech to Temple Hillel and Community Leaders in Valley Stream, New York, October 26, 1984)

    1. I think there may be an issue of restrictive versus permissive law here. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” is not, on the surface, a restriction on religion appearing in government funded spaces such as schools, and the second clause rather suggests one ought to be free to practice it wherever one likes. The first clause is completely clear, and the concept of an established religion is well understood.
      I’m happy to be corrected, but I think Americans have done rather better than expected by interpreting the above as “There shall be no display of religion in publicly-funded areas”! I can see how Texans may feel that isn’t stated in the First Amendment, and that a football coach may certainly invite players to join him in prayer, though I expect there is a grey area where he may deselect players who decline. If I’m right about that, there is but one corrective (assuming rewriting the First Amendment is unlikely), and that is for Satanist types to openly practice their religion in government-funded spaces, and encourage others to join in…..
      PS For fun:

      1. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

        I think that one side in this interminable debate focuses (almost) exclusively on the first clause, with little regard for the second. The other side focuses on the second with little regard for the times that it might conflict with the first. Such a posture does make things simple, since the difficulty is in respecting both clauses–and the people devoted to each. And reasonable people will disagree on where to draw the line.

        I will admit being amused by attempts that I have seen in recent years to redefine this as being about “freedom of worship” rather than free “exercise”. Whatever one thinks of religion, “worship” is only one aspect of exercise. And exercise involves a great deal of public activity for some groups; it’s not simply an inner state of mind or a private practice in some sanctuary.

        I’m probably in the slim minority in this crowd, but I really don’t care if a public-school coach prays on the football field. (Nor do I care if he wraps himself in a Pride flag, or wears pink shoes for breast cancer awareness, or does any number of things of personal interest to him.) I don’t care if a public-school teacher has a Bible, a Koran, or the Bhagavad Gita visible on her desk. I don’t care if she reads it during her lunch hour and students see her. I don’t care if students ask her questions about it and she responds. I’m uncomfortable if it is a principal or superintendent, particularly if a religiously-inspired act appears to be in his or her official capacity as the leader of the institution. The school janitor, on the other hand, he can whistle away with black spirituals all day long for all I care. And if he has a good voice and some real rhythm, I might even want to hear him sing.

        Scratch that. I would definitely want to hear him sing.

  9. The attacks of the Russian volunteers, who joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces, on Russian territory have two consequences.

    First, Putin’s regime has been humiliated once again. It cannot protect its own country. Not from Ukrainian intelligence, drones or missiles, but also not from lightly armed mobile fighters.

    Second, to protect several hundred kilometers of Russian border from renewed such attacks would require a five-digit number of soldiers and border guards. Russia does not have this trained personnel.

    What next? Does the Russian leadership withdraw troops from the war front? Hardly conceivable, since they have surrendered themselves, for better or worse, to “victory.” Or will they allow further attacks? That could lead to unrest around Belgorod. Putin cannot have these domestic problems.

    The Russian leadership is in a quandary.

  10. The Scientific American Editorial Board must take a more active editorial role in overseeing the magazine and web site. The once-premiere magazine of science is losing all credibility, and the editorial board has a legacy to preserve. The Board must step up to its obligation to the public and to history.

  11. ” There is absolutely no separation of God and government, and that’s what these bills are about. That has been confused; it’s not real,” said Texas state Sen. Mayes Middleton (R)

    One of the ways to control ideas and discourse is to use common words in idiosyncratic ways. The conservative devout separate God from religion — religion is “man’s way of worshipping God” — so that God can be considered a fact. God is even an objective and universally accepted fact in the commonwealth because those who distort the true understanding of God or, worse yet, deny He exists are accountable. The Truth was written on their hearts before they were born. They know. They’re just blocking it out.

    This semantic sleight of hand allows them to agree that the church (man’s religion) should be separated from the State but go on to say it’s perfectly acceptable to acknowledge and worship God or even Jesus Christ because that’s not religious.

    1. Re: Texas. Yes, theocracy is one way to describe it, but the direction
      is really towards dictatorship. The GOP knows that in Texas the largest cities
      vote Democratic. That’s why they’re going after voting rights with a vengeance
      (along with so many other issues that annoy Christian nationalists).
      The fact is that in Texas the GOP is coming around to the conclusion that
      voting is an unnecessary irritation since they are building a framework that
      will keep them in power indefinitely. And then: bye bye voting.!

  12. Now this is intriguing! She can’t tell her story, but can to reporters? You can read about Sarah Parcak here,

    I infer that she’s heard a story at 3rd or 4th hand, which she thinks has the “smell of truth” about it, but she doesn’t want to spend the next 5 years wombatting in court over it. So she’s willing to feed it to a journalist, and let them do the necessary investigation, find witnesses, depose depositions, and hoist the Tangerine Shitgibbon upon (yet another) petard of his own making.
    (“Wombatting : verb, transitive and intransitive – to perform a WOMBAT operation – Waste Of Money Brains And Time.)

    1. She is a hardcore political activist, with a history of making intemperate remarks on social media, including calls to cancel people she dislikes, and doxing them.
      I remembered her for issuing a series of instructions to aid rioters in destroying monuments they do not like.

      Some of her notable quotes-
      ’ll be using my platform to get them deplatformed. I should have pushed harder before, no excuses. Time to buckle up and cancel racist trash infecting the minds of millions.”

      “This book is racist garbage and needs to be pulled immediately.”

      “Well it started a national conversation” you might argue. Yes, the conversation goes “F*ck the WSJ, F*ck Joseph Epstein, and F*ck their trash op-ed pages.”

      “Living Human Garbage Monster™️ Paul Gigot….”

      Her university rightfully sees her spewings as non-actionable first amendment speech, but has had to note they are “disgusted and extremely troubled that Sarah Percak would tweet something so unprofessional and blindly inhumane and cruel”

      “F**k you, f**k your trash company, and f**k everyone involved. I hope you go bankrupt stat. NO ONE BUY THIS SHIT.”

      So, she is not a great source for measured and unbiased political views.

  13. At first I was perplexed by the creepy Christians of Texas being so hellbent on posting the Ten Commandments in every classroom in the state. Do they really think it will have a positive effect of morality? Do they not understand that morality cannot be taught with such shallow rules? But such questions are irrelevant, because the religious right wants the commandments posted for the same reason a dog marks as much territory as it can. So if the Christians get their way, I hope the Commandments will be joined on classroom walls by surahs, kōans, homilies from hinduism, humanist hymns, and aphorisms from the Church of Satan.

  14. Texas: the lone neuron state. What are they drinking on the porch?
    “The sixth commandment forbids direct and intentional killing as gravely sinful. The murderer and those who cooperate voluntarily in murder commit a sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance.”
    …except when with a semi-automatic assault rifle because, our god-given right to own and carry, then, we will pray for you.
    This could backfire if thoughtful children start questioning the hypocrisy.

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