Wednesday: Hili dialogue

May 31, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to the last Hump Day in May (“Көн” in Tatar): May 31, 2023, and National Macaroon Day. And yet the photo they show is not of macaroons but macarons. Learn the difference:

macaron is a sandwich-like cookie that’s filled with jam, ganache, or buttercream. A macaroon is a drop cookie made using shredded coconut.  The preparation for each of these cookies is incredibly different, even though they start out with many of the same ingredients.

Macarons are an overpriced fad; real macaroons are good.

These are MACARONS!

It’s also National Autonomous Vehicle Day, National Meditation Day, National Smile Day, Speak in Complete Sentences Day, World Parrot Day, and World No Tobacco Day. 

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the May 31 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*While Russia continues its strikes on Kyiv, the Ukrainians appear to be striking back:

At least eight drones targeted Moscow early Tuesday, according to the Russian authorities, the first attack to hit civilian areas in the Russian capital and a potent sign that the war is increasingly reaching the heart of Russia.

The assault came after yet another overnight bombardment by Russian forces of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, which has faced a barrage of attacks in recent weeks that have put the city on edge and tested the country’s air defenses. Kyiv was attacked with at least 20 drones early Tuesday, leaving one person dead and unnerving exhausted residents.

The dueling strikes reflected the dialed-up tension and shifting priorities ahead of Ukraine’s expected counteroffensive. Ukraine has increasingly been reaching far into Russia-held territory, while Moscow has been adjusting its tactics in an effort to inflict significant damage on Kyiv.

Tuesday’s aerial assault on Moscow — in which at least three residential buildings sustained minor damage — comes weeks after a pair of explosions over the Kremlin, a bold strike aimed at President Vladimir V. Putin’s seat of power. U.S. officials said the attack was most likely orchestrated by one of Ukraine’s special military or intelligence units.

The Russian Defense Ministry blamed Ukraine for Tuesday’s assault, describing the strike as a “terrorist attack” and saying that the drones had been intercepted. Mr. Putin briefly commented on the attack, telling a reporter that Russia’s air defenses had proved adequate. “We have stuff to do,” he said in a video clip published by state news media. “We know what needs to be done.”

I sure hope Ukraine is not deliberately targeting civilians in these drone strikes (if they ARE Ukrainian drone strikes), for they would lose considerable moral capital if they did that. I doubt that Zelensky would want to deliberately strike civilian targets, which is a war crime.

*There are two big implications for ex-students of the new debt-ceiling deal as well as Biden’s own executive order on student debt. The first, which is write in stone, apparently requires the government to start collecting frozen repayments from ex-students by the end of the summer. The other, not part of the agreement, involves debt forgiveness.

For millions of Americans with federal student loan debt, the payment holiday is about to end.

Legislation to raise the debt ceiling and cut spending includes a provision that would require borrowers to begin repaying their loans again by the end of the summer after a yearslong pause imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.

President Biden had already warned that the pause would end around the same time, but the legislation, if it passes in the coming days, would prevent him from issuing another last-minute extension, as he has already done several times.

The end of the pause will affect millions of Americans who have taken out federal student loans to pay for college. Across the United States, 45 million people owe $1.6 trillion for such loans — more than Americans owe for any kind of consumer debt other than mortgages.

The lesson: don’t borrow money if you don’t think you can pay it back. The other part of the equation:

Even with the pause ending, some borrowers may still see some relief if the Supreme Court allows Mr. Biden to move forward with a plan to forgive up to $20,000 in debt for some people with outstanding balances.

Mr. Biden’s plan would cancel $10,000 of federal student loan debt for those who make under $125,000 a year. People who received Pell grants for low-income families could qualify for an additional $10,000 in debt cancellation.

But the plan was challenged in court as an illegal use of executive authority, and during oral arguments in February, several justices appeared skeptical of the program. A ruling from the court could come at any time but is expected next month.

Same lesson, but with another nagging question: why do these people get relief, while the others who already paid off their debts get no relief? Aren’t they due some reparations? At any rate, I have NO idea how the Court will rule on this one. Note, though, that this debt relief is not part of the debt-ceiling agreement.

*This is one reason why we shouldn’t live so long. Now, while Jimmy Carter, 98, is in his third month of hospice care with metastasized brain cancer, his wife Rosalynn, 95, has been diagnosed with dementia. You can imagine the blows that have struck that family (I always thought that Jimmy was a model ex-President).

In a news release, the Carter Center said that Rosalynn Carter, 95, was comfortable and spending time with her 98-year-old husband at home in Plains, Ga.

“She continues to live happily at home with her husband, enjoying spring in Plains and visits with loved ones,” the organization said in a statement.

Carter, who was hailed by the organization as “the nation’s leading mental health advocate for much of her life,” frequently talked about caregiving before, during and after her time with her husband in the White House.

“The universality of caregiving is clear in our family, and we are experiencing the joy and the challenges of this journey,” the Carter Center said. “We do not expect to comment further and ask for understanding for our family and for everyone across the country serving in a caregiver role.”

If we live that long, we’ll all face things like this; as a friend said when I sent her the news, “Ageing sucks.” I suppose it’s better than the alternative, and one good thing is that Jimmy and Rosalynn had a lot of good years together.

*Lawrence Krauss seems to be producing WSJ op-eds (antiwoke, of course, but good ones) at a steady clip. His latest, “A scientist’s sexuality shouldn’t matter,” He’s talking about a new survey being conducted by the National Science Foundation:

A pilot project was announced last week to track “sexual orientation and gender identity.” In addition to being asked about their sex—now qualified as the sex “assigned at birth”—they will be asked if they “currently describe” themselves as male, female, “transgender” or “a different term”; whether they consider themselves a “gender minority,” a “sexual minority” and “LGBT+”; and whether they accept one of a dizzying list of labels: “Non-binary, Gender nonconforming, Genderfluid, Genderqueer . . . Gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer or another orientation.”

The list of reasons why this is a bad idea is almost as long. For one, asking about sexual preferences is a violation of privacy. Will the NSF next be asking how many sexual partners each degree recipient had during graduate school, in case promiscuous students are underrepresented?

Such personal matters are irrelevant to science and essentially invisible. In my 40 years in academia, I have worked with all sorts of colleagues and students. Many were highly eccentric, but that didn’t matter if they were good scientists. As one colleague put it: “You are teaching a chemistry or physics course. Your lectures describe concepts and present equations. ‘Suppose a magnet is moving relative to a loop of wire.’ You barely know any of your students. You give tests and grade them. You have no idea, nor care about, the ‘sexual orientation’ of any of your students. . . . What career barriers are there?”

Identity divisions make the world more divisive, not less. Some of my colleagues and students have been gay. Unless they made a point of discussing it, it wasn’t important. If someone publishes a report claiming that gays are underrepresented in STEM, will diversity offices require that job candidates add information about their sexual preferences to applications, as they now require them to pledge to promote racial “diversity” and describe past activities that demonstrate such a commitment?

Guess why they’re doing this.  It’s a six letter word that begins with “e” and ends with “y”:

What’s the purpose of all this? Nature magazine paraphrases a statement from the NSF’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, Charles Barber: “Collecting these data will help the NSF and other agencies to analyse employers’ policies and procedures for addressing unintended barriers to employment, advancement and inclusion.” The magazine then quotes Mr. Barber: “This gives us an opportunity to create more opportunities and broaden participation to yield equitable outcomes for the LGBTQIA+ community and others.”

Does that mean quotas? If so, how would one even go about determining the “correct” proportion of “queer” or “genderqueer” scientists? The percentage of the population that espouses these labels is so small that any data the NSF gathers will be statistically useless. Australia’s National Medical and Health Research Council recently announced plans to award half of its research grants for researchers at the midcareer and senior level to women and “nonbinary” applicants. That sounds like a loophole: Men could get special treatment by declaring themselves nonbinary.

It goes on, ,but Krauss is right: this is divisive, intrusive, and irrelevant. It’s a pity that places like the NYT or other liberal mainstream media won’t discuss palpably ridiculous initiatives like this.

*Yesterday afternoon, despite my predictions, Theranos grifter Elizabeth Holmes reported to federal prison in Bryan, Texas, the beginning of her 11+-year sentence.

A spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons confirmed Holmes arrived at the Bryan facility Tuesday afternoon local time.

Since The Wall Street Journal began publishing its findings about Theranos in 2015, Holmes has been convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in federal court and settled separate civil securities-fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. As part of the settlement, she paid a $500,000 fine and was banned from being an officer or director of any public company for 10 years.

. . . Inmates at the Bryan facility have been talking about Holmes’s possible arrival for months. Some want to be her friend while others think she deserves a longer prison sentence, said current inmate Tasha Wade.

FPC Bryan sits in the middle of a quiet residential neighborhood lined with trees. Vehicles have been driving into the facility throughout the morning, with drivers scanning cards on a reader that lifts a slim bar up allowing them to enter. A black fence and trees encircle the prison, which has a large field of grass and benches in the front.

Another WSJ article describes the prison, which, as a minimum-security federal prison for white-collar criminals, is pretty cushy:

Food Hall
The food hall offers a standard national prison menu, which includes oatmeal, pancakes, hamburgers, tacos, burritos and more. A no-flesh option at each meal could help Holmes, a vegetarian, stick to that diet. Inmates also cook for themselves using commissary ingredients and inventive cooking methods, inmates said.

Oatmeal! Burritos! Pancakes! She’ll eat better than I do!

Recreation Area
The prison offers inmates a jogging track and outdoor television sets in a recreation pavilion. Inmates can also participate in arts and hobby programs or read books from the library, where earlier this year an inmate spotted a copy of “Bad Blood,” the bestseller documenting the rise and fall of Holmes’s Theranos. The BOP spokesman said the book had been checked out and not returned.

And here’s what is likely to be a diagram of her cell. She’ll have roommates!

(from the NYT): In the room, there typically are also lockers to store personal belongings, a folding chair for each inmate, a table and no doors. The chairs must be folded and stacked against the wall when not in use, inmates said. Bathrooms are down the hall. Inmates said they often form close relationships with cellmates.

Why do I pay so much attention to Holmes’ fate? (This will be the last post about this unless I’m still alive when she gets out.) One reason, I suppose, is that if she gets off easy, while others get stiffer sentences for similar crimes, it would show that Americans aren’t equal under the law: if you’re eloquent, attractive, and educated, you get less punishment, which seems unfair.  Further, this seems to me a worse crime than simply a pyramid scheme, for she was duping not only investors, but patients as well, people who counted on her stupid blood machine to diagnose their illnesses. I don’t see this as retribution, but rather as deterrence, though some determinists, like Gregg Caruso, don’t favor imprisonment for deterrence because it violates their moral principle of using people as tools to affect the behavior of others. I don’t agree.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili doesn’t like molehills:

Hili: I’m going to restore order.
A: Order where?
Hili: With this mole which made a molehill again.
In Polish:
Hili: Idę zrobić porządek.
Ja: Z czym?
Hili: Z tym kretem, który znowu zrobił kretowisko.

. . . and a lovely picture of Szaron:


From Peter via reddit: a cat defends his d*g friend:

Cat stood up for his friend poodle
by u/alexisaftonio in instantkarma

From Jean via the New Yorker, an Edward Steed “Cautionary Tale” animation (I love this one):

From Mark:

From Masih, more women risking imprisonment in Iran over not wearing the hijab. If there’s going to be a revolution there (and the prospects don’t look good), it will have started with the headscarf:

J. K. Rowling attacks the stupid accusation that a feminist rally in Australia gave the Nazi salute:

From Simon, contrasting Memorial Day messages, one from the next President of the United States (but which one?):

From Barry. Yes, there are flat-Earthers in the U.S.: I’ve met some. One even got into politics.

From Luana: NPR interns (see here). Definite inequity for sex: does this mean structural misandry?

From Jez, who cited a Guardian article about this incident and commented, “These people are nuts!” You can read about the “Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling Contest and Wake” on Wikipedia. Here’s a quote from the Guardian piece:

From the Auschwitz Memorial a nine-year old girl gassed upon arrival:

Tweets from Dr. Cobb. First, a leopard cat from South Asia. They’re about the size of housecats.

Phalarope behavior:

A video.  Why do they do this? This article from Science will tell you.

Protip: Lock your door before you do a video interview:


27 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. On the Ukrainian drone strike on Moscow from Ukraine. It seems that residential strikes – in an area where the elite live – were the result of electronic jamming of some of the drones by the Russians. And there were a lot more than eight drones. The biggest impact may be on the attitude of the Russian populace. A negative attitude toward P*tin seems to be growing.

      1. Could have been partly psy-op, knowing that many drones would be knocked back and wind up going into Rublyovka, where all the Russian elite apparently live, to bring the war to their laps. Ordinary Russians apparently liked that, too, per the video.

  2. On this day:
    455 – Emperor Petronius Maximus is stoned to death by an angry mob while fleeing Rome. [His name looks vaguely like he had a lot of rocks coming, but then I didn’t study Latin…]

    1669 – Citing poor eyesight as a reason, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary.

    1859 – The clock tower at the Houses of Parliament, which houses Big Ben, starts keeping time.

    1884 – The arrival at Plymouth of Tāwhiao, King of Maoris, to claim the protection of Queen Victoria.

    1889 – Johnstown Flood: Over 2,200 people die after a dam fails and sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

    1909 – The National Negro Committee, forerunner to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), convenes for the first time.

    1911 – The RMS Titanic is launched in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

    1921 – The Tulsa race massacre kills at least 39, but other estimates of black fatalities vary from 55 to about 300.

    1935 – A 7.7 Mw  earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan killing 40,000.

    1942 – World War II: Imperial Japanese Navy midget submarines begin a series of attacks on Sydney, Australia.

    1955 – The U.S. Supreme Court expands on its Brown v. Board of Education decision by ordering district courts and school districts to enforce educational desegregation “at all deliberate speed”.

    1970 – The 7.9 Mw  Ancash earthquake shakes Peru with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VIII (Severe) and a landslide buries the town of Yungay, Peru. Between 66,794 and 70,000 were killed and 50,000 were injured.

    2003 – Air France retires its fleet of Concorde aircraft.

    2005 – Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was “Deep Throat”.

    2008 – Usain Bolt breaks the world record in the 100m sprint, with a wind-legal (+1.7 m/s) 9.72 seconds.

    1819 – Walt Whitman, American poet, essayist, and journalist (d. 1892).

    1852 – Julius Richard Petri, German microbiologist, invented the Petri dish (d. 1921).

    1860 – Walter Sickert, English painter (d. 1942).

    1866 – John Ringling, American entrepreneur; one of the founders of the Ringling Brothers Circus (d. 1936).

    1875 – Rosa May Billinghurst, British suffragette and women’s rights activist (d.1953).

    1908 – Don Ameche, American actor (d. 1993).

    1930 – Clint Eastwood, American actor, director, musician, and producer.

    1945 – Rainer Werner Fassbinder, German actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 1982).

    1946 – Jimmy Cliff, Jamaican singer and musician.

    1947 – Junior Campbell, Scottish singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer.

    1948 – John Bonham, English musician, songwriter and drummer (d. 1980).

    1963 – Viktor Orbán, Hungarian politician, 38th Prime Minister of Hungary.

    1965 – Brooke Shields, American model, actress, and producer.

    The graveyards are full of people who rushed in bravely but unwisely:
    1594 – Tintoretto, Italian painter and educator (b. 1518).

    1809 – Joseph Haydn, Austrian pianist and composer (b. 1732).

    1837 – Joseph Grimaldi, English actor, comedian and dancer, (b. 1779).

    1996 – Timothy Leary, American psychologist and author (b. 1920).

    2010 – Louise Bourgeois, French-American sculptor and painter (b. 1911).

    2016 – Carla Lane, English television writer (b. 1928).

  3. In the UK both confections are called macaroons, which is the anglicised version of the French macaron. Many French words loaned to English gained an extra ‘o’ if they ended with ‘-llon’, such as ballon/balloon. This is actually useful, as loan words from French that do not change at all can lead to some confusion. For example, if I say ‘valet’ with a pronounced ‘t’ at the end, am I ignorant of the French pronunciation—’t’ not sounded at all—or am I using the English word for a gentleman’s gentleman? A similar word for a kind of steak causes amusement. If I say ‘fliet’ with a sounded ‘t’ here in Canada I am simply using the English word. Then the waiter corrects me with ‘Feelay, sir?’ To which I’d be entitled to answer ‘It’s ‘fillay’ in French and ‘fillett’ in English, but it’s not ‘feelay’ anywhere’!

  4. I sure hope Ukraine is not deliberately targeting civilians in these drone strikes (if they ARE Ukrainian drone strikes), for they would lose considerable moral capital if they did that. I doubt that Zelensky would want to deliberately strike civilian targets, which is a war crime.

    It would also be bigtime Bear-baiting. Let’s not give Putin an excuse to lob a nuke (even a tactical nuke) into Ukraine.

    1. I agree that is the main concern. Attacking civilian targets from the air where you can’t really distinguish what you’re hitting and can’t see tied-up people pleading with you not to shoot them in cold blood is not in most cases considered a war crime. The exception is if you lose the war and get captured by the enemy who wants revenge, in which case he will overlook his own missile strikes on your apartment buildings. (Literally: he will look over the evidence and say it never happened. Shoddy Ukrainian buildings fall down by themselves.). Fortunately for our leaders and architects of the Combined Bombing Offensive, Germany and Japan didn’t win the Second World War.

      At some point Zelenskyy will have to take the fight into Russia—I believe he already is. He can’t drive the Russian army back over the border and then sit there while Putin’s artillery pummels him from sanctuaries a few hundred yards away. If he takes Russian territory he can deny those sanctuaries and then give it back, for terms, when Russia sues for peace.

      Moral capital is nice to have but hard to keep once you go on the offensive and try to win. It’s probably not crucial for American professional support as long as Zelenskyy fulfills his side of the bargain which is to maul the Russian Army for us, and doesn’t go too far off leash, like starting WW3.

      1. Let’s see what land Ukraine can take back and hold within their own (former) territory before considering whether they have the capability to take and hold Russian territory. (I highly doubt that they do.) Russian ground forces have been seriously degraded, but their army is now bigger than it was before the war. They will rebuild its capability. In the meantime, their air, sea, space, cyber, and nuclear have suffered little, if at all.

        Yes, Zelensky knows that he can’t win without taking the war into Russia. Good luck trying to push Russia out of Ukraine, especially while leaving their supply lines intact. Could it happen eventually? Perhaps. But what will be left of Ukraine? We can replace as many of their weapons as we like; how many of their fighting-age men will we replace?

        I know that people don’t want to hear it, but this war will end with a negotiated settlement that neither side will fully enjoy but that they will be forced by circumstances to take. The question is this: what compromises, if any, will the U. S. accept to make that happen? And I do mean the U. S.; I don’t mean what compromises will the U. S. try to impose on Ukraine—that’s a separate issue.

        I don’t hold out hope for a settlement anytime soon while the war is being waged with freely-printed U. S. dollars and Ukrainian lives. But if Putin dies and the U. S. administration changes, who knows? Could get better, could get far worse.

        Always enjoy your posts on the issue.

        1. I agree. Taking Russian territory would be aspirational. But making Belgorod untenable as a logistics hub might be do-able. The Allies didn’t stop at the Rhine and spare Germany the grief of ground combat on its soil.

          Attacks on Moscow, if for real, compel Putin to devote air-defence assets to defend the capital. He can’t not. Just as Zelenskyy can’t not use his precious American SAMs to shoot down Russian missiles falling on Kyiv, which would do no military damage if ignored.

          This is what I was getting at about moral capital. When your back’s to the wall on defence, everyone loves you. When you go on the offensive you get held to account because you’re bombing the other guy’s country. It makes military sense for Zelenskyy to show he can attack Moscow, or other big towns easier to reach, if it keeps some Russian SAMs away from the front long enough for what’s left of his Air Force and offensive rockets like HIMARS to support his expected offensive. If that’s what he is doing, I can’t fault him morally. Even if, like the Allied heavy bombers in the Second World War, he can’t hit military targets “surgically” night or day, and chooses civilian habitations because they’re easy to find on a map. (And yes, maybe other mischief-makers are at work.)

          1. The target was a military engineering installation of no strategic signicance but for its proximity to Moscow. See the video link I posted above. The hits in highly affluent civilian spots were where the drones wound up after being deflected by Russian defense systems.

  5. Why do they do this? This article from Science will tell you.
    That’s an excellent article: amusing and informative.

  6. Will the NSF next be asking how many sexual partners each degree recipient had during graduate school, in case promiscuous students are underrepresented?

    When I was in law school, we referred to hooking up with a fellow student as “mating in captivity.” (Come to think of it, I may have been the one first to put that label on it.) It was considered suboptimal, inasmuch as such situations are rife with the potential for awkward consequences. Not that that stopped people; the hormones want what the hormones want.

    1. Nowadays any male law student who succumbed to his hormones would, if he became moderately successful, risk being accused 20 years later of rape. How could he rebut the claim made in a “Believe the victim” environment when only yes stated repeatedly means yes, that all the elements of consent were not explicitly obtained, especially if either party had indulged in alcohol or drugs? As a story in Vox during the hey-day of Me Too put it, “We want the man to feel the same cold stab of fear that every woman feels when a relationship turns sexual.” Especially when it later turns sour.

      Call me sexist but making any kind of sexual advance without witnesses toward a woman would now be just about the most foolish thing a man likely to become successful and generally disliked could do. Maybe that’s for the best. No sex before marriage might actually be a good idea for men and for women. Failing that, at least don’t shit where you eat.

  7. Student loan forgiveness. Many people are horrified by the thought of someone getting something for nothing. “I had to work for it, so should they.” But, the thing is, college education benefits everyone, just like tax supported high school. Why not make it free? Most nations of the word do it that way.

  8. Lawrence Krause is right. It’s stupid and divisive for the NSF to categorize people by their sex or sexual orientation. The next step down this slippery slope will be to demand “equity” of representation for grants, even if doing so compromises the quality of scientific work. Sexual orientation or preference doesn’t matter in science. That’s one of the beauty’s of science. Anyone with the inclination and ability can participate. Let’s not ruin the practice of science by imposing gender quotas or other political litmus tests.

  9. Not a South Asian leopard cat, but a Japanese leopard cat, specifically an Iriomote cat, an endemic species or subspecies (tastes vary) found only on Iriomote Island in the far southern Ryukyus. It’s endemism and occurrence on an island which is not on the continental shelf make it very interesting from an evolutionary biogeography point of view.


  10. I was a little bit confused. Is it macaron day or macaroon day? I know the article says “macaroon” but all the pictures (including the one you used) bar one were of macarons.

    So I did some research. Today is National macaroon day. All the pictures bar one in the article (including the one you used) are wrong. National macaron day is on March 20th.

    Can I suggest adding a picture of an actual macaroon?

    Also the duck has teeth. For some reason that bothers more than it being big enough to eat a car.

  11. “Tuesday’s aerial assault on Moscow — in which at least three residential buildings sustained minor damage — comes weeks after a pair of explosions over the Kremlin, a bold strike aimed at President Vladimir V. Putin’s seat of power. U.S. officials said the attack was most likely orchestrated by one of Ukraine’s special military or intelligence units.
    The Russian Defense Ministry blamed Ukraine for Tuesday’s assault, describing the strike as a “terrorist attack” ”

    The astute and well-informed vlogger Jake Broe points out that there is a certain implausibility in the flight of drones from Ukraine over 500 km of Russian territory to Moscow in broad daylight without being intercepted long before reaching Moscow.
    He suggests that the purported Ukrainian drone attacks on Moscow may have been contrived by Russian FSB operatives, as a device to stir up war fever in Russia. Two
    decades ago, there were reports that Putin’s secret police colleagues had planted
    the explosives in apartment houses that were blamed on the Chechens, justified the
    second Chechen war, and facilitated the election of guess-who as Russian president.

    1. But if they didn’t come from Ukraine, then where? The only territory closer is Russia. But that raises an interesting question. Could they have been launched by Freedom of Russia? If such drones could have made their way into Russia, would there be any trace left behind by their launch, in the way that a projectile leaves the cannon behind that fires it? I have no idea, just wondering out loud.

      In any event, the video from the link I posted above suggests that the reaction in Russia has been one of derision of the gov’t rather than indignation at the strikes.

  12. For clear evidence that rich, educated criminals receive lighter sentences one need look no further than the punishments received by the Varsity Blues ex-cons.

    I read somewhere that the trial judge had difficulty putting a dollar figure on their crime. That was a cop out. The market price for a USC degree is about $400k. Each year a finite number of admission slots are made available. Lori Loughlin’s crime of fraud stole a slot. For her crime, she spent 8 weeks in jail.

    If a person steals $400k from a bank, they get 5 years.

    1. A Southern U.S. prosecutor who was sympathetic to prison and sentencing reform told The Economist a few years ago that Americans have to decide who we’re afraid of and who we’re just mad at. I’m more afraid of the bank robber and the guy who steals my lawn mower than I am of Elizabeth Holmes and Lori Loughlin.

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