Friday: Hili dialogue

July 14, 2023 • 6:45 am

It’s the end of the work week and, at sundown, the beginning of cat shabbos, for it’s Friday July 14, 2023. It’s also National Grand Marnier Day, an excellent tipple for a liqueur, and appropriate for Bastille Day.  Here’s a Grand Marnier soufflé, the special dessert at Joséphine Chez Dumonet, one of my favorite restaurants in Paris (background: an apple tart). Each dessert = one serving.

It’s also National Mac and Cheese Day, World Kebab Day, Shark Awareness DayBastille Day in France, and International Non-Binary People’s Day.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the July 14 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Remember the Equal Rights Amendment, a palpably sensible amendment meant to enshrine equal rights for women in the Constitution? Well, it failed in 1982 because, under the pressure of odious people like Phyllis Schlafly, five states revoked their endorsements. It was never ratified by 3/4 of the states, as per the requirements.  Now, according to the NYT, Democratic senators, led by Kirsten Gillibrand and Cori Bush, are trying to revive it. The tactic is Congressional action to say that the amendment was already approved—that the deadline was unconstitutional.

Democrats in Congress are making a fresh push for the nearly century-old Equal Rights Amendment to be enshrined in the Constitution, rallying around a creative legal theory in a bid to revive an amendment that would explicitly guarantee sex equality as a way to protect reproductive rights in post-Roe America.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Representative Cori Bush of Missouri introduced a joint resolution on Thursday stating that the measure has already been ratified and is enforceable as the 28th Amendment to the Constitution. The resolution states that the national archivist, who is responsible for the certification and publication of constitutional amendments, must immediately do so.

. . .While almost 80 percent of Americans supported adding the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution in a 2020 Pew Research Center poll, there is little chance that the effort will draw the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster in the Senate. But the Democrats’ push is their latest effort to spotlight G.O.P. opposition to social policy measures with broad voter approval, and to call attention to the party’s hostility to abortion rights, which hurt Republicans in the midterm elections.

“This is a political rather than a legal struggle,” said Laurence Tribe, the constitutional scholar and professor emeritus at Harvard Law School. “It would succeed only in a different environment than we have. It’s not going to pass. The real question is what political message is being sent. In a political environment like this, you throw at the wall whatever you can.”

. . . This is Democrats’ second attempt this year to advance the Equal Rights Amendment; in April, Senate Republicans blocked a similar resolution that sought to remove an expired deadline for states to ratify the amendment. Only two Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, voted for the resolution.

Now, Ms. Gillibrand and Ms. Bush are trying a different approach: They are simply ignoring the issue of the expired ratification deadline altogether and introducing a resolution that argues that the E.R.A. is already the law of the land.

. . .“If we acknowledge an unconstitutional deadline, a litany of other procedural hurdles will follow,” Ms. Bush, a founder of the E.R.A. caucus in the House, said at a news conference on Thursday, explaining the strategy. “We can’t let paperwork keep us out of the U.S. Constitution.”

At issue is the complex procedure for adding an amendment to the Constitution, which requires passage by both houses of Congress and ratification by three-quarters of the states, in this case, within a seven-year deadline.

The ERA did pass the threshold, but then five states rescinded their votes, and it was a dead issue.  In some sense we don’t need an ERA, because women’s right have been protected, but the Dems think that if the ERA did pass, there might be a Constitutional basis to overturn the Dobbs deccision, as abortion might be considered a Constitutional right.  Some legal scholars think this tactic (passing the ERA might work). I don’t think it will, but it was reprehensible to not ratify the ERA in the first place.

*OMG, the FDA has approved the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the U.S. The Republicans, sensing a wave of impending sexual activity, must be appalled.

The Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Opill, made by the consumer health giant Perrigo, comes six decades after daily birth control pills were introduced in the United States, drastically changing the lives of countless women and American society. And it means the country will join about 100 other nations that allow the sale of nonprescription birth control pills.

Health experts, citing the pill’s lengthy record of safety and effectiveness, have pushed for a nonprescription pill for years, but their campaign took on new urgency after the Supreme Court last year struck down the fundamental right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade. Oral contraceptives are the most commonly used method of reversible contraception in the U.S.

. . .Opill is expected to be available over the counter in stores early in 2024, according to Perrigo. It will not have an age restriction. The suggested retail price is expected to be announced this fall. The FDA decision applies only to Opill, not to other birth control pills.

In a call with reporters, Frédérique Welgryn, global vice president for women’s health at Perrigo, said the company was committed to making Opill “affordable and accessible” to whomever needs it. She said Perrigo plans to offer financial assistance to people who qualify and hopes insurers will cover the drug, even though over-the-counter medications usually are not covered. Advocates repeatedly raised the issue of insurance coverage Thursday following the FDA action.

This is all good; there’s only one slight issue:

Under the Affordable Care Act, group health plans and insurance companies are required to cover women’s preventive services, including birth control, at no cost. But that applies to prescription products; typically, insurers do not cover OTC drugs. Women’s health advocates Thursday renewed their call for insurance companies to cover Opill without a prescription, and said the Biden administration and Congress should take steps to make that happen.

I’m sure that the Republicans won’t support this, as their vision of the aftermath is a bunch of young people fornicating like weasels everywhere.

*In what seems to be a tremendous war crime, the Russians are holding gazillions of Ukrainian civilians in Russian jails.

Thousands of Ukrainian civilians are being detained across Russia and the Ukrainian territories it occupies, in centers ranging from brand-new wings in Russian prisons to clammy basements. Most have no status under Russian law.

And Russia is planning to hold possibly thousands more. A Russian government document obtained by The Associated Press dating to January outlined plans to create 25 new prison colonies and six other detention centers in occupied Ukraine by 2026.

In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree in May allowing Russia to send people from territories with martial law, which includes all of occupied Ukraine, to those without, such as Russia. This makes it easier to deport Ukrainians who resist Russian occupation deep into Russia indefinitely, which has happened in multiple cases documented by the AP.

Many civilians are picked up for alleged transgressions as minor as speaking Ukrainian or simply being a young man in an occupied region, and are often held without charge. Others are charged as terrorists, combatants, or people who “resist the special military operation.” Hundreds are used for slave labor by Russia’s military, for digging trenches and other fortifications, as well as mass graves.

. . . Torture is routine, including repeated electrical shocks, beatings that crack skulls and fracture ribs, and simulated suffocation. Many former prisoners told the AP they witnessed deaths. A United Nations report from late June documented 77 summary executions of civilian captives and the death of one man due to torture.

Russia does not acknowledge holding civilians at all, let alone its reasons for doing so. But the prisoners serve as future bargaining chips in exchanges for Russian soldiers, and the U.N. has said there is evidence of civilians being used as human shields near the front lines.

The only upside of this, and it’s not much of one, is that those who take Ukrainian civilians prisoner, hold them in jail, and torture them, are guilty of war crimes. There’s nothing so immoral in this conflict that the Russians won’t do it.

*Leslie Van Houten, one of the “Manson girls”, has been released from prison.

Leslie Van Houten, a former Charles Manson follower and convicted murderer, was released from a California prison on Tuesday, a prison spokesperson told CNN.

Van Houten was released to parole supervision, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokesperson Mary Xjimenez said. Van Houten will have a three-year maximum parole term with a parole discharge review occurring after one year, Xjimenez said.

. . .Van Houten’s attorney, Nancy Tetreault, told CNN’s John Berman Tuesday night that her client has “gone through courses to confront what she did – to take responsibility for what she did,” along with “40 years of psych evaluation” to gain parole.

“I understand why … the family members of the victims feel emotional about this and want retribution, but that’s not the law,” Tetreault told Berman. “The law says she has the right to achieve parole if she meets the standard, and the standard is that she no longer poses a danger to society.”

Yes, Van Houten is a murderer; she admitted stabbing Rosemary LaBianca at least 14 times during the double murder in 1969.  But unless you don’t think that even a murderer can be rehabilitated (and I believe they can), or think that they can pose no further danger to society (and Van Houten surely does not), then what purpose is served by making her die in jail. She could, after all, even do some good for people instead of being a weight on society. After spending 53 years in jail, I don’t even think that deterrence alone can justify keeping her in until she dies.

*Below is a video of Glenn Loury and John McWhorter discussing the opprobrium they’ve received by being both beneficiaries of affirmative action as well as people who now oppose affirmative action. Are they “pulling the ladder up behind themselves.” Both of them vehemently deny that, give reasons why they insist on having their say, and, at the end, discuss the “hardship Olympics” that will ensue now that the Supreme Court has banned the use of race-based admissions in college. Students will compete with each other to show how much race-based hardship they overcame. (McWhorter predicts that that, too, will be declared unconstitutional when they show that Asian “hardship” doesn’t get you into college more than black “hardship.”

*A photo of Joe Biden stepping aboard Air Force one without socks has rekindled the Great Debate about whether you should wear socks in the summer. First, the photo:

(from the WSJ): President Biden went sans-socks boarding a recent flight to London. PHOTO: JACQUELYN MARTIN/AP

That’s our PRESIDENT, and he just looks gross! But the debate rages on:

Days before this presidential sockgate, New York magazine’s recommendation site, the Strategist, ran an article in which its advice columnist Chris Black ruled firmly against no-shows—an extremely low-cut variety that tenuously hugs one’s toes and heel. “I want to be very clear. No-show socks are a crime,” Black wrote.

While it didn’t rise to the level of a continent-spanning political-style controversy, Black’s guidance enraged no-show defenders. “They were saying how stupid I am, how I don’t know anything,” said the columnist, who was still receiving feedback days after the story ran. “It hit some deeper chord.”

If last week proved anything, it’s that people have really strong opinions about socks.

Here’s the deciding factor for me:

Sock supporters see hygiene as a point in their favor. “If you wear shoes without socks, before long your shoes are going to stink really bad,” said Alan Wenker, 59, a consultant for a large accounting firm who lives in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minn. In his younger years, he would eschew socks with boat shoes, but eventually found he “didn’t particularly like it.” Today, he wears ankle-highs from Vermont’s Darn Tough.

To me, the only justifiable footwear that allows you to eschew socks are flip-flops, which can be easily washed. No odiferous footwear.  As for those tiny socklets:

The loudest knock on no-show socks is that they aren’t actually invisible. As Black wrote in his article, “No matter how low cut, they peek out and reveal the wearer to be a nerd.”

Funny but true. My rule about socks and shorts is what I call the Clint Eastwood Rule. If Clint wouldn’t wear it, I won’t either (shorts are one example). That’s because he’s so cool. My one exception is flip flops, which I often wear in summer. I don’t think Clint would wear flip-floops.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is plumping for “second breakfast”:

Hili: Did I eat my breakfast?
A: Yes.
Hili: That should not prevent me from repeating this experience.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy ja już jadłam śniadanie?
Ja: Tak.
Hili: To nie powinno przeszkadzać, żeby powtórzyć to doświadczenie.


From the Cat House on the Kings:

From Merilee:

From the Absurd Sign Project 2.0:

From Masih. What is “efaf”? This place defines it as “an indirect Quranic name for girls that means ‘chaste’, ‘virtuous’, ‘pure’, ‘morally excellent’, ‘modest’. It is derived from the AIN-F-F root which is used in a number of places in the Quran. Good for the woman who stomp on it!

From Malcolm; sound up to hear the adorable footfalls:

From Luana. Our Vice President explaining AI. “First of all, it’s two letters. .  ”

From Barry; a rational person pwns a creationist:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a woman murdered at 33 for the crime of being Jewish:

Tweets from the polymathic Dr. Cobb. First: TRIGGER WARNING! Green tongue! Read more here.

A good one:

What a fantastic beetle!

36 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. It is a virtual certainty that the Republicans will find a judge, probably somewhere in Texas, that will ban the sale of Opill on the grounds that it is unsafe or not thoroughly tested. What a boon this will be for Democrats, particularly if the ruling comes before the 2024 election! Democrats should beg for such a ruling. Republican cultural extremism, based on the Party’s dominance by the evangelical right, will be once again exposed, thereby convincing more middle-of-the-road voters to cast their ballots for the Democrats.

  2. I am always annoyed by current “A.I.” talk. What we have seems a long way from independently operating machine intelligence. In fact, the other day I read a piece that called it autocomplete on steroids, and I think that about sums it up.

    1. Yep. I spent a year in the early 90’s being the adult supervision for an aircraft crew and flight systems department. The engineers were working on pilot assistants which included what was called neural networks and artificial intelligence. At that time both exercises seemed to be not much more than curve fitting which give some degree of interpolative capability but no extrapolative advantage. I do not know that that fundamental math fact has changed. I use cruise control on my car, but never take my eyes and mind away from full situational awareness so I can intervene at any time.

  3. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

    I predict that men will be the primary beneficiaries of this amendment.

    1. There goes women’s sports, shelters, prisons, and locker rooms, all spaces and services specified “under the law” that men have no “rights” to enter on account of their “sex”. Maybe Ms. Schlafly was onto something.

      Sometimes measures fail despite having broad popular support because the lawmakers who actually make the decision consider nuances and consequences that the average low-information poll-answerer agrees with because it sounds good.

      1. Today, one would think that the authors of this bill will define sex in the bill. That’s the problem with Title IX: it does not define sex (because when it was passed by Congress in 1972 nobody anticipated that one day some people might claim to self-identify into a biological category that has nothing to do with how people identify) . So now we have attempts to reinterpret sex (in Title IX) as gender identity.

        1. But the text of the ERA is what it is, as Lysander quotes. To change it now, to insert a definition of sex, would require starting the Constitutional Amendment process all over again from Square One. Pass through both Houses with supermajorities, Presidential approval, then out to the State Legislatures. The proposition is that the Amendment is to be ratified as the law of the land, as it was written and passed long ago. You can’t just add text into it willy-nilly.

          But here’s the kicker. Even if you did define sex robustly (gamete size, body plan, as we all agree), men would still claim entitlement to encroach on women’s spaces. Not because they identified as women but because the ERA says laws that discriminate against men are unconstitutional. Any man could just walk into a women’s locker room because any law that said they couldn’t would be struck down. Men and women prisoners would just be mixed together because a women’s prison that excluded men would be prohibited.

          My memory could be wrong—and I’m sure someone will correct me—that Phyllis Schlafly did warn way back then that ratification of the ERA would mean that men would barge into women’s public bathrooms. She got a collective eye-roll at the time. People scoffed, “As if anyone’s going to do that!”

          Well, guess what.

      2. Yes, way back when the ERA was being debated, my question was “What rights are you referring to?” The amendment doesn’t enumerate rights so it would be wide open for interpretation, would undoubtedly lead to many court cases, and I would expect liberal and conservative judges to come to radically different conclusions about it. I thought it would be a mess if it passed. And to put the modern spin on it, I can’t help but think about how it would play out with trans issues. It reminds me of the common phrase, “Trans rights are human rights” but when you ask someone to enumerate “trans rights” they won’t answer. Very few people would argue trans people shouldn’t have human rights, but there is definitely disagreement over whether some of the things trans activists want should be called “rights.” I would expect trans activists to file loads of lawsuits if ERA somehow finally passed.

        Peter brings up a good point too. The UK has a 2010 Equality Act, and a major point in contention is what is meant by “sex.” Some want it to refer to biological sex, but others (typically trans activists) want it to refer to legal sex. This can have huge legal as well as definitional implications. For instance, if an adult male who identifies as a man is married to an intact adult female who also identifies as a man and has had their legal documented sex changed, are they legally in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship?

        I might support an amendment that defined sex and enumerated applicable rights, but I don’t support the wide open ERA.

      3. This is the reason why many feminists, including me, now oppose the current version of ERA. When Alice Paul wrote it in 1927, everybody knew what a Woman was. Actually, everyone knew what a Woman was until around 2012. Now, however, any man can become a Woman simply by saying he is.

        I guarantee you that should ERA pass, some men, especially trans-identified males, will use it to claim they were ‘discriminated on the basis of sex’ when they try to invade Women-only places.

        I would support a revised version of ERA to specify BIOLOGICAL sex, the biological definition of sex, and specifically preserving Women-only places such as athletics, locker rooms, changing rooms, bathrooms, prisons, and rape and domestic violence services.

        Trans-identified males want to have it both ways. They claim that biological sex isn’t real until it benefits them to claim to be male. One example is a Woman I met (a trans widow; her husband discovered his true identity during their marriage) whose trans-identified male ex-husband demanded in their divorce proceedings to be legally declared their child’s mother AND father. Naturally, when the child’s real mother demanded child support from the TIM, he suddenly played the gender card and cited the Woman’s ‘transphobia’ in attempting to avoid financially supporting his own child. We’ll see many more stories like this one.

  4. Say what you will about climate change or global warming, that statement that any day is the hottest in over 100,000 years has no basis in fact. That’s the wake-up call.

    1. I am in a predicting mood this morning. I predict that we will spend $10-20 trillion on windmills and solar panels and at some point we will realize that all of that spending will not have made the slightest dent in CO2 levels.

      1. It really amounts to how quickly the money is invested. If the world invested $1 trillion a year (which is about what the world spent in 2022) then yes, it will not make a dent in CO2 levels. Your $10-20 trillion investment scenario, at the current pace (meaning it will take 10-20 years for all the trillions to be spent) won’t do squat. It’s way too small of an amount. The world needs to be spending a lot more than what it is; I don’t know what that number is, but $1 trillion a year won’t cut it. Of course, the over-arching problem is that most countries, the US included, are increasing greenhouse gas output, not decreasing it.

        At the same time, 2022 was the first year where green energy investment matched that of fossil fuels, so that’s a good trend.
        Electrified transport is in its infancy, and this could also be a game changer once electric cars start replacing combustion cars in a meaningful way (it’s not all solar and windmills). There are also emergent technologies which could change things in a big wayf. It really comes down to political will and the knowledge that the world is not doing nearly enough, and even those countries that are doing the “most” can’t make up for those that aren’t. The biggest problem in America is that approx. half of the political power is wielded by people who either deny climate change is happening, or simply don’t care, because, money.

        I guess this is a long way of saying: if the world spent $10-20 trillion on energy transition every few years, I think we could make a dent, or at least reach an equilibrium. Of course, to reach this goal, the largest expenditures like military spending (esp. in the US, China and NATO) would need to be dramatically reduced, but with dictators like Putin, Xi and Jong Un running around, this isn’t feasible. An intractable problem it would seem.

        1. You might be referring to the IEA report which I have linked to here:

          I’m citing the secondary source, which I’m sure you won’t like, because it refers to both the IEA report and a second report from EI, another think tank, called Statistical Review of World Energy, thus avoiding multiple links in this one post.

          In fact in every year since 2015, investment in wind and solar and the grid + storage enhancements necessary to use weather-dependent generators — almost all of this is for electricity generation — has exceeded total fossil fuel investment, much of which is for transportation and other uses as well as for electricity. (First chart in the link.) For electricity itself, investment in wind and solar (+ grid & storage) exceeds fossil and nuclear generation several-fold, yet this enormous investment of $1.1 trillion each year has not been enough to meet rising demand for electricity, requiring further modest increases in fossil fuel investment, most of which is in India and China. (Second chart in link, plus second report cited.) Fossil fuels remain at 82% of total world energy even as energy use and CO2 emissions continue to rise.

          This large investment in wind, solar and the grid + storage enhancments doesn’t seem to be paying off in reducing emissions. Either it’s not enough, or it’s a bad investment, like tulip bulbs and sub-prime mortgages. Do you think we should quintuple down and go to $10-20 trillion every few years, in an era where money is no longer free? Is reducing CO2 emissions to zero (gross-zero; there is no net-zero) by 2050 worth whatever it costs or is there some figure that it would be better just to save the money in order to deal with whatever happens in 50 – 100 years? Don’t forget that the wind doesn’t blow all the time. No matter how many windmills you build, sometimes you get zero electricity out of them. This in a nutshell is why wind and solar are a poor investment. If you have to pay the cost of unreliability out of what the wind and solar project makes, it doesn’t pay unless subsidized. In the last 11 days, Ontario’s windmills have produced electricity on only one of them. If we didn’t have gas, the lights would have gone out.

          The big problem country is not the United States, nor any country in the de-industrialized West, all of whom were until recently reducing coal use even as total energy demand grew. The problem countries are China and India who have decided to sit out the world’s efforts to mitigate climate change as they become the world’s coal-fired workshops. They honestly don’t care whether the science is solid or not. In Western countries we pretend to care but don’t plan to do anything much. EVs are I suppose the low-hanging fruit but they remain unpopular where not subsidized or mandated and emissions savings over the life compared to a combustion car are modest….much smaller than doing without an automobile altogether and using only public transit or hoofing it. (Hint to policy makers.)

          We all must make our own spending and investment decisions, not just Republican plutocrats. The world does not seem to think that spending $3 – 5 trillion dollars each year on windmills, plus an as-yet un-costed amount to “decarbonize” (i.e., mostly do without) cement, transportation, and agriculture by 2050 is a good investment. If it did, it would be doing it. But yeah, money. Mine and yours.

        2. I don’t think spending the money faster will help much. There are far too many challenges that must be overcome for which money is only a partial answer. For example, is it really just money that the Chumash tribe wants?

          “Members of the Northern Chumash Tribe and conservationists want to preserve 140 miles of California’s central coastline, extending offshore more than 70 miles in some areas, to protect tribal history and biodiversity.”

          The amount of minerals and the number of mines required for the clean energy transition is staggering. It takes about 16 years to open a new mine. Money can help cut through red tape but I suspect environmentalist will still demand studies be conducted, as they should. Plus, money will only go so far to reverse the decline in the number of mining and energy engineers in the world.

          “Mining is not currently an aspirational industry for young technical talent to join: there has been around a 63 percent drop in mining engineering enrollment in Australia since 2014 and a 39 percent drop in mining graduations in the United States since 2016.”

          “A ‘Dirty’ Job That Few Want: Mining Companies Struggle to Hire for the Energy Transition — A skills shortage is threatening to slow the shift to a green economy, as more young people are turning their noses up at mining jobs”

          “Lily Dickson was hurrying across the University of Leeds campus when a student campaigner handed her a flier that called for a ban on campus recruiting by mining and oil-and-gas companies. … The ban wasn’t an empty threat or an isolated incident. Last year, four U.K. universities—but not Leeds—banned mining firms from recruiting on campus and attending careers fairs, part of a broader trend of college graduates and young workers turning their backs on extractive industries that they fear harm the planet. “

          For more on the topic of clean energy and specifically the challenges of mining the minerals needed for the transition, I recommend this talk given by Mark Mills, a respected industry expert.

          Mills’ association with the Manhattan Institute and the title of the video, “The energy transition delusion: inescapable mineral realities,” shouldn’t dissuade anyone from watching his talk. Mills is an optimist and believes we must transition to clean energy, but he questions the speed at which that transition can be accomplished. I think you’ll find that he knows his stuff. If you disagree, I’d appreciate sources that contradict him.

          Mills dives deep into the EV transition here:

    2. Given that it’s entirely sensible to argue that a hottest day or hottest week would only occur during times when the average temp was high for a sustained period (this pretty much has to be the case, where would the energy come from otherwise?), and thus that it has to be relatively recent, from times when we have good records (for most of that 100,000 years the Earth was in ice ages, and was much cooler), I think the claim does indeed have a basis in fact.

  5. Over the past few years, I have come to wearing white, cotton socks as a default with shorts or jeans, which are my default pants since retirement. As an old codger, this attire seems to get no criticism, is comfortable and hygienic. I think that some foot covering between skin and shoe is indeed hygienic, but height of that covering is purely a matter of appearance and personal preference. My preference for full height socks is driven in a large part by walking through our yard with its insects, spiders, and other ankle biting fauna.

    Oh, and the apple tart at Josephine Chez Dumont looks great.

  6. So now wearing or not wearing socks is a political issue. It figures, everything else is. I say if you don’t wear socks you should stop wearing shoes. Really save some money. I wear shorts all summer long. However I also wear underwear. The over the counter pill is great. They should have them for males as well. You know, the ones who are afraid to get that little operation. Should make the pill free. Maybe put it in food. What takes money from everyone and lies all the time. That would be republicans.

    1. The drawback of invisible contraception in either sex is that neither party to the sex act can trust the other that conception cannot occur. Both sides may have incentive to lie. The Pill for women worked for men only insofar as the man could abandon her if she got pregnant when he thought she was safe. Rationally, both sides should take oral contraceptives.

      Since we’re making predictions today, I predict the Republicans will not oppose this OTC pill. They might not want to compel insurers to cover it, as an OTC drug.

  7. Sine the ERA was only ever ratified by 35 states (of the needed 38), either by the original or extended deadline, the twin questions of i) could the deadline be extended; and, ii) could a state revoke a ratification, have never been adjudicated, the Supreme Court holding in 1982 that the questions were moot, as ratification had failed no matter how the above two questions were resolved.


    1. In this political environment it is dead. The democrats must want to add this to their list of items for campaign issues. The republicans are so upside down it is amazing how many women still go for this party. It’s like being a chicken and being in favor of Kentucky Fried.

  8. “A 64-year-old man with current tobacco use presented with a 2-week history of tongue discoloration.”

    Dude probably doesn’t wanna feature that pic on his Ourtime dating app profile.

  9. On this day:
    1789 – Storming of the Bastille in Paris. This event escalates the widespread discontent into the French Revolution.[8] Bastille Day is still celebrated annually in France.

    1791 – Beginning of Priestley Riots (to 17 July) in Birmingham targeting Joseph Priestley as a supporter of the French Revolution.

    1798 – The Sedition Act of 1798 becomes law in the United States making it a federal crime to write, publish, or utter false or malicious statements about the United States government.

    1853 – Opening of the first major US world’s fair, the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in New York City.

    1865 – The first ascent of the Matterhorn is completed by Edward Whymper and his party, four of whom die on the descent.

    1874 – The Chicago Fire of 1874 burns down 47 acres of the city, destroying 812 buildings, killing 20, and resulting in the fire insurance industry demanding municipal reforms from Chicago’s city council.

    1881 – American outlaw Billy the Kid is shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in the Maxwell House at Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

    1933 – In a decree called the Gleichschaltung, Adolf Hitler abolishes all German political parties except the Nazis.

    1933 – Nazi eugenics programme begins with the proclamation of the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring requiring the compulsory sterilization of any citizen who suffers from alleged genetic disorders.

    1943 – In Diamond, Missouri, the George Washington Carver National Monument becomes the first United States National Monument in honor of an African American.

    1960 – Jane Goodall arrives at the Gombe Stream Reserve in present-day Tanzania to begin her study of chimpanzees in the wild.

    1965 – Mariner 4 flyby of Mars takes the first close-up photos of another planet. The photographs take approximately six hours to be transmitted back to Earth.

    2015 – NASA’s New Horizons probe performs the first flyby of Pluto, and thus completes the initial survey of the Solar System.

    2016 – A man ploughs a truck into a Bastille Day celebration in Nice, France, killing 86 people and injuring another 434 before being shot by police.

    1671 – Jacques d’Allonville, French astronomer and mathematician (d. 1732).

    1862 – Florence Bascom, American geologist and educator (d. 1945).

    1862 – Gustav Klimt, Austrian painter and illustrator (d. 1918).

    1866 – Juliette Wytsman, Belgian painter (d. 1925).

    1868 – Gertrude Bell, English archaeologist and political officer (d. 1926).

    1910 – William Hanna, American animator, director, producer, and actor, co-founded Hanna-Barbera (d. 2001).

    1912 – Woody Guthrie, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1967).

    1918 – Ingmar Bergman, Swedish director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2007).

    1918 – Jay Wright Forrester, American computer engineer and systems scientist (d. 2016).

    1938 – Jerry Rubin, American activist, author, and businessman (d. 1994).

    1945 – Jim Gordon, American rock drummer and convicted murderer (d. 2023).

    And gravitating with it to this ground,
    Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
    If only that so many dead lie round.

    1575 – Richard Taverner, English translator (b. 1505).

    1827 – Augustin-Jean Fresnel, French physicist and engineer, reviver of wave theory of light, inventor of catadioptric lighthouse lens (b. 1788).

    1984 – Ernest Tidyman, American author and screenwriter; Academy Award winner for The French Connection (b. 1928).

    2017 – Maryam Mirzakhani, Iranian mathematician; only woman to win the Fields Medal (2014), the most prestigious award in mathematics (b. 1977).

  10. My rule about socks and shorts is what I call the Clint Eastwood Rule. If Clint wouldn’t wear it, I won’t either (shorts are one example). That’s because he’s so cool.

    Bet you cut a dashing figure in a poncho, boss. (Cue the Ennio Morricone score.) Me, I follow the Jimmy Buffett rule — never wear shoes or socks where you can get away without them. But then that’s long been the prevailing style here in the coccyx of the Florida spine.

  11. The Republicans, sensing a wave of impending sexual activity, must be appalled.

    Unless it’s restricted to a quick hump in the missionary position, with the lights out, for procreative purposes only.

    1. A smart Republican law student would insist on having the lights on, so the videotape of the encounter clearly documented that enthusiastic. positive consent was unambiguously obtained and demonstrated at every stage of the proceedings, including that a condom seen to be present at the beginning was still there at completion. This precaution would be especially important for a Republican because, as we all know, no woman would have sex with one except for the purpose of getting him into serious trouble.

      In case anyone thinks I’m being inventively nasty, a woman wrote in Vox, at peak #MeToo in 2019, that she believed it was time for men to feel the same cold stab of fear that she did when a relationship began to turn sexual.

  12. To understand the full significance of the Kamala Harris clip, it is important to remember that she is the Biden administration’s “AI Czar.”

    Vice President Kamala Harris was officially named the Biden Administration’s new “AI Czar,” appointed to help oversee the responsible development of artificial intelligence amid rapidly growing concerns that weakly regulated expansion of the tech could quickly turn dangerous.

  13. Why should only “race-based” hardship be considered in college admissions? What about sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and so on? If hardship is a criterion, what is to stop people from inventing stories: “I was abused;” “I was molested;” “I am on the autism spectrum;” etc? Who could disprove these claims?

    1. Because the colleges want black faces in the lecture halls, and black bodies filling all that racially segregated “affinity housing” they built at great expense, that’s why. Imagine if the black-only dorm now has 100 empty beds, with affirmative action gone. Does the college let white or Asian students rent those rooms, who would otherwise have to live off-campus? Or does it honour its pledge to maintain racial purity for the small number of black students who do get in, and bar the other students. “Sorry. Full up.” So enter race-based hardship stories to fill the dorm to avoid embarrassing exposes in the student newspaper.

      The answer to your second question follows. They don’t want non-black hardship stories because they don’t want non-black students. It’s as simple and cynical as that. They also don’t want non-falsifiable stories. Unlike an “abused” story, a black hardship story can be adjudicated just by looking at the applicant’s face. They don’t care if it’s true. That’s not the point.

  14. Going sock-less works fine with all types of sandals and also with canvas loafers, which are great in warm, dry weather. On wet summer days on the golf course, I wear golf sandals made of neoprene, rubber, and velcro specifically because socks would eventually get damp from stepping on wet spots, and I can hose off my muddy sandals when I get home.

    But yes, you need socks with sneakers, dress shoes, and boots.

    There are no-see socks which don’t peek out even from loafers, but not all socks labeled “no-see” live up to the billing.

  15. Re: the chicken comment:

    “Somewhere a chicken, the daughter of theropods, stirs in her sleep. She dreams of thunder that shook the fronds of Cretaceous ferns, and the taste of blood, and conquest.”

    Compare this to Borges’s description of a jaguar in a cage in Dante’s time, from his “Inferno, I, 32”:

    “He did not know, could not know, that he longed for love and cruelty and the hot pleasure of tearing things to pieces and the wind carrying the scent of a deer…”

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