Tuesday: Hili dialogue

August 1, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to August! It’s the first of that month, Tuesday (the Cruelest Day) and 2023, as well as National Raspberry Cream Pie Day, a dessert I’ve never had the pleasure to eat.  And August is also:

National Catfish Month
National Panini Month
National Peach Month
National Sandwich Month

Here is the King of Sandwiches: a large pastrami sammy from Harold’s Deli in Edison, N. J. (Right off I-95; go if you’re in the area.). There’s a bread bar for extra bread and a pickle bar for those half sours.

It’s also American Family Day, National Girlfriends Day, Friendship Day, World Lung Cancer Day, Homemade Pie Day, Sisters’ Day, Statehood Day for ColoradoSwiss National Day (Switzerland), World Scout Scarf Day, and, of course,Yorkshire Day, which we’ll celebrate with this classic Monty Python video:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the August 1 Wikipedia page.

There’s a Google Doodle celebrating the FIFA Women’s World Cup today. Click to access:

I just heard that the U.S. tied Portugal 0-0 in the match today. For what that means, go here.

Da Nooz:

*Obituaries first: Paul Reubens, known to everyone as “Pee-wee Herman,” died of cancer at age 70.  Born Paul Rubenfeld, he entertained gazillions of kids with his movies and t.v. appearances, until he was arrested in 1991 for indecent exposure in an adult theater, and then later for weed possession. Nevertheless, he made a comeback. Here he is in the trailer for “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” (2016).


*Oy! Though this is not surprising, a new NYT/Siena poll shows that Trump has a huge lead over DeSantis and his other rivals for the Republican Presidential nomination. We discussed this yesterday morning, but here’s the NYT’s take. First, the depressing stats again:

Mr. Trump held decisive advantages across almost every demographic group and region and in every ideological wing of the party, the survey found, as Republican voters waved away concerns about his escalating legal jeopardy. He led by wide margins among men and women, younger and older voters, moderates and conservatives, those who went to college and those who didn’t, and in cities, suburbs and rural areas.

The poll shows that some of Mr. DeSantis’s central campaign arguments — that he is more electable than Mr. Trump, and that he would govern more effectively — have so far failed to break through. Even Republicans motivated by the type of issues that have fueled Mr. DeSantis’s rise, such as fighting “radical woke ideology,” favored the former president.

Overall, Mr. Trump led Mr. DeSantis 54 percent to 17 percent. No other candidate topped 3 percent support in the poll.

Below those lopsided top-line figures were other ominous signs for Mr. DeSantis. He performed his weakest among some of the Republican Party’s biggest and most influential constituencies. He earned only 9 percent support among voters at least 65 years old and 13 percent of those without a college degree. Republicans who described themselves as “very conservative” favored Mr. Trump by a 50-point margin, 65 percent to 15 percent.

I just don’t get it. I can’t fathom the mentality of anybody who would vote for a lying, blustering authoritarian narcissist, a sexual predator, and probably a crook to boot. The man is a parody of himself: a living “It Can’t Happen Here.” Somebody please explain it to me!

*The war goes on.  Yesterday, Russians killed five in two missile strike on Ukrainian President Zelensky’s home town.

Six people were killed and at least 75 injured in Russian strikes on a residential building and a university building in Kryvyi Rih.The head of the Dnipropetrovsk Regional Administration said one of the dead was found trapped in the rubble of a destroyed laboratory at the university.

Emergency workers in Kryvyi Rih were able to rescue a 10-year-old girl who initially had been reported dead, according to the Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.

This, and the strike in Kherson described below, may have been Putin’s retribution for the drone strikes in Moscow and Crimea the other day, no doubt coming from Ukrainian forces.

CNN adds that Russian shelling of civilian areas also occurred in Kherson:

Ukraine says Russian shelling of the city of Kherson has killed at least 4 people and injured 17 others, the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office, Andrii Yermak posted on Telegram on Monday.

“The enemy is hitting residential areas,” Yermak wrote. “The Korabelny district and the central part of the city suffered the most. There are 4 dead and 17 wounded as of now.”

Local officials said Russia had intensified shelling on the city to provide cover for rotating troops.

In the meantime, a Russian official unwisely mentioned the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons:

The White House is criticizing senior Russian defense official Dmitry Medvedev’s comments suggesting Russia may resort to nuclear weapons if Ukraine is successful in its counteroffensive.

A National Security Council spokesperson called the rhetoric “reckless and irresponsible” on Monday. So far, the US has not seen any indications Russia is preparing to turn to nuclear weapons, the spokesperson added.

“The use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine — or anywhere — would be disastrous for the world and would have severe consequences for Russia,” the spokesperson said.

“We continue to monitor this closely, but we have not seen any reason to adjust our own nuclear posture nor any indications that Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon,” they added.

This is probably a threat that’s merely bluster, but I wonder what the allies would do if the Russians did employ tactical nukes.

*The heat wave in the American Southwest continues, and scientists now say that July may have been the hottest month (worldwide) in the history of human civilization. That’s about 6,000 years.

Phoenix sizzled through its 31st consecutive day of at least 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 Celsius) and other parts of the country grappled Sunday with record temperatures after a week that saw significant portions of the U.S. population subject to extreme heat.

The National Weather Service said Phoenix climbed to a high of 111 F (43.8 Celsius) before the day was through.

July has been so steamy thus far that scientists calculate it will be the hottest month ever recorded and likely the warmest human civilization has seen. The World Meteorological Organization and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service on Thursday proclaimed July beyond record-smashing.

The historic heat began blasting the lower Southwest U.S. in late June, stretching from Texas across New Mexico and Arizona and into California’s desert.

. . .Back in Phoenix, slight relief may be on the way as expected seasonal thunderstorms could drop temperatures Monday and Tuesday.

“It should be around 108 degrees, so we break that 110 streak,” meteorologist Tom Frieders said. “Increasing cloud cover will put temperatures in a downward trend.”

The relief could be short-lived, however. Highs are expected to creep back to 110 F (43.3 C) Wednesday with temperatures reaching 115 F (46.1 C) by the end of the week.

Phoenix has also sweated through a record 16 consecutive nights when the lows temperature didn’t dip below 90 F (32.2 C), making it hard for people to cool off after sunset.

I checked in with some friends who live near Phoenix, and of course heard that it was intolerable. They posted a photo of their indoor/outdoor thermometers and humidity measures, and told me that no matter how long you run the cold water tap, the water never gets cold. When I see this I’m glad I’m in Chicago!

*At the Women’s World Cup, co-host Australia smashed Canada 4-0, winning group B and advancing to the knockout stage.

The women’s World Cup continued Monday with the final round of matches in Group B. Co-host nation Australia advanced to the knockout stage with a convincing 4-0 win over Canada. The Canadians would have advanced with a win or a draw. In the other match that was played simultaneously, Nigeria and Ireland finished in a scoreless draw, and Nigeria advanced. Continue reading for highlights.

. . .Hayley Raso scored early in the first half. The Australian midfielder also did so late in the opening 45 minutes. Mary Fowler added a third and Stephanie Catley a fourth for emphasis in the second half as women’s World Cup co-host Australia advanced into the knockout stage following an efficient and comprehensive 4-0 victory over Canada on Monday at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.

The result, combined with Nigeria’s 0-0 draw against Ireland, put the Matildas atop Group B, setting up a round-of-16 match against the Group D runner-up in Sydney on Aug. 7.

The Aussie women’s team is called “The Matildas”! Here are the game highlights:

Portugal plays the U.S. today.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili wants to go out:

Hili: Are you coming?
A: No, I have to water the flowers.
Hili: First, open the door for me.
In Polish:
Hili: Idziesz?
Ja: Nie, muszę jeszcze podlać kwiaty.
Hili: Najpierw otwórz mi drzwi.

. . . and a photo of Baby Kulka:


From Nicole, an Elizabeth McNair cartoon:

From Divy, with the operant word blotted out (but it’s easy to guess):

From Amazing Stuff: “That awkward moment when you are working on Saturday projects around the house and are suddenly confronted by an ostrich. 😲
Credit: Brian Hollingsworth”:

Masih’s daughter is apparently in Iran, though I’m surprised given that the government could take her hostage. But here’s the photo, and her daughter is, of course, sans hijab:

From Emma Hilton, mocking Jacqueline Rose’s New Statesman essay on why sex isn’t a binary. And yes, the first sentence is taken from Rose’s “argument.”

From Simon:

From Barry. Trust the science.

From the Auschwitz Memorial, marking the beginning of the Warsaw Uprising, which failed and led to the expulsion of the entire civilian population of Warsaw, many sent to the camps:

Tweets from the clear-seeing Dr. Cobb. The first one will make you the life of the party:

A recursion cat with a cat on its nose!

Matthew says the “pearls” are secondary sex characters. They’re bigger in males, and are apparently used in male-male fighting as well as during the weird way that the males bury fertilized eggs.



36 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1498 – Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to visit what is now Venezuela.

    1620 – Speedwell leaves Delfshaven to bring pilgrims to America by way of England.

    1714 – George, Elector of Hanover, becomes King George I of Great Britain, marking the beginning of the Georgian era of British history.

    1774 – British scientist Joseph Priestley discovers oxygen gas, corroborating the prior discovery of this element by German-Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele.

    1800 – The Acts of Union 1800 are passed which merge the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

    1834 – Slavery is abolished in the British Empire as the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 comes into force, although it remains legal in the possessions of the East India Company until the passage of the Indian Slavery Act, 1843.

    1893 – Henry Perky patents shredded wheat. [At least we know who to blame… My maternal grandfather called the stuff “donkeys’ bedsteads”.]

    1894 – The Empire of Japan and Qing China declare war on each other after a week of fighting over Korea, formally inaugurating the First Sino-Japanese War.

    1911 – Harriet Quimby takes her pilot’s test and becomes the first U.S. woman to earn an Aero Club of America aviator’s certificate.

    1933 – Anti-Fascist activists Bruno Tesch, Walter Möller, Karl Wolff and August Lütgens are executed by the Nazi regime in Altona.

    1936 – The Olympics opened in Berlin with a ceremony presided over by Adolf Hitler.

    1944 – World War II: The Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi German occupation breaks out in Warsaw, Poland.

    1965 – Frank Herbert’s novel, Dune was published for the first time. It was named as the world’s best-selling science fiction novel in 2003.

    1966 – Purges of intellectuals and imperialists becomes official China policy at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

    1971 – The Concert for Bangladesh, organized by former Beatle George Harrison, is held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. [I still have the LP somewhere, I think.]

    1976 – Niki Lauda has a severe accident that almost claims his life at the German Grand Prix at Nurburgring.

    1980 – Vigdís Finnbogadóttir is elected President of Iceland and becomes the world’s first democratically elected female head of state.

    1981 – MTV begins broadcasting in the United States and airs its first video, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles.

    2008 – Eleven mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth in the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering.

    10 BC – Claudius, Roman emperor (d. 54).

    1744 – Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, French soldier, biologist, and academic (d. 1829).

    1779 – Lorenz Oken, German-Swiss botanist, biologist, and ornithologist (d. 1851).

    1818 – Maria Mitchell, American astronomer and academic (d. 1889).

    1819 – Herman Melville, American novelist, short story writer, and poet (d. 1891).

    1865 – Isobel Lilian Gloag, English painter (d. 1917).

    1905 – Helen Sawyer Hogg, American-Canadian astronomer and academic (d. 1993).

    1927 – María Teresa López Boegeholz, Chilean oceanographer (d. 2006).

    1929 – Ann Calvello, American roller derby racer (d. 2006).

    1930 – Lionel Bart, English composer (d. 1999).

    1930 – Pierre Bourdieu, French sociologist, anthropologist, and philosopher (d. 2002).

    1931 – Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    1936 – Laurie Taylor, English sociologist, radio host, and academic.

    1942 – Jerry Garcia, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1995).

    1946 – Boz Burrell, English singer-songwriter, bass player, and guitarist (d. 2006). [Best known for his singing with King Crimson (1971–1972) and bass playing in Bad Company (1973–1982, 1998–1999).]

    1951 – Tommy Bolin, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1976).

    1953 – Robert Cray, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    1959 – Joe Elliott, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer.

    1965 – Sam Mendes, English director and producer.

    1987 – Karen Carney, English women’s footballer.

    If you can hear this whispering you are dying:
    30 BC – Mark Antony, Roman general and politician (b. 83 BC).

    527 – Justin I, Byzantine emperor (b. 450).

    1807 – John Walker, English actor, philologist, and lexicographer (b. 1732). [A friend of the leading literary men of his time, including Samuel Johnson and Edmund Burke, in 1775 Walker published his Rhyming Dictionary, which achieved a great success, and was often reprinted. His Critical Pronouncing Dictionary (1791) achieved an even greater reputation, and had some 40 editions.]

    1903 – Calamity Jane, American frontierswoman and scout (b. 1853).

    1943 – Lydia Litvyak, Russian lieutenant and pilot (b. 1921)

    1967 – Richard Kuhn, Austrian-German biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1900).

    1977 – Francis Gary Powers, American captain and pilot (b. 1929).

    1996 – Lucille Teasdale-Corti, Canadian physician and surgeon (b. 1929).

    2015 – Cilla Black, English singer and actress (b. 1943).

  2. Trump maintains his grip on the Republican Party because he is a cult leader. Like all demagogues he is a showman and has the ability, as no one else has, to portray himself and his followers as victims. Victimhood is the heart of the MAGA movement. Trump has said thousands of times that he has been treated unfairly by the media and now government with the indictments. His followers identify with him because they too feel that they are being treated unfairly; that’s why they feel that they are the victims of discrimination. To put it another way: they perceive that their sense of self-esteem and self-worth are under attack. When people feel that the essence of their being is demeaned, they will latch on to a person or group that says the opposite – that they are people of worth, that they are victims of malignant forces that must be opposed no matter what the consequences. This is the appeal of Trump, right-wing extremist groups and the long line of demagogues throughout history, including the likes of Father Coughlin in the 1930s. Thus, Trump’s appeal is far from new. But, what is unique about Trump and makes him particularly dangerous is that never before in American history has an authoritarian demagogue captured a major political party. And this is why, in my opinion, Trump will be considered by future historians as one of the top five presidents in terms of their impact on the nation. And the Trump story is far from over. We still don’t know whether democracy will survive the cult of victimhood. As NYU professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a student of fascism explains: “His victimhood is key to his followers accepting the line that his repressive and brutal actions are taken in self-defense. His aggression is always marketed as necessary for his survival and that of his followers as well.”


    1. I would add that the MAGA cultists have made Trump a mythic figure, a god-like savior, and Trump, with his reptilian instincts, has seized on and cultivated this figure. Thus, no amount of reason can dissuade the MAGA cultists from their worship of Trump. I used the word “reptilian” deliberately, because Trump, consciously or unconsciously, triggers the amygdala response in his followers, which shuts down their higher brain functions and renders them easily subject to, as Historian alludes to above, fear-based motivation.

      1. If I may, a further addition: The only way to counteract Trump’s mythic figure is with an opposite mythic figure. Unfortunately, neither the traditional Republicans nor the current Democrats have a clue about how to come up with one. These two groups continually and futilely try to convince Trump voters using rational arguments. The only thing that can sway someone who votes for Trump is a more emotionally powerful mythic figure. I’m afraid the mythic figure of Uncle Joe/Grandpa Joe/Dark Biden or Cool Mom/cipher Harris are too weak to do the trick. And the Dems have no one on the bench to substitute. Buttigieg? Futterman? What are their mythic images? Straight-laced gay. Mentally troubled hulk.😩

      2. What puzzles me, though, is the thesis that the Trump supporters are such a monoculture. Surely there is diversity among them. My hypothesis is that some of them (and I don’t know how many “some” is) are saying they support Trump in polls not bc they really prefer him. Rather, they recognize that he is leading by a wide margin, and they don’t want to express support for a loser. This is I think a herding effect that inflates the polls behind any leading candidate.

        1. Good point, Mark. I’m concentrating on the MAGA cultists, who I do think are a monoculture. I submit that the herd mentality is part of the amygdala response as well.

    2. It is instructive to compare Trump’s rhetoric with that of the leader of
      Germany’s NSDAP in the 1930’s.

  3. When you start out in the early morning at 77 degrees, 25 C it’s not a good start. Global warming is teaching humans one thing — heat kills.

    The GOP is lost and there is no home. In Ohio they are attempting to change the rules and requiring 60% to prevent abortion from winning. Just like trump, if you can’t win the vote then cheat.

    1. This current heat wave shows a major flaw in the climate hysteria. It’s in the high 80s in Florida this week, and in the last few weeks we have been within seasonal norms. So-called global warming (or, laughably, “global boiling”), does not affect everyone equally, and, it is often forgotten, does not do so continually. There is major variation. Rather than trying to flatten the curve, we should be concentrating on solutions to get through the heat waves, like building more nuclear power plants. Also, here is a timely story from Forbes about the fact that cold kills more than heat does.

      1. You live down there in DeSantis country. Where the ocean water reached 101 degrees earlier this summer. Good luck with the timely laughing.

        1. Inclement weather is caused by climate change, mild weather is just weather. The story about the water temperature leaves out some details. Most of the news stories generally imply that the temperature noted was taken offshore, or even in the gulf stream. In reality, it was a very shallow brackish lake, accessible primarily through the everglades canal.
          The salinity is too low to really call it sea water. Besides which, it has been hotter there in previous years and decades.

          This sort of exaggeration is why people have become less likely to take scientific and medical authority seriously.

      2. I live in Florida, Treasure Coast area. According to a TCPalm article about the weather, . . .

        “Daily highs of a ‘warmer than normal’ summer have seen temperatures hover around 4-degrees above average across the Treasure Coast, and in Vero Beach, breaking a 60-year heat record earlier this month.”

        “In Vero Beach a July 7 temperature high of 96 broke a 60-year record of 95 degrees set in 1963. Another 96-degree-high on July 9 tied a record set in 1981, said meteorologist Scott Kelly. That same day, a record warm low of 79 degrees was set in Fort Pierce breaking a previous 78-degree low set in 2003.”

        “The consistent daily averages in the mid-90s, like Sunday’s 95 degrees recorded in Vero Beach and Fort Pierce, are roughly 4 degrees above normal. Typically for this time of year, the temperatures are in the low 90s.”

        ““Despite not setting many record highs, it’s been a hot summer, hotter than usual,” Kelly said.”

        Monthly temperature data from AccuWeather agrees with the information in that article.

        As you say, effects are varied. But it is not true that in the last few weeks we (Florida) have been within seasonal norms. Possibly in some parts of Florida, perhaps where you are. Where I’m at we have been significantly above average and have even set a few records.

      3. This is so true, up (down ?) here in Canada it sometimes gets cold in the winter, therefore it’s all climate hysteria.

        Luckily the cold didn’t kill me last winter.

        Stay warm.

    2. When discussions get to, “Yes it’s hot. No it’s not”, I like to ask people who sneer at “deniers”, what they think is the solution to the collective-action problem of climate change. The usual response is “We” (I.e. someone else) should immediately end the use of fossil fuels for transportation, manufacturing and electricity, and do without fertilizer, cement, meat, and aviation altogether until their unavoidable CO2 emissions can be mitigated or sequestered in some technological breakthrough. This is the 2019 Cambridge prescription, which acknowledges that Net Zero might be possible someday but in the short term to 2050 we are talking Gross Zero. No emissions.

      Since the deniers foreign and domestic aren’t going to agree to do any of this and likewise neither are the crusaders going to agree to do it to themselves, the policy prescriptions of both sides are the same. Do nothing beyond using diesel trucks to collect domestic plastic trash and subsidize a few pet industries to enhance old-fashioned job creation.

      You’re at each other’s throats over what gods you believe but the deeds that either of you is going to do are pretty much the same: nothing that will actually work. A meeting of the hands if not a meeting of the minds.

  4. I can’t fathom the mentality of anybody who would vote for a lying, blustering authoritarian narcissist, a sexual predator, and probably a crook to boot.

    I suppose it’s because they consider the alternative to be worse. I think Trump is pretty bad. I don’t really think he’s a fascist so much as someone who is used to acting unilaterally as an executive. I’d say that’s a failing based on his experience in the private sector, but Joe Biden spent his entire life in Congress. You’d think he would act differently.

    1. You use the phrase “used to acting unilaterally as an executive” as if there is only one kind of executive. All indications are that his style was one of creating chaos and toxic competition. Maybe you think that’s a good way to run the presidency–I don’t. So it’s not a “failing based on his experience in the private sector” as much as the way he runs his businesses be it in the private sector or as president.

      “You’d think [Joe Biden] would act differently.” He does. Quite differently.

    2. There will be Republicans who “can’t fathom the mentality of anybody who would vote for a lying, blustering authoritarian geriatric, a sexual predator, and probably a crook to boot.”

      Only people like Trump or Biden can get to the top of a highly polarised greasy political pole. I imagine that less polarised people can only look on with alarm as the political system has conspired to throw up such a choice.

    3. “I don’t really think he’s a fascist…”

      No, he’s not. He doesn’t recognize nor care about the distinctions between fascist/not fascist, dictator/not dictator, authoritarian/not authoritarian, democracy/not democracy. These are not distinctions he cares about. As he has said himself, he cares about winning. The what and how do not matter to him. He just wants to be the winner. And while he likes to pretend he cares about the winning of the maga crowd, they are just tools to an end – his personal winning.

      There is hardly a subject you can mention that Trump cannot demonstrate deep ignorance about. This is not because he’s stupid – he’s not. It’s because he simply does not care enough to pay attention to anything that does not relate directly to his winning.

      This indifference to anything other than his personal winning coupled with his ability to trigger amygdala responses in many, as StephenB notes above, makes him, in my opinion, one of the most dangerous people on the planet.

      I cannot remember a president who has not been accused of acting unilaterally and in an authoritarian manner. Biden has been and probably with some justification. But in his heart of hearts he believes in democracy. Trump couldn’t care less.

  5. Today is Yorkshire Day, celebrating the historic county of Yorkshire in northern England. It’s also Lughnasa, one of the ancient Gaelic seasonal festivals, which marks the start of the harvest.

  6. “Somebody please explain it to me!” I wrote a book, ‘Election 2016: The Great Divide, The Great Debate’ doing just that. I published it in 2018. Accurate then, accurate now. It’s up to you.

  7. There can be volatility to how things play out in the Republican primaries. Once those start, we will be farther along in the Trials of Donald Trump, and he may not be able to make all the appearances and debates. This allows other candidates a chance to be really heard and people can get an unobstructed view of them for once. That might change the balance in the polls.
    Also once the primaries start, if any of the other candidates actually win a primary, or at least Trump does not do as well as the polls suggest, that could have a dramatic psychological effect on people answering opinion polls.

    1. Add to that the possibility that the SSAT (serial sex abuser t****) might not show at mandatory criminal court appearances and be sanctioned by the court, these sanctions could include incarceration to assure his appearance.

  8. “I can’t fathom the mentality of anybody who would vote for a lying, blustering authoritarian narcissist, a sexual predator, and probably a crook to boot. . . . Somebody please explain it to me!”

    There’s no doubt that trump is a “blustering authoritarian narcissist.” But for someone who doesn’t take politics all that seriously, this merely translates into entertainment value. There’s something mildly fascinating about trying to predict what outrageous thing he’s going to do or say next.

    As for “lying,” if by lying you mean saying things that can be fact-checked and shown to be inaccurate, then without question Trump is a big fat liar. If by lying you mean saying something you know to be not true, not so much. Trump is totally out of touch with reality, but part of the man’s appeal is that he genuinely believes everything he says, up to and including the size of the crowd at his inauguration. People pick up on the difference between this and someone who will say whatever their most recent focus group tells them to say (not to mention any names). In the world of politics, it’s refreshing. Ditto for the fact that he never apologizes. Why should he?—he believes whatever nonsense he said.

    As for being a “sexual predator,” I assume this is a reference to “Grab ’em by the pussy.” What amazes me is how people will latch onto this as the one true thing that Trump ever said, when in fact it more properly falls into the “bluster” camp.

    In short, Trump’s appeal rests largely on the difference between him and any other politician you can think of. And the further one is from any benefit to be derived from politics as usual, the more appealing he becomes.

    Just my take.

    1. As for being a “sexual predator,” I assume this is a reference to “Grab ’em by the pussy.”

      I doubt Jerry is referring to this; he’s more likely referring to Trump’s $5million guilty verdict in sexually abusing/defaming Jean Carroll.

  9. “. I can’t fathom the mentality of anybody who would vote for a lying, blustering authoritarian narcissist…” The lying, blustering authoritarian narcissist presents himself as the opposite of the proprieties of the old-fashioned, buttoned-down Republican establishment—thus a downscale equivalent of the adversarial culture of the pop-Left.
    In other words, he is a trans-Republican or a trans-statesman, analogous to other kinds of transness that have become mysteriously popular on other wavelengths. Every criminal prosecution of Trump, and all his court defeats, are presented as victimizing him (and his followers), thus equivalent to the victimhood cult of the academic pop-Left. In other words, narcissism expalins both ends of the political spectrum.

  10. That anvil in the mercury is cool! There is only one element that is denser than mercury and would sink: Osmium. (thanks google) I also learned that Osmium is highly sought after by rare metal investors and is worth $1,800/gram…that’s over $50,000 an ounce!

    1. Actually there are quite a few elements denser than mercury. Uranium, tungsten and plutonium come to mind immediately.

  11. The Darwin’s Gate tweet refers to an interesting study:
    (Should be available free full text.)

    The study (partially) addresses the ecological fallacy which I have referred to here and so I wanted to highlight the effort. The ecological fallacy assumes that just because Republican states or counties had higher Covid death rates, therefore the Republicans died disproportionately in those states or counties. But without knowing the political affiliation of each person who died, you can’t conclude that.

    The researchers from Yale looked at excess deaths (not necessarily ascribed to Covid) before and after vaccines became available according to individual voter affiliation in Ohio and Florida for 2017, the only states where they could get this information. In Ohio, they used records of having voted in a GOP or Dem primary in any any of the previous two years. In Florida they used actual voter registration data, GOP and Dem only. They were able to look at vaccination rates (and party vote split) in each county but could not ascertain vaccination status of any individual person, dead or alive, GOP or Dem. Nor did they have race, socio-economic status, or co-morbidity health data to allow other hypotheses to be explored.

    In Florida, there was no effect of party of voter registration on the risk of being an excess death before or after vaccines appeared. In Ohio there was a modest absolute effect of having been a Republican voter that widened as vaccination percolated through the state. When they pooled the death data from the two states, they were able to say “In Florida and Ohio being Republican increased the risk of death” but in reality, it was only in Ohio where they saw this. And the ascertainment of party affiliation was “softer” and less complete in Ohio than in Florida.

    As expected from Covid mortality everywhere, the disparity in excess deaths among Republican voters in Ohio was entirely in people aged 75 years and older.

    The projections made in the NBC tweet for the slaughter of GOP voters in other states are entirely extrapolations and aren’t based on any actual state data about deaths and party affiliation, because there aren’t any.

    1. The main purpose of the tweet was to heap contempt on lower class whites who tend to vote for Trump. In fact, if you start looking for it, you can see this contempt everywhere, including in many of the comments made here. This contempt predates Trump, and goes a long way toward explaining Trump’s appeal to lower class whites.

      1. So you’re saying Trump attracts racists and bigots and “lower class whites” and since you can see the contempt everywhere it’s a bad thing? And by commentors here? Mercy, mercy! I would certainly hope that contempt for Trump and his cohorts is manifest and self-evident. What’s your obsession with “lower class whites?”

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