Friday: Hili dialogue

August 4, 2023 • 6:45 am

Good morning on a sunny Friday, August 4, 2023 and National Chocolate Chip Day.  And here’s the world’s biggest chocolate chip cookie, baked in North Carolina and measuring 101.61 feet across!

It’s also Coast Guard Day, Assistance Dog Day, Braham Pie Day (Braham is a city in Minnesota considered the state pie capitol), National White Wine Day, and International Beer Day. Here in Illinois, it’s Barack Obama Day, as he was born on this day in 1961.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the August 4 Wikipedia page.

And there’s a Google Doodle today (click to go to sites) celebrating the life and work of Altina Schinasi (born on this day in 1907, died 1999), described as “a US sculptor, filmmaker, entrepreneur, window dresser, designer, and inventor. She was best known for designing what she called the “Harlequin eyeglass frame”, popularly known as cat-eye glasses.” Vanity Fair has a piece and a video showing her describing the glasses.

Da Nooz:

*Trump appeared in a D.C. court yesterday afternoon and of course pleaded “not guilty” to the four felony counts involved in the January 6 election denial and insurrection.

Speaking briefly at Reagan National Airport after his arraignment Thursday, former president Donald Trump slammed the indictment as a “persecution” and called it “a very sad day for America.”

Trump, who held an oversized black umbrella as a light rain fell, also criticized Washington itself.

“It was also very sad driving through Washington, D.C., and seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti,” he said. “This is not the place that I left. It’s a very sad thing to see it when you look at what’s happening.”

Trump noted that polls showed him with a substantial lead in the Republican presidential primary and baselessly accused President Biden of using the indictment as a way to hamper a would-be political rival.

“We can’t let this happen in America,” he said. “Thank you very much.”

I haven’t lived in the D.C. area for years, but I find it hard to believe that the filth, decay, and graffiti all happened in the last three years. As for “we can’t let this happen in America,” if he’s referring to him being indicted, my response would be YES WE CAN, AND WE DID.  It’s to America’s eternal shame that this string of indictments hasn’t put a dent in Trump’s approval ratings.  Oh, and there’s this:

Former president Donald Trump was allowed to leave court without travel conditions, and no cash bond was required. U.S. Magistrate Judge Moxila A. Upadhyaya ordered, however, that he must not violate federal or state law while awaiting trial and that he must not communicate with anyone known to be a witness, except through counsel or in the presence of counsel.

I wonder if she was thinking of Trump’s attempt to intimidate state officials into giving him the number of votes he needed to win the 2020 election.

*Why haven’t Trump’s six co-conspirators in the January 6 case been indicted? The NYT gives some hints:

Some were household names, others less familiar. Among them were Rudolph W. Giuliani, John Eastman, Jeffrey Clark, Kenneth Chesebro and Sidney Powell.

On Tuesday, most of these same lawyers showed up again — albeit unnamed — as Mr. Trump’s co-conspirators in a federal indictment accusing him of a wide-ranging plot to remain in office despite having lost the election.

The appearance of the lawyers at the center of the case suggests how important prosecutors judged them to be to the conspiracy to execute what one federal judge who considered some of the evidence called “a coup in search of a legal theory.”

The lawyers’ placement at the heart of the plot while remaining uncharged — for now — raised questions about why Mr. Smith chose to bring the indictment with Mr. Trump as the sole defendant.

In complex conspiracy cases, prosecutors often choose to work from the bottom up, charging subordinates with crimes to put pressure on them to cooperate against their superiors. It remains unclear precisely what Mr. Smith may be seeking to accomplish by flipping that script.

Some legal experts theorized on Wednesday that by indicting Mr. Trump alone, Mr. Smith might be seeking to streamline and expedite the case ahead of the 2024 election. If the co-conspirators were indicted, that would almost certainly slow down the process, potentially with the other defendants filing motions and seeking to splinter their cases from Mr. Trump’s.

“I think it’s a clean indictment to just have Donald Trump as the sole defendant,” said Soumya Dayananda, a former federal prosecutor who served as a senior investigator for the House Jan. 6 committee. “I think it makes it easier to just tell the story of what his corrupt activity was.”

Another suggested theory is that this intimidates the yet-to-be-indicted, making them ponder cooperating with the prosecution lest they wind up indicted like Trump.  Only time will tell.

*From reader Jez: “Unlike the female shot putter competing in the hurdles the other week, there’s no excuse for this terrible performance.

Somalia’s sports minister publicly apologized Wednesday and ordered that the chairwoman of the national track and field federation be suspended after a seemingly untrained female sprinter represented the African country at the World University Games in China and took more than 20 seconds to finish a 100m race.

Minister of Youth and Sports Mohamed Barre Mohamud said his ministry did not know how 20-year-old Nasra Abukar Ali was selected to compete in the women’s 100m at the student games in Chengdu on Tuesday.

The ministry separately released a statement directing the Somalia Olympic Committee to suspend national athletics federation chairwoman Khadija Aden Dahir amid allegations that Nasra Abukar was a relative of hers and was given the chance to compete at the games because of that.

. . .Somalia’s university union said it had not sent any runners to China as part of an official Somali team.

A video of the agonizingly slow run by Nasra Abukar was shared across social media and Mohamud said that the performance was embarrassing for Somalia.

In her qualifying race, Nasra Abukar was immediately left behind by the other runners and finished about 10 seconds after the winner. Despite being dead last, she did a little skip in the air as she crossed the finish line.

You can see the race in this tweet. The Somali “sprinter” just lopes along like a aged Sunday jogger.

But let’s cut them a break: things are tough  in Somalia these days.

*The WSJ is kvetching about the U.S. team’s performance at the women’s World Cup: “Will the real U.S. women’s soccer team please show up?” The article gives reasons for the teams lackluster performance so far, though of course there’s a note of U.S. jingoism that I’m slowly abandoning (I’m rooting for underdog Colombia now.)

The USWNT’s [US Women’s National Team’s] struggles aren’t hard to see. Even if you don’t know football from North American football, you can tell something looks off.

There’s a case that this is progress, that a Women’s World Cup run is no longer an USWNT given, that global soccer is catching up and threatening decades of dominance. Brilliance is starting to flicker elsewhere, and new powers are coming. Look at the rise of a team like Jamaica, which knocked out Brazil. Or South Africa’s Banyana Banyana, into the knockout for the first time.

It’s fresh theater, a broader product, good for the game. Not long ago, only a handful of nations had a chance to knock off the USWNT. Now potholes lurk everywhere, like Portugal, which Tuesday came within a closing-minutes thuuuuunnnk off the post from sending the U.S. women home from New Zealand in their worst loss ever.

Well, that shows why there are more good women in the Cup than ever, but the U.S. team still looks off, and that isn’t explained by that theory, which is the Wall Street Journal’s.  As jingoists, they lay some of the blame on American nay-sayer, but then admit that the U.S. women’s team isn’t up to snuff:

Some of this blowback is overheated, tinged with politics and Schadenfreude from USWNT detractors who don’t intend to watch a minute of action. But the vibe is undeniably different. The USWNT is a historic success story, a program built on the pillars of Title IX, transforming women’s sports in this country, successfully achieving pay equity with the men’s team and minting celebrities like Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.

They have had their wobbles and setbacks (no Olympic gold since London 2012) but come World Cup season they reliably turned into Marvel characters. For all the hand-wringing at the moment, they still have a shot at figuring this out and becoming the first team, men’s or women’s, to ever win three consecutive World Cups.

But it’s feeling like a reach—and not just because here come the Swedes, a nemesis which beat the USWNT at the Rio and Tokyo Games. The 2023 U.S. team has indeed been underwhelming. It meanders, it plays with little urgency or even a clear strategy. Anyone who woke up at 3 a.m. ET for the 0-0 Portugal result and managed to stay awake should be studied by scientists. The team looks stuck between the USWNT of the future and the USWNT of the past, as its present slips away.

I’d love to watch the Sweden game, though I don’t really have a dog in that fight (as I said, I’m rooting for the very low underdog Colombia). I guess I’m not tribalistic enough to be caught up in the success or failure of the USWNT.

*CNN reports that the Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rockies, famous for preserving soft-bodied animals, has now yielded what seems to be the world’s oldest known swimming jellyfish:

The oldest examples of swimming jellyfish, which lived in Earth’s oceans 505 million years ago, have been discovered high within the Canadian Rockies. Researchers found 182 fossils encased within the rock of the famed Burgess Shale fossil site.

The fossils belong to a previously unknown species of jellyfish, called Burgessomedusa phasmiformis, that shows just how evolved these creatures already were millions of years ago.

The exceptionally well-preserved fossils are a remarkable find, given that the soft-bodied animals are made of 95% water. The jellyfish measure about 8 inches (20 centimeters) in length.

A study detailing the findings was published Tuesday in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The paper is below; click to get a free look:

Here’s a reconstruction from the paper along with its original caption:

(From paper): Figure 5. Life reconstruction showing a cluster of Burgessomedusa phasmiformis gen. et sp. nov. swimming above the benthos. This reconstruction is based on the Raymond Quarry Burgess Shale community with clusters of Vauxia sponges represented in the foreground. Artwork by C. McCall.

From the paper:

Burgessomedusa possesses a cuboidal umbrella up to 20 cm high and over 90 short, finger-like tentacles. Phylogenetic analysis supports a medusozoan affinity, most likely as a stem group to Cubozoa or Acraspeda (a group including Staurozoa, Cubozoa and Scyphozoa). Burgessomedusa demonstrates an ancient origin for the free-swimming medusa life stage and supports a growing number of studies showing an early evolutionary diversification of Medusozoa, including of the crown group, during the late Precambrian–Cambrian transition.

Here’s a remarkable impression fossil from the paper but reproduced by CNN. This could only have been made by a fairly rapid deposition of very fine sediment over the jellyfish.  The Burgess Shale continues to yield remarkable creatures!

IFrom CNN): A rock slab shows one large (right) and one small (left) bell-shaped jellyfish with tentacles. The smaller animal is rotated 180 degrees. Photo: Jean-Bernard Caron/Royal Ontario Museum

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is bored:

A: Where are you going?
Hili: I have to change environment, I’m bored by this one.
In Polish:
Ja: Dokąd idziesz?
Hili: Muszę zmienić środowisko, tu już mi się znudziło.

********************

From Barry (I can’t make out the cartoonist:

From Nicole:

And from Craig, who found a “no diving” sign at the dry end of his local pool:

Retweeted by Masih. Will this guy get in trouble?

From Emma Hilton, who speaks truth through snark:

From Malcolm; kittens learning to walk. I think they’d do better on a rug!

From Barry, heterospecific buddies:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: a tweet I retweeted:

Tweets from the dapper Dr. Cobb. The first one shows surreptitious snogging:

Seriously? The original article proposing that schizophrenia may be due to demonic possession is here.

Sound up. The only thing missing is a trail of slime. (Sound up.)

45 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Trump is being treated in a way that conservatives despise when the criminal is someone else. I think everyone knows what I mean – the bending over backwards.

  2. On this day:
    1693 – Date traditionally ascribed to Dom Perignon’s invention of champagne; it is not clear whether he actually invented champagne, however he has been credited as an innovator who developed the techniques used to perfect sparkling wine.

    1704 – War of the Spanish Succession: Gibraltar is captured by an English and Dutch fleet, commanded by Admiral Sir George Rooke and allied with Archduke Charles.

    1783 – Mount Asama erupts in Japan, killing about 1,400 people (Tenmei eruption). The eruption causes a famine, which results in an additional 20,000 deaths.

    1892 – The father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden are found murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home. She will be tried and acquitted for the crimes a year later.

    1944 – The Holocaust: A tip from a Dutch informer leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they find and arrest Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family, and four others.

    1964 – Civil rights movement: Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found dead in Mississippi after disappearing on June 21.

    1972 – Ugandan President Idi Amin announces that Uganda is no longer responsible for the care of British subjects of Asian origin, beginning the expulsions of Ugandan Asians.

    1977 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs legislation creating the United States Department of Energy.

    1987 – The Federal Communications Commission rescinds the Fairness Doctrine which had required radio and television stations to present controversial issues “fairly”. [And look where that took the US…]

    2007 – NASA’s Phoenix spacecraft is launched.

    2019 – Nine people are killed and 26 injured in a shooting in Dayton, Ohio. This comes only 13 hours after another mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, where 23 people were killed. [They just didn’t pray hard enough on August 3rd…]

    2020 – At least 220 people are killed and over 5,000 are wounded when 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate explodes in Beirut, Lebanon. [Yikes, three years ago already.]

    Births:
    1701 – Thomas Blackwell, Scottish historian and scholar (d. 1757).

    1719 – Johann Gottlob Lehmann, German mineralogist and geologist (d. 1767).

    1755 – Nicolas-Jacques Conté, French soldier, painter, balloonist, and inventor (d. 1805).

    1792 – Percy Bysshe Shelley, English poet and playwright (d. 1822).

    1805 – William Rowan Hamilton, Irish physicist, astronomer, and mathematician (d. 1865).

    1834 – John Venn, English mathematician and philosopher (d. 1923).

    1859 – Knut Hamsun, Norwegian novelist, poet, and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1952).

    1877 – Dame Laura Knight, English artist (d. 1970).

    1898 – Ernesto Maserati, Italian race car driver and engineer (d. 1975).

    1901 – Louis Armstrong, American trumpet player and singer (d. 1971).

    1910 – Hedda Sterne, Romanian-American painter and photographer (d. 2011).

    1912 – Raoul Wallenberg, Swedish architect and diplomat (d. 1947).

    1915 – Warren Avis, American businessman, founded Avis Rent a Car System (d. 2007).

    1941 – Martin Jarvis, English actor.

    1951 – Peter Goodfellow, English geneticist and academic.

    1955 – Billy Bob Thornton, American actor, director, and screenwriter.

    1958 – Mary Decker, American runner.

    1961 – Barack Obama, American lawyer and politician, 44th President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate.

    1983 – Greta Gerwig, American actress, producer, and screenwriter.

    Ring out the bells again
    Like we did when spring began:

    1875 – Hans Christian Andersen, Danish novelist, short story writer, and poet (b. 1805).

    1958 – Ethel Anderson, Australian poet, author, and painter (b. 1883).

    1962 – Marilyn Monroe, American model and actress (b. 1926).

    1996 – Geoff Hamilton, English gardener, author, and television host (b. 1936).

    1997 – Jeanne Calment, French super-centenarian; holds records for the world’s substantiated longest-lived person (b. 1875).

    1999 – Victor Mature, American actor (b. 1913).

    1. Hmm.

      1789 — Night of the 4th of August, famous as being the date when the French National Constituent Assembly voted to abolish all feudal privileges in France.

  3. “The Nazis murdered more Jews from the Netherlands than any other country: roughly 115,000.”
    Some background on why there were (proportionally!) more Jewish victims in Holland:
    https://www.annefrank.org/en/anne-frank/go-in-depth/netherlands-greatest-number-jewish-victims-western-europe/

    “Explaining the differences in the number of victims. The large number and percentage of Jewish victims in the Netherlands compared with Belgium and France can be explained in the first place by the fact that in the Netherlands, the German police had sole authority over the organization and execution of the deportations, independently of the occupying regime and the local authorities. This applied to a lesser extent in Belgium and not at all for France.”

    1. 1) It is important not to confuse “number” with “percentage” as in the retweet.
      2) Either way, i don’t get it compared to other countries (the 115K says there couldn’t be that many total Jewish victims}.

      Poland is listed as worse by both metrics, number and %
      https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/jewish-losses-during-the-holocaust-by-country

      Netherlands
      Jewish population of the Netherlands in May 1940: 140,245
      Deaths: 102,000

      Norway
      Jewish population of Norway in April 1940: approximately 1,800
      Deaths: at least 758

      Poland
      Jewish population of Poland in 1937: 3,350,000
      Deaths: 2,770,000–3,000,000

    2. Not only was the situation in Poland far worse, this sentence is also subject to the NYT headline abbreviation concept which some people object to (not me usually), in which case the claim is true.
      “The Nazis murdered more Jews from the Netherlands than any other country: roughly 115,000.”

  4. When I heard Trump yesterday, I was surprised since it was one of those rare times I agreed with him: It was a very sad day for America. It was very sad that he had done the kind of thing I expect from politicians in a banana republic, and forced this response for the first time in our history. I am very angry with him for doing that to this country. It would only have been worse if he was allowed to get away with it. I also agreed we can’t let this happen in America . . . again. Future politicians that would think of doing the same thing need to know it is a very bad idea. If we can’t manage to make him pay for his crimes (even if only a decade of house arrest), I fear for the country’s future.

    Of course, he had to ruin it with his comment about Washington DC, where I had much the same thought about how unlikely it was and said something that means “cow manure” to the screen. So he managed to make two statements I can agree with, but I strongly suspect not for the same reasons, and another that sounded like just another of his many lies.

  5. The lawyers’ placement at the heart of the plot while remaining uncharged — for now — raised questions about why Mr. Smith chose to bring the indictment with Mr. Trump as the sole defendant.

    I suspect that (in addition to seeking to streamline the case for trial) special counsel Smith chose to identify the six unindicted (though unnamed) coconspirators in the indictment for evidentiary purposes.

    Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(E) provides that statements of a defendant’s coconspirators — statements, that is, made during the course of and in furtherance of the conspiracy — do not constitute hearsay, but are admissible against a defendant, just the same as though the defendant had made those statements himself. (The legal theory underlying this rule is that, by joining a conspiracy, each of the coconspirators thereby becomes the agent of the other coconspirators.)

    In addition, given that at least five (and perhaps all six) of the referenced coconspirators are lawyers, identifying them as coconspirators in the indictment makes plain that none of their conversations with Donald Trump during the course of the conspiracy are covered by the attorney-client privilege, but are subject to that privilege’s crime-fraud exception.

    Also, having these lawyers identified as coconspirators in the indictment makes it that much more difficult for Donald Trump to put on what’s known as the “good faith reliance on the advice of counsel” defense at trial, since, if the defendant and the lawyer are coconspirators in a crime, the defendant could not have relied on the lawyer’s advice in good faith.

  6. All I can say about the many, many Trump indictments is that it is clear this is being done because the man is Trump. That’s not justice, and most people, from the polls, seem to understand that. If one says that anything is justified to keep Trump from being President again, one is saying that even democracy should be sacrificed.

    1. If “they” could do this to Donald Trump, then “they” could do it to anyone. That is ironically true (provided certain events inspire the indictments). That last bit in parentheses does not occur to most people in the polls.

    2. No. What’s clear is that if the man were not Trump indictments would have come sooner than they have and the man would have been serving time in jail before now.

      Have you read the indictments? Fake news? Fake evidence? Or do you believe that a President conspiring to subvert election results is no big deal?

    3. Leaving aside your absurd contention that there is a conspiracy to “get” Trump, you seem to have little faith in the jury system or perhaps Trump’s ability in finding competent attorneys. Certainly, if Trump or his attorneys were convinced of his innocence, they would press for trials as soon as possible as opposed to their tactic of delay, delay, and delay some more.

    4. Nonsense. These indictments are being done because of what Trump did. No other president has attempted to stay in office illegally after losing an election. No other ex president attempted to keep highly classified documents, handled them as poorly and refused to cooperate and return them when given ample opportunity to do so. Nobody made Trump do these things and he verbally attacked others for doing less than he has. It would be an injustice if he weren’t prosecuted for what he has done, and I would expect anyone else who did the same things to be prosecuted the same way.

    5. The attempted-coup charges brought against Donald Trump on which he was arraigned yesterday were an absolute necessity to deter future incumbent presidents who lose their bid for reelection — Democratic or Republican — from making all manner of illegal attempts to remain in office despite the election results.

      Imagine, if you will, that in 2000, after losing in 5-4 in the US Supreme Court, Al Gore had solicited Florida Democrats to submit a bogus slate of electors naming him the Florida victor, then convinced at least one of his former colleagues in the US senate to object (as some members of the House did) to the legitimate Florida election results, and declared himself (as the sitting US vice president with the constitutional duty of tabulating the electoral college votes) the actual winner of the 2000 election.

      How would that have sat with you, DrB? Just the regular putsch and pull of electoral politics?

      Republicans would have gone ballistic, and rightly so. This nation must never tolerate such unlawful and unconstitutional conduct by the legitimate loser of a presidential election — by either Donald Trump or anyone else.

      1. Ken, I have a question.

        All this stuff about Jack Smith, Biden, Garland, etc. doing this “just because it’s Trump” – I thought indictments had to be issued by the grand jury, based on probable cause. Aren’t grand jury members just ordinary citizens? Doesn’t there have to be some evidence to base indictments on?

        If that is the case (maybe I’m wrong, so please explain) even though the Trumpers would like to blame this on politics, it seems like there has to be some substance behind the accusations.

        I find the right-wing’s silence on Trump’s campaign basis for “retribution” and DeSantis’ statement yesterday that “on day one, we will slit throats”, interesting. They seem to be saying, once again, that dishing it out is fine, but being on the receiving end is not.

        Thanks for any clarification.

        Linda

        1. Hi Linda,

          Federal grand juries comprise 16 to 23 ordinary citizens drawn from the local pool of eligible voters (the same pool from which so-called “petit” juries that hear trials are drawn). They serve as both a “sword” and a “shield” — they can issue subpoenas for witnesses and documents to obtain evidence to investigate a matter, and they can also stand between an overzealous prosecutor and a potential target for whom there exists insufficient probable cause to indict. (See this section from the US Dept. of Justice Manual discussing grand jury charging decisions for an additional explanation.)

          Although grand juries have declined to indict in some celebrated case, the extent to which they fulfill their “shield” function is limited due to grand juries’ hearing only the prosecution’s side of the case. Grand jury targets are not permitted to have counsel inside the grand jury room while evidence is being presented or discussed. Indeed, grand jury witnesses may not bring their lawyers into the grand jury room during their questioning (although a witness’s attorney may remain just outside the grand jury room and the witness is free to excuse himself or herself as often as they wish — even after every question — to consult with counsel before answering a question.)

          Prosecutors will also sometimes invite targets to come in and tell their side of the story before the prosecutor presents the grand jury with proposed charges and a request to indict (although few targets avail themselves of this opportunity since, by the time it is offered, the grand jury is almost sure to indict, and a target’s grand jury testimony will commit the target to a particular version of the facts, thus limiting the potential defenses that can presented at a subsequent trial).

          It is this imbalance in the grand jury system that has given rise to the old saw that “a grand jury will indict a ham sandwich” if asked to by a prosecutor. (This is something of an overstatement, of course, but captures the gist of the essential imbalance in the system.)

          I hope this helps answer your question.

            1. Thank you, Ken.

              What is the reasoning behind weighting the procedure in favor of the prosecution?

              Also, how many grand jurors are usual in a case like Trump’s?

              Thx.
              L

              1. Donald Trump’s cases were considered by the same 23-member grand juries as any other American citizen’s. (All grand jurors need not be present for all proceedings, but a quorum of at least 15 grand jurors must be present for the grand jury to take any official action.)

                The grand jury process is one-sided because its only duty is to determine whether there is “probable cause” to believe a person or persons committed a crime. Grand jurors do not determine guilt or have any say regarding the imposition of punishment. The idea is not to make this process overly cumbersome.

                Let me also add regarding your initial inquiry that Jack Smith was appointed pursuant to the “special counsel” federal regulations. Joe Biden has no control whatsoever over the special counsel’s charging decisions (and I’m confident Biden has had no contact with Smith since his appointment). Attorney General Merrick Garland’s only role is that he can put the kibosh on the special counsel’s request to seek an indictment if the AG finds that the indictment is legally unsupportable.

                Any claim that Biden or Garland has exercised greater control over the direction of Smith’s investigation and charging decisions regarding Donald Trump is merely MAGA-world propaganda, plain and simple.

    6. I think that Trump should have been indicted, but I also believe that Bill Clinton should have been indicted for perjury. My middle-aged brain seems to remember that all Democrats agreed with me then, didn’t they?

      Oh, that’s right. It was about sex, and all is fair in life’s oldest game. It surely was never about a president committing a felony and undermining a key principle by which we try to establish and maintain trust in the judicial system.

    7. “. . .this is being done because the man is Trump. That’s not justice. . . .”

      You can’t say Trump isn’t getting doo process.

      1. He’s being treated with kid gloves and that’s as obvious as the sky is blue. Where does all this paranoia come from? I guess Fox doing its job.

    8. I don’t agree. The allegations against Trump would (and should) be applied to anyone doing (allegedly) the same thing. This does not appear to be a “witch hunt” or “hoax” to me.

      Let’s compare notes in another 10 years and see who’s right!

      1. There are many obvious reasons why this is anything but a “witch hunt.” For me, the biggest reason is there are simply WAY too many Republican witnesses, judges, bureaucrats, etc. who have either presided over or helped with the numerous investigations uncovering Trump’s crimes to feasibly construe this as a witch hunt, let alone a hoax. I think every witness during the Jan. 6 investigation was a Republican and many of these Republicans were harassed and received death threats. Same goes for Georgia’s AG Raffensperger: a die-hard Republican who testified against Trump while receiving overwhelming pressure and harassment for doing so. You don’t need 10 years to know the truth, today will suffice.

    9. All I can say about the many, many Trump indictments is that it is clear this is being done because the man is Trump.

      EXACTLY, you finally got it!!! Trump is a uniquely corrupt, malignant narcissist, among the likes we’ve never seen in politics (let alone the POTUS) who clearly believes he’s above the law, and acts like it; that’s why he breaks the law as he sees fit, and has been doing it his whole life. You think Trump’s lawlessness is new behavior? It’s just gotten worse since the stakes have risen and his lawlessness is finally catching up with him. Therefore, he is being indicted up the wazzoo (and more to come out of GA) exactly because he is a uniquely dangerous person- like you said, he’s Trump. These indictments have nothing to do with his seeking re-election; indeed, all these investigations began before Trump even announced his re-election. And if we are being honest with ourselves, Trump is seeking the Presidency for ONE REASON: so he can quash these legitimate investigations and insulate himself from the law. You have to be really deep in the cult to believe he’s seeking re-election to “save the country from Biden and the Democrats!”

    10. “the many, many Trump indictments”
      N=3.
      I guess two is “many” and three is “many, many”?
      It’s so hard to keep track, there are so many, many!

  7. If Trump, who was “allowed to leave court without travel conditions,” flees to another country to avoid prosecution, would that, at least, prevent him from running for president?

      1. I was thinking Russia would be the perfect place. Seek asylum from his mentor, Putin and they could live happily ever after. Dr. Brydon could provide articles on this to all the fans back in the U.S.

    1. Does Trump still have a passport? I assume he had one to conduct his pre-politics international fraud business, but has he renewed it since? As an ex-president, with travel arrangements being made with the Secret Service, if not by the SS, a lot of countries might not bother with the convention of asking for a passport. But as a convicted felon … different question entirely. Even if he’s at liberty to travel, that doesn’t mean that other places are required to accept him. And without a passport, there’s no request from the American state to extend him courtesy or consideration in his travel. Or even permission.

      I just realised yesterday that one of my passports is out of date. Still got a year and a bit on the other one though.

      1. Since he has the secret service agents around him would they be obligated to stop him from fleeing the country?

        Is their obligation first and foremost to him or the country?

        I am not American so I don’t know how this all works, apologies to all who think the answer is blindingly clear.

      2. Ours will expire in December. I discovered from the State Department website that if you renew before your expiration date, that it’s really simple to do and can be done just by mailing a form, your current passport, and a new picture.

        If you wait until it’s expired, though, you have to start all over again.

        L

  8. “Menstruation does have a sex though.”

    Prediction: Some trans women will start saying that they identify as “people who menstruate.” Why not? If “people who menstruate ” becomes the new term for the sex formerly known as “women ,” then that’s how they’ll want to be recognized.

    1. Is no sadistic biochemist working on developing a set of medications (let’s call them “the Other Pill”) which would add the appropriate set of hormonal changes and physical symptoms to male-to-female transgender people?
      You’d probably need to make it a year-long phased release implant though. After the first few cycles, you wouldn’t want the aspirants to be able to avoid their “curse” by stopping taking the tablets. Get the full experience.
      Have to include plenty of manufacturing variations though. That certain level of uncertainty is a part of the experience.

  9. That poor Somali runner! It was unfair to set her up for such an embarrassment. She’s the one who deserves the apology.

    The Burgess Shale continues to amaze because of the exceptional preservation of soft parts. I’ve never seen it. It’s the paleontologist’s Galapagos.

    “And the Trump goes on, the Trump goes on. Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain. La de da de de, la de da de da….” Maybe the co-conspirators will flip in plea deals and throw Trump under the bus. By blaming advice of council for his travails, he’s doing that to them. Turnabout is fair play, and that may be what’s needed if the co-conspirators want to avoid jail.

    1. The Burgess Shale continues to amaze because of the exceptional preservation of soft parts. I’ve never seen it. It’s the paleontologist’s Galapagos.

      It’s got a good PR operation, for sure. But it’s hardly the only Konservat-Lagerstätten in the world. The fact that the technical term is German may be a clue.
      Ones (Lagerstätten) which have appeared on WEIT as separate posts include the Herefordshire Lagerstätte which yielded the peculiar “tergites” on Aquilonifer spinosus (interpreted at publication as egg-cases), the well-known Messel Shale quarry in Germany, with it’s Eocene fauna including exceptionally preserved primates, and the Chenjiang fauna from China, slightly older than the Burgess. I’m sure I’ve mentioned the Sirius Passet one too, if only because of it’s interesting “let’s build a runway after we’ve landed” exploration history.
      Exceptional preservation be where you find it, as the saying doesn’t quite go. Keep your eyes peeled and you may just find a new one which nobody noticed before.
      The other type of Lagerstätte – “concentration” ones – are exemplified by bone beds where many, many organisms died in a small area and probably at the same time. They’re not necessarily good preservation, but give a useful indicator into population statistics and demographics (if you can show that the organisms that fossilised together, lived together).

  10. Edit: meant as a reply to Jezgrove under #8.

    It would be very difficult for us ordinary people to disprove any person’s claim to have a cervix. It’s hard to imagine any circumstance where a person claiming to have one could be compelled to prove it. If my claim to be a woman cannot be dismissed out of hand, then my request for Papanicolaou screening for cervix cancer must be honoured right up to the point where no cervix can be found.

    Some neo-vaginas are fashioned from other body parts which may themselves have a risk of getting cancer. Patients having this surgery are told by the surgeon to “ask your GP” if any special testing is necessary. Some patients may honestly interpret this advice to mean they have cervixes (and vaginas) and want the screening from women’s health clinics who treat other women with vaginas.

  11. @ Kelcey,
    The Secret Service are civil servants, employees of the Treasury Dept. Like all civil servants their duty is to The People through the Constitution. Stopping a bullet for an ex-president, likewise a (former) servant of The People, is a professional job requirement, not an act of personal devotion or loyalty that might waver or sour. Secret Service operational plans are, well, secret. But they can’t help an ex-President break the law.

    At present, Mr. Trump has no travel restrictions. For him to leave the United States, even permanently (were he admitted to immigrate somewhere) would not be “fleeing”, as long as he returned for court appearances and prison induction. However the Secret Service’s ability to protect him out of the country is limited because they can’t carry firearms in most foreign countries, who don’t regard a personal visit from a former president as a state visit. Barack Obama popped up in Canada during our last election campaign (to much swooning and fawning) to endorse the Prime Minister, so it can be done. But you can be sure Secret Service managers and the RCMP were in on the plans. Still, a former president has the right to leave the country just like anyone else.

    My guess would be that if the SeSe got wind that Mr. Trump was planning to defect or seek political asylum somewhere, and not just a brief tourist visit to see the Kremlin, they would have to let their bosses know. They couldn’t just come home from Moscow and say, “Sorry. He gave us the slip somewhere in Red Square.”

    Being protected for life is something like being a bird in a gilded cage, no?

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