Sunday: Hili dialogue

August 6, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Sunday, August, 6, 2023, and National Root Beer Float Day (these are also called “black cows”).  Here’s one with booze added (vodka):

It’s also American Family Day, Friendship Day, National Fresh Breath Day, Psychic Day, Hiroshima Day and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony (it was on this day in 1945 that the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan), Sisters’ Day, Farmworker Appreciation Day, and Independence Day in Jamaica, celebrating the independence of that country from the United Kingdom in 1962.

Here’s an interview with Paul Tibbets, the pilot who flew the B-29 bomber Enola Gay over Hiroshima and dropped the bomb:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the August 6 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Although rules prohibit televising criminal trials in federal court, Steve Bril (who started Court TV) argues in a NYT op-ed piece—”The country will only believe the Trump verdict if they can see it“—that we need to suspend these rules for the upcoming Trump insurrection trial. (Note that “only” is misplaced; it should be before “if” not “believe”.)

In the 1980s, as a journalist reporting on the law, I interviewed jurors after their trials to find out how they had reached their verdicts. After a while, one thing struck me as unusually consistent: Jurors said that after sitting on juries they were surprised by how much more favorably they thought of our justice system. When they got to see the system up close and at full length — instead of how it was displayed on the 11 o’clock news (this was well before we all went online), with sound-bite spins from lawyers on the courthouse steps or prosecutors at a news conference — they decided that it worked well. That it did a good job sorting out the truth. More than one juror told me that it was something we should all be proud of.

. . .Federal court rules do not allow cameras in any criminal trials. However, no matter which side of this Donald Trump case you may be rooting for, you should want those rules to be suspended so that this trial can be televised live.

The last thing our country and the world needs is for this trial to become the ultimate divisive spin game, in which each side roots for its team online and on the cable news networks as if cheering from the bleachers. Much of that would still happen, but imagine how a quiet, methodical, but sure-to-be-riveting presentation of both sides’ arguments — subject to the rules of evidence and decorum of a federal court, not the algorithms of Facebook and Twitter — might temper the national mood when a verdict is announced. At the least, it will make people more informed about what could be the single most important activity their government will conduct in their lifetimes.

An ancillary benefit to setting up one silent pool camera in the back of the courtroom and sending a feed to all media outlets around the world that want it is that it would give the judge and court administrators a good rationale for pushing away from the courthouse the likely circus outside. The scrum of cameras and journalists — gathered for the trial of the century, but unable to give their audiences a full picture of what is happening inside, and trying to get offhand comments from one of the lawyers on the case or from the mass of lawyer-pundits who wish they were on the case — is otherwise likely to make the chaos of past high-profile trials look placid.

I agree completely, but it’s not so easy to suspend the no-t.v. rules:

Suspending the rule against cameras in federal criminal trials will not be easy. In fact, it requires suspending three rules. First, the U.S. Judicial Conference, chaired by the Supreme Court’s chief justice, John Roberts, and consisting of the chief judges from each of the country’s appellate circuits and the Court of International Trade and trial judges from each of those circuits, would have to vote to suspend its nationwide rule against cameras in federal criminal trials. The judicial council of the District of Columbia Circuit has its own rule, which would then have to be suspended. And then the federal rules of criminal procedure, which also prohibit cameras, would have to be changed.

Given the overwhelming importance of this trial, though, all these bodies should cooperate. I don’t know how fast it is to change the federal rules of criminal procedure, though. And, by the way, I see no good reason to ever prohibit cameras from the courtroom. Can you think of any?

*David Brooks lays some blame for Trump on “progressive” politics and on the meritocracy in his NYT column, “What if we’re the bad guys here?

Donald Trump seems to get indicted on a weekly basis. Yet he is utterly dominating his Republican rivals in the polls, and he is tied with Joe Biden in the general election surveys. Trump’s poll numbers are stronger against Biden now than at any time in 2020.

What’s going on here? Why is this guy still politically viable, after all he’s done?

In this story, we anti-Trumpers are the good guys, the forces of progress and enlightenment. The Trumpers are reactionary bigots and authoritarians. Many Republicans support Trump no matter what, according to this story, because at the end of the day, he’s still the bigot in chief, the embodiment of their resentments and that’s what matters to them most.

But the story in which we on the Left are the “bad guys” involves the leftist emphasis on elitism and meritocracy

The meritocracy isn’t only a system of exclusion; it’s an ethos. During his presidency, Barack Obama used the word “smart” in the context of his policies over 900 times. The implication was that anybody who disagreed with his policies (and perhaps didn’t go to Harvard Law) must be stupid.

. . . Like all elites, we use language and mores as tools to recognize one another and exclude others. Using words like “problematic,” “cisgender,” “Latinx” and “intersectional” is a sure sign that you’ve got cultural capital coming out of your ears. Meanwhile, members of the less-educated classes have to walk on eggshells because they never know when we’ve changed the usage rules so that something that was sayable five years ago now gets you fired.

Most of us are earnest, kind and public-spirited. But we take for granted and benefit from systems that have become oppressive. Elite institutions have become so politically progressive in part because the people in them want to feel good about themselves as they take part in systems that exclude and reject.

The upshot: people gravitate to Trump because it’s part of this “class war.” Now I do think that Wokeness has contributed to support for Trump, as has the disdain of the progressive left for the working person. But I don’t think meritocracy plays a role. After all, I see the Right as more meritocratic than the left (who supports affirmative action?). It’s authoritarianism and snobbery at play here, not a belief in meritocracy.

*The U.S./Sweden World Cup match is over, and the winner is. . . . .nobody yet. As of writing this it’s a 0-0 tie after Sweden’s goalkeeper made a great save in the 89th minute. But now (ugh) the match will be decided by penalty kicks. Stay tuned for a new post.

*In the Weekly Dish, Sullivan emits a huge, plaintive kvetch in his column, “Liberal democracy in the ICU.” It’s mostly about the perfidy of Trump, but, like Brooks, doesn’t exempt the Democratic Authoritarian Left.

My own view has long been that Trump is beyond truth and lies: his ego is everything; there is nothing outside it; it is the only reality he knows. If he were to acknowledge any facet of a reality that does not flatter his ego, he would have a psychic break. So he doesn’t. He is beyond accountability because he only lives in the moment, and reinvents the past at will. He is a truly postmodern man: no truth exists apart from his; and any alternative reality has to be attacked mercilessly. Because his whims oscillate, so do the non-facts he invents to satisfy them. He is a spluttering, glowering fusillade of fantasies. He is, in Wolff’s words, “a man whose behavior defies and undermines the structures and logic of civic life.”

. . . But even here, it was not Trump’s listening to these loonies [his lawyers] that was a crime. It was acting on their advice in order to overturn an election result, and stay in power, ending the American experiment in self-government. That it amounted to a creepy farce that ended in performative violence is irrelevant. That it was pursued by a man utterly detached from reality doesn’t matter. It remains the most egregious presidential crime in the history of the republic.

But wait! The Authoritarian Left is also to blame:

Yes, others bear some blame for our crisis of democratic legitimacy. The “Resistance” has played a part in widening the gyre. I’ve not stinted these past few years in showing how the Democrats’ and elite-liberal whites’ adoption of left extremism in every single cultural dispute has deepened tribalism on both sides, and eroded liberal democracy and its institutions from within. Their overt race and sex discrimination, their embrace of critical race, gender, and queer theory, their insouciance toward borders, their censorship of dissent, and their undisguised contempt for half the country have made everything worse.

. . . We are entering late-stage democratic collapse, where tribalism overwhelms reason, common trust evaporates, debate is gone, norms destroyed, and all that matters is the purity of the extremes, and who can win power by any means. The latest indictment of Trump — and more specifically, the reaction to it — is proof that the “extinction-level event” of liberal democracy is here. Future historians may look back and conclude, in fact, that it has already happened.

Well, that seems a bit histrionic. I’m counting on things being all right, although Biden himself has bought into the Authoritarian Left since he was elected, and often seems barely sentient. But we won’t lose our democracy—so long as Trump doesn’t win the election next year.

*If you’re watching the Women’s World Cup, and nearly half of the women’s games include a penalty kick (just one player against the goalie), you’ll be interested in this WaPo article by Richard Sima: “Soccer players react in milliseconds in penalty kicks. How do they do that?

The simplicity of the penalty kick’s setup belies the complexity of the biomechanics, game theory and psychology underlying it.

“It looks like a simple duel between the goalkeeper and the kicker,” said Rafael Monteiro, a graduate student of rehabilitation and functional performance at the University of São Paulo. “But actually, it’s a really complex environment.”

The odds are stacked against the goalkeeper.

They need to defend a goal that is 24 feet wide and 8 feet tall against a kick from just 12 yards away. That kick is also fast — traveling, on average, at 70 mph.

From the time the kicker’s foot makes contact, the ball takes about 400 milliseconds to reach the goal — roughly the amount of time it takes to blink.

The human eye needs time to register visual information, which the brain’s visual areas then need to process. This visual information needs to be relayed to the brain’s motor cortex which then tells the muscles how to move. Adding up the time from each of these biological relays, humans have a visual reaction time of about 200 milliseconds.

Then — the dive. The movement itself can take 500 milliseconds if the goalkeeper wants to cover the post, Wood said.

So how does a good goalkeeper manage to get the saves?

Waiting and reacting is too slow, so goalkeepers need to predict the kick before it happens.

“The good goalkeepers don’t guess, but they try to anticipate based on a number of cues that the penalty takers give off,” Wood said.

In one analysis of 330 penalty kicks, professional goalkeepers dove about 220 milliseconds before the kicker kicked.

Eye-tracking experiments show that experienced goalkeepers use cues that the kicker gives off with their body, particularly focusing on the movement of the torso and legs, to make their prediction.

In one 2018 study, Wilson and his colleagues showed more than 700 online participants of varying levels of soccer experience 60 different videos of penalty kicks with varying amounts of time leading up to the kick. As expected, the more information the goalkeeper saw leading up to the kick, the more likely they were to predict which direction the shot would go.

The kicker also has hard decisions to make: where to put the ball, whether to kick hard or soft (the softer kicks are more accurate), and whether to do a fake. Most of the pressure is on the kicker as the goalkeeper isn’t really expected to make a save (these kicks score about 80% of the time). I hope that the US/Sweden match (I’m writing this on Saturday afternoon) isn’t decided by penalty kicks: the worst outcome of any World Cup match or championship.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is kvetching, and is off to sleep in the Great Outdoors:

Hili: I’m going to sleep.
A: You can sleep at home.
Hili: There is constant ringing there, if not one phone then another.
In Polish:
Hili: Idę się przespać.
Ja: Możesz spać w domu.
Hili: Tam są ciągle jakieś dzwonki, jak nie jeden telefon, to drugi.


From Reader Pliny the in Between’s latest Far Corner Cafe:

From Nicole:

From Stash Krod, an ‘oy vey’ Far Side cartoon by Gary Larson:

From Masih; the Iranian police are really good at shooting out people’s eyes, but often that’s not enough punishment for protestors:

It’s good news that the NHS is now using puberty blockers only in clinical trials, as their long-term effects aren’t yet known. This is just doing what many other European countries are doing, but the activists regard this as a “cesspit”. Emma Hilton responds:

From Barry: a gecko saves another gecko from a snake:

From Malcolm; a cat mom gets a break:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, and antifascist Jew gassed upon arrival:

Tweets from Herr Doktor Professor Cobb. First, why does misteltoe have a genome thirty times as large as the human genome?

Orang plays with and feeds tiger cubs:

A Giuliani transcript followed by an old Jewish joke. Life imitates art!

44 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. It’s good news that the NHS is now using puberty blockers only in clinical trials, as their long-term effects aren’t yet known.

    This reddit article seems worth reading. Some quotes (the whole thing is quite long):

    “The problem with Chen 2023 isn’t its methodological limitations. The problem is its methodological strength. […] The authors gave 315 teenagers cross-sex hormones, with lifelong implications for reproductive and sexual health, and by their own outcome measures there was no evidence of meaningful clinical benefit.”

    “In a political climate where these kinds of treatments are increasingly viewed with hostility and new regulatory burdens, why would authors, who often make media appearances on this topic, hide positive results? It seems far more plausible that they are hiding evidence of harm.”

    “I am not unaware of how fraught and politicized this topic has become, but the time has come to admit that we, even the moderates like me, were wrong. When a teenager is distressed by their gender or gendered traits, altering their body with hormones does not help their distress. I suspect, but cannot yet prove, that the gender affirming model is actively harmful, […]”.

    1. Thanks, Coel – I read that reddit thread last night and half thought about drawing our host’s attention to it. The main post is excellent, as are most of the responses to it – pretty good moderation, too, although less so at the end of the thread. It looks like reality might finally find its way into the US medical establishment on this issue (not before time).

      1. Azeen Ghorayshi: Medical Group Backs Youth Gender Treatments, but Calls for Research Review. New York Times, August 3, 2023
        The American Academy of Pediatrics renewed its support of gender care for minors while commissioning a fresh look at the evidence.

        It might be time now to read this:
        John P.A. Ioannidis: The Mass Production of Redundant, Misleading, and Conflicted Systematic Reviews and Meta‐analyses. Milbank Quarterly, Sept. 2016, 94(3), 485-514
        free pdf here:

    2. That reddit article is a remarkably adult discussion (for reddit). Thank you for pointing me at it.

  2. On this day:
    1825 – The Bolivian Declaration of Independence is proclaimed.

    1861 – Britain imposes the Lagos Treaty of Cession to suppress slavery in what is now Nigeria.

    1890 – At Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler becomes the first person to be executed by electric chair.

    1901 – Kiowa land in Oklahoma is opened for white settlement, effectively dissolving the contiguous reservation.

    1914 – World War I: Serbia declares war on Germany; Austria declares war on Russia.

    1926 – Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel.

    1942 – Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands becomes the first reigning queen to address a joint session of the United States Congress.

    1944 – The Warsaw Uprising occurs on August 1. It is brutally suppressed and all able-bodied men in Kraków are detained afterwards to prevent a similar uprising, the Kraków Uprising, that was planned but never carried out.

    1945 – World War II: Hiroshima, Japan is devastated when the atomic bomb “Little Boy” is dropped by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people are killed instantly, and some tens of thousands die in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning.

    1962 – Jamaica becomes independent from the United Kingdom.

    1965 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

    1991 – Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW makes its first appearance as a publicly available service on the Internet.

    1991 – Takako Doi, chair of the Social Democratic Party, becomes Japan’s first female speaker of the House of Representatives.

    1996 – NASA announces that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life-forms.

    2011 – War in Afghanistan: A United States military helicopter is shot down, killing 30 American special forces members and a working dog, seven Afghan soldiers, and one Afghan civilian. It was the deadliest single event for the United States in the War in Afghanistan.

    2012 – NASA’s Curiosity rover lands on the surface of Mars.

    1667 – Johann Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician (d. 1748).

    1809 – Alfred, Lord Tennyson, English poet (d. 1892).

    1835 – Hjalmar Kiærskou, Danish botanist (d. 1900).

    1848 – Susie Taylor, American writer and first black Army nurse (d. 1912).

    1846 – Anna Haining Bates, Canadian-American giant (d. 1888).

    1881 – Alexander Fleming, Scottish biologist, pharmacologist, and botanist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955).

    1881 – Louella Parsons, American journalist (d. 1972).

    1908 – Maria Ludwika Bernhard, Polish classical archaeologist and a member of WWII Polish resistance (d. 1998).

    1908 – Helen Jacobs, American tennis player and commander (d. 1997).

    1911 – Lucille Ball, American actress, television producer and businesswoman (d. 1989).

    1917 – Robert Mitchum, American actor (d. 1997).

    1922 – Freddie Laker, English businessman, founded Laker Airways (d. 2006).

    1926 – Elisabeth Beresford, English journalist and author (d. 2010). [Best known for creating The Wombles.]

    1928 – Andy Warhol, American painter, photographer and film director (d. 1987).

    1934 – Chris Bonington, English mountaineer and author.

    1937 – Barbara Windsor, English actress (d. 2020).

    1946 – Allan Holdsworth, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer (d. 2017).

    1970 – M. Night Shyamalan, Indian-American director, producer, and screenwriter.

    1990 – JonBenét Ramsey, American child beauty queen and victim of prominent unsolved murder case.

    “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: It goes on.”
    1637 – Ben Jonson, English poet and playwright (b. 1572).

    1660 – Diego Velázquez, Spanish painter and educator (b. 1599).

    1931 – Bix Beiderbecke, American cornet player, pianist, and composer (b. 1903).

    1952 – Betty Allan, Australian statistician and biometrician (b. 1905).

    1978 – Edward Durell Stone, American architect, designed Radio City Music Hall and the Kennedy Center (b. 1902).

    1991 – Harry Reasoner, American journalist, co-created 60 Minutes (b. 1923).

    2004 – Rick James, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1948).

    2005 – Creme Puff, tabby domestic cat, oldest recorded cat (b. 1967). [Died aged 38 years and 3 days!]

    2009 – John Hughes, American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1950).

  3. The women’s world cup game US vs Sweden started at 5 am EST because the FIFA planners had expected the US to win its group. If the US had done so, their game in the round of 16 would have been Saturday evening at 10 pm EST (prime time for the whole US). In the event, the Netherlands won the group and played against South Africa yesterday evening at a time of day that did not suit the Dutch soccer enthusiasts either (I guess the game started at Sunday 4 am Dutch local time).

  4. Re. cameras at Trump’s trial: I think the whole proceedings should be “by the book” as far as possible, to avoid any appearance of a show trial or political influence. Treat the guy just like any ordinary criminal, bring out all the evidence you can find, and lock him away until the madness has waned.

    1. Given Trump’s established and reliable narcissistic desire to put himself on display, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t insist the trial be televised. If it looks like it won’t happen, he’ll start snarling to his fans about a “cover up.”

      Under those circumstances, your otherwise reasonable concern is probably misplaced.

    2. Apparently the reason why there are no cameras allowed is to prevent trials from becoming a media circus. It is to preserve privacy and some semblance of dignity of this part of our government.
      But this rule is antiquated and out-gunned when hugely publicized trials become a media circus despite the lack of cameras. It will be a show-trial anyway, DJ’ed by sound-bite reporters and spin doctors from both sides.
      So there is a counter-argument now that by allowing cameras, we can at least give a voice to how things really went down. I think the argument for cameras outweighs the argument against cameras this one time.

  5. In my view, Brooks’ view on meritocracy is important and well worth considering. Indeed, I have recommended the book he cites, “The Meritocracy Trap”, by Daniel Markovits, in the past, and I again strongly urge those who care about this issue to read it. The question is, when does “merit” become a tool for exclusion and perpetuation of class differences? Markovits makes a compelling argument, much better than I could, that, especially in higher education, it’s a systemic problem.

    On a more positive note on this issue, however, see E. J. Dionne’s column in today’s WaPo about Josh Shapiro, the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania, who actually does things and is very popular. In the context here, he eliminated the requirement of a college degree for 92% of state jobs, something I think is long overdue. It should be incumbent on the employer to demonstrate the need for a degree in a particular position, not on the applicant to demonstrate the possession of a credential that is often not relevant to the responsibilities of the job. It will be interesting to see how things play out in Pennsylvania.

    1. I started writing a response to David Brooks, but I realized soon that it would be much too long. So, I’ll get straight to the point. The current actual elite in the country, i.e., its ruling class, consists of techno-industrial-financial corporate America. Through its political wing, the Republican Party, it aims to keep power by keeping taxes low for the wealthy and corporate America and eliminating government regulations that limits its ability to do whatever it wants. To keep its power the ruling elite has used, to a large degree successfully, the tried and true method of divide and conquer. Its latest variant of this method is to focus on cultural resentment, taking advantage of social and demographic change. In essence, the ruling class says to its target audience that the liberal elite controls everything (totally untrue) and just ignore us when we cut taxes for ourselves, cut social security, Medicare, and other social safety net programs, and despoil the environment. Trump has been the ruling class’ dream come true.

      1. Sorry, but you’ll say almost anything to exculpate Democrats from any responsibility for creating a climate that promotes Trump. And, of course, the ruling President is a Democrat who has fallen victim to the ministrations of the progressive Democrats.

        The liberal elite controls a lot more than you give them credit for.

      2. I would mostly agree with Historian. Look at the actions taken by the money republicans. Name something the republican house or senate has done for the people. Funny they take credit for most of the stuff the democrats have been able to do while they all vote against it. I am not involved in any schools, colleges or campus actions so just how liberal or woke as some like to say they may be I do not follow. I know what the democrats would like to do and what the republicans do at the federal and state levels. I do not agree with every thing the demos do but it is so much better than the other, finding fault with the so called liberals is just not in me. I would like to see democracy survive and we are not going to get there going after liberals. If the democrats get control of the congress we might get somewhere. If they don’t the alternative is rotten.

  6. Not so sure about that idea that serving on a jury makes gives one a higher opinion of the justice system. If the rest of the jury agrees with you then maybe that improves you view or ego. I was on a jury several years ago and it lasted at least 4 weeks. I don’t think my opinion changed much one way or the other. It was a murder/rape trial and there were at least 50 witnesses. This one happened to be in Stockton, Ca. The jury selection process left me believing that almost no one wants to be on a jury. People try everything to get off. You quickly learn there are not many “good” citizens out there. Anyway, once the trial was over it did not take long for us to find the guy guilty. One good thing about the whole process was, the jury did not have to determine the sentence. We knew ahead of time what that would be. There was no death penalty and the guilty finding simply called for life with no chance of getting out. If I learned anything is was I would not be looking forward to another one.

    1. I was called for jury duty every two years when I was in my 30’s and early 40’s. I did my best to stay off the jury because I lived paycheck to paycheck and couldn’t afford to take the time off my job, which paid me hourly–no paid time off and no benefits. My state paid $30 for an entire day which meant I’d not be able to pay my bills and student loans if a trial lasted more than a day.

      1. Yes, the loss of a paycheck is the main reason people cannot do jury duty. On a trial such as the one I did, it would be impossible. That is why they probably went through 100 to 150 people to get this jury. Had to have 16, 12 and 4 alternates. I was luck my employer paid while I did the time. I recall the judge made people go out and make calls if they did not know whether or not their employer would pay.

  7. No, no to cameras in this courtroom. Hasn’t someone already pointed out that compromise, reaching agreement, is much easier in Congress without the grandstanding the media loves? Did we learn nothing from the O. J. Simpson trial? Hell, we can’t even seem to agree about what we saw happening live on January 6!

    1. I agree with that. The O.J. circus is plenty of reason why the people in and out of the courtroom do not need cameras. People have been watching this guy do crimes on live TV and half of them learn nothing.

  8. I had an old friend who volunteered at the Smithsonian’s “Silver Hill” aviation restoration facility in MD, just outside DC. He once showed me and my son around the various Quonset huts, and in one casually motioned to the side wall and said, “That’s a propeller from the Enola Gay.”

  9. I agree wholeheartedly with Steve Brill about televising federal trials, in particular as to the Trump attempted-coup case, which bids fair to be the US trial of the century. I think an unobtrusive camera in the courtroom helps keep all participants in a trial honest and serves the public weal by fostering an informed populace.

    But I will be surprised — pleasantly so — if it actually comes to pass. Federal courts are notoriously hidebound on this topic.

    1. Good alternative. An unobtrusive camera(s) by CNN so there is no excess drama added. If not a camera, how about audio? We have seen enough of the defendant and it might be more revealing to hear just the voices of those involved. A show trial like the O.J. mishmash would be disastrous.

    2. I seem to recall that trials (and I think even criminal trials) have been televised, in the sense of a camera in the courtroom, before – to enable people, such as family members, to see the trial when there was not enough room in the courtroom. So this was live, but not broadcast. I wonder whether it would be possible, within the rules, to do the same for the Trump trials, and simply turn over the tapes to any organization which agreed to broadcast them unmodified/without commentary/whatever.

      1. State court trials are regularly televised, but federal trials are not (although there have been pilot programs in which court proceedings in some federal districts were allowed to be televised for brief periods of time).

        IIRC, Donald Trump’s two recent arraignments were beamed by closed circuit to “overflow rooms” in the courthouse where interested parties could watch the proceedings in real time on tv. I don’t know if any recordings of these proceedings were made, but if there were, they haven’t been released publicly and, to the best of my knowledge, there is no plan to do so.

        I think your proposal could be a worthwhile compromise, Derek. After all, it used to be that recordings of oral arguments before the US Supreme Court couldn’t be released until years later. Then the Court began releasing them on a same-day delayed basis, and now the Court permits them to be simulcast (though only the audio; no video cameras allowed in the Court, ever).

  10. Emma Hilton responds:
    Nancy Kelley, who Emma responds to, is the outgoing CEO of the British charity Stonewall. Her departure is very sudden and appears not to have been planned – not sure what’s going on there. In recent years, Stonewall has completely lost its way and at least two co-founders have expressed their unhappiness.

  11. “The latest indictment of Trump — and more specifically, the reaction to it — is proof that the “extinction-level event” of liberal democracy is here.”
    Keep calm and carry on. Mr. Sullivan. Pliny has it right. And we are watching the worst parts of the American right implode. A healthier party will rise from the ashes, even if it is a *very* low bar.

  12. “It’s authoritarianism and snobbery at play here, not a belief in meritocracy.”

    Yes. I think of it as the Tonya Harding syndrome.

  13. “If [Trump] were to acknowledge any facet of a reality that does not flatter his ego, he would have a psychic break.”

    This, and the rest of Sully’s description, is exactly right. This is why I seriously doubt Trump would ever consider an “advice of counsel” defense; it would make him look weak to his base.

    1. Trump’s lawyer in the attempted-coup case, John Lauro, has said that the key element in Trump’s defense will be his reliance on the advice of lawyer John Eastman. (See, for example here at the 2:50 mark).

      And in the New York state Stormy Daniel’s porn-payoff case, Trump himself has also claimed that he was relying on the advice of his lawyer Michael Cohen that the payoff scheme was legal.

      1. You know far more than I do about this stuff, Ken, so I stand corrected barring further disclosures.

          1. When it comes to snark about the Lake Poets, Ken, neither you nor I can compete with Lord Byron, who said of Robert Southey’s epics, “They will be remembered when Homer and Virgil are forgotten, and not until then.” 😊

      2. But doesn’t this have the drawback that the lawyer becomes Trump’s co-conspirator, and so can testify. In the Stormy Daniels case, this means that Cohen, who has been thrown under the bus by Trump, could give his version of what was said, which might well not match Trump’s. And ditto for the January 6 case, where one of the clown car of Trump “legal advisors” (Rudy “Four Seasons Home Landscaping” Giuliani, Sidney “voting machines were manipulated from Venezuela” Powell, etc.) might well decide that they’d rather tell their own story than have Trump tell it for them.

  14. Edit: Intended as a response to Richard Metzler @ #4.

    Isn’t there supposed to be a jury conviction in the chain of events before you lock people away? And people convicted of crimes are supposed to be locked away until their risk to society has waned. Madness in other people has nothing to do with it.

    1. You’re right, I was probably too optimistic and took the conviction for granted (seeing how there’s obviously very good evidence for the deeds and, in the documents case, for the coverup).
      The second point is interesting. What if a criminal is dangerous to society precisely because he has a large crowd of followers – is it justified to make the length of imprisonment dependent on how long it will probably take for his followers to become disillusioned and disperse?

      1. What if a criminal is dangerous to society precisely because he has a large crowd of followers…?

        Then you are getting into the realm of defining criminality by what you allege someone’s followers believe without having to meet a legal standard of proof, since the followers are not on trial and can’t offer a defence or rebuttal and neither can the defendant in his own defence. In other words, political crimes, enemy of the state, that sort of thing. Which doesn’t play well with the contention that this is not a political trial, no siree, not us.

        My advice is to stick with trying to convict the former President. That will keep your hands full. Let the judge worry about the sentence.

  15. Root beer float with vodka? Last time I had a root beer float I was far too young for vodka. But I tried one with chocolate ice cream. Not recommended.

  16. Just a clarification: the transcript compared to a Jewish Joke in the final X (tweet?) wasn’t from Guiliani. As noted in
    the tweet it was from Donald Sterling, who used to own the NBA Clippers.

  17. With my apologies for sequential metaphors, the AAP has painted itself into a corner with its previous stonewalling on its practice guidelines. It was that sure of how correct it was. It can’t now throw its member pediatricians under the bus and admit that it had been advising them and regulators to ignore the state of the evidence and encourage hormonal and surgical mutilation on nothing more than ideologically motivated wishful thinking that sounded good. Doctors currently doing these treatments are going to be relying on the AAP’s practice standards to cover their butts in lawsuits….yet those same standards are being used to censure and discipline doctors who advise wait and see. I’m with Dr. Gord Guyatt, quoted in the Times, as saying the AAP is putting the cart before the horse. They must know that an external review is going to undermine their current position and it is disingenuous for them to say they expect a review, unless rigged, will confirm their current position and provide merely “extra detail.”

    If I was a pediatrician I would tread very carefully from the moment of this announcement. Doctors are expected to know the evidence personally and not rely on third-party opinion makers, but peer pressure is very strong when the well-being of patients is at stake. The difficulty is that in several states (and all of Canada), it constitutes illegal conversion therapy to advise watchful waiting and psychotherapy that supports self-resolution of gender dysphoria and eventual comfort with the body one was born with. Unlike the case with conversion therapy for homosexuality, there is no evidence that this approach is ineffective or harmful in gender dysphoria, and self-resolution suggests this is what happens naturally anyway, unlike with homosexuality.. Its legal condemnation is entirely an ideological coat-tailing effect, the forced alliance of LGB with T. Even if puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are completely discredited scientifically and the AAP no longer advises them in most adolescents, it could still be illegal in those states (and Canada) not to prescribe them on demand.

    (Michigan is the most recent state to make “conversion therapy” a crime. Gov. Whitmer said she was “proud, as a Mom with a child in ‘the community,‘ to sign it.”)

  18. A root beer float with vodka? (you are serious? struggling for a polite comment) Oh boy we get to to agree to disagree. But I do know good people, now either deceased due to the their habit or thankfully abstinent who would have been quite happy with that.

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