CaturSaturday, September 16, 2023, shabbos AND Rosh Hashanah for Jewish cats. It will be a very quiet day in Jerusalem as it’s both shabbos and the holidays, so many things will be closed and there will be no public transportation. I hope I can find some food.
In the US it’s National Cinnamon Raisin Bread Day, a treat my mom used to give me for breakfast (another was French toast).
It’s also National Guacamole Day, Batman Day, International Day for Preservation of the Ozone Layer, National Gymnastics Day, International Eat an Apple Day, Mexican Independence Day (“Cry of Dolores“), National Dance Day, International Red Panda Day, and National Stay Away from Seattle Day (once meant to keep people out of a lovely city, but now there are other reasons). They should include Portland in there, too.
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the September 16 Wikipedia page.
*It once looked as if Hunter Biden would get off unindicted, but that’s gone now, as he’s just been indicted on three felony gun charges, one involving lying:
Hunter Biden, the president’s son, was charged on Thursday by federal prosecutors with lying about his drug use when he purchased a handgun in 2018 and with illegally possessing the weapon, setting up the potential for a trial coinciding with his father’s re-election campaign.
The indictment came as House Republicans stepped up their efforts to use Hunter Biden’s work abroad to build a case for impeaching President Biden. And it puts the Biden Justice Department in the remarkable position of prosecuting cases against both the president’s son and former President Donald J. Trump, the current front-runner for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
The gun charges are related to whether Mr. Biden had lied on a federal government form that he was required to complete when he purchased a .38 handgun in Delaware in 2018.
In response to a question on the form about whether he was using drugs, Mr. Biden had said he was not — an assertion that prosecutors concluded was false. Mr. Biden has publicly acknowledged his struggles with addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol and had been in and out of rehab around the time of the gun purchase.
The indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Wilmington, Del., charged Mr. Biden with three felonies: lying to a federally licensed gun dealer, making a false claim on the federal firearms application used to screen applicants and possession of an illegally obtained gun for 11 days, from Oct. 12 to Oct. 23, 2018.
CNN has an annotated version of the indictment here. Again, I have no canids in this fight; the canons of justice should apply to all Americans, including Trump, too.
*Once again I’m stealing three items from Nellie Bowles’s weekly news summary at The Free Press, called this week “TGIF: Stranger things,”
→ Working really hard to spin this: The New York Times is working very hard to somehow spin the migrant situation in New York and Chicago into being a problem Republicans caused. It’s hard. Biden is president and in charge of the border. These cities are all run by Democrats. But. . . there must be a way that Republicans created this. We got it! They hoped it into existence:
I hope you’re happy, GOP, with all the families sleeping in gyms in Staten Island, just like you planned.
→ There was no 2007: In Toronto public schools, to make it easier to ensure the books are equitable, everything written in 2008 or earlier has been removed from shelves. For real. It’s just too risky to have old books that might have old ideas written by the wrong type of author. And so, to make the so-called book “weeding” process easier, we’re not even looking past 2008. Goodbye to The Very Hungry Caterpillar and goodbye to The Diary of Anne Frank (I’m sure there are others, but really, are there?). The world began in 2009. We have no knowledge of what came before that year. Why are you asking about it? Why do you need to read a book from before then? Is it your homophobia? Is it that you hate Latinos? I’m just taking notes because it’s interesting that you’re so interested.
The linked article says the removal was done in the interest of “inclusivity”. Has Nineteen Eighty-Four arrived in Canada?
→ Free Press makes a big impact: There’s been a lot of fallout since whistleblower Jamie Reed’s groundbreaking essay on what was going on inside a Missouri pediatric gender clinic. Now: The Washington University Transgender Center at St. Louis Children’s Hospital will stop prescribing puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones to children, a method of care that, if started early enough, can prevent a child from ever reaching sexual maturity, from ever having an orgasm, and certainly from ever having children. Some gender-nonconforming tween in Missouri will have kids one day and they won’t even know that there was a time when the local clinic would have looked at their “unusual” behavior (wearing. . . PANTS? Playing with. . . TRUCKS?) and said: okay let’s do it, give me your arm. Meanwhile, in Nebraska, a detransitioner who had a double mastectomy at 16 is suing the hospital. Literally, all these clinics need to do is wait until the kid turns 18.
*In his main article on this week’s Substack, “The nihilism of Trump’s GOP,” Andrew Sullivan calls out Republicans for impeachment mania born solely of th view that the Democratic Party is illegitimate:
This week’s launching of an impeachment inquiry into President Biden when there is no solid proof of a “high crime” anywhere in sight is also far outside Constitutional norms. Investigate the Biden family’s lobbying connections? Sure. Search for any indication that the president was secretly on the take from foreign sources? Absolutely. Make Biden pay a political price for staying too close to his sleaze-ridden grifter son, Hunter? Go for it.
But impeachment? On the basis of evidence yet to be found? On the tenuous principle that “courts have historically proved more willing to honor congressional demands when they are made as part of an impeachment inquiry”? That’s a recipe for routine impeachment for routine congressional oversight. It makes Newt Gingrich look like Howard Baker.
It’s not just in Washington. In Wisconsin, a crucible for partisan insanity, the state GOP appears intent on impeaching a recently elected state Supreme Court justice, Janet Protasiewicz, before she has even issued a ruling! Her alleged high crime is to have expressed an opinion about the grotesquely gerrymandered congressional maps that Wisconsin Republicans have constructed to give them a super-majority in state government out of all proportion to how they do in the actual vote. The charge is that having expressed an opinion during an election campaign, she is required to recuse herself from voting on the constitutionality of the gerrymander.
. . . The theme that connects all these dots is simply a refusal to grant legitimacy to the Democratic Party — even if that party wins a majority of the votes, even if they play by the rules, even if this means flouting the obvious democratic wishes of the voters. That’s also the underlying rationale behind Trump’s grotesque attempt to overthrow the results of the last presidential election — with no evidence of malfeasance. It is that no Democrat has a right to be president; and if they are elected, it must be because they cheated.
. . .As a Republican Senator told Romney as he settled in, their view is that the first consideration in voting on any bill should always be: “Will this help me win re-election?”
There’s no definitive moment in the collapse of a republic, but that quote comes close. If all you care about is your own grip on power, regard the opposing party as ipso facto illegitimate, and give zero fucks for the system as a whole, a liberal democracy has effectively ceased to exist. A single major party, captured by radicals and nihilists, can do that.
And yet I still see online claims that Sullivan is a dihard Republican. It ain’t so, Joe! At best he’s a centrist leaning right.
*The University of Pennsylvania is holding an anti-Israel festival right after Rosh Hashanah, a festival featuring some odious antisemites:
Once again, American university campuses are at the forefront of hostile anti-Israel and antisemitic activity bordering on the absurd. On September 22-24, in the midst of the Jewish High Holidays, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is hosting the Palestine Writes Literature Festival with known anti-Israel, pro-terror, and antisemitic speakers such as Roger Waters, Marc Lamont Hill, Noura Erekat and representatives from U.S.-designated Palestinian terror groups such as the PFLP, as well as representatives from their affiliates.
Among the featured speakers are PFLP militant Wisam Rafeedie, Salman Abusitta from the UK Hamas-affiliated organization Palestine Return Center (PRC), Marc Lamont Hill, American journalist who was fired from CNN for his antisemitic comments and has praised the likes of Louis Farrakhan and convicted PFLP terrorists, Roger Waters, known for his anti-Israel and antisemitic stunts, and Noura Erekat.This same festival in 2020 awarded notorious pro-terror Palestinian activist Mohammed el Kurd with its Emerging Writer Award. El Kurd has spread antisemitic blood libels on social media accusing Israel of “trafficking Palestinian organs.”The primary festival organizer, Susan Abulhawa, also has a colorful track record of support for PFLP terrorists such as Ghassan Kanafani and Dalal Mughrabi, as well as comparing Israel to Nazis. Abulhawa’s events in Australia have previously been canceled due to her pro-terror stances and extremist associations.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has another question for Andrzej:
Hili: Does logic help to understand the world?A: Undoubtedly, but it’s always worth it to check what studies say about our premises.
Hili: Czy logika pomaga zrozumieć świat?Ja: Niewątpliwie, ale zawsze warto sprawdzić, co mówią badania o naszych przesłankach.
These may be old memes, but so be it:
From Science Humor:
Masih has received several dozen credible threats on her life. She won’t go into hiding for sure.
The White House warned me that there have been more than 31 threats against me on US soil. In an email, they advised me to go into witness protection.
It means I have to change my name, social security number & disappear. This is what the regime wants. pic.twitter.com/53svtzn6bl
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 14, 2023
. . . and she calls out America’s reaction to the Iranian protests (read her new WaPo editorial, her piece in The Free Press, and there’s a lead article in the WaPo by another writer).
No, Secretary Blinken! Unfortunately, the US government didn’t take appropriate actions against the killer of Mahsa Jina Amini: It is heartbreaking that right on the anniversary of Mahsa Amini’s murder at the hands of the morality police, America has given a gift to the gender… https://t.co/oYuZGoCMGh
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 15, 2023
All of a sudden my website traffic nearly tripled yesterday. And then I got an email explaining why: Richard Dawkins had tweeted my post on two people’s self-proclaimed genetic superiority of the Māori (see below). But the sad part is that most of the commenters just weighed in with off-the-cuff and often nasty comments without reading the article. Ricky Gervais is right: Twitter (now “X”) truly is a cesspool.
Just imagine if a white NZer said that white people were genetically superior to Maori! But when a Maori leader says the equivalent, where are the protests against the blatant racism? That is what is known as “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”https://t.co/3m7BvCirC3
— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 15, 2023
On the vaping Boebert:
ON LAUREN BOEBERT’S UNDYING DEDICATION TO TRASHNESS pic.twitter.com/8MKbSQN7YS
— Trae Crowder (@traecrowder) September 13, 2023
From Simon, whose only comment is “indeed!”:
Imagine not meeting Trumps standards for family values https://t.co/0dp5awL1O7
— Mike Madrid (@madrid_mike) September 15, 2023
From the Auschwitz Museum; gassed upon arrival at age six:
16 September 1936 | A French Jewish girl, Suzanne Mol, was born in Paris.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) September 16, 2023
From Dr. Cobb; look at the markings on this cat!:
Little bandit.. 😅 pic.twitter.com/8SYyOq8iOD
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) September 15, 2023
Re the tweet below, Matthew says, “Put the date in your diary! (See linked tweet for explanation). I didn’t look up the Bible quotes, but at this time I’ll be waiting to take off at the Tel Aviv airport. Our plane will be raptured in Israel!
Which time zone is that? I don’t want to miss it… https://t.co/tSeBN1X4wJ
— Kevin Mitchell @WiringtheBrain@ mstdn .social (@WiringTheBrain) September 14, 2023
The wall paintings are in terrific condition (have they been retouched?). Sound up:
— Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, Jr. 🤠 (@MC_Floh) September 13, 2023