Friday: Hili dialogue

September 22, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Friday, September 22, 2023, and National Ice Cream Cone Day (I presume they mean that ice cream is included). My flight to Chicago leaves a bit after midnight tonight, and as I have to make my way to Ben-Gurion Airport, posting may be light. The autumnal equinox begins in Israel at 2:50 a.m. Saturday morning and at 4:24 a.m. Chicago time. Thus I’ll leave Israel in the summer and arrive in Chicago in the fall (5:30 a.m.).

It’s also Astronomy Day, Hobbit Day (the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins in the book), National White Chocolate Day, Native American Day,National Elephant Appreciation Day, National Bakery Day, World Rhino Day, and Love Note Day (send one to your paramour).

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the September 22 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*The apparent reluctance of Democrats (particularly “progressives”) to enact legislation dealing with immigration is one of the Achilles heels that will damage them in next year’s elections. (There are two other heels: the economy—not Biden’s fault—and pervasive wokeness—partly his fault.) Right now, according to the NYT, immigration is playing a role in eroding the President’s clout during the fracas about governmental shutdown. Biden’s response has been to allow nearly a half million Venezuelan immigrants to remain in the US to work for 18 months, though we all really know that they’re here for good.

Administration officials say the decision was made, as required by law, because of the worsening conditions in Venezuela, not the situation in New York or other cities. But for Mr. Biden, the move is sure to inflame the already charged political debate, both inside his own party and with Republicans, about how to confront the surge of migration from South and Central America.

The situation at the border, where officials on Monday arrested 8,000 migrants — close to record highs in May — is providing ammunition to conservative Republicans who are vowing to shut down the government unless Congress agrees to new anti-immigration measures. They argue that protecting recent Venezuelan migrants from deportation will only encourage more to head north, hoping for similar treatment after they arrive.

Advocates for the policy say Venezuelans and other migrants decide to flee because they fear persecution, starvation and violence, not because of a policy change thousands of miles away in Washington. Mr. Biden singled out Venezuelans for the program because of their sheer numbers — they make up the largest mass migration in the hemisphere in decades.

Does anybody doubt that many of the migrants who legally must assert that they are fleeing persecution and violence are in reality seeking economic benefits—not considered  a legal reason for crossing the border? This is one of the Big Lies that has hampered legislation about immigration, a task originally given to Kamala Harris. (She’s done nothing.) One more excerpt:

But the dramatic move by Mr. Biden is evidence of the human dimensions and political power of an issue that has hounded him since he became president. How to deal with the border is at the heart of the funding debate in Congress, and is certain to be central to the debate between Mr. Biden and his Republican opponent in the 2024 campaign next year.

*Nooz from reader Ken:

A Texas teacher has been fired for assigning a portion of Anne Frank’s Diary: the Graphic Adaptation to eighth grade students (which is to say, students about the same age Anne Frank was when she wrote her diary).

The story is in The Washington Post. An excerpt:

A Texas teacher has been fired after a middle school class was assigned to read a graphic novel adaptation of “The Diary of Anne Frank” that officials say had not been approved by the school district.

The Hamshire-Fannett Independent School District announced that a teacher had assigned an eighth-grade class to read a passage from “Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation,” which includes passages Frank wrote about female and male genitalia, and a possible attraction to women. The unabridged version of Frank’s diary has been removed from schools in Texas and Florida this year after complaints from parents over the book’s sexual content.

The teacher, who has not been publicly identified, was sent home on Sept. 13 after “concerns regarding curricular selections in your student’s reading class,” district spokesman Mike Canizales said in a letter sent to eighth-grade parents at Hamshire-Fannett Middle School in Beaumont, Tex., east of Houston. Canizales did not specify the reason for the termination but said a substitute has been teaching the class since Sept. 13.

. . . The 2018 graphic novel, adapted by Ari Folman from the unabridged version of Frank’s diary and illustrated by David Polonsky, was hailed by the New York Times Book Review as “so engaging and effective that it’s easy to imagine it replacing the Diary in classrooms and among younger readers.” The version by Folman, whose parents survived the Holocaust, illustrates the hope and despair that Frank felt during her time hiding from the Nazis inside a tiny annex. The graphic adaptation is fully authorized by the Anne Frank Fonds, the Switzerland-based foundation that oversees the copyright to Frank’s diary.

Well, I’ve had enough of this censorship. The novel is widely praised, authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation, and is certainly age-appropriate. It is of course mostly Pecksniffian Republicans who get these books removed, and some might be age INappropriate, but this is not one of them. Don’t 14-year-olds know about genitalia and same-sex attraction?

*The Daily Free Press at Boston University has written a pretty damning exposé of Ibram Kendi’s management of his highly funded Center for Antiracist Research at BU. Note that some of the report is based on two disgruntled employees who left, reported mismanagement, and whose complaints were ignored. An excerpt:

Boston University hired Ibram X. Kendi to lead its new Center for Antiracist Research in 2020, a year marked by a global pandemic and nationwide racial tension.

Three years later, after at least $43 million in grants and gifts and what sources say has been an underwhelming output of research, the Center for Antiracist Research laid off almost all of its staff last week.

Multiple former staff members allege that a mismanagement of funds, high turnover rate and general disorganization have plagued the Center since its inception.

The $43 million, according to 2021 budget records obtained by The Daily Free Press, includes general support, such as the $10 million from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, as well as donations for specific projects.

The document, which is not an all-inclusive list of donors, also lists TJ Maxx’s foundation, Stop & Shop and Peloton as donating over a million dollars.

But there’s enough independent information to suggest an investigation is warranted, and that is now happening. If the allegations are true, then Kendi is a species of grifter. At any rate, when the antiracist tsunami happened, the first thing I did was read Kendi’s book How to Be an Antiracist, and I was appalled at how incoherent and superficial it was. But he’s made his nut, and is widely worshiped.

*According to the AP, an appeals court is taking up a case about transgender health care, in which North Carolina and West Virginia are denying transgender people “affirmative” medical care (surgery, hormone treatment) on the grounds that gender dysphoria is not an illness. I suppose this interpretation makes it close to a forme of plastic surgery, which one could consider “body dysphoria”. But whatever th appellate court does, the AP says this case is ultimately headed to the Supreme Court:

A federal appeals court is considering cases out of North Carolina and West Virginia that could have significant implications on whether individual states are required to cover health care for transgender people with government-sponsored insurance.

The Richmond-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in cases Thursday involving the coverage of gender-affirming care by North Carolina’s state employee health plan and the coverage of gender-affirming surgery by West Virginia Medicaid.

During the proceedings, at least two judges said it’s likely the case will eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court. Both states appealed separate lower court rulings that found the denial of gender-affirming care to be discriminatory and unconstitutional. Two panels of three Fourth Circuit judges heard arguments in both cases earlier this year before deciding to intertwine the two cases and see them presented before the full court of 15.

. . .“The exclusion here is actually quite targeted, it’s quite specific,” Borelli said in court, arguing that a faithful interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and the equal protection clause ensures transgender people coverage.

Borelli is “Tara Borelli, senior attorney at Lambda Legal — the organization representing transgender people denied services in both states.”

“One of the most important things that a court can do is to uphold those values to protect minority rights who are not able to protect themselves against majoritarian processes,” she said.

Attorneys for the state of North Carolina said the state-sponsored plan is not required to cover gender-affirming hormone therapy or surgery because being transgender is not an illness. Attorney John Knepper claimed only a subset of transgender people suffer from gender dysphoria, a diagnosis of distress over gender identity that doesn’t match a person’s assigned sex.

Knepper said North Carolina’s insurance plan does not discriminate because it does not allow people to use state health insurance to “detransition,” either.

I’m not sure how I feel about this one. Gender dysphoria does seem to be a psychological malady, and if other psychological maladies require medical intervention, and that intervention is provided by the states, why not hormone or surgery treatment? But one must take precautions that the diagnosis is dead serious and not made lightly.

*Self-aggrandizement department: Point of Order in New Zealand has reprinted my recent analysis of an official “let’s-have-two-ways-of-knowing” post, but I added a long comment to the original if you follow Kiwi science. This is from an anonymous New Zealand scientist. Referring to the proposal to use both science and indigenous knowledge, each of which has ways of knowing not used by the other, this scientist commented:

This is not an improvement in epistemic terms. Arguably it’s even worse than integrating MM into science, as social constructivism/epistemic relativism are antithetical to science.
I think it does make it easier for us to criticise what’s going on, however, as the postmodernist ideology is more evident. It’s pretty hard to argue that criticism of postmodernist ideology is racist!
You ask: how are they going to teach MM [Mātauranga Māori] now? The answer is they’re not – to do so would be “recolonisation”. This was never really about teaching MM. It was always a political project designed to promote an ideological agenda. Here’s a relevant quote from Doug Stokes’ book “Against decolonisation”:
“[A]ctivists impose decolonisation as part of a counter-power move to push back against what they claim is knowledge power plays of historically tainted thinkers and institutions. In short, if all knowledge is relative, it becomes politically acceptable to impose your agenda in the name of social justice and a form of restorative activism. Decolonisation is thus an explicitly political power play.
This, in turn, transforms the academic social contract. It moves from a process whereby the sum of human knowledge improves in terms of its capacity to explain the world to a form of radical political deconstruction underpinned by an ethical claim that this is justified to compensate for the legacy effects of the alleged perfidiousness of Western civilisation. The assertion that all human knowledge is equally valid and the university is a site of power contestation makes it easier to understand the abandonment of fundamental academic principles, not least that of academic freedom; Itself often portrayed as a conspiracy on the part of bigots to justify discrimination and ideas that may run contrary to those of the progressive ‘woke’ Left. Aside from the obvious fact that if all knowledge is relative, why should we subscribe to the assertions of the decolonisation critique itself, [when] this form of unbounded judgmental relativism abandons any notion of reality or truth for a seeming endless play on meaning, identity and power that is transforming the university system.” (p. 83-84)
In short, the inherent attack on science is a feature, not a bug, and we’re replaying the science wars of the 1990s. People here in New Zealand should be asking themselves the following questions: if any of the MM proponents actually had a commitment to science, why are they all engaging with MM instead, and why to they consistently seek to caricature modern science?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili isn’t drinking coffee, but is curious about it for obvious reasons:

Hili: Do you make this coffee with milk or with cream?
A: Why do you ask?
Hili: I prefer cream.
(Photo: Sarah Lawson)
Hili: Czy tę kawę robisz sobie z mlekiem, czy ze śmietanką? Ja: Dlaczego pytasz?Hili: Wolę śmietankę.
(Zdjęcie S.L.)

And a photo of Szaron yawning taken by Sarah:


From Divy:

From Merilee:

From Bad Cat Clothing:

From Masih. Here “promoting” means “publicizing”:

Some crazy creationism sent in by Barry:

What does one expect when Jacinda Ardern, whom I once admired greatly as New Zealand’s PM (she no longer is), turns super woke and then gives her opinions on free speech?  I reposted this segment of her speech and added a comment:

And words from Elizabeth Warren, who apparently will say anything to demonstrate her ideological purity. No, I never voted for her.

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Herr Professor Cobb. First, weird behavior of kingfishers. Could it be mating behavior (not so if both birds below are males):

Duckling rush hour (muscovies). 28 of them!

How lovely! Good thing the youngsters have great balance! Sound up to hear the hooves.

30 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. New York Times Book Review :

    “so engaging and effective that it’s easy to imagine it replacing the Diary in classrooms and among younger readers.”

    And so the dialectic progresses Left.

    Not censorship or banning – if the Hegelian wizards say so.

    1. I suppose it’s a difficult choice. Students really ought to become proficient at reading words on the printed page and learn to enjoy the mental images it provokes in them — but they’re more likely to read and enjoy the same book if it’s in the form of a comic book (graphic novel), with lots of pictures. I’m sure this version of the Diary is beautifully done, but it’s a subtle dumbing down of scholarship.

      That doesn’t appear to be the Republican’s objection, though. As a teenager I remember reading the passages described — a doomed girl exploring her sexuality in trying circumstances. If the teacher specifically singled them out to teach only that, it is a little creepy. Otherwise, it’s part of the story: deal with it.

      1. “I suppose it’s a difficult choice”

        The review suggests in general to remove the original 1947/1952 book and “replace” it with the comic book. If I follow the word “replace”.

        I’m pointing to that dialectic – generally, for this school book topic.

        I wrote a longer comment (because I find this important), but refrain – this is not an easy topic – many layers, and too few specifics IMHO. Trying to stay focused etc.

        1. I forgot the “for younger readers” part:

          That leaves a lot to be explained, and thus is what makes the suggestion dialectical – as if no limits exist for ages, or for wizards to declare what “age appropriate” means for any case.

          But, by virtue of Anne Frank’s ( genuinely ) important book, that justifies anything.

          That’s what I mean specifically. It’s just a book review. But the general dialectic is applied to school books regularly. That is the outstanding problem – it is simply untrue that any book should be pushed at any age – to say the least. Has nothing to do with “banning”.

      2. Students should indeed become able to read and enjoy printed books —- but there used to be Classic Comics, which printed comic book versions of books like The Three Musketeers. Teachers tended to disapprove of comics, but reading the comic book version of The Three Musketeers was a way of getting into books which actually were in some ways beyond what the child could understand. There is as much of a place for a comic book version of the Diary as there is for a comic book version of Dumas.

        1. My thoughts exactly. I read tons of the Gold Key Classics Comic books as early as 5 years old and they totally captures my imagination and made me want to read the books when I was old enough. Also, kids today have a very different way of processing information than us older folks do because of access to computers. I remember being told in college how different my generation processed information due to the introduction of television.

    2. Not trying to be snarky, but during my original debate with you on this topic, I expressed concern that blanket bans on books with sexual themes would be exploited by the illiberal right (and possibly the illiberal left too, given how paranoid they are about sexual harassment, though with different targets.) And that is exactly what happened here. With regards to choosing between the Diary and the graphic novel version, I think the original Diary is better, but that is because I don’t want kids to be taught to read graphic novels instead of old-fashioned print books, not because of the brief allusions to same-sex attraction. In any case, is the GN really different from the original when it comes to sexual themes? It’s not like there’s any nudity. The fact that it is a graphic novel makes it bad classroom material in general, in my view, but that has nothing to do with sex.

  2. I’m not sure how I feel about this one. Gender dysphoria does seem to be a psychological malady, and if other psychological maladies require medical intervention, and that intervention is provided by the states, why not hormone or surgery treatment? But one must take precautions that the diagnosis is dead serious and not made lightly.

    With the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11, published in 2018, internationally valid since 2022), the World Health Organization (WHO) has completed the depathologization of the lack of gender identification. While ICD-10 still refers to “gender identity disorders,” it now has the status of a norm variant known as “gender incongruence.” This is not classified as a mental disorder, but as a “condition related to sexual health”.

    Perhaps West Virgina and North Carolina are referring to ICD 11 that they no longer want to fund “affirmative” medical care (surgery, hormone treatment)? The WHO’s decision would have handed the states the rationale for their action on a golden platter, so to speak.

    1. Trans Rights Activists have argued themselves into a difficult spot. On the one hand, they want the belief that you’re mentally the opposite sex to be considered on par with sexual attraction to the same sex: perfectly legitimate and in no way a pathological condition. Any skepticism at any point is fueled by bigotry because being trans is mentally healthy. Transition isn’t necessary.

      Yet at the same time it’s desperately necessary: there is no anguish greater than the hatred a trans person may have for their sexed body. Modifying sex traits through medical intervention is life-saving the same way cancer-treatments are life-saving — other than the fact that people who identify as trans will presumably kill themselves if they don’t look the way they want to look and people who have cancer have a condition which could kill them.

      They’re caught then in a contradiction. Homosexuality, not being a pathology, doesn’t require emergency medical measures to change your body to match your mind.

      1. Absolutely. Being trans is the only “non-medical condition” for which it is argued that drugs and surgery are necessary to save lives. The whole ideology is bonkers.

      2. To steel-man it, I think a smart TRA would use a different analogy like a congenital heart defect: it’s natural, you’re born with it (or not), and it will make your life worse (or you might die) without medical & surgical treatment.

        But agreed it’s a contradiction and all analogies for it are bad. As TP and others here have noted, the rationale for “affirming care” was always weak, and this contradiction was always obvious. TRAs know this, and it’s why they have not made an honest effort to sway public opinion to their side (e.g., by supporting research to identify the causes of trans identification). Instead they have consistently tried to sway lawmakers and institutions to enact laws and rules “to protect minority rights who are not able to protect themselves”. It’s all about power not knowledge.

      3. And to top it off, there is no evidence other than the say-so of the activists that hormones and surgery are effective for the treatment of what is claimed to be the pathological part of the schema that (supposedly) does need treatment. Gender dysphoria is entirely subjective and if you look at the questionnaires used to measure the degree of suffering from being the “wrong” sex for your gender, the concept is easy to game to get what you want paid for. There is literally no way to take precautions that the the diagnosis is dead serious and not made lightly.

        Doctors who are doing gender medicine just ask the patient if she wants hormones (if the patient doesn’t herself initiate the request as the reason for the visit.) If she does, the doctor records the diagnosis as gender dysphoria after asking some leading questions to make the medical record support the claim. A motivated patient will already know what answers to give — these questionnaires are available on the internet. Doctors in that racket are not in the business of alienating what will be a lifetime recurring patient by telling them that their dysphoria isn’t serious enough to get drugs or plastic surgery paid for by a third party. You have no idea (possibly) of just how lucrative this treatment is, even never minding surgery.

        Third-party payers know they are being taken for a ride, being manipulated by a totally subjective diagnostic process into paying for extensive cosmetic and esthetic surgery at carriage-trade prices for pretty much anyone who wants it.

        In Canada we finesse that process. The provinces that will pay for it 100% — no deductible or co-pay allowed under universal free health care — for severe gender dysphoria don’t pay anywhere near what a plastic surgeon expects from her usual private self-pay cosmetic practice. The surgeon can’t charge more than what the government pays for the “medically necessary” (to prevent suicide!) surgery. So in Alberta, say, there is a two-year waiting list to get to see a plastic surgeon if the government is paying. But if you decide your gender dysphoria isn’t all that bad and you are willing to pay out of pocket, the same surgeon will see you next week.

        I know Sastra is being tongue-in-cheek about suicide in trans people, but the incidence of suicide in the Tavistock clinic’s adolescent patients was 15 per 100,000 per year, in a population that had much more non-gender-related mental health problems than a typical adult trans population. This is about 5 times the risk in the age- and sex- adjusted general population of England and Wales but it is not out of line with mental health clinics treating other conditions. And it is the adolescents whose parents are told they have to choose between a dead daughter and a live son.

    2. In DSM-5 gender dysphoria still counts as a mental disorder.

      “Gender dysphoria replaces the previously termed ‘gender identity disorder’ in the DSM-IV-TR. Changing from ‘disorder’ to ‘dysphoria’ reduces the notion that an individual has a disorder because he or she identifies with a gender other than the one he or she was born into (APA, 2013b, 2013c). Although there was considerable debate from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community about keeping gender dysphoria in the DSM, APA advocated that retaining this as a mental disorder will promote treatment: “To get insurance coverage for the medical treatments, individuals need a diagnosis. The Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group was concerned that removing [gender dysphoria] as a psychiatric diagnosis—as some had suggested—would jeopardize access to care” (APA, 2013b, p. 2). For example, clients can advocate for hormonal and surgical treatments such as gender reassignment surgery because of the clinically significant distress associated with this condition (APA, 2013b; Megeri & Khoosal, 2007).”

      (Dailey, Stephanie F., Carman S. Gill, Shannon L. Karl, et al. /DSM-5: Learning Companion for Counselors./ Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association, 2014. p. 126)

      1. It’s notable that the last line of the quotation doesn’t say “…because of the clinically significant relief associated with this treatment.”

  3. “Kendi’s book…incoherent and superficial….” I had the same experience but on further reading of his scholar friends have found this reference-free and undocumented hypothesizig to be what passes for scholarship in their post-modern, critical theory world. As far as mismanagement of kendi’s institute and its funds. I am reminded of my simple directions from our Nasa procrement office years ago. In a contract, you expect some specific enumerated deliverables for your money; but a grant is a gift to a researcher to put a certain effort into some research area…often basic or pure research where results are unknowable upfront. You cannot specify deliverables but only a final report on whatwas accomplished. That final report might just say the money was spent on some certain effort (time, hours, travel, etc) but with no remarkable result. Of course such a final report would be unlikely to lead to a second year renewal, but inpolitical situations it still might!

    1. “. . . what sources say has been an underwhelming output of research”

      Well, there is no need to research when the man believes he already has the answers. To assert is to prove, as long as you do it with feeling.

    1. Yup, it’s what I (and I assume you also) grew up calling a cowpat. There are competitions for how far to throw the things.
      Desperate Dan would be sadly disappointed. Meat pies are really not a common thing, and a pork pie is a delicacy for which one has to cross the Atlantic.

  4. On this day:
    1692 – The last hanging of those convicted of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials; others are all eventually released.

    1823 – Joseph Smith claims to have found the golden plates after being directed by God through the Angel Moroni to the place where they were buried.

    1862 – A preliminary version of the Emancipation Proclamation is released by Abraham Lincoln.

    1892 – A locomotive shunting falls into a hole in the ground, leading to the burial of the locomotive.

    1896 – Queen Victoria surpasses her grandfather King George III as the longest reigning monarch in British history.

    1910 – The Duke of York’s Picture House opens in Brighton, now the oldest continually operating cinema in Britain.

    1914 – A German submarine sinks three British cruisers over a seventy-minute period, killing almost 1,500 sailors.

    1941 – The Holocaust in Ukraine: On the Jewish New Year Day, the German SS murders 6,000 Jews in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. Those are the survivors of the previous killings that took place a few days earlier in which about 24,000 Jews were executed.

    1948 – Gail Halvorsen officially starts parachuting candy to children as part of the Berlin Airlift.

    1948 – Israeli-Palestine conflict: The All-Palestine Government is established by the Arab League.

    1980 – Iraq invades Iran, sparking the nearly eight year Iran–Iraq War.

    1991 – The Dead Sea Scrolls are made available to the public for the first time.

    1993 – A barge strikes a railroad bridge near Mobile, Alabama, causing the deadliest train wreck in Amtrak history. Forty-seven passengers are killed.

    1995 – The Nagerkovil school bombing is carried out by the Sri Lanka Air Force in which at least 34 die, most of them ethnic Tamil schoolchildren.

    2013 – At least 75 people are killed in a suicide bombing at a Christian church in Peshawar, Pakistan.

    1741 – Peter Simon Pallas, German zoologist and botanist (d. 1811).

    1762 – Elizabeth Simcoe, English-Canadian painter and author (d. 1850).

    1791 – Michael Faraday, English physicist and chemist (d. 1867).

    1870 – Charlotte Cooper, English-Scottish tennis player (d. 1966).

    1870 – Arthur Pryor, American trombonist, composer, and bandleader (d. 1942).

    1880 – Christabel Pankhurst, English activist, co-founded the Women’s Social and Political Union (d. 1958).

    1899 – Elsie Allen, Native American Pomo basket weaver (d. 1990).

    1920 – Eric Baker, English activist, co-founded Amnesty International (d. 1976).

    1924 – Rosamunde Pilcher, English author (d. 2019).

    1931 – Fay Weldon, English author and playwright (d. 2023).

    1946 – King Sunny Adé, Nigerian singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    1951 – David Coverdale, English singer-songwriter.

    1953 – Richard Fairbrass, English singer-songwriter, musician and producer.

    1957 – Nick Cave, Australian singer-songwriter, author, and actor.

    1958 – Andrea Bocelli, Italian singer-songwriter and producer.

    1958 – Joan Jett, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actress.

    1959 – Saul Perlmutter, American astrophysicist, astronomer, and academic, Nobel Prize Laureate.

    1960 – Scott Baio, American actor.

    1961 – Catherine Oxenberg, American actress.

    1969 – Sue Perkins, English comedian, actress, and radio host.

    1982 – Billie Piper, English actress and singer.

    1987 – Tom Felton, English actor. [One of the few younger Harry Potter actors to speak out in support of J K Rowling – who’d have thought the Slytherins would turn out to be the good guys?]

    Is it then so sad a thing to die?
    1539 – Guru Nanak, Sikh religious leader, founded Sikhism (b. 1469).

    1777 – John Bartram, American botanist and explorer (b. 1699).

    1828 – Shaka Zulu, Zulu chieftain and monarch of the Zulu Kingdom (b. 1787).

    1934 – Cecil Chubb, English barrister and one time owner of Stonehenge (b. 1876).

    1961 – Marion Davies, American actress and comedian (b. 1897).

    1989 – Irving Berlin, Russian-born American composer and songwriter (b. 1888).

    1996 – Dorothy Lamour, American actress and singer (b. 1914).

    1999 – George C. Scott, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1927).

    2001 – Isaac Stern, Polish-Ukrainian violinist and conductor (b. 1920).

    2007 – ʻAlí-Muhammad Varqá, last Hand of the Cause of God in the Baháʼí Faith (b. 1911).

    2007 – Marcel Marceau, French mime and actor (b. 1923).

    2010 – Eddie Fisher, American singer (b. 1928). [His wives included Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor; Carrie Fisher was his daughter.]

    2012 – Irving Adler, American mathematician, author, and academic (b. 1913).

    2015 – Yogi Berra, American baseball player, coach, and manager (b. 1925).

    2018 – Chas Hodges, English musician and singer (b. 1943).

    2022 – Hilary Mantel, British author (b. 1952)

  5. Regarding the Texas dust up. Apparently what got the parents upset was that the teacher forced the 13 year olds to read the sexually explicit passages out loud to the rest of the class. This was especially hard on some of the girls.

    1. In light of the environment, one can only wonder what the teacher was thinking.

      Commenting interface is now very different.

    2. Assuming that’s accurate, it would appear to provide grounds to discipline the teacher, (though making it a firing offense seems overly harsh), but it’s hardly basis for removing the book from the school system, as has been done in both Texas and Florida ,according to the WaPo piece.

  6. In fairness to Kendi one should separate his management skills from his ideas. Being a bad manager doesn’t make one’s ideas bad, and being a skilled manager doesn’t make one’s ideas good. Apples versus oranges.

  7. The upper class in NYC must be cheering Biden’s move to allow ~500k Venezuelans to immediately apply for work authorization.

    Upper class incomes have not been keeping up with inflation partly because of the rising cost of personal services and restaurants. These 500k additional workers will go a long way in relieving the upward pressure on wages for nannies, house cleaners, gardeners, cooks, and waiters. And don’t get me started with the cost to remodel one’s NYC pied e terre!

    The NYC upper class can sleep easier tonight knowing that Joe Biden has their best interests at heart just as he does the college grads who want to share their college debt with those same nannies, cleaners, etc.

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