Good morning on Thursday, March 30, 2023, which also happens to be National Turkey Neck Soup Day. (I suppose it would be okay with matzo balls),
It’s also National Doctors’ Day (United States), National Doctors’ Day, World Bipolar Day, Spiritual Baptist/Shouter Liberation Day in Trinidad and Tobago, and Pencil Day.
Here’s a Faber video about how the humble pencil is made. It’s complicated but a fun video—except they didn’t show how they put the erasers on!
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the March 30 Wikipedia page.
*Don’t look for an indictment of Trump any time in the next several weeks, as the grand jury is taking a long break.
The Manhattan grand jury investigating hush money paid on Donald Trump’s behalf is scheduled to consider other matters next week before taking a previously scheduled two-week hiatus, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday. That means a vote on whether or not to indict the former president likely wouldn’t come until late April at the earliest.
The break, which was scheduled in advance when the panel was convened in January, coincides with Passover, Easter and spring break for the New York City public school system.
The person who confirmed the grand jury’s schedule was not authorized to speak publicly about secretive grand jury proceedings and did so on condition of anonymity. A message left with the district attorney’s office was not immediately returned.
In a statement released through a lawyer, Trump said: “I HAVE GAINED SO MUCH RESPECT FOR THIS GRAND JURY.”
Now what the deuce is that about? All odds are that they’ll vote to indict him, so he’s applauding them for taking a break?
. . .the district attorney’s office has made no public statements on the timing of any possible indictments, continuing its work in secret over the last two weeks. On March 20, the grand jury heard from a witness favorable to Trump.
People familiar with how grand jury processes typically unfold cautioned that the schedule could change and that prosecutors could still ask jurors to consider charges or vote on an indictment on one of the days they’re expected to meet on other matters.
Few people — Manhattan District Alvin Bragg and the prosecutors in charge of the grand jury investigation — know precisely how the grand jury investigation is proceeding and at what pace. They control when witnesses are called to testify and will be the ones deciding whether, and when, to seek an indictment.
And of course there’s a possibility of no indictment, though based on the prosecution’s expections, an indictment seems likely. We’ll just have to wait this one out.
*Esau MacCaulley in the NYT on the latest shooting in Nashville (that’s true in both senses of the sentence):
There are many ways to judge the success or failure of a country. We can look at its economy, the strength of its military or the quality of its education. We can examine the soundness of our bridges or the smoothness of our highways. But what if we used a different standard? We should judge a nation by a simple metric: the number of weeping parents it allows, the small coffins it tolerates.
The debate around gun control is not new, of course, and each tragedy brings a fresh wave of calls for common-sense gun regulation. The adversaries of reform will rebuke us for turning a tragedy, the deaths of six innocent people, into an occasion to debate politics. We will be urged to offer prayers for the victims and their families while we await the appropriate time to discuss the more difficult issues. But too often it seems that rather than waiting for the right time, politicians are simply trying to wait out the news cycle.
Frankly, I’m sick of those people who say that we don’t have a gun problem; we have a people problem. Do you think that if we took the British or Scottish approach to gun control, MORE people would die in America? Or that everyone who wanted mental health care got it, there would be no more mass shootings? How would a gun dealer identify someone with mental health issues?
*Apropos, a dispiriting piece in the Washington Post, “In Congress, little urgency to address gun violence with legislation.”
“I’m a realist,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the chair of the Judiciary Committee, about the possibility of moving gun legislation through his committee without enough Republican support to overcome the 60-vote filibuster. “I know what’s going to happen on the floor.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), a key negotiator of a bipartisan gun-control package that passed last year following the school shooting in Uvalde, Tex., said he didn’t see anything else that Congress could do on the issue, dismissing calls to expand background checks and Biden’s plea to ban assault weapons.
“I would say we’ve gone about as far as we can go” on guns, Cornyn said.
That he can say this, and be correct, is a sad fact about America. Arguing about mental-health issues while leaving guns alone resigns us to one fate: every couple weeks some kids will die in a school shooting, parents and loved ones will weep copiously, and it will keep on forever. I refuse to accept that gun control will never be fixed, just as there was a time when people couldn’t imagine that black people could have equal rights under the law
*The former Supreme Court reporter for the NYT, Linda Greenhouse, discusses a case of gun control where the Supremes may soon make a very bad ruling: “Where will the Supreme Court Draw the Line on Guns?” It’s about recent court rulings about whether those under restraining orders for committing domestic violence should be allowed to own guns. Only a gun lunatic would say that the Second Amendment, which allows gun ownership for having a “well regulated Militia”, could imagine that the Founders would want domestic abusers to have guns. But read:
On March 17, the Biden administration asked the justices to overturn an appeals court decision that can charitably be described as nuts, and accurately as pernicious. The decision by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit invalidated a federal law that for almost 30 years has prohibited gun ownership by people who are subject to restraining orders for domestic violence.
The Fifth Circuit upheld the identical law less than three years ago. But that was before President Donald Trump put a Mississippi state court judge named Cory Wilson on the appeals court. (As a candidate for political office in 2015, Wilson said in a National Rifle Association questionnaire that he opposed both background checks on private gun sales and state licensing requirements for potential gun owners.)
Judge Wilson wrote in a decision handed down in March that the appeals court was forced to repudiate its own precedent by the logic of the Supreme Court’s decision in the New York licensing case. He was joined by another Trump judge, James Ho, and by Edith Jones, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan; Judge Jones has long been one of the most aggressive conservatives on the country’s most conservative appeals court.
Now it is up to the justices to say whether that analysis is correct.
It’s NUTS! Now the government must prove that any regulation of firearms is in line with America’s “historical tradition” based on the Court’s dubious interpretation of the Second Amendment. And why you can’t use history as a guide;
In a forthcoming article, Professors Joseph Blocher of Duke Law School and Reva B. Siegel of Yale point out that there is a reason for the failure of early American lawmakers to consider domestic violence a reason to take away an abuser’s gun: The very concept of domestic violence was alien to the Constitution’s framers because wives were completely subordinate to their husbands and wife beating was widely tolerated.
Ergo, forget history and make a reasonable assessment based on balancing conflicting interests for the good of society. There is no reasonable construal of that question that would allow domestic abusers to own guns.
. . .There is no doubt that under the old interest-balancing test, the government would prevail. The interest in keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers is that obvious, as even the Fifth Circuit found in 2020. “The parties agree,” the court noted then, “that reducing domestic gun abuse is not just an important government interest, but a compelling one. They only dispute whether §922(g)(8) is reasonably adapted to that interest. We hold that it is.”
*This story from CNN not only shows how serious Americans are about their fishing contests, but the depravity that can be involved in such a trivial matter as the weight of a fish.
Two men who allegedly cheated to win a competitive fishing competition have pleaded guilty to charges, including cheating, according to the Cuyahoga County Office of the Prosecutor.
Jacob Runyan and teammate Chase Cominsky rocked the competitive fishing world after it was discovered their fish were stuffed with lead weights and fish fillets at an Ohio fishing tournament in September 2022.
Both have now pleaded guilty for cheating and the unlawful ownership of wild animals during the Lake Erie Walleye Trail tournament.
“This plea is the first step in teaching these crooks two basic life lessons,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley in a statement Monday.
“Thou shall not steal, and crime does not pay.”
In open court on Monday, both men admitted their guilt, as part of their plea agreement, and also agreed to forfeit ownership of the boat and trailer used in the tournament.
They face six months to a year in prison and could have their fishing licenses suspended for up to three years, when they are sentenced.
The state is recommending a sentence of six-months-probation to the court. They will be sentenced on May 11.
Here’s a video of the cheating scandal. The fish were walleyes, and there was, in fact $30,000 at stake. This shows the moment the fishermen were caught cheating:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s having Deep Thoughts:
Hili: I’m thinking about the nature of consciousness.A: And?Hili: It’s somehow strange.
Hili: Zastanawiam się nad naturą świadomości.Ja: I co?Hili: Dziwna jakaś.
And a picture of Baby Kulka:
From Beth, a cartoon by Sam Gross:
From Now That’s Wild:
From Thomas (I may have posted this before):
From Masih, with the Google translation:
By sending this video today, the 8th of Farvardin, a citizen wrote to us from Mashhad that today near Reza Bazaar, some Basiji groups with placards promoting mandatory hijab were placed on the side of the square. While filming these people, this citizen addresses them with sarcastic questions. The Islamic Republic of Iran thinks that with these works it is creating a culture for forced hijab, which is only imposed on citizens by the Taliban and the Islamic Republic. These people hate you and your compound ignorance and your oppression and way of thinking. You are also well aware that you hide your faces from the people of the city. Turn around to spin. #OurCameraIsOur Weapon #Mehsa Amini
Given that women are woefully underrepresented in the prison population, it’s great to see more of us turning to crime. pic.twitter.com/nlObq3TjUU
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) March 28, 2023
From Malcolm, a cat treadmill:
Cats simply have their own way …. pic.twitter.com/3ymMbFj5yl
— Rock & Tattoo Lady…🎸😷 (@PenelopeRuzy) March 25, 2023
From Michael: a grant proposal rejected because the applicant misgendered a transgender woman:
🧵The research I wished to conduct into athletes' views on trans inclusion has been blocked by the King's College London (KCL) ethics committee. The letter rejecting the application stated that by using the word "males" I was misgendering athletes. https://t.co/hMTZhAiv2n
— John Armstrong (@johnarmstrong5) March 26, 2023
From Barry. I sure hope the lion got away! As one commenter said of the King of the Beasts, “He knew when to abdicate.”
King of beasts? pic.twitter.com/zMSnvRgt6D
— jamie (@gnuman1979) March 26, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, and eight-year-old gassed upon arrival:
30 March 1934 | A French Jewish girl, Fanny Brukner, was born in Paris.
She arrived at #Auschwitz on 19 August 1942 in a transport of 997 Jews deported from Drancy. She was among 897 people murdered in the gas chambers immediately after selection. pic.twitter.com/KDsOsYKyth
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) March 30, 2023
Tweets from Professor Cobb. First, a leucistic penguin, quite rare. I hope it does okay.
Rare penguin just dropped! https://t.co/Nrw3SWPCQP
— Jason Bittel (@bittelmethis) March 29, 2023
Braşov's old-school station café. I'm just having a coffee, while one of the regulars sitting opposite me goes for coffee, beer and cognac all at the same time. Winner. pic.twitter.com/dvD1NdSAI5
— Paliparan (@PaliparanDotCom) March 29, 2023
An article about the ill-advised endorsement of a political candidate by the journal Nature:
As a former @nature journalist, I'm concerned that the journal has chosen to ignore evidence that its political endorsement of Joe Biden exacerbated political polarization and undermined trust in science. My latest Substack post… https://t.co/Ao4skZgs9l pic.twitter.com/83qh3py7A7
— Ananyo Bhattacharya (@Ananyo) March 29, 2023