Sunday, April 30, 2017

34. 4/30/17

A1

REMAKING THE PRESIDENCY, TRUMP HAS CHANGED, TOO

"'I never realized how big it was,' he said of the presidency in an interview with The Associated Press. 'Every decision,' he added, 'is much harder than you'd normally make.'

... This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.'"

So did we, Donnie ... so did we.


A5

LEECHES? DOCTOR'S ORDERS

" ... [L]eeches are creeping back into Western medicine -- as many as 6,000 are used annually in the United States."


"Most American patients 'would prefer a pill or something else without the yuck factor.'"


A14

PIPELINE AGAIN DIVIDES NEBRASKA

" ... [I]f construction ever begins, opponents say they are willing to participate in civil disobedience. But opponents in Nebraska are betting that they can block the pipeline through other means ... five days of hearing on the project in August."



SR3

TRUMP'S ONE AWFUL ACCOMPLISHMENT

"Remember Day One?

Trump visited the C.I.A. He compared them to Nazis. He said the media had invented his feud with the agency. He lashed out at suggestions that his inaugural crowds hadn't been the biggest and most orgiastic. To top it all off, he crowed about how often he'd claimed the cover of Time magazine, because who isn't fascinated by that? Whose heart doesn't beat faster when Trump yet again ponders the glory of Trump?

He was president at that point. Vindicated. Inaugurated. He could decide to be big. But he chose to be small, and it was clear then, if it hadn't been before, that there would be no pivot to dignity, which was either beyond his capabilities or outside his interests."



SR7

LEARNING TO HATE LIKE THE RIGHT

" ... [Trump] has unwittingly created a new movement in American politics, as Democrats channel the sort of all-encompassing outrage that has long fueled grass-roots conservatism.

... [T]here is no comparison between the conservative demonization of Mr. Obama and the progressive case against Mr. Trump. People on the right saw Mr. Obama as a Kenyan-born secret Muslim with a hidden agenda to hobble American power and a health care reform plan to establish 'death panels.' None of that is true.

People on the left believe that Mr. Trump has incited hatred against minorities, and boasted about grabbing women by their genitals. Democrats think that the president and his family are blatantly profiting off the presidency and that he welcomed the help of a hostile foreign power during the election . All this is grounded in fact."

So far, the lesson of this presidency is that when it comes to building political power, love does not, in fact, trump hate."


SR11

LESSONS FROM 100 DAYS OF TRUMP

"A dozen things we have learned in President Trump's first 100 days."

Great reading.



SP5

JUDGE LEADS RETURN OF BRONX BOMBERS

"I'm not sure you really expect 10 home runs from anybody in a month. I mean, that would be 60 in a year.

'Anything's possible,' [Judge] said with a sheepish smile."

BOOK REVIEW

YOU SHALL TELL YOUR CHILD

"'Sukkot is about shtupping' (Yiddish for both 'pushing' and 'having sex'), one rabbi tells her, describing the sexual aspect of thrusting the lulav and handling the lemon-like etrogs."

Hmm. Fellow Jews? Ever heard of this?



Saturday, April 29, 2017

33. 4/29/17

A1

U.S. PRESIDENT AND A DICTATOR IN A SNARL-OFF

"[S]mall acts and mutual threats of war can lead to miscalculation. Only hours before Mr. Trump spoke, the North released a propaganda video showing the White House shattering apart in what looked like a nuclear blast. No one takes those videos seriously, but they indicate a state of mind in which every action has to have a reaction."


A7

AIDE TO LE PEN IN FRANCE STEPS DOWN AS PARTY LEADER OVER HOLOCAUST REMARKS

"The interim leader that Marine Le Pen chose to run her far-right party while she ran for the presidency has been forced to step down because he praised a Holocaust denier and expressed doubt that the Nazis used poison to murder Jews."

France -- I am certain -- is filled with good people who will instinctually make "the right choice" next month. I am certain.

[me in October 2016]: Our country -- I am certain -- is filled with good people who will instinctually make "the right choice" next month. I am certain.


A7

CHINESE OFFER TO HELP EAT A FAT NUISANCE

"'I solemnly swear to join the danish Oyster-Resistance Volunteer Army,' said another. 'I will dedicate my tongue and taste buds to Sino-Danish friendship until these oyster invaders are vanquished.'"



A12

SIX SNAPSHOTS OF A PRESIDENCY LIKE NO OTHER

"A reporter who never set foot in the White House before Jan. 20 has just as much chance as me of predicting this most unpredictable of presidents."



A13

(ALMOST) 100 DAYS OF FRONT PAGE HEADLINES ABOUT NO. 45

What was a delightful read about an hour ago, is even more delightful now that I see the online version of this article.

The print version simply displays Trump-related headlines from January 20th through yesterday.

The online version displays headlines from the same day in Obama 2009 and Bush 2001, next to the current Trump headline. Quite fascinating!


A15

HOW TRUMP COULD BENEFIT FROM HIS OWN TAX PLAN

"President Trump could save tens of millions of dollars in a single year under his proposed changes to the tax code, a New York Times analysis has found."

!$#^&$$#@+_%

"In the Affordable Care Act, Congress introduced a 3.8 percent tax on investment income, which took effect in 2013. Repealing the tax could save about $1.5 million for somone with Mr. Trump's investment income."



A22

100 DAYS OF NOISE

"And what of his central campaign pledge, to make America great again, presumably by creating vast numbers of jobs for those who helped elect him? This may prove the emptiest of his promises. The giant infrastructure program, which would indeed yield jobs, is nowhere to be seen. In its place are proposed tax cuts to benefit mainly the wealthy and photo-op executive orders to deregulate energy businesses that, even if sustained by the courts -- a long shot -- will merely enrich the likes of the Koch brothers."

"His determination to leverage his office to expand his commercial empire is the only objective to which Americans, after 100 days, can be confident this president will stay true."



A23

A PLACE CALLED MANZANAR

by George Takei

"If this seems like a practice only of years long past, consider that today we need merely replace 'Japanese-Americans' with 'Muslims' for the parallels to emerge."



B2

10 CONCERTS, ONE'S A LIE? BE CAUTIOUS, EXPERTS SAY

"Privacy experts cautioned it could reveal too much about a person's background and preferences and sounds like a security question -- name the first concert you attended -- that you might be asked on a banking, brokerage or similar website to verify your identity."

I love this meme. By telling you that the first rock concert I ever attended was "Traffic" at the Civic Arena, you may attempt to hack me by figuring out that I'm from Pittsburgh and perhaps I love Stevie Winwood. Must have "sw" in my password, huh?

Nope. ("fz" perhaps) ...

Since I began using Dashlane, I don't worry about anymore. Make up the most complex password you can think of, and store it in Dashlane and never have to remember it again.

Let the Games continue.


ONLINE ONLY

YANKEES STAGE IMPROBABLE COMEBACK BEHIND A VOLLEY OF HOME RUNS

"'Daddy, I saw you hit a home run,' Holliday's 3-year-old son, Reed, shouted in the Yankees clubhouse.

But Holliday was more impressed by the home runs he had seen come off the bat of Judge.

'Maybe I'm overstating it a bit,' Holliday said. 'But as far as raw talent goes, that dude is massive. I haven't seen anything else like it. The whole stadium stops when he comes to bat. I think the sky's the limit for his potential.'"

99 bottles of Judge...

Friday, April 28, 2017

32. 4/28/17

A1

TRUMP'S PLAN SHIFTS TRILLIONS TO WEALTHIEST

"[T]he vast majority of benefits would accrue to the highest earners and largest holders of wealth ..."


A4

WORRY ABOUT WAR? 'TOO BUSY,' MANY SOUTH KOREANS SAY

"'Even if there was a war now, it would not give us enough time to flee ... [W]e would all just die in an instant.'"

"'There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea,' [Trump] said. 'Absolutely.'"


This is not a game, or a real estate deal, ass-clown.


A5

ATTEMPTS TO SAVE ENDANGERED VAQUITAS HAVE LARGELY FAILED

"Some of the scientists think the surviving vaquitas now number as few as two or three ..."

"The fishermen just think, 'Oh, good, if we can get rid of the last one, then we can get on and keep fishing.' If that hasn't already happened, may scientists now believe, it may be soon."


Further reading


A6

A PALESTINIAN SCHISM, WITH GAZA'S ELECTRICITY IN THE BALANCE

" ... Israel supplies Gaza with 30 percent of its total electricity needs at a monthly cost of about $11 million."

That free electricity helped Hamas produce this jaunty little ditty:

Official song of Hamas


A9

SCIENTISTS RECOVER ANCIENT HUMAN DNA FROM CAVE DIRT

"It's a bit like discovering that you can extract gold dust from the air ..."

Very exciting new scientific techniques.


A25

WORM GUTS HOLD A CLUE TO REDUCING POLLUTION

"Researchers in Europe have found that the larvae of a common insect have an unusual ability to digest plastic, a discovery that could lead to biotechnical advances that help deplete the continual buildup of one of the world's most stubborn pollutants."




A30

TRUMPCARE 2.0: IT'S EVEN WORSE

"The hopeful news is that many centrist Republicans ... have ... grave reservations about the House bill, in particular the attack on people with pre-existing conditions. It will be up to them to stop their party from jumping off the deep end and jeopardizing the health care of millions of Americans."



A31

A PHONY FIX FOR NET NEUTRALITY

"President Trump's chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, on Wednesday announced plans to eliminate net neutrality (technically, make it 'voluntary') despite its popularity, record of success and acceptance by most of the industry."

TIME MACHINE
April 28, 1917
100 years ago


PAGE 6

COOK AND KAISER PAINED THE PRINCE

"She said the Kaiser was the best man in the world, because he tried to save Ireland.

Then I told her to shut up."


Thursday, April 27, 2017

31. 4/27/17

A1

NEW HEALTH BILL HAS THE SUPPORT OF CONSERVATIVES

"By 2026, the number of uninsured people would be 24 million higher than under the current law."


A1

MOGUL IN ISRAEL HELPED FINANCE KUSHNERS' RISE

"[The] Kushner Companies would spend about $190 million ... on dozens of apartment buildings in tony Lower Manhattan neighborhoods including the East Village, the West Village and SoHo."

"[I]t turns out the money came from a member of Israel's Steinmetz family, which built a fortune as one of the world's leading diamond traders."

......................

"In 2014, the Guinean government alleged that Mr. Steinmet'z company had obtained the rights through corrupt practices, paying more than $8 million in cash through a representative to Mamadie Touré, then the wife of the dictator Lansana Conté."


Just sayin' ...


A8


"'The only so-called communication between Pyongyang and Washington is the threat of military force in the form of B-1 bombers, nuclear aircraft carriers, missiles and nuclear tests ... This dangerous situation threatens everyone in the region."


A9


"Our military remains stuck in a barbarian and medieval culture ... [T]he investigators preyed upon gay soldiers' vulnerability like a cat playing with a mouse."


A17



I guess we'd all smile if we wrote ourselves a check for a few hundred million.


A20


"Dr. Deméré speculated that the humans might have been trying to get marrow out of the mastodon bones to eat, while using fragments of the bones to fashion tools."

Jean Auel -- who really did her research -- beautifully writes a description of a group of Neanderthal hunters who do exactly what is described above in one of her Earth's Children books.

A24


"[David] Byrne and Mr. Demme worked together frequently, notably on 'Stop Making Sense,' a 1984 concert film about Talking Heads that many critics (and filmgoers) found mesmerizing."



A26


"[T]he skimpy one-page tax proposal his administration released on Wednesday is, by any historical standard, a laughable stunt by a gang of plutocrats looking to enrich themselves at the expense of the country's future."




Wednesday, April 26, 2017

30. 4/26/17

A4

A REFUGE FOR ORANGUTANS PRESENTS A QUANDARY FOR ENVIRONMENTALISTS

"Isolated acts of kindness by bad actors like PT Sawit Sumbermas Sarana (a major Indonesian palm oil company) don't erase that history and current pattern of destructive behavior, and they won't save the Borneo orangutan from destruction."

Baby steps are important. The next step is much bigger. Decrease and then ultimately cease destroying natural habitat. Figure it out. Keep their human feet to the human fire.


A6

BUILDING A CULTURE OF RECONCILIATION, 2 DECADES AFTER RWANDA'S GENOCIDE

"In 1994, Ms. Mukamana was 17. Her father, six brothers, five sisters and nine uncles were killed that April. She fled to Burundi. When she returned, her family home was destroyed.

Mr. Sendegeya was among the group that killed her father and four other members of her family, a fact that both speak about frankly but without much detail.

'He confessed and asked for forgiveness. He told me the truth,' Ms. Mukamana explained. 'We forgave him from our hearts. There is no problem between us.'"

Speechless.


A16

PRESIDENT TAKES FORCEFUL TONE AT HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL

"'Those who deny the Holocaust are complicit in it,' the president said."

Your grandchildren are Jewish. Why is your "Chief Strategist" a jew-hater?


A23

LIFTING KIDS TO COLLEGE

"When Sierra Williams was in the sixth grade, teachers spotted her potential and enrolled her in the Neighborhood Academic Initiative, or N.A.I., a program through which U.S.C. prepares underprivileged kids who live relatively near its South Los Angeles campus for higher education.

Sierra, 20, just finished her junior year at U.S.. An engineering major, she's already enrolled in a master's program. 'My end goal is to get my Ph.D.,' she told me when I met her recently."


Good luck, Sierra. The entire world is rooting for you. Well, maybe not the ones who are pushing for a 15% corporate tax rate -- but most of us are!


B1

11 PLAINTIFFS MAKE CLAIMS OF RACE BIAS AT FOX NEWS

"'When it comes to racial discrimination, 21st Century Fox has been operating as if it should be called 18th Century Fox,' the plaintiffs' lawyers said."

"One day every one of those cock-suckers'll get caught!" -- Frank Zappa/"Stinkfoot"/Make a Jazz Noise Here (1991)


B3

POLICE BLAME PASSENGER DRAGGED FROM UNITED JET

"'[T]he subject started swinging his arms up and down fast and violently.'"

Imagine it is you. You got to the airport three hours early and went through the TSA torture and now you are in your seat, ready to make it to your daughter's wedding with a few hours to spare.

Do you not think you might instinctually flail your arms around a bit in frustration?

Shame on you, United and aggressive Chicago cops.


B10

JEB BUSH AND JETER SAID TO BID FOR MARLINS

"The Marlins have not reached the postseason since their 2003 championship, and their current playoff drought is the longest in the National League."

Jeter always did like a challenge.

Two unsolicited pieces of advice for Derek:

  1. No more 13-year, $325 million deals like Stanton's, a .267 career hitter. (Okay, he does average nearly 30 HRs a season. But will that hold up in the last few years of this long long-term contract?)
  2. Remember, kid -- no DH!

FOOD D1


"Practice the wrist wag to get used to the way the salt falls from your hands; experience the illicit thrill of using so much of something we've all been taught to fear."

This recipe looks yummy and easy (3 ingredients):




Tuesday, April 25, 2017

29. 4/25/17

A1

TRUMP REJECTS 100-DAY TEST, BUT WANTS "A"

"In case anyone was wondering, President Trump wants it known that he does not care about the false judgment of his administration after just 100 days. 'It's an artificial barrier,' he sniffed the other day. 'Not very meaningful,' he scoffed. A 'ridiculous standard,' he added on Twitter."

"So how is Mr. Trump spending his final week before the artificial and ridiculous 100-day point of his presidency? [B]y a White House program of first-100-days briefings, first-100-days receptions, a first-100-days website and a first-100-days rally."


A1

HARD-LINERS ON IMMIGRATION, NOW IN HIGH PLACES

"After sending more than 13,000 Twitter messages in less than three years, Jon Feere, an outspoken opponent of illegal immigration, suddenly went silent after Inauguration Day ... [H]e now works for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency tasked with finding and deporting people living in the United States illegally."


A1

AS NORTH KOREA BUILDS BOMBS, TIME DWINDLES

"[C]lassified intelligence reports ... conclude that the country is capable of producing a nuclear bomb every six or seven weeks."

A1

RISE OF CENTRIST IN FRENCH VOTING CALMS E.U. NERVES

"There was palpable relief in mainstream Europe on Monday at the success of the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the French presidential elections, and a wide assumption that he will defeat the far-right Marine Le Pen in a runoff two weeks from now."


A4

JEWS FIND A NEW HOME IN SICILY, 500 YEARS AFTER THEY WERE FORCED OUT

"The new synagogue ... will be housed in a former Baroque oratory known as Santa Maria del Sabato, or Holy Mary of Saturday."

I'm tempted to say, "if it ain't baroque, don't fix it," but I do hope they change the name.


A8

HOW THE ELECTION SPLIT FRANCE

I love maps.


A13

TRUMP TO @ASTROPEGGY: MARS IN MY NEAR FUTURE

"We are cleaning up our urine and making it drinkable."

"Well that's good, I'm glad to hear that ... better you than me."

If only Trump could hitch a ride on the Mars flight, he'd finally be on his way to his home planet.


A16

SOME JEWISH GROUPS BRISTLE AT THOUGHT OF TRUMP AT A HOLOCAUST CEREMONY

Trump recorded these remarks on a video which was shown at a World Jewish Congress event in New York:

"We mourn, we remember, we pray and we pledge: never again. I say it, never again. The mind cannot fathom the pain, the horror and the loss. Six million Jews, two-thirds of the Jews in Europe, murdered by the Nazi genocide. They were murdered by an evil that words cannot describe, and that the human heart cannot bear.

We must stamp out prejudice and anti-Semitism everywhere it is found. We must defeat terrorism, and we must not ignore the threats of a regime that talks openly of Israel's destruction. We cannot let that ever even be thought of."

Actions speak louder than ...

Nevertheless, with this on the record -- I'd like to give the dude a chance to make good on these words.

Every future action can be compared and contrasted to his fine, lofty verbage above. WE WILL HOLD HIS FEET TO THE FIRE.


A20

CHECHNYA'S CRACKDOWN ON GAYS

"It would be encouraging to see Ms. Haley take on this cause with as much passion and perseverance as her predecessor, Samantha Power. Without American leadership, forging a global consensus that gay rights are human rights will take longer. Time is not on the side of gay people living in terror in places like Chechnya."

4/27/17 blog entry


A20

LETTERS: U.S. PERSPECTIVES ON THE FRENCH ELECTION

An intelligent idea about runoff voting by Eric S. Maskin, Cambridge, Mass.

SCIENCE TIMES D1

BLOOMS AMID BARRENS

"'If somebody had taken me from rural Illinois, where I grew up, and dropped me here into this desert landscape to see all these fat succulent things,' said Jon P. Rebman, the chief botanist at the San Diego Natural History Museum and a cactus taxonomist, 'I would have thought I was on Mars.'"

Nearly the exact words my late grandmother said when she first came to visit us here in Tucson several decades ago.

Except she said, "the moon."

Monday, April 24, 2017

28. 4/24/17

D4

DISMISSED BY THE YANKEES, NOVA FINDS HIS COMFORT IN DISMANTLING THEM

"Nova, who like many former Yankees has grown a beard since he left, said he was the same pitcher."

No way. Facial hair transforms every ex-Yank into a better ballplayer. No denying it.



D1

A CAREER TRAJECTORY TO MATCH HIS VAULT

"A pole-vaulting runway extends about 125 feet from the side of the Duplantis family's Acadian-style home, under a gate and into the backyard, where it ends at a foam landing pit, floodlit by a light made for an oil rig."

'It's not safe, I don't think,' said his father, Greg, a lawyer."

After competing in pole vault in Junior High School track, my younger brother and I proceeded to set an old metal bar between niches in a cherry tree and some stakes and we would jump to our heart's content.

Naturally, my favorite part was when the bar got to a height where my brother would be sure to completely wipe out.

I'm so so sorry, Alan!


A1

VOTERS EMBRACE OUTSIDERS IN ELECTION TO LEAD FRANCE / PARTIES UNIFY TO STOP FAR RIGHT: 'THIS IS DEADLY SERIOUS'

"Fifteen years ago, when Ms. Le Pen's father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, shocked his compatriots by breaking through to the second round and again knocking out the Socialist Party, some Socialist voters went to the polls with clothespins on their noses, as they voted for the scandal-plagued candidate of the center-right, Jacques Chirac. Mr. Le Pen was dealt a crushing defeat."


A10

FOR INDIANS, AMERICA UNDER TRUMP IS A LAND OF VANISHED OPPORTUNITIES

"Recent attacks on people of Indian descent in the United States are explosive news in India. A country once viewed as the promised land now seems for many to be dangerously inhospitable."

It would be nice if Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory) would give Raj a line or two about this. But don't hold your breath -- it's likely he wouldn't want to risk insulting his many Trump supporters who watch the show.

But I still think he could stick something in. Maybe the phrase "thick-headed fundamentalists" or something. Or maybe he could say it in Sanskrit.


A12

LIFE'S LAST MOMENT: BEARING WITNESS TO AN EXECUTION

"'It didn't hurt him: I would have liked to have stoned him to death or something horrible. He just got a shot like you were going to have some surgery. It was too easy, for all of the pain he caused my family all of these years.'"

There is a fantastic solution for all this.

Life in prison without possibility of parole.

That would be "something horrible" because the killer would have to actually exist and live with his crime for the rest of his "natural" life. And I put "natural" in quotes, because living in a (hopefully) tiny prison cell for LIFE is much more "horrible" for the criminal than the multi-drug ritual which calmly puts these people to sleep.

(The people who enjoy botched executions can go fuck themselves.)


A21

RESILIENCE OF THE RESISTANCE

"The resistance to the travesty of Donald Trump's presidency is holding up just fine, thank you very much."

I am so proud that my daughter and niece went to march in Washington last weekend.

The energy of our kids' generation is phenomenal! We will hold this guy's feet to the fire until his balls burst, right?

This blog is my modest contribution to the effort.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

27. 4/23/17

MAGAZINE 13

PANIC ATTACK

"[M]aybe the only thing that could relieve our national anxieties is if something bad happening to us -- something so clarifyingly awful that we're forced to become solemn and still and agree about it."

Stay anxious, my friends.

MAGAZINE 36 -- THE CLIMATE ISSUE

THE DELUGE

"The map imagined the city in the year 2072, after 60 years of rapid sea-level rise totaling 200 feet.
"On the most fundamental level ... we are already adapting to climate change through a kind of tacit acquiescence, the way people in a city like Beijing accept that simply breathing the air outside can make them sick. 'People are aware -- they're coughing and wheezing ... but they're not staging political revolutions.' Neither are we.

MAGAZINE 56

HOT ZONES


"This map overlays human turmoil -- represented by United Nations data on nearly 64 million 'persons of concern,' whose numbers have tripled since 2005 -- with climate turmoil, represented by data from NASA's Common Sense Climate Index.

Who ever said common sense had anything to do with it?


MAGAZINE 58

PANDORA'S UMBRELLA

"For the past few years, the Harvard professor David Keith has been sketching this vision: Ten Gulfstream jets, outfitted with special engines that allow them to fly safely around the stratosphere at an altitude of 70,000 feet, take off from a runway near the Equator. Their cargo includes thousands of pounds of a chemical compound ... that can be sprayed as a gas from the aircraft ... [I]f things go right, the gas converts to an aerosol of particles that remain aloft and scatter sunlight for two years. The payoff? A slowing of the earth's warming -- for as long as the Gulfstream flights continue.

However, Keith also has grave doubts about "hacking the environment."


A1

TRUMP REACHES BEYOND WEST WING FOR COUNSEL

Stephen Schwarzman

"[He] has counseled him ... to leave in place President Barack Obama's executive order shielding young undocumented immigrants, known as 'Dreamers,' from deportation."

Thanks, Steve.


A1

IN TRYING TO AVOID POLITICS, COMEY SHAPED AN ELECTION

A long article -- five pages and 18 columns long!

"'Should you consider what you're about to do may help elect Donald Trump president?' an adviser asked him. [Comey replied], 'If we ever start considering who might be affected, and in what way, by what we do, we're done,' he told the agents."

Many paragraphs later:

"[Harry Reid]: '[I]t has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government -- a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States.'

Mr. Comey knew the investigation of the Trump campaign was just underway, and keeping with policy, he said nothing about it."

Yeah, I'd say he "shaped" the election.


A8

AFTER ISIS, SMOKING TO FEEL FREE

"Mr. Saleh described the lengths he had taken to find cigarettes under the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and the thrill it had given him to break its rules."

Freedom Fags.

I continue to be flummoxed by The Times insistence on that stupid phrase. Agree on one term (including Daesh which they seem to have dropped) and use it consistently and exclusively. I think we all know what you mean by now.

A10

TUNISIA'S TRUTH-TELLING BEAR PAIN, AND PROMISE

"[H]e was taken to the prison infirmary, where a doctor poured a liter of ether over his groin, burning his genitals."

"[T]he main aim of the commission -- to uncover the truth of human rights abuses, preserve the memory for the nation and help reform the system."

Good luck, Tunisia. You started Arab Spring. Perhaps you can continue to steer your country in the right direction and -- who knows? -- others might follow.


A12

SIX YEARS LATER, FUKUSHIMA HAS ITS CHILDREN BACK


"At the Naraha school, which was being constructed when the disaster hit, workers destroyed a foundation that had just been laid and started over, removing mounds of dirt in an effort to decontaminate the site."

So it's completely safe for the kids, right? You're sure?

I'd feel better if the article had reported that the president of Tokyo Electric had sent his kids there.


A13

CHECHNYA'S ANTI-GAY POGROM: "THEY STARVE YOU. THEY SHOCK YOU."

"Maksim's father threatened to beat him but refrained when his son showed him the bruises he already had. Instead his father said, 'I should kill you.'"

The government just does what society-at-large tells them to do. Like the "honor killings" in Afghanistan and Pakistan, this horror is a "normal" part of their society.

When rights groups try to speak up, they're accused of "Western interference." Can't have these white devils trying to convince you otherwise.

But their satellite dishes beam Ellen into their huts and they just love her.

A18

AMERICAN AIRLINES SUSPENDS WORKER AFTER EPISODE ON PLANE

"Just give me back my stroller please!"

TIME MACHINE
April 23, 1967
50 years ago

Occasionally, I will be posting articles from this date in past years. Today, I go 50 years back to

A FORECAST FOR THE YEAR 2000 (still 34 years away!)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

26. 4/22/17

A1

ATTACK IN PARIS CASTS A SHADOW ON FRENCH VOTE

"[This attack] has also provided a potent opportunity for conservatives, primarily Marine Le Pen, leader of the far right National Front, to use the violence to try to stoke hostility toward immigrants and Muslims, as well as fears about whether citizens can be protected from terror."

Let's see how eager she is to memorialize the tragic death of this policeman, who was gay. The Times published a touching sidebar about the man, Xavier Jugelé.


A1

TRUMP PROMISES TAX PLAN IN DAYS, SURPRISING STAFF

" ... [R]eversing these rules would be a gift to Wall Street bankers and lawyers who have complained that they have hampered international deal making.

'They'll be dancing in the streets and jumping for joy' ..."

And the swamp gets swampier.


A6

REMEMBERING THE WORLD'S OLDEST PERSON, A MODEL OF SIMPLICITY

"She dressed in a varying combination of a housedress and vest or shawl or both ..."

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my 15 months studying with Nadia Boulanger (1971-72). She was 84, I was 19.

She was wise, kind, gentle and inspiring. This article made me think of her.


A6

FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1800s, BRITAIN GOES A DAY WITHOUT BURNING COAL FOR ELECTRICITY

"Friday was the first full day since the height of the Industrial Revolution that Britain did not burn coal to generate electricity, a development that officials and climate change activists celebrated as a watershed moment."

"Some countries have already left coal behind in power generation. In Switzerland, Belgium and Norway, 'every day is a coal-free day,' ... a coal analyst ... pointed out."

Hello, Mr. President? Hello? Quit deluding those poor coal miners.

Coming soon: a Carrier air conditioners-type stunt. He'll save a few jobs at some dilapidated mine in West Virginia, while 99% of the rest wonder about their unemployment benefits.


A7

WITH DARING CELLPHONE VIDEOS, SAUDI WOMEN ARE CHALLENGING MALE CONTROL

" ... [For] removing their head scarves, ... these women risk arrest by the religious police, who enforce the kingdom's ultrastrict, Wahhabi version of Islam.


Unbefuckinglievable.


A7

TRUMP MEETS RELEASED AMERICAN AID WORKER IN OVAL OFFICE

" ... Mr. Sisi might have accepted the warm White House embrace [Obama had refused to allow Sisi to visit because of human rights concerns] in exchange for a prisoner who was about to be freed by the court system anyway."

Do your duty,
show kindness to others
and keep them from suffering.

-- Avadana Sutta


Trump certainly isn't the first president to smile politely at a dictator. But I think he actually did a good thing here.


A13

FOR OBAMA, THE VACATION IS OVER, BUT HE'S NOT ABOUT TO PICK A FIGHT

"On May 7 in Boston, Mr. Obama will accept the Profile in Courage Award given annually by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. He will deliver a speech at the library's black-tie dinner. His remarks -- built around the theme of what courage means in today's world -- will not name Mr. Trump."

Look up the term Class Act:

Friday, April 21, 2017

25. 4/21/17

C16

"IT GETS MORE AND MORE DARK AND DRAMATIC," THEN BREAKS OUT


Ma's version.


C13

BEHIND THE WHITE GLASSES

"[The documentary] wastes no time turning polemical. 'In the whole history of the world, I think there have only been two great women directors, Leni Riefenstahl and Lina Wertmüller,' the critic John Simon says minutes in.

Has Mr. Simon ever seen a movie by Lois Smith, Maya Deren, Ida Lupino, Agnès Varda, Vera Chytilova, Chantal Akerman, Claire Denis, Catherine Breillat, Jane Campion, Kelly Reichardt, Lucrecia Martel or Kathryn Bigelow?"

Oh well -- hyperbole notwithstanding -- Wertmüller certainly lands somewhere in the top five or six spots! And Ben -- you left a few important ones out:

Sofia Coppola
Mira Nair
Lynne Ramsey
Nora Ephron
Nancy Myers
Lena Dunham

As writer and director
YearTitle
1972The Seduction of Mimi
1973Love and Anarchy
1974All Screwed Up
1974Swept Away by an Unusual Destiny in the Blue Sea of August
1975Seven Beauties

I've never seen All Screwed Up, but the other four are terrific films. Both Swept Away and Seven Beauties are near-masterpieces.

Ozu had Chishû Ryû, Kurosawa had Toshirô Mifune, Ford had John Wayne -- and Wertmüller had Giancarlo Giannini! What an actor!

Look forward to seeing this director-doc ...


B6


"Bond is gargantuan: The 25 movies have taken in nearly $6 billion at the North American box office, after adjusting for inflation ..."

Next to Star Trek, this series (which started in 1962) is my most guilty pleasure. I never get tired of them.

And both series feature a character named Q (ST / JB).


A13


"Uganda began withdrawing its entire contingent of 1,500 soldiers from the Central African Republic this week, effectively ending the hunt for the warlord Joseph Kony and his guerrilla group, the Lord's Resistance Army."

When I was a kid, I collected stamps. One of the most beautiful stamps I ever saw was a rectangular one from Afghanistan. I distinctly remember how exotic and unknown the country was to most people then.

My brother served in the Peace Corps in Central African Republic in the early 70's. He helped build a schoolhouse in N'Délé. Back then, no one had heard of CAR.

Today, it's (unfortunately) in the news quite often.


A15


"I really am amazed that a judge sitting on an island in the Pacific can issue an order that stops the president of the United States from what appears to be clearly his statutory and constitutional power ..."

Here you go, Mr. S -- I hope this awakens you to the ever complex nature of how our country is put together. This is a state which is one of 50 which forms our nation. Study it well.


A17


"'Asked why I invited Kid Rock and Ted Nugent, I joked, ^Because Jesus was booked,^' [Palin] wrote."

Too bad. Imagine what Mr. Christ might have said to Mr. Trump concerning his travel bans and military adventurism:

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.




Thursday, April 20, 2017

24. 4/20/17

C1

AN ORCHESTRA THAT'S FIRST IN ITS CLASS

Regrettable that they did not mention the October 23, 2013 performance of Frank Zappa's magnificent score for 200 Motels.



From "A Nun Suit Painted On Some Old Boxes"


D1

"13 REASONS WHY" GENERATES MEMES AND DEBATE

My daughter's been praising this show. Time to see what all the fuss is about, I guess. Time to binge.


B11

A REVOLVING DOOR OF DISCIPLINE

Neil Walker (former Pirate):

"'It's not like taking a cough medicine that may have something in it,' he said. 'You're taking the time to have somebody either do it for you or you do it yourself, inject something, whether it's a B-12 shot or a cortisone shot or whatever you think it may be.'"

It's unbelievable. And hey kids -- you'll be getting someone else's jersey on July 2nd.


B15

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH, 70, DIES; GUITARIST AMAZED HIS PEERS

" ... [H]e drew breathless praise from many guitarists -- including Frank Zappa ..."

High praise, indeed.


A1

A CONTENDER TO LEAD FRANCE TRIES TO SELL THE UNKNOWN: HIMSELF

"With no political party to speak of, and never having held elective office, Mr. Macron, 39, a onetime investment banker and former economy minister, is leading an improbable quest to become modern France's youngest president."

He may be "unknown" -- but we do know one important fact:

He's running against Marie Le Pen, shown here with her Holocaust-denying daddy.



Aller voter.


A1


"He's genuinely one of the smartest people I've ever met ..."

On CNN he comes off as a clown without makeup.


A1


"[Fox] and Mr. O'Reilly had reached settlements with five women who had complained about sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior by him. The agreements totaled about $13 million."


Imagine the conversation:

Pope: "Are you sure you're not a Catholic priest?"


A8


"[M]any South Koreans ... were riled at Mr. Trump for his assertion in a Wall Street Journal interview last week that the Korean Peninsula 'used to be a part of China'."

Korean history is pretty complicated. But Mr. President -- perhaps you ought to hire a history teacher to get you up to speed while you eat your burnt steaks.

Not only was Korea never a "part" of China, it was never a "part" of Japan, either -- which forced tribute from its emperors for centuries.

Oy vey.


A8


"The volleyball games, played in the middle of that international crisis, were probably intended to send a message, analysts said, as the North Koreans are aware that the nuclear test site is under intense scrutiny. But what meaning the North wanted the games to convey is unclear."

Perhaps the losing teams were sent to Camp 14.

A9


"The world's oceans are littered with trillions of pieces of plastic -- bottles, bags, toys, fishing nets and more, mostly in tiny particles -- and now this seaborne junk is making its way into the Arctic.

Last week's episode of The Amazing Race took place in Zanzibar, where they have banned plastic bags.

Let's go Mr. Ztoa (Mr. Atoz's cousin) and get America on the bandwagon.

But we shouldn't be last, alphabetizing notwithstanding.


A19


"The star LHS 1140 ... receives about half as much energy as Earth does from its own sun, enough for a microbe or something more complicated to make a living."

They've finally discovered Trump's home planet.


A19




A23


"President Trump is scary in many ways, but perhaps the most frightening nightmare is of him blundering into a new Korean war.

He could do nothing, but that would mean losing face and emboldening North Korea. Or he could destroy the test missile on its launchpad with a barrage of cruise missiles, blocking Pyongyang's path to a nuclear deterrent, enforcing his red line, and sending a clear message to the rest of the world.

Alas, no one has ever made money betting on North Korean restraint, and the country might respond by firing artillery at Seoul, a metropolitan area of 25 million people.

And if Trump tries to accelerate the process with a pre-emptive military strike? Then Heaven help us."


A23


Gail Collins is one of my favorite Op-Ed writers -- she is very funny, even when the subject is as serious as this one:

"[North Korea] has a leader who is narcissistic to the point of psychosis, with a celebrity fixation and very strange haircut.

O.K., maybe not entirely unique."

[that's funny]

"Poor Sean Spicer. Every day a new official fantasy to defend. Tonight the president will go to bed and dream that he's the true heir to the principality of Liechtenstein. Tomorrow Spicer will come into the pressroom on skis and announce we're declaring war on Switzerland."

A lot of Americans liked the idea of responding to a chemical attack in Syria by bombing a Syrian air base. But if the president thought it was popular, wouldn't he get carried away? It's like praising a 4-year-old for coloring a picture, and the next thing you know he's got his crayons out, heading for the white sofa.

What we want to do is take the crayons away and murmur: 'Good boy. Now why don't you go off and nominate some ambassadors for a change'?

And go find your boats."






Wednesday, April 19, 2017

23. 4/19/17

A1

LEADERS AT FOX STARTING TO SOUR TOWARD O'REILLY

"[T]he woman, who is African-American, worked in a clerical position at the network but did not work directly for Mr. O'Reilly. The woman reported that in 2008, Mr. O'Reilly would stop by her desk and grunt like a 'wild boar'; he would also stand back to allow her to exit the elevator first and then say, 'Looking good, girl,' ... [and] leered at the woman's cleavage and legs and called her 'hot chocolate' ..."


A1

AIRCRAFT CARRIER WASN'T HEADING WHERE U.S. SAID

"'We're sending an armada,' Mr. Trump said to Fox News last Tuesday ...

The problem was that the carrier, the Carl Vinson, and the three other warships in its strike force were that very moment sailing in the opposite direction, to take part in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean, 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula."



A4


"'Sprinkling' is a spring rite in the heart of Transylvania, in central Romania, when women are watered like flowers."

נּזּﬣ = to spurt, spatter or sprinkle.

The Torah describes this purification ritual in Numbers 8:6-7:

"Take the Levites (priests) from among the Israelites and cleanse them. This is what you shall do to them to cleanse them: sprinkle on them water of purification ..."

All the non-Levite children must have been so jealous! A little sprinkle of water must have felt amazing in that desert heat!


A24


"Anyone who has been paying the slightest attention knows by now that this president and this White House intend to play by their own set of rules -- rules that in some cases come close to breaking the law and, at the very least, defy traditions of conduct and transparency Americans have come to expect from their public servants."


A24


"We urgently need to find a peaceful solution to the North Korean conundrum, and no solution would be effective without China's tacit approval.

Here's my proposal: China would offer guaranteed protection of a denuclearized North Korea, with an agreed-upon long-term plan of economic support. The United States would recognize China's pre-eminent role in the region by committing to a gradual removal of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system from South Korea and equally gradual plan to reduce its military presence in the demilitarized zone and elsewhere in South Korea.

China's concerns about any future threat from the United States would be addressed, and the United States would be relieved of a growing concern presented by the current North Korean regime. -- Sylva Apelian, New York"

I posted something similar to this a few days ago, but with the idea that regime change would be both necessary and desirable. 


B9




82. 6/17/17

Off to paradise.   See you in July! TIME MACHINE June 17, 1899 118 years ago Page 1 DREYFUS DUELS FOUGHT AT BREST "As...