From the New York Times:
“A lot of guys resort to asking questions on Reddit, because they don’t know where else to go,” said Emily Weiss, the founder and chief executive of Glossier, a site that, along with Man Repeller and Refinery29, served as inspiration for Very Good Light. “The younger generation of men are embracing beauty and skin care in a more open-minded and forward-thinking way.”
From the New York Times:
Mr. Baroni, once Mr. Christie’s top staff appointee at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, is accused of scheming to close access lanes to the bridge in September 2013 to punish a mayor who had declined to endorse the governor for re-election, and then covering it up. His co-defendant is Bridget Anne Kelly, a former deputy chief of staff to Mr. Christie…Yaddada, yaddada, and the band plays on, stuck on the wrong tune. Every sentient human being with an IQ reaching into the double digits is aware that Christie either must have known in advance or a few minutes afterward that the busiest bridge in the world had been throttled. The governor’s office was equipped with telephones, television and Wi-Fi. Whether he ordered the closing is irrelevant. What is relevant is that he could have stopped it immediately and didn’t — for four days.
In the military this would be called dereliction of duty, punishable under United States Code Title 10, Section 892, Article 92 by dishonorable discharge and confinement for up to one year. New Jersey has no such statute, but perhaps there is a higher law.
How else to explain that the fat bully from New Jersey has been turned into a poodle licking the boots of an even bigger bully until November 8. On that date both creatures will be paroled into irrelevance, proving that God is just. Now and then, anyway.
Zoe Williams is talking about British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, BoJo as he’s derisively called by those who think him a clown, “who tries on opinions like clothes, discarding them as the mood and weather takes him.” In the process she makes some cogent observations that might actually find some application here in the States, noting for example that “…we‘re forced to think deeply about the actions of a politician who wouldn‘t himself entertain such an activity for longer than five minutes.”
Only now does the picture solidify: we are in the grip of the most fervent radicals, people willing to sacrifice everything — grants, investment, trade, security, standing, solidarity, legal apparatus built up by decades of painstaking cooperation — at the altar of a concept (sovereignty) that nobody really understands, and a principle (taking back control) that is abstract to the point of meaninglessness.
On this side of the pond, at least, the principle is more readily operationalized. The importance to the Trump campaign of the alt-right and its white nationalists is well understood and agreed to by all sides, though they may differ on the meaning of this collaboration. The concept is thus discerned to be the maintenance of the American tradition that white folks, especially males, stand the top of society’s heap. Of course that’s still the case for professionals, as anyone who’s not a white male can attest. But time was when non-college-educated white males, particularly those in rural areas, the type I grew up around and who constitute Trump’s most reliable demographic group, could in the face of life’s disappointments and humiliations console themselves with the knowledge that at least they were white and thus by definition not at the back of the line. Many of these folks, who in earlier years at least were often poor and thus truly did not feel privileged, now regret the loss of social status they feel as people from other societies and religions are gradually but increasingly accepted as equal Americans.
Many of these people are indeed willing to sacrifice long-standing American traditions — the integrity of the electoral process, the assumption of basic civility among seekers of high office, the condemnation rather than encouragement of violence at political rallies — because they’re just sufficiently pissed off. Having felt anger toward the federal government myself at earlier points in my life I can somewhat relate, but my anger was over Vietnam. Then again, there’s a reasonable chance many of Trump’s supporters are still mad about that one too.
Hot off the AP wire:
Donald Trump is accusing rival Hillary Clinton of being on some kind of drug during the last debate, and says that both candidates should be tested for substances ahead of the next one.
The Republican presidential nominee offered no evidence to support the bizarre claim, which he appeared to base on his belief that Clinton was energetic at the start of their second debate and downbeat at its conclusion.
He says, “I think she’s actually getting pumped up” while she’s off the trail. He also mocked Clinton for what he suggested was wasting time by preparing for their debates.
Trump called on both candidates to take a drug test prior to the final debate on Wednesday.
The GOP nominee made the extraordinary, baseless assertion when speaking at an outdoor rally on Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Older non-Muslim native-born whites it turns out. From his own demographic, that deplorable basket. Read this from The Los Angeles Times, and feel free to giggle.
FBI statistics show that the number of violent crime arrests in 2015 fell by about 2,000 among teenagers and young adults under age 30 even as they rose by 7,000 among older age groups. The Feds don’t provide age-by-race breakdowns — but California does, and California may be a suitable proxy for what’s going on across the country because it’s experiencing similar overall trends.
In 2015, according to statistics compiled by the California Department of Justice, violent crime in California went up 8% and homicide went up 9%. Violence arrests were down (around 700) among those under age 30 and up (around 2,600) for those over 30.
Here’s the racial-demographic data behind these increases: In 2015, murder arrests in California rose sharply among whites 30 and older (up 16%) but fell among people younger than 30 of all races (down 5%), including young people of color (also down 5%).
Violent crime, which includes murder, rape, robbery and assault, rose 4% among older whites but decreased by 2% among those under age 30, with younger African, Latino and Asian Americans showing the biggest drop (down 8%). Trends in violence rates among older Californians of color lay in between (up 3%).
A similar pattern prevailed for drug arrests. Though major reforms in drug laws have brought down arrests for all Californians, older whites showed the least decline in drug arrest rates of any demographic (down 6%, compared with a 12% decline for younger people, including a 15% decline for young people of color). Again, older nonwhites were in between (down 11%).
In a truly stunning reversal of past trends, more older white Californians are now getting arrested for drug offenses than younger people of color. And though imprisonment rates for older whites have not yet caught up with those of younger people of color, the race/age gap has narrowed astonishingly.
Over the last 25 years — even with falling crime and recent reforms that reduced California’s prison population — older whites are the only group that has shown increased levels of imprisonment, while rates for young people of color have plummeted.
Groucho Marx had a gimmick on his early TV quiz show: a “secret word” was shown the audience before a contestant came on camera. A common word like “body” or “misunderstood.” If a contestant said the secret word during repartee with Groucho, a stuffed animal or something like that would drop down on a cord, and the speaker would get a big additional prize. We now have this concept in our Presidential election campaigning.
Candidate for President of the United States Donald Trump insulted Mexicans … insulted a federal judge on having Hispanic ethnicity … insulted John McCain for having gotten captured … advocated barring Muslims from entering the US … insulted the family of an American officer killed in combat … insulted women as “fat” … suggested that his followers beat up protesters … was revealed to have run a scam university operation … transparently suggested that his followers snuff his Democratic opponent … refused to show his tax returns … has continued to question Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship to this day – all with seeming impunity.
After all that and lots more, what is it that seems finally to have tripped him up, perhaps fatally? He said the secret word. Pussy. This is what finally rises to disqualification of someone for the Presidency of this great and exceptional nation.
Only in America, with our intense obsession with sex blended with guilt and embarrassment about anything to do with sex. This patented national hypocrisy tops all other hypocrisies in our great nation. With apology to Einstein, it is an American power far stronger than compound interest. How to explain this? Is it only, as some have claimed, because of the religious intolerance exhibited by Protestants that emerged here after they fled the anti-Protestant intolerance in the Old World? Amplified by Reform Protestantism of the early South and West?
I can’t say for sure. Well, let’s just choose to be proud of our American exceptionalism: we are probably the world leaders in hypocrisy – although the export market for it is an uphill battle. When we eventually grow up as a nation, we may even look back on it with nostalgia.
/s/ Al, (who used the secret word at least 100,000 times in college and the Navy, but never ran for public office, and so dodged the bullet.)
From the New York Times. Smith now heads the National Association of Broadcasters.
The videos reveal clubby exchanges between the leaders, most of whom belong to the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the church’s second-highest leadership body after the First Presidency), and Mormon politicians and other experts invited in to brief the apostles. In a presentation that has provoked some criticism, former Senator Gordon H. Smith, a Republican of Oregon, shared with the apostles that he voted in favor of the Iraq War partly because he believed it could open the region for Mormon missionaries.
“If that succeeds, there will be an opportunity to begin building the church in the Middle East, which is a deeply troubled place,” said Mr. Smith, who at the time had recently lost a re-election campaign after two terms in the Senate.
Here is Fred Reed, explaining why humans have always been and will always be irremediably, stupidly and suicidally vicious. And now that we have the hydrogen bomb the question is not whether we will use it. The question is when.
Another thing that makes human behavior hopelessly awful is the dog-pack instinct. We have an insuperable tendency to form packs and bark at other packs. In the case of some species, such as ours, a powerful territoriality is also in play. The urge to merge into a pack and fight with others is perhaps stronger than the sex drive. It is not unique to humans — ants do it, for example — but it is unusual in nature. Intelligent species, such as horses, form herds but don’t fight each other. So do whales. Cats don’t bother at all.
Countries (very large packs) fight and growl at each other, and form larger packs — NATO, the Warsaw Pact — to fight and growl at each other. These are immensely territorial. Members of these fanged herds do not actually pee on the borders to mark them, but come close…
Countries behave as idiotically as dogs because they are ruled by people as idiotic as dogs. Male dogs in a pack want to be alpha-dog, and fight to get there. Male politicians, to include the marginally female, want to be alpha-pol and fight, scratch, claw, lie, cheat, and steal to get there. Politics rewards the unprincipled and truculent, and thus those most likely to start wars. A fairly small number of these pathologically combative people decide whether a country of three hundred million go to war with another that most of the population has never heard of.
Misfortune can follow when people with instincts suited perhaps to small bands living in the wild decide on war for nations of hundreds of millions with nuclear arms. Their hormonal urges are exactly those encountered in bar fights. The pack follows them because, again, we are pack animals. It is what we do.
…of the 1940s was probably never caught, although the ever-admirable Chicago police succeeded in framing a teenage boy for the three murders. After one of them the real serial killer had left this note written in lipstick on the victim’s wall:
Sake catch me
Before I kill more
I cannot control myself
“After years of failure, she complains about how I’ve used tax laws of this country to my benefit. Then I ask a simple question: Why didn’t she ever try to change those laws so I couldn’t use them?”
If Badtux the Snarky Penguin isn’t on your list of blogs to check every day, put him there right away. Two recent samples: One and Two. Day after day, Badtux explains the news in more depth and fewer words than The New York Times.
Would you like to read a swell poem by America’s number one poet? Sure you would. Here it is then, from The New Yorker:
As famous as a broken disc,
thanks for coming all this way.
That’s why I have to do it,
to be a goon that matters
into another person’s life.
You have a lousy voice, but
a good tenor. There, I’ve said it.
You’ll have to quickly get back
on the job, brothers brothers.
In her transparent hair
she is, well, just a person,
And that stuff is now getting cold.
I’ll be there for you;
they want to cut them off from other
getting—getting old again,
Hold that opera—you made the lyrics.
You remind me of you.
We had been up to Speculator once before.
Off you go then.
Here, rescued from the trumpster for your reading pleasure, is the candidate being presidential on Saturday:
“In a really sarcastic tone because she’s a sarcastic woman,” Trump dryly said, going off-script. He resumed his scripted spot: “To sum up…” But he interrupted himself: “And I’ll tell you the other thing: She’s an incompetent woman. And I’ve seen it. She’s an incompetent woman.”
He told the crowd to get a group of friends together on Election Day, vote and then go to “certain areas” and “watch” the voters there. "I hear too many bad stories, and we can't lose an election because of you know what I'm talking about,” Trump said. “So, go and vote and then go check out areas because a lot of bad things happen, and we don't want to lose for that reason.”
He said Clinton could not fight bad trade deals or Russian President Vladimir Putin because “she can't make it 15 feet to her car,” alluding to video that showed Clinton buckling as she unexpectedly left a 9/11 memorial service early. Her doctor later said she had pneumonia. Trump then imitated Clinton by flailing his arms and jostling side to side. He walked unsteadily away from the podium as if he were about to fall over. “Folks, we need stamina,” Trump said. “We need energy.”
He claimed that he has a “winning temperament” while Clinton has “bad temperament.” Trump continued: “She could be crazy. She could actually be crazy.”
Trump read one more sentence of the statement, then brought up Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. “She should be in prison, let me tell you,” Trump said. “She should be in prison.”
“Hillary Clinton’s only loyalty is to her financial contributors and to herself,” Trump said. “I don’t even think she’s loyal to Bill, if you want to know the truth.”
The crowd gasped and many shouted: “Ohhhhh!”
…but Michael Moore got there first:
Someone in the audience shouted out, “What about Jill Stein?” and Moore gently said that he really does support most of what the Green Party stands for and that he’s voted third party a couple of times. But this year, Moore said, “Voting that way just makes you kind of like Trump. You’re being narcissistic. You’re only voting that way because it makes you feel good to say you didn’t vote for Trump or Clinton.” Sometimes, Moore continued, “you just gotta suck it up and vote for the good of the country.” In other words, Moore, who called Bill Clinton the “best Republican president we ever had,” doesn’t buy the liberal bullshit that Trump and Clinton are alike. Trump is different. And you’re a fucking idiot if you don’t get that.
This from Bertrand Russell:
Animals, machines, thunderstorms, and all forms of manual work, arouse the curiosity of children, whose thirst for knowledge puts the most intelligent adult to shame. This impulse grows weaker with advancing years, until at last what is unfamiliar inspires only disgust, with no desire for a closer acquaintance. This is the stage at which people announce that the country is going to the dogs, and that “things are not what they were in my young days.” The thing which is not the same as it was in that far-off time is the speaker’s curiosity. And with the death of curiosity we may reckon that active intelligence, also, has died.
From Gabriel Sherman’s excavation of Roger Ailes in New York magazine:
Still, the whispers about Ailes and women were growing louder. Karem Alsina, a former Fox makeup artist, told me she grew suspicious when Fox anchors came to see her before private meetings with Ailes to have their makeup done. “They would say, ‘I’m going to see Roger, gotta look beautiful!’ ” she recalled. “One of them came back down after a meeting, and the makeup on her nose and chin was gone.”
Long ago I noticed the insignificant fact that dozens of words beginning with ‘sn’ have something to do with the nose: sniff, snuffle, snore, snout, snarl, snaffle, snicker, sniffle, snot, snigger, snivel, snoot, snub, snuff, et, no doubt, cetera. It turns out this sort of thing has a name:
There is a subfield of cognitive linguistics that studies sound symbolism, where there is pattern in a language linking sound structure of a group of words to what is called an ‘embodied conceptual schema’ that characterizes a significant part of word meaning, though by no means all word meaning. To give you a feel for sound symbolism, consider words ending in –ip: drip, clip, snip, rip, dip, sip, whip. There is a pattern here: the meanings all involve a short path to a sudden stop.Here is the linguist George Lakoff, showing us how the concept can be used to bring down Widdle Donnie Drumpf.
Still, the new study gives one pause and suggests a bottle of sanitizer might not be a bad glove compartment staple. It’s not just the number of germs present on gas pump handles, but the quality of those germs. The earlier Kimberly-Clark study, led by a University of Arizona microbiologist named Charles Gerba (whom colleagues know as “Dr. Germ”), found that 71 percent of the pumps were highly contaminated with germs associated with disease. The new survey, conducted by Busbud, studied samples from three different gas stations, as well as three different charging stations, to see what we may be exposing ourselves to. The sample size is small, but the results mirror the larger earlier study and are eye-opening.The new study doesn’t give me pause, nor does it suggest a bottle of sanitizer. We are constantly and unavoidably surrounded by germs. They are a part of us, a part of life. For germs thou art, and unto germs shalt thou return. Relax, people. If gas pump buttons could kill you, you’d be long since dead.
Based on laboratory results from swabs from the sample gas pumps, handles on gas pumps had an average of 2,011,970 colony-forming units (CFUs), or viable bacteria cells, per square inch. Worse, the buttons on the pumps (where you select the grade of gas you want), had 2,617,067 CFUs per square inch. To put that in perspective, money, which is considered quite dirty since it changes hands often, has only 5.2 CFUs per square inch. A toilet seat has 172 CFUs per square inch. That makes a gas pump handle about 11,000 times more contaminated than a toilet seat, and a gas pump button 15,000 times more contaminated.
From the New York Times:
Punctuating his view, Judge Elliott cited the testimony of a bank employee who told the court: “I’m not here as a human being. I’m here as a representative of Wells Fargo.”
This from The CT Mirror:
Bekavac also met Hillary. “There weren’t that many women at the law school, so we were thrown together,” she said. Bekavac said she had heard about Hillary before she had met her, because of the national stir she made with her Wellesley commencement speech and through Reich, a mutual friend.
“She was diligent and outspoken, but almost all the women were outspoken,” Bekavac said.
She and the Clintons traveled to Washington, D.C., to protest Richard Nixon’s inauguration and were dismayed at the mess the other protesters made at the Lincoln Memorial. They asked the National Park Service officers if they had any brooms, were directed to a janitor’s closet, and started sweeping up the debris, Bekavac said.
“I can still see Hillary cleaning up the Lincoln Memorial. She came to protest and ended up pushing a broom,” she said.
From the New York Times:
“Well, I just don’t think she has a presidential look, and you need a presidential look,” Mr. Trump told ABC’s David Muir in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.…For instance:
From Politico, brought to you by a former private in the U.S. Army:
Donald Trump earned the endorsement of 88 retired generals and admirals in an open letter released Tuesday, as the Republican nominee looks to solidify support in the military community against Hillary Clinton in November.
Just when you thought the murderous idiocy of our permanent wars couldn’t possibly get worse, it gets worse. Take a look at this lovely specimen of 1960s eugenics from The Modern War Institute. The review is by Arnold R. Isaacs. I came across it on Vietnam Old Hacks, an on-line forum for aging war correspondents who can’t seem to let the damned thing go. Judging from the comments, “McNamara’s Folly” comes as news to most of us.
On the day in 1967 when Hamilton Gregory reported to a Tennessee induction center to begin his service in the U.S. Army, a sergeant presented him to another young man who was also headed to Fort Benning, Georgia, to start basic training. The other new soldier’s name was Johnny Gupton, or so Gregory calls him. “I want you to take charge of Gupton,” the sergeant told Gregory. Before they boarded the bus to the airport, the sergeant handed Gregory Gupton’s paperwork along with his own, to carry on the trip.
In the next hours and days, Gregory discovered why the sergeant had put Gupton in his care. Gupton could not read or write. He didn’t know his home address or what state he was from, so he could not send the pre-stamped postcard the new recruits were given at Benning to tell their families they had arrived. He didn’t know his next of kin’s full name, didn’t know that there was a war in Vietnam, and couldn’t tie the laces on his combat boots.
How did a man so obviously unfit for service get drafted? A slipup? Far from it. Gupton was one of more than 350,000 other young men drafted during the Vietnam war under a deliberate policy requiring that nearly a third of all military recruits should be drawn from men with general aptitude test scores at the bottom or for a certain percentage below the minimum standard. This while draft boards around the country made it shockingly easy for middle class, better educated men to avoid serving — just ask Bill Clinton or Donald Trump or Rush Limbaugh. The policy was known as Project 100,000. Its principal promoter was Lyndon Johnson’s defense secretary, Robert McNamara.
Hamilton Gregory — who was not drafted but enlisted voluntarily — was troubled and outraged by his experience with Johnny Gupton and subsequent encounters with other low-IQ draftees. During his Army service he raised questions about the policy with various superiors, and after his discharge, while making a career as a journalist and author, he kept on tracking down official documents and seeking out personal accounts. The evidence he accumulated over more than 40 years makes the story he tells in McNamara’s Folly not just convincing but ironclad. Its conclusion is ironclad too: U.S. draft policy during the Vietnam war was a moral atrocity.
A few years ago in an Indonesian forest, a crested macaque monkey named Naruto picked up an unattended camera and took several photos of himself. The resulting monkey selfies have become the center of a debate concerning the overlap of intellectual property law and animal rights.
The owner of the camera, photographer David J. Slater, has been selling copies of the pictures for profit. He and his company, Wildlife Personalities, both claim copyright ownership of the photos, even though Slater admits that Naruto took the photos himself in 2011. PETA has filed a lawsuit on Naruto’s behalf, asking the courts to recognize Naruto as the owner of the copyright to the photos…
Research supports PETA’s claim that Naruto satisfies the basic requirements for authorship. Macaques are distinctive—even among monkeys—in their high degree of intelligence and complex sociality. They are particularly characterized by an extremely well-developed capacity for object manipulation, and a strong tendency to engage in tactile behavior. They understand the correlation between cause and effect, such as that by hitting a snail shell with a rock, they can crack it open and retrieve the snail. They also have individual personalities, and their unique characteristics lead to their capacity for idiosyncratic, self-oriented, highly intentional social behavior.
Obama realizes he overestimated the American people and has readjusted his priorities accordingly.
As a former spokesperson myself I stand humbled before Sam Biederman, quoted here by The Gothamist:
Update 4:29 p.m.: Parks Department spokesperson Sam Biederman provided us with the following statement regarding the Trump statue:
NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small.
I have just discovered, probably later than many of you, a blog called Fred On Everything from which the following comes. In nearly every post Fred Reed makes you rethink your preconceptions, which is something you don’t come across every day. Actually hardly ever.
So bookmark him, okay?
A good reason to vote for Trump, a very good reason whatever his other intentions, is that he does not want a war with Russia. Hillary and her elite ventriloquists threaten just that. Note the anti-Russian hysteria coming from her and her remoras…
It is easy to regard countries as suprahuman beings that think and take decisions and do things. Practically speaking, countries consist of a small number of people, usually men, who make decisions for reasons often selfish, pathologically aggressive, pecuniary, delusional, misinformed, or actually psychopathic in the psychiatric sense. For example, the invasion of Iraq, a disaster, was pushed by the petroleum lobbies to get the oil, the arms lobbies to get contracts, the Jewish lobbies to get bombs dropped on Israel’s enemies, the imperialists for empire, and the congenitally combative because that is how they think. Do you see anything in the foregoing that would matter to a normal American? These do not add up to a well-conceived policy. Considerations no better drive the desire to fight Russia or to force it to back down.
I note, pointlessly, that probably none of America’s recent martial catastrophes would have occurred if we still had constitutional government. How many congressmen do you think would vote for a declaration of war if they had to tell their voters that they had just launched, for no reason of importance to Americans, an attack on the homeland of a nuclear power?
There are lots of reasons not to vote for Clinton and the suppurating corruption she represents. Not letting her owners play with matches rates high among them.
I laughed. I cried…
Okay, I hope the participants in this focus group are actors. But I’m terribly afraid they aren’t. Tell me I’m wrong. Please.
…corporations are people, too. From Naked Capitalism:
Their paper closes by examining the notion that right wing politics in America has been driven by donations piling up from eccentric entrepreneurs like investor and conservative mega-donor Foster Friess — the sort of people who are widely imagined to populate the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans — rather than mainline big business corporations, such as those on the Fortune 500 list.
On the contrary, the researchers find that “a simple count of firms and investors on Forbes show that the largest American corporations support Tea Party Congressional candidates and organizations supporting the movement, such as Freedom Works, at much higher rates than Forbes 400 members. Even making due allowances for Dark Money, the difference is substantial.”
Evidently American big business firms are not centrist, as many pundits would have it. As Ferguson and his colleagues put it:
Stories that the steady rightward drift of the American political universe is somehow the work of exceptionally ideological individual entrepreneurs are huge over-simplifications. If the center is not holding in American society — and it rather plainly is not — America’s largest companies are as implicated as anyone else; indeed, perhaps more so.