October 22, 2017

At the Yellow Tree Café...

P1150304

... you can talk about whatever you want.

(And please remember to use The Althouse Amazon Portal.)

"What woes do not befall Chicago! That city has a debt of $6,000,000 which is increasing at the rate of a cool million each year."

"One Chicago newspaper gives a double-leaded opinion that the city has a 'prognathous City Council,' whose members accept bribes so quickly that Boss Tweed turns over in his grave," wrote the NYT on November 23, 1895.



By the way, $10,000 overcoat in 1895 corresponds to a $292,452 overcoat today.

Now, why am I reading this? It's not that I'm looking into Chicago's debt problems. Nor is it an interest in the word "prognathous." It means "Having projecting or forward-pointing jaws, teeth, mandibles, etc.; having a facial angle of less than 90°; having a gnathic index of 103 or more. Of jaws or a lower jaw: prominent, protruding." OED. I think the suggestion is that the Chicago City Council members are thugs. My Google image search on the word kind of freaked me out:



I was reading that 1895 article because I wanted to get a sense of when people started using the phrase "cool million" after trying to read this National Review article by Andrew C. McCarthy, "The Obama Administration’s Uranium One Scandal." It begins:
Let’s put the Uranium One scandal in perspective: The cool half-million bucks the Putin regime funneled to Bill Clinton was five times the amount it spent on those Facebook ads — the ones the media-Democrat complex ludicrously suggests swung the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.
I thought it was funny to say a "cool half-million." $500,000 is not an awesome amount of money in this context, even if it's 5 times $100,000. Was "cool half-million" supposed to be funny or supposed to impress us with why Uranium One needs more attention? I found it distracting. You can see I'm not paying attention.

I'd rather talk about whether "the worst is worse than wienerworst" was once an idiomatic expression. You see it there in the second-to-last paragraph of the 1895 NYT article, where the issue of legalizing the sale of horse meat comes up. Attempting to google my way to an answer, I found this mindbending sentence:
For it must be remembered that at the time I knew quite nothing, naturally, concerning Milo Payne, the mysterious Cockney-talking Englishman with the checkered long-beaked Sherlockholmsian cap; nor of the latter's 'Barr-Bag' which was as like my own bag as one Milwaukee wienerwurst is like another; nor of Legga, the Human Spider, with her four legs and her six arms; nor of Ichabod Chang, ex-convict, and son of Dong Chang; nor of the elusive poetess, Abigail Sprigge; nor of the Great Simon, with his 2,163 pearl buttons; nor of – in short, I then knew quite nothing about anything or anybody involved in the affair of which I had now become a part, unless perchance it were my Nemesis, Sophie Kratzenschneiderwümpel – or Suing Sophie!
I love the "in short."

AND: What are "boodlers"? Chicago is "cursed by the reign of boodlers" and "the Man in the Moon turns up his nose as he sails over during a heavy wind." The OED defines "boodler" as "one who practises boodleism," and "boodleism" as "bribery and corruption, embezzlement of public funds." "Boodle" can mean counterfeit money or money acquired improperly, but it can also be a contemptuous way to refer to a group of people, as in this 1861 example (from the OED):
I motioned we shove the hul kit an boodle of the gamblers ashore on logs. 'Twas kerried.
We're more likely to say "caboodle" or "kit and caboodle," but "caboodle" is a corruption of the phrase "kit and boodle" — where "kit" is a kind of open tub used to hold water for washing or to carry something like milk or butter.

IN THE COMMENTS: Gabriel find this wonderful passage in "Great Expectations," by Charles Dickens (1860):
"Well, old chap," said Joe, "it do appear that she had settled the most of it, which I meantersay tied it up, on Miss Estella. But she had wrote out a little coddleshell in her own hand a day or two afore the accident, leaving a cool four thousand to Mr. Matthew Pocket. And why, do you suppose, above all things, Pip, she left that cool four thousand unto him? 'Because of Pip's account of him the said Matthew.' I am told by Biddy, that air the writing," said Joe, repeating the legal turn as if it did him infinite good, 'account of him the said Matthew.' And a cool four thousand, Pip!"

I never discovered from whom Joe derived the conventional temperature of the four thousand pounds, but it appeared to make the sum of money more to him, and he had a manifest relish in insisting on its being cool.
That pushed me to check the history of "cool" as a way to stress the size of an amount of money (which might have to do with the idea of the counting the money with an attitude of calmness). The OED traces this usage back to the 18th century. It comes up in "Tom Jones" by Henry Fielding, from 1749, when you only needed 3 digits to get to cool: "He had lost a cool hundred, and would play no longer." So the expression had been around a while before Dickens made comedy out of taking it literally and talking about temperature.

"Nothing more beautiful than everyone putting their differences aside to help humanity in the face of catastrophe."

"The Pick-Up Artist has finally met his match."



I knew the name James Toback, but I couldn't name a single one of his movies, after I read out loud the Daily Mail headline "More than 30 women accuse Hollywood director James Toback of sexual assault in disturbing accounts of him 'coercing them to his hotel rooms, dry-humping their legs, and masturbating in front of them'" and Meade said "Who's he?"

Maybe I'd just always remembered his name because back in the 1970s, I knew somebody else with that unusual last name. I'd thought Toback was kind of important, so I was surprised that he'd only directed 12 films (in a 40-year period). I looked for the most famous one to impress Meade that this was indeed a well-known director. I came up with "The Pick-Up Artist" and showed Meade the image and said, "That was back when Robert Downey Jr. look like this. 1987."
According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, on several occasions Toback would invite women, usually in their 20s, to his hotel room where he would dry-hump them or masturbate in front of them, ejaculating into his pants or onto their bodies and then walk away.

Starr Rinaldi, who was an aspiring actress, told the Times that she was approached by Toback 15 years ago in Central Park. 'He always wanted me to read for him in a hotel or come back to his apartment, like, "How serious are you about your craft?" And the horrible thing is, whichever road you choose, whether you sleep with him or walk away, you're still broken... You have been violated."
Why are you "broken" and "violated" if you walk away from bad pick-up lines like that? This kind of post-Weinstein pile-on is going to dilute the righteous fury and end up boring us. There are so many people with so many stories, so many would-be actresses who never got to live out their dreams that nothing's going to stop the chatter. It's a good time to hurt and embarrass every unattractive guy who got a pretty woman to give him some time by portraying himself as a useful contact.
How could he even think he could have her if he didn't give some major career advancement in exchange!

"The deadly wildfires that ravaged communities and wineries in Northern California also severely damaged numerous marijuana farms..."

"... just before the state is expected to fully legalize the drug, in a disaster that could have far-reaching implications for a nascent industry. At least 34 marijuana farms suffered extensive damage as the wildfires tore across wine country and some of California’s prime marijuana-growing areas. The fires could present challenges to the scheduled Jan. 1 rollout of legal marijuana sales at the start of an industry that is expected to generate billions of dollars in revenue."

WaPo reports.

Supply and demand... in the interesting setting where you can't import from out of state. Jack up the price.
In many cases, owners have spent tens of thousands of dollars to become compliant with state law to sell the product. But because the federal government considers marijuana cultivation and sales a criminal enterprise, it remains extremely difficult, if not impossible, for most of the marijuana businesses affected by the fire to access insurance, mortgages and loans to rebuild. Even a charitable fund set up to help marijuana farmers was frozen because a payment processor will not handle cannabis transactions.
I boldfaced the word "considers" because, being an erstwhile lawyer, I think it's funny to be characterizing the government as considering something to be criminal. The government has written law that makes it criminal. It's not an opinion about whether marijuana cultivation and sale should be regarded as criminal. It simply is criminal, because of the statutes. There's no mind that is the federal government contemplating the matter and developing a conception. In fact, since these businesses are operating openly and the human beings working within the federal government aren't swooping in and prosecuting, it would make more sense to say that the federal government doesn't consider marijuana cultivation and sales a criminal enterprise. But I can see why businesses and other organizations not focused on marijuana — banks, insurance companies, payment processors — don't want to risk violating the law on the books.

"Have you seen the dumb ads with Trump-like handwriting scrawled on them?"

"'Mister police, you could have saved her. I gave you all the clues.' By the way, there are no fucking clues. This movie makes no sense and you’d drive yourself insane trying to figure out what it’s about. Did you know Michael Fassbender plays a detective named Harry Hole? Did you know that some Hollywood executive didn’t change that name because they’re somehow unaware of the juvenile laughing it elicits? Did you know Val Kilmer is in this movie?! And he’s somehow more insane in it than when he’s being pervy about Cate Blanchett on Twitter?"

From "'The Snowman' Is the Most Unintentionally Hilarious Movie of the Year/Michael Fassbender as a detective named 'Harry Hole.' A serial killer who puts snowman heads on their victims. How the hell did this get made?" by Ira Madison III (in The Daily Beast).

I have a more general question: Why is so much Hollywood talent and money thrown into glamorizing and entertaining people with sadistic, graphic violence against women?

I'm trying to understand the sentence "Did you know that some Hollywood executive didn’t change that name because they’re somehow unaware of the juvenile laughing it elicits?" There are so many negatives that I don't know what the reviewer is asking. I just feel prompted to say that I think Hollywood executives are juvenile men who get off using their power to get away with rude intrusions on the feelings of females.

Having said that, I'll now try to undo the excessive negativity and complexity of "Did you know that some Hollywood executive didn’t change that name because they’re somehow unaware of the juvenile laughing it elicits?"

A Hollywood executive accepted the use of the name Harry Hole because he did not see what's funny about it.

Is that what Ira Madison III is saying?

I don't believe it. I think the executive thought it was funny and operates gleefully within a culture where guys like him do things like that.

I went to IMDB to find out which executives were actually involved in this movie, and I happened to see this:
Harry's last name is consistently mispronounced throughout the film. As per the books, the correct pronunciation resembles the English word "holy."

About that couple found dead in Joshua Tree National Park and "locked in an embrace"...

Remember we were talking about Rachel Nguyen and Joseph Orbeso, based on reports that made it seem as though this loving couple had gotten lost and wandered around until they succumbed to heat and thirst?

It turns out that the two were dead of gunshot wounds (BBC):
Police said evidence at the scene suggested that Mr Orbeso shot Ms Nguyen before turning the gun on himself. It appeared they were low on food and without water, an official said. San Bernardino sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman told the BBC the couple was found under a tree and appeared to be embracing each other.
No, they were not "embracing each other." He was embracing a dead woman. 
She said Mr Orbeso and Ms Nguyen had positioned their clothing to cover their lower legs to protect themselves from the heat. Investigators found a handgun registered to Mr Orbeso at the scene, she added.
Again: He outlived her, so the positioning of the bodies and the clothing are attributable to him.
"The circumstances are really like no other search operation that we've been involved in," Ms Bachman said. "But there is no evidence that leads [investigators] to believe that he was intending to harm her."
How about the evidence that he shot her to death?

Why was this story ever reported without the obvious detail of death by gunshot wound? And doesn't it still sound like PR? The article ends:
Mr Orbeso's father said in an email to the Southern California News Group that he wants his son "to be remembered as a kind, caring and thoughtful person". "The way he was found beside Rachel holding her as they were seeking shade under the brush says everything you need to know about him as a man and as a human being," Mr Orbeso said.
It's understandable that a father would choose that interpretation, but the news should be the news. 

"In countries such as Ghana, the intended audience for the Nivea ad, and Nigeria – where an estimated 77% of women use skin-lightening products..."

"... the debate has so far, understandably, focused on health. The most toxic skin-lightening ingredients, still freely available, include ingredients such as hydroquinone, mercury and corticosteroid. It’s not unusual for these to be mixed with caustic agents ranging from automotive battery acid, washing power, toothpaste and cloth bleaching agents, with serious and irreversible health consequences."

From "Nivea's latest 'white is right' advert is the tip of a reprehensible iceberg/No amount of sophisticated branding can hide the fact that the messaging of such ads is as deeply poisonous as ever" by Afua Hirsh in The Guardian.
Shadism, pigmentocracy – the idea of privilege accruing to lighter-skinned black people – and other hierarchies of beauty are a complex picture....

"What explains Weinstein’s identification with progressive causes?"

Asks Thomas Frank (at the Guardian). (Frank is the author of "What's the Matter with Kansas?" and a book that particularly on point here and that I read and liked a lot, "Listen, Liberal.")
Perhaps it was all about moral absolution, in the same way that lists of corporations-that-care always turn out to be led by outfits like Walmart, Goldman Sachs and Exxon-Mobil. In the world of the wealthy, liberalism is something you do to offset your rapacious behavior in other spheres. It’s no coincidence that, in Weinstein’s desperate first response to the accusations against him, he thought to promise war against the National Rifle Association and to support scholarships for women.
I don't think that's the reason. I think it's the culture of artists and quasi-artists to embrace liberalism. You'll look bad within your set if you don't. If you don't really believe in or care about politics, the easiest thing to do is to outwardly pose as liberal and throw some of your money at liberal causes. Hollywood is about exteriors. It's a visual medium about beautiful people. It's surprising that anyone there does anything other than espouse liberalism. Certainly, an ugly man seeking access to beautiful women would act out liberalism.

This makes me think of a scene in the movie "The Front" (script here), a 1976 movie about a blacklisted Hollywood writer. The character Hecky Brown (Zero Mostel) is accused of being a communist:
The question is, Mr. Brown, what have you done?

Nothing. I'm an actor.

Nothing?

Six years ago, I marched in the May Day Parade. I bought a Daily Worker subscription. But I never read it, not one word. Right from the mailbox to the garbage can. I was only trying to get laid. This communist girl, she had a big ass...

I am not interested in your sex life, Mr. Brown.

I was just telling you that girl was the reason.
Back to Thomas Frank. He says there's "something deeper" than expiating the sin of greed. This is something like what I said about, but again, it depends on these people having a conscience and needing to "rationalize" to deal with guilt:
Most people on the left think of themselves as resisters of authority, but for certain of their leaders, modern-day liberalism is a way of rationalizing and exercising class power. Specifically, the power of what some like to call the “creative class”, by which they mean well-heeled executives in industries like Wall Street, Silicon Valley and Hollywood.
I think vanity and self-interest explain more than guilt and conscientiousness — especially in the case of Weinstein! Frank must realize he's got a coherence problem here because he shifts from talking about moral absolution to hypocrisy:
That this strain of liberalism also attracts hypocrites like Harvey Weinstein.... This is a form of liberalism that routinely blends self-righteousness with upper-class entitlement.....
Vanity and self-interest.

October 21, 2017

At the Lakeshore Café...

P1150303

... you can talk about whatever you like.

And please think of using The Althouse Amazon Portal.

Disaffectedly disarraying the funk of Sharon's rose.

 Today, the unlinkable OED is featuring these "recently published" words:
Funk. "Betwixt decks there can hardlie a man fetch his breath by reason there ariseth such a funke in the night that it causes putrefaction of bloud." W. Capps in 1623, quoted in Philip Alexander Bruce "Economic History of Virginia" (1896).

Disaffectedly. "A man in a magazine advertisement with his head turned disaffectedly away from a cup of coffee, saying: ‘Nope, I keep away from it. Keeps me up nights.’" Howard Nemerov in Harvard Advocate (1941).

Sharon's rose (a rare variation of what we normally call "rose of Sharon"): 1855 "That God is good and the rest is breath/Why else is the same styled Sharon's rose?/Once a rose, ever a rose, he saith." Robert Browning, "The Heretic's Tragedy"(1856).

Disarray (as a verb), meaning "To throw into disorder or confusion; to disorder, disorganize" or "To undress (a person); to divest of clothing or other attire; to remove clothing from, strip." In the first sense, from a 1765 translation (by Christopher Smart) of the Psalms of David:
In thee, O righteous Lord, I lay
The ground of all my creed;
Let not confusion disarray
My well form'd thoughts, but as I pray
My soul unto her safety speed
In the second sense: From an 1814 romance called "Alicia de Lacy," by Mrs. Jane West:
She had often been drenched with rain, while in the pursuit of pleasure, but she had not now, as was then the case, attendant damsels to prepare the bath, to help to disarray her, and present warm apparel scented with balmy odours.
And so we end this post where we began, with odor. First, the unbearable stench on a crowded ship headed to 17th century Virginia, and last, the aroma of a luxurious bath. In between, there's the smell of coffee and a flower. I like how, just by chance, the OEDs list of words yielded up quotes that emitted odors and that the odors are in order from bad to good.

Untitled

Serendipity.

I just learned that the original "Hippy Hippy Shake" was not by The Swinging Blue Jeans...



... but by Chan Romero:



Here's the Beatles version.

As noted in the meandering update to the Megyn Kelly post, below, the Chan Romero recording was the first song where we heard the word "hippie" (spelled "hippy" on the label).

The first in-print use of the word, according to the OED, is in the 1953 novel "Night Light," by Douglass Wallop: "Man, I really get a bellyful of these would be hippies."



According to Amazon, that's "A novel about a man's search back through a dead killer's life for motive in the world of jazz by the author best known for his baseball novel ’The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant.”"



Hey, that seems to augurate that today is the day the Yankees lose the pennant! It's either win or lose today, the 7th game of the American League Championship Series.

I thought I'd never heard of "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant," but it's the novel that got made into the musical "Damn Yankees."
Baseball lovers everywhere can identify with Joe Boyd, a die-hard Washington Senators fan who puts his soul in hock to help them wrest the pennant away from the hated, all-conquering Yankees. Transformed by the sulfurous Mr. Applegate's satanic magic into twenty-two-year-old phenom Joe Hardy, he leads the hapless Senators in a torrid late-season pursuit of the men in pinstripes. Joe has until September 21st before the deal becomes final―and eternal. With the luscious temptress Lola to distract him, he'll have a hell of a time wriggling out of the bargain...
Here's the trailer for the 1958 movie they made out of the stage show:



That's Tab Hunter in the lead role. Remember when movie stars looked like this:



That's Tab with Natalie Wood at the 1956 Oscars. Warner Brothers was teaming them up as co-stars at the time. The 1956 movie was "The Burning Hills":



Massive pulchritude!

"Some problems weren’t [Megyn Kelly's] fault..."

"... such as when a cameraman walked on-screen while Kelly was interviewing soccer player Carli Lloyd. The cameraman then could be audibly heard muttering an expletive, which wasn’t bleeped since the show is aired live. Other problems, though, fell entirely on Kelly’s shoulders. For instance, two days after a gunman killed 58 people and injured hundreds more in the Las Vegas mass shooting, she interrupted Tom Brokaw as the former 'NBC Nightly News' anchor spoke out against the NRA. Kelly spoke over Brokaw, saying 'Yep. Yep, got it. Gotta leave it at that, Tom. . . . We’re up against a hard break.'... Kelly is now reportedly having trouble booking celebrity guests, unlike the other blocs of 'Today,' according to Variety. 'I’m not booking anyone on her show,' one publicist, who requested not to be named, told the trade publication. 'I literally haven’t pitched anyone even from right out the gate. The buzz that is out there is so bad.'... [O]n many days, Kelly doesn’t have celebrities on her show at all, which is unusual for the 'Today' franchise. Instead, she often relies on lifestyle stories and pretaped features. One recent nearly five-and-a-half-minute segment, for example, followed Kelly and her real-life family as they went camping."

From "Megyn Kelly tries dancing for ratings as her ‘Today’ show continues to falter" in WaPo.

I posted the dreadful dancing clip yesterday, here.

If you want to see that expletive-muttering cameraman, here:



What a dismal slide for Kelly! Remember how high she was riding when she moderated that GOP debate? That was more than 2 years ago. She made a big leap that night, confronting Trump, and there was so much liberal hope for her when Trump went menstrual on her.

But Trump went on to win, and what use is she now? No use to celebrities, and now she can't get celebrities on her show, and what's a daytime talk show without celebrities? I don't watch daytime talk shows (or, really, night time talk shows). Because I can't stand the canned PR appearances celebrities do on TV these days. It used to be that celebrities might go on TV and be weird. I don't know — Marlon Brando, Bette Davis — I mean back in the day when we loved weirdness, real weirdness, not canned weirdness like Megyn Kelly pretending to find the beat to some overproduced pop music irresistible and just had to get up and dance....


What I did a year ago.

Facebook reminds me of what it calls my "memories," even though they aren't my memories, because I'd forgotten all this:
1. Wrote a lot. 2. Walked 2 miles to Hilldale and bought 2 pairs of glasses with Theo frames. 3. Met Chris and drank a pomegranate martini. 4. Walked 2 miles back home. 5. Watched the 1934 movie "Bright Eyes" on TV and Meade watched it just because it's what I was watching. That was sweet of him. And Shirley was sweet. We laughed at Jane Withers and I was delighted that the actor who played Uncle Ned was the same actor who played Mr. Muckle in "It's a Gift," one of my all time favorite movies. Also the dog that played Rags was the same dog who played Toto 5 years later in "The Wizard of Oz."
The actor is Charles Sellon:



"Police not notified after inmates planned to electrocute guard at youth prison."

Wisconsin State Journal reports on "the latest revelation of violent acts against staff members at the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls, the state prison in Irma for the most serious young offenders in Wisconsin."
On Sept. 25, a group of male inmates in one of the prison’s housing units dipped the cord of an electric fan into a cup of water, poured water in a wall outlet and spilled some water on the floor near the fan, according to sources with direct knowledge of the incident but who do not have permission to speak publicly.

Many of the inmates in the unit then asked the guard to plug the fan into the wall outlet. The guard would have done so if an inmate had not, at the last minute, warned the guard not to plug in the fan....
The police were not called, the guard continued to  work in this unit, inmates taunted him about how they almost succeeded in killing him, and no one was even punished.
In the last week, inmates have punched two other staff members, sending them both to the hospital — raising questions about the safety of staff at the facility.
The larger context is that there's a federal lawsuit, brought by inmates, alleging that the inmates have been abused, and there's a court order limiting discipline methods. There's also an FBI investigation. So you need to be somewhat skeptical about prison officials talking to the press about the inmates abusing the prison staff.

And here's a second, newer article at the Wisconsin State Journal: "Youth prison guard: 'I am afraid of getting killed'":
Inmates at the state’s youth prison have kicked in glass windows, stolen pepper spray and threatened to rape female staff members since a federal judge told state Department of Corrections officials to make drastic changes in how they manage prisoners’ behavior, records show....

The comments came after U.S. Judge James Peterson ordered prison officials in July not to keep inmates in solitary confinement around the clock for weeks, not to excessively pepper spray inmates and not to put them in shackles regularly.

“Kids now believe they have nothing to lose,” one staff member told Tiffany’s aides.

“I am afraid of getting killed by an inmate,” said another staff member who recently resigned.
How is it that the government hasn't figured out how to maintain discipline without round-the-clock solitary confinement for weeks, excessive pepper spraying, and routine shackling?! I feel sorry for low-level employees who suddenly face more dangerous work conditions, but it seems that it's the government's fault.

"North Koreans are allowed to wear only short hairstyles. There are 28 types of haircuts approved by the country's administration..."

"... 18 for women and 10 for men" — #11 on "Twelve shocking facts about North Korea," according to Pravda.



Also:
9. One does not allow [sic] to turn the government radio off even in one's own house. One can only turn the volume down a bit. There are special units that track down those who listen to forbidden radio programs, and this crime is punishable by death.
And:
12. In the event of a fire, the first thing to rescue from a burning home must be portraits of DPRK leaders.
ADDED: What would you save if you have to rush out of your burning house? That's an old question, but the classic old answer doesn't work anymore, because we keep our photographs — including our photographs of beloved leaders — on some website. Grab your iPhone and your car keys and get out of there. Anything else?

IN THE COMMENTS: George M. Spencer writes:
Generally speaking, human life means little in Asia.

That's the first sentence of the Pravda article.

Isn't most of Russia in Asia!?!
I had to look back at the article, because I didn't believe that line would be on the news site, even at Pravda, but it is indeed the first sentence of the article.

It's true — in terms of land mass — that most of Russia is in Asia, but most of Europe is in Russia. 80% of Europe. In terms of population, only 23% of Russians live in Asia. I'm going to assume that Russians think of themselves as European, not Asian. The ones we see in the news certainly look more like other Europeans than like other Asians.

Interestingly, when I google russians think of themselves as european, the second hit is "The British are the least likely Europeans to consider themselves European."

Hmm. Some kind of pride thing?

"Putin is a good Russian president. Russia is lucky to have a president like him. If the country had someone weak as its leader..."

"... no one knows how everything would turn out for the country. The Russians have at least 5,000 nuclear warheads, and clearly, someone needs to keep an eye on the goddamned order. Putin has been good at it.... He is cool. Clearly, one has to get rid of someone at times, but I mean that the CIA also throws people under the bus, but, perhaps, they do it more accurately."

Said Dolph Lundgren, quoted in Pravda. I hadn't clicked on my Pravda bookmark in a long time. I'd had it squirreled away in a lesser folder — labeled "other news," as opposed to "main news," which are both under "news." I was surprised to find something bloggable (and new).

Lundgren was born in Sweden, and English is not his first language, but he's been living in L.A. for a long time. He's been famous in the U.S. since 1985, when he got to punch Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky IV":
"I walked in to a Westwood movie theater as Grace Jones' boyfriend and walked out ninety minutes later as the movie star Dolph Lundgren. I was shell-shocked for years from the mind-boggling and daunting experience of being a student-athlete from tiny Sweden suddenly having to live up a new action-star persona."
So he speaks English. I think he knows what he's saying. You see what he's saying here: "Clearly, one has to get rid of someone at times, but I mean that the CIA also throws people under the bus, but, perhaps, they do it more accurately." That implies: Sometimes the government must surreptitiously kill an inconvenient person, and the only difference between Putin and the CIA is messiness. 

And while I'm looking at Putin news, I found this in The Hill, something Putin said at the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russia, on Thursday. Responding to a question, he talked about the disrespect for President Trump in the United States:
"Inside the country, disrespect is shown for him. This is a regrettable negative component of the U.S. political system," Putin said. 
He's right that disrespecting the President is an inherent part of the American system. Every President is disrespected. It's what we do in a democracy. Myself, I don't regret it or regard is as negative. I'm an American. It's what we do. I'm not going to disrespect the disrespect. I observe it. It's our culture. I'm a little blasé about it, because I've been observing it since I was able to get the gist of newspaper headlines and it took the form of saying all Eisenhower does is golf.
[Putin] continued, saying that "one can argue but one can’t show disrespect, even not for him personally but for those people who voted for him."
Of course, we can show disrespect, and we do. But he means one shouldn't show disrespect. And he makes something of a good point, and it's close to something I think: The people who preferred Trump won, a legitimate victory means a lot, and those who lost should try to understand their own country, not demonize their fellow citizens.
"Mr. Trump was elected by the American people. And at least for this reason, it is necessary to show respect for him, even if you do not agree with some of his positions," he added.
Trump is getting respect for this, just not complete respect and not from everyone. 
The Russian leader told his audience that those who ascend to the highest office in the U.S. possess a "certain talent" that allows them to survive America's bruising political process. "I believe that the president of the United States does not need any advice because one has to possess certain talent and go through this trial to be elected, even without having the experience of such big administrative work. He [Trump] has done this," the Russian leader said. "He won honestly."
I assume Putin knew those last 3 words were inflammatory, coming from him, and that he got a bang out of saying them, tweaking the Trump-disrespecters who jump at clues of collusion. Even as he's lecturing us about settling down and accepting the reality that our system produced President Trump, he's agitating the haters and resisters.

October 20, 2017

Afternoon walk.

P1150323

"It’s highly inappropriate for the president to write a check to the father of a slain service member."

Writes Alison Buckholtz at Slate.
There’s no way to know what goes on within a family, but if the slain service member designated his mother to receive a payout for what is basically the calculated value of his life, and decided his father should not receive any benefit from his death, there was a reason why....

More alarming, though—and separate from the role of the beneficiary—is that President Trump’s personal payment to this Army dad may ultimately threaten the unity of American military families.... The feeling that we’re all in it together... is imperiled by Trump’s offer of a payout to one individual...

The existing system of compensation works. The status quo satisfies. If it doesn’t, then there’s a real conversation to be had....

How bad are things going on that new Megyn Kelly show?

It's hard to believe it can be this bad:

AND: I'm just noticing the lyrics on the song: "I know you want me." But she knows we don't want her. Sad!