• Hate the Sinner, Hate the Sin /
    David Frum, via Nick Cataggio:
    Nobody seems to have language to say: We abhor, reject, repudiate, and punish all political violence, even as we maintain that Trump remains himself a promoter of such violence, a subverter of American institutions, and the very opposite of everything decent and patriotic in American life.
  • If Trump ever used words to render reality, I never heard it.*

    Heather Cox Richardson:

    HCR, quoting Monique Pressley: “The proof of Biden’s ability to run the country is the fact that he is running it. Successfully. Not a debate performance against a pathological lying sociopath.”

    *Mark Edmonson, Harpers, January 2023

  • Willie's the One
    To no one's surprise, Willie Nelson wins Texas Monthly's "Celebrity Texans" bracket. And, in previous rounds, with very few exceptions, the Texan who should have advanced, did. A Final 4 of Willie, Nolan Ryan, Kelly Clarkson, and Matthew McConaughey is just about right.

  • Whatever Happens This Year /
    I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace.
    In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
  • not so funny anymore
    Mike Godwin:
         ... has the sheer absurdity of so many hyperbolic Nazi comparisons in popular culture made us less vigilant about the possible reemergence of actual fascism in the world? I think it shouldn’t — comparisons to Hitler or to Nazis need to take place when people are beginning to act like Hitler or like Nazis...
         We had the luxury of deriving humor from Hitler and Nazi comparisons when doing so was almost always hyperbole. It’s not a luxury we can afford anymore.
  • Public Servant
    RIP, Sandra Day O'Connor
    Supreme Court Justice Sanda Day O'Connor in her judicial robes
  • You are what you eat
    David French: We’re misinformed not because the government is systematically lying or suppressing the truth. We’re misinformed because we like the misinformation we receive and are eager for more.... The market is very, very happy to provide us with all the misinformation we like. Algorithms recognize our preferences and serve up the next video or article that echoes or amplifies the themes of the first story we clicked.... It’s important to recognize that no person or movement is immune to the temptations of bespoke reality. We’re all vulnerable... That means following as many or more people who disagree with me as agree with me. That means reading the best and smartest people I can find who disagree with me. These practices help both challenge me and humanize my opponents.
  • Conundrum


  • Two by David Brooks
    Over the Trump years, we’ve learned how easy it is to anesthetize one’s moral circuits... You start by lying about yourself, and pretty soon you’re lying to yourself. Sept 14, 2023

    [Biden] has his faults ... but I’ve always thought: Give me a leader who identifies with those who feel looked down upon. Give me a leader whose moral compass generally sends him in the right direction. Oct 6, 2023
  • Not the same state

    This goes a long way to explain why it’s so much harder to live in Texas than it was 25 years ago: Why Is a Midland Billionaire Spending So Heavily to Support Ken Paxton?

  • Manly
    "As I get older, I find that I care more and more about being a good man and less and less about career stuff. I think a lot of it is just a product of age. But the fact that I’m the last survivor of the family I grew up in plays a significant part. When my mom passed away last October, the only guide for how I behaved was asking myself how my parents would want me to deal with it..." -- Jonah Goldberg, ["In Defense of Manly Tears," Aug 4, 2023](https://thedispatch.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=7fb8ceb3bd59c7956b1df66729296a4c.1661&nosocial=1) 💬
  • 0.5 oz gin (Tanqueray)
    1.0 mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)
    0.5 dry vermouth (Dolin)
    0.5 (or less) Cocchi Americano

    I don’t know what to call it. And it’s a weird mix of 2 vermouths and 2 spirits. But… it’s really tasty!

  • Two(+/-) for Three
    SCOTUS last week:
    (1) Affirmative action - yep.
    (2) Student loans - yep.
    (3) Refusing to sell services to folks you disagree with - nope.*
    A web-design service is just that -- a _service_; it's not an expressive act. You're a hired hand. If you offer services, you can't say, "but not for the gays." * update: nope-ish. For some fool reason, Colorado agreed to stipulate that the plaintiff was, in fact, engaging in personal expression in creating webpages for hire. I don't get why they agreed to that, but there it is. Makes the ruling less wrong. Maybe not right, but less wrong.
  • Gun Sick

    Another mass shooting. This one close to home. A fetishistic fascination with guns, power, and violence permeates American society. It’s symptomatic of a deep cultural pathology, and it’ll take more than laws to address the sickness. BUT, at least gun regulations are a place to start. And, compared to treating a moral illness, they’re low-hanging fruit. So, let’s make gun regulation an “easy” first step in trying to find a cure for this disease in our national soul.

  • take the wheel
    Jill Filipovic via ayjay

    Just about everything researchers understand about resilience and mental well-being suggests that people who feel like they are the chief architects of their own life — to mix metaphors, that they captain their own ship, not that they are simply being tossed around by an uncontrollable ocean — are vastly better off than people whose default position is victimization, hurt, and a sense that life simply happens to them and they have no control over their response. That isn’t to say that people who experience victimization or trauma should just muscle through it, or that any individual can bootstraps their way into wellbeing. It is to say, though, that in some circumstances, it is a choice to process feelings of discomfort or even offense through the language of deep emotional, spiritual, or even physical wound, and choosing to do so may make you worse off. Leaning into the language of “harm” creates and reinforces feelings of harm ...

  • A mediating device for difference
    Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez:

    ... Some students might feel that some points should not be up for argument and therefore that they should not bear the responsibility of arguing them (or even hearing arguments about them), but however appealing that position might be in some other context, it is incompatible with the training that must be delivered in a law school. Law students are entering a profession in which their job is to make arguments on behalf of clients whose very lives may depend on their professional skill. Just as doctors in training must learn to face suffering and death and respond in their professional role, lawyers in training must learn to confront injustice or views they don’t agree with and respond as attorneys.

    Law is a mediating device for difference. It therefore reflects all the heat of controversy, all the pain and suffering, and all the deeply felt moral urgency of our differences in position, power, and cherished principles. Knowing all of this, I believe we cannot function as a law school from the premise that appears to have animated the disruption of Judge Duncan’s remarks -- that speakers, texts, or ideas believed by some to be harmful inflict a new impermissible harm justifying a heckler’s veto simply because they are present on this campus, raised in legally protected speech, and made an object of inquiry. Naming perceived harm, exploring it, and debating solutions with people who disagree about the nature and fact of the harm or the correct solutions are the very essence of legal work. Lively, candid, civil, and evidence-based discourse in disagreement is not just positive for our community, constituted as it is in difference, it is a professional duty. Observance of this duty matters most, not least, when we are convinced that others haven’t. [emphasis added.]

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