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    • Two Lessons From France’s Yellow Vest Protests
      So, the Yellow Vests in France have French President Macron scared, and he has given in on some of their demands, including raising the monthly minimum wage and getting rid of the diesel tax which sparked the original protests. Joe Penney at the Intercept has a good overview of the current state of play, which […]
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Monday: the blogger on the bus.

That’s where I write my posts these days. 15 minutes is about the length of time I get to regale you with my infinite wisdom.


According to Jim Bakker and the rest of the fundagelicals, the flooding caused by Harvey was the result of Houston’s lesbian action.

Yes, yes, those lesbians have more power than you think. They can even control the weather with their lady parts.

Hear that, Pat and Frannie?? It’s all YOUR fault. Why don’t you solve the national debt problem, didja ever think of that, huh??


Susan Chira at the NYTimes wrote another “Die!, Hillary, DIE!!” piece of the type that has been popping up lately. I’ll have more to say on this later. But for the moment, let’s not forget that Hillary won more votes than any white male candidate in history, more than Obama in 2012 and almost as many as Obama in 2008.

Did she make mistakes? Who alive *hasn’t* made mistakes. But two weeks before the election, we all assumed she was going to win. I had to temper the enthusiasm of my friends so that they wouldn’t forget to vote. Then came Comey’s letter.

No one in the media has the right to criticize her after what we witnessed in 2016. It was unconscionable. It is the Susan Chira’s of the world who gave us Trump. They just won’t take responsibility and frankly, if there is anyone who should get off the stage, it’s Chira and her buddies who gave us snark instead of responsible election coverage and focused with Javert like intensity on emails that have condemned the rest of us to generations of conservative judges and increasing voter disenfranchisement.

Shut the fuck up, Susan.


The Conversation has a post about some unexpected solar activity causing spectacular northern lights and possibly affecting communications here on earth.

I doubt we’ll see the lights down here in Pittsburgh but those of you closer to the Canadian border might.


It’s getting a little “Lord of the Flies” on St. Martin/Sint Maarten in the aftermath of Irma. The French and Dutch are sending more aid but its surprising that both of these countries didn’t make a better effort to help their territories. The island makes a lot of money in tourism for France and the Netherlands and get bloody little back in return from what I could see. It’s time to step up. We’ll be busy enough helping out in Florida.


Sixteen years ago today, I was driving to the lab and listening to WNYC on the radio when the signal suddenly went dead just as I was passing through Princeton. I thought nothing of it and switched to WHYY in Philadelphia, which seemed to be oblivious. Apparently, the sudden loss of signal on the North Tower at the WTC where the local public radio station had its antennas did not cause a disturbance in the force.

Half an hour later, we were all dumbstruck with horror at what we were watching. The internet was impossible to use for work purposes. We all filed into the lecture hall downstairs and watched the tragedy unfold on the big screen.

BiFF was at a site closer to the city and he and his coworkers went to the roof and watched the towers burn. Employees with relatives in the towers tried to contain their anxiety waiting for phone calls.

It was Brooke’s first week in kindergarten. School was canceled for the rest of the week. There were children whose parents worked at the WTC in our sedate suburban community and it was too much to expect for the little ones to keep it together when they didn’t know what was happening to their parents. That was Brooke’s first impressions of school.

My Chinese colleague smirked and said that whoever did this thought the US was a paper tiger. I looked at her with a “you can’t be serious” look on my face. “Whoever did this has no idea what they have unleashed. This kind of thing doesn’t happen to US. Just wait and see, the payback is going to be epic. It will bring out the pathological patriotism in Americans”.

And it did.

She didn’t bring up the subject again.

For years after 9/11, BiFF and I would go to Jersey City at dusk and watch the Tribute in Light. It’s eerie and beautiful and reminds us of all of the souls reaching up to heaven on that day.