Why are we being so soft on the 1/6 crowd?
A federal judge thrashed the Justice Department on Thursday for offering "petty offense" plea deals to Jan. 6 defendants who she said tarnished America's reputation in the world and enabled violent rioters to threaten the peaceful transfer of power -- even if they committed no violence themselves.
Beryl Howell, the chief judge of the federal District Court in Washington, D.C., said prosecutors appeared "almost schizophrenic" in describing the insurrection in extreme terms but then settling for second-tier misdemeanor plea agreements with dozens of defendants.
No but seriously. Why aren't we hearing about 1/6 day in and day out, relentlessly, and nailing them to the wall, and making hay out of this thing? Why are we letting the media relentlessly scold the Democrats for in-fighting, as though that's not just how it goes when you try to get a wide range of people to coalesce and you have zero margin of error?
The meek might inherit the earth, but their inheritance will have been scorched and salted while they politely waited their turn.
I have a pretty low bar for mystery novels. Writing that isn't awful, characters that aren't simply cardboard cutouts, little extraneous description, and a propulsive plot. Here's what I've read recently.
And Then There Were None. Agatha Christie. Guess what? It's good!
The Silent Patient. Alex Michaelides. I enjoyed this. I'm the cheap date of mystery novel readers, in that I don't try to figure out the twist, and if it's even mildly plausible, it gets a "hey, good one!" from me. There's something of an avalanche of red herrings at the end (gross) and the conditions of the possibility of the reveal, if you will, are a bit sudden, but hey, it's clever and propulsive enough.
The Woman In The Window. AJ Finn. Setting aside all the issues with the author being a compulsive liar and probable plagiarist, this one was still only meh. I have little patience for books in which the narrator is mentally impaired, and in this one, the narrator is drunk or drugged for literally the entire book. And the ending was too please-option-this-for-a-movie (which worked!), but the unfolding of the gaslighting was pretty well done.
The Wife: A Novel of Psychological Suspense. Alafair Burke. Did not like. The handsome charming husband, who might have a secret; the pretty wife who definitely has a secret; the kid who is so knowing and precocious; the black, female cop, who has her suspicions and won't be deterred! Didn't finish it; skipped to the end for the reveal, glad I didn't spend my time.
I did a double-take at this tweet (by the very smart Jessica Calarco, who you should follow) because all our schools and camps are nut-free. But then I realized that of course this is some weenie liberal enclave thing. Right?
Me: What was for lunch at school yesterday?— Jessica Calarco (@JessicaCalarco) November 4, 2021
7-year-old: Chicken sandwich, spicy chicken sandwich, or PB&J. But the PB&J got canceled. That happens a lot these days. https://t.co/dX4jBIiHsT
I am actually also thumbing through old threads, because this is a repeat topic, but it's one I find very useful. Recommendations for kid book series?
This year I'm avoiding graphic novels - my current rule is that we check those out from the library and only acquire them if you're really going to read it over and over again, because the kids just tear through them too quickly. So I'm looking for any good chapter book series for readers age 7-13ish.
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
Episode Kobe two.
At parent-teacher conferences yesterday, I was reminded that half our children have a problem with backtalk, which I also had a problem with growing up. In both our cases, the problem was that "backtalk" wasn't a concept that existed at home, but it did exist at school. I have a distinct memory, maybe 1st-2nd grade, of not understanding grammatically how it was supposed to make sense to say I talked back to the teacher. But also, I was just explaining my side. I wasn't doing anything rude. Surely the teacher would want all the information before she formed her opinion.
What is the spread of the country that cares about backtalk? Is it universal? Is it southern? Is it the non-bicoastal-elite population? (That is my suspicion. The cliche, of course, is that the liberal urban world plus a dash of cultural Jewishness is more willing to tolerate the annoying brashness of children.) Is it something that has expanded or contracted in the past 30-40 years?
It is surely related to which adults feel like arguing is a form of discussion, and is a skill to be groomed and honed, versus which adults feel like arguing is a flaw to be extinguished. Possibly related to which traits they believe will be most useful in the child's future at the workplace and in relationships. (I note, of course, that this very website is dedicated to fruitless arguing for sport.)
As an adult, I'm a leeetle more sympathetic to the teachers who don't need all the explanations in order to know that they are fed up with a situation.
I am extremely cranky about how I've managed to overschedule myself this semester, but even hearing myself complain about it irritates me, as it sounds like I'm trying to humble-brag or self-congratulate myself, or that I'm a person who uses "tired" as code for having big emotions.
Half of me wants to post about the NYT series about police stops turning deadly, and it does seem quite well done, but it's one of those topics that only seems to go off the rails.
The other part of me had a passing thought about how we used to pass the time pre-internet. I used to order puzzle books and do them in the evenings, and listen to talk radio, when I wasn't quite ready to go to bed yet but wanted to wind down. It didn't seem like enough to build a post out of, or else it seemed like something we would have marveled at 15+ years ago, when blogs were babies.
Anyway, off to parent-teacher conferences.