Homelessness comes to the New York Times!


Blue tribe comes to its senses: Much of what is seen on Fox News is propaganda on the clown-car level.

On the other hand, some of what appears on Fox News deals with actual issues—with actual issues our own blue tribe has been trying to ignore. 

For that reason, we were glad to see this front-page headline in today's New York Times:

In Rare Alliance, Democrats and Republicans Seek Legal Power to Clear Homeless Camps

Gavin Newsom is one of the Democratic office-holders cited in Shawn Hubler's report. He has joined "more than 50 governments and organizations [who] asked the [Supreme Court] this month to overturn" some recent lower-court decisions which have made it impossible for western cities to address their homelessness problems:

HUBLER (9/28/23): “It’s just gone too far,” Mr. Newsom said in a Sacramento forum held by Politico this month, in which he vowed to seek clarity from the Supreme Court and recognized that he was asking for help from the same conservative jurists whom he had sharply rebuked for decisions on abortion and gun regulations.

What should California cities do about their homeless populations? We can't tell you that. We blues almost never see the question addressed on our favorite TV programs.

We can tell you this. On blue tribe cable, our tribunes seem to have only one topic they truly adore:

Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Jail Jail Jail Jail Jail!

They talk and talk, and talk and talk, about sending Trump to jail. As they do, Fox News is talking about such major problems as homelessness and immigration policy.

Our stars seem to be concerned about little except Trump/Jail. This strikes us as an obvious way to lose next year's election.

On Fox & Friends, the clown show is endless—but the same can almost be said about Deadline: White House, where we talk about nothing but jail.

No Legal Minutia Left Behind! All too often, that's the prevailing rule of thumb for our tribe's highest-paid corporate stars. 

They serve us the comfort food we enjoy. As they do, the other tribe's highest-paid stars are often discussing such high-profile issues as homelessness and the border.

What should be done about such issues? Heads planted firmly in the sand, our top stars don't seem to care!

THE UNDEFEATED: The "friends" forget to mention the fraud!


Life in our two different worlds: Anthropological lessons are everywhere, but we're an impervious species.

This brings us to the deathless pop music hit, the mellifluous Two Different Worlds. We think of it as a Jerry Vale smash, but according to the leading authority on the topic, that impression seems to be wrong:

Two Different Worlds (1956 song)

The biggest U.S. hit version was recorded by Don Rondo. It reached number 19 on the Billboard chart and number 12 on the Cashbox chart [in 1956].


A recording by Jerry Vale in 1963, appeared on the original Columbia album, The Language of Love.

"We live in two different worlds!" So Don Rondo gloomily claimed, late in the summer of '56.

Rondo presented his anthropological finding in the guise of a romantic ballad. Today, we all can see what Rondo was secretly singing about. We can see that by reviewing the three hours of yesterday morning's Fox & Friends.

The friends appeared in impeccable raiment, and they were eager to serve. Atop the front page of the New York Times, this news report had already appeared, triple headline included:

Fraud by Trump Found as Judge Issues Penalties 
James’s Win in New York May Wrest Control of Key Properties

A New York judge ruled on Tuesday that Donald J. Trump persistently committed fraud by inflating the value of his assets, and stripped the former president of control over some of his signature New York properties.

The surprising decision by Justice Arthur F. Engoron is a major victory for Attorney General Letitia James in her lawsuit against Mr. Trump, effectively deciding that no trial was needed to determine that he had fraudulently secured favorable terms on loans and insurance deals.

Ms. James has argued that Mr. Trump inflated the value of his properties by as much as $2.2 billion and is seeking a penalty of about $250 million in a trial scheduled to begin as early as Monday.

Justice Engoron wrote that the annual financial statements that Mr. Trump submitted to banks and insurance companies “clearly contain fraudulent valuations that defendants used in business.”


Mr. Trump, for his part, noted that Justice Engoron was a Democrat and called him “deranged.”

In print editions, this report appeared atop the front page of the blue tribe's paper of record. But because we're living in two different worlds, this news event wasn't mentioned, not even once, during the three hours of the red tribe's Fox & Friends show.

And no, we aren't making that up! You can check this claim for yourself, all thanks to the Internet Archive.

To review the 6 o'clock hour of yesterday's broadcast, you can just click here. (You'll be exposed to transcript of the program's first hour, as well as to videotape.) You can search on such terms as "Trump" and "fraud" in search of some fleeting mention of the previous day's legal finding.

(All times will be Eastern Standard.)

We find no mention of the fraud trial during the 6 o'clock hour. Beyond that, we find no such mention during the program's 7 o'clock hour. To conduct a search of the 8 o'clock hour, you can just click this.

Three hours went by on yesterday's Fox & Friends program. We find no sign that the finding of fraud was ever mentioned, not even once.

Instead, it was as we told you yesterday. The friends began their show with a lengthy discussion of the claim that President Biden had almost slipped (had "nearly stumbled") as he left Air Force One.

The friends went on, then on and on, about that perceived "near-slip." They began their 7 o'clock hour with a lengthy discussion of the fact that the president's latest German shepherd has now apparently bitten or nipped eleven (11) different people on the White House grounds.

(By the way, who lets their dog do that?)

The friends began their 7 o'clock hour with the eleven documented bites or nips. From there, it was on to Taylor Swift and her newly documented affection for Travis Kelce's mother.

The friends went on and on, then on and on, about these particular topics. As best we can tell, the finding in the New York fraud trial was never mentioned, at any point, during the program's three hours.

Full disclosure! During this morning's 8 o'clock hour, we've now seen one of the friends mention Tuesday's judicial finding. Tomorrow (Internet Archive willing), we'll show you the words with which this latest act of derangement by a New York judge was dismissed on this morning's show.

That said, it's important to call attention to the anthropological finding involved in these basic facts. It's a finding which was first announced by Rondo, way back in 1956:

As Americans, we now live in (at least) two remarkably different worlds! The New York Times and other blue organs do amazingly little reporting on this deeply consequential fact. But a modern nation can't expect to function this way—can't expect to survive this arrangement.

A modern nation can't expect to survive this remarkable "journalistic" arrangement. If you doubt that, we offer our usual heartfelt advice:

Go ahead! Take a good look around!

Tomorrow: President Trump condemns General Milley! Also, our own tribe spins the Stop W.O.K.E Act

Major historian speaks: Good God, what spectacular writing, especially as performed:
In '65 tension was running high
At my high school.
There was a lot of fights
Between black and white
There was nothing you could do.
Two cars at a light on a Saturday night
In the back seat there was a gun.
Words were passed, a shotgun blast
Troubled times they had come
To my hometown...
Tragic mid-century national history. For the full lyrics, click here.

THE UNDEFEATED: At the White House, Commander does it again!


Fox & Friends exults: Dumbness can be bottled up. Dumbness can be held at bay, if only for a time.

That said, the unfortunate trait remains undefeated. Consider the latest "biting incident," as reported by NBC's Kelly O'Donnell:

O'DONNELL (9/26/23): President Joe Biden's dog Commander was involved in another biting incident this week, a Secret Service spokesman said.

Commander, a 2-year-old German shepherd, bit a Secret Service Uniformed Division police officer who was working at the White House on Monday night, the spokesman said, adding that the female officer was treated by the White House Medical Office.

The bite appears to be the 11th reported nipping incident involving Commander since October.


Commander's lengthy biting history was made public in July, when the conservative group Judicial Watch released records obtained through litigation that identified 10 biting incidents of varying severity from October to January.

As a courtesy, we've skipped the semi-embarrassing statement by Elizabeth Alexander, a spokesperson for first lady Jill Biden. 

That statement went like this: "As we’ve noted before, the White House can be a stressful environment for family pets, and the First Family continues to work on ways to help Commander handle the often unpredictable nature of the White House grounds."

We've skipped that embarrassing statement. "The President and First Lady are incredibly grateful to the Secret Service and Executive Residence staff for all they do to keep them, their family, and the country safe," the spokesperson also said.

The Secret Service keeps the country safe, but who guarantees the safety of them? Such philosophical questions have been widespread in the wake of this latest "reported nipping incident." 

Inevitably, we learned about this nipping incident from some of our cable news friends. We refer to the four co-hosts of Fox & Friends, who spent a large chunk of time this morning discussing this latest event.

Friends don't let friends watch Fox & Friends, an ancient proverb teaches. This morning, we learned of this latest dog-bite event as we skated between the offerings on two different "cable news" programs.

At any rate, our various friends on Fox & Friends discussed this event, at substantial length, at the start of the 7 o'clock hour. They then moved on to a brain-damaged discussion of Taylor Swift's latest desperate search for nationwide public attention.

So it went among the friends! Earlier, they'd opened their show with a detailed discussion of the latest event in which President Biden is said to have "nearly stumbled" as he left Air Force One.

So it went on Fox at the start of this morning's show! Over on Morning Joe, a different collection of cable news friends were discussing the fact that "a New York judge ruled on Tuesday that Donald J. Trump persistently committed fraud by inflating the value of his assets, and stripped the former president of control over some of his signature New York properties." 

It was the start of the 6 o'clock hour. While one group of friends was discussing that judicial finding, the other group was discussing the current president's "near-slip," along with a reportedly elaborate new plan to keep him from falling in public again.

More than twenty years ago, we became the first observer to say that Fox & Friends was the dumbest TV news program of all time. 

Little has changed since then. Even so, the dumbness to which we referred back then is widely distributed today—and it's destined to win again.

Our own blue cable is bad enough; red cable goes off the charts. Then too, might the largest question concern the apparent dumbness involved in the handling of Commander? Who in the world sits around and stares into air as their German shepherd behaves in the manner described?

Fox & Friends is astoundingly dumb. In our view, blue cable isn't sufficiently better.

Also, the Bidens can't seem to attend to their dog!  And then, there's the topic we spoke about yesterday—the way we ourselves, in our own blue tribe, misdescribe the actual contents of Florida's Stop W.O.K.E. Act. 

On balance, the Florida law strikes us as possibly somewhat dumb. Our own tribe's conduct concerning that law strikes us as dumber still. 

Dumbness can be held at bay for a time. In the end, though, the widely derided human trait has defeated all previous empires.

The tale of the tape: For the record, there may be a bit of uncertainty concerning Commander's precise nip count. To wit:

When the New York Times reported this latest incident in this morning's print editions, Michael Shear reported the headcount in the following way:

SHEAR: Internal emails obtained by a conservative watchdog group and released to the public this summer documented 10 instances of “aggressive behavior” by the president’s pets.

In one of those episodes, an agent was left “shaken,” according to the emails, when he felt the need to hoist up the chair he was sitting on to use as a shield when Commander began barking at him from the top of a White House staircase.

"By the president's pets!" That suggests the possibility that Commander wasn't responsible for all of those previous ten incidents. Indeed, as Shear begins his report, he charges Commander with only "several" of the known events:

SHEAR (9/27/23): President Biden’s dog Commander bit a member of the Secret Service at the White House on Monday evening, the latest in a series of episodes in which one of the Biden family’s pets has bitten people since the president took office in January 2021.


Commander, a 2-year-old German shepherd, has bitten several members of the Secret Service since arriving at the White House in 2021, including biting one officer on the arm and thigh badly enough that the officer was sent to the hospital.

According to Shear, Commander has sent at least one officer to the hospital. Still, Shear isn't willing to charge all eleven documented incidents to this one particular pet.

The documentation may be hazy. That may explain why O'Donnell employed the term "appears" in her report for NBC News.

Who lets this sort of thing persist? Fox & Friends exulted today, about this and about the "near-slip!" It's getting harder and harder to watch what our defeated nation still refers to as "news."

Should kids feel guilt for past actions of others?


Also, the text of that Florida law: Should kids be told, in public school, that they should feel guilt, or even "psychological distress," about the past misconduct of others?

We'd rapidly sign up for "no!" As to what kids should be taught about their future obligations as citizens, that's a discussion we'd sign up to have with people of varying outlooks.

Such questions aren't as easy as they may have seemed to be when the country was less diverse. Diversity is widely known to be hard. Given the way we humans are built, it's known to create types of stress.

That said:

Back on September 7, Kevin Drum posted the actual text of certain relevant parts of Florida's childishly-named "Stop W.O.K.E. Act." What should kids be taught in school? As you can see in Drum's post, here are some basic parts of what that law actually says:

Instruction and supporting materials on the topics enumerated in this section must be consistent with the following principles of individual freedom:

  • No person is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously, solely by virtue of his or her race or sex.
  • No race is inherently superior to another race.
  • No person should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, disability, or sex.
  • A person, by virtue of his or her race or sex, does not bear responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.
  • A person should not be instructed that he or she must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress for actions, in which he or she played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.

Public school instruction must be consistent with those principles. On that basis, students shouldn't be taught that they must (must!) feel guilt or other forms of psychological distress concerning actions in the past which they themselves didn't commit. 

Also, students should be taught that no race is inherently superior to another race. They should be taught that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of race.

On the whole, those are very basic principles. In comments to Drum's September 7 post, you'll see several surprised liberals saying that, to their surprise, they agree with these provisions of this infamous legislative act!

That said, how did our failing blue tribe respond to the passage of this law? Simple! We've persistently misstated what the law actually says about whether kids should be taught that they must feel guilt or psychological distress concerning the brutal misconduct of the brutal American past.

We tribals! We misstate and embellish what a law says; we do so again and again. After that, we complain about the way the (misstated) provisions of the law make Florida teachers feel nervous.

Our side is very, very dumb. In that sense, we're a great deal like them.

We get excited at times of war, and then we start to embellish. We only talk for a little while. After that, we start to hit.

The name of this famously infamous law strikes us as childish and dumb. That said, the way our tribe keeps misstating its contents strikes us as very dumb too.

Some of Drum's commenters said they were surprised by his September 7 post. 

They'd believed the things they read in our major newspapers. They'd believed what they heard, from our favorite reporters and friends, on our tribe's favorite "cable news" shows!

THE UNDEFEATED: When Kevin Drum made an accurate statement...


...a favorite Quaker fought back: Down through the annals of time, the forces of which we speak are undefeated.

We speak of tribal True Belief. We speak of the power of Dumb.

Our story starts with an accurate statement made by Kevin Drum. Alas! When Drum made a perfectly accurate statement, our tribal spear-chuckers fought back.

Drum's statement concerned the actual text of Florida's childishly-named Stop W.O.K.E. Act. Writing in yesterday's Washington Post, reporter Brittany Shammas had paraphrased the provision in question in the standard blue tribe way.

According to Shammas, the famous act had decreed "[t]hat instruction should be tailored so no student would feel guilt or 'psychological distress' over past actions by members of the same race."

According to Drum, that formulation is wrong. Specifically, Kevin wrote this:

DRUM (9/25/23): This is a myth that won't die. Florida law only bars teachers from telling students they must feel guilt over historical events...The law says nothing about "tailoring" history instruction to make sure that no one is ever uncomfortable. 
(Drum's italics)

In fact, Drum had made an accurate statement. As has happened down through the annals of time, the boldly anonymous tribal Furies quickly began to fight back.

For starters, let's get clear on the basic facts. Way back on September 7, Drum had actually quoted the relevant part of the law!

He'd produced an actual quotation! (Can you remember behavior like that?) Clear as a warning bell in the night, the proviso in question says this:

A person should not be instructed that he or she must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress for actions, in which he or she played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.

(Emphasis ours) 

That's what the proviso actually says. That said, the paraphrase offered by Shammas is completely standard among forces of our own (failing) blue tribe.

As we began to note during Campaign 2000, paraphrase is hard! That said, it's perfectly clear that the law in question actually says what Drum has now said that it says:

It says that kids shouldn't be taught or told that they must feel guilt about things other people did in the past. 

More specifically, it says they shouldn't be taught that they must feel guilt about such people's horrible conduct just because they're members of the same so-called "race."

That's what the ballyhooed law actually says. In a slightly more rational world, discussion of the law's wisdom, or of the law's alleged effects, would proceed from there.

That is what would happen in theory, in a slightly more rational world. In practice, what has happened in our world is this:

Every Tribal (and his or her crazy aunt or uncle) has paraphrased the relevant provision of the law in the way the Post reporter did. 

In comment threads, our Tribals anonymously stand and shout about how vile their paraphrase of the provision is. We never get around to saying what the provision actually says.

In comments to Kevin's new post, you can see the tribals do this. One of our long-time favorites—a Quaker no less!—even marched off to war saying this:

QUAKERINBASEMENT: Somerby has been grinding this same axe for the last week or two...

Self-identified Quaker, please! Actually, we've been calling attention to this matter for something like the past year. 

We've been "grinding this same axe" for well over two weeks! But as we noted in a reply, "Somerby has been grinding this same axe for the last week or two" actually means this:

Somerby has been grinding this same axe for the last week or two. 
Somerby has been making this same accurate statement for the last week or two.

That's what the Quaker's statement meant. The problem is, at times of war, all accurate statements must die.

Warning! If you read through the angry replies to Drum's heresy, you'll encounter a large amount of Scripted / Dumb / Stupid / Unhelpful.

A lot of people will be saying what the provision actually "means." A lot of people will be explaining how the provision has allegedly affected Florida teachers.

Because the great god Stupid is in charge, the obvious point won't occur to these yokels:

The best way to produce such bad effects is to repeatedly misparaphrase what the provision in question actually says—to keep misstating the basic facts about what the provision forbids.

Alas! All of us are currently living in a time of war. For that reason, our tribals insist on overstating what the Florida law actually says.

In doing so, we insist on drumming a misapprehension into everyone's head. This is very stupid behavior, but as we noted above, the great gods known as Anger, Dumb and Tribal Belief are undefeated down through the annals of time.

The great god Stupid rules our tribals much as he rules theirs. One anonymous Quaker, locked in a basement, is eager to march off to war!

The last century's greatest anthropologist described this syndrome with admirable precision. He came to us in humble garb, proceeded to offer this:

Where I come from, we just talk for a little while. After that, we start to hit.

We start to hit at accurate statements! We don't have time for accurate statements. We want our favorite war cries.

Drum reported what the law in question says. Back on September 7, he actually quoted the relevant provision!

Yesterday, he began to grind the same axe. As always, the undefeated and mighty god Dumb quickly took over from there.

Tomorrow: A different manifestation

This afternoon: More from Drum's September 7 post