“Were the collective nerve endings of the electorate not so frayed and numbed by now, we might be even more alive to the ugliness of this message from the White House.”

Writes David Remnick in “The Floodgates Open on Trump” (The New Yorker). The “collective nerve endings” that matter are the nerve endings of Trump haters, and they are “frayed and numbed” and insufficiently “alive” because they’ve received so many “ugly” messages that they can’t feel the ugliness anymore. And yet supposedly, the ugliness has been dammed up. I guess the “dammed-up” image is useful (metaphorically) because it suggests a vast quantity of ugliness that hasn’t got out yet and so there’s potential, if the “floodgates” open, to batter the near-dead nerve endings and finally, at long last, get the reaction against Trump that Remnick is so sure he deserves. The particular ugly message to which the collective nerve endings were insufficiently alive, was Trump’s reaction to Congressman Schiff’s satirical restatement of Trump’s Ukraine phone call: “Rep. Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to

“Anthropologists go wrong, he wrote, when they ignore evidence that aggression among men in tribal societies is so highly rewarded that it becomes an inherited trait.”

“Yanomami life was one of ‘incessant warfare,’ he wrote. His data, collected over decades, he said, showed that 44 percent of Yanomami men over 25 had participated in killing someone, that 25 percent of Yanomami men were killed by other Yanomami men, and that men who killed were more highly esteemed and had more wives and children than men who did not. Dr. Chagnon dismissed as ‘Marxist’ the widespread anthropological belief that warfare in tribal life was usually provoked by disputes over access to scarce resources. ‘The whole purpose and design of the social structure of tribesmen seems to have revolved around effectively controlling sexual access by males to nubile, reproductive- age females,’ he wrote in his 2014 memoir, ‘Noble Savages.’ Other anthropologists rejected these assertions as exaggerated and even racist, saying they could do harm to the tribe by casting it in a bad light. Many argued that human behavior was best explained not by genetics and evolution but by the social a

“An escaped prisoner who had been on the run from police in China for 17 years was finally tracked down by authorities....”

“A police drone spotted a blue piece of steel among the trees in the forest — and came in for a closer look to find garbage and debris around the entrance of a small cave.... Yongshan police officers made the climb to the site and found Jiang — disheveled and struggling to communicate after years of isolation — living in a cave of just over 2 square yards. Jiang later told police he survived by collecting water from a nearby stream and cooking food over small fires....” The New York Post reports.

“The sixth-grade girl at a private Virginia school who accused three classmates last week of forcibly cutting her hair now says the allegations were false...”

“... , according to statements from the girl’s family and the principal at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield. School officials met with the girl and her family Monday morning before releasing the statement. The 12-year-old, who is African American, said three white boy students held her down in a school playground a week ago during recess, covered her mouth, called her insulting names and used scissors to cut her hair. The grandparents of the girl, who are her legal guardians, released an apology Monday....” WaPo reports the least surprising news of the week, and this is why I said from the start that this story should never have been reported, certainly not with the little girl’s name. ADDED: Here’s what I wrote in the comments 2 days ago: I’m blogging this story because I believe there are many adults in the picture here, including the people at the NYT, who are not doing enough to protect this child. Whether the story arose 100% from a real life incident or whether it’s all

“[W]hen I was growing up, the most liberal thing you could do is not see color. Well, that’s wrong now.”

“You see color, always, so you can register your white privilege. But I grew up in the Martin Luther King era: Judge by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. I still think that’s the best way to do it. Not see it.” Said Bill Maher, in a NYT interview, “Bill Maher on the Perils of Political Correctness.” The interviewer pushes him: “But we do see color, and no one is arguing that people shouldn’t be judged by their character. So what problem is being caused by the shift you just described?” He responds: “If someone walks in the room, after a minute, I should not be thinking about color. And I am not. That’s how I have always been. I have actual black friends. I don’t think they want me to be always thinking: Black person. Black person. I’m talking to a black person. Look, I tried to drive a stake through political correctness in the ’90s. I obviously failed dismally. It’s worse than ever.” Actually, that’s not a response to the question asked. He just changed the

“President Trump is trying to hijack this election. We cannot let him get away with it.”

Tweets Joe Biden , rather enigmatically. I don’t know what he means. Do you? I checked and rechecked to make sure this really was Joe Biden’s Twitter account. In fact, I’m going to go check again. Yes, it is. How is Trump trying to hijack this election? If anything is threatening to hijack the election, it’s the Democrats veering suddenly into a high-speed impeachment maneuver, overshadowing the long, drawn-out primary process that is pretty boring but had nevertheless occupied the front pages of the news. Is it that Trump isn’t sitting still for getting impeached but insists on fighting? Who writes Joe’s tweets? Is this actually him babbling and making no sense? That would be comprehensible (at least). Maybe he means that the Ukraine phone call was an underhanded effort to get an advantage in the election and Biden wants us to imagine that Trump is doing other things as well, inviting foreign interference with our election. I’ll go with this theory, but come on, Joe, write tweets we c

“On another frenetic day of political exchanges, Democrats sought to engineer a fast start to their impeachment efforts as their chances of political success hinge on early momentum to keep the White House off balance.”

I’m quoting “Washington at war: Dems aim for speedy impeachment push as Trump threatens whistleblower” (CNN). I see everything needs to be fast, fast, fast for this to work. If another week passes without the whole country getting the cue to go “frenetic,” maybe the Ukraine phone call will fade away like 100 other impeachable offenses attributed to Trump. I’m put off by the pressure for speed. All the time we devote to electing a President and all the work lavished thus far into the next election, and we’re supposed to suddenly stop everything and throw this bum out? Quick! Don’t think! That makes me want to slow down and think quite a bit. And I’m amused by the war metaphor, “Washington at war,” because I was just reading a diatribe in The Washington Post against Trump for quoting some preacher who used the words “civil war” to describe the impending discord over the impeachment. Real war is truly horrible, so what an outrage to use war as a metaphor! And then CNN tosses off the wa