The Washington Post: California professor, writer of confidential Brett Kavanaugh letter, speaks out about her allegation of sexual assault.
“Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.
Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.
[Her husband] said he expects that some people, upon hearing his wife’s account, will believe that Kavanaugh’s high school behavior has no bearing upon his fitness for the nation’s high court. He disagrees.
“I think you look to judges to be the arbiters of right and wrong,” Russell Ford said. “If they don’t have a moral code of their own to determine right from wrong, then that’s a problem. So I think it’s relevant. Supreme Court nominees should be held to a higher standard.”
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Vox: Read the full transcript of Obama’s fiery anti-Trump speech. “This is not normal.”
“People ask me, what are you going to do for the election? No, the question is what are you going to do? You’re the antidote. Your participation and your spirit and your determination, not just in this election, but in every subsequent election and in the days between elections. Because in the end, the threat to our democracy doesn’t just come from Donald Trump or the current batch of Republicans in Congress or the Koch brothers and their lobbyists or too much compromise from Democrats or Russian hacking. The biggest threat to our democracy is indifference. The biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism.
Cynicism led too many people to turn away from politics and stay home on Election Day. To all the young people who are here today, there are now more eligible voters in your generation than in any other, which means your generation now has more power than anybody to change things. If you want it, you can make sure America gets out of its current funk. If you actually care about it, you have the power to make sure what we see is a brighter future. But to exercise that clout, to exercise that power, you have to show up. […] This whole project of self-government only works if everybody’s doing their part. Don’t tell me your vote doesn’t matter. “
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The Washington Post: Aretha Franklin, music’s ‘Queen of Soul,’ dies at 76. “Aretha Franklin, whose exceptionally expressive singing about joy and pain and faith and liberation earned the Detroit diva a permanent and undisputed title — the “Queen of Soul” — died Aug. 16 at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
Her representative Gwendolyn Quinn announced the death and said the cause was pancreatic cancer.”
The Washington Post: Aretha Franklin’s voice was the sound of an America we’re still trying to become.
“Somebody somewhere once asked the human embodiment of American soul music how she would define American soul music. Aretha Franklin replied, “Being able to bring to the surface that which is happening inside.””
Deutsche Welle: Queen of Soul” Aretha Franklin ist tot. “”Respect” musste sie sich schon lange nicht mehr ersingen: Aretha Franklin hatte mehr Grammys, als sie tragen konnte und Exkurse in HipHop und Oper hinter sich. Nach schwerer Krankheit ist die Diva jetzt gestorben.”
Quanta Magazine: Three Major Physics Discoveries and Counting. “Sau Lan Wu spent decades working to establish the Standard Model of particle physics. Now she’s searching for what lies beyond it.”
“In 1963, Maria Goeppert Mayer won the Nobel Prize in physics for describing the layered, shell-like structures of atomic nuclei. No woman has won since.
One of the many women who, in a different world, might have won the physics prize in the intervening 55 years is Sau Lan Wu. Wu is the Enrico Fermi Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an experimentalist at CERN, the laboratory near Geneva that houses the Large Hadron Collider. Wu’s name appears on more than 1,000 papers in high-energy physics, and she has contributed to a half-dozen of the most important experiments in her field over the past 50 years. She has even realized the improbable goal she set for herself as a young researcher: to make at least three major discoveries.
Wu was an integral member of one of the two groups that observed the J/psi particle, which heralded the existence of a fourth kind of quark, now called the charm. […] Later in the 1970s, Wu did much of the math and analysis to discern the three “jets” of energy flying away from particle collisions that signaled the existence of gluons — particles that mediate the strong force holding protons and neutrons together. […] Wu later became one of the group leaders for the ATLAS experiment, one of the two collaborations at the Large Hadron Collider that discovered the Higgs boson in 2012, filling in the final piece of the Standard Model.”
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The New Yorker: The Language of the Trump Administration Is the Language of Domestic Violence. By Jessica Winter, June 11, 2018.
“Look what you made me do has emerged as the dominant ethos of the current White House. During the 2016 Presidential race, many observers drew parallels between the language of abusers and that of Trump on the campaign trail. Since his election, members of the Trump Administration have learned that language, too, and nowhere is this more vivid than in the rhetoric they use to discuss the Administration’s policies toward the Central American immigrants crossing the U.S. border. Informally since last summer, and officially since April 6th, the Department of Homeland Security has been separating parents from their children at the border, taking the parents into criminal custody and handing the children over to the Department of Health and Human Services to be placed in shelters and foster families, sometimes thousands of miles away from their parents. The process is compounded in its brutality by its perhaps intentional disorder, as a Boston Globe piece detailed on Sunday: parents in custody often have no idea where their children are, how to get them back, or if or when they will see them again.
There has always been a sickening intimacy to Trump’s insults and cruelties, whether he was sexualizing his daughter or sexually humiliating and physically dominating Hillary Clinton during the second Presidential debate. For many observers, especially women, that debate—coming days after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape—triggered a fight-or-flight response, unleashing their own memories of harassment and abuse. And, for many observers, especially parents, the news coverage of the atrocities being committed at the border in the name of American prosperity and security triggers a similar physiological response—except that this time the trigger is instantiated by sadistic, totalitarian force. (I cannot be the only mother of small children who slept on the floor of her kids’ room the night that “All In with Chris Hayes” reported on a baby seized from his parents, one week past his first birthday.) A slow, quiet terror continues to spread through the American populace. We are all being made into complicit bystanders in Trump’s violence. We are all members of Trump’s toxic, traumatizing family now.”
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