Friday, September 15, 2023

Two from the NYT:

Two interesting pieces in the New York Times yesterday, one partisan, one an obituary. I recognize that many of you can not get through their paywall and will synopsize. Many people bag on the New York Times and the evil "mainstream media", I find its articles well researched and well written and generally supported by facts.

The first is by Jamelle Bouie, an opinion, Republicans don't mind the Constitution, it is democracy they don't like.

“A very large portion of my party,” Senator Mitt Romney of Utah tells McKay Coppins of The Atlantic, “really doesn’t believe in the Constitution.”

...The most glaring instance of this, of course, is Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, which was backed by prominent figures in the Republican Party, humored by much of the Republican establishment and affirmed, in the wake of an insurrectionary attack on the Capitol by supporters of the former president, by a large number of House and Senate Republican lawmakers who voted to question the results.

Other examples of the Republican Party’s contempt for democratic principles include the efforts of Republican-led state legislatures to write political majorities out of legislative representation with extreme partisan gerrymanders; the efforts of those same legislatures to raise new barriers to voting in order to disadvantage their political opponents; and the embrace of exotic legal claims, like the “independent state legislature theory,” meant to justify outright power grabs.

In just the past few months, we’ve seen Tennessee Republicans expel rival lawmakers from the State Legislature for violating decorum by showing their support for an anti-gun protest on the chamber floor, Florida Republicans suspend a duly elected official from office because of a policy disagreement, Ohio Republicans try to limit the ability of Ohio voters to amend the State Constitution by majority vote, Wisconsin Republicans float the possibility that they might try to nullify the election of a State Supreme Court justice who disagrees with their agenda and Alabama Republicans fight for their wholly imaginary right to discriminate against Black voters in the state by denying them the opportunity to elect another representative to Congress.

It is very clear that given the power and the opportunity, a large portion of Republican lawmakers would turn the state against their political opponents: to disenfranchise them, to diminish their electoral influence, to limit or even neuter the ability of their representatives to exercise their political authority.

At times, Republicans seem fixated on the Constitution. When pushed to defend America’s democratic institutions, they respond that the Constitution established “a republic, not a democracy.” When pushed to defend the claim that state legislatures have plenary authority over the structure of federal congressional elections and the selection of presidential electors, Republicans jump to a literal reading of the relevant parts of Article I and Article II to try to disarm critics. When asked to consider gun regulation, Republicans home in on specific words in the Second Amendment — “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” — to dismiss calls for reform.

All true.


The obituary was for woman body building pioneer Lisa Lyon.  What an interesting woman, I ended up wishing that I had known her. 

A kendo practitioner, she started body building to build strength and then broke many barriers involving woman's looks and appearance. 

She was a model for Mapplethorpe and Helmut Newton, among others, a one time girlfriend of the great John Lilly, she sounds like an amazing person. She was also Frank Miller's inspiration for the Marvel Comics character Elektra.

Lisa Robin Lyon was born on May 13, 1953, in Los Angeles. Her father, Leonard Lyon, was an oral surgeon, and her mother, Roslyn (Robin) Lyon, was a homemaker.

Lisa told Mr. Chatwin that she had a dark childhood and created rituals — counting, touching things — to self-soothe. Before she found bodybuilding fame, she wanted to be a film star or an artist or a medical illustrator. She worked for a time writing script synopses.

After her early fame as a body builder, she mostly left that world behind, though she published a book, “Lisa Lyon’s Body Magic,” in 1981. In 2000, she was inducted into the International Fitness and Bodybuilding Federation Hall of Fame.

In the Washington Post interview, Ms. Lyon said her aspiration was to look like an animal, “a sleek, feline animal.” The ultimate compliment to her look, she said, would be “if someone asked, ‘What planet did she come from?’”

She was not only beautiful, she was obviously highly intelligent, creative and a trailblazer.  

1 comment:

Valerie Tate said...

I was so surprised when I read about Lisa Lyon's passing in your blog. I had the privilege of working out with her on several occasions in the early 1980s at Gold's Gym in Venice, California. She was an amazing bodybuilder and a true inspiration for female athletes and the newly evolving sport of bodybuilding for women. She was sweet, kind, and hard-working. I believe that I have a copy of her 1981 book as well. She was definitely a pioneer in women's bodybuilding and an inspiration to Cory Everson, Rachel McLish, Bev Frances, Diana Dennis (a personal friend and coach to my sister, Janine), Carla Dunlap, and so many more. And most of these amazing women did not use steriods back then. When I started in bodybuilding in 1980, I saved every issue of Muscle and Fitness Magazine until probably the late 1990s. Unfortunately, because I stored them in my garage, rats eventually ruined the magazines. I did, however, frame one magazine with Rachel McLish, and wanted to frame the very tastefully photographed photos of Lisa from Muscle and Fitness, but never did...it was definitely a beautiful legacy that she left for the world. I am honored to have known her and been inspired by her and the other female bodybuilding pioneers.