PayPal, Wittgenstein, Smoothies, and Roe

Diary, 5/3 to 5/4/22: Met Gala; vegan shopping and smoothies; blog visitors; PayPal censorship; Hamilton beats Amazon price on new Wittgenstein book; Republican war dance over Roe v. Wade.

Hartmann reports on insane abortion bill in Tennessee today

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

{5/3/22} Continued. (Link to previous post)

Sharp, good words from Caitlin Johnstone in my email this morning:  “An honest Met Gala dress would have a corset made from the bones of Yemeni children, draped with a cloth of stolen gold and lithium spun by the tiny hands of child slaves, with a full-length train that leached oil and blood wherever it went.”  I made the mistake of tuning in to the “Met Gala” last night, just as Trevor Noah was talking evil nonsense.  Here’s the link to Johnstone’s piece.  Just in case you wondered what the rich people were doing.

More shopping today, $84.60 at Food Maxx.  This included $28.39 for another protein powder.  On top of that amount, another $35.71 for a shopping cart, because my old one broke as I was loading it up.

I’ve been falling asleep ever since arriving home after the shopping.  However, my sleep last night was short.


My blog posting of yesterday’s diary entry (“Roe! etc.”) got 25 views but only 2 likes.  I have no understanding of why so many views (compared to a more usual number, like 6), unless it’s overflow from the comparative stampede of people to see my “Scott Ritter on the Ukraine War” which has gotten 220 views (3 likes) since posting on 4/26/22.  But that doesn’t wash, either, because none of the six posts in between these two has gotten more than nine views.  Maybe the common factor is “blogging about current hot political topics”?  Because the Ukraine war and the Roe v. Wade upset are certainly hot topics.  This graph shows the explosion in viewers after the Ukraine post (“Apr 26”):

Recent blog activity

I woke about 5:30 this morning, but after reading some old diary pages, I slept for another hour, and so I’m off to a slow start—that is, it’s about time for breakfast.  I was thinking I’d try a smoothie with the usual powder and a banana (to replace the spinach of yesterday’s poor result).  But the powder is really too expensive for every-day use, close to $2 per serving.  I bought a cheaper powder yesterday at Food Maxx, this time essentially a “blind” choice.

Of course, my purpose at this point is primarily to experiment and find things I can like well enough for regular consumption, the price being important but secondary.  Given that I’ve often eaten breakfast at McDonalds for about $8, two bucks is cheap.

Well, breakfast was a smoothie as described above, but with only half a banana—the other half I ate while drinking the smoothie.  Add a cup of Cheetos, a self-indulgence, and topped off with a brownie (these were “on the side,” not in the blender!).  This smoothie was somewhat better than the spinach version, in that the bitterness was gone.  So it was more palatable, but still it’s not something I’d drink for pleasure.  Tomorrow I’ll try something with berries perhaps (I have strawberries and blackberries) and/or apple.  I bought way too much produce, even if I eat it more than just in a morning smoothie.  I’m not big on fruits and veggies.  I’m thinking a fruit smoothie for lunch or dinner, but I also have some fresh fish…

Stock Photo by Toni Cuenca on

A brief item on Democracy Now! this morning about PayPal suspending the account of Consortium News (hereafter CN) was alarming, so I did a quick DuckDuckGo search and turned up two sources that I looked at:  a YouTube interview with Joe Lauria, Editor-in-Chief of CN, and a World Socialist Website article, from which I obtained the following quotes:

“In a phone conversation with a PayPal customer service agent, CN was told that there was no reason recorded in their system as why the account had been shut down. The agent said that the account was under “investigation and review” and that CN’s “history found some potential risk associated with this account.”

“Regarding the remaining balance in CN’s Pay Pal account, the agent said the money would be held for 180 days while an investigation was completed before a decision would be made about whether or not the funds would be returned. The agent said, “If there was a violation,” it is possible that the money would be kept by PayPal for ‘damages.’”

I can’t claim to understand the “potential risk” to PayPal, but this action smells like garbage to me.  The YouTube clip is 44:27 long, and the lip-synch is totally off, so I’m running it in the background as I write this.  In any case, holding this money merely on the suspicions of PayPal looks like theft to me.  The YouTube video is wide-ranging, talking about recent censorship generally, and Julian Assange.

I am a PayPal sometime-user, for convenience; I am inclined to shut down my link to their “services” merely because of this high-handed action which seems politically motivated, unless they’re just greedy assholes.  My politics are equally radical, I’m sure—but of course, I don’t get donations and don’t use PayPal for business, so my “risk” is not a consideration.  But I don’t want to support businesses (especially one as gigantic as PayPal) that do evil.

Now get this:  “PayPal has retreated after a deluge of support for Consortium News by unfreezing its funds and now saying unspecified steps must be taken to restore the “permanently” shut down account, Joe Lauria reports.”  This is at the top of the web page (here’s a link).

If PayPal had wanted to boost Consortium News, they could hardly have done anything more effective than this shutdown.

So, moving right along…

The “Private Notebooks” of Ludwig Wittgenstein, 1914-1916, has been published by Liveright, last month.  Hamilton Booksellers has it at $17.95 (list price $24.95); with their $4 shipping charge it would be $21.95.  The shipping charge is the total for all the items you buy at one time.  Amazon’s price is $22.46 (free shipping if order is $25 or more).  So Hamilton’s price is better.  Amazon says, likely repeating info from the publisher, in part:  “Beginning with the anxious summer of 1914, this historic, en-face edition presents the first-person recollections of a foot soldier in the Austrian Army, fresh from his days as a philosophy student at Cambridge, who must grapple with the hazing of his fellow soldiers, the stirrings of a forbidden sexuality, and the formation of an explosive analytical philosophy that seemed to draw meaning from his endless brushes with death. Much like Tolstoy’s The Gospel in Brief, Private Notebooks takes us on a personal journey to discovery as it augments our knowledge of Wittgenstein himself.”  (“en face” apparently means that the German original is on the facing page of the translated text.)

I’ll try the library first, since I want to get the Grove Press four-volume set of Samuel Beckett from Hamilton.  I’m currently reading Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations.  Beckett is always interesting, if not always readable.  The same might be said of Wittgenstein.  (The two-star review on Amazon of the Private Notebooks is almost a small book in itself, arguing with the editor/translator about W’s alleged homosexuality.  The review is literate, but my interest is less than minimal and I’ve already read Bartley’s book, that is, William Warren Bartley, III:  Wittgenstein, which goes into the issue.  Whenever I’m curious about a book or any potential purchase, checking the negative reviews on Amazon is generally a good start toward making up my mind.)

Well, this is about long enough (“That’s what she said”) for posting to my blog, but I’ll likely write more today, since it’s not even noon yet.  For lunch I plan to have another smoothie, because for dinner I have my eye on that “fresh tilapia filet” that I bought yesterday.  I think the label says “fillet”; either spelling is “correct.”  Both words have other meanings that I’d call “obscure” because they have never come up except in my reading of generally old books.  I’m more used to the spelling “filet,” almost certainly because of “filet mignon.”

Photo by Joshua Abner on

The report on the Supreme Court’s impending overturn of Roe v. Wade has the vile repugliKKKans doing their war dance today. Thom Hartmann just reported on a bill in the Tennessee legislature that will allow the family, friends, or neighbors of a rapist to sue the rape victim if she aborts (or miscarries) the rapist’s fetus. Perhaps surprisingly, the rapist himself is not permitted to sue, under this bill. Hartmann’s words will show up on YouTube later today, I’m sure. This link will perform a YouTube search for Thom Hartmann. Hartmann, if you don’t know, is a prolific author of books of history and other subjects, one of the smarter guys on Free Speech TV these days.

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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