Sunday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Ceiling Cat’s Day: June 21, 2020: and the first day of summer ends at 4:44 p.m. Chicago time.  Appropriate for summer, it’s National Peaches and Cream Day. It’s also World Giraffe Day, International Day of Yoga, World Humanist Day (I guess that was yesterday too, spanning the Summer Solstice), National Turkey Lovers’ Day (the bird, not the nation), and, of course, Father’s Day (do you think my ducks will fête me?). In honor of Father’s Day, the Google Doodle (click on the screenshot) offers you a craft-your-own Father’s Day card to send to your favorite dad. I’m expecting one from my waterfowl!

Finally, it’s Atheist Solidarity Day and  there’s one person in Salt Lake City who needs to join in! (You know who you are.)

News of the Day: Some good news for once: the Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma was pretty much of a bust as the huge crowds the Chief Baby boasted about didn’t materialize. As the New York Times reports:

President Trump’s attempt to revive his re-election campaign sputtered badly on Saturday night as he traveled to Tulsa for his first mass rally in months and found a far smaller crowd than his aides had promised him, then delivered a disjointed speech that did not address the multiple crises facing the nation or scandals battering him in Washington.

And that also means that any coronavirus surge due to the rally won’t be as bad as envisioned. (Yes, I know some of you wish the illness of Republicans, but remember that they also spread it to others.)

This doesn’t augur well for his re-election prospects. We will have a Democrat in the White House (I wish the Dems would start releasing ads for Biden), and as lagniappe I will win my bets. (Did I bet on Biden with any readers here?)

Trump fired Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan who refused to resign (he was investigating possible crimes by Trump’s associates.

Today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 119,707 an increase of about 550 over yesterday’s report.  The world death toll now stands at 463,975, an increase of about 6,000 from yesterday.

I’m voting by mail this year, which you should definitely do if your state allows it (all Illinois residents have that right), and, in my email notice from the State after I made my request, I learned that Illinois really really likes me!

My emphasis below.)

Chicago Board of Elections <noreply@chicagoelections.gov>
Fri 6/19/2020 7:49 PM

Dear Dear Jerry Allen Coyne

The Board of Election Commissioners has processed your online application to Vote By Mail for the Nov. 3, 2020 Election.
The Board will begin mailing ballots in late September / early October.
The Election Board will send you emails:

  • When your ballot is mailed to you,
  • When the Election Board receives your Ballot Return Envelope, and
  • When your ballot is processed and counted.

Questions? Learn more here or call 312-269-7967 or email VoteByMail@chicagoelections.gov

Video: “How to Vote By Mail.”

Sincerely,
Chicago Board of Election Commissioners

And I’m still distressed at the drop in traffic at this site, and trying to understand it.

Stuff that happened on June 21 includes:

Here is a poster issued by the FBI when the three men went missing. They were shot and buried by members of the Ku Klux Klan and local law enforcement.

After they were shot and buried, Cecil Price, ringleader of the gang who was eventually convicted, made this speech to the group of murderers:

Well, boys, you’ve done a good job. You’ve struck a blow for the white man. Mississippi can be proud of you. You’ve let those agitating outsiders know where this state stands. Go home now and forget it. But before you go, I’m looking each one of you in the eye and telling you this: The first man who talks is dead! If anybody who knows anything about this ever opens his mouth to any outsider about it, then the rest of us are going to kill him just as dead as we killed those three sonofbitches [sic] tonight. Does everybody understand what I’m saying. The man who talks is dead, dead, dead!

  • 1973 – In handing down the decision in Miller v. California 413 US 15, the Supreme Court of the United States establishes the Miller test for obscenity in U.S. law.

Here are the criteria for something to be deemed legally obscene:

  • Whether “the average person, applying contemporary community standards”, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest,
  • Whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law,
  • Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
  • 1978 – The original production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, Evita, based on the life of Eva Perón, opened at the Prince Edward Theatre, London.
  • 1982 – John Hinckley is found not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Hinkley was institutionalized and then released to the custody of his mother in 2016; he lives in Williamsburg, Virginia, where I went to college.

The decision was 5-4 and, curiously, Antonin Scalia voted with the majority.

  • 2000 – Section 28 (of the Local Government Act 1988), outlawing the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in the United Kingdom, is repealed in Scotland with a 99 to 17 vote.
  • 2005 – Edgar Ray Killen, who had previously been unsuccessfully tried for the murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Mickey Schwerner, is convicted of manslaughter 41 years afterwards (the case had been reopened in 2004).

Killen, a Klan member whose photo is below, spent 13 years in prison before he died at 92.

  • 2009 – Greenland assumes self-rule.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1892 – Reinhold Niebuhr, American theologian and academic (d. 1971)
  • 1905 – Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and author (d. 1980)
  • 1912 – Mary McCarthy, American novelist and critic (d. 1989)
  • 1921 – Jane Russell, American actress and singer (d. 2011)
  • 1940 – Michael Ruse, Canadian philosopher and academic
  • 1948 – Ian McEwan, British novelist and screenwriter
  • 1953 – Benazir Bhutto, Pakistani financier and politician, 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan (d. 2007)

I have to confess that I had a thing for Bhutto when I was younger, even though she was pretty flawed as a leader. Here’s where she’s buried: the Bhutto family mausoleum in Pakistan:

Jussie!  Although his original indictment was dropped, he was re-indicted this year and faces six criminal charges.  Here’s Dave Chappelle, who mangles Jussie’s name to turn him into a French actor. This is hilarious.

Those who participated in ther Last Roundup on June 21 include:

  • 1652 – Inigo Jones, English architect, designed the Queen’s House and Wilton House (b. 1573)
  • 1908 – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Russian composer and educator (b. 1844)

This is my favorite bit of Rimsky-Korsakov’s music: The Kalandar Prince movement from Scheherezade, performed by Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional.

  • 1940 – Édouard Vuillard, French painter (b. 1868)
  • 1964 – James Chaney, American civil rights activist (b. 1943)
  • 1964 – Andrew Goodman, American civil rights activist (b. 1943)
  • 1964 – Michael Schwerner, American civil rights activist (b. 1939)
  • 2005 – Jaime Sin, Filipino cardinal (b. 1928)

Cardinal Sin!

  • 2015 – Gunther Schuller, American horn player, composer, and conductor (b. 1925)
  • 2018 – Charles Krauthammer, American columnist and conservative political commentator (b.1950)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is out on the tiles:

Hili: I’m going back home.
A: Why?
Hili: I have to rest before the next excursion.
In Polish:
Hili: Wracam do domu.
Ja: Dlaczego?
Hili: Muszę odpocząć przed kolejną wyprawą.

A meme from Divy:

And one from Nicole. I’d block or unfriend anyone higher than number 2! Rare or, at best (worst) medium-rare are the only acceptable degrees of doneness. If you order a steak in France cooked more than that, they will either refuse or warn you. They know their beef!

A Trump rally meme from Bruce Thiel. Apparently six of Trump’s campaign staffers working in Tulsa Oklahoma have tested positive for the coronavirus.

 

Three tweets were sent by reader Simon and reader “P. Puk”, who said this:”I think it was Hitchens who said, ‘nobody has the right not to be offended.’  But what are we to do when there is so much to be offended about?”

I’m pretty sure these warnings to potential viewers are real, but seriously, “Aliens”? What are the offensive cultural descriptions?

 

From Larry the Cat (the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office) via reader Jeremy:

Tweets from Matthew. Do you think anybody actually built one of these things? It would be a bit of overkill, and not a little messy.

This has two wings, not four; the other things are wing covers (elytra). However, ancestral insects had four wings, like dragonflies, and the elytra evolved from the forewings of these insects’ ancestors. Lightning bugs are actually beetles, in the order Coleoptera.

Coleopterans are the only insects that have elytra.

As Matthew said about this tweet from Trump, “Big Liar lies.” And indeed he did, for Trump’s suit was to block publication of Bolton’s book, and the judge rejected it.  Crikey, we need to dump this moron ASAP.

Mallards swimming in—what else?—duckweed.

Hachette UK sticks up for J. K. Rowling’s free speech despite social-media opprobrium about her views on sex and gender. However, Hachette US dumped Woody Allen’s memoirs after accepting them when employees objected and effected a work stoppage.

 

94 Comments

  1. Barbara Radcliffe
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Love the Scheherazade. Last year we performed it (Burnside Symphony Orchestra which is an amateur orchestra). Our conductor likes to program one work per year that is ‘challenging’! While it didn’t come up to this level, it was a great experience to perform it.

    • George
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      In the US – or at least in Illinois – we use the term community orchestra not amateur. There are over 80 orchestras in Illinois.
      https://www.ilcouncilorchestras.org/

      Something I really miss about this summer. We usually go see some outdoor concerts at Cantigny Park – but not this year.
      https://cantigny.org/

      The Chicago Symphony’s outdoor season at Ravinia has been cancelled.
      https://www.ravinia.org/

      I love the CSO. In some ways, it is a ridiculous organization. How good can we make something – particularly when we do not care about the cost. In the case of the CSO, really, really good – almost perfect. A CSO performance is basically jaw dropping. But in some ways, I enjoy watching the DuPage or West Suburban Symphonies even more. It is just fun.

  2. jezgrove
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I know my sister and lots of other anti-Trump types were requesting seats at Trump’s rally which they planned to leave empty – I wasn’t convinced it would work, but maybe it did?

    • Kim
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      It was a big thing on Tik Tok and it looks like it did work. While I understand the desire to do it, I would rather the empty seats be the result of his having fewer supporters. I would imagine if Biden has rallies, tRump supporters will retaliate by doing the same thing.

      • Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        Apparently, the overflow area outside was sparsely populated too. Trump was scheduled to make an appearance there, but they had to cancel because it wouldn’t look good.

        • John Dentinger
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:14 am | Permalink

          The absolute best comment on the rally was by Steve Schmidt, who called it the “Emptysburg Address.”

          • Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:08 am | Permalink

            Apparently during his Emptysburg Address (I love that), Trump commented that John Bolton “will have bombs dropped on him”.

            Is that a threat, or is it his version of “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?”.

            • Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

              That alludes to Bolton’s neoconservative war-hawk philosophy where the answer to every foreign policy problem is to bomb them. It is one of tRump’s few redeeming qualities that he does not subscribe to this view. Except Iran.

              • Mark R.
                Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

                I don’t think it’s a redeeming quality, I just think he knows Americans are tired of Middle East wars. If his base liked bombing people anywhere for any reason, I’m sure Trump would happily bomb.

              • Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

                Since tRump shows no sign of having principles, I expect that is true.

          • Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

            Excellent!

    • GBJames
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Pretty much all of the huge inauguration crowd showed up!

    • horrabin
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      They weren’t assigned seats so they didn’t really hold seats from MAGAites but they did get the campaign to brag about a MILLION TICKETS given away so when the 7,000 or so showed up it looked a lot worse than it would have if they hadn’t crowed about getting a record crowd.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      There looked to be about 12,000 people in the 19,00-seat Oklahoma Center last night (which would’ve been a piss-poor arena crowd for a third-rate 1980s’ hair metal band).

      I don’t doubt that Tik Tok users and other kids trolled Trumpworld by requesting no-show tickets, but I doubt there were 988,000 of them, and Trump and his people repeatedly claimed that they’d received one-million ticket requests and that Trump supporters had been camped out for days ahead of time waiting to get in:

      I know it’s hard to believe, I know, but they may have been exaggerating.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    It is good you can vote by mail, however would be even better if your state simply sent applications to do so to every registered voter. In Kansas, surprisingly, you do not have to request it. They sent application for the primary and general election. Of course the republicans might still attempt to screw this up.

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      We didn’t have to request it. I got an email from the Voter Registration people asking me if I wanted to vote by mail, and I presume every registered voter in Illinois got one. All I had to do was click on a link and fill in the information. The email I put above is one I got after I did that.

    • George
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Illinois is sending out vote by mail applications to all. In the past, you had to request one. I would still go online and request one rather than mail the application back.

      I work as an election judge in suburban Cook County. Chicago is in Cook County but has a separate election authority from the suburbs. Statewide in Illinois, there are three ways to vote – on election day in your precinct, in the four weeks leading up to the election at an early voting site and by mail. Historically, the split is about 55% on election day, 40% early, and 5% by mail. I expect the mail number will go up substantially. But I think people like to vote – i.e. go somewhere and cast their ballot. Vote by mail has never been that popular in Illinois.

  4. Oliver Pratt
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Could the drop in readership of the site be explained by an increase of folks recieving the postings in their email daily?

    • Frank Bath
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      I can’t recall exactly what happened but might it be a consequence of the site being recently reorganised?

      • Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        That is my guess. They may still be reading the site but in a way they are not counted.

      • Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        One would have to look for a correlation thru those dark times.

        • Malcolm
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          I must admit I can’t see why – I get the emails but I prefer to read on the site on a laptop rather than my phone. It seems as good as ever.

    • Alan Jardine
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I agree with that. I look forward to Jerry’s posts every day and appreciate the hard work he puts in to them. However, I rarely need to drop into the web site.

      May I make a suggestion, Jerry? Why don’t you simply announce each posting by email rather than giving all of the content? That would force interested readers to go to the web site and increase your traffic rating.
      Alan.

      • Posted June 22, 2020 at 12:04 am | Permalink

        No don’t make people “sign up” – most folks are aversive to that for spam reasons.
        WE trust Jerry but people just coming across WEIT might not. Keep it open access.
        The numbers will tilt up – I believe many people’s lives are in disarray in the “opening up” which might account for reduced numbers.
        D.A., NYC

        • Posted June 22, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

          I’ve been registered with WordPress almost from the start of Jerry’s website, and never had any spam problem at all.

    • Steve Pollard
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      I guess it could be. As a subscriber I get email notification; but I use it as a prompt to go to the website. Even then I assume that my interest won’t be registered unless I log on to comment.

      I read everything but I usually don’t have anything coherent to say.

    • Susan Davies
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Don’t despair Jerry, I think that you have had a LOT of competition during the lockdown. People have had much more time to surf the net, finding sites they’ve never seen before. Wait until everyone is back at work, I’m sure it will improve for you.

  5. Tom B
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I am guessing the exchange with Vasquez, with references to her being an illegal immigrant and possibly mistaken for a man is the part identified as problematic in Aliens.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Don’t they have a strangely diverse crew reminiscent of the old war movies where they had to get every ethnicity into the script. A black guy, an Italian, etc. They always had a Polish guy named Kawalski. Maybe Alien left out Kawalski.

      • Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        Aliens. It had a Wierzbowski. That should count for something.

        • rickflick
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

          Oh. Then there should be nothing for them to whine about.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

        I think that’s known in the Hollywood trade (regardless of the subject-matter of the actual movie) as “a WW2 US bomber-crew” cast. 🙂

        Actual WW2 air crews excluded blacks (except for those few that were ALL black) since the US Armed Forces weren’t desegregated until 1948.

  6. Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    “Dear Dear Jerry Allen Coyne”

    Now I know what people mean when they use “reached out to” instead of “contacted”!

  7. rickflick
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    “drop in traffic at this site”
    It could just be that people are distracted due to the pandemic and other stressors, and their routine has been disrupted. Things will return to normal in a year or two.

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      If so, for PCC’s sake I hope they develop a vaccine soon.

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      On the other hand, people should have more time to read stuff since some aren’t going to work and not attending social events.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        That’s what you’d think. But, they may lack concentration with all that’s going around in the back of their minds. They may be looking for a less intellectual time killer – like mowing the lawn…again.

  8. John Gibson
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Here in the UK, the Guardian at one time used to regularly publish comment pieces by Julie Bindel, but since she started commenting on trans issues, she has almost completely disappeared from their pages. It seems that the Guardian was happy to publish her views when they accorded with Guardian orthodoxy on feminist issues, but not when her views conflicted with the Guardian’s approach to trans rights.

  9. rickflick
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    This may be a good example of retributive justice – When Hinkley was found not guilty by reason of insanity for shooting the president, people were outraged. They must not have felt satisfied that the bastard got his full measure of punishment. You know, that empty feeling when a mosquito who’s been biting you gets away? The Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984 corrected this situation by making it harder to find a defendant not guilty because of mental impairment. He, after all, performed the dastardly deed of his own free will! Right?

    • jezgrove
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      The fact that Hinkley had mental health problems and obtained/was allowed to retain a firearm suggests that it’s the gun laws that are crazy.

      • rickflick
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

        Right.

  10. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Trump fired Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan who refused to resign (he was investigating possible crimes by Trump’s associates).

    This whole situation has backfired on Trump and Barr. Berman is a lifelong Republican, was a Trump 2016 campaign donor, and was hand-picked by Trump to be US Attorney in the Southern District of New York (the home district for Trump’s myriad business dealings) to replace Preet Bharara (whom Trump originally promised could remain SDNY US Attorney, but then fired when Bharara refused to play ball with Trump by discussing pending cases with him on the telephone).

    Trump and Barr are clearly worried about some pending investigation Berman was overseeing in the SDNY — and those investigations are legion: Rudy Giuliani’s fuckery with the two Ukrainian-American thugs, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman; Michael Cohen’s Stormy Daniel’s pay-offs done at the behest of “Individual-1” (viz., Donald Trump); the mysterious disappearance of $20 million from Trump’s 2017 Inauguration fund (much of which was donated by foreign interests); the efforts to obtain Trump’s personal tax and financial records; Trump’s promise to thuggish Turkish president Recep Erdoğan (as revealed in John Bolton’s new book) to quash the investigation into Turkey’s state-owned bank as soon as Trump could get “his people” into the SDNY office.

    Trump supposedly intends to nominate current SEC chairman Jay Clayton to be the new SDNY US Attorney, but that assertion appears to be purely pretextual (given that Clayton is a corporate lawyer with zero prosecutorial experience — indeed, who has never even taken a case to trial in his career — and, thus, with little chance of actually being confirmed by the US Senate, especially between now and election day).

    Their real goal in getting rid of Berman was to ram Chris Christie’s crony Craig Carpentino (the current US Attorney for the District of New Jersey) into the dual duty of temporary acting US Attorney for the SDNY, presumably to spike whatever investigation has put a hair up Trump’s ass. Instead, due to Barr’s botching of Berman’s removal, the new acting US Attorney for the SDNY will be Berman’s former chief deputy, Audrey Strauss — a career prosecutor with a sterling reputation who is, as such, beyond political influence and will, presumably, pursue any investigation involving Donald Trump without fear or favor.

    Interestingly, Trump himself has denied any involvement in the decision to get rid of Geoffrey Berman from the SDNY post and laid the whole thing off on AG Bill Barr. Two things about that: First, as I’ve noted before, Trump’s denial of knowledge of a subject is a sure tell he’s lying. When Donald Trump actually knows nothing about a subject he sees acknowledging as much a sign of weakness so will try to bullshit his way through, like a student who hasn’t studied for an exam bluffing his way through by filling up a blue book with boilerplate. Trump only denies knowledge of a matter when he knows all about it, but knows that any answer he gives will be either incriminating or embarrassing (see, e.g., his denial of the Stormy Daniel’s hush-money payments; his denial of knowing about Michael Flynn’s traitorous phone calls with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak regarding the lifting of US sanctions; his denial of knowing who former Klansman David Duke is after Duke endorsed him in the 2016 election; etc.)

    Second, Trump’s denial of having any conversation with AG Barr about Berman before Barr announced Berman’s “resignation” means that, if Barr is subpoenaed to testify about the incident, he has no basis on which to claim that his potential testimony is covered by the “executive privilege” applicable to his conversations with the president.

    Things inside Trumpworld are getting curiouser and curiouser.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      I have shot past curious and just settled on the best description I have heard – Vulgar, ignorant, corrupt buffoon.

    • jezgrove
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Brilliantly put, as always, Ken. You’re spot on about the circumstances in which Trump is prepared to admit not knowing something, and your final point about executive privilege could play out very interestingly.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the update. Beyond just the deeply shameful behavior tRump exhibits, it really quite fascinating to watch this clown infested soap opera of a presidency devolve toward it’s inevitable tragic end – which can’t be too soon.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        Barr’s explanation for l’affaire Berman should prove interesting. He can’t claim Berman was fired for incompetency, since, in the effort to remove him from the SDNY, Barr actually offered Berman a promotion to head of the civil division at Main Justice (which Berman, smelling a rat, rejected).

        • rickflick
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

          Once you start lying, the twist and turns become a serious embarrassment. Barr is a real weasel.

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      It won’t matter. All investigations ultimately go thru Republican hands, and we know what happens when that happens.

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Yes, you can assume the opposite of whatever Trump says and not go far wrong. He goes out of his way to tell us that he’s “knows more than anyone” about any subject. In fact, his not knowing about a subject means nothing but his admitting it tells us everything.

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Since April, Trump has removed 5 inspectors general who were involved in Trump’s pressure on Ukraine and a career civil servant who reported on shortages of PE equipment and other coronavirus related fuck-ups. This is the latest attempt to remove someone who is not a sycophant and sees the Emperor has no clothes. Thanks for this summation and the Audrey Strauss angle; I hadn’t heard about that juicy bit.
      From the L.A. Times:
      Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he welcomed Berman’s testimony Wednesday at a hearing slated to examine whether Barr is allowing politics to interfere in prosecutions.
      I think it’s blatantly obvious that Barr is allowing politics to interfere and he was hired to be Trump’s personal lawyer, his “Roy Cohn”.

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    1989 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. Johnson that American flag-burning was a form of political protest protected by the First Amendment.

    At his Coronapalooza (Covidchella?) rally in Tulsa last night, Donald Trump told his crowd (to all the cheers a half-empty arena could muster) that he would seek to enact a federal criminal statute making flag-burning an offense punishable by a year in prison.

    The man understands nothing of how government works.

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Not a problem. His moron listeners don’t either, so it still fires them up.

      • Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Yes, he often talks about passing some law or issuing some edict that will never happen. It is not about Trump’s understanding of the law but about his followers’ gullibility.

  12. GBJames
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Regarding the running of Biden campaign ads… I’m starting to think that his best campaign strategy is simply to stand quietly on the side and watch tRump destroy himself.

    ??

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Given Biden’s propensity for gaffes, it indeed may be his best strategy.

  13. chrism
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Well get out your banhammers! I actually like the taste of well-cooked meat. Probably related to the meat ration in 1950’s Britain, as joints were comparatively tiny and consequently cooked right through within minutes of going in the oven.

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      I was only kidding!

      • Servatius
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        I agree rare is the way to go.l think we have entered the most dangerous phase of this administration . The cornered rat is dangerous.

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      I want to know why my favourite, blue steak, was not listed. I’ll accept rare, but nothing more.

      BTW, does anyone know why we call a blood-red steak “blue”?

      • Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        I think you have to ask the French who call an extra rare (i.e., raw) steak “bleu”. My guess, because it is still cold inside it conjures up the color blue (or bleu) in the mind.

      • Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        I always thought it was because the uncooked middle looks kind of blueish. I suspect it’s somewhat of an illusion.

        • Posted June 22, 2020 at 6:33 am | Permalink

          Must be an illusion. I have mild deuteranopia, which reduces my perception of red, but a blue steak still look very red to me.

          • Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

            Here’s a whole discussion about it:

            https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/354494/why-is-a-very-rare-steak-called-blue

            Even the picture doesn’t show any actual blue color though, as many of the writers say, it is more a purple than a blue. One even gives a scientific-sounding explanation.

            • Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

              Thanks, Paul, great link. I’m still unconvinced 😋

              • Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

                I’m not convinced either. I do get why someone would refer to a rare steak as “blue”, I understand what they’re saying, but I find that “rare” works better in communication with my server. 😉 (Actually, I prefer medium-rare but that’s beside the point.)

      • rickflick
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        I’m waiting for someone to jump in here and tell us they won’t touch anything without a faint pulse. 😶

        • darrelle
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

          I have a friend who likes his steak very rare. When asked how he would like his steak cooked his standard response is, “Just lop off the horns and wipe its ass.”

          • Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

            And no one else at the table is hungry after that.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      “Oven” — well, there’s your first mistake; a steak ought be cooked in a broiler or skillet.

      I take mine “black & blue” — charred on the outside, blood-rare within.

      • darrelle
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Pittsburgh style.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          There yinz go!

  14. DrBrydon
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    If media services are going to add labels like “offensive attitudes, language, and cultural depictions” they should make them searchable so they are easier to find.

    I love the way the lighning bug takes off, kind of like it’s not sure it’s going to make it, then all, “Yay! I’m flying!”

  15. Robert Bray
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I’m here every day and will vote as many times as you will let me.

  16. nay
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    The description of Tropic Thunder offends me because it names the two white actors but not the black actor who is shown with them in the ad!

    • DrBrydon
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      That’s such a good movie, and, of course, today’s puritans don’t recognize the satire in the white actor playing a black man, which is called out several times.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      It gets a bit complicated 🙂 :

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      There’s plenty that’s offensive in Tropic Thunder, not the least of which is Tom Cruise’s portrayal of “Les Grossman” and the way it plays on certain stereotypes of Jews in Hollywood. But the whole thing is funny, goddammit. And funny goes a long way.

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I love Tropic Thunder! I don’t care what they say about it.

  17. boudiccadylis
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    What’s the problem with mama mallards foot?

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Nothing. Mallards frequently stand on one foot, perhaps to rest their foot. Honey does this all the time. In winter they do it to warm a foot.

      Mama mallard is okay.

  18. neilmdunn
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    “And I’m still distressed at the drop in traffic at this site, and trying to understand it.”
    You made that comment days ago, so I have been watching and can find no change in the quality and interest level of your posts. After all–you do your best. I do miss your trips and the photos (food ones are a treat) but that is no ones fault.

  19. Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    “Yes, I know some of you wish the illness of Republicans, but remember that they also spread it to others.”

    Ok, how about just Trump and Mitch McConnell? 😉

    • Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      I keep waiting for tRump to contract, but I suspect that, despite his big talk, he is careful not to put himself at risk. Putting his supporters at risk is a another matter.

      • Susan Davies
        Posted June 21, 2020 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        Yeah! plenty more where they came from!

  20. Posted June 21, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I’ve learned a trick about playing Twitter videos on this site. The first one I click on refuses to play, giving an error message. Repeating the click doesn’t help. However, once I’ve gotten this error message, clicking on a different one works fine. And once I’ve played one successfully, the original failed one also plays fine. Strange.

    • Posted June 22, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      I’ve noticed something similar since the WordPress change. I sometimes have to copy the URL and then paste & go to Twitter, to see the video. I must check to see if the others work without that palaver once I’ve done it the first time.

      • Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Yes, that’s why I mentioned it. It’s an unintuitive behavior. Sometimes I would get the error but not care enough to open it in Twitter. Moving on to the next video, I would click on it out of habit and be surprised that the second one played fine. At first, I thought that it was just some difference between the two videos so didn’t think about it much.

  21. Mike
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    It’s kinda cool that ancestral insects had 3 pairs of wings (including on the first segment of the thorax), but the living groups are descended from a lineage where the first pair was lost. So in a sense the lightning bug elytra are the second pair of wings.

  22. Kevin F
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    On some of my devices I can’t access the website. When I try I get the following error: “Warning! Domain mapping upgrade for this domain not found. Please log in and go to the Domains Upgrades page of your blog to use this domain.”

    I only started seeing this around a week ago. Could this be why traffic is down?

  23. Peter Blunt
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised PCC(E) did not mention the movie “Mississippi Burning” (1988, directed by Alan Parker, starring Gene Hackman and William Dafoe & Frances McDormand) about the murder of the 3 civil rights activists Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Michael Schwerner. It’s a very impressive movie.

  24. Matt
    Posted June 21, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    “Of course the number of empty seats went up; that’s what happens when you take pictures of empty seats. If you don’t take pictures of empty seats then the numbers go way down.”
    –Donald Trump trying to save face after his failed rally

  25. Posted June 21, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I always pop by your website, Jerry, even if I’m too swamped to comment in a meaningful way. The pandemic has me hopping, as I’m wearing many hats, taking care of the family, doing some of my own repairs, grocery shopping, paper work, cooking, cleaning, playing nurse and being primary care-giver, setting up and tending to a gazillion vegetable and herb planters, tending my flower garden, etc etc. As if I’m not busy enough, I had to spend more than 2 hours pruning back a vigorous wisteria vine that was overhanging the sidewalk. To me it looked beautiful, laden with clusters of ‘floral grapes’, but apparently one or two people wanted me to cut it back because they couldn’t walk two by two in this one spot, and the husband had to step on the grass to get by. (He must be over 6 feet tall.) So I learned that some people are too precious to step on grass. Sigh.

    The pandemic sucks.


%d bloggers like this: