Monday: Hili dialogue

Another “work week” has begun: it’s Monday, June 22, 2020, and we’ll soon be into July. It’s National Chocolate Eclair Day, National Onion Rings Day (I love these!) and National Take Your Cat To Work Day®, which occurs in the first Monday of the third full week in June, and comes with a registered trademark sign. But who takes their cat to work? For many people working at home, their cat is already at work. The concept of “work” is foreign to a cat anyway.

News of the Day: Trump made a ridiculous gaffe (actually, probably an admission) in his speech in Tulsa, claiming that he asked officials to slow down coronavirus testing, probably to reduce the number of known cases. His words:

“Here’s the bad part … when you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people; you’re going to find more cases,” Trump told his supporters. “So I said to my people, slow the testing down please.”

The White House, as ever, is pretending it was a joke, but that is a lie. Why on earth would you not want to find more cases?

The American Museum of Natural History is removing the well-known statue of Theodore Roosevelt from in front of the building because it depicts native people as subjugated, walking below a Roosevelt who sits atop his horse. Here’s a photo of it:

Today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 119,985, an increase of about 280 over yesterday’s report and one of the smallest death tolls yet.  The world death toll now stands at 468,615, an increase of about 4,700 from yesterday.

Stuff that happened on June 22 include:

  • 1633 – The Holy Office in Rome forces Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe in the form he presented it in, after heated controversy.
  • 1839 – Cherokee leaders Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot are assassinated for signing the Treaty of New Echota, which had resulted in the Trail of Tears.
  • 1911 – George V and Mary of Teck are crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Here’s a Pathé video of the coronation:

This was of course an attempt to humiliate the French. Here are German soldiers preparing the second surrender venue with the railroad car:

  • 1942 – The Pledge of Allegiance is formally adopted by US Congress.
  • 1944 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs into law the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill.
  • 1948 – King George VI formally gives up the title “Emperor of India”, half a year after Britain actually gave up its rule of India.
  • 1969 – The Cuyahoga River catches fire in Cleveland, Ohio, drawing national attention to water pollution, and spurring the passing of the Clean Water Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • 1986 – The famous Hand of God goal, scored by Diego Maradona in the quarter-finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup match between Argentina and England, ignites controversy. This was later followed by the Goal of the Century. Argentina wins 2–1 and later goes on to win the World Cup.

Here’s the Hand of God goal, clearly a handball by Maradona, and I think all soccer experts now recognize this. Had it been disallowed, there’s no telling whether Argentina would have won the game or the World Cup.

And, here, four minutes later, the “Goal of the Century”, truly a fantastic (and legal) goal, though it’s the kind of stuff we see regularly from Messi:

I went through Checkpoint Charlie when I was a teenager living in Heidelberg, Germany (my father was in the Army, stationed there) and my father took us on a trip to Berlin (driving through East Germany on the autobahn), and then into East Berlin. At the time, American officers in uniform could bring in their families for a one-day touristic visit. I don’t remember much save that the eastern side of Berlin was much shabbier and more depressing than the western side.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1837 – Paul Morphy, American chess player (d. 1884)
  • 1887 – Julian Huxley, English biologist and academic (d. 1975)
  • 1903 – John Dillinger, American criminal (d. 1934)
  • 1933 – Dianne Feinstein, American politician
  • 1936 – Kris Kristofferson, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor

Here’s Kristofferson performing one of his most famous songs, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (he wrote it), seen by many country singers as the paradigmatic country song. The performance is at the Johnny Cash memorial concert, which was in 2003, when Kristofferson was 67.

  • 1947 – Pete Maravich, American basketball player (d. 1988)
  • 1949 – Meryl Streep, American actress and singer
  • 1960 – Erin Brockovich, American lawyer and environmentalist.

Those who enjoyed the eponymous movie starring Julia Roberts in one of her best roles (she won a Best Actress award for it) will want to see the real Erin Brockovitch, here talking about the unexpected fame she got when the movie came out.

Those whose lives were eradicated on June 22 include:

  • 1965 – David O. Selznick, American screenwriter and producer (b. 1902)
  • 1969 – Judy Garland, American actress and singer (b. 1922)
  • 1993 – Pat Nixon, American educator, 37th First Lady of the United States (b. 1912)
  • 2008 – George Carlin, American comedian, actor, and author (b. 1937)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has plopped herself atop Andrzej’s desk:

A: Could you think in some other place?
Hili: No, here is the best place to think.
In Polish:
Ja: Czy mogłabyś myśleć w jakimś innym miejscu?
Hili: Nie, tu jest najlepsze miejsce na myślenie.

From Jesus of the Day:

 

A 4th of July meme from Bruce Thiel:

A drawing by Jean Greenberg of my ducks dabbling:

A tweet from Ken, who comments, “This week, apparently to commemorate upcoming Father’s Day, Donald John Trump, Sr., sat down for a hard-hitting video interview with his eldest offspring, Donald John Trump, Jr. Here is the ‘most important”‘inquiry that Junior had for Senior”. This is a much-watch!

Tweets from Matthew:

OMG I had no idea caracals could do this!

No, this isn’t a jellyfish, but a “sprite” that looks like one. It’s a form of atmospheric lightning that occurs high above the clouds.

From Nicky Bay, a stunning example of camouflage via clutter:

Trump unplugged. It ain’t pretty!

A remarkable example of a moth mimicking a hornet: an example of Batesian mimicry. No respectable bird would come near this thing!

Matthew tweeted more about the moth this morning:

A goalie doing a stupid move to try to distract the penalty kicker. It didn’t work:

A storm, presumably photographed from the ISS, with the sun setting:

 

73 Comments

  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    At the current rate by the time the campaign is over the only people in the crowd at his rallies will be the immediate family and a large team of lawyers. Not sure if the wife will attend.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      From The Lincoln Project:

      12 = a dozen
      144 = a gross
      6200 = a @parscale

  2. Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Yes Argentina probably would have beaten England without the hand of god incident. They were the better team on the day.

    The video of the goalie doing a stupid move was just a video of a goalkeeper doing something pathetic, until the last few seconds and then it becomes comedy gold. I won’t say any more, because that would be a spoiler.

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, the last bit was the absolute best.

      • jezgrove
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Yup – he deserved that goal celebration!

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    1969 – The Cuyahoga River catches fire in Cleveland, Ohio, drawing national attention to water pollution, and spurring the passing of the Clean Water Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Randy Newman wrote a tune about it:

  4. Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    “Trump made a ridiculous gaffe (actually, probably an admission)”

    Speculation: Trump’s advisors told him that if they wind back testing less cases will be discovered, and Trump is such an idiot that he thought they were explaining a winning policy to him. That’s why he blabbed it out to his followers. (And has probably realised that he said something wrong but hasn’t got a clue what it is.)

    Further speculation: four years ago an advisor told him his followers will be so loyal he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and not lose a single one of them, and he just blabbed that out because he thought it would sound as good to everyone else as it did to him.

    (Ditto for “I don’t take responsibility.”)

  5. BobTerrace
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Don’t get me started on Kris Kristofferson. He is probably the worst actor America has ever produced,single-handedly ruining every movie where he was present. He is a terrible singer and a grade C songwriter. He has a nice looking beard, though.

    • Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      LOL, you ALREADY got started on Kris Kristofferson. I generally agree with you but he’s written some terrific songs, also including “Me and Bobby McGee” and “Help Me Make It Through the Night.”

      • BobTerrace
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        I’ll concede on “Help Me Make it Through the Night”. 😊

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Well, hell, anybody likes “Help Me Make It Through the Night” oughta like “For the Good Times,” too. (And if you don’t like Kristofferson’s own version, Al Green did a great, soulful cover.)

          I think ol’ Kris would be the first to admit he doesn’t have much of a voice. Wrote some damn fine tunes, though.

          And as for acting, I thought he was pretty damn good playing against type, as the rotten sonuvabitch sheriff in John Sayle’s Lone Star.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

            Mr. Green’s version of “For the Good Times”:

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Here’s Kris doin’ “Bobby McGee” with some other fellas folks may recognize:

    • Filippo
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      How would you compare Kristofferson’s singing with that of, say, Joe Cocker, or “Screamin'” Jay Hawkins?

    • Bob
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Perhaps, but he and I can hover a helicopter.

  6. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Donald Trump spends 14 minutes at Tulsa rally talking about that time he walked slowly down a ramp.

    As that Republican icon Ronald Reagan aphoristically put it: “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”

    • Filippo
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      ‘As that Republican icon Ronald Reagan aphoristically put it: “If you’re explaining, you’re losing.”’

      He might have done well enough remembering, re: Iran-Contra.

  7. boudiccadylis
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    1. More is a n extra delight with all the political crap
    2. This photographer said he’s taken pictures of the “sprite” three years in a row. Until a few months ago I was unaware of their existence. Are these events a global warming incident of have they been around forever but nobody has paid them any attention.
    3. I wouldn’t touch that moth either. Very impressive warm up and take off.
    4. Gorgeous sunset. Emense storm pattern.

    • boudiccadylis
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      This can autocorrect! Kore is a delight. More political is depressing.

    • Posted June 22, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      It’s my impression that these sprites have been around for a long time. In fact, there are many kinds and some (all?) are hard to catch as they are gone in a flash, literally. I believe their recent prominence has mostly to do with high-speed photography in less than ideal circumstances than anything else.

      • boudiccadylis
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

        Thanks

  8. jezgrove
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Removing the statue of Teddy Roosevelt is going to screw up the Night at the Museum movie franchise.

  9. jezgrove
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    More on Trump and that ramp – make sure you watch to the end! https://twitter.com/i/status/1274729331659386883

    • rickflick
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      But, can Biden get down the ramp?

      • jezgrove
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Hopefully Biden is heading on upwards and won’t have to worry about that for a while?

        • rickflick
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

          Good point!

    • Jim batterson
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      That was a great video. Thanks for the link.

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Perfect!

  10. Vaal
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    The presumption that Trump wasn’t joking about slowing down testing makes me want to ask: should we always foregoe any pricipal of charity when it comes to Trump?

    It seems to me that, especially in the Liberal media the move is virtually always to give the worst possble interpretation of what Trump said or meant.

    To me it seemd fairly obvious both in what he said and in the style he delivered that quote at the rally, that he was joking around. While I wouldn’t totally put it past Trump to tell his medical staff to reduce testing, I also think that he’s been told about the value of testing enough to know the reasons they want to do it. After all, he’s constantly bragging about how many tests they are doing.

    So while it’s possible Trump wasn’t joking I certainly do not think the obvious interpretation is that he was joking, and it seems to me more likely just another dumb attempt at humour on his part.

    • Lisa
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      I agree. He was joking. His delivery is very different from his serious sermoning. I feel both political extremes now are just taking unwarranted pot shots at each other. What makes this dangerous for the Left is that we prefer talking about this kind of gaffe than the issues. And it makes people in the middle who are swing voters look at the press and think this gaffe is a total fabrication. I really think this kind of presumption has costs.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Joking or not, I fail to understand why people are so shocked at Trump’s remarks at about testing when he was at the rally, because such statements aren’t new. Trump has been making similar idiotic non sequiturs about testing (fewer tests fewer cases) for at least 6 weeks or so. The only new information (true or false) is that he said he ordered “his people” to slow down the testing.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if he hadn’t ordered “his people” to do that long ago, perhaps from the beginning (or at least sewed the seeds of confusion that muck up the gears) when he said everybody could be tested, which was BS from the jump since there was a shortage of tests then and even now the whole testing business is screwed up — different tests yielding different results, useless tests, making undoubtedly sweetheart deals with certain test manufacturers and the tests prove unreliable, and who knows what else.

    • Posted June 22, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      No way was he joking. He’s expressed this same idea on many occasions. He’s totally committed to downplaying the number of cases since the very beginning. Don’t you remember when a COVID-infected cruise ship was not allowed to land? Trump said that he didn’t want their numbers to add to the US case count. I’m sure there are many other situations in which he has expressed this.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Glad you remembered that, which took place way back in early March.

        When asked this morning whether or not he told “his people” to slack off on testing, this was Trump’s [non-]response: https://twitter.com/JoeStGeorge/status/1275095209240604673.

        • rickflick
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          I think he did admit it. “If we did slow it down, frankly, I think we’re way ahead of ourselves. We’ve done to good a job. If we did slow it down we wouldn’t show so many cases. We’ve done too good a job…”.
          He could have just said no.

      • Vaal
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        But Paul, that seems to cherry pick one way Trump has spoken about testing out of the many other ways.

        The question isn’t “would Trump like to see the COVID numbers go down on his watch.” Obviously he would, and not wanting the ship to land speaks to that.

        On the other hand, Trump knows full well how the importance of testing has been drilled in to every leader, which is why he has been constantly trumpeting how he’s leading in testing with “”We have tested more than all countries put together” and various other boasts.

        He’s clearly aware of the value of being seen as being ahead in testing when speaking publicly.

        So it seems highly unlikely that in a public speech, and one he knew would be seen around the world, he would actually reverse his stance and say “I’ve ordered (or considered ordering) less testing.”

        Rather, his remarks seem a jokey way of juggling the tension of BOTH his goals. “I want us to be known has being ahead of the world in testing our population, but I ALSO want to be known as having lower positive cases. A double-edged sword as he put it.

        When he said “So I said to my people slow the testing down please” he said it a very obvious (to me and many others) joking delivery, as a sort of humble brag “We are SO GREAT in our testing, doing SO MANY that of course we are uncovering many positive cases.”

        Even in the world of Donald Trump and his narcissist-based public spins, it doesn’t make sense for Trump to publicly declare to the world he actually told his staff to stop testing so much. Which is why his delivery was made with such an obvious joking manner.
        It was a humble-brag about the amount of testing he’s getting done in the USA.

        • Posted June 22, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          As I said, this is not only based on what he said in Tulsa. When he’s reading from a prepared script or in the presence of his COVID team, he’s pro-testing but then he ad libs comments where he comes out against it. Here’s an article from May 15th that tells all about it:

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/05/15/trumps-thoroughly-strange-commentary-coronavirus-testing/

          Two days later, President Trump offered a very different view of testing, repeatedly suggesting that it’s “overrated” and that doing too much testing can needlessly drive up the infection numbers.”

          “When you test, you have a case,” Trump said. “When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”

          The article has lots of other evidence that Trump wants to reduce testing in order to suppress the numbers. The only thing different in Tulsa, was that he pretty much admitted ordering his people to reduce testing. Some of his crony Republican governors have said similar things which tells me that Trump has urged them to suppress testing.

          • jezgrove
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

            Indeed. Testing can only find cases of coronavirus that are there – loads of negative test results coming back would be fantastic, but if there are positive ones then you need to know about them and respond appropriately. Less testing only equates to ignorance of the situation, as we’ve learnt the hard way in the UK.

          • Vaal
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            Yes that’s an old, known quote. (I can’t get beyond the WaPo paywall btw).

            I still infer that Trump was, in the context of that moment and in public, making a joke.

            If, however, information comes out that Trump did indeed recently ask his people to slow down testing, that would certainly change my mind.

        • Jenny Haniver
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          “He’s clearly aware of the value of being seen as being ahead in testing when speaking publicly.”

          Right, and when speaking publicly about such things, he doesn’t bother to wear a mask.

          “Even in the world of Donald Trump and his narcissist-based public spins, it doesn’t make sense for Trump to publicly declare to the world he actually told his staff to stop testing so much. Which is why his delivery was made with such an obvious joking manner.”

          Sure, he could be joking but that doesn’t necessarily mean his levity signifies that what he asserted was counterfactual, though most everyone is interpreting it that way. I’m one who doesn’t. He also said he was taking hydroxychloroquine. Who can say whether he did or didn’t? Coulda been another joke.

          And who looks for anything Trump says or does to “make sense” in a rational manner[?]. He has his own ‘rationality’; flipping back forth between fact and fiction is an integral part of his style; it keeps everyone bamboozled as to what he’s going to do, what he’s doing, and what he actually did. There are countless examples when on the world stage he repeatedly changes his mind about extremely important, world-shaking matters; case in point his meeting with Little Rocket man. But one could fill a small book with them.

          • Posted June 22, 2020 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            Trump said it in a way calculated to make his audience feel like they are conspiring with him against the Dems and the liberals. He will always go for the cool point of view over reality. Those that attend his rallies have self-selected as the dumbest of his followers. If they are dumb enough to attend, they are dumb enough to accept anything he says.

            If he didn’t actually ask his team to reduce testing, it’s only because he knows that most would be against it. As far as he’s concerned, the only thing that matters is the voters’ perception of how bad things are (ie, the numbers) which goes directly to his re-election prospects.

        • Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          Sorry to beat a dead horse but here’s what Trump just said on the subject:

          • Posted June 24, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            I don’t kid

            Cue White House spokesman: “Yeah, he was kidddin'”

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 22, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      He wasn’t joking. He had an interview this morning and here’s a telling exchange.

      TRUMP: “If we did slow it down, we wouldn’t show nearly as many cases. You’re showing people that are asymptomatic, you’re showing people that have very little problem, you’re showing young people that don’t have a problem. But we’re doing so much testing, 25 million tests.”
      ST. GEORGE: “But did you ask to slow it down?”
      TRUMP: “Uhh, if it did slow down, frankly, I think we’re way ahead of ourselves, if you want to know the truth. We’ve done too good a job, because every time we go up — with 25 million tests, you’re going to find more people. So then they say, ‘oh we have more cases in the United States.’ The reason we have more cases is because we do more testing than any other country by far.”

      If it was a joke he had the opportunity to say so then and there. He didn’t. It’s his sycophants who said it was a joke as they always do. Trump says something and his spokespeople say what he said wasn’t what he meant to say. Just as his racist comment of “Kung flu” was later described as a way to talk about the virus’ origin.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, here’s a video of the exchange, which I posted above and will do here again so one can get the gobbleygook straight from the horse’s ass – I mean mouth.
        https://twitter.com/JoeStGeorge/status/1275095209240604673.

        • Posted June 22, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          After hearing this exchange, there’s no question that he believes the numbers are the only thing that matters. He’s lamenting that by doing thorough testing, young people and asymptomatic people will test positive. In his mind, those shouldn’t count. He conveniently ignores that those people are exactly the ones that will infect everyone else. They are the ones that we most need to quarantine.

          • Mark R.
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

            Indeed…our “President”, to quote one of his top advisors a lifetime ago, Rex Tillerson, ex Secretary of State, “He’s a fucking moron”. To this day, cowards like Tillerson obfuscate their quotes, but “we know” that was an opinion spoken aloud. And, subjective as it is, it’s still a fact and a powerful statement from the inner circle. Strange it falls out of journalistic vogue as so many anti-Trump quotes have, and here we are. The media still hasn’t figured out the shitfoolery that Trump et al. does on a daily basis, making the media look like fools and cowards. I’m pissed at most journalists, really pissed off at their consistent lack of thinking and questioning and confronting lies. Perhaps it comes from the top, and ACCESS, but no one has said such. I thought calling out bullshit and dredging truth was their job. I guess not. Trump tooled them into his 2016 bid…never forget. The media somehow, giddy with greed that Trump fueled, helped and abetted and made a lot of dosh. The media doesn’t seem to fight or defend veracity; that’s how I see it.

            Is the media getting better in light of this unprecedented covid shit storm? The virus and how certain states deal with it has become political now; politicians who politicize covid are exacerbating the problem, and even the best players spin reality. So many leaders are still under the impression that wishing it away (like Dear Leader) is going to work. Wrong. Depressing. I guess they’ll keep praying.

            • Posted June 23, 2020 at 12:47 am | Permalink

              I suspect it is fear of access being taken away from their network that drives reporters to go easy on Trump. Every time I see him in front of reporters, not that often these days, I hope for some reporter to deliver the zinger that Trump’s words call for. But I think it is a lot harder to pull that off than perhaps we realize. The President has a lot of power and, once he lashes out, it is hard to know where the chips are going to fall. Different profession but look at Colin Kapernick.

              The virus is going to make some people realize that it is real and that their president has not handled it well. It is likely that Trump’s low turnout in Tulsa was mostly due to fear of COVID. Perhaps it was also fear of violence but I doubt it. If so, then it is a good sign that even his supporters are starting to get it.

              On the other hand, I was just involved in an argument thread over the wearing of masks here in So. California. There was actually a guy that claimed that the freedom to not wear a mask is what his father fought for in WWII. The loons are still out there — no offense to ducks of course.

              • Filippo
                Posted June 23, 2020 at 8:27 am | Permalink

                ” . . . involved in an argument thread over the wearing of masks . . . a guy that claimed that the freedom to not wear a mask is what his father fought for in WWII.”

                I recently listened to the BBC podcast “In Our Time.” The topic was Rosa Luxemburg. A panelist quoted her: “Freedom is the freedom to say otherwise.” Which of course is not necessarily the freedom to DO otherwise.

              • Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

                For some reason, this reminded me of the pithy phrase, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”. It’s some kind of art form to say ridiculous things and make them seem profound on initial inspection.

        • Vaal
          Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          I hadn’t seen that before.

          Yeah, highly suspicious.

          He clearly, as I mentioned before, wants it both ways: given the emphasis put on testing around the world, he wants to be The Best At Testing and brag about it.

          But it seems he’s if anything more concerned about having a lower number of identified cases. The way he evaded that question and formed his answer suggests he wouldn’t be above asking testing to be slowed down (whether he did or not).

  11. David Harper
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Remember, apropos the Maradona hand-ball incident, that it occurred only four years after Argentina attempted to annex the Falkland Islands. Relations between Britain and Argentina were strained. This didn’t help.

  12. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Beautiful hornet moth!

  13. darrelle
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Ahh, the music on that storm at sunset video from space is Andreas Vollenweider. Haven’t thought of him in years. Decades ago I discovered him via his then newly released album White Winds. That inspired me to listen to everything else by him, but White Winds has always been his clear best for me. I’m going to have to dig it out of my vinyl collection and give it a spin this evening. Trippy stuff.

  14. Posted June 22, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Too bad the Allies did not roll out the old Compiègne Wagon one more time on May 8 1945 when the Germans signed the Instrument of Surrender. Of course, Hitler committed suicide a week earlier so he wouldn’t attend the ceremony.

  15. EdwardM
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    A goal scored on a handball that was as egregious as that by Maradonna, though not as consequential, was Thierry Henry’s double handball which cost Ireland the first game of a 2010 World Cup qualifier. The Irish then lost their tie 3-2 on aggregate and so did not go to the Cup.

    Both of these are why we need VAR (as bad as it is).

    • Posted June 22, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      What’s VAR? Video-assisted refereeing? I have heard some are experimenting with technology that would detect a handball via AI recognition technology (neural networks). If it works, that would go a long way at preventing technology interrupting the game except when really necessary.

      • EdwardM
        Posted June 22, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that’s correct. It would have disallowed both Maradonna’s and Henry’s goals; all play that results in a goal is subject to review for “clear and obvious errors” by the officials. There is also “goal line technology” which is automatic and detects when the ball has completely crossed the goal line – referees wear a watch they can refer to as GLT automatically makes the call.

        VAR is not without its detractors; their main argument (and its legitimate) is that it too much breaks up the pace of the game.

        • Posted June 22, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          The complaint about breaking up the game is only when the technology generates too many false positives. No one can legitimately complain if there was in fact a handball. I look forward to the day when technology can completely take over most, if not all, refereeing tasks. I suspect the goal line technology is reliable enough that its judgement could be accepted without review. On the other hand, people want to see it with their own eyes. It’s part of the spectator experience. Even if automatic handball detection become ultra reliable, people will want to see it in slow-motion before the penalty kick is taken.

          • EdwardM
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

            I do not look forward to that day. Except for violent conduct, VAR should only be used in goal scoring situations; referees are part of the game. IMO, except in very proscribed circumstances, their calls should stand without review.

            • Posted June 22, 2020 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

              I can’t see how anyone would be against more accurate calling of the game. Right now, the complaint is that technology delays the game. That’s a reasonable complaint, IMHO. Technology has the promise of increased refereeing accuracy AND faster games. It’s a win-win as far as I’m concerned. No one’s going to say, “Remember the good old days when human referees sometimes blew calls and the wrong team would win?”

              • EdwardM
                Posted June 22, 2020 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

                Would you replace home plate Umpires in baseball with an AI machine? It would rarely make an error, but I would not want to watch that game.

              • Posted June 22, 2020 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

                Yes, I would. The current situation is ludicrous where people watching on TV see exactly when the umpire makes a mistake. we come to see the athletes perform and compete against each other, not officials test their skills.

          • EdwardM
            Posted June 22, 2020 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

            Also, a handball is a subjective call. In order to have it “automatic” we would have to change the rules of the game and I see no reason for that. It is NOT a handball, for example, if the ball strikes the arm of defender when it is kicked from a few feet away, or when in the course of play a defender’s arm contacts the ball in way he cannot prevent. Only a deliberate handling of the ball, or if the arms are in an “unnatural position”, should a handball be called and that is almost always a judgement call.

            This is the Beautiful Game and some limited technology can help with the most egregious of errors, but, IMO, that can be taken too far.

            • Posted June 22, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

              It’s only a subjective call because humans are making it! I’m sure the rule book is pretty clear on this. You can’t touch the ball with any part of the arm from the elbow down.” Do I have it right? I doubt the rules say that it is ok to touch the ball as long as the ball is not sufficiently redirected.

              • EdwardM
                Posted June 22, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

                You don’t have it quite right; you cannot use your upper arm either. The rule says that “A handball occurs if any player, other than the team’s goalkeeper within his own penalty area, deliberately handles the ball when in play.” A ball can be handled with any part of the arm, from the tips of a player’s fingers right up to the shoulder.

                If contact with the ball is determined to be accidental then no penalty or free kick is given and play is allowed to go on. However, a goal cannot be scored even if the handball is accidental, so VAR can be of use there. Again, I see its value only in goal scoring situations.

            • jezgrove
              Posted June 22, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

              Yes, “armpit VAR” is a thing (and a problem): https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/50935709

  16. revelator60
    Posted June 22, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    The only dog I ever met who enjoyed fireworks was deaf.

    The Roosevelt statue is as cringe-worthy as the Lincoln statue. I don’t mind them being removed, since they send the wrong message.

    On the other hand, I hope Portland will restore the toppled statues of Washington and Jefferson. And I hope San Francisco will restore the statue of Ulysses S. Grant, toppled by hooligans that also defaced a statue of Cervantes, who never owned a slave but had been one!


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