Friday: Hili dialogue

The end of another damn week: Friday, September 4, 2020. It’s a three-day weekend in America, as Monday is a holiday—Labor Day. It’s also National Macadamia Nut Day, my favorite nut (along with cashews and pistachios). It’s also Eat an Extra Dessert Day (I’m working on a big seedless watermelon), National Food Bank Day, National Wildlife Day, and Newspaper Carrier Day.

News of the Day: More unbelievable shenanigans by the man Americans elected to lead the country. Trump urged voters who voted by mail to also show up to the polling places to “test the system”.  If your mail-in ballot wasn’t recorded, you’d possibly be voting twice, and even trying to do that is illegal, and a felony in some places. (Polling places have ways to give you a provisional ballot if you say you’ve already mailed one in but it wasn’t recorded.) In other words, Trump was urging people to try to commit a crime.

An essay by data analyst David Byler in the Washington Post, “Nobody can predict this election. Here’s why“, gives seven reason why we shouldn’t even be trying to prognosticate at this point. (I do object to the “Here’s why” trope, which is becoming annoying.”

Iran is taking a harder theocratic line during the pandemic, cracking down on women who wear their hijabs improperly or don’t wear them at all. Now they’ve arrested a well-known musician, Mehdi Rajabhian, for the unspeakable crime of collaborating with female artists (some in other countries). He’s served two prison terms before for producing music without government permission. As the Post’s story notes,

He is not afraid of going to prison again, he said in a text message. The repression he has faced, he said, has been “a prison in itself.”

That is a brave man.

Movie theaters are starting to reopen in some places, including Chicago, and just in time for the first summer blockbuster, “Tenet”.  (Some places still lock them down, including New York.) Allowed occupancy ranges from 25% to 50%, and employees and patrons must wear masks. But a video about reopening shows people eating popcorn in the theater, and pulling down their masks to do so. WTF? I ain’t going, that’s for sure!

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 186,718, an increase of about 1100 deaths over yesterday’s report. The world death toll now stands at 868,337, an increase of about 6,000 deaths from yesterday.

Stuff that happened on September 4 include:

  • 1781 – Los Angeles is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels) by 44 Spanish settlers.
  • 1862 – American Civil War Maryland Campaign: General Robert E. Lee takes the Army of Northern Virginia, and the war, into the North.

We will speak no more of Lee. . .

Here’s that patent:

I didn’t know about those riots, but I see 13 people were injured and Robeson (black, of course) was lynched in effigy. The riots were also against both blacks and Jews, back in the time when those groups used to stand together.

Robeson is one of my favorite singers. Here’s a lovely documentary in which he sings a cappella to some Scottish miners:

  • 1951 – The first live transcontinental television broadcast takes place in San Francisco, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference.
  • 1957 – American Civil Rights MovementLittle Rock Crisis: The governor of Arkansas calls out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Central High School.

Here are the Little Rock Nine—nine black students who defied the governor and enrolled in Central High. Look at those angry whites!

  • 1972 – Mark Spitz becomes the first competitor to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games.
  • 1972 – The Price Is Right premieres on CBS. As of 2018, it is the longest running game show on American television.
  • 1998 – Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1846 – Daniel Burnham, American architect, designed the World’s Columbian Exposition (d. 1912)
  • 1906 – Max Delbrück, German-American biophysicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1981)
  • 1908 – Richard Wright, American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet (d. 1960)
  • 1913 – Stanford Moore, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1982)
  • 1920 – Craig Claiborne, American journalist, author, and critic (d. 2000)
  • 1981 – Beyoncé, American singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, and actress

Those who cashed in their chips on September 4 include:

  • 1986 – Hank Greenberg, American baseball player and manager (b. 1911)
  • 1993 – Hervé Villechaize, French-American actor (b. 1943)

I didn’t realize that Villechaize committed suicide. But remember this? “Da plane!”  “Smiles, everyone—smiles!”

  • 2006 – Steve Irwin, Australian zoologist and television host (b. 1962)
  • 2014 – Joan Rivers, American comedian, television host, and author (b. 1933)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili won’t get up unless there’s something interesting to do:

A: Did you sleep well?
Hili: I don’t know yet, it depends on what you are proposing.
In Polish:
Ja: Wyspałaś się?
Hili: Jeszcze nie wiem, zależy co mi proponujesz.

Here’s Kitten Kulka exploring:

From reader Charles, a self explanatory meme:

An excellent cartoon from the FB page The Giggle Box Project:

I’m not sure more than 25% of the readers will get this one. If you do, put the answer in the comments:

This d*g just can’t wait to sniff the luggage! Note how it starts off carrying the leash in its mouth.  There’s sound, too, though it doesn’t add much.

From Luana: Social justice as a religion à la McWhorter (you must have the sound up for this):

From Barry. If Jesus’s face in toast proves Christianity, this proves Lovecraft’s deity:

Tweets from Matthew. This first one, a cartoon from The New Yorker, is more sad than funny:

I wish I had a cat that meerkatted:

A gynandromorph is an animal that’s part male, part female, and often in insects the split is right down the middle. This can happen in various ways. Aedes doesn’t have the XX/XY sex determination system of Drosophila or mammals, so it can’t become a gynandromorph by an XX female losing one sex chromosome at the first cell division, becoming an X- (“XO”) male on that side. In Aedes, sex determination is due to a single gene, with the dominant allele (M) conferring male traits and the recessive (m) females ones. So if a male embryo, Mm, lost the chromosome with the M allele in one cell of the two-cell stage, it would be male on the Mm side and female on the Om side. This is probably what happened to this creature. (h/t Matthew for the reference).

At any rate, this poor mosquito is split down the middle, and since male and female wings are different sizes, it can’t fly.

Here’s an interesting question: since only female mosquitoes bite, does this one bite?

Yes, this wasp is adorable—and tiny. Read more about the Encyrtidae here.

88 Comments

  1. Peter (Oz) Jones
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    For the YYY – a joke

    A man went to the doctor with a strange complaint.

    “Well it’s like this Doc, when I drive to work in the morning through the country lanes I start to sing ‘The green green grass of home’
    If I see a cat then it’s ‘What’s new, pussy cat?’.
    It’s so embarrassing, even when I’m asleep and dreaming, I still keep singing.
    Last night, it was ‘Delilah’, and my wife was not amused!”

    “Yes, it would appear that you have the early symptoms of Tom Jones syndrome.”

    “Well I’ve never heard of that, is it common?” asked the man.

    “It’s not unusual,” replied the doctor.
    “And you can leave your hat on!”

    • sugould
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Also got it, but no jokes.

    • jezgrove
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Very good! Many people think that Tom Jones was the first Welshman to have a No.1 hit in the UK Singles Chart, but actually it was Ricky Valance with his cover of “Tell Laura I Love Her”: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricky_Valance

      • Johnman
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        “It’s not unusual” to get this joke!

    • TJR
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Please release me from all these Tom Jones jokes.

      Oh no, that was Engelbert Humperdinck, damn.

      • merilee
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        6 of one, half a dozen of the other And yes, I got the YYY reference.

    • curtcam
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I didn’t realize that Tom Jones had sung Green Green Grass – I don’t recall ever hearing that. The only version I knew was Bobby Bare.

      • merilee
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        I only know the Bobby Bare version and that one is bad enough…

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    They make macadamia nut butter now. It’s wicked good. Company name is Milkadamia.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    A satirical article that should be written:

    “I object to the “Here’s why” trope, which is becoming annoying. Here’s why.”

  4. Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Also died this day in 1797 Robert Marsham the Norfolk man who pioneered phenology, now of course an important indicator of climate change
    😩😢

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Marsham

    • jezgrove
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Coming from Norfolk, shouldn’t he have called it “Fenology”?

      • dom
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        😣😬😆

        • merilee
          Posted September 4, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

          Peter Cook and Dudley Moore had a hilarious skit about fens, which I can’t seem to find online.

  5. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I was reading about Villechaize the other day – his organs were too large for his body. He must have been suffering a great deal for a long time.

  6. Historian
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    In addition to getting in trouble for his vote twice remarks, Trump now has to counter reporting by Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic that at visiting a military cemetery in France for the purpose of honoring American soldiers that died in World War I, “Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as ‘suckers’ for getting killed.” Goldberg goes on to write: “But his cynicism about service and heroism extends even to the World War I dead buried outside Paris—people who were killed more than a quarter century before he was born. Trump finds the notion of military service difficult to understand, and the idea of volunteering to serve especially incomprehensible.” The entire article is a devastating portrait of Trump, although we should not be surprised because he is a malignant narcissist, only concerned to aggrandize himself and possibly some of his family. Whether Goldberg’s article will erode Trump’s military support (which is not all that high anyways) remains to be seen.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/09/trump-americans-who-died-at-war-are-losers-and-suckers/615997/

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      It has killed his support in the military circles and will continue. Remember this is republican country (the military) who went for Trump last time by 2 to 1. The military has always been republican country. However, Trump has thrown it away in spades. Biden is leading in the polling done so far by about 50% to 42% but it will likely get much worse for Trump. Officers more so than enlisted but I don’t know why that should be. Better educated I suppose.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      This story has Team Trump scared shitless. They are denying it furiously. But it is ostensibly corroborated by numerous sources, and it’s entirely consistent with what we know of Trump’s character — from his dodging military service himself via spurious bone spurs, to his denying that John McCain was a hero because “he was captured,” to his puerile feuds with gold-star families.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Trump responded to reporters on this topic
      calling the reports “totally false,” and slammed The Atlantic’s sources as “lowlifes,” and asked reporters: “What animal would say such a thing?”

      That orange barnacle (apologies to the marine crustaceans)would say such a thing, about John McCain, a war hero who refused to come home before any of his captured brothers in front of television cameras. So imagine what he says about less prominent POW’s behind closed doors. He also worried about the rain messing his hair up or make up which is the central reason he won’t wear a mask.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Not only should this further depress his support in the military, I have to imagine that many Republicans are staunch supporters of the military. They should be quite unhappy. Of course, Trump’s henchmen are in full-blown denial mode. I saw one tweet claiming that military reporters are really liberals who only talk to liberal-friendly ex-military so it is all just fake news.

      In related news, Trump has ordered the military newspaper, Stars and Stripes, to be defunded. Not sure what they did to piss him off. Perhaps it is a pre-emptive strike.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        Not sure what they they did to piss him off – Stars and Stripes is a newspaper and that is all you need to piss off Trump.

        What will happen is he will lose even more military votes. The military will be very pissed about this. Overseas the stars and stripes is often the only news military members get. The Stripes Ombudsman, Ernie Gates said, shutting down the paper would be a fatal interference and permanent censorship of a unique first amendment organization. If I was still working for the Army & Air Force Exchange Service(AAFES) I would ask that they be allowed to fund them with MWR funds. The pentagon cost to fund the paper is only 15 or 16 million bucks a year. That is nothing. If AAFES funds it, Trump cannot do anything about that.

      • W.Benson
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Apparently Trump, according to a tweet today, now intends to cancel last month’s Pentagon order to end “Stars and Stripes”.

        https://www.stripes.com/news/us/trump-tweets-he-will-not-allow-stars-and-stripes-to-be-shut-down-1.643942

  7. W.T. Effingham
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    My daughter’s cat used to do a lot of Meerkatting. Nowadays she seems to prefer (a la C.S. Lewis) Mere Catting.

    • Laurance
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      “Meerkatting”! Now I have a word for it! I had a dear kitty who did that. He looked so sweet and perky, sitting upright like that.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      The cat I used to have once did a sort of ultra-meerkatting maneuver. She suddenly stood FULLY up on her hind legs and stared out the front window of the townhouse in which we lived, actually moving her head left and right, eyes wider than I’d ever seen, as if looking at something she honestly couldn’t believe was real. She held the pose for several seconds, and I did NOT look out the window. I didn’t really want to know what had triggered such a bizarre reaction.

      She never did anything like it before or after.

  8. Johnman
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    “It’s not unusual” to get this joke!

  9. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    The song Mr. Robeson sings for the Scottish miners is “The Ballad of Joe Hill,” about the famous “Wobblie” activist executed in Utah in 1915 on trumped-up murder charges. In his last letter before his execution, Joe Hill wrote to the IWW leader “Big Bill” Haywood (who had himself faced trumped-up murder charges, on which he’d been defended successfully by Clarence Darrow), urging Haywood (as the line in the song sung by Mr. Robeson goes) “don’t mourn, organize.” Hill also asked Haywood to make sure his body was hauled across state lines to be buried, because “I wouldn’t want to be caught dead in Utah.”

    Joe Hill was a songwriter in his own right, too, having penned, among others, the tune “There is Power in a Union,” sung here by Billy Bragg:

    • Historian
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      In January 2019 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported: The union membership rate—the percent of wage and salary workers who were members of unions—was 10.5 percent in 2018, down by 0.2 percentage point from 2017. The number of wage and salary workers belonging to unions, 14.7 million in 2018, was about the same as in 2017. In 1983, the first year for which comparable union data are available, the union membership rate was 20.1 percent and there were 17.7 million union workers.”

      https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/union-membership-rate-10-point-5-percent-in-2018-down-from-20-point-1-percent-in-1983.htm?view_full

      Undoubtedly, union membership was much higher in the 1930s up to 1983. This decline in union membership is a tragedy for workers, although most probably don’t even realize it. These statistics represent a stunning victory for conservatives and the corporate interests. There is no such thing as working class solidarity. The white working class votes for Trump and Republican candidates before him out of the uninformed belief that the real danger to their livelihoods comes from immigrants and other people of color.
      I have to give credit to the political savvy of conservatives. Over the last 50 years their divide-and-conquer strategy has been overwhelmingly successful. To convince the white working class to consistently vote against their best interests is a remarkable achievement. Liberals over the decades have persistently failed to counter the conservative message. They are still scratching their heads trying to figure out what to do.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        Organized labor has had its share of corruption and foul play, lord knows. But unions served a “consciousness raising” function. In their heyday, the American working class would’ve never have mistaken for its hero a self-proclaimed billionaire, riding down a gilded escalator in his glitzy Manhattan palace, who had his own chi-chi clothing brand manufactured in third-world sweatshops.

  10. Sarah
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    People I know who work at polls say that it is impossible to vote twice. The first vote is logged in the computer and any subsequent one is invalidated or ignored, and that applies to postal votes or in-person votes.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      But I wonder what happens when the attempt is made and its discovered.

      • Sarah
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Probably nothing. They can always say they were just testing the system. Or voting in person in case the postal vote wasn’t received.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      On the news last night it said that sometimes the first vote isn’t properly logged in, and in that case you get a “replacement” mail-in ballot that is later counted or not counted after investigation.

      • Posted September 4, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        I suppose this kind of double-voting only becomes a crime if an in-person voter, having also voted by mail, doesn’t claim that their mail-in vote shows on the state’s website as having been received. This sounds kind of vague which makes me think no one doing this would actually get charged with a crime. At the same time, the states also don’t tally both votes, taking the mail-in vote if it has arrived in time, the in-person one if not.

  11. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    1986 – Hank Greenberg, American baseball player and manager (b. 1911)

    A Hall of Famer and no doubt the greatest Jewish ballplayer ever to pull on the flannels or lace up a pair of spikes. And, speaking of the alliance between Blacks and Jews, Hammerin’ Hank was one of the few white players to go out of his way to encourage Jackie Robinson when Jackie broke the Major-League color barrier in 1947.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      What about Sandy Koufax?

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        Okay, you got me there. I was thinking hitters and ballplayers who take the field everyday, game-in and game-out, not pitchers.

        There’s really no way to compare the careers of Greenberg and Koufax. Greenberg played 13 seasons (having missed three and a half seasons to military service in WWII) and was a great slugger in all of them. Sandy played for 12 seasons, but was a top-notch pitcher for only the latter half. But for those half-dozen seasons, he was, you ask me, the best there ever was.

    • Terry Sheldon
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Hank Greenberg is notable in Pittsburgh sports history. He played his final season in the majors (1947) with the Pirates, where he mentored a young slugger named Ralph Kiner. Kiner had led the National League in home runs in 1946 and under Greenberg’s tutelage went on to lead the league for a total of seven consecutive years; a feat not duplicated either before or since, even by Babe Ruth.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        Go Bucks, huh?

  12. Posted September 4, 2020 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    You’ve got Google in twice: once as a “stuff that happened” and secondly as a “notables born on this day”.

    Perhaps I’m being a bit forward, but I’d prefer it if the latter section was restricted to humans and other animals.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Maybe it’s a subtle hint that the Internet may one day become a conscious organism. Or perhaps it already HAS, and IT make that repetition on its own.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      It’s been fixed now.

  13. Ken Kukec
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    “The bad ass kicking new atheist” needs a hyphen in his or her twitter handle.

    The difference between a “bad ass-kicking new atheist” and a “bad-ass kicking new atheist” is almost as great as that between “a man eating chicken” and “a man-eating chicken.”

  14. Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Here’s Trump’s tweet: “Based on the massive number of Unsolicited & Solicited Ballots that will be sent to potential Voters for the upcoming 2020 Election, & in order for you to MAKE SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS & IS COUNTED, SIGN & MAIL IN your Ballot as EARLY as possible. On Election Day, or Early Voting, go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted). If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly. If it has not been Counted, VOTE (which is a citizen’s right to do).” People would have less to fight over if we started each conversation by honestly describing our opponent’s position.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      That was presumably part of the walking back exercise. On TV he clearly told people to vote by mail and then go and vote in person.

  15. Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    The Crocodile Hunter… It still hurts me to think about it.

  16. rickflick
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    A short film on Daniel Burnham, architect. Quite impressive:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHQVZgOONdo

  17. Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I would take a chance and go out for a good meal, or a hair cut, but no way on earth would I take a chance and go out for a movie.

  18. Curtis
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    1. Trump says “Mail in voting is susceptible to fraud”.
    2. Democrats say “That’s ridiculous, mail in balloting is secure.”
    3. Trump says “Vote twice by mail”.
    4. Democrats say “Trump encourages fraudulent voting” while still claiming that mail in balloting is secure against fraud.

    Trump is trolling Democrats showing that they do not believe their own claims.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Nonsense. It is still fraudulent to attempt to vote twice. That the person voting twice would be caught is consistent with the security of mail-in voting. By your reasoning, attempted murder wouldn’t be a crime as it didn’t succeed in actual murder. You just trolled yourself.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Trump is a spoiled brat playing checkers who thinks he can knock the pieces off the board as soon as he knows he’s going to lose.

      The man has the mentality of a particularly malignant juvenile delinquent.

      • merilee
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        And a very young jd, at that.

      • Curtis
        Posted September 4, 2020 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Do you do understand that Trump says this kind of BS to upset people like you and to appeal to his potential voters? The madder the elites get, the more the more the working class likes Trump. They believe that the system is stacked against them and that the elites truly believe them to be deplorable. It’s how Trump got elected and how he hopes to repeat.

        He is a vile person but a brilliant campaigner. A vulgar billionaire bully with mediocre skills and no religious background knows how to appeal to the working class better than the intelligentsia. Despite the dire consequences, the apoplexy it causes is comical.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted September 4, 2020 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          As I recall, Curtis, several months ago, before onset of the COVID pandemic (which is to say 187,000-American-lives-and-counting, and an economic collapse, ago), you said that we had nothing to fear from a second Trump term because, whatever harm Trump could do to the American polity, he’d already done.

          Would you care to revise that opinion in light of subsequent developments? I thought it naïve at the time, but it seems all the more so now.

          And I don’t think a well-merited loathing for a president who is himself deranged constitutes “apoplexy” (much less “Trump derangement syndrome”); it reflects functioning ratiocination.

          • Curtis
            Posted September 4, 2020 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

            Obviously, I did not foresee coronavirus and Trump’s (or Cuomo’s or the CDC’s) incompetence on it but that has little to do with Trump’s second term. I think the damage they will do from January onward is limited but it is certainly a downside to Trump.

            I still believe Trump is the safer choice with Biden having a much higher upside and downside. Biden could be a mediocre president or he could let the progressive mob rule.

            • rickflick
              Posted September 4, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

              Progressive mob rule? Highly unlikely. He will push for common sense progressive issues, but will work with congress if congress is willing. That’s it. Biden is a very level headed guy. Remember those?

              • Curtis
                Posted September 4, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

                I am not a Biden fan but, had been elected 4 years ago, he would have been much superior to Trump. He has always seemed like an opportunist to me (e.g. plagiarism, tough on crime, war on drugs, Patriot Act, supporting mass deportation, etc) without strong principles. And Harris seems worse.

                With a reasonable party, that would have been acceptable. However, the progressives are not reasonable these days. I live in Oregon which surely affect my view but the mob here scares me. I will not feel safe expressing my political views until I retire lest I become unemployable.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 4, 2020 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

                Relax. I’m sure Biden, as president, will surround himself with competence and pragmatism. Not extremists. Think of Biden as a decent fellow who loves politics and the limelight, but also loves making careful progress. He’s careful on policy. During an election he can try too hard sometimes and sound a bit of a grandstander. But, he will govern cautiously.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted September 4, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

              Obviously, I did not foresee coronavirus …

              Okay, no one did precisely. But several of us here, including me, and I believe our host, had been pointing out from the get-go that nearly every US president to serve a full four-year term has to face an unforeseeable crisis at some point, and that Donald Trump was in no way equipped — by intellect, by experience, by temperament, or by character — to contend with one.

              Chances are, if Trump were to be handed a second four-year term, he’d face another. Have you seen any reason to think think he’d be better able handle it, ’cause I sure as hell haven’t.

        • Posted September 4, 2020 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          This is quite true:

          With Trump, the Pathology Is the Point by Andrew Sullivan

        • Paul S
          Posted September 4, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          You’re ascribing intelligence where none exists. He isn’t a brilliant campaigner, nor is he trolling the libs.
          The result may be an appeal to working class voters but that doesn’t mean it’s intentional or planned. He’s displaying exactly who he is.
          The problem is that a lot of people, possibly you, think that no one could be as stupid as trump appears so you make excuses for his behavior.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted September 4, 2020 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

            Donald Trump is not a brilliant campaign strategist; he is a buffoon and a malignant narcissist.

            Trump backed his way into the US presidency by minus nearly 3 million votes, and he has maintained historically consistent low approval ratings throughout his term in office.

            In the coming election, Trump will not win a single state he lost in 2016. He has made no effort at all (as did all his predecessors) to appeal to voters beyond his base. He is going to get his clock cleaned come November. His only hope for an electoral-college victory — as he and his Russian enablers have come to realize — is to dissuade voters from going to the polls and/or to keep legitimately cast ballots from being counted.

            Short of so doing, his goal is to be able to save face by sowing chaos so he can claim the election was rigged.

            • Curtis
              Posted September 4, 2020 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

              Anybody who has ever been president is obviously a brilliant campaigner. For an outsider to become president take a genius.

              Anyone who talks about the popular vote as if it matters does not really understand US presidential election.

              • Posted September 4, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

                Only if you consider lying your ass off and having no morals at all part of being a “brilliant campaigner”. All that Trump proved was that a sufficient number of US citizens are attracted by promises to restore a universe that never existed. Trump is only in it for Trump. Biden is much less evil and truly interested in doing the right thing. I don’t worry at all that he’ll be co-opted by the far Left. Even if that were to happen, he’d be a far better president than Trump.

              • Curtis
                Posted September 4, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

                @Paul
                Yes, exactly. Lying his ass off and having no morals is the core of him being a brilliant campaigner. He does what it takes to win with no regard to anyone else. He is a brilliant psychopath on the campaign trail.

              • Posted September 4, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

                I guess I reserve “brilliant” for use in more positive circumstances. “Diabolical” and “ruthless” seem more appropriate with Trump.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

                Anyone who talks about the popular vote as if it matters does not really understand US presidential election.

                That’s about as meaningless a statement as has ever been committed to the Queen’s English, Curtis.

                Of the 59 elections held since ratification of the US constitution, the winner of the popular vote has won the electoral college in all but five — in all but four since our current two-party system began in 1860. One of those four elections doesn’t count, in 1876, since it was a straight-up fix — the Democrats threw the electoral college election to the Republican candidate, Rutherford Hayes, in a deal to end Reconstruction.

                Of the other three, in none of them did the loser of the electoral college win a clear majority of the popular vote (i.e., more than 50%), as Joe Biden appears poised to do this year. No candidate has ever pulled off the lose-the-popular-vote/win-the-electoral-college feat twice, and no incumbent US president has ever won reelection while losing the popular vote, period.

                Were I a betting man — and I am, if you’re interested in putting some of your hard-earned mean green where your typing fingers are — I’d bet that Donald Trump won’t do it this time either. If your interested, name your price; I’m covering all bets.

              • Ken Kukec
                Posted September 4, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

                If “you’re” interested …

          • Curtis
            Posted September 4, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

            “The result may be an appeal to working class voters but that doesn’t mean it’s intentional or planned.”
            So you think that he did not understand that his immigration bashing and race baiting would attract the voters he needed in primaries and in the Midwest? Any rich American celebrity could have won but Trump just got lucky?

            He is a charismatic, narcissistic psychopath with a tremendous skill at manipulating people to his own benefit. It makes him a formidable candidate and all his opponents underestimated his appeal. Just like you.

            • Paul S
              Posted September 4, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

              Correct, trump being himself is not an act or a plan. He is exactly what you see.

              I’ve never met an adult that knows less about any given subject than trump.

              His utter stupidity and incompetence may be appealing to the worst in some people but that doesn’t make him brilliant.

              I don’t underestimate his appeal, Manson and Jim Jones had followers too.

              • Curtis
                Posted September 4, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

                @Paul S
                I think we basically agree but are having a semantic issue. I think he is a very effective campaigner and can effectively manipulate people into following him. I think you agree but do not like the word brilliant. Is that correct?

                To me that is “brilliance” in one particular field but apparently not to you.

            • Posted September 4, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

              I think it is hard to know what Trump really believes in, outside of himself and his family. After all, he was once a Democrat, or claimed to be. He’s certainly not religious though he now claims to be. He’s not really conservative. The beliefs he expressed in his candidacy and his presidency are purely those that he thinks win people to his side. In a very real sense, those people to which Trump appeals, and to which he is appealing, are those most easily fooled into thinking that Trump is on their side. He is most likely a racist but he also calculated that racism would win many Americans to his side. He’s a functional racist, a transactional racist. At the same time, he knows that racism makes some of his base nervous so he makes sure he isn’t overtly racist. He gives them plausible deniability on his racism. Same with him being a friend of the military. This makes Trump a populist but one with no real agenda of his own.

              • rickflick
                Posted September 4, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

                Exactly so. He’s clearly high on the psychopath spectrum. Focused on personal gain, but without empathy. Other people are simply tools to further his ends. Superficially engaging personality, but only out to see what he can get.

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 4, 2020 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Your account is totally bogus. Others have already called you out, but to clean up some of your mess, Trump didn’t say “vote twice by mail”. He said vote by mail and then vote in person just to make sure. I’ve been voting by mail in WA state since 2007. No fraud, just a lot more voter turnout and no suppression and no reliance on voting machines built by Republican controlled companies. I’m so tired of the “mail-in voting” bullshit those who are ignorant of the matter seem to keep propagating. Do a little research and correct your ignorance. I know, too much to ask.

  19. Posted September 4, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Since atheists vs the religious is a theme here, this might interest some of you. Last night was the debut of a new show on HBO Max, “Raised by Wolves”. It’s a science fiction series where children are sent from Earth to a planet circling a nearby star with two robots that are intended to raise them as atheists and technocrats. Coming later from Earth is a shipload of religious types (not Christians). Conflict is bound to ensue. I’ve only watched the first episode but it’s kind of interesting. Not sure yet which side the story takes, if any.

    • Posted September 4, 2020 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Sounds a recipe for a bloodbath! Presumably based on the US!

      • Posted September 4, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Though I’ve only watched one episode, I didn’t get the feeling they were making a political statement on the current state of the US. Of course, that may change.

  20. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    (I’m working on a big seedless watermelon)

    SWMBO has consumed, as far as I can tell, between 3 and 4% of her body weight in watermelon in the last 18 hours. Is that normal?

  21. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    An excellent cartoon from the FB page The Giggle Box Project:

    Doubly amusing for those whose idiom includes being “up before the beak”.

  22. Posted September 4, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I watched the Fantasy Island episode linked. I completely forgot how bad they were!

  23. grasshopper
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar – YYY men.

    YY UR
    yy UB
    ICUR
    YY 4 ME

  24. Wayne Y Hoskisson
    Posted September 4, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    YYY Delilah, in Mormon lore, was an unattractive woman who was called on a church mission at 21. At one time women were not called on missions until age 21 and they were usually service missions as opposed to preaching or proselytizing missions that young men served. Supposedly the returned missionary would be more marriageable. I don’t remember much about this.


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*

%d bloggers like this: