We’ve rushed through a chilly week in Chicago, making it to today: Friday, October 2, 2020. It’s World Farm Animals Day, so you must go vegan until tomorrow. It’s also National Fried Scallops Day, World No Alcohol Day (fuggedaboutit), National Denim Day (I’m wearing mine), and International Day of Non-Violence, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.
It was a three-bun morning, as I saw three Eastern cottontails on my way to work. And there was a full moon; perhaps that brings them out?
I have a couple of appointments today, so posting may be light. As always, please bear with me.
News of the Day: The big news, which I just discovered upon waking up, is that both Trump and Melania have tested positive for coronavirus.
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
From the NYT:
During late-night conversations, aides to Mr. Trump were discussing whether he should give an address to the nation on Friday from the White House or find some other way for him to reassure the public. But the aides were still in a state of shock as they absorbed the news, and there was no immediate word on how far the infection may have spread among senior White House officials, who generally do not wear masks in deference to the president’s disdain for them.
“The president and first lady are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence,” Dr. Sean P. Conley, the White House physician, said in a statement, adding: “Rest assured I expect the president to continue carrying out his duties without disruption while recovering, and I will keep you updated on any future developments.”
Other aides to the president would not say whether he was experiencing symptoms, but people at the White House noticed that his voice sounded raspy on Thursday, although it was not clear that was abnormal for him, especially given the number of campaign rallies he has been holding lately.
He’ll have to quarantine, which means the debates are off, and it can’t do his fortunes any good, especially because he impugned mask wearing, so it’s ironic as well.
In light of the above, this may be moot. Frank Bruni is at odds with the consensus of New York Times editors. His new editorial, “For the sake of democracy, cancel the Trump-Biden debates“, calls for the Presidential debates to end because because Trump “will use these showcases to subvert democracy.” That’s over the top, and I agree with the main editorial, “A debate that can’t be ignored“, in which the Times‘s editorial board calls for the slugfest to continue:
As the dust settled, there were calls for Mr. Biden to skip the rest of the debates. That is an understandable reaction; Mr. Trump’s behavior makes it essentially impossible to have a civil, substantive conversation.
But that is the exact opposite of what needs to happen. Mr. Biden will show up for all of the remaining debates, and Americans should too. Donald Trump is their president. They need to face him, and the reckoning he has brought on the Republic.
Indeed, I may not be able to stomach watching all the rest of the debates, but it will be a record of the man’s behavior. And on Wednesday Kamala Harris squares off against Pence.
Speaking of the debates, after the debate commission said it was working on changing the rules to ensure more harmonious Presidential debates, the Trump campaign said it’s opposing any changes in the format. As CNN reported:
Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told reporters that the campaign “(does) not want any changes to what has already been laid out and what has been agreed to for the second and third debate, period, point blank.” He said Trump “fully plans” on participating in the remaining debates, as does Vice President Mike Pence.
If nothing changes, the remaining two debates won’t be worth watching. But given the news about the President’s infection, this is probably irrelevant.
Stuff that happened on October 2 include:
- 1187 – Siege of Jerusalem: Saladin captures Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule.
- 1528 – William Tyndale publishes The Obedience of a Christian Man, which advocates the divine right of kings.
- 1789 – The United States Bill of Rights is sent to the various States for ratification.
- 1919 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson suffers a massive stroke, leaving him incapacitated for several weeks.
- 1967 – Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first African-American justice of the United States Supreme Court.
This is an adorable photo (Marshall was apponted by Lyndon Johnson):
- 1996 – The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments are signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
- 2002 – The Beltway sniper attacks begin, extending over three weeks.
The snipers were John Allen Muhammad (aged 41 at the time) and Lee Boyd Malvo (aged 17 at the time); they killed 17 people and wounded ten others. Muhammad was executed by lethal injection in November, 2009, while Malvo is serving six consecutive life sentences.
- 2006 – Five Amish girls are murdered in a shooting at a school in Pennsylvania, United States.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1800 – Nat Turner, American slave and uprising leader (d. 1831)
- 1869 – Mahatma Gandhi, Indian freedom fighter, activist and philosopher (d. 1948)
Say what you will about Gandhi, he is a hero of mine, owning almost no goods save his glasses, staff, bowl, sandals and false teeth. He was completely dedicated to India’s freedom:
Here’s the entirety of what he owned (save his choppers) when he died:
- 1890 – Groucho Marx, American comedian and actor (d. 1977)
- 1897 – Bud Abbott, American comedian (d. 1974)
- 1904 – Graham Greene, English novelist, playwright, and critic (d. 1991)
- 1917 – Christian de Duve, English-Belgian cytologist and biochemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2013)
- 1933 – John Gurdon, English biologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate
- 1945 – Don McLean, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1948 – Donna Karan, American fashion designer, founded DKNY
- 1949 – Annie Leibovitz, American photographer
Here’s Leibovitz’s 1980 photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono:
- 1951 – Sting, English singer-songwriter, bass player, and actor
- 1970 – Maribel Verdú, Spanish actress
I’ve been smitten by Verdú ever since I saw her in the fantastic Mexican movie Y Tu Mamá También, which you must see. A scene:
Those who stopped living on October 2 include:
- 1803 – Samuel Adams, American philosopher and politician, 4th Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1722)
- 1968 – Marcel Duchamp, French painter and sculptor (b. 1887)
- 1973 – Paavo Nurmi, Finnish runner (b. 1897)
- 1985 – Rock Hudson, American actor (b. 1925)
- 1987 – Peter Medawar, Brazilian-English biologist and zoologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)
- 1998 – Gene Autry, American actor, singer, and guitarist (b. 1907)
- 2005 – August Wilson, American author and playwright (b. 1945)
- 2016 – Neville Marriner, British conductor (b. 1924)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili comments on the pandemic and the divergent views about it:
Hili: Times are changing.A: Undoubtedly, but people see it differently.
Hili: Czasy się zmieniają.Ja: Niewątpliwie, ale ludzie różnie to widzą.
From Charles, Ruben Bolling’s view of Trump’s America (click to enlarge):
Also from Charles: the importance of punctuation.
From Titania. Have a look at the tweet she’s highlighted:
Death threats are hate speech and those who send them *must* be prosecuted.
Except when they come from social justice activists, in which case they are virtuous and brave. pic.twitter.com/AHHBZVZe5n
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) September 30, 2020
From Sarah Cooper, taking the part of both Trump and interviewer Laura Ingraham discussing Trump’s call for drug testing before the first debate::
How to drugs https://t.co/2T2psYBDRv
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) September 29, 2020
From Simon: The Banksy of Asia does a lovely mural:
Great artwork! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/fCEBYq9Syz
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden_) October 1, 2020
Tweets from Matthew. First, quokkas are an appreciative (and adorable) audience. Sound up.
Juggling for Quokkas pic.twitter.com/zEzrOraCKs
— Chef Bread (@Breadbuyt) September 30, 2020
Matthew loves crinoids (“feather stars” a kind of echinoderm); in fact, a video of one is pinned at the top of his Twitter feed. Here’s another (there’s music):
Dancing with Crinoids by @_bugdreamer_ 😄🤙🏽 pic.twitter.com/pduNz3FfRw
— MaduroDive (@MaduroDive) October 1, 2020
This one comes from an architecture critic. Matthew notes, “Check it out, there are 73 pics of this mansion in all. Starts boring and gradually gets crazier and crazier… ” You have to click on the house in the tweet to see the photos. I’d buy it for the wine cellar!
holy shit none of you are prepared for this house https://t.co/5SWODb1iwr
— remco piano (@mcmansionhell) September 30, 2020
Kitten on a leash!
Just showed the photos to my daughter and her head exploded. It’s her big dream for her to walk down to school with a kitten on a lead. pic.twitter.com/1JKvdsZfnY
— Raymond (@raubrey) October 1, 2020
Did you know that dung beetles can squeak. Sound up if you want to be convinced:
This incredible dung beetle video was posted to Insects of the Channel Islands FB page. A horned dungbeetle of some type, Copris lunaris? Can anyone help w/ species ID? @Buzz_dont_tweet
wonderful outraged squeaking. Never appreciated how vocal they are! 🥰#dungbeetle #Guernsey pic.twitter.com/FlVrn1unU8
— Guernsey_BRC (@Guernsey_BRC) October 1, 2020