Tuesday: Hili dialogue

March 2, 2021 • 6:30 am
Business first: an Australian reader reports that she receives email for all posts EXCEPT the Hili posts, which is very odd. If you’ve had this problem, please let me know.
Back to our usual program. Good morning on the first Tuesday of March: March 2, 2021: National Banana Cream Pie Day. It’s also Read Across America Day, and traditionally grade schools will read Dr. Seuss today, for today is Seuss’s birthday, the day that inspired the holiday. But not any more: Seuss has been binned since he was found to be racist. It’s Texas Independence Day, celebrating the day in 1836 when Texas declared its independence from Mexico and became the Republic of Texas. Finally, it’s International Rescue Cat Day. If you have a rescue cat, send me its photo; the first person to respond will get their cat posted right below.

. . . aaand, we have a winner; a cat whose staff is reader John McLoughlin.

An image of Higgs Boson, rescued on the day the eponymous God Particle was confirmed at CERN.

 

News of the Day:

Russian dissident Alexei Navalny is about to begin a 2½-year sentence in a really dire Russian prison camp 60 miles east of Moscow. In the meantime, the Biden administration, to its credit, is preparing new sanctions on Russia for its treatment of Navalny (remember, they tried to poison him first). They may be wimps regarding Saudi Arabia, but at least they’re standing up to Putin. But now revelations of Navalny’s xenophobic comments are surfacing, and they were serious enough to have Amnesty International revoke his status as a “prisoner of conscience.” That was a mistake for Amnesty International, even if Navalny isn’t perfect. After all, he is a prisoner of conscience.

Here’s Navalny and his wife Yulia; they have two daughters, one a student at Stanford, and live in a three-room apartment in Moscow.

Inside the Beltway, Elizabeth Warren is calling for Biden to forgive $50,000 in student loan debt for everyone. (That money, of course, will be paid by us, the taxpayers.) Biden is prepared to go to $10,000 for federal loans, but not more. It rubs me the wrong way to see ex-students on the news who say that they deserve to have all their debt forgiven, which seems to me a tad unethical. What will happen to future students, who won’t benefit? And what about those who have paid off their debts? Readers can and should weigh in here, as I haven’t thought about the issue much.

Now that Andrew Cuomo is facing two accusations of sexual harassment, it looks like he’ll soon be gone. It’s good that he’s called for a completely independent investigation of the charges, and we’ll soon know, I hope, how bad things were. Harassing those over whom you have power is just not on, and he should have known that, but we don’t know anything beyond the accusations. My own view is that he’s toast, but that’s based on the accusations alone and the Zeitgeist, not a deep knowledge of the facts. Already people are calling for his resignation.

Finally,  today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 514,404, an increase of about 1,500 deaths over yesterday’s figure  The reported world death toll stands at 2,551,987, an increase of about 7,700 deaths over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on March 2 includes:

Here’s a handscroll depicting the first (the houses were wooden, of course). It destroyed 60-70% of the city. Wikipedia says it’s rumored to have started this way:

The fire was said to have been started accidentally by a priest who was cremating an allegedly cursed kimono. The kimono had been owned in succession by three teenage girls who all died before ever being able to wear it. When the garment was being burned, a large gust of wind fanned the flames causing the wooden temple to ignite

Here’s one of those notes, now worth $75,000 or so:

  • 1807 – The U.S. Congress passes the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, disallowing the importation of new slaves into the country.
  • 1836 – Texas Revolution: The Declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico is adopted.
  • 1877 – Just two days before inauguration, the U.S. Congress declares Rutherford B. Hayes the winner of the 1876 U.S. presidential election even though Samuel J. Tilden had won the popular vote.

Sound familiar? Now this is a complicated one. Hayes won this way (from Wikipedia):

The results of the election remain among the most disputed ever. Although it is not disputed that Tilden outpolled Hayes in the popular vote, after a first count of votes, Tilden had won 184 electoral votes to Hayes’s 165, with 20 votes from four states unresolved: in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina, each party reported its candidate had won the state, while in Oregon, one elector was replaced after being declared illegal for being an “elected or appointed official”. The question of who should have been awarded these electoral votes is the source of the continued controversy.

An informal deal was struck to resolve the dispute: the Compromise of 1877, which awarded all 20 electoral votes to Hayes; in return for the Democrats’ acquiescence to Hayes’ election, the Republicans agreed to withdraw federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction.

The 1876 election is the second of five presidential elections in which the person who won the most popular votes did not win the election, but the only such election in which the popular vote winner received a majority (rather than a plurality) of the popular vote.

MacLean (spelling is wrong in the birthday entry above) fired a shot but missed. He was found guilty by reason of insanity and spent his life in the Broadmoor Lunatic Asylum. He tried to shoot the queen because he sent her some poetry and got a curt reply.

This of course required in-flight refueling.  As Wikipedia reports:

En route, the aircraft was refueled four times by KB-29M Superfortresses, near Lajes Air Base in the Azores, Dhahran Airfield in Saudi Arabia, Clark Air Base in the Philippines, and Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, using the soon-to-be obsolete grappled-line looped-hose technique.

That technique required the tanker to grab a cable from the receiver plane and then feed a hose via the cable back to the receiver. The tanker would the climb above the receiver plane so that the fuel could flow down via gravity. Here’s the B-50 being refueled on its round-the-world flight. Looks pretty messy, no?

This is still the record for points in a single game. It was not televised and no video exists. To the right: Wilt’s scores each quarter.

  • 1970 – Rhodesia declares itself a republic, breaking its last links with the British crown.
  • 1983 – Compact discs and players are released for the first time in the United States and other markets. They had previously been available only in Japan.
  • 1995 – Researchers at Fermilab announce the discovery of the top quark.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1793 – Sam Houston, American soldier and politician, 1st President of the Republic of Texas (d. 1863)
  • 1859 – Sholem Aleichem, Ukrainian-American author and playwright (d. 1916)

Aleichem’s real name was Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich, with the pseudonym being, of course, a greeting in Yiddish. His stories about Tevye the Dairyman were turned into a famous play, and you surely know what it is.

Here’s Rabinovich:

  • 1902 – Moe Berg, American baseball player and spy (d. 1972)

Look at that description! Yes, he was a catcher (a mediocre one, to be sure) and a spy in Europe before WWII, but was also known as “the brainiest guy in baseball”. Berg was also one of the few Jews to play major league ball. From Wikipedia:

A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School, Berg spoke several languages and regularly read ten newspapers a day. His reputation as an intellectual was fueled by his successful appearances as a contestant on the radio quiz show Information Please, in which he answered questions about the etymology of words and names from Greek and Latin, historical events in Europe and the Far East, and ongoing international conferences.

Here’s Mo:

  • 1904 – Dr. Seuss, American children’s book writer, poet, and illustrator (d. 1991)
  • 1921 – Ernst Haas, Austrian-American photographer and journalist (d. 1986)

Haas was one of my photographic role models when I took up color slide photography in grad school. Here’s one of his photos:

  • 1930 – Tom Wolfe, American journalist and author (d. 2018)

I reviewed Wolfe’s last book, which was a takedown of both Charles Darwin and Noam Chomsky, in a 2016 Washington Post article. As you can see, I was not kind to him.

Gorby turns 90 today, and Matthew sent me this in celebration: he was in a Pizza Hut ad! It’s for real (he was strapped for cash):

  • 1942 – John Irving, American novelist and screenwriter
  • 1942 – Lou Reed, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (d. 2013)
  • 1950 – Karen Carpenter, American singer (d. 1983)

What can I say? If she had married me, as she should have, she’d still be alive today. That, of course, is my fantasy, but she was one of the two great pop female voices of our time (the other is Barbra Streisand). Below: an example from the Carpenters’ live BBC concert in 1971 (the BBC’s live concerts were the best). This song, “For All We Know,” has been used continually at weddings. Listen to that voice!

  • 2010 – Hailey Dawson, American with a 3D-printed robotic hand

Those who kicked the bucket on March 2 include:

  • 1791 – John Wesley, English cleric and theologian (b. 1703)
  • 1797 – Horace Walpole, English historian and politician (b. 1717)
  • 1930 – D. H. Lawrence, English novelist, poet, playwright, and critic (b. 1885)
  • 1939 – Howard Carter, English archaeologist and historian (b. 1874)
  • 1991 – Serge Gainsbourg, French singer-songwriter, actor, and director (b. 1928)

Serge! Remember this song, and how it was damned for being salacious? (There’s clearly sex going on here!) Only in France would a song like this be recorded (it was written by Gainsbourg for Brigitte Bardot). Gainsbourg died at 62 of a heart attack, and it may not be irrelevant that he smoked 5 backs of unfiltered Gitanes a day. Have you ever had one of those cigarettes? OY!

One more from Dusty; this is my favorite song of hers, though “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” is more popular:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili seems bored:

Hili: Scratching myself with this stick is a difficult art.
A: You don’t have to do it.
Hili: It’s an interesting challenge.
In Polish:
Hili: Drapanie się tym patyczkiem to trudna sztuka.
Ja: Nie musisz tego robić.
Hili: To jest interesujące wyzwanie.

Also in Dobrzyn, Little Kulka is, as the caption goes, “Helping with the trimming of the trees.”

In Polish: Kulka pomaga przy przycinaniu drzew.

From Stash Krod:

From Bruce:

From Nicole:

From Barry: a cat apparently learns a trick in one go. I find this hard to believe but it’s funny:

From reader Jeremy, who says, “Like breaking wind in an elevator, this is wrong on so many levels. But it still made me laugh.”  Dr. Johnson’s story about a dog walking on two legs comes to mind.

Tweets from Matthew. The first shows a stunning murmuration of starlings (Matthew and I love these patterns), but they’re responding to a threat. Enlarge the video and see if you can see it. This is a prime example of the “herd effect” for avoiding predation:

As the Brits say, “Wait for it.” (You won’t have to wait long.)

This is about the weirdest beetle I’ve ever seen, and, as you know, God made thousands of beetle species:

This is like a vision from a dream:

I don’t completely buy this one, because when I cover the middle line the bottom block still looks a bit brighter.

76 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

    1. Agreed. Also, since incurring debt for education is a choice, I would rather see some relief for enormous health care bills for illnesses that are not a choice. Of course the health care industry would likely fight that if they thought they’d lose any revenue.

  1. You left out Moe Berg’s greatest exploit. In 1944 he attended a lecture by Heisenberg in Zurich, with a gun in his pocket, intending to kill Heisenberg if he thought the lecture revealed that the Germans were close to developing an atomic bomb. Berg concluded they weren’t, and thus did not shoot Heisenberg.

    GCM

    1. Schrodinger would’ve described Heisenberg as being simultaneously both alive and dead during the lecture.

  2. I suggest the Australian reader checks her spam folder. During some weeks last Fall, the Hili e-mails were treated as spam by my e-mail service.

    This was preceded by a couple of months when all WEIT e-mails went to my spam folder. I had to unspam them one by one until the system restarted to deliver them to my inbox folder (slow learning artificial intelligence?). Until the problems with the Hilis began.

    But I am not in Australia.

    1. Agreed

      The emails might in fact be arriving – I think they are – but simply not appearing in the “inbox”. This might be due to an accidental flag of Hili as spam, junk, or who knows.

      1. I check my spam folder every day. Hili fails to arrive only once or twice a week, but all other WEIT emails arrive, and never flagged as spam.

        1. Here’s something to try :

          Completely unsubscribe. Let it go for a day (maybe). See what happens. Then, depending what happened, subscribe again. Also check that only one email is used – for instance, accidentally using someone else’s WordPress, or who knows.

          Meanwhile, look for other folders in the email account – there’s a bunch that have stuff show up in mine even thiugh they shouldn’t. I never had to really sort it out but the software is dumb, and the whole thing needs a kick around now and again.

  3. “A fire in Edo (now Tokyo), Japan, caused more than 100,000 deaths; it lasted three days” – boy, that kimono really was cursed!

  4. My friend the lawyer says that any loan forgiveness would be viewed by the IRS as income, and would thus be taxable. That could be an unpleasant surprise. Aside from whether the President has authority to do it, I don’t think he should, both for fiscal reasons and because it will set an expectation that these loans don’t really have to be paid back. If he wants to do something useful, he would limit stop unlimited student loans, which have driven up the cost of tuition beyond the value of the degree.

    1. Having not thought much about this either, my first thought is to simply delay payback until a date when the U.S. population is generally considered by the CDC to be fully vaccinated and thus in-person gathering restrictions have been lifted. I would make first payments due six months after these conditions, giving folks some time to be re-employed. The conditions that caused an inability to pay will have passed and life should continue on at that point.

  5. ” Andrew Cuomo is facing two accusations of sexual harassment”
    A third woman has come forward with pictures. Cuomo is gone.

    1. Mario’s boy Andrew is about to get his ticket punched; it’s just a matter of time, likely measured in days.

      Personally, I rooted for the redheaded lawyer from Sex in the City against him in the primary anyway.

  6. Jerry – cover all the shadow shading & you will see it is the same colour. It is the shading & highlight that fool the eye.

  7. “God made thousands of beetle species”
    God was created by entomologists to give them something to play with.

    1. I do not understand that beetle. It looks as if its hind legs were attached to its abdomen instead of the thorax. It must be an effect of the photograph.

  8. Serge! Remember this song, and how it was damned for being salacious?

    Sounds to me like Mr. Gainsbourg may have been listening to the cascading organ chords from Procul Harum’s “Whiter Shade of Pale” when he penned that one.

    1. I doubt that he had been listening to it, but he might have heard it while doing something else.

      His real name was Sergei Ginzburg. Many famous people of French culture are immigrants or children of immigrants: Patricia Kaas, Georges Moustaki, Nicolas Sarkozy, Charlotte Rampling, Jane Birkin, Charles Aznavour.

    1. Green’s congressional office is directly across the hall from Illinois freshman congresswoman Marie Newman, who has an adult transgender daughter.

      1. “Trust the science” That’s rich, coming from a GOP Qanon conspirator who denies climate change, denies evolution and doesn’t wear a mask in regards to Covid. And that’s a professional looking sign; she must have a lot of time on her hands since she got kicked off all her committees.

  9. 1 The B50 in the photo is still partially in existence, according to Wikipedia.

    2 I also like that Dusty Springfield song, but it would be nice to find a video of her singing it, rather than miming. Although maybe such a video doesn’t exist. Also, in my opinion Son of a Preacher Man is better than either of the songs you mentioned.

    3 I think the dark block still looks a bit darker because of the shading on the vertical edges.

  10. What will happen to future students, who won’t benefit?

    They can expect to pay more in tuition, because the Universities aren’t stupid. Any time the USG gives students money, they’ll just raise their costs so they can collect that too.

    What we need is some sort of tuition control. Maybe some sort of direct Federal-to-school deal where the fed gives some grant to schools that agree to keep their total tuition, room, and board costs to incoming students to below a certain amount. Or something like that – I accept that it’s probably not easy to fix for private Universities. The obvious answer for the state schools is to do better at supporting their state systems. As an example, W&M and UVA both receive less than 11% of their operating funds from the state of Virginia. This is pretty shameful, and goes a little bit of the way to explaining why tuition at those schools are so high – while they are technically public schools, financially, they’re effectively private.

    1. I may recall wrong, but think that i recall around 2005-2010 timeframe, the presidents of uva and w&m and vt, “tier one research universities” cut a deal with the state that in exchange for less oversight and fewer reporting requirements, the universities would become more financially independent…a real pipe dream for w&m. The state gladly cut back support, probably did not cut back regulations, and the universities simply increased costs to students rather than cover additional expenses through the hard work of increasing outside grants and alumni giving. So i think that uva and w&m did it to themselves a bit….though, regardless of the handshake that i think happened, the state has been unconscionably tight fisted.

    1. The low-tech way it to cut two appropriately spaced holes in a piece of thick paper, then hold the paper over your screen. Without the background, you can more easily see whether the shade/color in one hole is the same as the shade/color in the other.

      I haven’t tried it with this one, but it worked for the chessboard illusion.

  11. I also liked much of Dirty Rifle(Dusty Springfield) back in the day. However, I thought Carpenter was suppose to marry me? I think you can stick a fork in Cuomo, he is done. Oddly, he will be replaced by a female.

    I was pretty familiar with two of the four places the refueling was accomplished to make that round the world flight. Clark AFB, in the Philippines and Hickam AFB, Hawaii. Hickam is still in operation but Clark was shut down shortly after the volcano in the PI. Clark had been the largest overseas base the U.S. had at the time.

  12. I do like Karen Carpenter’s voice; she was a fine percussionist, too. I have a problem with Ms. Streisand in that, to me, she always sounds as if she is singing the last song that will ever be sung. And at the risk of being canceled, though from what I couldn’t say, I feel the same way about Jessye Norman’s bigger-than-life operatic voice: too much whatever the equivalent of a singer’s cowbell would be.

  13. Ms. M. T. Greene will not be ignored by TV news ‘shows’ in U.S. I think the human species would be better off in the long run if she were simply completely ignored elsewhere, on TV, on the internet, etc. Unfortunately that will not happen, but perhaps it should be suggested as often as possible.

  14. One more from Dusty [Springfield]; this is my favorite song of hers …

    I’m partial to the later southern-soul-tinged Dusty over the early torch-song Dusty, especially to the Dusty from her LP Dusty in Memphis (the one whence her hit “Son of a Preacher Man” came).

  15. Will not ending the student loan debt endanger the continuation of the student loan program? Future students will expect their loans will be forgiven too, and take out loans like it is free money. The FSA will be swamped with applications.

    PS The block illusion worked as advertised for me.

  16. It’s funny. Just hours before the story about Cuomo broke, I was thinking about how allegations regarding certain subjects are the best way to immediately destroy someone. Cuomo killed thousands of old people and caused the biggest super-spreader event of the COVID crisis with his executive order requiring nursing homes to take COVID-positive patients, but everyone just said, “meh.” But get accused of harassment by two people? The President’s Press Secretary has to tell everyone how worried he is!

    My thoughts were brought on by what’s currently happening to one of the greatest hockey players of the current generation, Artemi Panarin. He has been an outspoken critic of Putin for years and has supported Alexei Navalny as recently as a couple of months ago on Instagram. Now, one of his coaches from back in Russia says Panarin hit an 18-year-old woman back in 2011. There is zero evidence, either from the police in Latvia (where the incident is said to have taken place), any investigation in Russia or by the league he was playing in at the time, or his teammates (who all said that this didn’t happen). It seems that his former coach is a Putin stooge. But Panarin still has family in Russia for whom he’s deeply concerned and his current league (the NHL) has to take all allegations seriously and investigate them, so Panarin has to take an indefinite leave of absence from the NHL to deal with these apparently entirely fabricated allegations. Allegations of certain crimes have become the best way to destroy your enemies. Superweapons like this are never good.

    Let’s hope Panarin has never said anything that doesn’t comport with progressive American values, lest something happen to him and Amnesty International decides he is no longer as important as a political prisoner.

    1. To be clear, Cuomo should absolutely be investigated and, it’s started to seem, probably get gone. I just wish the media and others had something to say about him before all of this, when he completely bungled his state’s COVID response. Instead, he was hailed as a hero.

      1. Is it also quite odd that the orange one who lost the last election is not held up as the guy who killed more people and did less than just about any human on the planet, including far worse than Cuomo. And as far as sexual harassment goes, just because it does not exist in the republican party does not mean it is not there. Certainly Cuomo really screwed up the nursing home business in New York and he should be held accountable for that but over the entire country, far worse should be accountable to Trump and his worthless administration.

        1. Is there anything in the world that Democrats can do that doesn’t make you say, “well, TRUMP”? This has nothing to do with Trump.

          Also, despite the fact that I think Trump is the worst President in history, Operation Warp Speed was a remarkable achievement. But none of that matters, because I wasn’t talking about Trump. I was talking about the media treating Cuomo as a hero as he killed thousands of people with his stupid order. The proper response to that isn’t,”yeah, but Trump/Republicans did things too!” The mainstream media hasn’t been treating Trump’s COVID response as if it’s some amazing Sisyphean task of leadership, as they have with Cuomo.

          Crikey.

        2. “Certainly Cuomo really screwed up the nursing home business in New York and he should be held accountable for that but over the entire country, far worse should be accountable to Trump and his worthless administration.

          Trump has been held accountable every day throughout mainstream media and impeached twice. How about Cuomo?

      1. “…and by the NY State AG’s office for the COVID nursing-home scandal, as has been widely reported for several weeks.”

        He’s been under investigation only for a few weeks, and only for covering up just how many people his orders killed, which we already knew were many, many thousands, with thousands more made ill. But, in the months prior, he was being hailed and covered as one of the great leaders in fighting COVID, despite what we already knew about the nursing home debacle.

    2. The Cuomo brothers popularity during coronavirus was the greatest sign of our political insanity. Andrew sent infected people back to nursing homes while NYC was not taking advantage of a navy hospital ship and a $52 million temporary hospital. Chris was infecting others while breaking quarantine and his wife was advocating bleach baths as a cure. This was all published and but still ignored.

      Meanwhile the brothers were joking together on CNN (no conflict of interest) and Andrew was being hailed as the heroic anti-Trump and won an Emmy.

      It was bizarre and a sign of how biased the media is.

        1. Again, as I said above, why should our standard be the worst Republicans/conservatives? Don’t you think we should hold ourselves to a bit of a higher standard if we are to have any moral high ground at all? Or even just because we should be better than them, regardless of anything else?

          Moreover, Curtis’ post was about how the media and its treatment of certain figures is a sign of the media’s bias and, by extension, the fracturing of this country and the media’s hand in helping that happen. Even I don’t trust CNN (or MSNBC, or channel 7, or the NYT, etc.), and why should I? So, certainly a Republican/conservative or even most independents never will, as they see the bias clear as day, just as I see the bias in Fox News or Breitbart. The media, in choosing sides and skewing coverage, removes their own legitimacy, helping immensely to contribute to this new world of “alternative facts.” Each side now has their own facts, their own biased sources, and nothing can change that, unless perhaps the media admits their hand in it and changes. But that won’t happen because the media is increasingly being taken over by even less (ideologically) diverse voices who believe in “activist journalism” rather than actual journalism, and because this kind of bias increases their ratings/revenue.

          1. Sorry, I didn’t take Curtis’s comment seriously. Since you want to take it seriously, I’ll do the same.

            I have often watched Chris Cuomo’s show on CNN. While his personal leanings are likely liberal and Democrat, I find his coverage fair. As far as his dealings with his brother, I think viewers enjoyed the humor and gentle jousting between the two. That said, if I were looking for critical coverage of Andrew Cuomo, I would not look to his brother’s coverage. I’m not saying that Chris lied for his brother but others would be able to provide a more independent view.

            I don’t know enough about the COVID in NY retirement homes as I live in CA. I am aware it’s an issue and that Cuomo is being accused of making bad decisions and covering them up. I got this from the supposedly biased MSM outlets so there’s that.

            I’m also aware that Andrew Cuomo is being accused of impropriety by at least two women. He’s invited investigations so it sounds like that will happen and truth will be discovered. Sounds like there are investigations into his actions so that sounds like things are working properly. CNN is no longer allowing Chris to interview his brother which makes a lot of sense.

            All in all, I don’t see how CNN or Chris Cuomo has done anything wrong here. They are certainly reporting on Andrew Cuomo’s problems. What else should they do? I don’t see how your charge of bias really holds water here. Perhaps I’m missing something.

            1. I would not waist much time on this Paul. Soon he will be telling you what is the proper response to his commits. That always goes over well.

            2. You do not seeing anything wrong with having a politician’s brother regularly being his interviewer? No conflict of interest? Tens of thousands of people were dying in NYC and CNN had his brother interview him.

              Amazingly, there were no tough question just “humor and gentle jousting between the two.” Is that what you want during a time of death?

              CNN had an anti-Trump agenda that matched the Cuomos. It got clicks and viewership and showed their bias.

              1. Nothing wrong at all. Chris Cuomo is not an investigative reporter. CNN has other people for that. As soon as there was potentially negative news involving his brother, they stopped him interviewing him. As far as I know, CNN is reporting Andrew Cuomo’s issues fairly. It’s almost as if you would prefer Chris Cuomo to be giving us the lowdown on his brother. You don’t always get what you want.

                Chris Cuomo, like many other MSM reporters, has a bias toward reporting truth. That’s always going to seem unfair to Trump and his supporters. Too bad.

              2. You do not seeing anything wrong with having a politician’s brother regularly being his interviewer?

                I see nothing wrong with it so long as viewers are made aware of the potential conflict of interest. Are you under the impression that CNN viewers are unaware of their familial relationship? (And if viewers don’t like it, they’re free to exercise the option offered by their remote controls.)

                Hell’s bells, even Cicero was permitted to address the Roman senate pro domo sua.

            3. I guess it’s fair if you think Chris Cuomo, in particular, had no personal issues in his reporting, but I’d say that there was a clear bias in the mainstream media in not reporting much (if at all) on the executive order at the beginning of all this that killed at least several thousand people and sickened much more, and was given against the advice of the nursing homes and health professionals. Maybe I’m showing bias in feeling that Gov. Cuomo has been depicted over the last few months as one of the leaders and “cool heads” of the crisis, and, if I’m right about that, I think that’s deeply unfair.

              With regard to what Randall said below, I’d like anyone to show that I engage in anything but civil discussion the vast majority of the time, and that I’ve ever called out anyone for anything but what I believe to be false equivalencies and other legitimate topics of debate (and Randall’s regular habit of insulting people who disagree with him). If you, personally, have a problem with how I’ve responded to your comments in the past or today, I encourage you to let me know, as I genuinely do try to be civil and stick to proper discussion, and would want to know if anything I’ve said or how I’ve said it has crossed the line. That’s an honest request for you (and anyone else) to tell me how, if any way, I can improve my commenting/discussion with others. I would always want to know if my comments are not conducive to discussion and/or seem uncivil in any way. And, if I have insulted you somehow, I apologize for that.

              1. As I said, I don’t live in NY so don’t follow the Cuomo story closely. Still, I will give you my take on what little I know.

                Cuomo’s deal with the retirement homes was always a story, along with Cuomo’s overall dealing with the pandemic in his state. The former was controversial from the start. I’m sure if you do a little googling, you will find all the MSM outlets were focusing on the issue. On the latter, he generally got high marks though it was often observed that NY had a high rate of disease. No one knew if that was because of the fact that NYC is a high-density, cosmopolitan place with lots of people traveling to and fro, or that Cuomo was not doing the right thing. Some of it is also probably due to it being the first US place hit hard and, therefore, couldn’t benefit from later knowledge of the disease. Cuomo also claimed that he moved COVID patients to retirement homes on the advice of state health professionals. Perhaps it made sense at the time. Again, I have no idea if it true.

                The latest issue (disregarding his sexual issues) is that some are claiming his admin covered up deaths in retirement homes. Cuomo claims he didn’t and, as far as I know, that’s where it stands. I still see no evidence that the MSM is helping Cuomo. He’s the subject of multiple investigations which the MSM is reporting. You still haven’t given even one example of where the MSM or the Left went wrong here. Cuomo might have made mistakes and even committed crimes but he’s being investigated.

  17. If the government pays off student loans, I’m going to feel like a real chump for having paid mine already. Let the universities pay it off. They caused the problem, and the elite ones have endowments larger than the GDPs of some countries. If the universities need to save money they can trim their bloated administration staff.
    If taxpayers foot the bill then it’s the same as the Wall street banks bailout.

    1. My daughter is entering college next year. It’s seems chumpish for me to pay instead of borrowing. But I was raised to be responsible and will pay for it.

  18. RE Howard Carter: I believe there was a curse on Kung Tut’s tomb. It can’t be a coincidence that the excavators are all dead now.

  19. I thought beetle legs all came out of the thorax, but with these Brentidae there are at least two pretty clearly attaching to the abdomen. And pretty far in the back, too.

    Unless both those parts behind the head are actually the thorax, and the abdomen is that little yellowish bit on the end?

    1. I prefer a world where Melania reads Dr. Seuss and Trump is president to one in which my grandchildren will be deprived of “Scrambled eggs Super-dee-Dooper-dee-Booper Special de luxe a-la-Peter T. Hooper!” and

      The Circus McGurkus! The cream of the cream!
      The Circus McGurkus! The Circus Supreme!
      The Circus McGurkus! Colossal! Stupendous!
      Astounding! Fantastic! Terrific! Tremendous!

      I rather doubt I will ever vote for a Democrat again.

  20. OK, I covered the line with my middle finger. Now people are looking at me funny, asking if I need a vacation. Why is that? I don’t understand!

  21. The full saying is “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. It’s been shortened over the years to “The proof is in the pudding”, which no longer makes sense.

  22. The solution to the student loan debt problem is to make sch debts dischargeable in bankruptcy. Thus, it would be “forgiven” for those with a genuine, demonstrable need. In fact, the problem didn’t exist until the law was changed in 2005 to make them nondischargeable.

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