It’s the Sabbath for cats: Saturday, June 5, 2021: National Ketchup (or Catsup) Day. Remember when the Reagan administration counted ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches? It’s also National Pineapple Day, Sausage Roll Day, National Bubbly Day, honoring champagne and its relatives, National Gingerbread Day, National Veggie Burger Day, and National Black Bear Day,
As for wine, I finished the bottle of Austin Hope 2015 Paso Robles Cabernet I described yesterday, and it was even better than before. It remains the best California cab I’ve ever had, though a friend I told about it says that the price is at least $70 a bottle in California, and then only at auction. I have no more and it’s off the shelves, so I consider myself lucky.
News of the Day:
Facebook has cut down the indefinite ban it gave Donald Trump after the January Capitol siege. Now he can post again, but not for two years, which puts his reappearance after the midterm elections. He’s fulminating, of course, but does anyone share my feeling that even though the GOP is centered on him, he’s becoming increasingly marginal?
Did you know that seven states still legally ban atheists from holding public office? A piece in The Conversation gives details. Such bans are clearly unconstitutional and never, as far as I know, enforced, but someone should institute a court case. The problem is that unless you’ve been banned from holding office because you don’t believe in God, you have no standing to bring a lawsuit. But, like blasphemy laws and statues of Jefferson Davis, they are invidious anachronisms that need to be expunged.
The government-produced report on UFOs is now out, and the results are more or less as expected. As NBC News reports:
A highly anticipated government report sheds little light on the mystery, finding no evidence of extraterrestrial activity but not ruling it out either, according to two U.S. officials.
In other words, we don’t know much more than we did before
Sadly, the Secretary of the Atheists Society in Kenya has resigned, and for an odd reason. Here’s the announcement as sent to me by Barry (click to enlarge):
Poor AOC! Her abuela’s (grandmother’s) home in Puerto Rico was damaged by the recent hurricane, and she blames Trump for not giving enough aid to the U.S. territory. Apparently AOC, who can’t be that poor, can’t afford to help her granny, so Matt Walsh set up a GoFundMe campaign that has raised over $55,000! Even Ben Shapiro kicked in, donating the amount that AOC spends monthly on her Tesla lease. See below.
As you’ve heard, @AOC’s abuela is living in a dilapidated home that was ravaged by Hurricane Maria. AOC is unable to help her own grandma for whatever reason, so I have set up this Go Fund Me campaign to save her home. Please give if you can. #HelpAbuela https://t.co/F1N0Jxgnxg
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 4, 2021
I just donated $499, the monthly lease payment for a Tesla, to help AOC's grandmother fix her home. I challenge @glennbeck, @scrowder and @ClayTravis to do the same. Let's heal the world. https://t.co/q9pE00yEnB https://t.co/9EkXofsYkf
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) June 4, 2021
It will be amusing (and somewhat nice, if ironic) if AOC’s grandma’s home was saved by the conservatives she despises. Will AOC have a comment? (h/t: Luana).
California has passed a new mask mandate that make keep workers masked in the workplace into 2022. It all depends on the vaccination status of your coworkers:
The new rules require employees, even those who have been vaccinated, to continue wearing masks indoors if they are around other workers who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. If everyone is vaccinated, the masks can come off. The mandate drew ire from employers worried about having to police their workers’ vaccination status and from employees sick of wearing masks — even as other workers applauded the rules or said they don’t go far enough to protect their safety.
It seems to me that they should be able to create laws making vaccination mandatory if you’re going to a workplace with people, barring any conditions you have that militate against vaccination. Those who are voluntarily unvaccinated should not force everyone to wear masks, especially since the risk of being an asymptomatic carrier, if you’re vaccinated, is miniscule.
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 596,483, an increase of 414 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,728,471, an increase of about 10,700 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on June 5 includes:
- 1851 – Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, starts a ten-month run in the National Era abolitionist newspaper.
A first edition of this fabled abolitionist book will run you about $15,000:
Here’s a lovely poster advertising the train that rain from Paris to Istanbul:
- 1893 – The trial of Lizzie Borden for the murder of her father and step-mother begins in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Lizzie was acquitted by this jury:
- 1916 – Louis Brandeis is sworn in as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court; he is the first American Jew to hold such a position.
- 1916 – World War I: The Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire breaks out.
- 1944 – World War II: More than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.
D-Day, as you may recall, is tomorrow. I don’t think the bombing made the Germans realize that the invasion was imminent.
- 1956 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, “Hound Dog“, on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.
Here’s that performance. I doubt that the hip movements would be considered salacious today.
- 1967 – The Six-Day War begins: Israel launches surprise strikes against Egyptian air-fields in response to the mobilisation of Egyptian forces on the Israeli border.
- 1968 – Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan.
- 1975 – The United Kingdom holds its first country-wide referendum on membership of the European Economic Community (EEC).
- 1984 – Operation Blue Star: Under orders from India’s prime minister, Indira Gandhi, the Indian Army begins an invasion of the Golden Temple, the holiest site of the Sikh religion.
This of course eventually led to Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards.
- 1989 – The Tank Man halts the progress of a column of advancing tanks for over half an hour after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
We still don’t know who he was:
- 1995 – The Bose–Einstein condensate is first created.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1850 – Pat Garrett, American sheriff (d. 1908)
Garrett was famous for killing the outlaw Billy the Kid in 1881. Here’s Garrett:
- 1883 – John Maynard Keynes, English economist, philosopher, and academic (d. 1946)
- 1932 – Christy Brown, Irish painter and author (d. 1981)
Brown, who had cerebral palsy, wrote his autobiography, My Left Foot, made into a well known movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Here’s a photo of Brown and one of his paintings (made with his left foot):
- 1934 – Bill Moyers, American journalist, 13th White House Press Secretary
Those who snuffed it on June 5 include:
- 1900 – Stephen Crane, American poet, novelist, and short story writer (b. 1871)
Here’s Crane, who died at only 28 of tuberculosis:
His real name was William Sydney Porter, and he died at 47 from too much booze and diabetes (what works we would have had all the boozing authors laid off the sauce!). Here he is as a young man in Texas:
- 2002 – Dee Dee Ramone, American singer-songwriter and bass player (b. 1951)
- 2012 – Ray Bradbury, American science fiction writer and screenwriter (b. 1920)
- 2018 – Kate Spade, American fashion designer (b. 1962)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Paulina wants a word with Hili. Malgozata explains Hili’s “relative” response: “If Paulina is asking because she wants to give Hili a treat, Hili has plenty of time. If Paulina is asking because she has a chore for Hili to do, Hili doesn’t have a moment to spare.”
Paulina: Do you have a moment?Hili: It depends on what for, everything is relative.(Photo: Paulina R.)
Paulina: Masz chwilkę czasu?Hili: Zależy na co, wszystko jest względne.
And here’s Szaron (photo by Paulina):
From Bruce, a meme for New Age children:
From Jesus of the Day:
Speaking of AOC, here’s some performative lip service from her, though she wants the state of Israel to be abolished:
There is no room for anti-semitism in the movement for Palestinian liberation. Our critique is of Israel and their human rights abuses. This is not an excuse for anti-semitic hate crimes. https://t.co/ZkdcDECs9m
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) May 21, 2021
From Ginger K.: the scientific method:
— Tyus D. Williams 📸🐅🐆 (@sciencewithtyus) May 31, 2021
Also from Ginger K., a persistent kitten. How can you not love her?
Perseverance pays off.. pic.twitter.com/bwCP4k1KZ2
— The Feel Good Page ❤️ (@FeelGoodPage11) June 2, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. He keeps sending me tranquility videos, so either he’s anxious or, more likely, knows that I am:
Deep breath in…. and out 😌
— Wild Haweswater (@WildHaweswater) June 4, 2021
A phascogale! What is it? See here; they’re also called “wambengers” or “mousesacks”!
Leaving work at 5pm Friday be like… 🦘🦘
A very bouncy Red-tailed Phascogale is released during monitoring at our Kojonup Reserve, Noongar country in Western Australia.
Credit: Bas van der Ploeg pic.twitter.com/3U1qKkMd9x
— Bush Heritage (@BushHeritageAus) June 4, 2021
Okay, why did this guy do it in the first place?
— Holly Brockwell (@holly) June 4, 2021
Matthew has plenty of experience with three plumpish cats:
An extreme example of what do cats look like when they’ve been fed. pic.twitter.com/Moc13zhACS
— marcus kelson (@marcuskelson) May 11, 2021
A someone old and snarky tweet:
Happy Mother's Day! 🖤 pic.twitter.com/WlUwSbBZEd
— La Brea Tar Pits (@labreatarpits) May 9, 2021