Good morning on the Cruelest Day: Tuesday, June 28, 2022: National Tapioca Day. Though I dislike vanilla pudding, I do love tapioca. It must be the mouthfeel of the “pearls,” which I think accounts for the recent and huge popularity of “bubble tea” (I like that, too).
Stuff that happened on June 28 includes:
- 1838 – Coronation of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.
She was actually crowned a year after she’d become queen. Here’s a painting of the affair by Sir George Hayter:
Victoria and John Brown at Balmoral. Did they have an affair? Do see the 1997 movie “Mrs. Brown, which is terrific. It stars Judi Dench as Victoria and Billy Connolly as Mr. Brown.
Here’s Kelly photographed the day before his execution. Below that, the armor he wore when he was captured. He was hanged at 25.
- 1894 – Labor Day becomes an official US holiday.
- 1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie are assassinated in Sarajevo; this is the casus belli of World War I.
The car in which the assassination took place and the Archduke’s bloodstained uniform:
- 1942 – World War II: Nazi Germany starts its strategic summer offensive against the Soviet Union, codenamed Case Blue.
- 1969 – Stonewall riots begin in New York City, marking the start of the Gay Rights Movement.
This photo is labeled “The only known photograph taken during the first night of riots, by freelance photographer Joseph Ambrosini, shows gay youth scuffling with police.”
- 1978 – The United States Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke bars quota systems in college admissions.
- 1987 – For the first time in military history, a civilian population is targeted for chemical attack when Iraqi warplanes bombed the Iranian town of Sardasht.
Some victims. The agent was believed to be mustard gas, which is a nasty chemical agent. It doesn’t kill most of the time but incapacitates people with dire symptoms. In Sardasht there were 110 deaths and 8000 injured. Here are some of the victims:
- 1997 – Holyfield–Tyson II: Mike Tyson is disqualified in the third round for biting a piece off Evander Holyfield‘s ear.
Here’s the crucial bite (sorry for the violence today). It looks as if Tyson bit off only part of Holyfield’s ear:
Milošević (below) died of a heart attack in prison before the long trial was over. The charges against him were a long list: “genocide; complicity in genocide; deportation; murder; persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds; inhumane acts/forcible transfer; extermination; imprisonment; torture; willful killing; unlawful confinement; willfully causing great suffering; unlawful deportation or transfer; extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; cruel treatment; plunder of public or private property; attacks on civilians; destruction or willful damage done to historic monuments and institutions dedicated to education or religion; unlawful attacks on civilian objects.”
*As somebody predicted in yesterday’s Nooz, the Dobbs decision may cause a fracas in state courts, because states have constitutions, too—some of them ensuring a right to privacy stronger than that of the federal Constitution.
And so it goes. Yesterday in Louisiana, which had a strong anti-abortion “trigger law,” a state judge temporarily blocked enforcement of that law, about to go into effect. But we have no information about why. As the WaPo reports, “There was no immediate additional comment from [Judge Robin M.] Giarrusso on the merits of the case.”
The NYT reports that one of the state’s three abortion clinics immediately began providing the procedure, and the other two are anticipated to also begin performing abortions. How long this will last I don’t know, but the New York Times says that there may be state constitutional issues:
Abortion providers in Louisiana argued that the state’s trigger laws violate the state’s constitution and “are void for vagueness” because it is unclear if they would take immediate effect after the Supreme Court’s ruling, and they do not provide enough specifics about banned actions — such as what exceptions exist for medical workers trying to save a pregnant woman’s life.
The Supreme Court ruled today in favor of the public high school football coach who prayed at midfield in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. The vote was — this will come as a shock, I know — 6 to 3.
The opinion is available here.
The Wall Street Journal notes that the majority opinion was written by Gorsuch:
Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority in the ruling, declared, “The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.
Gorsuch noted that the coach “prayed during a period when school employees were free to speak with a friend, call for a reservation at a restaurant, check email, or attend to other personal matters” and “while his students were otherwise occupied.”
It would be wrong to treat everything public school teachers and coaches say and do as speech subject to government control, he wrote. If that were the case, “a school could fire a Muslim teacher for wearing a headscarf in the classroom or prohibit a Christian aide from praying quietly over her lunch in the cafeteria,” he wrote.
He closed by writing that: “Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic—whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a field, and whether they manifest through the spoken word or a bowed head.”
I scanned the opinion, but read more carefully the dissent of Sonia Sotomayor, as she showed that Coach Kennedy wasn’t just praying by himself in midfield, but was joined by others. Here are three pages from her dissent showing photos of the “solitary prayer.” Kennedy got students and other players nvolved, too, and that can be construed as religious coercion of students. Indeed, Sotomayor says that some students felt coerced to pray. But that doesn’t matter to today’s Court.
*The damn Russian army can’t stop killing Ukrainian citizens, and I’m sure they do it deliberately. Today in the city of Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, which has heretofore not been bombed, a Russian missile struck a shopping mall. Casualties aren’t yet fully counted, but over a thousand civilians were in the mall, and at least 15 shoppers died.
Russian long-range bombers fired a missile that struck a crowded shopping mall in Ukraine’s central city of Kremenchuk on Monday, raising fears of what President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an “unimaginable” number of victims in “one of the most daring terrorist attacks in European history.”
Zelenskky said more than 1,000 civilians were inside the mall, with many managing to escape. Giant plumes of black smoke, dust and orange flames emanated from the wreckage, with emergency crews rushing in to search broken metal and concrete for victims and put out fires. Onlookers watched in distress.
. . . Soldiers worked into the night to lug sheets of twisted metal and broken concrete, as one drilled into what remained of the shopping center’s roof. Drones whirred above, clouds of dark smoke still emanating from the ruins several hours after the fire had been put out.
This target had no military value; bombing it is a war crime. Yet we are nearly powerless to stop the carnage.
*If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is truly ambitious to become a Senator or even President, as I suspect, she’d better learn to shut her yap. Her latest tirade is to call for an act that we might agree on, but which is impossible to accomplish: impeaching two Supreme Court Justices who, she says, lied about their views on Roe v. Wade during their congressional vetting:
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling for a House investigation into whether two Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade should be impeached for lying at their confirmation hearings about their views of the landmark abortion-rights case.
In a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat and progressive firebrand, said that she thinks the justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, were dishonest when discussing Roe at the hearings.
“They lied,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said during the interview, adding at another point that “there must be consequences for such a deeply destabilizing action and hostile takeover of our democratic institutions.”
Perhaps they did, but so do Democratic nominees: they all say that they can’t judge cases that they haven’t yet heard. The critical point here is proving that they lied, and how are you going to do that? Did they make some statement sub rosa to others like “You know, if I get on the Court, I’m going to overturn Roe v. Wade“? If not, then the whole enterprise is meaningless and a waste of time. AOC may usually favor good policies, but she’s a hothead and a progressive who doesn’t appeal to centrist Democrats, and that’s why she’ll never get to either the Senate or the White House.
*From reader David via the conservative Washington Times, we hear that the Pentagon planned to stop its commercial production of ammunition for AR-15 semiautomatic weapons, as the Department of Defense owns a munitions plant that, via contractors, produces 40% of America’s commercial AR-15 bullets. Then Congressional Republicans stepped in, and Biden apparently caved:
Fifty House Republicans have petitioned President Biden to stop the Pentagon’s plan to ban commercial production of AR-15 ammunition at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Missouri, which makes as much as 40% of the commercially available AR-15 bullets in the U.S.
The factory, owned by the Department of Defense, has allowed private contractors over the years to operate the plant and produce 5.56 mm ammunition, which is used in AR-15 semi-automatic firearms, for commercial sales that exceed U.S. military needs.
Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, later told The Washington Times that the White House would not follow through on the plan.
“The contract’s been in place like it is for most of post World War II America. … I’ve been assured there will not in the near future, or in this administration, would there be a change in that contract,” he said.
The lawmakers’ letter, spearheaded by Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Sam Graves of Missouri, said the Biden administration had tried to circumvent Congress by banning ammunition for the popular firearm.
Well, maybe Biden didn’t realize that he lacked authority to stop production of the ammunition. Does anybody here know?
*Reader Paul apprised me of a NASA website and video about climate change since 1880 using “climate spiral” graphics. It’s scary. From NASA:
This visualization shows monthly global temperature anomalies (changes from an average) between the years 1880 and 2021. Whites and blues indicate cooler temperatures, while oranges and reds show warmer temperatures. As you can see, global temperatures have warmed from mainly human activities as time has progressed.
These temperatures are based on data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). Anomalies are defined relative to a base period of 1951 to 1980. The data file used to create this visualization can be accessed here.
The “climate spiral” is a visualization designed by climate scientist Ed Hawkins from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading. Climate spiral visualizations have been widely distributed; a version was even part of the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Hili: Taking into account all the pros and cons, I’m against it.A: This is quite a common attitude.
Hili: Biorąc pod uwagę wszystkie za i przeciw, jestem przeciw.Ja: To dość powszechna postawa.
From Doc Bill:
From Jesus of the Day:
And another gem from Doc Bill. I hope you’ve seen “Titanic.”
Via Ziya Tong (“Earthling”). These swans are clearly having a fantastic time!
— ContempraINN🌹 (@CONTEMPRA_INN) June 22, 2022
Two tweets from Simon. First, Boris Johnson’s daily exercise:
Johnson steps out of his cars
— UK is with EU (@ukiswitheu) June 26, 2022
And wonderful Parisian cops. Make way for ducklings! Or should I say, “Place aux canetons!”
Meanwhile in Paris.. 🙏
🎥 IG: licsu pic.twitter.com/xWRIfKwkXN
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) June 26, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial, more future fodder for the camps:
28 June 1935 | German Minister of Justice, Franz Gürtner, revised Third Reich Penal Code’s 175 & 175a paragraph to declare felony every male homosexual act. Read about persecution of gay men in Nazi Germany: https://t.co/1Y6AQRngaQ pic.twitter.com/NPc4BBQXhZ
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) June 28, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. The first one is from his pal, geneticist and author Adam Rutherford:
This grumpy floof stays in this spot all day, and attacks every dog that walks past, including a Great Dane and a Ridgeback, all of which will cross the road to avoid it. #LocalNews pic.twitter.com/WpjUrzvd4K
— Dr Adam Rutherford (@AdamRutherford) June 23, 2022
You can find anything on the internet: I like the squirrel, the dog, and the goose.
How Animals Would Cross the Road if They Were People. pic.twitter.com/msplf0mcko
— Daniel LaBelle Fans (@DanielLabelleFP) June 17, 2022
I haven’t tested this by covering the lines, but I’ll take the tweeter’s word for it. It’s a good optical illusion:
All the spheres are brown pic.twitter.com/81kEEyDXn6
— Angry SpyPlane (@AngrySkycrane) June 15, 2022
Very nice video. You may have seen similar still photos of giant camel shadows in a Sahara caravan:
On the Tambach track in Kenya these shadows cast giant forms, an illusion seen only when the sun is low on the horizon, at sunset or sunrise pic.twitter.com/E2rB6Z8BbN
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) June 14, 2022