It’s cat shabbos again (until sundown): Saturday, October 1, 2022, and of course the beginning of the month. I’ll put up Thomas Wolfe’s “Hymn to October” as the next post, a wonderful bit of prose celebrating the month by one of my favorite writers. It’s National Pumpkin Spice Day, and if you want to see Everything Pumpkin Spice, just go into Trader Joe’s this month. They even have Pumpkin Newtons, filled with pumpkin jam rather than fig, and I have to admit that I bought some for grins. They were good!
October is also these food months:
National Apple Month
National Applejack Month
National Caramel Month
National Cookbook Month
National Cookie Month
National Dessert Month
National Pasta Month
National Pickled Peppers Month
National Pizza Month
National Popcorn Poppin’ Month
National Pork Month
National Pretzel Month
National Seafood Month
It’s also World Vegetarian Day, International Coffee Day, Homemade Cookie Day, Astronomy Day, National Black Dog Day (not the depression dog, but real ones), International Day of Older Persons, Lincolnshire Day (in the UK) and International Raccoon Appreciation Day. Here are some individuals of Procyon lotor to appreciate (their natural range is only the North and parts of Central America, but they’ve been introduced to Japan, the Caucasus, and Europe):
Stuff that happened on October 1 includes:
- 1553 – Coronation of Queen Mary I of England.
- 1800 – Via the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, Spain cedes Louisiana to France, which would sell the land to the United States thirty months later.
- 1861 – Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management is published, going on to sell 60,000 copies in its first year and remaining in print until the present day.
A first edition of this classic, issued in 24 softcover parts, will run you $16,684:
- 1890 – Yosemite National Park is established by the U.S. Congress.
- 1891 – Stanford University opens its doors in California, United States.
- 1903 – Baseball: The Boston Americans play the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of the modern World Series.
Boston won the best-of-nine series by five games to three. Here are the Boston Americans in 1903:
- 1928 – The Soviet Union introduces its first five-year plan.
- 1938 – Germany annexes the Sudetenland.
- 1946 – Nazi leaders are sentenced at the Nuremberg trials.
Here’s a 4½-minute news report on the verdicts:
Here are the sentences:
- 1949 – The People’s Republic of China is established.
- 1957 – First appearance of In God we trust on U.S. paper currency.
I was surprised to learn (this from Wikipedia) that this change, occurring during the Cold War, and meant to affirm our difference from the godless Soviet Union, wasn’t met with unanimous approbation. But people got used to it, and then got to like it. Now it’s “tradition,” and therefore allowed by the First Amendment.
The initial reactions of the general populace was far from unanimous approval. On the one hand, Christian newspapers were generally happy with the phrase being included in coins, though some advocated for more religiously connotated mottos, such as “In God alone is our trust” or “God our Christ”. On the other, non-religious press was less impressed by the developments. The New York Times editorial board asked to “let us try to carry our religion—such as it is—in our hearts, and not in our pockets” and criticized the Mint for including the motto only on golden and larger silver coins. New York Illustrated News ridiculed the new coins for marking “the first time that God has ever been recognized on any of our counters of Mammon,” with a similar comparison made by the Detroit Free Press. The different opinions on its inclusion eventually grew into a dispute between secularists and faith congregations. Others still started to make jokes of “In God We Trust”. The American Journal of Numismatics suggested that people would misread the motto as “In Gold we Trust”, which they said was “much nearer the fact”. Newspapers also started reporting on puns made of the slogan. Already in 1860s, newspapers reported signs reading “In God we Trust — terms cash,” “In God we trust. All others are expected to pay cash” and the like.
The phrase, however, gradually became a symbol of national pride. Just six years after it first appeared on coins, the San Francisco Chronicle called it “our nation’s motto”; similarly, groups as diverse as prohibitionists and suffragists, pacifists and nativists, Democrats and Republicans, Christians and Jews all adopted the motto or endorsed its usage by the end of the 19th century. The motto stayed popular even as fewer denominations had “In God We Trust” embossed on coins.
- 1964 – The Free Speech Movement is launched on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.
Here’s leader Mario Savio’s famous activist speech at Berkeley, delivered on the steps of Sproul Hall on December 2, 1964:
Here’s a three-minute compilation of sonic booms by other planes; the videos showing the Concorde breaking the sound barrier doesn’t let you hear the sound:
- 1971 – Walt Disney World opens near Orlando, Florida.
- 1971 – The first practical CT scanner is used to diagnose a patient.
After some Googling, I finally found its first use here:
On 1 October 1971, CT scanning was introduced into medical practice with a successful scan on a cerebral cyst patient at Atkinson Morley Hospital in Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom.
*His back to the wall, Vladimir Putin is ratcheting up his rhetoric and his actions. As the NYT reports, Putin now claims that the four regions of Ukraine in which he coerced into having illegal referendums all voted to join Russia (surprise!), and dialed his denunciation of the West up to 11:
President Vladimir V. Putin on Friday asserted that Russia would take control of four Ukrainian regions and decried the United States for “Satanism” in a speech that marked an escalation in Moscow’s war against Ukraine and positioned Russia, in starkly confrontational terms, as fighting an existential battle with Western elites he deemed “the enemy.”
Speaking to hundreds of Russian lawmakers and governors in a grand Kremlin hall, Mr. Putin said that the residents of the four regions — which are still partially controlled by Ukrainian forces — would become Russia’s citizens “forever.” He then held a signing ceremony with the Russian-installed heads of those regions to start the official annexation process, before clasping hands with them and chanting “Russia! Russia!”
Satanism? Who is the invader and murderer of civilians here?
Even by Mr. Putin’s increasingly antagonistic standards, the speech was extraordinary, a combination of bluster and menace that mixed conspiratorial riffs against the American-led “neocolonial system” with an appeal to the world to see Russia as the leader of an uprising against American power.
He referred to “the ruling circles of the so-called West” as “the enemy,” a word he rarely uses in reference to the West — and struck a tone of spiteful anger and defiance.
“Not only do Western elites deny national sovereignty and international law,” he said in the 37-minute address. “Their hegemony has a pronounced character of totalitarianism, despotism and apartheid.”
He forgot a few pejoratives there. Are tactical nuclear weapons next? One thing we know: this man will not tolerate Russia being a loser.
*In response, the U.S. dumped a new basket of sanctions on Russia, “targeting government officials and family members, Russian and Belarusian military officials and defense procurement networks.” A nice gesture, but it won’t do squat. And some cowardly states at the U.N. refused to condemn Russia’s palpably illegal annexation of Ukrainian land:
A United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s “illegal, so-called referenda” in Ukraine, and calling on “all states” in the world to not recognize Russian annexation, failed to pass at the Security Council on Friday after Russia’s veto. Four nations abstained from the vote, despite U.S. exhortations to “stand up and defend our collective beliefs.”
The outcome was similar to one two days after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February, with a slight change in abstentions. China and India abstained in both, as did the United Arab Emirates. This time, the UAE voted in favor of the resolution, with both Brazil and Gabon abstaining.
The resolution was vetoed only because Russia is one of five permanent members of the Security Council, and only those members have veto power. But I’m appalled at IIndia’s abstention in particular. How would they feel if Pakistan invaded Kashmir and held referenda, declaring that Kashmir was no longer part of India? The rest of the vote was 10-1 among the total of fifteen nations.
*This week’s news summary on Bari Weiss’s site, “TGIF: Lizzo, Coolio, and everyone in between,” is by Kat Rosenfield filling in for Nellie Bowles. Rosenfield tries to evoke the famous Bowles snark, but she fails. I hope Bowles will return soon (she’s just had a baby).
*The separation of church and state in America is dying. As reader Ken reports,
By a 2-to-1 vote, a panel from the ultraconservative federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered judgment entered in favor of a Texas state justice of the peace (and Pentacostal minister) who performs a prayer ceremony in his courtroom before holding hearings:
JAC: Be sure to read at least this tweet, but there are others as well. It’s a horrific encroachment of religion on a courtroom, which is of course an arm of the government.
The Fifth Circuit reverses and grants judgment *for* a judge who does a prayer ceremony in his courtroom before hearing cases.
— Raffi Melkonian (@RMFifthCircuit) September 29, 2022
The decision in the case, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., v. Mack, can be accessed here. You might find the dissenting opinion of Judge E. Grady Jolly, beginning at page 33 of the decision, interesting reading.
The beginning of Jolly’s dissent is what is reproduced in the tweet above. Talk about coercion! You’d better stay and you’d better stand during the prayers if you want Judge Mack to pay attention to your case.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation’s take on this case (they were the losing litigant, is here. A snippet of that:
Despite no evidence of any other U.S. judge currently opening with prayer or that courtroom prayer is a tradition, the ruling claims to be based on historic practice, including because some courts open with “God save this honorable court” or similar utterances. The ruling also inaptly compares the practice to legislative prayer. Jolly witheringly critiqued these conclusions from the majority and wrote that the plaintiffs had produced considerable evidence that Judge Mack’s prayers are coercive to those who attend court sessions. Jolly asserts, “For the majority to find that there is no evidence of coercion, suggests, in my opinion, willful blindness and indisputable error.”
. . . FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor blasted the decision, saying, “A courtroom is not a church, and a judge’s bench should not be a pulpit. This is a dishonest decision, both in claiming a tradition of courtroom prayer and in denying that it is coercive.” She added that manipulation of the facts to privilege religion and ignore constitutional dictates barring establishments of religion by government actors is a hallmark of Christian nationalist-influenced court decisions.
. . . Mack ran for justice of the peace on a platform promising to create a chaplaincy program and open court with prayer. The decision notes that Mack invites the chaplains to open court with prayer in order to “honor and thank” them.
The U.S. Supreme Court now uses “history and tradition” test to see if such violations are constitutional. And since there’s no other court doing this, they can’t even employ this test with any validity. But if this is appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court, I predict they’d uphold the decision, as they did with the praying football coach in Washington State.
*Reader David: sent this:
You commented in Wednesday’s “Hili dialogue” on a report in the Telegraph about a family doctor in England who faced disciplinary action over complaints from patients that he had tried to force his Christian beliefs on them. The National Secular Society released this news item earlier in the week, which I thought you might find interesting. It appears that the doctor had been doing this for a number of years, and it was quite aggressive and inappropriate in many cases.
Having read the report, yes, it looks as if this doctor, Richard Scott, was almost committing malpractice, causing a lot of stress in his patients. Look at the sentence that I’ve put in bold below:
NHS England’s decision arose following concerns raised by the National Secular Society.
An acquaintance of a “highly vulnerable” patient contacted the NSS in 2019 after Dr Scott made her feel “discomfort at the use of prayer.” In an interview with BBC Radio 4 earlier that year, Dr Scott said he introduces faith into consultations with people with depression or anxiety as “most people are desperate, they’ll at least listen.” He also described how he had recently “converted” a patient to Christianity.
By his own admission, Dr Scott has received “about 10” complaints regarding imposing his religious views on patients.
Minutes from Dr Scott’s surgery, Bethesda Medical Centre in Margate, also revealed “too many complaints are received from patients” about having religion “pushed upon them” when they attend the surgery.
This followed a 2012 General Medical Council (GMC) investigation which found that Dr Scott had told a patient “his own religion could not offer him any protection” and he would suffer “for the rest of his life” if he did not “turn towards Jesus”.
Crikey! Now his punishment seems light: all he has to do is attend a “professional boundaries course.” I predict that this won’t stop him, as he was warned before. He just can’t stop shining the light of Jesus on his patients.
*Finally, if you’re an animal lover like me, you’ve surely wondered what happened to pets, zoo animals, and wild animals during hurricane Ian. The Washington Post has some stories about that, concentrating on zoo animals.
First, they report that an earlier AP story about a shark swimming in a man’s backyard in Fort Myers, which went viral, may well be real (it’s a sharklike fish but Snopes is mixed on whether it’s a shark. (The WaPo has the video.)
I was impressed at how the zoos were already prepared for the hurricane, as they have contingency plans.
As the storm approached this week, spoonbills and cranes in addition to Odette were gathered from free-flight aviaries at ZooTampa at Lowry Park. Anoas, a type of diminutive water buffalo, were loaded into a trailer towed by a John Deere tractor. Critically endangered red wolves — fewer than 300 still exist — were hauled onto a box truck to be brought indoors.
. . .Inland at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens near Orlando, zookeepers made sure rare Florida black bears, leopards and PJ the greater one-horned rhinoceros were bunkered safely in barns.
Meanwhile, macaws, hornbills and hawks were brought into the zoo’s ballroom, with handlers on hand to ride out the storm. Two bald eagles and a caracara were stored in the facility’s bathroom. During the commotion, birds of prey were draped with sheets.
“It just helps keep them quiet and relaxed,” zoo director Stephanie Williams said.
And then there’s this orange tabby, rescued from rising floodwaters by a kind-hearted guy named Mike Ross. It went viral:
— Megan Cruz Scavo (@MeganScavo) September 28, 2022
Mike is going to keep the cat if he can’t find the owner, and I recommend that Megan keep Mike.
To end, here’s a photo of a shoebill stork being secured from the storm, but watch the video on the WaPo:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili takes cover from the sun:
A: Why are you all covered up?Hili: I forgot to bring my sunglasses.
Ja: Czemu tak się zasłoniłaś?Hili: Zapomniałam okularów słonecznych.
From Ducks in Public:
From Planetary Landscapes:
From Bizarre and Wonderful World. I haven’t checked this for accuracy:
The Tweet of God: Will this tweet still be up on Saturday when I post this? YES, it is. I wonder why it’s not considered defamation to put this up about an existing corporation.
No one should not see this.https://t.co/F5GfKfCYyC
— God (Thee/Thy) (@TheTweetOfGod) September 30, 2022
A sad tweet from Masih:
Her mother Minoo Majidi was killed by the Iranian regime while protesting the tragic death of #MahsaAmini. Now she stands at her mother's gravesite, unveiled herself and in her left hand she holds the hair she cut from her head.
This is the true face of iranian freedom fighters. pic.twitter.com/5kfRXmBSIh
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) September 30, 2022
A related tweet sent my Nancie. It’s a great political cartoon.
The digital protest art being created in Iran–much of it anonymously–has been absolutely brilliant. pic.twitter.com/Q1MCJAhYxg
— Dr. Shiva Balaghi (@SBalaghi) September 30, 2022
From David, but remember that correlation doesn’t imply causation:
I just did a major multi-tweet thread in which I tried to localize the moment my reporter friends & contacts started to talk to me about how they couldn’t continue to function as reporters at major news media outlets. I said it was something like 2012.
— Eric Weinstein (@EricRWeinstein) August 25, 2022
From Malcolm: As the kids say, this guy has “mad skills”:
Creativity is intelligence having fun.
Eduardi Tsokolakyan draws 5 portraits at the same time.pic.twitter.com/zXdbKWfRKT
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) September 23, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial:
1 October 1901 | A Czech Jew, Antonín Fantl, was born in Beroun.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) October 1, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. First, a warning from Sir David:
Do you all know what is at risk? Why aren’t media people breaking the rules and sounding the alarm? Why aren’t millions on the streets demanding change? Don’t people know what is going to happen to our young people and us all, in our lifetimes? https://t.co/8A4r2QjlSm pic.twitter.com/iURhcP9FV1
— Matthew Todd 🇺🇦 (@MrMatthewTodd) September 24, 2022
You could also say this for the U.S.:
i'm in a really bad place right now. not mentally, i’m just in the UK. x
— J Λ M Ξ S (@jamesglynn) September 28, 2022