Greetings! It’s a Hump Day again (“Ngày bướu” in Vietnamese): Wednesday, November 30, 2022. Tomorrow it will be December. But today is National Mousse Day. Here’s a chocolate moose:
It’s also National Personal Space Day, Choose Women Wednesday (celebrating empowering women in business), National Mason Jar Day (celebrating the day John Landis Mason patented the jar in 1858), National Methamphetamine Awareness Day (a good day to start watching “Breaking Bad”), and, in Scotland, Saint Andrew’s Day.
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 30 Wikipedia page.
*The railway workers’ unions have been fruitlessly negotiating with railroad management for two years, and a strike had become imminent. Now, according to Nancy Pelosi, Congress is set to to pass a bill that will avert a potentially disastrous strike (think supply chain) but by giving the unions a lot of what they want. And yes, Congress can do this:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said that House lawmakers will take up legislation on Wednesday to stop a nationwide strike by railroad workers, saying Congress needs to intervene to prevent devastating job losses.
In a press conference, Mrs. Pelosi said that the House will aim to quickly pass legislation that accepts the original labor union agreement negotiated by Biden administration officials plus additional railway worker benefits added from subsequent negotiations.
“I don’t like going against the ability of unions to strike, but weighing the equities, we must avoid a strike. Jobs will be lost, even union jobs will be lost, water will not be safe, product will not be going to market,” she said Tuesday after meeting with President Biden and congressional leaders of both parties at the White House. “That must be avoided.”
. . .Under the Railway Labor Act, Congress can make both sides accept an agreement that their members have voted down. Lawmakers also can order negotiations to continue and delay the strike deadline for a certain period, or they can send the dispute to outside arbitrators.
Any House-approved legislation would also need passage in the Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said at Tuesday’s press conference that he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) have agreed to work together quickly for the legislation to pass the Senate.
The unions don’t like it (they wanted the issue to play out normally), and neither do some Republicans and Democrats in the House. But when push comes to shove, the Democrats will fall into line, and the bill will also pass the Senate given that both Chuck Schumer and Mitch “Tortuga” McConnell have said they’ll work together to ensure passage. Bipartisanship in the cause of union-busting!
*Here’s bipartisanship to protect LGBTQ rights. The Senate voted yesterday to legalize same-sex marriage, which is already legal countrywide, but needed a law to protect it from the dark intentions of Clarence Thomas, who alluded in the abortion-bill hearings to gay rights being in danger as well. And the vote was bipartisan: 61-36 to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act:
The 61-to-36 vote put the bill on track to become law in the final weeks before Republicans assume the majority in the House of Representatives at the start of the new Congress in January. It marked one of the final major legislative achievements for Democrats before Republicans shift the focus in the House to conducting investigations of President Biden’s administration and family members.
The bill must now win final approval by the House in a vote expected as soon as next week, which would clear it for Mr. Biden, who said he looked forward to signing it alongside the bipartisan coalition that helped shepherd it through the Senate.
In a statement, the president said the vote reaffirmed “a fundamental truth: Love is love, and Americans should have the right to marry the person they love.”
There was little question that the bill’s embrace in the Senate, where proponents had a breakthrough this month in drawing a dozen Republican supporters and overcoming a filibuster, gave it the momentum required to become law.
One kicker, though:
The bill would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. It prohibits states from denying the validity of an out-of-state marriage based on sex, race or ethnicity. But in a condition that Republican backers insisted upon, it would guarantee that religious organizations would not be required to provide any goods or services for the celebration of any marriage, and could not lose tax-exempt status or other benefits for refusing to recognize same-sex unions.
No more gay wedding cakes in the South. . . . .
*Here are the World Cup results from yesterday (see below for more0:
In the ideologically big match, the US beat Iran by just one goal (at the cost of a valuable player), but now the Iranians are out and must go home, and right into Evin Prison. Seriously, though, will they face punishment for their tiny show of resistance to the regime?
The job for the United States soccer team was simple, really: Win.
The stakes and the stage and the politics all made things harder going in to their game against Iran on Tuesday night at the World Cup. The own goal by their own federation’s social media team, the Iranians’ great umbrage at the perceived insult to their flag, the chatter and the threats and the intrigue all added to the spice of the matchup. But the task, at its heart, left no room for nuance at all: If United States wanted to keep playing in this tournament, it had to beat Iran on Tuesday night.
And so it did.
The price of victory may be a high one: Christian Pulisic, perhaps the Americans’ brightest star and the scorer of its only goal in a 1-0 victory, was forced from the game at halftime with an abdominal injury sustained when he crashed into Iran’s goalkeeper finishing his goal.
Highlights of that game: The sole U.S. goal, a nice one, is at 1:20. There’s another U.S. goal that was nullified by an offside call. Had this game tied, the U.S. would have been out of the Cup.
England won Group B after a 3-0 victory over Wales, which was eliminated. The U.S. needed a win and nothing less against Iran, and it got it, by a 1-0 score. The U.S. will face the Netherlands in the round of 16 on Saturday while England will meet Senegal on Sunday.
Here are the England/Wales highlights. England advances to the knockout round; Wales goes home after the rout:
Four years after missing the World Cup completely, the Netherlands beat Qatar 2-0 on Tuesday at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, to top Group A and advance to the knockout stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! It’s all over at Al Bayt Stadium, where the Netherlands have won with the bare minimum of fuss. They advance to the last 16 of the tournament while Qatar become the first host nation in World Cup history to go out of their own tournament without winning a single point.
The sight of a couple of Ecuador players slumped face-down on the turf sobbing uncontrollably tells you all you need to know. Senegal have held on to beat the South American side 2-1 and advance to the Round of 16, where they will face England if Gareth Southgate’s side finish top of Group B tonight.
*Dog kills man: a report from the Torygraph via reader Christopher. This is a weird report out of Turkey. It’s not dog bites man, but dog KILLS man.
A man in Turkey has been reportedly shot and killed by his own dog on a hunting trip after the pet stepped on the trigger of his shotgun.
Ozgur Gevrekogulu, 32, died in Turkey’s Black Sea province of Samsun last weekend.
Local police originally took one of his hunting companions into custody, according to the Anadolu news agency.
Mr Gevrekoglu was loading equipment into the boot of his car after the trip to the Kizlan Plateau when his dog jumped on the back of a friend, stepping on the trigger of a shotgun, the Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Sunday.
The 32-year-old hunter, who reportedly became a father just two weeks earlier, died from a bullet wound in his stomach before paramedics arrived at the scene.
This is the deceased with a dog, but probably not the killer dog. They should have taken the d*g into custody instead of one of Gevrekogulu’s hunting companions. But it’s really sad: he had a newborn kid.
*John McWhorter’s NYT column this week (is he producing just one a week now?) is called “Harvard, Herschel Walker, and ‘Tokenism‘”, and he sees both Walker’s candidacy and affirmatvie action as “tokenism”: the advancement of a black person because of skin color rather than merit. A few quotes:
Our theoretically enlightened idea these days is that using skin color as a major, and often decisive, factor in job hiring and school admissions is to be on the side of the angels. We euphemize this as being about the value of diverseness and people’s life experiences. This happened when we — by which I mean specifically but not exclusively Black people — shifted from demanding that we be allowed to show our best to demanding that the standards be changed for us.
. . . When the Supreme Court outlaws affirmative action in higher education admissions, as it almost certainly will, it will eliminate a decades-long program of tokenism. I’ve written that I support socioeconomic preferences and that I understand why racial ones were necessary for a generation or so. But for those who have a hard time getting past the idea that it’s eternally unfair to subject nonwhite students to equal competition unless they are from Asia, I suggest a mental exercise: Whenever you think or talk about racial preferences, substitute “racial tokenism.”
As for Walker, McWhorter does not go gentle:
At the same time, Republicans, despite generally deriding affirmative action and tokenism as leftist sins, are reveling in tokenism in supporting Walker’s run for Senate and are actually pretending to take him seriously. But to revile lowering standards on the basis of race requires reviling Walker’s very candidacy; to have an instinctive revulsion against tokenism requires the same.
There’s no point in my listing Walker’s copious ethical lapses. Terrible people can occasionally be good leaders. With him, the principal issue is his utter lack of qualification for the office. Walker in the Senate would be like Buddy Hackett in the United Nations. It is true that Republicans have also offered some less than admirably qualified white people for high office. But George W. Bush was one thing, with his “working hard to put food on your family.” Walker’s smilingly sheepish third-grade nonsense in response to even basic questions about the issues of the day is another.
I’m with McWhorter on both socioeconomic rather than racial affirmative action, and of course anybody with more than a handful of neurons knows what an idiot Walker is. If he wins, I will be both upset and even angrier at Republicans, who put this mushbrain up for election.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s pissed off because she didn’t get the right noms Look at that face! I had to make it my profile picture on Twitter.
Hili: You bought the cheap cat food again.A: They had only this one in the shop.Hili: Order it on the Internet.
Hili: Znowu kupiłeś tanią karmę.Ja; Innej w sklepie nie było.Hili: Zamów przez Internet.
A multiple groaner from David:
From Malcolm: a pas de deux with a border collie:
More Revenge from a Wronged Woman:
From Masih: Three videos in one:
These children left school and chanting “women, life, freedom”, in Iran. They also chant against clerics. The girls are forced to wear hijab from the age of 7.
more than 60 children during the uprising.
Where is @UNICEF?#MahsaAmini
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 29, 2022
From Barry, who says this is “uncalled for.” Indeed, octopuses are turning out to be nasty pieces of work, even throwing sand at each other:
Octopuses will punch fish for no reasonpic.twitter.com/3vJZysuCsh
— UberFacts (@UberFacts) November 27, 2022
From Simon. I have no idea why it ended the way it does:
Whatever you think is going to happen will be wrong. pic.twitter.com/8u5IIr9363
— Gavin Shoebridge (@KiwiEV) October 29, 2022
A groaner from Malcolm:
How to find Kentucky on the map pic.twitter.com/WTggL1xobC
— Terrible Maps (@TerribleMaps) November 27, 2022
A tweet from Ron, who notes,
“Here’s a new clue for the prevalence of religiosity. It turns out to be inversely correlated to the distance from the Pacific Ocean (I calculated Pearson’s r = -0.796). Who would have guessed that?”
— Simon Kuestenmacher (@simongerman600) November 27, 2022
From Luana; a paper that’s worth reading by Buss and von Hippel, which you can find here. It’s curious but not surprising that these people accept Darwinian evolution of the body, but not of the mind (aka evolutionary psychology). It explains the widespread rejection of evolutionary psychology as a whole.
Only about half of social psychologists believe that Darwinian evolution applies to the human mind. pic.twitter.com/Q6xfLIOzvo
— Alexander (@datepsych) November 29, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial. I’m guessing that husband and wife were separated before they were gassed, so they didn’t even get to be together as they died.
30 November 1902 | A German Jewish woman, Käthe Dworsky, (nee Kranzdorf) was born in Königsberg.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 30, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. First, another “notice the errors” picture. The answer is in the thread (enlarge photo first). Find all 12!
It’s time to put your observation skills
to the test. A puzzle published in Treasure magazine, 1965 (target readership: about 8 years-old)
Can you spot the 12 deliberate mistakes in the picture? Answers coming soon.
(Artist Don Harley) pic.twitter.com/JkpLrxquZk
— Helen Day (@LBFlyawayhome) November 26, 2022
The first biography of Darwin, published in 1882, very soon after his death, is now online:
We have added the very FIRST #biography of #CharlesDarwin– published just a few months after his death in 1882. Today it is also the rarest. Here it has been transcribed & so made searchable. #HistSci https://t.co/LrTtmALavc pic.twitter.com/3BLw8Rmx3E
— QuotidianDarwin (@uk_darwin) November 26, 2022