Sunday: Hili dialogue

July 23, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to the Sabbath for Christian cats: Sunday, July 23, 2023, and a bland day, too, since it’s National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, celebrating a food that is, like pancakes, best topped with other stuff:

It’s also National Pecan Sandies Day (an okay but not great cookie), SAT Math Day (a vanishing test), National Pink Day (just in time for the Barbie movie), Pink Flamingo Day (ditto), United Nations Public Service Day, and National Hydration Day.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the July 23 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Over at the NYT, columnist Michelle Goldberg discusses the UK “disaster that nobody wants to talk about.” Can you guess what it is?

There’s a growing understanding in Britain that the country’s vote to quit the European Union, a decisive moment in the international rise of reactionary populism, was a grave error.

Just as critics predicted, Brexit has led to inflation, labor shortages, business closures and travel snafus. It has created supply chain problems that put the future of British car manufacturing in danger. Brexit has, in many cases, turned travel between Europe and the U.K. into a punishing ordeal, as I learned recently, spending hours in a chaotic passport control line when taking the train from Paris to London. British musicians are finding it hard to tour in Europe because of the costs and red tape associated with moving both people and equipment across borders, which Elton John called “crucifying.”

According to the U.K.’s Office for Budget and Responsibility, leaving the E.U. has shaved 4 percent off Britain’s gross domestic product. The damage to Britain’s economy, the O.B.R.’s chairman has said, is of the same “magnitude” as that from the Covid pandemic.

All this pain and hassle has created an anti-Brexit majority in Britain. According to a YouGov poll released this week, 57 percent of Britons say the country was wrong to vote to leave the E.U., and a slight majority wants to rejoin it. Even Nigel Farage, the former leader of the far-right U.K. Independence Party sometimes known as “Mr. Brexit,” told the BBC in May, “Brexit has failed.”

Still, he argues that without facing the harm that Brexit has caused, the country can’t move forward: “Unless you can diagnose what the problem is, how can there be a prognosis?” Britain is not, at least in the near term, going to rejoin the E.U. But both Khan and Ellwood argue that it can still forge closer trade and immigration ties than it has now, and perhaps eventually return to the European single market, the trade agreement encompassing the E.U. countries, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

One silver lining to Brexit is that it offers a cautionary tale for the rest of Europe. After Britain voted to leave the E.U. in 2016, there’s been fear, among some who care about the European project, that France or Italy could be next. But as The Guardian reported, as of January, support for leaving the E.U. has declined in every member state for which data is available.

I’m afraid that the UK screwed up badly, and now it’s too late to fix it. Every one of my British friends saw this happening, but, as Beethoven said when they delivered to him a case of Rhine wine on his deathbed, “Pity, pity. . . too late.”

*You might have heard that, at the orders of Governor Greg Abbott, Texas built a floating barrier made of buoys in the middle of the Rio Grande River, a barrier designed to prevent immigrants from Mexico crossing the river. Here’s what it looks like:

A close-up:

Now the Justice Department plans to sue Texas over the barrier.

The Justice Department told Texas Thursday that it intends to file legal action against the placement of floating barriers in the Rio Grande as part of the state’s operation along the Texas-Mexico border, according to sources familiar and a letter obtained by CNN.

The Justice Department sent the letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Thursday, according to the letter, though there is time for the state to respond.

“The State of Texas’s actions violate federal law, raise humanitarian concerns, present serious risks to public safety and the environment, and may interfere with the federal government’s ability to carry out its official duties,” the letter stated, citing a clause in the law that “prohibits the creation of any obstruction to the navigable capacity of waters of the United States, and further prohibits building any structure in such waters without authorization from the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”).”

This is separate from the ongoing assessment of mistreatment of migrants, which the Justice Department described as “troubling reports.”

“Texas has the sovereign authority to defend our border, under the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution,” Abbott said on Twitter. “We have sent the Biden Administration numerous letters detailing our authority, including the one I hand-delivered to President Biden earlier this year.”

. . .The news comes as more than 80 Democratic US lawmakers sent a letter to President Joe Biden Friday urging him to investigate Abbott’s “dangerous and cruel actions” on the southern border after a Texas state trooper blew the whistle regarding alleged inhumane treatment of migrants and Mexico’s top diplomat complained to Washington about Texas breaking two international treaties.

“We write to express our profound alarm over border policies instituted by Texas Governor Greg Abbott that are putting asylum-seekers at serious risk of injury and death, interfering with federal immigration enforcement, infringing on private property rights, and violating U.S. treaty commitments with Mexico,” the letter states.

I too oppose this unilateral move by Texas, but have to add that people seeking legal asylum shouldn’t be trying to cross the Rio Grade. It’s dangerous, too: I once swam the Rio Grande to Mexico when visiting Big Bend National Park, just to say I’d swum to Mexico (there were huge cliffs on the Mexican side that prevented surreptitious immigration, but the current was so swift that I had a lot of trouble swimming back and feared I’d drown.

*From the WaPo, which raises a very serious issue: “Ukraine is now the world’s most mined country. It will take decades to make it safe.

In a year and a half of conflict, land mines — along with unexploded bombs, artillery shells and other deadly byproducts of war — have contaminated a swath of Ukraine roughly the size of Florida or Uruguay. It has become the world’s most mined country.

The transformation of Ukraine’s heartland into patches of wasteland riddled with danger is a long-term calamity on a scale that ordnance experts say has rarely been seen, and that could take hundreds of years and billions of dollars to undo.

Efforts to clear the hazards, known as unexploded ordnance, along with those to measure the full extent of the problem, can only proceed so far given that the conflict is still underway. But data collected by Ukraine’s government and independent humanitarian mine clearance groups tells a stark story.

“The sheer quantity of ordnance in Ukraine is just unprecedented in the last 30 years. There’s nothing like it,” said Greg Crowther, the director of programs for the Mines Advisory Group, a British charity that works to clear mines and unexploded ordnance internationally.

And that’s all ye need to know. If the war ever is settled, we’ll hear sporadically about Ukrainian civilians getting blown up by walking on unexploded mines. (Remember that live mines was Princess Diana’s big issue.)

*More depressing news from the WSJ: “Biden goes all in on Bidenomics. Voters aren’t buying it.

President Biden stood at the lectern of a shipyard here with a familiar pitch as he seeks a second White House term: The economy remains strong.

“It’s not an accident, it’s my economic plan in action,” Biden told a crowd of mostly union workers Thursday at the latest stop on his nationwide record-burnishing tour. “Together, we’re transforming the country.”

But many voters aren’t buying it. They say they haven’t felt the impact of legislation that’s the centerpiece of Biden’s campaign, and they cite what may be his main albatross—inflation. High prices have turned economic issues that could’ve been a tailwind for his re-election into a headwind.

. . .That hesitation about Biden’s age and record explains why the incumbent is essentially tied in most polls with Trump, who remains unpopular and faces multiple criminal indictments, and why some Democrats worry a third-party ticket could attract enough swing votes to tip the election to the GOP.

Recent polls also show a disconnect between a buoyant labor market, which added 1.67 million jobs this year through June, and how voters feel about the economy. Robust consumer spendinginflation declining from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022 to 3% a year later and a stabilizing housing market have done little to move public perception on an issue that often ranks as a top priority for Americans at the ballot box.

Polls show that Biden get low ratings for his handling of economic issues, which matches his ever-slipping ratings overall. Here’s the WSJ’s chart of his approval ratings since he took office. OY! Make no mistake about it: if he’s the candidate I’ll vote for him, but I won’t be elated the way I was voting for Obama. Yes, Buden’s done a good job, but he’s losing it, and visibly so.

*The Screen Actors’ Guild and the Writer’s Guild of America are on strike, so nothing’s getting done insofar as new television shows or movies being made. One of the big issues at stake is AI. What’s going on with that? The AP tells you “what you need to know”.

As the technology to create without creators emerges, star actors fear they will lose control of their lucrative likenesses. Unknown actors fear they’ll be replaced altogether. Writers fear they’ll have to share credit or lose credit to machines.

The proposed contracts that led to both strikes last only three years. Even at the seeming breakneck pace at which AI is moving, it’s very unlikely there would be any widespread displacement of writers or actors in that time. But unions and employers know that ground given on an issue in one contract can be hard to reclaim in the next.

Emerging versions of the tech have already filtered into nearly every part of filmmaking, used to de-age actors like Harrison Ford in the latest “Indiana Jones” film or Mark Hamill in “The Mandalorian,” to generate the abstracted animated images of Samuel L. Jackson and a swirl of several aliens in the intro to “Secret Invasion” on Disney+, and to give recommendations on Netflix.

All sides in the strikes acknowledge that use of the technology even more broadly is inevitable. That’s why all are looking now to establish legal and creative control.

The thing is that the technology moves so fast we have NO idea how it will be used in movies and television in three years, and it’s hard to negotiate about issues that you can’t even envision.

Related lagniappe:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili once again feels neglected (she’s sitting on the outside windowsill and wants to be carried in; yes, you can’t just open the window, but have to go out and GET HER and carry her inside!

Hili: I’m looking at you and I can’t understand.
A: Understand what?
Hili: How long can you ignore me?
In Polish:
Hili: Patrzę na ciebie i nie mogę zrozumieć.
Ja: Czego?
Hili: Jak długo możesz mnie ignorować?


From Anna: a “make way for ducklings” sign she saw in the Netherlands. A rough translation is “Attention! Duck crossing”:

From Pbil:

A groaner from Nicole:

A tweet from Masih. The Farsi translation is this:

Mersedeh, a young woman who lost one of her eyes when shot by the oppressors’ shotguns, says, She does not regret going to the street even for a moment because she had a purpose for going. She now considers her lost eye a “badge of honor” for  herself. #Freedom_Life_Woman

From Ricky Gervais, who’s right:

From Simon, with an explanation below:

Simon Says:

It seems like they estimated the number of Purple Hearts that would be needed for an invasion of Japan in 1945, and went ahead and made a half million or so in preparation (estimate of deaths and injuries, since that’s what you get the medal for). Since Japan never got invaded they’ve been using up that stockpile and have given out 370k in the wars since and still have 120k on hand.

Really it’s a comment on whether Oppenheimer saved or destroyed lives.
You can see a summary here.  However, the numbers are slightly off as the total for Vietnam and Korea was around 370,000 and there have subsequently been about 40k more awarded (mostly Iraq and Afghanistan).

People are such sheep! These ones are letting themselves be DE-LINTED!

A retweet from the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Dr. Cobb. First, a groaner:

And then an octopus mimicking a dangerous animal. But what animal? Matthew answers:

Deano also answers the question in song:

42 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. I’m afraid that the UK screwed up badly, and now it’s too late to fix it.

    No it isn’t. We can rejoin the EU. It’s quite annoying that Labour are not talking about doing that yet, but I think, once the Tories are booted out of office, it will come back on the table.

    490,000 Purple Hearts would not have been enough for the invasion of Japan.

    1. “490,000 Purple Hearts would not have been enough for the invasion of Japan.”

      It wouldn’t have been close. And then we need to remember the number of Russians who would have died. And the number of Japanese, which by all estimates according to the population’s fanatical devotion to the Empire and Japan’s strategy for such an invasion, would have been far larger than those killed by the bombs.

      1. It’s a stockpile. Generally you don’t expect to have everything you’re going to need stock-piled before you start.
        I read “a stockpile of half a million” as meaning “We’ll need a half-million in the first 3 months, then the casualty rate will drop to a more manageable 100,000/ month, which the medal factories say they can manage.”
        Think of the bad domestic PR if you had to sack all those people at the medal factories because you weren’t getting enough casualties.

    2. And the first item on the table before Britain’s rejoining the EU starts to be negotiated, will be “What is your schedule for adopting the Euro?”
      Slow hand-clap for those who were so fanatical about “keeping the pound”. Well done guys (and some guyesses, but largely guys).

  2. My 7yo cat Zena also sits on the outside window ledge with just eyes and ears visible, staring until I notice her and open the window to let her in. The ledge is directly above the cat flap, so it takes more effort to do so.

    But staff needs to be reminded constantly of the scope of their duties.

    1. I was once staff for a cat who’d stare at me through the window when he wanted in but he wouldn’t come in through it. I had to go over to the door and open it for him. Sometimes he’d leave the parts of the mouse he didn’t want to eat on the door mat as thanks, but mostly he’d just slowly walk in, tail high…. and the colder it was outside, the slower the walk.

      I really miss that little bastard.

  3. Going to see Oppenheimer on Tuesday and get all the hype from that. The bomb skeptics will be out in great numbers to tell us what they don’t know – Japan was going to surrender anyway. Mostly they are people who know very little about WWII in the pacific and even less about the last and largest battle – Okinawa. In the 21st century it is obvious, right? Recommend all the skeptics read a very recent book – Road to Surrender by Evan Thomas and find out what the Japanese were really thinking and doing.

    1. With the release of the Oppenheimer movie an old and continuing debate has been rekindled regarding the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan. It boils down to this question: Would Japan have surrendered without the dropping of the bombs AND without the necessity of a land invasion? Historians and scholars have debated this question since the dropping of the bombs in 1945. The scholarly output has been overwhelming and unlikely to end any time soon. Part of the reason for this is that it is unclear as to what exactly motivated the Japanese leadership to surrender. It is not definitive proof to say that because Japan surrendered a few days after the bombs that these events were the cause of surrender. Just a few days ago in Foreign Policy Magazine, historian Ward Wilson made his case that it was Russia’s entry into the war (this is not a new argument) that was the deciding factor in Japan’s surrender.

      This debate highlights something I have argued for and which I think the general population doesn’t understand: there is no such thing as “true” history. Due to the lack of evidence or contradictory evidence or how evidence can be interpreted, scholars can and do reach differing interpretations regarding understanding the past (even if they do not consciously distort the evidence). Historical understanding is not the listing of facts. The facts (which scholars decide which are the important ones) do not speak for themselves. Such is the case with the atomic bomb controversy. My area of knowledge is the Civil War era. How could I or anyone else claim authority to opine on the bomb controversy? It would require a vast commitment of time and mental energy to read and analyze the scholarship. Reading one or two books or articles on the topic would not be satisfactory to resolve such a contentious controversy. Even if I would make the commitment, I might still not be sure of the answer to the question. Thus, since I will not be making such a commitment, and until the unlikely moment arrives that scholars reach a consensus, I must leave myself with the unsatisfactory belief that I simply cannot answer the question.

      1. “Historians and scholars have debated this question since the dropping of the bombs in 1945.”

        And even if you made the commitment to master the literature, you would simply be adding your opinion to a pile of opinion.

        I’ll quibble with your assertion of no “true” history. The basic outline of many historical events—to include the activities of the Manhattan Project, the use of the bombs in Japan, and the destruction caused by these weapons—can be told with little dissent from experts in the field. Oftentimes, this level of historical awareness is sufficient for the general public. If it were not possible to obtain this type of historical knowledge and agreement, then those of us who are not experts could largely wash our hands of the entire discipline. If it were not possible to establish historical truth at some rudimentary level, then what, for example, is it that a Holocaust denier is denying? An opinion of some experts? Your position suggests that we would have no access to historical truths. That would also mean that we would have few, if any, means by which to judge the competence, conclusions, and veracity of any reported experts. Certainly, we could cede our thinking to the historical priesthood (as most people do to the nuclear priesthood), but history is perceived by many as a deeply human affair in a way that nuclear physics is not. People routinely cede to experts the controls of the airplane, the development of the bridge, the intricate surgery. They will not cede control over the stories of who they are, where they have been, what it all means.

        I do, of course, understand what you mean in a general sense, particularly as layer upon layer of detail is added to a story, as facts selectively slip in or out, as archives and other materials remain untapped, unavailable, or unknown. More crucially, as professional history became less a telling of a past and more a search for mechanisms, then this problem of “truth” ramified. I’ll take your statement about truth even further: to the degree that historians try to ape the natural sciences with causal explanations and predictive capacity, they vainly search for truth. But it’s a great gig; the publication potential is endless, and it can set one up for an entire career.

        1. Please, lets keep it simple and with reduced pontification. I read American History – it’s a hobby. History is often changing with new information and facts and evidence that may provide a clearer understanding of the events. The creation and the dropping of the atomic bomb in WWII is a special part of our history. It also brings out all the speculators and pretended experts to forecast the events as if they know what they don’t know. They must come to conclusions without full and complete knowledge. How do we know what exactly was going on in Japan from just prior to the bomb and after. Who was in charge, who was really making the decisions, how did they interpret the Potsdam statement. I submitted in my message above that first you must have a lot of knowledge about the pacific war. More important is a very current history, Road to Surrender, three men and the countdown to the end of WWII. It is not a great gig, it’s history.

      2. ” there is no such thing as “true” history. Due to the lack of evidence or contradictory evidence or how evidence can be interpreted…”

        I am not sure that I agree with your reasoning here. Regarding the bomb, one can identify the time and location of the first explosions with relative precision. We know how and where they were built, who built them, and myriad details about their transport and use. The motivations of the individuals involved were largely documented contemporaneously. The victims and survivors recorded accounts of their experiences. There are photographs, film and sound recordings, medical records, and tons of official reports.
        What happened, who did what, and what motivated them is fairly well documented. Most of this debate is about what might have happened if the bomb had not been dropped, or had been dropped elsewhere. But those unknowns are not history. Even if they are important questions.
        “Should it have happened?” is not history, either.

        My area of history was primarily about wartime technologies, and how availability of materials and changing needs led to new materials and technologies. If the question was something like “how was plutonium milled to shape at Los Alamos?”, there is an answer. A specific type of machine was used, and particular safeguards were taken to lessen risk. Specific individuals did the work during a specific time period in a particular building.
        Perhaps some new document gets declassified which might modify the known history of plutonium milling. Perhaps we find that the Fat Man core was milled on machine A, when previously it was thought to be one of two machines.

        Some things are less knowable, sure. It is harder to say with much certainty how Ramses 2 or his advisors planned their tactics for the battle of Kadesh, compared to Hiroshima. Still, the time and place of the battle are known to a reasonable degree, even many of the tactics used. We have the text of the treaty written at its conclusion. We know a lot about the technologies used as well. We will never know everything about it, but that is a long way from there being no true history of it.

    2. I agree. Anyone who had been through Okinawa would have wanted the war over and the Japanese finished as soon as possible. Criticism that the Japanese were about to surrender rests on what is to this day an unknowable supposition. To Truman and his Manhattan-cleared generals, the bombs were weapons like any other that could assist in the destruction of the enemy’s ability to make war. Part of their appeal was that they could be used with minimal risk of American casualties: two B-29s, alone, daylight, no escort.. (You could say the only American losses were in USS Indianapolis.) Living in the present of early August 1945 it seems hard to imagine not using them as soon as they could be made ready, which they were. All the could-haves and might-haves from information gleaned later during the occupation allow.arguments about the mechanism of the Emperor’s decision to surrender but the only justification you need to use a weapon is that you have it.

  4. Consider these headlines:

    New York Post, July 22, 2023: “Trump beats Biden in general election, dominates GOP field, poll shows”

    Newsweek: July 21, 2023: “Joe Biden Carves Out Biggest Lead Over Donald Trump in Six Months: Polls”

    The Hill, July 20, 2023: “Poll shows Biden beating Trump, even if Manchin runs”

    Meanwhile, this site predicts that the only vote that counts, the Electoral College, will be very close.

    All this means to me is that current polls about the popularity of Trump and Biden are meaningless and contradictory and should be ignored since they tell us nothing about the ultimate outcome of the election. For Biden, in particular, his low personal popularity represents no need for panic. He has an excellent chance of winning the election. This is because, and what seems to be neglected by the media, is that the overall popular vote means next to nothing. The only popular vote that counts is how the truly independents vote and the turnout in the handful of battleground states. At this point, Biden has a very decent chance of winning them over, probably because Trump will be his opponent.

    1. I keep hammering this point, but here it seems appropriate once again. The largest American voting block is the Millennials through Gen Z. Additionally, every year, 8 million Americans turn 18, and they overwhelmingly vote (D). If they’re engaged, that’s all it will take. And if we go by past elections, what really gets the younger people engaged is when they see Trump’s threat at becoming POTUS again (this goes for the entire democratic voting block, but especially young people). And now they see what Trump’s SCOTUS is doing and how batshit crazy the GOP has become. At the same time, elderly Americans, who overwhelmingly vote (R), are dying at about 2.5 million a year. So just in the last election cycle, there are 32 million more potential (D) voters, and 10 million less potential (R) voters. (Yes, this is fuzzy, generalized math.) Lastly, traditional pollsters (and I think they’re all using traditional methods) can’t poll the younger voters worth a damn, but can accurately poll the older voters- those that still have LAN lines, are more likely to answer polling questions, etc. Trump getting the nomination is Biden’s best chance at winning a second term. All this assumes that Biden doesn’t have a health catastrophe between now and then, and my bet is that he doesn’t.

  5. Perhaps someone can educate me on this. I first heard the word Bidenomics a few weeks ago, when suddenly people started using it, seemingly in lockstep. This led me to think that Bidenomics is not really a plan or a strategy but is instead simply a word made up ad hoc to lump Biden’s economic acts (and those of the Fed) under a single umbrella. In other words, it led me to conclude that the improving economy led the Biden publicity team to create a suitable word as a handle for taking credit. (I rather doubt that “Bidenomics” would have seen the light of day had the economy been heading in the other direction.)

    So, tell me. Is there such a thing as Bidenomics as a coherent economic strategy? Or is it simply a slogan? I vote for the latter.

    I will absolutely vote for Biden nonetheless, but not with much enthusiasm.

    1. “Bidenomics” was being used as a pejorative by the GOP. Biden just turned it on its head. Sort of the same thing that happened with “Obamacare.” It was first used to smear Obama, but eventually, after the ACA became popular, it went from pejorative to laudatory. Biden has been criticizing Reagan’s trickle-down policies and rightly so; among many poor outcomes, it ruined the middle class. “Bidenomics” is simply bottom up, instead of top down, or in other words, how we used to do things before Reagan. It takes time for the economic cogs to turn, (Biden’s policies are attempting to end an economic model that’s been in place for almost 50 years) but if you look at any of the metrics, the plan seems to be working, especially when you compare our post-pandemic economy to pretty much any other of the world’s economies. Unfortunately, the MSM hasn’t caught on, especially to the nuance and they continue to buy into GOP talking points that the sky is falling. Will the turnaround work fast enough so that Americans who hate democrats or are on the fence will see the effects? Time will tell, though it’s ticking fast.

      1. Agreed. There’s a rather telling quote from that WSJ article:

        “Recent polls also show a disconnect between a buoyant labor market, which added 1.67 million jobs this year through June, and how voters feel about the economy. Robust consumer spending, inflation declining from a peak of 9.1% in June 2022 to 3% a year later and a stabilizing housing market have done little to move public perception on an issue that often ranks as a top priority for Americans at the ballot box.”

        First, as Historian noted above, “recent polls” is a meaningless phrase. One can pick and choose whatever polls one likes, regardless of how large or small their pool of respondents is. Second, the WSJ is basically admitting through gritted teeth that the economy has improved. But since it lags only behind Fox News in right wing fanaticism, it has to find a way to knock Biden nevertheless. But if the economy either stays as it is or improves further, then that supposed public perception is going to grow more positive by the time November 2024 rolls around.

  6. A few observations.

    1) Biden is a figurehead. How priorities are set and decisions are made in the Biden administration is deeply mysterious, but the press does not seem interested in finding out.

    2) Cheap and abundant energy is important for lower income people as well as for economic growth. The impacts of Biden’s energy policies have yet to be fully felt, but when they are felt it will not be good for the Democrats.

    3) A lot of Democrats think that by reading the NYT and listening to NPR they are fully informed, but this is simply not true.

    4) Hispanics and Asians are close to flipping to the GOP.

    5) Most people are tolerant of LGBTQIA2S+ people, but have absolutely no desire to “celebrate” them.

    1. What is your evidence for your conspiracy theory that Biden is a figurehead? What you are saying is the old right-wing canard that there is a “deep state” running things. I have yet to see an iota of evidence for this conspiracy theory.

        1. At risk of getting in trouble with management: Looks like historian has 21/2 at this point. In any case, while not always agreeing with him, I generally find his comments to be authoritative, informative and useful. While respecting the roolz, I would hate to see him severely self-muzzled.

    2. 1. And what is your evidence for this? Who is the mastermind pulling the strings? Ernst Stavro Blofeld? Moriarty?

      2. And yet Biden has been approving oil pipelines and angering climate activists.

      3. And many Republicans are even less informed because they rely on Fox News, OAN, and other outlets that are even more rabidly partisan.

      4. Another crystal ball reading I presume. More Hispanics than expected voted for Trump in 2020, so the right wing has convinced itself that the demographic will fall in line.

      5. They have no desire to spread intolerance and hysteria either.

  7. I do not get the NYT and seldom listen to NPR. I suppose I’m lost. I guess I should be watching Fox. What I see are lots more younger voters and guess who they will vote for.

  8. Thanks for the Dean Marin clip. My ex-wife’s late father loved that song, sang it all the time, and he was from Glasgow.

  9. On this day:
    1829 – In the United States, William Austin Burt patents the typographer, a precursor to the typewriter.

    1840 – The Province of Canada is created by the Act of Union.

    1900 – Pressed by expanding immigration, Canada closes its doors to paupers and criminals.

    1903 – The Ford Motor Company sells its first car.

    1914 – Austria-Hungary issues a series of demands in an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia demanding Serbia to allow the Austrians to determine who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Serbia accepts all but one of those demands and Austria declares war on July 28.

    1921 – The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is established at the founding National Congress.

    1927 – The first station of the Indian Broadcasting Company goes on the air in Bombay.

    1943 – The Rayleigh bath chair murder occurred in Rayleigh, Essex, England.

    1945 – The post-war legal processes against Philippe Pétain begin. [Coincidentally, Pétain also died on this day in 1951.]

    1952 – General Muhammad Naguib leads the Free Officers Movement (formed by Gamal Abdel Nasser, the real power behind the coup) in overthrowing King Farouk of Egypt.

    1961 – The Sandinista National Liberation Front is founded in Nicaragua.

    1962 – Telstar relays the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television program, featuring Walter Cronkite.

    1962 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

    1967 – Detroit Riots: In Detroit, one of the worst riots in United States history begins on 12th Street in the predominantly African American inner city. It ultimately kills 43 people, injures 342 and burns about 1,400 buildings.

    1968 – Glenville shootout: In Cleveland, Ohio, a violent shootout between a Black Militant organization and the Cleveland Police Department occurs. During the shootout, a riot begins and lasts for five days.

    1968 – The only successful hijacking of an El Al aircraft takes place when a Boeing 707 carrying ten crew and 38 passengers is taken over by three members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The aircraft was en route from Rome, to Lod, Israel.

    1972 – The United States launches Landsat 1, the first Earth-resources satellite.

    1980 – Phạm Tuân becomes the first Vietnamese citizen and the first Asian in space when he flies aboard the Soyuz 37 mission as an Intercosmos Research Cosmonaut.

    1995 – Comet Hale–Bopp is discovered; it becomes visible to the naked eye on Earth nearly a year later.

    1997 – Digital Equipment Corporation files antitrust charges against chipmaker Intel.

    1999 – Space Shuttle Columbia launches on STS-93, with Eileen Collins becoming the first female space shuttle commander. The shuttle also carried and deployed the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

    2012 – The Solar storm of 2012 was an unusually large coronal mass ejection that was emitted by the Sun which barely missed the Earth by nine days. If it hit, it would have caused up to US$2.6 trillion in damages to electrical equipment worldwide.

    1888 – Raymond Chandler, American crime novelist and screenwriter (d. 1959).

    1891 – Louis T. Wright, American surgeon and civil rights activist (d. 1952).

    1892 – Haile Selassie, Ethiopian emperor (d. 1975).

    1913 – Michael Foot, English journalist and politician, Secretary of State for Employment (d. 2010).

    1928 – Vera Rubin, American astronomer and academic (d. 2016).

    1942 – Madeline Bell, American singer-songwriter.

    1947 – David Essex, English singer-songwriter, and actor.

    1957 – Jo Brand, English comedian, actress, and screenwriter.

    1957 – Theo van Gogh, Dutch actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2004).

    1961 – Woody Harrelson, American actor and activist.

    1965 – Slash, English-American guitarist, songwriter, and producer.

    1967 – Philip Seymour Hoffman, American actor, director, and producer (d. 2014).

    1971 – Alison Krauss, American singer-songwriter and fiddler.

    1973 – Fran Healy, Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    1973 – Monica Lewinsky, American activist and former White House intern.

    1976 – Judit Polgár, Hungarian chess player.

    1989 – Daniel Radcliffe, English actor.

    Xerxes the great did die;
    And so must you and I.

    1757 – Domenico Scarlatti, Italian harpsichord player and composer (b. 1685).

    1875 – Isaac Singer, American businessman, founded the Singer Corporation (b. 1811).

    1885 – Ulysses S. Grant, American general and politician, 18th President of the United States (b. 1822).

    1948 – D. W. Griffith, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1875).

    1966 – Montgomery Clift, American actor (b. 1920).

    2002 – Leo McKern, Australian-English actor (b. 1920).

    2011 – Amy Winehouse, English singer-songwriter (b. 1983).

    2012 – Sally Ride, American physicist and astronaut (b. 1951).

    1. an unusually large coronal mass ejection that was emitted by the Sun which barely missed the Earth by nine days

      The Earth travels around it’s orbit at around 60 ,000 miles/hour. So a 9 day miss is (counts on fingers ; takes socks off ; counts on toes) about 90 million miles.
      Alternatively, 9 days is about a quarter of the rotation period of the Sun (at the equator ; a quarter at the poles), so this CME was pointed almost at quadrature to the Earth’s position.
      But we’re approaching the 11th anniversary of this event, and the associated solar 11-year cycle, so the odds of something big coming this way in the near future are relatively good.

  10. Brexit .. don’t get me started on that self-inflicted catastrophe. The one person who could have swung the result, that prize shit Johnson, campaigned not on the merits of leaving or remaining but on what was best for Boris Johnson. He went for leave simply because he could see that it was the way for him to get to the top job. And for that ( and many, many other things) I will not forgive him.

    1. And for that ( and many, many other things) I will not forgive him.

      [SELF : hums “Jaws theme”]
      Don’t worry, the British “establishment”, newspaper proprietors, broadcast news chiefs, and enough of the electorate will bring him back at least once so everyone can have their fill of Freddy the Thirteenth Kreuger jokes.

  11. The brexit vote was stupid, but it was also a good excuse to give David Cameron a good kicking (in the absence of an election) and some people gave him that kicking.. he was also stupid enough to enact the result of a non-binding referendum but he could resign to live on his wife’s millions, leaving the fate of the nation in the hands of the rabid Tories.

    That said, imagine after joining the North American Free trade Area, the USA polled its populace to see if they thought it was a good idea to remain in this agreement and they agreed that it was. Then, a couple of decades later, your government decided on a political union with Canada and Mexico without bothering to ask the populace. Would you be in favour, especially when decision are taken that you oppose but are outvoted on?

    Our original referendum in the 70s was to stay in an economic area, the EEC, and then John Major decided that a political untion was a great idea and signed Maastrict all by himself (well, with his party). It turns out that there was enough resistance to this idea when Cameron asked his stupid question.

  12. The situation in Texas is sort of dire. The coverage is obviously more extensive there, which we have just returned from.
    From what I have seen of the national coverage, the story is mostly ignored unless some aspect that puts Texas in a bad light can be briefly mentioned.

    It used to be that a primary function of the border patrol was to prevent unrestricted border crossings. That mission has shifted to one where they primarily work to facilitate the movement of as many people as possible into the US.
    What I saw a couple of weeks ago, was Texas DPS and national Guard putting up fencing and barricades, and US CBP following behind them, cutting the fences, and bulldozing ramps to the river so that the crowds coming across need not climb the bank.
    Beyond that, and worse, CBP authorities are coordinating with NGOs and Cartel members to send groups across in numbers and at places to match CBP and HHS’s capability to process and transship them away from the border. Doing so prevents the bad optics of thousands of Haitians and Congolese living under a bridge in El Paso. However, the only people prevented from entering the US seem to be those who can be positively identified as having previously been convicted of felonies in the US. I have seen video ranchers have taken of piles of trash and discarded ID documents, as the illegals choose to start anew in a literal sense.

    Texas is acting unilaterally only because it is generally believed by Texans that the Federal Government is not even trying to enforce article 4 of the Constitution. Or even actively working against it.

    We are not talking about some Mexican folks who come north to work US jobs and send some money home to their families. This is about millions of people from over 100 countries.

    If you watch interviews with them, they generally do not express the traditional immigrant’s expectations of a chance to work hard and contribute to the American success story. They have been instead led to believe that once here, they will be living in luxury hotels, and that all of the things they desire will be provided to them for free.

    All of this is a very big deal for those living near the border, including democrats who are confounded as to why our government would choose to do this. The government of Texas sort of has to try to do something, or they will be voted out in favor of someone who will.

  13. I was hoping to hear Deano sing:

    “When you’re stuck on a reef, and you see all those teeth,
    That’s a moray.”

    ‘British musicians are finding it hard to tour in Europe because of the costs and red tape associated with moving both people and equipment across borders, which Elton John called “crucifying.”’

    Pray tell, Ms. Goldberg, over the years has it been “crucifying” for Mr. John (personally) to enter the U.S. for concert tours? What is his threshold for personal inconvenience? Does he have a private plane? Does he not have “handlers” who handle everything? Is it as “crucifying” for Mr. John as it is for the roadies who repeatedly unload, set up, break down and reload, costs and red tape or not, E.U. or not? Such empathy.

    Is it no less “crucifying” for U.S. musicians playing the U.K. and Europe? Perhaps the solution to that would be for the U.S, the top dog on the NATO porch. to join the E.U. and submit to Brussels. (Or would the result be the E.U. submitting to the U.S.? I remember Obama spending taxpayer money to fly over and set foot on U.K. ground and lecture the Brits against Brexit. The British media in a press conference pressed him on so lecturing. A televised speech from the Oval Office was apparently not sufficient.)

    1. It seems Elton wasn’t speaking for himself, but all the lesser known musicians and artists. The economics for most bands to tour are dire. Razor thin margins (if they’re lucky). Not everyone is Taylor Swift or Beyonce trying to make a living being a musician. Especially for new artists, being invited to play and performing at summer festivals is an important way to boost a band’s income, and win over new fans. And yes, any techs that they can afford need to be paid too, but having lots of equipment and a crew are a luxury.

  14. My good pal who has lived in London for over 20 years has continually told me that Brexit has been a total nightmare. Everything got harder, says he.

  15. The meme about eggs doesn’t make the point its author thinks it does. The eggs we eat are unfertilized, i.e., not alive, according to you, me, and the Catholic church.

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