Good morning on a Hump Day (“Jou boss” in Haitian Creole): Wednesday, August 23, 2023, and a good day: National Cuban Sandwich Day. As Wikipedia notes, “its origin is murky”, but this culturally appropriated puppy is one good sandwich. As Tasting Table says (photo below):
If you’re a pork lover, no sandwich can compete with the almighty Cubano. Roast pork layered with ham (yes, that’s two kinds of pig), Swiss cheese, pickles and yellow mustard makes for an addictive combo on its own, but when you heat it up, it becomes a pressed sandwich like no other. The sweet ham and crusty bread become addictive when smothered with tangy mustard and loaded with pickles.
Wouldn’t you like to dig into this?
It’s also Buttered Corn Day, National Cheap Flight Day, Hug Your Sweetheart Day, National Sponge Cake Day, European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism or Black Ribbon Day (European Union and other countries), and International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the August 23 Wikipedia page.
I still haven’t recovered from jet lag, and perhaps have some insomnia on top of that, so until I’m sleeping better, we’ll curtail or shorten the Nooz. I’ll just put up a sign I saw at the University Church, a woke church a block away from my department. It expresses several impossible aspirations, most notably the first thing it “seeks” to do. What does it mean to make religion as intelligent as science, given that one is based on evidence and the other on dogma, superstition, and revelation?
*Tonight is the Republican Presidential-Candidate debate, with eight hopeless candidates debating each other in the absence of the distant front-runner, Donald Tr*mp. The NYT offers nine hints about what will shape this debate (I won’t recount them), but give this information:
Eight candidates will appear onstage for the first Republican debate on Wednesday. But much of the focus will be on one person who won’t be there, Donald J. Trump.
The dynamic has left his opponents preparing for an unusual scenario: debating among themselves while the front-runner with a commanding lead is entirely absent.
Still, for Mr. Trump’s rivals, the debate provides the biggest audience of the race to date, and their first chance to not only make an impression but to make the race a true contest.
Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican who ran the presidential debate gantlet twice and is his party’s most prominent elected Trump antagonist, offered this advice: “The key for them is not to focus on each other but the person who’s at the top. You gotta punch up.”
Yet even the most viral moment could quickly be swept away in a wave of Trump-driven news. “In 99 out of 100 futures,” said Newt Gingrich, the former Republican presidential candidate and House speaker, “Donald Trump is the Republican nominee and he doesn’t even breathe heavy.”
But the eight candidates have a shot to present Republican voters with an alternative. How they make their case could make the 2024 primary a contest and not a coronation.
The only thing of interest (I won’t be watching) is how much the candidates will go after Trump rather than each other? (It’s a given in these things that the candidates don’t gain by offering a positive platform of their own. One of the NYT’s “nine things to watch” is “Will Christie turn his firepower on DeSantis?” Yawn. . . . .
*And from the Washington Post, a lot of states have passed bill banning the sale of real estate to Chinese people.
Most passed in Republican-dominated legislatures, but some found bipartisan support as sponsors argued they address a national security threat.The Chinese government could set up spy operations on land purchased near military bases, the bills’ backerssay, and the nation’s food supply could be threatened if hostile foreign entities acquire too much agricultural land.
This, of course, all derives from the Chinese spy balloon, which scared the bejeezus out of these lawmakers.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is anxious to steal Kulka’s treat (if he got one):
Hili: She arrived.Szaron: Who?Hili: Paulina. We have to know whether she bought something for Kulka.
Hili: Przyjechała.Szaron: Kto?Hili: Paulina. Trzeba się dowiedzieć, co kupiła dla Kulki.
From Simon, who hates QR codes (as do I), a Dave Blazek cartoon:
From Irena, a little known fact:
A groaner from Merilee:
From Masih. Sepideh Qolian, an Iranian activist, has already spent over 4 years in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, and now faces two more years for chanting anti-government slogans outside the prison immediately after her release. She was rearrested. It takes a very special kind of bravery to voluntarily subject yourself to that prison, a place where she was previously tortured.
Sepideh Qolian faced court today, steadfastly refusing the compulsory hijab once more. Yet again, the judge pronounced charges against her. In a defiant stand, she told the judge she wasn’t there to defend herself, but to champion the resilience of the people and the progress of… pic.twitter.com/WntNHGC7Kr
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) August 22, 2023
A mandatory video—for many New Yorkers. Note that you are assigned “gender” (actually sex) at birth. Also, it says “no matter how you identify, you should be believed and accepted.” I’m down with the “accepted” part, but not so much with “believed.”
The New York City Commission on Human Rights has been requiring businesses with more than 15 employees to submit workers to annual "gender" training.
The training includes a mandatory video which teaches that biological sex can be changed. pic.twitter.com/OC55L7bUcT
— REDUXX (@ReduxxMag) August 19, 2023
From Blue, a duck that likes to be repeatedly tossed into the water:
Duck loves to play ready, set, weee.. 😂 pic.twitter.com/pm7k9gLGMv
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) August 20, 2023
From Barry, who wants to know what I think of this. I do agree that civil liberties depend on data, and Sam gives a good example of that.
Sam Harris making the ethically incorrect claim that our civil liberties depend on data.
Our freedom does not depend on the IFR.
Our freedom does not depend on whether a vaccine is sterilizing.
— Mark Changizi (@MarkChangizi) August 10, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, two posts. First, one who survived:
23 August 1923 | A Polish woman, Zofia Posmysz, was born.
In #Auschwitz from 30 may 1942.
She was evacuated to KL Ravensbrück. Liberated in Neustadt-Glewe.
A journalist, writer, author of 'The Passenger.’
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) August 23, 2023
And one who didn’t: a young girl gassed upon arrival, age 3:
23 August 1941 | A Yugoslavian Jewish girl, Verica Beck, was born.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) August 23, 2023
Tweets from Dr. Cobb, who wants to know what this weird head morphology is “for”. We both agree that it evolved to help prevent heat loss from the bill:
Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri)🐦🦜🕊️🦆🎵❤️ pic.twitter.com/AvBskS5OMA
— World birds (@worldbirds32) April 12, 2021
Sir Nils Olav III has been promoted!!!!
Arise, Sir Penguin 🐧
The highest-ranking penguin in the world, Sir Nils Olav III, has been promoted to Major General by the Norwegian King's Guard 🏅
Sir Nils now holds the third highest rank in the Norwegian Army!
— Edinburgh Zoo (@EdinburghZoo) August 21, 2023
Two views of a remarkable moth. I have no idea why the antennae are so long, nor does Wikipedia offer any clues.
— John Horstman (@sinobug) August 17, 2023