Good morning on Saturday, July 3, 2021: Sabbath for Jewish cats and National Chocolate Wafer Day (a KitKat is one example).
It’s also National Eat Beans Day, International Cherry Pit Spitting Day (the world record is 28.51 meters or 93 feet, 6 inches!), National Fried Clam Day, and American Redneck Day. And, according to Wikipedia, it’s “The start of the Dog Days according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac but not according to established meaning in most European cultures.”
Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) honors the life and work of neurologist Ludwig Guttmann, born on this day in 1899 (died 1980), who pioneered sports activities for people with disabilities by founding the Stoke Mandeville Games. These evolved into the Paralympics.
Wine of the Day: This Jermann Tuninia from 2015 is an unusual Italian white wine, made from a mixture of grapes: Friulano, Picolit, Ribolla, and Malvasia. I’ve heard of only the last one. But the reviews, all emphasizing its mixture of fruity flavors, made me choose it to accompany my go-to simple meal: black beans and rice with sauteed onions and a bit of thick Greek yogurt mixed in for creaminess. (I could have chosen a German Riesling Spätlese, but that may have been too sweet.) You don’t want a bone-dry Chardonnay for a dish like that.
It was an estimable wine, laden with fruit and not resembling any white I’ve ever had. Full-bodied, a tad off-dry, and redolent with melon and pear flavors (I have trouble detecting other fruits in wines), it was a good accompaniment for my abstemious but healthy meal. It was not over the hill by any means. I paid thirty bucks for it, and it goes for about twice that now. Would I pay that much again? Yes, I suppose, for the experience of such an unusual wine, but this will not be a regular in my lineup as the price/value ratio is too high.
News of the Day:
After nearly twenty years, the U.S. is pulling its troops out of Afghanistan, leaving Bagram Air Base just yesterday. By September 11, according to Biden, we will be gone. And what will happen is inevitable: the Taliban will take over, and the freedoms that everyone (but especially woman and girls) have enjoyed will disappear. Will Leftists now beef that Afghanistan is an “apartheid state” when women are no longer allowed to go to school and must wear burqas? Don’t count on it!
Reader Ken tells me that yesterday that, according to the Guardian, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a Washington State florist who was fined $1000 for refusing to create a floral arrangement for a gay wedding. The florist, Barronelle Stutzman, apparently violated an anti-discrimination law and was ordered to henceforth make floral arrangements for gay weddings if she made them for same-sex weddings. You may recall that the Court ruled a different way in an earlier case, allowing a cakemaker not to bake a cake for a gay wedding because it violated the baker’s religion. From Ken:
In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Court dodged the issue of civil rights laws vs. the Free Exercise Clause by deciding the case on the very narrow grounds that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had employed the wrong standard in determining what constituted “religious neutrality.”In this case, Arlene’s Flowers, Inc. v. Washington, the Court decided not to open that can of worms (or cakes or flowers) again. I was happily surprised to see that Amy Coney Barrett didn’t jump at the chance to join with other rightwingers to vote to take the case. It means the Ninth Circuit’s decision compelling the florist to provide her services to the gay couple stands.
There’s some speculation that Justice Barrett’s decision not to vote to grant cert was motivated by her desire to await the perfect case in which to rule for religious freedom over gay rights — or by her concern that the lawyers for the homophobic Alliance for Defending Freedom were not up to the task of presenting the case in its best light. See this tweet:
My take on this is that Barrett was serious in her Fulton concurrence, where she said that she wants to take more time to figure out how to overrule Employment Div. v. Smith before she does it. https://t.co/EmnFRpG7NQ
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) July 2, 2021
The WaPo has an analysis how three Justices: Coney Barrett, Roberts, and Kavanaugh, are moving the Court towards the right, though slowly and cautiously. But is this news? We are doomed until past my lifetime to have our laws interpreted by a bunch of religious conservatives.
Here are the results from my “Will Trump go to jail” contest in yesterday’s Hili Dialogue. By a large majority, people think Trump will never do the perp walk:
Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 604,629, an increase of 230 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,981,135,, an increase of about 8,800 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on July 3 includes:
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: George Washington takes command of the Continental Army at Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The Army, first commanded by Washington, lasted from 1775-1783.
- 1819 – The Bank for Savings in the City of New-York, the first savings bank in the United States, opens.
- 1863 – American Civil War: The final day of the Battle of Gettysburg culminates with Pickett’s Charge.
Under Robert E. Lee’s orders, 12,500 Confederate soldiers charged Meade’s Union army over an open field. It was a disaster: the Confederates were repulsed with more than 50% casualties. This has been described as the high-water mark of the Confederacy, and from then on it was downhill to defeat. Here’s a picture of a Union gun that repelled the charge:
- 1884 – Dow Jones & Company publishes its first stock average.
- 1886 – Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first purpose-built automobile.
And here it is; only 25 were manufactured:
- 1913 – Confederate veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913 reenact Pickett’s Charge; upon reaching the high-water mark of the Confederacy they are met by the outstretched hands of friendship from Union survivors.
Here’s that reunion, with the graybeards shaking hands:
- 1952 – The SS United States sets sail on her maiden voyage to Southampton. During the voyage, the ship takes the Blue Riband away from the RMS Queen Mary.
- 1996 – British Prime Minister John Major announced the Stone of Scone would be returned to Scotland.
It’s now in Edinburgh Castle, but here it was before it was in England, and then was stolen and returned to Scotland in 1996. Queen Elizabeth was crowned sitting over this block of red sandstone.
- 2013 – Egyptian coup d’état: President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi is overthrown by the military after four days of protests all over the country calling for Morsi’s resignation, to which he did not respond. President of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt Adly Mansour is declared acting president.
Notables born on this day include:
Every Fourth of July when I was a kid I’d watch the 1942 movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” with James Cagney playing George M. Cohan. I loved it, and Cagney’s performance was outstanding. Here’s the ending of the movie when Cohan gets a medal from FDR and then joins a parade singing Cohan’s song “Over There”. Admit it; doesn’t it make you feel just a wee bit patriotic?
Kafka in 1906:
- 1908 – M. F. K. Fisher, American author (d. 1992)
- 1937 – Tom Stoppard, Czech-English playwright and screenwriter
My brush with fame at the Hay Festival, June, 2010 (later I smoked one of his cigarettes with him):
- 1947 – Dave Barry, American journalist and author
- 1962 – Tom Cruise, American actor and producer
Those who became the Dearly Departed on July 3 include:
- 1904 – Theodor Herzl, Austrian journalist and playwright (b. 1860)
- 1935 – André Citroën, French engineer and businessman, founded the Citroën Company (b. 1878)
- 1969 – Brian Jones, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer (b. 1942)
- 1971 – Jim Morrison, American singer-songwriter (b. 1943)
Here’s a live version of one of my favorite Doors songs (“Riders on the Storm” is up there, though I’m not as keen as others on “Light My Fire”:
And here’s Jim Morrison’s grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris (now guarded and fenced in because of vandalism and theft), photographed by me in November, 2018:
- 2012 – Andy Griffith, American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1926)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili and Szaron discuss their plans:
Szaron: Are we going into the forest?Hili: No, I’m going back home.
Szaron: Idziemy do lasku?Hili: Nie, ja wracam do domu.
And Leon is weary of the week:
Leon: Is it Friday yet?
Here’s a confusing sign from reader David. I believe this is what happens when your math skills are deficient:
From Jesus of the Day:
Titania adds part 37 to her list of things that have been deemed racist:
THINGS THAT ARE RACIST
• French food
• The Queen
• Air pic.twitter.com/UWhEt6iMt1
— Titania McGrath (@TitaniaMcGrath) June 29, 2021
Two tweets from Luana: two statues get toppled in Canada.
🚨 | NEW: Statues of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II have been toppled during protests in Canada
— Politics For All (@PoliticsForAlI) July 2, 2021
. . . and religion in America continues its inexorable decline:
In 2018 – "I know God really exists and I have no doubts about it."
Gen X: 62%
But, look at this huge gap between Gen X and Millennials.
Gen Z: 33%
The decline for Gen Z is staggering, too.
49% in 2014
39% in 2016
33% in 2018. pic.twitter.com/ko5CQs45rp
— Ryan Burge 📊 (@ryanburge) July 2, 2021
With this tweet, reader Ken adds: “One would think that the lawyers for the guy most likely to be “Unindicted Coconspirator #1″ in the Trump Org/Weisselberg indictment had advised their client to STFU on national tv.”
One would think that the lawyers for the guy most likely to be “Unindicted Coconspirator #1” in the Trump Org/Weisselberg indictment had advised their client to STFU on national tv.
Don Jr says this indictment is "no different" than what Putin has done to Alexei Navalny.
(Navalny, who Don Jr. refers to as "Navatny," was poisoned with a nerve agent and imprisoned.) pic.twitter.com/GGmLcIVi98
— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) July 1, 2021
Tweets from Matthew. I had no idea that the first of July was International Polychaete Day. Here’s a lovely specimen.
Happy International #PolychaeteDay from Singapore! Here's Eunice reticulata from our local reefs – they are highly territorial and like the rest of its Family it has a set of alien-like retractable jaws to help grip its food/prey! pic.twitter.com/xS6eK3WmQt
— Lim Jun An (@evanlimjunan) July 1, 2021
Ah, Facebook has reminded me that I was sent *laminated* proof that God exists because the Bible is ‘imprinted upon human DNA’. pic.twitter.com/m7Iwy5j69x
— Prof Francesca Stavrakopoulou (@ProfFrancesca) July 2, 2021
Now here’s an unusual find: click on the link to the article to see the beetle, which is indeed amazingly preserved in a coprolite:
Amazingly preserved beetle in fossilised Triassic dinosaur turd. https://t.co/aDKGNRzP2T
— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) July 1, 2021