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Weekend link dump for August 30

“Covid now 3rd leading cause of death. Even at “only” half current death rate, Covid would kill
– 4x as many as from suicide, kidney disease
– 3x as many as flu and pneumonia
– 2x as many as diabetes
– More than Alzheimer’s, stroke, lung disease, injury (including opiates)”.

“A Texas Program Has Achieved Remarkable Success in Protecting Rare Sea Turtles. So Why Does the National Park Service Want to Defund It?”

How to solve the riddle from the trailer to the new movie The Batman.

RIP, Gerald Hines, real estate developer who shaped the Houston skyline.

Platform, schmatform. Long live the king!

“Owning the libs and pissing off the media. That’s what we believe in now. There’s really not much more to it.”

“So now, instead of serving as a symbol of Trump’s successes, the RNC will serve as a symbol of everything he’s done wrong. While other countries reopen schools and even sporting events with fans, the US continues to report 40,000 or more new coronavirus cases a day.”

“Solar panels are an increasingly important source of renewable power that will play an essential role in fighting climate change. They are also complex pieces of technology that become big, bulky sheets of electronic waste at the end of their lives — and right now, most of the world doesn’t have a plan for dealing with that.”

RIP, Justin Townes Earle, singer-songwriter and son of Steve Earle.

The Falwells and the pool boy. I have a feeling there’s more to come in this saga. I only wish Jerry Senior were alive to see this.

“This lines up with something I’ve found in my own research with conservative Protestants: I heard over and over about their worries young people would walk away from their relationship with Christ, yet they placed blame for that almost exclusively on secular professors and the liberal media. They shouldn’t: As various social scientific studies of “religious nones” (nonbelievers) have shown, people are increasingly leaving Christian belief because of the politics and hypocrisy of Christians like Jerry Falwell Jr.”

“It’s skeevy, in other words, for the same reason the pastor’s unironic Ricky Bobby impression is skeevy — because we don’t know if he would know if his wife was really into this too. We cannot trust him to know, or to listen, or to realize if she wasn’t. And if she’s not — if she really does hate it when he does this — then something actually bad and not merely benignly kinky is going on.”

“Religious conservatives are essential to Trump’s base, so the people most inclined to see natural disasters as messages from God and now in a bind. Do they listen to the message, or ignore it?”

On survivorship bias and the home court advantage in the NBA.

“The more complicated answer is that the platform I’ve just described, like so much of the Trump-Republican program, commands support among only a minority of the American people. The platform works (to the extent it does work) by exciting enthusiastic support among Trump supporters; but when stated too explicitly, it invites a backlash among the American majority. This is a platform for a party that talks to itself, not to the rest of the country. And for those purposes, the platform will succeed most to the extent that it is communicated only implicitly, to those receptive to its message.”

RIP, Joe Ruby, animation writer and executive who co-created “Scooby-Doo”. Mark Evanier shared some thoughts about him.

“A lawsuit—launched back in June, but getting more attention now that the film’s just released its first trailer—[alleges] that Netflix’s Enola Holmes infringes on the copyright of Arthur Conan Doyle’s family, because it shows Henry Cavill’s Sherlock having legally actionaable feelings.”

A woman ran at me with a knife once. I was responding to a domestic and she flew out the front door, huge knife in hand, & came right at me. I drew my weapon, yelled “police”, told her to drop the knife. She didn’t. At some point, I’d drawn my weapon.”

RIP, Lute Olson, Hall of Fame men’s basketball coach at the University of Arizona.

RIP, Cathy Smith, backup singer better known for her role in the overdose death of John Belushi.

RIP, Chadwick Boseman, actor best known for Black Panther. He also played Jackie Robinson in the movie 42, and MLB was celebrating Jackie Robinson Day yesterday when Boseman passed. My 13-yea-old daughter emerged from her room at 10:30 PM last night to announce this news to me. She’s a huge Marvel fan and Black Panther is one of her favorites, and she was really upset by this. My deepest condolences to Boseman’s family and friends.

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  1. Flypusher says:

    “… , but for the conservative Protestants I know, this hurts. Scandals, of the traditional sense, always do. Here’s another leader they believed in, struck down by a culture besotted with sin.”

    Damn, these people still don’t get it. The culture didn’t strike Fallwell Jr. down. His own hypocritical choices struck him down. Personal responsibility, remember that RWers?

    Speaking as one of the nones, the hypocrisy (which goes much further than this particular scandal) is absolutely a deal-breaker. I don’t care what these people choose to believe, but they best not dare to presume to ever preach at me.

  2. SocraticGadfly says:

    On your COVID links, you miss first lab-documented cases of reinfection.

  3. blank says:

    Boseman also played Thurgood Marshall and James Brown.

  4. Flypusher says:

    The loss of Boseman is a major shock. 2020 continues to suck.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    Regarding Trump using the WH as a backdrop for his RNC speech:

    ” flouting ethical concerns and laws prohibiting the use of government property for political gain….”

    I’m curious to know why no one seems troubled that Elizabeth Warren and Mrs. Biden both used public school classrooms as backdrops for their political speeches at the DNC. Why doesn’t anyone have an ethical concern about that? We the schools rented for those speeches? Can the DNC provide proof that the schools were paid for their use, and even if they were, was that ethical?

    Beyond that, they both promulgated half truths, that they were long time teachers. Mrs. Biden taught what, 2 years at most? Warren, even less. But sure, they’re dedicated teachers, so of course it made sense for their appearances to be filmed in public schools.

  6. Flypusher says:

    You still suck at analogies. Not as dumb as the lightning one, but still quite stupid.

  7. C.L. says:

    #WhatAboutIsm still abounds, I see.

  8. Ross says:

    Bill, I don’t think that there is a Federal prohibition on using state or local facilities for Federal electioneering. That’s up to the states and local governments. And, not nearly as egregious as using the WH. But, we all know Trump ignores laws he doesn’t like, and ignores advice from people whose job is to help him comply with the laws. That’s one thing that’s really scary about Trump, and indicative of his unfitness for office.

  9. Flypusher says:

    The scarier thing is all the people who are just fine with all that rule breaking and law flouting. yet they scream “law and order.” Zero credibility.

  10. Ross says:

    And, it’s mostly people who pretend not to hate people of color, but still call the police every time a Black man walks down their street.