These bird pictures are from Saturday, from around our friend Paul’s house in Hansville. (Hansville is in Kitsap County, north and west from Seattle, across the Puget Sound).
The summer of our discontent has arrived. Our city’s traditional Fremont Solstice Parade to celebrate it, has been cancelled this year.
At least the sun still rises, and sets, as if nothing on Earth had changed.
Daylight time here (sunrise at 5.11 am through sunset at 9.10 pm) is at its peak, now just shy of 16 hrs, at 15:59:17.
Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation – which had become official January 1, 1863.
The Trump campaign did good work (unintentionally) by initially scheduling his stupid rally in Tulsa, OK for today. Oh! It’s Juneteenth, had no idea (I’m parapharasing), said he, we will move it. (Moved it by one day, to Saturday). So now many millions more Americans — at long last — know what Juneteenth is, and there will be a push from Congress to make it a federal holiday.
As for Saturday’s rally, there is the reality of Oklahoma being in the middle of a spike in Covid-19 cases. No matter. Deaf to Oklahoma public health officials, the Trump 2020 campaign will pack 20,000 adulating Trump barbarians into the Bank of Oklahoma Center. They will not be required to wear masks. Tulsa Mayor, and Oklahoma Governor — the consequences will be on you.
Sat. Jun 20: Trump delivered his usual disjointed speech; told the thin crowd he ‘wanted to slow testing down’, and called the corona virus Kung Flu.
His appearance at the outside overflow area was cancelled. The overflow area was empty.
It was a beautiful day here in the city of Seattle — sunny, 75°F /24°C.
June 16, 1976, is a day that saw fierce police brutality in South Africa. Several thousand high school students in Johannesburg’s poor township of Soweto demonstrated against the minority South African government. (In 1974, a decree had been issued that had forced all township schools to use Afrikaans and English in a 50–50 mix as languages of instruction).
The march had been peaceful, but then a police convoy arrived. Not long after that, the protestors were fired upon with live ammunition, causing the deaths of several young students. There was more bloodshed the next day. The number of young people who died is usually given as 176, but other estimates put it at hundreds more.
Many white South Africans were outraged at the government’s actions in Soweto. It would be another 14 years before Nelson Mandela would be let out of jail, but at no point after 1976, was the government able to restore the relative peace and social stability of the early 1970s.
Gerald Bostock was employed by Clayton County in Georgia and suddenly fired in 2013 after a history of positive reviews at work. He had joined a gay softball league, and that was too much for his employer. When he lost his job, he also lost friends, his home and his health insurance.
Bostock’s case finally made it to the Supreme Court of the United States this year. The Trump administration had urged the court to rule against gay and transgender workers (because of course they did).
So to the surprise of many, the Supreme Court ruled in Bostock’s favor. It’s finally no longer legal to fire employees that are gay, bisexual or transgender anywhere in the US. (It has been illegal in Washington State since 2006). It all hinged on the interpretation of Title VII of the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
The logic is irrefutable: suppose that a man and a woman each does the same work, or applies for the same job. Also: it just happens that both are attracted to men. If you discriminate against the (gay) man, you discriminate on the basis of sex, which is forbidden by Title VII.
Here are pictures of the construction projects that line Denny Way just west of Interstate 5, that I had taken on Friday at dusk.
Presumably, work on these projects have started up again (while meeting the Covid-19 guidelines published by Washington State).
Below is a survey of the activities that epidemiologists expect to be OK to do –
⋆ Soon/ this summer;
⋆ 3 to 12 months out;
⋆ Only after a year (oh no!), and
⋆ Never again (oh no! say it ain’t so).
Meanwhile, there is a deafening silence from the CDC about the pandemic.
No more coronavirus task force briefings.
Trump plans a mass rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the end of next week. (Attendees have to sign waivers that they will not sue his campaign if they get sick or die).
The death toll stands at 114,000. Are we just accepting that almost 1,000 Americans still die every day? It looks like we are.
I walked by the section of Pine Street between 10th Ave & 11the Ave today, called the Capitol Hill ‘Autonomous Zone’ by the protesters. (How long it will remain ‘autonomous’ — occupying the city streets, unchallenged by the Seattle Police Department— is unclear).
Three intersections on Pine street are blocked off, and a little ‘protest village’ of sorts have sprung up all around it. There are tents, stalls that sell water and food, and other trinkets to protesters.
The light rain that we had on and off today, stopped for a bit, and I went for a walk on 15th Avenue at around 8 pm.
The restaurants lining the street are not yet open for any sit-down customers, nor is Rudy’s Barbershop.
The No 10 bus rolled by: completely empty, with its electronic sign saying ESSENTIAL TRIPS ONLY.
The deeper you go, the stranger things get.
– Dr. Bruce Robison, marine biologist, of voyages into the Monterey Canyon and beyond (Monterey Canyon is a sub-marine canyon in Monterey Bay, California).
It’s World Oceans Day.
Scientists agree that there are still hundreds of thousands of undiscovered species of animals and plants in the oceans.
More and more has been discovered about the bristlemouth : easy in a way, since they are everywhere in the oceans — the world’s most prevalent vertebrate, by far. There may be a quadrillion – 1,000,000,000,000,000 (1015) – of them, all told. They live in the middle depths of the ocean where there is little light. They have bioluminescent spots that glow in the dark, and can open their mouths extraordinarily wide, baring needle-like fangs.
Many of them have another trick up their sleeve: start life as a male, and later, switch to become a female. Scientists call it protandrous — that is, a male-first hermaphrodite — a phenomenon also seen in certain worms, limpets and butterflies.
It was beautiful outside, this afternoon as I walked down to Madison Park .. but tonight there was trouble again in Capitol Hill, Seattle, with the protests.
A madman drove towards the crowds and shot a 27-year old guy. He then got out of his car and brandished his gun. He is now in custody and the wounded man is in stable condition.
As I write here it’s after midnight (into Monday morning), and I can hear the popping sounds of the flash-bangs as police are trying to disperse the crowds, telling them to go home.
Is this the perfect watch for the pandemic? It’s a Swiss-made watch with one hand that rolls around the dial once every 24 hours. 12 noon at the top, of course, and midnight at the bottom.
a herbaceous plant or small shrub of a genus that comprises the cranesbills and their relatives. Geraniums bear a long, narrow fruit that is said to be shaped like the bill of a crane.
The chemical element of atomic number 32, a shiny gray semi-metal. Germanium was important in the making of transistors and other semiconductor devices, but has been largely replaced by silicon.
I found some geranium (cranesbill) flowers on my walk around the block tonight (had to do an image search on Google).
Just for fun, below is a picture of a chunk of germanium.
Long past midnight last night, I could still hear the police helicopter hover over the protesters here in Seattle’s Capitol Hill. It is less than a mile from my house, as the crow flies.
The protesters are out there again tonight. A curfew that had been in place, was lifted, though. I really hope the ugly scenes of Saturday night are behind us.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has upgraded the charge against former police officer Chauvin to second-degree murder. The other three officers that had been with him, have now been charged as well — of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter.