Another Week…[DOT 8/3/21]

Hi All! I hope you had a lovely weekend. ICYMI, you can check out Brain Drain and Whisky You Can Drink.


I’m pretty sure this will be the talk of Twitter, etc today.
TL;DR: It’s a girl!

Cuomo suffers major blow as top New York Democrats say governor must go

Why we can’t have nice things.

‘Here fire, you hungry?’ Idaho Covid protesters burn masks in front of capitol

Boarded up and lined with barbed wire, Minneapolis braces for murder trial in George Floyd’s death


Dow futures rise more than 100 points after Senate passes $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill


Toronto lockdown brings humans and raccoons together – neither’s happy

I got sucked into the weighted blanket craze and shan’t be getting out of bed anymore.

Have a great Monday!



  1. That Meghan Markle-Windsor interview really was something. I had forgotten how good Oprah Winfrey really is at stuff like this, and Meg is no slouch herself.
    The “how Black will the baby be?” bombshell was deftly timed, and even Meghan alluded to it, pointing out that the Commonwealth is 60 or 70% people of color, today (Monday) is Commonwealth Day, and this aired in America five hours after QEII, Prince Charles, and Prince William released their pre-recorded annual Commonwealth Day address. Of all the royals Harry (and then Meghan) seemed to be the most interested and involved in the Commonwealth, after the Queen herself, who’s devoted decades to keeping it all together. In Britain they won’t get to see the whole special until tonight (their time; mid-afternoon New York time) but surely this has all been extensively leaked. I don’t know what arrangements Commonwealth countries have set up for broadcast, but the Commonwealth countries of Canada and in the Caribbean are practically or literally at America’s doorstep. Meghan’s mental health disclosures were heartbreaking, but I think this race obsession revelation will cause the true earthquake.

    • It’s also the most rippling bombshell because it clearly draws a line to WHY they gave the Sussexes such grief and were unwilling to provide Archie protection. Knowing Meghan was close to suicide from her isolation and lack of support is shocking and humanising and will surely soften some people’s view (apparently, Bethenny Frankel walked back a shitty Tweet after hearing that bit of the interview) of what they were going through, but the blatant racism in the family has shockwave effects because it was clearly one of the two future monarchs who said it…and what are we supposed to do with this knowledge that the future of the Royal Family (not-so) secretly feels this way?
      BTW: my first thought was it had to be Phillip or Charles, but Harry has since said it was neither of his grandparents. So, really, that only leaves Charles or William.

  2. …depending on what you mean by “diana’d” arguably she has been already?

    …after diana died the press went to town on how she was “the people’s princess” & all…& a fair chunk of the UK went a little nuts over the whole thing with people travelling the length of the country to put yet another bunch of flowers in st james’ park, which I confess I never really “got”…but while she was alive they (press & populace alike) were…less kind…pretty sure there was a whole theory that harry wasn’t charles’ kid for a while there…just as a for instance

    …but the further this thing goes the less chance there seems to be that either side comes out looking entirely blameless…I mean, if I’m honest I try to pay as little attention to the coverage of the royals as possible in much the same way I don’t generally read up on the latest kardashian saga or whatever

    …but unless I’m mistaken to claim that the family went out of their way to not give their kid the title of prince is sort of backwards…for whatever reason I think the fact his brother’s kid got that title required an exception to be made to the way it “normally” goes since that title only goes as far as grandchildren of the current monarch…& what with the elder brother being the heir to the heir to the throne I guess there’s an argument to be made that the two cases aren’t the same?

    …on the other hand it’s largely impossible to get past the warring PR factions to the point of having much sense of who actually might be the root cause of the antipathy…although harry hasn’t exactly lacked for reasons to think that life might be better not being a royal since before his mother died so trying to blame everything on his mrs seems fairly disingenuous

    …mostly, though, the thing that confuses me about how the family has gone at all of this is that he & meghan were potentially a pretty significant asset to them in a PR sense & they’ve more than squandered that…although they have had considerable help from the likes of the daily mail when it comes to making out kate is some sort of mary-poppins-grade practically perfect princess while meghan is some terrible fallen woman 

    • …I am a long way from being up to speed on the royals but I’m fairly sure for them it isn’t a 2nd son thing…all the men are expected to spend some time in the armed forces…in theory so they have a better understanding of that form of “service” but probably also so they’re entitled to wear the fancy uniforms on ceremonial occasions…& maybe a little bit to stop any politicians getting the idea the military is loyal to anyone but the monarch when all is said & done

      …I think william flew rescue choppers during his stint…& although I imagine they did whatever they could to mitigate risk factors I’m pretty sure harry spent time in afghanistan…he joined the army rather than flying things & I think was in charge of a recon team of some sort?

      …also he was in helmand for a couple of months…& I think went back (not necessarily there but back to afghanistan) for several more…which they managed to get the press to be quiet about at the time

      …so I think all the work he’s done for veterans since is heartfelt…not least that invictus games thing…or trekking to the south pole to raise funds (…walking with the wounded…or for, I forget…but there were a few so I think with is right?) & the same goes for the mental health stuff he’s been active about…all in all I think he’s pretty genuine about his efforts for charitable causes & quite possibly the royal who’d possibly be least disappointing to meet…if not possessed of the kind of stories you know his grandmother has but wouldn’t ever tell you

      …so I’d agree that stripping him of his rank/commission as a punishment for going against their wishes smacks of vindictiveness…although I suppose it’s possible it was intended as a threat they thought he’d sooner cave to than suffer…so that might be a bluff they wish they hadn’t made as much as one he wishes he hadn’t been forced to call?

      • I’m a fellow subject of the Queen who considers myself an English republican (but I squirm because of what “American Republican” has meant all my life, not just recently). So while I roll my eyes at the American obsession with royalty (and antiquity in general), I’ve had to vaguely follow this undeserving family my whole life and cannot but help have some thoughts.
        They definitely lost their best asset and most popular members with Harry and Meghan’s departure. I think the courtiers’ playbook was the same as it has been with spouses…which is to expect them to bend to the rigid mold, make life hell for them, and expect life in the royal fishbowl to break newcomers. They treated Meghan [and Archie] like she was expendable and fully expected her to leave, but not Harry. They’re just surprised he cared enough about her to support her and give up his lot, when he was supposed to be a “good royal” and discard her when the Firm’s efforts to drive her out succeeded.

      • Harry was an Apache pilot, too, and unlike William (mostly kept off to the side, because *Heir*, and then after marriage to Katherine, doing rescue missions up in wherever it was in the hinterlands of *somewhere*), Harry–like you said, AFTER the initial stint in Afghanistan** went back for that second stint…
        (**when he was outed by some asshat in the press & pulled out because he was too high value a target to the Taliban/Isis/Isil/*whoever it was,* & endangered the lives of his fellow troops)
        By all the accounts of interviews with soldiers who’ve met Harry, he apparently IS the real deal, as a soldier, unlike some of the various royals over the years. I think that’s why he’s so beloved among the military folks he’s met.
        Hell, the kid’s actually going back to Afghanistan, after he had to get pulled out that first time to keep the rest of the soldiers safe (in addition to himself), shows the kind of character he has….
        No one would’ve looked askance, had he bowed out of the theater there, kid’s a royal, that would’ve been the expected route…
        Heck, iirc, the only royal who’d seen ANY sort of conflict in decades previous to Harry, was Andrew (back in the Falklands War)…
        But the kid went back. Out of his own sense of duty, loyalty, & honor, and he  served his mission, and THEN some, by many accounts.

        • …maybe flying stuff is how you lead an “armoured recon troop”…I don’t really know how that stuff works…but I think that’s what he originally trained for & did at least a bit of…so I think he spent some time with his boots on the ground, too?

          • yep!
            Looking up that link, I ran across a few different articles, apparently at least one time, when one of the Gurkha soldiers the Allied troops were working with was somewhere else, and they started taking enemy fire, Harry hopped on the empty 50-caliber, called for backup, & began returning fire, until our guys had it under control again.
            There are quite a few random stories out & about, where folks who ran across him during those missions talked about how amazed they were at how down to earth the kid was, just wanting to be part of his unit, hanging with the guys, and trying to draw absolutely zero attention to *who* he was (asking to be called Harry/Wales, etc.)

    • “he & meghan were potentially a pretty significant asset to them in a PR sense”
      Yep. That’s been my sense all along. This could have been a HUGE PR benefit to the royals and they fucked up big time. And let’s face it, with all the calls to abolish the royal family, they could REALLY have used some good PR. 

  3. This being the open thread, I have a content question:  there have been periodic gardening questions here, so I was contemplating a weekly gardening post during the growing season (late March to October-ish).  If there’s enough interest among our loyal readership–and if the Editorial Board approves–would this be something people would like to see?

        • It’s a series of large, very tall planter boxes on the roof that originally contained bamboo. Purely decorative and easily maintained. There are tables and seating and lounge chairs up there too and at one point there was a fridge. There’s also a small kitchen but alas, no bathroom. We repurposed some of the planters to “farm” and dedicated one to herbs. That is my favorite. Over time a small group of us (I had no small part in this) added more decorative flowers in huge pots, strung up Christmas lights (“fairy lights”, to use a British/Commonwealth term) and installed a Japanese maple in its own planter box. There’s a structure once you reach the roof. That’s where the elevators deliver you and where the kitchen is. We put some seating in there and that is like a greenhouse, and we had a couple of thriving lemon trees in their own planters, but the aphids got to them.
          I should really organize a post-pandemic Great Deadsplinter Convocation up on that roof and you can all see it for yourselves!

            • Oh, most definitely, but the ringleader of this still lives in the building and she could make grass grow in the Sahara. We take instructions from her. She’s not getting any younger but she would have been a prime candidate to send to Mars, for example. “Hmmm, it’s pretty arid, but we could probably plant some…bring the Rover over here and help me dig a few holes.”

    • Yes please! I am regularly envious of your “plucked 80% of the ingredients from my garden” FYCE posts, and will enjoy reading more about your garden, and gardening in particular. You could perhaps start with herbs (pretty please)! And maybe even include a note on the dreaded cilantro? We can’t grow that at all.

    • That would be great.  I thought about doing a “random shit I found in my wife’s greenhouse” segment once in awhile to supplement after she gets up & running.  Right now it would just be rants about Canadian greenhouse companies.

  4. Regarding pissed off raccoons and humans of Tarrana Canada who I am adjacent to.
    To be blunt, no one’s happy about it.  I’m not happy about lockdowns BUT I also don’t want people to die in droves including my dying friend to die faster from CoVID nor my elderly parents.  However, some people forget that Toronto and Peel region (mostly Brampton) is the COVID hotspot of Canada (in part because people are stupid.)
    Good news, my dad got his first shot of the pfizer vaccine yesterday.  My mom gets hers in two weeks.  My friend is taking some therapies that might help (I may have to take some time off to help him.)
    Bad news, my friend found out that his brother (only remaining member of his family) is laying on a guilt trip (courtesy of the wife I suspect) for taking up his time.  Personally I am not surprised as in the past, I’ve noticed the brother has done stuff mostly for his convenience (but I wisely kept my observations to myself–I am not a fucking troll who wants to stir shit in other families.)

      • Hospice care in general is tough.  It must have been very tough on you and your family, but sometimes must be done.
        I just do what I can as a friend.  He looked out for me and kept me from doing stupid shit so this is the least I can do for him.

  5. Since this is an Open Thread I will share something that appeals to my grim sense of humor.  I’ve spent most of the morning on hold with various arms of the Medical-Industrial Complex. It’s very frustrating. At once of several points I was waiting on hold and the hold music was a very peppy, instrumental Muzak version of this on loop, it was the only selection. When a human finally picked up at the end of an interminable phone-tree process (for example: “Please enter the patient’s eight digit date of birth”. So 01-01-1900 or what ever, and the person comes online and immediately asks for your date of birth). I was laughing so hard the person on the other end almost hung up on me.

    I said, “I think you should change your Muzak hold music, it hits a little too close to home, but in any event I’m calling because…”

  6. In the feed on the H&M link: 

    UK lawmaker accuses Harry of “blowing up his family”

    Ruling Conservative Party lawmaker Zac Goldsmith, who is the Minister for Pacific and the Environment at the Foreign Office, said Prince Harry was “blowing up his family” in a tweet on Monday.

    You, Zac Goldsmith, have no place to say anything about blowing up a family.


    • Dear god, that manages to make that tragedy even more horrible & sad.😟💔
      So many lives ruined, out of pride, and stupid ego… and not only does the 13 year old basically lose HER father (and potentially her own freedom), but a little one lost HIS father, horriffically, over literally nothing.💔💔💔

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