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The Georgia Secretary of State has decided that the "risk limiting audit" of the state's 2020 general election for President of the United States will include every single vote cast and be recounted by human hand. If memory serves, the current Secretary of State's election slogan was "Bring Backus the Abacus." (Which, to be fair, was more progressive than his predecessor, whose platform was "You Voted For Who I Say You Vote For.")

According to the SoS's website, 4,991,854 Georgians voted in the election. If one person were to count one ballot per second continuously, it would take that person 58 days. Of course, he'd be dead then, so he might not want to do that.

If ten people were working together, they could complete the task in a week. A hundred could get it done in one intense work day (with overtime). Too bad they can't put 1,000 people in a room with all 5 million votes. Done in under 2 hours!

Each county has to count its own ballots. If Coweta County is lucky enough to get 6 salaried employees together (in state-mandated teams of two) to recount their 76,799 ballots, they'll need 2 full work days (with no water breaks). Coweta is the 17th largest county in the state, so expect several counties to take longer. Lucky tiny Taliaferro (159th of 159 in population) should be able to count to 928 within an hour.

All this number crunching just to validate that maybe we will, finally, definitively know by next Friday where Georgians collectively stand on the question of which old white guy they want in the federal executive mansion. Personally, I'll take the one who can count.

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2020 has done it again. Alex Trebek has died from pancreatic cancer at age 80.

In the year 2014 BC (Before COVID), Trebek appeared on the final episode of The Colbert Report to reassure its departing host:

"So I guess I’ll be gone forever?" Colbert asked.

"No, Stephen," answered Trebek. "We'll always be there for the American people, whenever they need us the most."

All of life’s important answers must be in the form of a question

May he live forever in reruns.

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"My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.

"Our Constitution works; our great Republic is a government of laws and not of men. Here the people rule. But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor Him, who ordains not only righteousness but love, not only justice but mercy.

"As we bind up the internal wounds of Watergate, more painful and more poisonous than those of foreign wars, let us restore the golden rule to our political process, and let brotherly love purge our hearts of suspicion and of hate."

President Gerald Ford
Inaugural Address
August 9, 1974

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Reported by the Newnan Times-Herald on October 29, 2020:

Players, parents rattled after shots fired near Senoia ballfield

After the second shot, players were lying on the ground in the dugout, according to parents from one of the teams playing.

Adam Griffin said he yelled for everybody to get off the field, and by the time he got to the dugout, the coach had the boys lying face down in the dirt.

Griffin, a military veteran who served time in Iraq said he picked up his stepson and directed everyone to go into the bathroom – the safest place. Once all the kids were safely inside, he said he went back out.

That’s when someone yelled "it's only a deer."

After that, everyone came out of where they were hiding and the game resumed.

Because everyone knows those stupid deer can barely hold guns, much less aim them.

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@realdonaldtrump RT @The171111: Hiden Biden and Obama may have had Seal Team 6 killed! EXPLOSIVE: CIA Whistleblower Exposes Biden’s Alleged Role with the De… Oct 13th 2020

SAVANNAH GUTHERIE, NBC NEWS, Oct 15, 2010

Just this week, you retweeted to your 87 million followers, a conspiracy theory that Joe Biden orchestrated to have SEAL Team Six, the Navy SEAL Team Six, killed to cover up the fake death of Bin Laden. Now, why would you send a lie like that to your followers?

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

I know nothing about it, can I-

GUTHERIE

You retweeted it.

TRUMP

That was a retweet. That was an opinion of somebody—

GUTHERIE

But—

TRUMP

—and that was a retweet. I’ll put it out there. People can decide for themselves. I don't take a position.

GUTHERIE

I don't get that, you’re the President. You're not like, someone's crazy uncle who can just—

TRUMP

No, no. No, no.

GUTHERIE

—retweet, whatever.

TRUMP

That was a retweet. And I do a lot of retweets. And frankly, because the media is so fake, and so corrupt, if I didn't have social media.... I don’t call it Twitter, I call it social media. I wouldn't be able to get the word out. And the word is—

GUTHERIE

Well, the word is false.

TRUMP

—and you know what the word is? The word is very simple. We're building our country, stronger and better than it's ever been before.

GUTHERIE

Let's stop—

TRUMP

And that's what's happening. And everybody knows it.

...

There's no small irony in the fact that the party that openly promotes the philosophy of Constitutional Originalism has chosen as its leader a man the Founding Fathers could have never imagined.

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Press Briefing by President William Henry Harrison, issued April 1, 1841:

MR. HARRISON: I just left Washington Infirmary, and it's really something very special. The doctors, the surgeons, the bloodletters, and I learned so much about pleurisy. And one thing that's for certain: don't let it dominate you. Don't be afraid of it. You're going to beat it. We have the best cupping equipment. We have the best opium, all developed recently, and you're going to beat it.

I went... I didn't feel so good. And two days ago, I could have left two days ago. Two days ago I felt great, like, better than I have in a long time. I said just recently, better than during the Battle of Tippecanoe. Don't let it dominate. Don't let it take over your lives. Don't let that happen.

We have the greatest country in the world. We're going back. We're going back to work. We're going to be out front. As your leader, I had to do that. I knew there's danger to it, but I had to do it. I stood out front. I led. Nobody that's a leader would not do what I did. And I know there's a risk. There's a danger, but that's okay. And now I'm better, and maybe I'm immune. I don’t know.

But don't let it dominate your lives. Get out there. Be careful. We have the best snake oil salesmen in the world, and they're all happened very shortly [sic], and they're all getting approved. And the boiled mixture of crude petroleum and Virginia snakeweed is coming momentarily.

Thank you very much. And Washington Infirmary, what a group of people. Thank you very much.

END

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After weeks of discussion about how they could continue playing sports in the face of an unabated pandemic, the University of Georgia is now scheduled to play Auburn on October 3 in their first home football game of an unusual SEC-only season. Theoretically, I have a ticket. At least, I paid for one back in February.

While they have announced that all attendees will have to wear face coverings "over the nose and mouth" while entering, leaving, or moving through the stadium, the University has yet to announce any actual plan for dividing the 93,000 seat Sanford Stadium into socially distanced sections. There are about 58,000 season ticket holders and nearly 20,000 student tickets per game in a usual year. Obviously, the stadium will seat far, far fewer than that this year. I imagine that only the richest donors will get seats for all 5 games, but I can't imagine why they would want them.

(My bad. There are only to be 4 home games. What would be the 5th home game is the Florida/Georgia game, still scheduled to be played in Jacksonville.)

That first football game is still six weeks away. Since the start of this mess, there has been no six-week period with an overall decline in cases in America. Students have only this week returned to campus, so the inevitable explosion in COVID cases is still on the horizon. What will things look like that first October weekend? Based on recent history, it can't be anything good. In fact, Georgia Tech has just declared Georgia to be the state in the Union in which a person is most likely to be exposed to the virus. Whoo-hoo! Let's play some ball!

I get that the players want to play. As a fan, I want to watch. But just because we *want* football doesn't mean we're in a position to have it. If you're old enough and smart enough to go to college, you're old enough not to let your wants hurt you. If getting this pandemic under control, if ensuring that we break the chain of infections to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors means we have to stay in our homes (or dorms) and forego one football season, we should do that, even if we don't want to. Any other behavior is just irresponsible.

Go Dawgs. Go home. Football will still be there once we're all healthy enough to play it.

UPDATE 2020-08-19: I woke up this morning to find an email from UGA Athletics informing that I am to be granted the opportunity to attend 1 home game not of my choice. Alternately, I can opt-out of attending any games and either A) transfer my donation to help fund the skyrocketing costs of the university's attempts to play games during the ever-worsening COVID-19 pandemic or B) be refunded my 2020 donations "before the end of the calendar year." I think you can guess which I chose.

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Press Briefing by President Woodrow Wilson, issued on January 26, 1919:

MR. WILSON: Thank you very much. Thank you, everybody. Thank you.

We've had a tremendous week uniting the country in our fight against the Spanish virus. I have reminded people of the importance of masks when you can't socially distance, in particular. A strong message has been sent out to young people to stop going to crowded bars and other crowded places.

I wanted to come out again today to share some additional news with you: This afternoon, my political team came to me and laid out our plans for the Armistice celebration in San Francisco, California. It's a place I love. I love that state. The drawings look absolutely beautiful. I never thought we could have something look so good, so fast with everything going on. And everything was going well — a tremendous list of speakers; thousands of people wanting to be there — and I mean, in some cases, desperately be there. They wanted to attend. People making travel arrangements all over the country; they wanted to be there. The pageantry, the signs, the excitement were really, really top of the line.

But I looked at my team, and I said, "The timing for this event is not right. It's just not right with what's happened recently — the flare up in California — to have a big celebration. It's not the right time."

It's really something that, for me — I have to protect the American people. That's what I've always done. That's what I always will do. That's what I'm about.

Fortunately, the data shows that children are lower risk from the Spanish virus, very substantially. When children do contact the virus, they often have only very mild symptoms or none at all, and medical complications are exceedingly rare. Those that do face complications often have underlying medical conditions. Ninety-nine percent of all Spanish virus hospitalizations are adults. And ninety-nine point nine six percent of all fatalities are adults. That means that children are a tiny percentage — less than one percent, and even a small percentage of one percent.

I have a very, very special person who loves children, who is — who is, I think, one of the greatest athletes of all time. A lot of people say "the greatest player of all time." Known as a "center fielder" who could have been whatever he wanted. Some people — he is the greatest player of all time, by far. Substantially more runs batted in than anybody else. In fact, he got the Most Valuable Player award recently.

And he — I'm reading off these stats. I knew he was the best. I knew he was great, but I didn't know it was almost double anybody else. But he's a man who loves children — has children, loves children, works hard with children. We're going to go outside and be with some little leaguers. Ty Cobb — you know, he's the "Georgia Peach," right? My wife said, "Darling, why do they call him the 'Georgia Peach'?" I said, "You know, he's just such a sweet man.” And that's exactly what happened.

So, with that, if you have any questions — please.

Q: On the Armistice celebration, were you simply not convinced that you could keep people safe at the convention?

MR. WILSON: I just felt it was wrong, Steve, to have people going to what turned out to be a hotspot. You know, when we chose it, it was not at all hot; it was free. And all of a sudden, it happened quickly. It happens quickly. And it goes away, and it goes away quickly. The key is, we want it to go away without a lot of death, without a lot of problems.

Q: You talk about setting an example on San Francisco. But I — I just wonder: Some people are going to take away from this the lesson that you're pushing too far, too fast. It seemed, for a while, the numbers were going up in San Francisco, and you were going to have a problem there with the Anti-Mask League. This comes up at a time you're pushing for schools to reopen, have the opening of the Major League Baseball season. Isn't — isn't the example of San Francisco that we're — we're pushing too fast?

MR. WILSON: Well, baseball, as an example — we were discussing it a little while ago — you're going to be at an empty stadium. I've agreed — Charles Comiskey is a great friend of mine from the White Sox, and he asked me to throw out the first pitch, and I think I'm doing that on May 8th at Comiskey Park. And I say, "How's the crowd going to be?" And, you know, it's like you don't have a crowd; there is no such thing.

It's going to be interesting, Ty. He's not used to that. I've been at many games. He walks in; the place goes crazy. I think it'd be just as good without the crowd. You were just born with it, you know. Some people are born with it.

I don't know if — this is only for the baseball players, but I've never seen a batter hit a ball where so many bats were broken as Ty. He's got the all-time record. I said, "How do you do that?" He said, "Parents." Great parents, when you get right down to it. Right? "How do you do that?" It's called parents.

Q: That's baseball, but the question really is —

MR. WILSON: Yeah, I just — just to finish, I think — I think that we have to all set examples. I think Major League Baseball is setting the example by, you know, playing to empty stadiums, and so are other sports. You see that. Now, then they’ll allow a certain number in. I see golf is now — soon will be allowing people to come in, in percentages. And all of a sudden, we want to get back to normal.

The key is to get back to normal, because nobody wants to see this. But I think it's really good that baseball is opening. It looks like football is opening. It looks like sports are opening. We — we have — it's a tremendous thing, psychologically, for our country.

And we're all — we're all, whether we're — we're going to see right now some beautiful, young Little Leaguers outside with a great future ahead of them. They're already practicing on the front lawn of the White House, and we're going to go out and say hello to them, and it'll be really great.

Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.

END

...

Follow-up communiqué by President Woodrow Wilson, issued three days later:

Because of my strong focus on the Spanish Virus including scheduled meetings on VACCINES our economy and much else I wont be able to be in Chicago to throw out the opening pitch for the White Sox on May 8th -(STOP)- 
We will make it later in the season -(STOP)-

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From the article "U.S. Health Service Issues Warning," The Newnan Herald Vol. 54 No. 11, December 13, 1918, page 5:

The Bureau of Public Health, Treasury Department, has just issued a striking poster drawn by Berryman, the well-known Washington cartoonist. The poster exemplifies the modern method of health education. A few years ago, under similar circumstances, the health authorities would have issued an official dry but scientifically accurate bulletin teaching the role of droplet infection In the spread of respiratory diseases. The only ones who would have understood the bulletin would have been those who already knew all about the subject The man In the street, the plain citizen and the many millions who toll for their living would have had no time and no desire to wade through the technical phraseology.

Use the handkerchief and do your bit to protect me!

Speaking as someone living one hundred years in the future, I don't think it's the "technical phraseology" that people object to.

It's also unmanly!
"Covid Patrick Henry" published July 22, 2020 by Rick McKee politicalcartoons.com

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A recent survey by the University of Chicago has found that Americans are the least happy we've been in nearly 50 years.

There are probably a lot of reasons for that, but I think it's because 1971 was the last time you could buy this as a 3' x 2' poster for just $1.50 (plus .25¢ postage and handling):

Peaceman

May Superman and peace never go out of style.

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To be continued...

 

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