The Uighurs

The plight of the Uighur minority in China is something that I was peripherally aware of and kept meaning to look into more closely to find out exactly what was happening but never got around to it. Fortunately John Oliver had a program that dealt precisely with this issue.

Has Sean Hannity not seen Monty Python’s Life of Brian?

It appears that Fox News personality and Trump whisperer Sean Hannity, no doubt in an attempt to appear erudite and impress his audience, bungled the Latin motto he put on the cover of his new book.

At first, the cover featured the Latin tagline “vivamus vel libero perit Americae” – a phrase that Hannity told viewers on Fox means “live free or America dies”. But as Indiana University Bloomington classics student Spencer Alexander McDaniel laid out on his blog in May, the Latin phrase makes little sense.

“It is clear that whoever came up with this motto does not even know the basic noun cases in Latin or how they work,” wrote McDaniel. “The words in Hannity’s motto are real Latin words, but, the way they are strung together, they don’t make even a lick of sense.”

McDaniel, who was not the only classicist to question Hannity’s “perplexing” Latin, translated Hannity’s Latin text as “Let’s live or he … passes away from America for the detriment of a free man”. He then inferred that the incorrect Latin had been arrived at by putting “live free or America dies” into Google Translate.

Here’s the relevant scene from Life of Brian.

The publisher should also make Hannity write out the correct Latin phrase 100 times so that he does not make the same mistake again.

Why we need to teach real US history

I have written multiple times before how US history is taught in schools in a completely sanitized form that distorts and erases what truly happened. People are given a rose-tinted view of the past, especially when it comes to the brutality that was inflicted on black people during the time of slavery and all the way to the present. This is why there is such reluctance by some to accept that the confederacy was actually a very bad thing and should not be honored in any way. The same holds true for the treatment of Native Americans.

In another excellent program, John Oliver looks at all the problems with the way US history is taught and offers suggestions for how it should be taught,

The US should follow New Zealand’s lead for dealing with the pandemic

Yesterday brought some encouraging news of a survey that shows that most Americans do not believe Trump’s assertions that the US is doing a better job of dealing with the pandemic than other countries, and they are looking for the government to issue aggressive national plan to fight the epidemic and are willing to wear masks and accept other restrictions.
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Trump draws a massive crowd of maybe, uh, 30 people?

On his way to a fundraiser in Florida yesterday, Trump spoke to an absolutely YUGE overflow crowd on the airport tarmac in Tampa.

Needless to say, the wags on Twitter had a field day, with one commenting that this was “Like an aging rock star who can’t draw a crowd at the county fair.”