Archive for July 20th, 2019

The Apollo 11 Moon Landing


(Guardian Comments) – David Smith:

Michael Collins, 88, Apollo 11 command module pilot, made a striking point. From more than 200,000 miles away, Earth’s national borders don’t matter any more. They are artificial and arbitrary, a human construction. If presidents and prime ministers could enjoy such a view, the astronaut noted, they would probably struggle to identify their own countries.

It’s an argument reminiscent of astronomer Carl Sagan: “The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.”

There was political turmoil in the US and the Vietnam war was raging, but the moon landing drew more people together, watching on TV and listening on radios, than any previous event in human history. And when the three pioneers came home, they and their wives embarked on an exhausting goodwill tour to 24 countries and 27 cities in 45 days. …

theguardian 2019/jul/20 apollo-11

Earthrise, by Apollo 8 on 1968-12-24

Racism Is an Impeachable Offense


(The Intercept) – Shaun King:

Donald Trump has a rich, varied history of racism, bigotry, and discrimination going back to at least 1973, when the Justice Department filed a racial bias suit against him for mistreating Black applicants and tenants all over New York. At the time, it was one of the largest lawsuits of its kind. That was 46 years ago. Since then, the list of offenses has piled up. In a better time, his racist behavior would have prevented him from ever being elected, but here we are. He’s president and now he’s openly carrying that bigotry right into the Oval Office. Not only do I think he is violating his oath of office — I think his open, flagrant bigotry is an impeachable offense. …

theintercept 2019/07/19 impeachment

Donald Trump on 2019-07-16 with photo of Rep. Ilhan Omar

How Notre-Dame Was Saved


(NYTimes) – Elian Peltier e.a.:

Notre-Dame came far closer to collapsing than people knew. This is how it was saved. …

nytimes 2019/07/16 notre-dame

Burnt roof of Notre-Dame de Paris