Sunday Reads: Getting Medieval on GoT


The crazy just doesn’t stop….take a look at this latest statement from Nancy. I honestly don’t know what to think anymore.

By the way, this article is written by the one and only, Glenn Thrush…and what do we say to Glenn?


Pelosi Warns Democrats: Stay in the Center or Trump May Contest Election Results – The New York Times

Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not believe President Trump can be removed through impeachment — the only way to do it, she said this week, is to defeat him in 2020 by a margin so “big” he cannot challenge the legitimacy of a Democratic victory.

That is something she worries about.

“We have to inoculate against that, we have to be prepared for that,” Ms. Pelosi said during an interview at the Capitol on Wednesday as she discussed her concern that Mr. Trump would not give up power voluntarily if he lost re-election by a slim margin next year.

Sitting in her office with its panoramic view of the National Mall, Ms. Pelosi — the de facto head of the Democratic Party until a presidential nominee is selected in 2020 — offered Democrats her “coldblooded” plan for decisively ridding themselves of Mr. Trump: Do not get dragged into a protracted impeachment bid that will ultimately get crushed in the Republican-controlled Senate, and do not risk alienating the moderate voters who flocked to the party in 2018 by drifting too far to the left.

“Own the center left, own the mainstream,” Ms. Pelosi, 79, said.

“Our passions were for health care, bigger paychecks, cleaner government — a simple message,” Ms. Pelosi said of the 40-seat Democratic pickup last year that resulted in her second ascent to the speakership. “We did not engage in some of the other exuberances that exist in our party” — a reference to some of the most ambitious plans advocated by the left wing of her party and some 2020 candidates, including “Medicare for all” and the Green New Deal, which she has declined to support.

Granted, this is via Thrush….but it still is concerning

Few people outside Ms. Pelosi’s inner circle were aware of how worried she was that Mr. Trump would try to stop the opposition party from taking control of the House unless the Democrats’ victory was emphatic enough to be indisputable.

“If we win by four seats, by a thousand votes each, he’s not going to respect the election,” said Ms. Pelosi, recalling her thinking in the run-up to the 2018 elections.

“He would poison the public mind. He would challenge each of the races; he would say you can’t seat these people,” she added. “We had to win. Imagine if we hadn’t won — oh, don’t even imagine. So, as we go forward, we have to have the same approach.”

In recent weeks Ms. Pelosi has told associates that she does not automatically trust the president to respect the results of any election short of an overwhelming defeat. That view, fed by Mr. Trump’s repeated and unsubstantiated claims of Democratic voter fraud, is one of the reasons she says it is imperative not to play into the president’s hands, especially on impeachment.

Read the rest at the link.

So yesterday, there was a strange event at the Kentucky Derby:

Country House wins Kentucky Derby after Maximum Security disqualified in stunner | Sport | The Guardian

For the first time in the 145-year history of the Kentucky Derby, the first horse across the finish line was disqualified for a foul on the track.

Country House, a chestnut colt trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Flavien Prat who went off as a 65-1 longshot, sprung one of the biggest upsets in the centuries-spanning history of America’s most famous thoroughbred race when it was declared that unofficial winner Maximum Security impeded with the path of two horses in the final turn.

Maximum Security, always on the lead after breaking well as a 4-1 favorite, appeared to have won by one-and-three-quarters lengths in 2:03.93 over a sloppy course, but a jockey objection was filed in the immediate aftermath. The stewards at Churchill Downs spent roughly 20 minutes examining the replay before ruling Maximum Security made a move that significantly changed the outcome of the race when his hind right leg bumped into War of Will, making the unprecedented decision of taking down a Kentucky Derby winner for track action.

65 to 1 shot? Damn….that almost sounds like the tRump presidential election results from 2016.

In other sporting news:

How grunting influences perception in tennis: Team unravels the role of auditory perception in tennis — ScienceDaily

Grunting noises in tennis influence the prediction of ball flight, according to sport psychologists. Exceeding noise levels of 100 decibels, the grunting sounds produced by some tennis players when hitting the ball are on a par with motorbikes or chainsaws. While fans react to these impressive exhalations with either annoyance or amusement, the habit has also been a source of intense debate among professionals. For instance, Serena Williams has said that she is not bothered by opponents grunting in the heat of the competition. In contrast, former world number one Martina Navratilova has complained that grunting masks the sound of the racket striking the ball, making it — unfairly — harder to predict the ball’s trajectory. The question of whether this common complaint is justified has now been examined in a new study by a team of sport psychologists from Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, led by Dr Florian Müller and Prof. Rouwen Cañal-Bruland.

Go to the link to read the study in full.

Almost to the GoT link, first a fun news item from 1939, a girl and her snake (no dragons.)

The Day Zorita and Her Snake Slowed Traffic to a Crawl in Downtown Miami, 1939 ~ vintage everyday


And now, presenting the best thing ever:

You Know Nothing about Medieval Warfare, Jon Snow | The Public Medievalist

Spoiler Warning: This article contains spoilers for Game of Thrones, Season 8 Episode 3: “The Long Night.”

In this week’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Long Night,” viewers were treated to one of the most intense medievalesque battle sequences since the battle of Helm’s Deep in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. The battle was plenty bloody (though surprisingly few main characters bit the dust—“plot armor” seems very tough to defeat indeed). But watching the battle unfold, I couldn’t help but wonder… why is everyone being so dumb?

Before you cry foul and mark me as yet another historian trying to “ruin” fantasy, I know that we’re not dealing with actual reality here. But even if you take the show’s universe at face value—wights and all—the tactics seen on the field of battle leave a lot to be desired. In fact, had they learned even a little bit from actual medieval tacticians, the battle could have gone a lot better for our heroes.

So, go and read the entire article, and learn something of medieval and classical warfare. (And why elephants are so damned important to Cersei…)

Elephant armour (bargustawan), Indian, Mughal, c. 1600. On display at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds.

I hope you have a great Sunday…

Today would have been my parents 51st wedding anniversary….it is my daughter’s first anniversary. Time is flying by.

This is an open thread.

20 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Getting Medieval on GoT”

  1. joanelle says:

    I wondered why Sen. Harris didn’t use the phrase ‘no one is above the law’ when speaking about Trump and Barr trying to manipulate our legal structure

  2. dakinikat says:

  3. dakinikat says:

  4. RonStill4Hills says:

    Rhaegal and Drogon need barding and that is no joke.

    Getting back to real life and the Joffrey grown up POTUS that is destroying the country.

    Watching him and Putin publicly gloat that their conspiracy has succeeded, forces me to go back the perverse “emperors new clothes” analogy that I have made before. He is a nasty old flasher with the power to make others praise his beautiful new suit. He knows he is naked as a justice obstructing jaybird colluding with our worst enemy in plain sight, but he also knows that his deplorable base are dazzled by the audacious trolling.

    The pay off for him is that everyone knows that he is guilty and has to swallow it anyway. It is aggressive and in a non-physical way violent. He is force feeding the country lies, emphasis on the force. He gets off on watching McConell and Graham bow down and lick his boots. Whether they are actually drinking the Kool-Aid or just going through the motions doesn’t matter. They are submitting, publicly. It all sounds very sex-dungeon-y but I swear I think that is what his happening below the surface. We are taking about President Pee-Tape.

    His ego doesn’t let him see the Vlado is laughing at him, he thinks that THEY are laughing at us.

    He thinks that he and Putin are a pair of Draculas while everyone other than his sycophants can clearly see he is Renfield. The country is being run by fucking Renfield.

    • NW Luna says:

      “The Emperor has no clothes” analogy has from the first seemed the best way to describe Trump, except that his sycophants keep insisting he’s got the bestest clothes despite the evidence.

      • RonStill4Hills says:

        He is a bully and an thug even in his relationship with his followers. Everything about him is an offense, and the pretense otherwise costs his minions pieces of their soul, over and over again.

  5. dakinikat says:

    • quixote says:

      One thing I’ve been shouting about forever (go to the link if you want the book-length version!) is that people are all equal in the law but rights are not.

      Some rights depend on others, so if you don’t put them in the right hierarchy, you’ll soon have no rights at all.

      The whole mess about religious rights is a prime example. If my religion is to kill your religion — and religious freedom takes precedence — NOBODY can practice their religion. We’d all be too busy killing each other.

      That’s not even theoretical. It’s happened all the bloody time throughout history.

      Or, to take a less fraught example, if freedom of movement doesn’t take precedence over religion, the dominant religion can dictate who gets to actually have houses of worship. We’re not too far away from limiting Muslims ability to worship here in the US.

      The medical nonsense is another big one. Kansas (Kansas!), bless ’em, just clearly understood that personal autonomy is more important than religious belief. But when that’s not understood, well, my Church of the Ecological Warrior could forbid you from having more than one child. Or your Church of the Patriarchal Yayhoo could make it illegal to get lifesaving stem cell transplants. Ultimately, NOBODY will be able to mind their own business and live their own lives.

  6. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      How does it make me feel? To begin with, I don’t feel surprised. Then I feel despair. Then stubbornness.

      We’re in some nasty company, including Saudi Arabia, Indian, Syria.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    I don’t think the Democrats should open impeachment hearings, per se; but I do think they should be calling witnesses and holding public hearings as often as possible. Mueller’s testimoney will definitely be a step in the right direction, and it appears that he’s very pissed off. So I’ll be looking forward to the 15th, and praying there’s no way for Trump and Barr to interfere.

    • NW Luna says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Interesting analysis

      Nancy Pelosi has set House Democrats on a road that may lead to Trump’s impeachment

      Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has placed House Democrats on the same path that Congress took with President Richard M. Nixon in the early 1970s — a path that ultimately led to his resignation on the eve of being impeached.

      Today, Pelosi is supporting the ongoing House Judiciary Committee investigation into President Donald Trump and the Mueller report. Left unsaid is that this is similar to the kind of investigation that would take place if the panel were conducting a formal impeachment proceeding. The investigation will serve to educate the American people about the depth and extent of Trump’s malfeasance just as the Senate Watergate Committee’s investigation did with Nixon.

    • Joanelle says:

      I wholeheartedly agree, bb!

  8. NW Luna says:

    Maximum Security was disqualified because he rammed into another horse.

  9. NW Luna says:

    • quixote says:

      Has a deadline passed? Is this it? Or can the horde keep growing?

      I swear, this business of every Tom, Dick, and Harry throwing himself into the race is a phenomenon associated with a female frontrunner(s). We had the same thing in 2008, if I remember right. At that point it wasn’t so much the done thing yet, so I think there were only about five or seven or so, but it was the same idea. “Jeez. There’s an astronomically accomplished woman running. I better jump in so the voters have somebody to vote for!”