Daily Bread for 1.19.20

Good morning.

Sunday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of twenty.  Sunrise is 7:20 AM and sunset 4:51 PM, for 9h 31m 22s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 28% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand one hundred sixty-seventh day.

On this day in 1862, the Union Army achieves its first significant victory at the Battle of Mill Springs.

Recommended for reading in full —

The Washington Post editorial board writes The National Archives was wrong to alter history. Fortunately, it reversed course:

IN AN era of “fake news,” “alternative facts” and other assaults on the very idea of truth, you would expect the National Archives — devoted to the preservation of the nation’s history — to be at the forefront of those pushing back. “The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the nation’s record keeper,” the government agency proudly announces on its website. How utterly depressing it was, then, to discover on Friday that the Archives had gone into the business of altering history.

And how reassuring to read the Archives’ forthright — and, for Washington, extraordinary — statement on Saturday: “We made a mistake….We have removed the current display….We apologize.”

The Post’s Joe Heim reported Friday that the Archives made numerous alterations to a photograph included in an exhibit dedicated to the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. The photo shows the massively attended Women’s March held in January 2017 to protest President Trump’s inauguration. But Archives curators altered signs being carried by the women to delete references to Mr. Trump — and thereby they seriously distorted the meaning of the event. “A placard that proclaims ‘God Hates Trump’ has ‘Trump’ blotted out so that it reads ‘God Hates,’?” The Post reported. But “God Hates” was not the message of the protester carrying that sign. Another sign that reads “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women” has the word ‘Trump” blurred out.

In their initial weak defense, Archives officials noted that they had not altered articles they preserve for safekeeping, only a photograph for a temporary exhibit. We did not find that reassuring, as we said in the first published version of this editorial. Photo alteration long has been the preserve of authoritarian governments, most famously Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, who erased comrades from historical photographs one by one as he had them executed.

The United States government should never play the same game, even on a small scale. The goal in this case may have been not to irritate the snowflake in chief residing up Pennsylvania Avenue from the Archives. After all, the Women’s March harks back to one of the foundational lies of the Trump presidency, when he falsely insisted, and insisted that his officials likewise falsely insist, that his inauguration crowd was the largest of all time. Mr. Trump’s refusal to back down then set the pattern for his presidency: Lies are acceptable, and evidence can be ignored.

 The Strange History of Soviet X-Ray Records:

At a time when the Soviet government strictly forbade western music from the likes of hip shaker Elvis and jazz great Charlie Parker, people found a creative way around the restriction. They turned x-rays of rib cages, fingers and other body parts into records—yes, actual audio recordings—that they exchanged on the sly. Stephen Coates of London’s Bureau of Lost Culture tells us about the ingenious scheme to create and distribute the bootleg audio recordings.

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