Daily Bread for 8.8.22: Yes, New York, Wisconsin Does Have Its Share of Crackpot Loons

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will see morning thunderstorms with a high of 77. Sunrise is 5:54 AM and sunset 8:06 PM for 14h 11m 22s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing gibbous with 82% of its visible disk illuminated. 

 Whitewater’s School Board goes into closed session at 6:30 PM and meets in open session at 7 PM

 On this day in 1908, Wilbur Wright makes his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. It is the Wright Brothers’ first public flight:

Facing much skepticism in the French aeronautical community and outright scorn by some newspapers that called him a “bluffeur,” Wilbur began official public demonstrations on August 8, 1908, at the Hunaudières horse racing track near the town of Le Mans, France. His first flight lasted only 1 minute 45 seconds, but his ability to effortlessly make banking turns and fly a circle amazed and stunned onlookers, including several pioneer French aviators, among them Louis Blériot. In the following days, Wilbur made a series of technically challenging flights, including figure-eights, demonstrating his skills as a pilot and the capability of his flying machine, which far surpassed those of all other pioneering aircraft and pilots of the day.

The French public was thrilled by Wilbur’s feats and flocked to the field by the thousands, and the Wright brothers instantly became world-famous. Former doubters issued apologies and effusive praise. L’Aérophile editor Georges Besançon wrote that the flights “have completely dissipated all doubts. Not one of the former detractors of the Wrights dare question, today, the previous experiments of the men who were truly the first to fly …” Leading French aviation promoter Ernest Archdeacon wrote, “For a long time, the Wright brothers have been accused in Europe of bluff … They are today hallowed in France, and I feel an intense pleasure … to make amends.”

(Citations omitted.)

Reid Epstein of the New York Times writes of Wisconsin’s chronic problem with WISGOP election denial. Epstein’s In Wisconsin, G.O.P. Voters Demand the Impossible: Decertifying 2020 describes the Badger State’s unfortunate conspiracy theory and its fanatical adherents: 

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — When she started her campaign for governor of Wisconsin, former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, a Republican, acknowledged that President Biden had been legitimately elected.

She soon backtracked. Eventually, she said the 2020 election had been “rigged” against former President Donald J. Trump. She sued the state’s election commission.

But she will still not entertain the false notion that the election can somehow be overturned, a fantasy that has taken hold among many of the state’s Republicans, egged on by one of her opponents, Tim Ramthun.

And for that, she is taking grief from voters in the closing days before Tuesday’s primary.

At a campaign stop here last week, one voter, Donette Erdmann, pressed Ms. Kleefisch on her endorsement from former Vice President Mike Pence, whom many of Mr. Trump’s most devoted supporters blame for not blocking the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021. “I was wondering if you’re going to resort to a RINO agenda or an awesome agenda,” Ms. Erdmann said, using a right-wing pejorative for disloyal Republicans.

Ms. Kleefisch’s startled answer — “don’t make your mind up based on what somebody else is doing,” she warned, defending her “awesome agenda” — was not enough.

“I’m going to go with Tim Ramthun,” Ms. Erdmann said afterward.


“Everybody that I’ve talked to voted for Trump,” said Cyndy Deeg, a food industry worker from Larsen, Wis. “He should be reinstated and resume the position, because he never surrendered it.”

One can guess that however many people Cyndy Deeg spoke with, it was 81,268,924 too few, as she somehow missed Joe Biden’s majority of the popular vote and 7,052,770 vote winning margin. 

Of conspiracy theories, how ’bout this: is it possible that Tim Ramthun’s campaign is truly a science project to study the spread of mass delusion among a group of Midwesterners? You know, I’m just asking, and perhaps we should all do our own research on the topic…

What has Curiosity learned about Mars in 10 years since landing?:

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