EnglishLingQ 2.0 Podcast #6: The Storming of the Capitol

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The January 6th storming of the Capitol Building in Washington DC shocked the world. In this episode of the English LingQ Podcast Elle and Mark chat about what happened that day.

Elle: Hi everyone.

And welcome to the English LingQ podcast with me Elle.

Don’t forget that you can study this podcast episode as a lesson on LingQ.

I will always add the link to that lesson in the description today.

I’m joined again by Mark Kaufmann, the boss.

How are you,


Mark: I’m good.


The boss.

I like it.

I like that every time I hear it.

Uh, I, yeah.

I’m well, how are you doing, Elle?

Elle: Uh, I’m

pretty good.


You know, COVID times.

So not really much changes from day to day, but, um, we got some new kitchen lights, so that’s about as crazy exciting as it gets around here.

Mark: That is exciting.

That’s almost as exciting as the new hood fan that’s going in my kitchen, which is…, I was telling you about just before we got on the air here, uh, which is why I had to scramble out of the house and, um, and come down here to the office where we used to be, but really we aren’t anymore.

Elle: I miss it.

I miss the office.

I’m very happy that we get to work from home and keep working during this whole thing.

But I do miss, I miss the social aspect of this job, for sure.

Mark: Yeah, for sure.

I wonder what the, you know, not just for our office, but for all offices.

I mean, you, you hear people, uh, predicting the end of people going to the office and, um, companies that are significantly reducing their office space.

Not just for now, but to going forward.

I mean, I guess we’ll see how it all shakes out in the end, I guess.

I mean, I think the majority of people will probably return to the office, but a significant percentage will, uh, probably continue working from home.

Things may change anyways.

Elle: Yeah.

And work travel, I think is another one that will change.

Maybe there’ll be a lot fewer work trips, you know, people can just do the meeting over Zoom.

There’s no need to fly across the country or across the world.

We’ll see, I guess.

Mark: Yeah,

we’ll see.

And when you think of, uh, the, uh, expense and effort and resources expended in all the business travel, even if a percentage of it, um, can be done, uh, through Zoom or video, um, that’s significant.

Elle: So I thought it might be interesting to chat about what’s going on in the world, because it is a pretty crazy time.

I mean, of course we have the COVID backdrop, but in the past week or so, we’ve also had a lot of news coming from the States and, uh, I wanted to chat with you about that.

Get your take on it.

Um, Yeah.

Did you see the storm on the Capitol as it was happening?

Did you find out afterwards?

Mark: Uh, yeah, I, I found out afterwards.

I mean, yeah, pretty crazy times.

I mean, you see those pictures, the first reaction is, is, uh, you know, wow.

Is that a, is that Venezuela?

Like, wow, that’s amazing.

Um, that, that could happen in the, in the US uh…

I mean, not amazing in, in, in that, you know, having seen all the rhetoric, uh, leading up to it, I guess, and, and recognizing that there’s a significant element down there that seems to be disconnected from reality.

Uh, so yeah, that, that, that it could extend to, to what happened there, I guess not surprising, but still when you see the visuals the first time, it’s like,


Elle: Yeah, exactly.


It is shocking, especially yet, like you say, we’ve it seems like it’s been possible for something like this to happen for a while because of the rhetoric.

Um, the way Trump seems to be emboldening or was a hundred percent emboldening, these kinds of people to do something, whatever that means.

We all know it, violence was what he was suggesting for sure.

But To see it actually unfolding was crazy.

I think I read a tweet that really resonated with me.

Someone said to think that these people booked flights to go to Washington DC and expect… with, you know, with the tactical gear and that you know, straps, what do you call those zap straps, those plastic, you know,…

Mark: Ok yeah,  what were they using those for?

Elle: They were there there’s footage of people with them attached to their belts and they, they planned to, to go into storm and to tie up these people and get, get the truth that, you know, find these documents or get the truth out of them that Trum

was indeed  the true… should be the, is the elected president for the next four years, and then go back to work, go back to their, wherever they’re from in the States and just go back to work the following day or whatever.

It is amazing.

Mark: And that’s the thing too.

Like it, you know, people might think all these are just a bunch of kooks that crawled out of their parents’ basements.

And, uh, hitchhiked to Washington to storm the Capitol.

But in fact, they’re, you know, former whatever Navy.

Elle: Yeah.


Mark: um, yes, the company CEOs, company owners, like they aren’t just rabble, uh, sure there probably are some that are, but th there’s a full range of, you know, teachers, you name it that have somehow been, um, brainwashed into believing all this junk, um, uh, both by, uh, Trump, for sure.

And then there’s a, I guess this Qanon, uh, people and, and I mean, I guess once you’re believing one bunch of kooks, then you can believe the other and you can believe Trump and like whatever their truth doesn’t matter anymore.

They’re all, you know, they, you don’t, they don’t want you to know.

Uh, but it’s, it’s, uh, it is, uh, it’s amazing, I guess, in a way…

um, was it, uh, when was it the, in Michigan where a bunch of them stormed the government there and tried to kidnap the governor, or I can’t remember exactly what happened there, but I guess that should have been, yeah.

Uh, a fore warning that, that these people will do crazy things.

Um, so yeah, this was a, I guess, a logical extension, um, amazing again, that they were so understaffed in terms of security, like, especially, you know, you look at what happened in Michigan.

You look at the fact that these guys normally show up with their guns.

Uh, I don’t know if they did this time or not.

Um, it seems like actually, who who’s, who’s the larger threat to storm the Capitol, a bunch of black lives matter people or these kind of guys?

Um, yeah, it’d be, I mean, hopefully the details will come out over time, how their security response was so botched.

Elle: And when you look, we see images of the security response to the black lives matter rallies.

It’s shocking, you know, it’s like, the army is out and they have their full gear.

And then you see footage from the storming with that, that one guy.

Um, I don’t know if you saw the one security guard who is alone backing up the steps with the all of these, this mob coming for him.

And he looks to the, uh, entranceway to the Senate, to the, uh, the hall like everywhere where everyone is and sees there’s no security there and then looks the other way and actually takes the mob that way to try and give them more of a chance to get out and get to safety.

Um,  it was just him.

It’s, it’s amazing, you know,


Mark: I didn’t watch it.

That much of the footage I saw isolated clips and some images.

I read where some, you know, or one, whatever he was policemen that, you know, got jumped by four or five guys kicking him and hitting him with their,  whatever they had in their hands.

And, uh, I mean, it just, uh, I saw us, you know, they’re planning their, what they were going to do and,

you know, strategizing on, they had some sense of the building, how it was laid out and where, where to go.

And I mean, they were, they were organized.

It was, uh, yeah, I mean, they, they, they were planning as you say, I guess they were planning to take it over tie everybody up and, and get the truth.

Um, Yeah.

I, I, I, uh, I saw where they impeached Trump, uh, for the second time.

Elle: History-making President.

Mark: Yeah.

I mean, I don’t know in the end what impact that will have, but I, I think that’s the right thing to do.

Like, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a ridiculous thing that was, um, basically encouraged by the sitting president.

If you can’t impeach the president for that, I don’t know…

that’s treason in my book.

Um, So, in the end, what the, what the end result is going to be, you know, unlikely, I guess, to be supported in the Senate, but, uh, still, I mean, it leaves another black mark and, um, you know, would have been nice if they probably could impeach him, then it means he doesn’t have access all those benefits, which, uh, he, he gets as a former president, but, um..

Elle: Which is a lot.

Mark: It’s a lot.

Yeah, it’s a lot.

And uh, I mean, I, I. You know, I, I tend to, not to offend any of our listeners, but I tend to think Trump should really be penalized for the way he’s carried on the whole time he’s been in office, to be honest.

But, uh, and, and, and not that I’m a left-leaning liberal by any stretch, but I just think that, uh, you’re, you’re in charge of a country and you, you have no integrity,

that’s… I don’t care what your policies are.

I think that’s the most important quality and to be basically a thug as far as I can ascertain.


Elle: And a liar.

He’s been caught out many, many times.

Bold-faced lies.

Mark: Bold-faced lies.

And, and, um, I was thinking about that today.

Someone was talking about it or writing about it.

Um, you know, even over the course of the four years, like even calling them lies versus false hoods or whatever else, people refer to them as like they’re lies, call them lies.

He’s lying the whole time about ridiculous things that don’t matter, he lies.

So, uh, what do you think he’s doing about this stuff that does matter?

Um, yeah.

Amazing, amazing that, uh, that significant percentage of Americans could vote for a liar like that.

And it’s very, yeah.

I just going to say he kind of has a cult-like hold on on people down there somehow.

Uh, maybe it’s easier to see from outside where we are, but it just seems like people are just believers.

They bought into the cult and, uh, it doesn’t matter what he does or says, they believe him.

And that’s, what’s so scary about him.

And that’s what, in the end leads to stuff like this storming of the Capitol.

Like they, whatever he says, like he said it, it must be true.

Um, he wants us to attack, so we better do that.

Elle: Yeah.

And now of course, he’s backtracking.

In his most recent statement.

He says, I condemn not the, um, response he gave on the day was very different.

I think he called the, the, uh, rioters, um, wonderful people.

Wonderful people.


thank you.



Mark: Yeah

Elle: Absolutely amazing.

And on the topic of news.

So, um, Of course to get to, to bring it back to LingQ because it is such an excellent way to get your news in another language.

I… there was a time… I’ve kind of laid off the French a little bit.

I need to get back into it… where I was reading my news in French, the study, language I’m studying every night.

Um, are you, are you studying a language right now and reading news in that language?

Mark: Uh, I’m studying Japanese mostly right now and I guess I’m mostly, um, uh, learning from podcasts.

I, uh, I haven’t.

I guess when I was doing Italian, which is the language I was doing before, I was subscribed to a newsletter from Il Post, which is like a news site or a news portal, Italian news portal.

And yeah, every day I got my news in Italian and I actually, I find that great.

And I I’d be reading about all of this stuff in Italian imported into LingQ, like click through to the

webpage use the browser extension, the LingQ browser extension to import it into LingQ.

And every day I read my news in Italian and that really, I should do that in Japanese.

I must say it’s tougher in Japanese because the vocabulary, like a news in Japanese is so word dense that, um, it’s more effort, but I think I’m ready now.

Um, you know, I’ve got enough Kanji.

Uh, so that I, I actually did read a news article the other day and, um, I’m going to start making that more, a part of my routine.

Um, but uh, more challenging obviously in, in languages where the alphabet is, um, or the writing system is, is, um, different because, uh, especially in Japanese, like you can’t…

for decifer… it’s very hard to decipher what the word means.

You just have to see it and learn it.

And, uh, but that’s the benefit of LingQ.

You can click on any word quickly, see how to pronounce it, what it means, uh, it’s saved to your database.

And then if you, you know, if you’re reading the news and you’re reading articles that, um, on, on topics that… on the same kind of topics every day, then the same kind of words, reappear.

And that’s how you’re just reviewing every time you see those words.

And pretty soon you’re not clicking on them anymore, you can move them to known and, uh, keep going.

So, uh, that’s, it’s a new year.

I, uh, I definitely, um, will be moving on to news and trying to drive more vocabulary growth in my Japanese.

Elle: Hmm.

I think you’ve inspired me.

I’m going to start tonight and get back into that habit of reading the news in French.

I was reading every night.

It was all COVID-19 stuff.

I think maybe that’s why I stopped.

There’s this phrase, doom scrolling, you know, or you can kind of, you can read too much of the negative and it starts to get just, it just bogs you down a bit.

So, yeah.

Um, but it’s a great habit just every night, even just one short news article in your target language is so helpful for vocabulary.

And, um, yeah, I’m going to get back into that too.

Mark: Absolutely.

And Corona coronavirus, it’s kind of interesting to get the perspectives from different, from a different country too, and see how they’re doing versus how will you know you’re doing your own country.

Um, yeah, I, I have been reading Coronavirus related articles, even in Japanese, off and on, uh, even, but now I’m going to do more of it now.

Elle: Yeah.

Learning some new vocabulary.

Bet you never knew you’d know so much…

Mark: you never thought  you’d need.

Elle: Pandemic vocabulary.



Well, as always, Mark, it’s been a pleasure.

Thank you so much for joining me today.

Mark: Thank you Elle, It was, was my pleasure.

I, uh, amazing we’ve uh, uh, time is up.

Elle: Just like that.

Uh, we’ll chat again, but, uh, in the meantime, have a safe couple of weeks and, um, yeah.

Get on that Japanese news reading on LingQ.

Mark: Will do you too.

And, uh, yeah, as I sit here in the office, look forward to when we can all be back in the office again.

Elle: Yeah, totally.

Really looking forward to that.

Mark: Although there’s no timeline.

Elle: Well I read the end of summer, us people who are, you know, not in the older age category and not immunocompromised, we can expect to be vaccinated by maybe late summer.

We’ll see.

Mark: That’s good.

So that’s positive.

So that by, you know, by the fall, I guess, back to school and whenever that period in September, late summer, September that’s, realistically, when we can expect that to people will be back to normal, whatever the new normal…

Elle: “Normal”.


Mark: It will be…

Elle: interesting to see.

Mark: Yeah.

Elle: Yep.


Well thank you so much, Mark.

Have a great rest of your day.

Mark: Yeah, you too.



Elle: Bye-bye.

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