Saturday: Hili dialogue

July 14, 2018 • 6:30 am

It’s the weekend: Saturday, July 14, 2018, which also happens to be Bastille Day in France. It’s also National Grand Marnier Day (in honor of France?), a drink that’s a great accompaniment to a fine Cuban cigar. It is still warm in Chicago, but won’t equal yesterday’s steambath of a day: today’s high will be around 77° F (25°C). Yesterday the high was in the mid-90s, with high humidity. Even the ducks lost their appetite.

On this day in 1789, Parisians stormed the Bastille prison, even though it had but seven inmates. It was the signal that set off the French Revolution. On July 14, 1865, Edward Whymper and his party made the first ascent of the Matterhorn, with four of the party of seven dying on the descent after a rope broke. Here’s a famous picture of the accident: by Gustave Doré:

On July 14, 1881, Sheriff Pat Garrett shot the outlaw Billy the Kid in New Mexico. The Kid, who had killed eight people, was just 21.  Here’s the only known authenticated picture of Billy, a ferrotype:

On this day in 1933, two things changed in Nazi Germany: the government banned all political parties except the Nazi Party, and the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring was passed, calling for the forced sterilization of those deemed “mentally defective.” That quickly led to the execution of those people, and then others.  On July 14, 1960, Jane Goodall arrived at the Gombe Stream Reserve in what is today Tanzania to begin her studies of wild chimpanzees.  Finally, on this day in 1976, Canada abolished capital punishment.

Very few notables were either born or died on July 14. The former include Gustav Klimt (1862), Woody Guthrie (1912), Ingmar Bergman (1918) and Jerry Rubin (1938). Those who died on this day include Billy the Kid (1881; see above). Klimt was an ailurophile, as seen below:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili thinks she’s getting insufficient petting from Elzbieta:

Elżbieta: You like being petted.
Hili: Yes, but I’m still not satisfied.
In Polish:
Elżbieta: Lubisz jak cię głaszczą.
Hili: Tak, ale nie jestem jeszcze usatysfakcjonowana.

A tweet from reader Barry, who claims that this is “a candidate for my all time favorite cat video.” Close!

Tweets from Matthew: a tailless whip scorpion and her hitchhiking family:

Genet release!

Deer begin practicing their male-male competition for mates when very young:

I was unaware of this, but it’s odious if true. Read the editorial from the now unemployed Liz Spayd here.

But what was so big?

More Buster Keaton, a great favorite of Dr. Cobb:

Be sure to see the video at the free Facebook link. Gulls go a long way for a snack!

I like this pair:

Spot the bat!:

From Grania: More anti-Trump protests in the UK:

And the Germans get in on the act:

But the famous anti-SJW troll Godfrey Elfwick has a snarky (but true) remark:

33 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. The NYT certainly needs to evaluate their operations concerning this event as do much of the media and their poor coverage. However, the more serious parts of this story continue today in our Congress and at a disgusting excuse for a network news outfit called Fox. Consider that as we speak, some of the Trump followers in the House of Representatives are proceeding with impeachment attempts on the assistant attorney general of the U.S. – Rosenstein. It would be laughable if it were not so sickening. The lowest creatures on this earth besides the Trump family seems to reside in our own Congress.

  2. Wow, another productive comment from that rebellious crusader for common sense, Godfrey Elfwick. Strange how his apparently politically-neutral appreciation for satire and ridicule deserts him as soon as his tribal spider sense starts tingling. Then the guy who fearlessly claims to expose the silliness of all sides then turns rather passive-aggressive.

  3. And again, thanks to all the people of the U.K. for their demonstrations yesterday. Long ago I played a very small part in NATO and more than three years in the U.K.

    1. It’s not “all” the people of the UK – just a noisy rabble of metropolitan leftists and SJWs representing nobody but themselves. I’m in the UK and I’m heartily embarrassed by the pathetic tantrums of these virtue-signalling fools.

      1. Well, that’s too bad Dave. I understand the positive position on Trump was about 11% in the UK. I assume you are among this 11%?

      2. No they represent me too, every single person I’ve spoken to as well, whether left or right(and mostly they are right-leaning Brexit-voters), and an enormous number of other British people too. And Trump’s completely cretinous, moronic behaviour over the past few days has only deepened the dislike felt towards him by a significant majority of the population.

        You’re welcome to call a group of entirely peaceful, satirical protests ‘pathetic’, ‘tantrums’, ‘rabble’, etc. but it is not up to you to say that they represent no-one but themselves, and your emotive language and dismissive generalising does you no favours at all.

        1. Well said, Saul.

          One doesn’t have to be a friend of SJW’s to heartily disapprove of tRump’s antics in trying to wreck every agreement or institution not negotiated by him personally.

          One of the things that conservative (with a small c) people seem to value is a sense of decorum, and derogatory tweets and outrageous claims that change daily are unacceptable to them.


      3. You must be living in a helium-filled bubble (or perhaps, thanks to Sir Humphrey Davy, nitrous oxide). Here are excerpts from a recent Newsweek article on Trump’s popularity in Britain, primarily sourced from YouGov.

        ‘“The top-line numbers, the interesting finding if you like, is that the British public have quite strong, negative opinions of Donald Trump,” Chris Curtis, a political researcher at the pollster YouGov, told Newsweek.’

        ‘Trump fans are the 11 percent who like him. Trump pragmatists are the 34 percent who do not like him but think Great Britain needs to work with him. Trump rejecters are the 36 percent who do not like him and think the British government should not work with him at all.

        ‘It is not only YouGov that’s recording poor numbers for Trump in Britain. In March 2017, the research firm GfK found 60 percent of Britons disapproved of the Trump presidency compared with 18 percent who approved.

        ‘Before the 2016 presidential election, Britons were rooting for Trump to lose to his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

        ‘According to a poll of Britons by Ipsos MORI one month before the election, 84 percent had a very or fairly unfavorable view of Trump, while 7 percent had a positive view of him, compared with 46 percent who viewed Clinton favorably and 36 percent who saw her unfavorably.’

            1. I thought that throwing him some detailed statistics from a legitimate home-grown source might cause him to think again before spouting off. However, I suspect it won’t make a bit of difference to a bloke of that kidney, whose MO “emotive language and dismissive generalising” was described above by Paul Sorrel-Till far better than I could ever do, and bears repeating in full:

              “You’re welcome to call a group of entirely peaceful, satirical protests ‘pathetic’, ‘tantrums’, ‘rabble’, etc. but it is not up to you to say that they represent no-one but themselves, and your emotive language and dismissive generalising does you no favours at all.”

              1. Leave it to me to find the one person in the U.K. that thinks Trump is an actual human being. I would likely find a catholic at a baptist revival. Although why I would be there is a bit crazy.

      4. Oi! You just called my daughter and granddaughter “metropolitan leftists and SJWs” and “virtue-signalling fools”!

        Come over here and say that! If you think you’re hard enough!

  4. Re Liz Spayd, former public editor at the NY Times: Spayd was fired, and the public editor position eliminated, in the spring of 2017, *not* in the aftermath of this Nov. 2016 column. This column of hers is also a bit of an anomaly– in general, she thought the Times was too tough on Trump, and urged that Hilary Clinton be treated rougher over her emails. Her defense of “false equivalence” is now infamous. So, I don’t think a Times editor paying close attention to her suggestions would have led to better coverage of the 2016 campaign.

    The asymmetry of coverage of Clinton emails vs. Russian hacking stemmed largely from the fact that the FBI followed protocol regarding Russian hacking (i.e. said nothing about it during the campaign), while it didn’t follow protocol regarding Clinton’s emails (i.e., repeated high-level public commentary).

    Higher-ups (including Obama himself) were clearly conflicted on how much to say or reveal, not wishing to be seen to be putting their fingers on the electoral scale. In the end, they made late and generalized statements, that had no apparent effects on the election or on Russian behavior.

    1. The causes of Clinton’s defeat in 2016 will be debated endlessly for decades without any resolution. This is because many factors can be attributed to her defeat, including the email factor, which the right wing managed to blow up from a minor mistake on Clinton’s behalf to what was made to appear as an act of treason. Clinton should have won easily, but Trump drew to an inside straight. As Wikipedia puts it: “‘For Want of a Nail’ is a proverb, having numerous variations over several centuries, reminding that seemingly unimportant acts or omissions can have grave and unforeseen consequences.

      1. Well, some top X officials of the CIA have concluded the Russian operation in total did have enough impact to throw the election to Trump and is has not taken decades. The more we understand about the entire Russian operation this seems likely as it was far more than simply hacking some Hillary emails. The media was also very much duped throughout this period also assisting the Trump victory. A great amount of damage was done by the actions of Comey with his announcements and actions.

        The really important thing is, we as a country still do not take any of this seriously and so — it will happen again in whatever form Russia chooses. So rather than debating who screwed up 2 years ago, how about waking up to prevent it again. Also, to focus on the real losers in the administration or in Congress does nothing to punish the criminals and that will apparently be left to Mueller and company alone.

        1. Andf, sorry for hammering on, there was voter disenfranchisement amd more importantly, good circumstantial evidence of counting fraud in several swing states
          I don’t understand why this is always swept under the carpet. In 7 swing states where Ms Clinton led the exit polls, but lost the count (and we’re talking several percentage points, not fractions of a percent), a republican was overseeing the elections. Only in one swing state that did not happen (Virginia) and surprise, a democrat was in charge.
          I do not understand why this has not been investigated. A discrepancy of several percentage points between exit polls and count is a red, vermillion flag. Should absolutely be investigated, but no, and not even a headline in the media. I’m completely at a loss.

    2. I agree completely. I also think there are two other, under-appreciated, villains in this story.

      The first is Bill Clinton. He had no business whatever barging onto Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s plane on the PHX tarmac in June 2016. That led to Lynch doing her half-assed semi-recusal from the Hillary Clinton email investigation — which in turn led to FBI director Comey’s July 2016 news conference and subsequent reopening of the investigation 11 days before the election.

      (Comey is tragic figure in all this, I think, to a near-Shakespearean extent. His tragic flaw is not so much hubris, or even pride, as it is an institutional and personal self-regard. He saw the Bubba-Lynch tarmac confab as doing significant damage to the reputation of the Department of Justice, and felt he had to take it upon his own back to restore it by making full disclosure of the grounds for the FBI’s decision to decline recommending charges against Hillary. His decision was a violation of DoJ policy, and a gross tactical error, but it was not motivated by partisan politics. Comey is as honest public servant as one could ever hope to find — and for his honesty he’s been pilloried by Right and Left.)

      The other bad actor in this saga is senate majority leader Mitch McConnell. Obama went to him in October 2016 with the intelligence showing that Russia was interfering in the election for Donald Trump’s benefit. Obama asked McConnell to join him in a bipartisan statement letting the American people know what was going on. This could have been a real profile-in-courage moment for Mitch, but he refused, instead telling Obama that, if he went ahead on his own, McConnell would call a presser to accuse him of playing partisan politics — all because McConnell feared that public dissemination of the information regarding Russian meddling might suppress Republican voter turnout and cost McConnell his senate majority. For shame.

      1. What Comey did was extremely damaging to the Clinton campaign and Comey knows this now even if he was living on ego back then. At the same time he and the FBI were staying silent on the Russia investigation he was being very public and harmful on the Hillary email mess. Please tell me why? And also which of these investigations was the serious one….

        1. The FBI stayed silent on the Russia investigation during the election for the reason GCM stated above — because it was strict DoJ protocol to do so. The proper avenue for any disclosure to the public in this regard would have been the bipartisan statement that Obama sought with Republican leadership in congress, but which McConnell put the kibosh on.

          Comey’s actions were a direct response to the extremely inappropriate spectacle of a former president of the United States barging into a face-to-face with an attorney general, whose career he had promoted, near the culmination of the criminal investigation of his wife. That this stunk was obvious to all, including to AG Lynch, but her response was lame — a namby-pamby half-recusal in which she declined to step aside completely but said she would follow whatever the FBI recommended.

          Under the circumstances, Comey felt the only way to clear the air, the only way to maintain the Justice Dept.’s integrity, was to make a full disclosure to the American people of the grounds for the FBI’s recommendation that Hillary not be prosecuted. Thereafter, when he was hauled in front of congress to testify about the matter, Comey promised in passing that if the status of the Hillary investigation ever changed, he would notify congress promptly. This lead to his sending his letter, shortly before the election, regarding the additional emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

          We can question Comey’s judgment in this regard, especially with the benefit of complete hindsight. But there’s no basis for contending he was motivated by a partisan desire to hinder Hillary’s presidential chances, or for questioning the man’s honesty and integrity.

          1. You can be the apologist for Comey if you desire but with all the hindsight or not, he screwed up royally and it was extremely damaging to Clinton. He was/is a big boy and his excuses for what he did just do not fly. To reopen publicly the investigation simply because it was discovered that emails were on another lap top belonging to Weiner. Having no idea if these emails were anything new, and they were not, to do this at the time it was done?? Then to exonerate Hillary but then go ahead and give your own opinions on her behavior, please give me a break. Where is the FBI rules and regulation in this. It sucked. And to say this behavior of Comey was all due to a meeting by Bill and Lynch. If he was so concerned about this meet, why did he not drag Bill Clinton in for a little talk.

            We can discuss this until the cows come home but the result was – Comey got raked over the coals in the hindsight investigation and he did a lot of damage. Meanwhile we get Trump.

            Again I ask, which one of these investigations was important and which one was a joke.

              1. Hell, we have had McConnell for years and will likely continue to have him as long as there is a Kentucky. It is having him in the minority that we want.

            1. At that level all these players know the political impact almost anything can have if said in the right way at the right time.
              This is why all politicians have politico speak.
              Comey must have known, to one degree or another, the enormous political impact it would have had.

  5. It’s wonderful to see just how “hip” and playful comedians like Buster Keaton could be with the medium, back in the twenties.

    And cats behaving like pricks to dogs never seems to get old, either.

    1. I would go further and say that the 1920s were the greatest decade for visual comedy in the history of movies.
      It was the decade of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, Harry Langdon, Charlie Chase, Raymond Griffith, Charley Bowers, and Laurel and Hardy (whose silent films are often funnier than their talkies). It’s a mind-boggling roll call.

      The 1930s was another rich decade—since it gave us the best screwball comedies, along with the Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Laurel and Hardy in sound, Wheeler and Woolsey, and Mae West—but by the 1940s Hollywood was losing its touch, aside from the brilliance of Preston Sturges. There have been great comedians in the following decades, but Hollywood has not always catered well to them and comedy has grown too reliant on talk.

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