Sunday: Hili dialogue, Leon monologue, farm rush hour and a handful of tweets

November 17, 2019 • 5:17 am

by Matthew Cobb

In Poland, Hili, like all cats, is solipsistic. [JAC: the two people below are Andrzej and Malgorzata’s new lodgers, who live upstairs. Malgorzata tells me, “They are very, very nice young people. They bought treats for Hili and keep them upstairs to entice her to come to them. Both love cats!”]

When I asked her if this treat-feeding would make Hili even fatter this winter, Malgorzata responded that Hili’s regular staff is cutting down on her treats.

Hili: They are petting me but they do not talk about me.
A: You are not the navel of the world.
Hili: You may be mistaken.
In Polish:
Hili: Głaszczą, ale rozmawiają nie o mnie.
Ja: Nie jesteś pępkiem świata.
Hili: Możesz być w błędzie.
Leon, meanwhile, poses a question to which there is only one answer:
Leon: Never mind autumn colors, am I not more beautiful?

In Polish: Co tam barwy jesieni, czyż ja nie jestem piękniejszy?
Note by JAC: I was writing the Hili dialogue this morning as it wasn’t clear whether Matthew’s home internet was working. Apparently it is, as he posted the stuff above and beneath, but I’ll add what I was going to say below (indented):

As for news, it’s good vis-à-vis politics in the US, for the election for governor of Louisiana, a deeply red (i.e., Republican) state, just went narrowly to the incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards, who got 51% of the vote. There’s no way to interpret this except as a stinging rebuke to Trump. Trump had campaigned in the state for Edwards’s Republican opponent Eddie Rispone twice in the last month, and won the 2016 Presidential vote in Louisiana by 20%.  He’s got to be fuming this morning.

The governorship of Kentucky also went to a Democrat earlier this year. That, on top of the control of both legislative houses and the governorship of Virginia by Democrats after the latest elections, makes three Democratic victories in traditionally Republican states. And things don’t dire for Trump. My prediction, which I made about a month ago, is that Trump no longer stands much of a chance to be re-elected President, and so I’ll start taking bets from readers now.

On the home front, my shipboard lecture on adaptations in Antarctic animals went well, I think, though attendance was lower because people were on Half Moon Island seeing their first penguins. I hope I get to give the other two talks on this trip. After all, I have to earn my keep somehow, which I do by talking for my supper (and my penguins).

And now, back to Matthew:

Down on the farm, Sunday rush hour is exactly the same as every other day, except it is also completely different:

Some animal tweets:

…the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

The first of two model tweets:

And finally, I don’t know why this is surprising, but it is. Rod Stewart insists that he has made 90% of this extraordinary model railway lay-out. Click here to see more pics – it is quite the work of art. He particularly liked making the buildings, he said, which he often did in his hotel room while on tour. Ah, that rock and roll lifestyle!

27 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue, Leon monologue, farm rush hour and a handful of tweets

  1. The Edwards win in Louisiana is certainly heartening. I won’t bet against tRump, but my hopes for his defeat are increasing. I don’t know what I’d do if his lose was thought inevitable, but the result was the opposite. Join the Foreign Legion?

    1. The most heartening is that 2 candidates that were strongly supported by Mr Trump didn’t make it. That should encourage some Senators to vote for removal during the impeachment trial, less bound by the perceived grip Mr Trump has on their reelection chances…
      Note, I’m certain that if the vote were secret, allowing the Senators to vote according to their conscience, Mr Trump would be ousted.
      For a secret vote only a simple majority (or even a draw(?), VP’s do not cast the deciding vote in matters of impeachment) needs to be in favour. Could Mr McConnell block a proposal for holding a secret vote?

        1. I do not think so, but there is definitely nothing, no rule, to prevent a secret vote. And a simple majority would suffice to hold it.
          It is evident that Mr Trump does not shirk from threatening anybody that might disagree with him.
          I think a secret ballot would be the only way to assure the Senators vote according to their conscience.

      1. I don’t think a secret ballot would be completely ethical. The senators are elected to represent their constituencies. How can their constituents judge their performance if they are allowed to vote in secret?

        1. I think you’re right. The best that can be hoped for is that a clutch of Republican senators conspire to dump trump as a unit. They could do so by reasoning that if they’re sure tRump will be gone, their risk will be minimal. Isn’t the magic number 20? If some brave soul could coordinate things…I wouldn’t mind.

        2. Jeremy, I admit you do have a good point there.
          On the other hand, with the pressure Mr Trump and his associates are exerting on ‘their’ Senators, there is no way they can vote according to their conscience.
          Ideal ( 🙂 ) would be a secret vote and a public one. If there is a discrepancy -as there probably would be-, some interesting thought experiments are for grabs.

          1. Trump is only able to exert pressure because the senators are frightened of a primary challenge from a Trumpist. However, that doesn’t negate my point. All it does is point out the flawed nature of the impeachment process. We have here a clearly guilty man, but the jurists clearly have partisan conflicts of interest.

            A better idea would be to create the jury in a non partisan way much like in a normal court of law.

        3. Come to think of it, representing their constituencies is kinda skewed.
          The constituency in Wyoming is half a million, the one in, say, NY more than 30 million. Of course, that does not mean there are no constituencies they should respond to.
          I mean that in a case of something as serious as an impeachment, those highly disparate constituencies might yield precedence to something more important, such as (eg) National Security.

  2. Leon has a halo around his head. Is that a smartphone effect?

    Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Ringo Starr, Rod Stewart, Phil Collins, Jools Holland, Neil Young, Merle Haggard, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra Jr., Tom Hanks, Michael Palin…

  3. Bodacious: The Shepherd Cat book

    is a heart-warming and charming tale in which Bodacious tells us about life as The Shepherd Cat on Black Sheep Farm.

    ‘I am Bodacious, The Shepherd Cat , and this is my story. I wasn’t always called Bodacious. I must have been called something else in my kitten-hood in the nearby city of Kilkenny, but it’s all a bit of a mystery to My Human. As far as she’s concerned, I appeared one day and have never left. It’s a secret I plan to keep.’

    Written from the perspective of Bodacious the cat, this is a beautifully written memoir of Bodacious’s life on the farm and everything that entails – early mornings, frosty starts, beautiful sunrises, adventurous rare-breed Zwartbles sheep, hard work, entertaining animals, mouth-watering food, kind people and idyllic country living with its highs and lows.

    The Shepherd often tells Bodacious her favourite story of how she went out to buy red ribbon to wrap a gift for her friend, but instead came home with a gift for herself: a daring, assertive, ambitious cat looking for a home. But soon The Shepherd realises she needs Bodacious as much as he needs her. As soon as he arrives, Bodacious saunters around the farm like he owns the place and immediately establishes himself as Top Cat. But Bodacious isn’t content to pad round the house and curl up by the Aga, and soon he befriends a farm cat called Oscar who trains him in the ways of the farm. As well as Oscar, Bodacious gets to know all the other animals on the farm ― cats Miss Marley and Ovenmitt, the scruffy border collie/fox terrier-cross called Pepper, and The Big Fellow, to name a few.

    With wonderful characterisation, humour, sharp observation, and a plucky attitude, Bodacious shows us the ropes of Black Sheep Farm. As we soak in the atmosphere of the house, the orchards and the fields, we also learn how this Top Cat Shepherd got his name – by being ‘Big, bold, beautiful, bolshie’, as his Shepherd always says…

  4. Leon has an aura- a lighting effect

    Fascinating model railway- never thought Stewart would do that. Awesome for hi, his cancer was beat – awesome he’s raising money. I actually heard Maggie May two days ago in a shop – wonder if it’s related – as in airplay because he’s made news.

  5. Things do look positive for the Democratic candidate for president in 2020, but nothing should be taken for granted. There are some pundits, not necessarily conservative or pro-Trump, who warn that Democratic victories in the key battleground states are far from certain. One such pundit is Nate Cohn of the New York Times. In a series of columns, based on polling data, he draws what I would call pessimistic conclusions. Here are the highlights from his November 13th column.

    1. “The polls’ results on persuadable and low-turnout voters suggest that the Democratic focus on Obama-to-Trump voters, or on low-turnout progressives, is largely misplaced.”

    2. “The party’s leading candidates have not yet reached the real missing piece of the Democratic coalition: less educated and often younger voters who are not conservative but who disagree with the party’s cultural left and do not share that group’s unrelenting outrage at the president’s conduct.”

    3. Regarding persuadable non-voters: “They’re likelier to be young and nonwhite, demographics that would ordinarily be a big Democratic advantage. But because they don’t tend to be partisan, it diminishes that advantage.” Their “lower level of education, in particular, presents a unifying challenge for the left: It makes it harder for them to win over or mobilize irregular voters.”

    4. “There are plenty of people who haven’t voted recently who support the president. And those people seem fairly likely to vote.” I find this surprising and concerning.

    5. “Over all, a lower share of Democrats say they’re certain or very likely to vote, in no small part because registered Hispanic voters who haven’t voted recently don’t seem to be itching to surge to the polls.”

    6. “For now, the Midwest is not as strong for Democrats relative to the country or in absolute terms as it was during the Obama elections.”

    Cohn devotes a lot of his column to critiquing the weaknesses of Biden and Warren. Perhaps this analysis would change if Mayor Pete should win the nomination, who has now surged in Iowa to lead the pack. Since other pundits disagree with him (this is what pundits do), one should not take Cohn as the final word. Still, it must be acknowledged that Cohn writes a cautionary tale. In particular, electorally speaking, Democrats would probably be better off nominating a moderate candidate (within the spectrum of Democratic ideology). The bet here is that they will pick up more votes by nominating a moderate than they would lose by alienating the far left in the party. Conversely, it could be a disaster if a far left candidate is nominated. Trump’s strategy is the same as in 2016: win by threading the needle by winning (probably by a small margin) the battleground states, particularly in the Midwest. Election Day may result in a record ingestion of anti-anxiety medication.

    1. I really don’t think you can draw any serious conclusions about the result at this stage. The Democrats, for example, don’t look unified, but that is because they haven’t chosen their candidate yet. I suspect that everything will change once they have selected a candidate and the majority of them get behind that candidate.

      Furthermore, the impeachment proceedings are going very badly for Trump. If this were an ordinary trial, he’d be just about dead and buried by now. The only thing that is keeping him above water is the fact that the Senate would not vote to convict at this point. Some of them have to be thinking that Trump is bad for them or the GOP, so they might turn. Who knows?

      Anyway, I don’t think you can predict what is going to happen at this point. In a week’s time the landscape might be completely different.

    2. It is increasingly obvious, as the election yesterday of J.B. Edwards to the governorship of Louisiana showed, that turnout for the Democrats is the recipe for victory in 2020. Especially in those key states, they must do everything they can to get people to the polls. I believe they understand this. The problem for all of us -as I also believe our Republic cannot survive another Trump presidency- is that there are many ways to screw that up.

      1. Cohn argues that there may be more Trump supporters among non-voters than Democrats think. If this is true then Democrats must target the non-voters, not support greater turnout willy-nilly. In terms of raw politics, they need to find and identify supporters among non-voters while doing nothing to encourage non-voting Trump supporters to go to the polls. They may actually be doing this based on the recent election results.

  6. I am tired of politics and believe nobody knows anything. going through this post and the one above just posted by the Professor is an animal festival. Great photos.

    1. Unfortunately, the right wing never gets tired of politics. Motivated by their ideological zeal, they are relentless in pursuing their goals. This is why that although they are minority of the American people, they have been so successful, well in disproportion to their numbers. The left may now be learning this lesson and taking measures to match the zeal. The outcome of the 2020 election may rest on this.

      1. My mother is a right-winger, and she recently said “I’m tired of politics”. I think Trump wears down both parties as he “energizes” with hate, fear and gas lighting. I think his insistence of using the same words over and over (witch hunt, hoax, fake, disgrace) also has a tiring affect on everyone who is paying attention. (Of course, his cult isn’t the least bit tired; they’re as wound up as a meth-head.)

Leave a Reply