Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

Well, many of us have lost track of what day it was: I could swear that on Sunday it was Monday. So let me remind you that it’s Tuesday, June 22, 23, 2020 (see? I screwed up!). The Hili dialogue will be a very short one today because of the duck issue, which I’ll explain in the next post. As soon as things calm down, I’ll get back to normal. Please bear with me.

News of the Day:

Trump to another move to limit immigration, this time by suspending work visas; this is on top of his earlier restriction on issuing new green cards. A summary of the New York Times article:

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Monday temporarily suspended new work visas and barred hundreds of thousands of foreigners from seeking employment in the United States, part of a broad effort to limit the entry of immigrants into the country.

In a sweeping order, which will be in place at least until the end of the year, Mr. Trump blocked visas for a wide variety of jobs, including those for computer programmers and other skilled workers who enter the country under the H-1B visa, as well as those for seasonal workers in the hospitality industry, students on work-study summer programs and au pairs who arrive under other auspices.

The order also restricts the ability of American companies with global operations and international companies with U.S. branches to transfer foreign executives and other employees to the United States for months or yearslong stints. And it blocks the spouses of foreigners who are employed at companies in the United States.

Officials said the ban on worker visas, combined with extending restrictions on the issuance of new green cards, would keep as many as 525,000 foreign workers out of the country for the rest of the year.

The NYT also has a review of the anticipated book The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova, a polymath with a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia and a champion in poker—specifically No Limit Texas Hold‘em.

Today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 120,345, an increase of 360 over yesterday’s report and one of the smallest death tolls yet.  The world death toll now stands at, 471,823, an increase of about 3200 from yesterday.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is kvetching again:

Hili: Will I ever get out of poverty?
A: And what is it that you lack?
Hili: I’m just trying to figure it out.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy ja kiedyś wyjdę z nędzy?
Ja: A czego ci brakuje?
Hili: Właśnie nad tym się zastanawiam.
And in nearby Wloclawek, Mietek has a question:
Is this an anti-storm vest?

In Polish: To jest kamizelka przeciwburzowa?





  1. jezgrove
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Mietek is very cute. Looking forward to hearing the latest news from Botany Pond!

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I’m just guessing a lot of foreign owned businesses in the U.S. who were not doing particularly well, may fold up and move out. As example, I know of a ball bearing factory that came here from Japan many years ago. They have always rotated some Japanese over to assist with the running of the place. After all, it is their place. Some bring their families for a couple of years in this country. This thing by Trump could do a lot of damage.

  3. Linda Mercer
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    Today is June 23, happens to be my 85th birthday! I know how you feel about not knowing which day it is – they’re all the same.

  4. rickflick
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Mietek looks innocent and sweet, which is quite a contrast to Hili.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    The Green card issue is going to affect many people in IT, some of whom I know, who work across the boarder. Canada and the US often share workers although the US is really paranoid about it. I remember getting my Nexus card and the Canadian border guard asked me basically if I was a terrorist while the American one only wanted to ensure that I wasn’t going to take a job away from an American. The American border guard was much nicer though as the Canadian one was somewhat of a gruff man though he was really grossed out when I touched my eyes to take out my contacts for a retinal scan and admitted it so he couldn’t have been all bad.

    • rickflick
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      If you really wanted to give the American guy a hard time you could have said, yes, I’m going to take a job away from an American terrorist. 😀

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 23, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        You haven’t crossed the US border on a land bridge many times, have you? That’s a good way to have your car taken a part, have your body strip searched and have an official deportation and ban for life entering the US. You don’t joke at the border and you only speak when spoken to and when you do that you keep your answers brief.

        • rickflick
          Posted June 23, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          I’ve crossed many times, and, to quote a well known psychopath, “I don’t kid” (at the border). 🤐

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      … and the Canadian border guard asked me basically if I was a terrorist …

      You clearly check all the boxes for international terrorist, MacPherson. I’m surprised they don’t make you for Abu Nidal or Carlos the Jackal.

      Whatever you do, never let on about putting toilet paper on the roll backasswards. It’d be a dead give-away, like the Russian spy ordering red wine with fish in To Russia with Love — or how US POWs during WW2 would suss out the German infiltrators by asking them who’d won the ’41 World Series. 🙂

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 23, 2020 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Haha or how traitors and spies were Sussex out during the American revolution by asking what animal appears in the wind vein in Boston.

        • Posted June 23, 2020 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Sussex = sussed, or is that a phrase with which I am not familiar?

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

            Yeah sussed. My autocorrect fought me just now when I tried to type it.

      • Posted June 23, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        My favorite sussing out (can’t remember where) was when the interrogator asks the suspected Russian spy “Who was Goldwater’s running mate?” The suspected spy blurts out “William E Miller” and is immediately arrested because no actual American would remember that.

  6. Posted June 23, 2020 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Speaking of Maria Konnikova, Sean Carroll has just released a podcast interview with her. I haven’t yet listened to it. She sounds like an interesting person:


  7. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    “many of us have lost track of what day it was: I could swear that on Sunday it was Monday. So let me remind you that it’s Tuesday, June 22,”

    Tuesday, June 23 that is.

  8. Jenny Haniver
    Posted June 23, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Today, when asked about his statement that he’d asked “his people” to reduce testing for COVID-19. Trump said “I don’t kid.” https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1275427058810847232.

    He’s also declared more than once that the coronavirus will magically disappear: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” That’s the magic; that’s how he makes the virus just melt away, disappear without a vaccine, As others on this site have observed, it’s all about numbers not people.

    Now how do we know that this latest declaration isn’t another joke?

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      He has the rules and he’s going to try to win with skirting them. This is how a sociopath operates. He doesn’t care about anything only what makes him look good.

    • Posted June 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      After 3+ years of Trump, I feel like I understand his personality and how he thinks. I can tell when he’s joking (virtually never) and when he’s serious. He has been incredibly consistent in his downplaying of the pandemic. It’s only in scripted situations that he says anything that might make someone believe he cares about the American people. He only talks positively about testing when he’s trying to claim that his administration has done a good job. As far as I’m concerned, Trump has been easy to read since he claimed Obama was born in Kenya. It turns out that his lies actually tell us a lot about his character.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted June 23, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Yeah I think he’s easy to read too and easy to predict. He’s a sociopath, it’s easy to see what motivates him & what aggravates him. People are only confused when they don’t understand how sociopaths think because they are so foreign to the way non-sociopaths think.

        • Posted June 23, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          Does that make us borderline sociopaths? 😉

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted June 23, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

            Nah, just used to dealing with them. Unfortunately.

        • rickflick
          Posted June 23, 2020 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          His niece is a PhD psychologist. She’s just published a book on tRump based on years of knowing the family intimately. Her goal is to help explain why he’s mentally ill. I’m looking forward to reading a review.

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted June 23, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

            Brave of her since once in a sociopath’s shit list you never know when you’re going to get punished but you know it’s going to hurt.

            • rickflick
              Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

              I’m sure he’ll try. I don’t know that there’s much he could do though. Have the IRS audit her taxes?

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

                Oh who knows what he will do. I’m sure he’ll figure out something personally that will be horrible for her and do that.

              • Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

                I read somewhere that they are claiming the niece signed an NDA as part of settling a family member’s estate. If true, I imagine it’s enforceable. Unlike with Bolton’s book, they taken legal action early enough to block publication and distribution of her book. I hope we get to hear all the juicy facts. Surely someone will leak it.

              • rickflick
                Posted June 23, 2020 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

                The leak. That’s what I’m counting on.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Fauci has just testified that neither he nor any member of the coronavirus task force had ever received any directive to reduce testing. Who the f* is one supposed to believe?

      Joke or not, its abominable that Trump toys with the populace like a cat with a mouse. His sense of humor is lethal. The coronavirus is not a joke.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted June 23, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        I forgot to insert the apostrophe in “its” → to read “it’s.”

      • Posted June 23, 2020 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        As I said earlier, I wouldn’t expect Trump to tell his COVID task force members to slow down testing. He knows what they would say. He also doesn’t want them to quit as such people tend to blab to the press. I’m sure Trump has told state governors and others to slow testing. He may not have said it directly but with his usual lecture about how testing is this double-edged sword. He’ll say things like “I’m just not a fan of testing.” He’s an expert at saying things in a way where everyone understands but that he can deny if challenged and it suits him.

    • Mark R.
      Posted June 23, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Apply Trump’s logic to pregnancy tests. According to him, if we got rid of pregnancy tests, we would no longer have any pregnancies.
      It also works with crime. If there are no investigations into a particular crime, no crime was committed.

      • Sarah
        Posted June 24, 2020 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        Exactly. I wonder if it would work with dry rot. If you don’t look for it, it’s not there. If only.

  9. Posted June 24, 2020 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    I heard Ms. Konnikova on Michael Sherman’s podcast today – BOY she is one impressive woman. Listen if you have time.
    D.A., J.D., NYC

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