Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning on Thursday, July 16, 2020: National Corn Fritters Day. I love these treats, but haven’t had one in years. Where can you get them?  Look at these lovely fritters! Great with syrup, too.

It’s also National Fresh Spinach Day, Guinea Pig Appreciation Day, and World Snake Day.

News of the Day: First the good news: Ruth Bader Ginsburg is out of the hospital and doing well after being treated for an infection. She’s a tough old bird, having made it through FOUR bouts of cancer!

After the Supreme Court handed Trump a loss about turning over his tax returns, he’s raising new objections to the release. Remember during the 2016 campaign when he more or less promised to make them public?

And, as the Trumpster continues to lag at least ten points behind Biden in the polls, he’s getting frantic, and has just replaced his campaign manager.

An op-ed in the Washington Post urges Biden to choose Elizabeth Warren as his running mate because she’s committed to Black Lives Matter. But wouldn’t it be better to choose an actual woman of color, someone like Kamala Harris? On the other hand, should Biden not have a second term, Warren would probably be the better President.

Now here’s a really boneheaded move: Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, has signed an executive order explicitly forbidding the state’s counties and cities from enacting mask requirements, voiding a dozen such orders already in place.  The man is not just an idiot, but a murderous idiot.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 137,319, an increase of about 1000 deaths over yesterday’s report (thanks, Florida!). The world death toll now stands at 583,960 578,912, an increase of about 3,000 from yesterday.

Stuff that happened on July 16 (there was lots of stuff) include:

  • 622 – The beginning of the Islamic calendar.
  • 1054 – Three Roman legates break relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy. Historians frequently describe the event as the start of the East–West Schism.
  • 1661 – The first banknotes in Europe are issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco.

And here’s that first banknote, which could be exchanged for gold or silver:

  • 1769 – Father Junípero Serra founds California’s first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Over the following decades, it evolves into the city of San Diego, California.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: At the order of President Abraham Lincoln, Union troops begin a 25-mile march into Virginia for what will become the First Battle of Bull Run, the first major land battle of the war.
  • 1915 – Henry James becomes a British citizen to highlight his commitment to Britain during the first World War.

Here’s James, and I don’t care what you say—I find him unreadable. He even looks unreadable.

  • 1935 – The world’s first parking meter is installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
  • 1941 – Joe DiMaggio hits safely for the 56th consecutive game, a streak that still stands as an MLB record.

Here’s a short video on Joltin’ Joe’s record, which contends that the 56-game record will ever be matched or bested:

Here’s a short official video (without sound) of the Trinity test. I am become Death. . . .

  • 1956 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closes its last “Big Tent” show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; due to changing economics all subsequent circus shows will be held in arenas.
  • 1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 11, the first mission to land astronauts on the Moon, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Kennedy, Florida.
  • 1979 – Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr resigns and is replaced by Saddam Hussein.
  • 1999 – John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, died when the Piper Saratoga PA-32R aircraft he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.
  • 2004 – Millennium Park, considered Chicago’s first and most ambitious early 21st-century architectural project, is opened to the public by Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1821 – Mary Baker Eddy, American religious leader and author, founded Christian Science (d. 1910)
  • 1872 – Roald Amundsen, Norwegian pilot and explorer (d. 1928)


As the first Jewish Miss America, Myerson was much beloved by young Jewish boys like me.  As Wikipedia notes, “Her achievement, in the aftermath of the Holocaust, was seen as an affirmation of the Jewish place in American life. She was a heroine to the Jewish community, where ‘she was the most famous pretty girl since Queen Esther’.”

Photo: Associated Press

Below is Dekker’s most famous song (one that I like a lot), Israelites (original recording here). Because the words are hard to hear, I’ve reproduced the lyrics below (Dekker goes through them twice). And there’s a funny video with misheard lyrics (h/t: Matthew).

Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir
So that every mouth can be fed
Poor me Israelites, ah
Get up in the morning, slaving for bread, sir
So that every mouth can be fed
Poor me Israelite
My wife and my kids, they packed up and leave me
Darling, she said, I was yours to be seen
Poor me Israelites
Shirt them a-tear up, trousers is gone
I don’t want to end up like Bonnie and Clyde
Poor me Israelites
After a storm there must be a calm
They catch me in the farm
You sound your alarm
Poor me Israelites
  • 1956 – Tony Kushner, American playwright and screenwriter

Those who found eternal quietus on July 16 include:

  • 1557 – Anne of Cleves (b. 1515)
  • 1882 – Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady of the United States 1861-1865 (b. 1818)
  • 1981 – Harry Chapin, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1942)
  • 1985 – Heinrich Böll, German novelist and short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1917)
  • 1994 – Julian Schwinger, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1918)
  • 1999 – John F. Kennedy Jr., American lawyer and publisher (b. 1960)
  • 2014 – Johnny Winter, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (b. 1944)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s neglecting her editorial duties for a quick wash:

A: The readers are waiting.
Hili: I will wash myself quickly and run to the computer.
In Polish:
Ja: Czytelnicy czekają.
Hili: Szybko się umyję i biegnę do komputera.

From Homer BlindWonderCat:

From Facebook:

From Jesus of the Day:





A tweet from a righteously angry man. Do play the video in the second tweet.

This is absolutely unbelievable: ludicrous “signs of whiteness” from the National Museum of African American History and Culture, part of the Smithsonian Institution (yes, it’s real: see origin here). Check out especially the supposed white “emphasis on scientific method”. JEBUS!

Tweets from Matthew. This first one is an hourlong orbit of the Moon, and I have no idea how it was done. But it’s clever and mesmerizing.

Amazing that the goats tolerate this. Ride ’em, goatboy!

An MP’s cat interrupts a Zoom meeting. Matthew notes that “DCMS = Department for Culture Media and Science.”

Who would have guessed that Pluto and Ganymede have relatively more water than Earth?

Spot the goat! Once you spot it, you can’t unspot it.


56 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. Saying we should not have developed the bomb is about like saying we should not have elected the current idiot. It already happened and the bomb was going to be invented by someone, best that it was us. Saying we should not have dropped the bomb is mostly speculation and comes from that highly distorted take on history by people who study history from their current place in the world not from reality at the time.

    1. My father was stationed at Alamogordo during WWII. He trained pilots to instrument fly.

      He describes how many people he trained never returned from combat, and how fatigued and dispirited everyone was as the war dragged on.

      The desire to have it over with quickly was enormous. They all supported the decision to develop and use the bomb.

      BTW, my parents had a couple of cracked windows after the test, as did several people in Alamogordo.


      1. From my reading of bomber crews in WWII I would agree with your dad. The losses were staggering and we were only able to continue by manufacturing planes at unbelievable rates and training like your father was doing. It was similar to the battle of the Atlantic for most of the war.

      2. My father was in Burma. I can tell you that he was very glad the war in Asia ended when it did.

  2. re: Whiteness:

    So, hard work, planning for the future, rational thought, being able to follow a schedule, being polite and recognizing cause and effect are signs of Whiteness.

    Imagine the reaction if someone were to say that the opposites were signs of Blackness.

    1. There is so much wrong with this chart it’s hard to know where to begin, but I especially “love” this tidbit:

      “Husband = breadwinner, wife = homemaker and subordinate to husband” is a sign of whiteness.

      A message to whoever wrote this chart: the 1950’s called, they want their worldview back.

      1. The NMAAHC cited, at the link PCC(E) gave, as data origin for their bullet points a 1990 document – that is almost halfway in time between the 1950s and present.

  3. “Where can you get them?”

    I make mine. There are a number of decent recipies online and available with a quick search.

    1. The corn fritters in the picture look great but I would prefer trying them in a restaurant whose corn fritters are considered excellent before attempting to make them myself from a recipe. I need a known-good reference point!

  4. The WaPo has done several why candidate “X should be VP” commentaries. So, why the VP choice should not be Warren (as discussed here and elsewhere before):

    1) Loss of a senate seat when the senate likely in play (R gov in MA)
    2) She consistently underperforms polls in elections, notably among the white working class voters needed in the mid-West (I don’t think the extra social science faculty member votes will compensate). Essentially she doesn’t capture anyone extra and probably loses some in critical demographics.
    3) Does nothing to “age balance” the ticket. Two septuagenarians isn’t a great look if you want the youth vote. And frankly she’s also too old to run for a first term in four years. I think they are both too old now, But the D party is a gerontocracy right now, it needs new blood in the leadership in the house and senate as well as the presidency.
    4) Easy foil for Trump to needle

    I think it will be Harris, I think Susan Rice is a good alternative and I really wish it might be Tammy Duckworth (the coiner of the term “Cadet Bonespurs”)

  5. DCMS is the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (not Science). I once proofread a report that managed to get the name of the government department that had commissioned it wrong twice.

      1. Could be, but even then,, nearly 584,000,000,000 potential descendants from the current total of just shy of 600,000 dead seems a tad…excessive.

  6. … the Trumpster continues to lag at least ten points behind Biden in the polls, he’s getting frantic, and has just replaced his campaign manager.

    Right after Trump’s ill-attended — and, as it turns out, attended-by-the-ill (in that both former GOP presidential contender Herman Cain and current Oklahoma governor Kevin Still have come down with COVID-19 since attending, mask-less, in the lower deck packed for the tv cameras) — rally in Tulsa, I made the over/under line on Brad Parscale’s survival as Trump’s campaign manager the long July 4th weekend. He made it to the “over” by something less than two weeks.

    As for Trump’s taxes, he promised to make them public as soon as their “routine audit” was over (even though a “routine audit,” provides no reasonable basis for a presidential candidate’s keeping his tax returns private). Now, here we are, four years later, and Trump has yet to make good on that promise (or even to provide a letter from the IRS, or any other solid proof, that his tax returns were ever actually under audit). Plus, Trump’s tv mouthpiece, Rudy Giuliani, in one of his customary gaffes, let slip the other day on Fox News that Trump’s returns have all been cleared from any audit.

    There is something in Trump’s tax returns, and in his other financial records (especially those regarding his primary lender, known money-launderer Deutsche Bank), that Donald Trump is deathly afraid for the American public to see. Trump has the most complex foreign financial entanglements of any president in US history. And, for the first time in US history, the American public has no idea whatsoever how their president’s international business interests may be conflicting with the best interests of the nation he supposedly “leads.”

    1. Another item that just shows how ridiculous Trump’s excuse really is — All tax returns of the presidents get audited and have for many years. That is in the regulations applying specifically to the presidents taxes. One of the reasons the congress wants to see his taxes is to determine if the IRS is doing their job and actually auditing his. Most likely they are not. This is what is called oversight.

    2. Bullseye, Ken. Putin and his oligarch friends hold Trump’s (‘nads) paper.

      I am about done with Red Notice by Bill Browder, which everyone needs to read. And it’s a well-written, fun to read book as well. Russia is a cesspool.

      I look forward to seeing how, some day, Putin plays the cards he has against Trump.

    1. If Brian Kemp ain’t the dumbest hick in all Christendom, I don’t know who is.

      Also one of the most corrupt. He stole the gubernatorial election from Stacey Abrams by abusing his supervisory authority as Georgia’s then-Secretary of State (a supervisory authority from which he ought, had he even a scintilla of integrity, to have recused himself) to suppress the Black vote, thereby eking out his “victory.” (Kemp also ran campaign ads bragging about his all his guns and his great big truck for rounding up “criminal illegals,” despite Georgia’s not being — as Kemp might’ve realized had he ever actually examined a map of the United States — whatcha might call a “border state.”)

      Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Kemp has served as the pointy end of Donald Trump’s spear-of-incoherence.

    2. There’s also some news today about Kentucky’s state AG voiding all COVID-19 regulations (mask-wearing, etc.) in the state. Might also be a contender for world’s dumbest person.

      1. Well, he can’t void them himself. He is asking the Boone Circuit Court judge to void every COVID-19 rule or regulation, and prevent any future orders needed to respond to escalating cases.

        Andy Beshear, the Dem governor, replied, “With no rules, there is no chance of getting kids back to school, we will lose over $10 billion in our economy and many Kentuckians will die. I hope everyone understands how scary and reckless this is.”

        1. Yes, thanks for filling in the details. Perhaps the judge will ignore the AG’s ravings as partisan BS. Still, anything is possible as KY is the FL of the North.

            1. Hey, don’t let other folks from the Sunshine state hear you saying that; it diminishes our “Florida pride” in being #1 for weirdness. 🙂

      2. Here in Idaho (very red), our county health board decided to meet to decide if they should call for a countywide face mask rule. The meeting was disrupted by an angry mob so they had to cancel it. Scary and reckless is the reason the US is in a tail spin.

        1. While it would be convenient to blame Trump, we really should blame the mindset of a large chunk of the US population — who also happen to be the ones that elected Trump. Their minds have been warped by decades of government-is-your-enemy campaigning by the GOP and seem to view most things as attempts to take away their rights.

          1. That’s right. I wonder how this would go down if someone like Obama was still prez? He’d be dealing with the same idiots, but I have to think he’d have a lot better luck – either with a carrot or a stick. It couldn’t help but be a much more manageable situation since, at least, you wouldn’t have the government encouraging assholes.

  7. Remember that Trump shuffled his campaign staff repeatedly in 2016. In June, Corey Lewandowski was replaced as campaign manager by Paul Manafort. In August, Kellyanne Conway replaced Manafort. Stephen Bannon became campaign chief executive in August. David Bossie was name deputy campaign manager in September.

    Each change was a sign that Trump’s campaign was doomed. Trump is a brilliant campaigner who does not operate in the normal way. Do not count him out.

    1. “a brilliant campaigner”?

      Assumes facts not in evidence, Your Honor.

      Although there was, of course, his make-glorious, yoooge minus 2.9 million vote victory in 2016 over the second least popular presidential candidate in US history, with all the help Vlad’s minions (and the hapless James Comey) could give him.

      I’ve got a hundred-buck bet against Trump with another commenter here. You know where to find me if you want a piece of that action, too, Curtis.

      1. A lecherous, immoral buffoon with no political background became president when everyone knew he was a joke candidate. If he is not a brilliant campaigner, how else do explain his victory over every other candidate?

        I am not saying he is going to win. I am saying don’t repeat the over confidence of 2016. He understand what it takes to get votes. I give him a 50/50 chance because he is a better campaigner than Biden ever was and Biden is past his sell by date. If Biden can get by without several major gaffes, he will win and I will be happy.

        1. Trump’s success in winning the Republican nomination over 16 better-qualified candidates can be chalked up to the utter moral bankruptcy of today’s GOP.

          Trump’s candidacy should’ve been strangled in its cradle on the basis of his Birtherism, and then again in its tykehood after the ludicrous, unpatriotic claim (by someone who scammed his way out of military service himself) that John McCain wasn’t a “hero” because he was “captured.”

          Mark my words: Donald Trump will take the Grand Old Party down the path to perdition yet — as several of his 2016 Republican opponents themselves predicted (before falling in line behind him like the arrant cowards they be).

          1. So Trump’s win had nothing to do with his campaigning? The GOP just happened to go morally bankrupt when he ran? He just happened to win over half the electoral votes? Nothing to do with him. Pure happenstance that he was the winner out of the 200 million possible citizens.

            I understand that you hate Trump (I do as well) but he won because he ran the right campaign for the time while his opponents were running according to the old rules.

            I hope Biden does not delude himself the way you do or he will repeat the mistakes that of Cruz, Rubio, Clinton. Progressives live in a bubble unwilling and unwanting to understand other people.

            We need to look at what Trump did to win the midwestern states and that means acknowledging his brilliant campaign use of race baiting and xenophobia.

            1. Donald Trump won the 2016 election with 1.1% less of the popular vote than what Mitt Romney received in losing the 2012 presidential campaign.

              Trump won — with all the help Putin’s intelligence agencies could give him and with James Comey’s boneheaded move of reopening Hillary Clinton’s criminal investigation just 11 days before the election — by the happenstance of carrying three key electoral-college states (Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin) by less than 78,000 votes.

              If just 40,000 of the approximately 14 million voters in those three states had cast their ballots the other way, the narrative coming out of the 2016 election would have been that Hillary Clinton (despite her own widespread unpopularity) had kicked Trump’s ass just as expected. Republicans would have breathed a sigh of relief that they had dodged the blight of Trumpism. And nobody, but nobody, in the GOP would be clamoring for Donald Trump to make another run for the US presidency again this year because he had been such super strong campaigner in 2016.

              The 2016 election was a fluke — a poker player sucking out an inside straight against wired-up trip aces. But if you think otherwise, my offer of a $100 wager still stands.

              1. On the other hand, if, despite the above, Donald Trump were ahead in the polls by the same amount Joe Biden is right now, the consensus would be that Biden was a sacrificial lamb to a Donald Trump juggernaut heading for an epic landslide reelection to rival that of Johnson over Goldwater in ’64, and Nixon over McGovern in ’72, and Reagan over Mondale in ’84.

                On the other other hand, had Hillary Clinton won in 2016 and faced even a fraction of the scandals and corruption and incompetence that the Trump administration has, she likely would’ve been run out of office long ago, and no way would Democrats be renominating her to be their standard-bearer again this year.

                Your failure to see this reeks of a particular form of hindsight bias.

    2. Bill Stepien, who got promoted, has the distinction of being fired by Chris Christie for dragging Christie’s administration into the Bridgegate scandal in New Jersey.

      1. With a CV like that, how could Trump resist?

        “All the best people” — wasn’t that what he promised?

        1. Yup, that’s what he promised – hence he’s delivering the opposite, to no one’s surprise…

    1. The bird’s beak is the goat’s right ear. The bird’s eye is the goat’s right eye which appears to be looking at you. Hope that helps.

  8. Now that Trump has sidelined the CDC and has ordered all COVID-19 figures from hospitals, etc. are to be reported directly to a team set up by the WH coronavirus task force – and is no longer making the figures accessible to all as the CDC had been doing (Trump’s people havd even removed the most recent figures from the CDC’s website) there will no longer be any way of knowing the true numbers of the infected and dead.
    Perfect, really, as it clears the way for Trump’s inane prophecy about the virus magically disappearing to be fulfilled. Given the toddler-in-chief’s complete lack of impulse control I give it a week tops before he declares that there is no longer a threat to America and orders a full re-opening of everything, with harsh penalties – financial or otherwise – for non-compliance.

    1. While I’m sure this is what Trump has in mind, I see no chance that he’ll really get away with this. Surely this action will be challenged by lawsuits. There will also be other organizations stepping in to fill the gaps. Trump won’t be able to establish an alternate worldview on the pandemic. Won’t stop him trying though.

      1. I saw somewhere that hospital data is spread widely and the CDC was just one accumulator. There will be other venues.

          1. Worldometers says this:
            “Because national aggregates often lag behind the regional and local health departments’ data, part of our work consists in monitoring thousands of daily reports released by local authorities.”

            and, “On a daily basis, we encounter an increasing number of reporting issues. Some of these include official governmental channels changing or retracting figures, or publishing contradictory data on different official outlets.”

            They do not address the most recent changes in CDC data distribution, but by the look of it, they go to great lengths to fix any problems with data gathering. They work at lower levels, such as state and county data as well as US aggregate data. This means tRumps silly scheme will fail, just like everything he’s ever attempted.

  9. My Dad used to make corn fritters. I wish I had asked him how to make them before he died last year.

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