Wednesday: Hili dialogue

January 27, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on the cruelest day: Wednesday, January 27, 2021: National Chocolate Cake Day. It’s also Thomas Crapper Day, in honor of the sanitary engineer (he did make improvements in toilets), who died on this day in 1910.  Finally, was on this day in 1945 that the Red Army arrived at Auschwitz, making it the day of remembrance: Liberation of the remaining inmates of Auschwitz, with related observances Holocaust Memorial Day (UK), International Holocaust Remembrance Day , and Memorial Day (Italy).

Here’s a post from the Auschwitz Memorial Twitter site. Let one 14 year old girl stand for the millions who were exterminated (6 million Jews, 18 million total).

Here are some liberated prisoners with the Soviet soldiers:

Photos from a CNN article. Credit: sovfoto/Universal Images Group Editorial/Getty Images


A Soviet Army surgeon examines an Auschwitz survivor, Vienna engineer Rudolf Scherm”. Sovfoto/Universal Images Group/Getty Images.”

News of the Day:

I have recovered from my second Pfizer jab after a rough night.

There was little hope from the outset that Trump’s second impeachment would yield a conviction, but now it’s a certainty. In a preliminary vote, all but five Republican Senators voted in favor of Rand Paul’s bill maintaining that the impeachment was unconstitutional. We’d need 12 additional Republicans to vote for conviction. It’s a lost cause for sure, but I think the procedure needs to go forward just to show that Presidents are accountable for their actions.

Oy! According to The Hill, Trump has set up an “Office of the Former President” in Palm Beach, Florida:

“The Office of the Former President” will manage Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearance and official activities, according to a press release from the office.

“President Trump will always and forever be a champion for the American People,” the release said.

No, he’ll always and forever be a champion for himself. Here’s one snarky reaction:

This is unusual: the Baseball Hall of Fame failed to elect any of the 25 candidates nominated this year, including stars like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling. Some of these candidates will be elected, but they’re usually allowed to mature, like a fine wine. The next election will be in December, and A-Rod will be on the ballot. If he’s not elected, it will be a crime.

Over in the tiny village of Dobrzyn, Andrzej got his first coronavirus shot: the Pfizer vaccine. He wrote an article about it in Listy, “I was vaccinated against a nasty virus.” (you can get Google to translate it into English). It’s illustrated with Andrzej getting his jab:

The CDC has declared that in-person schooling is not likely to promote substantive number of new infections. According to Reuters, the CDC says “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.”  One would think that that would promote the reopening of schools, but teachers are rebelling, with some saying they’re not going back to in-person teaching until all teachers are vaccinated.  The Chicago School District (the third largest in the U.S.) has ordered teachers back into the classroom by tomorrow, but the Teachers Union is refusing. If they fire the teachers, it will be a disaster, but it will also be a disaster if the teachers strike. It’s a deadlock.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 425,208, a big increase of about 4,200 deaths over yesterday’s figure. We may pass half a million deaths in less than a month. The reported world death toll stands at 2,169,344, an increase of about 18,200 deaths over yesterday’s total, or about 12.6 deaths per minute (more than one every five seconds).

Stuff that happened on January 27 includes:

One of my favorite pre-Raphaelite paintings: “Dante and Beatrice” by Henry Holiday (1882). Dante is deeply smitten, but Beatrice refuses to look at him.

  • 1606 – Gunpowder Plot: The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators begins, ending with their execution on January 31.
  • 1785 – The University of Georgia is founded, the first public university in the United States.
  • 1820 – A Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovers the Antarctic continent, approaching the Antarctic coast.
  • 1880 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his incandescent lamp.

Here’s the successful patent application:

Records of the Patent and Trademark Office; Record Group 241; National Archives.

Here are the charred remains of the capsule interior after the bodies were removed.

Notables born on this day include:

I just like the name! Here’s Sir Harbottle:

by Unknown artist,painting,1660s

Sacher-Masoch was of course the origin of the term “masochism,” which he practiced. Here’s the author of Venus in Furs, the title of a Velvet Underground song as well (the book is a compilation of his writings):

  • 1921 – Donna Reed, American actress (d. 1986)
  • 1948 – Mikhail Baryshnikov, Russian-American dancer, choreographer, and actor
  • 1956 – Mimi Rogers, American actress

Those who breathed their last on January 27 include:

  • 1901 – Giuseppe Verdi, Italian composer (b. 1813)
  • 1910 – Thomas Crapper, English plumber and businessman (b. 1836) [see above]
  • 1922 – Nellie Bly, American journalist and author (b. 1864)
  • 1940 – Isaac Babel, Russian short story writer, journalist, and playwright (b. 1894)
  • 1967 – crew of Apollo 1
    • Roger B. Chaffee, American pilot, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1935)
    • Gus Grissom, American pilot and astronaut (b. 1926)
    • Ed White, American colonel, engineer, and astronaut (b. 1930)
  • 1972 – Mahalia Jackson, American singer (b. 1911)
  • 2010 – J. D. Salinger, American soldier and author (b. 1919)

Here’s a rare photo of Salinger (a recluse for most of his adult life) with his daughter Margaret on his shoulders:

  • 2014 – Pete Seeger, American singer-songwriter, guitarist and activist (b. 1919)

Here are Woody Guthrie’s “antifa guitar” and Pete Seeger’s banjo:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is fed up with the news. As Malgorzata explains, “She is bored with all the bad and depressing news and would like to hear something bright and interesting.”

Hili: Did you read today’s news?
A: Yes, why do you ask?
Hili: Because maybe, finally, something interesting has happened.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy czytałeś już dzisiejsze wiadomości?
Ja: Tak, czemu pytasz?
Hili: Bo może wreszcie stało się coś ciekawego?

Another Bernie meme from Divy, who lives in Florida and says, “Welcome to Florida!”

From Nicole we get another Bernie, this time soaking up the sun with Pauli Walnuts of The Sopranos:

And one from Ant:

Titania highlight a real tweet from Twitter, in which the company’s trying to be lighthearted about a very serious issue: censorship. Whales my tuchas!


From Luana: Out in Oregon, equity clearly outweighs mortality.

From Ginger K.:  a Russian gives advice about how to pretend you’re an American tourist if you’re about to get arrested in a demonstration. I love the part about “gonna”! ΓAHA!

From Barry: Indy is taking a huge risk here!

From Simon, who’s seen the big trees:

Tweets from Matthew. If you’ve watched “The Sopranos,” as I did recently, you’ll recognize the reference to the “Pine Barrens” episode:

Cat owners: GET ONE!

32 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. “. . . all but five Republican Senators voted in favor of Rand Paul’s bill maintaining that the impeachment was unconstitutional.”

    The GOP claim that impeachment is only available for sitting officials, such that the Trump impeachment was “unconstitutional,” is simply a dishonest excuse concocted by a pathologically dishonest party as a way to deflect criticism for not convicting Trump. It goes a little something like this: “Golly gee, I sure as heck don’t approve of President Trump having incited an insurrection that killed a bunch of people, and I sure wish there was something we could do about it, but our gosh darn hands were tied because his impeachment was unconstitutional.”

      1. If you’re suggesting I’m being irrationally unfair to the GOP, then I would suggest that you are ignoring the mountain of compelling evidence that supports my conclusion. Newsflash: some groups of people really are bad. Would it be unfair of me to criticize the KKK and the Proud Boys?

        As Carl Sagan said: “It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.”

      2. My comment was intended to back your analysis: Loony conservatives (i.e., Trump GOPers) are IMHO cruising uncomfortably close to fascism.

  2. I see that, of the three Apollo 1 astronauts who died on this day in ’67, Gus Grissom is the only one not listed as an “engineer.” If I recall my The Right Stuff correctly, ol’ Gruff Gus (though he was never much for public speaking, or even speaking much at all) had an engineering degree from Purdue and was generally regarded by his fellow Project Mercury astronauts as the best engineer of the bunch.

    1. I remember when that happened. It was a Friday, as at that time I typically spent Friday night at my grandmothers. B&W TV. Programming of course was interrupted, but there was silence on the screen, with a short printed announcement on the screen. I was glued to the screen and the silence was deafening. There was occasional audio comment, which of course increased in frequency as more was learned about the incident. But no constant fatuous media yammering.

  3. I’m pretty sure the impeachment managers will present an overwhelming case, complete with horrific video and witness testimony, and it will be watched by many millions of people. I’m equally sure that a Senate majority will vote to convict, but most Republican senators will vote to acquit, and they will win, shy of a supermajority. I’d dead certain that they don’t want to take that vote. Bring it on.

    1. What I don’t quite understand in all of that, is why is this trial being run and voted on by politicians? That can not be in the interest of having a free and fair trial.
      I probably just answered my own question.

      1. This isn’t a justice system proceeding. It’s an impeachment, which in the US is entirely a legislative process. The House of Representatives brings charges and the Senate votes on whether or not to convict. Charges being brought by the House is similar to an indictment in criminal law, but, at least in the US, the justice system has absolutely nothing to do with it. It is entirely outside the justice systems purview. The standards of a criminal trial do not apply.

        There is no “proved beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that must be abided by. A conviction can not result in legal criminal penalties because it is not a justice system proceeding. The result of a conviction is simply to be ejected from office, and if approved by an additional vote, barring the person from ever holding office again.

        1. Yes, though Trump being out of office does open him up to justice system proceedings. My hope is the many ongoing investigations show a direct connection between Trump and the Capitol riots. A White House meeting the day before is one lead. These things do take a while though.

          1. Yes, he is no longer protected by the office of POTUS. Time to follow through with criminal indictments. I’m interested to see what the State of New York will do.

    2. I’m not as pessimistic as PCC about the trial vote. This attempt to quash the trial is an easy vote for Republicans, because they really, really, really want to avoid having to vote on the actual article of impeachment, where their name will be permanently on the record supporting an insurrectionist president. No trial, no worries.

      For example, McConnell has suggested that he would vote to convict, but he voted for this attempt to prevent the trial. I’m sure there are others.

      This will be a history-making trial, and we’ll find out how many GOP senators are willing to stand up and be counted on the wrong side of that history.

  4. Dear PCC(E) – can you tell us what symptoms you had from your Pfizer shot?
    P.S.-The Man & Sequoia picture is a “find the …” challenge. I found the second man easily, but where is the third?

    1. Up higher in the tree. The quality of the pic in the tweet is probably not good enough to find them. If you can a copy of the pic in its original size, which is very, very large, the 3rd person is relatively easy to find.

      The original image is multiple very high resolution pics stitched together. They rigged a system of ropes or cables to precisely run a camera vertically from ground level on up taking pictures at regular intervals.

        1. 🙂

          They are hanging from a rope just below the 2nd large branch up from the ground on the left side of the trunk.

          I’d love to climb around in a tree like that! Under supervision of a pro of course.

  5. Dang, that Russian gal giving advice on how to pretend you’re an American tourist if you’re about to get arrested in a demonstration is pretty darn good — a helluva lot better anyway than Alan Arkin as the skipper of a Soviet submarine stranded off Cape Cod in Norman Jewison’s Cold War comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming trying to teach his crew to speak American:

    1. Hahaha! I love that movie (Whitaker Walt) and especially this scene. I’ve used the line many times over the years just for the fun of it. And that Russian lass — what a cutie.

  6. From Luana: Out in Oregon, equity clearly outweighs mortality.

    The linked article is worth reading. Turns out, Oregon’s Governor didn’t prioritize high-health-risk individuals like the Fed did. The BIPOC proposal was a response to that gap (for example, pointing out that incidents of diabetes are higher amongst blacks, so the BIPOC request gets to high health risk individuals). However, the wokies showed their unreasonableness when various Oregonian health experts suggested prioritizing actual high-health-risk individuals rather than use BIPOC as a proxy for that, and they rejected it. Then health officials suggested looking at a community level to what local areas had high incidents of health risks, and prioritizing those communities…and the wokies rejected that too.

  7. I have a different vision of the Office of the Former President. It has Trump on a throne with a line of supplicants a mile long. Each must kneel before him and kiss his ring in the hope of getting his blessing allowing them to run for public office. Each must show that they are the most Trumpy candidate. Ties go to the one who brings money.

  8. On the baseball HOF shut out, I have no trouble with denying Bonds and Clemens because they are cheaters who used PEDs which make their achievements suspect. But Schilling is being denied because he is a jerk with odious political opinions. That should not matter IMO.

  9. The Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs” is a monster of a song – fantastic.
    I never knew where it came from until today – quality songs about S&M are rare.
    “I’m an American. I left my passport at the hotel. I’ll call my lawyer.”
    Killer. Little Ms. Moscow dissident should work on “Where is the McDonalds?” “I’ll use my credit card”, haahhaha
    Seriously though, you need some real brass ones to go up against Putin’s police state, many of them doing so in temperatures even Chicago people dare not dream of. I tip my shapka to them.

    1. … quality songs about S&M are rare.

      Not sure whether self-harm qualifies for the M part of S&M, sensu stricto, but, if so, then I think the Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” qualifies. I’m partial to Johnny Cash’s cover.

  10. So much argy-bargy back and forth about whether tRump is a “fascist” or not.
    The word has been around only about 100 years (?) and doesn’t fit him well either way. And the implications of it doesn’t make sense outside a 20th century context.

    Perhaps a new word – a 21st century word – for a new kind of horrible government/person is in order: “Trumpist” to describe this unique character.
    Use in a sentence: “Trumpist Brazilian president Bolsonaro today…..”. Everybody will know exactly what it means. The only downside is Donny would probably be flattered and boast about having a new political science term named after him.

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