Saturday: Hili dialogue

February 27, 2021 • 6:30 am

It is the Cat Sabbath: Saturday, February 27, 2021, and National Kahlua Day, celebrating the coffee-flavored liqueur. It’s also National Strawberry Day, National Protein Day, and International Polar Bear Day. Have a polar bear family from Svalbard:

PHOTO CREDIT: COURTESY OF ROIE GALITZ / © JOHN DOWNER PRODUCTIONS

News of the Day:

I expected this, but it still saddens me. After a report by the U.S. intelligence community found Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman guilty of “directly ordering” the murderer of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, President Biden has decided to do nothing about it. During a Democratic presidential-candidate debate a while back, Biden asserted that he would take strong action if the Saudi government was found culpable. Like human rights advocates around the globe, I’m disappointed at Biden’s lame response.

Humor of the week: The GOP has made Trump into a golden calf to be worshiped. As the Guardian reports, the video below shows a gilded Trump bust icon showing

. . . two men in suits pushing the kitsch monument through the corridors of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, where admirers snap photos of it.

The statue is larger than life, with a golden head and Trump’s trademark suit jacket with white shirt and red tie. Bizarrely, the disgraced ex-commander-in-chief also appears to be sporting stars-and-stripes shorts.

The video is below:

Oy!  (h/t Ken)

Reader Jez called my attention to a Guardian article reporting that a group of Russian diplomats stationed in North Korea had to leave the country on a hand-pushed cart. Granted, the distance traveled in the cart was only a kilometer, but still . . . .

North Korea’s borders have been closed for more than a year because of Covid, and they say they have no Covid cases, but do you believe them? At any rate, the final leg of the journal is shown in video in the tweet below. An excerpt:

“Since the borders have been closed for more than a year and passenger traffic has been stopped, it took a long and difficult journey to get home,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in a post on social media.

The group of eight, including a three-year-old child, travelled 32 hours by train and two hours by bus from the North Korean capital Pyongyang to reach the Russian border on Thursday, the foreign ministry added.

Remember the legal contest between Oberlin College and Gibson’s Bakery, in which the latter received a huge settlement because of defamation by Oberlin, which called the bakery racist and tried to get it boycotted? I, like reader Jez (a realiable source of interesting tidbits), thought it was all over, but it’s still going on. As Jez reports:

I had foolishly thought that this was all settled back in 2019, but something someone posted on WEIT today reminded me about the case and I looked to see what the latest was. This is from June 2020 and it seems that appeals are still dragging on and that the NAACP is backing Oberlin College in its legal battle with Gibson’s Food Mart and Bakery. 

Wikipedia now has an article on this, but it ends with the current appeal. What’s with the NAACP backing Oberlin?

Finally,  today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 510,373, an increase of about 2,200 deaths over yesterday’s figure  The reported world death toll stands 2,531,050, an increase of about 10,000 deaths over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on February 27 includes:

  • 1801 – Pursuant to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, Washington, D.C. is placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress.
  • 1812 – Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.
  • 1860 – Abraham Lincoln makes a speech at Cooper Union in the city of New York that is largely responsible for his election to the Presidency.

I gave a talk on that very stage in October, 2006, and may have used the same lectern that Lincoln did!

  • 1900 – The British Labour Party is founded.
  • 1933 – Reichstag fire: Germany’s parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, is set on fire; Marinus van der Lubbe, a young Dutch Communist claims responsibility.

It’s likely that this was a Nazi operation, for after the Communists were accused, they were removed from Parliament, giving the Nazi Party a majority. Here’s a photo of the fire:

But it was Willard Libby who developed a method of dating artifacts using the isotope ratio; for this Libby won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960.

  • 1943 – In Berlin, the Gestapo arrest 1,800 Jewish men with German wives, leading to the Rosenstrasse protest.

This is amazing; the wives protested and the Nazis freed all the Jews married to German women, and never sent them to concentration camps.

  • 1951 – The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.
  • 1964 – The Government of Italy asks for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.
  • 1991 – Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that “Kuwait is liberated”.

“Mission Accomplished” (though that phrase referred to the less successful invasion of Iraq.

Notables born on this day include:

Here’s Terry, the leading serious as well as comic actress of her time. She’s 16 in this photo, and had married a 46 year old man, the first of her three husbands. She was especially famous for acting in Shakespeare plays.

Pappenheim was the real “Anna O.,” considered the first patient in psychoanalysis. She was treated by Josef Breuer and her case analyzed by Sigmund Freud. She was not helped by the bogus treatment that is psychoanalysis. Here’s Pappenheim:

  • 1886 – Hugo Black, American captain, jurist, and politician (d. 1971)
  • 1897 – Marian Anderson, American singer (d. 1993)

In 1939, Anderson was famously refused an invitation by the Daughters of the American Revolution to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. because she was black and the audience was to be integrated.  Eleanor Roosevelt, furious, prevailed on her husband, FDR, to get Anderson to sing, appropriately, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Here’s a brief report on that famous incident:

  • 1912 – Lawrence Durrell, Indian-French author, poet, and playwright (d. 1990)
  • 1932 – Dame Elizabeth Taylor, English-American actress and humanitarian (d. 2011)
  • 1934 – Ralph Nader, American lawyer, politician, and activist
  • 1947 – Alan Guth, American physicist and cosmologist
  • 1971 – Sara Blakely, American businesswoman, founded Spanx
  • 1980 – Chelsea Clinton, American journalist and academic

Those who perished on on February 27 include:

  • 1936 – Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist and physician, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1849)

How many jokes have been made about Pavlov’s salivating dogs!  Here’s the man himself:

Lymon helped write the song below, one of the finest specimens of doo-wop rock and roll. Lymon was 13 at the time. He died at 25 of a heroin overdose.

She lived 100 years and had a career spanning 75 of them. She’s known as “The First Lady of American Cinema”:

  • 2002 – Spike Milligan, Irish soldier, actor, comedian, and author (b. 1918)
  • 2003 – Fred Rogers, American minister and television host (b. 1928)
  • 2008 – William F. Buckley, Jr., American author and journalist, founded the National Review (b. 1925)v
  • 2013 – Van Cliburn, American pianist (b. 1934)
  • 2015 – Leonard Nimoy, American actor (b. 1931)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is joking around like Rodney Dangerfield:

Hili: I wanted to join a skeptics club.
A: And?
Hili: I was skeptical about whether it was a good idea.
In Polish:
Hili: Chciałam się zapisać do klubu sceptyków.
Ja: I co?
Hili: Byłam sceptyczna, czy to dobry pomysł.

And here’s an untitled photo of little Kulka, taken by Paulina. I love the moggy’s beautiful golden eyes.

From Facebook:

From Merilee, an adorable treed-cat meme:

From reader Su, who says that this is good self-defense advice:

I found a tweet on my own!

Tweets from Matthew. He says of this one, “The future of the UK explained.”

Oh dear, that is NOT a good boy!

Look at the sexual dimorphism in this bee species:

Here’s the rover Perseverance seen from orbit; I presume the circled feature is the skycrane or heat shield:

Look at this beautiful bird sticking a landing. The takeoff is much easier:

I don’t know much about these creatures, much less whether they can bounce:

Ollie is Matthew’s cat who, several years ago, laid open my nose with a deft swipe of his paw. Here he’s lying in a greasy pizza box. When I asked Matthew if the cat at least got some pizza, Matthew responded, “He licked my plate.” No wonder the cat is grumpy!

60 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. I am sure others had this thought. When I saw the picture of the Golden Tangerine Wanker yesterday, I immediately thought – the MAGAites do not read their own book. By and large, they are xians. Don’t they remember the story – IN THEIR OWN BOOK WHICH THEY BELIEVE IS THE LITERAL WORD OF GOD – about the golden calf. And all that stuff about false idols.

  2. Not sure if the Loyalism video is all that fair to the Welsh. The problem for the Welsh is that so damn many English have moved to the Principality. Unfortunately, no Welsh voice (because of Covid) in Cardiff today for the Wales-England Rugby match. Just before 16:45 GMT, join in a rousing rendition of Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Land of Our Fathers).

    Not sure if they could understand this, but Arlene Foster and the rest of the Presbyterian fanatics in the DUP have to realize that a union requires more than one party. They are indeed as clueless as portrayed in the video.

  3. For me, the best part of the Trump statue is the fairy wand he is holding. My daughter had one just like it when she was a child.

    1. When I first saw the statue, I thought it surely must be to mock Trump; it looks just like the characters on The Simpsons.

      And are those the cheap flip-flop sandals on his feet? Why?

      1. As a non-American, I am wary of commenting on any Trump issue, but I can hardly imagine that statue as not mocking him.
        And yes, what’s with the sandals!? They look almost like the sandals worn by Roman soldiers… if such pictures are to be believed.

        1. One would think the statue was meant to mock Trump, but if so, it’s going right over the attendees’ head, since there is nowhere in which Trump-mockery would be less welcome than the Conservative Political Action Conference.

          Hell, I recall a couple years ago when arch-conservative National Review writer Mona Charen got heckled off the CPAC stage, and had to have an armed escort out of the venue, simply for saying a few disparaging words about Donald Trump.

    2. That undoubtedly is the magic wand with which he grew the economy by 6% annually and brought back all those coal jobs .

    1. This is the most disappointed I’ve been in Biden since he took office. He should’ve come down with both feet on MbS’s head.

      The sonuvabitch murdered a US permanent resident and journalist for a US newspaper, then cut loose his own people to take the rap to cover his narcissistic ass. (Five people were sentenced to death after the show trial for the Khashoggi murder, though their sentences were later commuted to 20-year terms of imprisonment.) And the very notion of a nation being run by a “royal family” in the 21st century is repugnant in its own right anyway.

      Biden is either going to stand up for international human rights or he isn’t. This was the place to draw a line for the world stage in the hot Saudi sand.

      1. Yes, that would be number 1. Number 2 might be saying he would go along with the Senate rules that throws out the minimum wage. Both lame and pathetic.

  4. I recall seeing the same comment about Gibson Bakery v. Oberlin College that Jez did, and also checked on the status of the case after seeing it. Oral arguments were held in Ohio’s 9th District Court of Appeal (the mid-level Ohio appellate court) on November 11, 2020. Once the case has been decided there, the loser will have the opportunity to seek review of that decision from the Ohio Supreme Court and, ultimately, to petition SCOTUS for a writ of certiorari (although I think it’s a real longshot that SCOTUS would deign to take the case).

      1. A losing defendant in a civil case is generally required to post a bond for the amount of the judgment and costs to qualify to take an appeal. In Ohio (as in most states) the state supreme court has discretion whether to take or refuse jurisdiction over civil cases. Even if the Ohio Supreme Court and SCOTUS both decline to hear the case, a final resolution would still likely take the better part of the next year (assuming Oberlin seeks to play out the full string). If one or the other (or both) were to hear the case, it would take substantially longer.

    1. “What’s with the NAACP backing Oberlin?” – presumably because the series of events at Oberlin (just like the Jodi Shaw / Smith College mess) started with unfounded allegations of racism, and the NAACP is taking the side of the students regardless of the evidence?

  5. Eleanor Roosevelt, furious, prevailed on her husband, FDR, to get Anderson to sing, appropriately, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

    FLOTUS Eleanor also resigned from the DAR over the incident.

  6. “During a Democratic presidential-candidate debate a while back, Biden asserted that he would take strong action if the Saudi government was found culpable. Like human rights advocates around the globe, I’m disappointed at Biden’s lame response.”

    I remember when Biden said he would take strong action. I thought at the time, that would come back to bite him. Then, as now, it is a difficult situation. Surely we shouldn’t go to war with Saudi Arabia over this. Many more people would likely be killed. The US government also assassinates people it doesn’t like. It uses missiles fired from drones but, in many ways, that’s worse as innocents often get killed in the process. Of course, we feel that our kills are more justified. That’s probably right but I can see where others may disagree.

    So Biden was caught in a shallow campaign promise. But what should he do now? What do human rights advocates suggest?

    1. Cut off diplomatic relations with the Saudis unless that old fool King Salman replaces the crown prince.

      Be more difficult to accomplish now, but it would have worked immediately after the Khashoggi hit if Donald Trump had shown strength, instead of kissing and “saving his [MbS’s] ass” as he bragged he’d done to Bob Woodward. But then, we have no idea (yet, anyway) what personal financial entanglements with SA were motivating Trump (and his pisher son-in-law, MbS’s BFF Jared Kushner).

      1. Yes, but how many things would such a move jeopardize? These things tend to escalate and then spiral out of control.

        Trump’s approach, as usual, was ludicrous. He thought he could win these battles by sheer force of personality. That might actually work if the US was an autocracy with Trump as its leader. Another autocrat, like MBS, might think that if he remains pals with the leader of the most powerful country on earth, that would be extremely helpful. For that to work, Trump would have to be leader for life, or at least longer than four years, and be able to wield the entire power of the US at a whim. I’m sure that was Trump’s plan. Lucky for us, he didn’t get there.

    2. They can freeze all his assets like they do to many others as personal sanction. They can stop him from coming into this country. Those things should have been done right away. Remember the guy he had killed and cut up into pieces was an employee of the Washington Post. An American citizen I believe. If retaliation is based on which country commits the crime, then it is all just politics.

      1. Not a citizen, but a green-card-holding US permanent resident.

        And, yeah, the USA oughta sanction MbS’s ass, full Magnitsky-Act-style.

  7. On the Trump golden calf, some points:

    1. This looks much like the statue outside of the original Bob’s Big Boy restaurants:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/86/Bob%27s_big_boy_statue_burbank_2013.jpg/220px-Bob%27s_big_boy_statue_burbank_2013.jpg

    2. On some podcast or other, I heard that the statue being wheeled around at CPAC is a replica of a real one that is made of gold and is “priceless”. Perhaps they were joking but, then again, it is not out of character.

    3. Trump’s speech on Sunday may be something to see. It’s his coming out after the big loss and the launch of his bid to regain the presidency in 2024. Will it be simply a replay of his greatest hits (grievances) or will he unveil a new approach? He’s playing to a very friendly audience so he can certainly get away with the former. On the other hand, if he doesn’t do something new I don’t see how he can hope to compete in 2024. Perhaps he’s counting on the passage of all the voter suppression measures that the GOP are pushing at the state and local level. Regardless, it should be entertaining in a dark way.

    1. I’m laying long odds that Trump will do his usual CPAC routine by coming out on the stage and humping Old Glory (the last refuge of a scoundrel, as Dr. Johnson called it):

    2. Can anybody still seriously contend that trumpism is not a cult?
      Hilarious, and scary, but above all toe-cringingly embarrassing.

    1. “Of course the University was happy keeping her money after ridding itself of her name.” – Terrible!

      As a kid, I once very briefly met an American actress, Bessie Love, who had started working in the movie industry during the silent era, and whose first role was in D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance . https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessie_Love

      Doubtless, she’s been cancelled too, now.

      1. I was once driving around Hollywood, stashed my car from the repo man at an old mansion on Sunset Boulevard, and met the silent film star Norma Desmond — oh, wait, that wasn’t me; that was Joe Gillis (aka the corpse in the pool, aka William Holden).

        Anyway, she used to be big. 🙂

    2. Lillian Gish spoke at the University of Richmond in 1972 or 3 and showed one of her films – or parts of some. I don’t recall which film(s), but afterward I asked her if, when she saw her old films, she saw them in color. I should have said if she saw the colors in her mind, or something like that, because, sadly, she didn’t understand the question, and things moved on..

      And BTW, do we know whether she’s related to Duane?

  8. The local newspaper makes a lot of Biden talking to the Saudi king instead of the prince.

    Re Perserverance, it looks like an image from the parachute descent, and if only one other part is circled it could be after the heatshield was dropped but before the skycrane did.

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