Friday: Hili dialogue

March 12, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Friday, March 12, 2021: National Milky Way Day, honoring one of my favorite candy bars (Snickers, by comparison, are lame). It’s National Baked Scallops Day, National Plant a Flower Day, Girl Scout Day (see below) and World Day Against Cyber Censorship.


News of the Day:

Here’s a statement issued two days ago by President-eject Donald Trump (he couldn’t tweet it since he’s banned from Twitter). I don’t find it sad so much as pathetic. The statement has been verified by Fox News, so you know it’s real!

Now the women who have accused NY governor Andrew Cuomo of sexual misconduct number six. The state assembly has authorized a committee investigation of the charges, which is the first step in impeachment proceedings. 40% of the Democrats in the state legislature have called for his immediate resignation. Finally, the Albany Police department is investigating the latest allegation—a groping accusation that may be a criminal offense.

The judge in the Derek Chauvin case—he’s the cop accused of murder in the death of George Floyd—has allowed prosecutors to add a charge of third degree murder to the charges, so that if they fail to convict on the second-degree murder charge, there’s still a default they can use to convict. (There’s also a charge of second-degree manslaughter.)  Race is clearly critical in this case, with the racial composition of the jury scrupulously noted by the press (so far, three white men, a black man, and a “woman of color”).

If you’re following the case of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle v. The Royal Family, the latest development is Prince William’s defense of the Firm, saying, “We’re very much not a racist family.” While I’m not sure about that given certain hamhanded and well-publicized comments made by Prince Philip, I’m also unsure why so many people believe Markle’s statements without reservation. As I’ve said, I think she has a strong narcissistic and histrionic streak.  But claims of victimhood and racism are au courant. At any rate, this is now an irreparable rupture in the royal family, and I’d be happy if I never heard about any of them ever again.

According to the Guardian, EasyJet has paid compensation to Melanie Wolfson, a British-Israeli women who was asked to change her seat so that ultra-Orthodox Jews wouldn’t have to suffer the indignity of sitting next to someone with two X chromosomes. This is a violation of Israeli law, and although the compensation amount wasn’t given, airline staff are being trained to deal with the situation properly, i.e. to tell the men to either buy an empty seat next to themselves or bugger off.  (h/t Jeff)

In a televised address last night—the first anniversary of the declared pandemic in the U.S.—President Biden told the country that he will ensure that all Americans will be eligible for vaccination by May 1. The government will also allow small celebrations by July 4, but isn’t that the purview of the states—one being violated by Texas, Florida, and other such miscreant states?

We interrupt this program for an important announcement by all former Presidents (save one!) and most First Ladies. (h/t: Ken)

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 530,351, an increase of 1,522 deaths over yesterday’s figure.  The reported world death toll stands at 2,643,657, an increase of about about 10,000 deaths over yesterday’s total. 

Stuff that happened on March 12 includes:

Here’s a group of Girl Guides six years later. The first Girl Scout troop to sell cookies did so in 1917.  (I no longer buy them because their quality is so poor, and, anyway, all Scouts will become “People Scouts” in a few years.)

  • 1913 – The future capital of Australia is officially named Canberra.
  • 1918 – Moscow becomes the capital of Russia again after Saint Petersburg held this status for most of the period since 1713.
  • 1930 – Mahatma Gandhi begins the Salt March, a 200-mile march to the sea to protest the British monopoly on salt in India.

Here’s a four-minute video of the Salt March featuring Gandhi. It lasted 24 days and the distance covered was 390 km (241 miles):

  • 1933 – Great Depression: Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses the nation for the first time as President of the United States. This is also the first of his “fireside chats”.
  • 1938 – Anschluss: German troops occupy and absorb Austria.
  • 1989 – Sir Tim Berners-Lee submits his proposal to CERN for an information management system, which subsequently develops into the world wide web.
  • 1993 – North Korea announces that it will withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and refuses to allow inspectors access to its nuclear sites.
  • 2009 – Financier Bernard Madoff pleads guilty to one of the largest frauds in Wall Street’s history.

Madoff (below) is in prison in North Carolina and reportedly has end-stage kidney disease. Here’s Barbara Walters recounting a 2011 interview with Madoff:

  • 2019 – In the House of Commons, the revised EU Withdrawal Bill was rejected by a margin of 149 votes.
  • 2020 – The United States suspends travel from Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1832 – Charles Boycott, English farmer and agent (d. 1897)
  • 1864 – W. H. R. Rivers, English anthropologist, neurologist, ethnologist, and psychiatrist (d. 1922)

Rivers (below) was famous for treating British officers suffering from “shell shock” (now known as PTSD) during WWI; one of his patients was Siegfried Sassoon. He’s featured prominently in Pat Barker’s wonderful Regeneration Trilogy (read it!), with one of the novels winning the Booker Prize.

Here’s an audio (with pictures) of Kerouac reading from The Subterraneans in 1958:

  • 1923 – Wally Schirra, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (d. 2007)
  • 1928 – Edward Albee, American director and playwright (d. 2016)
  • 1946 – Liza Minnelli, American actress, singer and dancer
  • 1947 – Mitt Romney, American businessman and politician, 70th Governor of Massachusetts
  • 1970 – Dave Eggers, American author and screenwriter

Those who drew their last breath on March 12 include only one person of note (to me), but he’s of great note:

Here’s a rare video of Bird and Diz playing “Hot House”; the music begins at 0:50. Parker was to jazz what Kerouac was to literature: extemporaneous riffing.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili essays a short walk in the snow:

Hili: I have to check how it is to walk on it.
A: But you know.
Hili: Maybe it’s nicer today.
In Polish:
Hili: Muszę zobaczyć jak się po tym chodzi.
Ja: Przecież wiesz.
Hili: Może dziś jest przyjemniej.
Here’s a bonus photo of little Kulka (taken by Andrzej):

From Facebook:

From Beth:

From an anonymous friend:

Titania has a word for you Markle-haters:

Tweets from Matthew. Have you ever seen tube feet in action?

I’m not sure if I posted this before, but if I did, well, here it is again—worth seeing twice:

Fox rescue! I love these so long as the animal is all right at the end. The fox fell into a pit. . . .

A funny but a somewhat flippant obituary:

Matthew added this to his email containing the tweet: “I know it’s dogs but they are old dogs and they are very happy on the train and the tweet contains a vid.”  It is very heartwarming!

I saw an aye-aye at the Duke Lemur Center a few years ago, but didn’t notice its tail. Now I do, and it makes these creatures even weirder!

It’s great that we can figure out what flies were eating fifty million years ago:

46 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

    1. Voldemort’s Administration did help launch and push the vaccine programs. We need to credit him for that, if for nothing else around COVID-19.

      The sad thing is how he describes it: The same old bullshit. And taking credit for others’ work: Always one of the worst things a boss or colleague can do.

      1. Sort of. Pfizer vaccine was developed without any federal involvement. And tRump’s administration did nothing to help production and distribution of PPE, let alone vaccine. He deserves very little credit.

          1. He acted only due to pressure from Democrats.

            He and Melania got vaccinated in December. He kept it secret. Imagine the good that would have resulted from his cult followers getting a clear signal from him to get vaccinated.

            He deserves very, very, little credit (unless we’re talking about his excellent job at making things much worse than they needed to be).

            1. Imagine the good that would have resulted from his cult followers getting a clear signal from him to get vaccinated.

              Imagine the harm that would have come to his 2024 election chances, if his cult followers got a clear signal from him about anything other than “Must Vote Trump”.

        1. Not to mention the botched job of testing. His perverse logic was that more tests equaled more virus and his priority was to downplay the virus, therefore he curtailed testing. What a difference a competent administration makes. And I’m glad Biden is publicly countering the GOP’s tropes that “government is evil,” “government can’t help you,” “government shouldn’t help you”.

      2. Please use care here…”Voldemort” is more appropriately used in reference to former Florida governor and now senator Ric Scott. I first read this nickname in a column in the Palm Beach post while Scott was still governor, and I almost spit out my drink laughing, because Scott DOES look like Voldemort.

        But really, for all that he is a deeply disturbed and reprehensible character, Tom Marvolo Riddle has more gravitas and intellect than either of the two men in question. Perhaps “former president Cheeto” or perhaps even “Donald F*ck” might be better for the Donald.

        [This is all just me being silly. Pay no attention.]

  1. “I no longer buy them because their quality is so poor”

    Hi Jerry, do you not like the taste or texture? (A lot of people take issue with palm oil, the fact that they are not healthy (no sh!t Dick Tracy, they’re cookies!), etc.)

    I find them so irresistible that we can’t have them in the house. Thin mints, Lemonades, Samoas, Tagalongs!

    1. When I was still working for the firm we had to receive container loads of Girl Scout cookies in overseas locations such as Guam, Philippines, Korea, Okinawa and Japan. Then deliver them to various locations so they could be sold all over the posts and bases. We also had to ship and handle live Xmas trees to these places for the boy scouts to sell around that time of year but that was another story.

        1. Maybe that is what they mean by “A taste of home.” Getting fat on a box of Girl Scout cookies.

    2. Haven’t had them in ages but I used to really like the Tagalongs. They were the only ones I’d buy.

  2. Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy is definitely worth reading. Along with Ceiling Cat I highly recommend it.

  3. Parker was to jazz what Kerouac was to literature: extemporaneous riffing.

    Both of them also died young — Bird at 34 (although the doctor who performed the postmortem estimated his age at between 50 and 60), Kerouac at 47, old before his time, a bloated, drunken, pro-Vietnam War reactionary.

    And both were unappreciated by some of their peers. When Bird and Dizzy began playing bebop at Minton’s, up in Harlem, Louis Armstrong (though he made his peace with the music later) said it sounded like “Chinese music” and called it “full of malice.” Kerouac was the subject of one the most famous put-downs in literary history by Truman Capote: “That’s not writing; it’s just typing.”

  4. Wait a minute. You are saying Snickers are lame compared to milky way. I am sorry but that is just wrong.

    1. Now Randall, don’t get your snickers in a twist! I lost respect for it when they changed the name from Marathon.

      1. In the US the Marathon chocolate bar was equivalent to what we in the UK call a “Curly Wurly”!

        The whole thing is fraught with complications, hence my request for clarification below at #9!

        If I understand it correctly, the US commentators here are comparing what we now all call a Snickers bar (previously known as a Marathon bar in the UK) and a Milky Way bar (which is what we in the UK still call a Mars bar)!?

    2. I’m with Jerry on this one, although the recipes for these chocolate bars often varies between countries and therefore the position might be reversed in the USA.

      Also, is “Snickers” plural”? Would you say “Milky Way are lame” or “Milky Way is lame”? What does one Snicker look like?

      1. Those are interesting questions. I would say “Milky Ways are lame,” if I were of that opinion, which I’m not. I don’t know about Snickers…it always has the “s” at the end, so maybe it can be singular or plural depending on context. I don’t know what a singular Snicker would look like (would it be one of the sliced pieces in the old commercial “no matter how you slice it, Snickers comes up peanuts”?), and whether it has any relationship to snickerdoodle cookies or not (they seem to have little to nothing in common).

        I’m going to be thinking about this too often today. 😉

          1. I’m going to check if 5th Avenue candy bar is still being made. It’s been a while since I had one. I suspect that it is the oldest. For some reason, when I hear “5th Avenue,” I think of Tin Pan Alley. After all, Irving Berlin’s song, “Easter Parade,” refers to “5th Avenue.” (“In your Easter bonnet, with all the ribbons on it . . . .”) What other song references the “photogravure”?

    3. Sometimes PCC (E) is way off base, just plain wrong – but we love him anyway.
      Milky Way vs Snickers. hahahhaa a Gimme a break!
      WHERE ARE THE NUTS, professor? The nuts!

  5. Boy and Girl Scouts – where does one start. There is every reason to have a modern take on these institutions that have built up their infrastructure (?) for over 50 years or so. That means it is also woven into the fabric of culture, spanning all generations. It cannot be competed with. After all that, there still is no comparable thing for kids to go do cool stuff they feel great about after school in a coordinated, well-supported way. Sure there are sort of ad-hoc activities kids can still go do, but the cultural support of all “scouting” is overwhelming. It is effectively like a corporation.

    1. Tell me about it. Every year while I was in Okinawa, someone at the Girl Scouts call or sent emails to me about the shipments coming in from the U.S. The Scouts were made up of many military dependents at all posts or bases on the Island. I had to distribute the cookies to the specific locations so they could sell their merchandise. No mistakes allowed. I think it was usually two seavans – a lot of cookies.

  6. Wrt raised concerns about Archie’s skin colour, it was said to Harry, not Meghan. In the interview, he corroborated this but didn’t reveal the source of the comment. I see no reason to disbelieve them.

    1. Still, when one strips away the fame and riches, you have just another dysfunctional extended family, where a younger member could not get behind the family business and married a girl that some did not approve. It’s so ordinary , really.

      1. I have to agree with that. I simply see no reason for her to be called narcissistic etc.

        The stuff about Andrew’s involvement with Epstein is far more concerning and deserving of inquiry.

        I remember a long time ago Jerry had asked his readers if they could be just about anyone, whom would they choose to be. Someone said Queen Elizabeth II. Those are some shoes and crown I’d never want to wear.

  7. With the chocolate bars, can I just check what you guys mean by “Milky Way” as it gets confusing for us non-Americans:

    Milky Way is a brand of chocolate-covered confectionery bar manufactured and marketed by the Mars confectionery company. There are two variants: the global Milky Way bar, which is sold as 3 Musketeers in the US and Canada; and the US Milky Way bar, which is sold as the Mars bar worldwide (including Canada). Neither is sold as the Milky Way bar in Canada.

  8. Just when you think things can’t get worse for Cuomo, I heard that there is a video of him laughing at a Pepe Le Pew cartoon.

    They are also subpoening his library card and Border’s membership to see which Seuss books he has read.

    1. Just so long as his reading list doesn’t include One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish – what was Seuss thinking of hiding the black fish inside instead of placing it on the front cover?!

    2. “Just when you think things can’t get worse for Cuomo, I heard that there is a video of him laughing at a Pepe Le Pew cartoon.”

      Gee willickers(sp.?), I’m glad you told me that, for my own sake.

  9. First, a confession: I have 3 boxes of thin mints in the freezer as I write this. I guess I’m not much of a foodie.

    the latest development is Prince William’s defense of the Firm, saying, “We’re very much not a racist family.” I expect they’re just like any other family, with different members having different views on it typically (but not always) predicated on age and personal experience.

    But I also think it is probably beyond reasonable question that mention of her race and how it changes optics would be part of “the Firm’s” PR discussions and strategies. How could anyone considering this multimillion-dollar, high stakes corporation whose business is to sell personality, think they wouldn’t discuss it? So in that respect, I absolutely believe they talked about Ms. Markle’s race in and out of earshot of her, and that at least some folk (whether royals or non-royals) were probably took a fairly pragmatic or realpolitik position in such talks rather than everyone being explicitly liberal and supportive. Good lord, do folks also think the Biden administration had no PR strategy sessions where they discussed Ms. Harris’ race in realpolitik terms? Of course they did. And the same happened in the “Windsor Corp.” The difference is, Ms. Harris probably plays that game as well as anyone and isn’t likely to take offense at the people on her staff talking through an analysis of the pros and cons of talking about her race, how to talk about it, to not anger some voters while encouraging others, etc. While Ms. Markle is an actress, not a political operative, and so there’s no reason to think her background has prepared her for such tough-skinned sort of talk. At least, that’s the way I see it.

  10. In his introduction, Stephanopoulos bloviates to-the-effect about Walters getting the scoop about Madoff. Yeaas, the Oprah Winfrey of her day. On inauguration day 2001, she criticized the design of the kitchen of Dubya’s Crawford, TX home, and said words-to-the-effect that the name they gave their dog was unimaginative. I wonder if her employer took her to the woodshed to rag on her about her mouthiness. I wonder if she was ever as forthcoming – on TV – about Massachusetts senator Edward Brooke. I hope it gashed her mightily that she never similarly secured an interview with Jacqueline Kennedy.

  11. Jerry’s anti snickers position aside, I agree girl scout cookies have gone WAY downhill for awhile now. I’m no foodie but I do know a good snickers and I’d take one over a scout cookie any day. 😉

  12. Hi, Does anyone know where one may purchase a few of those Jewish space lasers?

    Asking for a friend … seriously, an American living in Italy, whilst I reside in Australia.

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