Wednesday: Hili dialogue

March 31, 2021 • 6:45 am

Good morning on the last day of the month: Wednesday, March 31, 2021. The month is going out like a lamb, at least in Texas. And it’s National Oysters on the Half Shell Day. I’m in San Antonio, and have more food and travel adventures to describe in a post today.

News of the Day:

I haven’t of course been following the news, but did dip into the papers this morning to discover that

a. A trial showed that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is highly effective against coronavirus in children 12-15 (figures weren’t given). This is important because we need those kids getting vaccinated if we’re to attain herd immunity.

b. The Washington Post has a painful tale of an eleven-year-old boy who got the keys to his dad’s gun safe, opened it, pulled out a loaded revolver, and shot himself through the head. He died, of course. The dad had several guns, and had even bought the boy a .22 rifle at the age of ten. Gun sales shot up during the pandemic, and these unintended killings, which outnumber the “intended” use of home firearms, are on the increase. This story is part of an upcoming book by John Woodrow Cox, Children Under Fire: An American Crisis.

c. Here’s a story from Reuters (click on screenshot) about escalating migration. Despite Biden’s pleas that people “stay home,” immigrants are hearing that the “door is open,” but may close in a few months, spurring desperate attempts to get into the U.S. now:

d. France appears likely to have its third national coronavirus lockdown as hospitals across the country are experiencing a flood of patients. I know these thoughts are selfish, but I wonder if I’ll ever get back to France again.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 549,552, an increase of “just” 685 deaths over yesterday’s figure.  The reported world death toll stands a 2,806,709, an increase of about 6,400 deaths over yesterday’s total. 

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s been reading about Critical Race Theory:

Szaron: What did you come here for?
Hili: I’m enjoying my partly white privilege.
In Polish:
Szaron: Po co tu przyszłaś?
Hili: Korzystam z mojego częściowo białego przywileju.

Little Kulka climbed the beams of the veranda—just like Hili used to do!

Caption: Kulka discovered that it’s possible to jump up on the beam under the roof.

In Polish: Kulka odkryła, że można wskoczyć na belkę pod sufitem.

From Jesus of the Day, and I have to admit that I find this pretty damn funny:

A meme from Nicole:

A tweet from Barry, who says, “Every one is a beautiful runway model.”

From Luana. Check out the linked Spectator article, which is about the worst example of wokeness I can imagine:

An excerpt:

Last Wednesday, Brauer College in rural Victoria forced its male pupils, some only 12 years old, to stand at a school assembly, face the girls and apologize for rape, sexual harassment and all the other facets of male wickedness. All this was apparently some ghastly effort to promote gender reconciliation through gender self-incrimination.

‘I had girls behind me crying,’ one student said. ‘We had to apologize for stuff we didn’t actually do.’

‘I don’t think it’s OK to be sexually assaulted. I felt a bit under pressure to stand up and if I didn’t I felt like I was a bad person,’ said another.

Yes, it happened, but the school later apologized for making the boys do something that the school considered “inappropriate.”

From Matthew: Two not-so-funny sea jokes:

An anniversary from yesterday. I wouldn’t agree that Sgt. Pepper is the Beatles’ best album.

This is what’s known as a “bad-ass mouse”. Sound up to hear the screaming.

44 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. Late news just in. For those old enough to remember – G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate fame died. One of the original white house plumbers, he made Roger Stone look like a little girl.

    Please read the gun story in the WP if you can. It is a great example of how those who think they know all there is to know about guns actually know very little.

    1. There’s an amusing account in Timothy Leary’s autobiography about a raid Liddy led on the house he was living in. (Leary came running came down the stairs wearing nothing under his kaftan just as Liddy was climbing up them, and the latter got an unexpected eyeful.) The two of them later had head-to-head debates around the US if I recall correctly.

  2. “Daddy Gee” — G. Gordon Liddy of Watergate infamy — bade the world the Big Adios yesterday at age 90. Liddy was crazy as a lake fulla loons, but he wrote a pretty good book, Will. He also wrote an interesting piece for Esquire, “Serving Time in America,” upon his release from prison. Liddy did serious time, some of it at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, without ever snitching anyone out. That much, I’ll give him.

        1. very sorry you could not read. Just about anything out of Matt Gaetz, congressman from Florida is fabrication. He is currently in deep shit if I can say that here.

  3. Gun sales shot up during the pandemic, and these unintended killings, which outnumber the “intended” use of home firearms, are on the increase.

    The intended use of guns includes personal defense, and just because one doesn’t have to brandish or discharge one’s gun, doesn’t mean that it isn’t being used. Having insurance and not having to make a claim against it does not mean it isn’t being used. Also, given just the huge number of sportsmen who use guns, it seems unlikely that their use of guns is outnumbered by gun suicides or accidental deaths. The vast majority of guns owners in the US possess their guns legally and use them safely. The press is not an honest commentator on gun issues.

    1. I agree with you.

      The task is to keep guns out of the hands of bad actors, not law-abiding citizens.

      I got my first .22, given by my father, at about age 10. I’ve been shooting firearms for 50+ years. I only got trigger locks when I had kids (2002). (I wouldn’t be without them now, of course.) I take pains to ensure no one but I can access the guns. Every gun has a trigger lock. I don’t store any guns loaded. I don’t use safeties (mechanical guns safeties). Relying on safeties is unsafe in my opinion. I rely on good procedure to ensure safety. I could go on about safety procedures.

      Hunting under supervision is permitted in Minnesota at age 10 and in Wisconsin at age 11. Many kids in these ages hit the woods every fall.

      As noted, we started shooting at age 10 or there abouts (varies with my various siblings).

      My Dad always had several “high-powered” rifles (.308, 7mm Mauser, etc.) a .357 mag. revolver and various .22 rifles and pistols. None of these were ever locked (I would never do that now — we also never used safety glasses, ear muffs, etc. while using chain saws, power saws, etc. Different time. These were also days when you could buy .22LR ammunition in any gas station in Minnesota.)

      The most sensible thing I’ve read on guns is Sam Harris’s essay on them. His essay on violence and FAQ on violence are also good. (I can highly recommend The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker .)

      1. No, the task is also to keep handguns out of the hands of “law abiding citizens,” for those guns in the hands of the “good guys” kill more innocent people than they kill “the bad guys”.

        Don’t you realize that many of the “good guys”, like the one in the article, don’t take precautions sufficient to prevent the misuse of those guns? People are not all like you. I, for one, would be happy if no private citizen could own a gun except if it was kept locked up in a gun club or, for farmers, to protect their livestock.

        1. I agree that there are idiots out there that can’t handle guns safely. I think locking should be required by law. I think training should be required by law. I’m in favor of red flag laws, 100% background checks, closing the gun show loophole (I’ve never been to a gun show). Making gun owners responsible for the fate of the guns they own (require reporting of all theft, transfers, inheritance, etc.). I am happy to register my guns.

          If we could (legally) miraculously remove all guns from the US, I’d be in favor of that.

          1. It can’t happen all at once, or even quickly, but if no efforts are ever made it definitely will never happen. Many gun rights advocates want there to be no attempts at all to reduce the number of guns. Slippery Slope, government control. Many others appear to think it simply isn’t possible to do so. They seem to think there is something so unique about the US that the things that have worked in other societies simply can’t work here. I don’t think that is obvious at all, rather the opposite. No doubt there are differences. There are differences between all societies. I’ve yet to hear a convincing argument that the US has some difference that poses an insurmountable obstacle. Usually it’s posed as a given, obvious, premise with no need for validation.

            The common plaint is “if you take guns away from law abiding citizens then only criminals will have guns.” This fails in several ways. The criminals will never be the only ones with guns. Law enforcement will always have guns. If you manage to significantly reduce the number of guns in the society then, yes, absolutely, criminals will also find it harder to get guns and therefore fewer criminals will have guns. That’s not just a rationalization, that’s what has actually happened in other societies. Does this happen as soon as you make new laws? No, of course not. It takes time and effort.

            Also, gun owners have never been in danger of the US government taking all of their guns away, not remotely, and the chances of that ever happening in the foreseeable future is low, to say the least. They are in danger of some types of guns and gun hardware being taken away. And they are in danger of it becoming more difficult to own guns, forced to be more responsible, to do more paperwork, to follow more rules.

            1. I think most of the gun love in the US amounts to a shared fantasy of defending oneself and family against bad guys. It has taken hold and passed down from father to son (and mother, daughter). It will be very difficult to eliminate. All the arguments like “if you take guns away from law abiding citizens then only criminals will have guns” are excuses that ignore the heart of the matter. Gun lovers don’t offer this excuse to explain their fantasy but in the vain hope that gun control advocates will buy it or just go away. It’s a lost cause.

              1. Although many are killed by accidents due to the good guys’ guns, the fact remains: if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. That is the case in other countries, but it is not a big problem because guns are not easy to get. But in the States, there are many more guns than people and no-one knows who owns what. What could possibly make a criminal voluntarily surrender his guns?

              2. I always find that line a bit strange. In my ideal world, only criminals would have guns, except for law enforcement of course. Or, to put it another way, it should be a crime for regular folks to have a gun. That’s an oversimplification, of course but that should be the rule with few exceptions.

              3. I agree completely, the point is that the idea of making guns illegal to keep criminals from having them just won’t work in the States.

                In my ideal world, there would be no criminals. 🙂

              4. I have a specific reason for owning guns: Wife’s ex who is questionably stable and owns guns and lives within ten minutes. We also have a security system, cameras, etc. (We have also chosen our location carefully.)

                I don’t carry and don’t intend to.

                I would not use force to protect property. I think that one’s duty is first to avoid dangerous situations, then to flee them, and only if no other options remain, to fight. Although I live in an extremely safe neighborhood*, there have been two murders within a mile and several other non-fatal shootings.

                After 8-Nov-20, I felt there was a non-zero chance of the right wing types acting up in violent ways, locally (we saw what happened on 6-Jan-21; I live 100 feet from Michele Bachmann’s old district). Thankfully, that didn’t happen. We also had recent experience with homes and businesses being looted and burned out in large numbers just a few months ago, in neighboring communities (“mostly peaceful protests”).

                (* Many people live with their (attached) garage doors open all the time. We have our doors locked at all times.)

            2. I’m in favor of common sense gun control measures. I am not a member of the NRA or anything like that, nor am I a 2nd Amendment fundamentalist.

              Good measures I support:

              – Register all guns
              – Have a strong list of people who can’t own guns and do your best to prevent then getting them (e.g. terrorism watch list)
              – Close the gun show loophole
              – Require gun safety training prior to purchasing a gun
              – I’m fine with restricting many kinds of hardware (e.g. bump stocks, noise suppressors)
              – Require locking of guns*
              – Require reporting of all movement of guns (theft, sale, inheritance, etc.)
              – Seriously audit and inspect gun shops to make sure they are following the rules (to retain their FFL). According to the ones I know, they are really burdened with this; but I doubt it’s very onerous or frequent. I could be wrong. But I think it’s just the usual kvetching about regulation.

              Restricting high-capacity magazines can be effective in limiting the damage in a mass shooting (doesn’t do much of anything for anything else). But there are far more magazines out there than there are guns out there. Shall we turn tens of millions of law-abiding citizens into criminals with a signature? Maybe; but it bears some careful thought and discussion on scope and implementation.

              As I’ve said before, handguns are the problem. Everything else is in the noise. Aside from banning all handguns (this will not pass constitutional muster, whatever our feelings are on that — not in my lifetime anyway), I’d be interested in any further measures people think prudent, beyond those listed above.

              I don’t know about you-all; but I have written my elected representatives on this advocating for just such as list as I have outlined above.

              (* How did this kid get ahold of the gun safe key? Seriously? That’s the most basic security measure: Control the damned key. My locks are mainly fingerprint sensor locks: No one can open them but me (well, unless someone cuts off my finger). For the others, they are combination (not written down; good luck guessing it) or keyed with the key (singular) which is hidden.)

        2. My government won’t let me keep strychnine or Novichok because of my untrustworthy neighbours. Both articles are useful defensive agents when used appropriately and I would always keep them locked safely until needed. The government seems to be more worried about my neighbour acting irresponsibly than me.

  4. Your analogy is weak. You or your child don’t die from insurance. The purpose of insurance is not homicide. In contrast, a handgun is only suited for killing people, or at the least, practicing to kill, threatening to kill, pretending to kill, or (most often) contemplating to kill.

    I “use” insurance, sure. I have no use for a handgun.

  5. An anniversary from yesterday. I wouldn’t agree that Sgt. Pepper is the Beatles’ best album.

    I saw a discussion on TV once. The question was posed “is Sergeant Pepper” the greatest album of all time?” One of the panelists said “well, it was released in the same year as The Velvet Underground and Nico, so it’s not even the best album of 1967”.

  6. There’s something lame even in the smartest politician and Uncle Joe certainly is mediocre, but the idea that the Dem arrived at the White House without a clear plan for immigration is really discomforting. It’s a difficult situation, but I refuse to think the only solution is either tRump’s madness or the crazy open border to all. And by the way, Major must go to some ranch in the forest…

  7. The White Album remains The Beatles’ best album, and Abbey Road remains their best concept album. That is all.

    1. The White Album has too much flab to be their best album. If they had produced a single disc with the best half of the songs on it, I would agree with you but as things stand, Abbey Road is the best album. My personal choice would be Revolver and number two and Sgt Pepper as number three.

  8. When I opened a small office in rural Southern Oregon over 20 years ago, many concerned people told me I needed a gun to keep me safe. To appease them I knit a Glock from a lovely angora/silk yarn. It has kept me and my employees safe all this time. Our sheriff admired it and gave me a special concealed carry permit for it.

    1. Yep. The Grasshopper Mouse (Onychomys) is one bad-ass little rodent. I camp out in the Mojave quite a bit and it’s always a treat to hear that piercing scream. We kept one for a while for a class I was teaching and it was an extremely effective and enthusiastic predator.

  9. Nowadays Sgt. Pepper is routinely demoted in favor of Revolver or Abbey Road. In Rolling Stone’s controversial (I say craven) 2020 “Best Albums of all Time” list Sgt. Pepper has sunk to 24 (right behind the Velvet Underground and Nico and two spots behind The Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die), while Revolver is 11 and Abbey Road is 5 (The Beatles’ highest placement).

    I don’t think this is right, because Sgt. Pepper holds together as an album and concept (rather than a collection of songs, like Revolver) more than anything else by the Beatles. But it was a victim of its own success—when something is instantly acclaimed as a classic, people take it for granted and then get bored or resentful of it. The canon changes not simply because of shifts in taste but also because of contrarian rebellion against “official classics.”

  10. Pepper or the White Album…. at that granular level it becomes a personal, temperamental choice: like strawberry or chocolate ice cream.
    Still, Beatles at the top of the list makes sense in a world that often doesn’t.

  11. People who don’t own guns don’t have “gun problems” and if I learned anything as a (retired) criminal defense attorney in NYC: you don’t want gun problems.

    I often wonder how people who have guns for “self defense” run their interpersonal relationships. I mean: how do you have so many enemies? Something to address before a visit to the gun supermarket / gun store / AR-16 vending machine, etc.

    NYC libtard

Leave a Reply