Wednesday: Hili dialogue

April 7, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on a humpish day: Wednesday, April 7, 2021. It’s National Beer Day, and this made me realize again that I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since I came to Texas. No Pearl, no Shiner—nada. This is because my large meals are at lunch, and I don’t like to drink before dinner.

News of the Day:

THE BIG NEWS: Honey laid her first egg! She’s nesting on the third floor above Botany Pond, and we’ve covered the window with cardboard so she won’t be disturbed. When she was on the pond yesterday, Jean Greenberg of Team Duck peeked at the ledge and saw Honey’s nest (still a bit messy) and the first egg (circled in Jean’s photo below). After she lays the rest of her clutch at a rate of one egg per day, she’ll start sitting on them and then, 28-29 days later, we will have ducklings.

The egg, pastel green as usual, is circled:

If you live in Iowa, you’d best be careful from now on. According to the Des Moines Register, the governor, Kim Reynolds (a Republican, of course) just signed a bill that gives citizens of the state the right to buy and carry handguns without a permit. It’s bad enough to allow handguns, but allowing that without a permit? That eliminates background checks, previously required to get a permit in the state, as well as any proficiency training. It’s sheer madness.

Speaking of madness among the benighted, recall that back in March I reported about a bill that had been introduced to the Arkansas legislature which would allow creationism to be taught in public schools from kindergarten through grade 12 (the end of high school). You can see the short bill here. According to reader Guy, the legislature’s website, and the Arkansas Times, that bill has now left the House Education Committee will be voted on by the Arkansas House of Representatives. Given that the House comprises 78 Republicans and only 22 Democrats, that the state Senate comprises 27 Republicans and just 7 Democrats, and that the Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, is a loon who signed a near total abortion ban designed to test Roe v. Wade, I’m not happy about the fate of the creationism bill.

Station KOIN in Portland (of course it’s Portland) reports that a school in the city, Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School, was in the process of ditching its mascot, a Trojan (what’s going on with that?) and replacing it with something that nobody could object to. They chose an evergreen tree, a symbol of Oregon. One rationale:

“Evergreens are characterized by the life-giving force of their foliage, the strength of their massive trunk, and the depth of their roots—in an individual tree and as a forest of trees,” Ellen Whatmore, a teacher and mascot committee member at Wells-Barnett High School said, reading from a resolution. “They provide shelter and sustenance. They have histories that preclude us and will continue in perpetuity after we are no more.”

But the Offended can always find offense. Ida B. Wells was a black activist from Chicago. Can you guess why an evergreen tree might be offensive? Here’s why:

But just before the Portland Public Schools Board of Education’s vote to approve the new mascot Tuesday, March 30, Director Michelle DePass shared community concerns of an unwanted correlation between Ida B. Wells—the historic Black activist, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who documented and crusaded against lynching—and a tree which could conjure up reminders of hanging people with ropes from branches.

The tree mascot is now on hold. Maybe a cloud mascot or something? That couldn’t offend anyone, could it?

The New York Times has an article about the ins and outs of “vaccine passports” for travel or employment. The short take: proof of vaccination can be legal for school or work attendance, and maybe for travel, but we’re not close to having a digital way to prove you’ve been vaccinated. Hold onto your vaccination card! (I had mine laminated.)

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 556,016, an increase of 907 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll stands at 2,889,945, a substantial increase of about 13,900.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is listening to the sounds of dinner (Photo by Paulina):

Paulina: What are you doing?
Hili: I’m listening to the birds’ song
In Polish:
Paulina: Co robisz?
Hili: Słucham śpiewu ptaków.

From Stash Krod:

If you’re not watching Ken Burns’s new series on Ernest Hemingway, you should be.  It’s an excellent show, and if you know about Hem you’ll know about his issues, all of which the show discusses frankly. Here’s a relevant meme from Nicole:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Gethyn—the cat must touch the fish:

Tweets from Matthew:


Biological facts you need to know:

I have no idea why manta rays do this. Do you?

Matthew’s comment: “Oy!” (He’s not even Jewish, and ham isn’t kosher.)

And a good one:

29 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. “The tree mascot is now on hold. Maybe a cloud mascot or something? That couldn’t offend anyone, could it?”

    Oh yeah? There are black clouds and white clouds and multi-colored clouds…

    You should NOT have laminated your vaccine certificate. What if a booster is eventually required and it needs updating? I bought a plastic badge holder for the size of the card and I could even wear it on a necklace through the slot in the holder.

    1. I just took a photo with my iphone and put it in a special folder. don’t know if that will be adequate or not.

  2. An evergreen tree! Very male centric iconography and a clear sign of turgorial discrimination against succulents! Just because they are not present in Oregon is clearly racial motivated against plants from drier climates

  3. If our medical system was any good we would have our own shot records that would display all vaccines and dates. The military has had these for maybe 75 years or more.

    1. We do have those. Or at least, did. I have my old vaccination card around in my files somewhere. Yellow heavy card stock with a table listing the what and when of every shot. Though they may have gone extinct when business computing became a thing.

      1. I’ve got one of them from my Australian childhood. Impressive document – and I’ll never have to worry about yellow fever again!

        They were very common back then – **many** countries required them for entry like a passport and visa.

        Anti maskers/anti-vaxers are well within their rights to refuse both – just don’t come to anywhere public: public transportation, concerts, restaurants, stores, subways, and my house. 🙂

        D.A. (yellow fever free and half covid vaxed already) 🙂

  4. The Evergreen objection is a hoax a la Sokol Hoax or Grievance Studies Hoax, entirely designed to make the WOKE look silly. Now is it from the Sensible Left or the Mischievous Right?

  5. If you think they are nuts in places like Iowa and Arkansas, you are right. All red states are working on their voter suppression bills now or have already passed some like Georgia. Right now, down in the state you are in, Texas, the battle is on in Austin and throughout the state. Corporations are beginning to wake up and take action as well. Of course Moscow Mitch thinks corporate America should stay out of politics other than dumping lots of money directly into it for him. Such a first class jerk we have never seen.

    1. Florida has long been similarly benighted. It’s one of the states where a felony conviction until recently made you ineligible to vote, and even though a referendum led to a constitutional amendment correcting that, the state legislature and judiciary was able to find ways to make the restriction still effectively stick for a high proportion of such people. Since minorities are wildly overrepresented among convicted felons, at least in Florida, that effectively leads to a major reduction in potential minority voters (and thus, presumably, Democrat voters).

      Also, for at least as long as I’ve lived here, you’ve not needed anything but a valid driver’s license (or the more general state ID) to purchase a handgun. They do some form of background check, presumably to check for a criminal record (see above…they’re good about keeping track of that), but that’s it. No safety training or proof of proficiency required. It’s harder by far to get a driver’s license, though given how people drive in Florida, you wouldn’t think that was the case.

      1. I also failed to mention news from FFRF if you don’t get it. The Freedom from Religion Foundation had a lawsuit in Alabama to stop one of their typical voter suppression requirement which is a religious oath to vote. Yes, where else but Alabama would you get this. Anyway, the oath is no more as FFRF won.

        1. Oh, my Ceiling Cat! I did NOT know about that…and I’m glad. I already get soooo depressed by the state of humanity, particularly in the American south. I almost wish I were a drinker, so I could respond to such things by having a large alcoholic beverage.

    2. The hypocrisy is maddening. Moscow Mitch had no problem when Trump actually installed corporate cronies into all his agencies and administration. Dept. of Transportation run by Mitch’s wife, a shipping heiress, Interior Dept. run by an oil lobbyist, EPA run by a coal lobbyist, Dept. of Health and Human Svcs run by a pharmaceutical executive, 1st secretary of state was an ExxonMobil CEO, Treasury Dept. was run by an-ex Goldman Sachs/investment banker, and on and on it went. Mitch is beyond a joke at this point; a useless political hack who stands for nothing of truth or value. He is the main reason the Senate is now a failed institution. Nice legacy, Mitch.

  6. “The tree mascot is now on hold. Maybe a cloud mascot or something? That couldn’t offend anyone, could it?”

    I don’t know…as Joni Mitchell pointed out, there’s more than one way to look at clouds. “…all they do is block the sun. They rain and snow on everyone. So many things I would have done, but clouds got in the way…”

    It’s always possible to find offense if one is seeking it.

  7. … a school in the city, Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School, was in the process of ditching its mascot, a Trojan (what’s going on with that?) and replacing it with something that nobody could object to.

    Maybe they’ll change it from “The Trojans” to “The Magnums” — give the lads something to brag about.

    1. I don’t think they will be acceptable to our Portland woke . . . based on a closer read:

      “During mating, many species use love darts. These are calcium carbonate darts (some are more like spears or arrows) with which they try to stab each other prior to mating. The successful individual (the “stabber”) will typically fertilize more eggs than the “stabbed” mollusc, due to hormones delivered with the dart.”

      1. Yes, but since slugs and snails are hermaphroditic, the stabbee also gets the chance to be a stabber, so it’s OK.

  8. If you live in Iowa, […] It’s sheer madness.

    Surely it’s a population control measure?

    Portland […] Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School, […] mascot, a Trojan (what’s going on with that?)

    A different population control measure.
    Clearly, population control is a “thing” under the blankets of today’s USian politics, and the politicians would prefer to do it by shooting live people than by preventing births.
    Well, it is a solution. And it makes it very clear what USian politicians consider important. But they’re going to be screwed (non Trojan-ly) if they’re ever challenged on the economics of the strategy.

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