Saturday: Hili dialogue

May 29, 2021 • 6:30 am

It’s Cat Sabbath again: Saturday, May 29, 2021, and it’s National Biscuit Day, a celebration of one of America’s finest indigenous foodstuffs (I’m talking about Southern fluffy biscuits here, not the British equivalent of our “cookies”). It’s also International Coq au Vin Day, International Jazz Day, Paper Clip Day (they were patented in 1867 but not widely used until the 1890s), and World Digestive Health Day.  It’s Oak Apple Day (or “Restoration Day”) in England, celebrating (?) the restoration of the English monarchy in 1660.

News of the Day:

The damn Republicans used the veto option to block an independent investigation of the Capitol invasion on January 6. What do they have to lose? It’s obvious: an objective evaluation of the President’s role in the issue, and of the GOP’s role in supporting Trump’s claim that the election was stolen. The Senate needed 60 votes to overcome the filibuster rule and launch the investigation, but only 6 Republicans defected from their party, making the vote on the investigation 54-35 (11 Senators, clearly including some Democrats, did not vote). From the NYT:

The six Republican senators who voted to advance debate on the commission included Ms. Collins, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Ms. Murkowski, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mitt Romney of Utah and Ben Sasse of Nebraska. All but Mr. Portman had voted at an impeachment trial in February to find Mr. Trump guilty of inciting the insurrection.

A seventh Republican, Senator Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, missed the vote — one of 11 senators to do so — but said he would have voted to advance debate on the commission.

An unworkable Middle East peace proposal is offered by former Israeli Vice Prime Minister (and past peace negotiator) Tzipi Livni in her NYT op-ed, “There is a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” I wish! Livni at least says that we’ll get nowhere by trying to deal with Hamas, but good luck with that! Her solution is anodyne:

The cease-fire in Gaza provides a window of time we must use to change the long-term reality. An essential decision is to return to the vision of two states for two people, to strengthen the pragmatic forces and weaken the extremists and end the terror.

Well, yes, two states are the goal, but who gets East Jerusalem, or Area C of the West Bank? If we want any reasonable chance of peace, Hamas, whose goal is to eliminate Israel, cannot be part of the process. Well, that ain’t gonna happen. And that means that there’s no viable two-state solution, a conclusion that, when I came to it yesterday, broke my heart.

This is unbelievable but, if you believe the Guardian, true. I’ll give the report verbatim (h/t Jez):

In what can only be described as a comedy of errors, an Argentinian TV news channel delivered a stunning, if slightly flawed, scoop on Thursday night when it reported that William Shakespeare, “one of the most important writers in the English language” had died five months after receiving the Covid vaccine.

The gaffe of, well, Shakespearean proportions happened after Noelia Novillo, a newsreader on Canal 26, mixed up the Bard with William “Bill” Shakespeare, an 81-year-old Warwickshire man who became the second person in the world to get the Pfizer vaccine.

Here’s the messed-up t.v. report. No wonder he died: he was 400 years old!

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 593,583, an increase of 486 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,538,764, an increase of about 12,400 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on May 29 include:

  • 1660 – English Restoration: Charles II is restored to the throne of England, Scotland and Ireland.
  • 1886 – The pharmacist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, which appeared in The Atlanta Journal.

Here’s that ad:

The kola nut, from an evergreen tree (below) is no longer used in making any cola beverages:

(From Wikiipedia) Kola nut – pod with half shell removed to reveal prismatic seeds inside their white testa), and fresh seeds (whole without testa on the left and, on the right, split into cotyledons).
  • 1913 – Igor Stravinsky’s ballet score The Rite of Spring receives its premiere performance in Paris, France, provoking a riot.
  • 1919 – Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity is tested (later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington and Andrew Claude de la Cherois Crommelin
  • 1931 – Michele Schirru, a citizen of the United States, is executed by Italian military firing squad for intent to kill Benito Mussolini.

A tweet showing Schiurru, looking as if he was beat up during interrogation:

Matthew sent this tweet appropriate to the day. Translated, it says, “79 years ago, on May 29, 1942, the 8th German ordinance required Jews in the occupied zone to wear the yellow star. Compulsory from June 7, the stars were distributed to the police station by the French police against a textile point on the ration card.”

The men!

  • 1985 – Amputee Steve Fonyo completes cross-Canada marathon at Victoria, British Columbia, after 14 months.
  • 1990 – The Russian parliament elects Boris Yeltsin as president of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
  • 1999 – Space Shuttle Discovery completes the first docking with the International Space Station.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1736 – Patrick Henry, American lawyer and politician, 1st Governor of Virginia (d. 1799)
  • 1874 – G. K. Chesterton, English essayist, poet, and playwright (d. 1936)

Here’s Chesterton, looking pretty much like I thought he would:

  • 1903 – Bob Hope, English-American actor, singer, and producer (d. 2003)
  • 1914 – Tenzing Norgay, Nepalese-Indian mountaineer (d. 1986)
  • 1917 – John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States (d. 1963)
  • 1932 – Paul R. Ehrlich, American biologist and author

Ehrlich is 89 today. Remember his prediction in The Population Bomb (1968) that overpopulation would lead to mass famine in the 1970s?

  • 1955 – John Hinckley Jr., American attempted assassin of Ronald Reagan

Those who checked out on May 29 include:

  • 1829 – Humphry Davy, English-Swiss chemist and academic (b. 1778)
  • 1911 – W. S. Gilbert, English playwright and poet (b. 1836)

Gilbert is on the left, Sullivan on the right:

Fanny Brice, the original Funny Girl,  in the 1910s or 1920s. She was Jewish and her real name was Fania Borach:

Fanny Brice – c. 1915-1925 – Ziegfeld by Alfred Cheney Johnston. Restored by Nick and jane for Dr. Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans Website: Enjoy!
  • 1972 – Moe Berg, American baseball player, coach, and spy (b. 1902)

Berg, a mediocre catcher at best, but one of the rare Jewish baseball players, was nevertheless a fascinating man. From Wikipedia:

Although he played 15 seasons in the major leagues, almost entirely for four American League teams, Berg was never more than an average player and was better known for being “the brainiest guy in baseball.” Casey Stengel once described Berg as “the strangest man ever to play baseball”.

A graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School, Berg spoke several languages and regularly read ten newspapers a day. His reputation as an intellectual was fueled by his successful appearances as a contestant on the radio quiz show Information Please, in which he answered questions about the etymology of words and names from Greek and Latin, historical events in Europe and the Far East, and ongoing international conferences.

As a spy working for the government of the United States, Berg traveled to Yugoslavia to gather intelligence on resistance groups which the U.S. government was considering supporting. He was sent on a mission to Italy, where he interviewed various physicists concerning the Nazi German nuclear program. After the war, Berg was occasionally employed by the OSS’s successor, the Central Intelligence Agency. By the mid-1950s, he was unemployed. During the last two decades of his life, he had no work and lived with various siblings.

  • 1979 – Mary Pickford, Canadian-American actress, producer, and screenwriter, co-founder of United Artists (b. 1892)
  • 1998 – Barry Goldwater, American general, activist, and politician (b. 1909)
  • 2010 – Dennis Hopper, American actor, director, and screenwriter (b. 1936)
  • 2012 – Doc Watson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1923)

Here’s Doc singing one of his famous songs, “Tennessee Stud”:

  • 2017 – Manuel Noriega, Panamanian general and politician, Military Leader of Panama (b. 1934)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili gets asked if she wants a cat sausage. The answer is obvious.

Paulina: Do you want a sausage?
Hili: Mhm.
(Photo: Paulina R.)
In Polish:
Paulina: Chcesz taką kiełbaskę?
Hili: Mhm.

From Bruce, a mockery of Marjorie Taylor Greene’s “gold star” comparison of masking with the Holocaust:


This meme came from Divy, who found it on Facebook.

The “two ark solution,” from Diana MacPherson. But why where only dinosaurian reptiles on the doomed ark? Why were the turtles and gators with the mammals?

From Abigail Shrier, showing truckling to the anti-Israel Palestinians. You can’t just send out a letter condemning anti-Semitism any more (h/t: Orli):

Mushbrain Marjorie Taylor Greene puts on her “really bad Mexican accent” in an accusation that the Democratic party is in collusion with the Mexican drug cartels. It’s amazing that she was elected, but then again, this is America.

Tweets from Matthew. The first is an unconscionable waste of government money:

The gangland areas of Chicago in the old days. Click on this link to see an enlarged map.

The cat’s knee, with extra bones for lagniappe!

Cryptic octopus reveals itself:

Colorized century-old photos from Egypt:

31 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. The kola nut, from an evergreen tree (below) is no longer used in making any cola beverages:

    They also no longer include extract of coca leaves. Indeed, they’ll deny they ever did. (Despite the name.)

    1. The original dose was pretty strong!

      Pemberton called for five ounces of coca leaf per gallon of syrup (approximately 37 g/L), a significant dose; in 1891, Candler claimed his formula (altered extensively from Pemberton’s original) contained only a tenth of this amount. Coca-Cola once contained an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass. (For comparison, a typical dose or “line” of cocaine is 50–75 mg.) In 1903, it was removed.

  2. The results of yesterday’s vote in congress and failure to establish a commission only indicates the complete absence of the other party or the ability to do anything in this government. Biden and his administration must come out of whatever planet they are working from and start acting as if they know where reality is. This constant talk of bipartisan attempts on this bill or that makes them sound like the party that has lost it. They are also wasting time that maybe they do not have. The democratic party has always been good snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  3. The damn Republicans used the veto option to block an independent investigation of the Capitol invasion on January 6.

    It’s time to shitcan the filibuster once and for all. When has it ever done the public weal any good anyway? If you can’t get 10 Republicans to cross party lines to vote for an independent, bipartisan commission (one as to which Democrats had already acceded to all Republicans’ requests for completely equal representation) to investigate an attack on congress itself, you can’t get 10 Republicans to cross party lines for anything — not apple pie, not baseball, not motherhood.

    Mitch McConnell is a rotten sonuvabitch. He cares for nothing save maintaining his own iron grip on power, which means three things — servicing bill-dollar donors to keep the campaign cash flowing, keeping the pork pipeline pumping back to his old Kentucky home to solidify his voter base there, and (more than anything else) regaining control of the US senate for Republicans so he can be restored as majority leader. He whipped the votes of his caucus against the Jan. 6th commission (asking fellow Republican senators to vote against it as a “personal favor” to him) solely</b because he felt such a commission would hurt his chances of accomplishing that last goal, the best interests of the nation be damned.

  4. In what can only be described as a comedy of errors, an Argentinian TV news channel delivered a stunning, if slightly flawed, scoop on Thursday night when it reported that William Shakespeare, “one of the most important writers in the English language” had died five months after receiving the Covid vaccine.

    Just wait until some man-jack named Jorge Luis Borges croaks in the Argentine hinterlands. Anglophone newsreaders will get their chance to even the score then.

  5. The kola nut, from an evergreen tree (below) is no longer used in making any cola beverages …

    I hear they may’ve also found another use for the coca plant, too.

  6. I’m sorry, but it’s ridiculous to assert that the commission would have been objective. This wouldn’t be the Challenger Commission. The Democratic Party has to much at stake. Their statements about the January riot already show, not only that they’ve made their minds up, but that the are looking to put the most damaging possible interpretation on the event. Why on earth should the Republicans have agreed to that?

    1. Perhaps to show that they care about protecting our democracy as much as they claim? Or is the Republican Party not really supportive of our nation, it’s laws, and constitution as they say they are?

      1. Yes, the objections to the commission by Republicans are risible. They seem to forget that the composition of the commission and how it would work were agreed to by McCarthy’s appointee. The Democrats agreed to everything the Republicans wanted. It would have been thoroughly bipartisan. The commission would have been modeled on the 9/11 commission. What is the reason the vast majority of Republicans rejected it? The answer is simple: it angered Trump. As a radicalized party, the Republicans were afraid that the commission’s findings would have revealed Trump’s complicity as well as that of several Republican legislators in the January 6th insurrection. In addition, Republicans cannot dare to anger the cult. Until Trump leaves the scene, there will be no hope for the Republican Party to revert back to one that can operate in a democratic society. Even when Trump leaves, one cannot assume that the Republican Party will once again exhibit any traits of normality.

        The lawfare blog has posted a thorough summary of how the commission would have worked.

    2. Well, then, let’s just throw up our hands and do nothing.

      Perhaps both sides would not have been objective but these people were not going to be drawn from serving legislators but from people not currently directly involved in government. Even you note that it was a riot. Republicans want to just forget the whole thing. So now we’ll have to do it with some real attention grabbing congressional hearings that will probably make the Republicans look bad anyway. As they deserve.

      1. Something is being done. The prosecutors and the police and the courts are dealing with the rioters. Presumably if they uncover evidence of a conspiracy they will pursue that. What Congress would do is purely political, and, were the shoe on the other foot, I wouldn’t blame the Dems for doing the same thing. Indeed, they aren’t talking about a commission for the BLM riots last year, and I am not arguing they are hypocritical for that.

        1. Yeah, because street riots are as dangerous as a violent attack on the halls of government, right? Like your Challenger Commission example, it’s apples to oranges. Can you honestly not see the difference between looting stores and burning cars, as horrible an unacceptable as that is, is still nowhere near as serious as storming the Capitol, looting congressional computers and sensitive documents, and threatening to execute the Vice President and members of Congress! One can only assume that conservatives are quite comfortable with overthrowing our government and destroying our nation if they don’t get what they want. And why not, they tried it once before and still fly that flag.

          That American flag lapel pin won’t get you into heaven anymore.

        2. What Congress would do is purely political …

          Apparently you’re unclear on the concept of “independent bipartisan commission” — under the rules previously agreed to by Republican Representative John Katko and House Homeland Security chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) no congresspersons would be eligible to sit on the commission, solely an equal number of independent commissioners appointed by both Democrats and Republicans.

          Now that that effort has run up against a Republican filibuster in the senate, there WILL BE a political investigation, by a House special committee made up of a majority of Democrats and with a Democrat chairperson calling the shots — shades of the numerous Republican-led special committees that investigated “Benghazi.” (How many of THOSE were there? Takes at least two hands to count ’em.)

          The only advantage to proceeding in this manner for Republicans is that now their Cult Leader will be able to scream his favorite collocation in the English language: “WITCH HUNT!!!!!”

    3. New York congressman John Katko — House minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s designee to negotiate the composition of the Jan. 6th commission — got every last thing he asked Democrats for in terms of bipartisanship and equal representation and authority on the proposed commission.

      But, hey, why not stick your head in the sand instead and refuse to find out the circumstances that led to the Capitol riots and what exactly happened on that day? The ultimate Republican approach.

      As arch-conservative columnist George Will said last week, the Jan. 6th commission

      is controversial for one reason: we have something new in American history. That is a political party defined by the terror it feels for its own voters. That’s the Republican Party right now. Every elected official is frightened of his voters, therefore, doesn’t respect his voters, doesn’t like his voters, and is afraid that a vote for this [the commission] will be seen as an insult to the 45th president.

      If that’s not the definition of a party in thrall to a cult of personality, I don’t know what is.

    4. but that the are looking to put the most damaging possible interpretation on the event.

      There is an interpretation that doesn’t start at armed insurrection?

    5. Your assessment of the situation is completely ass-backwards (as if that’s a surprise). I wish Republicans like you would spend more time actually following what’s going on with an open mind instead of seeing everything through the lens of the victim and then spouting nonsense that flies in the face of logic and reason. And what Ken said.

  7. So the Green Revolution defused the Population Bomb. Great, but instead of mass famines overpopulation is giving us mass extinctions, mass habitat destruction, runaway climate change, and mass pollution of every environment found on earth. And look on the bright side, Ehrlich could still be correct. Water shortages, droughts, desertification, forest fires, political instability, how many legs cans we kick out from under the table before the whole thing collapses? We haven’t had another Ethiopian crises like during the 1980’s, or another Bangladesh or Cambodia in the 1979’s, but we have had plenty of issues in Sudan, North Korea, DRC, Yemen…I’m not ready to look on the bright side just yet.

    1. You’re right in places- we’re screwed by climate and we won’t fix it… but remember: There has NEVER been a famine in a functional representative democracy.
      Ethiopia 1980s was a DESIGNED famine by the communist Derg. In history famines were the luck of the draw, weather, etc. Cambodia (Democratic Kampuchea) ditto and Sudan.
      Since democracy famines have ONLY been seen in dictatorships.


      1. There’s never been a war between two functional representative democracies either.

        So we know the solution for two of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

  8. The Egyptian photos are not colorized. The color is “enhanced” but the photos were originally in color.

  9. This meme came from Divy, who found it on Facebook.
    [Jesus Fight Club]

    The first rule of Jesus Fight Club is …

  10. But why where only dinosaurian reptiles on the doomed ark? Why were the turtles and gators with the mammals?

    They were swimming in the sea along with the ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs and pliosaurs.
    Actually, why indeed did the Noachian flood so badly affect the marine fauna (and microflora)?
    Quite a sophisticated cannon there. The cartoonist has done war cartoons in the past, and it shows.

      1. Sorry, but little details (it’s always the details that burn the sphincter of God – if only he’d made a universe without details!) like the salt-secreting tear glands of turtles, so they can accommodate changes in their environmental salinity which piss in the cup of satisfaction of god-squaddies.
        Do you want me to add a monkey turd to your cup of certainty?

Leave a Reply