Sunday: Hili dialogue

May 30, 2021 • 6:30 am

We’re nearly at month’s end: it’s Sunday, May 30, 2021: National Mint Julep Day.  Wouldn’t one of these taste good right now—or at leastlater in the day? (Especially when made with one of my favorite bourbons, shown in the background.)

It’s also Indianapolis 500 Day, though the race will actually be run tomorrow), World MS Day, Water a Flower Day, and Neighbor Day (won’t you be my neighbor?) By the way, the 2018 documentary about Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is an excellent movie and well worth seeing. Check out the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s the trailer:

News of the Day:

I can’t believe that the biggest item on the NBC News last evening was the death of Gavin MacLeod at 90.  MacLeod played Captain Merrill Stubing  of “The Love Boat”—of television’s ghastlier shows, God’s waiting room for D-list stars. He also played part of the news team in a much better show, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Still. . . . slow news day.

As a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, I thought that CO status (formally I-O) no longer applied these days, since one sought that status when there was government conscription. And the draft is gone.  But one can still become a conscientious objector if you’re contracted for military service, as the New York Times reports with respect to a Marine pilot who decided he was a CO. And the difficulty of getting that status is about the same as it was in my day. If you are granted I-O status because you have a sincere objection to killing, you’re allowed to leave the military.

Matthew is bummed out because his favorite team, Manchester City, lost the Champions League title yesterday by a score of 1-0, with Chelsea getting the single goal. You may tender your sympathies to Dr. Cobb in the comments below.

Can employers require that their employees be vaccinated against COVID? My gut reaction is “yes, they should be able to, as a means of ensuring that the workplace stay healthy.” After all, public school children must be vaccinated against several diseases to go into the classroom (there are exceptions for children with, get this, “religious objections”). Yet 117 employees of a Houston hospital have sued their employer, objecting to its mandatory-vaccination requirement. However, the grounds for the suit sound wonky:

The complaint, filed in state court, says Houston Methodist’s vaccine mandate violates a set of medical ethics standards known as the Nuremberg Code, which was designed to prevent experimentation on human subjects without consent. The code was created after World War II in response to the medical atrocities Nazis committed against prisoners in concentration camps.

“Methodist Hospital is forcing its employees to be human ‘guinea pigs’ as a condition for continued employment,” the complaint states. It adds that the mandate “requires the employee to subject themselves to medical experimentation as a prerequisite to feeding their families.” Elsewhere, it falsely characterizes the coronavirus vaccines as an “experimental COVID-19 mRNA gene modification injection.”

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 593,920, an increase of 457 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,549,576, an increase of about 10,900 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on May 30 includes:

  • AD 70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem. Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall. The Romans build a circumvallation, cutting down all trees within fifteen kilometres.
  • 1431 – Hundred Years’ War: In Rouen, France, the 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. The Roman Catholic Church remembers this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.
  • 1588 – The last ship of the Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.

That must have been something to see: 130 ships sailed from Spain; a third failed to return.  Here’s one painting of the battle (artist not given)::

  • 1842 – John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria as she drives down Constitution Hill in London with Prince Albert.

Victoria was assaulted four times with intent to murder her, but escaped every time.

Here’s Hart’s mugshot at the Yuma Territorial Prison, where she served three years:

Here’s Harroun’s Marmon Wasp, which won the race with an average speed of about 75 miles per hour. It’s preserved in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

After the war, Mengele lived in Brazil, successfully hiding until 1979, when he died of a stroke. Here’s a selection of HungarianJews at Auschwitz/Birkenau in 1944, selections that he supervised. The losers, of course, were immediately gassed. The survivors died more slowly

  • 1958 – Memorial Day: The remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, are buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
  • 1972 – In Ben Gurion Airport (at the time: Lod Airport), Israel, members of the Japanese Red Army carry out the Lod Airport massacre, killing 24 people and injuring 78 others.
  • 2012 – Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War.

Taylor (below) was convicted of 11 war crimes, including rape and sexual slavery. He’s serving a life sentence in Durham, England:

  • 2020 – The Crew Dragon Demo-2 launches from the Kennedy Space Center, becoming the first crewed orbital spacecraft to launch from the United States since 2011.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1909 – Benny Goodman, American clarinet player, songwriter, and bandleader (d. 1986)

Here’s Goodman doing his famous “Sing, Sing, Sing” with his band in 1937 (from the film “Hollywood Hotel”. Gene Krupa’s on the drums. (This is only a small part of the song.):

  • 1912 – Julius Axelrod, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2004)
  • 1964 – Wynonna Judd, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress

Those who donned their halos on May 30 include:

  • 1431 – Joan of Arc, French martyr and saint (b. 1412)
  • 1911 – Milton Bradley, American businessman, founded the Milton Bradley Company (b. 1836)
  • 1960 – Boris Pasternak, Russian poet, novelist, and literary translator, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1890)
  • 2000 – Tex Beneke, American saxophonist and bandleader (b. 1914)

Beneke, who played sax in Glenn Miller’s band, performs his most famous song, “Chattanooga Choo Choo” in the movie “Sun Valley Seranade” (1941). Look at that geeky outfit! There’s a cameo here by Milton Berle.

  • 2015 – Beau Biden, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 44th Attorney General of Delaware (b. 1969)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili hustles to her victuals (she’s fed by both Paulina and Malgorzata, which accounts for her widening girth):

Paulina: The meal is served.
Hili: I’m running.
(Photo: Paulina R.)
In Polish:
Paulina: Podano do stołu.
Hili: Już biegnę.

From Facebook, an oldie but a goodie:

From Meanwhile in Canada, via Reese:

From Facebook; you’ll have to be of a certain age to get it:

A reader sent me this chart from reddit that surprised me, though I’m not quite sure why. It compares the salaries of elementary school teachers and cops in various U.S. states.

Time to revisit My Stealthy Freedom to see real misogyny in action—in Iran, where women are forbidden to sing. This is what happened to one who did:


Tweets from Matthew: This is a spider (count the legs) that imitates an ant. Note the fake “eyes” and the white patch that makes the spider look as if it had a separate head and thorax (spiders don’t: they have a fused “cephalothorax”).

A tweet from Matthew himself. I would have thought he would have bought himself a stegosaur:

The sound of a galaxy:

Angry lamp burns the grass:

A comic from 115 years ago, and one of my favorite strips of all time (and one of Matthew’s): Little Nemo in Slumberland by Winsor McKay.

This is absolutely adorable!

And a bodega cat. I’d totally take that shopping basket!

30 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. …though the race actually will be run tomorrow… Correction: I think the Indianapolis 500 race is today, starting at 1230 eastern time followed later by the Coca Cola 600 stock car race tonight. Several drivers over the years have competed in both races, jetting from Indy to Charlotte immediately following the 500.

    1. Correct, the race around the circle will be on NBC at 11:30 Chicago time.
      Not really with that designation as CO for the marine pilot. He joined up and got tons of money spent on him to make him a pilot. If he is then allowed to walk away he should at least be repaying the money the tax payers spent on him. His designation is more like fraud.

  2. Surely with the unknown soldiers they could try to get DNA & see if they could become known?

    Is DNA routinely taken by military ?

      1. True but feed it into a database like AncestryDNA and see what happens. If a family member has done one of those tests as well, then you get a match or at least a suggested relationship that gives you a lead. That’s how my great aunt found our family. We didn’t even know she existed.

      2. Probably not. Even for a run-of-the mill bloodbath, you’re only going to have a relatively small number of missing-in-this-action candidates. A Sherlockian “eliminate the impossible” is entirely feasible.
        Would that be necessary? Well, an awful lot of people in the last century lied about their identity to get three square a day … I expect the military’s body ID department does this on a daily or weekly basis.

        Also, not everybody (every body, even) has relatives, so the ID specialists are going to have to have procedure for that case regardless.

    1. That’s not the point. If they ever identified any of the unknown soldiers, they’d have to give the remains back to the family and the soldier would no longer represent the unidentified dead of whatever war.

      According to Wikipedia, this has happened once, with the Unknown from Vietnam.

  3. “Can employers require that their employees be vaccinated against COVID? ” – My understanding is that some NHS trusts in the UK insist that surgeons and others at risk of contaminated blood infections are vaccinated for Hepatitis B as a condition of employment, but that this has not been contested in the courts and so the legality or otherwise is not established.

    1. My guess in this country would be – get vaccinated or look for another job. And religion should have nothing to do with it.

      1. “religion should have nothing to do with it.” In a sane universe, one would hope so.
        This is not a sane universe. You can tell by the existence of religions.

  4. Texas has “at-will employment” laws. Unless prevented by statute or by contract, an employer can fire an employee at any time and for any reason without having to provide any justification. Likewise, an employee can quit for any reason unless prevented by the same mechanisms. The hospital can and should fire the staffers unless prevented by law or by employment contracts.

  5. Woodford Reserve, yes indeed–goes so well late in the evening with Raymond Chandler.

    1. United losing was likely good news for Matthew as he is likely infected with the cross town rivalry.
      Having said that as a Villa fan I have little sympathy for Citeh, and not much for Chelsea either. Bearing in mind the shenanigans the two teams displayed a couple of months ago.

      1. Chelsea v Man City: two clubs owned by foreigners, managed by foreigners, and largely featuring foreign players. I guess you have to be a die-hard, from-the-cradle fan of either side not to find that pretty off-putting. Not that I’m prejudiced, of course….

    2. I see you don’t understand how English football support works. If you’re a committed City supporter, in theory, the absolute worst thing that can happen (apart from City losing) is Man United winning.

      I wouldn’t go as far as rom does in suggesting Man U’s loss was good news for Matthew, but, given the result against Chelsea, he is probably relieved that Man U also lost.

      1. In Sept. 1963. I moved to Manchester for grad studies, spent 3 years, went to many games at Old Trafford, all but one that 1st season (cost then: 37 cents CDN after conversion of ‘3 and 6’; now maybe $100 if you’re lucky), and became a United fan. I was still naive about that business of hating the other team from the city you live in, there and many places, Liverpool, London, Glasgow, …

        Where I learned it was on the rail platform at Bolton, just after a United game, only away game we went to. Suddenly a big cheer went up from the crowd of United fans. “What’s that for?” My friend Paul, a Wolves fan from Wolsall, said “Oh, they just heard on the radio that Man City lost.” Not even in the same league that year, IIRC !

  6. That fox video was wonderful. The kits look so healthy and frisky, and I love how the mother just calmly watches them bouncing around. Thank you.

  7. I think you made a very minor (and common) error, but I may be wrong. Isn’t it just the “Tomb of the Unknown” rather than “Unknown Soldier”? I’ve noticed sailors and Marines sometimes bristle at being called “soldiers.”

  8. Louis Prima wrote Sing, Sing, Sing. It has become the signature song of the Kyoto Tachibana Senior High School Band. The band is a bit of a YouTube sensation. It is actually co-ed, but like most of these Japanese high school bands, they are 90% plus female. Take a look at the Orange Devils in action:

  9. One day Roy Rogers went into town to buy a new pair of boots from his favorite boot maker.
    On the way back to the ranch a heavy storm came up and thoroughly soaked his clothes.
    Back at the ranch he left his boots outside overnight. Sometime late a mountain lion was roaming around and pounced on the boots and destroyed them. The next day Roy and Dale were riding around the ranch looking at the damage. All of a sudden Dale spotted the mountain lion on a cliff.
    She turned to Roy and said: “Pardon me Roy, is that the cat that chewed your new shoes ?”

  10. Tex Beneke, Look at that geeky outfit!

    Would it be politically incorrect to presume to congenially inquire, with a bit of fear and trembling, whether the fashions of the past, like morality, should be judged by the standards of the present?

    1. I thought the story about fashion was that it always comes back around. So you’ve got multiple “present” day standards to judge anything by.

Leave a Reply