Saturday: Hili dialogue

June 5, 2021 • 6:30 am

It’s the Sabbath for cats: Saturday, June 5, 2021:  National Ketchup (or Catsup) Day. Remember when the Reagan administration counted ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches? It’s also National Pineapple Day, Sausage Roll Day, National Bubbly Day, honoring champagne and its relatives, National Gingerbread Day, National Veggie Burger Day, and National Black Bear Day,

Finally, it’s World Day Against Speciesism and World Environment Day.

As for wine, I finished the bottle of Austin Hope 2015 Paso Robles Cabernet I described yesterday, and it was even better than before. It remains the best California cab I’ve ever had, though a friend I told about it says that the price is at least $70 a bottle in California, and then only at auction. I have no more and it’s off the shelves, so I consider myself lucky.

News of the Day:

Facebook has cut down the indefinite ban it gave Donald Trump after the January Capitol siege. Now he can post again, but not for two years, which puts his reappearance after the midterm elections. He’s fulminating, of course, but does anyone share my feeling that even though the GOP is centered on him, he’s becoming increasingly marginal?

Did you know that seven states still legally ban atheists from holding public office? A piece in The Conversation gives details. Such bans are clearly unconstitutional and never, as far as I know, enforced, but someone should institute a court case. The problem is that unless you’ve been banned from holding office because you don’t believe in God, you have no standing to bring a lawsuit. But, like blasphemy laws and statues of Jefferson Davis, they are invidious anachronisms that need to be expunged.

The government-produced report on UFOs is now out, and the results are more or less as expected. As NBC News reports:

A highly anticipated government report sheds little light on the mystery, finding no evidence of extraterrestrial activity but not ruling it out either, according to two U.S. officials.

The report also does not rule out the possibility that the flying objects seen by U.S. military planes are highly advanced aircraft developed by other nations, the officials said. Further deepening the mystery, the report says the objects also do not appear to be evidence of secret U.S. technology but it doesn’t definitively rule that out either.

In other words, we don’t know much more than we did before

Sadly, the Secretary of the Atheists Society in Kenya has resigned, and for an odd reason. Here’s the announcement as sent to me by Barry (click to enlarge):

Poor AOC! Her abuela’s (grandmother’s) home in Puerto Rico was damaged by the recent hurricane, and she blames Trump for not giving enough aid to the U.S. territory. Apparently AOC, who can’t be that poor, can’t afford to help her granny, so Matt Walsh set up a GoFundMe campaign that has raised over $55,000! Even Ben Shapiro kicked in, donating the amount that AOC spends monthly on her Tesla lease. See below.

It will be amusing (and somewhat nice, if ironic) if AOC’s grandma’s home was saved by the conservatives she despises. Will AOC have a comment? (h/t: Luana).

California has passed a new mask mandate that make keep workers masked in the workplace into 2022. It all depends on the vaccination status of your coworkers:

The new rules require employees, even those who have been vaccinated, to continue wearing masks indoors if they are around other workers who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. If everyone is vaccinated, the masks can come off. The mandate drew ire from employers worried about having to police their workers’ vaccination status and from employees sick of wearing masks — even as other workers applauded the rules or said they don’t go far enough to protect their safety.

It seems to me that they should be able to create laws making vaccination mandatory if you’re going to a workplace with people, barring any conditions you have that militate against vaccination. Those who are voluntarily unvaccinated should not force everyone to wear masks, especially since the risk of being an asymptomatic carrier, if you’re vaccinated, is miniscule.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 596,483, an increase of 414 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,728,471, an increase of about 10,700 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on June 5 includes:

A first edition of this fabled abolitionist book will run you about $15,000:

Here’s a lovely poster advertising the train that rain from Paris to Istanbul:

  • 1893 – The trial of Lizzie Borden for the murder of her father and step-mother begins in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Lizzie was acquitted by this jury:

  • 1916 – Louis Brandeis is sworn in as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court; he is the first American Jew to hold such a position.
  • 1916 – World War I: The Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire breaks out.
  • 1944 – World War II: More than 1,000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.

D-Day, as you may recall, is tomorrow. I don’t think the bombing made the Germans realize that the invasion was imminent.

  • 1956 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, “Hound Dog“, on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.

Here’s that performance. I doubt that the hip movements would be considered salacious today.

  • 1967 – The Six-Day War begins: Israel launches surprise strikes against Egyptian air-fields in response to the mobilisation of Egyptian forces on the Israeli border.
  • 1968 – Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan.

  • 1975 – The United Kingdom holds its first country-wide referendum on membership of the European Economic Community (EEC).
  • 1984 – Operation Blue Star: Under orders from India’s prime minister, Indira Gandhi, the Indian Army begins an invasion of the Golden Temple, the holiest site of the Sikh religion.

This of course eventually led to Gandhi’s assassination by her Sikh bodyguards.

We still don’t know who he was:

  • 1995 – The Bose–Einstein condensate is first created.

Notables born on this day include:

Garrett was famous for killing the outlaw Billy the Kid in 1881. Here’s Garrett:

  • 1883 – John Maynard Keynes, English economist, philosopher, and academic (d. 1946)
  • 1932 – Christy Brown, Irish painter and author (d. 1981)

Brown, who had cerebral palsy, wrote his autobiography, My Left Foot, made into a well known movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis. Here’s a photo of Brown and one of his paintings (made with his left foot):

  • 1934 – Bill Moyers, American journalist, 13th White House Press Secretary

Those who snuffed it on June 5 include:

  • 1900 – Stephen Crane, American poet, novelist, and short story writer (b. 1871)

Here’s Crane, who died at only 28 of tuberculosis:

  • 1910 – O. Henry, American short story writer (b. 1862)

His real name was William Sydney Porter, and he died at 47 from too much booze and diabetes (what works we would have had all the boozing authors laid off the sauce!). Here he is as a young man in Texas:

  • 2002 – Dee Dee Ramone, American singer-songwriter and bass player (b. 1951)
  • 2012 – Ray Bradbury, American science fiction writer and screenwriter (b. 1920)
  • 2018 – Kate Spade, American fashion designer (b. 1962)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Paulina wants a word with Hili. Malgozata explains Hili’s “relative” response: “If Paulina is asking because she wants to give Hili a treat, Hili has plenty of time. If Paulina is asking because she has a chore for Hili to do, Hili doesn’t have a moment to spare.”

Paulina: Do you have a moment?
Hili: It depends on what for, everything is relative.
(Photo: Paulina R.)
In Polish:
Paulina: Masz chwilkę czasu?
Hili: Zależy na co, wszystko jest względne.

And here’s Szaron (photo by Paulina):

From Bruce, a meme for New Age children:

From Nicole:

From Jesus of the Day:

Speaking of AOC, here’s some performative lip service from her, though she wants the state of Israel to be abolished:

From Ginger K.: the scientific method:

Also from Ginger K., a persistent kitten. How can you not love her?

Tweets from Matthew. He keeps sending me tranquility videos, so either he’s anxious or, more likely, knows that I am:

A phascogale! What is it? See here; they’re also called “wambengers” or “mousesacks”!

Okay, why did this guy do it in the first place?

Matthew has plenty of experience with three plumpish cats:

A someone old and snarky tweet:



35 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. Trump is not becoming increasingly marginal. Trump and Trumpism are the party now. Every election where a Republican does not win is a result of voter fraud. His talk of being reinstalled is setting the stage to further damage the USA, just like his talk about voter fraud set the stage to stir up his rabble for the insurrection last January. Raise the hopes of gullible and intentionally ignorant people, and when those hopes are not realized, channel their emotions into rage and direct action. The wheels for Insurrection II are in motion.

    1. The people of the US are like the swimmers in Jaws. We don’t see the shark at the moment but that doesn’t mean he isn’t there and it certainly doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous. Instead of letting our guard down, we need to get a bigger boat. Trumpism is alive and well, at least in the waters I inhabit.

    2. My two friends, educated women that I worked with, have bought the whole ‘trump-was-robbed” *and* that there wasn’t really an armed insurrection. Or, it was anyone other than trump supporters. They aren’t gullible, so I don’t know why they’d buy into this absolute re-writing of history.

  2. Yes, the GOP has devolved into Trump-osculation. But I still think his influence is waning, if for no other reason than he’s lost two of his platforms this week. I am not as pessimistic as you are.

  3. “Apparently AOC, who can’t be that poor…”

    This is kind of snarky, Jerry. She worked as a waitress and bartender before being elected to office. These jobs are not sources of great wealth.

    1. Her tweets on this subject also included:

      “And for the record – my abuela is doing okay. It’s not about us, but about what’s happening to Puerto Rican’s across the island.

      She had a place to go to and be cared for – what about the thousands of people who don’t?”

      1. Thank you James and John. I think this is a bit of a nasty attack on AOC, distracting from the real problems in Puerto Rico.
        But notice the hat tip.
        It’s quite surprising how good some right wing trolls are at getting people to repeat their talking points.

        1. The solution is for Puerto Rico (and the District of Columbia) to be granted statehood.

          The GOP has ceased to function as a recognizable political party; it’s become a conglomeration of internet trolls and their followers.

          1. You are totally right. Can you imagine how much better the response would have been if there were 2 senate seats up for grabs?
            But it’s easier and more fun for the trolls promulgate these sort of stories in order to dodge the real issue she was discussing.

    2. I don’t see how her earnings prior to being elected matter today. She is clearly not hurting for cash now that she’s riding the congressional gravy train. I also don’t quite get why the Tesla lease amount is significant, does she drive one? And finally, considering her views against police, Israel, and in favor for all things woke, I won’t shed a single tear for her being attacked by the right wing butters. If she’s gonna dish it out she better take it.
      What I am concerned about is that this money raised by the nutters actually does go to Puerto Rico. Somebody better watch those bastards like a hawk.

    3. That was before she was elected. And “snarky” comes close to a Roolz violation; it was intended to be satirical and it’s well known around her that I don’t like her. For one thing, she’s a dissimulating anti-Semite along with the other members of the “squad.”

  4. The Allies were very careful that pre-invasion bombing didn’t tip off the Germans. The Germans knew in a general way that there would be an invasion, but not when or where exactly. Many Germans, including Hitler, believed the invasion would come at the Pas-de-Calais, which is the point of France closest to England. The Allies practiced a number of deceptions to keep them thinking that (Churchill’s famed “bodyguard of lies”), and, as part of the pre-invasion bombing, bombed targets in that region twice as often as those in Normandy. Not many books deal specifically with the naval aspects of the invasion, but there are two good ones Yung’s Gators of Neptune and Simmons’s Neptune (Neptune being the code name for the naval invasion), one of which (sorry can’t remember) points out that it was typical that the German’s would think the invasion would be from the closest point, when, in fact, the invasion force was so large it needed a half-dozen ports stretching all the way to Cornwall, so Dover wasn’t actually that convenient.

  5. The kittens in the shoes are lovely. They remind me of my beloved, long since departed cat Jennifer who liked to sit with her left front paw in my left shoe and the right in the right shoe. She would sit like that for half an hour or more and looked quite proud of herself.

  6. It remains the best California cab I’ve ever had …

    As The Stones said on the best track of their best album — track one, side two of the double album recorded in the south of France where they put away childish things and got down to their blues roots: Exile on Main Street — “Thank you for your wine California/Thank you for your sweet and bitter fruit.”

    I named my favorite fishing boat for that song (although don’t tell my mother-in-law; she thought for sure that boat was name after her), and a fella can’t love a tune more than that.

    Got to scrape that shit right off your shoes.

    1. Totally agree! Love that song!

      FWIW, you can visit the Austin Hope winery. It appears that the 2018 Cab is available there, but at a hefty $125 price tag. I see where this winery is aligned with Treana, another good label. Anyway, Paso Robles is a great wine area, with no shortage of great wineries to visit.

  7. “He’s fulminating, of course, but does anyone share my feeling that even though the GOP is centered on him, he’s becoming increasingly marginal?”

    It may feel that way but, in fact, his voters are increasingly buying into the Big Lie and anti-Trump GOP politicians have made zero headway against him. Instead, those that have had anti-Trump sentiments in the past, like Mitch McConnell, have put them in the rearview mirror “for the good of the party”.

    Although the news doesn’t carry Trump’s messages as much as before, the rot he introduced has taken hold in a somewhat permanent way. His followers are encouraged by pundits and pollsters saying that the GOP stands to regain the House and perhaps the Senate in 2022. They are also heartened by all the anti-voting legislation in swing states. Dems don’t really have a good way to prevent this legislation from becoming law because SCOTUS has affirmed that states have the rights to run elections however they see fit.

    Things are bad.

    1. Things are bad, I agree, and the “democratic” Senators Manchin and Sinema seem hell-bent on nullifying any positive legislation the Dems put forth. What’s their angle? I guess they consider the filibuster more important than our democracy and their statements about said filibuster reveal that they’re clueless as to the history of the filibuster and the GOP’s abuses of the anachronistic rule.

      1. I understand some fear abandoning the filibuster. It was done for the appointment of SC Justoces, and where did that get us? Abandoning the filibuster is a two edged, dangerous sword.
        I propose to reduce the filibuster to it’s original: let them take the stand and talk. No pee pauses.

      2. I think Manchin and Sinema are in largely Republican districts and are trying to stay in office. An article I read claimed that Manchin was the only possible Democrat that could have gotten elected there. Sinema might get primaried the next time she’s up for reelection. The same article suggested she was a self-styled maverick who simply uses controversy to stay in the limelight.

  8. 1916 – Louis Brandeis is sworn in as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court; he is the first American Jew to hold such a position.

    Besides all his other accomplishments, Louis Brandeis was a nationally famous public-interest attorney before taking his seat on SCOTUS, known as “The People’s Lawyer.” He was also the eponym for the so-called “Brandeis brief” — an appellate brief incorporating the work of social scientists and other expert witnesses. Probably the epitome of such Brandeis briefs was the one submitted, years after Brandeis himself had passed from the scene, on behalf of the plaintiffs in the landmark school-desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education, employing the work of the husband-and-wife psychologist team Kenneth and Mamie Clark.

  9. … what works we would have had all the boozing authors laid off the sauce!

    Seems to be an occupational hazard — writing is the curse of the drinking class.

    1. Yes,my own thought was “What works would we not have had if those authors had always been teetotal? “

        1. I had to read Jez’s comment several times before I twigged that he was not using “works” as a verb🙀

  10. “There is no place for anti-Semitism in the movement for Palestinian liberation”, come on AOC we love you, but that statement is like saying there is no place for paranoia in the madhouse.

  11. I’m surprised Christy Brown left the living in 1981. I heard about him in the eighties with no mention of his death at 49.
    I note that our host is giving the age at death more often than before, for completeness:
    Pat Garreth: 58
    John Maynard Keynes: 63
    Christy Brown: 49
    Stephen Crane: 28 (as mentioned)
    O.Henry (Porter): 48 (as mentioned)
    Dee Dee Ramone: 51
    Ray Bradbury: 92 (I thought he was immortal)
    Kate Spade: 56
    Except for Bradbury all of them died young. (note, there maybe a difference of one year, since I didn’t check the exact dates of birth and deaths).
    When Achilles was put before the choice of a long but fameless life, or a short and famous one he chose the latter.

    1. As Roy the replicant is told in Blade Runner:

      The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. And you have burned so very, very brightly.

      Three millennia later, we still remember the fictional Achilles – though “Live fast, die young” is no guarantee of fame, of course!

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