Sunday: Hili dialogue

June 6, 2021 • 6:30 am

It’s Sunday, June 6, 2021: National GingerBread Day (I love the cake, but why does it have two capital letters?). It’s also National Applesauce Cake Day, National Frozen Yogurt Day, National Hunger Awareness Day, National Cancer Survivors Day, National Huntington’s Disease Awareness Day, Drive-In Movie Day (do any of these places still exist? They would have been popular during the pandemic), and Atheist Pride Day

And, of course, it’s  D-Day Invasion Anniversary (see below).  In honor of the soldier who died during what I think is a just war, here’s the opening scene of “Saving Private Ryan”, showing the slaughter visited on American soldiers storming Omaha Beach. (From what I hear, this is pretty realistic.).  WARNING: Gore and death. 

News of the day:

The bad news first: a federal judge in California has overturned the states’s 30-year-old ban on assault weapons. From the WaPo’s article:

In a 94-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of California said that sections of the state ban in place since 1989 regarding military-style rifles violate the Second Amendment. Benitez characterized the assault weapons Californians are barred from using as not “bazookas, howitzers or machine guns” but rather “fairly ordinary, popular, modern rifles.”

The judge then compared an AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife.

“Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment,” Benitez said in the ruling.

In California, “assault rifles” are defined by their “code”. The AR-15, mentioned by the judge, is a semi-automatic weapon that has often been used in mass shootings. It baffles me that this gun would be seen as good for inself-defense (unless you’re attacked by an army), much less as something that the founders would regard as useful for “a well regulated militia”.

Swiss Army knife? What does that mean? The loons are out in force, including those who think that the Supreme Court or some other venue could actually enable Trump to re-assume the Presidency this August! Those who believe this nonsense apparently include Trump himself. Listen to Jim Acosta’s measured but scathing assessment at CNN (click on screenshot to go to the 6-minute video). One quote from Acosta: “You are not well, sir. You need to get over this.” I like his paraphrase of “Wasted away again in Margaritaville.”

My high school in Arlington, Virginia, Washington-Lee High (spawner of alumni like Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty) recently decided to change its name because Robert E. Lee was head of the Confederate Army. I didn’t weigh in, for I thought the name change was inevitable, but the loss of my alma mater “W and L,” as we called it, is a bit discomfiting. Now, however, Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia has decided not to change its name despite a lot of urging to do so. That surprises me, but the school is making changes to “separate itself from the Confederacy.”

The world’s oldest and longest-working disk jockey (DJ), Ray Cordeiro, has just retired at 96 after a 70-year career spinning records in Hong Kong (he’s of Portuguese descent). Among his honors are an MBE from Queen Elizabeth. Remember, 70 years ago was 1951, a few years before rock and roll got started, but during the years of Peggy Lee, Perry Como, and Dean Martin.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 596,967, an increase of 418 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,736,900, an increase of about 8,500 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened June 6 includes:

After a gun accident, St. Martin healed, but there was a connection between a hole in the skin and the stomach, leading Beaumont to study the digestion. Here’s a diagram of St. Martin’s fistula. The round thing is his nipple:

  • 1844 – The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in London.
  • 1889 – The Great Seattle Fire destroys all of downtown Seattle.

Here’s a Wikipedia photo of the fire labeled, “Looking south on 1st Ave. from Spring St. about one-half hour after the fire started.” It burned 25 city blocks, destroying all of downtown Seattle as well as the railroad station and much of the wharf district. 

Here’s the first drive-in in the year it opened. Pity they didn’t last, as they would have been useful during the pandemic:

  • 1942 – The United States Navy’s victory over the Imperial Japanese Navy at the Battle of Midway is a major turning point in the Pacific Theater of World War II. All four Japanese fleet carriers taking part—AkagiKagaSōryū and Hiryū—are sunk, as is the heavy cruiser Mikuma. The American carrier Yorktown and the destroyer Hammann are also sunk.
  • 1944 – Commencement of Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, with the execution of Operation Neptune—commonly referred to as D-Day—the largest seaborne invasion in history. Nearly 160,000 Allied troops cross the English Channel with about 5,000 landing and assault craft, 289 escort vessels, and 277 minesweepers participating. By the end of the day, the Allies have landed on four invasion beaches and are pushing inland.

A Wikipedia photo of the aftermath of the landing, with Allied troops having a foothold on the continent:

From Wikipedia; English: Landing ships putting cargo ashore on Omaha Beach, at low tide during the first days of the operation, mid-1944-06
  • 1985 – The grave of “Wolfgang Gerhard” is opened in Embu, Brazil; the exhumed remains are later proven to be those of Josef MengeleAuschwitz‘s “Angel of Death”; Mengele is thought to have drowned while swimming in February 1979.

The fact that Mengele escaped and died in Brazil (drowned while swimming) is proof that either there is no god, or the existing god is unjust.

Notables born on this day include:

Here is a Velásquez with a cat!: “The Spinners”, c. 1657.

  • 1875 – Thomas Mann, German author and critic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1955)
  • 1902 – Jimmie Lunceford, American saxophonist and bandleader (d. 1947)
  • 1918 – Edwin G. Krebs, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2009)
  • 1936 – Levi Stubbs, American soul singer; lead vocalist of the Four Tops (d. 2008)

Stubbs was of course the lead singer of The Four Tops, and here he is in Paris in 1967 singing my favorite of the group’s songs, “Ask the Lonely.” This is surely one of the best live soul performances of all time.

  • 1956 – Björn Borg, Swedish tennis player; winner of eleven Grand Slam singles titles including five consecutive Wimbledons

Those who “passed” (I hate that euphemism) on June 6 include:

  • 1799 – Patrick Henry, American lawyer and politician, 1st Governor of Virginia (b. 1736)
  • 1941 – Louis Chevrolet, Swiss-American race car driver and businessman, founded Chevrolet and Frontenac Motor Corporation (b. 1878)
  • 1961 – Carl Gustav Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist (b. 1875)

Here he is, presented against my will:

  • 1968 – Robert F. Kennedy, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 64th United States Attorney General (b. 1925)
  • 1991 – Stan Getz, American saxophonist and jazz innovator (b. 1927)

Here’s a great 33 minutes of Getz, one of my favorite saxophonists:

  • 2005 – Anne Bancroft, American film actress; winner of the 1963 Academy Award for Best Actress for The Miracle Worker (b. 1931)
  • 2006 – Billy Preston, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and actor (b. 1946)
  • 2013 – Esther Williams, American swimmer and actress (b. 1921)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is taking it slowly:

A: What are you doing?
Hili: I’m deliberating over my next step.
In Polish:
Ja: Co robisz?
Hili: Rozważam następny krok.

A photo of little Kulka by Paulina:

A “meme” (not so mimetic) from Bruce:

From Jesus of the Day, an accidentally salacious Pooh:

From Nicole. I don’t even need to be sleepy to act like this; extreme logorrhea in someone talking to me will do it:

Two tweets from Ginger K., the first on hijabis:

And the second on kitty behavior. I’d like to see David Attenborough narrating this one:

Tweets from Matthew. Look at this cool stegosaur graph (Matthew’s favorite extinct animal):

Oh dear; Richard has put his foot in it again:

Cathode the Adventure Cat! Be sure to watch this entire heartwarming video.

This is one of the most reprehensible people I’ve ever heard of.  The thread contains more horrors.

Q: What are you studying? A: How much and how often do sheep pee?

45 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. According to Bernard Docherty on Planet Rock’s Blues Power Sunday Brunch ( “The only cure for a Saturday night” ) those born on this day also include the guitarist Steve Vai.

  2. “In a 94-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of the Southern District of California said that sections of the state ban in place since 1989 regarding military-style rifles violate the Second Amendment. ”

    I believe the judge is correct and his ruling is based on sound reasoning and the relevant case law. That relevant law makes it abundantly clear that the 2nd Amendment protects the rights of individuals to own and use guns for their personal safety, and also delineates the characteristics of guns that make them worthy of 2nd Amendment protection. These characteristics include the popularity of the gun, and the usefulness of the gun for its intended purposes.

    The case law is what is important, not our personal philosophies about the 2nd Amendment, and the law has become pretty darned clear. The judge’s 94-page ruling discusses the relevant law in detail, and is worth a perusal.

    1. I like to imagine the modern pop music audience reaction to Ask The Lonely, and consider elements of it to reboot :

      – ewww! The sweat is GROSS!
      – what is on the floor that is so interesting?
      – this is too SLOWWWWW
      – why can’t he sing high notes?
      – why is he out of tune?
      – why does he make all these flowery sounds [ read : improvised melodic expression ]?
      – this song is so LOOOOONNNGGG
      – so he is talking about getting high, right? And sex?
      – [ at about 1:02 : big X ; finds less challenging material ]

      I offer some starters for a Four Tops reboot :

      The 4r T$ feat. Lee_Vai StUbZZ
      A$k Thee L0Hn-L33

      trim the tune to 1:59 and no flowery stuff.

      1. ^^^^^^this was meant – obviously – not as a reply to Roger Lambert – apologies.

        ….it would help if WordPress labeled replies as such, perhaps on some hardware/software combinations it gets lost.

    2. Your reasoning is all gas lighting. The case law is wrong and mostly overturned previous case law that had prevailed for many years. The guy who caused all of this is thankfully dead now. The idea that the gun characteristics makes it legal is exactly the characteristics that made it illegal. It is used to kill lots of people quickly and that is the true history of the gun. Making it a home protection device is a joke. Get a smoke detector if you want home protection.

      1. The case law is by definition “right”. And this case law has now been upheld many times – it is the exact opposite of “mostly overturned previous case law “. It is law that now has deep precedent.

        And it is not only right, it is eminently reasonable. The whole militia-only line of reasoning has been thoroughly analyzed by very reasonable case law and rejected. Multiple times.

        The idea that the founders thought that firearms were to be owned ONLY in the case of militia is, frankly, nowhere to be found. There has never been any such law contemplated, let alone enacted. And if one has read the foundational documents of our country’s Constitution the founder’s intentions on gun ownership is abundantly clear. Citizens have owned guns for their personal use for the entire history of our nation, and this has never been challenged.

        Again I would urge you to read the decision you reject.

            1. The ownership of the technological device known as a printing press is a guaranteed right in the Constitution?

              Or does tha mean – as I think is meant – a free _press_?

              That would be a distinction with a difference.

              1. I do not think the government could constitutionally ban ownership of printing presses. What do you think?

              2. What kind of printing press?

                If it regularly killed and maimed the people around it, why couldn’t a piece of technology be banned? Because a new technology that was safer with safer procedures is practically expected – to fulfill a printing press’ intended purpose of producing literature. Not killing and maiming things.

                There is a certain emphasis on remaining alive in the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, and “E pluribus unum” – not “out of many, only one still stands”.

        1. I know how to read the second amendment. It is too bad that you and the Supreme Court do not. And even in not understanding the amendment does not mean we cannot regulate guns. We regulate speech all the time. We should be regulating assault weapons and hand guns out of existence. There is nothing in the law that prevents this and you should know it. Hell, none of these guns existed when the amendment was created. They didn’t even have self firing bullets at that time. Just try reading some history instead of the right wing judges.

          1. So, you are right and all the state, Federal, and SC judges for the past 200 years are wrong?

            I would argue that rejecting reality and proposing the banning of constitutionally-protected firearms is about the surest possible way that has ever been devised to encourage the highest possible Republican turnout for elections. Me? I would like to defeat Republicans, not abet them.

          2. “We should be regulating assault weapons and hand guns out of existence. There is nothing in the law that prevents this and you should know it.”

            Good grief. That is *exactly* what can not be done Constitutionally. You are not thinking straight.

      1. The parsing of the 2nd Amendment, and whether it has only martial application; and whether the 2nd Amendment applies to individual citizens or to state’s rights has been debated in state, Federal, and Supreme Court case law for centuries. To be honest, the results have been pretty evenly divided until about the past 50 years and the law has now coalesced to the 2nd protecting individual non-martial ownership.

        That finding has now been stated explicitly in the past three SC cases (the relevant phrasing is included in the judge’s decision, above) and that is now the precedent. That is now the law of the land, whether we like it or not. And we are not done with this – I believe there is yet another case being pushed toward the SC about concealed carry permits being restricted which is likely to be decided.

        As always, the question is what laws can be passed that will (constitutionally) actually reduce our very real gun violence problem.

        1. Probably none. Just give up and accept Oscar Wilde’s judgement that the USA is the only country which went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.

      2. This is nothing new for Judge Benitez. In fact, he has sided with gun rights advocates so often that some activists believe such groups are deliberately steering their cases to him. He has repeatedly ruled against California’s gun laws, so much so that Fox News dubbed him a “Pro-Second Amendment Judge” in an October 2020 headline.

        Benitez overturned a law in California requiring background checks for anyone purchasing ammunition with a mammoth 120-page ruling in April of last year. “California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” he wrote.

        Benitez also struck down a California ban on high-capacity magazines in 2019. “California’s law prohibiting acquisition and possession of magazines able to hold any more than 10 rounds places a severe restriction on the core right of self-defense of the home such that it amounts to a destruction of the right and is unconstitutional…”

    3. It occurs to me that I need to buy a Swiss army knife. I better get to it before they become illegal.

      1. I used to have a very basic Swiss Army knife with scissors and nail file and maybe tiny tweezers, it was confiscated at the airport when I had only a carryon. Pissed me off.

    4. AR-15 style rifles are are very poor guns for home defence. It’s hard to manoeuvre them in an enclosed space, and if you fire one, it’s likely to go through the wall of your house, then through the wall of your neighbours house and so on until it hits something or somebody innocent.

      If you need an AR-15 (or any firearm) for personal safety, you need to move to a different neighbourhood.

      That said, you are right about the law which is why the second amendment needs to be repealed.

      1. “If you need an AR-15 (or any firearm) for personal safety, you need to move to a different neighbourhood.”

        Need is one thing.

        However, there _are_ neighborhoods in this world if the _want_ for such weapons is strong enough, and where the neighbors will welcome someone carrying an AR-15 – because they would be carrying them too.

        1. As I said, in that scenario, you need to move to a different neighbourhood. I’ve never lived anywhere where I thought my life would be safer if I had a firearm.

          1. I understood that.

            I was digging into the need v. want aspect – perhaps an individual does not _need_ an AR-15, but they “really really WANT” an AR-15. Well, I point out, we regularly see on TV “neighborhoods” where all the residents enjoy the comfort an AR-15 can give, strapped to one’s back. Perhaps, as with advertisements for retirement communities, those are the neighborhoods such people will be most comfortable…. Afghanistan. I’m talking about Afghanistan.

  3. There are two drive-ins left that I know of (confirmed by a quick net search) in the KC metro area; Boulevard Drive-In in KcK, and the Twin Drive-In in Independence. In an article I found from 2019, there were supposedly around 300 Drive-In theaters still in existence, at least one in each state. I don’t know if they survived the pandemic and I haven’t been to one in years. They are the most kid-friendly options, in my mind, although I don’t know if any of them still have playgrounds in front of the screen like they used to. My dad frequently took me when I was a little dude back in the early 1980’s. Throw a mattress in the back of the pick-up, grab a pizza from Minsky’s, a grocery bag of popcorn made at home, and a mix of Shasta soda pop (at least one of which I would spill on the mattress) and a full night of fun was at hand. I can still remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back at a drive-in, and Cujo, later films like Jurassic Park, Unforgiven, and a whole bunch of trash sci-fi, horror, and action flicks. Good times.

  4. While I object to public monuments to the Confederacy (a monument to Lee’s role in the conquest of Mexico would be fine), I wonder when people will realize that these little shows of wokeness won’t win them any points come the revolution. Since whiteness itself is the problem, it doesn’t matter what you call a school founded, run, and primarily attended by white people. Logically, the arguments for CRT rule out reformism as meaningless, so why bother?

    1. How about his role in the conquest of John Brown? Or the conquest in all the slaves he owned.

  5. I remember making out at the local drive-in during Franco Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet.” The fogged up windows in the lot was a giveaway to the activity inside the cars. Well known among teens at the time.

    1. There were even drive-in movies and stand-up comedy gigs in the UK, because of Covid-19 restrictions – not something we had here before to the best of my knowledge. Given that car horn beeps replaced applause at the comedy gigs I’m not sure how hecklers were responding!

  6. As a follow-up to Acosta’s assessment of Trump, here’s one from Andrew Sullivan in his latest post on Substack: “Longtime readers will know I have a reasonably simple understanding of Donald J. Trump: he is mentally ill. I’m not supposed to say this, because I’m not a trained psychiatrist. But as I noted in my first column for New York Magazine, if you met such a person in real life, and he kept spouting these complete and obvious lies, you’d realize pretty quickly he was a loony and inch slowly out of the room.”

    1. Sullivan should perhaps be asked whether he regards whatever form of mental illness Trump supposedly has can be used to legally or morally excuse him for his performance of mass murder.
      The man is evil personified.

      1. After reading Jimmy Breslin and David Cay Johnston on Trump, I cannot, nor do I believe can anyone who has read these reporters, escape the notion that Trump is a long-standing criminal who has avoided jail because of his money and connections. If he is insane, he is criminally insane and for the sake of society needs to be penalized. You’ve got me thinking about what “evil personified” might mean. Is evil extreme mental illness? If so, that would make goodness a high level of mental wellness. In this connection I’m thinking of the book Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, by Robert Hare.

        1. As a vociferous opponent of capital punishment, I would be in a difficult situation if in 1945 I was expected to decide whether to execute Adolf Hitler or to risk the distinct possibility that he would run free some day and do great harm again.

          I have serious doubts about the claims of most psychiatrists to be able to say accurately whether a person is suffering from a mental illness–of course the Freudians are ‘fraudians’ unless stupidly naive, but the rest mostly know much less than many of them claim to know as well. Certainly some drug ‘cures’ are very effective.

          Back to Sullivan—a person who non-stop lies seems not all that likely to me to be suffering from a mental disease. Many liars seem to get a long ways in the material aspects of the world.

  7. “Here’s the first drive-in in the year it opened. Pity they didn’t last, as they would have been useful during the pandemic”

    In Toronto Drive In Movie theaters popped up everywhere during the pandemic. They were everywhere from new drive ins built along the lakeshore, to pop ups at shopping mall parking lots.
    It was the main way people were getting out to see movies. I thought that was actually also happening in the USA.

    I love drive in movie theaters, the vibe, the experience (even if the picture/sound quality took a hit).
    When my kids were young I bemoaned the fact Drive Ins had mostly gone extinct, and since I was in downtown Toronto any existing ones were well outside the city. To my utter surprise a drive in movie theater opened up only a few minutes drive from out house, at the waterfront! I was overjoyed and took my sons to movies there for the 20 years it was open. It closed in 2018, I’m bummed to say.

  8. There were five beaches on D-Day: Utah (American), Omaha (American), Gold (British), Juno (Canadian), and Sword (British). The two American beaches were separated from one another and from the British/Canadian beaches; Gold, Juno, and Sword were all contiguous with one another. The designation of beaches referred more to the organization of the invasion than to separate stretches of sand, although the latter influenced the plan of attack and organization. In addition to the amphibious landings, two American and one British airborne division landed by glider and parachute on the flanks of the amphibious invasion. Other Allied nations participated in smaller numbers (e.g., Free French naval commandos landed at Sword with the British).


    1. The recreation of Omaha beach in Saving Private Ryan is extremely realistic – even down to the “soldiers” throwing up. The weather on D Day was marginal at best and it was pretty rough when the landings occurred – swamping a lot of the swimming DD tanks that were launched far too far out. Utah beach had minimal casualties. The story at Omaha was, of course, very different.

  9. … 70 years ago was 1951, a few years before rock and roll got started, but during the years of Peggy Lee, Perry Como, and Dean Martin.

    Hell, that’s when Mitch Miller was head of A&R at Columbia Records, releasing novelty tunes like “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window,” and even Sinatra was in a slump, not cutting sides.

    Overall, a lousy time for American popular music.

  10. Here’s the first drive-in in the year it opened. Pity they didn’t last …

    Where many of us d’un certain âge got our first hickeys.

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