Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

July 3, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Saturday, July 3, 2021: Sabbath for Jewish cats and National Chocolate Wafer Day (a KitKat is one example).

It’s also National Eat Beans Day, International Cherry Pit Spitting Day (the world record is 28.51 meters or 93 feet, 6 inches!), National Fried Clam Day, and American Redneck Day. And, according to Wikipedia, it’s “The start of the Dog Days according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac but not according to established meaning in most European cultures.”

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) honors the life and work of neurologist Ludwig Guttmann, born on this day in 1899 (died 1980), who pioneered sports activities for people with disabilities by founding the Stoke Mandeville Games. These evolved into the Paralympics.

Wine of the Day: This Jermann Tuninia from 2015 is an unusual Italian white wine, made from a mixture of grapes: Friulano, Picolit, Ribolla, and Malvasia. I’ve heard of only the last one. But the reviews, all emphasizing its mixture of fruity flavors, made me choose it to accompany my go-to simple meal: black beans and rice with sauteed onions and a bit of thick Greek yogurt mixed in for creaminess.  (I could have chosen a German Riesling Spätlese, but that may have been too sweet.) You don’t want a bone-dry Chardonnay for a dish like that.

It was an estimable wine, laden with fruit and not resembling any white I’ve ever had. Full-bodied, a tad off-dry, and redolent with melon and pear flavors (I have trouble detecting other fruits in wines), it was a good accompaniment for my abstemious but healthy meal.  It was not over the hill by any means. I paid thirty bucks for it, and it goes for about twice that now. Would I pay that much again? Yes, I suppose, for the experience of such an unusual wine, but this will not be a regular in my lineup as the price/value ratio is too high.

News of the Day:

After nearly twenty years, the U.S. is pulling its troops out of Afghanistan, leaving Bagram Air Base just yesterday. By September 11, according to Biden, we will be gone. And what will happen is inevitable: the Taliban will take over, and the freedoms that everyone (but especially woman and girls) have enjoyed will disappear. Will Leftists now beef that Afghanistan is an “apartheid state” when women are no longer allowed to go to school and must wear burqas? Don’t count on it!

Reader Ken tells me that yesterday that, according to the Guardian, the Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a Washington State florist who was fined $1000 for refusing to create a floral arrangement for a gay wedding. The florist, Barronelle Stutzman, apparently violated an anti-discrimination law and was ordered to henceforth make floral arrangements for gay weddings if she made them for same-sex weddings.  You may recall that the Court ruled a different way in an earlier case, allowing a cakemaker not to bake a cake for a gay wedding because it violated the baker’s religion. From Ken:

In Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Court dodged the issue of civil rights laws vs. the Free Exercise Clause by deciding the case on the very narrow grounds that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had employed the wrong standard in determining what constituted “religious neutrality.”

In this case, Arlene’s Flowers, Inc. v. Washington, the Court decided not to open that can of worms (or cakes or flowers) again. I was happily surprised to see that Amy Coney Barrett didn’t jump at the chance to join with other rightwingers to vote to take the case. It means the Ninth Circuit’s decision compelling the florist to provide her services to the gay couple stands.
And when I asked him why he was “happily surprised” by her decision, he replied that Barrett probably does want to use religious freedom to quash gay rights, but that this may have not been the right case:

There’s some speculation that Justice Barrett’s decision not to vote to grant cert was motivated by her desire to await the perfect case in which to rule for religious freedom over gay rights — or by her concern that the lawyers for the homophobic Alliance for Defending Freedom were not up to the task of presenting the case in its best light. See this tweet:

The WaPo has an analysis how three Justices: Coney Barrett, Roberts, and Kavanaugh, are moving the Court towards the right, though slowly and cautiously. But is this news? We are doomed until past my lifetime to have our laws interpreted by a bunch of religious conservatives.

Here are the results from my “Will Trump go to jail” contest in yesterday’s Hili Dialogue. By a large majority, people think Trump will never do the perp walk:

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 604,629, an increase of 230 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 3,981,135,, an increase of about 8,800 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on July 3 includes:

The Army, first commanded by Washington, lasted from 1775-1783.

  • 1819 – The Bank for Savings in the City of New-York, the first savings bank in the United States, opens.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: The final day of the Battle of Gettysburg culminates with Pickett’s Charge.

Under Robert E. Lee’s orders, 12,500 Confederate soldiers charged Meade’s Union army over an open field. It was a disaster: the Confederates were repulsed with more than 50% casualties. This has been described as the high-water mark of the Confederacy, and from then on it was downhill to defeat. Here’s a picture of a Union gun that repelled the charge:

(From Wikipedia): “A gun and gunners that repulsed Pickett’s Charge” (from The Photographic History of the Civil War). This was Andrew Cowan’s 1st New York Artillery Battery.
  • 1884 – Dow Jones & Company publishes its first stock average.
  • 1886 – Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first purpose-built automobile.

And here it is; only 25 were manufactured:

Here’s that reunion, with the graybeards shaking hands:

(From Wikipedia): Now the “Friendly” Angle One of the most affecting sights witnessed during the present reunion of Confederate and Federal veterans at Gettysburg is depicted in this photograph. Across the stone wall, which marks the boundaries of the famous “Bloody Angle” where Pickett lost over 3,000 men from a force of 6,000 these old soldiers of the North and South clasped hands in fraternal affection / / International News Service, 200 William St., New York.

It’s now in Edinburgh Castle, but here it was before it was in England, and then was stolen and returned to Scotland in 1996. Queen Elizabeth was crowned sitting over this block of red sandstone.

From the Daily Fail: The artefact – also known as the Stone of Scone – was used in the inauguration of Scottish kings until 1296, when King Edward I seized it and had it built into a new throne at Westminster Abbey in London. Pictured: King Edward I’s coronation throne containing the stone
  • 2013 – Egyptian coup d’état: President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi is overthrown by the military after four days of protests all over the country calling for Morsi’s resignation, to which he did not respond. President of the Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt Adly Mansour is declared acting president.

Notables born on this day include:

Every Fourth of July when I was a kid I’d watch the 1942 movie “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” with James Cagney playing George M. Cohan. I loved it, and Cagney’s performance was outstanding. Here’s the ending of the movie when Cohan gets a medal from FDR and then joins a parade singing Cohan’s song “Over There”.  Admit it; doesn’t it make you feel just a wee bit patriotic?

Kafka in 1906:

  • 1908 – M. F. K. Fisher, American author (d. 1992)
  • 1937 – Tom Stoppard, Czech-English playwright and screenwriter

My brush with fame at the Hay Festival, June, 2010 (later I smoked one of his cigarettes with him):

  • 1947 – Dave Barry, American journalist and author
  • 1962 – Tom Cruise, American actor and producer

Those who became the Dearly Departed on July 3 include:

  • 1904 – Theodor Herzl, Austrian journalist and playwright (b. 1860)
  • 1935 – André Citroën, French engineer and businessman, founded the Citroën Company (b. 1878)
  • 1969 – Brian Jones, English guitarist, songwriter, and producer (b. 1942)
  • 1971 – Jim Morrison, American singer-songwriter (b. 1943)

Here’s a live version of one of my favorite Doors songs (“Riders on the Storm” is up there, though I’m not as keen as others on “Light My Fire”:

And here’s Jim Morrison’s grave at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris (now guarded and fenced in because of vandalism and theft), photographed by me in November, 2018:

  • 2012 – Andy Griffith, American actor, singer, and producer (b. 1926)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili and Szaron discuss their plans:

Szaron: Are we going into the forest?
Hili: No, I’m going back home.
In Polish:
Szaron: Idziemy do lasku?
Hili: Nie, ja wracam do domu.

And Leon is weary of the week:

Leon: Is it Friday yet?

In Polish: Juz piątek mamy?

Here’s a confusing sign from reader David. I believe this is what happens when your math skills are deficient:

From Bruce:

From Jesus of the Day:

Titania adds part 37 to her list of things that have been deemed racist:

Two tweets from Luana: two statues get toppled in Canada.

. . . and religion in America continues its inexorable decline:

With this tweet, reader Ken adds: “One would think that the lawyers for the guy most likely to be “Unindicted Coconspirator #1″ in the Trump Org/Weisselberg indictment had advised their client to STFU on national tv.”

One would think that the lawyers for the guy most likely to be “Unindicted Coconspirator #1” in the Trump Org/Weisselberg indictment had advised their client to STFU on national tv.

Tweets from Matthew. I had no idea that the first of July was International Polychaete Day. Here’s a lovely specimen.

Matthew sent this tweet with a link and a comment: “Here’s the site Francesca’s correspondent refers to – really quite extraordinarily bonkers.” That’s an understatement!

Now here’s an unusual find: click on the link to the article to see the beetle, which is indeed amazingly preserved in a coprolite:

34 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

  1. “1904 – Theodor Herzl, Austrian journalist and playwright (b. 1860)” – Of course, Herzl is probably better known for founding modern political Zionism.

    Herzl formed the Zionist Organization and promoted Jewish immigration to Palestine in an effort to form a Jewish state. Though he died before its establishment, he is known as the father of the State of Israel.

    Presumably the omission is on Wikipedia’s list article for 3 July. (I believe our host uses these lists for the daily events, births, and deaths.) I’ll try and fix it later…

  2. Apropos the Stone of Scone, it’s pronounced “Scoon” in this context. When referring to the biscuity comestible, two pronunciations of scone are acceptable in British English, rhyming either with “bone” or with “gone”, depending on where in England you were raised. As a northerner, I pronounce it to rhyme with “gone”.

    1. I’m reliably informed that before it’s been eaten the pronunciation is scone (rhymes with bone) and afterwards “it’s gone”. (I should have thought through posting a joke in writing that relies on verbal differences…!)

    2. Since the Francophone club includes a Scoonian native, I’ll maybe ask him how he pronounces “scone [the cake]”.

  3. Sabbath for Jewish cats

    Just … what does a Jewish cat do under Sabbatical restrictions? They’re not allowed to work, or even prepare food, so … lay around, shedding fur in a desultory way?

  4. “Here’s a confusing sign from reader David. I believe this is what happens when your math skills are deficient:” The vendor is relying on his customers’ maths skills to be lacking!

  5. Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot) honors the life and work of neurologist Ludwig Guttmann, born on this day in 1899 (died 1980), who pioneered sports activities for people with disabilities by founding the Stoke Mandeville Games.

    Stoke Mandeville is probably best known for it’s spinal injuries unit, but it also has a number of other specialist units. One of my uni classmates spent most of a year in Stoke Mandeville after breaking his neck on the first day of a holiday in Portugal (he heid-butted a sand bank and regained consciousness in SM about 3 weeks later) ; they’ve a major burns unit too, but my niece never survived her trip there – 70% burns isn’t a good recipe, even today ; they did a lot of experimental work in endocrinology in the 80s too. Plus all the regular departments of a major hospital.

  6. By a large majority, people think Trump will never do the perp walk:

    Does the EN_US phrase “perp walk” mean “a convicted criminals walk”, or “an accused person’s walk”?
    There are several ways that Trump could avoid doing a perp walk : he could die before being charged (or tried) ; he could die before trial is completed ; he could die while appealing his many convictions (this is a near certainty – admitting guilt isn’t in his repertoire of behaviours) ; his legal ravens (wannabe legal eagles, but Trump probably couldn’t attract, ehemmm, top flight legal talent – too many rubber cheques) ; and, of course, one of his previous legal failings internationally could see him jailed due to an inadvisable trip to one of his extra-USA golf/ hotel resorts.
    I think the poll is actually a bit optimistic about the chances of him actually going all the way to a New York sponsored jail.

    1. A “perp walk” is making a show of an arrest, especially by leading the arrestee, obviously handcuffed/restrained, either to a police vehicle to be taken away (usually from his home) or into a police station or, sometimes, as with Alan Weisselberg a day or so ago, to a court to plead in response to an indictment.
      Grandstanding by the prosecutor, usually.
      SO Trump may end up doing a perp walk sometime, if/when he is charged with some of the actions we are hearing about, such as making different claims of value for properties for tax and loan purposes; but whether he will be convicted is another matter entirely.

      1. So, in a country whose legal system includes a presumption of innocence, a newscaster who broadcasts a “perp walk” by an accused person (particularly one not charged yet) is probably conspiring to get them off on the technicality of having little chance of getting a fair jury, un-biased by previous press coverage.
        Right. I can see why people think Trump won’t be convicted. He obviously knows where too many media moguls have bodies buried.

  7. The florist, Barronelle Stutzman, apparently violated an anti-discrimination law and was ordered to henceforth make floral arrangements for gay weddings if she made them for same-sex weddings.

    Typo: ‘same-sex’ -> ‘opposite-sex’

  8. I always regret clicking on Titania tw@tter link. It is a peek into the sewers of humanity. It truly is a “wretched hive of scum and villainy”.

  9. “Gettysburg” (1993) has a worthwhile sequence on Pickett’s Charge that I found gut-wrenching when I first watched it. For many people, the idea of a charge conjures up images of a dash upon the enemy. An infantry charge is an advance at march pace. Pickett’s men advanced in close-formation for three-quarters of a mile across open ground in the face of Union Army fire. Spoiler: They failed.

    1. Brits commemorated the First Day of the Somme a couple or so days ago. Pretty much the same as Pickett’s charge. Attacking in line towards the German trenches resulting in devastating losses.

    2. The 2003 film “Gods and Generals” is a prequel to “Gettysburg.” It shows in detail another futile charge across open ground, this time six months earlier at Fredericksburg by Union troops under General Ambrose Burnside. Then, in June 1864, Grant made the same mistake at Cold Harbor. Undoubtedly, there were other disasters. Apparently, Civil War and World War I generals’ cognitive learning abilities were impaired.

      1. I can’t speak for Grant at Gettysburg, but the British generals at the Somme were absolutely convinced that the artillery would be effective. After all, they fired 1.5 million shells before the attack. How could there be anybody left alive in the German lines?

        It turns out that the Germans didn’t keep their front lines fully manned all the time and their dugouts were often tens of metres underground and also, a lot of the British shells had defective fuses, but the generals didn’t know any of that.

  10. Interesting how the poll here shows that most think Trump will never serve time. One expects the reasoning is the cynical view that he will slither free once again. If one did the same poll at a conservative site the results would be similar, but the reasoning would be b/c he is innocent and its all a witch hunt.

    1. Here’s why I voted No on Trump going to prison.

      I have no doubt that Trump is guilty of something. However, he has escaped consequences his whole life. He is careful to always leave himself an out and to not get too close to the dirty work done in his name. Even in his rally on 1/6, he was careful to add a bit that made it sound like he wasn’t calling for violence and can easily claim that it was just a political speech expressing his opinion on voter fraud. How can anyone be against rooting out voter fraud? He doesn’t use email or any other trackable communications media and, as many have pointed out, his minions can mostly do his bidding without an explicit order to do so. Even his phone calls to try to sway the vote in GA are probably not illegal. After all, it’s reasonable for a candidate to want to win and for a sitting President to be concerned about voter fraud.

      And, of course, he might die soon.

    2. I didn’t vote in the poll, but I think that Trump may escape a prison sentence. If the facts about manipulation of valuations and other tax dodging are as the stories have them, then I think he may well be indicted and possibly convicted, but I think it quite possible that he could spin the process out long enough that he never actually ends up imprisoned. And I fear that there is the non-trivial possibility that – at the time it matters – a Republican president might decide to pardon him “for the good of the country”, though I cannot see what good it does the country to spare a convicted criminal the sentence he deserves (or that would be imposed on an ordinary criminal) just because a large portion of the electorate voted for him a couple of times.
      But a president cannot pardon for state crimes, so the state of New York may well still seek its pound of flesh.
      While I think the criminal risk for Trump is real, I think the business risk is much greater: if banks refuse to lend him money and people/companies refuse to patronize Trump establishments (and the latter, at least, seems to be happening), the Trump Organization, and by extension its owner, may well find itself significantly impoverished.

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