Sunday: Hili dialogue

August 22, 2021 • 6:30 am


UPDATE: You think YOU have problems? I had to drive back from the grocery store listening to Krista Tippett interview Robin de Angelo about race. You could almost hear the tears leaking down Tippett’s face as she confessed her deep innate racism because she was white.  Does anybody still listen to this show?


Good morning on Sunday, August 22, 2021: National Pecan Torte Day (Foodimentary helpfully adds this fact: “It would take 11,624 pecans, stacked end to end, to reach the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.” It’s also National Bao (steamed bun) Day, National Eat a Peach Day (extra credit if you name the poem containing this phrase), World Plant Milk Day, Take Your Cat to the Vet Day (most vets aren’t open on Sundays), and International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief. 

News of the Day:

New threats from ISIS, hinting darkly of an attack on Americans (and perhaps the Kabul airport) have forced the U.S. to tell Americans in the city not to go to the airport if they’re not already there. They’re trying to find other ways to evacuate them. In a scene out of Vietnam-era Saigon, 169 Americans holed up in a hotel near the airport were evacuated in military helicopters. Pandemonium grows outside the airport, where people are now suffering heatstroke and getting crushed to death trying to breach the gates, including a two-year-old child.  On top of all this, there are reports of an impending famine.

Further, the U.S. is making plans to force American commercial airlines to participate in the Kabul airlift: the “civil reserve air fleet” provided by law. The planes won’t actually land in or take off from Kabul, but will fly Afghans taken in military craft to nearby countries to their final destinations.

As Biden’s approval rating drops from the disaster unfolding in Afghanistan, there’s plenty of blame being unleashed in the media Here are four editorials in a row from the op-ed section of the Washington Post:

If you want to see a bunch of ignorant vaccine-refusers who came down with Covid-19, watch this 7-minute NYT video taken in the Ozarks, which has one of the nation’s lowest rates of vaccination and the highest rates of infection. There are the usual excuses for not getting vaccinated: “I want my personal freedom”, the vaccine is poison, and so on. It will make you angry, but at the ignorance itself, not necessarily at the ignorant people. Sadly, among the latter are local hospital workers, only half of whom are vaccinated.

The Associated Press has collected a number of scams that authorities and state governments are using to help Americans avoid vaccination and mask mandates. Some of them are pretty reprehensible. Just a couple below:

An Oregon school superintendent is telling parents they can get their children out of wearing masks by citing federal disability law. A pastor at a California megachurch is offering religious exemptions for anyone morally conflicted over vaccine requirements.

And Louisiana’s attorney general has posted sample letters on his office’s Facebook page for those seeking to get around the governor’s mask rules.

Across the U.S., religious figures, doctors, public officials and other community leaders are trying to help people circumvent COVID-19 precautions.

While proponents of these workarounds say they are looking out for children’s health and parents’ rights, others say such stratagems are dishonest and irresponsible and could undermine efforts to beat back the highly contagious delta variant.

Mask and vaccine requirements vary from state to state but often allow exemptions for certain medical conditions or religious or philosophical objections.

. . .In Kansas, the Spring Hill school board is allowing parents to claim a medical or mental health exemption from the county’s requirement that elementary school students mask up. They do not need a medical provider to sign off.

Board member Ali Seeling said the idea is to give parents “the freedom to make health decisions for their own children.” [JAC: Sorry, but that freedom is largely fictitious when it comes to vaccinations. Public schools throughout America already require students who want to attend to get a panoply of shots.]

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a Republican who regularly spars with Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, posted sample letters that would allow parents to seek a philosophical or religious exemption from Edwards’ mask rule at schools — or from a vaccine requirement, if one is enacted.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 628,100, an increase of 1,007 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,438,312, an increase of about 8,900 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on August 22 includes:

As you probably know, the King’s remains were found in a Leicester car park. Here they are in situ, and you can clearly see his curved spine. Richard sustained 11 wounds, nine in the head.

  • 1654 – Jacob Barsimson arrives in New Amsterdam. He is the first known Jewish immigrant to America.
  • 1780 – James Cook’s ship HMS Resolution returns to England (Cook having been killed on Hawaii during the voyage).
  • 1849 – The first air raid in history. Austria launches pilotless balloons against the city of Venice.
  • 1851 – The first America’s Cup is won by the yacht America.

Here’s the America in 1887:

  • 1864 – Twelve nations sign the First Geneva Convention, establishing the rules of protection of the victims of armed conflicts.
  • 1902 – Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to make a public appearance in an automobile.

Here’s that first ride. If you can identify the car, please do:

Collins died at 31; here’s his body laid out in St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin:

And here’s an 8.5-minute video of his funeral:

  • 1963 – X-15 Flight 91 reaches the highest altitude of the X-15 program (107.96 km (67.08 mi) (354,200 feet)).

Since the flight was over 100 km high, it technically qualified as spaceflight. Here’s an X-15:

Here’s a video of that strikeout. Ryan went on to set the career record for strikeouts in the major leagues: 5,714.

  • 2003 – Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building.

Here’s the inscribed rock. Moore was removed from that office twice for judicial misconduct, failed in his bid to become a U.S. senator, and now is sitting around doing very little.

  • 2004 – Versions of The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, are stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway.
  • 2007 – The Texas Rangers defeat the Baltimore Orioles 30–3, the most runs scored by a team in modern Major League Baseball history.

Here’s a summary video of that lopsided game:

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1862 – Claude Debussy, French pianist and composer (d. 1918)
  • 1893 – Dorothy Parker, American poet, short story writer, critic, and satirist (d. 1967)

Wikipedia gives an interesting fact about this writer, poetess and satirist: “Parker died on June 7, 1967, of a heart attack at the age of 73. In her will, she bequeathed her estate to Martin Luther King Jr., and upon King’s death, to the NAACP.”

  • 1902 – Leni Riefenstahl, German actress, film director and propagandist (d. 2003)

Riefenstahl with Goebbels in 1938, and then her grave in Munich:

Cartier-Bresson is my favorite street photographer of all time. Here’s one of his photos with the caption, “Gestapo informer recognized by a woman she had denounced, Transit Camp, Dessau, Germany. 1945. Gelatin silver print.”:

  • 1920 – Ray Bradbury, American science fiction writer and screenwriter (d. 2012)
  • 1963 – Tori Amos, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and producer

Those who popped off on August 22 include:

See above.

  • 1920 – Anders Zorn, Swedish artist (b. 1860)
  • 1922 – Michael Collins, Irish rebel, counter-intelligence and military tactician, and politician; 2nd Irish Minister of Finance (b. 1890)
  • 1974 – Jacob Bronowski, Polish-English mathematician, biologist, and author (b. 1908)
  • 1989 – Huey P. Newton, American activist, co-founded the Black Panther Party (b. 1942)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s narcissism has come to the surface:

Hili: We are in trouble.
A: What happened?
Hili: The world is not paying any attention to us.
In Polish:
Hili: Jesteśmy w kłopocie.
Ja: Co się stało?
Hili: Świat nie zwraca na nas uwagi.

And a photo of little Kulka—napping, of course:

From Dr. Alex:

A Calvin and Hobbes cartoon from Stash Krod:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Masih:

From Titania: read about Larry Elder.

From the daily post of the Auschwitz Memorial twitter site, marking every day with a birth, death, or other event in the life of an Auschwitz inmate:


CRTina doll, from the Babylon Bee via Luana:

Tweets from Matthew. Some babies swim, some get a ride. Do they change places?

This is a spider mimicking an ant. Note that it even moves its front legs like antennae!

There are 27 tweets in this thread by Angela Rasmussen, co-author of the Cell paper we discussed about the wet-market origin of the Covid-19 infection. If you don’t think the pandemic started with an infection in the market, do have a look at the thread.

31 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. You missed a good one out of Mississippi, the pride of Alabama. Apparently some have been taking ivermectin (a heartworm medicine for horses) as a Covid med. Making people sick and some in the hospital. This one was pushed by Fox on TV.

    1. Hey, Randy, did you watch the NYT video? It’s all about personal freedom as some of the oovid victims so eloquently explained. No tyrannical government is going to tell them what to do. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have taught them this. If they should infect other people by not wearing masks or getting vaccinated, that’s tough luck. Such is the price of freedom. Criticizing the folks shown in the video is simply anti-American, bordering on godless communism. Willing to die for freedom, they are the true patriots. They should be inspirations to the spineless serfs that got the vaccine because the government (which, as we know, should not exist at all) told them to. Truer Americans cannot be found. As freedom fighters, in the spirit of 1776, I salute them!

      1. Yes, that is just about what I would figure. In the spirit of 1776 I assume they like almost no pay, no clothing and very little food. Did you know most of the dead at Yorktown were slaves. Cornwallis had suckered lots of slaves to leave their owner and join the British and they were turned loose before the battle with no where to go. Very tragic. Perhaps that is another example of what happens when you are the looser in the war.

      2. For those of us with children, grandchildren and extended family under the age of 12 — unable to be vaccinated — we can’t make a few joking, sarcastic comments and move on. Nor can we make a list of outrageous events and move on. Daily, hourly, we have to make decisions about keeping our kids safe, when we know others in the community are knowingly, deliberately, and maliciously exposing them to a potentially disabling and deadly virus.

        What do we do when parents send their COVID-infected children to school knowing they tested positive, knowing they are sick and knowing they themselves are sick and have an active COVID infection? What do we do when we subsequently learn that nothing will happen to these parents. The school district, the county health district, local law enforcement, city and county government, the District Attorney, Child Protective Services on up through state and federal governments, no one is willing to bring charges against these parents. Why?

        We can’t even asses our own risk of exposure because we are told we have to respect the privacy rights of the parents. We have no information about them, where they live, where they shop, whether they have children and close relatives at other schools, who is in their social network, and further no one may actually know these details because these parents refuse to cooperate with tracing efforts.

        The time has past where merely reporting the outrageous occurrances, is sufficient. I truly do not know what to do to keep my kith and kin safe. I worry every time my grandson sneezes. I know I’m not alone, that thousands of other parents are just as worried. I don’t know how to solve the problem, but I do know it is up to me and you to solve it, because no one with authority to act is willing to act. (My health district announced last week they do not have the resources to take any action against the above-described parents; all the other agencies point their fingers at the health district and say holding parents accountable is their responsibility; elected officials send us nice-nice form letters or are active cheer leaders for the irresponsible … …)

        So, you all out there, tell me what do to.

        1. I’m in a similar position. While my county requires vaccination for all employees and masks for the kids, our local PTA is pushing the school board and superintendent to ensure outdoor lunches so as to actually maintain distance. When the vaccines next become available for the 5-11 age group, we’re going to push for required vaccination.
          Beyond that, we try to make sure our kids maintain distance and use masks, even if other kids don’t.

    2. They apparently got the idea from watching Bret Weinstein on Tucker’s show. And it’s amazing to what lengths people will go to avoid the vaccine, by taking an unproven medicine whose one major study in faror was withdrawn.

      Weinstein said that since Ivermectin is available the FDA should pull the EUA for vaccines, since the EUA is granted based on the lack of proven treatments.

      1. I used to admire Bret Weinstein for a variety of reasons and used to listen to his podcast. THEN… to my horror he went all Ivermectin (which he takes every day rather than be vaccinated), Lab Escape Theory and holds a very close to anti-vax position. He’s dead to me now.
        Bill Maher is next. And the (very few) people I know personally who believe this shite.

        I can put up with a lot of nuttiness, but this current iteration of it (including anti-maskers) is a deal breaker for me.

  2. Board member Ali Seeling said the idea is to give parents “the freedom to make health decisions for their own children.”

    They already have that; if you don’t want to vaccinate, home school your kid.

    Allowing your vaccine-eligible kid to go to school unvaccinated is giving you the freedom to make health decisions for other people’s children. And you shouldn’t have that freedom.

  3. I visited the excavations in the Leicester car park (the bones had obviously been removed) but you had to queue to go in. There were people dressed in appropriate costumes to explain life in those times to help pass the time.

    I also visited other excavations in Leicester including a Roman town house, fascinating. Even though we chose a ‘good time’ we still had to queue for half an hour or so to get in.

    Still it shows that people do have an interest in history, and nothing is more impressive than seeing the remains (walls, mosaic floors etc) still in place.

    1. Richard III was reburied in March 2015, almost immediately after that Leicester City embarked on The Great Escape (April-May 2015) to avoid relegation, then the next season won the league (May 2016). Truly a miracle.

    1. I don’t actually regard Tony Blair as trustworthy, at all. Weapons of Mass Destruction, anyone? Even if he appears correct I wonder what his angle is.

      1. Looking at it cynically, Blair made big promises to the people of Afghanistan and it costs him nothing to say he wouldn’t have broken them like today’s world leaders have.

        I agree about Blair’s trustworthiness, but nevertheless when you hear him talking about these things he always seems so much more informed and eloquent than when Boris Johnson opens his mouth. It’s rather like hearing Obama during the Trump years.

  4. One of the very few poems i recall from our sophomore Norton Anthology of English Literature. From The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock i believe: “do I dare do i dare to eat a peach”

    1. It looks as if the photo above is not of the first presidential ride but of Roosevelt at Union Station, Washington DC in 1914.

  5. Here’s an interesting anti-vax news tidbit for you all. Trump had one of his rallies last night in Alabama. At one point he encouraged the audience to get the COVID vaccine. He was booed. Evidently, even Trump isn’t Trumpy enough for some of them.

  6. I hadn’t heard of National Bao Day before this, but now I’m itching to make some, though I normally stick to mantou, or steamed buns (no pun intended). Allow me to humble-brag here: My mantou meet with the approval of my Chinese friends and relatives, including my China-born wife and her mother.☺️

  7. I’ve been watching your daily updates on the numbers dying of COVID in the USofA. Last year it was regularly over1000 per day, recently it had dropped to about 300 per day. Today you report it is over 1000 again. How sad.

  8. That NYT video:

    How astonishing to see a man fighting for his life against COVID (and who eventually died), pointing out he didn’t get vaccinated “because I don’t like being told what to do.”

    In other words, it seems some portion of the USA has been inculcated with adolescent-level rebellion and just won’t grow up. “You said this would be good for my health? Well since you said it – folds arms and pouts – I’m not gonna take it!”

    This same man in bed with COVID said he still wasn’t sold on vaccination. Amazing. While he is literally bedridden and not sure he will survive COVID, his mind still fears the vaccines more.
    This is a broken mind.

    I wish I could say these type of interviews give some insight in to the thinking of these vaccine resistant, but for me they don’t really. The answers they give are utterly opaque to me. I can not penetrate that mindset or understand or sympathize with it.

    1. It’s clearly an identity thing. Many are stuck fighting for their “team” and don’t really consider the truth or logic behind what they’re saying. It’s a religious mentality. Trump and the GOP have created a sort of bible, a platform consisting of several acknowledged “truths”. If you’re a believer, you don’t argue the truths one by one. You just defend your religion as a whole. You learn a set of lines that you repeat when confronted by non-believers.

      There are also clearly those who aren’t true believers but have casually adopted the religion of those around them. They are perhaps reachable but it is hard for them to go against their family and friends. They might want to get their vaccinations in secret.

      1. I’m not as nice a person as our host or others that post here. I really don’t care what happens to the stupid anti-vaxers. They are mostly right wing Trump supporters and I really don’t care if all of them succumb to the virus. I believe it was John Wayne who said, “Life is tough. It’s tougher when you’re stupid.”

  9. Damnit these Days you put up here. No I WON’T take my cat to the vet today, even though they’re open here on Sundays, for Take Your Cat to the Vet Day.
    Cats HATE the vet.
    And I don’t own a cat.

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