Friday: Hili dialogue

September 10, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on a TGIF Day: Friday, September 10, 2021. Autumn is icumin in; lhude sing cuccu!  It’s National Hot Dog Day, and of course Chicago is the world’s epicenter for this toothsome comestible. You want your dog “dragged through the garden,” including these components:

Vienna Beer dog made with all beef cuts and a natural casing
A Rosen’s poppy-seed bun
Onions (I prefer grilled ones)
Celery salt
“Sport peppers”
Dill pickle
Mustard (NEVER ask for ketchup)
Tomatoes (sometimes)

Here’s one:

A video how it’s made (click on “Watch on YouTube”; note the quality of the meat. If a visitor wants a Chicago dog, I used take them straight to the Vienna Beef Factory shown in the video.  The factory is still closed, but the store and dog-vending emporium is still there, and serves the best dog in town.

It’s also TV Dinner Day (are you old enough to remember those?), International Make-Up Day, and World Suicide Prevention Day

Wine of the Day: This was drunk with my abstemious, healthy, but tasty dinner of black beans and rice with sauteed onions and a bit of yogurt for creaminess. I was looking forward to it, as it’s one of the three great underrated Hispanic white wines: Torrontes (mostly from Argentina), Rueda, and Albariño. You should be looking for good specimens of these wines. They’re largely unknown in the U.S. or anywhere outside of Spain or Argentina, so they can be great values.

I paid $10 for this bottle, and bought it just ten days ago. It’s young (this wine doesn’t age that well) but absolutely delicious, redolent with aromas of tangerine and melon. It’s full-bodied, off dry but not at all sweet, and can stand up to spicy foods like Chinese or Indian (I still prefer beer with those). The next time you want a Pinot Grigio or even a Sauvignon Blanc, without the acidity, find a good one of the three wines listed above instead. And if you can find this one for around ten bucks, BUY IT. You won’t be sorry.

News of the Day:

It’s now 233 days and counting since the Bidens moved into the White House, and still there is no first cat, though one was promised us (and a female cat even chosen).  This arrant lie on the part of our President has taken him down in my approval rating. It’s one thing to have a d*g in the Executive Mansion, but another thing entirely to promise the nation that you’ll get a cat as well, and then lie about it. Can someone please ask Jen Psaki about this?

A planeload scheduled to carry 30 Americans and 170 dual American/Afghan nationals out of Kabul has finally left the airport. Well, they were booked on the plane, but it’s not clear how many actually made it to the airport. Regardless, it’s a good sign. However, several planes full of “at risk Afghans” are still sitting on the tarmac at the airport in Mazar-e Sharif, and it’s unclear whether, not having U.S. citizenship (many must have been people who helped the U.S. military) they will be allowed to leave.

The U.S. Supreme Court has given a stay of execution to a condemned Texas inmate, convicted murderer John Henry Ramirez, who requested that a pastor be allowed to be in the execution chamber, lay hands on him, and pray for him as he got his lethal injection.. That, according to decisions by lower Texas courts, violates “security and decorum” during the execution. The Supremes gave no reason for its stay, but will take up the matter in full at the end of the year. Clearly, the Court delayed the execution because the inmate’s complaint was religious in nature. It’s not clear whether Ramirez could avoid execution indefinitely if Texas holds firm in its rule that no religious people can be in the execution chamber. But if Ramirez isn’t executed, you can imagine that all the other condemned prisoners will follow suit.  (h/t Ken)

The Wall Street Journal, which first broke the story about the fraud of Elizabeth Holmes and her startup company Theranos, is carrying a live update page of the trial, which could last a few months. There was no update from yesterday, but the first witness for the prosecution was called on Wednesday.

In January I recounted (or rather referred you to a post by John McWhorter), about how a University of Illinois Law professor named Jason Kilborn was suspended for asking a hypothetical question about employment discrimination using the “n word” and “b word”: both redacted. Here’s part of the question:

It didn’t matter to UIC that the words were relevant to the question and had been redacted. Kilborn was suspended indefinitely (without a reason being given!) and an investigation started. Fortunately, the great organization FIRE (the Foundation for Equal Rights in Education) intervened with legal action. As FIRE reports, the situation was resolved with Kilborn being reinstated with the stipulation that he record all his classes (which he was going to do in the future to protect himself anyway, and he agreed to alert the dean before responding to student complaints (there were strong ones) about racial issues. His question, what with UIC being a public school, did not violate the First Amendment.

In the NYT op-ed section, Karen Swallow Prior (identified as “a research professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a columnist at the Religion News Service) mounts a defense of Texas’s new anti-abortion law. Her piece, “Texas’ abortion law should force America to change its ways,” contains this bit:

. . . . allows private citizens to sue providers and others through civil litigation. Successful suits may result in fines hefty enough to put many abortion practices out of business, an innovative workaround.

Yes, but work around what? Clearly Roe v. Wade! There can be no rapprochement between pro-choice people and those who equate a non-sentient fetus to a child. There can be a law, which there is, but now that is in serious danger.

Yesterday’s poll about how many readers belonged to each of the NYT’s fictitious political parties gave this result, with 86% of readers falling in the economically and socially liberal lower left-hand quadrat:

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 656,447, an increase of 1579 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,622,503, an increase of about 11,200 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on September 10 includes:

  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: Nathan Hale volunteers to spy for the Continental Army.
  • 1846 – Elias Howe is granted a patent for the sewing machine.

Here’s a photo of how from about 1850 and part of his 1846 patent:

  • 1960 – At the Summer Olympics in Rome, Abebe Bikila becomes the first sub-Saharan African to win a gold medal, winning the marathon in bare feet.

Here’s Bikila winning. He must have had tough feet! (Apparently the shoes he had hurt his feet.) He also won the marathon in 1964 but that time wore shoes.

  • 1967 – The people of Gibraltar vote to remain a British dependency rather than becoming part of Spain.
  • 1977 – Hamida Djandoubi, convicted of torture and murder, is the last person to be executed by guillotine in France.

He was also the last person to be executed in Europe, and the last person to be executed by beheading anywhere in the West.  Here’s a photo of the last moment before his death:

  • 2001 – During his appearance on the British TV game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, contestant Charles Ingram reaches the £1 million top prize, but it was later revealed that he had cheated to the top prize by listening to coughs from his wife and another contestant

Here’s an annotated 46-minute video of his winning episode, with the coughs audible. He and the other two cheaters were convicted of procuring the execution of a valuable security by deception, given suspended sentences, and ordered to pay £25,000 pounds each. Whitlock, of course, was denied his million pounds as well.

  • 2008 – The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the biggest scientific experiment in history, is powered up in Geneva, Switzerland.

Remember when people thought the LHC might create a black hole that would swallow Earth and its surroundings?

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1659 – Henry Purcell, English organist and composer (d. 1695)
  • 1864 – Carl Correns, German botanist and geneticist (d. 1933)
  • 1892 – Arthur Compton, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1962)
  • 1929 – Arnold Palmer, American golfer and businessman (d. 2016)
  • 1934 – Roger Maris, American baseball player and coach (d. 1985)

Maris is most famous for breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record for a single season by hitting 61 home runs in 1961 (Maris and Mickey Mantle were in a home run derby that year, and Mantle stopped at 54, as he had hip issues.) Some people question Maris’s record as his season was 162 games long as opposed to Ruth’s 154, and Maris hit his homer in the season’s last game. The new record, which is even more dubious, is the 73 homers hit by Barry Bonds in 2001, but it’s likely that Bonds used performance-enhancing drugs and he’s not been elected to the Hall of Fame.

Here’s Maris’s record homer:

  • 1937 – Jared Diamond, American biologist, geographer, and author
  • 1941 – Stephen Jay Gould, American paleontologist, biologist, and author (d. 2002)

Here’s a 16-minute interview of Gould by Charlie Rose in 1996, discussing statistics, baseball, evolution, and the cancer (mesothelioma) that he’d survived. You can see he’s quite eloquent in interviews, but I never really liked the guy.  Had he lived, he’d have turned eighty today.

If Gould were alive, it would be his eightieth birthday.

Here’s a segment (starting at 2:41) in which Copeland dances “Swan Lake.” We had a duck with a long graceful neck that we named “Misty” after the dancer.

Those who drew their last breath on September 10 include:

Wollstonecraft died 11 days after giving birth to her daughter, Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein). Wollstonecraft is perhaps best known for her 1792 feminist tract A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (below):

  • 1935 – Huey Long, American lawyer and politician, 40th Governor of Louisiana (b. 1893)
  • 2007 – Jane Wyman, American actress (b. 1917)
  • 2020 – Diana Rigg, British actress (b. 1938)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Hili is trying to choose between two things, but we have no idea what they are.

Hili: A or B? Or maybe both?
A: Why not?
In Polish:
Hili: A czy B? A może jedno i drugie?
Ja: Czemu nie?

And little Kulka:

A lovely photo from The Emporium of Unique and Wondrous Things (a FB page); unfortunately, the photographer isn’t named:

From Linkiest,, a twist on a familiar meme:

A meme from Nicole:

From Titania, who is right as usual:

Talk about courage: these Afghan women are fighting for their freedom right in front of the raised muzzles of Taliban guns!

From Luana, an exchange:

From Barry: creationists are never satisfied:

A tweet from the Auschwitz Memorial; this man lived about a month after arrival:

Tweets from Matthew. First, how to pick a STEM field (enlarge it; it’s good advice):

Here’s a case of extreme sexual dimorphism. Spot the male. The location is Queensland.

Did you get the right answer to the question below? I did! I don’t know how this is done, but the BBC says that the same answer will be chosen most of the time (I’ve redacted the name):

“What’s five plus two?!”
“What’s seven take away three?!”
“Name a vegetable?!”

Nine times out of 10 people answer the last question with “name redacted”.

Now I don’t think the magic is in the maths questions. Probably they just warm your respondent up to answering questions rapidly. What is happening is that, for most people, most of the time, in all sorts of circumstances, name redacted is simply the first vegetable that comes to mind.

This seemingly banal fact reveals something about how our minds organise information. There are dozens of vegetables, and depending on your love of fresh food you might recognise a good proportion. If you had to list them you’d probably forget a few you know, easily reaching a dozen and then slowing down. And when you’re pressured to name just one as quickly as possible, you forget even more and just reach for the most obvious vegetable you can think of – and often that’s name redacted.

102 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. The Chicago food scene includes an often overlooked institution, which I call the Vienna Beef Shack. These, often small, eateries use Vienna Beef products, and offer a menu from hot dogs (including Double Dogs and Char Dogs), to Polish Sausages, to burgers, to chicken sandwiches. They are sprinkled throughout the city (my local one was Budackis near Lawrence and Damen, owned by a Korean man named Kim). For my money they make the best cheeseburger anywhere. I am not sure what makes it so good, but it must have something to do with fresh ground beef and buns.

    1. Thanks! Your comment flashed me back to when I lived in the DePaul U area and ate at Demon Dogs under the el at Fullerton. BTW, in case anyone’s keeping track, I like raw onions on my hot dog, and it looks like in the photo above, that dog has what my mother called “picklelily,” really relish and an indispensable component, IMO.

        1. In my experience, picalilli is a bit different. It has veggie chunks in a yellow mustard base. We always had a jar at my house growing up.

          The Chicago Dog as pictured has green relish and yellow mustard, two separate condiments. I often get a Chicago Dog at my local place and it looks just as in the picture though with raw chopped onions and a couple of “sport peppers” which are essential, IMHO. I add a squirt of ketchup to mine because I like it and because I can.

  2. … a hypothetical question about employment discrimination using the “n word” and “b word”: both redacted.

    It’s worth pointing out that the screenshot has “n____” not “n_____” and therefore implies an -a ending, not an -er ending, The former is common in rap music. For it not to be acceptable in the exam, even in redacted form, is fairly ridiculous.

    1. I also counted the underscores and started to go down the path Coel is taking here. But on reflection it may not have that meaning; it’s just a typographical accident that the underscores were shown separated, and they really should be understood as indicating a single “word length” blank to be filled in without any particular length cue.

  3. I read the BBC article about naming the vegetable and answered the questions and got cauliflower, which is apparently atypical. However, having read the article, I watched the Tweet and played along. Of course, this time I got the “right” answer.

    1. I said cabbage, I don’t know if the fact that your choice, my choice and the “correct” answer start with the letters CA is significant. Probably not.

        1. My mind earlier had been on beetroot chutney (I ran out and the store that sold it to me is closed). So, with that in mind my answer was silly and wrong – ‘pickle!’.

      1. I went with carrot, and so did my wife (but maybe we’re typically unimaginative). I’m not sure if the comments below the line are biased towards those for whom the predicted response was wrong?

    2. I said lettuce, the quintessential vegetable to me.
      Can somebody explain the joke about ” name redacted”? Nine out of ten? I do not believe it. Is it about politicians, or what? But the preceding , ‘introductory’ questions were not about politicians. It can’t possibly be a quick reaction to a question in so many cases, because it is kind of constructed and ‘precious’.
      Or am I just a bit dim?

    3. Reading it, picked “squash”, watched video, then picked “corn.” However when typing this, I wrote “carrot” accidentally, so there is that.

  4. Several unrelated thoughts on today’s roundup.

    First, I will blaspheme: my favorite dog type is the chili cheese dog, no onion.

    ***

    …stay of execution to a condemned Texas inmate, convicted murderer John Henry Ramirez, who requested that a pastor be allowed to be in the execution chamber…according to decisions by lower Texas courts, violates “security and decorum” during the execution.

    It’s worth pointing out that Texas USED to let death row inmates have a priest in the room. They stopped it the very first time someone requested a buddhist priest. So Texas doesn’t really have a problem with a religious counselor giving comfort to the executionee, they’re just religious bigots who don’t want non-Christians to get that comfort.

    ***

    One thing Jerry didn’t mention is that the Ig Nobels came out today! And the biology one is right up his alley.

    Here’s the full list, copied from BBC (the short article is IMO worth reading):

    Biology Prize: Susanne Schötz, for analysing variations in purring, chirping, chattering, trilling, tweedling, murmuring, meowing, moaning, squeaking, hissing, yowling, howling, growling, and other modes of cat-human communication.

    Ecology Prize: Leila Satari and colleagues, for using genetic analysis to identify the different species of bacteria that reside in wads of discarded chewing gum stuck on pavements in various countries.

    Chemistry Prize: Jörg Wicker and colleagues, for chemically analysing the air inside movie theatres, to test whether the odours produced by an audience reliably indicate the levels of violence, sex, antisocial behaviour, drug use, and bad language in the movie the audience is watching.

    Economics Prize: Pavlo Blavatskyy, for discovering that the obesity of a country’s politicians may be a good indicator of that country’s corruption.

    Medicine Prize: Olcay Cem Bulut and colleagues, for demonstrating that sexual orgasms can be as effective as decongestant medicines at improving nasal breathing.

    Peace Prize: Ethan Beseris and colleagues, for testing the hypothesis that humans evolved beards to protect themselves from punches to the face.

    Physics Prize: Alessandro Corbetta and colleagues, for conducting experiments to learn why pedestrians do not constantly collide with other pedestrians.

    Kinetics Prize: Hisashi Murakami and colleagues, for conducting experiments to learn why pedestrians do sometimes collide with other pedestrians.

    Entomology Prize: John Mulrennan Jr and colleagues, for their research study “A New Method of Cockroach Control on Submarines”.

    Transportation Prize: Robin Radcliffe and colleagues, for determining by experiment whether it is safer to transport an airborne rhinoceros upside down.

        1. LOL. Although, the rhino study showed that transporting them upside down was better for their health than doing so with them lying down.

        2. Yes the rhino one is covered in the BBC story. It’s a very well-intentioned study; the goal is to find the healthiest (for the rhino) way to relocate rhinos as part of conservation work. Turns out, hanging them upside down by their feet from a helicopter is healthier for them than laying them on their side in a gurney.

    1. The paper on cockroach control was published in 1971! Fortunately one of the authors was still alive to collect the prize.

      1. It had never occurred to me that the prize could be for past research and that the recipients had to be alive as per the Nobel version. (In contrast to the Darwin Awards…).

        I love the fact that Andrew Geim has won both the Ig and Nobel versions – and also the story behind his discovery of graphene. Colleagues were using sellotape to remove the contaminated outer layers of charcoal so that they had a nice clean surface to use – Geim picked up the discarded sticky tape and wondered how thin a layer the technique could produce.

    2. Physics Prize: …why pedestrians do not constantly collide with other pedestrians.

      In the early 80s a psychologist from, I think, the University of Michigan filmed people walking on a crowded sidewalk and discovered people signaled to oncoming folks by shifting their gaze in the direction they intended to go. The new prize went to the wrong field of science, at the wrong time.

  5. The strategies that the faithful use to get around Roe v Wade are truly insidious. To be so arrogant as to try and bend people to your faith through lawsuits. I have close relatives that in all of their pure innocence think this is a great thing. The motives for pro-life can be considerably more complicated than a lot of people think too. On the one hand you can have the mistaken belief that an innocent human is being harmed. I can have sympathy for people with this view to a point and I’ll briefly explain why. If a kid is inserted into a conservative religious household and this idea is inculcated into them, it isn’t their fault that they genuinely are upset at the idea of abortion. However, at some point they need to be relieved of this fantasy. Exceeding innocence is not really virtuous or courageous. Tremendously worse than this is when people adopt an ostensible innocence so as to control sex in society. The motives for this can have different degrees of malignancy too. You can have people that may have excessive guilt about their sexuality and don’t want others enjoying their lives so much and you can have men that are motivated to dominate women through the law so as to control them as much as possible. Just ranting here and not trying to condescend to the majority that understand the nuances and are brighter than me.

    1. If a kid is inserted into a conservative religious household and this idea is inculcated into them, it isn’t their fault that they genuinely are upset at the idea of abortion. However, at some point they need to be relieved of this fantasy.

      This is a really salient point. As a product of one of those households, I can’t understate the amount of propaganda kids are exposed to around abortion. Graphic propaganda. That said, at some point it is our duty to educate ourselves. I think for women, this happens around the first pregnancy scare (‘it could happen to me!’) and for men, maybe when they have a friend in that position? I was also inundated with young-earth propaganda, and I shook that off eventually (eventually being my first real science class at community college).

  6. As far as the Texas abortion law, Congress can codify Roe v. Wade and invoke federal preemption over state laws (and forbid state legislatures from legislating abortion). Obviously affects interstate commerce as people will end up trucking across the country to get abortions.

    Obviously, we would need a Democratic majority in the House and the Senate and Democratic President. Its too bad Biden lost to Trump and the Democrats couldn’t win the Senate races in Georgia. Or maybe its the Senate Parliamentarian?

    1. Until Manchin unclenches about the filibuster, it can’t happen; this is not a sign of Dem unwillingness, they just don’t have 60 votes in the Senate to get it through.

      SCOTUS is going to hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization this term. That case is a direct request to overturn Roe and Casey. So as bad as we all think the Texas case is, it may be moot (in the worst way) by June 2022.

      I don’t expect Manchin to change his mind about overturning the filibuster, but that might do it. If SCOTUS overturns Roe in June of 2022, and there’s midterms in November 2022, the pressure on House and Senate Dems to create a federal law to take the place of the now-overturned Roe will be white-hot intense.

      1. You can just find an exception to the filibuster when legislation directly impacts a fundamental constitutional right like the right to an abortion, and hire a Senate Parliamentarian who agrees with you legally. Even if it goes up to the Supreme Court and they interfere, you have already kicked the door open and humpty dumpty won’t be reassembled easily.

        1. It worth noting that laws that violate a constitutional right are subject to invalidation or modification, and its not clear that a mere senate rule that prevents a straight up majoritarian vote on legislation intended uphold fundamental constitutional rights should not carry with it a similar exception. It a violation of Popular Sovereignty and the Spirit of the American Revolution.

        2. If SCOTUS says abortion is not a constitutional right, then the Senate cannot afterwards use “it’s a constitutional right” to get around the filibuster when it tries to pass a federal law to replace Roe. So I don’t think your idea will work. At least, it won’t work in the situation I describe above, where they’re trying to pass a federal law in response to a SCOTUS ruling overturning precedent. If you’re arguing they could do it now, before SCOTUS hears the Dobbs case, I don’t know enough about Senate process to agree or disagree.

            1. From the above, you can see that the procedural problems that exist for making a legal attack on the filibuster would also exist for a legal attack on a determination that there was an exception to the filibuster rule (standing, political question).

    2. If I sell a house, I can put in the deed a racial restriction that it is never to be sold to a non-white. If it is eventually sold to a non-white, I can go to court and ask that the restriction be enforced – and have my case tossed out because it is now settled law that an individual cannot use the courts to deny someone their constitutional rights. [Well, until 1948 I could use the courts to enforce it.] If someone sues to collect their $10,000 from an abortion abettor, they are using the courts to deny someone their constitutional rights. But I find it no surprise that the conservative majority cares not what the law is, only what their person desires are – in this case, to prevent abortions.

  7. Carl Sagan has been dead for a quarter century now, but he still seems to have a good reputation as a science popularizer, and his books are still highly recommended.

    What is the status of Gould today? By the 90s, he was considered the go-to guy for the lay person on evolutionary biology, even more popular than Richard Dawkins (at least in the US).

    But my impression is that he is somewhat forgotten today, and that many of his theories on evolution have been shown to be less than compelling.

    1. I don’t think he is in general as influential a biologist as Dawkins, for instance, but his essays from Natural History, collected in several volumes, contain some truly wonderful writing about science and related matters. They’re not ALL gems, certainly, but boy there are a lot of them. He was, I think, a proto-woke person, or nearly so, though who knows what would have happened had he lived. But he was a very good science writer and popularizer, at least I thought he was.

      Of course, even Gould recognized Sagan as the Master, and dedicated his book “Questioning the Millennium” to his (then-recent) memory, saying, if memory serves: “To Carl Sagan, the most passionate rationalist of our time, the best advocate for science in the millennium.”

    2. In my opinion, yes he has not aged well. I will still maintain that his essays were interesting, and that many budding biologists cut their teeth on reading his books (I sure did!). But there are other researchers who are also science popularizers that hold up far better.

  8. Maris is most famous for breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record for a single season by hitting 61 home runs in 1961 (Maris and Mickey Mantle were in a home run derby that year, and Mantle stopped at 54, as he had hip issues.)

    Maris was a solid ballplayer but he wasn’t a great power hitter. Aside from his seven seasons with the Yankees, he never hit so many as 20 homeruns in a season with any other team (and he did that in just five of his seven Yankee seasons). With the Yankees, Maris, a dead pull lefthanded hitter, benefitted greatly both from playing half his games in old Yankee Stadium with its short right-field line (giving the upper deck there the nickname “the short porch”) and from batting in the third position in front of clean-up hitter Mickey Mantle, meaning that pitchers couldn’t afford to pitch around him for fear of putting a runner on base with a walk before Mantle came to bat.

    1. I remember at the time Maris set that record (I was not a baseball fan but the events permeated the general news coverage), and I think this was the first prominent instance of demeaning an achievement by footnoting it, and saying “but there is an asterisk on it”.

      But the Wikipedia article section https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Maris#Legacy says “Despite the statements made by Commissioner Frick in 1961, no asterisk was subsequently used beside Maris’s home run record in any record books.”

      1. Billy Crystal directed a movie for HBO about the 1961 homerun race between Mantle & Maris, and the controversy stirred by baseball commissioner Ford Frick, that featured the otiose asterisk in the title, 61*.

    2. This is quite true, but in the early 1960s the “M&M” boys generated incredible excitement in NYC. In fact, from 1949 through 1964 it was hard to accept that the Yankees lost the pennant a few times ( 1954 and 1959). When the dynasty collapsed in 1965 NYC (particularly the Bronx) was shell shocked.

      1. Yeah, a lot of the great players from those championship Yankee teams of the Fifties and early Sixties — hall-of-famers Mantle, Yogi Berra, and Whitey Ford among them — all got old at the same time.

  9. On the abortion issue, its pretty clear that this issue, like slavery, screams for the need for a central government to pass national legislation so that there is legal uniformity on what can and cannot be done with abortion services. Doing it by this whack-a-mole strategy with crazy state laws colliding with an increasingly unreliable Supreme Court is a distinctly inferior way of addressing the issue. Even if they passed legislation less protective than Roe v. Wade to get passed a filibuster (and I’m not sure that a Roe bill wouldn’t get passed the filibuster, there are some pro-choice GOP senators), people/women would know what the ground rules were.

    1. I think “people just want to know what the ground rules on abortion are” is like “I just want to know what’s wrong with me.” If the answers are “under no circumstances” and “painful terminal illness,” the state of ignorance looks a lot better.

      1. Really, that is what you think the Democrats are going to push through Congress without a Presidential veto?

        I think the question of the enactment of federal abortion regulations might be the straw that breaks the filibuster myself (which is archaic, anti-democratic tool historically used to promote white supremacy).

        1. No, I’m simply saying you were mistaken when you said slavery was ended by “national legislation.” I thought perhaps you had in mind the Jim Crow era that was brought to an end by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    2. The end of slavery required more than “national legislation”; it required a constitutional amendment, ratified by three-fourths of the states (following proposal by two-thirds of both houses of congress).

      The end of Jim Crow, OTOH, required congressional legislation, inasmuch as the constitution could not reach it directly, since so much of it depended not on state law, but on custom and the practices of private business owners.

      1. Are you suggesting that national laws are worse than a patchwork framework where your right to an abortion is directly related to how many rednecks are in your state legislature?

        1. No, I’m saying only that you were mistaken in claiming that slavery came to an end through “national legislation.” I thought perhaps you meant to refer to the Jim Crow era, which was brought to an end via legislation, i.e., the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

          As to whether congress has the authority to pass a law legalizing abortion in all 50 states — well, I think that’s a “nice” question. I certainly think doing so is within congress’s traditional Commerce Clause powers, but I’m not so confident SCOTUS would agree. I’m sure justice Thomas would find such a statute unconstitutional, given his concurring opinion in United States v. Morrison, and I think justice Alito might well agree with him. The three recent Trump appointees have no track record on the issue, so where they might come down is anyone’s guess.

  10. Birthday person Misty Copeland is listed as a participant for the concert presentation of the Verdi Requiem linked below, not of course as a dancer but “hosted by”.

    I’ve been hearing this event promo’ed frequently this last week on WFMT radio Chicago, generally in live reading by their program hosts, not a prerecorded clip. And they do a good job of not hesitating too long while preparing to say the name of the conductor, Yannick Nezet-Seguin.

    https://schedule.wttw.com/episodes/554618/Great-Performances/Verdis-Requiem-The-Met-Remembers-9/11/

  11. I don’t know about poppy seed buns for a hot dog…I’ve never tried it, but it seems like I wouldn’t appreciate the combination. Nevertheless, whatever you enjoy eating, you should enjoy to the fullest! And, that being said, if I want to put ketchup on my hot dog, I am putting f*cking ketchup on my hot dog, and god, and Ceiling Cat, and Cthulhu and Azathoth, and Quetzelcoatl, and Odin and Thor, and Zeus and Apollo, and any other powerful entity, real or imaginary, help anyone who tries to give me grief over it. A census taker tried to give me grief over eating ketchup on a hot dog once…
    …once.

    1. I grew up in Chicago area and would only put ketchup on a really bad hotdog, to drown it out. On the other hand, I’ve been known to put pineapple on pizza. So now your “no judgment over what people like to eat” principle is put to the test.

      1. I love pineapple on pizza, though I only have it upon rare occasion. I’ve eaten olives in vanilla ice cream (to prove a point). It was okay, though not good enough to bear repeating. People should eat what they enjoy, as long as it doesn’t hurt someone else (for instance, see the “census taker” original reference…).

            1. Apparently, one of the reasons for their success is that Ben (or maybe Jerry?) has a poor sense of taste and so their ice cream flavours are stronger than usual so that he can taste them.

        1. My favorite pizza combo is pineapple, pepperoni & jalapeno – with a side of blue cheese dressing and hot sauce (I like tiger sauce for this). It’s delicious. Salty, sweet, tangy & spicy. When I lived in Finland, there was a pizza place with a pizza called The American – it was chicken, blue cheese & pineapple. I find food preferences endlessly interesting and often amusing. It’s the ultimate low-stakes hill to die on.

    2. I’m not a big hotdog fan, though I love many other kinds of sausage. But I’ve had Chicago style dogs “dragged through the garden” several times to see what all the fuss is about. They’re not bad, but with all that stuff on them it’s more like eating a salad than anything else. I can barely detect a hotdog in there anywhere.

      I prefer my dogs much more simply dressed. A smear of mayo on the bun and some good mustard or Melinda’s XXXtra Hot Habanero sauce.

      1. Have you ever tried a Venezuelan hot dog?
        Potato roll
        hot dog (preferably pork)
        yellow onion
        cabbage
        crushed potato chips
        mayo/mustard/ketchup

        Those suckers are addicting! I once made them for a friend and he actually ate 3! One is enough for me, though.

      2. Since diagnosed with diabetes 2, I do not eat starches anymore (back to Banting/Paleo, works extremely well) so I can only eat the sausage, not the bun. I think if I have to have a preference, I’d go for a good cured chorizo (and please no cooked chorizo, an abomination). There were some very nice Philippino sausages too, but not available here in SA.

    3. Tomato ketchup on a hot dog? No problem, junk with junk.
      However, I do feel a bit miffed when my children put tomato ketchup on my expertly made (I grew up in Belgium) ‘French’ fries. I do advise them some thyme, or sour little onions and even mayonnaise (a cat in distress…), but ‘tamatiesous’?

        1. I agree. I went to Brussels about 3 years ago and was able to sample the fries a couple of times. Each place had a wide range of sauces, many mayo based. My favorite was bearnaise.

          Surprisingly, the Five Guys burger chain has fries that are every bit as good as those I had in Brussels. Don’t bother with the burgers though as they are thoroughly mediocre. Perhaps not coincidentally, FG has several locations in Brussels! Their Wikipedia page fails to shed any light on this connection.

          1. The only thing good about Five Guys burgers are the many toppings you can get, but I agree, their meat is bland and not well seasoned. You’re right about their fries too. That’s the only thing I get there nowadays.

  12. 2007 – Jane Wyman, American actress (b. 1917)

    The first wife of Ronald Reagan, the first divorcé ever elected US president. The only other divorcé among the US’s 46 presidents is the thrice-married predecessor of the Oval Office’s current occupant.

    Time was, it was thought that the American public wouldn’t accept a divorced president. A messy divorce may have cost Nelson Rockefeller a shot at the Republican nomination in the 1960s. My, how things have changed.

  13. Remember when people thought the LHC might create a black hole that would swallow Earth and its surroundings?

    I read a book written by German sceptic a few weeks ago where he describes the reactions and predictions from pseudoscientists and conspiracy theorists regarding the LHC. Very insightful, very funny. but also worrying, in which mental shallows some people go. Well, Corona has shown us that it can always go deeper.

  14. It bears consideration that Roe v. Wade is a benefit to the right, in that a GOP politician can take whatever wacky, pro-life position they want, and use that to gin up votes, knowing that the Supreme Court is going to invalidate the law and there will be no real consequences, so you get votes, you make symbolic decisions, but you don’t pay any real cost for those decisions. That is partly why I don’t believe the Supreme Court would overturn Roe, its too good for the GOP, if anything, they trim it back.

    On the other hand, if it gets addressed legislatively, then there will be real lives affected and real world consequences for politicians promoting significant abortion restrictions. Its pretty clear that the corporations, the media and elites support abortion rights, and with that kind of power base, if you can’t get any decent legislation, you either suck as a political activist or your viewpoint is kryptonite as far as voters go. I don’t see any reason why the pro-choice activists can’t protect abortion rights through legislation, abortion rights are politically popular, and the activists have plenty of money and talent.

  15. I don’t know much about these things: Does the Maxwell Street Polish count as a hot dog?

    For the stuffy-nosed ones: The Ig Nobel Medicine Prize was awarded to Olcay Cem Bulut and colleagues, for demonstrating that sexual orgasms can be as effective as decongestant medicines at improving nasal breathing.

    1. Weird. After orgasm my nose gets congested, the exact opposite. I haven’t a serious clue as to why either would be.

  16. Wow. I said ‘peas,’ my second favorite vegetable…i must admit ‘corn’ (on the cob) was my first, split-second choice, but I changed mid-thought, because I figured ‘corn’ would be the answer.

  17. I said “carrot” because I already knew about this trick and just played along- although I did say “carrot” the first time when my brother asked me the series of questions. I was in high school at the time, and I played the trick to about 10 other people. IIRC, everyone except maybe 2 picked carrot as the vegetable.

  18. The Taliban fighters look stunned in the video. Like they can’t quite believe what’s happening. Have they bitten off more than they can chew? Let’s hope so.

    1. Have they bitten off more than they can chew? >>

      No, after the cameras leave, I’d bet they’ll be more than happy to resort to violence.

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