Wednesday: Hili dialogue

October 27, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning at the Hump o’ the Week: Wednesday, October 27, 2021. November will soon be upon us. It’s National Potato Day, but we cannot eat these things, I’m told by a reader, because it’s CARBS.

It’s also American Beer Day, National Black Cat Day, Boxer Shorts Day, Navy DayWorld Day for Audiovisual Heritage, and Sylvia Plath Day, born on this day in 1932 (she killed herself at 30). Her grave is in Hebden Bridge, England:

News of the Day:

*The Democrat’s “tax the billionaires” strategy to finance their two massive trillion dollar plus bills may not work out. As the Washington Post reports, most of the money would come from just ten people, which, regardless of their wealth, doesn’t seem fair, though the proposed payers of the tax aren’t widely liked:

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said Monday he will “in a matter of days” release a tax on billionaires that economists and tax experts project could raise more than half of its revenue from just 10 people, including Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. (Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post.) Estimates vary widely on exactly how much money the plan would bring into federal coffers, in part because no such idea has ever been put into effect.

There’s an alternative, which may be less likely to be deemed illegal and is designed to win over Kyrsten “Get out of my stall” Sinema, who opposes a rise in corporate tax rates. For some reason I have a feeling that all of us are going to wind up paying more taxes.

*The Los Angeles Times deals with a question I’ve been asking myself lately: “what the deuce is Kamala Harris up to?” When she and Biden were elected, I had high hopes that she’d be an activist Vice-President in an activist administration, and perhaps a replacement for Biden in 2024. She was even put in charge of immigration at the southern border. But as far as I can see she’s done nothing there, and precious little elsewhere. The paper also notes that she’s not appearing much with Biden any more, though she used to be ubiquitous at his events. And her approval ratings are even lower than Biden’s. To wit:

The proximity fueled a sense that she would be part of an unusual partnership, “the Biden-Harris administration,” as it was branded.

But nine months in, Harris’ schedule reflects the life of a more conventional vice president, one who sees the president less often and spends more time selling the administration’s agenda in roundtables and day trips to reservoirs and classrooms, according to an analysis of her public events by The Times.

In other words, she’s a normal Vice-President. That didn’t stop Joe Biden from winning last year, but he had a Senate record and was running against Trump. If Harris is going to be the Democratic candidate in the future, she’ll need to step up her game.

*The NYT reviews a new biography of Winston Churchill that appears to be a book-length hit job:

In his new book, “Churchill’s Shadow,” Geoffrey Wheatcroft takes a literary spray can to the iconic World War II leader, attempting metaphorically at least to recast the many memorials and books devoted to Sir Winston over the years. Churchill, in this telling, was not just a racist but a hypocrite, a dissembler, a narcissist, an opportunist, an imperialist, a drunk, a strategic bungler, a tax dodger, a neglectful father, a credit-hogging author, a terrible judge of character and, most of all, a masterful mythmaker.

. . . “This is not a hostile account,” Wheatcroft insists, eschewing the term “revisionist” in favor of “alternative.” But other than the one bright spot in 1940, it is a withering assessment of Churchill’s life, his efforts to airbrush his legacy and the so-called Churchill cult that emerged after his death.

. . .If it feels as though Wheatcroft gives short shrift to the profound importance of Churchill’s courageous stand against Hitler, perhaps that is because he has written his book almost as an explicit rejoinder to Andrew Roberts, who celebrated that stand so expertly in his 2018 biography, “Churchill: Walking With Destiny.”

Small wonder that Roberts has already fired back in The Spectator, deriding Wheatcroft’s attack on Churchill as “character assassination” and taking issue with various factual assertions. “Never in the field of Churchill revisionism have so many punches been thrown in so many pages with so few hitting home,” Roberts wrote. They are, of course, taking different views of the same man. Roberts’s book was described in these pages as the best single-volume biography of Churchill yet written. Wheatcroft’s could be the best single-volume indictment of Churchill yet written.

The reviewer, trying not to take sides in the cancellation, ends by saying, “With statues, it is hard to see the complexity. Which is why we have competing books like these to help shape the debate as we edit the past.” Maybe, but couldn’t we just read one book that is balanced?

*A school for the deaf in Georgia is undergoing its own “racial reckoning.” According to the NYT, students at the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf, one of only two public schools for the deaf in Georgia, rebelled when they hired a white hearing woman as superintendent. (Most of the students are black or Hispanic.) Their wishes: a black and deaf President. After two weeks on the job, the superintendent quit and they’re looking for a replacement. I don’t fully understand deaf culture, so I have no opinion about this one.  But the previous boss, a deaf Hispanic man, resigned after four years.

*Bebe Zito, an ice cream shop in Minneapolis (what is wrong with that town?) has created a new flavor: “Hannibal’s Dinner”, inspired by a viewing of “The Silence of the Lambs”:

. . . . Spangler and his wife/co-owner, designer Gabriella Grant, developed Hannibal’s Dinner: Ice cream made with chunks of braised veal brains, cookie dough-like foie gras, lemony fava bean cake mix, and a caramelized Chianti gastrique drizzled on top. “It’s deep, deep red,” Spangler says of the gastrique. “It looks like a slasher film.” But what does it taste like?

“It really is a mind trip in how savory it is,” Spangler says. “Even when I was eating it, I was like, ‘This tastes good, but it’s really messing with me.'” He describes the foie gras mousse as buttery and unctuous, and the brain chunks as salty.

“The thing that throws people off most initially isn’t the brain,” Grant says. “It’s a little bit more of a savory profile than people are acclimated to. I always preface it by telling people it’s going to be a little bit more savory, otherwise your brain has to recalculate for a second before really understanding what’s going on … The ingredients themselves aren’t weird as separates or in the more traditional application. But those things don’t seem like they belong in ice cream.”

Despite the out-of-your-comfort-zone flavor, customers are ordering it. “When someone walks in, you know exactly who’s there for brains,” Grant says. “They look super psyched. There’s this extra puff in their chest, and they’re super confident.”

This is a double scoop of “Hannibal’s dinner” without the drizzle of caramelized Chianti gastrique. (h/t Ginger K.)

Photo from Bebe Zito’s.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 739, 259, an increase of 1,401 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 4,981,291, an increase of about 8,700 over yesterday’s total. In three days the world death count will pass five million 

Here’s the plot of new reported cases in the U.S. over time, showing a definite drop; let’s hope it’s permanent. Figures are 7-day averages:

Stuff that happened on October 27 includes:

Here’s the Oude Kerk (“Old Church” in Amsterdam, consecrated in 1306. As Wikipedia notes, “Rembrandt was a frequent visitor to the Oude Kerk and his children were all christened here. It is the only building in Amsterdam that remains in its original state since Rembrandt walked its halls.”

  • 1682 – Philadelphia is founded in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • 1838 – Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be killed.
  • 1936 – Mrs Wallis Simpson obtains her divorce, which would eventually allow her to marry King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, thus forcing his abdication from the throne.

Here’s the instrument of Edward’s abdication, also signed by his three brothers, AlbertHenry and George on 10 December 1936

Here’s Davis being trained as a Tuskegee Airman in 1942. He later commanded fighter squadrons in Europe that compiled an admirable record of downing enemy planes. Davis was later appointed a four-star general by Bill Clinton:

  • 1962 – By refusing to agree to the firing of a nuclear torpedo at a US warship, Vasily Arkhipov averts nuclear war.
  • 1967 – Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the ‘Baltimore Four’ protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.

A photo of the deed, for which he was sentenced to six years in prison:

  • 1992 – United States Navy radioman Allen R. Schindler, Jr. is murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey for being gay, precipitating debate about gays in the military that results in the United States’ “Don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy.
  • 2017 – Catalonia declares independence from Spain.
  • 2018 – A gunman opens fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue killing 11 and injuring six, including four police officers.

The accused shooter, diehard anti-Semite Robert Gregory Bowers, is still in jail awaiting trial on both federal and state charges. It’s been three years!

  • 2019 – Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi kills himself and three children by detonating a suicide vest during the U.S. military Barisha raid in northwestern Syria.[3][4]

Notables born on this day include:

Here’s Colonel Teddy as a Rough Rider in the Spanish-American War. I’m reading about him now in a reader-recommended book about the construction of the Panama Canal, in which Teddy was instrumental:

And a short but very informative video about his life, with great movies of Teddy himself:

  • 1914 – Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet and playwright (d. 1953)

I’m a huge fan of Thomas so here are three photos. First, he and his wife Caitlin (they fought like cats and dogs), and two photos I took in June, 2010: his house in Laugharne, Wales, his writing shed apart from the house, where he wrote his poetry and plays, and his grave nearby:

  • 1923 – Roy Lichtenstein, American painter and sculptor (d. 1997)
  • 1932 – Sylvia Plath, American poet, novelist, and short story writer (d. 1963)

See above.

  • 1940 – John Gotti, American mob boss (d. 2002)
  • 1972 – Evan Coyne Maloney, American director, producer, and screenwriter

No relation that I know of, but there’s a “Coyne” name there.

Those who croaked (and were not frogs) on October 27 include:

  • 939 – Æthelstan, English king (b. 894)
  • 1605 – Akbar, Mughal emperor (b. 1542)
  • 1968 – Lise Meitner, Austrian-English physicist and academic (b. 1878)
  • 1992 – David Bohm, American-English physicist and philosopher (b. 1917)
  • 2013 – Lou Reed, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (b. 1942)

Here’s Reed (far left) with The Velvet Underground in 1968:

  • 2019 – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL); suicide (b. 1971)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili sees herself as the Felid Savior:

A: What are you thinking about?
Hili: How to repair the world.
A: And?
Hili: I have a few good ideas.
In Polish:
Ja: Nad czym myślisz?
Hili: Jak naprawić świat.
Ja: I co?

Shhhh—Szaron is napping on his fluffy bed. It’s too small for both him and Hili, but Szaron loves it.

From Holly:

From Stash Krod. This is SO true!

From Lorenzo the Cat:

Wisdom from Ricky Gervais, who appears with his cat Pickle:

From Simon, who says this is “a bit long but amusing”. I’m not sure whether this is a direct conversation (I doubt it):

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. This is bizarre. If “victims” is out because it implies guilt of the perp, then so does “rioters, looters, or arsonists,” which the victims weren’t convicted of being:

This is Torres del Paine National Park in the Patagonian part of Chile, and I’ve been here. One of the most stunning spots on Earth!

And this bat has a pacifier! (Those wing cells are sensitive to air currents.)

The second one is a groaner. The way I’ve heard it is with “She: I don’t know, I’ve never kippled.”

I’ve likely tweeted it before, but here it is again (plus there’s an extra tweet today).

51 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. … Sylvia Plath Day, born on this day in 1932 (she killed herself at 30).

    Not the day to be out and about declaiming Ted Hughes verse, I reckon.

  2. In Rittenhouse, the prosecutor needs to ask for a new judge. This is clearly prejudicial. I’m not a lawyer, but because of the double-jeopardy clause, there can be no appeal if he is acquitted.

    The twerp is guilty, and I have seen claims of self-defense but they are specious at best.

    1. According to NYT reporting, in each of the two incidents:

      — he was running away
      — he was being pursued by multiple people.
      — at least one of the pursuers had a gun
      — at least one shot was fired by others (prior to him firing).
      — he either stumbled, or was caught and knocked to the ground.
      — protestors physically engaged him and tried to grab his gun.
      — he then fired and killed a pursuer.

      It seems he has at least an arguable case for self-defense. I’ll wait for the trials before arriving at a conclusion.

      To add: here is the wiki page on the shootings. Again, “self defense” seems arguable.

      1. PS The idea of a 17-yr-old wandering around with a military-grade weapon in such a situation is, of course, absurd. (Whether the local laws allowed that I’m not sure, the trail could well find him not-guilty of the killings, but guilty for possessing the weapon.)

        I don’t have much sympathy with Rittenhouse, who should have stayed well away, but then nor do I have sympathy with the rioters who got themselves killed (they should also have stayed away).

      2. I’m not entirely sue you can drive to Kenosha from your home with a military style weapon and then claim self defense. Why did he go there? Why did he go armed? He was looking for a fight and he got one. He then murdered two people who were not armed.

        1. He went there, by his own account, to protect property from rioters. I think that’s pretty irrelevant to whether the killings were “self defense”. As with the Covington kids, there’s a lot of tribalism in how people react.

          Wiki: “As Rittenhouse was running from Rosenbaum, two shots could be heard, one from an unknown third party, … and one from Joshua Ziminski, who fired a self-described “warning shot” into the air, causing Rittenhouse to stop running and turn towards the sound […] Rosenbaum engaged Rittenhouse and tried to take his rifle from him. Rittenhouse then fired four shots, hitting Rosenbaum [and killing him].”

          Then shortly after: “Video from another angle then showed Rittenhouse being chased down the street by several protesters … Rittenhouse tripped and fell to the ground … protesters were heard on two different videos yelling “Beat him up!,” “Get him! Get that dude!,” and “Get his ass!” One of the men who had been chasing him allegedly jumped and kicked Rittenhouse while he was still on the ground – Rittenhouse fired twice but missed the man.”

          Next, according to court records and video footage, another protester, Anthony Huber, “made contact” with Rittenhouse’s left shoulder with a skateboard as the pair struggled for control of the gun. As Huber was pulling on the rifle, Rittenhouse fired once, hitting Huber in the chest [killing him]”.

          “Gaige Grosskreutz approached Rittenhouse while he was still on the ground but stopped and put his hands up when Huber was shot. … Grosskreutz appeared to be holding a handgun, which Grosskreutz later confirmed. When Grosskreutz moved again towards Rittenhouse, Rittenhouse shot Grosskreutz in the arm, …”

          You’re right, neither of the two who died were armed, but they did pursue and chase Rittenhouse and then try to wrestle Rittenhouse’s gun from him, in a situation where he could legitimately fear for his safety.

          If this had been a BLM supporter pursued by a mob of Proud Boys — with everything else identical — the entire mainstream media would be declaring it an obvious case of self defense.

          1. You mean the same Proud Boys that a smiling Rittenhouse posed with wearing a “Free as Fuck” t-shirt (in violation of the conditions of his bond release)?

            The same Proud Boys where the wiki you cite so convincingly descrbies as “The Proud Boys is a far-right, neo-fascist, and exclusively male organization that promotes and engages in political violence in the United States.”?

            Rittenhouse is no different from the Proud Boys. He went to Kenosha armed to engage in political violence. He was thrilled to do so.

            1. Yes, exactly, *those* Proud Boys.

              If it had been a Proud Boys mob who chased after an armed BLM supporter, and tried to take his gun off him, and got shot in the process, would you call it “murder”?

              As far as I’m aware, the law in the US does not say “whether it’s murder or self-defense depends on whether we like the guy or not and whether he might vote for Trump”.

              1. Rittenhouse was a child who basically (I would even say literally) went out to “hunt” people he believed were rioters. He wasn’t protecting his own life or even property; he crossed state lines to “help” the police.

              2. No, but it may have something to say about associations with a far-right, neo-fascist, and exclusively male organization that promotes and engages in political violence in the United States.

              3. There’s zero evidence that he went there to “hunt” anyone or with any intention to kill. If you believe such things about him simply because he is right wing, then you’re part of the problem.

              4. Coel, I don’t have enough information to opine strongly one way or the other about whether or not this boy is guilty of murder. But saying there is zero evidence that he went there to hunt people, or similar as might be inferred from this sort of statement, is not remotely accurate. There is clearly evidence that supports that hypothesis. It’s not definitive, sure, but that’s not remotely the same as zero evidence.

              5. Coel, respectfully: Climbing in a vehicle, heading to a different state, brandishing a firearm in a dangerous situation, apparently (we’ll find this out during the trial, I hope) condoned by the law enforcement on hand, shooting people….


                …having pictures of yourself taken in a bar of your “pals” congratulating you and clapping you on the back while wearing a derogatory t-shirt…

                …well, that sure sounds like he was proud of his successful “hunt” to me.

                There’s not one parent involved in firearms that I know (and I know many–including both my parents, who taught Hunters’ Safety during the 1970s) who condone his actions that night–including those those that led up to him being there in the first place. The men and women in my local trap club here in NE WI are sickened and disgusted by this young “man” and I’ve spoken to more than a few who have shaken their heads and said “It’s like he went there SPECIFICALLY to shoot someone.”

              6. What I meant was, there’s zero evidence that he went there to “hunt”, as opposed to (as he said, including in an interview shortly before the shooting) to “protect property” and help the police. And he only fired under considerable duress (being chased and outnumbered and people grabbing his gun).

                And I’m not condoning his actions that night, as I said, I don’t think he should have gone there at all (and he may well be convicted of a firearms offence as a result). But, as to the killings, everything points to “self defense” rather than “murder”. Again, the reaction to him seems very tribal.

                Anyhow, I’ll leave it there owing to “Da Roolz”.

      1. Best to stick with the facts. Refer to them as “the two people killed by Rittenhouse’s shots and the one person whose bicep was severed by Rittenhouse’s shots.”

        That doesn’t imply justifiable or unjustifiable, so the defense should be okay with it. Right? 😉

    2. We agree that Rittenhouse should never have been there. My personal opinion is that he was probably well-intentioned but naive, and had no idea of the sort of people he was going to encounter there. Particularly the serial child rapist.

      In each of the three cases where he shot, he was trying to retreat from people attacking him. The two people he actually killed were violent felons who were shot while they were attempting to pull his gun away (and grabbing it by the barrel) The man he wounded had been chasing him, and had drawn a gun on him.

      It is almost always better to retreat than to use deadly force. Rittenhouse tried to do that, but they chased him down, screaming “Get his ass”. When he tripped, they attacked him on the ground.

      Importantly, there were others chasing him down, some with weapons. But when they stopped short, he did not shoot them. The guy he wounded still did not drop hist gun, but he moved away, so Rittenhouse got back up, turned around, and continued his flight.

      When I first watched the video, and did so from the perspective of someone who knows gun and self defense laws fairly well (in my area), it appeared to be a textbook case of self defense. He tried to, but was prevented from leaving, and he used force only on those who presented an imminent deadly threat. He also stopped shooting as soon as the threat diminished.

      Sure, he should not have been there. And he should not have gotten separated from those who would have been able to protect him. But he had no duty to allow his pursuers to kill him for being in the wrong place through poor judgement, immaturity, or bad luck.

  3. Churchill, in this telling, was not just a racist but a hypocrite, a dissembler, a narcissist, an opportunist, an imperialist, a drunk, a strategic bungler, a tax dodger, a neglectful father, a credit-hogging author, a terrible judge of character and, most of all, a masterful mythmaker.

    Well, as Joe E. Louis said at the end of Mr. Wilder’s Some Like It Hot: “Nobody’s perfect.”

    1. I have not read this new book that trashes Churchill pretty much, but did read some of Nigel Hamilton’s history on Roosevelt & Churchill during WWII. He wrote three books on it which exposes many flaws with Churchill and gives total credit to FDR as the architect and engineer of War policy. It mostly starts with Casablanca in 1943 and takes it to the end. His last book War and Peace I have not read yet. At one point it got so bad with Churchill dragging his feet on the D-day operation that FDR used the threat of withholding information on the Manhattan project to get Churchill in line.

      1. Even FDR doesn’t seem so heroic either as portrayed in Lynne Olson’s Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood with Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour.

        I think the real problem though is people expecting heroes to be perfect, whatever perfect may mean to them.

    2. I guess if you want to cover well-trodden ground in a biography of a man like Churchill, the only things left to say are bad. It’s hard to get over the fact that if it weren’t for Churchill’s resolve, Britain would likely have made peace with Hitler, and the Nazis would have gone on their merry way. In my book that covers a lot of sins. Like George McClellan, who did a lot of things wrong, but when his officers encouraged him to go to Washington, and kick out the politicians, he did the right thing.

    3. It is the job of historians to revise and interpret previous analyses of people and events. Such actions are not cancellations unless the term “cancel” is defined to mean arguing that a person or event previously looked upon by most as “good” is now viewed as “bad.” For example, for about a century, Robert E. Lee, even more than Jefferson, was viewed by the public and many historians as the nearest thing to a god on Earth. Research over the last 50 years on Lee and southern society has painted a very different portrait of the man, regardless of his abilities as a battlefield general.

      It is possible that a re-interpretation of Churchill by reputable historians is underway. Or maybe not. Historians, as they always do regarding important events and people, will fight over the kind of man and leader Churchill was. Whether or not Churchill’s reputation will remain high is too soon to say. Fortunately, historians that are true to the tenets of the profession, will not be influenced by those in the general public that are offended that their understanding of a supposed hero is no longer tenable. Such is the case of Lee and perhaps Churchill or any other historical personage.

      1. Of course who gets to write about it after is sometimes very beneficial to ones self. Churchill lived to write, I believe three volumes on his place in the war. FDR unfortunately did not, so Churchill received a much favorable start during those first years. It was up to much later historians to provide a much truer review and the view of Churchill has changed a great deal.

      2. Historian, I’m finding your contributions to this site consistently excellent — instructive, succinct, understandable, even those I’m not sure I agree with. Thank you.

  4. “Churchill, in this telling, was not just a racist but a hypocrite, a dissembler, a narcissist, an opportunist, an imperialist, a drunk, a strategic bungler, a tax dodger, a neglectful father, a credit-hogging author, a terrible judge of character and, most of all, a masterful mythmaker.” – a pretty good description of the current occupant of 10 Downing Street, who likes comparing himself to his predecessor.

    1. Geoffrey Wheatcroft is not a historian. He is a journalist who at one time was no stranger to the long lunch-hour himself: Private Eye nicknamed him ‘the rigid man’ after his habit of falling into catalepsy after one too many. Andrew Roberts’ review in The Spectator is pretty devastating, and I don’t think I will be shelling out for this book.

    1. Socially hip comedians like Sahl, Nichols & May, Lenny Bruce, Dick Gregory, the early Woody Allen, and some others came along in the late ’50s/early ’60s and were the transition between the slapstick comics who got their start in vaudeville and the Borscht Belt and the biting-edge comedy of George Carlin, Richard Pryor, et al.

  5. Three quick things.
    – I may be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Lou Reed is on the far left.
    – Although Navy Day was originally celebrated on this date, my 21-year vet wife tells me the Navy switched it to Oct 13 long ago. Wikipedia says it’s still widely celebrated today; my wife wonders where that is.
    – The Rittenhouse case is a ‘final straw’ case for me. I own several shotguns (I occasionally still shoot trap but haven’t hunted since I was a kid), but am for strong gun restrictions. Friends who hunt / shoot mostly agree with me that this kid should pay a big penalty if found guilty, especially since there are pictures of him reveling in his act–at a bar filled with white supremacists, no less. I live in WI, so coverage of the trial (starting Nov 1, I believe) will be even more in-depth on our local level. I fear the worst.

  6. ‘The second one is a groaner. The way I’ve heard it is with “She: I don’t know, I’ve never kippled.”’ – The Kings Head on Rochester high street got in trouble for putting out a sign during the town’s annual Dickens Festival that read “Do you like Dickens? I don’t know, I’ve never been to one”. It was an establishment frequented by long-haired rock fans and had an ongoing feud with the local council over allegations of antisocial behaviour; one local councillor claimed to have had a pint of beer poured over him when walking past, which would have been quite a feat as there was no access to the upstairs part of the building.

  7. I’d like to know what Biden et al. were thinking when they gave Harris the VP nod. She was a candidate that didn’t win a single vote in the Primaries (because she dropped out). Now her poll numbers are worse than Biden’s, which is pretty bad for someone who’s been mostly out of sight. And I think the fact that she appears to have done nothing in the border crisis is by design; what’s happening is what the Administration wants. In other news, foreign travelers are now required to be vaccinated for entry to the US, unless they come across the southern border. So if you live in Europe, are unvaccinated, and want to visit the US, just go by way of Mexico City. No visa requirements that way, either.

  8. Here’s [Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.] being trained as a Tuskegee Airman in 1942. He later commanded fighter squadrons in Europe that compiled an admirable record of downing enemy planes.

    The Tuskegee airmen went on to form the 99th Fighter Squadron, tasked with escorting US bombers over Europe. They never lost a bomber to fire from an enemy aircraft.

    The Tuskegee program received a big boost early on, in 1941, when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visited the base and took an hour-long flight in a two-seater with the so-called “Father of Black Aviation,” Alfred Anderson.

  9. I feel similarly about Kamala Harris. I hoped she would be more active and help change the role of the V.P. I still hold out a little hope that she may be working behind the scenes. It is possible that she is working to find ways to improve the stability of the countries in Central America from which we receive most immigrants. I believe that is the best long-term approach to solving the immigration problem. Make it so the people no longer need to leave their homelands. However, that is something that will take a long time to achieve.

  10. Thank you for that bat video. What a beautiful little creature. I had no idea their caretakers have to wash their wings. I would gladly do that job.

  11. “…as we edit the past”? Do we think the writer meant that tongue-in-cheek, or do people really believe that they CAN actually edit the past…and that such a notion is a good idea?

  12. Seeing Dylan Thomas’ grave put me in mind of some lines from his “Elegy”:

    Oh, forever may
    He lie lightly, at last, on the last, crossed
    Hill, under the grass, in love, and there grow
    Young among the long flocks, and never lie lost
    Or still all the numberless days of his death

    Thomas is one of those poets whose work is wonderful to read aloud.

  13. “CARBS”

    Consider resistant starch :

    Quoth Wikipedia :
    “Resistant starch does not release glucose within the small intestine, but rather reaches the large intestine where it is consumed or fermented by colonic bacteria (gut microbiota).[10]”

    … my understanding is that the calories in any given starch are not necessarily 100% stored in (human) liver glycogen, or used to make ATP or proton gradients. And the reason for this is of course due to gut flora using it for energy, but also the starch granule shape/size/etc.

    1. I forgot to add :

      I need to understand if indeed some starch actually never gets digested at all in humans – and I think the starch granule shape/size is the reason for this.

    2. If you have DM 2, or ankylosing spondylitis or Crohn’s it is definitely a good idea to lay off the starches. In case of DM 2 basically all concentrated ‘carbs’.
      And if you want to lose weight too, of course.

      1. The thing I’d like to know is if “resistant starch” in fact passes through digestion in humans without their being absorbed. Either oxidized by bacteria or simply passed as … you know what.

        I though I saw something on nih

        Heres a jhu link :

        Some notes :

        RS foods:
        plantains& green bananas
        Beans, peas, lentils – white beans and lentils have the most
        Whole grains like oat, barley
        Cooked and then cooled rice
        C&C pasta

        Ways to increase RS:
        Cool in fridge overnight.
        Reheating does not decrease the mass of RS
        Overnight uncooked oats
        Flour baking subs: banana flour, plantain flour, cassava flour, potato starch – RS is lost upon baking and cooking (?!).

  14. *Bebe Zito, an ice cream shop in Minneapolis (what is wrong with that town?) has created a new flavor: “Hannibal’s Dinner”

    Pretty clever idea for a Halloween-time promo. Wouldn’t expect it to last much past the 31st though.


    Agree with wanting to see Harris step up her game. Being the typical ‘in the background’ Veep isn’t good enough if she wants to run for President (or beat whatever Trumpinista may be on the GOP side in 2028). Immigration, Infrastructure, Rust belt employment…pick one and make yourself the successful champion of it.

    ‘Course, it could be that she’s planning on doing that for abortion rights, once SCOTUS rules on it this Spring. That’s probably a more tractable problem than the others, with a more tangible measure of success she can point to…if the Dems keep Congress and the Senate in the mid terms. If not, there’s basically no chance of federal legislation on the subject.

    1. There is an angle about why it might be good for K. Harris to not be front and center in the Biden administration. Since Biden is now plenty weakened, there is less reason to equate her with it. She may later be able to reinvent herself in a run for the presidency later on.

  15. I look at the seven day averaged daily fatality rate as the figure of merit regarding returning to a pre-pandemic life including dining out indoors. It has been slowly falling over the past month dropping below 2000 to now 1400 it appears. It has been dropping more slowly that it did from the last peak when it touched 200 before rising again for the latest surge. This may(?) be due to the onset of a small winter rise competing with the vaccine induced drop. I am looking for the daily fatality rate to get down to around 100 or so a day which is close to a normal flu season if i have estimated correctly (100 fatalities per day for an approximately 150 day season). I have three pfizer jabs and this year’s prognostication for flu vaccine. Just spitballing…

  16. If “victims” is out because it implies guilt of the perp, then so does “rioters, looters, or arsonists,” which the victims weren’t convicted of being

    You have a trial of a defendant who is accused of a crime. Calling people “victims” prejudices the Jury, and assumes the defendant is guilty.

    The alleged victims are not on trial, they are not at risk to have the government restrict their freedom. Arguing they are “rioters, looters or arsonists” or disputing that they were those things does not presuppose the innocence or guilt of the defendant.

    It would be different if this were a civil case brought by the alleged victims or their families against the shooter.

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