Saturday: Hili dialogue

November 6, 2021 • 6:30 am

It’s shabbos for cats: Saturday, November 6, 2021: National Nachos Day, a good accompaniment to Thanksgiving football. Wouldn’t you like some of these now?

It’s also National Wine Tasting Day, World Numbat Day, National Bison Day, Basketball Day, Book Lovers Day, National Saxophone Day, and International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict,

Here’s an adorable numbat; there’s only one species (Myrmecobius fasciatus), and it’s an endangered marsupial with a scattered distribution in south and west Australia.

Wine of the Day: This Spanish Mencia from 2011 is a red wine I’ve never had before, and I love trying new varietals. This grape is grown in western Spain. Checking online, I find that the note and rating by my wine go-to, Robert Parker, is enticing:

Outer quote mark From vineyards planted in pure granite soils, the 2011 A Portela is an amazing, unoaked, naturally made 100% Mencia. Opulently styled with copious notes of blueberry liqueur, crushed rocks, spring flowers and a hint of camphor, it exhibits fabulous intensity, a medium to full-bodied mouthfeel, superb ripeness and an ethereal lightness in spite of its intensity and richness. This stunning effort from Jose Luis Murcia should be drunk over the next 5-10 years.

I don’t remember buying it or how much I paid, but I note that the 2014, supposed to be excellent, is only $15. Again I’m pushing it, as it’s ten years past vintage, but let’s try it with pizza. . .

The verdict: a superb wine rich, unctuous, and with the “barnyard” aroma characteristic of good Burgundy. It’s by no means over the hill, with several years left of life. If you can find the 2014 for around $15, buy it!

News of the Day:

THIS JUST IN: Last night the House finally passed Biden’s infrastructure bill:

The House passed a $1 trillion bill on Friday night to rebuild the country’s aging public works system, fund new climate resilience initiatives and expand access to high-speed internet service, giving final approval to a central plank of President Biden’s economic agenda after a daylong drama that pitted moderate Democrats against progressives.

But an even larger social safety net and climate change bill was back on hold, with a half-dozen moderate-to-conservative Democrats withholding their votes until a nonpartisan analysis could tally its price tag.

. . . In a late-night vote that followed a day of near-death experiences for Mr. Biden’s agenda, the House passed the infrastructure measure on a 228-to-206 votewith 13Republicans bucking their party leadership and joining all but six Democrats in support. Its triumph was something of a vindication of Mr. Biden’s efforts to seek bipartisanship on a key issue that both parties have long viewed as a priority.

Biden will speak on his bill at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time this morning.  Here’s the vote; click on screenshot to see the breakdown.

Every one of the six Democratic “no” votes came from a “progressive”:

What’s below was written yesterday evening:

*Rebuffing House “progressives,” Nancy Pelosi has announced that she’s putting up Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill for a vote. The progressives had said they wouldn’t vote for it until the big social safety-net bill was passed first. Many Democrats said they couldn’t vote on the latter bill until its impact and costs were fully assessed (there’s a government agency, the Congressional Budget Office, that can do this, but it hasn’t reported yet). But we have no idea whether even the cheaper bill will pass:

Heading into the meeting, Representative Cori Bush, Democrat of Missouri, said she was a “hard no” on passing the infrastructure bill on Friday without also passing the social policy plan. “There is no phone call I could get or offer that could change my mind,” she said, adding that progressives’ trust in their centrist colleagues was “hanging by a thread.”

and from Reuters:

Representative Pramila Jayapal, leader of the 95-member progressive caucus, rejected the idea of voting on the infrastructure bill without knowing whether the six centrist holdouts would ultimately support the social spending package. [JAC: did vote anyway, and a “yes”]

*The rush to get the infrastructure bill passed surely reflects, at least in part, the view that the Democratic Party’s losses in last Tuesday’s election reflected Biden’s failure to pass his spending bills. In response to a question about whether Democrats would have done better if the bills had already been passed.  The NBC Evening News reported yesterday that Biden said yes, that it would have been much better were the bills passed before election day.

*The SpaceX capsule that was supposed to bring four astronauts back to Earth from the ISS now has a broken toilet, forcing the astronauts to wear diapers during the return. (It can take up to 20 hours.)

NASA astronaut Megan McArthur described the situation Friday as “suboptimal” but manageable.

“Spaceflight is full of lots of little challenges,” she said during a news conference from orbit. “This is just one more that we’ll encounter and take care of in our mission. So we’re not too worried about it.”

What I want to know is where they’re going to get the diapers. Is there a supply on the ISS?

*You might know that the death penalty in Japan (another technologically advanced country that has capital punishment) is brutal. You never know on what day you’ll be hanged until the morning of that day, when you’re informed that it’s time to face the Reaper. You’ve given a last meal, a spiritual consultation, and then the noose. Neither the general public nor your family know that you’re dead until it’s over. I think that’s much worse than knowing the day on which you’ll die well in advance, though some may feel otherwise. At any rate, from the BBC we hear that two Japanese condemned prisoners have sued the government for inhumane treatment. But perhaps some readers think that this is more humane than living for, say, a year knowing exacty when you’ll die.   (h/t Gravelinspector)

*In a column in the Washington Post, Karen Attiah calls out Beyoncé for wearing what Attiah sees as a “blood diamond,” though it isn’t really one—it’s a “colonial diamond.” It is in fact the 128.5-karat Tiffany Yellow DIamond, unearthed in 1877. While some venues, like CNN, celebrate this as a moral advance, since Beyoncé is the first black woman to wear the diamond in public. Wikipedia notes this:

The diamond is known to have been worn by only four women during its lifetime. It was worn by Mrs. E. Sheldon Whitehouse at the 1957 Tiffany Ball held in Newport, Rhode Island, mounted for the occasion in a necklace of white diamonds. It was subsequently worn by Audrey Hepburn in 1961 publicity photographs for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. In 2019, Lady Gaga wore the diamond at the 91st Academy Awards. Beyoncé wore the necklace in a collaboration campaign with Tiffany in 2021, becoming the first Black woman to wear the yellow diamond.

While Attiah kvetches about the incident like this:

Tiffany may be trying to rebrand, but it has badly misjudged the ethos of the moment. Its campaign does not celebrate Black liberation — it elevates a painful symbol of colonialism. It presents an ostentatious display of wealth as a sign of progress in an age when Black Americans possess just 4 percent of the United States’s total household wealth. If Black success is defined by being paid to wear White people’s large colonial diamonds, then we are truly still in the sunken place.

I guess we’re still in the sunken place. Here’s Beyoncé wearing the huge gem:

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 753,517, an increase of 1,206 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,056,293, an increase of about 8,700 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on November 6 includes:

  • 1860 – Abraham Lincoln is elected the 16th President of the United States with only 40% of the popular vote, defeating John C. Breckinridge, John Bell, and Stephen A. Douglas in a four-way race.
  • 1900 – President William McKinnley is re-elected, along with his vice-presidential running mate, Governor Theodore Roosevelt of New York. Republicans also swept the congressional elections, winning increased majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Teddy became President when McKinley was assassinated in 1901.

  • 1947 – Meet the Press, the longest running television program in history, makes its debut.

Here’s a two-minute history of this show (now 74 years running), even showing the first broadcast:

Have you ever seen an underground test? Here’s the Cannikin test:

Baldwin, below, is still in office, and of course is a Democrat:

Notables born on this day include:

Here’s Sax in the 1850’s. It’s a good thing his name wasn’t Rubenstein!

  • 1854 – John Philip Sousa, American composer and bandleader (d. 1932)
  • 1861 – James Naismith, Canadian-American physician and educator, invented basketball (d. 1939)

And here’s the first court, with the Wikipedia caption, “The original 1891 “Basket Ball” court in Springfield College. It used a peach basket attached to the wall.”

Schwerner was one of these three, killed by the Klan.

  • 1946 – Sally Field, American actress
  • 1948 – Glenn Frey, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor (d. 2016)

Here’s Frey singing lead on what I think is the Eagles’s best song, “Lyin’ Eyes” (he also co-wrote it with Don Henley). A live video from their farewell tour. And a note from Wikipedia:

The title and idea for the song came when Glenn Frey and Don Henley were in their favorite Los Angeles restaurant/bar Dan Tana‘s which was frequented by many beautiful women, and they started talking about beautiful women who were cheating on their husbands. They saw a beautiful young woman with a fat and much older wealthy man, and Frey said: “She can’t even hide those lyin’ eyes.”

This is a terrific performance, even when the boys were getting on:

Those who went to Valhalla on November 6 include only one notable, but it’s a doozy:

Well, we can’t let that rest, can we? Here’s his bizarre death as recounted by Wikipedia:

Morris died on November 6, 1816, after causing himself internal injuries and an infection while using a piece of whalebone as a catheter to attempt clearing a blockage in his urinary tract. He died at the family estate, Morrisania, and was buried at St. Ann’s Church in The Bronx.

Good lord!!!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is eager to come inside:

Hili: I’m back from the forest.
A: And what now?
And you have to open the door for me.
In Polish:
Hili: Wróciłam z lasu.
Ja: I co?
Hili: I musisz mi otworzyć drzwi.

And here’s a photo by Andrzej of Szaron in his too-small cat bed:

For the Sabbath, some sayings of a Jewish Buddha (click to enlarge):

From Nicole:

From Bruce:

Several versions of this self-description are floating around, and I think I’ve posted one, though not this one. They are real.

From Luana. By god, madam, this is going too damn far! (Yes, d*gs can carry and transmit Covid, but rarely.)

From Dom; yes this is real, a species  Petroica rodinogaster) from SE Australia.


From Barry, who loves how the cat bobs its head:

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew.  This first one is a rare capture indeed:

Nevertheless, he persisted:

Cats always move to the sunny spot. In Coyne’s Green New Deal, all cats would be equipped with solar panels:


23 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. “What I want to know is where they’re going to get the diapers. Is there a supply on the ISS?” Indeed they do – they are worn when astronauts go outside the ISS to carry out repairs etc.

  2. I would say the Eagles are a little off due to age and the loss of Don Feilder.

    Texas is no longer the place to go for abortion, voting or even a music festival. At least eight dead last night and many hospitalized.

  3. “Wouldn’t you like some of these now?”

    You are a dangerous person, PCC(E) … might have to make a sour cream exception in my diet tonight!

  4. Its disgusting that the Media can not bring themselves to drop their Black oppression narrative for 5 minutes to be celebrate for Beyonce for attaining an extremely high level of success and fame. Further, it is interesting that they are focusing on Beyonce and how she is dressed when there was very little fanfare about a certain former President buying a ginormous mansion on Martha’s Vineyard, and no poignant reminders about the evil systematic racism at that time. In fact, there are quire a few affluent, famous Black men, and you never seem to hear this stuff except when it is a Black woman dressed up posh. The more things supposedly change, it seems the more things actually remain the same.

  5. Am I alone in questioning the motivation behind Gouverneur Morris’ use of that whale bone? It put me in mind of one of the gruesome stories in Chuck Palahniuk’s 2005 novel Haunted.

    1. Well, that was the state of medical practice in those days. He had a an infection and it killed him. Even the rich and famous had no health care back then.

  6. I can’t help reflecting, apropos the toilet problems on the SpaceX capsule, on the fact that the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts all had to manage without an en suite bathroom, and most of those flights were significantly longer than 22 hours.

    1. They would have worn diapers, but I am sure they would have appreciated a better option. But what about the Apollo missions that went to the moon and back, taking I think 4 days? How would they even, you know, “change out”?

    2. Buzz Aldrin is fond of telling the story about his pause at the bottom step of the lunar module: the first person to pee on the moon. But apparently this wasn’t a diaper but a special bag, perhaps like the modern day Stadium Buddy. If I remember correctly, I think it slipped over the penis like a condom with a hose and bag attached, but there were some unexpected issues with the first trials of the device. It needed to fit snuggly of the astronaut’s penis but it seems that the space cowboys overestimated the size of their little rocket and it leaked. Later, more realistic modifications were made.

  7. Its triumph was something of a vindication of Mr. Biden’s efforts to seek bipartisanship on a key issue that both parties have long viewed as a priority.

    Even with the weaseling “something of”, this is no tribute to Biden’s bipartisanship. Let’s remember that it was Senator Sinema who championed this thing, and affected actual bipartisanship in putting it together and getting it passed in the Senate in the first place. Secondly, thirteen Republican votes out of more than two hundred isn’t bipartisan. Finally, the long delay in passing this is entirely of Biden and Pelosi’s making, by trying to rope it together with the reconciliation bill. Overall, it does the absolute least it needs to do to count as an achievement for Biden or the Democrats in Congress.

    1. You talk as if the republicans ever did anything. I will stop laughing at your political comedy by noon.

  8. … perhaps some readers think that this is more humane than living for, say, a year knowing exacty [sic] when you’ll die.

    Execution warrants generally have a duration of 60 days. In the US, inmates may linger on death row for years, or even decades, before being executed. But condemned prisoners do not know the precise date proposed of their execution until an execution warrant has been signed.

    In the federal system, execution warrants are signed by the director of the Bureau of Prisons (a division of the US Department of Justice, acting under the auspices of the US attorney general). In states that still employ the death penalty, execution warrants are generally signed by governors.

  9. It [the Tiffany Yellow Diamond] was subsequently worn by Audrey Hepburn in 1961 publicity photographs for Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

    Makes one wonder whether anyone at Tiffany & Co. had actually read Mr. Capote’s 1958 novella. I mean, Audrey Hepburn was glamorous and all, but in the novella the character she plays, Holly Golightly, is pretty plainly a hooker (bowdlerized in the 1961 movie to a café-society “party girl”).

  10. 2012 – Tammy Baldwin becomes the first openly gay politician to be elected to the United States Senate.

    Baldwin, below, is still in office, and of course is a Democrat.

    Of course, since there’s never been a congressional Republican that’s come out of the closet but that they’ve been forced out — usually by something like getting caught sending lewd text messages to underage congressional pages or taking a “wide stance” in an public men’s room.

  11. On 6 Nov 1975, The Sex Pistols made their 1st public appearance, at St. Martin’s Art College. That’s 2 years before ‘God Save the Queen” and 33 years before Johnny Rotten (aka John Lydon) peddled butter on the telly.

  12. The House passed a $1 trillion bill on Friday night to rebuild the country’s aging public works system, fund new climate resilience initiatives and expand access to high-speed internet service, giving final approval to a central plank of President Biden’s economic agenda after a daylong drama that pitted moderate Democrats against progressives.

    . . . that is an interesting way to describe a bill which has, as its largest line item, a $ 475 million tax cut for the rich (elimination of the so-called SALT Cap).

  13. Just ordered a kitty-butt cookie-cutter for my 5 1/2-yr.-old granddaughter. I might borrow it to make a batch myself.
    Never been a fan of diamonds; I prefer turquoise and coral.

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