Friday: Hili Dialogue

November 19, 2021 • 6:30 am

Welcome to the gateway to the weekend, Friday, November 19,  2021: National Macchiato Day. (In the morning I have a latte, which is usually the only coffee I drink all day, but sometimes after lunch I’ll have an espresso as a digestif. Macchiatos have a paucity of milk for a morning wake-up drink, and it’s also my breakfast.)

It’s also National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine DayInternational Men’s DayWomen’s Entrepreneurship Day, and World Toilet Day, a (UN holiday to celebrate sanitation facilities).

World Toilet Day is celebrated with “urgent runs” throughout the world. Here’s one in Germany in 2014 (note the flying toilet rolls):

News of the Day:

*Just hours before Julius Jones was scheduled to be executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma yesterday, Governor Kevin Stitt commuted the execution to life without parole.   Jones, 41, was convicted of murder in 2002 at the age of 19, maintains that he’s innocent, which is usual for the condemned, but the parole board already recommended twice that he be declared at least eligible for parole:

Mr. Stitt, a Republican and death-penalty supporter, announced that, after “prayerful consideration,” he had reduced the death sentence for the inmate.

I don’t care if he prayed to Zeus or Satan; Stitt did the right thing, and kudos to him for it. It didn’t hurt that there was a countrywide campaign to spare Jones’s life by celebrities and regular people, who affixed seven million signatures to a petition.

*In the NYT, columnist Thomas Edsall assesses Democratic election prospects next year and in 2024. His message is in the title, “Democrats shouldn’t panic. They should go into shock.” It’s full of depressing poll results, like these:

An examination of Gallup survey results on the question “As of today, do you lean more to the Democratic Party or the Republican Party?” reflects the damage suffered by the Democrats. From January through August, Democrats held a substantial 7.9 point advantage (48.2 percent to 41.3 percent). In September, however, Gallup reported a 2-point (47-45) Republican edge that grew to a 5-point (47-42) edge by October.

It’s one piece of bad news after another. Perhaps passing the infrastructure bill and the social safety-net view will ameliorate Democratic losses, but the article implies that’s not enough. There’s Afghanistan, the border, and the economy, stupid:

And no one foreshadows the dangers ahead more succinctly than Larry Summers. In his Nov. 15 Washington Post column, Summers, a former secretary of the Treasury, warned: “Excessive inflation and a sense that it was not being controlled helped elect Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and risks bringing Donald Trump back to power.”


*Religion continues to wane in the West, even in Catholic Italy. The Washington Post reports that an increasing number of Italians are asking to be “de-baptized”, with an estimated total of around 100,000. The procedure doesn’t have anything to do with water, but involves filling out a form that you wish to leave the Church. The Church, bleeding adherents everywhere but South America, doesn’t like this at all:

The de-baptism is finalized once an applicant declares the intention to abandon the church and the decision is registered by the church authorities, normally the local bishop.

But according to canon law, anyone who goes through the procedure is committing the crime of apostasy, which, Mombelli said, comes with “severe consequences.”

An apostate immediately faces excommunication from the church, without need of a trial. This means that the person is excluded from the sacraments, may not become a godparent and will be deprived of a Catholic funeral.

“There’s a substantial difference between the sin of apostasy and the crime of apostasy,” Mombelli said. “An atheist commits the sin because it’s an internal decision, and they can be forgiven if they repent. An apostate, instead, manifests their will to formally abandon the church externally, so they face legal consequences for their decision.”

I don’t really know what the legal consequences are, but to believers you’re going to burn in Hell as well as all the above. The reason? Well, the motives for debaptism vary among apostates, but many of them simply don’t identify as Catholics any more: they see themselves as either “nones”—people not affiliated with any church—or atheists.

*The latest episode of academic cancellation involves Professor Allyn Walker of Old Dominion University in Virginia: (h/t Maurie)

Old Dominion University has put a professor on leave amid controversy over their research into adults who are sexually attracted to minors, saying it had put campus safety at risk.

The public university was facing a firestorm over Professor Allyn Walker’s use of the term “minor-attracted people” and whether that language and approach destigmatizes sex offenders. Students protested on the Norfolk campus Tuesday, outrage spread on social media and an online petition to remove Walker had garnered thousands of signatures within days.

On Tuesday night, university officials announced that Walker had been placed on administrative leave. Reactions to Walker’s book and academic research “have led to concerns for their safety and that of campus,” have disrupted campus and are interfering with teaching and learning, officials wrote in a statement online.

(Walker, who’s transgender, uses the plural pronoun.) But he’s not promoting pedophilia or attraction to minors:

Walker, an assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, said Wednesday that the research is aimed at keeping children safe from predators — a goal Walker, who is transgender, said they have had since working as a counselor and advocate for victims.

“The idea that I’m somehow condoning child sexual abuse is absolutely outrageous,” Walker said. “I really think it’s a coordinated effort about attacking the LGBTQ community” and academic freedom.

To me, sex offenders are not just minor-attracted people, but those who act on those impulses; in other words, they’re pedophiles. Regardless of whether you accept this distinction—one student read the book and “noted that it gave pedophiles ‘a pat on the back’ for not acting on their attractions”— suspending Walker for his book title (A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity) is a violation of academic freedom and perhaps of the First Amendment. (ODU is a public university.) The President of the University issue the usual “free speech but” statement:

Hemphill also said that ODU “remains committed to providing an environment in which our faculty can and will engage in rigorous research. At the same time, this freedom carries with it the obligation to speak and write with care and precision, particularly on a subject that has caused pain in so many lives.”

Speak and write with care and precision? Is certain language forbidden, then? Another government act of speech censorship. of speech. Emit counterspeech, picket or demonstrate, but don’t formally punish the professor.

*P.Z. Myers has had a field day attacking the University of Austin on his website, for he considers all its members right-wing nobodies (he apparently forgot people like Geoff Stone, and ironically characterizes Ayaan Hirsi Ali this way: “Ali…I don’t know. Has she ever taught anything? What research does she do?”  In the main, I agree with Myers’s view that the U of A is ill-conceived, but, as usual, he can’t control his venom, and seems to advance a stereotypical view of Jews as sticking together and hating all Palestinians. He said this while dismissing Bari Weiss, a U of A “founding advisor”:

“Then we get a couple of nobodies: Weiss is an ex-journalist and promoter of right wing ideologies — I guess with her in charge we won’t have to worry about any Palestinian faculty getting tenure.”

If there were a Palestinian woman on the board, would Myers say, “I guess with her in charge we won’t have to worry about any Jews getting tenure”? But he wouldn’t say that of course, because, like all his odious acolytes, he loves the Palestinians and dislikes Israelis, who he sees, as per the stereotype, as a self-buttressing and oppressive cabal.

*The BBC reports that “Big Ginge,” a moggie, who went missing after he jumped out of a “longboat”, which I guess is a moored houseboat they live on, has returned home after an absence of ten years.  Earlier this year Big Ginge was found in Lichfield, and identified because he had a chip. But nobody nows where he was during that ten-year hiatus. At any rate, everyone is happy again and Big Ginge has joined the other two cats, Weasel and Diesel. Here’s Big Ginge and his staff along with the houseboat from which he absconded (h/t Gravelinspector):

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 767,408, an increase of 1,157 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,150,361, an increase of about 8,200 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on November 19 includes:

  • 1493 – Christopher Columbus goes ashore on an island called Borinquen he first saw the day before. He names it San Juan Bautista (later renamed again Puerto Rico).
  • 1863 – American Civil War: U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address at the dedication ceremony for the military cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

There are two pictures of Lincoln at Gettysburg! Here’s one; I’ve circled him:

(From Wikipedia) One of the two confirmed photos of Lincoln (center, facing camera) at Gettysburg, taken about noon, just after he arrived and some three hours before his speech. To his right is his bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon.
  • 1942 – World War II: Battle of Stalingrad: Soviet Union forces under General Georgy Zhukov launch the Operation Uranus counterattacks at Stalingrad, turning the tide of the battle in the USSR’s favor.
  • 1943 – Holocaust: Nazis liquidate Janowska concentration camp in Lemberg (Lviv), western Ukraine, murdering at least 6,000 Jews after a failed uprising and mass escape attempt.

Here’s a grim story (from Wikipedia):

In the Janowska concentration camp, the Germans conducted torture and executions to music. The orchestra members, inmates of the camp, were required to always play the same tune, “Tango of Death”. Pre-war Polish Lwów Municipal Theater’s noted Jewish musicians were among the members. Simon Wiesenthal claimed lyrics of the “Tango of Death” were written by Emanuel Szlechter, inmate of the camp and writer of lyrics to several Polish pre-war hit songs.

During hangings, the Germans ordered the orchestra to play tango, and during tortures, the musicians had to play foxtrot. Some evenings the orchestra musicians were made to play under the camp commander’s windows for hours on end.

On the eve of Lwów’s liberation, the Germans ordered 40 orchestra musicians to form a circle. The security guards stood around the musicians tightly and ordered them to play. First, the orchestra conductor, Jakub Mund, was executed. Then the German commandant ordered the musicians to come to the center of the circle one by one, put their instruments onto the ground and strip naked, after which they were killed by a shot to the head.

A photo of the orchestra players was one of the incriminating documents at the Nuremberg trials.

Here’s a video of the Apollo 12 landing taken from cameras outside the module (click “Watch on YouTube).

February, 1997:

  • 2004 – The worst brawl in NBA history results in several players being suspended. Several players and fans are charged with assault. It’s called “The Malice at the Palace.”

Man, this is bad: it started, as you see, with a simple foul, and then a shove, and a melee ensued, with players going into the stands to punch some spectators:

Notables born on this day include:

Garfield was assassinated, but it took him two months to die, largely of infection. And that’s because his doctors probed his wound for the bullet with their unsterilized fingers. And of course there were no antibiotics then.

  • 1862 – Billy Sunday, American baseball player and evangelist (d. 1935)

Known for his animated sermons, Sunday was originally a professional baseball player before he had an epiphany and became an Evangelical Christian. Here’s one of his sermons:

  • 1905 – Tommy Dorsey, American trombonist, composer and bandleader (d. 1956)
  • 1917 – Indira Gandhi, Indian politician, Prime Minister of India (d. 1984)
  • 1933 – Larry King, American journalist and talk show host (d. 2021)
  • 1936 – Dick Cavett, American actor and talk show host
  • 1956 – Ann Curry, Guamanian-American journalist
  • 1962 – Jodie Foster, American actress, director, and producer
  • 1966 – Shmuley Boteach, American rabbi and author

Honey’s boyfriend this spring, and father of her and Dorothy’s ducklings, was named Schmuly, partly after Shmuley Boteach. Author of the bestseller (in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) Kosher Sex, he was pretty salacious for a rabbi, even extolling extramarital sex and sex toys. We have this anecdote about him:

After Kosher Sex was excerpted in Playboy, Boteach received two tickets in the mail for a big party at the Playboy Mansion, but his wife wagged her fingers at him and said: “No bunnies for you.” [JAC: she was a Bunny Nazi.] Backstage at The Today Show, he ran into former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who asked for a signed copy of the book. At the same time, the book caused a stir in the Orthodox community—even so, in the summer of 2012 it was the most checked-out non-fiction book in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, which houses the center for Chabad Jewry in America.

His daughter opened up Kosher Sex boutiques in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv: here’s one:

Those who slipped away on November include:

He was in prison from about 1669 to 1703, when he died, and he wore not an iron mask, but a velvet cloth in front of his face. The prisoner has never been identified, though many candidates have been floated.

  • 1828 – Franz Schubert, Austrian pianist and composer (b. 1797)
  • 1887 – Emma Lazarus, American poet (b. 1849)

Lazarus, a Jewish writer and activist, wrote the famous lines engraved on the Statue of Liberty, part of her poem “the New Colossus”. Here’s the manuscript and the lines on the Statue; a transcription is below with the statue’s inscription in bold

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Those lines are so appropriate for the statue, located next to Ellis Island, and always choke me up.

  • 1915 – Joe Hill, Swedish-born American labor activist (b. 1879)

Hill, an activist and bigwig in the labor organization the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, called “wobblies”), was executed for murder in 1915. His photo:

  • 2014 – Mike Nichols, German-American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1931)
  • 2017 – Della Reese, American singer and actress (b. 1931)
  • 2017 – Mel Tillis, American singer and songwriter (b. 1932)

Here’s my favorite Tillis song, “Send me down to Tucson“. He had a terrible stutter (see that here), but it completely disappeared when he sang. This is unusual for a country song as it extols adultery.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn: Editor Hili is urging Andrzej on:

Hili: We work well together.
A: I can hear a “but”.
Hili: Yes, you have to concentrate more.
In Polish:
Hili: Mamy dobrą współpracę.
Ja: Słyszę jakieś ale.
Hili: Tak, musisz się bardziej skupić.

From Stephen, a poorly designed sign:

From Athayde:

From Jean:

From Masih, an Iranian mother weeping for son two years after he was killed in the 2019-2020 Iranian protests. As Wikipedia notes, “Amnesty International reported that the Iranian government threatened families of the killed protestors against talking to the press. The families were forced to not arrange any funerals and to instead to carry out secret burials.”

A tweet from Barry, who says “Now that’s what I call living!”  It looks to me like the moggy has a special hammock built onto the car door. This actually should be a dealer’s option on every new car.

From Ginger K. Who would have guessed that chickens like musical notes? The second video shows the music.

From the Auschwitz Memorial. There are nearly skeletons.

Tweets from Matthew. Look at all the rays that the fisherman doesn’t notice!

A groaner from Matthew, who likes these things:

A frightening statistic:

36 thoughts on “Friday: Hili Dialogue

  1. … according to canon law, anyone who goes through the procedure [de-baptism] is committing the crime of apostasy, which, Mombelli said, comes with “severe consequences.”

    An apostate immediately faces excommunication from the church, without need of a trial.

    If you’re asking to be “de-baptized,” isn’t that type of “punishment” roughly akin to saying, “Please don’t throw me in briar patch, Br’er Francis”?

    1. Yeah the whole excommunication thing seems to be like “You broke up with me? No! I broke up with YOU!”

      Though I can see the ‘not being allowed to be godparents’ thing could be upsetting to folks with Catholic friends and relatives. I’m a non-Catholic godparent to my Catholic best friend’s kid. It would’ve upset us both if the RCC had decided they wouldn’t let me do it. Which I’ve never really understood – agreeing to honor the parents’ wish to raise their child a certain way (should the worse come to pass) is a bit like defending free speech – I don’t have to agree with the content to support the right. If mom and dad wanted her to go to church, and she wants to go to church, I’ll take her to church, because that isn’t about me, it’s about honoring my promise to them.

    2. The “punishment” no doubt had a lot more teeth to it when one’s entire community was Catholic, and excommunication meant being effectively banished from society.

      Now it’s a neat document you can bring and show off at parties.

  2. At the same time, this freedom carries with it the obligation to speak and write with care and precision …

    I’m foursquare for speaking and writing with care and precision. But that’s what style guides are for — not what the First Amendment is about. With very few strictly prescribed proscriptions, the Free Speech Clause is about speaking and writing any damn way you want.

  3. I have not spoken with any of my friends at ODU regarding Prof. Walker, but on the face of it, the university’s actions are deplorable. I live just across the river from ODU, listen to our local public radio FM station for much of each day, and see some of our local tv news whilewaiting for the tv local weather forecast, and have not seen or heard much about this incident. This looks like yet another case of a few students or citizens (or fewer!) taking their personal objections to an online petition to which a spineless college administration over reacts. Prof Walker’s research area in sociology seems, on its face, to be entirely legitimate and needed, and his book is published by the U of California Press, an academic imprint. Is there anything more to this than Prof Walker writing about a subject that is uncomfortable to many people? What are the criteria for his reinstatement? Where are the Gov Northam (D) appointed ODU Board of Visitors on what appears to be a clear violation of academic freedom? Maybe there were some heinous actions by the professor that have not been made public, but lacking such actions, really?!

    I wrote this before seeing or while Ken was writing hiscomment 2 above. It should really be a continuation of that thread…sorry.

    1. I mostly agree with you. Much of the recent reaction to Walker’s research and writing is based on his video and interview posted on the web site of the Prostasia Foundation. PF is an advocacy organization and its publications have a creepy vibe that is focused on normalizing “minor-attracted persons”. From the front page of the web site:

      “We are a child protection organization that combines our zero tolerance of child sexual abuse with our commitment to human and civil rights and sex positivity.” A reasonable person could question the effort to include “sex positivity” in a discussion of child abuse.

      The PF ask questions like “Does art and fantasy lead to child sexual abuse, or can it prevent it?” The link leads to a summary of PF-supported research “into the use of fictional or fantasy sexual outlets (e.g., sex dolls, cartoons, fictional stories) among people who have sexual attractions to children.” A reasonable person could question whether researching non-criminal outlets for a behavioral impulse is an effective way to avoid criminal expression of the same impulse.

      One aspect of that vibe is the effort by PF to call MAP a sexual orientation and lump it in with gay, lesbian and bisexual orientations. To his credit, Walker rejects that equivalence. He’s crystal clear that MAPs should not act on their sexual attraction to kids because it’s a crime and causes harm, whereas gay and lesbian people cause no harm by acting on their sexual attractions.

      Walker would have been better off steering clear of the PF and its weird view of sex positivity.

      Agreed that Walker’s university has hung him out to dry.

  4. In the Rittenhouse trial, the jury are now in their fourth day of deliberations. In the UK, in such situations, if the jury were split 11-1 or 10-2 the judge would accept the majority verdict. Can the judge do that in the US?

    With such a politicised trial it would seem close to inevitable that at least one juror would be firmly “guilty whatever” or “not guilty whatever” and refuse to budge.

    1. … if the jury were split 11-1 or 10-2 the judge would accept the majority verdict. Can the judge do that in the US?

      Only upon agreement by both the prosecution and defense, which occurs exceedingly rarely.

    2. There has been a report (perhaps unfounded) that two of the jurors are afraid of acquitting because of the climate hostile to Rittenhouse. Then there are the pending motions for mistrial as well.

      1. Jury deliberations are considered sacrosanct. What’s the source of this report? Only jurors are privy to what occurs in the deliberation room, and a leak by one of them would itself be grounds for the court to declare a mistrial.

          1. Rittenhouse was tried in Wisconsin state court, so I’m not sure why US Marshals would be anywhere near the jurors. The Marshals Service provides courtroom security in federal courthouses.

        1. This being the USA, anyone Rittenhouse might think about suing is almost certainly covered by immunity, either complete (like Joe Biden, who had absolutely nothing to do with this state-court prosecution anyway) or qualified. At most, Rittenhouse might be able to recoup his attorneys’ fees, but only if Wisconsin has a state-law counterpart to the federal Hyde Amendment, 18 USC section 3006A(d)(5).

          1. It was reported that by June Rittenhouse had raised nearly half a million dollars in donations for his defense, and his mom is now asking for another $100 thousand to cover continuing legal expenses. Even without suing anyone, I suspect he’ll be able to live the easy life for years by milking his right-wing fans.

          2. Doesn’t he have a libel action against the media and others (including Biden) who jumped to conclusions at the time and called him a “domestic terrorist” and similar things?

            I’m suggesting this based on reports that the Covington kid (Nick Sandmann) got large out-of-court libel settlements.

            1. Not under the freedom of the press standard set out by the courts following the US Supreme Court decision in New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.

              The Sandmann didn’t shoot anyone. By shooting three people in Kenosha, and with his subsequent indictment for murder (which requires evidence sufficient to establish “probable cause” to believe he committed such crimes), Rittenhouse became a “public figure.”

              His chances of success in a defamation lawsuit (at least against any major media outlet or the president) are nil.

  5. One problem for University of Austin is that it is going to be forced to take a position on Anti-BDS boycott laws, which several courts have determined to be unconstitutional. Further, its not an issue that Weiss has been particularly outspoken about, especially considering the way she has been positioning herself as a champion of free speech and anti-wokeness.

    As far as “[Myers] seems to advance a stereotypical view of Jews as sticking together and hating all Palestinians,” a clear denunciation from Weiss of the Anti-BDS boycott laws would do a lot to undermine that stereotype, and a cogent argument can be made that they do more harm than good in any event.

  6. Author of the bestseller (in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) Kosher Sex, he [Shmuley Boteach] was pretty salacious for a rabbi …

    I’m guessing the vulgar term for intercourse “porking” is pretty much a goyishe thing? 🙂

  7. Reference the long time missing kitty. Very happy to see him home again.
    A “ longboat” is the alternative term to describe a “narrowboat” Narrowboats were specifically designed and constructed to navigate the narrow canals of the UK. The dimensions were determined by the narrow locks which were designed to minimize water used whilst carrying a useful cargo load. Dimension s were / are, overall length 71ft 6 ins, beam 6ft 10ins, draft 3ft 6 ins loaded. boats would spread because of cargo carrying to 7ft beam and sometimes had to be beam chained particularly if the lock had leaned inwards. Boats typically were operated in pairs after the end of horse drawn operation. The pair would consist of a motor boat powered initially by steam and then more commonly diesel and an unpowered partner called the “butty” The butty was usually an ex horse drawn boat. Many folk refer to these boats as “barges” which a narrow canal purist will explain only refers to boats with a beam in excess of 7ft.

    In the 1930s the Grand Union Canal Carrying Company commissioned Harland and Wolfe to build around 50 pairs of boats at Woolwich. These were called large and small Woolwich boats depending on construction style and many were named after stars in the constellation. I was fortunate enough to own (some time ago) one of these boats, namely the small Woolwich motor boat “Alcor” constructed in 1935. Known as a “Star Class, Small Woolwich”

    Alcor originally was paired with Alphons and had a distinguished career both carrying and as a fire boat in London during WWII. When I owned Alcor it was still in original build standard with wrought iron riveted hull and elm plank bottoms and the original engine, a two cylinder water cooled diesel manufactured by the “National Gas and Oil “ company. The cargo hold was partially converted to provide extended living accommodation other than that provided by the boatmans cabin which is only typically 11ft X 6ft 10inches complete with bed, stove etc. Very cosy!
    Alcor is still well and has had some essential updating but is still a fine example of a traditional historic narrowboat and is in fact currently up for sale. Quite expensive now of course because of its heritage.
    Lots of pictures on Google for anyone interested.
    Many people now live aboard narrowboats, modern construction with all mod cons of course. Some cruise continuously depending on the seasons, others have fixed residential moorings in marinas or on the “towpath” yes it is still called the towpath.
    My cat in Alcor times loved to cruise and would sit contemplating the passing scene occasionally dropping off at locks or “pinches” in the cut. He never fell in and always came home regardless, unlike me who fell in more! His favourite winter spot was alongside the coal fired range chimney close to the steerer, me and the access to the back cabin.
    No canals operate, excepting the Shubenacadia used for small boating where I now and have lived for a long time, namely Nova Scotia but I still remember fondly cruising the British canals, in those days a wonderful slow and measured life.

  8. Hill, an activist and bigwig in the labor organization the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, called “wobblies”), was executed for murder in 1915.

    Hill was executed on trumped-up charges of robbery and murder in Utah. Shortly before his execution, he wrote to the Wobblies’ leader, Big Bill Haywood, making a final request that, after his execution, his body be hauled across the state line for burial because, “I don’t want to be found dead in Utah.”

    In addition to being a labor organizer, Hill was both a prolific songwriter and the subject of the famous tune “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night.” There’s a terrific version by Paul Robeson. But I first encountered the song in the film Woodstock, wherein Joan Baez dedicated it to her then-husband, David Harris, who was then doing time as a convicted Vietnam-era draft-resister:

  9. I’ll cast this as trivia :

    “The town that Billy Sunday couldn’t shut down”

    Which town was Frank Sinatra singing about?

    1. Chitown — the toddling town where he saw a man dance with his wife.

      Not to be confused with Chicago, his kind of town, which is why he grins like a clown. 🙂

  10. Had the privilege to work with Charles “Pete” Conrad for an aviation television program during the 1990s. His landing on the moon was the closest to what was plotted back here on earth; and, as a joke, mission control included a nude from Playboy on his glove-cuff “notebook.”

    I picked him up at an airshow on a golf cart; after I tried not to gush, his first words were “I love hotdogs; is there any place around here I can get a good hotdog?”

    Sadly, he died, of all things, in a motorcycle accident.

    What a humble, incredible guy.

  11. I haven’t read much about Garfield but gather that he was quite an intellectual. The one factoid I recall is that he was one of the very first in Ohio to own a copy of Origin of Species. A full Garfield term might have been quite interesting.

    And that cat hammock needs a headrest.

  12. Jerry, I agree with the comment below:

    “It’s one piece of bad news after another. Perhaps passing the infrastructure bill and the social safety-net view will ameliorate Democratic losses, but the article implies that’s not enough. There’s Afghanistan, the border, and the economy, stupid…”

    I think there are enough people who don’t want the social safety-net-cum-climate bill to go forward. It’s going to cost anywhere from $2-5 trillion, regardless of how the CBO scores the projected spending. That will increase inflationary pressures, and Americans are very tuned in to that just now. Infrastructure, yes. Most agree it needed to happen.

    Biden looks tired, cognitively impaired, and like an easily-manipulated puppet. It’s not a look that garners support for his agenda or the Democratic party. I think Edsell and Summers are correct, though there’s almost a year to change the public’s view.

    “I think there are enough people who don’t want the social safety-net-cum-climate bill … the projected spending…will increase inflationary pressures, and Americans are very tuned in to that just now.”

    Yes, It’s important that US keeps at least one foot in the 3rd world as a former slave state, very comfortable for religious nutters, conspiracy nitwits and white supremacists. Perhaps Duterte, Bolsonaro, Putin and Trump can do a musical chairs, each welcomed into their new country as a heroic leader, sharing the far future postmortem glory of having the largest part of the blame 2 or 3 generations from now for what the human species has in store for itself. It will be the reward for choosing these wonderful shitheads as leaders. The “people” you refer to perhaps deserve some sympathy, at least the big majority who immediately from birth are plastered with non-stop lies from their evangelical parents, from their TV environment, from unescapable conmen, from social media, …..

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