Saturday: Hili dialogue

February 19, 2022 • 7:30 am

Shalom on cat shabbos: Saturday, February 19, 2022: National Chocolate Mint Day. The apotheosis of the chocolate mint is, of course, Chicago’s Frango Mints, popularized by the now defunct Marshall Field department store, but still sold there after it was bought out by Macy’s. They are GOOD, but getting pricey (around $17 per pound). I recommend the dark chocolate.

It’s also Iwo Jima Day, when the U.S. invaded that island in 1945, World Pangolin Day, World Whale Day. and International Tug of War Day, a truly international game that was known in ancient Egypt. Here’s a video from the World Championships, and the participants were “pulling” for the sport to make it into the 2020 Olympics. I don’t think it will get in; people would make fun of it, and the “tug” is usually over too soon. But in fact it was an Olympic sport in five games: between 1900 and 1920.

News of the Day:

*Crikey! Biden is now publicly proclaiming that he pretty much knows that Putin has decided to invade Ukraine. I was going to comment that apparently Uncle Joe knows what it’s like to be a bat, but there’s apparently intelligence behind this:

President Biden said on Friday the United States has intelligence showing that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has made a final decision to invade Ukraine, rejecting the final efforts of diplomacy.

“We have reason to believe the Russian forces are planning to, intend to, attack Ukraine in the coming week, in the coming days,” Mr. Biden said in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. “We believe that they will target Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, a city of 2.8 million innocent people.”

Asked whether he thinks that Mr. Putin is still wavering about whether to invade, Mr. Biden said: “I’m convinced he’s made the decision.” Later he added that his impression of Mr. Putin’s intentions is based on U.S. intelligence.

The president’s comments, the second in three days, are the clearest indications of just how close the world may be to a catastrophic conflict in Europe.

I’m wondering whether Ukrainians will put up a stiff resistance if the invasion does come. I’m almost hoping not, because tens of thousands of people will die. On the other hand, what can NATO do to stop an invasion? Threaten Russia to not open the natural gas pipeline. That would be like Europe shooting itself in the foot. Further, if Russia invades under a “false flag” operation it would be unbelievable, for it would envision Ukraine attacking Russia, and with 180,000 Russian troops on the border. It would be suicide. Of course, like Hitler, nobody believes these “false flag” invasion excuses

*I’m pretty sure how this one’s going to turn out, and it won’t be pretty. A Jewish couple in Tennessee, Elizabeth and Gabriel Rutan-Ram, applied for training to be foster parents from the Holston United Methodist Home for Children. They got an email telling them to forget it: the organization would not allow good Christian babies (?) to be put in Jewish homes. And it’s not because the kids are Christian, for babies have no faith, but because the organization, which is funded by taxpayers (i.e., us) does:

“As a Christian organization, our executive team made the decision several years ago to only provide adoption services to prospective adoptive families that share our belief system in order to avoid conflicts or delays with future service delivery,” the email said, according to court documents.

Ergo a lawsuit filed by these two and six other plaintiffs, arguing that the adoption organization violated the parents’ right to religious freedom.

“It’s infuriating to learn our tax dollars are funding discrimination against us,” Gabriel Rutan-Ram said in a news release from the Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “If an agency is getting tax money to provide a service, then everyone should be served — it shouldn’t matter whether you’re Jewish, Catholic or an atheist. We’re all citizens of Tennessee, regardless of our religion.”

. . . Brad Williams, the president and chief executive of Holston, which is not named as a defendant in the suit, said in a statement to The Post that his agency wants to make sure that “vulnerable children” do not “lose access to Christian families.”

“Holston Home places children with families that agree with our statement of faith, and forcing Holston Home to violate our beliefs and place children in homes that do not share our faith is wrong and contrary to a free society,” Williams added.

It’s the height of religious arrogance, which is a sign of this species of religion, that these people worry about not whether the kid will be raised properly, but will be raised as a proper Christian.

There are now eight states that allow adoption agencies to deny services to people of the “wrong” religion and sexual orientation, and we’re funding them. I suppose that these mis-Christians could say that the child will go to hell if brought up by Jewish or gay parents, but isn’t it time to leave those fairy tales behind? The welfare of children without parents is at stake. The outcome, of course, will be that the conservative and religious Supreme Court upholds these discriminatory laws, as they surely will. But why do taxpayers have to fund religious and sexual discrimination?

*Andrew Sullivan’s weekly essay, “The Backlash Against Trans Extremism“, calls out both Right and Left on education about sex and sexuality. The Left for initiating discussion about gender in kids as young as pre-schoolers, which angers parents who want to discuss the stuff first, and on their own time, or object to the ideology involved. Sully chastises the Right for using the angry parents to pass some boneheaded legislation:

The [National Association of Independent Schools] represents private schools, so this is not an example of public school excess. Nonetheless, trans ideology is spreading, it’s in the culture and in the education grad schools. And if you want to understand why there’s suddenly a slew of ugly, dumb and overly vague new laws being proposed in state legislatures around the teaching about homosexuality and transgender identity, this is a good place to start. What started in ed schools has swept private schools and is now in public schools.

In fact, it’s an essential place to start. It is perfectly possible for teachers to teach about sex and be attuned to gender-nonconforming kids, who may be gay or trans or straight — without transforming all of sex ed to comport with critical queer and gender theory, designed to dismantle the concepts of binary sex and biology altogether, and to begin this indoctrination in pre-K.

But this is what the educational elite now believes in. Teaching materials are full of the new and highly nebulous concept of “gender identity,” they are intent on blurring sex differences, and, in truly regressive fashion, they define sex by gender-stereotypical behaviors. If a little boy is playing with dolls, alarm bells go off. If a little girl wants to wear pants, or call herself by a boy’s name, trans ideology now explains it. One of the most basic building blocks in a kid’s education — the distinction between boys and girls — is being undermined. And parents are then told to get with the program or else. In some cases, teachers have deliberately kept parents in the dark about the development of their children.

As Vox noted, “the bottom line is that the federal judiciary is fast transforming into a forum to hear the grievances of religious conservatives. And the Supreme Court is rapidly changing the rules of the game to benefit those conservatives.”  (h/t Stephen)

*John McWhorter continues his series on black music, musicals, and shows in this week’s column, “‘The Gilded Age’ is Depicting Black Success. More TV Should.” After recounting the NAACP’s proper criticism of “Amos ‘n Andy” as a pandering to every racist black stereotype around, but also the blacks who criticized Diahann Carroll’s show “Julia” for being too sanitized of the gritty realities faced by urban blacks. McWhorter sees a new HBO Max show, set in 1883, as being both honest about racism but not obsessed with racism:

Miracle of miracles, “The Gilded Age” is portraying in living color (at least through the show’s most recently released episode) Brooklyn’s Black bourgeoisie of the era, and some of its history. That is, many Black New Yorkers, terrorized by the 1863 Draft Riots — which included the torching of a Black orphanage on Fifth Avenue — and by the generally oppressive conditions for Black people in an openly bigoted Manhattan, moved across the East River to Brooklyn, where a community of prosperous Black families took hold. Who knew that we would ever see, in high-def, this affluent Black Brooklyn, with characters played by actors as august as Audra McDonald and John Douglas Thompson? (Of note, also, is one of the show’s executive producers, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, known for her acting roles in movies such as “Antwone Fisher,” who directs four “Gilded Age” episodes this season.)

. . . given that Black struggle is these days portrayed rather richly in film and theater, “The Gilded Age” lends a service in showing, beyond museum exhibits and magazine articles, that Black people in another age could triumph despite the obstacles. It brings onscreen life to one of many Black truths, and the one it has chosen to show is of a kind that a truly proud people must not be denied.

I haven’t seen it (I don’t have cable), but weigh in if you have. Also, note the video below, which McWhorter siingles out:

A few years later, an episode of the TV news show “See It Now,” hosted by Edward R. Murrow, spotlighted the Black operatic virtuoso Marian Anderson’s tour of Asia. The episode, which was broadcast in December 1957 and documented Anderson’s exceptional cultural diplomacy (the whole thing is worth watching), juxtaposed with events of the preceding September, when segregationists resisted the integration of Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., by Black students who became known as “The Little Rock Nine.”

*AOC, who, with the other members of “The Squad” is, in my view, “anti-Zio” if not anti-Semitic, made a heinous and lying allegation against Israel at a rally for the Democratic Socialists of America. Listen below as she alleges that Israel keeps Palestinian children in cages:

She is either ignorant or a liar, but for sure she’s pandering to the far-Left penchant for dissing Israel.

The quote again, and a response from the Wiesenthal Center:

Along with her squad members, including Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, it’s manifestly clear that the group not only peddles lies about Israel, but consistently votes against it and in favor of BDS, which wants the state of Israel abolished. Argue with me if you want, but I think the Squad, whose progressivism is unfortunately the future of the Democratic Party, would agree with BDS’s call for abolition of the State of Israel: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” The fact is that to be Woke is to be, among other things, anti-Semitic.

Another response.

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 932,764, an increase of 2,261 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,894,556, an increase of about 10,900 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on February 19 include:

The eruption caused a volcanic winter, but it hasn’t erupted since 1600. Here’s the crater:

  • 1807 – Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason in Wakefield, Alabama and confined to Fort Stoddert.
  • 1846 – In Austin, Texas the newly formed Texas state government is officially installed. The Republic of Texas government officially transfers power to the State of Texas government following the annexation of Texas by the United States.
  • 1847 – The first group of rescuers reaches the Donner Party.

Of the 87 members of the party, trapped in the mountains by snow, only 48 survived. Much is made of the cannibalism that occurred: the living ate the bodies of the dead. If that was what it took to stay alive, I’d do it, too: it’s a senseless taboo. Here’s a photo of some of the trees cut by the Party; read the caption:

Stumps of trees cut at the Alder Creek site by members of the Donner Party, photograph taken in 1866. The height of the stumps indicates the depth of snow.

Well, he applied for a patent then, as the patent drawing below is dated May, 1880 (or perhaps this is a later model). Also shown is Edison (who electrocuted Topsy the Elephant and should thus be canceled) with his second model:

This is a complicated affair involving the resignation of the President followed by a complicated maneuver of succession. But nobody was head of any country for such a short period.

Here’s the evacuation order, one of the most shameful episodes in modern American history. These people were citizens!

The famous “Raising the flag on Iwo Jima”, after the battle was nearly over, won the Pulitzer Prize for photographer Joe Rosenthal. And there was a video, too:

At this time Pound was incarcertated in St. Elizabeth’s mental hospital after conviction for treason. Here’s his 1945 mug shot. He was a great poet, but also a vicious anti-Semite:

Here he is reading part of the long poem “Hugh Selwyn Mauberley“, written in 1920:

A signed first edition can run $3,000 or more:

  • 1976 – Executive Order 9066, which led to the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps, is rescinded by President Gerald Ford‘s Proclamation 4417.
  • 1985 – William J. Schroeder becomes the first recipient of an artificial heart to leave the hospital.

Schroeder was out of the hospital only 18 days before he had a series of strokes that left him in a vegetative state until he died on August 7, 1986. He he is leaving the hospital with his Jarvik-7 artificial heart.


And here is his gravestone, which Wikipedia captions “The headstone marking Schroeder’s grave is made of black granite in the shape of two overlapping hearts. One is laser engraved with an image of the Jarvik 7.”

Here’s one of the artifacts from that shipwreck, which occurred in about 830 AD (the ship was a dhow). Caption from Wikipedia:

A monumental ewer with incised floral lozenges and clouds, made of glazed stoneware with copper-green splashes over a white slip; probably from the Gongxian kilns, Henan

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1717 – David Garrick, English actor, playwright, and producer (d. 1779)
  • 1916 – Eddie Arcaro, American jockey and sportscaster (d. 1997)
  • 1924 – Lee Marvin, American actor (d. 1987)
  • 1940 – Smokey Robinson, American singer-songwriter and producer

Smokey!  Here is what I consider not only his best song, but in the top 10 souls songs of all time. It was written by Robinson and Pete Moore, and released by the Miracles in 1965

  • 1942 – Will Provine, American biologist, historian, and academic (d. 2015)
  • 1946 – Karen Silkwood, American technician and activist (d. 1974)

Silkwood died, of course, in a mysterious car crash perhaps connected with her investigation of Kerr-McGee for health and safety violations. The film, with Meryl Streep as Silkwood, is excellent:

  • 1952 – Amy Tan, American novelist, essayist, and short story writer

Did you know that Tan is a member of a band, “The Rock Bottom Remainders”, with other famous authors, including Stephen King, Amy Tan, Dave Barry, Mary Karr, and Scott Turow. Here’s the group discussing their work. To see a performance, go here.

Shoot me, but I do love this 1994 song by Seal, his most famous (and he wrote it):

  • 1967 – Benicio del Toro, Puerto Rican-American actor, director, and producer

Those who became corpses on February 19 include

  • 1916 – Ernst Mach, Austrian-Czech physicist and philosopher (b. 1838)
  • 1951 – André Gide, French novelist, essayist, and dramatist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1869)

Here’s Gide, photographed in 1924 by the ubiquitous Lady Ottoline Morrell (one of her long-time paramourse was Bertrand Russell:

  • 1952 – Knut Hamsun, Norwegian novelist, poet, and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1859)
  • 2016 – Umberto Eco, Italian novelist, literary critic, and philosopher (b. 1932)
  • 2016 – Harper Lee, American author (b. 1926)

Lee wrote only one book (another posthumous one has since been published). But it won the Pulitzer Prize and is a modern classic, though people are trying to cancel it. Here she is getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom from W. in 2007.

President George W. Bush shares a moment with author Harper Lee Monday, Nov. 5, 2007, prior to presenting her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during ceremonies in the East Room of the White House. Photo by Eric Draper, Courtesy of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Kulka’s plumping up a bit:

Kulka: The bowl behind me is empty.
Hili: Never mind, you are growing too fast anyhow.
In Polish:
Kulka: Ta miseczka za mną jest pusta.
Hili: Nie szkodzi i tak za szybko rośniesz.

Kulka and Szaron gazing out:


From reader Tom:

And Facebooks says that MAD Magazine’s icon, Alfred E. Neuman, has turned 70. Well, looking him up in a long Wikipedia article, it’s not clear where Neuman came from, and when. Here, for example, is the poster for an 1894 play, “The New Boy,” which clearly is the first image of a Neuman-like figure. That would make Alfred 128 years old.

Be that as it may, some Internet wag did a drawing of a 70-year-old Newman, and here it is. He must have dyed his hair.

From Peter, a Snowgasauraus, which Matthew will love (he collects them):

Oy! The article that Titania links to below says this:

A couple saw her performing a sex act on herself in a back alleyway of Wellesley Road at about 3.45pm that day.

Liz McGowan, prosecuting, said “the defendant was moving forwards and backwards against a wheelie bin” before being seen using a sex toy on herself.

At the time she was wearing “an ill-fitting black wig, a ra-ra skirt and a midriff-length top”, the court heard.

“She was shouted at by the witnesses and ran away,” said Ms McGowan.

What’s a ra-ra skirt?

From Ken, who notes, “The noble “Freedom Convoy” truckers who’ve been ordered to stop blocking traffic in Canada are now using children as human shields”.:

I found a picture. (Perhaps Snopes will debunk this. . . )

From Simon: a Republican’s platform. Simon adds:

What a thing to run on. I assume he picks a Remington when he wants to shoot babies! Ugh. Running for Gov of Georgia, it seems, presumably on the raving nutball (with no dress sense) ticket. 

From Ginger K., who theorizes that this cat is on the ‘nip. He sure looks like he has the munchies!


Tweets from Matthew. Both of us want to go and live in Dodo Land, where everything is wonderful:

Now how many people have ever really kissed a whale?

Matthew and I both think the insect in the second tweet below isn’t a stick insect but a mantis. Look at the head!

And the insect that inspired the first tweet:

34 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. In addition to the official US pandemic death toll being near one million, this week it was also announced that US excess deaths since the beginning of the pandemic has just topped one million. The Economist, et al., recommend adding official numbers, the number of excess deaths, and then adding a bit more (to compensate for people who would have otherwise died for other reasons, but managed not to this year) to come up with the true number of pandemic-related fatalities, whether due to the virus, or lack of access to hospitals.

  2. I’m trying to access the Economist article ‘The Pandemic’s True Death Toll’, but it looks like it has been paywalled to my IP range. Something about the definition of ‘excess deaths’ seems confusing; I think some articles include official COVID deaths in ‘excess deaths’, while others do not. In any case, the Economist is currently estimating around 20 million pandemic-related deaths so far.

    1. I subscribe to print; the e-mail appeared today. The definition of “excess deaths” is the number of recorded death of all causes in a year minus the number of statistically expected deaths of all causes for that year, for that country or sub-national jurisdiction. You are just counting deaths both observed and expected — you don’t need to know anything about the cause of death, just that you counted them all.
      Death counts vary cyclically (due chiefly to influenza activity that year) and secularly (as the population ages, more deaths occur each year). So the estimation of “expected deaths” requires statistical analysis of several years of trend. That part is harder than counting the actual deaths this year. (Much like defining an epidemic as a greater than expected number of cases of disease.)

      For a free, in-depth treatment of this, see:

      For dirt-poor countries that cannot even count all their deaths, much less diagnose them or treat them when they are alive, both observed and expected deaths are something of a guess. Most of the world’s deaths from all causes occur in countries with rudimentary collection of vital statistics and the 20 million figure globally is an educated guess.

      Official Covid deaths will always be included in the observed deaths for that year. Whether those Covid deaths result in a jurisdiction having excess total deaths will depend on what happened to deaths of other causes as a result of the infection itself, the public-health responses to it, or totally unrelated causes. Some people in nursing homes died of Covid instead of Alzheimer’s disease the same year. Influenza and motor-vehicle deaths were down due to social distancing and restrictions on discretionary travel. Overdose deaths were (and are) up due to large flows of government benefit money to users. Homicides in the U.S. were up, not due to Covid but due to George Floyd’s murder. Some jurisdictions like New Zealand had negative excess deaths — fewer than a normal year — because of pandemic restrictions and no Covid cases. You could argue that if you came through the pandemic with negative excess deaths, you overdid the economically and educationally costly restrictions — in New Zealand’s case it was a doomed “zero-Covid forever” policy.

      1. With respect to mortality, clearly something like ‘time living lost’: e.g. #days or #years lost as compared to statistically expected, is more relevant than simply #dying in excess. So with many more elderly deaths than younger, it would sound not quite as bad. But measuring it is surely very difficult.

        But going back to just deaths, surely measuring the excess deaths tells us something about ‘people dying, who would not have died at the time, had Covid never existed’. Anything more refined is full of uncertainty as is being pointed out in several ways here. I think it is very relevant in pondering the vast differences between countries and trying to figure out what policies and behaviours have had the best effect–that is, assuming we regard death as a rather undesirable thing, to put it slightly sarcastically. Actually below’s vast differences between countries in deaths per million population makes one wonder about a large nearby country in this respect, e.g. dropping dead for Trump via refusal the cooperate with Biden re vaccination.

        For example looking at US vs. Canada vs. Norway, those numbers seem to give huge differences, factors of about 3, when just using reports labelled simply Covid death rates, numbers coming from some government sources. I think it will be interesting in future to see whether the same ratios hold after one has been at least somewhat thoughtful about getting it from excess death statistics, rather than only from reports about whether the death is caused by Covid for not, as the doctor reports it. I think US has close to 3 times more deaths per million than Canada, with the numbers fast approaching 3000 and 1000 respectively. And Canada also is maybe 3 times worse than Norway, which is approaching 300. Seems to me pretty striking to have, for every 3000 people, 1 death, versus 3 or 4 deaths, versus 10 deaths. One hopes anyway that Canada’s health system, even social system more generally, moves much more in the direction of Norway’s than US’s.

        Outside the ‘3rd world’, the numbers are probably worthless for such comparisons.

      2. ‘..New Zealand’s …. doomed “zero-Covid forever” policy..’ sounds rather negative, what with their 11 deaths per million population, compared to US’s 2,870. In this instance, US seems to be worse by a factor of 241; equivalently, barely over a single death for every 100,000 people versus 287 deaths of USians, figures just now in Worldometer. Living in a city of 100,000 population in New Zealand seems somewhat more desirable for the non-suicidal, despite having dickhead Deans in the university.

  3. Any full scale war that Russia starts with Ukraine will be overwhelming. If they want, Russia can put them out of business without crossing the boarder with any people or tanks. They have the missiles and air force and Navy to do it any way they want. The real question is – then what? They will look similar to the U.S. after invading Iraq. They will have a destroyed a country with 40 million people who hate their guts. Good luck with that. Putin will be spending tons of money and getting very little. Putin will become a jackass worse than Trump. By the way, have you heard, Trump is about to finally make a crash landing. I know, that is crickets here.

  4. The raising of the flag actually occurred early in the battle of Iwo Jima. The US attacked on the 19th, the raising happened 4 days later but the battle continued for another month, concluding on the 26th March 1945. Three of the six men involved were subsequently killed.

  5. The clearest indication that Putin expects sanctions mght be that his superyacht, Graceful, wasordered out of Hamburg before repairs were finished.

  6. So sorry, but I have to cry culture appropriation. Frango Mints originated in Seattle, not Chicago. They were first made and named for Frederick and Nelson department store, i.e. Fr for frederick, a for and, n for nelson, with go tacked on as sort of echo of tango, which was popular at the time. If I could ever go back in time, it would be to once more have a Frango mint soda with date nut toast in Frederick’s Paul Bunyan room.

  7. I don’t know if Russia will invade or not, but I think Putin has more to gain (including merriment) by continuing to let Biden spin. One thing we can be sure: Putin will not invade on any day predicted by Biden.

    1. Does that mean we can expect the date from you? Assuming you have far more intelligence on this than Biden. I do not recall Biden predicting the day? Putin is as usual being being the child he is. The spinning must be coming from your head, I thought it was coming from Putin.

  8. Let’s give credit for Frangos to Seattle’s Frederick & Nelson department store. FR = Frederick, A= and, N = Nelson. They created Frangos and the recipe went to Marshall Field when MF bought F&N.

      1. I had a kids’ record that was part of a “Great Moments in American History” series. It talked about the Donner party. It didn’t mention cannibalism; it just said that they “somehow” survived their ordeal and ended with a patriotic spiel about how this exemplifies the can-do spirit that made America great. Yay America!

    1. When I was a lab flunky and then in grad school near Boston, we often had groups large enough to need reservations at any restaurant nicer than Mary’s. To make life easy, the reservations were always made in the name of Donner. Given the assorted commitments that came up without warning in a large lab, it wasn’t uncommon to make the reservation for “Donner, party of 16” and show up as “donner, party of ten”. Few, if any, of the host/hostesses ever made a comment.

  9. We have been watching The Guilded Age, and we enjoy it. It was touted as being comparable to Downton Abbey. Well, it’s different. Unlike D.A., its taken us a while to warm up to the characters in The Guilded Age, in part bc several of them are scoundrels.

    That is one of the species of stick mantis. It would take a while to ID as there are quite a few of these around the world.

  10. As a kid, I was a huge fan of the ‘usual gang of idiots,’ and I have no choice but to say, “it’s crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsy in snide.”

  11. My wife and I watch “The Gilded Age” and enjoy it immensely. The black character that McWhorter points out is well played though the lessons we’re supposed to learn from her scenes are a bit too obvious and calculated. The show is mostly about intrigue, both intramural and extramural, involving the upper and lower classes in 1880s New York. As with the creator’s Downton Abbey, it all seems quite realistic with beautiful costumes and sets. Good acting too. So far, it isn’t as good as Downton was.

  12. No need to call for being shot, PCC(E): Kiss From a Rose is a beautiful and complex and interesting song (that for some unclear reason was part of the “Batman Forever” soundtrack). Rick Beato does a very nice “What Makes This Song Great?” about it, in which he interviews Seal: It brought tears to my eyes, weirdly enough.

  13. Technically, Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman” was published while she was still alive, though Wikipedia says that there was controversy over whether Lee was competent enough to make the decision to publish. I didn’t read it but reviews were not favorable.

    1. I thought the Watchman was pretty good. Some did not like the fact that this book was much more honest with the characters in the books. People have the characters and their images set and then get them taken apart a bit in the Watchman. The main character played by Gregory Peck in the movie was very low key, liberal minded and so fourth. The Watchman did not build quite that image of him. The best thing to do is read it for yourself.

  14. The rah-rah skirt is a short flounced layered skirt that originated in cheerleading and became a popular fashion trend among teenage girls in the early 1980s. As such it marked, as the Oxford Dictionary noted, the first successful attempt to revive the miniskirt that had been introduced in the mid-1960s. – Wikipedia

  15. The photos of the children are real. However, while a picture is worth a thousand words, it often takes 10,000 to explain it. I’ll try for fewer.

    The uncropped version of the top photo which you re-tweeted yesterday shows it was taken at the Canadian approach to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, where protesting families had brought their children in defiance of the Court injunction granted last week to clear the bridge. Last Sunday, the police moved to break up the vehicle blockade, non-violently, after the children had left with their parents. Children’s Aid Society, the legally mandated child-protection body in Ontario, at no time judged any children were at risk from protesters’ actions or those of police in enforcing the injunction. No children at the bridge, or at the main protest site in Ottawa currently being dismantled, have been separated from their parents through arrest or otherwise deemed in need of protection by CAS.

    The CBC managed to find a criminologist at the University of Windsor who would answer the network’s question, “Would you say the protesters are using children as human shields?” in the affirmative. The person who originated this human-shields tweet, Dwight Duncan, is a political hack who served in the previous Ontario Liberal government which was annihilated in the last provincial election.

    The protesters throughout, at all sites, seem to have been labouring under the delusion that the police did not have the legal power to arrest them as long as they (the protesters) didn’t resort to violence. (This has indeed been police policy at other large well-publicized protests and blockades that defy Court injunctions in Canada, and was in Ottawa until yesterday. Taking your children to a protest is not the recklessly endangering behaviour that it would be in Portland or Kenosha.) Obviously a child would be put in grave peril were it to be caught between protestors resisting arrest and police using even non-lethal force to subdue them but whether by design or good luck this has not happened. So far.

  16. I read the accusation by AOC and your condemnation just here. There is no good scenario. Either AOC has a point, then calling her out would be bad. If she’s mistaken, or outright lies about children in cages, that’s bad, too.

    I didn’t take long to find children in cages somewhere in the region. I know that material of this kind can be very deceptive, and dishonest propaganda, but it can also be accurate. For wht is worth, here is one example. The source (wikipedia): “B’Tselem was established in February 1989 by a large group of Israeli lawyers, doctors and academics with the support of a lobby of ten members of Knesset”

    1. So what, I ask Sandy C., are the Israeli police supposed to do with unaccompanied minors whom they arrest for throwing rocks at soldiers? Call their parents to come pick them up after a stern talking to?

      And what, again Sandy C., is the U.S. Border Patrol supposed to do with minors they catch crossing the border illegally who are then abandoned by whatever random (and fleeter of foot) adults they were entrusted to? Confining them with the general apprehended population would expose them to risk of rape.

      Any place with a locked door is a cage if you spin right.

      1. Anybody can answer such questions for themselves. I merely saw an assertion, that children were put in cages, and I saw the counter-assertion that this never happened, ever, and went to check. The question here is, did AOC lie? I see children put into a cage. It‘s time-stamped from 2017, and clearly that’s not never.

        If your policy entails to occasionally jail minors in cage-like-jails, you cannot act outraged when somebody criticises that fact alone. It’s simple. You then have to do what you do now and explain why that’s necessary. But what you do now, rationalisation after the fact is already a lost position now. I guess you are mad with AOC even though her point was apparently truthful.

  17. “What a thing to run on. I assume he picks a Remington when he wants to shoot babies!”
    A couple of fine, fine Republicans are running. The bus shown is for Kandiss Taylor, a woman. Michael Williams another candidate for Governor of Georgia has the “Deportation Bus” which concentrates on getting rid of murdering, raping illegal aliens. As anyone can see they have detailed plans to address the most important issues facing our country! The old slave states have more than their share of idiots!

  18. I feel like the necessary response to the “from the river to the sea chant” should be to post a map of the state of Israel pointing out exactly what that means. I’d wager it might put off a few that think a two-state solution is the way to go.

    Whatever one thinks about the state of Israel, it *does* exist regardless of if it *should*. If you’re going to insist it shouldn’t exist you might want to give your “unceded territory” back to it’s prior inhabitants*.

    *referencing land acknowledgements

  19. I love whales, but I don’t think I’d ever kiss one. They probably smell like fish and I don’t know here they’ve been.

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