Tuesday: Hili dialogue

March 22, 2022 • 6:30 am

Where we are now: The ship’s real-time map shows us off the Antarctic Peninsula today, with two landings scheduled and a lecture for me to give in between. I may skip one landing, as I’ve been to Brown Station before and would have to rush, but even so posting will likely be light today. And I hate to miss a chance to see penguins, even if I’ve been to Brown Station and Neko Harbor before.

And a lovely view from my balcony at 6:45 a.m. How lucky I was to get a cabin with a balcony!

Welcome to a frigid Tuesday: March 22, 2022, and it looks as if I screwed up saying that yesterday was World Water Day. It wasn’t: today is World Water Day. Be sure to stay hydrated, sucking repeatedly on your cute little water bottle if you must.

If you want to keep this part of the site going until I return, please go to the Wikipedia page for March 22 and note your favorite events, births, and deaths on this day. And if you want to add some news that I didn’t have time to put up, by all means to so, as I must rush to breakfast.

*Here’s the headline and brief news summary from the NYT:

Increasingly, as the Russian advance in Ukraine slows to a crawl, the news (also CNN, MSNBC, etc.) are discussing Putin’s possible use of banned or unthinkable weapons:

With Russian forces struggling to advance along front lines that stretch over 1,000 miles across Ukraine, they are stepping up their air and sea campaigns in an attempt to gain momentum, while Western nations are growing increasingly concerned about Moscow’s potential willingness to turn to deadly unconventional weapons.

President Biden is preparing to travel to a NATO summit this week in Brussels, where the Western allies are expected to discuss how they will respond if Russia employs chemical, biological, cyber or nuclear weapons

If you’re wondering what “cyber weapons” are, go here; they’re regarded as either illegal or acts of war. Later, there’s this:

An unfounded allegation by the Russian leader, Vladimir V. Putin, that the United States and Ukraine had weapons of mass destruction in the country was “a clear sign he’s considering using” them, Mr. Biden told CEOs at the Business Roundtable on Monday evening. “He’s already used chemical weapons in the past, and we should be careful about what’s to come.”

Three-quarters of Mariupol’s population is gone (mostly evacuees), and a flood of refugees is inundating the EU, which allows Ukrainian citizens to cross borders without visas and stay for three years. The bulk of the flow of people is to Poland, especially Warsaw, which had no facilities for so many people, but the Polish people are banding together to find housing, food, and clothes for the new arrivals.

“We should be preparing for a long march,” Mr. Mroczkowski said, but, he added, he was amazed to see how many people from all over Europe had converged here and were dedicated to offering help.

Most of the people providing aid are volunteers, charity workers, or the staff of the expo center. Inside there are play areas for children, a medical clinic, showers, toilets, charging stations and a canteen. Donated clothes, baby strollers, wheelchairs, diapers, pet carriers and other necessities are piled up in one corner.

*Could the Russians possibly use nuclear weapons in its fight with Ukraine? Certainly not the big ones, but smaller “tactical” weapons are feasible, and shouldn’t be ruled out. As the NYT reports,

“The chances are low but rising,” said Ulrich Kühn, a nuclear expert at the University of Hamburg and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “The war is not going well for the Russians,” he observed, “and the pressure from the West is increasing.”

Mr. Putin might fire a weapon at an uninhabited area instead of at troops, Dr. Kühn said. In a 2018 study, he laid out a crisis scenario in which Moscow detonated a bomb over a remote part of the North Sea as a way to signal deadlier strikes to come.

*The hearings have begun for proposed Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, though I haven’t had time to watch many of them

Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Monday promised she would be an independent jurist who will decide cases “without fear or favor” — emphasizing her neutrality on the bench in hopes of heading off the expected criticism from Republicans that she has been a judicial activist.

Jackson, who will be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court if confirmed, spent her official introduction before the Senate Judiciary Committee detailing her approach as a judge, describing it as narrowly focused on resolving the issues before her. She has been a federal judge for nine years, both on the trial court and now on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

She’s well qualified for the position, and I like the fact that she was a public defender (I can’t name a Justice beside her who’s done this). She should be confirmed promptly—that is, unless the Republicans decide to make the hearings turn ugly. The Court is not going to change its conservative bent, as Jackson is a liberal replacing a liberal, so Republicans have little to gain by attacking a well qualified nominee. I anticipate that in the next two years we’ll have plenty of real screaming to do as the Court rules on several important issues on the docket. What will they do with Roe v. Wade?

*In case you’re thinking of traveling, the NYT also says that now is the time to see Angkor Wat, the Cambodian temple complex that’s one of the world’s greatest tourist destinations. If you’re fully vaccinated, getting there is easy, and the rate of infection in the country is low. This has been on my bucket list for years.

I’m short on time to peruse the news today, so please add below anything happening of interest.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili plans a night out on the tiles, probably looking for mice.

Hili: The night is coming.
A: Time to sleep.
Hili: I have different plans
In Polish:
Hili: Idzie noc.
Ja: Pora się przespać.
Hili: Mam inne plany.

Here’s a photo of Andrzej’s and Malgorzata’s Ukrainian visitor/refugee Karolina (her mother’s also there) along with Paulina, the upstairs lodger and main staff person for Kulka. There’s also along a d*g belonging to Paulina’s father. Remember too that Paulina, when herself a small child, was the one who brought Hili to Malgorzata and Andrzej.  I must visit my Polish surrogate family very soon!

In line with the article on Polish hospitality to refugees above, Malgorzata adds that even beyond their two guests, the “tiny and rather poor (comparing with the rest of Poland) Dobrzyń, and the few surrounding villages, have already taken in 68 Ukrainian refugees. And every one was are taken by private people into their homes.”

From Science Daily:

From Jesus of the Day:

An importuning letter from John Steinbeck to Marilyn Monroe:

Masih reminds us that Iran is still waging war against women, and I suspect is using the Urkrainian/Russian conflict as a distraction to wheedle advantages in its phony “nuclear deal” with the gullible U.S.

I believe Matthew is on his way to the U.S. for a meeting in New York’s Cold Spring Harbor, so we may be short of tweets for a few days. You could help by sending me one or two GOOD ones. Thanks. Here’s what I got from Dr. Cobb.

First, about Ukraine. Sound up:

This next tweet gets the Tweet of the Month Award. A Ukrainian woman with two cats a dog, a passel of luggage, and apparently evacuating on foot—that is a determined woman!

Matthew says that one-star reviews for scented items whose buyers can’t smell the item arre correlated with the prevalence of Covid, which for many attenuates their sense of smell.  As he says:

People started posting one star reviews on Amazon complaining that these scented candles did’t smell of anything. The number of these reviews closely followed the surge in the pandemic. Cos duh ppl couldn’t smell. There are some linked tweets from 2021 showing the change in “no smell candles” over time.

Live and Learn Department:

L&L Department, part 2:

A bit more information about Ol Chiki (you can read more about it on Wikipedia)

This is.a good one, but the cat should be moving the clock consistently forward!

. . . and an artistic kitty:

39 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1312 – Vox in excelso: Pope Clement V dissolves the Order of the Knights Templar. – Conspiracy theorists won’t let them rest, however…

    1621 – The Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony sign a peace treaty with Massasoit of the Wampanoags.

    1622 – Jamestown massacre: Algonquians kill 347 English settlers around Jamestown, Virginia, a third of the colony’s population, during the Second Anglo-Powhatan War.

    1631 – The Massachusetts Bay Colony outlaws the possession of cards, dice, and gaming tables.

    1638 – Anne Hutchinson is expelled from Massachusetts Bay Colony for religious dissent.

    1765 – The British Parliament passes the Stamp Act that introduces a tax to be levied directly on its American colonies.

    1794 – The Slave Trade Act of 1794 bans the export of slaves from the United States, and prohibits American citizens from outfitting a ship for the purpose of importing slaves.

    1896 – Charilaos Vasilakos wins the first modern Olympic marathon race with a time of three hours and 18 minutes.

    1933 – Nazi Germany opens its first concentration camp, Dachau. – They started as they meant to go on…

    1963 – The Beatles release their debut album Please Please Me.

    1972 – In Eisenstadt v. Baird, the United States Supreme Court decides that unmarried persons have the right to possess contraceptives. – At least until the Republic of Gilead is established.

    2019 – The Special Counsel investigation on the 2016 United States presidential election concludes when Robert Mueller submits his report to the United States Attorney General.

    1599 – Anthony van Dyck, Flemish-English painter and etcher (d. 1641)

    1615 – Katherine Jones, Viscountess Ranelagh, British scientist (d. 1691) – In 1676 she commissioned Robert Hooke to modify her house to include a laboratory for her brother, Robert Boyle, where she worked alongside him. Apparently “her influence and encouragement on Boyle’s work were considerable”, as their contemporaries acknowledged, but she was written out of later accounts.

    1785 – Adam Sedgwick, English scientist (d. 1873)

    1868 – Robert Andrews Millikan, American colonel and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1953)

    1912 – Wilfrid Brambell, Irish actor and performer (d. 1985) – “You dirty ol’ man!”

    1920 – Fanny Waterman, English pianist and educator, founded the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition (d. 2020)

    1923 – Marcel Marceau, French mime and actor (d. 2007) – Was he put in a glass coffin and buried alive in 2007, I wonder?

    1930 – Stephen Sondheim, American composer and songwriter (d. 2021)

    1931 – William Shatner, Canadian actor – the oldest dude to fly to space, albeit for a flight time of 10 minutes 17 seconds.

    Those who started wearing a toe tag:
    1832 – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German novelist, poet, playwright, and diplomat (b. 1749)

    2001 – William Hanna, American animator, director, producer, and voice actor, co-founded Hanna-Barbera (b. 1910)

    2005 – Kenzō Tange, Japanese architect, designed the Yoyogi National Gymnasium and Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (b. 1913)

    2010 – James Black, Scottish biologist and pharmacologist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1924)

    2018 – Johan van Hulst, Dutch politician, academic and author, Yad Vashem recipient (b. 1911) – He was instrumental in saving over 600 Jewish children from deportation to Nazi concentration camps.

    1. Thank you for providing us with daily data and vital statistics during Jerry’s current voyage, JezGrove. Always an interesting fact or two or historical character that I had forgotten about over the years.

    2. So-called “Jamestown massacre” – they were fighting invaders!!!

      Did Jerry see the holocaust survivor Boris Romantschenko 96 murdered by Russian shelling in Ukraine?

    3. William Shatner was a terrible actor. I was hoping they would leave him in space, but it seems they brought him back.

      Karl Malden was born on this day in 1912. Big Nose George Parrott was ushered out on this day in 1881.

          1. Billy does that on purpose, I assume you know – for a laugh – I get a kick out of it – the Golden Throat genre, I believe …

            But this particular one … King Crimson? John Wetton? This is confusing – and intriguing (sort of).

            And of course, we can’t forget :

            Mr. Spock’s Music from Outer Space : https://youtu.be/LiR2LcdoMj8

            .. my personal fave might be Bilbo Baggins. Hold on tight, and alcohol might be necessary.

          2. Can’t help this one – I made it as WEIT as possible :

            Both Sides Now (J. Mitchell – yes! Joni Mitchell!) as performed by Leonard Nimoy : https://youtu.be/Byp0Bf6G9VA

            Otherwise, look for “Spaced Out” with Nimoy and Shatner, or just Spock singing on “The Both Sides of Leonard Nimoy”. That should get those interested well in the rabbit hole … to mix two Alice in Wonderland-isms…

    4. JezGrove,
      Thanks most of all for being so original with the titles of your death lists. I especially enjoyed “shortening Santa’s list”. For some silly reason I have been recording JCC’s titles for several months. In my long ago career I was the captain of Anal Retentives Anonymous which might explain my fixation(s)

  2. Your Polish family is entirely lovable and a highlight of my day, especially with their new additions. That little girl is a darling.

    I wonder how Hili is responding to the d*g.

  3. If a Guinness pint glass be cute, call me a sucker.

    Does anyone recall a water drinking fad in the early nineties? All I could find was “Zippies” on Wikipedia, with whom is associated “smart drinks”. But that’s a tad beyond what I mean.

  4. Anyone hear anything regarding refugees in this country? Crickets
    Yes, surprising the Stamp Act of 1765 and how to get sideways with the colonies. Oddly it had nothing to do with slavery.

    1. There is this big pond between the countries…
      But I do understand there are Russian refugees coming in across the border of Mexico, and they are pretty much being waived thru.

  5. … I like the fact that she [Ketanji Brown Jackson] was a public defender (I can’t name a Justice beside her who’s done this).

    KBJ is the first. Only a few SCOTUS justices have had experience as trial lawyers, and fewer still have ever served as a trial lawyer in a criminal case.

    1. In the history of the court, many of them never went to law school. The first 130 or so were white, male protestants. If Ted. Cruz does not make you sick just looking at him, take a look at this article – what he did yesterday.


    2. With regard to justices having experience as public defenders, keep in mind it wasn’t until the1963 decision in Gideon v. Wainwright that SCOTUS held that indigent defendants had the right to court-appointed counsel under the Sixth Amendment. (See Anthony Lewis’s wonderful book about that case, Gideon’s Trumpet.) And it took years thereafter — in some instances decades — before many jurisdictions established professional public defenders’ offices.

      1. It is astonishing, isn’t it? And even now, the budget for public defenders (in my understanding) is much lower than the prosecutors’ office. We pay lip service to the notion of “innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt,” but the odds are very much stacked against any defendant who cannot afford very high-priced, private defense attorneys.

      2. Well, could that not be used as an argument to reinforce Pinker’s views? And as Robert points out, we can still improve..

    3. At some point Bernie Sanders made some derogatory comments about public defenders, which is why my son, who is a public defender, wants nothing to do with the old goat, with whom he might otherwise have some sympathy toward. In any event, it may be interesting to see if BS has any comments about her in that regard.

  6. “The Court is not going to change its conservative bent, as Jackson is a liberal replacing a liberal” – although I’m pretty sure I heard that Clarence Thomas is currently in hospital…?

      1. Thomas was hospitalized with a case of the flu, as I understand it.

        I don’t think hospitalizations and survival rates of prior justices carry precedential value. 🙂

        1. Should Thomas not recuse himself from any case involving 1/6 since his spouse was involved ( code 28, par 455, 5, iii)?
          And if he doesn’t, should he not be impeached? Or are SC Justices exempt from that law? How does it work?

  7. What will they [SCOTUS] do with Roe v. Wade?

    Pour one out for Roe; it’s as good as dead.

    We even know its life expectancy, which can be measured in months (when the Court’s current term ends early this summer). The only real question left is whether SCOTUS polishes it off in one fell swoop in the case currently pending out of Mississippi, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization — or whether it uses Dobbs to gut Roe, and saves the mopping up work for later.

      1. Once Roe has been overruled, there will no longer be a constitutional right to access to contraception. (The cases holding that there is a constitutional right to contraception — Griswold v. Connecticut and Eisenstadt v. Baird — provided the constitutional foundation for the right to abortion in Roe v. Wade. If Roe is overruled outright, this entire line of cases can no longer be considered good law.)

        If there is no longer a right to contraception guaranteed by the US constitution, the issue will be left to the individual states. Whether there exists the political will to outlaw contraception in some deep red states, I don’t know. Some in those states will certainly advocate to do it.

    1. Question – if Roberts is in the majority to but chooses to write an opinion none of the other majority justices agree with, can he do that? Does his singular opinion then become the precedent?

      Because I can see it being a case of Roberts being in the majority, keeping authorship for himself, and using that authorship to preserve Roe in name while saying all these restrictions that kill it in practice are legal. Meanwhile, all the other conservative justices join Thomas in a concurrence that says no such constitutional right exists.

      Heck I think at this point I’d prefer the clean cut. That might motivate Sinema and Manchin to allow an exception to the filibuster for a Federal rule to go through before the mid terms. If Roberts muddies the water, Manchin can just say “no need for extreme measures, Roe is still in place!”

      1. In SCOTUS, it’s majority rule. If five or more justices join a single opinion, that becomes the opinion of the Court and is entitled to full precedential value. The Chief Justice’s vote doesn’t count for more than any other justice’s.

        Justices who do not join a majority opinion are free to write concurring or dissenting opinions to get their views on what should be the proper holding into the public sphere, or to point the way forward in future cases.

        Where no opinion commands a majority of the justices’ votes (which is to say, gets to the magic number of five justices joining the opinion) only the result (which is to say, the narrowest possible interpretation of the case’s outcome) becomes precedent for the lower courts and for future Supreme Court cases.

  8. I don’t consider the use of tactical nukes very likely. These are blunt weapons intended for use against a large concentration of enemy troops, such as Soviet armor pouring through the Fulda Gap. The Ukrainian military does not seem to offer a suitable target., certainly not in exchange for the opprobrium it would engender against Russia (although there doesn’t seem to be much opprobrium left on the part of the Media). By the way, did you hear that Yuri Gagarin’s been canceled? Odd that he should be canceled now, for being associated with a regime that’s killed around 1,000 Ukrainians, and not for having actually been associated with a regime that killed millions of Ukrainians. I guess omelettes were au courant then.

    In other news, The Babylon Bee has been locked out of its Twitter account for a piece naming Rachel Levine as Man of the Year, following USA Today’s naming her as one of their Women of the Year. In response The Bee poked fun at itself: “Babylon Bee Writers Struggling To Come Up With New Material After Twitter Bans 1 Of Their 2 Jokes”.

    1. I suspect our host remembers this well, as do I. I was in the 8th grade at the time. Don’t believe they were calling that middle school in those days.

  9. Dr. Kühn said. In a 2018 study, he laid out a crisis scenario in which Moscow detonated a bomb over a remote part of the North Sea as a way to signal deadlier strikes to come.

    I suspect that Dr Kuhn and I differ in our definition of “remote”. If it’s something like “100km or more from permanent occupation” then he’s going to struggle to find anywhere in the North Sea until he gets well up into the Norwegian Sea.
    Hmmm, second thoughts – a lot of the gas production installations “down south” have been stripped out and converted to seabed only operations, so there might be a “100km hole” down in the area between East Anglia and the Frisians. Being within about 200km of London and Amsterdam might make that area attractive, from a politican’s point of view.

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