Friday: Hili dialogue

April 15, 2022 • 6:30 am

Good morning on the end of the “work week”: it’s Friday, April 15, 2021, National Ham Day. Note that after sundown today but before midnight, it is in special conflict with the Jewish sabbath. (Ham is unkosher and forbidden to religious Jews.) Here’s a ham-related joke (ask me about my bacon joke.)

An elderly rabbi, having just retired from his duties in the congregation, finally decides to fulfill his lifelong fantasy–to taste pork.

He goes to a hotel in the Catskills in the off-season (not his usual one, mind you), enters the empty dining hall and sits down at a table far in the corner.  The waiter arrives, and the rabbi orders roast suckling pig.

As the rabbi is waiting, struggling with his conscience, a family from his congregation walks in!  They immediately see the rabbi and, since no one should eat alone, they join him.

Shocked, the rabbi begins to sweat.  At last, the waiter arrives with a huge domed platter. He lifts the lid to reveal-what else?–roast suckling pig, complete with an apple in its mouth.

The family gasp in shock and disgust, they quickly turned to the rabbi for any type of explanation.

“This place is amazing!” cries the rabbi. “You order a baked apple, and look what you get!”

I’ll be here all year, folks! It’s also ASL Day, Good Friday, Jackie Robinson Day (see below), National Glazed Spiral Ham Day, National Griper’s Day, National Rubber Eraser Day, National That Sucks Day (indeed!), World Art Day. and Universal Day of Culture.

Stuff that happened on April 15 includes:

A good-condition first edition of this classic work will run you between $25,000 and $65,000:

  • 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by actor John Wilkes Booth. Vice President Andrew Johnson becomes President upon Lincoln’s death.

From Smithsonian Magazine, here’s a photo of the gun that Booth used to kill Lincoln:

Well, here’s the opening ceremony. The games were a great success, and USA fans would be pleased because Americans won the most medals:

  • 1912 – The British passenger liner RMS Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg. Only 710 of 2,224 passengers and crew on board survive.

Here’s the route up to the point where she sank (yellow star):

  • 1923 – Insulin becomes generally available for use by people with diabetes.

The first person to be treated with it for the disease was 14-year-old Leonard Thompson, injected on January 11, 1922 (this is the 100th anniversary of the substance used as a drug). He would have died within weeks without the drug; with it he lived 13 more years. Here’s an early vial:

He started on opening day, and although he went hitless, he scored the winning run (on base after an error) against the Boston Braves. Robinson went on to bat .297 for the season and was named Rookie of the Year. Many great black players never got a chance to play in the “major league” because of sheer bigotry. Here’s a short video about Robinson’s debut:

The oldest McDonald’s still in operation is this one, labeled “The oldest operating McDonald’s restaurant was the third one built, opening in 1953. It’s located at 10207 Lakewood Blvd. at Florence Ave. in Downey, California.” Remember, too, that Downey, California is where the Carpenters are from. Here’s the still-operating restaurnt; I implore a reader to go visit.

I still remember when burgers were 15¢, as were shakes and fries. Your whole meal: 45¢:

  • 1989 – Hillsborough disaster: A human crush occurs at Hillsborough Stadium, home of Sheffield Wednesday, in the FA Cup Semi-final, resulting in the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans.
  • 2019 – The cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris in France is seriously damaged by a large fire.

I saw it intact shortly before it burned, and I still can’t believe it happened. Here’s a news report about the fire, and we still have no idea what started it:

Notables born on this day include:

This contemporary portrait by Francesco Melzi gives us the only idea of what Leonardo really looked like:

  • 1707 – Leonhard Euler, Swiss mathematician and physicist (d. 1783)
  • 1772 – Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, French biologist and zoologist (d. 1844)
  • 1889 – Thomas Hart Benton, American painter and educator (d. 1975)

Benton liked jazz, and here’s his “Portrait of a Musiciian” painted in 1949:

  • 1894 – Bessie Smith, African-American singer and actress (d. 1937)

Here’s Smith’s hit “Downhearted Blues” from 1922:

  • 1907 – Nikolaas Tinbergen, Dutch-English ethologist and ornithologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1988)
  • 1912 – Kim Il-sung, North Korean general and politician, 1st Supreme Leader of North Korea (d. 1994)

Go to Wikipedia and have a look at all of his titles.  And he’s still considered the President of Korea!

  • 1922 – Harold Washington, American lawyer and politician, 51st Mayor of Chicago (d. 1987)
  • 1933 – Roy Clark, American musician and television personality (d. 2018)
  • 1959 – Emma Thompson, English actress, comedian, author, activist and screenwriter

I adore Thompson; here’s a top 10 compilation of her performances.

Those who Met their Maker (or not) on this day include:

  • 1764 – Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV (d. 1764)[21]
  • 1865 – Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States (b. 1809)
  • 1888 – Matthew Arnold, English poet and critic (b. 1822)
  • 1889 – Father Damien, Belgian priest and saint (b. 1840)

Father Damien tended the lepers of Moloka’i, and contracted leprosy, from which he died. Here’s a photo of Father Damien (now St. Damien) shortly before his death. The signs of leprosy are clearly visible:

There’s a list of the notable ones at the April 15 site.

  • 1980 – Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1905)
  • 1986 – Jean Genet, French novelist, poet, and playwright (b. 1910)
  • 1990 – Greta Garbo, Swedish-American actress (b. 1905)

Greta Garbo had some friends, but she really did prefer solitude, not even showing up at the Oscars when she was nominated:

Here’s his gravesite. Given that he killed about 20% of his own people, it’s amazing that it still stands intact. Wikipedia labels it “Pol Pot’s grave in the Anlong Veng District of Oddar Meanchey Province”


*Here’s today’s top-left headline in the digital NYT; click on screenshot to read:

And the news summary (I’ve posted more of it than usual):

Russian forces on Friday appeared close to capturing the strategic port city of Mariupol, a development that would be a significant victory for Moscow after a series of setbacks this week, including a tentative but looming European Union ban on Russian oil and the loss in the Black Sea of its flagship vessel, which Ukraine said it struck in a missile attack.

If confirmed, the strike on the Russian guided missile cruiser Moskva would be a serious blow to Moscow both militarily and symbolically — proof that its ships can no longer operate with impunity, and another damaging blow to Russian morale.

However, if Mariupol falls, Russia will be able to claim the land route from Crimea that it seeks. It could then send reinforcements to the eastern Donbas region, where it is now concentrating troops for what analysts predict will be a major offensive.

But Russia’s setbacks are real, leaving President Vladimir V. Putin so desperate for a victory that he could potentially turn to limited nuclear weapons, the director of the C.I.A. warned on Thursday.

It looks as if the promised evacuation of Mariupol never took place. The Ukrainian troops have been bottled up in two areas, and it looks as if the city is lost—for the time being.

The loss of the Russian cruiser is indeed a blow to Moscow, as it’s a setback for Russian plans to control the Black Sea coast and its city of Odessa, but I wonder if all the celebrating about it is symbolic: it is a nice Ukrainian victory, but won’t win the war for them. And it’s also a setback for Christianity, as the sunken vessel is supposed to have carried a piece of the True Cross! (I hope they saved it.    ). All I can say is either God works in mysterious ways, He hates the Russian troops (as he should) or that it wasn’t really a piece of the true cross, but one of a gazillon fakes:

*The Washington Post is tracking the progress of anti-abortion bills across America, and there’s a useful chart at their site. There are two new ones, pushed by Republicans, of course:

Two states this week approved bills that ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, the latest actions as Republican-led states move swiftly to restrict abortion access. Kentucky’s ban, passed by the Republican-led legislature over the Democratic governor’s veto, took effect immediately. Florida’s governor signed a ban this week that is set to take effect in July.

Here are the states that have passed or are in the process of passing “15-week bans”, i.e. fetal heartbeat bills, which according to Roe v. Wade adhere to the Constitution:

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that this fall we’ll see the demise of Roe v. Wade, and all hell will break loose as Republican legislatures vie with one another to enact the most draconian antiabortion laws.

*A NYT op-ed extols the story of the Exodus of the Jews from the Old Testament, saying that it’s pivotal in helping us argue against slavery and build a “just society”. But of that narrative, the Bible offers much more support of slavery. The problem for author Sharon Brous, a rabbi, is of course that the Exodus never happened: it’s fiction, a myth.  Doesn’t it matter that a made-up story is sad to inspire people to create a more just society? Perhaps that’s possible, but Brous never admits that the story of the Exodus is false.

*A 26 year old father of two (black) was shot to death by a Michigan policeman (white) after resisting arrest and trying to grab the cop’s taser. This followed a traffic stop. If you look at the video here, (in the Post article, though, you’ll see that it doesn’t look like the cop’s life was endangered. The officer wound up sitting on the guy’s back, who was face down, and fired a shot into the guy’s head.  I won’t say the cop was guilty until there’s an investigation or a trial, but do watch the video. Yes, it was a confusing arrest and the guy didn’t cooperate, but cops should pull their sidearm and fire only when they think their life is endangered or they’re at risk of serious injury.  Again, let’s see what the investigation yields (the cop’s body camera apparently was inactivated at some point during the tussle.)

* reports that two women at a New Jersey women’s prison are pregnant via consensual sex. It wasn’t the guards who participated in the deed, but a transgender inmate who identified as a woman and thus got was entitled to be housed in the prison. (h/t Williams)

The developments follow a settlement agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Jersey last year, which stipulates that transgender prisoners should be housed in line with their gender identity.

That settlement stemmed from a lawsuit by a transgender woman who was sent to a men’s prison, where she alleged she received inadequate medical care and was abused by male inmates and staff.

Advocates hailed the agreement as necessary reform that moved New Jersey to the forefront of trans rights along with states like California and Massachusetts that have implemented policies on how transgender prisoners should be housed and medically treated.

The majority of transgender inmates in the United States are housed in prisons according to their gender assigned at birth and are often subjected to violence and harassment, according to an NBC News investigation published in 2020.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, I’m told that a new cat has shown up that looks much like Szaron. This has caused some confusion for Hili and Kulka:

Hili: Szaron is over there.
Kulka: You can’t be certain.
In Polish:
Hili: Tam jest Szaron.
Kulka: To wcale nie jest pewne.

Here’s a photo of Karolina from Kyiv reading, with Andrzej’s caption, translated by Malgorzata:

Karolina is looking for the best method of reading books in languages she doesn’t know yet.

In Polish: Karolina poszukuje najlepszej metody czytania książek w językach, których jeszcze nie znamy.

From Nicole and Stephen: A genuine “Bible bookplate” to paste in your Bible to facilitate learning it. Only $7.95 here, and waterproof! (Yes, it’s real, sold by a religious stuff store.) Click to enlarge:

An Easter photo from Bruce. I’d be scared too if I were in the clutches of a giant rabbit!

I haven’t read this article yet, but it’s in the WaPo and Bari Weiss said it was “couragenous” of the paper to publish it. That’s good enough for me; let’s read it together:

From Irena. Does anybody know what bird this is?

God is Hawking (those three words are a complete sentence) his new book, just out (buy it here for $20 in hardback, $11.99 in Kindle), and gives us a sample:

Here are the reviews on the Amazon page. I’m surprised Publisher’s Weekly liked it! (Of course, in America there’s no possibility for a starred review for such a book!)

“Wickedly funny…Readers who haven’t injured themselves laughing will be relieved to hear that doggie heaven is real, though it “doubles as mailman hell…No sacred cow goes untipped in this sidesplitting work.”—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

“Those familiar with God’s Twitter, @TheTweet of God, know to expect the sacred but mostly the profane. Nothing is off the table… for those who finds truths twisted by sacrilege their cup of wine, well, bless you.”—BOOKLIST

“To die for!” — JOAN OF ARC

“Better than the Koran! I especially loved the nude picture of me on page 87!” — MUHAMMAD

“I stand corrected: God is back!”  — NIETZSCHE 

A tweet sent in by Ron:

From Gravelinspector, who notes the truefact that “Instagram is really cracking down on fake accounts and underage users.” He adds that “Instagram is going to demand a copy of the library’s driving license as proof of existence and age. Because you can’t exist without a driving license.”

From Simon: another academic take on an animal meme. Like Simon, I’m not sure who’s depicted as better here!

From Ginger K. who said she hoped this was satirical, and it is; Snopes gives us the details. Still, it’s funny:

Oh, Sarah, say it ain’t so!  Leonardo? Michelangelo? Raphael? Caravaggio?

This is the F**k you ship, and it’s now at the bottom of the harbor. The Ukrainians sank it! A tweet from and by Matthew:

Another tweet from Dr. Cobb:


57 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Gateway Pundit isn’t a site that I normally, er, cite, but it’s the only one I’ve seen with a story about the Michigan shooting. They have a narrative of events based on videos (there were multiple), but they don’t actually post the vids. It sounds like after the point where the officer had him on the ground, the suspect got out of control, and struggled with the officer, trying to grab his taser. Ignore the dumbass tweet saying a taser is a “deadly weapon” (it is the opposite of that), but I don’t know what the protocol there is. Certainly, if the suspect had gotten the taser, he would have been in a position to incapacitate the officer.

    1. During the police chief’s news conference he was asked if the taser was considered a “deadly weapon”. He said no, it was in a different class of potentially deadly weapons. That’s not the opposite of deadly, and you can see why there is judgement involved. The videos, by the way, are available on some news sites. It is not clear from the videos exactly what happened. Best to wait the full investigation which is being conducted by the State Police, whereas the jurisdiction of the arrest was the City of Grand Rapids Police.

      1. If I recall correctly tasers, and other weapons for use when deadly force is not intended (like “bean bag” guns) were originally categorized as “non-lethal weapons” but after the experience of some years of use were renamed “less-lethal” weapons.

        1. Like everything else, it gets more complicated the deeper you inquire. I was taught, if I remember it correctly, that there is can be defensive use of a taser, considered less lethal, and offensive use, considered potentially lethal force.
          An example of the first might be tasing someone who is lunging with a knife. The second might be tasing a cop to disable him and get access to his pistol.

          There are lots of circumstances where a cop might decline to pursue a fleeing suspect, or wait for backup before confronting a dangerous one. The circumstances where the officer might give up a struggle for a taser or firearm are very few.

          Like always, it is prudent to wait for all the details to emerge. What I see so far is that he was pulled over for having the wrong plates on the car. Lyoya kept jumping out of the car, and the officer kept telling him to stay in it. When the officer decided to restrain him, it turned into a protracted struggle. Eventually, the officer tried to taser the suspect, but Lyoya tried to take the taser away from him. That struggle was a long one as well.
          The cop was alone, and potentially close to being overpowered. The suspect had a passenger in his car, who emerged during the struggle, and was slowly approaching the pair prior to the shooting.

          It is a terrible situation. I have been sort of gaming it out in my head, and coming up with options available to the cop in those last moments. If he had control of the trigger on the taser, he might have been able to discharge it, rendering it inert, then tried to back off, covering the suspect with his firearm. But I don’t know if that was possible at the time. If the suspect was about to gain control of the taser, the cop’s options were few, and none good.

          1. Why do people resist arrest? It doesn’t seem rational, since the outcome is always submission. One way or another.

            I realize the senior force’s investigation will focus, as it should, on whether the officer’s use of lethal force was justified at the very end of this pathetic story. But it’s the start that puzzles me.

            1. So many jokes begin with the words “there are two kinds of people….”. But there are two kinds of people, generally, who resist arrest. Sometimes, people with no history or experience with the justice system resist, often because they just cannot process the fact that it is happening. I suppose that is especially the case when a person is actually innocent.
              The other sort who resist often do so for the same reasons that have led them to crime over and over in the past. I guess poor impulse control factors heavily. But people with long criminal histories, dozens of arrests for a large assortment of crimes, are likely to react to stress in ways that seem inexplicable to most people.

              Interesting facet of this particular story- Originally, his criminal history was published in several outlets, a history including car theft, DUI, felony domestic abuse, probation violations, etc.
              But as of yesterday, the Mi dept of State is no longer releasing any of his records, as “Lyoya’s records were shared with three news outlets before realizing that the records could wrongly suggest that he is to blame for being shot.”
              So now, several news outlets are addressing the issue with the following “Lyoya does not appear to have any former convictions or criminal history.”
              That seems sort of surreal, as I have seen a montage of booking images of Mr. Lyoya, taken over a period of years.
              People with no criminal history rarely have probation violation hearings. Mr. Lyoya has had several.

              1. Thanks for the insights. I was wondering about drugs and liquor. We see lots of meth rages, people stomping away from their supervised safe consumption sites, but few appear to be capable of the coordinated action required to drive a stolen car. Wouldn’t want to try to arrest one, though.

  2. 1755 – Samuel Johnson‘s A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London.

    With nary a sexually suggestive word to be found in either volume — Dr. Johnson having congratulated the society ladies of London for having diligently looked for them, after they congratulated him for not having included them.

  3. I love the video of the busy little tailorbird sewing the leaf. It’s incredible what some bird species can make with their beaks. It makes my hands feel clumsy and big.

  4. 1947 – Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball’s color line.

    Three seasons later, in 1949 (the year of our host’s birth) there were still but 11 black player in the major leagues — three each with the Dodgers and Cleveland Indians (the first team to integrate the American League), two with the St. Louis Browns, and one with the New York Giants. The other dozen teams of the pre-expansion MLB remained lily-white. It wasn’t under 1959 that the last of the segregated major league teams — the Boston Red Sox (under the ownership of the hidebound Yawkey family) — finally integrated, by signing the immortal Pumpsie Green.

  5. After Athayde Tonhasca Junior’s Readers’ Wildlife Photos yesterday, I cannot unsee the iron-gall ink in that DaVinci!


    1. Indeed. I do not see a great difference (except the angle) in this portrait and Leonardo’s self-portrait, also in gall ink, we saw a day ago. But then he apparently was heavily bearded, which tends to cover up some possible specific traits.
      And yes, since Athayde’s fascinating post I see gall ink everywhere in older documents.

    1. While we are in the waiting room :

      84 Rabbi jokes : [ website deleted ]
      … oof … some were too much for a family website…
      Just gotta look some up then.

    1. Oh man, zat is vunny!

      Ze second haff took me a vile to pro cess.

      … did she actually have such an accent?

  6. 1959 – Emma Thompson, English actress, comedian, author, activist and screenwriter

    I thought one of the funniest lines in Ricky Gervais’s After Life came when Gervais and his slowwitted photographer, Lenny, went to do a story for the Tambury Gazette about a homeowner who had a water stain on his wall that he claimed looked like Sir Kenneth Branagh.

    Gervais asks Lenny if he knows who Kenneth Branagh is.

    “No,” says Lenny.

    “Well, do you know who Emma Thompson is?”


    “Branagh would hate that.”

  7. One of my favorite Woody Allen short stories includes a bit about a student who wishes to have an audience with the most learned and wisest rabbi of his age. The student undertakes years of study to prepare himself. Finally ushered into the presence of the sage, he asks, “Rebbe, why are we not allowed to eat pork?” To which the rebbe replies “We’re not? Uh-oh.”


  8. The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, VA has one on Thomas Hart Benton’s murals rescued from the Whitney Museum’s reading room when the latter museum moved. It is a wonderful, large format depression era work: “The Arts of Life in America: Unemployment, Radical Protest, Speed”. Whenever I look at it, i can feel myself in an imagined early 30’s New York City large library reading room on a Saturday afternoon for some reason.

    1. Thank you for posting this. I love his stuff (especially the way he does hands), and I didn’t know about the mural. The Chrysler Museum looks incredible. It sounds like they did a great job placing the mural if you can imagine yourself to its original space. I think that must be a real challenge with murals because they are designed with such specific place and lighting and visitors in mind.

      1. It was placed above a passage-way in the corner of an exhibition room and while i had not thought about it until you called it to my attention, yes, standing in the corner of the room looking up at it was important in setting a mood. Apparently this was owned by Walter Chrysler and one of his many gifts to the museum. But even as a lone panel, it was powerful. The last time i was there, pre-pandemic, it had been removed to a conservation room for cleaning i think. I think it time to go back. Thanks for the comment!

  9. I could not find The Book of Psalms at Amazon by typing that title or any of several permutations into the Amazon search bar. Are they trying to HIDE it? Only by clicking through the link Jerry has provided here was I able to buy it. I am happy to support ‘the cause’ and look forward to a bit of humor.

    1. Looks like this was just a spelling mistake, but I have long found Amazon’s search function to be really poor. Incredibly frustrating might be closer. Actually it’s not just Amazon but many other internet retail websites. It’s almost like it’s a conspiracy or something.

      I’ve finally learned to do a general internet search for whatever I’m looking for. I use Chrome and the Chrome browser’s search function is far, far better at returning useful results on products I’m looking for on Amazon, and many other sites, than the Amazon site itself is.

  10. 1980 – Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1905)
    1986 – Jean Genet, French novelist, poet, and playwright (b. 1910)

    Sartre wrote a book about Genet — who’d been a petty street thief and homosexual male hustler, spending some of his early years in prison, before joining the Foreign Legion and eventually turning to writing — entitled Saint Genet.

    Coincidental, they should die on the same day of the year.

      1. I first read Genet in The Olympia Reader when I was in college in the early Seventies, about the same time I picked up Bowie’s album Aladdin Insane, but I never before made the connection that “Jean Genie” was an allusion to Genet.


    1. I caught wind of this last night on TWiV when Brianne read his letter on TWiV 888, @ 1:16:50, but following that Vincent tells of one of his students @ Columbia who is participating as well, returning to class after a mission in which the driver of her car ran over a land mine and had to have his leg amputated.

    1. Yeah, which has me wondering why they are bothering with these 15-week bans and the like In April, when the SCOTUS overturn (…predicted…) will come out in June.

      The standard answer of “reelection politics” doesn’t even seem to explain it, since the legislators will get a chance to ban the procedure outright before November.

      I guess they’re just taking a belt and suspenders approach: passing the ban now on the off chance Roberts goes with the majority, writes the opinion himself, and does another one of his “keep the precedent theoretically in place while carving a big giant hole in it” sort of rulings.

      1. … which has me wondering why they are bothering with these 15-week bans and the like In April, when the SCOTUS overturn (…predicted…) will come out in June.

        I think these states are simply preparing for the possibility that SCOTUS will uphold Mississippi’s 15-week ban in Dobbs v. Jackson without completely overruling Roe, so that they can follow suit immediately.

        They’re already prepared with laws that will take immediate effect if SCOTUS instead overrules Roe outright.

  11. And it’s also a setback for Christianity, as the sunken vessel is supposed to have carried a piece of the True Cross!

    They believed it to be a piece of the True Cross and put it on a warship? Brilliant!

    I read the Amazon sample of the Pslams 🙂 Jesus says that we are worse than dung-eating beetles 🙁

    1. The Moskva, her sisters, and the nuclear-powered Kirov-class predecessors were built during the atheist Soviet era, tasked with killing aircraft carriers in the name of godless communism in the opening minutes of World War III. Marx and Lenin must be turning in their graves that the ship had become a reliquary..

        1. I think Putin is an admirer of Stalin’s ruthlessness, but Putin’s real goal is to reestablish a 19th-century tsarist-style Russian empire, with the Russian Orthodox church as an adjunct of his autocracy.

          Putin’s favorite contemporary political philosopher according to most accounts is the far-right Christian nationalist idealogue <a href="""Alexandr Dugin.

        2. Indeed. And let’s not forget that Putin’s spiritual fanboy, Patriarch Kirill, was actually invited to the UK in 2016 by the AB of Cant, Justin Welby, long after his disgusting support for Russian atrocities in Chechnya and Syria were well known, not to mention the Russian invasion of Crimea and the Donbass. Welby even forced the Queen to meet and shake hands with Kirill. I just hope she was wearing gloves.

          Welby has said and done a lot of objectionable things during his incumbency, but this must be one of the worst.

  12. > but cops should pull their sidearm and fire only when they think their life is endangered or they’re at risk of serious injury.

    Is that settled law on the use of force by police in the United States? Even in peaceable Canada that is not the law. Use of deadly force need only be reasonable in the circumstances taking into account all the facts. .

  13. “I still remember when burgers were 15¢, as were shakes and fries. Your whole meal: 45¢:”

    Jerry, do you have that right? I recall their advertising jingle as “just 47 cents for a 3 course meal,” but maybe that was for a burger, fries and a cola rather than a shake, and it broke down to 20, 15, and 12 cts., although I can’t recall which cost what.

    My first McD experience was at the one in Arlington, VA on Lee Highway, near Glebe Rd–I’d guess you may have visited there. I think my neighbor’s dad took us there after a Little League practice or something like that. I remember trying to tell the counter person how I wanted it and getting a funny look, as I had no idea that they were already cooked, wrapped and sitting under a heat lamp; truly “fast food.”
    I returned many times; it was a popular place for students at Yorktown HS (I don’t know about W-L.)

    1. Indeed, when McDonald’s started you could not get a burger without all the fixings. That is why I would never go there for burgers and never have eaten a McDonald’s burger, Burger King ads touted that you could get the burger “your way” to get those of us who were picky to go there, and for me, that worked. Now, I avoid all fast food and corporate chain restaurants, for the most part. If you are traveling, McDonald’s is a good place to find a clean rest room and if I do stop, I often buy some french fries.

      1. At the early burger kings, you gave your order when you got in line … how well done, tomato’s, lettuce, etc. It was cooked over an open fire grill, and was usually ready when you got to the head of the line. And at fast food prices! (And Arby’s used to use real roast beef, not some mystery meat.) How long ago was this? Well, I have eaten at that McDonalds, but the last time I ate there the sign said “Over 5 million sold!”

      2. You have always been able to get custom burgers @ McD’s. My standard on the road fare is two hamburgers, ketchup and onions only. Maybe fries, depending…

        Then I have a vegetarian friend who orders burgers without the meat. I was with him decades ago, IIRC at a Burger Chef. “One Super Chef, and hold the meat.” “Hold the what?” “Hold the meat.” “That’s what I thought you said.” So the guy shouts the order back, and the same sequence repeats. And then again when that guy relayed it back up the line.

  14. It does not look good In Ukraine. Despite having chased the Russians out in the North, and despite sinking the flagship of the Russian Navy, the prospects are dim.
    Russia has taken Izyum and are advancing on Kramatorsk. If they succeed, the Eastern part of the Ukrainian army could be cut off, with devastating results. Mariupol is close to being conquered.The defenders have no logistic support and run out of ammo.
    Will the extra weapons promised be good enough, and timely enough? But then, I’ve proven to be very wrong on several occasions in this war

  15. Re Pol Pot’s birthday. I’m currently reading this which is interesting

    I wrote an article once about the dynamics of bringing such monsters to trial (in the Cambodian context) – always a relevant topic. One DISadvantage of justice like, say, the Hague, is it might incentivize dictators to dig in and never bugger off into exile.
    Pol Pot still has a small following in NW Cambodia, mainly with people too young to remember the K.R.


  16. Re the women prisoners in New Jersey who became pregnant after transwomen were incarcerated in the facility, there’s a rather alarming interview with a former correction officer at the Washington Corrections Center for Women about the policies and procedures there. I’ve no idea about the bona fides of the interviewer or interviewee, but it sounds genuine:

    1. Heartbreaking and outrageous. The Sovereign Women Speak collective has several other videos worth watching. Makes you forget about Lia Thomas….or whatever name he’s going by now that his swimming career is finished.

  17. Eye witnesses in Mariupol said that Russian soldiers were digging up and taking away bodies. It’s unknown what they were doing. I do wonder if they’re trying to destroy evidence of war atrocities, by burning the bodies in portable crematoriums that were brought to Mariupol.

    UN peacekeeping forces really need to get in there before more civilians are massacred..

    1. Excuse me if I didn’t catch an implied “/s” at the end of your last sentence.

      No role for peacekeeping in an active war zone. Ask Gen. Roméo Dallaire about where that leads. Canadians, sadly, know a thing or three about UN peacekeeping when there is no peace to keep.

      If dedicated, motivated heroic Ukrainian marines fighting for their own country can’t keep Russian soldiers from murdering Ukrainian civilians in Mariupol, why do you think the Russians would let a few scrawny Sri Lankan mercenaries with sidearms and blue berets stop them? You stop the Russians by helping the Ukrainians kill them.

      1. I’m beginning to resent your persistently sarcastic and condescending tone, as well as your tendency to ‘mansplain’ to mostly everyone here. Be aware that any valid point you might make gets lost in your noise.

        1. I apologize for condescending, no buts. It’s a personality flaw. Goes double if you are a woman — the mansplaining part. I hope that if we were speaking in person you would hear less condescension in my tone than what comes through in writing. But I’m still sorry, sincerely.

          Even nearly 30 years after the fact, I get a twinge of nausea when reminded of UN peacekeeping efforts, in Rwanda specifically, because our guy, Gen. Dallaire, was ruined as a soldier and as a human being by failures, including his own, to prevent half a million murders taking place all around him. With machetes. So I’m not sorry for calling out the emptiness of imagining the UN preventing massacre in Mariupol, or doing anything useful at all, ever, anywhere.

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