Tuesday: Hili dialogue

May 17, 2022 • 6:30 am

Greetings on The Cruelest Day: a Tuesday, and this one is May 17, 2022: National Cherry Cobbler Day. Wouldn’t you like some right now, preferably warm and topped with vanilla ice cream?



Posting may be a little light today as I have to drive a LONG way to get my car emissions-tested, something required every few years to get the registration renewed. Of course there are no emissions-testing stations in all of Chicago, so I have to drive to Bedford Park,a fairly long haul.  These tests always make me anxious. What if I fail?

*The Ukrainian fighters holed up the the Maiupol steel plant have finally surrendered, eliminating the last pocket of resistance in the city. It’s very sad. As the NYT reports:

Ukraine says it has given up fighting at the Azovstal steel complex in Mariupol, allowing hundreds of its fighters who had been taking a last stand there to be moved to Russian-controlled territories, securing for Russia a hard-fought and costly victory to seize a swath of the country’s south.

The steel plant had been the final pocket of resistance to Russia’s bid to create a land bridge between the Crimean Peninsula and areas it controls in the east. Mariupol and its residents had sustained some of the worst and most brutal attacks since it was surrounded in early March because the city stood squarely in the way.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that 265 fighters who had been holding out in the Azovstal steel works in Mariupol had “laid down their arms and surrendered.” Earlier on Monday, the Ukrainian authorities said that the fighters’ combat mission had ended and that they would be eventually exchanged for Russian prisoners of war.

*Sweden’s official bid to become a member of NATO, ending aeons of neutrality, is now supported by its “Nordic neighbors.” As the Washington Post reports:

Sweden’s parliament “broadly affirmed” the nation’s application, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said Monday. The leaders of Norway, Denmark and Iceland said they would assist Sweden and Finland, which signaled it would seek NATO membership last week, “by all means necessary” if Russia carried out retaliatory attacks. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to downplay the development, saying he had “no problems” with the alliance’s possible expansion.

*I don’t know if you’ve followed the covid-19 situation in North Korea, but a bad outbreak was inevitable given that the regime has simply refused all offers of vaccine (the politically powerful, of course, are surely vaccinated). At first the DPRK denied there was a problem, but now they’re up Merde Creek without a paddle—yet still refusing an offer of vaccine from South Korea:

North Korea reported its biggest daily surge in fever cases during a nationwide outbreak of Covid-19 but didn’t respond to a South Korean offer of vaccines even as the North’s leader Kim Jong Un berated officials for failing to contain the disease.

. . . Over 390,000 people came down with fever in the 24 hours through Sunday evening, Pyongyang’s state media said, bringing the official total to over 1.2 million since the first fever cases were reported a week ago. North Korea, which lacks Covid testing equipment, has only confirmed one person tested positive for the Omicron variant of the virus.

Health experts say that without vaccines and testing capacity, North Korea risks being overwhelmed by a health crisis not seen since the country suffered a famine that killed over a million people in the 1990s. North Korea rejected offers of vaccines before the current outbreak and its population is particularly vulnerable because of widespread malnutrition and the decrepit state of the medical system.

What kind of madman would kill off his people rather than accept medical help from several sources? Kim Jong-un, that’s who.

*The mass shooting at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California, which killed one brave doctor and wounded five, has now (along with the Buffalo shooting) been branded as a hate crime. This one is a bit out of the ordinary, though, as the shooter was an older native-born Chinese man (now a U.S. citizen) apparently exacting revenge against Taiwanese.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said the motive of the shooting was a grievance between the shooter, identified as a Chinese immigrant and U.S. citizen, and the Taiwanese community. China claims Taiwan is a part of its national territory and has not ruled out force to bring the island under its rule.

The suspect was identified as David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas. He has been booked on one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder and is being held on $1 million bail.

. . . Chou’s family was among many that were apparently forcibly removed from China to Taiwan sometime after 1948, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. Chou’s hatred toward the island, documented in hand-written notes that authorities found, seems like it began when he felt he wasn’t treated well while living there.

*The Jewish News Service has what I consider a good and pretty objective article on the death of Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.  The upshot: despite the press concluding almost immediately that she was shot by the Israeli Defense Forces, there’s also a compelling case to be made that she was shot in the crossfire between the IDF and Palestinian shooters. This is one example where the rush to judgment always damns the Israelis. My take? I don’t know how she was shot, but even the Palestinians who did the autopsy could come to no conclusion.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is occupied:

Hili: I’m very busy.
A: What are you doing?
Hili: Now I’m lying down.
In Polish:
Hili: Jestem bardzo zajęta.
Ja: A co robisz?
Hili: Teraz leżę.

From Heather Hastie:

From Unique Birds and Animals:

From Doc Bill:

Tweets from God.  He regrets d*gs more, though:

Why d*gs should induce more regret:

Sarah Haider on AOC:

From Barry: Roadblock in Tanzania:

From Simon; an elephant playing a game:

Tweets from Matthew:  Remember Astro Samantha, on whom I had a crush. She’s apparently back on the ISS!

Look at those clouds? Anybody know what they are? Could they be. . . mammalus clouds?

I believe the one at upper right is the famous “Nessie” fake photo:

I’m not sure what this means, but perhaps Matthew knows:


15 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

    1. It seems strange that Al Jazeera claims she was shot “deliberately” and “in cold blood” and also premature that the Prime Minister says it was “likely” she was shot by Palestinian gunmen. These presumptuous statements make me suspicious of any current conclusions about whose side the bullet came from, though it certainly seems it could have been either.

      I am very sorry she was killed, but surely any reporter going to cover a military raid must know there are risks, and stray bullets, which do not themselves recognize Press credentials. What a tender world that would be, if they did. The presumption that it was deliberate, or that one can immediately conclude who fired the bullet that killed her (without ballistic analysis, if the two sides use different types of bullets), seems bizarre to me. Certainly, a thorough investigation seems warranted, preferably before everyone spins it to support their presumptions.

      1. The refusal (as covered by the Jewish News Service) of the Palestinian Authority to let the Israelis examine the bullet speaks volumes.

        The rifles used by both sides that day are different but they fire the same 5.56 mm NATO round. Just looking at it, the Palestinian pathologist would not be able to tell much except that it was a five-fifty-six and not something bigger like from an AK-47. The PA’s refusal to hand the bullet over tells me that they know the Israeli ordnance experts will be able to tell which side’s rifle barrel it came out of and the PA doesn’t like what they know the result will be. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain by cooperating. Better for propaganda to leave the question unanswered and accuse Israel of something Israel can’t refute, with neither body nor bullet. The IDF is not going to apologize for an accidental shooting (and certainly will not be convicted of a deliberate one) if it has no reason to think one of its soldiers fired the shot in the first place. But Israel’s refusal to admit and apologize will be taken as Zionist arrogance.

        In the civilian justice system, bullets taken out of bodies are handled with a documented chain of custody from operating room or morgue to the police. When the forensics and ballistics evidence is introduced at trial, there is confidence that the the right bullet was examined. I can’t see how either the Israelis or the Palestinians could be confident that the evidentiary chain would be preserved in this case. But they should try. And the first step would be to produce the bullet. I believe Israel would honestly like to know but the PA would rather not. Yes, that’s me admitting my myside bias.

    2. The BBC report comes from a Qatar-based network and the Palestinians, who have every motive to accuse the IDF. It’s not from the BBC’s own reporting. Further, the BBC, B’tselem and many other mainstream media and NGOs have in the pst accused in the past falsely accused Israel of horrible crimes: the murder of Muhammad al-Durrah, the massacre in Jenin, killing children in Gaza who were actually killed by Hamas’ rockets “falling short”. In all the cases the JNS presented what was subsequently confirmed as true, even by the UN. Read the facts that are known from all sources and see which venue is the most objective.

  1. “… I have to drive a LONG way to get my car emissions-tested, …”

    There’s something depressing about that – in order to make sure emissions are low, the gas-fueled car must be emitting exhaust for a prolonged period of time.

    It probably boils down to the oxygen sensor(s). As I recall, PCC(E) mobile still had the original(s).

    1. I googled “emissions tests Chicago” and got a whole bunch of hits around the city center. But I trust Jerry knows what his car needs and it’s beyond the standard state tests that a lot of gas stations that have garages will perform.

        1. Buy an over-priced electric car to save a gallon or two of gas to drive to a suburb once every few years for an E-test? Jerry doesn’t drive enough ever to pay that cost back. He even takes public transit to the airport, bless his heart.

          I suppose it’s true that drivers of ICE cars are going to be harassed and chivvied with petty charges as subsidies for electric cars become unaffordable for governments and have to be phased out. But an ICE car that still works is a way better deal than a lump of cobalt and lithium that sits in the garage all the time not only depreciating but becoming obsolescent in front of his eyes.

        1. “I passed”

          Great news.

          Come to think of it, oxygen sensors need to get hot to detect the exhaust gasses accurately – I can’t help but wonder if the long drive – compared to a short drive where the aging O2 sensors aren’t at proper T – is to help get good measurements.

    2. Google offers 40 minutes for the 14 mile (one-way) trip from U Chicago, city-street route to avoid a crash on I-55. It is a pain to have the state impose the cost of driving there in a time of historically high gasoline prices. “We’re not happy until you’re not.”

      The good news is that harmful emissions expected from this trip will be trivial: almost all cars pass the test anyway. (Ontario eliminated E-testing for light vehicles several years ago because the failure rate was too low to justify the bureaucratic annoyance and cost to drivers.)

  2. “This is where many sea monster stories come from ie. tentacled and alienesque appendages emerging from the water – giving belief to something more sinister lurking beneath….however, many cases it was just whale dicks.”

    Explains why when Sidney Powell promised to “Release the Kraken!” she ended up standing next to a whale dick with hair dye streaming down his face.

  3. I guess that tortoise has the ultimate hardbody.
    AOC said she was talking about Zuck, not Musk.

  4. North Korea has a population of approx. 30 million. Covid mortality rate is all over the place depending on the country and variant, but to me, a fair average of an unvaccinated population is 5%. So with that, North Korea is looking at 1,150,000 deaths. That is f’d up.

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