Sunday: Hili dialogue

May 29, 2022 • 6:30 am

If you’re in a place that celebrates Memorial Day, you’re only halfway through the weekend, and Monday is a holiday. Today is Sunday, May 29, 2022, and apparently National Biscuit Day—again! Well, you can’t have too many days devoted to biscuits, the Great American Breadstuff.  It’s also International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

Wine of the Day: For me this is a very fancy nonvintage champagne: Pierre Paillard (Paillard is a great name in French bubbly), nonvintage, with most of the grapes (70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay) harvested in 2017.  The price was high: $42/bottle, but I decided I needed a treat after a few days of successful duck tending.

It was excellent: a powerful, highly rated champagne with a color a bit deeper than straw.  Pear-flavored, toasty, and gutsy, it was a good accompaniment to Fettucicne Alfredo with peas (which I add as “the vegetable”).  It was also quite dry, a quality I appreciate in a champagen. I’d buy it again, but this one is for special occasions (like duck-tending!):

Stuff that happened on May 29 include:

  • 1453 – Fall of Constantinople: Ottoman armies under Sultan Mehmed II Fatih capture Constantinople after a 53-day siege, ending the Byzantine Empire.
  • 1790 – Rhode Island becomes the last of North America’s original Thirteen Colonies to ratify the Constitution and become one of the United States.
  • 1886 – The pharmacist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, which appeared in The Atlanta Journal.

Here’s the ad, and you can read the story of how the drink came to be here.

It’s been confirmed by many other observations. Here’s one demonstrating the bending of light by a gravitational field (the subject of Eddington an Crommelin’s experiment), but this shows the light from a distant quasar

Einstein cross: four images of the same astronomical object, produced by a gravitational lens”

  • 1942 — The Jews of northern France begin oblgatory wearing of the Star of David marker on their clothing. Here’s a tweet from Matthew:

The pair on Mt. Everest. Had I known how much I loved the mountains, I would have begun climbing when I was young, and this would have been #1 on my bucket list:

The Dockening!:


*The more the media digs into the lame response of law enforcement to the Ulvalde, Texas school shooting, the more it looks like a massive screw-up. And the main group responsible for the screw-up, and has the most blood on its hands, seems to be a group of six police officers who constitute the Ulvalde school district police force (the investigation is still in progress).

The chief of that small police force apparently (and erroneously) decided that the shooter was locked in a room by himself, despite desperate 911 calls from students that they were under attack.

Pedro “Pete” Arredondo, chief of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Police Department, who was the incident commander, did not respond to requests for comment on Friday. A spokeswoman for the Uvalde Police Department referred inquiries to the Texas Department of Public Safety, and requests to the local district attorney’s office went unanswered.

Arredondo, while Border Patrol agents waited in the school to mount an assault, fiddled and diddled for over half an hour before he was overruled by the feds and the assault proceeded. By then nearly two dozen people were dead. Now we can’t point fingers until all the stones are turned over, but if anybody screwed up and delayed the assault, which is mandated by state regulations, he should at least be fired.

Today’s NYT has an illustrated timeline on the length of the entire shooter incident. Scroll down; it will make you angry.

*The It’s About Time Deprtment. Vyvianna M. Quinonez, 29, was arrested last year for punching a Southwest Airlines flight attendant in the face, drawing blood and chipping three of her teeth.

On May 23, 2021, near the end of a flight from Sacramento to San Diego, a flight attendant asked Ms. Quinonez to buckle her seatbelt, put up her tray table and “wear her face mask properly,” prosecutors said.

Ms. Quinonez used her phone to film the flight attendant and pushed the woman, prosecutors said. The attack escalated from there, as captured on video by another passenger.

Ms. Quinonez, who was sitting in an aisle seat, stood up and punched the attendant in the face multiple times, according to the video. She also grabbed her hair before the woman was able to move back up the aisle. Several passengers grabbed at Ms. Quinonez’s clothes to try to stop her.

Here’s the attack (you did want to see it, didn’t you?). If you ask me, Quinonez got off easy. If you believe in deterrence, enforcing the law strictly in cases like this is a good deterrent.

Quinonez was just sentenced to 15 months in federal prison, and also ordered to pay about $26,000 in restitution and a $7,500 fine. That seems like a fairly light sentence to me, at least if you believe in deterrence.

*The Washington Post reiterates the late Justice John Paul Stevens’s solution for gun control: repeal the Second Amendment.

John Paul Stevens issued the call after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in February 2018. The attack prompted hundreds of thousands to demand action the next month to end gun violence at the March for Our Lives.

In a March 27, 2018, New York Times op-ed, Stevens praised the protesters and their call for stricter gun control laws. “But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform,” he wrote, about a year before his death at 99. “They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment.”

Stevens said the amendment was adopted out of concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the states. “Today that concern is a relic of the 18th century,” he wrote.

But of course that recommendation is a non-starter, as it requires a 2/3 majority of the Senate and the House to get started, and then ratifying the removal by 3/4 of the states. And then what? Presumably, without Constitutional guidance, each state could pass its own gun laws. Now that’s a thought! But some are takig up the cudgels:

Writing in the New Republic on Thursday, Walter Shapiro, a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and a lecturer in political science at Yale University, said that “the hard truth is that the core problem is the Second Amendment itself. And America is going to reel from one mass murder to another unless the Second Amendment is repealed or the Supreme Court drastically reduces its scope.”

“As a starting point,” he added, “Democrats should drop the mealy-mouthed formulation, ‘Nobody supports the Second Amendment more than I do, but still. … ’ Claiming fidelity to the Second Amendment has never convinced a single NRA supporter of a candidate’s sincerity, but it has stopped bold thinking about lasting solutions to America’s gun crisis.”

I’m not sure why the WaPo published an untenable suggestion. Still, Stevens’s call to at least clarify the Amendment makes sense. Here’s his rewrite:

Stevens suggested adding five words (in italics below) to the amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

*A multimedia article in the Wall Street Journal details not only the rise in illegal immigration from the Bahamas and Cuba to Florida (up more than 400% last year over previous years, but the horrible peril of that journey as well as the uneven laws that apply to immigrants from Cuba versus the Bahamas. Economic and political unrest in both countries have driven the increase, but of course we hear nothing about immigration reform from either party. Wasn’t Kamala Harris supposed to be in charge of this?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili pulls rank and asserts infallibility:

A: Not everything is what we think.
Hili: That’s a myth, I’m always right.
A: Many editors-in-chief think so.
In Polish:
Ja: Nie wszystko jest takie, jak nam się wydaje.
Hili: To mity, ja mam zawsze rację.
Ja: Wielu redaktorów naczelnych tak sądzi.
And from a few weeks back, Karolina hugging Kulka.
Caption: From recent memories:
In Polish: Z świeżych wspomnień.


A multiple disaster from Only Duck Memes. You couldn’t make this up:

A psychedelic cat picture I found in my files.  Enlarge, tune in, and drop out:

From Bruce: A Memorial Day Quote:

Wise words from God:

From Barry: one very strong and very angry rhino!

From Ginger K., a photo that epitomizes America:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: This man lasted only three days:

Tweets from Matthew.  A peony nest, but what happens when the flower wilts?

Everything turns out right in Dodo Land, which is why I want to live there:

This is amazing: not only do they have an ovipositor that can drill through wood, but they can precisely detect where a grub is underneath the bark so an egg can be laid just in the right place:

I don’t know what the Apple Dino Programme is, but here’s Matthew’s comment:

Here’s a long extract from the Apple dino programme, which is very good indeed, as you can see. They have consistently used extant morphology and behavioural ecology as the starting point for the reconstructions.

32 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. You did not specify whether you have peas on the side or mixed in with the pasta as the vegetable. I mix some frozen green peas in with the pasta…just enough for color and some crunch and taste. One of my favorite meals.

  2. Repealing the 2nd amendment or revising it as Justice Stevens suggested would allow the federal government (Congress) to legislate uniform gun regulations throughout the country without the Supreme Court getting in the way. It would not necessarily imply that private gun ownership would be banned. This is very unlikely to happen.

    Of course, repeal or revision is impossible now and in the foreseeable future. But, fantasize what the right-wing would have done if it wanted the 2nd amendment repealed. It would have started decades ago agitating and propagandizing for such action. And by now, it could very well have come to pass. The overturning of Roe by the Supreme Court is a real life example. So, what this illustrates is the difference in political strategy between the right and the left. The right knows how to play the long game. The left expects instant gratification, resulting in its frustration when its goals are stymied. If the left wants the 2nd amendment repealed, it needs to start agitation for it now with the realization that success may be decades away. Dramatic changes in how society operates in the United States generally happens slowly. The rapid change in public acceptance of gay marriage is somewhat of anomaly. Changes to the healthcare system, such as the passage of Obamacare, took decades to happen and is more typical.

    Repeal or revision of the 2nd amendment would result in a dramatic change in society. But, if it is ever to happen, agitation for it must begin now. The left needs to be re-educated on how the political system works. I agree with Walter Shapiro’s analysis.

    1. Not a lawyer, so I am not sure of what it would mean if the Second Amendment were repealed, since many States (I think more than thirty) have ‘right to bear arms’ clauses in their Constitutions.

      1. Sure, and North Carolina has a ‘sanctity of marriage’ clause in its constitution – as of 2012! Powers that the US Constitution grant to the feds override powers that state constitutions retain for the states. If the Constitution does NOT retain a power, then the states can claim it. That’s the power of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.

    2. “Dramatic changes in how society operates in the United States generally happens slowly.”


      Yes, in a democracy one needs to sway public opinion, and that can take decades. As the percentage of households who own guns has increased in recent years, I would say that public opinion is moving toward fewer restrictions on guns. I submit that one reason for this is the schizophrenic messaging coming from Team Blue. On the one hand we are being told that the police are racist bullies who can’t be trusted, and on the other hand we are being told that we don’t need a gun because we can trust the police to protect us. I submit that if Team Blue really wants to repeal the Second Amendment, they should start by helping to build trust in the police.

      1. Trust in the police actually took a huge hit this last week as the Uvalde police delayed rescuing small children from a lone shooter for almost an hour and then lied to everyone about it. I’m all for building up faith in the police but they are going to have to go first. I have had very little faith in the police, starting with an incident that happened to me when I was 18 and another just a couple of months ago. Sure, it’s anecdotal but when practically everyone has such an anecdote, it becomes truth. I’m not in favor of defunding the police — that would be dumb. More like a wholesale house cleaning and complete reformulation of their mission is what’s needed.

        1. Have you been watching the new HBO series put out by “The Wire” creators: “We Own this City”? Based on true events, and boy does it paint an ugly picture of the rot in the Baltimore Police Dept. Based on real events, it really does show why people don’t have faith in the police (at least in places like Baltimore). It’s not as large in scope or as engrossing as “The Wire” (best t.v. show ever!) but it’s damn good.

          1. Yes, I have been watching it and enjoying it. I almost mentioned it in my comment but I’m not sure how accurate or realistic it is. I imagine it overstates reality at least a bit.

            1. Here’s a small blurb about it. But yeah, I’m sure they still dramatize it more than reality. At the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if it really is accurate.

              We Own This City is based on the book by Justin Fenton, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun. As a journalist at the Sun, Fenton extensively covered the 2017 FBI investigation of the members of the Baltimore police department’s Gun Trace Task Force, which led to the eventual arrest of eight of the officers who were involved for their roles in a criminal scheme involving robbery and extortion that targeted drug dealers and innocent civilians. Eventually, all of the officers charged were found guilty of various crimes that included racketeering, robbery, extortion, and overtime fraud.

              1. Thanks. Good to know. I should have said that I didn’t know the extent to which the show was accurate. It certainly seems believable to me. Such corruption is the result of decades of calling police heroes when they just do their job without screwing up. It’s also the result of police unions who make it so hard to weed out the “bad apples”. Finally, it is the result of allowing the police to excuse all but the most egregious transgressions by claiming that they were just protecting their own lives and those of their fellow officers.

    3. If the Good Lord meant for the Second Amendment to be repealed, He wouldn’t’ve put it on a stone tablet and given it to Moses at the top of Mount Saini.

      1. I think you have your myths mixed up there, Ken. What actually happened was Moses came down from the mountain out of the mist, saw his shadow, and the Israelites had 6 more weeks of winter.

  3. The best thing about that Rhine video is at the very end, when you see another vehicle zoom past the camera to GTFO.

  4. “I don’t know what the Apple Dino Programme is…”

    A new series of four programs titled “Prehistoric Planet” about dinosaurs that you can stream on Apple TV+. Narrated, of course, by Sir David Attenborough. It is an remarkable series.

    1. Its main feature is incredible CGI. It’s also highly speculative. While it is well-known now that many dinosaurs had feathers, this show displays a lot of dinosaur behavior that we couldn’t possibly know. I suppose it is a bit misleading as they make no distinction within the show as to which things are purely make-believe. Still, they end each episode with pointers to the show’s website where, presumably, they address this. All in all, it’s a fun show.

    1. Indeed – in the twitter thread Matthew replies to his own post with an admission that it’s a joke. (He indicates that the photo was his but the joke he credits to Tina Purcell.

  5. > Presumably, without Constitutional guidance, each state could pass its own gun laws.

    It depends on how the Amendment is worded. The Amendment would probably be something along the lines of “The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. Congress has the power to regulate the production, sales, and use of weapons.” That would override the (perceived) power of the states to do the same.

    > “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

    That wording would be counter-productive, as it still allows for people to set up their own non-government militias. I’m just glad we’re not quite at the point where Team Red and Team Blue are already doing just that.

    1. Whoops, swap out ‘Eighteenth’ for ‘Second’ above. I pulled up the wording for the 21st, and copied-and-pasted it. The first Section of the 21st repealed the 18th, the second Section retained other regulatory powers (not much, but some, just a federal prohibition of transporting alcohol into a dry state).

  6. Apropos the priest blessing guns, I’m reminded of the headmaster of my grammar school, back in the mid 1970s. He told us that he had become an atheist after seeing a chaplain blessing field artillery whilst he was serving as a lieutenant in the British Army in World War Two.

  7. “1886 – The pharmacist John Pemberton places his first advertisement for Coca-Cola, which appeared in The Atlanta Journal” – I’m told by my eldest daughter Ana, but haven’t checked, that Elon Musk’s tweet in which he claimed that he was going to buy Coca-Cola so that he could put the cocaine back into the recipe is the second most popular tweet ever. It’s unclear whether or not Musk was joking…!

  8. 1790 – Rhode Island becomes the last of North America’s original Thirteen Colonies to ratify the Constitution and become one of the United States.

    I believe the 13 colonies became “the United States” through the Articles of Confederation (adopted by the Second Continental Congress in 1777 and ratified by the individual states in 1781).

    The extant United States adopted the US constitutional, as per its preamble, “in Order to form a more perfect union.”

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