Thursday: Hili dialogue

June 16, 2022 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Thursday, June 16, 2022: National Fudge Day. My favorite: plain chocolate fudge or maple fudge with walnuts. But no peanut butter fudge!

No nuts in the chocolate; they just displace fudge! In maple fudge, however, they complement the flavor.

Photographer: Jennifer Causey

It’s also International Day of the African Child and Sussex Day (in Sussex).  And it’s Bloomsday! (see below)

Stuff that happened on June 16 includes:

  • 1586 – Mary, Queen of Scots, recognizes Philip II of Spain as her heir and successor.
  • 1779 – Spain declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Great Siege of Gibraltar begins.

Gibraltar! A panorama of the Rock and a gratuitous photo of two apes taken not long ago

  • 1824 – A meeting at Old Slaughter’s coffee house in London leads to the formation of what is now the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
  • 1858 – Abraham Lincoln delivers his House Divided speech in Springfield, Illinois.

The famous words about a nation divided by slavery:

“A house divided against itself, cannot stand.”

I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South

Wikipedia tells how it happened: a completely unnecessary set of deaths:

On 16 June 1883, a children’s variety show was presented by travelling entertainers Mr. and Mrs. Fay. The travelling magic show, consisting of a variety of conjuring tricks and illusions, passed without incident, except when a puff of smoke from one of the tricks “disagreed” with some of those in the front row, and caused a few children to be sick.

At the end of the show, an announcement was made that children with certain numbered tickets would be presented with a prize upon exit. At the same time, entertainers began distributing gifts from the stage to the children in the stalls. Worried about missing out on the treats, many of the estimated 1,100 children in the gallery surged toward the staircase leading downstairs.

At the bottom of the staircase, the door opened inward and had been bolted so as to leave a gap only wide enough for one child to pass at a time. It is believed this was to ensure orderly checking of tickets. With few accompanying adults to maintain order, the children surged down the stairs toward the door. Those at the front became trapped and were crushed to death by the weight of the crowd behind them.

What it’s said to have looked like:

(From Wikipedia): Illustration of the disaster, from Le Journal illustré

For a nickel you simply rode straight down 600 feet. How things have changed! Here’s the original:

  • 1903 – The Ford Motor Company is incorporated.
  • 1904 – Irish author James Joyce begins a relationship with Nora Barnacle and subsequently uses the date to set the actions for his novel Ulysses; this date is now traditionally called “Bloomsday“.

Here’s Joyce and Nora in an article about their “dirty letters” to each other. They were a very passionate couple, and it was reflected in their correspondence. I’ve read some of it and, I have to say, the letters were more salacious (if that’s the right word) than I expected:

  • 1944 – In a gross miscarriage of justiceGeorge Junius Stinney Jr., age 14, becomes the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century after being convicted in a two-hour trial for the rape and murder of two teenage white girls.

14!! His mugshot is below and a link to a movie version of his execution (grim) is here.  As Wikipedia notes, ” He was prepared for execution by electric chair, using a Bible as a booster seat because Stinney was too small for the chair.”  And he was sobbing all the while.

Here’s Nureyev dancing in “Sleeping Beauty”:

Tereshkova in uniform, 1969:


  • 2002 – Padre Pio is canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

The Padre had the whole schmear of supernatural signs: stigmata (below, covered up), the ability to heal people, the visualization of apparitions, including Satan, and transverberation (look it up). I don’t believe a word of it, but the Vatican does:

  • 2010 – Bhutan becomes the first country to institute a total ban on tobacco.
  • 2015 – American businessman Donald Trump announces his campaign to run for President of the United States in the upcoming election.

And the repercussions continue. . . .


Nooz will be brief today becyse yesterday afternoon, when I prepare most of the Hili posts, was devoted to duck rescue. More about that in the next post.

*As expected, the Fed imposed a big rate hike on its interest rates: 0.75%, and another 3/4 of a percent may be in the offing in July. Even this one is the biggest single-step rise since 1994. It’s an attempt to stem inflation, but of course balancing these things is tricky. The stock market rose, but of course all interest rates will follow: mortgages, credit card rates (approaching 20% per year!), car loans, and every other type of credit.

Everything’s going to hell on the Red Ball Express.

*The Wall Street Journal outlines an aggressive policy of the Fed. I’m not financial pundit, so all I can say is, “We’ll see”:

New projections showed all 18 officials who participated in the meeting expect the Fed to raise rates to at least 3% this year, with at least half of all officials indicating the fed-funds rate might need to rise to around 3.375% this year.

“We’re not trying to induce a recession now. Let’s be clear about that,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said at a press conference.

But he said it was becoming more difficult to achieve a so-called “soft landing,” in which the economy slows enough to bring inflation down while avoiding a recession. That represented an implicit concession that the risks of a downturn could rise as the economy digests tighter monetary policy.

“It is not going to be easy,” Mr. Powell said. “There’s a much bigger chance now that it’ll depend on factors that we don’t control. Fluctuations and spikes in commodity prices could wind up taking that option out of our hands.”

*Global markets, too, are shaky as the whole world now fears a recession.

Global markets sank on Thursday, in many cases giving up gains from the day before, as investors got to grips with moves by policymakers to rein in inflation by raising interest rates, and the effects that steeper borrowing costs could have on economic growth.

Futures on Wall Street suggested that stocks would fall when markets open, with the S&P 500 set to drop 2.3 percent. That would more than reverse the rise on Wednesday, when the market rallied after the Federal Reserve announced its largest rate increase in decades, a sign that it was prepared to inflict some economic pain to get prices under control. Wednesday’s rise broke a streak of five daily losses, but U.S. stocks appear poised to resume their decline, slipping further into a bear market.

Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, stressed that inducing a recession was not part of the plan, but economists are skeptical. Analysts at Bank of America said the Fed was forecasting an “implausibly soft landing” for the economy, while their counterparts at Deutsche Bank called the central bank “overly optimistic” in its thinking that it can tame inflation without causing a recession.

*The Washington Post lists seven ways you can prepare financially for a recession. I’ve followed all of them throughout my adult life and especially recomment these two: keep a balanced portfolio and don’t panic—don’t sell when the market goes down. It always comes back up. And DO NOT CARRY CREDIT CARD DEBT! I don’t think I’ve ever paid a penny of that debt in my life: my credit card payments come right out of my bank account. Remember, you’re incurring an interest rate of between 15% and 20% on your credit card—an interest rate that is insane.

*The U.S. is giving another billion dollars in military aid to Ukraine. I firmly adhere to supporting Ukraine, but what do we do when this aid is in vain? At some point the American taxpayers may revolt, thinking they’re throwing good money after bad. Things don’t look so great for a Ukrainian victory, you know.

The U.S. announced it will send an additional $1 billion in military aid to Ukraine, as America and its allies provide longer-range weapons they say can make a difference in a fight where Ukrainian forces are outnumbered and outgunned by their Russian invaders.

President Joe Biden and his top national security leaders said Wednesday the U.S. is moving as fast as possible to get critical weapons to the fight, even as Ukrainian officials protest that they need more, faster, in order to survive.

The latest package, the U.S. said, includes anti-ship missile launchers, howitzers and more rounds for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) that U.S. forces are training Ukrainian troops on now. All are key weapons systems that Ukrainian leaders have urgently requested as they battle to stall Russia’s slow but steady march to conquer the eastern Donbas region.

“Gen. Milley and I have been in a number of fights. And when you’re in a fight, you can never get enough,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said at a press conference in Brussels, referring to Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“I certainly understand where the Ukrainians are coming from, and we’re gonna fight hard to give them everything they need.”

*How did Anthony Fauci get covid? It just goes to show you that nobody is immune, even those who, like Fauci, are fully vaccinated and boosted.

Fauci, 81, has mild symptoms and has been boosted twice, the institute said in a statement. The institute told CNN that he is being treated with the antiviral medication Paxlovid.

NIAID said Fauci found out that he was positive on a rapid antigen test. The director will work from home and follow agency protocol, returning to the National Institutes of Health campus only after he tests negative.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej is reading a mystery store in which someone name Ronald is killed:

Hili: Do you know who killed Ronald?
A: Yes and I wonder whether the author could invent a more improbable solution.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy wiesz już kto zabił Ronalda?
Ja: Tak i zastanawiam się, czy autor mógł wymyślić bardziej nieprawdopodobne rozwiązanie.


From Facebook, a cartoon by Dave Blazek:

A prescient cartoon from 1909 about the future invention of a “pocket telephone”.

From The Catspotting Society:

From Simon, who ays, “There has been a series of these “major discovery in one panel” tweets. Thought you might like this one.”

Indeed! Natural selection is cleverer than you are:

Also from Simon, who says, “Oops! Wait until the end.”

From Gethyn, whose caption is “Cat-ouflage: a cat blends seamlessly into its native habitat. Can you spot the cat?

From Barry, who captions this, “Dan Rather admit that he doesn’t have free will”:

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. This is about another long-running experiment from Rich Lenski’s lab on natural selection in E. coli:

This might be a teratoma. I hope the bird will be all right:

Well, they were wrong about Brexit and having Boris as PM, but they’re not wrong about their real ales!


17 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. The great Independent headline (British public wrong about nearly everything) was from 2013 when we hadn’t even had the chance to be wrong about Brexit and Boris. Since then, I’m afraid we’ve just got even wronger!

  2. British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows

    Looks like a headline from a British Onion.

    I like the two atheist apes 🙂

    Tupac and Geronimo were born on this day. So was John Shelby Spong, the bishop who may or may not have been a Christian. It depends.

    1. Bishop Spong died last year at an advanced age. I have some liberal religious friends who were quite into his writings. I tried reading him, did finish one of his books. He produced so much verbiage, but to what effect? IMO he just couldn’t give up Jesus, and so all that verbiage amounted to his trying to convince himself that he was a true follower of Christ. Kind of like Garry Wills or Andrew Sullivan.

  3. Perhaps someone can explain this to me. Why is it that society seems to always favor those in debt over those people that have largely managed to avoid it? From the media we constantly hear about how the rise of interest rates make items more expensive to purchase via debt. Yet, we hear virtually nothing about people, including many seniors, who are suffering by low interest rates because they earn so little on their savings, which they depend upon to supplement income, often just social security. Is this fair? We seem to live in a society that has abandoned the notion that saving is a virtue and applauds debt as a good thing for the individual.

  4. I firmly adhere to supporting Ukraine, but what do we do when this aid is in vain? At some point the American taxpayers may revolt, thinking they’re throwing good money after bad.

    The US spends $800 billion a year on defence, presumably with the idea of outcompeting Russia and China (who else?). Even if Ukraine were to lose the war, the damage done to the Russian military by the Western aid means that the money donated to the Ukraine is likely to be the most cost-effective part of the entire defence budget.

  5. I don’t think the US -or the West in general- is ‘throwing good money after bad’ in Ukraine. The West can simply not afford a Ukrainian loss. History teaches us that one conquest is not enough for a state bent on conquest. If Ukraine is conquered, moldova os obviously next and then Russia is out of non-NATO options. They will not attack Finland. Finland has been preparing for a Soviet invasion for decades, even for Nuclear attack. I think the Russians know that Finland would put up an even more formidable resistance than Ukraine. That makes the NATO Baltic states (or Poland)
    the next prime target. And that will mean NATO involvement and possibly WWIII.
    I don’t think that will happen, because I think Russia will be defeated in Ukraine. The West has progressivly been less reluctant to give better weapons to Ukraine. but the training takes some time. I expect a Russian defeat in about a month or two (That is if the US and NATO will give enough to Ukraine, 4 HIMARS is pathetic, that should be 40 or more)

  6. I’m with Coel and Nicolaas Stempels on this: we are not in any way “throwing good money after bad” in continuing to support Ukraine.
    If the US and Europe are not prepared to continue supporting Ukraine, they are just saying to Putin “Continue your aggression and barbarity, we don’t care”. Putin will pick off Moldova, and Georgia – he already has picked off pieces of both. And then there’s Armenia, and Azerbaijan, and where does it end, when he’s emboldened by victory and craven acquiescence?
    Ukraine is fighting OUR war for democracy and rule of law for us, the least we can do is give them the tools with which to fight.

  7. Ukraine is suffering badly for Europe’s independence from Russia. Without standing up to the brutish bear, the entire country would have collapsed in February – then Moldova, the Baltics, maybe Poland. Putin may win, certainly if the West backs down, but the price should convince his people that they can’t afford to annex any other countries.

  8. On Covid-
    My “lived experience” is that several people I know got pretty sick from it.
    I don’t know anyone who was sick enough to be hospitalized from the disease. My wife does, as she treats sick people. She has had patients die from the disease.
    I know two people who were hospitalized with serious reactions to the vaccine.
    Lots of people I know were fully vaccinated, but caught it anyway, and had mild or no symptoms. Some have tested positive more than once.
    Of the people I know who got sick before the vaccine was available, none have tested positive since.

    The above is a list of anecdotes, which no doubt will vary wildly from the experiences of others. I look forward to a time when we have long-term data.

    However, it does not appear that immunization is keeping very many people from catching at least a mild case of Covid.

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