Saturday: Hili dialogue

June 25, 2022 • 6:30 am

Welcome to CatSaturday, June 25, 2022, National Strawberry Parfait Day, a treat made from fruit, Greek Yogurt, and granola. Is it dessert or breakfast? You be the judge.

It’s also National Catfish Day, Statehood Day (in Virginia), and World Vitiligo Day.

On this day in 1947, Anne Frank’s diary was published (see below). Google has a special Doodle for that. Click on the screenshot and swipe right to get a summary of her life in hiding:

Stuff that happened on June 25 includes:

Here’s the photo, captioned by Wikipedia as “Barricades on rue Saint-Maur during the uprising, 25 June 1848”. It’s a daguerrotype:

Here’s Custer the year before he was killed by a coalition of Native American groups, including Lakota led by Crazy Horse. Here’s a photo of Custer a year before his death:

Here’s a photo from Wikipedia labeled “Paul Pelliot examining manuscripts in the Library Cave, 1908.” Most of them date between the late 4th and early 11th centuries and deal with a variety of subjects from mathematics to song and dance:

  • 1910 – The United States Congress passes the Mann Act, which prohibits interstate transport of women or girls for “immoral purposes”; the ambiguous language would be used to selectively prosecute people for years to come.
  • 1910 – Igor Stravinsky‘s ballet The Firebird is premiered in Paris, bringing him to prominence as a composer.

Here’s the Suite of The Firebird performed by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra:

  • 1944 – The final page of the comic Krazy Kat is published, exactly two months after its author George Herriman died.

Krazy Kat, one of my (and Matthew’s) favorite comic strips, had a magnificent run. Here’s the final strip which leaves unanswered the question of whether Krazy Kat has drowned (read more here). And yet, in the very last panel, Krazy appears to live on, back and floating in the drink. Click to enlarge:

A first edition in English in good condition can cost as much as $4,500, but in Dutch (called Het Achterhuis) could run you $12,500:

A bit of the original flag, designed by three queer artists and 30 volunteers, is still preserved in San Francisco’s GLBT Historical Society Museum. Here it is:

Campbell, shown below, ruled from only June 25 to November 4, 1993, when she lost an election to the Liberals. She was the first and still the only womb-carrying Prime Minister of Canada (at least they’ve done better than the U.S. on that count!):


*This public Facebook post from Seth Andrews gives most of the big news:

I for one am not keen to rehash the overturning of Roe v. Wade this morning: the news is full of it, with liberals predictably (and rightly) mourning while conservatives rejoice. I’ll point out just a few articles of note.

*The NYT Editorial Board has penned a powerful editorial outlining the disastrious consequences of the Supreme Court’s overturning Roe v Wade. Just a short quote:

The implications of this reversal will be devastating, throwing America into a new era of struggle over abortion laws — an era that will be marked by chaos, confusion and human suffering. About half the states in the United States are expected to enact laws that restrict or make abortion illegal in all or most cases. Many women may be forced by law to carry pregnancies to term, even, in some cases, those caused by rape or incest. Some will likely die, especially those with pregnancy complications that must be treated with abortion or those who resort to unsafe means of abortion because they can’t afford to travel to states where the procedure remains legal. Even those who are able to travel to other states could face the risk of criminal prosecution. Some could go to prison, as could the doctors who care for them. Miscarriages could be investigated as murders, which has already happened in several states, and may become only more common. Without full control over their bodies, women will lose their ability to function as equal members of American society.

*An op-ed from the NYT uses Maine as one example of “How to outmanuever the Supreme Court“. (The author is Aaron Tang, professor of law at UC Davis and former clerk for Sonya Sotomayor.) The first bit involves the Supreme Court’s recent decision stipulating that taxpayer-funded school vouchers can be used to send kids to religious schools:

Let’s start with the Carson case. Anticipating this week’s decision, Maine lawmakers enacted a crucial amendment to the state’s anti-discrimination law last year in order to counteract the expected ruling. The revised law forbids discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, and it applies to every private school that chooses to accept public funds, without regard to religious affiliation.

The impact was immediate: The two religious schools at issue in the Carson case, Bangor Christian Schools and Temple Academy, said that they would decline state funds if, as Maine’s new law requires, accepting such funds would require them to change how they operate or alter their “admissions standards” to admit L.G.B.T.Q. students.

The legislative fix crafted by Maine lawmakers offers a model for lawmakers elsewhere who are alarmed by the court’s aggressive swing to the right. Maine’s example shows that those on the losing end of a case can often outmaneuver the court and avoid the consequences of a ruling.

No change of policy, no vouchers. This may itself end up in the courts, but we’ll see.

What about the approval of NY’s open carry law? States can severely limit which areas (universities, public transportation, and so on), and can also force gun owners to purchase firearm liability insurance.

As for today’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, states also have options, says Tang:

Lawmakers should act vigorously to ensure that abortion providers are able to serve out-of-state patients unable to obtain care in their home states. At the national level, the Biden administration should argue that Food and Drug Administration rules permitting the use of mifepristone to terminate a pregnancy override contrary state laws. Congress should also continue working to enact the Women’s Health Protection Act to enshrine a right to abortion as a matter of federal law, even though the filibuster remains an obstacle.

The problem, of course, is that none of the red states will want to act to neutralize these new laws, so things will wind up pretty much as we expect.

*But which states are likely to retain abortion provisions, and which likely to limit them severely or strike them down? Below is a map from the Washington Post that gives you an idea.

First, the key:

First, 13 states with “trigger bans,” designed to take effect as soon as Roe is overturned, will ban abortion within 30 days. Several other states where recent antiabortion legislation has been blocked by the courts are expected to act next, with lawmakers moving to activate their dormant legislation. A handful of states also have pre-Roe abortion bans that could be brought back to life.

Elsewhere in the country, the post-Roe landscape is less certain.
Below, the “trigger states” are in red, states likely to ban abortion are in orange, ones likely to retain Roe-like standards are in purple, and those that are uncertain are in off-white. Note that if you’re a woman in the South or Southeast, you’re screwed. (Click to enlarge, and the map at the Post site is interactive, telling you what the laws are or what pending laws stipulate.

*Moving on The Economist has a gloomy editorial that judges both Biden and Harris as potential Democratic candidates for President in 2024, and finds both wanting. I agree, but who can we run?  My take is that Biden is too old and befuddled, as well as too woke, and Harris is simply ineffectual, and doesn’t get handed the nomination simply because she’s been VP. The Economist says this, among other things. A quote:

No Democrat relishes the idea of [Biden} fighting another presidential campaign.

Yet his aides have described plans for one—because if Mr Trump runs again, it seems Mr Biden wants to. He rightly fears a second Trump term would be calamitous; yet the fact that he thinks he is the likeliest impediment to that points to another Democratic problem. If Mr Biden steps aside, the vice-president, Kamala Harris, is expected to be the Democratic nominee. And many fear she would lose to Mr Trump or one of his imitators, because of another combination of dire fundamentals and poor political skills. If America was not ready for a woman president in 2016, it is probably no readier for a black woman now. And Ms Harris, a Californian progressive unused to competitive elections, was exposed during her brief primary tilt in 2019 as an awkward campaigner with few fixed views. Mr Biden shone by comparison.

The question, then, is can Democrats bypass them both? “Literally every conversation I’ve had with a Democrat over the past three months has started with this,” says a veteran activist. The conventional wisdom is, no. The diversity of the Democratic coalition makes its members cling to protocols, such as the vice-president’s claim to be next in line, as a defence against schism. And bypassing a black woman would outrage the identitarian left. Yet a growing sense of panic is challenging that view. A flurry of recent reports in the New York Times and elsewhere feature quotes from unnamed Democrats calling on Mr Biden not to run and for a competitive primary, in which Ms Harris could participate (and show off the skills her supporters will say she has acquired in the West Wing) if she wished.

They suggest either Bernie Sanders (no chance) or center-left candidates like Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, or Cory Booker. Make no mistake about it: I’m voting for any Democrat, but I wouldn’t mind filling in my dot for any of those last three.

*A bloodhound named Trumpet won the big prize—Best in Show—at the 146th competition of the Westminster Kennel Club D*G show. I believe it’s the first time a bloodhound has won this competition.

Rounding the finalists’ ring with a poised and powerful stride, Trumpet beat a French bulldog, a German shepherd, a Maltese, an English setter, a Samoyed and a Lakeland terrier to take the trophy.

“I was shocked,” said handler, co-breeder and co-owner Heather Helmer, who also goes by Heather Buehner. The competition was stiff, “and sometimes I feel the bloodhound is a bit of an underdog.”

After making dog show history, does Trumpet have a sense of how special he is?

“I think he does,” his Berlin Center, Ohio-based handler said.

After his victory, Trumpet posed patiently for countless photos, eventually starting to do what bloodhounds do best — sniff around. He examined some decorative flowers that had been set up for the pictures, not appearing to find anything of note.

*Finally, I call your attention to the Official Labsite Artist® Kelly Houle, who is selling her artwork to warm up and finance her big project of creating a huge illuminated manuscript of Darwin’s Origin. She does a nature painting a day (“Daily Paintworks”) that are auctioned on eBay and they’re quite lovely. Also, even at the “buy it now” price they are terrific bargains for the quality. See the list of her available Paintworks here, and she also has an etsy store with intriguing stuff. (Note: I don’t get any financial benefit from these sales!)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is inspecting the crops:

Hili: The raspberries will be ripe soon.
A: I’m afraid they won’t for another two weeks.
Hili: You may be mistaken.
In Polish:
Hili: Te maliny będą niedługo dojrzewać.
Ja: Obawiam się, że będą dojrzałe dopiero za dwa tygodnie.
Hili: Możesz się mylić.

Kulka and Szaron on the windowsill:




From reader Malcolm, a lovely ring:

From reddit. Turtle Fail, though a few manage to stay on the log:

🔥Turtles adjusting the center of balance to stay on the trunk🔥 from NatureIsFuckingLit

From Facebook, bringing zoology up to date:

Titania hasn’t tweeted in ages, and God’s tweets have suddenly become lame; I have no idea what happened. We await their revival. In the mantime, I scrounge (send me any good tweets you have).

Would you hold it, try the restrooms, or go in the bushes?

I was going to post about this article by J. K. Rowling, but I’ll let you read it for yourself (if you’re not paywalled(, adding only that a.) it’s very good and b.) it shows that the trans activists rushing to push “affirmative therapy” or hormone blockers on young people with gender issues are going to get a lot of pushback as the data come in.  Read some Jesse Singal if you want to see how “alternative facts” form a lot of this kind of ideology, and why careful and non-tendentious therapy is a better alternative than a rush to judgement.

From the Auschwitz Memorial, honoring Anne Frank and her diary (see above). There’s an actual photo of two of the pages below:

Tweets from Matthew. What is this first insect, not identified by the poster?

And another two beetle tweet I founs in the same thread. The translation of the first one:

“Males of Apoderus jekelii fight like comparing neck lengths. I think that the potter’s wheel is an extreme example, but it is no wonder that you can fly with such a neck and eat leaves. The female head is short, and the larger the male, the longer the neck (base of the head).”

The second one below is translated thus:

“By the way, Rokurokubi is not the Apoderus jekelii but the Apoderus jekelii. I think it’s closely related to Japanese Apoderus erythra. It has the same unusual silhouette, but the members of the Apoderus jekelii have a long chest, so it feels like a crane and is somewhat functional.”
This implies that the insect above is a beetle in the genus Apoderus.. Some of these do have long heads, but I would have thought that these individuals were weevils.

I wonder whether Watson and Crick were interested in this talk.

I tried to raise these, but despite the fact that I’m not bad at growing plants, I couldn’t keep these “living rocks” alive:

Watch closely to see the rapid (but not injurious) leopard attack:


49 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. Would it be possible to set up abortion clinics on native American reservations in states banning abortion, since they are sovereign to some degree?

    1. Technically, yes, but it is still possible for states to ban non-indigenous Americans from using them; consider laws against ‘transporting minors across state lines for immoral purposes’. I fully expect to see something similar implemented. I saw a news story recently about how the data warehouses now are able to pinpoint who goes to what service provider (abortion provider, etc.) when, by accessing cell phone records, calling history, etc. That data is being shared (or can be mandated to be shared) across state lines, meaning that someone going to an out-of-state abortion provider still risks having his/her data sent to his/her state government.

      I also don’t think reservations are likely to keep abortion legal, given how worried they are about their own people dying out. I’m not familiar with their politics, though.

        1. And many women are deleting their menstruation apps in case the data is used against them. Scary times.

      1. consider laws against ‘transporting minors across state lines for immoral purposes’

        And adults?
        Oh yeah – restricting freedom of travel is on the agenda as America morphs into Gilead. As Ms Atwood said “it’s a warning, not an instruction book”.

        1. In the eyes of the legislators implementing these policies, the adult is carrying an unborn minor across state lines for immoral purposes.

          I’ve engaged in a few conversations with pro-lifers; the ones in my circles can be rational and consistent, but are defending a different definition of human life. I’m not going to vilify or demonize them, even though I disagree with them.

          As for Handmaid’s Tale, if you’re ready for another depressing read, try Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. I thought that was the dystopia we’d be faced with first. It’s tough to be optimistic these days.

    2. Why would the Native Nations want to get involved in the abortion business? I can’t see there being anywhere near enough money in it that they would show the slightest interest. Casinos and untaxed tobacco are enormously lucrative even when not used for money laundering. Where is the money in abortions for poor people?

  2. I’d hazard that abortion access is less popular than the national average within reservations, so probably not too likely (and there’s already a dearth of medical care and other infrastructure).

  3. I for one am not keen to rehash the overturning of Roe v. Wade this morning: the news is full of it, with liberals predictably (and rightly) mourning while conservatives rejoice.

    Doug Mastriano: “Pennsylvanians will not be distracted by the hysterics of the left as they exploit this ruling to try to fulfill their far-left agenda. As they struggle with all-time record-high inflation, the people care deeply about the price of gas and groceries, as well as out-of-control crime and good-paying jobs — which is exactly why I will prioritize these issues as their governor.” Doesn’t sound like rejoicing to me, and Mastriano is as hardcore anti-choice as they come.

    1. Ummm. . . as I watched the news last night, they showed the area around the Supreme Court packed, with half the people jubilant about the ruling and the other half mourning. They also showed conservatives cheering the decision in other states around the country.

      In contrast to that, you offer the opinion of one man who will not be rejoicing. I’m sorry, but I won’t say I’m wrong, and I’m puzzled why you want to offer this “evidence” to show me up for being wrong.

      1. I am sincerely sorry. I was not trying to show you up. I was just reacting to the notion that conservatives are celebrating. Conservative activists, surely, but not conservative politicians. They’ve been able to avoid this issue for decades while pandering to anti-choice activists. No more. You’ve promised that, if elected governor, to sign legislation banning abortion in cases of rape and incest, as Doug Mastriano has? In the past, you really didn’t have to talk about that outside of the fringe. Now you do, because your opponents can legitimately keep it as an issue before the public. And that is the last thing these guys want.

    2. While some are certainly rejoicing, most GOP politicians are worried that the Dems can weaponize the decision against them in November. They are frantically trying to get voters’ attention back to high gas prices, etc.

  4. The article J.K. Rowling tweeted about (Jerry incorrectly claimed that Rowling was its author), you can read it here (somebody archived it, The Times has a paywall with 0 free articles per month for non-suvscribers):
    What went wrong at the Tavistock clinic for trans teenagers? | The Times Magazine, June 17, 2022 (that’s The Times of London, England)

    1. Excellent article. Those very quick and obviously sloppy ‘diagnoses’ of ‘gender dysphoria’ in children and young adolescents are verging on quackery, and if followed by puberty blockers and irreversible surgery, plain criminality.
      The threat to the parents of suicide by their children is completely unconscionable: there are no serious studies showing that transition reduces suicide rates at all, and for all we know it might be the other way round.
      Moreover, one should keep in mind it is a profitable racket, of course, for whom? Activists? Doctors, surgeons? I don’t think the latter deserve that designation, let’s call them ‘perverted plumbers’.

      Why is this epidemic of ‘gender dysphoria’ (I wager that an overwhelming majority are not really ‘gender dysphoric’) mainly among white girls from middle class and well to do families? Abigail Shrier gave a tentative answer: victim culture. These girls are privileged, yet despised for that, what better way to acquire victim status -so cherished in Wokism- than to become ‘trans’?
      Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there is such a thing as gender dysphoria, but it is a diagnosis that is nearly an ‘exclusion diagnosis’. And even then, it should be explained to these patients that ‘transition’ can never be complete, A male mammal can never become a full female and vice versa. Some fishes can, but we cannot. They should also be informed that -depending on the actions taken- it may come with serious and often irreversible consequences such as infertility and/or impossibility to reach orgasm.

  5. Note that if you’re a woman in the South or Southeast, you’re screwed.

    Eight of the eleven states of the former Confederacy have trigger laws or are likely to ban abortion immediately, with the remaining three listed as “uncertain.”

    One of these days the Civil War is gonna end; just you wait ‘n’ see.

      1. Well, we certainly shouldn’t’ve abandoned Reconstruction in 1877, before the South was fully reincorporated into The Union.

        1. My questions were deliberately provocative. We have the benefit of hindsight now. Lincoln couldn’t have known that Reconstruction would be cut off at the knees and that Jim Crow would follow.

      2. Will you (America in general) let the rest of the south secede along with Texas – which has been, umm, raising the flag of secession again.
        Wholesale, or piecemeal?
        Civil war? Over? Well, maybe. I still see elements of the “War of the 4 Kingdoms” (sometimes also known as the English Civil war, neglecting the warfare that happened in Wales, Scotland and Ireland) going on in these blessed isles. So maybe your civil war will be settled some time in the 2300s?

        1. I would let the South, including Texas, secede. I think that’s the lesser of two evils, the greater being increasing violence resulting from incompatible factions being compelled to live together.

          1. I too would say good riddance but I can’t imagine how a heavily armed theocracy on our southern border would be the peaceful solution we hope for.

            1. Not to mention that secession would not help the women in the ‘confederate’ seceded states.

  6. I agree, but who can we run [as the 2024 Democratic presidential nominee]?

    I say throw the race wide open and let the best woman or man win. My early winter-book favorites are the Secretary of Transportation, Das Boot, and Sen. Amy Klobs of Minnesota.

    1. I’d go for Al Franken, I think he’s served his penitence by now, for what I still think was a minor offence.

      1. Yes, Al Franken would be an excellent choice. We need someone with a level head that can also explain how ludicrous GOP positions are. So many Dem politicians play it so straight to GOP bombast that they let them dictate the agenda.

  7. It will be interesting to see if people just stand around pulling their hair and rending their clothes, or get busy and pass amendments to their State Constitutions guaranteeing abortion rights.

    I thought I recalled that the Mann Act is in force. I checked. It is, and has been amended over the years to included men and to address child pornography.

  8. Elizabeth Warren has been getting a lot of flak for her statement on Roe v Wade in which she referred to “pregnant people”. Many critics think that there’s a direct link between the inability of progressives to say the word “woman” and the inability to defend women’s rights.

    1. There will certainly be a link between woke language and their ability to get elected. People like Warren have no clue what an unnecessary aggravation to the independent/swing voter that this pandering to the goonies is.

      1. Warren is a smart lady but she’s a total panderer. It seems unlikely that she really believes the Woke agenda but she’ll do anything to convince the young voters that she’s with them.

  9. I totally agree with our host’s take on Biden in 2024. On the other hand, anyone else the Dems push forward will have to go through the public (and GOP) scrutiny that all presidential candidates must pass. This throws another variable into the mix. Of course, it works both ways. If Trump doesn’t run, the frontrunner will be Ron DeSantis. He also hasn’t gone through the presidential mill. It’s not so hard for him to run Florida. My guess is that once he becomes a candidate, he’ll run up against a lot of resistance. As far as I know, he has no experience in world diplomacy. He may try to emulate Trump’s policies but I don’t think that will work twice.

  10. … while conservatives rejoice [the Dobbs decision].

    The celebrants should keep in mind that a federal constitution that allows states to prohibit women from obtaining abortions also allows states to compel women to undergo abortions.

    Would those doing the rejoicing be as sanguine were a state to enact a one-child policy that forced women who had had their one allotted child to abort any subsequent pregnancies, once they realized that such women would have no recourse to the federal courts under the US constitution?

    Mark this one down in the careful-what-you-wish-for department.

  11. I certainly hope the turtles on the log aren’t a metaphor for earth’s ability to support its human population.

  12. The ‘long-necked weevils are Trachelismus spp. [I cheated a bit here, the tray label and individual collection labels are visible!], a genus of leaf-rolling weevils related to the better-known Apoderus. The latter genus includes some familiar and well-studied species native to Japan, so the reference to male neck-measuring in the latter…

    And, all weevils ARE beetles, though all beetles are not weevils.

    And thanks again for giving us morsels from the non-human world!

  13. …God’s tweets have suddenly become lame; I have no idea what happened.

    Dementia? He and his son — he being his son — are the same age so we’ll have to get used to it. But he did say that the safest position these days is the foetal position. It is funny in a strange way.

  14. I read yesterday that Oklahoma is banning abortion after moment of conception. Similar thing about Texas. I don’t know if this is true, but if so that could possibly make oral contraceptives illegal. I realize that most of the people in favor of this are complete imbeciles and disdain any science that challenges their view of the world, but oral contraceptives may sometimes work after conception(fertilization). Im not sure if the most recent science rejects this, but I’ve read that oral contraceptives can prevent implantation of an embryo in the uterus. Not that details mean much to these people.
    Also great of the states preventing abortion after rape. Now rapists can go to these states and greatly increase their reproductive success. Texas has really knocked it out of the park lately with protecting innocent people.

  15. >> She was the first and still the only womb-carrying Prime Minister of Canada (at least they’ve done better than the U.S. on that count!) <<

    In what way is that "better"?

  16. Yes, these Giraffe weevils (Trachelophorus spp) are in the Attelabidae family, part of the order Coleoptera (Beetles).
    I don’t think there are ‘giraffe necks’ in the Apoderus genus (the Leaf roller weevils) though, but correct me if ‘m wrong (IANAE).

    I have no idea why the Giraffe weevils have such an elongated ‘neck’. Does anybody have a nice adaptive ‘just so story’ here? Or do we have to fall back to sexual selection?

  17. ”I tried to raise these, but despite the fact that I’m not bad at growing plants, I couldn’t keep these “living rocks” alive:”

    Discovered by Dr. Livingstone, I presume.

  18. Those “living rocks” (Lithops spp) do not require much care. They are endemic in South Africa (albeit not in my area) and Namibia.
    I think the mistake many make is to give them too much care, especially watering them during their natural ‘dry seasons’, when they are dormant. They also need direct sunlight for several hours a day. Some good advice on care for ‘living rocks’:

Leave a Reply