Tuesday: Hili dialogue

June 28, 2022 • 6:30 am

Good morning on the Cruelest Day: Tuesday, June 28, 2022: National Tapioca Day. Though I dislike vanilla pudding, I do love tapioca. It must be the mouthfeel of the “pearls,” which I think accounts for the recent and huge popularity of “bubble tea” (I like that, too).

It’s also International Body Piercing Day and Paul Bunyan Day.  Here’s Paul and Babe, his blue ox.

Stuff that happened on June 28 includes:

She was actually crowned a year after she’d become queen. Here’s a painting of the affair by Sir George Hayter:

Victoria and John Brown at Balmoral. Did they have an affair? Do see the 1997 movie “Mrs. Brown, which is terrific. It stars Judi Dench as Victoria and Billy Connolly as Mr. Brown.

Here’s Kelly photographed the day before his execution. Below that, the armor he wore when he was captured. He was hanged at 25.

 

(From Wikipedia): Kelly’s armour on display in the State Library of Victoria. The helmet, breastplate, backplate and shoulder plates show 18 bullet marks. Also on display are Kelly’s Snider Enfield rifle and one of his boots.

The car in which the assassination took place and the Archduke’s bloodstained uniform:

From Wikipedia: The 1910 Gräf & Stift Bois de Boulogne phaeton automobile in which Archduke Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated. It is now displayed in the Museum of Military History in Vienna

  • 1942 – World War II: Nazi Germany starts its strategic summer offensive against the Soviet Union, codenamed Case Blue.
  • 1969 – Stonewall riots begin in New York City, marking the start of the Gay Rights Movement.

This photo is labeled “The only known photograph taken during the first night of riots, by freelance photographer Joseph Ambrosini, shows gay youth scuffling with police.”

Some victims. The agent was believed to be mustard gas, which is a nasty chemical agent. It doesn’t kill most of the time but incapacitates people with dire symptoms. In Sardasht there were 110 deaths and 8000 injured. Here are some of the victims:

Here’s the crucial bite (sorry for the violence today). It looks as if Tyson bit off only part of Holyfield’s ear:

Milošević (below) died of a heart attack in prison before the long trial was over. The charges against him were a long list: “genocide; complicity in genocide; deportation; murder; persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds; inhumane acts/forcible transfer; extermination; imprisonment; torture; willful killing; unlawful confinement; willfully causing great suffering; unlawful deportation or transfer; extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; cruel treatment; plunder of public or private property; attacks on civilians; destruction or willful damage done to historic monuments and institutions dedicated to education or religion; unlawful attacks on civilian objects.”

Da Nooz:

*As somebody predicted in yesterday’s Nooz, the Dobbs decision may cause a fracas in state courts, because states have constitutions, too—some of them ensuring a right to privacy stronger than that of the federal Constitution.

And so it goes. Yesterday in Louisiana, which had a strong anti-abortion “trigger law,” a state judge temporarily blocked enforcement of that law, about to go into effect. But we have no information about why. As the WaPo reports, “There was no immediate additional comment from [Judge Robin M.] Giarrusso on the merits of the case.”

The NYT reports that one of the state’s three abortion clinics immediately began providing the procedure, and the other two are anticipated to also begin performing abortions. How long this will last I don’t know, but the New York Times says that there may be state constitutional issues:

Abortion providers in Louisiana argued that the state’s trigger laws violate the state’s constitution and “are void for vagueness” because it is unclear if they would take immediate effect after the Supreme Court’s ruling, and they do not provide enough specifics about banned actions — such as what exceptions exist for medical workers trying to save a pregnant woman’s life.

*More bad news from the Supreme Court via reader Ken. As you may remember from October, 2015 (LOL), I recounted how a high school football coach, Joseph Kennedy, was asked by his school to stop praying on the 50-yard line after games. Kennedy vowed to fight, and apparently he succeeded in being allowed to pray.
The Supreme Court ruled today in favor of the public high school football coach who prayed at midfield in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District. The vote was — this will come as a shock, I know — 6 to 3.

The opinion is available here.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the majority opinion was written by Gorsuch:

Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the majority in the ruling, declared, “The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike.

Gorsuch noted that the coach “prayed during a period when school employees were free to speak with a friend, call for a reservation at a restaurant, check email, or attend to other personal matters” and “while his students were otherwise occupied.”

It would be wrong to treat everything public school teachers and coaches say and do as speech subject to government control, he wrote. If that were the case, “a school could fire a Muslim teacher for wearing a headscarf in the classroom or prohibit a Christian aide from praying quietly over her lunch in the cafeteria,” he wrote.

He closed by writing that: “Respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic—whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a field, and whether they manifest through the spoken word or a bowed head.”

I scanned the opinion, but read more carefully the dissent of Sonia Sotomayor, as she showed that Coach Kennedy wasn’t just praying by himself in midfield, but was joined by others. Here are three pages from her dissent showing photos of the “solitary prayer.” Kennedy got students and other players nvolved, too, and that can be construed as religious coercion of students. Indeed, Sotomayor says that some students felt coerced to pray. But that doesn’t matter to today’s Court.

*The damn Russian army can’t stop killing Ukrainian citizens, and I’m sure they do it deliberately. Today in the city of Kremenchuk in central Ukraine, which has heretofore not been bombed, a Russian missile struck a shopping mall. Casualties aren’t yet fully counted, but over a thousand civilians were in the mall, and at least 15 shoppers died.

Russian long-range bombers fired a missile that struck a crowded shopping mall in Ukraine’s central city of Kremenchuk on Monday, raising fears of what President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called an “unimaginable” number of victims in “one of the most daring terrorist attacks in European history.”

Zelenskky said more than 1,000 civilians were inside the mall, with many managing to escape. Giant plumes of black smoke, dust and orange flames emanated from the wreckage, with emergency crews rushing in to search broken metal and concrete for victims and put out fires. Onlookers watched in distress.

. . . Soldiers worked into the night to lug sheets of twisted metal and broken concrete, as one drilled into what remained of the shopping center’s roof. Drones whirred above, clouds of dark smoke still emanating from the ruins several hours after the fire had been put out.

This target had no military value; bombing it is a war crime. Yet we are nearly powerless to stop the carnage.

*If Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is truly ambitious to become a Senator or even President, as I suspect, she’d better learn to shut her yap. Her latest tirade is to call for an act that we might agree on, but which is impossible to accomplish: impeaching two Supreme Court Justices who, she says, lied about their views on Roe v. Wade during their congressional vetting:

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is calling for a House investigation into whether two Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade should be impeached for lying at their confirmation hearings about their views of the landmark abortion-rights case.

In a Sunday interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat and progressive firebrand, said that she thinks the justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh, were dishonest when discussing Roe at the hearings.

“They lied,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said during the interview, adding at another point that “there must be consequences for such a deeply destabilizing action and hostile takeover of our democratic institutions.”

Perhaps they did, but so do Democratic nominees: they all say that they can’t judge cases that they haven’t yet heard. The critical point here is proving that they lied, and how are you going to do that? Did they make some statement sub rosa to others like “You know, if I get on the Court, I’m going to overturn Roe v. Wade“? If not, then the whole enterprise is meaningless and a waste of time. AOC may usually favor good policies, but she’s a hothead and a progressive who doesn’t appeal to centrist Democrats, and that’s why she’ll never get to either the Senate or the White House.

*From reader David via the conservative Washington Times, we hear that the Pentagon planned to stop its commercial production of ammunition for AR-15 semiautomatic weapons, as the Department of Defense owns a munitions plant that, via contractors, produces 40% of America’s commercial AR-15 bullets. Then Congressional Republicans stepped in, and Biden apparently caved:

Fifty House Republicans have petitioned President Biden to stop the Pentagon’s plan to ban commercial production of AR-15 ammunition at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in Missouri, which makes as much as 40% of the commercially available AR-15 bullets in the U.S.

The factory, owned by the Department of Defense, has allowed private contractors over the years to operate the plant and produce 5.56 mm ammunition, which is used in AR-15 semi-automatic firearms, for commercial sales that exceed U.S. military needs.

Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, later told The Washington Times that the White House would not follow through on the plan.

“The contract’s been in place like it is for most of post World War II America. … I’ve been assured there will not in the near future, or in this administration, would there be a change in that contract,” he said.

The lawmakers’ letter, spearheaded by Reps. Vicky Hartzler and Sam Graves of Missouri, said the Biden administration had tried to circumvent Congress by banning ammunition for the popular firearm.

Well, maybe Biden didn’t realize that he lacked authority to stop production of the ammunition. Does anybody here know?

*Reader Paul apprised me of a NASA website and video about climate change since 1880 using “climate spiral” graphics. It’s scary. From NASA:

This visualization shows monthly global temperature anomalies (changes from an average) between the years 1880 and 2021. Whites and blues indicate cooler temperatures, while oranges and reds show warmer temperatures. As you can see, global temperatures have warmed from mainly human activities as time has progressed.

These temperatures are based on data from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). Anomalies are defined relative to a base period of 1951 to 1980. The data file used to create this visualization can be accessed here.

The “climate spiral” is a visualization designed by climate scientist Ed Hawkins from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, University of Reading. Climate spiral visualizations have been widely distributed; a version was even part of the opening ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is quite negative:
Hili: Taking into account all the pros and cons, I’m against it.
A: This is quite a common attitude.
In Polish:
Hili: Biorąc pod uwagę wszystkie za i przeciw, jestem przeciw.
Ja: To dość powszechna postawa.

*********************

From Doc Bill:

From Jesus of the Day:

And another gem from Doc Bill. I hope you’ve seen “Titanic.”

Via Ziya Tong (“Earthling”). These swans are clearly having a fantastic time!

Two tweets from Simon. First, Boris Johnson’s daily exercise:

And wonderful Parisian cops. Make way for ducklings! Or should I say, “Place aux canetons!

From the Auschwitz Memorial, more future fodder for the camps:

 

Tweets from Matthew. The first one is from his pal, geneticist and author Adam Rutherford:

You can find anything on the internet: I like the squirrel, the dog, and the goose.

I haven’t tested this by covering the lines, but I’ll take the tweeter’s word for it. It’s a good optical illusion:

Very nice video.  You may have seen similar still photos of giant camel shadows in a Sahara caravan:

35 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. And when you pray do not be like those who are playacting; for they love to pray while standing in the synagogues and on the corners of streets, so that they may be visible to men; I tell you truly, they have their recompense in full. (Matthew 6:5, David Bentley Hart translation)

    But we know that Mr. Kennedy wasn’t meaning to pray. Mr. Kennedy was meaning to preach.

    1. I like Matthew 6, prayer is like sex: it should not be done publicly, on the road or sportsfield, but within the confines of one’s house, well, according to Matthew that is.
      If we follow his points, public prayer is comparable to a not so discrete orgy.

      1. Or as the Brit actress Mrs. Patrick Cambpell said: “Does it really matter what these affectionate people do — so long as they don’t do it in the streets and frighten the horses!”

  2. Re: the Kennedy ruling, the majority seem to have misrepresented the facts of the case, claiming that the disputed prayer was “solitary” and “quiet” and distinct from his duties as coach.

    But equally, does that mean that the ruling only serves as a precedent for instances where prayer (or other religious exercise) is similarly “solitary” and “quiet”? Presumably it doesn’t serve as a precedent for praying out loud when surrounded by students?

    Re: AOC’s claims, which statements by Gorsuch or Kavanagh are claimed to be actual lies?

    Re: Ned Kelly, presumably PCC will shortly be reading all about it, given the Booker Prize reading list.

    1. What have you done yourself, personally? Has to be concrete. (Carrying a sign on the sidewalk saying “Stop climate change” doesn’t count.)

      Canada says it’s going to ban plastic picnic forks. Not that that has anything to do with climate change, but, hey…

      1. While individual acts can be decisive solutions to many environmental problems, climate change may be one of those things where lobbying politicians for larger changes is more important than individual acts.

        1. Such as…?

          But how can “larger changes” happen without the consent and participation of us individually? We can vote out governments if they make us poorer in the name of climate change, even if all the scientists think that would be a good thing.

          I hear you saying, “I won’t make any voluntary sacrifices to reduce emissions unless everyone else is compelled to.” But China and India won’t—they aren’t playing the game and besides they manufacture all our stuff for us—so that means nobody will.
          Ergo, it is not rational to make any changes in your own behaviour. Lobby all you like but no one else will either. That’s why collective-action problems are insoluble in the absence of a sovereign whom everyone must obey, including China.

          1. “I hear you saying, “I won’t make any voluntary sacrifices to reduce emissions unless everyone else is compelled to.” ”

            If that is what you got from my comment, then you aren’t trying very hard to understand. You said to Dominic “What have you done yourself, personally? Has to be concrete. (Carrying a sign on the sidewalk saying “Stop climate change” doesn’t count.)”
            My point is that carrying a sign DOES count, and political activity probably is more effective at reducing climate change than an equal amount of effort reducing one’s personal emissions. Of course, we should do both, but you are wrong to minimize the effort to influence politicians.

            1. Influence them to do what, though? Mandate collective measures that voters show no willingness to adopt voluntarily as individuals? Why can’t people drive at 55 mph all on their own initiative, or take public transit even if it is slow, dirty, inconvenient, and over-run now with homeless drug addicts since the pandemic? It seems that all people really are willing to do is carry a sign. But with the nudge-nudge-wink-wink that says to politicians, “Now don’t actually do anything that makes gasoline, meat and other food, air travel, winter heating, A/C, cement, and electricity more expensive or interrupts the cornucopia of manufactured consumer goods that cross the ocean from China in big ships.” That doesn’t leave a lot of scope for politicians to mandate larger changes that you say trump anything that individuals can do..

          2. Indeed, it is a textbook case of the “tragedy of the commons”. That is why I am unfortunately quite pessimistic (actually, I think I’m realistic, but my views are often viewed as pessimistic by others) about our chances of significantly altering our course, which is destroyong our biosphere in multiple ways.

  3. 1838 – Coronation of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

    Let’s let those lads from Muswell Hill, The Kinks, celebrate:

    1. Great song, one of my favorite Kinks tunes.

      “I was born, lucky me,
      In a land that I love.”

      Great example of Dawkins’ comment about how strange it is that everyone is fortunate enough to have been born where the one true religion resides…

  4. 1997 – Holyfield–Tyson II: Mike Tyson is disqualified in the third round for biting a piece off Evander Holyfield‘s ear.

    Referee Mills Lane deducted two points for the bite shown in the clip. It wasn’t until later in the third round, when Tyson bit Holyfield a second time, this one on his other (left) ear, that the ref stopped the fight and disqualified Tyson.

  5. What does it matter how many people were praying? The cause of Kennedy’s firing was not that he forced or directed others to pray with him, but merely that he prayed. The school can neither fire him for not praying nor for praying. We should not let our dislike of religion blind us to the fact that other people have the right to their religion even as we have the right to our unbelief.

    1. Would you say the same thing if the authority figure leading your kids were a Satanist, or Moonie, or Hari Krishna, or whatever Charles Manson’s cult was called?

    2. First, he wasn’t fired, he resigned. Second, the issue is that he prayed with students in such a way that students would feel that if they didn’t join in they would be less likely to be selected for the team.

    3. Its really elementary. The Establishment Clause has long been established as a ruling that says that a representative of the state cannot in any way coerce subjects into religious expression. Opting to not participate far too readily has negative consequences for people who do not participate, and that is a well known fact. So the only solution is to just not allow coercion. Anyone can pray. But coercing others to do so is crossing the line.
      But now that line is broken, and we will see more and more open coercion at school games, PTA meetings, city council meetings, and so on. That includes Jewish and Muslim people being forced to mime Christian rituals.

      1. In the landmark case Engel v. Vitale (1962), SCOTUS held school prayer unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause even though the prayer was nondenominational and students could opt out of participating.

  6. To the tune of California dreamin’

    All the spheres are brown (all the spheres are brown)
    And both squares are gray (and both squares are gray)
    I’ve stared at the dot (I’ve stared at the dot)
    Now my eyes astray (Now my eyes astray)
    I see green and pink (I see green and pink)
    If I look away (If I look away)
    What color is that dress? (What color is that dress?)
    I can no longer saaaay.

  7. I’ve never understood people who pray at sports games. Does Mr. Kennedy have the gall to presume that the supposed maker of the universe, sitting in infinite space among countless galaxies, is going to be interested in fixing a completely inconsequential football game among yahoos in the armpit of Washington state? Do people like Kennedy understand that their prayer is really for the other side to lose and is therefore selfishness masquerading as sanctimony? God has never played a game of football in his life, so why should he care if Podunk High wins game six against Smallville? And if God does, why isn’t the silly twit devoting his attentions to someplace that really needs it, like Ukraine?

    1. Very good questions. This is a reminder that religion is fundamentally a method for slipping the bonds of rationality.

    2. And what does the Invisible Magic Friend do if the other side is praying just as fervently? Make a judgement on which side to favour based on other criteria? How many of them jacked off the night before? How many blasphemous words they uttered during training? How pious their families are?

      And in turn that comes down to the critical question: how do you know?

    3. And why should a miserably fallible and sinful human being seek to influence or change the mind of an omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipotent being? Do we really want him/her to do our bidding rather than his/her own?

  8. Tapioca pudding is the absolute best!
    We used to call it fish-eyes.
    I’ve had a hankering for it since I read your post this morning. With fresh strawberries now pouring in….mm-mmm!

  9. I suspect reducing production of 5.56 rounds would’ve had little effect since many of the same weapon type use the very similar .223 rounds. But no, mustn’t ever, ever reduce sales of weapons of war in any way. Why would we want less dead people?

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