Tuesday: Hili dialogue

August 9, 2022 • 6:30 am

Welcome to the Cruelest Day, with no weekend in sight: Tuesday, August 9, 2022. It’s National Rice Pudding Day, but actually I put that down for yesterday’s Food Day. That was a mistake, for August 8 is actually National Frozen Custard Day. (All the other dates yesterday are correct.)  But that’s okay: here’s no harm in having two Rice Pudding Days in a row, as it’s one of my favorite desserts. Go here to see the best rice pudding in all the world at the top of the page.

It’s also Book Lovers Day, National Polka Day, National Hand Holding Day, and International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a United Nations Holiday. Did you know that the polka is a Czech music and dance, and that, according to Wikipedia, “The term polka possibly comes from the Czech word “půlka” (“half”), referring to the short half-steps featured in the dance.” (See them below.

Here’s some polka, but not much, as most people seem to hate it. The song seems to be Yiddish: “Who stole the kishke?” With luck, you’ll never have to learn this. . .

I am a bit under the weather today from lack of sleep (yes, a recurrence of insomnia), so posting may be light. I do my best.

Stuff that happened on August 9 include:

Here’s a short BBC documentary on the Nagasaki bombing:

Here’s Nixon’s letter of resignation, sent to Henry Kissinger:

Da Nooz:

*Sadly, Olivia Newton-John died yesterday at her home in Southern California. She was only 73, and had fought a long battle with breast cancer. I thought she’d beaten it, but apparently not; it returned several decades later, metastasized to her spine. Here’s the announcement on her Facebook page.

. . . and a memorial tweet from her co-star in “Grease”:

*You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the Taliban will be the Taliban. That is, they’re not going to keep any promises they made to the West when they took over Afghanistan. Astonishingly, some fools believed them! Well, they should read this article in the new NYT “The Taliban’s dangerous collision course with the West.” Author Matthieu Atkins visits Afghanistan for the first time since the U.S. left:

The new government stirred outrage last fall when it allowed only boys to return to Grades 7 and up, but the Taliban insisted this was only a temporary measure. In January their top spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said it “was a question of capacity,” and said he hoped that girls’ high schools would reopen at the beginning of the Afghan school year, on March 23. “We are not against education,” he told journalists.

But on the first day of classes, the education ministry suddenly announced that the girls’ schools would not reopen after all. With such late notice, many went ahead unaware, only to have to kick their students out later that day. Other girls showed up to find the doors of their school locked. These scenes were captured by the foreign press, who turned up to cover what was supposed to be a hopeful day for the country; instead, they broadcast images of crying teenage girls. If the Taliban wanted to sabotage relations with the West, they couldn’t have planned things better.

‘Quite honestly, we had all been counting the days toward March 23 and had been seeing it as, you know, that fork in the road,” Rina Amiri, who was appointed in December to the newly created position of U.S. envoy for women, girls and human rights in Afghanistan, told me. “We had really concrete and detailed discussions with the Taliban and had received reassurances from everyone that we had spoken to that they would actually deliver on this.”

But wait! There’s more!

. . . . After the ban on girls’ high schools was upheld on March 23, Virtue and Vice stirred further outrage by announcing a decree on hijab, or Islamic veiling, which stated that women who were “neither too young or old” should cover their faces in the presence of unrelated men, and wear a full-body cloak, or burqa. The best hijab of all, the decree noted, was staying at home; male guardians, not women, would be punished for violations. While in many of Afghanistan’s rural communities and conservative households, face-veiling was the norm, for others, especially urban professionals, it was an attack on their own beliefs and dignity, one that sought to erase women’s faces from public life. Some critics called it gender apartheid.

The problem is that Afghanistan is facing a humanitarian disaster, depending heavily on foreign aid. And the more moderate members of the government know that that aid is endangered if Afghanistan does not empower women. But, as the long article notes, any reform has been stymied by the hard-line Isalmic clerics whose approval is required to change any of the country’s misogyny. It’s sharia law, Jake.

*The sentences have been handed down to the three men already convicted for murdering Ahmaud Arbery, a man shot down because he was jogging while black. All three men, father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael, as well as their neighbor, William Bryan, Jr., had already been given life sentences for a state crime—felony murder. These new sentences are federal charges: “interference with rights — a hate crime — along with attempted kidnapping and weapon use charges.”  The new sentences: life in prison for father and son, and 35 years for Bryan. 

They only getting out of jail in a box. All asked to remain in federal custody (presumably they were there because of the impending federal trial), but the judge denied the requests, so they’ll enter the Georgia state prison system. God help them.

*Amazingly, there are still some voters–and candidates–who think that the 2020 election was not only “rigged,” but can still be overturned.  The NYT reports that in Wisconsin, where Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is running for governor, she originally said Biden was legitimately elected, but then did a 180 and said the election was rigged.

But that wasn’t good enough for her Republican supporters, who want her to help overturn the election—two years after it took place!

At a campaign stop here last week, one voter, Donette Erdmann, pressed Ms. Kleefisch on her endorsement from former Vice President Mike Pence, whom many of Mr. Trump’s most devoted supporters blame for not blocking the counting of electoral votes on Jan. 6, 2021. “I was wondering if you’re going to resort to a RINO agenda or an awesome agenda,” Ms. Erdmann said, using a right-wing pejorative for disloyal Republicans.

Ms. Kleefisch’s startled answer — “don’t make your mind up based on what somebody else is doing,” she warned, defending her “awesome agenda” — was not enough.

“I’m going to go with Tim Ramthun,” Ms. Erdmann said afterward. [Ramthun is running against Kleefisch in the GOP primary.]

Ms. Kleefisch’s predicament illustrates how Mr. Trump’s supporters have turned fury over his 2020 election loss and the misguided belief that its results can be nullified into central campaign issues in the Republican primary for governor in Wisconsin, a battleground state won by razor-thin margins in the last two presidential elections. G.O.P. candidates have been left choosing whether to tell voters they are wrong or to engage in the fiction that something can be done to reverse Mr. Trump’s defeat.

Dozens of Republican voters and activists interviewed across the state in the last week said they wanted to see lawmakers decertify the state’s election results and claw back its 10 electoral votes, something that cannot legally be done. Nearly all of them pointed to a July decision from the conservative-leaning Wisconsin Supreme Court, which ruled that drop boxes used to collect ballots during the pandemic were illegal under state law, as evidence that hundreds of thousands of 2020 votes should be thro

“Everybody that I’ve talked to voted for Trump,” said Cyndy Deeg, a food industry worker from Larsen, Wis. “He should be reinstated and resume the position, because he never surrendered it.”

These people are bull-goose LOONIES. Reinstated? What world are they living in?

*The Washington Post has an article about the fallout of the Dobbs case and series of maps showing where abortion is still legal and will remain so, where it is banned, where it will be banned, and where it’s endangered. Here’s the map, and it’s depressing (click to enlarge). The purple states are likely to keep abortion legal, and the gray ones, too, but only for now. Look at the red and crimson South! And the Midwest is nothing to be proud of, either.

From the article:

Access to abortion in roughly half the country has changed swiftly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Providers, patients, lawyers and state officials are scrambling to interpret a cascade of confusing and often conflicting antiabortion legislation, some of it written a century ago.

Thirteen states had “trigger bans” designed to take effect shortly after Roe was struck down. At least eight states banned the procedure the day the ruling was released. Several others with antiabortion laws blocked by the courts are expected to act, with lawmakers moving to activate dormant legislation. A handful of states also have pre-Roe abortion bans that could be reactivated, and others moved immediately to introduce new legislation. Judges have temporarily blocked some state bans.

*Protip: When you google “cat”, you get this result, with a paw icon on the right. Tap it. You can tap repeatedly, too, all over the page after you’ve tapped once. (There is no equivalent for “dog”.)

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is worried about Israel:

Hili: I’m wondering about the case of Jerusalem.
A: And that means?
Hili: I don’t understand why Western liberals desire so much to give it to Islam.
In Polish:
Hili: Zastanawiam się nad sprawą Jerozolimy.
Ja: To znaczy?
Hili: Nie rozumiem dlaczego zachodni liberałowie tak bardzo chcą oddać ją dla islamu.

And a photo of Szaron:


From Anna:

From Facebook:

The last in our Infinite Regress Series:  Jango looking at a picture of Jango looking at a picture of Jango looking at a picture of Jango looking at a picture of Jango looking at a picture of Jango on this website:

From John van Wyhe. It shows Darwin holding his son William in 1842. I believe this is the only existing picture of Darwin with one of his offspring. For more pictures of Darwin, go here on the the Darwin Correspondence Project site. The photo of Darwin in a top hat riding a horse is a keeper!

The tweet of God (I haven’t seen His newest Book:

From Erik, two optical illusions (there’s a museum!):

From Simon, who says, “Tricky things, these boxes.” I wonder how the cat extricated itself:

From Luana, showing how far things have gone in using professional schools for social engineering:

From Barry, a very patient monkey:

From the Auschwitz Memorial:  A nun gassed because she was born Jewish but converted to Catholicism. The conversion apparently didn’t efface the taint of “Jew”:

Tweets from Matthew. I believe I’ve written about Kiddo before. Yes, indeed I have.

This isn’t medieval, so the illustrated cat looks somewhat catlike. The book came out in 1658 although the author died half a century earlier.

This is the best prayer ever! No deity is being importuned or even addressed.

15 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. The Republican Party’s white Christian nationalistic, theocratic, fascistic agenda is simply a “softer’ version of that of the Taliban. Republicans, as the Taliban, make no bones about what they want: the elimination of the separation of church and state. Christianity is to become the national religion; those that do not adhere to it will become second class citizens. As in Afghanistan, women will be subject to the whims of the patriarchy – supposedly based on biblical dicta and some women will willingly submit. As with the Taliban, Republicans feel any means are justified to reach their ends, which includes overthrowing the nation’s semi-democratic system.

    Many Republicans of this ilk are smart enough to realize that violence, such as the January 6, 2021 coup attempt, is not necessary and is actually counterproductive. Rather, they believe that the American electoral system, combined with having their operatives control the mechanics of voting (such as having a sympathetic secretary of state), will be sufficient for them to take over the government, state and federal, and this will take place not far in the future. The next two elections will decide the future of the government. The unanswered question is whether the masses, most of whom reject the fascist goals, care enough about the potential demise of democracy to do something to prevent it. The first thing they must realize is that minorities taking over a government and then destroying the opposition is not unusual – one only need look at the Taliban, the Bolsheviks in 1917, and the Nazis in 1933. Fascistic impulses, buttressed by extremist religion, have been present in the United States since at least the 1930s. But, now fascism has never been closer to victory.

    1. Well, there are certainly Republicans to whom this does apply. But even in its current woeful state, Republicans are a spectrum, from Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, who don’t want anything like what you’re describing, and are fighting hard to steer Republicans away from this abyss, to Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and that fist pumping, impressively quick sprinting Josh Hawley, who more or less openly say they do. And everything in between. Most are actually somewhere in between, but …
      I’m afraid that the momentum is with the theocrats — despite the fact that their leader is about as religious as Hugh Hefner — and that no politician can currently reckon with all that much success in a Republican primary without at least pacifying the fundies. And recent Republican conventions have been a horror spectacle heavily weighted to the radical side.

  2. Despite your insomnia, Jerry, you are in top form with today’s Hili Dialogue. Several comments:
    • The WaPo map makes it clear how we should partition the USA. The states that ban abortion need to form their own country where they can finally have the Orange Man as their God-King.
    • God’s tweet is another fillip to get me to move to Canada. BTW, I’m reading His latest scripture. It’s transcendently funny.
    • The sad case recounted in today’s Auschwitz Memorial reminds me of the composer Felix Mendelssohn, whose family converted to Protestantism but who nonetheless was dogged by anti-Semitism.
    • Memento mori is indeed the best prayer/meditation.💀

  3. All [the Ahmaud Arbery convicts] asked to remain in federal custody (presumably they were there because of the impending federal trial), but the judge denied the requests …

    All a federal judge can do under such circumstances is to make a recommendation to the Federal Bureau of Prisons whether such inmates should remain in federal custody, since jurisdiction to determine whether and where to designate that prisoners serve federal sentences lies with the BoP. It is the BoP’s policy not to take primary custody of inmates already serving long bids for state convictions unless and until the inmates complete their state sentences.

    Under such circumstances, the best bet for defendants who wish to do their time in federal custody is to cop a plea and work something out with the federal prosecutors, since both the US Attorney’s offices and the Bureau of Prisons operate under the umbrella of the US Department of Justice. (This is what Derek Chauvin, the cop convicted of killing George Floyd, tried to do — albeit unsuccessfully.) Of course, defendants who cop federal pleas forego their opportunity to appeal their convictions and sentences, something the Ahmaud Arbery defendants declined to do.

  4. Olivia Newton-John was the granddaughter of Max Born, one of the fathers of quantum mechanics. I think she was born in Edinburgh where they all fled, before moving to Australia. So she is of Jewish descent.

  5. Contra your claim, there is a corresponding paw icon on the google page for dogs, and you get barks and woofs instead of meows.

    1. This is interesting. When I Google “dog” it takes me to a page that seems to be mostly about a film called “Dog”. There is no paw button on the page. There is, however, a link on the right that says “See results about Dog (animal)”. If I click on that, I get a more sane page which does have a paw button.

  6. Degrees of separation: I thought it was weird enough when I learned a few yrs ago that Manson’s pal Gray Wolf‘s college pic {Wm&Mary) appeared on the same page as mine in one year’s college yearbook. (I didn’t know the guy but vaguely remember his seeing him back then). At a college reunion event this past spring I learned that another friend said that she went out with Hammond once, concluding at the time, “Never again!.”

    But it gets yet stranger. At the same reunion event another close college pal’s wife, who came into this sphere of friends much later than our college years, told the story of how, back in the late ’60s, she and her then-boyfriend were hitchhiking from SF to LA, and were picked up by a band of people traveling in a rented flatbed truck that had a sound system of sorts rigged up along with other unusual features. Nearing LA, her boyfriend told her that they needed to get off – things were getting too weird. Years later, while reading Helter Skelter, she finds descriptions of features of the truck that meshed and convinced her that they had been riding with Manson’s family!

  7. I grew up in a town with a large immigrant population, predominantly Italian but the various Slavic nations were well represented. We were taught to polka in grade school, along with square dancing. “Who Stole the Kishka” is one of my favorites, and the video features the definitive version by Frankie Yankovic and His Yanks. (No relation to Weird Al.) It’s categorized as Slovenian Style polka, sometimes called Cleveland Style. I have no Slavic ancestry, but I lived in Cleveland for 20 years, working at Case Western Reserve and married a girl that is half Slovak. I introduced my grandkids to Keeshka and they love it. Saoirse’s favorite verse: You can take my shynka (ham)/ take my find kielbassy. You can take my pie-ro-fie, but give me back my kishka.

    1. I remember Frankie Yankovic. I grew up in Cleveland and the polka was quite popular, especially on the west side. But, polkas are popular in many cultures, not just eastern European. The polska, as it is called, is common with Scandinavian musicians, like the Swedish band Väsen. In the Sliabh Luchra area in the southwest of Ireland, polkas are extremely popular and if you hang out at a pub session, say in a town like Tralee, you will hear many of them.

  8. Sad to hear about ONJ. Mid 70s ONJ was my unrequited crush. My older brother used to tease me mercilessly about it. He used to call her “I’ll-leave-you-a-note-in-the-john” to get me going. Worked quite well.

  9. A certain deal which I like to keep inside my brain’s forefront and
    chronicled within this of Dr Pinker’s excerpt:

    ” Depending on how you look at it, the late Tsutomu Yamaguchi
    is either the world’s luckiest man or the world’s unluckiest man.
    Yamaguchi survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, and then
    made an unfortunate choice as to where to go to flee the devastation: Nagasaki.
    He survived that blast as well and lived another 65 years,
    passing away in 2010, at the age of 93.

    A man who survived the only two n u c l e a r strikes in history
    deserves our respectful attention. Before he died, he offered
    a prescription for PEACE in the nuclear age: ‘ The only people
    who should be allowed TO GOVERN countries with nuclear weapons
    are MOTHERS, those who are still breast – feeding their babies. ‘ ”

    The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined,
    Steven Pinker, PhD, y2011, p 684


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