Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

August 28, 2022 • 6:30 am

Good day to you on Sunday, August 28, 2022. It’s National Cherry Turnover Day (the best turnover except for strawberry):

It’s also National Bow Tie Day (I have none), International Read Comics in Public Day (I have none) and, best of all, Red Wine Day. (I have half of a lovely bottle waiting for me.)

Stuff that happened on August 27 includes:

  • 632 – Fatimah, daughter of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, dies, with her cause of death being a controversial topic among the Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims.

It’s controversial because she married Ali, who became the first Shia, and their sons the first two Shia Imams.  This caused the schism between Sunnis and Shias.

This moon was revealed not that long ago to spew jets of water vapor from “volcanoes” near its South Pole, which, as ice particles, forms one of Saturn’s rings (the E-ring). Here’s a short documentary on the Enceladus.

From Wikipedia:  “Bradham named his drink after a combination of the terms “pepsin” and “cola,” as he believed that his drink aided digestion much like the pepsin enzyme does, even though it was not used as an ingredient.”

His mother Mamie insisted on an open casket so the world could see what racists had done to her son. Here’s a photo of her overlooking the battered body:

Till’s mother looks over his mutilated corpse. With her is her fiance Gene Mobley. Mamie Till had insisted on an open-casket funeral. Images of Till’s body, printed in The Chicago Defender and Jet magazine, made international news and directed attention to the lack of rights of blacks in the U.S. South.

Here’s the 6-minute speech with its cadence of a preacher. It’s one of the finest pieces of rhetoric ever:

Here’s a video of that horrific accident.

This is too weird for me to describe. Click here to read about it.

Da Nooz:

*Some of the documents retrieved at Mar-A-Lago included sensitive “human intelligence,” which means name of spies from other countries or information they divulged that could break their cover. Revealing that information could lead to the death of sources, much less compromising intelligence operations. And some of that information was apparently in the documents seized at Trump’s Florida home, documents that he claimed to have “de-classified” by some numinous gesture.

Clandestine human sources are the lifeblood of any espionage service. This helps explain the grave concern within American agencies that information from undercover sources was included in some of the classified documents recently removed from Mar-a-Lago, the Florida home of former President Donald J. Trump — raising the prospect that the sources could be identified if the documents got into the wrong hands.

Mr. Trump has a long history of treating classified information with a sloppiness few other presidents have exhibited. And the former president’s cavalier treatment of the nation’s secrets was on display in the affidavit underlying the warrant for the Mar-a-Lago search. The affidavit, released in redacted form on Friday, described classified documents being found in multiple locations around the Florida residence, a private club where both members and their guests mingle with the former president and his coterie of aides.

Nothing in the documents released on Friday described the precise content of the classified documents or what risk their disclosure might carry for national security, but the court papers did outline the kinds of intelligence found in the secret material, including foreign surveillance collected under court orders, electronic eavesdropping on communications and information from human sources — spies.

They apparently contained the names of CIA informants in other countries, and to declassify them requires permission of the CIA. Of course Trump didn’t ask for that permission. Needless to say, documents like that shouldn’t be left lying around a beach mansion in Florida. This would constitute violations of the Espionage Act, and if it happened, Trump is in deep doo-doo.

*By the way, the NYT has an annotated version of the redacted affidavit.  It’s most informative, and you can go from one explanation to another by pressing the “next” button on each annotation. Here’s one example: the redacted document and then the meaning of the yellow section:

*This is the headline from yesterday afternoon’s Washington Post website (click to read):

This website, founded by Trump after he was banned from Twitter, is what he uses to broadcast his views. But I wonder why on earth its financial decline, which parallels Trump’s own decline, is of interest to anyone. Well, here are a few words of what the WaPo sees as super important:

Former president Donald Trump’s Truth Social website is facing financial challenges as its traffic remains puny and the company that is scheduled to acquire it expresses fear that his legal troubles could lead to a decline in his popularity.

Six months after its high-profile launch, the site — a clone of Twitter, which banned Trump after Jan. 6, 2021 — still has no guaranteed source of revenue and a questionable path to growth, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings from Digital World Acquisition, the company planning to take Trump’s start-up, the Trump Media & Technology Group, public.

The company warned this week that its business could be damaged if Trump “becomes less popular or there are further controversies that damage his credibility.” The company has seen its stock price plunge nearly 75 percent since its March peak and reported in a filing last week that it had lost $6.5 million in the first half of the year.

The FBI search of Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida estate, fueled a burst of Truth Social user activity, and Trump himself has increasingly used the site as one of his main online megaphones. “WE GAVE THEM MUCH,” he said, or “truthed,” on Friday in reaction to an FBI affidavit about classified documents kept at his Palm Beach home.

I give this one a big yawn. But perhaps there are implications that I don’t understand.

*I didn’t know that 48 of the 50 U.S. states have “pay for stay” programs for people in jail, so that in principle ex-inmates can be charged “residence fees” as a way of reimbursing the taxpayer for their forcible stay. And while this isn’t always enforced, it can be pricey. The AP reports that a Florida woman, sent to prison  or 2 1/2 years for drug crimes, was billed a whopping $83,762 for her stay: $249 per day (I don’t think I’ve paid anywhere close to that for a hotel room). She may lose her house to pay off that debt.

All but two states have so-called “pay-to-stay” laws that make prisoners pay for their time behind bars, though not every state actually pursues people for the money. Supporters say the collections are a legitimate way for states to recoup millions of taxpayer dollars spent on prisons and jails.

Critics say it’s an unfair second penalty that hinders rehabilitation by putting former inmates in debt for life. Efforts have been underway in some places to scale back or eliminate such policies.

Two states — Illinois and New Hampshire — have repealed their laws since 2019.

Connecticut also overhauled its statute this year, keeping it in place only for the most serious crimes, such as murder, and exempting prisoners from having to pay the first $50,000 of their incarceration costs.

Under the revised law, about 98% of Connecticut inmates no longer have to pay any of the costs of their incarceration after they get out, said state Rep. Steve Stafstrom, a Bridgeport Democrat and a sponsor of the repeal legislation.

It is an unfair penalty (and the rates are high), and hinders the ability of ex-prisoners to get back on their feet again. (I presume it won’t promote more crime to get money to pay the debts, because the IRS would probably be auditing their tax returns.) The cost of incarceration should be borne by the society that incarcerates, and they do too often and for too long in the U.S. The penalty should be loss of freedom, not a bill on top of that.

* I no longer regard an upcoming flight with equanimity, much less pleasure; it seems to me that about half of my flights are delayed, often substantially, and they never tell you why. The Wall Street Journal gets at the question with one answer: “Why is air travel so miserable? Blame Florida.” Space launches, military exercises, staffing issues, restrictions on number of flights, and of course storms—all of these, and more, ramify through all American airline traffic, because a delay in one state leads to delays in others:

Every major airline serves Florida, and some say more than a third of their flights cross its airspace. And even though airlines flew fewer U.S. domestic flights overall during the first half of the year, compared with 2019, they boosted the number there.

“It’s been a cluster and a half,” said Andrew Levy, chief executive of Avelo Airlines, a startup that has been expanding in Florida. Delays have become a regular headache, he said, with planes waiting for a chance to take off during hourslong ground stops. The airline is frequently off schedule due to factors Mr. Levy said are beyond its control: “It’s created enormous problems for us.”

Spirit Airlines Inc. said it would like to fly more to Florida but hasn’t been able to because of air-traffic-control constraints there. Flights from Florida to the continental U.S. account for about 40% of Spirit’s network, and would likely be closer to 50% absent that issue, said Matt Klein, the airline’s chief commercial officer, during an earnings call.

*Over at the WaPo, reporter Rachel Lerman tells us how much it cost to drive across the country—from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.—a seven-day journey of 3,511 miles. Now this was when gas prices were at their peak, but it was still pricer than I thought. Lerman also interviewed fellow travelers, all of whom are cutting back on other things because of the price of gas.

What was the cost?

My gas charges tallied up to $655 for the trip — less than it would have been in June, but surely more than if I had embarked on the trip last year. Share your experience with gas prices and inflation here.

So I just checked the price of a one-way fare on Southwest Airlines from San Francisco to Washington (Dulles) on October 4, a date chosen arbitrarily. The fare ranged from $244 to $301—less than half of what Lerman spent. Granted, she was moving, but is it any wonder that airline traffic has boomed after the pandemic let up. Now it’s going to get even more crowded.

I wonder if Southwest still gives out free snacks (soft drinks are free).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Editor-in-Chief Hili is curmudgeonly (after all, at ten she’s now a Senior Cat):

A: Come here, you are needed.
Hili: Never a quiet moment.
In Polish:
Ja: Chodź, jesteś potrzebna.
Hili: Ani chwili spokoju.

. . . and a formal portrait of Szaron taken by Paulina: 

Finally, here’s Mietek with a monologue. Look how he’s grown!

Mietek: I’m resting–so what?

In Polish: Odpoczywam, a co?


From Mark:

From Tom: a Herman cartoon by Jim Unger.  Tom calls this “legal quackery.”

From Jesus of the Day. I hope the newspaper changes every few days so the cat doesn’t get bored. . .  (I may have posted it before, but if so you can get another grin.)

The Tweet of God, who’s ticked off because his name is used in vain:

Someone who has no sense of reality, or even an ability to Google: there’s a “Titania McGrath” entry on Wikipedia.

From Barry; The carpet may be beautiful, but you don’t want to touch it, much less step on it. . .

From Simon, who can’t decide whether he likes the academic comment or the safe better.  It takes 13 sequential acts to open that safe. I wonder where it’s from, and how old it is; do any readers know?

From Luana. I love the stopping-traffic-for-waterfowl videos:

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew: This is the most beautiful cloud I’ve ever seen, and I didn’t know they existed. This photo was taken in China, and you can read more about it, and about these clouds, here.

Oh well, the tweet has disappeared, but here’s the cloud shown in the picture, taken from the “here” link above:

Read this heartwarming story at the Dodo. If only life could be like that site!

I would have freaked out too!

27 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

  1. From Wikipedia :

    “Sometimes several pileus clouds are observed above each other.[4] The bright iridescent colors seen in pileus are sunlight diffracted in water vapor. Iridescent colors are strongest when the diffracting droplets are small and similar in size. The newly formed pileus droplet all of similar provenance are ideal for iridescence.[5]”


  2. ^^^adding to my as yet invisible cloud comment :

    What I’m getting is that the pileus cloud shape/structure is akin to a soap bubble.
    For explanation, seek thee an article or (appropriate for this, perhaps) video on bubble light physics.

    Key : the thickness of the film layer. Lots of bouncing, and wavelength

    And :
    The word “diffraction” is thrown around but it seems clear to my reading that it is explained by “thin-film interference” :

    Diffraction :

    “It is defined as the interference or bending of waves around the corners of an obstacle or through an aperture into the region of geometrical shadow of the obstacle/aperture.”

  3. Classified docs: Have we heard whether all that were sought were found, or are any still AWOL?

    Also, a requirement that any candidate for national office must first pass security clearance would solve a lot of problems.

    1. Also, a requirement that any candidate for national office must first pass security clearance would solve a lot of problems.

      So, for me to find out what the US state knows about me (and having been a trade unionist involved in actions against US corporations, I’d be astonished if it’s nothing – even I don’t think they’re that incompetent), all I’d have to do is submit my candidature papers for some national office. (I’d have no chance of succeeding as a candidate, but that is utterly unimportant to the task of costing the US state money and effort.)

  4. Martin Luther King wished that the skin color should no longer play any role and that every person should be treated equally. I wonder if he would be attacked and canceled by the woke today if he expressed and defended his sincere wishes in public?

  5. I am beginning to think God is not really God. Instead, it looks like an American gassing off on Twitter. But my faith is strong.

    Bad times for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many refused to support Hitler. Aren’t they the people who think that the number of visas to heaven is fixed? Smart.

    1. Aren’t they the people who think that the number of visas to heaven is fixed?

      I think so. 60,000 odd, IIRC. Must create a really vicious feeding frenzy of the faithful trying to out-holy each other. Which would explain a lot about the Jehovahs.
      I checked : Wiki says a gross thousand, though not in quite those words.

  6. The “OK, show me where it says on that apartment lease about NOT keeping ducks?” cartoon reminded me of Lord Byron’s decision to keep a bear in his student rooms at Trinity College, Cambridge after being told his dog wasn’t allowed.

  7. The AP reports that a Florida woman, sent to prison or 2 1/2 years for drug crimes, was billed a whopping $83,762 for her stay …

    Sounds like a scam to prevent ex-felons from voting in Florida. Until 2018, Florida was one of just four states that imposed lifetime disenfranchisement on convicted felons. (The only exception was if the former felons had their rights restored by the governor and cabinet sitting as the Board of Executive Clemency — a tedious, time-consuming, and potentially expensive process.)

    In 2018, Florida voters passed a constitutional amendment to the state constitution, with the support of 65% of Florida voters, automatically reinstating former felons’ voting rights upon completion of their sentences. After passage of this amendment, Florida’s Republican legislature and governor enacted a statute requiring that former Florida felons pay all outstanding fines, fees, and costs before their sentences could be deemed “completed,” such that they qualified to have their voting rights automatically restored. (A Florida federal district court found that statute unconstitutional under the 24th Amendment of the US constitution. That decision was subsequently overruled 6-4 by the ultra-conservative Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals sitting en banc.)

    These enormous fees essentially ensure that, contrary to the clearly expressed will of Florida voters, felons who’ve been incarcerated will never vote in this state again.

    1. This makes it sound like the people are at odds, at war, with their own government. This situation is unstable. I predict a political shift.

      1. In November, Floridians will have the chance to oust the malevolent DeSantis. By doing so, they can also inhibit his chances at running for POTUS. I don’t have much confidence in the Floridian electorate, though (sorry Ken!) and unfortunately, DeSantis is expected to win (at least in the limited polling I’ve seen). I don’t know if he’s going to end abortion/women’s health care in FL, which would probably help Crist.

        1. DeSantis is a bully and a demagogue. Crist is the former Republican governor and an alleged closet case. (You’d think that when he changed parties a decade ago, he’d have had the courage to come out.)

          Crist has spent his entire adult life running for one office or another, for one party or the other, the ultimate “professional politician” if ever a one there was. I’ll probably end up holding my nose and voting for him in November (though I voted for his opponent Nikki Fried in last week’s Democratic primary.) But I’m tempted to cast a protest vote by writing in Clinton Tyree — the character “Skink” from Carl Hiaasen’s novels, a former Florida governor and staunch environmentalist who suddenly abandoned the governorship to live as a recluse in the Everglades.

          1. Damn, I didn’t know about Crist’s background; thanks for the info, sounds like a weak candidate. I haven’t heard of that character, but a fictional recluse in the Everglades would probably make a better governor than either of them. 🙂

          2. About the only fiction I read is anything by Carl Hiaasen, and the ones that Skink appears in are the best!

    2. Is this the woman? Lots of details are the same. AP, 2.5 year sentence, drug crime, owed $83,762.

      HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Two decades after her release from prison, Teresa Beatty feels she is still being punished.

      When her mother died two years ago, the state of Connecticut put a lien on the Stamford home she and her siblings inherited. It said she owed $83,762 to cover the cost of her 2 1/2 year imprisonment for drug crimes.

  8. Re cost of driving. Tolls are also expensive. While thankfully rare in large chunks of the country, traveling east from Chicago can get expensive. Driving to see our son in MD a couple of weeks ago (from the Chicago suburbs) ended up costing more than $50 each way in tolls, $13.56 to cross Indiana, $14.25 for Ohio, and $17.50 for Penn. Add in the suburban Chicago tolls (and my phone took me across the skyway headed east because of traffic so that’s $5.93 – weird number! – just for a couple of miles). Adds up fast. We had stuff to take, so needed the car, and there were two of us, so I’m to sure how out of pocket we were, if at all, compared to the airfare. But even for two it’s may be cheaper to fly than drive depending on day and time.

  9. I don’t know what the tax rates on retail fuel are in the USA – here they make up well over half the pump price – but the tax rate on (international, only?) aviation fuel is, AFAIK, still zero.
    That will change, one day. It’s too tempting a target for revenue-hungry governments.

  10. I wonder if Southwest still gives out free snacks –
    I just flew SW to Hawaii. Snacks were provided, cheese, crackers, etc. No meal as in olden times.

  11. I’ve only flown once, a short flight to a funeral, since a year prior to the pandemic. I love to travel, but the older I get, the more I loathe flying. I was offered to fly a couple times last year, and declined (and these were trips with expenses paid). After reading what has happened to air-travel since the pandemic, I don’t know if I’ll ever get on an airplane again. (That’s hyperbole, of course.)

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