Tuesday: Hili dialogue

September 6, 2022 • 6:30 am

Welcome back to work; it’s Tuesday, September 6, 2022, and National Coffee Ice-Cream Day. It’s a fine flavor, but why the hyphen in “ice-cream”?

It’s also Read a Book Day, Barbie Doll Day (this is the day in 1959 when Barbie Dolls went on sale), Fight Procrastination Day (I’ll do that tomorrow), and “the earliest date on which the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is performed.” That dance has been performed since the Middle Ages.

Here it is! It’s not as good as the Monty Python fish-slapping dance, but do I like the brandishing of horns:

The University of Chicago had this as its Instagram post yesterday. Watch for a second and you’ll see Billie, the duck with the wonky bill (she’s doing great. h/t: elsie

Stuff that happened on September 5 includes:

Magellan, of course, didn’t make it; he was killed by locals in the Philippines. But here’s the line of the circumnavigation:

Here, from Wired, is Dalton’s first use of symbols:

Four of these were found, dating back to the second century A.D. They are the oldest known seagoing ships in Northern Europe. I couldn’t find a photo of the wreckage, so here’s a reconstruction:

Here’s a picture of two of the athletes who were subsequently killed. The Wikipedia caption: “Israeli hostages Kehat Shorr (left) and Andre Spitzer (right) talk to West German officials during the hostage crisis.”

  • 1983 – The Soviet Union admits to shooting down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, stating that its operatives did not know that it was a civilian aircraft when it reportedly violated Soviet airspace.
  • 1991 – The Russian parliament approves the name change of Leningrad back to Saint Petersburg. The change is effective October 1, 1991.
  • 1995 – Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that had stood for 56 years.

Ripken went on to play in 2,632 consecutive games; the record he broke was 2,130, set by “Iron Man” Lou Gehrig. Here are video highlights of the record-breaking game, including Ripken’s homer:

Da Nooz:

*Well, Trump got the special master he requested: someone who will review the materials seized by the government at Mar-a-Lago to determine whether there’s anything in Trump’s claim that he had a right to hold onto the documents. Although the NYT bills this as a setback to the government, I’m not sure that’s true. It is true that during the review the government cannot used any of the seized material to mount a criminal investigation at present, but after the “master” does the review, the government can go ahead.

My worry is that the judge, Aileen Cannon, will claim that Trump does have some kind of “executive privilege” as President, or can declassify documents. The reason I say that is this (from the article):

While the order may ultimately serve only to delay the criminal inquiry into Mr. Trump, the scope and candor of Judge Cannon’s language and reasoning pointed to broader themes. Her ruling seemed to carve out a special exception to the normal legal process for the former president and reject the Justice Department’s implicit argument that Mr. Trump be treated like any other investigative subject.

. . . But Judge Cannon, who was appointed by Mr. Trump, clearly disagreed with the Justice Department, writing in the order that she was “not convinced” of the government’s categorical assertion that executive privilege did not apply in this context. She added that she thought the department’s position “arguably overstates the law” and that setting aside any documents that could be shielded by executive privilege as the legal issues in the case are sorted out made sense.

Cannon was appointed by Trump, and that’s why Trump chose to file his claim in her districdt, where she’s the sole federal judge. Should she decide to abide by any decision that gives Trump legal privileges not enjoyed by other citizens, the government can appeal, but. .

.  .  .Any appeal of Judge Cannon’s ruling would be heard by a three-judge panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta. Of its 11 active judges, six were appointed by Mr. Trump.

Now this refers to Cannon’s decision allowing a “special master”. But what happens if the master rules that Trump had some kind of executive privilege, some documents are off limits for an investigation, and Cannon agrees? That would be a different appeal, am I right?

*Canada has charged two men with the mass stabbing deaths in Saskatchewan that killed ten people and injured 18 more, but, although named, the men are still at large. Such mass murders are rare in Canada, and, if it had been two Americans, they likely would have used guns and the toll would be much higher. Here are the details:

The suspects, identified by police as Damien Sanderson, 31, and Myles Sanderson, 30, remained at large Monday afternoon, more than 24 hours after authorities received reports early Sunday morning of people being stabbed at the James Smith Cree Nation and in the nearby village of Weldon.

The two men, described by police as armed and dangerous, may be in Regina, Saskatchewan’s capital, authorities said. Police are investigating the relationship between the two suspects and the reasons they may have attacked 28 people in at least 13 locations.

Myles Sanderson was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. Damien Sanderson was charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. Both were charged with breaking and entering, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said more charges are likely.

UPDATE: Damien Sanderson was found dead yesterday, and it wasn’t a suicide. Who knows what happened?  From the NYT:

  • The police said that it was possible Damien Sanderson had been targeted by his brother, but could not confirm it.

  • Myles Sanderson was believed to have suffered injuries, Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan said on Monday. But the nature of those injuries was unknown.

*The Guardian reports a bizarre use of modern technology to enforce antiquated and repressive customs.  What a strange combination of old and new! (h/t Jez):

The Iranian government is planning to use facial recognition technology on public transport to identify women who are not complying with a strict new law on wearing the hijab, as the regime continues its increasingly punitive crackdown on women’s dress.

The secretary of Iran’s Headquarters for Promoting Virtue and Preventing Vice, Mohammad Saleh Hashemi Golpayegani, announced in a recent interview that the government was planning to use surveillance technology against women in public places following a new decree signed by the country’s hardline president, Ebrahim Raisi, on restricting women’s clothing.

The decree was signed on 15 August, a month after the 12 July national “Hijab and Chastity Day”, which sparked countrywide protests by women who posted videos of themselves on social media with their heads uncovered on streets and on buses and trains. In recent weeks, the Iranian authorities have responded with a spate of arrests, detentions and forced confessions on television.

. . .The hijab, a head-covering worn by Muslim women, became mandatory after Iran’s revolution in 1979. Yet, over the decades since, women have pushed the limits of the stipulated dress code.

Some of the women arrested for defying the new decree were identified after videos were posted online of them being harassed on public transport for not wearing the hijab properly. One, 28-year-old Sepideh Rashno, was arrested after a video circulated on social media of her being berated for “improper dress” by a fellow passenger, who was then forced off the vehicle by bystanders intervening on Rashno’s behalf. According to the human rights group Hrana, Rashno was beaten after her arrest and subsequently forced to apologise on television to the passenger who harassed her.

I weep for the women of Iran, who used to live with much more freedom, could wear what they wanted, and didn’t have to cover their hair. And yet they’re still protesting publicly and violating the “no hair” hijab rules as a form of protest, knowing that a beating and perhaps a long jail sentence could ensue. Those women are brave, and Masih Alinejad gives them a voice. If you follow people on Twitter, I’d recommend following her.

*Over at Bari Weiss’s Substack site, you can read Phoebe Matlz Bovy’s essay “The origins of woke” (it could also be called “On the Origins of the Specious”). I recently read a similar essay; both were inspired by this book from the 1990s:

Bovy’s question is this:

A compare-and-contrast of 1990s PC and contemporary so-called wokeness could fill volumes, so I’m mostly restricting myself to a too-close read of this one book. I’m asking only a few questions: What do the differences between the two phenomena indicate about the specificity of each moment? Did PC have the same place in the culture as wokeness later would?

And to the fact of the book itself: Could something like this exist today—that is, a light-hearted poke at left-wing pieties? The existence ofThe Babylon Bee Guide to Wokenesssuggests yes, but humor does not exactly define the anti-wokeness crowd.

It certainly does! The anti-woke are far more funny—and fun—than the woke. Ask yourself this: who would you rather have a few beers with: John McWhorter or Robin DiAngelo. At any rate,  But I’ll cut to the chase:

While some things in The Official Politically Correct Dictionary and Handbook feel dated, much of it could be written in 2022. There are the defenses of free speech, for example, including a long glossary item: “freedom of speech and the First Amendment,” which recounts “an official ban on inappropriately directed laughter” at the University of Connecticut. Beard and Cerf take aim at the censorious policing of language, writing that PC’s fixation on this betrays the movement’s essence of style over substance. The authors deride the self-satisfaction of the proponents of PC in the following passage:

It’s easy to see why so many reformers have forsworn a unified assault on such distracting side issues as guaranteeing equal pay for equal work; eliminating unemployment, poverty, and homelessness; counteracting the inordinate influence of moneyed interests on the electoral system; and improving the dismal state of American education, all in order to devote their energies to correcting the fundamental inequities described in these pages.

My final verdict? PC is wokeness. Wokeness is PC. And per the cover models, normcore is forever.

*Finally, two items related to Liz Truss, the UK’s new Prime Minister The NYT has a video by mock news reporter Jonathan Pie on La Truss. (h/t Barry). Pie is famous for his rants, and this one, nearly 7 minutes long, isn’t that funny, but it’s very good and passionate. First he takes the mickey out of Boris Johnson, and then gets onto Truss. One quote from the video. Referring to hard-working British citizens, Pie says:

. . . they see they are ruled by a government that is ruled by corporations. Not led by morality, but led by money. And Liz Truss embodies that painful truth perhaps even more than Boris did. For Boris was born into wealth. He was born a Tory. He was born a heartless bastard. Whereas Liz Truss has made the choice to be one. She made the choice to back big business and screw anyone who gets in the way of profit.

It goes on, so go listen.

Larry the Cat, the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office, has been sighted at 10 Downing Street.  There’s a video that you can watch, as the entire story at yahoo!news is this: (h/t Divy)

STORY: The cat, who lives inside the official residence of the prime minister, walked around as journalists were reporting on the results of the race for the governing Conservative party and next prime minister.

You can watch Larry hovering around the crowds of reporters and standing behind commentators as they pronounce on the news.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is sleeping but Andrzej wants something from her as Editor-in-Chief

A: What are you doing?
Hili: I’m praying for a quiet moment.
In Polish:
Ja: Co robisz?
Hili: Modlę się o chwilę spokoju.


From Merilee:

Truth from Facebook, though I haven’t investigated whether the quote is real:

A feline earworm from Divy, a Scott Metzger cartoon:

The Tweet of God, the Power who speaks Truth:

From Luana: A woman made up a tweet from Rowling to defame her (Brightbill claimed that Rowling had another account on which she was “virulently evil”), and when Rowling mentioned lawyers, the woman blocked her:

Two tweets from Massih. They’re still executing people in Iran for being gay, yet the U.S. is still cozying up to this repressive and murderous regime:

From Paul. What an athletic cat! (I might have posted this before.)

Trump averring that Zuckerberg kissed his tuchas (second tweet). Simon says, “I wonder what Trump was smoking.”


From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. Reader Dom called this “earthworm conga line” to Matthew’s attention, and it’s very curious:

This is a really bad pun:

12 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. I’ll pick The Beatles :

    If The Beatles came out today, the best parts if the melodies would certainly be kept. The rest would be cut out. The remaining best parts would be duplicated, and simply repeated. No unusual chord changes. John would not have any upsetting “laid back” vocalizations – all straightened out and square on the grid. Paul would have none of those upsetting screams. Perhaps they’d be transformed to a 2020’s monotone barely-alive bad-ass attitude vocal sound.

    Someone must have written a program for this.

  2. Some great stuff in today’s Hili, although I’ve got the karaoke cat’s Chumbawamba song stuck in my head.

    The Brian Epstein quote seems to be from a 1965 interview with Larry Kane – Kane accompanied the Beatles on tour in 1964/5. But I can’t seem to find the source. Possibly Kane quoted it in his book Ticket to Ride: Inside the Beatles’ 1964 and 1965 Tours That Changed the World?

  3. The mass murder in Saskatchewan is horrible, but journalists have made it just a little bit worse. The NYT story emphasizes that Canada “has been grappling with violence and systemic discrimination against Indigenous people [as evidenced by] grim new discoveries like the one last year of graves of children at a former residential school in British Columbia.”

    It’s true Indigenous people are more likely to be victims of violent crime. The NYT doesn’t acknowledge that this particular crime was committed by Indigenous people: the Sanderson brothers are Indigenous and are members of the same Cree community where they killed all those unfortunate innocent people. Even here in Canada, the CBC story this morning only indirectly hints that Sanderson was a member of the same band, and that the murder victims were his neighbours and relatives.

    Leslie has previously posted here about the Kamloops residential school story. Again it’s true children were abused at those schools. But the story doesn’t acknowledge that the Kamloops site is not known to contain graves, or children, or Indigenous people, let alone anyone who was murdered. No human remains have been found, and no effort to dig up evidence of a crime has been exerted.

    1. NYTimes story is paywalled. If non-Canadian readers did not instantly recognize this story as yet another pathetic episode of murderous drug- and alcohol- fueled rage on Indian* Reserves, boy, did the American papers ever steer you wrong!

      The surviving suspect has been convicted of 59 criminal offences, many violent, most committed while intoxicated, according to parole-board records obtained by the CBC. He was released last summer under mandatory supervision from a prison sentence for assault and robbery but disappeared in May.

      Four of the wounded are in critical condition, in a thinly resourced part of the country where four ICU beds don’t come easy.

      For the Times to tie this story to the Kamloops Residential School “knowings” is outrageously irresponsible.
      *This is not a slur. The Reserves are Crown land provided to the exclusive use of people with legal “status” under the Federal Indian Act. Not all Indigenous people are registered status Indians. (Many Reserves are now styled as First Nations although they are not in any way legally sovereign.)

      1. +1. I hoped you would drop by today. You set me straight about the Kamloops “mass graves” story, for which I’m grateful.

  4. … what happens if the master rules that Trump had some kind of executive privilege, some documents are off limits for an investigation, and Cannon agrees? That would be a different appeal, am I right?

    Right. Also, any such appeal would not be ripe until Judge Cannon issues such an order. Moreover, it would appear that Judge Cannon would have no jurisdiction to enter such an order, at least as to documents marked “classified,” even if such documents were subsequently declassified, or as to documents pertaining to the national defense. Such documents are, by dint of their nature alone, “presidential records” rather than the personal records of a former president. The only proper repository for such presidential records is the National Archives (not the former president’s resort in Florida). And, as Judge Cannon acknowledges in footnote 16 her order issued yesterday, exclusive jurisdiction to determine claims by former presidents of executive privilege regarding materials subject to the Presidential Records Act lies with the district court for the District of Columbia.

  5. Re: The Beatles quote.

    That which survives and remains popular – even cannon – is always interesting, often surprising and hard to predict. Despite the Epstein quote, I can see even The Beatles being overlooked at that early time (and obviously, plenty of people thought they’d never last).

    I’ve actually been thinking recently about the staying power of different music and groups, and it’s always interesting to try to find a thread. I see for instance the top 3 selling acts seem to be The Beatles followed by Queen and ABBA (and the Bee Gees aren’t too far down). One thing about those groups I think is not only the talent for melody, but the actual (sometimes surprising) complexity of the music, arrangements and production. I think this “layers of quality” baked in to the recordings perhaps help with staying power.

    As for which of the old groups is experiencing more staying power/world dominance, I’d actually venture that ABBA might be the contender at this particular point. Their career is pretty astonishing when you look at it: Though the USA never fully embraced ABBA, they were pop behemoths around the world for a decade producing an amazing array of complexly crafted pop in various styles. They stop recording and about a decade later come roaring back in to fashion with a best selling ABBA Gold collection that stayed so high in the charts for decades it ended up outselling Sgt Pepper!
    Then movies featuring ABBA songs, then the Mamma Mia musicals performed around the world grossing over 4 billion dollars, then the hit Mamma Mia movies. Basically every decade the next generation have discovered and embraced ABBA to the point their hits have become cannon, like The Beatles.

    And then last year they produce a new album that becomes a world wide hit (going to #1 in many countries) and THEN follow THAT up with producing a completely new form of concert/entertainment with the ABBA Voyage show – which has received probably the most consistent rave reviews for anything I’ve ever seen. They basically innovated a new entertainment format that many see as having significant influence on that future technology. Talk about a mic drop year….in their 70’s!!!

  6. I remember seeing Elvis Costello performing at Glastonbury (’87?!). He came on stage alone and did a solo acoustic set – some of it was new material that was eventually released on the Spikealbum, but then he launched into a familiar song that I couldn’t place until he got to the chorus. It was “Knowing Me, Knowing You” – a brilliant cover and an unusual one at a time when ABBA weren’t taken seriously. (Though Elvis could wring emotion out of singing the dictionary…)

  7. The ‘Abbots Bromley Horn Dance’ appears more like an ‘Abbots Bromley Antler Dance’ to me, judging by the video.
    Horns and antlers are quite different : horns are not (or very rarely) branched and grow permanently, generally growing a bit larger every year, and are covered with horn (keratin), but always there. Antlers, on the other hand, are branched and are thrown off and regrown every year and are not covered by keratin.
    I think we definitely have a two pronged binary here, the horns of a dilemma. The woke may not like it, but another ‘no spectrum’ here.

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