Tuesday: Hili dialogue

October 4, 2022 • 6:30 am

Note to readers: I’ll be in Boston/Cambridge/Cape Cod for about nine days starting tomorrow. Posting will be very light, so bear with me. Hili dialogues may contract to their original form: just the dialogue; and readers’ wildlife photos will be on hiatus until I return. As always, I do my best. Business as usual will resume when I return.

Welcome to Tuesday, the Cruelest Day of the week, and October 4, 2022. It’s National Taco Day (yesterday was National Soft Taco Day), a day of cultural appropriation .

It’s also Cinnamon Roll Day, National Fruit at Work Day, National Vodka Day, National Golf Day, the beginning of World Space Week, World Animal Day  and Blessing of the Animals at the Cathedral Day.

Stuff that happened on October 4 include:

  • 1535 – The Coverdale Bible is printed, with translations into English by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale. 

What is this? It’s “The Coverdale Bible, compiled by Myles Coverdale and published in 1535, [and] the first complete Modern English translation of the Bible (not just the Old Testament or New Testament), and the first complete printed translation into English (cf. Wycliffe’s Bible in manuscript).

Here’s the first page from the British Library:

This calendar, replacing the Julian Calendar, was to bring the years more into alignment with the Earth’s revolution around the sun. This is done by adjusting when leap years occur, and done in this way (from the U.S. Naval Observatory):

Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400. For example, the years 1700, 1800, and 1900 are not leap years, but the year 2000 is.

Ah, such romance! Here’s a poster that’s a bit colonialist:

It wasn’t finished until 1941.  Here it is before construction:

During construction, with the caption: “Construction underway, with Jefferson to the left of Washington before unstable rock necessitated a change in the design.”  Sadly, I’ve never seen it. 

And completed, with Jefferson to the left of Washington, as well as Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln. The sculpture was designed to show the four from head to waist, but the money ran out, so all we got were the heads.

Willie Gillis was an American Army private meant to represent the “everyman soldier”. Here he is picking up a food package on that first cover:

  • 1957 – Sputnik 1 becomes the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.

It wasn’t big: 58 cm (23 in) in diameter. Its batteries ran out and friction pulled it back to crash on Earth in 1958. But I well remember its deployment when I was a boy, and fears that the Russians would overtake us in the “space race”. Here’s a full-size replica created by the USSR and donated to various countries, including the U.S.:

  • 1983 – Richard Noble sets a new land speed record of 633.468 miles per hour (1,019.468 km/h) at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

Here’s a short video of Noble, showing the Thrust 2, the car in which he set that record.

It’s no longer the record, as the latest one was supersonic.

The current holder of the Outright World Land Speed Record is ThrustSSC driven by Andy Green, a twin turbofan jet-powered car which achieved 763.035 mph – 1227.985 km/h – over one mile in October 1997. This is the first supersonic record as it exceeded the sound barrier at Mach 1.016.

Da Nooz:

*Ukrainian forces are advancing like gangbusters, overwhelming the territory that Moron Putin thinks now belongs to Russia and making gains in both the east and the south. This will embarrass Putin, whose administration can’t even delineate where the borders of the “new bits of Russia” are:

The Kremlin reflected the disarray of its forces on the ground, where territory was rapidly changing hands, acknowledging that it did not yet know what new borders Russia would claim in parts of Ukraine it recently annexed in a move Kyiv and Western leaders decried as illegal.

“In terms of the borders, we’re going to continue to consult with the population of these regions,” Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters on Monday.

Mr. Putin had meant for Monday to be a triumphant day in Moscow, where the lower house of Russia’s rubber-stamp Parliament, the State Duma, voted unanimously to ratify Mr. Putin’s proclaimed annexation of four Ukrainian regions after sham referendums there. Events on the battlefield threatened to make a mockery of such declarations. Adding to the sense of chaos was a Russian conscription effort, begun two weeks ago, that has drawn opposition in Russia and spurred at least 200,000 Russians to leave the country.

Putin is mentally ill with a narcissistic personality disorder, and his back is against the wall. What really worries me is that that is the time he’ll pull out the tactical nukes, and all hell will break loose.

*Five members of the extremist right-wing Oath Keepers group are on trial for their participation in the January 6 insurrection, and the charge is the most serious one yet:

[Group founder Stewart] Rhodes and the four others are the first Jan. 6 defendants to stand trial on the charge of seditious conspiracy, a rare Civil War-era charge that calls for up to 20 years behind bars. The stakes are high for the Justice Department, which last secured a seditious conspiracy conviction at trial nearly 30 years ago.

The facts behind the charges?

The founder of the Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates planned an “armed rebellion” to keep President Donald Trump in power, a federal prosecutor contended Monday as the most serious case yet went to trial in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Stewart Rhodes and his band of extremists were prepared to go to war to stop Joe Biden from becoming president, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Nestler told jurors. The group celebrated the Capitol attack as a battle they had won and continued their plot even after Biden’s electoral victory was certified, Nestler alleged.

“Their goal was to stop, by whatever means necessary, the lawful transfer of presidential power, including by taking up arms against the United States government,” the prosecutor said during his opening statement. “They concocted a plan for armed rebellion to shatter a bedrock of American democracy.”

. . .Prosecutors told jurors the insurrection was no spontaneous outpouring of election-fueled rage but part of a detailed, drawn-out plot to stop Biden from entering the White House.

Rhodes began plotting to overturn Biden’s victory right after the election, [U.S. Attorney Jeffrey] Nestler said. In November 2020, Rhodes sent his followers a step-by-step plan for stopping the transfer of power based on a popular uprising that brought down Yugoslavia’s president two decades earlier. As December approached, Rhodes’ rhetoric became increasingly violent and desperate, Nestler said.

In messages and comments read to the jury, the Oath Keepers repeatedly warned of the prospect of violence if Biden were to become president. During a December interview, Rhodes called senators “traitors” and warned that the Oath Keepers would have to “overthrow, abort or abolish Congress.”

Rhodes knew that if the Oath Keepers didn’t stop Congress from certifying the vote on Jan. 6, it would be much harder to stop Biden from taking office, Nestler said.

The Oath Keepers organized training, including one session that was recorded on video and set to rock music. Before coming to Washington, they set up “quick reaction force” teams with “weapons of war” stashed at a Virginia hotel so they could get them into the capital quickly if necessary, the prosecutor said.

Lock ’em up! (If they’re convicted, of course. . . )

*The new term of the Supreme Court is beginning, and yesterday I highlighted a WaPo column about the perfidies yet to come. The entire NYT editorial board also has its take: “The Supreme Court isn’t listening, and it’s no secret why.”  I suppose the reason why is because, with its 6-3 supermajority, “the court has been transformed into a judicial arm of the Republican Party. ”

Of course that’s true, and public trust in the Court is at an all-time low. But the Justices don’t care, because they have their agenda and the power to enact it.

For most of the court’s history, it was difficult to predict how a case would turn out based on the party of the president who nominated the justices. Even into the 21st century, as the country grew more polarized, the court’s rulings remained largely in line with the views of the average American voter. That is no longer the case. The court’s rulings are now in line with the views of the average Republican voter.

In the process, the court has unmoored itself from both the Constitution it is sworn to protect and the American people it is privileged to serve. This could not be happening at a worse moment. Election deniers in the Republican Party are undermining the integrity of the American electoral system. Right-wing political violence is a present and growing threat.

It is precisely during times like these that the American people need the Supreme Court to play the role Chief Justice Roberts memorably articulated at his own confirmation hearing — that of an umpire calling balls and strikes, ensuring a fair playing field for all. Instead, the court’s right-wingers are calling balls for one team and strikes for the other.

. . . As the dissent in Dobbs noted: “The majority has overruled Roe and Casey for one and only one reason: because it has always despised them, and now it has the votes to discard them. The majority thereby substitutes a rule by judges for the rule of law.”

So what’s going to happen now? Well, one way is for Congress to act, making the right to abortion a federal law. Unless this happens now, it won’t happen at all, as it’s likely that one of the two chambers of Congress will go Republican. And the Congress can’t make laws that palpably violate the Constitution, so we’re limited in that way. The Times, however, is optimistic–an unwarranted optimism, I think:

With a few exceptions, the Supreme Court rarely has been at the forefront of making America a more equal place. But we are not consigned to living under the thumb of a reactionary juristocracy. To the contrary, the meaning of the Constitution is far more than what the court decrees; it is the result of an ongoing conversation between the court and the American people. Those who protested the loss of their rights after the Dobbs decision, and those who showed their determination to protect those rights, as voters did in Kansas in August, are speaking directly to the court. When the justices stop listening, as they have at other moments in history, the people’s voices will eventually become too loud for them to ignore.

Really? What will the people do? Wait for a Democratic President and Congress to stack the court? The conservative justices couldn’t care less about what we think, and they laugh at the idea of stare decisis. 

*Good lord: women athletes can’t catch a break. First there was widespread abuse in women’s gymnastics (ignored by the government) and now, a U.S. Soccer Federation report by Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, reveals widespread abuse, including sexual abuse, in women’s soccer—all the way to the top. (You can read the report at the WaPo link.):

Abuse and misconduct were both pervasive and systemic at the highest tiers of women’s professional soccer, and the sport’s governing bodies and team executives repeatedly failed to heed warnings or punish coaches who abused players, according to an investigative report released Monday by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

The year-long probe by Sally Q. Yates, the former acting attorney general, found that some of the game’s top coaches were the subjects of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, including some that have not been previously made public. The coaches also leaned on vicious coaching tactics, Yates found, including “relentless, degrading tirades; manipulation that was about power, not improving performance; and retaliation against those who attempted to come forward.”

“Players described a pattern of sexually charged comments, unwanted sexual advances and sexual touching, and coercive sexual intercourse,” Yates wrote in the executive summary of her report.

Now here we have truly systemic abuse, built right into the governance.

“Our investigation has revealed a league in which abuse and misconduct — verbal and emotional abuse and sexual misconduct — had become systemic, spanning multiple teams, coaches, and victims,” the report states. “Abuse in the NWSL is rooted in a deeper culture in women’s soccer, beginning in youth leagues, that normalizes verbally abusive coaching and blurs boundaries between coaches and players. The verbal and emotional abuse players describe in the NWSL is not merely ‘tough’ coaching. And the players affected are not shrinking violets. They are among the best athletes in the world.”

. . . The report also highlighted cultural issues that remain prevalent in women’s soccer, beginning at the youth level. The report states that players, coaches and staff were “conditioned to accept and respond to abusive coaching behaviors as youth players. By the time they reach the professional level, many do not recognize the conduct as abusive.”

The process is produced a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, and some of the incidents recounted in the article and Yates’s report will curl the soles of your shotes. U.S. Soccer has promised to immediately begin implementing suggestions from the report, and if I’m not wrong there may be criminal charges.

*As I feared, Elizabeth Holmes’s Hail Mary tactics have led to a delay in her sentencing after she was found guilty of wire fraud in the Theranos debacle. Remember when that contrite former Theranos employee and witness for the prosecution showed up at her house saying that he didn’t really mean what he said (though he told the court he did)? Well, that has led to a delay of at least several months in her sentencing, originally scheduled for October 17. (She could have gotten up to 80 years in prison.)

A judge Monday agreed to delay sentencing former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes so he can consider whether federal prosecutors committed misconduct involving a star witness in her trial.

But over the summer, former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff allegedly appeared at Holmes’ home to express regret over his testimony, saying the government tried to make everyone “look bad.”

That led Holmes’ attorneys to request a new trial last month.

. . . Prosecutors subsequently filed a sworn statement from Rosendorff standing by his testimony.

Nonetheless, [Judge] Davila agreed Monday to hold a new hearing on Oct. 17 to question Rosendorff, calling the accusations against federal prosecutors “limited but serious.”

The allegation is the possibility that the government may have engaged in misconduct,” Davila said. “The court takes that seriously.”

Should Davila agree to uphold the verdict, Holmes new sentencing hearing could come as late as January, he said Monday.

In July, Sunny Balwani, the former president and chief operating officer of Theranos and Holmes’ former romantic partner, was found guilty of all 12 counts of fraud charges brought by the government. He is set to be sentenced on Nov. 15.

I swear, this grifter will never see the inside of the prison. Anybody want to bet me $20 that she’ll go to jail (I’m betting on no jail).

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is a big enigmatic. Malgorzata clarifies, “As you know, reason and rationality is not in fashion any longer. Just look at the universities, scientific magazines, etc. Hili is a great enthusiast of reason and rationality, so she suggests sanctuaries for those remnants of reason that still exist.”

Hili: There is a need for a sanctuary.
A: What for?
Hili: For the remnants of reason.
In Polish:
Hili: Potrzebne jest jakieś sanktuarium.
Ja: Po co?
Hili: Dla resztek rozsądku.


From Ant:

From Divy:

From Nicole:

The Tweet of God, who is nothing if not honest:

From Masih, documenting the protests in Iran:

From Luana, who is a Hispanic or Latina but won’t be called a “Latinx” or a “Latine”. This is a real billboard but of course is satirical.

From Nancie: my heartthrob Karen Carpenter demonstrating her proficiency on drums (she started as a drummer and only later became a solo singer):

From Malcolm: Fisherman in a competition caught cheating!

From the Auschwitz Memorial: Two twin sisters, age 16, killed at Auschwitz, perhaps in medical experiments. (Mengele was particularly fond of experimenting on twins, and took them from the arrivals.):

Tweets from Matthew: Everything ends well in DodoLand. Sound up!

Jordan Peterson claims that the Resurrection isn’t an empirical proposition, but rejecting it means that our life is meaningless and full of pointless suffering. Oy!

A lovely video of time-lapsed mushroom growth:

37 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. One of the most consequential cases in its history — Moore v. Harper – will be decided by the Court this term. It could decide the fate of American democracy, and I would bet that most people have no idea what it is about. Very conservative jurist, J. Michael Luttig, in an Atlantic article describe what it about:

    “In Moore v. Harper, the Court will finally resolve whether there is a doctrine of constitutional interpretation known as the ‘independent state legislature.’ If the Court concludes that there is such a doctrine, it would confer on state legislatures plenary, exclusive, and judicially unreviewable power both to redraw congressional districts for federal elections and to appoint state electors who quadrennially cast the votes for president and vice president on behalf of the voters of the states. It would mean that the partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts by state legislatures would not be reviewable by the state courts—including the states’ highest court—under their state constitutions.”

    In other words, if the Court upholds this doctrine, state legislatures could gerrymander without any state court oversight and appoint state electors to the Electoral College, regardless of who the voters pick. Luttig believes there is no merit to this theory, but if the Court rules in favor of it, the right wing will be overjoyed since it controls most state legislatures. The result will be long-term minority rule and effectively end democracy. Again, democracy rests on the Court’s decision, and with the Court dominated by far-right wingers a fringe theory could become enshrined in our governmental system.


    1. Thanks Historian. As a “Not an Historian” and in reality far from an historian, it seems to me that whether the U.S. is really a confederation of its citizens or primarily a confederation of the individual states has always or at least since the 1776ish years an issue. It did not matter so much when we were at war against the monarchy for independence, but as more local cultural and economic issues, took precedence, the older basic political unit of the state arose again. Certainly push back against the Federal government here in Virginia in the 1960’s civil rights era (school integration being the area I recall best…which still isa point of contention here!) under the fig leaf of states’ rights has found quiet institutionalization with the right’s strategic organization and implementation of gerrymandering and Federalist Society campaigns. Just whining a bit here as the Dems have been lazy and run lackluster campaigns both locally in many casesand statewide, playing little defense against Republican activism in Virginia at least.

    2. When, not if, this decision comes down, it will effectively disunite the States of America, and Abraham Lincoln’s great accomplishment, preserving the Union, will finally be undone.
      I’m with Hili. We must build our enlightened sanctuaries, where reason and kindness prevail, now.

    3. Very conservative jurist, J. Michael Luttig …

      Folks may recall Luttig from the J6 subcommittee hearings as the former Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals judge whose counsel put enough starch in former vice-president Mike Pence’s spine for Pence to resist taking the final step of rejecting the legitimate electoral-college votes that would have brought Donald Trump’s coup attempt to fruition.

  2. I suspect the Oath Keepers were just LARPing, but I’m keeping an open mind. We will see how it plays out.

    One part of the Oath Keepers’ plan, prosecutors said, citing text messages, was having a “QRF,” or “quick reaction force,” nearby that could supply firearms to militia members “if something goes to hell.”

    But that “quick reaction force” was actually just one guy who “is in his late 60s, obese, and has cardiopulmonary issues, a bad back, a bum knee, and is [in] need of a hip replacement,” according to a new court filing.


    1. “LARPing” is not a recognized defense in a federal criminal prosecution. The closest thing to it in federal practice would be the so-called “impossibility defense.” This is a tough nut to crack under the best circumstances, and would probably require one or more of the Oath-Keeper defendants to testify in their own defense at trial to establish a sufficient factual basis to merit an instruction on this theory of defense to be submitted to the jury. (It also would not be a defense at all to the other, lesser-included crimes charged against these defendants.)

      Also, the sole source for the claim above, according to the article you cite, is a statement made in this pleading filed a year and a half ago by an Oath-Keeper lawyer. As you’ll know if you’ve been following these cases, counsel for the Oath Keepers have not established a great track record for themselves as reliable sources of accurate information.

  3. The founder of the Oath Keepers extremist group and four associates planned an “armed rebellion” to keep President Donald Trump in power, a federal prosecutor contended Monday as the most serious case yet went to trial in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

    Knowing of his supporters’ predilection to engage in violence in his name, two days ago Donald Trump put up a post on his failing (sad!) social media platform Truth Social, saying that US senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell “has a DEATH WISH” (caps in original) because he voted to continue funding the federal government through December and referring to McConnell’s spouse, Taiwan-born Elaine Chao (who served as Trump’s Transportation Secretary for his entire term in office, until she resigned in protest after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol) as “his China loving wife, Coco Chow!”

    The man has absolutely no bottom, and there is apparently no depth below which his cultists will refuse to follow him — though this was apparently a bridge too far for the editorial page of Rupert Murdoch’s The Wall Street Journal.

    1. What I find almost as disgusting as the tweet is the fact the Mitch and “Coco Chow” have nothing to say about it (at least not that I’ve heard). The GOP is simply cowed by a mentally ill, sociopathic bully that they created. Mitch could have ended it during the 2nd impeachment, but chose not to out of his lust for power. I don’t feel a bit sorry for his predicament, though I don’t wish him dead.

      1. The only thing in the world that matters to McConnell is getting his hands back on the senate majority leadership, from which he can prevent Joe Biden’s federal judicial nominees from being confirmed.

  4. Anybody want to bet me $20 that she [Elizabeth Holmes]’ll go to jail (I’m betting on no jail).

    I’ll cover that bet, boss.

  5. Sundown tonight is the beginning of Yom Kippur, no? Or Yum Kippers according to my childish mind and autocorrect. If one were a practicing Jew and being vegetarian, could they substitute a bag of Morningstar Farms Veggie Buffalo Wings for a chicken and swing them over the head for atonement? Life for life.

    1. If the (However many) ingredients in the Morningstar Farms plus the “few” additional items in the recipe are all produced in kosher processing facilities … Perhaps?

      1. You can buy them at the koshercornersupermarket.com and has the circle U symbol so, I guess that’s a yes. But what I understand about kosher labels is very limited. I do think there’s some subliminal messaging going on somehow. I have had songs from Fiddler on the Roof in my head for two days. What I do know is it would probably spoil some vast eternal plan if I were a wealthy man.

  6. That LATINX billboard might as well say, “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” Pass it on.

  7. Great Hili dialog, as always. Thank you.

    You mention that you’ve never been to Mt. Rushmore. I highly recommend visiting. My wife and I took a cross-country car trip in 1995 (or so) and took the northern route, eventually landing in Seattle. On the way, we decided to see Mt. Rushmore. I had very low expectations, thinking that it was some weird novelty of Americana. I was wrong. The monument is HUGE! It’s STUPENDOUS! I couldn’t imagine in a thousand years how amazing the monument would be. What an incredible accomplishment, to carve that thing out of granite. The workman were skilled and brave. The monument is, well, truly monumental. Go see it!

    1. It is pretty impressive. And in the broader area there are quite a few wonders to see. The Badlands National Park, the Corn Palace (!), Devils’ Tower. But I’d skip Meteor Crater.

        1. Wall Drug Store is a hoot! Love Teddy Roosevelt NP, and of course Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Dead Horse Point…

  8. women athletes can’t catch a break […] widespread abuse, including sexual abuse, in women’s soccer […] “relentless, degrading tirades; manipulation that was about power, not improving performance; and retaliation against those who attempted to come forward.” “Players described a pattern of sexually charged comments, unwanted sexual advances and sexual touching, and coercive sexual intercourse,” […] The report also highlighted cultural issues that remain prevalent in women’s soccer

    Yes, this is horrifying. However, as I’ve said before, there is no reason to single out women as a demographic. The same toxic dynamic is at play in men’s sports. Women are not special; men are not special. This is a horrible trait we find across humanity.

    1. I’m sorry, but when is the last time you heard of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct in men’s sports? Women are special because the power dynamic favors men.

      No, you’re just wrong, the same “toxic dynamic is NOT at play in women’s sports.” And sexual harassment is more commonly found among men than among women. If you’re going to say, “Well, men just don’t report it as often,” I would simply laugh.

      1. There have been sex-abuse scandals in junior boys’ hockey in Canada. At higher levels, boys often boarded with unrelated families far from their homes in the towns whose teams they played for. The isolation from their own families and childhood friends gave substantial power to coaches. While some of these stories are moral panics, some have substance. Since far more boys played organized junior hockey than girls played similar sports, I wouldn’t guess which sex suffered more from this. But predators everywhere seek out young people in situations where they are isolated—a team is strangely and paradoxically isolating—and vulnerable youth of whatever sex strikes the fancy of the predator. Canadian sports journalist Laura Robinson has written about this, from the uniquely peculiar perspective of ice hockey, the secular Canadian religion..

        It’s possible and likely that if as many adolescent girls were involved in sports at the same level and intensity as junior boys’ hockey in Canada, their suffering might well swamp what some boys have gone through. And yes, boys are loth to admit that they submitted to homosexual advances—“Admit it. You really enjoyed it, didn’t you!”

          1. Jim Jordan a former wrestling coach?? Maybe that explains his paripatetic movements, always in white shirtsleeves, during the impeachment hearings

            1. Jordan looks like a guy who, after wrestling practice, wouldn’t take a shower, just spray himself down with Right Guard.

              The sexual abuse of wrestlers went on at OSU for 20 years, and was reportedly an open secret — even the subject of gallows humor among the wrestlers themselves. Yet Jordan, who was an assistant wrestling coach there for seven years, claims not to have heard a word about it, despite several wrestlers’ asserting that they discussed it with him.

              1. A real sleaze-bag. I’ll bet he used Axe instead of Right Guard, as some of my students did😵‍💫

      2. > sexual harassment is more commonly found among men than among women

        I won’t dispute the statistical frequency. I personally have heard of:
        * male coaches harassing male athletes.
        * male coaches harassing female athletes.
        * female coaches harassing male athletes.
        * female coaches harassing female athletes.
        As well as athletes harassing their fellow athletes. (Is ‘fellow’ gender-neutral?)

        (Yes, I’m aware of a strange scale of what constitutes ‘harassment’. I’ll leave that for later.)

        I’m sorry. Humans suck. Back to the main point, this is not a horrible story about female athletes; it is a horrible story about human athletes. There are a LOT of problems with sports culture worldwide.

  9. Re Mount Rushmore, we visited a few ago and while the sculptures are impressive the Black Hills area was especially beautiful. The rocks in the area contain bits of mica and lithium, as I recall, and these rocks just sparkle in the sunlight! The Badlands area is also nearby, also very beautiful in a geologic sort of way. If you have never been there, plan a visit. I don’t think you will regret it.

    Side note, the history of the Black Hills is just another footnote in my ongoing question “Is that when America was Great?”. You see in 1868 the US signed a treaty setting aside the Black Hills for Native Americans and excluding white settlement. That lasted for six years until gold was discovered there. Treaty, what treaty? There was a subsequent legal case and the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Native Americans in 1980 (quote from decision: “a more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealings will never, in all probability, be found in our history”). However the Native Americans have refused to accept the settlement, which is now worth over one billion dollars. The sculptures at Mount Rushmore are a flashpoint between those who see them as an example of everything great about the USA and those who wonder what is so great about a country built on the backs of slaves, the genocide of the native people, and a century of apartheid.

    1. Then why do people spend their savings and risk their lives trying to get into the United States? It can’t be for the welfare state. Ah yes, that great nation of organized systemic persecution, the United States, from which no one ever flees. (except those “tourists” taking the bus from JFK to Plattsburgh, then hopping the fence into Canada at Roxham Road.)

  10. In my universe, National Taco Day and National Soft Taco day are the same thing. The execrable “taco shell” is nothing but a piece of biodegradable cardboard that bears no relation to a corn tortilla. Now there is a taco dorado, which is made by filling a corn tortilla and then frying it to get a hard shell, but that starts with a real tortilla. In our house, we have tacos every Friday and because we live in New Mexico, we are able to get really good tortillas.

  11. Have a good trip to Mass, PCC(E) – hopefully the change of scenery will help you get some zzs. If you can, do take some pictures and post – we enjoy your travels.

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