Tuesday: Hili dialogue

November 1, 2022 • 6:30 am

Persistent insomnia, which has dogged me across the U.S., will probably lead to a truncated Hili dialogue today. But welcome to Tuesday, the cruelest day, and the first day of November 2022. It’s National Bison Day, and these food months:

National Fun with Fondue Month
National Georgia Pecan Month
National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
National Pepper Month
National Stuffing Month
National Raisin Bread Month
November 1-7: National Fig Week

It’s also National Cinnamon Day, National Deep-Fried Clams Day, National Calzone Day, World Vegan Day, and National Vinegar Day.

If you’re so inclined, you’re welcome to call to our attention notable events, births, or deaths on this day by consulting the November 1 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*A suspect, David DePape, 42 has been apprehended in the hammer attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul.  It turns out that what he wanted with the Speaker of the House, who was in Washington, was to break her kneecaps à la Nancy Kerrigan:

The suspect, David DePape, 42, was apprehended by the police at the Pelosi home in the early morning hours on Friday. The police said he forcibly entered through the back door of the house, encountered Ms. Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, 82, and, following a struggle over a hammer, struck him with it.

Mr. DePape was looking for Ms. Pelosi, who was in Washington at the time, to interrogate the speaker on an unspecified political matter, according to the federal complaint. If she told the “truth,” he would let her go; if she “lied,” he intended to break her kneecaps because he saw her as “the ‘leader of the pack’ of lies told by the Democratic Party” and wanted her to be wheeled into Congress as a lesson to other Democrats, Mr. DePape told police officers in an interview.

He had “a roll of tape, white rope, a second hammer, a pair of rubber and cloth gloves, and zip ties” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, which filed the charges.

The swift action by the Justice Department in bringing federal charges — on the same day the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office was expected to file its own charges against Mr. DePape — reflects the department’s urgency in addressing what it sees as a politically motivated crime shortly before the 2022 midterm elections. There has been a surge in threats and attacks against figures of both political parties in recent years, and Ms. Pelosi, in particular, has long been the subject of vilification and threats.

*Like me, many of you listened to the Supreme Court hearings on affirmative action yesterday. I was surprised by the cordial and professional tone of the hearings, and the rapid back-and-forth between the Justices and the lawyers, who had a response to everything. It’s no surprise, haven’t heard the hearing, that the Washington Post called its report on the hearings, “Supreme Court seems open to ending affirmative action in college admissions.”

After nearly five hours of oral argument, the programs at Harvard College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seemed endangered. The question is how broad such a decision might be, and what it would mean for other institutions of higher education.

Overturning the court’s precedents that race can be one factor of many in making admission decisions would have “profound consequences” for “the nation that we are and the nation that we aspire to be,” Solicitor General Elizabeth. B. Prelogar told the justices during arguments in the Harvard case. She said educating a diverse group of national leaders had consequences for the military, medical and scientific communities and corporate America.

But the court’s conservatives took the two cases to revisit decades of Supreme Court decisions that tolerated a limited use of racial classifications, and seemed unsatisfied with assertions from lawyers representing the schools that the end was near for the use of race-conscious policies. Under repeated questioning, those lawyers conceded they could not provide a date-specific answer to the question: “When will it end?”

I doubt it will end, if it ever does, for decades, for that’s what it will take to create a level playing field for all Americans, and even so, what about the enormous DEI apparatus in colleges and businesses. They won’t want to be out of a job.

*The elections are on us, and here’s the latest prognostication from Five Thirty Eight. The Senate is a tossup, and the House may well go Republican:

The site also has an article called “What happened to Stacey Abrams?“, which is a good question. It looks as if she may well lose the Georgia gubernatorial race again:

Four years ago, Stacey Abrams had the world at her feet. Yes, she had just lost Georgia’s gubernatorial race to Gov. Brian Kemp by fewer than 60,000 votes — but after such an unexpectedly tight contest, she was heralded by the Democratic Party as a promising new leader. There was speculation about whether she’d be chosen as Joe Biden’s running mate during his 2020 bid for the presidency (a prospect Abrams welcomed), and she was largely credited for pioneering a new playbook focused on turning out Black voters in Georgia, especially after Biden flipped the state in 2020. Though Biden eventually tapped then-Sen. Kamala Harris of California to share the ticket, Abrams kept her eyes on the governor’s mansion. But she enters this year’s race as even more of an underdog than she was in 2018.

Most recent surveys of the race consistently show Abrams, a former minority leader in Georgia’s state House, trailing Kemp by single digits, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polling average as of this past Friday at 12 p.m. Eastern. (All data in this article is as of this date and time.) An October poll from Data for Progress, though, found that the Republican held a lead of 10 percentage points over Abrams — 3 points more than when the firm last polled the race, in September. And while Abrams had stronger support among Democrats than Kemp did with Republicans, according to a September Monmouth University survey, the pollsters also concluded that Abrams’s path to victory this year was “much narrower.”

Abrams’s campaign is also attracting a lot less buzz this year compared with the frenetic excitement of her candidacy in 2018. That stands out because there’s a significant gap between Abrams’s polling against Kemp versus that of Sen. Raphael Warnock, another Democrat on the ballot, who is running for reelection against Republican Herschel Walker.

Abrams would have been a much better Vice-President than Kamala Harris, and that might have vaulted her to the echelons of power.

*The Russians are going hard after Ukraine’s infrastructure, attacks that target civilians and their facilities and must surely constitute war crimes. As the Associated Press reports,

A massive barrage of Russian cruise missile and drone strikes hit critical infrastructure in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other Ukrainian cities early Monday, knocking out water and power supplies in retaliation for what Moscow alleged was a Ukrainian attack on its Black Sea Fleet.

Russia has intensified its attacks on Ukraine’s power plants and other key infrastructure as the war enters its ninth month, forcing rolling power cuts.

“The Kremlin is taking revenge for military failures on peaceful people who are left without electricity and heat before the winter,” Kyiv region Gov. Oleksii Kuleba said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed that Monday’s bombardment was meant to retaliate for what he said was Saturday’s unsuccessful Ukrainian aerial and underwater drone attack on Russia’s Sevastopol-based Black Sea Fleet on the Russian-annexed Crimea Peninsula.

I’m getting more and more afraid that, pressed in this way, Zelensky will decide to negotiate with Putin, and that means that Ukraine may give up more of its eastern territory formally to Russia. But who knows what will happen: Putin is a loose cannon.

*Some good news to end. I’ve written before about the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) is the world’s migratory-bird champion, sometimes flying nonstop from its breeding grounds in Alaska to overwintering grounds in Australia or New Zealand. Yes, that’s right: they don’t stop to eat, drink, and lord knows how or whether they sleep. Now one of them has set the nonstop flight record as far as we know:

A young bar-tailed godwit appears to have set a non-stop distance record for migratory birds by flying at least 13,560 kilometers (8,435 miles) from Alaska to the Australian state of Tasmania, a bird expert said Friday.

The bird was tagged as a hatchling in Alaska during the Northern Hemisphere summer with a tracking GPS chip and tiny solar panel that enabled an international research team to follow its first annual migration across the Pacific Ocean, BirdLife Tasmania convenor Eric Woehler said. Because the bird was so young, its gender wasn’t known.

Aged about five months, it left southwest Alaska at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta on Oct. 13 and touched down 11 days later at Ansons Bay on the island of Tasmania’s northeastern tip on Oct. 24, according to data from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Ornithology. The research has yet to be published or peer reviewed.

The bird started on a southwestern course toward Japan then turned southeast over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, a map published by New Zealand’s Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre shows.

The bird was again tracking southwest when it flew over or near Kiribati and New Caledonia, then past the Australian mainland before turning directly west for Tasmania, Australia’s most southerly state. The satellite trail showed it covered 13,560 kilometers (8,435 miles) without stopping.


Guinness World Records lists the longest recorded migration by a bird without stopping for food or rest as 12,200 kilometers (7,580 miles) by a satellite-tagged male bar-tailed godwit flying from Alaska to New Zealand.

They don’t know if it was alone or part of a flock, but if it was alone, it would have had to navigate on its own because it was a first-year migrant. And that would be something!

Here’s one in flight:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili tells us how she communicates:

Hili: Sometimes I can’t find words.
A: And then what?
Hili: I meow.
In Polish:
Hili: Czasem nie znajduję słów. Ja: I co wtedy?
Hili: Miauczę.
A picture of baby Kulka in the trees, snapped by Paulina:



From Diana, the grocer’s apostrophe gone wild:

From David:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Nicole: Stanley the runner duck, dressed as a pumpkin, wishes you happy Halloween:

The Tweet of God:

Two from Masih: first, a martyr to the Iranian Revolution:

And her fiery speech in New York City:

From Simon, who adds, “As the man says, wow.” A preacher takes apart the odious Herschel Walker. (I have to add that I think this politicking from the pulpit is illegal, and could cost the church its tax exemption.)

From Ken, who notes, “Dinesh D’Souza, count on him to take the low road.” Indeed!

From Malcolm. I do not think it would be pleasant to live here:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: a man who lasted but five weeks in the camp.

Tweets from Matthew. Ukrainian war cat:

Cat at the till!

It’s November 1 and already we have a Tweet of the Month. Here we have a lovely woman and a great cat lover. Sound up:



39 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. 1. Was driving the other day – it dawned on me, there is no such thing as a “level playing field” except in football. Not even in metaphor.

    What is closer to truth (in my opinion) is a paved road – that is sufficient as a metaphor, I think. So there’ll still be “Falling Rocks”, for which a sign can be put up – likely after a rock fell.

    2. Today is a great day for stuffed peppers. These things have great potential.

  2. “From Diana, the grocer’s apostrophe gone wild:”

    And the one place where they actually could have used an apostrophe, “Goodwyns Furniture”, doesn’t have one!!!

    1. From The Guardian piece:

      “[A]s one contributor to the film puts it: ‘The Falwells are the southern Gatsbys. They’re wealthy and they’re sloppy as fuck.’”

      Actually, I think that makes them more like the Buchanans, whom Fitzgerald described thusly:

      “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy – they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

  3. That train running through(!) an apartment building reminds me of The Blues Brothers: “How often does the train go by?” “So often you won’t even notice it.”

    RealClearPolitics has Republicans picking up three in the Senate, and their average projection for the House is plus thirty-one. Joe Rogan said the red wave is going to look like the elevator scene from The Shining.

    1. The train through the building actually looked like a Lego build when I first saw it. Would have been nicer if it was.

  4. In an article posted at the Atlantic today, David Frum makes an important point, perhaps an obvious one, but not really talked about all that much. Namely, people vote based on their immediate concerns, however transitory they may be, with little thought to the long-term consequences of their votes. He notes the 2014 mid-term elections, which resulted in a Republican landslide, was decided in large measure by fears of an Ebola epidemic that did not happen. Thus, if the polls are correct, and the election next week results in another Republican landslide, the principal reason will likely be voter fear of inflation (an economic event of which politicians have little control over). The long-term consequences such as the demise of democracy, the entrenchment of white Christian nationalism, or the collapse of the economy due to the Republican refusal to raise the debt ceiling, although in the minds of many voters, are way down in the list of voter priorities. Hence, the trajectory of big events can turn on transitory, short-term ones.


  5. I’m getting more and more afraid that, pressed in this way, Zelensky will decide to negotiate with Putin

    History tells us that bombing civilians doesn’t break resolve, it strengthens it. The German bombing campaign over Britain in WW2 and the allied bombing campaigns over Germany and Japan didn’t significantly alter the will to fight in those countries. It was only when the USA dropped atom bombs that there appeared to be a significant effect. Even then, it was a political decision of the Japanese to surrender and there were other factors involved too.

    1. During the European campaign, Allied losses in aircrew were so high, especially at night where fighter escort was not possible, that morale was as much a problem among the attackers as among the attacked. This limited the sortie rate and over-all effectiveness of the night bombers in hitting the intended suburbs where the industrial workers lived. (Terrified bomber crews tended to bomb short especially in the dark.) It also limited the effectiveness of American daylight bombing against German factories until long-range escort with high-performance fighter planes became available. And even then the effort was enormously costly for the results gained, the exception being the destruction of the Luftwaffe in the run-up to the invasion of France. (You are correct about the air campaign against Japan.)

      Putin doesn’t have those constraints. He can hit at will high-value infrastructure with precision at no human cost to his forces as long as his supply of missiles holds out and the Ukrainians can’t shoot them all down. He is not so much trying to kill civilians as being indifferent to what happens to them when he blows up their power plants and train stations. My sense is that even with that callousness, civilians are not dying on anywhere near the scale that Germans and especially Japanese did during the “anti-morale” campaigns inflicted on them.

      Anyway, it will be for Zelenskyy to decide if and when it’s time to negotiate. Power plants and factories can be rebuilt. Land once ceded is gone forever. As long as he thinks he can win, negotiation leaves him worse off than a battlefield victory would. Same as the Allies in the Second World War: we knew we were winning. Why negotiate? So we didn’t.

      Everyone who adopts a strategy that failed in the past says, “Oh, but this time it’ll be different because…”. Perhaps Putin is right. Or just desperate.

      1. I don’t think the point about bomber crew morale is correct. from about 1942/43, the RAF could put close to a thousand bombers in the air several nights a week. The constraints were availability of bombers and availability of crews.

        As for Putin, I think his main constraint is availability of munitions. A raid of 800 Lancasters could drop something like 6,000 tons of bombs on a German city. I’m not sure if Putin has got 6,000 tons of bombs, or at least not the number of delivery systems needed to drop that quantity of bombs in a single night. On the other hand, he has got precision. He can target individual power stations and other infrastructure. RAF bomber command’s tactics of aiming at whole cities was born of necessity. They couldn’t reliably hit anything smaller.

  6. (I have to add that I think this politicking from the pulpit is illegal, and could cost the church its tax exemption.)

    I dunno. I recall former president Donald Trump, surrounded by so-called “faith leaders,” making a big show of signing an executive order in the Rose Garden, during the “National Day of Prayer,” limiting enforcement of the IRS’s “Johnson Amendment” prohibiting political activity by churches.

    Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    1. I note that the Catholic Church spent a ton of money to defeat the abortion vote in Kansas a few months back and is telling parishioners how to vote on similar things in the upcoming election in various states. So I think it will all be mover to the NFA column. Biden could cancel the EO – but hasn’t

  7. Coming from Canada, I realize my take on the race/affirmative action discussion will miss some of the mark. But the skin colour labels have to be reassessed. As a college instructor, if I say, today I taught a red student, yellow student, or a brown student, I’d absolutely face disciplinary action. Why is it okay to say white and black then?

    Using the word black to somehow describe a human is close to useless where I’m from. I teach students from Jamaica, Uganda, the UK, Toronto, the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire. “Black” does not capture much about their culture, nationality, or worldviews.

    Try using one word like American to somehow capture and understand a person.

    1. I agree with you. I’ve long thought the rhetoric of black and white labels was harmfully polarizing. I resent having to check the Race box labeled ‘White’ for that reason.
      I am reminded of a half-remembered exchange I heard on the Mike Douglas or Merv Griffin show in the late 1960s. There were racial tensions running high and they had a sort of Q&A/listening session to bring people of different races together. Something like that.
      Woman 1: Why do you call yourselves ‘black’? Your skin is actually brown.
      Woman 2: Well, look at your own skin. Do you think it’s really white?
      W1: (looks) No, it’s flesh colored.
      W2: So’s mine.

  8. I’m surprised ol’ Pastor Bryant never mentioned Rafael Warnock by name?? He sure ain’t got NO time for Herschel. Hope it helps.

      1. We saw it at TIFF in September!!! Be sure to see it (Banshees) if it’s released in your area!!!!‼️‼️
        Coincidentally, we watched In Bruges again last Sat. with a houseguest (And 3 Billboards last week). McDonagh is a genius!! (F**ing Bruges😹🤣)

        1. It’s listed as “Coming Soon” at my local theater, so I’m planning to see it opening night, likely next week.

          1. Don’t miss the f**cking Bruges link I posted.
            Ihope to eventually see Banshees with subtitles, because aside from the fecking hells, I think there’s a lot of cross-talk we may have missed.
            Be sure ro report back on Banshees! None of our friends have seen it yef.

        1. One of the small subtextual ironies in the film is that (if you listen to their accents) the American “elephants” intent on climbing the tower are actually played by Canadians — whereas the Canadian couple that Colin Farrell punches out in the restaurant (thinking they’re American) are in fact played by Americans, including the great Slovenian-American character actor Željko Ivanek.

  9. Heather Mac Donald on the affirmative action case.

    “Harvard has little interest in diverse “economic . . . backgrounds” when it comes to race, contrary to Bacow’s email. Ever since a disastrous experiment in the late 1960s when Harvard did admit lower-income blacks (these admits bombed spectacularly), it has shifted its focus to middle-income and wealthy blacks, privileging the children of well-to-do blacks far ahead of the children of poor blacks. It is not “different circumstances” that Harvard seeks, but different skin color. “

    1. Similarly from Roland Fryer:

      “Seventy-one percent of Harvard’s Black and Hispanic students come from wealthy backgrounds. A tiny fraction attended underperforming public high schools. First- and second-generation African immigrants, despite constituting only about 10 percent of the U.S. Black population, make up about 41 percent of all Black students in the Ivy League, …”

    2. “these admits bombed spectacularly”
      As happens elsewhere, if perhaps less spectacularly, and more sadly, than at Harvard. I have taught such special-program students at both a suburban third-tier private university and a suburban community college. The university recruited from the nearby metropolis to meet quotas, and despite provision of a host of extra resources, too many were simply unprepared for even semi-remedial post-secondary learning. The community college model is much more successful. because starting from virtual scratch is an option that’s built in, but disparities in learning skills are still a problem.

      1. Yeah, it seem to me like expecting universities to be able to deal with this issue successfully is asking too much. It’s too late by then, unless they institute an entirely different program designed to bring students from disadvantaged educational backgrounds up to a speed comparable to other university students. Really the intervention needs to happen much sooner, as in starting in kindergarten and then all the way through K-12.

        Not to say that there are not some aspects of the issue that could stand improvement at the university level.

  10. “They don’t know if it was alone or part of a flock, but if it was alone, it would have had to navigate on its own because it was a first-year migrant. And that would be something!”

    It almost certainly was part of a flock in my opinion. This species is gregarious in the non-breeding season so it seems to me unlikely that individuals would embark on a major trans-oceanic flight alone. It is a phenomenal feat but although it is the record holder it is evident that it’s migratory flight was more or less ‘normal’ for this population of the species. The previous record holder for longest non-stop flight was another bar-tailed flying from Alaska to New Zealand and that same individual broke its own record from the previous year. There is a population of wintering bar-tailed godwit in Australia New Zealand that inevitably must all make very long trans-oceanic flights to get there. The migration involves prodigious changes in body weight with rapid fattening occurring immediately prior to migration and the birds then losing about 50% of their body weight during the migratory flight.

  11. I hope to hear the several-hour SCOTUS hearing of the UNC-Chapel Hill/Harvard College( is it a college or university – I hear both – is it a distinction without a meaningful difference?) I’ll be listening for: “merit” and regard for academic excellence being mentioned at least once; the justification for the higher SAT scores required of Asians; and a discussion of negative bias in “personal” interviews of Asian candidates (conducted by non-Asian Harvard alumni interviewers). I’ll also monitor, as I can see my way to do so, whether the NY Times and its ilk covers these aspects.

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