Thursday: Hili dialogue

December 1, 2022 • 6:45 am

Well, welcome to The Winter Month: it’s Thursday, and the first day of December, 2022, National Fried Pie Day. Do not dismiss these hand-held pies—a staple of Southern cooking in the U.S.— they’re the perfect one-person finish to a BBQ meal. Peach is best.

And it’s three food months in one. Sadly, Egg Nog and fruitcakes are not usually welcome.

National Pear Month
National Egg Nog Month
National Fruit Cake Month

It’s also Eat a Red Apple Day (I prefer green Granny Smiths), National Pie Day, Rosa Parks Day (remembering the day in 1955 when she wouldn’t give up her bus seat to a white man), Wear A Dress DayMilitary Abolition Day in Costa Rica—a country without any military service, and  World AIDS Day.

Today’s Google Doodle is an animated video-gamelike cartoon honoring the life and achievement of Gerald “Jerry” Lawson, whose 82nd birthday would be today had he not died in 2011.  As Wikipedia notes, he was one of the first black game developer and

. . . was an American electronic engineer. He is known for his work in designing the Fairchild Channel F video game console as well as leading the team that pioneered the commercial video game cartridge. He was thus dubbed the “father of the videogame cartridge” according to Black Enterprise magazine in 1982. He left Fairchild and founded the game company Video-Soft.

When you click the Doodle (as below), you see a series of video games that you can play, and which also tell you about Lawson’s life.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the December 1 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*According to the NYT, the House Democratic leader, who is the Speaker of the House when Dems are in the majority, has been an octagenerian for three decades. Starting in January, though the Democratic House leader will be a Minority Leader, and won’t be Nancy Pelosi, who gave way to younger blood. Yesterday House Democrats elected as their next-term Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York: the first black Congressperson to hold that spot. Two other younger folks were also elected, and, as the NYT notes, this is the first time there’s been “a trio of top leaders that includes no white men.”

In a display of unity after midterm elections in which they lost the House but had a stronger than expected showing, Democrats skipped a vote and by acclamation elected Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York to be minority leader, making him the first Black person to hold the top spot. Representative Katherine Clark of Massachusetts was elected as whip, the lead vote counter for House Democrats, and Representative Pete Aguilar of California as the chairman of the party caucus, in charge of messaging.

Mr. Jeffries, 52, Ms. Clark, 59 and Mr. Aguilar, 43, who for years have positioned themselves as an unofficial joint slate of candidates and have patiently waited their turn, ran unopposed after Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the California Democrat who has led the party for two decades, announced this month that she would step aside, paving the way for fresher faces at the top of her party.

. . . The mood was jovial on Wednesday inside the ornate committee hearing room across from the Capitol where Democrats met to elect their new leaders.

“We want Petey Pie!” lawmakers chanted as they nominated Mr. Aguilar, using a nickname his grandmother gave him, according to two people in the room.

Oy! “Petey Pie”?  My own “Petey Pie” is Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, whom I’d like to see as the next Democratic candidate for President.

*This may be a first, though I’ve probably missed antecedents. A group of current and former students at Yale have sued the University, alleging that there was systemic mental ableism (my term) against students with psychological difficulties:

Current and former Yale students sued the university Wednesday, accusing the school of systematically discriminating against students with mental health problems and pressuring them to withdraw.

The lawsuit, which is seeking class-action status from the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, includes accounts by two current students, three former students and an alumni group representing several dozen others. In the court filing, students described being visited in the hospital after Yale officials learned of suicide attempts or other mental health problems and being warned that if they didn’t leave the school voluntarily, the university could kick them out involuntarily.

In a statement, Yale spokeswoman Karen Peart said, “The university is confident that our policies comply with all applicable laws and regulations. Nonetheless, we have been working on policy changes that are responsive to students’ emotional and financial wellbeing.”

In the lawsuit, one international student — Hannah Neves, who was hospitalized in 2020 after a suicide attempt — recounted being visited by three Yale administrators and resisting their pressure to withdraw, according to the lawsuit.

While she was still in the hospital, administrators withdrew her involuntarily. Once she was discharged, Yale authorities told her she could retrieve her possessions only with a police escort. When she asked about saying goodbye to her friends, university administrators told her “she could only do so off campus” because she was no longer allowed on Yale property.

Yes, I know this happens at other places, and it’s reprehensible. I’m not sure under what circumstances a student with mental health issues can be asked to leave a campus, or even kicked out. In one case here, a student withdrew after he had a psychotic break and went on a rampage, attacking cars and ultimately threatening police with a mental rod (he was shot in the . In those circumstances, the continued presence of a student on campus could endanger others, so it’s in the University’s self interest to let them go. But to visit someone in the hospital and threaten them with expulsion is absolutely heartless. In such circumstances the school should muster all its mental-health resources

*Well, this is going to cause some trouble. According to the AP, Egypt has asked Britain to return the Rosetta Stone, which resides in the British Museum (near the Elgin Marbles, bits of the Parthenon that were removed by a British Lord and which Greece wants back). The stone dates from 196 BC and, because it has the same inscription in hieroglyphics, Demotic, and ancient Greek. The latter two, already known, helped decipher the former

The inscriptions on the dark grey granite slab became the seminal breakthrough in deciphering ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics after it was taken from Egypt by forces of the British empire in 1801.

Now, as Britain’s largest museum marks the 200-year anniversary of the decipherment of hieroglyphics, thousands of Egyptians are demanding the stone’s return.

’’The British Museum’s holding of the stone is a symbol of Western cultural violence against Egypt,” said Monica Hanna, dean at the Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport, and organizer of one of two petitions calling for the stone’s return.

The acquisition of the Rosetta Stone was tied up in the imperial battles between Britain and France. After Napoleon Bonaparte’s military occupation of Egypt, French scientists uncovered the stone in 1799 in the northern town of Rashid, known by the French as Rosetta. When British forces defeated the French in Egypt, the stone and over a dozen other antiquities were handed over to the British under the terms of an 1801 surrender deal between the generals of the two sides.

Curiously, the Egyptian government itself hasn’t asked for the relic’s return:

Hanna’s petition, with 4,200 signatures, says the stone was seized illegally and constitutes a “spoil of war.” The claim is echoed in a near identical petition by Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s former minister for antiquities affairs, which has more than 100,000 signatures. Hawass argues that Egypt had no say in the 1801 agreement.

The British Museum refutes this. In a statement, the Museum said the 1801 treaty includes the signature of a representative of Egypt. It refers to an Ottoman admiral who fought alongside the British against the French. The Ottoman sultan in Istanbul was nominally the ruler of Egypt at the time of Napoleon’s invasion.

The Museum also said Egypt’s government has not submitted a request for its return. It added that there are 28 known copies of the same engraved decree and 21 of them remain in Egypt.

There’s no way the British Museum is going to give that back, just like they’re hanging onto the Ellgin Marbles (I think Christopher Hitchens wrote a book urging their return). Likewise, if the Egyptians have a case at all, I think the stone should be returned. But it’s a huge attraction for the British Museum, and I think that will be telling.

Here’s the stone, with the same inscription in 3 scripts.

Rosetta Stone

*Here are today’s World Cup results:

From the NYT:

It was the last group-stage match for Argentina on Wednesday, which meant it could have been the last time Lionel Messi feinted defenders, slashed into an open channel and fooled a bemused goalkeeper at the World Cup while wearing the crest of his beloved nation. It is not the most appealing topic back home, but this is, apparently, Messi’s fifth and final World Cup, and whether he departs without holding aloft the tournament’s golden trophy will not detract from his legacy as one of the best ever to play — but it could leave him hollow and searching.

Messi’s World Cup will continue for another game at least, and very possibly more. Argentina has, with every game, revealed itself a formidable contender, swatting away an opening loss to Saudi Arabia to beat Mexico and then thwart Poland on Wednesday in a 2-0 victory before a pulsating legion of fans at Stadium 974.

Below: the highlights of Argentina vs Poland. Goals are at 2:20 and 3:20. The Polish goalkeeper did a great job with saves, even keeping Messi from scoring on a penalty kick. No goals for Lionel this time, but Argentina proceeds to the knockout stage.

Tunisia beat France but is still out of the World Cup:

As World Cup drama goes, it was a remarkable couple of minutes. A last stand by Tunisia. A late goal by France. A lead lost. A result overturned. And then a video review, and it all flipped back in a moment.

And none of it mattered.

Tunisia went out of the World Cup on Wednesday in the strangest of circumstances: victors over France, 1-0, when a late French equalizer was disallowed 12 minutes into second-half injury time, but already eliminated a few minutes earlier by Australia’s 1-0 victory against Denmark.

As for the Aussie victory over Denmark:

Australia’s moment was a rare soccer success for its men’s team: The first time it has advanced to the knockout round since 2006, which was the only previous time it survived the group stage.

Its goal came in a blur: Breaking out after a Denmark attack fizzled, Mathew Leckie took a pass near the center circle, swept around a Danish defender and sent a low shot past Denmark’s diving goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel.

Here are the highlights of that game; Leckie’s wonderful goal is at 2:26.

*Trump’s tax returns are finally in the hands of Congress—the House Ways and Means Committee has six years of returns.

“Treasury has complied with last week’s court decision,” a Treasury spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday.

The Supreme Court declined last week to intervene after courts said the House had power to request the returns from the IRS.

The committee, led by Democratic Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, had sought six years of Trump’s tax records, primarily from the time he served as president. That included records about both Trump personally and several of his corporate entities.

The documents are not expected to be immediately released to the public.

Neal said Wednesday that Democrats would meet as a caucus to discuss how to handle the tax returns and get legal advice on how to proceed. Such a meeting, though, hasn’t been scheduled yet, he said.

The congressman declined to say if they would release any of the returns publicly. “The next step is to have a meeting of the Democratic caucus,” he said.

But it’s too late to do anything about the returns, for that committee will be in the hands of Republicans in January. And it’s not clear whether they’ll release the results so we can get the skinny on whether there’s anything dubious about them, or, as some say, whether Trump paid no taxes in recent years because he lost more money than he made.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili encounters Szaron upstairs at the lodgers’. It’s not a happy meeting:

Hili: How did you get there?
Szaron: Paulina invited me in for a feast.
(Photo: Paulina)
In Polish:
Hili: Jak się tam dostałeś?
Szaron: Paulina mnie zaprosiła na ucztę.
           (Zdjęcie: Paulina)


Another man cheats on his girlfriend. The result:

From David:

From Jesus of the Day:

God is busy writing poetry at Mastodon, and Titania hasn’t tweeted in a while. But, circumstances being what they are in Iran, Masih Alinejad has plenty to say, e.g.:

From Barry: a nice man helps a scared deer cross the road. Apparently this is the way to pick up a deer!

From Luana: a very bizarre story, one that appears to be true:


From Malcolm, cats being cats (I may have posted this before):

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a woman who lived a few months (look at how they shaved the heads of incoming prisoners. The hair was saved by the Germans and used to make mattresses:

Tweets from Matthew. Herbert Tobias was a German photographer, and one of the first famous people in Germany to die of AIDS:

From Matthew: good sportsmanship as an American soccer player hugs an Iranian player after the Americans won:

TimeTree is your friend. Look up the divergence time (“relatedness”) of any pair of species:

Life in DodoLand is always peaches and cream. Here’s a tale about how a little girl rescued and raised a Runner Duck. Sound up:

30 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. … Rosa Parks Day (remembering the day in 1955 when she wouldn’t give up her bus seat to a white man) …

    I may have posted this before on this date, but it’s worth another play: The Neville Brother’s tribute to Ms. Parks, “Sister Rosa.” (The video contains a reenactment of the incident itself):

  2. The fact that the House will turn Republican controlled in a month may not matter because the Senate Finance Committee has the same legal right as the House to look at anyone’s tax returns, including Trump. The Senate will remain in Democratic hands for the next session. As the HuffPost reports:

    “Another option for Democrats would be for the Senate Finance Committee to file its own formal request for Trump’s taxes. Senate Finance shares the same power as Ways and Means, as well as the House-Senate Joint Committee on Taxation, to request private tax documents. Democrats are set to maintain control of the Senate next year and could even gain a one-seat majority if Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) prevails in a runoff election next month.”

    I am surprised that most of the media is ignoring this important aspect of Senate procedure. I hope the Senate gets possession of Trump’s tax returns, has them reviewed by the nation’s best forensic accountants, and releases the results to the public. The public release of these findings is allowed by law. It happened to Nixon. These findings would most certainly reveal that any other citizen filing such returns would end up in the pokey. But, Trump is wily and has escaped accountability for all his misdeeds. It could happen again. In any case, his cult would accept Trump’s certain explanation that the investigation of his tax returns is a witch hunt orchestrated by the deep state.

    1. What is the nominal purpose for seeking the returns? If they don’t have a good reason it will make it very easy to portray it as a witch hunt.

      1. Whether congress should codify the longstanding tradition of presidential candidates disclosing their federal tax returns to determine whether they have foreign business entanglements creating potential conflicts of interest is one legitimate purpose. Deciding what loopholes should be closed so that self-proclaimed multibillionaires pay more than $750 a year in federal income taxes is another.

      2. Nothing to worry about. Trump and the RP will portray anything as a witch hunt. And if there is nothing to portray as such then they will make something up. That’s their SOP since before Karl Rove made it an explicit primary tactic of the RP. Trump has always been a natural at it since, well, pretty much his entire life.

        Trump has been a chronic compulsive liar, a cheat and a carny, and also a generally nasty piece of work, his entire life. These facts about Trump’s qualities and behaviors have been a matter of public record, routinely documented over the decades of his career since long before he ventured into politics. That such a person with such a public record could end up as POTUS says some not so pleasant things about human beings.

        There should be no surprise, and certainly no concern, over any of the numerous investigations into Trump’s activities. Really, it’s ridiculous that it is even discussed seriously that Trump might be the victim of unfair scrutiny. It is a sign of a state, a society, flirting with failure.

        1. And now that Kanye is an admitted Hitler admirer, I wonder how Trump’s friendship with him will blossom; will he denounce him? Fat chance. I wonder if any of Trump’s cultists would care if he said the things Kanye did re. Hitler and the Jews.

    2. >”These findings [of a forensic accounting] would most certainly reveal that any other citizen filing such returns would end up in the pokey.” [emphasis mine]

      How do you know this with such certainty? You haven’t seen either Mr. Trump’s tax returns themselves or the expert forensic accountants’ opinions of them which you have called for the Senate to obtain, but which it might not bother with for all you know. And why do you think random senators are more qualified to determine if he committed tax evasion than the IRS is? Everyone in the Deep State hates him. Why would the IRS give him a free pass? The fun is in making the returns public, not second-guessing the IRS for political hay-making. Democrats would never do that, surely.

      I admit that I am looking forward to the former President’s tax returns being yet another nothing-burger after all these years of grilling and seasoning them. Yes he should have released them voluntarily as part of running for office but, well, Trump being Trump….

  3. ultimately threatening police with a mental rod (he was shot in the .

    Couple of things went wrong there. Probably definitely want to change mental to metal, given the context.

    Another man cheats on his girlfriend.

    From the newspaper ad, it looks like he cheated with his girlfriend.

    1. Any idea how Trump might preempt such selective leaking? After all, he is an announced candidate for the 2024 presidential nomination, and there is a half-century tradition regarding candidates and their tax returns dating back to Dick Nixon.

  4. I’m not sure under what circumstances a student with mental health issues can be asked to leave a campus, or even kicked out.

    That’s part of the problem. There are more questions than answers, questions like whether private and public universities have different rights and responsibilities in that regard, whether local equivalents to the Americans with Disabilities Act cover mental health, and why we still keep insisting that universities act in loco parentis, taking on more and more responsibilities for creating a womblike ‘safe space’ for students.

    Given the increasingly litigious society and cases where schools and LEOs are – or might be – held responsible for the misdeeds of a student, not to mention their response thereto, institutions watching their bottom line and legal liabilities are more interested in mitigating the risk than providing access to students with mental illness.

  5. Nancy Pelosi is in her early 80’s, which means she could not have been on Octogenarian for three decades. Not even for one decade.
    I think you mean that the current leadership had three Octogenarians, Pelosi, Hoyer, Clyburn.

  6. …but Argentina proceeds to the knockout stage.

    Even better, they go as group winners, which means they avoid facing France in their first knockout match 🙂 Poland, who came second in the group, will have to play France.

    Of course, Argentina might get knocked out by Australia 🙂

    I think Sam Britton looks a bit like Vincent Kompany.

  7. And it’s not clear whether they’ll release the results so we can get the skinny on whether there’s anything dubious about them

    It’s all up to Rupert Murdoch.

  8. Re the cross-dressing Dept. of Energy official–yes, he looks after spent nuclear fuel rods–charged with stealing a woman’s expensive suitcase (and her clothing) that would have looked divine with his lipstick. Our own DrBrydon posted a link to a New York Post story about him yesterday (Hili Dialogue, Comment #7). The Alpha News story in Luana’s tweet just has a few more engaging details about him, calculated no doubt to create a favourable character impression in the judge’s mind. His rather creative lying is quite touching, actually.

    The Post has a photo of him at an evening costume ball standing next to another Administration cross-dresser in an admiral’s uniform. Straight out of Gilbert and Sullivan if they had dared.

    IMO Mr. Britton doesn’t have the gams to pull off the bare legs with pumps look. I would have gone with panty hose. Like the guy in the admiral costume.

    1. … standing next to another Administration cross-dresser in an admiral’s uniform. Straight out of Gilbert and Sullivan …

      He’s very, very good
      And be it understood
      He commands a right good crew

  9. Regarding the Elephant shrews: What a difference a few hundred-thousand generations make. At least, that’s how my feeble eeevillutionary-minded thought processes work (As the toddlers at the Creation Museum are taught to chant, “How do you know? Were you there?”)

  10. Very cool elephant shrews.
    Yep, molecular phylogeny has revealed the uber-odd clade Afrotheria, including elephants, elephant shrews (but not shrews in general), golden moles (but not moles in general), the aardvark, sea cows, and tenrecs.

  11. About the Rosetta Stone, a friend sent this snippet to me…

    “As a linchpin of the Mediterranean, Egypt’s history is also part of Europe’s cultural heritage. The decree recorded on the Rosetta Stone was written in Greek in addition to Egyptian scripts because it was issued in the reign of Ptolemy V, from the family of Greek descendants of a general of Alexander the Great who ruled Egypt until Cleopatra.

    Perhaps, the Stone should be given to Greece or Macedonia.”

  12. In the video playback, that goal might well have been invalid. The ball was *just* a smidgen out of bounds before it touched the boot of the Japanese player. Oh, well, what to do …. our eyes can see only so much in a live match.

  13. Had a chance to read the Washington Post story on the mental health lawsuit at Yale.
    Since I had argued for fair treatment of Senator-elect John Fetterman as regards his disability I hope this look at the other side will be seen as fair, too.

    The news article hints at some of the difficulties universities and employers face in accommodating students and employees with mental health disabilities, which the adversarial pleadings of the students do not of course acknowledge. The school will have a chance to defend its actions, by which time the attention of media will have long since shifted to something else, like tax returns.

    Many commenters here have pointed out how difficult it is to treat mental illness successfully. We are indeed in the Dark Ages even for classical severe psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, major depression, and bipolar disorder. Our treatments don’t work nearly as well as we thought they did. In addition, many many things that used to be called quirks, personality disorders, or character flaws are now given mental health diagnoses, oppositional defiant disorder being my current favourite. These new disorders have no treatment at all except counseling and maybe sedatives for ubiquitous “anxiety”. That means an employee or student who is uncooperative and picks fights with people has to be accommodated as having a disability rather than being fired or expelled…or told to shape up. So we are left with a large population of often young people just leaving home to enter the work force or higher learning who will experience intractable disability as currently defined, kids who have been nurtured and sheltered in their disabilities all through high school.

    But when all is said and done, and accommodation provided as required by law and morality, the disabled and fragile student must be able to pass the course and the disabled employee must be able to do the job. Merely having a disability (or several) does not by itself entitle you to stay enrolled at the university so you can enjoy health insurance (as one of the litigants was complaining about losing), then graduate, pass the bar exam, or get a residency in a teaching hospital. You have to succeed to get all those things. It’s hard. At some point after months or years of coping with disruptive behaviour or inadequate academic performance chalked up to disability, the university has to say, “Sorry, this isn’t working out for either of us.” Sometimes, unfortunately, the precipitating event is a crisis like a fifth suicidal attempt (or gesture), and the best time to confront the behaviour is before the student comes back to class. You see the bargaining behaviour in the story: “Can’t you write me a note to excuse me from taking this test?” No. It encourages dissembling. “Can’t I come back to the dorm to get my belongings?” Only with a police escort. “Can’t I come back to campus to say goodbye to my friends?” No. Meet them off campus.

    I am going to be very surprised if Yale or any other university or employer would expel or fire anyone after a single unheralded mental health crisis without attempting to marshal resources for accommodation.

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