Sunday: Hili dialogue

December 4, 2022 • 6:45 am

Welcome to a frigid Chicago Sunday, December 4, 2022 and National Cookie Day. I will assert once again that British cookies, called “biscuits”, are better than American ones on average. Boasters, fig rolls (better than Fig Newtons), Jaffa cakes (but are they really biscuits?) cow biscuits, and, my favorite in the world, the first one, not easily obtained the U.S. (I used to use this internet site to find good biscuits, but they’ve turned it into a damn book!)

I love cow biscuits, too, flavored with malted milk. Great for dipping in coffee (or tea):

It’s also Cabernet Franc Day, Wear Brown Shoes Day, Wildlife Conservation Day, National Sock Day, and International Cheetah Day. Fun Cheetah Fact: this is the only species of felid that can’t retract its claws.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the December 4 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Don’t forget that the Georgia Senate race will be decided on Tuesday, with the odious Republican Herschel Walker in a dead heat with Raphael Warnock.  They’re both black, and so this, according to the NYT, should be a time of pride for Black Americans. But you know why it’s not: Walker may win!

The winner in Tuesday’s election will serve in an institution that has been overwhelmingly white throughout its history: Nearly 2,000 people have served in the U.S. Senate, and only 11 of them have been Black.

But a race that may seem like a triumph for Black political power has stirred a complicated mix of emotions for Ms. Davis and many other Black Georgians. Mr. Walker’s troubled candidacy has clouded their pride with suspicions, dismay, offense and even embarrassment.

In conversations with more than two dozen Black voters across Georgia, many said they did not see Mr. Walker, who has taken a conciliatory approach to matters of race, as representing the interests of Black people. Far more than a victory for racial representation, they cast the election in terms of now-familiar political stakes: a chance to keep a Republican backed by Donald Trump from gaining power and working to reverse policies they care about.

“It is a very historic moment,” said Ms. Davis, a supporter of Mr. Warnock. “But it is sort of like a bittersweet moment.” Sure, two Black men are running for Senate, she added, but many Black voters disagree with how Mr. Walker “views the nation and also other African American people.”

Yes, look at the data, which is disheartening (my bolding below

Polls suggest Ms. Davis’s views are widely held. A CNN poll released on Friday found Mr. Walker winning just 3 percent of Black voters, who make up about one-third of Georgia’s electorate. That is less support than Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, won when he defeated Stacey Abrams in the governor’s race last month, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of Georgia voters.

Those numbers do not spell the end of Mr. Walker’s bid. Mr. Warnock led Mr. Walker only narrowly among all voters in the CNN survey. A strong turnout among white Republicans across the state could lift Mr. Walker to victory.

3% of the black vote, and 30% of the voters are black. How can Walker possibly win? (I predict that he won’t, and I’m rarely wrong 🙂  Five Thirty Eight‘s aggregation of other site’s polls shows most polls going narrowly for Warnock, but a handful for Walker.  (If you want to see how either could win, read this.)

We already have two big-time Republican idiots in the House, and I don’t want another one in the Senate. Anybody care to bet me $25? I’m on for Warnock. If you’re sane and worried, you’ll take the bet, for if Warnock wins, you’ll be glad to hand me the dosh!

*Both the Washington Post and the Associated Press have stories on the rise of anti-Semitism in the U.S., with the AP article saying that celebrities and social media trolls recently speaking out against Jews risks “normalizing” Jew hatred in America:

A surge of anti-Jewish vitriol, spread by a world-famous rapper, an NBA star and other prominent people, is stoking fears that public figures are normalizing hate and ramping up the risk of violence in a country already experiencing a sharp increase in antisemitism.

Leaders of the Jewish community in the U.S. and extremism experts have been alarmed to see celebrities with massive followings spew antisemitic tropes in a way that has been taboo for decades. Some said it harkens back to a darker time in America when powerful people routinely spread conspiracy theories about Jews with impunity.

Former President Donald Trump hosted a Holocaust-denying white supremacist at Mar-a-Lago. The rapper Ye expressed love for Adolf Hitler in an interview. Basketball star Kyrie Irving appeared to promote an antisemitic film on social media. Neo-Nazi trolls are clamoring to return to Twitter as new CEO Elon Musk grants “amnesty” to suspended accounts.

“These are not fringe outliers sending emails from their parents garage or idiots no one has ever heard of. When influential mainstream cultural, political and even sports icons normalize hate speech, everyone needs to be very concerned,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, a leader in South Florida’s Jewish community.

Northwestern University history professor Peter Hayes, who specializes in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust, said normalizing antisemitism is a “real possibility” when there is a “public discussion of things that used to be beneath contempt.”

“I’m very concerned about it,” Hayes said. “It’s one of the many ways in which America has to get a grip and stop toying with concepts and ideas that are potentially murderous.”

I’m not worried about being sent to a camp, or thinking about moving to Israel, but I am concerned that anti-Semitism is regarded as almost a normal way of thinking among progressive Leftists, who equate all Jews everywhere with Israel and its supposed “apartheid” policies. The situation is not helped by the UN passing as many resolutions against Israel as against all other countries in the world combined, including North Korea and Iran. That’s ridiculous. Still, terrorism against Jewish civilians, both here and in Israel, is minimized by nearly everyone but the Jews, and that’s worrying. I haven’t experienced much anti-Semitism in my lifetime, but the surge we’re seeing now is something that’s hard to believe

*Today’s World Cup results; we’re in the knockout round of 16 now: Argentina and the Netherlands stay but the U.S. and Australia go home:


For all of his accomplishments, and there are many, there was one thing Lionel Messi had never done at the World Cup: score a goal in an elimination game.

Now that he has done so — his first-half shot helped carry Argentina to a 2-1 victory over Australia on Saturday — he still has a chance at another first: Messi has never lifted the World Cup trophy.

That second one is still a ways away. But squint your eyes as Messi darted through the Australian defense at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium on Saturday night and it still seems possible. For 90 minutes, Messi, 35, looked like the Messi who made his World Cup debut at 18 and has torn through club opponents across Europe for decades.

With the win, Argentina advanced to the quarterfinals, where it will face the Netherlands on Friday.

The highlights: Argentina’s goals are at 0:57 (a sweet one from Messi) and one from Alvarez at 2:47; Australia’s single goal is at 3:29.  I’m happy Messi got a score—the greatest soccer player of all time.

Team America went down at the hands of the Dutch, 3-1. As you can see even below, the Netherlands was more adept at handling the ball.

The Netherlands had been underwhelming during the group stages but showcased its quality and clinical edge on Saturday, with three well-taken goals from Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Denzel Dumfries.

Haji Wright pulled one back for the USMNT late in the second half with his team trailing 2-1, but any comeback hopes were snuffed out by Dumfries’ 81st minute goal to all but confirm the Dutch victory.

And the U.S./Netherlands highlights. Game try, America. One U.S. goal at 3:55.

*A ship on its way to Antarctica from Chile had to return to port after it was struck hit a huge wave, one so big that it killed one person and injured four. But it didn’t wash anybody overboard: it was glass  (h/t: Gravelinspector):

The Norwegian-flagged Viking Polaris was caught in a storm as it sailed towards Ushuaia, Argentina on Tuesday.

The victim was a US women who died after being struck by shattered glass, Argentinian media report.

Viking said it was investigating the incident and offered its “deepest sympathies” to the passenger’s family.

“Our focus remains on the safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew, and we are working directly with them to arrange return travel,” the company added in a statement issued on Friday.

The company did not reveal the name and nationality of the passenger.

However, Argentine news agency Telam said the dead passenger was an American woman who “received blows from a glass surface that collapsed in the middle of the storm”.

The 202m (662ft) ship – which was completed this year – arrived in Argentina on Wednesday and had sustained “limited damage” after being struck by the wave, Viking said.

The company has decided to cancel its scheduled voyage, which would have seen the ship sail towards Antarctica from 5-17 December.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, rogue waves can be double the size of surrounding waves. They often come unexpectedly from directions other than that of the prevailing wind.

I’ve experienced thirty-foot waves in the Drake Passage, but they weren’t even in that notorious stretch of water between the tip of South America and Antarctica. One big one knocked all the food off the tables in the dining room, and flung my chair back so I fell on the floor. But I never imagined that glass could be a danger!

*I haven’t read George Will in yonks, but he has an interesting piece in the November 30th Washington Post, “How racial preferences feed grasping grievance groups and grow ever more absurd“. He gives an instance of gaming the system created by DEI:

Until a few years ago, Robert Taylor, a business owner in Washington state, identified as White. Then he realized that his insurance business could benefit if it were classified as a minority enterprise. A DNA test purported to show him 4 percent sub-Saharan African. Lots of litigation later, a federal court said the state nevertheless could deny his minority status. Elsewhere, Steve Lynn had better luck in the racial lottery. His business qualified as a minority business enterprise because his ancestors were Sephardic Jews who fled Spain centuries ago, making him, in the government’s squint, Hispanic.

Damn! If I were a Sephardic Jew instead of an Ashkenazi, I could ride the gravy train, too! Anyway, Will mentions a book that might deserve a look:

This story-beyond-satire of government is recounted in Bernstein’s slender (185 pages) “Classified: The Untold Story of Racial Classifications in America,” potentially 2022’s most consequential American book. It reveals the rickety foundations of today’s identity politics. And because it is distilled in an amicus brief he filed for the Supreme Court as it considers racial preferences in college admissions. The brief demonstrates that such preferences depend on irrational classifications that mock their users’ intellectual and moral pretenses.

. . .Furthermore, those inconvenient Asian Americans keep spoiling the progressive narrative: A New York Times story reported that Google offers “a stark glance at how Silicon Valley remains a white man’s world.” A few lines later, Bernstein notes, the Times stated that a third of Google’s American employees are Asian Americans.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Andrzej have a deep conversation while Szaron stands by and learns:

Hili: It’s astonishing.
A:What is so astonishing?
Hili: Everybody tries to be rational and the end effect is horrible.
A: You see, and some people are thanking their gods that they arranged everything so well.
In Polish:
Hili: Zdumiewające.
Ja: Co jest takie zdumiewające?
Hili: Wszyscy starają się być racjonalni, a efekt końcowy jest koszmarny.
Ja: No widzisz, a niektórzy dziękują swoim bogom, że tak dobrze to wszystko urządzili.


From Seth, The world made out of fried chicken:

From Merilee, a Scott Metzger cartoon:

From Diana (I don’t know who did the cartoon:

A tweet from Masih. The protests in Iran continue. . . .

From Britain’s National Rail via reader Malcolm:

From Ron; look at all these newish foods! (You can see an enlarged version here.)  Sticky toffee pudding is new? And apple crumble?

From Simon. Why are these geese circling a car?

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a 1½ year old boy gassed upon arrival:

Tweets from Matthew. First, some amazing surfing rays. Look at them turn around as they approach the beach!

I’m sure I’ve shown this before, but don’t mind if I show it again:

Mesmerizing Japanese craftsmanship. (sound up):

19 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. I love McVitie’s dark chocolate digestives and have two daily with my afternoon tea. There are milk chocolate and plain ones available too. These biscuits are so well known they’re sometimes referred to as suggestives.

    1. The original Digestives, without chocolate, are excellent as well and are great with cheese, preferably a strong Cheddar.

  2. For National Cookie Day: Comedian Gary Delaney us a joke that went something like “When I was in school I used to like dunking ginger nuts in hot tea. Now they call that bullying”.

    I do love a Jaffa cake, garabaldi, jammy dodgers, Walker’s shortbread, and there was a biscuit I used to get at World Market that I think may have been Spanish that was nice. Unfortunately, so much of the store-bought sweets and treats today are made with palm oil so I refrain from buying. Something about rampant illegal tropical deforestation upsets my ability to enjoy them.

  3. “Recently Invented Foods”: far from dating to the 1940s, apple crumble goes back at least as far as Mrs Beeton (1861). So I wonder what else they got wrong.

    1. I knew Carpaccio is a quite recent invention, but I’m suspicious of – Tartiflette, the name maybe new, and the use of Reblochon specifically too, but I think the dish is older, it is close to Péla, Gratin Dauphinoise and the like.
      – Spaghetti Carbonara, again the name is recent, but the dish with pasta, hard pungent cheese, bacon and raw eggs is certainly much older.
      – Nigiri Sushi (‘salmon sushi’) dates from around 1800 and was called Edomae sushi (From Edo = Tokyo). I originates in the Kanto district in Japan, and definitely not Norway.
      – Chicken Tikka Masala, as well as the Butter Chicken are indeed newish, but the base, Chicken Tikka itself, is old. Dating from the Mughal era.

  4. Jaffa cakes are legally cakes. The tax people wanted to change their classification to biscuits in 1991, which would have made them subject to Value Added Tax, as luxury items. McVitie’s appealed and won, using such criteria as whether the item goes soft or hard when it gets stale.

  5. Jerry and friends, this just came in my notifications from the NYT: Iran Shutting Down Morality Police,Official Says, After Months of Protests.

    1. If true, and not just an empty gesture, that would be a great victory. However, it would be better if the theocracy that has oppressed Iran for over 43 years now would be toppled.
      The fact that the regime felt it necessary to shut down, or at least say it would, the Morality Police is a sign that the ayatollahs are feeling the heat.
      Iran and the world would definitely be a better place without them.

  6. The calamari cartoon reminded me of Jim Hacker’s consternation:

    ‘It is alleged in Le Monde that the recent British Electronic systems contract with Qumran was won by bribery. It is said in Paris that this is the latest in a long line of scandals, of which Lockheed and Northrop … are two of the most famous examples, revealing a hideous web of corruption woven by Western industrial countries and third world governments that forms a blot on our modern civilization.’

    To which Bernard responds with ‘Webs do not form blots, Minister. Spiders don’t have ink. Only cuttlefish.’


  7. The most striking news of the day might be an offhand comment by the attorney general of Iran that the morality police were being “shut down”: . Lest there be any concern about unemployment among the morality police, surely they could find work here in the USA. Academic administrations could assign them the tasks of promoting DEI virtue and preventing anti-DEI vice in teaching, research, thought, expression, and manner of dress.

  8. I’m happy Messi got a score—the greatest soccer player of all time.

    Gary Lineker (ten goals in World Cup Finals), who played against him, claims Maradona is the greatest ever. I’d probably concur, but Pele is up there too.

    As for the foods, I knew all the British ones are pretty recent, except apple crumble that I thought was much older.

    1. Speaking of Lineker and Maradona, have you seen the interview in which Maradona said that his handball was just being cunning and cheeky but not cheating? I enjoyed that. And then about his other goal, he said that it had been possible because the English players are much more noble, much more honest (ouch!) compared to Brazilians, Urguayans, and Italians. Double ouch!

      My favourite handball is Thierry Henry’s basketball move to keep Ireland out of the WC. The poor Irish were pretty cut up about it.

      1. On the Match of the Day top ten goals in the World Cup, in which Maradona’s other goal featured, Lineker said it was the only time he ever felt like applauding a goal. The pitch was in really bad condition and the turf was moving around on the base.

        He also said that the goal should have been disallowed because Glen Hoddle was hacked down by a two footed challenge just before (they showed the tackle, it was really bad). Also Maradona passed Terry Butcher (I think it was) during his run. Butcher would have tackled him but he was already on a yellow.

  9. I’d be interested to know just what glass and where the woman was killed by.

    You may not have imagined that someone could be killed by glass aboard ship, but maybe Viking should have.

    The lawyers will sort it all out.

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