Sunday: Hili dialogue

December 18, 2022 • 6:45 am

It is the Sabbath for cats who aren’t Jewish: Sunday, December 18, 2022: National “I Love Honey” Day. And indeed I do:

The year she took over Dorothy’s brood as well as her own:

And it’s World Cup Final Day! At 9 a.m. Chicago time, France and Argentina play for all the marbles.

Google has a Doodle marking the day (click on screenshot):

FiveThirtyEight calls it a squeaker, but I’ll be rooting for Messi & Company:

It’s also National Ham Salad Day, Bake Cookies Day, National Roast Suckling Pig Day, Arabic Language DayInternational Migrants Day, and National Day in Qatar, which happens to coincide with the World Cup final. I wonder if they planned it that way?

And of course it’s one week until the beginning of Coynezaa, which runs from Christmas through my birthday (Dec. 30). This year most of Coynezaa will be spent in Poland with my surrogate parents, Hili, and the two new cats—Szaron and Baby Kulka—whom I haven’t met. Cherry pie on my birthday!

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the December 18 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*If Edward Kelly is convicted for his part in the January 6 insurrection, we’re going to see what may be the rioters’ first life sentence.

A Tennessee man already awaiting trial for assaulting a police officer during the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol was charged again Friday with plotting to kill the federal agents who investigated him and planning to attack the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Knoxville, Tenn., field office.

The plan by Edward Kelley, 33 years old, was foiled this past week when a witness gave police an envelope containing what appeared to be a hit list bearing the names of 37 people involved in the investigation into Mr. Kelley’s alleged role in the Capitol assault, federal prosecutors wrote in newly unsealed court records.

The witness then cooperated with investigators, secretly recording phone calls with Mr. Kelley and another man, Austin Carter, 26, as they discussed plans to “take out” the agents at their Knoxville office, the records say.

“You don’t have time to train or coordinate, but every hit has to hurt, every hit has to hurt,” Mr. Kelley said in the calls, according to the documents charging him and Mr. Carter with conspiracy, retaliating against a federal officer, interstate communication of a threat and solicitation to commit a crime of violence.

. . .The witness, an acquaintance, told the FBI in an interview that Mr. Carter had given him the envelope on behalf of Mr. Kelley, telling him to memorize it and “burn it when you’re done,” the court papers say. The witness told investigators Mr. Kelley had mentioned crafting the list earlier this month and asked him to “reach out to your cop buddies and see what information you can collect” on the targets.

On Wednesday, the witness recorded Mr. Kelley asking if he could stash some “weapons and ammo” at his house over the Christmas holiday, the papers said. In a later call, Mr. Kelley told the witness that if he didn’t hear from him within two days, it meant authorities were looking to arrest him and that the witness should recruit a group of people to attack the FBI’s Knoxville office.

Unless I’m wrong, “take out” means “kill”, and unless I’m wrong twice, one can be sent away for life for plotting to murder someone. We shall see.

*Croatia won the third-place playoff at the World Cup, beating gutsy Morocco by one goal:

Croatia held on to its 2-1 lead in a tense, scoreless second half, defeating Morocco 2-1 to claim a third-place finish at the 2022 World Cup.

Both teams showed serious effort in a consolation match that hasn’t always seen peak competition at previous tournaments.

Morocco finishes its history-making run in fourth place — but the team still made it far deeper in the tournament than most analysts anticipated.

And it’s another strong showing for Croatia, the eternal underdog, which can now count consecutive World Cups in the final four

The highlights:

*Nicholas Kristof at the NYT reports yet more malfeasance on the part of the Iranian regime: the rape and murder of arrested women protestors, often in their teens.

One gauge of the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime is that there are credible reports that it is enforcing its supposedly strict moral code by arresting women and girls accused of advocating immodesty, and then sexually assaulting them.

In a searing report about the rape of protesters by security forces, CNN recounted how a 20-year-old woman was arrested for supposedly leading protests and later was brought by the police to a hospital in Karaj, shaking violently, head shaven, her rectum hemorrhaging. The woman is now back in prison.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have independently documented multiple cases of sexual assault. Hadi Ghaemi of the Center for Human Rights in Iran, a watchdog organization in New York, told me of a 14-year-old girl from a poor neighborhood in Tehran who protested by taking off her head scarf at school.

The girl, Masooumeh, was identified by school cameras and detained; soon afterward, she was taken to the hospital to be treated for severe vaginal tears. The girl died and her mother, after initially saying she wanted to go public, has disappeared.

Accounts of sexual violence are difficult to verify because of the victims’ feelings of shame and fear, and CNN reported that the authorities sometimes film assaults to blackmail protesters into silence. What’s absolutely clear is that protesters keep turning up dead.

Just like Mahsa Amini, whose death in the hands of the morality police, supposedly of a heart attack, kicked off these national protests.

As Kristof notes, these protests don’t get the attention they deserve: the news is suppressed and Americans don’t realize that most Iranians like America. It’s the regime who doesn’t.

In 1978, as Khomeini’s revolution gathered steam, The Times quoted an Iranian lawyer with prescient misgivings: “I hope we don’t climb out of a ditch,” he said, “only to fall into a well.”

More than four decades later, Iranians are desperately trying to pull themselves out of that well, led by schoolgirls who persevere despite the threat of arrests, torture and execution. They understand that gross immorality lies not in a girl’s uncovered hair but in the government that rapes her for it, and they should receive far more international support.

Amen, brothers and sisters.

*And while we’re speaking of Iran and its hatred of protestors, get a load of this story. They’ve arrested, on paper-thin charges, one of the country’s most famous actresses, and a star of the 2016 move “The Salesman” that won Best Foreign Film at the Oscars:

Iranian authorities arrested one of the country’s most renowned actresses Saturday on charges of spreading falsehoods about nationwide protests that grip the country, state media said.

The report by IRNA said Taraneh Alidoosti, star of the Oscar-winning movie “The Salesman,” was detained a week after she made a post on Instagram expressing solidarity with the first man recently executed for crimes allegedly committed during the protests.

The announcement is the latest in a series of celebrity arrests, that have included footballers, actors and influencers, in response to their open display of support for anti-government demonstrations now in their third month

According to the report published on the state media’s official Telegram channel, Alidoosti was arrested because she did not provide ”any documents in line with her claims.″

WHAT? No evidence for supporting a protestor. What stinking evidence does she need? She expressed her opinion. Let’s hope they don’t rape and kill her, too.

. . . In her post, the 38-year-old actress said: ″His name was Mohsen Shekari. Every international organization who is watching this bloodshed and not taking action, is a disgrace to humanity.”

Shekari was executed Dec. 9 after being charged by an Iranian court with blocking a street in Tehran and attacking a member of the country’s security forces with a machete.

I’m still puzzled about what evidence they expect her to adduce for her statement.

Taraneh Alidoosti. AP Photo/Joel Ryan, File

*I don’t care much about the British royals (or any royals), but I do so love it when they transgress, squabble, and embarrass themselves. This appears to be what’s going on in the new Netflix series designed to burnish the images of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (aka the Duchess of Sussex), and bring them more wealth and fame in their new American homeland.

 The world knew them as the brothers who walked together behind the coffin of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, during her funeral procession in 1997 — two young princes with a bond deepened by grief, the divorce of their parents and a life lived under the camera’s unblinking eye.

Twenty-five years later, Prince Harry said, “It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me, and my father say things that simply weren’t true, and my grandmother quietly sit there and sort of take it all in.”

Harry’s comment, in the latest installment of “Harry & Meghan,” the popular six-part Netflix documentary, refers to a stormy meeting, convened by Queen Elizabeth II in early 2020, to hash out the terms by which Harry and his wife, Meghan, would withdraw from royal duties. His brother, William, and father, Charles, were on hand at the queen’s country estate, Sandringham, but Meghan had been left out.

It was the most raw, personal claim made by Harry about how his relationship with William had broken down after his marriage to Meghan Markle, a biracial American-born actress, in 2018. And it was only one of several incendiary allegations about William’s role in the three episodes released on Thursday. The litany of grievances — some petty, some profound — seemed all but certain to worsen a sibling feud that has long been a sad subtext of the Harry-and-Meghan soap opera.

. . . Critics in Britain and the United States have panned “Harry & Meghan” as vacuous, self-aggrandizing and narcissistic, but it’s clear that viewers are lapping it up. The first three episodes had the best debut of a Netflix documentary in history, generating 81.55 million hours of viewing in its first four days, the service said on Tuesday. It ranked No. 1 among Netflix releases in Britain.

. . . Some royal watchers speculated that Harry would explore his troubled relationship with his father in a new memoir, scheduled to publish next month. But after the Oprah Winfrey interview and six hours of “Harry & Meghan,” it was difficult to imagine what bombshells were left to be lobbed.

I have no dog in this fight, but I do love a good dogfight when it involves the royals. I’d be more than pleased if Britain got rid of an archaic institution that is even defended by some Brits who have neurons.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili philosophizes:

Hili: Looking at the world I have an impression that everything is changing constantly.
A: Because it is so.
Hili: But is it right?

In Polish:
Hili: Patrząc na świat mam wrażenie, że ciągle wszystko się zmienia.
Ja: Bo tak jest.
Hili: Ale czy to jest słuszne?

And Paulina’s photo of Baby Kulka:


Frits sends us a toot from Mastodon:

From Merilee we have snow cats!:

A New Yorker cartoon sent by Jean; the artist is Kendra Allenby:

From Masih, another protestor arrested in Iran:

From Pamela. If the King can do this, he can’t be all bad!

From Luana: Elsevier, the notorious gouging publisher, is on a diversity kick:

From Rich, who says, “The backlash has begun again for the new Avatar movie”:

From Malcolm: the 21st century’s way of presenting menus:

From the Auschwitz Museum, two children gassed upon arrival:

Tweets from Matthew. Poor Ms. Beaver!

A World Cup competition for the Best Word. Matthew says, “This started off as a 1-tweet joke at the beginning of the year, with around 4000 words. We are getting to the end. I guess Bollocks will get to the final.”

I may have posted this sweet story before, but if so, and you missed it, you get to see it again. All ends well in DodoLand:

21 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. After the past almost three years of social isolation, I am very glad that you will have the week of Coynezaa with your surrogate family in Poland in person. Real human and feline contact! How long will it take to establish a rapport with the new kitties; will the Princess remember you? Have a great trip.

  2. I am Dutch and I go for ‘smithereens’ and ‘discombobulated’ in the left hand side of the draw and for ‘codswallop’ and ‘balderdash’ in the right hand side.
    It’s either discombobulated or balderdash for the crown.

  3. The Harry and Meghan Netflix series is being criticised for seriously misleading editing:

    A photograph used in the documentary’s trailer, purportedly showing how the couple were hounded by the press, later transpired to have been taken at a Harry Potter film premiere five years before the couple met.

    The trailer also included footage that appeared to show photographers scrambling for a shot of the Duke and Duchess as they left a radio station studio in 2018, but in reality depicted paparazzi chasing Katie Price, a former glamour model, outside a court where she had been sentenced for drink driving.

    The documentary itself contained a recording of a speech by Queen Elizabeth II, delivered on her 21st birthday in South Africa, that had been edited in an apparent attempt to emphasise a quote about her love of the British Empire.

    Royal sources complained that viewers learning about the late Queen and the Commonwealth for the first time from the documentary would be presented with an “appalling and factually inaccurate” account.

  4. I’m disappointed that “cockwomble” didn’t appear in the World Cup of Words. It may be a relative newcomer, but it has great potential.

  5. Horrible story about girls being abused in Iran. Something needs to be done, but what?

    Please take lots of pictures of Baby Kulka. That is one photogenic cat!

    1. Yes, “horrible” is the operative term. I’m not sure the theocracy in Iran will be overthrown, they’ll rather rape, torture and kill a million than let Allah’s rule go.
      Religion poisons everything indeed.

  6. International Migrants Day and National Day in Qatar…will they be honoring all the dead migrant workers who suffered to build their stadia? Not that we even know how many died. 400-500 says Qatar, which is unbelievably outrageous, while others say 1,200 or even 6,500.

    1. will they be honoring all the dead migrant workers who suffered to build their stadia?

      Of course not.
      Apart from the recent fuss and palaver over the last few weeks of football, they’ll completely shrug this off. Treating migrant workers like this has be absolute standard operating practice in Gulf States for 30-odd years that I’ve seen, and for generations according to people I’ve known working in the area for, well, generations.
      They will ignore the complaints of the West. They aren’t interested.
      When Qatar brought the competition, did anyone for one second believe that they would change the behaviour that they’ve been entirely comfortable with since they got oil wealth?

  7. I wonder if Edward Kelly is going to tearfully proclaim that this is not who he really is at his sentencing hearing like many of the other January 6 seditionists.

  8. And here I thought is was just my inkjet printer that acted like this.

    The only redeeming grace is that ink is a lot cheaper with the Epson Ecojet series cause I sure go through a lot of it on head cleaning.

  9. It’s funny that the new Avatar movie is being panned a colonizing. The first one was a veritable ode to the Noble Savage. Lo, the poor Indian, was very much present.

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