Wednesday: Hili dialogue

December 28, 2022 • 6:45 am

Greetings on the last Hump Day of the year (“วันโคก” in Thai): Wednesday, December 28, 2022. It’s also the fourth day of Coynezaa, and National Chocolate Day.

Read how chocolate is made here. It starts with a tree and its seeds:

From Image Source:

It’s also Call A Friend Day, National Card Playing Day, Pledge of Allegiance Day (the Pledge was given official Congressional Sanction on this day in 1945), and the fourth of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the December 28 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Congressman-elect George Santos of New York, a Republic elected to represent parts of New York City and Long Island, finally admitted that he made up important parts of his professional history, including that he went to college, who employed him, and even denying, falsely that he was under criminal indictment. And yet, despite this, he’s going to try to take his seat!:

Ending a weeklong silence, Representative-elect George Santos admitted on Monday to a sizable list of falsehoods about his professional background, educational history and property ownership. But he said he was determined to take the oath of office on Jan. 3 and join the House majority.

. . . “My sins here are embellishing my résumé,” Mr. Santos told The New York Post in one of several interviews he gave on Monday.

Mr. Santos admitted to lying about graduating from college and making misleading claims that he worked for Citigroup or Goldman Sachs. He once said he had a family-owned real estate portfolio of 13 properties; on Monday, he admitted he was not a landlord.

Mr. Santos, the first openly gay Republican to win a House seat as a non-incumbent, also acknowledged owing thousands in unpaid rent and a yearslong marriage he had never disclosed.

“I dated women in the past. I married a woman. It’s personal stuff,” he said to The Post, adding that he was “OK with my sexuality. People change.”

The admissions by Mr. Santos added a new wrinkle to one of the more astonishing examples of an incoming congressman falsifying key biographical elements of his background — with Mr. Santos maintaining the falsehoods through two consecutive bids for Congress, the first of which he lost.

Mr. Santos acknowledged that a string of financial difficulties had left him owing thousands to landlords and creditors. But he failed to fully explain in the interviews how his fortunes reversed so significantly that, by 2022, he was able to lend $700,000 to his congressional campaign.

Mr. Santos also firmly denied committing a crime anywhere in the world, even though The Times had uncovered Brazilian court records showing that Mr. Santos had been charged with fraud as a young man after he was caught writing checks with a stolen checkbook.

“I am not a criminal here — not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world,” he told The Post. “Absolutely not. That didn’t happen.”

In the court file, Mr. Santos is identified by his full name and date of birth, as well as by the names of his mother and father. The documents show that Mr. Santos confessed to the crime and was charged, but that the case remains unresolved because authorities were later unable to locate him.

Would a Democrat try to cling to office after that? I’ll take bets on whether he’ll be seated in Congress (my bet is “nope”).

Oh, he also claimed to be a Jew but he’s not. Perhaps that’s the worst lie of all.

*Here’s Trump’s Christmas message to us all on Truth Social. Ho ho ho! As reader Ken notes:

We’ve long known this guy was unhinged, but now he’s claiming to be “Clairvoyant”? (And can you explain the quotation marks he puts around “Trump”?)

*Over at UnHerd, Ayaan Hirsi Ali has an article called “The year the West erased women”.  It is not, as you might think, a jeremiad against transsexual women, although she does question whether they should be accepted as identical in every way to biological women. Her point is that Western countries  are squabbling about dictionary definitions of women at the same time that other countries are seriously damaging biological women (and of course Muslim countries like Iran force gay males to transition to transsexual women). But she is not a transphobe, though she’ll be called one (h/t: pyers):

A word of clarification. I am immensely sympathetic to the plight of transgender people and believe they ought to have the same moral and legal rights as everyone else. To be against militant trans activists’ gender ideology is not to be transphobic. Rather, it is simply to agree, as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie succinctly put it, that “trans women are trans women”. Adichie was savaged for this and other statements evincing wrongthink, but acknowledging that trans women are distinct from women, that there are potential conflicts between their rights, and that gender ideology opens the door to abusive men masquerading as women, should not be controversial. Standing up for the rights of transgender people should not mean pretending sex does not exist altogether.

. . . Elsewhere in the world, the erosion of our understanding of what it means to be a “woman” has more immediate consequences.

Consider what has taken place in Kenya, Iran and Afghanistan in just the past two months. In Kenya, while women in America debated what we should call a person born with a cervix, FGM has taken a new and insidious form. In Iran, the female-led protests that followed the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurdish Iranian woman who was arrested for breaking mandatory dress code laws, have been met with an equally inhumane response. Reports abound of Iran’s security services raping protestors and shooting at the faces and genitals of female protesters. And in Afghanistan, the Taliban government reintroduced Sharia Law, meaning women are now barred from walking outside without a male relative and must cover up with a burqa or hijab when outside the home. Earlier this month, a woman was publicly flogged for entering a shop without a male guardian. Last week, the Taliban banned women from studying at university

Is it really a coincidence that, in the same year the West forgot what it means to be a woman, we decided it was acceptable to turn our backs on women in those countries? The above is what happens when a society stops caring what it means to be a woman; when a centuries-old fight for emancipation becomes relegated to semantics.

It’s a good thing she still has security guards!

*In another deliberate attempt to defy the Iranian regime and its oppression of women, a female chess champion is competing in an international match—without a hijab! That’s against the law, for Iranian women representing their country in international sports competitions must wear the headscarf.

An Iranian chess player has taken part in an international tournament without a hijab, according to media reports, the latest of several Iranian sportswomen to appear at competitions without one since anti-government protests began.

Iranian news outlets Khabarvarzeshi and Etemad, in reports on Monday, said Sara Khadem had competed at the FIDE World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan, without the hijab – a headscarf mandatory under Iran’s strict dress codes.

Photos posted by both outlets appeared to show her with no headscarf during the tournament. Khabarvarzeshi also posted a photo of her wearing a headscarf but without saying if it was taken at the same event.

Khadem, born in 1997 and also known as Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, is ranked 804 in the world, according to the International Chess Federation website. The website for the Dec. 25-30 event listed her as a participant in both the Rapid and Blitz competitions.

The protests mark one of the boldest challenges to Iran’s leadership since its 1979 revolution and have drawn in Iranians from all walks of life.

Women have played a prominent role, removing and in some cases burning headscarves, while protesters have taken heart from what they have seen as shows of support from both female and male Iranian athletes.

In October, Iranian climber Elnaz Rekabi competed in South Korea without a headscarf, later saying she had done so unintentionally.

In November, an Iranian archer said she did not notice her hijab falling during an awards ceremony in Tehran, after a video appeared to show her allowing the headscarf to drop in what was also widely assumed to be a show of support for protesters.

Unlike Rekabi, who said she “accidentally” forgot her hijab while climbing, Khadem has no excuse. She’s brave, and I wonder if she’ll go back to Iran, where she’ll be forced to apologize or go to jail. Here’s a photo from the Reuter story:

*It’s time for some persiflage, and that means reading the WaPo article “The 10 most bizarre celebrity apologies of 2022.” Some of them certainly deserved to be issued, none more than these two:

In a March profile of the Kardashian sisters and their mother, Kris Jenner, Kim Kardashian told “Variety,” “I have the best advice for women in business: Get your f—ing a– up and work. It seems like nobody wants to work these days.”

Predictably, receiving such a directive from a reality TV star whose parentage was her original claim to fame rubbed many people the wrong way. So in an appearance on “Good Morning America,” Kardashian, 42, apologized and said her words were “taken out of context.” “It wasn’t a blanket statement towards women, or to feel like I don’t respect the work or think that they don’t work hard,” she said. “I know that they do. It was taken out of context, but I’m really sorry if it was received that way.”


In November, some 900 fans paid for signed copies of Bob Dylan’s new book, “The Philosophy of Modern Song,” costing $600 each. In each copy was a signed letter from Jonathan Karp (chief executive of the book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster) confirming its authenticity, but when fans started to examine closely, they realized that the signatures looked exactly the same.

Dylan, 81, came clean soon afterward in a Facebook post: He had used an autopen, a device that replicates a signature, to get all the books signed. “In 2019 I had a bad case of vertigo and it continued into the pandemic years. It takes a crew of five working in close quarters with me to help enable these signing sessions, and we could not find a safe and workable way to complete what I needed to do while the virus was raging. So, during the pandemic, it was impossible to sign anything and the vertigo didn’t help. With contractual deadlines looming, the idea of using an auto-pen was suggested to me, along with the assurance that this kind of thing is done ‘all the time’ in the art and literary worlds,” he wrote. “Using a machine was an error in judgment and I want to rectify it immediately. I’m working with Simon & Schuster and my gallery partners to do just that.”

Simon & Schuster offered full refunds to all who had purchased signed copies.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s kvetching about winter again!

Hili: We have to discuss it.
A: What?
Hili: How to shorten this winter.
In Polish:
Hili: Musimy to przedyskutować.
Ja: Co takiego?
Hili: Jak skrócić tę zimę.


From David:

From Seth Andrews:

From Malcolm; a good cat video from FB. Sound up:

Over at Mastodon, it’s now official: God is not on Trump’s side:

I don’t think this tweet from Masih needs translation:

From Malcolm. What a great idea! Making steps fun to use!

A tweet from Pinkah with an amazing optical illusion:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: sterilization experiments at Auschwitz began 80 years ago today. Read about them at the link given in the tweet, and about the odious Clauberg here (he wasn’t arrested until 1955, and died two years later in jail).


Tweets from Professor Cobb, who points out that “grass” in Japanese is slang for “LOL”. The translation: “Old people in Ibaraki are grass.”

I put up this tweet before, and thought it was a fake. It is: see here and here. It’s fricking PhotoShopped! What’s more, the fraudster, Kittiya Pawlowski, used other people’s photos of snow leopards and also made FOUR fake photos.


All I can say is that this guy is fast and that Tube stops in London must be close together in some places!

And the video in the second tweet explains how it was done:

18 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

  1. Put your fingertips on the centers of the two cubes. Don’t move your fingers. The cubes plainly are moving. There is no optical illusion. They move.

      1. Correct. Not only that, if you use the pause button, you can see precisely what Dr Pinker is saying; the leading edge pixels are a different color than the very next frame. What surprises me is that my eyes really are good enough to catch that a single line of pixels is momentarily a different color. My brains made a mess of it, but my vision caught the change.

  2. The cube outlines remain still, as advertised, but zebra patterns overlaid onto each quite “fat” edge clearly do move, and induce blinking as a side effect.

    This is similar to motion perceived from sliding a striped film mask over interlaced cartoon frames to reveal, e.g. classically, a galloping horse.

  3. Alas, George Santos will be sworn in and will serve. Congressional ethics rules pertain to after a member is sworn in and there is not much Congress can do. He’s probably done some illegal fund-raising or financial stuff but a GOP-controlled House will not investigate.

    Ultimate chutzpah: ”I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background, I said I was ‘Jew-ish’.”

    1. He will be seated, for political party reasons. There has not been much about his finances, how he recently got access to money.

    2. A couple of days ago in an article about Santos, the NY Times made it a point to mention in the headline to the effect that Santos had not included in his work experience “odd” jobs he had had in his “early years.” Anyone here not had at least one “odd” job in their “early” years? What is the Times’s problem with “odd” jobs? Are “odd” jobs below the collective social status of the elite Times? Perhaps Santos should have included those “odd” jobs so that the Times could report (as is its wont from my reading/observation – anything must be self-evidently “odd” if the Times says so) that Santos was an “unlikely” candidate and/or winner.

  4. According to the Spanish newspaper “El País”, Sarasadat Khademalsharieh, her film director husband and their young child will not return to Iran. She has run into trouble before, complaining about Iran not letting its sportspeople play against Israelis, so it is definitely not safe for her to return. Sources close to the player say the family are settling in Spain, but the exact place is not being divulged for security reasons.

  5. Islam & Sharia: The women really have it tough. A comment from Hitch: “They can’t kill a virgin, but they can rape her, then she isn’t a virgin any longer, so then they can kill her.”
    It is serious in Iran and the crazies have nothing against killing their own for Sharia reasons. This insight from Hitchens gives thought to the burka situation. It seems that hair is the problem. If a woman shaves her head, is she still required to cover it? Muslim answer: “Of course, we can’t stone her if she has no hair, but we can wait until her hair grows out and then we can stone her.” Cheers. GROG

  6. It would be an interesting world if lying prevented a person from being elected to Congress. Santos is, perhaps, only the most egregious example. I don’t remember, though, that the forces of propriety made much noise when Fetterman lied throughout his about his medical condition, which may, yet, interfere with the performance of his duties. I’ll join any reform campaign that treats every liar equally.

  7. And yet, despite this, he’s going to try to take his seat!

    Dire. Very dire. I hope people like this do not undermine public confidence in the institution of government. For so long we’ve had people of integrity in office and now this nincompoop comes along. The good news is that this looks like an isolated case, and I have no reason to doubt the honesty of the honourable members of congress in general. Santos is an anomaly.

    I hope we can get through this together.

    I was going to follow the previous sentence with ‘We always have’, but I realized that, if that were true, we would have had dishonest members of congress in the past. We haven’t, so it isn’t, so I didn’t.

    Maybe Trumpers just sees things very clearly.

  8. Very cool about the keyboard steps @ the Odenplan tunnelbana stop. That was the last one before mine (S:t Eriksgatan) every morning en route to the lab @ Karolinska. There was once a trolley museum underground @ that stop, but I think it may have moved.

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