Monday: Hili dialogue

February 27, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to the top o’ the week: Monday, February 27, 2023, and National Strawberry Day (a bit early, I’d say).  I will celebrate by having these preserves (one of James Bond’s favorites) on toast at breakfast. They’re not cheap at Amazon, but to my way of thinking they’re the world’s best jam/preserves. Click on the photo to order. They’re grown on the Wilkin& Sons estate, made from special tiny strawberries, and picked by hand. Be sure you get the “Little Scarlet” strawberry conserve, not the regular strawberry preserves: $13.45 and worth every penny

It’s also National Kahluha Day, National Protein Day, International Polar Bear DayMarathi Language Day in Maharashtra, India, and World NGO Day.

Here’s an a mother polar bear and her two aorable cubs just emerging from the den and encountering snow:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the February 27 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Over the past weekend the Russians went after Ukraine like gangbusters, blasting the eastern and southern regions of the country with artillery, and of course killing more civilians. Although I still worry that Ukraine will lose this war, I also worry about whether any of it will be left if that happens, and whether anyone will face prosecution for war crimes (not likely):

Russia pounded the front line in Ukraine’s south and east with artillery strikes, Ukrainian military authorities said on Sunday, as Moscow bombarded the Kherson region and pushed to break through Kyiv’s last remaining defenses around the city of Bakhmut.

The strikes came as President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia suggested in an interview broadcast on Sunday that his country faced a long-term conflict with Western nations, which have pledged further military aid to Ukraine. Moscow’s latest attacks killed three civilians in the eastern Donetsk region, where Bakhmut is, and two others in Kherson, Ukrainian officials said.

Russia “keeps attacking the positions of Ukrainian troops” around Bakhmut, the Ukrainian military’s General Staff said on Sunday in its daily update. But it denied a claim made by Russia’s Wagner mercenary group that the village of Yahidne, northwest of the city, had fallen into Russian hands. Fighting flared in seven villages near Bakhmut on Sunday, a spokesman for Ukraine’s eastern group of forces, Serhiy Cherevaty, said in a television interview, adding that there had been 14 separate clashes on that section of the front line alone.

Bakhmut has for months been the focus of a grinding Russian campaign along the roughly 140-mile eastern front. Capturing Bakhmut would constitute Russia’s biggest battlefield victory in months, and the city is seen as key to seizing the entire Donbas area of eastern Ukraine, as Mr. Putin has ordered. Russian forces, including newly mobilized recruits and Wagner mercenaries, have taken a series of towns and villages around Bakhmut in recent weeks, as they seek to encircle Ukraine’s fighters there.

In the small hours of the night, as I lie awake with my sporadic insomnia, among the dark thoughts that plague me is the thought that we’re at the beginning of World War III. I tell myself it can’t happen, as any country with nukes would commit suicide if it used it: that’s “mutually assured destruction.” But if it comes, it will come in a completely unpredictable way

*On Tuesday the Supreme Court hears arguments from six Republican states challenging Biden’s plan to forgive $400 billion in student loan debts. Increasingly, states are challenging Presidential dictates as a way to curb the power of the executive branch, and the judiciary will decide if that’s kosher.

The conflict between the executive and the judiciary that has been growing in recent years will be on view when the court hears arguments over the Biden administration’s roughly $400 billion plan to forgive federal student debt for tens of millions of borrowers. Two cases before the court give the justices an opportunity to set strict limits over the president’s ability to implement policies without explicit authorization from Congress.

The move would limit President Biden’s ambitions at a moment when he faces few prospects for legislative breakthroughs.

Presidents have tested the bounds of their executive authority for decades, leveraging the power of the White House to put in place sweeping economic and social changes.

In recent years, both Republican and Democratic presidents have relied more heavily on the authority to circumvent congressional gridlock. George W. Bush used executive actions to expand government surveillance, and Barack Obama and Donald Trump issued directives meant to reshape the country’s immigration system.

President Biden has issued economically significant regulations at a near-record pace, according to federal data compiled by the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University. Aides expect him to rely more heavily on executive actions now that Republicans control the House of Representatives.

I do think this needs to be tested. Biden is, in my view, circumventing the legislature by effectively making laws. Granted, his motivations are often good and he’s faced with a deadlocked Congress, but I’ve often wondered about the separation of powers. I have no idea how the court will rule on this one. I’d ask reader to weigh in below? My gut feeling is that they will rule in favor of the states, but that’s just a feeling.

*But, as soon as I read the article above, I found an AP article in which Clarence Thomas was beefing about now onerous his student loans has become, and he’s arguably the most conservative of the Supreme Court Justices.

The Supreme Court won’t have far to look if it wants a personal take on the “crushing weight” of student debt that underlies the Biden administration’s college loan forgiveness plan.

Justice Clarence Thomas was in his mid-40s and in his third year on the nation’s highest court when he paid off the last of his debt from his time at Yale Law School.

Thomas, the court’s longest-serving justice and staunchest conservative, has been skeptical of other Biden administration initiatives. And when the Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday involving President Joe Biden’s debt relief plan that would wipe away up to $20,000 in outstanding student loans, Thomas is not likely to be a vote in the administration’s favor.

But the justices’ own experiences can be relevant in how they approach a case, and alone among them, Thomas has written about the role student loans played in his financial struggles.

A fellow law school student even suggested Thomas declare bankruptcy after graduating “to get out from under the crushing weight of all my student loans,” the justice wrote in his best-selling 2007 memoir, “My Grandfather’s Son.” He rejected the idea.

It’s not clear that any of the other justices borrowed money to attend college or law school or have done so for their children’s educations. Some justices grew up in relative wealth. Others reported they had scholarships to pay their way to some of the country’s most expensive private institutions.

The article notes that seven of the Justices, including Amy Coney Barrett (seven kids!) have made financial investments to protect their kids from having to borrow money for college. Will those Justices be sympathetic to Biden’s plan to relive other peoples’ “crushing weight”, or will they judge this case solely on whether the administration has the right to act as a legislature?

*A desperation column by Ross Douthat in the NYT tells us “Why you can’t predict the future of religion.” I can! It’s dying. Why is Douthat, who of course is a believere, seem so optimistic. Because of the giant, persistent prayerfest in Kentucky:

The specific reason is that a Christian college in rural Kentucky, Asbury University, has just experienced an old-school revival — a multiweek outpouring that has kept students praying and singing in the school chapel from morning to night, drawn ten of thousands of pilgrims from around the country, captured the imagination of the internet and even drawn the attention of The New York Times.

The general reason is that whatever the Asbury Revival’s long-term impact, the history of Finney and Jefferson is a reminder that religious history is shaped as much by sudden irruptions as long trajectories, as much by the mystical and personal as by the institutional and sociological.

He then gives us pretty lame reasons why he’s a Christian, and then punts on the evidence. He don’t need no stinking evidence for his deep-seated belief:

in the causal chain of history I’m a Christian because two thousand years ago a motley group of provincials in Roman Palestine believed they’d seen their teacher heal the sick and raise the dead and then rise transfigured from the grave — and then because, two millenniums later, as a child in suburban Connecticut, I watched my own parents fall to the floor and speak in tongues.

Whether these experiences correspond to ultimate reality will not be argued here. My points are about observation and expectation.

Glossolalia made him a Christian? Isn’t it odd that he says he’s not going by evidence but then pronounces that things that were supposed to happen two millennia ago make him a believer! What an strange man!

Finally, he punts again, ignoring the fact that the long-term trend in America is always towards secularism, with rare eruptions of religion that are just blips.

If you’re trying to discern what a post-Christian spirituality might become, then what post-Christian seekers are experiencing and what (or whom) they claim to be encountering matters as much as any specific religious label they might claim.

And if you’re imagining a renewal for American Christianity, all the best laid plans — the pastoral strategies, theological debates and long-term trendlines — may matter less than something happening in some obscure place or to some obscure individual, in whose visions an entirely unexpected future might be taking shape.

I invite you to look at the last link for his take on how America might be religious but in a “spiritual sense.” And in the end he prays for a tumor of religion to grow somewhere and then metastasize all over America. It’s a dog’s breakfast.

*First world problem department: The WSJ reports that drinker of black coffee (I’m not one) are a dying breed, seething with frustration as they stand in line at Starbucks waiting for people to have their multi-customized lattes. Sometimes a request for a simple cuppa joe meets with puzzlement:

Alex Wicker is used to odd looks from baristas when he stops by his local coffee shop. His order is unusual: black coffee.

“Asking for just ‘coffee’ with no added context, without going through a round of 20 questions with the server, has become impossible at this point,” said Alex Wicker, a 23-year-old student from Shelbyville, Ind.

In a nation awash in Pistachio Cream Cold Brew and Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso with Chestnut Praline Syrup, black-coffee drinkers like Mr. Wicker are becoming a rare breed.

What lovers of straight black consider simple, easy-to-pour orders can wind up stuck behind a jam of customized, multipump concoctions, they said. Sometimes their pristine black joe is lightened with sugar or cream anyway. Some baristas seem bewildered by the concept of coffee taken plain.

 . . . . Mr. Wicker said his purist take on coffee makes him feel like an outcast. “I don’t know a single person within my age range that enjoys drinking black coffee,” he said.

Hassles over getting black coffee aren’t unique to Starbucks, which Mr. Wicker patronizes, but afflict many chains offering complicated, customizable brews, according to black-coffee enthusiasts.

Here’s a man after my own heart, except that HE STILL GOES TO STARBUCKS:

Bashar Muslih, a 27-year-old systems engineer, said he waited 30 minutes last month at the Grass Valley, Calif., Starbucks for his black coffee. He said his 10-second pour was held up by orders taking far longer.

“When you’re waiting at Starbucks for your black coffee but the person before you ordered venti ice crisscross apple sauce double shot check engine oat milk diet coke macchiato with light triangle ice cubes,” he vented on Twitter. Mr. Muslih said he still goes to Starbucks.

The only time I’ll patronize that overpriced chain is if I’m stuck in an airport early in the morning. Then I’ll get a latte, but just a regular one, and I ask for “large”, never “venti.” I will not pretend to be Italian. According to Coyne’s Fifth Law, all nonalcoholic beverages turn into a liquid confection, and that is what’s happening at Starbucks.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is being watchful:

Hili: The postman is coming.
A: I understand your surprise. There were times when the post came daily.
In Polish:
Hili: Listonosz idzie.
Ja: Rozumiem twoje zdziwienie, dawniej poczta przychodziła codziennie.


From Merilee: a cat cartoon by Dan Piraro:

From America’s Cultural Decline into Idiocy:

And a photo I took of Honey the Duck, just because:

From Masih. The Iranian government is poisoning school girls! This is a regime we want to negotiatewith?

From Dom: Never trust a tweet if it looks at all dubious. For example:

From Simon. Sound ON! Of course it’s a Siamese!

From Malcolm, a girl who’s physically but not musically disabled. As the guy says at the end “this is impossible.” But it isn’t.

From the Auschwitz Memorial: four members of a family gassed upon arrival:

Tweets from Matthew. He’s not so keen on longhaired cats since Ollie had his “accident”. But what a lovely cat!

A great murmuration. The “bird of prey” formation is 22 seconds in:

Matthew’s comment: “Always the scapegoats. . ”

50 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1801 – Pursuant to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, Washington, D.C. is placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress. [But DC still has taxation without representation, as I understand it?]

    1812 – Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

    1900 – The British Labour Party is founded.

    1922 – A challenge to the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, allowing women the right to vote, is rebuffed by the Supreme Court of the United States in Leser v. Garnett.

    1933 – Reichstag fire: Germany’s parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, is set on fire; Marinus van der Lubbe, a young Dutch Communist claims responsibility.

    1940 – Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14. [There are probably doubts about how accurate this date is…]

    1943 – The Holocaust: In Berlin, the Gestapo arrest 1,800 Jewish men with German wives, leading to the Rosenstrasse protest.

    1951 – The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.

    1973 – The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee in protest of the federal government.

    1991 – Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that “Kuwait is liberated”. [A little more accurate than Dubya’s “Mission Accomplished” statement …]

    2004 – Shoko Asahara, the leader of the Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo, is sentenced to death for masterminding the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack.

    2015 – Russian politician Boris Nemtsov is assassinated in Moscow while out walking with his girlfriend.

    1807 – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet and educator (d. 1882).

    1847 – Ellen Terry, English actress (d. 1928).

    1869 – Alice Hamilton, American physician and academic (d. 1970).[A leading expert in the field of occupational health and a pioneer in the field of industrial toxicology, in 1919, she became the first woman appointed to the faculty of Harvard University.]

    1902 – John Steinbeck, American journalist and author, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968).

    1927 – Peter Whittle, English-New Zealand mathematician and theorist (d. 2021). [Worked in the fields of stochastic nets, optimal control, time series analysis, stochastic optimisation and stochastic dynamics.]

    1932 – Dame Elizabeth Taylor, English-American actress and humanitarian (d. 2011).

    1934 – Ralph Nader, American lawyer, politician, and activist.

    1936 – Sonia Johnson, American feminist activist and author. [With Nader, above, that’s two unlikely presidential candidates born on the same day.]

    1941 – Paddy Ashdown, British soldier and politician (d. 2018). [ “Paddy Pantsdown” as he was named by the tabloid press.]

    1951 – Steve Harley, English singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    1954 – Neal Schon, American rock guitarist and singer-songwriter.

    1957 – Timothy Spall, English actor.

    1967 – Jony Ive, English industrial designer, former chief design officer of Apple.

    Got stamped “Return to Sender”:
    1936 – Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist and physician, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1849).

    1993 – Lillian Gish, American actress (b. 1893).

    2002 – Spike Milligan, Irish soldier, actor, comedian, and author (b. 1918). [As it says on his headstone, “Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite“, which translates from Gaelic as “I told you I was ill”.]

    2006 – Linda Smith, English comedian and author (b. 1958). [Appeared regularly on Radio 4 panel games, and was voted “Wittiest Living Person” by listeners in 2002. From 2004 to 2006 she was head of the British Humanist Association: “If God wanted us to believe in him, he’d exist”.]

    2015 – Leonard Nimoy, American actor (b. 1931).

    1. 1940 – Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14. [There are probably doubts about how accurate this date is…]

      I’d have thought it would be too recent to date accurately. Have you thought of dendrochronology?

      1. Aw, you have no faith, Ken. Every year the Canadian Post Office accepts mail addressed to Santa Claus. They ask only that the little mendicants include the proper postal code: H0H 0H0 so the automatic sorting machines can detect the letters.

        (I don’t know if they require a stamp. It’s been a while since I wrote a letter to Mr. Claus.)

  2. I agree that we have to be careful about assuming that the decline of religion is necessarily a permanent thing. The end of the 18th Century was a relatively irreligious time, but there was a swing back to religiosity and spiritualism. Ideas, good and bad, persist, even in areas where governments have tried to eradicate them and their methods of transmission, including people. Speaking of which, we thought we’d finished Communism, but it appears to be back.

  3. I also avoid Starbucks, mainly because its lattes do not taste like they have any coffee in them.

    In the UK, if you want a black coffee in a coffee shop, the thing to ask for seems to be a “black americano” which is an espresso diluted with hot water to get a reasonable volume. However, if you order a black americano, be prepared to answer the question “do you want any milk in that?”

    1. Is that what an Americano is? I always wondered… to me that is just coffee. I have it naked (milkless!) if I drink proper coffee, but with instant I have cow juice.

      1. My understanding is that Americano arose during the Italy campaign in WW2. US troops found espresso too strong, so they asked for hot water to be added.

  4. “Plant based mashed potatoes” is utterly idiotic but it means there is no conventional butter or sour cream.

    Lots of things are produced with animal … materials … in a non obvious way : pure white sugar is refined with, if I have this correct, bone meal (I’ll have to look that up again…)..

    Ah – “bone char”:

    But indeed, it is like a stamp on ketchup that reads “a fat free food!”


      1. They’ll probably need to stay away from any major brand sugars. The typical process in the sugar industry is to refine all of the sugar to white sugar, and then to make the various grades and types of brown sugars they add certain amounts of the extracted molasses back to the refined white sugar. Milk is the same. First all the fat is removed, then to make all of the various grades they add fat back to the skim milk.

      1. This reminds me of a consumer protection tv program in the UK some years ago that was doing a feature on chemical additives in food. The presenter angrily waved a jar of pickles and announced “This contains something called acetic acid – whatever that is!”.

    1. Is it really idiotic? I mean, it’s pretty obvious to me that “Plant Based” is an Asda brand name, and this is merely one product in the range. A two second Google search reveals that there are other products in the range that would not so obviously be plant based.

  5. About that big Christian revival in Kentucky: Apparently someone in the throng had measles (anti-vacc being common in that population). And so now a lot of people who attended could be at risk, as is everyone that they come in contact with. Infants. The elderly. I don’t know how its playing out, though.
    Of course PZ described this with unreserved glee, being the classy sort that he is.

    1. Elderly people are all immune to measles, Mark, from natural infection in their childhoods. Babies have passive immunity from their immunized mothers until they get their own vaccination.

      The people at real risk are those who cannot have MMR because it is a live-virus vaccine and are particularly vulnerable to measles. They will want to stay away from unvaccinated revivalists, a good practice anyway. Certainly if the state does not exclude the unvaccinated from school during measles outbreaks, such vulnerable children should be kept home. There may of course be secondary cases among unvaccinated healthy children who have not already had natural measles. Severe complications of measles are rare individually in healthy children but in the large biennial epidemics of yesteryear, that would add up to a lot of illness.

      Mumps outbreaks have occurred under similar circumstances to this even in highly vaccinated communities, see the Bergen County outbreak. But yes, a case of measles usually means low rates of vaccination.

  6. Strawberry preserves are my favorite. I have enjoyed the tiptree strawberry preserves since first sampling them on a visit to London around the mid 1980’s. I did not know of the little scarlet option until just an hour ago and will try that. Thanks. I also enjoy the Bonne Maman brand. Though I must say that as I approach 75 years old this week, my ability to discern taste nuances may have faded. I really should buy several brands of strawberry preserves and blind taste test them on toast sometime. Hmmmm…it appears that maybe I have too much time on my hands in retirement.

  7. And I went to a Starbucks once, and ordered a coffee, just coffee. She had to go “prepare” it. Never again.

    Is there any sense of what the Iranian girls are being gassed with? (Words fail.)

    And according to Reporting from Ukraine 2/26, the Russian offensive is supposed to stall now, since the expected rainy season has started, which I gather lasts into April. Will all of this end when Putin dies?

  8. I’ve been drinking my coffee black since grad school. I had a crappy fridge, which my landlord refused to replace, so my cream always spoiled within days of purchasing. So I gave it up. I stopped adding sugar a couple years later, for health reasons. I brew my own coffee because it honestly takes less time and costs less than going to Starbucks or Dunkin every day.

  9. I have straight black at home. But outside, it is not easy to find places whose straight black I like. Instead, I get something else.

    I had not heard anyone speak in tongues so I just looked one up on youtube. Not bad. I’ve heard people speak of spirituality and religion and they made as much sense.

    Friends of mine with a thing for the spiritual yearn to believe. This they reveal after long and probing discussions. Evidence is neither here nor there. For them, religion satisfies an important need. A need that’s got nothing to do with what’s true about the world. Of course, I can’t talk about other religious people.

  10. “I do think this needs to be tested. Biden is, in my view, circumventing the legislature by effectively making laws.”

    I agree, and I further agree that the Supreme Court must take on the broader issue of executive power. We have been steadily increasing executive power by simply allowing it to go unchecked for so many decades, and its now grown to Frankensteinian proportions — a monster we never foresaw, cannot control, and which must be reined in before it causes irreversible damage to our institutions and their proper functions.

    1. It seems to me a little ironic to say that executive power can not be controlled when the context of the discussion is how the Judiciary is going to rule on the limits of Executive power.

      And shouldn’t the Executive-in-Chief rightly have broad powers over the policies of the institutions of the Executive branch?

  11. I drink my coffee black. At home, I make it daily with 1/3 caffeinated and 2/3 decaffeinated beans, ground to (my) order—wonderful whole bean coffee that I buy in bulk.

    Starbucks is where one goes for dessert, not for coffee. I *have* gone there on occasion when out and about. Yes, after the long dessert line has passed, I order my decaffeinated black coffee. The barista indeed looks bewildered, and she inevitably tells me that they don’t have decaffeinated drip coffee, but that she can do a “pour over.” Since that’s all I can get, I succumb to the pour over. Rather than simply pour some decaffeinated black coffee into a paper cup, she makes a “short” espresso, pours it into the aforementioned paper cup, and then fills the cup the rest of the way with hot water. It’s a pour over! It’s OK, but it’s a bit thin compared to properly prepared drip coffee. It seems that the baristas at Starbucks simply do not know how to make ordinary black coffee. If it doesn’t involve an espresso machine, it doesn’t happen.

  12. Huh, I’ve never had any trouble ordering a black drip coffee at Starbucks and getting it poured right away. The person taking my order just pours it — no need to go through the barista/dessert maker.

  13. Forgiving Student Loans is a “beyond horrible” idea for a dozen or so reasons. You can almost draw a straight line here between this and Abolish Rent.

  14. I trained myself to like black coffee back in college. I was drinking so much Coke to stay awake studying that I figured I needed a zero calorie alternative. Only took about a week to begin actually liking black coffee.

    These days, I stick with black coffee most days for the same reason, but I’ll occasionally splurge on weekends and add some Irish cream or some other flavoring. McDonald’s coffee is just fine by my standards when I buy coffee on the road, so no reason to wait in line at Starbucks for a plain, black coffee. On the few occasions when I do go to Starbucks, it’s because I want one of their coffee based dessert drinks. I mean, they do taste pretty good. They’re just more of an occasional treat than my daily dose of caffeine.

  15. Make my coffee black, my liquor neat, my chocolate dark, and my top-fermented ale cellar temperature, whatever that means in the South.

  16. A slightly shame-faced story: as a new student at UCL, I went with my new student friends to do what anyone would in the days before internet porn—we went to Soho to look at the famed sex shops. And pretty sordid and disappointing it was, but best to learn that sooner rather than later. At one crowded establishment on Greek Street (not a euphemism), a burly guy pushed in and gruffly said to the chap behind the counter “Where’s the coffee?” and got the reply “White or black?” I don’t recall what he said next, but he pushed his way through to a back door and went through it. I understood immediately what went on, and ever since “Where’s the coffee?” in a gruff voice has been a catchphrase in this household.

  17. Last year the prices went up at Starbucks, like everywhere else. When I ordered a venti I asked the barista if not only did the drink cost more but the size was smaller. She said venti meant 20, 20 ounces for the hot, 24 ounces for the cold drinks. Same size.

  18. “Although I still worry that Ukraine will lose this war,…” I’m not too much. Although Ukraine may still lose militarily, the biggest loser is Russia, that already lost strategically. from Uniting NATO to being exposed as a paper tiger. Perun elaborates it much better than I could:

  19. For anyone curious about PCC’s Bond reference, here’s a passage from chapter 11 of From Russia With Love, by Ian Fleming:

    “Breakfast was Bond’s favourite meal of the day. When he was stationed in London it was always the same. It consisted of very strong coffee, from De Bry in New Oxford Street, brewed in an American Chemex, of which he drank two large cups, black and without sugar. The single egg, in the dark blue egg cup with a gold ring round the top, was boiled for three and a third minutes.

    “It was a very fresh, speckled brown egg from French Marans hens owned by some friend of May in the country. (Bond disliked white eggs and, faddish as he was in many small things, it amused him to maintain that there was such a thing as the perfect boiled egg.) Then there were two thick slices of whole-wheat toast, a large pat of deep yellow Jersey butter and three squat glass jars containing Tiptree ‘Little Scarlet’ strawberry jam; Cooper’s Vintage Oxford marmalade and Norwegian Heather Honey from Fortnum’s. The coffee pot and the silver on the tray were Queen Anne, and the china was Minton, of the same dark blue and gold and white as the egg-cup.”

    Incidentally, Fleming’s works are new being subjected to the same censorship as Roald Dahl’s. Fleming’s biographer has spoken out about this patronizing idiocy:

  20. Together with a report on a likely upcoming, massive air attack on Ukraine, that Ukraine feels that it can handle, Reporting from Ukraine says that Belarussian activists delivered at least a crippling blow by drone to a $330M Russian A-50U surveillance jet – one of six that Putin had, so now down to five. No WaPo coverage on that yet, but Reuters and Guardian report the same.

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