Thursday: Hili dialogue

March 2, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Thursday, March 2, 2023, and National Banana Cream Pie Day. You could eat a worse pie, but there should be lots of banana, a rich filling (not gelatinous), and tons of good meringue on top.

It’s also International Rescue Cat DayWorld Book DayNational Read Across America Day, and Texas Independence Day, celebrating the day in 1836 when The Republic of Texas seceded from Mexico.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the March 2 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*The NYT describes a revolutionary new stroke treatment called “endovascular thrombectomy”, or EVT. It’s amazing; the story starts with a man who had a stroke via a blood clot in the brain. In the hospital, experts  grabbed the clot using a catheter threaded up to his brain through his femoral artery, and then pulled it down and out through an incision in his groin. If done soon enough after the stroke, and if the right equipment and trained personnel are on hand, this can not only save your life but prevent severe damage. Here’s how revolutionary they say it is:

Stroke kills about six and a half million people around the world annually. It’s the second most common cause of death worldwide, and it consistently ranks among the top five causes of death in Canada and the United States. Beyond the raw death toll, stroke is also a leading global cause of disability — too often, it leaves behind the kinds of severe deficits that force loved ones to become full-time caregivers. Even smaller, less severe strokes are associated with the onset of dementia and many other complications.

Given that toll, it’s no exaggeration to call the EVT one of the most important medical innovations of the past decade, with the potential to save millions of lives and livelihoods. Neurointerventionalists in the United States now complete roughly 60,000 EVTs per year. (Last year, one of them appears to have been done on John Fetterman while he was a Democratic candidate for senator, which means the procedure may have helped determine control of the U.S. Senate.) But the overall number of Americans who could have benefited from an EVT is at least twice that.

And the problems:

The challenge is that this medical innovation isn’t as deployable as a new pill or device. It can’t be manufactured by the thousands, packed into shipping containers and distributed to every hospital whose administrator clicks Add to Cart. For a qualified specialist, the extraction of the clot itself can be fairly straightforward — but getting the patient to the table in time is a highly complex process, a series of steps requiring layers of training and a rethinking of the protocols that move people around within the medical system. The new “miracle treatment” is the easy part. Bringing it to the people who need it, around the world? Achieving that will be miraculous.

It’s an extremely complex procedure and needs full cooperation of the paramedics and a quick rush to the right hospital. I recommend reading the article, which is fascinating in its description of the method as well as the history and biology of strokes.

*I couldn’t resist posting about this mess because it is a right mess, and the facts aren’t clear. It involves an explosion of anger after a teacher either accidentally or purposefully removed the hijab of a Muslim student. When they found out the teacher was Jewish, a further explosion of anti-Semitism ensued.  Here are the story’s bones from the WaPo; the incident happened over a year ago but the dust is just settling:

Tamar Herman knew that a Muslim girl in her second-grade class always wore a hijab. But one day, Herman thought she saw a hoodie covering it. She asked the girl to remove it, she says. Then, depending whom you believe, the teacher either “brushed back” the fabric or “forcibly removed it.”

“That’s my hijab!” the girl cried out, she told her mom later. Her hair was briefly exposed.

Herman says she apologized and assumed the incident would blow over. She was wrong.

What could have been a mistake followed by an apology became a maelstrom, driven by the parents’ ire, the teacher’s statements and by social media after an Olympic fencer, who had made international headlines for competing in her hijab, lit into Herman.

“This is a hate crime,” one person wrote in a local Facebook group. “You have to fire the teacher,” said another.

Within days, a called for Herman to be fired; it eventually collected more than 41,000 signatures. NBC News, USA Today and the New York Times carried the story far beyond this New Jersey suburb.

The local prosecutor opened an investigation. The school district touted upcoming anti-bias training for the staff. “We are hopeful and all agree that the alleged actions of one employee should not condemn an entire community,” the superintendent said in another statement. Even the governor weighed in: “Deeply disturbed by these accusations,” Gov. Phil Murphy (D) wrote on Facebook.

The teacher, Tamar Herman, is now barred from the classroom, though is still being paid. The Muslim family settled for nearly $300,000 form the school district. And the teacher, who said it was an accident, a byproduct of trying to remove a hoodie (but why would she even try do do that?) has filed two lawsuits, one against the school for violating due process and the other a defamation suit against CAIR and (another player!) a fencer who wore a hijab. It’s hard to tell where the truth lies here, or whether Islamophobia is involved (I see no reason, though, for a teacher to remove any clothes form a student), but there’s a thread of anti-semitism too. Here’s what the girl’s mother did;

Soon, someone — Wyatt said she can’t remember who — messaged her that Herman is Jewish. On Facebook, she shared her views about this discovery:

“SHES JEWISH!” Wyatt wrote on the SOMA Justice page. “Period TRY & CHANGE THAT! Imma print 1000 SHIRTS THAT SAYS HERMAN IS JEWISH!” She repeated the same sentiment in at least four posts and comments on other posts: “I JUST FOUND OUT THE TEACHER IS JEWISHHHHHHHHHH … that’s why I believe she did it now I’m furious,” she wrote. Wyatt also noted Herman’s religion in a Facebook Live video.

Oy vey! I think this could have been settled much more amicably, but if you read the article, you can see that this whole religion issue is a powder keg, especially when it involves Muslims and Jews. If we had no religion, this wouldn’t have happened.

*In a NYT op-ed, Adam Hoffman, a senior at Princeton, beefs that “My liberal campus is pushing freethinkers to the right“. His thesis is not only are centrists moving right, but the right is getting even righter and more hardened. This he blames, at least on campus, on the rise of wokeism:

Today’s campus conservatives embrace a less moderate, complacent and institutional approach to politics. Instead of belief in the status quo, many tend toward scorched-earth politics. But these changes aren’t solely the consequence of a fractured national politics.

They’re also the result of puritanically progressive campuses that alienate conservative students from their liberal peers and college as a whole. The distrust of authority, the protest and the disobedience that have characterized the left’s activism over the past half-century or so have arrived on the right. The American universities that once served as moderating finishing schools have become breeding grounds for conservative firebrands.

. . .For those on the right, the experience is alienating.The typical American’s views on gender ideology or American history are often irrelevant to his or her day-to-day life. But for the conservative college student, life is punctuated by political checkpoints. Classes may begin with requests for “preferred pronouns” or “land acknowledgments.” A student who jokes about the wrong subject might face social punishment. All students should welcome challenges to their most cherished beliefs, but from what I’ve seen on campus, students are not invited to debate; they are expected to conform.

And those who challenge liberal pieties can face real repercussions. Because a Princeton student defended an unpopular opinion about policing in a private conversation, she was pushed out of her leadership position on a sports team. At Stanford, students who experience “harm” because of “who they are and how they show up in the world” can anonymously report classmates to the university, a policy that some faculty members say threatens free speech.

The article argues that the demonization of conservatives on campus forces them to either “shut up or fight back,” and many choose the latter, becoming right-wing firebrands. To some extent I think this is true, though Republican themselves have evolved further right, and that (e.g., the right of Trump and the Jan. 5 insurrection) isn’t the fault of Wokeism. But Wokeism certainly has energized Republicans and made centrists support some right wing policies. As Andrew Sullivan said, “We’re all on campus now.” Here’s Hoffman’s solution:

If colleges don’t want to produce a new generation of conservative firebrands, they need to pump the brakes on campus progressivism. Campuses that are more welcoming to conservatives are in universities’ own interest.

I’m not sure what he means by “putting the brakes on campus progressivism”, but it can’t involve muzzling speech, while DEI initiatives are here to stay. There are things to be done, however, like stopping the anonymous reporting of “hate incidents” and, especially, for colleges to realize that they should remain institutionall neutral on moral and ideological issues not affecting the university, and by refraining from issuing official pronouncement supporting the Left (or any position). If every college adopted the University of Chicago’s Kalven Report, this would put a big brake on “progressivism.”

*Meanwhile at Emporia State University in Kansas, the administration has decided to get rid of 7% of its staff, presumably including faculty, so it expand its DEI program (h/t Bill).

Emporia State University will now focus on diversity, equity and inclusion following the termination of more than 30 staff members.

KVOE reports that after 7% of Emporia State University’s staff received a termination notice, the school plans to focus its reinvestment energies on diversity, equity and inclusion.

ESU has planned various investment strategies to improve the area, including:

  • Increasing the number of students in the summer BRIDGE program to 60 students. This will impact first-generation, low-income students and students of color.
  • Increasing stipends for student Diversity Ambassadors
  • Realigning the Interdisciplinary Studies and Ethnic Gener and Identity Studies to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

ESU Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Nyk Robertson indicated that those investments have prompted the university to create an Intercultural Center.

In addition, the University noted that it will hire a full-time Basic Needs Coordinator to oversee the Corky’s Cupboard food pantry and expand resources for students who may be in need.

Robertson said that diversity, equity and inclusion-related positions are among the most highly sought-after jobs in the nation – with LinkedIn reporting nearly 180% growth in DEI-related jobs over the past five years.

As you see, there is no hope—except for “studies” majors, who are ready-made for DEI jobs. This used to be known as “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” Now it’s know as “the future of American universities.”

*Royal-followers take note: Harry and Meghan have been evicted from their “royal home” in the UK—at the orders of King Charles!

Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, have been asked to vacate their home in Britain, suggesting a further fraying of ties with the royal family amid preparations for the coronation of his father, King Charles III.

Frogmore Cottage, on the grounds of Windsor Castle west of London, had been intended as the couple’s main residence before they gave up royal duties and moved to Southern California. The Sun newspaper reported that Charles started the eviction process on Jan. 11, the day after the publication of Harry’s explosive memoir “Spare.”

“We can confirm The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been requested to vacate their residence at Frogmore Cottage,” a spokesperson for the couple said in statement.

Disclosures Harry made in “Spare” deepened the rift between him and his family. The book included his account of private conversations with his father, and his brother, Prince William.

After they left Britain, Harry and Meghan had said Frogmore Cottage would remain their base when they visited the U.K.

I suppose the Royal Family is good for one thing: drama.  I’m no fan of Meghan and Harry, whom I see as self-aggrandizing whiners, but of course I’m no fan of Charles either. The whole institution is superfluous and outmoded. But it does provide a continuing soap opera—at Britain’s expense.

Here’s Frogmore Cottage. Some cottage! Do three people need a residence this big?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s up to no good:

Hili: What does this cable lead to?
A: To the lamp.
Hili: May I pull it out?
A: No.
In Polish:
Hili: Do czego prowadzi ten kabel?
Ja: Do lampy.
Hili: Czy mogę go wyciągnąć?
Ja: Nie.



Here’s reader Divy’s lovely ticked cat Jango, who adheres to the Beatles’ motto, “I’ll follow the sun.” Or, to quote Christopher Smart, who wrote the best cat poem in history, “For in his morning orisons he loves the sun and the sun loves him.”

From Doc Bill:

From Cats Without Gods:

The good news is that God issued a toot from His book (the non-Bible one); the bad news is that it extols d*gs!

From Masih: an Iranian woman vehemently rejecting the hijab, more news about the poisoning of Iranian schoolgirls, and a short interview with Masih explaining it all.  Masih must be heartened by the first bit.

From President Zelensky(y) of Ukraine:

From Malcolm: Which owl is not like the others?

From Dom, an updated Tree of Life, with a bigger one in the thread (it’s here). Good for teaching or for reference:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a girl gassed at eleven:

Tweets from Matthew, the first an illusion:

Sound up to hear the crunches:

The only problem is that the rhino has to keep lifting its nose out of the water:

18 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1657 – The Great Fire of Meireki begins in Edo (now Tokyo), Japan, causing more than 100,000 deaths before it exhausts itself three days later.

    1797 – The Bank of England issues the first one-pound and two-pound banknotes.

    1807 – The U.S. Congress passes the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, disallowing the importation of new slaves into the country.

    1859 – The two-day Great Slave Auction, the largest such auction in United States history, begins.

    1867 – The U.S. Congress passes the first Reconstruction Act.

    1877 – Just two days before inauguration, the U.S. Congress declares Rutherford B. Hayes the winner of the 1876 U.S. presidential election even though Samuel J. Tilden had won the popular vote.

    1949 – Captain James Gallagher lands his B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas, after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight in 94 hours and one minute.

    1969 – In Toulouse, France, the first test flight of the Anglo-French Concorde is conducted.

    1978 – The late iconic actor Charlie Chaplin’s coffin is stolen from his grave in Switzerland.

    1983 – Compact discs and players are released for the first time in the United States and other markets. They had previously been available only in Japan.

    1989 – Twelve European Community nations agree to ban the production of all chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) by the end of the century.

    1995 – Researchers at Fermilab announce the discovery of the top quark.

    1998 – Data sent from the Galileo spacecraft indicates that Jupiter’s moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.

    1545 – Thomas Bodley, English diplomat and scholar, founded the Bodleian Library (d. 1613).

    1900 – Kurt Weill, German-American pianist and composer (d. 1950).

    1904 – Dr. Seuss, American children’s book writer, poet, and illustrator (d. 1991).

    1930 – Tom Wolfe, American journalist and author (d. 2018).

    1931 – Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian lawyer and politician, the 8th and final leader of the Soviet Union, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2022).

    1942 – John Irving, American novelist and screenwriter.

    1942 – Lou Reed, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor (d. 2013).

    1948 – Rory Gallagher, Irish singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 1995).

    1962 – Jon Bon Jovi, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor.

    1968 – Daniel Craig, English actor and producer.

    Became room temperature:
    1791 – John Wesley, English cleric and theologian (b. 1703).

    1797 – Horace Walpole, English historian and politician (b. 1717).

    1930 – D. H. Lawrence, English novelist, poet, playwright, and critic (b. 1885).

    1939 – Howard Carter, English archaeologist and historian (b. 1874).

    1962 – Charles Jean de la Vallée-Poussin, Belgian mathematician and academic (b. 1866).

    1982 – Philip K. Dick, American philosopher and author (b. 1928).

    1991 – Serge Gainsbourg, French singer-songwriter, actor, and director (b. 1928).

    1999 – Dusty Springfield, English singer (b. 1939).

    2008 – Jeff Healey, Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1966).

    1. Never realized before that Wolfe and Irving shared a birthday. They were involved (along with Norman Mailer and John Updike) in one of the late 20th century’s nastier literary feuds. Updike and Mailer had written reviews of Wolfe’s second (and best) novel, A Man in Full, that treated the book generally (but not entirely) favorably. (All poor Irving did, IIRC, was answer a question about Wolfe’s novel put to him by a Canadian tv-show host.) Wolfe responded with a thin-skinned, petulant piece calling them “My Three Stooges” and claiming they were just jealous of his book’s sales and critical success.

      Doesn’t seem people care deeply enough about novels in this internet age of ours to fuel a proper literary feud.

  2. Emporia State might as well change its name to Moscow State or, better yet, the Lenin School. How on earth can they claim to be giving their students an education? Hopefully, prospective students are smart enough to see this.

  3. “… settled for nearly $300,000 from the school district”

    Has the time come to fight fire with fire – namely taking $300,000 from your own school district a hate crime?

    1. Muslim culture in the West has become a ‘professionally offended’ culture (personally I have little patience with it). If you can get a cool 300,000 U$D out of this kinda ridiculously minor ‘offence’, why not be offended?

      Note that pre-puberal girls are not required to wear the hijab in any book off the Trilogy (AFAIK).

      1. Ah, we had a right jolly time with that when a Montreal paediatrician made that very point. Uber-woke Canadian Medical Association Journal used a stock shot on its cover of two little girls wrapped up in hijabs. The doctor, who hailed from that part of the world and knew whereof he spoke thought it was child abuse. The furor was intense. The Journal not only retracted it but expunged it from its web archive.

        Nobody paid any money, so far as I know, and no one got attacked physically, but the CMAJ had to take sensitivity training and installed a Muslim activist on its editorial board to make sure that Islamophobic letters or articles like the paediatrician’s were never published again.

        1. My sister works for the CMAJ as a free lance editor. Which means she works from home 100%. She was required to take the sensitivity training. Ridiculous.

          The girl in a hijab in that issue looked about 6 or 7 years old. Talk about sexualization of children.

  4. Frogmore Cottage is in the grounds of the Frogmore estate, but with “only” ten bedrooms is more modest than Frogmore House, which appeared in the photo.

    I think the name “cottage” for these buildings comes from the faux rural pretensions of the royals and aristocrats at the time it was built, a la Marie Antoinette and her shepherdess role-playing.

  5. On the hoodie/hijab incident, I found this: “According to Ms Herman, she gently brushed back the front portion of the girl’s hooded sweatshirt because it was covering her eyes. The girl had put on a mask too. Ms Herman had expected that the girl was wearing her usual hijab underneath. But the moment she realized the student didn’t have the hijab, she let her keep the hood on and continued with the class.”
    Sounds like much ado about what should have been no more than a minor unfortunate social incident involving the daughter of religious zealots (hijab in 2nd grade…).

    1. This has the ring of truth. I think it telling that the teacher’s own words were omitted from the story.

    2. Man, if you can get a clean 300,000 $ out of it , who cares about what actually happened? Just remain offended!

  6. Why are only schoolgirls suffering the effects of this mysterious agent apparently carried on the winds when bystanders remain unaffected? The doctor quoted in the interview with Ms. Alinejad thinks “a mask” will protect his daughter? Like a niqab, maybe?

    Whatever, I’m glad the era of forced hijab appears to be over. Let’s just hope the regime doesn’t fall and be replaced by something like the Taliban. Be careful what you wish for.

    The bitter sectarian divisions between Shi’ite and Sunni Islam are opaque to most of us but always at play in the Muslim world, Iran being the only large country that is overwhelmingly Shi’ite.

  7. That Tree of Life diagram is very interesting. Some highlights of note: It uses the 2 domain hypothesis in which the Eukaryotes (nucleated cells) are embedded into the prokaryote Archaea. This is based on recent molecular analyses that is pushing the retirement of he olde 3 domain hypothesis. And the region of the Archaean tree that produced the Eukaryotes is referred to “Asgard” — the home of the gods.

  8. Yes, EVT works if done quickly, that is the greatest problem. Within 6-8 hours the results may still be good, although the faster the better. After 10 hours the results are generally disappointing, but not always.

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