Tuesday: Hili dialogue

March 21, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Tuesday, the Cruelest Day, March 21, 2023, and National Crunchy Taco Day (I prefer mine soft). It’s SPRING!!!!

It’s also National French Bread Day, National California Strawberry Day, International Day of Forests, World Down Syndrome Day, National Flower Day, National Healthy Fats Day, World Social Work Day, World Poetry Day, World Tattoo DayRosie the Riveter Day, celebrating the women workers of WWII (see below), and the Vernal equinox and related observances.

Reader Dom sent a tweet in honor of World Poetry Day:

Here’s the original “Rosie the Riveter” poster from 1942 by J. Howard Miller, whose model was long a subject of contention:

And a 1943 song about Rose the Smoothie. There’s an article in yesterday’s Washington Post about the identify of the real Rosie the Riveter—if there was one.

Now it’s most likely that the woman was modeled on Naomi Fern Parker Fraley (1921-2018), who worked assembling aircraft at the Naval Air Station Alameda. Here’s the photo of her at work that’s thought to have inspired Miller. The photo actually wasn’t popular or widespread during the war, but became an icon of the feminist movement in the early 1980s:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the March 21 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Will Donald Trump get indicted for the Stormy Daniels affair today? He thinks so, everybody else is mum. You might read the NYT’s op-ed, “Why charging Trump is required by law” (authors are NYU Law School professors Ryan Goodman and 

This case is just one of a few ongoing criminal investigations into Mr. Trump’s conduct — including potentially a much larger financial investigation by the Manhattan district attorney — and the hush money scheme is no doubt the least serious of the crimes. It does not involve insurrection and undermining the peaceful transfer of power fundamental to our democracy, nor the retention of highly classified documents and obstruction of a national security investigation.

But does that mean the Manhattan criminal case is an example of selective prosecution — in other words, going after a political enemy for a crime that no one else would be charged with? Not by a long shot. To begin with, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who was instrumental in the scheme, has already pleaded guilty to a federal crime emanating from this conduct and served time for it and other crimes. Federal prosecutors told the court that Mr. Cohen “acted in coordination with and at the direction of” Mr. Trump (identified as “Individual 1”). It would be anathema to the rule of law not to prosecute the principal for the crime when a lower-level conspirator has been prosecuted.

*This surprised me. As you know, the French, who are more sensible about work vs. life than Americans, have had a mandatory retirement age of 62. Macron and his government wanted to raise that to 64 because of the sums of money involved in pensions for those in their early 60s, and that caused a fracas. You just can’t tell the French that they have to keep on working when they planned to take it easy at 62. There were demonstrations all over the country and a no-confidence vote looming in the National Assembly. This is Macron’s last term, but I predicted he wouldn’t survive the vote. He did, but it was a squeaker:

The French National Assembly rejected a no-confidence motion against the government of President Emmanuel Macron, ensuring that a fiercely contested bill raising the retirement age to 64 from 62 becomes the law of the land.

The motion received 278 votes, nine short of the 287 needed to pass. The close result reflected widespread anger at the overhaul to the pension law, at Mr. Macron for his apparent aloofness and at the way the measure was rammed through Parliament last week without a full vote on the bill itself. France’s upper house of Parliament, the Senate, passed the pension bill this month.

A second no-confidence motion, filed by the far-right National Rally, failed on Monday as well, with only 94 lawmakers voting in favor.

The change, which Mr. Macron has sought since the beginning of his first term in 2017, has provoked two months of demonstrations, intermittent strikes and occasional violence. It has split France, with polls consistently showing two-thirds of the population opposing the overhaul.

In the end, there were just enough votes from the center-right Republicans, who last year proposed raising the retirement age even higher, to 65, to salvage the law and the government led by Élisabeth Borne, the prime minister. The government would have fallen had the censure motion been upheld, obliging Mr. Macron either to name a new government or dissolve the National Assembly, or lower house, and call elections.

I don’t blame the French people for beefing, as they know how to enjoy life, looking upon workaholic Americans like me with disdain (when I did my two sabbaticals in France, I had to get building keys so I could go to the lab on weekends, where I was totally alone). To be told, when you’ve set your heart on moving to that vacation home at 62, that you have to work two more years, simply makes you think that you’re losing two years of relatively good and healthy life. But I don’t know whether the French budget can continue to sustain such luxury.

*If you think you can tell AI-generated prose, imagery, and photos from the human-crated products, take this quiz at the Washington Post. You see eight items, some of each class, and have to decide whether it was AI-generated or not. I did MISERABLY.  Here’s my score:

*I’m still following the case of Elizabeth Holmes, now 39, who was convicted of wire fraud in the Theranos start-up case and sentenced to 11 years in federal prison. She was supposed to report to prison on April 27, with that grace period accommodating birth of her second child. Normally, if you are convicted and then appeal, as she’s doing, you have to wait out the appeals from prison. But Holme’s lawyers have asked that she remain free on appeal—appeals that could take years.

On Friday’s hearing in federal court in San Jose, Calif., Holmes and her lawyers asked Judge Edward Davila to delay that deadline until her appeal is concluded, a process that could take months.

Davila said he expected to issue a ruling in early April. The judge will also consider whether Holmes should pay restitution.

. . .Typically, once a person has been convicted of a crime and sentenced to prison, they must pursue any appeals from prison. In order to be released on bail as an appeal is ongoing, a defendant has a high bar to clear.

In general, they must convince the court they are not a flight risk and that their appeal is serious — meaning that it will raise legitimate concerns with the previous trial that could substantially change the outcome.

As far as I’ve heard from lawyers, she doesn’t really have any “legitamite concerns” that could overturn the case, so she hasn’t cleared that bar. But as far as being a flight risk, yes, I think she is one, simply for the reason that she’s such an entitled person that I don’t think she can ever envision herself spending 11 years in jail (she won’t get much less than that even for good behavior). And there’s this:

[Prosecutors] pointed to a one-way plane ticket to Mexico booked by Holmes last year that was set to depart days after a jury found her guilty.

In response, Holmes’ lawyers explained that her partner had booked that ticket — “before the verdict and full of hope” that she would not be found guilty — in order to attend the wedding of close friends. The ticket was canceled after government lawyers objected, they said, adding that “Ms. Holmes has never attempted to flee.”

Well they sure had plans to go to Mexico, ON A ONE WAY TICKET! Can yu believe her lawyers on that point.  I still find it hard to believer that Ms. Holmes will ever spend a day in stir.

*Joe Biden has finally issued his first veto, but of course he really didn’t need to before the midterms since both houses of Congress were Democratic, Now the House is Republican, and he refused to rubber-stamp a bill:

 President Joe Biden issued the first veto of his presidency Monday in an early sign of shifting White House relations with the new Congress since Republicans took control in January. He’s seeking to kill a Republican measure that bans the government from considering environmental impacts or potential lawsuits when making investment decisions for Americans’ retirement plans.

It’s just the latest manifestation of the new relationship, and Biden is gearing up for even bigger fights with Republicans on government spending and raising the nation’s debt limit in the next few months.

. . .The measure vetoed by Biden ended a Trump-era ban on federal managers of retirement plans considering factors such as climate change, social impacts or pending lawsuits when making investment choices. Because suits and climate change have financial repercussions, administration officials argue that the investment limits are courting possible disaster.

Critics say environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments allocate money based on political agendas, such as a drive against climate change, rather than on earning the best returns for savers. Republicans in Congress who pushed the measure to overturn the Labor Department’s action argue ESG is just the latest example of the world trying to get “woke.”

But for Biden to veto a bill, it has to pass both the House and Senate. And it apparently did:

Only two Democrats in the Senate voted for the investment limits, making it unlikely that backers of a potential veto-override effort in Congress could reach the two-thirds majority required in each chamber.

If two Democrats joined the 49 Senate Republicans in voting for the bill, that would have made it pass by 51-49, hence the advance of the bill to Biden’s desk. But for sure the Senate won’t vote to override the veto.

*And for the local gossip, we have Rupert Murdoch’s announcement that he’s getting married again—for the fifth time—at age 92. If you want dough, it’s a good move to marry someone that old who’s filthy rich (he’s worth about $17 billion).

Rupert Murdoch, four times married and divorced at 92, isn’t letting age or previous marital experience stand in the way of a fresh start. The billionaire media baron said he plans to marry a fifth time.

Murdoch announced he is engaged once again, this time to Ann Lesley Smith, 66, a former model, singer-songwriter, radio talk-show host, and police chaplain in San Francisco. The couple met last year.

Murdoch is fresh off his divorce from Jerry Hall, the model and actress he married in 2016. Murdoch divorced Hall, the mother of four of Mick Jagger’s children, last year.

Murdoch broke the news of his engagement in the New York Post, the tabloid that helped launch his foray into the American and global media market when the Australian immigrant bought it in 1976. Murdoch-led companies have since founded or acquired the Fox broadcast network, Fox News Channel, the Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins book publishers, among dozens of other properties.

“I was very nervous,” Murdoch told Post gossip columnist Cindy Adams (herself 92 years old) of his budding relationship with Smith. “I dreaded falling in love — but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”

Well, Jerry Hall, his previous wife (and former wife of Mick Jagger) did love him, as she said she was “heartbroken” after Murdoch dumped her—by email. Here’s the old happy couple (Murdoch + Hall) from the WaPo (their caption):

Rupert Murdoch and then-wife Jerry Hall in 2019; the media baron, 92, is engaged to Ann Lesley Smith, 66. (Danny Moloshok/Reuters)

Love at 92! There’s hope for me yet.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili gets a physics lesson:

Hili: My shadow is bigger than I am.
A: That’s because the sun is still low.
In Polish:
Hili: Mój cień jest większy ode mnie.
Ja: Bo słońce jest jeszcze nisko.

And a photo of Baby Kulka with some new flowers:


I found this on Facebook from the Meriden Humane Society; it’s a Lucas Turnbloom cartoon:

From America’s Cultural Decline into Idiocy:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Masih; here’s the Google Farsi translation:

This is Mashhad. When I boarded the bus, this lady started disrespecting me and hitting on me…” It is interesting that these women with open mouths talk about the killed women of the Iranian revolution in such a shameless manner. The bitter irony of these times is that these lampoons claim to defend values and morals and accuse other women of indecency and indecency because of a few hairs.

Apparently the video was taken by a woman who wasn’t wearing her hijab, or wasn’t wearing it properly. Sound up.

From Frits, who says, ”

Fascinating tweet here, in case you didn’t see it yet. Firstly, the way the goat tries to save its life from the eagle (?) by tumbling down the precipice.  But perhaps even more amazing: what is that second goat doing? Ready to help the  victim? Parent instinct? No bystander effect as someone (me actually) says in the comments. Or is it  a sadist who wants to watch? 

From Simon: a sneaky cat!

From Barry, a human tiger. I think I’ve showed this before, and know that the artist does similar things with other animals, but I can’t remember who he is. Regardless, it’s amazing:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, the death of a 32 year old man:

Tweets from Matthew. I don’t know this species of duck, but look at the little ones scrambling to keep up:

Apparently the language areas of the brain of humans and chimps are similar. When I asked Matthew what the chimp area was used for, he said “Ooh ooh ooh aah ahh ahh ooh.”

Clouds on Mars!

28 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1556 – On the day of his execution in Oxford, former archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer deviates from the scripted sermon by renouncing the recantations he has made and adds, “And as for the pope, I refuse him, as Christ’s enemy, and Antichrist with all his false doctrine.”

    1788 – A fire in New Orleans leaves most of the town in ruins.

    1871 – Journalist Henry Morton Stanley begins his trek to find the missionary and explorer David Livingstone.

    1919 – The Hungarian Soviet Republic is established becoming the first Communist government to be formed in Europe after the October Revolution in Russia.

    1925 – The Butler Act prohibits the teaching of human evolution in Tennessee.

    1928 – Charles Lindbergh is presented with the Medal of Honor for the first solo trans-Atlantic flight.

    1943 – Wehrmacht officer Rudolf von Gersdorff plots to assassinate Adolf Hitler by using a suicide bomb, but the plan falls through; von Gersdorff is able to defuse the bomb in time and avoid suspicion.

    1945 – World War II: Operation Carthage: Royal Air Force planes bomb Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. They also accidentally hit a school, killing 125 civilians.

    1952 – Alan Freed presents the Moondog Coronation Ball, the first rock and roll concert, in Cleveland, Ohio.

    1960 – Apartheid: Sharpeville massacre, South Africa: Police open fire on a group of black South African demonstrators, killing 69 and wounding 180.

    1965 – Martin Luther King Jr. leads 3,200 people on the start of the third and finally successful civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.

    1970 – The first Earth Day proclamation is issued by Joseph Alioto, Mayor of San Francisco.

    1983 – The first cases of the 1983 West Bank fainting epidemic begin; Israelis and Palestinians accuse each other of poison gas, but the cause is later determined mostly to be psychosomatic.

    1986 – Debi Thomas became the first African American to win the World Figure Skating Championships

    1994 – The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change enters into force.

    1999 – Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones become the first to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon.

    2006 – The social media site Twitter is founded.

    1685 – Johann Sebastian Bach, German Baroque composer and musician (d. 1750).

    1831 – Dorothea Beale, English suffragist, educational reformer and author (d. 1906).

    1839 – Modest Mussorgsky, Russian pianist and composer (d. 1881).

    1885 – Pierre Renoir, French actor and director (d. 1952).

    1902 – Son House, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1988).

    1904 – Forrest Mars, Sr., American candy maker, created M&M’s and Mars bar (d. 1999).

    1922 – Russ Meyer, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2004). [Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!]

    1925 – Peter Brook, English-French director and producer (d. 2022).

    1930 – Otis Spann, American blues pianist, singer and composer (d. 1970).

    1937 – Ann Clwyd, Welsh journalist and politician, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales. [Successfully introduced the Female Genital Mutilation Bill (to prohibit parents in the UK from sending, or taking, their daughters abroad for operations such as female circumcision.]

    1944 – David Lindley, American guitarist, songwriter, and producer (d. 2023).

    1950 – Sergey Lavrov, Russian politician and diplomat, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    1955 – Jair Bolsonaro, Brazilian politician and retired military officer, 38th President of Brazil. [Is he still in Florida avoiding repercussions at home?]

    Don’t Fear the Reaper Duck:
    1617 – Pocahontas, Algonquian Indigenous princess (b. c. 1595).

    1656 – James Ussher, Irish archbishop (b. 1581). [His accurate dating of the lifespans of old biblical dudes poses a serious challenge to the theory of evolution!]

    1920 – Evelina Haverfield, British suffragette and aid worker (b. 1867).

    1985 – Michael Redgrave, English actor, director, and manager (b. 1908). [His birth was noted here just yesterday.]I

    1991 – Leo Fender, American businessman, founded Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (b. 1909).

    1997 – Wilbert Awdry, English cleric and author, created The Railway Series, the basis for Thomas the Tank Engine (b. 1911).

    1999 – Ernie Wise, English comedian and actor (b. 1925). [Known for his “short, fat, hairy legs”. Google the phrase!]

    2011 – Pinetop Perkins, American singer and pianist (b. 1913).

    2017 – Colin Dexter, English author (b. 1930).

    2017 – Martin McGuinness, Irish republican and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland (b. 1950). [The Saville Inquiry concluded that, although he was “engaged in paramilitary activity” at the time of Bloody Sunday and had probably been armed with a Thompson submachine gun, there was insufficient evidence to make any finding other than they were “sure that he did not engage in any activity that provided any of the soldiers with any justification for opening fire”. McGuinness later contributed to the Good Friday Agreement and formed an unlikely friendship with Ian Paisley which formed the basis for the 2016 film The Journey.]

    1. You beat me to it. Chamois indeed. Aka the European mountain goat, and yes, they are only found in mountains, from the Pyrenees and the Alps, to the Caucasus. Its leather is considered the best by far for polishing and cleaning smooth surfaces like windows.
      Luckily it is a species considered of ‘least concern’.
      That battle to get rid of that tenacious eagle is epic.

  2. The video with the women on the bus in Iran is reminiscent of the scene in “The Music Man” (¶ pick a little, talk a little cheep cheep cheep pick a little talk a lot, pick a little more ¶).

  3. Actually, the interesting thing about legislation under Biden is that, aside from money bills, for none of his well-known initiatives has he sought new legislative authority. For two years he just went out on his own, finding obscure and ultimately invalid authority from existing law, for example on vaccine mandates and student loans.

  4. I think the eagle must have got its talon stuck. I an’t believe it didn’t disengage fairly early on. After all, if it breaks a wig, it’s dead.

    I think, in the new year I predicted Trump would not be indicted in 2023. I’m still not completely convinced I was wrong.

    1. I think you’re right, Jeremy. The big bird is just hungry, not fighting for its life. Not at first, anyway.

      The anthropomorphism of the original tweet puts me off: a “ruthless” hunter and a prey valuing its “freedom”? And she calls herself “Science Girl”? Please.

    2. Some birds have a tendon locking mechanism (TLM) in their flexor tendons. As the eagle in the video tightened its grip, tubercles on the tendons interacted with grooves on the tendon sheaths sort of like a ratchet. An eagle has to actively disengage this mechanism to release its grip. I’ve heard of other instances where a bird of prey becomes so involved in the event which has gone awry, that it fails to relax its grip in a timely fashion. This same type of mechanism allows birds to sleep on a tree branch without falling off.

      1. Interesting, thx. As jeremy above, I was surprised that it didn’t seem to break a wing in the fracas.

  5. Germany recently moved the retirement age from 65 to 67 without too much of a fuss, and the French are complaining about moving it from 62 to 64. It’s still one of the lowest, if not the lowest, in Europe, and the French have a relatively long life expectancy. It is simply not possible to have a sensible pension without raising the retirement age.

    Note also that that is the default age in France. There are many separate contracts and some take their pension at 55. Clearly not sustainable.

    I’m pretty sure that no-one who is 61 now has 3 rather than 1 more year. In Germany, it was raised gradually. 1964 is the first year of birth which has to work until 67. For older people, it’s between 0 and 24 months later, depending on year of birth.

    1. In South Africa the age of 65 is obligatory. At 65 you’re ditched. One can only continue to work on contract, typically 2-3 months each, but thy can be renewed basically indefinitely.
      It appears many French don’t like their work.

  6. Macron would have ‘survived’ the vote of no-confidence in any case. If it had passed, it would have meant “adieu” to Élisabeth Borne, the prime minister; it is actually her government, not Macron’s. Macron is as reigning empereur- sorry président- almost intouchable. That is how it is arranged in the Fifth Republic, de Gaulle’s legacy.

  7. Elizabeth Holmes’s chances of being released on bond pending appeal are essentially nil.

    In the old days, bond pending appeal in federal cases was a fairly routine practice. But in the latter half of the 1980s, congress enacted sentencing reform legislation. Among other things (such as adopting a guidelines approach to federal sentencing, abolishing federal parole, and providing minimum-mandatory sentences for numerous federal offenses), this legislation all but did away with bond pending appeal.

    Under the currently applicable federal statute, 18 USC section 3143(b), a federal district court can grant a defendant bond pending appeal only if the defendant can establish by clear and convincing evidence that he or she is not a risk of flight or danger to the community AND that the appeal is likely to result in either a reversal of the conviction, a new trial, or sentence that does not include a term of imprisonment.

    If the trial judge in Holmes’s case, the Hon. Edward Davis, was convinced that Holmes’s appeal was likely to result in the reversal of her conviction or in a new trial, the judge would have obviated the appeal by granting one of the post-trial motions filed by counsel for Holmes seeking a judgment of acquittal or an order granting her a new trial. And given that Judge Davis sentenced Holmes to 11 years in prison — a sentence within the range established by the applicable federal sentencing guidelines — an appeal, even if successful, has essentially no chance of resulting in a sentence that does not call for Holmes to serve any time in custody.

    Adios, Liz; don’t let the bars sliding closed behind you in the sally port at FPC Bryan hit you in the ass.

  8. All France has done has changed the age at which you can start collecting a government pension. There’s nothing stopping you from retiring at 62 if you have enough money saved to get by until you can collect your pension.

    The hue and cry is no doubt coming from those who haven’t saved any money.

  9. a few comments:

    1) body painting: Making Of a Bodypainting Illusion by Johannes Stoetter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnLi3kwV9sQ

    2) Started the AI but thought SF real estate was prohibively expensive? $1 million for 1600 3bed 2 bath seemed awful cheap but i guesss isn’t too out of line with listings.

    3) Indictment of Trump on those charges is clearly selective prosecution. Read some liberal lawyers who point out issues. It is one of the few disadvantageous instances of wealth/power/celebrity.

  10. I scored 7/8, after the first question, which I got wrong, I knew all questions would have the answer that AI did it, unfailing, as it turned out. Not a serious test. One just had to say yes, no need to even look at the question.

  11. Rosie the Riveter’s inspiration is said to have been Veronica Foster, aka “Ronnie the Bren Gun Girl”. She started work making the iconic light machine guns at the John Inglis plant in Toronto in May 1941–Canada Post says a year earlier–and was publicized by the National Film Board as part of the then-desperate war effort. (Three of her brothers enlisted in the Army.)

    The best-known photo shows her posing with with a new Bren gun and a cigarette–she didn’t really smoke. I prefer the photo shown in the Gallery at the bottom of the page where she is bent over a lathe actually working. That photo was included in the postage stamp issued in her honour in 2020.

    What strikes you in all these war-plant photos is the lack of eye protection for everything except welding!

Leave a Reply