Monday: Hili dialogue

March 27, 2023 • 6:45 am

It’s Monday again, March 27, 2023, and World Whisky Day (as always, I’ll have a Springbank)

It’s also National Spanish Paella Day, National Joe Day (it’s your day if you’re called “Joe”), World Theatre Day , and Quirky Country Music Song Titles Day. Here’s one I remember:

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

Da Nooz:

*On Saturday Vladimir “Look at My Chest” Putin announced that he was going to station tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, which is a palpable threat to Ukraine and the NATO countries helping it out.

Putin said the move was triggered by Britain’s decision this past week to provide Ukraine with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium.

Tactical nuclear weapons are intended for use on the battlefield and have a short range and a low yield compared with much more powerful nuclear warheads fitted to long-range missiles. Russia plans to maintain control over those it sends to Belarus, and construction of storage facilities for them will be completed by July 1, Putin said.

He didn’t say how many nuclear weapons Russia would keep in Belarus. The U.S. government believes Russia has about 2,000 tactical nuclear weapons, which include bombs that can be carried by tactical aircraft, warheads for short-range missiles and artillery rounds.

Putin argued that by deploying its tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus, Russia was following the lead of the United States, noting that the U.S. has nuclear weapons based in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey.

But we haven’t moved them around after the Ukraine war started—unlike Putin. In response, Ukrainian President Zelensky demanded yesterday that the United Nations hold a special emergency meeting about the Belarus-based nukes.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry condemned the move in a statement Sunday and demanded an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

“Ukraine expects effective action to counter the Kremlin’s nuclear blackmail by the U.K., China, the U.S. and France,” the statement read, saying these countries “have a special responsibility” regarding nuclear aggression.

“The world must be united against someone who endangers the future of human civilization,” the statement said.

Ukraine has not commented on Sunday’s explosion inside Russia. It left a crater about 15 meters (50 feet) in diameter and five meters deep (16 feet), according to media reports.

Russian state-run news agency Tass reported authorities identified the drone as a Ukrainian Tu-141. The Soviet-era drone was reintroduced in Ukraine in 2014, and has a range of about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).

. . . The U.S. said it would “monitor the implications” of Putin’s announcement. So far, Washington hasn’t seen “any indications Russia is preparing to use a nuclear weapon,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

Let’s hope this is a threat without teeth. But Putin seems mentally unstable to me, and who knows what he’s capable of, especially when cornered?

*I’m not looking for reasons to diss Joe Biden, as he will likely be the guy I vote for in next year’s Presidential election. But this behavior really angers me. Biden, you may recall, promised to end the federal death penalty if elected. He was but he didn’t. The AP reports:

Rejon Taylor hoped the election of Joe Biden, the first U.S. president to campaign on a pledge to end the death penalty, would mean a more sympathetic look at his claims that racial bias and other trial errors landed him on federal death row in Terre Haute, Indiana.

But two years on, Justice Department attorneys under Biden are fighting the Black man’s efforts to reverse his 2008 death sentence for killing a white restaurateur as hard as they did under Donald Trump, who oversaw 13 executions in his presidency’s final months.

“Every legal means they have available they’re using to fight us,” said the 38-year-old’s lawyer, Kelley Henry. “It’s business as usual.”

Death penalty opponents expected Biden to act within weeks of taking office to fulfill his 2020 campaign promise to end capital punishment on the federal level and to work at ending it in states that still carry out executions. Instead, Biden has taken no steps toward fulfilling that promise.

But it’s not just inaction by Biden. An Associated Press review of dozens of legal filings shows Biden’s Justice Department is fighting vigorously in courts to maintain the sentences of death row inmates, even after Attorney General Merrick Garland temporarily paused executions. Lawyers for some of the over 40 death row inmates say they’ve seen no meaningful changes to the Justice Department’s approach under Biden and Trump.

Trump’s favoring capital punishment I can grasp, but BIDEN? HE PROMISED! And there’s no good reason to favor capital punishment. Well, there’s one, but I didn’t think that Biden would stoop so low as to cater to it:

It’s a thorny political issue. While Americans increasingly oppose capital punishment, it is deeply entrenched. And as Biden eyes a 2024 run, it’s unlikely he’ll make capital punishment a signature issue given his silence on it as president.

That is cowardice and lack of principle, pure and simple.

*The Blue State of Illinois, with a Democratic governor, is now becoming a refuge from all those women in the South who can’t get an abortion because of the draconian laws enacted by those benighted states. But it’s causing clinical overlad here (h/t Steve):

Just the day before, 58 women had abortions at the Fairview Heights’ Planned Parenthood clinic, 15 miles east of St. Louis. But the new day is still stacked with appointments; as many as 100 abortion and family planning patients might walk through the doors.

Every day is busy now.

Hundreds of women travel each week to the southern tip of Illinois to secure an abortion, something that is no longer available to millions living in a 1,800 mile stretch of 11 Southern states that have mostly banned pregnancy terminations since the Supreme Court stripped away constitutional protections for women to end pregnancies.

But another barrier awaits them once they reach the clinic in one of the country’s most abortion-friendly states. Anti-abortion advocates in neon hazard vests frantically try to wave passersby down at the gates, hoping to talk them out of what they are about to do.

The clinic’s waitlist for abortions has only grown from two days to nearly three weeks after the Supreme Court ruling last June — even after staffers started working 10-hour shifts and they opened the clinic on Saturdays.

. . . With 10,000 abortion patients expected this year at the clinic, there’s talk of opening on Sundays. Staff developed an emergency plan that would convert some patient rooms, normally reserved for birth control consultations or vasectomies, to make more room for abortions. A recreational vehicle has been retooled into a mobile clinic that can travel along the state line for doctors to provide abortions.

. . . When someone cannot afford to pay for hotels, bus tickets or plane rides, the center books the travel for the patient and works with more than 30 nonprofit groups around the country that solicit funds for abortion access to fund the trip.

This is like the bad old days when the Jane Collective in Chicago, organized by women, provided underground abortions in the days when it was illegal. Now it’s legal, at least in Illinois, but can you imagine “abortion trucks” traveling along the state lines to help women who don’t want to give birth? Thanks, Supreme Court!

*Well, here’s an article I didn’t need to read in the WSJ: “Marijuana has special risks for older people.” WHAT? When I was younger I was told that marijuana would fry my brain like an egg, and now that I’m older I’m told that it’s even more dangerous. Why? Because it can affect the drugs you take. Fortunately, my only drug is a sleeping pill at night. But oy!:

Cannabis use can create particular risks for older people. It can interfere with other medications, which is tricky for seniors because they are often on multiple prescription drugs. Marijuana can also raise the risks of injuries, falls, anxiety and confusion. The situation is further complicated because many seniors may be wary of telling their doctors they use it.

. . .In California, emergency room visits for problems related to cannabis use in adults ages 65 and older increased from a rate of 20.7 per 100,000 visits in 2005 to 395.0 per 100,000 in 2019, according to a January study from doctors at the University of California San Diego.

Although pot products pose some health risks, the reason that seniors are taking them is largely because they are trying to manage other health problems. Among a group of nearly 600 adults over age 65, 15% reported using cannabis within the past three years, according to a 2020 study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Nearly 80% of those seniors said they took cannabis for medical reasons, with pain, sleep and anxiety the top reasons cited. Most said their family members knew they used it, but only 40% reported telling their healthcare providers.

And I found the ending part hilarious but also sad, as it’s the opposite of what I heard when I was a kid:

If your parent is using marijuana or CBD products, encourage them to talk with their doctor to make sure they understand how it may affect other medications they are taking and possible risks. Many adult children buy products for their parents without understanding that the dose and type have different effects, says Benjamin Han, a geriatrician at UCSD.

. . . Ask your parents why they are taking marijuana to see if there are health issues that may be better addressed with other treatments, recommends Dr. Moore.

And advise parents to “start low and go slow,” or take a low dose at first and increase as needed. . .

*Edgar Allen Poe’s death has always been a bit of a mystery, though my understanding is that he died from a combination of alcohol and tuberculosis (he was only 40). Now the WaPo adds a new possibility: voter fraud!

On a fall morning in 1849, Poe died in a Baltimore hospital after a stranger had found him “in great distress” a few days earlier outside a polling place during an election. The 40-year-old had been missing for almost a week. His deathbed symptoms — fever and delusions — were so vague that they’ve spawned dozens of theories, including poisoning, alcoholism, rabies, syphilis, suicide and homicide.

Now an Ohio journalist has conducted an extensive investigation into Poe’s death. In his new book, “A Mystery of Mysteries: The Death and Life of Edgar Allan Poe,” Mark Dawidziak contends that the evidence points to tuberculosis, an illness that is forever linked to artistic genius and literary martyrdom. But he says there’s a co-conspirator: an affliction known as election fraud.

Dawidziak believes that Poe failed to get proper medical care because he was “cooped” — an election-rigging scheme at the time that involvedsnatching someone from the streets, confining and perhaps drugging him, then trotting him out to vote again and again.
Poe was actually passing through Baltimore on his way to Richmond, and his behavior and clothing were atypical for him. That gives a clue (plus his death near a polling place) that he might have been “cooped”:

Poe was disheveled and wearing shabby, ill-fitting clothes that weren’t his, according to Hal Poe. “He always took great care in his appearance,” Hal Poe said. “He was fastidious in his dress. Even if his cuffs were threadbare, and his socks were darned, they were all very nice.”

Poe’s clothes seem to be an important clue. He turned up on election day, and the tavern where he was found served as a polling place as Marylanders chose their representatives in Congress. (At the time, states set their own election dates.) This is the crux of the theory that Poe was “cooped.”

Around election time, “ruffians would go out in the street, find someone vulnerable and indigent, hit them over the head, ‘coop’ them up in a room, and feed them alcohol and maybe opium until it’s time to vote,” Jang said. The kidnappers might change the man’s appearance throughout the day, she said, so they could fool election workers and have the person vote multiple times.

. . . Just about every Poe scholar believes he was “cooped,” Hal Poe said. He may have been especially vulnerable to kidnapping because he was drunk or ill — or both — when he left the steamer.

. . . “Almost every medical expert and pathologist that I have talked to said there is absolutely no question Poe had tuberculosis,” Dawidziak said. Specifically, he believes that Poe died of tuberculosis meningitis, which causes the membranes around the brain to swell.

Keeping him cooped up and drugged could account for his untimely demise. Read more at the link.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is watching intently for Spring (my photo taken outside the window)

Hili: It’s getting nicer and nicer out.
A: I, too, like when everything comes back to life.
(Photo: JAC)
In Polish:
Hili: Robi się coraz sympatyczniej.
Ja: Też lubię jak wszystko budzi się do życia.
(Zdjęcie: J.A.C.)

And a photo of baby Kulka:


Three cat memes today. From Beth (it’s me, too, though my insomnia has abated, at least temporarily):

From The Cat House on the Kings:

From Divy:

From Masih. The Iranian government continues to shoot protestors in the eyes. Here’s the Farsi translation of the tweet:

Zaniar Tendru, a protester who was shot in the eyes by the agents of the Islamic Republic during the revolution #WomanLifeFreedom,  left for Europe in a painful condition on a refugee boat for treatment. Zaniar was born in 2004, he was shot by the repressors on the 24th street of Piranshahr city on November 9th and lost his right eye. 11 bullets still remained in Zaniar’s head and the vision of his left eye was also compromised.


And nearby, the braze women of Afghanistan:

From Malcolm: A rescue of an adorable baby sloth. It sure looks as if Mom extends her hand in gratitude afterwards!

A tweet from Barry, who says, “Well, this is certainly unusual.” Indeed. Sound up!

Another from Barry, who says, “…but if this dog isn’t trained, isn’t this a case of thinking? That’s the reason I find this video fascinating. “Oh, crap. He’s picking up all the other treats. I better hide the one that’s on my paw.”  What do you think?

From the Auschwitz Memorial. Below the tweet is a picture I took of the women’s toilets in Birkenau, one of the two camps that made up the Auschwitz complex (Sept., 2013).

Tweets from Professor Cobb. First, an addled eagle:

. . . and the shot is so nonchalant, too:

If you’re ever in Huddersfield, between Manchester and Leeds, stop and say “hi” to Felix. He now has an assistant, an all-black cat named Bolt:

24 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. I don’t see that the cooping theory adds much to Poe’s death. It prevented him from getting proper treatment? What would that have been? I think for this speculation to be worthwhile, the author would have to be able to show that Poe could have survived at the point he was “cooped.” Of course, we can’t know that.

    1. With tuberculous meningitis, Poe was a goner, and soon. Not till streptomycin appeared did anyone survive TBM, first case in 1949. It was an example of a slam-bang effect where a single success in a heretofore universally fatal disease sealed the deal. No statistics needed.

  2. My favorite quirky country music sang title is “I’ve Got Tears in My Ears (From Lyin’ on My Back in My Bed While I Cry Over You)
    It was sung by Homer and Jethro among others.

  3. On this day:
    1871 – The first international rugby football match, when Scotland defeats England in Edinburgh at Raeburn Place.

    1884 – A mob in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States attacks members of a jury which had returned a verdict of manslaughter in what was seen as a clear case of murder; over the next few days the mob would riot and eventually destroy the courthouse.

    1886 – Geronimo, Apache warrior, surrenders to the U.S. Army, ending the main phase of the Apache Wars.

    1915 – Typhoid Mary, the first healthy carrier of disease ever identified in the United States, is put in quarantine for the second time, where she would remain for the rest of her life.

    1942 – The Holocaust: Nazi Germany and Vichy France begin the deportation of 65,000 Jews from Drancy internment camp to German extermination camps.

    1977 – Tenerife airport disaster: Two Boeing 747 airliners collide on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 (all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am). Sixty-one survived on the Pan Am flight. This is the deadliest aviation accident in history.

    2002 – Passover massacre: A Palestinian suicide bomber kills 29 people at a Passover seder in Netanya, Israel.

    2016 – A suicide blast in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, Lahore claims over 70 lives and leaves almost 300 others injured. The target of the bombing are Christians celebrating Easter.

    1724 – Jane Colden, American botanist and author (d. 1766).

    1845 – Wilhelm Röntgen, German physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1923).

    1854 – Giovanni Battista Grassi, Italian physician, zoologist, and entomologist (d. 1925). [His works in malaria remain a lasting controversy in the history of Nobel Prizes, because a British army surgeon Ronald Ross, who discovered the transmission of malarial parasite in birds was given the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. But Grassi, who demonstrated the complete route of transmission of human Plasmodium, and correctly identified the types of malarial parasite as well as the mosquito vector, Anopheles claviger, was denied.]

    1932 – Junior Parker, American singer and harmonica player (d. 1971).

    1962 – John O’Farrell, English journalist and author.

    1969 – Mariah Carey, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress.

    1988 – Holliday Grainger, English actress.

    I’m so happy dancing while the Duck of Death cuts, cuts, cuts, but he can’t get me. I’m as clever as can be, and I’m very quick but don’t forget; we’ve only got so many tricks. no one lives forever: [With apologies to Danny Elfman.]

    1864 – Jean-Jacques Ampère, French philologist and academic (b. 1800).

    1878 – George Gilbert Scott, English architect, designed the Albert Memorial and St Mary’s Cathedral (b. 1811).

    1931 – Arnold Bennett, English author and playwright (b. 1867).

    1968 – Yuri Gagarin, Russian colonel, pilot, and astronaut (b. 1934).

    2000 – Ian Dury, English singer-songwriter and actor (b. 1942). [What a waste.]

    2002 – Dudley Moore, English actor (b. 1935).

    2002 – Billy Wilder, Austrian-born American director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1906).

    2007 – Nancy Adams, New Zealand botanist and illustrator (b. 1926).

  4. It was good to hear the fun ‘Does your chewing gum….’ again. Prior to that UK & US hit’ Lonnie Donegan and his skiffle group was instrumental in thousands of young Brits picking up guitars. The rest is history. Wikipedia has the story.

  5. On the federal death penalty, politics is the art of the possible. With public opinion running against abolition, the only way President Biden can ensure the moratorium continues on federal executions is to not let it become a campaign issue. If he campaigns actively for abolition, an issue that likely wouldn’t move very many people to his side, he might lose a close election if more of the proponents in the base came out for his opponent. The winner would claim a mandate to instruct federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty in capital cases, and would not commute them. Then more federal felons would die than if candidate Biden just kept mum. Biden knows you’re not going to not vote for him just because he won’t campaign for abolition. But he also knows not many people will come over to his side if he does. It’s a vote loser, not a vote getter for him.

    A recent public opinion poll showed that a majority of Canadians still support the death penalty even though the last time we hanged someone (a two-fer) was 1962. A majority have always opposed formal abolition every time the question was asked, but the abolition bill still passed in the 1980s because neither adherents nor abolitionists care much about the issue. Abolition —Edit: actually, acquiescence to the plans of elite leaders to enact abolition— was a low-cost position for Canadian politicians to take despite public opinion. It didn’t make anyone unelectable even in redneck ridings, partly because all party leaders prohibit their candidates from talking about it to this day. Not so in the U.S., of course.

  6. The over the-top alarms about the risks of marijuana are a long-standing habit of the government. Elderly people who already have balance and other problems might conceivably be at greater risk, but how can you tell if their falling is due to age or to dope?
    Actually they don’t mention that some people get severe paranoia attacks from marijuana, which may or may not be due to prior
    psychological problems or to marijuana. As for things like driving cars and doing tasks, my personal experience was that these as well as judgement are not adversely affected. I believe most people can function normally even when stoned. The worst is when someone gives you a joint that has some tobacco in it. I nearly choked to death once when this happened. For most of us, getting the munchies and wolfing down lots of ice cream and other sweets was the worst effect. If you honestly compare marijuana to alcohol or tobacco, there is no contest: it is a much safer and more pleasant drug, with no after-affect. And it enhances “marital relations” as well. And also makes things extremely funny. I dont know of any other drug that does these.
    Note to the person who said it had no effect on him: the first time you smoke dope it will take a LONG time and a large joint to get stoned. Once this happens, your brain is changed and you will get stoned faster. (I havent smoked in decades. Just be careful if you share a joint with others….could be dangerous due to germs).

    1. “As for things like driving cars and doing tasks, my personal experience was that these as well as judgement are not adversely affected.”

      As someone who smoked more weed in his youth than the Mexican cartels move in a year, I can say that this is undoubtedly not the case. I don’t know how old you are, and if, perhaps, you’re basing this opinion on the marijuana of the 70s and 80s, but the marijuana of today is genetically modified down to the tiniest detail to produce highs in one hit that could never come close to being reached by smoking joint after joint in those previous decades. The experience now is completely different, and I think long-term studies should be done on the short- and long-term effects of marijuana with its current average THC and cannabinoid levels.

      Regardless, doing things like driving and literally any other task that involve possible safety issues should never, ever be done under the influence of today’s marijuana. Furthermore, marijuana can seriously increase the effect of other psychoactive drugs like benzodiazepenes, opioids, etc. Combining even a hit of some powerful weed with your benzo could result in complete blackout and possible complete loss of motor function.

      1. Not only that, but it’s hard to see how ingesting smoke from burning material cannot be good for your lungs.

      2. but the marijuana of today is genetically modified down to the tiniest detail to produce highs in one hit that could never come close to

        I don’t deny that modern marijuana strains – “skunk” and the like – are stronger than previous strains, but I was also under the impression that they were the result of intense, but utterly conventional, plant breeding, particularly taking place in the Netherlands. No genetic engineering of any sort, just Mendelian cross and re-cross.
        Amongst those of us whose green thumbs failed to raise a single plant in the 1980s, and had to rely on imported gear, the mental control to compare yields, keep records, and not smoke the good stuff … evoked a smoky salute to our unknown benefactors.
        <p.Then sufficiently-good piss tests became available, and implemented at work, and I had to stop any consumption. These days, I wouldn't even know where to start to look. If I did start to look, it shouldn't take long, but I'd have to think where to start.
        OK, I thought. Now I know where I’d start looking.

    2. You say, Lorna, that marijuana does not affect judgement and executive function (like driving a motor vehicle.). Would you agree then that if a woman gets stoned with a man and then says yes to sex with him, the man must be acquitted at his rape trial if the prosecution (and she) alleges that her consent was not valid on account of intoxication? Can a man legally or ethically rely on the consent of a stoned partner, especially if she is giggling yes explicitly and continuously, all through the act?

      If you claim conversely that marijuana does disinhibit sexual reluctance—one of the ways it is claimed to enhance “marital relations” — and this voids consent, then it also must impair driving. Stoned drivers may be less aggressive than drunk drivers but THC does impair situational awareness, reaction time to emergencies, and other executive control functions in driving, which is why it is a criminal offence to drive high. We struggled with this when marijuana was legalized nationally. Since there is no easy way to measure THC quantitatively at the roadside and levels in saliva do not correlate well with impairment, it is not possible to set a safe numerical limit, either in blood level or quantity smoked. Consequently if a driver who appears impaired tests positive for THC above the detection limit of the assay, she will be convicted of impaired driving, her teenaged recollections notwithstanding.

    3. I should also add that marijuana (unlike alcohol or benzos) affects different people in remarkably different ways. One very difficult lesson I personally was forced to learn about myself is that I am affected by marijuana differently and more markedly than most other people around me. Even a single hit could leave me with little to no motivation for an entire week, while friends could smoke all day, every day, and still get their work done and function at requisite levels to complete their daily tasks. I eventually accepted that I could not smoke marijuana anymore if I wanted to lead a productive life, though I think most people still can.

      The mechanism by which alcohol works is very simple, and the mechanisms by which drugs like benzos and opioids work are better understood than today’s extremely powerful marijuana. Generally, we can expect something like a benzo or opioid to have largely the same effects across a population (though dosing will need to be adjusted individually). Marijuana is far more unpredictable, both because of the many mechanisms through which it works, as well as the various strains and formulations by which it’s delivered. Finally, we should probably study the addictiveness of marijuana again. It was easy to see that the low-yield marijuana of earlier decades had almost no perceivable addictive qualities, but I’ve definitely seen people who seem addicted in the last couple of decades. The enormous amounts of THC in today’s marijuana could have very different effects than previously studied marijuana. While these chemicals are known not to be physically addictive (at least in studies with lower levels), they may be psychologically addictive. Cocaine is not technically physically addictive, but withdrawal can still manifest physically because of psychosomatic responses.

      1. Even a single hit could leave me with little to no motivation for an entire week,

        Like me and speed. I knew enough people with heavy speed habits (indeed, for one, dangerously heavy ; he stopped using it) that I had the opportunity often enough. But using a couple of lines to extend a party from the wee sma’ hours into the “quite big now” hours would leave me spending 18-24 hours creaking in my sleeping bag. Other people could, as you say, snort it night after night. Then stop for a week’s hillwalking.

      2. “I should also add that marijuana (unlike alcohol or benzos) affects different people in remarkably different ways.”

        I tried quite hard in my student days but found that its main effect on me was to induce nausea so I gave up.

  7. I don’t know if anyone will see this comment, since I’m late with it. But just in case, I wanted to say that, unfortunately, the behavior of the retriever in the video doesn’t require strategizing or intelligence on the dog’s part to explain. Rather, it can be easily explained by reference to three simple behaviors that owners commonly teach their dogs–and that all but the most stupid* of dogs can easily learn to perform on command:

    1. The first trained behavior is NOT to eat desirable food or treats that are placed in front of the dog (including on his paw) when commanded not to (e.g., “wait!”).

    2. The second trained behavior has to do with the paws. Usually, owners train dogs to lift up one paw on command (“Shake!”). But obviously, a dog can also be trained to, for example, cross one paw over the other

    3. The third trained behavior is to EAT the food or treats that the dog was previously commanded NOT to. (The treat the dog is commanded to eat is the dog’s ‘reward’ for obeying the order not to eat it!)

    If you look at the video with the above trained behaviors in mind, it’s easy to see that the reason the dog is behaving the way he does is because he is given commands one, two, and three, above, in succession.

    To begin with, the dog has clearly been given the first command (NOT to eat the treats placed on is paw and the floor) before the video even gets rolling. If he hadn’t been given that command, what we’d see when the video starts isn’t a dog passively watching a man pick up treats that are lying on the ground in front of him. Rather, we’d see a dog busily gobbling up all the treats. That’s a dog’s default behavior, after all.

    We, of course, know the dog would like to eat the treats, since all dogs do. And so, as we see the man put each treat he picks up in a bag, instead of the dog’s mouth, we can imagine that the dog is experiencing frustrated desires. It’s at this point that the dog is given the command to cross his paws. This behavior, of course, has the effect of concealing the treat from sight. But the dog has no concept that he’s concealing the treat from the man. he’s just obeying a command.

    Finally, when the man has picked up the last treat from the floor, we see him get up and walk away. It’s just at the point where we can see that the dog can see that the man can no longer see HIM that the dog is given the command he’s been dying to hear–the command to EAT the treat on his paw that was commanded not to eat at the beginning.

    The dog didn’t need to be trained to look as if he was frantic to gobble up the treat for fear of being caught. That’s just how dogs behave, naturally.

    *This is a delightful story about a woman’s experience with a rare dog that is so stupid it can’t be trained to do anything.

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