Saturday: Hili dialogue

April 15, 2023 • 6:45 am

Good morning on Saturday, April 15, 2023, traditionally the day that your income taxes are due; but since it’s the weekend, Tax Day is April 18. It’s also National Glazed Spiral Ham Day. Sadly, I didn’t sleep a wink last night.

To see what notable events happened on this day, or which famous people were born or died, go to the April 15 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Nellie Bowles gives her weekly news summary at The Free Press, “TGIF: they can’t handle the truth.” Here are three items:

→ A family murdered in Israel: Last Friday, a Palestinian terrorist gunned down an Israeli family headed out for a family holiday. Sisters Rina (15 years old) and Maia (20 years old) were murdered. Their mother, Lucy, died from her injuries a few days later. I have nothing clever to say here, only sadness and awe at the way Rabbi Leo Dee and his three surviving children have handled this unspeakable tragedy. Lucy’s heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys were transplanted to five people.

If you haven’t watched the footage of his eulogies, I really recommend taking a moment to do so.

→ Professor cooked his data to make it seem like America is more racist than it is: A prominent professor has lost his job after apparently faking the results in at least six studies about race in America. A fellow of the American Society of Criminology, Eric Stewart made a name for himself with research showing just how racist Americans are. One study “showed” that as black and Hispanic communities grew, the white people around them wanted more discriminatory sentencing. But it turns out his data was all fake. And then everyone around Stewart worked to hide that fact.

The revelation came from one of his own coauthors, Professor Justin Pickett, who published a deep-dive skeptical review of Stewart’s work in 2020, writing: “The findings suggest that the five articles were likely fraudulent” and “several coauthors acted with negligence bordering on complicity after learning about the data irregularities.”

Why? America loves a good tale of racism. If your data doesn’t conform to the narrative, fake it.

And speaking of the Young Turks:

→ Welcome to the radical middle, Ana Kasparian: Prominent leftist media personality and cohost of The Young Turks Ana Kasparian recently made enemies within her tribe by saying it was kind of annoying to be called a birthing person and that she’d like to be called a woman. The fallout continued this week as her request is literal violence and means. . . Ana Goes to Gulag! Ana Goes to Gulag!

Cenk Uygur, the creator of The Young Turks, is also drinking the Heterodox Kool-Aid (coming to shelves near you), writing this week about how “abolishing prisons” isn’t a popular idea (I promise, that’s a controversial statement among his crowd). This same leftist network previously brought us both Dave Rubin (now, of course, a conservative) and Hasan Piker (still a socialist, but mostly just rich and shirtless). So really, Ana and Cenk are exactly on schedule.

*Legal Nooz from reader Ken:

Justice Alito, sitting as the circuit justice for the Fifth Circuit, has issued a complete temporary stay the Court of Appeals’ order in the mifepristone case, until midnight next Wednesday, April 19th, pending consideration of the issue by the full court.

This ensures that the pill will remain available until the court rules as a whole.

*According to Al Jazeera, the Hinducentric government of Prime Minister Modi of India has slowly been removing mention of evolution from school curricula; now it’s available only in classes 11 or 12, when students are 16-18 years old (many have left school by then):

By the 2021-2022 academic year, Darwin’s theory was quietly removed from the examination syllabus for the students of Class 9 and Class 10. By 2022-2023, the topic of evolution was completely purged from school textbooks, teachers and education experts told Al Jazeera.

Now, millions of school students will not know who Darwin was or what his theory says – unless they opt for biology in Class 11 and Class 12.

The changes to textbooks were prescribed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), a state-run body under the federal education ministry.

. . .Evolution is not the only glaring omission in the textbooks, introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government that has ruled India since 2014.

Modi’s BJP and its ideological mentor, the far-right Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), have long campaigned for a revision of India’s textbooks that aligns with their political objective of replacing a constitutionally secular India with an ethnic Hindu state.

In pursuit of that goal, the BJP and other RSS-affiliated Hindu groups are running a campaign to marginalise India’s 200 million Muslims, who constitute 14 percent of its population. Denying the historical fact that Muslims ruled over the Indian subcontinent for centuries – and demonising those rulers by creating an alternate history of alleged Hindu persecution – are major elements of that campaign.

*Smithsonian reports the oldest known specimen of a bat, whose early fossils are very scarce because they’re quite fragile.  It’s 52 million years old and came in a collection from Wyoming.  Behold a fossil of Icaronycteris gunnelli (h/t Matthew):

Photo from PLoS ONE

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili had a Senior Cat Moment:

Hili: I’m returning to where I came from.
A: Why?
Hili: Because I forgot what I came here for.
In Polish:
Hili: Wracam tam, gdzie byłam.
Ja: Dlaczego?
Hili: Bo zapomniałam po co tu przyszłam.

From Jesus of the Day:

A bufflehead duck with its crest reflected in the rising sun, photo by reader Colin Franks found on Facebook (Colin’s photography site is here, his Facebook site is here and his Instagram site is here.)

From Anna Krylov, a lizcat cartoon:

A retweet from Masih:

From Simon. Apparently Ron De Santis ate pudding with his fingers. Grist for the political mill:

More on PuddingGate from George Conway (via Simon):

A lovely ancient dark carving sent by gravelinspector:

From Luana: read the apparently true story at the NY Post link:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a man gassed upon arrival:

Matthew’s staying away from Twitter to write his Crick book, but he couldn’t resist a peek:


17 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1755 – Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London.

    1817 – Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc found the American School for the Deaf (then called the Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons), the first American school for deaf students, in Hartford, Connecticut.

    1861 – President Abraham Lincoln calls for 75,000 Volunteers to quell the insurrection that soon became the American Civil War.

    1865 – President Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by actor John Wilkes Booth. Three hours later, Vice President Andrew Johnson is sworn in as President.

    1912 – The British passenger liner RMS Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg. Only 710 of 2,224 passengers and crew on board survive.

    1922 – U.S. Senator John B. Kendrick of Wyoming introduces a resolution calling for an investigation of a secret land deal, which leads to the discovery of the Teapot Dome scandal.

    1923 – Insulin becomes generally available for use by people with diabetes.

    1945 – Bergen-Belsen concentration camp is liberated.

    1955 – McDonald’s restaurant dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois.

    1989 – Hillsborough disaster: A human crush occurs at Hillsborough Stadium, home of Sheffield Wednesday, in the FA Cup Semi-final, resulting in the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans.

    2013 – Two bombs explode near the finish line at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, killing three people and injuring 264 others.

    2019 – The cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris in France is seriously damaged by a large fire.

    1793 – Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve, German astronomer and academic (d. 1864).

    1800 – James Clark Ross, English captain and explorer (d. 1862).

    1843 – Henry James, American novelist, short story writer, and critic (d. 1916).

    1894 – Bessie Smith, African-American singer and actress (d. 1937).

    1938 – Claudia Cardinale, Italian actress.

    1939 – Marty Wilde, English singer-songwriter and actor.

    1944 – Dave Edmunds, Welsh singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer.

    1948 – Phil Mogg, English singer-songwriter and musician.

    1958 – Benjamin Zephaniah, English actor, author, poet, and playwright.

    1959 – Emma Thompson, English actress, comedian, author, activist and screenwriter.

    Just because you get to a certain number doesn’t mean you have to roll up into a ball and wait for the Duck of Death: [With apologies to Iris Apfel.]

    1888 – Matthew Arnold, English poet and critic (b. 1822).

    1980 – Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and author, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1905).

    1982 – Arthur Lowe, English actor (b. 1915).

    1984 – Tommy Cooper, Welsh comedian and magician (b. 1921). [“I’m on a whisky diet… last week I lost three days!”]

    1986 – Jean Genet, French novelist, poet, and playwright (b. 1910). [In his 2005 book Moonage Daydream, Bowie confirmed that the title of his song “The Jean Genie” “…was a clumsy pun upon Jean Genet”.]

    1988 – Kenneth Williams, English actor and screenwriter (b. 1926).

    1990 – Greta Garbo, Swedish-American actress (b. 1905).

    1998 – Pol Pot, Cambodian general and politician, 29th Prime Minister of Cambodia (b. 1925).

    2001 – Joey Ramone, American singer-songwriter (b. 1951).

    2009 – Clement Freud, German-English journalist, academic, and politician (b. 1924).

    2017 – Emma Morano, Italian supercentenarian, last person verified born in the 1800s (b. 1899).

  2. It is interesting reading the conservative news sites and trying to figure out who they support for President. For a while it looked like most of them were supporting DeSantis, but now some of them are talking him down in favor of Trump again. They hardly mention Vivek Ramaswamy.

  3. “it was kind of annoying to be called a birthing person and that she’d like to be called a woman.”
    So “trans women are women, no exceptions” (I was going to say “period,” but that may cloud the issue) but cis women aren’t? Just “birthing persons” or “People with ovaries,” or uteri, or…?

    1. At risk of incurring the wrath of some (maybe many), i find all this vocabulary discussion unworthy of any serious mental effort and more reminiscent of a parlor game or perhaps the ironies pointed out by comments such as CR’s here.

    2. The rule is that it’s fine to use the term “woman” except when referring to anything having to do with female reproductive anatomy, ostensibly because that would be denying that transmen are men. Doing that 1) traumatizes transmen & makes them feel they don’t matter/don’t exist/aren’t even human and 2) retains “woman” and “man” as sex-based classifications instead of gender-based, which is true and good.

      1. I listened to The Witch Trials of JK Rowling podcast and found Rowling to be, in general, intelligent and nuanced on the trans issue. It was fascinating to hear what her actual arguments are, then how she says her opponents will inevitably misinterpret her…and it was precisely what I found when I went for a deeper dive online.

        Afterward I wanted to see what opponents had to say about Rowling and it was wild: exactly the tsunami of bad-faith interpretations and arguments she complained of.

        I ended up commenting under one article that was egregiously misrepresenting Rowland’s arguments. For daring to say that while I may not agree with Rowling on all her arguments, but here is what Rowling actually argued, I was labeled despicable and quickly banned from the site. It was amazing to see one comment after another exhibiting precisely the bad-faith, catastrophizing extremism that Rowling describes in her critics. They couldn’t be doing a better job making her point. It was even said that someone should be “ashamed” to say anything positive about the podcast, given the involvement of Megan Phelps-Roper, whose past involvement in the Westboro Baptist Church makes anything she does for the rest of her life toxic, and she should be made a pariah. There is no forgiveness in the view of some of these people; and they just don’t care how this world-view would disincentivize people from changing from their current beliefs. Why bother if the result is still permanent ostracization and demonetization anyway?

  4. The cherry cobbler looks like Trump!

    The Darwin purge in India is unfortunate. A huge plurality of India’s population will be out to lunch about evolution. The fossil bat is incredible!

  5. Thanks for keeping Hili gone while you are enjoying the food of Paris! But sorry about the lack of sleep last night. Maybe that caused you to forget Caturday? Or maybe we’ll just have to wait until next week…
    Loved the “livid” post!

  6. I hope the Iranians who were blinded in one eye have had that eye removed, because as I understand from a neurobiologist colleague, if it isn’t, an autoimmune response will be generated to the lens proteins, which will then attack the good eye and result in total blindness. Is this the insidious plan?

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