Tuesday: Hili dialogue

April 25, 2023 • 6:45 am

Good morning on Tuesday, the Cruelest Day: it’s April 25, 2023 and National Zucchini Bread Day: the most odious pastry in existence. It exists because zucchini grows like wildfire, people always have more than they want (which isn’t much as the vegetable is basically inedible), and so they make zucchini breads to give to unlucky friends.

I’m still quite ill, hoarse as the dickens and coughing. Fortunately, I tested a second time for covid and was still negative. I’ll do one more test tomorrow. It’s almost surely a dreadful cold picked up from the crowds on the airplane or the Paris Métro, and I’m taking Robitussin with codeine at night and benzonatate (a non drowsy cough supressant) during the day. But be warned: posting may be light until I’m better, which may take a few days. There will be no readers’ wildlife until that happens, but by all means keep sending your contributions, which I save in a special folder. As always, I do my best, like dragging my tuchas into work at 5 a.m.

It’s also Anzac Day, National Crayola Day, National Plumber’s Day (but which plumber is being fêted?), World Malaria Day, National Telephone Day, and World Penguin Day. Here’s a smudged chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) I photographed in 2019. Sadly, it looks as if I’m not going back this year, and maybe never again.

Finally, it’s DNA Day, the day in 1953 when Watson, Crick, Franklin, and Wilkins published their epochal papers in Nature elucidating the structure of DNA. We’re having a very special feature on today’s 70th anniversary, but I can’t put it up till 11 a.m. Chicago time. Come back then!

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the April 25 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Tucker Carlson, who makes me cringe every time I see him feign concern with his furrowed brow, is leaving Fox News. While he was Fox’s most popular host, the network had to pay big bucks in an election-related defamation lawsuit against him, and what credibility he had is even less.

The network made the announcement less than a week after it agreed to pay $787.5 million in a defamation lawsuit in which Mr. Carlson’s show, one of the highest rated on Fox, figured prominently for its role in spreading misinformation after the 2020 election.

In making its announcement, Fox offered a terse statement of gratitude. “Fox News Media and Tucker Carlson have agreed to part ways. We thank him for his service to the network as a host and prior to that as a contributor,” it said.

His last program was on Friday, Fox said.

Mr. Carlson is also facing a lawsuit from a former Fox News producer, Abby Grossberg, who claims that he presided over a misogynistic and discriminatory workplace culture. Ms. Grossberg said in the lawsuit, which was filed in March, that on her first day working for Mr. Carlson, she discovered the work space was decorated with large pictures of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wearing a swimsuit.

WHAT? Did Carlson put that up? If so, why? Well, I can’t say I’ll miss the old miscreant, but somehow I think he’ll land on his feet. As for letting him go, well, Fox could hardly keep him on after his antics cost them so much money, and even Fox has to worry a bit about its credibility.

*Soon after Carlson was given his pink slip, CNN also firedthe veteran host Don Lemon, although the reasons are obscure.

CNN on Monday fired veteran host and anchor Don Lemon, he said, in a surprise move announced only minutes after Fox News parted ways with its star host, Tucker Carlson.

Lemon announced his departure from CNN in a tweet. “I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN,” he wrote. “I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear that there are some larger issues at work.”

Lemon didn’t spell out what “larger issues” may have been involved, but the longtime host was chastised in February for on-air comments about the “prime” age of Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley and other women.

If you want a dramatization of how toxic Fox was not long ago, watch the 2019 movie  “Bombshell,” recounting how Fox boss Roger Ailes was brought down by the toxic and misogynistic environment he created. It stars Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, and Margo Robbie as a fictitious and beleaguered wannabee anchor.  It gets a decent but not outstanding rating at Rotten Tomatoes; I watched it on the plane coming back from Paris (the choice was pretty limited!)

Here’s the trailer:

*Ukraine is apparently preparing for a spring offensive, despite the Discord documents that seem to show that the country is not as well buttressed by the U.S. as we thought.  As the AP reports, they launched a (failed ) drone strike on Crimea, but also one that made it to Moscow—a long way from Ukraine:

Russian-appointed authorities in Crimea said the military fended off a Ukrainian strike on a main naval base on Monday, while an exploding drone was also reportedly found in a forest near Moscow — attacks that come as Ukraine is believed to be preparing for a major counteroffensive.

The Moscow-appointed head of the port city of Sevastopol in Crimea, Mikhail Razvozhayev, said the military destroyed a Ukrainian sea drone that attempted to attack the harbor in the early hours and another one blew up. He said the powerful explosions shattered windows in several apartment buildings but didn’t inflict any other damage.

The attack was the latest in a series of attempted strikes on Sevastopol, the main naval base in Crimea that Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

. . . Russian news reports also claimed Monday that a Ukrainian exploding drone was found in a forest in a forest about 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) east of the Russian capital.

While it didn’t explode, the incident again underscored Ukraine’s capability to reach deep inside Russia as the Ukrainian military is thought to be preparing for a spring counteroffensive to reclaim occupied areas.

Observers believe that the counteroffensive’s most likely target would be the Russian-held parts of the southern Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. If the push is successful, it would allow Ukraine to cut the land corridor between Russia and Crimea.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if Ukraine got Crimea back? After all, that was also stolen land. None of us know what’s going to happen (my first guess was that Russia would win quickly, which was also Putin’s idea), but the plucky Ukrainians have held off a huge (if incompetent) army for a year. Meanwhile, there’s Bakhmut, more of propagandistic than strategic value:

The Russian forces, meanwhile, have continued their nearly nine-month effort to capture the Ukrainian stronghold of Bakhmut in the eastern Donetsk region.

Zelenskyy emphasized the importance of defending Bakhmut in last month’s interview with The Associated Press. saying that its fall could allow Russia to rally international support for a deal that might require Kyiv to make unacceptable compromises.

Ukraine and Russia both have described the fighting for Bakhmut, the war’s longest battle, as key to exhausting enemy forces and preventing them from pressing attacks elsewhere along the 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) front line.

Fingers crossed for Zelensky, his soldiers, and his people!

*The WSJ recounts the story of how Mayer Richard J. Daley decided that charging a dime to use the toilet stalls at Chicago’s airports was an imposition to visitors and residents. As a man with absolute power, he nixed that fee, and within three weeks all the toilets in Chicago’s public places were free.

The existence of pay toilets nationwide had seldom been seriously questioned. In 1970 four Dayton, Ohio, high-school students had founded a semi-whimsical organization called the Committee to End Pay Toilets in America. The group was met mostly with smiles.

Daley, the most powerful mayor in the U.S., heard about the group and understood immediately that the Ohio kids were right. Charge people money to go to the bathroom—something everyone needed to do multiple times each day? What kind of welcome was that to visitors to Chicago? What kind of send-off was that to Chicagoans on their way out of town? Every dime dropped into every toilet-stall slot was lousy public relations for the city.

So, as a man holding all but absolute power locally, he decreed that the pay toilets in the airports would henceforth be free. He even managed to make it a women’s-rights issue: Because men weren’t charged to use the urinals, the pay toilets were an example of sex discrimination. Daley, never known as a feminist, nonetheless announced: “I did it for women’s lib.”

The company that manufactured and installed the lock mechanisms—Nik-O-Lok, of Indianapolis—was understandably displeased. Daley didn’t care. He ordered Nik-O-Lok to remove those locks: “Do it at once, if not sooner.” Within three weeks, the locks were gone. Chicago’s City Council, on Daley’s command, soon expanded the no-pay-toilet edict to all “places which serve and accommodate the public.”

Around the country, it was if a lightbulb had switched on above the heads of mayors and governors. Of course—why anger citizens by constantly charging them for something as personal and necessary as using a bathroom? Other municipalities from coast to coast began to follow the Daley example. Reporters and editorial writers couldn’t help themselves: They described the victorious no-pay-toilet proponents as “flushed with triumph.”

An inconsequential issue? Daley was smart enough to understand that it’s never a good idea for a city to make its residents and visitors resentful. A dime was only a dime, but it felt like a constant and intrusive tax. Cities, then and now, always need income. But even in 2023’s America, where public restrooms can seem hard to find, a savvy mayor knows better than to pick the pockets of people in a hurry to get behind a certain door.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, and comrades, many times I have availed myself of Chicago’s free public restrooms. Besides, who has a dime these days?

*Also the WSJ notes that, according to the American Library Association, in 2022 there were 1,269 attempts to ban books in the U.S., almost twice the number for the previous year.

More than 2,500 individual titles fell under scrutiny in 2022, the majority of which focused on or were written by LGBT individuals and people of color.

The efforts have reached communities across the U.S. Voters in a rural western Michigan town defunded a library over a dispute related to LGBT content. A Texas county considered closing its public libraries after a federal judge ordered more than a dozen recently removed books to be returned to shelves.

Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, president of the American Library Association, said creating a list of the most-challenged books in 2022 could help identify the communities, stories and subjects most often targeted by book-banning campaigns. The group said common reasons for attempting to censor these books included allegations they were sexually explicit or included LGBT content and profanity.

These, I suspect, are coming mostly from the Right. Here is the ALA’s list of the 13 most-challenged books last year:

1. “Gender Queer,” by Maia Kobabe

2. “All Boys Aren’t Blue,” by George M. Johnson

3. “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison

4. “Flamer,” by Mike Curato

5. (tie) “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green

5. (tie) “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky

7. “Lawn Boy,” by Jonathan Evison

8. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie

9. “Out of Darkness,” by Ashley Hope Pérez

10. (tie) “A Court of Mist and Fury,” by Sarah J. Maas

10. (tie) “Crank,” by Ellen Hopkins

10. (tie) “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” by Jesse Andrews

10. (tie) “This Book is Gay,” by Juno Dawson

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Kulka goes after Hili! OMG!

Kulka:  Got you.
Hili:     This will end badly.

(Photo: Paulina)

In Polish:
Kulka: Mam cię.
Hili: To się źle skończy.
(Zdjęcie: Paulina)


From Stephen via America’s Cultural Decline into Idiocy. What a pair of loons! When they starting thinking about doing it, they mist themselves or eat a raw potato!

Here’s one of a big batch of misspelled signs that reader David sent me. There will be a lot more to come! (Maybe they used air freshener. . . )

From Jesus of the Day:

From Masih: the expulsion of a hijab Pecksniff:

Titania tweeted again!


From Luana: Colin Wright, whose work I discussed yesterday, gave a talk in Davis, CA on sex and gender, and here’s who came out to greet him. The second para reads, in full,

“But bugs are designated male and female for the same exact reasons humans are designated male or female. They would have learned this if they actually came inside and listened to my talk!

His speech, they aver is killing kids!

Speaker of gender, here’s a Twitter exchange from JKL herself:

And now The Amazing Atheist (whoever he is) has added this to his Twitter handle:

From Barry. My explanation, which is mine: there’s no lead duck, and each duck has to follow one in front of it (these are runner ducks).

From the Auschwitz Memorial. a French girl who died at seventeen:

Tweets from Professor Cobb. First, a faceplant penguin appropriate for World Penguin Day:

The deepest fish yet (two tweets):

45 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    404 BC – Admiral Lysander and King Pausanias of Sparta blockade Athens and bring the Peloponnesian War to a successful conclusion.

    1792 – Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier becomes the first person executed by guillotine.

    1792 – “La Marseillaise” (the French national anthem) is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

    1859 – British and French engineers break ground for the Suez Canal.

    1901 – New York becomes the first U.S. state to require automobile license plates.

    1915 – World War I: The Battle of Gallipoli begins: The invasion of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula by British, French, Indian, Newfoundland, Australian and New Zealand troops, begins with landings at Anzac Cove and Cape Helles.

    1953 – Francis Crick and James Watson publish “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid” describing the double helix structure of DNA.

    1954 – The first practical solar cell is publicly demonstrated by Bell Telephone Laboratories.

    1960 – The United States Navy submarine USS Triton completes the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe.

    1974 – Carnation Revolution: A leftist military coup in Portugal overthrows the authoritarian-conservative Estado Novo regime and establishes a democratic government.

    1982 – Israel completes its withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula per the Camp David Accords.

    1983 – Pioneer 10 travels beyond Pluto’s orbit.

    2001 – President George W. Bush pledges U.S. military support in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan.

    2014 – The Flint water crisis begins when officials at Flint, Michigan switch the city’s water supply to the Flint River, leading to lead and bacteria contamination upon the citizens.

    1599 – Oliver Cromwell, English general and politician, Lord Protector of Great Britain (d. 1658).

    1873 – Walter de la Mare, English poet, short story writer, and novelist (d. 1956).

    1874 – Guglielmo Marconi, Italian businessman and inventor, developed Marconi’s law, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1937).

    1908 – Edward R. Murrow, American journalist (d. 1965).

    1917 – Ella Fitzgerald, American singer (d. 1996).

    1923 – Albert King, African-American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 1992).

    1933 – Jerry Leiber, American songwriter and producer (d. 2011). [Wrote “Hound Dog” with Mike Stoller for Big Mama Thornton – if you haven’t heard her version you should!]

    1940 – Al Pacino, American actor and director.

    1943 – Tony Christie, English singer-songwriter and actor.

    1944 – Len Goodman, English dancer. [His death was announced yesterday.]

    1945 – Björn Ulvaeus, Swedish singer-songwriter and producer.

    1947 – Johan Cruyff, Dutch footballer and manager (d. 2016).

    1958 – Fish, Scottish singer-songwriter. [Got his name because of the time he spent in the bathtub as a student.]

    Call no man happy till he is dead:
    1878 – Anna Sewell, English author (b. 1820).

    1972 – George Sanders, English actor (b. 1906).

    1976 – Carol Reed, English director and producer (b. 1906).

    1995 – Ginger Rogers, American actress, singer, and dancer (b. 1911).

    2008 – Humphrey Lyttelton, English trumpet player, composer, and radio host (b. 1921).

    2010 – Alan Sillitoe, English novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet (b. 1928).

    2011 – Poly Styrene, British musician (b. 1957).

    1. 1792 – “La Marseillaise” (the French national anthem) is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

      And played by the house band (and the staff and the patrons) of Rick’s Café Américain, under the direction of Victor Laszlo, with a nod of approval from Rick Blaine himself, to drown out the Nazis.

      You can have all your “Here’s looking at you kid”s and your “We’ll always have Paris”s and your “Play the song, Sam”s and your “Round up the usual suspects,” that scene with “La Marseillaise” has always been the highlight of Casablanca for me.

      I imagine a hetro guy would pretty much take any risk to earn that moist look from Ingrid Bergman’s Ilsa.

      1. I know it may be sappy, but this scene still brings a tear to my eyes no matter how many times I have seen Casablanca.

      2. A very interesting story re. Casablanca revealed in All Blood Runs Red (Keith & Clavin) about Eugene Bullard, the first and probably only black aviator in WWI, who left Georgia for France as a youth and first became a boxer. After the Great War he ran a very popular nightclub in Paris between the Wars, which some feel was the model for Rick’s. The club was frequented by Dooley Wilson, to boot. And also by Nazis as the Occuption loomed, not long before closing, and on whom Bullard spied. A great read!

      1. Sorry to hear about that. His music was part of the sound track of my early years growing up. One of several artists from my parents music collection that later in life I bought for myself as well.

  2. Hope you feel better soon!

    There’s a lot of talk on the news and talk circuit about why Tucker Carlson was fired. Was it his advocacy for conspiracy theories? Was it his alleged antisemitism? Was it his duplicitous tweets about the former President? Was it his dissing of the Fox brass in private texts? Was it because he cost FOX three quarters of a billion dollars in the recent settlement? No to all.

    It’s not about the past. It’s about the future. It’s about how much damage will come out of the new sexual harassment suit and, just as importantly, by how much *anticipated* damage he may do to the FOX brand—or the FOX pocketbook—during the upcoming Presidential campaign (which promises to be a royal battle). He was fired not because of what he did in the past, but because of the damage he will do in the future.

    1. I doubt that we’ve seen or heard the last of Carlson. He may very well sign up with a “news” network to the right of Fox, such as One America News or Newsmax. He may also establish his own podcast. Totally unshackled, he will spew his poison with nobody to constrain him. He will become even more the spokesperson for the cultural far right. Thus, his leaving Fox news will do little or nothing to reduce partisan tensions in the country.

      1. I think you’re correct in assuming Carlson will continue to spew his poison, but without the MASSIVE platform of Fox, his propaganda will not be spread nearly as wide. He’ll probably end up on the internet somewhere, and Fox’s target audience don’t watch tv via computers. So I do think this is a good thing for America as I doubt he’ll ever reach as many people on a daily basis that he did with Fox. We’ll see…

        1. Tucker Carlson’s Fox audience is dwarfed by that of Joe Rogan’s on Spotify. Nobody needs the networks or cable anymore other than the aged, the infirm, and the institutionalized. (I’m not sure why they ever did.) Carlson had the highest rated cable news show in US history with an average of 3.5 – 4.3 million viewers most weeks. Out of what? About 260,000,000 adults in the United States. I really do think we overplay the FOX news trope (the repubs do the same with MSNBC, which barely has an audience at all). People can rot their brains on social media. They no longer need cable! I watch for Carlson to expand his reach–and his paycheck.

          But for those who do watch cable, Carlson has had the top-rated news show among Democrats aged 25-54. Yeah, not infrequently drawing far more of that crowd than Maddow. The world doesn’t divide that easily into us and them. Nor does the US political world divide cleanly into left and right anymore.

  3. Tucker Carlson, who makes me cringe every time I see him feign concern with his furrowed brow, is leaving Fox News.

    Does Carlson now get to keep as his own private property the thousands of hours of security video from the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol that the spineless Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy inexplicably gave to Carlson and Carlson alone (inexplicable other than as a sop to the far rightwing fringe of McCarthy’s own party with whom Carlson was always so popular)?

  4. The problem with zucchini is the same as with Brussels sprouts: suppliers’ greed. They should be picked at no more than about 20 mm diameter. They grow so fast, however, that a day or two later they will reach 30 mm or more, at least doubling the profit per unit, and I have seen them on sale even larger. The only solution for most people is grow your own, when they can be delicious.

    1. Zucchinis deserve some jokery, though. I had a college friend who would grow a garden and inevitably have way too many of the damn vegetables. So she’d pack them in grocery bags and just hand them to strangers on the street and then run away. A surprise “gift” of zucchinis from a mysterious stranger.

      1. Growing up we once had a similar problem, but with cucumbers. We had a large prolific garden and the cucumbers were especially so. In an attempt to deal with them we learned how to pickle. We made all kinds of pickles. Various kinds of dill, icicle, sweet, olive oil, I can’t remember half of them. We had boxes filled with jars of pickles stacked everywhere. Like your friend, we gave boxes of pickles to anyone we could trick into taking hold of a box.

        1. Love your story. 🤣

          I have a garden every year, and have learned this lesson; never grow more than one cucumber or squash plant. One plant is enough to feed my family of 2 almost daily, but it would probably be adequate for a family of 4. I would say the same for tomatoes, but I like to can them and make sauces to freeze so usually have 3 or 4 plants.

          I have a friend who has a family of 4, and he grows rows and rows of cukes and zukes. He gives extras away to the food bank, which is cool, but he complains every year about all the extra veggies. “Just grow one of each” I tell him; he doesn’t understand the concept.

          1. LOL!

            Your friend sounds like me with respect to herbs. I always worry I won’t have enough, so I plant several of each. For the first couple of months I don’t have enough, but then after they take off I have more than I can possibly use. Just what needs to be trimmed to keep them productive is more than I can use.

            1. I hear you, I once grew so much basil, I didn’t know what to do with it so I made batch after batch of pesto until we all got sick of it. Took a couple years to really like pesto again.

      2. Amusing story; they are prolific, but the best way to avoid being overwhelmed is the same as the way to get the best flavour: pick ’em small.

      3. Zucchini with grilled with summer squash and red onion, maybe drizzled with good olive oil or a nice tzatziki sauce over a pita with feta, delicious. Almost as good as roasted Brussels Sprouts with a balsamic glaze. Yum-o.

  5. The WSJ recounts the story of how Mayer [sic] Richard J. Daley decided that charging a dime to use the toilet stalls at Chicago’s airports was an imposition to visitors and residents.

    It’s nice to be Boss.

    Speaking of Mayor Daley the first, I see that the Democrats have decided to hold their 2024 national convention in Chicago, the first time since the ’68 convention that nominated Hubert Humphrey. That one worked out well.

    1. Even now, 50 years on, I remember reading and enjoying Mike Royko’s book, “Boss” on Mayor Daley and his political machine. I think that is where the quote I’ve always used, “indicted ain’t convicted” came from. Thanks for the Boss reference.

    2. The 1996 Democratic National Convention was held at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, from August 26 to August 29, 1996. President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were nominated for reelection. This was the first national convention of either party to be held in Chicago since the disastrous riots of the 1968 Democratic convention.

      In the middle of the convention, many of the delegates danced to the song “Macarena”. Al Gore famously danced to the song while standing still.

      1. I remember Gore and the Macarena, bub, but I forgot it happened in Chitown. Gore “dancing” the Macarena was kinda funny. The Clintons and the Gores dancing to Fleetwood Mac, OTOH, was, well, an afront to us white folk with rhythm. Ruined “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” for me for all time.

  6. TL;DR: Requesting books to be banned is an unequivocal bad move, and only serves to market the titles. But what then are books that are not put into a library in the first place, or no longer published?

    Dr. Seuss books do not fit the “ban request” category, yet many titles are elusive in the United States public libraries. Library users looking for certain titles are given messages such as “STORAGE”, “LIBRARY USE ONLY”. One might need to travel to only certain library branches to borrow them – in the true spirit of “borrow”. The publisher no longer publishes certain Dr. Seuss titles, as we know.

    Then there is Titania McGrath’s My First Little Book of Intersectionality, which is still not in my local library.

    Not banned – but not there.

    1. Maybe falls loosely into the category of self censorship that we are seeing at many universities…very scarey to me.

    2. Can’t have the banned books on the same library shelves as the good and decent approved books, otherwise the good and decent books might catch cooties.

      1. I read that a man in your state is trying to ban the bible for it’s many obscene references. More power to him!


        Speaking of Fl, did you see DeSantis’ reaction in Japan when he was asked if he would run for POTUS. “I’m not a candidate” looking like a deer in headlights. He looked awkward in pretty much every clip I watched; can’t say he imbued a lot of confidence for someone aiming for the “big stage”.

    3. Local libraries only have so much money to spend on their collection, and librarians have to use a number of sources to determine if a book is worth adding to their collection. One of those sources is requests from patrons. Have you tried asking for the book?

      1. “Have you tried asking for the book?”

        I know I can “ask” – as in, write a short explanation as to why this title is necessary in general, and send it in. I made a case for purchasing McGrath’s Woke, and got no reply. I have requested purchases and unusual titles before sucessfully. Woke has some sort of entry but it is not like a normal book – it is not readily available like we imagine every book to be – especially in contrast to the ideologically-constructed reading lists the libraries take great care to make visible anywhere and copies readily available – web or in person.

        But to “ask”, one marks themselves. I’m already marked for Woke. So to request “My Little Book -” – essentially a fake “Childrens’ book” – I don’t need that right now.

        Andrew Doyle’s other books I would sooner make a case for – none of those are anywhere in the system either. That ought to work.

        The point though, is not my troubles getting books. It is that just because a book is not “banned” doesn’t mean it is readily available – or that there could be “reasons” for that discrepancy, which has the same result as if it were “banned”.

    1. What can anyone say? He just shows up makes you smile – then he sings and all is right in the world. Maybe two other people could do that for the audience I am in? Stevie Wonder perhaps, but he’s quite a different performer. It seems a singular gift Belafonte had.

      Belafonte singing Turn the World Around on The Muppet Show – would it happen today? Hard to tell : https://youtu.be/tPaKWihFs_Q

      Cry not because he’s gone.
      Smile because he was here.

      Source for that quip (I adjusted it slightly) is here : https://quoteinvestigator.com/2016/07/25/smile/?amp=1

      … perhaps, but it is still very sad…

  7. When I visited France a few years ago, some of the major attractions had pay toilettes.
    What a pain in the cahonas. Digging for euros.

    1. 2 things I hate about cities and major attractions, the hassle of parking and the hassle of finding a toilet to use when you need it.

  8. “Wouldn’t it be lovely if Ukraine got Crimea back?”

    That’s a scenario that we could all come to regret.

  9. The only pay toilet I’ve encountered was at a rail station in Grenoble, France. The payment wasn’t at the stall, but at the entrance to the restroom itself, so even if you just wanted to wash your hands you’d have to pay.

    On the plus side, it was impeccably clean, unlike most public facilities I’ve used.

  10. I am a bit surprised that our host hasn’t come across “The Amazing Atheist” yet. He’s a youtuber who’s been active for a loooong time – since the good old days of the Four Horsemen, when atheism was actually hotly debated on the internet. He actually ended up on the anti-woke side of the Atheism+ debacle. I haven’t followed him for a while, and I am not sure what his stance on the trans debate is – he is openly bi, so somehow part of the LGBTXYZ crowd, but he can also be a troll.

    1. After having left the SJW/Anti SJW debate behind many years ago, I decided to watch a few Amazing Atheist videos several days ago. He has renounced his role in establishing the Anti SJW genre, due to the fact that most Anti SJWs became rabid Right Wingers and Trumpsters. He also mentioned the JK Rowling incident. He explained that he was merely trolling Right Wingers with his post, and she saw it and retweeted it. He treated it as a joke.

  11. IRT banned books, here’s something Sherman Alexie recently posted on Freddie deBoer’s Substack:
    “My YA novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, is one of the most challenged and banned books of the last 20 years. According to the American Library Association, my novel was the most banned and challenged book in the United States in the decade 2010-2019. So I have more personal experience with the right wing’s vilification of books and writers than just about everybody. But I’m also highly aware of the way the left censors and silences writers. And a lot of this silencing and censoring happens before a book is even published, with sensitivity readers who demand changes based on ever-shifting moral standards and definitions of “triggers” and, more dangerously, by creating an environment where writers silence and censor themselves because they fear professional and personal excommunication. As I’ve written elsewhere, the right wing are censorship vikings and the left wing are censorship ninjas.”

  12. Carlson was a named defendant in the Dominion lawsuit, but he wasn’t the one who cost them money. From the Wall Street Journal:

    “Mr. Carlson was livid that Fox News didn’t do more to protect him from the negative press coverage around the Dominion case that he was expected to testify in, given that the primary actors responsible for the false election-fraud claims at the heart of the suit were other Fox hosts and commentators . . .

    “In the messages released in the legal proceedings, Mr. Carlson voiced skepticism about Sidney Powell, the primary purveyor of the conspiracy theory that Dominion’s technology helped steal the election from Mr. Trump. Given that, Mr. Carlson felt the narrative in press coverage should have been different, and let Fox executives know of his displeasure . . .”

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