Saturday: Hili dialogue

April 29, 2023 • 6:45 am

It’s Caturday Saturday, April 29, 2023, shabbos for Jewish cats, and National Shrimp Scampi Day. I’ve never had it, and have to look it up, but here’s one version of it, and I put a photo below.

From The Mediterranean Dish

It’s also Adopt A Shelter Pet Day, Bugs Bunny Day (“On April 30, 1938, a cartoon character known as “Happy Rabbit” made his debut in a short Warner Bros. cartoon titled “Porky’s Hare Hunt”), Eeyore’s Birthday (celebrating the natal day of my animal alter ego), International Jazz Day, National Go Birding Day, National Oatmeal Cookie Day, National Raisin Day, Save the Frogs Day, World Veterinary DayDay of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare (United Nations), and International Dance Day (UNESCO)

Here’s Bugs Bunny in a short segment of “Porky’s Hare Hunt”. He changed appearance quite a bit in subsequent years:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the April 29 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Mike Pence spent a LONG time—five hours—on Thursday testifying about his relations with Trump during the January 6 insurrection.  This testimony could be crucial, for this is a criminal and not a civil investigation, and Pence may know some stuff that would put Trump in hot water:

Mr. Pence spent more than five hours behind closed doors at the Federal District Court in Washington in an appearance that came after he was subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury earlier this year.

As the target of an intense pressure campaign in the final days of 2020 and early 2021 by Mr. Trump to convince him to play a critical role in blocking or delaying congressional certification of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, Mr. Pence is considered a key witness in the investigation.

Mr. Pence, who is expected to decide soon about whether to challenge Mr. Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, rebuffed Mr. Trump’s demands that he use his role as president of the Senate in the certification of the Electoral College results to derail the final step in affirming Mr. Biden’s victory.

Mr. Pence’s advisers had discussions with Justice Department officials last year about providing testimony in their criminal investigation into whether Mr. Trump and a number of his allies broke federal law in trying to keep Mr. Trump in power. But the talks broke down, leading prosecutors to seek a subpoena for Mr. Pence’s testimony.

. . . A federal appeals court on Wednesday night rejected an emergency attempt by Mr. Trump to stop Mr. Pence’s testimony, allowing the testimony to go forward on Thursday.

. . . It is not clear what testimony Mr. Pence provided on Thursday. But prosecutors were surely interested in Mr. Pence’s accounts of his interactions with Mr. Trump and Trump advisers including John Eastman, a lawyer who promoted the idea that they could use the congressional certification process on Jan. 6 to give Mr. Trump a chance to remain in office.

Yep, the only possible response is “we shall see.” But I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall of the grand jury room.

*Nellie Bowles is off in Texas reporting for the Free Press, so the week’s news summary, “TGIF: What the Tuck?” was written by Bari Weiss herself. Here are three items from her summary. First, Weiss’s take on Turckergate:

→ As for what I think . . .  Tucker thinks supporting Ukraine is the foreign policy equivalent of putting pronouns in your bio. I think supporting Ukraine is as morally obvious as rooting for America over China. Tucker spoke of “the replacement of legacy Americans with more obedient people from faraway countries.” I think the idea of “legacy Americans” is reprehensible—every single one of us came from somewhere else—and that immigrants are the backbone of America. It goes on and on and on. He drove me nuts.

But you couldn’t deny how important he was (and is). Nellie and I watched his monologues not quite nightly but often the next day on YouTube—a ritual that started in 2020 when he was showing real footage sans the “mostly peaceful” chyrons of what was going on in cities that summer. He also openly questioned and mocked the irrational parts of the Covid lockdown—two things other network news hosts couldn’t or wouldn’t do. He was one of the only people on TV who made his viewers aware of the new military-industrial complex: the alliance between Big Tech and the government. And he consistently featured important journalists who do not fit a neat political box—people like Batya Ungar-Sargon, Abigail Shrier, and Aaron Sibarium.

→ “Free speech lets me know my enemy”: We generally cringe at the word ally, but if The Free Press has one, surely it’s FIRE, the free speech advocacy organization that I first encountered when I was a college student. (They defended me, and I will never forget it.

Half of our staff went to their gala last week—it looked like a prom for debate captains, which is to say, I wish I had been there—and all of them raved about the keynote given by Killer Mike of Run the Jewels. Sharing the whole thing here for those who need to remember that the best way to combat speech you hate is with speech of your own.

→ Only old people have sex now: When I was a young person, we did crazy things. We played music on little plastic discs. We bought books at a big store called Barnes & Noble. And we had sex. Regularly. Which apparently is not a thing anymore. Between 2009 and 2018, the number of teenagers reporting no sexual activity—and this includes single people and those in relationships—went from 28.8 percent to 44.2 percent among young men and from 49.5 percent to 74 percent of young women, according to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. But the youngs have all kinds of other new fads. . .

That last one is depressing. But what are the “other new fads” that are replacing sex?

*Go have a look at the Washington Post’s series of engrossing pictures, “Newly released White House photos capture the day bin Laden was killed.”

A cache of newly released government photographs revealskey moments inside the White House during the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, including images of top officials shaking hands after learning that bin Laden had been killed and President Barack Obama calling other world leaders to break the news. Through a Freedom of Information Act request to the Obama Presidential Library, The Washington Post obtained more than 900 photos taken by officialWhite House photographers on May 1, 2011. Below is a selection of 23photographs and the moments they captured as recounted in Barack Obama’s memoir “A Promised Land” and an oral history by Garrett M. Graff published in Politico.

4:05 p.m. This is one we’ve already seen, but I still find it gripping. It’s when everyone was informed that one Black Hawk helicopter during the raid in Pakistan was disabled. Only a few minutes later they were informed that bin Laden had been killed. But there are a lot of other photos showing the tension in the room.

CAPTION FROM THE NYT: This is the image that the White House released on May 2, 2011, to convey to the public what happened during the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound. In that original release and in this current response to the FOIA request, the classified document seen in front of Clinton has been obscured by the White House. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza, courtesy Barack Obama Presidential Library)

11:41 p.m.: Obama’s associates watching as he addressed the nation with news of bin Laden’s death:

(From NYT): This photo was released by the White House on May 2, 2011. Seated from left, Clapper, Donilon, Panetta, Mullen, Clinton and Biden. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza, courtesy Barack Obama Presidential Library)

*Over at The Weekly Dish, Andrew Sullivan constructs his own “dream ticket” of Democrats for 2024. And oy, is it dire. But some quotes:

The thought of a Trump-Biden rematch is soul-deadening and mind-numbing to me and countless others — which is why 38 percent of the country describe themselves as feeling “exhausted” by the prospect. Ask yourself this: if you woke up tomorrow to discover that neither man was going to run next year, how would you feel?


This exhaustion offers, it seems to me, a real opening for something fresher, younger, and more attuned to our actual moment

. . . Who else is there? I hope you’re sitting down, but in all this, two men stand out to me: Tucker Carlson and Bobby Kennedy Jr. Very different, but weirdly simpatico, it did not shock me that the vaccine-skeptical Kennedy was given time on Carlson’s show to make his presidential pitch. (Watch the segment here.) Both have become anti-corporate populists, lone rangers in their own partisan coalitions. Both believe the US war against Russia is misguided, and led by the same dumb elites who took us into Iraq. Both have come to suspect the US military, intelligence services and pharmaceutical industries. Both loathe Tony Fauci — the patron saint of the pharmaceutical-government-media complex.

WHAAAAT???? Yes, you heard right:

There are aspects to Carlson’s message I find repellent, specifically the refusal to call January 6 what it was, the fathomless cynicism behind his public defense of Trump, his absurd love-in with Viktor Orbán, and the racist tinge to some of his comments on immigration. (His insistence that mass migration is a disaster is, to my mind, entirely justified.) And with Kennedy, I just don’t buy the anti-vaccine campaigns, or his profound alienation from what he sees as the deep state. I’m not as fed up as either of them.

But I’ll confess I also find them appealing, in a way Trump and Biden could never be. Kennedy sees clearly how the Dems have become the party of big corporations, HR authoritarians, and the mega-wealthy. Carlson sees the totalitarian essence of wokeness, its denial of core American values, and the cynical distraction of critical theory madness when most middle-class Americans are overwhelmed, overworked, and dying prematurely in large numbers. Neither is easily intimidated. Kennedy also feels in his bones the spiritual desolation out there, and grasps our duty to balance prosperity with care for the planet.

. . . I’d like both Carlson and Kennedy to run for president: to rattle the corporate, media and government elites, to force a rethink on both the complacent right and loopy left, and to break up the Trump-Biden dynamic, which is as depressing as it is toxic for the country as a whole.

. . . and I’d like to shoot myself.

*Finally, Russia continues to commit war crimes against Ukraine. Here’s the latest:

A rocket slammed into an apartment block in central Ukraine on Friday morning, as a Russian aerial assault against towns and cities across the country killed at least 25 people and injured dozens more, officials said.

In the first wide-ranging Russian assault against civilian targets in more than a month, air alarms blared around 4 a.m. as Russian bombers over the Caspian Sea unleashed about two dozen cruise missiles at targets across Ukraine. The Ukrainian military said it shot down most of the missiles but a few evaded air defenses.

The deadliest strike appeared to be in the central city of Uman, which is nearly 200 miles north of the front line and has not been a frequent target of attacks.

.  . . Ukrainian officials condemned the strikes as a sign of Russia’s unending aggression and called again for more advanced Western weapons to fend off the attacks. Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said on Twitter: “The way to peace is to kick Russia out of Ukraine. The way to peace is to arm Ukraine with F-16s and protect children from Russian terror.”

Ukraine really wants those F-16s, but they’d have to come from the U.S., which has ruled them out for now. Besides, it would take 18 months to train Ukrainian pilots and deliver the planes.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is upset at the hatred and stupidity she sees on the Internet. Note that she’s missing a tooth now. . . .

Hili: I was browsing the Internet.
A: And what?
Hili: I’m wailing in despair.
(Photo: Paulina)
In Polish:
Hili: Przeglądałam Internet.
Paulina: I co?
Hili: Wyję z rozpaczy.
(Zdjęcie: Paulina)


A meme from Nicole:

From Malcolm; I hope this is a real invention. Alway have one of these at hand at home or when traveling! “Breathe” is of course misspelled.

Speaking of misspellings, here’s another from David. On the other hand, maybe the apple better really was made by hos.

From Masih. I love the solidarity with men support those who really started the current Iranian protests—the women:

Titania is tweeting again; the article she mentions is is real, and is from yahoo! news in 2018:

An adorable video, sent by Malcolm, of a red panda eating grapes. And it’s STANDING ERECT!

Barry sent a screenshot of this Twitter conversation:

From the Auschwitz Memorial: a 17 year old who died in the camp:

Tweets from Matthew. First, a clowder of cats (you did know that “clowder” is the appropriate word for an assemblage of cats, right?)

I’m not sure that this is really a mallard nest since mallard eggs are usually green (these may be light green), but it’s certainly a duck nest. And look how cozy it is, lined with feathers that mom plucked from her breast!

Is this true? Are Chinese-food takeout boxes really meant to be folded into bowls? (not plates!)

28 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

    1. No – it should draw air through the Plumbing vent.

      If everything works correctly, that is – I mean, I’ll let someone else try it first.

        1. OK … you know, instead, I think I’ll just focus on the take-out boxes that unfold to plates today.

    2. Not so much pathogens—flush first—as sewer gas which contains poisonous hydrogen sulphide and maybe not much oxygen. The water in the bowl prevents sewer gas from entering the room. That’s its function.

      However, H2S is heavier than air and the sewer is a long way below a hotel room on the upper floors, the ones from which rescue is most difficult. So the plumbing stack is mostly full of air from the vent pipe open to the atmosphere.

      It should work to get breathable air but the danger in fires is carbon monoxide. It is also heavier than air but is easily lifted by fire currents and rooms could be full of it, far above the flames. That’s why you stick a wet towel into the gap at the bottom of the door. Even a few breaths could be fatal or cause brain damage depending on concentration. You would have to plug your nose and breathe only through the device until rescued as you have no way of knowing if there is CO in the room unless there is a detector in the room, which there should be.

  1. The “new fads” that are replacing sexual activity are trying to define your gender identity (not by going out and practicing some gender-related activities but by sitting in your bedroom angsting about it on your phone). I’ve defined mine — it’s “post sexual”.

  2. That is an inspiring invention!

    Seriously, I think it draws air from the plumbing vent – and therefore not sewer gas. So assuming the air at the pipe opening is ok…

  3. On this day:
    1429 – Joan of Arc arrives to relieve the Siege of Orléans.

    1770 – James Cook arrives in Australia at Botany Bay, which he names.

    1910 – The Parliament of the United Kingdom passes the People’s Budget, the first budget in British history with the expressed intent of redistributing wealth among the British public.

    1916 – Easter Rising: After six days of fighting, Irish rebel leaders surrender to British forces in Dublin, bringing the Easter Rising to an end.

    1945 – World War II: Adolf Hitler marries his longtime partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker and designates Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor.

    1945 – Dachau concentration camp is liberated by United States troops.

    1953 – The first U.S. experimental 3D television broadcast shows an episode of Space Patrol on Los Angeles ABC affiliate KECA-TV.

    1968 – The controversial musical Hair, a product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, opens at the Biltmore Theatre on Broadway, with some of its songs becoming anthems of the anti-Vietnam War movement.

    1974 – Watergate scandal: United States President Richard Nixon announces the release of edited transcripts of White House tape recordings relating to the scandal.

    1975 – Vietnam War: Operation Frequent Wind: The U.S. begins to evacuate U.S. citizens from Saigon before an expected North Vietnamese takeover. U.S. involvement in the war comes to an end.

    1992 – Riots in Los Angeles, following the acquittal of police officers charged with excessive force in the beating of Rodney King. Over the next three days 63 people are killed and hundreds of buildings are destroyed.

    1997 – The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 enters into force, outlawing the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons by its signatories.

    2004 – The final Oldsmobile is built in Lansing, Michigan, ending 107 years of vehicle production.

    1854 – Henri Poincaré, French mathematician, physicist and engineer (d. 1912).

    1858 – Georgia Hopley, American journalist, temperance advocate, and the first woman prohibition agent (d. 1944).

    1863 – William Randolph Hearst, American publisher and politician, founded the Hearst Corporation (d. 1951).

    1879 – Thomas Beecham, English conductor (d. 1961).

    1895 – Malcolm Sargent, English organist, composer and conductor (d. 1967).

    1899 – Duke Ellington, American pianist, composer and bandleader (d. 1974).

    1922 – Toots Thielemans, Belgian guitarist and harmonica player (d. 2016).

    1928 – Heinz Wolff, German-English physiologist, engineer, and academic (d. 2017).

    1929 – Jeremy Thorpe, English lawyer and politician (d. 2014).

    1931 – Lonnie Donegan, Scottish-English singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2002).

    1933 – Willie Nelson, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer and actor.

    1935 – Otis Rush, American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 2018).

    1954 – Jerry Seinfeld, American comedian, actor and producer.

    1957 – Daniel Day-Lewis, British-Irish actor.

    1958 – Michelle Pfeiffer, American actress.

    And I still onward haste to my last night; Time’s fatal wings do ever forward fly:
    1951 – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-English philosopher and academic (b. 1889).

    1980 – Alfred Hitchcock, English-American director and producer (b. 1899).

    1993 – Mick Ronson, English guitarist, songwriter and producer (b. 1946).

    2006 – John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian-American economist and diplomat, United States Ambassador to India (b. 1908).

    2008 – Albert Hofmann, Swiss chemist and academic (b. 1906).

    2014 – Bob Hoskins, English actor (b. 1942).

    1. Thanks as always, Jez. Many things to comment on in today’s list. I’ll go with a Beecham Bon-Bon:
      “Have you heard any Stockhausen?” Beecham was asked. “No, but I believe I have stepped in some.”

      1. and may I add another Beecham quote: “The sound of a harpsichord – two skeletons copulating on a tin roof in a thunderstorm.”

      2. Beecham to his credit was a great supporter of Frederick Delius and his music
        for which we will ever be grateful. He also programmed much of Handel’s
        music for his concerts but was severely criticized by scholars for adding
        instrumentation not in the original scores and often rearranging movements
        to “romanticize” to results.

  4. It stands to reason the box would unfold flat. It will necessarily be a surface. Question is if the volume of food will cohere on the surface without spreading.

    I call … what’s the word? Accidental similarity + accidental and conditional utility….

    Fortunately, Empiricism will tell!

    [ plans a big take-out order ]

    1. It stands to reason the box would unfold flat. It will necessarily be a surface.

      Topologically you’re quite correct. These boxes come off a roll by the thousand, are stamped to impose the creases (and any printing on the outside – never seen this style of box myself) , stamped again to cut the pattern, then packed into stacks suitable to the order.
      The standard Chinese take away here is served in (one of several sizes of) an aluminium foil dish, similarly stamped over a creasing former but to form a permanently indented bowl which then goes to waste after being eaten from. They don’t get external decor because an opaque bag is another part of the normal packaging of a take-away.
      That two such different designs both come off a roll is more a testament to the packing efficiency of a roll than any design sophistication.
      Now, if your cardboard boxes came with a couple of overgrown paperclips, and markings to indicate how to fold them into a wider-opening dish – then the claim would have merit.

  5. Sullivan’s piece borders on the deranged. It is true that most Democrats don’t want Biden to run again because of his age. But, Bobby Kennedy, Jr as an alternative? He has been a fringe character for decades. Fortunately, he has zero chance of getting the nomination. I guess Sullivan has no opposition to the fascist Tucker Carlson running. Carlson is pro-Russia. It seems that Sullivan considers that a minor problem compared to all the pluses that would result from a Carlson campaign. Both parties are in a sorry state, but Sullivan’s solution is nuts.

    In Sullivan’s piece there is a disturbing statement unmentioned in today’s post. Sullivan writes: “Kennedy gets some support from the right on his hostility to Big Science, especially the excesses and toll of the Covid lockdown and the ever-shifting evidence against the ‘follow the science’ consensus.” So, here it is: Sullivan is anti-science. Sullivan links to an article from Fox News that lists what science got wrong about Covid. It is true that in the area of health, science can get things wrong at first. But, as more data, comes in, science self-corrects. But, it is during this transition period that the anti-science crowd finds an opening to attack science. It asks this question: how can science be trusted, particularly in the area of health, when what it says today may be “self-corrected” tomorrow? It goes on: before science self-corrects, many people could be harmed. This critique has validity, and it is a burden science has to live with. But, the alternative is even worse: the opinion of any joker off the street is as valid as people trained in a specific scientific area. The logical conclusion of this line is thinking that we don’t need doctors or scientists dealing with health. What do they know? They’re usually wrong. For me, I’ll go with the recommendations of the experts, realizing that they can be wrong. But, that’s life. Certainty is a rare commodity.

    1. If anybody here happens to know Sully personally, please get hold of him and let him know that some clown has hijacked his website and is posting damnfool nonsense under his name.

    2. From what little I see in the link Bobby Kennedy Jr isn’t being proposed as an alternative to Biden on the Democrat ticket, but as the vice presidential running mate for Tucker Carlson, our next President of the United States. Carlson/Kennedy is the alternative to Trump/Not That Traitor Pence.


    3. “Sullivan writes: ‘Kennedy gets some support from the right on his hostility to Big Science. . . .’ So, here it is: Sullivan is anti-science.”

      Not necessarily. Being opposed to “Big Science” isn’t the same as being anti-science. In fact, since “Big Science” by definition is a form of science corrupted by greed, being hostile to Big Science is in effect being pro-science.

  6. Kennedy jr and Carlson are so toxic that even the stale duo Biden-tRump smells like ambrosia. And I really would like to never see them again

    1. Yes, I definitely believe that Biden is too old and Trump is mentally Ill but seeing people who know far more about politics than I do suggesting that Kennedy Jr and Carlson are the best alternatives makes me feel like I’ve entered the twilight zone.

  7. Andrew Sullivan did say that he was not endorsing either Kennedy or Carlson, and he was quite clear that he found some of their views to be either “repellent” or unconvincing. What I gathered from his piece is that he believes that both men dissent in interesting ways not only from the opposing side but also from the establishment wings of their respective parties, ways that are worth discussing.

    Having read Sullivan since the days of his white-on-blue blog, I suspect this is a simple point of Andrew preferring more intelligent voices in dialogue rather than fewer. (And, yes, both Kennedy and Carlson are flawed-but-intelligent men.) This is one of the things that I have always admired about Sullivan: he welcomes into conversation many of those who others would toss to the margins. And he seems to particularly like those who will disagree with their own tribe. (“Dissent” is rather easy when we oppose “them” and all our professional and social-circle peers pat us on the back for doing so.) Now, would Andrew have written this column if he believed that either man had a chance to win? I would guess not, but it is an interesting question.

  8. Terrific speech by Killer Mike to FIRE. I particularly like his emphasis on the right to hear. It’s seemed for a long time to me that a cancellation of a speaker is even more a serious attack on listeners and their opportunity to improve their knowledge, even to learn that maybe they are wrong.

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