Thursday: Hili dialogue

July 6, 2023 • 6:45 am

Good morning on Thursday, July 6, 2023, and National Fried Chicken Day. I have never been to Stroud’s, which now has several locations in Kansas and Missouri, but Calvin Trillin praised the original restaurant in Kansas City as the best fried chicken in America.  Someday I must test the assertion.  Fried chicken can be superb, and I’m not sure other countries offer it. Don’t you want to sink your teeth into this? (If you’re not a vegetarian.)

Stroud’s pan-fried chicken. Source of photo.

It’s a thin day for holidays: only National Air Traffic Control Day, and a better one, International Kissing Day. As Wikipedia notes,

The concept behind the International Kissing Day is that many people may have forgotten the simple pleasures associated with kissing for kissing’s sake, as opposed to kissing as mere social formality or prelude to other activities.

Posting may be light today as I have to tend ducks and get ready for tonight’s Center for Inquiry discussion (see a post later this morning).

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the July 6 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*The Totally Expected News Dept.: Over the Fourth of July holiday, a number of mass shootings left “at least a dozen dead and more than 60 wounded.

Mass shootings broke out at festivals, block parties and other gatherings in a handful of cities this week as the U.S. celebrated the Fourth of July.

Gun violence that flared in Washington, D.C, Louisiana, Florida, Philadelphia, Texas and Baltimore left more than a dozen dead and almost 60 wounded — including children as young as 2 years old.

In Shreveport, Louisiana, at least three people were killed and 10 others wounded late Tuesday night, Shreveport police Sgt. Angie Willhite said. One of the injured was in critical condition Wednesday but the others were expected to survive, she said. No arrests have been made.

. . .Independence Day celebrations in the nation’s capital also turned violent when nine people outside enjoying the festivities were shot and wounded early Wednesday, police said.

Officers who responded about 1 a.m. to the mass shooting in a neighborhood about a 20-minute drive east of the White House found a 9-year-old and a 17-year-old among the victims, Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Chief Leslie Parsons said. The victims, who were not publicly identified, were hospitalized with injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening, police said.

. . .Even before the holiday, city streets turned deadly in other communities.

On Monday night, a shooter in a bulletproof vest opened fire on the streets of Philadelphia, killing five people and wounding two boys, ages 2 and 13, before surrendering, police said.

Three people were killed and eight others were injured when several men fired indiscriminately into a crowd of hundreds that had gathered in a Texas neighborhood after a festival in the area, authorities said. The shooting in the Fort Worth neighborhood of Como happened late Monday night, about two hours after the annual ComoFest ended.

Thirty people were shot, two fatally, at a block party in Baltimore early Sunday. Many of those shooting victims were children, authorities said.

Nothing to do with gun prevalence and ease of buying and carrying them, of course. If we tried to ban guns, then the guns would all be in the hands of the bad guys. I’m kidding, of course. I deplore the lax gun laws in America and want to go to the UK system, or even more draconian. People don’t need handguns, and I’m not that keen on hunting, either.

*You surely remember that a boat from Libya, headed to Italy with about 750 refugees, overturned on June 9 near Greece. Only 104 survived. Now the Washington Post, analyzing the data in a bells-and-whistles animated article, concludes that this was a preventable tragedy, pinning the deaths on Greece.

The conflicting accounts of the Adriana’s final minutes are the most fraught — whether the boat capsized as a result of a panic-induced shift in weight, as the coast guard contends, or it overturned while being towed by the coast guard, as some survivors have described.

. . . But an investigation by The Washington Post also casts doubt on the other main claims by Greek officials and suggests that the deadliest Mediterranean shipwreck in years was a preventable tragedy.

Contrary to the coast guard account that the boat was making steady progress and determined to get to Italy, The Post found the boat’s speed fluctuated dramatically — in line with passenger recollections of engine problems — while circling back on its route.

Maritime rescue veterans and legal experts said Greek officials exploited indications that aid wasn’t wanted and failed in their obligation to launch an all-hands rescue effort as soon as the precarious boat was detected.

The Greek coast guard defended its decision not to intervene earlier by emphasizing that the Adriana rejected help. The point is repeated five times in the official statement. “If any violent intervention was made on a fishing boat with people packed to the gills, we could have caused the maritime accident,” Alexiou said in an interview with broadcaster SKAI. That people resisted assistance is echoed in an account provided by the Lucky Sailor’s management company, Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Limited, and in a copy of the Faithful Warrior’s logs obtained by The Post.

But analysts said the coast guard should have accounted for who was resisting and why, as well as for the repeated pleas for help received by an activist and a hotline. And legal experts insisted that authorities had an obligation to intervene, regardless of the wishes of some on board.

This is a very long article, and I can’t even reproduce parts of it because it’s on a black background. But 600 dead is a lot of lives, and there must be an accounting, whether or not the Greek boat did everything by the book.

Attempting a rescue of the Adriana “would have been absolutely safe” in these conditions, according to an Italian official familiar with that country’s search-and-rescue protocols, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to speak freely.

Greece is likely to face legal challenges over its actions — or inaction. But families of victims who drowned probably have a long wait for answers and accountability: Cases brought to the European Court of Human Rights, the most common avenue for prosecution beyond domestic courts, often take years to reach a judgment.

*NYT authors Raja Abdulrahim and  have produced and article that manages to give a sympathetic gloss to the Palestinian “martyrs”: young people who attack Israelis with rock and weapons, writing a final message before they achieve martyrdom and, presumably, get the reward promised by Allah. The article is “West Bank teenagers are writing out their last words,” and it seems quite sympathetic to the “martyrs”. An excerpt:

Fighters who have taken up arms against Israel with groups like Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have long left behind final testaments, sometimes high-quality videos, to take responsibility for attacks in which they expect to lose their lives.

Now, young Palestinians, like Amr — not affiliated with the territories’ armed groups but nonetheless willing to confront Israeli troops — are leaving behind messages of their own. These farewells for loved ones, requests for forgiveness and exhortations to fight against Israel are known as “wills” in Arabic, even if their authors are not leaving behind any material goods. Many scrawl them on notebook paper, with scratched-out words a sign of their uncertainty about what to say.

The farewell testaments reflect a prevailing sense among many young men that death is heroic, meaningful and inevitable during what is now the deadliest period for Palestinians in nearly two decades in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Maybe because they’re ramping up their attacks on Israel! But wait: there’s more:

Farewell messages are often published by the Palestinian news media and shared widely on social media, inspiring more young Palestinians to write their own.

Dr. Samah Jabr, the head of the mental health unit for the Palestinian Authority, said the writing of such wills was wrapped up with generational traumas for Palestinians living in the occupied territories, dealing with checkpoints and near daily raids by Israeli troops. Many young people feel a duty to take on adult roles, including confronting Israeli troops.

That’s right: it’s Israel’s fault.  In response, Malgorzata wrote me this:

This article is infuriating. In every school book in the Palestinian Authority (not to mention Gaza) “martyrdom” is presented as the highest goal for a young pupil. They hear the same message on the radio, TV, in the mosque… They see streets, tournaments, squares named after “martyrs”. They see posters and pictures painted on walls and monuments of the “martyrs”. They know that families of “martyrs” get plenty of money. But according to this article they write about their wish to become a “martyr” because… Israel.

Elder of Ziyon isn’t buying it, either, nor am I:

Abdulrahim buried the lede.

Palestinian society is suffused with turning all those killed by Israel into heroes. Just calling them “martyrs” is a powerful incentive. TV programs celebrate “martyrs,” schools and camps and sports tournaments are named after “martyrs,” the Palestinian Authority and Hamas pay families of “martyrs” – it is a death cult where being killed is the surest way of being honored. And this is a society that craves honor.

 Yet outside the half sentence on how Palestinian society lionizes “martyrs,” Abdulrahim doesn’t describe this fundamental part of Palestinian society. She tries to make this sick mindset relatable to the West, pretending that the kids have no choice in a place where they have no future.
Think about it. There are about two million Palestinians under 20. The number who are killed is a tiny percentage of that number, while many more go on to live dignified and successful lives. But there are  few if any TV shows and music videos about them.
When a child gets killed by Israel, he (or she) is instantly hailed as a hero by their media, social media and role models. That is the reason so many choose to go that route – not desperation, not because of “no choice.” They are not being given any mainstream messages that getting killed while attacking Jews is stupid or counterproductive or evil. They do it because they want to, not because they are forced to, and their entire culture supports this goal, implicitly or explicitly.

Well, as a determinist, I’d say they have no choice, but that doesn’t make them admirable. It makes their environment, which lures young people to become martyrs, sick and deranged. For an example, see here.

The solution is obvious: to shame the people who commit suicide by IDF instead of honoring them. If the message in the Palestinian media is to teach kids to grow up and to try to build a  decent society, instead of turning terrorists into heroes, things would change in weeks.

But no one wants to talk about solutions (unless it is the State of Israel committing collective suicide.)

This is a systemic failure of Palestinian society – and that is something the New York Times will never, ever discuss.

Indeed. The NYT is itself borderline anti-Semitic. I don’t say that lightly; just look at how they report what’s going on in Israel and Palestine. And check out the two women who wrote this story: hardly “objective” journalists.

*Even the Taiwanese think that China will take over their country within the next four years, and the Chinese military is certainly sending signals to that effect. This gives the Taiwanese a conundrum analyzed by the WSJ: “Taiwan’s impossible choice: be Ukraine or Hong Kong.”

People in Taiwan have been following every twist of the war in Ukraine. But, while their sympathy for the Ukrainian cause is near-universal, the conclusions for the island’s own future widely diverge.

To some, the takeaway is that even a seemingly invincible foe can be defeated if a society stands firm, an inspiration for Taiwan’s own effort to resist a feared invasion by China. Others draw the opposite lesson from the images of smoldering Ukrainian cities. Anything is better than war, they say, and Taiwan should do all it can to avoid provoking Beijing’s wrath, even if that means painful compromises.

These two competing visions will play out in Taiwan’s presidential elections, slated for January, and shape how the island democracy revamps its defenses as China’s military might expands. The soul-searching inside Taiwan, and the determination with which it will strengthen its armed forces, is also bound to affect the extent to which the U.S. will get involved militarily should Beijing try to capture the island, home to 24 million people—and most of the world’s advanced semiconductor production capacity.

While Taiwan has been living under a threat of invasion ever since China’s Communist Party took control of the mainland in 1949, the Russian thrust into Ukraine drove home to many Taiwanese that war can erupt with little notice. Chinese leaders have intensified their rhetoric around Taiwan, repeating that they won’t rule out using force to achieve what they call “national reunification.” Beijing has also ramped up naval and air probes around the island that wear out Taiwanese defenses. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency estimates that Chinese leader Xi Jinping has set 2027 as the deadline for his military to be ready to take the island.

. . . “I don’t think anybody rational could look at this and say dialogue is going to change Xi or the CCP,” said Vincent Chao, a former national-security official and Lai’s spokesman, referring to China’s Communist Party. “They see the subjugation of Taiwan as part of their national rejuvenation, as something inherently connected to their political legitimacy. It’s incumbent upon any candidate to be realistic about the situation.” Ukraine, he added, has given Taiwan a “brilliant lesson” in how to defend itself—and how to build coalitions with like-minded democracies.

I don’t think the U.S. will put troops on the ground or its own pilots in the air, any more than it’s done in Ukraine. We can’t risk getting into a full-on war with Russia. That means that, at best, Taiwan can count on U.S. weapons and munitions. And somehow I don’t think that the Chinese will be as hamhanded in their invasion as Russia was in Ukraine. And yet, remember that Biden said this:

While the U.S. has no binding obligation to defend Taiwan and has long maintained a policy of strategic ambiguity on the issue, President Biden repeatedly cautioned that, unlike in Ukraine, the U.S. military would intervene directly should China attempt to seize the island by force. Before American troops deploy, however, the island would have to resist the first blows on its own. So far, despite recent improvements, it is far from ready, many U.S. officials and analysts say.

Well, Biden may well not be President in 2027, and we know that the Chinese will take action depending on who’s in charge in the U.S. I wouldn’t want to be a citizen of Taiwan now, and all I can think, selfishly, is “I had better visit now,” for Taiwan was on my bucket list.

*I didn’t even know about America’s pending “Equality Act,” until I saw this Substack piece, “The US Equality act must be stopped.” What is it and why must it be stopped? Sociologist, criminologist, and professor Callie Burt says that the Biden administration, as it’s been wont to, is mixing up sex and gender, and that has potentially bad consequences.

As a lifelong Democrat-affiliated voter in a same-sex marriage, my political beliefs are progressive on virtually all issues. I also support general federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ individuals on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status. However, I strongly oppose the US Equality Act in its current form, and you should too if you value women’s rights. Allow me to explain.

The Equality Act (hereafter EA) is designed to prohibit discrimination against LGBT+ people and provide redress when such discrimination occurs. While these aims are laudable, the bill imposes an intolerable cost: the elimination of sex-based protections for females and an erosion of the protected nature of female provisions. The EA is thus a well-intended but fundamentally flawed piece of legislation, which would have foreseeable and unacceptable costs for females due to two major issues: terminological imprecision and a problematic prioritization of unobservable gender identity over sex for access to “sex-based provisions.”

The EA’s most frustrating flaw lies in its imprecise terminology and the conflation of sexual orientation and gender identity with sex. Rather than offering protections to LGB and transgender people by creating two new protected classes—sexual orientation and gender identity, respectively—the EA attempts to protect LGBT individuals by redefining “sex” in civil rights law to “include sexual orientation and gender identity.” Moreover, the EA would change every instance of “sex” in the Civil Rights Amendment to “sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity).” This approach is not only unnecessary but fundamentally flawed. Sex (male, female) is not synonymous with sexual orientation (defined in the bill as “homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality”), and sexual orientation, by most understandings, requires a definition of sex. Likewise, gender identity is also not the same as sex, a distinction evident in the fact that a biological female cannot be a transwoman.

Extreme cases aside, what does this mean and why should you care? The prioritization of self-declared and unobservable gender identity over sex means that any male at any time could self-identify into female spaces where women are vulnerable and/or undressed, including locker rooms, shelters, prisons, and changing rooms, based on an in-the-moment self-declaration of a female gender identity. Denying males access based on such a declaration would constitute federally prohibited discrimination based on gender identity qua sex.

. . . and this:

The potential ramifications extend to other areas like sports, which could no longer be separated by sex under the Equality Act. Even efforts to reduce (but certainly not eliminate) male sporting advantages, such as artificially lowering testosterone levels, might not be allowed.

The conflation of sex and gender is the wokest thing that the Biden administration has done, and the ramifications of this bill are wide, in particular the violation of “women’s spaces” like sports, rape-counseling centers, battered women’s shelters, and prisons. Granted, these are only a small set of things protected against “gender rights”, but they’re necessary and important to protect.  That is, unless you want things like women’s sports to disappear.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili sets Szaron straight:

Szaron: A mouse called my name.
Hili: You are suffering from hallucinations again.
In Polish:
Szaron: Mysz zawołała moje imię.
Hili: Znowu masz halucynacje.


From Barry:

I found this on Facebook and can’t remember where, but I think it’s immensely clever (and they didn’t misspell it “vice grip” as people often do).

From the Absurd Sign Project 2.0:

From Masih. Two brothers who were wrestlers, one of them an anti-Islamist activist in Iran. What did the regime do? They arrested the non-activist brother to intimidate the activist.

From Barry. Who has the better neurons, the cats or the d*g?

From Malcolm. A passport for a ship’s cat. It’s not an official document, of course, but meant to recognize this moggy’s essential role on the ship:

From Merilee; Speaking of cats, here’s a gynormous one impeding serious academic work:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a Polish weaver who lived but three months after arrival:

Tweets from Doctor Cobb, whose cat, Ollie, is improving, apparently afflicted not with cancer, but an infection. Good news!

He says about this one: “Cue people crying that this is fake. But it’s quite real”:

I don’t know if Twitter needs this, but I need this!

An animated version of the Battle of Waterloo. I believe the French are in blue, the British/Dutch forces in red, and the Prussians in black.

34 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. I don’t think that the Chinese will be as hamhanded in their invasion as Russia was in Ukraine.

    But, on the other hand, it will necessarily involve an amphibious operation. I think it would be a much harder proposition.

    and they didn’t misspell it “vice grip” as people often do

    On this side of the Atlantic, “vice grip” is the correct spelling.

    1. I’ve done a bit more research and it seems the situation is a bit more complicated than whose version of English you speak.

      “Vise-Grip” is actually a brand name, so if you are referring to locking pliers made by that company, the “s” is always correct. In Britain, you will often hear about “mole grips” which are nearly identical to a Vise-Grip. Why “mole”? I always thought it was to do with something in the mechanism, but, no, “Mole” is also a brand name.

      1. According to Wiki … Mole grips were made in the UK in 1955 by MK Mole and Sons. Though the original vise-grip was invented in the States in 1924. The use of “Vice” (as in clamping) was first recorded in 1584 and is the accepted spelling in most of the English-speaking world; with one notable exception.

  2. Waterloo timeline (all times approx) Yes PCC you got the colours correct!

    13:00 Grand Battery opens fire.
    13:30 D’Erlon attacks La Haie Sainte and the left of Wellington’s line.
    14:15 Picton attempts counterattack
    14:30 Union Brigade led by Sir William Ponsonby charges, relieving the pressure on Picton but charge too far and suffer heavy casualties. The French infantry also suffer heavy casualties.
    16:00 Multiple French cavalry attacks on Wellington’s right. British infantry in squares resist. First appearance of Blucher’s Prussians in the east, attacking Plancenoit.
    17:00 Prussians push through Plancenoit, attacking the French flank.
    19:00 Attack of the Imperial Guard. French columns attack Wellington’s right but fail to deploy from column to line. British infantry (in line) swamp the heads and sides of the columns with fire. Richard Sharpe is given command of the South Essex.
    19:30 Defeat of the Imperial Guard ( La Guard Recule)
    20:00 French position collapses. Wellington initiates a general advance

          1. That is how “well regulated” was used back then.
            Depending on that armies manual of drill, there were a couple of dozen actions to be taken, in the correct order and in time with others in your ranks, in order to maintain coordinated, sustained fire.
            Of course, missing or repeating a step means not firing, or blowing yourself up, and is complicated by the stress of the charging cavalry bearing down on you.

            an example-

    1. Nice animation. Arguably the most successful pin and flank move in history.

      If you are ever in Brussels then I highly recommend a trip to Waterloo, the bus stop is right outside the main train station. You can still see the bullet holes in the garden walls at Hougoumont.

  3. The better question might be why hasn’t Taiwan been invaded by China. Probably China is not as stupid as Putin. Blowing up and killing everyone is not a good look for how to take over something. Setting the people free by killing them is not the smart move. We know exactly where Ukraine would be today if you know who was president. I am puzzled why the U.S. is dragging their feet in giving Ukraine more. It is the best money we would ever spend, certainly better than the trillions spent in Iraq or Afghanistan. China has the navy and maybe the rockets to go after American assets. I don’t think they have the pilots yet to take on ours. I. don’t think they want to kill everyone to take it over.

    1. In the geopolitical sense, Russia is already finished. We’ve seen that its army is next to useless and most of its high value assets are now gone. The sanctions have destroyed its already weak economy. Russia no longer has standing on the World stage.

      The only reason to continue to fund Ukraine’s war effort is to stop it and its people from being annihilated. In my book, that is a good enough reason, but I’m sure that there are plenty of people in the US (and elsewhere) questioning the cost.

      1. Ukraine is a huge bargain. The only people in the U.S. who do not understand this are the Trump losers. Some much smaller countries are giving much more than us per capita.

          1. I would agree. Mostly a gas bag. If I recall it was Putin who attacked Ukraine. He wanted it back in his vision of the great Russia USSR. That is why we have a NATO and Europe knows it. Lose Ukraine and who is next. Dictators should always be apposed. This guy lives on another planet, possible the Putin planet. How many European nations have joined NATO since Russia went belly up. Trump and his kind are junk. Putin puppets.

          2. Interesting article, thanks for the link. It never ceases to amaze me how right wing lefties often end up being.

            My hypothesis has always been that it’s largely availability bias. People notice how bad their own ruling classes are and hence oppose them, but fail to notice that the vast majority of other ruling classes are far worse.

          3. It’s “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” syndrome. Extreme leftists who regard the American government as evil reflexively embrace any foreign government opposed to it, no matter how vile and awful it is. That’s why so many Tankies have fooled themselves into defending creeps like Putin and Assad.

          4. Indeed, somehow failing to notice that my enemy’s enemy is far worse than my enemy.

          5. That the Ukrainians are right to defend their homes against Russian aggression,
            And also that Ukraine is a generally corrupt country,

            Are statements that can be both true. While it is generally best for the whole civilized world that Ukraine beat back the invaders, writing them a blank check to do so would be a terrible idea.
            Some degree of this is unavoidable. I am sure there is a defense analyst somewhere that has come up with formulae and equations, so that one can accurately predict that for each dollar sent to a specific country for defense, what proportion is siphoned away at each stage of trans-shipment and at each level of government. Or, of each containerized load of arms, how many are used against the designated enemy, and how many sold to allies or even criminals or terrorists.
            Using those equations, one could rank countries, with perhaps Iceland as the least corruptible and most efficient use of the dollar, and some place like Somalia on the other end of the scale, where nearly none of the assistance would find it’s intended use. Perhaps even having a net negative impact.

            As Russian oligarchs lose their Italian palaces and huge yachts, Ukrainians will be buying such things, although hopefully at a much lesser scale.

            Of course many old Marxists support Russia. They have spent nearly a century idealizing the USSR. Perhaps they think it will return.

  4. The (Equality Act’s) most frustrating flaw lies in its imprecise terminology and the conflation of sexual orientation and gender identity with sex.

    Well, to be fair that’s been the main tactic of Trans Rights Activists from the beginning.

    1. A good example is how they’ve tried to make sex a spectrum. Remember how in the beginning they said gender was whatever you wanted to be and they agreed that “intersex” (now differences in sexual development because they aren’t “in-between” sexes) didn’t have anything to do with being trans. You were a woman because you said you were and your sex didn’t matter.

      Well, look again because now you have that absurd and pedophilic “Gendebread” character who tells children everything’s on a spectrum including sex. Bait and switch.

  5. Who has the better neurons, the cats or the d*g?

    From the appearance of the vase, large chip out of the top, this was not the first time the cats tried to frame the d*g.

  6. Late for the second day in a row…

    On this day:
    371 BC – The Battle of Leuctra shatters Sparta’s reputation of military invincibility.

    1348 – Pope Clement VI issues a papal bull protecting the Jews accused of having caused the Black Death.

    1484 – Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of the Congo River.

    1557 – King Philip II of Spain, consort of Queen Mary I of England, sets out from Dover to war with France, which eventually resulted in the loss of the city of Calais, the last English possession on the continent, and Mary I never seeing her husband again.

    1854 – In Jackson, Michigan, the first convention of the United States Republican Party is held.

    1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies on Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.

    1917 – World War I: Arabian troops led by T. E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) and Auda ibu Tayi capture Aqaba from the Ottoman Empire during the Arab Revolt.

    1919 – The British dirigible R34 lands in New York, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.

    1939 – Anti-Jewish legislation in prewar Nazi Germany closes the last remaining Jewish enterprises.

    1942 – Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

    1957 – Althea Gibson wins the Wimbledon championships, becoming the first black athlete to do so.

    1957 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the first time, as teenagers at Woolton Fete, three years before forming the Beatles.

    1967 – Nigerian Civil War: Nigerian forces invade Biafra, beginning the war.

    1988 – The Piper Alpha drilling platform in the North Sea is destroyed by explosions and fires. One hundred sixty-seven oil workers are killed, making it the world’s worst offshore oil disaster in terms of direct loss of life.

    1989 – The Tel Aviv–Jerusalem bus 405 suicide attack: Sixteen bus passengers are killed when a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad took control of the bus and drove it over a cliff.

    1995 – In the Bosnian War, under the command of General Ratko Mladić, Serbia begins its attack on the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

    2003 – The 70-metre Yevpatoria Planetary Radar sends a METI message (Cosmic Call 2) to five stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri (HD 75732), HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris (HD 95128). The messages will arrive to these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044, and 2049, respectively.

    1785 – William Hooker, English botanist and academic (d. 1865).

    1823 – Sophie Adlersparre, Swedish publisher, writer, and women’s rights activist (d. 1895).

    1887 – Marc Chagall, Belarusian-French painter and poet (d. 1985).

    1887 – Annette Kellermann, Australian swimmer and actress (d. 1975).

    1907 – Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter and educator (d. 1954).

    1921 – Nancy Reagan, American actress and activist, 42nd First Lady of the United States (d. 2016).

    1925 – Merv Griffin, American actor, singer, and producer, created Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! (d. 2007).

    1925 – Bill Haley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1981).

    1927 – Janet Leigh, American actress and author (d. 2004).

    1936 – Dave Allen, Irish comedian, actor, and screenwriter (d. 2005).

    1939 – Jet Harris, English bass player (d. 2011).

    1939 – Mary Peters, English-Irish pentathlete and shot putter.

    1941 – David Crystal, British linguist, author, and academic.

    1945 – Burt Ward, American actor.

    1946 – Peter Singer, Australian philosopher and academic.

    1946 – Sylvester Stallone, American actor, director, and screenwriter.

    1949 – Michael Shrieve, American composer, drummer, and percussionist.

    1951 – Geoffrey Rush, Australian actor and producer.

    1952 – Hilary Mantel, English author and critic (d. 2022).

    1958 – Jennifer Saunders, English actress, comedian and screenwriter.

    1979 – Kevin Hart, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter.

    No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with,
    Nothing to love or link with,
    The anaesthetic from which none come round.

    1535 – Thomas More, English lawyer and politician, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (b. 1478).

    1802 – Daniel Morgan, American general and politician (b. 1736). [He was also born on this day.]

    1893 – Guy de Maupassant, French short story writer, novelist, and poet (b. 1850).

    1932 – Kenneth Grahame, Scottish-English author (b. 1859).

    1960 – Aneurin Bevan, Welsh-English politician, Secretary of State for Health (b. 1897).

    1962 – William Faulkner, American novelist and short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1897).

    1971 – Louis Armstrong, American singer and trumpet player (b. 1901).

    1998 – Roy Rogers, American cowboy, actor, and singer (b. 1911).

    1999 – Joaquín Rodrigo, Spanish pianist and composer (b. 1901).

    2019 – João Gilberto, Brazilian singer-songwriter and guitarist, pioneer of bossa nova music style (b. 1931).

    2020 – Charlie Daniels, American singer-songwriter, fiddle-player and guitarist (b. 1936).

    2020 – Ennio Morricone, Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and trumpet player (b. 1928).

    2022 – James Caan, American actor (b. 1940).

  7. Having moved to the city that is home of one of the largest chicken processors in the world (Tyson), seeing the filthy and decrepit beasts in their tiny nasty cages on the way to slaughter has greatly diminished my desire to consume chicken. But to each his own. I am sure if I lived near a hog farm my brisket consumption would go down.

    1. If the chickens are “filthy and decrepit beasts,” it’s directly because of Tyson’s treatment. Same with any animal confined to a Big Factory farm.

    2. In his “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat” Hal Herzog makes a convincing case that the fate of ‘broilers’ is far worse than that of fighting cocks.Opposing cock fighting, but eating chicken makes no good sense.
      And yes, I’m still eating chicken, and even animals more closely related to me, whose rearing conditions I can’t bear to think of.
      When I spent a few weeks in a small village in Spain, the local butcher thought me to how to kill and slaughter lambs (no problems with rearing conditions, and one year old two teeth lambs). Not really a pretty business, but if you want to eat meat it is something you must be able to do.
      My point is that we should not be hypocritical, if you eat meat you should recognise you’re indirectly a butcher. These sentient animals are killed for you.

  8. Time is on China’s side. Whenever the unification is it will not be violent. The reason for China’s militaristic actions is just to let the US know they are there. It is protection of their country (remember the one China policy). Now Japan is wasting more money on their military. And, Australia too. It has to be about the money ! GROG

    1. Greece surely had an obligation to assist. But it slightly sticks in my craw to assign them all the responsibility for the sinking. The Greeks didn’t take money from desperate people, cram them into an unsafe ship and send them across the Med with no care for their safety. The Greeks may have failed to prevent a tragedy but the people smugglers caused it and they should bear the lion’s share of the blame. I feel like people almost give them a moral pass, though, because they’re criminals, so what do you expect, etc.

      1. Does anyone even know who or where the people smugglers are, so that they may be tracked down to get any blame at all, much less the lion’s share?

  9. I don’t think Continental China will invade Taiwan, but I have been wrong so often in these things that nicky’s predictions are close to opposite to what’s going to happen. Most notoriously, I thought Muscovy (a better name than Russia, I can elaborate on that) would not be as stupid to invade, yet they did, I thought they would not blow the Novakhakova dam, yet they did, and I think that they will not blow up the ZNPP, so they probably will.There has been no area of cognition where I have been more wrong than in this Ukrainian war. I think the UAF will not be able to overcome there extensive mine fields, so, since I’m always wrong, there is some hope. Only the likes of Scott Ritter are worse predictors than me.
    The West will not abandon Taiwan, there are 3 countries in the world that make the top rated semi-conductors: Taiwan, the Netherlands (in fact they just produce the machines that produce the best semi-conductors) and the US, and about 2/3rds in Taiwan. And China knows this. And they need prime semi-conductors. An invasion in Taiwan would destroy that industry. And China knows this. They see how Ukraine -without direct intervention from the West- other than piecemeal equipment and serious sanctions, destroys Muscovy. China sees that. The Chinese economy is on a very thin thread, and China knows that. I think the invasion of Taiwan is not imminent, if ever.

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