Caturday: Hili dialogue

July 22, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to CaturSaturday, July 22, 2023, shabb0s for all cats of the Jewish persuasion and National Penuche Day, celebrating a fudge made without chocolate (it has brown sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla flavoring). It’s better than no fudge, but substitute maple syrup for the brown sugar:

Photo and recipe

It’s also Hammock Day, National Mango Day, National Day of the American CowboyPi Approximation Day,(see also March 14), noting that today is 22/7, which approximates π, and, once again, Ratcatcher’s Day. also celebrated on June 26.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the July 22 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*Obituaries first. Tony Bennett, the last of the great popular singers of my parents’ era, died yesterday at 96.

Tony Bennett, a singer whose melodic clarity, jazz-influenced phrasing, audience-embracing persona and warm, deceptively simple interpretations of musical standards helped spread the American songbook around the world and won him generations of fans, died on Friday at his home of many decades in Manhattan. He was 96.

His publicist, Sylvia Weiner, announced his death.

Mr. Bennett learned he had Alzheimer’s disease in 2016, his wife, Susan Benedetto, told AARP The Magazine in February 2021. But he continued to perform and record despite his illness; his last public performance was in August 2021, when he appeared with Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall in a show titled “One Last Time.”

Mr. Bennett’s career of more than 70 years was remarkable not only for its longevity, but also for its consistency. In hundreds of concerts and club dates and more than 150 recordings, he devoted himself to preserving the classic American popular song, as written by Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Duke Ellington, Rodgers and Hammerstein and others.

From his initial success as a jazzy crooner who wowed audiences at the Paramount in Times Square in the early 1950s, through his late-in-life duets with younger singers gleaned from a range of genres and generations — most notably Lady Gaga, with whom he recorded albums in 2014 and 2021 and toured in 2015 — he was an active promoter of both songwriting and entertaining as timeless, noble pursuits.

RIP Tony. Here’s my second favorite Bennett song, “The Good Life” (1963). It was originally a French song:

. . . (originally “La Belle Vie” in French) a song by Sacha Distel with French lyrics by Jean Broussolle, published in 1962. It was featured in the movie The Seven Deadly Sins.

You can hear Distel’s French original here.

*Judge Aileen Cannon (a Trump appointee) didn’t do her mentor any favors when she set the date for his trial in the Mar-a-Lago documents case.

The federal judge overseeing former President Donald J. Trump’s prosecution on charges of illegally retaining dozens of classified documents set a trial date on Friday for May 2024, taking a middle position between the government’s request to go to trial in December and Mr. Trump’s desire to push the proceeding until after the 2024 election.

In her order, Judge Aileen M. Cannon said the trial was to be held in her home courthouse in Fort Pierce, Fla., a coastal city two-and-a-half hours north of Miami that will draw its jury pool from several counties that Mr. Trump won handily in his two previous presidential campaigns.

. . .The timing of the proceeding is more important in this case than in most criminal matters because Mr. Trump is now the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination and his legal obligations to be in court will intersect with his campaign schedule.

The date Judge Cannon chose to start the trial — May 20, 2024 — falls after the bulk of the primary contests. But it is less than two months before the start of the Republican National Convention in July and the formal start of the general election season.

. . . By scheduling the trial for the middle of the presidential campaign, Judge Cannon implicitly rejected another argument that Mr. Trump’s legal team had raised in court on Tuesday: that the former president could never get a fair jury during an election cycle because of what one of his lawyers, Christopher Kise, called “the extraordinary and unrelenting press coverage.”

Moving the trial after the election is what Trump really wanted, as if he happens to win (Ceiling Cat help us), it would almost render the trials moot. That’s the other argument: he couldn’t get a fair trial AFTER the election cycle!

*An atheist won a lawsuit against a West Virginia prison (h/t Tim):

A federal judge in West Virginia has ruled that the state corrections agency can’t force an incarcerated atheist and secular humanist to participate in religiously-affiliated programming to be eligible for parole.

In a sweeping 60-page decision issued Tuesday, Charleston-based US District Court Judge Joseph Goodwin said Saint Marys Correctional Center inmate Andrew Miller “easily meets his threshold burden of showing an impingement on his rights.’’

The state’s “unmitigated actions force Mr. Miller to choose between two distinct but equally irreparable injuries,’’ the judge wrote. “He can either submit to government coercion and engage in religious exercise at odds with his own beliefs, or remain incarcerated until at least April 2025.’’

Goodwin issued a preliminary injunction requiring West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials to remove completion of a state-run and federally funded residential substance abuse program from Miller’s parole eligibility requirements. The agency did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Miller filed suit in a federal district court in April, alleging the state is forcing Christianity on incarcerated people and has failed to accommodate repeated requests to honor his lack of belief in God.

This would seem to be a no-brainer: an arrant violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.  Since this is a federal case, it could be appealed up to the Supreme Court, but it won’t. And seriously, how could they force religion on an atheist, regardless of how Catholic or conservative they are?

*Andrew Sullivan’s Weekly Dish discusses Marty Peretz’s new memoir, The Controversialist: Arguments with Everyone, Left Right and CenterYou may recall that Peretz was editor and publisher of The New Republic from 1974-2008, the period when most of my writing in the magazine appeared.  Sullivan’s connection with him is because Sully was the head editor from 1991-1996, a period when he published many of the articles that helped advance gay rights.

It’s an interesting read and a particularly good piece of writing (and a favorable review of the book) by Sullivan, who calls it “a candid snapshot of American political and cultural history: lively, literate and easy to read.:But two bits related to Judaism stuck out to me (Peretz was a big booster of Israel). Here, for example, is good writing:

I didn’t know what to expect with “Marty” either, and was still a bit baffled by him not being known at least as Mr Peretz. And when he showed up, he looked like someone I’d only ever seen in a Woody Allen movie: a huge rabbinical beard, a blousy shirt unbuttoned to near his navel, a Star of David necklace buried in chest hair, a gravelly voice and a mischievous grin. When he told me he was defending Israel at Oxford, I told him he was fucked, but not to worry. He’d lose the vote, but he should go down blazing anyway. Go for it, I advised. Fuck ‘em. (And in the end, in fact, his side won.)

. . . and this, which saddened me:

Although the far left regards [Peretz] now as some kind of reactionary, his liberal credentials, as you’re reminded here, are hard to impeach: working with Bayard Rustin preparing for the 1963 March of Washington, and then, with his second wife’s large fortune, financing and organizing the anti-Vietnam movement, pioneering the Eugene McCarthy campaign that caused LBJ to drop out of the race after New Hampshire, and trying to forge a synthesis of the civil rights and the anti-war movements by organizing the ill-fated National Conference for New Politics in 1968.

That year, of course, was the critical moment when the old Jewish-black Democratic coalition fell apart, and Marty’s world shifted. Planning for the conference was held at Marty’s rented place in Wellfleet:

One night, after most people had gone back to their motels, I came downstairs to find blacks and whites together on my porch singing anti-Semitic songs about Jewish landlords overcharging and evicting black tenants in Harlem. Most of the whites singing were Jews, and I could see they were enjoying a kind of vicarious thrill, a subversive titillation, that went through them as they sang. I threw them off the porch.

The whole incident is a kind of metaphor: what happens when a left-liberal alliance degenerates into left-illiberalism. It’s where we are again today, with the totalisms of critical race, gender and queer theory displacing the much more limited and humane principles of gradualism, reform and liberalism.

*Nellis Bowles is back doing the weekly news summary at The Free Press; this week’s column is “TGIF: Swifties save the economy.” As always, I steal three items.

→ Now that’s what I call racism: The word is now used to describe any white girl who wears a sombrero, so we forget what racism actually is sometimes. Well, it’s definitely this: the administrators in the town of Newbern, Alabama, are doing just about all they can to block the first black mayor from succeeding. Read this enraging story by Alabama-based writer Lee Hedgepeth, who exposed it, and this additional reporting from Capital B, a nonprofit newsroom focused on black issues.

→ Excuse me, what? In Florida, the state Board of Education passed a new standards package. Lest we think only the left can go mad, this is an example of what educators are expected to add to history courses now: “Slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” So teachers have to talk about, yes, slavery’s good bits.

→ Only one state needs to go: The Middle East is a picture of harmony. Religious minorities live in peace with each other. The only bad place happens to be the tiny Jewish state. The latest episode in this classic new left antisemitism is from Democratic congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who this week said: “As somebody who’s been in the streets and participated in a lot of demonstrations, I want you to know that we have been fighting to make it clear that Israel is a racist state,” she said.

All of this was in the lead-up to Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s address to Congress, which The Squad boycotted, naturally. Jayapal couldn’t make it because of a “scheduling conflict.”

Jayapal is an odious anti-Semite, though some of my friends in Boston like her “progressivism” LOL.

Oh hell, Nellie put up a song I like so I’ll add this:

→ And for your listening: May I recommend Luke Combs’ beautiful new cover of “Fast Car,” which is topping the country charts? The song, of course, is originally by the iconic Tracy Chapman. There’s a culture war around this cover (five guesses why people are mad!). Anyway, TChap loves it. Bar told me I make too many lesbian jokes, so I won’t make one here, which is easy because there’s nothing funny about My National Anthem.

I haven’t heard that song in years, and forgot how good it was.

*Philomena (Diane Morgan) got an honorary degree! From the Manchester Evening News (h/t Phil):

Actor and comedian Diane Morgan has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the university in her home town of Bolton. And the Cunk and Motherland star had the audience in stitches as she delivered a heart-warming and hilarious graduation speech.

Morgan, who was raised in Farnworth, also took the opportunity to have a little dig at Rishi Sunak’s plans to make everyone study maths until they’re 18, revealing she got a G in the subject, before adding: “Everyone told me I wouldn’t be able to make it as an actress.

“That it was an impossible dream. That you need maths! You don’t need maths. You don’t need maths for anything – take that Rishi Sunak.”

The Bafta-nominated actor, 47, also discussed some of the jobs she’d had, including working in a chippy and ‘packing worming tablets’, as she tried to break into acting. And she revealed she’d been sacked from the tea rooms at the Last Drop Village hotel in Bolton ‘for not knowing what a cream tea is’.

She said: “I should not be here today – I shouldn’t. There’s been a dreadful mistake.

No mistake: she’s DR. Cunk now! Here’s video proof.


“Take that, Rishi Sunak!” Diane even manages to make accepting an honorary doctorate funny. Congrats, its well deserved xx. #dianemorgan #dianemorganedit #dianemorganisunderated #cunkonearth #philomenacunk #bbcmandy #bbcmotherland #thecockfields #afterlife #universityofbolton #capcut #foryou #fyp

♬ original sound – mia

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, spoiled Hili’s being fussy:

A: I bought cream.
Hili: Put it into the refrigerator so it will be cold.
In Polish:
Ja: Kupiłem śmietankę.
Hili: Wstaw do lodowki, żeby się schłodziła.

A picture of Szaron:

. . . and a picture of Jango, the cat staffed by reader Divy:


From Nicole:

From The Absurd Sign Project 2.0:

From The Cat House on the Kings:

From Masih: apparently the disbanding of the Iranian Morality Police was “fake news.” The report is in English but the Farsih can be translated this way:

The removal of the Irshad patrol was a fake news that the Islamic Republic sent to the western media, the Irshad patrol never went anywhere but suppressed the different tactics of women without the hijab, “No to the hijab” has become the symbol of “No to the Islamic Republic”, so the answer is prison, flogging and murder. Interview with ABC

From Luana. I would have thought that the d*g could detect the right cup by the stronger smell of tweets:

From Barry, a summary of theology:

From Malcolm; this can be nothing other than cat love!

From the Auschwitz Memorial, mother and child gassed upon arrival:

Tweets from Matthew. First from his colleague Emma Hilton. Here’s the poll as of noon yesterday. As was made clear in the movie “Cheaper by the Dozen,” the best way to button any shirt is from the bottom up, for that way you never mis-button. If you start from the top, as do Emma and Matthew, you have a serious chance of getting the buttons misaligned with the holes.

Remember Jonathan, the world’s oldest living animal, born in 1832? Here’s some contemporaries:

For speed readers:

Lagniappe. This is the Furnace Creek Visitors Center in Death Valley, where I spent many hours sorting flies in the “changing room” behind the auditorium.

21 thoughts on “Caturday: Hili dialogue

  1. If you start from the top, as do Emma and Matthew, you have a serious chance of getting the buttons misaligned with the holes.

    I’m with Emma and Matthew. I find it a lot easier to align the holes correctly by starting from the top.

    1. Especially since many shirts have an extra button at the bottom of the row to be used as a spare should any of the functional ones come loose. It would be all too easy to mistake this as button number 1 when starting from the bottom, resulting in every other button going to the wrong hole and the top one having nowhere to go.
      I don’t really understand how buttoning from the top is thought to carry a serious risk of misalignment.

  2. On this day:
    1342 – St. Mary Magdalene’s flood is the worst such event on record for central Europe.

    1587 – Roanoke Colony: A second group of English settlers arrives on Roanoke Island off North Carolina to re-establish the deserted colony.

    1598 – William Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, is entered on the Stationers’ Register. By decree of Queen Elizabeth, the Stationers’ Register licensed printed works, giving the Crown tight control over all published material.

    1706 – The Acts of Union 1707 are agreed upon by commissioners from the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland, which, when passed by each country’s Parliament, leads to the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain.

    1793 – Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Pacific Ocean becoming the first recorded human to complete a transcontinental crossing of North America.

    1833 – The Slavery Abolition Act passes in the British House of Commons, initiating the gradual abolition of slavery in most parts of the British Empire.

    1893 – Katharine Lee Bates writes “America the Beautiful” after admiring the view from the top of Pikes Peak near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

    1894 – The first ever motor race is held in France between the cities of Paris and Rouen. The fastest finisher was the Comte Jules-Albert de Dion, but the “official” victory was awarded to Albert Lemaître driving his three-horsepower petrol engined Peugeot.

    1933 – Aviator Wiley Post returns to Floyd Bennett Field in New York City, completing the first solo flight around the world in seven days, 18 hours and 49 minutes.

    1937 – New Deal: The United States Senate votes down President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s proposal to add more justices to the Supreme Court of the United States.

    1942 – The United States government begins compulsory civilian gasoline rationing due to the wartime demands.

    1942 – Grossaktion Warsaw: The systematic deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto begins.

    1946 – King David Hotel bombing: A Zionist underground organisation, the Irgun, bombs the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, site of the civil administration and military headquarters for Mandatory Palestine, resulting in 91 deaths.

    1983 – Martial law in Poland is officially revoked.

    1992 – Near Medellín, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar escapes from his luxury prison fearing extradition to the United States.

    2005 – Jean Charles de Menezes is killed by police as the hunt begins for the London Bombers responsible for the 7 July 2005 London bombings and the 21 July 2005 London bombings. [A shocking event. I don’t believe that the London Met were ever properly held to account. Gold Commander for the operation, Cressida Dick, was subsequently promoted to Commissioner, the most senior officer in the London Metropolitan police force. She was later criticised for obstructing the independent panel reviewing the murder of Daniel Morgan; evidence that should have been disclosed subsequently came to light and his family received a confidential settlement just last week.]

    2011 – Norway attacks: First a bomb blast which targeted government buildings in central Oslo, followed by a massacre at a youth camp on the island of Utøya.

    1784 – Friedrich Bessel, German mathematician and astronomer (d. 1846).

    1849 – Emma Lazarus, American poet and educator (d. 1887).

    1882 – Edward Hopper, American painter and etcher (d. 1967).

    1887 – Gustav Ludwig Hertz, German physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1975).

    1888 – Selman Waksman, Jewish-American biochemist and microbiologist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1973).

    1889 – James Whale, English director (d. 1957).

    1926 – Bryan Forbes, English actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2013).

    1928 – Jimmy Hill, English footballer, manager, and sportscaster (d. 2015).

    1932 – Tom Robbins, American novelist.

    1936 – Geraldine Claudette Darden, American mathematician.

    1938 – Terence Stamp, English actor.

    1940 – Judith Walzer Leavitt, American historian and academic.

    1941 – George Clinton, American singer-songwriter and producer.

    1946 – Danny Glover, American actor, director, and producer.

    1947 – Don Henley, American singer-songwriter and drummer.

    1954 – Al Di Meola, American guitarist, songwriter, and producer.

    1956 – Mick Pointer, English neo-progressive rock drummer. [And kitchen designer, apparently…!]

    1967 – Rhys Ifans, Welsh actor.

    1970 – Jason Becker, American guitarist and songwriter. [Becker’s performing career was cut short by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which he was diagnosed with in 1989. By 1996, Becker had lost the ability to speak, and he now communicates with his eyes via a system developed by his father. He continues to compose with the aid of a computer and has since released Collection in 2008 and Triumphant Hearts in 2018, as well as various compilations.]

    1973 – Rufus Wainwright, American-Canadian singer-songwriter.

    1992 – Selena Gomez, American singer and actress.

    But, oh! fell death’s untimely frost,
    That nipt my flower sae early.

    1802 – Marie François Xavier Bichat, French anatomist and physiologist (b. 1771).

    1869 – John A. Roebling, German-American engineer, designed the Brooklyn Bridge (b. 1806).

    1932 – J. Meade Falkner, English author and poet (b. 1858). [Moonfleet, anyone?]

    1967 – Carl Sandburg, American poet and historian (b. 1878).

    1968 – Giovannino Guareschi, Italian journalist and cartoonist (b. 1908).

    2004 – Sacha Distel, French singer and guitarist (b. 1933).

    2022 – Maria Petri, English association football supporter (b. 1939). [Petri started taking an interest in football after hearing about Arsenal on the radio whilst she was washing dishes when she was 11. She started attending Arsenal matches at Highbury in 1950 secretly as her parents would not allow her to go to football matches. For those who share her passion, the Women’s World Cup is underway right now.]

  3. The real test of how Judge Aileen Cannon will treat Trump’s trial is if she grants any delays. The Trump SOP is delay, delay again, and then delay again.

  4. “. . . and a picture of Jango, the cat staffed by reader Divy. . . .”

    I haven’t had my first sip of tea; I thought this said “stuffed.” I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel about that.

    Also, the video of the dog playing the shell game is the best of its genre.

  5. I looked at the Florida’s Board of Education social studies standards document regarding African-American history that Nellie Bowles has alluded to. The document talks a lot about the contributions African-Americans have made for American society, but there is very little dealing with the horrors of slavery itself. However, if it were not for the section dealing with slaves learning skills, I don’t think the document would have raised much controversy.

    But the claim that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit” is Lost Cause ideology in its purest form, one of its core assertions. Slavery wasn’t all that bad. Some uncivilized Blacks, under the tutelage of benevolent white masters, learned skills such as blacksmithing that could somehow benefit them. It is probable that at the time of emancipation a very small number of recently freed slaves could have benefited from these skills, but during the centuries of slavery such skills worked almost exclusively for the benefit of the masters. And very few slaves actually learned these skills. The Florida Board of Education made a big mistake by including this topic in the curriculum.

    1. “…little dealing with the horrors itself…”: Yes. I expect there was little to no altruism in the teaching of skills to slaves, but rather the pragmatic development of cogs in running households, businesses, and plantations. What K12 could do is develop and teach aunit on the institution of slavery itself worldwide and historically and the loss of fundamental human freedom. Slavery was not an isolated issue of the U.S. South and children need to know its long history and how it was slowly, steadily, but not completely being eliminated throughout enlightenment times. Some good reading is found in Patterson’s “Slavery and Social Death”.

      And thanks for looking up the primary source material of the full Standards, Historian. Always helpful to have the full story rather than simple media extracts before critiquing!

    2. Here is the document in question-

      It seems fairly thorough and reasonably balanced to me. I do not see where slavery is described anywhere as benevolent.
      Also, it seems like it should be uncontroversial that upon emancipation, freed persons would gravitate towards using their acquired skills in the free market. Someone who worked as a seamstress would seek work as one, someone with knowledge of how a farm was run would gravitate towards farming. Muleskinners, carpenters, bookkeepers, whatever, would seem likely to pursue that as a trade.

      I get that some folks are upset that they have been prevented from teaching that America was founded on oppression, that all current structures of US society and government exist only to continue that oppression, and that the students in every class can be divided into those who are responsible for that oppression, and others who deserve justice and compensation for it.
      It must make them very angry to have come so close to total capture of the education system.
      Of course such people will seek to discredit whatever standards are put in place instead of theirs.

      Also, the prevailing view of all of us in the south and in rural areas as cartoonish racists is a contributing factor. Seeing all of us through such a lens, it is very difficult to imagine that we could implement a balanced curriculum.

      1. “Not surprisingly, the bulk of the slaves worked in the arena of cultivating crops. The evidence reveals that approximately three-quarters of the adult slaves worked as field laborers while one-quarter had other duties (Kolchin 1993, p. 105).”

        And not many of the non-field slaves were skilled. Most did menial housework or worked a farm with masters that had just one or two slaves. In addition, as I mentioned, the skills of the relatively few only may have helped them when emancipated. Again, the vast majority of skilled slaves during the centuries that slavery existed in the colonies then the United States used their talents solely for the benefits of the master. Moreover, don’t you think the slaves could have learned their skills without being enslaved? In any case, thanks for pointing out the upside of slavery as a vocational training school where the students received free room and board. It is hard to understand why poor whites did not volunteer for such a wonderful opportunity.

        1. If those who live today in the South were interested in reducing that racist vision other people have of them my advice would be that they attempt to stop that march to the extreme right they are on. They cannot seem to draw a map in Alabama with more than one district for black voters no matter that the courts tell them they must. In Florida they put immigrants in airplanes and busses and ship them north without their knowledge or coordination. They are banning books in the libraries. They have declared war on women of any color. This is all republican controlled working at some internal contest to be more repugnant than any of their neighbors.

        2. It sort of makes sense that in an area with an overwhelmingly agricultural economy, the vast majority of workers would be agricultural workers. But, you participate in preparing the land, planting, weeding, then harvesting a crop, you end up with a useful knowledge set.

          I do not understand the need for folks to claim that freed slaves had no marketable skills after the war, unless it is just about denouncing grey areas, where any positive outcome for an individual is equivalent to praising the circumstances that kindled it. Humans do tend to make the best of even overwhelmingly negative circumstances.
          I knew a man who was a machinist. He did not aspire to become one, it was forced on him, when he experienced slavery during the Holocaust. After the war, he moved to the US and opened a successful machine shop. Noting his success is not an endorsement of the 3rd Reich.
          That his work during the war was about the Nazis using his talents solely for the benefits of the Reich is irrelevant. Any useful skill that you can practice to benefit someone else, you can also practice for your own benefit.

          “What did freed slaves do after emancipation?” is a reasonable question to ask, and deserves a nuanced answer. It was certainly a question that was being asked during the debates about abolition.

          1. What happened after slavery is pretty well documented by the Historians. Reconstruction was a pretty short period while Grant was still President. He attempted to give the new free people a chance but it was short lived. Remember 40 acres and a mule. Most of the slaves continued to work the land in the south but the landlord was white and the living was not good. The future in the south was Jim Crow and that lasted a very long time. One well used trick was to throw them in jail for hanging around and no job. Then they would be leased out to the whites to work off the fines. It was the new slavery for the rest of the 19th century and into the 20th.

          2. “leased out to the whites”

            Some whites. A very few whites. Life in parts of the rural Deep South in the late-19th through mid-20th century was little better economically for most whites than it was for blacks.

            Would I have rather been a poor white than a poor black in the region at the time? Certainly. But the category “the whites” is far too large to express the social and economic dynamics. “The whites” to whom you refer could be paternalistic with their “darkies,” but they generally despised the “white trash” who lived in economic deprivation like the blacks. It wasn’t too terribly unlike the attitude more than a few “enlightened” folks have toward both blacks and white Trump voters today.

      2. It’s not just about how skills were used after slavery but during. I watch genealogy shows on TV and a number of celebrity ancestors were able to buy their freedom by earning money by being “hired out” to other whites.

        From the above document.

        AA.2 Analyze events that involved or affected Africans from the founding of the nation through Reconstruction.
        SS.68.AA.2.3 Examine the various duties and trades performed by slaves (e.g., agricultural work, painting, carpentry, tailoring, domestic service, blacksmithing, transportation). Benchmark Clarifications: Clarification 1: Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.

        This is about South Carolina.

        For the present, let’s consider just a few scenarios to illustrate the nature of this alternative market of unfree labor. Enslaved women of child-bearing years, for example, were frequently hired out as “wet nurses” to breastfeed the children of white mothers. Enslaved carpenters, bricklayers, painters, and other skilled tradesmen were commonly leased to white building contractors. An enslaved man with known talents on the violin might be hired to perform at an impromptu dancing assembly for white folks. Enslaved washerwomen often did extra laundry at neighboring households, and enslaved porters routinely transported goods around Charleston for a variety of customers. To use a twenty-first-century term, this was a sort of enslaved “gig economy” prevalent in early South Carolina.

        Whether it involved short-term or long-term work, the practice of “hiring out” included the payment of cash or some other form of valuable compensation in exchange for labor. Beginning in the summer of 1701 and continuing well into the nineteenth century, the South Carolina General Assembly tried to regulate this common practice by requiring the party hiring an enslaved laborer to deliver all of his or her wages directly to the owner of the said slave. In spite of this long-standing law, the surviving records of individual cases (such as advertisements for slave sales and runaways, as well as manumission documents) provide copious evidence of alternative practices.

  6. Is anyone else suspicious of Judge Cannon’s setting the start date of the trial to May? On first glance the decision seems like a compromise based on the amount of material that has to be considered. However, according to several expert lawyers interviewed on MSNBC, Jack Smith has already notified the Trump team of all portions of the tapes and written material he intends to use in the trial, so the defense lawyers should not have to go through the entire mass of material. What if that date was set on purpose in order to allow Trump to use delaying tactics just long enough through the summer so that the trial would then have to be postponed because of the possibility that it could influence the election? That would amount to only two to three months of delays. Yes, I am a cynic. A quote, I think from Lily Tomlin, that seems appropriate: “No matter how cynical I get, I can never keep up.”

    1. I don’t have the expertise to answer, but I think the major time restraint is that all the participants need to get background checks for high security clearance. Apparently, that takes some time. Either way, it’s still too close to the election for my comfort.

  7. Cat Jango- adorable! How old? About a year and a half? And what was Jango thinking when you snapped the pix?

    1. Thank you for the compliment, but Jango just turned 10 years old earlier this summer. He was hoping Jerry would show this pic to Hili.

  8. The Diane Morgan address reminds me of a conversation my friend had with his son, the latter of whom was trying to decide what to study for his A levels.
    “Dad – you took A level maths, didn’t you? Did you find it difficult?”
    “No Charlie, I didn’t. It’s not difficult to get a grade D.” !!

  9. I must be the only person who doesn’t like or appreciate Philomena Cunk. I think she is superficial (perhaps frivolous). See “Philomena Cunk says Muslims as irresistible spread like Nutella” ( I find her comparison of Islam to Nutella as absurd (at best). I write this as someone interested in actual history, not a Muslim or Islamist.

    1. You don’t appreciate her because of. . . .one thing she said about Muslims? You show know knowledge of her other work, like the stuff about clocks, time, dates, etc., real deadpan humor, or her role on “After Life”.

      Yes, people will disagree, but I, for one, like her.

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