Thursday: Hili dialogue

September 21, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Thursday, September 21, 2023, and National Pecan Cookie Day (I had pecan halva). Tomorrow is my last full day in NZ, as I have to head to the airport tomorrow for a 12-hour flight from Tel Aviv to Chicago that departs shortly after midnight. (Oy!) Posting may be light, though I have a long post to write about my visit to the Israel Museum, a fascinating and must-see part of any trip to Jerusalem.

It’s also Miniature Golf Day, National Chai Day (cultural appropriation), World Alzheimer’s Day, Free Queso Day at Moe’s Southwest Grill, World Gratitude Day, International Day of Peace, and, in Russia, Victory over the Golden Horde in the Battle of Kulikovo.

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the September 21 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*The NYT has two pieces of news about immigrants. First, Biden and the Democrats have decided to allow nearly half a million Venezuelan immigrants to live and work legally in the U.S.  This is supposed to be temporary, but do you buy that?

The Biden administration said late Wednesday that it would allow hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans already in the United States to live and work legally in the country for 18 months.

The decision followed intense advocacy by top New York Democrats, including Gov. Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams and party leaders in Congress. It will affect about 472,000 Venezuelans who arrived in the country before July 31, temporarily protecting them from removal and waiving a monthslong waiting period for them to seek employment authorization.

In an unusual break with a president of their party, the New York Democrats had argued that the city’s social safety net would tear under the weight of more than 110,000 recently arrived migrants unless they were allowed to work and support themselves more quickly.

Alejandro Mayorkas, the homeland security secretary, said that he made the decision because conditions in Venezuela “prevent their safe return” but stressed that immigrants who had entered the country since August were not protected and would be “removed when they are found to not have a legal basis to stay.”

As I said, I don’t buy that last sentence. And I’m worried that this kind of action will only help Trump in the next election. Congress really needs a humane but firm reform of our immigration laws, but they’re too cowardly (especially the Democrats) to do this.

*Second, in a move to stem the tide of immigrants entering through Mexico, the Biden administration wants to “move the border south” by putting processing centers in countries further south.

As the Biden administration struggles to tackle a humanitarian and political crisis at America’s doorstep, it is focusing increasingly on keeping migrants far from the U.S.-Mexico border by establishing migration processing centers in Central and South America.

But the program is off to a rocky start, with demand for appointments far outstripping supply, leading to periodic shutdowns of the online portal and some countries’ limiting applicants over concerns that the centers will cause migrants to overwhelm their own borders.

The centers, in Colombia, Costa Rica and others planned in Guatemala, have become a primary focus of the president’s migration strategy, U.S. officials said, and the administration is already exploring expanding the program to other nations in the region, including opening a similar office in Mexico.

The program, known as the safe mobility initiative, is “the most ambitious plan I’ve seen,” said Sean Garcia, the deputy refugee coordinator for the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, who has worked on migration for over a decade.

But even some officials involved in the initiative acknowledge that it is a modest response to an enormous challenge.

More people — 360,000 through the beginning of the month — have already crossed the Darién Gap this year than in all of last year. And in August, roughly 91,000 families at the U.S. southern border were arrested after crossing illegally, a monthly record.

“The effect on migration through the Darién will be minimal or none at all,” Francisco Coy, Colombia’s vice minister of foreign affairs, said about the U.S. program. “Let’s be frank.”

Coy is right; this is not going to work.  Families rejected by the southern centers will simply continue to trek north, trying to cross the U.S./Mexico border.  I wish there was a way to make Congress enact some legislation about Americans. Americans still think that, on the whole, immigration is beneficial to the country (and it), but a recent Gallup poll showed that there are limits:

Given the major increase in the number of migrants seeking to enter the U.S. at the Southern border in recent years, Americans’ desire for less immigration has ticked upward, now reaching 41%. This exceeds the 26% who now want more immigration and is the highest since 2014.

There is, of course, a huge partisan support in these figures.

*Donald Trump has faced strong pushback after apparently attacking a six-week abortion ban as being too early, and saying he would want to work with both Democrats and Republicans to enact a ban that would likely take effect later. (I have always favored no ban at all.)

Former president Donald Trump is facing sharp blowback from some antiabortion activists and conservative governors, including his top challenger in the Republican presidential primary, reflecting the intraparty divisions over an issue the GOP has struggled to navigate since Roe v. Wade was overturned last summer.

The tensions center on Trump’s recent comments disparaging an abortion ban after six weeks of pregnancy and pledging to work with “both sides” on a federal ban, though abortion rights advocates staunchly oppose such a restriction. Among those rebuking Trump are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is running a distant second behind Trump in many polls, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has frequently appeared with DeSantis on the campaign trail despite staying neutral in the primary. Both signed state laws barring many abortions, setting the bar at a point before many even know they are pregnant.

The former president returned to Iowa on Wednesday, the first GOP nominating state — and one where abortion is a potent issue for many social conservatives expected to participate in January’s caucuses. During remarks in Dubuque, he touted his role in overturning Roe.

. . .He also warned against Republicans taking positions such as banning abortion even in the case of rape, incest or health of the mother. “Without the exceptions, it is very difficult to win elections,” he said. “We would probably lose the majorities in 2024 without the exceptions and perhaps the presidency itself.”

The frictions have cast a renewed spotlight on Trump’s long shifting posture on the issue of abortion. Even as he faces criticism from some in his party, Democrats are seeking to remind voters of the steps he took to curtail abortion rights as president. And many Republicans have been quiet about his posture, in part a reflection of his strength in the party and the belief by many that he will be the nominee. Over the years, Trump’s publicly stated positions have spanned from his support of abortion rights as a private citizen, to his Supreme Court nominees who helped overturn Roe, to his more recent efforts to appear less extreme on a divisive topic.

Really, is this anything more than the Washington Post grasping at straws? No position Trump takes on abortion, save perhaps an endorsement of Roe or of unrestricted abortion, can hurt him in next year’s election? Perhaps some legal convictions could hurt him, but they won’t come in time for the election.

*Surprisingly, Israel’s continuing initiative to forge genial deplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia has involved the countries in a three-way deal that would put enriched uranium (supposedly for peaceful use) in Saudia territory.

Israeli officials are quietly working with the Biden administration on a polarizing proposal to set up a U.S.-run, uranium-enrichment operation in Saudi Arabia as part of a complex three-way deal to establish official diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern countries, according to U.S. and Israeli officials.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directed top Israeli nuclear and security specialists to cooperate with U.S. negotiators as they try to reach a compromise that could allow Saudi Arabia to become the second country in the Middle East, after Iran, to openly enrich uranium, the officials said.

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have been negotiating the contours of a deal for Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel in exchange for helping the kingdom develop a civilian nuclear program with uranium enrichment on Saudi soil, among other concessions. Other aspects of the evolving deal are expected to include concessions for the Palestinians and U.S. security guarantees.

If Saudi Arabia agrees to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, it would pave the way for other Arab and Muslim nations to follow suit, effectively ending decades of ostracism for the Jewish state founded in 1948.

Of course I favor this, though Palestine will never go along and would itself become ostracized. But then there’s this:

Saudi Arabia’s push to enrich uranium has emerged as one of the thorniest issues facing U.S. and Israeli leaders as they try to forge an agreement that could reshape the Middle East.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described negotiations over normalization with Israel as serious and getting closer to a deal every day, while stipulating that his country would seek a nuclear weapon if Iran obtained one.

“If they get one, we have to get one,” he said in an interview aired Wednesday on Fox News. “For security reason and for balancing power in Middle East. But we don’t want to see that.”

Iran will of course eventually get nuclear weapons, and that means that the Saudis would want one too. After all, they’ll already have the fuel.

*The AP’s latest oddity column concerns a woman too much enamored of technology. Here it is in full:

A woman was rescued Tuesday from an outhouse toilet in northern Michigan after she climbed in to retrieve her Apple Watch and became trapped.

The woman, whose name was not released, lowered herself inside the toilet after dropping the watch at the Department of Natural Resources boat launch at Dixon Lake in Otsego County’s Bagley Township, state police said Wednesday in a release.

First responders were called when the woman was heard yelling for help. The toilet was removed and a strap was used to haul the woman out.

“If you lose an item in an outhouse toilet, do not attempt to venture inside the containment area. Serious injury may occur,” state police said in the release.

The state police did not say Wednesday if the woman was injured or if the watch was recovered.

Bagley Township is about 240 miles (386 kilometers) northwest of Detroit.

Oy vey again!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Andrzej can’t deal with Hili’s question

Hili: Where is the world heading?A: Next question, please.
(Photo: Sarah Lawson)
In Polish:
Hili: Dokąd zmierza świat?Ja: Następne pytanie poproszę.(Zdjęcie S.L.)


From A Cat Named Fluff:

From Michae, a cartoon by John Deering:

From Birds New Zealand, the adorable but endangered and destructive Kea:

From Masih: a new anti-hijab law in Iran.  Fortunately, the fine is only about eleven US dollars.

From Titania; this could be the Mantra of Wokeness:

From Luana: a bad miscarriage of justice at Yale, a woke school that ranks near the bottom in FIRE’s college free-speech rankings. Read the whole tweet:

From Barry: a capybara enjoying the spa service of ducks (second tweet):

From the Auschwitz Memorial. A brother and sister gassed on arrival. So many kids who didn’t even get a chance at life!

Tweets from Professor Cobb. The first came from Ziya Tong:

Re #1: don’t step in the poodles!

Life can be tenacious, and I’ve added an Instagram post from the Daily Beast piece:

16 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

  1. More ‘it’s raining,’ from my father and grandmother:
    …like a cow pissing on a flat rock
    …pitchforks and axe handles

  2. Now that sex doesn’t exist, all migrants are equal. No such thing as ages either. That’d be ageist.

    Lampedusa as well. No discernment. We are all humans. All created equal, with equal interests in Kindness.

    I refer of course to – unverified, but peculiar – claims of the proportion of male/female, and ages, inferred/assumed in Lampedusa and the U.S. that are on X videos.

  3. Former president Donald Trump is facing sharp blowback from some antiabortion activists and conservative governors, including his top challenger in the Republican presidential primary, reflecting the intraparty divisions over an issue the GOP has struggled to navigate since Roe v. Wade was overturned last summer.

    This is what happens when the dogs finally catch the car they’ve been chasing for 50 years. In 2016, Donald Trump, in order to secure the vote of the GOP evangelical base, ran on a strict anti-abortion promise. Trump said that women who have abortions must be punished criminally and referred to abortions as babies being ripped from women’s wombs. He also promised to appoint strict anti-abortion justices who would overrule Roe v. Wade, a promise he kept by picking names off the list provided him by the Federalist Society of judges precleared for their staunch anti-abortion stances. Trump now realizes that a strict nationwide ban on abortion is a political loser, so is trying to claw his was off the position he staked out in 2016 (but never really had strong personal views on, or had even given much thought to).

    It’s worth noting that, had Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in the Dobbs case not be prematurely leaked to the public — giving Chief Justice John Roberts more time to work on Justice Brett Kavanaugh (the softest off the anti-abortion votes on the five-justice majority that decided Dobbs) — this nation might now be operating under Mississippi’s16-week abortion ban that SCOTUS had originally granted certiorari to review in Dobbs.

  4. Re #1: don’t step in the poodles!

    You sampling Arthur Godfrey, boss? (Anybody who recognizes that one is certifiably old).

  5. (This is what happens when a country loses control of its borders.)

    There’s an app for that. One of the Biden administration’s solutions to the immigration crisis is an app. If only the people would just make an appointment!!

    From the WaPo:

    “The Biden administration has urged migrants traveling through Mexico to make an appointment to seek asylum at the U.S. border through a mobile app, CBP One.

    But Venezuelans arriving in Ciudad Juárez on Wednesday said relatives who recently crossed told them they didn’t need to bother waiting.

    “What is the point of the CBP appointment? My brother surrendered, and he got through. We know too many stories of people who got through without an appointment,” said Yonder Linarez, 28, who was traveling with 10 members of his extended family.

    Linarez said he planned to cross the border and turn himself in to U.S. agents Wednesday evening at the border wall.

    “We tried it, but it took too long,” he said. “If we’ve endured the jungle, robbery and everything else to get here, you think not having an appointment is going to stop us?””

  6. The media still has not figured out how to report on anything Donald Trump says. He has no actual policies, he merely vomits whatever word salad is in his head at the moment.

    1. And they’ve had years to figure out how, and some have shown them how (Jonathan Swan re. Covid comes to mind) but they don’t seem to get it, or else “access” is more important than truth…hell, last weekend MSNBC’s “Meet the Press” couldn’t even figure it out with a frickin’ TAPED interview. I put a lot of blame on our nation’s MSM for the MAGA malignancy. Of course, FOX, Newsmax et. al. are actively pushing his propaganda, and that’s even worse than not being able to properly interview the guy by calling out his incessant lies.

  7. Oops, a bit late today (I’m being kept busy by my mother after her house move last week).

    On this day:
    1745 – A Hanoverian army is defeated, in ten minutes, by the Jacobite forces of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

    1780 – American Revolutionary War: Benedict Arnold gives the British the plans to West Point.

    1792 – French Revolution: The National Convention abolishes the monarchy.

    1942 – The Holocaust in Ukraine: On the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Nazis send over 1,000 Jews of Pidhaitsi to Bełżec extermination camp. In Dunaivtsi, Ukraine, Nazis murder 2,588 Jews.

    1942 – The Holocaust in Poland: At the end of Yom Kippur, Germans order Jews to permanently move from Konstantynów to Biała Podlaska.

    1942 – The Boeing B-29 Superfortress makes its maiden flight.

    1953 – Lieutenant No Kum-sok, a North Korean pilot, defects to South Korea with his jet fighter.

    1964 – The North American XB-70 Valkyrie, the world’s fastest bomber, makes its maiden flight from Palmdale, California.

    1972 – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos begins authoritarian rule by declaring martial law.

    1976 – Orlando Letelier is assassinated in Washington, D.C at the order of Augusto Pinochet.

    1981 – Sandra Day O’Connor is unanimously approved by the U.S. Senate as the first female Supreme Court justice.

    1993 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin triggers a constitutional crisis when he suspends parliament and scraps the constitution.

    2003 – The Galileo spacecraft is terminated by sending it into Jupiter’s atmosphere.

    2013 – Al-Shabaab Islamic militants attack the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya, killing at least 67 people. [Ten years ago already – unbelievable!]

    1452 – Girolamo Savonarola, Italian priest and philosopher (d. 1498).

    1552 – Barbara Longhi, Italian painter (d. 1638).

    1851 – Fanny Searls, American biologist (d. 1939).

    1866 – Charles Nicolle, French-Tunisian microbiologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1936).

    1866 – H. G. Wells, English novelist, historian, and critic (d. 1946).

    1872 – Henry Tingle Wilde, English chief officer on the RMS Titanic (d. 1912).

    1873 – Papa Jack Laine, American drummer and bandleader (d. 1966).

    1874 – Gustav Holst, English composer and educator (d. 1934).

    1898 – Frances Mary Albrier, American civil rights activist (d. 1987).

    1902 – Allen Lane, English publisher, founded Penguin Books (d. 1970).

    1912 – Chuck Jones, American animator, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2002).

    1917 – Phyllis Nicolson, English mathematician and academic (d. 1968).

    1934 – Leonard Cohen, Canadian singer-songwriter and poet (d. 2016).

    1943 – Jerry Bruckheimer, American film and television producer.

    1947 – Keith Harris, English ventriloquist and singer (d. 2015).

    1947 – Stephen King, American author and screenwriter.

    1950 – Bill Murray, American actor, comedian, producer, and screenwriter.

    1954 – Thomas S. Ray, American ecologist and academic.

    1954 – Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, English rock drummer (d. 2015).

    1972 – Liam Gallagher, English singer-songwriter.

    And now my Shade will pass, illustrious, beneath the earth:
    19 BC – Virgil, Roman poet (b. 70 BC).

    1832 – Walter Scott, Scottish novelist, playwright, and poet (b. 1771).

    1860 – Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher and author (b. 1788).

    1904 – Chief Joseph, American tribal leader (b. 1840).

    1906 – Samuel Arnold, American conspirator (b. 1838).

    1937 – Osgood Perkins, American actor (b. 1892).

    1962 – Bo Carter, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1892).

    1964 – Josef Müller, Croatian entomologist (b. 1880).

    1998 – Florence Griffith Joyner, American sprinter (b. 1959).

    2014 – Michael Harari, Israeli intelligence officer (b. 1927). [Notably involved in the Lillehammer affair, an attempted revenge killing following the Munich massacre that instead resulted in the murder of an innocent individual in a case of mistaken identity. He was later involved in Operation Entebbe.]

  8. Well, if her house moved that would keep you busy.

    Was Benedick Arnold worse than Trump. About the same actually. If giving away the fort had really caused a loss in the war, but we don’t know that it would and never will. If caught he would have been hung for sure. However, we had no form of government at the time and that is the big difference with Trump. He tried and continues to attempt an overthrow of our form of government. And he has a lot more help doing it. If they throw his butt in prison that will be the best we can hope for although hanging would be okay.

  9. Sorry, this is from yesterday but I read it late. Regarding the NYTimes article on why Democrat donors aren’t giving anymore…
    (and I almost never do this, I commented)

    Where Has All the Left-Wing Money Gone? (Michelle Goldberg)

    David Anderson, Chelsea NYC
    9h ago
    Long term liberal donor here: I stopped giving last year b/c of woke. If you can’t say “woman”, if you support the counter-productive BLM, etc. ACLU case in point. Our leftism has been hijacked by self serving fanatics. I’m out. D.A., J.D.
    Here’s the thing: 16 Recommend my comment, 1 disagreed

  10. If those Venezuelans are already in the United States, then allowing them to live and work legally here is the best decision. Better for them to contribute to the country then siccing ICE on them. The birthrate in the US is falling and immigration is needed to pay for Social Security, among other things. Until Republicans and Democrats can settle on an immigration policy, we shall have to make do with makeshift policies like this one.

  11. That percentages reversible – deal ‘ll make for any child’s mighty fine
    trick – or – treating trick if s(h)e is asked for one. That is awesome.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *