Monday: Hili dialogue

October 16, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to the beginning of the “work” week: Monday, October 16, 2023, and National Liqueur Day. Here’s the best one (get the green version, not the yellow). I’ve noticed that the price of at least the green version (the one I buy) has risen substantially in price over the last few  years, and Wikipedia tells us why:

Meanwhile, in a separate decision, the Carthusian monks decided in 2019 to limit Chartreuse production to 1.6 million bottles per year, citing the environmental impacts of production, and the monks’ desire to focus on solitude and prayer. The combination of fixed production and increased demand has resulted in shortages of Chartreuse across the world.

It’s also The Birth of the Báb, National Dictionary Day, World Food Day, Pope John Paul II Day (in Poland), and, most important Global Cat Day.  The first reader who sends in a photo of their cat (with a name and a few words of description) will have it added right here.

Aaaaand. . . . the winner is reader Simon, who sent this caption:

Balian studies bubbles while Harry ignores the news on Friday—too depressing for a cat to hear. Balian is obsessed with sparkling drinks. He will sit and study bottles of fizzy water for ages

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the October 16 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*The latest on the war from the NYT. I’ll add that Israel is now allowing supplies of food, water and medicine to be sent to Gaza, but not fuel. I haven’t seen that in the NYT.

Diplomats struggled to ease an escalating humanitarian crisis in Gaza and get foreigners out of the blockaded enclave as intensifying clashes along Israel’s border with Lebanon and Israeli airstrikes inside Syria stoked fears of a wider conflict in the region.

With senior Israeli military officers signaling their intent to invade Gaza, Israel’s new emergency wartime government held its first formal meeting on Sunday, and appeared to be preparing for the invasion. “We will take Hamas apart,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the government ministers, according to a statement from his office.

The United States sent a second aircraft carrier strike group, the Dwight D. Eisenhower, to the eastern Mediterranean, joining the Gerald R. Ford and its escorts, to help “to deter hostile actions against Israel or any efforts toward widening this war,” Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said in a statement.

Three more tidbits:

  • Fighting along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon has escalated in recent days. On Sunday, at least one Israeli was killed and three others were wounded after fire from Lebanon hit the border community of Shtula in northern Israel. The Israeli military said it was returning fire.

  • The U.S. secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, who has been in the region since Thursday meeting with Israeli and Arab leaders, and said he had a “very good conversation” in Cairo with the Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Mr. Blinken said that David Satterfield, a veteran diplomat, will arrive in the region on Monday to start trying to coordinate shipments of humanitarian aid into Gaza.

  • Israeli airstrikes overnight at the international airport in Aleppo, Syria, materially damaged the site, disrupting service there, according to Syrian state media. Earlier in the week, Israel said it attacked airports in Aleppo and Damascus.

The NYT is still saying that medicines, water, and food are being kept out of Gaza by the siege, despite the Times of Israel’s report otherwise. Somebody has got it wrong.

*More on the war from the WSJ:

Fighting between Israel and Islamic militants along its northern border with Lebanon intensified Sunday, even as Israeli forces continued to strike Gaza in the south ahead of an imminent ground invasion and amid a growing humanitarian crisis.

. . .Israeli jets carried out attacks against Lebanon-based militants, which include Iranian ally Hezbollah, after they launched at least six strikes against Israeli territory. Five people were injured in the Israeli town of Shtula after Hezbollah fired antitank missiles, Israel’s military said.

The developments in the north highlights the risks of the conflict spreading, especially as Israel prepares for an unprecedented ground assault against Gaza in retaliation for last week’s attack by Hamas militants that killed at least 1,400 Israelis—the worst single-day death toll for Jews since the Holocaust.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the U.S. remained concerned about Hezbollah’s actions and that skirmishes across the Israel-Lebanon border increase the risk of escalation. The U.S. has reached out to Iran, which backs the militant group, to express its concerns, he told CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “But of course, we can’t rule out that Iran would choose to get directly engaged in some way; we have to prepare for every possible contingency,” he said.

I’m really not that afraid of a wider war, largely because the U.S. has warned other nations (aka Lebanon) not to get involved, for they’ll face some serious weapons if they do. But Israel is managing to take out Hamas higher-ups:

An Israeli airstrike in southern Gaza killed Billal Al Kedra, a Hamas commander responsible for the Kibbutz Nirim massacre, late Saturday, the Israel Defense Forces said Sunday. It vowed to eliminate the remaining Hamas leaders, including Yahya Sinwar, the group’s leader in Gaza. “Mr. Sinwar is a dead man walking,” Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the IDF’s top international spokesman, said.

Sometimes the IDF has a sense of humor, however grim. I suspect Sinwar is sweating bullets.

*Pay for Slay Department. According to Palestine Media Watch, the Palestinian Authority is, as usual, going to pay off the Hamas butchers of last week for killing Jews.

Under Palestinian Authority law, every terrorist who is killed attacking Israel is defined as a “Martyr” whose family is immediately rewarded by the PA with a 6,000 shekels ($1,511) grant and a 1,400 ($353) per month allowance for life.

This means each family of the 1,500 dead Hamas terrorists who invaded Israel will receive 7,400 shekels for this first month. Families of those terrorists who were married and had children will receive even more. The PA will pay at least 11,100,000 shekels ($2,789,430) this month as a reward for participating in last week’s murders and atrocities against Israeli civilians.
In addition, the 50 captured Hamas terrorist murderers will receive monthly salaries in prison starting at 1,400 shekels/month which will eventually rise to 12,000 shekels/month. Terrorists who are married and have children will receive even higher salaries. This month these newly arrested terrorists will receive at least 70,000 shekels ($17,590).

In total, the PA will pay at least 11,170,000 shekels ($2,807,021) in payments under the PA’s “Pay-for-Slay” program to the Hamas terrorists this month. This is a low estimate since as the war continues there will be additional Hamas terrorist “Martyrs” and prisoners. This figure is added to the more than 100,000,000 shekels/month the PA already pays in salaries to imprisoned terrorists and families of terrorist “Martyrs.”

This “pay for slay” program is one of the more odious and inhumane things that the Palestinian Authority does (note: this is not Hamas, this is the group that runs the West Bank and is supposed to be more moderate). Do people not know about this program and who pays the dosh for killing Jewish civilians? How do they justify it?x

*Mirabile dictu: the theocratic and despotic “Law and Justice Party of Poland” (Andrzej and Malgorzata hate them) appears to have suffered a resounding setback in today’s elections, at least according to exit polls. From Politico:

Poland’s opposition parties look like they’ve won a solid victory in the country’s general election, according to an exit poll released immediately after voting ended at 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Although the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) came first in terms of support, three leading opposition parties would have a majority of seats in the 460-member parliament.

If the result holds, it’s a stunning defeat for PiS and could help thaw relations between Brussels and Warsaw. The party mobilized the full resources of the state to help it win, and it was also strongly backed by state media — which are firmly in the ruling party’s camp.

PiS was hobbled, however, by a growing number of scandals — including allegations that officials were selling vistas for bribes. Eight years of tensions and social conflict, with fights over abortion, rule of law, grain imports from Ukraine, and awful relations with the EU, which has frozen the payout of billions over rule of law worries, also eroded support for PiS.

Now this is based on exit polling, and so it may be wrong, but it would require a number of people lying to pollsters (and in the direction that could demonize them) to be wrong. Tomorrow we’ll know if Poland sees a brighter future.  Today: so far, the results are holding up, although they’re still based on exit Poles. Malgorzata and Andrzej are pretty sure the days of the odious Law and Justice Party are over.

*And a bit of light news from the AP’s “oddities” section.  A man got a traffic ticket for, he thought, $1.4 million!

 Georgia man was left reeling after receiving a $1.4 million speeding ticket, but city officials say the figure was just a placeholder, not the actual fine.

Connor Cato tells WSAV-TV in Savannah that he received the citation after getting pulled over in September for driving 90 mph (145 kph) in a 55 mph (89 kph) zone.

He called the court thinking the figure was a typo but says he was told he either had to pay it or appear in court in December.

Savannah officials say anyone caught driving more than 35 mph (56 kph) above the speed limit has to appear in court, where a judge will determine the actual fine.

The figure Cato received reflected a “placeholder” that was automatically generated by e-citation software used by the local Recorder’s Court, said Joshua Peacock, a spokesman for Savannah’s city government. The actual fine cannot exceed $1,000 in addition to state-mandated costs.

“We do not issue that placeholder as a threat to scare anybody into court, even if this person heard differently from somebody in our organization,” Peacock told The Associated Press.

I hope they clarified the situation to the guy soon after he got the bad news from the court that he had to pay the fine or appear before a judge!

From Ant, a Dan Piraro “Bizarro” cartoon:

From Jesus of the Day. Crikey, what a jerk! (Maybe they’re feuding.)

From Merilee: a Scott Metzger cartoon:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is concerned with her means of egress:

Hili: This magnolia is blocking the steps.
A: I know but Małgorzata forbids any trimming of it.
In Polish:
Hili: Ta magnolia włazi na schodki.
Ja: Wiem, ale Małgorzata nie pozwala jej przycinać.

And a lovely photo of Baby Kulka showing her belly:


From Maish. The fricking Morality Police should be disbanded, but there’s no chance of that:

From Malcolm. This is stunning:

From a professor of Astronomy and Physics at the University of California at Davis (h/t David):

From Simon. AGREED!

From Jez, note that it’s retweeted by Martina Navratilova.  Sound up. (h/t Jez and Matthew)

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a lovely five year old girl, gassed to death upon arrival at Auschwitz. This is what those Australian demonstrators in Sydney wanted to kill when they shouted, “Gas the Jews!

Tweets from Dr. Cobb. The first clearly comes from his researching his next book: a biography of Francis Crick:

What is this creature?

This photo isn’t colorized, but the color’s been enhanced, probably with AI. Still a great photo:

29 thoughts on “Monday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1384 – Jadwiga is crowned King of Poland, although she is a woman.

    1736 – Mathematician William Whiston’s predicted comet fails to strike the Earth.

    1817 – Italian explorer and archaeologist Giovanni Belzoni, uncovered the Tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings.

    1817 – Simón Bolívar sentences Manuel Piar to death for challenging the racial-caste in Venezuela.

    1834 – Much of the ancient structure of the Palace of Westminster in London burns to the ground.

    1843 – William Rowan Hamilton invents quaternions, a three-dimensional system of complex numbers.

    1846 – William T. G. Morton administers ether anesthesia during a surgical operation.

    1847 – The novel Jane Eyre is published in London.

    1859 – John Brown leads a raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

    1869 – The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, is “discovered”.

    1869 – Girton College, Cambridge is founded, becoming England’s first residential college for women.

    1909 – William Howard Taft and Porfirio Díaz hold the first summit between a U.S. and a Mexican president. They narrowly escape assassination.

    1916 – Margaret Sanger opens the first family planning clinic in the United States.

    1919 – Adolf Hitler delivers his first public address at a meeting of the German Workers’ Party.

    1923 – Walt Disney and his brother, Roy, found the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, today known as The Walt Disney Company.

    1934 – Chinese Communists begin the Long March to escape Nationalist encirclement.

    1939 – World War II: No. 603 Squadron RAF intercepts the first Luftwaffe raid on Britain.

    1940 – Holocaust in Poland: The Warsaw Ghetto is established.

    1946 – Nuremberg trials: Ten defendants found guilty by the International Military Tribunal are executed by hanging.

    1951 – The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, is assassinated in Rawalpindi.

    1953 – Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro delivers his “History Will Absolve Me” speech, and is sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment by the Fulgencio Batista government for leading an attack on the Moncada Barracks.

    1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis begins: U.S. President John F. Kennedy is informed of photos taken on October 14 by a U-2 showing nuclear missiles (the crisis will last for 13 days starting from this point).

    1964 – China detonates its first nuclear weapon.

    1968 – Tommie Smith and John Carlos are ejected from the US Olympic team for participating in the Olympics Black Power salute.

    1968 – Yasunari Kawabata becomes the first Japanese person to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

    1970 – Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau invokes the War Measures Act during the October Crisis.

    1973 – Henry Kissinger and Lê Đức Thọ are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    1975 – Three-year-old Rahima Banu, from Bangladesh, is the last known case of naturally occurring smallpox.

    1984 – Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

    1995 – The Million Man March takes place in Washington, D.C. About 837,000 attend.

    1678 – Anna Waser, Swiss painter (d. 1714).

    1758 – Noah Webster, American lexicographer (d. 1843).

    1803 – Robert Stephenson, English railway and civil engineer (d. 1859).

    1831 – Lucy Stanton, American activist (d. 1910).

    1854 – Oscar Wilde, Irish playwright, novelist, and poet (d. 1900).

    1886 – David Ben-Gurion, Polish-Israeli soldier and politician, 1st Prime Minister of Israel (d. 1973).

    1888 – Eugene O’Neill, American playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1953).

    1890 – Michael Collins, Irish general and politician, 2nd Irish Minister for Finance (d. 1922).

    1903 – Big Joe Williams, American Delta blues singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1982).

    1907 – Richard Titmuss, English sociologist and academic (d. 1973).

    1908 – Enver Hoxha, Albanian general and politician, Prime Minister of Albania (d. 1985).

    1922 – Max Bygraves, English-Australian actor and singer (d. 2012).

    1925 – Angela Lansbury, English-American actress, singer, and producer (d. 2022).

    1926 – Charles Dolan, American businessman, founded Cablevision and HBO.

    1927 – Günter Grass, German novelist, poet, playwright, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2015).

    1936 – Peter Bowles, English actor and screenwriter (d. 2022).

    1938 – Nico, German singer-songwriter, model, and actress (d. 1988).

    1941 – Emma Nicholson, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, English computer programmer and politician. [She’s made some useful interventions to defend women’s rights from encroachment by gender identity ideology.]

    1944 – Elizabeth Loftus, American psychologist.

    1947 – Bob Weir, American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    1956 – Marin Alsop, American violinist and conductor.

    1958 – Tim Robbins, American actor, director, and screenwriter.

    1959 – Gary Kemp, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor.

    1962 – Flea, Australian-American bass player, songwriter, and actor.

    1977 – John Mayer, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer.

    1997 – Naomi Osaka, Japanese tennis player.

    If you don’t know how to die, don’t worry; Nature will tell you what to do on the spot, fully and adequately. She will do this job perfectly for you; don’t bother your head about it.
    1555 – Hugh Latimer, English bishop and saint (b. 1487).
    1555 – Nicholas Ridley, English bishop and martyr (b. 1500). [Burned together at the stake. They became two of the three Oxford Martyrs of Anglicanism along with Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was burned to death at the same spot six months later.]

    1791 – Grigory Potemkin, Russian general and politician (b. 1739).

    1793 – Marie Antoinette, Austrian-born queen consort of Louis XVI of France (b. 1755).

    1793 – John Hunter, Scottish-English surgeon and philosopher (b. 1728).

    1888 – John Wentworth, American journalist and politician, 19th Mayor of Chicago (b. 1815).

    1936 – Effie Adelaide Rowlands, British writer (b. 1859).

    1937 – Jean de Brunhoff, French poet and playwright (b. 1899).

    1947 – Anna B. Eckstein, German peace activist (b. 1868).

    1956 – Jules Rimet, French businessman (b. 1873). [The men’s football world cup trophy bears his name.]

    1990 – Art Blakey, American drummer and bandleader (b. 1919).

    1992 – Shirley Booth, American actress and singer (b. 1898).

    2001 – Etta Jones, American singer-songwriter (b. 1928).

    2007 – Deborah Kerr, Scottish actress (b. 1921).

    2017 – Roy Dotrice, British actor (b. 1923).

    2017 – Sean Hughes, British-born Irish stand-up comedian (b. 1965).

    2023 – Martti Ahtisaari, former President of Finland and Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1937).

    1. Marin Alsop was recently appointed music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at their summer home, the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois (yes, that Highland Park), to great acclaim. Will she be appointed permanent music director of the CSO now that Ricardo Muti is retiring? If so, she would be the first woman music director of one of the Big Five orchestras in the USA and of arguably the best orchestra in the world (pace Berliner Philharmoniker).

      1. My favorite recordings of both 1812 and Bolero are Musical Heritage Society recordings of the CSO with Ricardo Muti conducting.

  2. allegations that officials were selling vistas for bribes.

    I’ve got a lovely view of Clifton Bridge to sell you…

    they’re still based on exit Poles

    Would somebody who answered an exit poll be an exit poll Pole? And if they happened to be Piotr Lisek would they be carrying an exit poll Pole pole?

  3. 90mph in a 55mph zone? That’s even a penalty for an F1 Grand Prix driver for speeding in the pit lane. Driving a car at 90mph is extremely dangerous risking severe injury or even death to other people innocently nearby. I am glad that this scoundrel sweated it out for a while. Hope the judge gave him some time in the slammer.

  4. I think that Jerry used too strong a word “hate” – to describe my attitude towards the now ruling Polish party, PiS. Both Andrzej and I are very critical towards leaders and officials of this party: they are incompetent, bigots, full of religiosity kleptocrats, They did a great harm to Poland during their 8 years in power. But I don’t hate them, I do not wish them ill, I just wish that they would never again be in a position to do more harm.

  5. 1791 – Grigory Potemkin, Russian general and politician (b. 1739).

    Was it the north or the south staircase that was used for The Untouchables? I’ve been to the Union Station but could not figure out which staircase was used. In the film Andy Garcia says something like ‘I’ll go to the south’, presumably leaving Costner at the north staircase, the but the dialogue need not have referred to actual locations.

  6. Btw, one datum point and a thank you as WEIT website seems to be behaving much, much better the past few days. The annoying pop-up urging me, a long-time subscriber, to subscribe is gone. The response time of the site is better. And the reply/comment function seems to be working well….at least for me…others might add their recent experiences….so thank you to the new IT guy/gal and to PCC(E) for getting after the issue.

    1. Possible, he sits and stares at the bottles of sparkling water that my wife drinks, even when the top is on. It’s his party trick, offer him a bottle of water and he sits in front of it and stares.

      1. Wonderful. And Balian is a beautiful cat. I might have to switch to the type of fizzy “water” in the photo – for some strange reason it looks better than the sparkling water I currently drink!

  7. Earlier this year I decided to finally get a bottle of Green Chartreuse to see what this legendary mundifier was like. Place after place that I tried had an empty spot on the shelf where it used to reside. Finally, after about a month of searching, I found a bottle in a little mom and pop liqueur store for $65.

    Money well spent in my opinion. I’m not sure I would rate it as my favorite, but it is indeed very good stuff.

    1. I had my first taste of Chartreuse this past September 7, a day before my birthday. I’d not heard of the liqueur before, but a new acquaintance that my wife & I shared a home dinner with had a bottle. He gave it high praise, but said it was now rare to find, and expensive. I was intrigued.

      Tamping down some thoughts of ill manners, I boldly asked for a taste. My host graciously provided a generous sample that my wife & I sipped. Very nice! The alcohol was little more than background as the “herbal essence” of the liqueur presented itself, subtle but clear, like a breath of fresh country air.

    2. That’s a really good price. I can find it pretty easily, but it costs upwards of $110. (WA has a very high alcohol tax.)
      It’s nice on the rocks, but my favorite Chartreuse cocktail is a simple tonic and lime, same ratio as a vodka tonic. I only make the drink in the Summer, but this Summer I didn’t have one…I don’t know why. This Summer I was making gin drinks from a gin called The Botanist, made in Islay Scotland. I thought if they made incredible scotch, why not gin? I wasn’t wrong, the stuff is amazing. My favorite cocktail: ounce Botanist, ounce St. Germain (elderflower liqueur), 3 oz. fresh grapefruit juice, 1 oz. fresh lemon juice. Garnish with grapefruit skin (no pith). It is the perfect Summer drink. I found the recipe in a Vietnamese cook book of all places.

      1. Your favorite gin cocktail sound wonderful. Thanks for the recipe. I think I’ll make one tonight. I’ve actually got a bottle of St. Germain in stock right now.

        Earlier this year I became interested in the classic Italian cocktail, the Negroni. I’ve come up with a pretty dialed in recipe that, so far, is the best. It is partly inspired by Anthony Bourdain.

        1 part Carpano Antica Formula Vermouth, pricey but very much worth it, 1 part Campari Aperitivo and 2 parts gin, stir in glass with much ice, garnish with a big fat slice of orange, squeeze the orange over the glass and then use it to stir a little bit more. Lately this has been my favorite drink.

        My favorite of the gins I’ve used is Silks Irish Dry Gin, though really this gin is probably best sipped by itself.

        The parts inspired by Anthony Bourdain are the additional part of gin (classic is 1-1-1) and the huge slice of orange instead of the anemic classic twist of orange skin. Those 2 tweaks really transform the drink.

        1. I’ve heard of a Negroni, but have never had one. Sounds complex…and I can’t imagine what it would taste like, but I’d love to try it. Unfortunately, I’ll need to go shopping before I can make one; I’ll need the Vermouth and Campari. I might need to travel to get the specific Vermouth you recommend. The liquor store near me doesn’t have many high-end fortified wines.

          I hope you like the grapefruit/gin cocktail…a lot simpler than the Negroni! And I forgot to add, like the Negroni, mix with lots of ice.

  8. Want to share this from X :

    Michael Shermer:

    “There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world.
    There are 50 majority Muslim nations in the world.
    There are 16.1 million Jews in the world.
    There is 1 Jewish nation in the world.
    Do not Jews have the same right to nationhood as everyone else?”


    “⁦‪@michaelshermer‬⁩ There are over 5,000 ethnicities and 4,000 religions in the world yet only about 190+ countries.

    Now you can see that belonging to a religion or ethnic group does not automatically endow with the right to have your own country. Jews are no different to anyone else.”
    [ name redacted]

    I find that reply breathtaking for a number of reasons, for one thing the failure to appreciate numbers – like the difference between 1 and 0, or 50 and 1 – or certain reasons for certain religions to be particularly “interested” in other certain religions, and how we all know exactly which ones those are.

  9. Thanks for the Inna Vishik tweet. My university and its president also responded with the same kind of vague regret about a “conflict”. Nothing about Jews or Hamas. Vishik is correct: its source is fear of Hamas supporters, and a kind of soft Islamophobia (literal fear of Islamists).

    1. Absolutely!

      I do not think that universities should opine on every issue; I actually think they should stay all the way out of making political statements to not tip the scales of free speech. But the fact of the matter is that they have been opining and picking sides for years, and it makes a statement when they suddenly choose to stop doing this.

      Powerfully said.

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