Saturday: Hili dialogue

November 11, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to cat shabbos, CaturSaturday, November 11, 2023, and National Sundae Day. Here’s a big’ un in a short video of Margie’s Candies in Chicago. This is a place worth going: an old-fashioned ice-cream parlor with great treats as well as homemade chocolates. Even the Beatles ate here!

It’s also Armistice Day, celebrating the end of WWI. The cease-fire that stopped hostilities began at 11 a.m. on 11/11, or November 11. That would be 11 a.m. Paris time, and so I’ll stop briefly to remember.

Here’s the November 11, 1918 NYT:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 11 Wikipedia page.

Da Nooz:

*This is the headline in the war news in today’s NYT (click to read):

An excerpt:

Israel revised its official estimated death toll of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, lowering the number to about 1,200 people, down from more than 1,400, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Friday night.

The spokesman, Lior Haiat, said the original figure had been an “initial estimate” that had now been updated. He declined to provide further details on the change, but he emphasized that the numbers could continue to fluctuate as remains are identified.

For weeks, Israeli officials had said that more than 1,400 people were killed in the attacks launched from Gaza, in which Hamas-led gunmen swept into more than 20 Israeli towns and military bases and opened fire on people in their homes, on the streets, at a music festival and other locations. Others were killed when the attackers set their cars and homes on fire.

Israeli health officials say they have struggled to identify many Israelis and foreigners who were killed in the attacks, and to exclude the remains of those they considered to have been attackers from the official toll.

That’s a reasonable explanation, and Israel is being honest, but I can’t help but believe that the NYT made this the headline to say “See, Israel exaggerated its casualties!” I may be wrong, but the NYT’s reporting on the war has been heavily slanted, as if it’s being written by progressive college students. And indeed, that may have been the background of a fair few reporters.

*Andrew Sullivan’s column in the Weekly Dish is called “The ‘genocide’ canard against Israel,” with the subheading, “It’s actually the opposite of the truth. And that matters.” Anybody with a brain would have hit on Sullivan’s conclusion earlier, but he, at least, has the guts to say it:

But the supporters of Hamas and of the Palestinians have seized the g-word with particular zeal. And who can blame them? There’s a real, adolescent frisson in accusing the victims of the worst genocide in modern history of being genocidal themselves. “Israel, we charge you with genocide” is a common chant in many of the pro-Palestinian protests. “Genocide Joe” has been trending on Twitter. Eight hundred artists signed an open letter calling the Israeli counteract in Gaza “a genocide.” Yale professor Zareena Grewal channeled much of the “decolonizing” left: “Israeli [sic] is a murderous, genocidal settler state and Palestinians have every right to resist through armed struggle.”

It’s not just the activists. Congresswoman Tlaib has accused Biden of “funding Netanyahu’s genocide,” and said “We are literally watching people commit genocide” — referring to the blast next to a Gaza hospital caused by a Hamas rocket. Congresswoman Omar retweeted a photo of dead kids with the caption “CHILD GENOCIDE IN PALESTINE” — but the photo was from a 2013 chemical weapons attack in Syria. A State Department official tweeted that Biden is “complicit in genocide.”

. . .The basic definition of “genocide” provided by the State Department is “the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying that nation or group.”

The key, defining thing here is the aim. Horrifying massacres may or may not be genocidal, depending on the intention. The Hiroshima bomb, for example, was devastating, but it was aimed at ending the war, not obliterating the Japanese people as a race. And if Israel were interested in the “genocide” of Palestinian Arabs, it has had the means to accomplish it for a very long time. And yet, for some reason, the Arab population of Israel and the occupied territories has exploded since 1948, and the Arabs in Israel proper have voting rights, and a key presence in the Knesset.

This is not to exonerate Israel entirely. I’ve had strong words for the Netanyahu governments over the years. And Israeli politicians, on the far right, have used foul rhetoric and deemed the Palestinians subhuman in some respects. Bibi swiftly suspended a rogue minister for saying a nuke could be dropped on Gaza. There are anti-Arab maniacs among the West Bank settlers and in Bibi’s cabinet. But a policy of Arab genocide? Please.

The only people actively and proudly engaged in genocide are Hamas. The marchers on the streets this weekend will not be opposing genocide; they will be defending its perpetrators. It’s right there in the Hamas founding charter:

All of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank is] consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. … The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.

This is not mere rhetoric. On October 7, we saw what genocide is in practice. Hamas didn’t kill civilians as a tragic consequence of attacks on military targets. Its torture and murder of Jewish civilians was its core mission. And if Hamas had the capacity, they would gladly enact a second Holocaust, and they have proudly said so, with even more sadism than the Nazis. They would kill every Jew they could.

Have you heard such an analysis anywhere else, even though Sullivan is right and this isn’t rocket science? He goes on to mention other genuine genocides taking place now, including in Chad and Azerbaijan. Why, then, do American “progressives” ignore the real genocides and level accusations at Israel? Sullivan observes:

So is it simply anti-Semitism that singles out Israel for the current hostility? I don’t know how you can deny that it has played a major role. On today’s American left, especially among the indoctrinated young, anti-Semitism has been turbo-charged by critical race theory.

. . . I know this leaves me in another agonizing pretzel: defending Israel even in its deep, moral failings. Israel is far from perfect, and has made some hideous mistakes alongside its spectacular achievements. But Israel is not committing genocide in any way, and the accusation, given History 101, is a knowingly despicable one.

*As always, I’m going to steal three bits of Nellie Bowles’s snarky and weekly news summary on the Free Press. This week’s is called, “TGIF: Jihadis get lost in translation.”

→ Barack Obama returns to the arena: Former president Obama jetted in from Martha’s Vineyard to say one quick thing, guys: the war’s kinda Israel’s fault! Or at least, we’re all guilty here, man. Hamas is the same as you and me. I’m reactive and need to learn how to take a deep breath before writing emails; Hamas tortured children and livestreamed it. Point is, we’ve all got issues. Here’s Obama: “If you want to solve the problem, then you have to take in the whole truth. And you then have to admit nobody’s hands are clean, that all of us are complicit to some degree.” It takes two to tango. Hamas killed infants point-blank; I never replace the toilet paper roll.

This “both-sides-the-same” stand of Obama is disappointing. Nobody’s hands may be clean, but for crying out loud: some hands are cleaner than others! Nellie’s last sentence sums that up.

In contrast, Nellie’s always had a thing for Hillary Clinton, and lauds her in every other TGIF column. I’m not that big a fan of Clinton, but I do admire her for her straight talk about the war, unlike Timorous Obama:

→ You know who’s not talking like that? My woman, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who went on The View to deliver a shot of moral clarity straight into Stay-at-Home America’s veins. Here’s Mrs. Clinton: “Remember, there was a cease-fire on October 6 that Hamas broke by their barbaric assault on peaceful civilians and their kidnapping, their killing, their beheading, their terrible, inhumane savagery. It did not hold because Hamas chose to break it.” Moms around the country heard that call and are gathering arms. Hillary’s been through everything, so tarnished in battle she actually became clean again. I’m. With. Her, we all bellowed.

Trendy cultural relativists like 2023-era Obama can never really believe there’s a good guy. Nothing is ever better or worse than anything else. To the cultural relativists, Hamas is just another modern dance—a wild and beautiful expression of the human condition. The old-school feminists like Hilz are not so easily taken. They cut their teeth on brass tacks. They spend Saturday night preparing for the Model UN Conference, where they will crush. It does not take two to tango in the mind of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Me, I know the world is heroes (me) and villains (everyone else).

→ Man dies after running his head into something hard, a lot: A pro-Israel protester in Thousand Oaks, outside Los Angeles, was killed by a pro-Palestine protester, who bashed him in the head with a bullhorn. As the medical examiner determined: “An autopsy was performed on November 6th and the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death to be blunt force head injury and the manner of death homicide.” So that was settled. The headlines—many of which came after this determination—what did they say?

That one has to be from the NYT. But Nellie continues:

Remember, if you’re Jewish and you get murdered, it’s just a weird thing you did with your head. Be more careful.

The alleged killer, who, it goes without saying, is a local professor, previously posted in support of Hamas.

And don’t miss Nellie’s “campus update”, a weekly summary of the latest campus hijinks around the war. It will make you want to shut down ALL the universities.  Nellie’s the best!

*A NYT writer resigned (read: “was fired”) after signing her second public letter of protest, a practice that violates the paper’s policy.

Jazmine Hughes, an award-winning New York Times Magazine staff writer, resigned from the publication on Friday after she violated the newsroom’s policies by signing a letter that voiced support for Palestinians and protested Israel’s siege in Gaza.

Jake Silverstein, the editor of The New York Times Magazine, announced Ms. Hughes’s resignation in an email to staff members on Friday evening.

“While I respect that she has strong convictions, this was a clear violation of The Times’s policy on public protest,” Mr. Silverstein wrote. “This policy, which I fully support, is an important part of our commitment to independence.”

Mr. Silverstein said Ms. Hughes had previously violated the policy by signing another public letter this year. That letter, which was also signed by other contributors to The Times, protested the newspaper’s reporting on transgender issues.

“She and I discussed that her desire to stake out this kind of public position and join in public protests isn’t compatible with being a journalist at The Times, and we both came to the conclusion that she should resign,” Mr. Silverstein wrote in his note on Friday.

Like our University, which doesn’t make official pronouncements on politics or ideology because they could chill free speech on campus, newspapers should (and the Times does) forbid reporters from joining public protests. The reason is obvious: one couldn’t trust the reporting of such writers to be free from bias. Two such violations were apparently enough for the NYT.

*Finally, a personal note. A FB “friend” posted one of those quickly-vanishing “go-by” posts (at the top of the page) that turned out to be a long tirade accusing Israel of genocide in Gaza. The words used were “cries of genocide are erupting from every crevice of Israeli society”, which the person then diagnosed as widespread Israeli “sociopathic psychosis”. But then you get to the ironic ending of the tirade:

WHAAAT?. . . . has this ignoramus heard of the October 7 attack on Israel that started this war, an attack that involved Hamas LIVESTREAMING the slaughter of Israeli civilians, including butchering babies, born and unborn, cutting legs off kids, burning people alive, deliberately killing parents in front of their children, and chopping up old people with blunt shovels?  And that’s just a start. The last I heard, the members of Hamas are “Palestinians”. And I haven’t heard of the IDF doing such things, much less doing it gleefully. Remember “Dad, I just killed ten Jews with my own hands!“?  Talk about psychosis:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili reluctantly relinquishes part of the bed:

A: May I lie down here as well?
Hili: Of course, just do not fidget.
In Polish:
Ja: Czy ja mogę też się tu położyć? Hili: Oczywiście, tylko się nie wierć.

From the Absurd Sign Project 2.0:

From Jesus of the Day:

From Irena, a Bernie made from veggies!

From Masih, who was on “60 Minutes” with Leslie Stahl:


Meanwhile, in a math class at MIT:

From Simon (I don’t know if the sign is real):

I found this one (Gal Gadot, famous as “Wonder Woman,” was both Miss Israel and a soldier in the IDF (see here for further information about the disruption):

From Jez:

From the Auschwitz Memorial; remember that it wasn’t just Jews they killed:

A tweet from Matthew. He says, “This is 6/mins long! Very stressful, not fake, not on a loop.”

18 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. On this day:
    1215 – The Fourth Council of the Lateran meets, defining the doctrine of transubstantiation, the process by which bread and wine are, by that doctrine, said to transform into the body and blood of Christ.

    1572 – Tycho Brahe observes the supernova SN 1572.

    1673 – Second Battle of Khotyn in Ukraine: Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth forces under the command of Jan Sobieski defeat the Ottoman army. In this battle, rockets made by Kazimierz Siemienowicz are successfully used.

    1675 – Gottfried Leibniz demonstrates integral calculus for the first time to find the area under the graph of y = ƒ(x).

    1724 – Joseph Blake, alias Blueskin, a highwayman known for attacking “Thief-Taker General” (and thief) Jonathan Wild at the Old Bailey, is hanged in London.

    1750 – The F.H.C. Society, also known as the Flat Hat Club, is formed at Raleigh Tavern, Williamsburg, Virginia. It is the first college fraternity.

    1831 – In Jerusalem, Virginia, Nat Turner is hanged after inciting a violent slave uprising.

    1869 – The Victorian Aboriginal Protection Act is enacted in Australia, giving the government control of indigenous people’s wages, their terms of employment, where they could live, and of their children, effectively leading to the Stolen Generations.

    1880 – Australian bushranger Ned Kelly is hanged at Melbourne Gaol.

    1887 – Four convicted anarchists were executed as a result of the Haymarket affair.

    1911 – Many cities in the Midwestern United States break their record highs and lows on the same day as a strong cold front rolls through.

    1918 – World War I: Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car in the forest of Compiègne.

    1918 – Józef Piłsudski assumes supreme military power in Poland – symbolic first day of Polish independence.

    1919 – The Industrial Workers of the World attack an Armistice Day parade in Centralia, Washington, ultimately resulting in the deaths of five people.

    1921 – The Tomb of the Unknowns is dedicated by US President Warren G. Harding at Arlington National Cemetery.

    1923 – Adolf Hitler is arrested in Munich for high treason for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch.

    1926 – The United States Numbered Highway System is established.

    1930 – Patent number US1781541 is awarded to Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd for their invention, the Einstein refrigerator.

    1934 – The Shrine of Remembrance is opened in Melbourne, Australia. [They got there in the end…]

    1940 – World War II: In the Battle of Taranto, the Royal Navy launches the first all-aircraft ship-to-ship naval attack in history.

    1942 – The Turkish parliament passes the Varlık Vergisi,[4] a capital tax mostly levied on non-Muslim citizens with the unofficial aim to inflict financial ruin on them and end their prominence in the country’s economy.

    1965 – Southern Rhodesia’s Prime Minister Ian Smith unilaterally declares the colony independent as the unrecognised state of Rhodesia.

    1966 – NASA launches Gemini 12.

    1975 – Australian constitutional crisis of 1975: Australian Governor-General Sir John Kerr dismisses the government of Gough Whitlam, appoints Malcolm Fraser as caretaker Prime Minister and announces a general election to be held in early December.

    1992 – The General Synod of the Church of England votes to allow women to become priests.

    1999 – The House of Lords Act is given Royal Assent, restricting membership of the British House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage. [The House is instead stuffed with unelected cronies of prime ministers. It currently has 784 sitting members, is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house, and is the second-largest legislative chamber in the world, behind the National People’s Congress of China.]

    2000 – Kaprun disaster: One hundred fifty-five skiers and snowboarders die when a cable car catches fire in an alpine tunnel in Kaprun, Austria.

    2004 – New Zealand Tomb of the Unknown Warrior is dedicated at the National War Memorial, Wellington. [They don’t rush these things in the southern antipodes…]

    2004 – The Palestine Liberation Organization confirms the death of Yasser Arafat from unidentified causes. Mahmoud Abbas is elected chairman of the PLO minutes later.

    2022 – Russo-Ukrainian War: Ukrainian armed forces enter the city of Kherson following a successful two-month southern counteroffensive. [We’re hearing very little about that war at the moment.]

    1493 – Paracelsus, Swiss-German physician, botanist, astrologer, and occultist (d. 1541).

    1743 – Carl Peter Thunberg, Swedish botanist, entomologist, and psychologist (d. 1828). [He studied under Linnaeus and has been called “the father of South African botany”, “pioneer of Occidental Medicine in Japan”, and the “Japanese Linnaeus”.]

    1821 – Fyodor Dostoevsky, Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, and philosopher (d. 1881).

    1866 – Martha Annie Whiteley, English chemist and mathematician (d. 1956). [Instrumental in advocating for women’s entry into the Chemical Society, and was best known for her dedication to advancing women’s equality in the field of chemistry. She is identified as one of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 175 Faces of Chemistry.]

    1867 – Shrimad Rajchandra, a Jain philosopher, spiritual mentor of Mahatma Gandhi (d. 1901).

    1868 – Édouard Vuillard, French painter and academic (d. 1940).

    1885 – George S. Patton, American general (d. 1945).

    1895 – Wealthy Babcock, American mathematician and academic (d. 1990). [She was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and had a long teaching career there.]

    1896 – Shirley Graham Du Bois, American author, playwright, composer, and activist (d. 1977).

    1904 – Alger Hiss, American lawyer and convicted spy (d. 1996).

    1922 – Kurt Vonnegut, American novelist, short story writer, and essayist (d. 2007).

    1925 – June Whitfield, English actress (d. 2018).

    1948 – Robert John “Mutt” Lange, British-South African record producer and songwriter.

    1951 – Kim Peek, American megasavant (d. 2009). [Had an exceptional memory, but he also experienced social difficulties, possibly resulting from a developmental disability related to congenital brain abnormalities. He was the inspiration for the character Raymond Babbitt in the 1988 movie Rain Man.]

    1953 – Andy Partridge, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer.

    1954 – Mary Gaitskill, American novelist, essayist, and short story writer.

    1958 – Kathy Lette, Australian-English author.

    1960 – Stanley Tucci, American actor and director.

    1962 – Demi Moore, American actress, director, and producer.

    1964 – Calista Flockhart, American actress.

    1974 – Leonardo DiCaprio, American actor and producer.

    1994 – Ellie Simmonds, English swimmer.

    And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
    My youth is bent by the same wintry fever:

    1855 – Søren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher, author, and poet (b. 1813).

    1880 – Lucretia Mott, American activist (b. 1793).

    1888 – Pedro Ñancúpel, Chilean pirate active in the fjords and channels of Patagonia. He was executed.

    1945 – Jerome Kern, American composer (b. 1885).

    1972 – Berry Oakley, American bass player (b. 1948). [One of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band. Known for his long, melodic bass runs, he was ranked number 46 on Bass Player magazine’s list of “The 100 Greatest Bass Players of All Time”.]

    1982 – Marcel Paul, French communist politician and Holocaust survivor (b. 1900).

    1984 – Martin Luther King, Sr., American pastor, missionary, and activist (b. 1899).

    1993 – Erskine Hawkins, American trumpet player and bandleader (b. 1914).

    1999 – Mary Kay Bergman, American voice actress (b. 1961)[55]
    [The lead female voice actress on South Park from the show’s debut in 1997 until her death. Throughout her career, Bergman performed voice work for over 400 television commercials and voiced over 100 cartoon, film, and video game characters.]

    2005 – Peter Drucker, Austrian-American author, theorist, and educator (b. 1909).

    2016 – Robert Vaughn, American actor (b. 1932).

    2017 – Chiquito de la Calzada, Spanish singer, actor and comedian (b. 1932). [Some of his characteristic words and expressions such as Fistro or Jarl, as well as his humorous lines or hyperbolic comparisons such as “you work less than Tarzan’s tailor” quickly became memes and are now part of Spanish slang.]

    2021 – F. W. de Klerk, South African lawyer and politician, former State President of South Africa, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1936).

    1. If anyone is looking to visit the town of Jerusalem, VA, it is now known as Courtland since it was renamed in 1888 and is located in Southampton County south of the James River.

  2. That’s Bernie from the inauguration! Very nice.

    1992 – The General Synod of the Church of England votes to allow women to become priests.

    I’m sure that is good for equality — if men can be priests, why not women? But is it considered progress?

    1. I question that the chase was necessary. The risk of serious injury or death is too great. Let them get away. Possibly they could have used the bike number or other photo info to identify the owner. In any case, it’s too risky.

  3. … newspapers should (and the Times does) forbid reporters from joining public protests. The reason is obvious: one couldn’t trust the reporting of such writers to be free from bias.

    I’m not so sure here. It may be better to allow reporters to voice their personal opinions outside the newspaper. That way you’ll know about their biases and can take it into account. If you merely tell them not to join public protests, then can still write biased pieces but you’d be less alterted to that.

    Of course if the copy they submit actually is biased and not up to newspaper standards of neutrality, then the newspaper can fire them for that reason.

  4. Would like to know more about that math class at MIT. Was equal time allotted for the pro-Israeli faction? Did the Professor or TA have a choice in the matter?

  5. Speaking of large sundaes, when I lived in Vermont we had a few Vermonsters from Ben & Jerry’s. I won’t provide a link, as it is terribly easy to find. It is huge.

  6. That video with that vile man gleefully recounting how he killed 10 Jews with his bare hands and imploring his parents to open WhatsApp to see the destruction he wrought.

    I have no words but the barbarian does not seem to realise that WhatsApp was an Israeli creation I believe.

    It would be ironic except for the unbearable cruelty displayed

Leave a Comment

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