Monday Holiday: Hili dialogue

It’s the Fourth of July: Independence Day—America’s equivalent of Canada Day! Today everyone will have picnics and set off fireworks. We’ve been lucky to have three beautiful days for the holidays, sunny and with temperatures not exceeding 25°C. And so it shall be today.

And of course on this day in history occurred what we’re celebrating: in 1776 the Continental Congress of the U.S. adopted the Declaration of Independence. If it hadn’t, Boris Johnson would be our President and we wouldn’t have proper sandwiches. Also on this day was a poignant event: both John Adams (second president of the U.S.) and Thomas Jefferson (the third) died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence—July 4, 1826. Both desperately wanted to stay alive to see that day, and both made it. An account from the librarian website Finding Dulcinea:

Jefferson desired to live until July 4 so “that he might breathe the air of the Fiftieth Anniversary.” His last words, spoken the night before his death in the early afternoon of July 4, are traditionally given as some variation of “Is it the Fourth?”

Adams spent his final days at his home in Quincy, Mass. On the morning of July 4, he remarked, “It is a great day. It is a good day.”He died in the early evening, hours after Jefferson. According to tradition, Adams uttered the final words, “Thomas Jefferson survives,” unaware of the fact that his longtime friend had just passed away.

Though Adams did mention Jefferson, it is uncertain whether he said “survives,” explains Andrew Burstein, author of “America’s Jubilee.”

According to a journal entry by John Quincy Adams, who returned home 13 days after his father’s death, “About one afternoon [1 pm] he said ‘Thomas Jefferson survives,’ but the last word was indistinctly and imperfectly uttered. He spoke no more.”

Here is today’s Google Doodle, showing fifty stars at play:


Finally,  July 4, 1886 the people of France offered the people of the U.S. our Statue of Liberty, which still stands proudly in New York Harbor. Thanks, France!

Those born on this day include Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804), Calvin Coolidge (1872) and Lionel Trilling (1905). Those who died on this day include Marie Curie (1934). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is feeling her oats—or her kibbles—and playing Jungle Cat:

A: You look like a wild cat.
Hili: Yes, I’ve had a good sleep and I have plenty of energy.
In Polish:
Ja: Wyglądasz jak dziki kot.
Hili: Tak, wyspałam się i mam dużo energii.

Enjoy this painting courtesy of reader Taskin. It’s by David Teniers the Younger and called “The Cat Concert” (1635). See also his “Costumed apes having a meal.” There are the archetypes of all pictures of “Dogs playing poker.”


Finally, over at Ten Cats, there’s a bird convention at the brand new Cat’s Inn:



  1. Dominic
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    But Boris Johnson IS American!
    “Johnson was born on 19 June 1964 at a hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side in New York City.”
    You are welcome to him…

    • George
      Posted July 4, 2016 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      You can keep him – and the oh so pleasant Nigel Farage. Glad Nige did not come to the US to trade commodities.

      Now that BoJo and Nige have taken themselves out of the picture, it makes it official that the UK is even more screwed up than the US. They threw the bomb now someone else can clean it up. Give that some thought, Trump supporters.

      I find it hard to believe that a country can abandon its economic underpinnings and governing institutions on a 52-48 vote. Imagine if the US could so easily amend its constitution. We would have prayer in school and a religious war over what is true xianity.

      You would think that a referendum which would have such a huge impact on the country would have a threshold higher than that of a coin flip. And most people did not have a clue as to what they were voting on. The only alternative was to leave the EU – not how to leave the EU, what to replace it with – just get out. Those Polish plumbers really pissed some people off.

      Imagine walking up to the edge of the Grand Canyon, flipping a coin and jumping in if it comes up heads. Congratulations on your way down, Brexiters. Just don’t drag Scotland down with you.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 4, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        Adams and Jefferson started as stern rivals and ended up as best friends who looked together toward the success of their nation. That’s politics for you. It’s hard to know what the EU will look like in 5 or 10 years. I think the Brits will have gotten over this little huff.

        • Taz
          Posted July 4, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          They were friends before they were rivals.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 4, 2016 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        Believe they call it “true” democracy. What most people on this side of the pond think we have but don’t. I do not know about Britain but we could use a complete do-over and wish it were not so hard. Somebody flip the coin and quickly.

        • Dave
          Posted July 4, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          “I find it hard to believe that a country can abandon its economic underpinnings and governing institutions on a 52-48 vote. ”

          We haven’t. We’ve chosen to re-affirm the primacy of our own governing institutions, rather than be subject to the arbitrary dictates of a self-selecting clique of unelected mandarins and see our judicial system overruled by foreign courts. As for the economic consequences – only time will tell. The same “experts” who are predicting doom for us outside the EU were telling us 15 years ago that it would be a disaster if we didn’t join the euro. How did that work out, my Greek friends?

          “And most people did not have a clue as to what they were voting on.”

          The standard whine of people who just can’t face being on the losing side of a democratic vote. Everyone who voted in a way you disapprove of is a knuckle-dragging moron or a dupe of the media, while of course those who voted Remain are astute, well-informed and responsible. Perhaps in future they should have two votes for every one given to the uneducated hoi polloi?

          I find it strange that we have these posts celebrating the US declaration of independence, while simultaneously sneering at the decision of the British people to govern themselves.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted July 4, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            I guessing your comments are in reply to Mr Dominic or George above and not to anything I have said. There is nothing in my remarks that are covered by anything you have said here. I did not “sneer” one way or the other at the decision of the British people. We have more than enough of our own problems without getting into yours and I believe that is what I said.

            Determine your economics however you want but I would remind all that our own economic conditions do not come directly from anything specifically in the Constitution. It comes from a variety of political decisions and votes by the legislature and executive branches. Pure democracy has almost nothing to do with it. Ours is a Republic with forms of representative government for most matters.

            So if Britain wants to determine their economic conditions on a vote of all the people, all I can say is good luck with that.

            • Dave
              Posted July 4, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

              Yes, my comments were written in response to George above – apologies for the careless placement of the comment. I wasn’t taking issue with anything you said.

          • Heather Hastie
            Posted July 4, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

            The number one reason Bremain people are complaining at the result is not, imo, sour grapes, but the knowledge that the Brexit campaign told so many outright and outrageous lies that people voted on the basis of. There are genuine reasons one might vote for Brexit, but it seems clear to me that a large proportion of those who voted that way didn’t vote for those reasons.

            As for Johnson being born in Manhattan, do we really know who his father is? Is that hair a genetic trait?

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted July 4, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        We would have prayer in school and a religious war over what is true xianity.

        You missed the “continuous” and “multi-directional” aspects of that most-uncivil of wars, when it comes.

  2. Taskin
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Happy Independence Day, American friends! Hili makes an admirable jungle cat.

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Love the cat concert! The owl doesn’t seem too impressed though and the cats seem to be arguing amongst themselves.

  4. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted July 4, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Jefferson and Adams had been bitter political opponents most of their career and had come to a kind of reconciliation near the end of their lives.

    Jefferson banned guns from the campus of the University he founded, University of Virginia, now a state school.

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