Friday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

For some reason I’m mad at much of the world today (it could be because Leftists are posting nude statues of Donald Trump all over Facebook, mocking his genitalia, not realizing how they’d feel if Republicans did the same thing with nude statues of Hillary Clinton). This is the kind of discourse that has so polarized America. Can we maybe pay more attention to ideas and not use as an excuse “Trump brought it on himself?” We’re better than that.

So if I’m a bit irascible, well, you’ve been warned. Anyway, today is Friday, so others might be in a better mood. And today is World Humanitarian Day, commemorating those brave souls who lost their lives helping others. The day marks August 19, 2003 (was it really 13 years ago?), when the UN’s Special Representative to Iraq, noted humanitarian Sérgio Vieira de Mello, as well as 21 other employees, were killed in the car bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad. Also on this day, in 1944, the liberation of Paris began with attacks by the French Resistance. (Be sure to read Matthew Cobb’s wonderful book on this: Eleven Days in August: the Liberation of Paris in 1944Matthew has a second career as a historian, and won a French knighthood for this.) The insurrection was hard fought, and ended when the Germans surrendered on August 25.

Today is the birthday of both Ginger Baker (1939) and Bill Clinton (1946; he turns 70 today). Blaise Pascal died on this day in 1662 (I wonder if he won his wager?), as did Linus Pauling in 1994. Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, there’s a very complicated Hili dialogue. I’ll let Malgorzata explain it below:

A: What are you doing? Eating off the Constitution?
Hili: It’s better to eat off the Constitution than to peck on it.
In Polish:
Ja: Co ty robisz? Jesz z Konstytucji?
Hili: Lepiej jeść z Konstytucji niż ją dziobać.
Explanation by Malgorzata: “The current Polish government is undermining the Constitution using every trick they can think of. They want to change Constitution but for now they do not have the required 2/3 majority to do it, so they do it by curtailing the constitutional rights of other authorities. This is done by passing acts of parliament for which a simple majority is enough. Hili doesn’t approve.”

Leon and his staff are in southern Poland again, finishing up the purchase of their wooden house that will be moved to near Dobrzyn. But they’re also doing some hiking, using a rented cottage as a base:

Leon: I’m getting back the peace of my soul in this cottage.


Finally, relevant comics courtesy of readers Barry and jsp (who sent me that awesome cat tee-shirt I posted yesterday):

From Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller:

And from Jeffrey Weston’s strip Ape, Not Monkey (nicknamed “The Science vs Religion Comic Strip”; how did I miss this???). The strip is definitely worth bookmarking.


  1. Damien
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Hello, hello, good day to everyone.

    I have a question for you all : is there a place on this website (Pr. Coyne wrote in “Da Roolz” that it is not a blog) for us to discuss topics that are a bit too far from the topic of any given post, or right away, the life of the website, for instance whether or not it is mandatory to use a special spelling for animals of the c*n*s genus ?

    • Posted August 19, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      We occasionally have open-season discussion threads.

      No, it’s not mandatory for anyone to write d*gs rather than “dogs”. I do it most of the time, but that’s not a rule for everyone, at least not as far as I remember.

      • Damien
        Posted August 19, 2016 at 7:59 am | Permalink

        Thank you for that answer.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Well the ugly American is more than just a book or a movie. The left and the right are equal partners in this business. Even Olympic athletes can participate.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    PZ Meyers put it well:

    I don’t understand why. … Caricature should have a substantive point of some sort — political cartoons, for instance, will exaggerate features to make the subject instantly recognizable, but then the idea is that the caricature is doing something, saying something to illustrate an idea. These statues are just standing there inert, looking unpleasant. It’s content-free mockery.


    … but part of me understands the artist here – becoming ugly because the world is ugly,… lashing out… I was saddened to read Sarah Silverman thinks it’s “brilliant”. Such an awful use of the word.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 19, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      I did not go back and review it, but not long ago on this site there was a discussion of opinion on humor or what is funny. There was a wide and disturbing at times, view on this subject. What goes on in FACEBOOK almost mirrors the grade school bullies from what I’ve seen.

  4. RossR
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Malgorzata’s description of their government’s machinations reads very like the process whereby Hitler managed – quite legally and by going through all the necessary legislation – to end up with the absolute power to ride roughshod over his people and a large number of ours.

  5. Kevin
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Follow along and no one gets hurt (with footnote *).

    * – until we are so reformed we are indistinguishable from secularism.

  6. Posted August 19, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Those Trump statues. I encountered one on a street corner in Seattle. Eeeeewwwww.

  7. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    That it was a hair ball and not a fair ball explains so much!

  8. Bill the Cat
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Thank Ceiling Cat I had Live Cream playing this morning on the way to work. (Ginger’s live playing was much better then in the studio.)

  9. Graham
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    An unbelievable [yet all too believable] story of religious arrogance, at the time of the bombing which killed Sergio de Mello:

  10. bric
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of Professor Cobb (whose book on the Resistance is excellent btw)

    My daughter made me do this.— Matthew Cobb (@matthewcobb) August 19, 2016


    • bric
      Posted August 19, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Finally, I understand why we have twitter

  11. Chris Simonite
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, Ape, Not Monkey has not been updated since January of last year. Well worth reading the archives though! 🙂

  12. bric
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    statement from the NYC Parks Department on the ‘nude Trump’ statues:

    “NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small”

  13. Posted August 19, 2016 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    How do you know the statues are making fun of his genitalia?

  14. bluemaas
    Posted August 19, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, re that “For some reason I’m mad at much of the world today,” I quite concur with … …

    … … “hut here I am.”

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