Monday: Hili dialogue

Good morning; it’s Monday, January 16, and a holiday in the U.S.—Martin Luther King Day. As for me, I’m off in a short while to tape the Rubin Report, and then immediately flying back to Chicago. That means that posting will be light today.

As for food holidays, it’s National Fig Newton Day (“Fig Roll” if you’re in the UK), and International Hot and Spicy Food Day. In the U.S. it’s also National Religious Freedom Day, honoring the Virginia Assembly’s adoption on this day in 1786 of Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom—the precursor of the Constitution’s First Amendment.  Here’s the last paragraph of Jefferson’s statute, one of the three accomplishments engraved on his tombstone (“President of the US” was not one of them):

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.

On this day in 1945, Hitler and his retinue moved into the underground bunker (Führerbunker), where he and others (Eva Braun, Goebbels et famille), met their end as the Russians took over Berlin.

Notables born on this day include Eric Liddell (1902), the “muscular Christian” in the movie Chariots of Fire, famous for refusing to run in the Olympic 100-meter heats because they were held on a Sunday. He later became a missionary in China, was interned by the Japanese, and died in 1945 of a brain tumor. Here he is running in the British Empire games in 1924:


Others born on this day include Dian Fossey (1932), Susan Sontage (1933) and Sade (1959). Those who died on this day include Edward Gibbon (1794) and evangelist Herbert W. Armstrong (1986). Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is working a guilt trip on her staff; perhaps she’s petulant because she can’t go outside in the snow:

Hili: I wonder what you have in your defence.
A: Defence in what case?
Hili: Think it out for yourself.
In Polish:
Hili: Ciekawa jestem, co masz na swoją obronę?
Ja: W jakiej sprawie?
Hili: Sam się domyśl.
As lagniappe we have two Jesus memes today. This one is from reader Ivan and is called “Republican Jesus”:
And from reader jsp: “Bird Jesus”:


  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the excellent Jefferson bit.

    By the way, today’s Google Doodle is suggesting wearing head clothing is a race:

    I can’t tell if this means males wearing head clothing counts as a race.

    … but I suspect the Doodle is showing only a female wearing a Hijab.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted January 17, 2017 at 3:50 am | Permalink

      This doodle seems to exclude races with two eyes.

      • ThyroidPlanet
        Posted January 17, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

        Oh – I’ve got it – they’re blind – color blind. Also, that way, the comics/cartoons have a solemn/pious innocence to them. Well done Google <- sarcasm.

        In case this helps, an interesting MLK quote I hadn't heard, via Brian Greene:

        "Through our scientific and technological genius, we've made of this world a neighborhood."

  2. Posted January 16, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    “On this day in 1945, Hitler and his retinue moved into the underground bunker (Führerbunker), where he and others (Eva Braun, Goebbels et famille), met their end as the Russians took over Berlin.”

    Two points: 1. There’s a new book about how Hitler was addicted to speed and oxycodone, and after all the factories were bombed and those drugs stopped being manufactured in Germany, Hitler went through terrible withdrawal and that why he’s reported as being a sweaty, shaky, wreck in his last few days. Apparently, it’s very well researched and credible.
    2. Just a nitpick, but wouldn’t “Soviets” be more accurate than “Russians” in that sentence. Not that it really matters.

    • Jenny Haniver
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      I thought it was generally well known that Hitler was on all kinds of powerful and addictive drugs and concoctions, administered by the infamous Dr. Theodor Morell. I’d read about Hitler’s drug-taking long ago (in Trevor-Roper and elsewhere), and that Morell was in the bunker drugging Hitler up until Hitler told him to leave. I just Googled Morell and find a list of some of the drugs he gave to Hitler. The list is stupefying in more ways than one.

      The Wiki also has a footnote which links to this:, about a book wryly titled “Der totale Rausch,” (The Total Rush) by Norman Ohler, a German historian, that has just been issued in an English translation. Perhaps this is the book you’re referring to. Sounds like a good read.

      • Posted January 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I think that’s the book I was reading about.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    If he had just listened to the SDA he could have run on Sunday.

    While Jefferson gets credit for the bill it is likely James Madison did more of the work that took years to pass. The main idea was to stop Virginia taxing the people for benefit of the church, thus more or less a state church. One so-called liberty man, Patrick Henry fought against the bill — so much for give me liberty or give me death. More like give me liberty as long as long as it’s my church. Kind of like many today really….

  4. rickflick
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Hili seems to expect us to recognize our own guilt. Guilt for the original sin of not being a cat.

    • George
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      It seems that Hili learned British, not American, English. Defence instead of defense. I assume she also uses those extra “u”s.

      • JohnnieCanuck
        Posted January 16, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        You remind me of my mother’s joke about little Johnnie being asked by the schoolteacher to use ‘detail’ and ‘defence’ in a sentence.

        De cow jumped over de fence, followed by de tail.

        I suspect it was originally told with a racist twist.

  5. jwthomas
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Please, no “e” in Susan Sontag’s name.

    • JonLynnHarvey
      Posted January 16, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      One of the great indignities visited on Susan Sontag was visited upon her by the right-wing journal “Human Events”.

      In the last 1970s and early 80s, she changed her mind about Communism, and went on a nation-wide speaking tour saying the Communism was bad.

      Nonetheless, upon her death in 2002, “Human Events” reported her as a “Jewish Communist.”

    • Posted January 16, 2017 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      That was a typo.

      • jwthomas
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Which has not been corrected.

  6. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 16, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    The actor who played Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) in “Chariots of Fire” was the first celebrity death in the UK openly attributed to AIDS (10 years after C of F).

    Mostly on stage & Brit TV, he did little film work after C of F and “Gandhi” (his character therein was an Anglican priest- his 2nd religious role.)

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