Thursday: Hili dialogue

Good morning this fine (well, chilly) Thursday, March 9, 2017. It’s National Crab Day, so go be mean to someone! And it’s one of those Catholic holidays celebrating a fictional event: the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste.

Returning to reality, it was on March 9, 1566, when David Rizzio, secretary of Mary Queen of Scots and most likely her lover, was murdered in her presence by henchmen of her jealous husband. On this day in 1796, Napoleon married his great love Joséphine; he later divorced her to produce an heir with another wife. In 1831, the French Foreign Legion was established (it’s still around), and in 1954 CBS television broadcast the famous See It Now episode on Senator Joseph McCathy which, thanks to producer Fred Friendly and reporter Edward R. Murrow, brought down the witch-hunting charlatan.  This is a highlight of American political reporting, and here it is:

On this day in 1959, the Barbie Doll made its first appearance at a Toy Festival in New York, giving little girls ever since a distorted idea of the female frame. Finally, on March 9, 2011, the Space Shuttle Discovery made its 39th and final landing, setting a record.

Notables born on this day include Vita Sackville-West (1892), Samuel Barber (1910), Mickey Spillane (1918), Yuri Gagarin (1934; he was the first man to orbit the Earth, and died in a training flight at age 34), Bobby Fischer (1943), Bobby Sands (1954), and Juliette Binoche (1964). Those who died on this day include, besides David Rizzio, Mary Anning (1847), Menachem Begin (1992), Charles Bukowski, (1994), George Burns (1996), and Notorious B.I.G. (1997, shot to death, with the murderer never found).  Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the Princess is already contemplating her upcoming spring activities:

Hili: Nature is coming to life.
A: The grass is not growing yet.
Hili: But the birds are already making a racket.

(Photo: Sarah Lawson)

In Polish:
Hili: Przyroda budzi się do życia.
Ja: Trawa jeszcze nie rośnie.
Hili: Ale ptaki już się wydzierają.
(Foto: Sarah Lawson)

And out in Winnipeg, where there are signs of Spring, Gus is getting in a nap, preventing his staff from making the bed:



  1. Frank Bath
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    ‘On this day in 1596, Napoleon married his great love Joséphine’ 1796?

    • Dominic
      Posted March 9, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      oh, not tonight!

  2. somer
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    The 1596 date must be a typing mistake surely 1796!

  3. Dominic
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Crab day? Just sidle up to someone, waving your hands!

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted March 10, 2017 at 4:24 am | Permalink


  4. Randy schenck
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Ah yes, old tail gunner Joe. Ed Murrow showed the power of television and what good journalism could be, if allowed. Problem was, it wasn’t going to be allowed. Ed Murrow was the first and the best.

  5. Jim Knight
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the McCarthy review! It is good for all of us to be reminded of what happens when one person decides that he/she is the “savior” of the country, is given the platform to act, and commits outrageous acts to “preserve” it. Whether communists or immigrants, these actions are wrong…

    • Randy schenck
      Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      Ironic don’t you think that Trump referred to this guy when falsely accusing Obama of wiretapping him. If anyone was a mirror of McCarthy it would be Trump. In fact, he makes McCarthy look like a light weight.

      • David Duncan
        Posted March 9, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        McCarthy was consciously evil. Trump is just clumsy.

        • Jim Knight
          Posted March 9, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          To call Trump clumsy is to underestimate him, I think. He and his ilk have an agenda, which I would consider destructively evil, that his supporters don’t yet perceive.

          • Randall Schenck
            Posted March 9, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

            Agree here. The guy lies like a rug and thinks he is the greatest show on earth. To have voted for this thing, you have to be defective.

        • JonLynnHarvey
          Posted March 9, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          Some have argued that the real force behind McCarthyism was his right-hand man, Roy Cohn, who know how to play him, just as Karl Rove to a degree played George Bush, and certainly Steve Bannon is attempting to play Donald Trump. (Cohn also represented Trump during his early business career in the Fair Housing Act affair, and lost!)

          During the Army-McCarthy hearings over improper pressure on the military, it was Cohn who was held responsible, but it was a major element in McCarthy’s eventual disgrace.

          I don’t have a personal impression of McCarthy, but the notion that he was Cohn’s stooge seems plausible.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted March 9, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          In the Drumpf’s case I’d say, thoughtlessly evil but incompetent. He’d be a lot worse if he had a clue.

          McCarthy strikes me as cunning.


  6. David Duncan
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Is Hili ever clumsy? I’m worried that she’ll knock over that lamp.

    • Malgorzata
      Posted March 9, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Hili was very clumsy as a kitten and we had to sweep up many shards of diverse things from the floor. But when she grew up she never did any damage. She doesn’t even push things from tables and desks (which was a favorite entertaiment for her predecessor, Pia). Our old lamp is safe.

  7. Randy schenck
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Forgot to say – that Gus has it rough, as it should be.

  8. Rita
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    That McCarthy review was powerful! I remember when I was young (probably 1952-53)going to the July 4 fireworks with my family, and I was curious about why we had to stand with hand over heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. They said you have to do that so people won’t think you’re a communist. Then I asked if we could find the communists by looking for people who didn’t stand with hand over heart. They said no, the communists would do that to fool everyone. At that point it became a catch-22 conversation.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 9, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      In 1954 Eisenhower signed into law the addition of “under God,” to the pledge. He was aware the reds would choke, freeze, and mumble on the words and believed he could use it to spot the traitors. 🙂

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted March 9, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        I hope you’re being ironic (or that Ike was). I was under the impression that Ike wasn’t stupid.


  9. Mike
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    McCarthy reminds me of Ted Cruz.

  10. rickflick
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    In the 1970s Trump’s “Greatest Mentor” was Red-Baiting Aide to Joseph McCarthy and Attorney for NYC Mob Families, Roy Cohn.

  11. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    The See It Now episode was quite riveting. Besides the semblance to what we are facing now from the political right in Washington, there is an ironic bit of witch huntery coming at us from the far left.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted March 9, 2017 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      I think Murrow’s last thing on TV was a documentary – Harvest of Shame. Relevant even today.

  12. Alex
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Wait a second, may I ask how the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste is fictional?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted March 9, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink


      4th century Christian authorities/leaders were in the business of strengthening their hold on peoples minds, duties & pockets. [well not just 4th century now I think about it]. What a profitable business it was too – the selling of prayers, salvation & fake holy artifacts.

      Look up the “cult of the saints” & “the cult of the martyrs”. With all these stories there’s usually a grain of truth lurking underneath & it gets substantially embellished down the years. The oldest record we have of the events is a sermon by St. Basil approx 50/60 yrs later.

      If you look at the Wiki link in JACs post you’ll see a list of all 40 of their names & just below that ANOTHER list of all 40 of their names [because translating into other languages perhaps] – it is astonishing that we have all their names still 1,700 years later

      Fishy as all hell…

  13. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    The notion that a great deal of early Christian martyr stories are fictionalized was first proposed by atheist historian Robin Lane Fox in his book “Pagans and Christians”, but quickly gained mainstream acceptance.

    A full-length book arguing the same thesis came recently from Catholic historian Candida Moss called “The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom”. She was also the most outspoken critic of Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Jesus”.

  14. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted March 9, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Tried watching the video and had to stop, just couldn’t stomach the noxious little turd.


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