Wednesday: Hili dialogue

It’s Hump Day: Wednesday, September 5, 2018, and National Cheese Pizza Day, best consumed in Chicago in the stuffed or deep-dish form. It’s also a UN-decreed day, International Day of Charity. I am leaving this afternoon for California, where I hope to see elephant seals, peregrines, and whales, but I have come to work to write Hili, water my plants, and, of course, feed the ducks (if they’re still there). Please be abstemious with your emails to me: no more than one every three days or so (except for corrections, of course).

On this day in 1666, the Great Fire of London ended, destroying nearly all the houses of residents as well as Old St. Paul’s Cathedral. Fortunately, only six people were reported to have died.  If there hadn’t been that fire, here’s what we’d see in London today (from Wikipedia):

(from Wikipedia): Digital reconstruction giving an impression of Old St Paul’s during the Middle Ages. The image is based on a model of the Cathedral in the Museum of London, composited with a modern city background.

On September 5, 1698, trying to Westernize his nobility, Peter the Great of Russia imposed a tax on all men wearing beards; the clergy and peasantry were excepted.  On this day in 1774, the First Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia, while in 1793 the Reign of Terror began in Paris.  On September 5, 1882, Tottenham Hotspur was founded as Hotspur F.C.. I was told years ago to root for them, as they were supposedly “the “Jewish Team”, and were also called the “Yids”. I don’t know if any of that is true.  On this day in 1906, according to Wikipedia, “The first legal forward pass in American football [was] thrown by Bradbury Robinson of St. Louis University to teammate Jack Schneider in a 22–0 victory over Carroll College (Wisconsin).”

On September 5, 1927, the first Disney cartoon of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, called Trolley Troubles, was released by Universal Pictures. It was the first Disney animated cartoons to feature a regular character, and here that first release:

On September 5, 1969, William Calley was charged with 6 counts of premeditated murder for the death of 109 Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai massacre. Calley hardly served any time (3½ years of house arrest), and now works at his family’s jewelry store in Columbus, Georgia. On this day in 1972, the Munich massacre began: the Palestinian “Black September” group took 11 Israeli athletes hostage at the Munich Olympic Games. All eleven died the following day.  Exactly three years later, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme tried to assassinate President Gerald Ford. She served 34 years in jail, was released in 2009, and now lives in Marcy, New York. Finally, on this day in 1984, the Space Shuttle Discovery landed after its maiden voyage.

Notables born on this day include Louis XIV (1638), Jesse James (1847), Cornelius Vanderbilt III (1873), Darryl F. Zanuck (1902), Bog Newhart (1929; still with us), Raquel Welch (1940), and Freddy Mercury (1946). Those who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on this day include Catherine Parr (1548), Crazy Horse (1877), Ludwig Boltzmann (1906), Georg Solti (1997), Mother Teresa (also 1997), Justin Wilson, the Cajun Chef (2001), and Phyllis Schlafly (2016).

I used to watch Wilson on “The Cajun Chef” show, fascinated with his schtick and his patois. Here he is making chicken gumbo, and prefacing it with his usual corny story. It’s cringeworthy, I garr-un-tee!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili shows her usual anxiety about food:

Hili: Are you aware?
A: Aware of what?
Hili: That after such a long walk I’m going to be hungry.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy jesteś świadomy?

Ja: Czego?

Hili: Że po tak długim spacerze będę głodna.

Tweets from Heather Hastie. This first one, an artwork, is plenty weird:

Heather says this: “I don’t care what USians seem to think of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. I think the former is great and I’ve never understood why the latter was lionized.”

A swift drinking on the fly:

A spider imitating what humans do when they play patty-cake:

I second the caption of this tweet:

Lovely fossilized gars:

A white giraffe. Not albino but leucistic, yet look at the pigment on its mane and forelegs:

As Heather says, “The GOP is the only major political party IN THE WORLD that still denies climate change is real. Here’s one of their morons, who also appears to be a patronising git, at work”:

And two tweets from reader Barry. The first one shows a maternal chicken:

Barry says, “This is you doing gardening.” It would be even better if there were a duck there to eat the insects!

See you in a while, folks!


  1. JezGrove
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    According to Wikipedia ( ) around a third of Tottenham Hotspurs FC’s supporters were Jewish in the 1930s. Today only about 5% of Spurs fans are Jewish (similar to the fanbase of other London football clubs), but rival supporters still use anti-Semitic slurs against them at football matches. The decision by some Spurs fans – Jewish and non-Jewish alike – to proudly call themselves the “Yid Army” in response to this has been controversial, although the then Prime Minister David Cameron defended it.

    • David Coxill
      Posted September 5, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      In a Biography about Helen Bamber ,the author says a bit about Anti-Semitism in the 30/40s in GB.The daily hate were writing about aliens in 1941 ,meaning Jewish refuges from Europe not doing their bit for the war effort .
      Helen Bamber once rounded on a bigot in a bread line and told her about her aunt’s boyfriend who had been at Dunkirk .

      I think she says somewhere that Jews were not made welcome in the Air raid shelters .

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I do not think anyone can argue Heather’s assessment of Carter/Reagan. After all, look at this place today.

  3. David Coxill
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Re the exchange between the young lady and the fossil ,i always suspected American repubs are the worst money could buy.

    • rickflick
      Posted September 5, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Just so. If he’ll stoop this low on fossil fuel, what kind of Governor would he make on other issues? He’ll push the state in whatever money wants it to go.

  4. rickflick
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    I would think Scott Wagner could get quite a bit of support if he courageously refused the $200,000 from fossil fuel. Wouldn’t voters find that appealing? As it is he stuck being very embarrassed because he can’t answer the lady’s questions. Why, I wonder, can’t republicans do the right thing?

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted September 5, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      He’s ‘tweaked’ his position on climate change since then. PA is having a natural gas boom & the Koch family have picked Koch as their political stooge to resist further regulation & taxation of that particular Golden Goose. The Koch family-backed Americans for Prosperity announced in early August it will support Wagner in his campaign to unseat Gov. Wolf this November. At approx the same time Wagner said he now accepts climate change: SOURCE 90.5 WESA – Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station:

      Former York County Senator Scott Wagner and running mate Jeff Bartos have both acknowledged the scientific consensus that the rapid warming is caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. […] at a more recent event in York, Wagner largely turned his responses away from what causes climate change entirely. After saying the debate is settled on climate change and that its been spurred by humans, he called a 100 percent renewable economy “not realistic” — noting he doesn’t want to subsidize clean energy.

      “If anybody thinks that, as governor, I could go into the governor’s office and flip a switch and change all this — I can’t,” he said.

      Instead of broader policy changes to address climate, he focused on infrastructure updates to handle new weather patterns—bringing up incidents in which, overburdened with heavy rain, Harrisburg’s sewer system allowed raw sewage to flow into the Susquehanna River.

      “That’s a big problem … and it’s happening in other cities,” he said. “We have a lot of outdated infrastructure in Pennsylvania, and it’s breathtaking.”

      Wagner and Bartos said the free market will yield cleaner solutions. They also touted natural gas as cleaner than coal

      This is the new tune among many former climate change deniers – that ‘we’ adapt to the inevitable rather than become uncompetitive by addressing causes of climate change.

      Wagner on his campaign website makes a big thing about being a farm boy without a post-HS education. It’s a PLUS in WagnerWorld & I’m sure it appeals to the “working people” he keeps talking about ~ the multi-millionaire, multi-business owner is just one of the boys after all.

      • Michael Fisher
        Posted September 5, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

        Ooops. Correction:

        …the Koch family have picked Koch Wagner as their political stooge…

      • rickflick
        Posted September 5, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        No college? And he touts this as an advantage? Then he’s marketing sheer ignorance. The rise of populism seems to be what’s happening. The appeal to the uneducated class which extols anti-intellectualism, and often racism. Rather than consult experts who actually know what they’re talking about, let’s ask Joe Blow what he thinks and go with that.
        Wagner’s move to an acceptance of global warming is certainly an improvement, but I think he’s ignoring mitigation to please his paymasters. Koch doesn’t care if we invest in putting Manhattan inside a 50 foot sea wall, as long as we keep pumping oil.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted September 5, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          “The rise of populism seems to be what’s happening.”

          Yes. They know they’re dumb and they hate anyone who knows more than them and they want to believe they are somehow magically smarter than ‘clever’ people.


          • rickflick
            Posted September 5, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

            True. And they think God provides for the existence of people who they can feel superior to. When a black man became president, they foamed from the ears. They’re now getting even with Tr*p.

    • Terry Sheldon
      Posted September 5, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      The only consolation I can see at the moment is that Wagner is currently trailing incumbent Tom Wolf by 15 points in the polls. Of course, where have we heard that before in PA…

  5. busterggi
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Justin Wilson was great – I really should get his albums.

    I hated Ronald Reagan before he became president and my opinion of him only went down afterwards. Republicans love ignorance.

  6. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Scott Wagner on that “Hungarian Jew” George Soros: VIDEO HERE

    • David Coxill
      Posted September 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Typical comments from the wackaloons on youtube .

  7. John Conoboy
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Best whale watching in California is with Sanctuary Cruises at Moss Landing.

  8. Terry Sheldon
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I always enjoyed Justin Wilson’s show. Yes, the shtick was corny but the food looked damn good! I have one of his cookbooks and have made quite a few delicious things from it!

    • harrync
      Posted September 6, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      The part I liked the most was when he would sit down at the end of the show with his fish dinner and pour himself a glass of red wine – “I know, you’re supposed to drink white with fish. But fish be dead; he don’t care.”

  9. MKray
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Bog Newhart …hmmmm

  10. Michael Fisher
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    1935 Tottenham Hotspur football ground [White Hart Lane]. German national football team delivers the Nazi salute:

    Tottenham was not the only team with Jewish supporters: West Ham United and the nearby Arsenal have also been traditionally “Jewish” teams. Clavane estimates, however, that by the 1930s, about one-third of Tottenham’s fans were Jews. That’s why it was especially discomfiting for many Jews, when, during a 1935 “friendly” match at White Hart Lane between the national teams of England and Nazi Germany, the swastika flag was raised above the pitch and left there for the entire game. The match, which England won, 3-0, was followed by a Football Association dinner that included a toast to the Fuehrer and singing of the “Horst Wessel”)


  11. Claudia Baker
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Looking forward to the California Chronicles from PCC(E). Bon Voyage Jerry.

  12. Desnes Diev
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    “yet look at the pigment on its mane and forelegs”

    Because I find comparative anatomy fascinating, I will add that the pigmented leg skin is restricted to the hands and feet (in a glove-like fashion).

  13. Posted September 5, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Carter had his share of problems as president, but I think in his case it was a lot of the “fill the role and get changed”. But even with that – he’s so far away from the current occupant in almost every positive measure it isn’t even funny.

    What did Carter do to get elected? (Even if it was for one term?) Was it really just being “not Nixon/Ford”, as is commonly said?

    • busterggi
      Posted September 5, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Pretty much.

      Don’t blame me, I voted for Ford.

    • Hempenstein
      Posted September 5, 2018 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      The real question to ask is what did Jimmy Carter do to prepare himself for the presidency. It was a lot, and done while flying below radar. You can read about that in one of his books (sorry, I can’t remember which one, and don’t have it handy at the moment).

      Jimmy Carter is a great man. And everyone should visit the Carter Center, especially if anywhere near Atlanta.

  14. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted September 5, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    I’ve thought about why Reagan was lionized, and I think its because he was so much more likable than Richard Nixon, thus rehabilitating the persona of the Republicans.
    He is also (over)praised for helping to end the Cold War, (The implosion of Soviet Russia and the help of Gorbachev are downplayed in this scenario.) and helped create a sporadic though unstable economic recovery.

    • Posted September 6, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      Gorbachev (politely, in diplomatese) in a recent book basically says that he was glad Reagan was as reasonably open minded as he was, but it wasn’t really his show. Of course, he too can be accused of being self-serving. So I’d guess that *neither* is quite right. 😉

      As for likable, that’s what people said about GW Bush, too – the “kind of guy you’d want to have a beer with”. I don’t like beer, so that was always a useless endorsement. (Of course, I’m not an American so it doesn’t matter.) But it is also a useless endorsement because – so what?

      I do think it was a good cop/bad cop thing they tried to do with Cheney.

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