Wednesday: Hili dialogue

March 10, 2021 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Wednesday, March 10, 2021: National Ranch Dressing Day (no, it’s not a day to don cowboy outfits but to celebrate this high-calorie salad dressing). It’s also National Blueberry Popover Day, Registered Dietician Nutritionist Day, Pack Your Lunch Day, and International Bagpipe Day.  In the U.S. it’s Harriet Tubman Day and National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Finally, it’s Mario Day, a global holiday.

Today’s Google Doodle (click on screenshot below) celebrates the life of Wu Lien-teh, born on this day in 1879.  He was a Malayan doctor and epidemiologist. In his work on the deadly pneumonic plague in Manchuria (the world’s most fatal disease), he developed  gauze and cotton masks and instituted quarantines and cremations, which stemmed the plague fairly quickly. As Wikipedia notes, “It is believed that the N95 mask is the descendant of Wu’s design.”

News of the Day:

At last: a NYT editorial I agree with: “Down with the British Monarchy,” calling for the abolition of royalty.  For example:

The existence of a monarchy is an admission that a government can’t, or doesn’t care to, solve people’s problems. Instead, it offers spectacle. It has always been easier to elevate one family to a fairy-tale life of luxury than to do the dreary work of elevating every single family to a decent standard of living. The common people fund the lifestyle of a tiny, exalted and thoroughly unworthy elite, rather than the other way around. Any nation that still has a monarchy in 2021 is proving itself to have a mortifying lack of revolutionary gumption.

Re the above: as the kids say, “THIS.”

The Washington Post has a heartwarming story about two women who were best friends as children in 1938 Germany, when Kristallnacht took place and the Holocaust descended. They fled Germany separately, and, after searching for each other for decades, finally found each other. One lives in New Jersey, the other in Chile.

Every Sunday, Betty Grebenschikoff and Ana María Wahrenberg have a scheduled phone call. They often lose track of time talking, as best friends tend to do.

The weekly calls are only a recent ritual. In fact, just four months ago, both women believed the other had died in the Holocaust.

“For 82 years, I thought my best friend from Germany was dead,” Grebenschikoff said. “I’d been looking for her for all those years, and I never found her.”

That’s right: 82 years! Betty Grebenschikoff and Ana María Wahrenberg are now 91 years old, and they searched for each other for a lifetime. And they found each other, thanks to Stephen Spielberg, but I’ll let you read about that for yourself. It was the merest chance. Now they talk every Sunday in a video call:

When the women heard the other was still alive, they were shocked and delighted in equal measure.

“It was such a miracle,” said Grebenschikoff, who called the unlikely reunion “bashert,” Yiddish for “destiny.”

Grebenschikoff joined the Zoom call on Nov. 19 from her home in St. Petersburg, Fla., while Wahrenberg signed on from Santiago. Right away, they started chatting in German, their shared language.

“It was like no time had passed,” Grebenschikoff said. “Of course, 82 years makes a difference, but more or less, we just picked up where we left off.”

The story will make you tear up.

I couldn’t stand the New Woker any more. I have CANCELED and erased them, for my lived experience is that the rag has gone downhill. Yes, there are good bits, but my overall net fitness with respect to the magazine has declines.

The official printed postcard for the U.S. this year is a stamped mallard postcard! WIth “forever” postage. Get your supply now, even if you don’t send postcards very often. Here’s what it looks like:

My one objection: these postcards and stamps always show the males—the drakes. Yes, they are colorful, but is is the hens who do the heavy lifting, and they need to be honored, too.

Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 527,352, an increase of 1,885 deaths over yesterday’s figure.  The reported world death toll stands at 2,623,832, an increase of about 9,400 deaths over yesterday’s total. 

Stuff that happened on March 10 includes:

  • 1629 – Charles I dissolves the Parliament of England, beginning the eleven-year period known as the Personal Rule
  • 1876 – The first successful test of a telephone is made by Alexander Graham Bell.
  • 1922 – Mahatma Gandhi is arrested in India, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years in prison, only to be released after nearly two years for an appendicitis operation.

Here’s a famous photo of Gandhi, by Margaret Bourke-White, taken somewhat later. I believe Gandhi’s supporting himself using his nieces:

What can you say? Did this save lives in the end (probably not, as the Japanese didn’t surrender until we dropped the atomic bomb on two cities. Here’s a portion of Tokyo that was firebombed:

This picture was taken seven days later, with the Wikipedia caption, ” Thousands of Tibetan women surround the Potala Palace, the main residence of the Dalai Lama, to protest against Chinese rule and repression in Lhasa, Tibet. Hours later, fighting broke out and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee to safety in India. Photograph: AP”.

  • 1969 – In Memphis, Tennessee, James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. He later unsuccessfully attempts to recant.
  • 1970 – Vietnam War: Captain Ernest Medina is charged by the U.S. military with My Lai war crimes.

Medina pleaded ignorance; he was acquitted after only 60 minutes of jury deliberation.

Did you know Uranus had rings? (Jokes below). Here’s a diagram:

It’s been a year!

Notables born on this day include:

Those who started pushing up daisies on March 10 include:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili has been philosphizing:

A: What are you thinking about?
Hili: That philosophy is very exhausting.
In Polish:
Ja: O czym myślisz?
Hili: O tym, że filozofia jest niezwykle wyczerpująca.

From Divy: a cat book club:

From Nicole: Kitten school!

From Jean, who found this on Facebook:

Titania has a new column in The Critic Magazine, dealing with the ACLU’s claims about transsexuals:

Although I regarded WWII as a “just war”, as a conscientious objector I probably would have become a medic who didn’t carry a gun. Regardless, reader Ken describes this tweet, showing a Dr. Seuss cartoon before WWII, like this: “Interesting cartoon by Dr. Seuss, drawn in 1941, on the eve of the US’s entry into WW2, when Father Coughlin and the other America Firsters were doing their damnedest to oppose FDR’s efforts to prepare the nation for war.”

From Barry: Two gorillas are fascinated by a caterpillar:

Tweets from Matthew. I don’t believe for a minute that this first one was taken by a drone. Like Matthew, I think it’s computer-graphic imagery:

Treehoppers never cease to amaze me with their riotous variety of shapes:

How to turn your cat into staff:

Poor kitty got caught with an egg in his gob!

. . . and a video made from still images taken by the Mars rover Curiosity:

69 thoughts on “Wednesday: Hili dialogue

    1. The monarchy has survived because Elizabeth has done the job about as well as it could be done – now for over 68 years. What will happen when Chuckles takes over? Christopher Hitchens had many good things to say about him including –
      “a morose bat-eared and chinless man, prematurely aged, and with the most abysmal taste in royal consorts.”

      I find the responses from Brits in the comments below amusing. I think the NYT does understand the monarchy. It just finds it stupid.

      1. “For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have the right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others forever.”
        Thomas Paine, Common Sense

        Many Brits are not supporters of the monarchy and find it deeply embarrassing to still be enduring their anachronism in the twenty-first century. And no, we shouldn’t keep them on because they bring in the tourists. Nobody goes on holiday to London on the off-chance of bumping into Prince Andrew, but plenty visit New York and Paris despite their lack of “perpetual preference families.”

      2. Don’t forget the future monarch is a huge believer and lobbyist in favor of HOMEOPATHY. His stupid architectural ideas aside – that one is a deal breaker for me.
        D.A.
        NYC

    2. Although I’m a small r British republican (yes it would be nice to change but if the status quo is supported by a majority of the population then that’s the democratic choice, things might change in the future) I find myself getting a tad irritated by Americans who want to change the UK constitution. How about fixing those bastions of democracy the electoral college and the Senate first? To my mind the senate is worse than the house of lords. At least we know that the lords is a democratic monstrosity and it always defers to the elected house. Senators think they have a democratic mandate to impose supreme court justices against the will of the majority.

      1. Agree with your comment…both the EC and the Senate are extremely undemocratic. The Senate is split 50/50, yet the Democratic Senators represent 40million more Americans. The EC was first created to protect slave states from becoming a perpetual minority. It still protects the minority, which is the antithesis of a healthy democracy.

  1. The NYT editorial fails to realise that the British monarchy, these days, is about ceremonial and soap opera, not about ruling or government (and hasn’t been since Charles I). This it has literally nothing to do with the government solving or not solving problems. The cost is, anyhow, covered by the boost to tourist income. And the UK has more of a welfare state, including, for example, universal health care, than the land of the NYT.

    It also fails to realise that playing along with the royal pageantry is entirely optional! Thus, re the claim: “… at least Americans are not required to scrape and bow …”, nor are Brits! And they haven’t been for 150 years or so. As for “60 million citizens … are instructed to celebrate …”, again, no, actually, they are not. Some people enjoy playing along. Plenty of Brits don’t and so don’t.

    And, after all, there are some advantages in having a non-political, neutral figurehead at the heart of ceremonial, as opposed to, say, Trump!

    1. Yes, because everything is SO much better in the USA, hence the happy couple’s decision to live in California.
      🤭

      By the way, a thought experiment – if a member of Meghan’s family had speculated on how ginger their child might be…

      1. Well, it all depends on the intentions of the speculator.
        For example, one could be concerned that the child’s skin colour might be *too* dark and so suggest a dilution of royal blood for something less worthy (or less appealing to monarchists), which would be racist.
        OTOH one could be mildly concerned that the child might be too fair and gingery and so more prone to sunburn. That’s where sunscreen and a hat come in handy. Sadly, there’s no pill or salve to cure racist attitudes or stupidity.

      1. Not to mention the fact that, for all its faults, the monarchical UK does a much better job of “elevating every single family to a decent standard of living” than the republican USA. The same could be said of other holdouts of royal privilege such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Japan.

        1. My theory is that the monarchy survived in those countries where it didn’t abuse its power too much. Certainly the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and so on are some of the best countries to live in.

          Arthur C. Clarke wrote a novel, The Songs of Distant Earth, in which the chief executive is chosen randomly, the idea being that a person who didn’t plan his life around that goal is probably better than one who did, and will be in debt to no-one after getting said position. The same is an advantage to the monarchy.

          All monarchies in Europe are constitutional monarchies. Only in some does the monarch have any real power, and even in those cases it is rarely if ever used. They could be abolished if there was a majority in the population willing to abolish them, but there isn’t.

          Sometimes, they play quite important, though largely symbolic, roles. English-speaking people tend to concentrate on the UK monarchy, which is atypical in several respects.

        2. Hold on mate.
          I was born in Australia and grew up there and NZ – and later lived in Japan for some years before coming to America/NYC as a young man. I prefer it here but they are indeed nice places to live with admittedly more wealth equality and universal medical care. Sure.

          All of which have *nothing* to do with them being monarchies. in fact most Aussies couldn’t give a damn about the Brit royals and the Japanese royals were utterly defanged after the war. Even before 1900 they were low key clerics w/ no political power and they hardly matter in Japanese society.

          My belief is the high standard of living in the countries you mention owes more to secularism than anything else.
          respectfully,

          D.A.
          NYC
          https://whyevolutionistrue.com/2020/06/10/photos-of-readers-93/

          1. Well, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan are all monarchies. 🙂

            Sure, secularism plays a big role. But there can still be a correlation in that societies which are, on the whole, more sensible, and thus more secular, also have royalty which doesn’t massively abuse its power. Of course, many royal houses which were deposed were supported by the church and vice versa.

    2. I also much prefer Constitutional Monarchy (6 civil actions, 4 military actions) to Republic (7 civil, 2 military).

      I wonder if anyone else will get his “joke”?

    3. The quaint notion that the Queen doesn’t interfere in government was recently shown to be false by a series of articles in the Guardian on a little-known aspect of the legislative process called Queen’s Consent. In short, the Queen’s private lawyers are sent copies of any draft law that ministers believe may affect her financial interests or those of the Prince of Wales. The Queen’s lawyers can insist on changes to the bill before Parliament sees it. No other citizens of the U.K. enjoy this privilege.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/feb/07/how-queens-consent-raises-questions-over-uk-democracy

      1. Aside

        Penn & Tellers Tim’s Vermeer revealed that a priceless Vermeer is kept in the palace with nobody allowed to look at it. They made a stink, and were let in, but no pictures. Who knows what other priceless artifacts they keep away from humanity in there.

        Thus, the royal pains are interfering with civil society in obvious, general ways – denying everyone else’s right to see priceless works of art.

    4. “The cost is, anyhow, covered by the boost to tourist income.”

      I hear this from time to time from my wife. But is there any evidence that this is in fact true? I’ve been to the UK a few times and never once spent any money on anything royal, barring a pub or two that had a sign with a crown on it.

      1. It’s hard to estimate, but surveys of what attracts tourists to London say that the Royal Family adds a couple of hundred million a year. Tourists paying to visit Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, etc, is about 50 million a year alone.

        Of course you could argue that tourists would visit those sites even if the monarchy were abolished, but then a lot of the costs of the monarchy — such as hosting state visits from foreign heads of state — would also be incurred whatever.

        The cost of the monarchy seems to be about £100 million a year, largely offset by tourist income, whereas, for comparison, France spends more than that on its President (but without the tourism offset). (As for the US, Air Force One alone costs more than the British Monarchy and Prime Ministers combined).

    5. The cost is, anyhow, covered by the boost to tourist income.

      Yeah, well, in that case let the good-for-nothing freeloaders put in an honest day’s work at a souvenir stand.

      The notion of “royal blood” in the 21st century is as repugnant to Enlightenment values as would be the notion of “Empire.”

      1. The senior royals attend about 2000 engagements per year, supporting civic functions and charitable events. It’s as valid a form of work as manning a souvenir stand, and does a lot for society. As for “royal blood”, you know, they don’t actually rule any more!

          1. Is it any more unconscionable than that some are born to millionaire parents and others into trailer-park families? Or that some are born with an IQ of 130 and others with an IQ of 85?

            1. You monarchists are a tenacious bunch; I’ll hand you that.

              I’m iffy on inherited wealth (though I’d have a hard time telling parents they can’t pass their hard-earned money on to their kids). But I see a clear distinction between inherited wealth and privilege inherited purely by being born into the House of Windsor. Don’t you?

              It’s a ridiculous anachronism.

              1. I don’t see it as that privileged actually, sure it means being materially well off, but given a choice of being born into a family with $10 million in the bank, or into the royal family, I’d take the former. You’d have vastly more freedom to live your life as you wanted.

                What other “privilege” do they actually have? The “privilege” of living in a goldfish bowl and being continually talked about by the media? No thanks.

              2. I quite agree, Coel, that the royals are victims of this system as much as beneficiaries. (And Harry just said so, too.) But that’s just another reason to abandon the institution.

              3. Why should children be better off just because their parents are? That concept is contrary to the idea of equal opportunity, which is one of the hallmarks of a civilized society.

                Yes, the two are trivially different, but inherited wealth is even worse, because it gives the person in question an even bigger advantage (and, as someone else points out, being royal might not even be an advantage).

              4. Phillip:

                As I said, I’m iffy on inherited wealth. I thought it was ridiculous for the Republicans in 2017 to rollback the estate tax (or “death tax,” in the Luntzian lingua franca favored by Republicans). And I’m in favor of Elizabeth Warren’s proposal for an annual excise tax on wealth over a certain level.

                Are you saying parents ought not be allowed to bequeath anything to their children, that everything must automatically escheat to the state for redistribution to others?

                I think that’d be a tough sell.

              5. I disagree on the wealth tax, for two reasons. First, if (as they should), the rich should pay more, tax their income more. Taxing wealth means taxing it twice. Of course, the total tax is what matters, but by taxing wealth, the person who saves up, for whatever reason, pays more than the person who just spends it as fast as it comes in. The main problem is treating all income equally with regard to a progressive tax. Second, how do you evaluate someone’s wealth? If done correctly, it costs almost as much as it brings in,

                As for inheritance, I fail to see an objective reason why children should be allowed to inherit anything, since it contravenes equal opportunity,

                Note that the children of Andrew Carnegie didn’t inherit his wealth. I think that that was a good decision on his part.

              6. Phillip:

                Do you have a plan for preventing people still among the quick from giving property to their relatives? Because if you forbid inheritance, that’s no doubt what they’ll do. And, believe you me, there are trust & estate planners who are extremely creative when it comes to transferring wealth.

                Bully for Andrew Carnegie for not creating any more idle rich, but would you deny Joe & Mary Lunchbucket the opportunity to leave a little nest-egg to their kids?

            2. Right on.
              Some people are pretty/handsome (like me, say! hehehe) and some aren’t. Some are tall, some fat, some thin. Once you start tabulating “privilege” and sorting people …where do you stop?
              You end up crashing at Di Angelo Station.
              D.A.
              NYC

  2. In the “drone” video, the sound would be impossible to have been recorded with a drone flying around. Drones are noisy! And there were no downdraft effects when it “flew” past the long-haired woman (her hair would have flown up) or the paper strip coming out of the cash register . Drones are like little tornados when they fly close to the ground.

      1. At about 45 seconds in, you can see the shadow of the camera operator as he or she runs across the lane, probably with the camera on a stabilizing gimbal. My guess is this video a clever mix of drone and hand held camera footage.

        1. Ah. One bit of evidence! But not the full analysis! 😄

          Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to spend the rest of the day explaining in detail!

      2. It is not necessary to explain how it was done in order to reject the hypothesis that it was done by a drone. It could not have been done by a drone, for the reasons I gave above. More than that, I cannot say.

          1. The submarine seems real. Note that they did not do a carefully-orchestrated fake sound track as in the bowling alley video. The drone makes noise. Nevertheless, I did not see any downdraft effects in that video; Maybe with a really small drone, those effects are less than with my drones. So maybe only the sound track of the bowling video is fake. Still. I am really surprised that the long hair of the woman did not move when the drone passed, if it really was a drone.

  3. “ I don’t believe for a minute that this first one was taken by a drone. Like Matthew, I think it’s computer-graphic imagery” – hang on – isn’t that the argument from personal incredulity?

    https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/personal-incredulity

    Surely I am constrained to believe it unless you give me evidence of how else it might have been done….? Is it easier to believe one could programme a drone, or spend a lot longer making some computer graphics- & to what end?

    1. “Is it easier to believe one could programme a drone, or spend a lot longer making some computer graphics- & to what end?”

      The “end” was a nice commercial for bowling. And if you think it is somehow harder for computer graphics to achieve this, then I suggest you look at some of the astounding advances made, and where you have control over every single detail, including virtual people and the ability to change every detail of their appearance.

        1. Dom / Great submarine drone video promotion! And certainly didn’t mean to suggest I thought drones couldn’t do such a seamless tracking shot.

          But look at the people: all the actors doing the right movements at the exact time of the flyby, no distracting background clutter, playing to the camera, movements very scripted. After the drone/driver learned the route, how many fly-by’s did it take for the imperfect humans to get it right?

          Clearly the sound track/dialog was separate, and edited to match the drone. Could drone also segments have been skillfully combined? I think it’s possible, but that would take nothing away from the drone/driver’s performance.

          I think it was a collaborative effort. Sorry to have been unclear.

  4. Many believe as Trump has said, only suckers would die for their country.

    I would argue that our country is no different than the British Monarch. We pile money on the top one percent or less and give very little to the bottom half. The British just do it out in the open for all to see and admire. We do it even more but behind closed doors and IRS advantage. We love wall street, the U.S. Senate and even made Donald Trump president. That is the naked truth of it.

    1. I always argue that the Royals are the UK equivalent of Hollywood film stars.

      They are enormously rich and famous even though they don’t really do anything, and tabloid “news” loves talking about them.

        1. I think Brit movie actors tend to be more “team players” than Yanks, willing to take roles, regardless of size, in films that interest them. And I think this is due, at least in part, from many in their ranks having come up and received formal training in the theater, often as part of a repertory company.

          Though there are exceptions, they tend to be more the straight-ahead hardworking actors, always showing up on time and knowing their lines, less the prima donnas.

          So that role is left to “the royals,” so called.

    2. “I guess the trouble was that we didn’t have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist.” Attributed to eitherJohn Steinbeck or Ronald Wright. I guess the dispute revolves around who said it first, who was then quoting whom.

  5. The official printed postcard for the U.S. this year is a stamped mallard postcard!

    Margie’s husband Norm painted a mallard for the stamp contest. He won the 3¢. People need those, too, you know, since when they raise the postage, people use the little stamps, so they don’t just get stuck with the old ones. You betcha!

  6. Gee, that’s quite a Google Doodle.. I can see certain features… certain… objects, a certain style, that might have certain associations… not sure why that is impressing me so much today…

    1. … Dana Carvey’s Church Lady comes to mind, but out of an abundance of caution, I’ll just leave that unexplained.

  7. What can you say? Did this save lives in the end (probably not, as the Japanese didn’t surrender until we dropped the atomic bomb on two cities.

    A lot of people don’t realise that it really wasn’t a huge moral leap for the US leadership to decide to drop the atom bombs. The British and Americans had been routinely attempting to level the cities of their enemies since 1942, sometimes with horrific success. Was it justified? I don’t know. The strategic bombing of Germany certainly did impair the German war effort but I don’t know enough about the strategic bombing of Japan to be sure. And did the advantage gained by the Allies justify the civilian suffering? Don’t know.

    1. Remembering that WWII was total war, not fought within the rules put down for that specific conflict. Total war was probably invented by Grant and Sherman during the civil war. Roosevelt had laid down the only requirement, unconditional surrender. So in Japan the Americans were using what they had – the B29 bombers and the firebombs developed to start fires. In both Germany and Japan the enemy was known to be the entire population, not just the fighting soldiers. Also, if you are familiar with the battle of Okinawa just prior to looking at what was left, mainland Japan, there was not much doubt of the cost to beat the Japanese. Another way to look at it was – If the leaders of Germany and Japan did not give a damn for their own people, why should the enemy.

      1. Remembering that WWII was total war, not fought within the rules put down for that specific conflict.

        “Total war” cannot provide you with the justification to do morally dubious things, it’s just the label we apply when we have justified (to ourselves at least) the morally dubious things. We call WW2 a total war because we did do things like exterminate large numbers of civilians (as did the other side) so justifying those exterminations because it was total war is justifying those exterminations because it was a war in which we did those exterminations. The reasoning is circular.

        Unconditional surrender didn’t have to be a requirement just because Roosevelt said it. In fact, you might argue that a lot of lives were lost necessarily because of it. I have read that the Japanese would have surrendered sooner with just the condition that they could keep the emperor – a condition that the USA eventually granted anyway. Lots of people died unnecessarily at the end of WW1 as well, by the way thanks to the Allies desire for unconditional surrender by Germany.

        If the leaders of Germany and Japan did not give a damn for their own people, why should the enemy.

        Because we were better than them?

        1. There is nothing circular about total war. During the first half of the civil war the generals in the north fought as though the only enemy was the apposing army. In fact they would not even pursue the enemy army as it retreated from battle. The slaughter was in battle after battle hoping the other side would give up. However, it seemed the available people to fight the war was without end. Lincoln saw this problem and so did Grant and Sherman. They knew ending the war and winning required more so they did more. The south hated them for it but they were only discovering that war was not a pretty or honorable thing.

          If we had fought the honorable war against Germany or Japan could we have won? I don’t think so. During the battle of Okinawa the Japanese send thousands of men in airplanes of all kinds to commit suicide and fly their planes into the enemies ships. On the ground they dug in and fought a defensive battle to inflict maximum damage on the enemy. They seldom gave up because they were brainwashed kind of like Trump has done to his followers. So you tell us, how do we fight this war?

          By the way, WWI never ended — it became WWII. Why? Because unconditional surrender was not required. Just give up and stop fighting and we will figure out the ending in a meeting. Remembering history, Roosevelt concluded that this type of surrender was no damn good and he was right. He was smarter than most then and he is still smarter.

      2. I also suspect that if the Japanese had had the ability to fire-bomb American cities, they would have done so with pleasure. Not that that makes it right, of course.

        1. Probably so. And that firebombing of US cities by the Japanese undoubtedly would have been charged as a “war crime” at the post-war tribunal in Tokyo.

          If Heisenberg’ team had developed an atomic bomb before the Manhattan Project, and if Messerschmitt had built a plane (or von Braun, a rocket) capable of delivering it to the US, and if the Germans had dropped such a bomb on, say, Cleveland and Buffalo, and if the allies had still won the War anyway, do you doubt that dropping the A-bomb on US cities would have been charged as a war crime at the Nuremberg trials, separate and apart from all the other German war crimes charged there?

          Every war ends with an element of vae victis.

        2. The Japanese did try to firebomb the US with incendiary balloons, in a half-hearted effort which might hwell ave been pursued with more resources if the first attempt had been more effective:

          https://www.history.com/news/attack-of-japans-killer-wwii-balloons-70-years-ago.

          However, they did this in retaliation for Doolittle’s Tokyo raid, which in turn was done in revenge for Pearl Harbor…..

          The Germans also were developing a big intercontinental bomber.

      3. The Vietnamese War was not “total war”, but that did not stop the US from engaging in chemical-ecological warfare, secretly bombing neutral neighbors, inventing attacks that never happened to justify escalations, indiscriminately planting land mines, blocking democratic elections, bombing ancient archeological monuments, etc. etc.

        1. Heck, Richard Nixon even committed treason in effect by interfering in LBJ’s peace negotiations prior to the 1968 elections. LBJ may have been able to end the war at this time if not for Nixon’s sneaky backdoor actions. This is historical fact.

          1. There are 24,000 extra names of US GIs etched into a black granite wall in Washington, DC, and an untold number of needlessly dead Southeast Asians, because that rat bastard Nixon used Anna Chennault to snake LBJ’s peace deal by promising the South Vietnamese honchos a better deal after he was elected.

            Fuck him.

    2. There’s also the theory, popular lately, that they surrendered more because they were terrified of what the Soviets (who started a war with them a few days before and had already gobbled up the Kurile islands) would do to them.

      Good thing too – a DPR (North) Japan and R.o. (South) Japan, Korea-style, would have been terrible.

      D.A.
      NYC (fmrly of Tokyo)

  8. Lotta Lebowski allusions in that drone bowling-alley footage.

    Should have Bob’s “The Man in Me” playing on the soundtrack, though maybe they didn’t have a big enough budget for ASCAP licensing fees.

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