Friday: Hili dialogue

February 4, 2022 • 7:30 am

Note: Because I’m up to my tuchas filling out paperwork to go to Antarctica, today’s Hili will be truncated and there will be no readers’ wildlife photos. I hope to resume full coverage tomorrow. (We will have other posts today.)

Good morning on the first Friday of the month, February 4, 2022: National Homemade Soup Day. Make mine homemade split pea with sausages, and a lot of sourdough bread on the side, comme ça:

It’s also National Stuffed Mushroom Day, Bubble Gum Day, Liberace Day (honoring the day he died in 1987), National Hemp Day, National Wear Red Day, World Cancer Day, and Rosa Parks Day celebrated in California and Missouri on her birthday.

And. . . it’s Matthew Cobb’s 65th birthday. Wish him good cheer; he’s mired in grading and grumpy!

Today’s Google Doodle is a gif, and you click on it you’ll get to its subject:

News of the Day:

*The mishigass around Ukraine continues to roil. According to the Associated Press and other sources, U.S. intelligence claims that Putin and his thugs are planning to do exactly what Hitler did to start World War II: fake an attack of Ukrainians on Russians, and then use that as a pretext to invade en masse.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the scheme included production of a graphic propaganda video that would show staged explosions and use corpses and actors depicting grieving mourners.

The U.S. has not provided detailed information backing up the claims.

The plan for a fake attack on Russian territory or Russian-speaking people was described in declassified intelligence shared with Ukrainian officials and European allies in recent days. It was the latest example of the Biden administration divulging intelligence findings as a tactic to attempt to stop Russian disinformation efforts and foil what it says is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s effort to lay the groundwork for military action. If Russia does invade, administration officials say they want to make clear Russia had always sought to create a pretext.

If you know about the Nazi-staged Gleiwitz Incident staged on the evening of August 31, 1939, the similarities are remarkable. The Germans even shot and then disfigured some concentraition camp prisoners, pretending they were German victims of a Polish attack. Let us hope that history is not repeated. Has Putin been reading Hitler’s playbook? And seriously, with Russian troops and armaments poised right on the border, does anybody think that Ukraine wants to start trouble with an attack?

*Well, I’ll be! The NY Times reports that, presumably with Biden’s assent, the head of ISIS was taken out (well, he took himself out before he was taken out):

President Biden said on Thursday that the leader of the Islamic State died during a raid by U.S. Special Operations commandos in a risky pre-dawn attack in northwest Syria. Rescue workers said women and children were among at least 13 people killed during the raid.

In brief remarks at the White House, Mr. Biden said the choice to use Special Forces to target the ISIS leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, was made to minimize civilian casualties, despite the greater risk to American troops.

Speaking in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Mr. Biden was understated as he described the ISIS leader’s history, saying that he had ordered a series of atrocities, including against the Yazidi people. “Thanks to the bravery of our troops, this horrible terrorist leader is no more,” he said.

Note that many and perhaps all the women and children appear to be members of the leader’s family whom he blew up along with himself.

Of course the hydra will grow another head, but you could say that this sends a message to ISIS. But does it?

*Now here’s a bizarre op-ed in the Washington Post by Karen Attiah, “Whoopi Goldberg’s Holocaust comments show why we need critical race analysis.” What? Well, Attiah tries to explain:

Certainly, Goldberg got it wrong about race and the Holocaust, and for that she apologized the next day. She also brought a representative of the Anti-Defamation League to speak with her on air. But none of that stopped ABC from suspending Goldberg so she could “reflect.”

More deeply, however, Goldberg’s misguided rant shows why there is a need for including critical race-based analysis of how we teach world history. By silencing her, ABC demonstrates how American media continues to show a near-complete inability to responsibly interrogate whiteness and White Christian supremacy.

It is obvious and well known that Adolf Hitler wanted the Aryan subset of the White race to dominate all others, and that Jews were their primary target. That said, I do not blame Goldberg, or anyone raised on the history books in most U.S. schools, for having ignorant views about antisemitism andChristian Europe’s atrocities. Many of our textbooks simply don’tteach the scale and deadliness of the centuries of persecution of European Jews, including 12th-century pogroms against Jews in England and the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492.

. . .Moreover, Nazi Germany’s how and why of the Holocaust had everything to do with white supremacy. As James Q. Whitman documented in “Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law,” Nazi Germany explicitly took its cues from Jim Crow America and its treatment of Black citizens. And post-colonial radical Black intellectuals from various countries have explicitly linked historical European racism and imperialism to Nazi fascism.

This is a mess; Hitler’s program was not about white supremacy per se, but Aryan supremacy. I suspect Attiah’s trying to downplay the ignorance of Goldberg’s comments, but is she saying that Jews are now People of Color?

It gets worse:

ABC could have provided a space to educate Goldberg and the rest of its audience about the centuries-old history of global white supremacy, and to push back on current efforts to marginalize the voices of the oppressed.

Instead, it chose one of America’s favorite pastimes — silencing Black women.

Yes, just what the viewers of “The View” want to hear: a education in White Supremacy along CRT lines.  I object to the punishment of Goldberg, but whatever she is, she’s not a victim. She even chose a Jewish name because the thought it would attract attention (she has no Jewish ancestry and her real name is Caryn Elaine Johnson).

This makes no sense to me. Neither CRT nor other DEI initiatives in American public schools make any effort to teach about the historical oppression of the Jews. Have a look at the palpable neglect of Jewish history (some say anti-Semitism) in the proposed required course in ethnic studies in California public schools.

*A butterfly sanctuary in the Rio Grande valley has been forced to close due to threats from QAnon conspiracists who believe it to be a front for a human-trafficking scheme. It’s a private organization that’s entirely in the U.S. but Trump wanted to run his wall through the middle of it. (h/t Ken, Woody). It’s a damn butterfly center but the loons have harassed it to death. I hope they reopen. From the Texas Tribune:

*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 896,193, an increase of 2,632 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,733,116, an increase of about 12,500 over yesterday’s total.

Stuff that happened on February 4 include:

  • 1555 – John Rogers is burned at the stake, becoming the first English Protestant martyr under Mary I of England.
  • 1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), all but one of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.
  • 1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
  • 1801 – John Marshall is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.
  • 1846 – The first Mormon pioneers make their exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, westward towards Salt Lake Valley.
  • 1859 – The Codex Sinaiticus is discovered in Egypt.
  • 1967 – Lunar Orbiter program: Lunar Orbiter 3 lifts off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.
  • 1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.

Here’s the house from where she was abducted, photographed by me in 2015:

  • 1999 – Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo is shot 41 times by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an unrelated stake-out, inflaming race relations in the city.
  • 2000 – The World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium, Charter of Paris is signed by the President of France, Jacques Chirac and the Director General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, initiating World Cancer Day which is held on February 4 every year.
  • 2004 – Facebook, a mainstream online social networking site, is founded by Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Saverin.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1868 – Constance Markievicz, Irish revolutionary and first woman elected to the UK House of Commons (d. 1927)
  • 1881 – Fernand Léger, French painter and sculptor (d. 1955)

Here’s Leger’s “Woman with a Cat” (1921), on view at the Met:

  • 1902 – Charles Lindbergh, American pilot and explorer (d. 1974)
  • 1906 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German pastor and theologian (d. 1945)

Executed by the Nazis. The manner of execution is not fully known. Traditionally it was said that he was stripped naked and then quickly hung, but recent historians say that the pastor was tortured or left to strangle for a long time.  An admirable man:

  • 1913 – Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist (d. 2005)
  • 1921 – Betty Friedan, American author and feminist (d. 2006)
  • 1931 – Isabel Perón, Argentinian dancer and politician, 41st President of Argentina
  • 1947 – Dan Quayle, American sergeant, lawyer, and politician, 44th Vice President of the United States
  • 1957 – Matthew Cobb, British zoologist and author

Those who encountered their curtain  on February 4 include:

She died on her 85th birthday.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is getting philosophical again:

A: Are you thinking?
Hili: Yes, I’m trying to understand humanity.
In Polish:
Ja: Myślisz?
Hili: Tak, próbuję zrozumieć ludzkość.

And little Kulka outside:


From Barry, a disgruntled d*g:

From Simon:

And another from Barry:

I found this while putzing around on the internet:

Man, Wordle seems to be divisive. Here’s a tweet by Simon, who said, “Finally—a universal excuse”:

Another tweet by Simon: a deliberately hilarious rant. “Ban the books now! At least the autobiographical ones and the semi-autobiographical ones!”

Tweets from Matthew, who’s 65 today:

These are pharyngeal jaws. (Translation: “Alepisaurus ferox picked up by a friend.  My throat is moving.”

I call this cat behavior “making biscuits”:

One of Matthew’s beloved illusions on his birthday:

And from me to Dr. Cobb, posted at the moment he turned 65 in Manchester:

58 thoughts on “Friday: Hili dialogue

  1. Many happy returns of the day, Professor Cobb!

    (… I’m not English, but that’s what Pooh says on birthdays. So I copied Pooh. Apologies if I missed a subtlety).

    1. Since Pooh unfortunately couldn’t write, Owl did it for him. I’m sure Professor Cobb would appreciate HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY

  2. Attiah: “It is obvious and well known that Adolf Hitler wanted the Aryan subset of the White race to dominate all others, and that Jews were their primary target.”

    Well no, that’s not how the Nazis saw it. To them, Aryans and Jews were not part of the same race. They thought that the different races (“Aryan”, “Slav”, “Jew”, “Negro” etc) were completely distinct, literally having different origins as separate creations.

  3. Congratulations on crossing the Great Divide into senior citizenship, Matthew. I’m sure that one oughta cheer you up. 🙂

  4. Both the Nazis and the Jim Crow, KKK south are there in the History books for everyone to read and learn more. You should do this because followers of both these groups are still with us today right here in the U.S. It is not about comparing them, it is about learning about these evil and disgusting groups.

  5. “I suspect Attiah’s trying to downplay the ignorance of Goldberg’s comments, but is she saying that Jews are now People of Color?

    Gosh no. That’s what the line from the op-ed reproduced below is all about: making sure people understand that Jews are still “white” and therefore a part of “white supremacy.” It’s why racism against them is called “antisemitism” instead of just “racism.”

    “It is obvious and well known that Adolf Hitler wanted the Aryan subset of the White race to dominate all others, and that Jews were their primary target.”

    See, Jews are just a “subset” of the “White race.”

    1. The category white wasn’t even relevant in Nazi racism, they made far finer distinctions. (And in the US census, all West Eurasians Asians and North Africans were traditionally counted as white). Among the whitest people in the World are the Poles and Russians, and they were an inferior race to the Nazis.
      Just because modern American antiracists harbor the racist belief that only “white” people can be racist, we don’t have to change history so that Jews can be among the good brown people too. Even then, antisemitism will only count as racism if perpetrated by Europeans according to this definition.
      It is the idiotic idea that only white people can be racist that you should attack.

    2. I now looked this up in a Nazi race science book I bought at an antiquarian. (Martin Staemmmler, Rassenpflege im völkischen Staat.) It short treatment of “the colored race” is about Africans. About Jews: “Both races [i.e. Ashkenazim and Sfardim] are whites, but have some slight physical differences from our races [i.e. the 4 races of Germany, Nordic, Falic, Dinaric, and Eastern]”. (Page 50)

  6. On a lighter note…Can you post your soup recipe? I couldn’t find it in the link. It looks like a perfect soup for a Chicago winter.

  7. Taking out the ISIS leader was the right thing to do. If not us, then who? This guy was responsible for the bombing and killing of many people and American servicemen in Afghanistan at the airport. He obviously thought more of himself than his family or other civilians living there. He did not belong on this earth. You see, when you win, you get out in a nice orderly manner.

    1. He was also a stoolie, ratting out his competitors in the Iraqi prison system (terrorism university, Camp Bucca) years ago. A scumbag of a human, not even loyal to his own kind. Some TV news was bemoaning the loss of his wife and kids. A better analysis would be a dating tip: “Ladies, don’t date terrorists.”

  8. … Putin and his thugs are planning to do exactly what Hitler did to start World War II: fake an attack of Ukrainians on Russians …

    The Gleiwitz incident redux. What’s with these evil dictators anyway, always toiling the same veins of fool’s gold?

  9. 1974 – The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.

    I was in college at the time, following the fortnightly reports of the saga in Rolling Stone. I’m abashed to admit that my buddies and I, though none of us in any way condoned armed bank robbery, thought “Tania” was cooler and sexier than boring old bourgeois “Patty.”

    1. I had lived a couple of blocks away from that house in south Berkeley for a couple of years, right before this happened.

      Love the book-banning rant!

  10. I remember the Diallo murder, one of the few articles I read in a Time magazine. When the police approached him in the bus shelter, he pulled out a cell phone, and they mistakenly thought it was a gun. Be kind about correcting me if I am wrong about this, it has been many years and many articles since I read about poor Mr. Diallo, an African immigrant in New York.

    1. The number of black unarmed persons killed by police compared to white persons is overwhelming. The danger to the white police seems to be more about color than whether they have a gun. They. shot the guy 40 times — just normal procedures I’m sure.

      1. The number of black unarmed persons killed by police compared to white persons is overwhelming.

        Is that really so? E.g. (link) “As of the June 22 update, the Washington Post’s database of fatal police shootings showed 14 unarmed Black victims and 25 unarmed white victims in 2019.” Doesn’t sound “overwhelming”.

        It is indeed out of line with the fraction of the population, but not so out of line if the relevant population is young males living in high-crime-rate inner cities, and not out of line if one controls for crime rates (e.g. “According to the FBI, African-Americans accounted for 55.9% of all homicide offenders in 2019”).

        1. Another way is to control for interactions with police, by race. So controlled, the police are somewhat less likely to kill a black person they interact with than a white person. They might be meaner to black people, and rough them up more, but not more likely to use lethal force. (Whether the interaction rates, much higher for Blacks, are fair or not, who can say?). And a suspect doesn’t have to be armed to pose serious danger to an arresting officer that can justify lethal response, as in Ferguson. Criminals of any race are often really bad stupid people.

          These findings have been widely reported, even reaching foreign countries. It is simply disingenuous for anyone to claim that there is a police vendetta against unarmed black people.

        2. Even your own WP numbers indicates the percent of blacks killed is twice their population overall. But that is okay because of total crime rates? Yes of course, you are justified killing more unarmed black people because after all, they commit lots of crime. The police are off the hook. And the fact is, they are. It is only the modern intervention of camera phones used by the public that allows for any accountability. Please find more statistics to make your point.

          1. Well, Black people commit a lot of crime and then get arrested for it. And sometimes arrests in a heavily armed society go south and the arrestee gets shot, reaching into his pants for his cellphone no doubt to record the encounter, tragically after the cop yelled, “Freeze!” Do police shoot people too often in general during arrests or stops? No idea. But they are no more likely to shoot a Black arrestee than a white one. That’s why you control for interactions with the police.

            I don’t understand why you are so invested in the idea that this can’t be true.

            Edit: Oops, clumsy finger hit Post before name finished

          2. There’s another, much bigger discrepancy: the rate at which males get shot by the police is about 30 times higher than the rate at which they shoot females. Wow! Does this show that the police are grossly anti male? Well no, it’s because males are vastly more likely to behave in ways that get them shot by the police. So, yes, In considering shootings if blacks vs whites, we do need to factor in the rate at which they commit behaviour that gets them into confrontations with the police. The rates are not out of line.

    2. You’re correct. There are many (mainly) west Africans in that part of town and they have difficult lives. (The recent terrible fire killed a dozen Gambians). Amadou Diallo was a terrible mistake/crime.
      NYC (1995 – this moment)

  11. The book “In The Eye of the Wild” Nastassja Martin describes another kind of bear hug. Oy! She survived though!

    Happy Birthday Dr. Cobb!

  12. By coincidence, Shay Khatiri just this morning posted a very interesting piece, “Opting Out of Whiteness”, on the Persuasion Substack. Seems Representative Rashida Tlaib, one of The Squad, is very angry that the Census Bureau considers her and other Middle Easterners to be white. She wants a new category, “Middle Eastern/North African”.

    As Khatiri notes, there are several reasons folks like her don’t want to be considered as white. One, of course, is that whites are the oppressors of poc, and not cool either. The other is to avail themselves of the advantages that might be available to those who are non-white. Khatiri, of Persian origin, suggests that he is good with buying into that, for his benefit.

    But I have to wonder about something. Think of all the “Middle Eastern/North African” Jews who had to leave their countries of birth, and long family residence, for Israel, Europe, or North America. How would Rashida Tlaib react if Jews of that forced diaspora argue that they are equally non-white, but “people of color”, and thus as deserving of special consideration as she and the communities she represents?

    1. AIUI various parts of the government requires schools to collect race information. This has the downside of forcing schools to ask those questions whether they would choose to or not, but the upside that it may somewhat control “category creep.” Sure a school can make up their own categories, but eventually they have to smoosh any extra categories they make into the reportable ones.

  13. ABC could have provided a space to educate Goldberg and the rest of its audience about the centuries-old history of global white supremacy, and to push back on current efforts to marginalize the voices of the oppressed.

    Instead, it chose one of America’s favorite pastimes — silencing Black women.

    Oh, I seem to remember Whoopi taking Sherri Shepherd apart over a couple of really idiotic young earth creationist comments (Sherri: ‘I don’t know if the earth is round or flat’, plus ‘there were no people before Christians’). Nobody got silenced. ABC didn’t decide to educate their public on a round earth or it being older than 2,000 years.

    Seems to me that the treatment of Whoopi’s recent comment is much more due to this particular subject being in the woke gunsight, than it is any sort of general upset about idiotic comments on TV or lack of media responsibility, or even Whoopi’s skin color. It’s the woke intersection, not the dumb intersection, that mattered here.

    The center argued that proposed border wall construction threatened to drive through the center and destroy butterfly habitats. Five years later, the lawsuit is still ongoing in federal court.

    IIRC, Trump angered a bunch of conservative Texas farmers too, for basically the same reason. Rightwing eminent domain-on-rightwing property rights crime.

    Good luck to the center. Not at all surprised it happened, but kinda surprised it’s still going on. I guess like pizzagate or anti-vaxx, Trump just had to rev the engine and the conspiracy clown car practically drives itself.

  14. Regarding the Whoopi Goldberg incident, I posted a comment on Medium, where ADL’s Greenblatt has a text about why the ADL ditched the atrocious new definition of racism they had for a while (, which defined White people as the only possible perpetrators of racism and “people of color” as the only possible victims. My comment is mainly about the character of Nazi racism, which Greenblatt misunderstands almost as much as Goldberg did (white not being a relevant category at all)..

  15. Matthew, happy birthday, and I hope you hate birthdays less than I do, or if you do, that grading is a welcome distraction. I loved your book on the history of brain research.

  16. Whoopi Goldberg, who is a black woman, could play the role of a slave on an American plantation, but not the role of the legal wife of the plantation owner. That shows that slavery in the US involved racial oppression.

    Jewish actress Natalie Portman could play the role of a Jew locked up in a death camp, but without changing her appearance she could also play the role of the non-Jewish wife of the head of the camp. This shows that the oppression Jews suffered at the hands of the Nazis was not racial.

      1. If two human groups are not distinguishable by their physical features, they may perhaps belong to two different tribes, but it seems ridiculous to say that they belong to different races.

        1. I don’t see why. If two population groups had lived relatively isolated in different regions, for 20,000 years or so, and yet it so happened that their appearance had not diverted much, then it would be fine to regard them as different races. The underlying concept of “race” is shared-ancestry clustering, not physical appearance (though the latter can be a marker for the former).

        2. Not distinguishable by yourself, or Ms. Goldberg, perhaps. Lets leave the Nazis for a moment and look at conditions during the same rough time period, but in Asia. There was self-defined a master race there as well. The Yamato race. If you were of Korean descent, just as one example, it would have been a poor decision to publicly trivialize the matter.
          You and I might think that dividing racial groups into ever finer and specific classifications is silly. They did not. If we are discussing the Shoah or the repression under the Co-Prosperity Sphere, then the perpetrator’s views on race cannot be ignored.

    1. It was not racial in the sense of West Eurasian vs. Westafricans. It was explicitly racial according to Nazi ideology, to whom the American distinction between race and ethnicity was unknown. It did not help if you or even your parents were Christians, as long as you were Jewish genealogically, and they even persecuted “half Jews”. At a time when few other people with mediterranean genetic background were living in Germany, peoples’ looks could give an indication of their Jewishness, and vice versa. Some non-Jewish actors in the Holocaust TV miniseries made rather unconvincing Jews. One could equally argue that the oppression US blacks suffered was not racial because of the one drop rule.

    2. In Nazi Germany, Natalie would not be able to play either role, she’d be dead. Because that government would have classified her as a Jew by race.

      Which means it is about race, or maybe your entire flow of logic is flawed. Please consider the second.

    3. There are two non sequiturs in there. Since there were free dark-skinned people in the 13 Colonies who had never been slaves, Whoopi Goldberg could indeed play a character in the early U.S. who was not a slave. Not a plantation owner’s wife, perhaps, although you don’t know there were no free (or manumitted) Black landowners in the South.

      Slavery in the British Empire and in the Arab world was Black because the most convenient slaves came from hot parts of Africa. One then makes up whatever justification one needs to sustain the institution against critics. A master-race myth works as well as any, and one can change it on the fly as circumstances (pesky abolitionists) require.

      The other non sequitur is with your Portman argument. The Nazis didn’t necessarily define races the same way you do today. Just because you seem to be saying Ms Portman doesn’t look Jewish to you, cannot mean the Nazis wouldn’t have defined her as a Jew….because they certainly would have.

    4. Ok, I’ll bite. Yes, there were laws in may places banning interracial marriage.Of course, as in most subjects, exceptions existed.
      Ms Goldberg could certainly have played the wife of a Black plantation owner, or even one of the rare Black female plantation owners.

      As for Portman, she could certainly play the wife of an Allgemeine-SS officer, but it would have been very risky indeed for her to have tried to live as one.

  17. I like the look of that soup. I might well give it a go, if I can find a good recipe.

    This time of year, I tend to go for butternut squash with ginger, or Jerusalem artichoke with crumbled crispy bacon. The only problem with Jerusalem artichokes is that they don’t half make you fart. The first man to grow them in England, John Goodyer (1592-1664) wrote:

    “Which way so ever they be dressed and eaten, they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind, thereby causing the belly to be pained and tormented”.

    A bit OTT, I feel, but fair comment.

    1. Fair comment about the sunchokes, though I do love the taste. It helps, a bit, to make sure they are completely cooked.

  18. U.S. intelligence claims that the Russians are planning fake news of an Ukrainian attack on Russians have not been substantiated, and might well be fake news itself. The US spokesman fell back on “close the ranks” when asked for proof by an intelligent journalist. The US itself is notorious for using fake news to get a war approved by Congress, and this might go into that category.
    The behaviour of the US around Ukraine is as dangerous as the behaviour of the Russians. NATO supplying Ukraine with arms shows lack of judgement (even if it is by way of Turkey).
    Remember Cuba 1962? Cuba had a right to feel threatened by the US after the Bay of Pigs. Cuba got some missiles to prevent a next invasion. Then the US felt threatened by Russian arms so close to its border. Don’t you see how the comparison goes?

    1. Bay of Pigs? Seems like a very weak comparison to me. Cuba had just gone through a coup and a lot of American assets had been seized by the new communist regime.

      It occurred to me also that the Russia’s supposed “false flag” operation might be fake. Suppose it was. If the effect is to prevent Russia invading Ukraine, it sounds like a good move to me. It plays on the Putin’s repeated duplicity. No one trusts anything he says, including this. His denial is dead on arrival, true or not.

    2. The parallel was actually Jupiter C medium-range ballistic missiles the U.S. had deployed in Turkey, the only NATO country that had a land border with the USSR, other than a few kilometres in Norway. Cuba was just a Russian pawn for the counter to the Jupiters. Cuba’s fears after the Bay of Pigs were irrelevant to the Soviets, other than needing to allay Kremlin fears that their new missiles might be overrun. To paraphrase Billy Crystal, the U.S. needed a reason to deploy nuclear missiles; the Soviet Union just needed a place. The crisis was resolved by Kennedy’s secret promise to remove the Jupiters, which were obsolete anyway.

      Disinformation even (especially) to one’s own people is central to brinkmanship in foreign policy, which heads of state have a free hand in. You’re not meant to have a say in it.

  19. I know our host enjoys visiting houses and gravesites of important or notable people. I get that, particularly in Darwin’s case. But Patty Hearst’s ex-home? Seems a bit D-list to me. 😉
    Anyway, do let us know a bit about your preparations for Antarctica. I’m not planning on going myself but I really enjoy virtually “Travelling via WEIT” and “our” last trip there and to Chile was great.

  20. A butterfly sanctuary in the Rio Grande valley has been forced to close due to threats from QAnon conspiracists who believe it to be a front for a human-trafficking scheme.

    Well, you can put butterflies in a pizza, so …

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