This will be the last full Hili dialogue for a while. Bear with me; I’ll do my best while in the far South. Bye all, and stay tuned for updates!
Good morning on Sunday, February 27, 2022: National Kahlua Day. It looks as if Big Liqueur is buying itself some publicity! As far as liqueurs go, it’s not a bad one, but my favorite is still the green version of Chartreuse, which is a bit bitter and very herbal and complex—and it’s still made by monks!. From Wikipedia:
The book The Practical Hotel Steward (1900) states that Green Chartreuse contains “cinnamon, mace, lemon balm, dried hyssop flower tops, peppermint, thyme, costmary, arnica flowers, genepi, and angelica roots”, and that yellow chartreuse is “similar to above, adding cardamom seeds and socctrine aloes.” The monks intended their liqueur to be used as medicine. The exact recipes for all forms of Chartreuse remain trade secrets and are known at any given time only to the three monks who prepare the herbal mixture. The only formally known element of the recipe is that it uses 130 different plants.
It’s also National Protein Day, National Strawberry Day, International Polar Bear Day, World NGO Day, and, in Maharashtra, India, Marathi Language Day.
News of the Day:
*About time! The U.S., Canada, and some European allies have decided to hit Russia with a hard sanction, cutting it off from the SWIFT system that allows instant money transfer between 11,000 banks. According to the WaPo, though, this could have bad side effects:
There would be little precedent for such a move, particularly against a country that has nuclear weapons, and some experts say the step could carry risks if Moscow felt like its money was being held ransom.
The Wall Street Journal says that not all Russian banks will be penalized, and notes other undesirable fallout:
A decision could come as early as Monday and could involve the compromise of cutting some but not all Russian banks off the system, according to EU diplomats.
Several capitals, including Berlin and Rome, have resisted the option of disconnecting Russian banks from Swift, a global system that connects banks to facilitate cross-border payments. Critics have worried it could have unintended consequences, including complicating energy payments to Russia and leaving European banks exposed to money owed to them by Russian financial firms. There have also been concerns it could encourage closer financial ties between Russia and China.
Many European airlines have closed their airspace to Russian airlines. Here’s an announcement from Belgium’s prime minister.
Belgium has decided to close its airspace to all Russian airlines.
Our European skies are open skies. They're open for those who connect people, not for those who seek to brutally aggress.
— Alexander De Croo 🇧🇪🇪🇺 (@alexanderdecroo) February 27, 2022
Even Iranians, citizens of a country that’s supposedly a Russian ally, have taken to the streets shouting “Death to Putin!”
And although Ukrainians are fleeing the country in droves, a whole batch of them, including the President, are staying and fighting. Like the Greeks at Thermopylae, they’re doomed but battling to the end. Indeed, men of fighting age, which means males between 18 and 60, aren’t even allowed to leave the country!
Ukraine’s health minister said 198 Ukrainians have been killed in the fighting, with more than 1,000 wounded. There were already signs of a mass exodus — the United Nations said Saturday that more than
150,000386,000 Ukrainians have fled the country; later it said there had been “at least 240 civilian casualties, including at least 64 dead.”
Even so, some Ukrainians interviewed on the NBC News last night were determined to drive the Russians out of their land. Given the military imbalance, I don’t know how anyone can believe that, even with tighter financial sanctions and new military aid from NATO countries. But nobody can doubt that Ukraine is a scrappy country. Civilians are pitching in: the news showed a grandmother patrolling the streets of Kyiv with an assault rifle.
Have a look at this picture from the NYT, and go here to see video of these women, who barely know how to use their guns.
And here, this morning, are civilians sorting out bottles to be used for Molotov cocktails in Dnipro, Ukraine:
*One of the few bright spots in this whole bloody mess is the surprisingly strong antiwar sentiments of the Russian people, many of whom have been arrested during demonstrations. The Associated Press reports pushback from ordinary Russians as well as numerous petitions signed with real names:
Open letters condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine kept pouring, too. More than 6,000 medical workers put their names under one on Saturday; over 3,400 architects and engineers endorsed another while 500 teachers signed a third one. Similar letters by journalists, municipal council members, cultural figures and other professional groups have been making the rounds since Thursday.
A prominent contemporary art museum in Moscow called Garage announced Saturday it was halting its work on exhibitions and postponing them “until the human and political tragedy that is unfolding in Ukraine has ceased.”
. . .An online petition to stop the attack on Ukraine, launched shortly after it started on Thursday morning, garnered over 780,000 signatures by Saturday evening, making it one of the most supported online petitions in Russia in recent years.
Statements decrying the invasion even came from some parliament members, who earlier this week voted to recognize the independence of two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, a move that preceded the Russian assault. Two lawmakers from the Communist Party, which usually toes the Kremlin’s line, spoke out against the hostilities on social media.
*A NYT story, citing two new scientific papers (neither of which has yet been peer-reviewed, but you can see them here and here), suggests that the coronavirus did indeed originate in a Wuhan wet market, with two separate infections, with all cases geographically centered around the now closed wet market. They also found similar viruses in the market, but since animals were removed (and presumably destroyed) immediately after closure, we can’t be sure if the virus came from live animals. There has been squabbling about whether the wet market or a local lab was the source of the pandemic, but things go back and forth and I’m learning to reserve judgment, as it seems to change with each batch of papers published.
*Finally, today’s reported Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. is 946,686, an increase of 1,872 deaths over yesterday’s figure. The reported world death toll is now 5,964,938, an increase of about 8,300 over yesterday’s total.
Stuff that happened on February 27 include:
- 1801 – Pursuant to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, Washington, D.C. is placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress.
- 1812 – Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.
Did you know that Ada Lovelace, an early worker on Charles Babbage’s computer, was Byron’s daughter. Here’s a portrait of Byron from 1813:
- 1860 – Abraham Lincoln makes a speech at Cooper Union in the city of New York that is largely responsible for his election to the Presidency.
I spoke on that same stage, and possibly at the same lectern. But here’s the venue:
- 1870 – The current flag of Japan is first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships.
There are even “hintomaru” bentō boxes that mimic the flag, containing rice and a dried plum:
- 1900 – The British Labour Party is founded.
- 1902 – Second Boer War: Australian soldiers Harry “Breaker” Morant and Peter Handcock are executed in Pretoria after being convicted of war crimes.
- 1933 – Reichstag fire: Germany‘s parliament building in Berlin, the Reichstag, is set on fire; Marinus van der Lubbe, a young Dutch Communist claims responsibility.
The fire gave Hitler an excuse to suspend Germany’s civil liberties, and that was the beginning of his takeover Here’s the fire; the building wasn’t restored until 1999:
- 1940 – Martin Kamen and Sam Ruben discover carbon-14.
However, it was Willard Libby who discovered the use of this isotope in dating, and for that he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1960.
- 1943 – The Holocaust: In Berlin, the Gestapo arrest 1,800 Jewish men with German wives, leading to the Rosenstrasse protest.
In this incident, the only public protest against the deportation of the Jews under Hitler’s regimes, the non-Jewish wives and relatives of 1800 arrested Jewish men protested publicly. Surprisingly, all 1800 men were released. As men in mixed marriages, they had to wear this sign, which was eventually eliminated (translation: “Whoever wears this sign is an enemy of our people.” “Jude”, of course, means “Jew”).
- 1951 – The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.
- 1973 – The American Indian Movement occupies Wounded Knee in protest of the federal government.
Here’s a video documentary of the 71-day occupation of the site by the Lakota.
- 1991 – Gulf War: U.S. President George H. W. Bush announces that “Kuwait is liberated”.
Notables born on this day include:
- 1847 – Ellen Terry, English actress (d. 1928)
Terry was wildly popular; here she is at 16:
Here’s Smallhythe Place, the house in Kent. where Terry lived from 1900 until her death. It was built in the late 15th or early 16th century.
- 1859 – Bertha Pappenheim, Austrian-German activist and author (d. 1936)
Also known as “Anna O.” in Freud’s case reports. He did not help her.
- 1877 – Joseph Grinnell, American zoologist and biologist (d. 1939)
Grinnell, who popularized the concept of the “niche” in the field in 1914. Field biologists dressed very spiffy in those days!
- 1886 – Hugo Black, American captain, jurist, and politician (d. 1971)
- 1899 – Charles Herbert Best, American-Canadian physiologist and biochemist, co-discovered Insulin (d. 1978)
- 1902 – John Steinbeck, American journalist and author, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1968)
A first edition of Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, which has sold over 14 million copies, will run you around $5,500; it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the National Book Award, and figured largely in Steinbeck’s 1962 Nobel Prize for Literature.
- 1930 – Joanne Woodward, American actress
Now 92, Woodward is the oldest living recipient of a major Oscar; she received the Best Actress Award for her performance in “The Three Faces of Eve” (1957) as a woman with multiple personality disorder. You can watch the entire movie on YouTube:
- 1934 – Ralph Nader, American lawyer, politician, and activist
- 1944 – Sir Roger Scruton, English philosopher and writer (d. 2020)
- 1947 – Alan Guth, American physicist and cosmologist
- 1980 – Chelsea Clinton, American journalist and academic
It’s hard to believe that little Chelsea is 42 today. She’s no longer a journalist, but works on the board of the Clinton Foundation and has written five children’s books:
Those who died on February 27 include:
- 1902 – Harry “Breaker” Morant, English-Australian lieutenant (b. 1864)
- 1936 – Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist and physician, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1849)
Pavlov and his dog in the lab, with a cannula measuring salivation. He won the Nobel Prize in 1904 for his work on conditioning:
- 1968 – Frankie Lymon, American singer-songwriter (b. 1942)
- 1989 – Konrad Lorenz, Austrian zoologist, ethologist, and ornithologist, Nobel laureate (b. 1903)
Here’s Lorenz with the geese who had imprinted on him (he studied the phenomenon):
- 1993 – Lillian Gish, American actress (b. 1893)
Lillian Gish (right, I believe) and her sister Dorothy in 1921:
- 2002 – Spike Milligan, Irish soldier, actor, comedian, and author (b. 1918)
Here’s a brief documentary of Spike Milligan, creator of the The Goon Show:
- 2013 – Van Cliburn, American pianist (b. 1934)
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili sees that Andrzej has been watching the news. When I asked how she could know, Malrgorzata replied, “By looking at his face – despair, outrage, powerlessness.”
Hili: You were watching the news again.A: How do you know?Hili: I can tell.
Hili: Znowu oglądałeś wiadomości.Ja: Skąd wiesz?Hili: Przecież widzę.
More snow fun from Peter:
From Nancie. What would Gagarin think now?
“Looking at Earth from afar you realize it is too small for conflict and just big enough for cooperation.”
Yuri Gagarin pic.twitter.com/zvqfvw6U2v
— Ricky Arnold (@astro_ricky) February 25, 2022
From Ginger K., with a good cartoon reply:
Is this behavior seen in the wild? Or are there other reasons why wild cheetahs are getting rare in their natural habitat? pic.twitter.com/l8lkzjGsWB
— alanpater (@alanpater) February 10, 2022
Tweets from Matthew. Get aboard the cat train! If one of those cats chewed your shoe, you could ask, “Pardon me boy, is that the cat who chewed your new shoe?”
Pardon me boy, is this the cat-in-a-jar choo-choo? https://t.co/bnfkJHrDjm
— Adam Roberts (@arrroberts) February 26, 2022
Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy is of course President of Ukraine, but I didn’t know that he used to be a comedian.
as usual, Jon Stewart nails it. https://t.co/6Il9ta9t1t
— Steve 🇺🇦 (@SteTy102) February 26, 2022
Oy! Two tweets with the story of a daredevil:
Here's the whole story, with more amazing pics, from a motorcycling magazine apparently called Meta.https://t.co/LBpo0ViC1K pic.twitter.com/IE8Da1zo6B
— Steve Bowbrick (@bowbrick) February 26, 2022
Finally, guess what this edible beetle is mimicking. The answer is in the thread:
Very pretty longhorn beetle from Thailand. The color scheme look familiar… What do you think it is trying to mimic? 🤔 https://t.co/3FDalv4Hpj
— Gil Wizen (@wizentrop) February 17, 2022
And a tweet from Matthew to leave you with:
today's winner for #Caturday
a Ukrainian soldier and her guardian angel pic.twitter.com/8yahsZbao9
— notGJRboston (@RbostonGj) February 26, 2022
58 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue”
Always entertaining. Have a great vacation.
“Like the Greeks at Thermopylae, they’re doomed but battling to the end” – according to the BBC, Russians were reported to have arrived in Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv, overnight. However, the city’s governor is now claiming that following fierce fighting the Ukrainians are in control of the city again – although the Beeb has been unable to independently verify that yet.
It’s Lillian on the left, I’m quite certain. When you have the sisters together, it’s usually not hard to correctly identify them. Not that it matters a whole lot. Safe travels and wonderful adventures.
I remember from youth hearing the tiny rhyme “Lillian Gish – what a dish!” But she was already a star from a different era, whom I probably would not recognize.
They arrived there on the first day of the invasion. The outskirts of Kharkiv are like 25 km from the border. Even since then there is a battle for the city. The news is that the Russians successfully broke into the city last night, but supposedly repelled again (for now).
BTW, the Russian backed separatists (+ Russian “volunteers”) already besieged Kharkiv in 2014, but failed. This time it is worse however, because the Russian army is not pretending not being here.
Indeed. The fact that the Russians are struggling to seize a city so close to the border is astonishing.
The main force simply went around the city. They did the same with Chernihiv: when the city resisted, they went around and advanced towards Kyiv. The Ukrainians do not seem to be able to stand up to them outside of cities and choke points (bridges on big rivers and the like). And they do not have any mountains in the relevant regions either.
The Russians know what they are doing. Don’t be fooled.
Yes, I think the Russians are weary of cities, remember Grosny? The don’t want to fall in such a trap again.
The Russians are surrounding the city, just as they have done with Kyiv, and will try to starve it until the armed defenders try to break out or surrender.
As time goes on in this battle we will see Russia have more problems with control and logistics. It’s only 4 days old and already weakness in the army can be seen. How many troops will be required to hold Ukraine and how will they do it? I see nothing but trouble for Russia. The republican cult says Biden has a new cold war with Russia. When have we not had a cold war with Russia. If you do not have a war with a dictator what do you have, Trump?
Take this with a pinch of salt, but I’ve read that NATO sources are reporting that the Russian army is already short of diesel. An army in being is not quite the same thing as an army that is combat ready.
Contrary to what Jerry implies, I do not think this will be an easy or quick victory for Russia and I’m fairly sure this will backfire on Putin, perhaps even to the point of deposing him. Unfortunately, the cost to Ukrainians and Russians will be astronomical.
Paranoia is the worst enemy of a dictator. He lives in a smaller world all the time in fear of an enemy behind the next door. As commander of the military he gives orders blindly without listening to his own experts. Hitler was famous for this and Stalin, he just kept killing people to get rid of all opposition. Your closest friend is the food taster. At least with Stalin, the Russian people were fighting for their lives. What the hell are the Russians fighting for now? Another boat for Putin?
Dictators like Putin tend to lose power the same two ways that Jake Barnes’s Scottish pal Mike Campbell said he went bankrupt in The Sun Also Rises: “gradually, then suddenly.”
Here is Putin’s speech translated into excellent English. It is very good and designed for his audience. For the time being, no one in Russia will try to depose him.
Yup, Vlad may have bitten off more than he can chew. The Russian Central Bank is issuing statements (on a Sunday!) trying to calm fears of a run on the banking system and to persuade Russians not to withdraw cash.
If the Ukrainians can hang on, and on, the spread of sympathy for them can only increase and maybe even creep into the false narratives of Faux News. Every human can recognize the moral difference between Might and Right.
The Vincent Black Lightning reminds me of a favorite song, Richard Thompson’s “1952 Vincent Black Lightning”.
“Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Zelenskyy is of course President of Ukraine, but I didn’t know that he used to be a comedian” – yup, in the comedy TV series Servant of the People he played an unassuming high-school history teacher who goes viral when he’s caught on video ranting against government corruption in Ukraine and unexpectedly becomes president. Zelensky was then persuaded to stand in the real presidential election in 2019, which he won by a landslide. In a nice touch, his political party is called “Servant of the People”. He has previously promised to serve only a single term.
Interesting back story, thanks. Which comedian in the UK would you vote for as Prime Minister (obviously excluding the “comedian” currently occupying that position)? David Mitchell? Stephen Fry? Ricky Gervais?
Prime Minister: Stephen Fry
Education: Jimmy Carr
Defence: Eddie Izzard
Energy: Ricky Gervais
They would in all probability be better than the present bunch.
While I too will reserve final, to the extent there is a point in science time that is actually final, judgement on the spillover point of Sars Cov2 to humans, it does seem to me that all of the papers whether peer-reviewed or published pre peer review but intended for peer review such as these two pointing to a wet market are the results of scientific investigations into origins while those pointing to the lab as the source have been based on assertions without hard data or analysis by U.S. government agencies. These agencies often have scientists involved but ultimately tend to follow the government’s policy position to be published. I will be happy to be corrected by readers, and I apologize for not having kept a list at the ready for reference here, but those have been by observations as I recall over the past 18 months.
Scientific studies are good to determine the bioligical origins of the virus strain itself, but their ability to say anything about the starting point of the pandemic is very limited, as the Chinese government pretty much erased everything and blocked early investigations. I originally saw this as an indirect evidence that they are hiding a dark secret, but it is quite possibly just an automatic reaction of these kind of regimes, just the way they operate. I am practical agnostic now, we will never know for sure.
Agreed. I do not see this putative back and forth. I am not aware of any evidence at all in favor of the lab-leak hypothesis.
I honestly do not understand why and how would anybody expect scientific evidence for the lab hypothesis. Just how would that work? They determined that the virus was not artificial, that result allows the pandemic to be unrelated to the lab.
The only thing pointing to the direction of the lab so far is an US secret service investigation report. And it was speculative, they could not say for certain.
However as far as scientific studies go, the question is outside of their reach by now. The wet market was closed, the animals burned, the lab was occupied by the Chinese military and even after that nobody from outside (including WHO) could go anywhere near it for a good while.
I also add that the scientific studies that are cited in the past as argument against the lab hypothesis are mostly irrelevant to the question.
Note that for now, if I had to guess, I’d guess non-lab. But the expectation that there should be scientific evidence for the lab-hypothesis is rather unfair to the hypothesis in this case. Scientific studies usually work with the assumption that nobody wants to intentionally falsify or destroy the data. And in this case if the lab hypothesis was true, then it would be naturally hidden from the scientists.
My take (so far) is that the market is the more likely source, though proving that the lab was NOT the source is difficult. Some evidence supports the market as source. Some evidence we’d expect if the lab were the source isn’t seen. A summary, by someone who doesn’t seem to have political biases on this topic: https://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2021/10/the-case-for-natural-origin-of-sars-cov.html
Remember Churchill’s words: “You can always take one with you.”
I wonder whether those were Gararin’s thoughts then? You never know with the way Communist Russia operated. Let’s not forget that throughout their villainies they were vocal proponents of peace with a goal of getting other countries to disarm.
I occasionally look at the entertainment news site TMZ, which has a weekly, very unscientific, survey of opinion on the stories of the week. I was very surprised to see that, in response to a question whether if Putin invades another country we should go to war, 74% said ‘yes.’ (81% also believe that Putin will invade other countries.)
It might be worthwhile for NATO to concentrate more military presence nearer to Russia, where it can. This could compel Putin to match those patterns, and that can only dilute their resources meant for Ukraine.
Former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenk was interviewed on CNN just minutes ago. He is there fighting and talking about the fight they are giving Russia. He was asked what do they need and he mentioned some weapons, such as stinger missiles and more flak jackets and. helmets. He also thanked the western world several times for supporting them and they continue to fight. It was a very inspired interview. He also said sanctions and freezing Russian assets.
Robert Gates was also interviewed and he thinks Putin has gone off the rails with this invasion. Big mistake and instead of splitting NATO he is doing the opposite.
Absolutely. Germany has announced an extra €100 billion in military spending as a result of Vlad’s Ukraine misadventure: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/27/germany-set-up-fund-boost-military-strength-ukraine-putin
Germany committed to a defence spending of 2%.+ of GDP under Obama, Trump’s inane and empty threats didn’t help either, but Putin’s real threat did
David Petraeus was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 lunchtime news. He said that he would be terrified to have to invade a nation whose citizens hated him and were willing to resist to the death. He also pointed out Russia’s increasingly long logistic tail and its vulnerability to hit-and-run attacks.
The Beeb also reported that Putin has put his strategic rocket forces (ie nukes) on high alert.
Just remember back in 2015 when the Russians moved in on the Crimea, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to demand that Putin be allowed to get away with what he’d done because ‘The West Needs To Fix It’s Own Problems First'(tm) before it had any ‘right’ to criticise Putin’s actions. What’s happening right now is the responsibility not simply of those who took part in those protests but those who promoted such views. But it’s highly unlikely any of those people will be held accountable.
The annexation of the Crimea in 2014 was vey different from invading the Ukraine now.
There were very good reasons to consider the Crimea basically Russian.
– The Crimea was ‘given’ to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in the fifties. He was a Ukrainian (and note his successor Leonid Brezhnev was too).
– After Stalin ‘deported’ -read ‘ethnically cleansed’- the Tartars from Crimea it was and still is overwhelmingly Russian
– A plebiscite showed that 90+ % of the population wanted to be part of Russia, not Ukraine.
I’d think those are substantial facts that make all the difference.
Ukraine is not Russia, and the overwhelming majority if it’s population want independence, noi Russian overlords ora Russian puppet regime as under Yanukovych. I’m mystified why that would not resonate with basically all Americans.
Not only was Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy a comedian but he also won on their version of Dancing with The Stars back in 2006:
Seems trivial in the current circumstances, but Pavlov won the Nobel for work on the salivary gland. He discussed the conditioning work in his Nobel Lecture in 1905.
Just FYI, it looks like your comment landed in the wrong place, though it has me thinking there’s a joke somewhere in the juxtaposition of Pavlov’s work with dogs and Dancing with the Stars. 😉
Hey, Nobel prizes come and Nobel prizes go, but Ivan Pavlov was immortalized by Mick and Keith in the Stones’ tune “Bitch.” 🙂
Since becoming president, Zelensky’s approval rating has fluctuated between 25% and 30%. Although he won the presidency in 2019 with 73% of the vote, in the first round of voting he barely got 30%. With his show business background, I can’t imagine he is more than a front man for oligarchs who are the real rulers of Ukraine.
Classic argument from personal incredulity.
No, it is an argument based on the documented business history of the acting clown.
Your comment provided no documentation whatsoever regarding Zelenskyy’s business history. You merely stated you “can’t imagine he is more than a front man for oligarchs …” That is an argument from incredulity simpliciter.
Yes Ken, I could not agree more; from your link:
“arguments from incredulity can sometimes arise from inappropriate emotional involvement, the conflation of fantasy and reality, a lack of understanding, or an instinctive ‘gut’ reaction, especially where time is scarce. They are also frequently used to argue that something must be supernatural in origin. This form of reasoning is fallacious because one’s inability to imagine how a statement can be true or false gives no information about whether the statement is true or false in reality.”
Moreover, I’m kind of suspecting his approval rating may be much higher now, well above his earlier 73%. He has shown himself to be courageous (refused US offer for evacuation) and devoted to his country’s independence.
Volod can cut a rug!
You can be excused from not listing me as a notable born on Feb. 27th. Though not notable, I was indeed born on this day in history!
Nice to know I share that distinction with several interesting people. Joseph Grinnell reminds me greatly of a favorite field biology professor from my college days. Though I never remember Leon Powers wearing a tie out in the field, he was our entire class’s ideal of always looking great in the field.
Happy birthday, Janis – and many happy returns!
Thank you, JezGrove.
EU has just banned all Russian owned, operated, or controlled aircraft – including private jets – from taking off, landing, or overflying its airspace.
President Zelenskyy is undoubtedly the most statesmanlike world leader ever to pretend to play piano with his peter:
Having now watched the Dancing with the Stars clip above, I note that Pres. Zelenskyy has performed at least twice to Bizet’s “Carmen.”
> Given the military imbalance, I don’t know how anyone can believe that
Overwhelming Russian military superiority is mostly on paper though.
Their usual tactics has failed them utterly, they have severe logistical issues, their morale is low precisely because they’re fighting not some faraway strangers, but Ukrainians, who are “one people” with Russians, as Putin himself insists (yeah, there is a grain of truth in this), and for a president we have a comic, derided by many (myself included) in the recent past, but who stands his ground almost heroically now.
I mean, I’m Ukrainian, I’m right here in Ukraine, right now, and I see no reason not to believe that victory is at least a possibility.
We’re rooting for you and Ukraine and its heroic people. If the invasion falters and fails then I hope Putin will get a richly earned comeuppance from his people. The contrast between him and Zelenskyy could not be clearer.
Good luck. We’re rooting for you here. Zelenskyy has risen heroically to the challenge, and Putin has bitten off more than he can handle, I think.
Please keep us posted on how things are going from where you sit.
Lillian Gish is actually to the left in that picture. She was almost certainly the greatest actress of the silent era. Her best performances are in “The Mothering Heart” (1913), “Broken Blossoms” (1919), “Way Down East” (1920), “The Scarlet Letter” (1926; still the best adaptation of the novel), and “The Wind” (1928).
Sadly not all of those films are accessible in high quality copies, but “Way Down East” is. Gish was recently “cancelled” by Bowling Green State University, which removed her name from its film theatre because of her involvement with D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation.” Lillian’s sister Dorothy was a charming comedienne; she appeared with Lillian in “Orphans of the Storm” (1921) and many earlier Griffith films.
“Then it don’ matter. Then a copy ofThe Grapes of Wrath‘ll be all aroun’ in the dark. It’ll be ever’where — wherever you look. Wherever they’s a fight so hungry people can eat, A copy of The Grapes of Wrath‘ll be there. Wherever they’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, It’ll be there. If Casy knowed, why, It’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad an’ — It’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry an’ they know supper’s ready. An’ when our folks eat the stuff they raise an’ live in the houses they build — why, a copy of The Grapes of Wrath‘ll be there. ”