Thursday: Hili dialogue

July 21, 2022 • 6:30 am

Good morning on Thursday, July 21, 2022: National Crème Brûlée Day, which is merely a subspecies of flan, with neither dessert being memorable or substantial.

It’s also National Junk Food Day, National Legal Drinking Age Day, Take a Monkey to Lunch Day, and National Lamington Day, celebrating a dessert unknown to me. Wikipedia describes it and gives a photo:

lamington is an Australian cake made from squares of butter cake or sponge cake coated in an outer layer of chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut. The thin mixture is absorbed into the outside of the sponge cake and left to set, giving the cake a distinctive texture. A common variation has a layer of cream or strawberry jam between two lamington halves.

A “cream-filled lamington in New Zealand.” How come I never saw these in NZ? And how come American doesn’t have lamingtons. Give me one!

Stuff that happened on July 21 includes:

Below is a reconstruction of what the temple looked like in its glory. Wikipedia shows how it was included by Antipater in his famous and poetic list of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World:

The next, greatest, and last form of the temple, funded by the Ephesians themselves, is described in Antipater of Sidon‘s list of the world’s Seven Wonders:

I have set eyes on the wall of lofty Babylon on which is a road for chariots, and the statue of Zeus by the Alpheus, and the hanging gardens, and the colossus of the Sun, and the huge labour of the high pyramids, and the vast tomb of Mausolus; but when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, “Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand”.

And here are its remains today:

  • 365 – The 365 Crete earthquake affected the Greek island of Crete with a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme), causing a destructive tsunami that affects the coasts of Libya and Egypt, especially Alexandria. Many thousands were killed.
  • 1861 – American Civil WarFirst Battle of Bull Run: At Manassas Junction, Virginia, the first major battle of the war begins and ends in a victory for the Confederate army.

The Union envisioned a quick victory in the war after a march on the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. It didn’t work that way: the Union was routed and retreated. People began to realize that this could be a very long and bloody war.

Hickok later became a marshal and a sheriff, and was gunned down at age 39 in a poker game holding the “dead man’s hand” (a pair of aces and a pair of eights). His killer was hanged. Here’s Hickok in 1869:

Here are brothers Jesse and Jesse and Frank James, members of the gang in 1872, a decade before Jesse was shot by a trusted “friend” (for reward money) at age 34. Jesse’s on the left:

Here’s a photo of the famous cross-examination of the prosecuting attorney, the religious Williams Jennings Bryan, by defense attorney Clarence Darrow, a famous atheist and perhaps the best defense lawyer in history. The exchange took place outside the courtroom on July 20 because of the heat.  Darrow made mincemeat of Bryan, but Scopes was nevertheless found guilty. Note that the Butler Statute, which Scopes was found guilty of violating, expressly forbade the teaching of human evolution, not evolution in general if it didn’t involve our species.

This verdict was overturned bu the Tennessee Supreme Court on a technicality: according to law, in Tennessee only a jury and not the judge could impose fines over $50. But the judge imposed the hundred bucks, and so Scopes went free.

He played four years with the Red Sox and one for the Mets, though he didn’t compile a great record. Pumpsie:

Here’s a short video precis of the mission, showing all the highlight including Armstrong hopping around on the Moon:

Here’s where Vostok Station is and what it looks like.

This makes you shiver just looking at it!

The description from the link:

The journey had started from Bodega Bay a little more than five years earlier on 10 July 2007. The modes of transport included a rowboat to cross the oceans, a sea kayak for shorelines, a bicycle on the roads and hiking on trails, along with canoes for a few river crossings. The route he followed was 66,299 km (41,196 mi) long, crossed the equator twice and all lines of longitude, and passed over twelve pairs of antipodal points, meeting all the requirements for a true circumnavigation of the globe. Guinness World Records has officially recognized Eruç for the “First solo circumnavigation of the globe using human power” on a journey that lasted 5 years 11 days 12 hours and 22 minutes.

The route:

Da Nooz:

*The Washington Post summarizes the January 6 committee hearings up to now and—surprise!—finds Trump repeatedly ignored the advice of his associates who told him he’d lost the election, and not to fight that loss, but also concludes that Trump decided to increase rather than dampen tensions about the election no fewer than 15 times.

At each moment when Trump could have soothed an agitated nation, he escalated tensions instead, the committee has illustrated through its presentation of 18 live witnesses, scores of videotaped depositions and vast documentary evidence. At each moment when longtime loyal advisers offered their view that his election loss was real, he refused to listen and found newcomers and outsiders willing to tell him otherwise.

On at least 15 different occasions, the president barreled over those who told him to accept his loss and instead took actions that sought to circumvent the democratic process and set the nation on the path to violence, according to the committee’s evidence.

And yes, there’s a list. Here are two items:

This is the best summary I’ve seen yet of the committee’s findings up to now.

*After Clarence Thomas made threatening noises about gay marriage in his supporting opinion in the Dobbs decision, Congress is getting to work to ensure that gay marriage doesn’t go the way of abortion. The House already passed a bill protecting gay and interracial marriage (the latter is something that Thomas could hardly oppose), and this passed a lopsided vote: 267-157.  A surprisingly large number of Republicans voted for the House bill, but largely because the “optics” would be bad otherwise. Now the bill goes to the Senate, where I would have thought passage would be a no-brainer. But there’s that damn filibuster, which requires ten Republicans to say they’re in favor of gay marriage, something that’s widely accepted by Americans. How dare they oppose it? 

The legislation started as an election-season political effort to confront the new Supreme Court majority after the court overturned abortion access in Roe v. Wade, raising concerns that other rights were at risk. But suddenly it has a shot at becoming law. Pressure is mounting on Republicans to drop their longstanding opposition and join in a bipartisan moment for gay rights.

“This legislation was so important,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said as he opened the chamber Wednesday.

The Democratic leader marveled over the House’s 267-157 tally, with 47 Republicans — almost one-fifth of the GOP lawmakers — voting for the bill late Tuesday.

“I want to bring this bill to the floor,” Schumer said, “and we’re working to get the necessary Senate Republican support to ensure it would pass.”

Political odds are still long for the legislation, the Respect for Marriage Act, which would enshrine same-sex and interracial marriages as protected under federal law. Conservatives, including House GOP leaders, largely opposed the bill, and the vast majority of Republicans voted against it.

The Supreme Court rule that both gay and same-sex marriage are constitutional. What are they and the Republican going to do now: strike down Loving and Obergefell and make it a matter for the states to decide? THEY CANNOT. . . .but they could.

*This was inevitable. According to the Washington Post,  the fictional game of “quidditch” invented by J. K. Rowling in her Harry Potter series has been, well quidditched in favor of a new name. That name: “quadball.” (Quidditch had become a real game modified to be played by real people.” )Why? Why do you think? (h/t Paul)

As part of an effort to distance the sport from its creator, who has sparked controversy for her views on transgender issues, the International Quidditch Association (IQA) announced that the sport will now be known as quadball.

“This is an important moment in our sport’s history,” said Chris Lau, chair of the IQA board of trustees, in a statement. “We are confident in this step and we look forward to all the new opportunities quadball will bring.”

The global body said one of the main reasons for the name change was that Rowling “has increasingly come under scrutiny for her anti-trans positions.” It listed LGBTQ advocacy groups that had criticized the writer, as well as lead actors who appeared in the hugely popular Harry Potter movies and who were also critical of her views.

The IQA said a second reason for the name change was trademarks and licensing. The trademark for “quidditch” is owned by the Warner Bros. entertainment company, and organizers want to use the quadball trademark to continue to grow the game “into a mainstay of organized sports.”

That last excuse is lame, lame, lame. Yes, Rowling is a gazillionaire, and uncancel-able so long as her books are read, but I still admire her for speaking out against extreme trans activists. And the people who renamed “quidditch” are a bunch of invertebrates trying to show how good they are.

*I got an email from a reader who asked me why I kept saying that I thought that Russia would eventually win the war against Ukraine, at the very least taking a sizable chunk of the country. The reader said that other experts think Ukraine will prevail.

Why? Well, I keep saying I’m no pundit, and it’s just a guess based on Russia’s resources, the size of its army, the meaning of a loss to Putin, and the unwillingness of the West to do more than supply weapons. (Granted, we really can’t get into the fight ourselves.) And I’ve always said that I’d be delighted if I were wrong and Ukraine kicked out Putin’s perps.

Now Serge Schemann, NYT writer and former head of the paper’s Moscow bureau, has a new op-ed in which he interviews a Russian political scientist, Sergey Karaganov. The title is  “Why Russia believes it cannot lose the war in Ukraine“, explained by Karaganov’s words It’s a weird piece (an interview, actually), and Karaganov believed that the West would eventually prompt some war because of its “economic, moral, and political decline.”  That sounds like Jordan Peterson, doesn’t it?


This conflict is existential for most modern Western elites, who are failing and losing the trust of their populations. To divert attention they need an enemy. But most Western countries, not their presently ruling elites, will perfectly survive and thrive even when this liberal globalist imperialism imposed since late 1980s will vanish.

This conflict is not about Ukraine. Her citizens are used as cannon fodder in a war to preserve the failing supremacy of Western elites.

For Russia this conflict is about preservation not only of its elites, but the country itself. It could not afford to lose. That is why Russia will win even, hopefully, short of resorting to higher levels of violence. But people are dying. I have been predicting such a war for a quarter of century. And I have not been able to prevent it. I see it as a personal failure.

. . . Ukraine is an important but small part of the engulfing process of the collapse of the former world order of global liberal imperialism imposed by the United States and movement toward a much fairer and freer world of multipolarity and multiplicity of civilizations and cultures. One of the centers of this world will be created in Eurasia, with the revived great civilizations that had been suppressed for several hundred years.

This is a viewpoint and political philosophy that is completely alien to me. In what way is increasing hegemony of Russia going to create a “freer and fairer world”? What world is Mr. Karaganov living in? Russia, of course.

I try, but I can’t see the war as being promoted to “preserve the failing supremacy of Western elites”. Hardly anybody in the U.S. even talks about the war any more, for we have our own problems now.

*I didn’t realize that Pulitzer Prizes (unlike Nobel Prizes) can be awarded posthumously. But for music the Pulitzer page gives conflicting information:

10. What is the definition of the Music category?

For distinguished musical composition by an American that has had its first performance or recording in the United States during the year.

12. Are posthumous entries eligible?

We accept entries made on behalf of entrants who are deceased. However, edited posthumous collections (such as a volume of selected letters) are ineligible. Please consult our Book Submission Guidelines for more information.

So when John McWhorter just argued in the NYT, “Give Duke Ellington the 1965 Pulitzer Prize”, I wasn’t sure if that were possible. Ellington’s music ceased with his death in 1974.

Apparently, the recommendation of the Pulitzer Committee was overturned that year:

As Howard Klein reported for The Times in 1965, “the advisory board for the Pulitzer Prizes rejected a unanimous recommendation from the music jury to award Duke Ellington, the jazz musician, composer and bandleader, a special citation for long-term achievement.” It was the second consecutive year that no Pulitzer for music was awarded.

However, you can be awarded a Pulitzer for music posthumously. Duke has a special one (as does the late Aretha Franklin), but McWhorter doesn’t consider it sufficient:

In 1999, the Pulitzer Prizes did award Ellington a Special Citation, “bestowed posthumously, commemorating the centennial year of his birth, in recognition of his musical genius, which evoked aesthetically the principles of democracy through the medium of jazz and thus made an indelible contribution to art and culture.” OK, but that was too late. The snub was so egregious that it needs to be undone more directly.

McWhorter floats that idea that racism played a role in the 1965 snub, and I can’t deny that, either. Ellington was certainly superior to many of the white composers who got Pulitzers in that decade.

I agree with the belated award. If you like jazz, and listen to Duke, he grows on you (or at least on me)—to the point where he becomes the best jazz composer of all time. I can’t sum up his oeuvre, but McWhorter gives a few examples, and you can listen to them. McWhorter doesn’t even mention popular Ellington standards like “Take the A Train” or even (to me) his best short piece, “Ko-Ko” (do listen to it, especially Jimmy Blanton’s famous “walking bass”).


I once attended a lecture by the late composer and conductor Gunther Schuller, where he explained that a lot of Ellington’s chords are so dense they challenge even the trained ear to parse just what they consist of. “Far East Suite”’s opening, “Tourist Point of View,” is surely the kind of piece he had in mind, based on chords that sound like long, sassy scratches that somehow come off as infectious, with good rhythm only part of why.

Goodness, Ellington gave us so much. Even the little things. Listen to 1929’s “Flaming Youth,” which just sits there and grinds and growls slow and glorious for three-ish minutes, summoning the smells of gin, feet and barbecue in roughly that order. Or 1932’s “Delta Bound,” where before the somewhat mundane lyrics to Ivie Anderson’s vocals kick in, the orchestra engages in the most coolly creative, sassy and perfect minute and 14 seconds I know.

. . . Indeed, Ellington was something one “got.” Like James Joyce, the Coen brothers or Charles Mingus, you might not quite get what the hubbub is about at first, but when you do, watch out. “Mood Indigo” opens with muted trombone on melody playing up high, then clarinet playing down low, then muted trumpet playing somewhere in the middle — deliciously weird! The result is a gentle astringence that results in an uncommon kind of tenderness.

If it’s possible to give the unawarded 1965 prize to Ellington, then I’m with McWhorter. You can sign a petition recommending this, and I just did. It may not be influential, but there’s no denying that Ellington was at the very top of the pantheon of not just jazz, but of inventive music.

Finally, the top searches on my site yesterday. The first one baffles me! Is the answer “You’re a goner”?

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili’s lying regally in the road:

A: Hili, this is a road for cars.
Hili: Yes, but a private one.
In Polish:
Ja: Hili, to jest droga samochodowa.
Hili: Tak, ale prywatna.
And Baby Kulka:


From Malcolm, who calls this a “perfect match” (found on Facebook):

From Matthew, who says that Harry, his newest cat, is a “loaf”:

And here’s Harry being loaflike!

From America’s Cultural Decline into Idiocy. Does anybody know what this flag means?

The Tweet of God, who knows:

A tweet from Luana. I don’t think Titania predicted this one:

From Simon, who says, “This is why a cat on a leash would be a disaster”. But some cats, like Leon, do walk on leashes:

From “Why You Should Have a Duck”:

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. First, keeping the bad news “light”. “I want us to be happy about the weather.” “Haven’t we always have hot weather, John?” Oy vey!

More of: “It’s really not that hot, is it?” This denial of global warming is like a religion.

Matthew is feeling apocalyptic. . . .

The kitties are blaming us, and they’re right:

Lagniappe: more stunning stuff from Webb:

44 thoughts on “Thursday: Hili dialogue

    1. Flan, too. When I used to eat dinner regularly on Calle Ocho in Little Havana, I’d bring home a tub for dessert — maybe polish it off the next morning for breakfast, too.

  1. Serge Schemann is interviewing a Russian political scientist, Sergey Karaganov. The quote in the post is from Karaganov, not Schemann, who seems to be nothing more than a Putin mouthpiece. In this age of grievances, Karaganov is stating that Russia is full of them and that the war against Ukraine is an effort to restore the country to its rightful glory and power on the world stage. He is very hostile to the United States.The interview is ominous because it suggests that any reconciliation between Russia and the West is a long way off.

    1. Thanks; I screwed up here and thanks for correcting me. I’ve fixed the news entry. I believe, as I said, that Jordan Peterson has that same view of the “degeneracy” of the West.

    2. That makes more sense, although it’s not really any more ominous than it has been for months. Russia’s relations with the West are in the toilet and will be for decades. But let’s be honest: Russia is a gangster state and has been for years. It’s just harder now to deny that fact for the convenience of cheap fossil fuels.

    3. I think that the giganormous oil an gas reserves under the Donbas may have much more to do with it. After all, Russia is basically a giant oil and gas company, with Putin as it’s CEO.

  2. … Jesse [James] was shot by a trusted “friend” (for reward money) at age 34.

    Assassinated by the coward Robert Ford according to the too-on-the-nose title of the 2007 revisionist western starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck in the title roles.

    1. Jesse James was a nasty, nasty, man. He and his brother Frank rode with the “bushwhackers like Quantrill and Bloody Bill Anderson and massacred a lot of people along the Kansas/Missouri border during the Civil War.

  3. I think SchemannSergey Karaganov is talking nonsense. There is only one country for which the Ukraine war is an existential threat, and that is Ukraine.

    Russia will survive whatever the outcome – although perhaps not its current leader.

    The Western democracies will survive no matter what the outcome. In fact, in terms of the dynamic of their relationship with Russia, they already have won. Russia is revealed as a paper tiger and is largely ostracised from the international community. NATO is expanded and the countries in it are increasing their defence spending (this is the opposite of what Putin wanted).

    Only Ukraine could cease to exist and that is the reason why Russia will not win. They may end up controlling the Eastern portion that they already have, but one day they will leave because of the drain on resources that keeping control requires.

    All in my opinion, of course.

    1. Yes, I am expecting that the main part of this war will eventually wind down, presumably with Russia occupying eastern portions of Ukraine. It seems likely then that their military along with support for the action will continue to wither under an insurrectionist campaign.

  4. Really? Denial of climate change is like a religion? It’s climate change, like any millenarian belief, that has announced one date after another for the end of the world. I forget how many years we have left now. Eight or nine? Let’s see what happens to the prophecy in 2030.

    1. Where have you seen a prophecy that we have eight or nine years left? What does that actually mean? What do you think should happen in 2030 to satisfy you that the ‘prophecy’ has come true? On the other hand there are plenty of predictions about how various aspects of our environment will get progressively worse which appear to be borne out by what is actually happening – increased frequency of severe weather and wild fires, increased loss of polar sea ice, retraction of glaciers, melting of permafrost and so on. None of that may constitute ‘the end of the world’ but it all makes life harder and more dangerous for us and much of the other life that shares the planet with us.

    2. Yes, replete with burning bushes too (wildfires). And it’s not just millenarians believing in this hogwash, either, but Gen Z, Boomers, and even some from the WWII generation.

      But on a serious note, while global warming denial is indeed anti-science, less emphasized is that this stance is also massively pro-taxes. The bill is being handed down to future generations, with Republicans working mighty hard to levy what must be the largest tax increase in human history. This is the inverse of their stance on government “debt”, which magically excludes the debt owing from climate inaction (thanks to economist Dean Baker for hammering this point).

      1. The bill is being handed down to future generations, with Republicans working mighty hard to levy what must be the largest tax increase in human history.

        Après moi, le déluge feu.

    3. If you look at projections for climate change, made 20 or 30 years ago, they are pretty much coming true, spot on, exactly at the predicted rate (certainly within the error bars given at the time).

      [I’m talking about projections by reputable scientists here; it may indeed be the case that some activists have used exaggerated language (not mentioning Greta Thunberg by name).]

      1. If you confine your verified predictions to temperature, i.e., what used to be called “global warming” until Canadians started asking, “What’s not to like?”, I would agree.

    4. “This denial of global warming is like a religion.”
      Sean Hannity’s preset auto-module on climate change now always includes the phrase “the climate alarmist religious cult”.
      Pretty ironic for a practicing Roman Catholic.

  5. I would offer up that Ellington was snubbed because his genre is jazz, which the long-hairs looked down on.

    I think the flag is saying that behind the Thin Blue Line (that’s the police-support flag), there is a Christian Chihuahua waiting to defend you.

  6. My former neighbor had roughly the same flag. Darked out license plates on the cars, LGB bumper stickers, upside-down US flag late January 2021, and the routine crap about the US being a christian country.

    Best I can figure is that it is implying that the christian god is behind the flag, and therefore the USA, to the exclusion of others. The dog? probably that the owner likes dogs. The neighbor had WAY too many of them.

  7. I’m no expert but apparently, when slaughtering an animal for food, saying the name of Allah is either strongly recommended or obligatory. Also fowl is ok to eat, but owl is not because owls have talons. What all this has to do with searching on WEIT I do not know.

  8. 1959 – Elijah Jerry “Pumpsie” Green becomes the first African-American to play for the Boston Red Sox, the last team to integrate.

    The Red Sox gave a pro forma tryout to Jackie Robinson 1945, even before the Brooklyn Dodgers signed him, but it was sham, since the Sox never had any intent to sign him. The Red Sox longtime owner was notorious bigot Tom Yawkey.

    The standing joke among my buddies in Boston used to be that, even unto the 1970s, the Red Sox would have one star black player — like first baseman George “Boomer” Scott or leftfielder Jim Rice — and then keep another black player on the roster to room with him on the road.

  9. This is the best summary I’ve seen yet of the [Jan. 6th] committee’s findings up to now.

    The Atlantic has a new piece by three former federal prosecutors — two of whom served in the upper levels of the Department of Justice under Ronald Reagan and/or Poppy Bush — entitled “Why the DOJ Must Prosecute Trump.”.

    Just Security, an online forum of former national security officials, also has a thorough summary of the evidence the subcommittee has adduced to far called “A Criminal Evidence Tracker”.

    At tonight’s primetime J6 hearing, we’ll hear about what Donald Trump did (and, more crucially, didn’t do) during the 187 minutes while the Capitol riot raged.

  10. That Antipater sure can write a beautiful, poetic description of his emotional reaction to seeing a wonder of the world, but it bears remembering, if you’re a man who has children, that you should NEVER shake hands with him!

  11. The House already passed a bill protecting gay and interracial marriage (the latter is something that Thomas could hardly oppose) …

    Thomas could still oppose that the US constitution guarantees a right to interracial marriage — secure in the knowledge that the Commonwealth of Virginia, where he and his wingnut wife Ginni live, is unlikely in the extreme to return to its anti-miscegenation law invalidated by SCOTUS on constitutional grounds in the 1967 case Loving v. Virginia.

  12. I didn’t realize that Pulitzer Prizes (unlike Nobel Prizes) can be awarded posthumously.

    John Kennedy Toole won the 1981 Pulitzer fiction prize for his novel A Confederacy of Dunces eleven years after his suicide.

  13. Evidently, the GOP leadership is dumping Trump and wants to see a competitive presidential GOP primary. They are deathly afraid that if he announces his candidacy before this November, it will damage their chances of taking over Congress in the midterms. Ronna McDaniel has warned Trump that if he announces, they will stop paying his legal bills.

    My guess is that none of this will make any difference to Trump as he cares only about himself. He can’t do run without the backing of the GOP and he expects he would win any primary (probably right) and then the party would have to get back behind him. He also needs to announce soon in order to pressure the DOJ not to charge him for Jan 6th-related crimes. He is hoping that the DOJ wouldn’t want to set the precedent of one party’s administration charging an active candidate for president.

  14. The dog/cross/flag reminds me of the AI-generated art that I’m seeing everywhere nowadays. I suppose this one could just be some creative genius combining their three favorite things in a flag.

  15. “Stan Kenton can stand in front of a thousand fiddles and a thousand brass and make a dramatic gesture and every studio arranger can nod his head and say, ‘Oh, yes, that’s done like this.’ But Duke merely lifts a finger, three horns make a sound, and I don’t know what it is.”–Andre Previn

  16. Lamingtons are absolutely delicious, I can attest. I always thought they were an Australian invention (NZers differ on that), all of which I don’t give two hoots about. The issue is indeed why can’t we get them here? Wish we could!

        1. Ha! You beat me to it, but in our family they are called “Krimpvarkies” which are hedgehogs, and probably derived from the white flakes of coconut on the black chocolate layer.
          And I maintain that it is indeed a South African dish, probably exported to Aus & NZ by expats..

  17. That weird flag painting is probably a critique of the US Supreme Court: behind the veil of US culture (the flag) we find the Hounds of the Lord domini canes,. The Dominicans (aka. Black Friars), are a Catholic order, meant to preach to the wider public and to sniff out heresy.
    My interpretation of the painting could be completely wrong, of course.

    1. “The light from GLASS-z13 took 13.4 billion years to hit us, but the distance between us is now 33 billion light years due to the expansion of the universe!”

      So in 13.4 billion years, GLASS-z13 moved 29.6 billion light years?

      Even if it and Sol were speeding in exactly opposite directions, wasn’t at least one of them going faster than light? Or does the expansion of the universe permit that?

      1. Short answer: yes.

        Long answer: read the book Cosmology: The Science of the Universe by the late, great Edward Robert “Ted” Harrison. It explains many things glossed over or even wrongly discussed elsewhere, but has all the details for those who want to dive deeper, written by a leading cosmologist.

  18. Three points on the Russia-Ukraine war:

    1) I suspect that the war is perceived as pretty darn existantial by the populations of Moldova, Poland, the Baltics and Finland, all of whom have histories of being invaded/annexed by Russia/USSR.

    2) Even beyond that, I suspect the populations of most NATO countries would strongly prefer Russia to lose, given the likelihood that Russia winning would mean an eventual war with Russia in a NATO country.

    3) If the preservation of Russia requires this conflict, then one has to ask what further conflicts it likewise necessitates? And if the preservation of Russia requires the demise of Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, the Baltics and Finland (or even a substantial subset of them), then I’d suggest that Russia isn’t worth preserving.

    All in all, it would seem that Karaganov’s mindset is a self-fulfilling prophesy, and that Putin’s efforts to preserve Russia may be hastening its demise.

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