Saturday: Hili dialogue

July 30, 2022 • 6:30 am

Greetings on Cat Shabbos: it’s Saturdy, July 30, 2022, the penultimate day of the month, and a fine holiday: National Cheesecake Day. Plain or with cherries are the only two rational choices.  In my view, the best commercial ones come from Junior’s in NYC.

You can order the online, though they ain’t cheap, but they come perfectly packed in a cooler, on time, and can be frozen.  My mom used to send me one on Thanksgiving, but she’s gone now, so very rarely I order one for myself.

I’m still sad because of the death of one of our juvenile mallards yesterday, so posting may be light today. I do my best.

It’s also World Snorkeling Day, Paperback Book Day, and International Day of Friendship. 

Stuff that happened on July 30 include:

Here’s the New Town Hall, where the First (of three) defenestrations took place:

  • 1619 – In Jamestown, Virginia, the first Colonial European representative assembly in the Americas, the Virginia General Assembly, convenes for the first time.
  • 1859 – First ascent of Grand Combin, one of the highest summits in the Alps.

The Combin de Grafeneire is 4,314 m (14,154 ft) and was first climbed via the SW face. This is the view from the south:

Here’s what the crater looked like in 1865. The explosion stunned and then killed many Confederate soldiers, but the Union botched it when their soldiers charged down into the crater, and then, because it was too deep, were picked off by the Confederates from above. The explosion was a good idea, but in the end the plan failed.

Here’s a short summary of the action in that match; Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2.  Click “Watch on YouTube” to see a 3-minute video.

I love this cartoon;  do have a look:

  • 1956 – A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S. national motto.

It replaced the previous national motto, “E Pluribus Unum” (“out of many, one”), which was a far better motto. Ike changed it because, during the Cold War, he wanted something to show that the U.S. was a god-fearing country.

  • 1962 – The Trans-Canada Highway, the then longest national highway in the world, is officially opened.

There are several parallel roads now that can be called the “Trans-Canada Highway”, but the one most people refer to is the southern road on this map, terminating in Vancouver. I’d love to travel this road.

The final score: 4-2 favoring England. Here’s a short video of the championship game. As always, FIFA demands that you click “Watch on YouTube”. Note that the cup is presented by Queen Elizabeth:

  • 1974 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Richard Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • 1975 – Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He is never seen or heard from again.

Nobody knows what happened to Hoffa, and nobody’s ever been charged. Here’s a speculative scene from “The Irishman” in which Frank Sheeran, Hoffa’s friend, has to kill him on orders of the mob. Nobody doubts that Hoffa was somehow “disposed of” by the mob, but this scene appears to be largely fictional.

Hoffa is played by Al Pacino, Sheeran (the Irishman) by Robert deNiro:

Here’s an interview with the real Hoffa, who was head of the Teamsters Union and had close connections with the mob. Hoffa disappeared at age 62.

Da Nooz:

*Nellie Bowles has her usual and eminently readable summary of the week’s news: “TGIF: Debunked! Edition“, a Friday feature on Bari Weiss’s Substack column. Here are three of Bowles’s takes:

→ Washington Post with a smart idea: “How to stop gun violence? End poverty and racism.” That’s a real headline this week.

→ England closes its pediatric gender clinic: In another win against terrible science: the Tavistock Centre, England’s top gender-transition clinic for children, is closing. This is the result of long, hard campaigning by people who risked (and sometimes lost) their jobs, their privacy, and their reputations. The closure is thanks in part to a damning report that found that children coming in with gender dysphoria were fast-tracked to medical interventions. The clinic saw a surge in young women and autistic children coming in expressing gender dysphoria. Clinicians were scared to push for a more restrained approach.

A lot of harm was done to children at that clinic, and it’s a very positive sign that it’s finally closing. This same week, Allison Bailey, an English barrister, won 22,000 pounds in her discrimination case against her former employer after the tribunal agreed she had indeed been punished by her workplace for being skeptical of the new gender politics.

Meanwhile America is going full-steam ahead with medically transitioning children. How could drug companies pass up this opportunity to have such a large and life-long new market of customers? And talking about it is getting harder and harder here. The Associated Press this week released an updated stylebook recommending reporters no longer use the phrase “biological male” or “biological female,” nor differentiate a trans woman from a natal woman in any way. As the stylebook says, it’s all just for clarity: “Phrasing like is a woman is more to the point than identifies as a woman.”

*WaPo reports suspiciously missing text messages from the phones of Trump’s two top Homeland Security advisers, all around January 6 of last year. The excuse is that the official government phones were “reset”, but there’s no explanation for why the records weren’t preserved—as they should be:

Text messages for President Donald Trump’s acting homeland security secretary Chad Wolf and acting deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli are missing for a key period leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to four people briefed on the matter and internal emails.

This discovery of missing records for the senior-most Homeland Security officials, which has not been previously reported, increases the volume of potential evidence that has vanished regarding the time around the Capitol attack.

It comes as both congressional and criminal investigators at the Justice Department seek to piece together an effort by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the election, which culminated in a pro-Trump rally that became a violent riot in the halls of Congress.

The Department of Homeland Security notified the agency’s inspector general in late February that Wolf’s and Cuccinelli’s texts were lost in a “reset” of their government phones when they left their jobs in January 2021 in preparation for the new Biden administration, according to an internal record obtained by the Project on Government Oversight and shared with The Washington Post.

The office of the department’s undersecretary of management also told the government watchdog that the text messages for its boss, Undersecretary Randolph “Tex” Alles, the former Secret Service director, were also no longer available due to a previously planned phone reset.

The Office of Inspector General Joseph V. Cuffari did not press the department leadership at that time to explain why they did not preserve these records, nor seek ways to recover the lost data, according to the four people briefed on the watchdog’s actions. Cuffari also failed to alert Congress to the potential destruction of government records.

And, as you recall, the texts of Secret Service agents who were privy to the Jan. 6 shenanigans are also missing, and may not be recoverable. “Reset” my tuchas! These are government phones and the data are the property of the government–and in this case of historical and legal value.

*There’s been an ongoing kerfuffle between the Dutch and Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man, who’s having the world’s most expensive sailing yacht ($500 million) built for him in Rotterdam. To get the damn thing, with its tall mast, through the canal from shipyard to the sea, Bezos’s people asked the Dutch to remove the middle span from an unused railroad bridge, saying that they’d pay the cost of removal and replacement.

In sum, the operation would have been fast, free and disrupted nothing. So why the fuss?

“There’s a principle at stake,” said Mr. Lewis, a tall, bearded 37-year-old who was leaning against his bike and toggling during an interview between wry humor and indignation. He then framed the principle with a series of questions. “What can you buy if you have unlimited cash? Can you bend every rule? Can you take apart monuments?”

In late June, the city’s vice mayor reported that Oceanco had withdrawn its request to dismantle the Hef, a retreat that was portrayed as a victory of the masses over a billionaire, though it was much more than that. It was an opportunity to see Dutch and American values in a fiery, head-on collision. The more you know about the Netherlands — with its preference for modesty over extravagance, for the community over the individual, for fitting in rather than standing out — the more it seems as though this kerfuffle was scripted by someone whose goal was to drive people here out of their minds.

That request was a no-go for the Dutch, who resent Bezos’s wealth earned on the back of poorly paid Amazon workers.

. . . “The Dutch like to say, ‘Acting normal is crazy enough,’” said Ellen Verkoelen, a City Council member and Rotterdam leader of the 50Plus Party, which works on behalf of pensioners. “And we think that rich people are not acting normal. Here in Holland, we don’t believe that everybody can be rich the way people do in America, where the sky is the limit. We think ‘Be average.’ That’s good enough.”

.  . .Building the earth’s biggest sailing yacht and taking apart a city’s beloved landmark? That’s the devil’s all-you-can-eat buffet.

The streak of austerity in Dutch culture can be traced to Calvinism, say residents, the most popular religious branch of Protestantism here for hundreds of years. It emphasizes virtues like self-discipline, frugality and conscientiousness. Polls suggest that most people in the Netherlands today are not churchgoers, but the norms are embedded, as evidenced by Dutch attitudes toward wealth.

What will happen to Bezos’s Big Boat? We don’t know:

It’s unclear how the yacht, now known as Y721, will be completed. In February, the City Council’s municipality liaison, Marcel Walravens, was quoted in the media saying that it was impractical to float the mast-less yacht to another location and finish it there.

Here’s the bridge, the “Hef,” whose middle span Bezos wanted temporarily removed.

Credit…Ilvy Njiokiktjien for The New York Times

*The Washington Post has a ranked list of Democratic candidates for President in 2024 if Biden doesn’t run: “Let’s say Biden isn’t the nominee. Here’s who runs—and wins.”

This week, each columnist on the Ranking Committee voted for the politicians they thought most likely to win the Democratic nomination. I tallied the votes to find the nine likeliest nominees. Then the columnists peppered the resulting list with their commentary.

Mind you, our rankers ruled not one month ago that Biden probably will run. But why should that stop a pundit from having a little fun? Read on!

These are the ones deemed most likely to run if Joe doesn’t, and the most likely are the ones at the top. The columnists comment on each one, but I have room only for Harris (Below). But AOC? No way!

  1. Vice President Harris
  2. Pete Buttigieg
  3. Gov. Gavin Newsom (Calif.)
  4. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Mich.)
  5. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)
  6. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.)
  7. Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (Ga.)
  8. Sen. Cory Booker* (N.J.)
  9. Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
  10. The others

One opinion on Harris (there are three):

The best argument for Biden to run again is that Harris will be the likely Democratic nominee if he doesn’t. Even if her lame-duck boss didn’t endorse her, the nomination would be Harris’s to lose, assuming she could lock down Black support. But Harris has shown herself more than capable of blowing it: Her 2020 bid was a debacle, she churns through staff faster and harder than anyone in politics, she speaks in word salad, and she’s failed at most of the tasks she’s been assigned as vice president. — James Hohmann

Early in the Democratic primary for 2020, I considered Harris to be Donald Trump’s toughest potential opponent. But her impressive performances in early debates and at Judiciary Committee hearings for Trump’s Supreme Court nominees were apparently due to effective coaching by a solid staff. Since becoming vice president, Harris’s lack of gravitas and slapdash preparation have become painfully obvious. Her current office gives her an entree into the presidential discussion, but the conversation won’t last long. — Gary Abernathy

My current fave is Mayor Pete, and a lot of the columnists like him, putting Harris as #1 only because she’s the VP:

Nobody is smarter, nobody is better in a debate. The deficiencies that hampered Buttigieg in 2020 — he was so young, he had never run anything bigger than a small Midwestern city — are taken care of. And he is a member of a persecuted minority who can inspire the base but who also has the Obama-like ability to come across to the majority as non-angry and nonthreatening. — Eugene Robinson

*Do you want to see a column by someone who has nothing to say? This phoned in piece of self-help baloney is by David Brooks, titled “How to find out who you are?” The lame answer is that we’re all a palimpsest of people we tried to copy, and then out of those influences miraculously emerges a “self”. (Brooks compares this to the Beatles, who began copying blues and miraculously developed their own voice.) What Brooks neglects is to discuss how one’s “own voice” develops.

Gradually, out of these interactions a self emerges. This is the hardest phase. You can pile up myriad influences. You can pile up performances. But eventually it all has to cohere into a distinct way of perceiving the world, a distinct way of expressing yourself in the world.

Now that’s wisdom!

*In view of yesterday being International Tiger Day, Greg asked me to convey this good news from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN):

Happy International Tiger Day!

We are very excited to announce that there has been a 40% increase of tigers in the wild according to the latest IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM assessment.

As many of you might know, IUCN’s Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP) contributes to a worldwide effort that aims to double tiger numbers in the wild by 2022. In fact, ITHCP was created in response to the Global Tiger Summit in 2010, where this ambitious goal was set.

While tigers remain Endangered on the IUCN Red List, this upward trend indicates that projects such as the ITHCP are successful, and species recovery is possible as long as conservation efforts continue.

And a photo of a melanistic tiger sent by Matthew in honor of yesterday. Look how dark it is!

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Andrzej talk seriously. Malgorzata explains:

There is so much talk now about people’s “identity”, “feeling as…”, etc. that it reminded Hili about Marxist idea of false class consciousness (very, very popular at the time). Andrzej answers that now it’s more egalitarian, meaning that it can be about any member of any minority who does not support the far-Left’s ideas of what his/her opinion should  be.

Hili: Once upon a time people had false class consciousness.
A: And now false consciousness is more egalitarian.
In Polish:
Hili: Ludzie dawniej mieli fałszywą świadomość klasową.
Ja: Teraz fałszywa świadomość jest bardziej egalitarna.
And a photo of Kulka and Szaron from Paulina (there’s no caption, but the caption is obvious!):


From America’s Cultural Decline Into Idiocy on FB:

From The Cat House on the Kings:

A protective kitty from Jesus of the Day:

The Tweet of God:

One I found:

Two from Simon. First, a blooper:

And tips for academics from Oded Rechavi:

From the Auschwitz Memorial, a priest who lasted six weeks:

Tweets from Matthew. First, Freya is still sinking boats in Norway. They have to get her back to Svalbard!

Two gals out on the town:

A 4,500 year old boat:

I wonder if this artist ever saw a walrus?

42 thoughts on “Saturday: Hili dialogue

  1. This Bezos story seems weirdly reported to me. Unless someone has screwed up the contracts big time, it is surely the ship builder who needs the bridge span removed in order to deliver the boat, not Bezos. And surely they’d have sorted that with the city authorities before starting?

    1. I think they did sort it out with the authorities before starting. The authorities OK’d it and then people started objecting because they don’t like it when other people are rich.

      1. They (or most of them) don’t object to anyone being rich, they object to someone getting rich due in large part to highly exploitative work practices, for which Amazon is notorious, as well as tax evasion and/or “minimization”. (For the latter, the countries in which it operates are often just as responsible as Amazon, or almost.)

    2. It seems the builder OceanCo did not file a formal application to Rotterdam City Council to have the middle part of the Hef removed, It seems there were talks about the possibilities for unscrewing it and putting it together again (it rather looks like a Meccano bridge), but nothing was settled when it became news that “Bezos yacht is more important than a city landmark”. Then the objections started, against the superrich and Bezos in particular.
      This is not the only super-yacht that made the news. Another superyacht had trouble with another bridge when the river was high, January this year. Super-yachts are fun when coming through:

      1. The (reliable) Dutch newspaper “Trouw” reported last month that this formal application wasn’t filed because they fear vandalism after the social media storm. Oceanco send a letter to the local authorities that they feel threatened and will not file an application to remove the middle part of the bridge and are now (probably) looking for building this yacht at another place (some parts of this letter were blacked out). The newspaper also mentioned that it is an official policy, max twice a year, to remove the middle part of the bridge to let big boats pass to facilitate yacht-builders (there are more than one).

  2. A couple of meditations as a result of reading about the Dutch v. Bezos kerfuffle:
    • The morality of a rich person using his money to build a huge, luxurious toy while there are people starving all over the world. Cf. Peter Singer’s charity:
    • An old saw that I live by: “Enough is as good as a feast.”

    1. I think there is a simple solution (knowing nothing about modern boat construction or Bezo’s yacht in particular): put the damn mast on after it passes the bridge.

      1. I was thinking the same thing. Like you, though, I know nothing about boat construction or Bezo’s yacht. Perhaps it’s a docking concern…

      2. We are both a couple no-nothings, but a mast (I think) is integrated deep into the core structure of the ship. But why not have a mast in two pieces, with the bottom part designed to be short enough to clear the bridge.

        1. But kudos to the Dutch, standing up to Bezos, who made his fortune by exploiting his employees.

  3. There was an interesting poll this week in New Hampshire on Democratic Presidential candidate preference. The first thing that struck me is how fragmented the field is, and how little support there was even for the leader. (I also giggled at Hillary, whom we keep hearing is considering running again, being way down at 3%.) I don’t know why anyone would assume that Harris’s being VP gives her an edge. Even the piece quoted above says that in one breath, and in the next says that she had nothing but problems. As for Secretary Buttigieg, he’s going to have to start distancing himself from the administration’s policies if he wants any hope of getting support from anyone but party loyalists. Neither he nor Harris have proven to be strong candidates, even before Biden. As for Newsom the California Nightmare will be his albatross. Of course, except for Trump and DeSantis, the Republican bench is very weak, too. It will be interesting to watch.

    1. Trump and DeSantis constitute a strong Republican bench?

      DeSantis is a charisma-free panderer who bullied school kids for not wearing masks during the covid pandemic, bullies librarians, and bullies drag queens. In 2018 he ran the single-most sycophantic, cringe-inducing tv political ad in the history of television, politics, or advertising.

      And Trump is, well, Trump — a candidate who in two runs for the presidency failed to get as high a percentage of the popular vote at Mitt freakin’ Romney. He’s also at least even money to be wearing prison stripes by the time the 2024 election rolls around.

      1. “DeSantis is a charisma-free panderer who bullied school kids for not wearing masks during the covid pandemic, bullies librarians, and bullies drag queens. In 2018 he ran the single-most sycophantic, cringe-inducing tv political ad in the history of television, politics, or advertising.”
        That is exactly why he is a strong Republican candidate, I’d say.
        And I’d love to see Trump in an orange jump suit, but I fear that won’t happen, even as deserving he is of that distinction.

        1. That is exactly why he [DeSantis] is a strong Republican candidate …

          Yes, I agree, Nicky. But it is also exactly why DeSantis would be a weak general-election candidate.

            1. He did, as shown in the linked video. The “not” was a typo on my part. I changed it from “for not taking off” to “wearing,” but failed to edit out the “not.”

    2. I like Katie Porter. A lot. But it’s a tough leap straight from the House of Representatives to the White House. Of the US’s 46 presidents, only one has done it, James A. Garfield in 1880.

  4. Alas, the USA is not ready to elect a gay president so Mayor Pete likely does not stand a chance. Congresswoman Katie Porter could be a rising contender, she is razor sharp and skewers those who try to obfuscate during congressional hearings.

    1. Not so much the USA as a recalcitrant religious segment of the Democratic Party’s core constituency, the only identifiable group in the party that votes >90% for them, even more than women with college degrees. If they stay home on Election Day, it’s hard to see how the Coalition can survive.

      P.S. This group isn’t keen on abortion, either.

        1. Black Americans. Their distaste for homosexuality was reported sotto voce during Buttigieg’s primary run in 2020. It was countered by anguished commentary that this was a racist smear…..which confirmed for me that it must be true. Nominating Buttigieg would be a special affront because it would mean repudiating a sitting Vice-President who styles herself as Black (assuming she runs–I don’t know how she polls among Black voters. If they aren’t enthusiastic about her, nominating Buttigieg might not be much worse for turnout.)

          It might be true that Republicans would be even less likely to vote for a gay candidate but they don’t matter because they aren’t going to vote for a Democrat anyway.

          1. I thought so and I think you are right. We’re not dealing in racist smears, but in facts (or near facts)
            As much as I like Buttigieg, he is not a viable candidate for exactly that reason: his homosexuality, sad as that is (not his homosexuality, but the fact -well, reasonable expectation- it makes him ineligible).
            I still think the Democrats’ best chances are with the comedian.

    2. … the USA is not ready to elect a gay president so Mayor Pete likely does not stand a chance.

      The people who wouldn’t vote for a gay candidate wouldn’t for a Democrat anyway. I think that registered Democrats, most Independents, and even some moderate Republicans (to the extent that subspecies hasn’t gone extinct) would be willing to vote for a gay presidential candidate. It’s only hardcore right-wing Republicans that would refuse to vote for such a candidate. (Consider that even in this the 22nd year of the 21st century, there has yet to be a congressional Republican — House or Senate — who has willingly come out of the closet. The gay Republicans who have served in congress have all been outed — either by their own conduct, such as getting busted in a public restroom on a morals rap or for sending salacious text messages to underage male pages, or by gay advocacy groups after compiling egregiously anti-gay voting records, such as supporting the Defense of Marriage Act.)

      I think the USA is ready to get over the “the USA is not ready to elect a ______ president” trope.

      1. I think Lesley MacMillan pointed a out the problem above. Black Americans -overwhelmingly Democrat- won’t support a gay guy.
        That is something the Democrats have to deal with.
        They might support a serious comedian though.

        1. I think Secretary “Mayor Pete” could overcome any such perceived problem by balancing the ticket with a high-profile black VP candidate — say, a Cory Booker or a Val Demings or a Bennie Thompson.

          1. I would be thrilled with any of the above. I wonder why there’s no talk of jamie Ruskin?Maybe he wouldn’t be interested.

            1. I think Ken’s point is there has to be a Black person on the ticket as reparations for nominating a homosexual.

              Tough job being a vice-president. The person selected seems to expect to claim the nomination by right when the president steps down, yet eight years is a long time to spend accomplishing nothing that would make you look impressive….and then still probably not ever become President anyway. Before Biden, the only former Veeps to win election from outside the White House in the 20th Century were Nixon and GHW Bush, and Nixon had to wait 8 more years for a second try.

              In academic hierarchies, when a leadership position becomes open, you identify the one person whom everyone agrees would be a total embarrassment if he were to apply, and offer him the position of acting- or interim- Chair or Dean or whatever, and put him on the search committee. That’s to make absolutely sure he gets the message that he’s not in the running. Is that really what the nominee is saying when he asks someone to be his running mate? I can see why ambitious, capable people wouldn’t be interested.

              1. I think “reparations” is a needlessly pejorative misnomer in this instance, Leslie. There is a long history in this nation of so-called “ticket balancing” by both parties. In the past, it’s been done primarily for geographical or ideological reasons (see, e.g. Kennedy-Johnson, Johnson-Humphrey, Nixon-Agnew, Reagan-Bush, Obama-Biden, and Trump-Pence).

                It’s only in the last 35 years of this constitutional Republic’s 234-year history that women and minorities have been given consideration for a spot on the ticket. And, to date, there’ve been but three women and two (half-) black candidates nominated for one or the other of the two spots. I see nothing more inherently demeaning about balancing a ticket for race, sex, or sexual preference than for geographical or ideological reasons.

                A vice-presidential nomination tends to raise that candidate’s political profile and, depending upon the success of the person at the top of the ticket, can make the VP candidate an heir-apparent of sorts for the next presidential nomination. (In addition to presidents Nixon, Johnson, GHW Bush, and Biden all being former VPs, Jimmy Carter’s VP Walter Mondale was the 1984 Democratic candidate; Gerald Ford’s 1976 running-mate Bob Dole was the 1996 GOP presidential candidate; and Clinton’s VP Al Gore won the 2000 popular vote and came within one Supreme Court justice’s vote of winning the presidency.)

                But in terms of job duties, the VP’s are negligible. As Franklin Roosevelt’s first running-mate — John Nance Garner, who’d given up the Speakership of the House of Representatives for the bottom half of the 1932 ticket — put it in his inimitably salty style, “the vice-presidency isn’t worth a bucket of warm piss.”

    3. I reasonably assume that her congressional colleagues are no less subject to her razor-sharp skewerings.

  5. Last year on WEIT PCC(E) posted an article (Quilette) about the woketopia that is the U. Cape Town in Sth Africa. The professor there has written a book about it and he appeared on a podcast recently talking about the decline of that university. Actually the professor is more famous for advocating the philosophy of not having children – he pretty much lives in hiding these days.

    The pic isn’t the guest professor, David Benatar, but rather Ricardo, the (excellent) podcaster.
    I found it interesting, culture war wise.

    *me, and dog

    1. Thank you for that.
      That podcast is very true, kudos to Benatar. Very much to the point
      I’m only slightly less pessimistic than he is.

  6. I thought I had read that Bezos’s yacht HAD sailed through. He had paid for the central span to be removed temporarily.

  7. Jerry if you ever do drive the TCH take the northern route Saskatoon-Edmonton-Jasper-Prince Rupert. Better mountains imho.

      1. The official end on the west coast is in Victoria BC, not Vancouver. The ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay and the highway into Victoria is all part of the number one. There is a bronze plaque commemorating the end of the highway near the ocean in Victoria.

        1. Haven’t been to Victoria; only lovely Tofino.
          In beautiful Salmon Arm, BC, at the moment and drive the TCH every day between my hotel and my son’s 10 acres in Tappen. Amazing how TCH can have stoplights and almost constant construction😬

    1. To avoid surprise among American visitors, I warn that most of the Trans-Canada Highway resembles in construction standards the old, now largely vanished U.S. Route 66. Wiki says, correctly I think, that only 15% of it has been upgraded to American Interstate Highway standards, mostly in provinces accustomed to receiving lavish federal funding for make-work infrastructure projects. Much of the remainder is two lanes on a single carriage way with intersections at grade. It forms Main Street in many small towns and even larger cities. The provinces prioritize their highway budgets to the needs of the local population which mostly do not need the TCH to be a freeway.

      If you were driving a transport truck or just trying to get from Toronto to Vancouver in good time, you would cross into the United States in Michigan to take advantage of better roads, less chance of head-on or T-bone collisions, better grades and fewer tight curves especially in winter, cheaper fuel, less congestion in towns, higher speed limits, and shorter distance. I can’t imagine driving all the way across Canada, although I know a half-dozen cyclists who have. Takes most all summer.

      Remember also that the mountains in Canada are all squashed into British Columbia and the western edge of Alberta. The most efficient tour would be to fly to Calgary, rent a car and work out a loop that visits as much of the Western Cordillera as you have time for. Don’t omit the Kootenays. Expect to be surprised by how expensive lodging, meals, and gasoline will be.

      1. I’vs driven all the way across and back several times and it’s great fun if you stop and hike along the way. saskatchewan and
        Manitoba not as much fun.

  8. The framing of the bridge as an “unused railroad bridge” is interesting. Others view it a a recently renovated registered historical monument, which the municipality of Rotterdam had previously assured the Rotterdam Historical Society that would not be subject to tampering or disassembly.

    I have been involved in moving ships around in ways that have required complicated planning and often in ways that require the interruption of the commerce or travel of others. Even though dismantling of historical monuments has not been involved, one constant was that permitting and detailed planning was always carried out well before the event was to take place.

    I have no doubt whatever that the yard has been fully aware of the depth of water and clearance heights between their facility and the open sea. Either the yard management misrepresented the difficulty to Bezos, or his people had the hubris to assume that they had the money and influence to push aside any potential objections by the Rotterdam Historical Society or other little people.

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