Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

September 27, 2022 • 6:30 am

Welcome to the Cruelest Day of the Week: Tuesday, September 27, 2022. It’s National Chocolate Milk Day, the only kind of milk I’d have at lunch in junior high (it cost 2¢ per half-pint carton).

It’s also National Corned Beef Hash Day, Ancestor Appreciation Day, National Day of ForgivenessNational Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and World Tourism Day.

Although there’s nothing on Google about today being its birthday, Matthew has a tip about a google search. Do it!:

 

Stuff that happened on September 27 include:

Here’s an embroidery of William and his siblings from the famous Bayeux Tapestry. The caption: “Image from the Bayeux Tapestry showing William with his half-brothers. William is in the centre, Odo is on the left with empty hands, and Robert is on the right with a sword in his hand.”

  • 1590 – The death of Pope Urban VII, 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, ends the shortest papal reign in history.

The Pope died of malaria.

The model T (one shown below) was made at the plant for 15 months until its popularity forced production to a larger plant. Here’s one of the originals in great condition. The Wikipedia caption is this:

Ford Model T Touring serial number 220, built in December 1908 as part of the 1909 model year, on display in the Ford Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, Michigan, where it was originally built. This is the second-oldest Model T known to still exist (Serial number 90 is owned by a private collector in Surrey British Columbia Canada. Which is the earliest known Restored two pedal two lever.). It is one of a very small number of surviving Model Ts to have the original two-pedal, two-lever transmission, along with the early water-pump-equipped engine. Ford switched to the Model T’s standard three-pedal, one-lever transmission after the first 800 cars or so. This car also lacks the Touring model’s optional windshield.

It cost $825, which is the equivalent of $24,881 in 2021.

  • 1940 – World War II: The Tripartite Pact is signed in Berlin by Germany, Japan and Italy.

The Japanese version of this military alliance is shown below, signed by Joachim von RibbentropGaleazzo Ciano and Saburō Kurusu.

  • 1949 – Zeng Liansong‘s design is chosen as the flag of the People’s Republic of China.
  • 1962 – Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring is published, inspiring an environmental movement and the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

A signed first edition of this classic will run you $4,687.50. You can knock off $2,200 to get an unsigned one.

The protests were because the execution (of two Basque separatists, shot by a firing squad) took place under the autocratic rule of Franco, who had overthrown a democratic government. Franco died two months after the executions, and, according to the latest reports, is still dead.

  • 1998 – The Google internet search engine retroactively claims this date as its birthday.

Da Nooz:

*Edward Snowden, a fugitive from America after being charged with violations of the Espionage Act, has been granted Russian citizenship (along with others) in a new decree from Putin. Snowden, 39, leaked dozens of National Security Agency documents to the press revealing a variety of surveillance programs throughout the world, some by foreign governments.

After giving hundreds of highly classified N.S.A. documents to The Guardian and The Washington Post in 2013, Mr. Snowden had planned to seek asylum in Ecuador, and set out from Hong Kong to reach South America. But as the U.S. authorities sought to reach him, he became stranded on a layover in the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.

After 40 days, he was allowed to leave the transit zone, and he has remained in Russia for the nine years since.

. . . Mr. Snowden has said he has not cooperated with Russian intelligence services while in Moscow, and that he hopes to someday return to the United States.

. . .In 2020, after he received permanent residency in Russia, Mr. Snowden wrote on Twitter that he and his wife would “remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love — including the freedom to speak his mind.”

He added, “And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited.”

That will happen only when pigs fly!  Finally, there’s this:

According to RIA Novosti, a Russian state-owned news agency, Mr. Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said that his client would not be eligible for the “partial mobilization” that Mr. Putin declared last week to bolster his country’s forces in the war in Ukraine. Mr. Kucherena said that Mr. Snowden was ineligible for the draft because he had no experience in the Russian Army.

But Snowden is within the age limits for the draft and although he’s not a reservist and thus ineligible for the recent mobilization, he would be in a general mobilization. If he fights for Russia against the Ukraine, whatever chance he’d have for returning to the U.S. would be gone completely.

*Both the NYT and the Washington Post had as their headlines yesterday afternoon the Congressional Budget Office conclusion that Biden’s promise to forgive student loan debt will cost a cool $400 billion. the CBO is a nonpartisan agency. From the WaPo:

The [CBO] also found that the White House’s plan to temporarily extend an existing pause on student loan payments would cost roughly $20 billion.

The new estimate will add new fuel to the debate over President Biden’s student debt decision, which was cheered by advocates but immediately assailed by Republican lawmakers as a wasteful and inefficient use of government money. Biden announced in August that his administration would cancel up to $20,000 in student debt for lower- and middle-class borrowers.

Supporters of student debt cancellation have argued that similar estimates in the past have overstated the policy’s cost to the federal government, because despite formally owing the federal government money many borrowers never pay back the loans.

I’m not sure how this leads to overestimates, because the government is still out the money for a loan that isn’t repaid. But this estimate is an underestimate:

The Congressional Budget Office’s estimate excludes the White House’s simultaneous move to lower the monthly amount borrowers can be forced to repay as a percentage of their income from 10 percent to 5 percent. That policy is set to cost an additional $120 billion, according to estimates from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a D.C.-based think tank that has opposed Biden’s policy.

Total dosh: $520 billion, roughly $3,500 per American taxpayer.

“The president announced possibly the most expensive executive action in history without a score, and we’re now seeing just how expensive this policy is going to be,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president for policy with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, in an interview before the score’s release.

Well, there are conflicts about how to count the cost, but there’s no doubt that it will be HUGE. Advocates dispute the CBO figures:

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who led the charge on the debt forgiveness policy, released a joint statement taking issue with the assumptions underlying the CBO analysis.

I’m on the fence about this one; I sympathize with the plight of the impecunious who have trouble paying the money back, but on the other hand it seems unfair to those who did pay what they owed, and when you take out a loan, you’re supposed to repay it. I reserve judgement until I read further

*More trouble in Russia: a Russian military recruiting officer in the Siberian city of  in the Siberian city of Ust-Ilimsk was shot, but apparently not killed, by a protestor, as other recruiting offices in Russia have been torched and 2,000 protestors arrested:

In the attack in the Siberian city of Ust-Ilimsk, 25-year-old resident Ruslan Zinin walked into the enlistment office saying “no one will go to fight” and “we will all go home now,” according to local media.

Zinin was arrested and officials vowed tough punishment. Authorities said the military commandant was in intensive care. A witness quoted by a local news site said Zinin was in a roomful of people called up to fight and troops from his region were heading to military bases on Tuesday.

Protests also flared up in Dagestan, one of Russia’s poorer regions in the North Caucasus. Local media reported that “several hundred” demonstrators took to the streets Tuesday in its capital, Makhachkala. Videos circulated online showing dozens of protesters tussling with the police sent to disperse them.

. . . Demonstrations also continued in another of Russia’s North Caucasus republics, Kabardino-Balkaria, where videos on social media showed a local official attempting to address a crowd of women.

Meanwhile, the phony referendums Russia is holding in parts of Ukraine that they control will be over today, and people fear that once these faux elections are over (the vote will be for takeover of course), Russia will begin resorting to tactical nuclear weapons.

The voting, in which residents are asked whether they want their regions to become part of Russia, began last week and ends Tuesday, under conditions that are anything but free or fair. Tens of thousands of residents had already fled the regions amid months of fighting, and images shared by those who remained showed armed Russian troops going door-to-door to pressure Ukrainians into voting.

“Every night and day there is inevitable shelling in the Donbas, under the roar of which people are forced to vote for Russian ‘peace,’” Donetsk regional governor Pavlo Kirilenko said Monday.

Russia is widely expected to declare the results in its favor, a step that could see Moscow annex the four regions and then defend them as its own territory.

*Okay, this has me puzzled. The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Chess Champion has accused a young American grandmaster of cheating. At chess!:

World champion Magnus Carlsen on Monday broke his silence on the scandal that has shaken the chess world, explicitly accusing 19-year-old American grandmaster Hans Moke Niemann of cheating for the first time since their controversial meeting at the Sinquefield Cup this month.

In a statement posted to his social media accounts, Carlsen cited Niemann’s unusual progress through the chess ranks and his surprisingly relaxed behavior when they played in St. Louis.

“I believe that Niemann has cheated more—and more recently—than he has publicly admitted,” Carlsen wrote. “His over the board progress has been unusual, and throughout our game in the Sinquefield Cup I had the impression that he wasn’t tense or even fully concentrating on the game in critical positions, while outplaying as black in a way I think only a handful of players can do.”

But how can you cheat at in-person chess? Granted, Niemann admitted cheating in online chess, and I guess in that case you can rely on a chess program.

Niemann didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on Carlsen’s statement. He had earlier denied any allegations of impropriety in over-the-board chess, though he confessed to cheating on two occasions in online games. Niemann chalked those up as youthful errors, but Chess.com saw fit to ban him from the platform.

This may be one way:

The controversy first exploded at the Sinquefield Cup, a tournament where Niemann beat Carlsen—to which the Norwegian responded by abruptly withdrawing from the event entirely. It was an unprecedented decision by Carlsen, and it quickly ignited breathless speculation that gripped the highest level of the game. Theories on how a player might attempt to cheat—and get away with it—soon raised talk of hidden transmitters and far-flung accomplices operating widely-accessible chess software.

But still. . . . Anyway, for chess mavens, there’s more scandal described in the article.

*Finally, Andres Valencia, a ten-year-old boy in San Diego, is becoming a highly collectable artist, with paintings going for up to $125,000.

In the last year, he has gone from a relative unknown to a bona fide art phenomenon. His surrealist-style paintings were acquired by deep-pocketed collectors like Tommy Mottola and Jessica Goldman Srebnick during Art Basel Miami Beach. In June, he had a solo exhibition at the Chase Contemporary gallery in SoHo, where all 35 works were sold, the gallery said, fetching $50,000 to $125,000.

One of his paintings went for $159,000 (with fees) at a Phillips de Pury auction in Hong Kong, and another hit $230,000 at a charity gala in Capri, Italy.

. . .They briefly enlisted the services of Nadine Johnson, a veteran publicist in New York, and now work with Sam Morris, a theater and arts publicist. Articles oohing and aahing over the baby-faced artist have appeared in The Miami HeraldThe New York PostForbes and The Times of London. ABC’s “World News Tonight” did a segment on him.

Their son’s high earnings are an opportunity to teach him “how to give back,” his mother said. A portion of proceeds from their son’s sales, which the Valencias said “so far is over $300,000,” have been donated to the AIDS charity group amfAR and the children’s charity Box of Hope.

The kid is already a millionaire at 10! Well, more power to him. The thing is, the NYT article shows only a portion of one of his works, so I can’t get a good idea about his work. And of course, I’m a complete washout at judging whether contempoarary art is considered “good”: much of it I see as almost fraudulent, but maybe the critics know better.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Kulka’s outside the kitchen window and sees Hili eating:

Kulka: What are you eating?
Hili: Just what you see.
In Polish:
Kulka: Co jesz?
Hili: To na co patrzysz.

And a statement from Mietek in Wroclawek:

Mietek: Fall is right around the corner.

In Polish: Jesień nadciąga.

***************

From Stephen (I hate the stuff anyway):

From Jesus of the Day:

Also from Jesus of the Day. According to Atlas Obscura, this is true.

God is rather salacious today:

From Masih, another women removed her hijab and confronts the police—with the expected consequences:

From Malcolm. Do you think the bear was really rescuing the crow? I hope the bir was okay!

 

From the Auschwitz Memorial:

Tweets from Matthew. First, a lovely short video of an area I know well:

 

This is a superb thread. Matthew says the first one is what he looks like when he takes a selfie:

I’ve seen these chicks on East Falkland, but they didn’t follow me:

I just hope these sheep found their proper owner:

43 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue (and Mietek monologue)

  1. Top-level chess games are usually broadcast live on the internet, so an accomplice can use a computer to know the best next move. The tricky bit is then feeding that to the player (such as by a hidden electronic device). Counter-measures include scanning the players for devices, and introducing a delay into the broadcast.

    1. According to the Beeb:

      The teenager [Hans Niemann]
      has admitted cheating online twice, when he was 12 and 16, but has strenuously denied ever cheating over the board, and even said he was willing to play nude to prove his good faith.

      I guess it could help him with working out mating positions…

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-63043023

      1. Honestly, anybody who cheated at 12 and 16 online and has openly admitted to it is not very suspicious to me. Those are extremely immature ages. Hell, my uncle, who’s in his mid-60s, still cheats at Words with Friends.

        I honestly don’t hold cheating online at 12 and 16 against someone.

  2. > National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

    I’m a queer male. This was one of the first incursions of what I consider to be today’s exclusive PC culture that I noticed a few decades ago. HIV/AIDS awareness is for everyone, not just gay men. HIV/AIDS also affects bisexual, heterosexual, and asexual men, as well as women and children – and others. While I supported the cause of HIV/AIDS awareness back in the 1990s (as I still do today), I spoke out against the exclusionary tendency of gay-men-only AIDS events. It didn’t go over well

    I’m glad that we have a World AIDS Day on December First, one that does not exclude or discriminate against any humans. I wouldn’t mind eventually repurposing it into World Pandemic Day, a day to remember everyone whose (admittedly inevitable) deaths happened to be pandemic-related.

    1. I completely agree about taking the stigma away and creating awareness that this is a disease that affects people from all walks of life! The idea of a “gay plague” was horrifying and used as a cudgel hy the religious, while also being perpetrated by the media.

      I’m personally heterosexual (we can talk about the Kinsey scale all we want, but all I know is that I find the male body repulsive, and I tried kissing a guy once in college while drunk and found it eq6y repulsive. But that’s all just personal preference!)
      One thing I am curious about: what do you think of the advertisements in recent yeara for these newish drugs in which the commercials almost explicitly say, ” you don’t need to tell any partners you’re raw-dogging that you’re HIV positive because, on this drug, the amount of virus in your bloodstream is so low they can’t catch it”? It really makes me upset, as someone who has always practiced safe sex in the sense of condoms, other physical practices, and in confirming that my partners and I have no STDs. It upsets me to think that people can be HIV-positive and are being justified by commercials in keeping that to themselves when engaging in sexual activity, as if there weren’t enough people already keeping it a secret and selfishly taking chances with other people’s lives. I can’t imagine these drugs have a 100% success rate, and we know for a fact that people constantly miss doses of any and all drugs, so nothing is fool- or psychopath-proof (nothing can be, in a world filled with fools and psychopaths 😛 ).

      1. CC: You asked. There’s a lot to unpack, so I’m keeping this as info-dense as possible:

        In an ideal world, I might not mind the commercial. The state of medicine will continue to improve dramatically. My understanding is that the search for a cure to HIV/AIDS helped find vaccines for various coronaviruses.

        All that said, this is not an ideal world. HIV is still a death sentence for some people (well, being born is the death sentence, but for some silly reason, people are still in denial about mortality). Not everyone has access to easy and cheap medicine, and superstition still rules unchallenged in parts of the world. As opposed as I generally am to socialized medicine, free and accessible vaccines helped people survive the current pandemic… well, one of the current pandemics (which is why I would prefer a Pandemic Day to a World AIDS Day). It is absolutely inconsiderate to risk transmitting a disease without knowing whether someone can afford to contract it (‘absolutely inconsiderate; I’m not sure if I would say ‘criminally inconsiderate’).

        The other claim I dislike in HIV ads these days is “Only for people assigned male at birth”; does that mean that people not assigned a gender at birth can’t take it? Efficacy is not a function of ‘assignment’, but related to biology.

        1. Thanks so much for your detailed answer. I really appreciate the perspective of someone dissimilar from myself (although I have a feeling we were both “assigned male at birth,” or, IOW, are men). I’m sorry I couldn’t respond sooner with a thank you, but I had surgery. Thank you!

  3. I may be overdoing my comments on Professor Coyne’s blog recently but . . . as an ageing gentleman who has wasted far too much time on the game of chess, reaching a modest standard of play – here is my judgement, for what it’s worth. Having studied thousands of grandmaster games in my time and this one several times, I cannot see any evidence of cheating (and I realize that I’m no grandmaster!). Niemann played well and Carlsen played below his normal level and hence the result. Nor is there any evidence of cheating during Niemann’s recent gain in strength.

    Niemann’s rapid rise through the ranks is outstanding but others have done equally well and a few even faster (e.g. Fischer, Kasparov, Karjakin, Praggnanandhaa, Keymer and Carlsen himself).

    It’s almost impossible to cheat in over-the-board chess at that level and possibly Carlsen has over-reacted. Niemann has a problem in that his admission of cheating earlier in his life taints him in the eyes of the chess public. Probably he is innocent on this occasion and most probably has never cheated over-the-board – but let’s see what happens over the next few weeks of accusations, defenses and admissions.

    There can be no doubt of Carlsen’s immense stature as a player; fully as strong as Kasparov at his peak (with a different style – more solid and more precise but less dynamic than Kasparov) and similar in style to, but probably very marginally stronger than, Karpov.

    Fischer remains an enigma. Possibly naturally as strong as Kasparov and Carlsen, his practical strength may lie a fraction below them because he belongs to half-a-century ago. If he were around today . . . . . Maybe he could topple both Kasparov and Carlsen but its’ all conjecture. But I digress.

    Carlsen is sometimes a sore, bad-tempered loser. Has he done it again (i.e. spat the dummy)? We don’t know but there is reason to suspect so and it’s very hard for Niemann to clear his name.

    In 1995 I found myself in New York at the time of the Kasparov – Anand match and attended three of the games. I went in early each time to get the front seat and saw famous games where Kasparov beat Anand in the Dragon Variation of the Sicilian Defense. For example, I had the pleasure of being one of the closest, if not the closest, spectator to game 11 and remember watching both the board and the players very intently. I remember the moment when Anand resigned.

    https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1018626

    OK – this was quite some time ago, but one can see that it would be almost impossible to cheat.

    The onus is on Carlsen to prove it.

    David Lillis

    1. In about 2 minutes, I could conceive of methods to cheat based on readily available materials.

      Bluetooth, cellular, wi-fi, radio – who knows – conceal tiny quiet vibratory devices anywhere, underneath soundproofing material, one buzz on your left means A, two buzzes on your right means 2 – all relayed from your home base team, using a decent quad-core PC with lots of memory –

      Yes, Carlsen simply blurted out he’s cheating – based on his intuition, but also based on prior evidence – but if I was Carlsen, I wouldn’t want my ELO to change based on cheating and he’s simply playing the defensive move, until they know more. I’m not sure he goes around accusing players who beat him of cheating.

      Yes, evidence is required. But in the meantime, I think Carlsen will keep his rating preserved the way he wants.

      I want to know what the deal is – this competitor might be the next Carlsen!

      1. No no, you just got the section of your comment wrong. One way to cheat is to get a broadcast of ELO’S music into your ear and…that somehow makes you better at chess 😀

        Don’t ask me how. I never liked them. They’re like a wannabe Yes without half the talent or writing ability.

        1. What? Your musical taste is your own, but with respect, sir, you are so wrong about ELO that you’re not even wrong. Jeff Lynne is a genius, and ELO is a great group in all permutations. No Yes song is even half as good as ‘Do Ya,’ not to mention 5-10 others!

          1. Jeff Lynne is a genius. +1

            I love Yes too (though Anderson’s voice can be grating at times), but I have never regarded them as having a similar sound.

            1. Jeff Lynne was good enough for Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty to join him in The Traveling Wilburys…!

              1. Lol as soon as I saw Roy Orbison I thought Travelling Wilburys, and I said to myself, “well, he was also good enough for Tom Petty, sooo…” And then you said it. Never liked Tom Petty. Always found his music deeply generic, like a lighter version of Bon Jovi or Aerosmith: just doesn’t connect because there’s not much there. But I will say that magical moment of collaboration was wonderful, especially because they let Harrison and Orbison take lead vocals on Handle with Care, which was a crucial decision that made the song sooo much better. Orbison singing that little piece is magic, and Harrison is in fine form.

          2. I will not disagree that Jeff Lynne was a genius. I will disagree that their music ever came close to Yes’s best. Almost all of Fragile and every song on Close to the Edge will beat ELO in my book any day. But reasonable minds can disagree 🙂

            (Sorry I didn’t answer sooner. Was having surgery)

    2. Excellent summary of the situation from David Lillis. I too have spent too much time on chess during my life. As Paul Morphy said, “The ability to play chess is the sign of a gentleman. The ability to play chess well is the sign of a wasted life.”

      Players have been caught cheating in over the board (OTB) chess before, but these cases have been rather heavy-handed. Players have been caught consulting cell phones in bathroom stalls, for example. One guy (Ivanov) was thought to be receiving moves through his shoes, and suspicions were raised when he agreed to be searched, but then refused to take off his shoes. Ivanov was later arrested for producing/selling fake drivers’ licenses, btw.

      At the Sinquefield Cup after Carlsen left, the organizers instituted a 15-minute internet delay. Thus, if Niemann was cheating with an offsite cohort, a relayed move would only be possible if Niemann “thought” for more than 15 minutes on any one move. Of course, his accomplice could be spectating in the crowd, casually wander away, consult a chess engine, and then transmit the suggestion to Niemann. All players in such events are screened for electronics, and of course none has been found on Niemann or the other players at that event.

      Like Lillis, I’ve seen no suspicious moves in Sinquefield by Niemann, nor at the follow-up online tournament (in which Carlsen resigned his game against Niemann after one move, but then still went on to obliterate the competition). Computer scientists such as Ken Regan have analyzed many of Niemann’s past games to see if they “track” with strong computer engines, but I don’t know of any smoking gun being found. Such results of unlikely accordance with the top chess engines provides statistical evidence of collusion.

      I think Carlsen’s point is that he thinks/has evidence that Niemann has cheated in the past more than he has let on, and thus cannot be trusted. Hopefully Niemann hasn’t done this, and can clear his name. But, if Carlsen is right, and even if Niemann has not cheated recently, further examples of “well, yeah, I cheated again in 2020, but not at any other time!” could tarnish his reputation irreparably, and not unjustly, IMO.

    1. I like them, and can see how they are very charming and decorative. But I guess I don’t understand modern painting because they are to me, just that: Charming and decorative.
      Gimme an artist who can really paint well, with a good dose of realism. Then let them move into the abstract. Like Picasso.

  4. Mr. Snowden’s lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said that his client would not be eligible for the “partial mobilization” that Mr. Putin declared last week to bolster his country’s forces in the war in Ukraine. Mr. Kucherena said that Mr. Snowden was ineligible for the draft because he had no experience in the Russian Army.

    IIRC, Snowden joined the US Army during the Second Gulf War, but received a medical discharge after washing out of Special Forces training due to a leg injury.

  5. In the last year, he [Andres Valencia] has gone from a relative unknown to a bona fide art phenomenon. His surrealist-style paintings were acquired by deep-pocketed collectors like Tommy Mottola and Jessica Goldman Srebnick during Art Basel Miami Beach.

    The Art Basel Miami scene was covered by Tom Wolfe in the last of his four novels, Back to Blood. Whatever one thinks of Wolfe’s novels — and I tend to find them inferior to his earlier non-fiction writing — they’re chock full of great stand-alone set pieces. The one about Art Basel was published in Vanity Fair under the title “The Running of the Billionaires.” You can read it here.

    1. A while back I spent a couple of years immersed in the fine art scene doing installations, mostly in the Miami area. Did quite a bit for MAM, for private collectors and for galleries, and worked many of the big shows, including Art Basel a few times.

      2 of the years I worked Art Basel for generous German galleries and they gave me free tickets to the vernissage. I dressed up and went and rubbed elbows and drank champagne with the rich and shameless. And listened to endless eyerolling commentary, but all in all it was a fun and interesting experience. Not to mention some very interesting art installations. It never ceased to amaze me that these people would place stuff worth hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in my hands and walk away leaving it to me to figure out how to make their vision for the install of it come true. Some fun problems to solve.

  6. The debt forgiveness plan makes me so furious.

    (1) it’s a wealth transfer from largely lower-class people to largely middlee-class people; from blue collar people to white collar people; from the socioeconomically underprivileged to the socioeconomically privileged (if you don’t think you get major social privolege from going to college and being able to say something as innocuous as even “I have a bachelor’s in liberal arts,” the least of all degrees except maybe critical race theory and/or various “studies,” you’re nuts)

    (2) It’s a wealth transfer from all the people who actually followed the rules and already paid their debts to people who haven’t. Wait, I thought laws were supposed to incentize good behavior? What about all the people who paid their debts responsibly already? Where’s their money?

    (3) It’s a wealth transfer from people who took out loans responsibly to people who either took out loans irresponsibly, or who simply don’t want to take as much time to pay them back despite being able to do so. Whats next, mortgage forgiveness? ” Yes, we know you’re only two years into your 30-year mortgage, but here’s three full payments because, gosh darn it, you deserve it! And all those other people who rent or who have largely or fully paid off their mortgages can go screw tbemselves!”

    (4) Does anyone really think it will stop here? The next generation — hell, even this one — will see this as precedent and demand even more debt forgiveness.

    I could go on, but I digest…(no, really. I just ate breakfast!)

    1. Worst of all, the cancellation does nothing about tuition-fee bloat, and removes any incentive on colleges to keep costs reasonable. Thy can just hike tuition by another 10,000 dollars, with everyone expecting that (in time) the government will effectively pay it.

      1. Yup, I thought of adding that and some others, but I didn’t want to anger Jerry with a rant and, being on my phone, I don’t have a word count 😛 So I figured I would largely go with the wealth transfer angle.

      2. Imagine what Oberlin will start charging! How long until it’s 95 grand a year? They won’t do 100k just for reasons of optics. Let’s hope they close down entirely before this happens.

    2. I agree completely. It also treats the symptoms, not the cause. In many countries, university education is paid entirely out of taxes, just like other schools. One can argue that those who benefit should pay for it, but a) not all with a degree earn well (and earning well shouldn’t be the incentive to get a degree) and b) those who don’t go to university but start working earlier get a head start and are often better off financially (at least anywhere where everyone earns a decent wage).

      And, as noted, the costs won’t go down; they’ll probably go up.

      I’t similar to the broken health care in the USA: not only can the poor not afford it, what the rich pay is much more than the equivalent in other countries.

      1. Return, try to find a farm, knock (sheep in tow) and ask “Do you know who owns these?” I was hoping she’s not a long distance runner.

  7. My book shelf holds two first editions of “Silent Spring”, one with the dust jacket and one without. Neither signed. Anyone interested?

  8. Another outsider granted Russian citizenship is the big, formerly French actor Gerard Depardieu. M. Depardieu owns a restaurant in Saransk, a city in the Volga region, where new Russian Edward Snowdon could perhaps take up a career as a sous-chef. On the other hand, if the restaurant’s recipes are to be kept secret, Edward Snowdon is not the first name that comes to mind. [M. Depardieu recently also became a citizen of the United Arab Emirates, but it is unknown whether he has a restaurant in Abu Dhabi.]

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