Sunday: Hili dialogue

January 29, 2023 • 6:45 am

Welcome to Sunday, January 29, 2023: National Corn Chip Day. I do love them with a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, and they were on sale at the grocery store yesterday, but I didn’t buy them because they’re not exactly good for you. Having violated my principles by passing them up, I now greatly regret that I did so. Some people even put them ON the sandwich:

It’s also Freethinker’s Day (Thomas Paine was born on this date in 1737), Curmudgeon’s Day, National Puzzle Day, Seeing Eye Dog Day, World Leprosy Day (now called “Hansen’s Disease“), and Kansas Day (in Kansas, of course).

And there’s a Google Doodle, an interactive game in which you make bubble tea. Be sure to stop holding the mouse down BEFORE the ingredients reach the line. You get five chances to make the tea as a Formosan mountain d*g.  The explanation?

Tangy and fruity or sweet and milky? The combinations are endless! Today’s interactive game Doodle celebrates bubble tea, also known as boba tea and pearl milk tea. Honeydew, matcha, raspberry, mocha – no matter the flavor, don’t forget to mix in some bubbly balls made with fruit jelly or tapioca. Bubble Tea gained such popularity globally that it was officially announced as a new emoji on this day in 2020.

This Taiwanese drink started as a local treat and has exploded in popularity over the last few decades. Bubble tea has its roots in traditional Taiwanese tea culture which dates back as early as  the 17th century. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the bubble tea as we know today was invented. As waves of Taiwanese immigrants over the past few decades brought this drink overseas, innovation on the original bubble tea continues. Shops around the world are still experimenting with new flavors, additions, and mixtures. Traditional tearooms across Asia have also joined in on the boba craze, and the trend has reached countries like Singapore, Japan, South Korea, and more!

Satisfy your craving and make a yummy cup of bubble tea in today’s interactive Doodle, which features Taiwan’s indigenous Formosan Mountain Dog as well as a crew of familiar Doodle characters!

Click on the screenshot below to play, and turn the sound on (I do like bubble tea!):

Here’s a Formosan Mountain D*g, a regular dog breed that has become feral on Taiwan:

Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the January 29 Wikipedia page.

Wine of the Day: A quickie. My love of Rhone wines as the best reds I know is amply documented on this site (I haven’t sampled enough Burgundies or Barolos to compare). I was thus excited to see the well known Châteauneuf-du-Pape from 2016 (a great year) selling for $33 a couple of years ago. (That’s less than half the going price now.) Yes, I drank it at the tender age of 7 years (it had already thrown some sediment), but it called to me from my collection on t-bone steak night.

It was well worth it: the wine is eminently drinkable now, with the “black olive” nose I always detect in Rhones, as well as some blackberry-like fruitness. Plenty of stuffing and alcohol, this is a wine to have with meat (or a good cheddar cheese with bread). Here’s Jeb Dunnuck, who gave it a 94/100:

The finest base cuvée produced at this estate is the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which is 65% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and the balance Cinsault, all aged in a mix of foudre and older barrels. Beautiful plums, blackberries, garrigue, and marine-like seaweed and iodine notes all give way to a pure, polished, full-bodied Châteauneuf-du-Pape that has integrated acidity and a great finish. It’s a sensational classic cuvée that will keep for 2+ decades.

Oy! I should have bought a case! Two more decades! (Well, I won’t be here then anyway.)

Anyway, if you have extra dosh, find some good Rhones. Châteauneuf-du-Pape used to be cheap as dirt when I started collecting wine around 1984, but they ain’t so cheap any more! Still, they’re the best value for money of high-end Rhones.

Da Nooz:

*After the beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis that resulted in his death, I wondered what the public fallout would be like. Because all five indicted officers were black, I doubted that there would be riots against white police, though I’ve seen people blame bad behaviors of black cops on ingrained white supremacy.

So far there have been a lot of protests, which are fine (and warranted), but, thank Ceiling Cat, have also been largely peaceful:

Fallout from the brutal Memphis police beating of Tyre Nichols continued Saturday, as more protests were planned across the country in response to graphic video of the incident, while a broadening web of investigations expanded to scrutinize additional local authorities.

. . . On Saturday, more demonstrations are expected in Memphis, Atlanta and New York after hundreds had gathered the night before. Demonstrators who marched in Memphis on Friday called Nichols’s death a murder, and other protests were held from Los Angeles to New York.

. . . but not entirely peaceful:

fter body camera and surveillance footage of the violent traffic stop that led to the death of Tyre Nichols was released Friday, in which 29-year-old was restrained, battered, tased and pepper-sprayed by Memphis police, protests quickly swept Memphis, Atlanta, New York and other parts of the country, demanding justice for Nichols and calling for serious police reform. The protests are expected to continue throughout the weekend.

On Friday evening, protesters marched to Interstate 55 in downtown Memphis where they shut down the highway that connects Tennessee and Arkansas. Protests also took off around Martyrs Park in Memphis, Tennessee. More than a hundred protesters marched, chanting “we ready, we ready, we ready for y’all,” and asked to speak with the city’s mayor and chief of police, according to local news outlet, Memphis Commercial Appeal.

In Atlanta, Georgia, protesters gathered at Centennial Olympic Park. The city is still reeling from intense protests last week over the police shooting of local activist Manuel Esteban Paez Teran. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency this week, allowing him to call 1,000 National Guard troops.

In California, about a hundred protesters gathered outside of a Los Angeles Police Department, where they were met with police officers in riot gear, according to the Los Angeles Times. Protesters were also calling for justice for 31-year-old Keenan Anderson, who died in LAPD custody in early January after he was repeatedly tased by police.

Protestors also tore down metal barriers that the department had put up, the paper reported. Protests also took place in San Francisco and, and Portland, Oregon.

In New York City, where more than 200 people gathered near Times Square, at least three protestors have been arrested, one of whom jumped atop an NYPD vehicle and smashed the windshield, according to NBC. In Washington, D.C., protesters also gathered outside The White House. Apart from isolated incidents, the protests have been primarily peaceful, but with heavy police presence, poised and ready to intervene.

*I hope this general is being a Chicken Little, but he knows some things that we don’t, and it’s a bit unsettling to read stuff like this, especially because both principals have nukes:

China could be at war with the United States two years from now, a top Air Force general predicted in a bombastic and unusual memo to troops under his command, asserting a shorter timeline before potential conflict than other senior U.S. defense officials.

Gen. Michael A. Minihan, who as head of Air Mobility Command oversees the service’s fleet of transport and refueling aircraft, warned personnel to speed their preparations for combat, citing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aspirations and the possibility that Americans will not be paying attention until it is too late.

“I hope I am wrong,” Minihan wrote. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. Xi secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022. Taiwan’s presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a reason. United States’ presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a distracted America. Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025.”

. . . The memo, first reported Friday by NBC News, is dated Feb. 1 — which is still days away — and was distributed to Minihan’s subordinate commanders. An Air Force spokeswoman, Maj. Hope Cronin, verified its authenticity, writing in a statement shared with media after the memo began circulating on social media that Minihan’s order “builds on last year’s foundational efforts by Air Mobility Command to ready the Air Mobility Forces for future conflict, should deterrence fail.”

As the article notes, the China problem is the main issue preoccupying the entire Department of Defense, but an anonymous member of the organization says that Minihan’s remarks ““are not representative of the department’s view on China.” I hope so, but all it takes is one screwup to destroy both countries. Would China really fight the U.S. with nukes to take over Taiwan? Or would the U.S., though it has promised to defend Taiwan against attacks, really do so when push comes to shove?

*The Justice Department announced the arrests of three men in a plot to kill Iranian-American activist Masih Alinejad, whose tweets on behalf of Iranian women I post daily. (Her own tweet on the plot is below.)

The Justice Department announced new arrests Friday in a plot to kill a New York-based journalist and human rights activist who is critical of the Iranian government.

The three men charged, who are allegedly part of an Eastern European criminal organization with ties to Iran, are facing murder-for-hire and money laundering charges for plotting to kill journalist Masih Alinejad.

All three of the defendants, Attorney General Merrick Garland said Friday, are currently in custody.

“Today’s indictment exposes a dangerous menace to national security – a double threat posed by a vicious transnational crime group operating from what it thought was the safe haven of a rogue nation. That rogue nation is the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said at a news conference unveiling the charges.

Alinejad vowed to continue her activism in a video statement released Friday shortly after the department announced the charges: “Let me make it clear: I’m not scared for my life.”

She’s a brave woman standing up for a lot of brave women in Iran.

One of the three men had been arrested this past summer in the Brooklyn neighborhood where Alinejad lives. At the time, he was charged with possessing a firearm after police found in the back seat of his vehicle a suitcase containing a “Norinco AK-47-style assault rifle … loaded with a round in the chamber and a magazine attached, along with a separate second magazine, and a total of approximately 66 rounds of ammunition,” according to a complaint.

The DOJ said in a statement Friday that since at least July, the three men have been “tasked with carrying out” the murder of Alinejad, “who previously has been the target of plots by the government of Iran to intimidate, harass and kidnap” her.

“As recently as 2020 and 2021, Iranian intelligence officials and assets plotted to kidnap the (Alinejad) from within the United States for rendition to Iran in an effort to silence the (Alinejad’s) criticism of the regime,” the department said in a statement.

The Iranian theocracy knows that Alinjad’s Twitter feed, and her constant speeches and interviews, serve as a constant fuel for the human rights protestors in Iran. They want her gone—by any means necessary.

*As Tanya Gold reports on Bari Weiss’s Substack site, “Dubai paid Beyoncé $24M. She gave them her integrity.

Last week, at the grand opening of Atlantis The Royal, Dubai’s newest luxury hotel, Beyoncé gave her first live performance in five years. This gig featured a 48-person all-female orchestra—how feminist—a Lebanese dance troupe, and her daughter. She was reportedly paid $24 million for the occasion.

Her latest album, Renaissance, is, among other things, an homage to black queer culture. She performed no songs from it; how could she in a country where homosexuality is punishable by death? So she sang her back catalog for the equivalent of ten Bugatti Chirons. Oil-rich tyrannies have generous marketing budgets; they’re selling tyranny itself.

What Beyoncé does or doesn’t do for money wouldn’t matter but for the trend of celebrity activism, which insinuates that morality travels with a star like her wardrobe. Beyoncé acolytes say that just by arriving in Dubai she made the city gayer, a kind of subtle protest. Perhaps so subtle that even Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid—accused of abducting two of his daughters for noncompliance with his wishes, one from England, and another from a ship as she tried to flee Dubai—wouldn’t notice. Did his enforcers reconsider their stance on gayness as they sang along to “Drunk in Love”? Or are they laughing themselves stupid at the PR coup of persuading an until-now gay ally to perform at the opening of a hotel in a country that hates gays?

Dubai, along with Saudi Arabia, wants to reinvent itself as a tourist destination for when the oil runs out. There is nothing understated there—the Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world; the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made archipelago in the shape of a palm tree. Everything is vast and highly colored, a distraction. It has to be: To enjoy yourself in Dubai, you must close your eyes to suffering. Almost 90 percent of Dubai’s residents are migrant workers, and many of them live in conditions amounting to indentured slavery.

Beyoncé is wildly rich, of course (net worth around half a billion; and a billion with her husband’s dosh), and doesn’t need the money. Plus she is an activist, fostering women’s and LGBTQ rights: all the stuff Dubai doesn’t stand for. But I guess $24 million for one performance is hard to resist. Once you have half a billion, though, do you NEED do abase yourself in this way?

*I didn’t realize how screwed up the American organ transplantation system is in America until I read this NYT piece, “Tonya Ingram feared the organ donation system would kill her. It did.” It turns out the the procurement of organs for donation is farmed out to a number of organ procurement organizations, or OPOs,

The organ procurement system is made up of 56 organizations, each with a monopoly in its jurisdiction. When someone dies and can donate an organ, O.P.O.s are supposed to go to the hospital, talk to the person’s family and manage the process of transporting donated organs to those in need, but all too often they have failed to show up — literally. The most recent government data from 2020 shows that most are either underperforming or failing, and some O.P.O.s have reported inaccurate data to cover it up. According to a study updated in 2019, O.P.O.s failed to recover around 28,000 organs a year, viable organs that could save some of the roughly 100,000 people waiting for them.

The wait time for an organ can differ drastically from state to state. In some states the wait time for a kidney can be up to ten years, but the average time a person lives on dialysis is only five. What we need is a country-wide government-run organization, for if anything requires equal opportunity for the needy, it’s getting an organ. People should not have to make personal appeals, or travel among states, to increase their chances. The fixes:

Tonya’s death wasn’t caused only by a failure of her kidneys but also by a gross failure of our government and its lack of urgency and effectiveness. In politics, this problem has all the makings of an easy one to fix: The solution already has bipartisan support and would be both cost-saving and lifesaving. CMS has projected that holding these government contractors accountable would save more than 7,000 lives a year — translating to $1 billion saved in foregone dialysis. If the 28,000 organs that go to waste each year were recovered and transplanted, the wait for livers and lungs could disappear altogether within just two years.

We also know that the solution we called for back in 2019 — government oversight — actually works. After Senator Todd Young of Indiana started calling into question his home state O.P.O.’s potential misuse of Medicare funds in 2019, improvements were almost immediate. In what seemed to be a response, the O.P.O. reported a 57 percent increase in potential donors approached, and a 44 percent increase in actual donors in just one year.

Tonya died of kidney failure a year after testifying before Congress on these issues.

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili and Andrzej discuss epistemology:

Hili: Is it possible to understand reality?
A: No, but you have to be reconciled to it.
In Polish:
Hili: Czy można zrozumieć rzeczywistość?
Ja: Nie, ale trzeba się z nią pogodzić.

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

First, a pint of my favorite British ale, hoisted in my honor yesterday by readers Dom and Jez (actually, they had several).  Tim Taylord’s Landlord is not overly hopped like American IPAs or, these days, many British real ales. It is perfectly balanced: a delight to the taste buds. And it’s a “session pint”: one that you can drink several of without palate fatigue or tongue laceration from overhopping. The Campaign for Real Ale voted it as the Champion Beer of Britain an unprecedented four times—and there are a lot of competitors!) You can find it very rarely in the U.S., but only then in bottles. A fresh and well-cellared pint of Landlord is what I’d drink if I could have only one brand for the rest of my life.

Oy, would I like to down this now:

From Barry.  I don’t think that’s a pet rat, though it’s extraordinarily light-colored!

From Bizarre and Wonderful World: a honking BIG nest:

From Jesus of the Day:

God’s new message to us:

The FBI told Masih that the FBI arrested three plotters aiming to assassinate her at the request of Iran.

From Malcolm: Proof of how good the Leopard 2 tanks are (made by Germany, some headed to Ukraine):

 

From Thomas: Look at that detail!

From the Auschwitz Memorial, two tweets. First, let’s not forget that there was a Holocaust of the Roma as well (“Zigeuner” in German):

Sent to Auschwitz at 19 to die:

Tweets from Matthew. A duck and her babies:

Matthew’s own retweet of a man who helped make forged identity papers for Jews during WWII (the obit is here):

Hermanns was on the St. Louis, a ship full of refugee Jews that nobody would let land. It was sent back to Europe, with many passengers meeting the expected fate (story here).

30 thoughts on “Sunday: Hili dialogue

  1. While my regular accompaniment to a PB&J sandwich at lunch is potato chips ordinaire, once in a while, when corn chips are in the cupboard, i will have them as a preferred side. I particularly enjoy the taste and texture when a corn chip sticks to the peanut butter that has leaked outside the bread and gives me the taste of corn chips ON a peanut butter sandwich. As far as healthiness, at almost 75, I knowingly opt for the pleasure of a day enhanced by tasty food over an unknown (and unknowable) number of days eating in always healthy mediocrity.

  2. General Minihan’s prediction of a war with China within two years should not be given any particular credence. Just because he is a military man doesn’t necessarily mean he has any specialized knowledge of geopolitics. He doesn’t seem to be involved with any strategic Pentagon planning. Perhaps, he uttered his apocalyptic warning to motivate his troops. In any case, he may just be a kook, whom are not unknown within military circles. What kind of person would make the remarks below cited in the Washington Post article?

    —————————-
    In September, he said at a military conference outside Washington that the Air Force had caused the largest “pile of our nation’s enemy dead” within the U.S. military.

    “Lethality matters most,” he added, according to Task & Purpose, a military publication. “When you can kill your enemy, every part of your life is better. Your food tastes better. Your marriage is stronger.”
    ——————————-

    Regardless of what the general has said, there is a possibility of war with China as with Russia. The world is a dangerous place. If all-out war should come with a nuclear power and such a weapon is used, the “world has never been better” meme will need revision.

    1. You’re right on all points. While it’s unlikely that a general officer would not have undertaken at least some study of geopolitics (the military more or less requires it for advancement), Minihan is by no means a specialist in it, and, checking his Air Force bio, I see he has an MBA, which befits his role in logistics. By comparison, the current chairman of the joint chiefs, Gen. Mark Milley, has a masters in international relations from Columbia, and a masters in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. This would be much more typical of an officer with strategic command responsibilities; some senior combat officers, such as David Petraeus, have even had PhD’s.

      GCM

    2. General Minihan commands air transport and refueling, not nuclear-capable strike aircraft. If war comes with China, the logistical demands to fight an air-sea war so far away will be immense. The USAF refuels all the free world’s air forces in the air, not just its own, and very likely the Navy will need to use the Air Force’s big long-range tankers as well to help close the “range deficit” of its aircraft. (Its aircraft carriers daren’t get too close to the Chinese mainland.) That’s just fuel. Food, ordnance, spare parts, people, all that has to be moved by air, too.

      There’s a saying that armchair generals talk tactics. Real generals talk logistics. If war comes, everyone is going to be expecting that Gen. Minihan’s transport and tanker planes will be ready to fly. His totally unarmed planes and aircrews make the pointy end lethal.

    1. No surprise. He(/she?) went from having a decent following on Twitter to speaking to the void on Mastodon. He had a completely unnecessary fit with the “parody accounts must self-identify” debacle and left in protest, probably believing he had more influence than he did. Now he’s realized nobody really cares and is grumpy about it.

      1. Speaking “to the void” with 1.9k followers. I don’t know if that’s bad or good, but he’ll know how much reach he has.

    2. I thought — and said so here somewhere — God had become bitter and misanthropic some weeks before he left Twitter, to the point that I was pseudo-seriously concerned about his mental health. I’m going only on the posts or tweets or whatever they are called that Jerry shares here, mind.

      I’m glad he went to Mastodon because their white-on-dark-blue format makes it almost impossible to read what he says on an iPad email until you click to open Jerry’s post in a browser. Having seen a blue smear with illegible type warns me that God hath spoken so I can skip over him without reading him.

    1. Exactly! The peanut butter should be spread to every edge of the bread. Crunchy peanut butter is best. I live in the heart of American peanut growing area. Our downtown Main Street boast a statue to the Boll Weevil erected when farmers switched from cotton to peanuts. We know peanut butter!

  3. One might find people waddling about ratting from small bags of corn chips at carnivals and fairs topped with ground beef, lettuce, cheese, and salsa. This snack is often sold as a “walking taco”, and I am sure it is delicious yet to my ears sounds like a euphemism.

  4. Late again…

    On this day:
    1845 – “The Raven” is published in The Evening Mirror in New York, the first publication with the name of the author, Edgar Allan Poe.

    1850 – Henry Clay introduces the Compromise of 1850 to the U.S. Congress.

    1886 – Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.

    1936 – The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced.

    2002 – In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush describes “regimes that sponsor terror” as an Axis of evil, in which he includes Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

    2009 – Governor of Illinois Rod Blagojevich is removed from office following his conviction of several corruption charges, including the alleged solicitation of personal benefit in exchange for an appointment to the United States Senate as a replacement for then-U.S. president-elect Barack Obama.

    Births:
    1737 – Thomas Paine, English-American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary (d. 1809).

    1860 – Anton Chekhov, Russian playwright and short story writer (d. 1904).

    1880 – W. C. Fields, American actor, comedian, and screenwriter (d. 1946).

    1881 – Alice Catherine Evans, American microbiologist (d. 1975).

    1939 – Germaine Greer, Australian journalist and author.

    1945 – Tom Selleck, American actor and businessman.

    1954 – Oprah Winfrey, American talk show host, actress, and producer, founded Harpo Productions. [Real name “Orpah”.]

    Joined the “unable to breathe” list:
    1763 – Louis Racine, French poet (b. 1692).

    1820 – George III of the United Kingdom (b. 1738).

    1888 – Edward Lear, English poet and illustrator (b. 1812).

    1956 – H. L. Mencken, American journalist and critic (b. 1880).

    1963 – Robert Frost, American poet and playwright (b. 1874).

    1974 – H. E. Bates, English writer (b. 1905).

    1980 – Jimmy Durante, American entertainer (b. 1893).

    1992 – Willie Dixon, American singer-songwriter and producer (b. 1915).

    2009 – John Martyn, British singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1948).

  5. After switching from Twitter to Mastodon, God seems to have become less witty and more misanthropic and grumpy. That’s too bad.

    The “ducks on Jupiter” picture is awesome.

    1. JesesOfTheDay has shut down, or has been shut down. After a suspension of approximately one month, he posted for only 3 days or so, and that was it. Does anybody know the backstory?

      I always found his repeated shutdowns ridiculous. There was never anything seriously offensive on his site; in fact, he was a bit over-aggressive in self-censoring.

  6. The rat is definitely a domesticated Rattus norvegicus. Besides the pelage color (rather than white/albino, it seems a buff or light beige mutation), even the most human habituated subway-dwelling wild rat would not so casually and comfortably explore a person, especially when there is not any (at least visible/obvious) food reward. The licking of the mouth/lips leads me to believe that this was staged, and the rat probably belongs to the man. I’ve had pet rats that exhibited the same behavior, wanting to smell what’s on my lips (and nostrils and eyelids!)

    Less possible alternative explanation: still a domesticated rat, but one that escaped and somehow has managed to survive and thrive with a wild colony. That would be an extreme, lucky exception to the general rule though.

    1. If the man does own the rat, he should not be dozing even as a prank. Is that a phone or a wallet on the ground? Temptation for someone. And rats have very few defenders.

  7. Beyonce’s estimated net worth of half a billion dollars is surely fanciful. Like all celebrities much of her value is from her status as a celebrity. People pay to watch her lip-synch to her recorded music just to say they saw her on stage, and in this case to the enormous prestige she offers to Qatar. There is a whole industry geared to selling all sorts of dreck just because Beyonce gets money to be associated with it. If she were to give it all up and go raise organic turnips in Vermont, the value of all that would evaporate once people forgot who she was. She would also likely have to return huge amounts of money to people who had paid her to make money for them. So the performances must continue, not just to add the net profit on $24 million to the pile, but to protect the market value of $500 million.

    It’s not like she has $500 million in cash and T-bills that she can call all her own. And besides, that’s not a huge pile of dosh when most of it is imaginary. An expensive lifestyle can burn through the cash value of it pretty quickly.

    It’s a bit like Elon Musk, whose pre-Twitter net worth was mostly the imputed value of options to buy Tesla stock, had he exercised them in the money, and carbon credits sold to other manufacturers, neither of which have any intrinsic cash value.

  8. Re: Beyoncé

    Anyone else tired of the whole “Beyoncé is the QUEEN OF R&B” thing – and the way Beyoncé acts like said queen?

    Just askin’.

    (For me, she’s overrated).

    1. For me as well, she’s overrated…as a musician. Where she rates is as a performer, because today’s pop/rock/r&b is not about the music but about the glamorous spectacle of the performance, with all the scenery, makeup, costumes, and dancing—kind of an updated Busby Berkeley production. The music is just a machine-generated bauble among the other superficial baubles of the spectacle. Having a pretty face, a good body, and dancing skills are the prime qualifications of pop singers today, and I include male singers as well as female singers in this group. (Witness BTS.) Perhaps Lady Gaga is an exception, because she has the singing chops.

      1. I find Beyoncé to be a serviceable singer but nothing beyond. I find her singing gets monotonous pretty fast. (Same for many of her songs for that matter).
        And the Beyoncé song “Halo” is the most cringing lyric sung in the most over-wrought fashion possible.

  9. The tweet about the Leopard 2 shows how a weapon stabilisation system works. The Leopard 2 was one of the first Western tanks for which the full stabilization was introduced for the main gun. It is now standard for all Western tanks, including Abrams and Challenger, which shall also be supplied to the Ukraine.

  10. Wine of the Day: A quickie. My love of Rhone wines as the best reds I know is amply documented on this site (I haven’t sampled enough Burgundies or Barolos to compare). I was thus excited to see the well known Châteauneuf-du-Pape from 2016 (a great year) selling for $33 a couple of years ago.

    Mont-Olivet for $33/btl? What a deal!

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