Open Thread for Wednesday, January 18, 2023

This is what a Leopard 2 looks like. This one was just a prototype, but it was the only image I could find in the public domain.

First time I’ve done one of these lately — since September, I think. And excuse the typo — I actually gave a date as 2023 in my headline there, and of course that’s obviously some weird date off in the future, from some sci fi story or something.

Anyway — it’s even longer since I’ve done a Virtual Front Page, but these topics won’t work for that, since some of the items are opinion pieces. Oh, well, here you go…

  1. Heavy tanks — and a push from the U.S. — are key to Ukraine’s success — This is an editorial from The Washington Post. It’s pretty persuasive. You might also George Will’s column, which is chock full o’ historical perspective. Ukraine needs them to hold off the increasingly desperate attacks coming from Putin. And this sure beats the U.S. sending troops, for a number of compelling reasons. All we have to do is persuade Germany to let the Ukrainians have those Leopard 2 tanks they’ve been holding back. Yes, we all appreciate Germany being a more peaceful country. It beats what we saw in the two generations before 1945. But meine Freunde, you don’t have to fight. You just have to make it possible for the Ukrainians to defend themselves. This is about as different as you can get from sending Panzers full of Nazis to pound all those Untermenschen to the East…
  2. Microsoft to Lay Off 10,000 Workers as It Looks to Trim Costs — Yikes. First the buggy whip industry, then newspapers, and now this. American ingenuity (see Max Boot, below) needs to come up with the Next Thing in a hurry. This is not good news, especially since it’s part of a series of such announcements coming from Big Tech.
  3. What if Diversity Trainings Are Doing More Harm Than Good? — A provocative title on an op-ed piece. I dunno. Did North Vietnam’s reeducation camps work? Is there solid research available on that? I know that the Captain had awful trouble persuading Luke to “get his mind right.” In my own personal experience, I always had trouble seeing the need for it. I would think, You say the company should have a workforce that looks like the community it seeks to serve, and we all need to work together better? I’m with you. Now let’s get back to work… Of course, I reacted that way to anything that took me away from the work — even recreational outings.
  4. World’s oldest known person, French nun Lucile Randon, dies at 118 — Wow, that’s impressive. And in the picture with that link, she looked amazingly good for her age just a year ago. God bless her. Of course, I’m reaching an age at which I can’t help thinking, so where does this put me in the running for the title?
  5. China records 1st population fall in decades as births drop — Which is very bad news for a country that wants to dominate the world. Good luck with that now, what an inadequate number of kids trying to support all those pensioners. As the big brains of Beijing realized too late (in 2016), this is where draconian One Child policies get you.
  6. U.S. politics is awful — but our science and technology offer hope for the future — This is a good column from Max Boot. He’s had a bunch of good ones lately, which reminds my I should go back and mention him on the list of columnists I’ve been enjoying. Anyway, I hope people read all the way to the end, where he says, “We need to maintain our lead by spending more on research and offering more opportunities for foreign-born talent.” You bet.

By the way, on that last part about reading “all the way to the end”… yeah, I know a lot of, probably most of, my readers can’t do that, not having subscriptions. I don’t know what to do about that. I can either bring up thoughtful ideas from the outlets that actually publish such things, or we can sit around yelling at each other on a grossly superficial level about the latest outrages on social media — which is free.

I’m planning to write about that in a subsequent post. If I have trouble finding the time to do so, please remind me…

An image from the James Webb Space Telescope, grabbed from a NASA site.


17 thoughts on “Open Thread for Wednesday, January 18, 2023

  1. Brad Warthen Post author

    This is fascinating. Used to be, an open thread attracted more comments than anything. Now, I’m getting comments on earlier stuff — but not on the open thread. And I thought these were some pretty interesting issues I was tossing out there.

    Anyway, a postscript…

    When I went to Google to make sure I was spelling Untermenschen correctly, I ran into the old Nazi movie poster you see above.

    Until I saw that, I didn’t realize that the Nazis’ idea of an Untermensch was basically Vincent D’Onofrio in his “Full Metal Jacket” role. The resemblance is more than a little startling. I couldn’t find an image with exactly that expression — even though that’s a very D’Onofrio expression — so here’s one that may give you the idea…

  2. Doug Ross

    Joe Biden is a Catholic who loves to talk (now, not in 1982 when he was coherent) about how much he loves aborting babies.

    That encapsulates Joe Biden the politician in the simplest terms. A scam artist at Lindsey Graham level.

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      “And everybody else on the planet is also a worthless a-hole.”

      Just thought I’d save you a little time typing any further comments there, Doug. Since, for a long time, that’s been pretty much all you have shown much interest in saying.

      I’m definitely worthless. Others here on the blog are worthless. Anyone mentioned on the blog is worthless. Anyone in politics is especially worthless, except of course Tulsi Gabbard. I think we’ve all gotten the message.

      In this case, I don’t even know what you were reacting to. It doesn’t seem to be a response to anything else on this thread.

      A bonus little bit of bitterness, just in case anyone here was starting to have a nice day…

  3. Bill

    Oh, rose of my heart, can’t you see?
    I don’t belong to misery
    Though she speaks fine with subtle art
    Such misery clothes the rose of my heart
    Now what I see in the long twilight
    A star falls down on a hill so white
    On a hill so white
    A face that glows in a golden hue
    No one in this world knows what they do
    I take my oath and I make my vow
    For the tender things are upon me now
    In the fragrance sweet of the evening air
    I could leave this world
    Quite without a care

  4. bud

    My 50 must see places in the USA

    1. Grand Canyon
    2. Statue of Liberty
    3. Niagara Falls
    4. Independence Hall
    5. Fort Sumter
    6. Golden Gate Bridge
    7. Yellowstone
    8. Yosemite
    9. Redwoods
    10. Mount Rushmore/Crazy Horse
    11. Arches
    12. Headlight lighthouse
    13. Freedom Trail
    14. Alamo
    15. Carlsbad Caverns
    16. Disney World
    17. French Quarter
    18. Griffith Observatory
    19. Vegas Strip
    20. Times Square
    21. Mall of America
    22. DC Mall
    23. Gettysburg
    24. WTC site
    25. Saint Louis Arch
    26. Smokies
    27. Brooklyn Bridge
    28. San Diego Zoo
    29. Denali
    30. Pearl Harbor
    31. Stone Mountain
    32. Acadia
    33. Space Needle
    34. Cape Canaveral
    35. Bryce’s Canyon
    36. Edmund Pettus Bridge
    37. Cliff Walk
    38. Dealey Plaza
    39. Diamond Head
    40. Glacier Bay AK
    41. White Mountains NH
    42. Petrified Forest AZ
    43. Crater Lake
    44. Fenway Park
    45. Millineum Park Chicago
    46. Saguaro National Park
    47. Monument Valley
    48. Meteor Crater
    49. Georgia Aquarium
    50. Kill Devil Hill

    1. Brad Warthen Post author

      Well, I definitely recommend the French Quarter, the Brooklyn Bridge (be sure to walk across it), Gettysburg and Fenway. Pearl Harbor, too. A lot had changed when I went there to see Burl, but it’s still worth seeing.

      Fenway was everything I’d hoped for. Gettysburg was more than I expected. I was impressed standing on Little Round Top, but standing behind the high-water mark of the Confederacy and looking out over that natural, undeveloped plain that Pickett charged over, I realized it was truly a thing you had to SEE to understand. I couldn’t believe men walked across all that unprotected openness under the overwhelming fire that was poured down on them from where I stood. How did ANY of them make it to the wall? And WHY did they keep coming?

      But when I look at the places on your list that I haven’t seen, I’m sure they’re great, but it reminds me that most of the stuff I STILL want to see are abroad:

      • Rome — You name it, I want to see it. Starting with the Colosseum, I guess. And the Vatican.
      • Jerusalem — The list of things to see would just go on and on.
      • Normandy — I want to see what’s left of the fortifications on Omaha Beach, visit the cemetery, and see what those hedgerows are really like.
      • Athens, with a side trip to some of those awesome Greek islands, like the one in “Swept Away…
      • Scotland — Don’t know which parts, as I’ve never been there at all. One of my daughters was in Edinburgh over the holidays, and I’m jealous.

      I could keep going. Of course, I want to see Dominica, where my youngest daughter lives. And we’re going to, in a couple of months.

      There are all SORTS of places I’d like to go BACK to, and some are in the U.S. — such as New Orleans, where I haven’t been since 1967.

      Even more, I want to go back to Ecuador, where I lived for the longest time in one place during my childhood. Haven’t been there since 1965…

  5. Ralph Hightower

    I could only get so far into the Max Boot article before the blasted paywall obscured the article. But I managed to get the gist of the James Webb Space Telescope. It has captured stunning images. I have NASA’s Android app to supply the APOD (Astromony Pictue Of the Day).

  6. Doug Ross

    Trump haters are having a bad month… Twitterfiles stories again and again show just how much behind the scenes activity was being performed by government agencies, the media, and social media companies to tailor the narrative related to Trump, COVID, Hunter Biden’s laptop… anyone who claims to be informed and objective cannot ignore them.

    And then this week the Columbia Journalism Review has posted a scathing takedown of the large media companies in their shoddy/slanted reporting on Trump and the phony Russiagate story.

    I know the usual suspects on this blog will put their blinders on, cover their ears, and go “nyah.. nyah.. nyah.. .Orange Man BAD!!!” but I dare the non-brainwashed to read this.

    “Several reports were released on Monday by the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) showing how media outlets were derelict in their duty while covering the Trump-Russia collusion story. The articles include some harsh quotes from famed Washington Post editor and reporter Bob Woodward, who criticized the mainstream media at large, calling for a self-assessment from the entire industry. In the first of a four-part series entitled, “The press versus the president,” investigative reporter Jeff Gerth cites specific media outlets and how they worked in tandem with intelligence agencies, fellow publications, and dodgy sources — including the now infamous Christopher Steele dossier — to take down Donald Trump at all costs.

    Woodward, who rose to fame during the 1970s with the Watergate scandal and resignation of former President Richard Nixon, told Gerth the Russia probe “wasn’t handled well.” He even went so far as to accuse the mainstream press of having “cheated” the public out of the truth.

    Woodward urged modern newsrooms to “walk down the painful road of introspection,” as they look back on their failures with the Russia-collusion stories. He also described Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the matter as having no teeth — but said it was good enough to serve as anti-Trump fodder for the media, just the same.

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