CSotD: Reply Hazy – Try Again

We’ll start the day with a quick, unexpected history lesson, courtesy of Jeff Danziger (WPWG).

I went to look up Vyacheslav Molotov to confirm that he was Stalin’s Minister of Defense during the Hungarian uprising, and discovered that he wasn’t: He was Foreign Minister.

More important, I discovered that the Molotov cocktail, though used to good effect in Hungary, gained its name in Finland, during their war against the Soviets in 1939.

And I knew about Hungary because I knew a girl who had escaped under the wire at an age so young that her parents reassured her the flares were only fireworks. When we were in high school, she wrote a story about it for our school paper.

As noted yesterday, one aspect of the Cold War was that our history classes taught us nothing about the role of the Soviet Union in World War II except that Hitler and Stalin broke ranks and it forced Hitler to defend himself on two fronts. The Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe would have been a good Cold War topic, but by the time we finished studying the war, it was June.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Rob Rogers)


(Andy Davey)


Rob Rogers seems to be echoing Wimpy, except that, since the US is also part of that treaty alliance, he’s inviting American kids to another war.

And why not? Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan worked out well, didn’t they?

By contrast, Davey appears to be riffing on Yakov Smirnoff, a Ukrainian comedian who never became head of state, but who might well have said: “In Russia, bear pokes YOU!”

My own take is that, if you want a war, you should put your blood where your mouth is. If you’re too old to go yourself, you should at least send your children.

Which is sound theory, but the fact is, having had a son serve in the Gulf and having a grandson tooling around the Mediterranean with the Navy right now, having made that kind of investment makes me even less inclined to pick up the pom-pons and cheer.

Though maybe it would be like Korea: NATO could fight for two or three years to a standstill and then go home, at a mere cost of 40,000 American dead (and not even quite 5 million overall).

Fun Fact: When our friend Mike was sent to Korea in 1968, we laughed at his good luck, since all our other classmates were headed for Vietnam.

Old men are often accused of “fighting the last war,” but this was when I realized young men could die in them, too.


Unlike Robert Ariail (AMS), I have no objection to fighting modern wars with modern tactics like sanctions, even if I have to deal with more blowback than if we simply sent other people’s children out to take the consequences.

Yes, I realize other people’s — Ukrainian’s — children are currently taking the consequences, but this is where the “white folks factor” kicks in.

Other people’s children not only also take the consequences of war in places like Yemen and Syria and Gaza without American commentators beating the drum for war, but they also take the consequences of not having enough food, medical care or clean water.

I used to wonder what would happen if the Army and the Peace Corps swapped budgets and we went around the world drilling wells instead of blowing shit up.

I outgrew it.


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Dana Summers – Creators)


(Jen Sorensen)

Summers’ commentary puzzles me, because I can’t find any trace of Gore speaking out about sanctions or fuel prices or the war, though he’s long been telling Americans that we need to cut our dependency on fossil fuels. (Correction: It’s Kerry, who said we’d have to live with the consequences of our choices.)

I don’t think Summers is conceding that he was right, but, if so, to quote myself from yesterday, “saying we shouldn’t have become so dependent on oil is like telling an abused spouse she should have married someone else. Accurate, but hardly helpful.”

Meanwhile, Sorensen’s first panel alone contains legions of logic.

I remember when a pelletizing mill was proposed in rural Maine, and the manager told me she was getting applications for low-level jobs from an hour away. Given the mileage likely of cars driven by people taking such jobs, it seemed impossible for them to make any money after paying for the commute.

Given current housing prices, that’s no longer a rural thing: I don’t see how anybody making less than $100,000 a year can commute from any place they can afford to live.


Juxtaposition of the Enemy Within

(Mike Luckovich)


(Ann Telnaes)

I do wonder what the Russians really know about the war.

On one hand, we hear about Putin’s press crackdown, and about Russians living abroad who can’t convince their parents that there is a war rather than some vague correction being undertaken by their benevolent leader.

On the other, we also hear about people being arrested for antiwar demonstrations, including Marina Ovsyannikova, who photobombed Russia’s leading news broadcast with an antiwar message, sparking memories of Nataliya Dmytruk, the Ukrainian sign language interpreter who, after Putin’s quislings stole the 2004 elections there, signed “Our president is Viktor Yushchenko. Do not trust the results of the central election committee. They are all lies.”


Now Tuckyo Rose is being rebroadcast in Russia to show American support for Putin’s not-a-war-war, which raises the troubling question of where he is more efficient in peddling his propaganda, here or there?

Because we can gasp or laugh at Russian ignorance and gullibility, but, then again, how many Americans believe the Big Lie of the fixed election or that JFK jr is alive or that babies are being eaten by Democrats in the basement of a pizza parlor that was built on a concrete slab?

And how many know — as Telnaes does — that a member of the Supreme Court, despite having a wife who helped organize the Jan 6 attempted coup, has declined to recuse himself from a case involving that insurrection?

The corruption goes deeper: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis took campaign money from Russian oligarchs, which raises this important question:

If we can tow away the oligarchs’ yachts, can we also tow away their American politicians?

And where are the Lincoln Park Pirates, now that we need them?