Category Archives: Foreign Policy

Your Morning Cup of Links

The president of the United States really just isn’t a very good person. There is no definition of good character that he can meet. You certainly can’t say he’s a man of good character when it comes to sexual behavior. His adulterous past is well-documented. You can’t say he models decency in the way he talks. He’s not honest (you can look it up). He brags about whining his way to winning. He boasts of double-crossing business partners. If you want to say he’s charitable, you should read up on how he used his “charities” as leverage or for publicity stunts. I think we can all agree he’s not humble or self-sacrificing. When asked what sacrifices he’s made, in the context of his spat with the Khan family, he couldn’t name anything save for the fact that he worked very hard to get rich and that he employs people (presumably because it profits him to do so). I don’t know how anyone could absolve him of the charge of vanity or greed. He’s certainly not pious by any conventional definition. Some argue that he’s loyal, and there’s some evidence of that. But the loyalty he shows is instrumental and self-serving.”

First gene therapy – ‘a true living drug’ – on the cusp of FDA approval

Hollywood has a bad movie problem

A pointless argument. They’re both great for different reasons.

“We have our political, economic, and religious disagreements with our friends and allies, but everywhere in the world where people fight against tyranny, we hear an echo of 1776. Everywhere in the world where people risk everything they have to tell the king, führer, caudillo, secretary general of the central committee, dear leader, ayatollah, or president for life to kiss their asses, we see something of ourselves. When things get bad enough, we join in, and have spent untold blood and treasure in the pursuit of other people’s liberty…It is in our nature…It emphatically is not the case, flatulent rhetoric notwithstanding, that the desire for freedom has been planted in every human heart. But where it has been planted, Americans know a kinship beyond blood. When Ronald Reagan demanded of Mikhail Gorbachev ‘Tear down this wall!’ no one asked, ‘What’s in it for us?’ We already knew. We still know.”

Why are whales so big? Scientists may finally have an answer.

Philip Roth on his love of American names

Trump caves to Putin

Queen Victoria’s food

What do dental records tell us about the advantages and disadvantages of living in cities?

Why rare books are thriving in the digital age

The beauty and power of Cape Cod

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Filed under Foreign Policy, History, Science, TV/Movies, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

A convent in the Andes that has 20,000 books in its library, 3,500 of them printed between 1450 and 1800, is a reminder of how much physical labor was needed to store knowledge.

The rise of canned fish

So great:

Three Islamic State militants setting up an ambush in a bitterly contested area of northern Iraq were killed by a herd of stampeding boars, local leaders say. Sheikh Anwar al-Assi, a chief of the local Ubaid tribe and supervisor of anti-ISIS forces, told The Times of London the militants were hiding on the edge of a field about 50 miles southwest of Kirkuk when the boars overwhelmed them Sunday.

Word. Old millennials, FTW.

Broadway’s tiny giant: Larry Hart reconsidered

Obama’s Iran deal is even worse than we thought and I already thought it was the worst thing ever.

The ‘Oh, Never Mind’ President

Why not spend your vacation looking for ghosts in Hamlet’s castle?

How a book series has preserved Appalachian culture for nearly 50 years

Premature lambs kept alive in ‘plastic bag’ womb

The paintings of Peter Doig and the poetry of Derek Walcott make for an “entrancing collection”

The theft that inspired Les Misérables

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Filed under Around the World, Foreign Policy, History, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

They “sounded as much like Bernie Sanders supporters as Trump voters.” Lol. Shocking!

Glad to see Tom Cotton has come back to his senses after a brief flirtation with the dipshit brigade.

Italian cop, also a sommelier, teaches wine skills to inmates

Vatican McDonald’s divides opinion

“No one who lived through the Cold War could call those dark and dangerous decades ‘the good old days.’ Hundreds of millions of people lived in political and social repression and economic and spiritual deprivation behind the Iron Curtain. Things were far better in the free world, but the political tension and specter of war, even a nuclear war, were ever-present. What I do miss, however, was the moral clarity that won the Cold War. It has been replaced by a rising tide of moral equivalence as the memories of what real evil looked like have faded.”

A CIA calendar the CIA gift shop refuses to sell? Yes, and here’s the strange story behind it.

“Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Not a nut, not a leftist, and not an irresponsible intellectual”

The need to read

Russia’s new favorite jihadis: The Taliban

What made George Washington different from Benedict Arnold?

Picasso’s self-portraits from the age of 15 to 90

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Filed under Around the World, Art, Foreign Policy, History, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

New species of Pacific beaked whale confirmed

After Alexander

YES: “Why I can’t wait for the return of Gilmore Girls, the intelligent woman’s TV show”

Of course

Yep, but not gonna happen under Obama

What Trump doesn’t know about allies

The architect who became a diamond

Everyone has lost their damn minds

Yeah, I can’t vote for these people. Write-in or stay home it is.


Top men. Top. Men.

General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was almost 7,000 miles away from his office at the Pentagon when a mysterious call came in on a Friday night. It came from the number of his Turkish counterpart, Gen. Hulusi Akar, the leader of Turkey’s military and a critical ally in the fight against ISIS. But when Dunford’s office staff answered, it wasn’t Akar’s voice on the other end of the line — it was his kidnappers’, who, hours before, had started waging a bloody coup in the streets of Turkey. With Turkey’s top general and presidential confidante held hostage, they needed Dunford’s support. The general was asleep in Afghanistan during a routine visit to US forces there. He had already been roused once before for an unrelated issue, and his staff decided not to wake him. They told the coup plotters Dunford wasn’t available, and hung up the phone.

“Big Pharma” certainly has its downsides. But it has its upsides too.

Trump in the last 10 days:
1. Revive Cruz/Oswald conspiracy
2. Invite Russia to influence US election
3. Smear parents of a fallen hero
4. Trash a retired 4-star General 
5. Attack fire marshals for doing their jobs
Unhinged. What a disgrace.

A piano salesman with no showroom? No problem. These piano-lovers will make their homes available for use.

“George Thomas’s The Founders and the Idea of a National University is much more than a historical narrative. It is a work of civic art. The title is unassuming: one expects a historical study of the (failed) attempts to establish a national university in the United States—and the expectation is not disappointed—but the author’s concern is decidedly broader and much more ambitious. Thomas’s book is about American identity and the character of the nation and its people, and it offers a troubling prognosis for the political health of the country.”

In the past the GOP only pretended to be the Know Nothing Party. Now it really is.

Four Masterpiece PBS must-knows for 2017

Rocking Bach

Big museums need to stop hoarding treasures nobody ever sees

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Your Morning Cup of Links

What an absolutely fascinating story: “The Old West’s Muslim Tamale King”

I’ll give you two guesses.

If only a very loud group of people had told everyone for months that exactly this would happen.

A nation of children

People don’t want garbage, feces, and needles around their property. Shocking! OUTRAGE!

This is…not good.

Don’t bother killing terrorists. Get terrorists to kill each other. They’re paranoid, violent nutballs. It’s not difficult.

For the hundredth time, if you have dual citizenship in a safe Western country and a terror state DO NOT LEAVE THE SAFE WESTERN COUNTRY AND GO TO THE TERROR STATE.

Obama is a terrible president, but a good dad. And that’s not a small thing.

Not really. Bataclan was carried out by a very organized cell of professionals that had official ISIS recognition. No evidence of that yet here.

Taliban use ‘honey trap’ boys to kill Afghan police

Scientists say they’ve unearthed a completely new kind of meteorite

Avocado shortage fuels crime wave in New Zealand

Good job by The Daily Beast: A story about every victim of the Orlando massacre

Village besieged by monkeys after tourist attraction plan backfires

Meir Soloveichick on Rembrandt’s Moses with the Ten Commandments, “one of the most authentically Jewish works of art ever created.”

A new book purports to explain why so many people hate poetry

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Filed under Around the World, Art, Foreign Policy, Poetry, Science, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

Swedish police dismiss case of the revenge fart

Why some California inmates are turning to Shakespeare

Ploughshares and the Iran deal echo chamber

#‎NeverTrump‬ is quite simple. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard for so many to understand.

Good for Jake Tapper.

If Hillary runs like this (giving Marco Rubio’s stump speech) she’ll win in a landslide.

The ugliness and diversity of Soviet architecture

“If you put a gun to my head and told me that I had to vote for either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, I would but whisper, ‘Goodbye cruel world.'”

Romanian cave sealed for 5.5 million years, the most isolated ecosystem in the world, is full of strange creatures.

The fall of

On Hilary Mantel’s works and their adaptations

Trump has to be paying these people. They couldn’t possibly be helping him more. “Let’s wave Mexican flags, chant disparaging things about the United States, and knock pregnant women to the ground! That’ll show everyone Trump is wrong!” – people who are retarded

Gary Johnson: continuing to remind us all why we don’t vote Libertarian.

Prince Philip’s DNA to be used to identify the last of the Romanovs.

Bernard Lewis at 100

Old Master paintings stolen decades ago found in London vault

The judge Donald Trump is attacking once faced down the Mexican drug cartels, who tried to have him assassinated.

“Donald Trump’s ‘Secret’: Americans Love Bullshit Peddlers and Miracle Cures

The WSJ looks at American artists during the Great Depression who sought to forge a new national art and identity.


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Filed under Art, Foreign Policy, Literature, Politics, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

A tale of two architects. Frank Lloyd Wright, genius; Philip Johnson, highbrow aesthete. How were they rivals when one so eclipsed the other?

The inaugural address we won’t hear, but should

Washington elites can’t survive without ignorant voters

The Iran deal wasn’t about nukes at all

How do you memorize a 60,000-word poem?

In 1992, at the age of 58, Basinger decided to memorize Paradise Lost, John Milton’s epic poem, as a form of mental activity while he was working out at the gym. An actor, he’d memorized shorter poems before, and he wanted to see how much of the epic he could remember. “As I finished each book,” he wrote, “I began to perform it and keep it alive in repertory while committing the next to memory.”

The twelve books of Paradise Lost contain over 60,000 words; it took Basinger about 3,000 hours to learn them by rote. He did so by reciting the piece, line-by-line out loud, for about an hour a day for nine years. When he memorized all 12 books, in 2001, Basinger performed the masterpiece in a live recital that lasted three days.

War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Men are Women

Of course he was

That should do it. Problem solved!

Jesus Fucking Christ

One of the main problems of America’s many problems

For the first time in modern history, young adults ages 18 to 34 are more likely to live with a parent than with a romantic partner, according to a new census analysis by the Pew Research Center.

The man who invented stainless steel

People actually pay to send their children to this insane asylum.

More than thirteen hundred students signed a petition calling for the college to eliminate any grade lower than a C for the semester, but to no avail. “Students felt really unsupported in their endeavors to engage with the world outside Oberlin,” she told me.

America doesn’t deserve him.

When Whit Stillman met Jane Austen

And another essay on the above topic

The secret history of the Iran deal echo chamber

The genius of Edgar Allan Poe

What would it look like for an art lover to walk through the world of a painting they adore?

UK mounts $14 million campaign to save Queen Elizabeth I’s Armada portrait

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