A day late but always important to mark this date. Please see my other website and enjoy this song, “The D-Day Dodgers.” It is sung to the tune of “Lili Marlene” and refers to the dismissive attitude so many had toward the Allied Forces in Italy. With the “glamour” and headlines of June 6, 1944, they were overlooked, though their sacrifices were every bit as extraordinary, their battles as harsh, their courage as strong. (My uncle, in his letters, refers several times to his friend George Yente/s – or Lente/s – who was sending him letters from the front in Italy.)
From Josef Joffe, an excellent take on Saint Greta and her followers.
Today marks the 40th anniverary of the hostage taking at the American Embassy in Tehran. It got me to thinking about the day the hostages were released: I was in high school, and I think I was in some sort of choir practice because I seem to remember it was after regular school hours and an announcement came over the PA that the American hostages were on their way home. We cheered! The whole group of us kids cheered, as did our teachers.
I wonder what the reaction would be now, in a typical Canadian high school, to the same news. I don’t think there would be the same feeling of solidarity with the United States. It’s very sad, but anti-Americanism (which existed then but was nothing like what it is now) has absolutely permeated every aspect of Canadian life (note especially media and education). The narcissism of small differences takes centre stage.
It’s certainly true that back then Canada had helped save a group of American hostages, through the courage of Ken Taylor. So perhaps that is why we kids felt connected – but I think it was more. Regarding the U.S. with contempt has become our default position – always assuming that somehow they “deserve” it when bad things befall them, always assuming that we are superior and safe from the same threats. I had hoped that his attitude had reached peak stupidity after 9-11, but I suspect it is currently worse. One could argue that Donald Trump hasn’t helped, but I think the contempt runs deeper. It is bread and butter to us.
Oh, I know there are exceptions (I am one of them), but they are just that. It makes me tremendously sad that this sophomoric world view has become so deeply entrenched.
This weekend marks the 102nd anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. There is so much ignorance about it, so much unwarranted hostility and duplicity. Therefore I was delighted to find this piece from two years ago – outstanding historical research and interpretation.
Today is the anniversary of my brother’s death. Of course, I miss him and all the more so when something happens that I would love to discuss with him, or when a movie or TV show is on that I know he would love. This has certainly been the case with Ken Burns’ wonderful Country Music series on PBS. Alan loved country, and he would have adored this series. I thought of him during each episode, and imagined how great it would have been for him to call me up – as he used to – and chat with me about it.
In tribute to my brother, I offer you, dear readers, a song I hadn’t known before watching the series. (I will bet Alan knew it, though.) Get out your Kleenex.
One of the things Significant Other and I like to listen to when we drive somewhere is the Diary of Samuel Pepys, read by Kenneth Branagh. It’s captivating, edifying, vivid, funny and sad. Pepys wrote a lot about his meals – mostly mutton, it seems, and tankards of liquor – and so I found this discovery of one of his silver plates quite fascinating. Coincidentally, Jeff Jacoby wrote a column just last week about anti-Semitism, and opened it by quoting Pepys’s observations on his 1663 visit to a London synagogue.
Dear readers, I have only this to say: we are not a serious country.
Mercer sings a medley of his hits – with Steve Allen. Such fun, such stellar talents.
Here’s some real courage (as opposed to the faux courage of, say, a Greta Thunberg): a former Miss Iraq telling some truths to those who don’t want to hear it. She is likely to lose her Iraqi citizenship (this already may have happened), and possibly her life, over these kinds of comments. She has also engaged in a fruitless attempt to get famed Jew-hater Ilhan Omar to listen to facts.
Here’s an example of a column I wish I had written.
And here’s another.
And here’s some old-fashioned reporting that should be required reading for all, from Salena Zito, a fine journalist.