58 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. jack, thank you. yes, bravos to hilary hahn.

    online asked about best carmen, the opera temptress, and a lot came up with elina garanca, but more for her acting than singing

    Aria from Act I from Bizet’s “Carmen.” Elina Garanca (Carmen). Conductor: Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Production: Richard Eyre (2009). From the 2010 Live in HD transmission.

  2. excerpt from Statement by President Joe Biden on Afghanistan | The White House from Camp David yesterday:

    Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in U.S. history. One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.
    When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. Forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew U.S. Forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500. Therefore, when I became President, I faced a choice—follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our Forces and our allies’ Forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict. I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan—two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth.

  3. earlier in the statement he announced:

    First, based on the recommendations of our diplomatic, military, and intelligence teams, I have authorized the deployment of approximately 5,000 U.S. troops to make sure we can have an orderly and safe drawdown of U.S. personnel and other allied personnel, and an orderly and safe evacuation of Afghans who helped our troops during our mission and those at special risk from the Taliban advance.

    Second, I have ordered our Armed Forces and our Intelligence Community to ensure that we will maintain the capability and the vigilance to address future terrorist threats from Afghanistan.

    Third, I have directed the Secretary of State to support President Ghani and other Afghan leaders as they seek to prevent further bloodshed and pursue a political settlement. Secretary Blinken will also engage with key regional stakeholders.

    Fourth, we have conveyed to the Taliban representatives in Doha, via our Combatant Commander, that any action on their part on the ground in Afghanistan, that puts U.S. personnel or our mission at risk there, will be met with a swift and strong U.S. military response.

    Fifth, I have placed Ambassador Tracey Jacobson in charge of a whole-of-government effort to process, transport, and relocate Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other Afghan allies. Our hearts go out to the brave Afghan men and women who are now at risk. We are working to evacuate thousands of those who helped our cause and their families.

  4. lest we forget the disgraced former guy’s pact with taliban to totally withdraw on may 1st

    See the source image

  5. altho this ‘toon was about another day and another takeover, it still applies if one substitutes taliban for the brotherhood character and adds the 1/6 insurrectionists to the rel. rt character

    See the source image

  6. meanwhile, back to the plague and the fires, floods, firearm fears and freedom for brittany spears

  7. Got into a discussion of Talk Show Hosts with people not familiar with Steve Allen and remembered his other great show “Meeting of the Minds” which featured historical characters in conversation.  You Tube has four of them, but here is one for Craig since it features Machiavelli



  8. Jack 

    Great selection and an amazing violinist.  Thank you.

    Patd beat me to the opera and Elena Garanca.  She certainly leaves nothing to the imagination in her other version of Habanera


  9. jamie,  kinda makes scene of dandrige’s carmen with belafonte look downright uptight prim and proper. 

    elina’s habanera is like a habanero pepper

  10. Yep, the chicken-fried Taliban would love to take away the rights of everyone except white, men who believed exactly as they believe.   ~freedom~

  11. not so sure that “peaceful transfer of power” means the same in taliban-ese as it does in english

    Taliban enter Kabul as US Embassy staff evacuates | TheHill


    Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told Al Jazeera that the group is “awaiting a peaceful transfer of Kabul city.” Taliban negotiators have reportedly gone to the presidential palace.

    According to Al Jazeera, Afghan Minister of the Interior Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal said on Sunday that there will be a “peaceful transfer of power” to a transitional government.

    “The Afghan people should not worry… There will be no attack on the city and there will be a peaceful transfer of power to the transitional government,” Mirzakwal said.


  12. according to this day in history among other things

    1057 – Macbeth, the King of Scotland, was killed by the son of King Duncan.


    it’s VJ day 

  13. the guardian:

    Here is more from Boris Johnson’s television interview from Downing Street a few moments ago.

    “It’s very important that the west collectively should work together to get over to that new government, be it by the Taliban or anybody else: nobody wants Afghanistan once again to be a breeding ground for terror and we don’t think it’s in the interests of Afghanistan that it should lapse back into that state that pre-2001 state.

    “And so what the UK will be doing is working with its partners in the UN [United Nations] security council, in the … Nato … to get that message over. We don’t want anyone bilaterally recognising the Taliban, we want a united position among all the like-minded, as far as we can get one, so that we can do whatever we can to prevent Afghanistan lapsing back into being a breeding ground for terror.”


    Johnson was asked if he is going to throw human rights “out of the window”. NB: most expert commentators do not expect 2021’s Taliban to be any less ruthless in its doctrines or methods than the pre-2001 leadership.

    “I think we need to see, of course we continue to attach huge importance to human rights, to equalities, think of everything that the UK has helped to achieve in the last 20 years, the sacrifice of that mission, a lot of women and girls were educated thanks to the efforts of the UK, and rights and equalities were promoted and protected in a way that Afghanistan hadn’t seen before,” said Johnson.

    “Of course we don’t want to see that thrown away, and what we are trying to do now is to concert the rest of the like-minded around the world, of whom there are a great many, to make sure that we don’t prematurely, bilaterally, recognise a new government in Kabul without forming a common view and setting the same conditions for how that government should behave.

  14. Canada suspends operations at embassy in Afghanistan, citing safety concerns | paNOW

    Canadians working to evacuate allies from Afghanistan described chaos, fear and disappointment on Sunday as Canada shut down its embassy in Kabul and suspended diplomatic relations amid a Taliban advance on the capital. 

    The federal government said the situation in Afghanistan poses “serious challenges” to its ability to ensure safety and security at the embassy. 

    “After consulting with Canada’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, the decision was made to temporarily suspend our diplomatic operations in Kabul,” the federal ministers of foreign affairs, immigration and defence said in a joint statement.

    The ministers said safety of Canadian personnel is a top priority, adding that staff are “safely on their way back to Canada.” 


    Canada has committed to taking in 20,000 refugees from the country who have already fled. 

    It also has said it is working to evacuate Afghans who have assisted Canada over the years. 

    On Sunday, the government said it was working with allies such as the United States to keep that immigration program for interpreters going, though Trudeau said that mission would depend on “the extremely fast evolving” conditions on the ground. 

    “We will continue to work to get as many Afghan interpreters and their families out as quickly as possible as long as the security situation holds,” he said.


  15. This morning, someone one NPR said that we didn’t fight a 20-year war, we fought many, smaller wars for 20 years with no clear plan.

  16. https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-middle-east-afghanistan-8d6d6d9e1e7cddbd49caf0b52a40c2e8

    “There were the first years of the war, when Americans broke up Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida in Afghanistan and routed the Taliban government that had hosted the terrorist network. That succeeded.“

    “The second half of the war allowed Afghan women, in particular, opportunities entirely denied them under the fundamentalist Taliban, so that more than 1 in 3 teenage girls — their whole lives spent under the protection of Western forces — today can read and write. But it’s that longest, second phase of the war that looks on the verge of complete failure now.“

    The Afghan army failed itself.

  17. So far as I can tell President Biden forgot the most important action, declare victory and then go home.  That irregardless of the actual outcome.

  18. Someone on Meet The Press mentioned that the Taliban retreats to their hole in the winter.  It seems like that would’ve been a better time to leave, but leave is what we needed to do. The little birdies in Afghanistan’s army were never going to fly.

  19. The death toll in Haiti is around 740 –

    For the disasters that will displace millions of people this year.

    This is the USA branch , the UK branch’s page seems to have changed into just helping the homeless in Britain. 
    When one thinks about it.  Shelter Box is not a bad way to help our homeless people.



  20. My sister said the other day my hippie nephew was depressed about the state of the world. 
    I think he may be carrying  the Chapman “black dog” gene.  I was named after my younger uncle . he was named for the commander of the Alamo.

  21. Ya know, the pics of the Taliban in Afghanistan’s presidential palace remind me of Orange Adolf’s chicken-fried Taliban in the US Capitol building.

  22. That school board meeting in Tenn.  last week has really stuck with me ,  those men screaming at doctors and nurses  who spoke up  about masks in schools. 
    The venom that  Trump injected into our collective blood stream is really coming home to rot our will to act on anything. 
    77 % of all the ICU beds in America tonight are filled .  And 90% of those people are the unvaxxed. 
    This means if you crash your Harley , you may die .
    This means if you have a stroke , you may die .
    This means if you have multiple gun shots wounds , you may die. 
     This means  if you are about to lose your baby and your life , you, and your baby may die. 
    It’s time to take the gloves off.  If you ain’t been vaxxed  at the emergency room door.  The car crash victim gets the bed .
    If this is truly a “War” , then it’s time  to stop treating the ones who will not join the fight. 

  23. Yep, adults shouldn’t even be admitted to the hospital if they haven’t been vaccinated.

  24. When I nearly burnt down Utah –
    We were drilling in the Fish Lake Nat. Forest.  Our mechanic had quit , so I got the job  at the LZ .  We had a “burn barrel”  at the LZ .  We were in the middle of a sage “forest” , a really tall one.  A sage landscape in the West is 18 , to 24 inches  tall. This one was around 3 feet . 
    When the barrel got full , I set it on fire.  Some fool has tossed two WD-40  cans into the barrel.  When they blew up it showered all that sage for 20 feet with embers,  Twice. 
    It set that whole  sage forest on fire.   I began screaming at the top of my lungs as I ran to my fire extinguisher, the helicopter swapper  heard me , and got his  Jet-A fire extinguisher.
    We put  it out. There was no wind , and that landscape was nowhere as dry as it all is today.  

  25. The Taliban  has an Air Force now,  and no one that can use it, or fix it.
    This brought  me to cell phone service.   I gotta think they ain’t got a lot  engineers to run it,  That’s  where  the world has power over them. 
    Turn off their wireless network.  We built it , kill it. 

  26. They want the  10th  century ,  give it to them.  Put their asses back on donkeys, and burn down their networks. 
    I leave you all  with this quote from a woman there. 
    The Taliban do not fear  B-52’s , they fear women . 

  27. If we thought we could foster a Turkish-style moderate Islamic democracy, there’s not even one of those in Turkey

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