Daily Bread for 1.4.19

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be mostly sunny with a high of forty-one.  Sunrise is 7:25 AM and sunset 4:34 PM, for 9h 09m 23s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 1.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the seven hundred eighty-sixth day.

On this day in 1923, Milton College president A.E. Whitford bans dancing by students in off-campus, semi-public places such as confectionery stores.

Recommended for reading in full:

  David Frum asks Why Is Trump Spouting Russian Propaganda? (“The president’s endorsement of the U.S.S.R.’s invasion of Afghanistan echoes a narrative promoted by Vladimir Putin”):

Let’s go to the replay:

The reason Russia was in Afghanistan was because terrorists were going into Russia. They were right to be there.

To appreciate the shock value of Trump’s words, it’s necessary to dust off some Cold War history. Those of us who grew up in the last phases of the Cold War used to know it all by heart, but I admit I had to do a little Googling to refresh my faded memories.

It’s amazing enough that any U.S. president would retrospectively endorse the Soviet invasion. What’s even more amazing is that he would do so using the very same falsehoods originally invoked by the Soviets themselves: “terrorists” and “bandit elements.”


It has been an important ideological project of the Putin regime to rehabilitate and justify the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. Putin does not care so much about Afghanistan, but he cares a lot about the image of the U.S.S.R. In 2005, Putin described the collapse of the Soviet Union as (depending on your preferred translation) “the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century” or “a major geopolitical disaster of the 20th century”—but clearly a thing very much to be regretted.

See also Vladimir Kara-Murza’s essay Defying history, Moscow moves to defend Soviet war in Afghanistan.

 Fatima Tils reports RT Claims WADA ‘Failed’ to Collect Data from Moscow Lab. Actually, Russian Authorities Denied Access:

The report by Russia Today (RT) report came a day after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that Russia has missed the December 31, 2018 deadline for compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code. By that deadline, the Russian authorities were supposed to meet two conditions imposed by WADA’s Executive Committee back in September.

Also on January 2, 16 national anti-doping organizations issued a joint statement calling on WADA to suspend Russia immediately, stating: “Russia has failed to meet its obligations.”

RT’s January 2 report used language implying that it was the World Anti-Doping Agency’s own fault for not being able to access Moscow laboratory (LIMS) data, and that WADA president Craig Reedie had seemingly expressed disappointment toward his own organization.


WADA followed with a statement on January 2 leaving no space for doubt about who the organization blamed for the failure: “We are extremely disappointed that the Dec. 31 deadline imposed on Russia by WADA has not been adhered to by the Russian authorities.”

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