Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue
My Something/Someone Old today is King Edward VIII.
As more information about this man comes out, my opinion of him declines further. He apparently was not only a selfish, easily-manipulated, light-minded fool, but also had Nazi leanings (like many members of the British aristocracy, actually) and was arguably an actual traitor. I just watched the following show, which was more or less based on newly-declassified FBI documents from the 30s and 40s:
Now, let me say that this is a historical documentary in the new style, which combines some elements of real historical scholarship with some elements of the 1980s shows A Current Affair and Hard Copy. For instance, it continually repeats innuendo as fact, so you have to listen carefully to separate the wheat from the chaff. Remembering that J Edgar Hoover was in charge of all these investigations should make any American careful of relying on statements from FBI documents of that time that do not have a clear chain of evidence. For instance, the FBI has always seemed to like speculating about its targets' sex lives, and I'm not convinced that Wallis Simpson was sleeping with everybody they said she was. When the evidence looks like this, my eyebrows go up:
The exercise was launched after the FBI had been passed intelligence that the duke and duchess were being used by the Nazis to obtain secrets which could wreck the allies' war effort. The US investigation became even more lurid when FBI agents interviewed a Benedictine monk in a Franciscan monastery in the United States; Father Odo had once been the Duke of Wurttemberg, a minor German royal with connections to Queen Mary, the duke's mother, and her brother, the Duke of Athlone, then governor general of Canada.
Father Odo told the agent: "He knew definitely that von Ribbentrop [the Nazi foreign minister], while in England, sent the then Wallis Simpson 17 carnations every day. The 17 supposedly represented the number of times they had slept together."
To begin with, the idea that the FBI visited a Franciscan monastery where a German Benedictine was staying in order to get juicy details of Wallis Simpson's sex life is just surreal. But more than that, the story sounds implausible. If they were lovers, why did the number of liaisons stay at 17?
Did they sleep together and then stop? Is this an affair that was over and done? In which case, why do you care (more on that later)?
If the affair was over, then why did he keep sending her 17 flowers a day? Because he couldn't get over her? How does the Benedictine monk, former minor royalty, "know definitely" that they had sex 17 times? Did von Ribbentrop tell him so? If so, why isn't that information in the FBI document? When someone says they "know definitely" but don't say how, it immediately makes me suspicious. What if von Ribbentrop was just trying to butter her up so she could remain a useful source? More to the point, who cares?
The minister was already thought to have been supplied with information by the duchess during the German invasion of France in 1940. Now it was suggested that there was far closer arrangement.
So let me get this straight. They already knew that Simpson was passing information to the Nazis during the German invasion of France. This is leading up to Dunkirk, right? And somehow, Wallis Simpson having sex with this guy, or not, is more important than what the FBI already knew? I thought the whole point of finding out if someone is "sleeping with the enemy" was that a person might be likely to leak information to their lovers. If you already know that someone is passing information to the enemy while the enemy is advancing toward your home, what the hell do you care who sleeps with whom?
That said, there's some interesting data that has emerged as the work of a German historian, Karina Urbach. Urbach apparently dug through historical archives in several countries (not Britain, where the information is under lock and key), and found evidence that Edward, after abdication, was actually urging the Germans to bomb Britain into submission:
“In June 1940 Don Javier Bermejillo, a Spanish diplomat and old friend of Windsor – he had known him since the 1920s – reported a conversation he had had with the Duke to his superiors,” Urbach said.
The diplomat says he had heard the embittered duke blame “the Jews, the Reds and the Foreign Office” for the approaching war, long before it began.
In another conversation on June 25, 1940,” Urbach writes, “Bermejillo reported that Windsor stressed ."
“Bermejillo concluded that the Duke of Windsor seemed : ‘He wants peace at any price.’”
The report found its way into the hands of Spain’s own fascist dictator, General Franco, according to Urbach. It was “then passed on to the Germans.”
“The bombing of Britain started on 10 July,” she added
Sounds like Edward was a venomous little shit, with, shall we say, little concern for consequences, but I'll bet Hitler regretted taking the advice. It's shocking how little Edward understood his own people, though I'll admit it was touch and go, and without Churchill's leadership on the domestic front, the Blitz might have worked. Still, the idea that the British are likely to crumble under adversity is not particularly supported by evidence. They have cultural faults, for certain, but that's not one of them. If anything, they seem to get stronger when faced with adversity. Whether or not that strength is deployed in a beneficial direction is another matter, but custardy weaklings they are not.
Regardless, urging a country at war with your own to bomb your own country harder pretty much defines treason. If true, I'm not surprised the British put the information under lock and key; if they had not, they would have been placed in the embarrassing position of having to bring Edward back and execute him.
And ironically, by getting Edward infatuated with her, it's arguable that Wallis Simpson may have saved the nation of Britain from becoming a Nazi outpost. Funny old world, ain't it?
My Something New this week is Hillary's new dossier:
Hillary Clinton is in secret negotiations with Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous Russian dossier, to purchase a second report that allegedly contains salacious new charges against President Trump, according to several sources with personal knowledge of the transaction.
Apparently this time it's not about prostitutes pissing and whether or not such things could be used to blackmail Donald Trump, which to me sounds like saying you could make a rodeo clown look bad by putting a toilet seat around his neck. Anyway, that dossier has been discredited. So obviously the smart thing to do is to get a second such dossier from the same source.
Is this how she always handles political challenges? I'm stunned that we made it through her tenure as Secretary of State. Just as it was a good thing Joe McCarthy was wrong about there being a Communist infiltration of the U.S. government, because if there had been he would have totally botched any investigation into it, having not the slightest clue how to actually identify either Communists or spies, it's a good thing that this Trump-is-controlled-by-Russia narrative is a lie, because if it were true, Hillary's investigations into the matter would totally obscure any actually significant information.
The second dossier will allegedly contain evidence that Trump had 'romantic involvements with Russian women' connected to the Kremlin's spy apparatus
Connected how? In the same way that Kevin Bacon is connected to Vladimir Putin?
Vladimir Putin has a Bacon number of 3.
Zima, ukhodi! (2012)
Yoko Ono (I)
Imagine New York (2003)
I bring this up not merely to point out its absurdity. The reports of Hillary's new dossier have led me to a serious decision.
Until or unless actual, significant new information comes out about Hillary or Bill or their political machine, I'm no longer going to talk about Hillary, Bill, or their political machine.
Why? Because she won't stop campaigning. As I said elsewhere this week, the media centrifuge keeps spinning faster and faster, whirling the poisonous solids of her campaign talking points into a fine paste while emitting an increasingly high-pitched whine. I want someone to turn down the volume on that noxious shit, and it's increasingly clear the only one who can do that is me. It won't get turned down by the media or by her, and there's apparently no one powerful enough to make her stop it--or, more likely, we haven't yet reached a critical mass of elites who are sick of her.
The only thing to do is to stop paying attention to it on my end.
I'm currently doing some political writing of my own, that I hope may eventually turn into something publishable, and I might write about the Clintons there (it could come up in my discussion of other things). But my time of blogging about them, and about her specifically, is done for the time being. All of you already know what I think of the Clinton/Bush political cartel; I've repeated my views of them often enough. I have to take time off from her poisonous crap. Giving her my attention now feels like feeding a troll.
I'm a sucker for this song, and embedding the Doctor Who video above got it on my mind. So for my Something Borrowed today, a young fellow named Aldo Blaga doing a really smashing job of "Moonlight Serenade." This video is from five years ago. I wonder what he's doing now?
Here's another cover, in a more whimsical vein, by a young woman with a ukulele:
My Something Blue today is the bluespotted ribbontail stingray of the Pacific.
Found from the intertidal zone to a depth of 30 m (100 ft), this species is common throughout the tropical Indian and western Pacific Oceans in nearshore, coral reef-associated habitats. It is a fairly small ray, not exceeding 35 cm (14 in) in width, with a mostly smooth, oval pectoral fin disc, large protruding eyes, and a relatively short and thick tail with a deep fin fold underneath. It can be easily identified by its striking color pattern of many electric blue spots on a yellowish background, with a pair of blue stripes on the tail.
Its range is pretty extensive, from South Africa through the Mediterranean and the Indian ocean, all the way over to the Pacific Ocean. It is categorized as "near-threatened," so it's doing fairly well, all things considered, given that its preferred coral habitat is in deep trouble. Not sure you can see the blue edging along the continents which represent its range--I hope it comes through!
One of the most abundant stingrays inhabiting Indo-Pacific reefs, the bluespotted ribbontail ray generally spends the day hidden alone inside caves or under coral ledges or other debris (including from shipwrecks), often with only its tail showing. At night, small groups assemble and swim onto shallow sandy flats with the rising tide to feed. Unlike many other stingrays, this species seldom buries itself in sand. The bluespotted ribbontail ray excavates sand pits in search of molluscs, polychaete worms, shrimps, crabs, and small benthic bony fishes; when prey is located, it is trapped by the body of the ray and maneuvered into the mouth with the disc. Other fishes, such as goatfish, frequently follow foraging rays, seeking food missed by the ray.
Here's some cool footage of a bluespotted ribbontailed ray in the Red Sea. This was seven years ago: