The Twitterati sure has their undies in a bunch over this proposed Elon Musk takeover of Twitter. I’m sure that it is not a good thing, but I’ll reserve judgement until it is done. So, let me get this straight, he is going to pay about $43B for an app. $25B of which he will be borrowing, say at 4-5% interest. That will make Twitter’s interest payments greater than its current revenue. Then there is the whole former guy thing. MAGA is screaming to have him reinstated on Twitter, which at least so far has been the only penalty that he has had to suffer for his 1/6 insurrection. Like I said, I’m sure that it is not a good thing.
Speaking of Twitter, is it ever a good thing to see your 401(k)-management company trending on it? Apparently, Fidelity has announced that it will soon allow people to invest in crypto currency as part of their 401(k) portfolios. What could go wrong with that? Color me old fashion, but that seems a bit too risky for my blood. Fidelity plans on allowing savers to invest up to 20% of their savings into Bitcoin. Maybe this makes sense for young investors, who are still trying to grow their portfolios, but as a senior, I would prefer not to lose my life savings or even only 20% of it. I remember when the dot com bubble burst and all those flashy tech stocks tanked. I lost money too, but I didn’t lose my shirt.
I’m sitting here in Saint Louis, where we have been ice-bound since last Wednesday. I’ve been doom scrolling on Twitter, over the war in Ukraine. I think that after three days of this that I am now fully qualified as a newly minted foreign affairs specialist. I feel for the people of Ukraine, even though they are half a world away. There is not much that I personally can do for them, since I can barely make it halfway down our walk to fetch the paper. Kudos to the anonymous good Samaritan who has for the last few days tossed said paper half the distance to the door, which means that I only have to negotiate the set of stairs that has a railing and not the set that doesn’t. Apologies to Gil Scott-Heron, author to the song, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, for paraphrasing his title, but I wanted this blog post’s title to all fit on one line. Yeah, I’m just like that. Double apologies, because this war is not only being televised, but also being tweeted, hence all my doom scrolling. So, before the shine on my new foreign affairs diploma begins to tarnish, let’s dive right in. This is Putin’s war. He wanted it, he started it and he is to blame for it. That being said, there is still plenty of recriminations left to spread around. Like, why didn’t the Ukrainians begin to mobilize before the Russians actually invaded? Should Biden and NATO have been so categorical about promising to not send troops into Ukraine? Maybe a little ambiguity would have caused Putin some doubt and hesitancy? And finally, what planet does the Trumpster and his GQP live on that they think that their Putin cheerleading was a good idea? I mean their remarks were rebroadcasted on Moscow TV. Talk about giving aid and comfort to the enemy. It has only been a few days of fighting, way too early to judge any course for this war. The Ukrainians are frequently described as heroic and facing fearsome odds. Stepping back from such descriptions, they do not tend to encourage hope for a favorable outcome. On the other hand, there are sporadic reports of Russian columns falling behind schedule, of Russian tanks running out of gas. All that I can say, is that I hope that Ukraine gets an early spring, because then General Mud will come to their aid.
In 1860 Leonard Wells Volk made molds of the face and hands of Abraham Lincoln. The life mask reproduces Lincoln’s beardless face as it appeared during his first presidential campaign. This 3D representation of this mask is provided by Sketchfab, a website that sells 3D models and can be linked to from within a WordPress website. In addition to the objects that are for sale, numerous other objects, such as this one, are available for free. This mask can be rotated.
In honor of Presidents Day, I watched the four-part docuseries, Lincoln’s Dilemma, now streaming on Apple TV+. This series documents how Lincoln’s thoughts about slavery evolved and how he eventually was able to pass the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery. When first elected Lincoln was not in favor of abolishing slavery, but merely preventing its spread into the unincorporated western territories. This series dwells heavily on Lincoln’s relationship with the black abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who helped move Lincoln in the right direction. I’m not sure that I really understand what Critical Race Theory is, but I imagine that this docuseries qualifies as being part of it and I don’t think that it is a bad thing or something that our children need to be shielded from. The history of slavery and the subsequent history of the Civil Rights movement, for better or worse, is an important part of American history and needs to be taught.