Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Bits and Pieces - August 1, 2012

Surveillance makes all sorts of animals crabby. I've really wanted to photograph the curve-billed thrashers in my yard, and now I've got one. The birdcam is an automatic camera that I set in strategic locations. The thrasher is sitting on the birdbath.

Roger Cohen's review of Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup, by Christopher de Bellaigue, is one of the more helpful things I've read in understanding Iran. Probably should read de Bellaigue's book, too.

A map of Poland and the Baltic States in 1920. Some insights there, too, on why Latvia has been less successful than its neighbors. The Treaty of Tartu, signed between Finland and Estonia on one side and the Soviet Union on the other, was concluded in October 1920, and moved the boundary further east on the south side of Lake Peipus. The map may have been published earlier.

How about a hotline telephone between Washington and Tehran?

I'm not going to do a lot of campaigning. Regular readers know I'm going to vote for President Obama in November. But David Rothkopf nails what Mitt Romney needs to do after his awful foreign trip.

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