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PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post Twelve Years as WAIS Editor
Created by John Eipper on 08/28/18 5:34 PM

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Twelve Years as WAIS Editor (John Eipper, USA, 08/28/18 5:34 pm)

WAISers, today (August 28th) I celebrate 12 years in the editor's chair.  That is a long time to be in a chair, but I do get up to stretch my legs from time to time.

This year, instead of witty pleas for donations, I've put my feelings in a song.  Pax et lux--and thank you for entrusting me with this job of a lifetime!  As ever, your JE.

Twelve Years of WAISing

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
The EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Three French defeats*
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Foreign relations
Three French defeats
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Five posts [more or less] per day!
Foreign relations
Three French defeats
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Six Arab Springins'
Five posts [more or less] per day!
Foreign relations
Three French defeats
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Seven early mornings
Six Arab Springins'
Five posts [more or less] per day!
Foreign relations
Three French defeats
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Eight Years Obamin'
Seven early mornings
Six Arab Springings
Five posts [more or less] per day!
Foreign relations
Three French defeats
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Nine Hells a' circlin'
Eight Years Obamin'
Seven early mornings
Six Arab Springings
Five posts [more or less] per day!
Foreign relations
Three French defeats
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Ten Lords Brex-iting
Nine Hells a' circlin'
Eight Years Obamin'
Seven early mornings
Six Arab Springings
Five posts [more or less] per day!
Foreign relations
Three French defeats
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Eleven states secedin'
Ten Lords Brex-itin'
Nine Hells a' circlin'
Eight Years Obamin'
Seven early mornings
Six Arab Springings
Five posts [more or less] per day!
Foreign relations
Three French defeats
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.

In Twelve Years of WAISing, I've learned a thing or three:
Spanish Civil warrin' (12 months/year)
Eleven states secedin'
Ten Lords Brex-itin'
Nine Hells a' circlin'
Eight Years Obamin'
Seven early mornings
Six Arab Springings
Five posts [more or less] per day!
Foreign relations
Three French defeats
Too many links
And the EU is ruled by Germany.


*Waterloo, Dien Bien Phu, All of WWII except the very end?


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  • Twelve Years as Editor... (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 08/29/18 3:03 AM)

    CONGRATULATIONS, and hoping for many many more years.


    JE comments:  You flatter me, Eugenio!  Grazie. If WAISers will have me for twelve more years (palace coup, anyone?), I'll be honored to serve.  Which gets me thinking:  what kinds of stuff will we be discussing in 2030--besides the Spanish Civil War?  Anyone care to speculate?  We haven't done a Futurology thread in way too long.

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  • Twelve Years as Editor...and a WAIS Conference? (Michael Sullivan, USA 08/29/18 3:25 AM)

    Very clever! When do you plan to have another WAIS symposium? I'm still hoping for the Cuba get-together! Lots of folks are going there now and seem to have enjoyed their experience.


    JE comments:  Many thanks and Semper fi, General!  Our plans for a Cuba conference in 2017 ran out of steam, but how about 2019?  Can I gauge preliminary interest?  Preferences for months?  Our last two WAIS meetings were in October, but it's also hurricane season in the Caribbean.  Aldona and I visited Cuba in December '17, and the weather was perfect.


    Granted, Cuba is controversial for some WAISers.  Perhaps we should consider Europe instead?  Mexico would also be a splendid setting.  Let's talk about this.


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    • WAIS '19 in Spain? (Timothy Ashby, Spain 08/30/18 2:30 PM)
      My preference would be for a WAIS symposium in Europe (preferably España!). October is good timing as fares and accommodation prices are relatively low. I love Cuba but the logistics of getting there are difficult for me.

      My (selfish) vote would be for Palma, which is a jewel of city. Alternately Madrid, Barcelona or Sevilla.


      Hasta pronto...


      JE comments: So the clock is set: WAIS '19, October.  Now all we need is a stage.  Spain is a natural, given Prof. Hilton's scholarly legacy and the large number of colleagues there.  Other proposals for venues?

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    • Thoughts on Venues for WAIS '19 (Patrick Mears, Germany 08/31/18 3:41 AM)
      I have just some feedback below on John E's request for possible venues for a WAIS conference in 2019.

      Cuba would extremely interesting for me. I have a soft spot in my heart for Son Cubano. However, I have been following somewhat the up-and-down developments concerning the alleged "hypersonic" (?) attacks on American diplomats, and that would be a cause for concern. But obviously neither you nor Aldona came back to the US injured. Are there any concerns about US citizens traveling to Cuba under the Trump Administration? Again, that appears not to have impacted your trip. I recall some groups having traveled to Cuba before the Obama "Opening," and requiring some sort of certification that the travel would have some sort of educational foundation. Tim Ashby could probably answer this question in an instant.


      Europe would be fine for me as well--not so far to travel. If this were to become WAIS's focus, then perhaps some country a bit off the beaten path would be interesting. Portugal has become a very popular travel destination recently, so that is not so much off the beaten path, but a wonderful place to visit. I attended an insolvency law conference a few years ago in Cascais, a resort town not far from Lisbon and easily accessible to Lisbon via regularly scheduled commuter trains. Corsica has always interested me, but I understand that it is a pricey travel destination. Maybe the costs would not be so high during the off-season. Sardinia falls into the same category. My wife, Connie, will be on a press trip to Sardinia this Friday, so I will be able to hear all about it soon enough.


      Spain, of course, is dear to many WAISers' hearts. We visited Ronda earlier this year, which impressed us greatly. Finally, the European Cities of Culture for 2019 are Matera in Italy's Basilicata Province and Plovdiv in Bulgaria--either of those cities might work and are indeed "off the beaten path."


      Finally, there are some places that are very remote that have been tempting me for years to break down and visit, especially the Cape Verde Islands (again, fantastic music from artists like Cesária Évora) and São Tomè and Princípe.


      I am very interested to hear what other WAISers are thinking.


      JE comments:  Excellent suggestions all, Pat.  Bulgaria is exotic and fascinating, but I wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to organize a conference there, especially because we don't have any colleagues on the ground. 


      As for the legality of Cuba travel, US citizens have to check a few boxes when they book their trip.  (Our questionnaire was on-line and linked to the same page where we found the flight.)  Recreational tourism is still not allowed, but anything educational (like a conference) is permitted.  And when two or more WAISers get together, it's always educational!

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      • Venues for WAIS '19: Off the Beaten Path? (Timothy Brown, USA 09/02/18 4:44 AM)
        If off-beat is of interest for a WAIS conference, how about French Guiana--or Nicaragua?

        In French Guiana, which is part of the European Union, the Euroespace center might even launch a satellite for us.  Then there's the 3rd French Foreign Legion (I'm a "Son of the Regiment").  There's also Devil's Island (although in French its name is Health Island).  There are also Native American indigenous villages just off the only main highway.



        And, if we were able to get the gendarmes to canoe us up the Maroni River (there's no road), we could visit a Bosh-Boni settlement of escaped African slaves that had re-established themselves in the jungles of Suriname.  We could also visit one of its Laotian Hmong villages for a taste of Southeast Asia.


        We could get there via Martinique, so there would be no need to cross the Atlantic.


        And since it's part of the EU (FYI: France and the EU border on more Western Hemisphere countries than the US does), and could stay in a European-style hotel (it's a bit hot, so the AC does come in handy) and dine in French Guiana's gourmet restaurants (they fly the ingredients in from France daily).


        Just make sure you've had your Yellow Fever shot before you go.


        On second thought, if we'd like to visit an "authoritarian-socialist" country (The Economist's new label for Marxist) maybe Nicaragua would be better. After all, Cuba's "authoritarian-socialist" government is so well "established," you'll think you're on the Riviera, whereas in Managua we could watch the daily demonstrations out of our tenth floor hotel windows.


        (Of course, I haven't been to either for years, so lots of things have probably changed. I also no longer have the contacts I did the as US Consul General or a Hoover fellow, so arranging either of the above might be a problem.)


        PS: On Travel to Cuba.  When he took office, President Reagan ordered the rules to be rewritten so that family visits and educational travel to Cuba would not be impeded. As far as I know, they still authorize family reunion visits by citizens or residents of the US with relatives up to the "third degree of consanguinity" (if you can't scare up at least one third cousin in Cuba you probably aren't really going just to visit family) and visits for the purpose of education, research or a number of other purposes (health, official business, safety of navigation, etc.).


        Or at least that's the way they read in 1982 after I rewrote them.


        JE comments:  Tim, a Map Geek (me) had to look up the bordering countries of French Guiana, and they are but two:  Brazil and Suriname.  The US also has two.  Were you including St Martin (borders on The Netherlands) in your calculation?  If we're going to get creative, the US also abuts Cuba (Guantánamo), and shares a maritime border with Russia in Alaska.  For its part, France also has a sea border with Canada at St Pierre/Miquelon.


        I'm probably overlooking something.


        Nicaragua was delightful when I visited in 2008, but things there have gotten hairy.  And Tim, isn't French Guiana very expensive?  (I just found €7 for a dozen eggs and €18 for a simple lunch.)  We WAISers appreciate value almost as much as intellectual stimulation.

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    • Venues for WAIS '19: How about Chihuahua? (Richard Hancock, USA 08/31/18 4:10 AM)
      John; Thanks so much for your 12 years of superlative service.

      I would like to mention the Mexican state of Chihuahua as a possible site for our next WAIS meeting. I am well acquainted with Chihuahua because Nancy and I spent the summer of 1957 doing field work for my PhD dissertation and Nancy for her MA thesis in Spanish. My dissertation was "The Role of the Bracero in the Economic and Cultural Dynamics of Mexico, A Case Study of Chihuahua," published in 1959 by the Hispanic American Society, Stanford.


      I also wrote a book, Chihuahua, A Guide to the Wonderful Country, published in 1978. Nancy and I and Bill Williams, our photographer, published eight full-color coffee-table bilingual books for then-Governor Patricio Martínez from 2001-4. We covered every part of the state, flying in a state helicopter for perhaps a total of 150 hours.


      Chihuahua is the largest state in Mexico and is about the size of the state of Wyoming. Chihuahua has marvelous scenery that stretches from its desert east at an altitude of 1,800 feet westward to the continental divide at an average height of about 7,500 ft. where it drops off to the Pacific Ocean, presenting absolutely marvelous scenery with 11 rivers that drain into the Pacific. These canyons are as deep, some of them even deeper than the Grand Canyon. Its highest mountain in this region is Mohinora with an altitude of almost 11,000 ft. The Basaseachi Falls have a height of 807 ft, and the nearby Piedra Volada Falls, at a height of 1,486 ft., are the 9th highest in the world. The Chihuahua Pacific Railroad, which connects Cd. Chihuahua with the Pacific coast, is one of the most scenic railroads in North America.


      The two largest cities of Chihuahua are Ciudad Juárez, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas and Cd. Chihuahua (population, 878,062 in 2010), is about 200 miles south of Juárez. Juárez is very accessible but I wouldn't recommend it because it has had the highest murder rate in Mexico for several years. The state of Chihuahua is a fabulous place to visit, but there are serious problems with the drug cartels. The city itself seems stable now, but is on the State Department cautionary list, along with a number of other cities in Mexico, including some of the tourist hot spots like Cancún.


      JE comments:  I've traveled Mexico far and wide over the years, but not wide enough--never been to Chihuahua.  Richard, your descriptions of Chihuahua on WAIS have intrigued me for years. 


      As for a setting for WAIS '19 (October), I'd like to ensure the largest attendance possible.  Obviously, Mexico (and Cuba) are more convenient for WAISers in the Western Hemisphere.  Spain/Portugal better suit our European colleagues.  Let's keep discussing this.  Planning a trip is nearly as exciting as the trip itself!

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  • Twelve Years as Editor... (Timothy Ashby, Spain 08/29/18 2:01 PM)
    John, thanks for your devoted service--above and beyond the call of duty--as our WAIS editor over the past decade plus two years. You are absolutely the best possible successor to Professor Hilton (whom I knew well).

    The King is Dead, Long Live the King (of WAIS).


    I very much hope that we can meet during the next year.


    JE comments: I blush, Tim. The outpouring of support from the WAISitudes has been humbling. Stay tuned for a greeting from José Ignacio Soler in Caracas.

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  • Twelve Years as Editor... (José Ignacio Soler, Venezuela 08/29/18 2:31 PM)
    Twelve years of WAISing, John! ¡Caramba! A long time.

    It is a great thing to count on you, John. Your dedication, commitment, and discipline deserve my full recognition and admiration.


    It is your wisdom and temperance that makes this multicultural Forum worth celebrating and participating in.  It is full of diverse characters, knowledge and experiences that enrich everyone. I am sure we all expect you to remain a long time.


    Thanks John, for being you and being there.


    JE comments:  Thank you, Nacho, for enriching the understanding of WAISers.  And soon, you'll be doing the same for my advanced Spanish students:  a Skype "visit" on the myriad challenges facing Venezuela.  ¡Mil gracias, Amigo!


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  • Ted Nugent for WAIS? (David Duggan, USA 08/30/18 6:53 AM)
    As one who has written his share of spoofs, none repeatable in polite WAIS company ("Bridge Over Chappaquiddick," "A-Bombs Resting in an F-16," "Atlantis"), I tip my hat to you for your Twelve Years of WAISing, friend.

    I have tried to get your Detroit homeboy, Ted Nugent, the Motor City Motor Mouth, interested in these magna opera without success.  Perhaps you or some other WAISer can point me in the right direction. Congratulations!


    JE comments:  David, you've really forwarded WAIS posts to Ted Nugent?  He's not the first rocker I'd think of for WAIShood, but he is a neighbor.  Google says he lives in Concord, Michigan and Waco, Texas.  Tiny Concord is 30 minutes from Adrian.


    I'm not obsessed with hunting à la The Nuge, but his outspokenness fits the wide ideological tent that is WAIS.  I should add that yesterday I experienced (literally) a cat scratch--from a shelter kitty we're thinking of adopting.

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    • What's the Deal with Cats? (Francisco Ramirez, USA 09/02/18 4:11 AM)
      When responding to David Duggan on August 30th, John E mentioned a recent visit to an animal shelter and his possible adoption of a cat.

      In lieu of accolades for his twelfth anniversary as WAIS editor, and and as alternative to shelter kittens, I offer you these unsheltered cats.


      No, I do not come with them.


      JE comments: The kitty we had originally planned on adopting turned out to be very bitey and scratchy (hence the Nugent reference), so we will probably bring home two geriatric and supersized brothers, age 13 and weighing 15 and 20 pounds, respectively.  Francisco Ramírez (below) likes 'em even bigger.  (Chiqui:  is the photo from Africa, or somewhere closer?)

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      • A Family Trip to Kenya (Francisco Ramirez, USA 09/04/18 4:25 AM)
        John E asked about the photo with lion cubs I posted on September 2. It is from South Africa and was taken many years ago. These are three- to four-week-old cubs. Presumably harmless.

        This summer my wife and I celebrated our 50th anniversary by inviting our children, their spouses, and grandchildren to a safari vacation in Kenya. This was a first in Africa for all of them except Yours Truly. It was an amazing glamping experience for all. Our local guides were very knowledgeable. We saw the big five, including a mother lion transporting her cubs across the road (within ten meters from our Land Rover), a leopard crossing a river in our direction, etc.


        A WAIS conference in Mara Mara?


        JE comments: Congratulations on the Golden milestone, Chiqui!  I had to fact-check "glamping" as I was certain it was a typo.  But no:  it's a portmanteau word of "glamour" and "camping."  Think luxury tents, porters for your stuff, and wine by the campfire.  I'm not much for roughing it, so glamping is calling my name.


        Chiqui, when time permits, can you send some pix?


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        • Post Unpublished - please check back later


      • Introducing Xisca and Sons/Daughters (Timothy Ashby, Spain 09/06/18 7:04 PM)
        I couldn't resist sending my own cat story from Mallorca.

        We were recently "adopted" by a young feral female (named "Xisca") and her four gatitos. All are so bold (yet well behaved) that they blithely stroll into our casa and follow us around the patio, lolling in the shade. An extended familia de gatos now inhabits our garden as the apparent father of the gatitos and a thoroughly beaten-up old tomcat have also made an appearance, no doubt drawn via the cat-grapevine to the food we put out for the gata and her offspring.


        JE comments: Tim, I can think of no cuter way to begin a day's WAISing. To heck with Russian naval maneuvers, anonymous "high-level" op-eds and tendentious Tweets. Bring on more cats!


        Xisca is the Catalan diminutive of Francesca.  Franny?  Her feline ancestors must have shipped to the island with the earliest Phoenicians.

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  • Greetings from Leo Goldberger (Leo Goldberger, USA 08/30/18 10:03 AM)
    Despite my absence from active participation this past year or so, I'm still an avid daily reader of WAIS that I value so much.

    But more than that, your amazing range of knowledge and kind editorship has continuously filled me with admiration and awe. May you continue for many years to come.


    Congratulations on your first 12...All the best, Leo


    JE comments: Your delightful greeting is worthy of framing, Leo. I will treasure it. Thank you.


    Newer WAISers may not remember Leo Goldberger well, but his illustrious career as a scholar and humanitarian is worthy of horn-tooting. Modesty is one of Leo's many virtues, so I hope he'll forgive me for linking to his Wikipedia bio:


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Goldberger



     

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