Thursday, 11 November 2021


Although one might be forgiven that the initial summary conclusion of semiotician—a student of processes and signifiers, like flow-charts and equations—Charles K. Bliss (*1897 - †1895, born Karl Kasiel Blitz in the Austro-Hungarian Empire but migrated to Australia after the war and release from concentration camps via Shanghai) was that the strife in his homeland was caused by the inability to communicate, we suppose that one only need look at his Blissymbols as a precursor (see also) to our extended character-set of emoji. The constructed ideographic writing system first expounded in 1949 and elaborated subsequently, even assigned its own ISO script block. Originally championed as a heuristic for teaching grammar to those with learning challenges, a set of Blissymbols were adapted into the universal suite of directional and informational glyphs found at train terminals, airports, stadia and hotels following the tourist explosion and jet-setting of the 1960s. More to explore at the links above.

Saturday, 6 November 2021


the audience effect: fellow blogger and internet caretaker Duck Soup passes a million page-views

ะณั€ะฐั„ะธั‡ะบะธ ะดะธะทะฐั˜ะฝ: celebrating the works of three pioneering Serbian graphic designers and topographers

mountain view: a prop gravesite used for film and television, interred and disinterred thousands of times, in a very real cemetery 

subject matter expert: the street photography of Eric Kogan—via the morning news  

utter rubbish: traumatising photographs of the garbage, sometimes neatly knolled, that humans produce  

the briefing: a definitive guide to COP 26  

greased falcon: a fan-channel dedicated to Star Wars! The Musical (2008)  

time in a bottle: hackers are amassing encrypted data in the hopes that within a few years, quantum computers will be able to unlock it—via Slashdot 

return to comfort town: more on brilliant housing development in Kyiv inspired by building blocks—see previously

Friday, 3 September 2021


Via Web Curios, we thoroughly enjoyed this scrolly-telling celebration of Ukrainian independence, having just recently observed its thirtieth anniversary, adopted by parliament on 24 August 1991 in the aftermath of the failed coup when party hardliners tried to reassert control and reverse the reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev, which not only presents the country’s history but moreover lauds its accomplishments, culture, attractions and other highlights with splashy call-outs and a touch of Doge-level mawkishness that compels one to read through to the end.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021


westward ho: a publication that captured Southern California’s aesthetic with the help from Milton Glaser and others 

strangers on a plane: the all-star cast of the first in the disaster franchise Airport 1970see previously  

tilt-shift: Little Big World explores the Erzgebirge—see also 

flowers of ukraine: a Brutalist greenhouse in Kiev that escaped the wrecking ball—via Things Magazine  

backwards compatible: a look at the development of plug-and-play technologies and its very forward-looking, consequential decisions 

going up: the explosive innovations investment in a space elevator (see previously) could bring about—via Kottke’s Quick Links 

gimme some starlight: the original lyrics to Thriller before being workshopped 

all signs point east: a branding and tourism campaign aims to inspire discovery, wonder and frolic

Thursday, 24 June 2021


autobus park № 7: explore Kyiv’s derelict modernist transportation hippodrome—via Things Magazine  

blue: listen to rediscovered demos and outtakes from Joni Mitchell’s album on its fiftieth anniversary 

i’m chasing martian: excellent auditory illusion illustrated—see previously—from chanting fans  

dark matter, dark fish: the overwhelming biomass of Earth’s ecosystem is essentially undetectable for us (see also) yet we claim the right to rubbish it  

warriors of the zenith, warriors of the nadir: a 1904 ethnograph of Zuni ritual masks  

work-life balance: Japanese government proposes four-day work-week  

shareware: a look at the App Store’s predecessor, Software Labs  

private viewing: the collectors who saved modernist Soviet masterpieces

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

durgan script

The always engrossing Language Log of the University of Pennsylvania acquaints us with a endangered and diffuse language—spread across Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine and Mongolia—in the Sinitic (Chinese) family but written with Cyrillic and uniquely not Sinographic characters (see also). The continuum of Gansu, Mandarin and Dungan (Kansu) is mutually intelligible to a large extent. Tones are marked with the glyphs front yer and back yer (ะฌ / ะช) from the Old Church Slavonic (see above and here too) and the current orthography is a compromise dating back to the 1920s when the Soviet Union banned Arabic and Persian-based writing systems, looked on disfavourably from the beginning as merchants along the Silk Road could conduct trade deals in a language that was secret to their neighbours.

Wednesday, 24 March 2021

start spreading the news

Approved last month by the country’s parliamentary committee on the Organisation of State Power, Local Self-Government, Regional Development and Urban Planning approved the motion to restore the name of the settlement in the far eastern Donetsk Oblast back to ะัŒัŽ-ะ™ะพั€ะบ (New York, officially romanised as Niu-York), which it was called until 1951 and the heating up of the Cold War prompted the change to the more sedate Novhorodske—New Town. Though unclear what the origins of the name were with competing theories ranging from German Mennonites invited to develop the area in the nineteenth century and calling it after their hometown Jork by Hamburg to a practical joke, residents are hopeful that the change will have a revitalising effect. More from the Calvert Journal at the link above.

Tuesday, 9 March 2021

won’t you take me to comfort town?

Nag on the Lake’s Picture of the Day transports us to housing estate completed in 2019, first conceived in the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis built on the campus of a moribund rubber factory on Kyiv’s industrial Left Bank, perplexingly to the right of the Dnieper river. Painted and clad in a fashion to suggest children’s wooden building block architecture, the affordable low-rise apartment blocks are a colourful contrast to the landscape of older so-called krushchevki, the housing scheme promoted under Soviet rule whose necessary up-keep did not always carry over when ownership transferred into individual stakeholders.

Monday, 13 April 2020


The second day of Bright Week—the Octave of Easter, is a public holiday in Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia as an extension of Eastertide and events sometimes traditionally include egg races and other activities to use up, put away the festoonery—a pretty practical idea, which in parts of central Europe, including parts of Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Hungary and Ukraine they had down to a science, once at least though the practise seems to be less and less common.
Called in Polish above and Oblรฉvaฤka in Czech, “Wet Monday” (or simply Dyngus Day by diaspora) was chance for adolescents to throw water on each other and flirtatiously beat each other with willow branches that made up traditional egg trees and decorative boughs. With suspected roots in pagan fertility ceremonies and the welcoming of spring countered by Christian missionaries trying impose their religion on the natives, linguists conjecture that ล›migus refers to baptism—an involuntary or unwanted one at that, going all the way back to the conversion of Mieszko I, the Duke of the Poles in 966 (coincidentally also on this day)—and Dingnis—from the old German for ransom—refers to the tribute that one can pay in leftover eggs to avoid getting doused or whipped.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020


Born on this day in 1899, prominent Soviet photographer Max Vladimirovich Alpert (†1980) is best remembered for his iconic image Kombat (short for battalion commander).
Though the date and the subject are not known for certain, an investigative reconstruction of events undertaken in the 1970s are reasonably certain that the political commissar—the Politruk, the officer with the responsibility of political education of their assigned unit—of the battalion who took command after the actual Kombat was incapacitated, Aleksei Yeryomenko, is shown rallying his troops for a counter-attack against the German offense. Research dates the picture to 12 July 1942 on a battlefield in Luhansk (then called Voroshilovgrad) Oblast in far eastern Ukraine, skirmishes intending to halt the advance Fall Blau (Case Blue, the codename for this summer campaign and continuation of Operation Barbarossa) towards Stalingrad.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

argonaut conference

Following on from the Tehran Conference held in November of 1943 under the above code-name, the leaders of the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union—with the conspicuous absence of French and other Allied Forces, convened near the Black Sea resort of Yalta in a palatial ensemble on the city’s outskirts beginning on this day in 1945 to address the reorganisation and self-determination Europe and Germany post-war. Though the ostensible objectives were to promote peace and reestablish invaded and annexed nations status quo all parties to the talk came with their own agendas and shortly after peace was achieved with liberation from Nazi Germany declared the Cold War erupted.

Churchill wanted to extend Western style democracies through central and eastern Europe. Roosevelt wanted the Soviet Union to join the United Nations and pressed Stalin for his support in fighting Imperial Japan in the Pacific. Stalin, having accomplished and sacrificed the most militarily and had a domineering presence in comparison to the other negotiators, insisted that the Soviet Union retain a sphere of influence in eastern Europe and the Balkans. After some rigorous debate, it was settled that Germany would be split into four occupied zones (with the French concession carved out of the British and American zones, with an exploratory committee examining further dismemberment of Germany into six nations) and undergo war crimes trials and de-militarisation, a reparations council would be established, and Stalin pledged free elections in a restored Poland and allowed American bombers to pre-position in its Far East. Dissatisfied with the outcome of the Crimean and the later Potsdam summit and growing wise to the voting system of the UN and the veto powers that the USSR would have, Churchill commissioned (in secret) the first Cold War contingency plans—Operation Unthinkable—to dislodge Soviet troops in Germany and liberate Poland should Stalin not uphold his end of the bargain, but such actions were deemed too risky from a geopolitical standpoint and were abandoned.

Saturday, 1 February 2020

all the president’s sophists

Though eventual acquittal of Trump by the jury of the Senate was a foregone conclusion with a super-majority needed to remove him from office and not by the narrowest of margins by which the high house abrogated its ethical and constitution charge to conduct a fair, complete and impartial trial yet refused to hear any further witness testimony—meaning that Trump will feel vindicated and act with the imperial abandon after the outcome of the Mueller Report feel short of an indictment, which Trump took as a full exoneration and celebrated by asking the newly-elected Ukrainian president to dig up some dirt on his political opponent’s son if he wants to receive military aid—the anti-democratic over-reach that brought us to impeachment in the first place.
Arguments propped up by the cowardice of incumbents wanting to retain their seats at any cost, Trump’s counsel’s latest specious rebuttal amongst a tranche of prevarication, hypocrisy and double-standards has atrophied into essentially that any president believes his re-election is in the best interest of the American people (whether or not it’s the case is not for the office holder to decide but rather the constituency that he or she represents) and it is therefore permissible for the president to pursue his campaign. Perhaps, as some maintain, calling witnesses would only prolong the process and net no change in the end but I suspect that the Republican members’ intransigent loyalty will backfire as the trial exits the well of the Senate and once again returns (those parallel proceedings never stopped) to the court of public opinion where the legal process falls short and America relies on the precious precarity of voting and enfranchisement.

Saturday, 25 January 2020

mariyinsky palace

Having taken at least a temporary hiatus from his career as a comedic actor on film and television, forming a party eponymous with the sitcom in which he played a school teacher reluctantly, accidental pressed to high office called Servant of the People (ะกะปัƒะณะฐ ะฝะฐั€ะพะดัƒ) and elected president of in April of 2019 Ukraine with a commanding majority and mandate, Volodymyr Olessandrovych Zelenskyy (*1979) celebrates his birthday today.
Running on a radical reform campaign to rid the government of rather endemic though substantively no different from the grifting-class in the US, Zelenskyy dissolved parliament as his first order of business and dismissed several oblast governors, forming a cabinet and constituting a new government of political outsiders to restore the people’s confidence in government and limiting opportunity for partisanship and influence-peddling. It is too early to say how history will view this administration but significantly one of the first pieces of lawmaking drafted and passed with the cooperation of the executive and legislative branches provided for a mechanism to impeach and remove the president should the office-holder fail to uphold their duties to state and people, enshrining this hallmark of democracy in the constitution.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

witness for the prosecution

The US House of Representatives transmitted the articles of impeachment to the Senate yesterday and announced the appointment of seven members of Congress that were dispatched to the other chamber to formally exhibit, present their case.
Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, was earlier criticised for her timing by detractors and snapped back that her decision to start the trial now was beyond reproach, since she had resisted calls for impeachment for months until Trump’s behaviour made them irresistible (Republicans were noisily sharpening their knives for the impeachment and imprisonment of Hillary Clinton before election night)—and that exchange was itself overshadowed by the number of writing implements Pelosi used to sign the articles of impeachment (an established tradition) as a trigger for the GOP. Though the Republican majority in the Senate will almost assuredly deliver a swift show-trial, there’s also a calculated and accepted risk insofar as the every senator is on jury duty—and they’re to sit in silence and contemplation in the well of chamber whilst the court proceedings continue—and that means that a good number of the Democratic party candidates, other than the former vice-president and the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, will be off of the campaign trail.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020


While the Iranian military committed an unforgivable act in its accidental downing of a passenger aircraft and the loss of one hundred and forty-seven individuals and neglecting to close its airspace, it certainly was provoked by Trump with his order to assassinate Major General Soleimani as a rash distraction from his own domestic problems, the throughline is not impeachment or even pulling out of the nuclear deal but the Trump administration’s racist and xenophobic policies that has severely restricted travel for people with an other than white ethnic-background and put fifty-seven Canadians on that particular flight-manifest, forcing them to take a circuitous route via Kyiv to avoid American border and customs checks. Iran’s admission of this grave error and realisation of the gravity of its actions are in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s lack of contriteness, candor and continued obfuscation.

Monday, 13 January 2020

dansa ut julen

Literally dancing out Christmas, some Swedish communities are celebrating Knut’s Day (previously) as the end of the holiday season by “plundering” the tree of its ornaments and ceremoniously tossing it out on this twentieth day (imagine that carol) of Yule—Tjugondag jul—set aside as Knut’s name day (see also).

Transposed from the date (except in Denmark) of the regicide of the Danish duke at the hand of his rival and cousin on 7 January 1131 due to it failing too close to the Feast of the Epiphany, for the past century and the present one, Saint Knut’s Day coincides with Malanka (ะœะฐะปะฐะฝะบะฐ—that is ะฉะตะดั€ะธะน ะ’ะตั‡ั–ั€, Generous Eve) or since the adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1918 and putting aside the Julian one, Old New Year’s Eve for Ukraine, Russia and other Slavic lands. A syncretism of a far older folktale with instruction on how to herald the coming return of Spring and renewal and the observation that the Sun begins to turn toward the Tropic of Capricorn (the sidereal solstice and Midwinter for those in the Northern Hemisphere), it is also the last opportunity for partying and abandon before Carnival.

Saturday, 11 January 2020


We very much appreciated the introduction to the decorative rarity found in Japan and northern Europe but can be cultivated and cared for at home, sort of like Sea Monkeys but a lot more genuine, I think, called a marimo moss ball. Also known as mossimo (ใƒžใƒชใƒข), a Cladophora or lake ball, it’s a bit of a misnomer as it's a particular growth formation—a colony, of a fresh-water algae called Aegagropila linnรฆi. The organisms will assume this globular cluster particularly in Iceland, Scotland, Ukraine (see also) and colder lakes in Japan but are increasingly endangered in the wild due to poaching. Protection efforts and due diligence on the part of collectors are helping to ensure that one can purchase a kit from sustainable sources.

Friday, 27 December 2019


As this calendar draws to a close and we look forward to 2020, we again take time to reflect on a selection of some of the things and events that took place in 2019. Thanks as always for visiting. We've made it through another wild year together.

january: China lands a probe on the far side of the Moon.  In the US, works from 1923 enter into public domain, the first tranche to do so since 1998. After a contested election, the incumbent government of Venezuela is declared illegitimate.  We had to say a sad goodbye to Zuzu, a long time companion for my mother and a devilish dog.

february: The Trump administration announces its decision to withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, prompting Russia to follow suit.  Pope Francis becomes the first pontiff to visit the Arab peninsula.  A second summit between the US and North Korea collapses in failure.  We bid farewell to fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, musician Peter Tork, and actor Bruno Ganz.

march: A terrorist’s rampage kills fifty people during services in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, prompting the government to immediately ban the sales and ownership of assault weapons.  Special Counsel Robert Mueller concludes his report on Russian interference in the US 2016 presidential election and summits it to the Attorney General.  Copyright reforms pass in the EU Parliament.  After successive failures to pass a divorce deal, Brexit is delayed.    We had to say goodbye to musicians Dick Dale and Keith Flint, actor Luke Perry, as well as filmmaker Agnรจs Varda.

april: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange loses his political sanctuary after seven years residing in the Colombian mission to the UK and is apprehended at the behest of the US, to be extradited to stand trial for releasing classified materials.  We sadly had to say goodbye to another canine companion, Chauncy. Astronomers capture the image of a black hole.  Brexit is postponed again. During Holy Week, a conflagration engulfed Notre-Dame de Paris.  Over three hundred individuals in Sri Lanka were massacred on Easter Sunday.

may:  Austria’s far-right coalition government collapses after an incriminating video surfaces of a senior official emerges of him promising infrastructure contracts in exchange for campaign support to the posturing relative of a Russian oligarch during a meeting in Ibiza.  Sebastian Kurz resigns as Austrian chancellor and Brigette Bierlein leads a caretaker government until new elections can be held.  We bid farewell to master architect I.M. Pei, Tim Conway, Peter Mayhew, Leon Redbone and Doris DayGrumpy Cat also passed away too soon.

june: The Trump family take a summer vacation, going off to London to see the Queen, fรชted by outgoing Prime Minister, Theresa May, discharging one of her last, onerous official duties before stepping down. The US administration reinstates most sanctions and travel restrictions against Cuba.  Trump ordered strikes against Iran for the destruction of a US spy drone, belaying the order once jets were already in the air and instead authorised a cyber-attack against the government.  Over the course of two evenings, the large pool of Democratic nominee hopefuls held debates.  We had to say farewell to iconic New Orleans singer, song-writer and producer Mac Rebennack, otherwise known as Dr John, as well as epic, old Hollywood filmmaker Franco Zeffirelli and Gloria Vanderbilt.

july: Violent protests continue in Hong Kong.
An arsonist attacked an animation studio in Kyoto, killing dozens.  Donald Trump channels his racism to strengthen his bid for re-election, having never stopped campaign, blowing a dog whistle that is clearly audible to all.  Boris Johnston succeeds Teresa May as prime minister and head of the UK Tory party.  We had to say goodbye to Brazilian musician Joรฃo Gilberto who introduced the world to bossa nova as well as business magnate and philanthropist turned independent politician Ross Perot (*1930), US Supreme Court associate justice John Paul Stevens, Argentine architect Cรฉsar Pelli and actors Rutger Hauer and Russi Taylor.

august: Protests continue in Hong Kong.  India revokes the special status accorded to the disputed territory of Kashmir, escalating tensions with neighbouring Pakistan and China.  More gun violence visits the US.  Puerto Rico goes through three governors in five days.  Sex-trafficker and socialite Jeffrey Epstein was found dead of apparent suicide in his jail cell awaiting trial.  In the midst of a mass-extinction event, Trump repeals the Endangered Species Act and the Amazon burns.  Poet and author Toni Morrison (*1931), Irish singer Danny Doyle and lyricist David Berman died as did actor Peter Fonda and animator Richard Williams.

september: Setting a dangerous precedent, the US national weather agency revises its hurricane forecast to match the antics and bullheadedness of Donald Trump in the wake of the death and destruction brought on the Bahamas.
Prime minister Boris Johnson prorogues Parliament until only two weeks ahead of Brexit departure day.  Trump also announces the cancellation of secret talks he was to hold with a delegation of the Taliban that probably otherwise would have been a 9/11 anniversary photo-op.  Greta Thunberg leads a Fridays for the Future climate walkout in Washington, DC and addresses Congress and global strikes follow.  After thirty years as presenter for BBC Radio 4 flagship Today programme, John Humphrys retires.  House Democrats launch impeachment proceedings against Trump after it was revealed he sought to impugn his political opponents with the help of a foreign power, this time Ukraine.  Photojournalist Charlie Cole (*1955) who captured the iconic image of Tank Man and artists Eddie Money (*1949) and Cars headman Ric Osasek (*1944) and pioneering journalist Cokie Roberts (*1943) passed away.

october: Trump withdraws US troops from the Kurdish controlled border region of Syrian and Turkey promptly invades.

Protests continue in Hong Kong, marring China’s seventieth anniversary celebrations.  There is a terrorist attack on a synagogue in Halle.  Trump refuses to cooperate with House impeachment proceedings.  John Bannister Goodenough (previously) is recognised with a shared Nobel in Chemistry for his pioneering work with lithium batteries. An all-women team of astronauts successfully complete a space-walk.  Brexit is delayed again with the extension pushed back to 31 January 2020.  ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is killed in a raid by US military forces.  The Trump administration is highly recalcitrant and uncooperative during impeachment proceedings.  Long-time congress member representing Baltimore, Elijah Cummings (*1951), passed away.

november:  The Trump impeachment hearings go public.
Aide and political consultant Roger Stone found guilty on all counts for obstruction of justice, witness tampering and lying to Congress just as Trump intimidates former Ukrainian ambassador live during her testimony and career diplomat Marie Yovanovitch is afforded the chance to reply in real time.  A deadly knife-attack on London Bridge is halted by three by-standers, one with his bare hands and the others armed with a fire-extinguisher and a narwal tusk.  The historic Austrian village of Hallstadt is partially burned down.   Frank Avruch (also known as Bozo the Clown, *1930) passed away. We also said farewell to William Ruckelshaus (*1932), America’s first Environmental Protection Agency administrator and government official who defied Richard Nixon during the Saturday Night Massacre.

december:  The venue moved from Chile due to ongoing unrest, the environmental summit COP25 commences in Madrid.
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin step down.   Greta Thunberg is named TIME’s Person of the Year.  In the UK General Election, a sizable Tory upset gives Boris Johnson a mandate for the UK quitting the EU.  Global trade wars with the US and the rest of the world as belligerents re-surges, this time over Nord Stream 2 (previously) and opting for an energy source at least marginally cleaner than American oil and natural gas obtained by fracking.  Wildfires continue to devastate Australia.  We had to bid farewell to pioneering Star Trek screenwriter DC Fontana (*1939), veteran stage and screen actor appearing in M*A*S*H*, Benson and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Renรฉ Murat Auberjonois (*1940), spiritual guru Ram Dass (*1931), accomplished actress Anna Karina (*1940) and Carroll Spinney (*1933), the puppeteer behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch (previously) for nearly fifty years.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

article i, section 2, clause 5

It is somewhat ironic—though we leave it to the adults in the room to recognise the separate natures of both pieces of legislation and as much as we’d rather shirk the duty and onus, recognise that we’re adults as well—that essentially in the same breath as the Democrats of the House of Representatives carefully and assiduously proceeded with introducing articles of impeachment against Trump, only happening three times before in US history with Andrew Jackson and Bill Clinton acquitted by the Senate trial and Richard Nixon resigning in lieu of being fired, Congress also approved one of the Trump’s campaign promises—overhauling the North American Free Trade Agreement. Seen as unfavourable to American industry by some creatures of his court, the newly negotiated NAFTA is couched in language of work standards which will probably prove beneficial to all parties. While the issues are distinct, the passage of the arrangement denies Trump his counter-programming (limited to an impromptu meeting with the Russian foreign secretary and reportedly warning Russia off about election meddling—that and superimposing his head on the body of Thanos, the comic book super-villain who eradicated half of all life in the Cosmos, that half apparently being the sixty-two percent of the electorate who didn’t vote for him) and tethered to the limited scope and scale of the charges, obstruction of Congress and rank hypocrisy in dealing with Ukraine, perhaps will mean he is the first to be removed from office through the process, delicately diffused and with solemn respect for the democratic process, knowing that failure to censure Trump would further erode norms and the checks-and-balances on executive power.

Friday, 22 November 2019

a domestic political errand

Concluding the last scheduled day of public testimony, former top Eurasian advisor to the White House, Fiona Hill yesterday echoed the ominous warning that Robert Mueller issued at the end of his investigation regarding election interference and the internecine political distrust that has been engendered all around and demanded, unflinchingly and in no uncertain terms that Republican representatives and those supporting Trump stop peddling the false narrative that Ukraine, to the exclusion of Russia, was behind the meddling in the 2016 election.
Discounting the irreproachable evidence gathered by foreign and domestic intelligence services and corroborated by the press in order to put a legitimising spin on Trump’s criminal behaviour, they have embraced an incendiary and disproven conspiracy theory and turned to rumour mongering—propagated by the same Russian Agitprop machine, to denigrate and disparage Ukraine and those connected with it and construct a reason to withhold military aid other than Trump’s smear campaign against the Bidens. Ukrainian ombudsman David Holmes also appeared before the panel as a witness, reaffirming previous testimony regarding incriminating telephone calls between Trump and the EU ambassador.