…so…turns out he was in the thing after all
…I mean…opinions differ & all
…but that claw machine meme seems like the proverbial picture that speaks a thousand words…few of them good…so…for the sake of putting something on the other side of the ledger…only seen it in the live feed stuff that doesn’t lend itself to linking to but as I type I gather the expiration of the cessation of active military violence in gaza has been pushed back another day…still & all…if there’s an end in sight…I haven’t caught sight of that, I’m afraid
…& as for them thousand word pictures…well charts are pictures, right?
The climate crisis explained in 10 charts [Guardian]
…so…you know…you’d think that sort of thing would cover a good bit of ground, one way or another…but…then there’s the other picture…where you gotta account for some of the negative space
…& sure…monbiot can lay it on a bit thicker than seems like it ought to be necessary sometimes…but the subtitle on that one reads “It’s obscene that the super-rich can criminalise protest, while they burn the world’s resources and remain untouched by the law“…&…in the context
…I’m hard pressed to spot the lie…I mean…case in point…the billionaires
…are not all right
Video of the interview, which was widely circulated, showed that Musk said, “Don’t advertise,” on Wednesday during an on-stage interview at an event in New York. “If someone’s going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go fuck yourself.”https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/nov/29/elon-musk-hurls-defiant-profanity-laced-retort-at-fleeing-advertisers
…I’d make a crack about the man not seemingly being able to afford a dictionary…even a free one
In many jurisdictions, blackmail is a statutory offence, often criminal, carrying punitive sanctions for convicted perpetrators. Blackmail is the name of a statutory offence in the United States, England and Wales, and Australia, and has been used as a convenient way of referring to certain other offenses, but was not a term used in English law until 1968.
Blackmail was originally a term from the Scottish Borders meaning payments rendered in exchange for protection from thieves and marauders. The “mail” part of blackmail derives from Middle English male meaning “rent or tribute”. This tribute (male or reditus) was paid in goods or labour (“nigri”); hence reditus nigri, or “blackmail”. Alternatively, it may be derived from two Scottish Gaelic words blathaich – to protect; and mal – tribute or payment.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackmail
…but…even allowing for one of those dynamic shifting-sands-of-definition-according-to-usage deals where he gets to say blackmail & mean extortion…weird flex when you’re the party demanding payment to swing for the blackmail fence…still…much rather be speculating about plausible roots & routes of an etymological nature than drowning in citations to things I reckon most of us would file under “don’t need”
Because it is so hard to change language by fiat, I know that my proposal here must qualify as modest. But propose it I must: Might it make the new “they” a little easier to handle if it were used with singular tense marking?
I have often been asked by people over 35 or so, “Are we supposed to say ‘they want’ or ‘they wants’?” I always answer that the proper form is “they want,” but must it be?https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/28/opinion/they-nonbinary-pronoun.html
…I don’t make the rules…but…if I’m honest…I…well, I mostly think there’s some pretty good reasons to get some of that reasoning in front of a few people for whom it doesn’t exactly stand to reason that they could actually keep right on using they in ways they never really stumbled over when they didn’t give them a second thought…but…they’d be better off if they came at they from a different angle where they didn’t tie their mental shoelaces together & throw themselves off their stride…notation works in the written word but they aren’t going to win they over with an air-quotes remix…& if they’d allow for the possibility…a good deal of clarity is available through the medium of context in my experience…&…it might do them some favors to learn how to wait until they’ve taken that in before settling on the meanings of the words along the way…it’s not a new idea…hell, the romans just about got away without punctuation at all in part via the expedient of making the verb the last word in a sentence…so it used to be de rigueur
late 14c., rigour, “harshness, severity in dealing with persons; force; cruelty,” from Old French rigor “strength, hardness” (13c., Modern French rigueur), from Latin rigorem (nominative rigor) “numbness, stiffness, hardness, firmness; roughness, rudeness,” from rigēre “be stiff” (from PIE root *reig– “stretch; be stretched; be stiff”).https://www.etymonline.com/word/rigor
…but…as with so terribly many things…that’s easier said than done
The reason the Hamas-Israel war can be hard for outsiders to understand is that three wars are going on at the same time: a war between Israeli Jews and the Palestinians exacerbated by a terrorist group, a war within Israeli and Palestinian societies over the future and a war between Iran and its proxies and America and its allies.
But before we dig into those wars, here’s the most important thing to keep in mind about them: There’s a single formula that can maximize the chances that the forces of decency can prevail in all three. It is the formula that I think President Biden is pushing, even if he can’t spell it all out publicly now — and we should all push it with him: You should want Hamas defeated, as many Gazan civilians as possible spared, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and his extremist allies booted, all the hostages returned, Iran deterred and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank reinvigorated in partnership with moderate Arab states.https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/28/opinion/israel-palestinians-war-iran.html
…& while sometimes maybe that way we arguably catch a break
…mostly…it feels like it goes the other way
Twenty months ago, after Vladimir Putin had launched his full-scale invasion of Ukraine, many high-ranking Russians believed that the end was near. The economy faced disaster, as they saw it, and the Putin regime was on the brink of collapse.
Today, the mood has changed dramatically. Business leaders, officials and ordinary people tell me that the economy has stabilized, defying the Western sanctions that were once expected to have a devastating effect. Putin’s regime, they say, looks more stable than at any other time in the past two years.
…&…when your domestic crop of billionaires is largely composed of a kleptocratic sort of oligopoly that resembles an OG organized crime hierarchy in an uncomfortable number of ways…the ways of those with means…tend to go a certain way…could be it’s like death & taxes that way…or even that it goes double on account of how for a bunch of those folks their uncle vlad is liable to opt for why-not-both
Before the war, Russian business executives generally kept their savings in the West. They also bought real estate, properties that sometimes served as second homes for their families. Now, as one Russian oligarch told me, that door has been slammed shut, sparking an investment boom at home. The only option left is for tycoons to put their money into domestic investments. Major building projects are now underway in places ranging from the Altai Mountains in eastern Siberia to Karelia on the border with Finland. In September, Bloomberg reported that Russian oligarchs had returned at least $50 billion to Russia since the invasion. According to those I interviewed, that estimate is very modest.
Russian industry is booming. Defense companies are leading the way, of course, with some expected to show growth of more than 30 percent this year. Moscow is continuing to sell oil and gas to foreign buyers — not only China and India but European countries, too; most of these customers simply purchase Russian petroleum through intermediaries such as Turkey, Azerbaijan or Egypt. The West might have succeeded in cutting most of its ties with Russia, but Moscow’s trade with the rest of the world is picking up.
The Soviet Union’s Cold War isolation has not repeated itself. Putin’s Russia can get many of the supplies it needs from China. For many Moscow residents, perhaps the most striking change on the streets is the near-wholesale replacement of Western cars with Chinese models.https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/11/28/putin-russia-sanctions-economy-oil/
…if you can’t rely on your cronies…who can you rely on?
…for my money, though…historically speaking the finns have been a pretty solid bet
…&…while we’re following the money…even if you think it’s throwing bad money after good…
Here is the best-kept secret about U.S. military aid to Ukraine: Most of the money is being spent here in the United States. That’s right: Funds that lawmakers approve to arm Ukraine are not going directly to Ukraine but being used stateside to build new weapons or to replace weapons sent to Kyiv from U.S. stockpiles. Of the $68 billion in military and related assistance Congress has approved since Russia invaded Ukraine, almost 90 percent is going to Americans, one analysis found.
But you wouldn’t know that from the actions of some U.S. lawmakers. When Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance (R) joined a United Auto Workers picket line in October at the Jeep assembly plant in Toledo, he said he wanted to “show some support for the UAW workers” in his state. Yet he has not shown the same solidarity with the UAW workers in Lima, Ohio, who are churning out Abrams tanks and Stryker combat vehicles for Ukraine thanks to the military aid that Congress has approved. Vance opposes Ukraine aid, as does Rep. Jim Jordan (R), whose House district includes Lima.
Ohio voters might have expected their elected leaders to be pushing the (reluctant) Biden administration to give Ukraine more Lima-produced tanks and vehicles — or to require that more of them be included in the aid package for Ukraine that Congress will soon take up. Instead, Vance and Jordan are fighting to stop Ukraine from receiving any more union-made tanks and combat vehicles from America’s only tank factory.
It’s not just them. In all, 31 senators and House members whose states or districts benefit from funding for Ukraine have voted to oppose or restrict that aid. They include some of the most prominent anti-Ukraine voices in Congress, such as Republican Sens. Josh Hawley (Mo.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) and Mike Braun (Ind.), as well as Republican Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Bill Posey (Fla.), Anna Paulina Luna (Fla.) and Lance Gooden (Tex.).Opinion: Ukraine aid’s best-kept secret: Most of the money stays in the U.S.A. [WaPo]
Until now no one had mapped out precisely where these U.S. military aid funds are going. My American Enterprise Institute colleagues Clara Keuss, Noah Burke and I have catalogued the weapons systems being produced in the United States for Ukraine — tracing the states and congressional districts where they are being made and how senators and House members voted on the funding. We analyzed contracts and press releases and spoke to defense industry experts, diplomats and Pentagon officials to determine where U.S. tax dollars end up.
We have identified 117 production lines in at least 31 states and 71 U.S. cities where American workers are producing major weapons systems for Ukraine. For example, aid that Congress has already approved is going to, among many other places
In other words, as happens with foreign military aid, our aid to Ukraine is not only creating American jobs but also reinvigorating our dangerously atrophied defense industrial base. Vance said in October that “The condition of the American defense industrial base is a national scandal. Repairing it is among our most urgent priorities.” Well, our aid to Ukraine is doing exactly that.
…or you’d rather ponder the origins of good money after bad
It appears that the original phrase was to “send good money after bad,” rather than to “spend.” The hope of recovering a bad debt by loaning more money to the debtor would fit the expression well, as would the vain hope of spending money on an old car or house to recover its value. “Sending money” to recover lost money would easily morph into “spending money” with much the same meaning. The bad, as some have said here, is lost. The good is in hand and ought not be wasted.
“Giovanni Torriano wrote and published a number of books on proverbs, including “New and Easie Directions for Attaining the Thuscan Italian Tongue” in 1639, “The Most Significant Select Italian Proverbs” in 1642, “A dictionary Italian and English, formerly compiled by John Florio, now diligently revised” in 1659, and “Piazza universale di proverbi italiani: Or A Common Place Of Italian Proverbes and Proverbial Phrases” in 1666, among other tomes. However, it was in his book “Italian Proverbial Phrases” published in 1662 that he wrote: The English say, To send good Mony after bad, to lose the Substance, for the Shaddow.”https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/186789/etymology-of-throw-good-money-after-bad
…or by crook
…you can see why some are seeing the appeal of the guillotine…including, oddly enough, a lot of folks who fairly recently were similarly fond of referring to the french as surrender-monkeys…which…I guess could be confusing…if not as confused as a bunch of those folks must surely be on the regular…either way…I’m not much inclined to the off with their head approach…even for the head of the snake…call it a moral failing…but if I had a bunch of disposable income to dispose of & thought things might go the way I’d like…I imagine I might be investing heavily in petard-to-hoist conversion kits…except…that’s not really how that works, either
…besides…it’s about time I got this hoisted…or possibly hoised…before whatever momentum I might be able to conserve today gets entirely hosed…best of luck with the rest of it?