…eventually [DOT 30/11/23]

even the long run comes up short...

…so…turns out he was in the thing after all

Henry Kissinger remembered as influential statesman, ‘war criminal’ [NBC]

Henry Kissinger, the Hypocrite [NYT]

Kissinger’s Long Presence on the Global Stage Was Both Celebrated and Reviled [NYT]

Half a century later, Kissinger’s legacy is still up for debate [WaPo]

…I mean…opinions differ & all

These Kissinger op-eds still resonate today [WaPo]

…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

Israel will box itself further into a corner unless it makes a plan to end this war [Guardian]

…& 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

Here’s a question Cop28 won’t address: why are billionaires blocking action to save the planet? [Guardian]

…& 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 Appalled by What I Learned About Recycling. But We Can Fix It. [NYT]

The next front in the tech war with China: Graphite (and clean energy) [WaPo]

U.S. Debates How Much to Sever Electric Car Industry’s Ties to China [NYT]

‘A biodiversity catastrophe’: how the world could look in 2050 – unless we act now [Guardian]

A Giant Inland Sea Is Now a Desert, and a Warning for Humanity [NYT]

Brilliant: a Cop28 to save the planet – staged by oil barons who imperil it [Guardian]

Files Suggest Climate Summit’s Leader Is Using Event to Promote Fossil Fuels [NYT]

…I’m hard pressed to spot the lie…I mean…case in point…the billionaires

Elon Musk boosts Pizzagate conspiracy theory that led to D.C. gunfire [WaPo]

Elon Musk has boosted the ‘pizzagate’ conspiracy theory five times in the last two weeks [NBC]

…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,[8] 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.[9]

Blackmail was originally a term from the Scottish Borders meaning payments rendered in exchange for protection from thieves and marauders.[3][7][10] The “mail” part of blackmail derives from Middle English male meaning “rent or tribute”.[11] 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.[citation needed]

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

Taiwan president says China has too many problems to invade [Guardian]

…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?

Opinion: Putin is counting on the U.S. to cave on Ukraine [WaPo]

…for my money, though…historically speaking the finns have been a pretty solid bet

‘This may be just the beginning’: the guards at Finland’s closed Russian border [Guardian]

…&…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.).
[…]
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.

Opinion: Ukraine aid’s best-kept secret: Most of the money stays in the U.S.A. [WaPo]

…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://idiomation.wordpress.com/2013/01/25/good-money-after-bad/

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/186789/etymology-of-throw-good-money-after-bad

…by hook

Georgia prosecutors oppose plea deals for Trump, Meadows and Giuliani [Guardian]

…or by crook

Step by step, conservative judges are gutting the Voting Rights Act [WaPo]

…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

https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/125357/why-hoist-in-hoist-with-ones-own-petard

…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?

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26 Comments

  1. I’ve become a lot more pro-guillotine in recent years because the people who deserve it so rarely face consequences in real time — see Kissinger (finally) kicking off yesterday rather than it happening a few decades ago in a prison cell or at the end of a rope as was much more richly deserved.

    • I mean, he sort of did, but this was after his temper tantrum, so I think this was way more of him whining rather than him admitting the reality of the situation. Of course an advertiser boycott would kill Twitter; he’s banking on the people who prop up the right-wing media sphere to come save him because he said the F word at a New York Times event. (Which hilariously, the NYT basically refused to address in any of its writing about said event because it would be pretty hard to both-sides his unhinged behavior. They found a way, though.)

        • …it’s almost impressive how you could apply that to any of them

          …but what with that thing about a fool & his money I guess it mostly proves there really is always a bigger sucker out there?

        • I think he was banking on his personal “charisma” to attract investors to his X “finance platform” plan. Problems with that include:

          1. His “reputation” is now largely shit. Seriously, even techbros are pulling back from Xitter. And while Elmo stans still claim he’s playing 12-dimensional chess, it’s obvious to the rest of the world that he has no idea what he’s doing.
          2. His “finance platform” is idiotic. I’ve read many startup pitches now, and there is no way that makes sense. “Okay, we’ve got an elephant, and we’re going to transform it into a wind turbine.” There’s not even a tenuous link between what he has and what he wants.
          3. Fascism. This is related to my first point but still separate. Putting his stupidity on display is one thing, but going Nazi is quite another.

          • I just assume he’s tanking Twitter in part because then he can turn around and wheedle a fat fatty fat fat bailout payout from the federal government. Ohh it’s putting Tesla manufacturing at risk, you bailed out the other automakers….

    • The man who is killing Twoatter (not that I will miss it, but many will) is the defiant temper tantrum throwing mega egotistical narcissistic shithead I met not the smooth talking tech giant alleged genius engineer/businessman I saw on TV.

    • This is not just an insurance problem. Hospital/health systems buy each other up, too. AMITA Health is the merger of Ascension, AdventHealth, Alexian Bros, and Presence Health. Edwards Health and North Shore University Health System have merged. BJC Health System is acquiring St. Luke’s Health System. And that is just in the midwest! I know we TECHNICALLY have laws against monopolies, but maybe if we just do nothing, we will eventually have one giant hospital and one giant insurance company.

      • That’s definitely happening in every state and by design.  Insurance companies are buying medical groups so they can ration care & make even more money.  Independent medical groups (like ours) are pressured by insurance companies to accept less in reimbursements or not have access to any of their customers.  Smaller groups have to team up or consolidate with large hospitals.  Now the hospitals are not giving admitting privileges to doctors not part of their payroll to force them out of business or into their fold.  The end game will be Amazon and the only insurance company left joining forces to only offer tele-health to Prime members via AI doctors and our medical system finally be put out of its misery.

  2. …oh, FFS

    …not trying to take a pop at popular.info necessarily (I forget who they are & have other things to preoccupy myself with at the minute) but this is some dizzying bullshit

    https://popular.info/p/mysterious-woman-tells-school-board

    …sure…one way to look at it is the “mysterious woman” is just hopelessly cognitively overwhelmed & honestly does think she can track her putative porn addiction all the way back to the inclusion of a single kiss in a book published by scholastic which she read as a pre-teen…stranger things may have happened…probably at sea or something

    …but…another way of looking at it might be that trying to argue (somewhere in texas) that the appropriate response would be banning all of scholastic’s publications from all schools (today texas, tomorrow who-the-fuck-knows) would be an almighty stretch to overcome given the sheer shearing forces involved in logic that twisted…& that would be before it turns out…among other items of human interest…at that age she was being homeschooled…& these days she’s employed to do PR for a publisher with a documented tendency to try to oppose scholastic…& who’d much rather that their brand of children’s book be what young minds absorb…complete with suggested exercises for parents to engage in with said impressionable kids in order to explicitly drive home political talking points not-even-thinly-disguised in their array of my-first-screed-s

    …if you’re still capable of reading…or your eyes have at least rolled all the way back around to point at the screen again…their roster includes such delights as dan crenshaw, kevin sorbo, sean spicer, that dipshit libs of tik tok woman & michael “it’s only a coup” flynn…so you know…definitely people you’d do well to keep the hell away from…much less provide bedtime stories for your kids

    …I…may be reconsidering my stance vis à vis guillotines?

  3. “The Beatings Will Continue Till Morale Improves”

    We just got that memo yesterday. Management is concerned that we have really low morale and wants to do something about it.

    No one wants to tell Management that they are the reason for this shitty season. Management is blaming us or malcontents among us (which is everyone at this point.) They refuse to think that their shitty attitude, incompetence, unprofessional behavior and immaturity has anything why morale is lower than whale shit on the bottom of the ocean.

    Good luck with that, assholes (management.)

  4. In better news, I finally got mom into a Long Term Care Facility. Gonna cost a fortune, but it is a hell of a lot better than the Respite home (who is happy to see the last of my mom and I don’t blame them one bit.)

    Dad, strangely (not really as strange) is happy because he doesn’t get any grief from mom who was angry at him for “reasons” that are known only to mom. I’m glad for him.

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