54 thoughts on “Parroting the Noose”

  1. With Russia’s military bogged down in Ukraine, there is hope that the conflict could be over in a matter of weeks, especially if the Russian leader accepts Elon Musk’s challenge.

  2. https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/16/europe/nordic-defense-ukraine-crisis-intl-cmd/index.html

    “Nowhere is this truer than in the three Nordic nations that sit on the Scandinavian Peninsula: Norway, Sweden and Finland.
    The fate of these three countries has been brought into sharp focus by the crisis in Ukraine due to their unique relationship with each other, the rest of Europe and Russia.”

    “One senior European defense official told CNN that “if Putin succeeds in Ukraine, then we are already asking the question of who is next?” They added that, due to the open borders between the three, any compromise of the Finnish border would “traumatic” for the peninsula.”

  3. Ukraine on offense, taking advantage of bumbling Russian ground forces:

    BBC reports they’ve retaken two major suburbs in one night.

  4. This business of Russia sanctioning American Democrats is worrisome. It’s just such a seemingly senseless futile move.  Is the Russian really that silly or does it mean something besides economic measures. Something way more sinister like, say, plutonium  sandwiches. I’m sure that security is on heightened alert. 

  5. Tanya Shelepko, a theatre director currently sheltering in Kyiv while helping with the resistance effort, when asked by a France24 interviewer what “message to viewers in the West and her followers online“ she had, gave this reply:

    Come to Ukraine, after our victory

  6. Reporter to Papa Hemingway: How do you define courage?
    A. Courage is grace under pressure.
    Reporter:  What about death?
    A. Death is just another whore.
    Nah, I’m not a Papa freak, I was getting over all that about the time of “Happy Birthday Wanda June”. The old goof could write it down, though. His power of description is amazing. And cutting to the quick?  Faggedaboutit.   He told a lot of good stories. Play of the Week: “Today is Friday” by Ernest Hemingway.

  7. Just so you won’t be taken unawares, next week’s Short Story of the Week is “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”. Another great story by E.H. 

    “We’re still drinking their whiskey. “
    How one great white hunter leader of African safaris responds, if he’s on safari with some lousy customers, to another hunter’s query about, “How’s it going?”

  8. sturge, a few days ago in an interview a ukrainian official gave a rather hemingway-esk answer to a “will you win” question: “there is no option”

  9. ABC:

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy delivered a historic, virtual address to Congress on Wednesday to plead with the U.S. to do more to help stop Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
    In a speech to Ukrainians earlier Wednesday, Zelenskyy called his upcoming address to Congress “a speech from all of us, from each of our defenders, from each of our citizens, for the most powerful democracy in the world — for the state and the people, who can do a lot to stop Russian aggression, to restore peace on our land,” he said.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced the Ukrainian president and led members in chanting, “Slava Ukraini” or “Glory to heroes” in Ukrainian.
    “Glory to heroes,” Zelenskyy repeated. “Thank you very much, madam speaker, members of the Congress, ladies and gentlemen, Americans, friends, I’m proud to greet you from Ukraine from our capital city of Kyiv, a city that is under missile and air strikes from Russian troops every day, but it doesn’t give up — and we have not even thought about it for a second,” he said.
    In an emotional appeal, Zelenskyy asked Americans to put themselves in the shoes of Ukrainians by remembering Pearl Harbor “when your sky was black from the planes attacking you” and the Sept. 11 attacks.
    “Remember September the 11th, a terrible day in 2001 when evil tried to turn your cities, independent territories on battlefields, when innocent people were attacked from air, yes, just like no one else expected it, you could not stop it,” he said. “Our country experiences the same thing every day, right now at this moment, every night for three weeks now various Ukrainian cities — Mariupol and Kharkiv — Russia has turned the Ukrainian skies into a source of death for thousands of people.”

  10. Shit’s gonna heat up as soon as Putin thinks he’s established a Ukrainian front from which to attack the next domino he has his eyes on.  Then again, he may have his eye on Finland. Who knows at this point? If Ukraine is any indication we’ll have plenty of warning.  If he’s got half a brain it won’t be a NATO member country.

  11. Pogo
    Right now, Putin is too busy trying to turn loose of that wild cat he tried to tackle.  to think about stirring up any trouble elsewhere.  How does he get out of this mess? Alive. 

  12. Frontline did 2 hours on Putin last night . He was an only child , and tried to join the KBG when he was 16 . 
    But this nugget really is telling.
    The mean Russian is worth $857.00 . That is,  half the country has more than that, the other half has less. In India, that number is $1000.00 .
    There are 110 men who have 35% of the entire wealth of the country. 
    Putin is estimated to have $40 Billion dollars. 
    In the long run , after much blood these sanctions may be just the wedge that splits this nut. 

  13. As an old cattle trader I can spot someone desperate for a deal. In just 4 sessions his negotiating team has went from “surrender or die” to “well how about you just don’t hang with those folks who say all that bad stuff about us. You don’t even have to pretend to be my friend.”
    There is a deal to be made here.
    Where is Jimmy Carter when you need him

  14. Speaking of lions, tigers , and bears  ………… .
    They have been looting the country for 25 years.  Those 7 year old  rations in their tanks tell the story .
    The bear is long in the tooth , and they picked on a lion with heart. 

  15. BINGO !

    NASA’s Webb Reaches Alignment Milestone, Optics Working Successfully

    Following the completion of critical mirror alignment steps, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope team expects that Webb’s optical performance will be able to meet or exceed the science goals the observatory was built to achieve.
    On March 11, the Webb team completed the stage of alignment known as “fine phasing.” At this key stage in the commissioning of Webb’sOptical Telescope Element, every optical parameter that has been checked and tested is performing at, or above, expectations. The team also found no critical issues and no measurable contamination or blockages to Webb’s optical path. The observatory is able to successfully gather light from distant objects and deliver it to its instruments without issue.


  16. forbes:

    NBC Nightly News, Lester Holt asked Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky about President Biden’s concerns that agreeing to provide air cover for Ukraine could lead directly to U.S. military engagement with Russian forces, potentially triggering World War III. “Well, nobody knows,” Zelensky said through a translator. “It may have already started.”
    “We’ve seen this eighty years ago when the Second World War has started,” Zelensky said, “nobody would be able to predict when the full-scale war will start…in this case, we have the whole civilization at stake.”
    “Russia has turned the Ukrainian sky into a source of death for thousands of people,” Zelensky told Congress, describing with vivid detail how Russia’s use of missiles, bombs and drones have devastated Ukrainian cities and left families unable to escape. “We are asking for a reply to this terror from the whole world.”
    “To create a no-fly zone over Ukraine to save people, is this too much to ask?” he said. “You know how much depends on the battlefield, on the ability to use aircraft, powerful strong aviation to protect our people, our freedom, our land, aircraft that can help Ukraine, help Europe. You know they exist and you have them, but they are on Earth not in the Ukrainian sky…I need to protect our sky,” he said.

  17. so if we give them the “switchblade” kamikaze drones, can’t they be programmed to zero in on and take out or severely damage those missile launchers just across the borders with belarus and russia?  wouldn’t that be the easiest way to clear/close the sky? 

  18. If history teaches us anything , it’s that war drives tech.  And the small drone business is on fire right now. 
    The down side is when that toy drone flew into Merkle’s nose a few years back. 

  19. U.S. sending Switchblade drones to Ukraine in $800 million package (msn.com)

    The U.S. will send 100 Switchblade drones to Ukraine as part of the Biden administration’s new $800 million weapons package, Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told POLITICO.

    The inclusion of the “tactical” drones, which crash into their targets, represents a new phase of weaponry being sent to Ukraine by the U.S., which so far has shipped mostly anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. An administration official confirmed McCaul’s account that the U.S. is sending the Switchblade.

    The Switchblade is a small, light drone that can loiter in the air for up to 30 minutes before being directed to its target by an operator on the ground, dozens of miles away. The drone is launched from a tube, like a mortar shell. Its real-time GPS guidance allows a service member in the field to fly it until the moment it crashes and explodes into whatever the target might be.


  20. reported last week

    Russian forces have fired nearly 670 missiles at Ukrainian targets, US says (yahoo.com)

    Russia has now launched nearly 670 missiles since it began its attack on Ukraine 13 days ago, a senior U.S. defense official said Tuesday.
    Nearly half of the missiles have been fired from Russia, while the others have largely come from inside Ukraine. In addition, more than 70 of the launches have come from Belarus, and about half a dozen have come from the Black Sea, the official told reporters.
    “Very little of the nation of Ukraine is not covered by some sort of Russian surface-to-air missile capability, and they also are conducting offensive airstrikes through missiles launched by aircraft as well as by mobile launchers,” the official said. “It’s very contested airspace.”

  21. Everyone remember when the NC legislature banned the use of “climate change” ?

    RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Imagine a forest the size of Raleigh and Durham. Now imagine a forest that size dying every single year.
    It’s an unfortunate reality that’s happening right now across the North American Coastal Plain, including part of our backyard here in North Carolina.
    Our North Carolina beaches are a popular vacation spot or weekend getaway where we soak up the sun and relax to the sound of waves. But just a few miles inland, our coastal wetlands are facing a crisis. Vulnerable ecosystems are changing, and trees are dying, leaving nothing but ghosts.

    “A ghost forest I think is a very fitting name because the ghost part, you think about a ghost it’s a relic of what used to be,” explains Dr. Elliott White Jr.

    Dr. White led a team of researchers across the North American Coastal Plain to study and document the loss of our coastal forested wetlands, and what they found is sobering.

    Their research showed that the North American Coastal Plane was losing 684 square kilometers, or 264 square miles of coastal forested wetlands every year. That’s the size of Raleigh and Durham combined.



  22. Saw a report we’re identifying vets who know how to operate ground to air missiles we’re shipping to Ukraine, and who were planning to go there anyway, so they can train them. Clever!

  23. That Fed Board lady that folded the other day because of Coal Brain Joe , she thought that climate should be factored in to where we put our money. 
    The fossil heads are working over time to turn this latest “Petro War” back to “Drill Baby Drill”. 
    They are opening a new counter attack.  The movement to defund them, even though they made over $210 Billion in profits last year. 

    Fossil Fuels Beget Dictators
    Americans may think we are powerless as we bear witness to Putin’s war and the bravery of the Ukrainian resistance. We’re not.


  24. But this powerlessness assumes we are mere spectators to this invasion. We’re not. For Americans, our addiction to same-day delivery service and mobility at the click of an app makes us pawns in Putin’s game of petrostate perestroika.
    “This is a fossil fuel war,” Ukraine’s top climate scientist told The Guardian.
    The world’s dependence on fossil fuels has enriched Putin and empowered Russia to return to the age of empires. The events of the last few weeks make abundantly clear that fossil fuels don’t just exacerbate climate change. They also beget dictators.

  25. Someone is reading my posts here –
    We need to turn the weakness of our oil addiction into a strength. For those of us who wish to undermine Putin’s ability to wage war and so diminish the ravages on Ukraine, we have a tool at our disposal: sacrifice.
    As one cheeky Twitter user put it, “When you drive alone, you drive with Putin.”


    The Nation
    Jean Su and Maya Golden-Krasner

    The reference to a World War II–era propaganda poster is apt. The last time Europe faced the threat of an expansionist aggressor, Americans responded not only by ramping up production of military equipment but also by tightening their belts for the war effort. They were called the Greatest Generation for a reason—it was their sacrifices that held back the tide of Nazism. And yet today calls for a renewed spirit of conservation have been resoundingly absent.



  26. After “admitting refugees,” a poll of seven European countries found that “higher energy prices” was the most popular risk worth taking to defend Ukraine from Russia. Even after canceling the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which would deliver crucial heating to Germany at the cost of further tying its economy to Russia’s, Chancellor Olaf Schloz’s approval ratings have risen. “Far from playing down the costs to everyday citizens,” The New York Times reports, some European leaders “emphasize it as a point of pride.”
    Many Americans have grown so used to the luxuries of modern life in part because the consequences are hidden. Putin’s war brings them sharply into view. It’s easy to brush aside emissions that accompany a Seamless delivery. It’s far harder to ignore the devastation of a war waged by oilmen.
    The reality is that every action we take that reinforces our dependence on fossil fuels is a gift to strongmen everywhere—whether it’s a warmonger like Vladimir Putin, an ax-happy Saudi prince like Mohammed bin Salman, or a coal baron like Joe Manchin. If Americans can’t make sacrifices to stave off the climate crisis, perhaps we can make sacrifices to protect the world from tyranny. Our greatest weapon is within us.

  27. The price of Brent fell out of bed yesterday ,  there is another force at work here. 
    It’s called “price destruction”. 
    Like the author above said, time to change our ways. 
    Time to make sacrifices .
    And the world rolls over.

  28. After the Gold Rush
    Neil Young


    Well, I dreamed I saw the knights in armor comingSayin’ something about a queenThere were peasants singin’ and drummers drummingAnd the archer split the treeThere was a fanfare blowin’ to the sunThat was floating on the breezeLook at mother nature on the run in the nineteen seventiesLook at mother nature on the run in the nineteen seventies
    I was lyin’ in a burned-out basementWith a full moon in my eyesI was hopin’ for replacementWhen the sun burst through the skyThere was a band playin’ in my headAnd I felt like getting highI was thinkin’ about what a friend had saidI was hopin’ it was a lieThinkin’ about what a friend had saidI was hopin’ it was a lie
    Well, I dreamed I saw the silver spaceships lyingIn the yellow haze of the sunThere were children crying and colors flyingAll around the chosen onesAll in a dream, all in a dreamThe loading had begunFlyin’ mother nature’s silver seedTo a new home in the sunFlyin’ mother nature’s silver seedTo a new home

  29. I never forgot these words.  –
    Look at mother nature on the run in the nineteen seventies
    Look at mother nature on the run in the nineteen seventies
    Since then I have come to realize  …………. 
    I don’t worry about life on Earth , I worry about us on Earth. 

  30. Love Mr. Soul.  Thanks Bob.

    “I don’t worry about life on Earth , I worry about us on Earth. ” You betcha.

  31. Wall of shame. Shitwit companies funding Putin’s war against Ukraine.

    Those who want to stop Russia’s murderous attack against Ukraine should stop investing in or buying the products of these companies.

    Koch Industries, whose owners gave to right-wing causes for years, is now financing Putin’s war. The people who make Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Quilted Northern toilet paper, Vanity Fair napkins and Georgia-Pacific lumber are abetting the spilling of Ukrainians’ blood.

    Like Reebok shoes? They’re being used to stomp on Ukraine. Authentic Brands Group, which also owns Aeropostale, Eddie Bauer, Brooks Brothers and Nine West, among others, is in the hall of shame.

    Before you bite into a Cinnabon (or Carvel ice cream, Schlotzsky’s sandwich or Auntie Anne’s pretzel) consider that parent company Focus Brands is taking a bite out of democracy in Ukraine.

    So is Subway. While selling you the All-American Club, it’s giving Ukrainians the Cold-Cock Combo by refusing to cut loose its 446 Russian franchises.

    Several other household brands — Truvia and Diamond Crystal salt (Cargill), Avon cosmetics (Natura), LG appliances, ASUS laptops, Mission tortillas (Gruma) and Pirelli tires — are produced by companies on the shameful list.

    Are you or your mutual fund invested in Halliburton, Baker Hughes or Schlumberger? Then you should know that these oil-services companies could deal a huge blow to Putin’s ability to wage war — but they choose profit instead.

    Let’s name and shame all the others among the 33: Advertising firms BBDO, DDB and Omnicom; accountant Baker Tilly; industrial companies Air Liquide, Air Products, Greif, IPG Photonics, Linde, Mettler Toledo, Nalco and Rockwool; French hotelier Accor and retailers Auchan, Decathlon and Leroy Merlin; German wholesaler Metro; cloud service Cloudflare; International Paper; and Sweden’s Oriflame Cosmetics.

    Another 72 multinationals have made only partial pullbacks from Russia, such as reducing current operations or holding off on new investments — actions Sonnenfeld calls “very questionable” and “smokescreens.” Included here: Dunkin Donuts, General Mills, Mondelez (Oreos and other Nabisco products), candymaker Mars, Procter & Gamble, Yum Brands (Pizza Hut, Taco Bell), Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott.

    All these businesses could be doing more to stop Putin’s savagery and war crimes. Because they won’t, we all should do more to stop them. Go to Sonnenfeld’s website via Yale’s School of Management to make sure you aren’t funding the businesses that are funding Putin’s war machine — and reward the vast majority of companies that share Zelensky’s belief that peace is more important than profit.

    It will throw a wrench into my next trip to NYC, but fuggem.  They won’t get my bucks.

  32. I absolutely loved the two Trio albums.  Three voices the angels covet. (And no, I don’t…)

  33. Craig – there is a line in the contracts we sign that essentially says Uncle Sugar can recall us at anytime.  That is regardless of our military status or minor things like age.  I counted the days until I had my last hours of reserve duty was completed and got that DD214 (discharge papers).  At that point I had two DD214’s, Active Duty and Reserve Duty.  Done, complete and then I learned of the once in, forever in thing. Don’t worry, be happy, no one will call you back. 

  34. pogo – I can recommend a nice, boutique hotel if you’re OK being near Bryant Park. 

    Mission tortillas? That one surprises me.

    With the ruble tanking, maybe they will pull out because it’s just not profitable anymore. It would be better to do it because Russians have invaded and are murdering their neighbors, though.

  35. https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/16/investing/russian-debt-payments/index.html

    “Russia says it has ordered the $117 million in interest payments it owes Wednesday to be sent to investors, attempting to avoid its first international default in more than a century.”

    “…the funds the country used to make the debt payments came from Russia’s frozen foreign assets, sanctioned because of its attack on Ukraine — so it remains unclear whether investors will receive their money.”

    “We have the money, we made the payment, now the ball is in America’s court,” he said.”

    “If the US blocked the payment, Russia said it would try to pay in rubles rather than dollars. But that action could constitute a default, Fitch Ratings said Tuesday.”

    “If the Russian government defaults, investors’ losses could start to mount.
    Western investors are less exposed to Russia than they used to be. Sanctions following the annexation of Crimea in 2014 already encouraged them to reduce their exposure. But international banks are owed about $121 billion by Russian entities…”

    “So a default would be bad news for Russia, which will have to meet its obligations in its practically worthless currency, lacking access to foreign financing. But the global markets probably won’t get hurt too badly.”

  36. BiD, what’s the hotel?  I love Bryant Park. Best mojitos in NYC are at the Bryant Park Grill IMHO. And commendable sweet potato fries. Plus, Mexicue is 1/2 a block away.  Great margaritas. 

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