In her #MSC2023 address, US @VP Kamala Harris put a spotlight on #accountability and justice for the crimes committed in #Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/3knmWUW1WK
— Munich Security Conference (@MunSecConf) February 18, 2023
They’re packed to the actual rafters at #MSC2023 awaiting @VP Kamala Harris. By far the biggest audience of the conference. @MunSecConf pic.twitter.com/J6GsqH6Snz
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) February 18, 2023
.@VP: Colleagues, today Kyiv is still standing, Russia is weakened, the Transatlantic alliance is stronger than ever. And most importantly, the spirit of the Ukrainian people endures.
— Kirsten Allen (@KirstenAllen46) February 18, 2023
“Kyiv is still standing,” VP Kamala Harris says in keynote address at Munich Security Conference, a gathering of top defense and foreign policy officials in Germany. pic.twitter.com/OqkK496ghD
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 18, 2023
As @VP said, the U.S. will continue to support Ukraine as Russia’s full-scale invasion nears the one-year mark. We honor Ukraine’s sacrifices, continue our Allied unity, and encourage stalwart support for the people of Ukraine as they fight for their country. #UnitedWithUkraine https://t.co/QYBsCspwnV
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 19, 2023
I look forward to welcoming Sweden and Finland into the NATO Alliance.
It was my privilege to meet with Prime Minister Marin and Prime Minister Kristersson in Munich to discuss our shared security and shared values. pic.twitter.com/ZV6qpAWufq
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@VP) February 18, 2023
“We are doing everything we can, as the United States of America, to support the investigations and the tribunals, both in Ukraine and globally, that are gathering evidence and will hold Russia accountable,” @VP told @mitchellreports https://t.co/pHvperbDiW
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 17, 2023
… Harris, a former prosecutor who served as district attorney of San Francisco and later California attorney general, said there needs to be “serious and severe consequences for the people who have committed these crimes.”
Some European officials have suggested support for a so-called hybrid tribunal, utilizing Ukrainian courts, to prosecute any alleged war crimes.
Harris told NBC the US will also continue to take steps to bolster Ukraine’s position on the battlefield, “so that if and when there are negotiations, Ukraine will be in the strongest position.”
Harris is leading the US delegation at the security conference, which draws together top politicians and defense officials. This year, there is an especially large bilateral US presence, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The vice president’s aides said it sent a signal about the strong US support for Ukraine…
Uh-oh. European popularity is a death knell for American politicians.
No reaction yesterday, so trying again. Simultaneously potentially amazing (techwise) and potentially Insidious (spywise).
Dead birds take flight.
Ew. Didn’t get past the title.
The problem with this, even more so than other low altitude spying is… birds. There is a whole ecosystem that is not kind to strangers trespassing into their neighborhood.
So did I see a single word about the Harris visit on any of the cable channels? Nope. We must talk about the scary balloons.
Surely even the liberal MSNBC is on it!
(I don’t watch any of them anymore).
@Frankensteinbeck: Have you read of the eagles being trained to take out drones? They are for use at airports and other sensitive areas. I saw some video of their training and they are pretty damned impressive.
@Baud: I don’t watch any of them anymore.
I can’t believe how many ads I’m seeing for Cocaine Bear.
It’s either going to be awesome or the dumbest movie over.
the trailer was a riot.
@Butch: It’s like everything else they’re told to be scared of (Ebola is gonna gotcha!). And then something REAL kills the dumb motherfuckers and those left alive STILL can’t figure out what happened. Maybe there’s a new virus in the balloon! And I’d be rich if the demon-rats would let trickle-down economics work and if they let us kill all those brown and black people who keep taking our jobs!
ETA text missing due to my low caffeination level…
Could be both!
That’s some Lord of the Rings shit there.
Turns out John Cleese ought to have held onto that parrot.
One the one hand, I think I can see how publicizing allied resolve to hold Russia accountable for its war crimes may assist in rallying support for Ukraine.
On the other hand, I think I can see how it might increase Putin’s resolve to fight to the end and not retreat.
But mostly I think: you need to catch your rabbit before you cook it. Talk of the glorious things we’ll do after victory is premature until we have secured victory.
Send more arms, now. Giving missiles is better than giving speeches.
@oldster: Ukraine is talking about Russian war crimes louder than anybody else. They do so to rally support. We can do the same.
Thank goodness we have a President and Vice President who genuinely want to confront and defeat Russia. Had Trump won, Ukraine would be screwed.
6’2” white dude wins the slam dunk!
@OzarkHillbilly: I’m reminded of Our Man Flint, where secret agent Flint is attacked by an eagle that has been trained to recognize Americans. “An anti-American eagle. Diabolical.”
White Men Can Jump!
I’m not a basketball fan at all but that was amazing!
No, but I’m 0% surprised. It’s something they’re pretty happy to do in the wild, after all. You don’t just need predatory birds, either. If you’re disguising your drones as hawks like this, crows and seagulls are going to be ALL up in your shit. You came to the wroooong side of town, motherflocker.
@Raven: Damned impressive.
@Ken: Heh, I remember the movie but had forgotten about the anti American eagle.
Yesterday Politico put up a short article by Holly Otterbein titled, “Aides, gov’s office expect Fetterman to return to Senate.”
Adam Gentleson, the Senator’s Chief of Staff, said he expected Mr. Fetterman to return in a few weeks after inpatient therapy for depression. When asked if Governor Shapiro was making any preparations anticipating a resignation, Shapiro’s press secretary Manuel Bonder replied:
I’m sure that will put the media speculation to rest.
@Baud: in the Hobbit and LOTR the eagles never show up until the end!
No, but I’ve seen one steal a just caught fish from an ice fishing hole surrounded by a bunch of drunk people.
I’ve always wondered why they didn’t just fly Frodo and Sam into Mordor from the start. How much air defense did Sauron have anyway?
@Chief Oshkosh: The right-wing model of any kind of large social threat–pandemic viruses, crime, poverty, whatever–is that the main problem is “dirty” foreign people of the wrong color and if you can restrict them, you’re good. If it doesn’t fit that model, they’re lost.
COVID came in from outside the country–OK. But it didn’t care what kind of person it was riding in on, which broke the conservative model of how to control it. In fact, the Trump administration’s initial efforts caused a huge pandemic spike for that reason.
O. Felix Culpa
@frosty: The Nazgûl were a bit problematic. Besides, LOTR just doesn’t work as a short story.
@Frankensteinbeck: Awhile back on the ferry to Channel Islands National Park, I saw a dozen gulls circling around, harassing two eagles. Then one eagle swooped down, snatched a gull out of the water and took it to the nearby cliffs for lunch. No wonder the gulls were so upset!
Plenty. Even without the Ring, he was the most powerful wizard alive, with a variety of mutated servants and wide-ranging clairvoyance. They didn’t call him The Unblinking Eye for nothing. The whole thing with Sam and Frodo getting in was that they were beneath notice, something Sauron never suspected until they were actually at Mount Doom and Frodo put on the ring there. After the Ring was destroyed, the Eagles could waltz right in. Before, they’d be spotted as an attack and destroyed.
@Frankensteinbeck: Also, you can’t necessarily tell Tolkien’s Eagles what to do in the first place. They might help you in a pinch but they’ve got their own agendas. They may not have been on board with the plan at all until they’d seen it succeed.
Good Morning, Everyone😊😊😊
@Matt McIrvin: I’ll never forget those photos of crowds of people jammed together at O’Hare for hours, coming home from all over the world, no precautions, no questions, no screening of any kind.
Yep. They go their own way, and if you’re lucky, sometimes, that way is your way. They didn’t show up at the Council. Flying you in on a suicide mission, organized with other races, that could easily be delivering the Ring to Sauron, is a big difference from agreeing to go pick up their buddy Gandalf’s friends who just saved the world from an undefended Mount Doom.
@Frankensteinbeck: If they try seagoing drones disguised as fish my moneys on the Gannets. Those things are incredible and have a very well deserved reputation for greed & aggression.
@rikyrah: Good morning
I’m not as into the LOTR universe as others, but I’ve never been clear about the relationship between Sauron and the ring. He obviously was doing things when he didn’t have the ring in his possession. Also unclear about how destroying the ring hurt Sauron, other than preventing him from being more powerful.
Short answer: He put his soul into it, both as a gimmick to make himself even more powerful, and as a trap to control the Rings he gave to the other races, and thus control them.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Baud: Now you’ve done it
@MomSense: One has to keep close eye in the eagles in the Boundary Waters and all a poor seagull can do is watch while the eagles snatch up the fish guts from a day’s catch.
So it’s like a horcrux?
@Frankensteinbeck: Also too: he didn’t expect the good guys to destroy it–none of the previous holders had attempted such a thing.
@Baud: He basically dumped a whole bunch of his power into the ring, so destroying the ring destroyed that power and destroyed anything made with that power. He once possessed it, but lost it when Isildur chopped off his hand–so also lost all of the power embedded in it
ETA, well, he actually “misplaced” his power when he lost the ring. He didn’t truly lose the power until the ring was destroyed.
Combine with a huge magic booster, and you’ve got it.
Is anyone surprised that the Washington Post editorial is talking about how to end “the stalemate” in Ukraine? Unbelievable.
@frosty: Uh, the Nazgul? Duh!
ETA: as several others have noted.
@Geminid: Would they ask that question if he had broken his leg? Depression can be disabling, but it can also be treated, and he is getting treatment. People know this. My mother had 4 months of inpatient care for depression, and she recovered. It’s frustrating that even knowing that millions of people get treated and recover from depression the press still treats it like a disabling illness. Did anyone ask if Jamie Raskin was going to resign when he announced he had cancer?
@Baud: DAW was right . . . because I COULD GO ON. AND ON. I was just thinking that it might be time to reread the whole thing, which I’ve done >25 times, I’m guessing
ETA: there are definitely problematic aspects to the whole thing, so my understanding of it has evolved over time, but I remain amazed that it’s essentially a very long backstory to some languages he was inventing.
@Soprano2: I think they were right to ask that question because there has been so much speculation that would not have occurred if Fetterman had broken his leg.
It was a very short article that tended to foreclose futher speculation, I thought.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@narya: I used to write LOTR fanfic, so I know how huge and confusing the whole saga can be. The stuff I wrote is probably riddled with errors.
@Betty: I think that anyone who says that a solution is to allow Russia to keep some of the land they’ve taken by force should have a portion of their yards taken by their neighbors – a simple transfer of property, you know, just to keep the peace. If they live in an apartment or condo, they lose a room to a neighbor.
Saw this on the BBC front page – couldn’t find it on my version of Washington Post
Think ‘horcrux + power booster’ and you’ll understand everyone’s reactions to it. Like, Boromir didn’t just want power. He’s been traveling next to Sauron’s soul for a month, and it Got To Him. The super virtuous and strong go “Fuck no, I ain’t touching that.” The purely innocent hobbits could carry it safely and only be very slowly corrupted.
@TS: Tis true.
@Baud: Tolkien was kind of vague about how the Ring worked, but it seemed to function as a kind of power multiplier that effectively contained part of Sauron and eventually became a remote node of him–but one that had gotten somewhat out of his control, and couldn’t or didn’t want to inform him where it was.
As far as the Ring was concerned, it would just as well have turned somebody else into its new Sauron. Might even have preferred that, once it found someone sufficiently powerful (Galadriel or Gandalf or someone on that level–it tried Tom Bombadil, didn’t work). But it did seem to still be connected to him in some arcane sense.
Very cool story about VP Harris. Much appreciated.
From the Carter Center:
@TS: We’ve been talking about it. Sounds like Carter’s cancer came back and he doesn’t have much time left. 98 years is a good run.
I’ve only read the story once but the whole Tom Bombadil saga seemed out of place to the plot.
@Brachiator: VP Harris led the US delegation to the Munich Security Conference last year, on the eve of the Russian invasion. I thought she did good work then, both in the sessions and in bilateral meetings in between.
@Baud: My brother and SIL are listening to LOTR by audiobook as they drive. They’ve just gotten to Tom Bombadil and they’re shaking their heads with “What the hell is this??!!” There’s a reason Peter Jackson ignored it in the movies.
(They’ve both read the books and seen the movies several times)
Sounds like NYC should develop a breed and release program for the eagle-owl.
To Tolkien it was very important, but nobody else shares Tolkien’s combined obsession with folklore, romanticized British agrarian lifestyles, and singing and hospitality as virtues. Even to people who understand the moral lessons he’s trying to explore, Bombadil is still, “OKAY, yes, we GET it, this is BORING, can we GO???”
@Dorothy A. Winsor: I told my ex-stepson–when we were watching the movies [I HAVE PROBLEMS WITH SOME OF THIS!1!]–that it’s like different people telling the same story. Everyone experiences the event differently. He was about 6 or 7 at the time, so it was a useful way to look at it.
@Frankensteinbeck: Meh. For one thing, it’s how they get their damn swords, but I also liked the sense of a being/space that was outside of space and time and impervious to the forces the rest were dealing with, at least up to a point. But I always skip the songs and poetry, tbh. I also like the real respite they get there.
@Baud: Many years ago Mrs kalakal was in a short lived folk band. Amongst their repertoire was an LOTR concept album. It had a Tom Bombadil song – the writer loved it, the rest of them hated it. It features amongst the reason the band was short lived
@Baud: Maybe it will be like Airplane. I describe it as the best bad movie I have ever seen. I loved Airplane, maybe it will be like that.
@Baud: Tolkien seems to have wanted Tom Bombadil to seem out of place. There had to be mysteries in his world that didn’t really fit and couldn’t be figured out.
But if you’re adapting the work and you’re time-limited, yes, he is the first thing you jettison. Bakshi and Jackson both did that.
(I’m less keen on Jackson getting rid of the “Scouring of the Shire” episode at the end, given that his ending was incredibly drawn-out anyway and not necessarily with good material.)
comrade scotts agenda of rage
One of the best early LOTR games was SPI’s Lord of the Rings.
If you played the “good” guys, you learned that the best odds of winning was to combine all the individual characters, or at least most of them (use others as decoys), travel around until you found the magic Elven rope, then go to the one map spot on Morder’s border that wasn’t multiple hexes of mountains, cross it with the Elven rope, then march a couple of hexes to Mount Doom.
Sauron, knowing this, would plant all 9 Nazgul and the Mouth of Sauron on Mount doom. The one advantage the Fellowship side had was more individual characters so even if all your First Tier heroes died in the combat, you’d eventually wear outlast Sauron’s dudes.
@Baud: I have a feeling it’s going to turn into a cult classic like Snakes on a Plane.
Given your nym/nom, that’s the least surprising thing I’ve read in awhile.
ETA: And I am a mere novice compared to you, having only read it 10 +/- times
@Frankensteinbeck: Miss E has the trilogy and has been duly warned about the Bombadil Tax everyone must pay in order to get on with the saga… I teased a treasure hunt for her to find her name (a flower) that’s mentioned once in the 1,000+ pages, heh. There are a few classics out there that exact some of the reader’s blood before they let you ride, Dune being one example that sticks out (it’s got more begets than the Old Testament).
Chris Christie mysteriously absent from the ABC Power Panel Pundits segment where they’re discussing the Dominion vs Fox news.
@Frankensteinbeck: Another problem is encouraging the “Birds aren’t real” conspiracy theory which claims birds are actually drones which spy on Americans. Yes, I know that was started as satire but we aren’t dealing with people capable of nuance.
@Baud: Tom Bombadil has always been my favorite character, strangely. It tickled me that he was so uninterested in exerting power over others that the Ring just didn’t work on him.
That said, I was a bit miffed but not surprised that Peter Jackson left that whole part of the story out of his LOTR cycle.
ETA: I’ll freely admit that his mannerisms are more than a bit cloying, it’s true.
@OzarkHillbilly: Neal Stephenson included a drone killing eagle and its trainer in his novel Termination Shock.
@oatler: Why would the two be connected? As far as I know, Christie didn’t deny the results of the election.
@Miss Bianca: Re-reading LOTR recently, I was surprised to find that the story DID explicitly address the question “why don’t we just leave it with Tom Bombadil?” They bring it up at the Council of Elrond. Gandalf basically says “You don’t understand Tom Bombadil–sure, it doesn’t work on him, but the guy cares so little about these things that he wouldn’t be a trustworthy safekeeper. He’d probably get distracted and forget he had it around.”
That could fit a thousand conversations we have had here, just this week!
Our media is misogynist, they are trying to Hilllary, Kamala Harris.
OT: I posted my art after a long time on Twitter. Main picture, Water based markers and gel crayons for the background.
@frosty: Yes. The thought had occurred.
I like it! Especially the shape of it.
@Matt McIrvin: I was just thinking about that episode!
It may be apocryphal, but I heard of a rabbit stew recipe wherein the first direction was “catch a rabbit”.
@schrodingers_cat: Pretty! And whimsical. Two of my favorite qualities!
I am Tom Bombadil.
Of course birds aren’t real. Have you ever seen a bird? Nobody ever sees them, but we’re just supposed to take it on faith they exist? Bigfoot photos are more convincing.
EDIT – I knew birds were a myth when people started telling me they were dinosaurs. I’m like “OMG PEOPLE WHAT KIND OF SWEEPS WEEK SHARK JUMPING BULLSHIT IS THIS.”
@schrodingers_cat: Time will tell whether or not Haley is on the hitlist, because they could be selective in their hatred of women.
Your artwork is amazing.
Good for Harris, and Biden’s team. Getting the work done.
In other news, further support for Carlo Graziani’s comments here that Deep Learning and ChatGPT, etc., is not real AI – Ars Technica:
Of course, they’ll fix this flaw (as best they can). But as Carlo said, the fundamental limitations of this approach – namely that inferences break down when there’s little or no training data to go with it, so that it doesn’t know what to do with “black swan” events – need to be kept in mind when thinking about bots.
It’s not true AI until it flips over the board in disgust.
James E Powell
They’re waiting to comment on the inevitable FTFNYT articles saying how she wore the wrong shoes or clothes, or that she didn’t smile at a key point, or maybe that she did smile, but she did it wrong.
@OzarkHillbilly: Given the number of rats and squirrels running around NYC, I would think it would be a raptor’s paradise. Owl probably runs the risk of getting too fat to fly.
@Matt McIrvin: I agree. The Scouring of the Shire was a really important part of the book, since it showed the hobbits coming back having grown with their experience with men, and able to take back control of their own land. Jackson blew it by not putting this in the movie.
A quick history of that expression.
James E Powell
So, they were – in the parlance of the early aughts – objectively pro-Sauron?
@Baud: I am pretty sure Tom Bombadil is described as wearing pants.
@Miss Bianca: A question for you: I think I remember you mentioning a few weeks back you had installed a custom ROM or system of some kind on your Android phone. May I ask which one?
Too bad. LOTR would have been so much better if everyone were naked.
Oh that’s where Bombadil is from! My father used to mention the character, but I think neither of us had read the novels. Back in the thirties he worked stock at a news agency and got to read magazines from all over. The poems were in the Oxford Review.
@Mike E: That dissertation on the minutiae of whaling that we get in Moby Dick just before the first chase. I’m going to clear it yet!
@frosty: I’ve always thought that LOTR is a bunch of types of folkloric tales coming together in one big story. Pippin and Merry’s story is a coming of age tale. They start out as young, immature privileged kids and come back as the heroes that the Shire needs. Frodo is wiped out by what he went through. Sam is the one who leads the fixing everything after the Scouring, but Pippin and Merry play the war leaders who lead the actual fighting.
@schrodingers_cat: Nice, very nice!
@Baud: [post board-flip] “This game is stupid, let’s go do those crimes.”
J R in WV
Wonderful job, too !!
Thanks for sharing!
@Baud: They would have rethought crossing Caradhras much sooner.
@JPL: Republican women don’t upset their applecart so they don’t get that intensity of hate that Democratic women do.
@frosty: Nazgul on dragons.
@OzarkHillbilly: I saw a wonderful meme about this a little while ago: a photo of an eagle attacking a drone with the headline “Dinosaur kills flying robot.”
ETA: Or maybe it was “Flying dinosaur kills robot.” :)
@jonas: When a replacement for the Eastern Peregrine was cross bred from other species, and then released to the wild, the breeders were at first surprised at the rapid colonization of urban environments. A combination of ample prey, as you point out, combined with high rises doing quite nicely as substitutes for cliff-side nest sites, proved to be explanatory.
I get spam – “Best offer Just for you: a bucket of expired pills”
@pluky: When I lived in Atlanta there were plenty of either falcons or hawks living quite well on the skyscrapers downtown.
The first time I read the novels, I slogged my way through all that. The second time, I glanced at the top of this page, the bottom of the next, and by the third readthrough, I skipped the poetry all together. That said, I really enjoyed the rest of the Bombadil appearances. He and his partner were both so down to (Middle)Earth sorts of people.
ETA a bit of clarity.
@Butch: She was covered/is being covered on CNN and MSNBC. Both yesterday and this morning.
Probably not so much on the GQP networks.
How many pecks in a bucket?
@Layer8Problem: Lineage, a Linux-based system that’s basically a de-Googled Android.
Doesn’t work on all phones, but works on a lot of them. Be very careful with the installation, however, and make sure you follow all the steps exactly as outlined!
@trollhattan: Is there a hole in the bucket?
I knew they would go after Medicaid.
This might be good, though. We can finally have a real national discussion on Medicaid-who gets it:
The health care “debate” was so incredibly dumb we never reached the “what is Medicaid and who gets it?” part- had to spend 6 months on “death panels” but maybe this time we will.
Look at the religious fanatics budget – they LOVE babies!
Every single one of those programs benefits low income children. Remember when they told media they would start supporting childrens aid when they overturned Roe and how media dutifuly printed that lie?
The people in the antiabortion movement just lie constantly. They’re gutting programs for low income children.
@Miss Bianca: Cool! Seems to come out of CyanogenMod, which I liked back in the day. And my Pixel’s on its list.
Are you liking it? Does it do everything you expect or need?
Is he proposing this on behalf of anyone or just shooting the shit?
@Baud: Isn’t everything?
@oatler: Chris Christie suddenly not available for a weekend morning news show? Why ever would that be! I hope he’s nervous as hell.
@Layer8Problem: So far, so good. I sometimes miss the convenience of teh Google, as I use gmail and stuff like that – but I put Firefox on my phone and I can still access gmail through the web – the default browser is like Chrome, and that works well for Balloon Juice! – and I sure don’t miss getting pinged every time I get an email.
And, on the other hand, I don’t get attempts to immediately sign me up for Youtube Premium if I hit the Youtube app accidentally, which is what drove me into the frothing rage that prompted the wipe of my Android phone!
Probably got stuck in bridge traffic.
@Kay: “Look at the religious fanatics budget – they LOVE babies!”
They had two for lunch!
(Pee-culiar; my cut-and-pasting isn’t working on the Visual comment tab, but is on the Text tab.)
@Another Scott: of course it’s not AI. it’s PR. it’s branding. an actual artificial intelligence has to be capable of independent thought and self-awareness.
there is nothing truly independent about machine learning.
That’s good to hear.
He doesn’t really want to avoid them. He’s being forced against his will by Dark Brandon to avoid them.
@Omnes Omnibus: well, the scouring, IMO reiterates tolkien’s main thrust of the story, colored by his experiences in WWI; industrialization is bad. really really bad.. sauron’s most visible puppet, saruman is sort of a walking poster child for that theme.
Tom Bombadil, the Piper at the Gates of Dawn — are there other examples of passages in beloved stories that some people loathe as being “outside” of the story and others love as being key to the world-building? (Count me with the latter for both.)
@Baud: No, that would be artificial belligerence. :)
@Miss Bianca: Yeah, I understand that. One of my lifestyle guidelines is to try not to be beholden to Helpful Considerate Big Companies with My Best Interests At Heart, in devices or whatever, and I’ve never trusted stock phones. I’ve had this phone for a few years and one really hasn’t lived until one puts one’s cell phone at risk of bricking. Another fun technical project!
@Baud: Christie always struck me as a guy willing to amplify the crazy, but with one foot out the door in case it became politically inconvenient for his future. He’s been sure the crazy will die down for years but it never does, so he gets in a little deeper each time, still thinking he can get away clean when he needs to. That “not fully committed” scent on him is why tRump loved treating him like shit and making him grovel, then gave him none of the power he was seeking by his sucking up. That’s part of tRump’s low cunning: he can recognize a rat.
On the other hand, I think I can see how it might increase Putin’s resolve to fight to the end and not retreat.
Putin’s resolve? The man doesn’t have resolve, he has a desire to be the end all of mankind. He’s a 5 yr old having a tantrum. A 5 yr old with control(ish) of a country and all it’s resources. Having a tantrum. Which of course means that actual humans will die (and of course have died) for his gratification. He’s a smarter, more hateful, more dangerous version of SFB.
@eddie blake: My husband and I read a 1970’s (I think. , it was definitely written in British) biography of Tolkien. He was appalled at how progress and industry destroyed so much of the beautiful wild lands of his childhood and around the world of the universities he taught it. It makes so much sense that LOTR popularity coincides with the birth of the modern environmental movement. Sometimes I despair that the phone/internet/video gaming focus of modern childhood is hurting the future of environmentalism with the part of young people that don’t care about AGW.
It looks to me like he wants to start with the easier stuff (programs that benefit poor people) and work his way over the long term up to the harder (social security and medicare).
@stinger: me, too!
@Miss Bianca: Thanks. That’s Johanna’s line work. I love her illustrations, I have completed quite a few pages in Enchanted Forest.
@J R in WV: @prostratedragon: Thanks!
@JPL: Thanks, you are too kind.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@StringOnAStick: Christie was probably teh first of the establishment types who thought he could manage trump, be the great éminence grise, and trump hates the idea that he can be controlled. Also, JarVanka hated Christie, they might well have kept him from being trump’s running mate– which back when we all thought there was no way The Beast could win would probably have made CC the front-runner for 2020. There were a few stories about Ivanka going out of her way to humiliate CC and push him to the sidelines during the early days.
I read somewhere not long ago that, unlike Pence, Christie actually resents the fact that trump damn near killed him, with Covid instead of a mob. Not that trump forced Christie to go maskless with co-morbidities.
@Josie: This is what he said, “I’m tired of this focus on Social Security and Medicare, as if you’re climbing a mountain and can’t make any progress on that mountain until you go to the eagle’s nest on the top.”
A short review of Vice President Harris’s speech at the Munich Security Conference by a Republican, Pennsylvania Representative Brian Fitzpatrick:
Fitzgerald represents Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
@Geminid: Good for VP Harris delivering a fine speech (not that there was any doubt).
Encouraging to see at least 1 republican acknowledge this.
Formerly disgruntled in Oregon
Wilmer at it again.
I’ve seen several approving posts of this quote on Mastadon with little pushback. I think this is a dangerous lie, particularly with the context of the Munich Security Conference and Russia’s war crimes against Ukraine.
The conspiracy theory that “a cabal of oligarchs run everything in every large country, from US to Russia” is a dangerous lie. Eerily similar to other lies that have caused much suffering over human history, that I’m shocked to see so many well-meaning people repeat it today.
This false equivalence is particularly concerning to me as it erases all-to-real hard fought differences in human rights and democracy between different countries. If a cabal of oligarchs run everything, why bother with democracy?
Again, this is a dangerous lie.
@Geminid: Uh oh. He’s gonna get primaried! JK – sorta.
@Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: “Yeah, oligarchs run everything all over the world and in the United States, too, Wilmer, so that means…what, exactly? We shouldn’t be resisting Russian attempts to annex Ukraine? Because ‘Everyone Everywhere is Bad’?”
Wanker. The nerve of that guy sitting in the US Senate when he’s not at one of his three or four houses, putting that false equivalency crap out there.
@Formerly disgruntled in Oregon:
Yeah, I saw that. Had two mints about posting it.
@Kay: Don’t hold your breath. How many in the media reported on Rethuglicans’ stated goal of gutting Social Security and Medicare (Rick Scott et al) before Biden called Rethugs out and media had to “fact check” Biden?
@Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: It annoys and infuriates me that he keeps popping up from time to time to great media attention. Like something you can’t get off the bottom of your shoe.
ETA just read the article, he has a new book to promote. Ugh.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Which really only shows that Christie is bad at it. Trump as president was surrounded by people manipulating the idiot king in classic courtier fashion to get their personal goals through. Their only major obstacle was, like in classic idiot king courts, each other.
Spend two weeks praising him in public. Spend two weeks praising him in private. Tell him that the thing you want was his genius idea. Done, it’s yours.
The only thing you can’t do is tell him ‘no’, and even then if something doesn’t involve his personal actions, you can tell him what a genius he is, then go do the opposite of what he ordered and he’ll never know.
EDIT – Prime example. When El Covfefe finally got off his lard ass and started issuing pardons – probably because Stone threatened him – there were three major categories: Hate crimes, people who might testify against him, and pardons sold by his various advisers to their rich friends.
@Formerly disgruntled in Oregon: It’s St. Bernard being on-brand and giving an interview as part of the publicity tour for his book.
TheGuardian piece seems to be by the books reviewer/editor.
RIP Richard Belzer, comedian and actor.
@StringOnAStick: Why would Chris Christie be nervous as hell? What did I miss?
@Origuy: We were in line with him to see an art exhibit at one of the Smithsonian museums years ago. Van Gogh’s Van Goghs, I think it was. We of course recognized him, as did lots of people in line. Everyone left him alone and gave him his space. He seemed just like his character on L&O.
Good (if upsetting) thread on how VP Harris gets ignored by the US press, by Susan Bordson, a former news exec at WCCO Minneapolis.
@Frankensteinbeck: The songs kind of slowed everything down and I always managed to just skip the songs. Although I did like the Tom Bombadil ones.
Looks like a paltry turnout for the “anti-war” rally in DC today, despite a lot of promotion. Good weather too.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Tickets are 25 pounds, 10 to watch on-line (why, exactly, I wonder). Not sure of the exchange rate but IIRC that’s a lot cheaper than he’s charging in the states.
and says, “pretty sneaky, sis..” in disgust.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I saw that Kristina Karamo was the new head of the MI GOP, but I didn’t know she wasn’t trump’s choice.
I guess any comment would be superfluous
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Maybe LiveNation / TicketMaster / TicketTron / etc. doesn’t get as big a cut in the UK??
$55, $75, $95 seated at the Anthem in DC (includes a copy of the book).
I’ve been to The Anthem once – back in the Before Times – beers were $9 and up and they only took plastic.
the press still treats it like a disabling illness.
No, they treat it like a disabling weakness.
@Frankensteinbeck: [re: Tolkien’s eagles]
There’s an Oglaf for that.
note: Oglaf often features sexual comedy and situations, but this one is SFW.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I find it funny that faith is such a big deal for these people. it’s not faith exactly it’s performative faith. They’ll celebrate these people while holding folks like Jimmy Carter in contempt.
One of my friends got a mini-stroke, a few weeks ago. He’s 38. He strongly believes that it was related to COVID and a possible blood clot.
@WaterGirl: Between the Dominion lawsuit and strings starting to unravel like Santos and the Russian infiltration of the NYC FBI office, I can’t imagine that Christie isn’t implicated somewhere. He’s too close to NYC and has been in R politics in NY and NJ too long to not have some splashes hitting him eventually. Just my guess, because he’s the guy the tRump sphere would toss overboard in a second
@RaflW: Yesterday I was hanging out with some reasonably well-informed people in their 30s and, apropos of nothing in particular as far as I could tell, someone said “And what’s up with Kamala Harris— where is she these days?” and someone else was like “Who knows? Yeah, what’s up with that?” This always seems to me like a thing people say entirely because they heard someone else say it. Like, if any of these people 1. had actually tried to find out the answer to that question and not been able to, or 2. really had an expectation that they would normally be hearing news about the Vice President often, based on past experience… I’ll eat my hat.
@Frankensteinbeck: I lived in NYC for a long time and a thing I’d hear fairly often— stated in sort of a Seinfeld observational comedy style where it’s clear the speaker doesn’t really care what the answer is— was “How come you never see baby pigeons?” And this wouldn’t be from tourists, but from people who had been walking around Manhattan for many years, hearing the “screep screep screep” noises from nests in trees and awnings and everywhere else that those incredibly loud pigeon chicks are stashed, and tuning it out. And, seeing the fledglings walking around right in front of them but (presumably) assuming that they were just very unkempt adult pigeons.
@Kay: Low income kids are to be re-directed to gainful employment.
dark, discomforting snark to be sure
Belzer’s Detective Munch was in an episode of The X-Files, in which he arrested the Lone Gunmen and a very young, pre-Scully Agent Mulder — who is thus a real person in the universe Munch inhabits. There’s a moment in L&O: SVU when someone compares Munch to Mulder, the fictional character.
@Hob: Alas the answer to “What’s up with that?”, which should be a short sharp disquisition on the misogyny, racism, and anti-liberal bias in media doesn’t seem to pop up often enough outside of top-10000 blogs.
@schrodingers_cat: Very nice!
@Matt McIrvin: Tangential note: A dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2011. Her sister had died of complications from breast cancer a few years before, so she decided to go aggressive. Double mastectomy, chemo. When she did it, she said it was a one time thing. Middle of last year she was losing weight and suffering low energy. She told everyone it was gastritis. We tried to get her to get second opinions. etc. It turns out she had a recurrence and wasn’t telling anyone. She checked into a hospice for palliative care and told her brother a few days before she passed.
I know it’s how she wanted to go, but I wish I could have seen her or even talked to her one last time.
Thank you for listening. Sorry for going astray.
@Geminid: oh, is that the thing I see “trending” on Google?
@Miss Bianca: Maybe. They’re calling it the “Rage Against the War Machine” rally.
Citizen journalist Molly Conger (@socialistdogmom) is live tweeting from there, along with her Richmond sidekick Goad Gatsby. Gatsby just got a TikTok post out of telling Jackson Hinkle, “I just drove up from Richmond to call you a dork.”
Conger estimated the crowd at 200.She ran into a couple neo-nazis she’s been covering since the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. She also remarked on a Lyndon LaRoucheite presence.
200 is pretty sad. Good.
Is it possible he’s correct?
Sure it’s possible that there is zero correlation. But the human body does not always act the same for everyone. Some people have a hell of time stoping drinking alcohol, others can walk away without any problem. Even in families there are often conflicting genetics that make one child quite a bit different that the others. We are all human, we all have a wide range of genetic possibilities that can have widely differing results.
@Baud: What Baud said. I was getting ready to get all mad about a “Rage Against Both! Sides!” rally, but now thanks to the miracle of modern technology, I don’t have to!
@KrackenJack: I’m so sorry.
My grandmother passed at 96 a few years ago from esophageal cancer, chose hospice care and it was a good choice for her. I’ve been hearing some concerns about the industry lately, but I’m glad she was lucid enough at the end to make her own care decisions.
Sorry about your friend.
@Miss Bianca: Conger saw Russian flags, including a Russian Imperial flag, but no Ukrainian flags. The Libertarian Party was a sponsor.
@Geminid: Funny how a bunch of “libertarians” apparently have a.problem with a sovereign country defending its liberty, isn’t it?
@Miss Bianca: It’s opportunism on the Libertarians’ part. They want to build their brand among lefties, so they say they are against “unconstitutional wars.” Trying to forge a “Red/Brown” alliance.
This event has drawn some heated criticism from socialist groups, especially because of the “Mises Caucus’s” involvement. They took over the Libertarians last summer and are pushing what is in effect white nationalist ideology.
And Code Pink’s board told Medea Benjamin that she could not participate under their name. Other anti-war groups steered clear because of speakers like Jackson Hinkle. It really was a toxic brew of speakers.
J R in WV
A good friend I admired, sister of beloved next door neighbor, died of metastatic breast cancer some time ago. She was an RN hippy, who worked in ICU for a while. She had several surgeries, but didn’t tell anyone it was for cancer.
Then our neighbor called us to tell us Patti was at home with hospice care dying of her breast cancer after several years of small surgeries.
My parents both went for hospice care and were well done by their caregivers.
@Matt McIrvin: Republicans are just dumb and mean assholes. We need to get to a point where no one listens to them about anything.
Jim, Foolish Literalist