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February 10, 2022


Ah, the good old days of the 1950s. When investment and the economy were booming, and the top tax rate was 90%.

Admittedly, we are busy trying to recreate Sen McCarthy. But that wasn't what made the good old days great.

Funny thing is, it seems to be confined to folks posting in English who are from the states, with a little fill-up from Brits.

For Japan and most of Europe, WWII devastation is still (barely) within living memory. Humor requires exaggeration. When great-grandpa says, "We lived in a cellar under the rubble of a bombed-out building," and everyone knows that's completely accurate, it's not funny.

That's a good point, especially for Germany and Japan, but not sure about how much of the rest of Europe it would apply to. Though I don't know if it is a meme in Dutch, French, or Spanish. Or if yearning for the good old days has you come off like a Falangist or a supporter of Vichy.

But do "the good old days" have to be within living memory? My sense is that, for some rwnjs in the US, "the good old days" are pre-1860. The Lost Cause lives in their imaginations.

Pretty much all of Western Europe lost two generations of men to the World Wars along with a couple decades of industrial production and huge material losses. Much of Asia suffered the same.

The US, meanwhile, lost many fewer men and the economy was booming during WWII and only in need of shifting into post-war production for most of that to continue.

Which is not to say that Europe doesn't have the same sort of good ol' days nostalgia. At least they still had Empire and colonies. Different story after the 50's and 60's.

I, for one, look forward to the time when what is currently considered "the good old days" becomes a subject of cosplay (like the SCA and Reenactors, which I consider to be a rather admirable example of 'living history'), rather than a matter of ideology.



#insert <CarTailfinsJoke.h>

Texas, Florida, and Virginia conservative movement government Christian vermin are dispatching their National Guard troops to the Ukrainian border to support Putin's impending slaughter of the Ukrainian people.

FOX News "personalities" are imbedding with Putin's Russian troops to report the pravda of it all.

Donald Trump and his traitorous commie cabal are looking to Putin to steal the 2022 and 2024 elections for the anti-American Conservative movement.

They've promised the subhuman conservative base tax holidays in perpetuity if they cooperate by murdering American gays, blacks, immigrants, liberals, and the nigga neighborhood affordable housing interlopers sullying Dave Chappelle's cracker elite business endeavors and to shore up the Russian Orthodox world view.

Susan Collins is concerned. Deeply. Superficially, which is deeply in her pigfucking worldview. She's so concerned that yesterday she experienced her first orgasm since Newt Gingrich lent her money from his PAC.

Rod Dreher sees no alternative. No orgasm there.

Mike Pence has paralysis of his useless Christian unemployed dick.

9 million Afghanis are on the brink of starvation, 1 million have fled and economy is collapsing completely


and Biden is stealing half of the countries' foreign reserves to give them to the families of 9/11 victims.


I guess it's their own fault and they should just suck it up...



There was a long-running television series in the UK, called The Good Old Days which celebrated music hall from around 1900. The past people here are nostalgic for is the Edwardian or late Victorian England of The Go-Between or the early series of Upstairs, Downstairs, which is of course not in living memory, but popular culture shows the Downstairs part too, which no one wants back.

The 1950s are in living memory for some. And what they remember is the lasting effects of the Second World War: food rationing ended only in 1954. No one wants that back either.

In Germany we have this (ironic) classic

The text makes it clear that the good old days are most definitely pre-1888 because it specifies that it wants the emperor Wilhelm with the long beard (= William I.) back (not the last emperor Wilhelm II who just had an iconic moustache).

When it goes into details it is about environmental pollution stating* that in the good old days of ones granddads and grannies the Rhine and even (sic!) the air were still transparent and it was possible to drink from the river Elbe without getting sick.


A major part concerning nostalgia (or lack thereof) is the end of the GDR followed by German reunion. There is some limited GDR nostalgia but usually aimed at specific things (not the communist system as a whole) like e.g. better public childcare, less rapid change in society. In Western Germany I see two very different strands. The older generation is still proud of the 'economic miracle' (the rapid rebuilding after 1945) while the generation after that (the 'old 68ers') are proud of the 'student revolution' and the freedom it brought, in particular concerning sex. For them the good old days ended with the arrival of HIV/Aids.
I see no real nostalgia for the 80ies, although I personally now remember my schooldays with some being now in the situation to have to deal with the school system from the other side and finding many things changed (often not for the better).
The internet is one of the real improvements but, if it was up to me, smartphones would be treated as objects of contempt (non-smart cellphones would be tolerated for e.g. emergency personnel).

*i'd say falsely since the industrial revolution was already in the process of large scale pollution of the environment in the specified days.

...but popular culture shows the Downstairs part too, which no one wants back.

At least no one who would be downstairs. Lot's of rich people, it seems, who would love to be able to treat the lower classes again like they believe was normal back then. What use are all those billions, if you can't treat others like dirt and not be criticized for it (at least by no one worth listening too)?

But do "the good old days" have to be within living memory?

You're confusing two different shticks here. The first link in the OP is not a "good old days" nostalgia bit. It's a variant on "the kids today have it too easy." In particular, the dick-measuring variant where the competition is who had it worse: "You had a room? We had to live in a corridor!" I use dick-measuring intentionally, since in my experience it's guys who engage in this. Unstated but implicit in the routine is that things today are so much better than they used to be, at least for the speakers.

We Were So Poor (YouTube)

The good all days are still here. For some. If you happen to be white and in Mississippi.
White father and son charged with shooting at Black FedEx driver in case echoing Arbery’s killing

The FedEx guy was in full FedEx uniform, and driving a FedEx truck. But hey, he was black, which apparently was enough to make him a "suspicious person" for these bigots. And so the guns came out.

The good news is, the shooters have both been arrested.

At the moment the kids most definitely do not have it easier than in my living memory.
And the way they cope with Covid defies all the old stereotypes about them seeking any excuse to not go to school. Of course there are still the natural complaints about school in general but lockdowns, quarantine etc. have shown that they are for the most part more frustrated about being kept away from school or having to do school by video conference than being elated about being legally absent despite the far greater supply of entertainment options these days.
And as far as I can see it, it is not about fear of failure due to missed lectures.

And as far as I can see it, it is not about fear of failure due to missed lectures.

As best I can tell, admittedly from a distance, it's primarily about not being able to see and play with friends. And, for some, also some component of finding learning more difficult at a distance. Not "failure" per se, although somewhat related.

I've got lots of friends who teach at different levels. I'm seeing this passed around a lot:


It's not the conditions, it's the lack of continuity and the fragility of any conditions that they settle into and like, compounded by the palpable fear of the adults around them.

Since this is an open thread, I wanted to post about an amazing activist here, Jack Monroe, a food writer who became famous when she was a single mother on benefits (who luckily knew how to cook), and wrote about how she was feeding herself and her son on £10 per week. Since then, she has had many ups and downs, including at times being a foodbank user, and recently (three weeks ago) tweeted and wrote scathingly about the extraordinary price rises of the very basic ranges of foodstuffs in Asda, one of our more budget national supermarkets. Since her days of extreme poverty, she had kept records of all the relevant prices, and she laid out how these price rises affected the very poorest in society. Her post went viral, and I have just seen this latest twitter thread, and found it really, really encouraging. Quite an example of what activism can achieve!


Just returning for a second to kids and COVID and whatnot.... We know that often kids who are caught in the middle of a divorce have a very hard time of it because of confusion and divided loyalties and conflicting narratives of how the world works and of the nature of the relationships in which they are living. It seems to me that what society is going through with the Culture Wars and the COVID proxy war spilling over into schools and public health and whatnot is very much like a divorce writ large. This on top of the other disruptions listed in the piece about teaching that I linked to above is a lot for a young person to deal with.

The Culture Wars combined with COVID are, I fear, very much going to affect our young just like being in a real shooting war and they will suffer some of the same effects that child soldiers do from their experiences.

At some point in early adulthood, it occurred to me that my father had done more hard things by the time he was 25 than I would ever do in my life. He was the youngest of 10 in a family that was, at that point, seriously poor. By ‘seriously poor’ I mean he got a tangerine and a new pair of shoes for Christmas and was familiar with squirrel as a source of protein. And he had to shoot the squirrel. And then came WWII.

My mother had a life-long discomfort with having her hair done, because when she was a kid she would sometimes be woken up by rats touching her hair while she slept.

I used to complain about having to mow the lawn and take the garbage out. I don’t know how my folks put up with me.

Somehow, they never played the “you don’t know how lucky you have it” card. It amazes me to this day.

Coincidentally, a relevant memory on a social-media platform popped up a couple days ago. The post was in response to a list my daughter wrote a few years ago about her favorite kinds of Cheerios. I took it as an opportunity to do a send-up on the “when we were kids” thing.

This list raises more questions than it answers. Is this an exhaustive list of the different kinds of Cheerios? If so, do you like all of them, and how can they all be your favorites? Do you prefer them in the order in which they’re listed? If so, how large is the margin between preferences as you move down the list? (Are they really all your favorites? I could see having 7 favorites if there were like 400 kinds of Cheerios, but even if this isn’t the full list, it has to be more than half of the different kinds of Cheerios available.)

And not for nothin’, but when I was a kid, you couldn’t make a list of your favorite kinds of Cheerios. There was one kind - just Cheerios. (And we walked to school in the snow, used rocks as toys, and beat the crap out of each other just to stay sharp. We were real kids who ate bland food, ran with scissors, didn’t wear seatbelts, and put plastic bags over our heads.)

As older kids go, some people can’t resist telling them how inferior their music is. My impression is that this particular put-down has gained greater popularity in the last few years.

...some people can’t resist telling them how inferior their music is.

I'd ask: compared to what? Britney Spears, Bubblegum Pop*, The Beatles, Benny Goodman, Richard Wagner, Franz Schubert or J.S.Bach?

*e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyhrYis509A

Hurrian Hymn No. 6, maybe.

My impression is that this particular put-down has gained greater popularity in the last few years.

I have noticed that the local Kroger chain here plays very heavily music that came out from the late 60s to the early 80s. Not just old pop stuff either. A few weeks ago I was in the produce section and they fired up the album version of Jethro Tull's Locomotive Breath.

My impression is that this particular put-down has gained greater popularity in the last few years.

Ah, but is it really greater popularity? Or just the usual popularity, but based in the notably larger Baby Boomer generation?

For the past seven weeks I've been making my students listen to music that was released before they were born (college radio stuff from the 80s and 90s) and asking them to write essays and reviews for their peers. What I have found is that most of them listen to music as background noise and they assemble their playlists from either things their friends already listen to, or from things that the streaming algorithms pick based on their listening history. They were all quite engaged when I made them pick about 10 albums they had never listened to and asked them to find one to review. Most had never actively listened to new music or gone out of their way to try a new type of music.

On the flip side, though, I have found a lot of new music to listen to by seeing what contemporary songs and groups they compare their throwback choices to.

As for what gets played in stores, they play things to appeal to the people most likely to hang around and buy something. The era of music is entirely the intersection of what is being sold there with the relative buying power of the shoppers. They aim to open the biggest wallets.

Ah the good old days, when at least it was acknowledged that politicians (let alone PMs) ought not to lie.


Or just the usual popularity, but based in the notably larger Baby Boomer generation?

I've noticed it becoming more prevalent among people my age. I'm on the older side of Gen X, and definitely born post-baby boom.

I've noticed it becoming more prevalent among people my age. I'm on the older side of Gen X, and definitely born post-baby boom.

I think there are two phenomena here. First, every generation appears, as they age, to become less enthralled by the music being listened to by teenagers and 20somethings. As far as I can tell, this has been occurring at least as far back as the 1800s (the waltz was viewed with alarm in its day -- "scandalous" was the word used), and probably approximately as long as anything new has been composed.

But second, how much putting down of current music occurs depends on how many people are doing the put-downs. Which, in turn, depends on how big the older generations are. When you had generations which had been decimated by WW I, or the Great Depression, or WW II, combined with improved childhood mortality numbers thanks to improved medicine, there were simply fewer people (as a percentage of the total population) in those older cohorts.


The Nick Cohen opinion (fact) piece has the word “lie” outnumber the words the, and, AND a.

It’s about time, but way late in the day, and so-called journalism on this side of the pond needs to drop the mealy-mouthed both sides do it crap (I’m talking both conservative and the barely liberal garbage that passes for punditry in what was one America), because words are the only preferable weaponry short of bullets we have to destroy the lying, thieving conservative movement, Putin and the Republican Party and the Brit clown foremost, on every continent.

I read recently that 70% of all music ordered up on every venue is of the Baby Boomer canon, and in karaoke as well by the way, and despite McCartney’s dictum that we are the “permanent wave”, I have a kind of New Yorker cartoon in mind of two twenty-something’s dancing to some now music, despite it’s debt to what came before, with one saying in a celebratory dialogue cloud above their heads, “hey, did you hear the last boomer died today? Free at last?

Unfortunately, in spite of my repeated suggestions, nobody seems to have sampled throat-singing music and set it to hip-hop.

I'm probably just out of step with the times.

"nobody seems to have sampled throat-singing music and set it to hip-hop."

You'd be surprised at how influential you are:



Until I saw those videos, I would call Tuvan throat singing 'Country and Eastern music'. Now, not so sure.

First, every generation appears, as they age, to become less enthralled by the music being listened to by teenagers and 20somethings.

That's why I used relative terms like "more." I'm not suggesting a fully new phenomenon is taking place.

But second, how much putting down of current music occurs depends on how many people are doing the put-downs. Which, in turn, depends on how big the older generations are.

Okay, but I'm seeing this among GenXers. Gen X is a notably smaller generation consisting of people born between boomers and echo boomers.

But, like I wrote, this is all my impression, which will remain my impression short of some study convincingly quantifying generational music put-downs, something I'm not holding my breath for.

Since it's an open thread and been a few days...

I have convinced myself that I've been overthinking the Ukraine thing, as have almost all of the pundits. Lots of people have opined that global climate change will cause wars over resources. They usually say it will be water, but Russia annexing Ukraine gives them control over one of the great grain-exporting regions in the world. What do they gain? Calorie self-sufficiency. Hard-cash exports to places that will likely ignore US boycott calls (think MENA). A sizeable lever for nutrition diplomacy.

Side thought: Russia telling Ukraine privately something like, "Nice grain business you have there. Be a shame if collateral damage made it impossible for you to do planting this spring."

I think the motivation may come down to something much simpler: Putin, personally, thinks Ukraine was, is, and always should/must be part of Russia. And he can't live with having it anything but, at worse and temporarily, a client state.

(Not to mention the embarrassment of having a (partially) Russian-speaking nation which isn't an autocracy/kleptocracy -- might give the Russian population some unfortunate ideas. Especially if the Ukrainian economy started taking off, while Russia continues to stagnate.)

I could have put this in the women in China and India thread, it wouldn't have been a huge stretch.


The throat-singing I've heard is Inuit, not Tuvan, although perhaps they spring from a common source?

Unfortunately, missed the one occasion of a throat-singing CONCERT that I could attend, some many years ago.

It wasn't well advertised. Funny, that.

The only kind of throat singing I ever knew about was Tibetan:


But I now see there are many different traditions:



Podcast interviews with music luminaries.

"The musicians you love talk about their life, inspiration, and craft. Then play."
Broken Record: with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam, and Justin Richmond (Spotify)

Website: Broken Record

Rats leaving a sinking ship? Trump's long-time accounting firm is bailing.
And it says the financial statements for his companies, which it helped draw up, "should no longer be relied on." Maybe they think they can dodge liability at this late date. Good luck with that.

But it does suggest (in cas there was any doubt) that the NY DA isn't totally delusional in pursuing her case against him. Else why would they care?

Reminds me of the old joke about the accountant interviewing for a job, asked how much 2+2 is, checking the curtains and hallways and then responding with, "How much would you like it to be?"

AIUI, all accounting firms are somewhat at the mercy of their clients. Is the raw data correct? Trump's auditors seem to be in the mode of "We've learned that a bunch of the raw data was probably not correct, so despite our proper processing of it, the answers are equally suspect."

Have to wonder if Sarbanes-Oxley comes into play here, where the C-level executives are at risk if they signed off on incorrect data?

Another bit of synchronicity, one of my students in a presentation course, for his final presentation discussed about his career goals, which were to be the Japanese equivalent of a public accountant and he noted that one of the key protections was that they aren't liable if the information given them to them is not correct. I imagine there are some similar checks for the US, so for them to pull out might indicate that there is a much bigger problem.

I was also reading that with the pandemic, if you wanted to try and pull something, now would be the time.

Here we have a guy demonstrating several different throat singing styles.
All of them Asian though.


Lots of videos on youtube about styles in different regions of world.

Trump's auditors seem to be in the mode of "We've learned that a bunch of the raw data was probably not correct, so despite our proper processing of it, the answers are equally suspect."

There are circumstances where that is not only a viable defense but entirely reasonable. On the other hand, suppose you create balance sheets, based on client input. And then a couple months later you create new balance sheets (for a different reader), also based on client data. But where the client provided data for the same assets are drastically diffetent? Then it's a lot more threadbare as defenses go. If you're the longstanding accountants, you are reasonably expected to retain some memory of your prior work.

Hasn't the GOP managed to completely geld Sarbanes-Oxley by now? Or at least transfer any liability to that new kid in the mail-room.

If not, they're really failing in their program to protect the richy-riches from accountability.

If not, they're really failing in their program to protect the richy-riches from accountability.

My sense is they've decided that legislation is just way too much work. Easier to simply appoint some "not qualified" judge, who will just trash any case that gets brought. Worst case: appeal the case to the Supreme Court, and let the political hacks there take care of it.

Best part of that approach? No future Congress can reinstate the law without the lufetime-tenure judges taking it down again.

If not, they're really failing in their program to protect the richy-riches from accountability.

The problem with Sarbanes-Oxley is that only the richy-riches can afford accountability. It makes it too expensive for a lot of small to medium size companies to go public. So only the big money guys get to invest in them while they're growing. Not individual investors.

My sister lives up in Washington, in Squim. She sends me this example of how winning back local government can be done.

Too bad that things had to get that bad before people figured out that just voting in presidential elections was sufficient. But once they started paying attention, getting the job done was entirely possible.

Nick Cohen playing the champion of integrity and substance is a bit rich, though.

Why this guy still has a job, after 20 years of hippie bashing and war mongering, and in the Guardian of all places, eludes me.

novakant, I think that is because (although many on the left cannot forgive when lefties drift centrewards, or at any rate are prepared to address the mote in the left's eyes, as well as the beam in the right's) the kind of criticism he engages in is valuable because it reaches the parts lefty critics can't reach (TM Carlsberg). I've watched this kind of reaction to him for years.


many on the left cannot forgive when lefties drift centrewards

Sorry, but I don't know what that means in this case:

Cohen was wrong on Iraq (for his own twisted reasons that don't have anything to do with the Iraqi people) and insulted everyone who was right on Iraq in the vilest manner.

Ten years later, instead of seeing reason or god forbid remorse, he proudly proclaimed that he made the right call and continues to insult those who were proven right.

Rinse and repeat with Libya and Syria.

Is that what you call centrism?

I go back further; I remember when he was one of Tony Blair's most vituperative critics, and also of New Labour. And, alas, various centrists (or even sort-of lefties, see Christopher Hitchens) supported the war on Iraq, although it is true that most of them now admit they were wrong. The older I get, the more I realise that people are a lot more complicated than can be conveyed only by their opinion on a few chosen issues.

When "the good ol' days" thing used to roll around in conversation at the pub (almost invariably referring to the 50s), I used to say "Yeah! The good ol' days of polio and unbridled racism!"

But given the current antivax movement and the unmasking of still-prevalent racism, now I just start humming "Happy Days Are Here Again" (Mitch Miller version).

I am not a popular person.

I'm convinced that when most people pine for the fjords "good old days", what they're really after is "when we were young".

...and *nothing* they try to impose on the rest of the world will get them that, so they will be bitter until either accept the passage of time, or die.

what they're really after is "when we were young".

Say "what we remember (however inaccurately) from when we were young" and you'd have it.


Sorry, but if these "few chosen issues" are advocating war over and over again, I am not really interested in the complexity of the minds of people advocating it. Neither do I like to be insulted because of my core values.

Besides, in many cases the reasons might not be all that complex - hippie punching and war mongering is a smart career move:


I read and have read the Guardian a lot, but with some lacuna. When I was living in Europe, I had a subscription, which was rather luxurious, but I didn't really have a sense of the variety of opinions. In the time of Iraq, there still wasn't that web presence, and I was reading more US newspapers, which was a lot more problematic than I realized. But now, because of their web presence, I read it regularly, but I don't keep up with individuals writing, though Marina Hyde is a pretty unique voice and John Crace is also interesting. I kind of wrote off Cohen (he signed the Euston Manifesto, which sort of functions like a bullshit detector imo) but it seems to me that the Guardian is much more loosey-goosey in its editorial line, with everything from soup to nuts coming up there. I'm not sure if this is a function of the newspaper or a reflection of what the left has become recently. I do think that the variety of views is an outgrowth of commercial pressures-to appeal to a widely spread out demographic they have to hit a lot of notes, regardless whether they harmonize with each other or not, and I wonder what UKians feel about that observation.

Neither do I like to be insulted because of my core values.

novakant, we will have to agree to disagree about the complexity of individuals, and clusters of opinion (this is an expression I use to denote how easy, but sometimes wrong, it is to assume that because someone has one set of opinions, in this case in favour of foreign-policy related armed interventions, they must therefore have others which are often found in the same people, e.g rightwing economic or social opinions).

And I don't know who you think insulted you, I'm hoping you're talking about Cohen, but if you mean me I had no such intention and I apologise.

...it seems to me that the Guardian is much more loosey-goosey in its editorial line, with everything from soup to nuts coming up there. I'm not sure if this is a function of the newspaper or a reflection of what the left has become recently...

A good thing, surely ?
A restrictive editorial line would render it unreadable to many - and who wants to be told what to think by a news publication ?

I don't know if it is a good thing or a bad thing, but I do think that, at least for the Guardian, it is a necessary thing.

When you say 'editorial line', that has me wonder if the division between opinion and news is as clear cut as it is touted to be for US newspapers.

My understanding is as follows. It is acknowledged that newspapers in the UK have a political stance: the Telegraph is rightwing (and at various times non-respectable or respectable i.e. in terms of under certain proprietors having given space to climate change deniers, or anti-Clinton conspiracy theorists). The Times is rightwing with a Murdochian slant (e.g. Murdoch, perhaps unexpectedly to some who subscribe to cluster of attitudes thinking, is an anti-royalist), and the Guardian is traditionally lefty/liberal. These leanings are reflected in the editorial line as revealed in "leaders" (i.e. leading articles giving the newspaper's opinion on important current issues) and to an extent in the columnists employed (although there is often at least one counter-intuitive one). Their news reporting is supposed to be impartial, but of course as in all news organisations, what they cover is partly a reflection of political leaning.

GftNC, no need to apologise, I was referring to Cohen et al - sorry if I created ambiguity.

lj, I'm not sure it's necessary for the Guardian actually - if the comments are anything to go by, the political sections of the paper is read by youngish, educated, left/liberal people who are not easily swayed, while the rest of the audience is kept happy with tons of soft coverage about cooking, lifestyle, culture etc.

I don't think there are many Guardian readers who think the Iraq war was a good idea...

I don't think there are many Guardian readers who think the Iraq war was a good idea...

And even if there are, they're far more concerned about how to serve duck properly. ;^)

educated, left/liberal people who are not easily swayed, while the rest of the audience is kept happy with tons of soft coverage about cooking, lifestyle, culture etc

There's a lot of overlap between these two groups!

Thanks for clarification, novakant, I'm glad.

When Nick Cohen was a young, there was considerable sympathy among the UK left for the Soviet regime, and hostility towards the USA. I'm about the same age as him and remember it well.

What the Euston Manifesto group had in common was a determination to reject that. I agreed with them.

On the Iraq war, the Manifesto notes that its signatories differ.

Cohen's continued and strident advocacy for the Iraq war, on the grounds that it must be reduced to the simple question of being for or against Saddam Hussain, is disgraceful and stupid. But to say that his membership of the Euston group reflects badly on him has things the wrong way round

I confess to ignorance regarding Nick Cohen and the Euston group. This reminds me of my reaction, though, when I read Thomas Friedman's column Crazier than Thou. I permanently lost any respect for him.

What I took away from the Euston Manifesto was not it's determination to reject various things, it was more just the determination.

Just for giggles, here is Cohen on it


The title kind of gets at why I thought the Manifesto was one of those 'we are right and anyone who disagrees has to be wrong'.

one of those 'we are right and anyone who disagrees has to be wrong'.

One of my core principles, when deciding whether to credit someone, is this: do they occasionally say "I don't know how to deal with this" or "This is my best guess, but it's only a guess based on very incomplete information"? If they don't, they're not worth listening to.

Always totally sure, on every topic, isn't the characteristic of someone with any sense.


This, by Martin Shaw, provides a counterbalance to the manifesto and is interesting to contemplate when thinking about the current situation in the Ukraine.

That Shaw response pretty much aligns with my own opinion on the topic. About the only criticism worth a damn when it comes to assessing blame for wars in hindsight is self-criticism. The pull of self-justification is just too strong.

Which is not the same thing as a measured acceptance of when, looking forward, such conflict becomes necessary. But any move to war should be done with the acceptance that it marks a collective tragedy.

There's a lot of overlap between these two groups!

Sure, what I meant was that the sub-group of Guardian readers who know Nick Cohen's history as a zealous convert and the associated discussions among ageing UK lefties is probably quite small, while the bulk of the readership is generally sympathetic, but more interested in preparing duck properly, as hsh put it.

Speaking of which, I became acquainted with the history of the UK left quite late and many aspects of it struck me as hilariously personal and parochial - as if they'd all known each other from debating society or something.

This reminded me of another group I came to know, namely New York film critics, some of whose friendships, disagreements and animosities seemed to date back decades and whose positions could be rather entrenched.

This is my own impression, but there are a couple of structural factors for that small group vibe of the UK left. First is certainly population, as well as the fact of a smaller higher education sector and the weight of Oxbridge in the UK (Cohen is an Oxford grad as are the former editor Rusbridger and the current editor Katherine Viner) means that a sort of networked hothouse atmosphere. Also is the centrality of London, which reinforces that.

I appreciate GftNC's explanation of the politics behind UK newspapers, apologies if she knows this, but in the paper version of US newspapers, the editorial section is physically separated from the news. The Wall Street Journal is (in)famous for having a relatively sober news section and an editorial section that is unhinged. From their wikipedia page
The Journal's editorial board has promoted views that are at odds with the scientific consensus on climate change, acid rain, and ozone depletion, as well as on the health dangers of passive smoking, pesticides, and asbestos. If you can consistently choose the wrong side of a coin flip, I guess that's something.

I'm not sure if that was/is the case for UK newspapers (when I got the Guardian, it was the overseas edition, printed on tabloid sized paper that was like cigarette rolling paper, so I don't know how the news stand version was set up)

At any rate, the move to the internet has, I think, blurred these lines because there is no longer a meaningful physical separation of the news and the editorial content and The Guardian, being pretty proactive on the internet front, pretty much embraces that trend.

The Wall Street Journal is (in)famous for having a relatively sober news section and an editorial section that is unhinged.

It may be worth noting that this is a relatively recent (at least to those who are old enough) phenomena. Before the Murdochs bought it, the Journal's editorial page was certainly pro-business and conservative on fiscal matters. But nowhere near unhinged as it has become. Now, of course, it's basically the Fox News print edition.

"Before the Murdochs bought it, the Journal's editorial page was certainly pro-business and conservative on fiscal matters. But nowhere near unhinged as it has become."


Robert Bartley, the current editor's (Paul Gigot) stepdaddy, was sans hinges from 1972-2000.

They were unAmerican filth then and they are now, always dedicated to one-party rule in their fucking image for dumbass America.

Meanwhile, the Pillow Hitler is going to drop pillows by parachute over Canadian territory.

Protect your national sovereignty, Canada! Shoot those helicopters down. Also send Canadian Special Forces across the border into America to assassinate the conservative republican terrorist monied vermin who are fomenting insurrection in Canada, a foreign country.

Do what American pigfucking conservatives do when them furriners fuck with us. Go to their countries and kill them.

Canada also needs to start interrogating suspicious-looking Americanos who try to cross the border and enter Canada to ascertain their political affiliations. Turn away anyone in any way associated with The Republican Party as a possible terrorist threat. If the vermin resist, execute them.

Putin and the Republican Party, bloodbrothers in their hatred of the US Government, and the mortal enemies of America, certainly are trying their best to fuck this country.

It's going to take rutheless savagery to cleanse this country of its conservative enemies.

Next time you are flying at 30,000 and a filthy conservative republican operative, like shoe bombers, ISIS and al qaeda, all of them m uderojs genocidal religious conservatives, tries to open the emergency hatch because the fucks have a problem with vaccines, remember that Ted Cruz and the Republican Party hold that to be legitimate political discourse.

The only legitimate and effective discourse in America from now on is savage violence against its internal conservative movement enemies.

Robert Bartley is fucking dead, so that leaves a spare bullet for the diseased exant ones still breathing pestilence in our faces and stealing our elections.

from the previously mentioned wikipedia article

In the 1980s and 1990s, The Journal published numerous columns opposing and misrepresenting the scientific consensus on the harms of second-hand smoke, acid rain, and ozone depletion, in addition to public policy efforts to curb pesticides and asbestos. The Journal later recognized that efforts to curb acid rain through cap-and-trade had been successful, a decade after the Clean Air Act Amendments

2 archived links are here">http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1325">here and here">http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/96/4/wsj.asp">here

from that last one
Unlike the Journal's meticulously researched in-depth news columns, which many consider a model of journalistic excellence, the editorial page rarely offers balance, is often unfair, and is riddled with errors -- distortions and outright falsehoods of every kind and stripe. And when the errors are challenged, the Journal is less than eager to set the record straight. The page might stand accused of sloppiness except that the errors always seem to bolster the Journal's point of view. Under editor Robert Bartley, the policy seems to be ideology above all else.

"People complain all the time with good reason," says Michael Kinsley, who was a Journal columnist for three years until 1987. Kinsley himself clashed with the Journal a few years ago when, in his New Republic column, he criticized its editorials about White House counsel Vincent Foster and the Rose law firm as shoddy and dishonest. The Journal later attacked Kinsley for blaming the editorial page for Foster's death (which Kinsley didn't do) and implying that the White House put him up to it, which Kinsley says it didn't.

CJR examined some six dozen examples of disputed editorials and op-eds over the past seven years, and a clear sense of Bartley's modus operandi emerged. On subjects ranging from lawyers, judges, and product liability suits to campus and social issues, a strong America, and of course, economics, we found a consistent pattern of incorrect facts, ignored or incomplete facts, missing facts, uncorroborated facts. Repeated efforts to discuss the paper's editorial practices with Bartley were unsuccessful. Absent a conversation with him about the section's objectives, one can only conclude that affecting policy and changing the course of history matter most.


Unfortunately, because the archive link repeats the http, it won't parse it correctly, but you can reach either of those links by going to footnote 70 in the wikipedia page for the Wall Street journal.

The father of my friend's son is in the ICU with COVID. My friend, the mother, has been working for some time administering COVID vaccines. Her own son refused to be vaccinated because of his father's influence. The father is in pretty bad shape, though not yet on a ventilator. It appears he will be in the hospital for a while regardless of the outcome. Another completely pointless and avoidable family crisis, even if he lives. I don't understand.

Another completely pointless and avoidable family crisis, even if he lives. I don't understand.

Some folks have trouble grasping the difference between a heroic willingness to give one's life for one's beliefs and giving one's life for simple stupidity and rejection of reality. Even if the stupidity is ideologically driven, it's still stupidity. (No offense to your family intended.)

(No offense to your family intended.)

None taken. It's not even my family, but even if it were, I'd agree with you.

Liars, cheats, and thieves who boasted during liar, cheat, and thief Trump's corrupt, illegal Presidency that they, and only they, were fracking America's way to fossil fuel independence, now, like the enemies they are when THEIR chips are down, do their best to fuck America.


Conservative subhumans and their capitalist shareholders putting their own asses before the patriotic good of America, and holding out until Putin can cause Biden Admin and our government the kind of troubles that will re-install, via stolen elections, Putin's allies and confederates Trump and the Republican Party to fascist power in order to further deregulate their murderous business practices, insurmountable except by an unbelievably violent civil war in all 50 states to finally and forever remove them from the face of the Earth.

I guess it's not inflation when stock prices inflate, rather than "experience volatility", in the contemporary parlance of dog shit America Kudlow corporate finance.

Sticker shock is what conservatives experience when other Americans try to recoup their costs and losses after decades of cheap ass conservative offshoring, downsizing, cost-rationalizing, anti-union, brown people sweatshop, you can always leave and go somewhere else, get a job, just in time inventory whoops we're outta time crap.

Sticker euphoria is what conservatives experience when they raise the prices of whatever they happen to be schlepping, like survival kits, while keeping a lid on everyone else's, particularly labor's, self interest.

Some rational thoughts on transitory inflation and what caused it:


Ignore the word "dips". It's for dip shits who can't admit their Roku stock has plummeted, cratered, divebombed, been obliterated by an outbreak of "volatility", but nevertheless would like some other mark to take the stock inventory off their hands, preferably after the stock rockets, explodes, launches, goes off the charts, rampages upward, while keeping a non-volatile straight-faced demeanor in order not to to frighten the marks, after the "dip".

Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway on the death of American journalism:


I own Berkshire Hathaway common stock.

I don't subscribe to his "both sides" rationalization of what happened; the conservative movement, because demonization and destruction are its chosen and expressed and long-practiced skill sets, set out by proclamation and deed to demonize and destroy American journalism and succeeded in killing it, under cover of "business rationalization".

The shame is that the Left, heck, and what remains of the sensible center, have naively lost the ability to fight back against the ruthless fuckers using the latter's methods and weapons, which have never included the truth, nor the rule of law.

Good doesn't kill evil, despite the fairy tales I once believed. Good becoming evil in order to kill evil, kills evil.

And now it is time to goddamned kill the conservative movement.

За здоровье! [za zda-ró-vye]

The "American" conservative movement, becoming conservative Putin, one shot and a toast at a time:


He'll be pardoned in January 2025 by Putin's Ambassador to America, Donald Trump, or whatever traitorous fascist conservative filth sneaks in ahead of Trump.

Your (semi)musical smile for the day:


This could be fun. However it played out.

Assume, for the sake of discussion, that the top two GOP candidates (Trump and DeSantis) somehow don't get the nomination in 2024, leaving it to their #3 option.** Assume, further, that Biden passes the torch, so the Democrats' nominee is Harris. Alternatively, assume Biden beats DeSantis in 2024 (Trump being busy elsewhere), giving the 2028 Democratic nomination to Harris, and again the GOP goes with their (current) #3.

That leaves us looking at a US Presidential election with woman who is half black and half south Asian vs a woman who is south Asian. Who'd have imagined such a thing in 2000? And how hard would everybody else have laughed if they did?

** In case you don't want to check the link, that would be Nikki Haley, according to the poll. Really. A distant third, but don't confuse the issue with details. Just consider that #4 is Pence.

Speaking of Robert Bartley, the video starring Bartley spawn Daniel Henniger, still intoning his righteous moralism after all these decades, embedded at the top of this Munger article, conveniently doesn't cite the main reason why politicians have come to love "SIN" taxes, because Henninger and his fellow fuckwad lying editorial board members forever have successfully refused to pay legitimate taxes, sharply reduced the legitimate tax base at all levels of government, stopped all governments from raising legitimate taxes to pay for services, so that what trickles down from their monied sponsors doesn't pay the legitimate bills any longer.


So the baby they and Norquist are drowning in the bathtub has to thrash around and keep afloat by winning the fucking lottery, hoping the Bengals win, and perhaps smoking some legal and taxed reefer, while of course capital gains taxes on capitalist gains from DraftKings, Penn National and the dozens and dozens of marijuana stocks are cut at Henninger's conservative beck and call, while of course retaining the deduction of losses in said stocks from their taxes, which they WILL need this year if you've seen how their stock prices have "dipped" due to "volatility".

Munger's unfortunate both side-ism, despite his correct concern for dead American journalism, in the real world:



Civil War.

Manchin is a murderer.

A Democratic Party murderer.

He lowers his fat coal-fired ass over the stern of that yacht and insists we smooch it.


The Earth is going to be a happily depopulated home for those decent humans left after the both sides conservative vermin are wiped off the face of it.

It'll be cleaner. It will smell better with their death cult stench vanguished.

Maybe a polar bear or two and a few rhinos will survive against all odds when all conservatives are extinct.

So many deadly weapons in the illegitimate state of Texas and Ken Paxton's lips still flap without interference from the free speech and legitimate political discourse of gunfire.


I remember all of the straight-faced denials for decades from conservative fucking subhuman liars at Red State, the old Tacitus, the previous incarnations of OBWI, and from every piece of cuck conservative garbage ever considered for some Court position, that birth control would not be their next target after making abortion illegal.


Ignore and disobey all conservative movement law from every court in the land.

Tear conservative America a fucking new one by every and all means necessary.

Choose: America or the Republican Party.

You don't get both. And elections are not the method that will permit the correct choice, since the conservative movement steals them, and when they lose, they kill.

Their very words are bullets.

OK. I'm done for the week to let others breath whatever oxygen is left in the room.

Delurking to point to another brilliant Ezra Klein piece, this one about the famine we are causing in Afghanistan—


Klein just keeps putting out these really useful pieces ( not just about US human rights violations). I used to think of the NYT opinion section as a barren wasteland only good for hate reading— what ghastly thing is Tom Friedman writing now? At best it was a waste of time. Not true anymore.

that birth control would not be their next target after making abortion illegal.

Look on the bright side. If all three prospective candidates advocate making birth control illegal, that pretty well guarantees a Democrat gets the governorship in Michigan.

The reckless optimist at it again, I see. ;-)

Does the GOP have large enough of a majority there to strip the governor of any actual powers (as they successfully did in othe rplaces when to their surprise a Dem won the governorship)? That's the question to ask independent of who will be declared winner of the election.

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