CSotD:  Riddles in mysteries inside enigmae and such

Fiona Kataukas makes what I think is the best overall assessment of what happened, what’s happening and what’s about to happen in Russia. And Belarus. And thus Ukraine. And thus Europe and NATO and our own 2024 elections, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.

As the fortune teller tells us, everybody can guess but nobody has the inside dope on this one and I’d suggest — as I’m sure she would — that you ought to be suspicious of anyone who claims to know what’s going on.

And if you’re looking for the Defense Department to give you a quick, easy way to explain it to your audience, you’re out of luck. The official position is that it’s Russia’s deal and we’ve got nothing to do with it.

Obviously, when a major power goes into crisis mode, the shock waves go beyond its borders, but this seems to have turned into an excellent opportunity for America to STFU and await further developments, and apparently Biden made several phone calls assuring everyone that S’ingTFU is our official policy for the moment.

Good choice, however much the duck’s feet continue to paddle under the surface.

It hasn’t stopped the overseas contingent from offering opinions, but most, like Morten Morland, join Katauskas in keeping their analysis low-key.

Punxsutawney Putin did poke his head out, finally, and make an announcement on TV in which he said something along the lines of urging the Russian people to line up, sign up and not to take off their shoes.

We can’t tell, at this distance, how inspiring it was, but Morland captures the idea that Putin’s general paranoia has most certainly been cranked up by the events of the past few days, as evidenced, if nothing else, by his having jetted out of Moscow and disappeared for more than 48 hours.

Not exactly Churchillian.

I’m not sure when Matt Pritchett penned this one, and it may have been at the height of the crisis or it might have been last night. Machs nix, because it fits the atmosphere of uncertainty and paranoia that continues to be projected.

Point being that, if everything is back in place and Putin is firmly in control, he doesn’t seem to have projected that terribly well.

Rico Schacherl suggests that, while Prigozhen canceled his whatever-that-was before it became a full-fledged confrontation, it still revealed significant flaws in Putin’s foundation. If Prigozhen didn’t — for whatever undisclosed reasons — want to exploit them, it’s possible someone else will or that things will begin to fall apart on their own.

And Christian Adams picks up on the connection between the name of Prigozhen’s troops and Dan Cook’s famous sports analysis, “the opera ain’t over till the fat lady sings,” which applies to all sorts of things but rarely merits such a direct connection.

Which may be premature. Intellectually, I’m sticking with Fiona Katauskas’s viewpoint, but Adams made me laff and, come to think of it, so did Morland, Pritchett and Schacherl.

This is the way the world ends, not with a bang but a giggle.

Ah, wotthehell. It’s better than a whimper.

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Chris Britt — Creators)

(Marco De Angelis — Cartoon Movement)

Cartoonists are still sorting out their responses to the Titan implosion and the drowning of hundreds of refugees off the coast of Greece.

I’ll disagree with Britt and several others who contend that billionaires get better coverage, despite the fact that of course they do. But they do, in part, because they can command it using the same instincts and leverage that made them billionaires in the first place, and, in part, because there are so few of them.

Alexa tells me there are about 1,100 billionaires in the world. There were 700 refugees on that boat, most of whom drowned.

The bad taste socialist response is to suggest that we’re gonna need a bigger boat, so it’s good that I’m not a socialist with bad taste.

Still, De Angelis is closer to the truth, which is that we treat refugees like leftover garbage and are willing to wash them down the drain without a second thought.

The problem is not that they aren’t rich. It’s that we don’t care.

Granted, part of why we don’t care is that we persist in seeing refugees as peasants, when the fact is that many of them are relatively middleclass. And that’s not only obvious from those who are interviewed once they arrive, but from the fact that they’ve managed to scrape together thousands of dollars to pay the traffickers who put them on those boats.

Still, it shouldn’t matter.

It wouldn’t take much to station more camera crews at the landing sites in the Mediterranean or along our own southern border and regularly cover the people coming through, or dying in the attempt.

But that’s barely half the story. Nothing will change unless we send more reporters up stream, to do stories about why those migrants are fleeing.

Given all the people coming forward to announce that they warned those billionaires not to get in that submersible, why not put some of that genius to work spotlighting danger in Africa and Central America?

Swift Takes

(David Rowe)

(Peter Broelman)

Judging from the reactions of Australian cartoonists to the upcoming visit by Taylor Swift, one would think that their system is constituted such that money not spent on concert tickets is used to create jobs and lower housing costs.

Which appears to be as mythical as that thing about toilets flushing in the opposite direction.

Most I could find was a story in the Daily Mail — that paragon of journalistic integrity — about a woman who drew ticket money from a fund she’d set up to put a down payment on a house.

Which, first of all, sounds like it was her money and her choice. Second, they didn’t say how much she’d saved, so we don’t know if she drained it or just dipped in.

And, third, she got in line early thanks to her American Express card. Cancel the pity party.

Anyway, the only government action I found was that the state of Victoria stepped in to declare it illegal to resell the tickets for more than ten percent over cover price, which sounds like pretty good governmental interference with free markets to me.

Your take on “free markets” in music may, of course, vary:

One thought on “CSotD:  Riddles in mysteries inside enigmae and such

  1. The Syrians we have in South Africa are industrious and hard working. I’ve met a number. Most recently one who has three takeouts that are thriving. He’s creating jobs for locals and building wealth.

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