March Open Thread

Just realized I haven’t been here in a month. I’ve been waiting for a train that never showed up because of the snow. Seriously. And also, that dress is white and gold.


The F-35B can’t carry its most advanced weapon until 2022

Who Killed Boris Nemtsov?
A verdict has already been reached – without evidence
by Justin Raimondo
March 02, 2015

So, we return to the question at the head of this column: Who killed Boris Nemtsov? The answer is: we don’t know, at least not at this point, and one can only marvel at the investigative prowess of talking heads who “solved” this crime from a distance of several thousand miles, hours after it occurred. Nemtsov’s many enemies include the oligarchs he allied himself with, and then later turned on, who were no doubt eager to exact their revenge. Beresovky, who met his own mysterious death years earlier, was one of his biggest enemies. Once in collusion, the rapacious oligarch and the would-be reformer fell out in the “war of the bankers” that preceded the end of the Yeltsin era: it was Beresovsky who had Nemtsov fired from his job as economic advisor to Ukraine’s Viktor Yushchenko.

Heroes and Villains
by James Howard Kunstler
March 02, 2015

It is more than ironic that Snowden was also Mr. Ed, because if you take his comportment on film at face value, never was there such an exemplary and seemingly normal American young man. His heroism resided largely in his amazing composure under the strain of events. He spoke English clearly and calmly, and reacted to the weighty events he set in motion with startling equanimity. He appeared to know exactly what he was doing, and with quiet, unshakable moral commitment. And then he disappeared down the gullet of America’s modern times nemesis, Russia, where he continues to taunt with his very existence, the NSA gameboys, lizard-lawyers and puppet-masters who cordially invite him back home to face, ho-ho, our vaunted justice system. Of course any six-year-old understands that they would love to jam Snowden down some federal supermax memory hole as an example to any other waffling NSA code-jockey having second thoughts about reading your grandpa’s phone records.

105 Replies to “March Open Thread”

  1. that looked fatal. the guy was either drunk, stoned, both, or was hung over from the night before. something like dat. it looked like he didn’t know how to brake, or brake hard enough. oh well, another darwin award winner gets his prize posthumously.

  2. regarding easing into traffic, back in the year of our lord 1973, i was hung over on a monday morning, driving my new (to me) 1970 BMW 2002 sedan to school/work (lacquer brick red with black vinyl interior, 2-door, 4-speed on floor, manual sunroof, surf racks). there was this girl riding a bike, she became known to me as the $1100 girl.

    i was looking at her rear and not the rear of the car in front, which had decided to stop on a yellow light. nobody stops on a yellow light in hawaii, but this asshole did. so by the time i realized he was actually stopped, i hit my front disc brakes hard. it’s a fucking BMW, so of course the brakes stop the wheels fast. only one problem: the car had a set of old, balding michelons from the original owner.

    they proceeded to slide. for about 5 seconds, which seemed like forever, i watched helplessly as my car slides into the rear of this guy’s 1963 or so vintage dodge dart. you may recall they had a very plain but sturdy chrome rear bumper.

    ==> damage to dart rear bumper: $100. (dent fix)
    ==> damage to front end of BMW: $1000. major body work, at a discount, because they felt sorry for me. why? because i could only afford liability insurance at that time (male driver, too young) and had to pay all damages out of pocket.

  3. i once had a girl run into me with a bicycle. we ended up having sex that night. this was a long time ago.

  4. good thing you didn’t marry her. she would have run you over with a car or truck by now.

    lots of bike horror stories. we had a particularly gruesome one on campus a few years back. a heavy construction truck ran over a biker that was trying to ride parallel to it and some parked cars. he and bike went under the truck’s rear wheels. first co-eds on the scene threw up at the sight of a squashed head, with interior fluids and such sprayed all over the pavement. sorry if that’s a repeat story.

  5. nah, we were both 21 or 22. we were both in miami on christmas break. it was like falling of a log, inevitable…especially after she bought me a drink to make up for the gash in my leg.

  6. god, where has all that sexual energy gone? i often ask myself. i mean, i still, pretty much, have it. the world around me has gotten old and stingy. i think. i’m missing something…i think.

  7. well, circa 1980 there was this minor chink in the sexual revolution’s armor (amore?) called… AIDS. but mostly it’s you getting older with your cohort doing likewise. the 20 somethings are still hard at it, i’m sure (with condoms now).

  8. i don’t know about you, but i’m gonna miss those tasty double fillet-o-fish sandwiches at mcdonalds:

    Gail Tverberg says:
    March 4, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Practically everything becomes stranded assets, as we go through this bottle neck. Various oil companies already are writing down the value of land that they carried on their books, with the idea of developing. Many sites that looked like they had potential, no longer do. Some oil companies are more aggressive than other in this write down.

    But it is not just oil that becomes stranded assets. A 20th floor condominium in the city becomes a stranded asset, if there are no jobs, no food, no water, and probably no electricity in the city. Many types of mines become stranded assets, if there is no longer demand for lithium for car batteries for example. Virtually every commodity has stranded assets. Electric cars that no longer have electricity to run them become stranded assets. So do gasoline-powered cars that have no gasoline to run them.

    The issue with oil is that the cost of extraction becomes too high. This is quite different from the sales price becomes too high. What happens is the sales price becomes too low to justify extraction, because wages don’t go up at the same time. In fact, more and more workers are used in increasingly inefficient sectors, like oil extraction, coal extraction, and making desalination plants for water. This leaves fewer workers for other sectors.

    The real issue is wages that do not keep up with rising cost of extraction oil and creating other commodities. Prices have to drop, regardless of the rising cost of extraction.

    Wind and solar are non-solutions. They have nothing to do with this, except to push us toward collapse more quickly. They will be among the stranded assets–certainly anything permanently connected to the electric grid will become a stranded asset.

  9. ha, i made bacon wrapped hot dogs in an electric powered (from the grid) crock pot for dinner last night. who’s bettern’ me?

  10. yes, aids was huge (sexual) game changer at the time. it’s been pretty disappointing in terms of population reduction.

  11. Buttermilk multigrain pancakes with quinoa flour, buckwheat flour, milled flax seed, grape seed oil, local brown egg, diced apple, home grown blueberries, shredded coconut, and peanut butter added, fried in coconut oil and served with NY maple syrup and coffee (not local) with fresh cream from local dairy. Howabout dat?

  12. Sounds pretty tasty gb. I’ve got some blueberry bushes in pots I’m hoping will turn out some decent fruit. Got them late last year, so first season.

    We use coconut oil and ghee for cooking. I’m partial to ghee for eggs and breakfast in general. We prep a weeks worth of fresh food to keep in the refer so meals are quick and easy. I cook up a couple of lbs each of local grown beef and turkey. We use the turkey mainly for breakfast with peppers, spinach, sliced baby bellas, onions and a couple of eggs over easy. I toss in red apple and a pinch of cumin now and again, usually Fuji because they stay pretty crisp even when cooked for a few minutes.

    The ground beef is usually for lunches and the odd dinner, mixed with pre-prepped (wet saute) fresh veggies kept in Pyrex in the refer. Acorn squash cooked with thyme is one of our favorites as is cauliflower with chives and lemon juice.

  13. this AM, i’m thinking leftover portugese sausage & cheddar cheese omlette with onions sauteed in garlic butter, using egg beaters. safeway bakery flakey peach tarts, local kona coffee. flakey peach tart also describes mrs. doom (ha ha, just kidding.)

  14. dave, could be that chick just lamed up her prey so she could toy with it a bit.

    yeah, i was, and would be, pretty ok with the whole process…

  15. it’s kinda funny, i guess. but lately, i’ve been trying to entice this (very well kept together) 62 yo woman. i’m 59. not sure what to think of the whole situation. it’s a whole new world.

  16. huh, kinda obvious why mammals rule the world, and testudinidae are kinda relegated to the backwaters. i guess.

  17. well, “stupid is as stupid does” (F. Gump). last week, i’m fairly certain i contaminated one of the prototypes with too much tracer gas. it may be irretriveably contaminated. will have to swap some parts to see if that’s what indeed happened. damn.

  18. “huh, kinda obvious why mammals rule the world, and testudinidae are kinda relegated to the backwaters. i guess.”

    maybe so, but i can personally attest to them humping for hours on end. their moans and groans used to serenade us to sleep out on isla isabella in the galapagos. they seem to thrive in those backwaters.

  19. many moons ago, mrs. doom and i were staying at a friend’s new house in kona. it had just been built out in the brush and trees upslope of town. we got up in the morning and went into the bathroom. there were about 6 or so very large wood spiders, with legs about 6-8 inches in diameter, on the wall and ceiling. this was a bit of a freakout, especially for mrs. doom. we opened a window and chased them out with a broom, IIRC. they were misplaced by the construction of the house. it was probably built over their home. classic case of “takeover” (Catton, 1980) victims.

  20. many times in my life, i’ve been forced to drink from the cup of defeat. some things never change…



    After becoming very frustrated with the attitude of one of the shopkeepers, the young blonde declared, “Well, then, maybe I’ll just go out and catch my own alligator and get a pair of alligator shoes for free!”

    The shopkeeper replied with a sly smile, “Well, little lady, why don’t you go give it a try?”

    The blonde headed off to the swamp, determined to catch an alligator.

    Later in the day, the shopkeeper was driving home, and spotted the young woman standing waist deep in the murky water, shotgun in hand.

    He saw a huge 9 foot ‘gator swimming rapidly toward her. With lightning reflexes, the blond took aim, shot the creature and hauled it up onto the slippery bank.

    Nearby were 7 more dead ‘gators, all lying belly up. The shopkeeper watched in amazement as the blond struggled with the gun.

    Then, rolling her eyes, she screamed in frustration…..

    ”Sonofabitch!! THIS ONE’S BAREFOOT, TOO!”

  22. my youngest son sat me down last night at the dinner table and had me watch this video:

    i think there’s a message or more in there.

  23. usually, i won’t watch ted videos, but i watched that one. not sure what to say to an anecdote about a lucky little girl who went to dance school and ended up being rich, successful and satisfied. the guy down the street from me who won the lottery did the same thing. i guess he got creative when he picked his numbers.

    anyhoo, like that guy, who was amusing, touched on, schools are here to normalize a particular set of behaviors. everything from a parent’s voluntary sacrifice of their children to the industrial gollum, to the student’s acquiescence to a lifetime of institutionalization.

    something like that…

  24. if you want to find out just how bad the climate’s going to get, take a large tumbler and fill it with ice. now, take a sip of water every 10-15 minutes. (this not a hard experiment.) at first, the water is very cold, and will stay that way until all the ice is gone. then, the water that’s left will warm. after a few moron sips, the water warms rapidly. no cheating by adding moron ice–you’ll ruin the demonstration, which is to show how we’ve ruined this planet’s climate for ourselves. it also predicts our time of demise.

  25. Gail Tverberg says:
    March 12, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Read some of my other posts.

    The problem with standard analyses is that they are based on the assumption that limits are so far away that we don’t need to worry about them. In fact, limits are here right now, and they appear in a very different form than most have imagined. Anyone with any common sense knows that economic growth cannot continue indefinitely in a finite world. How that growth will stop is less obvious.

    I have, over time been teasing out the details. The economic models we have today don’t have enough variables in them. We need cheap energy of precisely the right kinds to run the economy. If we don’t have enough cheap energy, we don’t get enough good-paying jobs. We get more wealth disparity, and fewer new household formations–young people continue to live with their parents. These are the kinds of problems we have now.

    The cost of extracting oil remains high, even though the sales price of oil has dropped because of affordability problems. See my post

    Sorry I don’t have time to explain exactly what is happening–it is much too complicated.

  26. scale that up to a 100-pound dog, and that’s what i have to put up with every morning on my laptop. at least the dog eventually gives up and goes away.

  27. she looks like she could use a full-body massage after all that weight training. i’ll vontunteer, but i’m not really qualified. do my best, though.

  28. That would make a nice snack for my screech owl. He is back roosting in his nest box. Found some pellets this morning on the snow under the nest box tree. He isn’t too particular about what he eats. Pellets were mostly mice bone and fur.

  29. My owl is probably the closest thing I’ll ever have to a pet. He’s my owl, but unlike a pet I don’t feed it, have no name for it, and let it fend for itself. It works for me and If and when it dies nature will replace it free. How can you beat that?

  30. picture this: you’re hungry, perhaps starving. there’s no moron food, but there’s plenty of dead and soon-to-be dead bodies lying around. you can maybe scrub up some greens here and there, but you also need protein, which is in short supply. so what’s a hominid to do?

    [per Jay Hanson]
    There is evidence, both archeological and genetic, that cannibalism has been practiced for tens of thousands of years.[43] Human bones that have been “de-fleshed” by other humans go back 600 000 years. The oldest Homo sapiens bones (from Ethiopia) show signs of this as well.[43] Some anthropologists, such asTim White, suggest that ritual cannibalism was common in human societies prior to the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic period. This theory is based on the large amount of “butchered human” bones found in Neanderthal and other Lower/Middle Paleolithic sites.[44] Cannibalism in the Lower and Middle Paleolithic may have occurred because of food shortages.[45] It has been also suggested that removing dead bodies through ritual cannibalism might been a means of predator control, aiming to eliminate predators’ and scavengers’ access to hominid (and early human) bodies.[46] Jim Corbett proposed that after major epidemics, when human corpses are easily accessible to predators, there are more cases of man-eating leopards,[47] so removing dead bodies through ritual cannibalism (before the cultural traditions of burying and burning bodies appeared in human history) might have had practical reasons for hominids and early humans to control predation.

    In Gough’s Cave, England, remains of human bones and skulls, around 15,000 years old, suggest that cannibalism took place amongst the people living in or visiting the cave,[48] and that they may have used human skulls as drinking vessels.[49][50]

    Researchers have found physical evidence of cannibalism in ancient times. In 2001, archaeologists at the University of Bristol found evidence of Iron Agecannibalism in Gloucestershire.[51] Cannibalism was practiced as recently as 2000 years ago in Great Britain.[52] In Germany, Emil Carthaus and Dr. Bruno Bernhard have observed 1,891 signs of cannibalism in the caves at the Hönne (1000 – 700 BC)[53].

  31. personally, when i surf the internet now (a major time waster), i avoid any topic that has some number of things to it, like the 30 ways to fornicate with asian women, for example.

  32. In Dance, 2 + 2 may equal 3, 4 or 5, but if you’re designing a bomb to blow up the theatre it had better equal 4.

  33. oh, that was a good one! try this on a friend: hey, i just learned how to capture wild rabbits in their lairs. first, you need to pick up a few poisonous snakes by hand, then, you place them down holes in a pre-netted hole network where the rabbits are hiding. EZ as pie.

    andrew of the jungle.

  34. gee dave, that video you posted sure has a lot of fine dust in it. amazing how those TWC buildings just pulverized themselves falling like so many pancaking floors. i think that must be a first for buildings like those, unless of course they were exploded.

  35. i liked the pray for calamity piece. to reduce the essay: you benefit from the organization, but you have to pay for it. you can object, but as long as you continue to benefit, your words and acts of defiance are hollow.

    those sharecroppers that steinbeck was writing about were also benefitting from the organization. they just didn’t appreciate it until something happened to wake them from their trance that they were in control of their destiny. i think a lot of us will be facing the same wake up call, maybe in as soon as a couple of moron years.

  36. so think before you shoot:

    A man received the following text from his neighbor…

    “I am so sorry Bob. I’ve been riddled with guilt and I have to confess; I have been helping myself to your wife day and night when you’re not around. In fact, I have probably been getting more than you. I do not get it at home – but that’s no excuse. I can no longer live with the guilt, and I hope you will accept my sincerest apology with my promise that it won’t ever happen again.”

    The man, anguished and betrayed, went directly into his bedroom, grabbed his gun and, without a word, shot his wife dead.

    A few moments later, a second text came in: “Damned Auto-spell !
    Sorry Bob, the second sentence should read, ‘your WiFi “…,

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