War, What Is It Good For?

The title emanates from the New York Times March 1 column written by Paul Krugman.

Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

Excerpts follow:

The Ukrainian miracle may not last. Vladimir Putin’s attempt to win a quick victory on the cheap, seizing major cities with relatively light forces, has faced major resistance, but the tanks and big guns are moving up. And despite the incredible heroism of Ukraine’s people, it’s still more likely than not that the Russian flag will eventually be planted amid the rubble of Kyiv and Kharkiv.

But even if that happens, the Russian Federation will be left weaker and poorer than it was before the invasion. Conquest doesn’t pay.

An aside: Isn’t it extraordinary and horrible to find ourselves in a situation where Hitler’s economic failures tell us useful things about future prospects? But that’s where we are. Thanks, Putin.

So conquest is a losing proposition. This has been true for at least a century and a half; it has been obvious to anyone willing to look at the facts for more than a century. Unfortunately, there are still madmen and fanatics who refuse to believe this — and some of them control nations and armies. (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/01/opinion/ukraine-russia-war-economy.html?action=click&block=associated_collection_recirc&impression_id=04586eb1-9d58-11ec-ac57-69346e60c294&index=1&pgtype=Article&region=footer)

I have read many Krugman columns over the past few decades and cannot recall Paul including music with any previous column. He used the following video after writing, “I’ve seen this group live; they were awesome.”

DakhaBrakha: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

NPR Music
6.63M subscribers
People always ask me, “What’s your favorite Tiny Desk Concert?” Well, right now it’s the one recently performed by DakhaBrakha. The creative quartet from Kiev, Ukraine make music that sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard, with strands of everything I’ve ever heard. There are rhythms that sound West African and drone that feels as if it could have emanated from India or Australia. At times, DakhaBrakha is simply a rock band whose crazy homeland harmonies are filled with joy. All the while, they play tight-knit tunes featuring accordion, drums, reeds and shakers while wearing tall, Marge Simpson-looking wool hats that made me jealous.

I want the world to see this Tiny Desk Concert more than any other right now. It’s refreshing to hear the power of acoustic music and the many worlds of sound still waiting to be explored. — BOB BOILEN

Set List
“Sho Z-Pod Duba” 0:00
“Torokh” 3:43
“Divka-Marusechka” 8:07

Credits
Producers: Bob Boilen, Maggie Starbard; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Morgan McCloy, Maggie Starbard, AJ Wilhelm; Assistant Producer: Annie Bartholomew; photo by Colin Marshall/NPR

The Temptations

The World is Going to Hell in a Handbasket

My father, bless his heart, was fond of saying, “The world is going to hell in a handbasket.” Adapting to change was difficult for him, and many others, ‘back in the day’.

This month the wild fires burning out west and in Canada caused so much smoke that almost the entire United States of America was filled with smoke.

https://klyq.com/files/2015/08/smoke-map82515.jpg
Smoke Monster Invades USA
klyq.com

There was a day when the only part of the US without smoke from the burning flames was the Southeast. This included my home state of Georgia, Florida, and parts of the North and South Carolina. Several days ago things had changed and there was a report that Atlanta was under a “smoke advisory.”

https://boston.cbslocal.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/3859903/2020/09/smokemap.jpg?w=1024
Western Wildfires Smoke Creating Haze Over New England …
boston.cbslocal.com

“Smoke” has become a regular part of weather forecasts all over the land that was made for you and me.

https://i.dailymail.co.uk/1s/2020/09/15/14/33207368-8734943-image-a-14_1600176160553.jpg
Smoke from the West Coast wildfires has now traveled as …
dailymail.co.uk

Yet members of one of the two major political parties in this country (Why only two?) continue to deny there is climate change. I would expect nothing less from the Neanderthals who also continue to deny the Trumpster lost the election. This was the Russian assessment of the Trumpster published by The Guardian a couple of weeks ago: “There is a brief psychological assessment of Trump, who is described as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex”.” Sounds like the Republican party, does it not? It is not only climate change those in the ‘Grand OLD party’ deny. The report also contains this: “A report prepared by Putin’s expert department recommended Moscow use “all possible force” to ensure a Trump victory.” (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/15/kremlin-papers-appear-to-show-putins-plot-to-put-trump-in-white-house) No wonder little man Putin was grinning like the cat who ate the canary every time he was near the Trumpster.

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/debka/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/16194544/Trump-Putin-PC-16.7.18.jpg
The Putin Smirk
https://media.vanityfair.com/photos/5ccca2978d58ba426c1f8f6b/16:9/w_1280,c_limit/trump%2520putin%2520mueller%2520call.jpg
Putin Shit Eatin’ Grin

The world is burning literally and figuratively.

pyrocumulus cloud
Photograph: Josh Edelson/Getty Images

Last week, the US Naval Research Laboratory held a very 2021 press conference, in which scientists reported a very 2021 outbreak of “smoke thunderclouds.” Catastrophic wildfires, exacerbated by catastrophic climate change, had produced a rash of pyrocumulonimbus plumes over the western United States and Canada, known in the scientific vernacular as pyroCb. (https://www.wired.com/story/oh-good-now-theres-an-outbreak-of-wildfire-thunderclouds/)

I had this video where the Bruce Springsteen video now resides, but decided to put Woody, who wrote the song, down here because I wanted to include the lyrics. Many years ago during a conversation with my cousin Linda, who taught, or maybe I should say, tried to teach English to children of high school age. Because she was a decade older than was I, she knew, for obvious reasons, the songs of Woody well. Like most people cousin Linda knew only the first stanza, so she was SHOCKED when I recited the whole song, putting special emphasis on the stanza placed in bold below:

Woody Guthrie

This Land Is Your Land

This land is your land, this land is my land
From California to the New York island
From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and me

As I was walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting
This land was made for you and me

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people
By the relief office I seen my people
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking that freedom highway
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me
(https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/woodyguthrie/thislandisyourland.html)