Another TBB Tuesday Best Bits post featuring just a few eclectic links from from around the web such as how conspiracies are the price of freedom, an in depth oral history of the Ukraine war from insiders living it up close, we look back at Covid and what happened to us, how we came to witness the city of Mariupol ruin, Joe Montana special about his life, career, family life, current projects and that’s it, you get five Best of Web type links and I will see you on Friday with the more thorough TBB type post you are accustomed to. Yes, I am back from Greece now and things should start settling down…
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Conspiracies are the price of freedom
You know, I was going to suggest to send this to a loved one who may be a victim of believing crazy conspiracy crap but, on a second thought, maybe there is no hope for them?
Those who genuinely go off the deep end are those who imagine that we live our lives in private. The idea that what we do is covertly directed by a cabal of obscenely wealthy paedophiles is a delusion — but if you drop the “covertly” and “paedophiles”, it us not far from the truth. We are indeed governed by an elite, but there’s nothing particularly secretive about it. You can see them strolling around Davos or read about them in the newspapers. The phrase “Masters of the Universe” isn’t just a piece of flashy science fiction. There is a sovereign superpower whose presence can be felt in every nook and cranny of the globe, but its name is capital, not the Knights Templar.
For the conspiratorial mind, nothing whatsoever is random, any more than it is for the paranoid. This is an alarming thought in one sense but a consoling one in another. A world of chance and contingency is a bewildering one, upending our schemes and thwarting our purposes. Far better to imagine that there’s a plot to it all, in both senses of the word, than accept the fact that a lot of things just happen, without any particular rhyme or reason, and that this is part of the price we pay for freedom.
Ironically, however, American conspiracy theorists are lovers of freedom. “Liberty or death!” ranks among their slogans, and by refusing to wear masks during the Covid pandemic some of them ended up with both. Among other things, conspiracies are symptoms of the anxiety which comes from freedom — from living in the precarious, unpredictable world of late modernity. They are antidotes to the open-endedness of history. Those who spin these yarns are for the most part on the wrong side of that history — those washed up by so-called modernisation, men and women who need someone to blame for their lousy living conditions but who point an accusing finger at fantasises of their own creation.
Conspiracy theories are also reactions to a diffuse, fractured, conflictive society in which there are just too many competing narratives around, so that falling back on a grand narrative which makes sense of everything is profoundly appealing. For a blessed moment, the whole lot falls neatly into place, as an opaque, impossibly complex world becomes luminously simple, purposeful and transparent. Because these myths spring from insecurity, which in turn breeds hatred, the grand narrative in question is almost always a sinister one. Anyone with an eye to how the world is going will have no quarrel with that, even if they don’t believe that Nancy Pelosi is a North Korean spy. They will have no quarrel either with the central assumption of the QAnonites and their ilk — that behind the surfaces of social life there lurks some exceedingly nasty realities, and that the official story is rarely the whole truth of the matter. What you see is most definitely not what you get. The good news is that no conspiracy can be entirely successful, since if it were we wouldn’t know about it.
‘Something Was Badly Wrong’: When Washington Realized Russia Was Actually Invading Ukraine
What an amazingly thorough first-ever oral history of how top U.S. and Western officials saw the warning signs of a European land war, their frantic attempts to stop it — and the moment Putin actually crossed the border. Thank you to all the journalists involved in so much work to give us such an insider view how this war became reality.
Stunning interviews, felt like watching history unfold reading this, enjoy!
What Happened to Us?
It is hard to believe Covid has been with us for three years. It changed everything. And here we are…continuing to get back to normal. Whatever normal is, the definition of that has sure changed! Anyway, this is a deep dive into the topic…
Most Americans think they know the story of the pandemic. But when I immersed myself in a Covid oral-history project, I realized how much we’re still missing.
The article starts out this way…and “enjoy” reading the rest of it if you like.
Notice your resistance to reading the next several thousand words. They’re about the necessity of looking back at the pandemic with intelligence and care, while acknowledging that the pandemic is still with us. They raise the possibility that when we say the pandemic is over, we are actually seeking permission to act like it never happened — to let ourselves off the hook from having to make sense of it or take seriously its continuing effects. As we enter a fourth pandemic year, each of us is consciously or subconsciously working through potentially irreconcilable stories about what we lived through — or else, strenuously avoiding that dissonance, insisting there’s no work to be done. And so, with many people claiming (publicly, at least) that they’re over the pandemic — that they have, so to speak, restraightened all their picture frames and dragged their psychic trash to the curb — this article is saying: Hey, hold up. What’s in that bag?
Mariupol: The ruin of a city
It was a beautiful city the Russians destroyed. Heartbreaking read and pictures/videos, you have been warned! A year on from the invasion of Ukraine, the Guardian tells the story of Mariupol – perhaps the bloodiest and most shocking chapter of Russia’s brutal war.
Joe Montana Was Here
This is the most comprehensive article I have come across on Joe Montana, the NFL quarterback legend. How do you go to retirement when you were on the top of the world? I mean, look at me at the pinnacle of blogging…LOL My daughter teases me I laugh at my own bad jokes! She is probably right but I sure enjoy them. Anyway, I learned a lot about this guy, his family life and current professional activities. He seems happy now…I think. Tom Brady would never have lasted so long back in Joe’s era and you can take that to the bank! Anyway, why are we still saying “take it to the bank?”…shouldn’t we say “take it to the ATM machine?” Ok, that was a bad joke I admit it 🙂
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Good to think about Joe Montana …
Jorge Santos says
Good morning Buzz,
Thank you for the post and enjoy the rest of your week.
I’m still trying to catch up from the last few months. But I should have time next week, as I’ll be launching from a high altitude jet in my new squirrel suit as I attempt to be the first human to circumnavigate the globe on my own.
The original plan was to use a balloon as opposed to the suit, however and due to recent events, that plan has collapsed.
Thanks DML and I like your humor Jorge!
So, I received an email reply from Lufthansa and it is shocking bad, they are telling me to pound sand and it wasn’t their fault. So, what should I do next. I guess I am going to reply to it and being even more firm….maybe threatening with a blog post, don’t they know who I am?
hank you for your feedback dated February 27, 2023
We apologize that your flight to Detroit on did not operate as scheduled.
We understand your frustration with this occurrence, as we are aware of how stressful every change to your journey can be. The fact that this caused you to miss must have been especially disappointing for you. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this caused you.
Even with all of the effort we make to always maintain the flight schedule and avoid waiting times: We unfortunately cannot fully rule out occasional delays at the airport. Congestion in airspace or restrictions by the authorities may lead to delays from time to time and can affect subsequent flights in the aircraft’s rotation / that cannot always be made up. Unfortunately, this was the case regarding your flight
The aircraft arriving from Detroit was not able to depart on time due to Ramp congestion, abnormal stand access limitation (Non ATC), therefore it arrived late in Frankfurt, Cancelled your departure as well.
As safety in air traffic is always a top priority for Lufthansa, such situations cannot be always be avoided. As an airline, we will do our utmost to get you to your destination as fast as possible in spite of the circumstances.
[In case of damage compensation/cost compensation claims]
There are no grounds for compensation against Lufthansa for such delays.
We therefore hope for your understanding that we cannot meet
Since you have not sent us any receipts for your expenses, we cannot comply with your request for reimbursement. We ask for your understanding for this decision.
If you submit the corresponding receipts, we will be happy to check whether a contribution is possible. We are sorry that we cannot make any payment without proof.
They’re not telling you to pound sand; they just won’t accept responsibility. Looks like Lufty is requesting a helluva lot of corresponding receipts in order to make a contribution. Shouldn’t be too difficult for an experienced financial guy, eh?
Tickets were on United miles. Got rebooked and arrived two days later (with an additional connection). Managed to cancel all travel arrangements without any fees and successfully rebooked return trip (and saved 7,000 Hilton points). Wife had to pay $6 parking fee to pick us up and did not keep receipt. I went in asking $1,200 euros for the diversion due to mechanical issue aboard…the LH dude says nothing about that and it was all due to…”The aircraft arriving from Detroit was not able to depart on time due to Ramp congestion, abnormal stand access limitation (Non ATC), therefore it arrived late in Frankfurt, Cancelled your departure as well.”
which is just horse shit…
I need to get back to running, any other ideas?
EU 261 is very consumer friendly. Maybe too much so. Mechanical delays and even weather delays are often covered.
A few years ago, I had a $100 credit due me from LH. They said they’d be happy to credit the credit card used for the original purchase. However, that card account was by then closed, and they wouldn’t budge on using another method. Call that a unique way for finance a company.
As you may know, there are companies that specialize in chasing down EU 261 claims. They operate like personal injury lawyers-you pay nothing up front, and they take a cut of whatever they get. It’s been a long time but last I looked, it was 25%, maybe 33%. That’s a lot but they know the rules, they know what airline will settle for what, and the airlines know that these guys will pound them until they pay up. Plus, then you can go back to your life.
And you can take that to the app.
Someone on Twitter suggested Flightright so I went with them, claim filed and they will do their thing.
I thought I had saved the original boarding passes but I couldn’t find them. I am losing my sharpness, I never lose the boarding passes until well after the flights are over.
Hyatt Concierge told me to pound sand…no standard rooms at the Madeleine property in the dates I wanted. Went with Maison Astor, a Curio Hilton property. Daughter must vacate the premises her last two nights, dad to the rescue again. She asked to Vendome first and I LOL’ed.
I haven’t been there but I’ve heard this Marriott is ok (and in the same ‘hood).
I have enough Bonvoy points left over to get me…nothing 🙂
I now wait to see what these flightright guys will do, pretty smooth operation so far imho.
I used jbb.de back in day when USairway decided to not show up in Frankfurt. Got an extra night at the airport hotel and a voucher. And then no € compensation until I got jbb involved. I had the same problem with BA (used a different company). Some airlines are “easier” to deal with. Fortunately you were on an EU based airline.
Horrific train accident just outside my hometown Larissa. Three days of mourning in the country, trying to find out if I know any victims…Be grateful of what we have…
Woke up to this news and immediately thought of you. It looks horrific and my heart goes out to your countrymen/women/they/it/undefined.
Stacy Stark says
Thank you for publishing this – It makes me think even more that conservatives and Liberals are wired differently.