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NYC is Upside Down Land. All Theater? IDK

It's so confusing. Get this:

NYC has announced that the outdoor dining program will be in place year round. Yes. January, February, and March when the temperature hovers around 30 degrees. Or 20 degrees Fahrenheit. WTF?

You see, the outside pavilions (some located out in the street replacing parking places for cars) will be allowed to install outdoor heaters. Which works great in South Beach, Florida on a chilly December evening but in NYC? Wait. It gets better.

André Vltchek (1962- September 22, 2020)

In Kenya during Al-Shabaab standoff

Another giant  global humanist has left us this week, may he rest in power, and he and his works be remembered forever.  Allow me to borrow excerpts from several homages by those who knew him and his work, and loved him well.

‘André Vltchek’s Sudden Death’,  Robert Hunziker, Sept. 25, 2020,

EDITOR’S NOTE: CounterPunch received word from Rossi Indira, Andre’s partner who was with him at the time of his death, that Andre died from complications with diabetes. Andre had been very ill for several weeks prior to his death, he could barely walk and one of his legs was paralyzed. Rossi tells us that he also refused medical treatment. Andre’s funeral is being held in Istanbul. For a full list of articles he wrote for CounterPunch, please visit his author page.

The Weekly Watch

Open Thread image.jpg

A Time to Regenerate

The world seems to be between a rock and a hard place. COVID has amplified the problems and made obvious the dysfunction of the system. Meanwhile the money machine goes brrr, funneling ever more wealth upward. The ecosystem is degrading faster than we imagined. People are protesting in the streets around the world. If there is a way out of this mess, I don't see it. Is it really the end times? If so, should we go out with a party celebrating our life, or fighting the system tooth and nail to the end, or perhaps both at the same time? I know this much, I'm going to do my best to live in harmony with the ecosystem as I wrap up my last decade or two. Of course that has been my path for many years now, so why stop at this point. As I stated last week, I feel for the young folks who we are leaving with all this dysfunction. This week I thought I would explore ecosystem restoration because restoring our political, economic, and social systems is beyond my ability.


Glamping: The preparation

Glamping:h/t to Lotlizard for bringing the term to my attention.
Texas has lakes. Texas is huge. Some lakes are close. Some lakes take more than a day of driving to see., and possibly days.
The first issue is to figure out which lake to score a cabin for a stay within a 3 hour driving distance from home. That took a week.
Then, discovering 50 realtors and 3500 cabins, you slavishly go through them.
That takes 2 weeks.

I'm quitting the conversation.

No, this isn't a "GBCW diary." All I'm doing with this post is admitting that there really is nothing more to say about Joe Biden or Donald Trump that I or someone else hasn't already said before. So I think I'm going to shut up about the Presidential race at least until there arises something new that needs to be said.

‘Swap ya a SCOTUS pick for a Continuing Resolution!’

Supreme Court Building at Dusk

‘Democrats capitulate as Republicans secure votes to install far-right justice on Supreme Court’, Barry Grey and Jacob Crosse, 23 September 2020, (w/ permission)

“On Tuesday, Utah Senator and former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced that he would support a vote prior to the November 3 election on Trump’s nominee to fill the seat on the US Supreme Court vacated by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The announcement virtually assures the installation of a far-right justice, to be named by Trump on Saturday, who will shift the court even more decisively against abortion rights and democratic rights in general.

The Democratic Party, whose response from the outset has combined cowardice and dishonesty, sank to the level of farce. Even as the top Democrat in the Senate, Charles Schumer, was denouncing the Republicans for their “hypocrisy” and pleading for a change of heart, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was secretly negotiating with Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, to extend funding for the federal government until after the election.

Friday Open Thread: "What are you reading?" edition. ~ Young Men and Fire


On August 5, 1949, a crew of fifteen of the United States Forest Service's elite airborne firefighters, the Smokejumpers, stepped into the sky above a remote forest fire in the Montana wilderness. Two hours after their jump, all but three of these men were dead or mortally burned. Haunted by these deaths for forty years, Norman Maclean puts back together the scattered pieces of the Mann Gulch tragedy. Young Men and Fire won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1992.

"A magnificent drama of writing, a tragedy that pays tribute to the dead and offers rescue to the living.... Maclean's search for the truth, which becomes an exploration of his own mortality, is more compelling even than his journey into the heart of the fire. His description of the conflagration terrifies, but it is his battle with words, his effort to turn the story of the 13 men into tragedy that makes this book a classic."—from New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice, Best Books of 1992

"A treasure: part detective story, part western, part tragedy, part elegy and wholly eloquent ghost story in which the dead and the living join ranks cheerfully, if sometimes eerily, in a search for truth and the rest it brings."—Joseph Coates, Chicago Tribune

"An astonishing book. In compelling language, both homely and elegant, Young Men and Fire miraculously combines a fascinating primer on fires and firefighting, a powerful, breathtakingly real reconstruction of a tragedy, and a meditation on writing, grief and human character.... Maclean's last book will stir your heart and haunt your memory."—Timothy Foote, USA Today

"Beautiful.... A dark American idyll of which the language can be proud."—Robert M. Adams, The New York Review of Books "Young Men and Fire is redolent of Melville. Just as the reader of Moby Dick comes to comprehend the monstrous entirety of the great white whale, so the reader of Young Men and Fire goes into the heart of the great red fire and comes out thoroughly informed. Don't hesitate to take the plunge."—Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post Book World

"Young Men and Fire is a somber and poetic retelling of a tragic event. It is the pinnacle of smokejumping literature and a classic work of 20th-century nonfiction."—John Holkeboer, The Wall Street Journal

"Maclean is always with the brave young dead. . . . They could not have found a storyteller with a better claim to represent their honor. . . . A great book."—James R. Kincaid, New York Times Book Review