Monday, March 13, 2023

Monday Musings - March 13, 2023


1. Welcome to the second Monday of March. I hope you are adjusting to DST--Daylight Saving Time. There are 41 Mondays remaining in the year. 

2. St Patrick's Day is celebrated on Friday! Wear the Green.

Jupiter Irish Fest
Abacoa, FL
March 12, 2023
3. While St Patrick's Day is not until Friday, Chris and I attended the annual Jupiter Irish Fest on Sunday. We enjoyed Irish music, food and drink. The Fest was well attended; however, parking in Abacoa was tough because a MLB Spring Training game was occurring across the street at Roger Dean Stadium at the same time. 

4. On Friday, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) failed in the largest bank failure since 2008. At the end of December 2022, SVB appears to have had about $209 billion in total assets and about $175 billion in deposits. This made SVB the sixteenth largest bank in the U.S., big in its sector but small compared with the more than $3 trillion JPMorgan Chase. This is the first bank failure of the Biden presidency (while Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that he had not heard of any bank failures during his father’s presidency, there were sixteen, eight of which happened before the pandemic). In fact, generally, a few banks fail every year; it is an oddity that none failed in 2021 or 2022. (Letters from an American)

5. Snowbird season is coming to a close here in Florida even as Spring Break begins. I expect many of the annual visitors will begin the journey north as Easter nears. That should, hopefully, help clear some of the traffic and open up the restaurants. 

6. US 1 is closing! Yes, right here in Jupiter, as of today, US 1 is closed for at least 20 months where it crosses the Loxahatchee River. The drawbridge is being replaced. While this is not a sudden thing, we have known about it for over a year, it will definitely cause transportation issues. There is only one viable detour and I expect traffic to be totally snarled for the next few days until the system gets the bugs worked out. 

7. For some interesting and potentially scary reading, check out, It happened there: how democracy died in Hungary. The article documents how democracy has slipped away and been replaced by authoritarianism. 

8. Today in History. Czar Alexander II, the ruler of Russia since 1855, is killed in the streets of St. Petersburg by a bomb thrown by a member of the revolutionary “People’s Will” group. The People’s Will, organized in 1879, employed terrorism and assassination in their attempt to overthrow Russia’s czarist autocracy. They murdered officials and made several attempts on the czar’s life before finally assassinating him on March 13, 1881.

As czar, Alexander did much to liberalize and modernize Russia, including the abolishment of serfdom in 1861. However, when his authority was challenged, he turned repressive, and he vehemently opposed movements for political reform. Ironically, on the very day he was killed, he signed a proclamation—the so-called Loris-Melikov constitution—that would have created two legislative commissions made up of indirectly elected representatives.

US regulators bail out SVB customers as second bank fails - CNN

Russian air defenses shoot down four missiles over Belgorod, governor says - CNN

Prosecutors refute claims Tucker Carlson's airing of security footage exonerates January 6 defendants - CNN

Exclusive: UK approves increased submarine-related exports to Taiwan, risking angering China - Reuters

Analysis: Declining U.S. bank reserves add wrinkle to contentious debt ceiling issue - Reuters

Ukraine, Russia locked in brutal battle in Bakhmut, casualties mount - Reuters

Biden Declares U.S. Arctic Ocean Off Limits to New Oil and Gas Leasing - The Wall Street Journal

Xi Jinping Brings China’s Reform Era to an End - The Wall Street Journal

North Korea Launches Two Cruise Missiles From Experimental Submarine - The Wall Street journal

Ukraine live briefing: Russia suffering heavy losses in Bakhmut, Zelensky says  - The Washington Post

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, Fl

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