These are supposed to be professional truck drivers who do this for a living

COVID-19 Pandemic

Doctors and charlatans

Something to snicker about:

Early Saturday morning, on the Facebook page Freedom Convoy USA 2022, the group announced that it didn’t have enough members in its convoy to warrant pressing on toward the nation’s capital.

“The launch in California had a good turn out of supporters, but only 5 trucks were with us on arrival in Vegas,” the group said in its social media post.

Last week, hundreds turned out for the convoy’s kickoff event in Adelanto, California, organized to emulate a convoy of truckers that were protesting against COVID-19 regulations in Canada last month. However, many of the people who came to the event were only spectators — and most of the truckers and vehicle drivers who started out with the convoy said that they were planning to drop out after they crossed into Arizona.

Other convoys across the U.S. have had similarly unsuccessful outcomes. Last week, a Scranton, Pennsylvania-led convoy barely scrounged up a half-dozen participants and got lost on its way to D.C. A co-organizer of that event eventually admitted to reporters that the demonstration had failed.

“You are not going to see a convoy,” that person said, adding that the turnout was “disappointing.”[1]

Just so we’re clear, that route from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D.C., is really tough navigation (figure 1).

Fig. 1. Screenshot of Google Maps route from Scranton, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D.C., taken by author, February 28, 2022, fair use.

There are all of—damn, this must be tough—three, count ’em, three steps in the directions. And, oh yeah, these are supposed to be professional truck drivers who do this for a living. Oh yeah, and you’re telling me these assholes couldn’t make it from Barstow, California, to Las Vegas, Nevada? Getting to Barstow is, actually, by far, the hard part: Even from Los Angeles, you have to find your way to I-15. (It’s a little easier from Bakersfield: California State Route 58 takes you to a junction with I-15 just south of Barstow, and yes, I’ve done this a couple times. Of course, there is the matter of finding eastbound, not westbound, but eastbound 58. It’s all properly marked, but you do have to be able to read the signs, and to comprehend the difference between east and west.)

Sergio Olmos, “‘Don Quixote-like quest’: Ukraine attack and easing Covid mandates leave US trucker protest on the fringe,” Guardian, February 27, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/feb/27/america-peoples-convoy-trucker-protest

Chris Walker, “California ‘Freedom Convoy’ Cancels Trip to DC, Citing Low Participation,” Truthout, February 28, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/california-freedom-convoy-cancels-trip-to-d-c-citing-low-participation/


Ukraine

David Ignatius, “Surprising cracks, if small ones, appear in Kremlin support for Putin on Ukraine,” Washington Post, February 21, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/02/21/putin-ukraine-invasion-kremlin-support/

Dan Sabbagh and Rowena Mason, “UK says ‘serious doubts’ exist within Russian military about invading Ukraine,” Guardian, February 21, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/21/uk-says-serious-doubts-exist-within-russian-military-about-invading-ukraine

Ann M. Simmons, Yaroslav Trofimov, and Matthew Luxmoore, “Putin Orders Deployment of Troops to Breakaway Regions in Ukraine,” Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-alleges-ukrainian-incursion-kyiv-says-moscow-makes-up-fake-incidents-11645453512

Jon Allsop, “The weight of words in the Russia-Ukraine story,” Columbia Journalism Review, February 22, 2022, https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/russia_putin_recognition_ukraine.php

Philip Bump, “‘Genius,’ ‘Savvy’: Trump reacts to Putin’s moves on Ukraine exactly as you’d expect,” Washington Post, February 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/02/22/trump-reacts-putins-invasion-ukraine-exactly-youd-expect/

Anthony Faiola, “The moment when Putin got real,” Washington Post, February 22, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com//world/2022/02/22/putin-speech-analysis-ukraine-russia/

Julia Ioffe, “Will Putin Get His World War III?” Puck News, February 22, 2022, https://puck.news/will-putin-get-his-world-war-iii/

Frank Jordans, “Ukraine-Russia: Germany suspends Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline,” Associated Press, February 22, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-business-germany-europe-berlin-79e3dafb0d231f6a033613b7dab78cdf

Andrew Restuccia and Tarini Parti, “White House Calls Russian Moves an Invasion After Initially Refraining From Using Term,” Wall Street Journal, February 22, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/white-house-calls-russian-moves-an-invasion-after-initially-refraining-from-using-term-11645549648

Eli Stokols and Tracy Wilkinson, “Biden announces sanctions against Russia for invasion of Ukraine,” Los Angeles Times, February 22, 2022, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-02-22/biden-allies-taking-calibrated-approach-in-response-to-putin-as-russian-tanks-invade-ukraine

Ann M. Simmons, Alan Cullison, and Yaroslav Trofimov, “Russia Begins Military Operation in Ukraine,” Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/ukraine-shifts-to-war-footing-tells-citizens-to-leave-russia-11645616181

Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu, “Top senator warns Putin cyberattacks could trigger bigger war,” Axios, February 23, 2022, https://www.axios.com/mark-warner-putin-cyber-attacks-ukraine-40c5e959-5093-4d79-bf24-8d4731edb293.html

Jon Allsop, “Propaganda, confusion, and an assault on press freedom as Russia attacks Ukraine,” Columbia Journalism Review, February 24, 2022, https://www.cjr.org/the_media_today/propaganda-confusion-and-an-assault-on-press-freedom-as-russia-attacks-ukraine.php

Miriam Berger, “Putin says he will ‘denazify’ Ukraine. Here’s the history behind that claim,” Washington Post, February 24, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/24/putin-denazify-ukraine/

Julian Borger and Angelique Chrisafis, “Decision to invade Ukraine raises questions over Putin’s ‘sense of reality,’” Guardian, February 24, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/24/putin-russian-president-ukraine-invasion-mental-fitness

Shira Hanau, “Declaring war on Ukraine, Russia’s Putin cites goal of ‘denazification’ of country with Jewish president,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency, February 24, 2022, https://www.jta.org/2022/02/24/global/declaring-war-on-ukraine-russias-putin-cites-goal-of-denazification-of-country-with-jewish-president

Chico Harlan and Taylor Telford, “Stocks claw back after Russia’s attack on Ukraine roils markets,” Washington Post, February 24, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/24/ukraine-europe-markets-russia/

Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s New Iron Curtain,” Puck News, February 24, 2022, https://puck.news/putins-new-iron-curtain/

Matthew Karnitschnig, “How Germany helped blaze Putin’s path into Ukraine,” Politico, February 24, 2022, https://www.politico.eu/article/how-germany-helped-blaze-vladimir-putin-path-into-ukraine/

Robert Mackey, “Russian TV Uses Tucker Carlson and Tulsi Gabbard to Sell Putin’s War,” Intercept, February 24, 2022, https://theintercept.com/2022/02/24/russian-tv-uses-tucker-carlson-tulsi-gabbard-sell-putins-war/

Arshad Mohammed and Jonathan Landay, “Explainer: Why Russia and Ukraine are fighting for Chernobyl disaster site,” Reuters, February 24, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/why-russia-ukraine-are-fighting-chernobyl-disaster-site-2022-02-25/

Reuters, “Factbox: How Ukraine’s armed forces shape up against Russia’s,” February 24, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/business/aerospace-defense/how-ukraines-armed-forces-shape-up-against-russias-2022-02-01/

Reuters, “Oil soars past $105 as Russia’s attack on Ukraine rattles markets,” Al Jazeera, February 24, 2022, https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2022/2/24/oil-soars-past-105-as-russias-attack-on-ukraine-rattles-markets

Adario Strange, “Kyiv or Kiev? How to pronounce the name of the capital city of Ukraine and why,” Quartz, February 24, 2022, https://qz.com/2133021/this-is-why-the-name-of-ukraines-capital-is-kyiv-not-kiev/

Robin Wright, “Putin’s Historic Miscalculation May Make Him a War Criminal,” New Yorker, February 24, 2022, https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/putins-historic-miscalculation-may-make-him-a-war-criminal

Durrie Bouscaren, “‘It was like a nightmare’: Russians react to news of Putin bombing Ukraine,” World, February 25, 2022, https://theworld.org/stories/2022-02-25/it-was-nightmare-russians-react-news-putin-bombing-ukraine

Yuras Karmanau et al., “Ukraine’s capital under threat as Russia presses invasion,” Associated Press, February 25, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-vladimir-putin-volodymyr-zelenskyy-boris-johnson-business-08f569df695831ee467979527ea2e241

Farrah Tomazin, “Biden calls invasion ‘a dangerous moment for freedom around the world,’” Sydney Morning Herald, February 25, 2022, https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/biden-calls-invasion-a-dangerous-moment-for-freedom-around-the-world-20220225-p59zk0.html

Adam Gabbatt, “Tucker Carlson leads rightwing charge to blame everyone but Putin,” Guardian, February 26, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/feb/25/tucker-carlson-fox-news-russia-putin

Juliette Garside, “Swift action at last brings meaningful sanctions against Putin regime,” Guardian, February 26, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/27/swift-action-at-last-brings-meaningful-sanctions-against-putin-regime

Roman Goncharenko and Andreas Illmer, “Ukraine: What will the next days bring and what is Russia’s overall plan?” February 26, 2022, https://www.dw.com/en/ukraine-what-will-the-next-days-bring-and-what-is-russias-overall-plan/a-60927957

Luke Harding, “How Ukrainian defiance has derailed Putin’s plans,” Guardian, February 26, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/26/how-ukrainian-defiance-has-derailed-putins-plans

Reuters, “Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now,” February 26, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/ukraine-russia-what-you-need-know-right-now-2022-02-26/

Emily Schultheis, “Ukraine invasion: What to know as Russian forces target Kyiv,” Associated Press, February 26, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-conflict-updates-today-c489b6f56d84f9483802dc3f142cbc8e

Paritosh Bansal and Stephen Coates, “Russian central bank scrambles to contain fallout of sanctions,” Reuters, February 27, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/russian-central-bank-scrambles-contain-fallout-sanctions-2022-02-28/

Catherine Belton, Paritosh Bansal, and Megan Davies, “Analysis: SWIFT block deals crippling blow to Russia; leaves room to tighten,” Reuters, February 27, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/markets/europe/swift-block-deals-crippling-blow-russia-leaves-room-tighten-2022-02-27/

Anthony Faiola, “Putin’s invasion of Ukraine could be backfiring,” Washington Post, February 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/27/russia-invasion-backfiring-ukraine/

David Frum, “Can Putin Recover From This?” Atlantic, February 27, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/02/how-russian-sanctions-work/622940/

Yuras Karmanau, “Putin puts nuclear forces on high alert, escalating tensions,” Associated Press, February 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-kyiv-business-europe-moscow-2e4e1cf784f22b6afbe5a2f936725550

Dasha Litvinova, “Russians hold anti-war rallies amid ominous threats by Putin,” Associated Press, February 27, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-vladimir-putin-europe-arrests-moscow-cf5dda5528937de907f8916820cfab75

Tom Nichols, “How Should the U.S. Respond to Putin’s Nuclear Provocation?” Atlantic, February 27, 2022, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/02/how-the-west-should-respond-to-putins-nuclear-provocation/622943/

Ann M. Simmons and Matthew Luxmoore, “Putin Finds Himself Isolated, Out of Touch as Invasion of Ukraine Sputters,” Not Housebroken, February 27, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-his-invasion-of-ukraine-sputters-putin-finds-himself-isolated-and-out-of-touch-11646000993

Liz Sly and Dan Lamothe, “The war in Ukraine isn’t working out the way Russia intended,” Washington Post, February 27, 2022, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/02/27/ukraine-russia-invasion-tactics/

Vladimir Sorokin, “Vladimir Putin sits atop a crumbling pyramid of power,” Guardian, February 27, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/feb/27/vladimir-putin-russia-ukraine-power

Andrew Sparrow, “Russian oligarchs in UK face new laws tackling ‘dirty money,’” Guardian, February 27, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2022/feb/28/russian-oligarchs-in-uk-face-new-laws-tackling-dirty-money

Jon Ungoed-Thomas and Shanti Das, “Boris Johnson under pressure to widen sanctions on more oligarchs in London,” Guardian, February 27, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/27/boris-johnson-under-pressure-to-widen-sanctions-on-more-oligarchs-in-london

Associated Press, “Russia-Ukraine War: What to know as Ukraine resists advance,” February 28, 2022, https://apnews.com/article/russia-ukraine-war-what-to-know-1c7a5fc5e9cf84134592c855c363e791

Larisa Brown, “Ukraine resistance shatters Putin’s plan for victory in 48 hours,” Times, February 28, 2022, https://www.thetimes.co.uk//article/ukraine-resistance-shatters-putins-plan-for-victory-in-48-hours-0flscp323

Martin Farrer, Andrew Roth, and Julian Borger, “Ukraine war: sanctions-hit Russian rouble crashes as Zelenskiy speaks of ‘crucial’ 24 hours,” Guardian, February 28, 2022, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/feb/28/ukraine-war-sanctions-hit-russian-rouble-crashes-as-zelenskiy-speaks-of-crucial-24-hours

Julia Ioffe, “‘The Image of Putin Has Broken,’” Puck News, February 28, 2022, https://puck.news/the-image-of-putin-has-broken/

Roland Oliphant, “The Russians rolled into Kharkiv like victors, but it was another disaster for them,” Telegraph, February 28, 2022, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2022/02/27/dispatch-russians-rolled-kharkiv-like-victors-another-disaster/

Caitlin Ostroff, “Russia’s Ruble, Financial Markets Are Hammered by Sanctions,” Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2022, https://www.wsj.com/articles/russias-ruble-financial-markets-are-hammered-by-sanctions-11646038133

Reuters, “The events leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” February 28, 2022, https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/events-leading-up-russias-invasion-ukraine-2022-02-28/


  1. [1]Chris Walker, “California ‘Freedom Convoy’ Cancels Trip to DC, Citing Low Participation,” Truthout, February 28, 2022, https://truthout.org/articles/california-freedom-convoy-cancels-trip-to-d-c-citing-low-participation/

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