Links 5/31/2021

Heads up! The cardiovascular secrets of giraffes Ars Technica

Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency review – how energy shaped the way we built the world Guardian

Canada Unveils Greener Homes Grants. Is It Welfare for the Rich? TreeHugger

Germany’s Stricter New Emissions Goals Present Huge Challenge Der Spiegel

‘Black Wednesday’ for big oil as courtrooms and boardrooms turn on industry Guardian

UK investors urge G7 to force firms to reveal their climate change exposure Guardian

BJ Thomas, singer of Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head, dies at 78 Guardian

2 Airlines Will Postpone Serving Alcohol Amid Surge of In-Flight Violence NYT

Habermas and pimps Global Inequality and More 3.0

Genetically modified salmon head to US dinner plates AP

New York’s Hyphenated History Paris Review

Much-Belated Praise for The Lives of Others National Review


Covid-19 vaccine tracker: the global race to vaccinate FT

Empty airports and full delivery trucks: Covid’s toll on infrastructure, by the numbers Politico

All together now: the most trustworthy covid-19 model is an ensemble MIT Technology Review

Eastern Europe Has Been Hardest Hit By Covid: AFP Tally Barron’s

Third wave of Covid may be under way in UK, scientists say NYT

Covid-19: France fears a summertime vaccination plateau due to anti-vax sentiment France 24

Coronavirus: Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City to test entire population of 13 million; tough choices loom for Malaysia’s doctors South China Morning Post

Hong Kong is offering vaccinated residents the chance to win a free $1.4 million apartment Business Insider

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Screams Of A Dying Empire: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone

Health Care

If the FDA approves Biogen’s Alzheimer’s treatment, I won’t prescribe it Stat

Waste Watch

Tackling Asia’s Plastic Pollution Project Syndicate

Biden Must Take Executive Action to Affirm That Clean Water Is a Human Right Truthout

A ski company built a power plant fueled by methane. It’s a success, but can it be replicated? WaPo

Plastic Waste from Burning Ship Buries Sri Lanka’s Coastline Gizmpdo

Toward Disability Justice: Don’t Forget the Plastic That Gives Me Freedom Common Dreams

Fed Warned Deutsche Bank Over Anti-Money-Laundering Backsliding WSJ

Danish secret service helped US spy on Germany’s Angela Merkel: report Deutsche Welle

Class Warfare

Capitalists Exploit Workers — Even When They’re “Socialists” Jacobin

Why is anyone shocked that a donor can influence the hiring decisions at an elite Law School? That’s what it’s all about. Barbara Bedont

Suddenly Wealthy From Markets, Some Millennials Are Stressed WSJ

What You Should Be Paid vs. What You Are Getting Paid Capital & Main

Why We Need to Democratize Wealth: the U.S. Capitalist Model Breeds Selfishness and Resentment Counterpunch

This Stoller post is a must read:

Amazon Prime Is an Economy-Distorting Lie BIG. Matt Stoller.

Julian Assange

Julian Assange’s Father and Brother Announce US Tour to Demand Journalist’s Freedom Common Dreams

Our Famously Free Press

To the Media: Readers Need to Know More Counterpunch. Ralph Nader.

Emily Wilder’s Firing Is No Surprise: AP Has Always Been Right-Wing The Intercept

You (Still) Can’t Sit with Us Freddie deBoer

Biden Administration

Appellate Court Strikes Down Racial and Gender Preferences in Biden’s COVID Relief Law Glenn Greenwald

Biden Administration Signals It’s in No Rush to Allow Canadian Drug Imports Kaiser Health News

Buttigieg: ‘I think we are getting pretty close to a fish-or-cut-bait moment’ on infrastructure talks The Hill

‘Bipartisanship’ Is Dead in Washington. That’s Fine. Politico

‘Bipartisan’ Is How Republicans Say ‘Sucker!’ The Nation

Texas Democrats Stymie G.O.P. Voting Bill, for Now NYT

‘Roe Has Never Been Enough, and We Still Need It’ FAIR


China ends two-child policy amid population concerns BBC


‘I smell it, taste it, feel its heaviness’: Life in Delhi’s dust Al Jazeera

The Political Fix: Does anyone trust Modi’s government to genuinely place checks on Big Tech? Scroll

In Photos: The Last King of Kutch Dies After Battle With COVID-19 The Wire

What owning a bike in Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Bihar tells us about India’s asset poverty The Print

Antidote du Jour. mgl: “This is a South Island takahē, a “nationally vulnerable” endemic bird to New Zealand, as seen on Kapiti Island, which is just off the west coast of south part of N Island. Kapiti I is a predator free reserve. This one is one of a couple that have been re-introduced. They’re like very robust chickens that snuffle about.”

And a bonus video:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. The Rev Kev

      I guess that Aaron Maté will not be on TYT’s Christmas card list this year. Aaron would have replied more but he is too busy at the moment as he is in Syria – doing actual journalism.

      1. timbers

        I don’t get Amy Kasparian’s anger because the OPCW itself publicly said it’s reports were falsified to make Syria look guilty. Believe OPWC even admitted US pressure was the reason for the fraud it committed. Yes there were countless other episodes of false accusations against Syria so the uninformed can say it’s a one-off, but the OPCW publicly admitting it’s fraud should be a case-in-point watershed moment for even the most brainwashed.

        1. JohnnyGL

          The anger comes from a real journalist like Mate causing embarassment to kasparian and uygur, who aren’t actual journalists, they just play them as TV characters. In fact, they’ve actively shed most of the real journalists they had, laying off michael tracey, ken klippenstein, and a few others. Is jonathan larsen still at TYT? He helped break open that Buttigieg story on police corruption in south bend, but i can’t think of any other big stories they’ve broken recently. It’s all cheap tv-style talking head commentary these days, as far as i can tell.

          Cenk had a pathetic twitter comment where he tried to sound edgy by scoffing at religion as the source of the problem in the israel-palestine context. Mate took a swipe at Uygur’s dumb comment and the vid clip was the reaction…or, over-reaction as it were.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Someone needs to tell ana kasparian, whoever the hell she is, that “analysis” that relies on the eff word, the finger, and trying-way-too-hard-to-be-hip-and-sexy wardrobe “choices” do not a persuasive foreign policy case make.

        Aaron Mate’s work speaks for itself. He doesn’t really need to rebut such adolescent “critiques” from that far down in the intellectual gutter.

        PS. I don’t often disagree with Caitlin Johnstone, but I think she’s off base here:

        The US empire only recently started ramping up aggressions against China because while China’s economy is doing well, its military nowhere near rivals the empire’s, and that’s the real currency. If your neighbor has $100 and you have $100 plus a gun, then you actually have $200.

        Controlling the supply of consumer goods to the american “consumer” is like controlling the supply of heroin to an addict. Cut them off and you won’t need a gun–they’ll kill themselves.

    2. fresno dan

      Most westerners know that Bush and his allies destroyed Iraq, while hardly any westerners know Obama and his allies destroyed Syria. That right there tells you why we haven’t seen any full-scale US ground invasions lately. America’s solution to the PR crisis caused by the horrific consequences of its military interventionism has been to switch to preferencing sanctions, blockades, and proxy wars where violence is outsourced to other powers so the US doesn’t take the blame.
      Trump supporters act like it’s something special that their guy “started no new wars”, but the fact that he didn’t has nothing to do with Trump himself; it’s just the new model of imperialist butchery to favor sanctions and proxy conflicts instead, which Trump absolutely did.

  1. John Siman

    “I see no reason why media’s basic financial picture should improve in any substantial way anytime soon,” writes Freddie deBoer at the conclusion of his clever essay “You (Still) Can’t Sit With Us.” “Whether it does or not,” deBoer continues, “the landscape is bleak if you prize independent thinking and you believe that the purpose of journalism, and writing, is to resist precisely the social conformity that seemingly everyone working in legacy media lustily enforces.” Tant pis.

    But I am old enough to remember these lyrics: Harry doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene / He’s got a daytime job, he’s doing alright. I also remember what the sergeants screamed at us the first day of Basic: “Don’t call me ‘sir,’ I *work* for a living!”

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Ah yes! Pre-woke Army basic training, circa early 1960s. However I do fondly recall one exception to the profane DI rule, who on a good day only called us scum bags. There was a Filipino American sergeant who spoke the king’s English who would urge us forward with such phrases as “Step lively, gentlemen!”

      1. John Siman

        My screaming platoon sergeant at Fort Knox summer 1980 was named Juan Saucedo.
        Five foot zero.
        Latinx af.

      2. Vodkatom

        I still have *fond* memories of my sergeant in my active duty unit (coincidentally also a Filipino American), who had to ability to fit “MF’er” two or three times into every sentence.

        Us MF’ers never did shine the MF’ing floor like a MF’ing mirror, but the absurdist theatre of it all still makes me smile many years later.

        1. Felix_47

          “Eat now…..digest it later” and then a five mile run. That was the Army 50 years ago. Basic training should never have changed and we need the draft so bad. No deferments. Everyone goes….even children of the Ivy League. Mine did. It built national unity. Neither Clinton, Bush, Obama, Biden or Trump attended Basic. We have had an astoundingly poor run of leadership and the results speak for themselves and that applies to most all walks of life. How many of our billionaires have had the opportunity to be called a MF for being a fat ass behind on a run by a POC? Everyone should pay taxes…..even the bottom half…..and everyone should go through Basic and two years.

    2. Alfred

      I’m old enough to remembr Mike Royko, Pat Buchanan, Molly Ivens, Ana Marie Cox. They have individual styles I doubt kissed a**. DeBoer does not mention the advent of Private Equity takeovers and the demise of local news. Weren’t Substack, et al. at least partly a reaction to the consolidation of ownership in media? Are these people just so trapped in their echo chamber they don’t see beyond sniping and schmoozing?

  2. nvl

    Enjoyed how Habermas’ prospective graduate student introduced himself. I was in
    the audience when Habermas first spoke in America. I have no memory of what he said but
    in retrospect I see that he would have been working on Theories of Communicative Action,
    which I read- five years ago.

    And thanks for the Paris Review selection, which I shall be forwarding to former New Yorkers
    plus the hyphenated ones!

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Hong Kong is offering vaccinated residents the chance to win a free $1.4 million apartment”

    Wow! I mean wow! A free $1.4 million apartment in Hong Kong? For that price they must be talking at least 500 square feet in size then.

  4. Alfred

    Our famously ? press. Well, I’m speechless

    Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 after she skipped the news conference for ‘mental health’ reasons following her first-round victory at the French Open on Sunday.

    The star was blasted by sports reporters including Fox Sports Radio host Rob Parker who said the French Open should have told Osaka not to show up for the tournament if she could not face answering questions.

    ‘If I was running the French Open, I’d tell her to stay home,’ Parker said on Fox Sports Radio. ‘I’d tell her take care of your mental health. You can’t come here and not participate in what we do. (how dare she make them superfluous???)

    This is still a thing. Not participating in something that contributes to poor mental health? Jeez, that’s just un-murican and un-capitalism, and un-everything

    1. Alfred

      Before the start of the slam, Osaka announced she would not attend any news conferences while in Paris to raise awareness of players’ mental well-being
      She said the nature of questions from journalists is like ‘kicking a person when they are down’
      Osaka started her French Open campaign with a 6-4 7-6(4) win over Romanian Patricia Maria Tig

    2. The Rev Kev

      I heard about that and got confused. I thought that Osaka went to the French Open to participate in tennis matches, not media press conferences. Was that fine a provision in her contract? So is Rob Parker saying that the media should get to decide who takes part in some sports now? Parker has gotten himself in hot water for some of the things that he has done in the past so I would be wary about listening to his opinions-

      1. Alfred

        There is a requirement to attend press conferences “if requested to do so.” I think she is telling them to up their game and stop asking stupid personal questions, in short, to do their jobs. Rob Parker likes to take cheap shots at captive targets to get a reaction.

        1. savedbyirony

          Right after she made the announcement I heard an interesting discussion about this with four journalist from ESPN. What surprised me is that while they all thought for various reasons she should honor her contractual agreement to meet with the press after Open matches, they also all thought the format of these press conferences needed to change and that the virtual nature of these press ops had made them tougher for the athletes to stomach.

          Osaka is a great player, but she is also not rock solid confident in her game and abilities. She has spoken in the past about this. When she declared she would not participate in after match pressers, she referenced her mental health and that some press members go on at length asking questions which she feels are aimed at undermining her confidence, etc. Also, for those who do not watch these matches, the winning athletes, including Osaka, give an on court interview immediately after play. So she is not in complete media blackout mode.

          I agree with you. I think she is trying to get the journalists to up their game and also to get the tournaments to make some changes in these post match interview formats. But I also wonder if she believes at times some journalists are stumping for other contestants and doing so thru the nature of some of their questions.

          It will be very interesting to see if The French Open defaults her over this because i do not think Osaka will back down.

          1. tegnost

            now she should go the marshawn lynch route and answer every question with “I’m here because I’m required to be here…next question” and repeat… Then put in a call to skittles ;)
            Beast Mode ™
            You never know with marshawn, he may even be willing to take a trip to france and sit through the ordeal with her…
            Money in the bank!

          2. NotTimothyGeithner

            Ignoring Parker for a moment, Tennis players are independent contractors, so a number of quality of life items don’t get dealt with. The job of a professional athlete ultimately is to sell tickets, put eyeballs on screens, and hawk merchandise, so in the end the press conference is important. Like any job, do you need to put up with bad work environments? The answer is no, but to quote Jennifer Aniston in Office Space, no one likes their job. Should someone have to wear more than the 17 required pieces of flair?

            “The Rev Kev” has a link to Parker from 2012 when he was making appearances on ESPN. A quick search indicates he isn’t welcome at the ESPN anymore. A free trip to France is a free trip to France, but is it the big time for a sports reporter from Detroit? I would not be shocked if he has a reputation with the players, but they don’t have the semblance of unity necessary to get a handshake agreement to ban him.

            The lack of a union means this is her primary option. Right now, her sponsors probably don’t have a clause because its in the tournament participation clauses. Tom Brady was reported to have said on the NFL Players Association call in reference in offseason training camps that not one MLB pitcher isn’t throwing 95-97 in December.

            1. savedbyirony

              This situation has become a real loss for tennis fans. Naomi decided to withdraw from the French Open citing not wanting to be a distraction and anxiety/mental health concerns.

              I love her game and watching her play; and she is ranked number two in the world. It is unfortunate the situation could not have been dealt with differently. If depression and anxiety dealing with the media are plaguing Osaka, I do not how this will be resolved, but i sure hope somehow she is back on the court for Wimbledon.

              1. Alfred

                They could have treated her with respect instead of shaming her and being all prima donna about their sh!tty jobs. Making a big deal and fining her was a typical stupid macho you can’t push us around you’re the help reaction. I hope journalists look into their own souls and realize it is a privilege to speak to world-class athletes–I think former athlete, or any athlete they choose to interview really–former athlete commentators do understand. I hope she comes back also.

                1. savedbyirony

                  Oh the irony. The director of the French Open came out with a short statement about her withdrawal. He then took no questions from the media.

      2. griffen

        That linked article includes the former ESPN commentator Skip Bayless. Being loud and obnoxious is a requirement, methinks…being wrong may mean a hiatus or you get shifted to calling dodgebsll tourneys on the ocho(!)

        Osaka should speak only if she wants to. Her actions in the last year spoke very loudly, I recall.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      This should be an easy fix with a little lesson from The Master. Just four words as middle finger analog to the press who seem incapable of asking an original or interesting question – We’re on to Cincinatti

  5. John Beech

    Regarding the hyphen, the bit about . . . he (Henry Curran) felt strongly that any immigrant or child of immigrants who identified as anything other than an American should be returned to whatever country was on the other side of that “filthy hyphen.”

    . . . touches on something with me because I too dislike the concept of hyphenated Americans. Basically, my feeling are, either you’re one of us, or you’re not – pick!

    Add to this; I detest seeing Mexican flags being waved about for Cinco de Mayo (not that it stops me from cracking open a beer and celebrating), and I especially hate the PR flags hanging off the rear view mirror of cars in traffic. Then again, I’m not fond of the Billy-Bobs sporting the Beauregard redesigned Stars and Bars (known now as the Confederate Battle Flag), either.

    Funny things the emotions evinced by flags, eh?

    1. Alfred

      ” I too dislike the concept of hyphenated Americans. Basically, my feeling are, either you’re one of us, or you’re not – pick! ”

      Funny thing about being hyphenated. As a child, people were always asking each other, “what are you?” (50s, 60s). I had no choice about being “hyphenated,” even though I was born in this country, though my father told me to say, “I’m American.” I finally threw in the towel in my thirties and changed my last name back to the original, non-Americanized form. Now people don’t ask me, they just assume I must be stupid. I have been and will never be considered “American,” by people who indulge in this kind of hairsplitting, stop gaslighting me already.

    2. Socal Rhino

      I could do without the constant attention to a certain monarch and family across the pond. And why again do Americans drink green beer?

      1. bassmule

        Wilson: “…a tangle of squabbling nationalities…” and what are we now? A tangle of squabbling identities!

      2. Procopius

        Back when I still drank beer, nothing could have induced me to drink green beer.

    3. The Rev Kev

      When I met a lot of Americans in Europe in the 80s, it was remarkable how when they asked each other where they were from, that they would not say New York or Chicago but that they would say that they were Polish or Czech because of some half-remembered ancestry or whatever. I never met any other people that described themselves as such. I don’t know if this still goes on or not forty years later.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Rev Kev: Consult Alfred’s comment above. Those of us who aren’t named Billfold Pinkerton are constantly reminded that we aren’t “real Americans.” This is especially the case for me when I travel in the South, which is still dominated by the idea that it is a WASP bastion of saved Methodists.

        Black people, who are more visibly “not real Americans” can tell you more about this phenomenon.

        As for me, my family started to emigrate to the U S of A found 1890, and lo and behold, with my surname, I’m still not well-bred enough. (So I went back to one of those misty lands of origin, which was pleased to give me “dual’ citizenship.)

        The complaints here about “Idpol” often strike me as people who worry about who are “real Americans” expressing their own grievances. The “Idpol” people, amazingly, will even stumble into criticisms of Native American culture (heck, they aren’t “real Americans” either).

        1. ilpalazzo

          I rather thought that complaints here about Idpol are that it is another divide et impera ploy on steroids.

          1. diptherio

            We’re all individuals here. “Complaints about idpol” can be, and are, about all sorts of things.

            One of my issues is that I do tend to notice in the comments about “idpol” topics is a fair amount of either/or thinking. Either some grievance, observation, analysis, statement of fact is branded “idpol” or it’s not — and if it is, then said grievance, observation, etc. is either dismissed or defended based on the commentor’s feelings on “idpol,” whatever they understand that term to mean, without necessarily attempting to understand the point of what they’re responding to, apart from the “idpol” label.

            As this thread shows, there are a lot of very different and nuanced feelings about even such relatively mundane “idpol” topics as whether someone refers to themselves as Asian-American, or American, or Californian, or whatever. And FWIW, Alfred’s perspective from having been on the receiving end of society’s conflicted conscience about this stuff holds more weight with me than any non-hyphenated American’s musings on the same…my own included. Just sayin’.

            1. Alfred

              Thank you. It seems like a box to tick, sometimes “do we have relatives in common?” but more often a, “How do I want to feel about you, how should I treat you?” categorization.
              The melting pot, lol.

        2. Alfred


          My ancestors go back in my “home country” at least to the 500s and were quite well-known. What precipitated emigration was the rudeness of the Kaiser and Stalin. I have wished for many years my grandparents went somewhere else. The U.S. was not the best place for them to say the least. I tend to think the people in America who abuse others came from ancestral abusers and are just continuing the abuse wherever they go, so I just ignore them and avoid them.

      2. jr

        I have heard visitors here in NYC expressing bewilderment at the claims of American’s being this nationality or that. There’s two kinds of camps in my experience: those, like me who refer to themselves as “Irish” or “Italian” because everyone knows that I know I’m not really from those places. It’s a kind of shorthand for a nation of immigrants, as I see it. Most don’t think they have anything other than a tenuous connection to the actual nation. It’s about in-group/out-group communications amongst Americans.

        Then there are the dunderheads, like a sous chef I worked with and plotted high crimes against for a few years. We worked a breakfast shift side by side for two long years. This gem was from the Bronx but was proudly “Irish!” He had no clue what that might entail, neither the language and culture nor the ontological question of being something you are not. He may have been able to find Ireland on a map but in a sense it would be worse because that would represent the zenith of his efforts.

        When he wasn’t slipping pork into the dishes of our Muslim potwashers, he could be found over seasoning the family meal because he could. He would steal people’s lives: you would hear him talking to other people about himself using facts from other’s lives. Once, unwittingly, he shared one of my stories with me.

        But of all the things this clown put me through, nothing could compare with his fake Irish accent. He would go to a local pub that was frequented by actual Irish NY’ers on Friday nights and Saturday morning was happily regaling me with tales of how is buddies were always telling him how “Irish” he was and so on. He would buy them rounds and they would tell him he is “Irish”. Everyone got off. He would beam with pride at the memory of the evening. When I worked St. Paddys Day-after with him it was like having someone push their fingers through your ears into your brain.

        Then, after filling me in on the hot details, he would start to bray in a mutant-child, unholy inversion through a failing public school education system horror of an Irish brogue, complete with warm, wet blasts of Jameson’s breath to back it up. Just random things, non-sequiturs, snatches of babble from the night before. In more passionate moments he would gesticulate to emphasize his “points”.

        It was in these moments that I would start to lose my mind. Like serious fits of rage. This was pre-medication and I could get hot fast. Being trapped with this entity was like being in an antechamber to Hell.

        So one day I snapped. Rather than spending my life in prison, I unleashed my sharp tongue. I informed him his “pals” were using him, that he was the butt of the joke, and that he was about as Irish as “Lucky f-ng Charms”. He was stunned, blind-sided. He had really believed it all.

        The other cooks, who heartily despised this guy, picked up the ball and ran with it. Let’s make a “Green Clover” salad. “Yellow Moons” with that, chef? Soup good? Sure, it’s a “Rainbow of Flavors”.

        And then we became brothers of a sort, sharing a pure hatred of one another that blazed out like a light for all to see. The kind of hatred that is forged when one is forced to work hand in hand with one’s nemesis while being sprayed with boiling oil and seared with hot metal. While a drunken executive chef is throwing pans at your feet. Thank you all for reading, my partner won’t let me tell her that story anymore.

      3. Pat

        Part of my family is and has been into genealogy for decades. Thanks to them I can trace my father’s family back over generations, in a few cases we are talking centuries.when Sarah Palin was going on and on about how lefty liberal types weren’t real Americans, I so wanted to encounter her to go “I had two ancestors who fought in the American Revolution, tell me how your qualifications to being a ‘Real’ American top that?!?“

        Mind you one of them fought on the other side, part of the family came after the Civil War, and my maternal grandmother came over on a boat from Ireland as a baby. But I did always think it was a good comeback. Most of us, our ancestors came from somewhere else, some sooner, some later. And there could always be someone who can beat you in how long. In the Southwest, it isn’t just the Native Americans who trump the real American meme, a lot of the idiots saying that don’t realize that the families of some Hispanic/LatinX people have been in the area 500+ years.

        For me, the only important thing about Identity is how society can be biased for or against you. Freedoms and opportunities denied are important

        1. diptherio

          “Mind you one of them fought on the other side…”

          That’s fortunate. You’ll have cred at both DAR meetings and 1619 Project discussion groups.

        2. Procopius

          Yeah, she and those like her would never understand the resentment I felt when they took my pledge of allegiance to my country’s flag and turned it into a religious declaration. 1955. It still burns.

    4. Luke


      What about “I ain’t one of you” don’t you understand? I’ll stay here and do as I please regardless.

      Maybe you ain’t one of me?

    5. diptherio

      Strange, isn’t it? Some people seem to care more about scraps of cloth than about concrete material interests that we all share. I’ve never understood that…

    6. Basil Pesto

      They’re describing their ethnicity, not their nationality. Not a difficult concept.

      1. Count Zero

        But it is a difficult concept when “ethnicities” have a national flag. “Irish” for instance, is not an ethnicity it’s a national identity — with its own flag, its own national territory and its own state.

  6. Juneau

    re: Alzheimer’s, Dale Bredesen’s End of Alzheimer’s program emphasizes blood sugar and metabolic/inflammatory/toxic issues that may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. The biggest emphasis is on blood sugar control. There may be no coincidence to the fact that the diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease epidemics are correlated. As I recall, he thought that removing amyloid (which is a protective protein in some ways) really didn’t help much. I hope this medication works for those who have advanced disease and/yet the discussion on insulin resistance/diabetes’ contribution is still missing from much of public discourse.

    1. Alfred

      Diabetes damages the nerves in the gut.
      Gut health is important to Alzheimers

      In fact, a new study from the University of Geneva in Switzerland confirmed that an imbalance in the gut microbiome is linked to the development of amyloid plaques (misfolded proteins in the brain), which are a hallmark sign of Alzheimer’s disease.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Like diabetes, Alzheimer’s is one of those holy grail chronic diseases that the medical establishment cannot “afford” to “cure.” Only “manage.”

      Around 2 million Americans could be prescribed aducanumab, at an estimated cost that ranges from $20,000 to $50,000 per person per year.

      The horribleness of the condition, particularly for family members, is maximally conducive to desperate clutching at any “treatment” straw, regardless of cost, especially when a medicare system that has no “power” to negotiate prices, or assess whether the “efficacy” is worth the cost, will largely be footing the bill.

      Just the way big pharma likes it.

      Under the circumstances, I’m kind of surprised that Biogen is bothering with fda “approval” at all. They probably could’ve gotten a perpetual EUA and gathered the “data” while collecting the cash.

      1. Kouros

        Johnny Mnemonic (with Keanu Reeves, based on a small snippet side story from the cult novel Neuromancer) is an excellent metaphor of this situation…

    3. R

      In neuroscience, it is well known that (i) central nervous system neurons cannot accomplish a full cell division cycle yet (ii) they are constantly re-entering the cell division cycle. This is seemingly because nature has repurposed the machinery of the early phases of cell cycle in order to give neurons their amazing plasticity, by which they grow out connections to their neighbours in seconds. In “tickling the dragon” in this way, the neurons are saved from a horribly stagnant death stuck in the later phases of the cell cycle by the checkpoint between the G1 and S phases of the cell cycle. The checkpoint boots them back out of the cell cycle. Passage across the checkpoint is irreversible – the only way out is to go forward and complete the cell cycle.

      The cell cycle theory of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) posits that in AD patients the G1/S checkpoint is faulty and as people age they accumulate a population of frail and barely functioning neurons in the later phases of the cell cycle (which has a well studied biochemistry in which amyloid and tau processing are altered to produce… beta amyloid extracellular plaques and intracellular amyloid tangles).

      Obviously, this a very interesting candidate pathomechanism for AD because it unifies the competing amyloid and tau theories as consequences of an upstream cell-cycle dysregulation. However, it is also interesting for the potential link to Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a disease of the beta cell of the Islets of Langerhans in the pancreas. These are another tissue type that is thought not to divide in the adult. If the beta cells are regulating our metabolic set point, you can imagine their number would be stable. If AD patients have cell cycle dysregulation, you can hypothesise that some of these dysregulations may also affect their beta cells, linking a risk of cell death of beta cells to a risk of cell death of neurons. It may be that vulnerable patients with cell cycle dysregulation can minimise their risk of cell-cycle re-entry induced cell death by taking care of the beta cells and not stressing them with high blood sugar management challenges.

      The AD cell cycle hypothesis is well evidenced (but has only succeeded in uniting both amyloid and tau researchers against a common enemy!). The diabetes connection is conjecture based on limited pathophysiological and clinical data but it is interesting to consider.

    4. Philo Beddoh

      I’m curious, if any of the readers with AD (or CNS issues) in their immediate family, and have been through COVID’s pro-inflammatory cytokine has input into use of curcumin, nicotinamide riboside/ pterostilbene or resversatrol and anti-inflammatory diet, caloric restriction or cardiovascular exercise? This last year, seems kind of a perfect storm?

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Emily Wilder’s Firing Is No Surprise: AP Has Always Been Right-Wing”

    This is The Intercept doing this? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Are they even relevant anymore? Whistle-blowers won’t go to them anymore. Not after what happened to Reality Winner. They chased out their best reporter – Glenn Greenwald – after they tried to censor his work. And the Intercept is not even pretending that they will ever release the rest of the Snowden papers. If this is them trying to sound like they are still being edgy, then they should try a real target – like Joe Biden.

  8. griffen

    What does one pair with the genetic engineered salmon? On the surface the concept seems a little, ahem, fishy.

    It’s not a complete equivalency but it does conjure the scenes from Jurassic Park where Dr Malcolm is passionately debunking what the engineered dinosaurs represent. Just because you can does it mean that you should?

    1. lordkoos

      I live in the Pacific NW which is salmon country, it saddens me to read the piece on GMO salmon.

      At one time the fish was so plentiful in our rivers and coastal waters that the workers who built the Grand Coulee dam in the 1930s had it in their contracts that they could not be served salmon more than four times a week. Kind of like how early settlers in New England used lobsters for fertilizer by plowing it into the soil. So much bounty has been destroyed or squandered…

  9. The Rev Kev

    “New York’s Hyphenated History”

    This seems to have been a very common practice in the past. Just the past few weeks while doing research on 19th century streets, I have come across plenty of references to names like “Smith-Street” or “Cove-Road”. For some reason, it was just the done thing in the past with place names like New-York being the biggest example.

  10. .human

    Regarding the WSJ article about unhappy millenials: Nothing will change until the accepted measures of “wealth” include those unmeasureable intangibles that make a persons quality of life meaningful and pleasant.

    The Great Wurlitzer is playing louder than ever.

  11. JTMcPhee

    “Bipartisanship” is the DUOPOLY’S Way of saying “SUCKER!” to the Mopery.

    Got to love the persistence of tribalism. How quickly we fall back into Narrative thinking, that somehow the Dems are “fighting for us…”

    And that $4 trillion infrastructure offer from “Biden:” what’s in it for the Mopes, as opposed to the earmarks for the already rich and powerful? FDR was not as saintly as portrayed on TV, but “I knew FDR, and Joe Biden no FDR.” Student loans for example, public option, it’s a long and sickening list.

    Some notes on the Biden “plan:”

    1. Carolinian

      Tell it.

      Gingrich long ago killed Broderism from the Republican side so the Trump era Dem tactics not even their idea. Originality not a big part of Kabuki apparently.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Eastern Europe Has Been Hardest Hit By Covid: AFP Tally”

    Even before the pandemic hit, the Eastern European nations of the EU were typically getting the short end of the stick as far as resources were concerned. Certainly the EU was unhappy with the push-back by countries such as Hungary and Poland against them at the time. But I think that the pandemic may have increased the fracture lines here. There is no doubt that the EU has been deliberately slow-walking approval of the Russian vaccines in-spite of the urgent need for any vaccines over the past several months. And the EU has hardly covered itself with glory as vaccine delivery is concerned. Now some countries are arranging to manufacture the Russian vaccine and even parts of Germany are demanding these vaccines. In addition, the Central and Eastern European countries are opening up to Chinese vaccines and EU leaders are not happy about that at all. Yeah, definitely going to be major fracture lines going forward here-

    1. Kouros

      No surprises here. Why would expect anything else, especially since it was discovered years ago that products destined for Easter European market were from the get go made with lower standards than for the western European market…

    2. Dictynna

      It is always best to put politics aside and concentrate on the task at hand. Politics doesn’t mix well with other needs, it seems.

  13. Lee

    Re Antidote:

    I was curious as to how a flightless bird got to New Zealand.

    “For many years, it was reasoned that takahē originated in Australia and had been blown across the Tasman Sea. Once in New Zealand and free of land-based predators, the North Island and South Island takahē evolved to become large flightless birds.

    Research by Professor Steve Trewick, an expert in evolutionary ecology and genetics, has shown this is not the case. In 1996, Steve’s research revealed that the North Island takahē is a distinct species, different from the South Island takahē. Even more surprising, genetics reveal the North Island takahē has its origins with Australian swamphens, whereas the South Island takahē is genetically closer to South African swamphens. It appears that the two species arrived independently of each other. They landed on two different islands, but they followed the same evolutionary path to flightlessness. Experts think that, given enough time in a predator-free location, pūkeko would follow a similar evolutionary path.”

    1. Wukchumni

      NZ was a ‘bird world country’ with only a couple mammals for something like 20 million years until the Maori showed up. When stoats, rabbits & Aussie possums were introduced along with other beasties, their numbers plunged, but there’s still lots fliers (and non flying birds) that are incredibly docile.

      If you’re a birder, the place to go is Stewart Island just below the South Island. Avian depredation didn’t really take there and we found it to be utterly amazing, and we’re not really all that into the winged ones.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Coronavirus: Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City to test entire population of 13 million; tough choices loom for Malaysia’s doctors”

    That is amazing that. The Vietnamese are not sure how many are infected in Ho Chi Minh City so they say bugger it, we’ll test all 13 million. It is almost a Roman attitude that. I mean, facing up to the reality of a situation, deciding what has to be done, and then no matter how big the task, just going ahead and doing it. But thirteen million is more than the combined population of New York City and Los Angeles. In England, that would be more than the combined population of London, Birmingham & Manchester. Can you imagine this happening in many other countries? The testing of the whole population of their biggest city like New York City or London?

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      I sure do like that attitude – and the apt comparison to the Roman ‘whatever, just do it’ ethos – and it also implies confidence that they can do it, and that the peeps will participate and do their part to make sure they can.

      Reminds me of an attitude this other big country used to have. Forget which one, but it was popular for awhile. Hmm….

      1. Dictynna

        It is amazing what can be done when the welfare of a population is high priority for its leaders.

  15. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Appellate Court Strikes Down Racial and Gender Preferences in Biden’s COVID Relief Law

    The court was right to strike this down. Of course, all of this controversy could have been avoided had the government simply paid people to stay home for the duration of the pandemic and provided enough relief for anyone who needed it, rather than creating an artificial scarcity and then means-testing its distribution.

    Of course, if you’re rich enough, you can fail the means testing and Uncle Sugar will still shovel $10 billion your way…..

  16. bassmule

    Airline violence:

    “Since Jan. 1, the Federal Aviation Administration has received about 2,500 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, including about 1,900 reports of passengers refusing to comply with a federal mandate that they wear masks on planes.”

    Can someone explain to these creeps the difference between “freedom” and “license”?

  17. Carolinian

    Re Stoller–while Amazon’s control of its third party vendors definitely sounds illegal I question this.

    When you buy on Walmart, or at some other retail outlet, or even direct from the brand, even if you aren’t paying Amazon directly, the price reflects the high cost of selling on Amazon. As a result, sellers and brands tend to raise their prices across the board so that Amazon users can’t find better deals anywhere else.

    Perhaps he means when you buy on but the notion that Amazon is controlling Walmart’s prices in toto is laughable since Walmart itself is famous for strong arming suppliers and controlling their prices. And the Walmart factor matters because Walmart sees itself in a fierce battle with Amazon that some of us believe they are, long term, likely to win. The real issue is whether Amazon’s “everything by mail order” business model is practical at all and competitive as long as there are other modes of shopping. Perhaps Bezos’ zeal for other forms of business is a recognition that Amazon itself sees its extreme way of doing things as vulnerable.

  18. Petter

    The USA and Denmark have been spying on Norwegian government officials and politicians too according to the same source. The Prime Minister told the national broadcaster NRK “it is unacceptable if countries that have close allied cooperation should feel the need to spy on each other or obtain information about them.” Nothing will come of it. On the other hand, if it had been Russia….

    1. David

      Sigh. There are no friends in this game, only partners of circumstance. Amazingly enough, even members of the EU and NATO keep lots of secrets from each other. Small nations tend to be particularly disadvantaged here, because their resources are limited and their intelligence operations are small and often lack the gee-whiz technology of the major powers. The Danes, for example, will be very interested in things that the Germans aren’t likely to tell them openly. Cooperation with the US therefore makes sense because, by providing facilities, they get to share at least some of the product, which would otherwise be inaccessible. Shocking as it may be to some, this is actually a sensible policy for a small state.
      Oh, and just in case you wondered, yes, Everybody Does It. The Danes themselves are members of a five-European nation intelligence grouping called Maximator, whose existence was revealed last year. The British, significantly are not members, though the Swedes and French are.

      1. JTMcPhee

        I wonder why nobody trusts the Brits… Must be some fallout from the le Carre novels or something…

      2. The Rev Kev

        Maybe the Danes have still not forgiven Germany for beating them back in the Second Schleswig War of 1864. You think that I am kidding but after that war, members of the Danish royal family married into the British royal family and helped influence and turn the country against the Germans, in spite of the fact that the British royal family was mostly a German family itself, which in the end saw the British empire fight Germany in WW1.

    2. Kouros

      Denmark appears to be the little whore that could. They were also persuaded to delay environmental approval for NS2 for the longest time possible.

      There was a TV series about politics in Denmark and some of the episodes there did reflect the meek attitude Denmark has towards the US…

      1. chuck roast

        Yeah, this happiest of all little country has its issues. The prosecutors just dropped charges against three Danske Bank executives charged with laundering $1,500,000,000 through their Estonian subsidiaries. Mustn’t interfere with all those good feelings.

      2. Alfred

        I found the book “Smilla’s Sense of Snow” by Peter Hoag very interesting on Denmark’s history. Also a great adventure.

        1. larry

          IIRC, it was originally published as Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow in 1996.I agree that it was a great story. I haven’t read anything else by this author, unfortunately.

      3. larry

        I wouldn’t say they were meek. The Danish secret intelligence agency is in cahoots with the NSA and has been for some years. Snowden mentioned it some years ago. They gained access to information that they would otherwise not have been privy to. Was it worth it? I couldn’t say.

      4. PlutoniumKun

        This is what small countries do. You play larger powers against each other, hoping each one sees you as a friend/ally or whatever. If you don’t do that, you stop being a smaller country and you start getting used to being a colony/province.

  19. JacobiteInTraining

    Asian violence: An Anecdote:

    American citizen, once a S Korean citizen, female, 40’s – friend of one of my other SF Korean friends — she watched some kids yelling slurs at another Asian couple a few days ago at a park in SF. Kids were black, her call to me started with a string of classic (vile) racial slurs, stereotypes, and exaggerations. I sympathize with the fact some poor couple were yelled at, that is wrong – but ask: ‘but, you don’t win any friends or solve problems by demonizing everyone, do you?’

    Am told I just don’t understand, that “They” are soon going to be gone from the park anyway since “They” can’t afford to live there anymore, and its high time ‘We’ (meaning rich Americans of Korean, and, well white ancestry maybe OK too she thinks) finish that process and get the cops to just sweep em all out to — well, whereever it is “They” are supposed to live.

    Oakland, apparently. Or maybe the desert somewhere.

    I ask about the slums where she grew up in Busan. And those nasty annoying rich chaebol-financed luxury housing projects and fancy condo blocks that I used to always hear her bitching about. Ask whether there is any parallel in there, a lesson maybe.

    Possibly a – you know – common thread?

    Nope, she says. In Busan, they were “our” SOBs….and not “Those” people…who, she says, ‘we dont really ever let in anyway so we dont have those problems’

    Me: Side-eyes. Gives up.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Nope, she says. In Busan, they were “our” SOBs….

      Risking a ratio here, but I have long felt if we could get from:

      That ****** over there


      They may be a ******, but they’re our ******

      that a lot of problems would be solved. Solidarity shouldn’t have to depend on giving one’s soul a deep cleanse before working to solve a collective action problem.

      NOTE Fill in the ****** with “n****r”, “wypipo,” etc.

  20. DJG, Reality Czar

    The Freddie DeBoer comment is long and detailed, yet it is worth reading.

    This observation by DeBoer also applies to the arts and to academe: “There is no such thing as a strictly professional relationship in media, anymore. Whatever old systems of professional advancement once ruled in the industry no doubt had elements of patronage and networking, as well as a bushel of obvious inequalities. But however much worse the past may have been in total, in the 21st century digital media the coin of the realm for getting ahead in your career is to cultivate friendships with as many other people in media as possible. This has consequences, bad ones.”

    It isn’t as if the arts have standard steps for advancement. On the contrary, it sure seems that there are plenty of steps for advancement in the burgeoning fields of arts administration and foundations management. Yet the arts should involve some objectivity as to one’s own work and to the work of others. Instead, the advice is to “find one’s tribe” and go from there. One’s audience will be in the high three figures!

  21. DJG, Reality Czar

    The irony of complaining about Amazon and price gouging. As much as the work of Stoller and others matters, as someone who has worked in publishing for a long time, I am a tad miffed that the same people couldn’t figure out that Amazon’s predatory pricing of books and e-books was bad for publishing and helped to diminish U.S. media.

    Too many of these jokers were fine with Amazon getting the evil publishers. With those big advances and the five-martini lunches, even for editorial assistants, while they warmed the editorial offices with Franklin stoves ablaze with the copies of first novels that they refused to sell.

    Yet my experience is that publishing is quite lean and tightly managed. It helps that publishers have gotten away for years with underpaying their staffs.

    So now everyone is getting the Amazon treatment. Well, how do you think Amazon tested this plan?

  22. zagonostra

    >Empty airports and full delivery trucks: Covid’s toll on infrastructure, by the numbers Politico

    I went to pick up family at airport at FLL Saturday and I can tell you first hand the airport was packed. I haven’t seen these many people flying in a long time, and I work in an aviation related industry. Granted international travel is way down, domestic travel is coming back. Last BTS data I analyzed shows domestic TSA tracked passengers at 64% compared to last year (as of May 25th).

  23. David

    Water as a human right.

    This kind of thing always annoys me. Consider the following two statements:

    – Access to clean water should be a human right.
    – Governments should have an obligation to provide their populations with clean water.

    Notice the difference? One is a statement about how things should ideally be (and here you’ll notice that Biden is only being asked to “affirm” something, not actually do anything.) The other is a duty placed on identifiable actors to do tangible things. The “rights” discourse, whatever its original intentions, has polluted modern political speech to the point where we can all feel good about demanding that something be done, or at least that a path to access to the ability to potentially benefit from something that somebody should do at some point in the future can be established by a working group. Heaven forbid that anyone should actually have to, you know, do anything.
    Whatever happened to the old concept of duty?

  24. zagonostra

    >Covid-19: France fears a summertime vaccination plateau due to anti-vax sentiment France 2

    As 9/11 is to a sizable segment of the population, so CV19 vaccines is to many.

    Make of it what you will there is no denying the frequency of news stories cropping up in many disparate sources challenging the prevailing narrative.

    It really has gotten to the point where it is bootless to give a personal view one way or the other. Even with close friends and family you have to be somewhat circumspect.

    1. ambrit

      I have already been ‘singed’ by arguing with my PMC class sisters. One literally returned the zinc and vitamin D I sent them after they evinced skepticism about it. (Stupid me. If only I’d sent them the envelope full of, oh, never mind.)
      I am definitely the “odd character” relative in my family.

  25. enoughisenough

    “American said that alcohol would continue to be served in first class and business class, but only during the flight and not before departure.”

    Hmmm. Separate rules for the wealthy and non-wealthy.

    The class war continues apace.

    1. Alfred

      Anyone who wants to pony up a little more money– $75 or so one way– to drink on the plane can still do it. No one is checking your pedigree. Maybe they just see an opportunity to fill up First Class, and avoid insulting their business fliers. I don’t see the violence happening in first class (yet). Just my 2 cents.

      1. Riverboat Grambler

        Yes you pay more, that is how first-class works. And I’m sure rich people are 100% mask compliant, mmmhmmm.

    1. Gareth

      I will be curious to see if Texas Democrats leave the state before the special session is called. If they don’t, will the Speaker attempt to compel their attendance to force a quorum? It’ll be perfect fodder for the summer news cycle.

  26. Wukchumni

    Before you slip into unconscionableness
    I’d like to have another diss
    Another flashing chance at bliss
    Another diss, another diss

    The days are bright and filled with gain
    Spare me your gentle refrain
    The time you ran high-fi was too insane
    We’ll meet again, we’ll meet again

    Oh tell me where your freedom lies
    Money trees in orchards that never die
    Deliver me from reasons why
    You thought this would fly, oh my oh why

    The Cristal shift is being filled
    A thousand perps, a thousand jerks
    A million ways to spend your dimes
    In these best of all possible times

    1. ambrit

      Who is the Monk, and what was the lunch he bought? An austerity sandwich? [First, assume two pieces of bread….]

  27. Jason Boxman

    So I came across this job posting today; Lambert will love this:

    At ALIAS, we’re re-inventing privacy laws and regulation with software, and we’d like your help in telling that story. We believe that, in the digital world, “law is code, and code is law”, and that’s why we’ve built tools to enable developers to make privacy laws regulations a reality — especially since they’re the ones responsible for their implementation in applications and companies.

  28. chuck roast

    Julian Assange’s Father and Brother Announce US Tour to Demand Journalist’s Freedom

    June 10 at Park St. Station…see you there!

  29. noone from nowheresville

    4-time Slam champion Naomi Osaka pulls out of French Open

    Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open on Monday and wrote on Twitter that she would be taking a break from competition, a dramatic turn of events for a four-time Grand Slam champion who said she has “suffered long bouts of depression.”

    Osaka’s agent, Stuart Duguid, confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that the world’s No. 2-ranked tennis player was pulling out before her second-round match at the clay-court tournament in Paris.


    A pretty big hit to a grand slam tennis event. I hope it sends a very big message.

  30. fresno dan

    Given the rising prosperity we keep hearing about, shouldn’t we be able to provide minimum wage workers the same purchasing power they enjoyed 50 years ago in 1970? This is a very simple proposition: either can provide minimum wage workers the same purchasing power they enjoyed 50 years ago or we can’t, and if we can’t, then all the claims about “rising prosperity” are revealed as false.

    In 1970, I earned $1.65 an hour. A new economy car (Ford Maverick or VW beetle) was $2,000, so it took about 1,200 hours of work to buy a new economy car.
    A new house cost on average about $26,000 in 1970, so it took 15,750 hours of minimum wage labor to buy a new house.

    At today’s federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour, it takes 3,000 hours to buy a basic 2021 Honda Civic or equivalent which costs $22,000. To buy a new economy car today with 1,200 hours of minimum wage labor, the minimum wage would need to be $18.30 /hour: 1,200 time $18.30 = $21,960.
    Lots of examples. Which ring true when I look back at my minimum wage days. You can use your own experience as well. For many wage jobs, inflation in wages has no come close to matching inflation in things you need…

  31. Wukchumni

    We’re in the Big Smoke for my mom’s 96th birthday, and i’d forgotten it was the time when Jacaranda trees are in blossom in El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles, and the place is really in the purple, very much the counterpart to Washington DC’s cherry blossoms…

    So, how exactly did the jacarandas get here? Accounts of their original point of entry differ. As McDonough told me, “when exactly they came, nobody really knows.”

    He posits that it’s possible they first arrived in California during the Gold Rush. Most of the schooner ships making their way west stopped in Buenos Aires, where they would have witnessed the glory of a jacaranda tree in bloom. McDonough explains that those early arrivals may have “brought seeds or clippings” with them to California. It’s also possible that freight tycoon Phineas Banning had the trees shipped in to his Wilmington estate from the Amazon in the late 1860s.

    Still, in 1868, Reverend James C. Fletcher, a scholar of Brazil, would write that their lilac blossoms were rarely seen north of the equator except in “small specimen-pieces.”

    All that would change in the new century. “The flowering jacaranda, which in June showers its purple blossoms on the passerby, has come as an ambassador from the Amazon to proclaim the magnificence of that court,” Lannie Haynes Martin wrote of Southern California in 1912.

    By 1916, naturalist Charles Francis Sanders would write that driving Foothill Boulevard (the precursor of the 210 freeway) was “nothing short of entrancing” when “the jacaranda trees are a cloud of blue,” and by 1920, the L.A. Times would call the trees, now “not uncommon,” the “finest foliage of any used for street planting.”

    And for their profusion, we have but one person to thank, a pioneering woman who was arguably the Johnny Appleseed of not just jacarandas, but a host of other iconic Southern California flora.

    Her name was Kate Sessions and she spent more than 50 years importing seeds and plants into Southern California. She is credited with introducing and popularizing more than 143 species in Southern California, including our beloved bougainvillea, birds of paradise, yellow oleander, star jasmine, and, of course, jacaranda trees.

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