Links 6/28/2021

Where the buffalo roam: world’s longest wildlife bridge could cross the Mississippi Guardian

Report: United States Ranks Last in Media Trust Jonathan Turley (flora) Hoisted from comments.

In a miniature of Humayun and Akbar, time crumples to depict an entire world of learning Scroll

Miami apartment building collapse death toll rises to nine, rescuers dig ‘deep trench’ to find survivors ABC News (The Rev Kev)

Developers of doomed Fla. tower were once accused of paying off officials: report NY Post

Amazon hydropower plant contributes significant greenhouse emissions: study Phys.org (chuck l)

Google launches a new medical app—outside the United States Ars Technica

Dangerous Northwest Heat Wave Has Already Set New All-Time Records and Temperatures Will Soar Even Higher Into Monday Weather.com

Old, small and CO2-intense: why Canada’s highest-carbon oil sites keep pumping Reuters

Site C dam, oilsands pushing Canada’s largest national park closer to endangered list The Narwhal

UNESCO watching as Venice grapples with over-tourism AP

Regenerative Travel: What It Is and How It’s Outperforming Sustainable Tourism TreeHugger

#COVID-19

The Last–And Only–Foreign Scientist in the Wuhan Lab Speaks Out Bloomberg (david l)

Covid cracks Modi’s ‘Teflon’ popularity Asia Times (The Rev Kev)

More Younger People Without Comorbidities Died In Second Wave, Data Show India Spend

Coronavirus Hong Kong: second local Delta case triggers fears of fifth Covid-19 wave South China Morning Post

Highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant spreading fast in California LA Times

Booster may be needed for J&J shot as Delta variant spreads, some experts already taking them Reuters

Australia Covid: Outbreaks emerge across country in ‘new phase’ of pandemic BBC

‘Taken this up at highest levels’, Poonawalla assures India as EU Green Pass excludes Covishield The Print

Mike Gravel RIP

Former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska, who read Pentagon Papers into Congressional Record, has died ABC News (Geo) Hoisted from comments.

Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel dead at 91 Boing Boing (re Šilc)

What Mike Gravel Meant Consortium News

Part Five: From Capitol Hill to Beacon Hill Consortium News. I believe  linked to part 1 of this excellent series, but haven’t kept up. This is the latest instalment and includes links to the earlier ones.

Classified Ministry of Defence documents found at bus stop BBC (chuck l)

Class Warfare

Prescription Politics Stat

Americans Are Leaving Unemployment Rolls More Quickly in States Cutting Off Benefits WSJ

Big Tech Is Killing Movies Jacobin

Thousands of Prisoners Were Sent Home Because of Covid. They Don’t Want to Go Back. NYT

France

Emmanuel Macron’s party is wiped out in French local elections that also see Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party fail to break through Daily Mail (The Rev Kev)
French regional elections pose challenge to Macron FT

Gunboat diplomacy will not revive Britain’s fading power, whatever Boris Johnson thinks Independent. Patrick Cockburn.

Biden Administration

US Again Bombs Nations On Other Side Of The World In “Self-Defense” Caitlin Johnstone

Syraqistan

US carries out air raids on Iran-backed militias in Syria, Iraq Al Jazeera

Idlib braces as a crossing to Syria prepares to close Deutsche Welle


Trump Transition

Wuhan lab-leak theory fuels Trump comeback rally BBC

New York prosecutors set deadline for Trump on legal action – report Guardian

Police State Watch

The FBI accused him of spying for China. It ruined his life. MIIT Technology Review

Julian Assange

Assange Prosecution Relied On False Testimony From A Diagnosed Sociopath And Convicted Pedophile Caitlin Johnstone

China?

China releases videos of its Zhurong Mars rover BBC (The Rev Kev)

The Communist party at 100: is Xi Jinping’s China on the right track? FT

China turns on world’s first giant hydropower turbines South China Morning Post

India

Watch | Noam Chomsky: ‘Farmers Fighting For India, Beacon of Light in Dark Times’ The Wire

Karagattam artistes: on a bad stage in Madurai People’s Archive of Rural India


Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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125 comments

    1. fumo

      I’ll be quite happy to see the back of this stretch of heat. We’ve never been to 100F in recorded history here—that could change this afternoon.

      1. Sailor Bud

        Same. Sitting under the shade right now at 9:30 a.m. and it’s already feeling worse than yesterday morning here in Aberdeen, WA.

        Not a cloud in the sky, and the neighbor’s American flags only rarely showing a light flutter. Just pure sun. It’s usually a steady breeze since I’m right on the coast, but not today or yesterday. My house is still a convection oven, because the cool night failed to clear yesterday’s heat buildup despite my use of fans to blow it out the windows. Ugh. Roasting ahead. Think I’ll splash around in the Chehalis today.

      2. Glen

        Agree. I’m right in the middle of Puget Sound in a fairly original +120 year old homestead. So no A/C.

    2. Krystyn Podgajski

      It’s been harder dealing with the heat here in Port Townsend than I thought. It was 93 degrees at 7pm last night. (By the way Apple has the worst weather forecasting app I have ever seen.) No escaping this living in a van. And none of the establishments that are open have AC up here. I would have gladly went to a pub if that was the case. So I am forced to run my van with the AC blasting for short spurts. The nights are the worst since we are also having a record high low temps as well.

      Today is another day I will spend in the shade by the beach bluffs where it at least feels cooler.

      People are getting mad at climatologists saying that this is not from climate change, and they right are but their messaging is poor. The extreme of this heatwave is most assuredly from climate change, just not the heat wave itself.

      1. Aumua

        People are getting mad at climatologists saying that this is not from climate change

        I don’t know what climatologists are saying that. It’s always difficult to attribute extreme events to climate change conclusively, but I’m pretty sure that it will be shown that this level of deviation from previous norms is statistically very likely to have some influence from climate change.

      2. Nce

        It seems like you are finding cooler places to park, that’s good and take care. Do you have a gas gen to run your ac (if not the vehicle’s- I haven’t had working ac for so long, I forget it exists🙃)? I only have fans in my vehicle, but the heat is dry here in eastern CA so I’m looking into diy swamp coolers. My solar setup is working fine for what I’ve got now, so some way of blowing air through wet burlap or something might do the trick.

        1. wilroncanada

          A friend of ours,former neighbour when we lived in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley, had lived in the California desert as a child. She said at bedtime her father used to dampen the sheets in water as cold as he could, and that was how they slept. I would imagine it generated a lot of pee-er pressure in the children, depending on their ages.
          Now we’re back on the west coast, Vancouver Island, where yesterday just about every town , city and village broke all-time records for heat. They will likely be broken again today.

      3. Randy G

        Hang in there Krystyn, very tough getting by in a van forever on the road.

        I am teasing friends in Portland by telling them they are welcome to come to Tucson if they want to cool off. (Only a 100 F. here today and 97 tomorrow.)

        In the meantime, the Biden Admin is fighting climate catastrophe by giving ever more money to the Pentagon — as they can surely bomb ‘climate change’ into submission while pontificating, amusingly, on “white rage”. We have a winner!

    3. Culp Creek Curmudgeon

      I hope they ban fireworks out here in the country. I know they have in Eugene, the closest city, but we have our own kind of knuckle-heads out here. After they banned fires a few weeks ago, as they do every year, I saw the remains of a fire pit on a path where I regularly walk my dog. I know it was recent because we had passed this spot the day before and there had been no fire pit then.

  1. John A

    The classified documents found at bus stop story is weird on so many levels. How were the documents smuggled out from the ministry? Which civil servant or whoever, would even get a bus in the Kent countryside and if so, then accidentally or otherwise drop a 50 page document behind the bus shelter? It would make more sense to ‘accidentally on purpose’ leave a briefcase on the bus or at the bus stop (while perhaps putting up an umbrella). Why would the person who found it contact the BBC instead of the Ministry of Defence or the police, or even a tabloid that would pay big bucks for such a scoop?
    Plus, why would Russia think the British boat had bottled out if it sailed an acceptable course from Odessa to Georgia. Nobody would probably even pay attention to that in the media. No, best to recruit journalists on board, whistle innocently, lie about the Russian reaction – the video released clearly shows who was telling the truth and then come up with a left it at the bus stop excuse for the BBC to lap up as state propagandist.

    These days it is Britain that is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, not Russia.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Nothing that I’ve read indicates that there were high level papers. I suspect this was just someone taking work and just lost it – it happens. When I was a teenager out for a Sunday walk one time I came across a large wad of papers in some gorse scrub addressed to a Very Important Person who lived nearby. My father just made me go and stick it back in his letterbox (I was very surprised to see his letterbox on the gate, given that this was someone who was allegedly on more than one death list). I suspect that the postman hadn’t put it in correctly and some kids just fished it out and threw it away without realised who it belonged to. It could have been just magazines, or it could have been something very important, I’ve no idea.

      If it was a plant of some sort, I doubt the MoD would have done it in a way that made them look amateurish.

      1. The Rev Kev

        The Russians have been having fun with this one. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova took to Telegram to say that ’07 agents are not what they used to be’ and ‘Now, here’s a question to the British Parliament: who needs ‘Russian hackers’ if there are British bus stops?’

        1. Nikkikat

          I don’t know, but for me nothing quite tops the Novachok stories about door knobs and poison underwear.

            1. wilroncanada

              “Gunboat Diplomacy,” they call it. Years ago now, we lived for 13 years on Salt Spring Island (think San Juan Islands north), between Vancouver and Victoria. A lot of the hobby farmers and other tradespeople wore rubber gumboots. The Island was often called “a difference of opinion surrounded by water.” To keep people apart, many of us, at times, had to practice ‘gumboot diplomacy.”

      2. vlade

        What I read was that most of them were marked as “sensitive”, but one doc had “secret, UK eyes only” marking.

        1. Tom Bradford

          Years ago, when Moses was a lad, a bunch of us oiks at University thought it would be a jolly jape to forge a completely bogus report ostensibly from the local Council containing an, ah, somewhat controversial approach to a matter already the subject of some ‘heat’ in the local community, and leave it on a bus during rush hour.

          As well as a simple lark there was also some curiosity as to what would happen and how matters would develop – I like to think it was well done, on genuine headed Council paper (one of us was dating a Council typist) over an illegible but, ah, attributable signature – and particularly given the Council’s quite accurate denial of the matter an interest in seeing how many people would still believe it. While the disinterested would likely find it easy to accept it as bogus we fully anticipated those who shared the Council’s ‘view’ to get in behind its gist if not its tone (I recall the phrase, “we mustn’t let the peasants win this one!”) while those opposed would leap on it as evidence of the Council’s perfidy.

          As it happened nothing did, so presumably whoever picked it up either quietly binned it or did their civic duty and returned it to the Council rather than taking it to the local paper which, given the circumstances, was an interesting social comment in itself. But disappointing!

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I largely suspect it’s a case of inferiority complex. Brexit didn’t make the UK the haven for countries looking to avoid the “onerous laws and regulations” of the EU, so the imperial fan boys are trying to make international news, finding their place in the sun. It’s a reasonably sized country, but Canada, South Africa, and Australia, plus a host of former colonies aren’t suddenly going to go let’s disrupt trade to get a better del on streaming Doctor Who. My further guess is Biden is seen as weak and would enjoy forced to come to the rescue if anything got out of control. It’s probably not dissimilar to the calculation made over Suez 75 years ago now.

  2. Alfred

    Thanks for that glorious bird.

    Among the worst parts of climate anxiety is knowing full well that when the Earth ends up literally just being one giant ball of fire, the final tweets will be Republicans insisting there’s no climate crisis & Dems saying they can’t do anything because of the parliamentarian.

    — David Sirota (@davidsirota)

    What a juxtaposition. I wish the commentariat here everything you need this week, wherever you are.

    1. Craig H.

      Coppersmith barbet. That gorgeous bird is named after its weird call. Maybe it was the world’s first only ever color blind ornithologist who pulled that off.

      1. Alfred

        I hear a lot of birds without ever actually getting to see them very often, so I too know them by their call. That’s the only way most of the time I know they are around, so I guess the name makes sense to me.

      2. juno mas

        Probably because it was easier to reognize the distinctive sound before finding the bird through binoc’s?

    2. Aumua

      Maybe we should really be looking beyond Democrats and Republicans, and even the U.S. for solutions.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      David Sirota has nothing to worry about. The ChinaGov will take unilateral geo-engineering action long before the Earth reaches the one giant ball of fire stage.

  3. Terry Flynn

    Most memorable Dalek moment which as a kid I loved was Tom Baker taunting a Dalek with the insult we regularly paraphrased at the TV: “if you’re meant to be the supreme beings of the universe, why don’t you try climbing after us?” when he went up a level.

    They retconned stuff later but that moment is still fondly remembered by all of us who thought the 4th Doctor was the best.

      1. .Tom

        Tricking the blighter into following you down stairs is even more fun.

        Did I ever tell you that for 9 months in my late teens I lived in U.N.I.T. HQ?

        https://i.stack.imgur.com/rpZad.jpg

        Was then called Halings House in Denham, an MOD apprentice hostel, and next door to Mike Oldfield.

  4. John Siman

    “The United States ranked dead last in media trust among 49 countries,” Jonathan Turley writes, “with just 29% saying that they trusted the media.” This will not be a surprise to readers of Matt Taibbi’s Hate, Inc. (I suppose we will hit a therapeutically useful rock bottom when 0% of Americans trust the media.)

    Turley, nevertheless, makes something of a fresh observation — though his prose is jarringly clunky: “The media has embraced the advocacy journalism,” he continues, “and anyone questioning that trend risks instant cancellation. The result is a type of state media where journalists are bound to the government by ideology rather than law.”

    I do think it is accurate to say that, over the last five years, an Official State Media — characterized by the aggressive promulgation of various official narratives on the one hand and by the shameless censorship of anything that varies from official narrative on the other — has arisen, and that the NYT + WaPo + NPR + Atlantic + CNN + MSNBC corporations have all come to advance a single elite point of view. Thus Official State Media. What a sickening historical development. Or is there a better name for it?

    1. Objective Ace

      Does anyone know the source for “The United States ranked dead last in media trust among 49 countries” statement? I didnt see it in the article

    2. JTMcPhee

      “We’ll know our program of disinformation is complete when nothing the American public believes is true.” CIA Director William Casey.

      1. Chris

        “We’ll know our program of disinformation has failed when nothing our preferred outlets say is believed.” – Moi

      2. pricklyone

        JT, cannot find anything that confirms this quote. Supposedly Sarah McClendon made public, but if that was true, it sure aint findable now….You gotta link, or something?

    3. Mildred Montana

      John Siman: “…the shameless censorship of anything that varies from official narrative…”

      And then there’s the fact of self-censorship. Today’s MSM journalists might all be parrots, but they’re smart parrots. They know that following the official narrative will provide them with nuts (which are great for training parrots, btw).

      From sixteen years ago but perhaps even more relevant today:

      “Censorship is seldom direct…There’s no need for it to be…Publishers hire editors who reflect their views. Editors hire reporters, columnists and editorial writers that are also “safe”…There isn’t a nook much less a cranny…where the writer is not required to self censor.”

      https://thetyee.ca/Views/2005/03/28/TheSoftMuzzle/

    4. Michael

      Another point of view:

      “The state is an abstraction which depends on its citizens -individuals – to execute its will.” Ettiene de La Boetie

      State censorship or Self censorship?

      Socialite: “Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!”
      Churchill: “Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.”

      Your soul of course!

  5. GramSci

    In my Google and Duckduckgo search results, I am getting only a handful of hits on “Thordarson” and no hits at all from MSM “news” services. Has anyone else in the commentariat seen an MSM report?

    The Stundin report was a bit odd in that it didn’t have any direct quotes of Thordarson recanting, but his sociopathy appears to be a matter of public record…

    1. JCC

      If you type in his full name you’ll see a lot more hits on google – Slate, Wired, Rolling Stone, wikipedia (interesting summary of this sicko here), even the Wash. Post. The headlines of most appear to be calling out the use of this sociopath as a credible witness, however I did not bother reading the Wash. Post article that showed up on the first page of hits.

  6. The Rev Kev

    “US carries out air raids on Iran-backed militias in Syria, Iraq”

    ‘Caitlin Johnstone ⏳
    @caitoz
    Americans: healthcare please
    Biden: Sorry did you say airstrikes on Iraq and Syria?
    Americans: no, healthcare
    Biden: Alright, you drive a hard bargain, but here are your airstrikes on Iraq and Syria.’

    https://twitter.com/caitoz/status/1409308880832659457

  7. SOMK

    Re: Big Tech is killing movies.

    It wasn’t supposed to be this way, mass distribution methods and cheaper digital film making equipment was supposed to lower the floor and increase the opportunities, the long tail was supposed to mean niche interest were infinite and the decline of blockbuster culture, it hasn’t turned out that way, instead its gone the opposite. For a time when you had the secondary economic input from DVD sales there did seem to be a golden age of television about ten years ago, shows like The Wire, the Leftovers, Boardwalk Empire, even the Hannibal TV show tried to do something fundamentally new and ambitious with old material. Not so any more.

    A good example is the sorry state of Star Trek, where even Voyager and Enterprise had the occasional great episodes, the squabble over the image rights meaning the TV and film franchises were owned by different companies and so had to distinguish from each other leading to the creation of two separate film and TV timelines. A 117 year old Patrick Stewart huffing his way slowly up stairs in action sequences, because Star Trek Discovery show was so unpopular (and yet inexplicably getting a fourth season!) they needed to tap into positive sentiment from a show made nearly half a century ago. Star Fleet is racist now (the main plot thread of Picard revolves around how Star Fleet refused to sanction the evacuation of the Romulus home world after their home star went nova), so it seems all those values that were proudly exposed from the 60’s to the 90’s have been flushed down the toilet.

    Two other factors affecting culture not mentioned in the article is the particular nature of online content, how the latest platforms favour short burst non sensical content, ala instagram and tiktok, Taylorism per Frederick Taylor was about reducing the calibre of the worker so that they were cheaper, simplify the nature of the task, strip away the need for skill you get a cheaper worker, easily replaced. Art itself becomes simplified and deskilled, Duchamp’s photograph of a urinal (which people confuse for being an actual urinal) was an attempt to claim the sovereignty of the artist to say what art was, but in the absence of craft and skill all that did was open the flood gates to the critical then managerial class to step into the void, instead of functional design you get spectacle, Frank Geary blowing up simplified shapes using computer models to make buildings that look like melted lego sets, but serve no real function except to be photographed. Youtube on the other hand demands a constant output for very little reward such that it’s hard to find a youtube channel or podcast were the host doesn’t spend the first five minutes begging the viewer for money (subscribe, like, share, support us on Patreon), controversy for the sake of controversy, a thumbnail aesthetic that to my mind is the ugliest in human history, worse even than modern architecture (although you at least have the option of avoiding youtube). All this invites a playing to the audience mentality and outlook that is the death of creativity -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNbnef_eXBM

    Secondly is the gutting of liminal spaces in the urban environment where creatives traditionally thrive, artists and film makers don’t just need a place to live they need places to work, exhibit, show, meet, discuss. These places have been ruthlessly squeezed out by the increased cost of rent and the concurrent flatlining of income. In Public Speaking Fran Liebowitz speaks of how in the 70’s she would drive a taxi for as long as it took to earn enough to pay her rent and then stop and spend the rest of the week smoking and talking.

    In the absence of that we get the kind of culture we have, people don’t know how to have original ideas so in film school you get three act structures and the hero’s journey hammered into you when you’re not being told how to fill out grant application forms. Everything has the same structural sheen, the same exact beats being hit over and over again, leading to no real distinctiveness, pop culture has lost its pop and the avant garde is a dried up corpse. Meanwhile the gaps are pasted over in CGI spectacle.

    Lanier was correct to point to the creative class as the canary in the coal mine when it comes to the impact of technology and the internet completely gutting the ability of creatives to earn money independently, but you can’t fix this with one-off policy interventions or by stopping Disney buying MGM or whoever, the malaise is deeper, indeed studios buying up studios is the lesser part of the matter. It would require politicians and people in power to understand things they are paid handsomely not to understand.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Sorry, but Voyager didn’t have great episodes. It had some mildly entertaining ones. A dull show of dull people acting out rejected Next Generation scripts. DS9 has “Duet” in its first season and Enterprise has “Terra Prime”. Voyager has…I guess the one with the dinosaurs… Then of course, the first two Next Generation movies are really just godawful. Yep. Generations is fan fiction, undermining the premise of Nick Meyers produced Trek movies and the Kirk arc. First Contact was the 57 year old Pat Stewart trying to be an action hero. Yep, Star Trek has really declined in quality.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Star Trek Voyage had its moments but it all came down to what you were looking for in a show. When Roddenberry was trying to sell his show to the producers back in the 60s, because it was so new he told them that it was like “Wagon Train” – but in space. DS9 was kinda like Fort Laramie in space but got hung up on the Prophets story-line. Enterprise was not bad though you could see current events influence its stories at the time and did not have enough episodes to really develop their characters more. With all the Star Trek series, they always took a year or two to find their feet but can’t say that I was impressed with any of the movies.

        Several years ago there was a fan-based film created called “prelude to Axanar” which had excellent values. So good that when they wanted to create a full film, CBS & Paramount killed it because it would have left their planned Star Trek: Discovery & Star Trek: Picard in the dust-

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W1_8IV8uhA (21:09 mins)

        1. Terry Flynn

          Star Trek was once very close to my heart. Of course “technically” everything shown on the screen is now “canon”. However, I am one of a lot of people who will never ever accept recent Trek. There is no agreement within “us” as to when Trek “jumped the shark” but my personal view is that none of the movies after ST6: The Undiscovered Country are canon (for reasons NotTimothyGeithner has outlined, amongst others).; “All good things” was the LAST canon TNG outing. DS9 was excellent but Voyager was fundamentally flawed for reasons Ronald D Moore stated: making it episodic to “fit the big media model” made it fundamentally unbelievable and idiotic, a decision he made sure he corrected when he wrote the reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Whatever you think of the last 2 seasons, you can’t fault it for showing the progressive deterioration in a ship over years away from port.

          Voyager, together with the 2nd TNG movie, also totally neutered the biggest baddie in Sci-Fi, the Borg, by introducing the Queen. I tried with Enterprise and I could “live” with the updated “look of the tech”, despite it being a prequel – it just was an appalling show IMHO. ST should have bowed out at end of DS9 and with just the first 6 movies. Instead Paramount jumped on the bandwagon of “moaaaaaarrrrrrr cash!” Now it finds itself in dire financial straits due in part due to partnering with JJ Abrams and his ilk.

          On YouTube and Twitter you now get flame wars between “the Fandom Menace” and “SJW warriors”. I dislike wokeism and indeed think the “ST has become too woke” thing is vastly overblown – for heaven’s sake it was pushing boundaries in the late 1960s. I refuse to subscribe to the channels that criticise ST, largely because they channel a lot of bile via “wokeism”, when the problems are simply bad writing, ignorance of canon, a failure to understand econonic issues raised in the Jacobin article by the YouTubers and egos. Indeed I just check in with the channels occasionally and last week was amused to see that they’ve turned on each other due to fragile male egos and a need to show who’s the “biggest” and “purist”……and in so doing look exactly like the SJW people they purport to criticise. I really did laugh.

          Incidentally I used to be a part of the channel run by Robert Meyer-Burnett, who did loads of the special effects etc for the “Axanar” fan film. He is still, years later, dealing with legal issues – though these largely continue due to (yet again) a bunch of men involved whose egos refuse to allow compromise. Paramount certainly did their bit to stymie it, but have lately just stood back and let it implode.

          I hate to sound all fuddy-duddy but those “submarine battle like” scenes in ST2 were some of the best every committed to film. The now typically 5-second cut in every family-blogging ST (and other franchise) film give me a headache and treat me like I’m age 10. What makes it worse is that the “big media” effect was creeping in back in the early 1980s when that movie was made. James Horner got his big break composing the score. Before Google decided “algorithm generated auto complete of search terms” was a REALLY bad idea it was really funny to get musical friends who “had suspicions” about Horner to enter his name into google search. It got so bad that when watching that monstrosity Avatar, I heard a motif and instantly KNEW what was about to happen, totally spoiling the shock value. I was with a friend in Sydney who was another musical buff and the phrase “Cameron used family-blogging Horner again” was uttered by us.

          I no longer participate in YouTube discussions about sci-fi – the number of people who understand why we need another Teddy Roosevelt and who don’t understand something NC has noted (paraphrasing, but if you don’t own your platform you don’t have a business) is horrifying. Currently I am watching big tech pay half the small producers to kill the other half. It is depressing. I shall stick to my PHYSICAL media (DVDs/Blu-Rays) which are UNEDITED. 95% of movies I watch on streaming services that I am familiar with have cuts made. It is genuinely scary what is going on.

          1. Savita

            So I guess it’s about time Ridley Scott got involved. Aliens vs Startrek. David8 vs Spock..and…whatever the rest of those characters are named. Zenomorph vs ..c’mon Rev Kev I know you’ll have a good crack at this. I LOVE David8 and WalterOne characters and storyline in the two most recent Aliens films. There is still talk of the next installment which will have at least David8 as the lead character and driver of the narrative PS Rev Kev you provided us a classic moment for when the last minutes as the Amazon CEO awaits his departure from gravity in his personal rocket ship – being informed that all of the Amazon workers were brought on to ensure everything was ready for deadline. That exact moment you described so brilliantly exactly reminded me of the final moments of Alien Covenant, when the captain is just about to enter hypersleep and is conversing with the synthetic I won’t name.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Aliens vs Star trek? That would be easy.

              Picard: ‘Mr. Worf?’

              Worf: ‘Aye, Captain.’

              Picard; ‘Lock on to our visitor’s biosign and beam it into space on maximum dispersal rate. And target that site that it came from once we are in orbit. Hit it with a full spread of photon torpedoes – maximum yield. (Glances at Number One) It’s the only way to be sure.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, its extremely disappointing the way things are going. Streaming was supposed to be a boon, especially for old movies, but things are going in the opposite way. Ten years ago I had an excellent local DVD rental shop that had a great stock of obscure and hard to obtain films. It closed down of course around 2012. Initially, there were some very exciting streaming platforms, but increasingly they are being more restricted in what they can show and you need a VPN to get access to lots of material that is online. Even very recent and popular films can be bafflingly hard to find either online or on DVD. When you dig into it, its usually some complex reason attached to licensing. My first post lockdown cinema visit was to to see the anime Demon Slayer (made and released 18 months ago in Japan), but infuriatingly this side of the pond they only show the horribly badly dubbed English version with a terrible sound mix, despite all evidence that the huge fan base (ok, I’m an otaku) wanted the original version. I can find no explanation for why they did this.

      It did of course lead to a huge boon in TV – its undeniable that there is a very large amount of top class shows being produced, but it seems the range is now narrowing and getting crapified as they are applying algorithms and focusing on binge watching rather than allowing series to breathe naturally over a few years. I’ve heard from people in the business that there are increasing pressures over content and budgeting which means the boom in TV production is probably over.

      1. The Historian

        I have to agree with you. Being sick for 3 months where all I could do on my bad days was lay on the couch and watch TV, I found myself constantly looking for something decent to watch. Mostly what is streamed these days is lower than B rated movies – mostly just pure crap! I noticed that even the quality of documentaries has dropped off significantly. Most of them are about crime or celebrities now instead of good science shows or current affairs. I think I spent most of my time searching instead of watching actual movies or documentaries. At the end, all I was doing was watching reruns of my favorite movies over and over.

        As for TV shows, I didn’t find much new or interesting to watch via streaming – maybe that was Covid related?

      2. The Rev Kev

        When I was a teenager back in the 70s, I used to think that one day, that we would be able to sit in front of a TV, use a control to select any film ever made over the past century and then just start watching it. Do we have the technology to do really this? Of course we do. But it never worked out that way. You are not suppose to put restrictions on free trade but somehow regional codes for DVDs are just fine. Many older films are locked away in film studio vaults and who knows when they will ever be ever released like your Demon Slayer. Happen to be a fan of the old Charlie Chan films and it is lucky I took care to record them when they were showing because they have never been on since. And now many films have to be shown through a woke viewpoint or even be rejected (hello, “Gone with the Wind). Some are being digitally altered like when the shotguns the FBI agents were carrying in “ET” turned into radios now. And yes, “Han shot first”. What an age we live in.

        1. Carolinian

          regional codes for DVDs are just fine

          Sorree. Early DVD player hacks were often provided by Aussies seeking to defeat the region code.

          Re the lamenting in the Ars Technica article, one should point out that Bezos will only be getting the more recent MGM titles like James Bond as the older ones are owned by a still alive and kicking Warner Brothers. In Variety they were making fun of Bezos for wildly overpaying for what portion of MGM he was getting.

          As to movie heritage access, there was an earlier time when art theaters were the only way to see the great classics that we can now watch, and watch well presented, in our living rooms. On that front I’d say things have greatly improved.

          1. CanCyn

            Maybe copyright is different in Canada, but here, Netflix doesn’t have very many old classics. We still have a DVD player and we get most of the classics we watch from the public library. Sometime you find things posted on YouTube but copy quality can be a problem. Many people I know have an Android box that circumvents licensing and finds what are more or less illegal copies of films and TV shows all over the ‘net. But again, copy quality is a problem e.g. sometimes a foreign film will be without subtitles. I don’t have the patience. And luckily Netflix and Crave fit our budget. We gave up on regular cable, many years ago.
            I agree with Rev Kev – in a better world we’d be able to stream and watch any old movie we want. But TPTB had other plans.

            1. Carolinian

              I get most of my movies from the library and that would be the first place to look if one’s town has a decent library. My library has thousands including foreign and some, but not that many, classic Hollywood. Awhile back video stores would be a good resource but those seem about done. I don’t believe Netflix ever had that much interest in the old and obscure. The Criterion Collection has a streaming channel I’m told and that would be a very good place to find all the old Janus films, Bergman etc. It is pay streaming.

            2. Gc54

              There are also some really excellent fan edits out there. I particularly like The Hobbit condensation that cuts out most of the interminable filler to tell the story fairly straight. A few unavoidable jumps and dismal score remain though. “You go to the (re)edit room with the tracks you have, not the tracks you wish you had.”

    3. Carolinian

      Years ago I heard Pauline Kael give one of her talks and she made the point that 90 percent of the work in any field is mediocre. But she had also always said that even bad movies give you something. The richness of the medium lies in the fact that so many creative hands are involved and most especially, some of us would say, the actors. Edmund Wilson once said he had trouble reading anything that wasn’t “written.” Conversely I can watch almost anything that is “acted” even if the end result is disappointing.

      All of which is to say that it’s hard to make a case that the industry is going to the dogs since it was always compromised to begin with (and frankly your examples of the golden age don’t impress particularly). I do think on the screenwriter side things are in a rut as “creatives” become as homogenized as the rest of our college educated classes. A lot of the best stuff these days comes from overseas.

      1. Procpoius

        I think it was Theodore Sturgeon in the1950s who said, “90 percent of science fiction is crap, but 90 percent of anything is crap.”

    4. Kouros

      Picard was dying, so not being agile makes perfect sense. Now he got a perfect body. The story was about a higher artificial intelligence trying to take over the galaxy and the Romulans trying to stop that…

      And Discovery wasn’t half as bad as it was deemed to be. In fact quite entertaining.

  8. Carla

    Hhmm… Reuters is behind a paywall for me now. To quote Lambert, everything’s going according to plan.

  9. Robert Hahl

    Glenn Greenwald

    The Biden Admin is doing everything possible to keep Assange in a harsh UK prison because:

    4) Assange enabled Edward Snowden to escape from Hong Kong.

    1. Teejay

      5) Don’t forget Assange massively embarrassed the Obama administration in front of the world by leading them to believe Snowden was on the Bolivian President’s plane.

      1. Nikkikat

        In the Oliver Stone interview Putin had very interesting points on Snowden. Well worth reading.

  10. notabanker

    When I went to the SC beaches for the first time in my teens, I thought to myself it would be really nice to have one of the beachfront condos some day. As I got older and had access to do just that, I talked to a number of folks, some locals, and was warned to be really careful. A lot of those buildings are old, developers are long gone and it is easy to get whacked with large assessments to fix structural problems. The ocean coast is not friendly to those buildings and they inevitably need repairs. We actually looked at many units and considered it, but at the end of the day, the cost to rent one was affordable enough to forgo whatever convenience we would have owning one, and never knowing what association fees would ultimately be put a kabosh on the ‘investment’ side of it.

    Never did I consider that one would actually collapse, but here we are. I find the “Buildings in the US just don’t collapse” quotes a true sign of cognitive dissonance, because, yes, now they actually do.

    1. griffen

      I’m playing catch up on that building story; on that linked article was added detail on a previous engineering review of the structure. Looks to be something that aggrieved residents and family alike can point to. All very unfortunate nonetheless for those still needing to be rescued or identified.

      As a current resident further from the SC beaches, I think the environmental costs of owning a coastal abode are best avoided. At least in or near the mountains one can winter proof the home or cabin, and possibly mitigate the environmental costs to an extent.

      1. freebird

        Years ago we visited Silverton and asked why there were not a lot of cabins up on the hillsides. “There have been. Avalanches bring them down.” There is also landslide and debris flow risk in mountainy areas.

        Winterizing is fine, but then you have to de-winterize and re-winterize for any snow-season visit. If the roads are open.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I sure wouldn’t want to be in the position of wanting or needing to sell one of these condos right now. Ditto for the real estate agents making big bank creaming their cut from churning units from one paper rich retiree or second “home” / wannabe airbnb entrepreneur landlord to another.

      While potential purchasers dreaming of ocean views may have short or selectively rationalizing memories, my guess would be that insurers, mortgage companies and local bureaucrats will not. Not to mention the impact of the words “special assessment” on the calculus of “value” and, quaint concept I know, “affordability.”

      I guess what happens next will depend on who winds up holding the bag on this mess. It’s going to take awhile to sort it out.

    3. Dandelion

      in the 1970s, John D. MacDonald, Florida author of the Travis McGee mystery series, was so incensed about the condo building along the coast, he wrote a novel called “Condominium,” in which a Cat 5 hurricane hits Miami Beach, the tidal surge rushes in and then, when it sweeps out, carries with it the sand into which the shallow pillars supporting the featured condo are embedded — given that Florida is mostly just 3’ of limestone floating atop the ocean — and the building pancakes.

      For lack of a hurricane, I suppose tidal motion works more slowly.

    4. JP

      Just got back from a job in the Bahamas. I observed a lot of old and rotten concrete. Concrete in California does not degrade like that. Certainly not that fast. Granite is the most common agrigate here. I believe Bahamas and probably Florida use sedimentary rock for lack of anything better. The stuff is porous. I noticed in Bahamas they pour extra thick slabs, I assume to provide enough compressive mass to accommodate the required reinforcing for the application. Also spalling is caused by water corroding the reinforcing, sometimes caused by shallow embedment.

      I am used to pouring 4000 PSI concrete on any given day with just the addition of a little more cement and restricting the water content. I don’t think the concrete in Bahamas or Florida can achieve that. There are additives that will exclude water from the aggregate as well as waterproof coatings. I would think that local building codes would require that but, of course, if you build on sand and your swimming pool leaks.

      I look forward to reading a more technical analysis of the failure.

  11. Jeff W

    Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines Are Likely to Produce Long-Lasting Immunity, Study Suggests NYT

    The results suggest that a vast majority of vaccinated people will be protected over the long term — at least, against the existing coronavirus variants. But older adults, people with weak immune systems and those who take drugs that suppress immunity may need boosters; people who survived Covid-19 and were later immunized may never need them at all.

    Follow-up from the same researchers who last month reported the possibility—mentioned in the last line of the quote—that people who recovered from Covid-19 and then were vaccinated may not need boosters (noted in the Links here).

    1. curlydan

      that’s some good news. And what 24 or under male would want a Pfizer booster at this point given the increasing risk of myocarditis/pericarditis with the second shot?

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Idlib braces as a crossing to Syria prepares to close”

    DW is missing the point again – on purpose. They are worried about the people of Idlib not having food, medical supplies and the like and conveniently forget the rest of Syria. In a report that came out early this year, it was said that over 12 million Syrians – over 60% of the population – are food insecure. Child malnutrition is actually an issue here now. And the reason? Because the west is doing their best to do a food blockade of Syria to starve the Syrians out, just like the Saudis are doing to Yemen. US forces occupy the wheat-belt of Syria and make sure none go to Syria itslef. In fact, US helicopters have even fire-bombed Syrian wheat crops to keep up the food blockade. So if you were Syria or even Russia (who has shipped wheat to Syria), why would you agree to let that opening stay open while the rest of the country is shut off and starving? Or would you use it to apply pressure? Easiest deal would be to let food enter Syria again with supplies going to Iblib – after being checked for things like weapons and ammunition first. But you won’t read about any of this in our media.

    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      This comment gave me a thought. It is amazing how much burden we put on ourselves, searching for knowledge. It is our greatest source of anxiety.

      If I knew the answer to how long immunity lasts, how would my life change?

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        You made me think of this:

        Have little and gain much.
        Have much and get confused.

        Tao te Ching #22 (UK Le Guin, trans.)

        Applies to a lot of things, including knowledge.

        Is that desire to “know” (in Lao Tzu’s “bad” way of knowing) really a desire to control, and is that born of fear?

      2. Kouros

        It is a matter of probabilities, because each body has its own particular genetic blueprint and stage of development & health.

    2. Laura in So Cal

      This is one study.

      https://science.sciencemag.org/content/371/6529/eabf4063

      Conclusion:

      “Substantial immune memory is generated after COVID-19, involving all four major types of immune memory. About 95% of subjects retained immune memory at ~6 months after infection. Circulating antibody titers were not predictive of T cell memory. Thus, simple serological tests for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies do not reflect the richness and durability of immune memory to SARS-CoV-2. This work expands our understanding of immune memory in humans. These results have implications for protective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and recurrent COVID-19”

      There was also a large Cleveland Clinic study of its employees that I can’t find that showed no re-infections among people who had COVID-19.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Gunboat diplomacy will not revive Britain’s fading power, whatever Boris Johnson thinks”

    Maybe next week Britain will send the warship HMS Liberty to sail off Gaza’s coastline in a freedom of navigation exercise at the invitation of Gaza’s government.

    1. Michael

      Maybe send a few drone boats to shore loaded with food and medicine.
      Code name “Boris Eats”

      1. RMO

        You might think that after well over a century of each war leaving Britain weaker and weaker, the geniuses in charge would start to have second thoughts about using war in the hopes it would make them stronger. I suppose the problem is that it does make them relatively stronger in their positions for a short time and they never face any of the consequences personally when things go down the tubes.

        1. Anonymous2

          It’s all part of pandering to the nationalism which Brexit has engendered. A new ‘national song’ was being promoted last week with the refrain ‘Great Britain, strong nation’ to be sung four times.

          I am waiting for the creation of the Johnson Youth.

  14. fresno dan

    https://www.nationalreview.com/news/former-attorney-general-william-barr-called-trumps-election-fraud-claims-bullst-report/
    Barr reportedly discussed his decision to give prosecutors the go-ahead to investigate the fraud allegations and to launch his own unofficial probe into the claims.
    “My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” Barr reportedly told Karl.
    “If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bulls**t,” Barr added.
    Barr also debunked claims that voting machines nationwide were rigged to switch votes from Trump to now-president Biden.
    “We realized from the beginning it was just bulls**t,” Barr told Karl.
    ………
    Trump reportedly blasted Barr for his comment, asking him “How the f*** could you do this to me? Why did you say it?”
    “Because it’s true,” Barr replied.
    Trump said, “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump.”
    ======================================
    It seems to me that we now have a perfectly symmetrical political system. Dems look into a nebulous charges involving Trump and Russia, and than keep it going for political advantage with no concern about truth, honor, and the country. Repubs decide they can make things up too and behave exactly the same way. I would like to think most people don’t pay much attention to these conspiracy theories, but I am probably whistling past the graveyard…

  15. Terry Flynn

    Windows 11 will require a front-facing camera (laptops – desktops no plans to). My Dad just told me this. I was sceptical but there are lots of articles, like this.

    WTAF? One silver lining to the left-turn my career took was that I no longer need Windows (so as to run some specialist software that was never written for other OSes). So I’ve begun to (re)learn Linux – I must say, it’s a much less painful experience than it was last time (2010ish?). Linux Lite is practically Windows. But the fan on my laptop doesn’t need to keep activating. And it does things, you know, FAST! My laptop was a very future-proofed Sony top of the line one of 2010 vintage and still holds its own against a lot of newer “better” laptops.

    1. cwalsh

      Tried the “PC health check” tool from MS to check whether Windows 11 will run on two machines I built 8 years ago. Quad core CPU 32GB RAM, 1TB HDD — no go. They making this way too easy. Already running Linux distros on my other machines, no doubt what I’ll do at Windows 10 EOL.

      1. Carolinian

        The only reason to use Windows would be that you have some older Windows applications and if they are really old they will quite likely run within Linux. Also some hardware drivers are not fully implemented in Linux.

        For going on the web there’s utterly no reason to use Windows and you are more likely to be hacked, if that’s a concern.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Yeah. There is literally only ONE thing that is “Windows based” that I have never found a LInux driver for: my Marble Mouse which helped reduce my RSI symptoms over many years. If I learnt more Linux code I’m sure I could write a driverfile myself but sadly that’s not top of my list of priorities. (Nor other people’s it seems).

          I’d love to be able to use my marble mouse in Linux with the options I have in Windows.

        2. cwalsh

          As i said I built these machines 8 years ago. I have made a lot of tweaks to my preferences, not to mention all of the software i have installed on them. The point is, a linux installation can be moved to new hardware, and the distros I’m using have been upgradable when new versions are introduced. On windows switching to new hardware requires a fresh installation. I’ve been building computer hardware since 1974, thank you for the advice.

          1. Carolinian

            Didn’t mean to offend….just trying to chip in here.

            I have many computers because my brother keeps giving them to me. I use windows at home and linux away. No experience at all with mac.

              1. Terry Flynn

                I got where you were coming from but yeah current environmental and other considerations are making us all a little forgetful to put in key emojis and indicators of snark, etc.

                I myself at the moment struggle to stay sane because I’m (finally) doing a very long delayed edit of 25GB of music files which I ripped from my original CDs 20 years ago. The software back then (iTunes was a major culprit) never saved key variables like “track order” or if it did, stored it as a variable other OSes don’t/can’t read. So I’d be driven mad by my classical pieces being played in alphabetical order of movement title or other such nonsense unless I intervened. Am manually editing filenames now. Ouch.

                But I will soon be ready to complete my move from Windows entirely. I know key NC team members use Apple products but I’ve seen the “crapification” there reported by Yves et al so Linux is where I’m going. For good.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Hi Terry. For what it is worth, just set yourself a goal of so many per day. Not that long ago I digitized all my 6,000 paper photos and added a text description of them by simply doing x amount per day. More if I could but never less. A one year assignment was done in only seven or eight months instead.
                  Still haven’t digitized my CDs yet. :(

                  1. Terry Flynn

                    Thanks RevKev. Yes I was once very good at having a “to do” list. Default colour (black) was items to be done “whenever”. Blue= this week. Red = today.

                    It got ignored when I had to move back to UK and everything was upended. I’ll go back to doing it. I remember the great sense of achievement when you delete the last red item on a given day. I can probably finish the music assignment in a few more days….but I’ve got to fill in gaps in financial records (in case ATO ever comes knocking – all the right stuff for HMRC has always been properly digitised) using my scanner next, which I’m not looking forward to!

                    Ultimately all “old stuff” and “stuff related to old job” will be stored in triplicate on encrypted containers that are air-gapped from the network. It’ll also mean my online working environment will be much “cleaner” and easy to manage. I hope!

                    1. The Rev Kev

                      Hey Terry. Mind if I ask what format that you store your music in? I am thinking that FLAC may be the way to go when I go to digitize my music.

                    2. Terry Flynn

                      RevKev: Thread now too long and won’t insert “reply” function so hope you see this. Your delay in digitizing turns out to have been wise. Unfortunately I don’t myself know which of the “lossless” digital formats is best – I digitized in the “pre-lossless era” so it’s all MP3 BUT I used a higher sampling rate than commonly recommended. I had ample filespace but was a stickler for sound quality so I reckon I’d struggle to determine my MP3s from a lossless version in a controlled test anyway!

                      With luck, someone else will spot this and pipe up a solution. Lossless formats definitely seem the way to go and if I had several weeks to spare I’d re-rip everything but my MP3s are sufficiently good quality that they’ll do. I have used VLC program for years and wouldn’t switch. It’s always up to date, ain’t picky about what you do with it (being obviously developed originally for Linux people). Hope this helps.

                2. Carolinian

                  I’m a bit late with this reply, but should you read it there’s are several linux programs that will go to internet databases and fetch the track title and sequence for commercial albums. One good one is called KD3 (orginally for KDE but runs on Ubuntu). There are others.

                  There’s even a database that will recognize tracks based on their length and album name and give you all the relevant dope. I’m not aware of any good Windows programs that do this–seems to be a Linux thing.

    2. The Rev Kev

      ‘Terry Flynn
      June 28, 2021 at 1:54 pm’

      Yeah, I saw mention of this in an article yesterday and thought WTF? Why would that be even necessary? Still using Windows 7 and when it dies, will move on to Linux.

      1. Tom Bradford

        My first look at Windows 10 was all the incentive I required to shift to Linux Mint, and have never regretted it. Still have one PC running Windows 7 tho’, for the games that won’t run in Wine.

        Pegasus was my mailer for many years of Windows and regrettably doesn’t have a Linux version, but it runs in Wine perfectly well with the advantage that Wine is the perfect sandbox.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Thanks. I think Mint is on one of my live USBs so will take a look.

          @Ook: my desktop has the right hardware but no camera (which, as the articles state) will not be required by W11 if your hardware is a desktop PC anyway.

          @Rev Kev: I get that (as others stated) it’s for facial recognition log-on but I still find that deeply insidious and, like you, run W7 and having seen the MESS my Dad’s PCs ended up in with W10 have made the same decision as you – when use of W7 reaches a level of danger that my (top of the line) anti-viral/etc software can’t help, then I’ll complete the transition to Linux, keeping W7 purely on a live USB for legacy purposes.

          1. ook

            All these people switching to Linux, how is their graphics capacity? 4 years ago I got myself a 55″ 4K monitor (I loves me my radiation burns!), and Windows 10 was not able to scale properly until about 2018.
            That said, I also run Mint on an old ASUS laptop, no complaints at all (but it’s not a 55″ 4K laptop).

            1. Terry Flynn

              I get the feeling “key Linux community members” switch to certain priorities at certain points and that graphics capacity is a current “priority”. For me, using big BENQ HD monitors as a second screen now seem so much crisper than in years gone by. Appropriate drivers for Linux seem to be found quickly without resorting to some old generic one that doesn’t cope well.

              Returning to the original point – I find it mind-boggling that Microsoft made this decision when Linux distros have FINALLY reached the point that even total noobs can switch over and use a Linux distro that feels practically identical to Windows and there are enough Linux driver files out there that “not having a driver for a key piece of hardware” is now the exception rather than the rule.

              1. Ook

                As I understand it, MS makes about 1/3 of revenue from productivity and business, 1/3 from consumers, and 1/3 from cloud. Of that consumer portion, I would hazard a guess that the vast bulk of that is OEM licenses purchased with new equipment, usually with no choice. Of the productivity and business portion, I don’t see these Win11 specs being important as IT departments replace machines every few years (depreciation and warranty), many corporations have no problems knowing more about their employees’ work habits, and switching to Linux means rewriting corporate systems.
                So we’re really talking about a small portion of consumers that either build their own, or are willing to wipe out their MS OS instead instead of letting inertia take its course.

                From a biz viewpoint, it makes sense. One thing I found funny was the Microsoft Surface 2

                1. Terry Flynn

                  Thanks – didn’t think about the wider bsuiness model. Or, I did, but not broadly enough. I was saying to my Dad that I reckon their development of the XBox must now be giving a big return and must constitute a big chunk of their revenue and something like this W11 issue is irrelevant there.

    3. Ook

      The front facing camera requirement is to enable facial recognition log on. Nothing particularly new here. When my company gave me an iPhone I spent the first several months ignoring nagging messages to turn on facial recognition.

      @Terry Flynn, currently Windows 11 wants at least an 8th generation Intel chip, or an AMD equivalent.
      I personally find this very irritating, but I’ve been planning to switch to AMD anyway so I’ll probably upgrade.

  16. Questa Nota

    In 1980, some 60 percent of private-sector workers had pensions. In 2021, that figure is 12 percent.

    Benardo’s quote is another reminder of how people get shafted.

    Workers, voters, media and the rest of the country were told that shifting away from pensions to self-directed investments would be great. That action was part of the great shift of returns away from labor to capital. You’ve all seen that graph showing the flat labor and steadily climbing capital returns.

    The shift had one side-benefit of providing Wall Street with opportunities to charge fees for subpar service in a system that had dark patterns that discouraged routine monitoring and account management. FINRA, anyone?

    Another side-benefit was to let companies reduce their involvement in employee well-being and increase their own opportunities for self-serving behaviors. Would it be a stretch to say that those actions were precursors to subsequent offshoring, private equity and other ills that plague people?

    So, all according to plan.

  17. Mike

    Anybody read the Bloomberg article: “the Last—And Only—Foreign Scientist in the Wuhan Lab Speaks Out”

    Again the MSM towing the line on the official narrative. They provide the tone that they want to give an objective argument to the idea of a lab leak but don’t do a good job. Who are they kidding? Anybody who worked for an organization/lab that could be responsible for the deaths of millions of people, are not a credible source and it is a clear conflict of interest. There’s a few other flaws with their article:

    1) They try making an excuse for a delayed evaluation of the lab leak theory because trump was saying it. My response is, so what? Just because trump wants to blame somebody in what is perhaps a racially motivated way to defend his bad policy doesn’t mean it couldn’t also be true that it escaped from a lab.
    2) If it is possible that the virus could have escaped from a lab then it has to be investigated period. At the end of the day ALL possible sources of the virus have to be understood and pursued. If anything it is better if it escaped from a lab because that would be an easy solution to fix going forward by just simply stopping all gain of function research. If it comes from nature the answer isn’t necessarily clear what we can do going forward to be prepared or prevent the next pandemic. Pretty elementary thinking but then again it seems like they know that they just don’t care.

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