Links 4/23/2022

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


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Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.


Narita airport deploys net traps to stop turtles infiltrating runway Bangkok Post (furzy)



The Wild West Outpost of Japan’s Isolationist Era Narratively

Best Spy Books Five Books. Lots of  personal favorites on these lists, including Eric Ambler, John le Carré, Erskine Childers, Fitzroy MacLean, and Olivia Manning. Ben Macintyre weighs in with recommendations, but no one else mentions his excellent books – try Operation Mincemeat, Double Cross, or Agent Zigzag if you’ve not yet had the pleasure.

The Hidden History of Marijuana Narratively

La Digue: The Seychelles’ tropical biking paradise BBC

These hackers showed just how easy it is to target critical infrastructure MIT Technology Review

Anna Quindlen on the Power of Writing by Hand Literary Hub

Gaslit and Watergate: The enduring draw of a 1972 conspiracy BBC

Nicholas Kristof’s Botched Rescue Mission How the lauded Times columnist lost the race for governor of Oregon before it even began. New York Magazine


Why We Can’t ‘Boost’ Our Way Out of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Long Term The Wire

1 in Every 200 NYC Children Have Lost a Parent or Caregiver to COVID. That’s Almost Twice the National Rate.  The City

Fauci confirms parents’ nightmare: FDA may delay COVID vaccines for kids under 5 Ars Technica


Coronavirus: Shanghai’s new cases rebound after five-day decline, with no end in sight for lockdown South China Morning Post


How to Design a Pandemic Preparedness and Response Fund Mariana Mazzucato and Alan Donnelly.


N.C. becomes second U.S. state to report unusual cases of hepatitis in kids Stat

New Not-So-Cold War

Discontent Grows in Berlin over Chancellor’s Ukraine Response Der Spiegel

Why isn’t ​Germany supplying Ukraine with heavy weapons? Deutsche Welle


Russia-Ukraine live news: Russia confirms Moskva ship casualties Al Jazeera

No Response From Ukraine On Diplomatic Proposals Presented By Russia: FM Sergey Lavrov Republic TV


Exclusive: Goldman, JPMorgan among banks left holding Russian stocks by sanctions switch Reuters

The fall of Yandex, the shining star of Russian tech France 24 (furzy)


Synthetic Left Joins Corporate Right in Getting Ukraine War Wrong Covert Action Magazine (chuck l)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is applauded by children as he officially STRIPS Disney of its 55-year-old special tax and land privileges after Biden slammed ‘ugly’ GOP for ‘going after Mickey’ Daily Mail

Tennessee May Soon Require Drunken Drivers to Pay Support to Victims’ Children WSJ (furzy)

Class Warfare

Why is Ghislaine Maxwell’s Lawyer Attacking Antitrust Enforcers? BIG. Matt Stoller

Revisiting Liar’s Poker, 30 Years Later The Big Picture. Barry Ritholtz.

Crime Stoppers of Houston Has a Tip: Vote Out These Judges Marshall Project

It’s okay to opt out of the crypto revolution MIT Technology Review (furzy)

Here’s what’s driving the nationwide teacher shortage The Hill

Delivery Workers NYC Consumer and Worker Protection. Starting 22nd of April, new rights kick in for NYC delivery workers.

Howard Schultz blasts unions as ‘outside force’ trying to disrupt Starbucks NY Post (The Rev Kev)

Blaming Workers, Hiding Profits in Primetime Inflation Coverage FAIR

Corporate profits have contributed disproportionately to inflation. How should policymakers respond? Economic Policy Institute

Conditions at Mississippi’s Most Notorious Prison Violate the Constitution, DOJ Says ProPublica

Court Should Consider Taking Over Dept. of Correction, Warns Manhattan U.S. Attorney The City

Biden Administration

Rejoining the Iran deal would be a ‘victory’ for Dems to tout in midterms Responsible Statecraft

Biden Job Approval Stuck in Low 40s Gallup

The Groves of Academe

To Get Into the Ivy League, ‘Extraordinary’ Isn’t Always Enough These Days WSJ

Old Blighty

‘Ignorant’: Amnesty Slams Boris Johnson’s Visit to JCB Factory Amidst Demolitions The Wire

La belle France

Live: Macron and Le Pen face off in debate ahead of French presidential run-off France 24

The French Far Right Comes on Little Cat Feet The New Yorker (furzy)


Waste Watch

Hard work and dying dreams on Planet Plastic People’s Archive of Rural India, Any account of recycling and waste management in Mumbai reminds me of Katherine Boo’s excellent book,  Behind the Beautiful Forevers.

L’affaire Jeffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein, a Rare Cello and an Enduring Mystery DNYUZ

Big Brother IS Watching you Watch


Climate Change

Ontario might reduce its gas tax. Alberta killed its tax. Will this mean more driving? The Narwhal

Climate change triggering global collapse in insect numbers: stressed farmland shows 63% decline – new research  The Conversation

Jet-set Biden vows ‘climate-friendly’ military, flexes gas-guzzling Corvette NY Post

Dishonoring Earth Day 2022 with An Oil, Gas, Coal & Nuclear Heyday Counterpunch. Ralph Nader.


How Villagers Living Near Coal Power Plants Lost Health, Water Security India Spend

The Museum of Prime Ministers: How family vanity makes Gandhis blind to reality Firstpost

De-escalation of border conflict with China the way forward, says Rajnath Singh Hindustan Times

‘They Burnt My Parents Alive’: Gujarat Riots Still Haunt Victims The Diplomat

Fact check: Has extreme poverty in India really dropped below 1%, as a new IMF paper claims? Scroll

Historian Romila Thapar: ‘There’s always been this feeling in India that Russia is misunderstood’ FT

Interview: Priya Satia on the ‘earnestly deliberate hypocrisy’ of the British Empire India Inside Out. Rohan Venkat.


Why India-Pakistan relations will continue to remain frosty despite Imran Khan exit Firstpost

Linking India-Pakistan Trade to Intractable Issues Does No One Any Good The Wire

What’s Driving Pakistan’s Political Crisis? The Diplomat

Sharif to beg Saudi and China for a financial lifeline Asia Times

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s Problems Are Anything but Organic The Wire


China’s Economists Are Getting Into Modern Monetary Theory Bloomberg (furzy)

Antidote du Jour (via):

And a bonus video (TH):

And, a second bonus video (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. RusProp

    Nazis recently seen on Moldova, apparently.

    Moscow is planning to seize Ukraine’s south and open a route to Moldova’s Trans-Dniester region, as part of the “second phase” of its military operation, Russia’s Central Military District (CFD) command said.

    In a statement carried by TASS and Interfax, Rustam Minnekayev, acting commander of the CFD, said Russia plans to establish full control over the Donbas and southern Ukraine, allowing it access to Trans-Dniester.

    “Control over the south of Ukraine is another way out to Trans-Dniester,” Minnekayev said. He then claimed there was evidence of “oppression” of the Russian-speaking population there.

    1. Andrew Watts

      It seems like the Russians are intent on shaking hands with NATO as far west as possible. Moldova shortens the defensive line they’d have to fight over in any confrontation with the US/EU.

      It shouldn’t be surprising though. Lukashenko is no idiot. So I assumed he knew what he was doing when he allowed those pictures of the maps of the projected Russian advance to be taken.

      1. Chops

        If there’s one thing that’s become apparent watching the awful performance of Russia in this war so far, it’s that they’re actually not a bunch of geniuses playing 4D chess. An assumption that Lukashenko (who, granted, isn’t Russian but is premiere of a new Russian client state) is no idiot and that those maps were deliberately shown to the world is not on a solid footing.

        1. Yves Smith

          Huh? You must be following the war via CNN. Let me quote JayFirst on a different post:

          I must say that I was quite interested in the article until you came up with the random fact free narrative of the Russians being bogged down in Ukraine. I had to suppress a giggle since anyone with functioning brain cells can clearly see the Russians are doing everything that they said that they were going to do.
          1. Destroy Ukrainian Military – Check
          2. Eliminate Neo Nazi elements in Ukraine – Almost finished.
          3. (Not explicitly stated) Solve security problem by extending and connecting the Russian Federation to the Russian speaking world in south and eastern Ukraine along with Transnistria in Moldova. Leaving a rump Ukraine full of Neo-nazis for the EU (who are rushing through their EU candidature) to deal with (Here my dear!)

          And it is all being done by flipping the conventional notions of how wars are fought. (i.e. Instead of 3:1 advantage in troops, having a 3:1 disadvantage AND sparing as much as possible the civilians and civilian infrastructure of the country).

          More specifically, the Ukraine command and control has been destroyed. Its military is functioning as isolated units, as in not very effectively.

          Russia has destroyed Ukraine’s refineries and most, maybe all, military fuel depots. A business article in Ukraine reported 2 weeks ago that 2/3 of the gas stations were closed. It’s worse now. You can’t run a military with no gas

          Russia has destroyed all Ukraine equipment repair operations. Damaged tanks and transport equipment has to go the the Czech Republic and come back.

          Ukraine troops are now mainly using civilian vehicles to get around.

          Russia has aleady taken out all Ukraine’s fixed wing planes.

          There’s more along these lines…

  2. griffen

    Male bird mating dance. So all these years single adult men have been going about the mating and courting process all wrong?!? \sarc

    I’ll take pointers anywhere if it makes sense.

      1. Wukchumni

        We have Blue Grouse in the Sierra Nevada, and you’ll more often hear them (they make a repetitious sound similar to blowing on the edge of a glass bottle) than see them, and when you spot one, 90% of those seen are females.

        The male has what looks like a couple of fried eggs on either side of it’s neck and when you see them mating, the tailfeathers fan out beautifully and those air sacs blow up real good giving the look of fried egg balloons, it’s a hell of a sight not captured on this video, but you get the gist

        Blue Grouse Mating Call: Olympic NP

    1. Lexx

      ‘Look… sweetie… could we… do this… later?.. I was… watching… The Voice!’ ;~)

  3. Wukchumni

    Anna Quindlen on the Power of Writing by Hand Literary Hub

    I have very distinctive writing, kind of a mix of cursive and block letters-always delivered via blue Flair pen. It looks rebellious and i’ve never seen anything like it, in utilizing the point of the ink spear.

    The only time I use it these days is writing checks, and sometimes I feel as if i’m the last holdout on auto-pay.

    When communicating via plume I would often get writer’s block, which never happens on a QWERTY for me, I think on account of the act of crossing out words or passages, kind of wrecking the page from a looks standpoint, i.e. messy.

    The only handwritten letters I receive these days come from my soon to be 97 year old mom, who feels the need to send me newspaper clippings from the 4 fishwraps she gets daily and is her cursive conduit, delivered in legal size envelope about 3x a month.

    1. Stick'em

      Wuk ~ Glad to hear your mom does it too! My dad sends clippings with his handwritten comments written in black Bic pen in the margins. Typically he’s scoured all newspapers for the last month and found the one article out of 10,000 where somebody said something nice about Bernie Sanders or used the word “neoliberal” so he can “prove” to me the NYTimes isn’t “monolithic.”

      I taught him how to copy and paste links and email these to me instead to save postage, but he won’t do it. I laugh and tell him he’s half-Amish, afraid of newfangled technology. Thing is, there’s probably some really functional reasons to not rely on tech for everything, so I’m not sure he and your mom are wrong and we’re all right. Google really is reading our email, it’s not old geezer paranoia – ha ha!

    1. Yves Smith

      The only was Lira could have “taken” the Debunking Economics URL was if Lira had registered it. So either Keen was a fool and not Internet savvy or Lira has registered it long before Keen thought about it and Keen was not willing to use a similar URL that he registered himself and therefore controlled.

      And it is not as if Keen is as pure as the driven snow in his own commercial dealings. He got a $300,000 grant from INET to develop some sort of economic model. Keen failed to deliver and had the cheek to push INET for another $300,000, which is staggering amount of money for one person in grant-land. When they turned him down, he had the temerity to go around bad mouthing INET.

      So I have trouble taking this at face value given Keen’s record.

      And separately, this is all a huge case study in the cognitive bias called halo effect, which is insisting on people being all good or all bad. Keen ripping off INET has absolutely nothing to do with the quality and validity of his economic analysis. Lira having allegedly done Keen a dirty has absolutely nothing to do with Lira’s reporting from Ukraine.

      1. Adam Eran

        I’m confused. Doesn’t Keen’s Minsky program qualify as an economic modeling program?

        JFYI, $300K is actually a small amount when it comes to developing a usable software model of something as complex as an economy. It could employ four or five software engineers for a year. (two for coding, two or three for QA). Unfortunately, software development does not respond well to deadlines, just as one cannot hire nine women to have a baby in a month.

        And there’s always more to be done on software. It’s not always useful (I’m looking at you, Microsoft Word), but the updating can literally go on forever.

        This also reminds me Keen said one of his students managed to use the early version of Minsky to model Portugal’s economy. I’ve read that despite the lack of monetary sovereignty, Portugal’s economy is doing well. Did they use the model?

  4. Wukchumni

    Today, on Earth Day, President Biden will sign an Executive Order to conduct the first-ever inventory of mature and old-growth forests on federal lands. This will be completed and made publicly available in a year with the objective of establishing consistent definitions and accounting for regional and ecological variation. The agencies will then analyze threats facing these forests, including from wildfires and other climate impacts.

    After completing the inventory, the Departments of Interior and Agriculture will develop new policies, after public comment, to institutionalize climate-smart management and conservation strategies that address the threats facing mature and old-growth forests on federal lands.

    We are losing thousands of giant sequoia trees that can live for 3,000 years

    Nowhere is the need for protecting old growth forests more obvious than in the giant sequoia groves in California. In a two year period 13 to 19 percent of all giant sequoias in their natural range over four feet in diameter were killed by fire (and neglect) or will die in the next few years. In 2020, 10 to 14 percent of the entire Sierra Nevada population of giant sequoia trees over 4 feet in diameter were killed in the Castle Fire. Early estimates after two fires the following year, the KNP Complex and the Windy Fire, 2,261 to 3,637 sequoias over four feet in diameter were killed or will die within the next three to five years. These losses make up an estimated additional 3-5% of the entire Sierra Nevada sequoia population over four feet in diameter.

    Counting trees is a curious way to deal with climate change, and note to President Biden, careful surveys of all Sequoia trees here in Sequoia NP have been accomplished eons ago. It’s not the Brobdingnagians that are the issue, its all the lesser species (do I come off as ‘treeist’?) that have crowded onto the scene, many of which extend right into the canopies of Sequoias as never before, for fires occurred statistically every 17 years in the groves before we decided to stop every conflagration from happening. There’s 100 foot tall fire ladders all over the place that need to go away.

    Another year of dawdling might result in another 10% of all Monarch Sequoias lost, but here in the NP there’s an odd issue in that everything living is protected, meaning that cutting down a White Fir or Lodgepole pine too close to a biggin’ is a no-no, and we need to cut down everything within a few hundred feet of them, to get us back to some semblance of what the forest for the trees looked like before us.

    A comment on the link, really tells you how messed up things are, smokejumpers are the elite of the elite among firefighters…

    I took a quick poll in an expedition driving back from a jump, and 7/7 jumpers in the car get financial support from parents/spouses that allows them to work as Smokejumpers in this profession. The hiring manager and I joke that they should ask if you have a trust fund on the application…

    1. Utah

      The forest service has been doing tree counting surveys for years, but they’ve never been fully funded so they rely on part time/ seasonal post-baccs and pay them a pittance for all their work. Which means they only get 1/10 of the work required done each year. The government could have any data they wanted if they would just pay people to do the work. All of that bloviating to say, ha, we won’t have that data in a year, maybe in a decade, and at that point it’ll be years out of date.

    2. MT_Wild

      I feel for you and the loss of those trees. But sitting here in the interior west and thinking about sage and fire season, I expect the long downhill march of conifer into sage has ended, and we are about to witness the advance of shrubland uphill into what once was forest.

      1. Wukchumni

        and we are about to witness the advance of shrubland uphill into what once was forest.

        I saw our future last summer on a 3 mile burned out stretch from 6 or 7 years ago on the John Muir Trail in Yosemite NP, in what was forest now was the turf for low lying Whitethorn, groundcover that lives up to the name & covers every last bit of dirt, lest something else want to take root.

        Further up the trail we’d been warned about the stretch by a couple of fellows doing the entire JMT and they advised us to put on long pants before heading down-it being thick as thieves, but we couldn’t be bothered changing and all struck blood going through the everlasting patch. When we exited the burn zone and got back into the forest, temps dropped a bunch with all the cover overhead, it was like old times an hour and a half before.

        It’s a bad trade, forests for shrubs.

    3. Milton

      Thought i might throw this article under this earth day thread…

      As dire as this reads, it’s actually a whole lot worse in that there is no exit from the rate of warming that we are experiencing. In fact, it is only increasing. (i know, i know Guy M. is an alarmist but the scary thing is, his prognostications have converged with IPCC forecasts as the decades have progressed.).

    4. Glen

      I’d think he was doing something real if it was signing an Executive Order to hire a quarter million people into the Forest Service, and give the FS a couple billion more to spend on top of that.

      Maybe we can say Russia is causing all the wildfires. Or better yet, Russia is CAUSING CLIMATE CHANGE to wreck America.

      Otherwise, it’s going to be Nancy Pelosi taking a knee in a presser to show she’s totally onboard to do nothing but get more bad press.

    5. Darius

      They have been talking about the importance of burning off the understory for over 50 years. Well yeah but you didn’t think we were actually going to do it. Did you?

  5. Stick'em


    If I am reading this correctly, the apps on our phones access the GPS data and these are available for anyone to buy who is aware of this phenomenon. Meaning not only can any private advertising company know where we are every moment of every day, but so can the goverment, a stalker, your spouse, your boss, your kids, even some rando you bumped into on social media.

    So… the only solution is to have a phone without a GPS/Wifi, correct?

    What I mean is I routinely turn off the GPS function. I only turn on the “Location” function when I’m actively driving to somewhere I’m unfamiliar with to enable GPS navigation. However, when I turn this function off, a message comes up “E911 Location data cannot be turned off on any mobile cellular phone.

    I’ve always interpreted this message to mean there’s a loophole by which my location can still be accessed not just by EMS services but by data mining apps. What’s turned off is my ability to use GPS rather than an outside party – be it Apple or Verizon or the gub’ment or Google – losing access to these data. Is this correct?

    If I’m on a Wifi network, they know where that is regardless of the location setting as well. Is the only way out of this surveillance to have a GPS device like a Garmin or whatever in my glovebox for driving and use an old-school flip phone with no GPS or Wifi apps to text/call only? If I put the phone in the stainless steel fridge to act as a Faraday cage, then I can receive calls/texts, so why bother?

    Yes, I get that if I’m “not doing anything” I shouldn’t have to worry about this. I’m just going to the grocery store, not my mobile Walter White lab. Still I find all this incredibly creepy. It isn’t hard to envision one day there will come a time when we need privacy from all these people and are no longer able to get it. You don’t need much imagination of your own; just watch any given episode of Black Mirror and it’s laid out in great detail, amIrite?

    1. Stick'em

      typo: “If I put the phone in the stainless steel fridge to act as a Faraday cage, then I cannot send/receive calls/texts, so why bother?

    2. ambrit

      If I remember correctly, cell phones perform a “handshake” with the nearest cell tower regurlarly. This is to establish contact and determine the routing of calls, etc. This would fall under the category of “meta data.” Then there are Stingray devices, portable machines that mimic cell phone towers and perform their own “handshakes” with cell phones within range.
      The problem with the “not doing anything” argument is that “The Powers” can and do change what is acceptable or not regularly and without oversight, much less debate.
      As Philip Marlowe says to the District Attorney at one point in “The Big Sleep,” “..everyone has something to hide.”
      To paraphrase Franklin; “You have freedom, if you can keep it.”

      1. Stick'em

        So if I’m understanding correctly, I can buy a phone such as PinePhone and physically disconnect the GPS hardware so the software can’t use it, thus Anomaly 6 can’t buy/sell my info. However, the Stingray device (or other gear) can still ping my phone (if it is on) and figure out where I am through communicating with the (fake) cell towers and triangulation and so on… that’s why they’re always using burner phones on the TeeVee.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Yep. Tower triangulation works, even without Stingray (but they can’t pick the exact door to kick down without the stingray).

          I seem to recall Steve Jobs refusing to put a GPS chip in the iPhone, insisting that tower triangulation was sufficient. Not for protecting anyone’s privacy, mind you, just to reduce parts count and cost as well as power consumption.

    3. Skunk

      That’s because it IS creepy. I feel more uneasy about this data collection than I have ever felt about nuclear war, and that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about nuclear war. What makes me uneasy is that there is some unstated goal here. If the goal were not very, very creepy, there wouldn’t be so much secrecy around the process. The Collectors shows contempt for the processes of democracy and its constituents. This issue was not put to the voters. The Collectors also show contempt for the laws, skirting them by sleight-of-hand. Yes, I know, the 4th Amendment constitutional provisions only imply a right to privacy, but if the Collectors don’t suspect it’s illegal, why have they outsourced the collection process to Big Tech?

  6. noonespecial

    Re Palm Oil from Indonesia

    Germany’s DW news link includes these words: “Indonesia accounts for more than half of the world’s palm oil exports…Indonesia announced on Friday a ban on palm oil exports in a bid to stymie the soaring domestic price of cooking oil…Indonesia’s government had previously required producers to reserve stocks for domestic use, but this did not succeed in bringing prices down to an affordable level for the country’s households. ‘It’s still too expensive for the ordinary household to buy these cooking oils,’ Indonesia’s finance minister said.”

    If Indonesia’s decision sticks, food products and other products that include palm oil (skin creams) could see a rise in prices. On the flip side, Central and South American nations that produce palm oil may be asked to step up production (i.e. Costa Rica, Colombia). Why should mangroves have rights? (snarc)

    However, hope springs eternal and maybe certain dietary choices will be made by some and result in a decrease in consumption of products that ain’t so healthy.

    1. Wukchumni

      In 1972, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R were deep in the middle of the Cold War, but that did not stop the daily business of trade among nations. In fact, given the dicey agricultural policies and poor weather of the Soviet breadbasket, crop failure was not unusual. Soviet agricultural trade representatives often turned to the foreign commodity markets to make up the difference.

      In July of 1972, the Russians began buying up foreign wheat, purchasing 10 million tons from U.S. brokers by August. Richard E. Mooney’s economic analysis in a 1975 issue of The New York Times states that despite receiving reports of crop failures in the Soviet Union and elsewhere, the U.S. government failed to appreciate the significance of the global grain shortage and the effect it might have on the U.S. economy. As federal grain subsidies continued to favor bargains for the Soviets buying American wheat, the price of domestic grain rose sharply, causing a food price crisis back home. According to John A. Schnittker in a 1973 paper for the Brookings Institution, the U.S. government wasted $300 million in public funds and lost the same amount in potential revenue by unwittingly subsidizing the Russian wheat purchases.

      As it turned out, the shortage in Russia was part of a worldwide shortage in grain production that almost wiped out international stockpiles. Clifton Luttrell wrote in the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review in 1973 that the U.S. government did not recognize this as it was happening because the government did not have a big-picture view of agricultural output worldwide.

      At that point, sophisticated agricultural monitoring was only in its infancy. According to Gary Weir of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, despite using satellites to photograph grain-growing areas, the resolution was not clear enough to reveal much information on the health of crops, leaving the probable outcomes of Russian harvests opaque to U.S. intelligence. Afterwards, the debacle was nicknamed the “Great Grain Robbery.” To prevent another such calamity, U.S. intelligence began looking at earlier technological research.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        This is one of those cases where military necessity was a boon to scientists. The obsession with measuring Russian crop resources (which predated 1972) led to the Landsat program, which is still producing a vast amount of useful data.

        1. MT_Wild

          I use landsat just about everyday. The ability to go back to 1984 and do an apples to apples comparision across the landscape to its current state is amazingly useful.

          It’s also amazing the U.S government has been able to not self-saboutage it through privatization.

    2. Rui

      I think this export ban is an ominous predictor of what to expect the next few months/year.
      There is a storm brewing in the horizon, that will be made even worse by COVID going rampant.
      Disease, hunger, strife, it seems that’s what’s on the cards for many of us.

  7. Milton

    Last weekend i made a car trip on the 5 from San Diego to the Bay Area and back-past the guanlet of agrifarm signs, extolling the virtues of cheap water and an impeached Newsome-I did not record a single splat on my windshield. Not one. I know cars are more aerodynamic but I’ve had mine for almost 10 years and recall drives with a nice coating of bug meal after 450 miles. It was so apparent that I remember being personally amazed how clear my view was, driving near Arvin, as I approached the Grapevine on my drive home. Bugs are being made extinct.

    1. Wukchumni

      Last weekend i made a car trip on the 5 from San Diego to the Bay Area and back-past the gauntlet of agrifarm signs, extolling the virtues of cheap water and an impeached Newsom

      Billboards seem to have had their day in Cali, you see them still in the CVBB, usually for some sort of gee-whiz Ag app or insecticide that’ll keep those bugs you’ve mentioned that have gone AWOL from harming a gazillion almond trees, whose largess we’re drowning in-almost a billion pounds lie in storehouses and can’t be Shanghaied on account of no ships to get them there, but I digress.

      Repetition via small signs such as the ones you’ll see on Hwy 5 & 99 is along the lines of what Fox was so good at, hammering away on the message so that it sinks in real good with Kevin y Devin (also AWOL) voters.

      One of the current signs says something like:

      ‘Stop Newsom from running our farm water into the ocean!’

      And like all big lies, there’s truth in it, for if we didn’t continually flush out salt water from the California Delta with freshwater, there’d be salt water intrusion and game so over for about 30 million of us, so there’s that.

  8. Wukchumni

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is applauded by children as he officially STRIPS Disney of its 55-year-old special tax and land privileges after Biden slammed ‘ugly’ GOP for ‘going after Mickey’ Daily Mail
    I was a bit shocked to learn that the special privileges were on account of the competition from another Disney property (they still own around 30 acres-bought utilizing as many as 3 & 4 shadow buyers in the early 1960’s-none of which can be developed) here in Mineral King, history has such strange bedfellows~

    Though Florida in 1967 initially said that it wouldn’t give Disney special treatment as they planned to build their “vacation kingdom” in central Florida, it was only after Disney submitted the proposal for Disney’s Mineral King ski resort (the Country Bear Jamboree was initially developed for this property) that Florida legislatures decided to sweeten the deal, with special incentives and the creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “The Wild West Outpost of Japan’s Isolationist Era”

    There is a really great novel to be written about that island and I know just the person who could have done it while they were still alive – James Clavell. He wrote a whole series of novels centered around Asia which included ‘King Rat’ and the brilliant ‘Shogun.’ He even referenced this island off-handedly in one or two of his novels. It would have made a great read-

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for the book recommendation. I just checked and it is on order with our local library.

  10. Carolinian

    Re Florida and Disney–Desantis is surely right that Disney himself would not approve of his company’s current stance. Disney was a family values conservative with attitudes–mainstream in his day–that would probably get him canceled in today’s climate.Of course fresh generations are under no obligation to agree with his attitudes, but “attacking Mickey” is a bit much. A company that is all brand should be more honest about what it is.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      I’m no expert on Walt Disney (lord knows there are too many of those on-line as is) but I’ve always found the Disney corp’s re-molding of Disney the man into this kindly old grandfather welcoming all into his kingdom amusing. He wasn’t ever especially political, but he was definitely what we would define today as a social conservative. (He only adopted rabid his anti-communism stance because he was convinced they were behind the Union drive at his studios. His real issue was Unions, not the USSR.)

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Furst’s earlier novels were excellent, but I’ve found the recent ones have dropped off in quality. I also forgot to mention Joseph Kanon, another writer whose books I’ve enjoyed.

      1. David

        Yes, Dark Star is one of the finest espionage books I’ve ever read, and most of his early stuff was good. He seemed to get into a bit of a rut after the 90s, although A Hero in France is actually not bad. His problem is that he has created for himself a fantasy version of the Europe of 1936-43, and no longer feels even as if he has to do any research. His most recent books are full of factual mistakes, which for a writer of historical fiction is unpardonable. If you read any European language other than English, try to find Arturo Perez-Reverte’s Falco books set in the Spanish Civil War: much better than anything Furst has done recently.

        1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

          Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve read many of Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novels, but so, far, none of the Falco books. I’ll seek them out.

        2. Martin Oline

          I see what you mean by “language other than English”. They have apparently not been translated. I checked Fantastic Fiction for the Falco books and they are not mentioned. I think the Fantastic Fiction site was originally based in England so perhaps anything that is not in English does not exist for them. My library here in Florida has many of his titles in Spanish but I can’t read it.

          1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

            My husband has bought many of Pérez-Reverte’s novels in Spanish. I’d just have to locate where he’s put them to catch up with the Falco books. Our books aren’t very well organized and once in a while we duplicate each other’s purchases.

    2. Polar Socialist

      I recall being enthralled with Len Deighton’s Berlin Game enough to get the two first trilogies of Bernard Sampson’s cynical and very anti-Bond “adventures” revolving a lot around paid overtime and refurbishing expenses while working for the Department.

      Can’t remember why I never read the last trilogy, though.

      1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

        I’d forgotten about Deighton – and have read the three Bernard Samson trilogies, plus Winter, a companion novel/prequel to these works, as well as other Deighton – he’s a prolific writer. Well worth reading.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “These hackers showed just how easy it is to target critical infrastructure”

    Was just considering. Suppose, just suppose, that a group of people got together and wrote an operating system. Not just any operating system but using new ideas, a really secure one. Programs could be plugged into it but the core memory would always be secure. With this secure operating system you could potentially use it to run vital infrastructure such as banking, electricity grids, etc. and hackers could never get through its files. Back-doors would be impossible towrite in. It could be used in everything from mobiles, tablets,personal computers and could be scaled up to those major infrastructure systems. So here is the thing. Would it be taken up? Would it be used? Or would it be sidelined and suppressed as it would be too secure for any country’s security services to breach?

    1. Wukchumni

      Relax dude, just take some of this CBDC natural remedy and everything will feel better, and you won’t worry about some hacker making off with the goods, there… feel better?

    2. Vomkammer

      There are very secure operating systems for safety critical applications, even some standards for “partitioned” operating systems. E.g. ARINC 653

      But regardless of the operating system security, back-doors can still exist in the underlying hardware or in the application software. Either due to design errors or intentionally created by the hardware/application designer.

      1. Polar Socialist

        I once talked to our “network guys” at work, and according to them it quite easy to notice suspicious network traffic – if you’re looking for it – trying to access the back-doors and especially so if there’s outbound traffic.

        They also admitted that there may be back-doors in the software/hardware used to monitor the traffic, so a paranoid network should probably use different brands in different layers. And yet the only secure computer is the one not connected to the network and is powered off in a locked room. And even that still requires constant physical security.

        A security consultant told us frankly, that if somebody really, really wants your data and they have the resources, they will get your data. The thing is to make resources threshold as high as possible, while kinda being hush about the stuff you have and where you have it.

  12. Wukchumni

    In the fall of 1719, a lawyer for the Parisian Parlement concluded that the dream of instant wealth had thoroughly corroded French society: “There is no longer any honor, any word of honor, any good faith.” A Parisian warned his sister living in the provinces that “Paris is no longer the city you once knew.” In this world without honor, violence was everywhere, and Paris became a city of mean streets and roaming predators. There were high-profile murders in public and broad daylight—many of them committed on or near the rue Quincampoix, where wealthy investors were knifed to death for their cash. Another prominent lawyer reported that “the police have been fishing out of the river a great quantity of arms, legs, and sawed-off slices of those who have been assassinated and cut into pieces.” He added that all Parisians knew why their city had changed: “Everyone blames the violence on the despicable speculation in paper.”


    John Law’s scheme was quite something, just one of a number of BitCoins of their day, including the Darien Scheme and South Sea Company bubbles, all happening in the same relative time frame from 1700 to the early 1720’s, sound familiar?

  13. Sub-Boreal

    Even though February feels like about 20 years ago in our continuing time-warp, and Canada’s ~ 15 mins is long past, this first-hand account of the Ottawa occupation is worth a view:

    What Sanger doesn’t mention, though, is that this event provided Canadians with the unusual, and useful, experience of finding out what it’s like to serve as a kind of Rorschach test for foreign observers – including some NC commenters – wanting to see parallels with their own societies. This experience has certainly made me much more cautious about “taking sides” in the Ukrainian mess, beyond just basic human sympathy for the poor buggers who are having their homes and lives blown up.

    Nothing ever happens in Ottawa


    “The brainchild of Western Canadian right-wingers who had staged a similar protest two years earlier – the pro-pipeline, anti-environmentalist United We Roll convoy – the Freedom Convoy’s message resonated. Following the first critical mass of truckers, blocking off downtown streets, the people the occupation brought out were an extraordinary mix, though overwhelmingly white: born-again Prairie Christians, anti-communist Eastern European immigrants, New Age anti-vaxxers (‘my body, my choice’), loudmouth hockey mums, free-thinking Mohawks, dreadlocked weed-smokers, curious small-towners and their snow-suited kids, all brandishing the red maple leaf and other flags. The more fun it looked, the more people came out. Walking down Wellington Street a week into the occupation you could feel the giddiness, the elation. A mass of people who had never set eyes on one another, unless perhaps briefly online, were meeting in the flesh after all the lockdowns. No wonder they were hugging and dancing.”

    1. JEHR

      Yes, I noticed the photo on NC of a horse supposedly running down a woman in the protest and the suggestion that she might have been badly hurt. She wasn’t badly hurt and the police were very calm and responsibly did the job of helping the protesters decide to leave for home.

  14. antidlc

    RE: Here’s what’s driving the nationwide teacher shortage

    Another factor behind the ongoing decline in students pursuing undergraduate degrees is the pay scale. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows the median pay for high school teachers in the U.S. in 2021 was $61,820 annually. Meanwhile, the median salary for kindergarten and elementary school teachers the same year was $61,350.

    And then there’s this…

    On the heels of winning its first football state championship since the 1950s, Dallas ISD is trying to better position itself to retain coaches and attract new coaches by giving head football coaches in the district a pay raise.

    Dallas ISD announced Tuesday that beginning next school year, the district is providing a one-time salary adjustment of $15,000 to current head football coaches and will adjust the pay range for that position. Future candidates will be hired based on the revised pay range.

    “We are just looking at the salaries within the market. We did a market adjustment,” Dallas ISD executive director of athletics Silvia Salinas said. “We just thought it was something our coaches deserved. We were in the middle of the market, maybe toward the low end, but we weren’t even competitive with some of the other surrounding districts.”

    Dallas ISD said the adjustment will place the district’s head football coaches among the highest paid coaches within North Texas, increasing the average salary to more than $122,000. The pay range will now start at $95,000, up from $84,000.

    We are one messed up country.

    1. polar donkey

      Starting teacher salary in Mississippi is around $37,000 for poorer counties. A little higher in wealthier counties. Now if you are the head football coach in most high schools in Mississippi, chances are you will not have to teach a class, will get the athletic director pay stipend, along with coach stipend, and make around $90,000. That’s about as much as the head principal. Coaches aren’t anything like regular teachers either, because most are completely mercenary, jumping from school to school every few years. Football coaches and their families are a bizarre demographic. First, why do you want to do it. (Lots think they are the reincarnation of George Patton and doing the most important thing in the world). Second, who would marry a football coach? Packing up and moving every 3 or 4 years, chasing after the golden ring of a college or pro job. Third, football coaching has so much nepotism. There was a recent study of NFL coaching staffs. Over 100 coaches (probably 1/3 of the coaches) were related to someone had already been an NFL coach. Players have to perform or they are kicked to the curb. Coaches, well they generally land on their feet, through family or friends.

  15. Revenant

    Zach Graham (Notes from the Underground) needs to get out more. I have led a fairly sheltered life in my view but to discover the mere *concept* of psytrance warehouse parties only in the 2020s rather than 1990’s is sweet but sad. And to claim the Ministry of Sound was an original underground experience is just deluded.

    MoS was set up by James Palumbo and trustafarian friends, the son of Lord Peter Palumbo: Eton, Worcester College Oxford, property developer, tory peer, chairman of the Arts Council, godfather to Princess Beatrice and only off polo-buddy and future King Charles III’s Christmas list because Charlie boy said Mies van der Rohe’s plans for a Palumbo building were a glass stump. MoS was the first superclub: big brand, big sound system, no alcohol (at first, no licence but proper ravers drink water…), endless spinoffs (record label, merch, etc).

    Palumbo junior took a derelict warehouse off the A3 in Wansdworth (wrong side of the river – celebs refused to go there in the early days) and made a fortune out of exactly the same corporate nonsense that Americans call EDM. The Criminal Justice Act 1994 (which literally criminalised music that was a “sequence of repetitive beats”!) is what drove ravers out of the fields and into the arms of superclub and festival promoters. But diehard sound system crews like Spiral Tribe continued throwing free parties around Europe. And London continued to see free parties in derelict warehouses, just in less gentrified places than Wandsworth. I went to some epic parties in Carpenters Lane when I lived in Mile End, now torn down for the Olympic Park, and a legendary psytrance night in a firetrap warehouse on Thyssen Street, now luxury flats with the gentrification of Dalston.

    Full disclosure: I tried to go to MoS once in 1997 – we all tooled down from Cambridge in a friend’s ancient Mini on the spur of the moment – but we couldn’t get in. :-)

    On a side note, the history of dance music in the US is bizarre. Invented in the US (as garage) at the Paradise Garage in Detroit but essentially unknown in the 1990’s across the States, when the UK was being literally transformed by MDMA. Dance music obliterated every musical genre on radio, produced number one singles that Top of the Pops refused to play, created new media formats (Pete Tong would play two hours of a guest DJ in the mix, he barely spoke himself – and everybody would talk about them and trade tapes) and ended football hooliganism in a big cuddle puddle. Everybody under 30 will have been in a social group who took ecstasy, even if they abstained themselves. By the end of the 1999’s, people would go to the pub and get messed up midweek, for crisps and beer and darts and, er, pills.

    All previous UK music scenes had been exported to the US but dance music would just not catch light. By contrast, I was in California regularly on business and despite scouring the Bay Area with a friend at Berkeley, could I find a single dance record shop or party? No way! There was Burning Man but that was a bit serious about itself for a Friday night boogie and only once year. We’d drive around the Bay trying our luck with some venues and all we could listen to in the car was MoR rubbish on the radio. I did go to one free party on the demobilised Treasure Island with Dan the Automator and a guy who was heir to the US’s largest ferret vivisection breeding empire but that was it.

    As for psytrance, he is right about the mindblowing Gothic spookiness. Personally, it is the apotheosis of dance music as a tool for being lost in music. But a lot of people sneer at it as hippy shit, associating it with crusties and dogs on a string and the sort of dropouts he interviews. Techno and house in various flavours attract the purists and the snobs whereas psytrance is for people who want to get messy regardless of other creed or culture.

    I’m glad he’s found his psytrance family, anyway. If the NC cohort want to try, wrap your ears around some Cosmosis. It starts a bit “slow” relatively speaking so skip to 5’45” if you are not patient.

    If that’s a bit too turn on, tune in, drop out, acid techno is its slightly more respectable, still-holding-down-the-day-job cousin. Here’s some classics by VCF (named for a voltage control filter, key bit of analogue kit). Hits its stride around the 10-13 minute mark with Aliens.

    Here endeth the lesson on free parties, hippy trance and nosebleed techno. :-)

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yeah, I always find it odd when someone less than half my age has ‘discovered’ the techno (EDM) scene. I’m old enough to remember when Ministry was considered corporate and passe (around 1992 I think). Even back then, in my mid-20’s, I felt a little old for the whole scene – my housemates at the time were doing solid E fueled all weekend (quite literally) partying at the time and I felt like the old boring guy who only dabbled and was home in bed by 2am and basically preferred beer. My gf at the time was deep into the scene and I always marvelled at her ability to buy any chemical she wanted within 10 minutes of entering a pub. I think she only dated me as I was the only person she knew who wouldn’t drive Birmingham to Manchester while on LSD.

      Just one little correction – the open field thing wasn’t caused by the Criminal Justice Act, it was going strong already when it was brought into force – the Act was as much aimed at the whole anti-road protest scene at the time. But as the police found it unenforceable they fell back on the old style anti-football hooligan acts. I have a vivid memory of sitting in a court then looking at a series of police officers perjure themselves repeatedly over 2 hours go get a few dozen people convicted under one of those Acts, I can’t quite remember which one. They picked on the ‘respectable’ looking arrestees in order to isolate the back to earth hippy types, including my Dongas friends, from the more respectable protestors. The police back then were already using mass surveillance to intimidate people.

      I was never quite involved enough in the scene to know why it faded away as the 90’s went on. I don’t think it was solely down to the new laws. I used to go to Glastonbury regularly at the time, and every year the scene got tamer and more corporatised. And also more boozed up. I suspect the increased amount of bad stuff added to the E and psychedelics may have had a role.

      1. JBird4049

        I was never a part of the party scene in the Bay Area. However, I suspect that having the semi legal dance clubs set up in the 80s/90s in all the then still empty warehouses in SoMa (South of Market) freaked all the respectable people. When my Mom, when I visited her, was still warning me to careful being knifed when walking Sixth Ave, the police were busting the clubs for being too loud. In an empty SoMa, which was still a mess from when the port closed and all the manufacturing went away decades earlier.

        For decade or so, the police were cracking down amid complaints about the gangster elements. Again in a empty district that was an occasionally violent wasteland before, during, and after clubs were around filled with hippy, dippy ravers having fun and spending money. Then the internet boom of the late 90s arrived with its endless waves of VC money and all those empty buildings. Goodby clubs, hello startups. That all died when the boom ended and then the developers came in and rebuilt all those buildings into overpriced work-lofts.

        So, fear of those people, an extended police crackdown, and investors looking to score buying all those buildings. Now there are those work-lofts either owned by investors or filled with serious people. Perhaps it was the money that pushed out the partiers. A good party, dance or otherwise, is full of people having fun, being different and not so grimly serious. Hard to make real money off that and people being relaxed and having fun is often strangely threatening to many.

        Now the whole Bay is stratified into the desperate, the drones, and the wealthy. Nothing like the mix of fruits, flakes, and nuts as the old joke went. The oddballs, the weirdos, those who danced, usually to that different drum. It is more siloed, more controlled, more barren with the different people driven into the streets or away to wherever. Yet, some people made oodles of money from the process, nurturing it for decades, right before our collective eyes and most of us never saw it.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          I remember those days from the mid to late 1980s. Fun times in SF. Now the city seems mostly dead, and very dull. The pandemic has made it even more dull, with whatever fun there is to be had feeling forced. Sometimes I feel that there is little to look forward to in life. Everyone feels oppressed to one degree or another. Some turn to drugs in order to cope. Others just turn into glazed over drones. Interesting conversations are hard to come by. Interesting people few and far between. Timothy Leary recommended tuning in, turning on, and dropping out. Nowadays people seemed to have simply turned off.

    2. Bugs

      Used to go to the Warehouse in Chicago way before that music hit the UK, my friend. Raves in late 80s-90s in the Midwest of America were pretty darn grimy and a great scene for queer people. The West Coast was easier to find because of flyers but less druggy. The continent was a little behind but Berlin eventually made up for all that. Plus the US had a resurgence of great rock and the invention of grunge at the same time. No need to dis others not from your fabulous archipelago of flavorless food.

      1. Revenant

        No diss intended from the isles of boiled suet, Bugs. I am not saying the US had no dance music – you invented it!

        I am saying that it is bizarre that it stayed underground stateside for twenty more years (and I made some effort to find it and my Berkeley friend is the type who built himself a mud shaman hut in his garden…) when in the UK it became the mainstream overnight. I do think a lot of the last decades “EDM” is pants though!

        PK, the corporates definitely muscled in on Glastonbury. I’m a wurzel so teenage bunking into Glastonbury was the sort of thing my schoolmates and cousins did (not my scene). After a while, they just stuck to free parties, which never quite died out in the southwest.

        The water-only nights definitely died out. The Mixmag drug use surveys soon began to show the UK was the polydrug abuse leader: booze, weed, pills and coke were a typical clubbers weekend diet. I think the superclubs had a hand in this, better margins on beer than water, even at their prices, and having a bar of Evian would raise questions at the licensing committee re evil drug taking. :-)

        Economics also helped: The price of coke plummeted in the 90’s. What had been a jetset drug in the 80’s (Olivia Channon and her speedball overdose) became the drinking session pick-me-up for plumbers and brickies.

        Another thing that happened was the scenes changed but it is hard to separate pharmacological cause and effect. The jungle scene got really dark and paranoid in the mid 90’s, you can hear it in the music. No more NASA (nice and safe attitude – big brand back then). I don’t know if a change in the drugs of choice drove jungle’s change, I was not a junglist (never could figure out how to dance to that stuff!) but certainly ketamine later made a very dark club scene in the 2000’s – everybody dissociating (literally) makes for zero community, especially if they can’t walk or talk. :-(

        On a more positive note, MDMA has done wonders for rap and urban music lately and mushrooms /psychedlics are currently having a moment, legally and otherwise.

    3. Acacia

      Thanks much for your insightful take on this, Revenant (and the YT links!).

      At the big picture level, it kind of makes me wonder … what is actually ‘subculture’ now?

      Back in the day, subculture was something you had to go track down — in record bins of music shops, magazines in head shops, etc., or like your Bay Area hunt for an elusive music scene — whereas today a lot is just there on the Internet, easily accessible via search. But then perhaps many people aren’t even searching, but are on platforms like Spotify, et alia, just passively taking in suggestions?

      I’ve noticed many youngs don’t really seem to have the concept of “an album” of music now, and instead tune into individual songs that are delivered via steaming music platforms. There are artists and songs, but the album as an artistic unity seems to be a lot less important now. Probably this already started in the era when vinyl was replaced by CDs, the album cover as a piece of artwork shrank to a tiny brochure, and the artists who designed those covers similarly became less important — but, I digress. There is also the whole signal/noise issue, where so much of what we see on the Internet could be classified as noise, and it takes some really focused digging to glean the subcultural nuggets.

    4. thermobarbaric

      As far as I recall, Paradise Garage was a legendary downtown dance club in NYC’s Tribeca area (King Street) with a heavily gay clientele. I was there once in the 1980s to see the eclectic cult rock funk band Was Not Was play live. One of the founders Don Was now runs Capitol/Blue Note.

      1. Revenant

        Thermobarbaric – great name, if a bit close to the knuckle right now. :-)

        You’re right – I’m only dimly interested in house and garage because I prefer techno and trance so I ended up conflating Paradise Garage (NYC) and the Warehouse (Chicago) (supposed birthplace of “house” music” and Detroit (birthplace of techno!). Mea culpa and the smoking ashes of the laurels to Thermobarbaric. :-)

  16. Wukchumni

    My Kevin (since ’07) was caught on tape lying about what the other Kevin was denying, or vice versa.

    In theory this wrecks his chance at being a Major Major Major Majordomo after the Donkey Show is sent off to the glue factory in November, but who am I kidding, most everybody has the long term memory of a termite.

  17. Daryl

    > Crime Stoppers of Houston Has a Tip: Vote Out These Judges Marshall Project

    View from the ground in Houston: people are overwhelmingly against letting people out on bail because there’s a story every week about someone out on bail committing a crime. The courts are extremely under resourced and not equipped to give a speedy trial. the real solution is probably to make sure that can happen, but in the waning days of empire even the carceral state is cracking apart.

  18. Jason Boxman

    Heh. Looks like has this banner:

    We can do this. Find COVID-19 vaccines near you. Visit

    We can do what exactly? Must be the stale implication that we can end the pandemic?

  19. Wukchumni

    QUILCENE, Wash. — A woman who accidentally dropped her cellphone into the hole of an outhouse in a national forest and fell in while trying to retrieve it had to be rescued by firefighters in Washington state.

    Brinnon Fire Department Chief Tim Manly said the woman, who was at the top of Mount Walker in the Olympic National Forest northwest of Seattle, had been using her phone when it fell into the toilet on Tuesday, The Kitsap Sun reported.

    Manly said she disassembled the toilet seat and used dog leashes to try and get the phone and eventually used the leashes to tie herself off as she reached for it. That effort failed and she fell into the toilet headfirst.

    “They didn’t work very well and in she went,” Manly said.

    The woman was alone and tried to get out for 10 to 15 minutes. Reunited with her phone, she called 911, Manly said.

    1. griffen

      I’m taking notes, and I would suggest opting to not retrieve the object from any common area outhouse. You just never know what else you might find yourself covered in.

      1. Jason Boxman

        For real. I talked to a doctor once that worked with biohazards. Dropped a phone. Had to incinerate it.

  20. curlydan

    From The Wire article: “It’s a bit of a medical mystery: Why are mRNA vaccines so successful in preventing the serious form of COVID-19 but not so great at protecting against breakthrough infections?”

    I thought this mystery might have an easy solution. The virus gets into the nasal cavity/upper respiratory tract rather easily and replicates quickly. Once it starts getting further into the body where it can do its most serious damage, that’s when the vaccine/booster starts to become effective for most people.

    It seems like an effective mucosal vaccine could take care of a lot of this problem.

  21. Wukchumni

    The various 3-Letter-Montes on Dow Jonestown sure went into the drink yesterday, but you know how it goes these days with a high speed wobble on a Vincent Black Shadow, nothing to worry your pretty little head over.

  22. Geo

    “Rejoining the Iran deal would be a ‘victory’ for Dems to tout in midterms – Responsible Statecraft”

    With an election coming up in 2024 the deal wouldn’t even be worth the paper it’s printed on.
    Also, have the Dems checked in with president Manchin or VP Sinema on this idea? Can’t imagine they’d be onboard such an idea.

  23. Wukchumni

    I only ever saw hyperinflation in the flesh in the 1980’s in Mexico and it wasn’t a Weimar type gig in that in a little over a dozen years the Peso was worth 1/264th of its value in 1992 versus the Dollar in 1978, the other 263rds wiped out. Not that it makes a lot of difference if a 1923 Mark was worth 1/264000th of its value of a decade earlier, in both cases you’ve lost pretty much everything and if anything the Mexican epoch was worse in that Weimar was tantamount to ripping off a bandage of a gaping chest wound a year and a half after hyperinflation set in and it took Mexico 10x as long for some semblance of normality.

    It was a nightmare for merchants, they had to continually re-price everything. I can see something similar coming here-but it’ll be an orderly increase easy-peasy done by a computer program and changing the price on the shelf in front of the goods-nothing to it, except everybody notices. My favorite cashier @ my supermarket wasn’t joking when he told me more than a few customers have leveled the blame on him for higher prices…

    HIM! he did it!

    We’re a long ways from hyperinflation, and was pleasantly shocked when a couple of Lapins cherry trees were the same price as last year @ the nursery, hadn’t they gotten the inflation notice?

    I hadn’t food shopped in a couple weeks and being a creature of habit, tend to buy the same things every time, and i’d say half of my purchases were 10% more than before. The lady in front of me @ the cashier spent $115, asked to put $90 of it on her debit card-which got declined and she tried again @ $65 with great success, telegraphing to me that she’s worth perhaps Catch $22 in right now money, and searching through her purse, came up with $33, and then the cashier had to subtract things out to make her whole.

    How close to the edge so many of us must be…

  24. Andrew Watts

    RE: Nicholas Kristof’s Botched Rescue Mission How the lauded Times columnist lost the race for governor of Oregon before it even began.

    If Kristof was serious about becoming governor he would’ve established his residency by either voting in state elections or holding a state id for a period of time. Doubling down on the belief that people won’t care if you try to skip steps to satisfy your ambition isn’t somebody most Oregonians would want as governor. Even members of his community was telling him to run for the office of county commissioner and get some experience first.

    That isn’t how things work ’round here at any rate. Any politician is expected to start out at the bottom where they spend most of their time getting to know their constituents. As well as traveling around the state while being examined by vested interests. It’s a part time job that involves a lot of hazing for any would be politicians, but if they can’t handle some malicious malcontents they don’t belong in office.

    I have to wonder who was advising him though. Whoever it was either doesn’t know the state or was purposefully trying to sabotage him. He stood a pretty good chance of becoming governor as long as he observed the rules and expectations of the electorate.The field of governor candidates was weak and a source of dismay, if not outright hostility, by a growing majority of people.

    Familiarity breeds contempt.

  25. Andrew Watts


    The ability to spy on people has never been easier since the advent of the digital age. Nor is it an exclusive monopoly of the state. It’s why the Snowden papers should’ve been a source of concern for everybody. And I do mean everybody regardless of their job or circumstances.

    Eh, I still think it’s funny that American military / intelligence officials run around with cell phones.

  26. Maritimer

    La Digue: The Seychelles’ tropical biking paradise BBC
    Climate Change Travel Hypocrisy Award goes to BBC Travel:
    8100 km, London to Seychelles! 16,200 Round Trip!
    Compute that in your Carbon Calculator.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      Europeans (and this includes the Brits) may have the largest carbon footprint, even taking into account American driving habits. Europeans think nothing of getting on a plane and jetting halfway (or further) around the world for “holiday”. Even the Europeans living in the US seem to travel more than native USans. They aren’t flying to Florida for the winter. Instead, it’s Thailand, South Africa, Italy, Spain, France, Greece. It seems nearly impossible to go anywhere on this planet without hearing a British accent. Global warming can be solved by putting all Brits on a no fly list.

  27. LawnDart

    Same as us: no matter who wins, we lose.

    As born christian (yeah, couldn’t choose my parents) let me reach out to my muslim brothers and sisters: you’re not alone in this fight.

    France elections 2022: Whoever wins, anti-Muslim persecution is the victor

    For all their points of distinction, the two opposing candidates show remarkable uniformity in addressing Islam and the “Muslim problem”

    As-salamu alaykum.

    It is my hope that we can soon send some of our war criminals your way. As it is said, the Hamptons, Martha’s Vinyard and Nantuket Island aren’t defensible positions.

      1. Acacia

        Thanks for the link, LD. From the article:

        “I vote against Macron. I’m Muslim, an Arab, but French. Marine Le Pen can’t tell me to go back home. She can’t do anything against me,” said Ahmed Leyou, 63, a taxi driver, who voted for Le Pen in the first round and planned to do it again on Sunday.

        I was curious to see what Iran’s Press TV had to say in this article, as the journalist Ramin Mazaheri works for them and often reports on French politics via the Saker’s blog. Mazaheri’s take on the most recent presidential debates was roughly: “Le Pen goes mainstream, proving Yellow Vests right”. He was disappointed that Le Pen really didn’t distinguish herself in any interesting (read populist/left) way, and that she sounded to him a lot like the Sarkozyist candidate Valerie Pecresse.

        My reading would be that Le Pen has been attempting to come across to voters as less « extrême droite », less threatening, etc. The liberal press in France has been ratcheting up the fear level, with channels like Mediapart spamming my inbox with links to articles about “Le péril Le Pen”, etc.

  28. The Rev Kev

    In a video from last month, French war reporter Anne-Laure Bonnel expreses her frustrations that nobody before wanted to talk about the Donbass. She says that western media outlets did not want to know so when the Russian media picked her work up, she was accused of being a Russian sympathizer. You can see the stress working on her in the video- (6:22 mins) – with subtitles

    1. Foy

      Yep that is a brilliant video, I saw it yesterday. Her emotions are something to behold. Holding in it in, just, speaking her mind but wanting to burst out and really let rip.

      I also watched her 60 min documentary film ‘Donbass’ recorded on the ground at the frontlines in 2016. Very confronting. The first 60 seconds where Poroshenko lets rip on people in the Donbass. “We will have work not them. We will have pensions they will have none. We will have benefits for pensioners and children, they will not. Our children will go to school and kindergarten, their children will stay in the cellars!….”

      When you have him saying that, Yulia Tymoshenko, the gas queen and former PM saying they should all be killed with a nuclear bomb, journalist Bogdan Boutkevitch on national TV saying that 1.5 million need to killed in the Donbass without any pushback from the interviewer, it’s pretty obvious that what is being attempted was a cleansing operation for the last 8 years.

      Anne-Laure Bonnel was also recently on a TV panel with an audience discussing the war. I could only use the auto translate function which wasn’t great but she is a tour de force. And as is typical the powers that be have tried to get her Donbass film taken down from youtube. She is incredulous that most people in the EU think that this war started 8 weeks ago rather than 8 years ago.

      Impressive woman and journalist.

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