Links 5/30/2022

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.

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Happy Memorial Day!

Eugene V. Debs: Socialist Internationalism Versus Capitalist Nationalism Jacobin

Explained: What makes Nepal’s skies so dangerous? Firstpost

Scientists Just Got Closer to Understanding Why Yawns Are So Darn Contagious Science Alert (chuck l)

‘The Letters of Oscar Hammerstein II’ Review: Balancing the Show and the Business WSJ

UK may bring back imperial measurements – media RT (The Rev Kev)

How I fell in love with the blues The Spectator

Why Virgin Male Mice Are So Scared by The Smell of This Common Fruit Science Alert (chuck l)

Pelosi’s husband charged with DUI CNN (JZ)

The Corruption of the Best: On Ivan Illich American Affairs

The Good Airman The Point

Southeast Asia’s 600-year-old fusion cuisine BBC

Philosophy’s gentle giant  New Statesman

The animals with an artistic eye BBC

F.B.I. Investigates Basquiat Paintings Shown at Orlando Museum of Art NYT

Turkish archaeologists discover subterranean city of Matiate Qantara


Could I still be infectious after COVID isolation? And should I bother wearing a mask once I’m all better? The Conversation (The Rev Kev)

China’s Lockdowns Prompt a Rethinking of Life Plans Among the Young WSJ

Monkeypox outbreak poses ‘moderate risk’ to global public health, WHO says Stat

New Not-So-Cold War

Beyond Ukraine, Is the U.S. Arms Industry an ‘Arsenal of Autocracy? Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft

Europe’s unity ‘crumbling’ on Russia sanctions, Germany warns FT (The Rev Kev)

Ukraine: Emigrant men trapped by martial law Deutsche Welle

EU Nations To Try Reaching An Agreement On Russian Oil Embargo Before Summit On May 30 Republic World

Russian troops enter outskirts of key city in Ukraine’s Donbas Reuters

Zelenskyy Says He Is Willing To Examine Erdogan’s Notion Of 3-way Talks If Putin Agrees Republic World


US Justice Department to review response to Texas school shooting Al Jazeera

Violence in America: It’s Not Just About Guns Counterpunch. Patrick Cockburn.

Florida 5th grader arrested for mass shooting threat NY Post

Health Care

Never forget: landmark ‘burn pit’ measures couldn’t come sooner for vets Responsible Statecraft

AI gone astray: How subtle shifts in patient data send popular algorithms reeling, undermining patient safety Stat

Worries about coming ObamaCare premium spikes intensify The Hill

How a complex web of businesses turned private health records from GE into a lucrative portrait of patients Stat

Christian nationalism on the rise in some GOP campaigns AP (re Šilc)

Doug Mastriano’s Largest Donor Is Shake Shack’s Bread Maker Capital & Main

The Dunce Party The Baffler

After losses in Ga., Trump sets sights on ousting Liz Cheney in Wyo. WaPo

Old Blighty

World’s top graduates get new UK visa option BBC

Groves of Academe

Yes, Professors ‘Groom’ Their Students Chronicle of Higher Education

Imperial Collapse Wtach

Time is ticking to replace the Pentagon’s 1970s-era Doomsday planes Politico

Biden Administration

America’s Pivot to Asia 2.0: The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework The Diplomat


Why did Nehru choose centralised planning over the free market? Scroll

How India Influences the Quad The Diplomat

The India Fix: Why is the Indian farmer being held responsible for controlling inflation? Scroll

Sri Lanka PM pitches reform to quell protests Deutsche Welle

The Supremes


Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Pay ‘with a smile or a wave’: why Mastercard’s new face recognition payment system raises concerns The Conversation

Class Warfare

Workers’ Share of Economic Pie Isn’t Growing WSJ

UK CEO pay recovers to pre-Covid levels despite cost of living crisis FT

Worry about stagflation, a flashback to ’70s, begins to grow AP

How Workers’ Pension Funds Are Still Funding Insurrectionists The Lever

Talk of doing good rings hollow among global elite FT. Rana Foroohar.

Climate Change

Deaths of three Chicago women prompt urgent heat warnings Guardian

Agatha intensifies into a Cat 1 hurricane as it eyes Mexico Accuweather

Tiny Pacific island nation declares bold plan to protect 100% of its ocean Guardian

Oh Canada

First, Doug Ford ‘stopped the carbon tax’: how Progressive Conservatives reshaped Ontario’s environmental policy The Narwhal

Ottawa set to introduce new firearms legislation Globe and Mail


China’s J-16 fighter jets deployed in latest joint strategic patrol with Russia Global Times

Antidote du Jour:(via)

And a bonus video:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Zagonostra

    >The Corruption of the Best: On Ivan Illich American Affairs

    Thanks for posting this review. David Cayley is a treasure. His blog contains many important interviews he gave when he was at the CBC, a time when the gov’t didn’t out right control it. A friend of mine attended a seminar he gave at Penn State on Ivan Illich which is still on Ytube. I also have a friend who attended Illich’s class at Penn State when he was something of a celebrity and went on to be a professor himself. It is through this professor friend that I discovered Illich.

    I recently heard Cayley was diagnosed with a serious illness. When the doctor recommended that he go through a recommended procedure to treat the illness, Cayley said that Illich reached out to him (Illiich passed away several years ago) and Cayley decided to forego the medical treatment. Perhaps it was Illich’s book Medical Nemesis that convinced him. In any event, I am glad to see this Ivan Illich and David Cayley brought to the attention of NC readers.

    1. Wayward Porcupine

      I would second your recommendation of Cayley’s blog. His Ideas episodes are treasures from a bygone era at the CBC. I have particularly enjoyed his series on “The Age of Ecology” and the episode about “Plastic Words.” Cayley’s documentaries are a striking contrast with most of what passes as public broadcasting in Canada today. I have been trying to get my hands on the new book, but I’ve been living in the Netherlands and have yet to find a copy that doesn’t cost a fortune (a problem, I suppose, with academic publishing…). I’m hoping to find a used or library copy when I’m back across the pond over the summer.

    2. SOMK

      Just finished reading that review and echo your comments, a fantastic piece, though I’m relatively unfamiliar with Illich and Cayley, a lot of what he says strikes a nerve with the perpetual frustration modernity engenders. Deschooling Society is one of those books that I’ve been perpetually on the verge of reading, but never quite getting around to it, this fabulous review may have nudged me over that precipice, thanks for sharing!

    3. Craig H.

      It’s about as long a read as I am willing to undertake on a computer screen but totally worth it. Many thanks to Jerri-Lynn for posting it.

      1. Rainlover

        I agree. I went straight to my library and put a hold on the book. Thanks Jerri-Lynn and to Zagonostra for the link to Cayley’s blog.

    4. IM Doc

      Ivan Illich has been required reading for my medical students for years.

      His book Medical Nemesis will be read for generations when those in the future are trying to ascertain what went wrong with our generation.

      I have never heard of Cayley but I can already tell I have hours of reading ahead of me. Thank you.

    5. anahuna

      I happily rediscovered Ivan Illich a few years ago. Didn’t know about the biography or the biographer. Many thanks for the original link and for the David Cayley blog.

      1. Barry

        Same for me. A half dozen of his books easily passed the Marie Kondo test a couple of years ago.
        Whilst his ideas are the focus of reviews of his works, I think that his ability to express them in such a condensed form was quite remarkable, particularly as English was not his native language. Deschooling Society is a tiny book!
        By the way, I have Limits to Medicine which is billed as the revised and enlarged version of Medical Nemesis

  2. timbers

    I seeing this being reported. If accurate, it is not unexpected as it lies in the path to Odessa, but is one more item suggesting Russia may intend to take Odessa and on her way towards such, Mykolaiv Oblast the last Black Sea coastal Oblast before Odessa:

    “On May 30 Russian military carried out a strike on the town of Novy Bug in the Ukrainian Mykolaiv region. As a result of the attack, the command post of the AFU operational command South was destroyed. The victims reportedly included at least 3 Ukrainian generals and 35 officers of the AFU. the command post of the AFU in Mykolaiv is of strategic importance, as the Ukrainian military continues the attempts to counter attack the Russian units along the Mykolaiv-Kherson front lines.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      That was a major hot by the Russians. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, it looks like the Russians have just about taken Severodonetsk. I can’t understand what this Russian Commander is saying but the fact that he is just walking around tells you something- (1:43 mins)

      1. Safety First

        My impromptu translation for your…something, I suppose.

        0:06 – “Is this Severodonetsk?” “Yes.”

        0:10 – “We are entering Severodonetsk, a strategically important town. Beyond it lies Lisichansk, the battles for which are already beginning.”

        Destroyed tank at 0:28 is T-64 – you can tell by the projector being mounted on the left-hand side of the turret. Only Ukraine uses T-64 mods (as it was originally designed and produced at the Kharkov tank factory; T-72 was Ural, T-80 was Leningrad).

        0:32 – “…it either tried to roll out and take a shot, or else was pulling back into cover…”

        0:43 – “You can see quite well that the Ukrainian tank was sitting inside the arch of a residential building. In essence, it was firing at the house opposite [points camera], that’s where the barrel is pointing, and while the town was being liberated and our units were entering the area, this machine was destroying residential buildings.”

        1:08 – “They, you can see for yourself [points to the right], all these shell blasts came from their side [camera pans], everything is completely destroyed. As well – they position their armour in residential blocks, building entrances, that’s where they are firing from. Everything quite clear, as you can see.” [Camera zooms in on uniform patch identifying the soldier as being from an LNR Guards Infantry brigade, commander’s callsign is “Tashkent”.] “Our fighters are advancing, there is a goal, there is a reason. The enemy is fighting back, trying to fight back against us, but is retreating, retreating and…” [Cut off the words to show a blasted-out building.]

        Basic idea is clearly to reiterate that Ukrainians are using civilians as human shields and also shelling them, which has been a major internal Russian talking point since the beginning. [In fact, pro-regime commentators have taken to likening Ukrainian Army’s tactics to those of ISIS – for fairly obvious reasons relating to influencing public opinion…]

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thanks for that SF. I could get the gist of some of the things that he was saying by what he was pointing at but showing that tank using the apartment building as cover seemed to be the main one.

      2. Nikkikat

        The Saker has an extensive interview with Sergei Lavrov on its site today. Extremely interesting. Covers past, present and future. In negotiations and plans going forward internationally. One of the best I have read. Well worth reading as it contains some new information.

      3. Polar Socialist

        Yeah, the current situation in Severodonetsk is confusing: Kadyrov was announcing clearing operations while the Russians (as in RF Armed Forces) were only entering the city from the east. This video is from the northern side, near the bus station, where LNR troops entered the city on Saturday.

        If we assume the war correspondents are allowed to within a 1-2 kilometers of the actual front (as in Mariupol), then “The Allies” seem to control at least 50% of the city already.

        With the recent experience of Liman, where Ukrainians left the city within 24 hours after the assault began, it’s well within the realm of possibility that Ukrainians have pretty much abandoned Severodonetsk already, and advance is more about securing the place and dealing with Ukrainian stragglers and delaying action than actual fighting.

        I assume the next few days will show whether the Russians from Liman will force the Donets river towards Slavyansk or Seversk. The latter would quicken the fall of Lysitshansk by physically sealing off the area but the former would be a bigger price, create a bigger envelopment and break to the rear of the Ukrainian fortified lines in Donbass.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Because it’s not official and only used mainly in Donbass social media along with terms like gauleiter (for governors installed by Kiev on eastern areas that voted for federalization in 1991 or autonomy in 2014) or volksturm (for Ukrainian territorial battalions).

            I would not impose on NC readership and commentator terminology that might raise the shadow of the previous Allied vs. Nazis fight.

            And yet it’s so much easier to use than Russian + LNR NM + DNR NM + Chechen national guard + Ossetian army + Cossack volunteer troops. Isn’t it?

            1. Greg

              It’s a tricky one, since there are alliances on both sides. It’s definitely better than just saying “Russians” as most media do, and erasing the many different factions involved.

          2. redleg

            I assume that it’s to avoid confusing the current Russuan use of the term with the still common WW2 meaning.

      4. timbers

        Has Scott Ritter done another semi U-turn or is that a bad characterization? He he writes just now at consortium:

        “Russia’s “Special Military Operation”, which began on Feb. 24, is entering its fourth month. Despite stiffer than expected Ukrainian resistance (bolstered by billions of dollars of western military assistance and accurate, real-time battlefield intelligence by the U.S. and other NATO members) Russia is winning the war on the ground, and in a big way.

        After more than ninety days of incessant Ukrainian propaganda, echoed mindlessly by a complicit western mainstream media that extolls the battlefield successes of the Ukrainian armed forces and the alleged incompetence of the Russian military, the Russians are on the cusp of achieving the stated goal of its operation, namely the liberation of the newly independent Donbass Republics of Lugansk and Donetsk, which Russia recognized two days before its invasion.”

        1. redleg

          Ritter has never wavered in his belief that Russia will achieve the objectives of this operation. What he has said, and I think that this makes his statements confusing, is that Russia won’t win a war against NATO. As he has discussed, it’s two different but intimately related conflicts with opposite outcomes for Russia.

    2. Louis Fyne

      RU-friendly social media saying that RU army has moved many units to the border from Sumy (NE Ukraine). Possible 2nd front (or feign).

      Rate of change in th e war is increasing, Next 7 days probably will generate much more movement/headlines than the past 30days

    3. Alyosha

      IMO, phase II is all about Donbas. Phase III will be a matter of the rest. Which makes the Lavrov statements about being up to other oblasts intriguing. But I suspect that it’s a bit of diplomatic language too. Odessa is strategically necessary to keep NATO out of the Black Sea. There are reports of Russian troop concentrations near Sumy. I could certainly see a Russian decision to take every oblast that borders directly on Russia.

      I’m also coming to the opinion that Phase III will see more Russian army troops. The Donbas will be liberated primarily by the people of the Donbas with assistance from Russian allies. The rest will be taken by Russians. Those militias deserve some time off and it could get sticky with them conquering other parts of Ukraine; do they get to incorporate those areas into their independent republics?

      If I’m correct, we see a situation where the strength of the VSU is destroyed and then come larger Russian forces using more traditional maneuver warfare tactics. That’s your first slowly and then all at once collapse of Ukrainian resistance.

      1. JohnA

        One thing I simply do not understand is the continuing targetting of civilian areas in Donbass by the Ukrainian army. Surely they should concentrate all their dwindling resources towards aiming at Russian military? Of course, the western media will not report civilian attacks but it will further alienate the Donbass population.

        1. Martin Oline

          Civilian areas = Urban areas = larger static target with known coordinates.
          Military targets are liable to change location and may return fire.

        2. lance ringquist

          hatred. the free traders running america use economics instead of shells. but sooner or later the free traders will shell us.

          free traders blame everyone else but themselves for the messes that are made by them, in the ukraine its no different.

        3. Polar Socialist

          The only possible military purpose could be the same as shelling Russian villages north of Kharkov: force opponent to relocate troops to deal with the shelling.

          By causing more and more civilian casualties the Ukrainians could be inviting the DNR militia to attack harder the Ukranian fortifications thus suffering more casualties and delaying the breaktroughs elsewhere.

          Or, they are just evil, and try to cause as much damage to the subhumans as they can while they can.

          1. wilroncanada

            Yep! Scorched earth. It certainly adds to the western mainstream media giant wurlitzer when all those dead Ukrainians and the destroyed buildings are being attributed endlessly to “Russian savagery.”

          2. The Rev Kev

            Doesn’t help that when they shelled a school killing a coupla people, that they used used those supplied 155mm howitzers to do so with. Fragments found with english stamped on them proved their provenance. I guess that eight years of shelling civilians is a hard habit to break.

      2. Polar Socialist

        Indeed there are persistent rumors of Russian troop concentrations on Belgorod area, preparing to bounce either on Sumy or Kharkov.

        On the other hand, the governor of Zaporozzya is telling everyone willing to listen that hordes of Russians are around Tokmak about to overrun his oblast and city. Yet the governor of Kryvyi Rih is claiming that Russians are massing south of Kryvyi Rih preparing to rush his city and oblast, while Nikolajev governor claims those are oogling for Nikolajev.

        I can only assume the concept of maskirovka is alive and well. Looks like we will know where the hammer will fall next only after the hammer has fallen.

  3. Amfortas the hippie

    re:wall street journal, and the disconnect between employers and employees.
    so…doesn’t this sort of disprove the shibboleth that it’s greedy workers demanding insane wages that’s driving inflation?
    has looked more like artifacts of supply chain issues, to me(including the 40+ year policy preference of ‘offshoring’ production)…as well as the asset inflation nobody ever mentions in such rarefied articles(DJIA,Nasdaq, etc etc)…as well as the own-goal of the russia mess(i maintain that all that’s the fault of the usa(see:”passive aggressive”))

    but i suppose that all the labor unrest afoot in the world has the masters afeared, and …well…”spare the rod…”…

    1. griffen

      The ungrateful rabble, we will show you who is boss! You want a raise to match inflation, now ? You were fine accepting the 2.5% raise when inflation was 2.4%. It’s the wrong time to be greedy, and we are in this together.

      Executive leaders and upper reaches of management – decidedly not in this together, that is. As we’ll get our options reset to manage against a lowered incentive bar. Bye the bye, the AP article about stagflation reflects the distant memory from an era I barely recall, but the impact of year / year increased or steady inflation would be devastating. I still contend a recession is in the offing by year end going into 2023.

      1. Randall Flagg

        I’ll be glad if it’s just a recession and not something deeper and more destructive.
        But, maybe we do just need the whole thing to collapse and start over. If only it could just take out those that deserve it and not the innocent bystanders.

        1. JTMcPhee

          If “the whole thing collapses,” as has sort of happened a couple of times in the past, I wonder if “we” will find, once again, that the Owners’ power structures will survive just fine and intact, so making the medical analogy, the tumor was excised but the disease had metastasized and come roaring back. Still waiting to come across any significantly likely actual “cure” that can’t be suborned by money. Would have to ensure that all the power structures would be broken irretrievably, like the realities described in this piece: “ Interlocks And Interactions Among The Power Elite The Corporate Community, Think Tanks, Policy-Discussion Groups, And Government,”

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            Ja. Domhoff is a worthy successor to C.Wright Mills, in my book…although his writing is much more technical and dry.
            since i discovered the latter, i’ve always been struck by how few such researchers there are…and how little interest most people have in their area of study.
            Amurkins don’t really care…beyond amorphous euphemisms, like “something…something…cabal”, or whatever.
            ..and mere mention of a level of politics above the puppet show(dem/repub) is akin to talking about your foot fetish at sunday dinner.
            i think, on the other hand, that it’s rather important to at least have some empirical idea of who and what are in charge of things.
            the absence of both research and public interest, in themselves, is like the curtain moving, or ripples in a pond.

    2. QuicksilverMessenger

      If it adds anything to “looked more like artifacts of supply chain issues’, I can say that I import spices/ specialty food products that you quite literally cannot get here onshore. We bring in thru a large West Coast port. Cost to move containers from the ships, thru the terminals, to customs if needed, drayed and delivered has gone up 10 TIMES the cost that it was one/two years ago. And we are very small business. Multiply that thru the whole system.
      Further- it looks pretty true that we cannot really solve any problems here at all. Here is a list of the best to worst performing large ports in the world. LA Long Beach is dead last, Oakland, Tacoma and Seattle very close to dead last. Embarrassing and pathetic.

      1. wilroncanada

        Thanks Quicksilver
        I just took a glance at Canada for some possible comparison. I noticed Halifax was somewhere in the upper third, but that Vancouver was third from the very bottom. Since the list was for 2021, how much of Vancouver’s woes was that for part of the year it was completely cut off from the rest of the country by flooding. I know it also has suffered continually from lack of rail cars, labour unrest on the railways, and derailments in the mountains.
        I also know that we on eastern Vancouver Island and the southern Gulf islands are perpetually pissed off at the freighters parked in the Salish Sea (formerly Georgia Strait) and the inter-island channels awaiting berth space.

  4. diptherio

    I can’t see over the paywall to the article, but whoever wrote that Chronicle of Higher Education headline should be severely reprimanded and probably placed on administrative leave so they can have some time to pull their head out of their heiny. Did they think they were being clever by using the paleo-cons new favorite word, “groomer,” but giving it a different meaning than the one Fox News does (of course they did, clever and edgy). It’s pretty much guaranteed that Ben Shapiro and his ilk will be making hay with that headline. “The libs admit that the universities are filled with groomers, and they think it’s fine!” That’s what we call making life easy for your opponents.

    1. Carolinian

      The article is a rather fancy riff on the theme of “teach your students how to think, not what to think.” Of course you are right that this may not have much relevance to American primary public education where students, taught how to think, may think some of their teachers are not all that good. Which is to say that “grooming” in college and grooming in early education are completely different contexts.

      As for that latter, IMO those uneven educators should quite rightly be instructed to stay within their lanes unless they aspire to be child psychologists and have the appropriate degrees and responsibility. For sure “grooming” in this context is meant to be provocative but it’s naive to suggest that “gender instruction” for third graders isn’t also provocative. Bomb throwers shouldn’t be surprised when they explode.

  5. Toshiro_Mifune

    UK may bring back imperial measurements – media

    I’m in the US but have spent a long time now watching BBC via torrents and reading various UK auto magazines (Car, Classic and Sports Car, What Car?). They never really got rid of the imperial measurements. They swap between the systems constantly. Car used to regularly talk about performance in mph, then economy in kilometers per liter and then reference gallons per mile. Sometimes all within the same paragraph.
    Grand Designs does similar all the time as well. The builders will talk about the mm clearance needed for something and then reference how something needs to be moved a few yards.
    You can tell they’re not even conscious they’re switching between the two. They’re just doing it.
    I should add; I work for a UK company and the people in our London office do it as well.

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, TM. Please tell them to use furlongs and yards instead.

      You should try living in Mauritius where we use metric, imperial and old French measures such as arpent and toise, pouce and pied.

      1. ambrit

        One of my first “real jobs” was as a field hand for a surveyor in Louisiana, (North of the Lake, above New Orleans.) Many of the land records in the St. Tammany Parish went back to the original land grants by the French and Spanish. The original French land grants were in “French measure,” arpents, royal foot, etc. The poor surveyors had to “do the math” to work out the current measurements of pieces of land. (In the old agricultural economy of the time, every plantation owner needed access to a navigable waterway so as to be able to export their crops. Thus, the old style land deeds ended up in long, narrow strips beginning at the water’s edge and running inland for literally miles. Thus, land divisions in Louisiana and related parts of the Southern part of North America have the look of giant “slices of cake.” )
        I remember looking at some of those original land ownership documents which were housed in the records room of the Mandeville, Louisiana, City Hall. I have gazed with a bit of wonder upon the autograph signature of the Seiur de Mandeville. Land disputes in this part of the world still go all the way back to the original Land Grants.
        Something on old land grants here. Read:
        Stay safe and pick a winner at the track!

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Ambrit.

          I was hoping you would chime in.

          I have an antique map of the sugar plantations between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, using French terminology.

          Many Mauritians study at LSU due to cultural and even distant family ties.

          I have yet to study the form for this weekend’s big races.

          1. ambrit

            I would imagine that the Daily Racing Form, or what fills the same needs over there, should begin listing the past Covid infection records for the jockeys. The more infections, the supposed higher incidence of “brain fog,” and thus, mistakes made in guiding the gee gees.
            Dad and Uncle Gerry used to go and get the Daily Racing form early in the morning on race days, as in drive downtown to the main newsstand at 4:00 AM. Then they would sit around hashing out their theories about the next days races. The weather reports were also of interest. Curiously, Uncle Gerry made his biggest “score” betting the jai-ali matches at the fronton in Miami. He used a pure numbers theory strategy there. Betting the jai-ali can get fiendishly complicated.
            I vaguely remember Dad or Uncle Gerry waking me up, (we tiddlers had to go to bed early back then,) and asking me to “pick us a winner old son.” Evidently, I had a good track record whenever I was still in the twilight sleep state. I later encountered a similar conceit in the Lawrence story, “The Rocking Horse Winner.”
            To small children, every house is haunted.
            Stay safe and bonne chance!

        2. LifelongLib

          I worked on land survey crews in the PNW as a summer job 40+ years ago. IIRC everything was measured in feet (down to hundredths of a foot in the type of surveys we were doing, although I was told engineering surveys would go to thousandths). There was a crude saying: “Only [prostitutes] and carpenters use inches.”

          1. ambrit

            Oh yes. The methodology used by the Corps of Engineers is even more fiendish. Shots with the Instrument are ‘turned’ six times. The results are then averaged out. I’ll bet that going up and down mountainsides was a real test of endurance and patience.
            Towards the end of my “surveying” career, I was entrusted with simple land topology surveys. The name on the documents was always that of one of the licensed surveyors, but much of the actual work was done by underlings.
            I don’t know about the PNW, but down here we have venomous serpents galore. On land surveys in “wild” terrain, we would all carry pistols, for the dispatching of said serpents. I had a replica black powder Army model of 1860 in .44 calibre. The one time I could have used it, I froze and luckily, the bear shuffled off. We had encountered a Black Bear in a wilderness part of St Tammany Parish. When we reported it to Wildlife, we were ridiculed. Everyone ‘knew’ that Black Bears were extinct in that part of the country. A few years later, someone “respectable” reported a Black Bear in the same general area. They were feted as heros for ‘finding’ the supposedly extinct example of ursus.
            Up there I would imagine that you had bigger bears to worry about.
            Stay safe!

            1. LifelongLib

              One summer each with the Bureau of Reclamation, Corps of Engineers, and IIRC Department of Agriculture (1975-77), surveying farm country in eastern Washington and western Idaho. The only things we had to be careful of were rattlesnakes. When we were walking we would tap the ground ahead of us with the rod and if something started buzzing we’d give it a wide berth. That only happened to me once. Sounds mundane compared to what you were doing!

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      being a Texan, i of course grew up with SAE(inches, gallons, miles, etc).
      i can identify a 9/16″ nut from 10 feet away.
      metric, oth, makes me nuts.
      for many, many years, i didn’t have to even think about metric, unless i was trying to work on a foreign car.
      but now, it’s everywhere.
      and, curiously, i’ve been noticing many different products over the last several years that employ both systems of measurement…like the atv size ag sprayer…some of the fittings are in SAE, some in metric…so i hafta have both sets of wrenches and sockets to the ready.
      and, also germane and weird…sometime between my eldest(20yo) and youngest(16yo), the local school started being metric only in their instruction…took me a while to notice this…that youngest doesn’t know how big an inch is, save in reference to centimeters.
      i might be thin skinned about such things, but the confusion feels like a plot,lol.

      (he’s also taken to baking, and uses exclusively old school non-metric measurements for this, at least)

      1. The Rev Kev

        Know just how you feel. Learned the Imperial system throughout my school days here in Oz and finished high school just as the country went over to metric. So there is a mixture here still but overall, think it best to consign the Imperial system to the trash file. Nearly half a century later I still know that 1,760 yards make up a mile which is the same as 5,280 feet but so what? That information is only really useful in Myanmar, Liberia and the US. Does it help to know too that the measurement of an acre is based on how much land a man and a team of oxen could plough in a day? Time for that system to be consigned into the same trash container that has that other system that I was forced to learn as a kid – pounds, shillings and pence.

        1. JohnA

          A pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter.
          One litre of water weighs one kilogram.

          Metric may be less poetical, but it sure is more logical.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Some time ago I learned that 1,000 liters of water equals a ton which actually has a practical value. So whenever I see moving floodwater, I take a quick guess how many tons of water is behind it which stops us doing stupid things with floodwater like trying to drive over a flooded bridge.

            1. hunkerdown

              Which would fit in one cubic metre. Imperial measurements seem geared to mystify amateur quantity surveying, more’s the better for the lord.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Thanks for that, hunkerdown. I forgot to mention that it would fit in one cubic metre which is how it is easy to calculate at a glance water.

          2. GramSci

            Here in Pentagonia, a US pint = 16 US fl.oz and weighs about 16.69 oz. (about 1.043 lb).

          3. Alyosha

            I helped build a house in Austria. That’s how I learned to love the metric system. I got tasked with installing the drywall right where all the floor heating tubes came out of the mechanical space and dispersed. It looked like a manic bar graph. The only place to cut the drywall was in a different room. At first it was a terrifying sight foreshadowing mistakes in adding fractions, misremembering complex number sequences, etc. And then I looked at the tape measure and was saved. I could remember long sequences of whole numbers, convert back and forth to accommodate <1cm increments. It was glorious.

            I still use the old measures, but I make furniture. Metric gets a little bit weird when we’re talking 1/32” or 0.79mm.

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          re acre, oxen”
          out here, all the towns are a day’s ride on horseback apart.
          it’s written into the actual geography.

          1. Brian (another one they call)

            Same in Oregon, a stagecoach ride of 25 miles appx, where possible, mountains cooperating, rivers……

          2. .human

            Towns along the Post Roads of New England are about 10 miles apart. A comfortable days’ journey by carriage when they were barely roads.

        3. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you, Rev. So you don’t want the hide back?

          We are not just peasants in the UK, we’re British peasants and rejoice in the quaint.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat screaming ‘Yes teacher. There are thirteen pennies in a shilling and twenty shillings in a pound….and twenty one shillings in a Stirling pound?

            For American readers, you don’t know what it was like. You weren’t there. Now somebody play ‘Fortunate Son.’ (stares off a thousand yards into the distance)

            1. Stephen T Johnson

              No, 12 pennies in a shilling, 21 shillings is a guinea.
              And don’t forget the farthings!

              1. caucus99percenter

                The £/s/d currency system forced computer makers like IBM to support all sorts of software complications. Languages like COBOL and PL/I required whole extra chapters in the manuals devoted exclusively to the ins and outs of sterling arithmetic and sterling PICTURE fields.

          2. The Rev Kev

            Forgot to mention last night, Colonel. I think it best that you keep the hide. If it came out here the temptation would be too great to “fix” it and update it. Maybe make it even * shudder * a lot more woke.

        4. scott s.

          In much of the US the basic unit of land is the quarter-quarter section, being 40 acres. So I don’t think you see that going away any time soon. Metric was great in the pre-computer days, where units on base-10 made sense. Not so much any more with my “slip sticks” safely packed away.

          On the question of wrenches/spanners and Brit cars, the real issue is Whitworth vs SAE. But it would be nice to get away from numeric screw sizes vs fractional inch.

          1. c_heale

            Here in Korea, it all appears to be metric (to my foreign eyes) apart from the basic measurement of floorspace, the pyeong (3.3058 m2). Just learned from wikipedia it was introduced while Korea was a Japanese colony, and was made illegal in 1961 and a criminal offence to use it commercially use it in 2007. But everyone seems to use it in speech.

        5. wilroncanada

          The Rev Kev
          Throws your land space visions all to hec- tare, right? I do conversions in my head all the time, especially with wood measure while one of my daughters is working with me.. They know only metric.

      2. Toshiro_Mifune

        Yeah – We’re doing the same thing here just not to the same extent.
        Soda – sold in the can by the ounce, but in bottles by the liter
        Car engines – displacement has been by the liter for a long time now. Power ratings all by hp/lb ft.
        If you’re a runner – marathons are, of course, 26 miles. Shorter runs… 3k and 5ks.

        i can identify a 9/16″ nut from 10 feet away
        See, I can identify the 10mm socket without even seeing it… since its the one that’s missing.

        I have to admit if I didn’t grow up with this mishmash it would be extremely confusing.

        1. Synoia

          Even in the UK that are interesting confusions. Nuts and bolts can be Whitworth or BA or BSF.

          Thus one needs two of three sets of Spanners.

          1. Skippy

            It is one of the – Laws of Socket Sets – which has a secondary Law dynamic with the Young Son Laws ….

      3. DJG, Reality Czar

        Amfortas the Hippie: One of the reasons your baker is using U.S. measures is that U.S. recipes are by volume. European recipes are now given by weight.

        So a U.S. recipe says 5 cups flour.
        An Italian recipe would read 400 grams of flour.

        [Some U.S. recipes still specify a stick of butter, which is a quarter pound. Which means butter in U.S. recipes is often the one ingredient given by weight, to make it all more confusing.]

        Brought up in the U. S. of A., I don’t weigh ingredients. So I have a stash of measuring cups for the U.S. recipes. Baking bread, one doesn’t have to be as exact. For a U.S. cake, though, such as my mother’s recipe, much esteemed, for butter cake, one must be exacting. Or the cake doesn’t rise to perfection.

      4. hunkerdown

        I think you’re seeing metric goods built with inch options for the imperial market so that everyone in the USA doesn’t have to go out and by new tire crosses tomorrow.

        Ain’t nothing sacred about imperial measurements but what’s measured in them (and the conversion factor for your particular family’s 19th century “teaspoonful” to canon might just not be unity). As long as the recipe works, right?

        For my money, I consider it beneficial to develop dexterity with orders of magnitude to make oneself a harder mark for big glitzy political price tags. To me, fractions always felt like a plot to facilitate expropriation.

      5. Questa Nota

        Have fun integrating Whitworth tools into your garage. My neighbor used those for various old British cars. He could’ve worn gloves, a scarf and cap for the full Monty, or automotive equivalent.

      6. lance ringquist

        if you ever have watched the t.v. show called yukon gold, every once in a while you will hear a mechanic say got rid if this metric s##T, give me a half inch or a 9/16ths america wrench.

        i used to be a mechanic, when fords opening salvo for free trade was we are going on the metric system. ran into engines part normal, part metric, man what a mess that was.

      7. Skippy

        Board Feet for back when timber was ordered for site delivery and everything measured/cut rather than prefabbed off site. Two completely different realities with the same said for quality = life …

        On that note I can only ponder all the timber frame houses or extensions done during this epic period of wet here in Australia. So much mold and fungus [white fences everywhere turning green] never the less the the moisture in Geo, slabs, frames, gyprock, acerbated by modern design [big rooms] and how much they breath during early years.

        Not to mention all the short cuts many take to make a quick buck or offset weather related set backs so progress payments keep flowing. Just had a client with a bathroom reno/conversion of a single bathroom into two which required moving two walls. So the builder just packed out the space [75mm] where the header to the ceiling and gyprock with plaster without any seam tape. 6 months later it had all cracked. I started off looking to take tape off and trench it out only to find no tape. On top of all that the builder was sent a photo prior to my works and said he could not fix it till early July. So the clients told me to move ahead as they are moving interstate for work. Now the builder said he would only pony up 400 bucks for the fix, a fix that could have been avoided right from the start.

        I see this everywhere I go …..

          1. ambrit

            Contractor: “You can have it; fast, cheap, or right. You get to choose two out of the three.”
            Dad used to say, (after the first beer of the day,) “Measure twice, and your recut rate decreases by 50%.”

      8. Joe Renter

        I was watching a youtube video on how to replace my fan clutch on a 1997 ford f`150. The guy who made it was going on on Ford for having the nut on it being a 35mm size. That is a socket you might only use once on your vehicle. Metric should be all standards IMO.

    3. Safety First

      I shall never be satisfied until they restore the pre-metric monetary system, nay, the pre-World War I monetary system!

      1 silver Pound = 20 shillings
      1 Thaler = 1 silver Dollar = 5 shillings
      1 shilling = 12 pence
      1 pence = 4 farthings

      1 gold guinea = 21 shillings
      1 gold sovereign = 1 Pound

      And then you can play on the differential between gold and silver prices, such that gunea and sovereign street value would end up much higher than the official exchange rate to the Pound. Again.

    4. Louis Fyne

      Favorite imperial unit is the barleycorn, 1/3 of an inch.

      US-UK shoe increments are in barleycorn.

      around here the street grids are 1 furlong x 1/2 furlong and the streets are 1/a, 1/b furlongs wide.

      what a glorious hot mess of measurements

      1. JTMcPhee

        How about shoe sizes? Even Amazon has to caveat the charts they provide as one tries to figure out equivalents between various seemingly arbitrary systems — wonder how many “returns” to Amazon are shoes. And of course “manufacturers’ variations” and the dearth of good old fashioned shoe stores run by people who actually understand how to fit shoes properly (now the province of boutique storefronts where “associates” vie for commissions and spiffs) means to me that many or most of us walk around on “style pained” feet…

        Not to mention the dearth, nay, death, of shoemaking as anything other than a hobby or “bespoke service” to the ones with the most money.

        I have never understood why women wear pointy-toed 4+ inch spikes (other than as sexual lures, maybe.) My mom suffered considerably from the practice. What is everything all about, anyway? Constantly amazed at the insane variety of Stupid Human Tricks…and how about them cowboy boots, speaking of pointy toes and heels? Old-time cowboys maybe needed them to aid getting into stirrups, but how many of them walked miles to anywhere?

        Do “natives” in sandals or barefoot develop bunions and hammer toes and broken arches?

        1. fresno dan

          having just gotten married for the FIRST time at 3 score and six, I have now learned that one approaches the subject of women shoes with caution, respect, and fear. Jokes about my wife having enough shoes for a village of octopuses are VERBOTEN.

          1. ambrit

            Good man! You are entering the most “interesting” field of endeavour people have ever encountered.
            The very best to you and the lady.

      2. Tom Bradford

        I practiced as a solicitor in the UK in the ’70s and late 80s when the registration of land was still underway. When changing hands title had to be proved under the old chain of title rules and was then ‘fixed’ in the Land Registry to prove ownership from then on, with the old Title Deeds becoming redundant.

        With some old family farms being sold these chains of title were ancient, and I ‘pinched’ a few Deeds that no longer mattered. One, from just after the English Civil War described a farm not by measurements but by a beautifully drawn map based on the hedgerows bounding the farm, which even then were hundreds of years old. In order to register the title the boundaries had to be surveyed for the first time, utilising the same hedgerows that were another four hundred years older but unchanged.

        I still have it and suspect there are very few if any older documents here in New Zealand, but before I even left the UK twenty years later many of those hedgerows had been ripped out as the land was amalgamated into ‘agricultural units’ run by conglomerates in the city and ‘adapted’ for farming by computer-controlled plough and combine,

    5. Skk

      Not quite imperial, but when the UK pound went decimal in 1971, I seem to recall we had a 1/2 penny. Only in England heh ! And weather forecasts, temp in Celsius, wind speeds in mph.

      1. marieann

        Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat.
        Please put a penny in the old man’s hat.
        If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do.
        If you haven’t got a ha’penny then God bless you!

        I sung this growing up…in Scotland

        1. Utah

          This just makes me think of a penny farthing bicycle, and now I’m putting together that the small tire was probably 1/4 the size of the full tire. That’s clever if that’s what they did.

      2. The Rev Kev

        We had a half-penny here in Oz too. Along with a thrupence which was worth three pennies. The only real use for the later was to put them into Christmas puddings for kids to find and keep when eating. As they were made with silver back then, this made it safe to do.

    6. Glen

      While attending the University of California to get my engineering degree, I remember hearing on almost a daily basis about America’s impending switch to the metric system. Of course, we used both systems in all of our classes.

      I get to deal with so many different units that the one app always on my phone is a good unit conversion. I’m currently using this one:

      Unit Converter

  6. griffen

    Paying with a smile on your face or wave of your happy right hand / forearm / wrist. Oh just give us the damn 16 to 24 digit code imprinted on our forehead and be done with it. \sarc

    Seriously though, wasn’t this a thing prior to the US tax filing deadline. Our overlords and elite thought leaders / thought provokers must assume the economic cattle can get pushed and prodded just like the real life cattle in CAFO’s all over the midwestern US and Texas panhandle.

    Skynet, a payment system for the future world.

  7. Alice X

    How many of the US wars were unnecessary? Most if not all. Certainly the Great War which Hedges has called the crucible of the modern world.

  8. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, JLS and, particularly, the Rev Kev.

    If dear old Blighty does bring back imperial measures, can the furlong be brought back, too? I am sure that horse racing enthusiasts Ambrit, Montana Maven and Wukchumni join me in supporting such innovation.

    Speaking of horse racing, the above may have heard of Lester Piggott’s passing yesterday, a week before the Derby and its French equivalent.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thank you, Colonel. When I saw that article, the first thought that came to my mind was that by doing this, the Brexiteers are hoping to firmly chain the economy of the UK to that of the US by using the same system of measurements. And at the same time it would cause a clash of standards with the EU – and the rest of the world for that matter.

      P.S. I had to cheat and look up how long a furlong was and I see that it is equal to one eighth of a mile, equivalent to 660 feet, 220 yards, 40 rods, 10 chains or approximately 201 meters. If they brought it back and limited to only the racetrack, I would have no argument with that. Otherwise, no. :)

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you and well said, Rev.

        That appeals to the Brexiteers motivated by nostalgia and the “securocrats” who exploit that, from behind the curtains, and wish to anchor the UK firmly in the anglosphere.

        1. ksmithderm

          Meanwhile Canada is quietly edging away from the United States, as one would from an uncle who has slowly turned into an ammosexual and who spends too much time fondling his guns …

          1. darren price

            Really? I don’t see it. Canada is a very enthusiastic member of NATO and all-in on the Ukraine war. Deputy PM Freeland just blamed inflation and high gas prices on Putin and China’s zero Covid policy.

            The last Canadian PM to maintain an independent foreign policy was Trudeau Jr’s old man Pierre Elliot Trudeau in the late 60s. Jr was a TDS blowhard but in practice supported all of Trump’s foreign policy moves. The Trump admin openly praised his government for this particularly re Venezuela. Any talk of edging away from the United States is just bs for domestic Canadian consumption. When it comes to subservience to US interests Canada is on par with Australia and the UK.

            1. eg

              Spare a thought for “le petit gars de Shawinigan” eh? Chretien wisely demurred on Iraq.

              1. Lambert Strether

                > Chretien wisely demurred on Iraq.

                And somehow managed to defeat Quebecois secession, albeit by throwing a lot of money around. Chretien is IMNSHO under-rated.

      2. Questa Nota

        Those are measurements that would’ve been quite familiar to that old surveyor George Washington. Nowadays, chains are more likely to be solid thin metal bands rather than links, to the extent that they haven’t been supplanted by laser or electronic distance meter or other modern method.

        1. ambrit

          I have used the metal band type of “chain” to measure distances. Two people pull the “chain” tight, (using leather thongs attached to the ends of the “chain,”) and dangle plumb bobs over the “points” in use. (The “point” can be permanent, such as a rod driven into the ground, a concrete marker, or just a temporary point, like a nail driven into the ground.) Where the plumb bob “dangle line” passes the edge of the “chain” is read off, [if near the end of said chain,] and recorded for later use. Longer distances go merrily off in full “chains.” Serious surveyors also record the ambient temperature at the time of measurement. The expansion and contraction of the metal that makes up the physical chain is involved in figuring the “actual” distance measured.
          Surveying is complicated and precise because it is integral to establishing the ‘possession’ of land. Upon this depends the exploitation of said land. Often, the ‘exploitation’ of the land is agricultural, food.
          It’s all about control.

      3. John Wright

        I work at a USA company that develops and ships products around the world.

        Metric fasteners on the products have been the order of the day for 30+ years.

        It is much easier to handle conversion between the systems than in the past as electronic calipers/micrometers and machine tool digital readouts switch between metric/imperial systems with a button press,

        Electronic scales frequently allow easy switching between kg/lb or oz/gm.

        There are some older machines that bear evidence of both systems.

        One lathe has a SAE/Imperial threading gearbox yet has a metric dimensioned tailstock (one handle turn = 2mm of travel).

        If a company wants to sell internationally, standardizing on metric hardware makes great economic sense.

        I suspect this will be true for UK companies as well.

        This is a political distraction event and I doubt if it will change anything of significance in the UK.

        1. Irrational

          According to my better half, much plumbing is still in imperial units, even in Europe.
          On the flip side, I did a degree in the UK many moons ago and had to translate car speeds and road distances from metric to imperial to my fellow students, but physics homework? Metric no problem!

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, John.

        When first learning about Columbus four plus decades ago, so no that long after the UK adopted metric, the lengths of the Pinta, Nina and Santa Maria were compared to the length of a cricket pitch.

        PS I will send a link about the oligarchs pushing for NATO membership in Sweden and Finland and reference you and polling about support for such moves.

        1. Synoia

          Once can consider weight – Short and Long tons. Or the multiplicity of names in the UK system of weights and measures.

        2. JohnA

          Colonel, it is getting interesting in Sweden. The social democrat minority government is dependent on a Kurd independent MP. Erdogan is demanding Sweden ends its support for Kurdish independence. I have been digging into this, which I think may have a fascinating effect on both the Nato application and potentially the general election in the autumn. The hated by every other politica party, the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, are no to Nato, but wavering. We shall see. Sorry, I have been bogged down with other stuff.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Interesting that. Alex Christoforou mentioned the other day that there were one or to Kurds in the Swedish government and Erdogan was demanding that they be removed which is kinda impossible. I suppose that Erdogan will put Finland & Sweden’s entry into NATO on the same timetable as Turkey’s entry into the EU.

  9. Lexx

    ‘How I Fell In Love With The Blues’

    I got an I-tunes account in 2005 and downloaded my first song, the song I most wanted to hear again but didn’t have any other recording of – ‘Can I Change My Mind?’ by Roy Buchanan, with Billy Price singing. I first heard it in 1976, not long after the ‘Live Stock’ album came out. As introductions to the blues go, this one was excellent and lasting in ways no other genre has stuck.

    I’ve been listening to the blues for forty years now and I hadn’t heard another guitar player quite like Buchanan in the passing years… until I went to a show downtown to listen to Los Lonely Boys and heard Henry Garza play. (I’ve been following the band’s progress ever since.) They were just boys then, now men, and Henry was clearly the gifted of the three. It was a tight trio of talent, so that’s saying something about Henry. It sounded like the late Buchanan was playing through Henry’s fingers. They both favored the Fender.

    Henry was playing this that night:

    This the recording of ‘Can I Change My Mind?’ Turn the volume up and ride that guitar wave. Double dog dare you to keep your feet still.

      1. Lexx

        The Lovell sisters out of Georgia. I love Southern Rock for it’s blues roots, but their sound seems to have more to do with the packaging… and I’m an old married lady.

        A couple we occasionally had dinner with was telling us that his sons and their spouses were naming their children after old blues players. The wife could barely suppress her mirth at the idea of what her step-grandchildren could look forward to in school from their parents choice of ‘cool names’. They went on to say it’s been a thing for that generation in some parts of the U.S. to give their children really cool-sounding names, however culturally awkward.

        We were VIP supporters of ‘Blues From The Top’ in Winter Park for years, back when people bought tickets and sat down and listened to the music with their mouths closed and with only a mild buzz on. Between sets the local ‘School of Blues’ would take the stage to the appreciation of their fans, re: long-suffering parents and friends. We tried (not very hard) to listen without giggling to white middle-schoolers and teens play their instruments and wail out the lyrics – with thin cracking voices – of betrayal, loss, loneliness, and heartbreak. Do white middle-schoolers know suffering? Absolutely! I think middle-school is mostly suffering. But I have this idea that they need to not replicate the music of former generations and another culture and form one unique to their own experience. Their own sound and maybe their own instruments. The blues as it has been known is a poor fit for them.

        There are exceptions, of course… if Henry Garza had been one of those teens, the grins on our faces would have disappeared in under 20 seconds, to be replaced by pure amazement and awe. And there are Henrys born in every generation.

          1. Lexx

            Saw Bonnie at Red Rocks years ago. I looked around at the middle-aged spread and balding pates of our fellow fans as we took our seats and thought, ‘This is going to be good. Middle-aged fans know how to appreciate musical artists, by shutting the eff up!’ But I was wrong… they had brought their children. The fans who wanted to hear the music without distraction were down by the stage having their ears blown out.

            But good point, Henry, there are always exceptions and the Exceptional.

        1. Stick'em

          First time I heard blues played in person was Lightnin’ Hopkins. He will prolly play better to the Nekked Capitalism crowd than newer eye candy of LP:

          It’s A Sin To Be Rich, It’s A Low-Down Shame To Be Poor

      2. wilroncanada

        Never heard of them before, but they’re good. I played steel guitar, but gave it up just before I left home in my late teens. At the time it was too much a background instrument in country & western music. I was into folk at the time. More than 60 years later, I think I’m too late.
        The riff on steel on” Preachin’ Blues” reminded me a lot of the ongoing riff on “Saviour” by Colin James on his Bad Habits album. I told his mother that once, and she told me her favourite of his was National Steel.

    1. Robert Hahl

      The article was mostly about R. L. Burnside, who I discovered through youtube along with all the other music that happened in the 20th Century I never heard before.

      R.L. Burnside: See My Jumper Hanging On the Line (1978)

      In the days of vinyl and radio it was just too time consuming, expensive, and hit-or-miss, to learn about more than one genera or another. Thanks to corporations big enough to ignore music copyrights, we can finally learn about this stuff.

      R.L. Burnside at The Cooler (05-14-1996)

      The McKenzie Tapes is a collection of live audio recordings from New York City’s most prominent music venues of the 1980s and ’90s. There is at least one other Burnside set in there but no search function, so you have to browse.

      And don’t miss the North Mississippi AllStars

    2. Fred1

      Saw Buchanan twice in the mid-seventies. Totally blew me away. Very little “guitar god” histrionics. Just a very relaxed focus on his technique.

    3. Joe Renter

      in high school my buddies and I were into the blues (early- mid 70’s). All the usual players. I especially liked Albert King. My crew made the big drive up to SF to see him in the American Music Hall which was a small venue. One of the best live experiences that I am able to recall. We did a lot of mind-altering substances while at concerts.

  10. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, JLS.

    With regard to the link from the Rev Kev that you kindly posted, it’s getting surreal in the corridors of the British government.

    Government bodies tasked with finance and financial services policy making were recently asked about how to remove any trace of the EU from the UK body politic and move the UK towards a global, open economy and society. The likes of the Bank of England and regulatory bodies suggested that with full complement of staff, it would take 7 years. The same bodies asked the government for some ideas, beyond sound bites, to work on / with, even from Jacob Rees-Mogg’s appeal to Sun readers, but have received nothing.

    These bodies are about 1000 professionals short of being able to operate. It’s like this at the passport office, border control and driving test centres, to name just three parts of the government system.

    NC’s Vlade has often talked of the wartime level of mobilisation required to get the UK going, but there’s no interest in political circles. It was enough just to get the UK out of the EU. Readers should not even think that the cost of living crisis and climate change bother these people. They don’t.

    Some recent stats, unpublished so as not to scare the public, showed how many people working in the professions like law and medicine are unable to afford a home and how a majority of pensioners could be living in rented accommodation by mid century on current trends. These things don’t register, either.

    Britain is broken. The good thing for the Tories is that the opposition is offering reheated Blairism, so nothing to inspire voters, and hoping the voters tire of the Tories.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      “reheated blairism”
      flashed me back to cooking in a nursing home(first job out here, and where i met my wife)…bland, boring, blended….a runny slurry of meatloaf, mashed taters and green beans, with no salt or flavor(per “nutritionist’s” instructions).

      i innovated secretly and added the pudding to the mix…and nobody could figure out why the “residents” were eating with such gusto of a sudden.
      then i started bringing herbs from home…rosemary, thyme, etc…and secretly adding that, and to even better effect…
      this strange phenomenon(ancient living ghosts discovering their appetite) was the seedbed for my eventual chef mythos

      1. Harold

        This is so interesting, I hope you will write an auto-biography soon. I am especially interested in your cooking adventures and well remember your post on the Larousse Gastronomique. When I asked my aunt Elizabeth, the best cook I ever knew, what cookbook she used (she was also from Texas), she answered the Larousse Gastronomique. I thought at the time maybe she was maybe just being pretentious. But no. I am sure it influenced millions of people to be better cooks. I think the best English translation is from 1961, at least the closest to the original French edition.

    2. The Rev Kev

      “reheated Blairism”

      Makes it sound like a plate of heated s***. It might be worth your while reading a bit about the recent election here in Oz and how things went south for both political parties. Our “conservatives” lost a whole bunch of seats – including safe seats – to women who were Teal independents and who are new on the scene. Our labour thought that they would get those seats. Wrong. They even made inroads into the lower house which has messed up the political calculations of both parties. At the moment the government is still short one seat from being able to rule in their own right though they are still counting. So things can change.

      And I still have faith in the British through stories like the following which shows that they have never forgotten what was done to them and why-

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Rev.

        I don’t know about the UK any more. It could be (my) age, I suppose.

        1. synoia

          Oh dear. It appears you are entering the Old Codger age. /s

          To be cynical, the changes are made to trick the populace that the Government is “doing something.”

          I noticed this in the Mcmillan era, when my younger sister asked when was the next “Price going up day, properly call “Budget Day.”

          1. Colonel Smithers

            Thank you, Synoia.

            Please let me know if you visit London this year. I still work in the City.

      2. Anonymous 2

        The trouble is Rev. for every one who loathes Thatcher’s memory there is another who thinks she was the best thing since Churchill (it is always Churchill). The result is a deeply divided society which cannot even agree who its national heroes are.

    3. TimH

      Britain is broken indeed. And clearly still racist. Per the institutions list re “World’s top graduates get new UK visa option”, two mainline China universities, and none from India. IIT is renowned. Simply by population density, plus the promotion of engineering as a profession of respect as opposed to an image of toaster repairers, I expect that China and India produce more competent engineers than the ROW combined..

    4. Skk

      Yeah UK is broken , and the US too. But at least in Socal I have Mediterranean weather. A family friend in India got a job offer in Germany, with support for future permanent residency, I’ve told him to take it. Which set me thinking, I screwed up, not looking at how to maintain / add EU citizenship post Brexit, after all I’d worked on maintaining citizenship for the UK, USA, and permanent residency rights ( OCI) for India.

    1. Alice X

      Thanks for that. – That brought to mind the 2013 Italian English language film The Best Offer, wherein a noted auctioneer and appraiser regularly deems authentic works to be fakes. In order to simply won them his ally then bids on them at their steeply undervalued amount. But then is out conned by the erstwhile ally and a young woman. I liked the film, though it was not a hit. It turns fraud by forgery on its head.

    2. Maritimer

      “With his trademark humor and irreverence, Thomas Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and bestselling author of Making the Mummies Dance, delves into an important aspect of modern culture – art forgery – to reveal the appalling scams, the duplicitous perpetrators, and the hapless dupes, from the beginning of civilization to the present. This is a big, broad book on art fakes, fakers, and suckers written in Hoving’s signature style – amusing, wicked, and mischievous.”

      As I recall Hoving gives a high percentage number to the fakes floating around. Interesting, that this is the domain of the Elite and that the Government, uninterested in Financial Fraud, has Art SWAT Teams to protect the Elite from art scams. Provenance, just like fraudulent MBS, is everything, shop around until you get some.

  11. DJG, Reality Czar

    The antidote of the day is a remarkable bird. At first glance, I thought it was a kind of crow–imagine a crow&parrot combination, every individual of which would be much smarter than Antony Blinken.

    More information:

    Rev Kev? Does this bird’s range extend as far south as your backyard?

    1. icancho

      Palm Cockatoos are mainly found in New Guinea, but their range does reach into Australia, in the northern tip of Queensland, from Cape York south to roughly the level of Cape Melville National Park.

  12. Tom Stone

    Cash price for regular at the cheap station $6.09 per Gallon, Progresso Soup $4.96 per can including tax.
    Breatharianism may become the most popular new religion in the USA!

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i feel for you, Tom…and just wish you were closer.
      we’re covered up with food…even with me only doing a walkby garden this year(due to wife’s hospice).
      especially eggs…i get a dozen and a half per day…even with the recent heat.

      i’ve been giving them to the foodbank in town.

      gas is still in the 4.50 range around here
      but higher the closer you get to the big city.

      1. Tom Stone

        Amforta’s, I suspect we’d get along pretty well.
        With the drought the deer and turkeys ( And Mountain Lions) will be moving into town, there will be food…

      2. orlbucfan

        Amfortas: I’m very sorry to hear about your beloved other half. I hope she is in no pain, and at peace. Please stay strong for your whole family. Many thanks, Jerri-Lynn, for the interesting links yesterday and today. Now, I’m off to walk my pup in the heat before it gets unbearable.

    2. Questa Nota

      Weeks per gallon, that measurement introduced during the non-driving Covid period.
      Now recycled during the non-driving Younger Dryas Late Biden period. /s

  13. bassmule

    In an interview in 1968 or thereabouts, Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce said their favorite album was “B.B. King Live At The Regal.” It became my favorite, too. One thing led to another, and pretty soon I was into all these guys: Albert King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and the amazing Hound Dog Taylor, who made his slide guitar sound like a jet taking off. Later on, there was Roy Buchanan (yes, that’s a hell of a tune!) Duane Allman, Jimmy Vaughn, his brother Stevie Ray, and the supernatural Danny Gatton.

  14. pebird

    “Pay ‘with a smile or a wave’: why Mastercard’s new face recognition payment system raises concerns”

    Maybe Visa can do finger recognition?

    1. Lambert Strether

      > “Pay ‘with a smile….

      The weaponization (by antimaskers) and commodization (by FIRE) of the smile is really giving me the creeps. Of course, smiles always had their uses in advertising, public relations, and so on. But these two phenomena feel much more targeted and intense.

  15. dcblogger

    Shootings Have Surged — and Gun Companies Have Made Billions
    Publicly traded gun and ammo companies have raked in unprecedented profits during the pandemic.

    Daniel Defense, the company that made the gun used by the Robb Elementary shooter, has been handed over 100 federal contracts.

    1. griffen

      Read a few columns about the Daniel Defense company yesterday. One was discussing a recent ad on social media, which featured a 3 or 4 year boy with an AR in his lap ( ran on social media earlier in May, prior to the Uvalde shooting ). Pushing the envelope, no doubt.

      I just finished the above Counterpunch article today, and it details a timeline going back to the early 1990s. I won’t spoil the ending but the last paragraph gives a reasonable summation.

  16. Tom Stone

    IM Doc posted a link to an article discussing the correlation between mass shootings ( People running Amok) and SSRI’s and other psychotropic drugs.
    It’s astounding how many of these insane murderers have used these drugs, reading that article suggests it is well over 50%.
    @ 2% of those who use SSRI’s become extremely violent, not a large percent but with millions prescribed these drugs it is not a minor problem.

    If we lived in a country where such a study could be honestly conducted it should be a high priority.

    1. Juneau

      I work in the field and I agree. Both the manufacturers and the mental health providers can explore this issue through research (retrospectively). Confounding factors include direction of causality (broken people end up on meds, which came first?), substance use, access to firearms, and the underlying diagnosis. It is inherently difficult to accurately diagnose a developing human and often severe reactions to these meds occur when the diagnosis is incorrect (say the patient has manic depression and becomes very agitated from any antidepressant). It is long overdue to openly discuss this. Obviously in many situations the meds are prescribed in good faith and with an intent to help a child in distress who may be ill, but there is no excuse for not researching it further and well.

    2. Louis Fyne

      my hypothesis is that some kids have messed up neurochemistry as early as in the womb.

      eligenetic studies suggest that stress hormones in the womb trigger changes in the fetus. anxiety/stress (money, family issues, drugs) in the mom leads to higher markers of stress/anxiety in those kids.

      then those kids end up on meds and it snowballs

      1. chris

        Did you mean “epigenetics”? Otherwise it seems there’s a whole new set of concepts i need to learn!

      2. GramSci

        Adolescence is that time of life during which we all each work through our messed up neurochemistry and try to find a place for it. That gets harder and harder in a world with less room and fewer resources per person. Drugs are not the answer.

    3. Carolinian

      I saw that article of a similar one. It said the drugs create a sensation of unreality as though you are outside yourself looking down. It also said that the danger point is when the drug regime is changed or they become unavailable.

      I have a friend who went off on vacation and forgot his antidepressants and became quite panicky. They are highly addictive and hard to get off of. As with smoking the manufacturers have always known about the side effects but too much money at stake to withdraw their products.

      1. Alyosha

        When I’ve started an SSRI treatment I’ve noted that the earliest days are like a very light dose of LSD, or the vague oddness one experiences before a dose of LSD really starts to kick. I told one prescriber/therapist of the similarity rather than the feeling. She dismissed me. But it’s the same receptor complex. For reference I’ve only accepted the lowest possible dose and lost count of LSD trips long, long ago. If I’m right, it must be overwhelming for some people who’ve never had a pharmacological psychedelic experience and get put on large SSRI doses.

    4. thoughtfulperson

      Just off the top of my head, but dont something like 40% of muricans take antidepressants and another 40 take antianxiety meds?

      If so, 50% would not be quite as extreme as it looks.

    5. ArvidMartensen

      How does a civilisation know they are poisoning themselves if the poisons are ubiquitous?
      Not just SSRIs. Other pharmaceuticals. Microplastics. Various common pesticides. Common cleaning chemicals. Off-gassing from furniture and in new cars (love dat new car smell). Particulates from motor vehicle exhausts.
      If everyone is being slowly poisoned and the appearance of anomalies in physical and mental health relate to individual genetics and epigenetics, then the poisoning will be subtle and unremarked, and seen as individual weakness.
      But we no longer are allowed to believe in anecdotal evidence which is for dumb and dumber. Those of us who aspire to be seen as smart and educated just know that nothing is proved without RCTs. Which coincidentally are mostly funded by the manufacturers of the chemicals under suspicion. Hush your mouth, conspiracy theorist!
      What is the end point? Perhaps the end comes not with a bang but with a whimper. But we won’t have noticed as our magnificent human brains are slowly reduced to dementia-like states as more and more toxins progressively cross the blood/brain barrier.

  17. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, JLS.

    Further to the first two class warfare links, there’s more, er, great news. France’s possibly most corrupt politician, Patrick Balkany, leaves prison on Wednesday. One wonders what NC’s Parisian contingent makes of that.

  18. The Rev Kev

    The CNN article says that ‘Pelosi was attempting to cross SR-29 when his 2021 Porsche was hit by a 2014 Jeep traveling northbound on the road, according to a collision report from the California Highway Patrol’ but they are being coy here. What the CNN article does not mention, apart from mentioning that he was arrested, what was reported by RT, namely-

    ‘According to police records, he was arrested at 11:44pm Saturday night, and booked into jail at 04:13am on Sunday, but eventually released at 7:26am on a $5,000 bail.’

    So in other words they threw him in a drunk tank. Anyway, just wait till Nancy gets back from the east coast.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Too bad we didn’t hear what model of Porsche. Unless it’s one of their crossover or SUV models, how does an 82 year-old get in and out of a sports car model? I find it pretty scary that our elites seem so drawn to risky behaviors.

      1. Louis Fyne

        prob the SUV, the cayenne. if I recall correctly the Cayenne is their best selling model, precisely because lots of people can’t squeeze into a 911 or Panamera

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          Perhaps not. People like Pelosi, he of the Big Swingin’ Dick Pelosis prefer to drive sports cars. Perhaps he was driving a 911 GT3.

      1. Tom Stone

        It’s the first big Social weekend of the year in the wine country and the Pelosi’s own a very nice vineyard and winery near St Helena.
        So of course Paul had a taste of the grape before heading back to his SF crib, he was just being sociable…
        Have I mentioned I was hit head on by a drunk driver 30 years ago?

        I’ll be driving through that intersection in a few days, my Daughter turns 21 today and I’m taking her to St Helena wine tasting.

        BV first, then Sattui where we will also have lunch.

    2. Tom Stone

      If you want an eye opener look at how many highly skilled man hours of maintenance work are needed to keep an F 35 in the air for one hour.
      One of the great weaknesses of US weapons systems ( When they work at all) is the absurd logistical tail and the years it takes to train the people who maintain them.
      In the case of Military Airplanes you have a crew chief that supervises every aspect of preparing that airplane to perform its mission.
      Hardware,software and ordnance.
      Every system needs to be checked and if necessary repaired or replaced by a specialist every time it flies.
      Those specialists take years to train.
      Contrast the SU 27 and the F35 when it comes to the need for highly trained support personnel and you will see the difference between a profit driven ( For the MIC) and a needs driven approach to weapons systems.

    3. Michael

      I have driven Hwy 29 literally thousands of times. There is no reason at 11:44pm while driving drunk to not wait for the car to pass. Didn’t see it? Yeah right. Thought I could make it? Why chance it.

      If the accident occurred on the 4 lane stretch, you have an option to wait in the middle if you misjudged.
      If on the two lane section, you would be hit for sure unless the other driver locked them up good.

      At 82, he probably was thinking of something besides driving. Guilty!!

    4. Maritimer

      Perhaps Pelosi was unable to say the magic words: “Do you know who I am?” And the cop(s) on site did not detect from his license that he was SOMEBODY. In any jurisdiction I have ever lived, bagging a SOMEBODY can be lucrative. You call your superior: “Say, I have SOMEBODY here, what should we do?”

      Of course, if you are in a hostile jurisdiction or hit the only honest cop in the barrel, then all influence is off.

  19. MSusan

    Re: The Hill article about premiums rising; My husband and I (self-employed amp cabinet bus.) just lost our healthcare subsidy due to income data mismatch. IRS has not processed my early filed returns from 2020 and 2021. I even got a letter acknowledging all the money they received and deposited but deny receiving returns (even though I got a letter late last year requesting that I re-submit the 2020 return). So, I gave lots of money to the IRS as self-employed and lost my $235/month premium with $16,800 joint deductible and IRS is threatening to “re-locate” the taxes I paid. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just information returns the IRS threw out.

    1. chris

      I remember talking with friends from Mexico back in the 90’s, and hearing them describe their government as just another gang they had to deal with in their daily lives. It seems like we’re already there in the US :/

    2. GramSci

      It’s all part of the Republicrat plan to make us schlubs hate the IRS and abolish the income tax for them.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “EU Nations To Try Reaching An Agreement On Russian Oil Embargo Before Summit On May 30”

    I can understand how conservatives talk about Clown World as it is so apt. Simply put, Russian oil cannot be replaced. Period. Trying to pretend that a magic pipeline will appear with some other oil is just the sounds that petulant children make. The EU’s Ursula von der Leyen went on TV and said that the reason that they are buying Russian oil is that if Putin sold it elsewhere, that he might get a higher price. So…the EU buying Russian oil is making Russia poorer. I guess. But you know that am not making this up. There is talk about ending by phases Russian oil arriving by tanker. But all that will happen is that oil will get shipped around and laundered until it lands in the EU as non-Russian oil and at a much higher price to cover all those extra transport costs. You know what Putin could do? Tell the EU that like with Russian gas, all future Russian oil to ‘unfriendly ‘countries will also be priced in Rubles. I can hear the squawking now.

    1. Ignacio

      EU Puppets, Their Noses Growing All Along, To Try Looking Hard and Serious Before Puppet Summit.

      “We will be fighting against Russia until the last Ukrainian and the last € the citizens managed to save”
      Would be nice to know how much EU’s PMC have saved in Bahamas, Bermudas, Delaware etc.

      1. Tom Stone

        Check the “Panama Papers” by name.
        The “Warrior Saint of Ukraine” has a Christmas fund mentioned there, look under the names of wives, children and mistresses of those EU politicians and you might find a few who are doing very well indeed.

        1. Colonel Smithers

          Thank you and well said, Tom.

          The most egregious and cynical are perhaps the Polish politician Radek Sikorski and his journalist wife Anne Applebaum. The pair sent their two sons to Eton and Oxford. The fees for these places don’t pay for themselves.

          What is interesting are the French collaborators for the Atlantic Council. They are beginning to earn serious money.

    2. Martin Oline

      “von der Leyen said the reason that they are buying Russian oil is that if Putin sold it elsewhere, that he might get a higher price.” For some reason this makes me think of the battered wife who won’t divorce her husband in fear that he will marry the waitress he has been seeing, or is that a version of Stockholm syndrome?

      1. ArvidMartensen

        One of the funniest pieces of spin I’d seen in a long time. Do they think we’re stupid? Oh……..

  21. .Tom

    > Florida 5th grader arrested for mass shooting threat. NY Post

    The bravery of our public safety officials continues to impress…

    Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, … “We will have law and order in our schools! My team didn’t hesitate one second…NOT ONE SECOND, to investigate this threat,”

    The byline for the photos of the police officer perp walking a 10-year old is “Lee County Sheriff’s Department”. They must be very proud of their bravery.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      No kidding.

      The 10-year-olds killed in Uvalde were innocent, defenseless “babies,” and the 10-year-old in Florida is a scary, hardened criminal deserving of handcuffs and a perp walk for “texting” a to-be-taken-very-seriously “threat.” Or so they say.

      After Uvalde, this brave lawman–“Florida’s Law and Order Sheriff”–said:

      You don’t get to shoot our children. You bring deadly force in this county, we are going to kill you.

      And he sure showed that Florida baby…er I mean hardened criminal…that he means business. I guess the kid should consider himself lucky that the tough guys didn’t shoot first and ask questions later, given what happened in Texas and all, and the black eye “law enforcement” seems to have given itself.

      jeezus h. christ–is there a shred of sanity left in this pathetic country?

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Time is ticking to replace the Pentagon’s 1970s-era Doomsday planes”

    Gee, this is gunna be a tough call this. Really tough. Revamp those E-4Bs like has been done with the old B-52s or go with a new model? Let’s see now. Those old birds are solid and reliable having received the best of care. They can carry a dozen mechanics who can fix any problem with not a consultant in sight. They were built by Boeing when they knew their business and their workers turned out a steady stream of solid planes. It is full of analog controls that em warfare could not screw with and is non-hackable by definition.

    On the other hand they could order a new plane to be built. It would take twenty years to build – thirty years tops. Each plane would probably cost $500 million to build and would need an army of private consultants charging sky high prices to keep it going – when it does not refuse to boot up on the runway that is. It would be chock full of add-ons and wished systems that it would threaten its take-off weight. And if Being builds, it would be the same as having it built by ex-MacDonald workers. The software would never work and the helmets that the pilots would be forced to wear would cost $50 million each. Man, this is really a tough choice this.

    1. Synoia

      Aha – you have notices the “Swiss Army Knife” approach to designing weapons systems.

      Useless for everything, except they look pretty and keep contractors and Generals employed. I submit the Gerald Ford aircraft carrier, or the F35 plane, as a prime examples of this practice.

    2. thoughtfulperson

      The missing consideration are the billoins in pocket money for our favorite MIC corporations if we go with the useless crap choice. Clearly the winner. And being ornamental, less may die?

    3. playon

      I don’t buy the need for a brand new airplane, why can’t they just retrofit a Boeing 787? I don’t see why the plane must have 4 engines. And you can bet that any new aircraft will have insane levels of digital complexity which will likely make it much more difficult to repair.

    4. Alex V

      The question is how many GAG cycles these airframes have left, and which parts can be economically rebuilt:

      Aging Aircraft and Fatigue Failure

      If I remember correctly basically all B-52s have been re-winged at this point. Makes “economic” sense since there is still a fleet meaning you have economies of scale. 747s have never gone through a wing replacement program since airlines replace or scrap when the plane is sufficiently worn out.

      Regarding a 787 or other two-engined replacement: this is not viable if one wants to retain the analog systems and their “reliability” & radiation resistance because of electrical power requirements. Analog electronics almost universally use significantly more power than digital systems. It would be difficult to “just put a bigger generator on the 2 engines!” due to aerodynamic and space constraints in the nacelles. Hence the need for 4 engines with physically smaller generators to get the required amount of power. 4 engines also give more redundancy.

  23. Mikel

    Old Blighty
    “World’s top graduates get new UK visa option” BBC
    “…While the FSB chairman, Martin McTague, applauded the chancellor Rishi Sunak’s latest support for consumers through the £15bn cost of living package announced last week, he said some of those recipients could lose their jobs unless the government rolled out targeted measures for their employers.

    “We don’t have any problem with the way the chancellor dealt with consumer needs,” McTague told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “But there is still a massive problem with small businesses. They are facing something like twice the rate of inflation for their production prices, and it’s a ticking timebomb. They have got literally weeks left before they run out of cash and that will mean hundreds of thousands of businesses, and lots of people losing their jobs.”

    McTague pointed to figures from the Office for National Statistics, which showed that 40%, or 2m, of the UK’s small businesses had less than three months’ worth of cash left to support their operations. Of those 2m, the FSB chairman said about 10% – or 200,000 – were in “serious trouble”, and that another 300,000 “have only got weeks left”…

  24. Carolinian

    New Scott Ritter.

    He now concedes Ukraine’s military defeat while trying to read the tea leaves on what comes next.

    Meanwhile Martyanov says only the secretive Russian command know what the real plan is and even he will decline to speculate. But here’s suggesting that Putin will demand recognition of the territorial realities or continue to bomb back to the stone age. While Zelinky/Biden might not say uncle Europe might?

    1. Louis Fyne

      The West has poisoned diplomacy so much that the most rational course of action is for Russia to seize the entire Black Sea coast and every ethnic Russian oblast/county that wants to be independent from Kyiv.

      Defacto unconditional surrender from Ukraine.

      Otherwise Russia and the West are going to war again in 5-10 years when a new crop of chickenhawks are in DC-Brussels

  25. Alyosha

    The Turkish catacombs are cool. The supposition that they were originally built to house Christians seemed far fetched if they were in use 1,900 years ago and they could house 60K+. The persecutions by Diocletian wouldn’t be for another 200ish years after the stated time frame; that’s a massive Christian population so soon after the death of Jesus; and aside from stories of Paul finding Christians when he first arrived in some places to bring the good news, this seems a bit outside the expected geographic range of the earliest Christians.

    The same gets said about Greek island churches built inside caves, though the story is more about protection against Turkish pirates. I’d say it’s more likely that the Turkish catacombs were adopted by Christians possibly because the early ones were poor people and it may have been vacant space or because early Christianity was pretty mystery centric (the Orthodox Church maintains this) and caves are places of spiritual mystery going back long before Christianity. They may have offered protection when persecutions did happen, but weren’t used originally because of persecution.

    1. super extra

      Another thought: I bet they’re nice and cool when it is very hot above ground. Imagine how nice that would have been before ac!

  26. roxan

    Re American Violence. In 1985, I moved to a working class neighborhood next to the Italian Mkt, in S. Phila. It was a peaceful friendly block inhabited by families who owned stores in the market. That changed, around 1990 and just got worse every year. The cops were completely useless. My car was stolen and they weren’t interested in even taking a report. A randum nut case tried to break down my door–twice–in broad daylight. The second time, I got his license plate number and called the cops. He was gone by then, but they tracked him down and left a threatening note. They couldn’t do anything unless I went to the D.A. The D.A. wouldn’t do anything and said the cops should not even have left a note! Next, a crack house opened next door and a gang sat on my doorstep, day and night. Still, the cops did nothing. I moved, finally, and will never live in a city again.

  27. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “. . . . a gentle giant, otherworldly.”

    I suppose . . . .

    gentle giant . . . .

    “Middleman sees straight ahead and never crosses borders
    Never understood the artist or the lazy workers
    The world needs steady men like me to give and take the orders”

  28. Louis Fyne

    If you go by the boring textbook definition of fascism (not the H-word or TDS kind): the fusion of state and business, the US has been fascist for a whole. Japan even longer

  29. jr

    Here is a talk by Bill Lutz, a linguist discussing the use of doublespeak by corporations and governments:

    This was from 1996. I wonder what he would think of the language games we see all around us today. One good bit: instead of “frozen” chicken, the FDA allowed poultry producers to use “hard chilled” so that the consumer could be charged more. In another case in Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court ruled that because a woman had only protested with words, not with physical force, her rapist walked free.

    1. Polar Socialist

      Very much exaggerated. Bread is consumable, usually delivered early in the morning and shelves are empty by the nightfall – gas or no gas.

      One of the biggest bakeries in Finland did have co-operation negotiation with employees (mandatory in Finland for lay-offs and mass terminations) in order to have all summer vacations in early June (so not really lay-offs, even) while the bakery converts to oil ovens, but the gas grid company promised to deliver the required amount of “Baltic” gas (read: Russian gas trough middlemen).

      The rest of the bakeries seem to have enough capacity already with electric, oil and coal ovens. The Green Revolution has arrived!

  30. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    At the entrance to the Black Sea Analysis: Turkey’s recurring currency nightmare strikes again

    LONDON, May 30 (Reuters) – Another 9% plunge in Turkey’s lira this month and debt market danger gauges at levels last seen during the 2008 global crash have prompted investor concerns that a fresh crisis might be brewing in the country.

    …The latest lira slump – it is down 20% this year – combined with soaring global energy and food prices means inflation is now at 70% and rising, while emergency measures Ankara adopted at the height of last year’s turmoil are about to be seriously tested.

    …Meanwhile, the central bank’s net reserves have tumbled to a negative $55 billion once FX ‘swap’ deals with Turkey’s domestic banks are accounted for.

    …There are also renewed concerns about Turkey’s testy relationship with the West after Erdogan said he would veto bids by Finland and Sweden to join NATO, accusing them of harbouring people linked to outlawed Kurdish separatists.

    …The market strains have exacerbated the woes of ordinary Turks, and households are struggling to pay rapidly rising bills, setting the stage for an unpredictable election due no later than June 2023.

    …”The whole investability of Turkey hinges on the election outcome,” said Petar Atanasov at emerging market fund Gramercy.

    1. ArvidMartensen

      Is this an example of the West waging “economic war” against Turkey because it’s getting uppity?

    2. playon

      The US version:

      The market strains have exacerbated the woes of ordinary Americans, and households are struggling to pay rapidly rising bills, setting the stage for an unpredictable election due no later than June 2024.

  31. Mikel

    “Talk of doing good rings hollow among global elite” FT.

    Scroll to the end to see what they were really exited about.

    Things to remember in the coming months: The Fed and economists are talking about battling inflation. Don’t mistake that for a battle against wealth inequality.

    1. Lambert Strether

      > Scroll to the end to see what they were really exited about.

      Here it is:

      One of the important topics that was discussed in Davos was the expectation of a coming wave of white collar outsourcing and tech job displacement. As one American chief executive said when discussing remote work: “If you can do it in Tahoe, you can do it in India.”

      These people haven’t had a truly original idea in forty years. Meanwhile, as far as doing good, the Covid pandemic provided and provides a magnificent opportunity for that, which they failed at spectacularly, unless you consider “Let ‘er rip” “doing good” (which, to be fair, some mainstream economists probably do).

  32. Pat

    I grew up with a grandmother who made her bread by throwing everything together. But she made that bread every week and had been doing so for probably forty years by the time I wanted the “recipe”. She gave me a copy of the original, but that was the first time I discovered that minor changes occur over time and style of scooping. I have continued to bake over the years and with the exception of a few doughs that I am utterly familiar with by feel, like my grandmother having now made them for several decades, this American baker has switched to weight for measurements.
    One of the biggest reasons that bakes fail is that how you get that cup of flour or sugar means the amount can vary widely even as much as 30% more of the intended amount. Using an electronic scale is incredibly easy after minimal practice and you even end up with less dishes. Those other countries have it right.

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      Ever since I lived in the UK during the Thatcher years, I’ve baked by weight, rather than volume. Better results. Dead easy with an electronic scale.

  33. RobertC


    I believe India’s Computer Emergency Response Team will have to back off as Global tech industry objects to India’s new infosec reporting regime Eleven industry associations, representing every tech vendor that matters, warns of economic harm

    …The letter to CERT-In suggests that the rules will make it hard for overseas companies to do business in India, put the country at odds with its allies, and result in costs being passed on to consumers. The groups call for new consultation to revise the rules.

    CERT-In has to date been silent in the face of criticism. India’s minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has brushed aside criticism too, saying that VPN providers that don’t like the rules can choose to leave the country.

  34. Geo

    “Notices about the premium increases would be sent out shortly before the midterm elections, adding political pain for Democrats in addition to the higher premiums for consumers.”

    It’s kinda funny how this catches Dems by surprise every election cycle. You’d think they would catch on but nope. Maybe those Alzheimer’s meds the senate pharmacist hands out like Halloween candies are working?

    From 2016: “In states where the premium hikes have hammered voters hardest, Republican Senate candidates outperformed Trump – states like Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio, among others.”

      1. chris

        He’s kinda sleepy and wandering in ideological circles. When he speaks, his courtiers tell us he didn’t mean what he said. Hard to tell if he’s to the right or left of anyone.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Say, weren’t all those progressives saying how it was vital to elect old Joe and when he became President, then they could push him left? How did that plan ever work out?

  35. Henry Moon Pie

    Related to nothing in particular in today’s LInks but pertinent to the many discussions about the relationship between the working and liberals, I came across a film called “American Revolution 2” that might be a interest. It’s a very roughly edited, non-narrated, even almost entirely unlabeled documentary filmed in 1968 in Chicago. It’s not another film about the Yippies (love ’em) nor even the ’68 Chicago Convention demonstration though there is a segment at the beginning following Dick Gregory (not labeled, I recognized him) during his convention activities.

    But the focus of the movie soon shifts to a pool hall on the South Side where people laugh about how the violence of the CPD is a big deal now that white college kids are getting beat up.

    But the bulk of the movie is devoted to an attempt to form a “rainbow coalition” of the Young Patriots, young working class white guys, mostly from Appalachian roots, with the Black Panthers and a group of liberals whose organizational name I haven’t been able to figure out. This segment features two Black Panthers, Bob Lee and Fred Hampton (later slaughtered by the CPD at the direction of the FBI under COINTELPRO). Perhaps the best way to determine whether it’s worth watching this hour and twenty-minute film is to read Jacobin’s obituary for Bob Lee a few years back. Except from the article about an event included in the film:

    The first encounter between Lee and the Young Patriots actually happened by accident. Lee was invited to speak at the Church of Three Crosses on the Near North Side by Charlotte Engelmann, a white attorney. The congregation of the church consisted of predominantly upper-middle-class whites. Engelmann had also invited the Young Patriots to speak that night. Lee remarked:

    In theory, one does not put southern whites and the Panthers together. It was a mistake in programming. When I got a phone call and was asked to speak, I was not informed about the Young Patriots attending. My intention was to introduce the Illinois Black Panther Party because the organization was new to the city of Chicago . . . The event was my first speaking engagement.

    The Young Patriots had been invited to speak about police brutality. Bob Lee was surprised by the intense hostility and class dialogue between the two white groups, and he was unaccustomed to the way that the middle-class group verbally attacked the Young Patriots.

    Coming from the South, it was a culture shock for me. I had never seen that before, because in the South whites were united around race . . . I had never seen whites attack poor whites before. I had never seen poor whites having to explain themselves to other whites before . . . When I was called upon to speak, I made my speech, and it was an emotional tie-in with the Young Patriots because I felt the hostility toward them. And that was the beginning of our alliance.

    It’s apparent from the film what an extraordinary fellow and organizer Bob Lee was.

    1. Skippy

      Reminds me of a live concert at an old, unused at the time, art deco movie theater in Manhattan Bch, Calif. during the late 80s. Promoter had the bright idea to feature both the Ramones and the Suicidal Tenancies, because um … they were both considered “Punk Bands”.

      Whole thing was a slow motion train wreak of verbal abuse that ended in a full blown street fight.

      Conversely my grandparents Southern Baptist church, in the sticks of Missouri, would have its sister church congregation from East St. Louis arrive en-mass to share their “common belief system” once a year.

  36. JBird4049

    >>>Then he turns on his hunch backed pugilistic charm

    Nice turn of phrase there as well as a nice video to wake up to.

    1. JBird4049

      Which just shows either clueless or uncaring he is. Hellpit housing based on the illegal housing for kidnapped children.

      Having seen LA Skid Row, the officially approved homeless encampment, as well as San Francisco’s homeless, and others in the Bay, I just wonder why anyone would want to live in their vehicle or the sidewalk. It is not paradise. Maybe if the candidate would push some laws or regulations shifting the massive amount of developers’ cash into building actual apartments, I could take him seriously.

      But then, the homeless, most of whom are considered garbage, probably should not have decent housing if they cannot afford the insanely overpriced housing available; a large number of people, especially the ones living in cars, have jobs and many more are either mentally ill or too old.

      California dreaming, my posterior. More like California nightmares.

    1. Lambert Strether

      Entirely plausible — but I’m also leery of making a single Telegram the basis of anything. In fact, I’m leery of how much Telegram is infiltrating the foundations of what we used to call journalism. At least Mercouris, for example, gets perspective by comparing and collating Telegrams from both sides, which a single Telegram by definition cannot do.

        1. Acacia

          My money *cough* is on one of those being launched at a money truck in France. It wouldn’t be the first time big guns were used in such a heist there, but it would be a logical escalation by a present-day wannabe Mesrine.

        2. Skippy

          Don’t think a 5K degree plume of plasma would be a wise choice for such a job. Now on the other hand, say, some people you don’t like in a room or vehicle.

  37. The Rev Kev

    Something else from Clown World. So Norway, in its moral fight against Russia, is changing the name that they call Belarus in solidarity with Belarusian opposition figure Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who claims to have won the country’s 2020 presidential election and was visiting Norway. I am sure that the people of Belarus are happy about having their country’s name changed. Svetlana Tikhanovskaya was asked for a comment but unfortunately was too busy on Tinder swiping right on Juan Guaidó’s profile-

  38. RobertC

    Climate Change

    A lightweight survey with useful links on MENA conflicts and emigration into Europe Can the Middle East Avoid the Coming Climate Disaster? While the costs of mitigation and adaptation reforms will be high, the price of inaction is immeasurable.

    …As a matter of fact, MENA countries are vulnerable to more than their precipitation problem: on average, these countries receive over half of their total renewable water resources (i.e., rivers) from sources outside of their borders. The IMF’s warning that this external dependency “amplifies the risks of regional water disputes and refugee flows” is not theoretical. Indeed, we have already seen Egypt threaten military action to stop Ethiopia’s hydroelectric projects from reducing the Nile River’s downstream water supply—which provides 97 percent of Egypt’s renewable water resources. Likewise, disputes over “hydro-politics” have raised the risk of interstate conflicts between nations such as Israel and Palestine; Iran and Afghanistan; Syria, Iraq, and Turkey; and India and Pakistan. Water and its associated infrastructure have also been weaponized and targeted in the Syrian Civil War, the Iraq War, and the war in Yemen by both state and nonstate actors alike. Moreover, the increased likelihood of drought and rising heat could incite additional violent uprisings and reprisals, much as how we saw unprecedented droughts catalyze seismic events such as the 2010 Arab Spring, the 2011 Syrian Civil War, and the protests that wracked Iran in 2021. While water is not always the primary cause of instability and war, it is increasingly becoming a part of competition and conflict in this desiccated region.

  39. RobertC

    Biden Administration

    LINK: America’s Pivot to Asia 2.0: The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework The Diplomat

    ASPI considers Failure to Launch Syndrome Is the US really committed to its new Indo-Pacific economic initiative?

    The Biden administration attracted a dozen nations to the launch of its Indo-Pacific Economic Framework but the lack of commitment to the plan from either the United States or the region suggests it’s unlikely to have much impact.

    China has been a clear winner, joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and applying to join both the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the innovative Singaporean initiative, the Digital Economic Partnership Agreement (DEPA). [The US isn’t joining any of them.]

    …According to the Financial Times, the US draft wanted to declare the ‘launch of negotiations’. Instead, it merely announced that ‘we launch collective discussions toward future negotiations’. It is an agreement to talk about talking.

    On the US side, the lack of commitment is evident in the apparent decision to implement the agreement by executive decree, rather than attempting to legislate it through Congress.

    …As nations across the region are only too well aware, executive decisions in the US can be overturned in an instant by the next administration.

    …Because the Biden administration cannot get trade deals through congress, IPEF provides no improved access to the US market. There are no tariff concessions on offer.

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