Links 6/13/2022

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

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


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

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


“I Love Debauching People!”: The Trailblazing Ways of Ireland’s Greatest Travel Writer Afar


Let Them Eat Fermented Protein Literary Review

Transcript: 50th Anniversary of Watergate: Inside the Case WaPo

Old World Warblers London Review of Books

Reshuffled Rivers Bolster the Amazon’s Hyper-Biodiversity Wired

Apple Wants to End Passwords for Everything. Here’s How It Would Work. WSJ

125 years ago, bicyclists paved the way for the Lake Washington Path — Seattle’s first long, paved bike path Seattle Times

Material and immaterial Times Literary Supplement. The deck: Why we should care about cloth and how it’s made


Should you take a booster shot? As Covid-19 cases rise again, here’s what the experts say Scroll. A view from India.

WHO’s Early Probe Into COVID-19 Suggests Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Market Amplified Pandemic Republic World

Understanding long Covid will take the lived experiences of long haulers Stat


WTO patent waiver is the need of the hour The Hans India

WTO meet | Piyush Goyal Slams Developed Countries For Not Helping Developing Nations During COVID Republic World

New Not-So-Cold-War

A case study in American propaganda Responsible Statecraft

Russia-Ukraine live: Moscow ‘destroys’ depot with western weapons Al Jazeera


China Avers Sanctions On Russia ‘not Helpful’ To Stop War; Reiterates Call For Dialogue Republic World

At Shangri-La Dialogue, Ukraine War and US-China Tensions In Focus Amidst India’s Absence The Wire

Creating cold war conditions in Asia isn’t easy Indian Punchline


Estonia and the Russian World Gilbert Doctorow

La belle France

A Mélenchon Government Would Shake the Foundations of Neoliberalism in Europe Jacobin

Takeaways from the first round of France’s parliamentary elections France 24


Former Trump campaign manager to testify at ‘Big Lie’ hearing Reuters

U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger says Trump lacks ‘mental capability’ to be president again if he believed election was stolen Chicago Tribune


Senators strike bipartisan gun safety agreement Politico

‘Bipartisan’ Senate Deal on Guns Deemed “Pathetically Weak” Common Dreams

Chinese hackers exploited years-old software flaws to break into telecom giants  MIT Technology Review

Facebook advertising algorithm may have given the GOP a social media edge over the Democratic Party: report Alternet


Brookings president resigns amid FBI foreign lobbying probe AP

Biden Administration

Joe Biden’s Submissive — and Highly Revealing — Embrace of Saudi Despots Glenn Greenwald

Dems increasingly question whether unpopular Biden should be party’s nominee in 2024: report NY Post

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez REFUSES to say she’ll back Joe in 2024 after report suggests Democrats believe it ‘can’t be Biden’ and the president ‘should announce his intent not to seek re-election’ Daily Mail

Storms at the Summit of the Americas Counterpunch


Messy Summit of the Americas highlights contrast in US, China hosting styles South China Morning Post

Japan: What’s behind Okinawans’ falling life expectancy? Deustche Welle.

Imperial Collapse Watch

Top Gun And American Decline American Conservative

The Supremes

‘Extraordinarily Self-Centered’: As a Roe Reversal Looms, RBG Admirers Wrestle with Her Legacy Politico


Gas prices hit new record high The Hill

Rethinking Prison Tourism Marshall Project

Class Warfare

While Elites Fret About Inflation and Worker Wages, CEOs Are Robbing Us Blind Jacobin

No House for You, Kid Los Angeles Review of Books

Dire Straits New York Review of Books

Our Famously Free Press

A New Muckraking Newspaper From Ralph Nader Takes On Congress and Its Dirty Secrets Capital & Main

California Dreaming

The California exodus continues as residents head south of the border CNBC

Climate Change

India pushes for funding to mitigate climate crisis risk Hindustan Times

The race against time to breed a wheat to survive the climate crisis Guardian

Amid global warming, Bangladesh’s historic coastal mosques stare at an uncertain future Scroll

Waste  Watch

If Plastic Comes From Fossil Fuels, Why Isn’t It Biodegradable? The Wire

What would happen if we stopped using plastic? BBC

Your Kitchen Doesn’t Need Plastic Cling Wrap Treehugger

How to fight food waste: From laws to artificial intelligence Deutsche Welle

Expecting food waste ‘tsunami,’ California recyclers focus on infrastructure and end markets Waste Duve


Explained: Turkey’s battered economy and Erdogan’s attempts to fix it Middle East Eye

Japan: What’s behind Okinawans’ falling life expectancy? Deustche Welle.


Enrollment Falls In Private Schools Due To Covid-19-Induced Income Shock India Spend

Elderly couple’s lawsuit demanding grandkids highlights woes of Indians who choose to be childfree Scroll

India firing up orders for its homegrown Astra missile Asia Times

Heatwave in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi and UP to continue till June 14, says weather department Scroll

‘Rajapaksa Said Modi Insisted on Adani for Power Project’, Says Sri Lanka Electricity Chief The Wire

In Rajasthan, villagers are planting trees on weddings and funerals to help restore degraded land Scroll

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterdays Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sardonia

    I checked in last night to see what Bitcoin was doing – and first saw it at $25,062.40. That number sounded familiar, and suddenly I had an earworm of a 1970 song from the band, Chicago, 25 or 6 to 4. So, in homage to the Master, Wukchumni:

    Waiting for the break of day
    I optioned in at 60K
    Matt Damon told me to be brave
    I’ve lost everything I’ve saved
    Sitting mutely on the floor

    Staring blindly into space
    Feeling like my face is Maced
    Will I get a margin call?
    They’re gonna come and take it all
    I’ll be poorer than the Poor

    Feeling like I ought to sleep
    I’ll try counting Crypto Sheep
    I can’t watch this anymore!
    The handle’s under twenty-fou…oou,,,OUR!!!!!
    (Terry Kath wah-wah guitar solo)

    1. griffen

      A well done effort. Crypto, when the old methods to light your savings or limited wealth on fire are just too dull and boring. Gonna get ugly based on this morning’s indications.

    2. Wukchumni

      Well done, bravo~

      $4.01k update:

      Sure I could have bailed out of Bitcoin @ $30k, but that isn’t exactly HODL now, is it?

      I’ll admit to a smidgen of FOMO on selling when I could still use the wherewithal to invest in a slurpee to beat the 98.7 heat within, but hey… a Topo Chico is better and is still within my budget, that is if I could find any to purchase with what is now my $1.51k.

      I think back to what could’ve been if i’d taken the 12% hit on my loose change from the Coinstar machine and merely licked that tiny financial wound to make it feel better and walked away, but no I had to be the big shot investor type…

    3. Acacia

      Not only BTC and ETH getting hammered, but the stable genius coins USDD and USDN are unpegging… look out below.

      1. Wukchumni

        ‘Monday the 13th’ has an unlucky ending feel to it.

        I thought most financial collapses came in the fall?

        My brother in law’s sister was a teacher in the states in the late 70’s and Caracas came calling and desired her services there where she was making nearly double what she could earn in the states doing the same job, and she loved the city, the restaurants and nightlife, and then Black Friday came calling one day in 1983, and as she was paid in Bolivars, all of the sudden her teaching salary was 1/3rd of what she earned in the USA in $’s, exit stage north.

        It was 4.3 Bolivars to the $ when she taught school, now with revaluations and new and improved Bolivars and the like, the exchange rate is probably closer to a billion Bolivars to equal 1 Dollar Americano.

      2. FreeMarketApologist

        While I’m not generally a fan of violence, I’m glad to see that algorithmic stablecoins are getting the severe beating that they deserve.

        When your crypto ‘banker’ is proposing that you can only take so much out of the bank each day (limiting the daily redemption amount), you know you’re in trouble. Looks and smells like a bank run to me.

    4. Kurtismayfield

      Yes, after the Celsius freeze is becoming apparent that the obvious ponzi-esqu nature of Crypto is finally coming home to people.

    5. Wukchumni

      I’ve heard of a number of cryptocurrency investors have committed pseudocide by deploying a gallows emoji once in awhile on social media.

      1. Sardonia

        Mass wake for the pseudocided will take place tomorrow at noon. Avatars will then be cremated (de-pixelated), their remains to be spread randomly throughout the Metaverse.

  2. ChrisRUEcon


    Ayyyyyyooooooooo …

    “Macron’s coalition is looking far weaker than in 2017, when it dominated the first round and went on to win a commanding majority of seats. This time, its vote share (25.75 percent) was very nearly matched by NUPES’ (25.66 percent), with just 21,000 ballots separating the two, according to official results published by the Interior Ministry.”

    Got the biggest smile on my face! Bonjour, indeed!

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      And wow … the “Winners & Losers” section of that France24 article has a couple eyebrow raisers, for sure.

      PS: Did not realize ‘Marine’ was such a popular woman’s name in France … ;-)

    2. ChrisRUEcon

      Hi JLS,

      You’ve inadvertently given us a double dose of the Facebook Ad Algo article … ;-)

      No link to MIT Tech Review link on Chinese hacks …

    3. David

      Jacobin is getting over-excited again. The FR24 article is fair enough, but it’s very dangerous to try to predict the outcome of the second round based on these figures, though I suppose journalists feel they have to try. The overall national percentages don’t mean much, since there is no political grouping which is even remotely close at the moment to the kind of national score that would put them over the top. For example, the Mélenchon-led alliance scored around 26% nationally, which is actually pretty close to the level of support that the wider Left has enjoyed in polls and elections in recent years. By contrast, in the first round in 2012, the Socialists scored almost 40%, from which it was evident that they would win, because they could expect to pick up the votes of other minor left-wing candidates, including Mélenchon’s party.

      Ten years on, the political landscape is much more chaotic. Rather than the second round being duels between Left and Right trying to maximise turnout and transfer of votes from unsuccessful parties, there are four groups involved with different objectives. Macron’s LREM is desperately trying to hang on to its parliamentary majority, Mélenchon’s NUPES alliance is, realistically, trying to prevent that, the Republicans are trying to hang onto the seats they have, and Le Pen’s RN is hoping for a breakthrough so that they have seats in parliament which reflect, as far as possible, their level of support in the country. Next Sunday’s results therefore depend entirely on what a bored and pissed-off electorate decide to do, and whether they can even be bothered to vote at all. (Abstention is at record levels). Polls suggest that around two thirds of the electorate don’t want a parliament controlled by Macron’s party, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that voters for an unsuccessful RN candidate will automatically switch to the NUPES, or vice versa. They may just stay at home.

      I’m continuing to predict a parliament without an overall majority for one party, but that’s about it. This complexity, combined with local factors, makes any detailed predictions extremely dangerous. All I’d say is that if I were Macron I wouldn’t be feeling very comfortable.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        > All I’d say is that if I were Macron I wouldn’t be feeling very comfortable.

        .. and that covers most of what I need to put a smile on my face, David. ;-)

        When you refer to that “bored and pissed-off electorate”, I see an opportunity based that group’s perception of LREM’s weakness. The people who sat out, perhaps expecting the ‘status quo’ to prevail given Macron’s win in the presidential, will now have a greater reason to participate assuming their desire is to upend the apple cart as it were.

        > I’m continuing to predict a parliament without an overall majority for one party, but that’s about it.

        Indeed, but I still believe “who gets closest” is important in terms of assessing where are potential path for the #NUPES may lie. It’s all to play for, David. I look forward to our follow up conversation next Monday!


        1. JohnA

          TBH, whoever wins, I expect nothing to fundamentally change in France, unless there is a continent wide uprising that forces a rethink/radical clearout at EU elite level. Although as thinking clearly is not a pastime Ursula vdl engages in, a rethink would certainly be impossible for her.

          1. Jesper

            Since France has the First by The Post System then strange things might happen.

            Being a first-past-the-post instead of a proportional system — second-place candidates lose out even if they receive as much as 49 percent of the vote — the election tends to produce a clear majority in parliament.

            Not quite as dysfunctional as in the US or in the UK but somehow it seems that having clear majority (seems a bit autoritarian or possibly even totalitarian) is prioritised over having a parliament that is more closely representing the multitude of opinions in the electorate.

            My guess is that people will end up voting for the least bad candidate among those who have the best chance of getting elected.
            Possibly it is not the weather that makes people reluctant to vote, possibly people don’t vote as they would like to vote for a party they could actually support rather than the candidate they believe is least bad…

            1. hunkerdown

              The festivals of partisan contest produce a victor and thus serve to constitute the bourgeois economy and society of competitive antagonism. That dysfunction is the “our democracy” Western figureheads are obsessed with preserving and expanding.

            2. hk

              France does NOT have a first past the post system. Dynamics of a runoff system, which France does have, are quite different since it forces a lot of strategy among the non-first place finishers and their supporters about how to shuffle the votes around in the second round, which gets even more chaotic when the “obvious” alternatives are lacking (definitely true now, although this development has been ongoing for a few decades). This makes the system potentially a lot more fluid than a genuine FPTP system.

              1. Jesper

                It seems that the journalist, editor and also the fact-checker at Politico made the same mistake as I did.
                France does not have a first by the post system, just a system with huge similarities and barely noticable differences in outcome. The two-round system:
                On a related note: The Guardian is apparently also making the claim that France has a first by the post system:

                However, France’s constituency-based, first-past-the-post voting system for parliament means that the exact number of seats for each grouping remains hard to predict. Much will depend on turnout – which could be under 50% and reach a historic low.

                A system where 35-40% of the votes with a 50% voter turnout gives total control over the legislative can almost be approximated with a system where only 20% active support is needed for legislative control. I would not be surprised if some dictatorships have higher active support than that….

          2. David

            I don’t think that anyone expects “change” as a direct result of this election. The point is rather that, without a majority, Macron is going to find life difficult, and all sorts of interesting questions will be raised about the relative powers of the President and the government. In the past, when government and Presidency have been from different parties, there’s been a definite rebalancing of powers towards the former. Here, though, the fragmentation of French politics today means that it’s not certain that any party will have enough seats to form a government. In that case, Macron could try to appoint a minority government, gambling that in practice the entire opposition, divided as it is, would not oppose him on any specific issue. It’s also possible to turn any vote into a vote of confidence, which, if lost, would mean another election. But it’s hard to see a government surviving five years like that.

            The most likely result is a greater or lesser degree of paralysis in the system, and increasing calls for changing it. That could produce large-scale instability. The Fifth Republic has lasted since 1958, but it’s not clear how much life it really has left.

            1. Bugs

              My only concern is what you’ve just said here – that we end up with no real government but none of the parties elected are willing to unite to pass a no confidence vote and get new elections. One thing that I believe is certain, that you only touched upon, is that the RN (Le Pen) will finally have enough seats to form a group in the Assembly.

  3. Basil Pesto

    Ames’ tweet – must be that ‘Urgency of Normal’ I’ve heard so much about.

  4. Samuel Conner

    re: JRB and 2024,

    the thought occurs that instead of the crisis in Eastern Europe turning into a reprise of “Russia and Afghanistan”, it might turn into a distant analogy to “LBJ and Vietnam”.

    Hard to imagine JRB asserting that he will not accept the nomination, …

    but there might be an entertaining mispronunciation.

    1. Arizona Slim

      In early 1968, it was hard to imagine that LBJ would decide not to run for re-election. But that’s exactly what he did.

      1. Wukchumni

        (Chant not currently heard on any campuses of higher learning}

        ‘Hey, Hey JRB, how many student loans did you kill today?’

        1. Bugs


          They’re all too worried about that biometric info showing up on socmedia and ruining their career prospects.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      What was the company’s excuse? Having a food plant close because of unsanitary conditions isn’t exactly the best PR money can buy.

  5. Patrick Donnelly

    Trigger Warning!

    Seriously. Once you read this ….

    Yes, Yves, this time I am “making shit up” as you put it. This will be distressing, so non appearance is fine with me.



    The journalist’s body has not been found. It is likely that the legs and arms have been destroyed, or perhapos pickled.

    It is also likely that the doctor who attended performed amputations and the torso and head survived. It is likely on display to those who might commit the crime of ‘Lèse-majesté’ in KSA. I leave the rest to the imagination.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ” ‘Extraordinarily Self-Centered’: As a Roe Reversal Looms, RBG Admirers Wrestle with Her Legacy”

    I think that Matt Stoller has it right. That ‘Ruth Bader Ginsburg was put on the court because she was a big business friendly social climber. Her choices always reflected that.’ And guess who else in the same era was awarded power because they too were ‘a big business friendly social climber’? Alan Greenspan, that’s who. Was that part of the jobs requirements back then?

    Thing is, in that article the disillusioned people about RBG are those bent out of shape over a single issue. That in spite of being sick before, she refused to resign. And so Roe vs Wade is in danger now. I would have thought that it would have been better to examine her judgements and see what that had to say who she was for, but whatever. Then again, these people think that if she had stepped down, another ‘leftist’ would have been appointed to the Supreme Court. But Obama was President then so he would have folded and installed a hard-right, business friendly judge so what would the difference have been?

    1. JTMcPhee

      “But Obama was President then so he would have folded and installed a hard-right, business friendly judge” — Fixed it for you.

      You’re welcome!

  7. Mark Gisleson

    Thank you in advance for reading Ralph Nader’s Capitol Hill Citizen for us. I’m pretty sure I’m not subscribing to anything unavailable in digital format.

    1. Carolinian

      I tend to agree. Ralph is a bit retro although he says the newspaper or newsletter mostly intended for distribution to Congress people. Presumably they don’t pay a dime.

      Nader is a great guy but I stopped listening to his Ralph Nader Radio Hour because it just retreads stuff I read on the web and often not as to the point. Back in the day Nader always had at least a few Congressional allies to put him before the public but hard to see any of those on the horizon these days. It’s all plebes versus toga wearers now.

  8. hemeantwell

    Ay-carumba. The Responsible Statecraft article is great for exposing the neocon sponsors of the ISW, and doing so by emphasizing how oblivious Americans are of their submersion in a propaganda grounded in received truths. And yet the writer feels obliged to recite such a truth by defining the war’s onset as a “big country invading a little democracy.” The argument that the Russians were carrying out a preemptive strike is not taken up or even acknowledged.

    Next stop: someone can do an article on Responsible Statecraft’s leading light, Andrew Bacevich, a useful critic of American foreign policy who at the same time accepts its fundamental rationalizations.

    1. Lex

      Bacevich is such a weird case. His work on the history of conflict in Afghanistan is maybe the most valuable resource on the topic. And yet, he seems unwilling to believe that it might all be happening again. Not to mention your point, which suggests he didn’t actually learn anything from his heavy lifting on Afghan history.

      1. Mike

        Let us also remind ourselves that the pressure to conform to this propaganda monolith has become greater with time, and the PR machine makes it easier with cute pitches to words like democracy, freedom, and national autonomy, as well as the threat to further access to information or employment. The carrot and the stick.

      2. hemeantwell

        It might be useful to think of a kind of gradient that tracks deterioration in critical insight capacity as one progresses from peripheral to core international system conflicts, at which point critical processes run into a wall. In a 2011 New Left Review article Bacevich spends a good bit of space talking about how the US “cried wolf” as it set about engaging in Cold War I. But notice the evasion in this typical passage:

        In its January 10, 1977 issue, Newsweek’s coverage featured an essay called
        ‘The Russian Bear Redux?’ The text of the article removed the question
        mark, describing the Team B report as ‘the most alarming forecast
        in years’. Similarly, on July 17, 1998, the Newark Star-Ledger summarized
        the findings of the Rumsfeld Commission: ‘Experts See Missiles’
        Shadows Darkening Skies over us Cities.’

        The point here is not to contest the accuracy of these forecasts—though
        allegations of a ‘bomber gap’ and later of a ‘missile gap’ during the
        1950s proved utterly fanciful—but to note their remarkable consistency.

        And here Bacevich takes us right to the edge of the precipice and then goes silent:

        To Wohlstetter, the Soviet Union was a black box. While categorizing the Soviet regime as totalitarian, he never bothered to evaluate either the validity of that label nor to question
        whether any such abbreviated characterization could provide an
        adequate basis for gauging state behaviour. Furthermore, neither he nor
        any other member of the Wohlstetter School ever paused to wonder what
        it was that made the United States itself tick. The ‘relentless questioning’
        so evident when probing contradictions in the us nuclear posture has
        never extended to us policy more broadly. Accepting at face value the
        prevailing American self-image of a nation whose purposes are benign
        and intentions peaceful, the Wohlstetter School does not trouble itself
        over how the United States got enmeshed in whatever predicament it
        happens to be facing

        Bacevich sticks to being an historian of a policy mindset — in the article, the Wohlstetter view imbibed by Wolfowitz — but won’t question its grounding. So even though he spots lies, they are never used to confront the basic question. This gets close to the sort of shilly-shallying that Perry Anderson objected to in Tooze, saying he “runs with the hares and hunts with the hounds,” although I’m not aware of Bacevich acquiring anything like Tooze’s heft in policy circles. We can only guess that he feels he’s dancing around a third rail and doesn’t want to get completely dustbinned. It really is a shame, the guy’s all over the web, here, interviews with Henwood, New Left Review. He seems like a decent sort, yet this kind of critical foreclosure will be the death of us.

      3. hk

        One of Bacevich’s book describes his Damascene moment as when the Berlin Wall fell and he, as a junior officer stationed in Germany, had a chance to see the Soviet mechanized troops on a maneuver with his own eyes. They looked most unimpressive to him, unlike the big bad Soviet war machine that the 1980s hawks played up. So Bacevich’s worldview is shaped by a belief that American leaders are exaggerating weak or non-existent threats abroad to funnel more power and money onto themselves. But if a foreign threat of some sort does (appear to) exist, as “evidenced” by the current Ukrainian conflict? Given where he comes from and how he got to his beliefs, his reactions to the current events seem quite logical.

        1. Lex

          This doesn’t help my eroding impression of Bacevich. The question he would need to ask and answer in the late 80’s is not whether the Soviet units he saw didn’t match up with US propaganda but how they matched up with the US military of the time. Worse if he still rides on the impression he got 30 years ago when it was a different country and the US military was very different, then he’s going to output very flawed analysis.

    2. hunkerdown

      That veers into the question of whether statecraft can be responsible, whether societies should even be producing these things or whether we should transition to something else as current stocks run down.

    3. Dave in Austin

      For me the big question about ISW is why the major press operations take it as gospel. Early on it actually- sometimes- had real information. More recently it is just cheerleading. And that isn’t a problem; like most of the press it has a history, an agenda and funding sources. That doesn’t make it wrong, it just makes it one-sided.

      There is a reason I read both Unz Reader, the religious right and even (until it got taken out by the government) the Daily Stormer. Of course I also read Glenn Greenwald and Mother Jones and a number of socialist rags. People with biases hunt-out stories that what Tom Wolfe called “the Victorian Gent” (the “responsible” press) refuses to cover.

      So the fact that the big news outlets monitor and quote ISW doesn’t bother me; the fact that they take it as gospel does bother me. I’ve spent time reading ond US intel reports and State Department internal briefings from WWII plus many more recent times. The State Department in 1944 was reporting- truthfully and completely- the reports of the discovery and documentation of the Russian Katyn Massacre of Polish Army officers in 1940. The Swedish and Swiss newspapers had reporters on both sides of the war and reported the event straight. The State Department briefing were quoting them verbatim.

      I think today maybe the US press is caught in the Vietnam problem. Going against the official US position had risks for the institution. The reporters in Vietnam were telling it straight and the editors back home operation under instruction were shading the truth. Tet happened and, contrary to modern opinion, didn’t change the minds of Walter Kronkite and the NYT; it simply provided them with a convenient explanation of why they changed the reporting.

      Bidens recent comments about Zelinskyy being in “Denial” before the invasion may be the first crack in the wall. A few more “events’ like that may provide the excuse to change the US reporting. The war-induced elimination of opposing political parties in the Ukraine and the occasional comments about big corruption in the aid might provide the official press with stories that will allow their position to change. If that happens ISW will be remembered as the Ukrainian War version of the MACV press briefings.

      I notice that the DOD press briefings have said basically nothing about the Ukraine War and I suspect that the press covering the Pentagon has been getting accurate and sobering information on the situation. I still have a slight, “long-ago” acquaintance with a couple of people covering the Pentagon. The fact that they have provided on speculation or analysis is a bit of “the dog that didn’t bark” for me.

    4. JTMcPhee

      Since when was Nuland’s Ukraine any kind of “democracy?”

      No words about the Ukronazis firing artillery shells and rockets into the Donnas from 2008 to present, killing about 14,000 people, oppressing and killing Russian-speakers and Roma, and as noted, setting up to do a Kosovo on Donbas all with effing NATO help and encouragement.

      Frack! I loved my country enough to enlist in the Army in 1966, back in “domino” days, only to learn that I actually was born into and live in a sick and dying empire, ruled by idiot psychopaths apparently bent on finishing the world war they’ve started with a planetary nuclear fireball.

      “and the band played on…”

      1. fringe element

        “Since when was Nuland’s Ukraine any kind of “democracy?” ”

        Yep. That’s the assumption that stops me in my tracks.

        Best analysis I’ve heard is from the person who said that Ukraine is a money-laundering operation pretending to be a country.

    5. anon in so cal

      Smuggling propaganda/neocon memes into ostensibly anti-propaganda/anti-neocon essays is fairly common. When articles start out with the “invasion” or some other lie, I stop reading and make note of the author and the publication. The Independent used this tactic in some of its articles on Syria.

    6. fringe element

      Thanks for noticing that. I did too, and that is when I stopped reading the article. Checked to see if I had deleted my previous bookmark of the site and I had. So this was not the first time a piece from that site looked promising but turned out to be based on problematic assumptions, which was the reason I stopped bookmarking the site.

    7. Lambert Strether

      > The Responsible Statecraft article is great for exposing the neocon sponsors of the ISW

      The opening joke is great because it’s so true. I think it will live on long after the article.

  9. NL

    On the topic of staying cool using evaporative cooling — the dowsing oneself with water referred to
    in the Yale Climate piece– I highly recommend a Kool Tie, available from REI stores for those who live in California or New York. Even below heat alert levels, using it improves in how one feels and functions. Also lowers the blood pressure a bit. Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t work as well when the humidity is very high.

    The website of the company is

    The instructions it comes with are reliable- why/when to wash, not to oversoak, and so forth. And rotate!

    1. Samuel Conner

      I find that a damp, but not dripping wet, tee-shirt under light-colored long-sleeve work shirt works well on hot days in the garden (provided, as you note, that the humidity is not too high). The outerwear reduces UV exposure and the underwear cools for 10s of minutes.

      1. Eric Anderson

        Yup. Haute Couture for me in the summer any more is a simple white cotton long sleeve button down and a cotton Boonie hat. For REAL hot days, yes, I soak them and ring them out for extended cool.
        As noted above though, I live in a pretty dry climate.

        1. fringe element

          Yes, all of these ideas probably work best in dry climates.

          In places like New Orleans or Charleston the water in the damp garments would not evaporate, it would just get warm and sticky.

          I lived on out west for a while, on the coast of northern California. I remember a heat wave in the 90s. Everyone was freaked out and I just kept waiting for it to get hot and, by my standards, it never did.

    2. Wukchumni

      You’ll never see me without a Henschel Aussie breezer hat on in the backcountry, which allows cool air to penetrate your noggin and keeps the sun away. Made in the USA.

    3. Carolinian

      Here in the South we tend to self dampen our apparel so problem solved.

      Ok not really but growing up here does make it a bit more bearable. My house has never had central air (lots of trees though) and fans and occasional window ac use do the job for me. Even have some magnolia trees under which to sip those mint juleps.

      That said, no car air conditioning in this climate is punishing indeed. That, I have.

      1. Mildred Montana

        “(lots of trees though)”

        I agree. Here in the Pacific Northwest where it sometimes gets hot (we had a horrific heat dome last summer—+100F for three days), I would recommend lots of deciduous trees (not conifers) on the south and west sides of one’s house or apartment or condo.

        I believe that’s something to keep in mind when looking for a place to live. With deciduous trees in the appropriate places, one gets wonderful leafy shade in the summer and precious light in the winter when those leaves have fallen.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Ukraine latest updates: Moscow ‘destroys’ Western weapons depot”

    I have to confess that I do wonder about stories like these. It is obvious that the war is lost and all those weapons delivered will do is kill more Russians that will make peace harder to achieve, though that may be seen as a plus in Washington/Brussels. So I wonder if through a back channel, the location of that depot was leaked to their Russian counterparts for destruction. Consider – the west can tell the Ukraine (and the world) that they delivered those weapons and after that it was all on the Ukrainians. The Russians may now owe that source a marker in future negotiations as it made their job much easier. And if we are going to be truthful, of those weapons had made their way east, it would be a death sentence to the Ukrainians attached to that gear as the Russian would have hunted them down.

    That article mentioned too that ‘Moscow claims it also shot down Ukrainian fighter jets in eastern region’ and according to a video I watched, there were three of them. This war has been going on now for over a hundred days. So where do the Ukrainians keep on getting these fighters from? You would think that their fighter inventory would have been wiped out weeks ago.

    1. jr

      In a related vein, while walking the dog this morning I saw a small Ukrainian flag in someone’s window with the phrase “Russian Warship Fu(k Off!” printed across it. I guess it’s referring to the one that was sunk? Anyway, it seemed so oddly specific.

      1. martell

        It’s a reference to Snake Island I, which should not be confused with Snake Island II (a humorless, repetitive sequel). Snake Island I is all about a few plucky Ukrainian soldiers stationed on a tiny island in the Black Sea. When a Russian ship approaches and tells them to surrender, hilarity ensues. They tell the big Russian ship to F off. But then S gets real. The Russians unload on our heroes, wiping them out in seconds.

        Anyway, Snake Island I is a pretty good work of fiction. Got great reviews. Western critics loved it. The same cannot be said for Snake Island II. The latter is about a few plucky Ukrainians who get a crazy yet genius idea: spoil Russia’s Victory Day celebrations by reconquering Snake Island. This time around our heroes are a ragtag bunch: marines, elite pilots, and maybe even foreign advisors (the film is ambiguous in this respect). They repeatedly attack at night, take the Russian garrison completely by surprise, and wipe them out. Unfortunately, there are serious problems with the third act in this one. Ukraine doesn’t manage to take the island. I guess this was supposed to come off as poignant. Or maybe the writers were thinking that it would function as a symbol for the whole Ukrainian war effort. Anyway, it just doesn’t work and so people who’ve seen both installments in the series prefer to pretend that the second never happened.

      2. Paul Jurczak

        The flag refers to heroic defense of Snake Island by Ukrainian State Border Guards against Russian invaders. Request to surrender was met with “Russian Warship Fu(k Off!” answer. English translation is only approximate, but gets the gist of the message. All defenders perished in their effort against overwhelming odds. Zelenskyy announced that the border guards would be posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine. A few days later, the whole incident was proven to be a part of a big propaganda campaign, as everything else in Ukraine. In the actual universe, all defenders surrendered to Russians and some of them are back home now. []

        The flag you saw, means “in this household we are getting our news from MSNBC, and we like it”.

      3. jr

        Ah yes, the valiant Battles of Snake Island! I had forgotten about those bits of theatre. Thanks for the comments guys.

      4. Martin Oline

        The defenders of Snake Island were reportedly captured and filmed in prison camp. That interferes with the propaganda of them all dying so it is ignored. They did not die to the last man, which is the heroic script the political class in Kiev wishes all of their troops to follow. I am amazed that twice in just the last week the commanders of Ukrainian troops have blown up river bridges to the rear of the infantry who are fighting in order to prevent them from retreating. You can be assured that when the time comes, (Z)elinsky will be safely shuttling between his Italian villa, London penthouse, or Miami home instead of dying like the Chilean President Allende behind a machine gun.

    2. Acacia

      I’ve been wondering about those ongoing fighter shoot-downs too. Even if they were stashed in hidey-holes for months and then finally rolled out for battle, who would let a pilot take one up in the sky for a certain rendez-vous with a Russian missile?

      And as for the locations of the weapons depots being leaked… yeah, and perhaps the weapons were already en route to the black market when their designated depot was blown away. Win-win.

    3. fringe element

      I read somewhere (can’t remember just where, so no link, sorry) that the Russians are known for having maps of the battle terrain that are so good they are practically works of art. They know what is inside every warehouse and even how much weight the bridges will hold. Given the proximity of Russia to Ukraine and the competence of their intelligence operations, I would expect their knowledge of the country would be very good indeed.

      Also, I read somewhere else (again sorry, but can’t remember the source) that Russia is one of only two nations (the U.S. being the other one) that has a system that uses satellites linked to complicated ground systems to give them the ability to view not just the terrain for individual battles, but the entire war theater.

      Alll of which is to say that I am not at all surprised that Russia has no problem figuring out where to aim their missiles.

    4. Lambert Strether

      > The Russians may now owe that source a marker in future negotiations as it made their job much easier.

      Perhaps the arms dealers playing both ends against the middle? After all, if one weapons shipment gets blown up, the West will just send more (only a fraction of which will actually reach the front, the rest being sold on by the arms dealers….).

  11. foghorn longhorn

    re; “Are we fu(king insane?”

    If you need to ask, you obviously have not been paying attention for the last 60 years or so.

  12. foghorn longhorn

    That photo is no different than in my childhood, the difference being we were told to huddle in the hallway and tuck our heads between our knees and wait for the nuclear explosion.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I think that Ned Kelly had a Monty Python sense of humour. Just as he was about to be hanged and was asked for his last words, he said-

          ‘Such is Life.’

          1. Wukchumni

            Every classroom should have a designated BAR student whose desk is positioned so that when the tyke sprays bullets from the 20 pound rifle in the direction of the bad guy with a gun, ricochets are hopefully minimal since the Kevlar wall edict in all schools was set in place.

            1. The Rev Kev

              ‘I’m just a candy-a**ed kid,
              and this is where I hid.
              I don’t need a candy-bar,
              I just need my BAR.’

            2. B24S

              One of our friends (and neighbor) when I was a youth carried a BAR in Europe in the 40s. He told us that the BAR made itself known, and that made him a target. He had a steel plate in his skull, but at least he survived. Wrote a book about the war called The Wax Boom. Among his writer buddies were Joe Heller and Mario Puzo, but that’s a different bunch of stories.

              My wifes’ memories of Duck and Cover are about the wall of glass windows she was ducking next to…

    1. Randall Flagg

      We got to go to the gymnasium to duck against the concrete wall, but later in high school the bomb drills were all over.
      Off topic, later in life during hunting season guys would bring their guns to high school (those that drove to school), and at lunch or free periods would take them out and compare guns, scopes etc.
      Nobody thought any of it was a big deal. How times have changed.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez REFUSES to say she’ll back Joe in 2024 after report suggests Democrats believe it ‘can’t be Biden’ and the president ‘should announce his intent not to seek re-election’ ”

    Well of course she refused to say whether she will back old Joe in 2024 or not. She wants to wait until at least 2023 and then ask gal pal Liz Cheney for advice on what her next move should be.

      1. Stick'em

        Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Born October 13, 1989 (age 32)

        I’d vote for her over the fossil collection we’ve been offered lately (Trump, Biden, Hillary, and Sanders all staring at 80).

        Does AOC meet the ≥35 years old qualification to run for President in 2024?

        1. Doug Kings

          I believe the requirement is that you have to be 35 to become President. So yes, she would qualify since she would be 35 by Inauguration Day (01/20/25).

      1. Mildred Montana

        As Lambert likes to say, two years is a long time in politics. But if the Democratic Party is constituted in 2024 as it is today, then it is almost certain that AOC will be subjected to The Sanders Treatment, trademarked by the DNC and used regularly to convince “uppity” party members of the error of their progressive ways.

        I will say however that she has one thing in her favor: Of almost all the potential candidates from both parties, there’s a very good chance she won’t become seriously ill or die before 2024. Last man (woman) standing?

          1. hunkerdown

            But it limits the unspeakability in the aftermath. Seth Rich knows this, in a sense. It would be only a matter of time until the non-capitalist left declares an eye-for-eye policy on “moralist-left” “scholars”.

          2. Harlita

            Maybe she can go back to being a bartendress?

            “Too bad that all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and tending bar.”

            George Burns

          3. Martin Oline

            I am sure that there are still specialists at the CIA that will help although the truly innovative and dedicated scientists have gone to their much deserved reward. See Poisoner in Chief : Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA search for mind control by Stephen Kinzer. “With his club foot, he was perhaps too easy to caricature as a cross between a Bond villain and Dr. Strangelove.”
            (He) was part of an informal group of CIA chemists known as the ‘Health Alteration Committee’, who came together in early 1960 as a response to Eisenhower’s “renewed conviction that the best way to deal with some unfriendly foreign leaders was to kill them.” The use of MKUltra materials overseas was designated as MKDelta. In January 1973 most records relating to MKUltra were destroyed by TSD (Technical Services Division) on the verbal orders of Dr, Gottlieb. – US Congress Project MKUltra p.69
            Gottlieb is frequently mentioned and quoted in the Church Committee’s 1975 report. There is a massive gap in information because Gottlieb’s testimonies are missing which was found after the Assassinations Records Review Board search in 1992. The Church Committee called Gottlieb by the alias Joseph Schneider. See Missing Testimony Cited at Mary Ferrell.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Just to be clear, my comment is a response to speculation about her endorsing Biden or whomever the Dems barf up. Her running or not is irrelevant, as you noted the treatment she’d receive should she attempt to run.

          1. Mildred Montana

            Correction noted. Thank you. Per Stick’em’s comment above, it looks as if she would qualify on age as of November 2024.

              1. Lambert Strether

                > I’m no Constitutional scholar, but I’m taking this to mean she must be 35 by inauguration day, which is Jan 20, 2025. So AOC would be eligible.

                Make it a campaign talking point: “The choice of a new generation.”

                1. Stick'em

                  AOC: “I’ve never done any of this before.”

                  It’s the antithesis of the Hillary Clinton talking point, “I am the most qualified ever.”

                  People hate life-long politicians like HillBillary so much, it just might work!

                  I’d give you the bit about democracy in ancient Greece being composed of average citizens who draw lots for the job, but really I just want to see a Planet of the Apes sized monkey wrench thrown in the machine.

                  At this point, I’d strongly consider voting for a ticket of Johnny Depp for president and Amber Heard as his vice.

        1. Wukchumni

          She decided to be a political figurehead who accomplished nothing otherwise of note, which will be duly noted when our leadership comes under scrutiny and cooler heads prevail.

              1. Lou Anton

                In that link, her name is on 900 things. Seems like not nothing, but if “becoming law” is the yardstick for a member of the House, then I guess you got me, she’s Marie Antoinette.

  14. Wukchumni

    Is this the wane of the winfluencer, the young galoot early investors in Bitcoin who did fabulously well and held conventions largely to proclaim their triumph to the world?

    A meet up @ the local McDonalds would suffice, but bring cash as they don’t take crypto.

    1. Arizona Slim

      On YouTube, I’m still seeing the comments that start with someone offering vague-sounding financial advice. And then the crypto touts chime in, by the dozens.

  15. Lexx

    ‘Your Kitchen Doesn’t Need Plastic Cling Wrap’

    Must be why the publication is called ‘Treehugger’. ‘You can’t mock us; we’ve already done that for you and we’re so proud of ourselves!’ It’s more like Treehumper.

    I do many of the same things to avoid plastic as the author (still have cling wrap in the kitchen though) and I’ve just realized that listening to someone talk about it is super annoying… and there might be something perverse in my high regard for trees.

    Ditto for the review of George Monbiot’s latest book. ‘Who are you writing for, George?’ Surely not his Guardian readers.

    1. Lunker Walleye

      > ‘You can’t mock us; we’ve already done that for you and we’re so proud of ourselves!’

      I felt a bit the same. Our depression era mothers did everything she mentioned and more to store food. The author forgot little plastic/oil cloth caps with elastic bands to put atop bowls.

      1. .human

        Ah, yes. Shower hair caps. I also have a flat, silicone “flower” that rests atop any size small to medium bowl and is hermetic.

        Mrs human and I measure the length of our relationship in 3000 foot boxes of plastic wrap from the big box stores that last upwards of 4 years. We’re on our sixth.

  16. Kengferno

    “Let Them Eat Fermented Protein Literary Review”

    This is the same kind of thinking that gave us the Impossible Burger. Made up of the worst junk ingredients using the most climate unfriendly methods possible. Putting our nutrition in the hands of tech will only result more, different problems than the ones they’re ostensibly solving.

    The problem is too much industrial, processed food, not different versions of it. The further away we and our food get from the soul, the worst off we are. Unfortunately, Star Treks food replicator, like the communicator and other nifty devices, act like a light to tech bro moths.

    1. hunkerdown

      None of that “food with maximum indirection” would be attractive or interesting without intellectual property rights offering the next aspiring generation of PMC rent farmers the promise of unearned income “earned” through moral rectitude.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I was glad to see the review taking Monbiot to task. He’s really lost the plot in recent years, trying to promote environmentalism in a way that will keep the world safe for neoliberal capitalism. Monbiot can cut off a slab of corporate produced and processed Chicken Little if he wants, but I’ll stick with the real thing.

      Once again, fewer people never seems to be the answer to all the problems created by overpopulation.

    3. Doug Kings

      I had Starbucks’ egg sandwich with the Impossible Sausage patty a few times. Middle-of-the-night GI distress followed on each occasion. Lesson learned.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Senators strike bipartisan gun safety agreement”

    There was, as part of this agreement, a deal made with what artillery Americans could own too. The Republicans wanted people to be able to buy 155mm caliber howitzers but in the end they compromised and so now Americans will only be able to buy howitzers up to 105mm caliber in size.

    1. Wukchumni

      What if the tables were turned on us and the $ went into a tailspin and the only thing that didn’t lose value was guns in terms of what they could do in a country where a gallon of gas was suddenly $500, forget about the caterwauling over the current $5 for go-juice.

      If i’m Russia, i’d be supplying small arms ammo to warlords, keep it simple with nothing more than that, as we finish the job of destroying ourselves over our slavish devotion to guns.

  18. Lex

    The Responsible Statecraft piece is a stunningly subtle example of the propaganda it supposes to unmask. Let’s just start with, “When a big country run by a famously ruthless autocrat invades a smaller neighbor that’s a democracy, Americans will naturally (and rightly) side with the country that got invaded and will favor giving it support.” Famously ruthless autocrat as defined by American propaganda rather than any significant evidence. No excuses for Putin, but try asking anyone who speaks about Putin like this for concrete examples and you mostly get blank stares.

    Telegram and VK are easily accessible to western journalists and analysts, and even a quick scan through the major channels will show that Russian media is not a monolithic state propaganda environment. They could even try hiring a translator to watch Russian talk shows to see that it is not as this supposed anti-propaganda analysis suggests. I’m also not suggesting that Russian media is the shiniest beacon of free speech and press on the planet.

    1. jr

      Hammer to nail, Lex. I was thinking the very same thing. It read as if the author had fallen for the propaganda mechanism he decries, not only regarding Putin/Ukraine but about America itself:

      “It’s that America is a liberal democracy with a fairly complicated media ecosystem.”

      Right, Americans have so much freedom and so many choices that we can’t see the propaganda. But this is demonstrably untrue. The consolidation of media outlets over the last few decades has been well documented. And Chomsky showed in Manufacturing Consent that mainstream media voices have always tended to converge on messages that were pro-empire on both the Right and the other Right side of the aisle.

      I submit it’s even deeper than that, though, and this is evident in the article as well. American’s suffer under an ideology that, even when critical of itself, defaults to a position of exceptionalism. Even when we are wrong, we’re right. I’ve heard it said more than once in the last few years, from both the Right and the actual Left, that American’s seem so complacent, so accepting of their lot. Obviously, there are outbreaks, protests and riots, but no sustained pressure. I suspect that, in part, it’s because we think we are operating from a baseline that’s essentially righteous instead of a morally bankrupt one. Obviously not the whole story but a big part of it, I think.

      1. hk

        Not just wrong, but “we are wrong for right reasons so we are gonna keep flaunting it.”. Same attitude got us the Civil War and I ain’t talking about the North.

    2. juno mas

      Well,western journalists are likely using a current Firefox browser, which returns a “URL not found” for any universal resource locator that ends in .RU ;) Cancellation is big in the US.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > a current Firefox browser, which returns a “URL not found” for any universal resource locator that ends in .RU ;)

        I just tested It works fine. (Perhaps the issue is that the Kremlin uses http and not https?)

  19. Dr. John Carpenter

    There’s something I feel is really dishonest about the the trickle of “Joe Biden shouldn’t run again” whispers we’re getting in the media recently. Yes, his presidency has been a disaster, but it’s a disaster that anyone who wasn’t blinded by orange man bad knew it would be. Furthermore, this is exactly what these people wanted. They drug Biden through the primaries. He was their guy.

    And it’s not like any of them offered any real alternative, then or now. Biden is definitely ineffective and lacking vision and motivation, but it’s hard to look at the bench they offered in 2016 and see any differences. The debates all seemed like they went out of their way to agree and they’ve supported Biden since he’s been elected. I’ve only ever heard the most tepid arguments from the usual suspects.

    I think among the ambitious, they’re finally accepting the writing on the wall and abandoning ship before it totally sinks. I don’t think they really care if he ran again or even if he ran 20 more times, except his numbers are cratering and no amount of better branding is going to fix Brandon. I’ll be interested to see how the post Biden Democrat party looks as I don’t see them publicly rejecting him, but I don’t see how they distance themselves without actually doing the things none of them seem interested in doing either. These, of course, are the same things Biden himself had no interest in doing.

    I guess I don’t understand who the messages are for. If they’re trying to rope voters back in, I don’t see “not Joe Biden” working much better than “not Donald Trump” going forward.

    1. Screwball

      Just guessing here, a couple of things going on.

      1) the message is NOT for the people who are now keeping his ratings in the high 30s/low 40s. They are the vote blue no matter who people who are riveted to the Jan 6 hearings thinking they will put Trump in jail and save democracy. Those votes are locked up even if they ran Hitler in 2024. Just tell them Hitler isn’t Hitler and they are good to go.

      2) The message is really for the people they think they can get to vote blue who otherwise are on the fence (Independents) or don’t want to vote for Trump/DeSantis (the non vote red no matter who). Rather they can pull enough in to save the mid-terms or 2024 is yet to be seen.

      But they have to message, and they really seem to like that. They endlessly bombard us with statements and Tweets telling us how great they are, what they have done, what they are going to do, etc. That’s really all they have – BS – and lots of it.

      Where does the party go minus Creepy Joe? They still have Queen Nancy, Wall Street Chuck, the Fraud Squad and a sorry bunch of chameleons who do nothing but suck up to donors so I don’t expect too much to change.

      Much more BS will be served along with we are not Donald Trump/Republicans, which is all they got (and enough for some), so that’s what we will get.

      What we really need is for both these pathetic, slimy, repulsive excuses for parties to be put in the dustbin of history along with all the disgusting whores who serve in them.

      Until that happens, enjoy the ice cream (cake).

    2. albrt

      Yes, it does not seem to have occurred to the usual suspects that Joe Biden might be just a little too on-the-nose as the face of the Democrat party.

  20. Chas

    I don’t plan to go see “Top Gun: Maverick” but I would go see “Top Drone Pilot: Maverick.” It could be a big hit. The Tom Cruise character might mix rum with the cola he keeps by his computer screen and celebrate each wedding party or funeral he whacks with a drink. Oliver Stone where are you?

    1. Wukchumni

      The beauty of being a drone pilot in Pavlovegas-adjacent, is you can shoot a couple hellfires at the bad guys without mussing your hair and still make it to the late show with a 2 drink minimum, which is where the Rom-Com part comes in when the joystick jockey meets a fetching hacker harlot who does the same thing as him, but silently and less lethal.

    2. Mildred Montana

      >“Top Drone Pilot: Maverick.” It could be a big hit.

      Nah, it would be too much like the WikiLeaks hit “Collateral Murder”.

      Perhaps a sequel “Collateral Murder By Drone” could be made to capitalize on the popularity of Julian Assange’s classic from 2007, but I doubt it would be given the necessary Pentagon support.

      1. hk

        I would imagine that a drone movie will not require any Pentagon support: they are “cheap” and low tech. I would imagine you could do a fair approximation with only commercially available stuff (which, of course, is why the real drone warfare is likely to be such a Pandora’s box.)

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Bob ought to stick to labor issues, and probably not even that. Sounds like the TDS has rotted another brain.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I think he did his best writing in his book, Locked in the Cabinet. It described his time in the Clinton administration, while he was Secretary of Labor.

    2. Screwball

      And they could run Max Boot as VP. What’s not to like, they are the war party now. Maybe get some Lincoln Project guys on the SCOTUS. Git r done!

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      I had suggested this a few days ago. It’s a pretty typical move for a failing “center,” i.e. status quo, as a way to counter growing unpopularity.

      1. Lambert Strether

        > At this point, I think it’s possible, even likely, that we will see a “union” ticket for the Democrats featuring Cheney. Given the quality of potential Democratic candidates, Cheney might even be at the top.

        A “government of national unity.” I don’t think a Biden/Cheney ticket works, though. Again we are faced with the question: Who on the Democrat bench has the requisite stature to run? Buttigieg/Cheney? Klobuchar/Cheney? Warren/Cheney?

        Wherever I turn, all the alternatives seem ridiculous, which is where we are with a lot right now.

    4. hunkerdown

      Sad, just about every worthwhile name I used to hear on KPFA after work 20 years ago has “bought in” to the bourgeois order, or become fertilizer. Can we trade Reich to get Don Joyce back?

    5. pjay

      Reich is the type of pretend “progressive” that is most irritating to me. He liked to portray himself as a voice on the left that was always overruled (“Locked in the Cabinet”) in the Clinton administration. But he almost always defended them and justified his own actions in a self-serving way. See, e.g., his rationalizations about NAFTA. But like so many other faux lefties, he has been exposed by recent events. Of course he suffers from TDS, but to promote *Liz Cheney*, and then have the f***ing audacity to compare her to Paul Wellstone, is absolutely despicable! “Not the Onion” indeed!

  21. lyman alpha blob

    RE: The Trailblazing Ways of Ireland’s Greatest Travel Writer

    Some of her travel advice –

    Choose your country, use guidebooks to identify the areas most frequented by foreigners—and then go in the opposite direction.

    She sounds like a woman after my own heart and that advice has served me well over the years. Several years ago my folks paid for a cruise for the whole family to celebrate their retirement, something we wouldn’t have ever done otherwise. A few days in the ship pulled into Grand Turk island and parked next to a gigantic Margaritaville which was blasting “Sweet Home Alabama” for the lounge chair bound tourists covering the beach drinking overpriced cocktails. There was also inexplicably a big man-made wave pool there despite the resort being right next to the beautiful, warm, crystal clear ocean. Rather horrified, we hightailed it out of there as fast as we could and walked a half hour or so to a little restaurant the locals were frequenting. We got to chat with some fishermen, learn a little about the place, and had some great jerk chicken sandwiches for way less than what Jimmy Buffett was charging a ways up the beach. For some reason no one else from the boat made the effort which was fine with us, and we had a great low key afternoon avoiding all the other tourists.

  22. Stick'em

    re: Top Gun And American Decline American Conservative

    As you might anticipate, this ^ cliché article blames the 40 years of American military decline since the last “Top Gun” military masturbation film on the usual identity politics scapegoats, gays, trans-, women. Nevermind how homoerotic the Tom Cruise topless in underwear image is in films like Top Gun and Risky Business.

    Oz says nevermind the man behind the screen…

    This article is much more objective:

    Hollywood film scripts have been censored and edited since World War II so that’s 80 years. This is done to promote the narrative the CIA and Pentagon want to promote, which is USA!USA! wins the day for neoconservatism.

    Therefore, the mythical time of the original Top Gun movie portrayed in the ’80s where America was always the good guys who won the war against the bad guys never existed in the real world. Only in Hollywood and on the TeeVee.

    Thus, the American Conservative pining for those “good ole days” is a disingenous reactionary piece at best.

    1. Late Introvert

      I lasted 1.5 paragraphs. The disconnect between conservative macho guy and the actual world caused me vertigo.

  23. Henry Moon Pie

    Top Gun and decline–

    A very silly article but does reveal something about the mindset of people who will succeed the current crop of Dem libs. Yes, Buchanan and Bannon Republicans are not the same in some important ways, but when it comes to the explanation for “what went wrong in ‘Murca,” they’re very much on the same page. “If we just got back to being a country where men were men and women and brown people knew their place…” They long for the days when Ward wore his tie at the dinner table, and Hugh Billingsley, the actor who played him, was closeted.

    So this guy thinks mid-80s were some kind of high point for the American military? A mere 10 years earlier, the symbol of American “air power” was a chopper lifting off from the embassy in Saigon. In ’83, the Marines were run out of Lebanon after sustaining heavy casualties from a bombing of their barracks. Two days afterward, Reagan boldly launched an invasion of Grenada to show what a powerful military we had in those golden years. Rangers and the 82nd Airborne managed to subdue the vaunted Grenadian military and a few genetically-predisposed-to-be-evil Cubans.

    Top Gun was a hipper attempt at reviving American militarism than the Rambo movies. Different audiences, same purpose.

    Sorry, bud. Claiming we were #1 in the 80s and blaming the Wokesters (as much as I detest them) for the decline shouldn’t pass for a AP American History course. In a country where only money matters, we have corrupted and collaborated our way to the brink of dissolution, and the process began with our military at least as soon as anywhere else.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Would go back a little further…
        It’s been a downhill rocket ride ever since.

        1. Mikel

          1947 is a contending year…(related to 11.22.63). At least seeds were planted then.
          The National Security Act of 1947 mandated a major reorganization of the foreign policy and military establishments of the U.S. Government.

          And I have to throw in 1913 as a contender…

      2. Foy

        100% right, I’ve been telling mum and dad that event and date was the pinnacle for humanity and everything has been downhill from there in so many ways.

    1. HotFlash

      Fact check here, perhaps irrelevant. Ward Cleaver (if that is to whom you refer) was played by Hugh Beaumont; Hugh Billingsley apparently was (un)known for an uncredited role in Ben Hur, otherwise nada on him on the net. June Cleaver was played by Barbara Billingsley, perhaps that is the source of the confusion? Don’t know anything about the Cleaver family closets, but I did nee the tie. My dad wore a tie to dinner most nights, FWIW.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        And I haven’t even had Covid yet. I was thinking of Barbara Billingsley who played June. Yes, Hugh Beaumont.

    2. digi_owl

      Funny how the retreat from Afghanistan was eerily similar to that Saigon retreat.

      Also, your history summary makes me think of a prototypical bully. That, after getting embarrassed for whatever reason, will go look for some lightweight to trounce to reaffirm his “manliness”.

      And i really do feel like we are seeing the Vietnam era replay itself thanks to WoT, and its fizzle in Afghanistan.

      Frankly, with how much Hollywood et al is on a nostalgia trip these days (the recent ABBA show being perhaps the epitome) it is like my own and my parental generation is freaking out about getting old and i trying to recreate those peak decades where health and all was honky dory.

      We see no future, thanks to global warming etc, so we retreat into a past on repeat.

  24. LawnDart


    Damascus Airport Strike Reflects a Shift in Israeli Policy

    …the fact that a nuclear deal between Iran and western countries has not been renewed and sanctions on Tehran remain in place plays in Israel’s favor, allowing it to operate with relative freedom in its efforts to deter Iran and stop its dangerous activity.

    Gotta love the Middle East– take your eye off it for a moment and things start to boil-over. There isn’t one US pol who’d dare tell Israel to cool it– and why do you think there’s no progress on the nuke deal? $200bbl/7.15gal gas national avg., August? Who do you think our pols fear more, AIPAC or the US consumer? (I leave the voters out of it: the lobbyists control both parties, and the brainwashed/voters will express their discontent by switching from “tastes great” to “less filling” or vice-versa, never questioning let alone challenging the system of representation itself.]

    1. Phil

      $38 billions to Israel, 50 billion to Ukraine, why are we taxpayers sending money out of the country?

      File an exemption from withholding for the next tax year. That way you won’t have to beg for your money back and you can choose to fund these absurdities or not.

      1. digi_owl

        Because that money will turn right round and flood into the MIC.

        This similar to all those pallets of money that flown into Iraq and Afghanistan found its way “back” via the pockets, and offshore accounts, of a near endless list of contractors and subcontractors.

        Pre WoT Iraq, GSM/UMTS based mobile network. After, Qualcomm patented CDMA2k baby. Only nations that use that is USA and some economic colonies.

        Creative destruction at its most overt.

    2. LawnDart

      Heating up II:

      Syria condemns Turkey’s ‘safe zone’ plan, says will use all means to counter it

      The legislature further emphasized “the sovereignty of the Syrian state, the independence of its decision, the unity and safety of its territories and people, and the right to use all legitimate political and military means to defend its sovereignty and people to counter the American, Turkish and Israeli occupations and their affiliated terrorist organizations.”

      So it’s Iran, Syria, Lebanon and the remnants of Palestine vs. Israel and the Turks– another USA vs. Russia proxy war ready to go, although it should be noted that China signed a 25-year trade and military cooperation deal with Iran last year, so perhaps more weapons and advisors to add to the mix– and what a mix it is!

      Love to be that fly-on-the-wall during Biden’s visit to KSA, a country whose leadership has been warming to Russia while giving cold-shoulder to USA. Do the Saudis sit this one out or allow USA/Israel to use its bases/airspace?

      1. LawnDart

        Heating-up III:

        IDF chief of staff: Lebanon residents should not wait for war to start to evacuate

        The head of Israel’s military on Sunday said that the people of Lebanon should not wait until the next war erupts to flee, but should evacuate “the moment tensions begin.”

        Speaking at the First Israeli Summit on the Home Front Command, Israel Defense Forces Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said that should war break out, Lebanese civilians would be given explicit warning to evacuate, but warned Israel would strike with “immense power.”

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thug nation as in ‘We’re gunna steal your gas and if you protest, we’ll kill you.’ Does Kochavi really want to find out if the Iron Dome system will protect Israel from those tens of thousands of Hezbollah missiles?

          1. LawnDart

            Didn’t they run-out of anti-missile missiles during a more-recent minor skirmish?

            Maybe they can buy some from Ukraine, now that that war is all but over and the Russians have been nearly defeated.

        2. LawnDart

          Oh, it seems I missed the prelude of Israel vs. Lebanon– Heating-up IV:

          Hezbollah leader threatens to hit Israel’s offshore gas rig

          The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group has threatened to strike a gas rig Israel is setting up in the Mediterranean Sea and that Lebanon claims is in a disputed maritime area between the two countries

          Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, a staunch Iran ally, denounced in a televised address what he described as Israeli provocations in the maritime area.

          His speech followed a warning by Lebanese President Michel Aoun last Sunday who said that maritime border negotiations between the two countries have not ended, adding that any move by Israel — such as drilling in the Karish field that Beirut calls disputed — will be considered “a provocation and hostile act.”

          “All options are on the table,” he said, adding that all security measures that the Israeli military takes will not be able to protect the gas rig.

          “They [the ship’s owners] bear full responsibility for what could happen to this ship, both in material damage and to its crew.”

  25. Wukchumni

    Hey, Janet
    Yes, Jay?

    I’ve got something to say
    Uh huh
    I really loved the skilful way
    You beat the other girls to be first female SecTres

    Oh, Jay

    The river of denial was deep but I swam it (Janet)
    The future inflation is ours so let’s 2% plan it (Janet)
    So please don’t tell me we can’t can it (Janet)
    I’ve one thing to say and that’s
    Dammit, Janet, I love you

    The road to ruin was long but I ran it (Janet)
    There’s inflation on my part and you fan it (Janet)
    If there’s one well Fed fool for you then I am it (Janet)
    I’ve one thing to say and that’s
    Dammit, Janet, I love you

    Here’s a 50 basis point move to prove that I’m no joker
    There’s three ways that an economy can grow
    That’s good, bad or mediocre
    Oh J-A-N-E-T I love you so

  26. Jason Boxman

    Apple Wants to End Passwords for Everything. Here’s How It Would Work.

    Passkeys, like those from Apple, are made up of a pair of related keys. One of the keys is public and sits on the service provider’s servers. The other is private and can’t be removed from your device. To log into an account, Apple will connect the two keys on the back end, and you will authenticate on the front end with Face ID or Touch ID. What users will see is a single-step option to get into their accounts.

    So can Apple tell if you’re unconscious or under duress when someone else scans your face to access one of your accounts? I think I’ll stick with my password manager. An offline password manager, with random passwords for each site, and a strong passphrase for it, is already good enough. And if a government actor is after you, you’re screwed regardless. Also, I’m not trapped in the Apple ecosystem by using a cross platform password manager. (I still have Windows & Linux systems that I use passwords on.)

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Since everything digital can be hacked, and there are billions of pictures online containing people’s retinas, it’s going to become very inconvenient for everyone to have an eyeball replaced each time their “passkey” is compromised.

      Maybe go long on vat grown eyeballs?

      1. Jason Boxman

        Oh, it’s not, Apple uses a kind of 3D scan of face topography, not retinas. But that doesn’t mean you need to be conscious for it to work as far as I know. At least you don’t have to worry about someone cutting out an eye.

      1. Phil

        Or, buy used Apple products, tons of which are available in many urban areas, or on Craigslist.

    2. Questa Nota

      Passkey 1.1, the hidden upgrade that comes pre-installed and is not documented in the manual. Need-to-know, bro.
      The one that allows, ahem, select service providers to do whatever the heck they want, and you enable it when you buy the device. Ain’t life grand.

    3. Lambert Strether

      > So can Apple tell if you’re unconscious or under duress when someone else scans your face to access one of your accounts?

      There’s a great moment in BladeRunner 2049 where a replicant holds the head of the (vile) human it has just killed up to their computer screen, so they can log in using their retina…. So it looks like we’re ahead of schedule.

  27. Jason Boxman

    ‘Extraordinarily Self-Centered’: As a Roe Reversal Looms, RBG Admirers Wrestle with Her Legacy

    “She gambled,” says Michele Dauber, the outspoken Stanford law professor, speaking of Ginsburg’s apparent calculation that Hillary Clinton would be in the White House to appoint her successor. “But she didn’t just gamble with herself. She gambled with the rights of my daughter and my granddaughter. And unfortunately, that’s her legacy. I think it’s tragic.”

    Deploying blame cannons! Whatever else might be said about RBG, it’s clear that the failure of Democrats and advocates for women’s rights to codify protections into law led here. So assigning blame at the tail end of failure seems unproductive, when it comes to perhaps identifying root causes, and curing them, rather than just fundraising.

    I guess it’s nice to identify a scapegoat rather than look in the mirror.

    The fact is, people looking to cast blame for the rollback of abortion rights have a pretty long list of culprits before getting to Ginsburg: The justices who may write the decision, the presidents who appointed them, the GOP Senate that blocked Barack Obama’s third judicial nomination, the Democrats who didn’t pass a national abortion-rights bill when they had large majorities, the filibuster, the electoral college and on and on. You could even cite another judicial retirement decision: In 1991, Thurgood Marshall stepped down, declaring himself “old and falling apart.” Marshall wound up living until four days after Bill Clinton’s inauguration — meaning that if he’d somehow stayed put, Clarence Thomas might never have joined the Court to eventually vote down Roe.

    But those are only relatively recent failures.

    1. Bruno

      It was Roe v. Wade itself that was the greatest and fundamental failure. The right to abortion is, and always has been, a fundamental human right guaranteed by the Ninth Amendment, which prohibits the “denial” or “disparagement” of unenumerated rights and which applies directly to the rights of women (none of which were enumerated in the constitution) and above all to the right to abortion which everywhere was legally permissible when the constitution was adopted and thus was clearly an established right under the Ninth Amendment. Roe v. Wade was a rotten compromise, whose imminent undoing promises enormous suffering and strife.

  28. pjay

    – ‘Transcript: 50th Anniversary of Watergate: Inside the Case’ – WaPo

    Ah yes. Watergate! The System worked! Congress and the media were heroes! We all came together to save Democracy!

    We are going to be subject to a lot of this BS given the “anniversary”. But, of course, the real purpose of this article (and many more, I’m sure) is this:

    “Nixon, for all of his authoritarian tendencies and his criminality did not, in my view, pose an existential threat to our democracy. Donald Trump, on the other hand, does and did. And that’s a very significant difference. There’s a difference in 50 years gone by of our respect for the truth and the rule of law and the education of Americans, as to what it means to be a patriotic American. And we have lost a great deal there. And without getting into a long discussion of that, we were in danger, serious danger in the events leading up to January 6th.”

    The Establishment is really scared s***less of Trump. They’re pulling out all the stops, as many of today’s Links illustrate (Liz Cheney for President anyone?). The only positive in watching my country disintegrate is in seeing these idiots go nuts. I just wish they didn’t have the power to take us all down with them.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      The Establishment is really scared s***less of Trump.

      No, no, they weren’t and aren’t. What did he accomplish that was outside the bounds of establishment bounds? What did he do which threatened them, their status or their wealth even a little? What team did he establish to wrest control of institutions away from the status quo establishment to be used against them in a concerted manner? Which elites did he ruin? What power, money, or whatever, did he give to his low-level / mid-level followers to strengthen their positions as opposed to what did he help the establishment put in place to solidify their positions? etc., etc., etc.

      Given our current situation Trump was and continues to be useful. How long do we think Jan 6th can be dragged out? Looking into the future, what do we think the narrative arc of the next season of the Trump show will be?

  29. Amfortas the hippie

    not trolling for sympathy
    but y’all have been with us through the whole ordeal, so it’s only right.
    my wife, Tammi Michele Pinter, died peacefully yesterday, at 48 years old.
    me and the boys were right there with her to the very end.
    her fight is over.

    boys and i had a wake at the wilderness bar last night, with all and sundry, in the finest irish tradition.
    thank you all for listening to my ramblings about the cancer journey all these years.
    i’ll be going dark for a time.

    Et in Arcadia Ego…
    Optimae Uxoris Optimae Sororis Viduus Amantissimus Vovit Virtutibus

    1. anahuna

      You’ve touched all our lives, Amfortas, and made your wife a part of that. May you find your own way to rest while in your quiet time. And may you be visited by whatever light is naturally or supernaturally part of your perceiving.

    2. Stick'em

      Dammit, man. Can’t imagine what it’s like to be you right now, Amfortas.

      Just know you are not alone. We went to a funeral yesterday for my wife’s teaching mentor. Seems the grief is on tap these days. Here’s to hoping things get better for you and your family soon.

    3. jr

      Thinking of you and yours, condolences Amfortas.

      There is a Light
      Deep in my heart
      Burning so brightly
      Right from the spark
      Blazing with Love
      Driving out Dark
      Piercing my Soul
      Sharp as a dart
      Now the Torch is no more
      But the Flame shan’t depart
      My bright Light and I
      We never shall part.

    4. Ranger Rick

      You have my deepest sympathies. Take care, Amfortas, and I hope we see you again soon.

    5. tegnost

      I’m sorry for your own and the boys loss, as well as the loss to probably many others she’d touched

    6. The Historian

      Oh, Amfortas, I am so sorry! Thank you for letting us know! Sending much love to you and your boys!

    7. AGR

      My most deepest condolences. Truly saddened by your loss. Wishing you fortitude in this difficult moment.

    8. ChrisRUEcon

      Perpetual light shine on her … and may she rest in peace.

      Condelences, Amfortas, to you and your family.

    9. outside observer

      So sorry for your loss. Though I don’t know you, after reading your comments for years you feel like family. Your wife was so lucky to have you and your boys, and vice versa. May the memories bring you smiles and laughter. Peace be with you.

    10. Lunker Walleye

      Very sorry to hear about Tammi. May beautiful memories sustain you and your sons.

    11. marym

      So sorry for your loss. Thoughts of peace and comfort to you and your boys, and loved ones.

    12. Romancing The Loan

      I’m so sorry Amfortas. Your efforts to protect her and your family during the pandemic have been nothing less than heroic.

    13. HotFlash

      My dear amfortas, bitter, bitter news. My BFF for 53 years, who had been living with my husband and I as she descended into dementia, died end of may and I know something of your grief and loss, perhaps. For us, there had been a little bit of grief every day for years as she slipped away, but when she died, it was abrupt and still such a distance to go into grief. I will give you the words she wanted for her epitaph, which bring me some comfort: “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”

    14. Glen

      Look after your boys, and yourself. May you and your family find peace.

      Rest In Peace, Tammi.

      1. orlbucfan

        Amfortas, :-)

        Tammi is beyond the stars. Signed, an agnostic. Thoughts of sympathy, peace, and strength to you. Your boys are watching. Stay strong for them. Be safe and well.

    15. Anonymous 2

      So sorry to hear this. Here are some words which I find comforting. I hope they may comfort you as well.

      Death is nothing at all. It does not count. She has only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. She is she and you are you and the old life that you lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever you were to each other ,that you are still………….All is well.

    16. Wendys

      I am so terribly sorry for your Family’s loss. I lost my husband to cancer in 2018.
      I really hate cancer.

      Be sure and get social security money for your son’s you can get it until they are finished with high school. When they turn 18, they have a stupid policy where they want the money you saved for them back.

      I made the mistake of following the instructions from the federal office, and sent it all back to them. They were supposed to send it right back to my daughter, but nearly a year later they hadn’t. I had to contact one of my Senator’s office and finally it was sent to her. The local office said I should have talked with them and they would have made it so we didn’t have to return the money.

    17. Rainlover

      I am deeply sorry for your loss. I’ll miss your comments and look forward to having you back when you are able. Blessed be to you and your boys.

    18. B24S

      Sad news, Amfortas. That you and the boys were able to be with her as she left is not a small thing. Be in peace….

    19. petal

      Oh Amfortas, I’m so, so sorry. Will send up a prayer for her and you and the boys tonight.

    20. Tangled up in Texas

      “There are some who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains.” ~ Author Unknown

      May you and your boys continue to bask in the light of her love.

      With deepest sympathy.

    21. Foy

      Sad to hear Amfortas, my condolences to you and your sons, it’s been a long journey for you all, may she rest in peace. Glad you had the Irish traditional farewell, well done. I’m sure her memories will be cherished.

    22. ewmayer

      So sorry about your great loss, Amfortas – I’m glad she is at peace at last, and hope that you and your boys are, as well.

    23. Bazarov

      My condolences, Amfotas. My thoughts are with you and your boys and your dear departed wife.

    24. Pat

      Deepest condolences to you and the boys. Some day after the darkness as grief loses its harshest sting may there be some comfort in the knowledge that you, your wife and your boys traveled this devastating journey together with all the love, dignity and courage that was possible.

    25. Robert Gray

      Sorry to hear this, Hippie. Don’t second guess yourself; you no doubt did all you could, the best you could, and she would have appreciated it.

    26. witters

      I have established my own Wilderness Bar tonight. To drink to you and Tammi. God bless.

    27. Henry Moon Pie

      The ten thousand things arise together;
      in their arising is their return.
      Now they flower,
      and flowering,
      sink homeward,
      returning to the root.

      The return to the root is peace.

      Tao te Ching # 16 (UK Le Guin version)

      Our best to you and your family, Amfortas.

    28. Ignacio

      Amfortas! My condolences. Stay strong and save her memory. I like what you did with the boys.

    29. Taurus

      Sincere condolences,Amfortas. May she Rest In Peace and may you find solace in the memories.

    30. Noone from Nowheresville

      sorry, man.

      I look forward to the day when you can do a post to celebrate the life you and your family shared. Extraordinary adventure you’ve all been on so far. I’m truly sorry that you didn’t get to have even more time. What you did have was extraordinary. And you treasured it in real time. That’s something very special.

    31. skippy

      It confounds me such moments of deep loves abidance occurs at the time of as much loss … in the physical … such a joy to behold such a thing … yet at the same time feel the loss … yet love still travels on … as does that smile …

      My kids lost their grandmother not a fortnight ago, yet time was allowed for all the love that could be mustered to show itself. Not a bad way to go in my experiences.

      Thank you for letting us share it Amfortas.

    32. K.k

      So sorry for you loss Amfortas.
      Tonight I will light a fatty and think of you.
      Please dont stay away too long , you will be missed around here.

    33. Ana

      Amfortas, thank you for your many posts, for explaining how you are protecting your family into the future and for being open hearted in sharing your last journey with your beloved wife.

      You did it right, doing the slog will the medical people and pushing the wagon when she could not. And especially for being there, day after day.

      I spent the last month in similar circumstances from kidney issues possibly related to the vaccine booster shot. The one who stood by me and pushed my wagon gave me a reason to fight my way back as she would have if it had been possible.

      You being steadfast all along gave her time and quality of life, I promise you. Bless you and your sons and please accept my condolences.

      Ana in Sacramento

    34. CanCyn

      My deepest sympathies to you and yours Amfortas. May you find peace in your memories. I hope that the love and admiration pouring out from the NC community helps in some small way to sustain you. Rage, grieve and rest and come back to us when you’re able. 🙏

    35. Michael Fiorillo

      Words are grossly inadequate, but I’m so sorry for your loss, and wish you and your family, peace, love and consolation.

  30. Wukchumni

    Officials at Yosemite National Park in California are calling on the public to help track down the individuals who defaced rocks with graffiti along a popular hiking trail last month.

    Park rangers received multiple reports of vandalism along the Yosemite Falls Trail on May 20, 2022, at 8:15 p.m. the park said in a statement posted on Facebook on June 12. Rangers set up a trail block and identified potential suspects.

    The next day, rangers hiked the trail to assess the damage and found about 30 sites spray painted with white and blue graffiti depicting symbols and words, including the word “Fresno.”
    The smallest area of graffiti was about 1-by-1 foot, though most were larger at about 3-by-3 feet, and a few were as big as 8-by-8 feet.

    …this narrows it down to 526,147 suspects

    Graffiti has been an issue in Sequoia NP and NPS is johnny-on-the-spot in removing it with a perfect cacophony of chemicals, but if you were to remove the Potwisha tribe’s ancient pictograph @ Hospital Rock, you’d be looking at doing time in the all-bar motel.

    Luckily in the backcountry you never ever ever see any graffiti from the Krylon school, vandals know their limits.

  31. jr

    Movie Review: The Batman

    So my lady and I sat down and watched the latest iteration of the Batman franchise last night. It was a stinker, in so many words. My partner is much more forgiving of movies than I and she was really disappointed. I knew I would be but I was surprised at how bad it really was.

    First of all, let’s talk about the gaping leaps of logic. The scene where the corrupt DA’s head is blown off was the first big flag for me. Batman, knowing the bomb is about to explode, never the less remains in the DA’s face until it goes off. When it blows, he is thrown away and knocked unconscious but is other wise unscathed. His face should have been torn free at a minimum.

    Which leads to another huge gap. The cops scoop him up and take him to the station, not a hospital, but whatever. It’s the fact they didn’t remove his mask that was so dumb. Sure, Gordon was there but when his boss arrived the first thing he would have done was unmask Batman. Especially after interfering in a hostage situation and assaulting some cops. Then an escape through a hurricane of bullets fired without regard for even the cop’s own safety, none of which land. The writers could have avoided all of this by simply not putting Batman into those situations.

    Then the chase scene with the Penguin. After causing an accident that literally filled a busy highway with what must have been a convoy of jet fuel tanker trucks exploding into gigantic fireballs, killing who knows how many innocent people, the Penguin is just left at the empty building where Batman and Gordon catch him. No consequences for the slaughter, no mention of it in the rest of the film. Again, bad writing, they could have had an intense chase scene with no casualties but they opted for clumsy eye candy instead of a storyline that made sense.

    Catwoman apparently learned her ninja fighting skills while hustling drinks. No other explanation is provided as I recall. Oh and she is a master motorcyclist to boot. And a safecracker. Why not a brain surgeon as well, while we are at it? Astronaut?

    Those were the blunders that really stood out for me, I stopped paying much attention after that. There were plenty of other fails: the mandatory Woke-i-ness comments, the fact that the Riddler’s character was reduced to a bitter incel who also happened to be poor and an orphan. His character and soliloquy in the mental ward were by far the most convincing in the movie. His story actually made sense but he and his “fringe” followers had no right to be angry. Everyone else sure did.

    For that matter, the movie had lots of class statements: all those dead truckers and commuters warranted no comment but the elites at the funeral and mayoral rally were worthy of protection at risk of life and limb. The “good billionaire” trope, part and parcel of Batman and his father’s character. Philanthropy as a path to urban renewal. The good apple/bad apple police force, another tired theme.

    Finally there were the aesthetic fails. Why does Batman wear eyeshadow? And his emo haircut was ridiculous. For that matter, Batman was totally not compelling, he looked silly and out of place when he would storm into a room. And why not have him duck bullets as opposed to him taking multiple shots to the chest without even a step backwards? Not at all convincing.

    Movies are just lazy, I think. They assume the worst of their audience. I could literally have written better scenes and that isn’t saying much. I realize it’s based on a comic book hero but some basic attempts at realism would have made for a much stronger film. Grade: D

    1. Wukchumni

      {warning: crotchety old man nearing}

      Batman was the first TV show in color I remember watching and it had appeal to 5 year olds such as yours truly and all ages.

      There was mock-violence in nearly every episode with cue cards letting you know how things were going with a BIFF! POW! & occasional ZONK! although nobody was actually hurt all that bad, and Batman & Robin always prevailed, and why not?

      My head hurts reading your review of the movie, ouch.

      1. jr

        I too remember that TV show! I think you have about a decade on me, if memory serves. Frankly, it’s campiness and goof-factor made a lot more sense than the movie I just watched.

        The TV show was true to itself. The movie is burdened with “messages”. If you want to make a good Batman flick, in my opinion, it needs to be spare. Let Batman’s pain speak for itself. Let Gotham’s rot speak for itself. Batman is a borderline sociopath, play it that way instead of detailing some “journey to the light” schtick.

        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          Don’t forget the kinky sexual undertones the TV show had. Lots of bondage as I recall.

    2. Mikel

      I watched the latest Matrix sequel a couple of months ago.
      I said to myself: this entire thing better not be about Neo and Trinity getting back together…that better not be what I’m sitting waiting for…years of deep questions about the universe….
      End of movie: WTH?

        1. fringe element

          Well, now that you mention it, how did people in the Matrix have children if everyone is virtual? Cloning new humans in vats would have to be the only way. But how do you suppose they convinced all those virtual people they were living in the real world when even the facsimile of live human birth and motherhood could not exist?

        2. digi_owl

          Funny how the big thing most i know got from it, beyond the desire to dress in fetish wear, was the whole “humanity is a parasite!” message from Agent Smith.

          But because one little scene got turned into a meme by “alt-right”, the whole premise of the franchise got reworked into a gotcha…

  32. digi_owl

    Speaking of removing passwords.

    I was watching someone testing out a new gaming PC, and talked about their troubles with Windows 11 and attaching an external GPU.

    What turned me almost foaming at the mouth was when he talked about how attaching the GPU was taken as a hardware change by Windows, and that in turn triggered a Bitlocker (the Windows storage encryption service) lockdown, that in turn is enabled by default on Windows 11 as part of the enforced creation of a online Microsoft account. And how do you get around this lockdown? You log into said MS account via a different device and retrieve a 40+ character key!

    Who are they trying to protect against here, NSA agents breaking into homes and offices?!

    This is some phone level bullshit that effectively means MS et al are holding our very personal data for ransom, even on devices we have physical possession of.

  33. drumlin woodchuckles

    About JRCC’s shithole country post . . . . ” And not one American of note has stood up and asked “Are we fucking insane?”

    In fact, several have. Some famous or very famous professional sports-team coaches and other pro-sports-connected people have stood up in front of cameras and hot mikes to say something along those lines. Though actually ,they have fingered the DC FedRegime politicrats ( some even fingering NRA’s pet Republicans by party name) as the point source of the ongoing insanity.

  34. chuck roast

    Storms at the Summit of the Americas

    The self absorption and incompetence of Biden’s foreign policy team will some day be as legendary as their foot shooting and circular firing squads. But it appears that they are plumbing new depths of blundering stupidity in LA. Arguing about who shall attend is par for the course with these 30 handicap golfers, but they didn’t even bother to put together an agenda? Really! Am I reading this right? Biden should fire the lot of these idiots and put the interns in charge. At least the can put together an agenda…unless of course they are also All Ivy.

  35. MapleLeaf

    A feasible student loan forgiveness plan?

    I haven’t seen any proposal like this, but I think it would work much better than a one-time write off of student loans, and could act as a transition to a more sustainable and sane education financing system.

    This is how it would operate….

    All loans would have all late penalties and interest fees removed. You would only pay back what was loaned.

    For those making up to the median wage, $2,000 a year would be credited to their amount owing if they made the minimum payments on time and in full. If not, then for each month missed, $500 would be subtracted from the credit. An incentive for people to at least pay back some of what they owe on their own.

    For those making between median wage and twice median wage, $1,000 a year would be credited, with the same restrictions/limitations.

    Of course that would require legislative action, which probably doesn’t stand a chance in hell.

    Otherwise I think a late fee/interest fee waving on a continuing basis is fair. People pay what they can when they can, with no negative repercussions. Then the write-off takes the form instead of a broader-based stimulus/inflation refund. Perhaps $3,000 for those making less than median and $1,000 for those making less than twice.

  36. LawnDart

    Well guys, if the Japs extradite (or implement extraordinary-rendition), guess I’ll be meeting some of you in the big-house. This would include a healthy-part of the commentariat and maybe a mod or two (I claim the top-bunk, unless it’s Yves, in which case I’ll sleep wherever she tells me to):

    Japan toughens penalties for insults, creates new type of imprisonment

    The tougher penalties are aimed at strengthening efforts to tackle online insults. People may face charges if they make insulting remarks in public.

    1. Wukchumni

      I can see it now, my cellmate is a Yakusa missing digits and asks what i’m in for?

      I explain how I hold Fresno in such disdain online, and earn his respect.

  37. Lambert Strether

    > biometric authentication methods

    Headline: Hackers Release 42 Million Biometric IDs into the Wild. “Information Wants to Be Free,” Says Hacker Chief

    Universal media reaction: Nobody could have predicted this

  38. LawnDart

    The Russians just have to rub our faces in it, don’t they?

    Kremlin says coordinating SPIEF moderator role with Putin, doubts sanity of Western press

    Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS on Monday…

    “The president feels comfortable communicating with both foreign and Russian reporters,” Peskov explained. However, he doubted the sanity of most Western reporters.

    “The sanity of many prominent Western reporters is currently raising questions, at least for us, and we wouldn’t call them true and unbiased journalists, because all of them have simply gone nuts,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

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