Links 6/7/2022

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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.

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Man’s best chef? Pet husky manages to start making dinner using rice cooker South China Morning Post (J-LS)

Photographer Records a Scary Encounter with a Bear PetaPixel (David L)

Chickens were first tempted down from trees by rice, research suggests Guardian (Kevin W)

Riflebird Performing Special Moves To Woo Female ‘impresses’ Everyone But Her; WATCH RepublicWorld (J-LS)

Another fine mess: clearing up the dog poo problem Guardian (Kevin W). NYC has had draconian laws for quite a while. Was there a breakdown during Covid?

Scientists accidentally create super-vicious HAMSTERS in a lab after gene editing experiment goes wrong and makes aggressive rodents chase, bite and pin each other down Daily Mail (Kevin W)

Scientists announce a breakthrough in determining life’s origin on Earth—and maybe Mars PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Convergent Evolution Has Been Fooling Us: Most of Our Evolutionary Trees Could Be Wrong SciTechDaily (Kevin W)

This tiny handheld precision 3D scanner is the ultimate reverse-engineering instrument Yanko Design (David L)

Timnit Gebru: Ethical AI Requires Institutional and Structural Change Stanford (David L)

Your Brain Is Ready to Learn About New Things Without You Even Realizing ScienceAlert (Kevin W)

Catastrophe drives evolution. But life resides in the pauses Aeon (Anthony L)



Long covid could change the way we think about disability Washington Post (Dr. Kevin)

Why the Covid Vaccines Were Never Likely to Be Effective A Midwestern Doctor. FYI since readers have mentioned it in comments. Not at all keen about his enthusiasm for “herd immunity” but his arguments about the dodgy vaccine studies are well taken.


China offers Covid vaccine insurance to win over sceptics of the jab Financial Times


Tree Rings Are Evidence of the Megadrought—and Our Doom Sapiens (David L)

Timelapse Shows Hawaiian Crater Floor Rising Rapidly (Watch) UnofficialNetworks (David L)

A huge Atlantic ocean current is slowing down. If it collapses, La Niña could become the norm for Australia The Conversation (David L)

EU countries failing to lighten burden of hydrogen costs to reach net-zero: study S&P Global (guurst)

Coastal Cities Are Already Sinking Hakai (David L)

Ask Ethan: Could extracting wind energy change the weather? Big Think (David L)


Wheels coming off Tesla’s China drive East-West Center (Kevin W). These are all current/near term issues. China is not going to let any billionaire, particularly a foreign one with a monstrously outsized ego, become influential. Look at Jack Ma. So I don’t know how they stymie Musk, but expect rules designed to whack Tesla if Musk continues to have #2 or #3 markets share as the EV market grows.

South Korea has nuclear subs firmly in its sights Asia Times. Kevin W: “AUKUS blowback.”


BJP Leaders’ Remarks: For Second Day, Diplomatic Backlash Continues; Oman, Indonesia Summon Indian Envoys The Wire (J-LS)

In Kuwait, Indian Products Pulled From Shelves Over Prophet Remarks NDTV

As MEA firefights, Twitter users point out Nupur Sharma is anything but ‘fringe elements’ Scroll (J-LS)


New Not-So-Cold War

The secret Ukrainian military programs (guurst). Important.

Why Russian intellectuals are hardening support for war in Ukraine Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

Ukraine Admits Failure of Severodonetsk Counter-Attack, Putin Slams West’s Economic Policies Alexander Mercouris, YouTube. Note first section in particular on Ukraine fabrications.

Russian Ops in Ukraine: Donbas Cauldron(s) Closing, US-NATO Options Running Out New Atlas, YouTube. This site (and Alexander Mercouris) provide good high level recaps of the state of fighting. For granular updates (for you map junkies!), see Military Summary, also on YouTube. More generally, what various commentators have been pointing out is at least so far, Ukraine has been trying unsuccessfully and at high human cost trying to hold on to territory in Donbass, when the worst thing from the Russian perspective would be for Ukraine to pull back and preserve its forces. Ukraine might still be able to withdraw most of its troops from the cauldrons but the window of opportunity is closing.

Turkey to help unblock Ukraine grain – media RT. Kevin W:

Important bit – “So far the Ukrainian grain has been exported using trains and trucks through EU member states and Moldova, but we haven’t seen any of it reach the market,” said Izvestiya’s source. “That makes us wonder if the EU isn’t taking the Ukrainian grain as payment for weapons deliveries.”

How blaming Putin is helping Putin Dimitry Orlov, Saker

Fury In Moscow After Air Closures Block Lavrov Trip To Serbia Agence France Presse


‘Apartheid in action’: The danger of Israel’s new West Bank travel restrictions Mondoweiss (guurst)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The Surreal Case of a C.I.A. Hacker’s Revenge New Yorker (Paul R). Crazy story.

Imperial Collapse Watch

The EU after Ukraine Wolfgang Streeck, American Affairs (Anthony L). Important

Military Families’ Hunger Often Worsened by Common Military Experiences, Reports Find Defense One (resilc)


Justice sends mixed messages on subpoenaing Trump’s inner circle The Hill


Biden declares US energy emergency RT (Kevin W)

Yes, Democratic Messaging Sucks. But It’s Harder to Fix Than You Think. New Republic. Resilc: “We stand for nothing and do nothing when in office (except start warzzzz).”

A Chilling Assassination in Wisconsin Atlantic (resilc)

These 25 rainbow-flag waving companies donated $13 million to anti-gay politicians since 2021 Popular Info (resilc)

The Incredible Political and Media Journey of Jesse and Tyrel Ventura Matt Taibbi. From a long e-mail by Chuck L:

This is important because, among other reasons, Jesse Ventura’s experience shows MSM outlets will readily sacrifice their own self interest (e.g. audience ratings) under duopoly pressure.

I was a member of the Reform Party under whose flag Jesse was elected MN governor in 1998….

He was one of the better governors we’ve had. For example instead of picking cronies for administrative positions and judges he openly solicited applications from the public and selected appointees on the basis proven capabilities and experience. However, I believe he missed a golden opportunity to have a long-lasting impact on state, and even national politics.

Ventura had three signature issues: the tax cut mentioned in the Taibbi interview; the Twin Cities’ first light rail transit system; and a constitutional amendment to convert the state legislature to a unicameral body. The first two were successes. A tax cut of IIRC $900M went through, although it was soon followed by a revenue drop because of the dot com bubble burst. The first LRT, running between downtown Minneapolis to the MSP airport and beyond to the Mall of America was finally approved and construction started on his watch. But the Unicameral amendment was a non-starter from the get-go….

All things considered, however, if Jesse chooses to run for President in ‘24 I will definitely support him regardless of who the legacy party candidates are. Hopefully he’s learned from his own experiences.


Manchin wants to raise age to 21 for gun purchases, doesn’t see need for AR-15s CNN

Firearms: What you can do right now Your Local Epidemiologist. Posts like this make me want to tear my hair out. Let’s start with her first idea, gun safety. Yes, it’s a problem. A crappy study (internet survey! and you know respondents would know saying they didn’t employ good practices was the wrong answer, and so the extent of unsafe gun habits was pretty certain to have been understated) in 2016 found that 46% of gun owners admitted to unsafe storage. I read a different study, which I cannot find due to the state of the Internet, that found that trying to teach established gun users about gun safety was largely ineffective, they had to learn it while they were learning about how to handle weapons.

Oh, and as you’d expect, people who have guns for personal protection are much less likely store them safely because their reason for having a gun is to be able to grab it and shoot at a baddie!

Similarly, under Community level measures, her first idea is health care. Huh? First, doctors aren’t paid to be family therapists and don’t see patients all that often. And as a non-gun owner/user, I would refuse to answer questions about guns and would drop a doctor who made inquires like that (why should that be on my record either way?) Second, she suggests greater vigilance around trauma. Has she not worked out that women downplay being on the receiving end of abuse because admitting to it is a fast track for having their kids put in foster care? And kids who are abused are nearly always protective of their parents, making up excuses for bruises and even bone breaks.

The hypocrisy of officials who blame mental illness for mass shootings. Slate (resilc)

Our No Longer Free Press

Democrats and Republicans Have One Thing in Common: Both Suck on Free Speech Matt Taibbi

FWIW I can’t do YT “prove your age” logins because YT claims my account setting don’t allow me to view adult content!

How crypto giant Binance became a hub for hackers, fraudsters and drug traffickers Reuters. Over $2.3 billion.

The Economics of Stadium Names: Sell your stock in (most) companies that buy them Axiom Alpha (resilc)

AARP’s Billion-Dollar Bounty KHN

SEC Closes In on Rules That Could Reshape How Stock Market Operates Wall Street Journal. Haha, Gensler is about to whack Citadel.

Musk’s ‘Buyer’s Remorse’ Won’t Get Him Out of Twitter Deal Bloomberg

Class Warfare

From dk. Remember, Michal Kalecki explained this all in 1943!

Antidote du jour (CV):

And a bonus (Jim D). Awww!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from The Chattanooga Choo Choo)

    Is It Another School Shooting?

    Pardon me guys,
    Is it another school shooting? (Yes Yes)
    Some shithouse rat
    Bought himself a big gat
    He’s out to prove
    That he’s a man and not an incel boy
    A semi-automatic
    Is a bloody big toy!

    They’re shooting up the hospitals, the malls, and the schools
    Our Number Two Amendment says there aren’t any rules
    Machine guns do it better, earn that scarlet letter
    Be something more in this world than a sad bed-wetter

    When you hear the NRA is lobbying hard
    Doling out donations just like buckets of lard
    Buying politicians to guard their ammunitions
    It’s their only mission so be on your guard!

    We’re past the point
    Where multi-murders happen daily
    Twelve dead by noon.
    We all know that tune.
    You need DNA
    To tell which piece of person goes with what
    If you’ve never seen it,
    It’s a kick in the gut!

    They’re shooting up the hospitals, the malls, and the schools
    Our Number Two Amendment says there aren’t any rules
    Machine guns do it better, earn that scarlet letter
    Be something more in this world than a sad bed-wetter

    When you hear the NRA is lobbying hard
    Doling out donations just like buckets of lard
    Buying politicians to guard their ammunitions
    It’s their only mission so be on your guard!

    Your darling is dead
    A sealed coffin with a mess inside
    What can you do,
    But live as what’s left of you?
    How do you deal
    With the stunning fact of their demise
    While your Congresscritter
    Shrugs his shoulders and sighs?

    They’re shooting up the hospitals, the malls, and the schools
    Our Number Two Amendment says there aren’t any rules
    Machine guns do it better, earn that scarlet letter
    Be something more in this world than a sad bed-wetter

    When you hear the NRA is lobbying hard
    Doling out donations just like buckets of lard
    Buying politicians to guard their ammunitions
    It’s their only mission so be on your guard!

    Pardon me guys,
    Is it another school shooting? (Yes Yes)
    Some shithouse rat
    Bought himself a big gat
    He’s out to prove
    That he’s a man and not an incel boy
    A semi-automatic
    Is a bloody big toy!

    (A semi-automatic is a bloody big toy!)

    1. Wukchumni

      Antifa, beautifully done… that is if you actually exist and aren’t a figment of the far right’s fervid imagination.

  2. Stick'em

    re: Scientists accidentally create super-vicious HAMSTERS in a lab after gene editing experiment goes wrong and makes aggressive rodents chase, bite, and pin each other down

    Saying the quiet part out loud: Department of Defense immediately hires scientists to create army of super rodents for imminent release in Moscow sewers. Project code name: Bitin’ for Putin

    1. Randall Flagg

      Talk about unintended consequences. I would not be surprised if some “genius” somewhere is working on gene editing something more/bigger than a hamster.
      These sci fi movies over the last couple decades are supposed to be entertainment, not “ Hey, let’s give it a go.”
      Wasn’t there a posting about “blowback”, just yesterday?

      1. The Rev Kev

        It could end up being like that old 1971 film “Willard” – but with hamsters instead of rats.

        1. Randall Flagg

          There is also a scene in the Brad Pitt move “Ad Astra, where they answer a distress call from a research station in space doing yes, you guessed it animal experiments, pretty nasty
          See also the popcorn movie Rampage, genetic experiments on animals in space and of course the substance crash lands back on Earth and mayhem ensues. The list of genetic experiment movies is endless. Some actually very thought provoking. See Gattaca with Ethan Hawke.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Gattaca is a classic that is both entertaining and thought provoking. Cannot recommend it enough.

            ‘There is no gene for the human spirit.’

            1. Randall Flagg

              Though they way it seems like what’s going on with those in power in this world amounts to trying to break our spirit, if they could edit that out I’m sure it would be tried.
              IIRC, as Lambert mentioned once. practice detachment.

          2. Safety First

            I rather thought of “28 Days Later”, which I view as one of the best zombie apocalypse films ever done. The whole idea was that UK scientists were engineering a rabies-like or rabies-based virus that amped up aggression in chimps while also replicating at a very rapid rate of speed upon transmission (bodily fluids, e.g. saliva). Wouldn’t you know it, the thing escaped from the labs, and “zombies” (really, infected individuals, not actual undead) overran much of England…but proved incapable of feeding or maintaining themselves in the long run, so basically at the end everyone just quarantined the Isles and waited for the infected to die off.

            Not sure how you would do this sort of film with hamsters. Maybe pivot into having them bite some sheep, setting up a “man vs. ovine zombies” type of dark comedy.

            1. norm de plume

              Agree 28 Days Later is very good. Alex Garland wrote it, along with Never Let Me Go, but his masterpiece in this line is Ex Machina.

              If you like a good zombie flick though, it is hard to go past Black Mirror man Charlie Brooker’s Dead Set.

          3. Pookah Harvey

            “Some actually very thought provoking”
            and some aren’t.
            My favorite is a classic with Rory Calhoun, DeForest Kelley, Stuart Whitman and Janet Leigh.
            Night of the Lepus‘ (43 secs)

            1. ambrit

              Blast! I posted after you about the same film. Sorry. I didn’t scroll down enough before posting.

        2. Adam1

          LOL! I was just wondering if there was a movie out there about this already. Life imitating art!

          1. Fritzi

            I don’t know about hamsters, but there is certainly a movie about killer shrews (giant sized, played by badly disguised dogs), and one at least semi serious horror movie about killer rabbits.

            Though, concerning killer rabbits there is of course to this day nothing greater than either “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” or “Watership Down” (General Woundwart did not need not stinking gene editing to be a ferocious killing machine).

        3. Stick'em

          TRK ~ My first mental image was “Ben” with Michael Jackson:

          “As a sequel to Willard, this strange film tells of the friendship between an ill boy and a highly intelligent rat, Ben, who happens to be the leader of a 4,000 member killer rat pack. The hit song from Michael Jackson is from this movie, which may provide more insight into the film’s plot.”

    2. rowlf

      Can they use this technology to make a Democratic lawmaker that won’t find a spot on the floor to fall down on?

      1. Adam1

        No! That research wont be funded as those with funding like their congress critters just they way they are, even if that means falling over on every spot on the floor.

    3. Raymond Sim

      “…aggressive rodents chase, bite, and pin each other down…”

      More than usual? Adult hamsters are generally quite intolerant of other hamsters.

    4. Andrew

      Russian WW II corespondent Vasily Grossman writes about field mice wreaking havoc on German tanks in the Don Basin by chewing out the wiring harnesses. His two volume account of Stalingrad is a masterpiece .

    5. Anthony G Stegman

      Too late. They have already escaped the lab and are infesting the halls of Congress. President Manchin is their pied piper.

    6. griffen

      In recent years, there was a really bad movie called “Splice” that was about gene editing. And in an open setting on an open stage, the featured fictional critter / organism did more or less what happened to these hamsters.

      It was a horrifically bad film. Even a bit creepy at times.

    7. Oh

      They already have an army of super, money grubbing, scab sucking, corporate ass licking rodents in Washington, DC. Just tr4ansport ’em and put ’em in the sewers where they belong.

  3. Samuel Conner

    The Orlov piece struck me as part comedy, twisting the nose of Western Russo- or Putino-phobes.

    Why the “rest of world” would take its lead from the badly informed attitudes of the population of the anti-Russian West is not clear to me.

    But I agree with his assertion that R can become an important part, a leader or co-leader, of a cooperative alignment of interests of the nations beyond the Russophobic West.

    It gives one pause to wonder what the leaders of the West will cook up to deal with such a development.


    One also wonders whether this developing cooperative alignment of interests will include effective action regarding climate disruption.

    I don’t get the impression that “decarbonization” is getting much traction in Russia. Though I have read (here at NC, I think) that some R scientists are investigating the possibility of ‘resurrecting’ megafauna to help preserve the warming northern ecosystems.

    1. Carolinian

      The Orlov on PDS is droll indeed and the latest MOA also suggests that the current Russia obsession will backfire and lead to the end of NATO.

      1. Susan the other

        I was also thinking that NATO couldn’t survive all this internal contradiction in the EU but the link to Wolfgang Streeck took a different tack. Yes, the US is making clumsy moves, but the goal (the US goal) looks to be war with China, and NATO is very involved. I imagine it to be various versions of medieval marches back and forth across the Middle East, taking over oil as we go. Streeck is looking at the social chaos currently in the EU and is making the point that one thing actually keeping the EU together, one thing it generally agrees on, is the alliance with NATO. But the difficulty is that in order to keep NATO together we must have war and/or a steady supply of smaller insurrections. It’s almost the definition of insanity. As usual.

  4. Samuel Conner

    Re: Manchin and AR-15s — an encouraging development.

    The thought occurs that the drafters of the first amendments did not foresee the possibilities that would emerge from the development of metal-cartridge small arms ammunition. It should have been “the right to keep and bear single-shot muzzle-loaded arms shall not be infringed”.

    1. Stick'em

      Tried “the right to keep and bear single-shot muzzle-loaded arms shall not be infringed” one. What typically happens is the gunz crowd responds by mocking your knowledge of firearms with a condescending glee.

      See, there are these obscure salient examples like the Puckle gun:

      which proves someone thought about automatic weapons prior to the 2nd Amendment ratification.

      Yes, unless you are an ammosexual, you’ve probably heard of these things, which sort of makes the point the Founding Fathers probably never heard of ’em either.

      But it doesn’t matter, because motivated reasoning can get someone to a mental place where his gun has more rights to go to school than his children. Remember, the Pledge of Allegiance is to a flag, not to the people who live here.

      1. Wukchumni

        Tried “the right to keep and bear single-shot muzzle-loaded arms shall not be infringed” one. What typically happens is the gunz crowd responds by mocking your knowledge of firearms with a condescending glee.

        My favorite is if you make the major faux paux of calling an assault rifle an automatic weapon and not semi-automatic as all legal hand cannons are, oh how they’ll put you in your place, with a ‘see-you know nothing about guns!’ it’s what they do.

        1. Stick'em

          You didn’t know those blasters that go PEW!PEW!PEW! could literally boil the water inside your body if you got hit and make you go splat like a hamster all over the inside of a microwave?

          What are you stoopid? My girlfriend says you don’t know anything about laser blasters, wookie bait!

      2. Dave in Austin

        Freedom of the press; the right to use movable type on a roller press to print one page at a time shall not be afringed.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Given problems with the old country (buying commissions) and the conspiracy theorist leanings of the Founders, I think fears of a permanent soldier aristocracy was the target of the 2nd ammendment. With guys like Hamilton, the 2nd worst person in a world where people owned huge numbers of slaves, running around, this wasn’t that farfetched a fear.

        1. Fraibert

          I think that’s part of the issue, though as part of a larger vision of the republic that in today’s terms is treated as a “conservative” view. Regarding the Second Amendment, Justice Story wrote in his hugely influential and early _Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States_:

          “The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.”

          So it definitely appears that the government overreach narrative has some real roots and the hostility to standing armies (no secret to any student of American history) probably (in my opinion) did include your point.

      2. Fraibert

        It occurs to me that there’s at least two ways of slicing the “well-regulated militia” argument.

        Crudely put, one approach is the usual way by gun control/ban proponents–since there’s no militia today (and the concept is obsolete), the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms is no longer relevant.

        The other way (just something which occurred to me this morning) is that perhaps the militia is required by the Constitution since its existence is a fundamental basis of the entire framework. (The quote from Justice Story in my comment above can be read to kind of imply this idea.) In modern terms (abolition of slavery, equality for women), the body of the “militia” basically would be all citizens (with some accommodations for disability, criminal behavior, and religious belief) and those not otherwise disqualified to serve could be required to participate. If the states fail to provide training (“regulation”) for the qualified militia participants at large (thereby failing a Constitutional obligation), that failure should not affect the individual citizen’s right to be prepared to serve in the militia and therefore to keep firearms that would be appropriate for militia service (i.e., today, it’s a semi-automatic rifle, such as an AR-15 or the like).

        1. Fraibert

          A further observation: Handguns aren’t really the weapon of the “militia” so even the second approach might conceptually permit more stringent regulation of handguns than rifles.

          1. deleter

            Excellent comments on this issue. The main concern of the founders was standing armies and their abuse such as quartering troops in civilian houses and their use against civilians. The Boston Massacre and
            the attack on Lexington come to mind.
            Since we now have the most powerful standing military in history,
            it seems the 2nd Amendment is moot from a strict constructionist
            point of view.

    2. Pelham

      Good point, and one that has been made many times. But that’s not what the founders wrote. And Manchin is in no position to judge whether anyone needs an AR-15, or anything else for that matter.

      Some good ideas are floating around but, ultimately, I think Michael Moore is right when he says we need to address the 2nd Amendment itself. Personally, I’d keep it. But I’m open to persuasion and think the issue ought to be debated.

      Of more immediate and potentially far more practical concern, however, is the use of SSRIs among so many of these mass shooters. Or unlike the gun industry, should the pharmaceutical industry get a pass?

  5. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: Clearing up the dog poo problem:

    NYC is about as clean as ever (at least on the UES and midtown, where I do most of my walking around). I remember a story or an article somewhere that imagined the reaction of archaeologists 10,000 years from now: “And they worshipped the animals so much that they walked around behind them and collected their droppings”.

    1. Pat

      Not so much in Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, it can be a minefield depending on the block. And it appears to spread. You have to watch your step on one block, then the next. One owner doesn’t clean up, then another. I think there is a very large culture of “if they don’t have to, why should I” for a lot of NYers.

    2. elissa3

      Paris sidewalks in the 70s and early 80s were about the most disgusting in the (developed?) world. An initiative by Chirac, then mayor, greatly improved the situation. Not having visited in several years, I’d be interested in current Parisians’ views.

  6. Noone from Nowheresville

    Off-Topic Ice Cream Maker Request

    During a conversation about ice cream someone, maybe last summer, gave a reference about ice cream making at home. A step above normal consumer models but at a piece point that was very reasonable for the quality of the machine and ice cream output.

    I did a mini search to try to find but I get the self-licking ice cream cone references.

    I have a friend who is a dairy farmer who would like to explore making ice cream (and other things). So a better machine for experimentation without breaking the bank is called for.

    Does anyone happen to remember the model or models that were talked about?

    1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield

      Consider the 2-quart Whynter machine listed below (or the current 2-quart model equivalent). I bought two such machines as Christmas 2020 gifts – a successor to an earlier Ariete/de Longhi model I own myself (and which is no longer available).

      I used one of the Whynter machines when I showed my mother how to use it. It makes excellent ice cream. I would buy one again if I ever have to replace my machine.

      The Best Ice Cream Makers, According to Experts and Home Cooks

    2. Shleep

      If he happens to have a Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, the Ice Cream Maker Attachment is ~US$70-90. I’m pleased with the results.

      1. Duke of Prunes

        Agree. It makes great ice cream.

        Although there is a downside in that you need to find space in your freezer to store the rather large bowl prior to use. Either you need bountiful freezer space and just store your bowl in it all the time, or you need to plan ahead and make sure to get the bowl in the freezer the day before you plan to use it.

    3. Lexx

      We’ve been using a frozen-bowl type maker for years. Process the custard to mostly frozen, work add-ins in the last few minutes and transfer to reusable containers. Capacity to make ice cream far exceeds our ability to consume it. So for now are you after a maker that will allow you to experiment in making ice cream on a small scale while you perfect the recipe? Or have you got your recipes down and now you want to scale up the volume?

      Van Leeuwen has made it to the grocery store freezers in our little city. I bought a used copy of their Artisan Ice Cream book two summers ago. Good explanation on ice cream basics, also covers frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet, and granitas. It would be hard to go wrong with any of their recipes. Follow their advice to age your custard overnight. Recommended book.

    4. elissa3

      If you’re a relative newcomer to ice cream making, the essential book on the subject is The Perfect Scoop by David Leibovitz. Highly recommended, as has been his cooking blog, with many dozens of excellent recipes.

    5. Noone from Nowheresville

      I’ve passed on all the links and machine recommendations. Plus the books.

      Thank you, everyone. Jerri-Lynn, BeliTsari, Larry, Shleep, Duke of Prunes, Lexx, elissa3

      It’s a big deal to add dairy processing to a dairy producing farm so it’s only in the “time to get serious” exploratory phase.

      They’d like to source as many ingredients from their farm and their neighbors’. Perhaps even collaborate to develop a local storefront / trail food & beverage pitstop. A strong foundation on multiple fronts is already there. Now it’s about nailing down all the details.

      Thanks all for the insight and information. It was great fun to read those articles myself.

  7. DJG, Reality Czar

    The article by Thierry Meyssan on secret Ukrainian military programs has many details, as he builds his case. The news from him gets worse and worse. Definitely worth your while. Important, indeed.

    Watch for the appearance of, who else?, Hunter Biden.

    1. David

      This is a French site, some of whose content is, well, questionable. It’s in a certain French tradition of geopolitical conspiratorial anti-Americanism that extends across the political spectrum. It has a big section on September 11, with titles like “September 11: Inside Job or Mossad Job?” arguing that it was part of an Israeli attempt to “destabilise the world”, based on a similarly dense and detailed set of assertions. The French version has titles like “115 lies about the events of 11 September.” Likewise, there’s an article on the disappearance of MH 370 which manages somehow to link China, Israel and Rothschilds to the disappearance of an aircraft where allegedly large numbers of the passengers were employees of the Pentagon. As with many similar sites, the authors can’t tell the difference between a pile of facts and assertions and a coherent theory.

      Handle with care, therefore. You can’t judge a book by its cover, and dubious sites can nonetheless have worthwhile material in them, but in this case I don’t think there’s anything new. It’s largely a re-hash of the Saker and Russian media briefings.

      1. Kouros

        The American Affairs article would, from quite a broader geopolitical perspective, give credence to the operational aspects of Meyssan’ article…

      2. chuck roast

        Nevertheless, 30 tons of plutonium! A 25 pound orb of weapons grade plutonium can produce a Hiroshima like explosion. 30 tons! Truly frightening. It’s no wonder that the RU popped the plant immediately.

        1. digi_owl

          It is like nobody learned a flying shit from the missile crisis.

          It seems DC, NATO and pretty much everyone but perhaps Paris keeps treating Putin like he is Yeltsin 2.0, and stupefied drunk. And thus Putin keeps playing them for fools to a degree we have perhaps not seen since Napoleon.

          Perhaps the Hollywood stereotype of the brute with a Russian accent has been used so much that even the people that should know better have come to think of it as facts.

          By now i am starting to suspect that Russia may well have better HUMINT, and likely as good SIGINT etc, as anything NATO can field.

          Sure, their industrial design may seem to be lagging. But who cares if it is a box with wings as long as it can deliver the ordinance on target.

  8. DJG, Reality Czar

    Anatol Lieven is always worth reading. The article in Responsible Statecraft describes one person’s change of heart, moving away from the U S of A, matters if the U.S. elites were serious about anything besides looting and using organizations like the IMF to sack smaller countries.

    As I watch the breakdown in consensus about the war in Italy, a country where the vast majority has not been in favor of hostilities and wants a truce, I am seeing a similar disavowal of U.S. influence.

    That “soft power” that U.S. elites like to blabber about is dissipating. Does anyone in Washington even notice?

    Or is the plan (and I use the word loosely) in Washington to wait for the war in Ukraine to grind to a halt with armies in position and send in the Kardashians to revive “our democracy’s” pop culture?

    1. Lex

      They don’t, and this is IMO the fulcrum of geopolitics in the short and medium term. Part of the issue is that the US transitioned its traditional soft power into hard power. There is no diplomatic corp anymore, just a public facing branch of the CIA that assumes threats will carry the day. I don’t think that there is anything a normal person would consider a “plan”, but you’re probably close to the thesis of the meeting discussions on these issues.

      The soft power issue is why I question whether Russia needs to push harder on NATO than it is in Ukraine to achieve the stated goal of 1997 NATO. Unless the US can actually arm/rearm NATO on a short timeline and in a way that doesn’t leave some members left out or bankrupt some members, it’s going to be dependent on US soft power to maintain the alliance in current form. That just seems unlikely to me, especially given the domestic politics of both the US and EU by Jan 2023. I will not be surprised to see what amounts to NATO collapse by 2024, or at least what we currently recognize as NATO.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      The US is going to wait to send in the Kardashians until they get a war started in Armenia. I hear that’s scheduled for 2024 in the hopes it will distract the voting populace from Democrat failures during election season.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “The secret Ukrainian military programs”

    I don’t think that we have seen everything that has been hidden in the Ukraine yet. So here you have Biological and Nuclear warfare elements being developed but no word yet on the third arm to get you the trifecta – Chemical warfare. The again, the Ukrainians have been trying to set off explosions in chemical plants as they retreat so I suppose that you could consider that a form of Chemical warfare. But today I came across an article talking about all the training that has been going on the past eight years and when you add that to this article, you see that the Ukraine was being turned into nothing less than a country set up to destroy Russia with – no matter what the costs to the Ukrainian people. But for the collective west to not only nod to this happening but to take part in this all is a sign of a really sociopathic way of thinking and until a few months ago, I would never have believed that it would have been so bad-

      1. The Rev Kev

        Unbelievable when you think about it. Like in that “Military Families’ Hunger Often Worsened by Common Military Experiences, Reports Find” article, how are US troops suppose to train or serve overseas when they are mostly thinking about how their wives and kids don’t have enough to eat. Why would you stay with an organization that did that to your family?

        1. MT_Wild

          Because the US government treats the civilian population worse?

          I’m really not sure if that deserves a /sarc tag or not

          1. Bart Hansen

            Exactly; here in the country where a $15 minimum wage was rejected before the cock crowed just once.

        2. jr

          When I was in service, we had an entire division relocate to our fort. The lower ranking enlisted were pretty much left to their own devices in terms of housing. Not the lowest ranks, they got barracks space, but lots of the junior NCOs were staying in hotels and rented rooms while their families remained behind at their old posts.

  10. Jon Cloke

    It’s amazing how good for business mass shootings are for arms manufacturers and the NRA, isn’t it? If they suddenly ended, the NRA would have to pay people to go out and commit more of them.

    This strange kind of rationale also exemplifies why 2nd Rights fanatics and anti-Abortionists are in the same political groups.

    The less abortions there are, the more kids there are to shoot…

    1. Stick'em

      What I found really amazing is how good for business having a black president is to the arms manufacturers and the NRA:

      Gets the faithful all riled up when a black guy is in charge. It’s not legitimate in a country where the Constitution says only white, male landowners have standing to vote and be elected and do stuff.

      So we get the “He’s not my President” movement. We get the Kenyan Muslim stuff. We get the Oathkeepers claiming their duty is to the Constitution rather than the HNIC.

      All of a sudden, overthrowing the government goes from being considered sedition and treason under Dubya to being the white gun owner’s duty as a real ‘Merican, something something Confederate statues and heritage, so help me Charlton Heston.

      1. Charger01

        We get the Kenyan Muslim stuff.

        Pretty sure that was an 2008 election tactic from Sid Blumenthal in the Hillary campaign. Remember her slogan “that the working class identifies with Hillary”? She was bent so far right, the GOP affiliated folks took it as a cudgel.

        1. Stick'em

          Hillary definitely started the Kenyan Muslim stuff in 2008. She used the NYTimes to publish the famous picture of Obama in a turban so everybody could see:

          “If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed,” Williams said in a statement. “Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.”

          That meme got the good ole boys where I live hollerin’ “take’em out back and shoot’em!”

          Identity politics on parade. Hussein Obama can’t be president because he’s not a White-Christian-Americanman!

      2. flora

        The recent highest sales years were 2000, 2010, and 2020. Each of these years presented with an unusual govt crisis and a loss of trust in govt’s ability to respond appropriately, in my opinion. Bush v Gore dragging out, with the result still being argued; the GFC with the banks rescued and Main Street thrown into deep recession; the summer of “mostly peaceful protests” and massive destruction of businesses and neighborhoods. You can find the sales-by-year charts online. My 2 cents.

        1. flora

          correction: “highest gun sales” should read “largest percentage increase in gun sales.”

    2. flora

      I’m a 2nd Amendment supporter every bit as much as I’m a 1st Amendment supporter and the 3rd-10th Amendments, too. I’m also pro-choice. Not sure where I fit in your taxonomy. / ;)

      1. Tom Stone

        Flora, I share your sentiments and there are not a few others who do as well.
        And the “Liberals” obsession over “Assault type Weapons”and the AR15 in particular is bizarre, apparently the only people who can be trusted with such arms are the jackbooted thugs that murder black children for sport.
        Because Guns have agency and some models are possessed by evil spirits, thus “Gun Violence”.

        1. Lambert Strether

          > the jackbooted thugs that murder black children for sport.

          Jackboots aren’t sold just anywhere; you need to be “well regulated” if you want to buy them wholesale.

      2. Anthony G Stegman

        The United States is a violent nation populated by violent people. This has been true since the very beginning. Of course people want guns, and the more powerful the guns are the better. It is in our collective national DNA. That people get murdered is besides the point. In fact, killing is the point of the United States. The military kills. The police kill. Gangs kill. Family members kill. Students kill. Everyone kills. So we all need to be armed just to make it through the day. Attempts to remove guns from society will only lead to even more killing. Accept the losses at Uvalde and elsewhere. It comes with living in the United States. The exceptional and indispensable nation.

        1. Dr. Phips

          Couldn’t agree more. The US started its history violently, how could it be now different?

        2. Polar Socialist

          From a few expatriate videos (of the “culture shock” genre) I’ve seen on youtube, it seems that the United States is a nation populated by scared people.

          Scared of being unemployed, scared of getting sick, scared of strangers, scared of neighbors, scared of shootings, scared of the “other party” taking all power and destroying the United States.

    3. hunkerdown

      It’s better for Democratic Party collection plate numbers to go out and do human sacrifices with a moral message attached. But that wouldn’t feed the other liberal moral messaging demanding that people deny the capitalist key value of servanthood og which that demand is a part.

    4. Jack

      ” …the more kids there to shoot…” Kind of a “”Ducks Unlimited’ approach. /s

  11. DanB

    Gonzalo Lira has a Youtube post up that totally misconstrues and misunderstands MMT. He mentions Yves by name as “buying into this BS”.

    1. Samuel Conner

      For me, failure to make the effort to understand MMT disqualifies a person from meriting further attention. What other things (among which may be things that I am not in a position to make reliable determinations about) does the person not understand but makes self-confident assertions about?

      There are a number of sites occasionally linked by NC (and, I think, one in the ‘blog-roll) that make this same mistake of dismissing MMT without understanding it (and, as MMT is descriptive, that’s sort of like ‘dismissing double entry accounting without understanding it’) and that I now read more from an interest to know ‘what else do they get wrong?’ than ‘do they have a useful ‘take’ on some matter of current interest?’.

      NC is a treasure. I imagine that it will come under attack at some point. Intelligent analysis and commentary may become too threatening to our soon to be permanently brain-fogged elites.

      1. nippersdad

        “What other things…does the person not understand but makes self-confident assertions about?”

        Just my view, but:

        That whole group (Mercouris, Christoferou, Lira and the-guy-who-smokes-cigars) have some very strange blind spots. Their deep seated need to blame everything on Democrats and “RINO’s” (anyone not a populist/Trump Republican) is so blatant that it is jarring when one sees it. When did Mitt Romney and Mitch McConnell become RINO’s? They are the party; the populists are the arriviste outliers.

        It always amazes me to find that inflationary behavior was just invented the minute Biden gained office, without reference to Trump’s tax cuts, his failure to call out the Fed for QE, his passage of a corporate friendly COVID bill, large part in the design of Biden’s corporate friendly COVID bill and most of the corporate friendly Bi-partisan infrastructure bill.

        Or, for that matter, any of the other stuff that came before over the past fifty years. They appear to have missed the entire financialization of the economy at the expense of the people whose capital is not portable.

        It is all new and would never have happened if Democrats had not stolen Trump’s election.

        The pain in their eyes when they have to admit that Trump really was not in control of his own neocons is palpable. And then there is the knee-jerk derisive attitude toward anything that might actually invest in the country, like elements of the BBB and AGW remediation. I often wonder if they are climate deniers.

        They are really good at what they do WRT the Ukraine war, but I could live without the snide editorial comments upon things outside their wheelhouse.

        1. Soredemos

          The RINO obsession is weird. The viewpoint of places like that Dreizin Report site seems to be that the Democrats (who I guess are evil god-hating commies, or whatever) are the dominant party that is getting everything it wants, while the Republicans are the do-nothing controlled opposition.

          Just wild. To read a site like that is to look through a portal into some weird parallel bizarro universe where everything is the exact opposite of reality.

        2. Lambert Strether

          > inflationary behavior was just invented the minute Biden gained office

          This is simply my impression, but I feel that the media really turned the inflation knobs up to 11 after Biden left Afghanistan; I’ve never felt that the coverage was organic. (To me, the media coverage of “inflation” is distinct from ordinary Americans experience of “price increases”; I’m not sure, what with a pandemic, a supply chain debacle, and wartime sanctions, that the real economy factors for which “ZOMG inflation bad!!!” have been disentangled and given a coherent account by anyone. Of course, I can’t read everything….

      1. Milton

        There seems to be a lot of deficit spending equals inflation articles as well. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as the only groups that are against US involvement in arming Ukraine to the gills or is openly for Russian emerging victorious are folks from the right. I must be one of the few that is from the (far) left that is pro-Russia.

        1. nippersdad

          The right has come a long way since “Why do you hate America?” and “You are with us or against us.” But that was when we actually still had an anti-war left. :Looks like they found a parade to get in front of, but by the time they joined it there was no one left to speak up for them.

        2. Nikkikat

          Milton, I also am far left. I have been pro Russia for a long time. May be it was when I found out that they won WWll . Lol it’s very tough to talk about it. Family and friends have been dipped and drenched in propaganda.

      2. Soredemos

        But he seems to think finance/economics is his primary lane. This is what he’s ‘good’ at.

        1. Basil Pesto

          If we all spoke Ukrainian (and/or Russian), would anyone give even two shits about Lira’s videos? I assume there would have to be better on-the-ground sources in the actually relevant language/s. Talk about a captive audience.

    2. scarnoc

      It was worse than that. He misunderstands Keynes. But, he did call Yves a very intelligent woman. Even when he’s wrong, he’s right.

      1. LifelongLib

        It seems to me the biggest stumbling block to understanding the basics of MMT is the idea of the U.S. government as the currency issuer of the dollar (and by extension, other governments as the issuers of their currencies). The idea that if you have your own currency you can create as much of it as you want without taking it from somebody else is obvious when it’s pointed out, but it’s also so contrary to our everyday experience of money (as currency users) that it seems like a trick. We’re so used to having to be given money before we can spend it that we can’t imagine not being constrained that way.

    3. The Rev Kev

      His comment tells me that he has actually been reading NC and he probably has been checking other pages out too when he came across articles on MMT here, hence that comment.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        He wrote for the site briefly, in 2010. My dim recollection is he submitted a deficit hawkish article (or maybe it had some operational issue re spending wrong) and I took issue with that. He got offended by my editorial suggestions and never came back. So it looks like he’s trying to have the last say on that.

        1. The Rev Kev

          When I think about it, that is an awful long time to carry a chip on his shoulder. I mean, he started off that video with your name as a lead when he could have named someone like Stephanie Kelton instead whose name is associated with MMT. Weird.

          1. Lambert Strether

            > he started off that video with your name as a lead when he could have named someone like Stephanie Kelton

            Possibly because we got a shout-out from Mercouris? (Gawd, this reminds me of the blogosphere — Who linked to whom and why?????))

            For me, Lira on Ukraine is high value. On economics, not so much. But I’m not a subscriber, let alone a (small!!!) donor. I presume Lira knows his readership, and this is what they want.

            No good deed goes unpunished /sarc

    4. Glen

      I haven’t seen that, but I probably will, I find his commentary very insightful.

      But funny that we are going to quibble over economic theory and ignore the big economic lesson in the room:

      Russia is a self sufficient country that makes real $hit, and has blown through America’s “economic warfare” like a bull through a china shop.

      I’m an engineer, I have to live in the real world. I have real heart burn with the whole “science” of economics. It should have stuck with the real name for it’s profession: political economics. Because all high level economics has been is a political belief set wrapped in a very very thin veneer of science. MMT seems to have the merits of being a non politically motivated attempt at providing a better model of the real world.

      Ronald Reagan put America on track to put the corporate CEOs in charge, but I think even he would be appalled with where the country has ended up. Obama pulled the ultimate “I love Reagan” when he bailed out the Wall St bankers and nobody went to jail. Even Reagan let the banking regulators throw thousands of bankers in jail for the Savings and Loan crisis, and that was a blip on the radar when it happened compared to the 2008 economic implosion.

      I can tell you from hard personal experience what happens to your company when these people get in charge. They figure out how to get rich even as your company augers into the ground.

      So now we’re face to face with what happens when Russian reality meets American Wall St economics. It’s going to be brutal, and the whole lot of economists that got America in this position should be re-buried in Central Park so we can all piss and $hit on their graves for what they have done to our country.

      1. JBird4049

        The reason political was stripped from political economy is to make it easier to turn it into a pseudo-science by giving it the appearance of being a field like physics; the various political economists from before the early 1960s could be ignored because they weren’t economists of the modern ilk. Using that metric they could have ignored Adam Smith and “The Wealth of Nations,” but he is too important so they cherry picked quotes from his works and ignored the inconvenient passages that contradicts modern neoliberalism especially as advocated by the Chicago Boys (Economists who studied under Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago).

        Political economy used numbers like modern economics, but was also concerned with reality, like how people really act in the real world as well as things like morality or corruption. The whole instead of just the much smaller part consisting of the beautiful equations in all our modern economics textbooks without that messy humanity getting involved.

        1. Glen

          The irony is Gonzolo Lira is sorta captured in Alan Greenspan’s dream country. Everything and everyone in Ukraine is a self regulating open market which is also the working definition of most corrupt country in Europe.

          I would not want to live in such a country, but increasingly find it hard to ignore. Those Uvalde cops? They were just letting the mass shooter vs. second grader market self regulate. Nothing to see here, move along now …

          That is probably a very sick over reach on my part, but the reality is the body count from Wall St “self regulation” would make most mass shooters blush.

          1. Lex

            The post soviet republics were a massive experiment in Greenspan/Randian anarcho-capitalism. It’s fascinating to compare Russia and Ukraine since they shared a trajectory for almost a decade but bifurcated after 2001ish. There’s no doubt that many Russians look at Ukraine and think, “There but by the grace of V.V. Putin go I.”

            As someone who lived in Russia at the end of the 90’s, I know where this leads and how ugly it is. LIra’s in the enviable position of living in that context without fully experiencing it because he has income sources outside the country and can leave whenever he wants. If he can’t see the reality of life in Ukraine after years living there (and not bothering to learn the language) it’s because he doesn’t want to see it.

      2. MarkT

        Yup. Modern economics is a simple belief system, key part being “there is no alternative” to The Market taking everything over. It sucks if you’re an engineer, or any other scientist who isn’t naturally endowed with the gifts of self-belief so strong that it becomes self-delusion. Most of my career has been characterised by lots of self doubt. Which I’ve decided is good, given the complexity of the universe and our obviously puny understanding thereof. I’m still amazed some people want to use enormous amounts of energy lifting people into space in order to colonise a planet which has no radiation belts to ward off deadly radiation from the sun. My thoughts are with you Glen. The inmates are in charge.

    5. Skippy

      The problem for some with MMT is accepting the evidence in turn opens up a huge hole in some very core ideological underpinnings – past and present.

      By that I mean all these people one way or another are reporting on events post some mental/ideological world view filter, complicated by most don’t do it for free dynamics, and invariably have some goal in mind.

      If MMT messes with any of that ideological/philosophical goal seeking then its to be dismissed. Which in my observation then lead to all kinds of strange opinions about – what goes on in this world and why – which ultimately ends up in some rusted on political circular firing squad antics whilst nations wheels fall off.

      Currently I’m just watching what happens on the battlefield as its the determinate of any other possibilities, so I don’t have time to watch people like Lira, especially when they use newly gained eyeballs from the Ukrainian event to take a emotional potshot at MMT.

      Ugh at the YS is an “intelligent lady” disclaimer e.g. if I wanted to pi** her off that would be a sure fire way to get clobbered with that shooting stick …

      1. Basil Pesto

        Not just that but it makes you question your basic epistemological underpinnings. When you realise you’ve been bullshat about where money comes from and how it works, and how taxes work and what they’re for, and when you understand the cheap rhetorical “taxpayer money” trick is an argument from false premises, it is subversive in a way that can be quite unsettling (to the extent that many people simply choose not to believe it without bothering to scrutinise the assumptions in anymore detail, and simply falling back on Friedmanian doctrine). ie it opens all received wisdom in the domain of civics, economics etc. to question, and coming to grips with that, and unlearning bad info, can be quite the undertaking.

        on the other hand, it can also make you more usefully sceptical, hopefully not in the sense of automatic cynicism but in a way that leads to you investigating the underlying principles of an argument someone is making at you. Hence it was not difficult to identify some of the covid bullshit early doors (this can backfire if one isn’t careful: NC was mask sceptical until about April 2020, it’s just important to have the intellectual rigour necessary to change your mind in the face of more and better information. even if you’ve been hanging onto the bad information for decades)

    6. Bruce Wolman

      It appears Gonzalo researched MMT in less time than his YouTube rant ran. The BS was all from Lira. Of course his libertarian & Austrian Economics fan base loved the performance. Lira’s reliability scoring went way down in my book. I hope his Ukraine thoughts are better sourced than his MMT and economics knowledge. Except for a few commenters who understand his errors, his subscribers seemed even more confused than Lira. Makes one truly appreciate the high level of intelligent commenting on nakedcapitalism.

      1. bsun

        His reliability went down a little bit for me when, in a recent video, he claimed that Putin’s goal has always been to bring ethnic Russians living in post-Soviet republics back into the safety of “Mother Russia” and that a lot of his actions, including the Ukraine invasion to some degree, can be understand through this motivation. Maybe I’m too wedded to Marxist materialism but that seems like a naive view of Russia’s foreign policy.

    7. Lambert Strether

      > Gonzalo Lira has a Youtube post up that totally misconstrues and misunderstands MMT

      So Lira’s in Ukraine and signed up for the MMT wars? How does that make any sense?

      1. Susan the other

        If I had to guess (;-)) I’d say that war does that. War is everybody’s fall back position because they actually believe in “wealth”. That must be why all military adventures are allowed full-on MMT benefits all the time. So Lira is in the wind here. He’s implying on one hand that Russia has commodity wealth but the US only has financial wealth. Which is true on one level. Until you start to look at it closely. The only reason commodities are a form of wealth is because everyone wants/needs them. So commodities are just more fiat. Yes, nobody wants to eat money, but that’s not really the point. The point is that without money there would be very little exchange except for barter. Money is the means to create a social system. And MMT is simply good strategy. I think we all need to sit down and write up a foolproof definition of “wealth”. Let’s ask Gonzalo.

  12. Tom Stone

    Rev,it is effing nuts is what it is.
    The policy of the US and the West toward Russia and Ukraine over the last 20 years has been insane, and it is getting worse.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that in Washington, it is seen as a binary choice. Either America subdues both China and Russia and stays as the leader of a unipolar world for the rest of the 21st century, or else America has to accept being in a multipolar world and loses its power to dominate most of the countries of the world. It sees no other options.

    2. doug

      The USofA lately reminds me of my (long departed) aging father. As he lost control of events around him, he tried harder and harder to control things which accelerated his loss of control. Which made him try harder, and so on…

      1. digi_owl

        It may also be that they have collectively gotten so senile that they thing they are back in the 60s.

  13. Solarjay
    NG energy is now about the same price as coal, wow, good job Joe, and that is not changing for a lonnnng time, but yeah, blame Russia.

    So Biden has enacted the DPA and also through executive order excluded any potential new tariffs on solar from the big 4 SE Asian countries. ( 25-250% duties). We will know in a few months what and if the tariffs are.

    I haven’t heard from my higher solar friends/news groups yet as to what they think or how it will impact.
    Professionally, the DPA won’t do anything because we don’t make basically anything that go into solar panels. Pretty much all US “ solar manufacturing “ is just assembling of foreign parts: cells, glass, aluminum frames. It would be many many years and $billions to build the supply chain and manufacturing to create panels. I don’t see it happening.
    Batteries? Same thing
    Rare earths for batteries, same thing.
    All talk no action.

    As to getting more panels imported again due to basically what has been stopped will take months and will they?
    If it’s true that Europe is buying pretty much everything at priemiem prices then they will continue to go there, not here. Yes more will come which will help, but prices will be higher which will cause many large projects to pause or cancel. My prices are up 20%+.
    And it’s really hard to plan/design/price when the supply chain is so screwed up in this case by our own fault.

    I also think there could be a lot of not trusting Biden/govt about the back dated duties. IE he could just write another one changing it.

    Finally as to wind changing the climate? No. It possibly could change the weather very locally by very minor degrees. The papers I’ve seen have that come to this conclusion have basically the whole of the Midwest covered in wind machines.
    This “ change potential” only occurs in flat areas, as mountains already have turbulence which wind doesnt really change. Just another kind of a hit piece on non carbon energy about a density of wind machines that will never happen.

  14. FlyoverBoy

    RE “Why the Covid vaccines were never likely to be effective,” the story seems to imply that povidone-iodine nasal sprays are one of the most effective post-infection steps you can take.

    Yves, I think I recall you mentioning that you use this yourself as a pre-emptive step after hazardous activity. I don’t ask you to pretend to credentials you know you don’t have, but what’s your (or other dear readers’) personal experience with finding/buying/using it (including one study’s report of “a burning sensation” after use)?

    1. Lee

      If you’re buying the OTC 10% solution be sure to dilute it with water down to the recommended effective concentration of 0.5%.

      1. FlyoverBoy

        Pardon me, but I’m confused. I bought the OTC gargle under the Betadine brand, and its label says it’s already a concentration of 0.5% (and it’s really evil, dark and smelly too, nothing I’d want to shoot up my nose). Are you sure those numbers are correct? Thanks.

        1. Lambert Strether

          If this is Betadine, there is a throat spray product and a gargle product. I use the throat spray after contact with people and have never had a burning sensation. I have never used the gargle product.

    2. jr

      I make my own, although per Lee’s comment I’ll be cutting it down to .5% from 1%. I use povidone iodine with saline eye rinse as a base. I use it whenever I have to be indoors with others, before and after. Get yourself a scale that does grams or below.

      1. FlyoverBoy

        Thanks for the guidance.

        Why the scale? Aren’t you just mixing liquids at a ratio of 20 to 1?

        1. Martin Oline

          .5% equals 1/2% or half of 1%. You should be using a 2 to 1 ratio. I suppose Jr is measuring doses and not the whole bottle. If your question was a typo “never mind.”

          1. jr

            @ flyover
            I use a scale that goes to decigrams because I make it in small batches for my little squirt bottle. It’s not necessary, just more precise than say a little measuring cup.

            @ martin oline
            I was using a 10 to 1, saline to iodine ratio but now I’m using 20 to 1. Isn’t 2 to 1 a 50% solution? Serious question, I’m numerically challenged.

    3. Lambert Strether

      > I don’t ask you to pretend to credentials you know you don’t have

      We found and linked to several articles in medical journals on Povidone recommending it for Covid specifically (which I am too lazy to dig out). It’s a well-proven product used safely by dentists for years.

      We don’t claim to have credentials. We are — though I say it — extremely diligent and well-informed laypersons, who have backing from a Brain Trust of people with the right sort of credentials.

  15. Wukchumni

    Photographer Records a Scary Encounter with a Bear PetaPixel
    Nobody has been killed by a bear in Cali since 1875 and the assailant was a Grizzly which sadly only exists on high on our state flag presently which is odd, because Grizz couldn’t climb trees like a Black Bear does when it wants to get out of harms way, a common tactic in Black Bear Lives Matter circles. But there’s a Grizz at the top of the flagpole, how’d it get there?

    Black Bears are akin to big goofy dogs in the Sierra Nevada, and i’ve been within 20 feet of them perhaps 50x, and relish the opportunity for #51.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Man’s best chef? Pet husky manages to start making dinner using rice cooker”

    So Lucky can turn on cooking appliances, flush the toilet, turn off & on taps and lights and even fastening seat belts? I think that Lucky is just biding his time. When his owner finally gets around teaching him how to use the electric can opener, then Lucky will be done. Then he can help himself to all those tins of dog food in the cupboards.

  17. FlyoverBoy

    Matt Taibbi’s “Both parties suck on free speech” celebrates the rise of a free speech advocacy group called FIRE, which yesterday announced a name change and a $75 million expansion of its mission beyond campuses to advocate on behalf of aggrieved individuals for free speech in general. Taibbi’s take is that the group, while having both left- and right-wing components, is generally right-leaning against campus correctness, and he laments that the left and its ACLU have largely abandoned (or worse) the defense of the First Amendment.

    The FIRE parts sound laudable at first blush. My question is: Where is FIRE getting the $75 million?

    1. hunkerdown

      FIRE is an “intelligentsia privileges” organization, not a free speech organization. They’re moving to protect the neocon think tankies from popular discipline.

  18. Wukchumni

    Tree Rings Are Evidence of the Megadrought—and Our Doom Sapiens
    There’s a cross-cut section of a large Giant Sequoia in the parking lot of our museum here, and you don’t need to be a dendrochronologist to figure out what’s what in terms of the past, it’s all there splayed out for you in the rings. The 2 really long playing droughts around 1,000 AD are pretty obvious- the longer one lasting a few hundred years is an inch and half blur where you can’t really discern the rings separately as they’re just too tight together-similar to the 150-ish year drought which is an inch wide blur.

    You also see all of the wildfires the Giant Sequoia endured and kept on keeping on, and as the Native Americans didn’t have firefighting planes and helos, nor actual firefighters-said conflagrations merely went their course with no suppression whatsoever.

    But here in the space of one year between burns, wildfires have wiped out 20% of them…

    1. The Rev Kev

      I was just imagining a website based on that cross-cut section. A tutorial would show you what to look for and how you could spot both droughts and fires by what you could see. You could zoom in and clicking on any ring, it would tell you what the climate was like at the time. But that inch wide blur representing that 150-year drought would be a story in itself.

    2. Duke of Prunes

      But I thought tree rings were only useful for representing C02 levels. They can be impacted by droughts and fire, too?!? /s

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Fury In Moscow After Air Closures Block Lavrov Trip To Serbia”

    This all seems to be part of the recent pattern where decades-old patterns of behaviour are trashed for convenience, consequences be damned. Like back in 2013 when the Bolivian President’s plane was forced down in Austria when it was suspected that Edward Snowden was aboard. It was France, Spain and Italy that enabled that to happen. But I am sure that the Russians are taking note. It might be that when they finish this war, that the Russians will invite all the NATO nations to Moscow for the signing ceremony. But as the planes from Bulgaria, Macedonia and Montenegro approach the Russian border, that they will be turned away and denied transit through Russian airspace. Psych!

    1. Polar Socialist

      Oddly enough, if Lavrov worked for the Russian embassy in Belgrade Vienna convention on diplomatic relations would guarantee his passage trough third countries. Given that Europe anymore gives a hoot about that convention among others.

    1. Pat

      The thing about Adams that surprised me was the fast embrace of both NY and National Democratic leadership after his election. While I am sure it was as much about the usuals dislike of DiBlasio, as about Adams himself, it was remarkable how fast and unthinking it was. He hadn’t even had one day in office, and he was one of the future hopes. Less than a month after he did take office, it was clear he was a grifter over his head.

      While I am pleased that NY is giving him such low ratings, I really won’t be happy until they miss DiBlasio. He wasn’t great but he was better than his predecessor and is absolutely better than Adams. Maybe at that point we can actually get better representation, but it may be too late.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Do you remember Cuomo? He was once considered presidential timber. Until he self destructed. Give Adams some time. He too will likely self destruct. In any event, it will be decades before another black person will be elected president. Obama made certain of that.

        1. ambrit

          Of course, if we consider Harris as a “person of colour,” (not an automatic attribution, either,) the next President of colour could be appointed. [Depose Biden using the 25th amendment. Harris automatically ascends to the empyrean heights.]

        2. Pat

          Oh I remember Cuomo, enough that I despaired that he was gotten out using MeToo. I knew it wouldn’t go any where, that his corruption and cynical callousness about policies that were a death sentence for seniors in homes would just be buried. The only bright spot was the failure of his “I’m back!” Pr campaign.
          Maybe it is just because Adams is targeting the two areas where Bill was okay, schools and affordable housing, that makes me so impatient for his total downfall.

        3. Bugs

          NYC will eat him alive. Only a Bloomberg could survive it and live to see another day. It’s a cruel town if you don’t already have a townhouse.

    2. Lambert Strether

      > Eric Adams presidential balloon

      A Black cop with a million-watt smile — three things liberal Democrats love. I think there will be life in Eric Adams for awhile. We’ll see how the polls look closer to when it matters.

      1. Jen

        No Mayor of NYC has ever gone on to win higher public office. Who knows, maybe Adams will be the exception that proves the rule, but it takes a special kind of a**hole to be mayor of that town, and the skill doesn’t translate to a broader electorate.

  20. Lex

    Unblocking Odessa, and the Ukrainians say the quiet part out loud again. Granted, they haven’t been consulted in these plans but yesterday Zelensky made it known that the issue of blocked grain shipments in Odessa are really about getting Ukraine anti-ship missiles. According to him, that’s the only thing that can unblock the port. Likely why Ukraine refused transit across Belarus. It has nothing to do with grain markets or starving people in Africa at all. Another Ukrainian politician accidentally said something about tankers going into Odessa too.

    Realistically, the Russia-Turkey plan is a good one. A NATO member is offering to do the demining (not sure Ukraine even has the capability at this point) and there’s no issue with the Montreux convention, which is probably a disappointment to the English who really wanted to get the Royal Navy into the Black Sea.

  21. Wukchumni

    A state that denies its citizens their basic rights becomes a danger to its neighbors as well: internal arbitrary rule will be reflected in arbitrary external relations. The suppression of public opinion, the abolition of public competition for power and its public exercise opens the way for the state power to arm itself in any way it sees fit…. A state that does not hesitate to lie to its own people will not hesitate to lie to other states.

    Václav Havel

    1. nippersdad

      I once got into a discussion about turbines using the California Coastal Current and the Gulf Stream to produce energy all along the coasts. Apparently doing so would stop the currents and, just by mentioning it, I would personally be responsible for a new ice age.

      There is a lot of that about.

    2. Charger01

      Localized effects only, I would imagine. Hard to change that constant geothermal heating (or temp in an aquifer)

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        Mankind has become a force of nature. There are no longer “localized effects” when it comes to human activities. The scale ensures global effects. A few windmills may be localized, but a few million or tens of millions will be globalized.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      I wonder how well current windmills and solar panels will tolerate the more violent weather — stronger winds, large hail, etc. that future Climate promises. I suppose the current windmills and solar panels may be beyond retirement age by the time the Climate Chaos really kicks in?

  22. Objective Ace

    >It’s absolutely insane to me that the media across the board has universally decided that more people having jobs is Bad

    Its not that more jobs is bad, its that jobs above a “sustainable level” is bad. Admittedly, sustainable level is vague concept that should get more coverage than it does–the Fed should be clear what and why it thinks is sustainable.

    What you really dont want though is excess jobs in an area of the economy that will end up hurting us when they crash. 2007 was a read world example that we are still paying the cost of today. Aside from almost crashing the global finance system due to complex financial products: the amount of homes being built was unsustainable, when that sector crashed builders went out of buisness and were no longer there when we again needed them 5-10 years ago. In 2001 it was tech jobs that exceeded the “sustainable level”, although the fallout was less impactful on the economy at large

    1. griffen

      Tangential to that point, while not explicitly the same in today’s business news headlines and on CNBC, the US retailer Target is starting to say the quiet part out loud.

      Target admits they have ordered more than needed, and have too much supply means they will need to eat it in their margins during this quarter and perhaps, likely even, into the 3rd quarter. They made the headlines in May for a disastrous quarterly earnings report.

      Best way to clear the excess from warehouses is to slash prices. It’s also a possible hint that while anecdotal to one broad category of retail, Target touches enough categories that it could ripple (possibly or possibly not).

      1. Duke of Prunes

        It also means to check those expiration dates when shopping for food at Target. We’ve been seeing a lot of expired, or almost expired items lately. Even saw some cream cheese that was over a month expired. My wife points it out to the worker, and he shrugs like “so?”

        1. griffen

          Well that’s perhaps true at a lot of grocery locations. You’d think all candy bars have a good bit of shelf life, and you would be correct. But I ain’t paying full price on expired Hershey bars, dang it !!

          And since I stocked milk and dairy throughout my college days, while at a summer job, I usually get particular about checking dates.

    2. JBird4049

      >>>the amount of homes being built was unsustainable, when that sector crashed builders went out of buisness and were no longer there when we again needed them 5-10 years ago.

      In California, especially in LA or in the Bay Area, housing prices- homes, condos, apartments, SROs, etc. never actually went down to affordable levels. They went from absolutely insanely impossible to merely nosebleed painful. So how is it that builders can go out of business while tens of millions of Californians are being bled out financially?

      1. Objective Ace

        This is definitely a geographic specific phenomenon. I did not mean to speak for the country as a whole. I believe the areas you mention have already been built up to capacity (at least zoning capacity) so home builders were probably not much of a sector then or now

        1. JBird4049

          I was not attacking the idea. I was merely noting that just because there is a crying need for housing in much of the country does not mean that it will be built.

          There is something to the limit amount of land especially compared to somewhere like the Great Plains, but even a fairly population dense city like San Francisco is not as dense as say, Manhattan. Then there is SoCal where much of infrastructure is built out, not up, and there is a serious, multi decade housing crisis.

          Despite having forty million Californians, at least a 150 thousand of which are living in their vehicles, in the bushes or the forests, or on cardboard boxes on the street, we still have a large amount of room. Somehow, it is all the fault of the homeless, even though many are working, with no one else having any responsibility.

          A lot of money could be made making decent housing for the homeless, like in cities like Vienna, but all sorts of reasons and excuses are found for not doing so. That not doing so also drives up the value of all the properties (homes and apartments) that exist is never mentioned.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Why Russian intellectuals are hardening support for war in Ukraine”

    Not hard to understand why. When the collective “west” rejected all things Russians, that also meant those intellectuals too and on a personal level. Everything Russian is being rejected from natural resources, music, sports people, cats, trees, artists, writers and it is like a collective effort to wipe out the existance of the biggest country on the planet which itself is a lunatic concept. Can you imagine how people in America would feel of what is being done to Russia was being done to America itself? It would be a rally around the flag moment and so it is in Russia to. Thing is, as the war goes on, Russian attitudes are hardening as they much more reality based-

    1. Tom Bradford

      I watched a performance of Prokofiev’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ via YT the other night. I suppose I should be ashamed of myself.

      Of course the setting is Italy, the story was by Shakespeare and the dancers were Danish, so I could have watched it with the sound turned off and a clear conscience.

  24. magpie

    The Surreal Case of C.I.A. Hacker’s Revenge

    “…Wikileaks suggested that the person who shared the intelligence wished “to initiate a public debate” about the use of cyberweapons. But Wikileaks had also shown, quite recently, a willingness to be a mouthpiece for foreign intelligence services: in 2016, the site had released emails from the Democratic National Committee which had been stolen by hackers working on behalf of the Kremlin.”

    Unconfirmed attribution to Russian state hackers: check. Scare quotes around transparency and accountability for intelligence: check. Burying the lede that the DNC was engaged in malfeasance: check.
    Lack of irony in a story about US state cyberweapons dropping requisite Kremlin-hacker reference: check.

    1 bonus point for using the word “mouthpiece.”

    Exposing domestic political corruption = disagreeable, probably treasonous.

    Odds I will read The New Yorker for any reason other than via link on NC: not good.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      I almost stopped reading that article after the passage you quoted above. The cognitive dissonance of trying to believe the DNC leaks were definitely the fault of Russia (once again with no proof given) while then being told at length about how easy it was for a disgruntled USian employee to compromise the CIA single-handedly made my brain hurt.

      But I soldiered on anyway and the rest of the article was actually pretty good – somehow I had no clue that the authorities had arrested anyone over the vault 7 leaks. The most interesting part was that despite the sloppiness of this Schulte guy, the authorities are relying on circumstantial evidence since they have no direct evidence pinning him to wikileaks. The first trial ended in a mistrial and in the upcoming second trial Schulte will defend himself (!) thinking that he will be able to reveal things about the CIA at trial that a lawyer wouldn’t be able to.

      Not sure if it’s going to be farce or fireworks, but pass the popcorn for this one.

      1. Late Introvert

        My takeaway was how sloppy their OpSec was, bad passwords, unprotected server. A bunch of spoiled uber geeks who their bosses fear apparently. I had some experience in that world of nerds with jock complex and decided to flee to less remunerated pastures.

  25. super extra

    > The Surreal Case of a C.I.A. Hacker’s Revenge New Yorker (Paul R). Crazy story.

    Wow! This guy is what my grandpa would’ve called ‘a right cuss’, the type who truly cannot handle being in situations where there wasn’t a clear hierarchy and he was in his place, utterly unable to cooperate with others. I’ve run across these types before – lot of venn overlap with the type who’d say “it isn’t against the law to be an asshole” – they come in male and female variants but they are always never worth the hassle they cause. Really fascinating study in how power dynamics work in [genuflects] CIA world. Also gives creedence to the claim that the empire has no secret power structure, it’s all just like legacy corporate management now with a thick layer of aristocratic pretensions due to the secrecy/implied respect bs. In fact it’s worse than a legacy corp because they would have found a way to gracefully fire that guy after he escalated a personnel dispute above his own division management. I couldn’t believe she actually sat down with him and tried to broker a settlement, and that the guy didn’t stand down then. Proof the agencies can’t wantonly destroy lives at whim as much as they could in the past (Assange excluded of course).

    1. pjay

      Interesting to compare your reaction to the article with that of magpie directly above. If I were very cynical I’d say you took the bait. On the surface, this is an article about an immature asshole acting out in the context of a “frat house” office dispute. That the CIA comes off as just another incompetent bureaucracy makes the story both more relatable and less threatening. But in telling this tale, the author also provides other information; for example, about the crucial importance of such “hacking” skills for national security and the dangers of these “tools” being exposed. Along those lines, not only Wikileaks (see magpie above) but also Snowden and Manning are disparaged. And, of course, lest any New Yorker reader be tempted to remember Daniel Ellsberg, we are assured that the perp was *not* a whistleblower acting on any higher principles, but motivated purely juvenile spite. Oh, and he also engaged in child porn and sexual assault as well – allegedly. Hey, we can’t support a guy like that any more than we can support a brutal sadistic genocidal dictator like Assad or Putin, can we?

      I have no idea how accurate this intimate portrait of Schulte really is. Even if it is all true, the article has managed to mystify the most important issues in this detailed “human interest” account. But contrary to your last sentence, the ability of the intelligence community to “destroy lives at whim” is alive and well, and we all know about the media’s willingness to be used in this regard.

  26. Andrew Watts

    RE: The EU after Ukraine

    The European Union was revealed by the Ukraine crisis to be what everybody expected on the Left. An alliance of transnational merchant princes combined with bourgeois interests. Talking about it in any other context is giving it more respect than it deserves. The European project might have been more idealistic in the beginning, but only a simpleton would expect more from it now.

    Sweden and Finland aren’t trying to join any European security framework or a future EU Army. They want to join NATO for the American guarantee. Whatever independence European politicians have demonstrated in the past is irrelevant in an environment where real stakes are involved. The author correctly draws the conclusion that this means renewed American dominance over Europe, but fails to question what that actually means in terms of the decline of the West.

  27. Andrew Watts

    RE: The Surreal Case of a C.I.A. Hacker’s Revenge

    The CIA desperately needs the mystique of their work for recruitment purposes and to maintain the morale of their workforce. Just about everybody wants to be validated for their career and find some kind of meaning in it. Which is why these leaks are so devastating and Schulte stands a pretty good chance of avoiding conviction for his alleged crimes… because he’s threatening all that.

    Behind every anarchist or libertarian is a hidden desire for the security of a government pension.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Sure sounds like he wants to air as much dirty laundry as he can against the CIA in his retrial. I follow the news pretty thoroughly and until today I had no idea that anyone had been arrested for the leaks, much less that there had already been one trial. That very much speaks to your point about the CIA wanting to protect its mystique – if the spooks wanted this covered or they had any good evidence against this guy, everyone would know about it whether they wanted to or not.

  28. nippersdad

    It looks like Russia may be planning a “bad bank” for the assets stranded by the sanctions regime put upon them. Discussion starts at the five minute mark:

    So debt obligations of stranded assets must be paid out of stranded assets. It sounds like the onus of paying off overseas investors is now explicitly in the hands of the states who imposed the sanctions, so they are going to be on the hook for either lifting them or paying them off lest someone sue the state.

    I wonder what happens when Germany pays Russia for the Nordstream II pipeline and all of those storage caverns only to find that the long term gas contracts have lapsed and will not be renewed?

    How many chess players does Russia have in their finance ministry?

  29. marym

    Re: Gabbard on the “they” who “pit us one against the other, using identity politics to foment fear and hatred”

    She was speaking at the Western Conservative Summit whose “theme, Time to Saddle Up and Ride, calls conservatives to boldly and courageously confront our nation’s challenges. It’s time to ride for the brand of faith, family, and freedom!”

    They picked DeSantis over Trump in their straw poll. Scroll down the second link for a list of the event’s speakers and sponsors. Who’s the “they” and who’s the “us” in this forum?

    1. flora

      I like what she says. For me personally, however, her membership in WEF is a deal breaker. I remember past politicians who talked a good line, talked great, won, and transformed overnight into the opposite of what they ran on. (that’s politics, I guess.)

      1. marym

        I don’t even know that she talks a great line. She doesn’t like the Democrats, says she’s against regime change war, not drone wars against Muslims. Her website is biography, pictures of herself, and some platitudes. Unless I missed some links, whatever other policy positions she had when when she was in Congress or running for president aren’t there.

  30. Wukchumni

    The Economics of Stadium Names: Sell your stock in (most) companies that buy them Axiom Alpha
    Saw my first rock concert @ the Fabulous Forum in 1977 (Queen-and I was ensconced in prime Uecker seats on high) and by the 1980’s the powers that be had sold the naming rights to Great Western Bank and it became the Great Western Forum for a time, and whose motto was ‘We’ll Always Be There’… until they wern’t anymore.

  31. MarkT

    Some good news in the fight against corrupt oligarchs in cahoots with corrupt politicians: the Gupta brothers (wanted in both South Africa and India) have been arrested in the UAE.

    South Africans coined the term “state capture” to describe the brothers’ relationship with then President Zuma and the South African government.

    South Africa: Wealthy Gupta brothers arrested in UAE

  32. anon in so cal

    Aaron Maté’s article on Substack: “On Ukraine, ‘progressive’ proxy warriors spell disaster”

    “Urging progressives to support the Ukraine proxy war, Bernie Sanders aide, Matt Duss, whitewashes the US role, attacks dissenting voices, and advocates the dangerous militarism that he claims to oppose.”

    If it weren’t for Bernie Sanders’ gratuitous parroting of the Russiagate farce and support for the additional $40 Billion to Ukraine, I would give him the benefit of the doubt.

    1. Adam Eran

      I’m inclined to be charitable to politicians in democracies who are not wedded to a particular ideology, but the vote to arm Ukraine was a bridge too far, even for me. I still have to see a coherent set of reasons to a) ignore U.S. belligerence and b) go along with billions in arms. Maybe there are such, but I haven’t seen them. (And true: Bernie did propose a 10% reduction in the Pentagon budget, which failed miserably…so fighting a fight already lost may be out of reach for the “lefties”)

      I have, however, put Our Revolution and Justice Democrats on notice that I won’t be donating to their candidates until they actually run peace candidates.

      The best I’ve got so far:

  33. Wukchumni

    My buddy from Tucson is hanging around and we’re doing a drive-by of Cedar Grove in Kings Canyon NP, which is best described as being similar to Yosemite Valley with towering granite walls, but with ho hum waterfalls, and few visitors. The drive down is a white knuckler and Kings Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon, so the feel is that of being in a controlled roller coaster, er chariot.

    I’m curious to see the damage from the KNP Fire close up as we travel the Generals Highway from Sequoia NP to Grant Grove

  34. super extra

    re: cats learning gestures instead of meows

    My beloved lil dude has taught me a number of request gestures since he came into my life. His standard is what I think of as the ‘bow’ (the forward-down stretch-like move like downward dog) in the direction of the thing he wants, followed by extending his right paw out on the uprise. Always the right, never the left. Always the bow first, he’ll wait until I’m looking at him to do it. If he wants affection he’ll go to one of the two rugs he has claimed as ‘his’ and bow at it. Only if I don’t get the message will he make a tiny request meow. Very obvious communication! I wonder how many other animals do it if their human caretakers take the time to learn how to listen.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>Very obvious communication! I wonder how many other animals do it if their human caretakers take the time to learn how to listen.

      My cats always have communicated in different ways, but when I was completely oblivious, or asleep, one of them would gently(?) impale me with a claw point straight into my thigh. The twerp. :-)

    2. Stick'em

      Our black cat, Bagheera does what sounds like the same gesture. Makes eye contact. Dips his back. Then raises always the right paw to his own head level. Appears to be some kind of greeting saying, “How” like an Indian in a Hollywood movie.

      I figure it may be both a greeting and some kind of mand for attention or food. He only does it when first coming into my presence. Typically, I say something to him in response, like “Greeting Ambassador from the planet Kit-aeh!” and then either pick him up to pet him or feed him if it is first thing in the morning.

  35. RockHard

    I’m personally happy that Jesse Ventura’s found a new outlet. Similar to Chuck L, I was a fan of his candidacy (I don’t live in MN so I have no perspective on his governorship) and he says a lot of things that make sense. I love that he leans right but he’s not afraid to call out BS when he sees it, regardless of the source. Couple that with some more people like Fetterman (Ventura didn’t mention him but he seems like a fellow traveler) and that’s a movement I can get behind. Can’t say I’m all that excited about Tulsi. That clip got old after about 30 seconds yadda yadda billofrightsconstitution blah blah. Did she actually say something useful in the end?

    As far as Chuck’s report, 2 out of 3 major line items is pretty good. A unicameral state legislature makes a lot of sense (polisci prof in college loved to point out that it’s totally unnecessary at the state level) but it’s a hard sell to the public since the benefits aren’t super clear when your sole test case is Nebraska and half the legislature stands to lose their position.

    1. William Beyer

      I’ve lived in MN for 54 years now, and Jesse was one of the two best governors we’ve had; Mark Dayton was the other. I’d vote for Jesse for Prez in a Minneapolis minute.

      1. Late Introvert

        Still reading it, but this jumps out, re: the Iraq war

        Matt, you have to understand something. At that time, the parent ownership of MSNBC was General Electric. Well, they’re a huge war profiteer. Do you think they want two of their paid yapping mouths on TV against the war that they’re going to make a bunch of money on?

        He’s got my vote. He should not get on a small plane. Those two usually go together.

  36. Mikel

    “SEC Closes In on Rules That Could Reshape How Stock Market Operates”

    “The most consequential change being discussed would affect the way trades are handled after an investor places a so-called market order with a broker to buy or sell a stock…”

    Market order is a very specific type of order. People don’t know about limit orders?

    And what have been the effects on limit orders with all that has happened?

  37. Mikel

    FWIW I can’t do YT “prove your age” logins because YT claims my account setting don’t allow me to view adult content!

    YouTube is fucking stupid.

    When an issue arises that needs to be fixed and you’re dealing with platforms – it’s like entering the depths of hell. Days, weeks, months to solve what should be fairly simple issues or corrections because they don’t have a person you can call, speak with, get the issue resolved. Especially, it will take the excitement and enjoyment out of anyone trying to have a business on a plantation platform. Not to mention constantly feeling like a con’s mark because actually spending more time driving people to the platform than doing what you do.

  38. Biz

    If the current gun laws were actively enforced it would reduce crime. Hunter Biden would be in jail. Crime reduced. If America had leaders that supported living wages, affordable healthcare, and infrastructure that wasn’t falling down we would be in Utopia. And a lot happier and less prone to act out.

  39. MarkT

    Banking report from New Zealand. My taxpayer-owned bank sent me a notice saying that my “air miles earning rate was increasing”. When in fact it was decreasing. They spun the numbers. Or they were innumerate. I objected. Got a mealy-mouthed response which said nothing. Then my union (I work for a state-owned enterprise) told me that the benefits package I was getting from the bank was ending. I shrugged. I wasn’t surprised. Then quite some time after this I received an email from the state-owned bank about the same issue. But it said that “I’d told them that my circumstances had changed” and that therefore I was losing the benefit etc.

    I now have an email from them apologising for telling lies.

    Moral of the story: the parasites are everywhere. Even in state-owned banks in Middle Earth.

    1. MarkT

      Forgot to add that I went to the local branch of same bank this morning, to sell them back the Samoan Tala which were unused because of covid. They’ve since stopped doing foreign currency. I was referred to an independent money changer around the corner. Thanks NZ government. So good to know that you are looking after your citizens.

  40. RobertC


    Another sad for Europe as Taiwan’s TSMC says no firm plans for now to build Europe factories

    TAIPEI, June 8 (Reuters) – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) (2330.TW) has no concrete plans currently for building factories in Europe, chairman Mark Liu said on Wednesday, adding that customers in that region were fewer than in other parts of the world.

    …The European Union has been courting Taiwan, a major semiconductor producer, to build plants in the bloc, and senior officials from both sides discussed chip cooperation last week.

    In February, the EU unveiled the European Chips Act, with the bloc mentioning Taiwan as one of the “like-minded partners” Europe would like to work with.

    Europe should have expected this setback as I posted Part 1 and Part 2. And yet ASML in the Netherlands is the sole supplier of extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines operating at the edge of magic that are key to TSMC’s (and Samsung’s) ability to produce their leading edge chips. So why can’t Europe?

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