Links 7/13/2022

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

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


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

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

* * *

Meet Rufus, the hawk who keeps pigeons away from Wimbledon LA Times

Stunning new Webb images: baby stars, colliding galaxies and hot exoplanets Nature

Wall Street recession fears stoked by patchy US economic data FT


Do Electric Vehicles Really Move The Climate Needle? The Lever

Ships get older and slower as emissions rules bite Reuters

How hot is too hot for the human body? These Penn State experts explain Penn Capital (Re Silc).


Understanding chronic Covid-19 (letter). Confounding factors. And Response to ‘Understanding chronic Covid-19’ (letter) British Medical Journal


How China’s COVID-zero policy is giving economy a long-term boost Sydney Morning Herald

China’s rural bank scandal has $300 bln tail risk Reuters. Commentary:

China has a ways to go on that socialism thing, I guess:

The rule of nihilists Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality. Xi on the crack-up of the USSR.

Vietnam Party Boss Is Talking About Ending Graft More Than Ever Bloomberg


Myanmar Military’s Culture of Atrocities The Irrawaddy

Exclusive: Myanmar’s junta rolls out Chinese camera surveillance systems in more cities Reuters

Sri Lankan president flees to Maldives, protesters demand prime minister’s ouster Reuters


India’s coal imports hit record high in June Hellenic Shipping News

Why are the lions of the national emblem in the new Parliament building so angry?


How the ‘Permanent Government’ Turned on Boris Johnson Declassified UK. But some keep faith:

SAS unit repeatedly killed Afghan detainees, BBC finds BBC

Heathrow asks airlines to stop selling tickets MarketWatch

Can You Speak To a War Criminal? Der Spiegel (Re Silc). Re Silc writes: “Like Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump, Biden?” Not to mention Johnson, Blair….

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine Situation Report: More Russian Ammo Dumps Blown Up The Drive. Big if true.

Gas crisis: heating halls for emergencies in the district of Ludwigsburg (original) SWR Aktuell. The deck: “If the gas crisis worsens, the district of Ludwigsburg wants to keep heating halls ready. Up to 5,000 people should be able to warm up in fire brigade and sports halls.”

Will Republicans Cut Off Ukraine? Defense One (Re Silc). Like this Republican?

* * *

Zelenskyy Says NATO’s Multilateral Interoperability Program To Allow Ukraine To Develop Alliance’s Standards Republic World

EU creates hub to stop arms-smuggling out of Ukraine EU Observer

* * *

Ukraine Has Better Heroes Than This Friend of Fascism Bloomberg

Photo of ‘Obese Russian General’ in Putin’s Army Prompts Speculation Newsweek. From the Daily Star. However:

12-part thread, as they track the “General” down. Just more symbol manipulation.

Biden Administration

Biden’s Bad Judges Matt Stoller, BIG. Yet more auto-kinbaku-bi

Does Anyone Actually Show Up To Work Eschaton

Biden Considers Convening First-Ever Meeting Of His Cabinet The Onion

Capitol Seizure

Bolton looks at Trump’s putative “coup” planning with the cool eye of a professional:

And naturally the story becomes “Bolton admitted we do coups!!!” Oh, the aghastitude!


Prepare for the worst: corn supplies may have serious repercussions for Mexico Mexico News Daily

Police State Watch

Exclusive: Watch Uvalde school shooting video obtained by Statesman showing police response Austin American-Statesman. There’s a full story; you don’t have to watch the videos.

The Bezzle

Twitter Uses Elon Musk’s Tweets Against Him in Buyout Lawsuit Bloomberg


Boeing Might Lose Billions if it Cancels 737 Max 10


Asserting public health interest in acting on commercial determinants of health in sub-Saharan Africa: insights from a discourse analysis British Medical Journal

No antibiotics worked, so this woman turned to a natural enemy of bacteria to save her husband’s life CNN. Medically interesting yet heart-warming story of PMC networking at its finest (the clickbaity “this woman” is a associate dean of global health sciences at the University of California, San Diego). Worth a read anyhow.

Our Famously Free Press

The New Kremlinology: Reading the New York Times Matt Taibbi, TK News

Groves of Academe

The Fall Of History as a Major — And as a Part of the Humanities The Scholar’s Stage. The frightening part is the “fourth hypothesis.”

Zeitgeist Watch

Why Music Has Lost Its Charms Inc.

BMW starts selling heated seat subscriptions for $18 a month The Verge

Realignment and Legitimacy

Why Local Officials Are Facing Growing Harassment and Threats Bloomberg

Is the US starting to resemble an emerging market? FT

Guillotine Watch

Rotterdam Won’t Dismantle Historic Bridge to Let Jeff Bezos’ $500 Million Superyacht Pass Jalopnik. That’s a damn shame.

Class Warfare

Automation on the Docks Means Fewer Jobs — and Often No Improvement in Productivity Jacobin

A Roadmap For High-Trust Communities Grassroots Economic Organizing

For Argument’s Sake The Yale Review. The deck: “In praise of high school debate.”

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus Antidote:


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Sardonia

    Jill Biden straps on a banjo and serenades the Latinos with her version of Pete Seeger’s “Little Boxes”, but is in for a surprise….

    Little tacos on the hillside
    Little tacos made of ticky-tacky
    Little tacos here in Texas
    Little tacos all the same.

    There’s a pink one, and a green one
    And a gay one and a tranny one
    And one reverse-transitioning
    And you all vote Democrat!

    And you tacos in your shanties
    Head out to work the berry fields
    Where you all develop lumbar strain
    Little tacos all in pain.

    Some are nurses some are janitors
    And one might be a soccer star
    And we celebrate your diversity
    So you’ll all vote Democrat!

    How we love your fun pinatas
    And tequila and the cockfighting
    And you have so many children
    That will all vote just the same.

    (Reads note handed from assistant,
    resumes strumming and singing)

    Well, I see here in the latest polls
    That most of you are now Republicans
    What the hell has gotten into you
    Are you smoking Hunter’s crack?

    After all my husband’s done for you
    Let you all in to drive the wages down
    And helped you to assimilate
    By calling you Latin-ex.

    But you cling to your traditions
    Instead of what we planned for you
    So who needs you, we won’t pander you
    We got the colored folks in the bag.

  2. griffen

    Bezos just bought the most expensive house boat evah. Good on the city, as they channel their inner Gandalf.

    You Shall Not Pass.

    1. JohnA

      I wonder whether one night, a large ship will accidentally ram into that bridge and smash it to pieces. That usually works for property developers in the case of listed buildings that either catch on fire or get demolished accidentally overnight and said developer digs into their pocket to pay a puny fine.

      1. ambrit

        Something like that happened to an historical oak tree in Mandeville Louisiana. One weekend night, the tree which was holding up a big shopping centre’s construction was “mysteriously” girdled and subsequently died. Shopping centre went ahead as if nothing had happened. In the next few weeks, the conctruction firm lost several hundred thousand dollars worth of heavy equipment to problems like sugar in the gas, sand in the transmission gearbox, and nitroglycerine in the fuel tank. All of these “events” were made obvious and thus some were denied insurance payouts. (I meant ‘real’ losses, not just insurable ones.)
        Why is it that greedy people have no compunctions about doing violence to get their way while pro-social people won’t do the odd “liquidation” to advance their agenda? This question has become existential as the World races full speed to H—.

        1. digi_owl

          Because then you are no better than what you oppose?

          Isn’t that the basis for the “paradox of tolerance” chestnut that them neolib “lefties” loves to harp on about?

          And not exactly a new problem. pacifist religious groups being preyed on by bandits, anyone?

          1. hunkerdown

            Anti-labor liberal John Stuart Mill’s ideology of moral progression was designed to make the people exploitable so that society’s REAL value system of labor exploitation is conserved. It’s a privatization of the Golden Rule and, like all other Platonic ideology, should be rejected by free people.

          2. Milton

            “Neolib lefties” is a contradiction of terms. All Neolibs are right-wing. IDpol is not a left/right spectrum but rather reside on a conservative/liberal plot line. Only economics and gov’t policy are left/right. One can be the most woke, pro-choice, pro-BLM person but if they but if they stan for US proxy war in Ukraine, Capitalism in any form, Covid “vaccine” mandates, access to, but not universal, Healthcare… That person is just a right-wing liberal and continues to be a detriment to the majority in this country.

            1. jr

              Thanks for this comment, it succinctly sums up my views on “liberal lefties”. Lefties work for concrete material improvements for the masses, not imperial expansion or the right to mangle the English language to suit one’s delusions. When Joy Behar, Hillary Clinton, and the founders of the NYC charter school “movement” describe themselves as lefties, it’s time to take a closer look.

          3. Anthony G Stegman

            Why do businesses expect employees to give two weeks notice when they resign, yet businesses often give no notice when they let employees go. There is a double standard in many areas of life.

            1. Big River Bandido

              The “two weeks’ notice” is a courtesy, but not always legally required. I quit a job waiting tables in NYC after a week in the place, giving them 24 hours’ notice, and management tried to tell me they didn’t have to pay me for the week I did work because I didn’t give them two weeks’ notice.

              I sicced the Board of Labor on them and got my check pretty quickly.

        2. hunkerdown

          Because social people obey the rules that society sets up to conserve its own structure against petty vandals and revolutionaries alike. Private property really is a suicide pact.

        3. Wukchumni

          The Disney company owns close to 30 acres in Mineral King that they bought through as many as 3 & 4 shadow buyers in the early 60’s in anticipation of being awarded the contract to build a ski resort, which happened in 1965.

          It never occurred though, and MK became part of Sequoia NP in 1978, so none of their land can be developed.

          99.9% of those that park at the Eagle Lake/Mosquito Lakes trailhead have no idea that Disney owns the parking lot, and it is easily the worst looking Disney property utilized by the public, by far.

          An ugly mixture of broken asphalt, loose gravel, dirt and protruding rocks…

          The plan is to repave MK road starting next year, along with paving the parking lots including what locals call ‘the Disney parking lot’, and there are a few very much alive trees in said parking lot that if removed would allow for another 3 or 4 parking spots, and they’ve been spray painted with ‘the blue line of death’ which is commonplace and done on any dead trees that need to be cut down and removed, but rumors of the demise of these are greatly exaggerated.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Mineral King Road will lose all of its charm when it is repaved. Those of us who love the road as it is should mourn its passing. Many fine adventures in the high Sierra began on the Mineral King Road.

        4. Carolinian

          Think that’s called Monkeywrenching. There was a vogue for it back in the more eco late twentieth but “ecoterrorism” laws were passed to put the stymie. Nothing must stand in the way of all important real estate development and resource extraction.

          1. CanCyn

            Long ago read a novel called The Monkey wrench Gang by Edward Abbey. I remember being somewhat inspired by their illegal antics, the book definitely Raised my awareness and helped set me on the path of trying to do less harm and more good to/for the environment.
            Dunno if it is still in print and can’t remember how much literary merit it has so not necessarily recommending it. Has anyone else read it?

            1. StellariaMedia

              I have read it many times, along with all of his other writings…can’t recommend his Desert Solitaire enough! Brilliant writer, the way he brings the scenery of any landscape he is describing to life is unparalleled … in my humble opinion. Happy reading!

        5. Oh

          The oak tree and all trees are a gift from nature. People cut down trees without ever thinking about how long it takes to grow one. It was disgusting to see the number of trees that were cut down in LA in order move the Space Shuttle to the display area. Glad to see that the construction firm got it good. I’ll bet that the shopping center is probably sucking wind now because most shopping centers are due to on line shoppers.

          1. anon in so cal

            Speaking of Los Angeles and nature: this evening there is a virtual / zoom City Council meeting concerning the crucial wildlife ordinance that seeks to preserve habitat in the Santa Monica Mountains (the hillsides of Los Angeles running east-west along Mulholland). If you cannot attend the zoom session, there is still time to email the City Council. As you might imagine, real estate developers want access to these areas.


            1. Oh

              Thanks for the heads up. I’ll e-mail them. The Real Estate scum will sell their own mothers to make a buck.

              1. Swamp Yankee

                Yes indeed! Fighting the Realtor-Developer Industrial Complex is a worldwide task. Including here in Southeastern Massachusetts. The Commons and Commoners vs. Enclosing Aristocracy.

          2. Anthony G Stegman

            PG&E has been removing all vegetation, including mature trees. along its natural gas pipelines. The utility says it needs to clear the area around the pipes in order to periodically inspect them. In my city the city fathers decided that it made sense to remove mature trees that get in the way of street paving equipment. Over time the city’s urban forest has shrunk by more than 40%. But…the city has now banned natural gas appliances in all new construction, as well as major renovations. One step forward. One step backwards. CO2 levels in the atmosphere continue onward and upward. Same as it ever was.

          3. swangeese

            I’m in the Mandeville/Covington area and I believe ambrit is referring to the Premier Centre. It’s actually busy and with few tenant vacancies.

            Anyway it was built in the 90s and there was a big brouhaha over the fact that they were dozing over acres of old forest. It’s all gone now.

            The ‘growth’ has only accelerated since then sadly with the influx of people.

    2. the boating life

      JB should think “outside the box” as they say. How about airlifting the boat out with a giant dirigible? Or they could load the hold up with rocks until the boat is low enough to just squeeze under the bridge? At low tide, of course. He’s got the bucks. Come on, think big!

      1. Álex Morfesis

        Nah… hopefully sir bezz(ile) wasn’t paying attention when some folks wanted to eliminate the elevated west side highway in Manhattan and create new work by building a tunnel and decided driving overweight garbage trucks on the highway well beyond the capacity to road was built for…would work…which it did as truck weight finally found a spot too under maintained and flop onto the lower road it went…old bridge in Rotterdam had best station someone at both ends if it doesn’t want to end up with the same fate…kapish ?!?!….

      2. Gregorio

        It seems like it would be a simple matter to build and set the mast in a more accessible location.

    3. DanB

      Let’s hope Bezos does not keep at it. He’s not to used to having boundaries place on his power…

    4. Glossolalia

      The cynic in me says there’s no way that this doesn’t happen eventually. All it will take is the right size check made out to the right person.

      1. Pelham

        To be fair, Bezos would have paid to have the bridge reassembled once his boat passed. The fact that the yacht and Bezos exist is the outrage, not the assembly and reassembly of a bridge.

      1. JohnA

        I always thought the secret behind boats in a bottle was that all the masts could fold flat as the hull was inserted. Maybe that is the answer for the bezosboat

  3. LawnDart

    Class Warfare:

    This should be noted, as there is a massive public relations onslaught of resistance by the trucking industry stating that a new California state law will put thousands of owner-operators out of business and wreak futher havoc on the supply chains, claims repeated almost verbatim by almost all media outlets.

    Except this one:

    Labor groups cheer Supreme Court decision to let AB5 stand

    Passed by the state legislature in 2019, Assembly Bill No. 5 (AB5) was originally centered on ride-sharing models like Uber and Lyft and on the broader “gig” economy, but would also affect owner-operators of full-sized freight trucks. Supporters such as the International Brotherhood of Teamsters say the law will stop companies from dodging payment of certain benefits to employees, such as labor laws and minimum wage guarantees

  4. ex-PFC Chuck

    Re: The rule of nihilists Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality. Xi on the crack-up of the USSR.

    This paragraph caught my eye:

    “The lack of belief in the system stemmed from the failure of the Soviet Union in the economic arena, and inability to propose a system of participation in the decision-making that appealed to, or was acceptable to, most of its population. The roots of the debacle were both economic and ideological. Once the party loses the control of the ideology, Xi argues, once it fails to provide a satisfactory explanation for its own rule, objectives and purposes, it dissolves into a party of loosely connected individuals linked only by personal goals of enrichment and power.”

    This describes the USA political system of the 21st century, and especially the Democratic Party establishment, to a “T.” This is an important link.

    1. ex-PFC Chuck

      Another excerpt from the “rule of nihilists” link:

      “The dependence on the intelligence service was repeated in the last years of Yeltsin’s rule when four out of his last five prime ministers (a position from which the person would quasi-automatically succeed Yeltsin) were linked with KGB (Primakov, Stepashin, Kirienko and finally Putin). This intellectual void enabled the rule of ideological nihilists—people who by the very nature of their jobs were pragmatists to the bone, without any concern with, or interest in, ideology.

      “The focus on the external features of one’s rule, and disregard of ideology that motives those in power, leads many liberal commentators to speak of “autocracies” of Xi and Putin as if they belonged to the same specie. But, as Xi’s speech shows, they do not. What differentiates them is that in one case there is an attempt (I cannot judge how successful) to preserve the hegemonic rule of the communist ideology, and therefore to control the organs of brute power (the Army and the police), and in the other case, there was a complete replacement of the ideological and the political by pragmatism of power.”

      I don’t know enough about Primakov, Stepashin or Kirienko to assess whether Milanovic’s characterization of them as “ideological nihilists” is fair, but it’s a bad rap to put Putin in that bucket. He doesn’t flaunt it but when asked he’s been explicit about having been raised as a Russian Orthodox Christian and the deep Russian nationalism with which the faith is intertwined. I’m unable to find the link now but I recall reading several months ago that he secretly, officially joined the Church back in the USSR days when that might have been a firing offense for a KGB officer.
      His parents survived the siege of Lenningrad although his older brother died during it. The death of a child is a searing experience for the parents, and their religious faiths usually either emerge stronger than before or shattered. For Putin’s mother, at least, it was definitely the former.

      1. Ignacio

        If you replace Biden with the head of NSA… Does realism come back to the US and does neoliberal ideology disappear?

        1. anon y'mouse

          i am with you (i think?) i didn’t see a lack of ideology in the US being the problem except for those who do not adhere to the faith in divine Markets and “competition” within same as some kind of neo-darwinian replacement for God of Progress. and all our rulers (that matter) believe in this explicitly and implicity, and that they are the Chosen People due to the working out of these forces. that, coupled with vicious anti-socialism of any stripe and our very own Gladio-laters. our homegrown Calvinist Capitalism, or something.

          it’s the rest of us (and maybe the party outsiders who still yet act as minions for those that do?) that don’t believe in anything. similar to that link above on why history is a failing major.

        2. Alex Cox

          The powers that be put the head of CIA in charge after he ran Reagan for 8 years. The 12 year presidency of George HW Bush – how can we forget it?

  5. Toshiro_Mifune

    The Fall Of History as a Major — And as a Part of the Humanities

    From the article;
    …there is a great deal evidence that college students in the 2010s saw their college experience a form of professional, not personal, development

    My college years were the early 90s but I remember this argument from then; that the Humanities in general were declining due to lack of interest and soon all Universities would be nothing more than business schools and a science wing.
    I can also say that even back in `91/`92 everyone I knew was in school to eventually land a job. That included all the fine arts majors, lit majors, etc.

    Finally, a fourth hypothesis: Americans no longer like to read

    How are we defining this (the article linked to in their footnote isn’t clear)? Is it just physical books? E-Books and physical books? What about web pages/blogs/etc?
    If we’re going to count the web as reading then I probably read more now on an average day than I have ever, and that includes when I was a grad student in Lit.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      and remember that strange phenomenon from the first pandemic year: the widely reported(on NC) inability to read a book.

      in my time waiting in the car outside of various clinics and hospitals, i determined that reading a physical book made me sleepy as hell.
      reading the fone did not.

      realisation came in late ’21.
      might be indicative of exhaustion…both from cancer shit, as well as the general mental/emotional slog that post 2020 entailed.

      i read all of 2 books in ’21.
      0 so far in ’22.
      which is weird as hell for me.

      1. flora

        For the past several years, it’s been hard for me to shut out the world’s distractions for the time needed to concentrate on reading long form writing. The world’s media has been blaring high alert ‘danger, Will Robinson!’ signals since T’s election in 2016. I’m supposed to remain in a state of high alarm and click their links. (It’s good for their business.) NYC is now running a public service ad explaining what to do in case a nuclear bomb falls on NYC. A nuclear bomb? Really? No fear mongering there. / ;)

        1. Starry Gordon

          I spend a lot of time with various electronic gear including blogs on computers, but I still can and do read. Indeed, I’ve just been reading El beso de la mujer araña (Kiss of the Spider Woman) on a tablet — books in Spanish are expensive in the flesh but cheap on the Internet. The problem is not the media, which has made great treasures available; it’s the content, which is preferentially arranged to move low-quality product with great speed. My method of continuing with my reading is to strictly avoid the mainstream, straight, or square news on the Internet, which is now almost entirely propaganda, and television, which always was propaganda. Propaganda deadens your brain so that it can’t support sustained activities like long-form reading. Short-form, like TikTok and Twitter, are probably also damaging, but I can’t say because I’ve avoided them assiduously.

      2. antidlc

        I find it difficult to even read articles on the internet (even ones that aren’t that long.) I find myself skimming through articles, but not really reading them.

        On an unrelated note, re: books…

        I had quite a few very good children’s books for sale at several garage sales . My sister-in-law was a librarian and gave great books as gifts. The books pretty much went unsold — the parents rarely even looked at them.

      3. pstuartb

        I still read and write pretty much all day long for my job, but the couple thousand books in my house have been mostly untouched in recent years. Partly because the fonts in my books seem to keep getting smaller as I get older. So I read e-books with adjustable fonts on my various electronic devices for pleasure now. But I’ve noticed that I tend to abandon e-books mid-way through far more often than when I used to read physical books.

        In part, I think it’s just a matter of out of sight, out of mind. A partially-read physical book with a book mark on my bed-side stand tended to goad me into picking it up again just by being there. Plus, the advancement of the bookmark was a visual reminder of progress. But if I stop reading an e-book part-way through, it just hides in my phone or laptop, sight unseen, until I happen to remember it again. I have to remember it’s there and then dig through an app to find it. Same profit for the publisher, but less satisfying for the reader.

    2. JohnA

      One of the historians name checked is Timothy Snyder, who tweets the most ludicrous comments about the Russia-Ukraine conflict that he surely is less an academic and more a paid by the yard CIA stooge. An AJP Taylor he is very much not.

    3. Louis Fyne

      i love the humanities and the U Chicago’s Great Books, and the concèpt of holistic liberal arts….

      but let’s be real, the golden age of humanities was when it was the purview of ttop 0.5% independently wealthy scholars and their sheltered kids.

      should everyone know history, yes! should the random college 18 y.o. be a history major? No. YMMV.

      1. flora

        I think before the electronic media – TV, radio, cell phones, computers – took command of so much of our attention, reading books was a very common activity in the 19th – 20th centuries.

        1. LifelongLib

          Somebody (forget who) said the golden age of reading was from the British reform bill of 1832 (gave rise to mass literacy) until the invention of motion picture sound c. 1930. And people then could write well too. I’ve seen 19th century letters by people who’d obviously only had a bit of school and whose spelling was barely decipherable, but the content was amazing.

          1. flora

            Similarily , in the US the teaching of reading and writing was an extraordinarily progressive movement. Recall that teaching US slaves and freedmen and people of color to read and write in the US’s pre-Civil War era was punishable by large fines and prison terms, according to the Anti-Literacy Laws.

            A reverse image and intent of the British reform bill, imo.

    4. Tbone

      Late 80’s I was on the academic track to be a history professor – University level.
      Year 3.5 my father – a geography professor maybe 2-3 years from retirement – sat me down and explained that I would never have a career like his – he saw how it was all going to shit.
      I’ve been a cabinet maker since 1991.

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        Yeah… In the 90s I was in grad school for Lit. I wanted to be that professor who taught all the weird Lit classes* at some small school somewhere. I knew this was never going to bring in big money but at least I could spend time with things I loved. Then 2 things happened; 1 was graduate level studies; where it became apparent that I was not there to engage in debate and new ideas but to learn academic orthodoxy. This was what may be called “not fun”. Number 2 was; I had a long hard look at the people currently in tenured positions, did a quick estimation on their relative numbers in comparison to both myself and my classmates and quickly determined there was no way enough of them were ever going to retire in time for me to get some sort of secure position before I was 50.
        After a lot of thought I dropped out about 2/3 of the through my MA.
        Eventually I went into IT. As it stands now I probably make more (not that money is the only thing) than I ever would have as a professor in anything other than at one of the Ivies.

        * Like Literature of Horror, Literature of Science Fiction, Literature of the Occult, you get the idea.

        1. Carolinian

          There was a time when college wasn’t so wildly expensive and one could more easily pursue a humanities degree and worry about the career part afterwards. Now the Middle Class has joined the rest of the precariat.

          1. fringe element

            College was much less expensive AND there was a robust economy with many jobs. There were plenty of big companies where you could start at a simple entry-level job and work your way into something better. Companies reimbursed you for 80% of the cost of a night school class if you kept your grades up and took courses relevant to the business of the company you worked for.

        2. Fiery Hunt

          Had the pleasure, back when I was a rare and used bookdealer, to know a dealer who specialized in Victorian Sci-Fi and horror. He wrote the most wonderful catalogues, complete with reviews, of every book he had on offer.
          Survived for 30 years doing mail order that way.

          Amazon killed his business before he killed himself.

          I got out maybe 5 years before he did.

          Still have a couple of his catalogues in a box somewhere.

      2. eg

        Similar experience here, Tbone. I got out after my Masters in English in ‘86 — I didn’t like my chances the way I saw the Academia market going even then.

      3. jr

        I had pretensions to earning a PhD in philosophy at one point but life intervened. I spent several years a bit heartbroken about it all until I happened to meet a Columbia student in philosophy who had just earned his doctorate. I told him how jealous I was and he shook his sadly and told me not to be. He had no idea what he was going to do with it, all the teaching positions he could find were at places like backwater community colleges in Missouri. I still wish I could have done so, sometimes, just in a different timeline or dimension.

        1. anon y'mouse

          philosophy—another thing the world has a sad need for learning that no one wants to pay anyone to teach.

          “career”=payment and status and your saying backwater indicates a lack of both. but the students there still need to learn it, whether they know that or not and whether society appreciates it or not.

          i loved my philosophy courses, even though that wasn’t my major. they were the best thing about the hoop jumping i had to go through in order to get a sheet of paper indicating i wasn’t an “IQ reject” who would not even be allowed to work as a receptionist in an office somewhere.

          1. jr

            The funny part is that everyone goes around making philosophical claims willy-nilly without a clue that that is what they are doing. Some will tell you philosophy is bunk, which is itself a philosophical claim. They don’t see that philosophy isn’t just a college course. It’s a human condition and the fount of knowledge.

      1. Lex

        Thanks for that link. I kind of experienced what the article talks about back in the early/mid-90’s. Essentially I choose my courses by which ones required books I wanted to read. I ended up with a degree in Comparative Religion and minors in English, History and Philosophy. Now, I wasn’t taking on any debt for my degree and there was great freedom in that. Since then I’ve worked in a factory, taught English in two different countries, managed a retail greenhouse/nursery, and ended up being an Industrial Hygienist. Because obviously what you do with a Comparative Religion degree is become a scientist. The owner of the consulting firm I work for knew me. I was looking for new challenges and he needed an employee. When I said, I don’t know anything about the field, he replied, “Our main deliverable is written reports. You can do that already and you’re smart enough for me to teach you whatever technical stuff you need to know.” 11 years later I’m the head of the department and I still don’t have my credentials because the org won’t let me take the test. I don’t have the right education. I don’t really care. My technical chops are good, and unlike many in my field, I can explain the technical stuff to non-technical people (almost all of my clients). That’s because of my humanities education.

    5. Wukchumni

      We’re all guilty of having really short memory spans thanks to this contraption and social media which favors paragraphs-not hundreds of pages, so why would young people be interested in remembering about the past when a good many don’t have the ability to process information in long form?

      I was fortunate enough to make history pay coming from old money (no, not that kind) and was constantly involved in time travel, I might be in the Roman Empire in the morning and in the Comstock Lode in the afternoon vis a vis metal totems and it all became intertwined with the past, my thinking patterns and grasp of history.

      The idea that I didn’t go to college (didn’t need to, there aren’t any courses on numismatics anywhere that i’m aware of, it’s all hands on-the education) left me with a considerable chip above my shoulders and whereas many stop learning after they graduate, I didn’t have that option and kept on keeping on in accumulating the knowledge.

    6. eg

      The “jawb imperative” mindset is even older than you think. When I called home in the Fall of ‘83 (in the teeth of a bad recession) in the first month of my second year to inform my parents that I was switching out of Biochemistry and into English, my Engineer father’s first response was, “what are you going to do with that?”

      In fairness to him he eventually came around, but the idea was certainly very much in the air.

      1. antidlc

        I’m going through that right now with a family member — valedictorian, National Merit finalist, absolute whiz at math who sings opera. Doesn’t want to sell her soul to a corporation, feels healthcare is entirely screwed up and doesn’t want to fight the insurance companies and pharma.
        Thinks being a lawyer would be waaaay too stressful. (Maybe work for legal aid and help people?) Doesn’t want to work in finance because the system is corrupt.

        So she decided to look at becoming a librarian. I’m not sure that’s the wisest decision — municipal libraries are being outsourced and funding will be an ongoing battle. Unless you run a library, the payscale is awful. And then you have all the nonsense going on with book censoring.

        I’ve suggested working for a large theatre or opera company or a non-profit.. (Have you looked at how much money the managers of opera and theatre companies make? I was shocked.)

        I gotta say…academia is screwed up, corporate America is screwed up. Where does that leave someone who is academically gifted but has a very, very low threshold for corporate bull&^*$?

        I thought a meteorologist might be a good option because of the math skills required and thought it might be a career that wasn’t subject to a lot of politicking — the weather is the weather, right? You collect data and analyze it. Then Sharpiegate happened and I thought, omg, there are political pressures even for weather forecasting.

        Sorry for the rambling…suggestions appreciated.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        from the first time i read Zarathustra, between 8 and 10, i wanted to be a philosopher, wear robes and live on a mountain.
        so i wanted a philosophy degree.
        everyone…from high school councilors, to the frelling college registrar, advised against it…because “what kind of job will that get you?”
        but it wasn’t about jobs…it was about knowledge, integrity and being a better human.
        this was anathema to all those folks…and eventually to my parents, as well…who convinced me, year and a half in, and finding the philosophy department at the college they sent me to was fer shite, to switch to “RTV”-“radio-television-film”….
        fine, whatever..
        shoehorned my dreams into some vision of Johnny Fever…and kept taking classes based on my own interests, regardless.
        turns out, there was no future in radio or tv…unless you were beautiful…the industry was being consolidated and corpseified…local radio was withering, etc.
        …and i ran out of money junior year anyways….little town the college was in had no jobs save in the prison system,lol…rent too high,family support dried up, etc.
        so i quit, and ran off to austin to pursue music and philosophy on my own.
        now, after a lifetime of near-poverty, i live next to a “mountain”, wear robes, and am a philosopher….almost entirely self-educated.
        still poor, but i consider myself a success.
        and f&ck them all.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            is there another kind?

            i hide my light under a bushel basket every time i venture into town, lest i scare them, and end up with crosses burning or the like.

            sometimes, when it matters, i lift the basket…and shock and amaze.

            i prefer the shadows, myself.

    7. John Beech

      I hear from people all the time, TMI (this is an acronym for Too Much Information) and it’s 100% because they don’t want to read. And because I write (a lot) I get to discover whom amongst my customers likes to read, and who doesn’t, because I hear from both. And do you know what? It’s age dependent. Younger customers don’t read as much. Don’t like it.

      For example, I have a customer in Texas who is the sales manager for a automobile dealership who flat out tells me when I pointed him to an article to resolve his problem (I respond to questions I get over and over again by creating an article, basically a knowledge bank, to which I point others. This, expressly so I don’t have to keep responding to the same old thing over and over again). So he says, “Yes, John, I saw that article but I don’t like to read.” and note; this is a successful fellow in his mid-30s earning money hand over fist, so not exactly an idiot.

      Just today I got a ‘TMI response’ from a fellow within this thread where I am explaining how to make standoffs by hand, or with a lathe. I literally explain at a beginner’s level. Mine was post #5915 and his response immediately followed.

      Anyway, I’m unsure of a ‘solution’ unless we address it at an early age. Our home has about 150 linear feet of books and because our daughter moved in with her two sons I’ve added another 20 feet in the boys room, which we’ve stocked with their books (their mother, like me and my wife, is a reader).

      The older of the two boys, 8y/o, is already reading and is tasked every day with helping the younger, a developmentally delayed 5y/o, using flash cards (and he’s beginning to ‘get it’ but an ADHD diagnosis is quite real and leads to the learning difficulties – but we persist and he’s coming along nicely).

      Thing is, we’re involved parents (I use the term loosely as I am the father figure around our home these days). The pandemic has led to our spending more time in and around the home than would have been the case when I was in my mid-30s. Point being, we have the means to stay at home (we’re retirement age) and help with child rearing.

      However, parents busy earning a living who resort to childcare and school to do this critical part of the teaching, e.g. who subsequently arrive home exhausted but still needing to cook, clean, and care for their kids are apparently being rather less than successful at dedicating the required time to teaching their kids to read than my parents. Mom, for example, was a reader and thus, there was plenty to read around the house). As for my Dad, a Command Sergeant Major? He also liked to read and brought home loads of books from work for me to devour.

      Thus, while I never served, to this day I know how to layout latrines, what an enfilade means in terms of small arms fire, and can regurgitate endlessly on resupply, laying down lines of fire, digging a foxhole, order of battle, and can field strip a Garand or an M16A1 (he brought them home and taught me).

      To the present day problem; is it because it’s easier to give them a Nintendo Switch or put a television and or computer in their rooms, tech unavailable when I was a kid? Really meaning the problem is going to get worse? Dunno, but I can see a definite age split amongst customers who like to read versus those who don’t. Note; my daughter, 37y/o had a computer in her room as well as a television, but also loads of books. My customer, the young man in Texas? He’s a similar age and doesn’t like to read, so I really don’t know.

      However, if we don’t involve the parents we’re going to raise a generation who don’t like to read. We may be there already. Sigh.

      1. Laura in So Cal

        My son just graduated from the same high school, I graduated from in 1983 so I have a unique perspective on how the curriculum and the way they teach English has changed. I honestly think that the curriculum is designed to make kids hate reading. Even kids who enjoyed reading in elementary school hate it by the time they leave high school. I don’t know any of my son’s schoolmates who read for pleasure at all. Basically for them reading is a chore. This is being done under the idea of teaching critical thinking with lots of “annotation” and dissection of text, but it back fires horribly with the kids completely turning off.
        It makes me sad since reading is my main source of both pleasure and learning.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i kept our boys away from all that for as long as i could…no internet for them, no tv, aside from vcr/dvd…flip fones…etc.
          but was overruled, tacitly, when my stepdad bought us sat tv.
          and then overruled by wife for the rest.
          neither of our boys read for pleasure…nor are they near as hungry for such knowledge.
          our Eldest lives in my dern Library,lol…and…drinking at the wilderness bar of an evening…he asks some esoteric religious question.
          and im like: dude! you walk past all that sort of thing every day…you actually LIVE in a Library!
          and the Comparative Religion Section is the most filed out and comprehensive this side of UT.

          with both of them, the little reading schema they employed preceded the internet or any devices…and i think that’s what did it.
          neoliberal in philosophy…competition was the focus.
          i dont remember details, but noted the effects then, in aggregate.

          with youngest, it was “Leader in Me”…a stephen covey mindfuck program, intended to indoctrinate the feelgood parts of the neoliberal ethos.
          “reach for stars”, etc.
          i actually came down from the hills to the big public meeting to oppose that…eviscerated the high energy corporate evangelist in front of the whole town.
          and then had two letters to the editor published, taking it apart.
          but some rich bastid bought the curriculum and donated it anyway.
          took a lot of effort to counteract with Youngest.

      2. anon in so cal

        “This might intersect with Toshiro_Mifune’s observation; maybe the problem isn’t ‘dislike of reading’ per se, but perhaps ‘willingness to focus for extended periods of time on a specific line of thinking’”

        It requires time and effort to engage with a protracted argument / causal analysis or follow a detailed chronology of events.

        Imagine if wages were sufficiently adequate to permit one stay-at-home parent! Ties in with someone’s comment about unopened children’s books. Are parents warehousing their kids in childcare establishments whose workers often make McDonald’s-level wages? Many kids are disconnected from reading and nature.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          Older family member liked to read everything when younger, novels and tech mags and non-fiction. But he has in the past 20 years spent loads of time trawling eBay and Utube and social media.
          He finally admitted a while ago that he can’t focus on reading a book anymore. That’s after I asked him if he’d read the SF novel I bought him for Christmas. So that explains the pile of books that he’s read a few pages of but isn’t finishing.
          And from recent observation it looks like he will spend the rest of his life getting “sugar hits” from the never-ending “funny” video clips and music clips and other stuff on offer from the web. That he will forget by next week if not sooner.
          Aaah, the demise of human intelligence. No wonder our overlords love all this technology, all the better to control you with my dear.

      3. Irrational

        Not sure it’s only an age thing. My husband’s parents did not grow up in homes that read and so they do not. So it used to be about having a role model, now it may well be a generational thing.
        Fun fact: I have noticed it getting harder to find decent bookshelves (not counting IKEA here). Apparently, no longer a needed piece of furniture.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          Yeah I don’t know. I grew up in a farming community where it was all hard work outside. I didn’t see a lot of reading in the house, apart from the daily newspaper that was targeted to blue collar workers. Shock horror headlines, Murdoch/Fox sort of stuff. And we had a handful of Readers Digest Condensed Books.
          As a sick kid until I was about 8, I spent my enforced time indoors devouring whatever there was to read at home. An uncle provided comic books that were 50 pages long as well.
          Loved reading, and still do.

      4. Tom Bradford

        Are we reaching the point where reading/writing (R/W) is even a necessary skill?

        In early societies all you needed to know were survival skills, which were given you orally and by on-the-job training by your community which was little more than an extended family. To cut a very long story short R/W enabled the growth of ‘civilisation’ by enabling ‘how-to’ manuals of increasing sophistication to be both stored across time and widely disseminated.

        Now, though, we have computers for storage and ‘communication’, which can be like the teaching in those early societies, both oral and visual. It’s now possible to access a huge amount of ‘how-to’ stuff on YouTube, and see how to do things by watching someone do it and talk about which is much easier than trying to learn it from a manual. I’ve even had recent experiences when the manufacturers provided no written manual, but simply put up videos on their web-sites.

        Text-to-speech and voice recognition is still rough around the edges but in the last decade has vastly improved and continues to do so ever faster. Siri, Alexa et al are still even rougher but in another decade will we even need text when we can simply tell our computers what we want and have it delivered to us orally by my ‘personal assistant’ or shown to me?

        Will in ten years, or less, Naked Capitalism have its index of items read to me for me to choose what I want to listen to with accompanying video, and comments like this simply dictated by me to the screen and played back – perhaps in a better voice than my own – to you?

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i learned to text with rudimentary flipfones…so i use a lot of shortcuts and abbreviations.
          now, i learn that Youngest is having his texts read to him by the robot girl, through his usually present earbuds.
          robot girl mangles my texts, of course…given all the dropped vowels and such(“gvn al th drpd vwls n sch”)
          she, perhaps notably, does NOT mangle certain military terms ive adopted…like “SITREP”(“Situation Report”).

    8. Jeremy Grimm

      I believe the public education system took care of reading for both my children, though my daughter less so than my son. My daughter reads a little now and them and my son absolutely hates reading — although he avidly read and studied complicated explanations of video games and gaming strategies online, and he concentrated on complex gameplay for many hours at a time. The only books he would consider looking at might, I repeat, might be certain manga. My kids did enjoy when we read together before bedtime but as adults neither of them has shown any interest in audiobooks. Even when I was going to school I noticed a trend toward the more is better theory of education. After looking through a few of the bloated textbooks my kids had in high school and recalling the ever lengthening reading lists that I had in college, and not just in the humanities courses I took, I can only imagine the size of present day reading lists.

      As for the trends in the Market for college education, the writing on the wall was clear even back in the dinosaur age when I went to college in the early 1970s. Before discussing the Humanities as a field of study I think I should tell what most impressed me as a teenager. Where I grew up, a large number of our neighbors worked as engineers in the aerospace industry. I remember the massive layoffs that followed the end of the space race. Many of our neighbors were laid-off and spent months scrounging for work in the area. Many had to take jobs that meant a lot of the dads worked a half days drive away during the week. Some commuted and some found remote housing where they stayed during the work week. I learned a few years later that the dads in my neighborhood were the lucky ones. There was another area of town where every other or every third house had been vacant as a result of the layoffs followed by foreclosures, which were often accompanied by divorces.

      At the first ‘real’ job I had out of college I was among some of the first employees hired after several years of hiring freezes. The history of that employer was truly grim. The Corporation I worked for had purchased the site where I worked almost a decade earlier. Most of the original employees of the predecessor firm were long gone by the time I hired in. The Corporation had a division in the Midwest that it moved to the new site following the purchase. I was told some 4,000 employees had worked at the Midwest division. Of these, 2,000 moved to the new site — I do not know what become of the other 2,000. Of the 2,000 who relocated, a total of 1,600 were laid-off as the space race wound down. I hired in to join a much older and wary group of 400 survivors.

      As far as I know, Humanities degrees were much more employable then, than now. The systems programmer running the Baby-Blue PDP system where I worked for a while had been a Philosophy major. She was quite a good systems programmer, so I was surprised when I heard about this. Her boss explained that she had been hired because she was evidently very sharp, motivated, and as expected, she quickly and easily came up to speed at her work. Nowadays coming out of school, her degree as a philosophy major would assure that her resume would be weeded out by a machine program before any human person might read it.

    9. spud

      here is what Harry Truman believed education should be.

      “In the aftermath of World War Two, the Truman Commission called higher education to a higher mission than job training. That mission of expanding democracy, global understanding, and problem-solving creativity and intelligence is as relevant and worthy today as it was 72 years ago.”

      “The report proposes sweeping changes in higher education. Specific recommendations include the abandonment of European concepts of education and the development of a curriculum attuned to the needs of a democracy; the doubling of college attendance by 1960; the integration of vocational and liberal education; the extension of free public education through the first 2 years of college for all youth who can profit from such education; the elimination of racial and religious discrimination; revision of the goals of graduate and professional school education to make them effective in training well-rounded persons as well as research specialists and technicians; and the expansion of Federal support for higher education through scholarships, fellowships, and general aid.”

      1. RobertC

        free public education is the foundation of our republic. And in those 72 years the foundation has been irretrievable weakened by a broad spectrum of special interests all of whom meant well in their own image. As has been our republic.

  6. Samuel Conner

    > The frightening part is the “fourth hypothesis.”

    I wonder to what extent the transition from “go to the library to find the answer to your question” to “consult Google on your mobile device” has contributed to a dislike of reading. I don’t read books near as much as I used to, and when I do read them, it is often not straight through, but more selectively, aided by the index, looking for answers to specific questions rather than allowing myself to be guided by the authors’ argument/agenda. And I don’t read fiction (which one has to read straight through for it to make sense) any more at all.

    This might intersect with Toshiro_Mifune’s observation; maybe the problem isn’t ‘dislike of reading’ per se, but perhaps ‘willingness to focus for extended periods of time on a specific line of thinking’. I do think that my present approach to obtaining information does not promote focus and concentration. And to the extent that focus/concentration are learned abilities (and perhaps more easily learned by the young), that might be a worrisome thing for our civilization.

    1. Watt4Bob

      …maybe the problem isn’t ‘dislike of reading’ per se, but perhaps ‘willingness to focus for extended periods of time on a specific line of thinking’

      This is a very interesting observation.

      I started focusing my attention on the reality of American politics and economic justice back in the run-up to 2008 and the great recession. This focus intensified and became central as the predictions of what might be called peripheral experts came true, and all the commonly accepted sources were exposed as selling neoliberal snake oil, and fairy tales.

      I came to the realization recently, that my ‘focus’ on explaining our predicament to myself, and others, through a series of online relationships with communities of like-minded people was resulting in an imbalance, and frustration that ultimately, the explanation, however clearly understood, was not going to be sufficient to bring any change in direction.

      It was at this point that I made a decision to diversify my focus, and commit to reigniting my interest in literature.

      This effort has been greatly assisted by the recommendations of my adult children, who I might add, are tired of all the ‘explanations‘.

      IOW, I’ve been doing a lot more reading, and it helps dull the pain that comes with knowing what’s going on.

    2. Carolinian

      To me the web is all about reading but the visual clutter that characterizes most web pages works against that. Fortunately computers allow us to shape our own experience although that may not be to Big Tech’s liking. Of course many of the things we read have always had advertising but newspaper pages didn’t blink out at you like animated billboards.

      But I’m fine with electronic reading and now read most of my books that way. The superior contrast is easier on aging eyes. You just have to get used to the new delivery method.

    3. Craig H.

      Nobody is going to care to read what I think but the problem is that most books suck and it takes an enormous amount of work and desire and tenacity to keep at it long enough to realize that great stuff is there to be discovered, but it is not easy.

      Right now I am in the middle of reading a book which would interest .0001 of you that I first read a couple years ago and enjoyed immensely. Last week I found that I had to look something up in it which I found quickly. Then after 3 or 4 heartbeats I turned to page 1 and started re-reading the thing. Slow and close. Right now I am around p. 320. About 150 pages left to go. It is a life-changing experience.

      If you read books you can get this 2-3 times a year. Every year. It is even better than the Dodgers and Yankees in the World Series.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I am not sure I can agree that most books suck, but I do agree that many books require an enormous amount of work and desire and tenacity to keep at reading them. Before I retired I had too little time and energy to read other than light reading — mystery, science fiction, some pop literature, a few plays. After I retired I have plenty of time but much less energy, and I get lonely at night. Audiobooks or DVDs fill some of that loneliness and require far less effort to enjoy.

        Your comment suggests another thought — reading, truly reading carefully and thoughtfully takes time and an uninterrupted span of concentration. I feel as if everything about our way of life tends to make every task, every little thing we do a rush job with frequent interruptions for so-called multi-tasking. The only multi-tasking I believe I can do effectively is something like looking through my black beans for stones while I listen to some audiobook mystery or science fiction story or podcast.

        1. Craig H.

          Occult Paris X Tobias Churton

          But odds are at least 10 000 to 1 you won’t like it. And > 50% of people would consider it ridiculous without even picking it up and reading a sentence. It is a history book. About Peladan and Papus and the Boullan affair and Satie and Debussy and Gaugin. When Crowley was there he was considered an NPC.

          1. Janie

            I think it sounds interesting, too. I’ve always liked well-researched historical novels.

      2. John Beech

        The vast majority of my reading online is for learning or entertainment. Sites like the New York Post, The Guardian, BBC, DW, France24, Al Jazeera, Sydney Morning Herald, Asiatimes, Express, etc. – these to get a feel for what is going on in the world (and avoid the groupthink I find in the NYT, Washington Post, and other left-leaning US publications which have zero balance). So I find my own balance amongst these sites, some right-wingish, some left-wingish.

        Then there are sites I peruse for learning and pleasure like,,, arstechnica, and the like.

        Then there are sites I use to kill time like which occasionally have a gem, and which includes this site.

        And every evening, in bed, I read a book. Almost always a paperback (detest hardbacks boinking me on the nose when I fall asleep whist reading because they hurt). This is almost always pleasure. Rather varied content, mysteries, scifi, adventure, biographies, whatever. However, as I’ve grown older there’s less and less of this whereas before I’d read an hour before calling it a night, nowadays it may be just 10 minutes before I feel Morpheus calling and put out my light. Depends.

        Moreover, all this neglects reading for work. There’s always email, of which there is quite a lot. Plus work-work, like when I consult Dudley’s Gear Handbook, or the Machinist Handbook. Dry stuff that would put you to sleep if you tried to read any of it for pleasure.

        Bottom line? Lots and lots of reading in my day-to-day life. What haven’t I cottoned to? Audiobooks (which my wife loves) and Kindle.

    4. jr

      “This might intersect with Toshiro_Mifune’s observation; maybe the problem isn’t ‘dislike of reading’ per se, but perhaps ‘willingness to focus for extended periods of time on a specific line of thinking’.”

      There was an article posted on NC a few months back describing the new “science” of “progress” or some other PMC technocratic pornography. One of the worthies mentioned in it noted that he was not a “completionist”, if I read that correctly he was saying that he only skimmed literature and media rather than taking the time to see it through thoroughly. He seemed to be disdainful of those who do, I guess they then don’t have the time to innovate or disrupt or entrepreneurialize or whatever “power-word” gets a tent pitched in the pants of the business school mannequins. It struck me as a fell omen for society when it’s considered legitimate to mock a person for attempting to understand a block of information as completely as possible.

  7. Watt4Bob

    This cannot go uncommented;

    Once the party loses the control of the ideology, Xi argues, once it fails to provide a satisfactory explanation for its own rule, objectives and purposes, it dissolves into a party of loosely connected individuals linked only by personal goals of enrichment and power.

    Does this Branko Milanovic guy realize he’s describing the usian uni-party?

    Why is it that so much of the criticism of Russian actions and intentions end up looking like projection?

    To be clear, I’m thinking Xi’s speech reflects his impression of CPSU at a particular point in time, which should not be automatically understood as his current opinion of Putin’s motivations.

    On the other hand, his description of rule by nihilists hits pretty close to home here in “The West“.

    1. praxis

      I thought nihilist tie to modern Russia was a stretch. 2000’s Putin sure. 2010 Putin? 2020 Putin? He has grown and been doing his part (abit maybe showboating) to rebuild the ideology / mythology of Russia. Calling the SMO in Ukraine Nihilist is kind of………

  8. digi_owl

    A glorious display of cat-fu that.

    Also, that duck is now “Rubber” Duck from where on out.

  9. russell1200

    The Ukrainian’s hitting Russian supply dumps seems to be more of a story about them being able to get good intel. That seems to have been the case for some time. Of course if I am a soldier (on either side), and wanted to go home, giving away where the ammo dumps are or the officers are meeting might be attractive if I am not particularly patriotic. Both sides seem kind of leaky.

    The Iranian drone part of the story is interesting, but not unusually, the reporting underestimates how much weaponry you need in a large war. The (eye opening) Nagorno-Karabakh was tiny compared to this one. If you have to start shooting at moving/hiding things to save your skin, your kill percentage is going to go way down. But even if every drone hits, there are a lot more targets for both sides than the number of drones. That is the advantage of cheap artillery.

    If the traditionally very stubborn US keeps up supplies, and the traditionally stubborn Russians keep pounding away (with occasional reversals) this could go on for some time.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Russia is literzlly fighting the entire NATO intelligence gathering system, along sith NATO weapons.

      the US bombed Laos and Cambodia over much less

    2. The Rev Kev

      Turns out that that story about Iran supplying drones to Russia was just a bs story spread by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan for his own reasons. The Russian drone program was slow to start up due to a requirement that all parts be of Russian origin rather than imported (so sanctions proof) as well as the usual teething problems in manufacturing a new product. But those have been basically solved now so drone production should ramp up over time.

      That good intel that the Ukrainians are getting are straight from US sources who are giving real time intelligence on Russian positions and the like so that the Ukrainians can target the Russians. Will it change the course of the war? No. But it will kill more Russians. And if you think this is not going to result in lots of dead American soldiers down the track, then you don’t know about payback.

      Sooner or later the mathematics of war will really kick in. The Russians are feeding in more battalion tactical groups from what I have heard so for the first time they are now outnumbering the Ukrainians. And some of those Ukrainian formations are losing 60% of their strengths through bombardments before they even meet the Russians. That well of Ukrainian replacements is getting empty which is why you now see this- (21 secs)

      1. Tom Stone

        Rev, don’t forget CTE ( Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) caused by exposure to those bombardments.
        It was first discovered among American Football players because they are valuable assets, however it can also result from anything that causes the brain to bounce around in the skull.
        My late Grandfather Fuller ran off to join the great adventure in early September 1914 (He became a Bagpiper) and he displayed many of the symptoms of CTE as he aged.
        Wars are expensive,sometimes in ways you might not expect.

        1. The Rev Kev

          To tell you the truth, when I saw that video I kinda hoped that they would take those girls into a shelter and let off some explosives nearby to simulate an artillery bombardment. They will have to get used to it and should learn what to expect. But your point about CTE is a very good one as there will be so many people that will suffer from this in the years to come – and not just soldiers either. When Iran bombed that American base in Iraq in retaliation for the murder of their top general, I believe that scores of those troops were diagnosed from suffering from CTE afterwards – and that was only a short bombardment that.

    3. juno mas

      The Russian MOD says the “munitions” warehouse is actually a fertilizer (ammonium nitrate; highly explosive) storage building. So much for the concern over world food shortages.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Exclusive: Watch Uvalde school shooting video obtained by Statesman showing police response”

    ‘Brave Policemen ran away.
    Bravely ran away away.
    (“We didn’t!”)
    When danger reared it’s ugly head,
    They bravely turned their tail and fled.
    (“We never!”)
    Yes, brave Policemen turned about
    And gallantly they chickened out.
    (“You’re lying!”)
    Swiftly taking to their feet,
    They beat a very brave retreat.
    Bravest of the brave, Policemen!’ (1:26 mins)

      1. Tom Stone

        Wuk, very few murders in the USA are performed with rifles of any kind ( 394 in the last reporting period), and since legally possessing a post ’86 assault Rifleis going to be very expensive ( At least $15K if you live in a “Machine Gun State”) I’d bet none are used as murder weapons in most years.
        Like many who are uncomfortable with the rabble being armed which is what “Sensible Gun Laws” have always been about you aren’t comfortable being frank about your position.
        Which is that “Those People” shouldn’t have guns, them.
        Restricting firearms ownership by law abiding citizens does not reduce violent crime, that data is in and it is solid.
        So it’s about THEM.

        In the last few decades America has gone from having one “Constitutional carry” State to having 36 of them.
        In those States anyone who can legally possess a pistol can carry it concealed ( With restrictions for courts etc.).
        It hasn’t been a problem.
        I do recommend “How to own a Gun in California and stay out of Jail” to anyone under the misapprehension that these is anything rational California Gun Laws.
        The AR15 is an “Assault Rifle” in California while the Ruger Mini 14 is not.
        I can buy a 1911 pistol from Ed Brown,Wilson or RIA but I can’t buy one from Colt even though the parts of all four will interchange.

        1. cgregory

          Tom Stone, the underlying gun problem in America is that we do not hold gun owners to a very high standard of intelligence or conduct.

          We hold that a “responsible” gun owner is one who only handles it carefully, not accidentally firing it or injuring/killing someone or damaging property. That definition of “responsible” is deficient. The firearm is one of the few household appliances (like mousetraps and bug zappers) designed to kill, but we do not expect our gun owners to treat it less casually than a spare coffee maker. As a result of their casual attitude towards their weapon, 11,000 people (some 80% of all gun homicides annually in the US) die, shot by guns that were left unsecured, given as gifts, pawned, sold secondhand, etc.

          First purchasers of a firearm would become instant ATF agents if they knew the gun they were about to buy would obligate them to its lifelong use– if it ever fell into hands less worthy than theirs, they would suffer the same penalties as the person who used it to commit a crime. The purchaser would, like King Arthur with Excalibur, never allow it to pass through sale, loss or any other event, from their hands. If someone else wanted it, that person would have to unglue it from their cold, dead hands.

          The public would expect them to behave more nobly and to suffer the consequences of an irresponsibility which at this time is costing us 11,000 lives a year.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            Life is cheap. More than a million lives have been lost in the US due to Covid and few people blink or seem to care. A few thousand dead due to gun violence? A few tens of thousand dead due to motor vehicle misuse? Meh.

        2. Wukchumni

          Most every mass murder I see as of late tends to happen with assault rifles, the weapon of choice-as was the Thompson machine gun among the gangsters of the 1930’s, which led to them being essentially banned and haven’t been an issue since in nearly a century. When was the last time a Tommy gun killed somebody in the USA?

          Why not do the the same with assault rifles which were verboten for a decade from 1994 to 2004, so there is precedence.

    1. Mori Calliope

      In the Uvalde video, one of the cops stops to check his frigging phone, and the lock screen is an American flag Punisher skull. Beyond parody.

      1. skk

        And the one who puts on hand sanitizer ! Dude, where is the risk right now ? Ahhhh unless you have no intention of confronting the shooter.

    2. fresno dan

      McCraw has singled out Arredondo for blame in restraining officers from going in earlier than they did. But the video shows multiple responding agencies on the scene, including officers from the Uvalde Police Department, Uvalde County sheriff’s department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Rangers, U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Marshals Service.
      If there is one thing about the US system, it is that it is perfectly designed and executed to never hold the police and those nominally in charge of them responsible for anything. (hmmmm – one could say that about the entire US political system) EVERYBODY on scene should be fired, and prosecuted for dereliction of duty. As well as their supervisors, and their supervisor’s supervisors. And yet, nothing reallyhappens…

      1. GF

        And, their pensions, especially the police chief’s, should be given to the victims families.

  11. flora

    Is US resembling an ’emerging market’? Simon Johnson got there in 2009 with his Atlantic essay about the danger of the political influence of the financial industry on the US government.

    The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises.

    The Quiet Coup

    1. Watt4Bob

      So, while our government used all its powers to enable our *’financial industry’ to capture the governments of ‘**emerging markets‘, resulting in ‘***crises‘, we never suspected that allowing them the same control over our own economy would have the same results?

      *Is our financial sector in any way productive?

      **You mean other people’s countries?

      ***You mean inevitable, totally predictable results of uncontrolled, predatory finance?

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Flora.

      That’s a blast from the past.

      When I first read it in 2009, I was a bankster lobbyist, 2007 – 16, and was puzzled how little coverage the essay got. The failure to address what led to 2008 ensured that what happened a decade later, cost of living crisis, would happen.

      I would add the UK and EU, then partners, and the likes of Australia in that contention.

    3. fresno dan

      Thanks for that. Been a long time since I read that. But what struck me about the whole situation is that so much of our politics is a simulacrum of politics. An unending and undisputed firehose steam of propaganda that the US two parties go at it hammer and tong, while in reality the 1%, elite, PMC, call them what you will, share a dogmatic belief in a neoliberal order that is remarkably akin in beliefs to the medieval church, i.e., beliefs instilled by indoctrination and faith, instead of objective examination, e.g., the wisdom santity, and justice of the market. They were taught it, they profit from it, and they believe in it – anything else is inconceivable. And if it harms a great many, well, broken eggs and omlets.

  12. Lexx

    ‘BMW starts selling heated seat subscriptions for $18 a month’

    So, they’re going to sell you the car (personal transport), but rent out the “luxury” features built into the car from behind a paywall? Features that once came with the car… my VW bug for example.

    What if you only have a use for heated seats four months out of the year?

    Let’s see… high end, full length, genuine sheepskin seat covers around $120, but if you just want to keep your tush up off that cold leather and still keep it classy… under $30.

    I think in the future we’ll have more use for the air-conditioner. When they stick those behind a paywall, there’s really no alternative. ‘Pay us or you’ll roast’. If you’re not a farmer and don’t have any skin in the game regarding your *John Deere tractor, the number of interested parties (and potential protesters) just broadened in the corporate attack on “ownership”.


    1. digi_owl

      In the end it comes back to them boardrooms demanding an ever rising profit curve.

      There is perhaps a reason why economists fail at even the most basic of physics.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Don’t forget that if you buy a car like that, you are still paying for all those features, even if you don’t use them. So for example you have to pay for the gear that heats those seats as well as the software as well. The car manufacturer is not going to pay for that junk. Their customers will. That subscription is only so they will turn it on – for awhile. I guess that the car industry here is taking their ideas from the computer gaming industry where a lot of games you have to pay all sorts of micro-features if you want to advance in that game. People should boycott those subscription cars but there are enough idiots out there who will buy a car like that so they can boast about paying all those subscriptions.

      1. digi_owl

        This was (is?) a favorite trick of IBM as well. A company buys a mainframe from them, and it will ship with a set number of CPUs etc. Only there are some switches inside to disable those that the company didn’t pay for.

        So if in the future the company desires an upgrade, IBM will happily send out a technician that will open the case, flip the appropriate switches, and bill the company for hardware and hours.

        These days i guess they just load the new certificate into some onboard NVRAM via the internet.

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          Many businesses operate this way. It is a way to save money upfront by making a standard product and then customizing it via various tweaks to match the customer needs. These product adjustments should not be seen as a bad thing. I have no problem with airlines charging extra for food, drink, blankets, pillows, etc…if that will keep the base fare low for those who don’t want the ‘frills”.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Trouble is the extent that companies like Boeing go to. During the 737 MAX crash investigations, it came out that if the pilots wanted an oxygen mask, that the airline company had to pay Boeing extra when it should have been a minimal safety requirement.

      2. Lexx

        I just had this flash of a dystopian U.S. where there are still cars on the road, but antiques from before the ‘Age of Paywalls’ for everything and the scene looks more like Cuba (minus their healthcare system). Kinda cool and horrifying, salsa in the streets, broad white smiles and open weeping sores.

        Need more coffee now.

    3. flora

      Digital rentierism. Now a scam in luxury car features??? You’ll not only have car 3-5 year loan payments but also have never-ending car ‘feature activation’ payments? (Until the company decides it no longer supports that model’s software.) This is straight from the software-as-a-service playbook. “It’s 2030 and you will own nothing.” You will not be happy.

      1. digi_owl

        I guess they figured they could upgrade from doing a GPS map subscription (apparently the car’s entertainment system can get map data loaded via SD card, at $100 a pop), now that everyone use a phone instead.

      2. Lexx

        I have little use for a phone and so had an Apple 5… until Apple decided it wasn’t going to ‘support’ that model any more. So, in the same year that the 11 came out, I upgraded to a good used 8. Still perfectly happy with it, but it’s just a matter of time.

        There are (young) people on the other side of the reception desk talking to me like of course I live my life having my phone permanently super glued to my hand. Companies are driving sales, by refusing to support models they aren’t making enough money on, forcing customers to replace them. Usually with the fear the company will simply cease to release to you the latest security patch, leaving the door open to predators who may want to rummage around in your personal information (another revenue stream).

    4. Kurtismayfield

      There is no way that this passes muster in US courts, right??? If you are selling the physical car , how can it not contain all of its components in a functional state?

      1. Lexx

        How did it pass muster in European courts?

        There’s something niggling in a corner of my brain, saying ‘remember the story about the East Texas patent trolls’. Something about corruption and graft enabled through the courts. When I get a minute I’ll hunt it down.

    5. JohnA

      I think heated seats were a Volvo invention. My old 740 estate had them and they were worthwhile in winter in Sweden. But further south, in England and France, they were just a bit of a luxury and not worth bothering about. Pluse, the last few winters have been so mild in England, the early morning sound of windscreen scraping has become a very infrequent phenomenon.
      Not sure how much seat heaters weigh, but in these days of trimming excess kgs from cars for greater fuel efficiency, surely worth asking BMW to remove them, or provide an $18 a month credit for unnecessary fuel costs. Especially with the price of fuel these days.

    6. GC54

      Post-post Brexit our car seats can have a meter … “put a shilling in the meter” was still how it was done in our Notting Hill flat circa 1970.

      OTA upgrades allow the seat high temperature to decline at the rate winter heats due to climate change, a win all around. But will they drop the subscription cost accordingly?

    7. TimH

      But do BMW claim to own the seat heater? If not, you can mod a simple switch. If so, then is BMW liable for fixing associated faults?

    8. OIFVet

      Just wait until they start selling “Enable your car to start” subscriptions. Unlimited daily starts package for only $300/month, includes free use of window wipers during the dry season.

      1. Irrational

        As for BMW already no need to buy due to lack of quality through increasing use of junk parts.
        Had to replace the transmission in our X1 at 70,000 km (less than 45,000 miles) at the low-low cost of 4500 euros (then not quite 1:1 to the dollar). BMW said driver at fault – we have been driving BMWs for over 20 years with no problems and, guess what, if we get another car it will NOT be a BMW.

        1. OIFVet

          BMWs (and German cars in general) cost of ownership is insanely high. In BG at least, BMW and Audi drivers are known to be generally very hard on their vehicles and that aggressive driving only compounds these costs. As long as Honda maintains its commitment to long-term built-in quality I will never look elsewhere. Only problem I have is driving a North American model in Europe. As it turns out some parts are different, as I found out when I had to replace my brake disks. With proper planning and servicing at a dealer no problem, sourcing took a week from the UK.

        2. Soredemos

          I know a guy who has a modern-ish BMW, and insists they’re great cars…after you go and replace a large number of the factory parts with better aftermarket ones, which he’s done. Which I’m not sure is really a ringing endorsement of the brand. “It’s great once you replace half of it.”

      2. skk

        Remote start was “unintentionally” made a subscription option by Toyota late last year. After pushback they said they were reviewing undoing that.

    9. fresno dan

      I guess it all comes down to the bottom dollar…or is it dollars for warm bottoms???

    10. skk

      Its absurd. I did customer lifetime revenue modeling ( working out how much a sub is worth overall, taking into account churn etc ) for 3 years. Subscription Revenue, for some reason,perhaps MBA courses, became really popular about 10 years back. While people like me sniffed at it, calling it really rather underhand, and seedy, like wine clubs, book clubs or the dreaded Columbia House Music clubs, it really grabbed the attention of the poobahs about 10 years ago.

      But heated car-seats on a sub? That’s beyond the pale.

  13. Polar Socialist

    Regarding that Russian ammo dump in Luhansk, it’s most likely that if it was an ammo dump, it was a Luhanskian ammo dump, not Russian. For all we know, it could also have been a left behind Ukrainian ammo dump, given that Ukrainians recently did a hasty “reverse advance” from Luhansk.

    Anyway, the Ukrainians do seem to have changed tactics somewhat by going after supply and command points – obviously they are getting better intel – and especially launching a volley of Soviet legacy stuff (Grad, Uragan, Smerch, Tochka) to overload the the air-defenses before using the HIMARS. It has turned out that Pantsir and others are pretty decent at intercepting all kind of missiles and rockets.

    For what it’s worth, the “Russians” are still advancing in Kharkov and northern Donetsk area, so whether or not they have lost some ammunition, it has had no effect as of yet.

    1. jo6pac

      The drive is a ukraine govt. propaganda news outlet. I’m very proud to know I’ve banned there.

      Just saying

    2. marcyincny

      I was wondering about that. Do the Ukrainian munitions/equipment that are left behind become Russian or separatist supplies?

      1. Lex

        Oh yes. In most cases almost immediately. They’ll paint a Z on equipment and put it to work. It seems that even the shoulder fired anti-tank units are being used, but any “soviet” equipment or ammunition goes to the DPR / LPR forces.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The DPR & LPR forces seem to be receiving their share of western weapons and I have seen videos where they are being issued batches of Javelins for example as the Russians and their Allies have captured so many of these western weapons. In fact, one of the Ukrainian helicopters that was shot down trying to get into Mariupol during the siege was done so with a US Stinger manpad.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      I doubt they need any Nato help in targeting any such sites – it was their territory after all, so they should know the obvious storage buildings, although they do seem to have hit a fertilizer plant when they thought they were hitting an ammo dump. Or maybe all they were interested in was creating a big fire. The Ukie strategy now seems entirely devoted to PR, or to be precise, persuading the west to keep giving them money.

      What I find significant is what the west either cannot, or will not, give Ukraine. They have had no help with any missile protection, nothing bigger than a Stinger. Its clear that they are desperately short of radios, and yet I’ve not seen any evidence that these are being supplied. There seems no evidence of significant jamming of Russian drones/radios (despite a heavy focus on this in Nato doctrine). They’ve given minimal aid in the form of drones. Even simple commercial drones would surely help some of their soldiers on the ground if it would help them aim mortars. Even something as fairly straightforward as TOW missiles would surely be a lot more use than NLAWS and Javelins.

      I can’t really explain why this is – one motivation seems a fear of giving the Ukies anything that might fall into Russian hands – but this didn’t stop them giving away Javelins. I wonder they are afraid too that something like Iron Dome would fail too visibly when faced with real missiles. And it may be that as we’ve seen, all the generals are simply saying that they’ve nothing to spare.

      The other explanation of course is that they don’t want Ukraine to be able to defend themselves, the real plan is that the Russians win large amounts of territory and then find themselves in an insurgency with guerillas armed with modern weaponry.

      1. vao

        It had also be noted that the M777 howitzers delivered to Ukraine lacked a specific component that allowed longer-range targeting, and that the rocket launchers HIMARS were not delivered with the special kind of missile that enable strikes at long range, and that what NATO countries were prepared to give them were mostly obsolete gear.

        There are two explanations I see:

        1) For all the public declarations of brotherhood and indefectible alliance by politicians and diplomats, Ukraine is not part of NATO. Hence, the most advanced equipment and associated training remains reserved for members of the club — which the Ukrainian military is not a member of.

        Add to this the worry that the Ukrainian military is infiltrated by Russian moles, and that NATO technology and usage tactics will end up in the hands of the Stavka — as reportedly happened with the French Caesar self-propelled gun.

        2) NATO might not have equipped and trained Ukrainians in good faith, i.e. in order to prepare them to defend their country and fight off invaders successfully, but only as expendable pawns in an attrition warfare against Russia.

        If Ukrainians are basically viewed as cannon fodder to fight tenaciously and die in static emplacements following crude tactics, why bother supplying them with advanced weaponry, secure communications gear, electronic counter-measures devices, and the like?

      2. Anthony G Stegman

        In baseball a pitcher often will not show the opponent his entire repertoire of pitches until absolutely necessary. If he can get a batter out with a change up and fastball there is no need to throw a slider or curve. NATO may think it unwise to show Russia its full capabilities, and so they hold back giving Ukraine the full complement of NATO weaponry unless and until things become very desperate for Ukraine (and perhaps NATO itself).

  14. Robert Gray

    > How hot is too hot for the human body? These Penn State experts explain Penn Capital (Re Silc).

    One seemingly crucial parameter of the study that is completely ignored in this report is the duration of high heat and humidity conditions. Are they talking about minutes? hours? days? months? From the photo of the research lab, it didn’t appear to be fitted out for any sort of residential longer-term observation.

    I would just point out that for hundreds of years millions of people have been enjoying the physical and mental health benefits of sauna, which is by definition a high heat and humdity environment. I know many people who go to sauna often and revel in the heat.

    1. JohnA

      Except with a sauna, you alternate between sitting in a hot room/log cabin and then going for a cold shower/swim in a cold icy lake/roll in the snow outside.

      That is a big difference between all day heat at 30-40 degrees or higher as it is in much of France and other parts of Europe right now.

    2. digi_owl

      And people have died from trying to set records by staying in saunas for hours on end.

      The basic thing is that the human body cools of via evaporation.

      Of late i have seen more and more chatter about wet bulb temperatures. meaning the temperature reached on a thermometer wrapped in a soaked rag or similar to simulate the air being in the high 90s humidity.

      This is important because as the humidity rises, it is harder for sweat to evaporate. And thus harder for the body to cool. sooner or later cells start to effectively boil from their own “waste” heat.

  15. hemeantwell

    The Milanovic article on Xi’s ideological nihilism thesis seems to dance around the role that a faith in market mechanisms played in producing an ideological-political vacuum. As reported Xi seems to emphasize an absence of an ideologically coherent political will but doesn’t directly address how assertions of that will mean little without being able to steer the economy.

    In his book Revolution from Above David Kotz reported on surveys done with former Soviet elites in the post-collapse period. Iirc he found that around half of those surveyed had been very interested in giving market-based socialism a shot but, to grossly summarize, the decapitation of central economic planning structures had been carried out in such a way that this was impossible. Those elites who became market opportunists seem to have been market absolutists out of a desire to engage in self-enrichment without any form of party oversight. They weren’t, as Xi put it, a “flock of frightened beasts,” they were hogs at the trough.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s all part of the plan to have an uneducated population who won’t question seriously authority. The US spends about $1 trillion a year on education and yet this is the result- (3:44 mins)

      A generation or two ago this would not have been possible. No, I am not blaming those people on the street. I am blaming those who set them up for this failure which to me is unforgivable.

      1. MT_Wild

        To be fair the orientation of that map with North and South America on the right and Eurasia on the left left was meant to confuse the average Joe or Jane even more.

        But still sad.

      2. flora

        ‘The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.”

        -Milan Kundera

      3. Bob

        If you can’t read, how does one acquire enough information to make rational decisions about voting or anything else. The corporate media perhaps? I guess that is the point.

    2. Charlie Sheldon

      Here is a historical take on all this – very historical: Ancient human beings, that is, modern Homo Sapiens, whatever that means, but here I mean human beings that evolved about 60,000 to 100,000 years ago during the ice age with big brain cases, lived in a world dominated by huge terrifying predatory animals (dire wolf, short face bear, lions, huge hyenas, great cats) and the kind of climate changes that dwarf what is happening to us today (sudden shifts of temperature of as many as 5 degrees C, great floods, sea level changes in feet per decade at times) and they had to somehow pass on their survival learning to their children with oral traditions and lessons. They had no writing, not for tens of thousands of years. This means that each person had to carry in his or her skull everything and the only way to hold memory was through stories. The brains of these people were bigger – bigger – than the brains of people today. Similarly, by the way, the brains of Neanderthal humans, those who evolved in the midst of the great ice, were even bigger than our modern ancestors.

      Then writing was developed, incidentally around the same time as the first great civilizations arose, or shortly after. For generations a skill restricted to an elite or priesthood, writing became a way to EXPORT memory such that it could be stored for others to use later on. The first books were developed, made one by one by hand, by the time of the ancient Greeks (I am being grossly general here with general timing) and the spread of writing grew, to more members of the public. But, still, until the printing press was developed in the mid-1400s, writing and reading were a rare skill held by a few. The printing press changed all that. Suddenly writing and books became commonly available, and the resulting ability rose to store more and more of humanity’s knowledge outside the brain – in books. More and more people learned to read, libraries developed, and the sum of knowledge available to us grew exponentially.

      I wonder whether during this time, let’s call it the Roman Empire up until say 1960, human brains shrank a little more because now knowledge once required to be held in one brain could now be exported to a book, leaving either more brain neurons available for other uses or perhaps simply meaning those neurons, no longer needed, vanish. While all across the world literacy was and is still far from universal, today literacy is as widespread as it has ever been. Some will argue, correctly, that all this only shows an increase in general knowledge, rather than exporting survival skills to outside sources like books, but, still, human brains have grown smaller since 50,000 years ago.

      Now, along comes the computer, the web, and most of all the Cloud. First what happened, shortly after the computer rose, and because of the computer’s utility, book printing, for centuries requiring type setting and thus lots of labor and expense (meaning books were HARD to produce), turned to print on demand systems, programs that enabled an entire book file to be stored and a book printed on a machine for very little cost. I am a struggling author, and could write for weeks about the nightmare of this system, how publishing has changed, the miracle and curse of self publishing, but in simple terms while it is true that today people generally seem unwilling to read or unable to read, the number of published books has exploded. It used to be, finding a publisher was the challenge. Now the issue is simply being noticed once published. It is an irony that at the same time fewer and fewer people seem to read books ever more books are available.

      But then about 15-20 years ago (?) the Cloud emerged – something I believe might be as profound a development as was the printing press nearly 600 years ago. The Cloud is a way to export data – books, stories, facts, movies, you name it – to a digital system available to anyone with a phone or tablet or desktop, a source of information enabling anyone to query for anything. When I was a kid, and I wanted to find, say, a new bell for my bike, I opened the Yellow Pages. Remember the Yellow Pages? I bet younger readers don’t. Now I use my phone. We have systems that tell us where to drive – “in 100 yards, turn left” – we all use a search engine to find a restaurant…..

      Point being, our slightly shrunken brains since 50,000 years ago when we needed to hold everything we knew in our heads using stories and myths, perhaps slightly shrunken because over the last 5,000 years and really mainly since 1450 and the printing press we have been able to export a lot of mental capacity to books for storage, and later retrieval, now we have developed the Cloud, enabling us to learn nothing but offering a system we can ask for information when we need it. I don’t know about you, but in the old days when driving we had maps, and they worked very well, but somehow in the last 25 years we have shifted to electronic maps and then voices directing us such that many of us cannot use a map any more. We don’t need to use a map because Alexa is there, thinking for us.

      All of which to say, I speculate that the ability for us to export data to first books and now the Cloud has enabled our brains to shrink because that capacity is no longer needed or used. We have built a system of knowledge undreamed of by our ancestors but we have perhaps made ourselves more stupid as a result?

      One could argue, too, that absent devices and screens we humans found ways to entertain ourselves with play and board games and word games and imagination, forcing our brains to be active, functioning, and in that context reading long works of fiction or non fiction was enjoyed because it entertained us and passed the time. These days the screen offers You Tube, movies, talks, you name it, we watch, maybe we absorb, maybe not.

      So this is my history lesson for the day – we humans today, thinking ourselves the most civilized, developed, intelligent, have created a system that is shrinking our brains and intellectual capacity.

      1. anon y'mouse

        i have had this same thought. “natural” human had knowledge about their surroundings we could not comprehend on near instant recall, the seasons, land formations, flora and fauna, how to process nearly everything for quick use. i would be lost trying to find a drinkable water source within the first 3 days.

        is it true that some of the Roma people still believe this kind of skill to be required in daily living, and eschew writing things down as the sign of a dumb brain?

    3. MaryLand

      I taught elementary school reading/English for many years. What most people forget is that 50% of the population has a lower IQ than the average person. Too many kids struggle with learning to read even though we teachers try every method we learned in college and many more that are in the current educational research. We use a variety of sensory modes to try to reach those not learning via traditional modes. We have remedial reading teachers for those struggling the most. Special education teachers work with students who have learning disabilities and those needing behavioral support. In the early 1900s with traditional teaching methods even fewer kids learned to read well and many dropped out of school at an early age. I am impressed that even 50% of the population can read at an 8th grade level. I think it used to be at a 4th grade level. An 8th grade reading level is not as low as you might think. It’s easy to blame teachers and the educational establishment, but do not overestimate the intelligence of the average person.

      1. MaryLand

        Much of what we read online is written at an 8th grade reading level. What I find more troubling is how even those with higher level reading skills are so easily taken in by propaganda. Teaching students to detect commonly used propaganda methods obviously was not very effective. That was emphasized in the reading curriculum I used. Humans are easily led especially when their treasured group membership requires it.

        Average reading level of online publications:

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          My mother taught first grade. She would come home complaining about the latest and greatest new technique for teaching children to read. She was very successful at teaching her classes to read using the old-school phonics she had been trained to use. As each new wave of some new teaching method came into vogue and found considerable vogue with principals and school superintendents, my mother obstinately continued to teach her classes using phonics. When she retired, she was glad she could quit fighting to use a tried and true method for teaching reading that worked well for teaching her classes.

          Your further comment about teaching students to detect commonly used propaganda methods struck a nerve. I recall demanding that my son be moved out of the juniors English class he had been assigned to in high school. The teacher was a proponent of some kind of deconstruction theories as a means to analyze and enjoy[?] literature. She had my son’s class reading Great Expectations and painfully picking it apart sentence by sentence to get at its meaning. My son strongly conflicted with her over this in class discussions to the point of engendering a strong mutual revulsion and antipathy. I mention this as a lost opportunity. I believe deconstruction techniques might be ideal for analyzing propaganda NOT Dickens.

          I believe English orthography might contribute more to the level of reading skills than any lack of I.Q.

          1. MaryLand

            English orthography definitely is a stumbling block. If we all spoke/read Spanish it would be much simpler.

            I taught my own kids via phonics as I knew it was out of fashion among educators at that time. As a teacher I always included phonics with whichever current methods were being touted at the time. Of course phonics in first grade is essential and I was just sneaking it into my fourth grade lessons.

            I do wonder if schools are still teaching how to detect propaganda given our current circumstances. Your point is well taken about deconstruction techniques.

          2. MaryLand

            English orthography definitely is a stumbling block. If we all spoke/read Spanish it would be much simpler.

            I taught my own kids via phonics as I knew it was out of fashion among educators at that time. As a teacher I always included phonics with whichever current methods were being touted at the time. Of course phonics in first grade is essential and I was just sneaking it into my fourth grade lessons.

            I do wonder if schools are still teaching how to detect propaganda given our current circumstances. Your point is well taken about deconstruction techniques.

          3. anon y'mouse

            John Taylor Gatto had some sections about this in his work—about how literacy rates went down after a different and more unnecessarily difficult method of teaching was adopted.

            Of course, he thought that deliberate. there was no reason to teach the vast numbers of lowly factory workers how to read beyond basic operating instructions.

      2. JBird4049

        It’s easy to blame teachers and the educational establishment, but do not overestimate the intelligence of the average person.

        Baloney. This is just a facile argument masquerading as an explanation.

        Too often the excuse that “they” just are not that bright is used to explain failure. Often the failure is to meet someone at where they are and to teach or lead them; calling someone not intelligent is an easy way to excuse a teacher (or a leader’s) failures. One has only to look at how the “deaf and dumb,” the dyslexic, or any others with difficulties are blamed for their “failures.” Not everyone is a genius, but most people are intelligent if given a chance. And the help.

        1. MaryLand

          I hear you and always tried to meet the student where they were. I got my master’s degree in special education with a concentration in learning disabilities so I could better do that. I chose to remain a classroom teacher rather than be a resource teacher that kids would visit several times a week for an hour or two. I wanted to be in the general classroom where I could help kids no matter if they had been diagnosed with a learning disability or not. I was able to help several students whose parents said they had lost interest in school. I am not trying to tout my abilities, but to explain that it is a challenging situation worth the effort. Meeting the student where they were and then breaking down the next level of skills into steps that made sense to them was always my goal. I am grateful that my education helped me do that. It was wonderful to see students achieve when they had previously been frustrated. I do
          not pigeonhole students or label them. I always just tried to find at what point they had a problem learning something. Then I found a way to make that step work for
          them and the next step and the next step, etc. This is for any student, no labeling, no categorizing. Just teaching.

          1. Don

            I thought that your point about half of the population being of below average intelligence was not only valid, but needed stating. It didn’t for a moment strike me as being facile or censorious – or baloney.

            If the average person can jump 12 inches high, half cannot jump 12 inches high.

            Doesn’t mean that people who can only jump 10 inches high or 7 inches high, can’t be taught/trained to jump 12 inches high, or 15″ high.

            1. JBird4049

              It is facile to me because often what is used to describe high intelligence, as in much of life, is limited to a small set of criteria, whereas what is used to describe low intelligence is overly broad.

              Most people are average and yet most people are far more capable than they themselves realize. The many advantages of the middle and upper classes have in being exposes to the approved ways of learning and of being social also are frequently ignored.

              Just what is intelligence, but a label used for the very many things that a human mind can do? That is the problem for while there are some people who are not that bright, too often a person’s abilities, disabilities, or even just difficulties are chunked out of the whole and is used to label them stupid or smart.

              Some people have dyslexia, which itself is a very, very limited label for visual even audio disorders. Others can’t remember a 3-d map, but others like me who has a hard time remembering a face, can. Then there is Asperger where people often have poor social skills, but are quite able in other ways.

              It might seem that I am being overly sensitive, and I probably am, but I would counter that American and European history is full of evil done with justifications of inferiority using at best facile arguments that sound seemingly reasonable.

              It becomes not the responsibility or even the fault of society, it becomes their lack of whatever is chosen. Like about the supposed laziness or low intelligence of the British lower classes, Blacks, Irish, or Native Americans. Racism, sexism, classicism, sterilization, institutionalization.

      3. Anthony G Stegman

        In one of his many monologues George Carlin stated that the average American is an idiot, and that implies that half of all Americans are really stupid.

  16. Carla

    Re: Bloomberg article on increase in threats to local officials

    ““The real outcome that is so terrifying is that democracy begins to suffer,” said Heidi Gerbracht, founder of Equity Agenda.”

    No, Ms. Gerbracht. The increase in threats to elected officials is the RESULT of democracy have suffered grievous harm over a long period of time. Wake up, PMC! Wake up!

    1. digi_owl

      Cue Upton Sinclair.

      For the PMCs “democracy” is working, because they have so far benefitted.

        1. digi_owl

          I fear they will just keep spinning on their cops bad/good plate until someone actually makes good on the threats and force them out.

          The sad part is that i more and more see why the post war communist takeovers targeted “intellectuals”.

          1. marym

            It’s one thing to fault PCM/Dems/libs for their failures. However, one should not also assume thot every protest, harassment, or threat of violence is a righteous uprising of the masses against the elites, particularly when directed against segments of the working class, and funded and supported by segments of the elite.


          2. GramSci

            I’m curious about why the “the” in “the post war communist takeovers targeted “intellectuals”.

            Which war and which takeovers? I haven’t heard about any.

  17. Craig H.

    The frightening part is the “fourth hypothesis.”

    Sly. I had to skim over a bunch to get there. Now I have to take the time to read the whole thing. That’s kind of a reverse of a spoiler.

  18. Lex

    Re: HIMARS, etc.

    I think it’s grasping at straws. We’re almost 5 months in and Ukraine successfully targeting a handful of forward ammunition depots is the biggest news Ukraine and the West can manage. Doing this, however, requires using NATO munitions and risks significant escalation. The bigger news that the article (and the West’s coverage in general) ignores is the Ukrainian tactic of saturating a target with MLRS and then firing a Tochka immediately after, while the air defenses are still engaged with the MLRS barrage. Russia is trying not to use it’s most advanced tech, but appears to be moving more advanced air defense systems into the conflict to deal with the Ukrainian tactic.

    And some of this is the Ukrainians taking the last chances they have. The “operational pause” after Lisichansk seems to be ending. Firing from Bakhmut isn’t going to be an option for long. It does expose the most serious weakness of the RAF shown in this conflict: lack of drones. Loitering attack drones are the way to deal with the shoot and scoot. Russia may also be learning that the most natural pairing for the god of war is a bunch of eyes in the sky, even if they’re cheap quadcopters.

    1. Polar Socialist

      The “operational pause” after Lisichansk seems to be ending.

      TASS is indeed reporting Russians and LNR militia entering Seversk and gaining “operational control” of the city about an hour ago. Seversk is the northern “citadel” of the Ukrainian line of defense in northern Donbass – they lose it, and Slavyansk is exposed both from east and west, while the defense line can be rolled from north to south. I assume we will learn more in several hours when the sun rises in Ukraine.

      Regarding drones, I think (but am not sure) that in Russian thinking Air Force, Missile Forces and Drones operate in different levels of the battlefield: if it’s stationary and big-ish – use missiles, if it’s moving/unknown and important – use fighter-bombers and if its a task for artillery – use drones (find, identify, tag and attack). Some sources claim that the laser-guided 152mm Krasnopol artillery shell has been the most efficient tank-killer of the war.

    1. Bart Hansen

      Queue the Simpson Bowels ‘cat food commission’. They anticipated this era back in 2010 as a deficit reduction plan. They may be available for a retune.

      1. anon y'mouse

        that commission has been replaced with the Larry Summers/Volcker 2.0 commission: “let’s throw the plebs out of work and we can cure this inflation thing…eventually. they had too much covid stimmy so it’s their fault anyway.”

    2. Myra

      And that’s the official Bullshit rate that doesn’t count food, energy, rent, health and a few other “discretionary” items.

      Even at the minimal bullshit rate means prices DOUBLE in 8 or fewer years. Rule of 72.

      Some higher inflation numbers being encountered in commodities, mean prices will double before the tottering husk is out of the White House.

    3. Louis Fyne

      info not included by media: yoy weekly average wages = +4.1%

      9.1 > 4.1 = no bueno.

      even if cpi falls to 5, stiill bad news

    4. griffen

      Some talking heads on TV mid day were saying this inflation report is old news. Their take is the decline in the commodity markets, and general decrease for example in energy and the average price for a gallon of gasoline. I am a little less settled on the matter; I believe prices are declining when I see it ( while it’s true here in the southeast US that a price of 87 unleaded is lower ).

      Copper, for one, is down tremendously but not a particular item I track at all. Someone actually argued the portion for housing / equivalent rent is at present declining; I like to know what planet he’s on.

  19. DorothyT

    “No antibiotics worked, so this woman turned to a natural enemy of bacteria to save her husband’s life CNN

    Don’t shortchange this story. It’s not a one-in-a-million. Antibiotic resistance is here. I subscribe to “Capsid & Tail” a weekly periodical about phage therapy. Learn as much about this as you can.

    I was exposed to an antibiotic resistant bacteria 5 years ago and became quite sick. It develops biofilms and remains in your body. I’ve now developed a common bacterial infection and there isn’t an antibiotic that isn’t resistant to it. This is big trouble. Don’t look to new antibiotics for relief as there aren’t any in the pipeline. And don’t take any antibiotic until your infection(s) has been identified and potential antibiotics that might work have been tested against this culture. Throwing ‘any’ antibiotics against an infection is a pathway to disaster.

    Read today’s Washington Post: about overuse of antibiotics for very sick Covid patients.

    1. JohnA

      Not to mention the overuse of antibiotics on farms for preventative purposes against chronic mastitis and similar. Rather than drying off cows and giving them a chance to recover. But that would make the cows unproductive for a time. Cannot have that.

      1. Myra

        Yet another reason to eat organic.

        Certified organic means no antibiotics allowed, therefore less likelihood of eating a bacteria resistant pusmilkshake or burger.

        Plus no weedkiller garnish.

      1. Jack Parsons

        Yes! It was a major part of the retail pharma from the 1930s to the 1970s. This requires a industrial-scale “product development funnel” from: pond scum to: drinkable or injectable phage. (The reports I remember mostly mentioned drinkables.)

        I personally suspect that the labor situation in the Soviet Union allowed it to cheaply operate this industry. They had a lot of very educated low-wage lab personnel.

  20. super extra

    I’ve been seeing Bolton on tv too much during the Biden administration. I wonder if he’s quietly been kept around since Biden finds his methods ‘so effective’ to assist with the war effort since he’s been under protection from the Iranians since Trump. I noticed during the lead up to the war that events were moving with a familiar ‘too fast’ cadence that I recognized from before (iraq) when Bolton was known to have been issuing individual and personal threats on behalf of the US Gov to get the europeans on board with writing off their economy. How many rogues does it take to start and sustain an undeclared war when the executive has a financial interest in sustaining or winning it? Nuland, Blinken, Sullivan, Bolton?

  21. Wukchumni

    Bolton looks at Trump’s putative “coup” planning with the cool eye of a professional:

    I could hardly believe it, when I heard the news today
    I had to come and get it straight from you
    They said you were leavin’, someone’s swept your country away
    From the look upon your face I see it’s true

    So tell me all about it, tell me ’bout the plans you’re makin’
    Oh, then tell me one thing more before I go

    Tell me, how am I supposed to live without you?
    Now that the coup d’etat happened i’ve been waiting for so long
    How am I supposed to live without you
    And how are you supposed to carry on?
    When all your authority is gone

    I’m too proud for inciting, didn’t come here to back down
    It’s just a dream of mine that came to fruition
    And how can I blame you when I push the world around
    The hope that one day we’d have somebody else as friends?

    I don’t wanna know the price I’m gonna pay for you leaving, oh
    Even now it’s more than I can take

    Tell me, how am I supposed to live without you?
    Now that the coup d’etat happened i’ve been waiting for so long
    How am I supposed to live without you
    And how are you supposed to carry on?
    When all your authority is gone

    How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, by Michael Bolton

  22. The Rev Kev

    “LEFT WONDERING: Do Electric Vehicles Really Move The Climate Needle?”

    I really do wonder if someone like that would stop the next time they go to recharge their car and ask themselves where all that electricity comes from. Still, that is the world that we live in and I am guilty of doing the same sort of stuff. Like not wondering where all the food comes from on the shelves in the supermarket or how the clothes that I wear reach me. Or even more essential things like the source of our electricity, water and the like. I was thinking about this sort of stuff and education a very long time ago and concluded that really this sort of stuff should become part of a person’s basic education as they went to school. I really think that it is that important and as seen by all the shortages that we have seen develop in the past two years, most people were blindsided by the sudden shortages of even things as simple as toilet paper as they never had to think about stuff like this.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      To understand this, people would need a fairly strong humanities background because the supply lines aren’t the result from immutable laws but conscious decisions by policy makers.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe true for food and clothing for example but typically things like water and electricity originate in that country and are immovable. It certainly would make for a series of challenging homework assignments for high school kids and would improve their research skills with real world subjects.

        1. Solarjay

          Thx guys.
          I think it is possible to put together a interactive web page ( some grad student/masters???)
          That would input the variables and then give you some idea of carbon ROI.
          It’s not complicated but many variables including
          Energy mix/ time of day/season
          Time of day changing
          MPG of ICE car
          Number of miles driven year
          Weight and battery capacity of EV
          Chemistry of battery
          and others.
          You’d then get a carbon foot print for the switch out. The idea that someone even thinks that they are zero carbon with an EV and that the answer doesn’t smack that down hard shows how bad we have become with lack of data.
          And with people just parroting the common narrative. Hybrids? The better choice, but not discussed.

          Smaller lighter higher mileage ICE? Not on the table. 60 mpg puts you at about 200,000+miles for ev with mixed electricity to break even on carbon.

          Drive less? Not even on the table.
          And let’s be honest, only fairly well to people are buying EV’s. Because home charging or lack there of is a massive problem. Charge at a pay station and it’s really expensive.

          EV’ have their place, but articles like this further the lies about how environmentally friendly they really are not.

          My own 5 year old bough used EV is charged from my solar array. I try to only charge during the day. Because at night it’s NG or coal power. But I’m lucky that I have a large enough array to do this. Most are not.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Kinda hard to believe, but it was only 2 years ago–April, 2020–that Michael Moore released his Planet of the Humans to resounding condemnation from the green new deal crowd.

            “Who could’ve known” that just a few short years later a confluence of events would give “us” a glimpse of what living without enough fossil fuels would look like, not to mention the current inadequacy of renewables to replace them. Apparently Germany is preparing a tutorial.

            I don’t think there’s anyone who wouldn’t prefer a sustainable, non-polluting source of renewable energy that maintains the standard of living, in an environment of unlimited “growth” of all kinds, to which “economically developed” nations have become accustomed.

            It’s just not possible.

            The green new deal crowd seems to think that the answer is to just keep plugging more and bigger things into the magic socket on the wall. I’m not sure how long it’s going to take them to figure out that it’s not quite that simple, but until they do I’m not listening.

            Here are a couple of reactions to Planet of the Humans from the not too distant past:



            1. Jeremy Grimm

              It’s been a while since I last watched my DVD of “Planet of the Humans” — need to give it another watch this week. So many heroes of the Green New Deal movement were exposed in that documentary I can see why it caused such rancorous blowback. As you indicate, time has only made the truths told in that documentary more evident, as the fallen heroes grow ever more tarnished. The present glimpse at life past peak fossil fuels and the current inadequacy of renewables to replace them should be raising a few concerns beyond longing for a return back to ‘normal’.

          1. Arizona Slim

            Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone, but I’m another hardcore Bernie supporter who often agrees with Tucker Carlson.

    2. Lex

      My job has put me deep into power generation, hydrocarbon transport and refining, etc. etc. It’s a pretty powerful restructuring of how one sees the world. In my area there’s a controversial pipeline under the straits of Mackinaw. I’m not super thrilled with pipelines there, but they’ve been there since the 50’s and the whole peninsula is dependent on the natural gas that runs through that pipeline (it’s pulled off at stations on the line). I talk to people who are adamant that it be shut down and when I ask how they intend to heat their home or cook their food, I get blank stares. Nobody even realizes our dependence on it. I don’t know where they think the natural gas and propane comes from. Maybe magic?

    3. PlutoniumKun

      The problem with that article is the definition of ‘vehicle’. The problem is not what we use to propel our vehicles, but our insistence that we need 2 tonnes of overengineered steel box in order to bring someone a few miles down the road to their office or to pick up some milk.

      The real EV revolution will not be electric cars, but a spectrum of smaller ‘vehicles’ from scooters to folding electric bikes to electric cargobikes to electric motorbikes to small urban EV’s…. and so on. This is already happening at speed in much of Europe and Asia – the restrictions are as much regulatory as anything else (everyone seems to be struggling with how to define and regulate these vehicles and allocate road space).

      1. Arizona Slim

        How about a good old fashioned pedal bike? I have used it for office commutes and for purchasing items like milk.

        Works for me.

      2. digi_owl

        Much of it because it is so stupidly easy to put a after market engine and battery on a bicycle frame and hit speeds normally reserved for big motorcycles.

        And I see Segway now advertising a new electric kick scooter that can each speeds that would have it classed as a moped in Europe.

        I also am seeing a local clampdown on the use of the slower rental type after a spring filled with news about people having accidents while riding them drunk.

        All that said, i think perhaps the world would be better served if we adopted something like a electric UTV/tuktuk for our errands.

        1. Grebo

          My 1200 W bicycle tops out around 31 mph. A racing bike will exceed that just by pedalling. In Europe the legal limit is 250 W and 15.5 mph. A ‘big motorcycle’ will do 150 mph or more.

          I rarely go faster than 20 mph. I bought the big motor for going up a steep hill.

      3. Solarjay

        I always like to point out the VW XL1 Hybrid that gets 280 mpg.

        I don’t know why it was canceled, but small light aerodynamic vehicles are the answer.

        And if we wanted to actually push this as a concept all that has to be done is just a few things from the absolute idiots in government.

        1. 20 year tax break/refund ( if you don’t qualify for tax break) that is large enough to create massive demand and the car companies will get these out the door super fast.

        2. Minimum mpg, say 200 and goes up 10 mpg per year or something like that

        3 must seat 3 people or some size specification.

        4. Maximum price limits.

        We would have such vehicles within a few years.
        Just no imagination, none, zip, nada.

        1. Lex

          This. There have been advances since the 90’s that lighten the components of cars like plastic intake manifolds (true, fossil fuel derived), yet gas mileage really isn’t any better. The power outputs they can achieve from the same size engine displacement are staggering. The cars not only got bigger on average that the gains were wiped out, but actually lost ground. A ford 2.3 that produced like 150 hp in the early 90’s now can do 300+. But you need more power to move more mass. You could buy a Civic hatchback from the early 90’s, have a blast, move an apartment and get 35 mpg.

          Make cars and trucks small again. Fastest way to a lot of transport solutions. Safety is a canard, current safety is about getting hit by a 6,000 lb SUV.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Make gas expensive enough for enough years at a time that people decide that small cars and trucks pay to own. Otherwise, no small cars and trucks.

      4. Anthony G Stegman

        Most Americans live in sprawling suburbs and commute long (10 miles+) to work, drive 5+ miles to shop and socialize. Expecting people living in suburbia to use electric bikes, scooters, and the like is a non-starter. One cannot compare the United States to older places that developed very differently. In the US the die has been cast. A high energy use lifestyle is fixed in place for most of the residents. Reducing overall energy use by a significant amount will prove to be all but impossible. Giant SUVs may be unnecessary even in suburbia, but as long as they are available and affordable people will continue to use them. There is very little to feel encouraged about when it comes to the climate catastrophe currently unfolding. There are no silver bullets, and there very likely will be no happy ending.

    1. Tom Stone

      On top of being agreement incapable the “Deciders” are delusional.
      So “Utter Madness” seems an accurate description of what “The West” is doing.
      I think the best we can hope for is avoiding a Nuclear Exchange while the USA collapses, slowly and then all at once.
      Stay safe and enjoy the show!

  23. Mori Calliope

    Re: Inc:

    >Other technologies like the old Napster made the music “free” — albeit stolen

    “Stolen?” Boo!

  24. Pat

    Jill Biden’s disastrous outreach to the Hispanic/Latino community has been an unexpected boon to the right. When you can riff on it to counter critical CNN coverage, it rates a major fail.

    Flores Twitter response to CNN

    Not sure who came up with the taco line, but they should be fired. Although I haven’t been particularly impressed with any of the First Lady’s appearances I have seen, so it may not be the team. (I deeply dislike Michelle Obama, but she does read the room better than Jill Biden ever has.)

  25. TBellT

    From Will Republicans Cut Off Ukraine

    Heritage Action, a conservative advocacy group affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, lobbied against the last aid package because of its price tag and scope, but supports more limited aid to militarily support Ukraine, according to a spokesman for the group.

    The same heritage foundation which was criticizing Obama for not sending lethal aid to Ukraine? Trump was then successfully bullied into giving Ukraine Javelins. In that intervening period between impeachment and his loss all you heard from Rs was “well look at how much more he did than Obama”.

    This is part of a pattern from at least the last 20 years. Republican establishment and voters are critical of interventionism and military adventurism when they have their own president. This is the same on Democratic side. And it’s kind weird for the article to not note how often this happens.

  26. polsini

    Newbie here, know not about past NC discussions on efficiency of EV engines versus Internal Combustion engines.

    Electric motors for EV about 85-90% efficient. (Wiki).

    Internal combustion engines 30-35% efficient (Loss is heat ?)

    Miss anything to think that EV’s are WAY less damaging to environment because of WAY better efficiency ?

    – Sure, transport electricity has losses, so has bringing gasoline to local pump.

    – If EV is 50-60% more energy efficient, is that not good way to plan for more of it ?

    – The infrastructure for only EV is not there (yet), takes time to put in place, and requires big $$$ investment, + how to calculate loss of investment on present infrastructure, can NC experts comment ?

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, the increased efficiency is conveniently overlooked by those wedded to their ICE cars. Even using 100% fossil fuel derived electricity, an EV reduces CO2 use significantly over an ICE car or truck.

      1. Solarjay

        Those numbers are pretty close.
        Yes we can push ICE efficiencies closer to 50%.

        The difference is in the life cycle embodied energy to make the EV ( lots more copper and then the battery) vs what it takes at the point of fill up.

        Current lithium Batteries have a huge up front energy cost, and the many more pounds of copper for wiring etc that’s why it takes so many miles to break even with an ICE car. The number of miles it takes depends on where is your electricity coming from? ( coal, NG, nuclear or other non carbon?). And even in say California it’s actually hard to know exactly where your electricity comes from. Up in Eureka, it’s about 90-95% CO2 based( NG, bio gas). Other places might be 100% solar during the day, NG mid evening, wind later at night, which makes it hard to know when is the best time to charge up if you have the luxury of an option.

        And again vs what is the MPG of your ICE car? The most complete review is by polestar. And those numbers were based on about 30 mpg. Push those numbers to 60mpg and the number of miles the EV needs to break even is doubled as well.

        This is what I was trying to explain earlier, to try and compare EV vs ICE has a lot of variables. It’s not just what is the end product efficiency but the whole beginning to end full cycle. And this should include electric grid losses and losses that people are not including like charging losses for the ev which is 5-10% depending on charging rate.

        Even with all that yes over time the EV has a smaller CO2 footprint. But a much larger mining foot print, much larger recycling foot print.

        It’s why a plug in hybrid is actually the superior CO2 over time option, because mostly a 40 mile range is enough for most people most of the time. So smaller battery, less embodied energy, making the battery a higher % use. Meaning your not carrying around another 1-1500# of lithium for the odd time you need it.

        And while it’s not actually done yet, but the ICE engines can be tuned to operate at a specific RPM greatly increasing the efficiency. For example the koenigsegg free valve engine. Mr koenigsegg is the most innovative car engineer in the world today. He has a 3 cylinder engine that weights about 150# and has 590 hp, for example.

        This gets to what Yves is consistently pushing: radical conservation.

        You know just drive less?

        Ba hahahahah

      2. Oh

        It might reduce or eliminate the CO2 from the vehicle but if the power plant generating the electricity burns fossil fuel one is merely transferring the emissions to the power plant.
        It would be nice to remove the CO2 from the power plant but our Supreme Court has now ruled that CO2 is not a pollutant and cannot be regulated by the EPA. So we can’t do that. Maybe we should put the (in)justices of the SC into a high concentration CO2 chamber and ask them to re-visit their decision.

        1. Solarjay

          Yes the SC did that but they didn’t say that congress couldn’t pass a law requiring it.
          And that part of the EPA wasn’t being implemented because Dems won’t do it.

          It’s very settled math that even with coal powered electricity, a EV will use less CO2 over time.
          It’s just way longer time than with non carbon production.

    2. RobertC

      Comparing fuel conversion efficiencies is interesting but people/businesses buy vehicles as a package meeting their multiple objectives not powertrains.

      And if fuel conversion efficiency is the goal, let’s standardize on one family of vehicles providing manufacturing, interchangeability, etc benefits instead of our current constantly changing inefficient competition.

      Finally the energy density of batteries is far lower than gasoline engines which need carry onboard only 1/9000th by volume of the fuel combusted providing space and weight benefits.

      There are multiple paths to reduce vehicle damage to the environment. For policy (and political) reasons we’ve closed off most of them.

      1. Solarjay

        Totally agree and well said.

        Like a lot of things from this woefully incompetent administration at least creating some common metrics of measuring CO2/green house gas emissions over time would allow people to choose if that is their goal.
        Fuel economy is just one metric for example.

        But people could then see that maybe a hybrid is better for them vs all electric.

        And as you said, all that ( hydrogen, high mileage ICE, other ideas are all not even on the table) is closed off.

      2. RobertC

        Here’s a simple “government intrusion” example that would be difficult for politicians to implement.

        There is no disagreement that proper tire pressure increases vehicle powertrain efficiency.

        All new passenger vehicles will be configured with tire pressure sensors.

        Tire pressure will be measured when the vehicle is powered On.

        If tire pressure is moderately out-of-range, a warning indicator will be illuminated. If the vehicle has remote monitoring (eg, GM OnStar) the service dealer will be notified (for safety of course).

        If tire pressure is greatly out-of-range, the MIL will be illuminated and vehicle speed will be limited to 55mph. The event, along with miles traveled, will be recorded just like any other MIL event. The remote monitoring data will be provided to the state DMV and assessed a “failure-to-maintain” fine during registration renewal. (A vehicle without remote monitoring must drive to a DMV-approved registration renewal site for data download via the OBD-II port.)

        Existing OBD-II vehicles — a bit more complicated, requires four sensors and a dongle. Purchase and installation about $200-$300 (deductible) or just accept the Pre OBD-II annual fee (which many people will because the dongle records miles traveled leading to a “road” tax).

        Pre OBD-II vehicles — increase, say by $8, the registration renewal fee.

        In conclusion, the engineering is easy but most people won’t accept the “guvment” monitoring their tire pressure.

    3. John k

      Yes, the engine material (steel) can’t take combustion temp, so it must be continuously cooled with heat discharged into the air stream (on the plus side, that waste heat is used to heat the car during winter.)
      But even if it it wasn’t more efficient when electric source is fossil, so what? If we are to move away from fossil electric source must shift to renewables and cars must shift to electric. Electric producers still see falling demand, they won’t aggressively build new generating facilities unless and until they see rising demand.

      1. RobertC

        cars must shift to electric

        Not necessarily if we take a whole-of-nation approach.

        For instance, leave the national gasoline and diesel system in-place while mandating greatly increased powertrain efficiencies as Industrial Policy (eg, there will be only Ford for passenger/light truck vehicles and only Peterbilt for heavy truck vehicles). (Yes I know they both offer electric powertrains.)

        Then mandated transition of the national HVAC to heat pumps with incentives for concurrent cooking and water heating electric transition.

        Besides CO2 reduction, this approach aids national load planning and balancing and reduces the erratic, intense, geographically and demand varying of vehicle charging and its costly network.

        But folks have fun playing at the margins of a solution. Which we won’t reach.

  27. CaliDan

    => Ukraine Has Better Heroes Than This Friend of Fascism, Bloomberg

    Good grief. Andreas Kluth (our author and opinion-haver about Europe) performed superhuman feats of bending and stretching in order to arrive at the conclusion that Bandera was merely a fascist-adjacent atrocity-committer and “What matters today is not who Stepan Bandera was on balance” as a means of getting to the main point of the article: what really matters is that Putin is committing atrocities every day. That is a Twister dot only Western narrative peddlers can reach.

    Oh and he forgot to name those better Ukrainian heroes.

  28. Dave in Austin

    Two comments.

    History as a major: I was a history major (class of 1966). Like many history majors, I went to law school… for a year. Law school is in a long decline. I live near the U. of Texas and attend events, including those put on by the History Department. Most of the recent appointees are fine scholars but interested in race, gender and social change. This is what I call “Who am I?” scholarship and has little to do with the flow of history, which is generally about economics, technology, demographics, diplomacy and intellectual changes. Modern academic history is special interest history.

    And the PHD students I’ve met from a number of first-rate universities understand that. They have theses on “relevant” subjects like race, gender, etc even if they are uninterested because that is how you get tenure and become free to study your real interests. And getting the tenure-track position is all that matters as a first step. So many very good students “Step off the bus” and go elsewhere. As the Ukraine just indicated, military history matters. How many military and diplomatic historians have the major universities hired in the past ten years to replace the retiring military and diplomatic historians on their faculties? As far as I can tell the answer is zero.

    The economy: From today’s Guardian: “The consumer price index increased 1.3% last month after advancing 1% in May, the US labor department said, pushing inflation to 9.1% from 8.6%. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI would rise 1.1%.”

    Well…. Um, not quite. The one month change added-in to the past 11 months give us a “yearly” inflation rate of 9.1%. But the “new” inflation rate is 1.3%/month. So 1.3% times 12 equals 15.6%.

    Gasoline seems to have peaked but the cost of fossil fuels in general is still being passed through by new one-year and quarterly contracts. Milk, eggs and meat are up 25%-40% at my local supermarket in the past three months. Based on the repricing at Whole Foods, even the well-off are resisting price increases. Their excellent bread, which had risen to $5.49, is now being repriced at $4.99. And there are a wave of strikes in the offing, which was exactly the response to the waves of inflation in 1964-8 (which I’m studying right now) and 1978-82. If the present inflation rate continues for the next four months, then the American consumers voting in November will “feel like” inflation is 15%, not 9%.

    And of course in the real political world history does matter. Right now the history the political parties are studying is: “How does the US public vote during times of high inflation?”

  29. Tim

    With regards to the article on how hot is too hot for the human body, the reality is even worse, because the test is done in an indoor environment which is essentially representative of a cloudy day (no radiant heat absorption from the sun).

    If summer day sunlight hitting you is taken into account the max acceptable temps would drop SIGNIFICANTLY.

    So don’t go hanging out in the sun at 35C wet bulb!

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I remember visiting for a few days in Washington DC one summer. The air was hot and humid and also the sun was strong. But, and also too as well . . . . all the buildings and asphalt and etc. was blasting me from all sides with its own Infra Red radiation. So if you are in a high IR-blasting high asphalt high concrete area, it can be even more worse.

  30. Mikel

    For anyone thinking of taking advantage of the new dollar / euro parity:
    “The latest data from the global flight airline analysis firm Citrium shows that airlines have cancelled 25,378 flights from their August schedules, of which 15,788 are in Europe.

    Airlines across Europe have been struggling with staff shortages, with passengers reporting chaotic scenes and long queues at airports….”

    1. super extra

      I’ve been thinking a lot about the reality of parity and how it is going to concentrate minds in Europe. I know there has been a lot of what looks like panic hedge buying of anything that looks like it might maintain value over the last 4 months (eg luxury real estate) but are all of the countries in the EU really going to be okay with this over another tourist season? I’m thinking specifically here of the places with huge tourist economies that have grudgingly replaced the historic state industrial cores in south France and most of Italy. Quite a lot of areas of Italy now look like Mexico in that there are crushingly low wages/job prospects for anything outside of tourism and that can be such a double edged sword as the pandemic showed. Why should they allow their countries to be sold off for foriegn vacations when their factories must stay idle? There are just a lot of weird confluences that seem to be pointing to a financial unwinding of parts of the EU since the sanctions, but I wasn’t paying that close attention during the Greek crisis so I’m not sure how different this is now than then.

      1. Mikel

        The parity (or close to it) could be “transitory”…
        It’s only been a day or two so far.

  31. jr

    The Bloomberg article about local officials facing threats and violence forgot to list the fact that few if any of our elected leaders at any level actually do anything that can be construed as being in the interest of their constituents. All the usual tropes are there: racism, Trump as Anti-Christ, political polarization, but not the fact that corruption and cronyism are the rule. In some instances literally.

    1. Big River Bandido

      The Bloomberg article also implicitly characterized recall attempts as “harrassment”, so I couldn’t take it very seriously.

  32. jr

    re: The Rise and Fall of reading about the Roman Empire

    That’s a very interesting essay and a lot of the points dovetail with my personal experience as a History major. But I found this line problematic:

    “In the “the ancient quarrel between philosophy and poetry” the intersectionalists represent philosophy triumphant.”

    I disagree in that I don’t think the “intersectionalists” are philosophers, rather they are ideologues with pretensions to philosophical stature. I mean, when all knowledge is utterly subjective and attempts to moor it in an objective, shared reality of some kind are fool’s quests, then your own knowledge claims are just as suspect. I suppose this is why we hear things like “There is no post-modernist project.” and “Critical theory isn’t a school of thought but a loose collection of thinkers and arguments.” But this is all a dodge, intentional or not. A truth claim is made when you claim that truth is utterly context dependent. That claim is then eligible for examination under the framing you propose. The fact that that framing denies the claim that framing itself makes is why I compare critical theory to navel gazing in free fall.

  33. MarkT

    Re Why Music Has Lost Its Charms

    The writer points out the negative effects of commercialisation and mentions a decline in the standard of lyrics, but doesn’t refer to the music itself. It seems to me that these days musicians don’t possess the same technical musical skills as those from just a few decades back. I’m talking about the ability to create melody, harmonise it and weave it into a greater creation which is a song. Perhaps I’m just not being exposed to the right musicians anymore. But it struck me that this could be another reason why young people are turning to older music.

    1. Big River Bandido

      It’s rather indicative that a piece ostensibly about music doesn’t actually discuss music. It’d indicative, first, that the writer is not actuated by any innate love of music itself — probably just the “music business”.

      Music programs in the American public elementary schools used to provide a decent, basic background and training in “music appreciation”. All that was decimated starting in the early 1980s, on the grounds of “fiscal probity”. What penny wise, pound foolish “thinking” that was. Is it any wonder that “kids today” have no appreciation for something they were never exposed to?

      1. Soredemos

        Young people today most definitely appreciate great music, and there is a vast amount of great music being made. It may not be to your taste, but it absolutely exists. It’s just all on SoundCloud and Bandcamp.

  34. XXYY

    Taibbi: The New Kremlinology: Reading the New York Times

    The usually astute and seasoned Taibbi dropping the ball badly here:

    This week, all that changed. Add stories like “Biden Promised to Stay Above the Fray, but Democrats Want a Fighter” and Michelle Goldberg’s “Joe Biden is Too Old to Be President Again,” and what we’ve got is a newspaper that catches real history spasmodically and often years late, but has the accuracy of an atomic clock when it comes to recording the shifting attitudes of elite opinion.

    The NYT has been serving this function since at least the “Vietnam War” (50 years) and probably much longer. I remember Noam Chomsky explaining that the New York Times served precisely this function at a talk back in the mid-1970s. He said he read it not for news, but as a CIA analyst would read Pravda: To understand what the societal leaders were thinking and debating.

    I guess every generation has to re-discover this.

  35. RobertC


    Australia gives Oceania (Wikipedia) away to China as Marles says ADF must quickly develop greater range and lethality

    Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles has prioritised the need to bridge the divide between the 2020 strategic update’s warning that Australia could face a major conflict within 10 years and current plans to strengthen the Australian Defence Force over several decades.

    …Marles said the new government would make the investment necessary to increase the ADF’s range and lethality so that it could hold potential adversary forces and infrastructure at risk further from Australia. This would include longer-range strike weapons, cyber capabilities and area-denial systems tailored to a broader range of threats, including preventing coercive or grey-zone activities from escalating into conventional conflict.

    …He said his priority would be the ‘game-changing’ AUKUS trilateral partnership with the US and the UK that included delivery of the nuclear submarines. ‘For a three-ocean nation, the heart of deterrence is undersea capability,’ Marles said. ‘AUKUS will not only make Australia safer; it will make Australia a more potent and capable partner.’

    …‘When you stand on the shores of our Pacific neighbours, as I have, you understand the intense vulnerability felt by those living on small islands. The Pacific Islands Forum, of which Australia is a member, has been consistent in declaring climate change as the single greatest threat to livelihoods in our neighbourhood—it is an existential threat.

    ‘Given this reality, the Pacific is the part of the world where the US rightly looks to Australia to lead. And we will.’

    Australia would not take that role for granted, he said. ‘Pacific island countries have choices about their partners. And we will work to earn their trust. The Pacific has been clear in saying that geopolitical competition is of lesser concern to them than the threat of rising sea levels, economic insecurity and transnational crime. Australia respects and understands this position. And we are listening. And while we will not ask our partners to pick a side, I am confident that an Australia which collaborates and invests in shared priorities with the Pacific is an Australia which will be the natural partner of choice for the Pacific.’

    China’s foreign policy in Oceania has an economic foundation with exports of manufactured goods across a broad range (usually with retail sales by Chinese merchants due to lack of local entrepreneurial interest) and imports of largely raw goods. This foundation enables the expansion into infrastructure and security leading to creation of its own regional cooperation organizations.

    Resource extraction with a narrow manufactures range Australia has no equivalent to counter this policy. But it does have an exceedingly valuable alternative: education. If Australia would offer, at no cost, a Western kindergarten-to-college education, including schoolhouses with meal and medical support, for all its neighbors, then China’s intrusions would be merely an annoyance rather than the current “broader range of threats.”

    But trying to build and field weapons is easier and more fun.

  36. RobertC

    Biden Administration

    China still controls Scarborough Shoal (Wikipedia) as US celebrates Sixth Anniversary of the Philippines-China South China Sea Arbitral Tribunal Ruling

    …The United States reaffirms its July 13, 2020, policy regarding maritime claims in the South China Sea. We also reaffirm that an armed attack on Philippine armed forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments under Article IV of the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

    I believe it’s been a decade since the Chinese Navy shot at a Philippine vessel. Current methods are blocking/shouldering by maritime militia “fishing boats” and water cannon by Coast Guard ships. I think these days China will take great care to avoid the first shot but they will push to the edge.

    I’m not seeing China making anything more than minimal moves to change The Philippines away from the current relationship. Infrastructure, etc promises were made to Duterte but somehow never quite came to fruition. Maybe Marcos, Jr will do better.

  37. RobertC


    As globalization falters and Michael Hudson’s world emerges India’s economy can’t compete with China’s — and that should concern US policymakers

    …India cannot catch up with China without overcoming the large gap in the relative size of their economies. China currently has a nominal GDP of $17.7 trillion while India’s GDP stands at only $3.1 trillion.

    Given its economic gap with China, and the needs of its growing population, it would seem reasonable that India would want to attract FDI. But between 2019 and 2021, the share of global FDI inflows to India have shrunk, from 3.4 percent to 2.8 percent. Meanwhile, China’s share of global FDI rose from 14.5 percent to 20.3 percent.

    …But, by and large, Western hopes of a modern, fast-growing, prosperous and free market-oriented India have not been realized at the pace predicted by some in the first few years of the 21st century. India’s current rate of economic growth is woefully inadequate for India’s domestic goals as well as the objective of becoming a serious rival to global economic juggernaut, China. The latter makes India’s economic policies a strategic concern for U.S. policymakers.

    Better if economic policies were a strategic concern for India’s policymakers. And India was a serious partner of China.

    Very readable, very informative Why MNCs are quitting India A slew of big names have chosen to pull the plug on their operations in India or downsize their presence here in recent years

    …A total of 2,783 foreign companies with registered offices or subsidiaries in India closed their operations in the country between 2014 and November 2021, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal told Parliament late last year. That is not a small figure, given that there are only 12,458 active foreign subsidiaries operating in India.

  38. RobertC

    Surveillance state

    We privatized China’s surveillance state Amazon admits to giving Ring videos to police without permission

    This is an update to an old story No wonder cops are so keen on Ring – they can slurp your doorbell footage with few limits, US senators complain Everyone’s Ring to rule them all and in the narc-fest bind them

    [Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.)] said his investigation had found:

    ++ Ring has no security requirements for the law enforcement offices that get access to users’ footage
    ++ Ring has no restrictions on law enforcement sharing users’ footage with third parties
    ++ Ring has no policies that prohibit law enforcement from keeping shared video footage forever
    ++ Ring has no evidentiary standard for law enforcement to request Ring footage from users
    ++ Ring refuses to commit to not selling users’ biometric data
    ++ Ring has no oversight/compliance mechanisms in place to ensure that users don’t collect footage from beyond their property
    ++ Ring has no oversight/compliance mechanisms in place to ensure that users don’t collect footage of children
    ++ Ring has no compliance mechanisms in place to prohibit law enforcement from requesting and obtaining footage that does not comply with Ring’s Terms of Service

    David Brin was an optimist (we don’t get a choice) THE TRANSPARENT SOCIETY: Will Technology Force Us to Choose Between Privacy and Freedom?

  39. RobertC

    New Not-So-Cold War

    Good news Breakthrough at Ukraine grain export talks as heavy shelling continues

    ISTANBUL/UNITED NATIONS, New York, July 14 (Reuters) – Ukraine, the United Nations and Turkey hailed progress at talks in Istanbul with Russia designed to resume Black Sea grain exports and ease the risk of starvation faced by millions, but an end to the war remained far off as heavy shelling continued.

    Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said an agreement would be signed next week. He said Ankara will ensure the safety of shipments in transit and the parties will jointly check grain cargoes in ports. But U.N. chief Antonio Guterres said more work was needed before a deal was signed.

    Here’s the agreement:

    ++ “Ukrainian vessels to guide grain ships in and out through mined port waters”

    ++ “Russia agreeing to a truce while shipments move”

    ++ “Turkey – supported by the United Nations – inspecting ships to allay Russian fears of weapons smuggling”

  40. drumlin woodchuckles

    About The Irrawady’s article on the Institutional Atrocity Cultural of the Tatmadaw . . . . since it is rooted in the heart of every Tatmadaw soldier, officer, cadre, etc.; I still suspect that the only way to end it is to delete every member of the Tatmadaw at every level from physical existence. The NUGie forces will eventually realize that if they are able to force the Tatmadaw to fight to the last man, that is what they will have to do in order to liquidate the Tatmadaw culture of atrocity . . . . liquidate every person who shares that culture.

    The Irawwady’s call for the “International Community” to “do something” is just sad and pathetic. Whatever the “International Community” tries to do, Russia, China, Pakistan, etc. will do even more on behalf of the Tatmadaw. If the International Community does nothing, there is still a slender hope that China, Russia, Pakistan may take a ” wait and see and let Darwin take its course” approach to the conflict.

  41. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” Corn supplies may have serious repercussions for Mexico”.

    Mexico imports a lot of corn nowadays.

    How much corn did Mexico import before NAFTA? How much did corn imports by Mexico go up each year after NAFTA? Does a chart or graph of that data exist anywhere to show the trendline in a semi-pictorialized form?

    How close to famine would Mexico have to get before the Mexican majority would decide NAFTA should be abolished and Mexico should set itself free to re-protectionise its own national sovereign agriculture?

  42. LawnDart

    I think that this was missed–

    Ernst & Young hit with $100 million fine over cheating on ethics tests

    Hundreds of auditors at accounting giant Ernst & Young cheated on ethics tests they were required to take to get or maintain their professional licenses, and the company withheld evidence of the misconduct from federal authorities investigating the matter, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    –Or it could be that I missed it. Got a lot of rubble to clear on the homefront.

Comments are closed.