Links 9/22/2022

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.

–Yves

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.

* * *

Can wolves bond with people like dogs do? Science

Fed Chair Powell: There isn’t a painless way to do this Sam Ro

The Fed Raises Rates by 0.75 Point, Flags Higher Peak Than Expected Barron’s

FIRST: The Natural Rate of Inflation Brad DeLong, Grasping Reality

Dollar’s Rise Spells Trouble for Global Economies WSJ

How Wall Street stormed the music business FT. Commentary:

For those who came in late:

Climate

Duke Energy is one of the top leakers of a gas that is 25,000 times more polluting than carbon dioxide, EPA records show NBC. Sulfur hexafluoride.

Water

Chicago’s Tap Water Contaminated With Lead, Analysis Finds Gizmodo

#COViD19

What Long COVID Is Like For These 14 People Teen Vogue

The Koreas

The Floods in Seoul London Review of Books

The Seeds of Ignorance — Consequences of a Booming Betel-Nut Economy NEJM. Read all the way to the end.

Old Blighty

The wrecking crew:

European Disunion

How Bad Will the German Recession Be? Der Spiegel

Energy crisis: Germany’s Robert Habeck under pressure Deutsche Welle

Germany’s biggest gas importer Uniper is nationalised after huge losses Sky News

Hungarian premier says EU should scrap Russia sanctions to avoid recession – report Independent

Winter Forecast 2022/2023 – September Update: Seasonal cooling now begins across the ENSO regions, predicted to continue as we head closer to Winter Severe Weather Europe (DG). “Europe is expected to have warmer than average temperatures over most of the northern and east-central parts of the continent.” We’ll see.

New Not-So-Cold War

From ‘special military operation’ to open war Gilbert Doctorow. Today’s must-read.

Zelensky rules out peace talks with Russia TASS but Ukraine’s Zelenskiy Sees Dwindling Chance of Peace Talks With Putin Reuters and Ukraine war: Zelensky calls for ‘just punishment’ for Russia BBC

What does Putin’s ‘partial’ mobilisation mean for Russia? South China Morning Post

NATO prolongs the Ukraine proxy war, and global havoc Aaron Maté

* * *

Tick-tock: Putin escalation begins countdown of diplomacy clock Responsible Statecraft. Sorry, that word again?

Could the War in Ukraine Have Been Stopped? The National Interest

Americans put Europe at top of global security concerns, support NATO commitment Stars and Stripes. The Atlanticists have won, haven’t they?

Lula maintains large lead over Bolsonaro ahead of Brazil election -poll Reuters

PBS and BBC Team Up to Misinform About Brazil’s Bolsonaro FAIR

Biden Administration

Remarks by President Biden Before the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (transcript) Whitehouse.gov

Biden Supports Germany, Japan, India As Permanent Members Of Reformed UNSC: White House Official Outlook

Biden: Russia’s Ukraine abuses ‘make your blood run cold’ AP

* * *

Senate Ratifies Pact to Curb a Broad Category of Potent Greenhouse Gases NYT

2024

Appeals court allows DOJ to resume review of classified records in Trump case The Hill. “The appellate judges in their opinion also allowed a review by a special master appointed by a federal judge in Florida to continue simultaneously.”

Our Famously Free Press

The Narrative Matrix Hides The Truth About The World, And About Ourselves Caitlin Johnstone. Rather like this:

Book Review: ‘Dinners With Ruth’ and Without Any Semblance of Journalistic Standards, By Nina Totenberg Balls and Strikes. “Do remember to bring an insulin shot for the treacle.” Good clean fun!

No one is actually boiling chicken in NyQuil Garbage Day. So there’s good news! Also, 4chan v. TikTok.

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

The U.S. Government’s Vast New Privatized Censorship Regime The Tablet

Revealed: US Military Bought Mass Monitoring Tool That Includes Internet Browsing, Email Data Vice

Healthcare

How Hospital Monopolies Drive Up the Cost of Care Washington Monthly

Zeitgeist Watch

An Ode to the QR Code Raheem Kassam’s Substack. I hate QR codes because I hate standing in line while the cashier and the customer huddle over pairing phone and register, and then the customer has to punch in some digits (slowly and then all over again, naturally), and then claim a phone coupon. Takes four or five times longer than cash. This matters, because lines tend to be in closed spaces, crowded, and close-contact, and while these digital morons fiddle with their tech I’m sharing their air and risking infection.

Imperial Collapse Watch

‘Please help us’: As the Vermont Guard seeks to reform its ‘toxic’ culture, a star soldier faces allegations of sexual misconduct VT Digger

U.S. fugitive known as ‘Fat Leonard’ apprehended in Venezuela after weeks on the run NBC

Amazon Closes, Abandons Plans for Dozens of US Warehouses Bloomberg

Class Warfare

What it’s like working at Amazon during a Southern California heat wave Los Angeles Times

Workers Upset After Ingredion Brought 6 Armed Guards To Negotiation Iowa Starting Line

Prop 22 Depresses Wages and Deepens Inequities for California Workers National Equity Atlas. “California rideshare drivers’ net earnings are just $6.20 per hour.”

The ideology of innovation: philanthropy and racial capitalism in global food governance The Journal of Peasant Studies

Trouble in paradise Times Literary Supplement. The deck: “Why is economic progress so little cause for celebration?” Review of DeLong’s book.

Reading Betty Friedan After the Fall of Roe Men Yell at Me

Algorithms and the Future of Work NIOSH Science Blog, CDC

The Easiest Ways to Open a Can Without a Can Opener LifeHacker

Antidote du Jour (via):

Bonus Antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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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.

139 comments

  1. Antifa

    WE OWN THE WORLD
    (melody borrowed from Michael Jackson, 1985)

    There comes a time you must heed a certain call
    When the world must come under our thumb
    We’re the Golden Billion
    And we’re pushing our own brand of greed
    We’ve got to own it all!

    We can’t go on growing three percent each year
    Without pushing our colonial role
    Our burden is to manage your affairs
    For the goals Wall Street
    Decides they need

    We own the world
    We own your children
    You work for us no matter where you live
    Or how you’re living
    It’s all hoovered up
    Into offshore accounts
    Your despair makes a better day
    Way over here

    Your lives are hard, so we all pretend we care
    While we claim our help will bring democracy
    But there are strings attached, like working till you’re dead
    And handing over what that in your hands?

    We own the world
    We own your children
    You work for us no matter where you live
    Or how you’re living
    It’s all hoovered up
    Into offshore accounts
    Your despair makes a better day
    Way over here

    Your commodities belong to us as well
    It’s all just property, which means it’s all for sale
    And we have way way way
    Way more cash than you will ever, ever own
    It’s all ours when the paperwork gets done

    We own the world
    We own your children
    You work for us no matter where you live
    Or how you’re living
    It’s all hoovered up
    Into offshore accounts
    Your despair makes a better day
    Way over here

    [Repeat with ad-libs until the end]

    Reply
    1. Sardonia

      When the Superstar musicians who sang this said “We all left our egos at the door”, someone noted that they used the word “We” 85 times.

      Reply
      1. Ignacio

        You made me laugh with the new lyrics for a while. Now we need a new list of singers over there leaving their egos well above ours.

        Reply
    2. John Zelnicker

      Another fine addition to the Naked Capitalism Songbook.

      For the commentariat: This is an ongoing project, but it is my hope and goal to be able to provide copies to those interested at some point in the next couple of months.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I wish someone with more parody-songwriting skill than I have would write a song to the tune of We Shall Overcome.

        My suggested title is We Shall Undermine. A fragment of chorus lyrics occurred to me . . . “We shall undermine, we shall undermine, we shall undermine each day . . . ” and so on with words supplied by someone better at it than me.

        ” We shall not be bought” . . .

        ” We shall not be sold” . . .

        verse after verse . . . with the We Shall Undermine chorus between each verse.

        Well . . . I give the idea away for free in case someone can do something with it.

        Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            If it ever gets published and sold as a real book printed in real ink on real pages, I will buy a copy, if it can be gotten from a NOmazon source.

            Reply
            1. John Zelnicker

              Thank you, drumlin. I’ll put you down for a first edition.

              I’d like to be able to print it for distribution at some point, although my plans are in their infancy. With our songwriters continually adding new works, I am also thinking about some kind of distribution with periodic updates or additions.

              However, I have no plans to sell it. I’m doing this for fun, not profit.

              Reply
    3. djrichard

      LoL, the uber men’s burden.

      Eventually there’ll be an end-game where everything is loaned up to its max debt load. And on that day the uber men will rest and reflect upon their creation.

      Reply
  2. griffen

    We’re # 1. We’re #1. Repeating it makes it true, US has the best healthcare ever ever and ever.

    Wait that graphic says differently. I’d wonder if the standings are more or less the same now, compared to 10 or 11 years ago.

    Reply
  3. hunkerdown

    Lambert, QR codes are the scan-and-go 2D codes Japan and much of Asia has been using since the feature phone days. They are nothing more than machine-readable containers for short snippets of text, URLs, vCards, and similar objets d’ata. Anyone trying to pair their device with a static piece of information in an image on a piece of paper is doing it wrong.

    I bet you’re thinking of NFC aka “tap to pay”.

    Reply
    1. bonks

      Agreed. In China we just pull up the Alipay or Wechat QR code in advance, the scanner reads it within 1 second and payment is complete. No exchange of bacteria-loaded cash nor wasting time trying to count change.

      The first time I used it over six years ago I thought I had arrived in the future. Meanwhile the developed countries I left behind were still using cards and cash.

      Reply
      1. Frankie

        In China you have no civil liberties, are tracked every time you buy something and are basically slaves.

        Bacterial laden cash? Microwave the notes until the begin to curl, nothing survives that.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          Frankie, you sweet LARPing summer child. New AML/KYC rules came into effect in the US this past month requiring that every depositor, including to someone’s landlord’s rent account, provide photo identification, address, SSN, and occupation to the bank.

          I dare you to come back and defend your tendentious punitive whining and self-delusions of superiority, and also tell us who paid you to pretend the Snowden docs are fiction.

          Reply
      2. CanCyn

        Yeah, no … not trading my privacy for that kind of ‘convenience’. The future is not necessarily a good place.
        Ever read the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood? Government coup, banks taken over, peoples’ cards no longer work. Done. I don’t want my government or the corporations who really run things to have that kind of power.
        Not to mention that recently here in Ontario one of the big telecom providers had an outage that lasted days – businesses unable to take payments, people without cash unable to pay for things. It was crazy.

        Reply
      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        How many documented cases are there in existence of anyone ever having gotten an actual bacterial infection or disease from bacteria laden cash?

        Reply
  4. Vanessa

    Regarding the ending quote of the NEJM article on betel nut, I highly recommend
    the new biography: The brain in search of itself : Santiago Ramón y Cajal and the story of the neuron.

    And regarding the FT article on Leonard’s songs, “Everybody knows the fight was fixed. The poor stay poor, the rich get rich,” Leonard Cohen sang in his 1988 hit “Everybody Knows”, the Blackstone guy who thought this up has his name on the library where one might find…

    Reply
  5. Eureka Springs

    QR or bar codes, voting machines, whatever. They are best at hiding info and price from the customer. Like rats in a lab we feed the machine first and foremost. Hopefully we get a little cheese for a mystery price. I refuse to use QR. Tell people I don’t want my phone to catch an STD.

    I gave up on kitchen can openers many years ago. Pepper mills too. Cans are just too thin these days. Dedicated Swiss army knife in my kitchen. We will know we live in a free country when we can take one wherever we go again (airports).

    Reply
    1. .human

      Cleaning out the kitchen drawers one day I threw away a couple of redundant can openers. Unfortunately, I later learned that one of them was Mrs Human’s favorite. I never heard the end of it.

      A short, sharp, quality paring knife does the trick very well. Put the can on a firm surface and rest the point of the knife on the inside edge, sharp side away from you. Give it a quick rap to puncture and then scissor it around, carefully.

      In my formative years I worked for a building contractor who once set me to work cutting a corrugated drainage culvert to length using a roofing hatchet. You just keep hitting in the cut vee all the way around! Same principle.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Too much is never enough when it comes to vintage analog hand-operated tools like can openers.

        The day will come when a good vintage can opener will sell for hundreds of dollars when people have more cans than teeth to bite them open with.

        Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      Canners have given up on can openers too, according to the proliferation of pull-tab soup cans.

      I still have a poor, beat-up, 25-year-old Swing-A-Way can opener which continues to serve me well on other cans.

      Reply
      1. Mildred Montana

        Yeah, I’ve got an old Swing-A-Way too. Made in the USA! It’s a beaut!

        One tip for can-opener longevity: Wash (or rinse) it quickly and wipe dry. Never leave it in the dishwater for long. Corrosion is a can-opener’s lethal enemy.

        Reply
      1. Brunches with

        Ha! You beat me to it, Kev. I kept my Army issue P38 on my dog tags — essential during field maneuvers for opening C-Rations, most of them from late 1940s and mid-1950s. Post discharge in 1979, I never went anywhere without it, preferred it to all other options. Somewhere along the line, it must have fallen out of my wallet. The day I discovered I’d lost it was a sad day indeed.

        Reply
        1. Brunches with Cats

          Yikes, must’ve accidentally deleted my brunch mate! That’s what I get for posting before coffee. FWIW, he’s alive and well. (You probably knew it was me, though.)

          Reply
            1. Brunches with Cats

              Thanks! I had a link to a military surplus store for this morning’s brunch-alone comment, deleted it, since you’d already posted a link. It was US$0.49 on that site — by the time you add shipping fees, in line with eBay. Still, not on my priority list right now. Need to wait until finances are stabilized.

              Anyway, have you ever used one of these things? IMO, an ingenious little invention, unparalleled in its efficiency and simplicity — not to mention, an essential for one’s emergency supply kit. I just found this video of how it works (author prefers the larger P51; I don’t).
              https://youtu.be/zXuWNCkuHV4
              NC– news you can use!

              Reply
              1. The Rev Kev

                Absolutely have used them. Backpacked around Europe for a coupla years and had one in my cooking gear and they were so easy to use. Maybe if I looked around, I might still have it packed somewhere.

                Reply
    3. Samuel Conner

      > I gave up on kitchen can openers many years ago… Cans are just too thin these days.

      For kitchen use, there are a number of hand-operated side-cut can-openers that I find work very well on present-day cans, and that result in a removed lid that is much less hazardous to the fingers than the cut lid produced by typical top-cut openers. OXO “Good Grips” and Kuhn Rikon models both work well in my experience. I have not had good results with the one battery operated side-cut device (a small device that is attached to the top of the can and works its way around the lid when activated) that I tried.

      Reply
    4. Wukchumni

      An AR-15 Steely Dan can do wonders in opening up a can of Italian Wedding soup with a full clip, to show the receptacle whose boss.

      Reply
  6. The Rev Kev

    “Biden Supports Germany, Japan, India As Permanent Members Of Reformed UNSC: White House Official”

    What Biden is actually talking about is “reforming” the UN Security Council so that votes no longer have to be unanimous but can be majority based. Bringing in Germany, Japan and India is just a way them to stack the deck with allies so that whatever the US wants will in future be rubber-stamped by the UN Security Council. So for example, if Biden wants to have a UN resolution that will allow him to invade Venezuela and seize all their oil fields, getting a UN Mandate will no longer be a problem. So unlike the Iraq invasion, any future “interventions’ will be legal. Said before that everything that Biden touches turns to s*** whether it is education, law & order or international law and he cannot depart the scene soon enough.

    Reply
    1. digi_owl

      In effect treating UN like it was SCOTUS. What could possibly go wrong.

      Also, treating India like a US ally given recent behavior may be risky…

      Reply
      1. Oh

        In the final vote India will not be included. Just Germany and Japan, the US knaves. I knew that there is something fishy when Brandon included India. Thanks Rev, for pointing out the trick the US is trying to pull. The UN is already in the palm of the US. I remember Colin Powell and his lies at the UN.

        Reply
    2. hunkerdown

      To be fair, Von der Lugen proposed the same thing for the EU. The libertarian saw about two wolves and a sheep arguing over what’s for dinner comes to mind. I just call it the church of majority rule.

      Reply
    3. lyman alpha blob

      They better be careful what they wish for.

      If that’s the plan, they better get all the n00bs in line about votes RE: Israel. The US has used its security council veto on many occasions to prevent overwhelming majorities from having their way on measures aimed at Israel.

      It would be fitting if the geopolitical machinations of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight wound up with Israel being declared an international pariah.

      Reply
      1. Karl

        Gee, is it possible Biden just forgot about Israel? No doubt Blinken is doing damage control with AIPAC, saying “it’s only PR.” Which it probably is–more flak for the 24 hour news cycle.

        Reply
  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Caitlin’s narrative matrix–

    I have thoroughly enjoyed Caitlin’s Johnstone’s exploration of “narrative,” or as others call the same phenomenon, “worldview” or “myth.” We have to switch from being a “compete and consume” culture to a “cooperate and conserve” one, and we have to do it fast. The key to that is switching “narratives” or “worldviews,” so thinking a lot about such things is a worthwhile use of our time.

    Caitlin explains the importance of narrative:

    You start to discover that your entire framework for perceiving the world is based on believed stories which are not ultimately true and are generally very unhelpful for moving through life in a harmonious way. Stories about others. Stories about life. And stories about yourself.

    My particular area of interest within this topic is how those narratives are formed. Yes, I’m sure the WEF, the Blob, the CIA and the Deep State are all very busy creating new narratives and amending the old ones that we’ve been living with for decades. even centuries, but those nefarious organizations were not the creators of the most central narratives or myths under which most of us operate. The great manipulators of modern neoliberalism practice their dark arts in the context of human cultures already chock full of hoary narratives and myths, making it clear that humans have a natural tendency, perhaps part of the patterning instinct, to create narratives or myths that help them process the data that comes their way from the universe. The narratives are part of the filtering process that makes the world comprehensible to us.

    So how are these narratives or myths formed? I think they arise as creative answers to very fundamental questions. One question nearly every culture asks is, “How did we get here? How did all this other stuff get here? That’s the first Genesis myth, the one where YHWH creates the world in 7 days. For the Hopi, there’s a sipapu, a hole, from which the first people emerged, and they embody that myth with a representative hole in their kivas.

    The second Genesis myth comes from a different question: how did things get so f—ed up? The Adam and Eve story puts the blame on humans, perhaps specifically women, and not on YHWH. We can watch the same process take place around us now as different interest groups in our society seek to answer the question: where did all the workers go. Larry Summers and the businessmen on CNBC have their story: too generous social benefits reinforced deplorables’ natural laziness. The more socially minded might point to a combination of Covid deaths, Covid aftereffects among the survivors, lack of day care, etc. Right now, those proposed narratives are competing for dominance, and that reminds us that most narratives/myths assume a dominant position in a society only after having competed against alternatives. Two or three years from now, one of these narratives will become the “accepted wisdom” of what caused post-Covid inflation, and it will take an army of historians with clout to change it.

    Creating narratives/myths might even be a good group exercise in these times. Each of us could sit down and write a two-page “narrative” or “myth” that answered the question: how did things get so f—ed up. The process might reveal which myths still have a hold on us as they are likely to make an appearance in any new myth we create. It also might reveal both areas of commonality and dissonance between our worldviews. Such a group process might even lead to the creation of a new narrative that most found to be a more cogent “explanation” of what has happened.

    Thanks, Caitlin, for helping to focus on this important leverage point for change.

    Reply
    1. Mildred Montana

      For the word “narrative” I think I can safely substitute “shibboleth”, i.e. a widely-held belief, whether it’s true or not.

      For instance, why do nations have central banks? One answer seems to be that, well, they’ve always had them, at least for a century or so. That’s not an answer, that’s a narrative.

      And why do democracies have political parties? Once again the answer is, well, they’ve always had them.
      I for one happen to think that democracies would function just fine (perhaps better) without political parties, but the narrative, the shibboleth, prevails.

      Question, question, question…especially that which appears unquestionable.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        >>>And why do democracies have political parties? Once again the answer is, well, they’ve always had them.

        George Washington and company were really, really, really against organized political parties or as they labeled them factions. They formed anyways. Now, much of the form of the parties comes from a fairly obscure pre-Civil War political party in the Midwest IIRC. Other parties its practices for their own especially the primary system. However, the leadership of both major parties have slowly choked off the various means of control by the base (including local leaders) and transferred most of the control and money to the national level; it has been an ongoing process for over a century.

        I think that it is almost impossible to prevent the formation of at least ad hoc “factions.” The original American political class tried and almost immediately after President Washington leaving office, certainly after he was buried, two national parties were forming under the leadership of the Founders.

        Reply
    2. Karl

      Thanks for this thoughtful piece. I have one comment on one statement of yours:

      The second Genesis myth comes from a different question: how did things get so f—ed up? The Adam and Eve story puts the blame on humans, perhaps specifically women, and not on YHWH.

      I actually think the Bible’s stories are wonderfully complex. In this Genesis story, it seems clear that it’s not entirely humans’ fault for being inquisitive (and hungry for apples) and susceptible to the serpent’s charms. And the serpent was telling the truth (and implicitly God was telling a flat-out lie): namely, they would NOT die from eating the apples. So, humans are not solely to blame.

      Some say God didn’t lie, that “die” meant only “you will never be the same again.” But I doubt that Adam was such an advanced rhetoritician. Like parents often do, they’ll lie to the kids in hopes that it will get the results they want. But why would God then plant a truth-telling serpent on the tree of knowledge of good and evil?

      Arguably, God wanted the human to follow the script that God laid out in advance. Apparently, God didn’t like Adam and Eve mucking around in His otherwise perfect garden. God and human collaborated in their fall, and they seem to have been stumbling and falling nicely together ever since. The existential question, now, is: will God stop the human in time from destroying the planet–and the perfect garden along with it?

      Reply
    1. Lee

      The most probable correct answer to the question is that some wolves will and some wolves won’t and that, as the Coppingers and others maintain, certain wolves for the most part domesticated themselves.

      Degrees of shyness are to a great extent inborn in humans and other critters, and as experiments with foxes has shown, can be increased or decreased in a wild canine species through selective breeding in just a few generations. The innately less shy members of the wolf tribe took advantage of human kills and middens in close proximity to humans and the closer cooperative relationship evolved from there.

      Reply
      1. Bug

        But an interesting nugget is that dogs become domesticated at around the same time as they gained the ability to digest complex carbohydrates. So perhaps they adapted to a more agrarian diet, rather unlike the canis lupus diet. It’s all still very mysterious how they adopted us.

        Reply
      2. digi_owl

        What is interesting is that such experiments with foxes also show them taking on more pup like behavior and traits into adulthood. Suggesting that dogs may well be large wolf pups.

        Reply
  8. NotTimothyGeithner

    Ah, yes, Germany and Japan…for the UN security council….yep, no one will see that for what it is. Why do they even bother with such nonsense? Beijing should respond with india, Brazil, Indonesia, and Iraq, small countries need representation. Besides the US brought freedom, how could we say no?. Maybe Vietnam would be a good choice.

    Reply
      1. Ignacio

        Another laugh here. But I find more important and with lot’s of symbolic strength Kiribati, before disappearing below Pacific waters.

        Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      “Packing things” seems to be the strategy the biden regime has settled on as cover for the pitiful joke that masquerades as “governing.”

      Pack the supreme court, make d.c. and Puerto Rico states to pack the senate and now pack the un security council.

      This group can’t go away fast enough.

      Reply
      1. digi_owl

        How that crowd work all the way down.

        Get one of their kind into any sort of group activity and their will pack the group with their own until they can tilt the activity to their favor and drive away any dissenters with shaming and slurs.

        End result is open war between them and the shameless.

        Reply
      2. dday

        Re Puerto Rico, I was wondering after Maria and Fiona if PR would be better off as a US state. Some news commentators were saying that PR was just now recovering from Maria, which happened five years ago.

        Reply
  9. The Rev Kev

    “Germany’s energy crisis: Economy Minister Robert Habeck under pressure”

    Man, the German media really do suck. Habeck is the guy that is probably most responsible for de-industrializing Germany and adding more gas costs to a population that will be struggling to heat themselves this winter and this article wants you to feel sorry for the poor guy as he is so tired. Unbelievable. And last week he decided to pick a fight with China which I believe is a huge market for Germany and said that he was ‘considering a raft of new measures to make business with China less attractive.’ This guy should be thrown out of office and never more to get any power above that of dog-catcher. Germany has spent the past 75 years turning themselves into a powerful, modern State with an educated, comfortable population and he is throwing all those generations of work away for what exactly? Conservatives say that he envisions a Green new future for Germany but is he actual so naive?

    https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/germanys-new-china-policy-will-not-be-naive-economy-minister-2022-09-13/

    Reply
    1. Ignacio

      At least this article brings material for new lyrics by our teams for this tune. Not many changes, much of current lyrics could stay.

      I read the other article by Der Spiegel on the several stages of the upcoming crisis in Germany which i think is quite good. Reading this appeared another article: How Putin’s War Changed My Moscow featuring a German journalist who has been living in “his Moscow” for many years that writes how surprised he is to find that lots of Moskovites support Putin. Can you imagine? All the West supposing that sanctions would provoke regime change and now we notice that “surprisingly” Russians back the effort in Ukraine. How misled we are!

      Reply
    2. Tom Bradford

      If you believe the data the world is careening towards a climate disaster and promises to start taking steps to ameliorate it tomorrow – which is all we’re getting from most politicians – ain’t gonna stop it.

      In fact even ameliorating it – according to the data I’ve been fed which I have no way to confirm but feel in my ancient bones to be plausible – requires drastic action starting today. I know nothing about Habeck or the German Greens but if he is using a war for which popular support can be drummed up as cover for implementing the kind of societal changes the greater crisis requires but which would not get popular support, then maybe he’s a braver, more cunning, more principled politician than most in the pack.

      At least, that’s one way of looking at it.

      Reply
  10. Eclair

    Re: Health Care Rankings. The US is Number 11 of 11.

    Here in Chautauqua County, NY, we rank about 55 out of 62 New York counties in health outcomes. We have a lot of obese residents, with diabetes, bad joints and drug problems. We’re economically depressed as well. Maybe some correlation between the two?

    Our 74 year old, neighbor, diagnosed this spring with a stage 4 cancer, had a community fund raiser, ‘fun-run,’ music fest, last month, to raise money to meet medical bills. Although he has Medicare, he can no longer work: along with coaching the youth cross-country team, he worked as care-taker/cleaner for the ‘rich folk’ at Chautauqua Institute. And, raised chickens and a couple of pigs.

    The adult son of our folk-dance group’s musician, has been hospitalized since mid-July, pretty much totally paralyzed. As of last week, the bills for his care were slightly over one million dollars. Medicaid will pay, as he has no assets and no job. Hard to work while paralyzed. But the paperwork and bureaucracy that his parents have to wade through is monumental. And, they have finally found a place for him in a rehab facility but it is 50 miles away. So, one hundred mile round trips to see him.

    Every small business, from the local general store to the bakery to the vegetable market, has displayed in a prominent place on the check-out counter, a jar and a notice: Please contribute to the care of xxxx xxxx. A victim of cancer, kidney disease, a crippling accident.

    We’re poor, we’re unhealthy, we drive enormous pick-ups because we’re rural and there is no longer any public transportation system. A surprising number of us fly confederate flags and sport large signs saying mean things about Biden. We need someone to blame. This is not going to end well.

    Reply
    1. Milton

      My sister in law has stage 4 lung cancer and an acquaintance has stage 4 breast cancer. Why is it that we never are able to catch these diseases before they progress this far? Are stages 3,2,1 that stealthy or is our primary care just sucky and cannot spot early symptoms.

      Reply
      1. MaryLand

        There are blood tests to screen for early stages of cancers, but they have not been perfected yet. Too many false positives so far. Cancer researchers have been working on this for many years. Maybe in about 10 years it will be reliable enough for widespread use. Biden made news with this lately but it’s been in the works for years. The only thing he can claim credit for is if he gets increased funding via the NIH for this research. I know a researcher who has worked on it for the past 13 years and they are making good progress. A simple blood sample would show cancers at the stage 1 or 2 level. The next hurdle would be to get insurance companies to pay for it. One company now marketing a similar test (though with false positives) is Grail and I think they charge about $900 for one blood test. That seems way too high to me, but maybe it would be a lower price to insurance companies, Medicare, etc.
        https://apnews.com/article/biden-health-diagnostic-tests-john-f-kennedy-presidential-library-and-museum-government-politics-6bc8183548cd46545f4141cfa6fe4630

        Reply
        1. Mike1928

          The simplest solution would be for the government to set a reasonable price and pay for the cancer test. It never ceases to amaze me that $64 billion can be given to Ukraine and the military industrial complex for graft and destruction but a similar amount to save lives is a bridge too far.

          If you want to change things you can’t vote for incumbents.

          Reply
        2. Jeotsu

          I was involved in trying to develop new cancer screening tech 20 years ago. I’m not up on the state of the art now, but back then we had a couple of big problems.
          -Many cancers don’t have any specific serum marker we know of
          -Those that do have serum markers (like PSA for prostate cancer) too often don’t rise markedly until the cancer is well advanced
          -Testing serum sample for these markers can be quite expensive, especially when you’re trying to screen for all possible disease-indicating markers at the same time

          We did develop an assay that could, by scanning a bunch of background serum proteins along with a set of cancer markers, distinguish if something was ‘not right’ in that serum with statistical significance (and thus marking the patient for further screening). But like so many such studies, especially those done in a company that was shortly thereafter eaten by GE, it ended up in a drawer somewhere and never seen again.

          Reply
          1. rowlf

            Don’t give up on the GE digital group. It is dynamic situation and with good steering they have the potential to deliver a good product. Getting a good group of computer people with a good group of industry people who can communicate is often a challenge.

            We are at a convergence of storage and resources where good outcomes could result.

            Reply
      2. Michael Fiorillo

        Not to argue in favor of our health care system, but cancer is a quirky disease, and fwiw my personal experience suggests the stealth argument, at least in some cases: my beautiful wife, who had never placed a cigarette to her lips, developed a steady cough in July of 2010. In August, as a result of my nagging, she went for an X-ray, which revealed nothing unusual. Four weeks later, after experiencing lethargy and back pain, she was diagnosed with Stage lV lung cancer. Six weeks later, she died as a result of cascading strokes caused by a blood clot which was a consequence of the malignancy, which, given the extent to which her cancer had metastasized and the treatments she was facing, might have been a crude and perverse kind of mercy.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          My deepest sympathy for your loss. We should be able to do better.

          While I have no doubt that a great deal of cancer is missed early on due to failure or inability to go to the doctor. A couple of members of my family have also gotten a speed demon of a cancer. They were luckier and survived, but in both cases had had clean complete physicals within three months of being diagnosed.

          Reply
      3. Tom Stone

        Cancer can be sneaky, my stage 4 Non Hodgkins Lymphoma was only caught due to an alert tech noticing an anomaly at the edge of an image.
        Chemo was brutal, but worked.
        5 treatments, 5 trips to the ER, 4 days in ICU after the 2nd treatment.
        I’ve been cancer free for nearly 2 years now, but expect it will come back with a vengeance one of these days.

        Reply
  11. hunkerdown

    Political billboards I saw this morning:

    “Abortion? Birth Control? Voting Matters. Vote Democrat.” (plain black background with multicolored text, except blue background for Vote Democrat)

    Yeah, now do war, as in doing not doing war. Then, half a mile down, on the other side of the road:

    “Learn Falun Gong” (with “mindful” spa photo in background)

    Lol. “How can we have an empire if the people won’t hate on command?” The scent of their desperation is pungent but exciting.

    Reply
  12. Lee

    Workers Upset After Ingredion Brought 6 Armed Guards To Negotiation Iowa Starting Line

    Iowa is an open carry state, so the workers could simply follow suit. If everyone at the meetings were armed perhaps more courteous behavior would be the order of the day, or not.

    Reply
    1. Mark Gisleson

      Fascinating history of Ingredion at Wikipedia. Most notably:

      The company was named the “World’s Most Ethical Company” in 2014 by the Ethisphere Institute. In 2022, Ingredion was named to Fortune Magazine’s “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, ranking 2nd in the Food Production industry category. It was the company’s 13th consecutive year making the list. Also in 2022, Ingredion was included on Bloomberg’s “Gender-Equality Index” for the 5th consecutive year and earned a 95/100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

      Seems like the union might want to send some press clippings to the Ethisphere Institute and Fortune Magazine. I can’t, however, think of any reason why bringing armed guards to a negotiation meeting would be a problem for Bloomberg’s “gender-equality” or the Human Rights Campaign’s corporate equality indexers. So long as three of the guards were women and one guard was alt-something, all the niceties were observed even in the face of extreme provocation (calling the news media) by the lower class, ill-bred union agitators. /sarcasm

      Reply
      1. Michael Fiorillo

        I don’t find it surprising at all that gender-whatever virtues at a company would be accompanied by vicious anti-unionism. After all, IdPol is class warfare disguised as progressivism. It’s no accident that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion bureaucrats at universities are frequently/always prominently featured opposing unionization efforts among grad students and TAs…

        Reply
    2. Mikel

      They’re going to have to have negotiations out in a field somewhere. I’m sure many places would feel the same as the hotel management at this location:

      “Hotel management came in and said it was too much of a fiasco for them; there were too many things going on,” Moore said. The reservations BCTGM and Ingredion had made for the conference and hotel rooms for both days were immediately “terminated,” he said the hotel manager told them.
      ______
      The corporation was scared of the workers. They said something about threats being made, but looking at the accompanying pic to the article, I think they were also scared of the big, buff workers.

      Reply
  13. Carolinian

    Re PBS and Bolsonaro–I had noticed with considerable puzzlement that this was on but didn’t watch. Did the CIA phone in a really big contribution during the pledge drive? Since Steve Bannon is supposedly the Antichrist to the Resisters at the News Hour one wonders what behind the scenes pressures brought forth this oddball programming. An older less compromised public network might have done a three hour documentary about it.

    Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “How Bad Will the German Recession Be?”

    After seeing the slow-motion implosion of the German economy, Washington is finally starting to smarten up. No, they still will be sanctioning countries left, right and center. But now they are looking for a sanctions wizard. What is meant by that?

    ‘The US Treasury Department is seeking to hire an expert who will advise on how to avoid blowback from the sanctions Washington has been using in recent years to pressure countries around the globe, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

    According to the news agency, the candidate chosen will head up the Sanctions Economic Analysis Unit and will offer expertise to the Biden administration on the collateral effects such restrictions have on the US economy, financial markets, and other related areas.

    The position, which offers a salary of up to $176,300 per year, also requires a Top Secret security clearance.’

    If they are planning on going after China soon and sanctioning them like they have Russia, I guess it would be a good idea to find out just what China could do to the US in retaliation. Not doing so for Russia has taught them that-

    https://www.rt.com/news/563310-us-treasury-sanctions-wizard-wanted/

    Reply
      1. Pat

        And when there are no toys they won’t be able to turn to Valium or Xanax to ease the anxiety. Yup as one of the most medicated nations in The world, I am sure that Americans will be copacetic with our government cutting off their supply in order to show China who is boss. No problems there.

        Reply
          1. digi_owl

            In particular when the population is packing heat, and is likely to shoot first and not even bother asking questions when the panic attack hits.

            Reply
    1. Karl

      It’s a bit late for this, yes?

      It will take a month for this new hire to get the ID, desk, GS-12 assistant, etc. Then it will take another month to answer the phone calls from Sholtz, Truss, et. al. and hire the inevitable consultants to do “risk assessments”. Then another month to figure out what Ron Klain wants them to say that isn’t laughable when they brief Biden. By then it’s winter.

      “Collateral effects” then take hold with gas shortages, higher interest rates, and global recession.

      Next assignment: “Collateral effects” of economic sanctions against China over Taiwan. Rinse and repeat, starting with ‘The US Treasury Department is seeking to hire an[other] expert….”

      Reply
  15. InThePines

    Not sure if this has made NC yet, but in California all vehicle smog test technicians will be required to submit palm prints (palm vein scans) to the State. This is to tie the identity of techs to individual tests and reduce emissions test fraud. Enrollment opens on 1 October, and the biometric security devices will be installed 2nd quarter 2023.

    https://bar.ca.gov/biometric

    Reply
  16. Bsn

    In regards to hacking a can, rub the rock against the can lid as opposed to the can against the rock. It will spill less of the ingredients.

    Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        But if you don’t have a can opener and you are not an economist, what do you do then?

        Assume an economist?

        Reply
    1. Exiled_in_Boston

      ‘And also be careful about metal shavings—just like sanding wood, this method will create a bit of metal “dust” that you’ll want to make sure doesn’t get into your food.’
      Really? Thanks for the heads-up.

      Reply
  17. Lex

    Re: lead in drinking water

    No surprise. It’s not just the lead service lines either. Traditionally the fittings for copper piping is made of brass which, until just a few years ago, always contains lead. Problematically, in the casting process the lead migrates to the exterior of the casting. I do lead water investigations/testing professionally and have left a brass fitting in a split sample of water overnight before lab analysis, it was a significant difference in lead results. Theoretically, new brass fittings are “lead free” but not necessarily and lead free doesn’t actually mean no lead, just low levels.

    You should expect to have lead in drinking water in any building built before … well, maybe a decade ago. Drinking fountains almost always produce elevated results, because of the coolers, fittings, solder joints, etc. If it’s just a case of lead leaching from the fittings, the “personal risk assessment” solution is A. don’t be the first to use a fixture in the morning if you can help it or B. flush the fixture before drinking from it (30 seconds is usually enough). The primary issue is contact time between the water and the fitting. This won’t work for lead service lines of course.

    Perhaps worth mentioning that we’ve known about this issue for at least a century. The particular lab at the Dupont factory in NJ that generated the lead additive for gasoline was known as “the house of butterflies” because of the regular hallucinations workers in the division experienced. We just don’t care, at least not as much as we do about new fighter jets and tax breaks for the wealthy.

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      We were told by our wire supplier that lead is used in brass casting to increase ‘flow’, useful in intricate castings. However, as recycled brass is being used more and more in the industry, the brass contains a higher proportion of lead than ‘virgin’ brass. For us, the problem is that brass music wire with lead in it also ‘flows’, resulting in strings that go out of tune and break more often. For plumbing it’s way worse.

      Reply
  18. Wukchumni

    Goooooooood Moooooooooorning Fiatnam!

    The platoon had been assembled on a search and rescue $40,000 mission, in spite of none of us knowing where Fat Leonard had slunk off to, he could have been anywhere.

    As if this was going to stop us from our appointed rounds and a cut of the action divided equally, the egalitarianism going to 14 on a scale of 1-10.

    We canvassed Tijuana-adjacent thinking he’d be holed up in a safe house, probably an AirBnB with a view of the ocean…using his Navy Federal Credit Union Visa card to secure quarters, but it turned out to be a dead end.

    We were getting ready to do a John J. Pershing styled expedition down under when news of his capture deflated our plans, and sadly some of the men in the platoon had spent their share of the expected bounty already on cool looking spinner wheels for their rides.

    Reply
  19. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Germany’s biggest gas importer Uniper is nationalised after huge losses

    Anyone else find it hilarious that the sanctions imposed to keep the world safe for Western-dominated capitalism resulted in a Western government owning a business? What will Germany’s USian masters think?!???!! Socialism, egad!

    Reply
    1. vao

      More interesting is the dog that does not bark — the EU Commission.

      The EU Commission has always pushed for the privatization of energy markets and been against nationalizations; pushed for short-term energy transactions based on the “spot market” and been adamantly against long-term, bilateral energy supply contracts; and has looked askance at any industrial policy, subsidies for firms or chipping at property rights.

      Since the war in Ukraine started, various EU governments have nationalized energy firms (EDF, Uniper), expropriated them (Gazprom, Rosneft), or massively subsidized them (Gazprom Germania, VDN, Wien Energie, Axpo); introduced dirigist plans to ration and distribute energy amongst various classes of consumers (many countries); capped the price of energy both during procurement (the infamous price cap for Russian oil) and delivery (e.g. 4% price increase cap in France for electricity); are setting up a variety of schemes to support households and corporations with subsidies for purchasing energy.

      All violations of the sacro-sanct principles of the “free and undistorted competition” in a “market-oriented society”. But the EU Commission keeps mum.

      Reply
      1. Petter

        It was Norway that deregulated the electricity market first and exported it to the rest of Europe. Little known fact here in Norway.

        Reply
    2. Young

      At some future date, when the time comes for the German goverment to sell Uniper back to public at fifty cents on the dollar, the USian investment community will laugh all the way to the JP Morgan.🤔

      Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    “Biden: Russia’s Ukraine abuses ‘make your blood run cold’’

    When Biden was going on about a nation invading it’s neighbour, I wonder if the Mexican President rolled his eyes. And when he was going on about how they are evading their responsibilities as a signer of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, I am sure that the Australian delegation would have been intently studying the ceiling. But when he started on about a “brutal, needless war”, you think that the Iraqi delegation did a Picard facepalm? But then there was this-

    ‘Biden also pressed nations to meet an $18 billion target to replenish the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, reiterating the U.S. commitment of $6 billion to that goal.’

    Shouldn’t Covid have been given a mention too?

    Reply
    1. Lex

      IIRC, the US is still way behind in normal dues to the UN but Biden demands others put forward more cash. I no longer know whether US politicians are openly lying or if they actually believe the things they say. Biden talking about war only makes me think of the clip where he’s yelling at someone in the Senate about how he wanted more war crimes against civilian infrastructure in Serbia. Which brings me to appreciation for Vucic using his time at the podium to remind the world about 1999 and Kosovo’s independence in 2008.

      Reply
    1. Polar Socialist

      I believe the “foreign fighters”/mercenaries given death sentences recently were among the exchanged prisoners.

      Reply
  21. Pat

    Well not recognizing Covid is part and parcel with the hypocrisy on display throughout.

    I have to wonder how many immediate wondered how many strings came with that contribution. And calculated the “rebates” coming to the Biden family from the various companies that the Global Fund would be required to use as suppliers.

    Reply
  22. Mikel

    https://www.marketwatch.com/articles/bitcoin-cryptos-jamie-dimon-51663840617?mod=mw_latestnews/
    “I’m a major skeptic on crypto tokens … like Bitcoin, ” Dimon said Wednesday, speaking at a House Financial Services Committee meeting with the leaders of other major banks. “They are decentralized Ponzi schemes, and the notion that it’s good for anybody is unbelievable.”

    A Ponzi within a pyramid may be more apt. The levels of hype and so much of the activity is indistinguishable from mult-level marketing scams.

    “The banking chief’s tone was slightly softer on stablecoins, which are digital tokens pegged to another asset, like a fiat currency, that play a foundational role in crypto market liquidity and form the basis of most trading and lending activity. Asset-backed stablecoins, like those issued by Tether, Circle, or Binance and pegged to the U.S. dollar, are supposed to be backed 1:1 by highly liquid assets like cash or Treasuries…”

    I’d imagine this is related to the Biden administration’s recent executive order regarding digital currency.
    The spin currently is that “the order simply asks federal agencies to evaluate the viability of such a central bank digital currency.”
    We will see…

    Reply
    1. Milton

      “They are decentralized Ponzi schemes, and the notion that it’s good for anybody is unbelievable.”
      As opposed to the centralized Ponzi Scheme that is orchestrated by the likes of Dimon himself.

      Reply
  23. Old Sovietologist

    UN Secretary General António Guterres expressed concern over plans to hold referendums in the DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions.

    Guterres has lost his objectivity and thus the UN might as well wither away.

    Reply
  24. Wukchumni

    My Kevin (since ’07) really wants to be the Major Major Major Majordomo, but he’s a bit of a (family-blog) up, always making mistakes and then trying to walk them back, its what he does.

    I’d half expected that ‘Commitment to America’ entailed reopening mental hospitals and the like…

    House Republicans are apparently set to announce a policy platform that criticizes Democrats’ popular prescription drug cost reductions and opens the door to Social Security and Medicare cuts, according to a document that leaked online Wednesday.

    House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) was supposed to announce the party’s “Commitment to America” on Friday, but instead, a multi-page document bearing that name briefly appeared online Wednesday on McCarthy’s website. Approximately an hour after New York Times reporter Annie Karni tweeted it out, the part of McCarthy’s site with the document was locked down and accessible only with a password.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kevin-mccarthy-commitment-to-america_n_632b7247e4b087fae6fbd777

    Reply
  25. TimH

    Per that Tablet piece “The U.S. Government’s Vast New Privatized Censorship Regime”, Gonzalo Lira has interesting piece where he says that critics of the MSM nonsense about Ukr. are being deliberately pushed off Twitter etc, wiki entries deleted, so when they have an accident few people have heard of them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYSf1pkkeZk

    Reply
  26. Wukchumni

    Tectonic shuddering triggered by Mexico’s earthquake this week traveled 1,500 miles in less than 30 minutes to send 4-foot-tall waves through Devils Hole, a limestone cavern at Death Valley National Park that is home to a rare species of pupfish.

    The magnitude 7.6 earthquake shook the Mexican states of Colima and Michoacán at 11:05 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Monday. Twenty-two minutes later, water started sloshing in Devils Hole. The waves reached 4 feet high around 11:35 a.m., according to park staff.

    Devils Hole is a partially water-filled limestone cave in a Nye County, Nevada, unit of Death Valley National Park. The cave is hundreds of feet deep, but the endangered Devils Hole pupfish depend upon algae that grows on a shallow, sunlit shelf.

    Monday’s waves, technically known as a seiche, stirred the sediment and rocks on the shallow shelf, also removing much of the algae growth. In the short term, this reduces food available to the pupfish.

    https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2022/09/mexicos-earthquake-sent-waves-through-devils-hole-death-valley-national-park

    Reply
  27. semper loquitur

    re: can openers

    You can get a sack of p38’s or p51’s for a few bucks and they work until they wear out. They are great to hand out to homeless people too as oftentimes food pantries etc. offer them canned foods. If you have one of these:

    https://i5.walmartimages.com/asr/3f4a7ddf-2d1b-4f91-a672-0f746fc1e9f0.76574760224b7d4ef9879cdb340e4f66.jpeg

    and it stops working when you try to twist it, it can still be used. You have to use it to “clip” the metal, so you would pierce the top as usual but then instead of trying to wheel it around you take it off and pierce again a little further along. Be cautious as it makes for a jagged piece of metal but it works and it really can’t break.

    Reply
      1. Milton

        I loved how the message reads: “Hmm…this page doesn’t exist.” as if it just your imagination the tweet was about something you thought it was.

        Reply
    1. britzklieg

      “we think it’s worth it”

      let’s call it the Albright Credo as it is certainly to become a mainstay with the psychopaths who own the world.

      Reply
  28. Ignacio

    I would suggest a new section of links that might aggregate some of the current sections particularly those on ongoing conflicts.

    “The End of the End of History”

    Because I sense that neocon and neolib ideologies bought us here and are now in such trouble about how to proceed. It looks they realise there is an existential problem for them trying to keep their narrative while everything starts to turn upside down for them.

    Reply
  29. Karl

    RE: Senate ratifies pact to reduce Greenhouse gases

    This is a treaty on hydro-flourocarbons (HFCs). One quote in the linked NY Times article was this:

    “This treaty shows that it’s not hopeless to solve climate change,” said [the President of] a Washington-based research and advocacy organization.

    There is a big difference between the problem of HFCs and the problem of CO2 and CH4. Phasing out HFCs means shutting down a few major producers, and deploying an available substitute. On the other hand, CO2 and CH4 entails many producers and consumers (all of us) and the substitutes are not readily available or cheap. It took a long time to get this treaty passed, and it’s a small drop in a very large bucket. So, overall, this treaty is no grounds for the optimism coming out of D.C. But every full bucket starts with a single drop.

    Reply
  30. Paul Jonker-Hoffren

    Algorithms and the future of work

    Haven’t yet read the whole article, even from my university I can’t access it and sci-hub doesn’t have it. But the discussion seems to omit (once more) the issue of power.

    In the context of platform work I wrote an article which provides a way to critically engage with algorithms in/at work: https://journal.fi/inf/article/view/107986

    The summary of that discussion article seems to ignore the relations between machine and human in terms of information, agency and power.

    Reply
    1. Polar Socialist

      The article actually contains mentions power in sentence “workers report feelings of powerlessness”, when talking about how “algorithms are given power over a worker’s job”.

      What I find interesting that the writer blames the “algorithms” as if those had an agenda and proposes risk management for algorithms. To me and software (even AI) is just a tool, nothing more. Now, if a tool makes it obvious that workers feel powerless, that’s a more generic and higher level problem than just am issue in using a new tool.

      During my career as a developer I’ve been asked several times to solve a policy (or a “political”) problem or even a person issue by clever software. And every time I told the client that’s not how it works, those are “people issues”, not “computer issues”.

      Reply

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