Links 9/7/2022

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

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Watch a husky react to smelling durian BoingBoing (resilc). Huskies are such drama queens :-)

Chimps show off their ‘signature’ drum beats BBC

It Was War. Then, a Rancher’s Truce With Some Pesky Beavers Paid Off. New York Times (furzy)

Discovery suggests red supergiant Betelgeuse was actually yellow 2,000 years ago Space (Kevin W)

Pioneering mathematical formula paves way for exciting advances in health, energy, and food industry PhysOrg (David L)

A deeper dive into World Wide Wind’s colossal, contra-rotating turbines New Atlas (furzy)

The Fall of ‘Nature’ Quilette (Dr. Kevin). While KLG says Quilette could be on to something, the reliance on David Geary and Charles Murray to make the case is a big red flag.

Percentage of Heavy Drinking Days Following Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy vs Placebo in the Treatment of Adult Patients With Alcohol Use Disorder JAMA (David L)

Our brains exist in a state of “controlled hallucination” MIT Technology Review (David L). So is reality real?



How nasal-spray vaccines could change the pandemic Nature (Dr. Kevin)


Coronavirus: Hong Kong leader John Lee says no decision made on any further easing of hotel quarantine rules South China Morning Post (resilc)


As Colorado River Dries Up, the U.S. Teeters on the Brink of Larger Water Crisis Juan Cole (resilc)

Track Wildfires in the West New York Times (David L) :-(

Historic heat dome sets yet another climate record in Western US Popular Science (David L)

Mysterious mass fish kill in Oder River expands downstream DW (resilc)

The Oilfield That Made the Ocean Burn Last Year Is Now Spewing Methane Gizmodo (David L)

The Sonoran Desert Is Burning. Can the Saguaro Cactus Be Saved? Atlantic


US chip-export ban throws wrench into China AI works Asia Times (Kevin W)

DMZ comedy ‘6/45’ a cause to cry for Korea Asia Times. Kevin W: “Trailer for this film – (1:42 mins)”

Old Blighty

Liz Truss’s first cabinet: Who’s in and who’s out BBC (Kevin W)

Boris Johnson’s Terrible Parting Gift Atlantic

New British PM Truss brings tougher UK stance on China Reuters

Police fear hard winter of surging crime and civil unrest The Times (Li)

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia: Vladimir Putin slams sanctions in pitch for new global order DW. Text embedded at the end of this post. Note this section:

Europe is about to throw its achievements in building up its manufacturing capability, the quality of life of its people and socioeconomic stability into the sanctions furnace, depleting its potential, as directed by Washington for the sake of the infamous Euro-Atlantic unity. In fact, this amounts to sacrifices in the name of preserving the dominance of the United States in global affairs.

Thailand hopes Putin will attend 2022 APEC summit in November TASS

* * *

UN calls for demilitarised zone around Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant Guardian (Kevin W). Note your humble blogger has not looked at the IAEA report. However, as recounted here, the IAEA seems to treat the shelling as a risk but presents the state of the staff as primary. Keep in mind that implementing a DMZ would be a very favorable outcome for Ukraine (it would significantly freeze the conflict; it would be hard for Russia to campaign around it). The beef per the Guardian that the Ukrainian staff are basically being held hostage by Russian soldiers to keep the plant running. However, as MoA reads the report, it effectively says the plant staff is working normal shifts…so are the political officials making that up, or is the Guardian still parroting Ukraine propaganda? Regardless, if this were a major issue, a solution would seem to be to replace the Ukraine staff with Russians. However…who wants to move to Ukraine and work in a war zone? How much combat pay or other goodies would it take? Are there idiosyncrasies with this plant that would make it hard to transition staff?

Oh, and separately there is the wee problem of needing to stop the shelling. How long before Russia can get around to clearing an area of say 300 km around the plant? And are those areas ones Russia would have eventually wanted to “liberate” or not?

Ukraine – A Second ‘Counteroffensive’ Contrary To U.S. Advice – IAEA Report Moon of Alabama

* * *

EU plans windfall taxes to counter ‘astronomic’ energy bills Financial Times

Is Russia′s economy really hurting? DW (resilc)

* * *

Russia makes a U-turn on reciprocity policies Gilbert Doctorow

Lance Gooden wants to make privateering great again Texas Signal (resilc)

US: Russia to buy rockets, artillery shells from North Korea Associated Press (resilc)

Somalia is on the verge of famine while the world looks away Washington Post (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Social media is a privacy risk even if you’re not signed up ZMEScience (Dr. Kevin)

Imperial Collapse Watch

California Blackouts Possible as It Raises Grid Emergency to Highest Level Bloomberg

FERC Gaslights America American Conservative (Li)

Pentagon Africa Research Contradicts Optimism of Austin Intercept. Resilc: “No terrorism=no budget= so lotzzzzzzzz of terror ahead”

Mastermind of Navy bribery scheme escapes house arrest just weeks ahead of sentencing CNN (Kevin W)
Roundtable #19: Pepe Escobar, Andrei Martyanov YouTube. Chuck L: “Good discussion but over 2 hours.”/blockquote>

Trump Raid

Five things to watch as a special master looks at FBI’s seized Trump documents The Hill

Other Trump

Donald Trump May Destroy the GOP Before He Can Wreck Democracy New Republic (resilc)

Politico’s New Owner Asked His Top Executives to ‘Pray’ For Trump to Be Re-Elected: Report NCRM (furzy)

Politico Owner Asked Execs to Pray for Trump’s Reelection: Report Rolling Stone (Paul R)

EXCLUSIVE Deal partner for Trump’s Truth Social fails to get backing for SPAC extension -sources Reuters (furzy)


What Was the Point of Joe Biden’s MAGA Speech? Jacobin (resilc)

GOP Clown Car

Deja vu: Republicans fracturing over Ukraine, just like Korea Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

More Than 1 In 2 Americans Will Have An Election Denier On The Ballot This Fall FiveThirtyEight (resilc)

Steve Bannon faces state indictment in N.Y., will surrender Thursday Star Tribune (furzy)

How a Billionaire’s “Attack Philanthropy” Secretly Funded Climate Denialism and Right-Wing Causes ProPublica

Why Are Conservatives Happier Than Liberals? RealClearScience (Dr. Kevin)

Woke Watch

Teacher who refused to use student’s gender-neutral pronouns is JAILED in Ireland Daily Mail. Resilc: “Always go with ‘ya’ll’.”

Cannabis legalization in US projected to cost big pharma billions New Atlas

The US Dollar’s Strength Is Rippling Across the World Bloomberg

Volkswagen triggers landmark Porsche IPO plan, defying market doubts CNBC

Plug-in hybrids can drive us to our fully electric future Axios. Resilc: “We had a Prius for 8 years. Nice car, but too complex to fix unless you go to a ripoff dealer.”

Class Warfare

NLRB Demands Starbucks’ Anti-Union CEO Record Video, Send Apologies to Workers Vice (resilc)

With Housing Tight, New Vermont Teachers Crash at an Inn Seven Days (resilc)

American workers need lots and lots of robots Noah Smith (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus (dk). This dog is a genius:

So as not to create a separate post, putting the embed here:

00 Putin Eastern Economic Forum plenary session • President of Russia

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Questa Nota

    Between the Nature and social media articles, I’m ready to go to bed and pull the covers up even more. :/
    Insomnia used to have a modicum of benefits.

    1. digi_owl

      Yep. More i want to do like the bear, and hibernate for months at a time.

      That said, with how disrupted my rhythm is some think i have already slept away years (and sometimes i am tempted to agree, as the years between 2011 and 2021 seem like a blur).

  2. Toshiro_Mifune

    More Than 1 In 2 Americans Will Have An Election Denier On The Ballot This Fall

    I’m sure they’re counting the “Russia hacked the election” types in this as well….

    1. hunkerdown

      Raising moralistic twits above us to lord over us is sacred and holy and a blessing, in the eyes of the Puritanistic PMC. They are very, very convinced of the importance of their ceremonial holy-war games and trial by combat. Moral abasement is the only move they know.

      An anarchic PMC would at least have the decency to dissolve themselves and blend back into the Circulation.

    2. CaliDan

      Max Blumenthal recently hosted Katie Halper on a Grayzone livestream (Sept. 2) wherein they discussed “Dark Brandon’s” recent speech. Max makes a very prescient observation, that by labelling people election deniers, i.e., MAGA folks, not Dems, of course, Biden’s likely laying the groundwork for future legal action in the same manner that 9/11 paved the way for the Patriot Act. (1h22m)

  3. mistah charley, ph.d.

    With respect to the Hunter Biden laptop issue, as discussed by Greenwald, my own view is that there is no importance difference between just suppressing the news and putting out fabrications about it – the “Russian disinfo” cover story. Back in the 20th century for a while I had a subscription to the National Enquirer, because I knew that some of the things they said which contradicted the “respectable” media were true. For example: supermarket tabloid headline: actor Steve McQueen has cancer; Boston Globe: Steve McQueen does not have cancer; Boston Globe, later: Steve McQueen dead of cancer. For that sort of thing these days, I read the Daily Mail. They have provided extensive coverage of the Hunter laptop story.

    1. Pelham

      Sam Harris in the video cites Trump University as a far greater sin, by itself, than any dealings the Bidens had with Ukraine and China. Trump U was a big bucket of sleaze. Affirmed. But the Bidens’ dealings with foreign entities should be a focus of far greater concern, shouldn’t they?

      1. anon in so cal

        Sam Harris comes across as one of the sleaziest representatives of the authoritarian liberal Democratic establishment. Imagine saying there is no difference between Trump University and the Bidens’ actions in Ukraine. Biden was Obama’s point man in Ukraine, had a key role in the Maidan putsch, takes the world to the brink.

        Glenn Greenwald eviscerates Sam Harris:

        “All of this stems from the classic mentality of all would-be tyrants: our enemies are so dangerous, their views so threatening, that everything we do – lying, repression, censorship – is noble. That’s what made the Sam Harris confession so vital: that’s how liberal elites think.”

      2. norm de plume

        Well, one of those sins is treason, surely.

        And if you apply the ‘shoe on the other foot’ test, it is clear that had Trump and his family provided the smoking guns Biden and his crew have, he would by now have been not just impeached but imprisoned.

        Harris is a pretty good talker but not much of a thinker, and that lack on this occasion caused his mouth to take up him up a cup-de-sac his brain was ill-equipped to back out of, or better still, avoid in the first place. TDS, like all ideological fervour, is fatal to common sense.

        He is apparently a philosopher, of among other things, ethics and rationality. That Trump U comparison, let alone the dead kids in the basement and the left-field entry of the asteroid at the end there makes you wonder what sort of philosophy they teach at Stanford. Good on Kisin for pulling him up so promptly.

        That one Greenwald thread caused more worry lines than a morning dwelling on the imminent European implosion.

      3. jsn

        Foaming the runway with small debtors is the CIA Party’s , that is the Ds, raison d’etre, Sam really needs to sort out which horse he’s on: just because a Republican got in on the grift, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good thing.

  4. Nealser

    The Daily Mail story about the Teacher jailed in Ireland for the wrong pronouns is purposely misleading.
    He was jailed for contempt of court.

    1. Revenant

      Even that’s not the whole story. He refuses to accept his suspension on full pay for the alleged infraction of the school’s policy and the school’s request that he stay at home so he turns up to work in an empty classroom each day. The school has now obtained a court order that he must stay off the premises. He turned up; the order was breached; there was a hearing; he refused to comply; the judge gaoled him for contempt (civil offence, not criminal – see Craig Murray’s travails).

      I suppose the teacher’s view is that the school’s policy is religious discrimination, he has done nothing wrong, he therefore refuses to accept suspension and exclusion on the grounds that they are prejudicial to his reputation and excessive, not natural justice etc. and he wishes to take a stand that he is not at fault. Unfortunately, what is a private matter has been turned into a stand against the state because the school has obtained an injunction and now he is opposing the court.

      On one level, this is a conflict between two belief systems which both claim protection and the courts are going to have decide which one has priority. His belief in God-given sexual identity may well be a protected belief, especially in Northern Ireland where extreme religion is deadly serious (the Troubles, Ian Paisley etc) and there is the long running legal saga of the Christian bakers who refused to bake a LBGTQIA+ cake) and the new gender fluidity religion may not be sufficiently established to prevail.

      On another level, the school is engaged in an act of self-harm, escalating this in the way they have. Why not just reassign his duties? Instead they impose a scarlet letter, treating him as if the allegation was a violent or sexual assault rather than a thought crime, and then haul him before the scarlet robes.

      Neither side comes across as people you want to educate your children in tolerance.

      1. Objective Ace

        I don’t understand why the teacher needs to use a pronoun at all. Why can’t the teacher just use his/her name. I suppose some forethought may be needed for group assignments, ie “all girls do this” etc.. but it doesnt seem like it would be that difficult to get around

        I never liked allowing students to dictate what the teacher must call them. In addition to the unneeded woke drama, it allows all sorts of other distracting behavior. What if someone wants to be called/identifies as “poop face” or “King Edward”

        1. JohnA

          Maybe the child in question had changed their birth name which was associated with their birth gender, to a name associated with their new chosen gender. I don’t know the political ins and outs, so if ‘birth’ and ‘chosen’ to describe gender is offensive to anyone, that is inadvertent.

          The cake episode was a deliberate provocation. A same sex couple ordered a wedding cake from a known to be extremely christian cake shop, then sued when the shop declined the order.

        2. The Rev Kev

          That teacher could have just said ‘Hey you’ but instead wanted to make a point because of his religion. And then he went overboard and ignored a judge’s order which is never a winning move. It’s like that time back in 2015 when that Kentucky county clerk refused to marry a gay couple because of her religion. In both cases, they wanted the drama because they ‘knew’ that they had right on their side. That teacher could have just called that student by their name. And that clerk could have just let someone else marry gay couples. Instead it all came down to drama theater with no compromise sought.

          1. Revenant

            From the report I read, the teacher refused to call a pupil as “they”. Which is laudable for the grammatical rigour if not the religious zeal.

            The whole thing is an employment dispute. Unfortunately, through the power of Greyskull, sorry IdPol, it has escalated into what some parties will paint as an imprisonment for a thought crime.

            Silly school, this won’t help the child or their cause.

            1. Adam1

              Actually the “grammatical rigor” argument is pretty weak. It’s at best only been about 200 years where academically it’s been considered in appropriate to use They/Them in a non-plural meaning, yet if you listen to conversations it gets “accidentally” slipped in even today. The 500 or so years before that it wasn’t accidental it was considered quite normal.

              1. barefoot charley

                Let’s recognize the difference between an informal convenience and a political requirement.

                1. Harry Haller

                  Bingo. And try writing a novel using They/Them. The emotional contortions over gender classifications and pronouns are, like most conspicuous left wing identity politics, a pathology of hyper individualism and the inability to talk openly about economic inequality and class politics.

                  The endless bloviating over gender roles and individuals’ “self-identity” during a time when homelessness and poverty are entrenched and millions are living paycheck to paycheck and have inadequate health insurance is a kind of decadence.

                  If being “on the left” requires one to accept the entire idpol package the left will never gain mass appeal.

                  1. ArvidMartensen

                    That’s the beauty of it. Divides people and eviscerates the left at the same time, two for the price of one.
                    And gets people used to changing their beliefs on a dime. Who is the enemy today? a la Orwell.
                    Love that quote earlier made in “Education and Indoctrination” ” Students, ……..should be encouraged not just to answer every question but also to question every answer.
                    So here is a great learning opportunity that the school has trashed.

        3. kson onair

          You’re right. Children are property and they need to understand that they have no rights, especially as long as they’re in prison for 8 hours a day. These little people wanting personal autonomy is nothing but “woke drama.”

          1. hunkerdown

            In the Calvinist social order, which greatly informed the Anglo-American ideology, families are indeed property of the head of the household.

            The last thing we need to teach children is that they are entitled to be deferred to. By that means, neo-Puritan wokeness teaches and trains bourgeois arrogance, and is fit to cancel on that basis alone.

          2. Objective Ace

            Generally speaking, no one else has the right to dictate their thoughts and beliefs onto others. If I want to be called “X”, my neighbor, server, or boss is under no obigation to do so. Why should we allow 11 year olds to? Doesnt set them up well for the real world

      2. Turbo

        Religious discrimination? Most of is preached by progressives originated in Judaism, so in the U.S. I could see it as a First Amendment issue, but Northern Ireland, about as religious as it gets?

    2. hunkerdown

      “Check” means to restrain.

      Good of the neoliberal Puritans to deign to instruct us on the politically correct worship of bourgeois authority and tell us exactly where to stop looking behind capitalist institutions, isn’t it.

      1. Jess K

        And [apparently] good of the religious zealots (equally fanatical in their sanctimoniousness, feigned victimhood and desire to impose their ‘values’ on others) for bravely standing up to this “bourgeois authority.” Finance capital is surely quaking in its boots.

    3. Jeff V

      In fairness to the Daily Mail – not a phrase I ever thought I’d be using! – the actual article does include all the relevant facts, eventually.

      It has a misleading headline, and is written in a misleading way (but we knew that already since it is in the Mail) but isn’t an outright misrepresentation. For that, I expect you’ll have to turn to the Daily Express.

    1. Nikkikat

      Thanks for the Red dog clip. I had a cattle dog, has some Kelpie in that breed. High energy dog would be understatement. She would go and go until she just fell over in exhaustion to sleep. Extremely smart, friends and neighbors considered her almost human.

      1. Alex Cox

        I think I have a Kelpie. Got her from a rescue in the Arizona desert, Fedwell Farms, so I don’t know her breed for sure. But she looks like the dog in the Rev’s dogsbreed link. She’s a wonderful, smart dog, but doesn’t like people much. I don’t know if that’s the breed or just that she was feral before they caught her.

        Funny to see the breeders’ prices for Kelpie pups: $1200-1600. My girl cost me $100.

  5. Tom Stone

    At least the weather is nice where I sit, temps dropped more than 40 degrees F overnight and it’s a comfortable 72 F at the moment.

    1. Lexx

      I set the air conditioner to 72 last night before going to bed just so we could get to sleep, then got back up at 11 to turn it off again and open up all the windows after the outdoor temp had finally fallen to 72.

      Today it will again be an uncomfortable 98 with not a leaf stirrin’ on the trees.

      In two weeks we’ll take the 5th wheel for its maiden run into the mountains where the RV resort owners assured my husband over the phone that the morning temps there are hovering at around 40. Aaaaaaaah!

      Your vacation sounds lovely, Tom. Please send postcards. I have a Special Fondness for the line ‘Wish you were here!’.

        1. Wukchumni

          Supposed to be around a hundred and hell hereabouts in tiny town, and I see Fresno set a new record high yesterday playing a bowl game in the heat dome.

          We’re coming up on the anniversary of the KNP Fire which was caused by 4 lightning strikes, and the next week is fraught with similar danger on high/ but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

          1. Turbos

            Buddy of mine works at Butler Aviation in SFO.
            So hot yesterday that private jet takeoffs canceled/limited as to weight.

          2. Anthony G Stegman

            To-date California’s wildfire season has not been nearly as bad as anticipated. Total acreage burned is a fraction of recent years. Keep your fingers crossed that the good luck holds.

        2. Lexx

          Sympathies to you and Wuk. On Saturday the percentage keeps going up in the forecast that we’ll be dragging in a thunderstorm this weekend. So, relief is in sight but wildfire danger too.

      1. Tom Stone

        Happily, it’s where I live year round.
        30 Minutes to the coast and at least a 30 degree temperature difference when it is hot.
        And the salmon are biting.

        1. juno mas

          Hmm, not my coast! It reached 99 F. at the Santa Barbara harbor. No breeze, no relief. Looks like HOT through Friday.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘Lavrov – about Josep Borrel, who called Russia a “fascist country”: If what has been reported in all the world’s media is confirmed, then, of course, we will have very big questions about how to continue doing business with these people.’

    Lavrov is right here. Officially, Josep Borrell is the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy which I take to mean that he is their top diplomat. But lately he talks more like a belligerent Minister of Defense. He seems to have form here as in 2019 he called Russia the ‘old enemie’ before he was even appointed the EU diplomat. Maybe that is what helped him to get elected.

    He also ‘wants EU countries to confiscate frozen foreign-exchange reserves of the Russian central bank —which amount to over $300 billion— to cover the costs of rebuilding Ukraine after the war.’ What this means is that if there are ever going to be proper negotiations between Russia and the EU, then he should probably go. His track record shows him to be the wrong person to conduct highly sensitive negotiations and I am sure that he would be able to pick up a lucrative gig with a think tank somewhere. If not, he could always go to Argentina – where it has warmer winters – since not that long ago he picked himself up Argentinian citizenship.

    1. digi_owl

      More and more it seems that all of these politicians are typical normal retirement age, and mentally stuck in the 50s-60s.

    2. Ignacio

      Since EU wants war, the representative (Borrell) turns anti-diplomat warmonger. It goes with a job that in certain circumstances turns a person who could have been decent into something different. Promoter of hate etc. I wouldn’t want the position no matter salary, power, fame, advantages… whatever.

    3. Alex Cox

      Josep Borrell has a history of narrowly avoiding criminal charges. As Spanish foreign minister he was fined 30,000 euros for securities market law violations; the Spanish stock market regulator accused him of insider trading; he was forced to resign as head of the European University Institute; and the leftist party Unidos Podemos has accused him of theft of public funds. Here’s an article about him.

      So, the perfect representative for the European Commission!

  7. Lexx

    ‘As Colorado River Dries Up, The U.S. Teeters On The Brink Of A Larger Crisis’

    ‘There are tough decisions to be made in California, and some of them won’t be popular. You can see the difference between someone like Brown, who was sort of end-of-career and just like, “Screw it, man, I’m just going to do this because it needs to be done,” and someone like Newsom, who clearly has aspirations for higher office and is making more of a political play.’

    First, the suggestion that old politicians get things done because they no longer care about the political consequences… or their legacy, apparently. ‘Whachagonnado to me?’

    Second, wasn’t/isn’t Newsom in the winery and restaurant business to the tune of millions? Those vineyards use river water or aquifer? I never assume politicians are above a personal conflict of interest while in office, quite the contrary.

    Third, how much less food would we need to grow in the west if we could simply learn to stop wasting so much?

    Fourth, while we are a natural resource exploiting, declining empire of other countries*, our resources too have been purchased by foreign investors.

    *Ain’t that what war is for?

    Yes, I’m well aware of mega-wattage of the think tank here. Please be kind.

    1. Wukchumni

      In past collapses of the climate kind, the ancient ones (er, that’d be anybody before 1900 or so) knew nothing, so yes it must have been a shock when their civilizations collapsed, but was easily explained by invoking a deity’s displeasure that done did the dastardly deed, but we’re different in that we know pretty much exactly what is going on and none of this will be a shock.

      Lake Mead is one of my searches, and half the articles are in regards to the possibility that the newest corpse unveiled in Davy Jones Locker might be some mobster nobody has ever heard of, who disappeared 37 years ago.

      Tens of millions of lives to be permanently affected by the Colorado River going dry, and the emphasis is on the corpus derelicti.

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        I’d like to see a list of the brainiacs who thought it was a good idea to put 40 million people in a desert, along with all their “stuff”.

    2. Socal Rhino

      If wishes were horses…

      The point that grabbed my attention: Looking at the world, Arizona’s issues are way down the list.

      Also, we (US) are facing a mismatch between where food is grown and where the water is available. If moving the water continues not to be a viable alternative, then agriculture productions needs to move to the water.

    3. anon in so cal

      Two days after winning the California recall election, Gavin Newsom discreetly signed into law two bills that were overwhelmingly opposed by California voters: SB-9 and SB-10. They were drafted by San Francisco representative Scott Weiner, who is the poster person for real estate developers.

      SB-9 allows developers to take any single-home lot, divide it into 4 smaller lots, and construct housing on each of those 4 smaller lots. The new housing units do not have to be “affordable.”

      California voters and even the Los Angeles City Council objected to SB-9.

      Additionally, Newsom has mandated construction of 3.5 million new homes by 2025.

      California now has 41 million inhabitants. Leaving aside issues such as quality of life, density, destruction of open space and wildlife habitat—where will the water and power come from?

      1. Anthony G Stegman

        According to the 2020 Census California has lost population, so it is puzzling to me where all this demand for additional housing is coming from? Even if one includes all of the homeless across the state there is no need for 3.5 million additional housing units, unless it is Black Rock placing lots of orders.

      2. John k

        As I recall, three crops, almonds, alfalfa and rice, are almost exclusively exported to Asia, and each consumes 400k ac-ft. This land could shift to solar panels, freeing up 1.2-mil ac-ft of water with nearly no effect on us food supply. I seem to remember 1/2 ac-ft is enough for a family of 4 for a year, if that’s right that’s enough for 1/4 of ca pop. Ag gets 80% of water allocated to man, but produces just 2% of ca gdp. Somebody will put something on the ballot that slashes ca ag.
        The central az project (CAP), was mostly built for ag; ag production there has to go, too.
        As somebody here said, ag has to move to where the water is.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Saw a video how Arizona is short of drinking water. And yet they leased land for this Saudi company so that they can grow alfalfa to ship to Saudi Arabia for feed-stock. They can pump as much water from the aquifers as they want but bonus points for the fact that though market rates for land is about fifty bucks per acre, this Saudi company is only paying twenty five bucks an acre. And nobody really knows how much water they are pumping.

  8. Henry Moon Pie

    Psilocybin as a treatment for alcoholism–

    Bravo that the march forward of psilocybin as a treatment for various disorders continues.

    And it serves as a good excuse to tell a favorite story. Back in the 70s, I enjoyed Les McCann, a jazz/fusion keyboard artist. In particular, I liked his album “Hustle to Survive.” The title song, along with several other cuts were written by McCann with the lyrics attributed to a mysterious “Rev B.” The lyrics were striking, anti-Establishment and a little trippy, and I was very curious about who Rev B might be, but that was before such things could be researched on the Web, so there wasn’t much of a way to pursue it.

    Years later, with the Intertubes flowing, I put “Rev B McCann” in the Google box and found this. McCann’s writing partner for “Hustle to Survive” was a older white woman named Betty Grove Eisner. She had grown up in a wealthy neighborhood in Kansas City and attended Sunset Hill School, the sister school of the boys’ prep school where I went on scholarship. After graduating from Sunset in the 30s, she went on to Stanford where she graduated PBK in 1937. Now like many women in those days, she married right after college and had kids, but with the arrival of WW II, she volunteered for the Red Cross where she became interested in helping people with psychological problems. She went back to school and obtained a Ph.D. in psychology from UCLA,

    She went to work for Dr. Sidney Cohen, who was a pioneer in the study of LSD’s use in psychological therapy. In the course of this work, one of Betty’s patients was Bill W., the founder of AA. In the 60s, of course, LSD became demonized (“Acid, Amnesty, Abortion”), and the studies ceased, but Eisner remained such a believer in the effectiveness of psychedelics in the treatment of various disorders that she left her estate to the Hefftner Research Institute in Santa Fe, an organization devoted to the study of psychedelics as medicine.

    Along the way, the multi-talented Eisner hooked up with Les McCann to do her lyrics thing as Rev B.

    Check out a couple of her songs if you’re interested:

    Hustle to Survive

    Why is Now?

    All of this from a woman born into as Midwest whitebread culture as exists anywhere.
    Personally, I think that if there was a scriptwriter looking for a story about pioneering feminists/scientists, Betty Grove Eisner would make a great subject.

      1. Geo

        One of my favs! A rare gem that plays in my head unprompted on occasion and lifts my mood. Such a joyful and rambunctious tune!

    1. Geo

      Reading more into this… fascinating!!! So much potential positivity lost in the hysterical war on drugs.

      An excerpt from one piece I was reading (link is for a PDF):

      By the end of the 1950’s, psycholytic LSD therapy was routine practice in the tonier precincts of Los Angeles, such as Beverly Hills. Certainly the business model was hard to beat: some therapists were charging upwards of five hundred dollars a session to administer a drug they were often getting from Sandoz for free. Articles like “My 12 Hours as a Madman” gave way to the enthusiastic testimonials of the numerous Hollywood celebrities who had had transformative experiences in the offices of Oscar Janiger, Betty Eisner, and Sidney Cohen and a growing number of other therapists. Anaïs Nin, Jack Nicholson, Stanley Kubrick, André Previn, James Coburn, and the beat comedian Lord Buckley all underwent LSD therapy, many of them on the couch of Oscar Janiger. But the most famous of these patients was Cary Grant, who gave an interview in 1959 to the syndicated gossip columnist Joe Hyams extolling the benefits of LSD therapy. Grant had more than sixty sessions and by the end declared himself “born again.”

      “All the sadness and vanities were torn away,” the fifty-five-year-old actor told Hyams, in an interview all the more surprising in the light of Cary Grant’s image as a reserved and proper Englishman. “I’ve had my ego stripped away. A man is a better actor without ego, because he has truth in him. Now I cannot behave untruthfully toward anyone, and certainly not to myself.” From the sound of it, LSD had turned Cary Grant into an American.

      “I’m no longer lonely and I am a happy man,” Grant declared. He said the experience had allowed him to overcome his narcissism, greatly improving not only his acting but his relationships with women: “Young women have never before been so attracted to me.”

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        “Madmen” has an episode or two about this phenomenon in New York. And Leary and Alpert started with psilocybin with creatives in New York. Allen Ginsberg was one of them.

    2. eg

      My limited (though mostly very enjoyable) experience with psilocybin involved copious amounts of alcohol — a curious thing that it could also be used for this therapeutic purpose.

  9. SD

    Cory Doctorow has a great story in his book “Radicalized” about the billionaires-with-bunkers approach to planet-wide crises. The whole book is worth a read.

    1. Louis Fyne

      if civilization ever gets to the point were hiding in a bunker is the reasonable option, those billionaires are going to realize that there “are two people in life, those with guns and those who dig..”

      and the billionaires will be the ones digging as their security detail will be the ones with the real power

      1. Dermotmoconnor

        They’ll need to marry their daughters to the warlord I mean their head of security. Join the bloodlines. They’ve all watched game of thrones

    2. ChrisPacific

      Some encouraging news on this front: the Queenstown district council recently rejected Peter Thiel’s application to build a ‘luxury lodge’ (dug into a hillside and bearing a more-than-passing resemblance to the fabled billionaire bunkers of legend). Official comments on the submission might be summarized as ‘WTF?’ It was pretty clear that little or no consideration had been given to the environmental protection requirements and district plan.

      Peter Thiel is of course one of New Zealand’s newer citizens, having been granted citizenship in defiance of the normal rules in exchange for unspecified job-creating investments (yet to materialize) and thereby given the right to acquire land and build without going through the foreign investment process (very much in evidence). He still has to comply with local regs though.

  10. OnceWereVirologist

    Lance Gooden wants to make privateering great again.

    This man should be president. We’re living in the stupidest timeline, let’s lean into it. People say surface navies are obsolete in the missile age. But naval warfare could get a new lease on life if ship-to-ship boarding actions become the new meta. Let’s make those Russian oligarchs walk the plank.

      1. ambrit

        Man your armed merchantman Russian oil tanker with robot dogs and call it an ‘I’-Ship. All part of the “Internet of Navy,” or ION for short.
        “Avast me hearties! Raise the Jolly Elon! Tis Kamchatka Crude we seek!”

  11. Watt4Bob

    Re: FERC Gaslights America. American Conservative

    “We cannot blame our problems on the weather,” as Commissioner Danly writes. The U.S. has the resources to build a more reliable natural gas network and the next generation of nuclear reactors necessary for a clean, reliable energy sector. But until we lift the irrational regulatory barriers and incentivize reliability, we’re in for a lot of blackouts and a lot of coal.

    So, everything would workout is only we’d get rid of those pesky regulations and pay for grid upgrades?

    IIRC, it was deregulation allowing those who sell us electricity to divest themselves of the grid and its maintenance costs that ended up leading to the unreliability of the grid through neglect.

    So now, the same folks who made a killing by ducking one of the primary costs of delivering their product, inform us that it’s necessary for us to both further relax those regulations, and pay for repairing the grid that has suffered from neglect.

    IIRC, Texas has isolated it self by disconnecting from the rest of the country’s grid, meaning it can neither help its neighbors by sharing its surplus generation capacity nor ask for help when it falls short.

    IMO, Texas situation is the result of state legislature enabling the energy sector to create a captive market where they are free to squeeze their customers with complete impunity.

    When cold weather created a crisis that resulted in $Billions in increased electricity bill for Texans due in large part to “the market” they created with the legislatures help, they blame the rising proportion of renewable energy sources?

    Am I the only one confused by the fact that it’s the conservative press that is complaining about regulatory capture after decades of pushing deregulation of everything?

    Decades of neoliberal efforts to eliminate regulations, firmly rooted in the conservative end of the political spectrum has resulted in regulators so captured that they themselves are calling for less regulation.

    And it’s the American Conservative that calls this irony to my attention?

    Seriously, WTF?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I too wondered at reading about some of the negative impacts of Inflation Reduction Act, and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [FERC] in the American Conservative. But on further reflection, I recalled my belief that the contending factions of the u.s. Power Elite are just two sides of the same coin. Both factions are Neoliberal. The obverse side of the coin, so called conservatives, favor Neoliberalism of a stronger Libertarian flavor. The Neoliberal religion deliberately fosters many sects to battle out in the great Marketplace of Ideas. One sect favors greater use of regulatory agencies to build a better Market. Another prominent sect believes more strongly the Market, largely unaided, can arrive at Pareto Optimality.

      When I took some introductory courses of economics — many long years ago, before the Neoliberal usurpation of Economics theory in Academia — the provision of electric power was a standard example of a clear and obvious case of a service and commodity which should be provided by a Public utility. Neither faction of the u.s. Power Elite is in favor of making electric utilities, electric power generation, and the Grid a Public utility. The very notion of a Public utility is blasphemous anathema to both factions.

      1. eg

        It’s blasphemous anathema to both factions because they are macroeconomic illiterates immune to an understanding of basic network effects and monopoly power. Which is to say that they are a species of religious fanatics.

  12. KD

    Our brains exist in a state of “controlled hallucination. . .

    Wow, its like the world consists of appearances, regarding which we can have only opinions (doxa) and that true knowledge can only be of the ideas/forms which are imperfectly expressed in the realm of appearances, the forms being incorporeal and transcendent. How original! Perhaps someone can think up a metaphor about people trapped in a cave watching images on the wall as well.

    1. hunkerdown

      What exactly is the terrible danger in that someone somewhere might augment 2500-year-old idealistic kookery with actual observations? It’s almost as if henologists want everyone else to stay in the cave.

      1. KD

        I do not see the problem with science confirming Plato’s basic epistemological insights 2500 years after the fact. Hopefully they get onto the problem of memory as well per the Phaedo. But idealistic kookery? Not to mention the influence of Plato on German Idealism and Heidegger in a more contemporary context. Is that German kookery? It’s all nonsense unless written in English by an Anglo-Saxon committed to philosophical naturalism (especially if they are completely ignorant of the history of philosophy)?

        If you remember, epistemology was divided between the English empiricists, who claimed ideas were derived from observation, and the innate idea people.

    2. JAC

      Scientists make certain what people already know. I consider it a healthy verification. But scientists had also covered up the nature of things with their materialist silliness for the last 1000 years. Daoists, Buddha, and Jesus knew the deal, they just used different language.

      As someone who has had episodes of psychosis since he was 13 I know this already. I knew this in 7th grade when the teacher told me to measure my desk and I was given a ruler with 1/4″ divisions and my seat mate had a ruler with 1/8″ divisions. I realized the table had no length.

      Consciousness is just two probably waves colliding with each other.

    3. ArvidMartensen

      “controlled hallucination” is just hyperbole. What they are actually saying is that people, with different experiences and different genetic makeups, make assumptions about the world that colours their perceptions. And their assumptions are different and so their perceptions are different.
      Like the Trump voters and the Biden voters. I see a dodgy laptop, you see a terrifying source of Russian disinformation. etc. I say banarnas and you say bananas.

  13. fresno dan
    Documents the FBI seized in its raid of former President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago included information about a foreign country’s nuclear capabilities, the Washington Post has reported.

    Among the materials taken by federal authorities, people familiar told the Post, was a document that provided descriptions of the other nation’s military defenses, including nuclear.
    Interesting from the standpoint of since when does FOX reiterate what the WP reports? Hmmmm….. I am skeptical about the search of Mar-a-lago, but this classified stuff may actually affect repub support for Trump – time will tell. I expect to be seriously amused. Of course, I don’t think Trump having this stuff is anything but carelessness and his arrogance about being able to ignore rules because he has money.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘included information about a foreign country’s nuclear capabilities’

      Not hard to work out which country that would be. I bet that it is Israel. It would be funny if one of the reasons behind this dodgy raid was because somebody in the Israeli government got wind of this and demanded that those files be grabbed before somebody got a peek at them.

      1. Revenant

        I keep seeing references to “a foreign country’s nuclear defense capabilities” (local spelling for local people). Which could be anything! The actual capability of the country to defend its nuclear missiles? The actual capability of the country to defend itself through nuclear deterrence? Or just the potential capability of a country to do one or both of these? A wikipedia entry on Aldermaston or a dog-eared copy of the Samson Option would satisfy this description.

        Since there is no precise accusation, it is a screaming certainty that this weasel worded accusation is just because Trump has a pack of Top Trumps Weapons of Mass Destruction cards.

        1. voteforno6

          Being that this is the country whose military belongs to the “Department of Defense,” this certainly refers to nuclear weapons. There is quite a bit of leeway there, though – is it a country that currently has weapons? A country that may have a weapons program, but no actual weapons? Who knows. Still, even the most anodyne interpretation is troubling, if this is story is true. Or, as the French would say, c’est pas terrible.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Michael Cohen, who used to be Trump’s fixer-lawyer, has a theory that Trump stole those documents to use for blackmail and/or extortion against the US government if it dared to indict him for anything . . .

            ” Nice little defense posture and alliance structure you got there. Too bad if something was to happen to it.”

            Trump was Roy Cohn’s apt young pupil , after all. And learned all about mafia logic from his time in the Construction Business.

      2. Young

        I think Kim of North Korea gave those papers to Trump when they met, the importance(err, the secuity level) of which was lost in translation. Nobody knew what they were until the korean maid at MaL saw the papers and immediately called her reporter daughter at WaPo.
        She (the reporter) tipped DOJ.
        This is my story, and I standby it.

        /s to those who need it.

    2. David

      It could be anything, at any level of classification. Notice the word “capabilities,” is used, rather than say “secrets,” and that the document includes information, about nuclear capabilities, but is not limited to them. Suspension of judgement is called for at this point, I think.

      1. Eureka Springs

        Yes and it could be completely untrue or planted materials. The way this and so much more has been handled there is no sound reason to trust them ever. And even if true, when did our intel praetorian community ever get something correct? Why would anyone consider our intel communities documentation on another countries hosting of croquet tournaments, much less WMDs abilities to even be close to good info?

        1. David

          As far as I can see, it’s not even suggested that these were necessarily intelligence materials anyway. The formulation is quite consistent with them having been passed over by a friendly power.

  14. Matthew G. Saroff

    Regarding The Fall of ‘Nature’ in Quilette, even if it did not praise Charles Murray, who burned a cross as a young adult and never really apologized, and whose book The Bell Curve was bad science funded in large part by the white supremacist Pioneer Fund, (I know very little of David Geary) the article would be suspect because it comes from Quilette, whose entire raison d’être is to allow privileged people to whine about how wokeness has led people to say mean things about them, makes it suspect.

    “People are mean to me, and I blame wokeness, and not my sloppy thinking,” is literally every article that has ever appeared in that article.

    1. eg

      In this regard Quilette is like The Economist — a one-note editorial rag masquerading as a font of disinterested wisdom.

    2. Solar Hero

      Hmmm, I’ve seen Glenn Loury and Coleman Hughes interview Charles Murray so wondering if everything I’ve heard about him is as much BS as so many others…

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Russia: Vladimir Putin slams sanctions in pitch for new global order”

    He did more than that at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. This article quickly skims over the subject of grain shipments. A coupla months ago a agreement was signed where the Ukraine could ship their wheat out while Russia could do the same with its ships which would alleviate the growing food shortages. Turns out that the US/EU reneged on the Russian part of the agreement so that not a single Russian vessel with grain has managed to leave port. Vassily Nebenzia, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, said-

    ‘The agreement was concluded for four months. In other words, it ends in November. In a normal [situation], the deal should be extended. Given the results, or rather the lack of results, I do not rule out anything.’

    So that agreement will be terminated and the US/EU will blame Russia for it. But Putin went on to say that out of the 80 ships that left the Ukraine, only two were actually traveling on hunger relief missions. So where did the rest of them end up? Why in wealthy EU nations as it turns out. So just like the EU grabbed as many vials of vaccines as they could during the early days of the pandemic, they are now grabbing as much of that wheat as possible while denying Russian shipments to poorer nations. I bet that that went down like a lead balloon at that conference.

    1. Old Sovietologist

      We can safely say Russia has won the information war when it comes to 85% of the world. Lavrov strides the world stage like the diplomatic colossus he is. If only the collective west had such individuals.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I bet it does. But they have been rigidly excluded from government or even government-adjacency for the last few decades.

        The late great Professor Steven Cohen was one such individual, for example. And there are probably others still alive, even today, unseen and unheard under the Establishment Cone of Silence.

  16. Matthew G. Saroff

    Regarding hybrids, I have a Prius as well, a 2004 with nearly 300,000 miles on the odometer, it’s my midlife crisis car, because I am the dullest **familyblog** on the planet.

    The car is highly computerized, but my guy has had no problem dealing with it. One example: I needed the radiator replaced, which meant that the cooling system needed to be drained.

    The cooling system is complex, it has two pumps, and cools the engine, traction batteries, and inverters, and if you go to Youtube, you find dozens of videos on how to bleed the system (lots of nooks and crannies.

    I asked him about this, and he said, “You don’t need to do that, I just put the vacuum pump on the system and fill it up.”

    You just need a good mechanic, which I acknowledge are as rare as the proverbial hens teeth.

    1. griffen

      I’d be interested in what the battery replacement timeline and costs are. Not in the market for one myself, just more a price point on what has to be an expensive and necessary step. Have a local friend that bought a previously owned Nissan Leaf about 3 years ago, primarily because his commute to a new job was ~ 80 miles round trip. He swore by that car, even if it was a wee small and odd looking, and I rode shotgun a few days one week in February 2020.

      February is not really that cold here, but it was cold that week. No heater.

      1. Matthew G. Saroff

        For my car, NIMH batteries, I’ve gotten about 200K out of them. (I got it at about 70K and I now have 270K)

        You are looking at about $2500 from the dealer, and about half that with aftermarket prices and an independent auto shop, on the order of 2½¢ a mile with a 100,000 mile life. Toyota warrantiess the battery for at least 100K miles (varies by state).

        I can’t speak to the LiIon batteries that they are using now, or other manufacturers. Toyota has gone to efforts to keep the lifespan of the traction battery pack long, even at the expense of some performance. (Typically, they keep charge levels below 80% and above 20% to increase life span)

        Also, their CVT, which is a dual input (actually 3 input if you count the internal combustion engine) epicyclic (both the sun and the ring can be driven by motors) transmission as opposed to some sort of belt drive with pulleys, allows them to keep wear and tear to both the ICE and electric drive train components.

        My car has been very reliable, with the only major work coming as a result as accidents.

      2. Larry Chasen

        I have a 2005 Prius. In 2018 the hybrid battery crapped out. Toyota wanted $3800 to replace it. I had Green Bean Battery come out and they replaced the hybrid battery in my home garage for $1500. It took about 1.5 hours and I watched the whole thing. The replaced battery is still doing fine 4 years later. So far at least.

    2. albrt

      I had a 2003 Honda Civic hybrid until about 2 years ago. It was a pretty good car, but the battery pack had to be replaced 4 times. The first time I think it was around $7000 and could only be done by the dealer, but the car was still under warranty. The second time I think I paid about $4800, and nobody but the dealer would attempt it. The third time was about $2800 done by my regular mechanic. The fourth time I sold it to my mechanic for $500 and he did the replacement and sold it for a small profit.

      One thing the mechanic told me was that the car needed to be driven every day – my problems were mostly caused by letting it sit.

  17. KD

    Volkswagen triggers landmark Porsche IPO plan, defying market doubts

    Sounds like insiders are going to line their pockets buying Porsche shares at a discount in an IPO launched at precisely the worst time.

  18. Carolinian

    That’s an informative article on the power grid even if the TAC authors have to throw in a bit of nuke apple polishing in the end.

    But a desire for increased competition led FERC to establish the RTO framework late in 1999. Under the new system, generation and transmission operate more independently with the aim of eliminating incumbent advantages. Often, these new “deregulated” retail utilities take responsibility primarily for distribution to customers. They purchase generated electricity in RTO-run wholesale energy markets and re-sell that electricity at a retail level to consumers—“rate payers,” in industry argot.

    And what party and president were in charge of FERC in 1999? So the grid is yet another Clinton deregulatory disaster to go with the mortgage meltdown. Perhaps we are all going to need generators before this is over with and a few of my neighbors have automatic versions that are quite substantial. In the middle of the night I can tell if the power is off because you will hear them roar into life.

  19. Tom Finn

    Since the early eighties the benefits of vertical axis wind turbines have been published, demonstrated and ignored. On land they are much safer for birds!
    The Quillette essay on “Wokeness”(my application of the term not his) vs Science has already had a long string of episodes. Maybe good this publication is admitting their; I dunno: stupidity, cowardice, Dark Ages mentality?
    I was just in Tucson where I heard the report of a 200 year old Saguaro falling over like a limp noodle due to super saturation during this years particularly heavy “monsoon” season. Two years ago they were budding unusually down the branches due to drought. Fingers crossed for their survival.
    Think I’ll avoid the political links today…I’m spent. Peace

    1. JAC

      I have been seeing swastikas painted in my small Pacific Northwest town, and it haas been appearing in other towns nearby. I am spent as well.

      I was going to go to Montana but that is on fire so I am further off into the Olympic Peninsula until the fires break..

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        And in today’s environment one has to wonder whether those are true believer swastikas or false flag swastikas or provocatroll swastikas.

  20. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Discovery suggests red supergiant Betelgeuse was actually yellow 2,000 years ago

    There’s some sloppy writing in that article, and I would have expected better considering it’s from a website dedicated to the subject matter.

    “The 14th-century astronomer Ptolemy compared Betelgeuse to other stars, distinguishing it from red-colored bright stars like Antares  —  a red supergiant around 700 times the size of the sun whose very name in Greek means ‘like Mars’  — or Aldebaran.”

    Well sort of. But the prefix ‘ant-‘ does not mean ‘like’, it means ‘opposed to’ or ‘against’. Antares is a bright red star that is often confused with the planet Mars, so a better, more direct translation of Antares would be “not Mars”, letting the planet seekers know to look elsewhere for it.

    Then we have –

    ” “From a statement by the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, one can conclude that, in the 16th century, Betelgeuse was more red than Aldebaran,” Neuhäuser added.

    In the modern day, astronomers see Betelgeuse as being similar in brightness and color to Antares — found in the constellation of Taurus and located around 604 light-years from Earth.”

    Antares is not in Taurus, it is in Scorpio. Aldebaran is in Taurus. If any editors are reading NC today, I’d be happy to offer my services for a nominal and modest fee. ;)

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Wow that’s an even more blatant error and I missed that one completely – nice catch. I’m guessing it’s the woodcut (or engraving?) illustration of Ptolemy in the article that’s from the 14th century and the author got mixed up.

        Side note: I picked up a copy of Ptolemy’s Almagest a few years ago in English translation and while his geocentric model has long been proven wrong, it is pretty amazing what he did actually get right almost 2000 years ago.

        1. LifelongLib

          Yeah, that 14th century Ptolemy thing jumped out at me too. Your woodcut idea didn’t occur to me but seems plausible.

          As for the geocentric model, it was the reigning astronomical paradigm from ancient Greece until Copernicus (16th century). According to Thomas Kuhn, every time observation showed a problem with it, it would be tweaked a little to bring its predictions back into line. It always seemed one fix away from being completely accurate so for a long time nobody looked for a more radical solution.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “US: Russia to buy rockets, artillery shells from North Korea”

    Say, how do we know that those Asiatic looking soldiers are really from Siberia? Maybe they are secretly North Korean soldiers in disguise – with each one of them carrying an artillery shell or a rocket. All part of Putin’s cunning plots. Next from US intelligence – ‘Russia caught trying to buy photon torpedoes and phasers from the Federation.’

    US intelligence is just throwing stuff against a wall and hoping that something will stick.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      There are plenty of Asiatic-looking Russians. And I mean ethnic Russians (there are of course also many ethnic minorities, such as, say, Russian Koreans). Centuries on or near the Eurasian steppe will do that.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I recall reading an old Russian proverb, though I do not recall where:
        “Scratch a Russian find a Tartar.”

      2. ambrit

        Being invaded and ruled for a couple of centuries by the Golden Horde will increase the asiatic population’s representation in modern day populations.
        Russia really is where East meets West.

    2. Stephen

      Great comment!

      If you spread that rumour about photon torpedoes then I am sure that the Daily Mail or some other highly reputable western media outlet will pass it on.

      And even embellish it: “Some anonymous Pentagon sources say that the hypersonic missiles are adapted from a Klingon warp drive and cloaking device. They are now going to sanction the Klingon Empire.”

      Sorry that we are all making s@@t up.

    3. danpaco

      Even if true, who cares?
      Don’t countries buy arms from each other all the time.
      If anything I would speculate that the DPRK is acting as the middleman from China.

      1. eg

        The Western propaganda “geniuses” behind this story think they have accomplished a terribly clever double-smear — that the Russians are running out of their own munitions and that they are in league with an international pariah.

        I anticipate that those on the business end of the explosives will find themselves no less dead for this communications triumph.

        1. danpaco

          They really missed the trifecta of smear narrative.
          Chinese weapons sold via DPRK to Russia to…
          I’m in the wrong business.

  22. Tom Stone

    I’ve been struck by how reckless and provocative the Biden Administration has been both at home and abroad.
    And I wonder how much of it has to do with Joe’s irascible temperament.
    And how much that has to do with Joe’s bowels.
    Or Hemorrhoids, or…
    “Joe, we can’t let them diss you!”
    Stop for a moment and reflect, The US and EU are committing economic suicide and risking Nuclear Armageddon in their confrontation with Russia “Over Ukraine”..
    This is not sane behavior.
    And LOTS of “Stingers” are floating around…
    Some Americans are very much in tune with AZOV, Right Sektor, Kraken and the like and they have links formal and informal with their like minded brethern in the fore front of the Crusade.
    And some segments of the US Security State wouldn’t mind a couple or three “Stingers” being used in the continental USA considering the benefits a Domestic Terrorism Bill would bring.
    Go with the flow, let Nature take its course.
    Martial Law is such a harsh term, I’m sure the commentariat can think of acceptable synonyms.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Given my belief that Biden is little more than a sock puppet for the currently ascendant factions of the u.s. Power Elite, how reckless and provocative the u.s. government has been both at home and abroad alarms me far more than concerns for Biden’s bowels or irascible temperament. In portraying my view of the actions of the u.s. Power Elite the word madness does not do it, nor any other word I can conjure — a new word must be invented.

    2. notabanker

      Well, a bill has to be named the exact opposite of what it will do, so I’m thinking the Freedom of Liberty, Speech, Movement and Protest Act.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Speaking of “reckless and provocative”…..

      “Jon Stewart and the Pentagon honor Ukrainian Nazi at Disney World”

      This August, during the Department of Defense’s annual Warrior Games at Disney World in Orlando, Florida this August 19-28, liberal comedian Jon Stewart awarded a Ukrainian military veteran named Ihor Halushka the “Heart of the Team” award for “inspiring his team” with his “personal example.”

      Halushka happens to have been a member of the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which has been armed by the US and integrated into the Ukrainian National Guard. The award-winning ultra-nationalist wore a sleeve over his left arm as he accepted the prize, presumably to cover up his tattoo of the Nazi Sonnenrad, or Black Sun.

      Stewart triumphantly bellowed “Ihor!” as the Nazi was presented with his trophy.

      ukraine and canada were the only foreign teams taking part in this year’s “warrior games.” They enjoyed a night out at Disney World during their stay in these here united states.

      jeezus h. christ.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I am vary wary of anything that comes out of the Ukraine lately. Several weeks ago I saw this heart-warming clip of this women soldier coming home and her little daughter ran up to her in the street and they both hugged each other. It was so good. This is, until I noticed the Black Sun emblem on her field pack.

    4. griffen

      Well if the POTUS is having bowel or hemorrhoid issues, there is one specialist who is up to the task. I do think that this Seinfeld character would be WH-executive level quality for any possible digging to be done into these problems. Oh, I think this is safe for work but best turn volume down.

    5. Oh

      He’s after a pawn to the TPTB. It’s so unfortunate and disgusting to see the European Leaders fall prey to the Russia, Russia threats. I wonder what they have on them?

  23. Maxwell Johnston

    “Is Russia’s economy really hurting?”

    Setting aside Betteridge’s Law, my view is: not very much. After four days in Moscow, I can say that pretty much everything is available, albeit for a price. No signs of collapse or panic, and not much evidence that combat is taking place nearby. Life goes on. The sense of normality is overwhelming.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      To be pedantic, it’s hardly nearby… I suspect Belgorod might be a little different.

      My impression in Yekaterinburg – still further away – is the same, however. There was a slight price increase, but that is about it. Maybe everything will collapse in a few months, but there are no real signs of that so far.

      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Indeed, it’s a big country and I should have put NEARBY into quotes, but I’ve found that quotation marks on NC tend to trigger the gods of moderation. Prices in rubles are up across the board by maybe 20-30% since February, but what I (as a foreigner) find jarring is the new improved exchange rate: my valuta ($ and €) don’t go as far as they used to, so I’m feeling the pain. Not the 1990s anymore. And I see no signs of imminent collapse, either.

    2. Ignacio

      If we assume that the analysts that predict that such Russian collapse might come after 2-3-4 years. Does the PMC really believe sanctions are worth those years of war in Ukraine? Do they believe it is also worth the pain in the rest of the world? It this a valid objective? Pain, pain, pain… Of course, this is apart from the most tragic possibilities more probable as war goes on. Guillotines, I dream of guillotines.

      1. hunkerdown

        The PMC can unlock massive class benefits by locking in the wartime information regime. Yer gol durn right Le Guin’s Omelas is worth it to them. They grew up hearing the world was begging to bear their mark. Imagine they develop platforms that not only prevent them from hearing the riff-raff questioning them, but allow the 10% to talk over them.

      2. ChrisPacific

        This strikes me as an unserious article. Most of the actual pain described in the article that Russia is experiencing now stems from restricted access to imports. There’s no evidence that the sanctions on gas have done anything at all, because Russia can just sell to non-sanctioning countries like China or India and benefit from the global price spikes.

        The solution the article proposes is to – drumroll – sanction China and India. Great idea. Did it escape their attention that the US has spent the last several decades offshoring most of its productive capacity, most notably to India and China? Exactly what makes them think that the US could outlast India or China in that scenario? Any government stupid enough to actually try it would be quickly removed from office.

  24. Maxwell Johnston

    “Russia makes a U-turn on reciprocity policies”

    Good for RU, I tip my hat. Finally a major player takes the high road. Maybe, just maybe, common sense will prevail.

  25. hunkerdown

    From Twitter’s own Events:

    Absentee voting methods are safe and legal in most states, according to fact-checkers

    Claims of widespread voter fraud around mail-in voting and other forms of absentee balloting are unfounded, according to Reuters, The Associated Press and election security experts.

    “Safe and legal in most states” But not effective? Wow, I feel so much better at the better-than-even performance of “our” democratic institutions. Thanks to the AI who wrote this Twitter propaganda, I won’t be completely confused about the value of trial by market combat!

  26. Carolinian

    Jacobin–this hits home

    But most absurd is the idea that it’s Trump and some cabal of zealots behind him that explain why the GOP is attacking abortion and other privacy rights nationwide. Trump’s sudden adoption of an extreme anti-abortion position was what consolidated his support from the GOP base in 2016 in the first place, and his anti-abortion Supreme Court picks weren’t rogue choices but names fed to him from the Republican establishment, with nearly every single Republican senator voting lockstep to confirm them all (Maine senator Susan Collins’s vote against Amy Coney Barrett remains the only GOP no vote). The quest to overturn Roe v. Wade, as just a start, has been a decades-long Republican project.

    As I’ve written about again and again and again and again over the past six years, apparently to no avail, Trump and his imitators aren’t a break from, but the logical culmination of, a variety of long-intensifying trends within the GOP. The idea there’s some meaningful line that separates mainstream Republicans from MAGA Republicans is like pretending a shower curtain makes your bathtub into a separate room.

    Back in 2016 Lambert wrote a piece about Trump’s rallies and described how he would refine and tailor his stump speech according to audience reaction. In other words Trump is a chameleon figure who tries to blend in with his environment be it NY real estate (he was a Democrat) to the GOP Washington swamp. The notion that he is some kind of revolutionary or a figure like Hitler–who wrote a whole book outlining his mad plan–is ridiculous.

    Meanwhile Biden seems constantly out of touch with both politics and reality itself. People will vote for this?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      People will vote as effectively as they can against whatever they are more afraid of.

      In 2016 I was more afraid of Clinton than Trump, so I voted for Trump because a strategic-tactical vote for Trump would count twice as hard against Clinton as a performative vote for a vanity third party.

      So if election 2024 gives us Trump-DeSantis versus Clinton-Harris, it will be an utterly and totally negative election revealing which ticket is more deeply loathed and feared by more people.

  27. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Cannabis legalization in US projected to cost big pharma billions

    So this study shows that pharma stocks could drop by 10% – the horror, the horror…. For crying out loud, Elon Musk can write one tweet and immediately send a stock up or down a lot more than that.

    My guess is big Pharma will be just fine, especially given the billions the Federal government has shoveled at them for “vaccines” of dubious efficacy over the last few years.

    A far more likely prediction: Pfizer buys up any weed companies that manage to be profitable in this oversaturated industry, degrades the quality of the product, and rakes it in as we all smoke oregano joints.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Are they also going to buy up all the seeds? Last I checked, it was pretty easy to grow pot from seed.

      1. Late Introvert

        As I was explaining to my wife, an avid and accomplished gardener, that’s why they call it “weed”.

  28. griffen

    Story about the new owner of Politico reads like an intentional or self inflicted wound, or maybe that executive forgot the crucial “sarcasm tag”. Notable, the story predates the US elections in 2020. Maybe the ownership anticipated with a Trump victory*, the magical printing of Donald’s actual spoken words would continue to drive interest in their articles? And instead of that outcome, what they got was a humdrum return to normalcy with the eventual winner, Joey from Scranton.

    Nah, that couldn’t be it.

        1. orlbucfan

          Go back and read some of the earliest articles. You’ll recognize the pro-RW psycholinguistical slant.

  29. Michaelmas

    Well, well. This in PRAVDA ON THE POTOMAC. Merely an instance of a broken clock being right twice a day or the first fracture in the MSM’s Wall of Lies?

    Wounded Ukrainian soldiers reveal steep toll of Kherson offensive

    ‘In dimly lit hospital rooms in southern Ukraine, soldiers with severed limbs, shrapnel wounds, mangled hands and shattered joints recounted the lopsided disadvantages their units faced in the early days of a new offensive to expel Russian forces from the strategic city of Kherson.

    ‘The soldiers said they lacked the artillery needed to dislodge Russia’s entrenched forces and described a yawning technology gap with their better-equipped adversaries. The interviews provided some of the first direct accounts of a push to retake captured territory that is so sensitive, Ukrainian military commanders have barred reporters from visiting the front lines….

    ‘“We lost five people for every one they did,” said Ihor, a 30-year-old platoon commander who injured his back when the tank he was riding in crashed into a ditch.

    ‘Ihor had no military experience before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. He made a living selling animal feed to pig and cow farms. His replacement as platoon commander also has no previous military experience, he said ….

    ‘The soldiers were interviewed on gurneys and wheelchairs as they recovered from injuries sustained in last week’s offensive. Some spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid disciplinary action. Others, like Denys and Ihor, agreed to reveal only their first names. But most spoke plainly about the disadvantages they faced.

    ‘Russia’s Orlan drones exposed Ukrainian positions from more than a kilometer above their heads, they said, an altitude that meant they never heard the buzz of the aircraft tracking their movements.

    ‘Russian tanks emerged from newly built cement fortifications to blast infantry with large-caliber artillery, the wounded Ukrainian soldiers said. The vehicles would then shrink back beneath the concrete shelters, shielded from mortar and rocket fire.

    ‘Counter-battery radar systems automatically detected and located Ukrainians who were targeting the Russians with projectiles, unleashing a barrage of artillery fire in response.

    ‘Russian hacking tools hijacked the drones of Ukrainian operators, who saw their aircraft drift away helplessly behind enemy lines.

    ‘Oleksandr said the Russian artillery fire was relentless. “They were just hitting us all the time,” he said. “If we fire three mortars, they fire 20 in return.”

    ‘The Ukrainian soldiers said they had to carefully ration their use of munitions but even when they did fire, they had trouble hitting targets. “When you give the coordinates, it’s supposed to be accurate but it’s not,” he said, noting that his equipment dated back to 1989.

    ‘Russian electronic warfare also posed a constant threat. Soldiers described ending their shifts and turning on their phones to call or text family members — a decision that immediately drew Russian artillery fire.

    “When we turn on mobile phones or radio, they can recognize our presence immediately,” said Denys. “And then the shooting starts.”….

    ‘A group of Washington Post journalists who traveled within three miles of Vysokopillya, in northern Kherson, on Monday were prevented from entering the village by Ukrainian troops and could not ascertain its status.’

    And so on.

    1. Old Sovietologist

      That will all be forgotten about if the Ukies achieve their goals in Balakleya, Izyum & Kupyansk in the next few days. As I said a few days ago if you’re happy to throw cannon fodder into battle you always have a chance.

      A colleague in Belarus seems to think the offensive has come as genuine surprise to the command. I think after this is over a few heads will roll.

      Looking at the Donbass Militia sources on Telegram there’s a genuine nervousness that I haven’t seen since the start of the SMO. For the first time in weeks we’re starting to see videos of captured Russian troops. A small defeat in the great scheme but hopefully a wake up call for the Russians

      The Ukies are clearly taking some big hits in terms of casualties and Zaporozhie, Kremenchug and Kharkov are being hit by Russian Missiles this evening.

    2. digi_owl

      “‘Russian hacking tools hijacked the drones of Ukrainian operators, who saw their aircraft drift away helplessly behind enemy lines.”

      Well darn, just more proof that a direct slugging match between NATO and Russia or China (expect them to have whatever toys Russia has, and perhaps more) could be an ugly one.

  30. Mikel

    “California Blackouts Possible as It Raises Grid Emergency to Highest Level” Bloomberg

    Showers expected on Sat in LA area and weekend and next week hitting usual Sept. weather.

  31. LawnDart

    Yves, econ or finance folks– they say that “all wars are banker’s wars,” so do we have any idea how much US hedge funds stand to make off of the Ukraine conflict or where to find this info?

    American banks plan to wind down their business in Europe amid the energy crisis
    Malek Dudakov, news-front[dot]info
    07.09.2022 20:15

    JPMorgan mulls emergency relocation of its German headquarters to safer countries.

    The bank fears that it will simply not be able to conduct trading if there are power outages in Frankfurt, Berlin and other German cities this winter.

    However, it is unclear exactly where to transfer your traders. One possible country is the United Kingdom. But Britain also faces the threat of rolling blackouts in winter if France and Norway don’t share electricity.

    On the eve of winter, European countries are desperately increasing gas reserves in storage facilities to 80% or higher. However, this may not be enough for the winter — if pipeline gas stops coming to them. And Europe’s total electricity costs are threatening to reach 2 trillion euros. The average European will have to pay 20% of their income for this.

    But on the other side of the Atlantic, European troubles are making extra money. Major American hedge funds — including Bridgewater-are making a lot of money from the collapse of major European assets: stocks, bonds, the euro and the pound.

    1. LawnDart

      So who’s making money in USA from the Ukraine-stuff?

      My off-the-cuff talley is:

      •MIC: from “lend-lease”
      •Hedge funds
      •Gas and oil industry
      •US heavy industry– 10x-less energy-input costs than European competetors

      What am I missing?

      A side-project I wish I could give time to, but can’t, is to track the major econ stats of the 48 unfriendly countries on the official list as published by Russia [see– aka: the Order of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 430-r dated 5.03.2022] and see how each “unfriendly” is fairing at any given point of time.

      So we got players in USA making big-bucks off the conflict while the rest of us get stuck at the pump, heating our houses, and overall higher-costs via inflation– footing the bill for the rich-boy’s fancy ride, like a buncha c[hump]s. Personally, the freedom and democracy of Ukraine doesn’t give me the warm-and-fuzzies– what’s in it for me?

  32. Mikel

    “Teacher who refused to use student’s gender-neutral pronouns is JAILED in Ireland” Daily Mail.

    Pretty soon people are going to be jailed for not talking to them at all.

    1. Late Introvert

      Anybody with half a brain, as a teacher, or fellow employee, can manage to just avoid all of that by being terse and professional. First names are good. As in introvert I learned that rather late in life, but it was a magic key. I’m bad at names, but do not hesitate to smile and say “I’m sorry, what’s your name again?” That one also works a charm.

      But people today want to fight.

  33. The Rev Kev

    “It Was War. Then, a Rancher’s Truce With Some Pesky Beavers Paid Off.”

    A brilliant concept this. I mean, letting nature take its course. The problem is lack of water and beavers by their nature hoard water using dams which encourage local ecosystems to grow where those dams are. Sounds though like the son had to wait for his father to pass away before he could try this idea as it seems that the father would only ever wanted to dynamite beaver dams. I wonder how his neighbours feel about the idea? Especially when they see this guy having his cattle getting water to drink from those beaver dams.

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