Links 10/29/2022

Whale’s majestic move brings dramatic end to marine rescue off Canada BBC (furzy). I watched 2x.

Engineer creates crazy squirrel Olympics obstacle course in his backyard Boing Boing (resilc)

Cat got your tongue: Cats distinguish between speech directed at them and humans EurekAlert (Anthony L)

Watch Polar Bears in Action Polar Bears International (Chuck L). Bear cams!

Photographer Captures the Neon Beauty of Kyoto at Night PetaPixel (David L)

How To Get the Most Candy on Halloween (Without Resorting to Extortion) ScienceTech (Chuck L)

Ancient 15,000-Year-Old Viruses Found in Melting Tibetan Glaciers ScienceAlert (resilc)

Even nuns watch porn, Pope says, warning of risks BBC

A middlebrow cult Times Literary Supplement (Anthony L). On Terry Pratchett.

Do We All See the Man Holding an iPhone in This 1937 Painting? Vice (resilc)

So far, this flu season is more severe than it has been in 13 years Washington Post (Kevin W)


Masks as a moral symbol: Masks reduce wearers’ deviant behavior in China during COVID-19 PNAS


Pandemic exceeds top causes of death far and widely PandemIC


Wishful thinking is remarkable. Xi’s actions have made very clear what his priorities are:


Goats and Sheep Are Brawling in the Rockies. Blame Glacial Melt Wired (David L)

Turkey’s Honey Apocalypse Is a Warning to the World Atlantic (resilc)

Beyond Catastrophe: A New Climate Reality Is Coming Into View New York Times (David L)

Over half of known human pathogenic diseases can be aggravated by climate change Nature (resilc)

As seas rise, Bangladesh farmers revive floating farms Reuters


Does China Really Need That Much More Coal-Fired Electricity? Sixth Tone (resilc)

Exxon strikes oil again in Guyana with two new discoveries Reuters (resilc)

Old Blighty

Enter Sunak, the fifth Brexit Prime Minister Chris Grey (guurst)

Thousands too ashamed to go to work because they can’t afford soap and deodorant Sky News

Poland lists demands for WWII reparations from Germany RT (Kevin W)

New Not-So-Cold War

Russian timber bypasses U.S. sanctions through Vietnam and China Washington Post (resilc)

U.S. speeds up plans to store upgraded nukes in Europe Politico

US should bring back their nuclear weapons from abroad, Antonov Al Mayadeen

In the grips of war, Ukraine faces bleak demographic future Al Jazeera (resilc)

Russia’s central bank warns Putin’s military draft will push up inflation Financial Times. *Sigh* The direct quote from the central bank says “might stat to have a pro-inflationary impact”.

U.S. LNG Cannot Replace The Russian Natural Gas That Europe Has Lost OilPrice. Your humble blogger and many others said this from the outset, but it’s another thing for this to be acknowledged in more mainstream venues.

Scholz and Macron threaten trade retaliation against Biden Politico


Iran withholding bodies of slain protesters from families, says UN rights office France24 (furzy)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Information commissioner warns firms over ‘emotional analysis’ technologies Guardian

Iran’s Secret Manual for Controlling Protesters’ Mobile Phones Intercept (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US Considers Stepping Up Drone Strikes in Somalia Antiwar (resilc)

NATO in the Amazon: Petro Plays with Fire CounterPunch (resilc)


Hunter Biden associate texts hint at push to ‘get Joe involved,’ make it look like ‘truly family business’ Fox News

Republicans Investigate Biden’s “Misuse” Of SPR To Control Prices At The Pump OilPrice


A Third of 2022 Midterm Voters May Use Mailed Out-Ballots CounterPunch

Federal Judge Allows Activists to Stake Out Ballot Boxes in Arizona New York Times (furzy)

Congress Can’t Even Do This One Thing Atlantic (resilc)

Democrats en déshabillé

Elise Stefanik Believes She Can Turn New York Into a Republican State New York Times (resilc)

Our No Longer Free Press

The Consortium Imposing the Growing Censorship Regime — and Our New Live, Prime-Time Rumble Program Glenn Greenwald

The Bezzle

Bitcoin miner Core Scientific issues bankruptcy warning and the stock is down 97% for the year CNBC. Kevin W: “‘That’s a damn shame.'”

The Tesla Cyberquad for kids has been recalled for not meeting safety standards The Verge (resilc)

Guillotine Watch

Elon Musk’s Fortune Falls by $110 Billion in Less Than a Year Business Insider (resilc)

By Buying Twitter, Elon Musk Has Created His Own Hilarious Nightmare Intercept (furzy). The big problem with this deal is that Musk paid way way way too much. There’s no way to fix that. Anything else is secondary.

GM temporarily suspends advertising on Twitter following Musk takeover CNBC

EU Commissioner to Elon Musk: Twitter will play by our rules Politico. Um, what happens when Starlink is available to European consumers? I suppose the EU can try to block payment, but I believe they’ve been too friendly to crypto to choke that off.

Can Mark Zuckerberg Go Broke? Heisenberger Report (resilc)

Class Warfare

Andrew Wylie, ‘The Jackal’ of books: ‘Amazon is like ISIS; it takes no prisoners’ El Pais (Anthony L)

Don’t shoot the pianists, protect them The Critic (Anthony L)

Two Sides of Dignity Commonweal Magazine (Anthony L)

Antidote du jour (CV):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “U.S. LNG Cannot Replace The Russian Natural Gas That Europe Has Lost”

    They got that right. The mathematics are not in the EU’s favour. They spent much of the year buying up as much gas as possible to fill up their reserves but when they are burnt through, that is it. The only way that they will be able to buy anymore will be, well – actually I’m not sure where they will buy it from. Nigeria and Qatar, when asked to supply gas, told them to go fly a kite and Norway will only be able to supply a small fraction of what has been loss. And Germany has already ruled out getting any gas from the one surviving Baltic Sea gas pipeline from Russia. In short, even if the EU gets through this winter, next winter they got nuthin.’ The authoress says that ‘The United States is shipping record volumes of LNG to Europe to help EU allies’ but fails to mention that they are charging quadruple the price that they get in the US which is causing a lot of bitterness in the EU. Meanwhile the UK has sat back and assessed the situation – and has announced that ‘From 1 January 2023, the UK is ending all imports of Russian liquefied natural gas and supporting countries around the world in reducing their own dependency.’ We’ll see how that works out-

    1. Irrational

      Fully agree with you – but in my view the fun part will be when the US decides to block exports to keep prices under control at home. Will the European reaction be as muted as after Nordstream?

      1. hunkerdown

        I could imagine domestic insurgents breaking some gas export infrastructure — the Texas terminal’s recent failure could have been just that — but not the establishment. That would defeat the point of this exercise, to monetize US gas in the EU to inflate establishment values.

        1. JBird4049

          I think we might be closer to sabotage than we might like and it would not have to be an insurgency. Just desperate people trying to survive.

          Just like how some people were threatening to destroy the canals shipping people water from Northern California to Southern California just before the 1970s drought ended, perhaps people today could threaten this infrastructure? Southern California’s various politicians were not really taking Northern Californians seriously, partly because of the deer-in-the-headlights phenomenon, partly because most of the population and the voters live in the south.

          Freezing to death because you can’t afford heating would seem to be even worse then possibly not being able to bath, garden, or cook.

          Most people can accept acts of God, like no rain, but what they will not accept is taking and shipping something you need to give to others for profit or in California’s example to waste.

      2. Lex

        That is the next domino and it’s almost a certainty. The chaos it will create in a headlong collision between corporate free market ideology and pissed of consumers will be darkly funny too. A lot of politicians on both sides of the aisle are going to find themselves in a bind.

      3. indices

        When push comes to shove, there’s going to be a big mess when an LNG tanker gets blown up in transit.

      4. Diesel Blech

        Meanwhile, Newsom and the California legislature have passed a law that new construction and major remodels will have to be all electric, with the gas line severed.

        Now the gas can be marked up 10x and sent to the new bottomless pit of tax dollars, via defense contractors. At least the losing war in Iraq might have obtained some oil, rather than us sending our ever scarcer energy to them.
        Biden “Americans need to sacrifice for Ukraine for as long as necessary.”

        Got power failures? Planned and accidental?, yup. You get to take cold showers, wear sweaters and eat cold cuts in your centrally planned all electric home.

        That’s so Newsom’s electricity producing donors [PG&E, a corporate felon that has caused hundreds to burn to death through wildfires caused by their lack of maintenance] can continue to fund his DEMOlishment of California.
        And his wife gets “at least $800,000” too:

        1. Anthony G Stegman

          PG&E cannot replace the energy derived from natural gas. It does not have the electricity generating and transmission capacity to do so.

        2. MacDonald

          Ironic, since her parents are billionaires. (Siebel systems). Word is they are hard core conservatives and are embarrassed at her choice of sperm donor.
          Once the children come along, even the biggest lothario is usually forgiven. Divorce stresses are already building, per her hairdresser who is a friend of a client.

    2. nippersdad

      With the kinds of prices that those companies are making on LNG in Europe and the potential for a Republican Congress I foresee Palin getting her wish by next Winter. They will use high prices here to justify all the drilling they can get away with to maintain markets there, thus keeping prices here high so that they have to drill more……And we will start to look like this:,2132170/?size=20×16&coupon=FMWXZ&coupon=FMWXZ&gclid=Cj0KCQjwnvOaBhDTARIsAJf8eVMLtMJ9iB35iS5JShQgs_G8CVlhmj5LCwYAYrx_3IuJFhjN33qIoN0aAtWMEALw_wcB

      There is an as yet untapped shale formation right across the Georgia/Alabama line, so I may be able to see Palinstan from my back porch fairly soon.

    3. Skip Intro

      Even if there were enough LNG, the bottleneck of terminals and tankers would be critical. Even without that bottleneck, the LNG terminals would need to be connected to new pipelines. And the liquification and shipping cost so much energy that it is impossible to come close to the price of pipeline-delivered gas. And all the gas they put in storage can’t be extracted without large, continuous gas flows. It can’t be used like a propane tank, it can only be bled into flowing lines.

      And what about diesel!!!

      The vague contours of demise start to become apparent.

        1. Boomheist

          I drove from a ship I was working on in Violet, Louisiana back home in 2016, cross country, to Tacoma. First I went north to Chicago to see old friends. Somewhere, driving north on I-55, I decided to do a truck survey. I decided to count the number of trucks coming the other direction during a ten mile distance, semis only, not vans, because it struck me during that long drive how many big rigs there actually are on the highways. So I started counting. In 10 miles I counted 243 trucks; that is, in less than ten minutes, as I was driving 70-75 mph, 243 big semi trucks passed me going the other way. I did this again a couple times, each time coming up with numbers between 200 and 300 trucks. I wonder how many big rigs there are, on average, driving at any moment on the US highway system. Google tells me about a million. All diesel. So, if we come up against a diesel shortage, catastrophe.

          1. Paradan

            We could just open the borders and then form cross country “bucket brigades” with all the immigrants that cross over. 500 million of them should make for a pretty robust network. Since they’re undocumented you could just play wage games with them, and so it’s like free labor.

            Oh, and they could eat bugs!

        2. Michael Ismoe

          One would think that Brandon would be working overtime to stop a rail workers strike if we only have 3 weeks of diesel fuel left.

          BTW – diesel fuel just went above $5 a gallon again here in AZ. That Canadian trucker strike was merely a foreshadowing.

        3. RobertC

          When our dependency on truck transport came up earlier this year, I bought Alice Friedmann’s book When Trucks Stop Running to learn more. A somewhat dated (2016) very readable collection of essays published by Springer but still relevant and still scary.

    4. Linwood Tauheed

      There is one possible scenario that I’ve never seen discussed. That European nations, unable to bypass US led sanctions on Russian oil and gas, and unwilling/unable to purchase oil and gas from the US at inflated prices, will attempt to re-establish their colonial relationships with South American and African countries and take control of their oil and gas reserves.

      This leads to a needed decision by the Global South as to whether they stay with the West, under Western authority, or seek protection from China and Russia. We already see NATO expanding beyond Europe. It’s poised for new colonialism.

      1. Irrational

        It’s a very interesting point. I think some EU politicians certainly dream of this – for example Josep Borrell is touring Latin America at the moment and I forget which EU figurehead is touring which other continent.
        However, I also think it is quite clear that there will be push-back, certainly African countries do not see why they should put up with famine while selling oil and gas to Europe.
        On the other hand, I doubt that the EU will agree on the oil and gas price caps judging from what I have read the last few days. It seems too tricky to design a proper mechanism that even our genius leaders cannot find fault with. That would mean loopholes would be found.
        Demonstrations in individual Member States add to the dynamic. Eventually parties in coalitions could find it expedient to switch sides (German FDP famously did so in 1982) or there are votes of no confidence. Note that change of government may not mean change of policy – in Denmark it looks to be same-same before and after the election on 1 November.
        I think Lambert might call the situation overly dynamic.

        1. anon in so cal

          NATO in Colombia.

          Counterpunch OCTOBER 28, 2022

          NATO in the Amazon: Petro Plays with Fire


          “Earlier this month, President Petro invited US and NATO military forces into the Amazon on the pretext that the imperial war machine could be repurposed as “police” aimed at protecting the environment instead of the old ruse of the war on drugs. He proposed deployment of US Black Hawk helicopters to put out fires. Previous to the environmental alibi, the pretext for militarization of the jungle was narcotics interdiction.”

          1. JBird4049

            NATO invited into the Amazon?!? Well, okay. I don’t have to take drugs to hallucinate. I just need the daily news.

      2. Oh

        Don’t rule out NATO doing a grab of Iranian oil and gas by invading Iran along with US and Israel. NATO is after all an imperialist organization aided and abetted by the USA.

        1. John k

          Imo nato knows irans first missiles would be aimed at the carriers, but they’d save enough to take out saudi wells before they go down. Nato tries to imagine no fossil at all from the gulf for a couple years. Try saying no to Russian fossil after that.

        2. Anthony G Stegman

          If NATO were to invade Iran Russia may well respond with nuclear weapons. At this point in time serious war mongering anywhere in the world may lead directly to nuclear war.

          1. John Steinbach

            Israel has around 200 – 400 sophisticated nukes & a robust delivery system, including 5 or so German- built submarines. They can reach past Moscow.

          2. indices

            “One bomb country” referring to what is necessary to annihilate such a small target, not how many shots Israel would get off.

      3. Revenant

        Italy’s relationship to Algeria and Libya will become very important because its fas network is connected to the former and could easily be connected to the latter. Spain has backed Morocco over Algeria. France is too far away and, of course, the old Imperial power. If the EU wants local gas, it needs Italy to build pipelines to Algeria and Libya. Expect Meloni to use this, to get what she wants from EU migration policy (you take the North Africans if you want gas!) and ECB / joint borrowing policy (you take on the Italian Euro debt – Italy’s primary budget surplus ciuld then be used for investment). Italy is a long tern winner in a pivot from Ostpolitik to Sudpolitik.

        Greece nay be able to play a similar card with Cyprus but Northern Cyprus and Turkey are a real/legal barrier to a pipeline. Not sure how Lebanon vs Israel will play out in this fight either. All too messy and Middle Eastern…. Which just makes Italy + Algeria + Libya look even better.

        There is a pipeline plan up from West Africa to Spain (and possibly UK, cannot remember). This will provide an alternative objective for the pivot south but the pipeline has objector along the way. It may be what motivated Spain to recognise Western Sahara as Moroccan, to put the coastline under a friendly power. Once the pipeline FETs to Spain the problems begin though because the French will not allow Spanish-French connections. The gas is coming from largely ex-British territories, e.g. Nigeria, so unless there are gas fields of gas consumers in French West Africa that France has an interest in helping, the gas will be stuck in Spain.

        1. Revenant

          Actually there are two pipelines proposed, transaharan from Nigeria (UK) via Niger (France) to Algeria and Nigeria (UK) round the coast to Morocco (Spain, these days…).

          I wonder if geopolitical wrangling will meansl its either or neither, rather than both? The transaharan is only 30bn cu.m. per annume which is half a Northstream….

      4. Alan Roxdale

        Nice idea, but that game is dominated by existing transnational (US-aligned) energy companies. They will send the hydrocarbons where washington dictates.

        1. ambrit

          Don’t forget that, if “someone” can blow up the Nordstream pipelines, “others” can blow up pro-NATO pipelines. Even better, perhaps a series of “mysterious” explosions at American refineries just before the 2023-24 Winter season.
          I have read that the Venezuelan oil is heavy grade and thus superior for fuel oils, plastic feed stocks, asphalt for road building, etc. Many of the Gulf Coast refineries are configured to handle heavy oils. It’s not all gasoline and diesel fuel production.
          Also: (A bit dated but still relevant.)
          Considering the political situation vis a vis Venezuela and America, a few Gulf Coast refineries out of commission wouldn’t be a vital blow. It could perhaps be done as a false flag event for geo-political purposes.
          We live in a crazy world.

    5. Bsn

      In relation to observations by Rev on “U.S. LNG Cannot Replace The Russian Natural Gas That Europe Has Lost”

      Some good observations and they’re related to the article in Links by Glenn Greenwald –

      He runs down pretty clear evidence of corporate censorship and what he’s doing to circumvent it. Just as with corporate (and tech, CIA, WEF and on up) control of information, the US has kept NATO and the EU on a short leash and now is tugging on it. Just like the heroin pusher gets one addicted on cheap dope – then raises the price, the US has blown up Nord Stream (cheap gas/drugs) and now is jacking up the price.
      On a personal level, think back to what Trudeau did to the trucker protesters and ask yourself, how are my finances secured or safe.
      It’s quite the web that corporate governance is in the process of weaving.

    6. flora

      Donning my foil bonnet /

      The lockdowns destroyed a lot of local small businesses and local economies. The gas/oil restrictions are destroying EU’s national economies and it’s biting the US. So what if… (tiptoeing up to an unthinkable thought)… what if destroying the West’s economies is just what the self proclaimed “masters of the universe” want? Why would they want that? To force introduction of CBDCs? To force adoption of digital ID? To grab more control, centralized control? Grab more undemocratic power into fewer hands? Shush! That’s just loony talk. Except… the West and the West’s economies are getting steadily weaker, RU and China getting steadily stronger, and there’s no way the national pols in the West can’t see this.

      / Foil bonnet off.

      1. chris

        It’s as good a hypothesis as any. Kind of like what Gonzalo Lira talked about several months ago. All the rich and powerful know the wheels are coming off so they’re trying to arrange the most fun they can have before the crash.

        My impression from talking to the wealthy and the very wealthy is, by and large, they’re not that smart. They’re also very limited when it comes to scenario planning. They really can’t see how what they have now could be taken away from them and that they would not have any recourse except suffering like the rest of us proles. Like with Paul Pelosi… that family really couldn’t see how being so public with their wealth and so hypocritical with their actions during this crazy time had exposed them to threats? That if a horde comes for Nancy’s Gelato stash that the police can’t help them? These people really, truly, have little idea how bad it is for many of their fellow citizens. These people really, truly, have no idea what it’s like to live in this country without access to wealth and power. To quote Prof. Blyth, “The Hamptons are not a defensible position.” People like the Pelosis haven’t figured that out yet. So to think that these same fools have some grand scheme to blow up the world and consolidate their power beggars belief.

        But…what they’re doing does seem to have a purpose. Their consistent pushing of narratives and suffering seems to be targeting a goal I don’t understand. Because the only end game their actions could lead to is massive death and destruction. Unending war globally and domestically. Misery and privation on a scale not even imagined since before the Flood. Forget the hunger games, where we’re headed is the complete inability to have a society that any US Citizen from the last 100 years would recognize. Clwan water will scarce and expensive. Fuel will be scarce and expensive. Tools and advanced equipment will be scarce and expensive. Roads that aren’t well kept. Hordes of hungry, addicted, despairing people crowded together in cities for safety and warmth. Food that doesn’t nourish. Houses that don’t keep out the rain. Internal borders and checkpoints to keep the sick from the healthy. This is all easily conceivable based on current policies and actions from our government. Yet we have no one in office acting like there will be any consequences from their behavior. So I kind of hope this is all part of a plan. Because the idea that all our leaders are so stupid as to blindly walk into this means drastic action will need to be taken. And that’s awful to contemplate too.

        1. Kfish

          They’ve been sheltered from consequences all their lives. How many famous Americans have killed someone while driving and not gone to jail? I can think of at least three. Consequences are for the little people.

  2. The Rev Kev

    ‘This is not a third world country. It’s Philadelphia.’

    Meanwhile, in another timeline where Neoliberalism died back in the 70s, most of the people in that video would be at work in factories and offices, going for lunch or maybe doing so shopping. With all that additional tax revenue, the streets would be much cleaner and more shops & businesses open.

    1. griffen

      Yep, hosting the MLB World Series in a few days. That is a depressing scene. I’m sure the visitors from Houston or generally their fan base might seek to possibly avoid such streets in their Uber-centric journeys.

    2. Objective Ace

      I was expecting a lot worse. Compared to skid row that actually looks serene.

      It’s worth noting that it’s not one continuous walk. If you need to patch together the worst scenes from numerous locations its not really representative

      1. Michael Ismoe

        The walk was down Kensington Avenue – which back in my youth was called “K&A” for Kensington and Allegheny (Avenues).

        It was all working class – the whites lived below Kensington Avenue; Blacks and Puerto Ricans (to the working class whites, all spanish speakers were Puerto Ricans) to the north. There was little if any animosity between the groups because everyone walked to work at one of the giant six story, block long factories that were intermixed with the housing. You don’t hate people when you have to walk through their neighborhood to get back and forth to work.

        The factories are closed. The people – or their spawn to be exact – are still there. When they vote for Trump, they are trying to get that back. It ain’t gonna happen, but you might want to know what his appeal is, so here goes.

        Blocks and blocks of drug addicts and homeless and worn out people trying to survive another night or another week if they are lucky. There are thousands of these videos on You Tube about K&A. I’m sure no one in Congress has ever seen them nor do they give a rat’s butt.

        1. digi_owl

          Because Trump acknowledged their existence, rather than sneeringly ignore them like Mrs Clinton did with her PMC focused gender campaign.

          In the end it was all talk and no action.

        2. CitizenSissy

          Michael, you’re totally spot on. Think MTG and her ilk will take five minutes away from trolling, impeaching Biden and holding Hunter laptop hearings to help the plight of these folks? Christmas Carol comes to mind: “Let them die and decrease the surplus population.”

          Nearby working-class neighborhoods such as Fishtown, Brewerytown, Northern Liberties, and (to a lesser extent) Port Richmond have gentrified mightily, making any sort of alternative housing option impossible. The Inky ran articles about neighborhood librarians who routinely administer Narcan.

          Houston visitors won’t have to go far to see scenes like this. I work in Center City, and the tweakers panhandle and shuffle zombie-like throughout the day. Cops only intervene when if a situation gets heated or potentially violent. That said, TPTB may figure out a Potemkin Village band-aid during the World Series.

          I’m interested to hear what the Libs of Tik Tok Lady. who I understand is “religious” suggests would help the plight of those longterm addiction issues? I imagine she’d rather troll.

          1. chris

            Sure, they’re all trolls. But in this case, trolling has a point. Thr establishment line that “everything is fine and we’re doing a great job” depends on the people ignoring the evidence from their own eyes and ears. It depends on people not seeing what Philly and Houston and Boston and San Francisco and LA and Milwaukee and Baltimore really look like. It depends on citizens not seeing how bad things are here and how we do have options represented by other ideas in different places. So even if all those troll accounts do is show the unvarnished truth “to own the libs” that’s still a valuable activity.

          2. foghorn longhorn

            What the actual eff. Has biden, pelosi, schumer, et al, spent even two minutes on the plight of these people and many, many others?

            No they’re too busy shoveling billions and billions to the ukranian freedom fighters.

            NOBODY gives a rats butt about the common folk.
            Now go eat your crickets, and be happy.

            1. CitizenSissy

              You’re misunderstanding the point. Trump’s screwing workers and contractors in Atlantic City (among other places) is amply documented. Rev Kev’s initial comment about the fruits of neoliberalism is reflected in the horrible situation at K&A. The carnage wrought by the Sacklers is, IMHO, unrecoverable.

              Rick Scott, among others, don’t even hide the fact that our threadbare social safety net (social security and medicare) is on the block if they get control. You good with that?

              BTW the US can both address both social services and the Ukrainian Freedom Fighters. You think for a minute Putin’s stopping at Ukraine?

              1. ambrit

                Putin would have “stopped” at the Ukraine if ‘The West’ had acted in a reasonable, responsible way. Zelensky was ready to deal with Russia early on in the present war, but was stopped from doing so by ‘The West.’ Now the idiots are getting ready to station nukes in Finland. Just wait until some Russian nuclear equipped subs begin “holidaying” in Havana. Plus the suspected Russian undersea Tsunami Bombs waiting quietly on the seafloor off of the American coasts.
                Much as the Neo-cons prate on about “winnable” atomic wars, it is Russia that has the functional Civil Defense system, not America. When the shooting starts, I wonder what facilities the Russian planners will consider as strategic targets. I just hope that we are not within a fallout zone. (Got our potassium iodide tablets ready.)
                We have noticed a decided upsurge of Apocalyptic messaging on the religious internet sites lately. Literally, “how to survive an atomic war,” which is now being ‘spun’ as a part of “the chastisement.”

              2. Late Introvert

                “You think for a minute Putin’s stopping at Ukraine?”

                Yes, unless NATO keeps escalating. That seems a sure bet.

          3. semper loquitur

            ” MTG and her ilk”

            Seriously? Are these the only members of Congress? Who are ignoring the plight of the homeless and addicted? What have “The Squad”, Pelosi, Bernie, Schumer, et. al. done lately? Rousing townhall gatherings? Kente cloth?

            We need more trolling from the likes of Libs of Tik-Tok, as there isn’t a thing worth a d@mn coming from the liberal progressive media outlets. As I have pointed out numerous times here the popular media of the Right have seized the banner of Truth from the Identi-Left’s benumbed and fumbling hands. The Right gives more airtime to real Leftists than they. Because they are confident and they want to show it to the world.

            And mark this: there will be a reaction.

            No one in power is on your side. No one. Isn’t that obvious?

          4. Tom Doak

            Houston baseball fans will hardly be shocked. The last time I was around Minute Maid Park, two years ago, Dems were literally running a “get out the vote” Election Day operation by picking up people from homeless camps in the blocks around the ballpark, so they could vote for old Joe. I doubt he’s solved that problem in the meantime.

    3. semper loquitur

      I worked around that area of Philly going back about 20 years ago. It was pretty blasted even back then, trash-strewn with the addicted and the homeless wandering around and troubled kids on the prowl. The Army recruiters used to cruise the streets in a tricked out Hummer that had Playstations installed in the back to lure kids into signing up. Once, there was a warning posted at the local subway station that someone had been taping used hypodermics to the underside of the handrails leading up onto the tracks. I was walking to work one day and overhead three men distinctly and clearly discussing murdering another. They all turned to glare at me as I walked by and after that I took the trolley to work.

      Two memories stand out most poignantly. One was of a two story house that had collapsed in on itself. In the middle was a tree growing, it had to be at least 35′ tall if it was an inch. That shell of a house had been there for at least a decade by my guess and it was situated in the center of a block of occupied homes. If you stood in front of it for a minute you could see it was busy with pigeons and rats.

      Another nearby building, about ten stories or so, looked fine upon first glance. But if you let your eye travel up the height of it, you would be shocked to see a five? six? foot tree growing out of a window around the sixth story. Then, you would realize that except for the first and second floors, there were no windows in the frames. It had most likely been abandoned before it had been completed.

      There was a formerly important avenue around there, the Avenue of the Americas, that I worked near. I used to get followed by gangbangers in cars when I walked to work, just staring at me. There were gun fights involving automatic weapons sometimes, off in the distance but not far enough. Open acts of prostitution. Mobs of young men in hoodies facing off with one another to protect their territory.

      A friend who used to work for PPD serving warrants shook his head when I told him I had worked around there. He said they never went into that neighborhood without body armor, shotguns, and automatic weapons. In a convoy of cars as a show of strength.

      I wish I had photos of those trees to share.

      1. Wukchumni

        I noticed that the freeways of LA were strewn with oh so much trash off to the sides in my last foray into the City of Angles.

        Many of the freeways have pretty steep hills on either side that go up to a terrace of sorts with sound walls behind them that is just big enough for a homeless person to perchance to dream of a better life as they are grabbing 40 winks & all the carbon monoxide you could ever desire.

        The culprit is either them, or Angelenos who gave up caring what their city looked like…

        1. semper loquitur

          Parts of NYC are looking the same. There is an overpass nearby with some encampments, although they may have been rousted out recently as I don’t remember seeing them the last time I was down that way. They will, of course, be back.

          But there is a lot of trash, not everywhere but in some areas it’s pretty bad. Not even trash, the aged detritus of the trash. It accretes around roadway pylons and in odd corners. It starts to take on a surreal feel. A cracked and worn woman’s shoe surrounded by gnawed chicken wing bones, so dry and empty the rats leave them alone, impacted into the dirt. Bits of multi-colored paper that have softened, partially dissolved, then hardened into a crust that lodges into small spaces like some kind of connective gristle. I walked by a rusty, broken-down forklift the other day, the wheels long flattened and tilted off to one side, someone’s Styrofoam trash from lunch left sitting on it.

          The weirdest stuff are the children’s toys, rotting stuffed animals laying in pools of oily water, gutted of their stuffing and collapsed into themselves. A doll’s face smiling at you from a tangle of heavy duty plastic wrapping. A pacifier lying in a patch of gritty, filthy dirt. A particularly bizarre instance was a totally disemboweled Elmo caked in dried vomit. The face was half flattened into the sidewalk so it looked like it had fallen off of a roof and crushed it’s skull. It’s half-smile seemed to grow out of the concrete.

          My neighborhood is still quite clean, the residents take care of their properties and I’ve seen them sweeping the street and sidewalks out front. But we are surrounded by industrial areas and much poorer neighborhoods. I watch to see how much and how quickly the trash will start to creep in.

        2. anon in so cal

          Angelenos care about the homeless on those freeway embankments and streets. But the crisis seems intractable. Part of the problem is corruption.

          LA Times Opinion: “A $2-million ‘bike lane to nowhere’ symbolizes L.A.’s outrageous dysfunction”

          Steve Lopez
          October29, 2022

          “A short half-block long, it took about 18 months to complete and cost roughly $2 million, and yet it is not marked as a bike lane and does not connect to one.
          “It’s a bike lane to nowhere,” said Stephen Burn, general manager of building services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, which was required to complete and pay for the project as a condition of approval…

          The campaign focus on strategies around homelessness, crime and housing in the mayoral and City Council elections is certainly warranted. But let’s not forget that L.A. is desperate for a mayor and other leaders who will crack down on ineptitude, call out nonsense, and deliver basic services.”

    4. eg

      THIS is what the sh1t-libs say we are supposed to be all excited about defending against “autocracy”?

      A little self-reflection is in order before we start lecturing the global south about how grateful they all ought to be for the Washington Consensus …

  3. Watt4Bob

    WRT the iPhone in the 1937 painting.

    Adding a layer of intrigue to it all is the fact that Romano’s mural is focused on one William Pynchon—that’s him at center, wearing pink—who wrote The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption, the first book ever to be banned (and subsequently burned) on American soil, and who just happens to be the earliest colonial ancestor of elusive living novelist Thomas Pynchon.

    After having finally finished reading Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow last year, a task I had attempted at least three times, I can add another layer of intrigue.

    I was startled upon reading the musings of one of Pynchon’s characters about the implications of a future technology that would enable instantaneous, world-wide communications.

    Gravity’s Rainbow, was published in 1973.

    That brief passage in the book has had me so intrigued that it has gradually become the principle reason I have planned to read it once more, this time, more closely, and taking notes.

    My impression at the time was not as clear as it is now, that that passage was Pynchon giving us a specific warning, in the midst of a novel that was otherwise much more abstract in its skepticism about the blessings of technology.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I thought that everybody knew. There are time travelers in history using mobiles to keep in contact with their future homes. And every now and then, one is caught accidentally in an old movie clip or like in this painting here- (1:13 mins)

      While researching this, I came across something that has me stumped and dates from 1922. I’m not sure I really understand our past at all- (58 secs)

      1. Acacia

        The wire attached to the first hydrant is to ground the transmitter, whose antenna is a spiral in the umbrella. Compared to the hulking home rig, it’s mobile. ;)

        Regarding Gravity’s Rainbow, please feel free to share the passage in question concerning instantaneous global communication.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          Faster communications not a new concept even in 1973. Not sure when Robert Heinlein first wrote about “ansible” technology (guessing the 1950s, maybe earlier) but the concept of devices that could instantaneously communicate across the galaxy has been around for a while (even though in the 1970s Harry Harrison was still writing about antiheroes in space landing on planets and then hunting for a pay phone).

          1. WalterM

            Ansible is Ursula K. Lequin in the ’60s, right? I can’t now remember what Heinlein book had a similar device, but I’ll bet there is one.

            1. orlbucfan

              There was plenty of discussion about telepathy crossing enormous space and planes (levels of existence) in classic SciFi. I think it was A.E. Van Vogt who wrote the iconic novel about master telepaths. Great stuff.

                1. caucus99percenter

                  I seem to remember a passage in that novel where the ship’s newspaper headlines “VASCO DA GAMA LOST” when the telepathic connection to a sister ship of the fleet suddenly breaks off.

                  The telepathic twin who was in contact with her sister on board the other ship at the moment of destruction is depicted as being badly traumatized by the experience.

              1. orlbucfan

                That novel is Slan. van Vogt influenced a lot of SF writers, one of them being Philip K. Dick. It’s a terrific read, and prescient as all get out!

          2. digi_owl

            Not sure who Gibson paraphrased, but “the future is here, just not evenly distributed yet” is quite solid.

            Worldwide communications had existed pretty much since the first transoceanic telegraph cables.

            A crude form of mobile phone exited since soon after WW2, thanks to development in compact two way radio. It involved a telco operator patching said radio onto the phone network, and thus had incredibly limited capacity.

  4. Drivel

    Scholz & Macron “three-and-a-half hours of talks over a lunch of fish, wine and Champagne”

    – so hitting back is just drunk talk between two otherwise very useful vassals-idiots. No need to worry about for Washington that is but a lot to worry about for the european citizens.

    1. Darthbobber

      Having blithely agreed to the destruction of their economies in the name of anti-Russian solidarity, I guess they feel desperate to show some sign, however trivial, of defending their domestic industries. But disgruntled noises about provisions of the so-called IRA are about as minute a pinprick as they could address, given that they’ve already voluntarily slashed their own throats.

  5. Carolinian

    What with classical music and book publishing it’s the culture Links today. Re literary agent Andrew Wylie

    let’s get back the royalties for Shakespeare that he was deprived of because he didn’t handle his business like Walt Disney

    Despite his protestations sounds like he and Stephen King are in exactly the same business. Living artists certainly deserve the rewards of their efforts. Shilling for the dead ones is ghoulish rent seeking.

      1. the last D

        They have the right to remain dead, and the right to know their place. Not so much different really, from the american people.

      2. CitizenSissy

        If a blastocyst will soon have legal standing equivalent to its fully-formed human carrier, why shouldn’t the dead?

  6. The Rev Kev

    “Even nuns watch porn, Pope says, warning of risks”

    Don’t blame them at all. You know what the problem is for those nuns, don’t you? It’s that they have to see those priests walking around all day in those priest’s frocks. And like Scotsmen in their kilts, they wonder what they wear underneath – if anything. They probably ponder such things back in their cells.

  7. Lexx

    ‘How To Get The Most Candy On Halloween (Without Resorting To Extortion)’

    Are we on a nickle-and-dime kick here on NC? All the little ways money goes leaking out of our wallets and into the hands of tiny or invisible beggers playing on our collective conscience/class virtue. Has ‘giving’ ever been anything but well-meaning and misguided? Interested in what NC considers a legit cash outlet for do-gooderyness. Christmas is coming.

    I was in Goodwill this week looking for a cheap clean clear glass container for watercolor. Everyone at the register was asked to ’round up’ from whatever the total is and for the most part the items are priced to allow for a rounding up of nearly a dollar more. The cashier didn’t bother to look me in the eye when asking, apparently the answer they get is always ‘yes’. The sound system is playing a continuous commercial reminding the shoppers they’re a charity, so GIVE!

    Outside there were cars queued up to drop off their items, and it’s just before Halloween; I’ve never seen so many people in Goodwill. Ever.

    This is one of those upper middle class neighborhoods where the homes are big, and on as small a lot as the developer could get by with. For the most part on Halloween the porch lights are off. Ours is on. We get a half dozen treaters, therefore I get to concentrate my energies into over-the-top goodies. This year its full-sized Tony’s Chocolonely bars, some cool chocolate skulls that you drop into the bottom of a mug and pour hot milk over for hot chocolate, and microwave popcorn for popping at home. Or that which might be consumed here should the trick-or-treaters not show up in sufficient numbers. The skulls will be given out first.

    None of the trick-or-treaters who show up on our porch look anything at all like the kids in the photos.

    I’ve never done this but has anyone here responded with ‘Trick, please!’ when asked, just to see if they have a Plan B?

    1. griffen

      Hey kids, be sure to record and collect the data from your travels to the distinct economic zones for Halloween! And when you have met your daily quote for candy, we can collate the research into an aggregate to draw distinct economic observations. Sounds fun !

      Economists. Ruining fun for kids at Halloween.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I figure he’s an economist and simply borrowed the idea his kids proposed. Not to sound snotty, but why is my parents’ neighborhood (where i grew up) still gets slammed, density, wealth, and the three particular streets aren’t long or used as through streets despite not being dead ends. Kids figured this out.

        South Park and Bob’s Burgers have both had episodes of kids strategizing and selecting neighborhoods. The South Park one focused on taking into account slope from being worn out.

    2. John Zelnicker

      Lexx –

      “Interested in what NC considers a legit cash outlet for do-gooderyness. Christmas is coming.”

      That’s easy, a contribution to Naked Capitalism or Water Cooler.

      My bias right now is for Water Cooler because Yves had a fundraiser recently.

      1. hunkerdown

        I passed on the fundraiser because food was more important at the time. Thanks for the reminder to catch up!

        [CoinStar noise from tip jar intensifies]

    3. Bsn

      When you get a chance, always check for a Saint Vincent De Paul store as opposed to Goodwill. Goodwill is a for profit corporation, St. Vinnies is a non profit. Quite the difference.

      1. Oh

        If you like non profits, check to see if their administrators make high salaries. Non profit means that they don’t pay taxes, that’s all. The United way is a non profit but their executives make millions! think all non profits should pay taxes, especially religious non profits.

  8. Lexx

    ‘Thousands too ashamed to go to work because they can’t afford soap and deodorant’

    The stink factor here does seem to be going up, but my mother said once this has been going on for years in the schools. She lived in a small town and worked at the middle school, where ‘stink’ seems to be worn with pride, especially unwashed hair. Of course, the town was mostly poor and those were the children of the lower classes, and specific to my mother, the special education kids. So it’s not like stink just suddenly appeared; this is stink with the volume turning up. The Great Unwashed even less washed than before.

    I’d put toothpaste and brushes at the top of the list of unaffordable and most consequential. A rotten tooth can do more than just get you passed over for a job; a rotten tooth can kill you… but so can typhus. When that breaks out, we’re going to want those troops at our well-funded, community-supported health departments to go to work to address the problem. The folks hounded out of their jobs over the Covid pandemic. /s

    Interesting days ahead.

    1. griffen

      Rotten teeth. I recall an article talking about the epidemic levels of bad teeth in Kentucky, for a variety of reasons; supposedly the soda intake of Mountain Dew was a suggested culprit. Taking care of your teeth is much better to do so on the front end, agreeing with your second paragraph.

      Here in the southeastern US, last time I purchased a deodorant stick (Old Spice, decent enough for daily use) I think it was ~ $5.5 or $6. Probably need a stronger, more expensive option.

      1. wol

        I think English settlers in Eastern KY brought their soft teeth with them. My ex- (PhD, Chair of her dept, brusher and flosser) of English stock had serious dental issues in her early twenties. Sugary drinks make it worse. IIRC Martin Amis was chastised as trying to be ‘American’ by contemporary English authors for investing in dental work when he became successful. I venture a lot of dental problems are genetic.
        My sis recommended the TV series ‘Justified’ when it debuted. I had lived in Lexington, KY. Watched one ep, I couldn’t get past the perfect Hollywood teeth.

        1. griffen

          A quick suggestion on giving Justified a second chance. Walton Goggins is incredibly entertaining if at times, quite hilarious. Perfect teeth and pretty women, well there is plenty of that. Season 2 was a strong season.

          And the Nick Searcy character makes for good TV, in my opinion. I should invest time in watching the latter seasons, I lost track somewhere about season 4.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            prolly the only american made cop show of the last 20 years that i actually liked.(into the scandinavian/northern european kind, nowadays)
            wife said i sounded like the goggins character(boyd crowder) on qualuuds.
            the Harlan County portions…and the people therein..gave me flashbacks to where i grew up, north of houston.
            kept reminding myself that this was supposed to Kentucky.
            eg: i think its a fine socio-political study of redneck mafias and small towns all over amurka.

            1. wol

              The ‘Cornbread Mafia’ was centered in Lebanon, KY. In the 70’s Jerry Lee Lewis had a steady gig at The Golden Horseshoe and nearby was Club 68 (Hwy 68), where one night at her request I sang with Tina Turner. That’s its own story. After the show, having out of county plates, I was pulled over (bogus) and patted down. I’ll stop there.

      2. Mikel

        I’m getting the impression the sticks aren’t lasting as long. And I’m referring to the amount being put into the container.

      3. Anthony G Stegman

        Maybe it’s coincidence, and may not, but in my lifetime I’ve noticed that people who live in island nations – think the British isles, Ireland, Japan, Taiwan (technically a province of China) tend to have bad teeth. It may be due to inbreeding. In the Philippines it seems that the majority of people wear dentures by the time they reach their 40s. The causal factors are unclear to me.

    2. Brunches with Cats

      Speaking of rotten teeth, what about all that Halloween candy mentioned above? I was at a dental clinic earlier this month and saw this flyer prominently posted everywhere:
      Tuesday, Nov. 1, 1-5 pm
      Help prevent cavities by dropping off your Halloween candy and get $1.00 for every pound you bring!! Cash given right on the spot!

      In 2021, we collected over 164 lb of candy to send to our troops!
      Good thing “our troops” get free dental care. Once you leave active duty, it’s virtually non-existent for most veterans, unless you lost arms and legs in combat or are reduced to living in a cardboard box under a bridge — long story for another time.

    3. Bsn

      If you look up “Madison Avenue Product” in the dictionary you’ll see a picture of a deodorant stick – a perfect example. How did humans survive with out deodorant? Must have been impossible.

      1. JBird4049


        True, the modern Western fanaticism with excessively bright white teeth and being odorless is unusual and is partly because of Madison Avenue; however, hygiene has been human thing for quite sometime, what with the annoyance with excessive body odor being very widespread, especially in hot climates. Where there was limited access to water and soap, whole body shaving and hair plucking and perfume was often the norm.

        Shaving, soap, bathhouses, deodorants, and perfumes have all been in use since the at least the beginning of the Bronze Age and some form of bathing is pretty universal. Dentistry was also developed both to deal with tooth decay and to improve appearances since at least the beginning of the Bronze Age.

        Hygiene is also used by others as a proxy of good health and morals since before there was writing. If you can’t, or worse won’t, be acceptably clean by the local standards, then you are either ill or bad, even if it just that you cannot afford a bar of soap.

    4. JBird4049

      ‘Thousands too ashamed to go to work because they can’t afford soap and deodorant’

      Have you seen the costs of those multi-bladed disposable shaving razors that are kept locked up now?

      One of the reasons I went to old fashioned safety razors, the kind where you put in a single blade, is because of the costs. Yes, buying the first razor is expensive. Twenty, thirty, forty, or more dollars and you usually have to order online the blades since you can’t get any decent ones at pharmacy anymore, but after that the costs are much less. Pennies per a blade and a shave thereafter, especially if you buy the blades in bulk, say a hundred or more.

      All those advertisements that got men and women to stop using the old fashion razor blades with then affordable, disposable razors, which were then jacked up in price one people became dependent on them.

      1. semper loquitur

        It occurred to me that, in the event of a supplychain/energy/economic/infrastructure collapse, it’s going to get harder and harder to shave. Of course we all know that even one day’s worth of beard lowers the efficacy of a mask. So instead of buying bags and bags of disposable razors, I went on Ebay and bought a USB rechargable shaver to plug into my solar bank batteries. Along with a solar charged lamp and USB flashlights. Good times!

        1. ambrit

          I got an old fashioned straight razor. Once you learn not to make it ‘too’ sharp, it works fine. The bags and bags of disposable razors sounds like me at the salvage stores. Some real bargains are to be found if one has the discipline to not snap up the first “shiny thing” that appears.

  9. Carolinian

    Thanks for the Greenwald. I think we are all under threat from the new fanaticism and that’s why some of us object when certain once distinguished leftie web outlets go overboard with the TDS.

    And Greenwald is correct that the MSM propaganda is useful, not so much for fooling the public who iive in the real world, as for providing rationalizations to the elites for their greed and power seeking. With our leaders openly talking about using nuclear weapons and overthrowing countries more populated than our own the madness is clearly spinning out of control–with only the masses standing in the way of armageddon.

    1. griffen

      That article is a keeper, and I intend to share it in the coming week with those who continue insisting the official narratives we get fed are increasingly from an Orwellian point of view. And those who oppose that narrative deserve a special place in hell or deserve being labeled as whatever POTUS Joey says they are.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “NATO in the Amazon: Petro Plays with Fire”

    About twenty years ago I came across a description of NATO being the armed wing of the west. It sounded strange at the time but I now think that it is quite true. You have the Collective West which is a loose association of developed countries based in the northern hemisphere and NATO – a relic from the cold war – has been repurposed and expanded to be the military force for this west. They are already talking about expanding into the Indo-Pacific and here they want to move into South America using Colombia as a beach-head. I suppose having a network of US bases in South America would meet with a lot of resistant but using NATO troops from other countries might put a friendlier face on them.

  11. The Rev Kev

    ‘Wall Street’s bullish bets on China were predicated on 3 expectations: end of zero-Covid in 2022, regulatory crackdowns easing & policy stimulus finally getting implemented. Each of these has proven disastrously wrong.’

    In a way, this is quite concerning this. Probably most people here on NC would guess that the Chinese would never just open up and let ‘er rip. But Wall Street, which is supposed to have some of the sharpest minds about, nevertheless deluded themselves to the point that they hyped themselves up and said that yeah, it is totally going to happen. They probably took big positions on this calculation as well and perhaps lost big. So the concerning part is that these same ‘geniuses’ are also running the economy. Not a good sign that.

    1. LawnDart

      I encountered a number of traders/investors who had somehow convinced themselves that Xi would be gone after CPC congress, though there seemed to be no logic behind their thinking, or at least none that I could discern.

      1. digi_owl

        Because, much like with Russia, they do not grok the social and cultural differences to their western PMC echo chamber.

        WW2 gave nationalism a bad rap, because it got associated with nazis.

        Maybe one can distinguish between defensive nationalism and offensive nationalism, with the offensive variant being the kind seen peak during WW2. And the defensive variant is what is being seen in action in Russia and China, as well as various smaller nations around the world.

        1. JBird4049

          The charge of being a nationalist, as if being a member of a nation, which is merely a cultural grouping of people, is often used by the elites to put down those not like themselves.

          “Oh, you don’t like completely open boarders, completely unfettered markets, and capitalism over everyone and everything? Why, you must be a nationalist!” Like your language, religion, culture, people, and country? Why, you must be one of those primitive nationalist.”

          It the same process that they use with communism, socialism, leftism, classical liberalism… conflate, compress, vilify, and discard. So any form of patriotism, no matter how mild, becomes rank jingoism. Or with today’s Professional Managerial Class, any kind of dissent becomes treasonous especially with Ukraine.

          1. caucus99percenter

            I’m old enough to remember when there was no “Taiwan” but rather, everyone was supposed to refer to the Chiang Kai-Shek / Kuomintang–ruled island of Formosa as “Nationalist China” or “China (Nationalist).”

    2. Mikel

      “The reason I acquired Twitter is because it is important for the future of civilization to have a common digital town square.”
      Elon Musk

      The “sharpest minds” on Wall Street are still hyping and buying into this type of unrepentant BS.

      1. semper loquitur

        In that vein, here’s an article from Medium about the transhumanists and their lunatic agenda:

        How did transhumanism become the religion of the super-rich?

        Philosophy is not the hottest or best-funded academic discipline out there, but transhumanism / longtermism is very hot and very well-funded. It’s attracted particular support from two founders of PayPal — Peter Thiel and Elon Musk, the richest man in the world. Thiel has given funding to Yudkowsky’s MIRI, as well as investing in longevity research in a bid to live forever. Musk, meanwhile, has tweeted his love for Bostrom’s Superintelligence and MacAskill’s What We Owe the Future, and has put several million dollars into the Future of Humanity Institute. He’s also invested $10m into AI safety, putting Bostrom on the committee to decide where the money goes. MacAskill and Toby Ord launched the Effective Altruism movement to help people decide what to do with their money and their lives to maximize well-being. After some hard number crunching, EA decided the best thing for philanthropists to spend their money was…nerds thinking about Long-Termism and Existential Risk! Hey, the maths don’t lie. Effective Altruism has raised over $50 billion, with large donations from Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried.

    3. skippy

      Wellie the dogma that Markets[tm] are ***rational*** seems to have a feed back loop drama reinforced by both numberwang model demand pull and irrational expectations[!!!!!!] ….

      Just saw another sign post whip past as reality speeds up … Pilkington was on Fox business doing a live interview about the sanctions energy thingy …. gasp ….

    4. Oh

      They live in a fool’s world because they’re fools and they’re taking the country down with them.

        1. Bazarov

          “Six figure”–excepting perhaps the cost to human life.

          Exposure to toxic materials during the filming of Stalker may have contributed to the director’s terminal cancer as well as the cancer that killed the actor who played one of the leads.

          I recently rewatched most of Tarkovsky’s films. Though I admired Stalker very much, I found it to be less interesting than I remembered. There’s a smoothness to it–it’s much more of a normal movie than Tarkovsky’s other films.

          “Solaris” absolutely floored me, however. I must’ve been too young and impatient when I last watched it. The film’s strange rhythms are at once frustrating and captivating. It forces you to resist your childish expectations of what a movie ought to be–of what beats go where, etc. that make movie watching almost like a pre-fabricated sequence of wish fulfillments.

          Its commentary on science/the scientist is also quite profound and terrifying.

          1. will rodgers horse

            Agreed. Solaris is dreamlike and profound. It changes you in ways you cant easily even understand.

  12. Mike

    Re: Poland lists demands for WWII reparations from Germany RT (Kevin W)

    A scenario: Now that Poland has connection directly to Norwegian gas, and it bypasses Germany (coincidentally without gas due to Nordstream blow-up, nudge nudge, wink, wink), the reparations demand stick is now coupled with the carrot of gas from Norway via Poland*.

    * – as long as certain policies are continued (know what I mean???)

    And we thought diplomacy was dying…

    1. hk

      I don’t think the Norway pipeline carries enough for Poland to bargain with, IIRC, certainly not enough considering Germany’s needs.

      1. digi_owl

        Yeah, Norway do not have enough extraction capacity to meet a tenth of what Russia can deliver. And it was already going to UK and Germany, so the new Poland pipeline is spreading that even thinner.

    2. Skip Intro

      Isn’t Poland also stopping gas flows into Germany via another pipeline at the moment? Yamal Europe maybe?

      1. digi_owl

        Yep. That one and the one through Ukraine are part of the old Soviet network i think, and Poland closed it under an EU sanctions pretext.

        That is why it is tempting to speculate if Poland blew up Nord Stream, as they seemed raging mad about its existence.

        The latest chess move by Russia is trying to hook up with the pipeline going through Turkey. Something that would allow Turkey to go “Russian gas? What Russian gas?” by blending it with other sources. Something i think they were doing with Russian oil already.

    3. ArvidMartensen

      Why do I get the feeling that the new US target for payback is Germany, for daring to make friends with Russia?
      How much encouraging is the US doing behind the scenes of Poland putting their demands to Germany. Or maybe it’s just Poland acting like a schoolkid hitting Germany while their big bruvver US stands behind, encouraging Poland’s ‘what ya gonna do about it’ attitude.
      Certainly looks like part of the US modus operandi, which is being carried out now in multiple countries around the world. Certainly Qatar is getting the treatment right now, as is Iran etc.
      Running a book on what country is the next target. India perhaps? You’ll know the next country to be kinghit by the US when the Anglo-Saxon msm starts howling in unison about “human rights abuses” in country X.

  13. Ignacio

    RE: Does China Really Need That Much More Coal-Fired Electricity? Sixth Tone (resilc)

    Yup. Building more coal power plants to deal with energy peaks does not look wise. So they are planning to build in between 2022-2024 coal plants with combined 240GW capacity. That would suffice to provide nearly 2000 TWh per year in addition to current capacity… but these will be used mainly to cover peak power demand that, according to the article combines to about 10-40 annual peaks lasting 100 combined hours. So it could be the case those plants might end providing 24 TWh or a bit more than 1% of their total capacity? Over-overcapacity indeed. I think Chinese energy planners are out of their senses or they have definitely turned “Western-like” working with unrealistic projections about demand.

    1. Paul Jurczak

      Perhaps the excess power generation can be soaked up by tens of millions of new electric cars. There is no serious action in the West required for transition to all electric cars. Just banning the sales of IC powered vehicles doesn’t magically make it feasible.

      1. semper loquitur

        I think it was the Daily Mail that had an article about how many recharging stations the US would need to accomplish it’s EV goals. A zillion, give or take. We can’t even maintain clean drinking water in many of our cities.

    2. digi_owl

      Or they are doing it to keep the population employed even as the urban construction business is imploding. Classing Keynesian in a sense.

      1. chuck roast

        Well, we can only hope that they don’t seriously engage in military Keynesianism in a sense.

  14. Michael

    Photographer in the Neon in Kyoto spread missed a whole aspect of Kyoto at night. Shrines!

    Beautiful settings by day, they are enhanced at night by lighting, both still and moving, and open late.

    A great place to chill after dark, they are frequented by groups of youth and young lovers.

    We went every night we were there for an hour. Many to choose from. Some more private than others.

    1. Mike Mc

      Visited Kyoto in May 2018. Wonderful, safe, fascinating old capitol of Japan. We began repeating “temples, and gardens, and shrines” per the Wizard of Oz. We ventured out at night a number of times; as sixty somethings, would never do that in the States (and I grew up in Vegas!).

      Bus and train system outstanding, and we were frequently assisted in getting on the right one by Kyoto citizens who spoke no more English than we did Japanese. Would retire there if permitted, except for the earthquakes, tsunamis, etc. Put Kyoto on your bucket list if you can!

  15. Mikel

    “Over half of known human pathogenic diseases can be aggravated by climate change” Nature

    Since John Carpenter’s classic horror film “The Thing,” people have been waiting to see what’s in and under all of that Arctic ice.

    1. semper loquitur

      Why don’t you ask them?

      The Things by 2011 Hugo Award Nominee Peter Watts

      The Things – The story of John Carpenters classic Sci-Fi Horror movie as told from the perspective of the creature as it battles to survive.

      Narrated with the permission of Peter Watts..

      1. Mikel

        That clip reminded me a bit of the book “Blood Music” by Greg Bear.
        Not exactly the same. But it reminded me of themes and conversations in that book.

        In Blood Music, a scientist injects himself with his own bio experiment so that he can smuggle it out of a lab.
        It spreads like a virus and those cells begin to transform bodies and the universe.

    1. digi_owl

      Pretty much right after the blasts got news coverage, someone scoured the ship tracking maps for the area and found a US task force that had supposedly been in the vicinity within 48 hours of detonation.

  16. Mikel

    “The San Francisco Chronicle identified DePape in 2013 as a “hemp jewelry maker,” and “father figure” to Taub’s three children…”

    Has anyone had any better luck at finding out what DePape currently did for a living?
    The above bit is all I have seen so far about any occupation.

    1. LawnDart

      The attacker turned out to be 42-year-old Berkeley resident David Depap. He was half-naked in his underwear when police arrived. Paul Pelosi himself called 911 and said that Depap was a “friend” of his.

      NewsFront [dot] info

      As twisted as the ruling class is…

      Does anyone remember “reporter” Jeff Gannon? If only the walls of the Lincoln Bedroom could talk… My guess still is that it was a set-up by Rove/Cheney to have blackmail material if ever the need to keep Bush on a leash, figuratively speaking.

      1. Mikel

        There has been some buzz about the underwear part.

        And wasn’t there a third person at the scene who opened the door for police?

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        “about any occupation”

        Maybe check Craiglist’s personals for a “dynamic and discreet friend for 3-way and other creative encounters.”

        (DePape: We are waiting for Nancy.)

        And yes, I am just making shit up.

        1. ambrit

          This scenario is not too “out there” to fit reality. Who, after all, flew multiple times on Epstein’s ‘Lolita Express?’ (Too many “movers and shakers” to count.)
          The “rich” really do think that rules, even moral dictates, are just for “the little people.” CF ‘The Decameron.’
          Also, where did the hammer come from? It’s not something one casually keeps on a coffee table in the living room.

          1. Cristobal

            And don´t forget that Blinky and Epstein´s procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell, may have been childhood friends. There is certainly the posiblity due to the familiar connections.

    2. Screwball

      A bizarre story for sure. I don’t think we will ever know the truth. The guys seems like a complete nutjob, but of course this is getting politicized to the max. My PMC friends are convinced this was a right wing nut job who loved Trump and wanted to get Nancy. I have no idea, but from my perspective – he was just plain nuts.

      Saw many Tweets from pols talking about the increased threat to lawmakers and of course blaming all the common targets. I expect that angle will intensify between now and the election. Tribal warfare and the blame game.

      The hate in this country is off the charts. Truly depressing state we are in.

      1. LawnDart

        The hate and anger in this country is justified but often misdirected, or perhaps more accurately, successfully redirected (at least, so far). We need more outrage, less violence, and better targeting of those truly worthy of wrath.

      2. flora

        Remember this?

        Facebook Doesn’t Understand The Fuss About Its Emotion Manipulation Study

        Did anyone besides me lose friends during and after the 2016 election because it became impossible to have a simple conversation about almost anything – gardening, family, hobbies – with people who’d been wholly pulled in to the Maddow or Carlson etc shows, friends who seemed not themselves?

        See Taibbi’s book “Hate, Inc.” Whipping up anger was/is good for clicks->advertising revenue for media but bad for social cohesion, imo.

        1. Screwball

          I lost my best friend a couple of years ago. The most wonderful, sweet, beautiful lady on the planet (in my eyes of course, I’m sure many people are just as lucky). As I look back, it wasn’t the main reason, but I think it was part of her decision.

          She is a MSNBC liberal who woke up every day only to grab the phone to see what the outrage machine told her to be flipped out about. Of course it was always about DJT. The hatred of him took over her life. Totally obsessed. It was tough to watch such a sweet and caring lady exhibit so much hate.

          I’m in red Ohio, and a small town. The guy across the street had Trump signs. Drove her nuts. Wouldn’t talk to them. We’ve known them for a long time. She came to hate the little town she grew up in because so many didn’t see things her way. We became stupid red neck hicks. All over the hatred of Trump.

          For context, this is a 43 year retired paralegal who isn’t stupid. Two kids, lawyer and accountant. Same thing – how much do you hate Trump? Democrats can do no wrong.

          Orwell would be proud.

        2. Kfish

          I learned to shut up after a friend got angry at me for saying that conservatism wasn’t racist or sexist just by definition. I don’t even live in the US; this crap gets exported everywhere.

      3. Anthony G Stegman

        The whole story is bizarre. Nancy Pelosi is third in line to the throne. Her San Francisco mansion is not highly secure? Any Joe Blow can walk up, break a window, and waltz right in? That sounds very far fetched to me. I won’t take a guess as to what is the real deal, but it very likely isn’t what the public is being told.

        1. Screwball

          Her San Francisco mansion is not highly secure?

          Really!!!! And if not, WHY?

          That should tell us how out of touch and inept these people are (they even had history with the driveway thing).

          1. The Rev Kev

            Maybe, like a vampire, the guy was invited in. I’m not saying that while Nancy is out of town that he decided to play an away game but still…

            Notice too that when he crashed his car a coupla months ago, that the identity of the passenger was never released? Strange that.

            1. caucus99percenter

              At this point there’s not only an entire K-9 Corps of dogs that did nothing in the night-time — we have the West’s curiously incurious mainstream media corps.

              They report nothing, seemingly think nothing, write as if only emotions are real, and certainly never follow up on a story by asking any pointed questions.

    1. pjay

      There are some reasons to be cautious about this “report.” I say this as someone who also “leans toward” a lab leak explanation.

      First, the whole thing is framed in a way that not only blames China, but points the finger at the top rungs of the CCP, and even specifically at Xi Jinping himself! The main narrative is that the problem was a combination of pressure from the top for results combined with incompetence or inadequate resources at the lab level.

      Second, the US role — of Peter Daszak and EcoHealth Alliance (I don’t think the latter is even mentioned), Ralph Baric, DARPA, etc., is only mentioned briefly in the middle of this long piece. And the way they are brought in is laughable. It’s basically: well, these guys did apply to DARPA for a grant for this dangerous gain-of-function research, but they didn’t get it – end of (the US) story. But gosh, maybe China continued this dangerous research anyway! If you believe this, I have bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

      Third, who are the main sources for this story? Well, to begin with this is a minority report from the Republicans on the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, organized by Republican Senator Richard Burr (an anti-Trump Republican, apparently). We are introduced to one of the main contributors to this research, Toy Reid, who was “a China specialist for the Rand Corporation and …. a political officer in East Asia for the U.S. State Department.” The report itself was apparently coordinated by none other that *Robert Kadlec*. I won’t go into his history, but I will wager that most of those who are skeptical about any of the mainstream narrative on COVID know who he is. Suffice it to say that he has been involved in a number of “biosecurity” issues (and controversies) since the 1990s.

      I could go on, but I won’t. I promised myself I would not comment on COVID issues any more here. But I think this is an important issue. There is some useful information scattered through this article. There is evidence — much of it not included here — that China did repress crucial information relevant to COVID origins. But there is something missing in this account. It sure has the feel of a limited hangout to me.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        Thank, pjay. I read the whole thing, plus a long Twitter thread by one of the researchers they cite, who says they misrepresented his studies — deliberately, he claims — concluding that animal-to-human infection at the live market was the only possible origin of the pandemic. Neither of their stories sat right with me, but I didn’t know why, and don’t have the time or inclination to dig for myself (frenetically preparing for out-of-town company in less than a week; if I take a break for anything NC-related, it will be to comment on Russia’s backing out of the grain deal, a topic I’ve researched already and know more about). I was hoping someone in the commentariat would pipe in with some intelligent comments on that report, so I appreciate your taking the time.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        That’s not the researcher or the thread I was referring to, and sorry, no remaining bandwidth for a second long thread. The thread I read was by the researcher mentioned in the clarification at the end of the article, Worobey. His argument seemed shaky to me, and there were several critical comments, so for all I know, you’ll think this guy’s approach is crap, too — and that would be fine with me. Never said I believed him, nor do I have a dog in this fight.

  17. Michael Ismoe

    From Telegram a few moments ago:

    MoD Russia

    ⚡️Taking into account the act of terrorism committed by the Kiev regime with the participation of British specialists on 29 October this year against the ships of the Black Sea Fleet and civil vessels involved in the security of the grain corridor, Russia suspends its participation in the implementation of the agreements on the export of agricultural products from Ukraine.

    1. Sibiryak

      [….]Earlier on Saturday, Russia’s Agriculture Minister Dmitry Patrushev signaled that Moscow is ready, with Türkiye’s help, to send the world’s poorest countries up to 500,000 tons of grain within the next four next months.

      He noted that considering this year’s harvest, Russia “is fully ready to replace Ukrainian grain” and arrange deliveries to “all interested countries” at a reasonable price.

      “The grain deal not only did not solve the problems of countries in need, but even aggravated them in a sense. We can see where the ships from Ukraine were heading – Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands. For some cargoes, the share of EU countries ranges from 60 to 100%. These are not the states that are experiencing a real food problem,” the minister said.

      Russia earlier warned that it could quit the grain deal if an agreement to ease restrictions on its food and fertilizer exports were not implemented. Moreover, following the blast on the strategic Crimean Bridge, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that if turns out that Ukraine – the country that Moscow accused of carrying out the attack – used grain corridors to transport explosives, “it would put the very existence of these corridors in question ”. –RT

    2. Sibiryak

      Suspending the grain deal does bring a move on Odessa back into play, as was discussed here back when the deal was originally agreed on.

  18. Wukchumni

    Bitcoin miner Core Scientific issues bankruptcy warning and the stock is down 97% for the year CNBC. Kevin W: “‘That’s a damn shame.’”

    $4.01k update:

    Sure, the haterz might use that lead article as a virtual brickbat in decrying crypto and Bitcoin in particular, but for whatever reason as of late, the essential virtual money hole, er Bitcoin, is up in value now near $21k, while damn near everything else in terms of investments has gone down down down.

    1. Jack O Lantern

      The price on exchanges cannot be trusted. It is manipulated by insiders who use wash trades to paint the tape. If a real seller of size tried to transact, it would dive lower. The price is set high enough to keep the dream alive, but low enough to deliver the scores of holders, who are deeply underwater, from the temptation to sell their coins.

      Meanwhile, early adopters in the US continue to withdraw $9999.99 each and every day, without any reports being sent to the IRS.

      1. tegnost

        If you think that bezos et al pay their fair share of taxes I’ve got a bridge to sell you…
        This 10,000 dollar thing has “agenda” written all over it…

      1. Wukchumni

        If Bitcoin was numismatic, you’d have to figure in the grade (condition) and the grading scale goes from 1 to 70.

        That would add a dollop of uncertainty to the whole sordid affair.

  19. Wukchumni

    Beyond Catastrophe: A New Climate Reality Is Coming Into View New York Times
    The glaciers in the Sierra Nevada presently were formed during the Little Ice Age, where just a few degrees of lower worldwide temps were enough to create some pretty decent sized (they’re all melting away now compared to when Americans first glimpsed them 160 odd years ago) examples.

    Hard to imagine glaciers forming now as the snow melted off by May this summer for the most part, but it gives you an idea of just what a couple degrees in variance from the norm could do, once upon a time.

    1. semper loquitur

      I didn’t know how to take that article. It’s nice to hear experts say it might not be as bad as we thought. But almost all the solutions discussed were tech-intensive, power-concentrating schemes. Not sure what to think of it.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      Water freezes at 32 degrees, and melts at 33 degrees. As you say, it doesn’t take much of a temperature change to melt glaciers. Changes in wind speed and direction can have significant impacts as well on glacial melt.

  20. judy2shoes

    Re: The Consortium Imposing the Growing Censorship Regime — and Our New Live, Prime-Time Rumble Program – Glenn Greenwald

    With respect to Greenwald’s article, I am going to start the arduous process of untangling myself from all things Google, especially Gmail. I would appreciate it if other readers here could make suggestions for both decent VPNs and private, secure email providers.

    1. Jack O Lantern

      It is best to assume that all those “secure” services and vpn’s are actually honeypots. If you use them, you will come under closer scrutiny than you would by just carrying out your business in the open.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I’m going to pipe up here since I ran my own little VPN business for a few years in the oughts. All it takes is the ability to set up a server to do VPN (I used OpenVPN) and a website to bring in business.

        My guess is that most of my clients were using VPN to use Torrent more safely. If one of my clients was using VPN on a Torrent, and some enforcer picked up the IP, they would trace it to the company that provided my server. It was that company to whom the IP had originally been allocated. The server host would get a letter demanding the original IP, and the server host would come to me for that IP since it was the server host who had given it to me. If I wanted to keep my server operating, I then had to turn over the client’s original IP.

        If it’s the Feds looking for somebody, I doubt they’d be dependent on getting the information from the server host. The inquiries I got were from people trying to enforce movie and music copyrights.

        The IP is the tracing mechanism. All IPs are allocated “centrally,” and each recipient of an IP is responsible for what it’s used for.

    2. Oh, (both encrypted mail with your private key)
      Here’s a link to VPN services FAQ

    3. Anon

      It is best to assume any activity you perform on a connected device will be observed and recorded. If you look at the “partners” tab of NC’s cookies prompt eg. you’ll see there are literally hundreds of them logging you. I use apple’s in-house vpn and safari’s anti-tracking, mostly to frustrate my ISP (it bothers me that they explicitly share my data through a service I pay for) and not be low-hanging fruit… but you can be certain if someone wants to see your data, they will see it.

      Privacy is dead, along with freedom of speech, capitalistic competition, and democracy. Yay technology.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I am sure somewhat exaggerated (this looks like a plowed field, as opposed to steppe with grass) but general point holds.

      Plus they need snow shoes! Bet those work OK in mud.

    1. Anthony G Stegman

      I recall reading a number of years ago that is best to run down a laptop’s battery before recharging, rather than always keeping it charged to 100%. So at home, unplug the laptop while you are using it, so the battery provides the power. When the charge drops to 20% or so plug the laptop back in to an electrical socket. This practice should prolong the life of the laptop battery (per the manufacturer).

      1. Jed

        Too late I’m sure, but keeping charge between 20 and 80% is ideal. Overcharged is probably worse for battery life if I recall

  21. JW

    Reported in Telegraph in UK this morning , but now pulled and I can’t find it elsewhere in UK press but now being quoted in US media.
    ‘“Representatives of this unit of the British Navy took part in the planning, provision, and implementation of a terrorist attack in the Baltic Sea on Sept. 26 that blew up the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 gas pipelines,” Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.’
    London of course denied.
    How does Germany feel about this, if true? De-industrialisation of Germany would be totally consistent with century old UK FO strategy; surely not?
    I realise its sometimes difficult to identify the UK peeking out from the US ‘cheeks’, but I have wondered what is the great motive for the position taken on Ukraine ( besides originally Johnson’s ego of course ).

  22. LawnDart

    I think this is supposed to be a puff-piece, but…

    Britain’s new Prime Minister is surprisingly American

    The new prime minister is a man of many firsts. At 42, he’s the youngest PM since William Pitt (the Younger), who took office in 1783 at the age of 24. Sunak, who was born in the United Kingdom, is the first PM of Indian heritage. He’s also the first former hedge fund executive, the first to have a Stanford MBA, and the first to have worked at Goldman Sachs.

    After graduating from Stanford’s business school, Sunak worked at hedge funds in London including The Children’s Investment Fund (known as TCI), run by British billionaire Chris Hohn, described to me as “a fascinating guy who’s a massive risk taker,” by a British hedge fund manager. At one time Hohn was doing activist investing that included targeting American railroad CSX, which traces its origins to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (or B&O), the oldest in the United States. The stake in CSX ended up becoming a tangled affair and ended badly for TCI. Sunak worked on the CSX investment and his role was mentioned in litigation.

    Sunak is extremely wealthy, the bulk of which comes from his wife, Akshata Murthy, a graduate of Claremont McKenna, whom he met at Stanford, and the daughter of billionaire founder of Infosys, Narayana Murthy. Akshata owns .93% of Infosys worth some $700 million, according to Business Today, an Indian magazine. Infosys’s primary business has been to outsource thousands of U.S. jobs to India, or replace jobs in the U.S. with foreign nationals. It has also repeatedly knocked heads with U.S. regulators.

    Wow, very American! What’s not to like about him? Looks like Britain’s about to be served, after the Brexit remains get carved-up.

  23. Jason Boxman

    So far, this flu season is more severe than it has been in 13 years

    Functionally stupid:

    “It’s unusual, but we’re coming out of an unusual covid pandemic that has really affected influenza and other respiratory viruses that are circulating,” said Lynnette Brammer, an epidemiologist who heads the CDC’s domestic influenza surveillance team.

    No, we are not coming out of the COVID pandemic. It is still very much ongoing. The CDC needs to be burned to the ground, seriously.

    1. skippy

      The biggest line item of big pharma has always been marketing, CDC was an impediment to sales and thus profits, so they got people on the inside embedded to direct traffic without having the responsibility of having an actual position in the CDC administration.

      I view it in the same light as the takeover of institutions like the IMF via feeder pools in academia, goes right back to the old FEE perspective of getting to the kids early and shape perceptions and then let thousands of butterfly’s flap their wings …..

  24. Jeff W

    Cat got your tongue: Cats distinguish between speech directed at them and humans EurekAlert

    Maybe I’m a bit jaded, behavior-science-wise, but I’d be surprised if cats didn’t distinguish between speech directed at them and speech directed at humans.

    The tone of human speech would seem to be a pretty unsurprising discriminable stimulus and I’d surmise that cats would learn pretty quickly that speech directed at others (as indicated by the tone) would likely not result in any reinforcement for them so any behavior by them in response to that would quickly undergo extinction (i.e., they’d learn to ignore it).

    1. Screwball

      I don’t know if you have access to Netflix, but they have a documentary about cats. I watched it last night. No review, but it was interesting. I will say, I was amazed with what some people accomplish by training cats – which I thought was impossible – as the one that owns me proves daily.

  25. Sailor Bud

    Conductor pianists: it’s a mixed bag. I admit, I never thought of the author’s finishing social concern all that much – that chamber music pianists and soloists are getting shut out. The whole industry has too many larger problems, so I can miss things like that.

    The author mentions Harold Schonberg, who wrote a bunch of very readable books that are excellent, full of amusing anecdotes about performers of the past three centuries. I’ve read them all, Lives of the Great Composers, The Great Pianists, The Conductors, The Virtuosi, Chess Grandmasters, and maybe another one or two. He can be very cutting, sometimes unfairly. I’ve been the same many times, to my shame. I think he delighted in the acidic stuff from GB Shaw, Brahms, and Reger, etc, and it made him imitative

    I’d be judicious in taking his revulsion of the pianist-conductor too seriously. Schonberg said a lot of terrible things, and he was not always in the right, tho he was about Bernstein, for the most part. LB was an excellent pianist, but not a workaday one, and you can tell.

    On the other hand, Schonberg, in his ‘brilliance,’ disparaged Medtner, for instance, as someone who did Rachmaninoff the honor of copying him, which is both crude and wrong. He also ripped Mendelssohn’s rather nice paintings, while shoving his own garish messy portrait sketches throughout several of his books. To be fair, he got the characters right enough, but chose people with easy faces to characterize, always. They are always demonic grotesques, whether the musician deserved the treatment or not. Schonberg had a fetish for Caruso’s funny sketches, too, which were indeed fun, but also very crude.

    Schonberg has said bizarre things that hint of musical ignorance, to make me wonder if he was himself a trained player or just a writer of them. He marveled, e.g., at the modulatory travel of Mozart in some piece or other in LotGC, but any musician would know how ordinary such a progression was by Mozart’s day. I found it curious, anyway.

    In my experience, the conductor who does it from the piano full time will usually be better than the one who does it for sport, as a rule of thumb. Some of them are truly whales. Pletnev is a monster pianist and a good conductor. I’ve never watched him do both, but I’d like to. Harpsichord world is full of great conductor-players, tho.

  26. skippy

    Oh Lambert – !!!!!!!!

    Mate I instantly thought of you when I saw this and its just so epic on so many levels … ENJOY~~~~~

    RNC Research
    Oct 29
    Kamala Harris: “I love Venn diagrams, I really do, I love Venn diagrams, it’s just something about those three circles and the analysis about where there is the intersection”

    The comment thread winnar is sublime in context IMO ….

    On the other hand you might need a stiff drink or toke afterwards ….

    1. semper loquitur

      Holy (rap, that’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard someone attempting to sound intelligent say. And I took classes at Penn. The comedic potential of this is literally incalculable. Please, don’t let me sign up for Twitter, please help me.

      1. skippy

        I just view it in the context of the Bernays PR/marketing confuse a cat python skit until everyone’s minds are mince, which could be paired with Rev Kevs link below that shows a shift from some wrt Saint Obama’s hold on minds, due to his adept confidence man manipulation and its tenuous relationship with reality these days.

        The whole fight is over perception, regardless of anything that underpins it, hence the heavy use in America starting to show signs of excessive over use and how fractured everything is becoming.

        BTW had a convo with a Client last week. Decades long primary school teacher and her Uni age daughter after asking me what I thought of Obama. After saying to her that all is not as it seems and suggest looking at some of the vintage NC perspectives, about that [had already suggested NC to her], her daughter piped up and said many of her age were questioning his past deeds and introspectively how that squares with his oration[tm] today vs the actual outcomes.

    2. caucus99percenter

      All good liberals made fun of Sarah Palin — but compared to our actually existing veep…

      Clio, the Greek muse / scriptwriter / showrunner of history, is definitely trolling us.

  27. semper loquitur

    Here is the inestimable Dr. Justin Sledge, historian of religion and the occult, on the occult themes and influences in Lovecraft’s writing:

    Lovecraft & the Occult – Historical & Literary Influences on the Cthulhu Mythos & Necronomicon

    HP Lovecraft and the mythos he developed – from the insanity-inducing elder ones, Cthulhu and his legion of great deep ones poised to erase humanity when the stars are right, to the most horrid volume imaginable, the dread Necronomicon – have emerged from pulp obscurity and dismissal to become pillars of pop-culture, literature, music and beyond. His works are known for brooding antiquarian interest, architectural and ancestral decay, profound, indeed deeply racist fear of the Other, beings whose cosmic-scale indifference threatens sanity and civilization, and occult knowledge that threatens to unlock the vault of eldritch nightmares from the gulfs beyond the stars. While Lovecraft and his often contradictory mythos have been explored at length, this episode explores just what occult influences operated and inspired Lovecraft. Was his mythos consciously or even unconsciously infused with ancient, occult lore? What exactly were the esoteric literary resources Lovecraft relied upon to build out his mythos? To what degree does authentic, historical occult knowledge actually make its way into his tales? Just what are the occult origins of Chtulhu, the Necromonicon, Yog Sothoth, the Pnakoptic Fragments and Nyarlathotep?

  28. Roland

    Scotty Kilmer has a very popular automotive repair and review channel on YouTube, with millions of subscribers. While from time to time he’ll make a political comment, it’s almost always in a casual, bantering way, “look at those silly politicians!”

    Kilmer’s also known for his clickbait titles and thumbnails, usually made with an air of self-ridicule (e.g. “I’m going to Prison Now!”)

    So when I saw his video today titled, “Get Ready for War,” what I expected was Scotty’s usual fare. But just watch the first 30 seconds of this:

    Here is a popular mass-market YouTuber making a seriously-intended video on world affairs. The timing of the release probably wasn’t an accident, either. For Scotty to do something like this is quite a risk for his channel and his “brand.”

    It serves as an index to the widening and deepening sense of alarm among a segment of the American public, especially when you look at the top comments.

  29. semper loquitur

    This video is beyond excellent. Dr. Justin Sledge examines the Satanic Panic of the ’80’s. He ties in the European witch trials, the economic collapse and the rise of the Right in the ’80’s America alongside the Moral Majority, and the lurid role the media played in spreading and flaming the insanity. I had no idea how bad it was. Mental healthcare providers grooming children with priming words and false memories, academics sagely discussing the length and breadth of a non-existent problem, law enforcement issuing declarations of the illusory presence of cults hither and thither, “journalists” like Geraldo and Oprah feeding at the trough of superstitious terror. Time and again, no evidence was provided, hearsay was credulously credited, and lives were ruined. The claims were deranged and even when nothing, nothing, surfaced, the Panic raged on and on. It even impacted Dr. Sledge personally.

    Historical, Mythological & Social Origins of the Satanic Panic and How it Nearly Destroyed My Life

    Starting in the early 1980’s the Satanic Panic ignited in the United States before spreading through the world. Here law enforcement, psychiatrists, social workers and occult ‘experts’ uncovered a vast satanic conspiracy which predated upon children at daycares, infiltrated heavy metal music, lured in teenagers through Dungeons and Dragons all organized by a grand network of satanic covens. These claims resulted in constant bullying for social non-conformists, hundreds of arrests, prosecutions, compromised guilty verdicts along with accusations which ruined lives and livelihoods for many more. The Satanic Panic is even more shocking when considering that no evidence has come to light in over 40 years to substantiate these claims. Feeding on centuries of demonological lore set into the social and economic degradation of the last quarter of the 20th century, the Satanic Panic continues to have a decisive social impact. Join me as I dive deep into the origins and development of the Satanic Panic and how it nearly destroyed my life.

    1. skippy

      Hayekian Fear comes to mind …. spook the chattel and then suggest you can provide sanctuary … rinse and repeat ….

    2. JBird4049

      People were sent to prison for years on completely bogus evidence. Just look for the McMartin Preschool horror show for a particularly egregious example although in this case nobody was convicted; the whole trial only took about a decade.

      A few times, I have used my memories of the Satanic Panic to remind myself just how crazy it can become. It has forced me to be more skeptical than I would like to be, but it has also gotten me to remain certain at times. Sometimes, it really is people going crazy or being unreasonable, but not me.

        1. JBird4049

          Doesn’t the various insanities happening now remind you of this? Except for it being just one mass insanity instead of the current multiple craziness of course.

    3. Acacia

      Years ago, I saw Anton LaVey on a TV news spot concerning the police showing up at his Church of Satan (actually just a house in San Francisco). From the photos I’d seen photos of him previously, I expected a kind of diabolical booming voice (yelling “Moloch!! Moloch!!”), but instead he had a rather high-pitched quavering voice, like a nice Jewish boy.

  30. upstater

    Lambert gotta put this on WC tomorrow!

    Swiss narrow gauge railway sets record for world’s longest passenger train – Trains

    After months of preparations, Swiss meter gauge rail company Rhätische Bahn/Rhaetian Railway (RhB) set a new world record for the longest passenger train Saturday, Oct. 29, with a 100-car special train, formed of 25 identical electric multiple-unit trainsets.

    The train ran on the world-famous UNESCO World Heritage ‘Albula/Bernina’ route from Preda to Bergün via its spiral tunnels, later crossing the famous Landwasser Viaduct before ending in Alvaneu. The record-breaking run was part of the celebration of the 175th anniversary celebrations of the Swiss railway network and the 100th anniversary of the electrification of the Rhaetian Railway network.

    Video 1:11

    Switzerland really celebrates its railroads! The RhB is a world class operation, not to be missed if you’re in Switzerland.

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