Links 12/12/2022


‘Atmospheric river event’ crashes into California – as millions across Plains, Midwest and the Northeast prepare for severe storms Daily Mail (Kevin W)

Why the laws of physics don’t actually exist New Scientist

All South Koreans to become younger as traditional age system scrapped Guardian

With the suspected bombmaker in US custody, the 1988 Lockerbie terrorist attack returns to the public eye ABC

Gabor Maté: Who’s Crazy, You or Your Nation? Scheerpost

The Race to Save Medical Research Washington Monthly


Ohio lawmakers may require fracking under state land, label natural gas ‘green’ Cincinnati Enquirer

Is it safe? Treasure Island residents face health concerns from toxic dust 48Hills

Salton Sea dust triggers lung inflammation UC Riverside News

Salt Lake City’s efforts to fight pollution face a new challenge: Toxic dust NBC News

US scientists boost clean power hopes with fusion energy breakthrough FT


Water districts vowed to send billions of gallons to the Great Salt Lake this year. Here’s how it’s going. The Salt Lake Tribune

Household water wells are drying up in record numbers amid California drought LA Times


Less Than Zero Covid 2.0 Peter Lee’s China Threat Report

China’s Top Medical Adviser Says Omicron’s Risks Same as Flu. Bloomberg. Mark: ” So sad they did not use their time to do ventilation.”

Nasal spray Covid-19 vaccine co-developed by Hong Kong scientists approved for emergency use in mainland China in ‘historic breakthrough’ SCMP


Iran: To veil or not to veil The Cradle. (Guurst) “Saw a vid of a mall in Tehran. Very few women veiled.”

Old Blighty

How British colonialism killed 100 million Indians in 40 years Al Jazeera

CIA officer who killed British teen receives sentence – but she won’t serve a day in jail Canary

UK weather: Snow, ice and freezing fog cause travel disruption BBC


New Not-So-Cold War

Michael Vlahos & Douglas Macgregor What is to be done? Can a corrupted US military be renewed? Pt.3 YouTube

European Disunion

Biden Administration

The secrets of Hunter Biden’s laptop spell trouble for Joe The Times

Biden adviser calls Wall Street opposition to shale drilling ‘un-American’ FT

Imperial Collapse Watch

The War Caucus Always Wins The Intercept

Senior State official suggests Ukraine behind drone strikes on Russia CNN,  Victoria Fuck the EU Nuland, an arsonist admiring the wind.

Democrats en déshabillé

Democrats plan to spoil Sinema’s reelection, hand seat to the GOP Carl Beijer


Police State Watch

Dauphin County put man hospitalized for hypothermia back in cold cell, where he died Pennlive

Our No Longer Free Press

Freedom of reach IS freedom of speech Pluralistic

Former Twitter employees file class-action lawsuit, alleging company targeted women in layoffs The Hill

Not the Onion

Wordle players break streaks to support New York Times union walkout WaPo

Class Warfare

Big Medicaid Changes in California Leave Millions of Patients Behind KHN

Safety-net hospitals harmed by supplemental payment ‘slippage’ Modern Healthcare

Texas’ rural hospitals are — once again — at grave risk of closing Texas Tribune

Urban: 18M could lose Medicaid coverage after COVID-19 emergency expires, likely next year Fierce Healthcare

Long COVID May Cost U.S. $3.7T; California Considers Masks Governing

The Bezzle

One of these stablecoins is not like the others… Dirty Bubble Media

Alameda ex-CEO Caroline Ellison taps SEC’s former top crypto regulator as lawyer in FTX investigation Business Insider

Zeitgeist Watch

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Antifa

    (melody borrowed from Casey Jones as performed by Johnny Cash)

    Well, come all you rounders listen to my song
    Congress forced us railroad men to come along
    For wealthy men who’d much prefer to bust your head
    For wealthy men who’d like to see our union dead

    Men who’ve got us workin’ twelve hours each day
    Seven days a week on call to do as they say
    We seldom see our families or have a decent sleep
    We can’t have seven sick days cuz they’re too damn cheap

    Seven days — Congress won’t allow it
    A purchased vote — that Congress will lament
    In sixty days — once we get our bonus
    We’re gonna walk away from all of this torment

    ‘My son broke his leg at a soccer game
    The doctors couldn’t set it till I signed my name
    But I was rolling coal up to Minn-St Paul
    The bosses made me do it — goddamn them all’

    ‘My wife died in hospice I could not attend
    Cuz I was pulling freight cars there and back again
    Four days later when her time came ’round
    I had to trust her relatives to put her in the ground’

    Seven days — Congress won’t allow it
    A purchased vote — that Congress will lament
    In sixty days — once we get our bonus
    We’re gonna walk away from all of this torment

    A train will block the rails cuz the engineer
    Parks his train and says, ‘I’m outta here!
    I finally got my bonus so my work is through!
    You can’t make me work when I don’t want to!’

    When one out of ten of us walks away
    Every train on every track will be delayed
    You never should have pushed us to extremities
    It won’t be us who ends up on our knees

    Seven days — Congress won’t allow it
    A purchased vote — that Congress will lament
    In sixty days — once we get our bonus
    We’re gonna walk away from all of this torment

    You can’t arrest us when we all resign
    You don’t have enough engineers to reassign
    If you send in the tear gas, the clubs and mace
    Every union in this country will be in your face

    Seven days — Congress won’t allow it
    A purchased vote — that Congress will lament
    In sixty days — once we get our bonus
    We’re gonna walk away from all of this torment

  2. Sardonia

    To the tune of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby”

    Ah, look at all the torn-up treaties
    Ah, look at all the torn-up treaties.

    Vladimir Putin
    Picks up the shreds of agreements that nobody meant
    Sits in the Kremlin
    Wondering if…there is anyone that he can trust
    Words have been busted

    All the torn-up treaties
    Why do we even try?
    All the torn-up treaties
    They quickly liquify

    Angela Merkel
    Spilling the beans in her Twilight before her own Wake:
    “Minsk was a head-fake.”
    Look at her working
    Stirring the pot of mistrust that divides East from West
    Give her a breath-test

    All the torn-up treaties
    Why do we even try?
    All the torn-up treaties
    They quickly liquify

    Vladimir Putin
    Throws in the towel as he knows that it’s time for Divorce
    Now it’s just fo…orce
    Angela Merkel
    Saying the words that we’re sure Olaf Scholz was forbidding:
    “We were just kidding!”

    All the torn-up treaties
    Why do we even try?
    All the torn-up treaties
    They quickly liquify

    1. juno mas

      The Lyricists of NaCap (not ASCAP) induce both the recollection of past songs and appreciation of new rhymes. Smiles to both Antifa and Sardonia!

      1. caucus99percenter

        Gilbert and Sullivan, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe … now Antifa / Sardonia! “♫ It’s a grand old blog, it’s a high-flyin’ blog…”

  3. Stephen

    British Colonialism

    Sounds very consistent with other data I have seen. The authors also do not mention that the Indian Army was funded by Indian taxpayers and used for imperial adventures.

    Fascinatingly, very few people who criticize Russia (for example) ever want to engage with these issues. They compare the good features of our history with the bad features of other countries. Selection bias, of course.

    Reparations are trickier. Many Indian ancestry people (arguably victims) now live in the UK. My own ancestry is Irish Catholic (they left after the Famine) so am I a victim or a beneficiary? Additionally, as with all empires plenty of local elites collaborated with the regime too. Even gaining from it if many other people suffered.

    Focusing on reparations can also prevent people engaging with the real issues too. The crucial point for me is that we avoid imperial behaviour of this type going forward. However, even with an ethnic Indian PM the evidence is that we seem to be behaving in an imperial way today too. That’s the current tragedy.

    1. John

      One could say that a decrepit Moghul Empire in India simply outsourced and privatized governance of India to the British East India Company in the 18th Century. A decrepit corrupt elite selling out to a vigorous corrupt foreign elite. I don’t think the Indian people were ever consulted. A corrupt, privatized sh#t show from the beginning.
      Now why does this process seem a bit familiar today?

    2. hk

      US South is full of this contradiction. The laws governing slavery in antebellum South were not, at least in principle, based on race: it was based on the Roman principle partus sequitur ventrem, ie slave status inherited from mother to child, although with meandering changes over time (early on, there were questions as to whether Christians could be kept in slavery, for example). In practice, this meant that there were plenty of people who “looked white” but we’re legally held in slavery and more people than you’d expect who “looked black,” but not only were free, but we’re in fact slave owners. So, the distinction between whites and blacks, former slaves and former slave owners, was already pretty confused as early as 19th century. The paradox became so commonplace that the first attempt at formally introducing so called one-drop rule into the law (which was not until the end of 19th century) was met by this response by George Tillman, a staunch neo-Confederate:

      It is a scientific fact that there is not one full-blooded Caucasian on the floor of this convention. Every member has in him a certain mixture of… colored blood…It would be a cruel injustice and the source of endless litigation, of scandal, horror, feud, and bloodshed to undertake to annul or forbid marriage for a remote, perhaps obsolete trace of Negro blood. The doors would be open to scandal, malice, and greed.

      The eventual introduction of the one drop rule a few decades later often just meant that people who could pass “whites” simply resorted to denial. No way to actually tell “actual black ancestry,” even today, so if they can cover their tracks, who could tell? It does mean that, if we are serious about finding out who the “true” descendants of the victims today are and not just accept the “whitewashed” (ironic wording intentional) modern narrative, things would get very messy indeed. This just sets up more blatant moralizing lies passing as god-given truth under color of authority, which can only bring us closer to an Orwellian dystopia.

      1. Stephen

        I agree it is tricky.

        One of my paternal aunts married in her second marriage a Jamaican gentleman with the surname Powell (now deceased). He had been one of the first “West Indian” immigrants to England and one of the very first as well to qualify as a London taxi driver with “the knowledge”. He was apparently a distant relative of Colin Powell. The point is that such people with the name Powell are allegedly descended from Eyre Coote, an early nineteenth century Governor of Jamaica who had various children with African slave women.

        Victim or beneficiary? It is difficult.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yeah, about those Ukrainian heroes. I saw a video of Russian or Allied troops approaching a Ukrainian tank. The crew were trying to surrender but there was one problem. They had been welded into their tanks. The video shows a coupla of these welded bolts stopping the hatch being opened so those troops had to use a crowbar and what looks like a sledge hammer to break them off so that the crew could come out. Could it have been a Russian propaganda video? Maybe. But it would fit in with reports how Ukrainian officers treat their men. Maybe the crew was being punished or something. Or maybe the Ukrainians have so few tanks left that they want to make sure that the crew would not just abandon their tank. The guy who posted said that there were rumours that some Ukrainian tanks would drive up to Allied forces with their turrets turned all the way around in an old sign of wanting to surrender. If it is all true, then it is a helluva way to run a railway.

    2. hk

      This makes for an interesting contrast with the string of scandals involving presumed neo Nazis in Germany, including the recent alleged pusch plot. One has to presume that the real puschists of the future are getting good training in Ukraine, including how to Maidan in Berlin…assuming the Greens don’t turn Nazi first.

  4. griffen

    Former employees file class action lawsuit, following mass layoff at Twitter. Yes, such a decision usually takes a couple days or maybe into a 2nd week at most. I don’t imagine that Musk or senior managers were going to delay the move by going one by one on who stays and who goes. Headcount coming down provides the immediate benefit of lowering the expense of paying employees and like the benefits packages. Hope these employees were reading the fine print on the severance documents! You have to read to the end, trust me on reading severance documents ( I have read them more than once, on different occasions and unique circumstance for each ).

    I am just not buying their apparent outrage and grief. Losing a job is an ordeal for the individual and a family if the impact is felt at home, that is not in question. Moving on should be the new goal.

      1. ambrit

        After the ‘ditch’ has been dug, the spoil has to be ‘raked’ for muck.
        Time for a new tee shirt design: “Will app for food.” To continue the theme a bit too far, conflate Empire with Silicon Valley and we have: “All threads lead to Home (Land Security.) Welcome to the App-Peon Way.” (Is that what ‘they’ mean by Rome-ing Charges?)

        1. Wukchumni

          Back when I had a crummier jalopy, occasionally I would preempt panhandlers by hitting them up first upon exiting the vehicle and their approach.

          It frequently stymied them enough to allow me to obtain a Slurpee & horoscope before they knew what hit them.

          Now, I just ask them for their PayPal account #…

    1. urdsama


      But the WARN Act and FMLA laws exist for a reason.

      And Musk is the last person who should be given the benefit of the doubt. He is the worst confidence man/grifter of our age. And that’s being polite.

    2. The S

      Nah, siding with capital and the investor class over workers sucks, even if it’s the ‘law’ (written by the investor class for the investor class). VC and PE have wrecked everything. What if we instead eliminated payments to investors and stockholders, and threw them out of the decision making process entirely? Then there would be lots more money for those people who actually do the work. I’m sure the workers at twitter know how to run it much better than a bunch of rich losers trying to get richer by firing people. Though I admit I was a bit disappointed in the workers at Twitter HQ when Musk visited the first time. If a rich dork announces that they are going to fire 75% of the workers in a place before going there, the proper response is to lock that person out of the building and throw rocks at them until they go away and retire to a secluded fishing cabin somewhere to ponder their antisocial material hording disorder.

      1. griffen

        He had an opportunity and the ability to walk out and walk away from the deal. And in hindsight, he probably wishes he had a clause in his agreement to buy Twitter to just pay a fee and exit the agreement.

        At end of the day anyway, it is an odd and perhaps obscene sort of capitalism that rewards the previous type of management and executives who were not running Twitter very well. But this is hindsight. Not a fanboy of Musk myself, I find his style and behavior a little odd.

    1. The Rev Kev

      We should place bets on when the first official trillion dollar budget for the Pentagon is announced. It’s only a matter of time.

      1. Alice X

        Well, of course, the unofficial number has been over a trillion for some time, they just tuck some components in other departments, nukes in energy, va etc. But it won’t be long, the Congress critters keep giving them more than is even asked for.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That is exactly what happened with that bill. Congress actually gave the Pentagon more than they asked for. No money for things like ending most homelessness in the US of course. It has no support in Congress.

        2. Polar Socialist

          Considering that we constantly see audits and report to the tune that aircraft can’t fly due to lack of spare parts or that navy vessel’s maintenance takes on average 9 months longer than scheduled, the money given may not be going to what it’s asked for…

        1. The Rev Kev

          Well you know what they say. A trillion dollars here, a trillion dollars there. Pretty soon you are talking about serious money. Probably find that the Pentagon needs the money because they invested too heavily into bitcoin.

          1. Alice X

            Where is Senator William Proxmire (a million here, a million there…and his Golden Fleece Award) now that we need him?

    2. Wukchumni

      Relax, I hear not only have the Ukrainians paid us for the $63 billion owed for goods dlvd F.O.B., but are also going to front the entire US military budget this year through a Nigerian princeling middleman, how nice of them to do that, without even asking.

        1. Polar Socialist

          With the slight distinction that while the Nigerian letter request your help in transferring immense funds out of Nigeria, the Ukrainian letters request help in transferring your immense funds to Ukraine…

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Senior State official suggests Ukraine behind drone strikes on Russia”

    No point listening too much to that interview. It was just Nuland spewing out a line of propaganda aided and abetted by the main stream media in the form of Christiane Amanpour here. Like trying to pretend that the Ukrainians are inventing everything to fight the Russian and are not drawing on NATO expertise. But it is hiding the real story here. When the Ukrainians launched those drones deep into Russian territory, that was a next level provocation that, especially in light of the fact that at least one of those bases had nukes stored here. I thought at the time – and the boys of the Duran have said the same – that this would never have happened without the nod from one of the major neocons running this war. And wouldn’t you know it. Victoria Nuland was in Kiev with Big Z having an over-nighter at the same time so I am willing to bet that she was the one that told the Ukrainians to go for it. And it spite of what Nuland said in that interview, it seems that the US has now said that the Ukraine can hit all the targets that they want deep in Russia now. And it looks like that the US may have shipped those long-range HIMARS missiles to the Ukraine now as well. Good thing that there will never be any blowback about any of this.

    1. Louis Fyne

      The Ukainian Soviet-era drones that attacked those airbases probably got real-time satellite intel from the US at the moment of launch.

      Zero chance UA just launched these drones on a whim and luckily hit targets.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Gave a link the other day to an interview with the CEO of Raytheon boasting how they were providing the Ukrainians with real-time data of all the Russian tanks, APCs, etc in the Ukraine so what you said is not a stretch. Come to think of it, at the time of that attack I read a report of a US recon aircraft circling in the Black Sea that the Russians suspected of giving that tracking data to those drones but have seen no mention of that since.

      2. Polar Socialist

        I’m yet to be convinced there’s such a thing as real-time satellite data. It’s getting better, sure, but not that good. It still takes hours to download, process, analyze and especially decide what you actually have in the data, and to whom and how should distribute it.

        You don’t need real-time intel to hit an airport, you just need it’s location and a method of guidance that has less than 2000 yards of circular error probability. So to me most likely scenario is where the original inertial navigation modules have been replaced with GPS navigation module (reverse engineering the inertial command interface on a Raspberry?) and then aim the drones to Russian airfields when you receive indications of the next missile strike commencing with the vain hope that there will be explosive stuff on the tarmac during preparation because the Tu-141 has only about 100 kg payload.

        1. David

          Yes to all that. Airfields don’t move around much, and there’s a measurable chance that you’ll hit something useful if you get the right GPS coordinates..
          Two other points: I presume these are satellites in Low Earth Orbit, which means they are only over a designated area for a very short time. And because of their altitude the swath width (what they can actually detect, visually or by IR etc.) is very limited. Satellites only carry so much fuel, and you can’t keep moving them around to be over different areas all the time. The simplest explanation, in such cases, is usually best.

          1. Louis Fyne

            yes. The simplest hypothesis is that the Russians got sloppy and habitual with when/where/how they parked their airplanes-equipment.

            American intel noticed and then fed that info to Kyiv

            1. ambrit

              Also, how did these big drones get all the way there without being recognized and “neutralized.”
              Will we soon see a new head of Russian National Air Defense?

              1. Polar Socialist

                Not intending to defend the Russians here, but it’s worth mentioning that these big reconnaissance drones were originally designed to penetrate the enemy air defenses twice because they had no telemetry capabilities – they had to return to base to deliver the collected information.

                While not stealth, they do fly low (160 feet) and fast (0.9 mach), and are actually smaller than Predators or Reapers.

        2. RobertC

          Polar Socialist — real-time satellite data (tactical not intelligence) as MIL-STD-6016 messages has been available for about two decades for weapons launchers. For weapons it’s hard to fit the antenna. StarLink/StarShield looks to be changing this.

          1. Polar Socialist

            Yes. But I’m talking about (raw) data collected by satellites, not transmitted by them. That’s been done since the late 50’s.

            In this case, since airfields don’t move around much, there’s really no need to update the target data for the drone during it’s flight – and even less need for the drone to send any information back.

            1. RobertC

              An example of real-time satellite data collection transmitted, via a real-time ground station, into real-time satellite tactical data transmission would be the demonstrated SBIRS/STSS* feed into the Aegis BMD Engage-on-Remote (but not Launch-on-Remote) fire control solution. The need for a real-time communications capability, via any OTH means, with the weapon, including drones, is based on Operational-level mission-driven factors including a self-destruct decision.

              * now deactivated

  6. semper loquitur

    Great Zeitgeist watch today. Sanctioning anger, or any strong emotive expression, is like policing language. It’s about controlling what comes naturally to people, similar to religious dictates on sexuality.

    In fact, honest expressions of sexuality, unless of the approved Special Victims Unit variety, are looked down upon in the liberal hive-mind. As a straight man, talking about an attractive women with liberal oriented men often elicits a nervous laugh. I’m not talking about d!ck grabbing slurs, just saying stuff like “Wow, she’s hot!” They smile and nod but seem constrained. Sometimes I miss working in kitchens with deplorables, where you can speak your mind…

    1. t

      Lotta things come naturally, and many of those should be avoided if you want to get along.

      And the reach for the supposed root of a word as an excuse to have tantrums is quite a reach.

      1. semper loquitur

        “ Lotta things come naturally, and many of those should be avoided if you want to get along.”

        Thanks for the “wisdom”. The point you missed? sidestepped? on your quest to enlighten is that other people will seek to control you for them for their own ends. No one is questioning the need for norms. It’s when they are wielded as weapons. Often by people who feel empowered to apply them at their discretion.

        And no one described anything approaching a tantrum. That smacks of the very thing I wrote about above. Is that the stench of $hit-lib piety I detect? Deliberately misinterpreting someone to score moral points? Take note: you’ll find that putting words in my mouth will leave a bitter taste in yours.

        1. anahuna

          Yours is an interesting response. I read the original somewhat differently. The derivation is interesting, but it’s possible to draw a different association between grief and anger. According to that way of seeing, grief (not a particular grief with an immediate origin, but world-sorrow) is a very deep emotion which is often buried and difficult to realize or express. Fear often arises as a reaction against grief, and then anger as a reaction to/defense against fear. In that sense, anger is “easy.” It makes us feel strong rather than weak. And, yes, that energy can be used to drive action.

          None of the above negates what you say about social pressure and social disapproval being used to deny or suppress any expression of anger. It just suggests that anger might be a starting point for discovery, not an end in itself.

          1. semper loquitur

            Thank you, this is good stuff. Starting from there I suspect, and it’s been said here before, that much of the anger we see today is “world-grief”, especially from the young. Justified fully.

        2. chris

          I agree with you. I empathize with the struggle to resolve internal conflicts with external reality. There’s a lot we can’t say to each other these days, isn’t there?

          It galls me everytime I see a Biden administration flunkie try to lecture people on women’s rights. Like, are you going to admit all the credible accusations against the president and his sexually inclined assault on various women? How about pretty boy Hunter’s love of women? Is the president going to publicly denounce that? No, of course not. He’s simply a doting father with a sick son who is working out his issues using art and pharmacology. Nothing to see there. And you’re not supposed to discuss it in polite company.

          Another topic that isn’t to be discussed in polite company is how places like Lockheed Martin are having to be extremely generous with job offers these days. Because it is dawning on engineers and other people that they’re in the business of making weapons that kill people. And that they will be doing that for their entire career with Lockheed. Oh, sure, there’s the random space program or something like it, but mainly you’re a weapons engineer. You’re not supposed to think about it. You’re not supposed to question it. You’re supposed to think of yourself as a good person serving the mission. And you can’t complain about being well paid and all the nice benefits. But…it’s corrosive. So sooner or later you leave and when asked, you tell people, it’s just not for me. I was looking for different opportunities. And you hope that whatever you do next makes up for you did. Once upon a time we could conceive of standing down and doing other things. But there is no rest from war. If we finish a conflict we just start another one. So there is no way to hide from the reality that you will be helping to kill lots of people if you’re good at your job. Not too many people are wired to accept that without internal consequences.

          But just like you’re not supposed to care about staying in one place, or one career, or valuing a stable family, you’re not supposed to feel anything other than calm professional pride about being the person who designs the weapons that turn weddings into red mist. Nope. Move on in 2 years. Get the next raise. Next mission. And be grateful! Who else gets to serve their country like this and be so well paid?

          1. semper loquitur

            Great ramble, thanks! Re: the Biden Crime-Clan, I don’t know how people square that circle. The power of self delusion at work. The man publicly joked about “her being 12 and him being 30” or something like that. People laughed and laughed.

        3. Aumua

          Anger is legitimate. I think Metallica nailed it with their “saint anger”. I just wonder why you seem to feel the need to talk down to anyone who says anything in disagreement with you.

      2. hunkerdown

        What if we don’t, though? “Getting along” is a bourgeois value that deserves a lot more interrogation than I can manage today, but suffice it to say that bourgeois norms aren’t entitled to recognition on their own terms, nor are the people who promulgate them as supposedly desirable.

    2. Wukchumni

      TV is a weird place though to focus angst, nobody ever has to go to the bathroom & oddly enough, nobody ever watches TV on any of the shows, its as if the medium doesn’t even exist.

      1. ambrit

        Technically speaking, the best reason for your observed lack of exposure is that ’embedded’ “real time” news and social media in teleplays etc. immediately ‘dates’ the production, thus decreasing said productions rerun revenue reaping potential. I have generally seen displays of such ephemera in teleplays as means to establishing historical ‘location’ for a plot. Many times, such is a cheap way of establishing historical period verisimilitude.

      2. Mikel

        I’ve noticed the bathroom is more likely to be a murder scene than a scene of someone relieving themselves.

        1. Randall Flagg

          Let’s not forget the occasional scene in that classic show”All in the Family”.
          Someone would ask,”Where’s Archie?”. The sound of a flushing toilet would ensue and he makes his appearance.
          A show that stands the test of time in many ways, as well as it’s spin-offs too.

      3. hunkerdown

        In surrealist comedy, shows within the show are pretty common. South Park famously spun off not just a mini-TV show but a mini-comedy franchise into a real-life feature film.

      4. begob

        Larry David spends a long time in the bathroom. Let me ask you a question – you think that’s too long? Is there a breach of some unwritten rule? Too long, ya think? Hm. Interesting. Wait! Is that Suzie? Quick! Give me the keys to your golf-cart.

    1. Kristiina

      So Bout is a horrible criminal because dealing arms, whereas Jens Stoltenberg is morally pristine merchant of war because representing Nato. So it is not at all what you do, but who you’re hired by.

        1. David

          I suspect the actual explanation is more prosaic. Bout was almost certainly an intelligence asset for the SVR, and quite likely for intelligence services of other countries as well. He would have had a good insight not only into where the weapons were going, but into the wider political situation around them. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that he got himself into a complicated situation he couldn’t extract himself from. It’s happened before.

        2. The Rev Kev

          I would assume that any arms dealer would have some sort of relationship with not only their own country’s intelligence service but those for major powers as well if they want to stay in business. Doesn’t mean that they won’t be burned by them. With Bout I heard that he was also using his bodgy firm to supply weapons for the French so who knows who else he dealt with. But he was never a major player and was more a bottom-feeder which is strange that he was labelled (by the British originally) as the Lord of War.

      1. eg

        I was rolling my eyes when I heard some radio host or other almost spit the word “arms dealer” when describing the prisoner exchange with the sainted Griner (about whom I know almost nothing) — as if we don’t have n-many arms dealers in the West.

  7. Wukchumni

    I’m not normally a spelling Nazi or even a Quisling quizzer over such trifles, yet I bemoan what has become of us vis a vis what is left of the press, in that it appears reporters get to wear 2 hats in that they’re the editor, too.

    You Maniacs! You blew it up! Ah, dam you! God dam you all to hell!- with apologies to George Taylor

    The Shasta Damn was completed in 1944 with a height greater than the Washington Monument at 602-feet-high. Its spillways are three times the height of Niagara Falls.

    Today, Shasta Damn is the crown jewel of the Central Valley Project, designed to provide flood control in Northern California and a source of water for Southern California.

    FOX 40 News, Sacramento

  8. Henry Moon Pie

    I recommend Robert Scheer’s interview of Gabor Mate. I’m about a third of the way through The Myth of Normal and would agree with Scheer that it’s one of the most important books out there in these times. They discuss Dr. Spock’s mistakes, the “interlude” of the Roosevelt era, future courses of action to correct the situation, and the ravages of neoliberalism.

    I watched the podcast, and it was worth the time seeing these two old guys (Scheer is 86, Mate is 78) share their experiences and wisdom. It was a little like a story told me by a professor in college from when the professor was a grad student. It was a seminar co-taught by Erik Erikson and Karl Deutsch. Deutsch asked the assembled for a rundown on what was taking place in 1917. One student meekly raised his hand and offered, “I think there was a war in Europe.” Another interjected, “There was a revolution in Russia.” And that pretty much exhausted the student contribution. The Erikson and Deutsch started in. For the next hour, they discussed strikes, uprisings, marriages and various other events and developments with an encyclopedic knowledge that astonished and humbled the students. Mate and Scheer have been fighting the good fight for 50 plus years. What they’ve learned in the course of that is worth listening to. (but there is a nice transcript)

    1. Aaron

      Was looking for a nice comment on the interview. I agree that mate’s new book is extremely powerful, and extremely disturbing. I highly recommend it for everyone to read, as he lays the case for how our society is responsible for the extreme rise in mental health disorders and physical health problems that we see today.

      Two gripes though – Sheer talks way, way too much, which would be fine if he didn’t ramble so much. Also, it’s hard to listen to old people who are still stuck in their view of what the left was in the 70’s. There is plenty of information available to the general public that describes in great detail the thought process of Roosevelt in saving capitalism, and the aberration that is post WWII capitalism in the US.

  9. Wukchumni

    ‘Atmospheric river event’ crashes into California – as millions across Plains, Midwest and the Northeast prepare for severe storms Daily Mail
    That was a nice storm and its important to get early snow on the ground to allow it solidify into ice as a base for more snow as winter progresses.

    Mammoth ski resort says they have at least 6 feet on the ground already, me likey.

    I really thought we were going to have another 1968-69 winter (the winter of record for a century) after the Santa Claus dump between xmas and new years last year, but then we got nothing to speak of after that. The only winners in our winter of missed content were the ski resorts who lived off of what was as much as a 10 foot base in the higher climes, all season.

    From what i’ve read of the 68-69 gig, it was literally one atmospheric river after another all winter with a week long respite in between storms.

    I was a kid in LA, and remember the deluge was so much that the ground couldn’t take anymore and I would sink in down to my knees with every step in spots, which gave me a brainstorm in that I could get rid of those dreaded brown wing-tip shoes that I despised with as much style passion as a seven year old could muster, so I went and got the dreaded pair, laced em’ loose and into the muck I went and made good my getaway, giving the zapatos 15 minutes to settle before working up a mock cry to inform mom of the malady, oh the humanity!

    It was of no use however, as she bought me a new pair of brown wing-tips…

    1. LawnDart

      My mother bought me penny-loafers to wear to school in farm country that was interlaced with freshly-constructed subdivisions. I guess that she felt that I wasn’t getting enough beatings at home, so she made sure that the farm-boys gave me plenty too.

      Soon came teenage rebellion years, and I ditched those penny-loafers for combat boots– ditched a lot of school too and hung out in the city with the wrong crowd; kids like myself.

      One night came where a band that had formed in that suburban s**thole was playing at a club just outside of downtown. The farm-boys came to see them. Any punishment dealt by their hands over the years was repaid by my loyal co-conspirators in the first few hours of that night, with interest. Com-pounded. No problems outta those boys ever again.

    2. juno mas

      I still have pair. Only time I use them is addressing officialdom from the lectern at City Hall. Damn uncomfortable zapato.

    3. Laura in So Cal

      I remember 68-69 vaguely as a child. I remember bridges being washed out and my Dad having to commute 2 hours each way to work to get around them. My vivid memories are 82-83, my senior year in high school where it rained every week for several months.

      We got 1.1 inches of rain locally this weekend with 2.8 inches since Oct 1, the beginning of the rain year. It is a nice start.

        1. JBird4049

          There was an unusually high tide that back up all the creeks and rivers after that three months of rains in 1982. It really did a number in the North Bay as well.

          As much as we need the water, I hope that we don’t have the thirty solid days of rain again. No breaks between the storms meant that there was no chance of draining all that water into the ocean. Since we have had all those fires, I would think that the land has less ability to deal with the rain. All these dead trees and burnt landscape.

          If the normal pattern holds, there will be another two months of rain.

  10. LawnDart

    From Long COVID May Cost U.S. $3.7T; California Considers Masks

    Teenagers’ brains showed physical signs of accelerated aging after experiencing pandemic-related lockdowns and other stresses, a new Stanford University study found. Researchers compared MRI brain scans of two groups of teens from the Bay Area, about 16 years old on average, before and after COVID-19 shutdowns. Brains of teens amid the pandemic showed physical features “more typical of individuals who are older or who experienced significant adversity in childhood,” according to the study published in Biological Psychiatry: Global Open Science. Those teens “not only had more severe internalizing mental health problems, but also had reduced cortical thickness, larger hippocampal and amygdala volume, and more advanced brain age,” lead author Ian Gotlib, a Stanford professor of psychology, said in a news release.

    Kids, your 50s are the new 80s… …take the time to enjoy your grandkids while you’re in your 30s and 40s.

      1. John Beech

        Mikel, you’re asking how high is up because when data-points like these come out, there’s always an agenda. Which one this time? I would suspect it’s along the lines of ‘closing schools is bad’. Thus, far better in those circles to expose them to COVID19 rather than make parents figure out how to educate them on their own. Not denying it’s a problem, but we can find solutions is we want to. Sadly, we don’t want to. heck, we can’t even manage to get everybody to buy in the darn disease vector is airborne!

        1. LawnDart

          Yeah, still pretty sure they’d be much better-off without the covid. Some can beef about isolation or lack of socialization and raise concerns about the emotional toil of lockdown, but if one’s body suffers lingering effects of the virus, I’m sure that’ll lead to anguish too.

          But to compare apples, here’s a study that came out last week with regards to brain-aging due to the virus:

          Severe COVID-19 is associated with molecular signatures of aging in the human brain

  11. Wukchumni
    ‘The Great Wall’ version 2.022

    This boggles me, but it is the political crass-test-dummy state and the TEUfel is in the details, but weren’t containers pretty damned scarce not all that long ago and in mucho demand?

    And come on, its as if any long enough extension ladder and wire cutters could get you over in a jiffy.

    I would have expected something more Berlin Wall-ish, including a moated kill zone inbetween high walls, with machine gun nests at the ready, but perhaps they aren’t as far right as they’d like to think they are.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      The container wall is really the initial stage in a project for providing low cost housing for the legion homeless littering the streets of u.s. cities. Once they’re bused in, the real wall will go up around the containers. Making it a two-fer. \s

      1. GF

        The containers would also make good housing for the Border Patrol which would greatly reduce rents in the border communities resulting in less homeless needing housing.

  12. Carolinian

    Re Pluraristic and Doctorow’s rant–While it’s true that Doctorow has a history of promoting healthy web disruption, he is also a partisan and one suspects the bitterness toward Musk and Twitter has less to do with walled gardens (“freedom of reach”) than the plants that grow in them. To some of us the issue is not whither Twitter but whether these big social networks are worthwhile to begin with. After all there’s plenty of independent thinking still available on the web as this blog proves. So why would those serious about current affairs spend time on SV spybots?

    If one chooses to be paranoid it’s arguably still television that controls our politics along with other cultural influences like the film industry. By contrast what happens to Twitter is a minor side show. The current Taibbi etc expose only matters as some documented proof of how those politics are being manipulated. It wasn’t only Twitter that buried the Hunter Biden laptop.

  13. Lexx

    ‘Wordle players break streaks to support New York Times union walkout’

    Had no idea and so played on. I found out the hard way that should a player decide not to play that day, they got kicked back to square one. Thus if it’s a point of pride, they’re tethered to playing every day. Like when the game is too easy, that’s another way to suck the fun out of playing. Media loves the dependable behavior of addicts and fosters it.

    I don’t pay to play so far. I’m expecting the ‘free taste’ to end and a paywall to appear any day now. Fun while it lasted.

    1. Aumua

      Love the “not The Onion” category btw. I feel like a lot more of the daily stories could fall under that category.

  14. Mikel

    “Alameda ex-CEO Caroline Ellison taps SEC’s former top crypto regulator as lawyer in FTX investigation” Business Insider

    “Avakian was a top regulator at the SEC, where she increased oversight of cryptocurrency. ”

    She most likely, without a sense of humor, puts that blurb on her resume.

    All of the current mess in crypto happens with this “increased oversight.”

    Indeed, this is probably a two for one defense of Ellison and the SEC.

    1. hk

      Same pie in the sky thinking that brought us Iraq and Ukraine fiascos. We want to do X, and if there’s no resources to cover them, we’ll hope and pray that god delivers them because we are the righteous.

      1. JBird4049

        We could use another million apartments, not houses. Part of the problem is that most of the municipalities have refused to build low income or even market rate apartments because it will bring in “those people.” Not that anyone says that, but listen to the excuses and it’s all dog whistles on the poor and minorities causing trouble and driving down home values. The same twits also complain about the homeless.

  15. Wukchumni

    I got Covid knockin’ at my door
    I’ve had 3 shots, should I have some more?
    Ooh, ooh, the damage done

    I hit the news and listened to Biden’s demand
    I watched the needle take another man
    Gone, gone, the damage done

    I sing the song because I loathe the man
    I know that some of you don’t understand
    Political blood to keep from running out

    I’ve seen the needle and the damage done
    A little part of it in everyone
    But every precedent is like a settin’ sun

    The Needle And The Damage Done, by Neil Young

  16. semper loquitur

    re: The Lawlessness of Physics

    Great read! I’ve been saying as much for years. The scope of the universe is too broad for any claims of universality to be justified. Our senses are too limited to fully process what’s in front of our faces, let alone what’s a zillion zillion miles away. We don’t understand the observer that well, therefore we cannot understand the observed that well. Finally, physics can take it’s rightful place as a branch of creative writing. 🤓

    1. lyman alpha blob

      That the words you typed on a computer in one location suddenly and nearly instantaneously appeared on this website for the rest of us to read does have a little something to do with physics. It is very explainable and extremely repeatable.

      That being said, I tend to agree with David Hume’s charge regarding any physical phenomenon – prove it! You will find, by the most common definition of “prove” at least, that you can’t. Will the sun come up tomorrow? You might say it will. When asked how do you know, you might provide an explanation of the mechanics of the solar system and then predict to an accuracy within microseconds of exactly what time the sun will peek over the horizon the next day. And you’d be correct. When you are asked how you know that the orbital mechanics used to make the prediction are true, that’s when you have a problem. All you can really say is that measurements from the past have given us these laws which enable to us to make accurate predictions, but just because something happened in the past doesn’t mean it will with certainty occur in the future. So all you can really say is that there is an extremely high probability the sun will come up tomorrow based on past experience. There is always a small chance those laws of physics could change.

      That being said, it certainly does not invalidate physics. It just means you should understand the philosophy behind it, something any good scientist would readily admit to.

      1. neutrino23

        This is an old debate. I suspect the idea of “Laws” came from popular culture because of royalty controlling society through laws and the idea of “God’s Law”. I think most practicing physicists would like to describe these ideas as something akin to “regularities”. These relations are true till we discover something more precise and accurate.

  17. Jason Boxman

    So sad what’s going to happen to the Chinese. Not that I had any illusions about how the Chinese leadership values the lives of its citizens. Nonetheless, this is likely going to cause an unfathomable amount of suffering and death.

    Truly the stupidest timeline.

    1. hunkerdown

      But they owned the cons and their tendentious puling a little bit. For what that’s worth.

      Dear everyone who thought the Chinese government would never get rid of Covid health code apps because they are too delicious a citizen control mechanism: The Chinese government is starting to get rid of health code apps. 1/x

      Kendra Schaefer · 7:40 PM · Dec 11, 2022

      1. Basil Pesto

        Oh god, the ~iT’s AlL aBoUt CoNtRoL~ line – as all remaining protections including isolation were deliberately and methodically stripped away in their own countries – was one of the more insufferable ones of the last few years, and there have been a few.

        But yeah it’s going to be an enormous human tragedy. Yet more grist to the mill.

  18. Mikel

    Tweet: “Anger is often seen as a negative or illegitimate emotion, especially among liberals with fancy educations. But it’s important to understand that it’s derived from an Old Norse word, “angr,” which means “grief.” You should feel anger about injustice and the grief it propagates.”

    As said in the Mate inteview: neoliberalism alienates people from any mechanism of security.
    That would include emotions and sense of being. Neoliberalism would especially thrive – and be unstoppable – if people deny that what they feel and experience is real.

  19. fresno dan
    New research published recently suggests that Pfizer’s erectile dysfunction drug Viagra can decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 69%.

    Despite the excitement surrounding the study’s promising results, some experts are advising people to not get their hopes up quite yet, as clinical trials are still necessary.
    I was gonna say something about getting things up, but I forget what it was…

    1. ambrit

      Greaat Googly Moogly! It’s as if Tom Stoppard wrote speeches for “Mark to Market” Anthony Fauci.
      “For we are, honourable men.”

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