Links 12/1/2022

Guy Finds $40,000 Diamond Ring Buried on Florida Beach and Tracks Down the Owner Who Broke into Tears Good News Network

Is Our Universe a Hologram? Physicists Debate Famous Idea on Its 25th Anniversary Scientific American

The Science Behind Your Cheese Smithsonian

Inflation: how financial speculation is making the global food price crisis worse The Conversation


Boulder County’s Gold Hill is finding a new model to empower its mountain community to prepare for wildfires Boulder Reporting Lab

Want to fight climate change effectively? Here’s where to donate your money. VOX (GF). GF: “I know it is Vox but was impressed by the 8 suggested environmental organizations listed as philanthropic designee.”


It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over…but It’s Never Over — Emerging and Reemerging Infectious Diseases Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., NEJM

Why long Covid could be ‘the next public health disaster’ CNBC. Resilc: “Geeeee, what a shockerrrrrrrrrrrrr, who woulda ever thunk itttttttttttt.”

Covid becomes plague of elderly, reviving debate over ‘acceptable loss’ WaPo

Monitoring monkeypox virus in saliva and air samples in Spain: a cross-sectional study The Lancet. From the Abstract: “The identification of high viable monkeypox virus loads in saliva in most patients with monkeypox and the finding of monkeypox virus DNA in droplets and aerosols warrants further epidemiological studies to evaluate the potential relevance of the respiratory route of infection in the 2022 monkeypox virus outbreak.”


China-EU relations: Xi meets European Council President, pledges supply chain cooperation South China Morning Post

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China’s Covid Protests Began With an Apartment Fire in a Remote Region WSJ

The Covid Protests in China and Why They Happened Now (podcast) Odd Lots. Commentary:

Jiang Zemin; Covid messaging shift; Protests aftermath; Real estate; Saudi Arabia Sinocism

China eases some virus controls, searches pedestrians AP

The Communist Party Is Losing China’s People NYT

Covid and China’s plumbing:

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How Beijing Took Taiwan by Force, the Last Time Sinical China. Hmm.

Worthy and Unworthy Protest Black Agenda Report. For example:

Politics of the Commons: And Yet They Move Venezuelanalysis


Myanmar democracy leader says 2,000 dead fighting junta, urges military aid Reuters


World Cup 2022: Iranian man killed celebrating football team’s loss BBC (resilc)

Pakistan now a bigger basket case than even Bangladesh Asia Times (resilc)

‘The Most Antisemitic Police in the World’: Ben-Gvir’s Soon-to-be Chief of Staff’s Years-long Feud With Police Haaretz

European Disunion

From Politico’s morning European newsletter. Notice the lack of a straightforward denial by Ukraine:

VDL FLUBS, BACKTRACKS ON UKRAINIAN DEATHS: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday said an estimated 120,000 Ukrainians had been killed during Russia’s war — sparking outrage in Kyiv, where casualty numbers are treated as a defense secret and subject to wartime censorship.

The Commission did not specify where the estimates came from, and later deleted the video of von der Leyen’s speech, as well as a written version, before republishing both with the contentious numbers edited out. But it was too late. Twitter users shared the original, containing the sentence: “It is estimated that 20,000 civilians and more than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far.”

Kyiv’s take: “We cannot confirm this figure, we emphasize that the losses of the Ukrainian army are official information and are subject to restrictions on publication,” a spokesman for Ukraine’s armed forces said.

Team VDL’s take: A spokesperson for von der Leyen said the original video had been edited because the 100,000 figure related to estimates of total casualties — meaning people killed as well as injured.

If you believe von der Leyen got the fatality figure wrong, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

Germans spending less as soaring power, food costs gnaw finances Reuters

French baguette voted onto UN World Cultural Heritage list France24 (resilc)

Old Blighty

£4.5bn lost to fraud in three COVID schemes as Rishi Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme recorded 9.5% rate of fraud, HMRC says Sky News. SBF territory!

Life’s little ironies:

Prince William’s godmother quits palace over comments to black charity boss Guardian. Transcript:

A minority view:

How Scottish Independence has become entwined with Brexit Mainly Macro

New Not-So-Cold War

On Russian Controlled Kherson Frontline, Facing Ukraine Positions (video) Patrick Lancaster, YouTube. Deep circles under everyone’s eyes.

ROMAN ABRAMOVICH REVEALS HE IS LOBBYING THE US GOVERNMENT FOR THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT TO END THE UKRAINE WAR John Helmer. Note the headline is accurate. But Helmer strongly insinuates the lobbying, at least for Russia, fizzled after the Istanbul negotiations and that Abramovich’s main interest now is remaining unsanctioned by the US.

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ACTION ALERT: NYT Has Found New Neo-Nazi Troops to Lionize in Ukraine FAIR

Making sense of Ukrainian war memes: From watermelons to Saint Javelin Kyiv Independent

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NATO again dangles membership in front of Ukraine Responsible Statecraft

NATO Exists To Solve The Problems Created By NATO’s Existence Caitlin’s Newsletter

BlackRock Financial Markets Advisory to advise Ministry of Economy of Ukraine (press release) BlackRock. From November 16, still germane.

Biden Adminstration

New House Democrat leader’s staunch ties to US-Israel groups Middle East Eye

The Bezzle

FTX & Sam Bankman-Fried | DealBook Summit Interview (video) YouTube. Transcript. Wowsers.

FTX’s Collapse Was a Crime, Not an Accident Coindesk

Surviving FTX: Fintechs and banks untangle themselves American Banker

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Elon Musk’s Twitter Politics Add to Pressure on Tesla’s Brand Image Wall Street Journal. Key chart:

Elon Musk appears to make nice with Apple after Twitter tirade Financial Times

Republican Clown Car

The GOP should see Nancy Pelosi as a role model, not a villain Brookings Institute. Indeed!


Treasury Department sent House Democrats Trump tax returns Axios (resilc)

Class Warfare

U.S. House votes to block rail strike, mandate paid sick leave Reuters. The contract bill (290-137) is separate from the sick leave bill (221-207).

Some Rail Workers, Seeking Sick Days, Say Biden Betrayed Them New York Times. Resilc: “No shit, and where is my $600???????”

Reading As Counter-Practice The Convivial Society

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. The Rev Kev

      One guy posted an interesting tweet-

      ‘Number of sick days Joe Biden took for COVID: 17

      Number of parental leave days Pete Buttigieg took: 28

      Number of guaranteed sick days railworkers get: 0

      Dems refusing to include at least 7 sick days in the major contract bill that just passed guarantees it won’t happen.’

      And of course the Squad voted to crush the rail workers strike as well. It’s what they do.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      And this is why the freight carriers won’t give ground on paid leave: Already understaffed and underperforming, the railroads cannot allow unanticipated absences to become significantly more prevalent without either pulling back from P.S.R. or suffering even more frequent disruptions and customer complaints.

      The “economy” enabled by Plantation Railroad will be supported and preserved by “labor-loving” congressional democrats until the dismal failure of “precision-scheduled railroading” can no longer be hidden, and then systemic collapse will be…Trump or Putin’s the white supremacists’ fault.

    3. Boomheist

      Today the ILWU (the west coast longshoremen, 26,000 members, 29 West Coast ports) issued a statement in support of the rail workers, and this leads me to speculate there may be another future possible here – a full throated walk out by longshoremen in support of the rail workers, then maybe some or all of the truckers will walk out, then others – the result of which will be a paralysis of ALL US supply chain shipments, right before Christmas. This will of course be an economic catastrophe, but it is hard to imagine Congress having the stones to fight all these unions at once, and may be a turn of the wheel nobody had anticipated……The fact that the Democrats, Biden, the Progressives, have gone this way is another example of “we’re fighting for you” (but doing zilch) and nearly proof positive the working people in this country now have no home in either party. People without any home or future are likely to take existential positions – like showing everyone in the US how dependent we are on their work no matter the cost. Maybe the ILWU is doing the same thing the Democrats do – make a statement full of ringing rhetoric but nothing else – but maybe not. Maybe they will act like their grandfathers and great grandfathers in the labor movement, in which case watch out…..

  1. zagonostra

    >Is Our Universe a Hologram? Physicists Debate Famous Idea on Its 25th Anniversary – Scientific American

    Crucially, the quantum field theory describing D-branes was strongly coupled: particles and fields in the theory interacted strongly with each other.

    What a great sentence. It reminds me of Empedocles whose “Strife” and “Love” where eternally “coupling.” Never understood how something can come from nothing, nor have I read a good explanation for what a “field” is, and, when you drill down as far as instruments allow, particles disappear Zeno-like.

    Language can never fully take-in/describe/explain the miracle of reality/now-ness and saying that the Universe is a “hologram” makes less sense than “Horton hears a Who” – not to deny physicist shouldn’t be allowed to play with their heuristic models. All I know, to quote Dylan, is that “I was a long time coming and I’ll be a long time gone. “

    1. hunkerdown

      They never said the universe was a hologram. They said Our Universe™ might be a hologram. And they are certainly right.

    2. DataHog

      ​Is the idea that we 3-D humans are living in a hologram preposterous?
      Does that hypothesis, if true, have profound implications for how we live?

      There is a LOT of data that says no, it’s NOT preposterous.
      And yes, it does have profound implications for how we live.
      It matters. A lot.

      Other areas of research have produced enormous amounts of data that fits with, or supports, or is consistent with the hologram hypothesis. For example, the NDE area is one among those other areas of research that shed light on the hologram hypothesis.

      The NDE (Near Death Experience) community, which appears to number in the hundreds of thousands, has documented the direct experience of many, many thousands of individuals who have transitioned out of this hypothesized 3-D hologram into an entirely different physics context. That entirely different non-3-D “place” gave them a vantage point from which they easily recognized that our 3-D place is not what it seems.
      After they transitioned back into our 3-D existence, their experience produced profound changes in the ways that they live.

      Yves, thank you for linking to topics that challenge conventional thinking. I appreciate it that you alerted me to a physics-community theoretical foundation for phenomena I’ve seen widely reported in other areas of research.

      1. The Heretic SJ

        Please site the data points… and by data points I mean real world phenomena that have been observed measured by other scientists, that uphold this hypothesis. Providing narrative to the data points generated by other models does not count.

        This sounds to me like too much ‘hinterwelt thinking’ like string theory and neo-liberal economics.

    3. kam

      As a recent species bound by a personal beginning and a personal end, it is hard to conceive that the Universe/Multiverse might have always been, with neither a beginning nor an end; Edwin Hubble’s redshift notwithstanding.

  2. Wukchumni

    FTX & Sam Bankman-Fried | DealBook Summit Interview (video) YouTube.
    Interesting choice in t-shirt wear along with his disheveled BoJo lookalike black mane, SB-F comes off visually as a villain with poor clothing choices who cuts his own hair.

    I’m not sure emulating Elizabeth Holmes is the right play here, homie.

  3. Lexx

    ‘Guy Finds $40k Ring Buried On Florida Beach and Tracks Down The Owner Who Broke Into Tears’

    So the couple will be returning the insurance money, now that they’ve recovered the $40k ring SHE WORE TO THE BEACH?!!!

    1. Wukchumni

      Diamond appraisals for whatever reason are typically overvalued by at least 50% and often more like 75%, versus what you’d receive on the wholesale market.

      Its about the only thing i’m aware of that works like this, imagine your home appraising @ $850k, but you’d really only get $415k out of it?

      Like many numismatists, I dabbled in the smalls, that is something of value that can be held in your hand-typically. High end watches, silver flatware, diamonds and a few other items. I probably bought and sold 100’s of Rolexes, (gauche low end Swiss high end watches) Patek Philippes, I.W.C., et al, and i’ve never ever worn a watch, ha ha.

      ‘Jack of all trades-master of one’

      I’m a GIA certified gemologist, but truth be said I really hated the overpriced cut glass market, but learned so as to be able to take advantage of a situation where I could confidently buy @ 50% of true wholesale value, but was pretty gutless beyond that (as opposed to coins where i’d buy @ 90-95% of what I could get for it on a wholesale basis on occasion) as diamonds weren’t my bag, and unlike coins, the damned things often came with a tale of divorcee woe if you were buying from the public, along with that stupid retail appraisal-yikes!

      Movie Tip:

      Diamond Men from 2000.

      This was a well done fictional insider look @ the diamond business from the aspect of a guy with 30 years experience mentoring a protege, with a crime drama added in to keep you interested.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Had a client whose family owned a small gem-producing mine in Asia. She got great deals on gemstones for her friends by having them put into cheap settings, bagged and then shipped to her as costume jewelry to evade the stiff customs on jewelry.

        Somehow I don’t think anyone’s getting away with that scam anymore but it amazed me how bad our Customs was at telling real gems from fake. And I learned a lot about the gem trade, specifically why I should stay away from it.

        But even before meeting her I knew to stay away from diamonds. I wonder how much gold would be worth if they could make it just by compressing lead under super high pressure?

      2. Bugs

        Thanks Wuk. As a guy who bought a selection of gems thinking he’d get some cheap cutters and make a killing (I lived in the neighborhood around Temple in Paris) back in the day, my view was that it was in the neighborhood of maybe 3-7k depending on the market and setting. People get platinum settings thinking it’s fancy but it’s really uncomfortable to wear. White gold, people, white gold.

  4. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Yves.

    Further to Blighty and Sushi’s eat out to help out scheme, it’s worse than the NC community thinks.

    As with 2009, the issuance of time limited vouchers, £5000 or more per adult and perhaps means tested, to be spent on, for example, home insulation, heat pumps, solar panels and replacing old vehicles with newer, hybrid or electric ones, was proposed. In 2009 and 2020, former regulator, Adair Turner, amongst others, lobbied for such support. As with Brown and his sock puppet at No 11, Alistair Darling, in 2009, the Chancellor refused. In both cases, there was no money, apparently, for ordinary people, but plenty for banksters*.

    Why? In addition to support for a sector that has much representation from Sunak’s community, the scheme was a means to facilitate herd immunity. Sunak went behind the back of No 10 and the Health Department and invited herd immunity enthusiasts from the UK, US and Sweden to No 11 to discuss how to promote the concept. Eat out to help out, which caused a spike in infection, was one of the ideas proposed at the meetings. Some meetings took place at libertarian think tanks.

    *In 2009, a Bank of England team led by Andy Haldane tracked the QE cash flow to real estate, including farm land, in the UK and overseas. Not much detail from covid spending yet.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thank you, Colonel. When you said that Sunak went behind the back of No 10 and the Health Department to promote herd immunity, would he not have had an ally in Boris Johnson at No. 10 who seemed to be very enthusiastic about herd immunity, even after he ended up flat on his back with a hose down his gob due to be infected? I suppose it was one of the few times in his life that he had to keep his mouth shut.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, Rev.

        Initially yes, if not more so, but Johnson then grew a bit cautious and Sunak began to eye the prize / covet his neighbour’s residence.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          Whatever you say about Johnson, he does seem to have had some vague understanding that spending money outside London and maybe giving some to small local businesses instead of City Banks might actually be a good idea with benefits for everyone. He was also (maybe thanks to his latest wife) occasionally concerned with the environment. Sunak, for all his smoothness, clearly disagrees.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Worthy and Unworthy Protest”

    That tweet showing Justin Trudeau made me wonder if China is freezing the bank accounts of their protestors.

    Been seeing a few attacks about the fact that Tik Tok still exists and the only thing different about it is that it is not a Silicon Valley denizen. So is it a matter of Tik Tok being able to show “unworthy” protests which “regular” social media might totally ignore?

      1. The Rev Kev

        Subtle that, subtle, but from articles that I have read it seems that the Chinese have more of their lives online than us westerners. Ordering tickets, meals, services, transport, etc. it seems that they have really leveraged the internet to do all this stuff than actually visiting offices and branches. Read one journo (from the New York Times I think) visit China before the pandemic in an article in Links here and this guy realized that they left his New York lifestyle in the dust much to his surprise.

        1. LY

          Taxi cabs, heck, even beggars don’t take cash.

          There’s a whole parallel online system, from social media to payments. My brother, who, right before the pandemic, visited China for the first time in almost twenty years, and had to set up this parallel digital presence.

        2. Mikel

          Probably was an easier sell to a very crowded population. I have to imagine any popular place has lines that are extreme.

    1. AngryCanuck

      Canadian here, and I’m sorry but the hot take presented here and in the summary is a false equivalency.

      The “trucker convoy” started as a protest and nobody obstructed it. When it got shut down was WEEKS later after a literal occupation in which local people were prevented from sleeping, going about their day, opening their businesses, receiving treatment at the hospital, etc. etc. not to mention open harassment and threats. And there has now been an open public inquiry for several weeks on exactly what/why happened because of emergency measures being instituted. To pretend this is anything like China is ridiculous.

      1. Ronnie

        I agree, not really a fair comparison. The truckers were allowed to protest and some people are still protesting.

      2. kam

        Awe. Gee whiz. The Capital of Canada, Ottawa, was inconvenienced while the insulated government employees got their paycheques sitting at home, Amazon, Walmart, etc. got to stay open as Trudeau shut down small businesses.
        Trudeau claimed he admired China, up until Xi put him in his place and he staggered away like he had been punched in the mouth.
        Canada once led by the likes of Pearson and Trudeau, Sr. was the firm fiber of Diplomacy and Peace-Keeping. Canada kept up communications with the Soviet Union, despite Hungary and Czechoslovakia. Defying the U.S. Trudeau, Sr. befriended Cuba. Chretien said no to Bush’s war in Iraq. But now we have a weak, follower government espousing belligerence and war-mongering.
        Sorry your tender ears were pummeled by the sound of real democracy. A democratic protest against a deaf and thuggish government was far, far less than the killing of a Quebec minister and the kidnapping of a British diplomat.

        1. LY

          If the protesters were indigenous people trying to pull the same thing, conservatives and police would have reacted very differently, and much earlier. “real democracy” is only for certain people.

          1. Sean gorman

            It should be pointed out that no one gave a damn when the political capital of the nation was in chaos, but when the protest hit the bridge here in Windsor, endangering important people’s money, the clean up was lightning quick.

          2. Mildred Montana

            LY: Um, no. In my humble Canadian opinion, Trudeau would have tolerated a far longer indigenous (or LGBTQ or racialized or immigrant or pick-your-favorite-identity) protest. He’s “woke” and knows that those constituencies can be a rich source of votes.

            Truckers? Not so much. They spend 90% of their time in the cabs of their trucks with little interaction with the public. In Trudeau’s mind they are invisible to most Canadians. Not many votes there.

            So he felt secure in bringing down the hammer on them without once meeting with them, listening to their grievances, or even mentioning them.

            1. kam

              All the anti-Democratic Ottawa dependent Canadians avoid admitting that the mobile truckers represented the voiceless in Canada. Canada, that pretend Democracy where the Media is subsidized and silenced by Canadian taxpayer money to sing Totalitarian Liberal Party/New Democrat messages.
              Though not my hero, intellectually curious Pierre Elliott would have strangled Justin at birth had he known his son would become such a follower of Big, Elitist, Corrupt Money.

            2. cfraenkel

              Careful there. LY said nothing about Trudeau – actually said the exactly the opposite, did you miss that? That’s kinda the point. The “truckers” (ha) were aided and abetted by (some) of the Ottowa police force.
              Dereliction of duty / insubordination in my book.

              But go ahead, twist events to back up your version of reality.

              1. Mildred Montana

                “LY said nothing about Trudeau.”

                Didn’t have to. We all know who brought in the Emergency Measures Act to end the protest. In Canada and in Ottawa especially, nothing big happens that doesn’t come directly from the office of the PM, who is essentially a dictator for four years.

                If I read LY correctly, (s)he is saying that any other protest would have been broken up “much earlier”. “If the protesters were indigenous people trying to pull the same thing, conservatives and police would have reacted very differently, and much earlier.” I disagree, for the good reasons I hope I’ve made clear.

                As for your “truckers (ha)”, I seem to recall that the protest was started by truckers who drove hundreds and perhaps thousands of miles to be there and that those were their rigs plugging the streets of Ottawa and the Ambassador bridge. Later, the fringe elements showed up with their Confederate flags, their swastikas, and their unrelated discontents, but as far as I could see it was indeed a truckers protest.

                And Trudeau ignored them. He hid.

          3. Geof

            Memories are short. The comparison you propose exists.

            In early February 2020 there were massive protests by native and environmental groups that blocked cross-Canada rail traffic. Protest groups claimed responsibility for blowing up rail lines were blown up and derailing at least one train.

            This was when we should have been preparing for Covid. The government waited the protesters out. They did not send in the police with horses and batons to beat the protesters down. They did not suspend civil liberties or seize bank accounts.

            One of the most famous photos from the trucker protest is of a woman lying in the snow after being trampled by RCMP horses, her walker fallen beside her. She was a native elder.

            Your claim is contradicted by events. You are attempting to score partisan points at the cost of defending police violence and authoritarian overreach. If you were right that these protesters were handled more leniently, and you support the crackdown, then you are implicitly encouraging worse for indigenous and other groups.

            Rejection of authoritarianism and police violence should not be a partisan issue. This is an opportunity: conservatives who previously offered knee-jerk defence of police may have a change of heart. Would you rather score points or beggar thy neighbour?

  6. Spider Monkey

    The tweet on Chinese apartments don’t have traps sounds…hard to believe. I’ve only been to Asia visiting Thailand but many portions there was the same. I thought the builders I watched in Thailand were very skilled (can’t help but look at that stuff when traveling as I am a contractor) but was taken aback about the lack of p-trap’s (not everywhere). Maybe it’s less of a priority when you have darn near open sewers in front of your establishment anyways. Not sure how similar china is but if you have a high rise apartment without traps, the falling waste from many stories can move a lot of air around. That’s assuming if there aren’t traps then there aren’t proper vent pipes.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Yes, but you can light the methane wafting from the lavatory drain for a bathroom nightlight.

      Lived (briefly) in a beautiful old stone inn overlooking Motovun and outfitted with a cesspool and no traps. We learned there was no way to stuff the drain openings to shut out the CH4.

      If those giant Chinese apartment buildings don’t have traps, I don’t see how the residents have survived the gas, much less the Covid.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      As Naomi blocked me on twitter (don’t ask) I can’t see that article, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Chinese apartments are substandard in the way suggested. Nothing to do with the skill of Chinese workers, which can be very high, its more that building standards are weak and most apartments are built as investment vehicles, not future homes. To say that their design and construction is to minimal standards is an understatement. As a contractor I think you’d be in some pain if you’ve seen some of the things I’ve seen on Chinese building sites (like you, I can’t help but stick my nose into any building site I pass, its an occupational hazard).

      I’ve stayed in plenty of buildings in Thailand and China and I’d say that with the exception of Shanghai (generally a wealthier and more tightly regulated city than most), Thai building standards are significantly higher, even in their low cost apartment developments. That said, its always hard to know what lies behind some plaster or tiling.

    3. John

      Never noticed any odor in hotels, even older ones, in Beijing, Xian, Yangshuo, or Shanghai. The pit toilets in the Beijing hutongs are another story.

    4. Cristobal

      Traps – usually barrel traps rather than P traps – are apparently required in Spain. What is NOT required is vents (a system of piping paralel to the drains to let the sewer gasses escape through the roof). When the windblows the wrong way there is often a foul odor coming from the bathrooms. When I mention them to friends knowledgable about construction, they have never hears of them. Is this just a US thing? I was educated about them by an Irish plumber, so I assume they are required in the UK.

  7. Steve H.

    > Reading As Counter-Practice The Convivial Society

    > > I mentioned earlier that I struggled to make my way through the novel I was reading when I first took it up. This lasted for a while, but eventually I found that I was reading for longer stretches and that I was able to focus more sharply. It took some time, but eventually I even found myself lost in the story. And, as a consequence, I felt that I was able to think more clearly and perhaps even imaginatively, as if a fog had been lifted. (I wonder how often we are in a kind of fog because we have allowed our minds to aimlessly, frenetically, and perpetually dart from one thing to another, disrupting our minds’ capacity to form memories and generate meaning.)

    >> Ike: This President said, “I have two kinds of problems, the urgent and the important. The urgent are not important, and the important are never urgent.”

    I finally finished a 28-reference Covid primer for loved ones, up to the point of vaccination. I have been working on this important and urgent project for over a year. The many-tentacled nature of the issue, and the melancholic weight of mortality, was incredibly frustrating in trying to protect my loved ones.

    Likewise a framework document on an ecological viewpoint (Odum to Pandit). Two years in and halfway done. I’m reading Heinberg’s ‘Power’ and it covers enough of the same territory and references that I can recommend it. But I’m only going through it in pulses of less than an hour, I just can’t slam a book like I used to. But I can doomscroll for hours if I’m not careful.

    Maybe I should try fiction, Janet ate the entire Pratchett opus last winter.

    Anyway, I have a spreadsheet where I track sites, and cut-n-paste quotes. The value-number indicates importance (5 for how-to, 8 for health…) and the number of digits the urgency, whether to review daily or at end-of year. I have noticed on a three month lag that almost all political news is what Jalen Rose calls ‘Broken News’ – same headline, different names and dates. The daily takes swamp the important pivots (Nordstream), and form the majority of my rants. All the times the lie is documented, and it doesn’t matter even when (F*i, B*x, W*y, Etc) admit it later on.

    So the ability to re-read, to mark the page, to have a tangible relation with the information, struck me in reading the Sacasas article. Much appreciated.

    1. anahuna

      The Sacasas essay inspired many reflections. For the moment, though, I will only offer a bit of information: Ivan Illich’s In the Vineyard of the Text is not difficult to find at all. If you enter the title in Google, you will see a pdf of the text online — and also images of book covers from various secondhand sellers.

      Grateful acknowledgement to those of you who have commented here on Ivan Illich and who led me back to the “Vineyard” and other works a few years ago.

      1. Stephen V

        Yes I saw that too and have ordered a copy. Discovered Illich in early Covid. Here is an example:
        And many thanks to Yves for this link! I have a meeting soon with an attorney friend about whether it is possible to push back on our flyover City government which has imperiously decided that the citizenry do not need written minutes of meetings to participate in City goings on but rather that a video link will suffice. Re-defining the meaning of “records” for all time to come.
        Ultimately I fear this will be an issue of “culture” rather than law. To wit, SBF is quoted in the Sacasas piece:
        “I think if you wrote a book, you [frakked] up, and it should have been a six-paragraph blog post.”

    2. Offtrail

      The Sacacas essay inspired in me the reaction “Oh, come on!”. Has it become so rare these days to be totally absorbed in a book? Or has it always been a totally oddball pursuit? I do not think so. When I’m was young I read great and less than great literature to find out who I was, what the world was. And to be blown away by the artistry. I believe I was far from alone. Why this groping around for a rationale for reading?

  8. Wukchumni

    I always thought a good part of the collapse of Communism was the longing for consumer goods among the deprived in the bloc party, and to play it forward but with a different carrot dangling-the Chinese are realizing they are the only country with stringent Covid measures, and its interesting how the protests in China are occurring as the World Cup is going on, which looked like any old pre-Covid sporting event to me, with not many masks worn as the cameras panned on the audience.

  9. Carolinian

    Taibbi offers a huge dose of truth (no paywall).

    My father had a saying: “The story’s the boss.” In the American context, if the facts tell you the Republicans were the primary villains in this or that disaster, you write that story. If the facts point more at Democrats, you go that way. If it turns out they’re both culpable, as was often the case for me across nearly ten years of investigating Wall Street and the causes of the 2008 crash for Rolling Stone, you write that. We’re not supposed to nudge facts one way or another. Our job is to call things as we see them and leave the rest up to you.

    We don’t do that now. The story is no longer the boss. Instead, we sell narrative, as part of a new business model that’s increasingly indifferent to fact.

    Objectors might aver that Cronkite shouldn’t have been “the most trusted man in America” given that the Vietnam war, that he initially treated favorably, was a sham. But the key thing about that era was that Cronkite eventually told his audience that he was wrong–in effect issuing a correction. And so the imperfect journalism of the last century at least had some kind of standards. Whereas the reinvented journalism of the 21st has none whatsoever. We are deep in the weeds of oligarchy and it’s a worldwide phenomenon as Europe now demands that Twitter maintains censorship–in other words the “narrative”–or else.

    At least we still have blogs….for now.

    1. hunkerdown

      Soros starts his own color revolutions, why not Musk? Given control of a major media property, and one already well-optimized for starting color revolutions, I suppose he could leave quite a crater on his way out, with Brussels en flambé within 30 minutes or it’s €3 off.

  10. Amfortas the hippie

    from my pre-link wanderings:

    made me think of the current cowgirl chic among wife’s 20-30 year old cousins…cowboy boots, lacy sort of long miniskirts, a straw hat. i didn’t realise this was a Thing until one of those Prima’s recent weddings.
    combined with the weird playlist of corporate country, Red Dirt Americana and that kind of redneck hiphop/rap motif shot through it all…seen en masse like that, it screams the sort of ennui and longing that this article talks about.

    1. Randall Flagg

      Possibly the popularity of the show “Yellowstone” too amongst the trendsetters accounting for some of this?

  11. Carolinian

    Re cheese

    Then there’s Brevibacterium linens, a bacterium that has been identified as a central contributor to the stinkiness of Limburger. When not on cheese, it can often be found in damp areas of our skin such as between our toes. B. linens also adds characteristic notes to the odor of sweat. So when we say that dirty feet smell “cheesy,” there’s truth to it: The same organisms are involved. In fact, as Wolfe once pointed out, the bacteria and fungi on feet and cheese “look pretty much the same.” (An artist in Ireland demonstrated this some years ago by culturing cheeses with organisms plucked from people’s bodies.)

    Yum. A current right talking point is that the WEF wants us all to eat bugs but look at what those cheese eating surrender monkeys are eating. Surely their demands are reasonable.

    I love cheese.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Germans spending less as soaring power, food costs gnaw finances”

    This is kinda weird this article. The German economy is collapsing and in fact, the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has declared a financial emergency due to the energy crisis. So the writer has worked out that people will be cutting back because they cannot meet rising costs. I sometimes think that journalism not only needs the Pulitzer Prize but it should also have a No S*** Sherlock prize.

  13. Lex

    Re, the FAIR piece. The western press is completely unconcerned with Ukrainian neo-Nazis/OUN-UPA ethno-nationalist connections. I’ve come to the conclusion that the people putting these pieces together are purposefully ignorant and the editors understand the ignorance of the American consumer. Early in the conflict I got into a minor social media spat when I posted a Ukrainian wearing a 3rd SS Panzer patch. I was told that all military guys use forms of the skull and crossbones. Which, yes, but once you go with the actual Totenkopf design and put it on a black, rounded shield with the upper left corner removed it is the actual insignia of an actual Nazi military unit with an actual history.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Yeah, about those skulls- (2:48 mins)

      Those Totenkopf designs are just one of many Nazi-era designs used by the Ukrainians these days. You can even tell people how they do torchlight processions in the Ukraine like was done in Germany in the 1930s but it somehow it never registers. Nazis are now the good guys in the west. How the hell did that ever happen?

  14. Watt4Bob

    WRT Reading as a Counter-Practice.


    “Oh yeah? I would never read a book.”

    IMHO, within the context of recent news concerning FTX, this is enough testimony to support depraved indifference.

    Adam Fisher;

    At this point it would be convenient to conclude that this was just another example of Bankman-Fried’s hubris, shallowness, or evident lack of character.

    Yes it is, and I’d go farther in saying that that same depraved indifference is typical, in a general sense, of the attitudes of our entire ruling class.

    Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden have always known it’s necessary to judiciously cover-up that reality.

    SBF probably experiences his meth-augmented indifference as innocence.

    In todays environment, who knows, he may be successful in selling it as such.

    Reading may yet save me from becoming a bitter, old curmudgeon, and it might well have saved SBF from becoming the willfully ignorant criminal that he seems to be.

  15. PlutoniumKun

    How Scottish Independence has become entwined with Brexit Mainly Macro

    As it slowly seeps into the consciousness of the UK establishment that Brexit is a long slow puncture which will lead to relative decline, its also clear that Scotlands last real chance of independence was immediately after the Brexit vote. I doubt the leadership of the SNP is sincere about wanting independence (they have a very cosy nest for themselves at the moment), but if they were, Brexit has been a disaster.

    There was a small opening for Scotland to muscle in on Northern Irelands imperfect deal as a launchpad to further independence while staying notionally within the EU (or at least, the Single Market and Customs Union), but having lost that, it is clear now that if Scotland was to force independence, the economic costs would be enormous. Scotland would either have to remain part of Britain as a whole (maintaining sterling, keeping an open border for trade meaning that London would be in charge of all international trade negotiations), or it could beg for EU membership quickly, and accept an enormous short term cost in disruption. Neither seems particularly palatable.

    The article mentions the possibility of Labour moving forward to repair relations with the EU, but if anything, Labour is even more hostile to the Scots than the Tories, so there is no chance of them facilitating anything that might make independence more likely. The only thing that could change this is if the SNP holds the balance of power in the next parliament.

    So I think that ship has sailed, at least for the medium term.

    1. spud

      the collapse of free trade is always a messy event. its what the founders of america feared, those foreign entanglements always ends poorly.

      the ones who stay in the entanglements till the end, end up like greece, italy and now germany, in fact the whole of the E.U. is a mess, and its all down hill from here.

      the U.K. has very poor leadership, and it might get worse. but in the free trade zone of the E.U., leadership is even worse, and getting worse by the day, and it will lead to extremism and violence inside countries, and against each other.

      1. cosmiccretin

        The nostalgia, the pained longing for “what might have been”, evinced by some (a significant number, I would guess) of NC commenters in regard to Britain’s withdrawal from the EU seems extraordinary to me.

        Can these commenters genuinely be oblivious to the basket-case which is today’s EU, slavishly subservient to neocon-driven American warmongering spear-headed by NATO, and led by clowns like Ursula von der Leyen and Josep Borell? And as for Olof Scholtz and Robert Habek, words fail me.

        Whatever post-Brexit pangs Britain might be suffering they can’t possibly be worse than being part of that shambles. The raft of the Medusa looks like a picnic in comparison.

        And yes, I’m only too well aware that the UK at present leads the field in pandering to the USA and propping-up NATO. But it is always open to a sovereign parliament to decide to change course. The lowest common denominator among completely disparate EU governments never can.

      2. caucus99percenter

        That’s my impression too — over the longer term, with all its gyrations (sanctions, migrants, war), the EU will be managed so poorly that Brexit will appear better — simply because, as a non-member, the UK doesn’t have to let herself be dictated to by the unelected, power-hungry bumblers in Brussels.

  16. The Rev Kev

    That is a good looking dog in today’s Antidote du Jour. makes me wish that i had one just like it.

  17. Wukchumni

    Boulder County’s Gold Hill is finding a new model to empower its mountain community to prepare for wildfires Boulder Reporting Lab

    We have a fire safe council here in tiny town and its been going on for a couple years, but we’re so spread out in the 44 sq miles that 1,500 of us inhabit, that as far as I can tell, nothing much has been done to alleviate the risk overall, its all individual effort that sometimes coalesces when neighbors deign to what often is stoop labor in clearing out their oak savanna of burnables, and slitting their fire risks together.

    One neighbor has done a great job of it and they live about 100 yards away from us with everything cleared in between us and beyond, whereas the other neighbor equidistant in the other direction has done very little, and they have the same acreage and 50 or so dead trees from the 2012-16 drought as I did, but unlike yours truly who turned them into cords of rounds, theirs are mostly upright still.

    They’re in the mid 70’s so I can’t blame them for not being johnny on the spot in taking care of things and a lot of it is not within viewing distance from their house-if a dead oak finally falls down, did it really happen?

    I’m thankful to have another winter & spring to get rid of more entanglements, 4 newlydead oaks are in need of disassembly. One is a live oak that always have 5 or 6 foot-wide trunks, and a couple of them did the splits.

  18. pjay

    – ‘New House Democrat leader’s staunch ties to US-Israel groups’ – Middle East Eye

    I just wanted to flag this article since no one has mentioned it yet. This is a *much* more important fact about Jefferies than his being “the first Black leader in Congress,” which is all I heard about in the mainstream news. Hey, didn’t we once have a Black President? Nothing fundamentally changed then, either.

    1. nippersdad

      I will be interested to see how he defends this Dorfmann guy:

      “In 2012, aged 17, he attended a rally against African and illegal migrants in south Tel Aviv and was quoted by Haaretz as saying: “The only problem with the Nazis is that I was on the losing side.”

      Nazis being all the rage in the Democratic party these days, they should get along well. There was a time when being called “not a real Democrat” was irritating, now it is just a badge of honor.

  19. PlutoniumKun

    Prince William’s godmother quits palace over comments to black charity boss Guardian.

    This has been an ‘issue’ in Ireland. As anyone who’s come to Ireland knows, ‘where are you from’ pretty much follows discussion of the weather in any small talk when you meet someone new. And in some parts of the country, it doesn’t end there (I’ve had very long and often excruciating interrogations by older rural ladies on every part of my ancestry, pretty much down to the mid 19th Century or so). Most immigrants or non-white Irish get used to it, some still find it very intrusive and annoying. I have heard people who should know better insist its racist, but good luck persuading some guesthouse owner of that.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      I never thought I’d find myself defending a member of the royal family, but I truly don’t think this 83-year-old godmother meant any offense. I think she was simply curious as to where Ngozi Fulani came from, in the same way that all USA citizens (native Americans aside) originally came from elsewhere, even if they were born in the USA. Fulani seems to have a chip on her shoulder, and her claim that she was subject to an interrogation and abuse is really over the top. Chill out, people.

      1. cfraenkel

        A plague on both their houses. Yes, the original question was polite curiosity, but then after the “I am born here and am British” response, quickly veers off into the rude no, really, where are you from? (wink wink nudge nudge) territory. I’m sure as a Caribbean ancestry individual, such rudeness from the upper class must get tiring. (but it could hardly come as a surprise, the British upper class have rudeness honed to a fine point)
        On the other hand, is this *really* a shocking and painful experience? Or is this yet another opportunity to strike a blow for social justice, damn the consequences or proportionality? The performative posturing gets just as tiresome as the rude unthinking racism. (perhaps more, since the racism is unthinking, while this is calculated.)

        1. Ben Joseph

          But at a fundraiser for African and Caribbean women?! Give me a break.

          And hair is only more intimate than hand when dangling. On head also behind elbows and shoulders, forearms and maybe lower leg. I’m pretty sure grandma touching dangling hair is never going to warrant assault charges. How many kids have been patted on the head? Much better than sniffing.

          Some folks head out looking for a fight.

    2. ambrit

      I experience the same ‘questioning’ here in the North American Deep South even today. This is due to my still detectable English accent, (never mind that the UK has distinct regional dialects and accents.)
      Chance acquaintance: “Hey there. You ain’t from around here are you.”
      Me: “I’ve been living in the South for nearly fifty years now.”
      Chance: “Don’t say. You do have an accent there. Faint, but it’s there. Where you from?”
      Me: “I’m originally from London.”
      Chance: “Told you! How you like livin’ in the South?”
      It goes on from there.
      The lady in question from the original article “doth protest too much.” What is the backstory to this? Has the woman encountered overt racism in the Palace? (I would not rule out such attitudes among the “gentry,” but good breeding demands that one disguise one’s politically incorrect biases from the public.)
      The lady should take note of the anecdote from the 1960s where the entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. was invited to a Manhattan socialite’s dinner and was served watermelon and fried chicken. The hostess claimed ignorance of the fact that such ‘preferences’ were racialism motivated stereotypes.
      Even if the anecdote is apocryphal, it’s very existence is an indication of how prevalent the stereotype is, or was.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        My follow up question (after asking where someone is from) is, “Have you ever actually been there?”

        Guessing that’s a very American way of thinking and no, I’ve never been to Norway. Or Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, England, Scotland or Ireland. (Being American is complicated.)

          1. Mark Gisleson

            Honestly cannot imagine myself engaging in dialogue with someone that short. Clearly my bad and it has nothing to do with their gray skin color because I don’t see color when I talk to someone, only height.

            1. ambrit

              Hmmm…. I wonder if ‘The Ascended’ suffer from “Stature Deficiency Compensation Syndrome?”
              If Streiber is anywhere near correct in his assumptions concerning the “Program” of ‘The Ascended,’ then his next scholarly tome is definitely going to be “Fifty Clades of Greys.” Definitely destined to be an “Underground” phenomenon.
              Stay safe.

        1. ambrit

          Get ready for the reappearance of the pogroms.
          A woman I knew back in the 70’s told of the time they had a cross burned on their front lawn in Macomb, Mississippi because they were Catholics, this at around 1970.
          Canny politicos know that nothing is so useful as having an easily defined scapegoat ready to do duty as a distraction during times of ‘maximum self interest.’ I sometimes wonder if the Identity Politics movement isn’t a cover for the looting of America by the predatory capitalist class. (Case in point, the Clintons.)

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            When Al Smith of NY ran for President in 1928, he was the first Catholic candidate for the job, and according to Robert Caro crosses were burned at night all along his train route during the campaign.

            Another interesting factoid from the era is that the Klan demonstration where Trump’s father was arrested was a demonstration against Irish Catholics (you can just imagine the NYPD’s attitude, given institutional demograhics), not Blacks, as is usually assumed. According to news reports at the time, the cops negotiated with the Klan, allowing the demo so long as they didn’t put on their hoods. When the Klan reneged, the cops moved in.

            Fred Trump was a nasty piece of work: one of his sons drank himself to death, and Donny, as Gabor Mate has pointed out, is a seriously traumatized individual, which may partly explain his unique je ne c’est quoi…

            From (objectively intertwined) labor and racial politics perspectives, the 1920’s were a mean time, the tone for which was set by government repression during and after WWl: prosecutions, deportations, union-busting, widespread industrial accidents, peak lynchings…

      2. Carolinian

        Well how do you like livin in the South?

        Here in SC textile country we got used to foreigners since most of the mill owners were from up North. Later this worldly sophistication came in handy as the region was colonized by German chemical plants and one big mf of a car factory My town’s Chamber of Commerce sports a crescent of flag poles with the flags of many nations.

        The real provincialism consists of how little those creative class coastals know about us rather than vice versa. After all we see their lifestyles on TV 24/7. Meanwhile for them we’re still the Beverly Hillbillies.

        1. wol

          I live in a woke college town with upscale communities for upscale northern retirees. More likely now to hear a loud “You kwoll this fwesh???” than a southern accent at the grocery. It’s kind of funny to watch them experience their first summer heat, the ones who can’t afford a mega ‘golf house’ in a gated community on their seasonal commute between south Florida and wherever.

        2. ambrit

          I fully endorse your final observation. The amount of “reading the book by it’s cover” that I encounter here, also a “woke” college town, is dishearteningly ubiquitous. I find that the local elites are not only heavily infiltrated by ‘Carpetbaggers,’ but suffer from strong cases of self loathing that manifests in often pathetic attempts to “emulate their betters.” (No matter what the Die Hard Confederate Mythographers and their followers might say, the regional elites knew then and know now exactly who won that war.)
          The climate, even with it’s long hot summers is felicitous for an ageing body like mine. I really don’t think that I could survive in any degree of comfort in a snowy winter. Indeed, my Mom, when importuned by relatives to move back to England after Dad died replied something to the effect of; “H— no. It doesn’t snow here. I like that.”
          So, yes, you can call me a Sothron without irony.
          Stay safe!

    3. fresno dan

      To me, is the intent to truly learn about a person’s background and their life story, and why they or their parents came to whereever they came to. I ask people whatever brought them to Fresno, probably in the same tone that people in hell ask new arrivals what did they do to warrant eternal damnation.
      Surprisingly, people come to Fresno voluntarily. Hard to believe, but that is their testimony….

      1. Wukchumni

        The longest time I ever spent in Fresno seemed to be years, but when you’re 5 everything seems to last forever.

        I asked my mom recently how long it was and she related: ‘an eternity’ and when I pressed her for more info: ‘4 days’.

        My dad got into a car crash near Wawona, and family lore has it that my reaction to the nobody got hurt except for the newish 1966 Ford station wagon, was I uttered… ‘are we not rich anymore?’

        Out of the mouth of babes and all that~

      2. juno mas

        Well, Fresno is the 5th largest city in California. It must have something going for it: reasonable home prices; Fresno State Uni.; doable commute to Silicon Valley; cheap electricity for AC? :)

    4. El Slobbo

      I have to say this is a sore point with me. I have a slavic name, and especially these days, the question is never innocent. And the answer isn’t usually understood because the people asking are generally m.orons with no understanding of geography.

      I have answered that my family has been in country 150 years, and asked how many thousands of years I have to be here before I am considered to be from here.

      But it’s really interesting when I turn the question around and start asking the questioner the same things. The POC in this exchange could have accused the old lady of being secretly Irish or something and watch what happens.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Idiocracy at work there. Tell them that your family came from a territory that was called back then the Duchy of Grand Fenwick which was founded by an English knight that decided to settle in the area-

        If you think that it is bad with Slavic names now, think how it was for Chinese-Americans after Pearl Harbour. But if people ask me my heritage, I tell them that I am half-Scotch and half-Soda.

  20. TimH

    Re: “It is estimated that 20,000 civilians and more than 100,000 Ukrainian military officers have been killed so far.”

    Could be a wording issue… but “military officers” ain’t the grunts.

    1. nippersdad

      The first time I heard that I thought: “If they have lost that many officers, how many soldiers does she think they have they lost?”

      No clue what the ratio would be, but it would be an enormous number.

    2. ambrit

      Seeing as von der Leyen is German, (originally from Belgium,) I’ll suppose that English is a “second language” for her. If so, I can see her mixing up the category ‘police officers’ with ‘military soldiers.’ Both are cases of uniformed public purveyors of coercive violence.

  21. ThirtyOne


    But let’s get back to Ursula von der Leyen.

    “Uschi” was born in Brussels as one of eight children. Her father Ernst Albrecht was one of the first European civil servants appointed in 1958 and he served as head of the EU Directorate-General for Competition from 1967 to 1970. He later held the position of First Minister of the German state of Lower Saxony from 1976 to 1990.

    When she was 13, the family moved to Germany, where Uschi studied economics at the University of Göttingen.

    In 1978 she reportedly went into hiding in London after her family were informed by police that the far-left militant group, the Rote Armee Fraktion (RAF) was planning to kidnap her in order to extort her father. The tip-off was taken seriously because the RAF was believed to enjoy a certain level of support among the student population of Göttingen.
    During her temporary “exile” in the home of Big Ben, Uschi studied at the London School of Economics. Not only did she use the “gap year” to polish up her English, it seems that she also availed of the opportunity get in touch with her inner “Dixie Chick”.

    While London she lived under the pseudonym “Rose Ladson” which she adopted in a act of homage to her ancestors from the South Carolina plantocracy, in particular her great-grandmother Mary Ladson Robertson.

    After the RAF threat had subsided, “Little Miss Ladson” returned to Germany in 1979 and switched to medical studies, eventually becoming Dr von der Leyen.

  22. Greg

    The continuing saga of electrical grid attacks, down under edition –

    The suppression on the attack that merited our first “sabotage” conviction has been lifted, but only in broad terms. It was definitely an attempt to take out the power grid for the entire North Island, but the details of the attack are still suppressed.

    Check the story for links to audio of the perpetrator bragging about his schemes for various things – he’s also one of the “common law sheriffs” that have been trying to set up a completely nonsensical presence here (thanks USA!).

    The continued suppression of the detail suggests that he had a reasonable chance of success. One loon with hardware store equipment could take out our entire power grid, that’s reassuring.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>The continued suppression of the detail suggests that he had a reasonable chance of success. One loon with hardware store equipment could take out our entire power grid, that’s reassuring.

      If they are suppressing it, they better believe about the Streisand Effect. “It’s so easy that man could have done? And they are trying really hard to hide the information??” I can some drunk Yahoos at some bar figuring out and then piling into some pickups…

  23. britzklieg

    While it is curious, to say the least, that the NYT would give Bankman-Fried the opportunity to address his fraud, it seems few are buying his obvious dissembling and so the justified outrage continues. Whether he ultimately escapes judgement and justice is yet to be determined and will, of course, be so by the powerful involved and how much damage control they’ll need to exercise.

    That there is no outrage about Zelensky speaking at the same event, given the far more massive fraud being perpetrated through war profiteering in Ukraine, screams “cognitive dissonance.” It’s ironic that blockchain tech allows the public to see all 9 billion worth of FTX/Alameda’s nefarious activity (though not being able to stop it) while knowledge of where and to whom the 100 billion sent to Ukraine ended up will never be known. Now watch while the Democrats do everything possible to not know the where and to whom the spoils are dispersed while the Republicans do everything possible to pretend they want answers when actually they don’t.

  24. marku52

    “bags under the eyes”? I suppose being shelled will do that. The guy fishing impressed me. “If I get blown up, I get blown up. It would just be an accident….”

  25. Karl

    RE: Want to fight climate change effectively? Here’s where to donate your money.

    Only a few of the organizations in this Vox story seemed legit.

    Some of the technologies these “think tanks” promote are highly implausible by virtue of basic economic or engineering flaws. Others have very vague missions and seem like they are just trolling for money. Examples:

    Carbon 180 works through “policy advocacy…on Capitol Hill.” Their website says “Scientists agree [no they don’t] that we’ll need some deployment of carbon-removal technologies to keep the planet habitable.” If you see a “think tank” promoting “carbon removal” technologies — other than planting trees — run. But DC politicians from coal states love funding these absurd “carbon removal and storage” projects with tax payer dollars. Why absurd? Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. The best way to avoid the cost of removing carbon in the atmosphere is to leave it safely in the ground and not burn it in the first place.

    The Evergreen Collaborative is another group that feeds off the DC ecosystem of “Climate Policy Wonks”. It plans to glean some of what trickles down to consultants from the 2022 IRA. Its website is full of climate wonkness and seems like yet another paper-churning think tank/pressure group in the offing.

    Terrapraxis is another one of the many think tanks who seek to mesmerize investors with improbable hi tech solutions to the climate crisis. One project is to “economically” locate advanced nuclear reactors in mothballed coal plants. One project they propose is to locate a $2 billion DOE-funded nuclear demonstration of a Bill Gates “Natrium” liquid sodium fast breeder reactor in a nearby coal plant (to leverage existing “infrastructure” and the coal-plant workforce). Coal workers retrained to run a liquid sodium breeder reactor? Old, fully depreciated coal infrastructure for a breeder reactor? What could go wrong?

    Future CleanTech Architects A German technology-oriented think tank, again with lots of jargonistic puffery on their website. Run.

    The Climate Crisis will generate lots of whimsy and scams like these. I’m surprised Vox is so gullible. Certainly, our politicians are.

  26. ThirtyOne

    An interesting article at The Postil.

    The probability of a war between Poland and Russia by 2024-2025 is assessed as high. By the time of 2024-2025, the Polish army will in any case be ready for offensive operations. If Ukraine fails as an adversary, the United States will be interested in continuing the conflict to weaken Russia and will make every possible effort to do so. This will be supported by forces inside Poland with the promotion of the Intermarium idea.

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