Links 12/7/2022

Yves here. I’m old enough to remember that today was once remembered as Pearl Harbor Day. I wonder how much notice will be paid this year.

USS Arizona survivor: Honor those killed at Pearl Harbor Associated Press. One of my parent’s friends was a Battle of the Bulge survivor. He lived to be 95 and was sharp and reasonably robust to the end. He died on a sunny day while gardening.

Tulsi will be VERY sore. Hope she and her fellow walkers can soak in a hot bathtub right afterwards.

* * *

The College Essay Is Dead Atlantic (David L)

Yes, the Players in the World Cup Do Keep Falling Over for No Reason New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

Major League Baseball used two balls again this year, and evidence points to a third Insider (Kevin W)

Gut microbiome-wide association study of depressive symptoms Nature


China Scraps Most Testing, Quarantine Requirements in Covid Policy Pivot Wall Street Journal



The Bordeaux region, in crisis, calls for help to pull out vines France 24

‘A soul wound’: a First Nation built its culture around salmon. Now they have to fly it in frozen Guardian (resilc)

Renewables Will Overtake Coal by Early 2025, Energy Agency Says New York Times. Um, if you include burning firewood as renewable…

We might finally harness the limitless fresh water vapor hidden above the oceans Interesting Engineering. Chuck L: “The link to the Nature paper:


US mulls scorched earth strategy for Taiwan Asia Times. Kevin W: “Maybe those factories could just blow up by themselves like the NS2 pipelines and everybody will pretend that they don’t know why. Related article Pentagon, Chinese analysts agree US can’t win in Taiwan Strait

The US crackdown on Chinese economic espionage is a mess. We have the data to show it. MIT Technology Review (guurst)

Europe First: Brussels gets ready to dump its free trade ideals Politico (Kevin W)

European Disunion

Germany arrests 25 accused of plotting coup BBC

Old Blighty

UK sleepwalking into food supply crisis, says farming union BBC

Congo: Government says over 270 dead from attack in east DW. Resilc: “A fight over natural resource cash flows.”

New Not-So-Cold War

The Russian oil price cap won’t work Philip Pilkington, Unherd (guurst)

Russia Considers Oil Price Floor in Response to G-7 Bloomberg

Oil tankers queue up off Turkey as price cap on Russian crude begins Guardian. From yesterday, still germane. But it appears Russian tankers going through, European (carrying non-Russian oil) checked.

* * *

Homelessness among Ukrainian refugees in UK rises by 30% in a month National News

Deadly Russian Shelling of Kherson Neighborhoods Mars Joy Over Ukraine’s Return Wall Street Journal. Admission against interest.

* * *

Army plans ‘dramatic’ ammo production boost as Ukraine drains stocks Military Times (resilc)

Nato chief says conditions for peace in Ukraine ‘not there now’ Financial Times. Hhhm…”…he urged members of the western alliance to continue providing weapons to Kyiv over the winter because, he warned, Russia was preparing a spring offensive.”

U.S. No Longer Supports Fight For Crimea Moon of Alabama. I imagine Blinken will clarify his remark…

* * *

What Do Russians Think About The Ukraine War? Patrick Lancaster, YouTube


US judge DROPS lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince MBS over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi Daily Mail (BC)

Navy seizes more than 50 tons of ammo, illegal weapons in Gulf of Oman Military Times. Resilc: “Next stop, to Ukies.”

Robbing The Global South, Then Scorning Its Poverty: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix Caitlin Johnstone (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

TikTok National-Security Deal Faces More Delays Wall Street Journal

Imperial Collapse Watch

Geopolitics is for losers aeon

Why Our Country Is Too Big Not to Fail New Republic (resilc)

America’s New B-21 Bomber Is a Nuclear Drone Vice (resilc)


Trump Companies Are Convicted in NY Criminal Tax Fraud Trial Bloomberg. FWIW, my tax maven buddy is exercised about this. GE with Jack Welsh and ton of other companies provide executive perks, treat it as a deduction and don’t report it as employee income. Yes, this is a violation, but the well-established sanction is fines and penalties, not criminal prosecution, particularly given that the total fine was $1.6 million. On top of that, the Financial Times (and therefore presumably many other outlets) are reporting the Trump Organization as having been convicted, when it was two subsidiaries of the Trump Organization. One sub is a payroll operation, so not affected by felony status impediments to borrowing. No idea how importan the other one is.

Political experts don’t think the Trump Org’s felony status is enough to kill Donald Trump’s chances in 2024: ‘At some point, the Republican party has to decide how much they’re willing to overlook’ Business Insider

Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock defeats GOP challenger Herschel Walker in Georgia’s contentious Senate runoff NBC (furzy)

Michigan Presidential Primary Bill Stuck in End-of-Session Rush FrontloadingHQ. Userfriendly: “Well, I’m shocked they didn’t move SC to January 1st and NV to late October just to never have to worry about another Bernie problem again.”

Constant turmoil’ at FDA’s food regulatory agency, report says Politico (Kevin W)

Police State Watch

San Francisco supervisors bar police robots from using deadly force for now NPR (David L)

Our No Longer Free Press

Elon FIRES Twitter’s general counsel James Baker for ‘vetting internal files on Hunter Biden laptop scandal and DELAYING release of second tranche’ – ex-FBI lawyer was James Comey’s deputy and involved in Russian collusion investigation Daily Mail (fresno dan). Above the fold in the Journal: Elon Musk’s Release of Documents Triggers Twitter Lawyer Jim Baker’s Exit

Rich people who own newspapers can shift elections. Israel shows how. Washington Post. Userfriendly: “ROFLMAO How did anyone let this get printed without so much as a mention of Bezos. The ideological blinders you must have to get hired at the MSM is jaw dropping.”

The Bezzle

Chapo Trap House: Sam Bankman-Fried (Dec 2022) YouTube (Glen). If you have time, the first 20 mins or so provide a very good high level explanation with salting of important details.

Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has hired high-profile white collar defense attorney Mark S. Cohen – who most recently defended Ghislaine Maxwell at her sex trafficking trial Daily Mail. From Paul Weiss to Mark Cohen…

Former FTX engineer quietly became multimillion-dollar Democratic donor after new role at cryptocurrency exchange CNBC

FTC Probes ‘Possible Misconduct’ In Cryptocurrency Advertising Decrypt. Gee, ya think?

CVS Sued Over ‘Fraudulent’ Donations to American Diabetes Association LawStreetMedia (Kevin W)

The Last 747 Ever Built Has Rolled Off Boeing’s Production Line The Drive (Kevin W). I love 747s.

Sick with “Shareholder Value”: US Pharma’s Financialized Business Model During the Pandemic Institute for New Economic Thinking

In Clover London Review of Books (Anthony L). On McKinsey and the consulting industry generally.

The Unavoidable Crash Nouriel Roubini, Project Syndicate (David L)

Class Warfare

Troops to get historic boost in food allowance Military Times. Resilc: “They get sick days too, unlike railroad workers.”

Apple broke the law fighting Atlanta union, says NLRB The Register

Real Wages during and Post-Pandemic Menzie Chinn

Antidote du jour. From Chet G, from his photo gallery of Centre Wildlife Care animals in its annual adoption/sponsorship. Here is Sugar the sugar glider, who enjoys treats.

And a bonus (Robin K):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Joe

    Hmmm. Black Americans, Native Americans and goodness knows how many other groups are told to “get over it” when they ask for remembrances of horrific events in their past and honors for the people who suffered. In that vein, why should Dec. 7 be remembered?

    1. griffen

      My grandfather served in the US Navy for 30 years, eldest in a family of dirt poor eastern TN farmers. I’m pretty sure he is pleased that I continue to remember today, nearly 30 years after his passing. Along with remembering his brother who was killed in Guam.

      I may be likely a small minority, and that’s okay with me. I don’t do modern USA! USA! patriotism but am grateful for his and many millions of others who sacrificed. And I will certainly include his wife, raising two daughters whilst he was away.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        aye. my great uncle Alphonse was killed on Guam, single-handedly holding off attacking japanese so his squad could escape.
        there’s a Pinter Street on the Big Island named for him.
        he was 19.

        i dont do usa!patriotism, either….
        having long considered Us as the “evil empire”…ie Projection on a grand scale.
        but it’s worth remembering the personal and family side of our misadventures.
        Viet Nam has had a much larger impact on my life than any other conflict…stepdad shot in back/spine in 68…and VA taking care of him, also ended up taking care of me.

      2. petal

        Last month I came across a 24 year old alum buried in our cemetery that was killed in Guam either by machine gun fire or a mortar. He was a Vermont farm kid. Contacted the town to put a marker and flag on his grave. I am also grateful to him and the others. His stone has his name and dates, and “In vain?” on it. I agree with griffen and Amfortas’s comments. I’m not a big rah rah person but they should be remembered and honored. I separate them from the government and the people in it.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Because it is historically important.

      Even though the US provoked Japan by impeding oil shipments, Americans still saw Pearl Harbor as a surprise attack. US entry and manufacturing support resulted in the US having 1/2 of world GDP by 1945 and able to put in place institutions that define the world order even now.

      Even as of the 1930s, the US had a small military. The low-tech nature of manufacturing then allowed for the relatively quick repurposing of private sector production to arms-making. So the US success in World War II, out of proportion to our sacrifice (see USSR) and our depiction of World War II as a good war greased the way for the rise of the military industrial complex and our garrisoning of the world.

        1. fresno dan

          It occurs to me that in less than 20 years, it will be a century since Pear Harbor happened.
          If you use the movie barometer to judge popular conciousness, it is something that will not be forgotten. But I wonder how the fact that the US can be protrayed as heroic is part of the reason for the unending revisting of WWII. Compare to WWI, which is a war that shows the futility and foolishness of war, and it has essentially been erased from public conciousness.

          1. Joe Renter

            I agree about WW1 forgetfulness. When the 100 year anniversary came around a few years back I thought there would a lot more in the public dialog. The conclusion do the Paris peace conference sowed the seeds for WW2, many don’t realize this.

            1. Wukchumni

              There were three WW2 vets in my mom’s assisted living place, and they’ve all passed on now, but as long as any WW2 vets are still around, living history always holds sway.

              Another conflict where the living had a say late after the proceedings:

              The 1938 Gettysburg reunion was an encampment of American Civil War veterans on the Gettysburg Battlefield for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. The gathering included approximately 25 veterans of the battle: 72  with a further 1,359 Federal and 486 Confederate attendees out of the 8,000 living veterans of the war. The veterans averaged 94 years of age.


              1. GF

                Yeah. It could be a long time for the remembering to stop. I was a newspaper delivery boy in 1960 and I remember a short two paragraph “article” that stated the last surviving military person who was in a battle, a bugle boy as I recall, had died.

          2. digi_owl

            Because WW2 can be spun as a epic war against outright evil.

            Never mind that said evil is now more prevalent in USA than ever, even as the very enablers try to paint everyone else but themselves as said evil.

      1. Stephen

        Suspect that historians will debate whether it marks the true start date of the American Century. A case can be made no doubt, given too that Luce created the term a few months earlier and was looking for it to be created by deed.

        No doubt the case may be made that 24 February 2022 defines the end date for the American Century, in the sense that the global diplomatic initiative is no longer in U.S. hands. But we still need history to play out in order to see how true that is.

        I recall that Patrick Lawrence in “Time No Longer” sees 11 September 2001 as the marker though; on account of a more philosophical notion that history at last caught up with America. A sad attack on the US Homeland is also symmetrical with Pearl Harbor.

        Of course, all such “markers” are also a little artificial. History does not turn on a single day. But we do seem to like them as a species.

      2. digi_owl

        Supposedly it was the Korean war that really gave the MIC a boost.

        Before then DC was trying to dismantle its war machine, best i can tell.

        Even old man Churchill commented, favorably, in that regard.

        1. LifelongLib

          My dad had a friend that had been in the U.S. Navy in WW2, who the government tried to call back in during the Korean War. He didn’t want to be in the navy again and stayed on a fishing boat at sea, only coming back to land occasionally, while his wife kept explaining to the government that he was out fishing and couldn’t be reached. After a few months of this the government gave up trying to get him. My dad (who’d also been in the navy in WW2) didn’t see anything wrong with it. They’d done their part.

        2. Polar Socialist

          In “NSC 68 and the Political Economy of the Early Cold War” Curt Cardwell says that by December 1949 Dean Acheson was afraid that the Western World would collapse by 1952. Because that’s when the Marshall Plan was coming to an end and so would finally the huge boost that government spending had given to US economy. Without it it would relapse into a depression like in the 1030’s.

          And this time there would be Soviet Union, as a winner of WW2 and a recent forerunner in the Cold War*, showing the world an option to Market Economy (or multilateralism, as they called it).

          What he, George Kennan and Paul Nitze came up with was making Soviet Union the totalitarian enemy of The West, and starting an armament race to build up the Arsenal of Democracy to protect all god-abiding good men from the abomination of communism. Even if they all knew, according to their own writings at the time, that Soviet Union had no intention to wage war or even spread communism.

          * most of US foreign policy initiatives had hit a snag (being somewhat ideological and not enough aware the horrible situation in the war-ravaged world) and Europeans were specifically annoyed by US attempt to divide Germany into two, since nobody understood the purpose.

      3. juno mas

        Depicting WWII as the good war is all part of the “American” version of history. The war on Native Americans was apparently the good war at the time, too.

        The reference to the USSR is profound when you look at the numbers. As a front-line nation she lost 27-29 million soldiers and citizens. As a distant nation protected by two large oceans the, US lost one quarter million soldiers and citizens (less than 0.5% of our population).

        If Pearl Harbor is to be remembered then the sacrifice of all nations should be respected, including Russia. And if Pearl Harbor brings a sense of History to Americans: What the hell happened in Korea in the 50’s, Vietnam in the 60’s, Central America in the 70’s, Kosovo in the 90’s, Iraq in 00’s, and now Ukraine?

        Every war is the good war for Americans!

      4. Procopius

        The Japanese were surprised at the American outrage. Some Japanese admiral said, “Have they never heard of Port Arthur?” and the answer is, “No, they never did. Or if they heard about it they didn’t remember it.” We’re close to the point where Ameriicans won’t remember World War II, either.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Have to confess to a keen interest in the story of Pearl Harbour since the film “Tora, Tora, Tora” came out back in 1970. Did a lot of research on the subject (pre-internet days) and was particularly struck by two of the pilots that got up that day- Lts. Taylor and Welch. You may have seen them depicted in that film- (2:54 mins)

      So got a buzz to learn that one of those old P40Bs still survives through an unlikely set of circumstances. How good is that?

      1. LifelongLib

        There’s a YouTube channel called “Rex’s Hangar” which has a couple of videos about the P-40, and others about a number of WW2 etc. aircraft. Gets a little too technical for me but a lot of historical detail.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thanks for that link, LifelongLib. Just had a chance to check it out and there looks like there are lots of interesting videos so have bookmarked already.

    4. ex-PFC Chuck

      20 years ago Robert Stinnett published Day of Deceit which includes a photo copy of the smoking memo that proves beyond doubt FDR deliberately incited the Japanese attacks of December 1941.He followed an 8 point plan developed by Arthur McCollum, a Navy officer who had lived in Japan as a child and returned there as an attache after graduating from the USNA. Its 6th point was to base the main strength of the USA fleet at Pearl Harbor. Viewed in isolation this was indefensible. But the president realized the appeal of Nazism extended beyond Europe to the dictators the USA supported in Latin America and also, most disturbingly, to more than a few of America’s elite financiers and industrialists. Not to mention the southern wing of his own party, representing states the racist laws of which Hitler used as templates for Nazi legislation.
      The resilience of Nazi ideology down to the present day, as demonstrated by Ukrainian Nazis being welcomed into the halls of Congress by legislators of both parties, proves FDR was correct in his assessment of its dangers. Sadly the precedent he set in the 1940s was misused in the ‘60s by Johnson and Bush 43 in the naughts.

      1. Wukchumni

        Our ambassador to Japan-Joseph Grew, was tipped off early in 1941 to the Japanese plans…

        On January 27, 1941, Grew secretly cabled the State Department with rumors passed on by the Peruvian Minister to Japan: “Japan military forces planned a surprise mass attack at Pearl Harbor in case of ‘trouble’ with the United States.”

        Around 15 American ships were sunk by Nazi U-boats in 1941 including the destroyer USS Reuben James with a loss of 115 lives, but America First was adamant that we stay neutral. The last ship-a freighter named Sagadahoc was sunk by the Nazis just a few days before Pearl Harbor.

        The only thing newish @ Pearl Harbor was the aircraft carriers and planes, the battleships were circa WW1 vintage, ancient in the scheme of things. New battleships of the North Carolina class were to come on line in early 1942, completely outclassing their predecessors, the USS Arizona could manage 21 knots, while the USS North Carolina could do 28 knots. From an armament standpoint the comparison is a bit of a joke, the USS Arizona being completely outgunned

        The ships that mattered @ Pearl Harbor-the aircraft carriers, were conveniently somewhere else delivering planes to Midway and Wake Island. They had a bevy of destroyers & heavy cruisers with them.

        We had to get in the war somehow, and keep in mind we had an incredibly low opinion of the Japanese military and what they were capable of, I think the casualties were far beyond what FDR et al figured would be the cost to get us into war.

        America First, by Woody Guthrie

        1. S.D., M.D.

          You are correct, but many of said “WWI vintage” battleships were repaired and ultimately acquitted themselves very well in battle with their Japanese peers. Just saying.

        2. Darthbobber

          This tends to read history backwards, as if we believed in 1941 the things we learned about naval airpower only afterward.

          The Colorado-class and Pennsylvania-class battlewagons were still seen as the crown jewels of the fleet. The navy had never been satisfied with the compromises involved in he North Carolina class, one reason there were only 2 of it. (treaty of Washington displacement limits left its armor inadequate to deal with 16-inch gunfire.)

          When the sun rose on December 7th, American naval doctrine still expected a Pacific conflict to be settled by an engagement of capital ships, with airpower’s main role to involve assistance in observation and targeting. This expectation was reflected in the procurement decisions for our naval rearmament program. In addition to the new South Dakota class battleships, there were to be 6 Iowa class dreadnoughts, of which only 4 wound up being built, and five of the even larger Montana class, planned to be even larger than the Iowa class, and to mount 12 rather than 9 16 inch guns. This ws prioritized more highly than additional carriers.

          Our planners were more worried about the Kongo-class battleships than they were about the Japanese carriers, so much so that if you had told the admirals they could sacrifice either the battleships or the carriers to a Japanese attack they would have probably picked the carriers as the sacrificial lambs.

          Not until after Midway did the air power boys finally win the doctrinal argument.

      2. flora

        Yes, thanks. The Lindberghs – Charles and Anne – were swayed by Herr Mustache’s modernization of Germany’s industry and economy. They couldn’t see past that, apparently. Then there was Henry Ford among others.

        1. Wukchumni


          Who was the 2nd aviator to go solo across the Atlantic?

          (no fair googling for the answer, please don’t resort to amelioration)

          1. fresno dan

            makes me wonder who was the first woman to fly solo cross the Atlantic? Then we will have to ask who was the first non-binary…

      3. digi_owl

        In the end fascism in its many variants are a capitalist take on feudalism.

        It will enable the “lords of finance” to keep doing their thing, as long as they can keep the strong man “in charge” preoccupied with adventurism.

      4. spud

        the japanses wanted siberia, but were handed their heads in a basket by Georgy Zhukov in 1938-39.

        this forced japan south wards to dutch indonesia and burma.

        after watching the rape on nan king

        does anyone think that american pacific interests would simply be by passed and we would live happily ever after?

        i think we were looking out for a attack, but the Philippines made more sense.

    5. IMOR

      It’s one of about three- maybe two- non-Civil War historical events outside their own tv lifetimes that the vast majority of Americans can identify. It’s vestigal or worse but I’m glad to see it each year as symbolic of what the historical, sharedd ‘memory’ component culture used to look like and might again.

      1. John

        Each December 7 I recall the announcement on the radio, “The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor.” and as a five year old running excitedly the the cellar door … farm houses did not have ‘basements’ in those days … and saying to my father, “Daddy. Daddy. The Japs* bombed Pearl Harbor do you want to come and listen.” I swear he levitated up the stairs.
        * Reporting what I said at the time and I know it is, at best, impolite today.

        My uncle had been stationed at Pearl in the 1930s and my cousin was born in Honolulu so my family was probably a bit more clued in on where Pearl harbor was. Time has drawn a veil over the remainder of that day.


        1. Joe Renter

          My Ex’s Dad was in Honolulu during the attack, scheduled to play football for San Jose state. He could not leave the island for 6 months due to martial law. He ended up the the SW pacific as a photographer on P-38’s. Service in the pacific theater was no joke.

          1. caucus99percenter

            Of numismatic interest: the replacement of U.S. paper money circulating in Hawai‘i with specially marked banknotes (“HAWAII” stamped across the back in big letters). The idea was to enable U.S. authorities to instantly invalidate all such cash if Hawai‘i were to fall to the Japanese.


            That the Powers That Be considered the loss of Hawai‘i a possibility at all shows how serious the situation was, sociologically and psychologically. No joke, indeed.

          2. digi_owl

            > Service in the pacific theater was no joke.

            And likely why we dodged so many chances for the cold war to turn hot, as so many of the political elite had experienced war first hand and didn’t need another.

            Now even the post-war “boomers” are fading, and the cadre replacing them seem overly interested in picking up their (grand)parental grudges…

            1. xmark

              ok Boomer. nevermind that boomers have been in charge since the 90s ushering in the end of history and the forever wars.

    6. Wukchumni

      Hwy 99 here in Godzone used to be called the ‘Pearl Harbor Survivors Memorial Highway’, which I always thought was a bit queer in that i’ve never seen a memorial for survivors, only those who have fallen.

      I walk a bit and no way, no how could I do 50 miles in a day like Tulsi, and it looks like she’s got a backpack on too, ye gads.

        1. Mildred Montana

          As a veteran (pardon the pun) walker I can tell you that 4 miles per hour is a helluva pace, unsustainable over 50 miles except for the very fit.

          1. ChrisPacific

            I wondered about the route – it’s shown later in the Twitter thread. Walking from Kaneohe to Pearl Harbor is not a trivial task – most of the direct routes are arterial highways with no pedestrian access. Even riding a bike on them is risky.

            They are actually starting north of Kaneohe, up around Kualoa Ranch, and taking the coastal route through Waimanalo around the eastern part of the island. Even parts of that road could be very dangerous to walk without road closures and/or traffic control. Judging from similar events in other cities they will be walking through the night, so visibility will be a concern as well.

      1. Chet G

        During JFK’s presidency, he popularized the idea of a 50-mile walk, something to which various groups of people went out and did (that is, if my memory is in reasonable working order).

    7. Joe Well

      This rhetoric is so common and so absolutely divorced from reality. Few other countries commemorate the historical injustices toward minorities as much as the US (cynical voice: as a diversion from talking about ongoing injustices).

      1. Pelham

        Agreed. Seldom does a day pass without some remembrance of this kind. And in my nearly 70 years I’ve never heard anyone tell oppressed minorities here to “just get over it.”

    8. midtownwageslave

      A surprise military attack on one military base compared to hundreds of years of genocide across many continents….quite the comparison.

      1. Jeff V

        It doesn’t invalidate your point, but Pearl Harbour was not the only place the Japanese attacked on 7/8 December 1941. I guess they thought they might as well take maximum advantage of the element of surprise.

        The other targets never seem to get a mention. Nobody, not even the British, seem to care much about the attack on Hong Kong, for instance. Either they assume we’d been fighting against the Japanese since 1939, or that Britain declared war on Japan because of Pearl Harbour.

        1. Will

          Could it be because unlike America’s other colonial possessions that were attacked that day, only Hawaii later obtained statehood and so became “one of us” and worth remembering?

        2. Stephen

          In Britain, American entry into the war against Germany was the one thing that mattered in late 1941. Pearl Harbor enabled that and it is the key feature. The bombing of Hong Kong, given how much bombing London had already endured was never likely to be that shocking nor worthy of being remembered. Sadly of course for the people affected there.

          Late 1941 really was a nadir in British wartime fortunes. Our only continental ally was Russia and the Eastern Front was still going very badly whilst Britain herself had suffered a string of defeats so far. It was then very “helpful” that Hitler chose proactively to declare war on the US.

          As an aside: The last thing Britain wanted in late 1941 was a war with Japan though. FDR had refused even to discuss a concerted strategy with respect to Japan at the Placentia Bay meeting he had earlier that year with Churchill. War with Japan in some form was arguably a US objective but was not a British one. If the US had not ended up at war with Germany too but only with Japan (a possibility that Hitler prevented) then that would have a serious disaster for Britain.

          People do tend not to be aware too of the existing war in China, whose death toll was already catastrophic of course. Nor that Japan was a former British ally (including in WW1) that allegedly U.S. pressure in the 1920s had caused us to drop.

          Very few British people are aware either of the realities of the starting point for what they are propagandised to see as the special relationship.

          1. digi_owl

            Lately i have started to wonder that if not for the defense pact with Poland, and the triggering of such by USSR and Germany agreeing to divide the nation between them, Britain may have been quite happy to see Germany and USSR slug it out first before mopping up whoever was the Pyrrhic victor.

            Because best i can tell, USSR was basically seen as having taken over Russia’s seat at the great game.

            So all in all, at least for Britain, WW2 was a continuation of WW1 and the whole jockeying for imperial holdings.

            1. Stephen

              Agree on the imperial jockeying.

              If the idea though was to let Germany and the USSR slug it out then the British government missed their chance to set up the alliance with Stalin that he was allegedly open to in 1939.

              Additionally, Britain clearly was seeking war with Germany during mid 1939. The guarantees to Poland were arguably designed precisely to facilitate going to war with Germany. Not to protect Poland, which we had no ability to do anyway. The war that was desired was anticipated to achieve victory via blockade (like the use of sanctions today) but the Battle of France ended that idea and created a bigger war that Britain did not really want. .

              Chamberlain had even described thoughts that Poland might negotiate with Germany as “distasteful” though.

              Peter Hitchens “The Phoney Victory” is good on all of this.

              1. upstater

                The UK clearly wanted the USSR and Germany to demolish one another… “Let’s you and him fight” (just like Ukraine now!). Recall Poland gleefully chomped up part of Czechesolvakia after Munich. Poland refused the Red Army transit to defend the integrity of Czechesolvakia.

                The USSR provided the UK and France with a written proposal for an alliance to oppose German aggression in the weeks prior to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. France and the UK sent diplomats by a literal slow boat to Russia, but without any authority to negotiate. Stalin then cut the deal with Hitler hoping to avoid war until the middle of the 1940s.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  ‘France and the UK sent diplomats by a literal slow boat to Russia’

                  Absolutely true that. Meanwhile the Germans sent their diplomats by airplane and sealed the deal.

              2. digi_owl

                Or if not direct war, at least to curtail the Nazi rearmament.

                How Norway got dragged in, as Britain tried to hamper the shipping of iron or from northern Sweden, done via a Norwegian port.

                When USSR went after Finland in the Winter war, Britain volunteered to send troops, via said Norwegian port and railway into Sweden. Germany protested as said ports would also be able to seize the iron ore.

                Never mind that such a move would violate both Swedish and Norwegian neutrality.

                Not that Britain cared much, as they violated same when chasing a German ship carrying British POW in Norwegian waters.

                They also had plans to mine Norwegian waters, but before they got underway Germany invaded Denmark and Norway.

                1. Stephen

                  I agree.

                  And when France exercised her right to make peace in June 1940 we recognised a regime change in the name of de Gaulle, whereas Petain was truly the legitimate leader. We then destroyed the French fleet and killed many French sailors for good measure.

                  All of this gets glossed over in most histories because WW2 is the “good war” but the true calculations of the politicians were not about preventing evil. The British ones wanted a short, maritime focused war in which the French Army would be able to hold off the Germans on their border. What they got what very different.

                  These facts are part of why I find it so easy to be cynical about “Stand for Ukraine” today.

    9. cfraenkel

      Identity politics, tearing communities apart since it became unfashionable to smear ethnic groups.

      1. hk

        Identity politics, tearing communities apart because ethnic group members now feel compelled to what wokels think they should be and suppress their real backgrounds to get ahead.

        1. cfraenkel

          You can’t fault individuals for responding to the incentive structure they find themselves in. Save your condemnation for the folks who feel they need to bring others down.

    10. Oh

      Don’t you know that the troops are protecting our freedom? That’s why we folks don’t have any. /s

    1. Wukchumni

      I’m a little over the average age of a MLB fan, and this year marked a low for me, in that I watched only a couple of World Series games out of say 175 possibilities in the prolonged season.

      If I find it boring (a German friend who went to a game with me, pronounced it ‘toten hosen!’) and mostly painfully slow, imagine how those of the Go-Go-Go-Go set who grew up on the internet must feel about the national pastime?

      So MLB knew they had to do something to get young eyeballs, and they turned to cryptocurrency (every MLB umpire had 2x FTX patches on their uniforms, while only 1 MLB patch) and gambling sites, if only to get them interested in the outcome from a wagering standpoint.

      The different balls issue is just another black mark on diamond demand.

      1. MP

        It’s kind of, like a lot of things, super complicated. Baseball is actually very popular at the local level, especially if you’re a team that’s in it, like Philly, New York, San Diego, or LA. I mean, when Philly made the World Series you had pole climbers, the whole city partying, and the President making daily remarks; it was a big deal that had plenty of local appeal. It just isn’t nationally appealing and people “tune out” when other teams are involved. The result is a sport that has less national viewers than a network sitcom show, but literally every human in New York knows who Aaron Judge is. Everyone in Philly knows who Bryce Harper is. If you were to combine the nightly collective viewership of local teams it probably would beat most of the major networks. and the regional sports networks net incredible amounts of cash for the teams because people retain their cable packages. Add in deals from Apple, Peacock, and Amazon (and as you said, gambling) and it actually is rolling in cash despite this national appeal “problem,” if we call it that.

        The ball scandal is because offense dipped quite a bit from 2012-2016, so the league put their thumb on the scale to increase home runs after they purchased Rawlings, the ball manufacturer in Costa Rica. This then turned into a fiasco of constantly futzing with the ball for god-who-knows-what’s end (sometimes to tamp down on homers, sometimes to increase it, sometimes to use a ball for a national event), and this year putting the thumb on the scale for the finally-nationally-notable Judge home run chase.

        The problem is that this tentative deal between cable companies and teams is starting to break down as cord cutters increase and traditional cable buyers age out or die, and while young fans I would say still like their local team, they aren’t willing to drop $150/month for cable to get it. So yeah, enter crypto and gambling and corruption. But what makes it complicated is that the game is actually the youngest and most exciting its been in decades, with the league failing to capitalize on the actual product in hand.

        1. chuck roast

          I started listening to pro-baseball on my little Emerson AM radio when I was a kid. Every rule change they have made in my lifetime has made the game worse. Snooze-a-thons. Same with basket ball. I watched Chris Ford hit the first 3-pointer and thought nothing of it. So much for being prescient. Along comes Seth Curry and a million wanna-be’s. Clang! The only thing I can watch now is hockey. They got rid of the 2-line offside and the game went from 10 MPH to 25 MPH. A rule change that works. Watch Connor McDavid every other morning and try to keep your pupils from dilating.

  2. Mikerw0

    Re: Microbiome and depression

    One needs to be careful (nee skeptical) about recurrent stories on these topics. While not a MD I speak from deep personal experience with the topic. Our daughter has been fighting Crohn’s disease for over 20 years. About 12 years ago the microbiome was being heavily researched and promoted as the potential answer to these type of diseases. After over a decade of study, with some of the major work collecting and analyzing over 30,000 samples across a swarth of people (I could find the reference to this work if needed) the conclusion is they have no idea. There is no correlation to multiple different diseases and more importantly no therapies have come of it. At least not yet.

    (The same is true of stem cells. And, the same is true with CBD as a pain management tool — placebos perform better in large scale studies.)


      I think the problem here is like taking a bunch of orange seeds and planting them in Greenland.

      There are a bunch of factors that cause your microbiome to favor certain flora. So even if you are loading up on good neurotransmitter producing good ones via supplement – chances are they aren’t thriving for a reason.

    2. Lexx

      You might take a look at a book I’m just finishing – ‘The Glucose Revolution’. I can see how over time some people’s moods could be affected by being on a day-to-day glucose roller-coaster… that is, the Western diet that includes a lot of refined carbs, resulting in blood sugar spikes and troughs, a constant inflammatory state, and a poor microbiome balance of bacteria leading to immune deficiencies.

      I’ve read that the microbiome is difficult to reset much past the age of 3. You have to go to a high protein/low carb diet with supplements and probiotics for the rest of your life, like with an advanced stage of diabetes. This tends to slowly clear up a lot of diet-related health problems. Moods swings may level out for some, along with flattening out the blood glucose spikes.

      To facilitate the flattening of those spikes, the author will cite research that suggests that eating foods in a specific order gives best results. It starts with vinegar. I discovered this myself drinking kombucha. I haven’t had heartburn in over a year… no more PPI’s.

      My sympathies for your daughter’s distress, and yours for watching someone you love suffer a disease for which there’s no cure, just management.

      1. playon

        A slightly different topic I suppose, but when I was battling COVID for 6 months probiotics very much helped tame any digestive issues. Although I can’t prove it I think they also helped me to recover from it. My wife makes kombucha and I make kefir and we drank them often.

        1. Aaron

          When I traveled in India I got a severe stomach bug from drinking contaminated lemon water from a street vendor. Antibiotics mostly cleared it up, but I had recurring cycles of quite unpleasant but not dangerous bathroom maladies. Until I took a random probiotic while traveling in Australia. That cleared it up, but I don’t there is anyone alive that could tell me how it what happened on a detailed level

      2. TimH

        Easy to make yoghurt, for those who like it, and you don’t need one of those pricey kits either, so cheeeep.

      3. Stephen

        I also sympathise for the distress caused by that disease.

        Have just finished reading Gary Taube’s What Makes Us Fat.

        His focus is on weight related topics but he blames processed carbohydrates for many of the issues that you refer to as well. Makes the smart point too that everyone is different so that how carbs play out in one person may have a different magnitude of effects in another person but the direction of travel will be the same.

        He recommends restricted carbs and a balance of protein and fat (they seem to go together anyway). Not a high protein diet as such. He actually argues that protein beyond a certain level may even be toxic.

        My own experience has very much been that restricting processed carbs over the past three years has cleared up a lot of health issues that I had, including but not limited to obesity.

    3. earthling

      Fair enough. One problem is there are thousands of thousands of different organisms that can be in the microbiome. We have few studies that tell us the role of each one, much less what combination would be optimum. And as long as big Pharma is in charge of our country, and working against anything except patent chemical formulations, it’s going to take a long long time to sort them out. I’ve seen enough success in my gut from the blunt tool of ‘take some pro and pre biotics’ that I have faith we will untangle the mysteries. But as you say, not much help for brain-related illnesses right here and now.

    4. will rodgers horse

      good point. I find I am less often depressed using some probiotics but then again they make me have really regular healthy bowel habits and that itself is hugely healthy feeling! stick to the basics.

    5. Aaron

      Agreed. Modern medical science is only in the beginning stages of dealing with the mind-body, bio-psycho-social concepts. How can a claim be made that a biological solution is the most important?
      This may be an area that modern medical science will never be able to fully understand, at least until they accept a holistic view of the human organism that includes emotions, feelings, thoughts, physical condition of the person, and the society around that person.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Germany arrests 25 accused of plotting coup”

    These people were beyond deluded. They really thought that they could overthrown the government of a nation of 83 million people and bring back the Monarchy. The Monarchy! Considering the fact that this happened in Germany there are only two ways that you can deal with this bunch of reality-challenged people. Either thrown them in prison and chuck away the key – or put them on the staff of Robert Habeck and Annalena Baerbock where they should fit in nicely.

    1. nippersdad

      That sounded like an FBI sting operation. They missed a trick when they failed to get them to put explosives in their tennis shoes.

    2. Skip Intro

      The ‘Reichsburger’ movement is reminiscent of the Sovereign Citizens in the US, but without so many armed compounds and wannabe tax lawyers. They argue that the various post-Weimar German governments have been illegitimate. They are probably right, in some technical legal sense, not that it will help them. They must be packed with informants and agents provocateurs.

      1. caucus99percenter

        That reminds me…

        As a matter of fact, a man named Kaiser (Henry John Kaiser, yep, same middle name as Trump) was seen as having played such a key role in the U.S. World War II effort that he was hailed in almost Ayn Randian terms as an industrialist hero.

        Ol’ Henry J.’s reward: being invited to use the newly minted state of Hawai‘i as his personal real-estate development playground. When it comes to branding, Kaiser was the Trump of his day in Hawai‘i.

        I had known that there existed an unsuccessful brand of automobiles called Kaiser-Fraser. During my school years though, suddenly there blossomed an era when every prestige project on O‘ahu seemed to bear the Kaiser name.

        Kaiser Foundation Hospital. Kaiser Hawaiian Village Hotel with associated new TV station KHVH. The Kaiser Dome, an R. Buckminster Fuller–style geodesic structure made of Kaiser Aluminum. The transformation of a swamp into a luxurious new housing development, Hawaii Kai. All built with cement from Kaiser Permanente…

    3. Daniil Adamov

      While the group was probably genuine (I understand that there are plenty of such groups in Germany), I expect the threat it posed and the Russian Connection to both get heavily played up in the days to come. It might even get some play as a pretext for whatever the German government wants to do anyway.

  4. griffen

    Trump organization convicted on 17 counts of tax fraud. So, America is a nation of laws after all? Pardon my sarcastic notion that this is more politics and theater than actually nailing any one bad guy for being at the helm as this was going down. And no one thinks of the children !! How else will they move through life, should they attend the public school systems ?

    If you listen closely enough, you can hear Eric Holder, Timmy G and Lanny Breuer laughing their as$es off at the notion of prosecuting anyone involved or possibly leaders and executives at fault after the GFC. Yeah, nothing happened then but we can get Trump ! Disclaimer if necessary that I don’t really like or find much to admire about Donald Trump.

    1. JP

      I learned too late in life that the easiest way to stay out of trouble is to keep your head below the hedge row. Talk about asking for it.

    2. fresno dan

      The thing of find interesting (or outrageous) is that the Trump organization was convicted, but not Trump. So, with regard to this, does Trump have any idea of what his companies were actually doing? – or were they doing exactly what he wanted them to do? I suspect Trump wanted them to get away with everything possible. But as I have mentioned incessantly, I doubt this fraud started in 2016 – how is it that for all the years prior Trump or his companies were not prosecuted?

      A Manhattan jury has found two Trump Organization companies guilty on multiple charges of criminal tax fraud and falsifying business records connected to a 15-year scheme to defraud tax authorities by failing to report and pay taxes on compensation for top executives.
      The Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp. were found guilty on all charges they faced.
      Donald Trump and his family were not charged in this case, but the former president was mentioned repeatedly during the trial by prosecutors about his connection to the benefits doled out to certain executives, including company-funded apartments, car leases and personal expenses.

      1. fresno dan

        Trump Companies Are Convicted in NY Criminal Tax Fraud Trial Bloomberg. FWIW, my tax maven buddy is exercised about this. GE with Jack Welsh and ton of other companies provide executive perks, treat it as a deduction and don’t report it as employee income. Yes, this is a violation, but the well-established sanction is fines and penalties, not criminal prosecution, particularly given that the total fine was $1.6 million. On top of that, the Financial Times (and therefore presumably many other outlets) are reporting the Trump Organization as having been convicted, when it was two subsidiaries of the Trump Organization. One sub is a payroll operation, so not affected by felony status impediments to borrowing. No idea how importan the other one is.
        I wrote my 12:18 pm comment before I had read the above – I have a tendency to start at the bottom (comments) and work my way up. I should have known that ANY story on the walls are closing in on Trump completely lacks objectivity. AND, we are not a nation of laws, not men. Men must make decisions about which laws, against which people, and how vigorously, to enforce them. With Trump, dispassion seems impossible. I can understand why – I find Trump thoroughly distasteful. But that The LAW is so influenced by emotion and partisanship, when it is an EX-President, says something about how “fair” our legal institutions are, in fact.

      2. Richard

        Manhattan juries and D.C. juries will find Trump guilty of anything prosecutors put in front of them. Done.

    3. Neutrino17

      Clearly QAnon has turned on Trump. Convicted of 17 charges. Q is the 17th letter of the alphabet. Need I say more?

  5. schmoe

    Not related to any of today’s links, but I have noted the various articles about long covid featured in past daily links and wondered how neurological and other findings post-covid compare with other viruses (ie, do many other viruses have similar consequences, but no one ever tested for such results?).

    Below is is a link to a recent study that compared covid positive v. patients with non-covid respiratory viral or other illnesses based on various self-reported criteria three months post-infection.

    “In this cohort study, SARS-CoV-2 infection was not associated with worse physical, mental, and social well-being (as measured through PROMIS scores) at 3-month follow-up compared with no SARS-CoV-2 infection among adults with symptomatic illness. Adults with acute SARS-CoV-2 infection reported substantial consequences for their well-being at baseline, with some clinically meaningful improvements at 3-month follow-up; however, a high proportion of participants in the COVID-19–positive group continued to report moderate to severe impairments in well-being at follow-up.”

    1. Samuel Conner

      There was an item, I think linked at NC a while ago, discussing an hypothesis for the etiology of Long COVID, that CV spike protein-induced formation of misfolded fibrin tangles produces microclots that interfere with oxygen delivery to tissues.

      Here’s an item on spike-induced misfolding of fibrin:

      The article on the etiology of Long COVID,

      describes the hypothesis.

      An important point is that these microclots containing mis-folded fibrin are resistant to lysis and do not clear out as quickly as small clots formed of naturally-folded fibrin.

      IIRC suggests that spike acts like a catalyst to promote amyloid-like fibrin, and that low-level chronic infection, with the virus replicating and disseminating in circulation at a level too low to produce symptoms of acute disease, could still induce widespread micro-clotting.

      Granting the accuracy of these reports, I think this is a major difference between the CV and other viral diseases.

    2. Raymond Sim

      Not related to any of today’s links, but I have noted the various articles about long covid featured in past daily links and wondered how neurological and other findings post-covid compare with other viruses (ie, do many other viruses have similar consequences, but no one ever tested for such results?).

      It has long been suspected that post-viral syndromes might be a big deal, as they seemed to provide possible explanations for a number of diseases with unknown causation, and evidence correlating viral infection with various diseases kept accumulating, but the mechanisms by which these things might play out seem to have taken a long time to understand. (I don’t know how well funded research along those lines has been.) However, in recent years it has seemed like breakthroughs might be at hand.

      My impression is that Covid sequelae are extraordinarily numerous, various, and severe, and that if any other epidemic virus caused damage similar in kind, variety, or severity it could only have gone unnoticed if the disease were largely asymptomatic or its symptoms and sequelae were far removed in time. Of course this would require some minimum level of competence on the part of our healthcare system, and it’s reasonable to ask whether that’s been present. Viruses (and other pathogens) that don’t generate, or perhaps only infrequently generate epidemics might be a whole other story.

    3. J.

      Other viruses have long term post-infection side effects. The first that come to mind are

      Polio: post-polio syndrome
      EBV: mononucleosis, possibly CFE/ME, possibly multiple sclerosis

      The 1918 influenza epidemic was associated with a wave of “encephalitis lethargica” and many of these patients later developed Parkinson’s disease.

  6. GramSci

    A footnote to Death of College Essay:

    “… I wish [Zuckerberg had] read about the regulation of the pamphlet press in 17th-century Europe.

    Was that like the [non] regulation of Tom Paine and the pamphlet press in 18th-century USia?

  7. pjay

    Re: ‘Elon FIRES Twitter’s general counsel James Baker for ‘vetting internal files on Hunter Biden laptop scandal and DELAYING release of second tranche’ – ex-FBI lawyer was James Comey’s deputy and involved in Russian collusion investigation’ – Daily Mail (fresno dan)

    Here is Matt’s tweet about it:

    The other day NC posted Matt Bivens’ article in which he said that something seemed to be missing from the expose so far, and that something was the role of the intelligence community. Perhaps this is part of the reason why.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If Musk was half-smart, he should have a team go over all people employed by Twitter to see who they are and starting off with senior people first. If he had done so earlier, James Baker’s name as the Deputy General Counsel at Twitter would have been one of the first to come up and who he could have dealt with straight away-

      Baker also teaches national security law at Harvard Law School. I wonder what he teaches them?

  8. The Rev Kev

    “San Francisco supervisors bar police robots from using deadly force for now”

    Back in 2016 this guy murdered five police officers in Dallas and holed up in a place where he thought that he might be able to get a few more. So the Dallas police used a bomb-disposal robot with an explosive device on its manipulator arm to kill him which he was not expecting. In that circumstance I would say that the use of that robot was fair use. What San Francisco wanted to do was not. Can you imagine how many warrior-police would be keen to use a killer robot with some wanting to be the one that gets the first “kill”? Those things were just lawsuits waiting to happen and maybe some tech head whispered to those people on the Board of Supervisors the possibility of them being hacked. In any case, maybe the suspicion arose that perhaps some cops were a little too keen on using them.

    A new law took effect in California this year requiring every municipality to list and define the authorized uses of all military-grade equipment. ‘Aaron Peskin, a member of the city’s Board of Supervisors, added a line to SFPD’s original draft policy that stated, “Robots shall not be used as a Use of Force against any person.”

    The SFPD crossed out that sentence with a red line and returned the draft.’

    Yeah, not so much a red line as a red flag for those Supervisors-

  9. Robert Hahl

    Re: The Unavoidable Crash Nouriel Roubini, Project Syndicate (David L)

    Roubini thinks that the next crash will be postponed by lowering interest rates at the last second, but sometimes the big crash is intentionally not-avoided, just like the big war. If they decide to bring down the US economy as is currently being done to Europe…think! of the foreclosures.

    Mary Poppins –

  10. nvt

    Regarding the Atlantic article on AI and college essays: I am involved in a long-term research project on how to use AI (specifically GPT3) to produce interesting and meaningful content to help business teams. Based on that work and hands-on experience with GPT3, I can confidently say that most students will not be able to use this technology to write cogent college application essays or term papers, at least in the next few years. Most of the responses that the AI technology returns to prompts/questions are either irrelevant, repetitive or weird, and can even be untrue. (I guess you could say the same about many college essays too!)

    Our team (and others) are working on ‘training’ GPT3 and using filters to improve results, but there is no easy or quick shortcut to meaningful content. In the short-run, any application reader or professor should be able to spot these essays or just reject them as bad writing.

    1. John

      Does this imply that “business teams” are not capable of producing, “interesting and meaningful content?” Second question: Why do this for any reason? I speculate that this “research” is being undertaken because it can be done regardless of its utility much less ethical considerations. But I forget myself. Countless revelations in recent years put paid to the notion of business ethics.

      1. nvt

        Of course business teams are capable of producing interesting and meaningful content. But, just as it has been shown that teams with multiple and complementary perspectives often produce more innovative and effective solutions, the hope is that the wealth of knowledge available to AI can elicit creative ideas and new perspectives. There is nothing unethical about looking for additional information or insight. The utility is in its generation of information about best practices, relevant analogies, and little-known applications.

        1. earthling

          Pfft. It’s a way to generate content which can be monetized, without bothering to spend much hiring the work of human beings.

          1. caucus99percenter

            That’s right. AI, like other forms of automation, gets around that pesky tendency of humans to organize, make demands, and go on strike.

          2. nvt

            You assume a lot. This project is being run by a top university, with a lot of pro bono help (including mine). And GPT3 is on OpenAI, which is shareable and searchable. While many may see AI primarily as a new source of monetization, this particular project is nothing like that. The only group of human beings it might hurt is consultants, whose paid efforts could be displaced by smart teams working with smart AI.

      2. cfraenkel

        The number one rule for effective SEO has always been ‘create interesting and meaningful content’.

        What’s the absolute LAST thing any client organization has been willing to pay attention to? You guessed it.

        1. nvt

          You are making an assumption that information technology is used to replace employee input. That is not the case in many of the best-run companies . And, from what I’ve personally seen of the kinds of results from trained GPT3, a new respect for direct worker input and involvement can easily result from the insights garnered from this type of AI-aided research.

          1. Polar Socialist

            That’s been my limited experience with AI. We’ve used it to improve* existing tools and methods, not for replacing people or for “black box” decision making.

            * faster, better or cheaper – as always

            1. hk

              While I agree in principle, most organizations aren’t all that well run. Usually, they expect “right answers,” that is some canned argument drawing on widely accepted beliefs (mistakenly believed to be “facts” and “validated” by reams of “literature”) that justify what they want to do anyways. Heck, when it comes to “college essays,” I’ve had tons of experience where college students were thinking this is exactly what they were supposed to do, producing cookie cutter essays that “look like” A essays, by drawing on same canned content–and these were supposed to be “good students.” (And, at a slightly higher level, this is how lion’s share of academic publications get put together–there aren’t that many interesting insights, to fill thousands of articles year after year…but there are tons of junior academics, postdocs, and grad students under publish-and-periah pressure). I don’t see how things would be different anywhere else, and, with some tweaks, these mediocre products can assuredly be put together by AI. (But not a relatively small share of genuine insights–those, by definition, cannot be put together by AI)

              1. Daniil Adamov

                If so, one may as well allow it, no? It would waste less of the students’ time and produce roughly the same results. And if one wants to actually assess students’ level of knowledge and understanding, one should ask them questions.

    2. Bosko

      I teach college writing/humanities and just had a student of mine maintain in class that AI could be used to write essays and that the teacher would never know. I was a little shocked by that Atlantic article. There have been comparisons between computer-generated poetry and a poem by Browning kicking around for a couple decades now, in which the computer-generated “poem” is considered “better poetry” than the one by Browning by most readers (to me, this says more about people’s understanding of poetry, and people’s understanding of Browning… a relatively fringe Victorian writer). Judging from the article, my main concern would be that I waste a bunch of time trying to help a student with their “bad writing” (to use your words) when their essay was written by AI. In 2022, the easiest way to cheat your way through college is to pay someone $30-40 to write your essay from scratch; that way, you don’t have to worry about the plagiarism software and can have your essay written by an actual educated human being (or so they say). Obviously, this is going to be easier for the more affluent college students. Call me old fashioned, but the idea of college is that you learn through effort, and if you try to duck the effort, “you’re only cheating yourself!” We have entered the belief-system of many students, parents, and college administrators: that education is a mere commodity, an empty credentialing-system, and one might as well just have an AI write one’s essays, because higher education is meaningless and corrupt.

      1. semper loquitur

        “in which the computer-generated “poem” is considered “better poetry” than the one by Browning by most readers”

        This jives with the other trends in dehumanization that go along with the rise of AI. AI don’t write poetry at all. They regurgitate word patterns that have no meaning, as far as they are concerned.

        Humans write poetry. A poem is more than just the pretty words. It’s about intention and meaning and the struggle to capture them in words.

        1. Bosko

          From a Victorianist’s perspective, Browning is an idiosyncratic poet who, like many of his peers, idolized the Romantics and intentionally tried to write differently. There are few beautiful lines, it’s something else. If he had written a beautiful line, he might well have tossed it out because to him it sounded too much like Keats or Shelley. (I think the Browning lyric that was the object of this exercise had a context as an ironic, intentional example of a crappy short poem [the sense of irony typically runs very deep in Browning], but I can’t remember. If I read Browning now, it’s usually “Childe Roland.”) The computer-generated “poem” contained a lot of cheap synesthesia and lame effects, “the sky smelled of purple” type of stuff, so people would probably read it and think it sounded “poetic.” To be fair, you have to be a bit of an odd duck, with a knowledge of Victorian expatriate culture, the dramatic monologue, etc., to like Browning. I’d like to see how the AI would fare against Tennyson or Christina Rossetti…

      2. Joe Renter

        I like Browning for his theosophical outlook as well as his take on the human condition and insights. From his Christina…
        “Doubt you if in some such moment,
        As she fixed me, she felt clearly,
        Ages past the soul existed,
        Here an age ‘it’s resting merely,
        And hence fleets again for ages.”

  11. Lex

    Ramped up artillery shell production still isn’t enough. The congressional record says >1M shells sent to Ukraine since March. Let’s say 10 months and that’s 100K shells/month, which clearly isn’t enough for Ukraine. (3,333/day). The new plan is far less than even Ukraine needs for the spring of 2023 or even right now. 40K/month is not until at least 2025. I’ve seen unconfirmed estimates of total US stocks being 2.7M shells, and that seems about right. It also seems about right that the panic starts to set in when you’ve given away almost 40% of what you have and don’t have current production capabilities to offset that.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If those in the know have figured out that fairly soon the Russians will shut down Project Ukraine, then it makes sense that they are running around right now to lock in any long-term contract that they can for any weapon system available. They know that it will never go to the Ukraine and other weapons systems will take years to build but by then they would have already been paid and I am betting that the Pentagon is paying a premium price for them.

      1. Karl

        ….other weapons systems will take years to build

        Undoubtedly lobbyists are roaming the corridors of the Pentagon right now saying, don’t make any more of those old obsolete 155 shells, We can make entirely new laser-GPS -355’s that are all networked together by satellite…. In 10 years we’ll be able to produce about 10,000 per month, if we can get enough cobalt, but the satellites are extra.

      1. John

        It was too late for Ukraine on 25 February, but then who among the movers and shakers in the collective west have ever given a tinkers dam about Ukraine.

        1. Magpie

          Last night I tried finding some answers about the origin of the Russia-mass-kidnappings stories. It’s difficult. There’s an AP story where they claim to have spoken to ‘dozens’ of people affected, and there are accusations by Ukraine government spokespeople, but I didn’t have much luck beyond that. The story seemed to first emerge in March. Perhaps someone here has more insight? I’m sure it’s not going to go away.

          1. nippersdad

            Early on in the SMO Russia was giving people in the areas of the Donbass they had occupied the opportunity to leave for Russia. Those who left were basically just refugees, but they were characterized in the Western press as having been abducted.

            Because no one could ever understand why after eight years of being shelled they might want to escape that madness. You will note that, in the absence of the Ukrainians evacuating those areas, they also gave people the opportunity to leave for Ukraine as well in their humanitarian corridors.

            They just found a way to make the refugees going East human shields as well.

  12. Amfortas the hippie

    came across this while wandering

    the rash pattern on her face looks familiar, but i can’t put my finger on it.

    the part about twitter, especially.
    i’m too much of a Luddite to grok any of this effectively, which i why i limit my forays into hypertech/AI doomery.
    that said, Robb’s idea of some emergent swarm intelligence is spooky…as is some feral AI thing generating a self portrait like that.

    1. semper loquitur

      That thing is chilling. It made me think of that AI that beat the world master of Go. These things obviously see patterns we cannot. When they are turned upon us, I suspect they become rather revealing mirrors. Perhaps they are showing us a more accurate vision of the world we cannot see, what with our immense powers of self deception, self delusion. Human consciousness, if we accept the Frankfurtian hierarchy of an experiencer experiencing itself, can triangulate from itself. The “You” in your head becomes an object which can be interpreted through the lenses of your wishes, your hopes, your desires. Your lies, your truth-dodging, your arrogance and pride. These fantastical constructs are then overlaid upon perceptual reality, molding how we see ourselves even in the aggregate, on a societal scale.

      AI cannot do that. For all their complexity they cannot extrapolate away from themselves, create fantasies of themselves, hold themselves out at arms length and pretend to not notice the blemishes. They cannot do that with anything else, either. They “see” the us in ways we won’t or can’t allow ourselves to. I cannot quite tease it all out but I’d bet “Loab” is actually a perfectly reasonable take on us.

      1. Wukchumni

        It’s much worse than you know…

        Truth is i’m only able to come up with anything remotely funny thanks to me entering gibberish into an AI stand up comedian and it spits out the laughs, which I playgerize.

      2. Tim

        I’m waiting for the moment somebody asks an AI supergenius algo, rank the most evil 100 countries from 1-100.

    2. caucus99percenter

      I think C. S. Lewis would have a quite definite idea of where Loab comes from. It’s like the National Institute for Coordinated Experiments in Lewis’s novel That Hideous Strength except they don’t even need an actual guillotined person’s head any more.

      Or, to switch to a different sci-fi reference, perhaps reasons for declaring the Butlerian Jihad are starting to take definite shape?

      1. LifelongLib

        Baby and bathwater. IIRC the Butlerian Jihad destroyed all computers because they could potentially produce AI, but computers without AI can still do an enormous number of useful things. I guess there’s no firm line for what constitutes AI though…

        1. caucus99percenter

          If I understand the Church–Turing thesis correctly, it means that on the level of hardware architecture there is no clear line that can be drawn.

          The reasoning goes like this. First off, any machine that can run useful computations pretty much has to be “Turing-complete.” But all Turing-complete machines are mathematically “Turing-equivalent.”

          So if some machine architecture can run 1959’s simple Fortran stuff, it can automatically also run 2022+’s AI software — at least theoretically. That’s because the difference between now and then is not anything fundamental in machines’ conceptual design, but rather is only due to crude physical limitations (speed, capacity, energy draw) which technological progress can circumvent in various ways (e.g. massively parallel processing, virtualization, miniaturization).

  13. B Dog

    I know many readers of NC use masks. I live in Montana and now during winter I grow a full beard as when it’s below zero, like this morning, it sure helps getting out doing chores. The question I have is when I drive to town and have to mask up, I use a N95, but the mask doesn’t cover the beard and the edges sure don’t seal.
    What suggestions do you have? I’m sure there are other bearded ones out there. I have never seen it discussed anywhere on line, but then I don’t do the social sites. Thanks for suggestions.

    1. petal

      The best way to fix that is to shave. Sorry. It’s the best seal. There’s a photo from the CDC showing some sikhs that tie a wrap around their chin/head and put the mask over the wrap, but not sure if you want to go that far. Plus I imagine it would depend upon the length and wirey-ness of your beard hair.

    2. ChiGal

      I have seen this addressed in guidance repeatedly and unfortunately you can have a beard or a well-fitting mask but not both.

      OTOH I have noticed that wearing a mask outside definitely mitigates the sting of cold air.

    3. Raymond Sim

      As someone who has experienced working in subzero weather with a freshly-shaved, formerly-bearded face and neck, I would look into rigging up some sort of battery-powered overpressure system – a little HEPA filter pumping air into your mask basically.

      I haven’t looked into any of that stuff lately, but Naomi Wu might have had something to say about it.

      I’m sure this sounds excessive to some folks, but we’re talking about conditions where smiling makes your teeth ache, and your nose hairs freeze and thaw with each breath (thawing optional). Also, rigging stuff up is often second nature to country boys.

      For something expedient when there’s not time to shave I’d do the N95 with a big cloth mask and some sort of fitter. A t-shirt Ninja hood (googleable I think) wrapped round the head and neck, with another shirt that fits close at the neck over that, could complete the ensemble. I’ve done something like this when we’ve had severe wildfire smoke, and it made a huge difference. You’ll look like you’re up to no good of course.

      1. amechania

        I bought a neoprene facemask (diving suit material) for the cold. Probably not as sterile as you might imagine, but it would hold it a bit snugger if you only use occasionally, store in sunlight, or use other such methods to make sure it doesnt cause its own problems that way.

        In the summer? Shave I guess. ;)

    4. Amfortas the hippie

      i’m bearded and scruffy, as well…and this is the main reason ive just stuck to my bandanas…knowing full well that i’ll never get a seal, and therefore am only somewhat protected.
      so i rely on zipping in and out of places, but only if they aint packed(in which case i wont go in/come back later)…and when i’m in somewhere not packed, i’m quick…and practice my crazy-eye deterrent method to discourage personal space invaders…and wield my ever present stick(i use a push broom handle) if the space invaders are unable to be warded off by any other means.
      i’ve also got rather long hair, as well, which makes the around the head and over the ear masks problematic.
      i’m not gonna go bald and cleanshaven, sorry…i aint a roman soldier.

    5. aletheia33

      perhaps there is a woman in montana who could advise on how to sustain one’s life and good health while spending time working outdoors in extremely cold temps without a beard?

      (“she did everything fred astaire did, but with high heels on” — not an exact quot.; no idea who first said this)

    6. johnnyme

      Like petal said, shaving is the only way to get the best seal.

      But, if you can compromise on a goatee (which I do because it makes winter bicycling much more tolerable) you can put on an N95 when you shave and use it as your trimming guide (3M Auras are pretty good in this respect) and facial hair inside the trim line can go a little long to keep the part of your face where all the nerves are warm.

      I get a pretty good seal (as in I can feel the mask pull in when I inhale) but it’s not perfect.

    1. The Rev Kev

      When they first came to Oz, it was said that the reason for it’s distinctive bump at the front was to accommodate the pilots sitting on their wallets. It was a different era. Took a photo of the first 747 that I flew on back in the day and not long ago did some research on it where I found to my dismay that it was sitting abandoned on an airfield in Europe. Still, it was and is a good plane.

    2. Wukchumni

      I flew Pan Am 747’s to NZ in the 80’s, and they couldn’t make it all the way from LA, so you’d get the possibility of stopovers in Hawaii, Fiji or Tahiti, which was a nice perk to do a little exploring.

      1. Jokerstein

        BA flew direct to San Diego from London, but the return trip stopped at LAX to refuel. The runway at Lindbergh was not long enough for a 747 with full tanks.

      2. caucus99percenter

        In the late 1970s I once flew a Lufthansa 747 from Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to Honolulu — a 17-hour flight, with a stopover (only for refueling) in Alaska (Anchorage, I think).

        IIRC, Lufthansa discontinued the route after less than a year — the fuel economics didn’t add up. Too much fuel being burned early in the flight just to transport the fuel needed for later in the flight.

    3. LifelongLib

      My family and I saw the first test flight from our home north of Seattle. Per Wikipedia February 9, 1969.

  14. Mikel

    “Rich people who own newspapers can shift elections. Israel shows how”. Washington Post. Userfriendly: “ROFLMAO How did anyone let this get printed without so much as a mention of Bezos…”

    Call it PR for one of the richest men in the world.

  15. Lex

    The geopolitics link really bugs me. I always want to argue with Martynov about his characterization of political science as an academic discipline but then read something like this and realize my argument would be what it could or should be rather than what it is.

    James is pretending that geopolitics doesn’t exist except for when it’s called geopolitics. As if the era of European colonial empires wasn’t geopolitics or the carving of Africa by Europeans in the 19th Century wasn’t geopolitics. What else but geopolitics was Spain and Portugal splitting the western hemisphere along a north-south line? Was it not geopolitics when Napolean sold Louisiana to the US? I suppose the various wars of Europe prior to WWII were not geopolitical in James’s conception of the universe. Apparently, geopolitics only came into existence when a german happened to call it by that precise name. And because it’s a word adopted by Germans between the world wars, Russians and Chinese it is, by definition, for losers.

    Sanctioning Iran is not geopolitics. Heavy support for Israel as a bulk work in Western Asia is not an expression of geopolitics. The Monroe Doctrine is not geopolitics. Why? Because these are done by winners and geopolitics is for losers. This is what passes for deep thought at Princeton. Maybe Princeton is for losers.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      Agreed. When I saw the title and the author’s Princeton pedigree, I poured myself a glass of wine and settled in for a good read. Well, I read the full article twice and I still don’t know what point he’s trying to make. “Russians are losers, Washington Consensus Gr8”? Clarifications from other commenters are welcome.

      Oh, and the part about Russia “choking off gas“? Gimme a break.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        Yeah, that’s pretty much the only thought I got from it. Well, I do agree that geopolitics is often nothing more than a buzzword and is indeed a very questionable concept, as I wrote in response to another comment. But that article was remarkably mediocre.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      What do you mean by geopolitics? It looks to me like you’re talking about realpolitik or power politics, though maybe I’m missing something.

      1. Lex

        Politics as it is extended between nations. The German / Mackinder / Dugin “geopolitics” is pretty specific to Eurasia and its relation to the rest of the world, but that’s simply because those geopolitical thinkers were focused on it. Realpolitik and power politics, even the Realism vs. Idealism as foreign policy are all facets of geopolitics in my opinion. Diplomacy is geopolitics and if there was no such thing as geopolitics there would be little need for diplomats.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          I don’t think the author in question denies the existence of geopolitics in the sense of international politics. He just does not call it that. However, I’ve only ever seen the term geopolitics used to describe the influence of geography (who is near who, terrain, logistical implications of geography, etc.) on politics.

          1. hk

            One question is what kind of politics is not predicated on geography, international or otherwise? I’d imagine the only ones that might not be, at least in principle, are various “holy wars,” including those based on allegedly modern “ideologies” that presume universalism of some sort. But even then, projecting power to spread “isms” across space is costly, so geography comes back again.

            1. Daniil Adamov

              Geography is obviously a constant factor in politics. Every political event takes place somewhere, after all. My objection to geopolitics the way it is used in discussions is that it ignores factors other than geography – and often interprets geographic factors in very sweeping and superficial ways (such as by asserting that one’s neighbours are one’s natural enemies unless subjugated by force – after all, they are close by and therefore potential threats). When considering actual political history, it would be foolish to disregard geography, but one should also not overlook ideology, technology, demographics, political coalitions, personalities, etc. – none of which are solely defined by the geography.

  16. Carolinian

    Lotsa good Links today. Just to chip in, this story

    has a local angle.

    The law also offers generous tax credits for domestic EV battery production, including a $35 per kilowatt-hour credit for U.S.-made battery cells, plus $10 per kilowatt-hour for domestically produced modules. These credits are expected to shave the cost of producing an EV battery by 30% to 40% and reportedly prompted Tesla to reconsider plans to make battery cells in Germany.

    A Toyota spokesman in Canada spoke the truth: “While the IRA is being presented in many quarters as key legislation to fight climate change, in reality it is an act of trade protectionism.” The Canadian Steel Producers Association has warned that U.S. steel producers would also indirectly benefit from the climate subsidies without incurring carbon costs.

    BMW has recently announced that they will not only expand their giant factory to also make EVs but that they will be building a battery factory in my county to supply the new production. This was announced before the new law but is, nevertheless, not irrelevant. BMWs are still half made in Germany or Europe (the engines). How long before that ceases as well?

    1. spud

      the piece about free trade from political is hilarious, the author twists themselves into a pretzel trying to find a scapegoat to pin the blame on the failure of free trade.

      if it was a no-brainer and a win win that was peddaled by the clinton administration, it would matter not what china did, because it was a win win.

      never mind that germany was doing to the rest of the E.U. alla suppression of wages in germany, meant that even inside the E.U. free trade zone, it was not a no-brainer or win win.

      in fact, that is why the E.U. is in even worse shape than america under free trade, germany seriously weakened all other E.U. members.

      so it was not a failed experiment with china, free trade simply failed under its own weight of contradictions and absurdities.

  17. John Beech

    Regarding the last 747, I too love the aircraft. My uncle, a lifelong Pan Am employee rose to cargo operations manager at PTY before retiring in the mid-80s. PTY is Panama City, Panama for those not versed in airport designators.

    As such, when we flew (I was born in Panama), we did it under his aegis, which on a Pan Am flight was a big deal. I also remember – vividly – meeting Mr. Juan Trippe, Pan Am CEO. This was in 1968 when I was ten years old. He gave me a model of a 747 jet in Pan Am livery, one of those which was destined for travel agencies as part of the promotion for the upcoming ‘world largest passenger jet’ promotion.

    Anyway, in 1969 we moved to live in Birmingham (when my stepfather retired as Command Sergeant Major of the 193rd Infantry Brigade). This, to continue serving in the reserves at a backwater Army depot (viewed as a plum assignment used as reward for long service because it meant certain perks of Army life, remained).

    Point being, we traveled back to Panama twice a year. Of course, always on Pan Am (after an Eastern flight through Atlanta to Miami). Heck, I still remember my excitement as if it were yesterday when in 1971 we flew on the 747 for the first time! Travel with my uncle’s imprimatur on our tickets meant the stewardesses treated 11-y/o me like royalty.

    And for those unaware, the aircraft has a circular staircase to the upper deck, through which the crew access the flight deck. I was puffed with importance at being in 1A at the very front. Honestly, I felt like I was king of the world because I was even welcomed onto the flight deck itself where they let me sit in a jump seat for about 15 minutes. Small wonder model aviation followed and I use a Bonanza to this day for personal and business travel, eh?

    I maintain a fond part of my heart for the 747 to this day.

  18. Bosko

    I think Chapo is absolutely terrible now, but I listened a bit to this week’s episode. I am legitimately confused how people can pooh-pooh the Twitter/Hunter Biden stuff. Taibbi found that Twitter basically invented reasons to suppress references to the laptop, joining a constellation of forces that included the FBI, 100 former Intelligence Officers, and most of the corporate media (due to the claim that the story was ‘Russian Disinformation’). I hate the Republicans only slightly more than I hate the Democrats, but I think one can reasonably concede that the suppression of this story might have impacted the election. In the time since this happened, 1) the person in charge of this aspect of Twitter content moderation has gone on to work for the Biden admin’s ‘disinformation’ efforts, and 2) the corporate media has quietly admitted that the laptop story was true. And the background to the laptop story is that Hunter Biden was being paid a lot of money for a bunch of jobs that involved no work and for which he had absolutely no qualifications, in an extremely corrupt country that was obviously paying him solely for access to his Dad (I confess this is widely regarded as garden variety political corruption, among my fellow US citizens) and in which we are now dumping tens of billions of dollars of weaponry. The Chapos seemed to think the story was about dirty pictures and drug use, which is hardly the most important thing about the case. If Hunter Biden spent his money on perfectly legal plunder like condos and automobiles and private jets rather than drugs and prostitutes, the story is pretty much the same. It has nothing to do with drugs and prostitutes.

    1. Bsn

      Yes, this is spot on: “The Chapos seemed to think the story was about dirty pictures and drug use”. It’s a classic example of making the focus of a large subject small yet seemingly important. Then the debate gets focused on (in this example) seedy sex and drugs – great for headlines. After a while the readers (AKA the sheep) have their eyes off the ball. Pass the shiny, dangling object SVP.

    2. caucus99percenter

      Among the “Alt-Right” (for want of a better term), the term “redpilled” — a metaphor based, of course, on a pivotal scene in the movie The Matrix — means, roughly, “sensitized to right-wing populist concerns to the point that a person’s perceptions flip and the general gestalt we are promoting takes over.”

      By implication, the opposite would be “bluepilled.” As Morpheus tells Neo: You take the blue pill…the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

      And IMO, sure enough, “having taken the blue pill” does indeed seem to be an apt metaphor for what is wrong with Chapo and all Democrat brand loyalists and partisans at this point: they simply believe what they want to believe. Be it TDS, be it Russiagate, be it Ukraine victory and Zelensky worship; all facts to the contrary be damned!

  19. Tommy S

    I’ve watched most of Patrick Lancaster’s videos. This one is really good. Made me sad. There is such a commonality across the world, that financial interests, with war oligarchy states serve no one but the people up top.

  20. Carolinian

    That’s an amazing Asia Times story that says if the Chinese sieze Taiwan–Chinese territory according to US agreement–the US will destroy the Taiwan chip factories.

    “If China takes Taiwan and takes those factories intact – which I don’t think we would ever allow – they have a monopoly over chips the way OPEC has a monopoly, or even more than the way OPEC has a monopoly over oil,” O’Brien said.

    Should someone who is sane point out that

    –Doing a “Nordstream” to the factories would be an act of war that would get all our ships sunk anyway (unless they stay in San Diego)

    –And that destroying factories that are supposedly so vital to the world economy–just so the Chinese can’t have them–would be the same as if Chinese did have them and then denied us their output.

    Military “intelligence”–the ultimate oxymoron.

    1. cfraenkel

      Since when is ‘sane’ required for MIC thinking?
      But to play devil’s advocate, presumably the thinking is along the lines of

      – the smallest, fastest chips enable _________ (fill-in-the-blank magic full-spectrum-warfighting-cross-platform-powerpoint-superiority)

      – you can only make the magic chips with magic equipment made in the west. (semi-sorta true, that)

      – a factory is only a building containing equipment. we blow up the existing factory and build a new one. (more magic thinking)

      It’s economically nuts, but it’s the sort of $$ is no object thinking that passes for planning in DC.

    2. Kouros

      While all countries with NS in their reach (except Russia) have cooperated with the NS attack, I am not sure China and Taiwan will collaborate in the attempt to blow up TMSC…

  21. Wukchumni

    One of my parent’s friends was a Battle of the Bulge survivor. He lived to be 95 and was sharp and reasonably robust to the end. He died on a sunny day while gardening.
    I soaked with a Battle of the Bulge survivor @ Saline hot springs about 4 years ago and he was around 95 and still could walk without aid and as it so happens when you combine say 10 adults attired in the birthday suits in aqua caliente with no smartphones to hog the limelight, everybody talks to one another.

    I asked him in his 94 years what was the biggest change he’s seen?

    He pondered it for a minute and then said ‘Easy, everything is easy now compared to when I was young in every facet of life.”

    1. Raymond Sim

      The guy who catered our wedding was a friend of my wife’s family, a sweet mild-mannered man if ever there was one.

      Came to learn some years later that the armored reconnaisance unit he led as a US Army captain is the one that stopped the deepest German advance during the Battle of the Bulge, in a night battle in which the opposing forces encountered one another while traveling in opposite directions on parallel routes. He saw them first.

      1. annie

        my father commanded a tank battalion in the battle of the bulge. sadly for me and my siblings, he was not a ‘sweet mild-mannered man.’ but then, at ten, he’d lost both parents in a local flu epidemic–100 years ago this year–and clearly learned early to take charge of pain. about his parents’ deaths he only said, “i heard the grown-ups saying ‘they’re too young to understand.’ ” he never would talk about the war. guess he realized we’d never understand.

  22. nippersdad

    The triumphalist reportage on the Warnock race is pretty funny.

    “There could have been other campaign operatives or another campaign that could have said, ‘OK, Herschel Walker has all this baggage, so we’re just going to run to the left and just try to turn out as many of our voters and just let Republicans eat their own,’” Fulks added. “We didn’t do that.”

    Immediately followed by….

    “Fulks said one of the biggest challenges was to motivate voters to turn out on an unusual Dec. 6 Election Day.”

    ….Gee, Fulks, why do you think that was such a challenge?…..

    “We had to make our own energy organic,” he said”

    Oh, O.K. You had to spend twice as much as the brain damaged Texas carpet bagger (with a bus full of illegitimate kids and former lovers who hated him) in order to manage to buy some “organic energy” as you run against your own base in search of disaffected Republicans and still only manage to eke out a 2.8% win?

    “Democrats say, Walker’s defeat is a sign that Americans are rejecting Trumpism as the former president looks to regain the presidency.”

    Or maybe that your candidate just sucked? Nota Bene to the Democratic party: Maybe he would have done better had he just run as a Republican? Next time try and run a New Deal Democrat and then let’s see how you do.

    “…J.B. Poersch, the president of Democrats’ Senate Majority PAC, which says it spent $85.7 million in Georgia this year. “Voters in Georgia and across the country have sent a message loud and clear by firmly rejecting GOP extremism…”

    There are only ten million people in the state of Georgia. If the Democratic Senate Majority PAC, alone, had to spend nearly eighty six million dollars to drag Warnock’s carcass across the line, just imagine what they might be able to do were they to spend money on making people here more secure in their lives? Find a way to give them all nearly nine million dollars and then let’s see what that does for your voting margins, not to mention your campaign bills.

  23. flora

    re: Disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried has hired high-profile white collar defense attorney Mark S. Cohen – who most recently defended Ghislaine Maxwell at her sex trafficking trial – Daily Mail.

    Thanks for the link. Popcorn time.

    (An aside, and to go on too long on an obscure point, the pict of Sam in a brown t-shirt with something that looks like a lightbulb, you’ll notice the heart shape in the center is an un-closed heart. The bottom of the heart is left open on one side, unfinished. That’s a “tell” for a certain kind of trafficking. He thought no one would notice? Or the “right” sort of people would notice (for some definition of “right”)? I’ll stop now.)

    1. Darthbobber

      He seemed inclined to throw Ellison under the bus, but I suspect all that accomplished was to encourage her to talk to the Feds, if I read the sighting of her in New York correctly.

  24. KD

    Geopolitics is for Losers:

    Trying my best to be fair-minded, and then I hit:

    It is likely that the Russian security services were behind the assassination of Dugin’s daughter Darya after a festival called Tradition, and that they wanted to use the killing both to place the blame on Ukraine and to intimidate Darya’s father, who had been criticising Putin from a nationalist perspective.

    No evidence for the claim, of course, and on the order of “it is likely” that LBJ and the CIA killed Kennedy or “it is likely” to moon landing was faked. How is it okay for MSM rags just to make up conspiracy theories carte blanche?

    1. Daniil Adamov


      Furthermore, the entire article is feeble. I myself am extremely wary of invocations of “geopolitics”. In my experience, people who talk about geopolitics usually have very superficial ideas about the is and the ought based on looking at a map. Geography is obviously not irrelevant to politics, but it is unsafe to reduce politics to geography and ignore, say, personal and factional conflicts among elites, or the allegiances of the population – which, again in my experience, self-proclaimed adherents of geopolitics regularly do. However, this article merely conflates geopolitics with revanchism. There is an obvious overlap, but it is nevertheless an altogether different phenomenon.

      I would agree that “geopolitics” is at best a vague and muddled notion and at worst a mere buzzword, as the article charges. There is indeed plenty of confusion around the concept. Yet the article brings no real clarity to this confusion, nor lands any blows against the concept except for associating it with “losers”.

    2. cfraenkel

      So you’re saying that the claim is somewhere between “plausible, with no hard evidence either way” and “flat earth loony’?

      Not disagreeing that the MSM is parroting whatever they’re told to these days, but one of those examples doesn’t help your position.

      1. pjay

        Yes. I completely agree with KD’s main point, but regarding the examples, if I may draw on Sesame Street, “one of these things is not like the others.”

      2. KD

        I guess I am saying if you are promulgating a conspiracy theory, you ought to have 1 iota of evidence in support of it. Saying “it is likely” is very different from it is “plausible” and different from “possible”. It is possible the Russian security services whacked Dugin’s daughter. It is plausible, no. Russia has lots of hawkish critiques of the Kremlin’s SMO in mainstream sources, no reason to whack the daughter of an obscure academic with more name recognition in the West and is on the sanctions list over comments made about Ukraine. I would give this conspiracy theory, in the absence of further evidence, a level of plausibility somewhere between LBJ/CIA whacking Kennedy and the US faking the moon landing (which is possible if improbable), and closer to the latter.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          Admitting that would, however, make the “uncanny biographical parallels” seem even weaker.

    3. Polar Socialist

      He did not mention Mahan at all, or his influence. He did not mention A.E. Vandam (Edrikhin), a Russian writer way before Mackinder Heartland thing (he figured Russia must expand or wither, and she can only expand at the expense of the British Empire so Britain and Russia will always be enemies).

      Nor did he mention how a lot of the USA Cold War politics were based on Mackinder’s thinking. Heck, the current war in Ukraine is to an extent a result of this want to “control the Heartland”.

      It’s almost as if he started with a conclusion and then found the facts that support this.

  25. Wukchumni

    So far the young winter in the Sierra Nevada is nothing to complain about, a few feet of snow on the ground and a few more coming on the weekend.

    Giant Sequoias are at their most photogenic when there’s about 5 feet of snow on the ground, which covers up lesser bushes and the like, leaving them the masters of their own destiny, writ red.

    Take a 5 minute snowshoe walk with Sue, Sequoia hunter.

  26. playon

    “The report on FDA’s food regulatory agency was led by Jane Henney, former FDA commissioner, and conducted by the Reagan-Udall Foundation, which receives funding from the FDA, industry and private donations.”

  27. Mildred Montana

    >Yes, the Players in the World Cup Do Keep Falling Over for No Reason New York Times

    No soccer fan here (apologies, NC football fans) but I must say the continual flopping of the players restores my faith in The Resurrection.

    How’s that you say? Well, players writhing in agony after light contact, some of them comatose, some mortally wounded, yet back in the play a minute later. If a soccer player can resurrect himseIf in a minute then I’m sure Jesus could have done it in three days.

    1. fresno dan

      I have yet to see ANY Hollywood performance that is even just 1% of the drama of those lads who collapse, writhing in agony, apparently often due merely to the air currents of an opposing team member running by.

    2. Bob White

      >Yes, the Players in the World Cup Do Keep Falling Over for No Reason

      At first, I thought the story would be about heart attacks – but no way linked to COVID…

      After reading, it seems the story goes into the actual reasons why they do it – gain advantage, get a penalty called, etc. (misleading headline?)

      It also reminded me of one the reasons I stopped being a soccer referee…
      Over the years, the main focus became to determine if the foul was real or not, and/or to caution/eject a player for a foul, or a yellow card for feigning injury – a cautionable offense that is almost never punished. It became so common that it sucked all of the life out of the job.

      1. c_heale

        Having watched a lot of the matches I would say there has been a lot less diving rewarded in this World Cup. This is mainly due to VAR (Video Assisted Refereeing). I think this NYT article is just a space filler, because it is far from accurate.

  28. fresno dan

    The Russian oil price cap won’t work Philip Pilkington, Unherd (guurst)
    History will surely look back on the great European energy crisis of 2022-23 as one of the strangest historical phenomena on record. The Europeans have voluntarily destroyed their economies to impose sanctions on Russia that are having no real impact on their target. As the winter cold sets in, we would be well-advised to change course.
    Reminds me of the old saying: We will lose money on every sale, but make up for it on volume….

  29. Lex

    Re the MIT tech “China Initiative”,
    Since my wife works at an RII university as the director of sponsored research, I’ve gotten to hear a lot about this and the problems it causes. Federal compliance in research is just an absolute mess and it gets worse once any type of intellectual property or tech transfer is involved. Her previous job was the same field at the local university and when this stuff first came up with Huawei the university had a federally funded deal to expand wireless internet into rural areas. Of course all the gear was Chinese and the university administration’s “solution” to the problem was asking whether they could just put some stickers over the Chinese brand names on the equipment.

  30. Raymond Sim

    As a boy I lived on Wake Island from January 1968 to January 1969. As you might imagine Pearl Harbor Day was a big deal.

    The talk of time passing and memory fading made me realize that my time on Wake is now twice as far in the past as the Japanese attack on the island was when I lived there.

    1. Glen

      It is hard to convey to young people how heavy an influence WW2 was in our youth. When I was born, the war had only been over 12 years, and it shaped the world in ways profound and unseen.

      As a boy, I remember talking to my dad about being in the Sea Scouts. (Canadian Sea Scouts, he was born and raised on Vancouver Island.) We had just bought our first sailboat (a dinghy actually, an FJ), and I asked him if he learned to sail in the Sea Scouts. He laughed, and said yes, he did, but he really learned how to roll depth charges off the end of a corvette, and later that day showed me the pictures from that training. He was 14. He served in Korea with the US Army.

  31. nippersmom

    I commented on another site earlier today that, now that our government is funding Ukrainian Nazis, it is no longer deemed appropriate to commemorate WWII.

    Several of my uncles served in the Pacific theater, including one who survived the Bataan death march and three years in a Japanese POW camp. December 7th is still an important date for me.

  32. Karl

    RE: The B-21 Bomber is also a nuclear drone

    Brian Berletic (New Atlas) had an excellent video explaining why the B-21’s stealth capabilities are useless in light of advances in air defense. Such advances (and high cost/plane) preclude actually entering the airspace of the enemy (risking loss of the plane), thus rendering stealth pointless. For example, Israel now uses its stealthy F-35’s in “standoff” mode in Syria, i.e. it launches missiles well before it enters Syrian airspace. It’s basically too overdesigned and expensive to use for its intended mission. Berletic points out that in Afghanistan and elsewhere, the US used less expensive aircraft even in “standoff” missions. He points out that old B-52’s and old Russian Tupolevs are still being used for these missions, and it’s hard to see how these budget-busting next-generation stealth machines will provide any unique value-added.

    Well, he forgot to mention: Jobs and profits.

    1. digi_owl

      Aka, political pork. Same reason the new NASA rocket is 99% space shuttle, because it keeps those factories going the the south. Watch the launches to be just as troublesome, and perhaps lethal.

  33. C.O.

    For those who have been trying to make ongoing use of the Qwant search engine, this article may be of interest from

    France’s Mr. Privacy turns cybersnooper: How the disgraced co-founder of France’s answer to Google moved into the murky world of cybersurveillance.

    Here are a few intriguing quotes (it’s a long article with lots of tie in related ones linked):

    Then things began to unravel. In 2019, journalists at the French newspaper Le Figaro, including the author of this article, revealed the company was making big losses: €4.7 million in 2016 and €11.2 million in 2018. Company documents later viewed by a journalist also showed how the company relied on technologies from Microsoft’s Bing search engine, in contrast to Qwant’s claims of being a home-grown European digital powerhouse….

    Qwant has now racked up more than €80 million in cumulative losses and has more than €47 million in debt, according to a public official involved in the matter and documents seen by POLITICO. It made a loss of more than €9 million in 2021. Qwant did not respond to detailed questions about its operations and balance sheet but said its total revenues in 2021 came to less than €12 million….

    In its public presentations, Altrnativ is in line with the Leandri brand — promising privacy in an increasingly perilous digital world. “The idea is simply to take back control of surfing on the internet, (…) to bring tools that really protect [someone], be it about private life or business confidentiality,” is how Leandri explained it in a 2020 interview.

    But while Altrnativ does provide services intended to protect private data, it also offers to obtain personal information for its clients….

Comments are closed.