Links 5/10/2023

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Frogs in Puerto Rico croak at a higher pitch due to global heating Guardian (resilc)

Fans pass out, throw up amid Taylor Swift’s Nashville concert delay PageSix (resilc)

UFO Hunters Built an Open-Source AI System To Scan the Skies Vice

Cory Doctorow Explains Why Big Tech Is Making the Internet Terrible Jacobin (Kevin W)

First UK baby with DNA from three people born after new IVF procedure Guardian (Kevin W)

Major Psychologists’ Group Warns of Social Media’s Potential Harm To Kids NPR. A little late now….

The Italian Job: Lucretius in the Renaissance Antigone (Anthony L)

From the Cynics’ self-sufficiency to an ecology of wanking aeon (Chuck L)


Dr. Sanjay Gupta: The Covid-19 emergency is ending. It’s time for the patient to leave the hospital CNN (ma)

The west’s handling of the pandemic beat its own expectations Financial Times (KLG)


Smoke From Alberta Wildfires Spreads Across Wider Canada & US Skies Sputnik (Kevin W)

Why large parts of Mongolia are affected by desertification Bangkok Post (furzy)

‘Mind-boggling’ methane emissions from Turkmenistan revealed Guardian


Taiwan Will Defend TSMC From US Bombing in the Event of a China War Tom’s Hardware

UK’s Liz Truss heads to Taiwan after string of hawkish China speeches Politico (Kevin W)

China, Canada expel each other’s diplomats Asia Times (Kevin W)

Turkey at a Crossroads: Erdoğan Faces a Real Risk of Losing Election Der Spiegel (resilc)

New Not-So-Cold War

Victory Parade on Red Square President of Russia. A short and pointed speech.

“Those Who Do Not Learn History Are Doomed to Repeat It” Larry Johnson


Troubled Pakistan Arrests Former PM Imran Khan Moon of Alabama

Imperial Collapse Watch

Fourth Industrial Revolution slow to start in America Asia Times (Kevin W)

Exorbitant, not much longer Wolfgang Munchau. Tom F, no fan of US hegemony, nots: “But I draw the opposite point: Look how hard and long the way is.”

Getting the defense budget right: A (real) grand total, over $1.4 trillion Responsible Statescraft (Kevin W)

Youth Delegation to Cuba Detained on Return to US Consortium News (Chuck L). From last week. Not the look of a confident country.


Trump’s 2024 bid faces fresh uncertainty after E. Jean Carroll verdict The Hill

The political fallout from Trump’s sexual abuse verdict BBC

Trump’s Truth Social Posts Cost Him $3 Million in E Jean Carroll Trial Gizmodo


Rerunning Biden’s Blunderland CounterPunch. Resilc: “A brain dead Reagan, mixed with a Feinstein/Ginsberg ego and inability to step aside.”

GOP Clown Car

GOP megadonor rebuffs Senate panel request for full accounting of Clarence Thomas gifts The Hill

Florida is about to find out how quickly it’s economy plummets after all undocumented immigrants leave their workplace. Instagram

DeSantis bans Chinese citizens from buying land in Florida The Week. Resilc: “I consider it a service to Chinese NOT to buy land there.”

‘Tyranny’ of anti-China state bills makes it even hard to reverse China-US ties Global Times

‘Really weak option’: Wall Street sours on DeSantis as Trump challenger POLITICO

AP sources: US Rep. George Santos facing federal charges Yahoo! News (Kevin W)

Our No Longer Free Press

Elon Musk reveals Tucker Carlson has NOT signed a deal with Twitter as he welcomes his new show to the platform… while ex-Fox News host accuses Rupert Murdoch of ‘breaking promises’ and the media giant of fraud and breach of contract Daily Mail

Scoop: Tucker Carlson accuses Fox of fraud, contract breach Axios (Li)


Pearson Taking Legal Action Over Use of Its Content To Train Language Models The Standard. I was waiting for this to happen.

The Metaverse, Zuckerberg’s tech obession, is officially dead. ChatGPT killed it. Business Insider (Kevin W)

But Meta is still pumping air into that saggy balloon: Metaverse Could Contribute Up To 2.4% of US GDP By 2035, Study Shows Reuters

AI Wrote 95 Percent of This Murder Mystery Wired (Dr. Kevin)

Amazon Is Being Flooded with Books Written Entirely by AI Futurism (Paul R)

Spotify Ejects Thousands of AI-made Songs in Purge of Fake Streams arstechnica

A 23-year-old Snapchat influencer used OpenAI’s technology to create an A.I. version of herself that will be your girlfriend for $1 per minute Fortune (Kevin W)

Why AI Will Never Rival Human Creativity Persuasion (Anthony L)

Saving Lives and Making a Killing New York Review of Books. KLG: “Paywalled but key quote from the book that illustrates the evil that kills:

For financial investors, the beauty of the drug…was that even though the drug worked, it didn’t work too well. Ibrutinib was not a magic bullet cure. The cancer was never fully cleared from the blood and rarely went away completely…. Patients would need to take a pill once a day, every day, for a long time—years….

The analysts [at banks and hedge funds] took the relatively large number of CLL patients and multiplied it by the sky-high price that similar cancer drugs commanded in the market. Then they tried to estimate how long those patients would continue taking the drug. The analysts figured the drug could generate billions of dollars.

Debt Ceiling

Biden says he’s considering 14th Amendment as debt ceiling option The Hill

The Bezzle

SBF Asks Court To Dismiss Most Criminal Charges Against Him Axios. Too funny.

The housing slump is expanding quickly with home price declines the most widespread in 11 years Business Insider. But….69% of markets showing YoY increases.

Guillotine Watch

Class Warfare

Corporate Giants Buy Up Primary Care Practices at Rapid Pace New York Times

America Has Decided That Homeless People Aren’t People Vice

Antidote du jour:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. griffen

    SBF, the modern day Andy Dufresne? “I am innocent of this crime sir.” \sarc

    Nice try there, bud, now pull the other leg. You might actually be safer from harm, living on house arrest in Palo Alto and eating vegan peanut butter by the spoonful.

    1. Wukchumni

      Throwing the book @ SBF would accomplish little, as he boasted about never reading any-and it would just sit there, forlorn.

        1. Insouciant Iowan

          An old joke about W’s presidential library uses a similar line.
          Remember, Neocons have but one crayon.

      1. Gregorio

        He’d probably garner more sympathy if he could get pregnant like Elizabeth Holmes.

    2. Wukchumni

      Crypto money, get away
      Get a Nassau job with more pay and you’re O.K.
      Crypto money, it’s a gas
      Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash
      New funds for an altruistic daydream
      Think I’ll buy me a political team

      Crypto money, get back
      I’m all right, Jack, keep your hands off of my stack
      Crypto money, it’s a hit
      Don’t give me that do goody good bullshit
      I’m in the high-speed trading set
      And I think I need a reset

      Crypto money, it’s a crime
      Share it fairly but don’t take a slice of my pie
      Crypto money, so they say
      Is the root of all evil today
      But if you ask for yours back it’s no surprise that they’re giving none away

      Money, by Pink Floyd

    1. Wukchumni

      Its getting interesting as My Kevin (since ’07) really has nothing to lose should he decide to stand his ground. If he waivers whatsoever the plowers that be will bury him by voting him off his dais job.

      The only introduced legislation Kev has pulled off in 16 years in office is the renaming of 3 post offices in Bakersfield and a Dam on the Tule River.

      Keep in mind we’re arguing over the amount of money to go further into arrears, the tableau must look awfully strange to the Coalition of the Unwilling, the odd ensemble of #79 aficionados who are mostly creditor nations in the guise of ‘The Five Nines*’ Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China & India.

      * Five Nines Fine = 99.999% pure

      1. Charger01

        How many failed votes before he was finally crowned speaker of the house?

        My Kevin is just another warm body for the role, at least a blowhard like Paul Ryan could capture a small portion of the Tea/Freedom caucus to do his evil bidding.

      1. Old Jake

        Looks like just you – by the way, there’s a web site “https ://” that can help answer that question. A lot depends on the ISP and also the name servers you are using. I’m on “astound” internet, used to be named wave, no alternatives where I’m located. For DNS – and this is just as important – I tend to use, which is run by Google and has been reliable for me for many years now. For some reason they seem to have good data regardless of politics.

    1. Pat

      I think it is something that bears repeating. Not just for our modern day Louis, but for the rabble.

      I would love for versions with all of the prominent political names, most of the Supreme Court plus a Bill Gates, a Jamie Dimon, Zuckerberg and yes Warren Buffet version too.

      It might not really remind or even say that the above that they are not untouchable, but it could remind some of the rabble that protest isn’t always futile even today.

    2. Mildred Montana

      The guillotine, in French revolutionary times, was mordantly dubbed by the populace “The National Razor”.* If America used one today or ever does it would probably be sponsored by Gillette and emblazoned with its logo.

      *Those rascally revolutionaries had an even better euphemism: Catholic clergy who refused to swear an oath of allegiance to the new Republic were bound in boats, rowed out into the Loire River, and sunk. These were called “vertical deportations”.

  2. zagonostra

    >America Has Decided That Homeless People Aren’t People – Vice

    “America” has decided nothing. It didn’t decide that sending billions of dollars for war on the other side of the globe is in its best interest. America hasn’t decided that seeing a doctor or providing a college education for your children will bankrupt you. And, it is not “America” who decided that Joe Biden would be the president.

    Life is “nasty, brutish, and short” and nature “red in tooth and claw” in America if you don’t have sufficient money to protect yourself both from nature and the violent and desperate. That you can see the mentally ill, homeless, hunger, and sick in most large cities, and even small and rural, acts as an enforcement mechanism that keeps the rest of the population in check. A rounding error in that $1.4T military budget would be enough to save many from a life of squalor and destitution. But, that would not serve the owners of the country, as George Carlin long ago pointed out.

    America has decided nothing, the homeless are people but “America” is not a person that has the capacity/agency to act (using “act” as treated in philosophy).

    1. Boomheist

      My prediction on this issue is grim – I fear that the tides will turn more and more to a solution that forcibly removes the homeless to tent cities out in the boonies, far from the urban core and far, too, from suburban enclaves, tent cities established where the mentally ill can be treated, where the addicted can find replacement drugs or treatment, and when the residents will remain unless and until they get clean, find a job, or go full time to an institution. If you carefully listen to what mayors and others are saying, this option becomes the only tenable option, the only solution that will quiet the rage and discomfort of the housed and the local businesses. Savage, many will say, and savage this is, but my sense is that this will become the solution (reluctantly) adopted that will at a stroke a) make cities free of tent cities and internal disorder; b)quiet the rage and disgust of the housed; c) enable the authors of this program to claim this solution offers hope, cleanliness, and safety to an otherwise desperate population. Basically, you get moved to a camp unless you get clean for, say, a year; find a job and a place to live in a city; and get cured of your mental illness. For those who cannot get clean, or are mentally ill, this will become their life.

      We are not there, yet, but this is where we are going, I feel. And when we get there, there will be general, overall public support from all sides.

      This is what an exceptional nation does when the exceptional aspect is savagry.

      1. Lex

        The solution being concentration camps sounds just about right for late imperial US politics. Perhaps the people at these camps can perform labor that benefits the state while they’re getting their life together. It’s been rumored that labor makes us free.

        1. Wukchumni

          There was a stark contrast in approaches to the homeless in the Great Depression in the USA & Canada.

          The CCC was the most popular of all FDR’s programs, as it gave men (there was 1 women’s CCC camp, that’s it) purpose and taught them useful skills in a somewhat military style (the officers wore military uniforms, while the young charges were in work clothes) boot camp of a different flavor as they tackled everything you could imagine in building useful projects that benefited the public and one of their main jobs in the summer was firefighting.

          Each man was paid $30 a month, $25 of which went back to his family, and their room and board was paid and the camps were often far from stores, so it didn’t matter. From what i’ve read of what they ate, they were eating better than much of populace.

          Conversely up over, they had what were called ‘Relief Camps’ and you got $6 a month, shitty food and sometimes the digging of holes only to fill them up again, lotsa make-work stuff.

          It was a way for Canada to rid the cities of jobless single men, and it led to the Regina Riot which was spearheaded by 1,500 disgruntled Relief Camp men marching to Ottawa.

          We had nothing like that whatsoever in the CCC.

          1. Carolinian

            Many of those CCC charges–especially in areas where it thrived like my Appalachians–were farm boys who were used to hard manual labor. It’s difficult to see how such a solution might repeat–even assuming the government had much interest in building more parks and monuments.

            Since we seem to be rolling back the clock to the 19th century rather than the 20th perhaps a Victorian solution like work houses are the next step. They could pick oakum.

            1. digi_owl

              Victorian solutions are likely where things will head.

              Like say filling a disused warehouse with sleeping pods, much like them back in the day rented out wooden squares no larger than a coffin to sleep in.

            2. chris

              I think there are a lot of people who would like to have an option where they could do good, useful work while learning something. I think there are a lot of men who would appreciate working outdoors and doing physical labor that doesn’t require them to shoot a brown person. I think there is a lot of work that could be done in the US right now. I wish we would consider something like the CCC again.

            3. begob

              Crushing bones for fertilizer was a plum job in the workhouse, but they put a stop to that when one of the perks came to light – the underfed inmates were gorging themselves on marrow.

        2. TimH

          Reminds me of the Nic Cage film, The Humanity Bureau. If the camps for the homeless are called New Eden…

        3. Kouros

          What is wrong with the good old British Workhouses, which have served for so long and so well the British Oligarchy?

        4. Kouros

          What is wrong with the good old British Workhouses, which have served for so long and so well the British Oligarchy?

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        Well, they’re going to have to do something to clear the sidewalks for the 10,000 per day “asylum seekers” who will be rushing the border starting tomorrow and needing a welcoming place to lay their heads while they await their dayzzzz in court a decade or so from now.

      3. Michaelmas

        Boomheist: I fear that the tides will turn more and more to a solution that forcibly removes the homeless to tent cities out in the boonies, far from the urban core and far, too, from suburban enclaves.

        One practical obstacle to that solution is that in many US urban centers the homeless include the working homeless — sometimes with two jobs, even — who cannot afford the eye-watering rents in those centers.

        So if you go down to the Oakland waterfront in the SF Bay Area, for example, many of the people sleeping in their vehicles there are working homeless. Should those working homeless be forced out of the area, that might seriously impact the area’s street-level economy and businesses.

        But yes, for “those who cannot get clean, or are mentally ill,” what you are proposing may come to pass. The streets of San Francisco were looking fairly awful the last time I was there, so it’s unclear if that might not be for the best, relatively speaking, for all concerned. Or look at this in Pliladelphia —

      4. JBird4049

        I assume that many cities, like San Francisco, have increasing numbers of vacant stores with an economy increasingly weak or centered on finance, tech, and the like, a fair amount of disappeared or hidden, which would likely still not be enough for all of the homeless and an increasing number of them as well; the solution, according to some, is to deport all these people to the hinterlands, which will do nothing about the actual causes of the one million people who are homeless at any one time, nor the ginormous numbers couch surfing or living in cars, vans, and RVs. Of course, a percentage of these housing challenged people are employed, and from what I can find, in some areas over twenty percent of the homeless are employed.

        Just like with guns, drugs, mental illness, and poverty, they want to do the easy thing, sometimes more profitable one as well, of blaming evil, stupidity, and laziness followed by shoving the problem people either into prisons or into the countryside.

        Notice that many of the employed are homeless? What would happen if they were disposed of for the crime of being too poor for our overpriced housing, and our blessed elites kept up with their stealth importation of all those desperately poor illegal aliens (whose countries’ our government has been economically destroying and overthrowing their governments for at least a century, but we don’t talk about that) as replacements with the return of child labor as well?

        I can see some unrest happening and not the pathetic protests with signs with some police agitators trying to stir it up. There might not be much of a need for those agitators especially as the police tend to crack down on everyone else at the same time.

    2. griffen

      On recent weekend afternoons, one TV channel has been running a few older movies from Arnold Schwarzenegger like Conan and such. The Running Man would provide a quite familiar context for what the article describes. Contestants for this live channel experience are chosen among the decrepit and derelict, such as the accused prisoner that Arnold portrays. These captives are thrust into a gauntlet while millions watch.

      I’ve often had an attraction to Science Fiction films in stark settings, such as the Alien film series, where the evil Weyland corporation seemingly lurks around every corner to capture their newest victims. Yeah, and the large alien / parasites are scary too!

  3. griffen

    Biden blundering and doddering into the 2024 campaign. As the line goes in rock songs, let’s do this one more time with feeling! How great a job is he doing as our 46th President? Let’s count the wins.

    Proxy war against Russia, via Ukraine. Oops, not a win.
    Inflation rages at 40 year highs. Granted it has been trending lower. Oops, not a win.
    Union workers for the railroads deserted at 11th hour. Nice support, pro Union president. Not a win.
    Eggs are cheap(er) again. Finally, I thought of a win.

    1. Carla

      Eggs are not cheaper than they were under Trump.

      And it’s amusing Joe said in an article linked here yesterday that he supports the Hollywood writers’ strike after he shafted railroad workers. Putz.

      1. Pat

        Carla, he only supported the train workers when he thought it was all for show. Same here. If you really read his statement you can see it for the double speak it is. Settling isn’t just for or even usually for bosses, and Joe has a long history of requiring the workers to knuckle under.

        If there was some urgent reason Hollywood (and the various other states that have film production) needed to get back in production I have no doubts that Joe would happily help push through a producer approved contract that had small but inadequate wage increases but also allowed the writers to be replaced by AI. Oh and the squad would vote for it.

      2. Charger01

        Gasoline and diesel as well, I marked the increase from 3.50ish in Eastern WA to 4.15+ for 87 grade after the Ukie/Russo conflict kicked off.

        1. Wukchumni

          Riddle me this Batman…

          When go-juice was $130’ish a barrel* 15 years ago I was paying $5 a gallon, and now its about $70 a barrel and i’m still paying $5 a gallon.

          * Full disclosure: i’ve never actually bought a barrel of oil.

    2. notabanker

      Biden eggs are not cheaper than Trump eggs. Or is it Putin eggs? I’m so confused.

      1. Brunches with Cats

        > What could go wrong?
        It could fail miserably and accidentally produce a cure for all future viral infections.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          That cure would be drowned in the bathtub before it did any financial harm

    3. Carolinian

      Interesting that his poll numbers seem to have fallen off a cliff after he announced he was running again. Here’s suspecting they are going to fall even further until the Dems accept reality.

      1. tegnost

        At the home improvement store this am I noticed the employees are increasing mask usage, not ubiquitous, but more than half and I wonder what they know that I don’t, sick coworkers maybe? This led me to wonder what impact a likely covid surge will have on dems popularity now that all the testing etc… are over.
        “Trust the science” has transited from good advice to sarcasm.

    4. chris

      I guess you could say he’s not Trump. After all, Mr. Trump has now been found responsible in a civil matter for unwanted sexual contact, but Mr. Biden remains aloof from all claims against his own conduct and for his responsibility in dismissing Anita Hill’s claim against Clarence Thomas.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Youth Delegation to Cuba Detained on Return to US”

    ‘From last week. Not the look of a confident country.’

    Neither is this-

    ‘The US government intimidated several WWII veterans who wanted to fly to Moscow for the Victory Day parade, Russian ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov claimed on Monday.

    US officials have blocked US veterans from reuniting with their Russian comrades in arms for the second year in a row, Antonov announced, even threatening to cancel their passports if they flew to Russia.’

    These vets would have to be in their 90s and any one of them would be worth more than Antony Blinken and his fellow neocons.

    1. jhallc

      In my book they hould have flown them over in Air Force 1. As Lambert says… “we live in such a stupid timeline”.

    2. Cetra Ess

      On the positive side, 150 young ones now have first hand, direct, lived experience of arbitrary power, unwarranted force, injustice, and what is fundamentally wrong with the state. Thank you US Customs for continuing to recruit to the cause.

  5. Steve H.

    > ‘Mind-boggling’ methane emissions from Turkmenistan revealed Guardian

    I occasionally look at the Barrow (Alaska) NOAA site, and there’s an uh-oh on the chart. To 2021 the methane high is about 2000 (nmol/mol), with a blip about 2050 in 2018, an El Nino year. There’s a blip in 2021 at 2200, which makes the curve look flatter because they had to expand the chart for the data point. And there are many samples at the level of the 2018 blip waiting to be confirmed.

    The url is below, just change the parameter to CH4 and press ‘submit’.

    1. Nikkikat

      Cattle dog picture very enjoyable. I had one of these dogs. Extremely smart. She could almost talk. Good guard dog as well. Alas they need a job, had to keep her busy all the time or she was bored and unhappy.

      1. ambrit

        Teach her how to sniff out “disinformation” and she will have a ‘job for life’ at Homeland Security. (All the overtime she can handle too.)

  6. doug

    The local news showed a clip from the Tucker Carlson video. They had it fuzzed up, like it was very low definition or something. Highschool grade antics.

    1. ambrit

      Typical. All the evidence says that our ruling Elites think that they are still in High School. Fools all.

      1. Wukchumni

        Being a mischievous 12 year old boy trapped in a 61 year old man’s body, I can relate.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Me too if you add 8 years for my old body. It’s too bad they don’t have a surgery or a pill to remedy that, huh? Then again, maybe not.

        2. WhoaMolly

          “Inside every 80 year old man there’s a 16 year old boy saying ‘What just happened?’.”

          Certainly true for me.

      2. tegnost

        A twist on the old saw that if you have a question ask a teenager…
        They know everything…

    2. The Rev Kev

      They must have used the same sort of filter that they use for filming UFOs. They can read a newspaper from space but normally modern footage of a UFO looks like that it was filmed using 60s tech.

  7. DJG, Reality Czar

    Lucretius in the Renaissance. I am highly skeptical of a scholar who asserts this:

    “Where Plato was quickly and decisively adopted by the Florentine power elite as the presiding pagan intellectual, Lucretius was at most a curiosity.”

    Well, fancy that. Plato the political conservative was accepted whereas Epicurean Lucretius, who would have advocated Epicurean self-control and Epicurean skepticism of power, was not.

    Further, the whole essay is focused on Florence, as if Florence was the only center of the Renaissance in Italy. Tell that to the Venetians.

    Further, Poggio was in the service of the pope and lived in Roma more or less from 1403 to 1427. Yet Roma isn’t even mentioned.

    And some strange carping: “Lucretius, though, wasn’t printed in book form until 1473 (at Brescia). The second edition of De rerum natura came 13 years later (in Verona); the third, nine years after that (in Venice).”

    Hell, the first printing press in Italy, at the convent of Benedictines at Subiaco, started up in 1464. Three printings in twenty-five years? That’s a successs, Slattery notwithstanding.

    I find it strange that writer Slattery makes a point that Lucretius doesn’t use the Greek word atomos / atomi. Does he forget that Lucretius himself mentions that Latin doesn’t have the vocabulary and that he was making new words? In fact, Natura is a neologism in Latin to translate the Greek Phusis.

    So I’m not clear on the purpose of the hatchet job. Are we in an anti-Greenblatt phase?

    Decide for yourself: I recommend the translation by A.E. Stallings. She uses sprightly twelvers and rime–not exactly Lucretius’s style but a way to capture his experiment and daring.

    1. zagonostra

      I’m not sure I would call “Natura” a neologism, I like “borrowed,” as suggested below. I always associated the etymology of the word with “birth.”

      I remember reading Greenblatt’s “The Swerve” a couple years ago, curious if it was mentioned in the article.

      The word nature is borrowed from the Old French nature and is derived from the Latin word natura, or “essential qualities, innate disposition”, and in ancient times, literally meant “birth”.[2] In ancient philosophy, natura is mostly used as the Latin translation of the Greek word physis (φύσις), which originally related to the intrinsic characteristics of plants, animals, and other features of the world to develop of their own accord.[3][4] The concept of nature as a whole, the physical universe, is one of several expansions of the original notion;[1]

    2. Alice X

      I read Greenblatt’s The Swerve and I must confess that I came away with the notion that the rediscovery of Lucretius had indeed turned the world modern.

      I found Slattery’s piece interesting and I may look into his book Reclaiming Epircurus.
      I also need to look into Diogenes Laërtius. I wouldn’t characterize the Slattery piece as a hatchet job and I’m glad to have encountered it.

  8. mrsyk

    “‘Mind-boggling’ methane emissions from Turkmenistan revealed”, the lede, “Leaks of potent greenhouse gas could be easily fixed, say experts, and would rapidly reduce global heating”. Today we get to blame Turkmenistan for our climate woes. Seriously, anything but advocating radical reduction of energy consumption is a hand wave and whispered promise.

    1. diptherio

      They are standard ranch doorbells out here. Pull up to any house with livestock nearby and odds are good one or two of these guys are going to come out and make a racket. And I can answer the question posed by your link without even clicking on it – they can only be family dogs if your family happens to live on several acres of land, preferably with some livestock to keep them occupied. I worked for awhile on a place with cows, sheep, goats, and a Red Heeler (among other critters). The dog was hyper as heck and yippy as all get out, but she had the most amazing instinct for herding. She hadn’t been formally trained at all, but nonetheless made moving animals from one pasture to another an absolute breeze.

    1. Quentin

      Whenever I want to read something on RT I’m reminded that the schoolmarm Ursula van der Leyen and company have officially forbidden such evil subversive behaviour in their inner European sanctum. I live in the Netherlands where RT and anything Russian is a no no. One of yesterday’s morning papers in Amsterdam (9 May, Regiment of the Immortals) headlined that Russia was staging a big demonstration in Red Square to paper over the country’s desperate weakness and failure. European values: censorship.

      1. Futility

        Same here in Germany. RT blocked. And I thought only authoritarian governments like China use censorship.

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘🇸🇾🇹🇷🇷🇺🇮🇷 A meeting of the foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia, Iran, and Syria on Syria has started in Moscow. Lavrov noted that the launch of the process of normalization of Turkish-Syrian relations has a positive impact on the situation in the region and Middle East as a whole.’

    The Biden White House totally flipped out about Syria coming back into the pack. The day after the Arab League welcomed back Syria, old Joe signed a new one-year extension for the 2004 George Bush Executive Order declaring Syria to be “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.” The White house said that Syria does not deserve to be taken back nor does it want that country to be rebuilt-

    But it’s just not old Joe. Reps. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY) said that Syria should not have been let back in and wants old Joe to inflict more sanctions on Syria to punish them for winning the war. They don’t actually say that but when you look at the world in terms of a zero-sum game, because Syria won then the US must have lost-

  10. t

    “high levels of immunity in the population.” How was this determined? I’d probably feel better if “they” just said let’s stop spending money.
    Too lazy to figure out what conveluted math Gupta used to get an = sign between flu and Covid deaths. Ignore pediatrics and black and Hispanic men, maybe?

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Prolly the same “conveluted” math that he used a year or so ago to conclude that there were ZERO flu deaths and ALL were covid.

  11. Lex

    WWII wasn’t “Russia” it was the USSR, though it’s true that Russia lost the most of any soviet Republic both in terms of military and civilian casualties. Both Ukraine and Belarus lost significantly more in civilian casualties than military. Of course Russia had a much larger population than any other republic. IIRC, its percent of population lost was near the average for the USSR as a whole but not the highest of all republics. Of course that number and civilian losses are tightly tied to where the bulk of hostilities took place. Belarus and Ukraine were both traversed at least twice in full.

    The point of the tweet remains. And the trajectory of US propaganda over time is telling, culminating yesterday with the WH press secretary saying that victory in Europe was accomplished by “the US and its allies”. More Georgian, Uzbek, Azerbaijani, Belorussian, Kazakh, Russian and Ukrainian military died in WWII than the US lost in Europe and N. Africa. (roughly)

    1. Mildred Montana

      Not to slight the US contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany at all, but one need only remember that it was the USSR which reached Berlin first after fighting through the strongest resistance.

      The Germans, when push came to shove, didn’t care much about the western European nations the US was liberating. They were reserving their energies and cruelties for the “Slavs” of eastern Europe (including the Russians), “untermenschen” who were occupying their “lebensraum”. They fought to the very end to preserve it and cover their crimes, at the cost of tens of millions of lives, including those of Russian soldiers. Hundreds of thousands of them perished in battle or in German POW camps.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        IIRC somewhere between 80 and 90% of German combat deaths were inflicted on the eastern front. The exact number is unknown because Germany’s famously meticulous record keeping broke down in the final weeks of the war.

    2. Stephen

      I saw various tweets that show tables of how much equipment the US (and the U.K.) supplied the USSR. Absolute numbers always look huge. Subtext is to try to say that the US won the war for the Soviets.

      But they never show total equipment levels produced by the Soviets so as to put things in context. For example, the USSR produced over 100.000 tanks of all types in the war. It seems that around 13,000 were additionally supplied by Lend Lease. A headline figure of just over 10% (and arguably inferior tanks) is not so compelling. Perhaps trucks were a more proportionately strong US contribution but it is clear that many people really do swallow our western propaganda unquestioningly.

      This is before getting into relative sizes of armies, material supplied by the USSR in the opposite direction, relative casualties incurred and so forth. You even see comments such as the Battle of Kursk only being won because of the very small scale invasion of Sicily by the Anglo Americans. The people who write this stuff are deadly earnest too in their beliefs.

      1. Kouros

        The US also never mentions the USSR contribution to the defeat of Japanese, i.e. the destruction of the Manchurian Army, which really focused the minds of the Japanese, more than the two atomic bombs (they have seen entire cities turned to utter ruin before)…

      1. Stephen

        It is very short.

        The historiography of that era needs a lot of context. For example, few people know that Poland signed a Non Aggression Pact with Hitler in 1934 and that the Polish regime was an authoritarian anti semitic state which participated in the carve up of Czechoslovakia. Nor that Britain signed the May 1939 guarantee to Poland with the express intent of stopping Poland settling the Danzig question with Hitler. Revisionist historians argue that Britain expressly wanted a war with Germany after Munich had unravelled and there was hope in some quarters that the USSR might even do the fighting for them. Molotov Ribbentrop was Stalin avoiding that scenario, albeit temporarily. In the absence of Soviet involvement, Britain had hoped too that a blockade would starve Germany into defeat. Molotov Ribbentrop put pains to that too.

        Churchill even made a BBC broadcast in Oct 1939 where he said that the USSR had entered Poland for its own protection. This had a ring of truth, of course. Britain had applied her guarantee to Poland against Germany only, allowing for the possibility of an alliance with the USSR in future. Hitler had even desired alliance with Poland if he could settle Danzig so that they would support his planned invasion of the USSR. The war that he always desired and which would likely have happened earlier than 1941.

        Lots more complexity beyond all this too and questionable morality on all sides. For example, the neutral Swedes allowed German troops to cross their territory to mount Operation Barbarossa. But western history rarely mentions that too……nor how multi national the invasion was.

        1. Daniil Adamov

          Agreed, no one had clean hands.

          Another thing to remember is that both Mussolini and Stalin took turns trying to ally with Britain and France against Hitler. When it became clear that the democracies weren’t interested (were not agreement-capable, perhaps), Mussolini ended up allying with Hitler and letting him take Austria, while Stalin reached a temporary accommodation with him over Eastern Europe. Many Western politicians really did want Hitler to fight Stalin first; Stalin, in turn, wanted him to fight them first, which seems only fair under the circumstances if small consolation to European civilians caught in the middle of this game.

          1. Stephen

            Right. Hitler always admired Mussolini but the sentiment was not reciprocated. The Stresa Front broke down though and Mussolini then threw his hand in with Hitler, reluctantly it seems.

            Agree with your take on Stalin. Easy for an island such as in the U.K. to push for continental war. The last land battle on our territory was Culloden in 1746, which was really a civil war battle and even very small scale by continental standards.

            Britain and America are behaving in the same reckless way today. Stalin knew that the USSR would be 100% committed to any war in a way that Britain might be able to avoid. For similar reasons, France was markedly more reluctant than Britain in 1939 and was really pushed along.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Those Who Do Not Learn History Are Doomed to Repeat It”

    The Russians certainly remember Victory Day because of the high blood price that they paid but it seems that Europe’s leadership wants to erase it altogether. There is a holiday called Europe Day that years ago was celebrated on May 5th but more and more EU countries are shifting it to May 9th which is of course Victory Day for many countries. The Ukraine has just done it. This way it obliterates the memory of the Nazi defeat and I note that in several European countries scores of people were arrested for celebrating or remembering this day. Even wearing a black and orange ribbon could get you arrested in some EU countries because European values, dontcha know. More and more, the EU is starting to resemble the Ukraine with its values.

    1. JW

      If the EU is starting to resemble Ukraine, where does that place the UK? Or perhaps I should have said ‘when’

  13. Wukchumni

    Smoke From Alberta Wildfires Spreads Across Wider Canada & US Skies Sputnik
    When the relentless rains finally subsided oh how the grasses grew around these parts and everything is late, and i’m hesitant to do much weed whacking yet for greenery still predominates, typically I would have started doing it last month.

    All the annuals here die back with their roots on, and we’re gonna have high & dry flammables come the fall.

  14. Quentin

    I stumbled on the Republican news conference on C-Span about the financial investigation of the President and his circle/family. What struck me was the commitee’s inability to answer the question of what Biden and company’s business, activity actually were to warrant their receipt[ of formidable amounts of money from apparently foreign sources. It is curious that Biden and company don’t seem to have what a simpleton like me would call a business. But don’t listen to me, I don’t even know what an LLC is in fact.

  15. Mikel

    “SBF Asks Court To Dismiss Most Criminal Charges Against Him” Axios

    Speaking of crypto rip-offs, I think the next thing that is going to pop up on the radar in a big way are the crypto and money recovery scams.
    I looked at a youtube video from a guy tracking the state of trapped money on a platform called “Hyperverse.”

    In the comments section were many replies generated to the cocerned viewers that posted. The replies looked like possibly auto-generated testimonials of someone claiming some company has helped them recover funds.
    These alleged collectors they raved about had names as bizarre as some of the crypto coins or platforms.

  16. Mikel

    Not surprised about the auto generated books and music.
    It had long been a problem in music because so many digital tools that musicians and producers have been using are audio modeling devices.
    The amplifier modeling devices and auto-tune are examples.
    The overprocessed music is already cold enough for the technology to mimic best of all.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Well, there’s a pretty big difference between amp modeling or pitch correction and AI generated music. The former are just tools that shape what you’ve created while the later is doing the creation itself. One can argue about the proper use or over use of such things, but Auto-Tune doesn’t do the singing for you.

      1. Mildred Montana

        >”AI…is doing the creation itself.”

        AI creation? Okay, let’s see if I can understand this is simple terms. As far as I know AI simply scours the net and then regurgitates some form of what has gone before. Am I right? If so, where’s the originality, the creativity, the genius, the mold-breaking in that?

        A thought experiment for everyone: Could AI possibly have “created” the Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s” album? It was such a radical departure from their previous music that I can only see it searching in vain for exemplars to copy, only to come up with another version of “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”.

        1. nvt

          AI could easily have created Sergeant Pepper. A creator would ask it to create songs that are in the Beatle’s ranges and musical capabilities, with several creative inputs. Those inputs could include musical influences (e.g.,symphonic for A Day in the Life, Cabaret for Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club band, raga for others), types of instruments, cultural references (e.g. LSD experiences for Lucy in the Sky), etc. Creative people (like the Beatles) could have had a blast using AI to generate ideas that they could then use to supplement their own efforts.
          Generative AI can be used for creativity and moldbreaking. If you stop thinking about it as coming up with the ‘creative answer’ (ie plug in stuff and use the results as a final answer), you can start thinking about it as a partner in creativity, pointing out new ways to put together seemingly disparate ideas whether they be for music, writing, or business.

          1. Mikel

            Musicians have already doing alot of that with equipment available. Think of it as a kind of prototype if that works better.
            I would say the music world did more AI training than they ever realized.

          2. QuicksilverMessenger

            “easily”. The Beatles, George Martin, and engineers at EMI were actually inventing things on the fly- ways of recording sounds, etc- that did not exist before that moment, to try to get to the sound, and the feeling, that they wanted to convey. And for me that’s the main thing that people who tell us all the AI can ‘easily’ do this, is that we don’t really understand what ‘feeling’ is, and in this case, what is musical feeling? This is what is missing. Can a computer machine feel? Does a machine breathe? Can it be inspired?

      2. Mikel

        Is AI singing? That what you think it’s doing?

        It’s no more “singing” than the the module sitting on my desk is actually big cabinet Marshall amp.

    1. Wukchumni

      Ran into Florid Man on the slopes, he was from Tallahassee and suffering from the altitude which was approx 30x higher than anything he was used to, and his flushed complexion spoke volume adorned in a shocking teal tale 1 piece snow suit.

  17. Wukchumni

    I have to admit having George CoSantosza with us still is quite Seinfeldian, he’s essentially a politician about nothing, the bare bones My Kevin (since ’07).

    It’s not a lie if you believe it.-George Costanza

    1. Not Again

      I find it amusing and appropriate that George Santos will spend more time in jail than Hunter Biden.

  18. anon in so cal

    Did Gen Z get clobbered by those air strikes on Kiev? Possibly. Not seen in 10 days….

    1. ChrisFromGA

      One thing the Ukrainians do seem really good at is suppressing information, and hiding their losses. All part of the fog of war/propaganda war.

      This one might be like the notorious strike on a bunker that allegedly took out a boatload of NATO officers.
      Hard to prove either way. Let’s keep a watch on it.

      1. anon in so cal

        That is their strong point.

        “After the story of the disappearance of Z, the Armed Forces of Ukraine decided to show the world the Commander of the Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel-General Alexander Syrsky, who awarded the servicemen. The date and location of the shooting are unknown.”

  19. Jason Boxman

    Someone mentioned somewhere that stroke deaths were up; As it happens, there is actually data from the CDC, should you choose to trust that source:

    Includes data from 2020 and 2021.

    Disparities in stroke mortality among Black and White adults are largely driven by differences in stroke incidence, with higher prevalences of high blood pressure and diabetes being the major risk factors for stroke among Black adults (1,2,6); racial differences in case-fatality played a minor role (2,6). The COVID-19 pandemic caused a substantial shift in health care for patients with high blood pressure and might have exacerbated existing inequities in high blood pressure treatment and control among persons of color (7). Reduced emergency department visits and hospitalizations for stroke, partly because of fear of SARS-CoV-2 infections (especially during the early phase of the pandemic) (8), suggest that delayed stroke treatment and care might have resulted in worse stroke outcomes and increased risk for death. Further, health and lifestyle behaviors, such as mental health, physical activity, and diet and sleep quality were adversely affected by the pandemic and might have disproportionately affected persons of color, resulting in increased risk for stroke (4). COVID-19 is associated with increased risk for stroke (9); disproportionately higher rates of COVID-19 experienced by Black persons†† (10) might have contributed to the widened disparity among Black and White adults in stroke mortality.

    While there could be many reasons, the report does also state that COVID-19 is associated with an increase in stroke risk.

    And what an absolute joy, that we’ll be learning more in the coming years, as Biden’s policy of casual murder continues.

  20. upstater

    Senate committee to vote on Railway Safety Act Trains Magazine

    The American Chemistry Council and Association of American Railroads both issued statements Tuesday in favor of an amended version of the bill which was introduced Tuesday by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and JD Vance (R-Ohio). The original version of the bill is available here but text of the amended version has not yet been reported.

    A press release from committee Democrats on today’s planned vote summarizes features of the bill, but does not mention the original provision limiting train length or weight, or one which would have hastened the phase-out of DOT-111 tank cars. It is not clear if that indicates those provisions have been removed.

    If the bill does not address train length and the dangerous DOT-111 tank cars, that is a big tell that lobbyists have prevailed. Both the AAR & ACC are industry trade groups.

    1. Charger01

      That taste is the flavor of bipartisanship. It called “status quo”. Or if prefer, ” measurable progress” in DNC speak.

  21. noonespecial

    Re: Vice link on Houseless/Homeless Persons
    Everlast – What it’s Like

    I add this as a musical interlude. Last century Everlast sang this ditty so the concept of observers acting like they see nonpersons asking for a handout has been known and yet here we are 2023 and, well I’ll let the lyrics say it:

    We’ve all seen the man at the liquor store beggin’ for your change
    The hair on his face is dirty, dreadlocked and full of mange
    He ask the man for what he could spare with shame in his eyes
    “Get a job, you fucking slob” is all he replies

    God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
    Cause then you really might know what it’s like to sing the blues

    1. flora

      I can tell you (long career in IT in its many aspects both hardware, software, networking, etc) that it is very different from how artists create. It is “half” minded instead of whole minded. There is no concept of intuition, of knowing without logical proofs, of understanding beyond the most simplistic reduction of interaction to machine measured and calculable results. Think of Rembrant’s painting especially of children – which in many ways can be both ‘all wrong’ visually in certain aspects and yet humanly perfect. How is it the human mind fills in the human painter’s imperfections?

      Where is the opportunity for the human mind on the receiving end of an AI declaration or calculation to fill in the AI imperfections with human understanding? I understand the AI trainers regard it as an art form, but it is really engineering. I’ll stop now. / ;)

      OK, not quite stopping. We’ve gone from Hollarith cards and Jaquard loom weaving instrtuction cards to AI, and in the process assumed the greater complexity results in superiority of outcome that is more than mechanical. It is not.

      Now I’ll stop. /;)

      1. flora

        adding: (oh dear, your comment did push a button. ha.) Sorry so sound so harsh.

        I do think the men and women computer scientists creating what we call AI are themselves working as artists work: using knowledge, experience, data, intuition, etc. I do believe that AI is a result of many geniuses working over time on their creation. However, the term AI often presents the results of their work as if the result is the “genius”. No, it it not. There is no genius in a machine. There is no genius in the paint of a painting. The genius is entirely in the human creators. Science is as much an art form as is painting or music. e.g. Medicine is a much art as science. (Though try telling that to a PE bean counter.) My beef is with the PR advertising that presents the results as if it is a real human genius in the machine itself, not as human genius which resulted in a machine creation.

  22. Polar Socialist

    Re: Taiwan Will Defend TSMC From US Bombing in the Event of a China War, I’ve seen some Taiwanese industry publications stating that China will have no problems becoming self-sufficient in over 10 nm tech this year, and will have indigenous under 10 nm lithography within 4 years.

    Some other sources have said that the recent lithography sanction agreement actually has so many holes (and leaks, too) that if China really, really wanted, SMIC could outproduce TSMC in 7 nm chips today.

  23. flora

    Pretty sure I’ll be cast into outer darkness on NC for agreeing with Saagar here. But I do agree with him. Maybe because I grew up with guns and gun ownership as very much like cars and car drivers licenses responsibilities.

    Gun Control WON’T STOP Mass Shootings | Breaking Points

    Guess I’m a bad person. There are many many gun control laws already. Just sayin’. (Ok, I’m a bad bad person. I accept that. Right.)

    1. Anon

      Not at all… it’s interesting how no one remembers that guns were a thing in America long before mass shootings became a trend. Just more self-avoidance; the society refuses to look itself in the mirror. Perhaps gun control could fix the problem, but I’d rather it take care of the multitude of other contributing factors first.

      1. JBird4049

        Yes, even if guns should be abolished, the increasing violence and madness is something new and unrelated to guns, but fixing it would require looking at ourselves and probably making painful changes for many, but not profitable to the elites. So we focus on the symptoms, not the cure.

  24. Willow

    Looks like for Ukraine to undertake its counter-offensive 75,000 soldiers will be required for brigades to be at full strength. Given these brigades are currently only at half-strength suggests additional 30,000-40,000 foreign ‘volunteers’ required. Mostly Polish? Is this what Russia is hoping for and what the current maskirovka is all about? To entice as many foreign volunteers as possible to join offensive, and hence eventual causalities which will further drive divisions within NATO?

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