Links 5/27/2023

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Do Animals Get Drunk? Natilus (Micael T)

Bear helps itself to 60 cupcakes from Connecticut bakery, scares employees Associated Press (resilc)

The hidden mini statues of Budapest Budapest Flow (BC)

France to launch bird flu vaccination programme after ‘satisfactory’ tests France24 (resilc)

The 2022 Tonga Eruption Created a Very Rare ‘Super Plasma Bubble’ in The Ionosphere ScienceAlert (Chuck L)

Loop introduces new ‘living’ coffin which turns human flesh into compost Interesting Engineering (Chuck L)

Effect of Free Medicine Distribution on Health Care Costs in Canada Over 3 Years JAMA (Dr. Kevin)

What performance-enhancing stimulants mean for economic growth Economist (Dr. Kevin)

Examining the role of the Catholic church in shaping ideal societies PhysOrg. Chuck L: “This is somewhere between weird and hilarious. Doesn’t Professor Justin Tse have a clue that these two “social movements” were anything but authentic?”



As electric cars boom, locals fear Chinese battery plant will harm land in drought-stricken Hungary Associated Press (resilc)

Recent reduced abyssal overturning and ventilation in the Australian Antarctic Basin Nature (guurst)

Top Solar Firm Warns Excess Capacity Risks Wave of Failure Caixin Global

‘Outraged and furious’: Germans rebel against gas boiler ban Financial Times

Amazon Gives Up a Key Part of Its Climate Pledge, Deletes Blog Post That Announced ‘Shipment Zero Initiative’ Business Insider

California Advances Bill Banning Hedge Fund Water Profiteering Bloomberg (furzy)


‘No need to exaggerate’: risk of imminent Taiwan conflict is overhyped, says cross-strait affairs expert South China Morning Post

US and China hold more trade talks despite strained ties Financial Times. Makes it sound as if the sidebar conversation was planned…and is at odds with with the statement below. So maybe not planned?

Factbox: What is Volt Typhoon, the alleged China-backed hacking group? Reuters

Old Blighty

Rishi Sunak warned over possible UK recession in 2024 Guardian (Kevin W)

Punch-drunk Britain Chris Grey

Peruvian police seize 58kg of cocaine bearing pictures of Nazi flag Guardian (resilc)

New Not-So-Cold War

John Mearsheimer Ukraine Salon YouTube (Robin K)


Rep. Nadler ‘Wouldn’t Care’ If Ukraine Used F-16s to Strike Russian Territory Antiwar

Tech-Mythologies New Left Review. On Diia, Ukraine’s wunderapp.

Due to the hour, I have not run the Der Spiegel article through a translator to see what it says. However, the Twitter comments suggest it relies on the five/six guys and a boat theory:

Russian tanks reach the Atlantic near Lisbon… Gilbert Doctorow (guurst)

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Bill Gates’s younger Russian ‘lover’ and her links to notorious Kremlin spy Anna Chapman Daily Mail (Li)


Analysis: Turkish lira’s long decline a symbol of strife Reuters. Kevin W: “The boys at The Duran were just saying that the Turkish Lira has been under attack to help Erdogan lose the election.”


The Devil’s In The Details When It Comes To Pashinyan’s Karabakh Peace Proposal Andrew Korybko (Micael T)

Afghanistan Opium Survey 2021 UN Office on Drugs and Crime (resilc)

‘He slipped and died’: How Israel hides its troop deaths The Cradle (Kevin W)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Dallas Independent School District Launches Innovative Pilot Project for Early Intervention and Enhanced Student Safety Yahoo (BC)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Jamie Raskin and Rachel Maddow, brought to you by Peter Thiel and Lockheed Martin Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

Marine Corps touts armed Long Range Unmanned Surface Vessel Task and Purpose (resilc)

At 100, Kissinger basks in US praise with no accountability Agence France-Presse

Closing The Case Of Regime Changer Roman Protasevich And His Ryanair Flight To Minsk Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

US would rather see the world end than lose its supremacy Global Times (guurst)

More and More Teenagers Are Coming to School High, N.Y.C. Teachers Say New York Times (resilc)

GOP Clown Car

Is DeSantis’ War on Big Tech a Scam? Revolver (Li)


A Judge Has Temporarily Blocked South Carolina’s Extreme Abortion Ban New Republic (furzy)

Inside Google Founder Sergey Brin’s Secret Plan to Build Airships Bloomberg (furzy)

Hedge Fund Treasury Trade With a History of Blowups Is Back Again Bloomberg (furzy)

Debt Ceiling

Can Biden, McCarthy Avoid Losing in Debt-Ceiling Fight? Bloomberg (furzy)

$49.5 Billion in U.S. Treasury? For These Billionaires, That’s Nothing New York Times (BC)

Yellen says US will run out of money by June 5 if debt ceiling not raised The Hill. Ahem, not that she had much credibility.

The Bezzle

Neuralink: Elon Musk’s brain chip firm says US approval won for human study BBC (resilc)

Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Protecting Elon Musk If His Rockets Explode and Kill Workers New Republic

Guillotine Watch

Oh, Rats: Hamptonites Are Freaking Out Over Vermin Vanity Fair (furzy)

Class Warfare

Former Maryland trash hauler graduates from Harvard Law School Guardian (resilc). Exceptional cases like this held up to reinforce the myth that the system is meritocratic.

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    Working link for “‘Outraged and furious’: Germans rebel against gas boiler ban” article at-

    This is nuts. How are they going to do this in a nation of over 83 million people? Who is going to do all the required work? Maybe Habeck is pushing this as he suspects that the Greens are going to be toast the first chance the electorate get so it has to get done now. Unless he tries to declare martial law first and uses Russia as an excuse first.

      1. .human

        I had bought a small, gas space heater for a shed and had to do the plumbing myself. No one available for a small job.

    1. vao

      A major problem is that many houses in Germany can only be kept warm with heat pumps if they also get a better thermal isolation. About 30% will have to undergo massive renovations. In some regions, where real estate is fairly old, or built in a quick and cheap way during the post-WWII reconstruction (especially in the former GDR), it is more like two-thirds of buildings that have to be overhauled. For many owners, these renovations will prove too expensive and they will have to sell.

      Anyway, there simply is not enough capacity to install all those heat pumps — the current rate is about one seventh of what would be required to fulfil the plans of the German government for 2030.

      But that is not just Germany: France has a similar problem. The French government wants to force the renovation of buildings in view of improving their energy consumption by eventually prohibiting the rental of the most energy inefficient apartments. Many cannot afford the outlays, and thus it is already expected that 32% of the affected houses (currently representing over one sixth of the total real-estate park) will no longer be rented — in a country where the shortage of apartments for rent is acute.

      1. Mikel

        I’d be willing to wager the eagerness behind all this is the potential to keep home prices over-inflated.
        Too many developed countries headed in the feudal direction.

      2. ambrit

        Parts of America work on a similar ethos. Around here in the North American Deep South, many of the older and renewable single family dwellings where the owners either do not care or do not have the requisite funds are ordered torn down by the Municipality. Our Half Horse town has a patchwork of now empty lots mixed in the various neighbourhoods. Yet rent stays high. One obvious means of decreasing the homeless population is outright ignored. A Cynic might suspect that the local Elites wish nothing but the worst for the lowest levels of the society.
        Stay safe.

      3. Pat

        NYC is demanding that all buildings of a certain size have to get rid of fossil fuel based heating. Heat pumps are not really a possibility, so that means electric. Not only is this a significant and often overwhelming expense and greater ongoing expense. It is likely to cause even greater drain on an overwhelmed electrical grid.

        But we’re confronting climate change!

      4. neutrino23

        We tore down a hundred year old house and built a new home with great insulation and all electric appliances near San Francisco. No gas hookup. The split zone heat pumps work great. Due to the good insulation we only use them on the coldest or hottest days. The Sanden heat pump water heater is very nice. We got a very healthy rebate from the local utility to cover about a third of the costs of these. When the SunPower panels get hooked up I predict we will be net positive on power over a year’s time.

    2. clarky90

      I remember an entity named “Mr Market” who recently stalked the planet, leaving desolation in its’ wake.

      Mr Market is now, surprisingly absent from the narrative, replaced, by a ghoul, named “The Science”.

      “Mr Market” and “The Science” have gotten together and created “The AI”. “The AI” is a silicon based, Artificial-Life-Species that requires (1) the cold, (2) the dark and (3) the dry….. in order for it to exist, and continue to spread to every corner of the Earth.


      1. clarky90

        …… silicon based, Artificial-Intelligence-Life-Species now seeks to “bury” (“We will bury you”} carbon based organic life forms. (plants, insects, mammals, fungi…. )

        This is what Artificial Intelligence means when it proselytizes about “carbon sequestration”.

        We, and our fellow carbon based, Organic Life Species, are made of that, now unneeded, messy carbon…… so must be urgently, “sequestered”.

  2. caucus99percenter

    The link that should go to the Financial Times article about Germans resisting a Green ban on gas boilers is instead a duplicate of the link above it, to Caixin Global on excess solar manufacturing capacity.

  3. Wukchumni

    LONDON/ANKARA, May 26 (Reuters) – As Turkey’s lira hit a record low ahead of the country’s election decider on Sunday, the currency is looking increasingly dysfunctional with investors concerned about what may be in store if Tayyip Erdogan secures another decade in power.
    Countries that have had previous hyperinflation episodes are likely to have them again, and Turkey was a world champion in that regard recently…

    1960s – US$1 = TL 9
    1970 – US$1 = TL 11.30
    1975 – US$1 = TL 14.40
    1980 – US$1 = TL 80
    1985 – US$1 = TL 500
    1990 – US$1 = TL 2,500
    1995 – US$1 = TL 43,000
    2000 – US$1 = TL 620,000
    2001 – US$1 = TL 1,250,000
    2005 – US$1 = TL 1,350,000

    The Guinness Book of Records ranked the Turkish lira as the world’s least valuable currency in 1995 and 1996, and again from 1999 to 2004. The lira’s value had fallen so far that one original gold lira coin could be sold for TL 154,400,000 before the 2005 revaluation.

    1. Maxwell Johnston

      Your point is well taken (and FWIW I own physical yellow stuff and hate inflation). And yet, Turkey grows and prospers. I’ve been there many times (last visit November 2022). Istanbul is one of my favorite cities: diverse, vibrant, well-run (clean and safe), lots of culture and history and great cuisine. Much depends on expectations and stability. If everyone expects x% inflation and that the present government will retain power and maintain said economic policy, and if said government more or less sticks to the plan, then business confidence ensues and life goes on.

      I think that Erdogan will be re-elected and that Turkey will muddle through as usual. And will eventually quit NATO and re-align with BRICS/SCO.

  4. Wukchumni

    The Sate Farm General Insurance Company will no longer accept new applications for property insurance and other policies in California, citing “historic” increases in construction costs and inflation,” the company said Friday.

    Beginning Saturday, the Illinois-based insurance group will cease to accept applications for business and personal lines property and casualty insurance.

    We’re the new Florida, man.

      1. Wukchumni

        I pay $1350 for my cabin insurance and a friend who has the same cabin more or less can’t get coverage from any of the insurance companies so she has ‘California Fair Plan’ which is $4500 for similar coverage to mine.

        State Farm closed the door, other insurance companies will follow suit.

        1. anon in so cal

          We’re in the wooded live oak hills of Los Angeles and can only get fire insurance through the California Fair Plan. The high fire danger makes us ineligible for anything else.

          Otherwise, State Farm’s decision is good if it puts a dent in new housing construction in California, because open space is rapidly getting concreted over.

          1. JBird4049

            We have a decreasing population and an increasing homeless population. I think there is something very, very off here.

            1. anon in so cal

              Drove to OC to visit a friend today and each time I drive the 5 south there are more and more homeless along the side of the freeway. And the weather the past several months has been cool/cold and damp/drizzling/rain.

        2. Laura in So Cal

          Actually Fair Plan coverage isn’t as good as it doesn’t include basic liability that is included in normal homeowners policies. You have to buy a separate “wrap around” coverage to get liability insurance.

    1. JP

      Currently paying State Farm about $1200 on a 40 year old grandfathered policy with fire insurance. Still I am in the thick of building a super energy efficient fireproof domicile. It’s plugged into Edison for now but intend to go completely off grid eventually. I have always hated paying extortion.

  5. griffen

    Pity the poor dwellers or short term renters in the Hamptons, and their infestation of the lowly rat. Much like the cockroach, where there is one there is probably many. First world problems?

    That might, just might, put a ding into summer rentals however.

    1. Lexx

      Didn’t we read here (?) that the Hamptons were passe now, a place with image issues (too much money) and upper class renters were looking for digs in some new Undiscovered Country for their summer break?

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Judging by the increase in local home prices, the hugely increased number of expensive cars and discourtesy on the roads, and the types of retail opening in local towns, I fear a rapidly increasing infestation in the Hudson Valley.

        1. petal

          I’m supposed to go to Kingston for a big family event in Oct 2024 and have been wondering lately what it’s going to look like around there by then, and if I and rest of family society will even be able to get hotel rooms.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            It’ll remind you of Brooklyn in many respects, sorry to say.

            During the pandemic I was walking around the residential blocks above the Waterfront, an economically mixed neighborhood not that long ago, and the streets were lined with luxury cars.

            1. Michael Fiorillo

              Increasingly the entire Hudson Valley, excepting Newburgh, is looking like a Valhalla.

              1. Michael Fiorillo

                Whoops, it seems my intervening comment disappeared: by “Vallhalla,” I mean a high-end resort destination, a la Rhinebeck, NY, Camden, Maine, Asheville, NC, the Hamptons and their ilk.

                The term is from “A Field Guide to Sprawl,” by Dolores Hayden, which used the jargon and slang of real estate pros to parse the contemporary US roadside landscape.

      2. griffen

        Mountains of western NC, primarily Asheville but there are local cities that offer some refuge during the summer months. Hendersonville and Brevard are quite pleasant, and the Pisgah National forest offers a cheap alternative instead of paying through the nose for a tour of the famous Biltmore estate.

        I think that word got out in the last decade of course. Thank you “Hunger Games”, I guess, for the boost in tourism.

    1. Mildred Montana

      Interesting link. Thank you. It raises questions about how art should be interpreted and what limits should be placed on art (artistic license). I’m still thinking.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Unfortunately this has nothing to do with art and is just an attack against Roger Waters because of his anti-establishment stances. If he sang songs saying that he loves the Ukraine, all those attacks would never have happened. I find it ironic that Germany wants to go after him because they think that he is promoting Nazis – while at the same time that they are training and equipping real-life Nazis who make us of WW2 German Nazi & SS emblems. Here is Roger Waters’s reply to his critics-

        1. Mildred Montana

          Thank you for the link. He defended himself and his aims eloquently. I did suspect that the attack on him was political and I side with him given his history of speaking out against authoritarianism.

          The question remains however: How far can art in Germany go in portraying Nazism, the SS, and the Holocaust? How should it be interpreted and more importantly, how *will* it be interpreted? The message is always in the mind of the beholder.

          Modern-day Germans are still understandably sensitive about those issues so where does one draw the lines, if one draws lines at all? Not criticizing Waters at all for his views, but perhaps he could have chosen a more congenial venue than Berlin.

          1. KD

            I would cut the Germans a little slack if Waters hadn’t been running this schtick since 1982, and it did not come at a time when Waters was calling out the blatant hypocrisy of the West in its support for Nazis and racial apartheid regimes.

          2. Futility

            The symbolism is reminiscent of the original The Wall shows of Pink Floyd. Nobody at the time had the association of the musicians being crypto Nazis. This attack is clearly made to discredit Waters as his publicly stated views are anathema to the media mainstream. The accusation that Waters is an antisemite is just ridiculous.

            1. JBird4049

              >>>The accusation that Waters is an antisemite is just ridiculous.

              Yes, but it worked against Jeremy Corbin.

        2. Glen

          Waters has been giving the same performance as part of The Wall for over forty years, and if you go to the wikipedia page for The Wall album, there is a picture of him in the same costume, performing that song at a concert in Berlin from 1990.

          He’s been pretty vocal about the Ukraine war, and I suspect the German government is a bit worried that his view is too popular with it’s citizens.

          To which I have to ask – why is Germany going along with this?

          1. ambrit

            Really, why are the German Elites going along with this. Their present policies are definitely detrimental to the public of Germany. Who else will support the German Elites but a healthy and productive German public? You cannot eat gold.
            The more of this I see, the more credence I give to the “Globalist” conspiracy theory. Could the old Trilateral Commission conspiracy theory have been right all along?

          2. Monosynapsis

            I was at exactly this concert in Berlin 1990 (long time PF fan, great show, bad sound and very expensive tickets…). The whole concert was higly mediatized as a crowning event celebrating the fall of the Berlin Wall: PFs album The Wall being not only aptly named but Waters Dictator Character fitted nicely in the picture of anti authoritarianism. He was celebrated in the Press and most articles showed exactly this same costume for which he is now attacked.

            Oh the irony…

            Of course its only bc he is staunchly anti establishment. The Media landscape in Germany is by now extremely aligned with the elites and it shows how desperate they are in trying to repress any dissenting voices – even if it so in your face as the Roger Waters defamation going on right now. Anyone even remotely familiar with his oeuvre sees it as the bulls*** it is.

            1. digi_owl

              The monk stayed in place, the land shifted around him.

              Been seeing more and more of this off late.

  6. griffen

    Debt ceiling negotiations, it’s like parents deciding which child is the favorite and that’s the one we send to college. It is comforting to know that when the Excel mavens hit the F9 repeatedly, they arrived at a newer and somewhat less imposing timeline. Did they look in the couch cushions, I have to ponder. (\sarc)

    Not picking on Excel mavens either! Every time I hit the F9 to recalculate, I have to consider it’s a lot easier than using Lotus 123 in DOS long, long while ago.

    1. heresy101

      Don’t know if Excel still has circular calculations because I now use Libre Office (no circular calculation), but it wasn’t necessary to use F9 with Excel five years ago. When the calculations are going to converge, you can make a circular calculation for a cell that doesn’t need have F9 pressed because it converges to the answer. Used to drive my boss nuts.

      1. griffen

        Not to disagree on the topic, but spent some time working with a massive data set; upwards of 200MB with the calculations to tabulate data on some 200,000 to 250,000 rows of finance data. Setting to “auto calc” was a quick way to lose one’s mind, and in particular if one were needing to edit out several thousand rows of data. That one file probably was not the best solution but it proved to be a successful process, on most days when necessary. This was a monster and the calculations could be quite arduous to proof out as well.

        I’m an old school adherent to setting formulas to not be automatic. Fortunately in my current role, it is really less of a daily problem.

    2. SteveB

      I am a slow adapter… Write checks to pay bills, Walk into bank to get cash (yes C A S H) still have flip phone.
      and I used lotus 123 until the bitter end with Win 7….

      Reluctantly use excel…. I still think 123 was easier to use… I still have one machine running XP and YES lotus 123 as well…..

    1. Michael

      “”The data indicates chemicals are added or created during the recycling process. While 461 kinds of VOCs were detected in virgin plastic, some 573 were found in recycled material.””

      Ooo, Ooo, Let’s do urban greenwaste composting now!

      Humans don’t stand a chance

  7. racaseal

    re: ‘Outraged and furious’: Germans rebel against gas boiler ban:

    But the proposed boiler ban has already led to a series of unintended consequences. Thousands of Germans are seeking to beat the ban by installing new gas boilers before the January 1 deadline set by the bill, locking in CO2 emissions for decades to come.
    Around 168,000 gas boilers were sold in Germany in the first quarter of this year, a 100 per cent increase on the previous year, according to the ZVSHK, a trade association for heating, plumbing and air conditioning engineers.


  8. The Rev Kev

    “Marine Corps touts armed Long Range Unmanned Surface Vessel”

    I would have thought this a job for the Navy but they probably can’t be bothered with little stuff like this. I suppose that this is what the missile Marines want to use against the Chinese Navy. So here is the thing. A coupla days ago the Ukrainians tried to sink a Russian Navy ship with three drones which were all destroyed as talked about in another link called “UKRAINE CLAIM OF ATTACK ON RUSSIAN SHIP, THE IVAN KHURS, DEBUNKED.” Johnson does not mention it but at the same time this was all happened, by coincidence an American RQ-4 Global Hawk was flying in loops over the Black Sea. I would guess to provide targeting data to those drones but that is just me being crass. So maybe this attack was actually staged by the Pentagon as a proof of concept experiment which they will be able to apply with these Marine drones. On the other hand, I am sure that the Russians will be providing their own lessons-learned to the Chinese at the same time.

    1. S.D., M.D.

      Did anyone else find that article so jargon filled as to render it meaningless for the average reader?

  9. notabanker

    Regarding the Raskin / Maddow being MIC muppets article:
    TruCon’s website describes the conference as an opportunity to see “[t]hought leaders across government, policy, and national security fields speak on the most pressing issues facing America today.”

    Let’s see…. attend TruCon (what an outstanding name!) or insert sharp skewers in my neck? Tough call. Can’t wait for the grand Gala tiktoks.

    1. griffen

      Birds of a feather, they will certainly gather unto themselves. I did a quick, cursory glance at the Center’s website past the launch page for the June conference. High minded names for past leaders, such as Leon Panetta and Madeleine Albright.

      If I could pull a Marty and go back in time via the Delorean, I would punch myself for bothering to listen to what Maddow, Chris Matthews, et al had to say during the Obama years.

    2. Pat

      She’s been on the MIC payroll for years. Most of her years at MSNBC, it was owned by GE. many people thought Maddow being embedded with the army for the Iraq war pull out was about her being anti-war. They didn’t look deeply enough to notice the numbers didn’t really work and that the US was going to be keeping a significant military premise there. Maddow was the monkey meant to distract from the reality and help with the illusion. And no I don’t for a moment think she didn’t know that it wasn’t a real withdrawal.

      1. Darthbobber

        They had to go back to 2011 for the quote of her being a defense spending critic.

      2. KD

        People have criticized the MSNBC media workers for being soft on the defense of free speech and viewpoint diversity. The fact that Maddow appears at some right wing conference just demonstrates her (and her networks) commitment to “viewpoint diversity”. Shame on you for attacking her for her noble principles (if you don’t believe her, ask her). Stop peddling this MIC conspiracy theory stuff. /sarc

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Peruvian police seize 58kg of cocaine bearing pictures of Nazi flag”

    Destined for Belgium? If that cocaine had been issued with an end-user certificate, I am sure that it would have this as the final destination point-

    “V. Z.” aka “Sniffy”
    The Office of the President of Ukraine
    Bankova Street, 11,
    Kyiv, Ukraine, 01220

    Why did it have to go to Belgium first? So that Ursulla and Josep could take out their cut first of course before putting it in a diplomatic bag for shipment to Kiev.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Last I heard, he is already packing his bags and begging-bowl for his next trip overseas. Trouble is he annoys people wherever he goes. He insulted the Pope with an irreligious icon the other day, scolded the Arab countries at the Arab Summit, and then insulted Lula of Brazil by being a no-show at a scheduled meeting in Hiroshima. And this is why the Russians always give him the green light to travel to any country that he wants. At this point that would be glad to give his aircraft a fighter escort to make sure that he stays safe.

  11. Wukchumni

    Compound interest treasury notes were emissions of the United States Treasury Department authorized in 1863 and 1864 with aspects of both paper money and debt. They were issued in denominations of $10, $20, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000. While they were legal tender at face value, they were redeemable after three years with six percent annual interest compounded semi-annually.[
    We could go back to the future, interest rates are similar.

  12. griffen

    Article on the bear eating 60 cupcakes. In your face, Joey “Champion Eater” Chestnut.

  13. Lexx

    ‘At 100, Kissinger basks in US praise with no accountability’

    It’s the definition of a super villain these days… no matter how bad he/she is, no matter what happens, he/she just won’t die or stay dead. Or the hero either. Phil died seven times in the course of ‘Agents of SHIELD’, each time coming back a little less human/more machine and somehow… still Phil. Leaving the audience (and Phil) to answer the question of what really defines us as ‘human’? What does it mean to be ‘mortal’?

    I love the many shapes and flavors of the human spectrum, but I have limits and Kissinger is one of them. I don’t think we should have to tolerate his continuance for some very slippery slope reasons, but still think that in his case the slope has merit all the way to the bottom. There’s no counter argument where someone can claim ‘the moral high ground’. If the villain is too much for me for too long, I can change the channel. How the eff do we pull the plug on Kissinger?

    Where’s a stupid network executive when we need one? Come on, Mother Nature, axe that show… and no spin-offs!

    1. The Rev Kev

      Kissinger’s latest bright idea is that ‘for the safety of Europe, it is better to have Ukraine in NATO.’ It was the west trying to engineer the Ukraine into NATO that forced Russia into invading but even at 100, Kissinger does not want to say anything that will make him unpopular with his peers. Maybe he figures that if he tells the truth, then they will never give him that State funeral that would cap his career.

      1. Mildred Montana

        If he wants that State funeral he had better die soon (MAID?) and beat the rush. Cuz there’s gonna be a whole lot of them in the next few years. Fortunately they all needn’t lie-in-state in the Rotunda; Congress has made provisions for at least four other sites in the event of unexpected demand.

        In the Rotunda those so honored rest on Lincoln’s catafalque (platform). In some cases, they desecrate it.

    2. SocalJimObjects

      Perhaps he might even survive the United States of America. Imagine him living to see the result of his handiwork. Nah, it’s unlikely.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Rep. Nadler ‘Wouldn’t Care’ If Ukraine Used F-16s to Strike Russian Territory”

    I’ve heard that a major reason why the subject of F-16s has come up so quickly is that it is far easier to use them to launch missiles like the Storm Shadow cruise missiles. At the moment the Ukrainians are having to use Russian aircraft donated by countries like Poland and a solution to integrating the systems has been kludged up. But several aircraft have already been shot down by the Russians in launching these cruise missiles. Probably the F-16s will be better to use in launching these missiles. But for the Ukrainians, it is not enough. They are now demanding that the Germans supply them with Swedish-German Taurus missiles which can not only be fitted to those F-16s, but that they have the range to hit Moscow being able to travel 500 kilometers (310 miles). What could possibly go wrong with this idea?

    1. timbers

      “What could go wrong” is the wrong question. The correct question is “Why shouldn’t Ukraine ask for and get them?” because remember Russia has no red lines.

    2. Pat

      Nadler was my congressional representative for decades. I considered him the best of a bad lot. There were areas of disagreement, but for the most part he and his staff were on what I considered to be the side of good. But I started having my doubts during the Obama years, he was too eager to rubber stamp the bad as well as the limited good. But his TDS lost me forever. The sad thing is that in my opinion he has devolved into the same kind of crazy Democrats accuse the so-called MAGA proponents of being just from a different position.


  15. Scylla

    Regarding the Hunter Pauli tweet- I also saw on twitter that Perez, the congresswoman wanting to retroactively re-institute student debt payment interest from the last several years, took something like $60-$70k in PPP loans for her business, which was forgiven. The hypocrisy of these people is astounding.

    1. Not Again

      I want Trump to remind these people with student loans why they are non-dischargeable in BK. The Biden Student Loan forgiveness plan is so myriad and convoluted it ought to be voted down because of its complexity and unfairness. Good for them.

      1. JBird4049

        Do not forget that this complexity is the point of it; they are using the façade of an “aid” program to exhaust, confuse, and deny help as anyone who could not navigate Byzantine rules, deadlines, and exceptions must be underserving of help; that the Democratic financial backers keep getting their blood money from the interest payments is ignored.

  16. Carolinian

    This description of Cincinnati could suit Atlanta to a tee although being The American Conservative they don’t really get into how how white flight created “edge cities.”

    “I really think that the bigger problem that happened was the beltway,” said Jake Mecklenborg, author of Cincinnati’s Incomplete Subway. “I-275 in Cincinnati created a networking effect that couldn’t have existed otherwise…this linking of all these disparate areas.”

    In Ohio, the construction of the beltway made it harder for cities to command the public’s interest. “It created competitors to the downtown,” Mecklenborg said. “There was no way that any downtown could compete.”

    By making the suburbs less reliant on the city, the interstates allowed more businesses to set up shop away from the city and shift to the scattered suburbs. Earlier highways and turnpikes connected distant towns but stopped before the city limits, Stradling noted. That limited their power to reshape cities. Interstates, however, respected no such limits, and with the federal gas tax, had a built-in funding mechanism to boot.

    This Interstate revolution has weakened and now The New Urbanism has come to Atlanta and even to my town’s once dead downtown. However as the artcle points out it’s the fickle PMC who are mostly returning rather than the still down and out working class. Whether this trend will survive the still newer Covid/computers/home work revolution remains to be seen.

    1. Roland

      Canada never had “white flight,” but we still got urban sprawl similar to that in the USA. Around the Montreal of the 1960’s and 70’s, people were gaily paving over the orchards and cornfields, even though our ethnic conflicts were those between the French and the English, or sometimes between the English and the Irish. But they were all equally likely to move to the suburbs.

      Vancouver was briefly saved by its once-mighty NIMBY’s, but in this century the place has been overwhelmed by the heedless grey goo of globalist capital. Now they got twelve-lane bridges to inject cars each day from over 100 km up the Fraser valley. But that’s okay, they’ll be electric, and robotic, or whatever.

      The negative effects of automobile-oriented development were already recognized by thoughtful observers by the 1930’s, i.e. within the first generation of widespread automobile use.

      Examples: Lewis Mumford’s 1939 book on urbanism, The Culture of Cities, mentions the danger of urban core decay due to automobiles. The 1950’s revision of the work, retitled The City in History,, gives urgent, specific, warning about the process and its consequences.

      The final chapter of GM Trevelyan’s Shortened History of England: “The motor-car is pouring the town out into the country…Ribbon development, which is turning the long length of our country roads into streets, is recognized as an evil.” Automobile-oriented sprawl was becoming a problem in the UK even before the motorways.

      George Orwell’s 1938 novel, Coming Up for Air, has a passage satiring an automobile suburb and its inhabitants that still reads pretty well 85 years later, and on a different continent. It’s also a far-sighted attack on what we would now call the PMC and greenwashing. Several pages of delightful savagery–a brief quote would be unjust.

      Unfortunately Eisenhower was highly impressed by the German autobahn he saw in 1945. The US motor industry at that time enjoyed great prestige, and government connections, because of the massive war effort. The acute postwar housing shortage gave a strong push to the hasty colonization of farmlands, which offered cheap land, low taxes, and weak regulation. A prospect of fresh air attracted the people who had lived in tenements and now maybe had enough money to buy a car. Thus a very popular, but quite fateful, decision was made to invest in a national freeway network.

      1. Carolinian

        Thanks for reply. I do think the Interstate Highway System–which came along about the same time I did–had a profound effect on the country and even now hard to imagine places like mine without it. Whereas you could certainly imagine Germany without the autobahns. We USians went all in on the automobile.

        1. rowlf

          The Interstate Highway System had defense capabilities too, such as moving military equipment/personnel and also as a sensor system to determine bombed areas of the country. Eisenhower had participated in military exercises in the early 20th century to try using mechanized vehicles to move military equipment and personnel with poor results due to infrastructure in the US at the time.

          The development of the US road system also gave a lot of small businesses and farms the chance to tell the railroads to go climb a tree. There was a US program in the 1990s to send trucks to the former USSR to let their farmers bypass the railroads.

        2. ambrit

          When we consider the concerted campaign after WW2 by GM, Firestone and Standard Oil to destroy trolly systems in American cities, purely for profit, I can say straight faced that America’s Elites went all in on the automobile.
          I know that it is not very probable, but “clawback” of those ill gotten gains, preferably by guillotine is the optimal solution.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            The “Growth Coalitions” that gave us modern edge suburbs – and the political reaction they cultivate – also include banks, insurers, builders, trade unions (in areas with high union density), and local media booster-ism.

  17. John

    I listened to the Mearsheimer lecture followed by Q&A. I think he is too conservative on casualty ratios and the ability of Russia’s forces to accomplish their ends; I question the “frozen conflict” end that he foresees. The 2024 US election is the wild card at the moment. If the Democrats lose, there is a path something more stable and lasting. Of course, paths must be followed.

    Other than those caveats, I think he was spot on.

    1. Will

      I found the most interesting bit to be the very end (about the 1hr 28min mark) when, in response to a question, he takes some pains to emphasize that his realist theory is just that, a simplified model of a very complex system. Not sure if he said it to cover himself in case his predictions turn out to be wrong or because he worries the audience doesn’t understand this basic point.

      Either way, I found myself impressed by his honesty since it seems like most experts pontificate with head firmly up a$$ and unable to acknowledge the inherent limits of their theories. Which made me sad that we live in a world where expert and audience encase themselves in unreality or that I’ve become so jaded that I believe this to be the case.

    2. hk

      WRT the “frozen” conflict, I suspect that he is ultimately “right” with a huge caveat: there is no reason to believe that, if the conflict gets frozen eventually, it will be within the boundaries of Ukraine. For all we know, the DMZ might be in Poland, Germany, the English Channel, or the Atlantic, or the Rockies. The end result if the conflict does not get frozen somewhere will be most likely global thermonuclear annhihilation, or, with far smaller probability, the Russians marching down the Pennsylvania avenue or the Yanks in Red Square, and none of them is really any likely at all. Given the bellicosity of the rhetoric on the Western side, I don’t see the conflict getting frozen in Ukraine–there will be something crazy where Poland, Germany, and the Baltics get openly involved (given the limited range of F16s operating from Poland or the Baltics, it might, for all we know, be in Belarus, supposedly in support of a Gaidoschenka of some kind,) Then we get the scenario described by Gilbert Doctorow in today’s link (Hopefully somewhat tongue-in-cheek) where the Russian army, supported by tactical nukes, slice through already the largely disarmed NATO armies in Northern Europe.

        1. hk

          It would be a suitable place: I’d have suggested the Rhine, but any “somewhere” between Germany and France would be as good as any.

          1. Polar Socialist

            I believe Elbe was mentioned as early as in 1990 in many discussions and memorandums.

    3. Glen

      I thought it was excellent!

      But he seems to be underplaying any role that China may be able to play in Ukraine. They could end up being a real wild card. What if they are able to broker a peace deal? And then turn to Taiwan and rhetorically ask if they want to stay with America and get wrecked, or have peace and prosperity?

      Joe should have learned this lesson from Obama – don’t pick any fights that are not equivalent to shooting fish in a barrel. That’s why Obama stuck to to the war he knew he could win – (family blogging) the American people for Wall St.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        This is ultimately a conflict between the US and Russia. Ukraine and the Europe are just pawns.

        The US will NEVER NEVER NEVER accept China as a broker.

        1. Glen

          I know you’re right, but I’m watching our elites current predicament, and get reminded of this:

          Monty Python – The Fish Slapping Dance

          The middle east is clearly moving out of America’s control. I don’t expect this trend to stop, I actually expect it to speed up if American elites push harder.

  18. timbers

    More and More Teenagers Are Coming to School High, N.Y.C. Teachers Say New York Times (resilc)

    Not just teenagers and not only before school. Every work day I give my dog his last walk of the day just before going to bed at about 7-8pm, in my neighborhood. And every night I walk past at least one car or up three cars that are parked at the curb of neighboring homes with motors running, emitting the unmistakable oder of pot. Windows are shaded but you can see smart phones and sometimes someone comes out, runs to their house and back again. Some/most/all are older than high-school. Adults living with extended families. Smoking pot can get its odor inside home walls and destroy real estate values. Smoking pot and relaxing to escape extended family in your car after work seems to be the new normal is USA. FWI I live in a suburban setting.

    1. Milton

      What’s old is new again. The 70s were nothing if not stoned everyday during 2nd period algebra.

  19. timbers

    US would rather see the world end than lose its supremacy Global Times (guurst)

    Nit pick on use of the word supremacy. Using airforce lingo, the US no longer has supremacy but merely superiority or maybe the next lower level than that. Russia and China are proving that.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “The Devil’s In The Details When It Comes To Pashinyan’s Karabakh Peace Proposal”

    Well of course it is going to be hard to build peace between Armenia and Azerbaijan because of the wars that they have had and the blood spilled. But I am also sure that they have worked out that if they make peace and integrate with Eurasia, that this would solve a lot of problems for them and lead to more prosperity. But I find it hard to understand this post where it says-

    ‘Nevertheless, it might end up being the case that Armenia could secretly reach an agreement with the US for the latter to extend security assurances to it prior to that country’s membership in NATO upon it formally announcing its withdrawal from the CSTO and intention to join that enemy bloc. The precedent for doing so was already established last May after the US gave exactly these sort of assurances to Finland and Sweden until they joined NATO, which is still relevant to the latter since it hasn’t yet done so.’

    Is he kidding? Armenians aren’t stupid and they can see the results of NATO involvement with the Ukraine. And NATO would probably want nothing more than to encourage Armenia to get into a war again with Azerbaijan just to spite Russia, no matter the cost to Armenia. The only real US assurances that there are are that if things go belly up, then the US will just fly away home and leave all that fighting behind. Just ask countries like Afghanistan.

    1. vao

      Under Pashinyan, Armenia had already moved closer to the West/NATO — although I think that France played a more prominent role in that rapprochement than the USA. It got to the point where Pashinyan undertook a purge of high ranking officials in the Armenian military and security services, considered by some too close to Russia, and this not long before Azerbaijan launched its offensive in 2020.

      He again got into a serious spat with the military after the defeat against Azerbaijan, and recently cancelled military manoeuvres with the CSTO because he is unsatisfied with the role played by the Russian peace-keepers.

      I interpret all this as Pashinyan being cornered and thrashing around to find a way out of his predicament. Azerbaijan is bullying Armenia and too strong to contend with directly. The West has proven useless diplomatically and militarily — nice words, no actions. Russia is leaning back and letting Armenia experience what happens when it deliberately mucks up relations with its big traditional protector. Pashinyan tried to balance between big powers (which is what a small country should do) to stave off the Azeri enemy, but he seems to have severely miscalculated.

    2. hk

      Even crazier is the analogy to Sweden and Finland. Sweden, practically since the beginning of the Cold War had been almost a secret NATO ally–with access to a lot of NATO technology to equip their military and not-so-secret plans for cooperation and coordination in case a war broke out with the Warsaw Pact. Finland, since 1970s or 1980s at the latest, had been swinging heavily towards the West, with the enforced neutrality after World War 2 being increasingly depicted as a source of great shame. Armenia has no bad history with the Russians (and, for that matter, Iranians). Ironically, Azerbaijan is the country that has had recent tiffs with both Russia and Iran, and it is astonishing to me, personally, that Russians have been able to exert this much influence on the Azeris. While it appears that this accommodation of the Azeris is coming at the cost of Armenians, it would take a large heavy dose of delusion to expect that this would be enough to turn the latter towards the West.

      If one were to look for an analogue historically, the closest is probably Romania in 1941: despite having been at the wrong end of German coalitional diplomacy in the Balkans, vis a vis Hungary and Bulgaria, Romania made common cause with the Nazis against USSR. But the caveat is that they also had grievances against USSR (for losing what would become Moldova eventually) and, more important, because they had no other choice in their corner of the world. With regards Armenia, the situation is exactly the opposite: they are not surrounded by NATO friendly countries–in fact, exactly the opposite. The countries that they have issues with are Azerbaijan and, to a lesser (older?) degree, Turkey, and the West cannot help them militarily or diplomatically against them, especially as both are getting estranged with the West and/or turning towards Russia. (whereas Germany could, credibly, offer Romania diplomatic help to settle issues with Bulgaria and Hungary, both German allies). And Armenians have no beef with the Russians, territorial or otherwise, the way Romania in 1941 did.

      This is just nuts. NATO cannot possibly find a willing accomplice in the Caucasus or Central Asia, especially now. Georgia was their best chance, and they blew that one when they provoked the war with their front man, the war criminal Sakashvilli.

      1. Kouros

        Germany tried to build up a coalition to join the fight against USSR. Hungary was bought with Northern Transylvania, taken from Romania. Romania then had its arm twisted to join Germany, after the secret annex of the Molotov-Ribbentrop treaty gave free range to the Soviets to occupy Bessarabia / R of Moldova (Eastern part of Romania). Same thing went for the Finns and the Balts. Thus, all these countries had some reasons to join the Germans. I think the Soviets took all those lands hoping that the war would not reach Russia proper…

      2. hk

        #5 is what makes some people who are skeptical of the Western propaganda suspect in my view: too many of them are and have been expecting a big Russian offensive to finish Ukraine off. One has not materialized after months after months. There’s no indication that the Russian General Staff is even planning one and, given the increasingly marginal place that Ukraine holds in the greater conflict, I don’t think Ukraine would be the first place that Russians would unleash their forces, if they ever do go on a big offensive. I think Russians expect NATO to do something crazy somewhere away from Ukraine and they are right to be cautious of such. If there is a big Russian armored offensive, I expect that it will be directed at Warsaw and Berlin, not Kiev or Lwow, and it will take a lot of provocation before that happens. Ukraine is not only manageable at a relatively low cost for the Russians, the longer it goes on, the more politically and economically strained the West gets. Russians are in no hurry to wrap up Ukraine while the West is immolating itself there. But if Russians do escalate on their end, they’ll go straight for the jugular, i.e. not Ukraine. BUT they will try to avoid having to do it as long as they can.

    3. Armed Armenians

      Don’t underestimate the stupidity of those aligned with US and NATO, Germany as a prime example of suicide.
      Just because Armenians are not with the NATO game, doesn’t mean that the misleadership will not go along. Baerbock says that she doesn’t care about the German people.
      Also, a lot pf Armenians will be pissed if he signs aways Nagorno-Karabach because they will point at the thousands of dead Armenian soldiers and ask “for what exactly dis they die?”.
      It is also funny because a lot or Armenians consider the Nagorno-Karabach Armenians as whining beggars.

  21. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “The hidden mini statues of Budapest”
    I greatly enjoyed the humor of these statues. I wish I could visit Budapest to see them. I wish there were more public art like this in our world. It is far more enjoyable than plinths of civil war officers or soldiers from other ways.

  22. some guy

    Something I noticed in Budapest on a trip there 15 or so years ago was the many different kinds of door handles on the exterior doors into big and biggish buildings. Many different kinds. Each one different.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Sounds like another fascinating attraction. I may go back to the site with the little statues and see if they have something on the door knobs. The ties between Budapest, the play Perfumerie and the film “Little Shop Around the Corner” with its varied remakes piqued my interest in the city.

    1. JBird4049

      Interesting, but while I am moderately paranoid, deliberately creating and releasing such a virus as Covid, just to get people to accept vaccines more, seems a stretch. If the goal is to get more people to accept and use vaccines then influenza is already in the wild, mutates enough to require new vaccines every year, and I assume that scientists know enough about it that they could create a variant just, or more, deadly as the 1918 Influenza. It would also be less suspicious, which would be good for the health of the people doing the deed.

      There has been a concern that some frozen or preserved remnant of that flu from somewhere. could infect people accidentally. The same is true for Smallpox although that is an entirely different virus.

      This is also why I am not a believer in the deliberate release of Covid as it could mutate into a much more lethal or crippling disease resistant to most treatments.

      Something with the infectiousness of measles, but the lethality of smallpox would be incredibly damaging to society worldwide although not civilization ending. Just look at the deaths by infectious diseases before 1900, which affected all classes everywhere. It could put even the elites’ lives in danger.

      Also, just how reliable is either The Standard or David Martin?

  23. Stan

    It is just another volcano (Popo), but that pic takes me back to December 1985, when four friends and I climbed it. Our first attempt up the right side was turned back because clouds rolled in, just as we arrived under the spot wher you can see those crevasses. But we could not see them. We tried again the next day, up the longer, less steep left side — a long slog up the ash — one little step up, then a slide back a half-step. We had lunch atop the crater’s rim (left side in pic). It was so calm… a little blue-green pool of water down inside the crater, and tolerable sulphur fumes wafting up from it. In geologic time, that was just a few seconds ago.

  24. Wukchumni

    The 2022 Tonga Eruption Created a Very Rare ‘Super Plasma Bubble’ in The Ionosphere ScienceAlert
    It was a ‘submarine volcano’ meaning completely submerged when it blew up real good, and a rarity compared to on earth eruptions. We will feel it’s atmospheric impact for many years and this past winter was just a taste.

    Only 119 submarine volcanoes in Earth’s oceans and seas are known to have erupted during the last 11,700 years.(Wiki)

  25. digi_owl

    Now that is an antidote one can smell. ;)

    And i see that Yogi has upgraded to cupcakes now.

  26. Willow

    German far-right AfD now polling stronger than Greens, 17% vs 15%. Time series graph in link below suggests Greens ate into SPD support & then as Green’s influence grew, lifted support of AfD as a reactionary shift.

    German Greens are the new Bolsheviks. Repeating the 1930’s where Bolshevik radicalism feed acceptance of fascism. If UK/US thought promoting Green activism to weaken European power was going to work to their advantage then they’re going to be in for a shock. May have worked short-term but longer term will move Germany closer to Russia.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I understand that inflation is rally ramping up in Germany right now. That has got to have an effect on the political situations and I am surprised that the Greens are still so popular after, you know, destroying Germany and all.

  27. spud

    the global times article needs to understand what nato became, and how it is what it is today. the invasion of iraq was signed into law by bill clinton, regime change operations actually became a government organization and policy by bill clinton, and changing nato from defensive, to a offensive organization was done by bill clinton. bill clinton broke the promise and ran nato right up to russias borders.

    “However, there have been other, less apparent, mistakes that produced highly negative outcomes. One of those blunders was U.S. policy toward the civil war in Bosnia during the mid-1990s. America’s entanglement in the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia was unfortunate on two levels. It was a missed opportunity in the vastly changed post–Cold War security environment for the United States to off-load responsibility for a subregional problem onto the European members of NATO. The way Washington ultimately handled the Bosnia conflict also created an unhealthy precedent. It transformed NATO from a purely defensive alliance designed to deter or repel an attack on its members into an organization with an offensive orientation. Specifically, in Bosnia the alliance projected military power against an insurgent movement and secessionist government that had not attacked or even threatened a NATO member.”

  28. Jason Boxman

    Biden capitulation going to the house:

    According to a person familiar with the agreement, the deal also would impose new work requirements for some recipients of government aid, including food stamps and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. It would put new limits on the amount of time that certain recipients of food stamps — people under the age of 54, who do not have children — could benefit from the program. But it also would expand food stamp access for veterans and the homeless.

  29. ChrisRUEcon


    Someone on #Twitter just dropped this on my TL.

    The press release is from January, so I’m not sure why I hadn’t heard of it before, unless I missed something on it posted here. A site restricted search on this family blog doesn’t bring up anything for Tevogen, so I’m sharing. Sorry if it’s been posted about before.

    1. tevhatch

      I noticed Taiwan falling off, and Africa didn’t have any nation showing up. For the former, a lot of their students are getting their degree in USA then going to either Taiwan or Mainland China to do their craft. Africa would be much the same, except China and Russia provide a lot of that training to African students. This kind of meta-data would be very interesting to know about. As to Iran, 40+ years ago they were the overseas students in the USA for whom as a whole I had the most respect in competency, over the Chinese(Taiwan and Mainland), Japanese, and South Asians. If quality remain the same, then those numbers say even more than is apparent at first sight.

  30. some guy

    Here is a short video from the oddlysatisfying subreddit, of a street vendor in Iraq crushing and juicing pomegranates to extract the juice to sell glasses of to passersby. I am impressed by the hand-powered machine he is using to crush-juice the pomegranates. What is this machine called? Just a “juicer”? Where was/is it made? What brand is it, if any brand at all? I wonder if it is strong enough to crack black walnuts?

    Here is the link.

  31. some guy

    Here is a video from another subreddit called CombatFootage. It is titled . . . ” Taliban soldiers entered Iran today and attacked an Iranian military base.” I assume this is being presented as ‘straight news’ and not some kind of a joke. Downthread in the comments someone offers a PBS link to a story claiming this is about “water rights”. Even if so, was it really wise for the TalibanGov to attack Iran? With Russia, China, Iran looking to set up a three-way regional stability and prosperity sub-alliance, do the Taliban really want to present themselves as a threat to 3 major players who are near to Afghanistan?

    Here is the link.

    1. tevhatch

      Go to Google Earth and study the border area between Iran and Afghanistan, other than a few well controlled road passes, it is nearly impassible to all but mules and goat trains, and so is very porous for high value, illegal goods. Now the water rights issue is about water in Afghanistan that under treaty is suppose to flow into Iran. Do they expect everyone to believe the Afghan irregulars going into Iran to steal back the water, or just fool Americans? I find it hard to believe more than 1 or 2 thousand Americans would even care to know. I expect this particular issue was CIA proxies trying to assert control over their customary drug smuggling, and using the dispute over water rights as misdirection.

  32. some guy

    And here is a political cartoon by someone who I think is a Nebraska-based political cartoonist. It is called Brain Drain. It has a long comments thread written by people who purport to be from Nebraska and other Midwestern states. If they are legitimate commenters, their collective views add up to a snapshot field-report of the sort that Lambert Strether has occasionally asked for on one regional subject or another. These comments add up to a picture of . . . not “brain drain” exactly, but rather “brain expulsion”. Some of the commenters offer the theory that several MAGA and Gilead Republican oriented state governments are doing this on purpose in order to encourage as many unsympathetic and unsupportive people to leave these states. These states will then become permaMAGA and permaGilead. These commenters then offer theories on how the Gilead Republicans can use their emerging Gilead states fortress to attempt to Gileadize the country.

    So anyway, here is the link.

  33. R.S.

    Re: Examining the role of the Catholic church…

    Chuck L: “This is somewhere between weird and hilarious. Doesn’t Professor Justin Tse have a clue that these two “social movements” were anything but authentic?”

    Not sure about prof Tse, but his co-author’s name immediately rang the bell. “The research {…} was led by Professor Tse and Halyna Herasym, a Ph.D. candidate at the University College Dublin”. Galina Gerasim, if you romanize her name in an alternative way, and she’s a graduate of and a lecturer at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

    In 2020, prof Tse wrote a note about the grant, with some interesting details:
    Observing the involvement of clergy in both the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong in the Euromaidan and Umbrella Movement protests, we began to wonder how what we call ‘Catholic talk’ might have been used by activists who might not be Catholic themselves — indeed, who are just part of secular civil society — to describe their aspirations.

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