Links 5/28/2023

Fierce beast attacking Florida residents revealed as domestic cat with attitude The Guardian


Pecuniary Salvation Phenomenal World

US to give away free lighthouses as GPS makes them unnecessary The Guardian

New U.S. lab will work with deadly animal pathogens—in the middle of farm country Science

Man who opened plane door says he wanted to get off quickly: police Yonhap News Agency


State Farm to stop accepting homeowners insurance applications in California due to wildfires, construction costs CNBC

The lessons of a wildfire that destroyed a town and burned for 15 months Ars Technica


Audit finds California water agency not adequately considering climate change in forecasts Los Angeles Times


Survey shows Covid hit working-class areas hardest Kathimerini


Old Blighty

Britain’s broken food system Red Pepper


When neoliberalism came to the Indian farm Himal Southasian


China’s C919 Passenger Jet to Make First Commercial Flight Yicai Global

China says South Korea agrees to boost semiconductor cooperation, while Seoul stays quiet on talks South China Morning Post

US ‘won’t tolerate’ China’s ban on Micron chips, Raimondo says Channel News Asia

How China Integrates Drones Into PLA Operations Surrounding Taiwan The Diplomat

Canada’s ‘shocking’ new report on foreign interference has found none RT

European Disunion

New sanctions against Russia stuck in limbo over Greek-Hungarian protest Politico EU

New Not-So-Cold War

Russia outlines conditions for Ukraine peace deal RT

Oleksiy Danilov interview: Ukraine counter-offensive ‘ready to begin’ BBC

Russia summons US diplomats to protest at Sullivan comments on Crimea Reuters


Ukraine claims Russia planning ‘massive’ incident at nuclear site Al Jazeera

Ukraine asks Germany for its long-range precision Taurus missiles The New Voice of Ukraine

Russian Air Defenses Destroy Kiev’s UK-Supplied Storm Shadow Cruise Missiles Sputnik

Ukrainian military starts training on Abrams tanks in Germany – Pentagon Ukrayinska Pravda

Belgorod raid: Why are Russian neo-Nazis fighting Putin? Canadian Dimension


European Parliament to Join the Militarisation Path The Bullet

Why the EU’s economic engine is breaking down RT

Russia and Iran agree on new rail corridor via Azerbaijan Eurasianet

G7 Should Be Shut Down Consortium News

Serbian president steps down as party leader Anadolu Agency

US rebukes Kosovo for escalating tensions, Serbia puts army on alert Reuters


Clashes on Iran-Afghanistan border erupt, shells reportedly used Al Mayadeen

South of the Border

Biden Administration

How to Humiliate an Economist BIG by Matt Stoller

Biden fossil fuel boost creates political storm on his left Energy Wire

North Dakota Republican governor eyeing 2024 presidential campaign: Report Washington Examiner

GOP Clown Car

Who is Nate Paul? A look at the developer at the center of Texas’ impeachment scandal The Real Deal

Democrats en déshabillé

Reparations Are a Financial Quandary. For Democrats, They’re a Political One, Too. New York Times

Debt Ceiling

Biden, McCarthy reach debt ceiling deal to avoid default The Hill

Biden’s Debt Ceiling Betrayal is a Democratic Party Tradition Black Agenda Report


The $20 Billion Scam At The Heart Of Medicare Advantage The Lever

Obama Legacy

Obama, You Bum, You Are the Past and Unions Are the Future How Things Work

Groves of Academe

New report says Cal State has $1.5 billion funding gap, suggests tuition hikes Cal Matters

The soul-crushing cost of college in California, explained Cal Matters


Do Androids Dream of Terrible Streets? Compact Mag

JPMorgan Is Developing A ChatGPT for Investing The Deep Dive

Here’s What Happens When Your Lawyer Uses ChatGPT New York Times

Eating Disorder Helpline Fires Staff, Transitions to Chatbot After Unionization Vice

Screening Room

Hugely Profitable And Consolidated Streaming Platforms Suddenly Too Cheap To Pay Residuals And Writers, Or Keep Niche Shows Online Techdirt

Actors Are Losing Roles Over the Amount Social Media Followers They Have No Film School

Our Famously Free Press

Underexposure Exposed FAIR

Class Warfare

The two Bs on inflation Michael Roberts Blog


Dubai is a paradise for “digital nomads”— and hell for low-wage gig workers Rest of World

The Bezzle

Japan startup’s failed moon landing caused by altitude miscalculation, company says The Asahi Shimbun

Social Mobility Causes Distress and So Does the Neoliberal Imperative to Pursue Wealth and Status Mad in America

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. The Rev Kev

      RT put it like this-

      ‘The language and rationale of such a move should sound familiar, because it’s precisely what the US has been doing over the past few years in blacklisting Chinese technology companies and pushing allies to do the same. “You can’t trust having Huawei in your 5G infrastructure” was the general line used by Washington officials. According to them, and to Western media repeating this line, all kinds of Chinese technology constitutes an “espionage risk,” from TikTok to balloons to fridges.

      So based on this treatment of Chinese companies by the US, it was only a matter of time before Beijing struck back. And one might think that if Washington was willing to use “national security” as a pretext for market exclusion, it would be acceptable for China to the same. Only fair, right?

      Apparently not. Despite the brutal restrictions the US has placed on Chinese technology, which have also included blacklisting its entire semiconductor industry and forcing third-party countries to follow suit, the US reacted with outrage to Beijing’s announcement and accused it of “having no basis in fact.” Not only that, but Washington then further claimed that the move was evidence that China’s regulatory environment was “unreliable” and that the country was no longer committed to “reform and opening up.”

      1. John

        but in the “rules based world order” the US gets to make the rules and others get to follow them and keep track of ow the rules change to benefit the US and to apologize for not knowing that the rules have changed again and again.

        Hypocrisy thy name is Washington.

    2. Glen

      Having lived too long, and been there, done that in Cold War 1, I have to say Cold War 2 is being run by idiots. America certainly did not rely on a trillion dollars of imported goods a year from our adversaries in Cold War 1.

      This is just pitifully embarrassing. Isn’t China enemy number 1, and we’re going to war? Then just ban ALL IMPORTS from China right now. Instead I keep seeing this:

      Monty Python – The Fish Slapping Dance

      Hey, you, American elites, the Chinese are laughing at your silly a$$es every day so nut up or shut up.

      1. ArvidMartensen

        Was that a swastika on the fish? I don’t get what that means if it is. What am I missing?

        1. Glen

          Not sure about the swastika either. I suspect we would have to see the whole MP episode to get the context to that.

          The American elites created modern China with a very big trillion dollar fish, and now think they can slap China around with a sardine. Silly fools. Not going to happen.

  1. Henry Moon Pie

    Sullivan, Nuland, et al.–

    Well, there is a dissenter within the Establishment to all this American exceptionalism. Fiona Hill, Harvard Ph.D., member of the Council on Foreign Relations, current employee at Brookings, liberal hero who testified against Trump in Impeachment #1, and buddy of John Bolton, delivered the Lennart Meri Lecture in Estonia two weeks ago. You would think that the American press would have covered such a prestigious event, especially considering you could almost see Russia from there, but no, it has been radio silence.

    Glen Greenwald, last Friday on a show full of shocking information, covered it extensively. It turns out that Hill has quit creating her own reality and has decided to listen to what the Rest of the Wordl (RoW) thinks about the exceptional nation, the USA.

    It turns out, they’re just not that into us.

    In its pursuit of the war, Russia has cleverly exploited deep-seated international resistance, and in some cases open challenges, to continued American leadership of global institutions. It is not just Russia that seeks to push the United States to the sidelines in Europe, and China that wants to minimize and contain U.S. military and economic presence in Asia so both can secure their respective spheres of influence. Other countries that have traditionally been considered “middle powers” or “swing states”—the so-called “Rest” of the world—seek to cut the U.S. down to a different size in their neighborhoods and exert more influence in global affairs. They want to decide, not be told what’s in their interest. In short, in 2023, we hear a resounding no to U.S. domination and see a marked appetite for a world without a hegemon.

    What’s the cause of all this dissatisfaction? Is Putin putting something in the RoW’s water? Is Xi buying them all off with his stack of T-bills? Here’s Fiona’s take:

    Since 1991, the U.S. has seemingly stood alone as the global superpower. But today, after a fraught two-decade period shaped by American-led military interventions and direct engagement in regional wars, the Ukraine war highlights the decline of the United States itself. This decline is relative economically and militarily, but serious in terms of U.S. moral authority. Unfortunately, just as Osama bin Laden intended, the U.S.’s own reactions and actions have eroded its position since the devastating terrorist attacks of 9/11. “America fatigue” and disillusionment with its role as the global hegemon is widespread. This includes in the United States itself—a fact that is frequently on display in Congress, news outlets and think tank debates. For some, the U.S. is a flawed international actor with its own domestic problems to attend to. For others, the U.S. is a new form of imperial state that ignores the concerns of others and throws its military weight around.

    Careful, Fiona. Despite your impressive credentials, you may no longer be a member of The Club if you keep this up.

    In the so-called “Global South,” and what I am loosely referring to as the “Rest” (of the world), there is no sense of the U.S. as a virtuous state. Perceptions of American hubris and hypocrisy are widespread. Trust in the international system(s) that the U.S. helped invent and has presided over since World War II is long gone. Elites and populations in many of these countries believe that the system was imposed on them at a time of weakness when they were only just securing their independence. Even if elites and populations have generally benefitted from pax Americana, they believe the United States and its bloc of countries in the collective West have benefitted far more. For them, this war is about protecting the West’s benefits and hegemony, not defending Ukraine.

    The transcript, published as an op-ed in an Estonian paper is linked above. You can also check out the video of the address.

    And check out Greenwald’s Friday show for this and for the lowdown on who is keeping Feinstein in office and why, and the surprising role played by Pelosi’s daughter.

    1. Acacia

      “Decline” noted, but otherwise it’s the same Kool-aid flavor in Washington, same strength.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I sure didn’t hear anybody taling about this on the MSM this morning. Zakaria was preaching how great things were in the U. S. and Ukraine. But Margaret Brennan was worried, not because the rest of the world can’t stand us, but because the budget deal’s limited increase in the defense budget might allow China to become the preeminent naval power. Hakeem Jeffries was echoing Bakari Sellers in praising Biden for saving the stock market and promising lots of Democrat votes for another shitburger.

        Hill may not be fully red-pilled, but her much more realistic assessment of how the RoW perceives the U. S. is a rare example of awareness and honesty among the elite.

        1. Mildred Montana

          MSM is an unfunny joke. CNN, for instance, has lately taken to having six-person panels (suitably diverse of course), all saying the same thing but each desperately trying to say it in some way that might distinguish them from the rest, self-satisfied and smug, reveling in their unanimous agreement, almost as if the question was, “Does the sun set in the west?”

          1. digi_owl

            All suitably diverse in everything but class, i suspect.

            I suspect all of them had some ivy league social sciences degree with the student debt long since paid.

      1. Michaelmas

        Bart Hansen: Is this a sign that she prefers sit out the Ukraine war in the north of England rather than as a sitting duck in D.C.?

        It’s more like abandoning a slowly sinking ship or lessening one’s time spent in a declining neighborhood, I’d say. As Hill’s speech in Estonia acknowledges more or less.

        UK promotion of the Ukraine war having been quite aggressive, it’s unclear that county Durham in the UK is in fact currently in any less danger from the Russians than DC.

        Still, as the UK’s aggressive promotion of the war has presumably been driven to some extent by a geopolitical strategy of weakening the EU, since the industrial engine of the EU, Germany, is now severely degraded by the war, perhaps the UK may tone down baiting the Russian bear.

        In any case, England in the summertime is rather pleasant; it’s the winters that are harsh. Smart of Hill to get out of the US while the getting’s good.

    2. Mildred Montana

      There always comes a time when “implacable demonstrations of will”* no longer intimidate or succeed. Then they are recognized for what they are—the impotent tantrums of a nation in decline—and treated as such.

      *Charles Krauthammer’s recommended US foreign policy per the Project For a New American Century (2004)

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        And Krauthhammer worked for Mondale in the Senate. I remember watching Fox News early on election night of 2016. Trump had just been on a telephone interview, and he sounded quite down. Then comes Krauthhammer full of schadenfreude and arrogance, celebrating that Trump was done. LOL. What a ghoul.

        1. chuck roast

          I walked into a restaurant in Chevy Chase a few years ago and immediately made eye-contact with Krauthammer. The famous photo of Goebbels by Alfred Eisenstaedt popped into my head. Creepy indeed.

          1. Jorge

            The idea that K-Hammer was, by profession, a psychiatrist is one of the most brain-busting facts of recent pop-culture. The idea of this man fiddling with some unsuspecting citizen’s mind is breathtakingly painful.

    3. Carolinian

      The role of the Pelosi family in trying to make Adam Schiff senator is being widely reported.

      As for the above, Kennan did say the point of the Cold War was to keep America on top in a world full of poor but developing nations. And it did, economically, for my generation. Unfortunately paybacks are hell. Perhaps if we stopped electing clowns and grifters as president it might soften the blow.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        What I hadn’t heard is that Pelosi’s daughter is the primary caregiver for Feinstein. She’s doing a heck of a job. And Barbara Lee is not the same courageous person she was 20 years ago.

      2. Lee

        “Perhaps if we stopped electing clowns and grifters as president it might soften the blow.”

        Surely, you jest. At this moment no one who is not a clown or grifter need apply for that position nor any other office that matters, who is not blessed with oligarch campaign bucks. Here’s hoping the moment passes.

      3. CarlH

        When was the last time we were offered anything but clowns and grifters? Not during my lifetime.

    4. Mikel

      I don’t know why it is not more widely considered that the USA itself is also on the chopping block like ither countries.
      I keep thinking of Paddy Chayefsky’s “Network” and the Ned Beatty as Arthur Jensen monologue.

      Corporations do not want ANY country to have sovereignity over them.
      The USA is now useful as muscle to whip the other parts of the world. But I think more and more it is also on the divide and conquer chopping block…after it has served its purpose to the global elite.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        A top 3 movie for me. For those who missed it, here is Mr. Jensen’s explanation of how the world works as delivered to the Mad Prophet of the Airwaves.

        We only need to see this budget deal to understand who’s running things. The billionaires threaten a capital strike in the form of a stock market crash if they don’t get to torture Medicaid recipients with work requirements. And the defense budget rises. It’s all good. Bakari Sellers said this morning that Joe Biden had “saved the stock market.” Hallelujah! I’m sure his former constituents in South Carolina are celebrating as we are here on the East Side of Cleveland.

        This Empire can’t collapse fast enough for me.

        1. Mikel

          The defense money will increasingly go to subsidizing security/armies for private corporations.
          Fuedal fintech lords and other BS in the future.

          1. digi_owl

            It already does.

            After all, Butler claimed that he acted as the enforcer for United Fruit (these days known as Chiquita) back when he served in the USMC.

            1. Mikel

              Yes, it does and has been done in the past. And that is why I said it will increase.
              Maybe “privatized militaries on steroids” or “shamelessly privatized” or maybe more to the point: officially privatized.
              Undeniable dystopia on the streets type of privatized.

            1. digi_owl

              And yet they had to get bailed out by the government, and thus India became a British colony.

    5. GF

      Also Greenwald’s Friday show included a take down of the over-the-hill congress critters. My favorite was Jerry Nadler. Glenn showed a short interview with Nadler saying it was time to attack Russia. Then another short clip showing Nadler literally sh**ing his pants while speaking. The point was that no one that old and mentally incompetent (including Biden who’s brain has turned to mush – displayed in another short clip) should be in office right now. Greenwald was brutal with Feinstein who thinks she has been in Washington for the past 3 months and never left. Totally amazing what we are putting up with as US citizens. And don’t get me started on the debt ceiling negotiations disaster.

  2. Carla

    Re: The lessons of a wildfire article — “The people there just couldn’t wrap their heads around a fire that was out of their control.”

    Made me think immediately of all the medical professionals here and everywhere who can’t wrap their heads around a lethal pandemic that is out of control. So they declare that it’s over and re-bury their heads in the sand, while the rest of us bury friends and relatives, weakly hoping we’re not next.

    Anyhoo, wildfire lessons is a great article. Thank you, Conor.

    1. Wukchumni

      State Farm isn’t really like a good neighbor who will always be there, as it turns out.

      Can’t blame them really, especially with the perfect set up for a horrid fire or 6 staring Cali in the eye.

      Grasses and whatnot were late this year as it was always raining and they could never really get going until it stopped coming down, and then they went hog wild-growing high and really thick this year (i’m in the process of weed whacking and have never seen so many areas where weeds are still green-almost in June!) and we’re talking about 4 foot high stuff all over the place-soon to be dying back with their roots on, and fire goes about 2.5x higher than it’s highest point, so momentary 10 foot flames all over the place in the foothills…

      There are about 100 sections of wrecked roads in Sequoia-Kings Canyon NP’s and all around the southern Sierra probably 500 more instances. We were driving towards the Whitaker Experimental Forest a few weeks ago when we came upon a 60 foot missing gap of asphalt and 30 foot chasm where the usual pipsqueak Eshom creek runs, it was tailor made for the likes of Evel Knievel-the 2 school bus length, but not Hotshot teams.

      Should a wildfire get going around these parts where you can’t get there from here, well you can only fight it from the air, by either helicoptering in firefighters or direct air assault, that’s it.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I know this sounds stupid but have you given thought to having a trench ready in case of a really bad fire season? I have read accounts of people here in Oz that have saved their lives by ducking into depressions to get away from the radiant heat. One woman even saved her life by crawling into – I kid you not – an outdoor kiln. Everything around her got turned to ash but she made it out OK. Here is the advice published for dealing with fires in our neck of the woods-

        1. Wukchumni

          Bad link there RK…

          I’ve got a fire tent in the car at all times for when i’m in the higher climes as getting stuck on a mountain road when something wicked hot this way comes, but its not so much an issue in the foothills where oaks predominate and aren’t really prime burning material compared to pine trees. Oak leaves are small and typically smolder when burning-as opposed to the situation in Paradise-which was chock full of pine needles which are my go-to source when starting a campfire-they burn with a vengeance.

          That said, i’m hep to about 4 caves where we could duck in and be safe, but we’d have to be in the right place at the right time for that to work.

          In my defense, approx 25% of Sequoia NP has burnt in the last 3 years and about 25% is above treeline, leaving only half of the NP left to go up in flames, so there’s that.

            1. Wukchumni

              Most caves have water running through them-unless they’re dead, the chief caver for Sequoia NP (there are about 250 known caves-and if it wasn’t for the Sequoia trees, might be called Natural Caves National Park) related to me years ago that the Chinese government paid his way to explore caves in the middle kingdom, as they were interested in the water possibilities therein.

            1. jefemt

              My Forest Circus pals call them Shake and Bakes. Morbid sense of humor. They both made it to retirement– one a resource manager, the other a smoke jumper.

  3. griffen

    Man opens plane door as the flight descended for a landing, well he just wished to get off quickly. Yeah, so says anyone who was ever in the very back rows of the plane. Just get me out of here.

    1. The Rev Kev

      For a stunt like that, I suspect that soon he will be in a facility where he will not be able to close or open a door for years.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “New U.S. lab will work with deadly animal pathogens—in the middle of farm country”

    Said it many a time. If you are dealing with deadly pathogens in labs, then do it in secure facilities, on an uninhabited island, off the trade routes. Instead they want to keep on doing it in farm country or in cities with populations of millions. I guess that the idea is ‘What could possibly go wrong?’

    1. jefemt

      Will State Farm pull the plug on Kansas? An escaped virus or bacteria from a facility… hardly an Act of God?

      1. Kouros

        Wasn’t Kansas and its pig farms the source of 1918 “Spanish Flu”? Combined with the desire of the US Army to move as many bodies to the front in Europe no matter the consequences…?

    2. rob

      in the middle of farm country AND in tornado country!

      How massively stupid is this? I hope that entire facility that has all those level 4 protections is underground. This way WHEN a tornado hits it it doesn’t take all that contaminated safety equipment
      and blow it all over the country side or down town.

  5. CanCyn

    Eating Disorder Helpline Fires Staff, Transitions to Chatbot After Unionization (Vice) I admit to breaking a blog rule: before commenting, I could not bring myself to read this article. I have just one question, how is this not a headline from The Onion???

    1. griffen

      I tend to believe I am cynical at the state of things in American life, but then this article makes me reach a conclusion. Not cynical enough after reading this article.

      The AI or chatbot story according to leading lights like Reid Hoffman, by example, is that AI will actually create new roles and not be a destructive force in crushing actual people or entire departments who perform the work. I am not buying it.

  6. The Rev Kev

    ‘US officials often claim they have little insight into Ukraine’s military plans. But here’s Victoria Nuland telling the Kyiv Security Forum that the US has been “working on” Ukraine’s counter-offensive plan “with you for some 4-5 months.”‘

    If you like that quote, then you will love this one. So Lindsey Graham was talking to Big Z and said-

    ‘Russians are dying…Best money we’ve spent.’

    But the White House continues to say that they are not part of this war.

    1. Milton

      And the response from the Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Maria Zakharova:

      U.S. Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham said with a satisfied smirk at a meeting with Zelensky: “Russians are dying. We have never spent money so well.”

      During the Nuremberg Tribunal, the Minister of Economics of Nazi Germany, Hjalmar Schacht, stated that sponsorship of the Third Reich also came from abroad and named the two largest American corporations: Ford and General Motors. An unspoken deal was made with him – freedom in exchange for silence. Despite the protests of the Soviet representatives, he was released and lived to be 93 years old.

      Let me remind you that the embodiment of the American dream, the same legendary Henry Ford was a holder of the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the German Eagle. His factories in Germany not only produced up to 70 thousand trucks a year for the needs of the Wehrmacht, but also used the labor of prisoners, including Auschwitz, for this .

      And the German icon of the automotive industry, Opel, belonged to … General Motors. Researcher Bradford Snell describes the role of the corporation as follows: “General Motors was far more important to the Nazi war machine than the Swiss banks. Switzerland was just a repository of stolen money. General Motors was an integral part of the German war effort. The Third Reich could have invaded Poland and Russia (USSR) without the help of Switzerland. But they couldn’t have done it without the help of General Motors.

      The Kodak company at its plant in Germany manufactured fuses for aerial bombs, not disdaining to use even the labor of prisoners of war.

      The Coca-Cola plant in Cologne, even before its nationalization by the German government, regularly supplied soda to German soldiers. And the famous “Fanta” was actually invented by the Nazis.

      The oil giant Standard Oil, through its subsidiary campaigns, helped Hitler with the shortage of petroleum products, participated in synthetic rubber and synthetic fuels. And IBM, beloved by IT people all over the world, produced accounting and control devices for the Nazis, including for oil production. Among other things, the equipment of this company helped to keep track of train schedules to death camps…

      And we have to mention banks: JPMorgan Chase & Co also had a hand, and then Chase National Bank, through which multibillion-dollar transactions were carried out, and Berlin had the opportunity to buy dollars and carry out financial transactions overseas. “Chase” cooperated with the German bank “Alliance” even in such a matter as … insurance of property and life of the guards of the concentration camps of the Third Reich.

      Senator Graham definitely has some material to draw comparisons. One of their investments led to World War II and the Holocaust.

      Now, billions of US dollars are pouring into the insatiable throat of the neo-Nazi Kiev regime. In this regard, I would like to remind the senators and all American beneficiaries how the previous adventure ended.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Thanks for that. Never heard about most of that history though I should not be surprised. You wonder how many prominent Americans were involved with the Nazis back then. Prescott Bush certainly was, even after the US had declared war on Germany and who still had financial dealings with them-

        If he had been convicted of treason like he should have, then likely neither his son or grandson would have been President. Fun fact. Prescott Bush was also involved in the Business Plot which wanted to coup FDR.

        1. Polar Socialist

          The corporate America was first enthralled by Mussolini and his “fine young revolution”. Hitler was, after all, leading a socialist party, and even the German business was vary of his intentions.

          Nevertheless, for example Irenee Du Pont supported Hitler financially already in the late 20’s. Randolph Hearst and Henry Ford likely just admired the man and his authoritarian approach.

          Now, it can be debated whether it was the Nazism that allured so many US corporations, or merely the fact that in the early 30’s over 20 of them had established subsidiaries in Germany recovering from the hyperinflation, when the Great Depression hit especially Germany very bad (because of huge dollar loans).

          There were street fights between Communists and Nazis, and whole German society was heading towards another abyss – and with it the huge investments of US corporations. So they supported the man who they though was best to return the law and order.

          Low and behold! after Hitler took power in 1933, the US investments in Germany returned to black in short order. And everyone who opposed corporations quickly ended up in concentration camps. What’s not to like.

          For all the talk about “free” markets, corporations actually loath them and absolutely prefer government sanctioned profits.

          1. Mikel

            A short and not so sweet way to break it down:

            Corporate America was a part of the global elite grass roots of the rise of fascism – obscured by much of mainstream history.
            WWI didn’t quiet and cull the herd enough.

            1. Mildred Montana

              The National Socialist Party in Nazi Germany wasn’t socialist at all. One day after May 1, 1933 (May Day, celebration of the working class and its unions), Hitler closed all unions, seized their offices and records, and attacked or imprisoned their leaders.

              And here is the truly diabolical (and typically Nazi) coda to his actions: Workers were forced to join the Nazi-controlled German Labor Front, then the “Strength Through Joy” programme. Oh Joy! They were compelled to participate in compulsory leisure activities, thus keeping them too busy to take up anti-state activism.


              1. Sailor Bud

                I love to point out Schindler’s List to the ‘Nazis were socialists’ crowd. The very end of it shows Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, lamenting that he could have saved more people through his sweatshop shenanigans, if he only hadn’t needed the custom suits, the Swiss watches, the Mercedes, the silk ties, or whatever.

                Speer’s first book points out a comical moment in the collapse of Germany. Eva Braun complained that she wouldn’t enjoy her fave lipstick if all the consumer-oriented factories were converted to war production. The U.S. was far ahead in that game. That was late 1944. Germany was already toast.

                What’s not common knowledge is the meaning of the circular swastika pin Schindler wears throughout the movie (and that the real man wore). That was the pin they gave to the first 100,000 Nazis, which meant that businessman Oskar Schindler was an early joiner, before Hitler’s rise to legitimated power.

                So very, very ‘socialist’ were those Nazi industrialists, because there was ‘a state,’ with socialism in its name. So sayeth those who know, and who deny a capitalist-aligned state of any configuration, including a dictatorial fascist one.

                They also insist that ‘freedom’ means owning the ground underneath everyone’s feet, with no limitation to how much one can own, according to a supposedly ‘voluntary’ market value. That’s not a state, somehow. Liars, in every which way.

              2. LifelongLib

                According to Wikipedia (well) “Socialist” was added to the party’s name in 1920 over Hitler’s objection, mainly for PR reasons. Apparently there were some Nazis who also considered themselves socialists, but Hitler eventually got rid of them (I think that was part of the Night of the Long Knives thing).


              3. The Rev Kev

                That “Strength Through Joy” also had programs to send young girls to camps in the country for their health and to exercise. Which happened to be located near camps of young guys in their camps. So the girls had a saying at the time – which translates from the German by coincidence – that ‘I lose strength through joy.’

              4. Keith Newman

                The historical record is clear. The Nazis were financed by big business and did their bidding once they took over:
                “In February 1933, as Chancellor, Hitler met with the leading German industrialists at the home of Hermann Goring. There were representatives from IG Farben, AG Siemens, BMW, coal mining magnates, Theissen Corp, AG Krupp, as well as a locust of Bankers, investors, and other Germans belonging to the top 1%. During this meeting, Hitler said, “Private enterprise cannot be maintained in the age of democracy.”
                And: “In 1934, Nazis outlined their plan to revitalize the German economy. It involved reprivatization of significant industries: railways, public works project, construction, steel, and banking. On top of that, Hitler guaranteed profits for the private sector, and so, many American industrialists and bankers gleefully flocked to Germany to invest.
                Also: “On May 2, 1933, Adolf Hitler sent his Brown Shirts to all union headquarters. Union leaders were beaten, and sent to prison or concentration camps.”
                Things went according to plan: “Employers lowered wages and benefits. Workers were banned from striking or engaging in other collective bargaining rights. Worker conditions were so deteriorated that with the head of the AFL visited Nazi Germany in 1938, he compared the life of an average worker to that of a slave. Workers in Nazi Germany worked longer hours for lower wages.”

        2. Cas

          If you have the time, you might want to read Trading with the Enemy, by Charles Higham. It exposes the American corporations’ support/cooperation with Nazi Germany. To me the kicker was after the war, the corporations sued the US government for damages to their businesses in Germany!

          1. digi_owl

            Or watch Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States, that covers this in the first episode (and also Grandpa Bush’s work as a banker for Thyssen, who backed Hitler).

          2. rob

            the nazi- american money plot: 1933-1949 was a really good book.
            Let’s not forget the bank of international settlements being set up in ?33?… because the bankers knew war was going to interfere with legal payments being made between warring parties’s gov’ts…. as a way to make sure the money could be gotten, to those fascist supporters all over the globe.

            And the legal cases over the profits of and especially the transfer of patents of the german chemical and industrial combines (like IG Farben) didn’t get sorted out till the 50’s and 60’s. BASF, GAF,bayer, etc….

            Also, I think it was ford, who sued the allies(RAF) for destroying one of its factories in vichy france, that was contributing to the german effort., and WON reperations after the war. Ford not only kept plants going that were already in existence , to produce war material for germany. They also BUILT new factories for them. In vichy france and in north africa , for rommel.
            If the american vets and public; knew this in 1948 and after…. there would be a different history of american muscle cars from the 60’s . Ford would have gone out of business, were the people to know their politics during the war.IMO

            but I think a really telling book was “merchants of death”. It came out in 1934. It was sounding the alarm that :
            vickers in the UK, and schneider of france were circumventing the treaty of versailles, to re-arm germany, and this was going to lead to a worse outcome to the coming war. It was a “book of the month club” book. So it isn’t really like people didn’t see the “stirring in the weeds” of things to come.

      2. Wukchumni

        About 35 years ago an elderly fellow with still quite the German accent came into my store and I like to pick brains, and after coaxing him out of his protective shell, he told me that he was an engineer on the team that developed the swept wings for the ME 262 jet fighter, a very interesting man.

        At one point he asked where I thought the piston engines for 3rd Reich airplanes in the 1930’s came from?

        Built under contract from American airplane manufacturers…

      3. Carolinian

        I blush for my bloodthirsty senator even if, as pointed out above, he is part of the great US establishment ambivalence toward fascism. The Dems like to pretend that establishment was all Republicans but it was Truman–under the influence of SC’s Jimmy Byrnes–who fired up the conflict with the Soviets. Some say it’s the real reason he nuked Hiroshima. Later the sainted Bobby Kennedy worked with McCarthy and his brother lied about a “missile gap” to get elected. Even the moon quest was aimed at besting the Commies.

        I’d have to think really hard to come up with something that Graham has done for South Carolina. But DC loves him.

      4. Mildred Montana

        Yeah, thanks for that. A history lesson in a few articulate paragraphs. Compulsory reading for Sen. Lindsey Graham.

        1. Bsn

          My favorite story from the WW II days is that after the war, Ford Corp. sued the US government because it destroyed the trains that Ford built for the Nazis to ship Jews to prison camps. Ford won the lawsuit and the US reimbursed them.

          1. hk

            Never heard the one about trains, although it is rather believable. I do know that they demanded (and got) compensation for US bombers bombing Ford’s German factories which were happily churning out trucks (with the famous Ford logo, too, I believe) for Germany. I swear that I read something about choice quotes from a US soldier upon capturing a bunch of German trucks with Ford logo on them

    2. OIFVet

      At least Lindsey Graham is refreshingly honest about why the US started and prolongs the war. No platitudes about “freedom and democracy,” “civilizational choices,” “Euroatlantic values” and other rubbish in that vein.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Back when “intelligence sources” were claiming Russia paid Afghans for killing US soldiers such a thing was deemed nefarious. Of course, then it wasn’t true.

        1. The Rev Kev

          That was a recyclable lie that. After getting all that they could get out of claiming that it was Russians paying that bounty, they then claimed that it was the Iranians paying that bonus. Then after that, they claimed some other group but I forget who.

  7. cgregory

    “Reparations” doesn’t have to be financial. In fact, given how the poorest will always see their windfall pried out of their hands by the greedy, financial compensation is just another cruel joke on them.

    The best form of reparations would be to endow the recipients with something of lasting value– e.g., a refreshing of every public school in America and generational funding of teachers. Not only would this be of immense value to the descendants of slaves, but it would include all children born into families experiencing the financial disparity suffered by most Black families in the country.

    1. hk

      More likely that schools will be closed and teachers laid off to “pay for” the reparations, if they do take place, with the “Liberal elites” taking their cut along the way, because they alone are doing “morally courageous” things.

  8. Wukchumni

    Biden, McCarthy reach debt ceiling deal to avoid default The Hill
    The vote is on May 31st, and if the Freedom Caucus et al says ixnay in enough numbers and the deal doesn’t go through, there will be just a few days to appease them and could mean the end of My Kevin (since ’07) being speaker, opening the door for the middle least, er Jim Jordan.

    1. griffen

      We’ve pushed the goalpost into the future, congratulations to the future grandchildren who inherit the earth, and the associated debts that accompany that earth. \sarc

      I’m sure Republicans will gloat on pushing some manner of requirements on those greedy Americans who wish to, I don’t know, avoid hunger. I’m never really sure who is pleased by pursuing that agenda, but believe I can narrow it down to the most special brand of as$hole donors. Medicaid and SNAP recipients, respectively, aren’t the spending problem they’re just a symptom of capitalism failing to “lift all thine boats”. Throw gobs of money at defense contractors, OTOH. Good grief.

    2. Pat

      Unfortunately Biden and Dem leadership has probably made too many promises for him to pull the whole package and effectively raise the debt limit by minting two trillion dollar coins. As that would destroy the whole premise of a debt limit being remotely real, there would be no excuse to have a bottomless open wallet for the MIC while telling poverty level elderly and the disabled to get nonexistent jobs or no healthcare or food for you.

      This morning I am having a hard time figuring out who I would hit if I had a shot with Thor’s hammer. There are far too despicable humans who would be more valuable as a human pancake.

      1. Rolf

        Pat, we need NC’s stable of talented lyricists to emend Pete Seeger’s original protest song appropriately

        If I had a hammer
        I’d hammer in the morning
        I’d hammer in the evening
        All over this land

      2. Jason Boxman

        I’d say the best plan is to put all the rich in a room, without food, lock the door and let the situation sort itself out.

      3. Darthbobber

        I can’t wait for the contortions it’s going to take for team D to desperately spin this as something other than an utter debacle

    3. djrichard

      Wouldn’t it be delicous if the vote fails and they eventually have to raise the debt ceiling without a deal? All that posturing down the drain.

      At this point, this is indeed a referendum. If the debt ceiling is raised without a deal, it’s not just MCarthy that is exposed, it’s Biden too. Biden is going to need to whip the dem vote to save face.

      1. tegnost

        Biden is going to need to whip the dem vote to save face.

        I’m sure the lobbyists are on it.

        1. djrichard

          Certainly Hakeem Jeffries. A lot of political capital may need to be burned. Would it get so bad that the Black Congressional Caucus would have to be relied on to whip for this? Maybe sic them on the Progressive Caucus and watch them fold?

      2. JBird4049

        >>> Biden, McCarthy reach debt ceiling deal to avoid default The Hill

        I doubt that the vote on the capitulation agreement will fail although if squint really hard I can see the possibility in the Senate. I will say that, if the deal goes through, the Democratic Party is dead to me, and while I might vote for someone like Kennedy, there is no else. I will be checking on my local representative to see how they vote for if they vote for it I will campaign for anyone else at all. Republican, Green, Libertarian, whatever. I will drag my disabled self outside and do it.

        Eugenics to get rid of the undeserving poor, and slave labor to prevent wages from going up as well, using the crippled and, not just the poor, but the the poverty stricken as well especially in the Southern states. Each state tweaks SNAP and Medicaid limits and benefit amounts, but even in more generous states like California, they are not good. The population using these benefits are already the sickest part of the population and often have young children as well.

        Although, this would be a way for the Democratic Party to also dispose of people while getting desperate, controllable, and cheap labor for the corporations. The banality of evil. Not for ideology, I think, but for playing the game including the selling and paying of favors.

    1. griffen

      I was hoping or expecting to see a Mark Hamill or Sean Penn being in the volunteer line.

    2. Pat

      More AI uselessness. Unless and until I see Vicky and Lindsay and Jake and Blinken and yes Hillary on the frontlines (with the Azoz goons behind them keeping them there) I will not be satisfied with Ukrainian recruitment.

    3. Amfortas the hippie

      wild chick who used to be my right hand in my cafe texted me drunk last night, late…
      “i’m goin to ukraine”
      me ‘why?’
      her, ‘ to volunteer in a kitchen in Lviv…its safe…western UK’
      “i am not afraid”

      i rolled over and went back to sleep.
      woke up this mornin…and stewing over this and other recent encounters with humans i know in real life…and i marvel at what percentage of those humans are insane in some way.
      “i saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness….”

      and yet i am often considered the crazy one.

      1. Acacia

        Lviv is well within range of Kinzhal missiles.

        Ukies will need moar cannon fodder, too.

        Maybe she’ll wake up sober and give it a re-think.

      2. BeliTsari

        Between neighbors, sneeringly brain-washed since childhood, formerly pretty circumspect, skeptical, astute & sane folks who’d been WOKE, in the soul meaning of being able to sniff-out horseshit & were demonsterably level headed, regardless of insanity ALL around… damaged by repeated infection & cascading PASC brain damage, loss of loved-ones, W4 or remunerative employment & fear, helplessness & depression, taking equanimity, resilience & hope from ALL of us (to whatever extent we acknowledge). I’m guessing we’re being hood-winked about everything we cling to as reality? I notice, you’re unable to find Google’s memory hole, let alone watch any nascent FACT disappear from the horizon? Just trying to SHOP at e-vendors or pick through product reviews is simple insanity, now. “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is 50% off for Memorial Day.”

      3. digi_owl

        You’re the crazy one because you are an independent thinker.

        Been there, done that, still have the mental scars.

        1. ambrit

          Similar situation with us. However, we are old enough to have the official plaque to hang, er, what was I saying?

      4. rowlf

        One of my doctors, a good direct unfiltered sort who was a doctor in Iraq with the US Marines, decorated for action under fire, quit his group practice to go the Ukraine to be a medic. And he came back. I’d love to hear what he has to say, but likely he is a veteran and will keep his mouth shut. His new office is about an hour away next to a military base.

        Bummer, as he joked once (an honest sincere joke) that with all the technology advancements in medicine nobody will find a cure for cancer as cancer treatment is too profitable.

  9. Mikel

    “Actors Are Losing Roles Over the Amount Social Media Followers They Have” No Film School

    Watch out actors. Pretty soon they are going to tell you that if you want actual money for the instinsic value of what you do, that you need to perform your productions live!

    But, joking aside, this is the BS platform plantation creep that is becoming soul killing across industries.
    People now expected to not only do their jobs, but work for free by generating content for digital platforms.

    1. Brenda

      “Platform plantation creep” Love it, sounds like intellectual knotweed or kudzu.

      Take note, there is rebellion:

      Step by step; get a landline, use cash, boycott QR codes, loyaltycard datamining etc.

      1. ambrit

        Alas, there are no landlines left around here in our half horse town in the North American Deep South. Also, now a lot of the sales “specials” in our local grocery stores require inclusion in the “Loyalty Brigades,” and, more and more, having the proper App on an iPhone, naturally carried with you all day, every day.
        Opting out is slowly but surely being eliminated as a viable option for ‘ordinary’ people.
        We have, realistically, always lived in a two tier society. Now, there is a new tier being introduced, “Non persons.” That tier is being directed towards Neo-liberal Rule #2, with a vengeance.

    2. Carolinian

      Is this really new? Back in Hollywood’s true heyday of the 1920s and 30s there were fan magazines that large segments of the public bought so they could obsessively follow the latest doings of their favorite stars. Meanwhile the studios would regulate, or try to, the off screen behavior of their contract players because publicity was all. Hollywood was built on celebrity and the producers quickly realized that actors sold tickets and not, as today’s auteurists would have you believe, directors or writers even if the celebrity machine needed the latter to function.

      Fortunately talent still matters both then and now and many of those long ago big stars were good actors, dancers, singers. Others?? Not too many Betty Grable movies on collector shelves these days.

      1. Pat

        Michelle Pfeiffer once said she acts for free, they pay her for the promotional tour. And that, like the fan magazines of the past, were expenses for the studios/producers.

        This is, while not quite as obvious as say forcing the off clock waiters to vacuum and clean the dining room of the restaurant after closing, is the bosses shifting unpaid work onto the employee.

        It is most certainly a first world problem, but we will be seeing more and more job “requirements” that have little to do with the actual job and are not compensated in order to shift costs for all types of businesses.

        1. hk

          In some sense, what Pfeiffer described is generally true for show businesses generally. (Defined broadly). There was a semi retired professional golfer on a local radio show (who is definitely not famous) who brought up the fact that starting career in professional golf is very expensive: he (and his family) spent upwards of 100k (and that was a long time ago) annually to participate in golf tournaments far and wide. Nobody would pay him because nobody knew him. Only after he got to be known among some circles did it actually become possible for him to make money from golf, mostly because they were worthwhile enough of a market for some sponsors willing to spend money to reach them.

          Can this work outside certain peculiar industries? I don’t know, but I don’t think it would. But many people do seem to be operating on the premise that it is universal.

          1. Pat

            Not so much sponsorships for athletes, but most actors spend a lot of money and do a lot of work for free before getting hired. There are classes, headshots, reels, showcases, shorts, student films, low budget films, etc all the things that get you a resume and things to show to casting agents and actual agents just to get to auditions for paid work.

            These are established actors. To use golf, if this is true, this would be more like everyone but the top three seeds having to show that they can bring in an advertiser or their spot in a PGA tournament will be given to someone else who can.

            1. hk

              The impression that I got from the guy on radio is that that description is not, in fact, too far from the truth in the golf world: his point was that, if you are not known, there’s no expectation that you’d get anything back for all your expenses, and that phase would last for several years. Not having been a professional golfer, I have no idea if that is true, although I could believe it seeing the amounts parents spend on kids’ “extracurricular activities,” sports being a big part thereof, with the only point being building up their “credentials” for college.

          2. playon

            Musicians who can’t afford roadies often joke that what we get paid for is schlepping the equipment around, setting it up and breaking it down, the actual playing is the fun part.

      2. Mikel

        Yeah, it’s different. The old studio machine hired people to manage the PR for stars.

        This is the stars using much more of their free time and own money to produce content for platforms. They can get paid only with some kind of endorsement deal and those are mostly available to the bigger stars.

        I’m looking at how this affects the majority of actors.

    3. WhoaMolly

      Authors face same problem.

      Big 5 publishers want a “following” of 10,000 before they even look at your manuscript.

      Smaller publishers, less. But still an issue.

  10. Roger Blakely

    Remote work likely affecting our ability to learn, focus and innovate, studies show, by Talia Varley @globebusiness #MentalHealth
    9:01 AM · May 27, 2023

    The Man would like you back in the office. Playtime is over.

    It is ridiculous for anyone to think that they are not inhaling SARS-CoV-2 in all indoor public spaces. A year ago it was BA.5. Then it was BQ.1.1. Now it is XBB.1.5. There will be another one that will come along and knock us all on our keisters again.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Guessing that a trip to work takes and hour and a half all told and the same again to go home at the end of a day. That is three hours a day times five days a week giving a rough total of fifteen hours a day spent stuck in traffic or nodding off in a bus/train. Call it roughly ten percent each and every week doing this. Did that Talia Varley also work out the effect of such a regime on people and if it affected their ability to learn, focus and innovate?

      And don’t get me started on financial costs such as fares, fuel, car maintenance, parking fees, etc.

      1. Cetra Ess

        Not to mention, I haven’t even caught a cold or flu since the pandemic started, nor have I caught covid.

        And ever since I’ve started working remotely I’ve been working so hard, so intensely, I barely even get up for bathroom breaks.

        As far as I’m concerned, if everyone is like me there’s NO WAY remote work isn’t dramatically more productive, since there’s no question I’m working harder, giving more of my time to the workplace. I’m teleporting directly from meeting to meeting with no transit time in between, hour long meetings are now fully one hour, not 45-50 to allow for people to percolate into the room, so how is this not coming through in these so-called studies? Are they perhaps assuming facts not in evidence?

        I would, however, acknowledge that those who live in downtown condos will find remote work difficult since, after all, they essentially live in a big closet. Very understandable that they’ll want and need to return to the office. I have a backyard, garden, trees, etc., and can move around and change the view.

        Any study weighing pros and cons will need to at least divide workers into condo vs house dwellers. Also consider commuting time, as you mention.

        There are too many variables to reach a conclusion that can be generalized for all. Talia Varley doesn’t seem to grasp this.

      2. Cetra Ess

        Oh, one thing I should also mention – I’ve noticed that not everyone on my team has a decent internet connection, we have people who are chronically experiencing technical difficulties. I pay big bux for massive bandwidth since I’m also a gamer but I think some people haven’t figured out that they need to upgrade their internet (and also, tethering to your iphone = bad Teams meeting connectivity, chronic signal dropping). Any study measuring productivity, in addition to the factors previously mentioned, will also need to consider internet connectivity, employee’s own tech skills and bandwith issues. Which leads me to believe it’s just not possible to adequately study this.

        1. rowlf

          Just before the pandemic fiber optic internet cable was laid in my area. At the start of the pandemic my teenage sons (and the introductory conversion cost from DSL to FO) got me to upgrade my house network. Having the home office network faster than the corporate network was nice and larger personal monitors made the work from home nice too. Also, some of my coworkers never got the concept to turn off the video camera to save the audio quality.

          On the other hand, the kids’ ginger tabby cats having a keen sense of when a meeting was going on…

    2. Kouros

      Globe and Mail is such a tool. I am positively better off working from home and I wouldn’t go back.

    3. digi_owl

      If anything i learned more after retreating from society and could deep dive books and articles at my own pace.

      they assume that exuberant extroversion is the norm…

  11. The Rev Kev

    “US to give away free lighthouses as GPS makes them unnecessary”

    Maybe they could sell them to the Department of Defense as disguised missile silos. In case of war, the lid flips sideways and out come those ICBMs. Nobody will see that coming. The silo crews could even be disguised a lighthouse keepers and would keep on providing a service while waiting for WW3.

    1. Pat

      Funny, my first thought was they might regret that as satellite blocking capabilities expand (but then most of the ships would probably stop dead like those automated home thermostats where the company went out of business, and it isn’t like our sailors can navigate without technology even if the boats could move.)
      I bet they considered it but I don’t think the can dig far enough for most missiles on many of those sites.

      1. analog warrior

        This is the kind of disaster in waiting that will come for all of us as we become solely dependent on digital and satellite tech, and even AI to do our thinking for us. Scifi stories from the 1950’s and 60’s warned of this very thing and yet we march on, oblivious into a dystopian hellscape of our own making. Do they even teach celestial and analog navigation anymore at our navy and merchant marine academies? I do hope so.

        One of the big dangers of escalation of the war into a NATO v Russia direct confrontation is the reality that both Russia and the US can destroy each other’s satellites and would likely do so in case of war. This would turn the space in which our satellites orbit into a huge garbage dump of millions of small pieces of metal that would make any future satellite launches impossible as they would be launching into a debris field of metal flying around at tens of thousands of miles per hour which could tear them apart in moments. And that’s not even considering the risk of nuclear annihilation. Thoughts of “Canticle for Liebowitz” come to mind.

        Geniuses, save the lighthouses.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          my late father got his captain’s license some 20 years ago, and my cousin got his 2 years ago…both reported that analog(as with a sexton, etc) and …to a lesser extent…celestial navigation is still taught.
          the reason given:”sh&t happens”…and systems fail.
          its SOP for boats that go offshore to have redundancies.
          Dad’s last boat(yacht) even had an old loran(?) system, that triangulates one’s position from radio towers…altho i didn’t ask if it still worked properly.

          1. Pat

            That makes me more hopeful, and it is probably true that the majority of sailors in the world know these things are important. When it comes to the US Navy I am so distrustful of the brain trust that runs most of the government that I find it impossible to imagine that they took a second to consider things before telling the Admirals not to waste time on such ‘useless’ skills.

            1. digi_owl

              The problem with the USN is not so much what they are trained in, but how.

              Last i heard, officers training involved a stack of DVDs that the person in training was to go through between watches.

          2. Tom Bradford

            I hope that was with a sextant rather than a sexton – the latter is the church officer who dealt with burials!

          3. digi_owl

            And that is why even as a an aging techie i maintain an amount of cash on hand for when screens barf errors. Because i have seen oh so many times how easily a computer can follow instructions into its own grave. Nor do i have any interest in unified online identities, as that just means a single point of failure.

        2. tevhatch

          The article indicates that LORAN and other navigation aids on-site are still being maintained by USCG, they just don’t want to deal with the costs of maintaining “protected” architecture. That’s why they are having trouble finding takers, it’s extremely expensive to maintain the property using techniques that the trade doesn’t supply anymore.

          1. alfred venison

            Walter Tevis, “Mockingbird”, 1980.

            Anne McCaffrey commented, “I’ve read other novels extrapolating the dangers of computerization, but Mockingbird stings me, the writer, the hardest. The notion, the possibility, that people might indeed lose the ability, and worse, the desire to read, is made acutely probable.”


        3. digi_owl

          Not just scifi. Burke’s original Connections show opened with a contemplation on how fragile modern society was. This by talking about how the east coast blackout of 1965 happened.

        4. Robert Gray

          analog warrior

          > This is the kind of disaster in waiting that will come for all of us as we become solely dependent
          > on digital and satellite tech …

          heh heh — I tell ya, it long pre-dates digital and satellite tech.

          When I was a young fella, long before I got a driving licence, I was ‘into’ cars. I recall that there was some super-duper fancy sports car that had ‘hidden’ headlights; they were covered by a flap that automatically lifted when you switched the lights on. (Yes, kids: there was a time when people didn’t drive with the lights on all the time.) Anyway, I pointed this out to my old dad — who was not exactly a glass-half-empty kind of guy but who rarely if ever got caught out when something went wrong — and said ‘Look! Isn’t this cool?!?’ And he said — oh, I should also mention that we lived in the North — he said ‘Yeah, but what about in the winter when those covers freeze shut?’

    2. digi_owl

      Dunno, DoD likely just want them gone because they keep confusing aircraft carriers.

      1. playon

        According to a link posted here a week or so back, the grid in the USA is in bad shape, to the point where more frequent power outages will become the norm in coming years. Infrastructure is not on our leaderships’ radar.

        1. digi_owl

          I can’t shake that this is down to how accounting is done, as i see this pattern repeating all over the (neoliberal) world.

          This in that while new infrastructure can be entered into the ledger as a depreciating asset, maintenance of existing infrastructure is written as a direct expense.

          Thus buying/building new is “better” for the accounting, as long as it only happens after the last purchase has been fully depreciated. And that can often be 30 years depending on rules.

  12. Will

    Related, maybe, to the Russia Iran rail corridor through Azerbaijan, yesterday, Iraq announced a new $17 billion transportation project to connect Basra, on the Persian Gulf, to Turkey “intended to facilitate the flow of goods from Asia to Europe.” Not much detail but in addition to new rail and highways presumably enlarge and upgrade the port. Representatives from Turkey and Iran, among others, present at the announcement.

    Very vague on financing other than to say they’ll rely heavily on “brotherly and friendly nations.”

    Improbable, but I think it would be very funny if after having spent decades bringing democracy to Iraq, America was not part of this deal and instead the Iraqis turned to Russia or China. And by improbable, I mean highly likely.

    1. jefemt

      Beingsyourthere, while you are making the grade for the rail, may as well mae it a bit wider for a pipeline or three, and perhaps some fiberoptic cableworks?

      Belt and Road. Bootstraps. John Galt…not just for America any more!

    2. tevhatch

      The dispute between Iran and Afghanistan is supposedly about water rights issue, for water in Afghanistan that under treaty is suppose to flow into Iran. Do NED/CIA news services expect everyone to believe the Afghan irregulars are going into Iran to steal back the water, this smacks of NordStream Bombing level stupidity? I expect this particular issue was CIA proxies trying to assert control over their customary drug smuggling, being used to make a threat that pushes up the construction costs to China.

      1. ambrit

        Yes to the CIA shadow funding stream. The Iranians, being somewhat puritanical the last time I looked, would frown heavily upon anyone trying to use Iranian soil as a transshipment route for drugs smuggling. I have read that Iran is a large, unified state while Afghanistan is still a somewhat patchwork coalition of statelets. So, it depends on which Afghans are fighting with the Iranian border guards.
        Is there a “CIAnistan in the Central Asian sphere?

    3. Procopius

      Wonder if they’re getting financing from China. I saw an article recently showing an alternative path for Belt and Road that went through Iran and Turkiye rather than through Russia and Ukraine.

  13. Mikel

    Why the EU’s economic engine is breaking down RT

    “…The German economy, once Europe’s roaring engine of growth, slipped into recession in early 2023 amid runaway inflation, the national statistics office revealed this week…”

    Shocking. A G7 country has admitted recession.
    I haven’t had time to search sites for any denials, but they usually pop up on the same day somewhere. Gotta keep that market volatility for compulsive gamblers going.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Waiting for the US and the EU to claim that there were “irregularities” with the Turkish elections in 3, 2, 1…

  14. Jeremy Grimm

    I poked around the Mad In America website that hosted the link:”Social Mobility Causes Distress and So Does the Neoliberal Imperative to Pursue Wealth and Status Mad in America”
    Some of the artwork on that website’s Artwork page is quite stunning.

    “One of our priorities at Mad in America is to provide a forum for people with lived experience to tell their stories, and the creative arts are powerful media for such truth-telling.”

  15. some guy

    In the article ” Biden fossil fuel boost creates political storm on his left
    By Brian Dabbs | 05/26/2023 07:13 AM EDT ” , I read that . . .

    . . . ” In April, the Energy Department signed off on another project in Alaska that’s set to export 929 billion cubic feet per year of methane-emitting liquefied natural gas (LNG).

    This month, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm also publicly endorsed the Mountain Valley pipeline, which could transport two billion cubic feet of natural gas per day. The administration has speedily signed off on LNG export projects, and exports of the fuel are expected to increase 14 percent in 2023 over last year.”

    That, to me, explains the reason for the sudden fake cardboard replica “moral panic” suddenly engineered over gas stoves and gas hookups for new buildings. The “panic engineers” hope to reduce use of gas in America for the sole and only reason of liquefying it into LNG and selling it to Europe and Asia. Where it will be burned ( including in gas stoves, no doubt) and skydumped into the atmosphere.

    They plan to compress and sell every last puff of the gas they can prevent Americans from using in America. ( The merchants of gas also in general plan to sell every last puff of gas everywhere else in the world . . . Russia, Mozambique, everywhere.)

  16. djrichard

    Interesting article Yahoo Finance: Debt-Ceiling Relief May Be Short as Focus Turns to T-Bill Deluge

    The concern is that with a tentative deal pending, the Treasury will soon replenish its cash balance by selling more than $1 trillion of bills through the end of the third quarter, according to recent estimates. The US cash stockpile currently sits at $39 billion, the lowest since 2017.

    A deluge is likely to suck a significant amount of liquidity out of financial markets. That could add pressure given the Federal Reserve has been raising interest rates and shrinking its balance sheet.

    The suggestion is that the Fed Gov can become a player like the Federal Reserve is on par with doing open market operations which sequesters currency. At least temporarily, which would be true if the Fed Gov was simply adding to their balance sheet. But that’s not how this should work. The Fed Gov should be running a very small balance sheet, just enough to manage misalignments between intake and spending. Otherwise in general, any currency coming in should be going out immediately. The Fed Gov’s impact on liquidity should be “invisible” more or less – it’s not in the business of sequestering currency like the Fed Reserve can.

    If anybody has recommendations on further reading on this would be interested. I remember an article on some years back that did a better explanation of this. It was back around the time when Obama put the platinum coin option on the kibosh as a way to deal with the debt ceiling criss back then. Unfortunately can’t find that article. If memory serves, it spoke to how the Fed Gov’s balance sheet was actually on account over at the Fed Reserve.

    On a related note begs the question, if the Fed Gov’s impact on liquidity is “invisible” then what sets the interest rate on Fed Gov debt, in particular on debt on the long end of the curve, e.g. 10Y yield? Because it’s not like the currency used to purchase 10Y treasuries is sequestered for 10 years. The Fed Gov puts it right back onto a private bank’s balance sheet again on behalf of a recipient (of fiscal spending or of treasuries maturing).

    My inclination is to say that it is a function of the velocity of money as the 10Y yield seems to correlate with MZM velocity. [though MZM velocity is no longer tracked unfortunately.] But why that should be the case isn’t clear. Seems to suggest transmission inefficiencies as it works through misalignments in everybody’s balance sheet as it moves from income to spending, from the “source” to the “sink”.

  17. Willow

    Re: US ‘won’t tolerate’ China’s ban on Micron chips
    Does this mean Micro chips have backdoors?

    1. digi_owl

      Now you got me wondering. And it does not help that Micron is about RAM and Flash ROM (aka storage) chips. Thus one may well speculate that they could have some way for the NSA etc to read out the content of the chips even if the OS is programmed to deny that.

      Interestingly it seems Micron runs a chip fabrication plant (fab) in China, though most of its non-US fabs are in Taiwan and Singapore.

      1. playon

        I’d bet that all US-made chips have back doors. I have heard that there are parts of chips that even computer engineers are unable to access.

        1. digi_owl

          This could be a reference to one of two systems.

          First is secure enclaves, something found most on phones and meant to handle sensitive tasks like storing banking app data.

          Second are management engines, effectively a secondary computer found inside CPUs from Intel and AMD. That are meant to enable remote administration of the computer even when the main OS is somehow inaccessible.

  18. Van Res

    Are search engines bursting the filter bubble? Study finds political ideology plays bigger role than algorithms

    The study addressed a long-standing concern that digital algorithms learn from user preferences and surface information that largely agrees with users’ attitudes and biases. However, search results shown to Democrats differ little in ideology from those shown to Republicans, the researchers found. The ideological differences emerge when people decide which search results to click, or which websites to visit on their own.

  19. The Rev Kev

    That wolf in today’s Antidote du jour does not appear to be happy about wearing a tracking collar.

  20. some guy

    DC FedRegime: ” US ‘won’t tolerate’ China’s ban on Micron chips: Commerce secretary ”

    CPC ChinaGov: ” Oh yeah? You’ll tolerate what we tell you to tolerate. You’ll tolerate it and like it.”

    Pass the soggy popcorn. Soggy? Soggy with tears. Tears of laughter from some, tears of sorrow from

  21. WRH

    It appears the system we have in place in DC is working just as intended. The poor just got screwed some more and the dems can pretend that their hands were tied

  22. anon in so cal

    Covid spike protein:

    “the persistent presence of the spike protein itself may be considered pro-inflammatory for the brain. Of note, this work cannot be misconstrued to relate to Covid vaccines, a theoretical issue that would need to be separately explored (italics added).

    “Long after their Covid infection… most (12 of 20) of these individuals had marked accumulation of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein in the skull-meninges and brain tissue… Only the spike protein, not other parts of the virus, was found in brain parenchyma.”

    “Ali Erturk, the senior author of this study (in preprint form) summarized their findings in this twitter post. (SMC-skull-meninges connection that harbors the spike protein.)”:

    –Erik Topol, summarizing Ali M. Erturk’s study.

    1. Lambert Strether

      From Topol:

      The potentially reassuring finding of the Hamburg study was the lack of cognitive decline that was noted among the patients with mild to moderate Covid at 10 months.

      Or perhaps the real issue isn’t cognitive decline, but increased risk-taking, decreased empathy, etc.; mechanisms to explain rather a lot of anecdotes about increased anger and aggression (not to mention unmasking) in public spaces. Would those show up on cognitive tests? Drunks looking for the keys under the lamp-post…

      1. anon in so cal

        Yes. Plus, the Hamburg study “differed from the UK Biobank and other reports that had longer follow-up, more patients with moderate Covid, and larger sample sizes. What is disconcerting to recall is the post-polio syndrome (known as PPS) that appears late—from 15 to 30 years after poliovirus infection—and what can be a disabling, progressive condition characterized by muscle atrophy, severe muscle weakness, falls, and chronic pain, and a leading theory for its basis is persistence of the virus or its components. The point here about SARS-CoV-2 is that we don’t have long-term follow up; we don’t know what will be the real impact on brain function.”

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