Links 5/31/2023

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Why Gen Z prefer dogs to babies Unherd

An Anthropologist of Filth, by Ian Penman Harpers (Anthony L). On Chuck Berry.

The Long, Slow Death of Global Development American Affairs Journal. Anthony L: “The long death of global development – but no real questioning of the Development axiom.”

Quote of the week: Steve Keen’s vision for a new economics The Political Economy of Development (Chuck L)

Models of antiquity aeon


‘Unpredictability is our biggest problem’: Texas farmers experiment with ancient farming styles Guardian (Kevin W)

Supreme Duplicity Counterpunch. On the Clean Water Act.

IAEA Team In Japan For Final Review of Fukushima Nuclear Plant Water Discharge Associated Press

What Lessons Do The Chinese Hydropower Shortages In Summer 2022 Hold For The World? China Water Risk (guurst)

The Unexpected Problem With EVs: They ‘Tire’ Quickly PCMagazine (resilc)

Insurers’ climate alliance loses nearly half its members after more quit Reuters (Kevin W)


Report: Taiwan Receives Stinger Missiles as Part of Free Military Aid Package from US Antiwar (resilc)

Biden refuses to lift sanctions on Chinese defense minister Responsible Statecraft

Nvidia to turn Taiwan into a world-class AI hub Asia Times

North Korea space launch fails after rocket crashes into sea DW


It’s A Political Fantasy To Imagine That India Will Ever Join “NATO Plus” Andrew Korybko

European Disunion

From Politico’s morning European newsletter. Note further down in Links the US criticizing Kosovo:

EU AND US SLAM POLAND’S ‘LEX TUSK’: Alarm bells are going off in EU capitals and Washington over a new Polish law that will allow a government commission to ban people from holding public office — potentially blocking opposition candidates from running in this year’s elections.

“The new law is a tool of political intimidation and persecution to prevent change at the next elections in Poland,” Manfred Weber, leader of the center-right European People’s Party, told Playbook. “It is a legislative scandal in the heart of Europe.”

What’s in it: The new bill, which President Andrzej Duda said he will sign into law, would create a commission meant to investigate Russian influence in Polish politics. The commission would have the power to ban people from public office for a decade. Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party say it’s an effort to root out Kremlin agents. Poland has been at the forefront supporting Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion began last year.

But the real target could be someone else: The law comes ahead of this fall’s pivotal parliamentary election that has the ruling party and opposition in a neck-and-neck race. The opposition warns the commission is aimed at harassing political rivals — especially Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister and European Council president who heads the opposition Civic Platform party (a member of the EPP).

The “new legislation … could be misused to interfere with Poland’s free and fair elections,” the U.S. state department said in an unusually strong statement. “We share the concerns expressed by many observers that this law to create a commission to investigate Russian influence could be used to block the candidacy of opposition politicians without due process.”

EU vows to step in and act: “I can assure you that we will not hesitate to take immediate action as necessary when we see that there is space and need for such action,” the Commission’s Vice President for Values and Transparency Věra Jourová said during a press conference.

“We have a special concern now about the situation in Poland,” Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders told reporters. “A special committee able to deprive citizens of their right to be elected in a public office” forms the focus of concern.


Greece and Poland Join Forces to Seek German War Reparations Greek Reporter

New Not-So-Cold War

The American military veterans who’ve fallen in Ukraine Washington Post

Drones Strikes In Moscow – Missile Strikes In Ukraine Moon of Alabama (Chuck L)

The Importance of Uniform as Ukraine Contemplates an Offensive Larry Johnson

15th Annual Kyiv Security Forum “For Our and Your Freedom / Fighting for NATO” Kyiv Security Forum

West steps up pressure on Turkey to admit Sweden into Nato Financial Times

Not important in and of itself but indicative. Dima reported on Monday that Russia had taken out a bridge in Southern Ukraine that was key to a potential attack route. More of the same:


Clashes in Kosovo: Belgrade Warns of New War as 25 NATO Troops Injured, 50 Serb Protestors Hospitalised Military Watch

US penalises Kosovo after violent unrest BBC (furzy). Alexander Mercouris gave a short backgrounder here starting at 1:07:40.

Maidan-style coup attempt unfolding in Belgrade — Russian ambassador TASS


>US declares death of neoliberalism and demands new global consensus Middle East Eye. Chuck L: “Horses and barn doors.”

Taliban claims: ‘We will conquer Iran soon’ amid water dispute Jerusalem Post (resilc)

The Taliban is using leftover American gear to fight Iran Task & Purpose (resilc)

Hell Hath No Fury Like the Pakistan Army Scorned The Wire

Imperial Collapse Watch

What we know about China’s hacking of Navy systems Task & Purpose (resilc)


Biden’s Age, the Economy and Trump: 11 Skeptical Biden Voters Discuss New York Times. Resilc:

I think a rematch would cause a lot of people to disengage from the process altogether. You’ll have a lot of people questioning our democracy or democracy as a whole. There’s going to be a lot of people who, if we had good candidates, would go out and vote who, this time around, just don’t really care. No matter who wins, it’s going to feed into a lot of extremist views. It is going to add fuel to the flames or the fire of what we saw for the last eight years. Nobody is really satisfied. There’s a lot of discontent. And so I think that we’ll see that get worse under either of their presidencies.


Biden Accuser Tara Reade: My Two Choices in US Were to Walk Into Cage or be Killed Sputnik (UserFriendly). Whoa!

“Safe Harbor”: New Evidence Offers Insight into Hunter Biden and his Collapsing World of Corruption Jonathan Turley

GOP Clown Car

Unnecessary Solutions to Imaginary Problems The Bulwark (resilc)

DeSantis tries to connect with voters during first full day of campaigning in Iowa France24

‘Leadership is not about entertainment’: DeSantis swipes at Trump, says it’s time to ‘send Biden back to his basement’ and claims Hunter would be in JAIL if he was Republican in first Iowa rally Daily Mail


US House committee chairman plans to hold FBI director in contempt of Congress Anadolu Agency

The FBI as advanced persistent threat – and what to do about it The Register

After over 50 Years of Running Domestic Terrorism, Shouldn’t We Finally Indict the FBI as the country’s leading Domestic Terrorist? Canadian Patriot (Micael T)

Debt Ceiling

Debt ceiling bill clears key procedural hurdle to advance to House floor The Hill

Senate braces for last-minute conservative demands on debt deal Politico

McCarthy: Student loan payment pause ‘gone’ under debt ceiling deal The Hill

The Debt Ceiling Deal Is an “F You” to Poor People Jacobin. That’s a feature, not a bug.

There is always more money for defense contractors Popular Information (resilc)

Our No Longer Free Press

Vatican chastises bishops who stoke division on social media Reuters (resilc)

Has Musk Ruined Twitter? American Conservative


A.I. Poses ‘Risk of Extinction,’ Industry Leaders Warn New York Times (resilc)

Lawyer Cited 6 Fake Cases Made Up By ChatGPT; Judge Calls It ‘Unprecedented’ ars

AI chatbots aren’t trustworthy. Could OpenAI, Google or others fix it? Washington Post (furzy)

Class Warfare

The Hidden Working Class History of the Memorial Day Massacre Common Dreams (ma)

Purdue Pharma allowed to shield Sackler owners from opioid lawsuits Financial Times

And a bonus (furzy):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

A second bonus:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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    1. The Rev Kev

      I don’t think that it is parody. But there may come the time when all those workers in the Philippines and Latin America hook up together and cut out that Nick Huber as unnecessary, high-cost deadweight. He makes the point that his critics are doing so from iPhones assembled in India for $2 per hour. But if Apple pulled out of India, those manufacturing facilities would just revamp to pump out a local version that would undercut Apple. People like Nick Huber may find themself as a future endangered species.

      1. jefemt

        Mr. Huber appears to be a Greed-is-Good Karen hybrid?

        Probably has a copy of Atlas Shrugged front and center on his decorative Bookshelf?

        They Call Me Judgy McJudgeface.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      What a jerk. If I lived near him I would scatter seeds on his front lawn on a daily basis.

    3. chris

      Good god. What an awful human being. The replies are also awful. Perhaps an HOA is the only way these terrible people could live in any proximity to each other…

      Wait a minute. Is the USA the HOA Karen for the world?!

  1. Roger Blakely

    US declares death of neoliberalism and demands new global consensus Middle East Eye. Chuck L: “Horses and barn doors.”

    The article was written by Marco Carnelos, a former Italian diplomat.

    From the article:

    President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, recently addressed the Brookings Institution with a topic entitled nothing less than “Renewing American economic leadership”.

    The statement also identified four fundamental challenges: 1) the hollowing out of America’s industrial base; 2) a new environment defined by geopolitical and security competition; 3) an accelerating climate crisis and the urgent need for a just and efficient energy transition; and 4) inequality and its damage to democracy.

    His statement was so eye-catching that summarising it in one sentence would sound as shocking as saying: “Everything we’ve done and said over the last few decades is now wrong.”

    1. earthling

      I imagine Jake will soon have to resign ‘to spend more time with his family’ and never be heard from again.

    2. wendigo

      He is just saying these are the challenges we have as we continue to do and say the same things.

      We just have to learn to accept the challenges as an endemic.

    3. nippersdad

      I saw something like this last week in Politico, of all places, wherein the usual suspects declared that they needed to fix everything they had done over the past generation. It reminded me very strongly of when Obama tasked Wall Street with fixing its’ own mess in ’08, and will no doubt be followed by the same kind of response on their parts.

    4. spud

      he is just echoing bill clintons economic advisor who said the same thing, brad delong.

      “So progressives should take enormous comfort from Brad DeLong. He is one of the most influential economists. He wasn’t just a theorist. He actually was there designing and implementing these policies at the most senior levels of the Clinton administration. And he says they are failures. They’re political failures and they’re often economic failures. And he says the left is composed–the progressive wing of the Democratic Party–of among the best people in the world. Their policies are typically wonderful. Excellent for the world. We need to get behind them. And the idea that we should continue to listen to the New Democrats, the Wall Street Democrats, and take guidance from them, is preposterous; that they must exit the stage and the baton must pass to the progressives to take the leadership role. And that they’re doing an excellent job of that, and should continue and expand that leadership.

      MARC STEINER: So, one final question for you, BIll Black. So, you’ve been in this world a long time. You know all these people.

      BILL BLACK: I am old. [Laughter]

      MARC STEINER: You–do you think that the Wall Street Democrats, folks who are in the investment world, along with the Chuck Schumers of the world, are going to acquiesce? Not–acquiesce is the wrong word, but are actually going to take seriously what DeLong said? And this is actually take place politically? Possibly? I mean, do you think that’s real?

      BILL BLACK: No, but that’s because Brad DeLong has vastly more integrity than they do. They know, however, that they’ve been conned, played, and they’re absolute fools in the game. Remember the saying in any poker game, if you don’t know within a minute of sitting in it who the fool in the game is, it’s you.

      MARC STEINER: That’s exactly right. [Laughter]

      BILL BLACK: These guys know they’ve been the fool for 30 years, and they have tossed our lives down the drain. Brad is willing to say it. So they know how discredited they are. And thanks to Brad DeLong for having the intellectual honesty to say it in these blunt and colorful terms. But I can tell you this has been in the making for at least eight years, where Brad DeLong, based on new facts, has been shedding his ideology, or at least changing it dramatically. And we should all use that as a lesson, as well. Just listen to the facts. Don’t go with these labels like socialism or not socialism. Is it a desirable program? And here’s the good news: Almost every poll of the public shows that the key agenda items of the progressives have strong, strong support, even among Republicans.”

  2. griffen

    Amazon probably has the best legal defense that billions can acquire. What are the chances for the apparently little lone entrepreneur in that above thread. I’m hoping this David has more than 5 stones for the Goliath retailer he is facing.

    Reprehensible but then it’s American capitalism. But to hear the tales of great capitalism and industry consolidation according to CNBC’s own Jim Cramer, monopolies are great and everything is okey dokey.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Clashes in Kosovo: Belgrade Warns of New War as 25 NATO Troops Injured, 50 Serb Protestors Hospitalised ”

    And here is what the reality looked like on the ground for those NATO troops- (54 secs)

    Thing is, they are not really NATO troops but occupation troops for the Kosovo government that have been sourced from NATO nations.

  4. diptherio

    Abby and Robby Martin have a very good two-parter on Tucker Carlson. I think this might be a useful listen for those who have forgotten Tucker’s historical (and contemporary) war-mongering and bigotry. His father was the director of VOA. He went to Nicaragua in college to work with the Contras. He was Rachel Maddow’s mentor at CNN, and they are still friends to this day. He was a vociferous supporter of invading Iraq, he took a lead on mocking anyone who doubted the official September 11 story, and he has expressed his unironic desire to “sit on a throne of Chinese skulls.” And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    1. BeliTsari

      They kind of epitomize why I’d stopped watching TV “news” before CNN (Jan 19, 1981 to be precise. We’d my partner’s 19″ Sony B&W, she’d LOST from time to time. We’d all journalism degrees, somewhere beneath our Zap Comix, underground press & un-paid student loans (it was a scam. Prole boys were drafted, otherwise). Rich, Ivy league, K Street lie factory kids, SPEW utter falsehood, as calming little hits of dopamine, for sneeringly brainwashed PMC & yuppie hammer-heads. We’re told what we believe, which side we’re on, who UDP allows us to LOTE in.

      Now, they’re going after my last couple dozen trustworthy journalists. BRAVE whistleblowers I’ve seen black-balled, fired & harassed OUT of QA/QC &

      1. BeliTsari

        Sorry, got a call from my oldest surviving friend. Is ANYBODY else noticing just how many of our re-re-reinfected uppity essential friends (mostly Black, Latinx; poorer & older) are doing FAR worse & exponentially more likely to die, years after working through subsequent infection or proteacted & cascading PASC (with only VERY cursory diagnostics, only hippy-dippy snake-oil supplements, by way of treatment?) Funny, NOBODY’S covering how our 2020 saviours were callously sacrificed & abandoned & CDC blamed their poor victims, from the very first? Sorry, for my extemporaneous tangent!

    2. Carolinian

      Sounds like he was for most of the things Joe Biden was once for. And Pelosi. And Schumer.

      Now he is willing to question some of them and Biden etc aren’t. We all know who Tucker Carlson is and haven’t forgotten. But what about the Democrats’ amnesia?

      Personally I’ve never seen Carlson’s show and don’t have much interest in doing so since the web is our “alt-press.” But those who attack red/brown in places like Counterpunch don’t seem to be offering much of an alternative other than weak complaining. If Tucker is fake then give us the real thing.

    3. Skip Intro

      I would say Tucker’s lecture from Jon Stewart is a must-watch. He has somehow taken that message to heart. Role reversal anyone?

    4. pjay

      We know all this. I have heard/read many of these same examples by other “progressives” over the last few weeks who want to save us from our naivety. He has acknowledged most of this stuff. He has repented for *some* of it, but not all. So, what is your point? Is it that when he does say something truthful we should reject it because of the source? Is it that such statements could not possibly be truthful because of their source? Is it that Carlson could not possibly be sincere in such statements because he is a slimy right-winger, so don’t listen to them?

      I’m unsure what lessons the Martins want me to learn here. I guess it is that when someone with a large media platform actually challenges Establishment narratives on a particular topic we should do everything possible to undermine that message, unless that person meets our ideological purity test. Of course the result is that we authentic lefty anti-imperialists end up only talking to each other in our little alt-media enclaves. The larger public learns nothing, but don’t we feel so much *cleaner* for exposing such a slimeball?

  5. The Rev Kev

    “What we know about China’s hacking of Navy systems”

    ‘Hackers were “pursuing development of capabilities that could disrupt critical communications between the United States and Asia” in a crisis.’

    Well of course they are. They have a major military power that has established about 200 bases – small and large – surrounding them. That is trying to form coalitions to fight them with countries on the other side of the planet even taking part. And who have announced that they expect to be fighting China in only a coupla years and are transferring military force to do so. If I was a Chinese general and one of my hackers came to me and said ‘Hey, boss. I think I found a way to shut down their communications system in case the balloon goes up but it needs more work.’ I would tell him ‘Go for it son.’

  6. cnchal

    > I criticized Amazon’s policies in a blogpost.

    Of course Amazon is horrific. They run a pay to be found extortion scheme against third party sellers.

    What is the Amazon tax rate now? About 55% so third party sellers raise prices to compensate, which shoves even moar money into Bezos pocket, and raises prices everywhere else, due to Amazon’s policy of can’t sell for a penny less elsewhere.

    Whip cracking sadists get taken to the cleaners by the cancer of capitalism.

    1. Betty

      Maybe that’s the reason(s) why my neighbors don’t post on Amazon anymore. They say they can’t make money (some $20-30,000) selling books and arts/crafts, all of which they would research extensively & verify, before posting.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The original idea was to make the Ukraine more like the EU. But after a year or more, it seems that the countries of the EU are becoming more and more like the Ukraine. Having Poland ban opposition politicians is exactly what Zelensky did in the Ukraine but they gave him a pass on that and now it is coming back to bite them.

  7. Lexx

    ‘Why Gen Z prefer dogs to babies’

    All that and no mention of a few of the other choices available to women around the same time: no-fault divorces, child support, and credit cards. Women were released from their dependency on men or their tribes to define them in tribal terms, the only roles women might perform by which they would be taken seriously as fully functioning members and worthy of the tribe’s protection… from those outside the tribe. (Domestic violence is higher than ever.) The sexual revolution gave women the freedom to chose; tribal norms are threatened by those choices and they* are trying very hard to claw power over women back. ‘Our women shall not be allowed to define themselves.’ The tribe/economy must grow and the Womb Owners alone can not be allowed to make decisions about reproduction on their own; there’s too much at stake.

    My parents always took me personally and this was not good news for me, but they never took me seriously. It’s what the tribal elders can withhold if you fail, for whatever reason, to shine on them as parents/grandparents — their approval, your membership, financial assistance, shelter, emotional support, or even the time of day.

    I could count the cards my parents were holding on to, their imagined power over me… consider then what it looks like to the Gen Z generation who have even more choices than the Boomers. There’s more at work here than the cost alone of raising children. Would-be grandparents can count those cards too and find their hands are a lot weaker than they used to be. It’s isn’t fur babies that worry them, it’s fur grandbabies. I think that specter is why so many parents have made their kids their absolute BFF’s.

    *So many institutions dependent on women reproducing, too numerous to mention.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘So many institutions dependent on women reproducing, too numerous to mention.’

      Not meant as a criticism here. If so many institutions are dependent on women reproducing, then why are women punished so harshly for doing so whether it is financially, socially, career-wise, etc. It’s not like society really wants to help carry the load with things like child support and healthcare for babies after all.

      1. Keith Newman

        @Rev Kev, 10:00 am
        Also free or very low cost non-profit childcare (c.f. Quebec, soon all of Canada, and other countries.)

      2. Lexx

        Are you speaking of the State? The state has an interest in exerting some control over whoever raises those future ‘contributing members of society’, preferably a financially responsible grown up.* Not every state takes an equally punitive view of single moms, rather poor single parents (still most likely mom) sans support from exes and their families. I seem to be meeting a growing number of dads who are raising their kids alone or with a new girlfriend/wife. That was unlikely prior to the 2000’s, Dads rarely got primary custody.

        Are you asking about Red States? Where you will also find the powerful presence of religion/ Christian leadership. There’s a collusion there between church and state to exert control over working class taxpayers (via ‘family units’), and assuring butts in pews (via ‘family units’) every Sunday dropping their money into the collection plates. You can’t lead if there’s no one willing (or can be compelled) to follow; they’re only as relevant as their base, only as powerful as the wealth in their accounts… and to serve that mission they’ve always preferred ‘the family’. As steady revenue streams go, it’s like a ‘subscription’.

        *I added up the numbers from a few days ago… that’s $355k for each child through their college education. Skip college and it’s still incredibly expensive for a couple earning $75k a year. ‘You can be financially comfortable or you can have children, but not both except for the rich.’ Parenting can be expected to be a sacrifice, not financial suicide.

        1. Robert Gray

          > Are you speaking of the State? The state has an interest in exerting some control over
          > whoever raises those future ‘contributing members of society’ …

          Reminds me of the wonderful-but-apochryphal story of France in the 1920s and ’30s. After the slaughter of the Great War, the State (purportedly) offered an award of xxxx thousands of francs to wives who bore five babies to help repopulate La Republique. And if Madame produced ten children, she got the prize … whether she was married or not. :-)

      3. vao

        If so many institutions are dependent on women reproducing, then why are women punished so harshly for doing so

        Perhaps for a similar reason as to why people who perform essential work and actually keep our societies running are “punished so harshly for doing so whether it is financially, socially, career-wise”, while those doing “bullshit jobs” are rewarded?

      4. skippy

        You should remember the Howard baby bonus thingy and ***the readers and not breeders punch line*** Kev. Explosion of under class young having babies, which begat an explosion of kids in underfunded public schools and other public services, begat a tidal wave of P license plates on the road, ultimately leading to abandonment of such and now the only tool is too increase immigration because some model says so …..

        The Upper classes are well aware of the costs of bearing children and how much it costs to live in the right areas, GPS schools and attendant sports/social et al costs, not to mention University, and as always access to social networks for kids which can extend well into their late 20s.

        Yet it is funny that my just turned 27 year old eldest son is a APS6 working in award wage stuff makes excellent money, plus perks [super/401K], and never went to Uni. Youngest son is second year diesel mechanic/fitter and turner apprentice making almost 6 figures, and both girls are in SW1 London. Now it only my youngest would get his massive 1999 Patrol 4X4 out of the drive after installing the brand new 4.2 straight six diesel 300 hp/900 nm and redoing the front well hub joints I could shift work equip easier and speed up the renovations on the new place ….

        This fine morning I’m 4:45 AM I’m injoying a La Maravilla Honduras Hicafe 90 Catui Parainema washed coffee with notes of apple blossom and blackberries … back to my big deck at Ballymore …

        PS. where are you going to hide in 2023 when the Olympics hit Brizzy …

        1. The Rev Kev

          We are way, way outside Brisbane and never go in there anymore. So we will just sit back and watch this circus from afar. Can you imagine all the security that they will have in place? It will be nuts.

          1. skippy

            Hope that is past Samford … busses and cars full of internationals will be flooding the rural areas for a peek at the bushies lol.

            Me I might take swag and doggies out to Kingaham or Tooroom relies properties.

    2. Don

      My mother, even in her dotage, used to become angry and quite worked up whenever anyone suggested that women joining the workforce was some sort of feminist victory. She, who, other than brief periods before and after giving birth, and when she was getting a university degree in her 40’s, worked good, full time jobs (legal secretary, office manager, high school teacher…). always said: “It’s a scam! Smart and capable working people used to be able to own a house and a car, raise kids and send them to to university on one salary, but now both parents have to work just to obtain the same things. It’s not women’s liberation, it’s a rip-off!”

      She was right.

  8. QuarterBack

    Re NYT AI fear article, is it me or is the ratio of hyperbole to explanatory narrative approaching 100%? We are increasingly told things like “Risk of extinction” with almost zero explanation of how or why that may be. If there is such a risk, getting public engagement requires more than just scare words. If more headlines come out saying “AI risks destruction of all light and matter in the universe”, will we be more likely to take action?

    My read on this theater is that the creators of AI are terrified that new outsiders might be able to make tools so powerful that they will no longer control the flow of its monetization. The unprecedented call by industry for its regulation smells to me like preemptive regulatory capture. Regulation to protect existing monopolies and make sure that power and wealth does not end up in the hands of people not invited into the club.

    1. jefemt

      When you hear Elon say there should be a six month pause, that should give pause.

      Just give me a few months to stack the deck.

    2. jsn

      Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin give a good overview of how current AIs work and what the immediate threats are.

      The monopoly threats you mention are no doubt contributing to the hyperbole, but there are real, current risks like identity theft on an industrial scale or fraudulent political narratives cascading over one another through social media.

      And the risks are likely growing logarithmically.

      1. QuarterBack

        I don’t see the Oppenheimer metaphor as being as strong as the Gutenberg metaphor. Atomic energy was a technology that had dangers in and of itself, whereas the dangers of the printing press come from who controls what words are unleashed on the masses. Prior to the printing press, only the church and the most wealthy could control what narratives put out into the world.

        The tech community loves to fetishize the word “disruption”, but generative AI is something that may (for good or bad) actually live up to that moniker. It’s interesting to me too that many of the bad effects described such as propaganda, hate speech, censorship, election manipulation et al, already exist. The cautions are that with AI they will be able to now happen “at scale”. I would argue that they already have been happening “at scale” for a long time but we are encouraged to embrace the Devil(s) we know and keep the application of power and leverage in their terrible, but predictable hands.

        1. jsn

          I agree with you. It’s the next level of what Martin Gurri is addressing in “The Revolt of the Public”.

          But in a technosphere that for two generations has prioritized profits over robustness, the existential risks are mounting, particularly for dense urban agglomerations where two weeks without power would become a mass casualty event.

          After Sandy, it’s not well remembered that all the oil transshipment docks on Long Island were washed out. By the end for the first week, there was rationing both at gas stations and grocery stores. Had FEMA not put together a several hundred fuel and food truck convoy in the Midwest to relieve the shortages, there would have been a famine or refugee crisis on the island. AI disruptions could easily generate this kind of impact: any infrastructure hacks by the Chinese or Russians are just as imaginable by an AI, ours or theirs.

          1. semper loquitur

            Wait till they brick a city with robo-cabs. Or take over an autonomous F-16. Weee.

        2. Ranger Rick

          The signal to noise ratio on the Internet is going to get much, much, much worse as these new LLMs and image generators get employed. It’s not without precedent; Usenet readers recall “the Eternal September” and the rest of the Web can recall the qualitative difference in their experience before and after the introduction of the iPhone made the Web accessible to anyone with a smartphone. Web 2.0 is going to drown in a flood of computer-generated content, from the biggest websites to the humble blogs with comment boxes just like this one. It’ll start out innocently enough, but much like the abject failure to contain email spam, all it will take is someone deciding it’s profitable to churn out garbage.

          1. vao

            Web 2.0 is going to drown in a flood of computer-generated content, from the biggest websites to the humble blogs with comment boxes just like this one.

            If you were present when the Internet was young, and there was no WWW, and posting and commenting happened on newsgroups, you might have experienced the havoc that language bots can wreak with Serdar Argic. Given the slightest chance, it would establish itself and spread like an invasive species.

            Now everybody will be able to customize AI bots for any kind of discourse, at scale, with much higher computing power, and within a much enlarged networked community.

        3. tegnost

          From your original comment

          Regulation to protect existing monopolies and make sure that power and wealth does not end up in the hands of people not invited into the club.

          Globalisation means taking over the world for wall st. and is one of the softest totalitarian themes ever used, and not a new concept historically. The “oh look all ye mighty and despair” thing. AI, autonomous tech, gmo’s, and robots along with their respective patents will be the tools (that trillion dollar defense budget is not for defense, it’s a patent farm, plus socialism). In a sick way it works within a closed system like the USA. The metaphor I like to use is detroit. Once a thriving city, now you can’t drink the water, the .gov has known this for years, and nothing is being done. The people of detroit really can’t just say we’re not playing your game any more than 99% of the US population, the subjects of a putative democracy. Somewhere here I need to mention there’s a commodity/resource in the vicinity of detroit called the great lakes, with lots of water in them that one cannot doubt that wall st. has it’s eyes on and wall st love them uncle sugar infrastructure but for now that’s a separate issue.
          The rest of the world, though, can look on the mighty and say “ummmm…No.” and the current situation resembles that, and thus the mighty are starting to flail around attempting to exert control. 15 years of QE was to stuff the corps with cash, allow monopoly concentration through mergers to then spread like cancer over the globe. Since AI has been around for quite a while, the current uproar is notable.
          Thanks for your comments as they eloquently reflect my own views.
          “Can I get a glass of water up here?”

          1. QuarterBack

            My experience is that the power food chain is not topped by bankers, however, they are in the top layers that are still visible to us. The top of the food chain are dynastic families and heads of families that collectively own or control all instruments of power. These people are unknown to most everyone (because they want it that way). Their wealth and power exceed the combination of Musk+Bezos+Gates by many orders of magnitude. The rest of the world is, at best, “the help”.

            Central bankers are the level of help closest to the owners. They are the most powerful functionaries that serve the owners’ interests and turn the knobs and dials that CEOs, governments, militaries, and the general public must live within. Top CEOs and the Central Bankers have a great deal of autonomy but can be crushed at any time by the owners if they fly too close to the sun. There are also the only groups that have an ever so slight chance of actually joining the owner class.

            Governments/politicians and military used to hold higher standing, but over time, with technology, these two groups compete for power within their tier, but they are relegated to being the salespersons and enforcers for the power above them.

            There is much fixation on wealth and money, but these concepts mean very little at the top. It is all about power. When the power dynamic shifts, wars happen, even world wars. The distinction between wealth and power is that wealth is to have things that people WANT, power is having what people NEED. If someone has control over who eats, who travels, who can be heard, who has access to the money supply, health care, and education, they can easily outmaneuver any level of wealth.

            1. jsn

              That’s and interesting structure as far as it goes.

              It leads to the question, specifically who are you talking about?

              Someone, or some identifiable groups are exercising the “power” you’re talking about. The only coherent representation of your abstraction I can think of is the Bush dynasty as described in Russ Bakers’ “Family of Secrets.” Is this what you have in mind?

              1. QuarterBack

                Some of the more known are the Houses of: Saud, Rockefeller, and Rothschild. The top power families in the world have a fraction of their wealth visible as personal assets.

                The overwhelming majority of their material wealth are in trusts, titles, and other incorporated holdings and agreements that they technically do not “own” but have full controlling authority to direct the use and disposition of as the see fit. For example, Saudi Aramco was worth over $2T in 2022, of which 98.5% is owned by the “Saudi Government”, which is a Monarchy headed by the House of Saud. This is well above the wealth of the next 5 “richest people the world” — and that is just ONE of the assets they control.

                1. jsn

                  Got it, thanks. The Bushs like the Dulles certainly saw themselves as acting in the interests of Capital.

                  Alan Dulles worked closely with David Rockefeller and through Sullivan & Cromwell a number of the major German families before the war, with whom he no doubt reconnected after.

                  Prescot Bush IIRC was at Brown Brothers Harriman and after driving Dulles efforts against Kennedy and Nixon G H W Bush and his spawn worked hand in glove with the Saudis (see Russ Bakers’ “Family of Secrets”).

                  1. LifelongLib

                    Apparently the owner class has many tiers. IIRC (apologies if I’m misremembering) Yves has mentioned that some of the minimally wealthy (people with a few million dollars) are struggling because that amount of investment no longer generates a livable income. Not only the help but the poor relations are being thrown under the bus…

      2. Don

        AI is but another manifestation of the crapification of everything — there wouldn’t even be a market for it, if real people hadn’t become so stupid, incompetent and gullible. For the past several months, a regional credit union (Vancity) has been running an ad which is just an assemblage of politically correct stock phrases “We’re all in this together.” “We are doing it for you.” “The future…” No-one left behind… blah blah blah… voiced over a series of oh-so-inclusive video clips of oh-so-happy, oh-so-diverse humans.

        You tell me: was it written by AI, or just really pathetic, 20-somthing meat puppets? Should we care?

        It’s too late to worry about it. We could be screwed, with or without, AI.

  9. The Rev Kev

    ‘‘You don’t want to pick up your trash, don’t come to the mountain,’ mountaineer Tenzi Sherpa said, as he shared visuals of trash left behind on Mount Everest’

    Bushwalkers have a saying down here that says ‘If you carry it in, you carry it out.’ You would think that those hikers could carry their own junk out. They are not carrying so much as when they went up as they have less food, water, etc. and it is all downhill. Apparently not. And it is not like these are poor, ignorant hikers who don’t know better. Hiking there is extremely expensive so you have to have some big money behind you to do it. You would think that this would imply a good education and a consequent higher social mores. But again, apparently not. These days, climbing Mount Everest has just become a bad joke.

    1. jefemt

      I enjoyed the meme below the disheartening Sherpa “tiger” exhortation:

      Humans SUCK!

    2. digi_owl

      > You would think that this would imply a good education and a consequent higher social mores.

      Only in some Victorian-esque fever dream. History has shown that the higher they are on the totem pole, the worse they behave.

    3. ambrit

      I would imagine that sheer exhaustion after the actual climb would cut into one’s carrying capacity. This can also be framed as a failure of the local political authorities. People pay Bigg Buxx to climb that mountain. Some of that could be purposed to establishing a clean up cadre for the mountain, yet all I read about are NGO style “Save The Mountain” efforts. Also, strict rules concerning “Carry It Up, Carry It Down” can be promulgated. Next, enforcement mechanisms will be needed. Consider, who keeps the peace up there? Is there a Nepali Mountain Police Force?
      From what I have read, the Hindu Kush is a Wild Wild East.

      1. Tim

        Most extreme hikers die on the way down due to the altitude sickness from exposure to the death zone. When you are fighting for survival, the last thing on your mind is picking up after yourself. You’d just want to get down as fast as possible carrying as little as possible.

        That being said, they often go with a bunch of sherpa. Couldn’t they pay for an extra sherpa or two that don’t go to the top, but instead carry out the junk?

    4. Mildred Montana

      Money implies nothing except money, though it is often mistaken by the credulous as a sign of intelligence, hard work, and “higher social mores”.

      Nothing could be further from the truth. The rich didn’t get rich by picking up after themselves. That would have been a waste of their precious time and a needless expense. The trash on Everest is just a small example of this attitude but perhaps a significant marker.

      On a bigger scale, all over the world, they have left to government “recovery” vast tracts of land polluted by mining operations or waste products from manufacturing, and the sprawling crumbling remains of factories, towns, and vacation resorts that they abandoned after extracting all available profits.

      The rich leaving behind garbage anywhere and everywhere should not be considered anomalous. It should be expected.

    5. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

      Or as I grew up with, “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

  10. Jason Boxman

    COVID-19 Variant Dashboard – USA

    Bizarre to see, but XBB1.5 is down to 30.63%. I’d expect some other variant to be killing it, somewhat literally, but instead it’s just a long tail, with XBB1.16.* notably at around 12% and XBB1.9.1 at 4.73%, seemingly the loser in competing with 1.16. Just what’s going on, I cannot say. And wastewater hasn’t been increasing, but mostly going sideways. Is an increase still masked by XBB1.5’s decline? Could something else be happening? Without any testing, we have no idea. Walgreens is down to weekly with fewer tests happening than ever.

  11. KD

    Missed it in the links, but it looks like the Student Loan pause cannot be extended past June 30 per the debt limit deal. Payments to resume by September, and student loan debt about 7% of GDP. This will be a massive hit to aggregate demand, should put us in recession in time for the elections. Even if debtors stop paying and keep spending, it will jam up their credit and crush consumer spending eventually.

    Good job Democrats for knee capping the US economy going into the election. 3D chess no doubt.

    1. ambrit

      Oh irony of ironies! The Student Debt Trap pushed by Senator “Creepy” Joe Biden back then now comes back to bite him in the butt.
      As another commenter stated upstream, with candidates like this, is it any wonder America is falling apart? Time to start seriously working on Parallel Institutional Capacity. We’re going to need it.
      Amfortas is ahead of the curve here with his ongoing program of building his Free State of Magonia-Tejas.
      Stay safe, with like minded pioneers.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “IAEA team in Japan for final review before planned discharge of Fukushima nuclear plant water”

    After their performance at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station the past year or so, that is not exactly something to give you confidence. Rafael Grossi is liable to rock up and say that there is definitely increased radiation in the seawater off the coastline but darn it, they just can’t work out where it is coming from.

    1. tevhatch

      I lost what little faith I had in the IAEA when they not only failed to address, but helped cover up deficiencies WANO peer review teams discovered at Fukushima 6 months before the accident. There’s an interview of a welding inspector from GE which keeps getting taken down. The IAEA was set up by Ike, and it’s remained a state more or less, depending on how much effort was put into looking neutral. Now all pretense has been junked.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Check this tweet out-

      ‘Robert F. Kennedy Jr
      Samantha Power, who was instrumental in Obama’s abuse of FISA to spy on political opponents, is now head of Biden’s USAID and road-testing a mass surveillance and spying app so Ukrainians can anonymously report each other to the government. #Kennedy24’

      So what I want to know is ‘road-testing’ for eventual use where exactly?

  13. Aaron

    Interesting choice of quoting economist Steve Keen. He is a great critic of classical economics as it rules the political world today and does an excellent job ripping the various schools apart for their ridiculous theories.
    His analysis of Marxist economics is not so strong (even though he claims to love and almost worship Marx). He had a deep belief that we are stuck with capitalism, and that cannot be reconciled with Marxism.

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘US Indo-Pacific Command says a Chinese J-16 fighter “flew directly in front of” a US RC-135 recon plane over the South China Sea on May 26, calling it “an unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” ‘

    I’m still waiting for the day that a Chinese J-16 flies over a RC-135 recon plane inverted and gives the aircrew the finger. You think that a Chinese fighter jock would post that to SnapChat from his mobile? All I am seeing in that video is that fighter crossing the path of that recon plane and setting up some turbulence. I experienced worse coming into Sydney during a heavy rainstorm once.

    1. ambrit

      Besides being a time honoured means of sparring, this sort of action is part and parcel of the fighter jock ethos. “I’ll bet you can’t clip the pitot tube off of that AWACS plane Shen.” “Oh, is that a fact? Here Comrade, hold my beer.”
      Something similar happened back in 2001, with beer being spilled. (Chinese pilot never found.)

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      unremarked, as usual, is that its the frelling South CHINA Sea.
      not Nantucket Sound or the Gulf of Mexico.
      “Our” plane has no business being there in the first place.
      whats it doing?
      checking up on all our physical plant?

      1. digi_owl

        Some years back USN was parking itself darn close to Kaliningrad waters, and the MSM was basically mum. Then a Russian jet buzzed them a bit too close, and the headlines were ablaze with how reckless the Russians where.

    3. Glen

      There is a longer history associated with America spy planes working at the edges of enemy territory that most Americans should recognize:


      These airplanes purposely overfly foreign protected airspace (or use some other means) to get the target country to light up the air defense systems, and then record the air defense systems data. An RC-135 is covered with passive antennas and other sensors to record all possible data. It has always been a extremely risky business because the mission success is predicated on provoking a hostile reaction.

      What’s unusual is that the DoD seems to be releasing more and more videos and accounts of incidents which occur during these missions. That was not the norm before. One begins to wonder who is being played here – the China air defense systems or the American public.

  15. Jason Boxman

    From the stupid that is the NY Times, a story about sun exposure, with a photo of a person who’s face is almost completely shrouded in cloth, except for big sunglasses, and a hat. Because the greatest threat today is definitely too much sun exposure, not COVID.

    And yet, the sun is tricky. The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health advises: “People of all ages and skin tones should limit the amount of time they spend in the sun, especially between mid-morning and late afternoon.”

    This is the stupidest timeline.

  16. Lex

    The models of antiquity link reads much differently if one listened to read the transcript of of Hudson’s last talk, posted here recently.

    I wonder if the 18th and early 19th century veneration of antiquity was a misunderstanding or propaganda, because any modern reading of the history (not even going so far as Hudson) paints a picture much different than the one accepted in the age of revolution.

    1. digi_owl

      Likely a bit of both.

      Misunderstood by many, and then that misunderstanding leveraged to the benefit of special interests.

  17. Daniil Adamov

    Some may find this interview interesting if they read Russian or are willing to take their chances with Google Translate. I tried running some of the fragments through it and it seemed to work passably well. It’s from one of the people who were mobilised into the Russian Army last year. The quality of newly-mobilised troops, their training, equipment and morale seems like one of the biggest wildcards when it comes to the SMO, and this sheds some light on it. Also on public opinion about the war in Russia.

    1. Frank

      Very good read, thanks for posting. It sounds like what I would somewhat expect, chaos at the start, then turning into a well oiled and highly functioning machine. The strategy Russia is employing, which has angered so many, is starting to make some sense now.

  18. Screwball

    Couple of things. 1) Tara Reade. I have no idea what to think of this woman. Is she legit, or a fraud? I have no idea. I followed her story when she came out against Biden and thought she sounded credible, but as time went on the hit pieces from the media made me question her. Given Biden’s actions and history, I wouldn’t be shocked, and of course I expected the media to cover for him. I think she pretty much shut the door on the #Metoo movement.

    Now she goes to Russia and tells this tale, while being helped by Maria Butina of all people? Who is Maria Butina? A Russian spy according to some, and of course all of my circle of ex-PMC friends. Given this news, it is now a proven fact Russia/Putin was helping Donald Trump and this Reade/Butina thing proves it. According to some anyway. This is like a spy novel that just won’t end, and we will never know the real truth I suspect.

    I would like to know, but I guess I’ll have to settle for the X-files version.

    2) Mt. Everest – I can’t post it if I could find it, but a couple of years ago there was a picture circulating on the net of a long line of people waiting on the grand prize of making the summit. It was unreal. May is summit season. It has turned into a for-profit industry for rich assholes who could care less about nature, the Sherpa’s (the real climbers and hero’s), or the mountain they are covering with waste. That long line of people pretty much summed up how ridiculous it has become. What a shame, and what’s up with these people?

    1. Screwball

      Adding; I see Michael Tracy has come out and blistered Reade. Claims she is a fraud, so I guess that clears that up…

      I don’t know what to think of Tracy either. Sometimes I think he makes good points and is spot on – other times I think he’s a complete quack.

      News should be easy – it is binary – true or not. Tell it the way it is and back up claims with facts. Caveat; I don’t consider Tracy as news, but an internet warrior trying to make money. It gets tiresome trying to figure out what to believe and what not to believe.

      1. flora

        I believed Reade then. I believe her now. The MSM hit jobs are just that. One thing seems clear to me about her though; she had poor judgement about people’s character both then and now, and got herself used by others for their own purposes – both then and now. A patsy. imo.

        1. Screwball

          You may be right flora. I still tend to give her the benefit of doubt.

          I think it is a shame this happened because it just reinforces the Russia/Trump collusion angle for so many. I think most agree the blood-lust for Russia/Putin is a derivative of the hatred of Trump. The haters equate Putin to Trump – and this gawd awful war – which seems to have no end in sight as the payback. At what point does something go awry and the nukes start flying. This won’t help.

          I thought the Durham report would help change some minds, but it seems the believers have just dug in deeper. Of course it didn’t help the media whitewashed it with bleach, and how can the all star creep Adam Schiff go on MSNBC that night or the next day and lie his ass off?

          Don’t answer that, we all know. Pathetic.

          Maybe it would be fitting they blew up the world because they hated Trump so bad. With America in smoldering ruins, thousands dying from radiation each and every day, we can see a small studio in Rockefeller Center with Anderson Cooper bleeding from his mouth saying “this was all Trumps fault.”

          And the curtain falls…

          My Debbie Downer for the day. Sorry.

        2. Dr. John Carpenter

          Same feelings here, flora. I don’t doubt her story but I wouldn’t trust her judgement in people at all. That Sputnik piece was cringey (as the kids say) but I don’t think it matters. Heck, I don’t think Reade matters. They essentially buried her at the height of #metoo, no way anyone listens to her now that she’s doing pro-Russia propaganda. If anything, it makes her all that much easier to dismiss, were she to somehow gain a platform this cycle.

      1. Screwball

        That’s the one, and the one posted below is a good one as well. Thanks!

        I’ve always been a watcher of Everest. I’ve watched a few movies/documentaries as well as read a few books. It kind of fascinates me the way they go about the climb. I used to see it as a human vs. mountain kind of thing. How much can one push himself against the cold, the climb, and the unpredictable weather.

        But as time went on it became so commercial, which ruined it for those who climbed because it “was there” type of thing. Most of these people are not true climbers, but wealthy people with money to burn trying to have something to brag about at the summer cocktail party. The Sherp’s are the true climbers. Without them, these people wouldn’t make it 3/4 of the way up the mountain, but they don’t have a problem putting themselves, their fellow climbers, and the Sherpa’s in a potentially deadly situation for their own greed and arrogance. Shameful, IMO.

        Just another crapification of our world. Thanks again for the pics. Incredible.

  19. Mikel

    (NY Times)

    First, going to acknowledge the head spinning surrealness of the US establishment criticizing the “bootstraps” mentality coming from somewhere else.

    Now, digging into the claims of the article and assuming accurate translations, here are some highlights:

    “…The article, about Mr. Xi’s expectations of the young generation, mentioned “eat bitterness” five times. He has also repeatedly urged the young people to “seek self-inflicted hardships,” using his own experience of working in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution.

    Why would he want young people to give up a peaceful and stable life and instead seek suffering?” Cai Shenkun, an independent political commentator wrote in a Twitter post, calling Mr. Xi’s proposal “a contemptuous act toward young people.”

    “What kind of intention is behind this?” he asked. “Where does he want to lead the Chinese youth?”

    Me: Well, he definately doesn’t want them to be “influencers on social media.”
    (That soft power of the USA…still being underrated)

    “Today the party’s propaganda machine is spinning stories about young people making a decent living by delivering meals, recycling garbage, setting up food stalls and fishing and farming. It’s a form of official gaslighting, trying to deflect accountability from the government for its economy-crushing policies like cracking down on the private sector, imposing unnecessarily harsh Covid restrictions and isolating China’s trading partners…”

    ME: All too familiar…

    “…Mr. Xi’s instruction to move to the countryside is equally out of touch with young people, as well as with China’s reality. Last December he told officials “to systematically guide college graduates to rural areas.” On Youth Day a few weeks ago, he responded to a letter by a group of agriculture students who are working in rural areas, commending them for “seeking self-inflicted hardships.”

    ME: The urban/rural divide was discussed a bit in the comments yesterday. Amazing how it’s a global story and has been especially since the turn of the 20th Century.
    The NY Times only interviewed the disgruntled, so I have no way of knowing how the vast majority of China feels about these suggested or rumored policies.

    But I have noticed a large focus on what is happening to the youth in China in the mainstream press. All accessible to youth in in China that speak and understand English.

  20. Mikel

    “Nvidia to turn Taiwan into a world-class AI hub” Asia Times

    Just spitballin’…but nothing like making a bunch of suddenly in the money Nvidia stockholders invested in what happens with China and Taiwan.
    (double wink)

  21. Jabura Basaidai

    After over 50 Years of Running Domestic Terrorism, Shouldn’t We Finally Indict the FBI as the country’s leading Domestic Terrorist? Canadian Patriot
    last time Canadian Patriot bit was posted last week someone commented it was following the principals of Lyndon LaRouche who was kinda out there with his thoughts on conspiracies – believe Lambert was surprised and was going to remove the link – but i also read that he had a network of informants that was pretty good – so what is it? Lyndon LaRouche good or bad?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Running a link is not an endorsement of the source or author. Sometimes a pub we are generally not keen about finds a truffle or writes something that is noteworthy, not necessarily in a good way.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        very true which is why i was surprised at the reaction last time – just seeking clarification – indicting the FBI, although tilting at windmills, is an admirable endeavor –

  22. Tom Stone

    i encountered the honor graduate of the local creative driving school yesterday who nearly ran me over while making a U turn from the right turn lane on a red light.
    While signalling a right turn.
    This was on 4th St in Santa Rosa at Farmer’s lane, a very busy intersection.
    I have also encountered a case of what seems to be Covid related dementia which was very disturbing and a close friend has temporarily abandoned a remote property near Seligman AZ due to a neighbor who has become violently insane…the neighbor became convinced that my friend was a spy for Antifa and shot up his cabin with a machine gun.
    It’s going to be an interesting next few years if we avoid Nuclear extinction..

  23. pjay

    I just discovered that is no longer my friend. It no longer functions, nor can I access the articles I have bookmarked using it over a considerable period of time. I assume another site will appear at some point. I would appreciate a heads-up if that happens. Thanks.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I just opened it up and it looks the same as always, although I never bookmarked articles there. is essentially the same site. Did you try your bookmarks there with .ph in place of .is?

      1. pjay

        Interesting. This only seems to be a problem with Firefox, not my other browsers. I’ve used Firefox as my primary browser for many years (old habits), but it’s getting increasingly glitchy for me. It may be a temporary issue.

  24. some guy

    . . . . ” No matter who wins, it’s going to feed into a lot of extremist views. It is going to add fuel to the flames or the fire of what we saw for the last eight years. Nobody is really satisfied. There’s a lot of discontent. And so I think that we’ll see that get worse under either of their presidencies.” . . . .

    Really? That means the accelerationists win either way, no matter who or what gets elected. And if that is so, then effort invested into genuine third party-movements could pay off after a few more such cycles.
    The best effort would be that which turned out successful in a few strategically chosen states which, if a third movemen-party could win the electoral votes of those strategically selected states, neither brand name candidate could get enough electoral votes from any combination of other states to win the election.

    If a third party-movement could actually achieve that outcome, it might be in a position to pressure some Representatives to vote for it in the event of no electoral college victory. It could vote against every Representative, primary all its members, etc. for every Representative who fails to vote for that third party candidate in the House Election for President in such a scenario.

  25. Alex

    The story about the insurers abandoning a climate group reminded me of one insurance industry event I attended. It took place in London, in a hotel purpose-built for such conventions which was located near the river but frustratingly had a fence which made it impossible to actually approach it.

    Anyway, the event consisted of various big and small companies trying to sell something to the insurance industry, and several had the word “climate” in their pitches and made the right noises about being good for the planet and for the bottom line.

    I was quite intrigued – after all the room contained a lot of people who are directing our world’s response to the climate change via pricing and underwriting insurance policies – and so I approached these start-ups and asked them what their models tell about the impact of the climate change on insurance. I heard a few pitches, and the longest time horizon mentioned by any one of them was 6 months…

  26. Klärchen

    Two Flags on Display photo in the WaPo article on American vets in the Ukraine. The son’s Ukrainian uniform displaying two national flags melded into one and above that the emblem of the OUN, the original Ukrainian fascist organization. I’m beginning to think that the media’s freely showing Ukrainian Nazi imagery in its reporting is not an accident.

  27. John Beech

    The guy criticizing Amazon is an idiot. Why? Simple because . . .

    1. Companies only exist to make money. Much as they can.
    2. Amazon, a company, offers a service to hook me up on what I want to buy and earns their cut by putting me and the merchants together. No different than Walmart. No different than the madam at a whore house, come to think of it.

    Moreover, whether Amazon and I do business together is on us and nobody else! Do they charge as dearly as they can? But of course, that’s the fundamental job!

    Me? I’ve made two separate purchases through them today, alone.

    1. Polar Socialist

      That is very general misconception, but actually companies have no legal or contractual obligation to make money whatsoever.
      They do have legal and contractual obligations to pay their employees, pay their providers and themselves provide what they’re paid for. And in most places on earth they have to do this fairly and without discrimination.
      Au contraire, there are laws against monopolies, which are the ultimate way for a company to “make money”.

  28. digi_owl

    Steve Keen reads like he is restating Marx, but with a basis in energy rather than gold.

    And frankly i consider physics to be the true dismal science, as thermodynamics alone shows but one end to it all.

Comments are closed.