Links 6/10/2023

The Most COMPLEX Pop Song of All Time YouTube

Available Space: The sonic environments of Ry Cooder The Baffler (Anthony L)

Missing children found after more than a month in Amazon CNN (Kevin W)

Courts have long seen K-9 dogs as impartial. Now police bodycams hold them accountable MPR (Chuck L)

The War on Dogs History Today (Anthony L)

Yea or Nay? Vertically Staggered Airplane Seats Core77. Resilc: “Did his dad invent waterboarding?”

Why hasn’t L.A. seen a big San Andreas quake recently? Researchers find a clue Los Angeles Times

All in Slow Motion: Dani Garavelli on the trials for the murder of Nikki Allan London Review of Books (Anthony L)

An Extremely Rare Mutation Landed a Woman in Prison For Murder Science Alert (Chuck L)

Study finds amino acid taurine slows aging in mice and monkeys STAT (furzy). Just wait, this will be used to argue that old people eating cat food is really not so bad.

Rings & Books The Raven (Anthony L). “Practically all the great European philosophers have been bachelors.”


Cheap Diabetes Drug Slashes Risk of Long COVID, Study Finds ScienceAlert (Chuck L)


Why is eastern Canada burning — and when will the fires stop? Vox (resilc)

Smoke Sends US Northeast Solar Power Plunging By 50% As Wildfires Rage In Canada Reuters

A New Ultra-Adsorbent Material Can Suck Up 20 Times More Uranium Than Rival Methods Interesting Engineering (Chuck L)

Researchers demonstrate high natural radioactivity of manganese nodules PhysOrg (UserFriendly)

Battling Rain and Time, Henan Farmers Race to Salvage Wheat Crop SixthTone (resilc)


Did Pentagon Hardliners Leak The Report About A Planned Chinese Spy Base In Cuba? Andrew Korybko (Chuck L)

China Wakes Up to Danger From Illegal Lab Monkey Trade SixthTone (resilc)

Old Blighty

High levels of drugs found in water pollution study of England’s south coast Guardian. Resilc: “If I lived in post Brexit UK I’d want to be high all the time to.”

Ex-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Resigns as MP Bloomberg and Decrying ‘witch hunt’, Boris Johnson resigns from UK parliament Reuters (furzy). Oddly not on landing page of BBC.

UK firm given £430m green transition loan then expanded oil and gas business Guardian (Kevin W)

Big Agriculture Squeezing Argentina ConsortiumNews (Robin K)

New Not-So-Cold War

Kursk 2.0? Moon of Alabama (Kevin W) .

Anatomy of a NATO-Planned, Trained, and Armed Disaster Simplicius the Thinker. Super ouch.

Ukrainian Armored Columns Got SMASHED and AMBUSHED History Legends. Linked by MoA above. Very good presentation with maps (and names in large enough print to read!!!). Two important points not seen elsewhere: the troops in this first wave may have been mainly raw conscripts, aka canon fodder, so Ukraine may be able to up its game from this very poor start; Russia varying with prior tactics and holding the line may reflect desire to prevent Ukraine from recovering damaged equipment. But Simpicius above identifies one of the Leopard 2s killed as the most advanced in service, and the Bradleys used at least in the overnight attack 2 nights ago were top of the line, which seems inconsistent with untrained (or at least largely) untrained forces. He identifies one unit, the 47th Assault Brigade, as being one of Ukraine’s best

Russian Spring | The Complete Defeat Of The Ukrainian-NATO Forces. Military Summary For 2023.06.09 Military Summary. Dima speculates Ukraine will pause because its Western backers won’t like the visible loss of so much equipment so early. Separately, serious rains are expected next week, IIRC on the 13th and 14th, which would have slowed any advance, assuming advance.

Some overnight intel:

* * *

Industry specialists assess damage on Ukraine’s breached Nova Kakhovka dam New Civil Engineer (resilc)

Dam Rupture Poses No Threat to Ukraine’s Nuclear Plant, IAEA Reports OilPrice

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Big development in Ukraine? Asia Times (Kevin W)

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Central Bank considers exchange of assets frozen in Russia and EU possible – Nabiullina Interfax. The finance version of a prisoner exchange.

Blast at explosives factory in Ankara kills 5 workers Times of India


Saudi crown prince threatened ‘major’ economic pain on U.S. amid oil feud Washington Post (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Did Edward Snowden’s Revelations Change Anything? Atlantic (furzy)


Imperial Collapse Watch

Longing for Crusades New Left Review (Anthony L)

The global backlash against The Little Mermaid proves why we needed a Black Ariel Guardian. Resilc:

USA USA has no teachers, MDs, nurses, healthcare, electricians, people in tents. But we can have a war over a fucking mermaid????? USA USA is hopeless shithole with crims running the show and morons below.


Ron DeSantis campaign uses fake AI-created photos of Donald Trump hugging and kissing Dr. Fauci (video) BoingBoing (resilc)

Governor Newsom Proposes Historic 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution to End America’s Gun Violence Crisis (furzy). The provisions are not at all bad, but tactically, this guarantees another $100 million in funds raised on the R side if Newsom wins the Dem nomination. Rs will spend more to preserve gun rights than Dems will to restrict them. Plus the bar for a Constitutional amendment is high, so this is na ga happen.


Trump took nuclear secrets and stored files in shower, charges say BBC. Well, it’s a very nice bathroom. And FBI had said the security arrangements for the docs were fine while Trump and the FBI were arguing over them.

Trump Indicted on 7 Counts in Classified Docs Probe Judge Napolitano, YouTube. Remember Napolitano was a Federal judge. Posted before indictment released but still makes a lot of important points, nearly all not Trump favorable. The big one is this is not about classified docs but the Espionage Act, which criminalizes possession of defense-related material. A cynic would argue the FBI just strung him along on the classified docs/National Archives row just to better set this hook. Napolitano stresses that those found guilty of Espionage Act violations most assuredly go to prison.

The “Aha” Moment: The Trump Indictment Could Prove Revealing for Either Trump or the DOJ Jonathan Turley (Carolinian). One lawyer contact pointed out that if there’s no predicate crime, there’ no obstruction of justice, since there’s nothing to obstruct. But they can still get him on being dumb enough to talk to the FBI to without a lawyer, since lying to the FBI is a crime and as . Don’t Talk to the Police YouTube makes clear, even people who actually do care about being truthful often get caught looking like liars.

DOJ Declares War On 2024 With Trump Indictment Hours After Biden Bribery News The Federalist (Li). The right sharpens its talking points.

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12m Americans believe violence is justified to restore Trump to power Guardian


It’s Past Time For Republicans To Impeach Biden And All His Top Officials The Federalist (Li)

Smith, Crapo, Neal, and Wyden Announce Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Approve First Taiwan Trade Initiative Agreement
House Ways and Mean Committee. Lori Wallach of Public Citizen comments:

The bill would approve the first bit of the US-Taiwan deal signed last week. But it’s clear its underlying purpose, with important implications for IPEF, is to reassert that a president cannot enter a binding trade agreement without a vote of Congress and to require access to consolidated negotiating texts and require certain procedures and a vote before any additional agreement elements can go into effect. While the bill approves the agreement with Taiwan already signed, it conditions it going into effect on presidential certification of Taiwan’s compliance with agreement terms.

Our No Longer Free Press

I’m not keen about the thesis, but I am appalled at the censorship and the bizarre Nazi charge:


Lawyer Who Used ChatGPT Faces Penalty for Made Up Citations New York Times (resilc)

AI system devises first optimizations to sorting code in over a decade ars technica. David R: “I’m assuming this can be applied to any game. Including political games and war games.”

The Bizarre True Story of The Nightmare Woman Haunting The Internet Science Alert (Chuck L)

AI Can Make You Believe Russian Propaganda Washington Monthly. Resilc: “As opposed to merkin-made propaganda.”

The Bezzle

‘Duped’: Inside the Black Market for Illegal Temporary License Plates Vice (resilc)

UBS’s state aid is a disaster insurance policy Reuters (furzy)

The US Is Building Factories At a Wildly Fast Rate Business Insider

Class Warfare

‘A watershed’: Meta ordered to offer mental health care to moderators in Kenya Guardian. Resilc: “Meta users need it too.”

The Supreme Court’s Latest Ruling Against Unions is Really Aimed at the New Deal Washington Monthly (resilc)

‘He made sure that she got nothing’: The sad story of Astrud Gilberto, the face of bossa nova Independent (Paul R). From 2022.

Rural Residents Search for Solutions after College Closures Daily Yonder (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour (martha r from Instagram):

And a bonus (Chuck L):

And a second bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Toshiro_Mifune

    The most COMPLEX pop song of all time

    I really was not expecting Rick Beato to show up on NC.

    1. Alice X

      Where Beato falls short is his attempt at harmonic analysis without including consideration of the melody and the common tones in modulation. Every day the links bring red-pill blues, so I had fun. Now on to the rest of the woeful news.

      1. pjay

        I really enjoyed the Beato video. But to your point, one of the (unintentionally?) hilarious aspects of this song, not discussed by Beato, is precisely the contrast between the ridiculously complex chord changes and the melody on top of them, which to me – please excuse my biases here – is so derivative and treacly as to be almost a parody of a typical top-40 pop ballad. Almost as if the song writers set out to write a hit “pop” song but wanted to avoid boredom by the underlying complexity which, as Beato points out, is almost completely missed by most listeners.

        The video gave me flashbacks to playing in a band as a kid – really a garage band that got a little better and gained some local notoriety. I remember us working out new songs for upcoming dances, sometimes also the afternoon of an evening gig. Most of them were simple enough, but occasionally we would encounter a situation like this. Not being anywhere near Beato’s level of competency, we’d usually give up after a while and move on to the next three-chord rock song.

        1. ThirtyOne

          It wasn’t very large
          There was just enough room to cram the drums
          In the corner over by the Dodge
          It was a fifty-four
          With a mashed up door
          And a cheesy little amp
          With a sign on the front said “Fender Champ”
          And a second hand guitar
          It was a Stratocaster with a whammy bar

        1. pjay

          Yes. And lest my comment above sound overly snarky, let me say that she was a great song-writer – a contemporary of Carol King. She and her husband (Barry Mann, I believe) wrote some great songs over the years, as the title of the obit you link to indicates.

          That said, this song, from their adult contemporary period, has always sounded like the epitome of a manufactured “adult contemporary” pop ballad to my ears, by song writers skillful enough to pull it off (again, purely my own taste here; not claiming anything more). Which is why the underlying complexity noted by Beato is so interesting to me.

          1. Alice X

            I found that I had written the tune out probably when it came out. It goes through eight keys, nine if you count one repeated. Pop music was never really my thing but I sure worked in it a lot.

    2. Louis Fyne

      Rick Beato’s youtube channel is great.

      If you are curious about why you like the music that you do, check his “what makes this song great” series.

      and yes, Rick even provides persuasive evidence that you arenot a grumpy old man, music was better in the past (today’s music has iminished use of key changes, shorter songs, less diversity of chords, etc)

      1. .Tom

        Not persuasive at all for me. His basic premise that more complex pop music is better than less complex pop music is a non-starter. He presents complicated explanations that seem to support the proposition that claiming that this music is better than that music is something more than subjective. This, I suppose, gives those who prefer the music he prefers a feeling of objective justification and perhaps of superiority or winning. That’s just sad, in my opinion, because I love to discuss musical aesthetics and how compositions, performances, improvisations, productions etc. lead to the musical experiences we share. I recoil from the idea that there exists some provable right and wrong behind it. And my understanding of music theory, of the nature of objectivity, and of artistic, aesthetic and musical truths tells me it cannot be done.

        1. paul

          Indeed,what would he think of ’96 tears’, ‘rumble’ or ‘louie louie’ if they were released today?

          *rumble’s bass is pretty unconventional,granted

        1. .Tom

          > Pat Finnerty’s is so much better. In every way.


          On Tuesday I was out for a walk with the lady and the dogs and we discussed a possible series of youtube jokes all formatted as a typical youtube clickbait title setup and very short video punchline. One idea was clickbait title: “Is Rick Beato more annoying than Phillip McKnight?” with video punchline: “That’s an unfair Sophie’s Choice.” The other idea was to revive the old Radio Yerevan joke format.

      2. playon

        Rick Beato has some interesting videos but for me he is too hung up on “rock” music. Many of the recordings I love the most are harmonically simple but rich in nuance and personality, two things than cannot be copyrighted or faked.

        1. Jeff W

          I prefer Adam Neely who is more into music theory. (Somehow I’ve always liked Neely’s highly technical answer analyzing one chord in the chord progression of the chorus of Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke.” I was never that big a fan of Stevie Wonder or that particular song and I have next to no knowledge in music theory but when he gets to the “shadow progression” part of the analysis, I’m sold. I tend to regard music theory as a subset of psychology, anyway, in the restricted domain of, well, music, where the notes, chords, etc. are more or less precisely specified stimuli with various behavioral effects, so it’s kind of fascinating to me.)

      3. Mildred Montana

        >Louis Fyne: “…and yes, Rick even provides persuasive evidence that you arenot a grumpy old man, music was better in the past (today’s music has diminished use of key changes, shorter songs, less diversity of chords, etc)”

        Thank you for that. I was beginning to think that my ears were lying to me. My musical tastes were shaped by the prog-rock era but I still sometimes listen to modern music. A small part of it seems to be original and inspired, most is distressingly formulaic. While listening to it I can almost predict when the vocal harmony will come in or what the rhyme of the next lyric will be. And, just my personal pet peeve, too many young divas singing in breathy little-girl voices. Where the heck did that trend come from?

        I must add this however: Before being too quick to criticize contemporary music, all music-lovers ought to keep something in mind. That is, when they listen to songs from decades ago (“Never Gonna Let You Go”, the song referenced in the video, is forty years old), they are listening mainly to a distillation of an enormous amount of music. In other words, they are listening to the best from the past, the music which has endured, because the huge amount of drek produced at the same time has sunk to the bottom, never to be heard again.

        In fifty years, it’s possible that the same will apply to modern music. The best of it will survive and still be listened to while the large worthless remainder will be justifiably forgotten.

      4. Adam Eran

        I recently went to a flamenco/metal concert from Rodrigo y Gabriela and have to confess that “metal” is just too darn boring. Awful, basic, repeated licks (*not* Bolero!) no more than four bars in length repeated for (at least) 32 bars, then slightly altered for another 32, then returned to for another 32…ad infinitum. It took massive restraint to stop from shouting “Learn a new tune!”

        Rodrigo addressed the audience at some point to let us know the COVID isolation gave him a “new perspective.” This was taken as a brilliant insight.

        As nearly as I can figure, this music’s attraction is that it hypnotizes the audience, and when it gets too boring there’s an overly-dramatic light show to distract. Believe me, it wasn’t the Grateful Dead’s light show, either, both primitive and repetitive too.

        Anyway, I went with my son, who condemned me as a grumpy old man, then cheerfully went on to other things.

        But if this pseudo-music/theater is the wave of the future, it’s not just COVID that’s causing brain fog.

        (Sheesh! I am a grumpy old man!)

    3. The Rev Kev

      ‘I really was not expecting Rick Beato to show up on NC’

      Not the first time either. Lambert had his videos in NC once or twice at least.

    4. John Anthony La Pietra

      All these comments pro and con at least had the virtue, for me, of bringing to mind the motto of “Schickele Mix”:

      . . . dedicated to the proposition that all musics are created equal — or in the words of the great Duke Ellington, “If it sounds good. it is good.”

      And after all, what other show introduced us to the opposite of the blues?

  2. vao

    Rings & Books The Raven (Anthony L). “Practically all the great European philosophers have been bachelors.”

    The list of the greatest European bachelor philosophers in the article surprisingly omits such famous cases as Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard.

        1. Col 'Sandy' Volestrangler (ret)

          If you were having to deal with Simone de Bouvoir, you’d be a philanderer too.

  3. timbers

    Smashed Ukraine Offensive

    The HistoryLegend video is worth if for the humor alone. Favorite part was at very beginning showing someone running into a brick wall.

    No doubt much is lost in translation, but Dima at Military Summary says Ukraine military authorities spoke with Western military authorities and told them Ukraine can not continue the offensive without (long list of equipment), which provoked anger from Western authorities who responded they must fight to the last Ukrainian.

    So mission accomplished on attrition is nearing. What happens next? Does Kremlin order a stronger push forward in areas where Ukraine air defense it at it’s weakest? Or on the other hand, if Dima is near correct, any chance of AUF realizing that to continue = suicide and come back down to earth in engage with serious talks with Russia/

    1. The Rev Kev

      Here is one captured Ukrainian being interrogated and he looks like hell- (1:22 mins)

      Those western sponsors of this butcher’s yard are angry at the Ukrainians for not doing better. There is an important NATO summit in Lithuania next month and they must have been hoping for some kind of Ukrainian victory to keep the whole shebang going. With more lost battles, I can see arguments breaking out between the true believers like Blinken and those NATO leaders who, you know, have to pay for all this support – and with the EU zone now sinking into recession.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        That poor guy is so traumatized. At least he seems not to be hurt but so sad even for the ones who get out comparatively well. Russia is trying to treat POWs well to encourage surrender but there can be implementation fuckups. Plus what is the end game? He’ll presumably be swapped eventually but maybe not if Russia has a lot more POWs than Ukraine. And how will he be treated back in Ukraine? His life is totally upside down even with being a survivor.

        1. Paleobotanist

          RT has mentioned in a few articles that some POWs prefer to stay in Russia and Russia accepts them. For what it’s worth.

          In other news, Canada’s north is burning but Trudeau has gone to Kiev. You can’t make this up…

          1. digi_owl

            Yeah, i think i would relocate beyond the Urals given half a chance in their shoes. Going back to Ukraine would mean constantly looking over their shoulder for Azovs out to shank a traitor.

          2. jrkrideau

            We have a fire season every year and I think Trudeau & crew have it enough under control at the federal level. The Feds supply money, send in the army and get international aid.

            The actual fire fighting in a provincial responsibility.

            The interesting thing is that he managed to be out of town when David Johnston resigned as special rapporteur on foreign interference.

          3. The Rev Kev

            He is a bit like ex-Australian PM Scotty from Marketing who, during the most catastrophic fires in decades, thought it an ideal time to secretly go overseas on holidays. That went down like a fart in an elevator. Glad to say that when he got back home and went to fire effected areas to try to get some good publicity for himself, people were filmed refusing to shake his hand.

            To paraphrase Alex Christoforou – ‘Trudeau, you idiot!’

      2. Louis Fyne

        I do not want to be sitting in a US-made M2 Bradley that gets hit by an artillery shell or missile.

        Being burned alive by molten aluminum (from its own armor melting away) sounds like a horrible way to spend your last 45 seconds alive.

        1. Greg

          Minor semantic quibble – Bradleys use much stronger laminate armour. It’s the M113’s (of which Ukraine has many more) which are aluminium death traps.

      3. playon

        He’s obviously scared and frightened, possibly because he imagines that the Russians will treat him the way Ukraine treats Russians.

      4. ChrisFromGA

        I don’t normally cut and paste comments from other sites, but this one from DIma’s morning summary of the latest counteroffensive attempt overnight (hint – it failed) by Ukraine is a gem:

        This is such a grave tragedy. Those young men died for a bastard who sits in a warm office in a nice chair and points fingers at the Russians like a child. I have no sympathy for the Ukranian regime but for these men fighting. Keep in mind that most of these men are just people who were fed all kinds of crap and sent to war they were not supposed to fight. I just hope that the war ends this year. Far too many people died for a stupid cause on both sides. “War is where young and stupid are talked into killing each other by the old” GTAIV Niko Belić. We here in former Jugoslavija know this better than anyone(my father was a soldier who fought in Croatia War of Independence). Why did the Ukranians had to be so stupid and repeat our mistakes and let the NATO nazis push them in a war that could have been avoided with just a handshake and a deal. It is sad that I have to explain that I am not promoting either side. It is up to you to choose it if you want. I just want the nazis gone and Ukraine survive this whole ordeal. I like most of us want peace. I do not want to fight in WW3 because the Western fascists poked the russian bear. I want to live in peace. I am pro peace in Ukraine and let those men who fight go home and live with their families as it should be.

        The only thing I can add is, I hope Zelensky finds a soul deep inside and tells scum like Milley and Biden to perform an anatomically impossible act on themselves. Then sues the Russians for peace. I know it will never happen but the alternative looks like the complete destruction of the professional army of the Ukraine.

      5. Kouros

        I fume at the recent ideas of the Bucharest Nine to support Ukraine if not admitted in NATO. As in Poles, Romanians, Hungarians to go to die for the greater glory of Ukrainian ultranationalsim and US Plutocracy. With such prospects at hand, I might say “oh, well” if some big species of fungi starts growing in Washington DC.

        1. Procopius

          It won’t matter a lot. I doubt that their military will agree to go. After all, they’ve given most of their equipment and all their ammunition to the Ukrainians already, and they aren’t capable of producing more. Meanwhile, Russian factories are working 24/7, and they seem to have plenty of ammunition, especially 152mm. The U.S. will spend years replenishing its stocks, and it will take more years to build the numbers of equipment needed for the first month of war. If the Poles, Romanians, and Hungarians do send their armed forces, how are they going to continue to supply them?

    2. MT_Wild

      My concern for the next week is the NATO air exercises.

      Seems like there is potential for intentional and/or unintentional escalation.

      1. Louis Fyne

        on the plus side (in the incredibly small chance DC does the dumbest international thing in 247 years), WW3 will be over quickly.

        either every military runway in Europe gets cratered and/or Biden pushes the button.

        condolences to everyone who lives in rural-wilderness America who would survive a first exchange.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          fema map of fallout from likely strategic targets in CONUS:

          innerestin that i could only quickly find it on various survivalist blogs.
          barring Cormac McCarthy’s The Road scenario of total annihilation/cobalt salted nukes(if thats even a thing anymore)…i reckon we’ll be ok where we’re at….nothing upwind for almost a thousand miles(ft Bliss in El Paso).
          should prolly go ahead and get the dern iodine tablets, though(they load up yer thalamus(?-maybe…the thing just below yer neck) with iodine so there’s no more room for the radioactive stuff)
          from Nature’s perspective, perhaps…such idiocy would solve a lot of the current problems…for instance, practically undo anthropogenic global warming…

          and, ive said it before….long ago, when i was involved in LATOC(peak oil forum of some repute), one of the things we watched…via members living down the road…was small, elite-ish airports…like Teeterborough…and the docks ringing Manhattan, where the wealthy keep their boats.
          sudden exodus from those places and you know that they know something we don’t.

          and yes…monday’s nato exercises have me worried as hell, too…too much opportunity for false flags and/or utter stupidity.

          as that’s also the first anniversary of my Wife’s death…well, i’m kinda mad at the PTB for distracting me.
          (i’m cooking (homegrown)lamb osso buco tomorrow for the Famila out here at the Wilderness Bar to mark the event)

            1. Roland

              When Mt. St. Helens erupted, Vancouver got plenty of volcanic ash. When Seattle gets nuked, Vancouver’s going to get fallout.

        2. John Anthony La Pietra

          More true than ever before?

          “I feel that, if any songs are going to come out of World War III, we’d better start writing them now. . . .”

      2. Polar Socialist

        From Germany only the F-15* has enough range to reach the far edge of the battlefield, and only if they’re not trying to hide their approach but fly high and on a direct line. Which means that Belarusian Su-30 on patrol or S-300 batteries can pick them up half way trough the Polish air space.

        By then they still have 1200 km to go, first time ever without a support of a friendly AWACS, to a hostile sky where the enemy’s proven kill range is longer than F-15’s radar range.

        I don’t believe anyone in NATO is willing to take such risks. Well, anyone in military. Very little to gain, very much to lose and an ensured escalation completely beyond NATO’s control. Actually, more likely to brake up NATO than Russian defenses.

        * only 22 of them participating, as far as I know.

        1. MT_Wild

          Thanks for that. Although I always fear I am underestimating the stupidity of U.S. leadership, that helps put it in perspective.

    3. JohnnyGL

      I’ve found myself watching a decent amount of his content. His videos on ‘woke’ stuff are worth skipping, though they seems to rack up views, sadly.

      But, his battlefield analysis seems pretty solid. His video on the botched russian attack on vuhledar a couple months back was very sharp. I think he accurately spotted how the inexperienced soldiers thought they were under attack, but they’d really hit a minefield. That meant they handled the situation in all the wrong ways.

    4. Greg

      I’d caution against triumphalism too soon on the Russian’s behalf, Ukraine still has somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of their offensive package still to burn through. Put in a suitable place, that can still cause all sorts of trouble.
      The western arm of the front near the reservoir, but not entirely by the coast, is looking a bit wobbly. It seems likely Ukraine took Lobkove and that puts them behind the first line of defenses in that section.

      The fighting thus far has gone *very* well for Russia however. The drone and electronic warfare overmatch, combined with near-superiority of the air forces, is giving them leeway to rack up quite skewed kill ratios.

        1. Greg

          Yes things are not at all looking good for Ukraine.
          However there is some evidence in the last two nights attacks that they have made some changes to how armored units move forward, to avoid the bunching that was getting them hammered. Not entirely, but some improvement.
          If they manage to solve their air defence problems, and concentrate enough of their forces without getting destroyed by missiles in the backlines, they might achieve something. I doubt they’ll make the Azov coast, but if they get as far as Tokmak then the lines might allow them to get stormshadows to the Kerch bridge.

          1. The Rev Kev


            They can’t solve their air defence problems, they are running out of aircraft, tanks, armoured vehicles, trained troops, qualified officers & NCOs and the Russians have resolved to destroy the Nazi leadership running this country into it’s destruction once and for all. Compared to what the Russian military is capable of, the other shoe has yet to drop as they are holding back their best gear in case NATO is thinking of putting in troops on the ground.

            1. Greg

              Not at all disagreeing, the air defense has been effectively dead for weeks and that’s why the Russian airforce has been ramping up its activity so much. At the strategic level, Ukraine is cooked. It doesn’t help that they appear to have lost a chunk of their military and intelligence leadership, although that is as yet unconfirmed.

              However, it’s possible that they could concentrate enough in a small area to give themselves the 100km dome they need to execute a successful punch through some defensive lines and achieve a tactical or even operational win. Possible, not likely.

              I’m inclined to side with Big Serge and Simplicius in that I don’t think any army on earth could do what Ukraine has been asked to do on the Zapo front, including the Russian and US militaries.

              But I also think no matter what, war is big and complicated and tends to generate a huge number of ummm, lets call them unfortunate circumstances. It’s possible some of those might fall Ukraine’s way yet.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “AI Can Make You Believe Russian Propaganda ”

    About halfway down I got derailed by the following paragraph-

    ‘In other cases, the Russian and Iranian material took actual news events and added inflammatory assertions that were subjective at best. For example, one article about an American military strike in Syria, which was in response to a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government on its own people, claimed the U.S. government was masking its true intent: taking “control of the ‘oil-rich’ region in eastern Syria.”’

    But isn’t that precisely what happened? Trump said it himself: ‘We’re keeping the oil. We have the oil. The oil is secure. We left troops behind only for the oil.’

    1. digi_owl

      Never mind that the whole chemical attack angle is iffy at best.

      The ministry of truth will not be staffed, it will be automated using “AI”…

    2. Milton

      Since almost all news by MSM is projection, I can be confident in my assertion this article was written via AI.

  5. Rolf

    Yves, thanks so much for that musical treat w/Beato. Amazing that despite the number of key changes (almost every, or every other measure) and constant inversions and substitutions, the music made sense (as he points out), never dissonant.

  6. griffen

    Inside the market for illegal temp tags, pretty thorough and interesting. If anyone has happened to watch Emily the Criminal on Netflix, then much of this story seems incredibly familiar. Shady characters all around. Might also explain the increase in general assholery of your fellow drivers, treating mundane highways and streets as a personal autobahn.

    1. Kouros

      I have it on my list but the trailer was extremely depressing to me so I keep postponing.

      1. griffen

        It took me a second time as well to get really involved in finishing the film, and fortunately it’s not Peter Jackson behind the direction. No drawn out 40 minute conclusion and afterglow moments having returned to the shire of Middle Earth.

    2. rowlf

      I live outside the Atlanta Metro area and the local news channels have had several stories on temp tags over the last few years. The people are often faster/smarter than the government.

  7. bassmule

    Ry Cooder on the surveillance state:

    “Well if things could talk, then I’m sure you’d hear
    Lotta things to make you cry my dear
    Ain’t ya glad (Ain’t ya glad)
    Ain’t ya glad (Ain’t ya glad)
    Ain’t ya glad, glad that things don’t talk

    Now if shoes could talk, ‘bout where they been
    When you say you been visiting a friend
    Ain’t ya glad, oooo, ain’t ya glad, oooo,
    Ain’t cha glad, glad that shoes don’t talk

    Now if doors could tell who’s turned the knob
    When he’s away out on a job…
    If cars could tell who’s been inside
    And who’s been taking you out for a ride…”

    If Walls Could Talk

    PS: Yeah, Rick Beato. One never knows, do one?

    1. Judith

      I no longer have the equipment to play records, but I have saved some of my favorites. One is Ry Cooder’s first album, the one with the Air Stream on the cover.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Cooder’s “Available Space” closed out a goofy but favorite movie of mine, “Goin’ South,” a documentary about my great, great, great uncle on my mother’s side, Henry Moon. This video includes both Cooder’s tune and scenes from the movie.

      This clip is of the end of the movie as “Available Space” comes up.

    3. Hank Linderman

      And what about “No Banker Left Behind”? And “Spayed Coolie”? “John Lee Hooker for President”.

      In terms of inspiring emotion Ry is simply the best musician I have ever seen perform, he’s one of my musical heroes, along with Pete Townshend and others. In Louisville, opening for Eric Clapton in 1981, Ry took a crowd of 18k from “who the F is this?” to an extended standing ovation. It took EC 45 minutes to bring the crowd over to his side. Truly amazing. I got to share that story with Ry’s drummer at the gig, the legendary Jim Keltner.

      Not that the second guitarist (Lenny Kravitz) is inaudible:

      God bless you Ry!


      1. Keith Howard

        The musical score of Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, 1984) is entirely the work of Ry Cooder. I think it is the most beautiful guitar playing I’ve ever heard.

        1. chuck roast

          It’s truly haunting…and Harry Dean Stanton’s narrative of the radiator is memorable in the way of not being able to “unsee” a thing. Ry can only be described as a musical polymath.

          Ry’s playing introduced me to slack-key guitar. I went to Honolulu in the late aughts on business and went straight to the Aku Bone Lounge. Imagine, a funky bar with a juke box totally filled with slack-key and Hawaiian music. Like heaven. My business was to do the Federal environmental review of the proposed elevated rail project. The project alignment went right through the Aku Bone, and it was slated for demolition. What I called a “severe environmental impact on a cultural resource.” Nothing I could do to stop it, but I’m sure to spend substantial time in purgatory for my participation in that fiasco. Anyway, the Aku Bone apparently still stands.

          1. brabo

            Aah, the Honolulu mass transit project. Now ten years late, and $10 billion over budget. When Rick Biangiardi was elected major, he promised to get rid of it, only to cave almost as soon as he got the job. They’ve gotten as far as the Stadium (itself slated for demolition and replacement, promises to be another gigantic boondoggle for local developers, and make a big hole in the state budget), with another 6 miles or so to go before they get to the end, originally slated to be Ala Moana, but now shortened a bit. Could be another $5 billion and another 5 years if everything goes according to plan. The contractor just turned over the keys to the City and County, and they’re going to start regular service from Kapolei to The Stadium. We’ll see how many riders show up.
            As for the Aku Bone, it closed several years ago, then was a bikers bar for a while, and may now be empty, but the building is still standing AFAIK. I now live in Hilo, so I’m not absolutely certain.

    4. playon

      Interesting factoid about Ry Cooder – when he went to Havana to play a recording session (which ended up being the recording called The Buena Vista Social Club), upon his return the US state department fined him $50,000 for violating their policy on Cuba. They later lowered the amount to $20,000… thanks a lot guys.

    5. dandyandy

      From: Don’t call me Red;

      God will love you if you just play ball, that’s right
      Fritz Burns, Chief Parker, and J. Edgar
      I outlived those bastards after all

      Always made me chuckle

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Yea or Nay? Vertically Staggered Airplane Seats – Core77”

    I would say yeah, nah! So a 22 year old designed this? I can believe that. I saw this on Reddit the other day and just rolled my eyes. But there is something that those staggered seats reminded me of. Triremes! These were the rowing warships of the ancient Athenian Navy. The three rows of benches were staggered to fit in as many rowers as possible and it was a widespread joke at the time how you would be rowing away hard and having the guy in the row above you farting in your face-

    But there is another question that comes to mind here. Who gets the window? The person on top or the person on bottom? Or will they do away with windows eventually to make planes cheaper to build and just supply a screen on the walls instead which shows you what you would be seeing outside?

    1. digi_owl

      From what i skimmed, this will supposedly only be used for the middle section of dual aisle arrangements.

        1. digi_owl

          And the cheapest ticket was something like 100x what is it today?

          Not that i would mind, buzzing off to the tropics for an extended weekend seem wasteful to the extreme.

          1. The Rev Kev

            If tickets were 100 times what they are now, it might have a lot of knock-on effects. No more mass tourist going to foreign countries like you mentioned. No more unnecessarily journeys. Not so much pollution in the skies and contrails. No more crowded airports. Airlines would have to improve services instead of recreating flying cattle trucks. Hmmm.

            1. vao

              Hey, they might even re-open those direct, rapid long-distance overnight railway connections that were suppressed because of the low-fare airplane tickets!

    2. tevhatch

      1. No carry on bins, so loss of income when they start to charge for luggage you take care of yourself.
      2. More doors in side of plane required by safety regs. though the FAA is bought and sold, so do-able.
      3. Aging population, replace operate the door in the event of an emergency with can you get down?

    3. synoia

      The seats need to pass the emergency evacuation standard. People will be dropping on others. If one person falls and blocks an aisle that might exceed the emergency evacuation time limit.

    4. chris

      I mean, at this point, why not? The US has made air travel such a hellscape from entry to exit that we might as well make the seating even worse.

      Slight rant – I pay for all kinds of services to facilitate getting through security quickly and efficiently. I had to give up all kinds of biometric data to the government years ago as part of my work so I figured, why not get a benefit from it? Things like Clear used to make it so easy to get through security. But now, I’m stopped even when using Clear for additional security checks. I’m told it’s because I fly “too much”, which means whenever a random person is pulled aside for additional security checks, my name is Mr. Random. And assuming you get through the TSA screening without them destroying whatever semblance of order you had in your gear when you packed, you’re presented with an endless parade of understaffed and over priced shops to buy second rate food. Half the time I’m spit out of security after some new indignity because TSA has decided one of the tools I need for work is now a weapon and it must be left behind. The number of tape measures,, plumb bobs, wrenches, micrometers, pressure gages, etc. that I have donated to the TSA is staggering. If you check the tool bag you risk not having it or having it be damaged. If you take it with you for overhead storage you risk it going through TSA and losing stuff you need. I’ve had them take out the small screwdrivers that sometimes come with tools to make adjustments and repairs to the tools because they could be used as shivs.

      And you’d think you’d avoid some of that with TSA Precheck but so many people have Pre now that those lines can be longer than the general security screening. But assuming you make it through all that with your stuff and can board you’re left with trying to navigate through zombies stalking the halls, screaming kids, and hordes of animals that people have decided are emotional comfort requirements, where you get to sit in dirty uncomfortable seats with charger ports that never work for flights that are often late. Upon boarding you get treated to being bumped and jostled constantly in seats that you have to wedged into an out of if you’re the size I am so that even though I keep pretty trim there’s only so much a 6’2″ male can do in the average airplane seat these days while getting beaten by all the passersby if you take the aisle or crunched into a chiropractic adjustment if you take the window seat. God help you if you’re large and are compacted into the middle.

      Upon arriving at your destination, if you’re lucky, it’s not too far off from when you were supposed to, you get to do the rental car dance, where you need to figure out how to get the rental cars that they can’t give you. This started before 2020 but now it really does seem like never have what you selected and must apologize for it. Occasionally this results in comical situations where you tried to rent a compact car to have am easy time driving in a city and the rental people insist on giving you an absurdly large truck. Other times they give you a vehicle that is not what you wanted but has am exciting list of attributes which make it dangerous to drive in the conditions you’re facing. But that all assumes you can even leave with a car. After receiving a vehicle you can then proceed to the exit gate where you must use a QR code to scan out but the reading device won’t work and the people around you won’t be able to help because their management will insist everyone use the new, convenient, QR code method to exit the rental lot. After you experience this soul crushing waste of time you will immediately receive an email and an app request to rate your rental experience because they really do care about what their preferred customer program members think.

      I don’t fly for pleasure. I fly because I have to for work. I am paying more and more to be treated worse and worse. Despite going through multiple programs to tell my government I am not a mad bomber intent on wrecking the flight I purchased a ticket for I am treated as if there is no end to the security checking they must apply to my person and belongings. So now you tell me that they want to re-arrange the seating to make even normal people feel claustrophobic give us all a harder time boarding? Sure. Why not. It’s already awful. There’s already no service. The experience is already awesomely degraded. I look forward to all the new indignities that will be foisted on air travelers in the coming years.

      1. vao

        TSA has decided one of the tools I need for work is now a weapon and it must be left behind. The number of tape measures,, plumb bobs, wrenches, micrometers, pressure gages, etc. that I have donated to the TSA is staggering.

        Since these are tools for business, you may try the following:

        Argue that you do not own the tool, which is the property of the corporation you work with. And if you cannot justify (with, e.g. a police report) why you no longer have it in your possession, the firm will deduct the price of the tool from your wages. So if the TSA wants to keep it, please provide an official document describing the object and certifying that it has been confiscated; dated, signed, and stamped. This works best if the object in question has some kind of small label with the logo of the firm and an alpha-numeric code printed on it.

        At worst, the TSA officer will have to ask a superior, figure out whether there is form for that, and fill it (and you will at least have annoyed them). At best, they will figure out this is too much trouble and let you go with your prized possession.

        I do not know whether the trick still succeeds, but it reportedly did in the early years of the TSA (although I never had to rely upon it myself).

          1. chris

            For 2023, the current count is two wrenches, two screwdrivers, a nut driver, a digital micrometer, a pocket rod tape measure, an Allen wrench/hex key set, a cheap caliper set, and ironically, a self retracting safety box cutter that I forgot in my kit when I had to pack in a hurry and it missed my final inspection. Maybe… $350 in tools this year? I’d have to check receipts to know for sure.

        1. chris

          The response I’ve gotten when I’ve had a chance to ask what my options were was that I could go back and mail the tool but then I’d have to through security again and many times, that meant missing my flight. Frustratingly, I’d be able to go through TSA at some airports and get caught at others with no explanation of why I got passed at one and pulled aside by another.

    5. Wukchumni

      I went from stacked stewardesses in mini skirts on my first flights of fancy, to skirting space by stacking humans vertically.

    6. Mildred Montana

      Short form of the article: Industrial “designer” with a “concept” desperately seeks venture capital.

    7. Bart Hansen

      Many years ago when my place of work brought in an open cubicle arrangement we were horrified. I joked that eventually we will be in Pueblo style top and bottom cubies with ladders.

    8. Kouros

      My perfect flight would be like the one in “The Fifth Element”, horizontally and asleep for the duration of the flight.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Had the same thought myself and the loss of sleeping bunks in aircraft must have been a loss at the time.

  9. hemeantwell

    Re the Little Mermaid article in the Guardian, it seems that once anti-racist mythology-busting gets in the driver’s seat at central casting, opportunities for remakes could become limitless. Once I get past my slippery slope cringing over the idea of Denzel playing Lincoln, I’m reminded of our recent viewing of a miniseries of David Copperfield. Two of the prominent characters were played by Black actors. At first we were wondering about how Dickens would have felt. But they performed well and, oddly, the fact that no other characters brought attention to their race >>> a complete fadeout of the issue in a manner akin to a social psych experiment. Wonder what Adolph Reed makes of this.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s all fun and games until they decide to do a biopic of Obama’s life and Presidency – and then cast a Korean-American actor to play him.

      1. hk

        They can still do it: there are more Black Korean-Americans than people think. They did cast a British actor to play MLK, after all.

      2. Revenant

        We saw a production of Led Miserables recently where Eponine (French proletarian) was black and her father Thénadier was white. This is not in lime with Victor Hugo!

    2. Carolinian

      This is an interesting question. I think colorblind casting works for most contemporary stories and for fantasy fic like the HBO House of the Dragon. But for historical fiction it glares because you are depicting an era when racism was very much a thing. It’s like the flip side of Hollywood’s one time Stepin Fetchit version of black people and just as prominent if the point is to tell a story that is not about race. Cleopatra was not African. Dickens wrote about urban conditions in a particular English era where race was very much a consideration.

      It’s a dilemma for a network like PBS that wants to go woke while still clinging to their obsession with rich white folks in historical drama. Whether diversity casting is gaining them an audience or losing it I don’t know. Public broadcasting was, traditionally, an educational network so perhaps they see additional goals.

      1. hk

        Even for historical fiction, things can get dicey: a lot of slaves in antebellum South would not have looked “Black” by modern standards (This was, in fact, a common feature in Abolitionist pamphlets of the time). Heck, the head of NAACP in better part of early 20th century (into 1950s) was a man with blonde hair and blue eyes, but who was legally Black because of blood quantum laws in the South at the time of his birth (and later, under “One Drop Rule.”) and proudly considered himself one (why not? he was Black by law.) A key question in Plessy vs. Fergusson concerned peculiar issues caused by blood quantum laws–Homer Plessy was 1/16 Black, if I recall correctly, (in fact, less than NAACP head Walter White who was 5/32 Black.), he would not have been visually recognized as Black if he didn’t identify himself as one, and would not even have been defined as Black in many parts of the South because of variations in blood quantum laws. But, if there is a biopic of Walter F. White or a movie depiction of Plessy vs. Ferguson, would the producers cast someone who “looks White” even though that was one of most important factors shaping the lives of Mr. White and Mr. Plessy?

    3. Cas

      I saw a recent British film that also had color-blind casting (See How They Run). I think it’s a great approach. I’ve always thought film should follow opera in that skin color is not a factor in casting, just voice. I remember a great performance of Don Pasquale where Pasquale was Italian and his nephew was a Black American. No one felt a need to explain how the Italian had a Black nephew.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that the biggest complaint is not the fact that an actor is black or white or Asian or whatever. By itself, it is not a biggie as you pointed out. The problem lies with the fact that they will take a historical figure (like Cleopatra recently) or a fictional character (like in the new versions of Lord of the Ring) and race or sex swap them. It’s actually insulting when you think about it.

        So instead of investing the time and energy into developing a new character and then in a few movies or TV episodes showing how they developed, made mistakes and became an evolved character, they take a developed character and swap their race or sex or sexual identity and piggyback off an established fan base. “Ghostbusters 2016” is a notorious example here. And to make it worse, they create them as a “Mary Sue” who is already perfect and needs to learn no lessons.

        At the end of the day the problem is not the fans or the viewers. It is the studios who refuse to invest more into black or Latino or Asian or whatever characters but just choose the lazy way by shoe-horning them into existing characters or franchises.

        1. digi_owl

          Indeed. There would be far less bruhaha if this was done using new stories and characters. The bruhaha is about taking long established characters and stories and doing the laziest search and replace for political reasons.

          Is it basically the kind of antics Orwell railed against, and yet here we are.

          1. Victor Moses

            Why is it a lazy search if the best actor is non-white? Why is there a problem with long established fictional characters not hewing to the author’s imagined race? I find this phenomenon frankly disturbing. Just watch the show for the show and stop imbuing your perceptions of what the story should be. The only time where you shouldn’t deviate racially is when a story deals with a known historical character. I wouldn’t want to see a black Abe Lincoln or an Asian Shaka Zulu.

            1. hk

              I don’t think the recasting of characters is universally unpopular: there was one TV show based on King Arthur legends that cast a Black actress as Guinevere and, as she was very good, IIRC, the controversy died down very quickly. I suspect problems are more common when the movie, TV show etc are not terribly well done and the defenders of the movie get too high and mighty about their casting decisions–implicitly or explicitly accusing their critics as being mainly motivated by prejudice. I do think casting someone unexpected to fill a well known role does require a lot of work to make it believable and this just does not get done often enough, which, in turn, makes the overall production look even sloppier. If the movie (or whatever) doubles down tries to get too lecture-y about the casting, that would make it even worse.

        2. Cas

          I understand your point. However, characters whose ethnicity is part of the plot–think Shylock or Othello or Madame Butterfly–have been played by white actors for decades without murmurs. This goes for historical figures as well, one of the first film Cleopatras being Claudette Colbert. This is clearly the result of the dominant culture in Great Britain and the USA being white. So if white people can play Jewish, Japanese, and Egyptian people, surely the opposite should be allowed?
          I’ve heard people call for only allowing Japanese sopranos play Madame Butterfly, or Chinese sopranos play Turandot, which isn’t far from your suggestion that there need to be more ethnic roles for ethnic actors to have work.
          It is certainly true, there are many stories, historical and fictional, that have yet to be written about the “other” Americans, not just non-WASP, but also members of the LGBTQ communities or disabled communities.
          But I’m commenting on something else. I don’t think only artists that fit the character’s profile should be able to play that role. So yes, if Elizabeth Taylor can play Cleopatra, Denzel Washington can play Lincoln.

          1. Carolinian

            Jewish people are not (mostly) white? Cleopatra was Greek. True, casting a French woman or a born British woman to play her may have been bad art but wasn’t trying to make a statement about her French-ness or British-ness. Apparently the recent “documentary” about Cleopatra was trying to make such a point.

            And when Olivier played Othello onstage and a movie version he did go blackface to some controversy. But the stage is not film. Opera isn’t either. As our drama teachers taught us the “willing suspension of disbelief” plays a role in plays while films are all about “in a world” that they expect you to believe in. So a fantasy film or a historical film has to serve it’s own genre as appropriate.

            1. JohnA

              Back in Olivier’s day, actors playing Othello and Iago would often swap roles, and black up when playing the Moor.
              I very much doubt a non-black actor could ever play Othello these days, even without make-up and playing it ‘colour blind’.

              1. ambrit

                Socially, I agree with you, but technically, I must disagree. The ability to evoke the “willing suspension of disbelief” is the hallmark of a competent actor.
                A turn of the Twentieth Century Minstrel in blackface is a parody, and should be taken as such. The late Warner Oland, a Swede, done up as Charlie Chan is an actor ‘inhabiting’ a role. The two are not to be conflated.

                1. JBird4049

                  >>>The two are not to be conflated.

                  Of course they are or else can the fight against the patriarchy-euro supremacy be won? Sarcasm (but not really) The point is not nuance, but the conflation of everything into cow manure to confuse the issues into insanity.

                  1. ambrit

                    I love it! Sarcasm has it’s place as a worthy item in the to and fro of debate.
                    Well, the most “famous” Patriarchy in Western literature is the Elders of Zion from the Bible. A bunch of “white” peripatetic herders and thieves, from the Middle East no less! (What? You don’t call the expropriation by force of Canaan a theft?) All else in the West flows on from that. [Some scofflaws might suggest that the Doric Greeks of the Bronze Age had their “piece of the action” as well.]
                    Be that as it may, I see that cow manure helps all sorts of useful plants grow, including Psilocybin mushrooms. {There is ‘insanity,’ and there is “Insanity.”}
                    I like how the science fiction writer A E Van Vogt, a Canadian by the way, named one of his major characters “Gosseyn.”
                    Stay safe, go sane.

              2. Jeff V

                You could have a white actor playing Othello, if all the other characters were not white. It’s probably been done, somewhere.

            2. hk

              I think you are right about Cleopatra “documentary.” Plenty of TV shows cast Black actresses as Cleopatra without anyone bothering to care after all–and that none of them were “serious” helped.

              Of course, then there’s the controversy about Aladdin. In the original story, Aladdin is “Chinese” (although it’s really a stand in for some faraway place in the East, not necessarily “Chinese” as we’d understand it.) I am told, though, that this is accepted as a given in Middle Eastern or Bollywood movie/TV versions of the story, and apparently, some British ones, too. When Disney cast an East Asian actor in the live performances of Aladdin at Disneyland, Arab activists howled about the alleged “miscasting” which forced Disney to back off.

          2. ambrit

            “So if white people can play Jewish, Japanese, and Egyptian people, surely the opposite should be allowed?”
            I had to laugh out loud. To an alien from “somewhere else” all of those ‘ethnicities’ would be classifiable as “white.” As for the “Children of Abraham,” isn’t that a religious classification? There are “black” Hebrews, many originally from Ethiopia, and one group down in South Africa.
            See, the Lemba:,and%20Semitic%2Dsounding%20clan%20names.
            All this “race baiting” in the Infotainment Industry is suspiciously like a “Manufacturing of Consent” exercise. What I am curious to discover is what the long term goals inherent in this policy are; Equal rites, Reparations, Continuance of PMC Hegemony?

        3. Cloris

          So there’d be no problem with white actors playing Martin, Malcom, Washington Carver etc?

      2. Carolinian

        And the “fat lady” always sings at the end (as they used to say)? Of course Maria Callas was thin but size may matter when it comes to projecting your voice into a giant opera house.

        In other words opera isn’t really about photorealism and never was even if some recent versions, as delivered by the photo medium of my TV, seem to be trying to be more cinematic.

        That said, the real objection to The Little Mermaid seems to be that it just isn’t very good according to many critics. So Disney’s real sin may have been remaking the older movie at all in order to further milk an owned property. And if that was their motive then the casting may have been little more than a further attempt to freshen up the franchise–not very noble. Diversity is no substitute for creativity.

        1. Pat

          I have only seen one of the live action remakes. I would never see Little Mermaid. They are money grabs that illustrate how little artistry is left at Disney.

          1. ambrit

            Depending on how Disney handles the huge payout they owe to Comcast for Comcast’s percentage of Hulu, Disney as a company might not be around much longer.
            What isn’t being “said out loud” is that Disney cannot not pay up. Comcast has Disney “over a barrel,” to the tune of between five and ten billion dollars. Money that Disney does not have now since their latest ‘tentpole’ films have done poorly at best.
            Disney looks to be a demonstration that “Manufacturing Consent” does not automatically transform into “Making Money.”

    4. playon

      I find that many contemporary TV series and movies seem to be engaged in “black-washing” history — putting black people in roles that would have been wildly inappropriate in the historical period being portrayed. It seems they want to erase the history of racism.

      1. Pat

        This has been one of my big issues in recent years. I don’t want history white washed. I don’t want statues of Jefferson stripped from public. I don’t want to see some period piece about England in 1890s with black shop keepers. Both distort our historical racism. Imagery does matter.
        A feminist I knew had no clue why Lily Bart killed herself at the end of House of Mirth because the movie they watched didn’t manage to portray the future she faced and the real blocks facing women at that time in because they made things around the character too pretty. Just as real misogyny was unrecognizable, so real racism will be hidden. Disguise supposedly for good will be just as destructive as that done to hide the evil.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Talk about white-washing history—and then talk about the movie “Titanic”. One that billions of the credulous have loved as the lovers embraced at the bow in light clothing in a 20-knot wind and zero degrees while Celine Dion emoted on the soundtrack. The un-credulous among us just laughed at the preposterousness of it all and wondered why they weren’t dashing for shelter from the cold instead of embracing and kissing.

          And then there is the question of a third-class (steerage) passenger (Leonardo DiCaprio) making his way into the first-class lounge to meet his beloved. That would never have happened in real—as opposed to Hollywood—life. If he even managed to gain entrance at all he would have been quickly frog-marched out of there. Class restrictions back then were strict.

          But Hollywood doesn’t care about history. It is in the business of washing it—or creating its own. Facts be damned, the rubes don’t know, so let’s do our best to make sure they never do.

          1. Pat

            Fair point. To be honest, the thing I find the most hopeful for this about “Hollywood” (regardless of where it was made) is that the business has discovered there is a more diverse audience. Filmmaking from black filmmakers and Native American filmmakers reaching wider and wider audiences is going to do more than token diverse casting will ever do.

            Shifting audience perception that widens it, even just millimeters, is a good thing.

          2. Carolinian

            If that’s what you were thinking about while watching Titanic perhaps you should have asked for your money back. It’s not a documentary even if Cameron, with his trips to the wreck, likes to give off an insider vibe. Indeed one of my beefs is when fiction films pretend to be giving you the real story or true history to promote a particular message that may not in fact be true.

            Titanic has no such message. It’s a love story–sappy to some. I liked it.

            Of course movies take liberties with history but some liberties are little too over the top and some history is best left alone by “fiction” if the liberties turn into black lies instead of white ones.

          3. GC54

            But the movie revealed that the fateful iceberg was noticed too late because the lookout chap was looking at the couple on the deck not out. Glad to have that cleared up.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Nothing to do with the fact that the bridge officer crew did not share their binoculars with the crew in the crow’s nest because they were only ordinary crewman who might have damaged them. The binoculars that the crow’s nest crew were supposed to have been issued were still back in the UK and had not made it aboard in time.

    5. JohnA

      The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen is in bronze and therefore looks pretty brown. That has never been controversial, though it has been vandalised from time to time – beheaded, arm cut off, splashed with paint etc., by people protesting about this or that, not the actual colour.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Ron DeSantis campaign uses fake AI-created photos of Donald Trump hugging and kissing Dr. Fauci”

    I can’t believe that DeSantis was stupid enough to do this against Trump. It’s like challenging a pig to a mud-wrestling competition. So Trump could quite easily commission his own fake AI-created photos of Ron DeSantis sharing a Bud Lite with Dylan Mulvaney and hugging and kissing him. I’d pay good money to be in the room when DeSantis saw that add.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Mother of god. What the hell did I just see? Some of it looked like the special effects from a horror film. I sure as hell am not going to watch it again.

      2. vao

        Some years ago, there was a flurry of reports about youtube accounts publishing videos targeting children, but that, despite their colourful animations and cheerful music, actually presented seriously disturbing content — intentionally. A large proportion of those videos were obviously generated semi-automatically.

        At the time, I followed one of the links mentioned in this article; the videos I found were very disquieting — the products of sick, depraved minds. I was really troubled.

        Google belatedly cracked down on those channels, but does not seem to have been able or willing to eliminate them altogether.

        I am afraid that with those novel AI-driven generation tools, it becomes feasible to mass-manufacture even more refined, nightmarishly explicit (like the fake commercial alluded to above) content.

      3. lyman alpha blob

        Yikes. For a second there, I thought I was looking at another video of Ukrainian war casualties.

      4. skippy


        Note of concern …. in the future …. what happens when AI gets a dose of 4 way window pane acid …. furthermore …. and likes it ….

  11. gnatt

    i keep getting emails from gavin newsom. what a fighter! mad at di santis! defender of all the woke issues! not one word to disturb the billionaires that are ripping everyone off. or the war machine.

  12. Wukchumni

    There was a shooter here about a decade ago who got off 8 or 9 shots outside the visitor center @ Ash Mountain in Sequoia NP before being tackled to the ground by NPS rangers (one of whom is a close friend) and none of the shots hit anybody.

    I used to have a link to it, but everything appears to have been expunged from the record, as if it never happened.

    English was very much a secondary language in Yosemite Valley this past week, throngs of every nationality were represented, and frankly there’d be nothing to stop a determined shooter with a Steely Dan from mowing down dozens of innocents, and what if 3 Japanese, a couple of Aussies and a family of French tourists were gunned down, would that change the we really don’t care-it’s a cost of the 2nd Amendment dynamic-as suddenly-tourism would wane woefully as foreigners stayed away in droves?

    1. jefemt

      After all the recent video and still photos of visitors to Yellowstone- foreign and domestic, harassing the wildlife in America’s Serengeti ™, it might just come to pass… It’s not even mid-June!

    2. Carolinian

      English was very much a secondary language in Yosemite Valley

      Or any of the famous Western parks? We rednecks probably still command the majority in the Smokies, stopover on the way to Dollywood.

      1. Wukchumni

        I think the Japanese in particular very much love waterfalls, and there were more from Nippon than Chinese visitors by a wide margin. for waters worth.

        1. Carolinian

          We have some back East–not like your big showoff Yosemite waterfalls.

          Check out the finale to Michael Mann’s Last of the Mohicans for a Yosemite style long drop from the top of a mountain. This was shot at Chimney Rock Park in North Carolina.

          On the plus side ours tend to run all year.

    3. Lee

      The visitors centers in Yellowstone during the summer months are what I imagine United Nations conferences to be like. On one of my trips to Yosemite I booked a tent cabin in Curry Village for a week. I felt I had been plopped down in the middle of a French town. I do love the sound of the French language so it was delightful. As serendipitous happenstance will have it, I had chosen as my reading material for the week a translation of Zola’s Germinal.

    4. playon

      I think that most foreign tourists are well aware of the American propensity for violence and their love of guns. If they choose to come here they no doubt keep that in mind.

      1. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

        Absolutely! Had a great afternoon escorting a slew of Japanese English language students (and their instructor) to the local range for a bunch of shooting. They were specifically in Portland (Ore.) in no small part because I’d offered to take them (and their instructor) there.

  13. The Rev Kev

    “Did Pentagon Hardliners Leak The Report About A Planned Chinese Spy Base In Cuba?”

    This is a strange one. I suppose that if this story gets no traction, then the Wall Street Journal could start up a story that the Chinese are funding a series of research biolabs throughout Cuba – for peaceful research of course. I wonder about the timing of this story as about the same time, I read that Cuba is proposing to create a Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) industrial park in the island’s special economic zone-

    ‘The proposed industrial park may be established in the Mariel province on a 50-hectare (123-acre) plot of land, including a port, 45km (27 miles) away from Havana. The Caribbean nation has offered to lend the plot to the EEU for 50 years, with an opportunity to prolong the deed.’

    Several companies from Russia and Belarus are already represented at Mariel so you might see an influx of other nations like China. And such a park might help charge up the economy and lead to Cuba being less isolated and more prosperous. No wonder the hardliners hate this idea-

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘UkraineMaps 🇺🇬
    Ukrainian counter offensive shows that NATO doctrine doesn’t work without upmost air superiority, it only works against guys with sandals and AK without any air superiority. Ukraine has adapted NATO doctrine but it doesn’t work because Russia has pinned down the sky.’

    He’s got that right. I saw Russian night-vision of a column of Ukrainian armoured vehicles traveling at night. It was white blobs against a mostly black background but it was enough for the Ka-52 “Alligator” attack helicopter that was taking this video which then proceeded to do a demolition job on that column. And the Ukrainians keep on losing jets who try to protect those forces in numbers they can simply not afford.

  15. Mikel

    The “Aha” Moment: The Trump Indictment Could Prove Revealing for Either Trump or the DOJ Jonathan Turley (Carolinian). One lawyer contact pointed out that if there’s no predicate crime, there’ no obstruction of justice, since there’s nothing to obstruct. But they can still get him on being dumb enough to talk to the FBI to without a lawyer, since lying to the FBI is a crime…”

    Not surprised Trump talked to the FBI without a lawyer. Most likely because he has talked to them many times in the past in various relationships and without negative consequence to himself.

  16. griffen

    Presidential candidates entering the race, stating the obvious here for myself. I did not notice this announcement and I did not notice the last name of this governor. Did we need something with more interior space than an existing clown car? A clown van, preferably old school like the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo? Ruh Roh ( sarc )

    I see in his business background includes being CEO of a software company acquired by Microsoft. From growing pains to Great Plains software; the Accountants United will not be Defeated !

  17. Michael Hudson

    Re the Crusades, the NLR author misses the point. Most of the numerous Crusades during 1059-1291 were not against Islam. They were against Christians, stating with
    southern Italy (Byzantine) under Robert Guiscard and England under William I, then the Albigensian Crusade, fights against Germany, etc.
    So today’s US Crusade is mainly against US allies, starting with Germany, the focus of the 12th and 13th century Crusades by the Pope against the Holy Roman Emperors.

      1. Lee

        This gave me a bit of a jolt. Talk about fake news. We humans seem to have an enduring tendency to let our imaginations run riot. From the Wikipedia page on the Cathars:

        “There is academic controversy about whether Catharism was a real and organized movement or whether the medieval Church imagined or exaggerated it. The lack of any central organization among Cathars, regional differences in beliefs and practices, as well as the lack of sources from the Cathars themselves has prompted some scholars to question whether Catharism existed. Other scholars say that there is evidence of the existence of Catharism, and also evidence that the threat of it was exaggerated by its persecutors in the Church.[10] Since the 1990s, some scholars have regarded the fear of Cathars as a moral panic.

        Though the term Cathar (/ˈkæθɑːr/) has been used for centuries to identify the movement, whether it identified itself with the name is debated.[11] In Cathar texts, the terms Good Men (Bons Hommes), Good Women (Bonnes Femmes), or Good Christians (Bons Chrétiens) are the common terms of self-identification.[12]”

        1. lyman alpha blob

          We humans do like to categorize. I’m in the middle of a book called In Search of the Phoenicians which argues that you won’t find them because they didn’t really exist either, and “Phoenician” was just a name imposed on itinerant ancient merchants with some connection to the Levant by outsiders. There is no archaeological or written evidence of Levantine people referring to themselves as “Phoenician” until about a millennium after the Greeks and others began referring to them as such, and even then it’s extremely scant.

          1. hk

            (Apologies if this winds up being a repeat)

            There are “Phoenicians” now, though: a fair chunk of Lebanese Christians insist on calling themselves “Phoenicians” rather than “Arab.” (Although there are plenty of Lebanese Christians who do insist on being called “Arab,” too.) N. N. Taleb is one of these “Phoenicians,” I believe. Whether some ancient people actually existed or not, or what they might have been really like, their identities are often taken up by people who live in the same general area and claim themselves their descendants (are they really? who knows.).

            1. The Rev Kev

              I think that the same is true of the Etruscans as DNA analysis revealed that they were not the original inhabitants of the region when the Romans found them but that they had taken up the language and culture of the people that were there before.

    1. tevhatch

      Who can forget all the wars domestic up and down the Mediterranean and through Europe by the flavor of the church in favor that year? Oh yeah, the west, as a culture forgot/buried most of it. Makes all the flavors of (American funded) ISIS/ISIL look sane and compassionate. Really enjoying your recent videos with Ben Norton, he does his homework which helps get the right questions in front of you.

    2. vao

      Let us not forget all those crusades in the East agains the pagan people of Livonia, Prussia, and other heathen countries.

      1. Daniil Adamov

        I get the distinct impression that the Baltic Crusades and the Albigensian Crusades were much more brutal than the Middle Eastern Crusades. The latter just involved the usual medieval massacres on both sides. The ones in Europe were downright genocidal, going beyond the standard level of atrocity.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Atrocity and greed. The Livonian Swordbrothers did not shy away from ransacking Christian villages or even kidnapping the bishop of Riga. Even by the contemporary standards they were too vile and had to be disbanded by the church.

          They also arranged short summer crusades for all those knights too busy, lazy or not really into crusades that had no time for Holy Land. Full upkeeping and a pre-selected peasant village or two to destroy for the glory of God included in the price.

          As for the aim of the crusades, indeed the great majority of Christians at the time lived in Levant and Central Asia, not in the “Christendom”. They just were not the right kind of Christians when you looked from the Rome.

          1. Daniil Adamov

            Yes, or for that matter when you looked from Constantinople. But the interesting thing is that after the initial brutalities of conquest, the Outremer kingdoms seemed to be fairly tolerant towards Muslims and schismatics on the whole. At the very least, there were definitely some positive mentions from contemporary Arab writers to that effect (they did not seem to see the invading Franks as any worse than the invading Turks, and individual Frankish rulers could often be more reliable as protectors). Wrong-Christian Armenians often proved pretty loyal to the new arrivals too – surely not the typical reaction to genocide. Going for mass conversion or slaughter there just did not seem to be a feasible option, at least not during those kingdoms’ tenuous existence. Sicily was like that too, for a long time.

            Meanwhile, mass conversion or death was the overt goal in the Baltic region, even without going into individual atrocities. And in southern France, well… heretics in the heart of Christendom obviously could not stand, plus the afflicted lands there had no shortage of jealous neighbours.

            1. Polar Socialist

              I guess the main difference between the two was that in the south Crusaders were barons, kings and many a second sons, with the aim to carve kingdoms for themselves, but in the north in the lead was what Eric Christiansen calls The Monastic War Machine – violent brotherhoods making sure no secular power could assert itself over them.

              1. vao

                There were the crusades by Swedish kings in Carelia, too — not much to do with monastic orders.

                1. Polar Socialist

                  Carelians were already Orthodox Christians at the time. It was more about tribal raiding among the Swedes (Catholics), Finns (semi-pagans) and Carelians (Orthodox). At the time the Carelian domain extended to the Gulf of Bothnia.

                  Basically pope Alexsander’s permission for northern crusades was worded loosely enough to cover any raid, slaughter or conquer done in the east by the new Nordic Christian kingdoms. So the Danish, Swedes and Livonian Brothers all tried to establish themselves along the Gulf of Finland – which was the main route of the very lucrative trade to Novgorod (and beyond).

              1. vao

                Since the Ferengi were not connected, ethnically, demographically, and even theologically, to the local populations (if at all, the Greeks were), and, considering Christian powers, since the Near East had historically been within the realm of the Byzantine/Eastern Roman empires — not the Western Roman Empire/Western European kingdoms, then, yes, it was a conquest and not a re-conquest.

            2. barefoot charley

              As England was for younger sons of Norman nobility, so the South of (not yet) France was for your generic northern nobles–it was a land of, well, land. France had formal vassalage of the south thanks to Charlemagne and sons, but no real influence until its local lords were swept aside or slaughtered, and their daughters married off to foreign northerners. We wouldn’t have a France without the Cathar crusades.

            3. hk

              I remember reading about Charlemagne’s Saxon Wars (which, I suppose, are in many ways the precursor to the Baltic Crusades.) Pretty harrowing stuff.

    3. skippy

      The ripping part about all this period in question, Mr Hudson, is the speed and flexian like shift in alliances in real historical time. There is a good little history buff channel on a Mfg TV channel that uses a geographical map and overlaid with commentary which covers most of the east/west of significance at the time.

      Great googlymoggly mate … the speed of alliances and battles/skirmishes changes with a blink of an eye as birth rights, afforded by divinity, approaches the limits of fruit fly experiments. One bloke dies on the battle field or succumbs to illness and the whole regional geopolitical construct just acts like a pond with a meteor hitting it – just ludicrous speed of events which no human could possibly contend with.

      For fun I speed it up some times and its like the movie Lucy as she is sitting in the chair as she moves back in time and back to the present.

  18. KLG

    A little of the history of biochemistry, a mere snippet on a beautiful Saturday morning below the smoke line; hurry back, Mr. Trudeau. The horrific story from Australia about the mother falsely convicted of murdering her children brings back memories. Calmodulin is a ubiquitous calcium-binding protein that mediates the actions of Ca2+ ions in signal transduction in muscle contraction, metabolism, and in nerve cells. It was discovered in the 1970s and called “modulator protein.” During my early apprenticeship I purified the protein from soft corals, mushrooms, and peas to show that it was present in all eukaryotes. One step in the process was to heat the extract to near boiling. Calmodulin (a very small protein) would-re-fold into an active conformation after 99% of the other components of the mix turned into sludge that could be removed by centrifugation. Mushroom extract made everyone hungry. Soft coral extract not so much.

    Calmodulin is one of the most evolutionary conserved proteins in eukaryotes, i.e., virtually identical in peas, mushrooms, and humans. Histone IV (required for DNA organization) is also very conserved.* This is because both proteins are absolutely essential and admit of few changes in the foundations of eukaryote life (histones are also found in our Archaebacteria relatives). Homologs of calmodulin are found in muscle as components of the contraction apparatus (Troponin-C) and bioluminescence in jellyfish (aequorin). Evolution is cool! The danger of the mutations is shown in the bar graph at the link much more readily than in the binding curves. The mutants bind Ca2+ at about 25% of the wild-type level. That eventually will lead to heart failure and many other things…a very sad case. This is also the reason these mutations appear in only 1-in-35,000,000 people, which would be about 10 in the United States, less than 300 people worldwide. There is no reason to screen for these mutations, and any intervention to prevent bad outcomes is impossible.

    Now back to the other awful News of the World…

    *Evolutionary conservation of Histone IV if you want to see how biochemistry was done, and done well, in the Stone Age. I began in the Bronze Age, which wasn’t much different.

    1. Lee

      “The horrific story from Australia about the mother falsely convicted of murdering her children brings back memories.” A remarkable tale. The woman in question: Kathleen Folbigg.

    2. FergusD

      How about another small modulator protein, ‘ubiquitin’, so called because it is ubiquitous in eukaryotes. Three amino acid residue differences between yeast and man.

  19. TimH

    On Donald not STFU. Not sure the original source of this 5th assertion:
    “On the advice of my lawyer, I respectfully decline to answer on the basis of the 5th Amendment, which – according to the United States Supreme Court – protects everyone, even innocent people, from the need to answer questions if the truth might be used to help create the misleading impression that they were somehow involved in a crime that they did not commit.”

  20. Sub-Boreal

    Two open-access readings relevant to our current miasma:

    1. Although from 2019, still germane: Scientists’ warning on wildfire — a Canadian perspective”

    Recently, the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: a Second Notice was issued in response to ongoing and largely unabated environmental degradation due to anthropogenic activities. In the warning, humanity is urged to practice more environmentally sustainable alternatives to business as usual to avoid potentially catastrophic outcomes. Following the success of their warning, the Alliance of World Scientists called for discipline-specific follow-up papers. This paper is an answer to that call for the topic of wildland fire. Across much of Canada and the world, wildfires are anticipated to increase in severity and frequency in response to anthropogenic activities. The world scientists’ second warning provides the opportunity for wildland fire researchers to raise the profile of the potential impacts that anthropogenic activities are likely to have on future fire regimes and, in return, what impacts future fire regimes may have on humanity. We discuss how wildfire is related to several issues of concern raised in the world scientists’ second warning, including climate change, human population growth, biodiversity and forests, and freshwater availability. Furthermore, we touch on the potential future health impacts and challenges to wildfire suppression and management in Canada. In essence, our wildfire scientists’ warning to humanity is that we, as a society, will have to learn to live with more fire on the landscape. We provide some recommendations on how we might move forward to prepare for and adapt to future wildfire regimes in Canada. Although this paper is primarily Canadian in focus, the concepts and information herein also draw from international examples and are of relevance globally.

    2. I would file this under “Academia catches up to the collective wisdom of the NC commentariat”: Why the impacts of climate change may make us less likely to reduce emissions

    Abstract [this journal’s triple-header abstract format should be used more widely]:

    Non-technical summary

    A widely held belief is that once the impacts of warming are experienced more directly and substantially, especially by affluent populations, the necessary support for a politics prioritising ambitious emissions reductions will follow. But consideration of the indirect socioeconomic impacts of warming suggests this could be false hope.

    Technical summary

    There is some evidence to support the common intuition that, as the direct impacts of warming intensify – particularly in the affluent Global North – a politics ambitious enough to confront the climate emergency may finally find support. However, it seems at least equally likely that the opposite trend will prevail. This proposition can be understood by considering various indirect impacts of warming, including the widening of socioeconomic inequalities (within and between countries), increases in migration (intra- and inter-nationally) and heightened risk of conflict (from violence and war through to hate speech and crime). Compiling these impacts reveals a considerable and highly inconvenient overlap with key drivers of the authoritarian populism that has proliferated in the 21st century. It highlights the risk of a socio-ecological feedback loop where the consequences of warming create a political environment entirely at odds with that required to reduce emissions. Such a future is, of course, far from inevitable. Nonetheless, the risks highlight the urgent need to find public support for combined solutions to climate change and inequality, which go well beyond the status-quo. This is necessary not only for reasons of economic and climate justice, but in order to mitigate political barriers to carbon mitigation itself.

    Social media summary

    As the impacts of warming are experienced more directly and substantially, we may vote for precisely the wrong people.

    1. Jehr

      Thank you for this information. It is just as terrifying to read this information as it is to see the wildfire flames from a distance.

      Should read JEHR

  21. Tom Stone

    Governor Newsome has promised to appoint a Black Woman to replace DiFi when she resigns and I’d like to suggest Cupcake Brown as her replacement.
    I have had the opportunity to both hear Ms Brown speak and to talk to her one on one over coffee and I believe she would be an excellent choice.
    One of the unexpected benefits of being repeatedly volunteered over the decades has been the opportunity to meet some extraordinary people and She is definitely one of them.

    1. Mildred Montana

      >”…replace DiFi when she resigns…”

      Accepting wagers on when Diane “Strom” Feinstein resigns. Current odds:

      Within five years: 10/1
      Within five to ten years: 6/1
      Upon death (aka involuntary resignation): 1/5

      Warning to interested bettors: The word “resignation” is no longer in Feinstein’s vocabulary. Along with many, many others.

  22. Tom Stone

    A lot of people are considering buying firearms for the first time and IMO the biggest risk they face is inadvertently running afoul of the laws.
    It’s easy to do because the current laws regarding firearms might as well have been written by Chat GPT.
    Here are a few suggestions.
    Buy a copy of “How to own a gun in (Your State) and stay out of jail” and READ IT CAREFULLY.
    Go to Claude Werner’s site and buy his E books about the most common mistakes gun owners make that land them in prison.
    Massad Ayoob’s ” In the gravest extreme” is still the classic work on using a firearm in self defense and I highly recommend it.
    Find out who the “Go to” lawyer is in your area, in the East Bay it was John Burris for decades.
    Put their # in your phone and call as soon as your are done with 911.
    If your State allows for the sale of insurance regarding the defensive use of a firearm consider buying it, even a completely justified use of lethal force can cost you $25k or more.
    It’s State by State and not available in California.
    When you pick up a gun one of the lives you hold in your hand is your own, never forget that you own every bullet that leaves the muzzle of your weapon.
    Be responsible and stay safe.

    1. Cristobal

      A number of years ago I saw a statistic that stated that when a gun was fired by someone defending their home from an intruder, it was highly probable that the person shot turned out to be a friend or family member. Can´t vouch for it but be careful

      1. Tom Stone

        Rule # 3 is “Always clearly identify your target and what lies beyond it”
        #1 is “Never point your weapon at anything you are not willing to destroy”
        #2 is “Always treat your weapon as though it were loaded”
        Failure to observe these three safety rules has led to many avoidable tragedies.

        1. Timh

          When showing a weapon to someone:
          1. explicitly show physically, and verbally explain why, that it is not loaded (empty cylinder swung out, or no mag and slide locked back showing empty breech), even if the audience is Mr Ayoob
          2. if not in a range situation, weapon and ammo not in the same room

        2. hk

          I’ve always wondered if there has been a general decline about knowledge about guns, among both gun owners and non-owners alike. I have this sense that people were much more responsible about firearms when it was considered a “normal” part of life. Now, it’s a symbol, both something to be stamped out of existence or something to be held on to and brandished to make a statement–not a part of “real life” for too many people. Just a thought.

      2. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

        A firearm without a flashlight is just an accident waiting to happen.

        And I don’t mean the cute little attached ones that still require you to point the gun at your teenager rustling up a midnight snack from the cupboard. A separate light-souce entirely…..

        Great recommendations on the books! As a proud graduate of LFI 0.5 and owner of most of Ayoob’s (and others’) productions, I heartily agree.

        Thanks for the thread!

  23. Ghost in the Machine

    Central Bank considers exchange of assets frozen in Russia and EU possible – Nabiullina Interfax. The finance version of a prisoner exchange.

    These kind of things always puzzled me. Aren’t these “assets“ just promises recorded in some computer data bank. Isn’t it just giving your counter party permission to use some power allocated to them through some sort of formal promise? I guess there is some sort of electronic watermark that makes a third party accept the promise? Currency, bonds, whatever form that promise may take. It is just granting each other certain powers over real world resources. That is what money is right? A fungible bit of power to acquire resources or hire labor?

  24. Daryl

    > Ukrainian counter offensive shows that NATO doctrine doesn’t work without upmost air superiority, it only works against guys with sandals and AK without any air superiority. Ukraine has adapted NATO doctrine but it doesn’t work because Russia has pinned down the sky.

    It also didn’t really work out against the sandals/AK/Toyota crowd.

  25. Biologist

    re: Assange ruling in the UK
    This same judge ruled that refugees can be dumped in Rwanda.

    I used to know him socially, a little bit, friend of friend of the family sort of way, before he was Sir. Had dinner in their large house once, in leafy Hampstead in North London, close to the Heath. Decent man, family man, community man. Recycles. Wonder what his kids will think of those rulings.

    He comes from a presumably modest background in Essex. I wonder if similar psychological dynamics are going on when a man like that makes it to the establishment as with some immigrants who make it to the top and become most viciously anti-immigrant.

  26. Edward

    Can someone straighten me out? I’ll tell you what confuses me.

    Early today a Reuters report appeared quoting Putin’s latest remarks about the Ukrainian counteroffensive. That news agency indicated Putin believed Russian troops were winning, repulsing the Ukrainians and inflicting severe casualties.

    Reuters said Putin called Ukraine’s losses “significant,” and that they are “worse” than the “classic 3 to 1 casualty ratio.”

    Hours later, the Daily Beast posted an outspoken article about Putin’s statements, claiming the exact opposite of what Reuters wrote.

    DB’s journo, Shannon Vavra, said Putin’s words actually meant he was acknowledging that “Russia’s casualties” were “significant,” and even “classical” in terms of severity.

    Vavra went onto to say Putin was trying to prepare the Russian public for pending defeat. He’s “right-sizing their expectations,” she says.

    Both of these news outlets cannot be correct. They’re completely contradicting each other, all the way down to whether Putin’s dire remarks concerned Russian or Ukrainian troops.

    One of them has chosen not to tell the truth. Question is, which one.

    Does anyone here speak Russian, and can you tell us what exactly Putin said?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Please see our Links. In general, Daily Beast is not a reliable source (I’ll take the Daily Mail any day).

      Putin’s remarks were that Russia was doing better than the usual 3:1 losses for attackers, as in Ukraine was sacrificing men bigly, but he would not go further. I saw a video of his remarks, and it was clear what he was saying. That is widely reported by more reputable sources than the Daily Beast.

      Ukraine has not even meaningfully penetrated the Russia line of contact, let alone gotten to its fortified defense lines, and has in a very few days lost a meaningful percentage of Western-supplied tanks, including the famed Leopard 2s (Simplicius says including the most modern Leopards) and Bradley.

      Listen to Mark Sleboda for more confirmation:

      See also

    2. R.S.

      Using, probably the most official source one can get:
      (English, with some typos?)

      My word-for-word-ish translation, done from the video
      Over/during these days, we see significant casualties of the troops of the Ukrainian regime. It is known that during offensive operations losses are about three to one, that’s classical. But in this case, it is much higher than classical numbers. I won’t give the figures now, but they are striking.

      IDK where Vavra got that translation from, but it’s obviously flat out wrong.

      1. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit

        I can see where someone might read “…much higher than classical numbers.” to mean 3:2 or 1:1, which would be “higher.” But I can’t imagine defenders taking those sorts of losses and still standing fast, rather than falling back to the next line of defense. The Russian troops, by all accounts, seem to be pretty darned confident in themselves, with high morale to match.

  27. Tom Stone

    Inflation report from Sonoma County, I went by my local Safeway yesterday and Jumbo brown organic eggs were $11.99 a dozen.

    1. Mark R.

      Yesterday, an Aldi in Montgomery County, MD sold a dozen large white eggs for 98 cents.

    2. barefoot charley

      I don’t have the heart to calculate how much our dozen chickens cost us per egg, but it isn’t a dollar apiece. Yet.

    1. jrkrideau

      Maxime Bernier is a very right-wing politician and anti-vaxer among many other things. IIRC, he got kicked out of Cabinet for leaving secret materials in his ex-Hells Angels girl-friend’s apartment in Ottawa. I think he forgot his brief case.

      A Regina provincial court judge has found Maxime Bernier, along with six others, guilty of violating Saskatchewan’s public health order after an anti-COVID-19 restrictions rally was held in Victoria Park in May 2021.

      This may be something only Canadians will appreciate but when he started the People Party, his Québec riding was in one of the main dairying regions in the province and thus in Canada. In the next election, his campaign platform advocated abolishing the provincial milk marketing boards!

      For him to come up with the “Arsonist” story seems par for the course. Premier Danielle Smith of Alberta , a noted nutcase, conspiracy theorist, and Alberta separatist is peddling the same nonsense.

      If you look at this map Canadian Fire Map and you know anything about the Canadian terrain you are immediately struck by the fact that an arsonist would need to fly in in a float plane or spend a few weeks in a canoe to get to where they were starting some of the fires.

      In other cases it is possible they are man-made but typically these are by incompetent city-folk doing blindingly stupid things. A few may even be arson.

      “Several arsonists have been arrested in the past weeks in different provinces for lighting forest fires,”

      As soon as Maxime gives us a list of the names of those arrested, we can check them out.

  28. flora

    re: Did Edward Snowden’s Revelations Change Anything? – Atlantic

    Yes, I think it changed a great deal in the minds of the US polity. The revelations came out and were reported for some time in multiple national newspapers and TV news shows. Then it all quieted down, but not completely. A new understanding was created of what the US govt was doing to its own citizens.

    The revelations came out in 2013-14? And the next year, 2015, was the early start of the 2016 presidential race. 2 leading candidates were wild cards that voters seemed to flock to – T and Sanders. Why? The economy – yes. Jobs – yes. Healthcare – yes. But there was something else, imo. That something else was, imo, a new realization about how D.C. old guard elites behaved toward their own citizens. Something everyone probably figured was going on, but now there was proof. There was no way for that genie to be put back in the bottle. Sweeping out the old guard in both parties looked like what both voter bases wanted in 2016. / my 2 cents

  29. Amfortas the hippie

    cant afford an AC Guy just yet…so i’m at the bar where its cool.
    rummaging in the various twitter war analyisis(sic).

    a question:
    what the hell is a “Supercum”?!
    i’ve seen it mentioned in numerous places…and all google gives me is what you’d expect(p&rnhub)
    i assume/suspise that its either a weapon or a drone-thing.
    based on context, alone.

    1. Revenant

      Sadly a typo for Supercam S450.

      Although you could be forgiven for thinking it was the projectile from TOS-1. ;-)

  30. Glen

    I’m not sure if this article has been linked to yet:

    The Pentagon Is Freaking Out About a Potential War With China
    (Because America might lose.)

    I have to say I like the headline because American elites seriously need a sanity check, but once you start reading the article you realize it’s all just heaping blame on the DoD as “We got too distracted” as quoted from an Air Force general. Mixed in with a whole bunch of selling their own book like this:

    “We could throw a trillion dollars a year at the defense budget now, and we’re not going to get a meaningful increase in traditional military capabilities in the next five years.”

    Christian Brose, chief strategy officer, Anduril Industries

    Yeah, he’s just lining up to hold his hand out and get his cut of the next trillion bucks for his fictional sword.

    The DoD is under the control of the executive and legislative branches of government and does what it’s told to do (which is a good thing). The DoD was advised all the way back in the late 70’s that allowing significant off shoring of vital industries was a “game over” level event for maintaining the necessary techno-industrial level for the Cold War, but off shoring happened anyway. The DoD does not make industrial policy:

    Even coming out of the Great Depression, there was a strong U.S. manufacturing base across the board from major automakers to mom-and-pop toolmakers. “We lack that today,” says Penney. “Unlike World War II, America no longer has the skilled manufacturing base to spin up and support wartime production.”

    That, is more than a little bit of the truth, and the DoD is not in control of any of that. The American elites on Wall St, in the mega corporate board rooms, those that have bought our government, that set industrial policy (or more correctly make sure America has no cohesive industrial policy) need to take a long hard look at what they have done to the country.

    Obviously the DoD is not a bunch of saints, it’s got more than it’s share of big problems, and in many ways, it’s been plagued by the same corruption that we see exhibited by Wall St and mega corporations. But American citizens that have watched our good jobs disappear need to understand what has been done to them. That “skilled manufacturing base” was destroyed so that our oligarchs could get even richer.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      man! whats with all the truth leaking out in the MSM?
      The American elites on Wall St, in the mega corporate board rooms, those that have bought our government, that set industrial policy (or more correctly make sure America has no cohesive industrial policy) need to take a long hard look at what they have done to the country.”

      they should rightly be labeled traitors…which also happens to sell well in far places like where i live.
      even the righty bougie set that wanders through the feedstore can get on board with that one,,lol.
      the only ones in my recent personal experience to buck that idea are the Team Blue PMC types…but one rarely sees them outside of the wine bars.
      the early covid meme of concrete trucks backed up to bunkers comes to mind…although i prefer stocks.
      and rotten fruit…
      then the concrete.

      finally, an honest use for this wonderful bit of Latin:

      1. Samuel Conner

        > they should rightly be labeled traitors…

        I doubt that this was the intention, but I think one could argue that the erosion of the defense industrial base, that took place in parallel with (perhaps earlier than — something I recall from Seymour Melman’s After Capitalism) the offshoring of so much of US industry, has made the US led “rules-based international order” unsustainable, and that might in the long run promote world peace — provided that we can get there without a catastrophe as the elites come to terms with diminished US hard power.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          the “western” elite’s reaction to obviously being diminished is the giant wildcard, right about now.
          we see “Them” through multiple layers of obfuscation…ink clouds that hide the true Bosses.(they rarely come on TV, for instance)
          the mythical “Bond Market” that Billary was so purportedly amazed to learn about.
          hopefully “Those People” understand that their bunkers in New Zealand wont save them given letting it all get out of hand…NBC, wise.

  31. Van Res

    Class warfare
    Labor unions aren’t “booming.” They’re dying.

    “Official data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics starts in 1983. That year, 20.1 percent of all workers were in a union. That’s down to 10.1 percent as of 2022 — the lowest it’s ever been in that time frame. The decline has been basically continuous, with brief interruptions in 2008 and 2020 as non-unionized workers lost jobs faster than those with union protections. While public-sector unionization has fluctuated a bit (it fell from 36.7 percent to 33.1 percent from 1983 to 2022), by far the sharper decline is in the private sector, where rates fell from 16.8 to 6 percent.”,to%206%20percent.

  32. Van Res

    Starmer will regret purging the Left

    “The rapid decline of the Labour Left since 2019 has been astonishing. Earlier this year, Labour announced that under no circumstances could Jeremy Corbyn stand as Labour’s candidate in his Islington North seat at the next election. At the same time, of the 123 new Labour candidates so far chosen to stand in vacated or target seats, only two are firmly on the Left: Faiza Shaheen, an economist who will again challenge Iain Duncan Smith in Chingford and Woodford Green, and Chris Webb in Blackpool South.” …

  33. chris

    I know Lambert asks about gamer related culture and other things which are important to the younger generation. Here’s an event that connects a lot of NC themes. Worker abuse, lack of health care, bad contracts, and someone whose cultural output really has touched a generation. Ian McGinty is dead.

    This is heart breaking. His talent and his sense of humor were unmistakable. We’ve been robbed of a fabulous voice who would have gone on to do even greater things. His fans seem to realize that too. Quite a few are saying he was worked to death. RIP

  34. juno mas

    RE: The most complex pop song ever. (I’ve read the other comments. )

    Rick Beato is too busy showing off his fluidity with inverted chords on his guitar. The song is not a Pop Song. That Beato doesn’t see that the chord progression is simply following the Cycle of Fifths (B-E-A-D-G-C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb>) indicates his slim knowledge of music harmony. Sure there are changes in the tonal Key; that is a typical Jazz technique; especially after a Major 6th chord.

    Another thing Beato doesn’t seem to recognize in the song structure is that the base note in any inverted chord dominates the sound. This is another Jazz techique that makes a chord progression smoother (the musical (sound) is not far away (discordant).

    The use of sus(pended note) chords is another technique of making a sound that is less complex than the four note 9th chords in the composition. YMMV!

    1. Alice X

      I wrote this tune out when it came out forty years ago. The keys are A, Bb,G,F.Ab,A,F#,Eb,G,Ab,Db, though starting with the keys’ submediant in sections. It is NOT following the cycle of fifths and the moculations are quite clever. Beato doesn’t consider the melody or enharmonics, which is quite a problem in attempting an analysis.

  35. Amfortas the hippie

    oh, and what’s playing at the Wilderness Bar right now:

    i almost voted for that guy for preznit…dont remember what year it was.
    (voted for Perot twice, and considered casting my useless bit of cardstock for that guy with the boot on his head a couple of times)

  36. Amfortas the hippie

    my Dog!
    im just now reading the politico bit:

    and its rumplestiskin all up in there:
    “But a swift response may not be possible, in large part because of how shrunken the U.S. manufacturing base has become since the Cold War. All of a sudden, Washington is reckoning with the fact that so many parts and pieces of munitions, planes, and ships it needs are being manufactured overseas, including in China. Among the deficiencies: components of solid rocket motors, shell casings, machine tools, fuses and precursor elements to propellants and explosives, many of which are made in China and India. Beyond that, skilled labor is sorely lacking, and the learning curve is steep. The U.S. has slashed defense workers to a third of what they were in 1985 — a number that has remained flat — and seen some 17,000 companies leave the industry, said David Norquist, president of the National Defense Industrial Association. And commercial companies are leery of the Pentagon’s tangle of rules and restrictions.”

    like the hollowing out was 1, a natural phenomenon…like a thunderstorm…or a Holy mountain..and 2. “Suddenly…”?!?
    man…where’s this guy been while all that policy that made exactly that shit happen was formulated and sold to us hoi polloi as the necessary and even best thing?
    again…before we put these folks in their bunkers and fill them with frelling concrete…can we have stocks and pillories…and rotten fruit…?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      then a bunch of rambling about how well, yeah…a trillion dollars a year, and all…but we’re not ready.
      we need more.
      trillion dollars a year is enough for, apparently, 2 weeks of artillery, or some shit…but we cant afford adequate healthcare….like better than frelling Mexico?,,,,because that would be like feeding the raccoons, or something.
      am i getting this right?
      or has putin invaded my brain?

      1. skippy

        Too think[????] all that, and more, occurred due to short shortsightedness, profit/riches for a few, in the name of the ideology that underpins neoliberalism incentivizing an agenda to seek regulatory, wage/labour, and environmental arb ….

        I guess you get that when some drink their own kool-aid and proclaim victory has been had. I hear you get that when a cabal of so called winnars[tm], via self reinforcing loops, ignore all of history, nerveless the reality right under their collective[tm] noses and think[????] that whatever pops into their heads will ultimately end in Victory for them and theirs. Yet this time I don’t think the liquidity supplied to save their backsides post GFC will end in big parties at some elite day spa with blow and hookers. No amount of liquidity can summon Mfg back in a moments notice, long lead times, and who is going to source the experienced and knowledgeable labour force for this undertaking. Who is going to operate all the R-8 Bridgeport machines, CNC or manual, just too get the ball rolling. Where are all the raw materials going to come from, then where will they be refined, and lastly who will be overseeing this entire operation – free market forces – ?????? = MAGIC ….

        Wellie hope your cook for the tribe went well, having a hoot myself cooking meats on the Weber with low temps/smoke and internal probes for temp on Sat/Sundays. Bloke on YT I like to watch for hints has a beer timer ….

    2. The Rev Kev

      I guess that it must be the work of the “invisible hand of the market” that we keep on hearing about. (eye roll)

      1. skippy

        Smiths variant of the “invisible hand of the market” was more about uncertainty, where as the proponents of neoliberal EMH bastardized it, for self serving reasons, too government creates uncertainty and as such government should not intercede in the free[tm] market, unless at the will of the market ….

      1. skippy

        Flashback to old Moore show about insurance and some 30s something bloke with wife and kids being denied his insurance due to some back of the contract contradiction to the front of the contract wiggling.

    3. cnchal

      > like the hollowing out was . . .

      . . . followed by dragging nearly a billion Chinese out of poverty, while simultaneously clipping the wings of the home grown war mongers. All the corruption and grift within military contracting, which results in boats that don’t float well and planes that don’t fly well is also self limiting.

      World peace through corruption.

      Now would have been a good time to chop the defense budget by a cool half trillion, but instead the poors, with half wrecked bodies already, are forced into toiling in satanic mills for a couple of calories.

  37. fhb

    I have come to believe that the crusaders have come home and they’re itching for a fight – or to convert.
    By now most of us have seen the map of “the world united against Russia” and found that the world looked very WEIRD. That is, Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic.
    It seems like a goodly part of the “developing world” has decided they can actually seek other partnerships and routes to development. They don’t need (or necessarily want) Western ideas of ‘freedom’ and self expression, especially when those upset traditional relationships and public roles, like those found in a family.
    Oh yes, economics matter, but so too does social cohesion.
    Especially when resources are beginning to run short.*
    And so, for example, when an NGO from a place where a woman is anyone who calls themselves one is telling you they know best, I think it’s reasonable to lose confidence in their capacity for honesty and a sound vision of reality.
    Having lost the plot and new places to colonize with the post-modern mindset, the crusaders who ran NGO’s thus turn home. “Perhaps” they think, “we should cleanse and purify our own society.” Let us start programs that require fealty to an oath. One that uses a trinity of words suggesting their virtuousness. We will require all public institutions to use these terms and explain the utility of their projects in accordance with them, should they require funds from the public purse.
    Other civilizations once did this; requiring fealty to an oath… we must do the same.

    Let us also have an irreproachable symbol. One that cannot be denigrated or harmed or in any way diminished, at the risk of losing one’s livelihood or perhaps even being incarcerated. Other civilizations once had symbols and flags that were sacred and beyond reproach… we should do the same.

    And so the crusaders have come home, with their oaths and their symbols, to insist that we honour and hold them in reverence – or else.
    The Crusaders have Come Home.

    * I’m more than a little curious to read research on the cultural elasticity (the tight/loose theory) of states when they face declining resources. I’m deeply skeptical that the liberal project (and especially new left libertarianism) can or will last much longer, due to declining living standards arising from high prices of base resources. In other words, I dont think a society where the masses are barely keeping their heads above water is one that relishes everybody flying their freak flag (as it were).

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