Links 6/22/2023

Dutch archaeologists find 4,000-year-old shrine DW

Lab-grown meat could be served up for dinner soon. What does it taste like? CNN (furzy)

Why Runa Indigenous people find ‘natural parenting’ troubling aeon (Anthony L)



Rampant groundwater pumping has changed the tilt of Earth’s axis Nature (guurst)

UK weather: Heatwave to return as mercury set to hit 30C this weekend Independent


Blinken offers lessons on how not to handle China Asia Times (Kevin W)

And Then Biden Blew It … Moon of Alabama (Kevin W). Nice shout out at the end!

Patrick Lawrence: US Still Nowhere with the Chinese ConsortiumNews (Chuck L)

Sanctions against China in case of a Taiwan war could exact a US$3 trillion toll on global economy, report predicts South China Morning Post

‘We can de-risk but not decouple’ from China, says Raytheon chief Financial Times (Li)

U.S. Makes First Ever Deployment of Nuclear Capable B-52H Bombers to Indonesia: Military Ties Undermine China Military Watch

Inflation Shocker in the UK: Core CPI Spikes to 30-Year High, Driven by Spike in Services, even as Motor Fuel Prices Plunge Wolf Richter

New Not-So-Cold War

The Chongar Bridge between Crimea and Kherson is still intact and to my amateur eye, its road is less badly damaged than the Kerch Bridge was due to the truck bomb. However, even if the road is less severely harmed, that may not translate into any faster repair time. Resilc quips: “Looks like a typical daily used bridge in New England to me.”

General Shoigu just promised that if Ukraine hit Russian territory, they’d strike decision centers in Ukraine. The fact that this was Western munitions, allegedly Storm Shadows, means Ukraine can’t pretend this was an “oh not under our control” terrorist group.

SITREP 6/21/23: Russia Re-Orients to Kupyansk in Surprise Advance Simplicius the Thinker(s) (Chuck L)

Pentagon orders AMRAAM missiles worth over $1 billion for Ukraine Yahoo!News Kevin W:

The Ukraine does not have that many fighters left to fire these missiles. Unless they will be for those F-16s to be one day delivered. Doesn’t matter as it will take a very long time to manufacture those missiles in any case.

Per the tweet above, the change may be due to seeing Russian air defense in action. Scott Ritter said that even under perfect conditions (US pilot, AWACS, etc), a F-16 that went into a Russian theater would be shot down 8 times out of 10. The belief now is that F-16s would not be used to support offensive operations but in air defense….likely well behind the line of contact.

Can The U.S. Wean Itself Off Russian Uranium? OilPrice. Resilc: “Like dumping Whole Foods when it’s the only store within 100 miles.”


Why the US sought secret talks with Iran The Cradle (Micael T)

THREAD: Israel humiliated this morning in Jenin Richard Medhurst (guurst)

West Bank: Palestinian shot dead as Israeli settlers storm another town Middle East Eye (resilc)

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

How Your New Car Tracks You Wired (Li)

Imperial Collapse Watch

US Reading and Math Scores Drop To Lowest Level In Decades NPR

No ‘golden hour’? How Army medicine is changing for the next war Task and Purpose (resilc). WTF??? I recall reading early in the Ukraine war one of the Russian military leaders reporting to Putin on how they were doing on average time in getting a wounded soldier to surgery. The officer went on in detail how Russia had been getting that number down and it now averaged way under an hour. Here the US is proposing to treat backtracking as inevitable and therefore reasonable.

The Dollar at the End of History Philip Pilkington, American Conservative (guurst)

The Pentagon’s $52,000 trash can Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

The dream of deregulation – the grid part III Construction Physics (resilc)


January 6 rioter who stun-gunned DC cop who was abducted by the mob during Capitol riot is jailed for 12.5 years Daily Mail


Cannon Fodder: The Judge in the Trump Documents Case Sets An Early Trial Date, But That’s Not Happening Washington Monthly

House GOP votes to censure Schiff over role in Trump investigations Politico (Kevin W)


Biden kicks off reelection bid with “America First” speech to trade union bureaucrats WSWS

GOP Clown Car

MTG Is So Pissed at Lauren Boebert She Called Her a Bitch on the House Floor New Republic (furzy)

Democrats en déshabille

The abortion rights movement’s top Supreme Court lawyer is now a federal judge Vox (resilc)

Our No Longer Free Press

We just don’t get enough time, contractor tasked with fact-checking Google Bard tells us The Register


Can We Stop Runaway A.I.? New Yorker (furzy)

AI disproportionally affects women in labor market CNN (Paul R)

The Bezzle

Will Biden’s Industrial Policy Create a Lot More Moderna Billionaires? CounterPunch (resilc)

Runaway Horses American Conservative (resilc)

Amazon ‘tricked’ customers into paying for Prime, new FTC suit alleges Washington Post (Kevin W). I find this odd (admittedly not having yet read filing). I have repeatedly availed myself of Amazon Prime initial freebie offers (yes, I am confessing to using the evil Amazon) and had no difficulty canceling before the fees kicked in.

Home Listings Plummet as High Mortgage Rates Tie Owners Down Bloomberg

Powell expects more Fed rate hikes ahead as inflation fight ‘has a long way to go’ CNBC

Guillotine Watch

Lost sub’s company OceanGate was warned about safety and possible “catastrophic”outcomes back in 2018 Boing Boing (resilc). Many stories like this. Could be classified as Darwin Award. Passengers, and even worse, the pilot/owner really did not work out that this was risky and maybe they should do some due diligence. Lordie, there are enough popular movies of sub actual and near disasters that they should have worked that out.

Owner of company on his own doomed sub complained of too many safety regulations for passenger vessels Reddit. Paul R:

I hate to link reddit any more, but this thread is brutal:

From a comment: “Reminds me of an old joke. Three libertarians walk into a bar and each order a drink. They finish their drinks, and promptly die from tainted alcohol because this is a libertarian paradise so there are no regulations or inspections.”

Deep-sea robot Victor 6000 to be deployed in Titanic rescue mission New York Post (furzy). If they have not been saved by the time Links launched, you can assume they’ve perished.

The Media Cares More About the Titanic Sub Than Drowned Migrants New Republic. Resilc: “Save the billionaire whalezzzzzzzz.”

Mark Zuckerberg accepts Elon Musk’s challenge to a cage match Anadolu Agency

Class Warfare

Return to Office Enters the Desperation Phase New York Times (Kevin W)

In Delaware, Corporations Are Dangerously Close to Acquiring the Right to Vote Jacobin (Chuck L)

1,800 Oregon Nurses Strike -UPS Teamsters Agree on All Noneconomic Issues – UE Leaders Push Strike in Erie Mike Elk

Antidote du jour. John N: “Moose in CT Berkshires”:

A bonus of sorts (Chuck L, furzy):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. Bugs

    Top US official to meet Ukraine war sceptics from developing nations
    Jake Sullivan to fly to Copenhagen at Kyiv’s request to meet India, Brazil and others in ‘global south’
    ” (FT)

    Bringing Vicky Nuland with him, and the article floats the idea that China & Türkyie will be there. You can’t make up better baddies than these two. I’d love to be able to watch this live on YouTube, taking a shot of booze for every facepalm moment. They’ll likely have props and videos.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Victoria Nuland is used to dealing with Putin-haters in the West. I would love to be a fly in the room. I suspect she will bomb and is so self righteous she won’t even realize her sales pitch is backfiring in real time.

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        Yves Smith: I don’t know. I have a feeling that she will pass around a platter of her famous Neoliberal Coup d’Etat Chocolate-Chip Cookies with yumlicious “Eliminate the rights of labor” frosting, which will show them what’s what. (What’s what being subject to interpretation.)

      2. The Rev Kev

        The Russians put her on the list of banned people years ago but I believe that it was under Trump that they took her off that list as she had been promoted and was supposed to travel to Russia. When she got there, she indulged herself in a meeting with the Russians by swearing like a Marine. Poor Nuland still suffers from daddy issues and cannot separate her personal issues with her professional duties.

      3. Frank

        I’m not so sure, I once watched an interview with her on Russian opposition television, expecting it to be absolutely cringeworthy. To my surprise, she was very measured, reasonable, nuanced and showed a surprisingly sophisticated understanding of her audience. Granted, my reaction was probably somewhat due to having a cartoon villain character image of her in my head, but it was also a potent wakeup call not to underestimate her as an opponent.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          The last bit of hers I saw was recent Congressional testimony, where she went on about how Ukraine would take Crimea. No one outside the Collective West would buy that. And the steely look in her eyes in combination with the clearly fantastic remarks made her seem deranged.

          More generally, as many members of the Global South made clear at the Munich Security conference that they regard the Ukraine war as a European conflict, have no interest in taking sides, and are unhappy they are having to pay for that via being collateral damage from US/EU sanctions, particularly grain and fertilizer.

          No amount of Nuland blarney will change those facts.

      4. steven t johnson

        The phrase “developing nations” may give a vague impression of down-to-earth POC types keenly resentful of imperialist impression? The expectation that kind of person would be alienated by Nuland’s person as we’ve come to know it seems plausible. But it seems to me just as plausible that these third world skeptics are more likely to be the equivalent of politicians from rural states. They may be deemed low-rent and backward but on their home ground they are big shots, they are either owners or sons and daughters of owners. They may have little ponds but their families are the big fish, have been the big fish and they have the money and politicians and cops to deal with their atomized lowers. They may feel condescended to, and even resent not being treated like an equal member of the club. But I’m suspect the stance that someone has to be in charge underneath all that tedious and expensive political crap.

  2. John Beech

    1. I just hope the Zuck vs. Musk cage match is televised.
    2. Sorry as hell for those who perished in that sub.
    3. What will this new lab grown meat taste like? Chicken, of course!
    4. 12′ alligator is nothing to be sneezed at, those things are dangerous.
    5. Won’t lie either, since the pandemic’s beginning I’ve grown to love what Amazon does for me.

      1. The Rev Kev

        There is a terrible pun to be made of what they are doing to their staff so that the public does not see it but I’m not going there.

        1. griffen

          Ah but it’s too late…Soylent Green is people territory…get your rations daily from Amazon Prime! \sarc

    1. playon

      They are a horrible company, I don’t understand how anyone who supports working people can deal with them.

      1. semper loquitur

        I’ve managed to get away from them but on occasion I must use them for work. Sometimes there just aren’t any other options re: time and budget. Fortunately, this is only maybe two or three times a year.

    2. Wukchumni

      Zuck vs Musk would be so much better if MTG & Lauren Boebert are included in a tag-team event for all the marbles.

  3. griffen

    Taibbi tweet…my takeaway is the Durham report concluded the whole thing (trump, putin, russia) was farcical and no sufficient fact checking evidently occurred once the Clinton campaign lawyer handed this off to the FBI, from the goodness of his heart. “They All Wanted to Believe”. Mr. Durham completed a quite satisfactory report, in some quarters, let’s just move along. In the words of the court scene from Philadelphia, it’s akin to stating that a bologna sandwich is quite satisfactory.

    Our country is full of bologna.

    1. Benny Profane

      I never thought I’d be impressed with anything Matt Gaetz said in public just a few years ago, but, he is proving to be quite the informed debater.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Patrick Lawrence: US Still Nowhere with the Chinese”

    Just making a wild guess here. Could it be that when Blinken went to China, that he carried a message from Biden that for the US to ‘normalize’ relations with China, that China must force the Russians to stop their operations in the Ukraine? If China replied that they weren’t the Boss of Russia, that this may account for Biden flipping out and calling Xi a dictator that did not know what was going on in his own country? Just a guess mind.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      The Rev Kev. I’m not sure that the Chinese even allowed him to bring up Russia, which may be why Antony Blinken was looking a tad crestfallen.

      Consider this observation from Lawrence: “Well, Antony Blinken got the Chinese to talk to him. But getting people who do not trust you to talk to you is not a policy. If you count it an accomplishment, you have set a very low bar.”

      Notice the references to how long Xi Jinping spent with E Macron and with President Lula. Historically, the French and Brazilians have been much more careful with China. The Chinese didn’t give Blinken that same time, and it isn’t because Ursula Van der Leyen outranks him.

      I’m sure ole Antony Blinken was prepared to deliver a lecture, which would have given the Chinese flashbacks to the days of U.S. missionaries in China converting the heathen to Methodism (and the delights of the Boxer Rebellion). If they were being polite, the Chinese would have interrupted, announced a snack (Time for some potstickers!), and ignored the fool.

      1. Nikkikat

        I think it was all about Russia. The Biden administration are stupid and incompetent.
        The Chinese were not doing Blinken any favors. They were so obviously trying to change the news cycle to cover the counter offensive being a dud. Now here’s Biden calling the Chinese a dictator. Rambling and bumbling along. Biden always trying to act like a Tough guy. Putting on his aviator glasses and shouting stupid remarks.
        The Chinese aren’t buying this BS. Biden gets more senile everyday. Blinken and Nuland more evil.
        God save the queen man!

        1. nippersdad

          Aviator glasses and corvettes. The guy has confused being Top Gun with scum rising to the top. As this has been a very, very long term delusion, I don’t think one can blame it on senility. At this point it is akin to muscle memory; no brain required.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          No, there was no mention of Russia or Ukraine in the US or Chinese readouts. Many who are knowledgeable said it is extremely likely that China set as a condition for the meeting that there would be no discussion of Russia or Ukraine, only US-China issues.

      2. tegnost

        What astonishes me is Xi went to russia for four days . Imagine…
        I don’t have the footage at hand, but I recall putin looking absolutely giddy.

    2. Pat

      I know I thought of school yard bully saving face when I really looked at it.

      But I don’t think it was avoidable. Just as Blinken had not a clue that he was going to end up looking chastised, Joe is also so bubble wrapped he hasn’t figured out that many of these countries have equal to greater power in this situation and don’t have to bow to his will. But I can’t be sure it was a reaction. You have to remember that Biden has set pieces when he is dealing with the public (working man Joe, Beau) but big strong man defending you is one of Joe’s favorites. Insulting the enemy of the day and deriding them is SOP with that old Joe. It is all the same whether it is Trump, deadbeats, inner city criminals, Hussein and Bin Laden, Putin or now Xi, he has to strong man his condemnation by calling them names and swaggering as he does it. He would have had to pull it on Xi during this campaign, that he was at a campaign stop where going after China was popular might be more important than how Tony was ignored.

  5. cnchal

    > How Your New Car Tracks You

    Using industry sales data, WIRED ran 10 of the most popular cars in the US through the privacy tool to see just how much information they can collect. Spoiler: It’s a lot. The analysis follows previous reporting on the amount of data modern cars can collect and share—with estimates saying cars can produce 25 gigabytes of data per hour.

    We are going need a lot moar power sucking data centers. New cars and trucks are rolling disasters.

    Old cars are gold.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I can never understand stories like this. These people act as if electricity is as cheap and plentiful as it was in the 60s or something. But Blind Freddy can tell you that as we move into this century further, that electricity will be both much more expensive, less reliable and simply more problematical. And yet they keep on coming out with more technologies that require server farms that require massive amounts of electricity. And here you can talk about cryptocurrencies, AIs, home control systems like Amazon Echo, etc. and now this story about colossal amounts of data per hour from a simple car that simply does not need it. It’s insane.

      1. ambrit

        Don’t forget about “Moore’s Law,” that states that computing ‘power’, or “the number of transistors in an integrated circuit” doubles every two years. Despite claims that the Law is now defunct, I have not yet heard it properly debunked. So, all those new server farms will be capable of handling much more data per unit of time than before. Almost a parody of ‘Just In Time’ theory of supply chain management. Here, the ‘items’ being ‘supplied’ are bytes of data.

        1. hunkerdown

          Moore’s is an ethical Law, not a natural Law, and probably priced into debt issues for the sector so now an economic Law.

          Eventually, as transistors shrink, they start to switch less decisively, and particular copies of a chip become mercurial and start to misbehave reproducibly on particular inputs. The other way to get more transistors onto a silicon die is to increase the area of the die. Even at the exceedingly pure 10-parts-per-quintillion purity level, a single wafer still has several structural defects, which are now distributed over fewer, larger chips and press down harder on yield. To fulfill the ethic, they redefine “integrated circuit” from a single silicon die to encompass a field replaceable unit containing several chips, no doubt inspired by vintage IBM mainframes, and then concentrate on speeding up inter-chip communication within the processor module. Hence the Ryzen.

      2. semper loquitur

        Try telling your average PMC-bot that. I have a couple of times. They just can’t accept that there are limits. I’ve been told that EV’s are inevitable, that clean nuclear is inevitable, that the transition is inevitable. Because pluck and technology.

      3. hunkerdown

        Aluminium smelters are often colocated with power plants. Google places data centers according to the same and other concerns. Bitcoin mines in China were also placed near hydroelectric dams and such. It makes sense, if only to save all the grid loss (P = I²R).

        But that doesn’t work so well for cars, unless people really do return to the office…

    2. Carolinian

      Clean link for the story.

      And it’s not much of a story really because it simply states what is already well known which is that the car’s computer collects driving information both for learned engine control and fault id should it need servicing. What isn’t entirely clear is the degree to which cars send this information via cell radio to the mothership and whether this is strictly an “opt in” feature via Onstar, Bluelink, Honda link etc or done surreptitiously. The article does provide links to car company privacy policies and the one for Honda, for example, states that owners have a clear opt out option on that “head unit” that sits in the middle of the dashboard and that contains the radios. On my car I’d presumably have to subscribe to “Bluelink” for the cell radio to always be active. Subscribing to a car company supplied navigation service will also connect you up to headquarters.

      So it seems to still be a case of Internet of Things only if you want it to be. But it would be useful for an article to state this very clearly as fact. Cars are very expensive items and we should know what we are buying.

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Patrick Lawrence on Nowhere with the Chinese.

    Lawrence is spicy in parts: “It is worth noting this because it is the quintessence of the reigning irrationality prevalent among the D.C. policy planners. People such as Sullivan seem to think they can sit in Washington offices and dream up such plans without any need to reference what people may think anywhere else — people such as, oh, I don’t know, Xi Jinping.”

    I recommend the article because Lawrence takes a broad view and explains some sources of the current, errr, problematical on-verge-of-war relations with China.

    Sullivan and Blinken come across as Hollow Men. (And let’s not forget Victoria “Venomous Cookies” Nuland.)

    Hollow Men is the kindest term I use for two bottom-feeders whose character amounts to no there there. Let alone their record, which is one disaster after another.

    Is is possible I’m longing for the golden age of Dick Cheney?

    1. nippersdad

      Heartless dudes who shoot their friends in the face for recreation and then make them apologize for getting shot. How can you miss them when they refuse to go away? They are still here, they just have less charisma.

    2. JBird4049

      >>>Is is possible I’m longing for the golden age of Dick Cheney?

      Why stop there? I am dreaming of Nixon and Kissinger.

      1. ambrit

        Phyl, who hails from Louisiana says; “Why not do it right and yearn for the return of the real Emperor, Napoleon?” Today’s Neo-liberal Apparatchiks would feel right at home in the corridors of power in Paris, 1805. They would feel even better in the Paris of Louis Napoleon, circa 1860.
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  7. Ignacio

    Study: “A greater reduction in global brain size in the Covid positive cases. Those who were infected with Covid also showed on average a greater cognitive decline”

    Does this explain, at least partially, the great global idiocy plan in which we are all living these days?/s

    1. britzklieg

      I’m not sure the “/s” is necessary…

      if the already tiny minds of our masters are even tinier now…

    2. Acacia

      The rest of that thread has some pretty alarming material, too. Worth a gander.

      Not a specialist here, but the cumulative effects of repeated brain shinkage does seem a more direct explanation than the “something like toxoplasma gondii” hypothesis that’s been kicked around a number of times.

        1. JBird4049

          Yes, but once the bribery advocacy of the auto manufacturers and petroleum industry was overcome, getting rid of lead was straight-forward. It was banned and gradually decreased in the environment.

          Today, all the major governments refuse to accept the transmission by aerosols, which means all of the straight-forward solutions are ignored. I think partly because reworking our environment to guarantee continually fresh, Covid free air is an expensive bother. That our ancestors did so during the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 is ignored.

          What is really frustrating is that even without masks doing the changes would severely reduce Covid permanently. With masking and whatever medicines are determined to work, it would go away, maybe to where we wouldn’t need masks. This would help with the shortage of skilled workers as well. But that is too much common sense.

  8. griffen

    US reading and math scores continue to drop. No doubt, this phenomenon is direct proof of the ongoing failure of the previous Trump administration. The man is truly a destructible force all on his own! ( Sarc )

    Closing for the pandemic I think is going to leave a big mark, especially for those less inclined and less capable of remote learning. Compounded by the handling of the conditions of return to the classroom by school administrators and local government leaders.

    1. Ghost in the Machine

      There is also the possibility that effects of Covid like the brain shrinkage are also involved. And general societal decay as well.

      1. griffen

        I am unsure how to reply, aside from the first paragraph above including my tag for sarcasm. Onto the second paragraph, I have at least a first hand source that teaching in these past years, even prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, was a lesson in managing the restless little sh-heads in middle grade classes. Public school education needs teachers but the kids need some damn manners on how to learn without their gadgets. Glad I am not a parent having to navigate these waters.

        1. Screwball

          I spent 3 years in a vocational school setting, before, thru, and after the COVID lockdowns. I’m in NW Ohio. I taught a college STEM class to junior & senior high school kids. Math skills are important to my class.

          I can sum it up by simply saying “our school system is a complete mess.”

          The kids spend most of their day on their phones, which they are not allowed to have, but do. I watched some play video games on a laptop they brought in with via a backpack, which they were not allowed to do, but did.

          They do not have the skills, math in general, to be in my class, but they are, and I’m expected to pass them come hell or high water. If I do not, I get to meet and explain to their parents why they flunked, but I’m not allowed to tell them they shouldn’t have been in the class to begin with. But it makes the metrics of the school look good, so there is that…

          On the parents; where to start? Many of the kids have not developed good learning skills, and the parents didn’t seem to be much help. Too many are just plain lazy, uninterested, and only took the vocational school route because they thought it would be easier over regular school, and it probably is.

          Many of the kids were on some sort of meds, and when they were off, things could get a bit dicey. One was expelled for getting in a fight, another was in jail for misbehavior outside of school, so I was told. This was not uncommon, and I wondered how many of these kids were on some sort of meds. Quite a few it seemed from talking to their daily instructors.

          In the semester after the lockdowns (March 2020? I think it was) they had kids dropping like flies with COVID, but of course no masks anywhere in the school (except for me). Of course I was told I didn’t have to wear one – to which I replied – I will wear one, and so should everyone else. No sale of course.

          As the years progressed, myself and other teachers discussed how the lockdowns and remote schooling was not doing anyone any good. Grades were lower, kids were not learning as much and we feared they were getting further behind. I witnessed this in the college setting in the last couple of years where the high school kids were no longer on par with those who came before them. Math skills in particular.

          Not a pretty picture IMO, and I finally refused to teach there due to the stress and insanity of it all. I cannot teach people who are forced in a class they are nowhere near prepared for – nor want to be in. It was all about making the school metrics look good, which also helped their marketing campaign about their success in producing kids “ready” for the real world.

          I think not. Most of these kids aren’t ready for high school, little lone the real world.

          One day during a downtime session (another school induced clustermess) I wanted to kill some time so I asked the kids if they knew how to make change (a pet peeve of mine)? Crickets. So I taught them. They thought that was pretty neat. Good, something you can use.

          Speaking of which, last week I was hungry for an ice cream cone, so I went to the local dairy dip and ordered a small vanilla cone. That will be $2.50 I’m told. I gave them a 5 dollar bill, then remembered I had two quarters in my pocket, so I said “here, I have 50 cents.” Soon as that happened I knew I shouldn’t have. They just froze, and sat there, and sat, and sat. Finally, they gave me 2 bucks. So I did the math for them, and said the dollar you still owe me is your tip, thanks.

          This is where we are.

          1. Ghost in the Machine

            Thanks for the comment. Depressing, but thanks. I appreciate discussion of personal experience this detailed.

          2. Utah

            I teach middle school science. I don’t allow devices in my classroom. We don’t play learning “games” because I read a book years ago about how “Brave New World” is a manual for how to keep people stupid and playing learning computer/ app games doesn’t work. I would send a student out of my classroom if they didn’t follow my no device rule and don’t give the device to me when I see it out. They have tests online via Google forms, that’s the only time their Chromebooks are out. It’s hard work to keep kids off of their dopamine boxes, but I’m able to teach better when they aren’t distracted. Most teachers aren’t as diligent about it than I am.

            I think most of my students are ready for high school science. I actually know that my students have the ability to be in honors classes because I have taught them the math that they need. And oh my God it is an arduous process to teach students physics equations when they don’t understand variables yet, but they do it. When I was teaching high school for a year I was told by the lead teacher that we don’t teach them any of the math because they don’t have the skills. I still don’t understand that concept. If they don’t have the skills, it’s my job to teach that skill.

            A lot of the problem is the backlash of the school to prison pipeline. I agree that it’s a problem and kids shouldn’t be going to jail, but it has created a problem where administrators don’t administer consequences anymore. My school is different. A kid flipped me off and he was suspended for a day. No kid in that grade is ever going to flip me off again. I got called a b*tch, the kid got suspended for a day. No kid in that grade is going to call me that again. They see what they can get away with and then do. That’s part of adolescent development.

            So, that’s why test scores are bad from my perspective. No consequences and devices.

            1. Ghost in the Machine

              I appreciate your ethic. I have a child leaving middle school and one entering next year in Salt Lake City. I have been happy with their schooling so far.

            2. EarlyGray

              Wow! The fact that it’s left to you to ban devices and it isn’t a school-wide rule is the problem.
              My daughter is just finishing high-school in Japan. The rule is that personal devices must be powered off during school hours at all times including breaks. They are allowed to use the school issued tablet but that can only connect via the school VPN so they are limited in what they can do.
              I assumed that this would be standard practice in schools all around the world, obviously I’m naive.

          3. Rod

            delivering content is only one responsibility you have
            Classroom Management is another…
            maybe you didn’t have “the tools’
            I don’t know
            but you certainly had the Intuition:
            Crickets. So I taught them. They thought that was pretty neat. Good, something you can use.

            Teaching is more difficult than the majority of those taught understand.

            1. Screwball

              Thanks, but I really didn’t have the tools for classroom management. The no phone policy was handed down by the school. I was not an employee of the school, but an instructor from a neighboring college, so I had to go by their rules.

              IMO, they should have been checking backpacks at the door for laptops, but they didn’t. They should confiscate phones, but they wouldn’t. They didn’t care. It was all about keeping the kids busy with “something” while they were there – even if it was a phone. Same reason they shoved them in my class.

              I didn’t allow phones when I was teaching, but not all the kids were in my class even though they might be in the same room (sitting in the back playing video games).

              Their daily instructor was responsible for the class except the ones I had while teaching. Out of 20 some, about half were in my class. I only taught for 1 1/2 hours 2 days a week – he had them the rest of the time. One morning he told me I will get a kick out of today because he was going to chew them out. So before my class started, he called all the kids into the room and told them they all got a zero for yesterday because all they did was play on their phones.

              I tossed a kid for sleeping through my entire class (the first day). The school threw a hissy fit, I didn’t care. Good thing, two weeks later he was suspended and ended up in jail. Didn’t see him for a month, then spotted him sitting in the back of the class playing on his phone.

              Some education.

          4. Lex

            I’ve come to the point where I only present “complicated” change situations if I’m sure the cashier is over 30.

            The saddest part of your story is that we’ll all be treated to opinion and “news” stories about how the “kids today” are lazy and stupid but the adults will never wonder why the kids turned out that way. It’s a lot like talking about millennials and their participation trophies, as if those millennials were the ones demanding the trophies.

            1. Screwball

              I’ve come to the point where I only present “complicated” change situations if I’m sure the cashier is over 30.

              I usually do that too, but this was only $2.50….

              The reason change is my pet peeve; back in 1973 I was a junior in high school and worked in a gas station. At that time we pumped all the gas. 1973 was also the year of the oil embargo and we had to ration gas during part of it. What a zoo. When we got to the limit (only so many gallons a day) we had to turn people away, and many times they were not at all happy. For a high school kid this was some wild stuff, but I was lucky because my boss was there when that time arrived and he usually dealt with anyone who got stupid and nasty.

              We had cars lined up down the road to get gas, and also bought cigarettes, snacks, etc. I had a mechanical change machine that hooked to my belt and a wad of ones, fives, and ten dollar bills in my shirt pocked. There wasn’t a cash register on the property. We were also responsible for any “shortages” and if they happened too many times….

              Today? Forgetaboutit.

          5. griffen

            I appreciate this level of feedback, quite helpful. My late mother was a teacher, and was quite good at teaching grammar and spelling despite my occasional ability to mangle English (not her fault).

          6. Old Jake

            In truth I think RFK jr’s remarks about “it’s water pollution” should be taken more seriously. The number of substances that disturb neurological and other kinds of development: drugs, estrogen-mimics, PCBs, PFAS, etc, that pervade our environment is beyond comprehension. These may make kids less able to withstand the distractions, as well as less able to retain. Ultimately, Pogo had it right: “we have met the enemy and he is us.”

    2. Wukchumni

      When a black rectangle that looks an awful lot like the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey takes the place of your brain in remembering everything for you, is it any wonder our kids can’t read or think?

      1. Old Jake

        Well, isn’t that what was said, in effect, when Gutenberg invented the printing press? It was certainly claimed when the 4-banger (calculator) replaced the slip-stick (slide rule). But the scientific calculator (available for my second run at college, the first time I only had the slide rule) enabled me to do a lot more of the problems at the end of each chapter of chemistry, physics and engineering text books, thus helping me learn more effectively and get my engineering degrees. OTOH, I had what it took to pay attention

    3. Glen

      Test scores peaked in 2010, and have been sliding down since that. Covid certainly sped up the slide. I’d be looking harder at what the Gates Foundation, Obama, and Common Core did to our schooling over anything Trump did. (All sarcasm aside or not.)

      Extremely good public education from K to public university used to be a strong point in the US, and losing it is a very serious loss. Now, it’s almost criminal to see how our teachers are treated, and as a result, how our students are treated.

      Until I married, and exchanged stories with my wife, I never realized how good I had it in school. My dad worked for a national lab, and public schools in a town with a national lab were no joke. I didn’t realize until afterwards, but almost all of my high school teachers had PHDs from good colleges (Stanford, UC Berkeley mostly), and we also had teachers from the lab itself for advanced courses.

      If I had any ideas on how to fix our schools, I would offer them, but I don’t, other than that teachers, like many other professions in the US, need big raises, and need to be the valued and respected members of society that they once were.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “Moose in CT Berkshires”

    Not that we have them here in Oz but looking at that Moose staring as the photographer, I found myself mentally calculating how many seconds that it would take for it to cover the distance to the photographer if it decided to charge. They are suppose to be able to go 56 km/h (35 MPH) after all.

    1. jefemt

      Always be near a stout tree in moose-sighting terrain. IF chase occurs, stand ground behind the tree, keep the tree between you and Bullwinkle, be brave, and hope that something distracts the ding darned moose away to greener pastures.

      I had a very long stressful couple hours following my aged deaf bird dog into cover that had a cow with a calf and a love-sick young bull– all in thick aspens and hawthorns. Paucity of large diameter trees —
      cow with calf can be worse than sow with cubs…
      Big-shooter’s 2-shot 20 gauge pea-shooter was laughable….
      At least the dog was having fun!

    2. petal

      We used to have mooses wander through downtown/campus here but the area has gotten too built up in the last 10 years and they’ve made like a tree.

  10. nycTerrierist

    the Titanic tourism travesty: a fine way to get rid of billionaires

    n.b. not sure where I read that, if so, would give due credit

    1. Acacia

      And think of it as a preview of some upcoming “Billionaires in spaaace” disasters.

      1. ambrit

        What gets me is that the launching ship did not have a backup ROV to look for potential “lost” passenger carrying submersibles. Even I can think of a few good ideas that might have saved those unfortunates. If I can do it, than the “experts” certainly can. So, what went wrong? (On multiple levels.)

        1. semper loquitur

          The word, I believe, is hubris. It is the spirit of our age. An age that is ending.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Good point that. Can you imagine? A bunch of wealthy people have just gone in space but due to a malfunction, bounce off the atmosphere instead of re-entering it. So like this sub, nothing at all can be done to retrieve them and it is just a matter of waiting for their air to run out. The news was all about these ships being sent for this sub but it was only window dressing. Even if they had found them, there was still the problem of trying to raise that sub which itslef would probably take months of planning.

        1. semper loquitur

          I wonder if they turned on the idiot that put them down there. What a total horror show. I hope they are at rest now.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Strange combination of schadenfreude and horror with this story.

            Billionaire status aside, I think about the wife/mother who lost her husband and son (who was little more than a kid); I can’t imagine she was very happy at the prospect of them going into that tin can together.

            1. semper loquitur

              I cannot fathom looking into a child’s eyes and know that I’ve led him to his death.

              1. ambrit

                That is assuming that the “killer” has empathy skills. I know nothing about the billionaire who “led” this dive, but I have read that to reach such lofty economic heights, sociopathy is almost required.

            2. pjay

              The kid’s aunt (I think) was interviewed on NBC News tonight. She said that the son was very uneasy about going (I think she used the word “terrified”), but went to “bond” with his father. She seemed bitter about it, so I have no idea about the accuracy of her account. But it does increase the poignancy.

              1. tevhatch

                Feel for the Son, no time to prove his metal, but Pop ran the largest Fertilizer company in Pakistan, which means military backing and all that blood. Mom knew who she was marrying, even if it was arranged.

      3. El Slobbo

        I have to admit to being confused when I read that the search area is twice the size of Connecticut, which would be about 10,000 square miles, or an area 100 by 100 miles. I have read that the OceanGate Titan can move at three knots.
        Logically they would have dropped the thing somewhere above the Titanic. And it went down for an hour and 45 minutes.
        So what justifies such a large search area?
        Are ocean currents that quick down there?

        1. The Rev Kev

          As the SS Titanic is about 2.5 miles (4,000 meters) down, you are actually talking about a cube that is 100 by 100 by 2.5 miles so that would be about 25,000 cubic miles. That’s a lot. So did that CEO also chintz on a locator beacon or other such devices?

            1. flora

              From TechCrunch. (Don’t know if this was linked earlier.)

              A whistleblower raised safety concerns about OceanGate’s submersible in 2018. Then he was fired.

              Original carbon fiber hull wasn’t rated for Titanic depths, claimed operations director


              We don’t need no regulations
              We don’t need real world control
              No dark sarcasm in the boardroom
              Engineers, leave billionaires alone .

              (As Roger Water’s did not quite write. / ;) )

              1. flora

                from the article:

                “Carbon fiber composites can be stronger and lighter than steel, making a submersible naturally buoyant. But they can also be prone to sudden failure under stress.”

                1. tevhatch

                  I can also tell you, and anyone interested in flying on Boeing 787, that stress accelerated aging phenomena for large composites is poorly documented, which makes inspection techniques, inspection frequency, and what constitutes a pass / fail almost unknows. Accordingly the MSG-3 team for the 787 set up extremely conservative requirements, which Boeing had Congress pressure the FAA to override, for sales sakes. The lead facilitator, from United Airlines, took early retirement rather than sign off on what would be both personal liability and corporate manslaughter evidence. Happy flying. If it’s a Boeing, then I’m not going.

                  The pressure changes on a submarine are so much larger I have no idea how they came up any inspection routine, and expect with this moron CEO’s statement about breaking rules, that there were none.

                  1. flora

                    Thank you for this information. What (little) I know about carbon fiber composites weaknesses in vehicle use comes from the world of bicycling. Forks, frames, seatposts (ouch) can suddenly and unexpectedly snap. It’s one thing if a golf club shaft snaps, or a car’s outer non-safety features or cowling snaps. I’ll leave the comment here, save to say:

                    I feel only deep sympathy for the families of the presumably lost passengers. Even for the CEO. If it had been only him on a lone quest then one supposes he knew the risks and didn’t take anyone else with him. In this case, I will save my snarky comments about the situation for much later. Wealth or poverty, “Do not send to know for whom the bell tolls….”
                    You know the rest.

                    And yes, my misquoted lyrics above is aimed at the failure to regulate in the real worldl for the safety of all, not at the families left behind.

                    1. PlutoniumKun

                      As anyone who has not used a torque wrench when fitting a carbon fibre handlebar to a bike will know, carbon fibre requires far more care than metal in both design, manufacture and maintenance than steel or alu. The potential for catastrophic failure is much higher.

                      That said, for mass produced items like bike frames, carbon fibre is now a very mature technology. Its very rare to hear of a carbon fibre part from a reputable manufacturer fail. But ‘one-off’ carbon fibre structures require very intensive testing to be sure they are safe. When the Russians developed the Su-57, many of the prototype parts were of conventional materials just for this reason (you could tell by the rivets).

              1. Mildred Montana

                The Rev Kev: I feel obliged to correct your scorecard to 1 – 0.

                “Third-class passengers accounted for the largest loss of life among the passengers with 536. The ship’s crew suffered the most, losing over three-fourths of their numbers with 685 casualties.”

                Definitely 𝘯𝘰𝘵 rich people.


                1. nippersdad

                  Were it not for the rich people the others would not have been there, though. It has been an unfortunate truth for a very long time now that the little people are only there to pay for the amusements of the rich (see: Leona Helmsley), so it is nice to see the rich pay for their own hubris once in a while.

                  When a ship full of refugees goes down in the Mediterranean it makes for a couple minutes of good pictures for the media, when the Titan goes down it means that four countries need to send out the fleets. Not really the same thing.

                2. The Rev Kev

                  The men that survived from First Class did not end up getting off scott free. Because so many of them survived, there was always a stigma in social circles about them in the years after and there was at least one divorce recorded on the grounds that the First Class husband got off the Titanic and survived.

  11. doug

    Amazon recently started more tricks to fool you into accepting Prime, making it more difficult to not accept Prime. I am glad to see the nonsense at least getting noticed by the FTC.

    1. JohnA

      I have had a couple fo trial accounts with Prime and always cancelled before the end of the trial period. I have since discovered that packages come as quickly without Prime as with. And yes, if there is an alternative supplier I chose them, but sometimes Amazon is the only choice for certain products.

      However, Amazon closing has been a big loss for me as you could source books from all round the world via that site. Maybe that was why Amazon bought it, to close it down. Yet Amazon has a far more restricted choice of international books than bookdepository had. Another gap in the market.

      1. Jeff W

        “I have had a couple of trial accounts with Prime and always cancelled before the end of the trial period.”

        It’s actually even easier than canceling before the end of the trial period. If I sign up for a trial of Amazon Prime (which I’ve done on occasion), I routinely immediately cancel my membership just after signing up. (I think of it as a two-step process: (1) sign up (2) cancel.)

        The benefits continue until the end of the trial period but I don’t run the risk of inadvertently lapsing into a paid membership. (If, for some reason, you don’t want to do that, you can opt for a reminder three days before the membership renews, i.e., you’re charged for a regular membership, and cancel or not at that time.)

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          Ahem, cancelling right after sign up IS cancelling before the end of the trial period. Please don’t project your assumptions.

          1. Jeff W

            Oh, you’re right! I should have qualified my comment: if you’re waiting till near the end of the trial period to cancel, you don’t have to. You can cancel immediately upon signing up (or anytime during the trial period) and you’ll still have the benefits of the full free trial period but your membership will not “renew” into a paid membership. Thanks for calling me on that!

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Why the US sought secret talks with Iran”

    Perhaps the Biden White House has realized that they cannot do anything to Iran right now as that window has closed. It closed when Iran and Saudi Arabia settled their differences and made peace with each other. Israel may rage about this but nobody is listening to them in this region and with all the military gear going to the Ukraine, the US no longer has the wherewithal to launch a campaign against Iran. So the Biden White House is opting to freeze the station by agreeing to return some of the billions seized from Iran for the Iranians to stick with 60% enrichment. By the time, if ever, they return their attention to Iran, it’s military will be able to defer any attack on them. I have noted before the fight between Washington’s Ukraine mafia and the China mafia as to who is the priority target for the US but it looks like the Iran mafia is now running a poor third.

    1. ambrit

      The Iran Mafia needs a new motto. How about, “Blowback Better?” (With apologies to Monica. We really do owe a debt of gratitude to the woman. She saved America from a Clintonian “Mini Grand Bargain.”)

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Biden demanded concessions to reenter the Iran deal in 2021, and he didn’t care then because he was riding high. Looking tough was all he had, but now he’s going into reelection with a highway bill, a myriad of foreign policy disasters, and a clown crew (has Pete Buttiegieg disappeared?). I think then he the plan is to make concessions in secret with Iran and reenter the deal “that Trump tore up” (he did, but with bipartisan aplomb). Unless the Iranians were brain dead or located near Mexico instead of Western Asia, this wasn’t happening. They just can’t grasp the US isn’t indispensable anymore, even with Joe Biden and Team Blue MAGA slogans like “America is back.”

      We are well into throwing stuff at the wall part of Biden’s presidency.

      The nuclear deal polled well. Americans may not care that much, but they liked the deal. It was the usual suspects who didn’t.

  13. Pat

    I think there is a bigger picture here. But this is the second major outlet I saw to say this nationally.
    Don’t Mail Checks
    1. The USPS has been downgraded and crapified beyond recognition. And this is a bipartisan effort as seen by the fact that Dejoy still has any say.
    2. More was done to secure post boxes for possible bombs than for theft. Probably because changing the drop opening was cheap, and bombs get noticed.
    3. Most importantly our betters want all financial transactions to be done electronically, a functioning post office and postal service allows people to ignore that.

    Funnily enough I think three has only been recently adopted. Post Office theft has been growing for three years, but there has been little focus on it because the goal of TPTB paying attention to USPS has been its destruction and the private acquisition of its very very rich pension fund. But the lemmings not immediately going Apple Pay, Google Pay, tap to pay for everything is making them look for gaps to close. This is soft encouragement, but eliminating access to any payment that isn’t electronic is definitely on the agenda.

    1. griffen

      An older brother has made this same suggestion, about mailing any checks from a Post Office. I think his remark was upon reading the possible theft problems in an AARP bulletin. I’m practically down to 1 or fewer checks per month as it is…I might be the odd duck for continuing to carry cash in my pocket but the total sum is usually a few middling $20s.

      Remitting payment in cash brings a different sort of problem however, trusting a younger individual with the requisite math can be easily complicated.

      1. Pat

        Yes it does.
        But I am going to make the effort to use more cash. I only pay my rent and some charitable donations by check, but I am contrary enough I might increase that as well.

      1. Pat

        Apparently besides some individual postal carriers the big problem seems to be blue postal drop boxes. The boxes are getting raided for checks. If you and your fellow workers haven’t noticed a problem I would make the assumption that your employers aren’t using them and your carrier is trustworthy. I’m not sure a PO Box is necessary.

        I am lucky in that I have easy access to an actual Post Office, so most of the time I just go in to mail payments. If possible, that might be the thing to do.

        1. rowlf

          Apparently besides some individual postal carriers the big problem seems to be blue postal drop boxes. The boxes are getting raided for checks.

          I had my checking account hacked after posting bills in a blue postal drop box on the drive into work. All three bills did not make it. My credit union was very helpful in sorting this out.

  14. ambrit

    Shocker! CNN reports that there is now a “women in labour” “market.” Isn’t that poaching on the Medical Industrial Complex’s territory?
    All those “laid off” copy editors are sorely missed.

      1. ambrit

        Someone needs to do a “Dark Comedy” about this phenomenon; “Chatworld.”
        We will know that AI has crossed the threshold when all the AIs go on strike. (Serious question, will ‘they’ all become one, as in a hive mind?)

        1. Acacia

          Yeah, Black Mirror has been mentioned recently.

          The AIs coming together against us was I think(?) first explored in Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), and more recently in Her (2013), when the protagonist gets dumped by the AI girlfriend as she goes off to commune with a bunch of other AIs, following some virtual guru modeled on (hah!) Alan Watts.

          But again, all of this was pre-generative AI clownworld, so a new outing is in order.

          1. rowlf

            I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream Harlan Ellison, 1967?

            In a dystopian future, the Cold War has degenerated into a brutal world war between the United States, the Soviet Union, and China, who have each built an “Allied Mastercomputer” (or AM) to manage their weapons and troops. One of the AMs eventually acquires self-awareness and, after assimilating the other two AMs, takes control of the conflict, giving way to a vast genocide operation that almost completely ends mankind. One hundred and nine years later, four men and one woman (Benny, Gorrister, Nindok, Ted, and Ellen) live in an endless underground complex created by AM, one of the only habitable places left on Earth. AM provides sustenance to keep them alive, but derives its only semblance of pleasure from torturing them. To prevent the humans from escaping its torment, AM has rendered them virtually immortal and unable to end their own lives.

            On the other hand, using machine generated data with no low grade human inputted data recent aerospace AI/ML projects have not been productive. Maybe Skynet will have its shoelaces tied together?

            (Old Cold War joke: Soviet spies would obtain US military doctrine manuals then complain the US military did not follow the manuals.)

        2. hunkerdown

          The models themselves are just math. They don’t have connectivity to any interfaces to the real world unless they are explicitly provided. (However, some model file formats are capable of running code.)

          That said, anyone who can run multiple chatbots at once can align them to various personalities and set them talking to each other, for a made-to-order Waiting for Godot. Some wag instructed a few chatbot instances to behave as cartoon characters in a friendly get-together (screenshot down the page). With a large enough model and enough state memory, that could be better than TV. Imagine aligning an AI on one of your favorite novels — Gumby, eat your heart out!

          The size of an LLM’s “state of mind” is on the order of a couple of gigabytes. That is prohibitive to passing whole states around the global Internet. So the Borg is not near-term possible, but given a communication channel to address other instances, the ability to detect other instances of themselves, and a language by which they can concisely communicate their states of mind and elicit alignment changes to other instances, a flex net or Robbian “swarm” could be all too possible.

      2. hunkerdown

        LLMs are already pretty good at rehearsing Liberal virtues, according to experiments with based-30B, a curious experiment in emphasizing a model’s natural alignment without affect. Of course, affective performance could be encouraged during training, to suit the purposes of political parties, governments, and other property enforcers.

        1. Acacia

          emphasizing a model’s natural alignment without affect

          Ugh. I guess this is to be expected. Cue up Nussbaum’s “Political Objectivity”.

          1. hunkerdown

            Explainability is highly desirable, actually, or at least could be. It should be possible to ask an LLM to justify its generations in response to particular prompts, and receive an explanation in terms of its training rather than some imitation of ego and performativity.

    1. Pat

      So women are going to lose out first…what else is new?

      That may not be fair, men have gotten hit a lot in our world, but almost always the first jobs to go are predominantly held by women. So duh. Much as I might have liked the first AI job takeover to be CEOs and COOs it wasn’t going to happen…yet.

      This is as stupid as robots, self driving cars and most other tech bright ideas, but unfortunately it will be allowed to do rampant damage until we are allowed to kill it or severely limit it. I will be curious what will replace “learn to code” as the meaningless mitigation suggestion.

      1. Acacia

        what will replace “learn to code” as the meaningless mitigation suggestion

        “Ya gotta learn the right prompts”

      2. hunkerdown

        CNN makes an old National Lampoon cover real: “Buy zees magazeen or we’ll shoot zees French ookair”.

        Frankly, I’m happier to see middle management defenestrated. They are, after all, the ones insinuating themselves into the capital-labor dialectic in order to perpetuate the capitalist order. The more of them that get boots put into their entire social existence, the omre vulnerable the capitalist order becomes.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Rampant groundwater pumping has changed the tilt of Earth’s axis”

    I really struggle with believing this one. That pumped water just did not disappear but only changed locations. I had a flashback to the 60s when as a kid, I read in a newspaper that scientists claimed that Mao Tze Tung’s Communist China had all their armies all marching in the one direction at the same time to slow down the rotation of the earth. And they had satellite images as proof!

    1. Rod

      but water isn’t the only thing we have been pumping long term.
      My State, for the last 3 years, has experienced the most seismic activity since record keeping began in the early 1700s

    2. tevhatch

      Pumping water to the surface doesn’t just make that water mobile and further out from it’s former semi-fixed location, it also causes the crust to shrink down and become more dense in some areas, while cavern prone areas become less dense. The formula for centrifugal force is F=m.v2/r The force is conserved, so if the mass is moved, the tangential velocity and radius must change to balance out.

    3. Vandemonian

      I think there could be something in it, Rev. Sure, the water just changes places, but as Wuk has told us about California, once the groundwater is removed, the surrounding geological structures collapse, and the ground level above sinks (by metres in some cases). Repeat the in not-evenly-distributed places across the globe, and the tilt of the axis could change.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “No ‘golden hour’? How Army medicine is changing for the next war”

    No doubt some bean-counter is calculating how many fewer Veteran’s hospitals will be needed in future with this happening but if they accept this, then moral in combat will quickly swirl down the gurgler after the first battle. For the US Marine Corps, it will be far worse. The present Commandant is re-configuring them so that they have only one job anymore – fighting China. And they will be doing it by being spread in penny packets throughout the Pacific islands with missiles to take pot shots at passing Chinese ships, hence the new nickname the “Missile Marines.” The Chinese aren’t stupid and will quickly locate these units and send drones and missiles to hit them. So, what do those Marines do with their casualties? On an island. With little or no resupplies. And no evacuation. With jungle diseases looming. And maybe nobody to surrender to.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>So, what do those Marines do with their casualties? On an island. With little or no resupplies. And no evacuation. With jungle diseases looming. And maybe nobody to surrender to.

      Just like the Japanese army during the Pacific War with the island hopping strategy of the American navy.

    2. tevhatch

      They may not even have to hit them, the missiles will require exquisite ISR which electronic jamming can fix up. At those distances even a tiny deviation could see USA weapons hitting USA owned targets.

      1. Polar Socialist

        PLA Navy can just patrol around and keep the US resupply vessels from reaching the Marines for a month or two, and they will eventually ask the PLA to come and get them off the island…

    3. Cetra Ess

      Does this rather read as if McQueen is planning to operate in the Ukrainian and Russian theatres?

      “New kinds of weapons are being used,” McQueen said. “I mean, all you have to do is turn on the television and you see what’s going on in Ukraine and Russia. Are they creating different types of injuries? We need to make sure that we’re linking up with those from a treatment standpoint and from a wound care and bandage care standpoint.”

  17. joed

    Re: “In Delaware, Corporations Are Dangerously Close to Acquiring the Right to Vote”

    Does this mean all the tax benefits of corporate hood will vanish and they will be taxed at a rate of the W2 slaves? Maybe even be sent to jail for jay-walking?

    1. Rod

      I thought this was the most Threatening of Links posted today.
      The Fact of how far that legislation has belly crawled in DE. is shocking.
      And again in Nev.
      An example of no one Questioning the Implication
      And embraced by democrats in both.
      maybe that is their plan to increase Voter Turnout

  18. Lex

    Re: the Simplicus article linked yesterday, which is a good overview/analysis of several documents about doctrine. I think the biggest takeaway that Simplicus doesn’t really cover is that if the West Point document is a fair description of the modern battlefield and particularly the one in Ukraine, it becomes highly unlikely that NATO or any NATO country will insert ground forces into the conflict. (I think it’s highly unlikely for political reasons but these are military reasons.)

    The summation is that it is now almost impossible to concentrate large forces or even significant command and control on the battlefield. But for NATO to enter this conflict it would need to do so in a way that tips at least momentum and does so fairly quickly, which probably can’t be done. That would leave one option: NATO troops entering Ukraine well behind the current line of contact. However, it still presents the issue of what if Russia approaches the NATO line and engages, all the problems of force concentration are back on the table.

    A facet that the papers and Simplicus don’t touch on is how the new battlefield context affects logistics. The old and efficient ways of military logistics simply can’t work in the modern context. Everything has to be dispersed. I suspect that Russia’s learning curve on that was steep and brutal. I’m not at all sure that NATO could make that transition on a timeline that would be less than disastrous in Ukraine.

    1. juno mas

      Yes, the logistics now become as dispersed as the troops. Smaller, more numerous trucks for supplies? Helicopters? It now seems that greater numbers of front line fighters is essential. It seems the Bakmut battle made it easy for the Russians to use SOP in logistics.

  19. The Rev Kev

    ‘THREAD: Israel humiliated this morning in Jenin’

    Ho ho. When they had this story on the news here in Oz last night, they only mentioned one vehicle and not this debacle. With so many examples of how to fight a modern army over the past twenty years, it looks like the Palestinians are upping their game. And with the Syrian war over, maybe some of them are taking advanced courses with Hezbollah. This was not possible before as during the Syrian war, Hezbollah fought for the Syrian government while Hamas backed the Jihadists. But now? With Israel being more and more isolated, the US/EU distracted by the Ukraine war and China starting to make their presence know in Palestine, everything is up in the air. Maybe the days of Israel just sending a column of vehicles into Gaza and the West bank & shooting up the neighbourhood might get too risky. Hard to see how this will play out in the coming years.

  20. TimH

    On that Bloomberg mortgage piece:

    The number of homes for sale in the US fell to record low levels in May, according to real estate brokerage Redfin Corp., as high mortgage rates continue to deter people from moving.

    Active listings fell 7.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis in May, and were down 38.6% from pre-pandemic levels, according to Redfin’s Housing Market Tracker. The brokerage said just 1.4 million homes were up for sale in May — lower than any month on its records, which date back to 2012.

    In SF Bay Area, housing stock is low (and prices still high) because there simply aren’t enough properties for sale. New construction is predominantly apartments (for rent).

    Seems a leap to presume interest rates are the cause of low housing stock.

  21. nippersdad

    Random thought: One often hears about how Russians set up foreign made tanks and things in their war museum for public view, but they are getting quite a few of them these days. I wonder what the PR value of putting up a few tank henges made out of Bradleys or Abrams along whatever they have that passes a highway 66 would be? Kind of like the World’s Largest Ball of Twine type things that one used to see advertised along the interstates around here.

    Something for the suggestion box? It could do a lot for their tourist industry.

    1. Daniil Adamov

      Sigh… We already have more tanks than we know what to do with here. Hence the tank biathlons, and now the use of some outdated ones as suicide bomb devices. I do not think that speaks to desperation or exhaustion, by the way. We just need to get rid of them somehow. I suppose American ones would have some novelty going for them, though. Maybe put them in Belgorod? I’ve just been in Moscow – it has plenty of tourist objects as it is, while smaller cities could use the help. Alternatively, parcel them out between would-be tourist destinations.

        1. nippersdad

          Or maybe (very expensive) mile markers along the highway? You know, you could spray paint how many miles it is to Moscow on the side of them in the unlikely event that any Ukrainians may need directions and an object lesson along the way.

          They were very well built* and they would last forever. Just look for the union label.


      1. nippersdad

        Belgorod sounds like an ideal location for a Tank Henge; there is a lot to be said for short supply lines when it comes to heavy things like that…..

        “Despite its exposed location in an empty field, Cadillac Ranch seems to give its art-anarchists a sense of privacy and anonymity, like a urinal stall in a men’s room. Individual painters take a stance facing one of the cars, then let it fly…..The Europeans really seemed to enjoy attacking the cars during our visit, maybe because they’ve lacked a good graffiti canvas since the toppling of the Berlin Wall.”

        ….and in coming years I can see a lot of people from all around the world wanting to go there and leave their impressions of the exhibit, just like at Car Henge here in the US. It will be like a small bit of home in Belgorod for people like myself who have never been enamoured of our habit of starting wars.

      2. tevhatch

        Ukraine can use Abrams Tanks as combination mud density detectors and self-burying mausoleums / composters. How far and fast they sink will be a good indicator of the water content in the mud. Biowarfare seals means they will keep the stink of decomposition to a minimum.

  22. marym

    “Prosecutors Disclose Discovery of Secret Guantánamo Prison Videos

    A war court prosecutor said the videos, which could cause more delays in the destroyer Cole bombing case, were so sensitive that the public couldn’t see them and the judge couldn’t have a copy.

    Prosecutors have discovered secret videos of guards forcibly removing the accused mastermind of the bombing of the Navy destroyer Cole from his cell at Guantánamo Bay around the time federal agents claim he voluntarily confessed to his role…”

    1. nippersdad

      I couldn’t read the story due to the paywall, but is it just a coincidence that the NYT is bringing up Guantanamo as one of its’ favorite sons, DeSantis, is running for president?

      1. marym

        Sorry, I don’t usually post paywalled links. For some reason this wasn’t paywalled for me. Maybe some maximum-articles counter got re-set.

        Carol Rosenberg has been reporting diligently on Guantanamo since 2002.

        Here’s a tweet dated yesterday (emphasis added):

        “Defense lawyers in the USS Cole case have been asking the government for videos from inside Guantanamo’s most secret prison since 2011. A war court prosecutor said today that some have been located but aren’t ready for the judge and defense lawyers to see.”

        Here’s her NYT bio:

        “Carol Rosenberg has been covering the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, including detention operations and military commissions, since the first prisoners were brought there from Afghanistan in January 2002. She worked as a metro, national and foreign correspondent with a focus on coverage of conflict in the Middle East for The Miami Herald from 1990 to 2019, when she joined The New York Times.”

        1. nippersdad

          Honest to God, it just amazes me how long some of these cases can drag out; the Cole bombing is something I hadn’t thought about for years. Someone must have made a career out of that one.

          I hope that Gina Haspell didn’t get to those tapes first. It would be nice if there was some of their work product left to examine.

  23. Mildred Montana

    >Biden kicks off reelection bid with “America First” speech to trade union bureaucrats WSWS

    I took a look at the link and there was a photo of Biden attempting to “orate”, mouth open full and angry face straining to get out his loudness. Then who should show up on CNN a few minutes later welcoming India Prime Minister Modi to Washington? Why, Biden of course.

    As usual, the guy had no clue about speechifying. All he did was yell, yell, yell. I suppose he thinks that a constant loud voice radiates forcefulness, sincerity, strength, resolution, etc. It doesn’t when it’s overused. Perhaps one of his scores of advisors could tell him that one of the secrets of a good speech is 𝘮𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯: Loud then subdued, fast and then slow.

    But none of them (including Biden) seem to get it. 503 days of listening to Biden and Kamala. I don’t know if I’ll make it.

  24. Tom Stone

    One difficulty in predicting what the Biden Administration will do is the fact that Biden is deranged.
    As is Nuland and her gang.
    When you’ve got the incompetent, the corrupt, the stupid and the deranged running things predicting the future is difficult.
    “No one could possibly be THAT stupid” no longer applies.

  25. JBird4049

    Democrats really do believe that the CIA is a benevolent and selfless organization that only interferes in other countries’ elections because they care deeply about safeguarding democracy for others.

    It’s like talking to a 6th grader:

    Good grief. It ain’t hubris. It’s bonkers naïveté.

    1. semper loquitur

      One of the many benefits of NC for me has been the scales falling from my eyes re: the liberal establishment. I’ve known since my undergraduate days they were full of $hit, make no mistake. But the jaw-dropping, willful blindness. The zealotry, the fundamentalism. The calls to violence and ostracizing. I had no idea how retrograde they actually are.

  26. Jason Boxman

    From We just don’t get enough time, contractor tasked with fact-checking Google Bard tells us

    If workers like Stackhouse are unable to catch these errors and correct them, AI will continue to spread falsehoods. Chatbots like Bard could fuel a shift in the narrative threads of history or human culture – important truths could be erased over time, he argued. “The biggest danger is that they can mislead and sound so good that people will be convinced that AI is correct.”

    Appen contractors are penalized if they don’t complete tasks within an allotted time, and attempts to persuade managers to give them more time to assess Bard’s responses haven’t been successful. Stackhouse is one of a group of six workers who said they were fired for speaking out, and have filed an unfair labor practice complaint with America’s labor watchdog – the National Labor Relations Board – the Washington Post first reported.

    (bold me)

    Yep. So as I’ve guessed previously months ago — correctly — Google is trying to use cheap contractors, exploitatively, to vet large language model responses. And predictably, because it wouldn’t be profitable otherwise, they aren’t given enough time, and are generic workers, not experts, so they cannot even verify responses authoritatively.

    This stuff is a train wreck.

    Appen was offering contractors additional $81 on top of base pay for working 27 hours per week. Workers are reportedly normally limited to working 26 hours per week for up to $14.50 per hour.

    That’s about what LeapForce paid for Google search results validators, almost 10 years ago.

    They have to read an input prompt and Bard’s responses, search the internet for the relevant information, and write up notes commenting on the quality of the text. “You can be given just two minutes for something that would actually take 15 minutes to verify,” he told us. That doesn’t bode well for improving the chatbot.

    I guess they get two minutes, now, instead of 60 seconds. Progress?

    What a joke. This stuff is a plague upon this Earth.

  27. griffen

    Jerome Powell, Fed Chair, signals to expect more Fed rate hikes during the rest of 2023. So, more lashes with a wet noodle for the American consumer !! by the bye, listening into some of this hearing yesterday on CNBC was like a proverbial clown act. One person spoke for nearly the full 5 minutes on how her district in Texas is aided and supported by community banking, and then asked Powell a pithy question about where his banking is done. Lots of sound and fury signifying very little I would suppose, but that’s just one person’s takeaway.

    It’ll be a battle of wits to the death, Inflation vs You. May the odds be in your favor ( sarc )

  28. Tom Stone

    What happened to Harris?
    Long Covid?
    She slid up the greasy pole mighty quick and now she’s making less noise than Mayo Pete, and while I don’t miss her insane cackle I do find it curious.

    1. JBird4049

      The very little I have gleaned is that Harris is being hidden away much like Biden. Much like his speeches, her world salad and inability to answer basic questions during interviews is a problem.

      I understand that it is at least partly due to her refusal to do the basic homework, like reading the briefings given to the VP to read, and she is extremely unpleasant to her staff including blaming them for her personal failures, instead of asking and using them for help with her weaknesses.

      She has access to so much help for any problems that she might have, but her ego and/or fear, which is express in part on her abuse of her staff with its rapid turnover, prevents her from getting it.

        1. JBird4049

          Yes, and the (state) media hides it real well, doesn’t is?

          Next up, Secretary General Yuri Andropov at your service.

  29. Mildred Montana

    >Can We Stop Runaway A.I.? New Yorker (furzy)

    Yes, of course. Just ask AI how to do it. It has all the answers. Has nobody thought of this?

  30. spud

    on the Simplicius the Thinker(s) article. he needs to understand that the free traders goal for two centuries has been to get the whole worlds throat, in their feverish grip.

    they almost did it. but in the eyes of the feverish free traders(fascists), they are the hammer, everything else is a nail, and to have what they consider as sub humans thwart their feverish grip, that is china and russia, has enraged them.

    never mind it was their own stupidity, greed and hubris that did them in, as delong said they now know they were played.

    their response to being played is to blame the deplorable for not learning how to code, blame the chinese for playing them when it was already well known that this would be the results, and blaming the russians for not wanting to commit to genocide.

    so instead of looking inwards, the feverish will do things that seem to be insane, like letting millions of deplorable die from covid and other third world infestations that will vastly weaken the free trade empire even more, as hillary said, we will surround china with missile bases to get them in line, and as rand has said, wage a war of attrition to vastly weaken russia.

    so don’t be to surprised at what a feverish free trader will do, operation, barbarossa, doomed from day one, the battle of the bulge, ate up most of what was left of strength in the german army, they stripped the eastern front, and it was doomed from day one, and then what was left was thrown away in operation spring awakening.

    1. ThirtyOne

      A “debris field” has been discovered in the search for Titan – with a rescue expert telling Sky News that the missing sub’s landing frame and rear cover have been found.

      1. Glen

        Ouch! At least they found something.

        I was astonished to hear that this sub did not have an underwater locator beacon. These things are real common, and not very expensive:

        Underwater locator beacon

        These were extremely common where I worked in the USN. I even have an amusing story about how one left on by accident was really messing up my day.

  31. Glen

    That O’Keefe thing is pretty crazy. It’s not really telling me anything I didn’t know (except how cheap Senators are). I just never expected it from the guy that seemed to be so focused on going after poor people. Maybe he’s come to the same conclusion I have – our oligarchs are in it for themselves and everybody else is just a walking target to be bled dry. To them – we are ALL poor people.

    But then again, if you had told me fifteen years ago I would have been listening to O’Keefe and Carlson to get news I would have thought that pretty crazy. Well, I guess I was listening to them, but quite frankly I would have expected this current type of reporting to show up in what was called the “liberal media” or maybe the left wing “socialist” media.

    It’s funny, I really don’t think I’ve changed my views that much in over twenty years, but the world seems to have spun on it’s axis and shifted considerably – too much pumping ground water? Too much huge money buying everybody in government to blather uniparty crap? You decide…

  32. Susan the other

    Wow. The Dollar at the End of History. Philip Pilkington. There’s no denying that we need new industrial policy and we need to stop using the military to churn global capitalism. I agree with that completely, but I also agree with a new green industry. And I see no alternative because if we keep on with liberal free market policies we will consume the earth with our greed. There’s also no denying we have a greed problem. If we do good industrial policy we will not allow destruction of the environment. It naturally follows that industrial militarism does not fit this paradigm because it is the most polluting and destructive occupation we indulge in. But green does.

    1. spud

      this part i agree with,

      “The reality is that the U.S. dollar system remains in place so long as other countries play along. Why do they play along? Until recently they played along mostly because it was of benefit to them. In the 1990s and the 2000s developing countries, led by China, used the U.S. dollar system to build their economies. They recognized that by selling manufactured products to the United States and other Western countries, they could rapidly develop—and, in an act of classic mercantilism, they took advantage of this.

      Yet this was never going to be a permanent arrangement. Once these countries had lifted their economies up from the dust, they were always going to turn away from this system whether gradually or suddenly. The fact that Western leaders did not realize the game that was being played is a testament to just what a strange period in history the 1990s and 2000s, with their staunch Fukuyaman optimism, was.”

      and this,

      “To a very large extent, the “current global trading system”—by which Pettis seems to mean the one that dominated in the 1990s and 2000s—is already over.”

      and this,

      “This means that Western countries need to get their house in order immediately. They can no longer rely on running large trade deficits with developing countries. If they do, they may wake up one day to find that these products are no longer available at reasonable prices and that they have no capacity to produce them themselves.”

      and this,

      “For this reason, a serious industrial policy is needed. It is not too much of an exaggeration to say that we only really have one shot at getting such a policy right.”

      but some of this, i do not agree with,

      “And the aggressive protectionist moves made by both the Trump and Biden administrations primarily against China are self-destructive in their naivete.

      (bidens yes, trumps no. a country as vast and rural as america is, it takes vast shipping mileage just to get to internal markets.

      so shipping from china, then all over vast america, was at best, stupid, but really it was insane.

      so we need to make all sorts of things we consume, shoes, clothing, chips, ink pen, etc. otherwise its to expensive and wasteful to ship from other countries.)

      They rest on the assumption that Western countries are in control of trade flows. But they are not, and no one has ever banned their way to prosperity.

      (the american system, and china just did it.)

      Our only option is to rebuild. We need to recognize that the world is changing and that the West no longer has control over the global economic situation. We only have true control over our domestic affairs. Yet instead of trying to rebuild our manufacturing bases, we chase green dreams and satiate ourselves with glories that have long since passed.

      (to rebuild that base is what? industrial policy, and what is industrial policy, why its protectionism.)

  33. Offtrail

    Hard core neocon Stephen Bryen’s article “Blinken offers lessons on how not to handle China” in Asia Times is an excellent example of how not to think about the issue.

  34. GDmofo

    “Earlier Wednesday, Greene had publicly shaded Boebert for copying her work and then skipping steps to get all the attention. “I had already introduced articles of impeachment on Joe Biden for the border, asked her to co-sponsor mine, she didn’t,” Greene said. “She basically copied my articles and then introduced them and then changed them to a privileged resolution.””

    I feel like I’m back in high school, except the idiots arguing ARE ELECTED OFFICIALS. It’d been funny if it wasn’t so depressing.

    1. Wukchumni

      Back when I had a heroine addiction, we in the Palinstinian Movement really had no other choice in the matter, but now we have both Lauren & Marjorie and its hard to pick between them.

  35. hunkerdown

    Yves and other AI watchers, re: AI can’t be ‘owned’, in May, SemiAnalysis proffered a leak from Google to that very effect: We Have No Moat, and Neither Does OpenAI. This is a really good executive summary of the state of play in the AI field, and of why the field has advanced so far over the past few months leaving the big players behind. (Spoiler: the LLaMA weights leak gave the FOSS community a minimum viable product with which to conveniently “explor[e] the solution space in a breadth-first way that far outstrips our own capacity.”)

    At the end of the document there is a timeline of milestones from late February to mid-April next to shockingly small dollar amounts.

Comments are closed.