Links 6/24/2023

US honeybees suffer second deadliest season on record Guardian (resilc)

Baklava tastes great, but where does it originate from? Anadolu Agency. Another Turkiye v. Greece slugfest!

Assistant coach at a Texas university caught having affair with student — too bad his wife was the head coach BoingBoing (resilc)

In a Tipster’s Note, a View of Science Publishing’s Achilles Heel Undark

Flamin’ hot addictions: why is America so hooked on ultra-processed foods? Guardian (resilc). Plenty of ultra processed foods are sold as healthy, such as high end meal replacement drinks, soy burgers, and powdered superfood blender drink additives.

University of Minnesota achieves milestone in freezing organs before transplant Star/Tribune (Chuck L)

The Sounds Of Invisible Worlds NOEMA (Antony L)


Long COVID: The impact on language and cognition Science (martha r)

Intelligence report says US split on Covid-19 origins BBC

Yours truly has long regarded acetaminophen as evil. Moar confirmation:


US rule of law crumbles as Chinese purchase of farmland is banned Global Times (guurst). Oddly does not mention the planned (but with good odds of not working out) attempt to heist Ukraine farmland via BlackRock.


Supreme court rules against Navajo nation in Colorado River water dispute Guardian (resilc)

Iowa meteorologist Chris Gloninger quits 18-year career after death threat over climate coverage CBS (Dr. Kevin)

NGOs Sue U.S. Navy Over Water Quality Permit for Weapons Testing Maritime Executive

EPA is Putting Together a Youth Council The Verge. Kill me now.


US combat ship to make rare port call in Vietnam amid South China Sea tensions Reuters (resilc). Confirming China’s open skepticism that Blinken would live up to his word.

The Greater Eurasia project: Building bridges and breaking barriers The Cradle. The EU is a cautionary tale.

European Disusion

Eurozone economy has slowed sharply, business survey shows Financial Times

Old Blighty

Britain is the Dorian Gray economy, hiding its ugly truths from the world. Now they are exposed Guardian (resilc)

More Brits Wanted To Rejoin EU This Year Than At Any Point Since The Referendum HuffPostUK

New Not-So-Cold War

See our post, but a few items on the Prigozhin melodrama.

Russia’s Putin addresses nation after Wagner ‘mutiny’ DW. Note the headline uses the correct nomenclature. Prigozhin is not trying to oust Putin. He is trying to get officials like defense minister Shoigu ousted because Prigozhin claims he and some other military big dogs are betraying Putin and Russia and the rank and file. Putin does not agree. You might call it a civil war in the military except if every single Wagnerite follow Prigozhin, he’d have 25,000 men, limited munitions, no supply lines or resupply, versus at least 600,000 in the Russian armed forces. The Russian military pays very well and has lots of men signing up to join, so there’s no reason to think there is a lot of unhappiness in the rank and file to exploit.

The bigger risk IMHO is any and all Ukraine sleeper cells in Russia will try to use this opportunity.

Putin calls on Wagner group to halt ‘rebellion,’ says organizers will be punished Washington Post

Russia Latest: Wagner Leader Prigozhin Vows He Won’t Surrender Bloomberg

Note still true despite the current intramural struggle. Russia still has an insurmountable advantage in production capacity, unless the West were to embark on a war-level mobilization, and there is zero willingness to do that:

Ukraine Blocks Journalists From Front Lines With Escalating Censorship Intercept (resilc)

Here are the Zelensky ‘treason’ quotes the Washington Post deleted RT. From May. First section from WaPo involves Prigozhin

Sky-High Energy Prices Propel German Corporate Flight OilPrice


Big Brother is Watching You Watch

US Vendor Accused of Violating GDPR By Reputation-Scoring EU Citizens The Register

Imperial Collapse Watch

As recruiting crisis worsens, military finds competition around every corner Washington Times (resilc)

How Russia’s New Su-57 Fighter Avoided the Lifetime Cost Trap That Crippled the F-22 and F-35 Programs Military Watch

NATO’s Article 5 does not override Congress’s war powers Rand Paul, Responsible Statecraft

How America’s Wars Become ‘Invisible’ Norman Soloman, Current Affairs



See how the press corps is not taking no for an answer:

Garland denies allegations of politics impacting Hunter Biden plea deal Politico

GOP Clown Car

McCarthy seeks to mollify conservatives ahead of federal spending fight The Hill

Our No Longer Free Press

The Elite War on Free Thought Matt Taibbi

Woke Watch

Gays are killing Christianity Washington Times (resilc). I would correct to say “organized Christianity” and ask if that is such a loss?

Libertarian Squillionaire Titanic Submersible Darwin Award Winner

Titanic director James Cameron accuses OceanGate of cutting corners BBC

OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush added to Wiki list of maritime inventors killed by their own inventions  Daily Mail BC)


Wimbledon to introduce AI-powered commentary to coverage this year Guardian (Dr. Kevin)

B-a-a-a-a-d Banks

FDIC accidentally reveals bailout recipients – Bloomberg RT (Kevin W). Oopsie!

The Bezzle

San Francisco’s fire chief is fed up with robotaxis that mess with her firetrucks Detroit News (ma)

Harry and Meghan Produce a Hollywood Flop: Themselves Wall Street Journal. Recall we were early critics.

Tesla Is Taking Over America’s Charging Stations New Republic (resilc)

EV Makers Confront the ‘Nickel Pickle’ Wall Street Journal (resilc)

Class Warfare

6,000 Kansas Aerospace Workers Strike – After Threatening to Cut 275 Jobs, 1,400 UE Members Walkout in Erie – UAW Strike at Big 3 Likely Mike Elk

Doctor Walmart Will See You Now Economist

Americans are hungry to be part of unions. So why is US labor so timid? Guardian (resilc)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

A bonus (guurst):

And a second bonus (Chuck L):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. griffen

    If the headline about the coach having an affair under the head coach (also wifey) nose doesn’t cause you to chuckle, even a little, you must lack a funny gene in your bones. Cause it’s LOL funny.

    Bowling coaches at Stephen F Austin. As we found out earlier in the week, head coaching at an elite level doesn’t exactly mean you’ll be the best role model. See example one, Bob Huggins former head coach of men’s college basketball at West Virginia.

    1. tevhatch

      Jerry Sandusky has to be near the top. Waiting for a serial killer coach, you know, because competition leads to improved performance.

      Meanwhile in sports, another “loser”. But why did you let the Kenyan win? Ivan replied, “I didn’t let him win, he was going to win.” The journalist insisted again, “But you could have won!” Ivan looked at him & replied, “But what would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honor of that medal? What would my Mom think of that?”

      1. griffen

        I clicked through that link, I couldn’t recall exactly that circumstance about the runners. By the bye, there were other general tweets therein which I found hilarious involving animals. The fluffy cat with the bottled Perrier ( maybe that’s staged I dunno ). And a different one, anecdote worthy, of young goats.

        Sports halls of shame, where the doors magically can be opened after a few years of penance unless you do what Sandusky was convicted of. The men’s basketball program at Baylor did not have a serial killer coach but there was a grisly murder some 20 years ago. The redemption of that program since that occurrence is one for the history books.

        1. Mildred Montana

          Speaking of Sandusky, if I recall correctly he was unrepentant. I seem to remember him saying, “I like to shower with young boys. What’s wrong with that?”

          1. tevhatch

            Penn State at many levels was and is unrepentant. Sandusky had several organizations pimping and running cover for him. That’s the truly sad and scary part.

          2. griffen

            He’ll burn really well along with others of that kind, like say Epstein or even a Dahmer or a Bundy. Predators deserve that fate.

  2. semper loquitur

    Department of No F-ing $hit:

    Norway Decides ‘Gender Affirming Care’ Is ‘Not Evidence Based’

    The Norwegian Healthcare Investigation Board (NHIB/UKOM) decided Thursday that transgender surgeries, hormones and puberty blockers are experimental.

    Norway is the fourth country to restrict or ban sex change surgeries, hormones and puberty blockers for children. Finland, Sweden and the UK have found that there is insufficient evidence that the benefits of cross sex hormones, surgeries, and puberty blockers outweigh the costs for children.

    1. Mikel

      Where (and while) there are people who have the audacity to practice healthcare over profit making, there is hope.

      1. digi_owl

        The benefit of public healthcare, to a degree.

        Years ago some hospital doctor plainly stated on national tv that they, being employed by the public rather than a private business, had the ability to say no when a patient demanded say antibiotics.

        That said, there is a growing for profit medical service. And recently where was some news about a someone having gone to a private practice to get hormone blockers after being denied by the public service.

        What is striking this time round though is the militancy of everyone involved in the debates. We have had some hot tempers regarding abortion and gay marriages before, but this seem to take it to a new level. And so much of it seem to be a copy paste of the US “debate”, even though i increasingly feel USA is a latecomer as much was already settled in Norway by the late 90s or so.

    2. Jabura Basaidai

      Stephanie Winn had a piece on Public substack that addresses this as well:
      “As soon as I began learning about detransitioners I realized that our field was responsible for great harm by buying into this idea that affirming a person’s gender identity rather than exploring how they came to that conclusion about themselves—that we were actually doing irrevocable harm to people. So that inspired me to reach out to the detransitioner community and start learning everything I could,” said Winn.

      1. semper loquitur

        More from The Economist, by way of Feminist Legal:

        The evidence to support medicalised gender transitions in adolescents is worryingly weak

        Perhaps the biggest question is how many of those given drugs and surgery eventually change their minds and “detransition”, having reconciled themselves with their biological sex. Those who do often face fresh anguish as they come to terms with permanent and visible alterations to their bodies.

      2. digi_owl

        I keep wondering how much of it will be traced back to sexualized bullying and shaming.

        In particular as this seemed to have picked up steam alongside USA spending 20 years fighting a middle eastern quagmire that reignited a need for the warrior as a masculine archetype.

    3. chris

      The part of my brain that always wears a tin foil hat makes me think the entire trans care industry was invented to make money off desperate people AND be a poison pill so that the USA would never have single payer Healthcare. The Dems who would normally be counted to at least support that issue would be pushing for trans care to be included, and the Republicans and conservative people in the country would rebel against the notion of tax payer dollars going towards something like that. Just like I’m pretty sure reparations are discussed only to block any progress on a Debt Jubilee.

      As long as we play identity politics and have easy cultural fault lines fo manipulate us, we US citizens will never see any progress. We’ll just continue to be crushed by the oligarchy.

      1. hunkerdown

        Parties exist to create passion around absurdities in order to defend and conserve atrocities. Neoliberal PMC interests would simply not miss the chance to inject malicious noise into the discourse in order to preserve capitalist culture and capitalist class relations.

  3. Lexx

    Libertarian Squillionaire Titanic Submersible Darwin Award Winner

    ‘The air auto-ignites and an explosion follows the initial rapid implosion. Large blobs of fat (that would be humans) incinerate and are turned to ash and dust quicker than you can blink your eye.’

    Ahso… morbid curiosity satisfied. I read ‘they died instantly’ then wondered how that happens underwater. In every way a really expensive way to die… but considering the net worth of those ‘large blobs of fat’… what an epitaph.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Take this for what it is worth but today I came across a story where this guy was told by OceanGate’s CEO Stockton Rush that for the vessel’s hull, the company used cut-price Boeing carbon fiber that was past its airplane shelf life. Yes, you can still eat peanut butter that is one week past it’s shelf life expiry date but I don’t think that that works for the carbon fiber that is supposed to stop you, you know, die. And that the initial carbon-fiber hull design was prepared on just a six-week deadline, though GeekWire reported the vessel was rebuilt later.-

      ‘Move fast and break things.’

        1. hunkerdown

          In downcycling, Tesla would at least not have been building pressure vessels out of it.

              1. tevhatch

                and that’s why Tesla could get away with it, the occasional driver and passenger die, but 99.9% failure rates on boilers would be too much even for capitalist.

      1. scott s.

        It’s a question that gets asked in the bicycle community: whether no-name Chinese bicycle frames are using prepregs that exceeded their uncured shelf life and were rejected by branded bicycle companies for use in their frames (built in China on a contract basis).

      2. Eclair

        From my rocket engineer spouse, although he’s aerodynamics, not structures or materials: composites, such as carbon fiber, work great in the dry empty vastness of space. Not so great in the ocean, where they absorb water, which compromises their structural integrity. Shoulda stuck with steel.

        Since airplanes fly through lots of rain, this makes me even more nervous about flying!

    2. griffen

      I’m wondering now if the submersible occupants were given the following speech, aka the Warden’s welcome speech to Shawshank. Any dark humor aside, James Cameron comes across in the above interview as pretty authoritative on what likely occurred. Regulations seem to be, I dunno possibly useful for many things. Bear Stearns, Silicon Valley Bank…infant formula manufacturing…deep water excursions…Norfolk Southern…

      “Put your trust in the Lord, your ass belongs to me.”

      1. Mikel

        I chuckled at the headline “Cameron accuses…”

        Which could be read as the company cutting corners being a matter of debate.

    3. Sardonia

      To the tune of The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine”
      In the world
      Where I was born
      Lived the Rich
      Filled with ennui
      And they told me
      ‘Bout a trip
      Many leagues
      Under the sea.

      So we plunged
      Down toward the wreck
      Having spent
      A wad of green
      Feeling thrilled
      As we went down
      In our little

      We all lived in a
      Little submarine
      Little submarine
      Little submarine
      We all lived in a
      Little submarine
      Little submarine
      Little submarine

      Were all aboard
      The only ones
      Who could afford….
      Then the bolts
      Began to creak….

      Ba da
      Da rump
      Da rump
      Da rump
      Da rump
      Da rump
      Da rump
      Da rump
      Da rump

      We all lived in a
      Little submarine
      Little submarine
      Little submarine
      We all lived in a
      Little submarine
      Little submarine
      Little submarine

      We all felt…
      A great unease
      (a great unease!)
      Every one of us
      (every one of us!)
      Began to freeze
      (began to freeze!)
      (water poured!)
      Through every seam
      (through every seam!)
      In our leaky
      (in our leaky)
      (submarine! Ha ha!)

      We went down in a
      Leaky submarine
      Leaky submarine
      Leaky submarine
      We went down in a
      Leaky submarine
      Leaky submarine
      Leaky submarine

            1. tevhatch

              It’s good enough I’m going to steal it (with credit given) and put it on my google docs account for me and friends to play around with. It made me think about the original line lyric “and the band begins to play,” could be “and the sub began to groan”… but that’s probably too early in the song to work.

    4. Mildred Montana

      Lexx: Yes, now that my “morbid curiosity” is also satisfied, I can’t resist some black humor.

      Recovery efforts will proceed regardless of the known outcome. There’s got to be a lot of expensive jewelry and several fat wallets resting on the ocean floor beside the Titanic.

      Stockton Rush’s memorial service song? “Implosion Will Be My Epitaph” by King Crimson.* Sample lyrics: “Cracking at the seams…”, “When every man is torn apart…”, “Silence drowns the screams.”

      *The actual title of the song is “Confusion Will Be My Epitaph”.

  4. JohnA

    Re Baklava tussle between Turkiye and Greece, the ever absurder Guardian had a ridiculous article the other day headed “How Ukraine’s national dish became a symbol of Putin’s invasion”

    Poland, Russia, Ukraine and other east European countries have had a similar tussle over which country borscht ‘belongs’ to. The most likely would be all of them, But wait, it is now a symbol of Ukrainian defiance! Another black eye for the villianous Puton

    1. Wæsfjord

      Let me guess… the rich Brooklyn Jewish lady is going to do her bit by writing a cook book? Okay, I read the story, so knew that already. What chtuzpah. She left Russia as a 10 year old, 50 years ago and now she agonizes that “I think I need to decolonise borsch from myself”. That could possibly be the most Guardian headline ever. Interesting to note how her friends are getting information from Facebook which is twisting them into hate-filled monsters.

      The whole article is a cringe fest. I just had to post an excerpt that had me laughing out loud:

      “instead, I suddenly found myself profusely apologising. Apologising for narcissistically going on about the guilt I was feeling, my own rage at the Russians, my loss of identity, my sheepishness for not yet learning Ukrainian and having to speak Russian to her.

      With quiet authority, Aurora offered me a way forward. “I understand your rage, I share it, Anya. And when you’re far away it’s easy to get engulfed by despair. But all you need is a moment of reflection – just one. Then stop dwelling on hatred and guilt. Spread love and compassion through your cooking and writing.”

      Comedy gold.

      1. Carolinian

        I rarely obsess over growing up Baptist go figure.

        True the comment handle does suggest a certain obsession with matters Southern but that’s not true either. Perhaps one reason people have always wanted to come to the US is to get away from all that back story. Not in Brooklyn, evidently.

      2. flora

        It’s only the financially well-off (relatively) who can waste their thinking energy on this nonsense. Lemme suggest if she was worried about paying the rent or medical bills or if she had a sick child she wouldn’t be entertaining herself with her internal good-think. She would have more important things to worry about. / my 2 cents

        1. flora

          Or maybe she always wanted to write a cookbook and this nonsense is simply the new sort of advertising used to sell the book. “Buy my book and strike a blow for freedom!”

          (Too cynical?)

      3. Michael Fiorillo

        Yes, the moral vanity of #McResistance liberals is a fathomless well of self-parody. The Cold War/Russo-phobic side of it stems from their broken brains over Trump, as they still are convinced of some kind of Putin/Orange Man love affair.

        1. Screwball

          I can’t imagine where they get that idea. /s

          Just yesterday my PMC friends said everyone needs to vote blue no matter who to save America from Trump/Putin. Did I miss something? I thought Russiagate was debunked. Nope. Alive and well in PMCville.

      4. Oh

        Maybe the Russia/Putin haters have an innate need to hate somebody because they’re very insecure. The media’s constant bawling about Russia and Putin reinforces their need.

        1. flora

          Or maybe, as Walter Kirn suggested in the latest “America This Week” podcast, witch hunts are fun and exciting for the accusers. Accusers set up the demon, attack the demon, crush the demon, Yay Accusers! In the beginning the witch hunts are even fun and exciting for the audience. It’s a trip, it’s an exciting thing, it’s the best entertainment ever. Team Righteous! Until it’s not. Until the general public tires of and are repulsed by the witch-huntery show.

        2. hunkerdown

          Or, perhaps it is rivalry that constitues capitalist society and gives the Democrats’ neo-Puritanism a continuous supply of importance, in a continuous and unflagging supply of potential and/or disgruntled customers for their “improvement” institutions.

    2. Ignacio

      Woah! Puton in Spanish sounds really awful! (Putón more precisely). I think some day we should join and recap all the ridiculous articles that have been published about Ukraine and have some fun.

      1. flora

        Yes, there could be whole chapters devoted to comic actor President Zucchini – dark green on the outside, pale tan on the inside. / ;)

        1. hunkerdown

          And if you don’t lock your car door in Minnesota, you might come back to find him sitting in your passenger seat like he’s got a right to be there. :)

  5. jackiebass63

    When I taught school joining the union was optional. Most people joined but a few didn’t. Those that didn’t join wanted all of the benefits the union won for its members. They were cheapskates because they didn’t want to pay the dues.Another term to describe them was they were freeloaders. I was good friends with one president. His response to people criticizing the union was the union is only as good as its members. If the members don’t support the union it has no power.Administration knew and used this to pit people against each other. I once was asked to teach an extra class in exchange for not having any extra duties. I declined because to me it was a job issue. If enough did this a person would lose their job. I didn’t want to be someone responsible for this.

    1. Cancyn

      Back in the day when the steel companies were the main employers in Hamilton Ontario, there were two big companies, Stelco and Dofasco. Stelco was unionized, Dofasco wasn’t but Dofasco employees were as well compensated as the Stelco employees were. I never understood how it worked until I met my husband who worked at Dofasco at the time. Dofasco kept their wages equivalent to Stelco’s in order to maintain their labour force. The Dofasco guys were well aware of which side their bread was buttered. If Stelco went on strike, the Dofasco guys picketed with them when they could and contributed financially to their strike fund.

      1. tevhatch

        I knew about Dofasco second hand from a consultant they hired out of the UK who also worked in China afterwards. They hired on a clever CEO who took all their potentially profitable in-house services, and sold them off through his “friends”. Many of them eventually floundered because the middle managers suddenly thrust to the top without proper controls followed his lead and lined their own pockets so much they killed off the operations. This in turn impacted Dofasco’s profitability for quite some time.

        1. CanCyn

          Don’t you just hate consultants? Yeah, it got bad – eventually bought out and now part of an international conglomerate called Arcelor Mittal Now bought out, it is a shadow of its former self. Stelco doesn’t exist anymore, people lost pensions in that debacle. Before we moved north, when I was a kid, we lived in Burlington, next door to Hamilton. It seemed like everyone I knew had a father or uncle who worked in the steel mills. Two of my older sister’s friends married guys who worked in them. They were part of the late boomers who had good lives based on one salary. Owned their own houses, raised kids and sent them off to university. It wasn’t that long ago and yet most young folks today can’t imagine a time like it. My nephew works at the Arcelor Mittal. Believe me, he isn’t earning anywhere near the living that guys used to make working there.

      2. Mildred Montana

        Stelco. Memories, memories. I worked there for a year in 1973. Walked into the office, filled out an application, had a brief interview, and was immediately hired, starting the next day.

        Workforce back then? 25000. Today? 2200. Sad.

  6. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: “Gays are killing Christianity”: What a [family blog, family blog, family blog] annoying headline. Blames gay people, who are assumed to be doing all the work, when these are actually internal problems inherent in the philosophy and implementation of these groups.

    I would correct to say “Christian leaders cannot reconcile their cult’s savagery with modern mores.”

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The imperial religion controlled so much for so long that it’s overlooked the Virginia statute on religious freedom was passed in 1786. Then the US was awash with immigrants who came from places where the imperial religion was oat of the state structure. It’s not something that disappears, but we are now 10 generations in. Mainline protestanism has collapsed. In the 19th century, 1/3 of Americans basically belonged to a proper cult, but it sounds like they and their offspring drifted to Billy Graham. Even today, “evangelical christianity” is awash in gnostic practices and promises of magic spells.

      As “The Righteous Gemstones” notes, it’s all entertainment. The non-entertainment groups are simply dying without the structures of state to back them up.

      Then as for the original popularity, it’s not an exclusive anti-slavery group or a way for the rich to avoid paying taxes anymore (it kind of still is, but it’s not where guys like Buffet stash money). What is the real appeal?

    2. griffen

      I’m drawing a conclusion from this and other anecdotal reports, that organized Christianity is doing a heavy lift all on it’s own and doing so without the LGBTQ aspect. Looking around at reports from recent years, there has been allegations and definitive proof of sexual abuse in the Southern Baptist churches but these problems have been shifted around to a different locale. There are other examples as well, from other denominations. Turns out the original sin is the sin that keeps on giving, to turn a phrase. Church leaders – do what they say but ignore what they do at one’s own peril. Wolf in sheep’s clothing and all that applies.

      I was raised in a heavily structured church and attended church affiliated schools. A closed culture is not an ideal setting, one that at times posed vivid examples of either grace, or mercy, being withheld because “condemning” was the alternative. Added, I don’t have a great answer to this particular question that the article was asking, only to suggest the New Testament teachings to love the sinner. I often avoid these discussions for a few varied and personal reasons.

      1. Tom Stone

        I’m sitting across the street from St Eugene’s and your post os a reminder that half a dozen Catholic Diocese’ in California have filed Bankruptcy or are in the process of doing so in an attempt to avoid paying damages to the victims of institutionalized rape.
        I have met individual Christians who walk the walk and they are impressive, however organized religion holds no charms for me.

    3. flora

      I once had an Indian Hindu ask me seriously if Christianity was based on cannibalism. Took me a minute to realize they were referencing the Holy Communion ritual.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Should have told him only Catholics – and only in their spare time. And then ask him if he had been to any good Satis lately.

        1. Ignacio

          Cannibals (because Corpus Christi) and vampires (because Sanguis Christi) though in reality bread and wine. Alcoholics? In reality weekly Communion ceremony.

        2. flora

          Protestants do Communion, too. Just less often than the Catholic church, only a few times a year and those times are noted and announced as Communion Sundays, at least in my branch of Protestantism.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            All Protestants, even the Episcopalians, disavow the Roman Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation. All Protestants, except for the Lutherans, confess that the wine and bread symbolically “represent” the blood and body of Christ. Lutherans confess the “real presence,” but without the Aristotelian add-on.

            So a good Methodist can never be accused of cannibalism or vampirism except “symbolically.” On the other hand, Roman Catholics and Lutherans, by their own confession, are open to the charge.

            1. flora

              Thank you, HMP. I was raised to believe that “the body of Christ” was and is and includes all who believed in the Christian faith. No matter the details.

              1. flora

                adding, and here I must confess I’m chucking at the thought of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegone radio character Pastor Ingqvist (that’s the Norwegian spelling. The English pronunciation is “Inkfest”. heh) – from Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio show – your “without the Aristotelian add-on” has me laughing out loud. Thanks.

        3. scott s.

          Not sure abut the “spare time” aspect. I know plenty who attend daily mass. Though I have heard it said that Catholic church has so many mass times you have no excuse for not making your Sunday obligation.

      2. hunkerdown

        Is there an Abrahamic religion that isn’t based on metabolism of “others”? I can’t think of one.

      3. Jabura Basaidai

        reminds me of the old Firesign Theater sketch called “Temporarily Humboldt County” – some Native Americans are sitting around enjoying nature when the Spanish conquistadors show up with a priest – the conquistadors claim the land for Spain and Father Corona adds, “oh! by the way, domini domini domini, you’re all catholics now” – back when satire was sharp and wicked, with Monty Python too – born and raised catholic and managed to survive and escape –

        1. ambrit

          “…born and raised catholic and managed to survive and escape –”
          Don’t look now but there is a strong and “vibrant” Traditionalist movement in Roman Catholicism today. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is still a going concern.

          1. Jabura Basaidai

            probably funded by Tom Monaghan of Domino’s fame – real peach of a guy(not) – his first pizza joint, DomiNicks, was down the street from my first rental as a college student at EMU – not a fan – but do have respect for the Jesuits that taught me for my first year at high school in Detroit, before being asked to leave after punching a priest – a tough bunch –

    4. hunkerdown

      People who publicly emote like that need to be put to hard labor so that they can be useful for the first time in their lives.

    5. Carolinian

      The article is an opinion piece stating that issues like gay marriage are splitting traditional churches. But whether or not this is some kind of plot one must point out that it was the churches, or at least the ones associated with Moral Majority (and therefore the Republican party), who started this by bringing religion into politics rather than vice versa. Therefore neither side respects the separation of church and state and instead see religion as a power question.

      The rest of us should probably sit this one out.

      1. scott s.

        The UMC has kicked the can down the road by delaying approval to General Conference 2024. Cynics suggest the reason for delay is because the HQ organization doesn’t want the loss of funds. Note that the push for traditional marriage leading to doctrinal disputes (and I think this is true for Anglican as well) is largely coming from African churches with support from conservative-leaning churches in the “west”.

        1. flora

          er… UMC? United Methodist Conference (Church)? United Micro Electronics? University Medical Center?

          Please clarify the acronym you use. Thanks.

    6. Mikel

      ME: trying to imagine what music would sound like in many churches without “the gays”…

      1. flora

        Not to mention the high art of the Italian Renaissance. Mike Angelo, Leo Nardo, and Ralph Fieal. / ;)

    7. chris

      The changes in the wider church have finally come to where we go to mass. This retrograde version of a simple prayer chills me. I wonder how much longer it will be before we have to pick up our own switches to self-mortify during mass. We didn’t see it around us until this year. Along with lots of female parishioners wearing head coverings during mass. This paleoconservative turn feels so off. I can understand why the Catholic Church is turning inward and becoming even more conservative. I can also understand why people don’t come to mass anymore.

  7. ddt

    Re baklava, as a Greek, like it with walnut filling but also with pistachio garnish on top… Enough with these double barrelled choices. Why not both?

  8. racaseal

    Why the ‘kill me now’ next to the EPA story? Probably powerless and performative at worst but doesn’t sound that offensive as an idea.

  9. Jabura Basaidai

    nice to see the press corp getting some moxie and putting it to both John Kirby and then when he scurried away without answering they put it to the press secretary – it’s about time!

    1. semper loquitur

      I loved the school-marmish look Jean-Pierre gives the group as Kirby the Talking Mannequin exits the stage.

      1. tevhatch

        Kirby was probably slinking off to stand out-side the Oval Office to administer a dulcet voiced admonishment to the ghost that was Joe Biden. A Navy man has an out on his code of honor not available to Army/Air Force. Unlike the other service academies’ honor codes, the USN Honor Concept allows a midshipman to confront someone committing an honor violation without formally reporting it.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Maybe she is irritated because it was OK when the press were asking hostile question while Trump was President, but as Biden’s spokesperson they should not be allowed to do so now for her. The press are not acting like the trained poodles like they should be and covering up Biden’s gross corruption for him.

    2. Tom Doak

      Why don’t they just say Hunter was lying about his dad sitting next to him, and he was just being clever in using his father’s position to extort bribes, and there’s no law against that?

      Unless of course they’ve got a time and date stamp on the phone call and the Secret Service knows exactly where old Joe was.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “NATO’s Article 5 does not override Congress’s war powers”

    I have no idea what Rand Paul is talking about here. I think that the last time that the US officially declared war was back in December of ’41. For decades now, Presidents have been initiating all sort of wars without getting a nod from Congress. I believe that a law was made that after 6 months of an initiated military action, that the President would have to go to Congress for authorization but Obama just ignored that law when it came up because Congress never cared to put limits on any President.

  11. John

    If in some measure politics played no role in the Hunter BIden plea deal, the sun did not rise this morning.

    1. Screwball

      From the Garland presser yesterday. From PBS

      Garland denies whistleblower claims of DOJ interference in Hunter Biden investigation

      “Some have chosen to attack the integrity of the Justice Department … by claiming we do not treat like cases alike. This constitutes an attack on an institution that is essential to American democracy and essential to the safety of the American people,” Garland said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

      He even said this with a straight face. Even more bizarre, about 1/3 of our country will believe him. He even played the democracy card. Good job!

  12. Lexx

    ‘Doctor Walmart Will See You Now’

    ‘Retailers launching or expanding their primary-care offerings are also betting on consumer habit. The most recent Consumer Pulse Survey by Accenture, a consultancy, showed that nearly one-third of consumers—and more than one-third of those between 18 and 35—were open to getting medical care at a grocery store or big-box retailer, and more than 90% of customers would trust a retailer with their medical data. Retailers believe that this sort of trust, along with their convenience (75% of Americans live within five miles of a Dollar General, and 90% within ten miles of a Walmart) is a winning combination.’

    Banner had a banner across the front desk when I walked in on Monday, saying you don’t need to go the emergency room, we have appointments with our staff available today! Only for those who saw the banner and for established patients. New patients have to wait weeks for a full hour work-up. That’s why the Urgent Care clinics are full here; patients aren’t willing to wait to establish a ‘relationship’ with a primary*. Why bother? Would 18-35 year olds value that relationship and feel valued in return?

    I wonder where ‘preventative medicine’ will figure into their business models? Older patients today are trying to get off the track to avoid the heavy fates they can see slowly moving toward them, and they seem to be alone in that knowledge… their primary doesn’t have a well-educated clue about what their patients are living with unless lab test results confirm or deny its existence. At least my NP knows my name and most recent history when I walk in the door, and she’s starting to talk about some sort of prevention plan.

    *assuming they can find one that’s taking new patients.

    1. cnchal

      Walmart sees an opening. Knowing that Pirate Equity has gobbled up health care, and knowing that Wall Street will never fund a cure, only rapacious treatments, there is room for Walmart to hollow them out from below.

    2. Louis Fyne

      from a practical sense, this is a no-brainer for Walmart….

      Seniors can consolidate outings from their house, then fill the prescription in-house.

      Many seniors will love it. And if the MD office has extended hours, many people who are covered by Medicaid but unable to see a MD because of their schedule mày get better access to a primary care provider.

      I love to rip on Walmart like many, but the reality is that many people do not work a 9 to 5 schedule with easy access to time off, or have difficulty finding reliable transport

      1. Carolinian

        Seems like Walmart had talked about doing this before. Locally there were a rash of minor emergency clinics that popped up and now they all seem to have disappeared except the one belonging to the local hospital conglomerate (which also bought out the rival hospital).

        In a rational world Wall Street Big Money would be kept away from our healthcare system. We Americans don’t live in that world.

        1. marieann

          My doctor had his office in Rexall pharmacy for a while….he and the other doctors left after a few years when the pharmacy wanted a bigger slice of the pie.
          I had no problem attending but we still used our local independent pharmacy.

          1. ambrit

            Doctors and Pharmacies being ‘joined at the hip’ sounds just like a “Pill Mill” criminal enterprise. The essence of the grift is that the doctors push unnecessary “medications” on the Patients/Financial Resource Units and split the ‘excess’ profits with the pharmacies. People have gone to prison for less.

            1. cnchal

              Canada has very advanced health care. We have the latest type of doctor, proud of their work. You see, when the chips are down and options short there is MAID.

              Murders All I Do.

              For those with better options, the pill mill awaits.

  13. The Rev Kev

    ‘Remarkable intervention by Raoul Hedebouw from the PTB (Workers’ Party of Belgium) in the Belgian parliament regarding the sabotage of Nordstream.’

    Really weird watching that. The outrage and the yells. Perhaps they were afraid that the guy was going to shout ‘Biden did it! Biden did it!’ and that was why they were unsettled.

    1. Ignacio

      You see the usual excuses when they don’t want to talk about it “for security reasons”. And they tell the truth: they, the PMC feels insecure about reactions if it is exposed that, for instance, the US did it. Security reasons means the PMC risks their stupidity being exposed to the populace. A risk they cannot bear.

      IMO, the best way to attack these people is to ridicule them. Expose their idiocy. They explode like the submarine.

      1. hunkerdown

        Virtue signaling never solved any problem for commoners, ever, and the problems of the landed can be ignored. It would be far better to disable the ability of the whining classes to effect their will.

    2. Tom Stone

      The odds that the USA was behind the terrorist attck on the Nordstream pipelines are about 20 to 1.
      That’s been obvious since day one and one reason no one talks about it is that the bombing was Insanely reckless, cruel and and provocative.
      It was, literally, deranged.
      No one wants to upset the crazy man with his finger on the big red button…

      1. JBird4049

        Biden the United States of American is a crazy man with a finger on the big red button, but it was fun to see someone with authority speak truth. Now, if we could only get this in either of the houses of Congress, it would make my week. I assume it is the security forces of the Empire that prevents this, and no, I am not joking.

  14. MiaoZeDong

    Is it such a tragedy that the US puts farmland off limits to Chinese buyers when foreign investors aren’t allowed to buy land in China?

    Should we sell them the rope they’ll hang us with?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Wowsers, match for that straw? The issue is we bar China from buying our farmland but seek to profit from the looting of Ukraine land.

      1. Ignacio

        Freedom is just another word for nothing left to loose. Ukrainians will finally be utterly free! It Is not that bad looting them. Not sure, I might be getting concepts wrong lately.

        1. JBird4049

          The bloviations about investing money in farmland is a distraction from the necessity of any government to see its people fed. Having anyone outside of a country owning large amounts of farmland, especially in these times, is suicidal folly as I assume organizations like Blackrock would be just fine starting famines just for the money; if it would cause revolution, war, or collapse wouldn’t matter as long as profit would be made. People outside of Ukraine, America, or China should be owning farmland in those countries.

          If you doubt what I say, read about 19th century Ireland and India, and 20th century warlord era in China. With Ireland it was the landowners and with India, it was the grain merchants, who took advantage of the crop failures as well as the government’s failure to deal with both the crop failures and the wealthy, often foreign, elites opportunism. If you need more information, look at the failures of the Russian Empire to successfully deal with the 1891-92 Famine, and IIRC to a lesser extent in 1905. That was just complete failure by the government.

          In all three empires, it helped to cause unrest, civil war, and finally either the succession from, or the collapse of, the central government. Never, ever underestimate greed’s ability to cause evil in the dark, voided souls of people who think food theft a fabulous means of gaining more wealth. If I still haven’t convinced you, think about what modern American style neoliberalism, which can be traced to Victorian Era colonialism and libertarianism has done to the whole planet, not least to the United States and to Ukraine.

    2. tevhatch

      The Chinese’s real sin is they are buying that land with monies the USA was printing to get their goods for free. Never fear, all that land will eventually be forfeit unless the Chinese know how to structure a Delaware Trust. Just ask all the Japanese and Japanese Americans we interned.

      1. tevhatch

        I say we because Canada did the same thing, only even more harshly, to Japanese (and Chinese-Canadians before China became allies and Japan switched to become foes instead of trading partners).

    3. hunkerdown

      Agreed, foreign direct investment and absentee property are capital crimes and ought to be treated as such.

  15. antidlc

    From the CDC:

    Trends in Laboratory-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Reinfections and Associated Hospitalizations and Deaths Among Adults Aged ≥18 Years — 18 U.S. Jurisdictions, September 2021–December 2022

    Weekly / June 23, 2023 / 72(25);683–689


    What is already known about this topic?

    Although SARS-CoV-2 reinfections have increased, U.S. epidemiologic trends and associated severe outcomes have not been characterized.

    What is added by this report?

    During September 2021–December 2022, the percentages of reinfections among all COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths reported by 18 U.S. jurisdictions increased substantially as new Omicron lineages became predominant. Increases were more pronounced among adults aged 18–49 years compared with those among older persons.

    What are the implications for public health practice?

    Cases and severe outcomes associated with SARS-CoV-2 reinfection have increased across the United States since September 2021. CDC recommends staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations and receiving early antiviral treatment, if eligible, to reduce the risk for severe COVID-19–associated outcomes.

    (bold mine)

    How about telling people to wear a mask? How about ventilation?


    1. Ignacio

      The paragraph in bold says it all: the CDC is pro-business and not pro-health. No matter if vaccines and antivirals are behind the curve, more or less useless, and with increasing probabilities harmful (more business there!). Masks would prevent all that business, are you crazy?

  16. bwilli123

    The UK as a Dorian Gray economy (particularly the NHS) would be confirmed by the following
    Tweet thread by a Professor of Interventional Cardiology in the UK

    …”I am the educational and academic supervisor of several junior doctors and I run projects for medical students in my research group.
    It is frightening how many are taking exams for the US and Canada and how many are applying for jobs in Australia. I have never seen anything like this in my entire career.
    I don’t think the government / general population appreciates how soon the system will collapse if they don’t address the pay erosion for the junior doctors ASAP…”

    1. Anonymous 2

      The UK really is a mess, as this tale about the NHS shows.

      Brexit has done serious damage to the economy and so to the Government’s finances. Taxes are going up and public expenditure will have to be held down as much as possible despite increasing needs to pay out more as the number of pensioners increases as the Boomers retire and the increasing number of over 70s put even more pressure on the health service.

      Public opinion has now turned against Brexit but it is going to be a long haul to get the UK back into the EU. Neither of the major political parties deems the time ripe to start talking about the idea of re-joining. That will have to wait until after the next election and even then the barriers are considerable, so there may be no rush. The EU are not going to hurry to take the UK back as they will not want a repeat of the British histrionics and bad faith of the last seven years and will want to be confident that a future UK member will be reliable and constructive rather than troublemakers. Meanwhile, the oligarchs who schemed to bring Brexit about will almost certainly continue to support it as it cements the UK’s position as a centre for their money laundering and tax avoidance.

      If Labour, as seems likely, replace the Tories in 2024 or 2025, they are going to inherit a stack of problems – a wrecked economy, dreadful demographics, serious problems with the government finances and a largely hostile press, a Tory party who have gone far right but continue to be serious candidates for a return to office. It will be a major achievement if they manage to stay in power for a second term.

      Commentators complain that the UK government lacks a strategy. The trouble is that, post Brexit, no one can come up with a credible strategy at all, unless it is to be Pirate Island

      1. spud

        and the E.U. is being run better? me thinks you do not understand the mess that has been made of the west since 1993.

  17. Chas

    The little submarine doesn’t seem to have any windows. How were the passengers to see the Titanic wreckage?

    1. semper loquitur

      It has, err had, a tiny porthole on the snout of the sub. I commented to my partner that it would be like looking through the field of vision afforded by a toilet seat. I cannot imagine the appeal.

      1. Louis Fyne

        People think going to space or the bottom of the ocean is like riding in, at worst, an economy class flight

      2. hunkerdown

        “I’ve been here and you can’t”. Symbolism over substance, as Rush Limbaugh said for a while before the Parties reshuffled their posture cards.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “San Francisco’s fire chief is fed up with robotaxis that mess with her firetrucks”

    ‘The Fire Department incidents include reports of robotaxis: — Running through yellow emergency tape and ignoring warning signs to enter a street strewn with storm-damaged electrical wires, then driving past emergency vehicles with some of those wires snarled around rooftop lidar sensors.’

    I’m thinking here that they should give those firefighters a set of spike strips each. It only takes one person to shoot them across a road and it is not that firefighter’s fault that that robotaxi never saw it and deliberately ran over it. For public safety you understand-

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The tweet says it was abandoned. I know zoo employees have taken critters in the past. There was a zoo in Germany with a rejected wolf pup, and one of the zoologists just took the pup home and gave it to his Rottweiler. He had photos up of the wolf copying the Rottweiler at all times except the pup slept on top of tge Rottweiler even after he grew.

  19. IMOR

    Titanic director James Cameron accuses OceanGate of cutting corners – BBC
    No, per his qotes in the AP story ,
    Cameron accuses the BBC, AP, and all the other media and social media outlets, of promulgating a cruel, fantasy-based fraud- in PART because of the inadequate design, maufacture and oversight by OceanGate, but that’s tertiary to his main point. Typical tree for forest headline misdirection by genetically incapable of self-awareness feebia.

    1. cnchal

      No mention of the boom heard by navy sonar and that the families involved were notified of that. Exactly when afterwords, they are not telling

      They knew. Total evil from the media bigs. The AP is just as useless as the rest of them.

  20. Joe Well

    >> Yours truly has long regarded acetaminophen [paracetamol] as evil.

    The amazing thing is that in the US and Canada they sell it in bottles when it has one of the lowest overdose thresholds.

    1. Mildred Montana

      I always knew that acetaminophen was poison to the liver. In fact my neighbor, once I informed her of this, used to regularly borrow aspirin from me.

      Here’s the warning on a recently purchased box of Sinutab (acetaminophen):

      “…may cause severe or potentially fatal liver damage. No more than six caplets per 24 hours. Do not combine with alcohol or other drugs containing acetaminophen.”

      Only three years ago, my local pharmacy began posting notices to this effect. And yet, what do hospitals hand out to their patients? Tylenol!!!

    2. Raymond Sim

      After my stroke I was on various painkillers for some time, many of which upset my stomach pretty badly. I was typically pestering my docs to try something else, or give me the option of smaller doses. Eventually my pcp suggested I just try plain Tylenol. Worst stomach upset yet! Upon reflection I realized all the formulations that gave me stomach trouble contained acetominophen.

      1. Mildred Montana

        Take this for what it’s worth. I am not a doctor and have never had a job in the medical field. Stick with plain old aspirin. Just be careful to take it with meals to avoid stomach problems. That’s all.

        You say you’ve had a stroke. All the more reason to take aspirin (unless the stroke was of the hemorrhagic variety). Aspirin has proven blood-thinning effects. And you can still enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverage!

  21. timbers

    Prigozhin melodrama

    I am more troubled by the military errors Putin has admitted to recently in plain sight. Recently Putin and Russian military leaders have practically told us they know the locations in Ukraine of US/NATO decision centers over and above the GRU that was recently attacked. The Duran talks openly that they could be targets if The West crosses some sort of non-existent Russian redline, yet Duran does not even ask the obvious: Why do these US/NATO decision centers exist now if Russia knows their location and is able to destroy them? Try as some may to attribute to Putin an Obama like 11th dimensional strategy, it is generally accepted barring some valid reason, destroying decision centers weakens the enemy. Keeping the Global South on Russia’s side? Doubt that taking out US/NATO decision centers in Ukraine matters much to them.

    Add to that the additional blunder of publicly revealing to the enemy that you know where their decision centers are – thus allowing them to move or duplicate others as backup.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Sure, Putin could have taken out all three decision centers but perhaps they have tapped into all the signal traffic coming in and out of them which is giving the Russians valuable intelligence. And you save taking them out for times when you can send a message. So, if a Ukrainian F-16 takes off from Romanian to bomb a target in Crimea, you take out another center to send a message to NATO.

    2. tevhatch

      Moving a center in an offense isn’t a distruption? Working with a Zircon dialed in isn’t a distraction? Meh, they are already doing such damage, sometimes you don’t want to stop NATO from sending in more meat to grind. Lots of reasons.

    3. Benny Profane

      Best answer I can think of, and also one the Duran duo came up with, is that they know their enemies, have them in their sites, have them figured out, and dont want or need the chaos of a whole new set of leaders. Zelensky is a clown, but, he’s their clown, so he lives to honk his horn another day, and keeps feeding his army and now western stockpiles of equipment into the grinder. Budanov was just downright evil, so, they took him out as a warning.

    4. Ignacio

      I wouldn’t jump to conclusions fast. It is, i believe, a recent development that Russia is attacking, besides ammunition deposits, brigade headquarters which are indeed decision centres. The Russians and Ukrainians/NATO are both learning by trial and error how to wage this war and tactics will change continuously. Probably, the importance of such attacks has been noticed when Ukrainians started their offensive. During this winter Ukraine/NATO were basically in defensive positions.

  22. DJG, Reality Czar

    Yesterday, Jeff W, Stephen V, and I agreed that galaktoboureko resolves the Great Baklava Debate.

    Here is a recipe similar to the one I used. My recipe, which is also called by the name used in Crete, bougatsa, is from Theresa Karas Yianilos, The Complete Greek Cookbook, 1970. Page 156.

    This is a good primer from Akis Petrezikis.

    You can use farina instead of semolina. I’d cut back on the quantity slightly.
    Use goat milk instead of the combination of milk and cream. In the U S of A, goat milk is sold in quarts—one quart is all you need.
    I wouldn’t add butter to the milk mixture. That’s gilding the lily. Save the butter for the filo leaves.

    My advice. Make the bougatsa Cretan-style, which means not to use the syrup. I find that the Greeks can have a heavy hand with sugar syrup (thinking back to the time that a slice of layer cake in Athens almost laid me out, and I am not diabetic). Petrezikis is wrong about the syrup being “more is better.” But if you like syrup, make fenikia cookies.

    Instead, follow the advice of Theresa Karas Yianilos: A bougatsa doesn’t have syrup. Taking it out of the oven, you sift a thick layer of confectioners sugar and cinnamon on the top.

    A fragrant addition to the bougatsa is vanilla, but even better, a teaspoon of orange-blossom water.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      And remember, peeps, if you eat galaktoboureko, you won’t end up like Hunter Biden, sending threatening messages about his Eternal Grudges to shake down Chinese party-oligarcho-crats.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I don’t know. I might have to overrule the galaktoboureko judgment and go with loukoumades instead. And while not as sweet as a lot of other Greek desserts, I’ve always been partial to the koulourakia, mainly because they remind me of my aunt.

      Your comment and the date on my screen reminded me that late June is the date of the Greek festival in a lot of cities, and it turns out our festival ends today, so I know where I’m going for dinner tonight!

      1. DJG, Reality Czar

        lyman alpha blob: This calls for a reference to Sophists at Dinner.

        All those recipes, hidden in philosophical works. Who’da thunkit?

        I may have to overrule your overruling with a reminder of those excellent Greek nut cookies, kourabiedes, in a mound of confectioners sugar.

        I like her recommendation to use some rosewater. Scroll down for the cookie fantasia photo.

        1. britzklieg

          You guys are talking my language now! Baklava, galaktoboureko, loukoumades and I’ll add, finikia, courabiethes and koulourakia… there’s even a song about the latter: “Koulourakia me to spiti, koulourakia!”

          re baklava/baklawa… my Papou was a Greek Turk, born and lived into his teens in Constantinople. He ended up in Detroit at the turn of the 20th century, as a short order cook but was a fantastic chef. He used both pistachio and walnuts, yum! He hated the bloody history and even lost family members to Turkish aggressions, but he never hated the Turkish people.

        2. Jeff W

          I’ll just say that, whatever the merits of these other Greek desserts, none has the delectable semolina custard—if you haven’t had it, you can’t imagine how good it is—that makes galaktoboureko the ultimate winner. The only real debate, if it is that, is whether the pan version cut into squares or the rolled version of individual pastries is preferable. Personally, I’d go with the latter. (Also, I’ve never had the Cretan-style, non-syrup bougatsa version but, not being big on syrup, I’d be amenable to that.)

    3. Wukchumni

      Baklava to the future!

      A gent with a Greek restaurant in Malibu bought a failed eatery in Tiny Town that he has been trying to turn into a similar place (I started spreading rumors of a pending Thai restaurant about a decade ago with absolutely no validity-if you build it up they’ll come!) and we’re on year 4 since he bought the place, and extensive remodeling is in full swing, but he’s looking at missing out on the tourist season now upon us, and speculation is that it might be open next year.

      A taste of the action in Malibu:

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Harry and Meghan Produce a Hollywood Flop: Themselves”

    They could always stage a temporary break-up in public. Their kids would make great props and both could independently sell their stories where they blame all their problems on the Royal family, the intense media scrutiny, car chases by the paparazzi (with flashbacks to Princes Di’s death) and the lack of privacy causing fights with each other. “Friends” could sell their stories about what they have seen and they might even televise their both meeting with a marriage counselor (no, not Oprah).

    1. Carolinian

      My library has three copies of Harry’s book Spare sitting on the new book shelf and two copies of the e-book version and they are never checked out including by me. I guess in the bigger picture if holy oil is not involved then the public isn’t interested. Otherwise the now faux royals are just a couple of spoiled rich people.

    2. petal

      Those of us on the boards have joked about that(a fake breakup) for a long time. Once in a while there are rumors that ripple through the press about them having marriage problems, and we figure it’s her putting it out there in order to simply keep her name in the press.

    3. griffen

      They have no ideas, so don’t go giving them fodder to work with. \sarc Their foiled designs now remind me of the scene from the Alien 3 film, wherein they are debating what to do now that the creature has offed the medical guy and the lead warden of the penal colony of murderers and rapists jailed on Fury 161. The next in line for commanding the incarcerated at the edge of the world has an infamously mocked “IQ”…Oh great now what’s 87 going to think up?

      Added thought…Older brother used to mock me at Scrabble, when I was slow rolling my lack of suitable words. “Hey 86, you gonna hurry it up on spelling CAT already”…

  24. DJG, Reality Czar

    This tweet from above is a reminder of the heart of the issue:
    what is happening right now regarding Wagner is a major embarrassment for Russia, but also a lesson for everyone else about what happens when you give too much power to a paramilitary group.

    Likewise, I am highly skeptical of any praise of serial human-rights abuser Ramzan Kadyrov and his supposedly invincible Chechens.

    For those of us of a certain age, the series I, Claudius gave us the young Patrick Stewart as Sejanus. And here we are again.

    A difference in the West is that Western mercenaries are thoroughly parasitic. They do not want to kill the host, which is the bloated U.S. military budget. For Western mercenaries, the secret is simmering conflicts and big markups on appropriated formerly military services like laundry and the mess hall. They are much happier to maintain a parasitic Taco Bell in Baghdad rather than have to engage in combat with gunz and ammo and flesh wounds and punctured lungs.

    The bigger question (and we won’t ever know the answer): Putin knows that these mercenaries are a danger. Why did he bear with them?

    1. Benny Profane

      Because he was trying to minimize the amount of “respectable” young Russian men coming home in coffins. Prisoners and mercenaries are expendable. Why do you think we haven’t had a draft since Vietnam? Our neocons learned a long time ago.

      1. digi_owl

        Also means far less anti-war protesting going on at universities, so no need to send in the national guard…

  25. Jason Boxman

    What you suspected is true. All about making the monies.

    The miracle of the vaccines wasn’t just about lives saved from Covid. As the first of their kind to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, they brought with them a very long list of potential future mRNA applications:

    A news article, not an editorial. Yet there the word miracle is. And the lie that it’s a vaccine.

    Ozempic and Wegovy have already changed the landscape for obesity in America — a breakthrough that has been described and debated so much in terms of cosmetic benefits and medical moral hazard that it can be easy to forget that obesity is among the largest risk factors for preventable death in the United States. Next-generation alternatives may prove even more effective, and there are signs of huge off-label implications: At least anecdotally, in some patients the drugs appear to curb compulsive behavior across a range of hard-to-treat addictions.

    But no help in preventing the endless march towards an increasingly obese nation, however life changing it might be for an individual.

    Suddenly, It Looks Like We’re in a Golden Age for Medicine

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      From the article:

      In the midst of the pandemic, a number of calls for greater acceleration have been issued, some emphasizing the need to reduce costs for drug development, which have doubled every decade since the 1970s, perhaps by redesigning clinical trials or employing what are called human-challenge trials, or by streamlining the drug-approval process….

      “Human challenge trials” involve the deliberate infection of healthy humans in a “controlled environment” in order to test an experimental drug without the “complicating factors” of “natural” infection.

      From the “summarizer” which appeared when I searched “human challenge trials” on Brave:

      Human challenge studies have a unique ability to investigate and understand the onset and development of disease in a controlled environment, allowing researchers to tease out complicated interactions and point out potential targets for prevention, vaccines, or treatment that cannot be seen in patients who are infected naturally.

      And from an “overview” of “human challenge trials” published by the WHO:

      Human challenge trials have been conducted over hundreds of years and have contributed vital scientific knowledge that has led to advances in the development of drugs and vaccines. Nevertheless, such research can appear to be in conflict with the guiding principle in medicine to do no harm. A number of well-documented historical examples of human exposure studies would be considered unethical by current standards. It is essential that challenge trials be conducted within an ethical framework in which truly informed consent is given. When conducted, human challenge trials should be undertaken with abundant forethought, caution and oversight. The value of the information to be gained should clearly justify the risks to human subjects. Although human challenge trials are not a required element of every vaccine development programme, there are many reasons why a developer may ask to conduct a “challenge-protection” study with humans, which might normally be conducted in animals. Human challenge trials may be safely and ethically performed in some cases, if properly designed and conducted. Considerable insight can then be gained into the mode of action and potential benefit of drugs and vaccines in humans.

      Plenty of voices that were quickly censored, vilified or otherwise canceled suggested that one of the goals of the covid chaos was to justify radical change to the drug “approval” process with its emphasis on lengthy, expensive animal testing, which often results in failure. I’d say they were on to something.

  26. Benny Profane

    Of course Biden wasn’t sitting next to Hunter when he wrote that thing. As soon as I read that, I could picture him typing on the laptop, high as a kite, naked, with two Ukranian prostitutes next to him, also naked, and probably really bored.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      Funny, I pictured something entirely different.

      grandpa joe sitting there in his aviators and leather flight jacket doodling “You don’t fuck with a biden” while he listened to hunter threaten whoever he was threatening on the speaker phone.

    2. flora

      At this point both the Dems and intel estabs have to replace B as the 2024 Dem candidate to stand a chance of winning on the Dem ticket, imo. And intel has to install a GOP blob candidate as an alternative to the Dems to protect themselves, imo. (ergo, attack T. He’s not part of the club.) “Whose zoomin’ whom” as they say. It will be interesting to see the moves used to accomplish this. / heh

    1. Benny Profane

      Yeah, when he was in Ukraine, I thought, wtf is he doing there? What sort of jurisdiction does he possibly have there, and doesn’t he have a pile of domestic cases on his desk? That trip was such a blatant political errand he was ordered to run to make a few headlines on CNN and NYT/WAPO, much more than the Hunter coverup.

  27. Jason Boxman

    From McCarthy seeks to mollify conservatives ahead of federal spending fight

    Eleven members of the House Freedom Caucus and their allies sunk a procedural rule in protest of the proposed cuts in the debt ceiling compromise not being steep enough, shutting down legislative action on the House floor for a week. Moderate Republicans lashed out, with one even proposing working with Democrats to get back control of the floor.

    Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) forced a vote on a resolution to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calf.), which failed last week but then succeeded this week after adjustments in language. And Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) forced action on her resolution to impeach Biden over his handling of the U.S.-Mexico border, angering colleagues and surprising leaders — who then punted on her impeachment articles by working out a vote to send them back to committee.

    LOL. Remember when the House was in razor tight control by liberal Democrats, and The Squad ™ could have engaged in similar shenanigans, and of course folded instead.


    They’ve got theatrics down, that’s for certain. Meanwhile, conservatives exercise political power. It’s almost as if they believe in something, however odious, and pursue it doggedly. But watch out, liberal Democrats are going to fight for woman’s rights again!

    For real!

  28. Daryl

    > See how the press corps is not taking no for an answer:

    If this group of bootlickers is on Biden’s case, what do you think the plan is? Time for Harris to announce a presidential run and Biden to retire and “spend time with his family”?

    1. The Rev Kev

      It has been noted that no matter the height difference of a couple, that in the end they are the same height – when laying down. :)

      1. flora

        Nancy Walker, 4’11”, makes true the saying “it isn’t the height, it’s the personality.” / ;)

  29. tegnost

    The SVB clients who recovered their deposits thanks to a “systemic risk exception” declared by the FDIC included Sequoia Capital, the world’s most prominent venture capital firm, with $1 billion stored with the failed bank, and Beijing-based tech firm Kanzhun Ltd, which got its $902.9 million in deposits back. Life sciences startup Altos Labs’ $680.3 million were safe, as were payments startup Marqeta Inc.’s $634.5 million.

    Quite the short list of despicables there.
    A payment startup with 634 million in unprotected funds? Better look for another processor folks cause that sounds like gross mismanagement.
    the term startups should be replaced by laundromat…

    Rejuvenate Bio isn’t the only biotech company trying to find a cure for death. Bezos made a $3 billion investment in biotech startup Altos Labs a year ago, according to Popular Mechanics. Like Rejuvenate Bio, Altos is working to use cellular rejuvenation to reverse disease and, ultimately, aging.

    Do the math.
    They didn’t bailout altos labs, they bailed out bezos…now lets go look and see who is funding Marqeta …
    from 2020, so basically ancient history…

    Backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N and Visa Inc V.N, Marqeta has developed a platform that it says makes payment card issuing and processing simpler and more efficient for businesses.

    Marqeta’s clients include many well-known technology startups such as payments company Square Inc SQ.N, ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc UBER.N, shopping app Instacart and lending startup Affirm.

    They deserved to take the losses.
    It’s just business.

  30. chris

    Sharing this update from the 2023 National ASHRAE meeting in Tampa because top of mind for a lot of people here are lessons learned from the pandemic response. Many standards are being revised and updated this year. Many technical research projects have been commissioned to support future work or help identify unknowns. Some design guidance for building systems is being changed here. The infectious disease mitigation guidelines are expected to be debuted. Further changes are expected to become official in 2025. I’m optimistic ASHRAE, ASME, AHRI, and other professional organizations that write standards and codes for the US and the world are really trying to make things better. That’s certainly what I’m hearing in tech sessions and talking to committee officers.

    But what I thought would be interesting to the NC crowd was a summary of ventilation design concepts, and why we’re actively questioning so many of them right now. The foundations of ASHRAE 62.1, Indoor Air Quality standard (IAQ), come from research and understanding preceding 1980. As one example, the level of ambient CO2 assumed in the older standards addressing IAQ is different than what we’d use today, because we’ve done so much to reduce emissions. Time was, you’d assume something like 700 ppm was the ambient CO2 level – add that to the assumed personal contribution and you’d get the classic value of 1000 ppm that was used for design. Now 400 ppm is a better number for ambient levels. Similarly, the fundamental design concept for indoor air quality and ventilation was that mixing all the air inside a volume was best. It made for easy analysis. If you have that as your goal, it’s easy to balance everyone’s comfort. It’s simple to place sensors and thermostats because the temperature reading on the wall isn’t going to be that different from the temperature reading at the ceiling. Life is easier that way for designers and builders.

    So what is getting pushed here at the conference in the tech sessions for members who design our built environment is that ventilation != temperature != energy.

    In fact, we’re seeing guidance and evidence from testing and real world case studies that reducing air changes per hour can be better in certain circumstances for occupant health. The focus here is on personal ventilation not as much building ventilation. But, since a lot of our buildings were constructed prior to 2010, and the design philosophy for most up to 2016 was still mixed air is best, the switch to designing for personal ventilation is going to take some time. But what we’re seeing here this week are experiments, models, guidance, standards, and experts showing us how to make it possible so that we don’t breathe each other’s air when we’re inside. Some presentations have shared how people messed up the airflow inside their spaces by installing HEPA filters in the wrong spots. Some presentations are sharing how lower air changes per hour, but with a direct vent present, can drastically reduce contaminant dosage in a room like a lab, or a hospital. Some presentations are showing what happens when you change the location of air supply and returns in a building.

    There is resistance to some of these changes from others. For example, if your building is LEED certified, you may not be able to take advantage of these design concepts. Things like needing to change where sensors are mounted, because the best location for sampling mixed air could be at the ceiling level rather than at the wall, can be a problem with maintaining LEED. Similarly, if your office building doesn’t have high ceilings, then maybe changing the ventilation so that you have a stratified layer of grimy air above the breathable zone isn’t something you can do. And if your local code enforcement officials don’t agree with those designs, or feel they don’t meet whatever local codes are, then it doesn’t matter what basis you have to change things for the better, you won’t be approved to build it. It’s also not intuitive to design for better ventilation when you have to balance energy conservation concerns. It requires a lot of extra work in some cases.

    But change is coming. So are the tools to make the right design changes. I’ll try to share more when I have time.

  31. maipenrai

    of course the percentage of reinfections is rising! The number of first time infections is falling…CDC is hopeless

  32. Jason Boxman

    So no one is a bigger believer in how overblown large language models are, but this is kind of crazy:

    SudoLang is a programming language designed to collaborate with AI language models including ChatGPT, Bing Chat, Anthropic Claude, and Google Bard. It is designed to be easy to learn and use. It is also very expressive and powerful.

    All sufficiently advanced language models understand it without any special prompting. You do not need to paste the SudoLang specification before using SudoLang with your favorite AI.

    I’m running the example text adventure game in ChatGPT 4, and it’s kind of awesome, I’m not gonna lie. It’s following the world model described with SudoLang, and it’ll derive stuff based on the model.

    Me: I’d like to take an unobvious exit.

    Clever choice, Cass. Beyond the obvious, you see a narrow alley veering off from the main boulevard. You decide to venture down it.

    Me: Investigate the figure in the shadows, using the robo cat.

    As you gaze towards the shadowy figure, you gently nudge the RoboCat with your boot, its sensors flickering to life. It looks up at you with glowing eyes, awaiting your command.

    Of course this is silly, but it’s apparently relatively useful for deriving programming code as well. But imagine the horrors if that code isn’t strenuously validated before entering production, which it won’t be; I still remember a decade ago when an expensive cancer radiation treatment device would reset itself before treatment, and it poisoned people with excessive radiation during treatment. Needless to say, none of the software engineers or the company were held criminally liable.

    OpenAI has a combination of all the stupidity and genius of the whole Internet. Fun times.

    1. digi_owl

      Oh what horrors have we wrought.

      And the incident you refer to will likely be this:

      Note how older models, running the same software, had an additional lock in hardware that stopped the missconfiguration from happening. But that it was removed in the -25, perhaps to reduce cost.

      Looking back at it, i find myself thinking of the more recent 737-MAX crashes.

      In both cases you get a new product that are supposedly a drop in replacement for the old, but that has internal changes that alter their behavior.

  33. NorD94

    CDC tracking new COVID variant EU.1.1

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now separately tracking several new COVID-19 variants, the agency announced Friday, adding more Omicron descendants to an increasingly complex list of new strains that are competing nationwide.

    Among the new variants now being tracked by the CDC is EU.1.1, a strain first designated by scientists earlier this year over its rapid ascent in some European countries.

    The CDC estimates that EU.1.1 is now 1.7% of U.S. cases nationwide, but may have already reached as much as 8.7% of cases in the region spanning Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.

    1. Jason Boxman

      “COVID-19 Variant Dashboard – USA”, which I can’t link to because those comments always get eaten, has been tracking a bunch of these weird variants for a few months now:

      EG5.1, FU.1, EG.1, Fl.4, FY3.1. These are all off of either XBB1.9.* or XBB1.6.*, but I’m not sure what is what. It’s a shame they’re so far removed that they’re getting different letters. As of today, XBB1.5 shows only 13.30%. It’s been falling steadily for a month now. In its place are many, many variants. XBB1.16.* proper is about 17%, not counting the own-letter versions that branch from it.

      The graphic presented a few months ago had XBB1.5 bubbles everywhere. Now it is a cornucopia of variants. What a mess.

      Taken with the news fresh from Japan that reinfections now happen in <4 months and it's gonna be a fun rest of our lives.

    1. digi_owl

      Good grief, glad i pretty much gave up the game years ago.

      On a different note, i happened to look at a “free to play” computer games recently. And the though struck me that it was basically a cartoon and collectible action figures rolled into one.

    2. Jason Boxman

      More crapification, about 4 years ago now I’ve recently learned the Civilization 5 startup screen changed to adware advertising Civ 6, because it’s garbage and people kept playing Civ 5 instead. Apparently it was incompetently written, was the first game “update” in 5 years, and caused crashes and generally made life miserable for anyone that kept playing the superior Civ 5.

      Fun times.

      Also, there was a PC version of Risk from Hasbro back in like 2000. Fun fact.

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