Links 7/1/2023

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Our simple, magic-free recipe for quantum entanglement aeon (Anthony L)

Bach Was No Liberal Humanist Compact (Anthony L)

The Man Who Broke Bowling GQ

Free Tour de France live stream: how to watch each stage from anywhere Business Insider


Top NIH Official Advised Covid Scientists That He Uses Personal Email To Evade FOIA Intercept


The Dubious Economics of Deep-Sea Mining Nautilus (Micael T)

Iron Fuel Shows Its Mettle SpectrumIEEE (Chuck L)

Facility for releasing treated water into sea from Fukushima Daiichi unveiled Thai PBS (furzy)

Peru: Cordillera Blanca’s melting glaciers threaten towns in valley France24 (furzy)

Baseball-Sized Hail Smashing Into Panels At 150 MPH Destroys Scottsbluff Solar Farm Cowboy State Daily


Old Blighty

Rishi Sunak admits oil-funded think tank helped write anti-protest laws openDemocracy

La belle France

New Not-So-Cold War

The Darkness Ahead: Where The Ukraine War Is Headed John Mearsheimer (Li)

CIA director, on secret trip to Ukraine, hears plan for war’s endgame Washington Post. More West talking to itself. Where does the ammo and air support come from, for starters? Although Dima does report an increase in Ukraine ferocity in some key areas, so perhaps the second wave of the counteroffensive, which was supposed to pack the bigger punch, has started?

This is surprising because Scheer provided the foreword to the Oliver Stone book of the transcript of his Putin interviews (which had extensive fact-checking footnotes o Putin’s remarks):

Group Accuses Ukraine of Using Prohibited Land Mines New York Times (furzy)

Ukraine’s Zaluzhny Is Back And Asking For More Weapons Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

THIS Is How NATO’s War On Russia Has FAILED w/ Scott Ritter YouTube. Worth the listen even though long. Revealing opening section on Iraq.

Patrick Lawrence: Russian (Melo)drama Scheerpost (Anthony L)

Further thoughts on the lessons of the Prigozhin armed rebellion Gilbert Doctorow

A new road for Russia? Financial Times. Lambert: “These people are wrong about everything, always.”


US-Iran talks over a mini nuclear deal are motivated by mutual convenience SCMP

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

The US Is Spying on the UN Secretary General Bruce Schneier

Colorado, Connecticut Data Privacy Laws Go Into Effect July 1 Axios

FBI Forms National Database To Track and Prevent ‘Swatting’ NBC

Imperial Collapse Watch

State Department lacked clear leadership in chaos of Afghanistan withdrawal, review finds The Hill

Talking Logistics… Andrei Martyanov


The Beltway Goats: Why Hunter is Right “The Bidens are the Best” When It Comes to Influence Peddling Jonathan Turley (Chuck L)

GOP Clown Car

DeSantis agency sent $92 million in covid relief funds to donor project Washington Post (furzy)


Analysis suggests 2021 Texas abortion ban resulted in nearly 9,800 more live births in year after law went into effect MedicalXPress (Chuck L)


I Teach at an Elite College. Here’s a Look Inside the Racial Gaming of Admissions. New York Times (Dr. Kevin)

Where Affirmative Action Succeeded—and Where It Fell Short Wall Street Journal

US Supreme Court’s radical conservative agenda, explained Bloomberg (furzy)

US Supreme Court rules website designer can refuse to serve same-sex couples BBC

Flaunting the Supreme Court Ruling, Biden Sets Student Debt Repayment to Zero for Many Michael Shedlock. You may not like Shedlock’s unhappiness, but the Biden approach sure looks like a gimmick that will not survive legal challenge.

Police State Watch

Our No Longer Free Press

30 Signs You Are Living in an Information Crap-pocalypse Honest Broker (Chuck L)

Ministry announces expulsion of Facebook representatives from Cambodia & cessation of all company activities with Royal Government Kymer Times (furzy)

Calls Grow for a New Investigation Into the Mysterious Death of NYC Anti-Corruption Crusader Scheerpost. Deontos remembers NC June 23, 2011: Sunny Sheu: Murdered for Investigating NY Foreclosure Judge Joseph Golia?

McKenna gets the last word on Adani’s many auditors Francine McKenna

Stock Market Rally That Shocked Everyone Is Broadening Beyond Tech Bloomberg

The Public Cost of Private Science Nautilus (Micael T)


AI-Generated Books of Nonsense Are All Over Amazon’s Bestseller Lists Vice (resilc)

European Companies Claim the EU’s AI Act Could ‘Jeopardise Technological Sovereignty’ The Verge

Lawsuit Says OpenAI Violated US Authors’ Copyrights To Train AI Chatbot Reuters

Would You Leave Grandma With a Companion Robot? OPB

Class Warfare

Economic inequality cannot be explained by individual bad choices, study finds PhysOrg (Chuck L)

An Airbnb collapse won’t fix America’s housing shortage Vox (Kevin W)

Homelessness grows 10% in the city of Los Angeles Los Angeles Times (furzy)

Remote Work Is Making Americans Less Productive, Official Data Shows Barrons. The bogus assumption is that all that time in meetings is productive.

How Reddit crushed the biggest protest in its history The Verge (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour (Alison L):

And a bonus of sorts (Chuck L):

And a second bonus (martha r):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. The Rev Kev

    “US-Iran talks over a mini nuclear deal are motivated by mutual convenience”

    I would imagine that Washington recognizes that it is not in a position to threaten Iran, not only because of the present war against Russia but the beckoning fight against China as well. Acknowledging the fact that there are no longer the arms and ammo to start a war with Iran, the will be content to make demonstrations with US Navy ships or F-22 flybys. There is no choice. So maybe the thought is that when Russia and China are done, then they can turn their attention to what will then be an isolated Iran. In the meantime, have the Iranians limit their enrichment and in return, they will chuck them a bone with sanctions relief and returning some of their stolen billions to them. Only thing is that if the US ever gets to turn their attention back to Iran, it will be a totally different situation. By then, Iran will be far along the path of integration with its partners in the east, there will have been a lot of trade and exchange with countries like Saudi Arabia, the Iranian military will be much better equipped and they will have integrated the Russian Su-35 fighters along with other equipment that the Russians and Chinese will sell them. So, whether they recognize it or not, the days of using Iran as a sort of punching bag to justify US presence in this region are probably gone. Didn’t see that one coming.

    1. Michaelmas

      Rev Kev: the days of using Iran as a sort of punching bag to justify US presence in this region are probably gone.

      For the last 10-15 years Iran has had effective escalation dominance over the region — including Israel — through an overbearing advantage in conventional missiles over everybody else there.

      So those days were long gone already, though Washington didn’t choose to recognize that fact.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Agreed. Though that leaves Israel sitting like a shag on a rock. For at least thirty years or more, they have been shouting that Iran is about to get nukes. Remember Netanyahu and that embarrassing cartoon of a bomb at the UN? They can’t fight Israel by themselves and so have been trying to goose the US into doing it for them. And if it ever happened, they would have not have even taken part as that would have looked bad in this part of the world. If we are not careful, we may have a chance of an outbreak of peace in the Middle East. I could live with that.

        1. Lex

          I read the US returning to negotiations as a last ditch effort to forestall Israel attempting to “solve” the issue itself. Because that would require direct US support of Israel and there isn’t enough gas in the tank for Israeli and Ukrainian support.

          The first great foreign policy blunder of Biden was not immediately returning to the Iran deal. It was a clear cut case of the US being in the wrong and it was easy to remedy. Instead he thought it was a good opportunity to try and bully Iran. Now he has to go crawling back and the whole context has changed with Iran being openly backed by China and Russia.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Agreed. Also, the first great domestic policy blunder of Biden would be him cheating Americans of their owed $600 in the middle of a Pandemic. And I think that he did that in Week One.

    2. ISL

      Agree with your comment, except for “..they will chuck them a bone with sanctions relief and returning some of their stolen billions to them.”

      Not in a US election year (except maybe in a parallel universe).

      1. The Rev Kev

        They are doing it through the back door by having South Korea return the $7billion stolen from Iran acting on US sanction laws. That $7 billion was supposed to pay for oil that Japan imported from Iran until they reneged on payment. Point is, the Biden admin can claim that it had nothing to do with them but was an internal matter for South Korea-

        1. ISL

          underlying articles (not cited in this British “unbiased Iran news according to their about page) are from early 2022. Hard to get excited about given US duplicity in negotiations and perfidious Albion info wars.

          Any actual easing of sanctions would be meat to Republicans.”

          As far as returning $$, the US could do that through the CIA and it would never be in the papers. No reason to involve Korea and Reuters.

      2. Geo

        Can’t imagine a reason why Iran would even waste their time talking about a deal with the US ever, but especially during an election year. If Biden loses the election that deal will be torn up in a year’s time.

        I have more faith making a peace deal with the guy who hangs out on my patio to smoke his crack pipe than I would the US foreign policy establishment.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Indeed. There’s a valuable lesson there for those hu-mons who feel that “we can’t just stand around and do nothing” over any minor discomfort that arises, much less the big ones.

  2. Michaelmas

    Re: “These people are wrong about everything, always.”

    Hilariously, the NYT did its own smear-attack on RFK jr. yesterday with a Michelle Goldberg op-ed, ‘Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and the Coalition of the Distrustful,’ that deployed this line to describe and dismiss Kennedy’s followers: –

    “The people I encountered believe that they are living under a deeply sinister regime that lies to them about almost everything that matters.”

    Wow. And why would those people believe that? Goldberg/NYT then comes up with a bunch of mostly cockamamie straw men to deflect from that question.

    1. flora

      Krystal on Breaking Points popped up a poll showing Kennedy losing popularity (down 10 pts!) and B gaining popularity. She then down talked his campaign. The Breaking Points viewer comments were brutal. (Yes, I know she want Williams to win. EVERYONE knows she wants Williams to win. ) I can’t listen to her anymore. It’s getting a little too MSNBC.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If Krystal ball is going to tie her boat to Biden, then good luck with that one. Maybe Kyle Kulinski has been a bad influence on her. When you said Williams, did you mean Marianne Williamson? And did you know that their wedding was officiated by Marianne Williamson herself?

      2. Michaelmas

        I don’t much like RFK myself, actually.

        I simply find MSM and PMC efforts to create their own ‘reality’– by first believing in their made-up ‘reality’ themselves and therefore necessarily denying actual reality (which in this case is that they are distrusted and hated by the majority of the US population) — striking.

        1. jackiebass63

          I watched a speech of his for about 10 minuets. That is as long as I could stand watching him.I consider myself pretty liberal. He to me seems to be very extreme.If the press didn’t give him so much coverage he would disappear from the limelight.He in my opinion doesn’t have much constructive to offer.

          1. Bsn

            What subject is he “extreme” on? He wants us out of Ukraine and wants to dramatically cut the military budget. Is that extreme? Would you rather that we be less extreme and continue to spend more than half of our money on this war (while preparing for the next one against China). Should we be less extreme and continue to let our healthcare crapify? Would you vote for 4 more years of Biden because he’s not extreme? I propose we need someone who is extreme.

            1. jefemt

              Well said. The long knives will continue to stab and the Official Narrative(tm) bludgeon until Biden is rolled out in a chair to ‘run’.

              Leading candidates of both parties –a doddering bought professional legislator/politico, and a grifting mendacius self-serving narcissist psychopath embroiled in multiple serious lawsuits while seeking office

              Really easy to not vote in 2024. We are bereft.

            2. Not Again

              RFK is a tool – the same way Gene McCarthy was a tool in 1968 – to get that senile warmonger out of the White House. I don’t agree with much of what he says but he’s still better than Biden.

              1. JBird4049

                Yes to this. While I have had problems with every democratic candidate of the past few election cycles, people like Biden and Clinton are, if not evil, bought tools of the establishment against the 95% of Americans. Then there is the rest of the world that they oppress.

                Sanders, JFK, Williamson, and West were and are much better people and especially as statesman than any other remotely plausible candidate. If it came down to Biden or Gavin Newsom, I would even vote for Trump as the lesser evil.

                The goal should be first preventing another election of a known, and therefore already corrupt, establishment tool, and secondly, it should be the breaking of the power of the current political establishment; demanding perfection just guarantees the continuation of the present, which is merely a slow dying of us all.

              2. ArvidMartensen

                Will RFK just be another Sanders, herding up all those Dems who are rebelling against the Dem narratives?
                And will there be a re-run of the “glitches” in the Primaries where RFK is leading at the start, then there is a “glitch”, and then he loses?
                And will there be carpet bombing by the msm pundits explaining why the loss had nothing to do with the “glitch”?
                And will RFK tell all his followers to vote for the Dem anointed choice, because there has been some deal, or maybe a threat made against his nearest?
                My money says this is exactly what is going to happen. The Dem candidate will be whoever the Dem donors have decided on, probably already. It won’t be Biden. It won’t be RFK. Not Harris.
                Perhaps another “cleanskin” like Obama, with all the right identity tags, a hunger for prestige and money, and with hidden allegiances to the donors?

                1. JBird4049

                  There is always a chance that RFK will be yet another neoliberal establishment tool, but we know that Biden, Newsom, and DeSantis will be. I refuse to keep voting for the lesser of two evils.

                  To be honest, I am just hoping to keep the Second Civil War kicking off before I finally get that bachelor’s degree, but if we keep voting for that lesser evil, which is what our beloved ruling elites want, maybe we can avoid the probable, as I see coming, bloodshed.

                  Yes, I do foresee the current regime’s minions will assassinate, bomb, burn, and terrorize even if they do decisively lose a national and most local elections based on the plans for Operation Gladio in Cold War Europe. It would likely still be less violent than an open war. Even the American Revolution and Civil War were really nasty affairs despite the relative lack of massacres immediately after the end of open fighting.

                2. Acacia

                  My money says this is exactly what is going to happen. The Dem candidate will be whoever the Dem donors have decided on, probably already.

                  Yep. This.

        2. flora

          re: “first believing in their made-up ‘reality’ themselves and therefore necessarily denying actual reality ”

          We’re winning in Ukr! The MSM tells me so. / ;)

      3. Benny Profane

        Hers and Greenwald’s are the most irritating voices on the internet. Just the sound of the voice.

        1. Bsn

          I would suggest turning down the volume and “read” what they both have to say. Conflating Greenwald and Ball seems odd, they are polar opposites. Ignore the voice and listen to the message. Does Biden have a nice voice?

          1. Benny Profane

            Well, Biden barely speaks, and it’s fun just listening to him slur at times.
            I like Greenwald, but he’s awfully hard to listen to, especially when he gets loud and angry. I wish he would stick to writing, but, I guess there’s no money in that.
            Her “Hey Guys!” Is just piercing. I know it’s superficial and petty, but, of you’re going to talk in the media a lot, hire a voice coach. I’m convinced that was Hillary’s problem. Gawd, I would run for the remote when she started shouting.

      4. elissa3

        Back in the day, during the very short period in 2000 when it looked like Bernie might actually have a chance at being the Dem nominee, Krystal described Biden something like ‘a rotting husk of a man’ (not sure of the precise quote). I figured then that she would not be granted any favors by a Biden administration.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Re Alison L’s cats in today’s Antidote du jour, you just know that there is a story there waiting to be told.

  4. Wæsfjord

    A new road for Russia? Financial Times.

    We have a major problem in academia in the West. It is full of BS liars that will write anything to ingratiate themselves with the establishment. Sir Beevor (ex British military, ), Service (Hoover Institute), Synder (Yale) etc are no longer historians, if they ever were. I now wonder how accurate their history books are? It is all so incestuous, rotten, corrupt. These educated idiots keep getting rewarded for being wrong. They just happen to be wrong for the right masters.

    Here in Austria, I found a book called “Kleine Geschichte Der Ukraine”. It is the biggest selling history book on Ukraine in the German language and it is pure propaganda. The Austrian author is a member of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Anne Applebaum wrote the poisonous Britannica article on the “Holodomor” which was NOT a genocide. This hoax has become a touchstone of Ukrainian nationalism that breeds hate and resentment. The Ukrainians actually destroyed their own harvests and farms which combined with a natural crop failure was devastating. Stalin realised his agricultural program was a failure and changed it the following year.

    Will someone write a book about the role of bad history in the self-destruction of Ukraine when this is all over? I take comfort in the fact that these incompetents in academia mirror the clowns in politics and media (although it is really the one complex) and can rejoice as they unwittingly help bring down the West from within.

    1. Lex

      It’s always worth pointing out that the people most upset about the famine in Ukraine were not Soviet subjects when it happened. And the victims were primarily in the southeast of modern Ukraine (and secondly from the central regions). Meaning they were the same ethnic Russians that Ukrainians seem to think need to be cleansed from the land.

      These propaganda historians don’t even bother with internally consistent narratives. It’s a reasonable strategy when the majority of their readers use these “histories” as their only source of information on the subjects.

      1. jrkrideau

        IIRC the famine was even worse in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. So much for genocide against Ukrainians.

  5. Alice X

    >The Darkness Ahead: Where The Ukraine War Is Headed
    John J. Mearsheimer

    Greenwald held an interview with Mearsheimer on System Update last night, 6/30/23. I won’t link it. His main points should be well understood here about.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I can only see the Ukraine as being left as a rump State with no access to the sea, minimal industry & energy generation and a much reduced population that will be a demographic catastrophe. Last year Zelensky was saying how the Ukraine will be the Israel of the region by which he probably meant having a massive military and endless billion flowing to them from Washington and Brussels. But the way that they are going, they may end up being the West Bank of this region.

      1. Alice X

        Yup. Meanwhile, to use Mearsheimer’s term, the Ukrainian working class gets clobbered. Sending those people to do the dying for a hopeless cause is unconscionable, but that is a time honored practice of the ruling class, that’s what they do.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I guess since Navalny is on ice for quite a stretch, maybe the New York Times got their hopes up with Prigozhin. I’m sure that they figured that he would be a guy who Washington could ‘do business’ with. Can’t really blame them here. Hey, any port in a s*** storm, right?

          2. pjay

            I’ve already recommended today’s article by Patrick Lawrence in a comment below. But his scathing commentary on US media coverage, including the Times’ Moscow Bureau Chief Anton Troianovski, is very relevant here.

    2. jrkrideau

      I find it interesting that Gilbert Doctorow suggests some caution in reading Dr Mearsheimer’s opinions on Russia.

      Mearsheimer is also on thin ice when he talks about Russia. When Cohen and I were in close correspondence, he told me that he was feeding lines to Mearsheimer, whose knowledge of Russia was minimal.
      Regular Russian Army

      I’d still take Mearsheimer over 99.9% of the MSM.

      He seems to have much more confidence in Mearsheimer’s Chinese analyses when he points out that Mearsheimer has quite a bit of personal experience.

      1. pjay

        It’s all relative. Because of his career and reputation it’s hard for mainstream pundits to completely dismiss him. Though marginalized, he is still recognized as a “legitimate” voice on this subject by a few in the mainstream. So in that context, this is a good article that *might* wake a few people up. Beggars can’t be choosers.

        Doctorow’s digs regarding expertise may be relevant, or they may not. Anne Applebaum is supposedly an “expert” in this area. Do I believe her or Mearsheimer on the Ukraine situation? Ironically, just a few days ago Doctorow talked about a debate in which Applebaum mopped the floor with Cohen. A warning worth repeating:

        “I am obliged to add a word about Applebaum that would not necessarily be obvious to readers of Blumenthal’s critique of her essay and television appearances. Namely, her diligence in pursuit of her propagandistic Neocon objectives should not be underestimated, nor should her intellectual gifts. I recall with some regret the public televised debate about Putin’s Russia that Applebaum had with Steve Cohen at a Canadian university. This took place about three years ago, when I was in regular correspondence with Cohen and took the time to watch his debate. It was a debacle. Applebaum came very well prepared to argue her case. Cohen quite obviously had done nothing to prepare, had not trained with sparring partners. He relied instead on spontaneity, on his superior intellect and broad knowledge. In the ensuing exchange on stage, Applebaum wiped the floor with Cohen, whose thinking and argumentation were outdated. The moral of the story is: never to be dismissive of an enemy.”

  6. Steve H.

    Bertrand tweet: f’in Twits. Take a good thing and f it up. I’m talkin Twitter.

    I read John Stauber for my morning Two-Minute Hate (Soros livin rent-free in his head, but a lot of good stuff, and he saved me fines with an Obamacare workaround; wrote “Toxic Sludge is Good For You”). He complains about shadowbanning, but banned me for no reason at all (I don’t comment or nuthin). Maybe he didn’t and bad algos did, but I could still read as long as I didn’t log in.

    Now, not so much. Phht.

    1. griffen

      I enjoyed his role in Argo, in particular, and that classic response, after the “fake script” reading; what’s the movie about! Argo, go “pleasure” yourself.

      Also his portrayal among a few struggling salesman in Glengarry Glen Ross. ABC.

      1. bassmule

        He appeared on the Chicago Hope TV show as Adam Arkin’s father. “I’m having such a good time I think I’m going to throw up” made me laugh out loud. Still does.

      2. Pat

        Considering the return of national stupidity, this comedy might have a few moments left in it.
        “we are Norwegian”
        It was his first Oscar nomination. That he finally got an Oscar for a comedy struck me as very appropriate.

        If you want to talk dramas don’t forget Wait Until Dark.

      1. .human

        LOL! One of my favorite movies. It gave me a reason to visit Gloucester, MA one year.

        I watched a light-hearted comedy he did with Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman, “Going Out In Style”, just the other night. Cute, poignant, apropos. Ann-Margret and Christopher Lloyd made it positively nostalgic.

        RIP Mr Arkin.

    2. Bugs

      Arkin was the perfect Yossarian in Mike Nichols’ movie of Catch-22. I first saw it on late night TV as a kid and it sort of changed my life. A great anti-war movie and razor sharp satire of American machismo and hubris. Arkin was able to nail the pathos, confusion and fear of the character. RIP.

    3. LilD

      Joshua Then and Now
      Telling bible stories to the grandkids
      “ then god says, listen here you little sh*ts,…”

  7. Aurelien

    The Bertrand tweet about France completely misrepresents what the police unions’ communiqué says and what the situation is. There is no mention of “civil war”, and indeed there are no “sides” in this conflict, nor is there any “radicalisation.” I can’t click through to the proposed English translation – I keep getting error messages – but the guts of it is a not very veiled threat that after this crisis is over, the police will expect the government to act on things like changes in the law, resources for the police, legal protection of police officers etc. or There Will Be Consequences. The text is in that kind of bureaucratic legal French which is hard to translate and often doesn’t seem to mean very much, but it’s a clear threat from the police that they don’t want to be used in this way, and expect the government to do something to help them. As I mentioned yesterday, morale is low and people are leaving and not joining, and large numbers of police have been injured in the last few days: 250 casualties were reported on Thursday night. On the UNSA site, is a copy of the communiqué, but also an “idiot’s guide” to it, which makes it clear that the use of the word “war” refers to the conditions under which the police are trying to operate at the moment, which they say resemble those of urban warfare, rather than urban violence. They note that when Macron repeatedly said “we are at war” during the Covid emergency, nobody objected. The “resistance” amounts to activities of trades unions which they will turn to if the government does not take action. Quite what this would be is unclear – they have no right to strike – but it will certainly involve legal challenges to the government and possibly, for example, organised sick-leave or something similar. Essentially, the police are fed up with having to mop up the detritus of Macron’s policies, and are saying they can’t be taken for granted.

    There’s a massive and tedious background to this which I won’t bore you with, and frankly taxes anyone’s patience to try to follow, but it’s just worth a couple of words of context. The Notional Left in France is making a shambles of finding the right reaction to the crisis. A number of its luminaries rejected calls for “calm” and said that the pursuit of “justice” was more important, thus appearing to support the rioters. Jean-Luc “Where is my mouth so I can put my foot in it?” Mélenchon, leader of LFI and of a sort of coalition of Leftist parties, talked about a “convergence of struggles” between the Left and the rioters, leading some to think he was himself off to burn down a school. He hurriedly clarified that he wasn’t himself in favour of burning down schools, and asked the rioters please not to. It’s this kind of politicking, and the accusation that everything is the fault of the police, that the communiqué was objecting to. Whatever you think of the circumstances of the poor kid’s death, it’s simply bad politics to allow people to say that you are taking the part of the rioters: after all, even in the areas where there is rioting, most people are not young, many of the young are not rioting, and indeed a large portion of the population is neither immigrant nor Muslim. Allowing the local grocer whose shop was burnt down to think that you side with the perpetrators is stupid, but is consistent with the Left’s gradual loss of power in these areas, to parties of the Right and even extreme Right. Marine Le Pen, who has maintained a dignified calm throughout, is the real beneficiary, as the Left (with the exception, as usual, of the Communists) cuts its own throat again.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for your explanation of the position of the French police but there is one thing that mystifies me. You would think that if there was one group of people that Macron would want to keep on side, it would be the police services. Yes, he keeps his rich donors onside but they are not the ones to go out to the streets to protect his regime. Thing is, the complaints of the police here sound very much like that which they had during the Yellow Vest movement a coupla years ago. So was nothing done for them to keep them onside? They may not be allowed to strike but they can work to rule or maybe enforce laws that inconvenience rich people on a daily basis.

      1. vao

        A few points should be kept in mind:

        1) The referenced document was published by a group of police trade unions. These are notoriously corporatist and traditionally voice their demands forcefully.

        2) Macron does not have a real basis: his party (called “Renaissance”, previously “En marche”, previously “La République en marche”) is an electoral machine to support his nomination, consists largely of newbies and opportunists without real popular backing, has taken a beating in the last elections, and will probably not survive his departure from the presidency.

        3) Ever since he became president, Macron has been battered by one popular wave of protest after another: students (against a reform of higher education), trade unions (against a reform of labour laws), gilets jaunes (against economic policy), green activists (against an airport in Notre Dame des Landes, against large-scale basins), trade unions again (against a reform of pensions), and now the banlieues.

        In each case, his modus operandi was the same: standing firm, no negotiation, dispatching the security forces — even if, in a couple of cases (gilets jaunes, airport des Landes) he had to back off from his intransigent position somewhat. The police trade unions can well protest against the violence they encounter in the banlieues — their brutality against students, gilets jaunes, and green activists has been unprecedented (we are talking about numerous people ending in the hospital, losing a hand or an eye, fatalities even, and deliberate humiliation of arrested people). Likewise, the harsh behaviour of police forces when enforcing confinement, vaccine passes and restrictions of mobility during the first year of the covid-19 pandemia was notable.

        4) Members of the police have no confidence in the declarations on security and the rule of law by the politicians in charge — and they are right: for all his tough talk about “cleaning up the banlieues with a Kärcher” and bringing back law and order, Sarkozy presided over a marked reduction in the total French police forces. They only started to increase with Hollande, and have done so too — albeit not as fast — with Macron (and even then: they diminished in 2019-2020 before increasing again).

        5) The current riots have been comparatively tame, considering what all French security services are observing with alarm: an influx of war weapons used by rival gangs in banlieues (mostly involved in drug trafficking) for settling accounts. Kalashnikovs and Uzis are now common, and police has even seized rocket launchers (such as M80). However, Marseille and not Paris seems to be the center of such gangsterism.

        A similar evolution is taking place in other countries, e.g. in the Netherlands. The warnings about a “spillover” from the war in Ukraine in the form of even more lethal weaponry finding its way in Western Europe are getting louder. Already in 2016, a Frenchman was arrested in Ukraine before he could transfer a whole arsenal to his home country.

        To summarize: security forces see themselves as the only effective buttress of Macron’s regime against swelling popular discontent. And they believe they deserve to be rewarded accordingly. Besides, they have made themselves so unpopular that they are perhaps getting queasy about facing opponents who can potentially have access to quite some firepower. And they rightfully do not trust very much the assurances of politicians regarding staffing, equipment, or wages.

        The fact is that the current banlieues crisis, like the preceding ones, would require quite some political vision and will to solve it — and these are qualities which Macron has proven, time and again, to lack completely.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Those police would know that there will be tons of weapons making their way into western Europe from the Ukraine and even the Russians warned them about it a year ago. Not that western leaders were listening. I’m still waiting to hear about gangs of Ukrainians breaking into the local crime gang scene, especially neo-Nazis, using weapons and training form the war.

          I don’t know how true it is but the boys at The Duran suggest that Macron is bored of being President of France and it was not what he thought it would be like. So he is looking for a promotion into a job in the upper echelons of the EU. maybe even Ursulla’s job.

          1. flora

            My comment about Macron will sound – and probably is very petty: Macron’s standing motto seems to be “Let them eat cake.” He’s either clueless or indifferent, imo – take your choice.

            The people and organizations that pushed him into power will still be there to push the next Davos bot into power when Macron is gone. How do you stop that outcome?

            1. wm

              I agree with you and think it is actually both.

              > How do you stop that outcome?

              Support your local farmers. Do not let what happened in the Netherlands ( I am a bit behind on the current status) happen in France. Buy food locally, grow your own if you can. Support any and all old ways that lead to local independence.

              We have forgotten our roots. But the remanent memory is in the older generations. That’s one of the reasons to get rid of older people. That memory of valid history, ways and means of the local people is yet alive in them.

              Be well

              1. marieann

                I am one of the old folks who grows food, has a clothesline for the washing, repair instead of buy…or do without..or find a work around, knits socks and sews clothing. I just thought I was just “out of time”
                But am I really a radical…sticking it to the man!!!

        2. Michaelmas

          vao: The warnings about a “spillover” from the war in Ukraine in the form of even more lethal weaponry … Already in 2016, a Frenchman was arrested in Ukraine before he could transfer a whole arsenal to his home country.

          As I read your comment’s first part, I was wondering about this. And then, there it was.

          The fools, the fools, the fools, who run our societies and created this metastasizing scenario.

          They’re stupid enough to think blowback from their support for the US-NATO effort to destabilize Russia via Ukraine would never effect them personally, but only possibly their mass populations, and evil enough not to care that the latter would happen.

            1. Henry Moon Pie

              Good article. It’s certainly grounds for suspicion when these elite “change agents” don’t trust democratic states to enact the policies they want.

              I was surprised to see Orban among those who had been through the Young Leaders program. So does WEF indoctrination fail to take with some people? Tulsi perhaps as another example?

        3. Bugs

          This union is a minority one and I don’t take their letter seriously. The use of “chienlit” is interesting to note as a link to De Gaulle and May 68. The CGT police leader was on TV earlier yesterday and he was much more clear and reasonable about what the police want, which is resources and especially personal to be able to do community policing, which as he said, has had numerous logos but no actual training or resources. With 14 police killings at traffic stops in the past year, and many, many more injuries and high speed chases. I think there’s something to be said for re-examination of the 2017 law that allows the police to fire their weapons after a vaguely worded “2 loud vocal warnings” and the point system for driving licences where anyone stopped for having cannabis in their system (and it could be from CBD or smoking a few days prior) is likely to lose their car, and by consequence, job.

          On top of this, very few French people I know have any confidence that the police are protecting citizens or honest in dispatching their duties but rather protect the state itself through imposition of violence.

          1. flora

            Thanks for this information. The more points of view, including differing points of view on the situation the better idea I get about the whole of the problem.

        4. Tom Stone

          It won’t be only weapons from the Ukraine war, 3D printing has changed the game profoundly.
          Any group of radicals or organized criminals can now easily manufacture good quality 9MM submachine guns as long as they have access to electric power and a 3D printer.
          Which mens anywhere in Europe or the UK.

          1. JBird4049

            I am thinking of the weapons that were shipped to Ukraine might get back to the United States. Perhaps via the Mexican narcotraficantes who are always on the make and America imports a lot of its weapons. Now, some rpgs(rocket propelled grenades) would really bother the police.

      2. Aurelien

        I’m not sure anyone really understands Macron, in part because he didn’t have a conventional political career, and so there isn’t that much to analyse. My personal view is that he sees the police as just part of the hired help, part of the public sector like bus drivers and post office workers, and other professions he’s heard about but had no actual contact with. They are mostly recruited from the working class and lower middle class, and a significant proportion come from an immigrant background, so they exactly match the profile of people he feels superior to and indeed despises. After all, if they had more gumption they’d be working for a merchant bank. Like a lot of people from his background, he thinks that something called “public order” just comes out of a tap when you turn it. And in the end, this is a subject he’s not really interested in: neither the police nor the inhabitants of the banlieus are ever going to vote for his party. He’d rather be on the state visit to Germany he’s just had to cancel.

        It’s worth adding a couple of points. The trades union system in France is rather fragmented, and I’ve seen figures suggesting that up to thirteen trades unions have members in the police. (Alliance, which co-issued the communiqué, is the largest, UNSA rather smaller.) The level of union membership is very high – from 65-80% depending on definitions, much higher than in the rest of the public sector, partly because it’s good for your career. This means that, if the unions combine they can be extremely powerful, and the government will have to take note. But on the other hand it’s hard to be sure at the moment how representative these views are: they can’t be described as the views of “the police.”

        Macron probably made things worse, yet again, with his off-the-cuff instant reaction that what had happened was “unacceptable,” presumably out of fear of being outflanked by his political opponents. A wiser and more experienced politician would have said something like “this is very worrying and we must make sure there is a full investigation” and appealed for calm. As it is, he has pretty much declared the policeman concerned guilty in advance. Whatever you feel about the facts – and they are pretty damning – the presumption of innocence has been enshrined in French law since 1789, and there are sanctions in law for those threatening it. This is the type of unforced error typical of Macron, and he has now staked out an extreme position which it will be difficult to crawl back from.

        1. flora

          Thank you for this comment.

          In my own very petty way I’ve started refering to Macron as “Junior” instead of “Jupiter”. / ;)

          1. flora

            adding as a purely personal aside: I’ve come to despise the word “unacceptable” when used by elites in a tut-tutting, schoolmarmish, moralizing against the sins of the working class way; as wholly implying “someone needs to do something about this” (but the effort is not for us the elites) way. Unacceptable to whom? To the elites?
            (Too strong? / ;)

    2. Will

      Thank you for the summary. Always interesting to learn what the local pols are doing. Hope there will be meaningful reforms for the betterment of all.

      Reforms to policing certainly seem to be needed. Interesting article today in the Guardian which uses the current crises to do a quick dive into police brutality in France.

      TL;dr version – French police see themselves as guardians of the state and its institutions rather than people which leads to more aggressive tactics relative to other European countries. They are also more heavily armed, including with weapons that are banned in other countries. The government has thus far worked to protect the police from such criticisms, contributing to the breakdown of trust.

      Seems to me that perhaps the police themselves have contributed to the conditions leading to the violence they’re experiencing? Seems like one-way ratcheting headed to disaster unless wiser heads intervene. Unfortunately, the conditions described in your summary gives little cause for hope.

      1. JohnA

        Police everywhere in the west see themselves as guardians of the state and its institutions rather than people and adopt aggressive tactics, knowing the judiciary almost always protect them against successful prosecution.

        1. JBird4049

          One can see the same process in the United States especially after the increasing militarization, brutality, and legal immunity of the police.

          I vaguely remember there was a trend of increasing professionalism of the police (mind you, that was from a very low bar) in the 70s, but somewhere, perhaps from the crack wars of the 80s, the whole process ended. Look for pictures of American police officers from 40 years ago, and note that even in full riot gear, they were less armed and armored than modern police. They were still freaking terrifying in person, but they looked human, unlike the robotic Borg look of today. Also, the older generation of police, I guess pre 9/11, generally do not like the increased brutality of the current generation. Not brutality itself because American policing has always been rough, but the seemingly unreasonable and often unpredictable use of it.

          Then add the increasing use of anti drugs, gun, or gang units as well as SWAT. All of these units are usually use much violence on the entire community and aside from SWAT routinely become the most corrupt in an entire police department. All done in the name of public safety and order. Then there is the use of policing via asset forfeitures and tickets as a means of taxation. Policing for profit mostly on the poor and working classes.

          What this means is that the very people who want the police in the usual poor community for their own safety are also the very same people who are abused the most by and who become the most hostile to the police. They become overpoliced and underserved. The community develops a confrontational approach to the government as well.

          The higher classes wonder why people are rioting or at least strongly protesting without looking at the effects of the abusive policing. Then the demand for more police. The police are a cause of the violence.

          This is not to say that there are not violent criminals and areas of massive lawlessness, but when people are afraid of calling the police because they might kill or beat somebody, or even steal their car, often the wrong somebody, the police become the problem. The police become the servants of the state and not the community.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Poland decides to put the boot into France because of these riots-

      ‘Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has taken a swipe at proposed EU migration overhaul, currently blocked by Hungary and Poland, by sharing a video that juxtaposed scenes of violent protests in France against peaceful cities in his country. The premier himself has floated his own plan seeking to curb mass migration.

      On Friday, Morawiecki uploaded a clip on his Twitter page in support of a Polish-backed plan called “Europe of Secure Borders.” The video depicted French streets and cars engulfed in flames, with rioters smashing store windows. The pictures of contrasted with peaceful and tidy Polish cities bustling with life.

      “We do not want such scenes on Polish streets,” the caption in the video read.’ (47 sec video)

    4. Lex

      I was hoping for your comment. My first read of the translation was similar to yours, “step up behind us or when we finish dealing with this we will deal with you”.

      It’s no surprise that the organized left has no response to this, even though it could make good arguments that Liberal policies are the root cause of both extraordinary migration and economic despair. The west seems bereft of serious people these days.

      My question is how dangerous is the underlying nature of this. It’s obviously symptomatic of internal contradictions, but from the outsiders perspective I have it’s also being portrayed as almost an ethnic/racial uprising. From the videos I’ve seen it does not look exclusively ethnic/racial. Is it portrayed that way in France, and if so how great is the danger of a nativist reactionary response? That, to me, looks like the most negative potential for it spiraling out of control.

    5. digi_owl

      Twitter is in a weird state right now, so i am kinda surprised the embedded tweets work at all.

      1. flora

        It doesn’t work for me right now. I don’t have a twtr account. I don’t plan to get a twtr acct. No need. The general twtr posts’ texts gives a clue for what to look for on the wider intertubes. / ;)

        adding: Is Musk unfamiliar with the concept of
        “loss leader” in sales pitches ? / ;)

      2. marym

        Today users with accounts are also restricted from viewing tweets:


        “Elon Musk assured Twitter users Friday that a requirement to have an account to view tweets was a “temporary emergency measure.”

        “Verified [*] accounts are limited to reading 6000 posts/day; Unverified accounts to 600 posts/day; New unverified accounts to 300/day,” Musk explained.

        (Musk-initiated version of verified)

  8. flora

    I can’t access twtr anymore. The Arnaud Bertrand twt by itself was unclear to me. After some online searching it looks like the Fr. police are demanding Macron crack down much harder on the protestors.

    Thanks, Aurelein for your explanation.

    1. karma fubar

      Twitter no longer works for me either. I have no twitter account and used to be able to access. Clicked on a bunch of the twitter links today, not just the one about France. On both my iPad and desktop. Always get the “Something went wrong. Try reloading” screen. Read somewhere yesterday (may have been in comments here, don’t recall) that international users were being blocked without having an account. Looks like here in the US as well.

      I am a lurker – I read extensively but almost never post – and have no interest in having a twitter account.

      At least they were right with the “Something went wrong” part.

      1. JM

        Same outcome here, just a something went wrong try reloading message; if I try a Nitter redirect that also throws an error.

        Perhaps Twitter is removing itself from the general discourse.

        1. JEHR

          I think Twitter wants everyone to have an account in order to read the twitter links. Surely there is a better way to present information than on Twitter!!! Let me count the ways . . . .

      2. digi_owl

        Twitter closed down access without a login, supposedly because they were datamined (ironically announced by Musk in a tweet). Thus i am a bit surprised that the embedding comes through fine.

        1. Geo

          Yup. No access without an account. Limits on how much you can read without a paid account.

          Many people on Twitter complaining for the usual “what about free speech?” and “how will I promote my *whatever*?” But personally I find the limit a nice feature. Have a layover and was mindlessly scrolling. Hit the 600 read tweets limit and figured, “Well, that’s enough mind-rot for the day.” And logged off.

          Awfully charitable of Musk to pay $44B for the site just to torpedo it and prevent dolts like me from wasting our time there.

            1. flora

              Er, open town square (for reading) or restricted monetized user info (for reading)? / ;)

              1. flora

                adding: twtr undercutting its whole “reach” thingy by shutting off the town square stuff idea in the name of, I don’t know, scarfing up reader data, is maybe short sighted in the long term. imo. Does digital tech even think in “long term” ? / ;)

                1. The Rev Kev

                  Well if you define “long term” as this year’s financial quarter, why yes they do.

            2. Geo

              Seems musk changed the policies again and I cannot keep up with current rules but recall the limit for “free accounts” being 600 read tweets but higher limit for paid “blue checks” (2000 tweets I think). I could very well be wrong but that is what I read at the time. Seems they were/are going for a tiered access approach on all aspects of the Twitter platform.

              On a related note: I follow your NC Twitter account and never see it in the threads. Will often search directly to see if there’s any NC news I missed or new stuff but frustrating that your tweets never show in the main thread.

  9. griffen

    US stock market rally closes a pretty epic first half of 2023. Inflation is still too high, possibly trending lower still but remains sticky and the jobs outlook still appears pretty or seemingly solid. When or if, the Federal Reserve closes the last chapters on their epic string of target rate increases does the US economy stand on a cliff to take a giant leap upward, or just a giant leap into thin air. I dunno, I find it harder to buy into the hype and hullabaloo. Like I’m waiting for that creepy thing from a Stephen King movie to reveal itself.

    During the week, president Joey from Scranton proclaimed the US economy is stronger than any country and it’s the strongest economy ever recorded in the history of apes and walking man ( \sarc ). Okay, I will grant that the US economy is the tallest midget in a sea of economic midgets. Where does that take us into 2024, 2025 I can’t help but wonder. Jackpot signals appearing closer !

    1. cnchal

      > I’m waiting for that creepy thing from a Stephen King movie to reveal itself.

      Amazon PE > 300

      “This will absolutely be the death knell for [Kindle Unlimited] if Amazon cannot kill this off. The KENP payout will halve and writers will pull their books in droves,” Lynch continued in a thread, referring to the payout that publishing writers get based on how many pages of their book were read by Kindle users. If AI-generated nonsense books were those with the farthest reach, then Kindle writers’ income would steeply drop. “I honestly thought Amazon had a handle on the click farms. CLEARLY NOT.”

      They have to make up for the $10 billion loss on spyware, the losses from overestimating the number of satanic mills to build by six dozen despite 400 eclownomists slaving for Bezos, demand the public pay to police their review fraud generator, honestly what does Amazon actually have a handle on?

      The joke is on Mr Market. Amazon was designed to make one guy rich.

      1. JBird4049

        It is not just Amazon. It is the entire industry. Drive bookstores out of business using Amazon use then imposed limits on how much writers could earn. Then insist that Amazon will be the only platform for selling the ebook(s) of an author.

        Add that the consolidation of the publishers into a handful while reducing the advancements being paid, editorial support, the amount of advertising, and the time given for a book (or its author) to become popular. Finally, insist on having only books that can be crammed into the approved genres, and if a book does become a hit despite all these obstacles, reduce or eliminate the number of printing runs. Meaning that even a runaway bestseller will only have a limited number of hard copies for sale. There is even an admittedly still small, but increasing number of stories that are supposed to be serial books like trilogies missing the concluding volume because of the publishers refusing to either release the rights or to publish the books.

        When the publishing industry had gobs of publishers owned and staffed by bibliophiles despite the behind the scenes light censorship and other problems, it was marvelous with bookstores all over the place. However, now we have investors and others of their ilk, who have no love for books, stripping the entire industry of writers, publishers, and readers all for their immediate profit with no plans for even next year.

        It might not look like it, but both the quality and availability of books are decreasing because profit.


    2. Mikel

      From yesterday’s post about inflation:
      “raising rates is about reducing people’s incomes and thus their spending power. She just”

      So what is to be done about unearned income? That is also income and affects spending power as well.
      They won’t tax it as necessary…so what is to be done?
      It’s obvious that it is also a form of income that needs to be addressed when income is talked about and inflation.

      Powell and crew would never say outright that it is a problem.
      Again, it’s been thrown in faces that it will not be taxed. So, what would be done to make alot of unearned income come off steriods?

    3. JP

      Humble Student posted today that if magazine covers are a great contrarian indicator, in that by the time an economic turn reaches a magazine cover it is already priced in and too late to act on, then politicians are even further behind the curve because politicians get their sense of things from magazine covers. So Biden just top ticked the economy. It’s entirely possible that it is down hill from here. So if we are in a recession just in time for the election fever it will be all about the Biden economy.

  10. OnceWere

    CIA director, on secret trip to Ukraine, hears plan for war’s endgame Washington Post

    This is the same story they told in the lead-up to the Kherson counter-offensive – i.e. that they weren’t expecting total victory against the Russians but rather fighting for more leverage at the negotiation table. Yet when that offensive went better than anyone expected, and Russia seemed to be genuinely on the back foot, there was not one iota of interest in renewing negotiations on the Western or Ukrainian side. Why would it be any different this time ? Barring a 1917 moment, I’d expect the war to be pursued to the last able-bodied Ukrainian.

  11. Alice X

    >US Supreme Court rules website designer can refuse to serve same-sex couples BBC

    The Supremes were all over the equal rights provision of the 14th amendment in striking down affirmative action. Bizarrely they didn’t seem to notice it here. Maybe I missed something. It does seem, though, that a central assertion in the case was fabricated. The person who supposedly sought service didn’t do so and isn’t gay.

    1. Will

      Fabricating a sympathetic plaintiff is certainly much more efficient than searching for one among the populace. Innovation in the American legal system is truly something to behold.

    2. Pat

      I admit I am of two minds about this. I don’t think the designer should be forced to take on work she doesn’t agree with. And not just to accommodate her imo outdated religious views. What kind of a job is she going to do for a client and subject she finds so distasteful. I also think the market has a perfectly good way to deal with it. Just require her to prominently list any possible client type she will not accommodate. Or let the reviews make it clear. (A few if you are gay your website will look like dog excrement reviews would have an effect.)
      But then I move it to something less niche and more influential than wedding websites, like a resume construction service. What if no one will serve Muslims, or yes gays? Limited availability of providers and long term value of the service makes this more problematic. This isn’t public in the sense of government operated, but the government should have an interest in needed services being available for all citizens. Arghhhhh.

      1. Mildred Montana

        >”I admit I am of two minds about this. I don’t think the designer should be forced to take on work she doesn’t agree with.”

        I also am of two minds and open to persuasion one way or the other. However, I wonder what ever happened to the good old-fashioned “white lie” for situations like this. “Sorry, we’re swamped with work.” “Sorry, we’re short-staffed.” “Due to unforeseen circumstances…” Etc. We all of us have had appointments, dates, or meetings cancelled with the reasons given not necessarily truthful.

        The cranky part of me is getting just a little tired of the complainers (hard-done-by “identifiers”) and scolds (the self-righteous “principled”) who seem to be proliferating today. Why must one or both of them make a federal case out of everything rather than relying on something more useful and mollifying? That something is called “social intelligence”. Aka, the ability to get along with others.

        1. Geo

          There are certain clients and companies I wouldn’t provide my skills and time to. I turned down work from an ammunition manufacturer and the Catholic Church to name a few. Was easy enough to just say, “I’m booked up for the time being.” So, totally get your point and agree.

          But, not as easy for a restaurant or many other businesses. If a diner has a lot of empty tables they can’t exactly claim overcapacity for excluding a customer.

          Like you and others here I can’t find the right balance on this one. As an artist I’ve done a few projects that feature prominently on my portfolio that have “lost” me work from Evangelicals (I wasn’t exactly heartbroken and find it funny they like to write and tell me why they didn’t hire me even though I never applied for the job or even knew I was in consideration). And I would never do any work for the MIC and figure my moderately popular movie about how they discard war vets makes it so I’ll never have to deal with being offered a gig with any war profiteers.

          But, I also think of the haunting story James Baldwin writes about when he sat in a diner that excluded black customers. The looks he got, the feeling of being ejected and his words about the anger this made him feel, “What startled me most was not that I could have been killed that night but that I could have killed.”

          Also makes me think of the times I’ve been called a fruit (and much worse slurs) over the years. How those experiences have made me distrustful of “heartland” communities and the south. How I just assume most people there don’t like “my kind”. I know no law will make them like me so I sorta would prefer them openly advertise I’m not welcome in their business so I know not to spend my money there.

          I don’t know. Worth the discussion though and appreciate your comments on it.

          1. chris

            Not a lawyer… As I understand it, based on past cases and precedent, the website developer doesn’t owe her creative labor to anyone, even if they are from a protected class. But if the task she was denying to the plaintiff was a non-differentiated item, like just hosting a site or providing a template that they client could use to do whatever they wanted with, then she wouldn’t be protected. However, there may be other details to consider in a wider context. If she was a professional, with a designation granted by the state to perform certain tasks that she was credentialed for, then she may be OK by the Constitution but run afoul of her professional obligations.

            1. marym

              Also not a lawyer. The supposedly future wedding website developer was the plaintiff. The defendant was the director of the Colorado Civil Rights Division. She brought the suit to prevent the hypothetical situation of someone asking her to do something she didn’t want to do.

          2. JBird4049

            Any-discrimination laws were originally meant to prevent discrimination based on immutable physical characteristics like sex and race as in James Baldwin’s situation. It is unfair to deny a person service merely because of something that they have no control or responsibility for. Being denied a meal of what you physically are is just wrong.

            It starts getting tricky when it becomes to religious belief and personal values on what another person does. Suppose a neo-nazi wanted a Jew to inscribe something pro antisemitism on a cake or some other media? Is sexual orientation an are or is it a does? Is someone providing a service like a meal or shopping, or is it an intellectual service that advocates (speaks for or against) something?

            There is also common sense. Is he just selling a cake or is he inscribing and selling the cake? And is their another nearby cake shop? I mean so people just want to be a pestiferous person.

        2. jrs

          Everything about the case is fake including some of the work she has supposedly done. A website about veteran dogs. URL now goes to a website about child trafficking. A website for a roofing company she supposedly designed. URL has a different website company designing it. I suppose one could argue that these might have been legit websites for a brief moment in time, but wow it is the ultimate padding the resume if so. And of course there was no gay person requesting a wedding page.

    3. The Rev Kev

      What the absolute living f***? Got the TV on and just a minute ago they had follow up that Supreme Court case. I will have to check up on this later today to confirm it but that case was not all that it seemed. That same sex couple? Now I am quoting what was on the idiot box but they contacted the Steve in that case and he is not gay at all but has a wife. And he never actually contacted that website designer and even backed her side. If this is all true, then what was this case about at all? Do you get to make up your own complainants? This is getting as weird as.

  12. Richard H Caldwell

    Mike Shedlock — I never miss his posts, though I usually disagree violently with his personal values. He’s very good and turning up useful information.

    Nina Turner — love her… Here’s to her reemergence after the weekend of the long knives.

  13. Mikel

    “AI-Generated Books of Nonsense Are All Over Amazon’s Bestseller Lists” Vice

    But wait.. wouldn’t the click farm bezzle only work if people were actually trying to browse the Amazon kindle bookstores?
    Why torture themselves?
    It was already a mess before the AI mess – poorly designed and organized.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Talk about living on the edge. I wonder if antelope remember safe spots like that and have learned over generations that this is a place where they will be safe from attack. And when you look at where they were, it looks almost worn in, even though it looks like that is granite. I would not be surprised. I have seen flights of stone stairs in Europe that is dipped hard in the middle due to people walking over them for centuries. And just last week, I saw a photo of a place where it still had ruts in solid rock from the iron-rimmed wheels of Conestoga wagons from the 19th century. So I would not be surprised to learn that that rock has been worn by centuries of antelope using it.

      1. semper loquitur

        Was it here that I read the piece about how those grooved stairs in castles proved to be a big advantage to defenders against invaders? Essentially, having lived in the castle and knowing the stairs intimately made it much easier to fight in them. An invader would trip and stumble their way up.

        1. The Rev Kev

          They also used the way that those stairs turned. So what would happen is that the fighters would have their swords in their right hand to fight the attackers down. But the attackers down below either had to put their swords in their left hand to try to fight back or just be at a disadvantage by not being able to swing their swords like the defenders are able to,

  14. Mikel

    “Remote Work Is Making Americans Less Productive, Official Data Shows” Barrons

    As long as this is getting repeated, I’m going to repeat the same thing:

    Businesses have confused decades of easy, cheap money with “productivity”.
    That’s eroded and now a scapegoat is needed for the ills that easy money cover-up.

    1. jsn

      I agree, but there are other trends as well dampening productivity.

      I commented last month that education optimized for experiences of “personal identity” was inimical to collective action of any kind, business included. But as I ruminate on the implicated cohort, I think the problem goes back to the “smart phone”, particularly the psychological effects of Social Media (misnamed) and the selfie camera.

      The generation spawned of helicopter parenting who’ve had every step in their lives competitively formatted, including Jobs brilliantly intuitive iPhone interface, have arrived in the workforce looking for a future as structured as their life histories. Adults now, they’re faced for the first time in their lives with an unstructured, open question, “what are you going to do now?” And they experience it competitively through the dopamine loop of their smartphones, trying to find the answers there rather than in reality.

      That this cadre arrived approximately with COVID, Zoom, remote work and Ukraine war inflation has compounded the difficulties in disentangling causality. The Fed noticing ramping early retirements signals a lost ability to assimilate and train this cohort.

      As icing on this turd cake, it all hit at the moment the NeoLiberal ratchet had squeezed the last value from public health, public education, public housing and our erstwhile free press. Cracking the whip and turning the ratchet won’t work where the skills simply don’t exist anymore and the mechanisms of cultural reproduction have been monetized to extinction.

  15. pjay

    – Patrick Lawrence: Russian (Melo)drama Scheerpost (Anthony L)

    This is an excellent overview of the Prigozhin affair, along with a scathing critique of some of the worst US pundits (Risen, Troianovski, Applebaum). Patrick Lawrence is a treasure.

    1. EssCetera

      Agreed, and it has been interesting to watch most pundits assign low value or import to Prigozhin broadcasting CIA/Ukrainian talking points. I’m glad Lawrence doesn’t dismiss this lightly, I find it very difficult to reconcile these statements with anything other than Prigozhin having been turned.

    2. Robert Gray

      In this excellent piece, Lawrence strikes a chord which has been resonating beneath everything Prigozhin-related for the past few months, ever since he ramped up his vitriol against Shoigu, Gerasimov and the MoD. Scott Ritter and others held that Prigozhin was only able to get away with his highly inflammatory criticism of the Russian military establishment for as long as he did because he had an ‘in’ with President Putin. Lawrence here refers to this as well, e.g.,

      > … Prigozhin drew close to the new president [i.e., VVP]

      > … his unusually personal ties with Putin …

      But then, a couple of days ago, Andrei Martyanov claimed that this is completely false; that there is/was no friendship, that, indeed, there was hardly an acquaintance, that they actually met only once, at an event that Prigozhin catered.

      Given how this whole story is devolving into an analysis of Prigozhin’s mental state in his treasonous rebellion against his homeland and its duly constituted leadership, the matter of whether a Prigozhin-Putin relationship was bedrock or merely shifting sands would seem to be foundational.

  16. tevhatch

    “splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds” I doubt Putin is as rash as JFK, but I predict eventually a lot of heads will roll.
    Three analyst seem to agree that there was a problem of corruption between GRU and Wagner, some agree Putin let the coop develop to help access how deep and wide the rot went. Considering it was the GRU that got Putin into believing Kiev would collapses with the original push, he may well be looking to clean house, but may wait till the right time in the war with the west.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      The thing is Kiev sort of did collapse. That miles long Russian military column sent a message and Ukraine was ready to make a deal about a month after the initial invasion – that has been backed up by any number of foreign leaders. Then the US sent in BoJo the Clown to remind Ukraine who was really in charge

    2. Lex

      I find it humorous that Prigozhin has made such a point of saying that if Russia had done to Ukraine what he did to Russia the war would have been won. Except that’s exactly what Russia did in March 22. It worked almost brilliantly in the south, taking Nikolaev and Zaporozhye City would have changed today’s situation dramatically. It worked fairly well in the northern oblasts, though I presume they hoped/expected Kharkov would rise up and or fall like the south.

      And by essentially all accounts now it worked well enough to get what Russia wanted from negotiations. Until Biden and Johnson decided to spike the negotiations.

      1. tevhatch

        Yes indeed. The GRU dismissed the degree of commitment by UK/USA to isolating Russia and China, and strangely for an ex KGB lawyer who’s main activity would have been controlling corruption, Putin seems to have discounted how well the rot in Ukraine could be used to subvert national interest. He should have studied the USA more.

  17. Sam Adams

    RE: Calls Grow for a New Investigation Into the Mysterious Death of NYC Anti-Corruption Crusader Scheerpost. Deontos

    Pickers. Look into the Article 81 judicial appointments and judicial apointee actions. The amount of money and influence pedaling in Nassau, but particularly in Suffolk County, and Conservative back room deals would make your hair stand straight on end. Most of the old, with substantial assets are given out to a very few who then part-out the old person to favored lawyers, accountants, medical and nursing businesses. It’s too close to NYC to get the attention NYC. It is the Wild West.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Baseball-Sized Hail Smashing Into Panels At 150 MPH Destroys Scottsbluff Solar Farm”

    Never thought about it but it is obvious that as solar panels will be vulnerable to severe hail, this would have been thought about in the planning where to set them up. But as we see that the climate patterns are already being radically being changed, it may be that these sort of hailstone storms that produce baseball size hailstones may become much more frequent. And that hasn’t been calculated out. Come to think of it, if the weather pattern to produce more extreme weather, this will damage a lot of those wind turbines if the wind speed exceed that that the turbine is rated for. So as the weather gets more unpredictable and more extreme, that this could put at risk a lot of the green power infrastructure like solar panels and wind turbines. You can bet that the insurance companies are gaming this out.

    1. Roger Blakely

      I have never witnessed a baseball-sized hail storm. I bet that it would feel like the end of the world. If I were outside, I would have to hide in my car while the hail smashes my windshield and puts dents in my car’s roof, hood, and trunk.

      1. jefemt

        We live adjacent to a liner trail (rails to trails spur line) and in 2012 had a baseball hail event. Many new roofs in town after. We were looking out across our yad, in marvel, and a guy came running like the wind off the trail, hurdled our 3′ wire mesh chicken fence, and dashed to hide under the deep eves of our home.
        We brought him inside, he had a contused forearm, and a bloodied wrist where the impact likely broke bones. Soaked to the skin and shock-ey.

        I read around that time of a 12″ hailstone being discovered in the national grasslands outside of Pierre, SD— no telling how much it may have shrunken by the time the rancher found it.

        That would kill a cow or a person, needless to say make a car owner and farmer with standing crops have a sad.

        Property/ casualty… they are running hard to exclude everything due to the not-happening anthropogenic climate change.
        Check your policy, check your roof jacks and shingles…. normal age and wear and tear is generally NOT covered. This from personal negative experience this spring and early summer of abnormal BIG rains.

      2. jrkrideau

        Oh well then, we should be all right. We are expecting

        Strong wind gusts up to 90 km/h
        Nickel to toonie size hail
        Torrential downpours

    2. tevhatch

      They were sized with hail in mind, but it’s a costs / risk calculation, one that may not bear up. This would be a freak event that would have added a significant cost and speed penalty if built for. It’s not just the size, but it’s pretty clear they didn’t just drop down but were driven by a downburst, a strong one. I doubt the standard will be changed unless calculations and supporting data show the penalties are worth paying vs. increases in insurance premiums from same calculations/data.

    3. Amfortas the hippie

      ive witnessed 2 hailstorms like that…pretty nervous making,lol.
      to counter hail(of whatever size) in my raised beds, i hang chicken wire about 8 feet over them.
      it just stays there year round…run the pear burner/hillbilly flamethrower through them when it rains in winter to clear out whatever vines grew all up in them.
      and i have often wondered about this problem, regarding solar panels…which are one of the last bits of our autarky puzzle to be accomplished.

      1. hunkerdown

        That’s a good mitigation. Keep the chicken wire off the front of the panel by at least a few feet in order to prevent the wires from shading parts of the panel unevenly and really crushing your total output.

        Do you reckon your welding skills are up to solar boiler making? Compared to solar panels, I predict that alternators are going to be much easier to find in serviceable condition after the apocalypse.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          Hunker,that solar boiler truck alternator is a hellovan idea.

          Tev,i’m often called an engineer(like by the city manager, of all people)…but i aint.
          i just intuit lines of force, and build with used telephone poles, intercepted from the dump.
          unless theres a plug and play fold down mount…yeah…thats beyond my skillset.
          between me and my Eldest, we could prolly fab a frame over the panels for hanging chickenwire.
          not too terribly expensive….steel pipe is free at the dump, if you bring a torch and know people.(I have 4 of “my kids” working at the dump right now,lol…who have worked for me, and caught the extreme recycling bug…part of the ship;part of the crew)

          my much less sophisticated(ie: cracker rigged from dump boards and posts) works well in saving plants from hail….even the big kind.
          if its too heavy, i hafta run out there in between hail episodes and push off the piles of hailstones from underneath…lest the whole rickety mess collapse.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            and hail, like snow, contains a particular kind of nitrogen and trace minerals…all the former peanut farmers around here love hail and snow(the peanuts apparently would readily recover from hail)

      2. tevhatch

        If the number is small, then you can consider having the panels set up so that they can be put vertical when hail threatens. A glancing blow will not be an issue if the panels are up to commercial specifications. If Tornadoes are a reasonable risk, you probably will want to have them so they can be set flat to the earth, well staked, and covered. How you go about automating it or making it human powered will depend on your likelihood of being away from home. Of the two, the tornado winds may be the greater risk.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          hail happens every year on this place.
          twisters (touch wood)….
          after most of june feeling like august(110), but muggy as heck…we’ve had a week of the usual low humidity and 100 or less.which is what i happen to be built for,lol.
          right now, there’s a cold front intersecting with a stationary warm front and an outflow boundary that drifted over here(triple point) just to my northwest.
          so cloudy…a bit of rain so far…and a stiff north wind.
          and about 75…cold enough comparatively that im wishing i’d brought my bathrobe to the bar today.

          1. tevhatch

            Per my earlier message to Roger, It doesn’t have just to be hail, but baseball size hail propelled by a downburst to a much higher speed than freefall, assuming you buy to standards. Does that kind of hail event happen every year?

  19. Will

    Seems New Zealand is being colonized again.

    With the collapse in prices, sheep farmers are selling their land for big bucks so they can be turned into pine forests and earn lucrative carbon credits. Many of the investors are offshore.

    Unanticipated effects:

    – loss of jobs on the now defunct sheep farm but also, after planting, there’s not much to do on a tree farm

    – death of small farming communities (see job loss above)

    – the tree (monoculture) being planted is foreign (nothing native grows as quickly?) and “can wreak havoc on native ecosystems, and cause catastrophic downstream effects when harvested”

    And all this may not be enough to reach net zero anytime soon or sustainable stay there. Wall Street may need to tweak its plan a bit to make all this profitable enough to save the planet.

    1. Milton

      The affects will be similar to the Dutch ousting farmers from the Netherlands and having to import the same foodstuffs back into the the country at a net energy usage increase.

    2. Wukchumni

      When I first visited NZ in 1981 there was 75 million sheep, and on my last visit a decade ago it was down to 25 million. Talking to a sheep man with 4,000 head, he related that the market had gone from 75% of the value being in the wool and 25% in the meat, to reversing that where meat was 75% of the value.

    3. jrkrideau

      I was just listening to a DW English program on the perils of Spruce mono-culture in the Hartz Mountains. Spruce is not native.

    4. GF

      Wow. Here in the US west NZ lamb meat prices are astronomical when you can find the favored cuts. At the low end, lamb shoulder chops went from $1.99 lb two years ago to $9.99 a pound today for NZ lamb. I won’t go into the leg of lamb price increases. Looks like the middlemen are running the show giving starvation prices to the sheep farmers.

      1. digi_owl

        Same crap the world over. This even in places where the farmers ostensibly owns the meat packing tier. The one party in the chain between production and consumption that seem to come out on top is the merchant, and that is largely down to volume.

    5. Amfortas the hippie

      its even worse…
      i drive past thousands of sheep and goats on the 50 mile trip to the real grocery store…to buy overpriced lamb(and no goat) from NZ.
      they buy ours, apparently…because that seemed an elegant solution to some bean counting theorist.
      ships full of sheep meat, passing in the night.

      we sell a few dozen every year…will end up paying the property tax, all else remaining the same,lol.
      but we eat the rest.
      best to brine it…as it is rather lean.
      except for the ribs and backstrap…which one leaves attached to the ribs and “frenches” to make “chops”….with long rib bones as handles.
      the bellyroast is also pretty not lean,lol
      ive considered lamb bacon, but aint quite ready for smoking just yet.

      i made Osso Buco from 2 hind legs and a shoulder a couple of weeks ago…open fire , in the giant dutch oven.
      shoulda brined it for a couple hours less…still excellent.
      live and learn.

    6. Jeotsu

      Also after 3 planting cycles (75-100 years) the land is pretty well ruined for cropping, pastoralism, or really establishing anything good there. It’s bad all around, but with farmers brutally squeezed with rising costs and falling income… no good options.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Do you mind if I ask you what you mean by a ‘planting cycle’ that it takes 75-100 years? I note that that is also about three generations of farmers.

        1. Greg

          I read that as being three cycles is about that long, which checks out. You grow pine for 20-25 years before harvest. There’s usually a few years barren between ripping it out and planting in the new seedlings.

          There’s a fair bit of work to keep pine growing straight so it’s worth something when harvested, but these days it doesn’t take many humans because we use a crazy amount of petrol powered tools to do it.

          Not sure what that does to its green credits, I’d guess it’s not factored in. Just like we ignore the science showing this carbon mostly gets released rather than being stored permanently, so the whole scheme is probably bollocks.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        every veg or fruit i sell…that person shits the nutrients elsewhere…and i must replace them.
        eventually, i’ll be an even greater evangelist for nutrient cycles and composting toilets and overcoming the american aversion to shit/being mammals.
        “please shit in my composting toilet to make up for all the veggies you bought”

        1. The Rev Kev

          Pretty soon you may have to require receipts. From “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”-

          ‘For years, the fabulously beautiful planet of Bethselamin increased its booming tourist industry without any worries at all. Alas, as is often the case, this was an act of utter stupidity, as it led to a colossal cumulative erosion problem. Of course, what else could one expect with ten billion tourists per annum? Thus today the net balance between the amount you eat and the amount you excrete while on the planet is surgically removed from your body weight when you leave; so every time you go to the lavatory there, it is vitally important to get a receipt.’

          But of course it is a real thing brought home to me by a CSIRO report about 20 years ago. That report pointed out that with every ton of wheat we export, the bulk of it is made up on water. So in essence, Oz is exporting its water resources overseas, never to return. And that is not getting into the matter of nutrients.

  20. Carolinian

    Re “Can we be deceived to this extent?!”–Scheer’s site has some good columnists like Patrick Lawrence and, today, a reprint of the latest Hersh

    but I’d say it comes out of an old left silo that thinks the anarchists are always the good guys and the propertied are the bad and that people like Soros and his son lack ulterior motives for their domestic regime change support. Of course in any true anti capitalist revolution then people like Soros or Omidyar wouldn’t exist and therefore protest energy has to be channeled into attacks on the middle class rather thn the true elites who are running the show. Call this Hollywood liberalism if you will–slaying the symbols, not the problem. The truth is that old left versus old right is not really relevant to a new world and therefore the answer to “can we be deceived?” is “oh yes.”

    1. hunkerdown

      The middle class reproduces the system in which oligarchs can exist and defends the existence of property so that they can partake of it for themselves, exactly as you are doing here. The anarchists are correct. Property actually is the problem. If there were none, there would be no “classes” defending their attachments to it.

      1. Carolinian

        I’m suggesting that Antifa are themselves middle class and faux anarchists who in many cases are probably young people just looking for excitement. As for yours truly, I grew up lower middle class and had parents who at one point were actively poor. I don’t think anyone in America now really knows what poverty is like in the third world sense.

        One thing about the late nineteenth century anarchists is that they threw their bombs at kings and Czars. Funny how little interest Antifa shows in the tonier precincts of Connecticut or other rich people hideaways. Burning down retail stores may seem like sticking it to the man but that’s not where the real power lies.

        1. Geo

          Years ago I watched a documentary (forget the name) about a group of anarchist protesters. The film was made by them and seemed to have the intent of promoting their ideas but was almost comical in how much they reminded me of the diehard club kids and ravers or my generation. Mostly thrill seekers, trend chasers, and youthful rebels with a cause but more interested in hooking up and having a clique.

          Reminded me of a dreadlocked buddy who was active in the WTO protests and more. Didn’t see him for a few months than ran into him again and he was clean cut and talking about a job he landed doing promotions with a major fashion retailer. All that rage against the machine fizzled when a big payday was presented.

          Over the years I’ve decided that anyone who identifies as any one label isn’t a serious thinker. No one ideology is perfect and each has its valuable ideas and lunatic ideas.

          Wish we had a serious left in this country that understood how power actually works but Steinbeck really summed it up best, “Except for the field organizers of strikes, who were pretty tough monkeys and devoted, most of the so-called Communists I met were middle-class, middle-aged people playing a game of dreams.”

        2. The Rev Kev

          I sometimes wonder how may times Antifa is actually feds in disguise. A week or two ago I saw this video of a demonstration where on one side there were what I would call “old boy” patriots having American flags and much slimmer Antifa people on the other wearing dark clothes and ski-masks. It started to get into fist fights before police rushed in to protect the Antifas but what really put the Antifa mob out were when the old boys started to pull the ski masks off the heads of the Antifas. One guy was so shocked about this that he was walking with both hands covering his face to protect his identity.

          Speaking of the police and these sort, on NC there there was video of these militant uniformed boofheads marching in Washington recently which most people marked as feds. Another video I saw was after they had finished. The DC police had cleared out a whole subway station and protected those “militants” as they went down the escalators to take a train. If only they had done that for the January 6th protestors. :)

  21. lyman alpha blob

    RE: An Airbnb collapse won’t fix America’s housing shortage

    Maybe not, but it would sure be a good start. A pox on all their houses.

    1. Wukchumni

      The Generals Highway opens today for the first time since February into the Giant Forest, which will allow would-be Hilton types to ply their traits with assorted garage mahals…

      It was a good attempt to kill AirBnB et al, but no dice.

      1. Carolinian

        Just finished a new book you might like called Guardians of the Valley about Muir, Yosemite, Hetch Hetchy, the big trees etc. It’s a familiar tale indeed but does make clear the epic slaughter of the Sequoia before some protection was finally offered. Often the lumber companies would cut down the thousand year old trees out of perverse principle since the wood not all that useful. Still they had to prove that it was all theirs since raping the woods the basis for their fortunes.

        1. Wukchumni

          Only about 5% of Giant Sequoias were felled circa 1880-1910, versus 95% of coastal redwoods being chopped down overall, a tiny number. They were used to make grape stakes and fence posts for the most part.

          Visited the Converse Grove which might have been the largest grove of all, and there is but one tree of size left there, the 6th largest Sequoia-the Boole tree. The stumps may be there for a thousand years or more, as the wood doesn’t decompose.

          But in the Castle and KNP Fires in 2020 & 2021, 20% of the remaining Sequoias perished, 4x as many vis a vis a sawblade.

          1. Carolinian

            They used to cut down the big trees only so a cross sectional slice could be sent back East to various nature museums. At least the city kiddies got something out of it.

            And early protection inspired by Muir and others may have saved many of the giant Sequoia but the other trees such as sugar pine were often clear cut and hauled down Matterhorn like mountains using donkey engines (stationary steam winches).

            A similar story held true in the Smokies and the Southeast and almost all of our original trees are gone. But those that existed were only hundreds of years old, not thousands.

    2. Mikel

      Thank you, I was about to write the same damn thing!

      The problem is bad enough that the AirBnB collaose still NEEDS to happen

      As the people have always been told when big changes are needed: nothing wrong with incremental change.

      1. Synoia

        Mr Market does no do Incremental change. Mr Market is ungoverned (in the engineering definition) and thus lunches from excess to scarcity without notice because of the lack governors.

    3. SocalJimObjects

      At the end of the article, the author makes a proposal to lower interest rates among others. We already had very low interest rates for the last 10 plus years, and that didn’t make housing more affordable. Higher up, the article also says that people will buy a second home no matter what, so when interest rates get lowered again, what would stop those people from buying a third home?

      I don’t believe there’s a housing inventory shortage out there. Regardless of what people think here about raising interest rates, you’ll see plenty of inventory when interest rates reach 7, 8%.

  22. Lexx

    ‘Baseball-Sized Hail Smashing Into Panels At 150 MPH Destroys Scottsbluff Solar Farm’ Cowboy State Daily

    We were watching the weather coming over the Front Range (west) on Thursday. We should also have been looking east.

    I went to Sprouts to pick up a few items. At the checkout the cashier asked me if I was aware there was a tornado watch in effect. I said ‘no’ and the woman behind me in line piped up, ‘I’m going back to Atlanta! Your weather around here is crazy!’ We blinked and waited for her to define ‘crazy’. ‘The hail!, she said. Ah… everyone resumed their activity; the cashier and the next customer continued that conversation and I gathered my items and left, but on the way home I took note of what was building up in the southeast.

    I haven’t been to Scottsbluff in years. Mitchell (just outside Scottsbluff) is home to Brown Sheep. More a destination for weavers than spinners and knitters but I’ve daytripped over for the drive and picked up a half dozen skeins and maybe a big bag of roving if it’s available.

    The worst of the violent weather this summer is landing south and north of us. Just a few years past, any one of those hailstorms would have come through that southern gap in the Front Range and busted us up good. Last year my next door neighbor spent $30k (he made a point of sharing the amount with my husband) to replace the windows the last really violent hail broke, not the panes of glass so much as the plastic frames. Hail like that also shreds off the house paint and busts up anything thin and metal, like roof vents. And heaven help you if you left your car out on the street.

    Our solar panels are American-made/German-engineered and rated for large hail stones but I’m certain that doesn’t include ‘baseball-sized’, although we’ve seen those here too. So I’m wondering where those solar farm panels came from and whether they’re insured. When my husband changed house insurance companies a few years ago and he told them about the panels, they didn’t even blink, but that may change if we again get the kind storms that can break panels. The entirety of home owners in Tornado Alley (or even those living out at the edges like this county) may find they can’t get affordable insurance for their homes, or at all. (See ‘California’) Or they’ll simply exclude the panels and say, ‘Naw man, that’s on you.’

    Never did see that tornado or a drop of rain. Those weather systems continued east.

  23. dday

    Re Mearsheimer substack article, he says “Indeed, they (the West) are doing everything but pulling the triggers and pushing the buttons.”

    I think in many cases that US and allied forces are actually pulling the triggers and pushing the buttons.

    1. jrkrideau

      Video, apparently from the recent attack on Kramatorsk, show what appear to be a US army tattoo and a US air defence regimental shoulder patch plus we hear someone with a South African accent commenting. Three separate videos as far as I can tell.

      Probably just innocent tourists.

  24. Lex

    Corporate worry about productivity and remote work is really that people may find it possible to be very productive as needed because they can use any remaining time as they see fit. I once received an email that said “there’s always something you can be doing that benefits the company”.

    But when you’ve made employment strictly transactional – as good, Liberal economic doctrine demands in order to unleash the economic power of man, the rational animal – you will eventually get a transactional relationship from those employees. And rational economic behavior from an employee will look like doing as little labor as humanly possible, exactly as the employer attempts to minimize costs like labor. “Productivity” in this kind of corporate thought should be translated as “employer control”. Remote work limits the ability to control. So it doesn’t matter whether the designated amount of work is performed in 20 instead of 40 hours, that is increased productivity based on clear reward for increased productivity. What matters is owning a certain number of hours of the employee’s life.

    1. hunkerdown

      Work is a church, private property is the altar, and time is what we are called upon to totally sacrifice.

  25. Detroit Dan

    Re quantum entanglement, I’m still trying to get my head around the concept of “retrocausality”. As discussed in Wikipedia: “When examining two related events, the cause is by definition the one that precedes the effect… Retrocausality, or backwards causation, is a concept of cause and effect in which an effect precedes its cause in time”. Retrocausality seems to be obvious nonsense. What am I missing?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      when physicists run the big mainframe models of the Standard Model of the universe…the math/models…and, it is assumed, the Universe, itself…doesnt care about the Direction of Time.
      and, to the best of my knowledge…like Gravity…we dont really know what Time is…or even if it is.
      (seems like a large flaw in our understanding of things.)
      also…there have been numerous strange experiments…Dean Radin comes to mind quickly…where retrocausality is at least implied.
      my fave example: electrodes on yer arm to measure skin conductivity, and something called galvanic response.
      you sit in front of a tv that shows, in superfast mode, a bunch of pics of puppies and babies and piglets and little goats cavorting among flowers…and then suddenly, an image of a vivisection or holocaust atrocity is flashed….and all these images so fast that ones mind cannot really focus of process them.
      but the skin conductivity shows anomalies a microsecond before the horrific image is shown.
      similarly, Princeton Eggs…which i think Radin was also involved in.
      high weirdness…best guess is precognition in the collective consciousness of the planet before some massive event.
      the EGGs registered statistical anomalies before big emotional vents like the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Mother Theresa’s death, Diannah’s death, 911, and some world meditate for peace day, etc.
      I love that sort of thing…bearing always in mind(whatever Mind is) that we know far less about existence than we think we do.

      1. Synoia

        One has to consider Entropy, and when the model includes entropy the Detection of time is very evident.

        For example: Smashing your wife’s favorite piece of china. I can assure you that the effect of entropy on time become evident at the time of damage for a significant period following.

    2. Alice X

      >Retrocausality seems to be obvious nonsense. What am I missing?

      I believe Einstein called quantum entanglement Spooky. But then I can hardly get my head around much of it at all.

    3. Mildred Montana

      I’ve read several books on quantum mechanics. Best I can summarize it is that anything goes apparently. It’s all about probabilities.

      That’s one of the reasons contemporary theoretical physics, in its quest for a Grand Unified Theory, the union of the Planckian small and the Einsteinian large, is left at the moment with only the consolation prize of String Theory. Which posits an 11-dimension universe, among other things, all of them based strictly on mathematics and none of them provable or falsifiable through observation or experimentation.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      You’re probably not missing much. I tried grokking that article and that’s after having read any number of books on quantum mechanics over the years, and I still don’t get it. And neither do many or maybe most theoretical physicists or the engineers who make functional and accurate tools based on quantum mechanical concepts, thus the admonition to “Shut up and calculate”.

      Watching the movie Arrival which tosses out the idea of nonlinear time might help with comprehension, or not, but at least it’s a good movie.

      1. Alice X

        Arrival also tosses out ideas on gravity. Well, mass, gravity and time are linked, or are they? The movie succeeds (for me) because it doesn’t stop to question or try to explain much. Jeremy Renner’s character gives a dazzled little laugh when he realizes that gravity has been tilted 90° in the entrance chamber, but that is about it. Amy Adams should have won an Academy Award but she wasn’t even nominated.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          as does the plot device of the Observers in fringe, with the lovely Anna Torv.
          all about perception.
          as laid out with the massive dynamic labrat with the straw.

    5. tevhatch

      Time and space are interlinked, push one and you pull the other. Sabine Hossenfelder does some of the most approachable explanations.

    6. digi_owl

      Best i can tell, while things can interact at faster than light we are limited to observing that interaction at light speed. Thus any local event that happens thanks to such an interaction can’t be separated from random “noise” until we observe the cause and then work out the chain of interaction from there.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          per the math, at least.

          ive managed to slow time down considerably at this location this afternoon/evening.

    7. Susan the other

      It might be misleading to refer to any quantum phenomenon as retro. The time spaces are most likely too tiny to have a direction. Those wild and crazy random variables, Alice and Bob, really are tedious. Who writes this stuff? Per Leonard Susskind: ER = EPR – I think this means that entanglement = wormholes and wormholes = gravity, ergo entanglement = gravity. Isn’t gravity a timeless dimension?

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        we simply do not know
        if we’re honest.

        like i drilled into my boys:
        whats the first step on the path to wisdom?
        “i dont know”
        (per socratic perplexity)
        foundation of everything that we do know…like how the sky is blue due to nitrogen not absorbing blue, etc

  26. GramSci

    Re: Student Debt/Loans

    So Biden is already bidding for the youth vote by the implicit claim that it is those evil Repub Supremes who are the student loan predators.

    The mask really needs to be ripped of this charade. I recall reading here on NC not that long ago that Biden could have forgiven loans under the authority of the Higher Education Act of 1965, but chose the Heroes Act as justification precisely because it was well known that on those grounds the Supremes would strike it down.

    I’ve been unable to find the link(s) to this argument. Does anybody have it/them, or am I making sh!t up?

      1. jefemt

        I don’t know why ‘they’ don’t simply mint a coin, buy the debt, and re-write the notes to zero- interest.
        Borrowers could progress on debt very rapidly.
        Eviscerates Moral Hazard arguments.
        Perhaps with a sliding-scale of principal reduction with devilishly-detailed rules for certain ‘exceptional Americans’.
        Finally, allow student loan debt to be eligible for bankruptcy. BK is a dire step not to be taken lightly, with several years of lean penance living, but WTF?

        Pardox or irony–Biden helped create the whole mess decades ago. Think he was angling on a future voter pool? Gawd.

        Lot of moral punishment in the air these days.

        1. tevhatch

          Because the people who own the government expect eventually that the government will strip and butcher all the Peters to pay Paul, with real stuff. After all money is just a medium of exchange.

    1. griffen

      Joe Biden circa 2005, pay your debts so I can continue supporting the best financial companies that reside in DE. I am Sen. Biden, trust me on this one.

      The way back machine remembers such details, perhaps not a journalist thse days. In 2023, Joe is fighting for you young college guys and gals.

    1. Pat

      Yup. I loved Politico noting that his town halls are choreographed. I’m loving that his national sale by date has seemingly passed.

      And a note to Mayor Adams, respect is earned. And just getting elected doesn’t automatically grant it nor should it. As a long term activist, I am pretty damn sure that Ms, Dunbau recognizes where and why elected officials loyalty lies. Her pointing out yours is only disrespectful because you were hoping nobody noticed.

  27. Carolinian

    Re Twitter which was talked about yesterday–I don’t use it myself but report today says it was under attack and that’s why Musk locked out those not signed in. He says it was temporary and old system back once things straightened out.

    1. hunkerdown

      I wonder if NAFO’s scraping the hell out of Twitter to gather data for LLM training, so that the next “swarm” can be roused programmatically, or that the election can be rigged more effectively by their partisan sponsors. Or just trying to keep down any real intel coming out of Zaporozhzhiya over the twits via DoS, and succeeding.

  28. GF

    “Analysis suggests 2021 Texas abortion ban resulted in nearly 9,800 more live births in year after law went into effect”.

    Wait until the R’s find out that most of the excess births were from non-whites.

    1. tevhatch

      The Republic of Texas was all about exporting slaves to Caribbean / Brazil (Gerald Horne covers it), maybe they are planning to go back to that business. Only so much slave labour can be absorbed into the prison industrial system.

  29. TimH

    On SWAT. All this new surveillance is to find SWAT hoaxers after the event. For which tools exist already.

    Interesting that although the SC ruled that police do NOT have a duty to protect (, it’s ok for SWAT go in a-shootin’ and a-killin’ to defend a purported victim after an unverified phone report.

    1. hunkerdown

      Police protect the state and its “division” of labor (actually externalization but I digress). Only such lives as serve that end and make the state look magnificent and real are worth protecting, and that’s a question of (usually class) politics.

  30. TimH

    Would You Leave Grandma With a Companion Robot?

    If it could do the physical stuff that a care home handles, yup, but then it wouldn’t be a companion but a home help. The word ‘companion’ implies dumping ol’ Granny, which is not good.

  31. Jason Boxman

    Worst storm I’ve seen out here in western NC, dime sized hail, huge thunderstorm, torrential rain, for the past 25 minutes.

    Stay safe, in doors. I was outside, got back to car before it started to downpour, hail started 5 minutes later.

  32. Mildred Montana

    >Would You Leave Grandma With a Companion Robot? OPB

    What? No comments on Grandma and her companion robot? Doesn’t anybody feel sorry for Grandma, forced to seek companionship from a robot? Her situation is pathetic and sad. The money quote:

    “Artificial intelligence is all the rage, and now it’s helping some Pacific Northwest seniors live in their own homes for longer. Worrell joined a pilot project that is trialing how AI-driven companion robots could reduce loneliness and social isolation among seniors — especially those living alone.”

    The idea that robots can relieve loneliness and isolation is, frankly, creepy. The cure for emptiness is not more emptiness. Those who believe that, like Jan Worrell (admittedly part of a trial and therefore inclined to put the shine on the apple), might be in the early stages of dementia.

    From my experience of taking care of my elderly ailing mother for five years, I would say that there is no replacement—none—for human contact and the simpatico between two people who know each other.

  33. EssCetera

    re: The US Is Spying on the UN Secretary General

    The piece argues the CIA has a duty to spy on the UN Secretary General, else it would be incompetent.

    However, if the UN is an organization whose mandate is world peace, and the US is opposing, manipulating and undermining the institution of the UN, which this is, then the US is opposed to world peace and also the instution of the UN.

    That it does so betrays incompetence. There is very little advantage, far more disadvantage.

  34. ThirtyOne

    New article from Baud up on the Postil.

    “In the end, this situation was nothing more than that of a company director trying to save his business and doing so impulsively and thoughtlessly, with potentially dramatic consequences for combatants on both sides in Ukraine. This crisis demonstrates the inability of Westerners to think and act according to facts, rather than expectations. The Ukrainian people are beginning to understand this.”

  35. chris

    Well, I wanted to see a more realistic cross section of Parisienne society today, and I got to see it. Lots of beggars and more unruly homeless smoking very things in public.

    We went to Versailles for a night tour of the parks and chateau (“chateau” = one of the largest buildings I’ve ever seen). We were told the trains would stop running around midnight (about 1 hour early). No problem, we thought, we’ll be done with fire works before then. Except the rioters got the jump on things and the trains closed at 11 PM. Upon learning this, we’re told to get a taxi or an Uber. Sure no problem. Except the riots are all over and blocking Uber drivers from getting to us.

    We did make it back to the hotel via Uber. We passed some gangs of youths clad in all black with face masks sneaking around buildings downtown. We heard about a lot of nasty things happening around the Champs Elyesee. Very glad we were able to get an Uber and made it back safely. Some of the tour people and their guides were stuck in Versailles for the night because they could get anyone to take them back home.

  36. Carolinian

    50,000 show up for rally this afternoon in upstate SC

    Lindsey booed

    The local leaflet not much interested in what Trump had to say but I’m sure it’s on youtube. Crowd estimate is from the local sheriff.

    1. Daryl

      > Lindsey booed

      I am reminded that I have a fair bit in common with Trump voters. Somebody ought to bridge that gap.

  37. some guy

    . . . ” Flaunting the Supreme Court Ruling, Biden Sets Student Debt Repayment to Zero for Many ” . . .

    . . . ” Flaunting”? ” Flaunting?” I think the title-writer meant to mean “flouting”. Such a picky little nit to pick, I know.

  38. Jason Boxman

    The Biden corruption is truly breathtaking, although prior to 2020 there were links here to a deep investigation into his brother’s corruption, so this isn’t really a surprise, I guess. But it’s truly sprawling. Meanwhile, Trump’s attempt at corruption is amateur.

    So naturally, liberal Democrats are up in arms about the latter, not the former. And they love them some war. These people are truly scum. I don’t think any of them were awake in high school civics class, or they paid close attention with thoughts of all the opportunities for grift that politics presents.

    Really, Biden’s trading on influence with the Chinese is nothing short of traitorous, given the bipartisan infatuation with antagonizing China. How is Biden not being impeached as we speak? What a pathetic joke. It’s all theater, partisans of both parties are thorough corrupt. The only voters anyone fears is the Trumpers and before that the Freedom Caucus people. Not the Left, LOL.

  39. Brian Beijer

    Regarding the “Death” tweet, I remember researching ways of commiting suicide when I graduated from university. I had as much debt in student loans as a house cost at the time. Luckily, I had family and friends slowly guide me away from this decision, and I resigned myself to owing the government for the rest of my life. Instead of deciding to end my life, I chose to never have children. I realized that not bringing my children into this world that we’ve created was the most loving act I could do for them. As I hear recent stories about the population “implosion” that’s supposedly happening in the Western world, I wonder how many others are out there who came to the same realization I did.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I’m glad you’re still with us! When I graduated, I also vividly recall the crushing weight of that debt and the realization that it might be with me for a lifetime. It definitely doesn’t induce much optimism about the future.

  40. LawnDart

    Azov Battalion Permanently Adopts “Rainbow Swastika” Pride Month Flag
    Denys Prokopenko, Fuhrer-in-Chief of Ukraine’s Azov Battalion, announced at a press conference yesterday that Azov is moving to permanently adopt its rainbow swastika Pride Month flag. “We’d been planning to take it down and put up our plain-old-swastika flag,” Prokopenko said, “but our Western donors explained that they’d like us to celebrate sexual perversion and child mutilation all year long, instead of just for one month.”

  41. S Haust

    Free Tour de France live stream:
    I much prefer the stream from Mostly, it consists of actual race coverage.
    That is, you get to see the sprints, the cotes, the chutes, etc. All this and you still get
    a running commentary on the surrounding countryside, historical buildings, events,
    social conditions.

    For instance, today’s coverage of étape 1 included lots of info on the Basque area,
    along with it’s geography, etc. Lots on Bilbao and its transformation from a dying
    industrial wreck. On Guernica, Picasso, too, all while listening to competent and
    informative sports coverage. Best of all, you don’t have to listen to some overwweening
    and self-important sportscaster from NBC or wherever.

    You can get this stream in amazingly high quality very easily. Set your VPN for a
    French server so you will have a French IP. Check your new IP for location. Set your
    browser to, Look around for the yellow cues and find full coverage of the étape
    you want.

    But, sorry English-only speakers – it’s all in French.

  42. djrichard

    Marine Le Pen, who has maintained a dignified calm throughout, is the real beneficiary, as the Left (with the exception, as usual, of the Communists) cuts its own throat again.

    Are the communists weighing in? If so, what are they saying? Thanks!

    1. Aurelien

      Fabien Roussel, the PCF leader, condemned the violence publicly, and called for calm and a joint approach by the leaders of all the political groups: he also criticised the communiqué by the police unions. Roussel made the point in an interview yesterday that local mayors and elected representatives have been saying for decades that something like these riots could happen, but nobody paid any attention. Behind that remark is the fact that the PCF, long after it had ceased to be a national force, had a strong presence in these areas, and there are still quite a lot of PCF elected members there. It used to be their home turf.

  43. some guy

    I have just seen something interesting over at Reddit, which is claimed to be a “propaganda booklet found in a trench at Bakhmut”. Here is the link.

    The comment thread leads off with this comment . . . ” The first comment in the thread says . . . ” For anyone wondering the text is the same above all pictures and just says ” that’s the difference”.”

    Is it real? Is it false-flag? Is it fake? I don’t know.

  44. Frank

    As an owner of two huskies, today I felt the true power of the daily antidote as all my negative emotions were overcome by the puppies’ tilting heads.

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