Links 7/14/2023

Sea Otter on the Lam Steals Hella Surfboards and Looks Cool Doing It Gizmodo

This new fire-proof material is made from fungus and could save your home Interesting Engineering


Florida ocean water just hit a ‘boiling’ 97 degrees. That’s bad for several reasons. The Week

Study: The ocean’s color is changing as a consequence of climate change EurekAlert!

Toxic Train Bombs

EPA Contradicts Itself AGAIN on East Palestine Air Contamination 5 Months After Toxic Detonation of Vinyl Chloride Status Coup


Are water filtration systems an effective way to get rid of PFAS? Here’s what a new study says USA Today


‘Pandemic within the pandemic’: Long COVID affects a third of COVID-19 survivors, study says Daily Herald

Biden administration asks Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax for ‘reasonable’ prices on updated Covid vaccines CNBC

GAO’s New COVID-19 Report Highlights Recommendations Critical to Preparing for Future Public Health Emergencies U.S. Government Accountability Office

Bird Flu

Ongoing avian influenza outbreaks in animals pose risk to humans World Health Organization

Norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships skyrocket to highest levels in a decade: CDC data New York Post

Old Blighty

Boris Johnson ‘has forgotten’ passcode for phone wanted by Covid inquiry The Guardian

La belle France

France to deploy 130,000 law enforcement officers on July 14 Bastille Day Anadolu Agency


Modi’s Bastille Day visit stirs controversy in France Deutsche Welle

How India views China’s diplomacy in the Middle East Middle East Institute


The World China Is Building NOEMA

Did Russia just “bow to Beijing” in “opening” Vladivostok? Pekingnology

China’s exports fall most in three years as global economy falters Reuters

China’s debt offloaded by foreign investors for sixth straight month in June, emerging Asia enjoys strong inflows South China Morning Post


PATRICK LAWRENCE: A Yellen in the China Shop Consortium News

China conducted an exercise with a squadron of minesweeper drones Bulgarian Military

China promises ‘resolute response’ to any NATO expansion in Asia Al Jazeera

New Not-So-Cold War

The Jig Is Up William Schryver, imetatronink

Ordering the Selected Reserve and Certain Members of the Individual Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty

Biden’s corruption led to Ukraine’s destruction: fmr. Kiev diplomat Aaron Mate


Rep. Massie Promises Vote to Establish Audit Overseeing Ukraine War Money Lee Fang

Why Dems should support Rep. Greene’s more narrow cluster weapons ban Responsible Statecraft

Why did Stanford students host a group of neo-Nazis? Forward


Timofey Bordachev: Here’s why the US will almost certainly never allow Ukraine to join NATO RT

Transfer of F-16s to Ukraine to be considered ‘nuclear threat,’ says Russian FM Lavrov The New Voice of Ukraine


Germany creates equity in Western Ukraine Indian Punchline

Moscow warns Berlin to stop stealing cars RT

MACRO ADVISORY: Russia’s economy posts the highest rate of expansion since early 2022 Intellinews

Ukraine warns key Russian gas supply to Europe will be cut Politico EU


South of the Border

Peru’s Black Misleadership Class Complicit with Coup Regime and International Far Right Black Agenda Report

Haiti – CARICOM caves in to US pressure Caribbean Empowerment Blog

Spook Country

How US Department of Homeland Security Became Global Thought Police Kit Klarenberg, Kit’s Newsletter

Political Strategy To Paint Republicans As Terrorists Behind FBI’s Fueling Of Domestic Extremism Public

Biden Administration

Secret Service concludes cocaine investigation, no suspect identified CNN



First OTC Birth Control Pill Approved MedPage Today

Overuse of antibiotics leading to dangerous ‘superbugs’ examined by U.S. Senate panel Iowa Capital Dispatch


Google’s healthcare AI on par with humans but not ready to see patients Becker’s Hospital Review

World’s first mass-produced humanoid robot aims to solve China’s aging population problem ZME Science

Police State Watch

Unrest and Repetition New Left Review

You’re Detained as a Spectator at an Event Like the Dolores ‘Hill Bomb.’ What Are Your Legal Rights? KQED

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Why new facial-recognition airport screenings are raising concerns CU Boulder Today

How an “AI-tocracy” emerges MIT News. Focused on China, but findings would seem to apply elsewhere as well.

Digital Watch

AP strikes news-sharing and tech deal with OpenAI Axios

FTC is investigating ChatGPT-maker OpenAI for potential harm to consumers CNN

Elon Musk Announces New Company xAI as He Seeks to Build ChatGPT Alternative Data Center Knowledge

Google’s ChatGPT rival Bard launches in Europe and Brazil BBC

Ohio Plastic Surgeon Loses Medical License After TikTok Livestreams New York Times

Groves of Academe

Public Trust in Higher Ed Has Plummeted. Yes, Again. The Chronicle of Higher Education

Imperial Collapse Watch

Babylon Makes The Rules-Based International Order Forever Wars by Spencer Ackerman

Supply Chain

FDA clears more chemotherapy imports from China’s Qilu amid shortage of key cancer meds Fierce Pharma

Record olive oil prices keep climbing after Spanish drought FT

Class Warfare

Americans turning to installment apps Klarna, Affirm to buy groceries The Atlanta Journal Constitution

Congratulations! The US Is 32nd Worldwide On Broadband Affordability Techdirt

160,000 SAG-AFTRA Members to Strike with 11,000 of the Writers Guild for 1st Time in 60 Years Payday Report

We’re All Mice Trying to Chew Through a Trillion Dollar Tree How Things Work


Remote work to wipe out $800 billion from office values, McKinsey says Crain’s Chicago Business

The fight over working from home goes global The Economist

Libertarian Squillionaire Titanic Submersible Darwin Award Winner


The Bezzle

Ripple’s open market sales of XRP cryptocurrency aren’t securities, court rules in landmark decision Fortune

Founder of crypto lender Celsius Network arrested, charged with fraud Reuters

Frank founder Charlie Javice gave JP Morgan millions of names and emails for college students she said were customers, but ‘it was all fake,’ prosecutor says Business Insider


Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Sardonia

    You hate to kick a man when he’s down, but when he’s a multi-time winner of Lambert’s Sociopath of the Day Award, anything goes. So, all of us can get up and dance to the B-52’s eminently danceable “Rock Lobster!” (well, Bob Wachter can’t get up and dance right now) with new, updated lyrics!

    “Bob Wachter!”

    [Verse 1]
    Sca-do-ba-da, eww
    Sca-do-ba-da, eww
    (Sca-do-ba-da) We were in pandemic (Eww)
    (Sca-do-ba-da) Someone began to tweet (Eww)
    (Sca-do-ba-da) Millions of people read him (Eww)
    (Sca-do-ba-da) His name was Bob Wachter (Eww)

    (Ah-ah-ah-ah) Bob Wachter!
    (Ah-ah-ah-ah) Bob Wachter!

    [Verse 2]
    We were needing facts (Eww)
    Nobody knew what to believe (Eww)
    Then came a quite credentialed doc (Eww)
    Wearing the right white frock (Eww)
    Couldn’t be a crock (Eww)
    No, not our Bob Wachter (Eww)

    (Ah-ah-ah-ah) Bob Wachter
    (Ah-ah-ah-ah) Bob Wachter

    [Verse 3]
    Bob Wachter, Bob Wachter
    Trouble with our doctor (Hoorah)
    He got the bug (Hoorah)
    Lots of trouble (Hoorah)
    In his bubble (Hoorah)
    He was in a jam (Hoorah)
    Passed out! His head went “bam”! (Hoorah)

    Bob, Bob, Bob Wachter!
    (Ah-ah-ah-ah) Down, down…

    [Verse 4]
    Sca-do-ba-da, eww
    Sca-do-ba-da, eww
    (Sca-do-ba-da) Collapsed on his floor (Eww)
    (Sca-do-ba-da) Head was bleeding (Eww)
    (Sca-do-ba-da) Vertebrae was broken (Eww)
    (Sca-do-ba-da) Blood ‘round the brain (Eww)
    (Sca-do-ba-da) Consciousness failing (Eww)
    (Sca-do-ba-da) Sirens wailing! (Eww)

    (Ah-ah-ah-ah) Bob Wachter
    (Ah-ah-ah-ah) Bob Wachter

    [Verse 5]
    Bob Wachter, Bob Wachter
    Hoorah, hoorah
    EMT’s hurry! (Hoorah)
    Outlook blurry! (Hoorah)
    Muscles all limp (Hoorah)
    Bob is a gimp (Hoorah)
    Bob, Bob

    Bob, Bob, Bob Wachter!
    (Ah-ah-ah-ah) Down, down…
    Wachter! Bob!
    Wachter! Bob!
    Poor Bob!

    Boys in restaurants
    Girls in packed bars
    Everybody’s maskless
    Everybody’s tactless
    Bob Wachter said it was safe – indoor fun
    Odds to get sick – hundred thousand to one!
    No need to take guard
    Bob was our lifeguard
    Pass the cheery chatter!
    Bob’s wife got Long Covid
    His advice was outmoded
    But he only re-loaded
    There was his window
    Still gave misinfo
    Old brains are so slow
    Millions still read his tweets
    And pass along their sympathies
    No one seems to get
    Here comes Bob’s Karma Whale! (AHHHHH)


    Bob Wachter (Wachter, ah-ah-ah-ah)
    Bob Wachter (Wachter, Bob Wachter)
    Bob Wachter (Wachter, ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)
    Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah-ah-ah

  2. zagonostra

    >Florida ocean water just hit a ‘boiling’ 97 degrees. That’s bad for several reasons. The Week

    Yesterday evening I went to the beach in Ft. Laud., FL, in the shade with a breeze blowing it was tolerable, when I went for a swim, I had to get out to cool off. I grew up in this area and spent many days swimming on the beach, I never can recall the ocean being this warm, to the point where you get out to cool down instead of going in…sad. I always preferred the East coast of FL instead of West coast just for this reason, the latter was always too hot. Now, in, in the summer, both sides are too warm.

    1. jax

      I went to high school in Miami and loved the ‘warm bath’ of the Atlantic. These ocean temps are unfathomable. I don’t see them going down so any hurricanes this year are going to have mega-energy to wind up. Stay safe.

  3. griffen

    Keystone Kops, Friday edition. We can rest easy, case closed and no apparent single person can be honed upon as to the white powdery substance found in recent weeks. Such substances are known to be highly addictive, and lead to entertaining depictions of drug dealers and the business of blow.

    We will not say hello to the little friend. Hey Americans, up in the sky it’s another balloon! \sarc

    1. Wukchumni

      If you want to hang out at the White House redoubt, cocaine
      If you want to get down, down on the ground, cocaine

      He don’t lie, he don’t lie, he don’t lie

      If you got bad news, you want to kick them Burisma blues, cocaine
      When your day is done, and you want to run, cocaine

      He don’t lie, he don’t lie, he don’t lie

      If your risk of going to jail is gone, and you want to ride on, cocaine
      Don’t forget this fact-now they’ve found it, you can’t get it back, cocaine

      He don’t lie, he don’t lie, he don’t lie

      He don’t lie, he don’t lie, he don’t lie

      Cocaine, by Eric Clapton

      1. christofay

        Back in the day MLB players would leave a weed stash around the hotels they stayed in for return dates in that city. With Zelensky and Hunter passing through I can speculate that someone left a little emergency “epicenter” behind.

      2. griffen

        Now I am thinking that our sitting POTUS and highest executive in the land, resembles somewhat the fictional (perhaps appropriate surname) President Snow from the Hunger Games fictional works?

        We are living in a sort of Hunger Games prequel. Inflation is only in your minds, citizens of Panem! Ye who are found to possess illegal substances will be punished for all to see, unless you’re magically deemed of high importance or possibly born to the correct dynasty. Exceptions must be made.

    2. Randall Flagg

      The USA’s war on drugs, drugs are winning, they have now breached security and invaded the White House…

      1. Synoia

        More likely::

        We now now have confirmation recreational drugs breached security and invaded the White House…

        1. Randall Flagg

          I’ll gladly stand corrected but, the pharmaceutical industry big shots got there first though IMHO

    3. Val

      Creepy Joe thought everybody brown in my neighborhood should be punished with a mandatory 5-10 years in a cage for the same substance. Preened about it for 20 years.

      Real Tough Guy, that moral idiot Finnegan. Always posing.

      Better questions…Has there been a day in the last 50 years when cocaine was not easily available in the imperial centers? IF they could switch to bong rips and oxytocin agonists, might the myrmidons find the psychological resources needed to save the systemic corruption they pretend is a functioning state?

      The only true consolation is knowing that the ghost of Abe Lincoln goes all poltergeist and angrily chases Biden around the White House every night.

      1. Felix_47

        Marjorie Green pointed out that they could urine test the 500 people that have gone by that area. Every employer in my area tests applicants. Those that deal with cash are tested periodically without warning. Marijuana is legal but they are looking for other stuff. The military tests everyone usually you can predict you are going to get tested when you come back from leave or a four day weekend. Since whatever is going on in the White House is thought to be top secret there should not be any legal issues. The fact that the commander in chief has not ordered testing says a lot. It also says a lot to our enlisted who have the abide by the rules in the rules based order.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships skyrocket to highest levels in a decade: CDC data”

    In another timeline and after that world was hit by the pandemic, ocean liners undertook a radical overhaul in how they conducted business with particular attention to ventilation and making sure that a virus that is spread by an aerosol vector was stopped dead in it’s tracks and was confined. And after that point, attacks of Norovirus infections aboard ocean liners became relatively rare. But that is that timeline and we live in this one instead.

    1. Wukchumni

      A dozen of us were on the SS Norovirus, er Royal Caribbean, 3 fortnights ago with 3.988 other assorted scalawags, and another 1,200 crew b’low decks mostly. Our destination was exotic Avalon & Ensenada. I counted a whole 3 people masked up on board over 4 days, and nobody in our family got sick… so I take back the SS Norovirus snide remark.

      Hadn’t been on a cruise in 7 years as I wanted the statute of limitations to expire, and they had plenty of hand washing stations on board, with a couple of sing-sing Filipino cruise ship employees cajoling those coming through the entrance of the restaurant to wash their hands at one of the 8 sinks on either side of the walkway. Quite effective.

        1. Wukchumni

          Kentuckians fought on both sides in the Civil War, and one way to see how things were going was by the convertibility of CSA $’s into denominated Federal gold coins, and as things are going bad for the south, the conversion rate skyrockets until nobody wants Confederate banknotes at any rate of exchange. Maybe that had something to do with it?

          They found the Donner Party hoard of silver coins in 1891, but the Donner Party hoard of gold coins stashed somewhere in Utah en route has never been found.

          1. Stillfeelinthebern

            How do you know that the Kentucky coins are not fake? Created to look like a civil war cache.

            Just wondering about this because of reading about at fakes in the art world, letters and such.

            Are there famous fakes in the coin world?

            1. Wukchumni

              Fake coins were generally not an issue when I was pushing old metal, with the best counterfeit pre 1933 gold coins coming from Beirut in the late 1960’s and 1970’s, and keep in mind you needed minting equipment including the ability to produce blanks (the washer-like thing a coin is before you strike it with an image on both sides simultaneously in the minting process) and have somebody hand-engrave the details on the coining die, all in all a really expensive operation and you couldn’t have too many different coining dies with different dates of coins as again, it was quite expensive to make just one set of 2 dies.

              As a consequence, everybody knew what the dozen or so Lebanese fakes looked like and were familiar with them, and there were a few other counterfeiters, but no big deal really in the marketplace, until…

              Chinese started counterfeiting older American coins about 25 years ago, and in lieu of the expensive and time demanding art of making dies, they merely took digital photos of old coins and produced the dies on a computer, in a jiffy.

              The quality is really good, although they tend to not use silver which is a bit of a blow it, as base metal weighs differently and looks different.

              Their latest trick is gold plated coins & ingots made out of tungsten, which is fetching about 1/100th the price of all that glitters per ounce. It’s the perfect host for larceny, as it has the almost exact same specific gravity (heft) of #79.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Gold plated coins & ingots made out of tungsten? I have no idea how the Chinese were ever able to think up an idea like that-


                And of course there is the story of how during the Clinton era, between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were allegedly manufactured by a very high-end, sophisticated refiner in the USA. If true, I wonder where they went? (cough-cough-Fort Knox-cough-cough).

              2. Martin Oline

                I worked with a mold maker in the Bay area in 1980. He had emigrated from Romania to Israel sometime before I met him. He told me that while he was in Israel a ‘friend’ made one or more dies for striking Roman coins. They were struck with a method that relied on gravity for the force required. He was able to make it look good but had difficulty getting the correct aging effect on the metal. Fortunately there was an organization locally that would authenticate antiquities. He tried a number of different approaches in aging the coins until he chanced upon a method where his counterfeit coins were judged authentic.

            2. Wukchumni


              The Omega Man was the most famous counterfeiter of American coins, but again everybody knew which ones he made, thanks to his tell tale sign.

              Most counterfeiters achieve their notoriety after they have been apprehended and identified. But the identity of one master counterfeiter of US gold coins remains unknown to this day.

              Known as The Omega Man for the distinctive mark left on his (her, their) fakes, this counterfeiter made an estimated 20,000 bogus coins in the early 1970s of such high quality that they would have been nearly undetectable without the trademark. That mark consisted of the Greek letter Omega (Ω) placed faintly at various locations depending on the coin.

              The gold coins known to have been made by the Omega Man include the 1907 $20 US Double Eagle (the most famous and most produced), 1910, 1913 and 1926 $10 Eagle and 1874, 1878 and 1882 $3 gold coins. The Double Eagles have a tiny omega inside the claws of the eagle on the reverse, it is inside the “R” in “Liberty” on the coin’s face on the $10 and $3 coins.


  5. GramSci

    I think it was flora who posted Aaron Mate’s interview of Andrii Telizhenko in yesterday’s Water Cooler. I hope Mate’ posts a transcript because Telizhenko names names — lots of them, including names starting with B. Meanwhile, it’s a “must watch”.

    1. anahuna

      If memory serves, Teluzhenko, who was in Ukraine and working for the government at the time, confirms much of what Trump’s lawyers were saying in the 2nd impeachment trial.

    2. repiet

      The best part, imo, is when it is revealed that Nuuland wanted to bring bread to the Maidan protestors and the interviewee scoffed ‘what are you Jesus?’

      1. The Rev Kev

        When Nuland was handing out bread at the Maidan, perhaps they should have checked to see that it did not contain captagon.

    3. Bugs

      I can rarely get through an entire interview in that format but everything Telizhenko said was so compelling and actually, logical that I couldn’t turn away – the timeline came together with all the nonsense obfuscation of the Dems and Blob magically removed by a real player and witness to the events, especially Maidan and Burisma. The whole thing is about the Big Guy getting his black sheep kid remunerative employment and money laundering. NGOs with grants of millions who produced only a few pamphlets and a seminar. Ukrainians getting paid six figures to go meet Americans and do absolutely nothing. When he teared up a few times talking about what’s happened to Ukraine, and the war, I was sold. I’m sure there are some things that could be argued about in his depiction of events and he’s hitched his wagon to some sketchy characters along the way, but this interview is truly gobsmacking.

    4. ex-PFC Chuck

      It wasn’t Flora. Or if it was it wasn’t on yesterday’s Water Cooler. Anyone who can repost the link would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Wukchumni

    $4.01k update:

    Ripple’s open market sales of XRP cryptocurrency aren’t securities, court rules in landmark decision Fortune

    Founder of crypto lender Celsius Network arrested, charged with fraud Reuters

    Frank founder Charlie Javice gave JP Morgan millions of names and emails for college students she said were customers, but ‘it was all fake,’ prosecutor says Business Insider

    Sure, the news is all self incriminating as of late in cryptoland as far as owners and perpetuators of the digital legal tender purloin are concerned, but luckily Bitcoin is spared from that on account of the de-riskium shields on the Enterprise sparing it from any bad press in regards to other cryptocurrencies, which coin-cidentally is all of them.

    Bitcoin has doubled in value off of it’s lows and the sky is the suggested limit!

  7. Lexx

    ‘Americans turning to installment apps Klarna, Affirm to buy groceries’

    The average American family size is 3.13, at $973 a month for groceries, that’s $310 a month per person… that’s a lot of kibble. These are not bargain shoppers; they’re entirely reliant on grocery stores for food, making little or nothing for themselves, aka cooking and ‘putting by’… otherwise the monthly bill wouldn’t be so high.

    Almost everything we buy in grocery stores is a “convenience” with incredibly long (global) supply chains. The alternative to ‘convenience’ is not ‘hardship’.

    1. BrianC - PDX

      As my sister in law would say – “Shop the outside of the store”. Avoid the processed and pre-fab stuff in the middle.

      I recall feeding myself and two teen age boys in middle/high school on $300/400/mo. But we were buying beans and rice in bulk. Lots of nuts, fruits and vegetables. One was hard core vegetarian by that time. His brother and I would occasionally do chicken or pork. Then Bobs Red Mill cereals for breakfast. Dairy was expensive. (This was all pre inflation.) I thought that was high at the time, but I wasn’t making any attempt to save.

      Both boys do their own shopping/meal prep now. The stories they tell me of what their friends eat… Lots of fast food. I think very few people know how to cook now… Or do their own shopping meal prep.

      $973/mo is a lot…

      1. Lexx

        I’ve been going from store to store looking for Milkman powdered milk. The secret to taming ice crystals and making smooth creamy ice cream is milk solids, so I’ve been looking for the one with the cream included. No luck and I seem to be talking to a generation who has no memory of powdered milk existing, much less where it might be in the store.

        Husband is fond of Bob’s Red Mill oats for breakfast.

        I can remember more than twenty-five years ago a friend of mine served a salad using bagged lettuce, saying ‘I just don’t have time to clean it!’ It was a revelation to me that you could buy lettuce pre-cleaned in bags; there were people I knew and still liked who would admit out loud they’re too lazy/busy to clean produce for anyone at all, and that I no longer knew another woman who could cook and they were okay with that.. because they did know someone who could cook.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Ordering the Selected Reserve and Certain Members of the Individual Ready Reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty”

    Sounds like they are sending over specialists to Europe so maybe occupations like tank and Bradley mechanics, artillery repair and maintenance teams, intelligence people, guards, etc. If Biden was crazy enough to order the US military itself into the Ukraine to fight the Russians, I think that the Pentagon themselves would have him removed on the grounds of mental incompetence. It is bad enough for them to see burning Bradleys on the Ukrainian Steppes but it would be quite another to see an American Brigade burning there as well.

    1. Louis Fyne

      kinda….more like there is a severe military labor shortage.

      If these middle-aged reservists need to be mobilized in *peacetime*, it implies that the Pentagon is stretched for manpower—-even if it was a 2nd invasion of Grenada.

    2. ilsm

      the presidential announcement has to do with the official process to ‘raise the militia’.

      iirc, to raise reserve or guard for longer than a short stint require a notice.

      atlantic resolve started in 2014, when us sent units to train and coordinate weapons in the balts

      this type of thing went on in Iraq since 2003.

      this is legacy of no draft, and ‘all volunteer force’ policy to use reserves ilo draftees.

      the optic are worse than the facts

      1. Glen

        Maybe. The fact is that deploying people over and over has pretty much hollowed out America’s military. The last time America fought a war against a “peer” power, deployments like this were not allowed. But the DOD has to operate like this because the military is constantly being deployed in wars not supported by the country.

        1. Louis Fyne

          Yes, and it also creates a reasonable suspicion that there is below average re-enlistment among first-term enlistees—those who enlisted during Trump’s term for their 3 to 6 year contract and have to decide whether to sign another multi-year contract (ie, “go career”).

        2. ilsm

          yes, too many national guard soldiers deployed too many times to afghan and Iraq

          sad now Poland, and the balts will be the cause of hardship

  9. ilsm

    cluster munitions, especially the 155 mm dpicm round must be banned.

    the dud rate on artillery dpicm is huge compared to the bomblet released from gravity bombs, and mlrs rockets.

    the accelerate up the 155 tube reaches 18000 g force! the effect on the fuse is noteworthy!

    the provision of fighter carried cluster bomb units is not wise since the fighter is exposed to air defenses, but the tiny accelerations may reduce the mine field left behind.

    mlrs accelerations are less than artillery but excess the gravity bombs.

    in most cases where dpicm are employed the area becomes a minefield with no maps, and unstable unexploded ordnance.

  10. Alice X

    >Timofey Bordachev: Here’s why the US will almost certainly never allow Ukraine to join NATO

    From the piece (my emphasis):

    Inviting Kiev to join NATO could mean something entirely new for American foreign policy – a willingness to fight a peer adversary like Russia. Throughout their history, Americans have shied away from this, using other players as battering rams willing to sacrifice and suffer for American interests. This was the case in both the First and Second World Wars. The most likely scenario, therefore, is that the US will limit itself to promising to address the issue of Ukraine and NATO after the Kiev regime has resolved its problems with Russia in one way or another. In the meantime, it will only be promised some “special” terms on a bilateral basis.

    Moi: As long as Ukraine joining NATO after the war is dangled about, the war will go on.

    Can they just abolish NATO? and end this damn war. I can dream, can’t I?

    1. Glen

      I don’t think NATO is going away, but I’m beginning to think the biggest winner from the current NATO meeting is China.

      Our Western leaders are going to have to pull a Seinfeld’s George at some point, and just do the exact opposite of what they WANT to do. It seems like every time they DO something to destroy their enemies, they only end up making their enemies look stronger. Maybe they can treat all their enemies like they treat their friends. That’ll wreck em!

      1. nycTerrierist

        Too bad they’ll never go for it — too sensible

        It’s against the ‘rules-based order’ to learn from mistakes

    2. JBird4049

      Throughout their history, Americans have shied away from this, using other players as battering rams willing to sacrifice and suffer for American interests.

      A slight quibble here. People have the habit of using the present to describe the past, which often creates a false narrative or history. “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.”

      In both world wars, the American population had to be dragged into the war. The Isolationists, more so in the second war, were a significant, politically influential, fraction of the population.

      Only when the American financial interests that had loaned significant, possibly ruinous, amount of funds to the Allies realized that the Central Powers might win that they pushed the Woodrow Wilson Administration to join the war. The administration formed the Creel Committee, AKA Committee on Public Information, used massive censorship including the closure of many newspapers and magazines, the destruction of the American political party and movement, and passed and used the newly passed Espionage and Sedition Acts, destroyed the German-American community including removing use and teaching of German.

      The process of joining the Second World War was less odious, but the only reason that the isolationists lost is when the Japanese attacked the United States, first with the Germans joining of their own free will. If the Japanese had not attacked, it is probable that the United States would not have joined the war or that it would have joined the British against the Germans.

      In both of these examples, the United States did not start the conflict. In the first case, the financial interests, aka Wall Street, pushed the country into the war to save their financial posterior with the government opportunistically using truly laws and actions to destroy the American Left and the antiwar Right. In the second case, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had to sneak the country into supporting the British and only when the Japanese attacked did the country go into war. In fairness, every major power prewar was frantically preparing for war as most could see it coming in the previous decade.

      Today, a different American and European regime very deliberately created the conditions that cause the Ukrainian-Russian War and is supplying the Ukrainians with weapons in order to loot that country in order cause the collapse of Russia. They hope to break apart Russia into several different nations for easier looting with something like these having been done in numerous countries by the United States.

      America being America, what we are today is much like we were in the past, but the United States of America of today is different then the pre 9/11 America, and that America is significantly different from the pre 1947 Cold War country; this means that the America of today is very, very different than the country of pre 1941. Please do not take the conditions of today including the fairly recent actions of the American Empire to ascribe the prewar and war motives and actions of 110 and 84 years ago.

      1. Alice X

        >Please do not take the conditions of today including the fairly recent actions of the American Empire to ascribe the prewar and war motives and actions of 110 and 84 years ago.

        Well, there is one unifying force, that of greed. Today the Globalists are even more detached from national identity, but remain attached to the funding of their henchmen: the US military, or in the case of Ukraine, their proxies.

        My quote was from the RT piece.

        I agree that the line:

        Throughout their history, Americans have shied away from this [entering a conflict directly], using other players as battering rams willing to sacrifice and suffer for American interests.

        is too simplistic, and it would require volumes to explain fully. In both world wars the US was looking to take chunks out of the competing empires, be they allies or not.

        See the Aaron Maté interview with Andrii Telizhenko from the links above, for some very interesting information.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>In both world wars the US was looking to take chunks out of the competing empires, be they allies or not.

          I certainly agree with this bit as the United States has been a master of disaster capitalism, as with the world wars, as opportunistic feeding at the trough. Just because it did not want to start something or to be involved did not mean not indulging itself. It’s just good business.

          And I will check out the link.

  11. TomDority

    Did I hear Biden say that Putin has already lost the war?
    “Mission accomplished”

  12. Jabura Basaidai

    geez i’m so surprised……..NOT!
    when you have a leader that says this you know we have a craven warmonger-in-chief
    from the article – “Then, around noon yesterday, Biden said there was “no possibility” that Russian President Vladimir Putin could win the war in Ukraine. Indeed, reassured Biden, Putin had “already lost.”
    only a craven warmonger lunatic or someone not capable of critical thinking would think a statement like that is true – Russia could crush Ukraine like a bug if that was their intent –

  13. ChrisFromGA

    Re: office values in the remote work age

    When even “The Bobs” have turned against you, you know you’re in trouble.

    Office space chieftain: Hello? Who is this calling?

    Bob: Hi, my name is Bob, I’m just here to ask you a few questions about your job role.

    Office space chieftain: (Nervously) Okay …

    Bob: What is it that you exactly do, around here?

  14. Steve H.

    > Unrest and Repetition New Left Review

    Mixed bag here. The list of common factors is incisive. But juxtaposing his Brecht quote:

    >> Wouldn’t it be simpler if the government dissolved the people and elected a new one?


    >> Bloch’s reflection leads us to the following question: if the jacquerie is inseparable from feudalism, and the strike from Fordist capitalism, then to what command system does the tumult of the NEETs correspond?

    highlights the category inversion. Like, that’s pork, so it must be barbeque sauce. I don’t know, maybe it’s a European dialictical thing. Perhaps I was displeased with this bit of seasoning:

    >> At this point, police violence cannot be considered a bavure, as the French say, but a persistent and transnational feature of contemporary capitalism.

    It’s this thing Carlson does, narrowing and widening the scope of the metaphor at each step of the rhetorical ladder for the sake of the melody. Taken as a whole, his examples countermand his ascription to capitalism. Regardless of -ism, unemployed youth getting violent is consistent through millienia. Korinthenkacking the categories is all trees, no forest.

    Oh well a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
    I said a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days

    You know in the old days
    When a young man was a strong man
    All the people they’d step back
    When a young man walked by

    But you know nowadays
    It’s the old man,
    He’s got all the money
    And a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
    I said <a href="Oh well a young man ain't got nothin' in the world these days
    I said a young man ain't got nothin' in the world these days

    You know in the old days
    When a young man was a strong man
    All the people they'd step back
    When a young man walked by

    But you know nowadays
    It's the old man,
    He's got all the money
    And a young man ain't got nothin' in the world these days
    I said nothing

    1. Mikel

      “…From the point of view of the regime, it may well be that riots are welcome, for they guarantee renormalisation, they permit social ‘bantustans’ to remain such, and they deflate discontents that could otherwise be perilous…”

      “…A social system is not only characterised by its internal structure, but also by the reactions it provokes…”

      As I’ve said here before, the establishment would be more worried if the streets were earily desserted or no interest was shown in the goods for sale (no looting).
      The arrests fuel the jail/prison system, the vandalism spurs insurance claims, big marches gatherings spur economic activity in areas, etc. A million person march on DC? Ca-ching $$$ for the the already comparitavely wealthy Beltway.

      Imagine this instead: instead of organizing on the national security state’s social media platforms, turn them off.
      Give the establishment an eerie quiet reminscent of the spring of 2020.
      Even just picking one or two things to drop or drop out of….
      Especially for the NEETs, that shouldn’t be too hard.

      1. Steve H.

        > deflate discontents
        > the reactions it provokes

        One of Turchin’s models of social discontent was epidemiological, discontent as contagion, but after awhile many return to ‘normalcy’ and are immune to the fever.

        > Even just picking one or two things to drop or drop out of….


    2. Michaelmas

      Oh well a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days
      I said a young man ain’t got nothin’ in the world these days

      Hip song.

      Although just so tribute is given where due, this song was by the late, great Mose Allison. The Who version most people know is but a cover ( though that P. Townshend was hip enough to pull it out of the archives is to his credit.)

  15. The Rev Kev


    This may not sound nice but anybody who lost money on these stupid things seriously had it coming, especially if they were celebrities. Trying to claim that an image of a cartoon ape is actually a good way to store money did not make any sense back then and now reality has caught up with these people. Of course I fully expect that the smarties who set up this con and pushed it to other people got their money out a very long time ago.

    But say, does anybody remember when Jimmy Fallon and Paris Hilton were pushing these on Jimmy’s show? It was only a year ago. Here is another clip where he was pushing this crap-

    1. JBird4049

      Well, I believe in God, but who says that He has to do anything? Really?

      During the Enlightenment many tended to think of him like the watchmaker. Make the Universe and just let it run.

      Or if he is active in our live, it could be like the parent watching the baby sticking his finger in the light socket. “You won’t being doing that again will you? Pain is a good teacher. Now run along with your singed hair, and play elsewhere.” I would consider us those roasted cells in an otherwise fine body. In other words, humanity might ultimately learn its lesson and be fine, but who cares about a few individuals with the word “few” being elastic in its definition.

      Remember, the lineage that is the sole remaining hominid species that is Homo sapiens sapiens nearly became extinct twice with the total population going as low as one thousand, although probably higher like ten thousand. Back in the day we numbered less than a million people worldwide, but being whacked to just ten thousand would still mean a lot of death. Baby, socket, zap, pain, and lesson. Humanity, The Bomb, Booms, pain, lesson.

      I tend towards this definition and explanation. Just because it will truly suck for you, the cell, it does not follow that the Big Kahuna will do anything, if it turns out okay eventually for the baby that is humanity.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        after 12 years of parochial education, 8 with Dominican nuns the last 4 with Jesuits – and 5 years as an altar boy as well as 6 days a week in mass for those 12 years where most times i would read the old testament – i have a pretty good idea who/what folks think god is – i prefer the homily of doing onto others as you would have others do unto you as a simple precept to follow – the concept, and it is a concept, of god is a subject of discussion often with priests i know and others of faith, always with mutual respect – if it makes you feel good and reinforces you being good to others that is fantastic – to define the concept, imho, is taking the lord’s name in vain and that is a commandment – if god is the infinite and immeasurable who are we to deign define – a lot of the actions done in the name of god are documented as not too nice – my brief 74 years on the blue marble have found the lord’s name taken too often to justify things that break the golden rule – i respect your view and apologize, it was not meant to be dismissive –

        1. JBird4049

          Please do not think that I am in anyway offended. My comment was just a very quick observation, not a defense against anything.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Rep. Massie Promises Vote to Establish Audit Overseeing Ukraine War Money”

    Good luck with that one. There are too many people in Congress and the White House who are cashing in big time with all that Ukrainian war money. I mean at least $120 billion has been allocated for the war effort so is anybody going to miss a few hundred million dollars here and there? The House just voted down an amendment to stop cluster bombs going to the Ukraine so what chance is there is there that they will back a measure to audit all those billions?

  17. cnchal

    Prime whip cracking sadist daze just passed, and Amazon proudly announced they sold mostly digital crapola and spyware, the stuff they lose billions on.

    Amazon’s PE > 325

    Totally normal, nothing to see here, move along, avert your eyes and close your mouth. That’s rain and not Mr. Market peeing on your face.

  18. Mark Gisleson

    The USA Today article on home water filters and PFAS was the most coyly written thing I’ve ever read. I just wanted to know if they worked and yes maybe some of them do then further down sure but we’re not telling you which ones. Click for the article you really wanted (I didn’t, I’m just going to assume my water filter brand is adequate).

    If this is the new journamalism, I don’t want any.

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      FWIW – i worked for an industrial filtration company and the skinny from them was that RO was the best process to remove PFAS compounds – activated charcoal can work if utilized properly – we had an ultra-filtration process that then went into a 2-step reverse osmosis that removed the elements but you were left with a concentrated liquid filled with the stuff – i had a few landfills interested – as mentioned previously in a post the quandary was what to do with the leftover concentrate of the crap – nothing was even remotely economically scalable to render it neutral – as i recall a university near Cleveland was working with the air force to use a type of electrolysis to break it down – the air force had a serious an ongoing problem due to the use of it in their fire suppression systems – we had thought using it to make concrete blocks but then you have an eventual leachate – we are living with a poison that is now raining on us and being taken up by the plants we eat – a very sorry situation –

    2. Charger01

      These “forever chemicals” aren’t going away anytime soon. It was PCBs, now PFAS/PFOAs, next PBDEs. Its hard to quantify the risks associated with all of these chemicals, but they ain’t good.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        yep, agree totally – those of us that fish in the Great Lakes have known for decades to cut the belly fat out of the fish if you’re going to eat them because of PCB’s- i throw them back unless fishing a stream in the UP – and even then i’m sure they have PFAS/PFOA chemicals in them – it really sucks –

    3. mrsyk

      The methodology of the study, as quoted by the article, seems questionable. “Scientists tested 10 different water filtration systems for specific types of PFAS, notably the most common types: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS). The group tested for 25 different types of PFAS using one water sample for each filter, a summary of the research reads. (Emphasis mine.). Does this mean that the single sample had the benefit of a brand new filter?
      A couple of observations. First, as I understand it, there are no “safe levels” of PFAS. Second, one town in my area was found to have significant PFOAS in the public water supply, sourced to a dumping ground on the river. The solution was to install a filter at the pumping station. At the time (2106ish), filtration systems capable of bring PFOA levels down to state standards were hard to source. Unsurprisingly, in 2021, Community water filtration system fails in Pownal

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Why did Stanford students host a group of neo-Nazis?”

    Here is a thought. So you have not only the students at Stanford giving actual Nazis a hero’s welcome but you have staff like Francis Fukuyama doing the same as well. And of course they can see that Washington also gave them a hero’s reception. Again, these people are actual real-life Nazis who do not really try to hide it but show off their Nazi regalia. But at the end of the day, these Nazis will go back to the Ukraine where they will be out of sight, out of mind. If this is the way that it is, will Stanford students and staff also support local home-grown Nazis if they are fighting in a noble cause? And not just Stanford either but other universities. As these students graduate and start their climbing in governmental and corporate positions, will they use their power then to finance and protect American Nazis if those Nazis promise to bring order to America? By cracking down on conservatives for example? If they were fighting Trumpers, the answer I would suspect to be an automatic yes.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      If the Cali Left had had its stuff together, they would have figured out how to invite real local Nazis to the gathering or would have done a cosplay protest.

      Can you imagine the Azov thugs’ reaction to being confronted by protesters throwing Sieg Heil salutes at them? Would the Azovs have returned the salute?

      Contradictions abounded at Stanford but they were steadfastly not heightened. #TeamBlue

  20. Mikel


    Now imagine the current global order is something like the Oceangate sub and all of us are in it with similarly minded CEOs and billionaires.

        1. Late Introvert

          But we know what we are up against. Those people wield lots of power but what are their weak spots?

  21. Acacia

    I had a comment on ‘Pandemic within the pandemic’ but it’s going into the black hole of moderation anyway, so it seems pointless to elaborate…

  22. Carolinian

    Lotsa Links today. If one may add a couple more in the entertainment realm:

    –A backgrounder on Oppenheimer directed by self styled egghead Christopher Nolan. Matt Damon plays Leslie Groves and often times macho star Cillian Murphy is the wispy Oppie. Damon seems unlikely but then Paul Newman was even more unlikely as Groves in the previous Fat Man and Little Boy.

    Some of us have made our own pilgrimage to Los Alamos but trips to remote Trinity Site are only allowed once a year. And

    –Interviews suggest the studios are out to break the WGA

    1. jax Read

      Nolan is a smashing director and I’d watch Cillian Murphy read the phone book. Oppenheimer may lure me back to a movie theater. Of course, if our movie theaters had digital signs at the door reading the level of C02 inside like Japan had by 2021, I’d be less concerned.

      1. Carolinian

        I’m not as big a fan as some and he seems to be most famous for all those camera trix despite suggestions, in the article, that at home he’s a simple luddite. Agree that he would be a terrific director of someone else’s script but then no “auteur” without all the time shifting etc. Murphy is indeed a good actor.

    2. bonks

      Christopher Nolan may have done too many Batmans more than I cared for but he directed Interstellar, one of the few great movies to have come out of Hollywood in recent years amidst thousands of garbage they produce.

      1. Late Introvert

        I doubt it, sorry. I checked out of Hollywood decades ago, 3-letter agency approved nonsense.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “Remote work to wipe out $800 billion from office values, McKinsey says”

    They say this like it is a bad thing. A lot of buggy whip manufacturers went out of business when cars came along but that happens when an economy has to reconfigure itself. Back in the 90s when the internet came along, there was the promise of staying at home to work along with the paperless office. Neither of those happened and I suspect now that the reason was that this has been resisted by the professional managerial class as they want their workers right where they can watch over them and even bully them. Same with the paperless office as huge amounts of paper being generated shows that you are “working” so the paperless office never happened. So the pandemic forced their hand and a lot of people are realizing the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars being spent annually of workers just going to and from work. Plus the sunk cost of those corporate vanity towers that turn out not to be so necessary after all. So if those office towers go the way mostly of buggy whip manufacturers, then so be it.

  24. Jason Boxman

    You too can work to automate yourself out of the job, because Remo is hiring. This is what US-based AI quality control looks like. It’s 23.40/hr: Are you interested in training AI models to become better writers?

    Just like in the Wired story a few weeks ago, they’re looking for:

    You will train AI models in your domain of expertise by crafting and answering questions related to your field.
    You will evaluate and rank responses generated by AI systems.
    You will assess the factual accuracy and relevance of text produced by AI models in the context of your field.
    This remote, project-based position offers total flexibility, allowing you to determine the extent of your involvement based on your personal availability and desired workload.

    Fun times, eh?

    As I’ve surmised since late last year, these things only work if you have an army of poorly paid people verifying and fixing results, just like with Google Search. And the going rate for professionals to outsource their own jobs is a mere $23/hr. It’s better than LeapForce was for Google Search, which was about $14/hr I recall for US-based task workers.

    1. ChrisFromGA

      In a Joker-kind-of-way, I can see taking this sort of gig to help burn the place down.

  25. mrsyk

    The glut of unused/unnecessary office space should be converted to affordable housing. All the “essential workers” serving the remaining PMC would then be able to live in the same neighborhoods that they work.

    1. synoia

      It is expensive to convert Offices to dwellings. Running in the plumbing and exhausting the household fumes is the killer cost.Ive had rough estimates. It is less expensive to demolish and build condos or apartments.

      1. JBird4049

        Many of those newer office buildings in San Francisco are large things, which means taking them down is also very expensive. I have a feeling that we are going to have some ghost towers for some years. Happy, happy. Joy, joy. Yet another reason to hate them.

        The entire Bay Area finds new ways to throw away cash while still not decreasing the number of homeless and housing poor people, which now includes pretty much the entire middle class. Of course, those office towers were both grifts and ego-fellating projects, while the forty years of driving people into their cars and the streets is profitable for the landlords, the developers, AirBnB, and the overseas investors with their empty apartments. Maybe it was not a waste of cash?

        1. ChrisFromGA

          Too many office towers, and not enough food.

          To paraphrase Sting.

          I wonder if the copper thieves will find old abandoned towers as lucrative as 2008 vintage McMansions. The fact that they’re in urban, downtown locations is both a plus and a minus.

          The plus side: they can easily slip in and out disguised as maintenance workers, and the anonymity of large cities means nobody will notice or care. The bigger the tower, the more booty.

          Minus side: lots and lots of cameras around for later investigation. Getting all that copper out is going to be a logistical problem. Fortune does favor the bold, though.

      2. Felix_47

        But if the buildings are close to free it could be a jobs program for people who need jobs like the homeless, low wage earners etc. Each homeless in the US, for example, costs the government well over 100K per year in cash and services. The high costs are largely because these sorts of jobs in big cities like New York or Chicago are prevailing wage with out of sight pay rates. If you think fancy tract housing developments in California or North Carolina are built with high wage labor……think again. The big builders subcontract the work to small players who hire non union, workers and absorb the workers comp and other liability from the big builders. And the small players recruit workers with a phone call to their villages in Central America and the workers head north knowing that they will have a job and support system on arrival.

      3. juno mas

        A usable conversion of an office tower doesn’t have to be to just apartments. Office buildings do have restrooms, so there is plumbing. The conversion could be a mix of uses: art studios, group living with group kitchen, conventional small office spaces, restaurant on top, workout space with strong ventilation (already in place).

        Yeah, a little self-contained village of sorts. The color of the neighborhood may change, but the building would have utility.

        1. Synoia

          I believe the key issues in office conversion is privacy in toilets, especially at night, maintenance of the same, cooking in shared kitchens, noise and petty theft.

          Find a building, get some quotes and go for it.

      4. Big River Bandido

        I live in a steel and stone building, a former bank and office tower built in 1928 that was converted to residential apartments 20 years ago. If the conversion cost was really that prohibitive, it simply would never have happened — there’s not enough real estate money in this small midwestern city to let a building like that just go to waste.

        Tearing down skyscrapers is not exactly an inexpensive proposition either, especially considering they cannot be replaced with such high quality architecture today.

  26. Mildred Montana

    >Biden administration asks Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax for ‘reasonable’ prices on updated Covid vaccines CNBC

    “Asks”. Begs, pleads, beseeches, implores. Pathetic for a supposed sovereign government. If it had any cajones it would stop the begging, let the vaccine pharmas charge whatever they may, and then impose a hefty excess-profits tax. There used to be one long ago and as far as I know it’s still on the books.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        speaking of that perennial democrat trope:
        i was reading through the official communique from the nato thing in vilnius…and that’s essentially what ukronazis got..”fighting for” and a “path to”.

  27. JBird4049

    >>>You’re Detained as a Spectator at an Event Like the Dolores ‘Hill Bomb.’ What Are Your Legal Rights?

    My question is what were one hundred cops in riot gear doing at Dolores Hill. I mean some of those hills have very steep streets and there reasons why some sidewalks have cement stairs, but two cars and half a dozen uniformed cops would have stopped the event. Maybe add a few more cops for arrests as some people are just fools. That is even before the booze or other chemical enhancing. Why is so much more but a demand to respect their authority?

  28. Mildred Montana

    Time for my anti-doctor rant. I try to avoid them (so far successfully) and god forbid I have to see one anytime soon. If need be, it will only be to get a prescription for pain-killers or a referral to MAID.

    The ascendance of technology has marked the decline of medical thinking and the arts of the physician. Gone the extensive physical examination, the detailed history, the observation of the patient’s appearance, posture, mood, and behavior. So much time, so little money.

    Today the first thing a doctor (or more likely his or her assistant) will do is slap a blood-pressure cuff on one’s arm. Hey, here’s something we can actually measure right away, admonish or reassure the patient, takes no time at all, and qualifies as “hands-on care”. Sheafs of requisitions for tests of all sorts follow and then, 𝘨𝘦𝘵 𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘴𝘶𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘳, 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘺 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺.

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