Links 7/16/2023

‘It’s hard to be satisfied with just one’: What’s driving the black market for butterflies in Asia? Channel News Asia

Some Squirmy Stowaways Got to the Arctic. And They Like It There. NYT

Parma sues Kia, Hyundai over wave of car thefts (Carla). Carla comments: “Cities suing companies for producing and selling problematic goods — hhhmmm… could become a trend.”


Study Shows Methane Leaks Put Climate Risk From Gas ‘On Par With Coal’ Common Dreams

‘Giant Methane Factories’: Hydropower Has Long Been Touted as Clean Energy. But Is It? Inside Climate News

* * *

Land temperatures in Spain surpass 60C as deadly heatwave sweeps Europe Independent 140 for those following along at home. That’s a lot.

Riding through the heatwave: When rights can be the difference between life and death Gig Economy Project

New Paper Links Climate Change to Shrinking Brain Size in Humans Science Alert


Covid damage is cumulative:

Non-pharmaceutical interventions are cumulative too, in a good way, but the Biden adminstration’s policy of mass infection without mitigation remains firmly in place. Meanwhile, the famous graphic for the “Swiss Cheese Model” has been upgraded:

Now With Added Realism!™

COVID restrictions are gone, but some still covering up overseas Stars and Stripes. And in Japan:

How Reliable is Megahit? USMortality. The deck: “A Quality Control Study of the Tools Used to Discover the SARS-CoV-2 Genome” W-a-a-a-y above my paygrade; the author is a Silicon Valley Engineer. Readers?


‘An Act of War’: Inside America’s Silicon Blockade Against China NYT

Though delivered in the unassuming form of updated export rules, the Oct. 7 controls essentially seek to eradicate, root and branch, China’s entire ecosystem of advanced technology. “The new policy embodied in Oct. 7 is: Not only are we not going to allow China to progress any further technologically, we are going to actively reverse their current state of the art,” Allen says. C.J. Muse, a senior semiconductor analyst at Evercore ISI, put it this way: “If you’d told me about these rules five years ago, I would’ve told you that’s an act of war — we’d have to be at war.”

If the controls are successful, they could handicap China for a generation; if they fail, they may backfire spectacularly, hastening the very future the United States is trying desperately to avoid.

* * *

Did Xi Just Save the World? Adam Tooze, Foreign Policy. The deck: “In a little-noticed speech this week, China permanently changed the global fight against climate change.”

US envoy John Kerry heads to China to restart climate talks Channel News Asia

* * *

China’s curb on metal exports reverberates across chip sector FT

Barry FitzGerald: Two explorers who can take a slice of China’s ionic pie Stockhead. Rare earths.


What Americans Don’t Under­stand About the Conflict in Myanmar The Diplomat

China’s Metastasizing Myanmar Problem United States Institute of Peace

EU rejects Myanmar’s diplomatic role and says it still doesn’t recognize generals AP

European Disunion

French authorities ban protest against police violence in Paris France24

Dear Old Blighty

UK formally agrees to join major Indo-Pacific trade bloc, marking largest post-Brexit deal Independent. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

The NHS is ‘not serving its purpose’ and needs to ‘cooperate with private sector’, says Tony Blair Sky News. Just like the antelope needs to “co-operate” with the lion gnawing its vitals.

Britons are ‘pulling their own teeth out with pliers’ because they can’t access NHS dentists Sky News. Reversion to the mean….

Why the OBR’s view of the economy is so wrong Funding the Future

New Not-So-Cold War

Moscow says attacks on Russian nuclear facilities could spill over to Europe Anadolu Agency

* * *

Minefields are biggest obstacle to Ukrainian counter-offensive Ukrainska Pravda. Who knew?

Nearly a third of the Bradley armored vehicles the US provided Ukraine may have already been lost or damaged Business Insider

Pentagon Dragging Its Feet Over F-16 Gifts To Ukraine Moon of Alabama

* * *

The art of vassalisation: the new middle kingdom of the United States Pearls and Irritations

Russia says it foiled assassination attempts on top media figures Al Jazeera

Thousands of Russian officials to give up iPhones over US spying fears FT


Anti-overhaul protest to shift from ‘disruption’ to ‘paralysis’: Media Al Mayadeen


Biden stability beats Trump volatility in 2024 match-up, experts suggest Guardian. And speaking of stability v. volatility–

Biden nibbles a little girl’s shoulder on the tarmac at Helsinki-Vantaan International Airport in Finland Daily Mail. This dude needs an intervention.

The Supremes

Senators Ask Billionaire Paul Singer and Power Broker Leonard Leo for Full Accounting of Gifts to Supreme Court Justices ProPublica

The Bezzle

Crypto giant Binance lays off more than 1,000 employees, says report Business Standard

Digital Watch

On the Dangers of Stochastic Parrots: Can Language Models Be Too Big? (PDF) Bender, Gebru, McMillan-Major, Shmitchell, Proceedings of the 2021 ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency. Still germane. Perhaps embedding conventional wisdom into unaccountable and unmaintainable black boxes, “code is law”-style, is the whole point?

NY Lawmaker Uses AI to Write Housing Bill That Does Little to Help Renters Gizmodo. So, working as designed?

Creepy catfish or useful co-pilot: Can AI help with dating app success? Sky News

* * *

Big Tech Is Watching You as You Drive The New Republic

Screening Room

Hayao Miyazaki’s Final Film, Renamed ‘The Boy and the Heron,’ Picked Up by GKIDS for North American Distribution Hollywood Reporter. Review.

How J. Robert Oppenheimer Was Influenced by the Bhagavad Gita Literary Hub

Fa fa fa fa fashion

Musical interlude:

To Dye For: How Toxic Fashion Is Making Us Sick, by Alden Wicker, Explores Public Health and Fast Fashion Teen Vogue

China’s Shein hit with RICO, a law used for organised crime Al Jazeera

On the The Lendbreen Tunic:


Fascinating er, thread.


Surge at Sea: Alarming Increase of Norovirus Outbreaks on Cruise Ships SciTech Daily

Cruise line apologizes after dozens of whales slaughtered in front of passengers NBC

Sports Desk

Beware the Pickleball Industrial Complex Jezebel. The deck: “Pickleball has enjoyed a public image as the people’s sport. It’s also considered ‘a venture capitalist’s dream.’ I suggest you run.”

Zeitgeist Watch

Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness. WaPo. The Jeff Bezos Daily Shopper is the last place I would look for coverage of this topic. Granted, I’m not sure where the first place would be; probably something fringe I don’t know about yet.’

The Invention of “the Male Gaze” The New Yorker

Media Driving ‘Fast Car’ Off Cliff Rod Dreher’s Diary. Even a blind pig finds a truffle every so often. Commentary:

“Fast Car” was a single from Tracy Chapman, which sold 20,000,000 copies worldwide. Couldn’t WaPo get the CIA to do some basic OSINT for them?

How Books Taught Europeans to Smoke JSTOR Daily. Social contagion?

Class Warfare

Disney CEO Bob Iger Cackles with Investors about AI Replacing Jobs Lee Fang. If DeSantis had a lick of sense, he’d pivot to this.

A Review of OUTLIVE Eric Topol, Ground Truths. “The bigger picture issue is that the full package that Attia presents, what he and his colleagues provide in their clinic, is not affordable except for the most affluent individuals.”

The Job Where Being a Good Colleague Pays $22 Million a Year WSJ

In Search of Van Halen’s Brown M&Ms Snack Shack

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Sam Adams

      Earthworms, the new dominate species. How will they develop their economy and political systems?

      1. Stephen V

        Actually they are not that different from us: we who base our entire financial system on realest hate values (i.e. dirt).

    2. Bart Hansen

      Speaking of worms, whatever happened to the ‘jumping worms’ from a couple of years ago? The ones which, besides jumping to avoid capture, turned the soil into what looked like coffee grounds.

      We had one small patch but it never did spread and now is gone.

      1. petal

        We have tons of them in our community garden in Norwich, VT. I didn’t see any at the beginning of the season, but once it started raining heavily(like daily), they exploded in number.

    3. Dictynna

      I’ve heard that they are also invasive to the continental U.S., because native worms were killed off during the Ice Age.

  1. Henry Moon Pie

    Warming climate shrinks human brains–

    Opening question: Which do you find more persuasive evidence of the thesis above: 1) the anthropological study referenced in the Links story or 2) this piece of anecdata from Rumble political commentator, Mr. Salty Cracker?

    Bonus points: Compare and contrast Mr. Cracker’s views with a recent comment thread you’ve come across on the Internets.

    Opportunity for personal reflection: After viewing as much of Salty’s commentary as you can stand, ask yourself, which side am I on?

    Digging deep: If the activists had been wearing white shirts and thin black ties, would they have had more success in persuading Mr. Cracker of the justice of their cause?

      1. ambrit

        Even better, veterans in brown shirts. Since the upper echelons of the original Brown Shirts were, as far as we know, queer as H—, then we could also make that LGBT Brown Shirts. Consider them the Woke Goon Squad. (“We’re the Woke Goon Squad and we’re coming to town. Beep! Beep!”)
        Remember boyz and girlz, Fascism comes in and out of fashion, almost predictably.

        1. Mildred Montana

          >”LGBT” You’re dating yourself ambrit. ;) Here’s the most recent string of letters and symbols:

          Try as one might it is becoming nearly impossible (not to mention cumbersome) to stay on top of things in the “woke” world.

          1. timbers

            Mildred, that list you offer LGBTQIA+ is outdated. It does include birds who think they are spiders…as a co-worker recently pointed out to me.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Wait, I thought that it was now LGBTQQIP2SAA.

              It’s like when we were kids and when you went to school, everybody talked about the latest episode or show that was on the previous night of whatever was most popular at the time. Nobody wanted to be the kid that had not seen it and had not a clue what they were talking or joking about. Now as adults, we are expected by some people to know what the latest divisive iteration of certain words or acronyms are now lest we be the outsider.

              1. bassmule

                I would think NS (“Not Straight”) would get the job done, except using “Not” would be considered objectionable, I’m pretty sure.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  I’m DKDC as far as stuff like religion or sexual preferences or political choices of other people are concerned as in Don’t Know, Don’t Care. Works for me.

                  1. Synoia

                    Her is the most accurate and complete list gender initials:of


                    However, these are soon to be added:123456789@#$%^&*()

                  2. Mildred Montana

                    Yeah, I’m DKDC as well. I can’t help but wonder where this current obsession to proclaim one’s “orientation” comes from.

                    Back in my day there was a word for it: Exhibitionism. It was, obviously, a pejorative. Today we’re expected to endure and applaud unquestioningly pride parades, drag shows, and college courses in “gender studies”.

                    Not being an exhibitionist, I keep my sexual proclivities and gender preferences to myself. Why? Because it’s nobody’s business but mine and I have the good sense not to inflict them on others.

                2. bonks

                  Fifteen years ago when I started working in a fashion magazine, I had a slightly older colleague who was a lesbian. She started yelling at me when I called gay people ‘unstraight” out of my own naïveté. So yes apparently they don’t take things kindly if you’re not using the right terminology.

              2. Mark Gisleson

                I’m thinking “dap.” When we first went from handshakes to slapping palms, elaborate moves were developed and it got to a point where most people encountering a stranger would honestly not know how to “shake” hands.

                Now they’re doing it with acronyms. If you don’t know what I just said, you’re not cool. More weaponized jargon from people who go scorched earth in primaries then DEMAND fealty and your vote in the general elections.

                Maybe I will vote in 2024 if only so I can cast write in votes for random acronyms.

              3. elissa3

                If I’m distracted enough not to use the acronym in conversation, I generally go with “LGB-XYZ”. If confronted, I can assert that I’m a Nonidentarian, with the pronouns “none” and “nothing”. Pushed further, I’ll admit to being loyal to our species (although having doubts more recently), having a physical make-up the same as at my birth, and living in the local area where I do. That’s it. That’s enough.

              4. square coats

                What ever happened to all just being “queer” and legitimately wanting to tear down capitalism :(

                1. hunkerdown

                  PMCs (of either type) exist to reproduce capitalism; they have no use for such “unrealistic” fancies.

    1. mrsyk

      Thank you Henry. A general question to all and a useful exercise here. When was the last time your government passed meaningful (not a hand wave) policy that favored public welfare over profits? I’m genuinely curious, particularly non US answers. I’m going with the clean air act here, but that’s a guess.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        ADA 1991. There are issues like anything, but this is the last genuinely decent public policy in the US.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            I just want to commend you for standing up against a nasty current yesterday. It’s hard to “go first” in such a circumstance.

            1. mrsyk

              Thank you both. I take no joy taking a quasi anti peaceful protest stance. The Luke Combs video of his perfectly true cover of Fast Car brought me to tears this morning. The frustration, desperation and cruel reality of our surroundings is profoundly relevant to this conversation.

              1. chris

                I agree. The stuff that was discussed yesterday made for a good time to be quiet and think.

                Having been in rooms where some of this stuff was discussed at higher levels, certainly NOT the highest… I just don’t have any hope. I know there are powerful people who are excited about climate change and arctic ice melt because of access to resources and easier shipping. I know there are people who are excited to see Big Water become as profitable as big oil. I know that when our leaders have the brains to apply themselves to solving these problems, or at least not making them worse, they will only use their abilities to enrich themselves.

                And yeah, the fools who are gluing themselves to random surfaces as an act of rebellion are laughable. But at least they’re trying to do something. It’s like watching someone moan because they’re in great pain and don’t know the words to express themselves. Their ignorance is awful to watch as they suffer in public. Writhing with the loss of what they were never taught to say in words we’ve largely made illegal to speak or write.

                Just look at some of the articles and discussions on here lately… how many of us would risk becoming an unbanked non-person who is actively surveilled and made an enemy of the state simply so that we could move about with a clear conscience? Surely no one with a family. Surely no one who has an ounce of self-preservation. After all, you can find some pleasure in the fermented juices of rotten fruit that has fallen from the tree before it goes to waste.

                I don’t have advice for anyone on how to survive this other than protect your own and do whatever you can to help others. Saying anything more will just get the people who run this blog in trouble.

        1. Milton

          Re: ADA, if anyone hasn’t seen the documentary, Crip Camp (Netflix), this is a should see. I especially enjoyed their public protests that eschewed niceties. Something that would give the PMC fits, if done today.
          Note – I went into this with jaundiced eyes knowing the the Obamas were exec. producers in this effort.

  2. Colonel Smithers

    Thank you, Lambert.

    Further to the link to Blair’s comments, in the summer of 2021, his think tank began recruiting bureaucrats, current and former, with experience of health care and crisis management. Blair anticipated that questions would be asked as the pandemic receded and wanted to ride that wave to profit.

    Unlike British health care professionals, the unions and left, Blair, Mandelson, Starmer, Streeting, the Reeves sisters and Jess Philips are up early and working hard to undermine what’s left of the welfare state and profit accordingly. The others, also known as the notional left, are like livestock in a field watching traffic speed past.

    On my way out from Deutsche over the summer of 2021, I was in touch with a headhunter. The headhunter recruited for the Blair vehicles.

    I am typing a few miles from the Buckinghamshire country estates acquired by the Blair family, not just Tony, in the past decade or so.

      1. Colonel Smithers

        Thank you, GS.

        It gives me no pleasure.

        When insider left wing sympathisers offer to help, there’s no interest. There’s a reason why the left is in such a pickle.

      2. ambrit

        Boy howdy! Where are the Tankies when we need them?
        Unless, follow me here for a minute, the Tankies are now in the Think Tanks, and working for Blair.
        There is an old American Union song; “Which side are you on?”
        To steal and adapt a line from that song.
        Verse three:
        “They say in the Home Counties”
        “There are no neutrals there”
        “You’ll either be a union man”
        “Or a thug for Tony Blair.”
        Thank you Colonel for sharing the true information from the Airstrip One Front. A measure of sanity is the best physic for our malaise.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      “I’ve got to make a living” is the 21st century version of “I was only following orders.”

      1. Charger01

        “I just need to pay the mortgage.” The Yuppie Nuremberg defense – from “Thank you for smoking”

      2. chris

        In what way? Do you think anyone filling out reports or entering data into a spreadsheet has a direct connection to the effects of their labor like the guards at a concentration camp did?

        I think there are very few people who have any kind of direct connection between their work and what we’ve been discussing. Feels unkind to blame them for the coordination of so many to achieve goals that have been hidden from most.

  3. griffen

    Music commentary on “Fast Car”, was that a live journalist at WaPo or did an AI generate that ridiculous lead? Though I’m not old, I am older than some and recall pretty well in the late ’80s when MTV played actual videos* mostly; and the Chapman tune was featured a lot, a quite simple video. Plus in a related article on TMZ, this hit is generating a pleasant royalty rainbow for the tune’s songwriter – Tracy Chapman.

    Artists have been covering original songwriter work for decades. Another weird sign in a year of weirdness. Added thought, another video from that era I like to watch, Beds are Burning, from Midnight Oil. Maybe not great but memorable, and the tall lanky outspoken singer of Midnight Oil.

    1. Pat

      I haven’t been following, but the first mention I saw did get a big WTF from me. I wouldn’t expect Chapman to dominate country charts because that isn’t her style, but the year her version was released it topped other charts, and as you mention the video was in constant play on MTV. It was BIG.
      My second take was that attacking country music and its fans with this is a deflection of the fact that a decades old song about social disintegration and lack of opportunity written by a young urban black now resonates across genres because instead of addressing the problems that create that our society has allowed it fester.
      But that is just me.

      Oh PS I am glad Tracy Chapman is getting recognition for this again. I really do hope that the lion’s share of the composer royalties are making it to her.

      1. Benny Profane

        Yeah, sweet justice would be her still owning that song, but, who knows. Publishing rights have always been THE commodity in recorded music (re: Colonel Tom Parker, who taught the world that), so, if it wasn’t effectively stolen from her, maybe she sold the rights for a one time cash out. Dylan just sold his catalogue for a huge sum, Murray Wilson, Brian Wilson’s father sold the early Beach Boy’s stuff for a stupid low price, and then there’s the famous bidding battle between Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney for a big chunk of the Beatle’s songs. I hope it just became a sweet retirement fund for her.

        1. griffen

          Based on 2 different articles I read, yes she is ringing the dinner bell on the royalties as the majority share is for her. Perhaps the best thing I ever read on this was about Dolly Parton, who kept the royalties on “I will always love you” and avoided the above Tom Parker in doing so. Smart country woman.

          1. Pat

            Go Tracy! And Go Dolly!

            And thank everyone here for confirming that the right person is reaping the rewards.

        2. hunkerdown

          Aside from le wiki:

          An author has the inalienable right to terminate a copyright transfer 35 years after agreeing to permanently relinquish the copyright.[6] However, according to the US Copyright Office, Circular 9 “the termination provisions of the law do not apply to works made for hire.”

          Work-for-hire status couldn’t apply to musical recordings until, in 1999, then-legislative staffer, now-CEO of RIAA inserted enabling language in conference committee (!). It’s been just 35 years since Chapman published “Fast Car”. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

      2. Big River Bandido

        Royalties go to the songwriter and to the publisher. If the song writer is self published (not uncommon by the 1990s) they also retain the publishing royalties, or they can be split amongst any number, often between the songwriter’s publishing company and the larger subsidiary owned by the label.

      3. JBird4049

        >>>My second take was that attacking country music and its fans with this is a deflection

        No, it is not just you.

    2. CanCyn

      I loved that album, simply called Tracy Chapman and pretty much wore out the cassette tape I owned, playing over and over whenever I was in the car. The assumptions this article makes are really mind boggling. Surely there are enough real examples of racism in country music that no one has to stretch like this to find them. Seems to me that the racism is in expecting a white country star to support a queer black musician. In an interesting twist, Chapman didn’t like her early celebrity:

      “I guess if there were some way to choose what I wanted or didn’t want from what my success has brought me, I would choose not to have the celebrity,” Chapman said in an interview in the March 12 issue of Time.

      “I don’t think I’m very good at it.”

      And yes, it looks like she owns the publishing rights and will receive the residuals she’s due

    3. upstater

      Dreher is correct to call out this cultural nonsense. But characterizing WaPo and that ilk as “leftist” was silly. The DNC apparatchiks and Davos nonklatura that peddle woke are not leftists. They are practitioners in the methods spawned by Edward Bernays and thrive in a climate of division; that is their job. Maintaining the status quo for pigs at the trough is their goal, which has nothing to do with diversity, equity and inclusion.

      Not being a (M)TV watcher back in the day I didn’t even know Chapman was black until much later. The fact she was a lesbian in the 90s is even more irrelevant. Not being a country music fan, I didn’t know anything about Luke Combs. But WaPo’s thought police want us to know!

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        good take on Bernays – most folks scratch their heads when that name is mentioned

      2. Mikel

        This. It’s like everything about the arts that brings people together is being attacked.
        I always thought “Fast Car” would make a lovely country cover. It’s a no-brainer.

        Meanwhile, the entire episode reminds me of this documentary. It was put together by MCA records.
        RHYTHM, COUNTRY & BLUES (1994 documentary)

        The distance between Memphis and Nashville isn’t so very far.

        1. semper loquitur

          “It’s like everything about the arts that brings people together is being attacked.”

          I’d add that it’s anything and everything that brings people together that is under attack. Lotta money and power to be made doing that. People are being played big time.

          1. hunkerdown

            Well, capitalism is an ideology of dispossession, and neoliberalism is its total version, an arch-Parmenidean reaction to the dialectics of Marx, hoping to make any relation but contest and domination illegible.

      3. Chris Smith

        Re: the Left

        I am slowly coming to the conclusion that the DNC and their pals are the left now. The left we love, about civil liberties, civil rights, universal healthcare, workers’ rights, and a fair distribution of wealth is effectively dead. We’re all deplorables now.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>I am slowly coming to the conclusion that the DNC and their pals are the left now. The left we love, about civil liberties, civil rights, universal healthcare, workers’ rights, and a fair distribution of wealth is effectively dead.

          It is still there, but it has been buried alive under the notational left, the left of the establishment, the neoliberalists and the identitarians. The question is how to get unburied.

    4. mrsyk

      If one hasn’t watched the Luke Combs video, one should. It’s terrific, respectful, true to the original. Some jerk at wapo is having a stroke trying to maintain the walls of identity politics. Who’s surprised.
      Disclaimer, I bought that lp when it came out and still listen to it regularly.

    5. Joe Well

      I clicked through to the original tweet thread, and it is 100% crystal clear that she is referring to *country* music having extremely few Black or gay artists, not the music industry in general which of course has gazillions of both.

      People on Twitter are responding that even though this complaint is true, the original tweet is not helpful and not very respectful of Chapman who has tried to use this as an opportunity to present a Black artist to country music fans rather than yet more hand wringing and shaming.

      However, the fact is that the tweet is not correctly represented here. It ends up being outrage bait about outrage bait rather than the actual critique of outrage bait.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>I clicked through to the original tweet thread, and it is 100% crystal clear that she is referring to *country* music having extremely few Black or gay artists, not the music industry in general which of course has gazillions of both.

        I get that, but why should there be any concern on whether country music has any black or gay artists? It is like being worried about hip-hop or the blues not having any white artists. The reason there is a preponderance of a particular group arises from which group created that genre. Ignoring this delegitimizing their existence and their experience.

        If there was reason to believe that other people with other identities were denied the chance to use these forms, then there would be a reason to be mad.

      2. John

        I was unaware of the existence of “Fast Car”, the name Tracy Chapman rang a small bell. Luke Combs is new to me. I listened to both Chapman and Combs sing the song. I heard a song, a great song, about what it means to be poor and trapped by circumstance. What the writer for the Washington Post had to say was irrelevant and, to me, silly.

        1. ChrisPacific

          Tracy Chapman is well worth your time. I’m old enough to remember when she was popular and I recently spent a pleasant time on Spotify reacquainting myself with her old hits.

          ‘Fast Car’ is (deservedly) the most famous, but she wrote and sang many other good ones as well. ‘Talkin Bout A Revolution’ is a bit more upbeat and would probably appeal to most NC readers thematically.

          What the article forgets is that country was a niche genre in the US in the 80s, and wasn’t played on mainstream radio until Garth Brooks came along in the 90s. At the time, being called ‘country’ in the US was code for: we aren’t going to play this song (unless we’re a country station). Crowded House were one group that fell foul of this. So if ‘Fast Car’ had been considered country when it came out, it wouldn’t have received nearly the airplay that it did.

        2. ChrisPacific

          I just listened to the Luke Combs version. He plays it very straight, and aside from some harmony on the chorus it’s very stripped down, similar to the original. The song, not the singer, is the star of the show. (If he was on American Idol, he’d be marked down for not showing off enough).

          It sounds like what it is – a homage to a favorite song from when he was a kid, reintroduced to a new generation.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    The invention of the “male gaze.” Well, at least someone is asking questions, no matter how rudimentary.

    The problem is that the “theorists” of male gaze are out of the Anglo-American culture, a group that notoriously is terrified of holding a gaze or a glance. The question is this: Why is this avoidance so deep-seated, among both men and women in the Anglo realm? Could it be habits of hierarchy? Not as much of the vaunted freedom as one may imagine?

    Or as a commenter wrote here a while back about queer theory: Is it just something academics make up to get tenure?

    Here in the Chocolate City in the Undisclosed Region, Italians hold a glance or gaze. It is a way of controlling a situation and of indicating one’s physical and emotional state. People smile with their eyes–one watches Italian eyes rather than Italian mouths for the major cues and clues. Smiling with the eyes is something Lambert Strether has mentioned many, many times.

    Is smiling with the eyes the dreaded Male Gaze?

    Also, too, the Chocolate City Peeps engage in elevator looks. Regularly. Yes, dreaded “elevator looks,” a well-known micro-aggression in Anglo-America. Here, they are highly amusing: Are you flirting, Chocolate Person?

    Forse. Magari.

    Sometimes, a moment of flirty sensuality from across the sidewalk is all that one needs to feel like a human being that day.

    1. hunkerdown

      > sensuality […] is all that one needs

      Yes, and that’s why we have to crush it and insinuate PMC mediators into it. /s (see “The PMC Has Sex” in Catherine Liu, Virtue Hoarders)

    2. OIFVet

      In backward, traditionalist, unwoke Bulgaria, the American me was having trouble finding dates, until a female friend told me what my problem was: not conveying my appreciation for the physical virtues and the dressing style of the object of my interest by checking her out and signaling their superior quality, all using the appropriate look. You see, it turns out that Bulgarian women invest a lot of effort in turning out even when they go out to do basic chores, and expect men to show appreciation for that effort. So my trained woke American self, by trying not to let my gaze stray far from the mouth, was coming across as not only rude, but as a cowardly beta.

      Took some doing to overcome my American housebrokenness, but now life has revealed the simple pleasures of being able to appreciate a woman without conveying any sexual intent (I’m now taken and faithful, afterall) and being rewarded with that pretty eye smile or with flirtatious wrapping of the hair around the index finger in return. Who knew life could provide such pleasures without being accused of being an objectifying creep?

      1. semper loquitur

        Years ago, I used to hang out in a lesbian bar in Manhattan with a former CNN host of yesteryear. He and I were regulars and he was a gold star regular as he had at one point in his career used his position as a newscaster to leverage NYPD to stop throwing rocks through the bar’s windows and serially raiding the place. A decent guy, no longer to be found at CNN.

        Anyway, he and I would sit and talk and watch the ladies. Beautiful young ladies dancing and flirting and kissing. We were entranced and would gaze appreciatively, but never, ever, lasciviously at them. They would laugh at us and drink our drinks until we bought them rounds.

        It was lovely. As older, straight, non-single males, we weren’t there to pick up women. We were there to delight in a stunning tableau. We were well liked and rigorously respectful and no one minded. We were objectifying them mildly I suppose but not turning them into objects, dehumanizing them. It was about briefly engaging in an idealizing fantasy. We were past the stage of lurid interests. This was about Beauty. And the ladies loved it, as well they should in their time.

      2. DJG, Reality Czar

        OIFVet: Interesting notes on culture shock.

        Further, here in the Chocolate City, where every bakery is emitting heavenly odors and every cafe is giving off the bitter and tasty fumes of coffee, the men and women still wear colognes and perfumes–and dozens of perfumers, pharmacies, and erboristerie (herbal pharmacies) still compound their own scents.

        How about that? After fragrance-free U S of A, where everyone is allergic to something in scent. No wonder people lost their senses of smell during Covid in the U S of A.

        So I trust that you have also had to choose an Eau de Cologne de OIFVet to ensure your credibility.

        1. OIFVet

          The One by D&G seems to garner the highest approval amongst the ladies in the 40-45 age group ;)

          Speaking of allergies, I notice a curious phenomenon in BG: people who have spent substantial amount of time in North America, like me, seem to more likely to have allergies to gluten, to scents, pollen, etc. Thankfully I buck the trend.

          A funny anecdote. When we first met back in 2015, the same lady friend who told me the what’s what about manly gaze, gave me the following stamp of approval within the first five minutes of our acquaintance: “You are not fat, for an American.” Needless to say, ours is deep and lasting friendship at first sight 😄

          1. DJG, Reality Czar

            OIFVet: Now you have me laughing. The One. Now I know what the O in your handle stands for.

            Meanwhile, more laughter. I have had similar experiences, which could fill a whole thread, more than Lambert Strether bargained for. To wit:

            Italian person (sometimes combined with the micro-aggressive “elevator look” (!): You can’t be American. Americans are all obese.

        2. JBird4049

          The American diet does seem to create allergies or maybe it is something else in the soup of poisons that we Americans live in?

      3. eg

        I’m generally oblivious but I was under the impression that women are mostly dressing for one another and policing one another’s behaviours in ways that have nothing whatsoever to do with men.

  5. antidlc

    RE: Covid damage is cumulative

    Any particular reason HHS is just now posting this information?

    1. Will

      To sell more vaccines?

      Was something in links yesterday, too, from an official source with good-ish Covid info that ended with a plea for vaccination. Perhaps the official call to go back to brunch and not worry worked too well?

      1. antidlc

        I missed this one in yesterday’s links:

        CDC, HHS prep for commercialization of COVID vaccines

        The CDC and HHS are gearing up for the transition of COVID-19 vaccinations into the commercial market and are urging providers to place their orders before the transition occurs on Aug. 3.

        The next round of FDA-approved COVID boosters set to debut in the fall will be the first set of vaccines to be distributed by manufacturers instead of the government.

        1. maipenrai

          and they intend to use a covid variant that is fast on its way out the door. Cant make this S*&^ up

    2. Jason Boxman

      It’s hilariously an explicit admission that Biden’s policy of mass infection is bad, from Biden’s own administration. But not because anyone there actually cares, or they’d change course.

      This is the stupidest timeline.

    3. Jason Boxman

      After my nap it just dawned on me how insidious this is; They know COVID causes damage after repeat infections; they believe, falsely, that COVID shots protect against this; and they’re letting children of all ages, including young children, get infected again and again and again without end.

      This is some seriously sick s**t.

  6. Carla

    Re: Did Xi Just Save the World?

    Well, if he did, it was almost three years ago. The article is dated September 25, 2020.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Pentagon Dragging Its Feet Over F-16 Gifts To Ukraine’

    Not just the Ukraine. As part of a package to get Erdogan to green light Sweden’s entry into NATO, Biden promised to expedite deliveries of F-16s to Turkiye. Well now Biden has already told Erdogan that sorry pal, Congress may stop me delivering those promised F-16s to you after all. This may or not be true but one suspects that this is just Biden being Biden. On the other hand, Erdogan may have promised Sweden entry to NATO but that has still got to be passed by the Turkish Parliament and they aren’t due to gather for some time yet.

    1. Benny Profane

      This F-16 argument is the most ridiculous of all of the “send everything!” armchair warriors. Remember the No Fly Zone stupidity of the early war? This is sort of a remnant. First, the F16 has seen it’s time, is no match to present day Russian jets. They need highly trained pilots, which requires at least a year of intensive training. They also need very skilled crews back at home base maintaining these things. And, the airport has to be special, too. The runways have to be smooth and super clean, because the F16 has an intake on the bottom of the jet, and, witha few rocks sucked in, bye bye single engine. So, a 24/7 runway inspection/cleaning crew. The best air defense system in the world, operated by Russia, will shoot these things out of the air like toys, if they even get up there, because the airfields will be easily destroyed by Russian missiles. I guess they could take off from Poland, but, ahem, that would be WW3 material, as Biden said.

      1. The Rev Kev

        But wait, it gets better. Biden has already said that the US will supply none of its own F-16s to the Ukraine, even though they are manufactured in the US and there must be thousands there. Instead, Biden said that it will be up to NATO countries to donate their “spare” F-16s. You know, all those F-16s that those countries have got parked on old airfields that haven’t been used for quite awhile.

        1. Polar Socialist

          Being in not flyable condition they may actually save many a pilot. While successful, F-16 was designed as a cheap platform with an E-3 or a F-15 nearby giving it some situational awareness.

          Alone in an environment controlled totally by opponent’s superior sensor systems and electronic warfare capabilities it will be very lucky to return to base.

          At least, being nuclear capable, they can dash towards Moscow and hope to trigger a “limited” nuclear war before turning into a pile of burning trash.

          1. redleg

            As soon as they land they’ll get popped by several missiles, taking out the plane, ground crew, parts, etc.
            It’s so stupid it’s almost unbelievable.

      2. jrkrideau

        Dmitry Orlov suggests a few small drones lightly dusting the runway with metal filings.

        ” Get out there and vacuum that runway before the flying vacuum takes off”

  8. griffen

    Are cruise lines a little responsible for knowing in advance if a tourism destination is also going to host a planned whale hunt? Reads like the cruise line executives don’t really know the local regulations, or someone has forgotten to point out the island government does this in the interest of the island residents. Dense, just really dense.

    It’s akin to taking kids on a field trip to the farm at an inappropriate time for scheduling any such visit. Teacher took us to the farm to see the sheep but they were being mean to the sheep. Insert something else cute and lovable but also a meat source.

    1. Raymond Sim

      I think whale-hunting is probably like hay-making, in that you do it when it can be done.

      So we can probably blame the whales for the unfortunate timing.

      Thank goodness it wasn’t a baby seal viewing cruise.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      lol…the mention of goin to the farm at a bad time brought me back:
      just after my wreck, still in a wheelchair…mom was still in major pygmy goat fiasco time.
      so my buddies would come out and hang out with me.
      one of these times happened to be when mom had turned the billy goats in with “the girls”…to make more goats.
      i was wheeled out to the edge of that paddock, along with the cooler of beer and a bunch of chairs and stumps and whatnot for everybody…and we sat there and watched the entire orgiastic display.
      for the uninitiated, goats are pretty gross in their lovemaking(not as bad as ducks, tho…and to a lesser extent geese)…”watersports”, etc.
      in the evening, the billies were sated…dragging a$$,lol…and were easily herded back into their area.
      hell of a way to spend an afternoon….but such is farm life.

      1. griffen

        I’ve heard a few anecdotes about goats as farm animals or goats as pets, and leave the overall impression of a rambunctious animal to look after. Good for eating weeds and clearing clover however, in recent years I saw a local commercial property / personal storage using a few to clear weeds and brush.

  9. Lexx

    ‘Biden nibbles a little girl’s shoulder on the tarmac at Helsinki-Vantaan International Airport in Finland’

    What’s with Democrats and the blood of children? There’s a saying, Joe… ‘don’t poke the bear’.

    1. The Rev Kev

      They didn’t call him ‘Creepy Uncle Joe’ for nothing. And it is not like there weren’t plenty of videos online which showed him doing it well before the last election. I guess that all those kids were expected to take one for team Democrat and when you see that Helsinki clip, you can also see that the mother is more concerned to get herself a selfie with the big guy.

        1. The Rev Kev

          The ‘Creepy Uncle Joe’ videos that I have seen on YouTube show the parents not objecting to what he is doing and old Joe seems to get off being able to do so to people weaker than him, especially in public. It’s not just children either. Apparently in Washington they hold some sort of formal for the men and women in the Secret Service detail and their partners as a sort of thank you. Even there, old Joe gets handsy with the women and one Secret Service guy almost punched old Joe’s lights out because he was too getting handsy with his partner.

          1. ambrit

            Do the Secret Service peeps swear an oath to uphold the Constitution? If so, punching “Creepy Joe’s” lights out would be a sanctioned action. The longer the public gets a good look at “Creepy” Joe, the lower their opinion of the country’s elites as a whole gets.
            The American Constitution opens with: “We the People…” not “We the Oligarchs of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Corporation….”
            The Country is in serious trouble when it’s Chief Executive is a Struldbrugg.

          2. Jen

            If that were my kid, you’d be able to hear me yell “get off my child, you pervert” from 2 counties away.

      1. marym

        Soon after those photos started appearing on twitter there was a second wave also showing him shaking hands, patting people on the back, etc. and claiming to show how he’s everyone’s pal, compassionate, friendly, hanging out with Obama, comforting the bereaved, etc. I didn’t think it was just random that a creepy, touchy guy who never supported any compassionate policy was spun as “empathetic” Joe. Elizabeth Warren posted an endorsement video of mostly those kinds of pictures.

        1. pretzelattack

          warren deserves a special prize for selling out the most for the least return on investment.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Impressive, because the competition for that dubious award is quite fierce. Perhaps we need a broken promises cage match between her and AOC.

        2. Cassandra

          Take a look at the CSpan video of Warren’s ceremonial swearing in back in 2013:

          After the oath, Warren and Biden shake hands and then Creepy Joe just Won’t. Let. Go. With her husband right there. She tries repeatedly to disengage, and Creepy Joe gathers her in closer.

          Warren *knew*. She evidently felt OK with that as the price of admission to the Senate’s hallowed halls. And then in 2020, she accused Bernie Sanders of misogyny for the benefit of her good friend Joe.


    2. griffen

      I caught a repeat of that in the Fox video from Hannity’s show linked yesterday. It just ain’t cute and it would really creep me out if I was a parent, or a grandparent. Fee Fi Fo Fum, I smell the flesh of your young one.

      Now if Trump starts to mimic those antics, look he really will eat your children’s flesh !! \sarc

      1. ambrit

        The theme of predation aimed at children has become a major item in the Zeitgeist lately. Just look at the swirl of controversies surrounding the film “The Sound of Freedom.” That such predation is being closely associated with the President of the United States is a very troubling development. It portends an actual turning away from the ruling elites by the public. The Status Quo is losing legitimacy quickly. If history is any guide, said Status Quo will double down on repression and basic Police State tactics, further alienating the masses. The dominance of these elites will continue, until it doesn’t.
        Stay safe and stay aware.

        1. semper loquitur

          Another theme I’ve picked up on is threatening children in movies and such. One example is the crazy uncle of a bullied kid played by Ricky Gervais who corners the bully and tells him he will hurt him if he doesn’t stop. Everywhere, signs of degradation and potential violence.

          1. hunkerdown

            What’s wrong with that? Bullies really should be lost down the well and I will gladly cover for any gang of kids that tries.

            Frankly, if more parents smacked the stuffing out of other people’s kids, like they did in the 19th century under a broad principle of in loco parentis, there would be a lot fewer predators and a lot fewer bullies, and a lot more of that good old-time bourgeois civic tranquility that people around here claim to want. That’s the village it takes to raise children.

            1. ambrit

              That would require a society wide basic ethics. The trick as it is now done is to fragment the population into segments and engineer controversies with which to get the ‘segments’ attacking each other. Then the ruling elites can sit back and carry on in relative safety.
              The other trick is to manage how extremely the compulsory conformity is enforced. Healthy societies have high tolerance levels for what used to be called “eccentricity.”
              The breakdown in village level social cohesion mirrors the breakdown in village sized communities.
              It is all one big Flea Market of tradeoffs. Neo-liberals should be satisfied with that, but seem to never be satisfied with anything for the duration of their endlessly busy lives.

              1. JBird4049

                Precisely. All the excuses of the police state starts with “what about the children?” and ends with the state arresting you for protecting the children. What the state really wants is to make you very afraid of everything and then have you meek, biddable, and all alone in your womb-tomb

              1. hunkerdown

                Might you elaborate? Ceteris paribus, it would seem that, under my modest proposal, with the bully unable to reproduce into adulthood and the object lesson affording others little reason to apply to his method, the number of bullies, would rapidly decline, and the prevalence of the social role and the social relation with it.

                1. ambrit

                  I think that the argument being put forward here is that if one adopts the tactics of one’s opponent, one essentially becomes them. Assimilation through cultural conditioning. I must admit to having my doubts here. Where does idealism leave off and realism take control?
                  I would also note that the degrees to which Nature and Nurture predominate in the production of bullies is still an inexact science.
                  I’m not going to solve this puzzle at my present stage of development.
                  Don’t forget that Saints are few and far between. That’s why they are so storied and celebrated.
                  I’d say stay safe, but you already know that.

                2. Procopius

                  You have enough cases of adults supporting/encouraging bullies to see why the number of bullies wouldn’t decrease. Indeed, a lot of powerful people are accomplished bullies into old age. Also, too, I don’t think there was as much adult punishing of bullies in the nineteenth century as you claim. Alas, I have no link to support that opinion.

      2. Screwball

        It would creep me out too. A couple of things I don’t get 1) some people seem to be fine with this behavior, like the women holding the young kid, who even tried to take a picture. Her or the father (if so) didn’t seem to mind, even though it looked like the little kid did. If that was my baby I would be furious, but that’s just me. 2) amazing to see the base PMC defend that stuff from Biden, but they have been doing so for as long as the creep has done this creep type stuff. How can anyone defend that? Unreal.

        Which brings me to a Twitter conversation I was reading yesterday about this incident. Someone asked what would happen if some mom or parent just slapped creepy Joe right in the grill for what they consider inappropriate fondling, sniffing, touching? Many guessed the Secret Service would be all over them like white on rice. You are liable to get tackled, punched, arrested, or all of the above. I wouldn’t doubt that one bit.

        But that’s exactly what he deserves IMO. A peeve of mine is you don’t do things like that to people without their permission. I have a daughter and I made it clear very early how to protect yourself against creeps like Biden. Chances are he would be bending over grabbing some family jewels that happen to be very sore about right then.

        That said, this was posted here at NC in the last few days, and also linked by flora – the interview with Aaron Mate and the Ukrainian diplomat and political insider Andrii Telizhenko. Who Boy!!!!

        If all that is true, and it is pretty convincing (along with all else we know) there is a whole bunch of crooked going on with some pretty high ranking players. If we had a legit FBI and laws actually mattered, creepy Joe and the congressional mafia would all be in the slammer.

        We are a banana republic at this point and I don’t see anything changing until people are so fed up they snap. Here is another link for those that missed it (this links to Aaron’s page, but the video can also be watched via Youtube (surprised it’s still up);

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

        1. semper loquitur

          “amazing to see the base PMC defend that stuff from Biden, but they have been doing so for as long as the creep has done this creep type stuff”

          Got in an argument with a PMC about those videos. He first denied their existence, then derided Utoob as a source. I couldn’t get him to watch the videos even after he admitted they are probably are real, as fakes would have been loudly called out long ago.

          I’ve said it a million times now: the baseness and zealotry of the $hit-lib, as opposed to the liberal, is jaw-dropping to see.

          1. Mark Gisleson

            Be gentle. PMCs and HRC supporters in general are just one rando fact away from having their heads blow up.

            I’m seeing massive amounts of disengagement, Democrats who really aren’t neoliberals are simply not interested in hearing about this stuff and I think it’s because they know that once they give it a hard think, they’ll have to unthink a lot of things. That’s not fun but so long as they refuse to admit Russiagate never really happened, they can lead productive, useful lives.

            1. Screwball

              The ones I am familiar with have been so wrong about so many things for so long I’m not sure they will ever grasp reality. Maybe they don’t want to. It’s easier to be ignorant, and their arrogance will never allow them to admit they were wrong.

              In the end, it won’t matter anyway. They will find a way to justify voting “blue no matter who” because reasons…

              I was just told today; The world is a way better place with Joe Biden as president, and he is far, far better for America than Trump or than any of those other bomb-throwing performance artists could ever be.

              There you have it.

              I wonder what the targets of all our bombs and sanctions think about creepy Joe? I’m guessing they don’t think the world is a way better place. There is little hope for the the US and the world when so many people feel this way. They are very much part of the problem.

            2. semper loquitur

              I had an elderly woman tell me the other night that although all politicians are terrible, Biden was currently doing a terrific job. I suspect she meant Ukraine. I smiled and nodded.

    3. hunkerdown

      “Sovereignty always represents itself as a symbolic break with the moral order; this is why kings so often commit some kind of outrage to establish themselves, massacring their brothers, marrying their sisters, desecrating the bones of their ancestors or, in some documented cases, literally standing outside their palace and gunning down random passers-by. Yet that very act establishes the king as potential lawmaker and high tribunal, in much the same way that ‘High Gods’ are so often represented as both throwing random bolts of lightning, and standing in judgment over the moral acts of human beings.” Graeber and Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything chapter 10, at “On ‘Sovereignty’ Without the State”

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        “…literally standing outside their palace and gunning down random passers-by.” sounds kinda trumpy don’t it?

        1. hunkerdown

          The myth that a state can exist without atrocities is the lie that keeps all the others in place.

          1. hunkerdown

            Apparently, it’s perfectly routine; the spoils system does the same with symbolic “reform”, which unfortunately does not destroy the old skills. G&W’s footnote at “random passers-by”:

            “For a good summary of such royal ‘exploits’ see de Heusch 1982; the king most famous for gunning down his own subjects was the Ganda King Mutesa, who was trying to impress David Livingstone after the latter presented him with the gift of a rifle, but it’s by no means a unique event: see Simonse 1992; 2005.”

      2. Lexx

        Outside the law or above it… an outlaw. Nice work if you can get it… for those incapable of following ‘the rules’; it legitimizes deviancy from what is consider moral and normal at the time. The mountain comes to Mohammad?

        I’m going to get around to Graeber’s book eventually, but for now it’s Wolin, and maybe Turchin next.

          1. JBird4049

            Graeber’s work is less about civilization especially the rise and fall of, which Turchin is focused on, but on the general way society develops and functions. Bottom up vs. top down.

        1. hunkerdown

          I suggest starting with Utopia of Rules first; I sense a lot of deep-seated, unexamined legalism, such as that humans should naturally aspire to subordination, that needs to be addressed to get the most benefit from Dawn.

    4. lentil

      “Biden nibbles a little girl’s shoulder”
      Maybe with his nibbling, the Big Guy is illustrating an ancient archetype — see Goya’s famous and gruesome painting “Saturn Devouring his Son”. However, unlike Saturn, the Big Guy only plays at devouring children — he is really just a kindly old man who likes eating ice cream.

      But what does Goya’s painting symbolize? Why did Saturn devour the children?

      What was gained by borrowing trillions of dollars and crushing future generations with mountains of debt?
      What was gained by stealing purchasing power from the laboring majority and giving it to the elites?
      What was gained by policies of financial austerity?
      What was gained by legalizing birth control and abortion?
      What was gained by building an economic system that rewards short term quarterly profits and externalizes long term environmental costs?
      What was gained by sanctions and wars in all those other countries, what futures do their children have now?
      Why is the birth rate falling, is it because no one can afford to have kids anymore?

      But if no more children are born — then who will be left for Saturn to devour?
      I guess there’s always ice cream.

      1. Procopius

        You know,

        What was gained by borrowing trillions of dollars and crushing future generations with mountains of debt?

        is one of those claims that annoys me. After two hundred years of making the claim, it’s time the people who believe this provide some examples. The earliest one I know of is from the end of the Napoleonic Wars, when the British public debt was something like 250% of GDP, or maybe GNP. The Japanese public debt has been something like 220% of GDP since the 1990s. They seem about as happy as anyone. At the end of World War II, the U.S. public debt was 121% of GDP. I do not remember, as a child, ever hearing that I was going to be crushed by it. Indeed, by the time I graduated from high school in 1955 it was down to 65%. It continued down until it was 30% in April 1981, a month after Reagan took office, and it’s been going up ever since. The current permanent deficit arises from two things: the financialization/deindustrialization of the U.S. economy, and the U.S. Dollar’s status as the world’s equivalent of gold. I’m so old I remember when sending a First Class letter cost 3¢. A paper-backed book was 25¢. A hard-covered Modern Library book was 99¢. Those things cost a lot more now, but people’s incomes are higher, too. The thing about the public debt is, it never has to be paid.

    5. ArvidMartensen

      When I was a kid a few decades ago, the nibbling of little kids’ shoulders was something grandads did. It was seen as funny, tickly, affectionate and playful. As was grandads hiding behind doors and jumping out and saying boo and tickling grandchildren onto the ground.

      A couple of universes away from being handsy with girls and women. Maybe old Joe in his dotage is remembering a time when this sort of thing happened with babies and small children.

      Which is not to say that I don’t think Joe has been an apex predator around girls and women. But perhaps this is not a time.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Land temperatures in Spain surpass 60C as deadly heatwave sweeps Europe”

    Just saw on the news that Death Valley is suppose to hit 131 Fahrenheit this weekend – about 55 Celsius. Damn!

    The news was also saying that the whole northern hemisphere is experiencing these heat waves right now so maybe all those scientists trying to say for the past thirty years and more that we are changing the climate may have been right? Who knew?

    1. JW

      Alternatively, if you imagine a world that didn’t fixate over CO2 and didn’t place thermometers on airport runways to break temperature records. In that world you would think that the world was going to warm up on average about 0.1C per decade from the medieval ‘little ice age’, and that these natural weather events like El Ninos would add to that increase for a period.
      Well funny to know but that is about where we are right now.
      In that world people would be happier, far less worried about something they can’t control, and just enjoy all the net benefits of living in a slightly warmer world than the one that produced real hardship.

      1. BillS

        Well JW, if it was simply a matter of some warmer days that will make everyone happy, consider the days when the wet bulb temp exceeds 37 drg C and you cannot go outside without dying. Or, you get violent thunderstorms that dump a year’s worth of rainfall in 2 well as hail the size of softballs. Wait till you get a category 7 hurricane in your town. Oh, and the mountain glaciers that supply water to 4/5 of humanity are slowly disappearing. What do we do when they are gone? Sometimes the cluelessness of displayed comments on climate really rubs me the wrong way. As if a few warmer days is all we get from global warming. Oh, and yes. It’s been understood since 1860 that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is a driver of global warming.

          1. Milton

            Yes, but then again, why bother. Our climate doesn’t need to manufacture consent for it to create conditions on earth that will eventually lead to humans demise. Deniers will go to their graves convinced of their intelligence and how they weren’t duped by the Marxist, Liberal, woke class.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          not the biggest fan of Bill McKibben but read his books – in 2010’s Eaarth he describes the melting of permafrost releasing methane, heating the atmosphere then the earth, thawing more permafrost, etc…. – i had a tenant that moved to Alaska 10 years ago and we communicated for a while and she told me about folks poking the ice and lighting the methane that was building up and escaping when the hole was poked – too many examples to illustrate this truth to bore you with – but to not believe we are excessively heating the world through our burning of fossil fuels indicates a lack of critical thought –

        2. Val

          One reliable tell of scientism is it starts with a literal conclusion and then works backasswards in an emotive fashion where any debate or doubt is a microaggression demanding ad hominems be deployed. This is a sophisticated, vaccinated party, is it not?

          We should all agree the ruling class can 1) Predict the Future and 2) Control the Weather. I mean, think how good they are with objective considerations like respiratory viruses, indoor air quality, resource allocation, healthcare. Of course our betters have a total understanding of all complex systems and if you do not kneel and shudder before them you truly are deplorable.

          Unfortunately, hypothesis testing is constrained in a way that pseudo-objective narrative overlay is not.

          Militaries are the biggest emitters. Greta flew to Ukraine. Either way, that should be clarifying enough for climate deniers and weather freakers alike.

          How dare you.

        1. Bob White

          As Homer Simpson once said, “It takes two to lie, one to lie, and one to listen.” When it’s said that a little child will lead them, who would’ve thunk Homer?

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        The two comments above mine are great responses, but I’ll embark on a fool’s errand considering you don’t seem to accept temperature records. Here’s a link to an article about Earth’s temperature over the last 24,000 years and the enlarged version of the embedded temperature graph. The graph is “fuzzy” for the first 23,830 years because it represents probabilities based on ice core data, etc. The last 170 years are actual measurements, no doubt obtained by leaving the thermometer on airport runways in a plot to take away your freedoms. The Y-axis is set at “0” at the Earth’s global temperature in 1850.

        (Side note: it kills me how these people think they’re “free” in any meaningful sense as they toil away on their hamster wheels and munch on their Big Macs 10 minutes after seeing an ad for one on Monday Night Football. “Look at the way the cheese drips outside the bun!”)

        Here’s what open-minded people can glean from the enlarged graph link. If you look back at 12,000 years ago, you can see that the average global temperature was about 3 degrees C less than in 1850. The world looked quite different 12,000 years ago. If you were in Chicago, for example, you would be looking out over an ice sheet instead of Lake Michigan. It would seem that what might seem like small changes in the average global temperature can make for huge increases in livability locally.

        The second point to note is what has happened since 1850. The temperature has risen 1.3 degrees, and the estimate from MIT’s ENROADS simulator is 3.3 degrees C of warming from that 1850 baseline by 2100. Since we can see what changes were wrought by 3 degrees of warming since 12,000 BCE, the changes in livability will be drastic with 3.3 degrees of warming, especially since we can now see how the system is way out of kilter with just 1.3 degrees.

        I think the first step for you, JW, is to realize that you’re not free now under Business As Usual. It might be worth re-thinking your assumptions so that you can recognize the real conspiracy is among those who benefit greatly from the current system–billionaires, bank CEOs, Senators–and the goal of that conspiracy is to keep you believing it’s all a hoax while they continue with profits-uber-alles while preparing to go to New Zealand or Mars and the dark side of the Moon.

        1. Jabura Basaidai

          well stated Mr Pie – how about this one…the fossil fuel companies knew what they were doing in the 70’s but damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead – kinda the same with the PFOS situation, they knew – JW one thing about this commentariat is that if you speak with your foot in your mouth or make mistakes with facts you pay, i have some scars to prove it but that’s learning and why i keep coming back, thank you

          if the NYT is paywalled try this

    2. Alice X

      >Land temperatures in Spain surpass 60C as deadly heatwave sweeps Europe

      I think the 60°C must be a typo, the headline of the linked piece is 49°C in Italy and I couldn’t find a mention of 60°C. But oh brother, our goose is cooked before then.

      Just now I couldn’t find an exact temperature when chlorophyll breaks down but seem to recall it is somewhere just above 55°C And that’s around the point when humans cannot survive either.

      Not 60°C yet, but we are getting there.

      1. hunkerdown

        Apparently, the fun starts as low as the 40s. We are already precooking ourselves on the vine. Heat-induced disassembly and degradation of chlorophyll-containing protein complexes in vivo (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Bioenergetics)


        Gradual heating of green leaves up to non-physiological temperatures is often used to estimate thermal stability of photosynthetic apparatus. However, a complete sequence of heat-induced disassembly and denaturation of chlorophyll-containing protein complexes (CPCs) has not been reported yet. In this work, we heated (1 °C/min) barley leaves to temperatures selected according to the changes in the chlorophyll fluorescence temperature curve (FTC) and we analyzed CPC stability by two-dimensional native Deriphat/SDS–PAGE. The first distinct change in both structure and function of photosystem II (PSII) appeared at 40–50 °C. PSII core (CCII) dimers began to dissociate monomers, which was accompanied by a decrease in PSII photochemistry and reflected in FTC as the first fluorescence increase. Further changes in CPCs appeared at 57–60 °C, when FTC increases to its second maximum. Photosystem I (PSI) cores (CCI) partially dissociated from light-harvesting complexes of PSI (LHCI) and formed aggregates.

          1. Bsn

            Being a long time gardener (over 70 yrs. now) I’ve learned from experience and elders teaching me a few things. One is that above (about) 93 degrees F, bean flowers fall off the plants, especially if it lasts a few days. No flowers, no beans. Tomatoes are like that too, consistently about high 90s and into low 100s, flowers drop off. No flowers, no food. All plants, and life in general, have limits. We’re slowly getting more and more into root vegetables as they do a bit better in high winds and heat ….. but then again, I’m sure in Vermont the beets in the garden didn’t fare well. Enjoy the good years as there are few left. PS, Ocean temps in the high 90s around Florida? Remember fish? They were good.

            1. Alice X

              Thanks, climate modelers often speak of the number days above 95°F as the red zone for agriculture, but it may be even lower.

      2. caucus99percenter

        No typo, I think, but rather the difference between “land” (i.e. soil) temperature and air temperature, which is the usual number cited in weather reports.

          1. Milton

            It’s down way below. I think 60C is a bit misleading as they are measuring right on the surface-kind of like what they do on very hot days in the US football season when on the field reporters show a thermometer on an astroturf field. But I’ll tell you where temp reading are not misleading and that is in some of the stations surrounding the Persian Gulf. So far this year, I found a heat index temp of 166F (temp 102F with dewpoint 94F). Could you imaging being out in soup like that?

      3. Bazarov

        It might be because the 60c mentioned is land temperature, not air temperature.

        Think how on a hot August day you can slow-cook an egg on the ground–the ground gets hotter than the air, especially in the shadeless, concrete expanses we call roads and sidewalks.

        1. hunkerdown

          Air is relative. Seedlings and earthbound bugs wouldn’t call that 60C reading so “misleading”; yet their interests are somewhat important to humans whether they acknowledge that or not.

  11. Will

    re Lendbreen Tunic

    Went searching for more info as I’m not on Twitter and can’t see the whole thread. Found this short vid by the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History on a reconstruction project.

    Interesting factoid from the video – if you wait for the sheep to start shedding naturally, you can take the wool off by hand instead of shearing. Supposedly better quality wool is obtained!

    1. The Rev Kev

      This article seems to go overboard with the amount of time spent making that clothing and its equivalent modern cost but I don’t think that they worked with the same concept of time as we do now. I am reminded of a scene from an Aussie novel where a coupla Aussies go to Italy with their Italian emigre mate. The Italian guy was getting cross with them because they were looking at his old home like a museum with its marble floors and stone walls. He points out that there is a marble quarry near the town so what else would they use for the floor. When they point out a solid, wooden table that money couldn’t buy back home, he retorts that his grandfather made that table because what else are you going to do in the winter months when it is too cold to work outside? That scene from the book impressed me because it was right. That table was planned, cut, planed and assembled as a winter project which made use of the year’s rhythms. Probably the same with that tunic which was worked on over the winter months in Norway.

      1. Bob Tetrault

        Good precis, Rev.
        But the crumpled ball aspect of the tunic made me wonder if a recent Antidote cat who displayed such skill at folding a fitted sheet had an ancestry from the tunic region…

      2. Art_DogCT

        The number of hours claimed for the production of the tunic is ridiculous. Even if one added in the time in producing the wool yarns used, the claimed 760 hours to produce the tunic is inexplicable. I am a handweaver and have spun a bit. 76 hours total would make much more sense.

        Iron age Scandinavia used a tool called a warp-weighted loom. It’s just a beam and two posts at it’s simplest, with individual warp threads suspended from the beam. The threads are wound on/tied to weights that provide tension. The weft is placed by hand, starting from the top. The tools necessary are some kind of beater for packing the weft, and maybe a shuttle or bobbin. The interlacement is controlled entirely with the fingers, as heddles, harnesses, and treadles came along much later. Said ‘beam between posts’ was almost always available within a dwelling. The skill sets were broadly held, since spinning and weaving were pretty much ubiquitous for thousands of years, usually practiced at the household or cottage level. Thus, that stupid 760 hours claim with would imply – as someone commented elsewhere here – the labor to fell the trees, process the lumber, and build the loom – none of which would be required.

        1. digi_owl

          Quite likely the materials for the loom would come from remains from other projects like furniture, buildings or boats.

  12. KLG

    Rod Dreher can be as dreary to me, usually, as I would be to him always. But his piece on Fast Car once again shows that the intelligent Right and the intelligent Left are so far from what impresses “mainstream PMC” they are often only arm’s length apart, if they look in the other direction.

    I’ll retreat to my corner now and be quiet. Happy Sunday!

  13. griffen

    Commentary in recent days surrounding the strike situation with SAG and the writers. Well this article portends a rather downward or flat trajectory thus far into 2023 for the movie industry. My guess is that the MI movie release from “Maverick Tom”, and then Oppenheimer from Christopher Nolan, may help to upset the downward trend. No set plans for watching either in a theater, but I’d opt for the Oppenheimer film if someone forced me. Nolan doesn’t seem inclined to provide mundane or dull films, added that I never did watch his Dunkirk movie.

    1. Carolinian

      Oppenheimer is three hours long and while it does offer a big atomic explosion at some point it may lack the eye candy potential of other Nolan films. Guess we’ll see if it makes the break even 400 million.

      I thought his most recent Tenet incomprehensible.

      And if the studios want to continue the “summer blockbuster” tradition perhaps they shouldn’t be trying to break the movie theater model via streaming. I don’t think they really know what they want. Plus, in fairness, Covid has disrupted everything.

    2. The Rev Kev

      That article starts of by saying that “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” is the only movie released in 2023 to so far eclipse the $1 billion mark at the global box office. But what they do not mention is the fact that Nintendo stepped in and stopped that film being made according to modern ‘Hollywood values’ which, for example, would have seen the Mario brothers being relegated to secondary characters in their own film with the female princess being made the lead character as a girl boss.

      1. digi_owl

        Hollywood really do not know what to do with foreign entertainment. So either they cut it to pieces to try to fit to to US sensibilities, or they remake it from the ground up using US actors etc.

        1. Pat

          I think you are being too kind to “Hollywood” as in the suits who run most of the companies that distribute film anymore. While they acquire outside films or properties, most of the time they control what gets made who gets hired and even the wardrobe. And all of it is about their marketing genius, because they are money guys. They have no clue outside of their spreadsheets and bubbled inner circle. They don’t know Mario Brothers from Karakoramazov brothers, but they knew it needed a girl…because marketing.

          1. nippersdad

            I was reading a book about the first expeditions to Everest recently, and how the 1924 expedition was largely underwritten by a proposed documentary. Unless you were one of the local porters, needless to say, there were no women on those expeditions but that did not serve to decrease the amount of angst expended over the lack of a female lead.

            The more things change…

        2. GF

          Looking at the Netflix new production offerings for July nearly all are foreign made films or series. (Netflix offers older American made films also but very few new productions.) So Netflix is ahead of the game in off-shoring its funded productions. Others will soon follow as it appears the multinational studios want to kill Hollywood and its high production costs.

          1. digi_owl

            Because Disney et al pulled the catalog from under Netflix nose years back, resulting in Netflix scrambling for alternate sources.

            That said, are those new ones simply funded by Netflix or do they have some level of editorial oversight? Because something similar is playing out with Anime, resulting in shows that are slowly turning “American”.

            Never mind that if one go back to the 80s, may of the cartoon shows back then were written by Americans but animated in Japan and Korea.

          2. griffen

            Anecdotal to Netflix offerings, I’ve started working through Stranger Things season 2. I say working on, because my binge habits are pretty much miss opposed to hit; but at a minimum I get through these series at certain pace, maybe a week for season 1 and probably longer for season 2. It’s a compelling story, I enjoy learning the characters and growing in the middle ’80s with Atari and MTV I just love the soundtrack and the general vibe of the show.

            Bonus points for being run by a few brothers from Durham, NC, I called that area home for roughly 9 or 10 years after finishing college.

    3. Pat

      I don’t know that it is going to have staying power, but I fully expect Barbie to open big next week. I wouldn’t put money on it, but my gut reluctantly says it will easily beat Oppenheimer. (Serious movie about atomic weapon versus a fun and flirty colorful popcorn movie…I am getting serious Mamma Mia vibes.)

      IOW If Barbie is half as fun as it’s marketing campaign, it will be MI and Barbie with also ran Oppenheimer holding up the summer movie season.

    4. Bsn

      Dunkirk was a horrible movie. The soundtrack with it’s incessant gloomy hum is taking the Jaws’ soundtrack to new lows. Too many half steps is annoying (think “Chopsticks” for hours on end). Turn the sound down and at least it’s a bit good on the eyes.

      1. Carolinian

        Hey don’t pick on my Hans Zimmer. He gets paid to give the director what he wants. Sometimes that can be splendid (Gladiator, The Thin Red Line).

        But yes the whole “clock is ticking” motif a way for Nolan to make things seem a bit more portentious.

    5. Mark Gisleson

      A long strike would destroy Hollywood. Starved for content viewers will start watching “old” stuff and the truth is that the best old stuff is more entertaining because it usually didn’t come with a huge honking agenda stapled to the script.

      Local library wasn’t interested but maybe some NC readers would like to do Movie Nights. Pick a movie you can stream on YouTube (there are lots of them), do a minimal post and then folks can comment as they watch or watch when they like and then come back to comment.

      We need to bring “community” back into watching movies. Living by myself I rarely watch movies now despite having more than a few on hand that I haven’t seen. But one site I belong to does do this and they enjoy their movie nights (not for me, they watch trash movies to make fun of).

      1. Lexx

        Mostly Westerns and male leads in violent modern Action Films… and the Hallmark Channel. Kill me now.

        I just finished watching Season 7 of ‘Shetland’. Acting and storylines were okay. Scottish coastline was wild looking, ever present, and gorgeous, so I stuck it out. BritBox seems to have my number for now.

        Might throw Acorn in to increase my concentration of stories about villagers murdering each other… oh, and clever detectives catching up to them.

      2. digi_owl

        Depends on how old, as there was the whole Hayes code for a time.

        But i suspect back then the people making the movies were against the code, and were more adept at innuendo etc to work around the code.

        Also that was more about what you were not allowed to say or show, rather than carrying some kind of messianic message.

  14. Carolinian

    Re KIA/Hyundai

    Dobeck [city law director] wrote that Hyundai’s software patch, rolled in earlier this year, has not gone far enough, and the companies’ giving out wheel locks also don’t address the issue.

    Actually both address the problem but still won’t prevent wayward youth from breaking your car window, setting off the alarm and stealing any loose change in the cup holder. Which is to say the theft of these cars–because somebody figured out a hack and TikTok told them how to do it–is “easy” only if the act of breaking into private property is easy and unlikely to meet with much enforcement or punishment. Clearly Hyundai’s engineers thought they were still in Korea and an alarm was enough. They didn’t make them America proofed.

    I have a Hyundai and I’m glad it doesn’t have an “immobilizer” which can render the car useless to the owner as well if their expensive to replace electronic gadget “key” gets lost or broken. Hyundai has sent letters to owners offering the firmware change which will immobilize the car computer if car not unlocked with the key fob that all cars have had for awhile. But this still won’t stop TikTok-ers from breaking in so I prefer a steering lock in iffy parking places. It’s big and yellow and they can’t miss it. Meanwhile think if I was going to sue somebody it would be TikTok first but that’s just me.

    1. digi_owl

      Reminds me of the repeated issue of porting Korean online games to western markets.

      Basically in order to sign up over there you use your government ID. And thus if the game ban you they ban you for life. Thus they skimp on securing the code against hacks. But when the game is then ported to western markets, an email is enough to sign up. And what you end up with is that bans become ineffective as cheaters can just create a new email address and be back in the game in hours.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      ” iffy parking places”

      LOL. You mean like my driveway? We had our 20 year-old Olds stolen twice, once from our driveway.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      Slightly peripheral concern about the “immobilizer” which can render the car useless to the owner as well if their expensive to replace electronic gadget “key” gets lost or broken. I wonder what might happen to an electronic gadget “key” in a EMP blast or Carrington type event.

    4. Jason Boxman

      What’s really outrageous is at the dealer they were happy to install a software update, this one presumably, for about $150. To stick a USB thing into my car and run an update.

      What garbage.

      Maybe that’s not what the update was, but no one could tell me what the update was they wanted me to pay for, or if I could do it myself. It looks like with a big enough flash drive, I can, however.

      1. Carolinian

        Hyundai has an official recall or service bulletin on the cars that are subject to TikTok-ing. This should cost you nothing and firmware change installed via the obd port near fuses, not usb. Only official Hyundai device can change the engine computer–a good thing.

        If your car qualifies you should receive a letter from Hyundai.

        1. Jason Boxman

          So instead then the dealer is pimping a “software update” that they could not or would not describe to me the purpose of, that sounds possibly ominous, what if my car’s firmware is bad? And was going to cost a cool $150.

          That’s sick.

          If this is the entertainment system update, they could have said that, I’d have said pound sand, and that would have been it. Instead I was left wondering if I needed to spend the money, which I did not.

  15. John Beech

    The Lendbreen Tunic, 760 hours, unimaginable? No, not really. My wife is a lifelong hooker and beginning from a string pulled from a skein of yarn, will patiently create. I use the word as a verb. What does she create? Perhaps baby blankets for a family member or friend’s child. Typically during their pregnancy, she endeavors to make something new to the world. If not a blanket, maybe lace baby booties, whatever. I have photos which I take to document what she creates. Those lucky few, those who receive her bounty, cherish the gift for what they are, priceless.

    1. Polar Socialist

      It could take 760 hours if you start by cutting down some trees, building a roundhouse on the clearing, shearing some sheep, fleecing and washing the wool, spinning it to a yarn, build an oven, manufacture weights from clay, use the cut wood to build a vertical warp-weighted loom, weave the fabrics and finally sew them together.

      And you would still have time to mess up the warp creating a few times over.

    2. The Rev Kev

      My wife does crotchet work and she does really amazing stuff and likes especially making stuff for new born babies. I am not sure that the younger generation appreciate gifts like that, especially in light of the fact that so few know how to do it which is a shame.

      1. Pat

        That is changing, Rev. While sewing hasn’t begun to hit any kind of resurgence, most hookwork has. Knitting and crocheting are now considered much hipper than you might think. More and more people are being exposed to it, and the work involved.

        (And others are discovering the meditative value in the repetitive moves needed for both knitting and crocheting. More classes and groups have people who just make scarves or blankets. It is interesting.)

    3. Henry Moon Pie

      Amen to that, John. They are precious creations.

      For an historical perspective on this, Mary Harrington, the “reactionary feminist,” talks about how the pre-industrial age was based primarily on household economies. Families raised and preserved their own food, made their own clothes and did their own doctoring to a great extent. The advent of industrialization removed much of this production from the household, and Harrington argues, deprecated women along with it. Eventually, this led to a feminist demand to leave the household and join the “man’s world” of capitalism.

      This interview is over an hour long, but Harrington’s points summarized above are in the first 15 minutes.

    4. mrsyk

      AI (i assume) is telling me it takes 6,480 hours to make a 9 by 12 Persian carpet, so no, not unimaginable. Correct me if this is an apples to oranges comparison.

  16. Jabura Basaidai

    Bob Iger Cackles and Ron Perlman threatens – i like it! – should never walk back the truth Ron – obuma knew there were pitchforks, guess Iger is clueless – bwahahaha

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        When looking for the “Sons of Anarchy” clip, I ran across a scene that hooked me into the Vince Gilligan series from the opening episode: Red Emma’s definition of anarchism.

  17. Ignacio

    On the Megahit as a tool to assemble sequence pieces on a whole viral genome: unimportant, would I say. It is clear that Wu et al assembled it correctly (SARS CoV2). Whether they complemented It with other tools at they disposal is what such Engineer should look at in their paper. If he does things badly and his genomes are misaligned It is his problem. It wasn’t that of Wu et al. Though now that It is fashionable to run conspiracies on the Chinese he can get an audience. This was cheap IMO.

    1. Raymond Sim

      I lack the expertise to discern if his critique of Megahit is valid, but as you say, it’s the way results from Megahit are utilized and verified that matters.

      Personally this article goes in my mental ‘Possible bad faith and/or willful ignorance.’ folder, which unfortunately is long since overflowing.

  18. eb

    A random thought….Uncle Joe announces the activation of Army reserves for duty in Europe/Ukraine…..I heard later that these are logistics people. Well, the logistics of the current Ukrainian Army might be a little complex considering the mix of stuff from various armies. Could be the interest is to standardize/natoize the logistics in preparation for……nato troops (coming soon?) . Also frees(?) up clerks, computer operators, warehouse mgrs, mechanics, etc. for posting to the front…..the “new” army to face the Russians (fourth or fifth….I forget). A little more meat grinding and NATO troops slide into place.

  19. Daryl

    > Senators Ask Billionaire Paul Singer and Power Broker Leonard Leo for Full Accounting of Gifts to Supreme Court Justices ProPublica

    I wonder if it would be faster to ask the Supremes themselves which gifts they have received, since any individual billionaire will only know about the, ahem, gifts they have given to the justices and not all of them. Just a thought.

  20. Jabura Basaidai

    poor butterflies as if they didn’t have enough going against them – i plant as much milkweed and native plants that attract them and pollinators, as possible – trying my best to protect the plants from hungry critters – blessed that they seem to have found them often in my back yard – and now the country with the largest population is going after them – sigh…….

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Minefields are biggest obstacle to Ukrainian counter-offensive”

    Saw one video clip of these Ukrainian tankers calling their trainers back in Germany as to how to deal with these mine fields that were blowing up their tanks. The advice received from those German trainers? Just drive around them. Totally clueless.

    1. R.S.

      Here’s the segment in German

      It’s filmed (at least said so) somewhere near Zaporozhye/Zaporizhzhia/whatever. The talk about minefields is at ~4:10. Yeah, the guy says that the Germans told them to drive around, ’cause on their maps minefields are just 200×100 meters.

      There’s an obligatory brave guy presenting some hit marks, defending our land and the usual talk, so I’m kinda amused that die Welt has actually aired that part about mines.

  22. Camelotkidd

    Dimitry Orlov has a great article where he says that Ukraine is suddenly a threat to NATO’s core mission which is to sell US weapons
    And Ukraine has demonstrated that NATO’s weapons are crap

    1. hunkerdown

      Interesting, but Orlov, having internalized Protestant conservatism from his stay in the USA, overlooks NATO’s internal-facing role of enforcement of market values and private property and the crushing of any popular insurgency that would infringe them. The weapons protect capitalist relations and wouldn’t have been brought into existence in quite the same way for any other reason.

  23. The Rev Kev

    ‘Meanwhile, the famous graphic for the “Swiss Cheese Model” has been upgraded’

    There is something else missing form that sketch of those cheese slices and nibbling mice are concerned. It is missing the governmental & medical authorities rats reaching down and removing whole slices of cheese protection.

  24. Chris Smith

    Re: “Men Are Lost”

    As usual, an article from the putative left that does a decent job of identifying a problem (somewhat of its own making) and offers bupkis in terms of a solution. Instead we get the requisite “we need a solution” and “it will take time” talk, with no actual outline of a proposed solution much less concrete details that can be implemented. Useless.

    Some might say that the point of the article was not to offer a solution but to identify a problem. That’s great and all, but if all Christine Emba and friends have is “we need a solution” they are going to continue to get lapped by Jordan Peterson and his friends who have a concrete solution. You can debate the value of the method Peterson and friends have on offer, but they have a method on offer ready to go right now. Something beats nothing almost every time.

    Then again, I am much less sanguine about “crisis in masculinity” discourse, since the promoters of this discourse always see masculinity in crisis. But if masculinity is always in crisis, then it’s never in crisis.

    1. chris

      I’d say that our people are lost. Doesn’t matter whether they’re men or women or whatever else were supposed to accept is a thing now. We’ve made a society that actively harms the people living in it. That’s insane! The people who are complaining about it the loudest have access to resources that most could only dream about, and their opinion on how to fix it is a combination of ignore it or self-mortify for any feeling you have for something different.

      I don’t even go to the NYT or WaPo for their cooking sections anymore. I subscribe to the Guardian because if I have to get a dose of MSM propaganda I find I can tolerate from those writers. Why would I consider anything those freaks had to say about organizing a life or finding a purpose?

    2. .Tom

      Can’t agree with you that Emba managed to identify anything other than a confusing mish-mash of “big other” fears of her readership. The article is like a tossed salad of the names of lots of things NPR ladies might have been scared of in the last 10 years but really know little about and I think Emba has little experience of what she writes too. Just for one example, was she on 4chan in the mid teens or just heard it was bad in some way? I’m betting it was the latter. Everyone talked about how toxic 4chan was and hardly anyone was on it.

    3. EssCetera

      Respectfully, Peterson has not offered a solution, especially to the described problem of male crisis. If he has, please give a rudimetary overview of what this something rather than nothing is. Clean your room and shoulders straight is not male empowerment. Women were doing the cleaning and posture thing long before Peterson, it didn’t empower them.

      Peterson in his famous interview with Channel 4’s Cathy Newman says men should grow up, they’re being immature and whiny, not taking responsibility. So Peterson says the male crisis is a crisis of male immaturity, the prescribed solution is to grow up, but how do we get from A to B?

      Side note – an equity solution, the usual lefty solution, is progress for men as well, since a stance that men should be in power is as dumb as saying some are superior or inferior because of skin or eye color… We know better, let’s not seriously entertain such nonsense.

      Underlying the “masculinity in crisis” complaint we can usually find opposition or resistance to progress against these so-called “lefty” goals of abolishing class difference, achieving equity, goals which someone like Peterson would mistakenly call “cultural Marxism” and, he clearly argues in the interview re: pay gap and equity, are being approached incorrectly. He’s not opposed to abolishment of class difference based on equipment and apparatus or number of digits, 0 or 1.

      But it’s nothing particularly to do with the left because coverture ended long before sufferage and feminism but, also, even before Marxism was a thing.

      Alongside the abolitionist movement which saw slaves come to be seen as human, courts dominated by men recognized women and children as human beings and not chattel.

      I always suspect those who want a return to ye olden tymes of lording it over also want a return to slavery and women and children as chattel, and have latched onto Peterson as a “solution”, but he offers no such solution – is actually not too far from the leftymarxists he loves to attack.

      Leftymarxists love to attack themselves, it’s a thing. But bottom line is Peterson hasn’t offered an A to B where B is male maturity.

    4. Roger Blakely

      Emba does a bad job of revealing the secret. Women are not attracted to the feminized men produced by this society. She writes, “I, a heterosexual woman, cringed in recognition.” She is referring to the fact that she does not want what she says that she wants. Men have paid the price.

  25. Mildred Montana

    >Beware the Pickleball Industrial Complex Jezebel. The deck: “Pickleball has enjoyed a public image as the people’s sport. It’s also considered ‘a venture capitalist’s dream.’ I suggest you run.”

    The money quote from the article: “Bain(!) Capital Ventures principal and pickleball lover Rak Garg told Insider. “It’s […] very inclusive. That’s why I think that pickleball and all these other things are better. It just makes everybody feel more at home.” Venture capital: notably a very “inclusive” profession that makes everybody feel at home.” That’s a zinger.

    First my disclosure: I am 71-years-old, don’t play pickleball, and don’t live anywhere near a court. However that will not stop me from saying (based on local news reports) that the “sport” is an auditory plague, a scourge, a bane (Bain?); a noisome racket disturbing life for those who live in high-density urban areas. And just wait until the venture capitalists start installing pickleball courts on the roof above your expensive apartment!

    Seniors everywhere, I implore you—do not buy into this trend (hopefully that’s all it is). If you do, the least you can do is play indoors. If you can’t do that then please stick to the quiet activities of lawn bowling and shuffleboard.

    At the moment it appears the capitalists are winning the pickleball war or at least putting up a good fight. Skechers is now selling “special” pickleball shoes. Saw a commercial for them on TV last night for the first time. I failed to see why they were “special”.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Slim here. And, yes, I am old enough to be considered a senior citizen. Something about that Medicare card in my wallet.

      Any-hoo, after I cycled over to the Big Orange home improvement center to pick up some things for the Arizona Slim Ranch, I went for a ride around the edge of one of Tucson’s largest public parks. In the northeast corner, right by the intersection of two of our city’s busiest streets, was a pickleball court. I didn’t see anyone playing but I do know this:

      As one gets older, those stop-and-start sports are not very nice to the body. That’s why Slim is such an avid bicyclist, walker, and gardener.

      Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get to work on adding another shade cloth to one of my garden beds. And thank goodness that our neighborhood park does NOT have a pickleball court. That plonk-plonking sound would drive me bonkers.

  26. b

    The NY Times makes a concession to reality. Most popular comment:

    “One bright spot as they fight through the minefields, Ukrainian soldiers say, is the protection provided by Western armored vehicles.”

    And where will these Western armored vehicles be when/if this ghastly war ever ends? When the farmers return to their fields or when the hikers return to the woods? What will protect these people in the future for the mines will still be there? People will be dying from these mines for decades to come.

    It is not easy to clear a country of mines. I had friends in Bosnia many years ago who told me that mines can migrate in the soil with the Spring rains. What a nightmare.

    Planting land mines should be labelled a war crime, if it isn’t already. But if we look at war with clear eyes, we all know that war is the crime. It is inhumane and brutal. We need to evolve as a species, to recognize our shared humanity and outlaw war.”

    Here’s the link, not paywalled:

    Small, Hidden and Deadly: Mines Stymie Ukraine’s Counteroffensive

  27. IM Doc

    Regarding the Dr. Eric Topol article above about the Dr. Atria approach being financially out of reach for most people.

    Believe it or not, this lunatic tone is actually what I have come to expect from both medical thought leaders like Topol, and almost all of the academic and political medical leaders. They are so out of touch they seem to be complete morons. They certainly have no experience with real people on the ground just like most elite in our country. Complete boobs.

    Dr. Topol, have you ever considered that the entire medical system that you and your friends have provided is out of financial reach for most Americans? I know you pat yourselves on the back for providing “access” to health care, but actual health care, not so much. But you just keep right on having your celebratory champagne parties……you deserve it.

    Meanwhile, I and thousands of primary physicians like me, get to hash out with insurance companies every day for life saving meds and procedures. We get to watch as people slowly die of things like MS because they cannot afford 300K a year for the meds ( or even their 18K deductibles). We get to watch as people with cancer and long term issues get to depend on go fund me, churches, and coin buckets in the grocery store.

    If you happen to read this, I would be happy for you to contact Yves and get in touch with me. I would love for you to spend just 1 or 2 days in my shoes. You obviously do not spend two seconds taking care of real people in this environment.

    You, sir, are a fraud. You and your class of MDs have perpetrated and continue to perpetrate one of the greatest swindles in all of history on this country. And yet you clearly have not a hint of self awareness or else you would never dream of writing such an article as this.

    1. ThirtyOne

      Key Opinion Leader:

      Why are key opinion leaders important in healthcare?

      Because key opinion leaders have so much experience, they carry significant influence within their communities. This means that KOLs might be able to generate awareness about a new drug or device, and even help to increase sales volume for suppliers. Key opinion leaders might also be able to impact purchasing decisions within their own hospitals or networks.

    2. Screwball


      I’m old, so my friends are old. When you get old you need medical care. I hear nothing but horror stories from my friends.

      Get sick, go broke. Health”care” my ass is right.

    3. britzklieg

      Yay! Thanks for saying it out loud. FRAUD, indeed. Most of us would not get away with that, we’d be admonished, dismissed and silenced. And now they move to “commercialize” the biggest fraud of the pandemic: the almost completely worthless and demonstrably harmful to many mrna experiment. The UK is building an enormous mrna lab for Moderna (“mrna” is where the name Moderna is derived from) and plan on mandating, again, that failed science experiment for everything. No therapeutics, no interventions, just “take the jab and shut your pie hole, lab rat. We gonna make trillions off of you, hahahahahahahahaha.”

    4. Glen

      IM Doc, thanks for what you do every day.

      But what you see in health care, I see in heavy industry where I work. Upper management is very out of touch with the factory floor, and what they have done to their own workforce. They have spent twenty years trying to downgrade their own work force – have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams and are now mystified that we cannot, you know, build product.

      And I see it in Ukraine where NATO leaders (number one leader being Biden) is completely out of touch with what is going to actually happen.

      Which leads right back to our own country. I suspect just like the doctors you reference, leaders like Biden don’t seem to realize that the country they think they are leading has been degraded, underfunded, raided into oblivion by Wall St – it no longer exists. The military they think they can summon with a snap of their fingers has been reduced by over twenty years of needless and fruitless wars, and crippled by a whole defense industry that is totally focused on next quarters profit as opposed to mundane things like “national defense”.

      Our elites don’t need to pull an Elon and go to Mars, they no longer seem to live on the same Earth as the rest of us. Must be nice. Too bad it’s just not reality for the rest of us.

    5. flora

      ‘Believe it or not, this lunatic tone is actually what I have come to expect from both medical thought leaders like Topol, and almost all of the academic and political medical leaders. They are so out of touch they seem to be complete morons.’

      Well yes. That level of moronity is financially out of reach for most people, certainly out of reach for the working class. / ;)

  28. spud

    oh dear:

    WHAT IS NATO? / Plus: Usefulness exhausted, Zelensky’s demise may be near.
    A fraud. A malignancy. And now a rotting project imploding due to its arrogant over-reach.


    Garland Nixon
    Jul 13, 2023

    “Garland explains the origins of NATO as a fraudulent organization, a money-laundering scheme, and a cynical US instrument to project power and simplify the management of its European vassals, which America is now practically openly bent on exploiting. NATO was never intended as a “defense” organization, but rather as a weapon against Russia. But the West, in its hubris, badly miscalculated. It underestimated Russia’s military and industrial capability, or even the kind of war it could face against a true peer adversary fighting a genuine existential war.”

    thanks to bill clinton, we do not have much industry left, so i am not so sure we can be considered a peer adversary.

    1. Acacia


      Lol. Thank you for that, spud.

  29. chris

    I’m catching up on my reading and happened upon this great piece of short fiction. I figured the Commentariat would appreciate it.

    It rings with the feelings discussed on here lately. The people in power keep trying to murder everyone below them and yet we keep getting back up!

    1. nippersdad

      That was an excellent interview with Dr. West insofar as it showed how difficult it will be for the MSM to “other” him in the way that they have done other non-mainstream political figures. I have seen several analyses of his performance, and he came off well in all of them. The zinger, for me, though, was to see Christoforou admit that there is such a thing as a “real” left, and that he knocked his answer on Ukraine and how it should be handled “out of the park”.

      It is beginning to look like he has some real reach.

      It was also interesting to see that he has apparently been getting pushback from the left about his routine mention of the Russian invasion being a “criminal” enterprise. He is moving the Overton Window even as we watch.

      1. mrsyk

        That last Overton Window bit is important to note. West has already made an enormous positive contribution by introducing previously verboten ideas to the public conversation, and this against the censorship regime and their algorithms. Remarkable.

    2. Jeff V

      Thanks for the link. I’m not familiar with Kaitlan Collins or Cornel West, and I found it very interesting.

      I liked the way she asked the questions and then let him answer them. Which he did.

      That’s not what I’m used to these days – interviewers usually seem more interested in pushing their own agenda, and politicians never answer the question anyway.

  30. KD

    Men are lost. Here’s a map out of the wilderness.

    Women writing about men are like “compassionate” white guys writing about Indians in the late 19th century. Just get them off the whiskey and peyote, give them Christian names and make them wage slaves and they will stop revolting.

    Don’t worry boys, you will be assimilated.

  31. chris

    Adding this journal paper discussing a Swedish study on changes in gaming behavior related to the pandemic. Interesting that they found the most significant increases in gaming among the study population was in women, not men.

    After yesterday’s articles I checked in with some friends and they suggested a few other reputable studies are finding similar things. The big change in gaming lately has been with women, not necessarily men.

    I look forward to hearing about how women in the US and other developed countries are lost…

    1. mrsyk

      I’m poorly read on this subject, mostly because I don’t have the bandwidth to take it up, but I wanted to draw attention to the comment thread that I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) is where this recent round of discussion started. It begins with a comment by Jeremy Grimm which is not to be missed. It’s writing that Joni Mitchell would be proud of, sad, compelling, soul baring, and rings with sincerity, and above all speaks to the failings of our society well beyond gaming. It is why we’re not making shit up when we say our commentariat is the best commentariat.

  32. spud

    i am glad bill clinton and tony blair are held in prominent positions in  this article, look at the picture. actually the graphic on what neo-liberalism is, is what bill clinton did.

    great graphic on neo-liberalism.

    Neoliberalism is basically a self-serving racquet. The very enthronement of egoism at the core of human relations.
    July 10, 2023 6 minutes read…

    1. skippy

      “The very enthronement of egoism at the core of human relations.”

      I Concur, albeit would point out the agency which forwarded and funded this paradigm is class based and proceeds the political operatives you mention. Furthermore, due to political funding it supersedes any notion of distinction between any political organization e.g. politics is post facto. As such I find the use of political individuals obscures the actual force/s behind what we call neoliberalism with its roots based on not only class, but in some cases heraldic notions.

      The only other thing else I would note is an underpinning esoteric odour in relationship with the egoism present in neoliberalism.

      Thank you for the links spud.

  33. JBird4049

    >>>Senators Ask Billionaire Paul Singer and Power Broker Leonard Leo for Full Accounting of Gifts to Supreme Court Justices ProPublica

    I am reminded of the kerfuffle of Benjamin Franklin’s snuffbox as well as the always ignored Emollients Clause unless it opponents of the current regime like the Orange Menace, former president Donald J. Trump. The book I linked to, Corruption in America by Zephyr Teachout, which has a section on the affair of the snuffbox, is good although I found it overly dry for some reason. Maybe because corruption can be so prosaic, done by little minds for small gains.

    Maybe if the current tempest was expanded to cover the whole of Congress, the Executive Branch, especially the President, and most of the rest of the Federal Judiciary, I might be more interested. Heck, whom am I kidding? All levels of the judiciary from federal to municipal has corruption and I include California. It is merely a question of just how deep.

    I have to mention that the questions about Benjamin Franklin’s snuffbox was not necessarily about him possibly being corrupt, which most did not believe, but more about the appearance of corruption.

    1. ewmayer

      For those readers not acquainted with it, here is the Emollients Clause, that’s Article I, Section 9, Clause 8(b) of the U.S. Constitution, which

      …prohibits any person holding a government office from accepting any moisturizer, ointment, or other skin balm from any “King, Prince, or foreign State,” without congressional consent.

  34. XXYY

    That is an ASTONISHING amount of labor. For exactly 1 item of clothing. It is mind-boggling.

    It’s quite common for mind-boggling changes in valuation to occur as a result of technical innovation and other things. Refined aluminum was more valuable than gold until pretty recently. Salt was tremendously scarce through most of history. Pencil lead had only one source worldwide and had to travel in armed convoys. Someone more knowledgeable than I could make this kind of list all day.

    The mechanization of harvesting, spinning, weaving, and sewing has obviously had profound ramifications for the human race, culminating today in the fast fashion industry, where clothing has almost literally zero value.

    Meanwhile, we continue to have tremendous scarcities of other things, like food, housing, healthcare, education, and respect for the Earth and for each other.

    1. Raymond Sim

      It’s a tacit admission of a truth they’ve been suppressing.

      Are you an actual person? If you’re just AI I can see why you’d be cool with implying that repeated reinfections are no big deal. But if you’re one of us fleshly beings you might want to reconsider where your best interests lie.

      1. maipenrai

        so you are on board with the idea that updating your vaccination will prevent long covid?

        1. britzklieg

          indeed, we know the vax does not prevent infection and re-infection so why would it prevent long covid?

            1. britzklieg

              studies also show it’s harmful to many. which studies are we allowed to believe? which studies get amplified and which are dismissed because they go against the big pharma narrative? IMHO that ship has sailed…. the mrna vaccines are basically crap and continuing to push them does little service to public health, indeed it may undermine it.

              1. Yves Smith

                This is bad faith argumentation. You are shifting the grounds of discussion. Having been corrected on one unresearched and unsupported opinion, you double down with another. I’m not saying the vaccines were all that useful for anything other perhaps than wild type, for which they were designed and did keep people from coughing their lungs out in hospitals for 2-3 weeks, denying care to other ER cases like stroke and heart attack victims. But you need to be factual in your charges rather than spew beliefs.

            2. Jason Boxman

              For anyone curious, here Topol discusses vaccines in regards to a reduction in long-COVID risk:

              A systematic review of 41 articles (distilled from 255 full-text papers reviewed and 5334 records), involving over 860,00 individuals, looked at risk factors for developing Long Covid, which included female sex (odds ratio 1.56), high BMI (OR 1.15), smoking (OR 1.1) and multiple comorbidities or hospitalization (OR 2.48). Vaccination was associated with an overall 43% reduction of Long Covid as shown below, with consistency of direction across all 4 studies assessing this relationship.

              I’d still consider a 1/20 chance of getting long-COVID per infection extremely bad. If the lottery had that odds, people would be playing all day every day, and winning.

              1. Acacia

                Dunno how to reconcile this, but in Lambert’s recent article on the Nature issue containing four studies addressing the immunology of long Covid, the second study apparently includes the following claim:

                Notably, no significant differences were noted in the incidence of long COVID at 24 months in terms of the number of vaccinations received.

                1. Raymond Sim

                  If I read the study correctly the subjects contracted Covid before they were vaccinated. That describes a lot of people of course, but it’s a potential confounder.

              2. Henry Moon Pie

                The East Side of Cleveland would be richer than Rye, NY. Hallelujah! Praise God!

            3. flora

              Yves, with respect, at this point I’m interested in who funded what studies. I think that’s important to know. I’m that skeptical now.

  35. antidlc

    Our good buddy made it to

    He’s lucky it wasn’t worse.

    A doctor known for assessing Covid risk fell ill with the virus. Here’s what he wants you to know

    A doctor known for advising people on the risks of Covid-19 got a double surprise: He got Covid, and he wound up needing stitches because of it.

    Dr. Robert Wachter, who chairs the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, said he had not tested positive for Covid until last week, according to posts from his Twitter account. He said he was fully vaccinated and had received his second bivalent booster in April

  36. Another Scott

    I read this article about the spreading of sludge in South Carolina. As a result of the practice, PFAS has been found in fields and water supplies. But this wasn’t simply sludge from a municipal wastewater plant, it came from an industrial plant.

    Money quote:
    Federal officials have found high levels of forever chemicals in a string of private wells on and near about 10,000 acres of farm fields where DHEC approved spreading textile plant sludge from 1993 to 2013. Tested fields showed PFAS in the soil years after sludge was applied. The farm soil and wells contained forever chemicals like those found in the sludge at the nearby Galey and Lord textile plant, according to EPA and DHEC records. The EPA also found streams polluted with PFAS.

    The factory in question (now closed) was put on the Superfund list in 2021 (

    By understanding is that part of the problem with PFAS in Maine came from a similar practice of applying sludge from paper mills to the factories. How did this become a recommended practice in the 1990s? The water from the plants was deemed harmful by the Clean Water Act, but state agencies seemed to think that it was ok to apply the waste from that water to fields that feed people?

  37. JM

    Some interestingly conservative takes here today re: the male gaze and manhood in crisis articles. I haven’t read them so I won’t comment directly, but I think it’s worth keeping in mind the amount of sexual assaults and rapes that happen, as well as less violent harassment. ( I’m saddened to say that I know at least two women who were raped, and it sickens me that it happened and that there was no justice in either case. (

    Men should also be aware that the risk of assault is something that weighs on many women’s minds as they’re going about their day-to-day lives, i.e. considering if it’s safe to go for a run at night or if they might be assaulted – something I’m lucky to never have had to consider. Another thing I’ve heard from personal acquaintances.

    The failings of third-wave feminism, and the nihilism of many young men doesn’t excuse a single assault.

    1. skippy

      I thought Science-Mart: Privatizing American Science – Philip Mirowski unpacked all this back in 2011.

      This trenchant study analyzes the rise and decline in the quality and format of science in America since World War II.

      During the Cold War, the U.S. government amply funded basic research in science and medicine. Starting in the 1980s, however, this support began to decline and for-profit corporations became the largest funders of research. Philip Mirowski argues that a powerful neoliberal ideology promoted a radically different view of knowledge and discovery: the fruits of scientific investigation are not a public good that should be freely available to all, but are commodities that could be monetized.

      Consequently, patent and intellectual property laws were greatly strengthened, universities demanded patents on the discoveries of their faculty, information sharing among researchers was impeded, and the line between universities and corporations began to blur. At the same time, corporations shed their in-house research laboratories, contracting with independent firms both in the States and abroad to supply new products. Among such firms were AT&T and IBM, whose outstanding research laboratories during much of the twentieth century produced Nobel Prize-winning work in chemistry and physics, ranging from the transistor to superconductivity.

      Science-Mart offers a provocative, learned, and timely critique, of interest to anyone concerned that American science-once the envy of the world-must be more than just another way to make money. – snip

      I don’t know about you flora, but he comes off more than a bit wobbly, creates narratives out of whole cloth by stitching together verses via hot button terms to capture the minds of those that don’t have the information/knowledge and life experiences to discern such approaches. Never once does he delve into the ideology which corrupted academia or the forces since then which have shaped both the curriculum and the product[tm] it pops out. Its all suspension of disbelief level rhetoric and then he will insert the ***Truth*** for them all to consume.

      So now he’s banging on about the failure of “Experts” yet does not have the self reflection to look into the mirror himself. IM Doc and others – now decamped, have been quite clear about all this, not to mention spuds links above. Ring me when he starts talking about Corporatism/Neoliberalism, Propertarianism, Globalist Free Markets, or anything that has and is setting the stage for Market based society, guy reads like Hayek …..

      Sorry lov …

    2. skippy

      I would think the lab in China some pin the tail on the donkey wrt covid and others like in the Ukraine would dovetail nicely with the observation above flora.

      So the issue is not experts per se, but what constitutes experts today vs yesterday and what incentives pushed it so …

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